The usual payasam as desserts ( called kheer in the Northern states of India ) are made with Sago, Semolina, Channa Dhal and Green gram Dhal here in Tamilnadu. As a change, we can go for a rich payasam with main nutritious ingredients such as broken wheat and Coconut milk. It is rich in taste and yummy too.
COOKING TIME: 1 hour SERVINGS : 3
INGREDIENTS : 1. Broken wheat (Durham wheat, not rawa ): 0.5 Cup ( 75 grams ) 2. Coconut: 1 no 3. Milk: 150 ml 4. Jaggery ( Brown Sugar/ unrefined sugar ): 150 Grams 5. Cardamom: 5 no 6. Ghee (Clarified butter ): 1 Tablespoon 7. Water: 2.5 Cups ( 500 ml )
METHOD : Fry the broken wheat in an empty pressure cooker over low flame for 3,4 minutes. Pressure cook the wheat along with milk and 2 cups of water for 7,8 minutes till the wheat is fully cooked to a soft consistency. We need thick Coconut milk and so use a blender to take 1.5 cups of Coconut milk out of Coconut gratings. Take a few pieces of Coconut and slice them into tiny pieces. You will need just 2 tablespoons of sliced Coconut pieces. Fry the coconut pieces in ghee to a golden brown colour. In half a cup of water add the jaggery and keep over medium flame till the jaggery melts completely. Use a sieve to remove the impurities from the melted jaggery. Keep the cooked wheat in the cooker over a low flame and stir in the Coconut milk. Add the melted jaggery syrup to the wheat content. You can taste and add the jaggery syrup according to your sugar requirement. When the milk wheat payasam starts boiling, add the crushed Cardamom along with the fried Coconut pieces and ghee. Let the payasam boil for 5 minutes over low flame.
Tips : Wheat Payasam/kheer is relished either hot or cold..
Drumstick tree is a common drought-resistant tree found throughout the State of TamilNadu. Drumsticks which are the tender seed pods of the tree are most sought after vegetable for it enhances the taste of the every day curry ” Sambhar” we make. Along with the drumstick, the leaves and flowers are also consumed. Here I am giving a recipe with the main ingredient flowers as it blooms in abundance in the beginning of summer here. This dish made with Moring Flowers can be a side dish for any meal or can be consumed alone as a snack item too.
Wash the Drumstick flowers and keep them. Peel the onion. Chop the onion, G.chili and Garlic cloves. Keep the frying pan over low flame and pour oil. Fry lightly the chopped onion and add the G.chili, Garlic followed by the flowers. Continue to fry for 5 minutes carefully turning the flowers. Then add the salt, pepper powder and the boiled peanuts. Cook for another 2,3 minutes. Finally, squeeze the lime over it and serve it hot.
Tips: You can add Coconut gratings ( 0.25 Cup) instead of Lime juice.
In Tamil Nadu it is common to come across this particular tasty panam kizhangu or palmyra sprout which is also known as Palmyra Tuber being sold in bunches. It is a sprout which grows from the seed of the Palymra fruit and it is full of fibre and nutrition. The Palmyra tree is a hardy tree which you will find in abundance in the extreme south of Tamil Nadu. Now the Tamil Nadu Government is encouraging the people to go for the planting of the native Palymyra trees, seeing its huge benefits. Here I have come out with a recipe which instructs how it is prepared normally.
SERVINGS : 3 COOKING TIME : 45 minutes
INGREDIENTS : 1. Palmyra Sprout ( Tuber ) : 6 No ( 500 grams ) 2. Salt : 0.5 Teaspoon 3. Turmeric Powder : 0.5 Teaspoon 4. G. Chili : 1 5. Garlic Cloves : 4 No 6. Cumin : 1 Teaspoon
Remove the outer skin of the sprouts. Chop off the top as well as the tiny end of the long sprouts. Apply Turmeric Powder and salt over the Palmyra Sprouts and steam them either using an ” Idly mold” or regular pressure cooker with water. It takes more time to cook the palmyra sprouts in the “Idly mold”, nearly 15 to 20 minutes in it. But in a pressure cooker, it is done within 10 minutes. If you are using the pressure cooker for steaming, do not put the weight. After they are cooked well, chop them into small pieces. You will have to remove the fibre constantly. Take the Green chilli, Garlic Cloves and Cumin along with the chopped Palmyra Sprouts and pound them in a stone pestle to a coarse pulp. Make small balls out of the pulp and relish them.
Tips: The Palmyra Sprouts can be relished, steamed and eaten without adding any other ingredients too. Once they are steamed, they can be dried in sun for future use.
Minced Meat (Kothu Kari) with Ridge Gourd Fry. In the Southern districts of Tamil Nadu, it is common to cook vegetables with mutton. Here is a minced meat (Kothu Kari) recipe with locally available vegetable, Ridge Gourd. It is a nutritious vegetable with lots of fibre and minerals. When the vegetables are cooked with meat, the dish turns out tasty. It is a side dish served along with rice based meals or even with chappathi etc.
COOKING TIME: 30 minutes SERVINGS: 5
Minced meat : 300 Grams
Ridge Gourd : 1 ( approximate 500 grams )
Onion : 1 ( 150 grams )
G. Chili : 2
Turmeric Powder : 1 Teaspoon
Chili Powder : 1 Teaspoon
Salt : 1 Teaspoon
Ginger Garlic Paste : 1 Teaspoon
Oil : 1 Tablespoon
Aniseeed : 0.5 Teaspoon
Coconut Gratings : 0.25 Cup
Curry leaves : 2 Sprigs
Water : 0.5 Cup
Wash the minced meat (Kothu Kari) and the ridge gourd. Chop the onion, chilli. Remove the Ridge gourd skin and chop it to small pieces. Cook the minced meat in a pressure cooker with 0.5 Teaspoon Salt, Turmeric Powder, chilli powder, ginger garlic paste and half a cup water for 5,6 minutes or 3 whistles. Heat a skillet with oil over medium flame and first add the aniseed. Then add the chopped Onion, green chilli and Curry leaves and fry for 5 minutes.
The cooked minced meat (Kothu Kari) should be added along with the chopped ridge gourd pieces. The water in the boiled meat is enough for cooking the vegetable as it gets cooked easily in 5 minutes. Keep stirring the meat vegetable mixture for 5 minutes till the vegetable is cooked and the water is absorbed. Sprinkle the remaining salt and the grated coconut to it. Mix it well and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.
Tapioca is a root of a plant Cassava which is freely available through all the seasons of the year in the Southern part of India. It is consumed just boiled or boiled and cooked as a food item. It is a hardy plant and its easy availability helps us to cook it now and then at home. Tapioca Fry is served along with rice based meals and fish curry etc.
METHOD : Choose a fresh, medium size Tapioca pink in colour. Remove the hard, outer skin and wash it well. Dice it into thin slices and shapes of your choice. Boil the diced Tapioca pieces in 2 cups of water for 6,7 minutes and drain the water completely. In a blender, blend the Cumin, G.chili, Garlic cloves, Turmeric powder and Coconut gratings coarsely. Add the ground mix to the boiled Tapioca and cook over low flame for 5 minutes. Heat a skillet with oil over medium flame and add the mustard. When it splutters, add the curry leaves. Pour this content with salt over the cooked Tapioca and stir again for another 5 minutes.