Vada or Paruppu Vada: Some snacks are available easily in almost all street corner Tea shops in Tamil Nadu and people love to have them any time of the day along with a hot cup of tea. One such favourite item is ” Keerai Paruppu Vada”. It is a simple snack item consumed along with breakfast or just served as a snack in the evening with a hot cup of coffee or tea. Traditionally it is served as one of the dishes on the banana leaf along with other food items for festivals or weddings. Ingredients such as Bengal gram dhal and greens etc make it a nutritious and tasty food item.
Cooking Time : 30 minutes ( excluding the time for soaking of dhal for 3 hours)
1. Bengal Gram Dhal : 1 full cup ( 200 grams )
2. Onion : 2 no
3. G. Chilli : 3 no
4.Cloves Garlic : 2 no
5. Aniseed : 0.5 Teaspoon
6. Coriander and Curry leaves: 2,3 sprigs
7. Greens : 0.5 Cup
8. Salt : 0.75 Teaspoon
9. Oil (preferably sunflower or any refined oil): 250 ml
Wash and soak the Bengal gram dhal in enough water for 3 hours. Clean the greens and wash them well in water. Drain the water and chop them to tiny pieces. Chop the g. chili, onions, the coriander and curry leaves. Then drain
the water from the Bengal gram dhal completely and keep a tablespoon of soaked dhal separate without grinding. Put the remaining dhal in a blender along with aniseed, garlic pieces etc and grind them to a coarse pulp. To this coarse pulp add salt, one tablespoon whole dhal, chopped onions, g. chili, greens, coriander and curry leaves, and mix them well. Make small balls similar to a lime and flatten them with your hand to round shaped vadas with the edges slightly thinner. In a skillet heat oil over moderate flame. Fry them 5 or 6 at a time turning them to the other side once they are cooked to a golden yellow colour.
Tips: Adding a few leaves of cleaned chopped mint gives a unique taste to the snack. Greens suitable for this “vada” belong to the Amaranth family.
Kuzhi Paniyaram (Sweet) is a traditional snack item prepared in the households of Tamil Nadu especially in the chettinad region. It is made using a special vessel with small molded depressions in it. On special days and festival days, these paniyarams are made. Both sweet and savory type paniyarms can be made with the same dough adding different ingredients. First we can make the dough and then divide it into two portions to make both the sweet and the savory type paniyarms.
Pongal (or Thai Pongal) is celebrated as the harvest festival of Tamil Nadu. Pongal is enthusiastically celebrated by farmers with their farm produce harvested this season. The word Pongal in Tamil means ‘to boil over’. Here are the recipes that are traditionally prepared during this festival.
Sakkarai Pongal (Sweet Pongal): Cooking Time : 30 minutes.
- Raw rice – 1cup (175 grams.)
- Green gram dhal – 50 grams
- Brown (unrefined) sugar – 300 grams
- Milk – 1 cup
- Ghee (Clarified Butter) – 2 table spoons
- Cardamom – 4 nos
- Cashew and raisin – 20 grams
- Grated Coconut – ½ cup
Cook the rice and dhal together adding 3cups of water and one cup of milk in a cooker, and mash it well. In a heavy-bottomed vessel add ¼ cup water and the brown sugar and keep it on a low flame. When the brown sugar melts completely, strain and remove any impurities etc. Add the mashed rice and dhal mixture to the brown sugar syrup stirring slowly. Then add grated coconut and crushed cardamom. Heat another vessel with ghee. Fry the cashew first and then add the raisin. Add this fried cashew, raisin and rest of the ghee to the above mixture.
Tips: Brown sugar and ghee can be either increased or reduced as required.
Ven Pongal (Also a breakfast item): Cooking Time : 30 minutes
- Raw rice (1cup) – 175 grams
- Green gram dhal – 75 grams
- Ginger – 1/4 inch piece
- Cumin seed (jeera) – ½ teaspoon
- Black pepper – ½ teaspoon
- Curry leaves – 1 sprig
- Ghee – 2 tablespoons
- Cashew – 10 grams
Add three cups of water and cook rice and dhal together till done, adding ½ teaspoon salt. Pour ghee in a pan and add finely chopped ginger and then the cumin seeds, pepper and curry leaves with cashew nuts. Then add the mashed rice, dhal mixture to this and stir for a few minutes on a low flame. Enjoy your delicious Pongal!
India has many different types of chutneys. In the Southern states coconut chutney is a very common accompaniment to breakfast dishes like idli and dosa. It’s an easy to make side-dish and adds a wonderful taste to the meals.
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Servings : 2
Grated Coconut : ½ cup
Puffed Bengal Gram Dhal: 2 tablespoon
Green chilli peppers: 2
Salt : ¼ teaspoon
Mustard: ¼ teaspoon
Oil : 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves: 1 sprig
Method: Put all the ingredients except the oil, mustard and curry leaves, in a blender. Blend to a paste. Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard and curry leaves. Pour this over the ground paste and season with salt.