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.
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.
Summer has its woes – heat, heat and sweat. But, it brings the king of the fruits, Mangoes to the markets in abundance. Raw Mango Chutney is a raw mango recipe which tastes sweet, sour, tangy, salty and what not. This dish can be served with tiffen items like Idli, dosa, chappathi and also with rice based meals too.
Time to cook: 30 minutes Servings: 4
Raw Mango: 2 ( 250 grams approximate)
Salt: a pinch
Water: 1/3 Cup
Jaggery ( unrefined sugar ): 75 grams
Dry Red chilli: 3
Ginger Slivers: 3 thin ones
Oil: 1.5 Tablespoon
Mustard: 0.5 Teaspoon
Urad dhal: 0.5 Teaspoon
Remove the skin of the raw mangoes and grate them finely. Take one cup finely scraped mango. Cook it along with the water and salt over low flame for 5 minutes. Then, add the powdered jaggery and cook for another 5 minutes stirring it well. In another frying pan add oil and heat it. Add the mustard, urad dhal, thin ginger slivers and dry red chilli to the oil and wait for the mustard seeds to splutter. Pour it over the cooked mango pulp and cook another 5 minutes over low flame till everything is well mixed and the oil oozes out.
Tips: It can be stored in clean bottles for up to a week in the fridge.
Vada Curry is a recent addition to the breakfast items of Chennai. Besides, it is one of the most sought after breakfast dishes. Vada Curry can be served along with dishes like Idli, dosa, appam as an accompaniment. Also, it can be relished alone on its own too. It has ‘Channa Dhal’ ( Bengal gram dhal ) and so consuming it has all benefits of the dhal.
Cooking Time : 1 hour plus 3 hours of soaking the Dhal
Wash and soak in water Bengal gram dhal for 3 hours. After this, drain without water and grind it coarse in a blender with 0.50 Teaspoon aniseed, 2 garlic cloves and 0.75 teaspoon salt without adding water. Steam the dough as you do for ‘idli” for 10 minutes in an ‘Idli maker’ and break them into small pieces. Chop the Onions, Green chilli and Tomatoes. Keep a skillet over medium flame and add oil.
Once it is hot, add the remaining aniseed with all the spices whole – Bay leaf, Cardamom, Cinnamon and Cloves. Later, the chopped onions and green chilli can be added. Fry it for a few minutes and then put the chopped tomato pieces along with cleaned Mint, Coriander and Curry leaves. Fry for a couple of minutes and add the Ginger Garlic paste along with Turmeric Powder, Chili Powder and Coriander Powder. Once the mixture is half cooked, pour the water with salt and let it simmer. Add steamed Vada pieces and stir well for 10 minutes over a low flame. Mostly, Vada Curry is served watery.
Tips: Ground Dhal can be shallow fried in a ‘tawa’ instead of being steamed. But it should not be fried crisp. I have given the steaming method as frying with oil is avoided for health benefits.