My heartfelt thanks to all of you who wished and blessed Trisha last week. I did convey all of them to her, which kept her smiling the whole week. With those sackful of blessings, I am sure she can achieve anything she wants in life! In fact, she is so excited that she wants to bypass half year of high school and go straight to Chapel Hill right now and she is already listing the dishes she wants me to bring to her when she is in college!! ;D
Now, on to the serious business of "Regional Cuisine of India" event! RCI is conceived by LakshmiK of "Veggie cuisine", where we get to cook and appreciate the the regional cuisine and culture of India. This month Srimathi of "Few minute wonders" blog is guest hosting "RCI" with "Chettinadu vegetarian cuisine". Thanks for taking time to host, Srimathi, enjoy!
About Chettinadu: (Info is from WIKIPEDIA)
"Chettinad cuisine is the cuisine of the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu state in South India. Chettinad is one of the driest regions of south India. The Chettiar community, who are a majority in this region are a very successful trading community. Chettinad cuisine is one of the spiciest and the most aromatic in India. Chettinad cuisine is famous for its use of a variety of spices used in preparing mainly non-vegetarian food. The dishes are hot and pungent with fresh ground masalas, and topped with a boiled egg that is usually considered essential part of a meal. They also use a variety of sun dried meats and salted vegetables, reflecting the dry environment of the region. The meat is restricted to fish, prawn, lobster, crab, chicken and mutton. Chettiars do not eat beef and pork.
Most of the dishes are eaten with rice and rice based accompaniments such as dosais, appams, idiyappams, adais and idlis. The Chettinad people through their mercantile contacts with Burma, learnt to prepare a type of rice pudding made with sticky red rice. Chettinad cuisine offers a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.
In Chettinad food, the most important spices are marathi mokku (dried flower pods), anasipoo (star aniseed) and kalpasi (known as Dagad Phool). In addition, tamarind, whole red chillies and saunf (Fennel seeds) are also used along with cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf, peppercorn, cumin seeds and fenugreek".
My Chettinadu Thali;
Murungakkai Kara Kozhambu, Palakkai/Varukkai Pirattal, Mixed dal Adai, Semia Payasam, Turmeric rice, Coriander leaves chutney, Mango Pickle and appalam:
Murungakkai/Murungai Kara Kozhambu:
Drumsticks or Nuggekayi as we call it, is one of my favorite vegetables. I only get frozen ones here, I used those along with some Pearl onions . Loved the Kara Kozhambu, a simple but tasty Sambhar. Here is how I made it.
1. Heat 2 tbsp oil+ghee in a pressure cooker, add 1 cup peeled Pearl onions, fry until reddish and take them out onto a plate.
2. To the same oil, add pinch of hing, 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds, 1 dry red chilli, few curry leaves, 1 tbsp Peanuts, 1 tbsp chana dal, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 small onion, chopped finely. Fry until they soften, add 3 garlic, chopped, stir fry for few seconds.
3. Add 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp red chilli pd, 1/2 tsp tamarind paste, 1/2 cup Tomato sauce, cook for a minute.
4. Add 1 tbsp coriander seeds pd, 1 tsp Sambhar pd (optional), 1/2 tsp Peppercorns crushed( or as much as you want) , 2 cups water, 2 cups of 3" pieces cut Drumsticks, enough salt, mix well.
5. Close the lid and pressure cook on low heat for 20 mins. Open the lid after pressure releases, add Pearl onions, cilantro, adjust the spices to taste. Simmer for 5 mins and serve.
Raw Jackfruit!! YAY!! I made a spicy Pirattal/Perattal with another favorite vegetable of mine but I get only the canned ones. This is a stir fry with typical chettinad spices like Fennel seeds, cloves and peppercorns. It makes a delicious side dish to serve with rice or Adais.
1. Heat 2 tsp oil, add 1 tsp mustard seeds, few curry leaves, 1 red chilli, add 1 small onion, chopped, stir fry until reddish.
2. Add 1 or 2 cans of drained and chopped raw Jackfuit pieces, fry for 2 minutes. Canned raw Jackfruit is already soft, so you don't have to cook too much.
3. Add ground spices, pinch of turmeric, enough salt and stir fry for 2 minutes. Mix 1/4 tsp tamarind mixed with 4 tbsp water, add to Pirattal and stir until it's almost dry. You can add more water if you need it.
4. Serve along with Adai or rice or both.
Spices to grind: Don't have to roast these.
3 tbsp dry dessicated coconut, 1 tbsp yellow roasted Chana (Hurigadale, Daliya, Pottukadali, chutney dal) 1 tsp Fennel seeds, 1/2" Cinnamon sticks (Dalchini), 1 clove, 1/2 tsp peppercorns,1 tsp cumin seeds. Grind these powder to use in Pirattal.
Mixed dal Adai:
Adais are instant dosas without the hassle of fermenting etc. Adding mixed dal and brown rice makes it a healthy and quick meal. Here is my version.
2. Grind all of these with enough water and 1 tsp cumin seeds, 2 red dry chillies, salt to make a batter until smooth.
3. Heat a dosa Tava or electric griddle, pour a ladleful of batter and spread to a circle. Cook until the bottom is golden, flip and cook other side.
Of course, every Indian knows this sweet in one way or another. I used Chinese Rice Vermicelli or Rice Semia or akki Shavige in this dessert. Since rice Semia is delicate, you don't need to roast this in ghee before. here is how I made it.
1. In a non-stick pan, add 1 tbsp ghee or butter, add 1 tbsp each of Cashews, raisins, Almond slivers, fry until golden, take them out on to a plate.
2. To the same pan, add 3 cups of 2% milk, 1/2 cup brown sugar or jaggery (how much sugar to add is up to you, I always add less), bring it to boil, cook until it reduces a bit. Turn down the heat and add 1 cup Rice Vermicelli, mix and simmer.
3. Let it simmer gently, until Semia is well cooked and plump, then add 1/2 tsp of Cardamom powder to it and turn off the heat.
4. To serve, top Semia payasam with fried nuts and raisins. You can serve this cold or warm or at room temperature.
Mythreyee of "Paajaka" blog is hosting a "Sweet series: Rice/Wheat sweets/Diabetic friendly" event. My relatively low fat Semia Payasam goes to her event. Thanks for hosting, Myth. Enjoy the sweet! :)
That's the end of my Chettinadu thali, which we thoroughly enjoyed with some tasty Mango pickle and toasted Papad/Appalam! :)
Spicy Chicken curry, from Srilekha.
Tomatillo Kootu, from Mahimaa.
Udupi Dhania Sambhar, from Paru.
Fluffy Idlis, from DK.
Beets- Chana dal stir fry, from Priya.
Thanks for posting all these, girls! :)
Last week, Sandhya gave me a "You have my heart" award, thank you so much, Sandhya.
Vibaas, Malar Gandhi, Lakshmi G, Pavithra, Meera and Ann gave me "Lemonade appreciation" as well. (I have posted the photos in my sidebar).
It always gladdens my heart to think that you all care so much about me even though I disappeared for almost 5 mnts from blogging! Now, I am passing both of these awards to all my blog friends who come here every week since I can't choose a few out of so many. Please go ahead, take them and enjoy. Hugs to all of you! :))
I don't know how many of you have watched the movie called "300", about a war between 300 Greek Spartan warriors and Persians. If you have watched "300" , then you must watch the spoof of the same movie called "Meet the Spartans"!!
OMG!! I have never laughed so much in my life!! It's hilarious. All I am going to say is it involves fake Sanjaya, Paris Hilton and Brittany Spears too!! ;D
Book I read:
"The Reader" by the author Bernhard Schlink.
Kate Winslet recently won a Golden Globe award for the movie made based on this book and also nominated for Oscar as well. Interesting book; story about post World War II, long lasting relationship betn a couple with a tragic end. Book is sensual, full of suspense and very readable.
Have a wonderful Super Bowl Sunday, may the best team win! :)