Recipe: Coconut Semiya (Vermicelli)

Coconut Vermicelli 5

Growing up, the making of semiya used to be a day-long affair at home with preparations starting in the morning to make the rice paste which then gets cooked and then using a special machine, thin strands of rice vermicelli are passed out which are then cooked to make this yummy coconut vermicelli. Nowadays, instant rice vermicelli is readily available which makes making this dish easy.

Coconut Vermicelli 3Coconut Semiya or Vermicelli

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet instant rice vermicelli
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp broken urad dal (split black gram)
  • A handful of raisins
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 4-5 curry leaves
  • 2 dried red chillies, broken
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • Prepare the instant rice vermicelli as per the instructions in the packet. Drain well and keep aside.
  • In a separate pan, heat the oil and when warm, add the mustard seeds, urad dal, asafoetida, green chillies, dried red chillies, curry leaves, raisins and stir for a few seconds till the urad dal becomes red and the raisins start to plump up.
  • Now add the grated coconut and stir well till it starts to brown and crisp up.
  • Add salt to taste and continue stirring till the coconut is slightly brown and crisp.
  • Now add the drained vermicelli and stir well to mix together.
  • Remove from the flame and serve hot.

This is yummy both as a slightly heavy breakfast or a light meal.

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Recipe: Ginger Pepper Rasam

Ginger Pepper Rasam 3

Last week GG caught a bad cold from school and since the children are in the midst of exams, I decided to make this rasam, which can also be eaten as a soup which is filled with the goodness of peppercorns and ginger, both which are very good for getting rid of a cold. I made another version earlier, this version omits tamarind and also slightly different.

This is a fairly easy recipe to make and can finish in under 20 minutes when you have the ingredients ready.

Ginger Pepper Rasam 1Ginger Pepper Rasam

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cooked tuvar dal
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2-inch piece of ginger, chopped
  • 2 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp chana dal
  • 1 red chilli (omit this if you don’t want it too spicy or if you intend to increase the number of peppercorns)
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 7-8 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp jaggery (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp pepper powder (optional)
  • Lemon juice as per taste

Method:

  • In a pan, take 1 tsp ghee and fry the cumin seeds, chana dal, peppercorns, red chilli, ginger and 4-5 curry leaves and fry until the dal changes colour. Remove from the flame and cool down
  • When cool, grind to a smooth paste with the chopped tomatoes and a bit of water.
  • In a pan, heat the water and add to this the cooked tuvar dal, asafoetida, jaggery and salt and bring to a boil.
  • When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the cooked tomato and spice paste and let it cook well. This should take between five to ten minutes.
  • When it starts boiling, the water will reduce. At this point, top up the water and once it starts boiling again, remove from the flame.
  • Add the lemon juice after the rasam has been removed from the flame.
  • In another smaller pan, heat the remaining ghee. When warm, add the mustard seeds and the balance curry leaves and let them pop. Now add the pepper powder (if you are using) and pour this over the rasam.

Drink hot as a soup for a soothing concoction for your throat. This is yum over rice and a dollop of ghee or even as a pick-me-up during cold and rainy days!

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Recipe: Milagu Kozambu

This is another typical tambram recipe which is probably made in every tambram household at some point or the other. I love this recipe and always used to ask my mum to make it. It is said this is good when you have an upset stomach, as this recipe will clear your stomach.

Both BB & GG also love this recipe and it is usually made plain with no vegetables and is really useful when there’s nothing to cook at home. This time around, I added some vegetables and it was super delicious!

Milagu Kozambu

Ingredients:

  • 2 onions, chopped into big pieces
  • 10 ladies fingers, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 4-5 pieces of drumstick, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 tsp Peppercorns
  • 5 Red Chillies
  • 1 tsp Urad Dal
  • 2 tsps Chana Dal
  • ½ tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 2 tsps Coriander Seeds
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • Tamarind piece as big as a piece of lime (make sure you remove all fibre from the tamarind as well as any seeds which may be there)
  • Salt to taste
  • A handful of curry leaves
  • 1/8 tsp of Asafoetida
  • 2 tsps Oil

Method:

  • In a bowl, put the tamarind and pour boiling water over it to release the water and flavour and keep aside for 30 minutes. When cool, mash it well to remove the juice and keep aside. There’s no need to remove the flesh for this recipe.
  • Heat oil in a kadhai and when warm, fry the peppercorns, red chillies, urad dal, chana dal, cumin seeds and coriander seeds.
  • When the dals turn red, add the curry leaves and fry till the curry leaves are crisp.
  • At this point, add the asafoetida and let it cool down.
  • When cool, grind to a smooth paste with the tamarind and a little water into a smooth paste.
  • Heat oil and fry the mustard seeds. Now add the onions and fry them so it starts becoming translucent. Then add the drumstick and ladies finger and let them fry for a  couple of minutes.
  • Mix the blended paste with enough water to make 1.5 cups of the paste and add this to the vegetables cooking and let it cook.
  • Add salt to taste as well as some jaggery if you find it spicy and let it cook till the vegetables are fully cooked and the mixture becomes thick and reduces.
  • Check for seasoning and switch off the gas.

This kozambu will keep for about 2 days outside and about a week in the fridge. Eat with hot rice and some papad. So soul satisfying on a cold or rainy day!

Recipe: Aval Payasam or Poha Kheer

Earlier this week was Avani Avittam, the only festival dedicated to men in Hinduism (or rather tambramism) and since it was BB’s first one, we had to go down to the temple for a special prayer and then the next day was the recitation of the Gayatri Mantra. This sacred mantra is said to be the root mantra and it is said that reciting it 1008 times is said to be very beneficial.

On Avani Avittam, I made my Vermicelli payasam and the day of Gayatri Mantra, I made this easy Aval payasam or Poha Kheer. It’s a simple dish that can be made in less than 30 minutes, start to finish so even an FTWM can make this on a festival.

Aval Payasam/Poha Kheer

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup poha
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1-litre full cream milk
  • a handful of cashew nuts
  • a pinch of saffron
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 2 tbsps ghee

Method:

  • In a pan heat the ghee and fry the cashew nuts and once brown, keep aside.
  • In the same pan, fry the poha till they slightly turn brown and at this point, add half the milk. Let the poha absorb the milk and then add the remainder of the milk.
  • When the milk comes to a rolling boil, let it boil for another 5 minutes until the poha is soft and has completely absorbed the milk
  • Add the sugar, cashew nuts, saffron and cardamom powder and let the kheer boil for another five minutes.
  • The kheer is ready to serve. Drink hot or cold, though we prefer to drink it cold!

Enjoy!!

 

Recipe: Mysore Rasam

IMG_0639This a very typical rasam made in tambram households, yet at the same time, this is not something we usually make on a daily basis. You can call this a version of the arachavitta sambhar, only this is a rasam. In this recipe, you do not use the rasam powder at all, instead of making the masala paste fresh just before you start cooking.

I know of a friend, when she first got married, had a culture shock of sorts as she had to make the paste for sambhar and rasam on a daily basis as her in-laws did not like to use powders for the two items. So what we used to eat on special occasions, she had to cook daily. Now after years of marriage, she has converted her husband to liking rasams and sambhars made with powders, so things are a lot easier for her now.

I made this over the weekend when I was bored of making the same three-four things over and over. It does take a bit of time to make, but the end result is lip-smackingly delicious. You can also drink this as a spicy soup, especially when the weather is cold or rainy.

IMG_0641Mysore Rasam

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup toor dal, washed and cooked until done in a pressure cooker or on the stove. The dal has to be mushy and has to be completely disintegrated
  • 1 small, lime-sized ball of tamarind, soaked in warm water for 20-30 minutes and the pulp squeezed and water extracted. Alternatively, use 2-3 tbsps of tamarind paste
  • 2 tomatoes, quartered and halved again
  • 1 tsp jaggery. You can omit this or substitute brown or white sugar instead
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida powder
  • Coriander leaves to garnish

To be ground into a paste

  • 4-5 dried red chillies
  • 1 tsp peppercorn
  • 1.5 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp chana dal
  • 2 tbsps grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp ghee

To temper

  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4-5 curry leaves

Method:

  • In a pan, heat the ghee and fry the dried red chillies, peppercorn, coriander seeds and chana dal till they start turning brown. Now add the grated coconut and fry until the coconut loses its moisture and turns brown. You need to keep stirring once you add the coconut, otherwise, the coconut will burn.
  • Cool this and when cool, grind this to a smooth paste and keep aside.
  • In a large vessel, add the tamarind water,  some water to reach the level of sourness you want, the chopped tomatoes, salt and asafoetida powder and let it boil.
  • Boil for a while till the raw smell of the tamarind goes away and then add the mashed dal and let it boil for a couple of minutes more.
  • Now add the blended masala paste and let it boil well till it comes together. Add the jaggery if you are using it this point.
  • The rasam will start frothing and at this point, add around 1/2 cup water and when it starts to boil again, switch off the flame and remove the rasam. Check for seasoning and adjust if needed.
  • In a smaller skillet, heat the ghee and when it is warm, add the mustard seeds. When the seeds pop, add the cumin seeds and the curry leaves. Pour this over the rasam. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with hot rice and a vegetable of your choice.

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