Thursday, July 31, 2008

10 Simple Benaras Curries

This cookbook lists 10 Benarasi curries, greatly simplified, so that a first time cook can easily cook them. For detailed recipes, refer Shashi Prabha Jain’s Benares Ki Rasoi. The following curries are listed in this cookbook:

1.: Benarasi Raita (Thick yogurt with fruits) is just strained, thick yogurt mixed with fruits

2.: Karonda ki chutney (Gooseberry chutney) An unique chutney using sour gooseberries.

3.: Guava Chutney : Another fruit based chutney, similar to a Jain chutney.

4.: Aam ki Kadhi (Mango - yogurt curry) . Famous for its mangoes, Benaras even uses mango pulp in a yogurt curry.

5.: Radish - Ginger pickle is an easy to make Benarasi pickle.

6.: Baingan Bari Sabji (Eggplant & dumpling curry) Uses fried Baris (sun dried lentil dumplings), which are cooked along with eggplant.

7.: Muttar Nimona ( Mashed pea curry) . Green peas are the undisputed favourites in Uttar Pradesh.

8.: Shakpanta ( Urad dal with spinach) : The use of urad dal along with spinach is unique to Benares.

9.: Kevati (Five lentil curry) is very similar to the Rajasthani / Gujarati five lentil curry.

10.: Lauki dal (Chana dal with bottle gourd). Bottle gourd is another favourite which is cooked here with Chana dal.

Off this goes to Srivalli's Curry Mela

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

1001 Parathas

Reposted entry for Joelen's Asian Inspired recipes and Srivalli's Roti Mela.

Parathas are non-leavened flatbreads shallow fried in oil. They are usually sinfully rich and very filling. Many different flours can be used to make parathas but wheat flour is the easiest to work with as it is very kneadable. Most other flours cannot be kneaded into a dough (as they are poor in gluten - the glue which binds the dough together). So when using other flours, mixing in wheat flour makes them easier to work with.

Parathas are eaten with butter, yogurt, raitas, pickles, curries or tomato sauce. They can be eaten plain, or dipped in tea. Parathas originated in Punjab and quickly spread to the rest of the world. They travelled with Indian immigrants to Singapore and Malaysia and came to be called Loti prata and Roti canai. They became Farata in Mauritius, Palata in Burma and Bussup shut ( Bust up shirt - what a flaky, crumbly paratha resembles) in Trinidad.

Parathas can be thick or thin, small or large, round, square or triangular, stuffed or plain. Parathas can be cooked on a skillet, baked in an oven or even deep fried in oil / ghee.

Plain parathas :.
North Indian parathas are made from wholewheat flour ( Atta) and the south Indian parotta is made from all purpose flour ( Maida). The traditional style of creating a flaky, layered parathas take quite a bit of skill. It is much easier to use the shortcut given in the one page cookbook.

See Pooja’s garlic paratha, Barbara’s Methi paratha, Lacha paratha, Indosungod’s Pumpkin paratha ( neither a stuffed nor a plain paratha! )

Stuffed parathas :
Anything that can be shaped into a tight ball can be used to stuff a paratha. My Punjabi friend tells me of his grandma's threat - "finish off what's in your plate or you'll have it inside a paratha later today ! "
Anything wet and soggy will not make a good stuffing. This is why paneer/ boiled potato / boiled dal/ boiled green peas make easy stuffings, but grated radish / cauliflower take quite a bit of practice. For many vegetables, water needs to be squeezed out of the grated vegetable completely, before using them as stuffing. See Srivalli’s Mooli Paratha, Grihini’s Papaya Paratha, Anjali’s Carrot paratha, Divya’s Aloo paratha, Sreelu’s Aloo cheese paratha, Sheetal’s Corn paratha, Skrible’s Stuffed Methi paratha.Jugalbandi’s Gobi paratha, Pakistan’s Chole paratha and the innovative Halwa paratha.


1001 South Indian Breads

South Indian Breads
The term 'bread' is used here to mean a staple food, cooked from flour, and is eaten everyday.

In the west, the majority of breads are baked from wheat dough. In South India, baking never took off and so most breads are pan fried or steamed. Instead of wheat, the staple cereal is rice and so, it is no surprise we find a variety of rice breads. Most South Indian breads use a combination of rice and lentils, thus meeting both carbohydrate and protein needs.

A word of warning : Despite their apparent simplicity, all these recipes take quite a bit of practice and perseverance to cook up.

South Indian breads fall into six categories :

1. Bread made from fermented rice batter : Aappam
2. Bread made from lentil batter : Pesarattu , Adai
3. Breads made from a fermented batter of rice and urad dal : Idli, Dosa, Uttappam, Paniyaram
4. Breads made from steamed rice / ragi flour : Puttu
5. Breads made from semi cooked rice flour dough : Pathiri / Ada / Akki roti / Kozhukattai
6. Breads made from Wheat dough - Parota

Detailed instructions and great photos here.

Any thick bread needs a leavening agent. The leavening agent fills the batter with gas, puffing it up from the inside, giving the bread a soft, fluffy texture. Without leavening, all we get on cooking is a hard , inedible mess. Wild yeast is the most common leavening agent used in South Indian breads. Leavening is not necessary for thin breads like dosa / pesarattu / pathiri , nor for flaky breads like parota. But without leavening, thick breads like Idli / Uttappam would be tough and chewy.

Aapam
The hemispherical crepe, Aapam (Aa as in audience and pam as in pump) is cooked from a fermented batter of rice flour and water /coconut milk . These are cooked in a hemispherical pan ( wok). The batter is poured into the wok and swirled so that it coats the sides of the wok. Aapam has thin, lacy sides and a spongy base.
Aapam Video

Pesarattu
Pesarattu is a type of dosa popular in Andhra pradesh which uses a batter made from soaked and ground green gram ( Mung dal).

Model Recipes
Indira's Pesarattu
Akshayapatram's MLA Pesarattu

Adai
When soaked mixed lentils and grains are ground to a coarse batter and cooked into thick rounds on a hot skillet, we get Adai. A variety of grain and lentil combinations are used to cook numerous varieties of adai.

Model Recipes

Vaishali's Adai
Quick and easy Adai
Shriya's Kara Adai


Idli, Dosa, Uttappam & Paniyaram
Idli, Dosa, Uttappam and Paniyaram share the same rice and urad dal batter. This batter is steamed to give Idlis. The same batter is spread into thin rounds on a hot skillet and cooked into crisp dosas. When the same batter is cooked into pancake sized thick discs on a hot skillet, it is called uttappam / kal dosai / Set Dosai. When pan fried in small hemispherical moulds, the same batter becomes paniyaram.

Model Recipes

Seema's Idlis
Indira's Andhra style rice grit idlis

Sweet Babe's Dosa

Prema's Uttappam

Cham's Paniyaram
Jayasree's Paniyaram

Puttu
When rice or ragi flour is mixed with water and steamed, we get puttu. Special cylindrical moulds are packed with the flour and steamed. These are popular in rural Tamilnadu and Kerala.

Model Recipes
Saradha's Ragi Puttu
Lan's Puttu with a neat technique for keeping it soft.
The not so common Wheat flour Puttu

Pathiri / Ada / Kozhukattai
A variety of rice flour breads are popular in Kerala and Karnataka. Since rice flour does not have gluten, it cannot be kneaded into a dough like wheat flour. So the flour is mixed with boiling water, which cooks it partially into starch. Cooked starch becomes sticky. This sticky dough is shaped into thick or thin rounds, cooked on a skillet or steamed and are called pathiri / ada / akki roti. When shaped into dumplings, and stuffed with sweet / savoury fillings and steamed, these are caled Kozhukattai.

Model Recipes
Annita's Malabar Pathiri
Mallugirl's fluffy rice pathiri

Priya's Stuffed Ada

Surya's rice and wheat stuffed Ada

Ruchii's Akki Roti
Aayi's masala Akki Roti
Aparna's Akki Roti

Prema's Kozhukattai
Ammupatti's Kozhukattai video

Though wheat breads like chapati and poori have now become common in South India, they are yet to attain the status of 'traditional' fare. The only wheat bread which is considered traditional is the parota, made from all purpose flour. This thick, multilayered, crumbly bread is completely unlike any other north Indian bread. It is usually cooked on a skillet, but in some places it is deep fried. Layered like a pastry, it is mainly eaten at dinner.

Model Recipes
Annita's Parota
Renuka's Parotta with step by step photos

Unlike the breads listed above, which cut across regions and have their variants in more than one state, there are other delightful local breads like the multi layered wholewheat parotta found in Kerala ( Thanks Mallugirl !) or the Jonna Roti ( made from Jowar / Sorghum / Cholam ) popular in parts of Andhra / Karnataka. If you know of any other breads, would you please mail me / comment ?

This post is reposted for Aparna's Small Breads & Srivalli’s Roti Mela

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

100 Idiot proof Sundal ( Dry lentil curry)

Sundal is a dry Tamil curry, eaten as a snack. “Thenga Manga Pattani Sundal” is a cry you’ll often hear on the marina beach from kids selling sundal garnished with mango slivers and grated coconut. Sundals are traditionally cooked and given away to guests during Navarathri.

A variety of lentils like Mung dal, masoor dal, chana dal etc are commonly used as listed in column 1. The boiled dal can be flavoured in numerous ways as listed in column 2.

Let us first go down column 1 to see the various lentils that can be cooked into sundals.

0:. Split and husked Mung dal needs just soaking. Soaked mung dal can be eaten raw and is used along with a variety of salad vegetables. It is served as a prasad in Karnataka temples and is called Kosambir. Kosumalli is the Tamil equivalent.

2. 1:.Split chana dal is used to cook Kadalai paruppu sundal.

2:.Whole Bengal gram is used to cook the Konda Kadalai Sundal.

3,4,5:.Whole urad dal, whole horse gram and whole masoor dal are cooked into the not so common Ulundu Sundal , kollu sundal and Masoor dal sundal.

6:.Whole Mung dal becomes the Pachai payaru sundal.

7:.Chana dal ( and all other dals) can be roasted and then cooked into a Sundal with a nuttier flavour.

8:.Let whole, unhusked dals sprout. They can then be cooked into sprouted Sundals .

9:. Apart from lentils, Sundals can be cooked with a variety of peas ( green peas, chickpeas etc) or beans ( red kidney beans, navy beans etc) or even nuts like ground nuts. The cooking process is the same. Soak the dried peas or beans overnight, drain them, add water and pressure cook them till done. Mix in flavouring, add garnish and serve.

The flavouring :
Mustard, red chilies and curry leaves fried in oil is the garnish for most Tamil sundals. Various additives like grated coconut, mango slivers etc can be mixed in. A variety of flavouring techniques are listed in column 2 . Use them to flavour Sundals or use your favourite flavouring – It is tough to go wrong with lentils !

And this goes to Susan's Legume Love Affair event & Eat Healthy - Protein Rich contest.

Friday, July 25, 2008

100 simple One pot Lentil curries

Another one for Susan's Legume Love Affair event.

All these 100 curries are designed to be cooked in a single pot, or rather a pressure cooker. It is very tough to go wrong cooking a lentil curry unless you burn stuff or add too much of salt / spices.

You can safely overcook dal. They’ll be mushy, of course, but will still taste great.

Column 1 lists various lentils commonly used across India.

A variety of goodies can be cooked along with the dal as listed in column 2. Anything edible tastes good with Dal. Be creative and use your favourite goodies. In some parts of India lacking fresh vegetables, torn papads / torn up chapattis are used as vegetable substitutes.

Fried spices are used as a garnish in most dal curries, adding a burst of flavour. Heat a spoon of oil, add a pinch of cumin / mustard seeds and mix them into the dal just before serving. Be careful not to burn the spices!

100 Idiot proof Dals ( Lentil curries)

This cookbook is for Susan's Legume Love Affair event.

The basic preparation of most Indian lentil curries is simple. Boil the dal with a pinch of turmeric. Mix in salt. Add flavouring & veggies. Simmer for a couple of minutes and serve. This cookbook lists 100 simple lentil curries.

Column 1 lists different types of dals used.

0. Split and husked Mung dal needs just soaking. Soaked mung dal can be eaten raw and is used in a variety of Indian salads called Kosambir.

As you move down the list, the dals change, but the basic preparation does not. Further down you come to fresh local lentils, which can be cooked the same way.

1,2 &3 : Split Mung dal, Masoor dal and Tuvar dal are thin and cook fast. This is why they are the most popular dals across India. Larger dals like Chick peas and Rajma (Kidney beans) need to be soaked overnight, drained and cooked with fresh water. They take the longest to cook.

4. Chana dal is thicker. An hour of presoaking softens it and helps it cook quicker.

5. Fresh lentils are rarely used in Indian cuisine because they are seasonal, perish fast and are not widely available. Use them when you find them. They lend a fresh taste to curries. They cook fast and can be cooked like fresh vegetables.

6. Dals can be roasted or fried before boiling them. This technique is not widely used. Roasting / frying them alters their taste and texture and result in some very different tasting curries.

7. Whole unhusked dals are more nutritious and need presoaking.Though this cookbook lists only unhusked Mung dal, any dal can be used in its place.

A variety of goodies can be cooked along with the dal as listed in column 2. Anything edible tastes good with Dal. Be creative and use your favourite goodies.

Fried spices are used as a garnish in most dal curries. This injects a burst of flavour. Heat a spoon of oil, add a pinch of cumin / mustard seeds and mix them into the dal just before serving.

Monday, July 21, 2008

10 no-vegetable Jain curries (Paryushan recipes)

This cookbook lists 10 Jain curries, cooked during the religious observance of Paryushan, the most important of Jain festivals. Fresh vegetables are taboo during this period and a variety of vegetable substitutes are used.

These recipes are greatly simplified, so that a first time cook can easily cook them. The following curries are listed in this cookbook:

1. Papad Choori (Dry Papad curry) is eaten as a snack and is just crumbled and spiced up papad.

2.: Mogar ki sabzi is soaked mung dal cooked into a dry curry.

3.: Choonbadi is gram flour blended to a paste and cooked in boiling water into little dumplings, which is then used as a vegetable substitute and cooked with yogurt.

4.: Methi Papad ki Sabji (Lentil wafer - yogurt curry) uses sun dried lentil wafers as a vegetable substitute .

5.: Gatte Ki Sabji (Gram flour dumpling curry) is cooked with gram flour dumplings

6.: Pathoondri Kadhi (Gram flour – yogurt curry) is a regular north Indian gram flour - yogurt curry, but unlike them uses gram flour dumplings in place of vegetables.

7.: Pathod Sabji (Gram flour dumpling curry) is a dry curry made from gram flour pasta. (Paryushan recipe)

8.: Mung Pani ( Sour lentil curry) is boiled split and husked mung dal boiled, spiced and soured by lemon juice.

9.: Mung Sabji (Whole green gram curry) cooks whole unhusked mung dal into a spicy curry.

10.: Panchmela Dal (Five lentil curry) is five different lentils boiled together into a spicy curry.

10 Simple Jain curries

This cookbook lists 10 Jain curries, greatly simplified, so that a first time cook can easily cook them. The following curries are listed in this cookbook:

1. Fruit Chutney is a uniquely Jain curry using a variety of fruits which are blended with chili and lemon juice.

2.: Papad Choori (Dry Papad curry) is eaten as a snack and is just crumbled and spiced up papad.

3.: Tomato Chutney . Jain curries use a lot of tomatoes and here they are briefly cooked and blended to a paste.

4.: Methi Papad ki Sabji (Lentil wafer - yogurt curry) uses sun dried lentil wafers as a vegetable substitute . This is cooked during the monsoon months( Parushyan / Chaturmasya) during which many vegetables are prohibited.

5.: Gatte Ki Sabji (Gram flour dumpling curry) uses gram flour dumplings as a vegetable substitute. Parushyan recipe

6.: Pathoondri Kadhi (Gram flour – yogurt curry) is a regular north Indian gram flour Yogurt curry, but unlike them uses gram flour dumplings in place of vegetables. (Parushyan recipe)

7.: Pathod Sabji (Gram flour dumpling curry) is a dry curry made from gram flour pasta. (Parushyan recipe)

8.: Mung Pani ( Sour lentil curry) is boiled split and husked mung dal boiled, spiced and soured by lemon juice.

9.: Mung Sabji (Whole green gram curry) uses whole un husked mung dal.

10.: Panchmela Dal (Five lentil curry) is five different lentils boiled together into a spicy curry.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

10 simple Marwari curries


Click the image on the left to view the cookbook.
This cookbook lists 10 Marwari curries, greatly simplified, so that a first time cook can easily cook them. For detailed recipes, check out Bina Parasramka’s ‘Marwari Kitchen’, published by Roli Books. The following curries are listed in this cookbook:

1. Lashun Chutney (Garlic blended curry) is garlic blended with tamarind and red chilies. Though garlic is a part of Marwari cuisine, orthodox Jains do not eat garlic / onions or any root vegetables.

2.: Aloo Bhujee (Dry potato curry) is spicy mashed potatoes

3.: Imli Chutney (Tamarind curry) is unique to Gujarat and Rajasthan as Tamarind is not commonly used in North Indian cuisine

4.: Dahi Mirch (Chili – yogurt curry) is boiled and crushed green chilies mixed in with yogurt.

5.: Papad ki Sabji (Lentil wafer - yogurt curry) is a uniquely Marwari curry which uses lentil wafers as a vegetable substitute.

6.: Kadhi (Gram flour – yogurt curry) is very similar to a North Indian Kadhi.

7.: Patli Mangori (Sun dried Gram flour curry) is another unique curry using sun dried mung dal paste in place of vegetables.

8.: Kathi Dal ( Sour lentil curry) is boiled tuvar dal soured by lemon juice.

9.: Gatte Saag (Gram flour dumpling curry) uses gram flour dumplings as a vegetable substitute..

10.: Panchmela Dal (Five lentil curry) is five lentils boiled together into a spicy curry.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

10 Simple Maharashtra Curries

This cookbook lists 10 Maharashtra curries, greatly simplified, so that a first time cook can easily cook them. For detailed recipes, check out Kamalabai Ogalae’s ‘Ruchira’, published by Rupa. The following curries are listed in this cookbook:

1. : Koshambir (Grated Vegetables in yogurt) unlike the Kannada Kosambari has yogurt mixed in.

2.: Garlic chutney. Unlike many North Indian chutneys, coconut is included here.

3.: Urad dal Chutney (Roasted gram chutney) is another unique sour chutney made from roasted and blended urad dal.

4.: Kadhi (Gram flour yogurt curry) is similar to a North Indian kadhi, but for the addition of sugar, very much like the Gujarati Kadhi.

5.: Peas Usal (Green peas curry) is green peas cooked in a coconut- poppy seed – coriander curry.

6.: Pithale (Gram flour curry) is a unique curry made chiefly from gram flour

7.: Eggplant Bhurta (Mashed eggplant curry) is very much like the North Indian Baingan Bharta.

8.: Peanut Amti (Peanut sour curry) is a uniquely Maharashtrian curry made from peanut butter and tamarind.

9.: Toor Dal Amti (Lentil sour stew) is believed to be the ancestor of the Tamil sambar.

10.: Dal Vange (Eggplant – lentil sour stew) is the much loved eggplant cooked in the Amti.

Check out more Marathi dishes on Nupur’s blog.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

1001 Summer Raitas

A cool raita with the fresh fruits and vegetables of summer tastes heavenly with rice or flat breads. It can serve as a dip, dressing or even as a complete breakfast.

The preparation cannot be any simpler – just chop up the summer goodies, mix in with yogurt and serve. Flavouring is optional. Yogurt never fails to please !

And this goes to Moonspice’s Summer fruit and vegetables event.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

10 curries using three or less stuff

This cookbook lists 10 simple curries, mostly South Indian, using three or less ingredients. It is greatly simplified so that a first time cook can easily cook them. For detailed recipes, check out the links below.

1.: Yogurt The best loved ‘ recipe’ is the yogurt. Yogurt mixed with cooked rice is consumed at the end of a meal across south India.

2. Plain boiled tuvar dal is eaten mixed with cooked rice and ghee at the start of a meal.

3. Mezhku Peratti is plain boiled vegetables served with a Coconut oil dressing.

4. Thayir Pachadi (Raw Yogurt curry) is just chopped salad vegetables mixed with yogurt.

5. Kandi Podi (Lentil - chili powder) is just roasted tuvar dal blended to a powder with red chili and salt. A variety of pulses like urad dal / chana dal can be used in place of or in addition to tuvar dal to create a range of Podis.

6. Kobbari Pachadi (Coconut – chili blended curry) Coconut blended with chili and salt is a much loved blended curry. Variants call for the addition of a bit of tamarind, onions, garlic clove , roasted peanuts or cooked gram (pottu kadalai / Bhuna chana) which are blended along with coconut.

7. Mamdikkaya Pappu (Mango- Lentil curry) is mango and lentils simmered together. Boiling chopped vegetables along with dal into a thick curry is a specialty of Andhra cuisine. Instead of mango, dosakkaki ( round cucumber, a specialty of Andhra), spinach or even young tamarind leaves are used.

8. Vankaya Pachhi Pulusu is grilled and mashed eggplant mixed in with raw tamarind paste and spices.

9. Hmarcha Rawt (Chili Chutney ) cooked in Mizoram is dry roasted green/ red chilies crushed with salt and ginger.

10. Chena Arachu Kalakki (Yam and Yogurt blended curry). Boiled vegetables , especially yam , blended together with coconut, yogurt and chili is the Arachu Kalakki ( Blended and mixed). This is a typical Kerala Brahmin curry. Variants call for pickled mango / gooseberry in place of boiled yam.

And this goes to Nupur’s Less is More.

1001 Lassi ( Indian yogurt drink)

Lassi is a blended yogurt drink, with the consistency of a milkshake. It may be sweet or salty, flavoured or plain, shaken, stirred or blended, simple or bursting with goodies like cream, nuts and fruits. In Rajasthan, a special kind of lassi, the Bhang lassi, even has marijuana in it. It is perfectly legal and is even sold in government approved stalls. It comes in different strengths, with the most potent of them being advertised as “Full power, 24 hour, no toilet, no shower” ! Bhang lassi is also made and consumed across North India especially during Holi, the festival of colours.

Regular lassis are very popular across India. Punjab is the undisputed lassi capital where a huge variety of lassi is drunk from supersized glasses.

Though traditional lassis are made from cow/ buffalo milk, they can be made from any milk, including soy milk curdled into yogurt. Thin lassis are made from buttermilk, thick lassis are made from yogurt and even thicker ones can be made by blending yogurt with milk powder or cream. Column 1 lists these variations. With advances in food processing, we now have ready access to a variety of flavoured yogurts/ yogurt smoothies. All these can be turned into delicious lassis.

Column 2 lists the different flavouring techniques. Many lassis are not flavoured. But a variety of flavourings like cardamom, saffron etc can be used.

Almost anything edible can be blended in with the lassi as listed in column 3. A wide variety of fruit, nuts, honey etc can be blended in.

A rich glass of lassi can become a full meal in itself. Use the table and the model recipes below to cook up your own variation of this classic drink.

Off this goes to Mythreyee's Cool Desserts.

Model recipes :
Lemon Lassi
Raspberry Lassi
Mango lime lassi
Orange flavoured lassi
Cardamom lassi
Watermelon Lassi
Mango Cardamom lassi
Avocado Lassi
Rasberry Lassi
Orange Flower Lassi with Saffron
Coconut and Lime Lassi
Strawberry Lassi
Cardamom Lassi
Black Grape Lassi
Banana Lassi
Salty Mango Lassi with nutmeg
Vanilla flavoured lassi with mint
Mango pineapple lassi

Monday, July 14, 2008

1001 Tambli ( Blended coconut sour curry)

One Page Cookbooks
1001 Tambli ( Konkani blended coconut sour curry)

All recipes copyrighted. No reproduction / commercial use without permission. Siramki@Gmail.com

This cookbook lists 1000 Tambli recipes from 000 to 999. The three digits denote the base, flavouring & additives.

Master Recipe:: To a blender/ mixie, add half a handful of chopped coconut, a small chopped green chili(or a dry red chili) and three pinches of salt. Blend to a smooth paste, adding a spoon or two of water. Add a base from column 1, an additive from column 3 and blend again. Mix in a cup of yogurt. Mix with flavouring from column 2 and serve. (Instead of yogurt you can also use buttermilk or half a spoon of tamarind paste/ kokum syrup dissolved in a cup of water).

Base

Flavouring

Additive

0.: None

0.: Mustard Heat half a spoon of oil. Add a pinch of mustard.

0.: Veggies Take ½ handful of chopped veggies like carrot/ cucumber.

1.: Dhania Take three pinches of coriander seeds.

1.: Cumin Heat a spoon of oil. Add a pinch of cumin

1.: Spinach Take half a handful of chopped spinach (raw or stir fried).

2.: Ginger Take a small bit of ginger

2.: Curry leaves Heat a spoon of oil. Add a pinch of mustard and a few curry leaves.

2.: Onion Take half a handful of chopped onions / shallots/ spring onions. Need not be blended. Mix & serve.

3.: Garlic Take a chopped garlic clove.

3.: Cilantro Take three pinches of chopped cilantro.

3.: Flowers Take a handful of tender banana flowers./ Ixora Grandiflora.

4.: Cumin Take two pinches of cumin.

4.: Asafetida Heat a spoon of oil. Add a pinch of mustard and a pinch of asafetida. .

4.: Other Leaves Take half a handful of chopped, tender leaves of cashew, mango, lemon, pomegranate, cauliflower etc.,

5.: Fenugreek Take a pinch of fenugreek powder.

5.: Lentils Heat a spoon of oil. Add two pinches of mustard and urad dal. Stir for a few seconds.

5.: Pickles Take half a handful of chopped mango / gooseberry pickled in brine.

6.: Sesame Take three pinches of sesame seeds.

6.: Fenugreek Heat a spoon of oil. Add a pinch each of mustard and fenugreek.

6.:. Herbs Take half a handful of chopped mint / cilantro.

7.: Poppy Seeds Take three pinches of poppy seeds.

7.: Red Chili Heat a spoon of oil. Add a pinch each of mustard, a few curry leaves and a torn red chili. Stir for a few seconds.

7.: Seeds Take half a handful of snake gourd one peeled, chopped and boiled jack fruit seed or cucumber seeds..

8.: Pepper , Take two pinches of pepper powder.

8.: Turmeric Heat a spoon of oil. Add a pinch each of mustard, a few curry leaves and a pinch of turmeric powder. Remove from fire.

8.: Others Take two small bits of sun dried pomegranate skin/ gooseberry. Soak in water for an hour. Drain. Or stir fry half a handful of ridge gourd peel.

9.: Fusion Use your fav base or any combo of the above.

9.: Fusion Use your favourite base or use any combo of the above.

9.: Fusion Use your fav additive or use any combination of the above.

Sample Recipes :: Soppina Tambli 001 :: Jeerage Carrot Tambli 400 :: Mente Kande Tambli 520 :: Kodi ere Tambli 014

e Tambli is a much loved, uncooked, blended sour curry revered in Karnataka / Konkani / Udupi cuisine.

Tambali antha ootavilla
kambali antha hodikeyilla”

A play on the words Tambli (the curry) and Kambli (a blanket), this Kannada saying avers that there is no meal like the one with Tambli and no better way to keep warm than the Kambli. Tambli can be looked at as a combination of two classic families – the raita and the coconut chutney. Almost anything blended in with coconut tastes good and almost anything mixed with yogurt tastes good. So it is no wonder that almost anything blended into a Tambli turns out to be delicious. The list of possible Tamblis are endless, and therein lies the genius of Indian cuisine!

A Tambli is always uncooked, served cold, sour, and has coconut. Apart from these basic guidelines, it is so versatile that almost anything can be blended in. Depending on what base ( column 1) is blended in, the name of the Tambli changes as in Jeerage Tambli (Cumin), Mente Tambli (Fenugreek), Kottambari Tambli (Dhania), Shunti Tambli (Ginger), Yellu Tambli (Sesame seeds), Shunti Tambli ( ginger) and so on.

A variety of flavouring is mixed in the Tambli just before serving as listed in column 2, though a Tambli tastes just great without any additional flavouring.

Almost anything edible can be blended into the Tambli as listed in column 3 to create a never ending variety of Tamblis. These change name of Tambli as in Bondi Tambli (Grilled Banana flower), Daasavala Poo Tambli (with chopped Hibiscus flower), Kotte Tambli (with mashed Jackfruit seeds), Soppina Tambli (spinach), Kodi ere Tambli (Tender leaves of mango, cashew, lemon/ pomegranate), Kukku Tambli (with pickled mangoes), Saute Bith Tambli (Cucumber seeds), Nelli Tambli (fresh/ sun dried Gooseberry), Nellindi Tambli (Pickled gooseberry), Koodi Tambli (Tender Guava leaves) etc.,. When onion/ hibiscus flowers are added to the tambli, they are not blended to a paste, but are just chopped up and mixed in. Alle Kande Tambli (Ginger- onion) and Kande Tambli (Onion) are popular, but Tamblis cooked in the temple town of Udupi, do not use onion. Finally, we have new families of Tamblis made from other souring agents, (kokum syrup/ tamarind) like the .Kokum Tambli. All Tamblis are served cold and eaten mixed with cooked rice, at the very beginning of a meal.

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Okay, let me start from the very beginning. 1500 crore years ago, with a Big Bang, the Universe is born. It expands dramatically. Hydrogen forms, contracts under gravity and lights up, forming stars. Some stars explode, dusting space with the building blocks of life. These condense into planets, one of which is Earth. Over time, self replicating molecules appear, multiply and become more complex. They create elaborate survival machines (cells, plants, animals). A variety of lifeforms evolve. Soon, humans arise, discover fire, invent language, agriculture and religion. Civilisations rise and fall. Alexander marches into India. Moguls establish an empire. Britain follows. Independence. Partition. Bloodshed. The license raj is in full sway. I'm born. India struggles to find its place. Liberalisation. The Internet arrives! I move from Tirupur to Chennai. Start a company. Expand into Malaysia, Singapore and the Middle East. Poof! Dot com bust. Funding dries up. Struggle. Retire. Discover the joy of cooking, giving, friendships and the pleasures of a simple life. Life seems less complicated. Pizza Republic, Pita Bite and Bhojan Express bloom !

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