Saturday, July 05, 2008

10 simple 'Less is More' South Indian recipes

Nupur’s Less is More, is one of the rare events which force you to think out of the box. I found the challenge of cooking up a variety of recipes with 5 or less ingredients compelling.

This One page cookbook lists 10 simple South Indian recipes I’ve cooked from fellow bloggers, , modifying them to use 5 ingredients or less. It is greatly simplified so that a first time cook can easily cook them. In all these recipes I’ve made minor replacements and modifications. For original recipes and variations, check out the sources 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. Not a ‘cooked’ recipe? Why not? Milk is warmed and cooked by bacteria overnight. And like any recipe, 'cooking' up yogurt takes skill.

2.: Thenga Thogayal ( Blended Coconut- Tamarind curry) If you can operate a blender, you won’t go wrong with this one.

3.: Thambuli (Raw Coconut- Yogurt blended curry) , much loved in Karnataka and the Konkan coast usually uses green chilies, which I’ve replaced with red chilies.

4.: Thenga Milaga Podi (Tamarind – coconut - chili powder) , a dry powder popular across South India, is a blend of roasted coconut, red chilies and tamarind. Roasted pulses can also be blended together for a crunchier texture.

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.: Paruppu ( Plain boiled lentils) – the simplest dal of them all. Plain tuvar dal/ mung dal is boiled with a dash of turmeric powder and eaten mixed with hot rice and ghee at the start of a meal. Most Brahmin kids still grow up on ‘Pappu Mammu’. The original versions call for spicing up the dal. However, it tastes just great without any additives.

8.: Paruppu Podi (Spiced Lentil powder) Contrary to popular belief, a mix of lentils is not needed for Paruppu podi. Any roasted lentil or any mix of roasted lentils blended with red chili and coconut tastes delicious.

9.:. Paruppu Thogayal (Blended lentil Tamarind curry)
Paruppu Thogayal is just roast tuvar dal ground into a paste with coconut, tamarind red chilies and salt.

10 :. Kachiya Moru (Heated Buttermilk curry) is just yogurt thinned with water into buttermilk, which is blended with coconut, chilies, salt and heated. Overcooking causes the yougurt to split. So cook this as little as possible on low heat. The original recipe calls for multiple ingredients and no coconut. Have modified it to suit the event, and it turned out just fine !

1 comment:

Nupur said...

Thank you for your participation. Each one of these simple recipes sounds delicious, and I will have to try them all one by one!

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"It is extraordinary to me that the idea of creating thousands of recipes by mixing building blocks takes immediately to people or it doesn’t take at all. .... If it doesn’t grab a person right away, ... you can talk to him for years and show him demos, and it doesn’t make any difference. They just don’t seem able to grasp the concept, simple as it is". ( Thanks Warren Buffett !)

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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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