Wednesday, February 17, 2010

North Indian Kichchadi - My Way

It was one of those "I don't want to cook; don't want to do any extensive cutting work; don't want to eat out (it had just stopped snowing, the roads were bad and snow ploughs just came out) either, but want a healthy, tasty and comforting home-cooked meal for dinner" days. And yes, agreed! I have way too many conditions, yet I managed to indulge in a very delicious and wholesome meal :-). Here goes my version of North Indian kichchadi...

Ingredients (2 - 3 servings):

Uncooked rice - 1 cup (using a measuring cup)
Masoor dhal - 1/4 cup (using a measuring cup)
Toor dhal - 1/4 cup (using a measuring cup)
Turmeric powder - a couple of pinches
Salt to taste

For seasoning:

Cooking oil - 2 to 3 tablespoons
Mustard seeds - 1/4 teaspoon
Cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Asafoetida - a couple of pinches
Green chillies - 3 to 4 finely chopped (adjust this to suit your taste)
Freshly grated ginger - 1 tablespoon
Garlic - a couple of cloves finely chopped
Fresh cilanto - a few strands finely chopped


1. Pressure cook rice, masoor dhal, toor dhal and turmeric powder with about 5 - 6 cups (using a measuring cup) of water until the rice and dhals get absolutely soft and easy to mash. Add salt and mash them with the back of a ladle once they are done.
2. In a pan, heat some cooking oil, pop mustard seeds, add asafoetida, cumin seeds, green chillies, grated ginger and garlic, mix everything well for a few seconds and transfer the contents to the pressure cooked rice and dhal from step 1 and mix well once again.
3. Garnish with chopped cilantro and enjoy with a side of plain yogurt.

Nothing could have beat this comforting meal that day!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Kaththirikkaai (Eggplant) Rasavaangi

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and once again, wish you all a very happy new year! I had a great, relaxing holiday season myself and tried quite a few new recipes from many of your blogs (which will be featured in the upcoming posts :-)). It feels good to get back to the business though, after all the eating that I have done in the past few weeks. I haven't been able to keep up with your blog updates lately, but definitely hope to get there slowly. Let me start the first post for this year with one of my Mom's recipes that tried over the holidays.

Ingredients (3 - 4 servings):

Eggplant - 1 lb cut in to bite sized pieces
Toor dhal (optional, but I add it to make it more nutritional) - 1/4 cup cooked
Tamarind soaked in warm water - 1/2 inch ball
(If using paste, about 1/4 teaspoon of it)
Turmeric powder - a couple of pinches
Curry leaves - a few
Salt to taste

To fry in a drop of oil separately and grind into a coarse paste:

Grated/powdered coconut - 3 to 4 full teaspoons
Coriander seeds - 2 teaspoons
Dried red chillies - 4 to 5
Channa dhal - 3 teaspoons

For seasoning:

Coconut oil (a must) - 2 teaspoons
Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Urad dhal - 1/2 teaspoon
Asafoetida - a couple of pinches


1. Extract the thick pulp of soaked tamarind and set aside.
2. Fry the ingredients to fry in oil, one after the other, grind them into a coarse paste and set aside.
3. Pressure cook toor dhal with turmeric powder until done and set aside.
4. Boil eggplants in water and turmeric powder until they are mostly cooked but not completely cooked.
5. Add the tamarind paste/pulp to step 4, mix it in and wait until the eggplant gets cooked thoroughly.
6. Add the ground paste, cooked toor dhal and salt to step 5, bring it to a boil and turn off the stove.
7. In a small pan, heat some coconut oil, pop mustard seeds, add the urad dhal and asafoetida and fry until the urad dhal turns light golden brown in color. Transfer the contents of the pan to step 6.
8. Garnish with curry leaves.

My Mom says that eggplant does not cook if the tamarind is added at the beginning of step 4.

Enjoy with piping hot steamed rice topped with a teaspoon of ghee or with sambar/rasam.