Thursday, January 14, 2010

Happy Sankranthi & Breakfast time

Dear foodies,

Happy Sankranthi/Pongal to all of you!

It’s been a while, a loooong while since I posted a recipe here. Life has changed so much since the last granola post, and I keep pinching myself to to see if its not all a dream. Last year I was in Hyderabad for Sankranthi, with my parents. My brother and I were to board our flight to the airport in a few hours, but we could not leave without flying kites! So we pushed all the packing aside and spent a good couple of hours on the terrace trying to recollect the kite-flying techniques. We were a family of four then, and now … its six of us, with many new sisters/brothers attached. With all this new excitement, a trip to India, and the holidays, this blog did not get all the attention it needed. The last few weeks I’ve dreaded even opening the page on my browser, and each time I did push myself to see it, I was hoping against hope that it would’ve miraculously updated itself :D

I had even gotten out of the habit of cooking a decent meal and photographing it! So this past week, I nudged myself to cook something good instead of just throwing things together in a bowl, and took my time to photograph it too. aaah! the joys of blogging :) So starting afresh in 2010 with the first meal of the day - Breakfast. Nothing beats steaming idlis paired with dollops of chutney’s and a piping bowl of sambar.

I haven't mastered my idli recipe well enough to write a detailed post about it, so its all about the chutnies today. But I'll give you the measurements I used - 1 cup -idli rava to 3/4 cup - whole urad dal + 1tsp methi seeds. I added a few green peas and shredded carrot to the steamer plate before ladling the batter adding color to the white beauties.

Basic Coconut Chutney
(2-3 servings)
to grind -
  • 1 cup - fresh/frozen grated coconut
  • 1 Tbsp - Dalia/putnala pappu
  • 2 nos - Green chillies (adjust to taste)
  • Salt to taste
Seasoning -
  • 1 Tbsp - Oil
  • 1/2 tsp - mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp - Urad dal
  • 5-6 nos - Curry leaves, roughly chopped
  1. Take the ingredients under the 'to grind' list and well, grind them together :) (this hardly counts as a method!) Add a few tablespoons of water as needed to help the process go along.
  2. Heat a tadka pan with oil, add the mustard seeds and urad dal. Once the seeds start to splutter and the dal changes color to a light orange, add the curry leaves. Pour the hot tadka over the chutney and serve :)
Add-on's: A few drops of coconut oil drizzled on top before serving would enhance the coconut flavor. You can add a small handful of cilantro or 1/4 cup grated carrot ground along with the coconut for a nice color/flavor variation. For some extra tanginess, add about 1/4 tsp of tamarind extract.
Tomato & Peanut chutney
(3-4 servings)
to grind:
  • 4 nos - ripe Tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup - Peanuts
  • 3-4 nos - dry Red Chillies (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 Tbsp - Urad dal
  • 1/2 Tbsp - Chana dal
  • 1/2 tsp - Jeera/Cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp - Methi/fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp - Tamarind extract or a tamarind piece
  • 1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp - Oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp - Oil
  • 1/2 tsp - Mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp - Urad dal
  • 4-5 - Curry leaves, roughly chopped
  • pinch of hing/asafoetida
  1. Heat a tsp of oil in a pan and roast the peanuts on a low-medium flame until the start turning a nice orange color. Transfer to a plate and set aside to cool. I don't bother with removing the skins on them.
  2. Add another tsp of oil and add the cumin seeds. As they heat up, add the dals and saute till the start turning a light orange. Crush the red chillies lightly and add to the pan along with the fenugreek seeds & tamarind piece (if using extract, add directly to the grinder bowl). Transfer all of them to the same plate as the peanuts and allow to cool.
  3. Quarter the tomatoes and add them to the same pan. Cook for about 2-3 mins until they start to soften slightly and lose shape. Set aside to cool.
  4. Transfer the roasted dals, peanuts and tomatoes to a grinder bowl, add salt and blend to get a smooth consistency. Add a few tablespoons of water as needed. Check for seasonings and transfer to a serving bowl.
  5. For the seasoning, heat the oil in a tadka pan, add the mustard seeds, as they splutter add the dal and roast for a min. Finally add the curry leaves and hing powder. Pour it over the chutney and serve.
Add-on's: A handful of coriander leaves added will be good in this chutney. You can skip the peanuts. Half a cup roughly chopped onion sautéed along with the tomatoes tastes really good too.
I bought a mini idli plate last year, and so had tiny idli's to dunk in piping hot onion sambar. To save this post from becoming never ending, I'll save the sambar recipe for later. The basic coconut chutney lets you enjoy the pure coconut flavor at its best. The tomato chutney was a little spicy to act as a counter point to the mild coconut chutney. A steaming cup of filter coffee to go along with the plate and you have breakfast nirvana :) Here is some sweet pongal to finish off the festive plate.

Blogging tips