Thursday, April 14, 2016

Pumpkin Kootu

1/4 cup kala vatana (dried black peas)
salt to taste
2 1/2 cups chopped red pumpkin
1 tbsp coconut oil (or any other refined oil)
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp urad dal (split black lentils)
5 curry leaves

To Be Ground Into A Smooth Paste:
3/4 cup freshly grated coconut
8 whole dry kashmiri red chillies, broken into pieces
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 cup water

Soak the kala vatana overnight. Drain well. Cook them: if you have a pressure cooker, combine the drained kala vatana and 1 cup of water in a pressure cooker and pressure cook for 4 whistles. Otherwise just cook them for a while.

Grind the paste ingredients together, set aside.

Add the pumpkin, 1 cup of water and salt, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 8 minutes, while stirring occasionally.
Add the prepared paste, mix gently and cook on a medium flame for 3 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Keep aside.

For the tempering, heat the oil in small pan and add the mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves and sauté on a medium flame for a few seconds
Pour this tempering over the curry and mix well.


Chettinad Curry

Chettinad Masala:
1/2 cup freshly grated coconut
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 whole dry red chillies, broken into pieces
3 cardamoms
1 tsp fennel seeds
3 cloves
1" cinnamon
1 tbsp oil

2 tbsp poppy seeds
2 tbsp broken cashewnuts
1" piece ginger
6 garlic clove
3 tbsp oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
3 tomatoes, blanched and grated
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
4 to 5 curry leaves
3 cups boiled mixed vegetables (cauliflower, peas, french beans)
1/2 cup coconut

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the chettttinad masala ingredients till you get a roasted aroma. Keep aside.

Soak the poppy seeds and cashew nuts in hot water for 5 minutes.
Drain, add the ginger and garlic and grind with the roasted chettinad masala and ¼ cup water to make a fine paste. Keep aside.
Heat the oil in a kadhai, add the onions and saute till the onions turn translucent.
Add the tomatoes, salt, turmeric powder and chilli powder and cook till the tomatoes are well blended with the masala and the oil separates from the sides.
Add the ground paste and curry leaves and saute for 2 minutes.
Add 1 cup of water and vegetables,cover and cook till the gravy thickens.
Add the coconut milk, mix well and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve hot.


Rachel's Bitters

3 allspice berries
1 star anise
¼ teaspoon each pink peppercorn, gentian root, wild cherry bark, lemon peel, sarsaparilla
150 mL vodka

Combine it all. Let it sit for 3 weeks. Strain.