Monday, February 24, 2014

Vazhaipoo parippu usili/Banana flower with dal

I know I'm a little bit late. I've come to India to see my son. I was a little busy here setting things up. Now I've found my time to present a traditional dish for you (might be ironic that it's not a keralite dish :D )

Parippu usiili is a traditional South Indian ( Tamil ) side dish prepared with lentils and vegetables. Usually parippu usili is made with vegetables like cabbage, beans and banana flower. This is very popular among Tamil Brahmins.

Vazhaipoo : 2 cups( cleaned and chopped )
Butter milk : 2 tbsp
Toor Dal : 1/4 cup
Channa Dal : 1/2 cup
Red Chilly : 4
Asafoetida : 2 pinches
Oil : 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds : 1/4 tsp
Coriander seeds : 2 tsp
Curry leaves : few
Salt to taste
Cleaning of vazhaipoo:-
Remove the outer petal and you can see a bunch of florets inside. Take the florets and remove the stamen and the small cover along with it. Chop the florets after removing the stamen and the white cover and discard the bottom portion. Keep the chopped plantain flower in diluted butter milk to prevent discoloration.
Soak the chana dal, toor dal, dhania ( coriander seeds ) and red chillies for 15-20 minutes.
Drain the water and coarsely grind this in a mixer.
Steam this in a greased idli plate or a normal vessel for 15 minutes.
When done allow this to cool and pulse it in a mixer.
In a pan add oil and splutter mustard seeds. Add drained vazhaipoo and sauté this for 5 minutes by adding salt to this.
The vazhaipoo will get cooked easily.
Take it out from the pan and keep it aside.
Add oil in the same pan and add the steamed and pulsed dal.
Add little salt and turmeric powder. Sauté well in a low flame for 5 minutes till it gets nicely roasted.
Now add the vazhaipoo which we have cooked already.
Mix well and let it cook in a low flame for 2 minutes.
Add curry leaves and switch off the flame.
Vazhaipoo parippu usili is ready to serve.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Makai Palak/Spinach Corn Curry

Makai Palak is a lightly spiced curry made with Spinach and Sweet Corn. The crunchiness and tangy ness of Corn in each and every bite is really amazing. The sweetness of the corn goes very well with the slight bland taste of spinach or palak. Extremely healthy and obviously yumm.....This palak corn curry goes very well with Naan or Bhatura.

Spinach - 2 bunch
Corn kernels, boiled - 2 cup 
Tomato - 3
Green chillies - 4
Ginger - 1 tsp
Lemon juice - 2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Sugar - a pinch
Turmeric - 1/3 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Kasoori methi - 1 tsp
Fresh cream - 2 tbsp(optional)
Cooking oil - 2 tbsp
Butter - 1 tbsp
Cumin - 1 tsp
Green cardamom - 3 
Cloves - 2
Cinnamon - 1/2 inch
Bay leaves - 2


Trim the hard and thick stems of Spinach and wash it well.
Heat enough water in a pan and add 1/3 tsp of sugar in it.
When water start boiling add the Spinach leaves and cook for around 30 seconds. Remove the leaves from the pan and immediately add in a bowl of ice cold water ( to retain the bright green color )
Grind the Spinach leaves and make a smooth purée.
Grind together tomato, green chillies and ginger and make a paste.
Heat oil and butter in a pan and add cumin, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves. When cumin become golden then add the tomato purée and turmeric powder.
Saute till tomato purée start leaving the oil. Now add Spinach puree, crushed kasoori methi and boiled corn and simmer for 2 minutes.
Add salt, sugar, garam masala and fresh cream and simmer for a minute. Add lemon juice and serve hot.