Coriander, Coconut and Gram Fresh Chutney

A fresh South Indian Chutney made from pureed coconut and coriander.

This is a simple but totally delicious Indian coconut chutney.

There are three varieties of Indian chutneys: fresh chutneys, cooked chutneys, and dry chutneys. Fresh South Indian chutneys are smooth purees made from uncooked ingredients, perhaps seasoned with a tadka of mustard seeds, dal, and curry leaves. They are best freshly made, but they stay good for a couple of days if refrigerated. Made from raw ingredients this type of chutney is unlike most other Indian dishes which have at least some degree of cooking.

Chutneys add zing to a meal and are an essential part of a South Indian meal. They can be prepared with a limitless variety of ingredients. This one is a variation on a Coconut-Coriander Chutney that we shared a while ago. In this one, tamarind is used as the souring agent and some fried gram is added for flavour and thickness. We haven’t added a tadka but you can if you prefer.

Coconut Chutney can be made without herb additions, or, like in this case, coriander can be added, or the same recipe used with mint leaves, garlic, tomatoes, onions, almonds, carrots, beetroot, green mangos, peanuts, capsicums, and greens. Tamarind is added in today’s recipe but it can be omitted or lime juice used.

Similar recipes include Fresh Radish and Mint ChutneyCoriander and Coconut Chutney, and Ginger, Coconut and Yoghurt Chutney.

Browse our Indian Chutneys. Our Coriander dishes are here. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

Continue reading “Coriander, Coconut and Gram Fresh Chutney”

Makrut (Kaffir) Lime Pickle with Oil | Narthangai Oorugai

Kaffir Lime, now referred to as Makrut lime due to the previous name having racial connotations in South Africa, is close enough to Narthangai for the sake of making pickles. I will also use Makrut Lime in pickles in place of Kitarangai.

My Makrut lime tree is now bearing well enough to make a couple of types of pickles, and this first recipe is from Meenakshi Ammal in the first volume of her books Cook and See. It is a raw pickle (the lime is not cooked before making the pickle). The chopped limes are macerated in salt and turmeric powder for a day before more spices and sesame oil is added. It is a pickle that will keep for a long time.

Similar recipes include Green Mango Pickle, Green Apple Pickle, and Quince Aachar.

Browse all of our Indian Pickles. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

Continue reading “Makrut (Kaffir) Lime Pickle with Oil | Narthangai Oorugai”

Poritha Kootu with Beans

Here is another Poritha Kootu to add to our list of about a dozen recipes.  It is a delicious way to serve a range of vegetables (or make it without vegetables), with the health benefits of lentils as well. A Vegetarians dream!

Today I am using Green Beans and Italian Flat Beans – they are readily available here and quite delicious. They make an excellent kootu.

I find mung is one of my favourite dals, one that nourishes and makes me feel relaxed and comfortable. I tend to use split, hulled (yellow) mung in Summer and whole or split, unhulled (green) mung in Winter, in various dishes.

Similar dishes include Poritha Kootu with Snake Gourd, Ridge Gourd Masiyal, and Eggplant Kothsu.

Browse all of our Poritha Kootu recipes and all of our Green Bean dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

Continue reading “Poritha Kootu with Beans”

Upma and Fried Upma with Ricotta

Upma is a delicious breakfast dish and snack from South India. Rava (also called Rawa, Sooji, Suji or Upma grain) is a semolina product that is cooked with spices and sometimes finely chopped vegetables for a stunningly delicious dish.

Ottolenghi, in his book Plenty More takes his version of Upma and allows it to set before pan frying wedges. It is a delicious way to use Upma and a great use of left-overs. Rather than use his recipe, I cook Upma in a more traditional South Indian way, using his method to pan fry it, then serve it with either seasoned yoghurt or ricotta.

Rava, like semolina, is a granulated wheat flour that have a grainy and coarse texture to it. There are two types available, a fine-grained version and a coarser-grained one that is better for making Upma. In general, sooji will have a finer grain than rava. If you use the fine grained one for Upma, you might have to reduce the water so that you don’t get a pasty texture.

I cook Upma until it is thick and holds shape.  One variation is to add more water to get a looser consistency. If making the fried upma, cook until it is quite thick.

As an aside and just for your information if you are interested: There are many different types of rava, perhaps thousands of regional variations. Some of the variations are because different wheats are used. One of them called Bansi Rava and also known as samba wheat in many parts of India, is a very fine powdered flour unlike the more coarsely granulated Rava. It is made from a variety of wheat called samba godumai that has a long body and slightly sharp edges on both sides.

Another famous Rava is the Bombay Rava which has a very coarse texture that is a little bigger than regular Rava. It is made from whole wheat grains of a wheat called mottai godumai. There is another type, chamba rava, which is a by-product of wheat flour. Semolina, on the other hand, is always made from Duram wheat.

Similar recipes include Polenta Crisps and Lemony Poha.

Browse all of our Semolina recipes and all of our Breakfast dishes. Indian Snacks are here. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

Continue reading “Upma and Fried Upma with Ricotta”

Pumpkin Milk Kootu

Today we have another of the rare Indian recipes that use milk. This recipe is one that can substitute the milk for coconut milk if that is more to your taste.

In India, milk is usually reserved for desserts, and in Ayurveda the consumption of milk with vegetables is not encouraged. In this recipe, I imagine that home cooks would use milk thickened with rice flour in place of coconut milk if that was not available.

It is best made with Indian tender pumpkin, but I have also made it with a number of our pumpkin varieties and quite love it. It is a very simple dish – pumpkin, seasoned, in milk with a simple tadka. But simple is best, no?

The recipe is one of Meenakshi Ammal’s from her cook books Cook and See – very traditional Tamil recipes. You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.

Similar dishes include Cluster Beans Kootu, Green Bean Kootu, and Brinjal Asadu.

Browse all of our Kootu recipes and all of our Pumpkin dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

Continue reading “Pumpkin Milk Kootu”

Pepper and Turmeric Cauliflower with Lime | Milagu Cauliflower

Wow! When you need a taste bomb to add real spark to your day, this is the dish for you. Cauliflower is cooked in a paste of liberal amounts of pepper with garlic, ginger and warming spices. It has plenty of bite from the pepper and ginger and tang from lime juice. You will adore it. This dish is commonly known as the Cauliflower Pepper Fry and there are many variations of the dish. Serve with rice or chapati with yoghurt.

Similar dishes include Black Pepper Tofu, Pepper Rasam, and Pepper Rice.

Browse all of our Cauliflower recipes and all of our Peppery recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

Continue reading “Pepper and Turmeric Cauliflower with Lime | Milagu Cauliflower”

Indian Spicy Tomato Soup

My thinking about broths or stocks for soups has changed over the years. Once I regularly made vegetable stock from off-cuts and peelings, supplemented by chopped vegetables to get the right balance. I made loads of light Asian style broths and more layered all-in stocks for soups, risottos, and the like. There were miso based stocks, SE Asian coconut-curried stocks and Indian flavoured stocks. Keeping them in the freezer meant that they were always at hand.

Don’t get me wrong, I still use these regularly, but more often I use a different technique.

A new approach

No matter what, vegetable stocks are still “light” when compared to the earthy groundedness and depth of flavour of non-vegetable stocks. So, after pondering this for some time, I began to make stocks that included such treasures as bay leaves (European, Indian and/or West Indian), juniper berries, brown cardamom pods, cumin seeds or powder, coriander seeds or powder, black peppercorns and allspice berries. What a difference these made.

Miso

Again over time – some years – miso began to make an appearance in my Continue reading “Indian Spicy Tomato Soup”

Indian Horse Gram and Pomegranate Salad

Horse Gram is highly nutritious and in fact we have fallen in love with its earthy taste. We love that the lentils hold their shape even when cooked really well – it makes them so perfect for salads.

You can make herby salads with horse gram, with loads of chopped soft herbs, lemon and garlic. Or use them as a base for Wintery roasted vegetables. Mix them with feta, onion, tomato and radish. Today we make a kosumalli style salad with the lentils.

Kosumalli is usually a light and refreshing salad. This salad is great in transitional seasons or Winter, or on cooler Summer days. It is REALLY good, and we hope you enjoy it.

Read more about Horse Gram (aka Kulthi Bean). It is easily purchased in Indian shops.

Similar dishes include Matki and Golu Kola Salad with Coconut, Sprouts and Pomegranate Kosumalli, Cucumber Kosumalli, and Sprouts Usal.

Browse all of our Horse Gram recipes and all of our Indian Salads. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

Continue reading “Indian Horse Gram and Pomegranate Salad”

Muthira Upperi | Horse Gram Thoran

Horse gram is much loved in South India as a particularly healthy lentil. One easy way to cook and serve these elongated brown skinned beans is to make thoran (Upperi in Malabar). Thoran is a dish from Kerala where vegetables, lentils, beans or sprouts are sauteed with spices and perhaps coconut, for a special side dish or Indian salad style dish. There are several ways to make a  thoran with horse gram:

  • with or without coconut – either way is good. Many people prefer to add coconut as horse gram is considered a hot pulse and coconut helps to moderate the heat.
  • cooked until al dente tender, so the beans remain separated, or cooked until the beans are very tender and beginning to break down – either way is good.
  • made as a dry dish, or as a dish with a little gravy from the cooking water.

Generally we make our thorans with coconut so for variety we make this one without.

Read more about Horse Gram (aks Kulthi Bean). It is easily purchased in Indian shops.

Similar recipes include Horse Gram and Pomegranate SaladMoringa Leaf Thoran, Carrot Thoran, and Sprouts Usal.

Browse all of our Thoran recipes and all of our Kerala dishes.All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

Continue reading “Muthira Upperi | Horse Gram Thoran”

Saar | A Goan Rasam

By the late 1990’s I was beginning to cook Indian food or at least attempting to make a fair representation of some dishes. Many of my early attempts came from Goa as that was my first port of call on my first trip to India. Later I expanded my love of Indian food to Tamil cuisine and South Indian in general.

Saar is similar to the Tamil dish Rasam, but with Goan twists. The recipe is from Tasty Morsels; Goan Food Ingredients and Preparation by Maria de Lourdes Bravo Da Costa Rodrigues. I picked it up on one of my early trips to Goa. It is like the Green and Gold of Goan Cuisine. I love to look through the book and remember my many visits to Goa over the years. I adore exploring the different areas of Goa, away from the tourist attractions, and dive into the different cultures. There were many times I travelled with a friend on his motorbike, exploring off-road areas and little-known beaches, as well as the local food markets, food stalls and tiny shops. Sleeping in thatched huts, eating at restaurants right on the beach, talking to women on the beach picking up inhabited shells to cook with rice. The smell of morning fires ready for cooking the day’s meals, the pink sands on the beaches, the sunsets, spice farms, hills, temples, music. Oh, Goa – I miss you!

Tickle My Senses has a wonderful description of Saar.

Well, saar needs to be eaten in the right way for maximum pleasure. Pour the piping hot tomato saar over your rice (for me the rice has to be swimming in the saar) then using your finger tips coat the rice with the piping hot saar, making sure you do not burn yourself ! then scoop mouthfuls of this delicious mixture into your mouth, accompanied with fried foods and vegetable. When all is done, lift up the plate to your lips and drink off any remaining saar, the orphaned bits can be polished off by licking your fingers….slurpp!!!

Note the Portuguese name of the author – there are at least 3 distinct cuisines in Goa – that heavily influenced by the Catholic Portuguese cuisine which is also non-vegetarian, that of the Hindu Goans which is more vegetarian and more traditionally South Indian. Finally there is the Muslim cuisine from the Muslim invaders and immigrants over the years.

Often Saar is described as a soup, which is a misnomer. While it is a thin but strongly flavoured broth, traditionally it is not eaten with a spoon from a bowl. See the description of Saar on the sidebar here. It really does capture the essence of Saar and Rasam.

We have a lovely collection of rasam recipes that we have put together as a collection. You can see the collection here.

Similar recipes include Mysore Rasam with Tomatoes, Tomato Pepper Rasam, and Cumin Seed Rasam.

Browse all of our Rasam recipes and all of our Goan dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. You can see more of the Retro Recipes series, our vegetarian recipes from that first blog.

Continue reading “Saar | A Goan Rasam”