Easy, tangy and tasty seasonal raw mango rice or mangai sadam, Tamil style. Grate the mango with the peel and add peanuts for greater flavour and nutrition.
Recent Recipes and Posts
A few days ago I had re-posted my recipe for Panakam (the delicious jaggery and dry ginger drink for hot humid days) on my social media pages. Among the many ‘likes’ and responses to the recipe for this cooling drink, I was surprised to see how many of my readers asked about the recipe for Neer Mor. Surprised, because Neer Mor is so easy to make that it doesn’t really need a recipe. I then realised that just because something is simple doesn’t mean one automatically knows what goes into it and in what proportions.
Well then, here is my post on Neer Mor, with the recipe card below.
Neer Mor or as it is variously spelt – Neer More/ Neer Moru is the South Indian buttermilk, mildly spiced and with herbs. It is quite similar to chaas. As is usual in Indian cuisines, each region has its own version – some with cumin (jeera powder) added to the buttermilk, some with hing (asafoetida), some without. The recipe below is for the version of Neer Mor that my mother is used to prepare for the festival of Sri Rama Navami, ie the Tamilian preparation of the drink. I have added one more dimension to the drink – my sambandhi Ms Uma Maheshwari, whom I am visiting at Chennai this week, suggested that I add grated / thinly minced cucumber to the buttermilk, and this caught my imagination. It is so hot nowadays and we have a whole summer to cope with: the combination of buttermilk and cucumber sound heavenly.
Sri Rama Navami this year is tomorrow, the 25th March 2018, and Neer Mor, Panakam and a simple salad called Vada paruppu are standard preparations in most South Indian households, as part of the feast and the neivedyam offered to the deity, on that day, ie on the birth day of Sri Rama, the 7th avatar of the God Vishnu, as per Hindu Mythology.
All these items are cooling and refreshing and suit the sunny days of end March or early to mid April when the festival usually occurs. Many of us however, prepare Neer Mor and Panakam throughout summer – they are easy, simple, delicious and just hit the spot when you are thirsty.
The preparation will take you only a few minutes, its just a matter of churning the curd with water to make buttermilk and adding all the ingredients, finely chopped/ minced and finishing off with a tempering of mustard seeds. Try making this today, you will love this Summer Cooler!
You may like to try this recipe on this blog for Panakam, the jaggery and dry ginger, cardamom drink too!
My first foray into Goan Cuisine, and it turned out so well! I found a large variety of vegetarian recipes to try out, and wanted to use ingredients specific to the Goan and Konkani cuisines. The Goan Bitter Gourd Kokum Dal that I finally came up with, tick marked all the boxes I set for the post: Tasty, nutritious, easy, authentic and it incorporated the two ingredients I had been set for this month’s Goan Theme challenge from the FB group I belong to, Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge. More about this group, later on.
First, a little about some of the ingredients I used to make the Goan Bitter Gourd Kokum Dal. The recipe I finally firmed up after browsing the internet and the few cookbooks I could find, needed kokum as well as terphal, a species related to the Himalayan Sichuan Pepper (which seems to be variously known as teppal, tefla etc). I consulted my daughter Mridula as to what the ‘tefla’ in the recipe was (I thought it was a kind of fish!) I could have tried sourcing the kokum and terphal in one of the many Mangalorean stores dotted around Bangalore, but then opted to buy them online from amazon as I was not sure I would be able to get the terphal spice elsewhere. The rest of the ingredients were ones I already had at home. Bitter gourd or karela is a favourite on my dining table. If you hesitate to take karela because of the bitterness, then do try it in this dish – the jaggery, the kokum and the spice all go to reduce the bitterness and in fact enhance the taste of the bitter gourd. And you know it is chock full of nutrition and health benefits, right?
Simple traditional food can be so tasty, and often is comfort food for most of us. This delicious Arbi ki kadhi is one such dish. I made it in the Chhattisgarh style, though there is probably little variation in the method followed in most regions of India. The kadhi takes very little time to make and needs just the basic ingredients you usually have at home. There’s very little prep to be done -boiling and peeling the colocasia/arbi is the main ‘task’, apart from slicing onions. After that it is just whipping the ingredients together and putting the kadhi to cook. Curry leaves and cumin add flavour to the kadhi.
Exploring the cuisine of each State in India by turn, is such an enriching experience. This Baingan Badi Sabzi, a delicious eggplant and lentil fritters curry from the traditional Bhojpuri cuisine prevalent in the Indian states of Bihar and UttarPradesh, is interesting to make and has ingredient options that make it nutritious too. The main ingredient is the brinjal or eggplant/ aubergine. This is accompanied by small sun dried badis which seems to have many names – wadi, wadiyan, mangodi etc. The basic ingredient for making a badi is flour – though the flour and spices, herbs to be added differ across regions. I have made a simple Bihari Urad dhal ki badi, with black gram lentils. The recipe is given in the instructions below.
Venturing further into North Eastern Cuisine, I made Assamese Aloo Pitika, the delicious Aloo Chokha look alike. Simple, very easy and with the mustard oil giving its unmistakable fragrance and its unique character to the dish, I can’t understand why I have not been using mustard oil more often in my kitchen. Its not that I am not used to cooking with mustard oil. In fact we regularly made aloo chokha aka mashed potatoes, with mustard oil and the stuffed red chillies from my husbands village in Eastern UP, and it would taste awesome.
This traditional stew from Arunachal Pradesh cuisine, Oying Vegetable Stew is simple, easy to make and delicious. There are just a handful of ingredients and no oil or spices are used. What makes the dish tasty is the freshness of the boiled vegetables and the flavours of the chilli and ginger. It healthy too, as well as vegan and gluten free.
This post is a detailed guide on how to soak fruits for Christmas Fruit cake. (I had first published it last year and am republishing with updated inputs.) The choice of fruits and the proportions in the recipe below are similar for soaking in alcohol or in an non alcoholic liquid, and I have given the steps for both types (the timelines for a non-alcoholic liquid are given at the end of the write up to the post). The timelines do differ, as well as how to preserve the fruits for the cake till it is baked.
If you do not want to soak the fruits ahead of time, I have given a short-cut method in the recipe for baking a Christmas Fruit cake.
You are going to love this chutney! Everyone at home did! Tomato Peanut Orange Peel Chutney Andhra Style – you can imagine the flavours and texture from each of the ingredients! Large yellow and red tomatoes from Lakshmi’s vegetable plot, bright fragrant orange peel, peanuts, chillies and spices and turmeric coming together with an incredible taste. Make sure you use juicy tomatoes for the chutney so that you do not need to add water during the process and dilute the flavours. (more…)
It is customary to offer Navaratri Naivedyam to the Mother Goddess on each of the 9 days of Navaratri, and for the Pooja to be carried out twice a day, i.e. in the morning and evening. This post brings you Navaratri Naivedyam and Sundal Recipes that you can easily make. The rice based dishes or variety rice can do double duty as both naiveydam and as lunch or for tiffin boxes, after you have first lit the lamp and offered it to the Goddess. Sundal Naivedyam is usually prepared in the evenings and is the prasadam for visitors for the kolu. (more…)
The popular Indian festival of Navaratri (or Navarathri/Navratri) is about to begin and I am listing out some of the traditions and significances along with useful and interesting recipes, in a new series on my Blog, on “Navaratri: Fasting and Feasting And Everything In-between”. The first part of the series is on Navaratri Golu and How To Keep It. I hope it will be useful to those keeping golu for the first time, or having practiced Bomma Kolu (or Golu) for Navarathri for a few years are interested in knowing more about the significance and how to arrange the dolls as per traditional customs. (more…)