May 31, 2009

Coconut chutney! My mom's way!

Every one makes it pretty much the same way. The only hitch is breaking the coconut into halves. I still haven't mastered the art. You don't need exact halves for the yummiest chutney anyway. So chill! Scraping the coconut is the other step which I'm not very fond of. It is so time consuming. The issue with coconut is, once open it won't stay fresh for long. It will spoil even if you refrigerate it. Forget freezing unless you want to make a compromise on the taste. I have a way around. Again thanks to my mom! Refrigerate the halved coconut for an hour and then it breaks away from the shell easily. It still would take you a little effort. Cut it into small pieces before you grind them.

Ingredients for the chutney
  • One medium sized coconut
  • Split roasted gram (porikadala) - 1 tbsp
  • Green chillies - 4-5 depending upon how spicy you want it to be
  • Dried red chilli - 1
  • Mustard - 1/2 tsp
  • Split urad dal - 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves - 3-4
  • Salt as required
  • Oil - 1 tbsp
  • Grind together the scraped/cut coconut, split roasted gram, green chillies and salt with some water. Make sure it is neither too fine nor too coarse
  • Add water to ensure smooth grinding
  • Transfer the contents to a bowl
  • Heat oil, splutter the mustard, split urad dal, red chilli and curry leaves and pour over the chutney. Mix well
  • Serve with dosa, uthappam or idli
The picture above has just the mustard seasoning. You can even do without the seasoning. In some other parts of South India, they even grind some coriander leaves or ginger along. However I prefer no seasoning to the one I have described above.

Give your iron pan a nonstick effect with onion

It's been a while since I'm thinking of a dedicated space featuring handy hints and solutions to common kitchen woes. Your contribution is welcome. Email me your titbits. You make sure they are tried and tested ones. I will make sure they figure under the label 'kitchen fixes and solutions' with due credit.

To start with here is a small care tip for your iron tawa. I use the traditional iron-griddle pan for rotis, paranthas and dosas. Iron tawa always produce better results when compared to your non-stick pans. The only issue with iron is its tendency to rust. Make sure the griddle is washed and scrubbed properly before use. Rub the heated iron surface with a drop of oil using a halved onion
to remove any traces of rust. This also ensures a non sticky effect on your pan. Chop and discard the rubbed surface of the onion. After use, coat the surfaces, both top and bottom with a thin film of oil to prevent rusting. I have been seeing my folks do this religiously for ages and now I know why.

Boondi Raita, a Summer Relish

Introduced to me by a Rajasthani friend, this tasty relish now accompanies almost every meal. I thought this should figure in my blog before the monsoon sets in. Let the summer end on a cooler note!

To prepare boondi, gram flour batter is forced through a ladle with holes and deep fried in vegetable oil. No you don't have to do all that. Ready-made boondi is available in all local stores.

  • Curd - 1/2 litre
  • Boondi - 1 cup
  • Roasted Cumin Powder - 2 tbsp
  • Salt - as required
  • Beat the curd well
  • Add salt and cumin to it
  • Add boondi and mix well (add more if boondi is sparse)
  • Keep aside for a while till boondi loses it crisp texture and turns soft
  • Serve chilled