Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ulunthanchoru(Rice and urad dal medley) with Black Chutney and Egg Avial

Ulunthanchoru is a medley of rice and lentil(urad dal)-one of the traditional dishes of nanjil nadu.Its accompanied by varuthu aracha thovaiyal(chutney made with roasted coconut) and egg avial and also pappad(am).Our family also likes eating it with crushed jaggery and ghee-a divine combination.Some people also make meat curry with this rice though i havent tasted that combo. This is a nutritional dish too,since urad dal is high in protein.


Rice 3/4 cup
Urad dal 1/3 cup
Grated Coconut 1/2 cup
Dry ginger powder(chukku) 1 or 2 pinches
Salt to taste
Water 2 1/4 cups (i.e. 3cups of water for every cup of rice)

To Season:
Ghee,Mustard seeds,Curry leaves

1.Slightly toast the dal in a pan and let it cool.Wash the rice along with the cooled dal and add them to a pressure cooker.
2.Add all the remaining ingredients including the seasoning and switch on the stove.
3.When steam starts coming out,place the weight and lower the flame to sim.Wait for 3 whistles and switch off the flame.Once all the steam escapes,open the cooker and transfer the rice to a serving bowl.

Black Chutney

This is a spicy chutney made with roasted coconut and hence it stays fresh for long without refrigeration.I remember my mom packing this thovaiyal along with hot idlies for our train journeys.Before the prevalence of aluminium foil,amma used to pack tiffin in banana leaves which gives a wonderful aroma to any food.Gone are those days...

Grated Coconut 1/2 cup
Corrinader Seeds 1 tbsp
Red Chillies 4 no.s (or according to taste)
Garlic 2 big cloves
Curry Leaves 1 sprig

To Season:
Oil,Mustard Seeds,Hing.

1.Roast all ingredients except the seasoning with a tsp or two of oil.Let it cool
2..Grind them in a mixie with little water to make a paste.
3.Heat some oil and add mustard seeds and hing and add it to the chutney.

This also goes well with idly,dosa.

Egg Avial

Boiled Egg 3
Coconut 2 handful
Red Chilly 2-3
Turmeric 1/8 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp
Shallots/small onions 2

Oil,Mustard Seeds,Curry Leaves,1/8th of a big onion -thinly sliced

1.Grind coconut,chillies,shallots,turmeric,cumin to a coarse paste by adding little water.
2.In a pan,splutter mustard seeds in hot oil and also add curry leaves.You can also add vadagam if u like the flavour.Now add the sliced onions and saute it for 2 mins.
3.Add the ground paste to the pan with little water.Boil it for 3-4 mins and then add the boiled eggs.Slightly slit the eggs before adding ,so that the masala seeps inside the egg.Switch off the stove after 2 mins.Serve hot with ulunthanchoru.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fish Cutlet

Spring has just started and it started to rain here.Sitting in the patio on this cloudy and breezy evening i remember my hometown, where we used to have our cup of evening coffee with some spicy chicken puff or fish cutlets, sitting on the veranda enjoying the breeze and watching kids play in the streets.The very thought of fish cutlet made my mouth water and then i remembered that i had a pouch of shredded salmon in my pantry.So i made some cutlets and i stacked it along with toamtoes and ketchup in between burger buns.Yummmm...

Fish 200 gms(shredded)
Potatoes 2 medium
Onion 1/2 medium (finely chopped)
Green Chillies 2(adjust to your spice level)
Ginger 1" piece
Garlic 3 cloves(big)
Red Pepper Flakes to taste
Cilantro 1/2 bunch(chopped )
Salt to taste
Lemon Juice a dash
Egg 1
Bread Crumbs as required

1.Coarsely grind the green chillies,ginger and garlic together.Boil the potatoes.Peel and smash them.If using fresh fish, boil it with salt and turmeric and shred it.
2.Heat oil in a pan and saute the ground chilli-garlic mixture in medium flame for a few mins.
Then add the finely chopped onions and little salt and saute till onions become spft and transparent.
3.Mix this sauteed mixture along with fish,potatoes,chilli flakes,chopped cilantro,salt and a dash of lemon juice.You can substitute chilli flakes with black pepper or can use both.The mixture should not have much moisture or else the cutlets will break while frying.If its a little soggy you can add a handful of bread crumbs to it.
4.Beat the egg in a wide bowl.Have the braed crumbs in a plate.Heat oil in a pan on high heat.
5.Make balls out of the mixture and flatten it to make patties.Dip each patty in the beaten egg and then roll it in bread crumbs.
6.Fry the cutlets in hot oil till dark brown(make sure the oil is really hot.if not the cutlets will break in oil).

Serve hot cutlets with ketchup as appetizer,evening snack or can make fish burgers by stacking it in betweeen burger buns along with ur favourite toppings.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Olan-A coconut milk based side dish

Olan is a simple and mild dish and is a good accompainment for theeyal,vathakulambu or any other spicy dish of that kind.This is traditionally made with ash gourd(vellai poosani).But i've made this with zuchini squash and it came out well.Since nagercoil was once part of Kerala(till 1950) most of our dishes will be similar to those of Keralian dishes with lots of coconut and/or coconut milk.This is one such dish and here goes the recipe.

Black eyed peas or Whole Moong - 1/2 cup
Ask gourd or Zuchini Squash -1 cup(peeled and chopped)
Diluted coconut milk -1 cup
Thick coconut milk -3/4 - 1 cup
Green chilles -3
Curry Leaves - few
Corn starch -2 tsp
Coconut oil - 1-2 tsp


1.Dry roast the black eyed peas for a few minutes(If using moong omit this step) in a pressure pan.
2.Add the cut vegetables,green chillies,curry leaves and the diluted coconut milk in the pan and pressure cook them till the beans r cooked but not mushy(3 whistles after steam comes out).
3.Once the steam escapes completely,open the pan and add salt and boil it for 5 minutes.Now add the thick coconut milk and heat it for 1-2 minutes.Do not boil it,else the coconut milk will curdle.
4.Finally add the corn starch mixed in 1/4 cup of water.This makes the gravy thicker and its purely optional.Once the gravy thickens add the coconut oil and switch off the stove.Enjoy this dish with hot theeyal and rice.