Coconut Chutney

Coconut Chutney or Nariyal Chutney is a South Indian delicacy that goes will with idli and dosa. The chief ingredients are coconut and curd which are good for health providing fibre and digestion rich enzymes. Coconut chutney keeps good for a few days when refridgerated.

Ingredients

½ cup coconut, dessicated

½ cup curd

2 tblsp chana dal

1 tblsp urad dal

1 tblsp rai

1 tblsp oil

1 green chilli

Salt to taste

Roast chana dal till light pink and grind it with coconut, curd and green chilli. Add water to obtain consistancy of your choice. Heat oil in a pan and add rai. When it starts to splutter, add urad dal to make tadka. Add this tadka to the coconut chutney along with salt to provide extra taste. Refridgerate the chutney till further use.

 

Tip: If the chutney solidifies on cooling, add water or even better, curd water, to obtain the consistancy of your choice.

Dahi Vada

The thought of dahi vada conjures up images of soft cold vada in cold curd which melts when placed on the tongue. It was a favorite dish of my family with Mom looking for excuses to prepare it. The best part about dadi vada is that it can be prepared 2-3 days in advance of the occasion and keeps well for a couple of days later also.

Ingredients

200 gms urad dal

100 gms curd

Oil

Salt

Soak urad dal overnight. Drain the water and grind it in a mixer. Add a little salt to it. Since the curd will also have salt, make sure the salt added to vada compensates it. The consistency of the vada mixture should be such that it does not flow freely. Heat oil in a pan to fry the vada. Now comes the difficult part. Spread a wet muslin cloth on a rolling board. Wet the cloth with water. Place a small ball of vada mix on it and spread into a flat ball while making a hole in the middle. Lift the vada carefully and fry it in the oil till golden brown. Drop the fried vada into a pot of water till soft. Squeeze out the water and keep aside.

Lifting the vada off the cloth takes some practice. You can make the vada on your hand also. Wet the palm of your hand and prepare the vada on it for frying.

Mix curd with a little water to make it thin. Add a little salt and mix properly. Take a container with a flat base and pour a thin layer of curd in it. Put a layer of vada on it. Pour another layer of curd and then another layer of vada and so on till all the vadas are covered with curd. The vadas will soak the curd and become soft. Refrigerate. The left over curd can be used to garnish the dahi vada.

To serve, place 2 dahi vada  on a plate. Pour a few spoonfuls of beaten curd over it. Add tamarind chutney and sprinkle white salt, black salt, red chilli powder and roasted zeera powder on it. Use aloo bhujia to top it off.

 

Tip: You can use ready-made vada mix also to directly prepare the vadas.

Shengdane ki Chutney (Peanut Chutney)

Shengdana, as it is called in Maharashtra, is nothing but another name for groundnuts or peanuts. Groundnuts form a staple ingredient in Marashtrian food and is added to almost every dish. Shengdane ki chutney is a great accompaniment for a traditional Indian meal. It can also be served as “lagawan’, i.e., it can be served with roti/paratha or rice when nothing else is available.

Ingredients

250 gms groundnuts

Salt to taste

Red chilli powder to taste

2-3 tblsp oil

Roast the groundnuts in a pan till they are deep brown in color. Spread them in a plate and let them cool. Now remove the covering of the groundnuts. For this, grab a handful of groundnuts and rub them between your palms so that the flaky covering comes off. Separate the peeled off groundnuts. Grind them in a mixer but try to retain a granular quality to them. Add salt, red chilli powder and oil and the chutney is ready to serve. The salt and red chilli powder is generally kept strong but the flavor can be varied according to individual choice. The shengdane ki chutney keeps for many days.

Vinegar Onion – Pickle without oil!

Sometimes I wonder what to serve with the main course. It is kinda tedious preparing an elaborate salad or find a new pickle everyday. Most of the time I end up serving only diced onions or cucumbers and sometimes not even that. What do you do when you have only one hour to prepare dinner??? Something that can be stored without the fear of going bad anytime soon is the only answer and the first thing that comes to mind is vinegar onion.

Vinegar onion keep for many days. In fact, the taste betters as they age and as the vinegar is slowly absorbed by the onions. This is clearly evident in their deepening pink color. The rosier, the better.

Bottled Vinegar Onion

Bottled Vinegar Onion

The ingredients are pretty simple. Get some edible vinegar (if possible, fruit vinegar which is of brown color and gives a more delicious taste to the onions) and very small onions. Peel the onions. Mix the two and add a pinch of salt. Store in a glass jar for future use. If you use brown vinegar, you can serve the onions immediately also. Also, if peeling small onions seems a task to you, get some regular ones and cut them into halves or even quarters for serving size.

To make the dish more intersting, you can also add garlic cloves, green chillies and even dices radish. This gives a color to the onions and gives the guests more to choose from.

Churmura

Thinking what to serve for snack? Or just plain hungry and do not want to go to lenghts to prepare dinner? Or just weight conscious and nothing comes to mind that will be tasty yet light on calories? Then you have come to the right place. Churmura is all of this and more. It can be served to kids in paper cones that enhances its charm. The best part is you can keep adding to the quantity and taste by putting in whatever ingredients as you want.

Preparation Time – 15 mins

Servings – 4 people

Ingredients

100 gms laiyya (puffed rice)

1 large onion (chopped finely)

1 large tomato (chopped finely)

1 boiled potato cut into small pieces

A handful of roasted groundnuts

A handful of green peas

A handful of chick peas

2 tblsp aloo bhujia or any other mixture of your choice

A couple of crushed mathri

1 tblsp white salt

1 tblsp black salt

1 tblsp red chilli powder

1 large lemon

Mix all the ingredients together properly and serve. You can vary the ingredients as per your choice.

Bean Salad

A salad adds class to a dinner and brings in something crunchy to eat. It is an easy way to bring in proteins and vegetables in the fare besides adding taste to it. Bean salad is a healthy dish and can be either served along with the main course or as an appetizer. It can also be served as a delicious snack with garlic bread.

Preparation time – 15 mins

Servings – 4 people

Ingredients

100 gms beans (whole moong or sabut moong)

1 large onion

1 large tomato

1 radish

1 carrot

1 lemon

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Vinegar 1 tsp (optional)

Soak the beans in water overnight till they sprout. Chop onion, tomato and radish into fine pieces. Grate carrot. Drain the sprouted beans and add the chopped onion, tomato, radish, grated carrot, salt and pepper. Add lemon juice and vinegar and mix properly. Cool it in the fridge before serving.

Tip: Place a lettuce leaf in the bowl and then pour the bean salad on it to give it a classy look. Decorate with chopped green chillies and coriander leaves and add two lemon halves to complete the look.

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