Sunday, February 17, 2013

Podi Vankai or Podi Katrikai - Andhra Food Series

I love brinjal in most forms.  Though my most favorite has to be Baingan Ka Bharta, I also love this method of making it. I don't think my kids have even tasted it once. For some reason they hate it and are not even willing to try it out. We have a rule in the house.  You cannot say you don't want something or you hate something without trying it out once. It is compulsory to try out a nice big sizable amount of it. Even then if you don't like it , then you are allowed not to eat it. But this is one vegetable that they have flatly refused to even try. So this veggie is only reserved for the rest of us in the house. And all of us love brinjal and particularly in this form.

Very delicious, it goes well with rice or rotis. It has a nice nutty taste from all the coarsely ground dals and the first bite is a little crispy and crunchy in the mouth ending with a soft vegetable inside.


About 10 small eggplants, quartered

For the Powder:

3 tablespoons Chana Dal
4 Red Chillies
1 1/2 teaspoon Coriander Seeds
1 tablespoon White Sesame Seeds
2 tablespoons Grated Coconut

2 tablespoons Oil
Marble sized ball of Tamarind (soaked in few tablespoons of water and juice extracted)
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
2 cups Water
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon Chilli Powder
1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
12-15 Curry leaves


Roast the powder ingredients in one tablespoon of oil till golden brown. Cool and grind to a caorse powder.

Heat water and add the tamarind juice and turmeric.

Drop in the brinjal pieces and cook for about 5 minutes or till the brinjal starts getting tender then drain.

Heat the remaining oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves and fry till it starts spluttering.

Add the ground powder and fry for a few minutes.

Now add the brinjal bits and fry on a low flame. Add the salt and chilli powder.

Fry till done and the podi is well fried and a golden brown.

Serve hot with rice or rotis


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Punjabi Saag - On A Strict Diet

No excuses this time for why I have not posted, why its been almost 3 months since I blogged. Its not because I have not been making anything or taking pictures, I think it is just that when I make a half hearted attempt to blog, it just never seems to come out right. That's why I said at the outset - NO EXCUSES.

So now I am on this diet. A very strict one. And since I am very determined this time around, hopefully it should work. But this is a strange kind of a situation I find myself in. I eat so much of the healthy stuff that I am unable to finish my meal. The only compulsory thing I have to eat each day is 2 cups of greens in any form. Now its difficult to get too many recipes that I like featuring greens as its hero. But this saag has to be one of my absolute favorites. Tastes good with both rotis and rice. It is supposed to be eaten with Makki ki Roti (rotis made with maize flour) but tastes good anyway even by itself. The original recipe calls for mustard greens (sarson) but as that is not available in Chennai, we can make it with spinach.

To get the most authentic saag recipe, I had to call my Punjabi niece in law. Thanks Pri. Got the exact recipe and now this is a staple on our lunch table.

Now for the recipe... Don't get put off by the number of ingredients. It is very simple to make. The only pain is cleaning the greens.


2 bunches Delhi Palak
2 bunches Methi leaves
2 bunches Radish leaves with the radish
2 Onions chopped
2 Tomatoes chopped
1 Turnip (Shalgam)
1 tablespoon Ginger chopped
1 tablespoon Garlic chopped\
4 Green chillies chopped

1 tablespoon wheat flour (Atta)
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon White Butter
1 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
1 onion finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped Garlic
1 teaspoon finely chopped Ginger
1 tablespoon Ghee


Clean and chop all the greens, the radish, the turnip, tomatoes, onion, green chillies, ginger and garlic and pressure cook along with a cup of water for one whistle.

Grind it with a handheld blender or in the mixer till it is a coarse paste.

Mix in the wheat flour, white butter and salt. Heat for a while

Heat the ghee in a separate vessel. Fry the onion, ginger and garlic till lightly browned. At the end, add in the red chilli powder and pour the tadka over the greens.

Serve hot along with Makki ki roti.