Friday, October 17, 2014

Quick and Easy Cheera (Spinach) Ada

It is always such a chore to decide what to cook… In my opinion, cooking is much easier than the planning process. So, a couple of days ago, I asked my husband for some suggestions for dinner. He sent a link to a recipe and that’s what I made. From then on he made a claim that he would suggest dinner everyday! I am sure he is already regretting the statement.
Anyway, day before yesterday, he found another recipe to try. It came out really well, so I decided to share it here.
Raw rice – 1 cup
Green Gram – ½ cup
Channa dal (Bengal gram) – ½ cup
Thuvar dal (Spilt pigeon peas) – ½ cup
Urad dal (Black gram) – ½ cup
Red chilies – 5 to 6 (or according to taste)
Asafoetida powder – a pinch
Chopped greens (spinach, drumstick leaves etc.) – 1 big bowl
Coconut bits – 2 tablespoons
Salt – 1 teaspoon or as per taste
Oil (gingelly or any cooking oil) – as required
Soak rice and dals in water for at least 1 hour. Wash and drain the water completely. Add the red chilies, asafoetida, salt and grind coarsely by adding very little water. Add the coconut bits and chopped greens and mix well.
Heat the dosa pan/griddle. Grease it with a bit of oil. Depending on the size you want, take the required amount of batter, place at the center of the griddle and pat to make a round. Try and make the edges even, else it will not cook evenly.
Drizzle a few drops of oil around the edges and in the center. Allow it to cook for about a couple of minutes. Flip, and allow the other side to cook for a minute. When both sides have browned, remove onto a plate and serve hot.
The ada has a flavor of its own, so you could just roll it up and have it as is. For a more elaborate spread, serve it with your favorite chutney. You could also try a combination of ghee and jaggery for a slightly sweeter note.

I added whole urad (with the skin) but the original recipe called for regular urad. It tasted good anyway!
Here’s the link to the original recipe:

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Green Apple Pachadi

We Malayalees have very few festivals when compared to the rest of the country, and Onam is one of them. Like any Indian festival there is always food involved in the celebration and we too had a modest sadhya (feast) at home, with a couple of friends.
A few tart green apples have been sitting on my kitchen counter for over a week and  when the menu planning for the sadhya was going on, I told my husband that I might make apple pickle instead of the traditional mango pickle. He wasn’t too thrilled about the idea because he loves the mango pickle I make. The idea was in the back of my head when we went shopping, and to his joy, the store had fresh mangoes. With the mango safely in the shopping basket, he happily says, “Why not make both?”
Anyway, on the day of the sadhya, I was contemplating about making a pachadi with okra when he suggested making it with the apples instead. I thought it was a brilliant idea and the result…an absolutely delicious pachadi, with crunchy apple pieces and a mild pungency of the ground mustard. Here’s what I did.
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
Chopped green apple – ¼ cup
Grated coconut – 3 tbsps
Mustard seeds – 2 tsps
Curd – 2 tbsps
Salt to taste
Grind together the coconut and mustard seeds to make a smooth paste. Remove into a bowl, add salt, and curd. Mix well to combine.
Add the chopped apples and mix.
Though I served it at room temperature for the sadhya, I realized that it actually tastes better chilled. So you could make this ahead and enjoy with a sadhya or simply with rotis. Tastes great either way. Bon Appètit.
Note: Raw mustard has a slightly pungent taste, which some people may not savor.