Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sambar and curry


Methi/ Fenugreek, a relatively under-utilized herb that belongs to the Fabaceae family, a family with more famous members such as chick peas, peanuts and alfalfa (the poor methi does not stand a chance now, does it?). Despite having its roots in the Mediterranean region, this herb is widely used in Indian cuisine and I guess this is not really surprising given that India is the largest producer of fenugreek. 

Sources: wiki, spice pages

The recipe for this lovely sambar comes from Shyamala's blog- I did not change much here.  

Ingredients

1/2 cup toor/tuvar dal
Fresh methi (fenugreek greens), leaves and tender stems chopped finely
1 onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium tomato, chopped
1.5 tsp tamarind paste dissolved in 4 cups water
2 tsp oil
1/3 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp asafoetida powder
2 tsp (heapful of homemade powder) sambar powder
1 tbsp rice flour
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves for garnish

Method:

Pressure-cook the tuvar dal 2 cups water with 1/4 tsp turmeric powder. Once cooked, mash the dal smooth.
Heat oil in a deep pan and add mustard seeds, cumin and asafoetida powder. Once the mustard seeds have popped, add the sliced onions and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat till the shallots start to soften.
Add the chopped tomato and let it cook till it begins to turn mushy. Now add the chopped vendhaya keerai (fenugreek greens) and stir till it's well mixed with the contents of the pan. Let it cook till completely wilted.
Pour in tamarind water and bring it to a boil. Add the sambar powder and salt- mix it in.
Let this boil for 10-15 minutes (until the raw sambar powder smell vanishes), then add the cooked dal and the rice flour dissolved in 4-5 tbsp water. Bring the sambar back to the boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for another 5 minutes (check salt and you are DONE).
Sprinkle the chopped coriander and serve hot over plain rice, or better yet curd rice. 
  
  
This recipe is off to Kalyani Herbs & Flowers in my platter event started by PJ

Vendaka (Okra) curry-
Ingredients
1 lb okra
salt, to taste
Red chilli powder, to taste
For tempering
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal (wiki entry here)
pinch asafoetida
1 tbsp coconut oil


Heat the oil in a pan (I used my beautiful cast iron pan- helps a lot). Once hot, add mustard seeds. Once these pop, add the urad dal and asafoetida powder. Let the urad dal brown a little, then add the okra. Let it cook thoroughly- do not add water or close the pan (water is evil when it comes to cooking okra this way). Just a minute or two before it is completely cooked, add the salt and red chilli powder. 
The entire process in a cast iron pot on medium heat took about 15 minutes and the result a non-gooey simple tasting okra. Now this is what I call sada khana (simple comfort food)!


Tip:  Now for a non-gooey okra, wash the okra and pat it dry (this does wonders). Cut the ends off. While cutting okra it also helps to wipe the goo off the knife  every once in a while.


Now if you were at all wondering about my dissipation from the world wide web- here is why!
 
For those of  you who do not know what is going in the picture above- I got married, is what is going on!

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