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Friday, July 5, 2019

Kempu Chutney

Kempu chutney which literally means red chutney does not need any introduction if you have ever eaten a Mysore masale dose. This flavorful red chutney is what sets it apart from the regular masala dosas. A thin layer of this chutney smeared over dosas, stuffed with alugadde palya aka spicy potato filling, rolled and served with bowls of chutney and sambhar is a tempting meal anytime, any given day in my world. 😋 Byadagi variety chillies which are commonly used in Karnataka for their color are typically used here. Kashmiri variety chillies or any other less spicy but color lending chillies can be substituted here. I feel this chutney closely resembles the ones used in restaurants to spread the masala dosa. 

Byadagi chilies are less spicier variety but this chutney would be very spicier if eaten as a side dish because of the large quantity of chillies used here. The spice level however would be perfect if spread on a masala dosa / dose. Reduce the quantity of chilies to about 4 / 5 if not using this chutney as a spread but serving as a side dish. This chutney is quite flavorful and can stay fresh for few days if refrigerated. 

15 byadagi chillies 
1 to 2 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
4 garlic cloves
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 tsp. tamarind
2 tbsp. chutney dal / roasted Bengal gram 
Salt to taste 

* Wash and soak chillies in hot water for about 20 to 30 minutes and drain.
* Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. When they start to brown, add garlic and saute until they turn light golden. Add the chillies next and saute for few seconds. At this point, onion can be added and sauteed as well, if preferred or onion can be used raw.
* Let the mixture cool and grind them along with the remaining ingredients to a smooth paste without adding water. 
* Use it a spread for Mysore masala dose or with idlis / other dosas as a side dish.

This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon #102 under 'Spreads' theme. Check what other marathoners are cooking, clicking at the link.


Thursday, July 4, 2019

Stawberrry Jam (No Pectin)

There is always a bottle of strawberry / grape jam in my refrigerator since they happen to be my favorites to pair with my toast though husband votes for orange marmalade. I thought of therefore including a jam recipe this week as part of my 'spreads' theme in the blogging marathon. I had tried preparing jams a few times before and decided to do a version without pectin this time. I saved a pack of strawberries for this purpose though I had a bottle of strawberry spread in the refrigerator staring at me. It would have given me an evil eye if it could emote. That's how ridiculous I become when it comes to blogging and luckily, my husband didn't notice that I spent time on cooking something, which is already lying in the refrigerator. 

This is one of the recipes to try when one has a bounty of berries or berries are selling cheaper. This home version jam contains only three ingredients and contains no pectin. Pectin is added in jam preparation for thickening and without pectin, this jam is slightly on the softer side. Sweet ripened berries, sugar and lemon juice are the only ingredients that went into this jam preparation. I didn't add the quantity of sugar mentioned in the recipe on purpose and made somewhat sweet - tart tasting jam. This makes a small quantity of jam and mine was gone in less than a week. 

2 cups strawberries (roughly a pound)
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar (or adjust to the desired sweetness)

* Freeze a couple of metal spoons.
* Wash the berries and chop the stems. Chop / blend the strawberries to your desired consistency. I pulsed them in a food processor to a coarse mush along with sugar.
* Add all the ingredients to a medium sized pan and stir to combine. Cook on medium flame until mixture comes to a boil. Lower the heat and continue cooking for another 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
* To know whether the jam is done, dribble some hot jam onto a frozen spoon and wait for a few seconds for it to cool. If you run a finger through the jam and if it makes a clear path through the jam and doesn't fill in, it means the jam is set. Continue to cook if the jam is not yet set.
* Remove the jam from the heat when it is set and transfer to a clean jar. Refrigerate it when it completely cools down. 

This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon #102 under 'Spreads' theme. Check what other marathoners are cooking, clicking at the link.


Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Gulkand - Cream Cheese Spread

I chose to go with some 'spread ' recipes for this week's blogging marathon and was looking for some traditional recipes that are doable at home with minimum fuss. I had 2 packs of cream cheese lying in the refrigerator and so initially thought of preparing a savory spread to go with bagels. My daughter suggested to go the opposite way and requested to add some date puree to make it sweeter. My daughter is not a fan of 'sweet' stuff in general and so I knew that even if I obliged her request, I would end up eating all of it. I was lazy even to puree the dates as I was making it for myself 😉 and was looking for another alternative to sweeten the cheese spread until I found a bottle of unused gulkand lying in my refrigerator.

This 'no cook' spread has only two ingredients - cream cheese and gulkand and doesn't even require a recipe. For the uninitiated, gulkand is a preserve made with a special pink colored rose petals. I used low fat cream cheese and gulkand, that I had brought from a store in Coorg from India, who support local women in promoting their homemade products. Use the ingredients in equal parts and whisk them with a fork or puree them if you are patient enough and use it as a spread. I did not even whisk them properly and so you can see bits of cheese in my spread. It tastes good even if it looks somewhat rustic, if you like the rose flavor that is.

This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon #102 under 'Spreads' theme. Check what other marathoners are cooking, clicking at the link.


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Dal Mughlai

I had come across this dal a while ago and had bookmarked it to try later. This week seemed like a right occasion to try it when I am posting 'pigeon peas' based dishes. I am not sure about the origins of this dal or whether the dal has any connection with the royal kitchens. And if indeed it is the case, this dal seems like a precursor to modern day 'dal fry' recipe. Surprisingly this dal is not a 'rich' kind where any dairy product is used as in the case of Sultani or Nawabi dals. This is more like a simple and flavorful, every day kind of dal cooked in North Indian homes without all the spice powders. The dal goes well with rotis / rice or plain pulaos.

3/4 cup pigeon peas / toor dal
1/4 cup split chickpeas / chana dal
1 cup peeled and cubed bottle gourd / lauki
1 cup chopped tomato
1/8 tsp. ground turmeric
2 tbsp. ghee / oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. garlic paste (I didn't use it.)
1 tsp. finely chopped green chillies
1 tsp. grated ginger
3/4 cup, sliced onions
Salt to taste
2 tbsp. minced cilantro to garnish

* Clean, wash and soak dals in enough water for a couple of hours and drain.
* Add the drained dals, tomato, bottle gourd pieces, turmeric and about 2 cups of water to a pressure cooker and cook for three whistles. When the valve pressure is gone, remove the lid and mash the dal well with the back of a ladle and keep aside.
* Meanwhile, heat ghee / oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. When they start to brown, add garlic, chillies, ginger and onion. Saute on low flame until the onion turns light brown.
* Add the mashed dals and salt to the pan and cook on medium flame for 3 or 4 minutes and turn off the stove.
* Garnish with cilantro and serve warm. 

This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon #101 under 'Cook 3 Side Dishes with One Ingredient' theme.