Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Happy Tamil New Year!

        I wish all my readers Happy Tamil New Year!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Keerai Sundal with black-eyed peas and Kale

         Keerai sundal is usually made with more fibrous kind of spinach, which do not disintegrate easily upon cooking. Keerai sundal is made with Agathi keerai. I have not seen it in the market in the US. I decided to try this dish with Kale leaves. I guess it would work with Swiss chard too. Kale has thick fibrous stem which will not be good in this type of preparation so I cut out the stems and thick veins after washing the leaves. I was going to make black-eyed peas separately but thought I would try them together. They make a great pair. So, this recipe is for keeps.

Kale keerai with black-eyed peas Sundal

Kale chopped  3 cups
dry black eyed peas 1/2 cup
mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
urad dal 2 tsps
oil for tempering( sesame oil preferred)
asafoetida/ hing/ perungayam  1/4 tsp
cooking soda(optional)  a pinch
salt to taste
Dry grind:

fresh grated coconut   1 tbsp
red chillies  2-3
cumin/jeeragam  1/2 tsp

 1.Soak the black-eyed peas for 30 minutes. Drain the soaking water and cook with a little water and salt in a pressure cooker. The peas should be cooked but not mushy.
2.Grind grated coconut, red chillies and cumin in a mixer grinder without adding water.Pulse it so that it becomes a powder semi-wet.
3.Wash the Kale, remove the thick veins and stem. Chop the leaves medium fine. Add cooking soda and 1/2 cup water and cook on low heat with lid on. Stir from time to time adding more water(little by little) to cook as the water evaporates. It takes about 8-10 minutes to cook as the leaves are thick. When the Kale is cooked, let any water left evaporate by leaving it on simmer with lid off, takes about 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
4. In a deep pan, heat oil and pop the mustard seeds, add the urad dal and  asafoetida. Once the dal turns red add the Kale, salt to taste and stir. Add the black eyed peas and the dry ground mixture. Mix well and take off heat.

   Kale keerai sundal with black-eyed peas is ready. It tastes great alone or with any south indian dish served with rice. Susvaad.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ragda Patties

           Who would have thought that fast food could be healthy and taste this good? Ragda Patties is now on my 'love it' list. It is easy to make, tastes good, kids love it and it's healthy. Is it even real you ask? It is. I remember eating this first years back in Wadala Mumbai, made lovingly by a Gujju neighbor. After that I didn't get to taste this or make this until recently. I have often seen recipes of Ragda patties in many blogs and my friend makes this on a regular basis. I had in my memory the glorious first time experience in Mumbai. With that in mind, I decided to go with the flow and make it to suit my family's taste. It is quite a filling dish and although it is usually served as a snack food. It makes for a great dinner too.

Ragda Patties
White vatana/ pigeon peas dried whole yellow peas 2cups
onion     1 big
cumin-corinader powder 1 1/2 tsps
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
chilli powder   1 tsp
salt to taste
jaggery  1/2 tsp
Oil  1 tsp

potatoes  3 big
3 slices of whole wheat bread
salt to taste
Oil for shallow frying

Condiments:(store bought)
Tamarind-date chutney 1/2 cup
green chilli chutney    2 tbsps or per taste
garlic chutney (optional)/tomato-mint chutney as needed
fine sev for crunch  1/2 cup
Coriander leaves chopped  1/2 cup

1. Soak the peas / vatana at least 5-6 hours in water. Rinse and cook in a pressure cooker with water,turmeric powder and a little salt.
2. In a deep pan, heat a little oil and saute onions till translucent. Add the cooked peas, add the other ingredients for the Ragda and let cook together for 3-4 minutes. Take off heat and set aside.

1. Dip the slices of bread in water and squeeze out the water completely.
2. Boil the potatoes along with the vatana / peas but separately. Peel and mash the potatoes.
3. Knead the potatoes and bread together, add salt as needed .
4. Make medallion size patties with this mixture.
5.Heat oil in a shallow frying pan ,shallow fry the patties on both sides till they are crisp on the outside and hold firm. Drain and  place on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.

Place about 3-4 patties on a plate. Ladle a big spoonful of Ragda on each patties. Add a spoon full of tamarind date chutney,green chilli chutney and  garlic chutney. Finally top it with some crunchy sev, finely chopped coriander and serve. Susvaad.