March 15, 2015

Orange Peel Pachadi/Chutney

How to make Orange Peel Pachadi/Chutney

          The skin/peel of many fruits and vegetables can be used to cook a variety of dishes. It's one way to use up the nutrients & fiber, which would otherwise go to waste. Once you try cooking with the peels, you will discover that, it takes the dish to a whole new level. In some households, the peels are simply cooked as an economic choice. Either way, I'm all in when it comes to cooking with peels. Here's an aromatic, lip-smacking Pachadi, which can be made using the peel of a Navel Orange or Kamala Orange. No matter which variety you use; make sure the peel is thick & fleshy. Organic is best; if unavailable, use a Veggie wash to remove any pesticide residue.

           In the Tamil language, there is a phrase called 'Arusuvai Unavu', which means 'Six Flavors'. A good Tamil feast is supposed to include six flavors into it. Those six flavors being - 

Inippu - Sweet - ex: sugar, starchy foods
Pulippu - Sour - ex: citrus fruits, buttermilk
Uvarppu - Salty - ex: all salty foods
Kaarppu - Pungent/Hot - ex: peppers, ginger
Kasappu - Bitter - ex: bitter gourd, neem flowers
Thuvarppu - Astringent - ex: pomegranate, betel leaves

           This recipe is definitely one of those dishes, which has all six of the flavors in it. Our daily schedules are so hectic, many, do not even have time for a decent sit-down meal; leave alone a six-flavor meal; the best we can do is to incorporate a six-flavor dish when possible. We are, what we eat, after all!

Orange skin pachadi

Ingredients for 4 servings:

1 Cup of chopped Orange peel (Navel Orange or Kamala Orange) 
1 Tbsp, Tamarind Paste or about 1 Cup of Tamarind extract
1 Tbsp, crushed Jaggery
2 Tbsp of Oil
1 Tsp, Mustard seeds
1/8 Tsp, Asafoetida/Hing
1/8 Tsp, Turmeric powder
A sprig of Curry leaves
About a Cup of water
Salt to taste

To roast in oil & grind:

1/2 Tbsp, broken Urad dal
1 or 2, dry red chillies
Chopped or grated Coconut, about 1 Tbsp

cooking with Orange peel

March 1, 2015

Uthappam Batter

How to make the Uthappam Batter

          Not many of us are aware that the Uthappam batter is different from the Dosa batter. We tend to make Uthappam's with our ordinary Idli/Dosa batter. And that's not bad either, until you try the real Uthappam. A few years ago, I was blissfully ignorant of the same! Then I gave this recipe a try from a Mallika Badrinath's cookbook. My better half - the connoisseur of my kitchen, gave it a double thumbs up saying that it tasted just like it would, in a good south indian restaurant. It has since become a regular for our weeknight dinners. There are no limits to how many varieties of Uthappam can be made, just by switching the toppings. The picture below doesn't do justice to the Uthappam, You should try it for yourself to really know how good it is. Try Thakkali kai thuvayal, Tomato Coconut Sambhar & Thengai-Pottukadalai Chutney to accompany your uthappams. Sharing this spongy recipe with my friends at CCChallenge.

Onion Uthappam, Onion-Chilli Uthappam, Oothappam, Uthappam Batter

Ingredients for 8 to 10 servings:

Raw rice - 2 Cups
Par boiled rice/Idli rice - 2 Cups
Black gram dal/Urad dal - 1/2 Cup
Red gram dal/Toor Dal - 1/4 Cup
Fenugreek seeds/Vendhayam/Methi seeds - 1 Tsp
Salt to taste
Oil as needed
2 to 3 Onions - finely chopped
4 to 6 Green chillies - finely sliced
Coriander leaves - finely chopped (Optional)

Onion Uthappam, Onion-Chilli Uthappam, Oothappam, Uthappam Batter

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