Thursday, October 30, 2008

Keera molagootal

This is the quintessential Kerala Iyer comfort food. I make keera molagootal so often that my blog feels incomplete without giving it a mention. Stated very simply, it is a gravy that is made by combining cooked spinach with a mildly spiced coconut-chilli mix and tuar dal. It is almost always served as an accompaniment to rice, though some people(including yours truly) also serve it with rotis.
What you need:
Spinach - any kind - 1 bunch (Iam partial to red spinach) - chopped fine
Tuar dal - 1 cup, cooked
To grind :
Red chilli - 3
Urad dal - 2 tsp
Fresh grated coconut - 3/4 cup

Heat a tsp of oil. Fry the urad dal and red chilli in it until reddish brown. Let it cool and then grind it to a smooth paste along with the coconut.
Take the chopped spinach in a kadai. Add sufficient water, turmeric powder and salt. Let it boil until the spinach is well cooked and soft. Mash it a little with a masher or the back of a ladle at this point. Stir in the ground mixture and let it boil for 5-6 minutes or until the raw smell goes away. Add the cooked tuar dal and heat for a minute or two.
Heat a tsp of coconut oil. Season it with some urad dal and mustard seeds. When the seeds sputter, pour it over the molagootal.
Molagootal is usually served with rice. Since it is not too spicy and has no tamarind to add tanginess, it is accompanied by either a tangy rasam or spicy thogayal or pachadi. I like my molagootal to be paired with spicy mango pickle.
Molagootal can also be made using other vegetables like ash gourd, snake gourd, carrot, potato and cabbage. The difference between keera molagootal and molagootal made with other veggies lies in the ingredients that are ground together. One of my earlier posts on cabbage molagootal has the recipe that can be followed while using other veggies.

This goes to Sra who is hosting the 4th helping of My Legume Love Affair which was started by Susan.
It also goes to Suganya's Vegan Ventures, Round 2.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

From Chitra Amma's kitchen to mine

Have you ever seen something and then craved it so badly that you set out to make it even though you do not have enough of the main ingredient?

That's what happened to me once I saw Dibs' recipe for Bournvita fudge. The fact that I had only a teeny weeny bit of maida in the pantry did nothing to deter me from trying it out. I used half a cup of maida and half a cup of besan and proceeded with the recipe. This is an absolutely fantastic dish which is guaranteed to disappear even before it is completely cooled. I heated it a little longer than Dibs suggests because I wanted it to be of burfi consistency. Despite using the tiniest glass in my home to measure out the ingredients, I was able to turn out a decent number of fudge squares.
This recipe is definitely a keeper. Thank you Dibs.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Rambling and some soup

It is finally goodbye to hot, humid days in Chennai. The weather has taken a turn for the better. I love the rains despite the water logged roads and the exorbitant rates that the auto drivers charge citing that as an excuse. My daughter and I love the puddles of water that collect outside our apartment. She screeches in joy and jumps wholeheartedly into those puddles while I, being the adult in the relationship, have to be content with just looking on and wishing I could jump up and down without having the other apartment dwellers think that I've gone completely nuts. As it is, I get enough gyan from onlookers about how unhealthy it is to let my little girl play with natural resources. But that's the subject of another post and I do enough of that on my other blog.
So, let's talk about a warm, comforting bowl of sweet corn soup that's just perfect for the kind of weather that we Chennaites are enjoying right now.

What you need:
Sweet corn - 2 cups, cooked
Milk - half a cup(optional)
Garlic - a few cloves

Keep aside some of the corn and then grind all the other ingredients together. Add in the corn that you'd set aside, let everything simmer on low heat for a few minutes and serve hot.

I don't have one decent pic of this soup to share. All that I have are five blurs of white light ranging from bright to not so bright. Does anybody have any tried and tested pointers on shooting reasonably good pictures of liquids???

Oh....and here's some more cool news for Chennaites. There's now a website where you can make restaurant reservations and order food online. For details, check out

I am extremely late in acknowledging some awards that have been sent my way by fellow bloggers. Am thankful to Madhavi for the Good job award, and Sowmya for the Butterfly Award.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Saam Savera

I recently had this dish called Saam Savera at a Gujarati restaurant and absolutely loved it. So much so that I wanted to recreate it at home. This is an original recipe to the extent that I tasted the curry, guessed what went into it and then a week later, trusted my memory to remember that taste and set about making it. The result is a non-oily yet delicious curry that goes well with rotis.

What you need:
Spinach - 1 bunch, washed and blanched/microwaved on high for 4 minutes
Onion - 1, chopped
Tomato -1, chopped
Garlic - 4 or 5 cloves, chopped
Green chilli - 1, minced (optional)
Ginger - a small piece
Carrot - 1, chopped fine and cooked
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Corriander seeds - 1tsp
Milk - 1/2 cup

Heat a tsp of oil. Roast the cumin and corriander seeds until lightly browned. Add in the chilli, garlic, ginger, onion and tomato and fry for a few minutes until the raw smell is gone. Let it cool and then grind it along with the blanched spinach and milk to a smooth paste.
Transfer the gravy to a kadai. Add the cooked carrots, salt, turmeric powder and garam masala. Let it simmer on low heat for a few minutes.Njoy!!!