Apple Chutney (Apple thokku)


Is it raining apples in your place ?? It is….in mine 🙂 Though I love apples in any form, shape and color, be it red delicious, gala, fuji, empire…I am a die-hard granny smither 🙂 The perfectly tart , mildly sweet, crunchy party in my mouth. A sprinkle of salt and red chilli powder on the slices of  a granny smith can take me back to my school days, when breaks were about devouring the green mango wedges generously rubbed with salt and chilli powder.  So, I was thinking , why not make the traditional “Manga thokku” using green apples. Few years back I learned to make Green Mango thokku from a friend’s mother-in-law. I extended that recipe to the green apples now and it turned out awesome… !

Thokku is usually served with yogurt rice or dal rice. The spicy and tart thokku compensates for the mild rice. However, it can also be used as a spread for breads and wraps. I made mine super spicy and super tart, if you would prefer a milder version, reduce the spices and use a less tart apple.

  • I used two granny smith apples and an 1 inch piece of ginger.

Image

  •  Peel and grate the apples. Also grate the ginger.

Image

  • To season, you’ll need :
  1. Turmeric – 2 tsp.
  2. Red chilli powder – 3 or 4 tsp.
  3. Garam Masala – 2 tsp (Pumpkin pie spice mix can be used otherwise)
  4. Ground black pepper – 1tsp.
  5. Brown Sugar (vellam) – 1 tbsp.
  6. Grated ginger – 2tsp.
  7. Salt to taste

Image

  • Heat 2 tbsp. of oil in a pot and fry the grated ginger.

Image

  • Then add the grated apples and saute.

Image

  • Saute for a minute and when the juices come out add all the spices.

Image

  • Mix well and continue to cook until the raw smell of the masalas go away and the chutney thickens and becomes glossy.

Image

Image

This is a flavor packed multi-purpose chutney, just one drop is sure to awaken all your taste buds.

Image

Advertisements

Green Pasta


Image

No, its not halloween and this is not one of Dr.Seuss’s recipes 🙂 Its just pasta with some stir fried green veggies and a simple green chutney.

  • I am using angel hair pasta. Any pasta , noodles or vermicelli will do. Cook the pasta according to box instructions. Image
  • To make the green chutney you will need a bunch of mint leaves and a bunch of cilantro. If you get cilantro with thin stems, use the stems too as they are packed with flavor.

Image

  • You will also need green chillies and ginger.

Image

  • Heat oil in a pan  and saute the green chillies and ginger and then saute the mint and cilantro.

Image

  • Allow them to cool for a couple of minutes and then grind them to a chutney. Add little water if needed.

Image

  • For the stir fry I am using green peppers and green peas. I also have one jalapeno, seeds removed and thinly sliced.

Image

  • Heat oil in the pan and saute the veggies.

Image

  • Add the pasta to the pan for a quick saute.

Image

  • Add the green chutney and mix well.

Image

  • Keep mixing until every angel hair has its good share of the chutney.

Image

Sprinkle some parmesan if you wish. (This is a very simple recipe with the basic green chutney. The chutney is multi purpose, it can be used in sandwiches, wraps or even as salad dressing.)

Image

Tomato Chutney


Two ingredients. Two steps….. A chutney that is too good.

  • Red chillies, Campari tomatoes cut in half. (Any thin skinned tomatoes will work)

Image

  • In a wok, heat 3 tsp. of oil and roast the red chilles.

Image

  • Keep the roasted chillies aside and in the same wok, place the tomatoes in a single layer, with the cut side facing up. Roast for 3-4 minutes.

Image

  • Turn the tomato halves and roast for another 5 minutes.

Image

  • Flip one more time if needed and roast thouroughly.

Image

  • Grind the roasted red chillies and the roasted tomatoes with salt to a paste. Serve the chutney with dosas or idlis or puris. You can also spread the chutney on bread and toast it.

Image

Idli podi (or molaga podi or chammandhi podi or..)


Call it any name , the taste never fails. I’ve always loved the combination of idli and podi(who doesn’t), this particular recipe is from my mom’s mom. This is more intense, more flavorful and more salivating 🙂 There are a few brands of podi available in stores (in NJ that is, I am sure there are more options in India), but I usually find them to be either very mild or they look very reddish as if the red chillies are raw. This recipe is very simple, so I always make it at home.
Image
If you just want a basic podi…these are the only ingredients you need.
Urad dhal – 1 cup (you can use urad dhal without the peel too)
Channa dhal – 1 cup
dry red chillies – 2cups (loosely packed)
Image
These are just embellishments that add more layers of flavor. You don’t have to add these for a simple podi. If you are adding sesame seeds, the shelf life is less.Sesame seeds (black, brown or white) – 1 cup ; Garlic cloves – a few
Image
Heat a pan and dry toast the lentils (urad dhal and channa dhal). Do not add oil, just toast them dry for a few minutes, until you get the flavor and the urad dhal becomes slightly pinkish.(Make sure to keep stirring to avoid burnt lentils).Image
Set the toasted lentils aside. Heat 1 tsp of oil and toast the chillies until they slightly change in color (again no burning).
Image
Toast the sesame seeds in a tsp of oil.
Image
Roast the garlic in a tsp of oil.
Image
Let everything cool down for atleast 30 minutes. Then dry grind it to a coarse powder.
Image
Add salt only after grinding. The right texture should be like beach sand, if you add salt while grinding, it will add moisture.
 Image
Hot idlis, podi, sesame oil and a cup of good Madras coffee…..mmmm….what a wonderful life !!
Image
You can also add podi to spice up the idli upma.
Image
Make “crispy idli fingers” (cut the idlis into finger shaped pieces and coat them with the podi and oil mix and shallow fry them. You won’t believe how crisp they come out.)Image