Archive for the ‘Potato’ Category

Kadappa (potatoes in a coconut-chili sauce)

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

During the summer holidays after touring a specific location we had planned earlier (Delhi, Agra,Kanyakumari etc), appa would insist on touring the temple towns in Tamilnadu before Sis and I started our new academic year. And the obvious choice is to go to Kumbakonam where there are nearly 100 temples of various gods and goddess. Villages surrounding the town of Kumbakonam has the temples for nine planets in Indian Astrology(Navagrahas).

It is said that you can count atleast 500 temples from Trichy to Kumbakonam.Apart from the visit to navagraha temples, we would visit some specific temples every time so that we would get to know the stories behind formation of each temple and the powers of the presiding deity. Visiting the temples, admiring the architecture and the beauty of the statues of gods and goddess always has a special place in my heart. When I was young, another reason for my eagerness to visit these temples were baby elephants and peacocks in the temples. Each temple would be supporting a li’ elephant according to the Hindu traditions of place of worship and my favorite part was feeding tender coconut to the baby elephants. If it was the monsoon season and if we were lucky we could see the peacocks dance.

Coming to the food part of it, each temple had is special food offered to god and then given to devotees. If it was Iyengar temples, there was this amazing puliyamsadam(Tamarind rice) and in Shiva temples it would be Samba Rice and gothsu. And by going on the temple tour, I had the chance to taste one dish made of potatoes and quite often I would forget the name of the delicacy and will pester my mom to make it when were are back home from the trip to make it with Dosas.

Even now, if I have exhausted all the options of potato masala,chutneys and sambar, I think of making the Kumbakonam Speical Kadappa. It is similar to the usual potato masala made for dosas but its got a twist. The first time I made it for my husband, he instantly liked it as it was something new and tasty.

Ingredients: (Serves-2)

Yellow Potatoes- Medium size- 3

Red onion- 1 small

Green Chilies- 2

Garlic Cloves-2

Salt- to taste

Turmeric Powder- 1/2 tsp

Cooked yellow moong dal- 1/4 cup

Water- 3 cups

Lemon Juice- 1 tbsp

To grind to a paste:

Coconut- 3 tbsp

Garlic cloves-2

Cinnamon Sticks- 2″ pieces (broken into bits)

Roastedgram (Pottukadalai)- 4 tbsp

White Poppy seeds- 3/4 tsp

Coriander seeds- 1 tsp

Green Chilies- 3

To Temper:

Oil- 1 tsp

Cumin seeds- 1 tsp

Curry Leaves- 4

Asafoetida- 1 pinch

Garnishing:

Cilantro

Method:

Finely chop the onion and garlic. Dice the potatoes into small cubes. Slit the green chilies.

Heat oil in a pan and add asafoetida. When it sizzles, add cumin seeds and curry leaves.Stir fry for a minute. Add chopped onions, garlic and slit green chilies.Stir fry till onions are transparent. Add salt, turmeric powder and cubed potatoes. Saute for a minute-two and add the 3 cups of water. Cover and let it simmer till potatoes are tender. You can also substitute boiled potatoes instead of cooking it on stove top and proceed to other steps.

Grind all the ingredients given  under the section “To grind to a paste”. Use little amount of water and make it to a smooth paste.

When the potatoes are 3/4th cooked, add the cooked moong dal and slightly  mash the dal and potatoes together with a fork/masher, keeping the flame to a medium and simmering at the same time.

Add the ground coconut paste to this potatoes-dal mixture and let it simmer for another 3-4 minutes.

I actually make kadappa like a thick sauce but you can thin it out also adding water, according to your taste.

Switch off. Add lemon juice and stir to mix. Garnish with cilantro leaves.  Serve Kadappa with Dosa or with
Idli.

Enjoy the fine taste of Kadappa, with cinnamons,poppy seeds mingled with coconut, garlic and potatoes.

This Kadappa goes to Think Spice Think Poppy Seeds Event Organized this month by Food for 7 stages of Life and started by Sunitha.

This kadappa also goes to Suma’s Veggie PlatterSide-Dish theme event.

I am also reposting another recipe, made with poppy seeds, Egg Korma for this event.

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Aloo kari patta (Roasted Potatoes with curry leaves)

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Potatoes with spices and curry leaves

The minute I saw this recipe from the new Marut Sikka cookbook I got, I wanted to try it out. Till date I havent met anyone who did not like potatoes. Whether it is simple aloo curry or dum aloo or potato podimas, potato has its own territory in my kitchen.

This aloo kari patta is a dry gravy. I kinda modified the recipe after reading it because I wanted something with a bit of liquid in it. I was glad I tried as the taste was unique and the whole house had the smell of the spices roasted for this dish. The curry leaves give the dish a mild spice taste and I have never used so many curry leaves with aloo!!

Ingredients (Serves-2)

List 1:
Coriander seeds- 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
Black peppercorns- about 12 in numbers or 1 tsp
Cardamom- 4
Cloves- 2
Cinnamon- 1 stick

List 2:

Baby Potatoes- 12 numbers
Finely chopped onions- 1 cup
Finely chopped tomato-1 number
Curry leaves- one handful
Ginger garlic paste- 1 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1 tsp
Green Chilies- 4
Lemon juice- 1 tsp
Cilantro -1 tbsp- to garnish
salt- 3/4 tsp

Method:
Dry roast the ingredients given in list 1, cool and grind to a fine powder.

Wash and peel the potatoes. You can use it as whole baby potatoes or chop them into two pieces.

Heat a pan, add oil and saute onions. When they turn golden, add curry leaves, stir fry for a minute.

Then add ginger garlic paste, salt, turmeric powder, chopped green chilies and stir fry for a minute or two till everything blends.

Now add the potatoes and the spice powder(from list 1), coat well. Add a cup of water, cover and let it boil till potatoes are tender and coated with the gravy. Add the chopped tomato at this stage, and stir fry till the gravy is a dry gravy. If you want it to be thin liquid gravy, saute for a minute after adding tomato and switch off.

Pour lemon juice on top, sprinkle with cilantro leaves and serve hot with rice or as a side dish for dosas or rotis.

I am sending this dish to Sudeshna’s Think Spice Think Turmeric Event.

I would also like to share some information about Turmeric. We(Indians) use a lot of turmeric in our cooking, for beauty, for health(as medicine and as a sanitizer) but this info I read was something new and I was bragging about it for a few days. I dont know  if  our ancestors knew this specific use of turmeric and hence included it in everyday cooking.

Referring to Readers Digest(May 2009 issue), the main topic was” Steal this: Turmeric:-health secrets from India”

The article was mainly about people using non stick pans in everyday cooking and the harmful  effects of the coating(chemical). And how do they suggest we can protect ourselves? Use Turmeric dear!! Just add a drop of  oil to the pan and add turmeric to it before cooking anything. Now thats what we call a protective coating huh?

Why you should try it: Small studies have found that curcumin, a component of turmeric, cuts cholesterol; animal research suggests it inhibits tumor formation. Now more than a dozen studies in humans are investigating whether it protects against cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases.

How to use it: Heat a little oil in a sauté pan, and toss in a tablespoon of turmeric, a dash of salt, and a generous pinch of black pepper (pepper can increase your uptake of curcumin by up to 2,000 percent). Stir for a minute, then add vegetables, shrimp, scallops, or thin strips of meat for a sunny-colored dish with earthy, peppery accents.

You can check out the article here.

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Aloo Paratha (potato flat bread/stuffed potato bread)

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Though I take care of the kitchen and cooking my husband also cooks every now and then. On saturday I had to take my qualifiers at the Uni and I was studying like anything with books all around me. With the weather so foggy and rainy hubby said he’d drop me and pick me up again after a few hours as that would give me extra time to revise on the long drive to uni. So, I took the exam, thought I did well and was already drained and tired.
But I knew I couldnt take rest and the images of unwashed dishes from lunch kept coming and then there was the decision about dinner. So hubby came back, picked me up and I sat in the car discussing about the veggies we had in the fridge and what options we had in turning them into a tasty meal or eating out.

But then, when I came back home, I was in for a surprise. There were these stacks of hot parathas waiting for me! I must admit that his parathas were a lot fuller and looked round than the ones I usually make. He didnt even mention about the parathas he’d made and there I was asking him options about dinner! He’d even taken a few photos of preparation so what could I do other than eating?

When I was visiting my sister in Dubai, she took me to a place smaller than a typical tea shop in India. The sign on the place said “Paratha King”. I was thinking it makes aloo, gobi or methi parathas or a small dhaba but little did I know that the place makes well over 100 different parathas for take out service! And the best part is all of them are vegetarian versions of paratha and no meat in any of the 100 types of paratha. The place was jammed with people and I literally didnt know what to order. The price was so affordable and the parathas were as big as a big plate(thali) fit enough to feed 2 people per paratha. The price?? For 4 people it came to a mere 28 dhirams almost $7 for the entire paratha parade! And it comes with gravies and a tangy pickle too.

If you are visiting dubai or sharjah, I would absolutely recommend that you check out this place.

I even took their menu with me to try out some of their varieties at home.

Some of their mouth-watering parathas include(but not limited to)
aloo, gobi, muli partha, schezwan noodles stuffed paratha, potato and methi, channa masala paratha, rajma paratha, mushroom and onion, paneer tikka, even chocolate partha. If you are really a spicy food lover then you must try their chili partha to test your tongue..

Ingredients for Aloo Paratha:(makes about 16 parathas)

For the filling:
Potatoes- 4
Red onions- one (small)
Peas- 1/4 cup(frozen, thawed)
Turmeric Powder- 1/2 tsp
Chopped Ginger- 1 tsp
Garam Masala Powder- 1 tsp
Salt- 1 tsp
Oil- 1 tsp
Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
Cilantro leaves- 2 tbsp

For the Parathas:
Wheat flour(chappati flour)- 2 cups and an additional 4 tbsp for rolling out parathas.
Salt- 1/2 tsp
Oil- 1/2 tsp
Water- approximately 1 cup to bind ingredients together and an additional 1/4 cup to add slowly while kneading.

Method:

For the bread:
In a wide bowl, take wheat flour and add salt and oil to it. Slowly start adding the water and knead..Time to show your anger on somebody :), knead it, mash it, toss and twist it as you go along. When the dough comes together and is not sticky, stop kneading. If the dough is sticky, sprinkle some more flour and bring it all together. Make about 16 lemon sized balls. Cover and keep aside.

For the filling:
Boil and mash potatoes. Finely chop the onions. In a pan, add oil and cumin seeds. When the seeds splutter add onions and ginger. Fry till the onions are golden brown. Add mashed potatoes, salt, turmeric powder,peas, garam masala powder and stir fry till all ingredients combine. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Mash the mixture with a potato masher again. Do not add extra water as this will only make the filling soggy. Garnish with cilantro leaves and let it cool. Divide the filling into 16 equal parts.

Putting the dish together:

Take one portion(one ball) of the wheat flour dough. Sprinkle the 4 tbsp of flour evenly on a plate.

Dip the wheat ball in the flour(so that it wont stick) and roll it into a thick round. Sprinkle some flour onto the rolling board and pin so that the dough wont stick.

Keep one portion of the filling in the middle of the rolled dough. Cover from all sides. Dip it again in the flour.

Apply slight pressure and use the rolling pin to flatten it out.

Heat a flat frying pan or tava and lay the bread on the pan. Smear some butter/ghee on the top. After about two minutes, flip it on the other side and smear some butter on top. Make sure that both sides are cooked enough and not raw or over cooked(blackened).

Serve hot with pickles, yogurt or raitha.

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