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21 January 2014

Vegetable a la carte...

I believe that every man should learn how to prepare his favorite food.

Even though I am a good cook, I like cooking (check out all the blog posts in this section.) and I cook regularly, I must confess that I did not follow this basic advice that I gratuitously disburse to others.

Being from the state of Kerala, my favorite food item is 'Puttu' (Prepared by mixing rice powder and coconut and steaming the same in a special vessel) and 'Kadala Curry' (described in this recipe). I never learned how to prepare 'Kadala Curry'.
Puttu with Kadala Curry - Kerala

The reason I did not learn to prepare Kadala (black chana dal) Curry till now is that the preparation is a bit messy. I prefer to cut all the vegetables, fry a bit of onion and tomato in Oil along with Masala, mix the vegetables, pour some water and cook it is medium heat for about 15 minutes. And the vegetable fry is ready. 

Unlike this, the Kadala curry has four steps. Step 1 is boiling Kadala, step 2 is frying a mix of coconut and stuff, Step 3 is grinding the fried mix and Step 4 is to add the ground paste to the boiled Kadala. boil the mix and finally add garnishing....It is messy.

But I like Kadala Curry. I cannot go on pretending to be a cook and not knowing how to prepare Kadala Curry. I had to do something about it.

So I checked up the recipe in You tube and here is my Kadala Curry recipe. This tastes best with Puttu made from 'Brahmins Puttu Podi'

Part 1: Boil the Kadala
Black Chana Dal

Ingredients
  1. Kadala (Black Chana Dal) - 50 Gram
  2. Onion Chopped - 1 cups
  3. Garlic Powder - 1/2 tea spoon
  4. Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 tea spoon
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Water
Preparation
  1. Soak the Kadala in water for about 12 hours
  2. Add all the ingredients in a Pressure Cooker and Boil for about 10 Whistles
  3. Switch off the heater and allow to cool
Step 2: Prepare the Paste

Ingredients
  1. Oil - 1 table spoon
  2. Grated Coconut - 1/4 Cup
  3. Chopped Onion - 1/2 Cup
  4. Cinnamon Stick - 1/2 inch long
  5. Coriander Seed - 2 tea spoon
  6. Coriander Powder - 1 tea spoon
  7. Fennel seed ('Perum Jeerakam' in Malayalam and 'Saunf' in Hindi) 1 teaspoon

Preparation
  1. Heat oil in a frying pan.
  2. Add coconut, onion, coriander seeds, cinnamon sticks and fennel seeds
  3. Fry till coconut turns golden brown
  4. Add coriander powder and fry for one minute
  5. Switch off the heater and allow the mix to cool.
Step 3 Grind
  1. Once the above mix (prepared in step 2) is cool, grind the same in a grinder to a fine paste. Add water as necessary.
Step 4. Mix and Boil

Ingredients
  1. Chopped Tomato - 1 tomato chopped (Optional)
  2. Garam Masala - 1 tea spoon
    Masher
Preparation
  1. Add the above mix to the boiled chana
  2. Add tomatoes
  3. Boil for about 5 minutes. 
  4. Mash the mix using a Masher to get a good consistency
  5. Add Garam Masala
  6. Boil for another 5 minutes
  7. Switch the heater off and keep aside


Step 5: Garnish

Ingredients
  1. Oil - 1 table spoon
  2. Mustard seeds - 1 tea spoon
  3. Dried Red chilli - 2-3 numbers
  4. Curry Leaves - 5-6 leaves washed thoroughly
Preparation
  1. Heat Oil in a Frying Pan
  2. Add mustard till it cracles
  3. Add Red Chilli
  4. Add Curry Leaves
  5. Once the garnish is ready, add it to the masala prepared in Step 4 above.
Your Kadala Curry is ready. 

Smells heavenly, doesn't it?

Enjoy with Puttu...

PS: I ate it with Puttu. It tasted heavenly. It was as if I had arrived as a Cook. By preparing Kadala Curry, I had climbed the ultimate 'Cook Mountain'. That it tasted just like my mom would have made added to my glow and satisfaction. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have arrived as a cook.

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