December 20, 2021

Methi na Gota | Methi Pakora | Fenugreek Fritters - Gujurati cuisine


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 Methi na Gota / Methi Bajjiya or methi na pakora is a classic winter delicacy and a popular Street food in Gujurat and Bombay. Even though fresh fenugreek is now available all round the year, there is always a special place for the tender and fresh methi available during winters.

Methi na gota doesn't require any fancy ingredients or preparations as we will invariably have the ingredients in our pantry supply . The main ingredients are gram flour/besan and sooji/semolina with added spices and fresh fenugreek leaves .

I have had these amazingly tasty and delicious pakoras many a times since my childhood.  Come winters,  these methi gotas are always a part of the meal or as tea time snack in most gujju homes .  Carrot halwa and methi na gota are inseparable delicacies during winter. 

Crispy from outside and spongy from inside,these fenugreek Fritters are a perfect treat  on chill evenings and makes it an awesome appetiser or party pleaser option for all kinds of parties and holiday get togethers .

You may serve them with Dates Tamarind Chutney and Green chutney or even a cup of piping hot masala tea makes it an enjoyable experience with friends and family .


Preparation Time -15 mins
Frying Time- 20 mins
Complexity - Simple 
Serves - 3 to 4

Ingredients 
1 cup gram flour/ besan
1/4 cup semolina/rava
1/2 cup finely chopped methi Leaves
1/4 cup finely chopped corriander 
1 tsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp turmeric 
1 tsp red chilli powder 
1 tsp white sesame seeds 
1/4 tsp jeera/cumin
1/2 tsp sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt as needed 
1/4 tsp cooking soda 
Water to make the batter 
Oil to deep fry 

Method 


  • In a wide mixing bowl,mix the gram flour,salt,semolina, turmeric and red chilli powder. 
  • To this add the freshly chopped corriander, methi ,ginger and sesame seeds .
  • Mix it well with a spoon and make a batter of dropping consistency by adding water little by little .whisk it well to form a lump free batter.
  • Let the batter rest for 10 mins while you heat up the oil for frying.
  • Just before frying add the lemon juice,  soda and sugar . Whisk the batter quickly and drop small balls of batter in the hot oil . Donot over crowd the frying pan.  Fry on medium flame until they turn crispy and golden brown.
  • Drain the pakoras carefully and serve hot with chutney and tea.  

Some more must have winter delicacies 

Gajar Halwa / Carrot Halwa 

Doodhi (bottle gourd) Halwa 

Doodhi Muthiyas (steamed)

Cabbage Methi Pakoras 

Methi Pooris 

Methi Dal 

December 18, 2021

Thiruvadhirai Kali - Traditional prasadam for Lord Shiva


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 Thiruvadhirai Kali is a special offering made to lord shiva / Nataraja in the holy Tamil month of Dhanur /Margargashira/ Margazhi .  Kali and kootu are offered as prasadam on the holy festive occasion of Arudra Darshanam. 

Kali is a sweet dish made from broken rice,  jaggery and flavored with cardamom powder and garnished with cashews nuts fried in ghee . I donot use moong dhall in my version of kali while some families make use of some moong dhall (paasi paruppu) too while preparing kali .

Kali is paired with a special and yet another traditional curry called 7 kari kootu / Thalagam(recipe already on my blog)  made from fresh native vegetables .  The sweet kali and spicy kootu hit the right notes while eating and makes it a very divine and a pleasurable experience.  

This recipe of preparing the kali is very simple and doesn't require much experience.  Even beginners can prepare this and dish out the perfect kali without any hassles.  

In 2021 Arudra Darshanam falls on Monday, 21 Dec


Preparation Time - 20 mins
Cooking Time - 20 mins
Serves - 2 to 3
Complexity - easy 

Ingredients 
1 cup rice
1.5 cups grated jaggery
1 tsp cardamom powder
Few cashews 
3 - 4 tbsp ghee
3.5 cups water 
2 tbsp fresh grated coconut 

Method 

Preparing the broken rice 

  • Wash the rice under running water and drain it in a colander for 10 mins
  • Roast this rice in a dry kadai until it turns slightly pink and crisp.  Cool and blend it in a blender till you get a consistency like rava. (Has to be coarse and grainy not like a flour) 

Preparing Kali 

  • In a thick bottomed vessel heat 1tbsp ghee and fry the cashews until golden brown. 
  • Add the water and bring it to a rolling boil while you add the jaggery . Wait until it melts .
  • As the jaggery syrup is boiling,add the broken rice slowly and keep stirring to avoid the lumps . Break the lumps in case you feel them.
  • Close the kadai and cook on medium flame for 10mins .
  • Open the lid carefully after 10 mins and you can see the water has been fully absorbed by the rice and the kali is well cooked resembling the texture of upma. Turn off the stove. 
  • Add the remaining ghee, cardamom powder and grated coconut.  Mix it well ,keep covered for 5 to 10 mins to let the flavors steep in .
  • Delicious kali is ready to be offered as prasadam.  Prepare the 7 kari kootu also simultaneously and offer it to Lord Nataraja .

 

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December 13, 2021

Araichuvitta Sambar - Tamil Nadu special


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 Sambar is a quintessential item on the daily menu . There are varities of sambar we make on a day to day basis and the recipe slightly varies in each home to match the taste and liking of the family. 

Every home will have a stock of the staple sambar masala or sambar podi as we call in Tamil in the pantry . This is the most essential ingredient to make a delicious sambar .

Araichuvitta Sambar is a typical and traditional recipe from Tamil Nadu.  We prepare a fresh spice mix and grind it with coconut and make sambar using this aromatic and flavorful spice mix.  Araichivitta sambar is made on special occasions like festivals or functions and even marriages.  

Araikardhu in Tamil means grinding..since we grind a fresh masala ,this sambar is known as Araichuvitta Sambar . 

For araichuvitta sambar , we roast the dry spices until crisp and aromatic.  This is then ground along with fresh coconut to a fine paste.  Mixed vegetables are par boiled and then simmered in tamarind water until the raw flavor is lost to which is added the boiled thoor dhall and the coconut paste . The entire mixture is simmered until the dal and coconut mix blend well and you can experience a wonder aroma envelope your kitchen.  Lastly ,freshly prepared tempering of mustard seeds and asafoetida is poured over the piping hot sambar.  Serve it with hot rice and a nice stir fry of your choice . 



Preparation Time - 15 mins 
Cooking Time - 20 mins
Serves - 3 to 4
Complexity - medium 

Ingredients 

To roast & grind
2 tbsp dhaniya /corriander seeds 
1 tbsp channa dal 
1/4 tsp pepper corns 
Few fenugreek seeds 
4 to 5 dry red  chillies 
Few curry leaves 
3 tbsp fresh coconut 

For the sambar 
Chopped mixed vegetables (beans, carrot, ash gourd , capsicum , potato)
1 cup tamarind extract 
1/2 cup thoor dhall 
Salt as needed
Pinch of jaggery 
1tsp mustard seeds 
Pinch of asafoetida 

Method 


  • Par boil the chopped vegetables in 1 cup water with a little salt .
  • Pressure cook the thoor dhall with turmeric. The dhall must be mushy and soft . Adjust water accordingly. I normally use 2 cups of water for 1/2 cup thoor dhall and pressure cook for 3 whistles on medium flame .
  • Roast all the ingredients in 1tsp oil ( under the roast & grind ) except the coconut. Start with the channa dhall followed by the dhaniya,  curry leaves,  fenugreek seeds ,pepper and then red chillies. let it cool , then add the fresh coconut and grind it to a fine paste with sufficient water.


  • Add the tamarind extract to the par boiled vegetables and boil until the tamarind loses it raw flavor . 
  • While the tamarind is simmering ,add the mashed thoor dhall ,adjust salt and bring to a rolling boil .
  • Add the coconut masala paste, quickly stir to mix it well .continue cooking until you see the sambar frothing . Be very attentive and keep stirring else the coconut paste has a tendency to stick to the bottom and burn giving a very bad taste.  Cook on low flame .
  • Once you see the sambar frothing and bubbling add the jaggery and fresh chopped corriander and turn off. 
  • Prepare a tempering of mustard seeds in hot oil with asafoetida and fresh curry leaves and pour it over the araichuvitta sambar .
  • Serve hot with rice,  ghee , vegetable stir fry and some papads.  I served Cabbage Peas stir fry alongside the araichuvitta sambar.