June 24, 2016

How to Make and Freeze South Indian Tomato Sauce Recipe

How to Make and Freeze South Indian Tomato Sauce Recipe Madhur Jaffrey
..let us preserve some summer sunshine by making this vibrant sauce..
Summer is here. Farmer's Markets across Bay Area are bustling with tomatoes at their absolute best and also cheapest. Summer tomatoes are so much juicier and better when compared to their ghostly, almost powdery versions of the Winter. And Now is also the best time to get to work towards preserving a little sunshine by making a batch of homemade tomato sauce and freeze in a small containers, for later use. Not necessarily for colder months to come as I am pretty sure these will be used way before that. Almost every Indian curry starts with an onion-tomato base and this sauce  compliment well with all of them. 

Today's tomato sauce recipe is a South Indian version I stumbled upon in Madhur Jaffrey's 'Vegetarian Cooking' cookbook. The ingredients are basic pantry staples and the resultant sauce is very flavorful and aromatic. For this recipe, there is no blanching or peeling of tomatoes required. Just roughly chop them into chunks, mix in other ingredients, use some muscle power and let it simmer until it reaches a sauce-like consistency. Cool, blend and store/freeze. That is it. No fancy equipment except for a blender to puree the tomato-ey mixture. 

June 10, 2016

How to make Oats Pongal (Oats With Split Mung Dal) and Tomato Gotsu Recipe

Ask any South Indian, what is his/her favorite breakfast? I am pretty sure Idli or Dosa will top the list along with Ven Pongal accompanied by a version of Coconut chutney. These are the dishes that defined our care-free childhood days. These are also the dishes we tend to go back to for comfort, time and again in some form or fashion. Today's post is about Oats Pongal, an incarnation of a traditional white rice cooked with mung dal and black peppercorns recipe. It is super simple to make, perfect for busy weekdays. A touch of ghee, grated ginger and curry leaves makes it flavorful just like its original version. The consistency of the pongal is purely of personal choice. I like mine a bit soupy while there are others who would want a little thicker. Adjust water quantity and play with various mix-ins (mentioned in the recipe below) and you have a healthy, one pot meal (for breakfast, lunch or dinner) ready in minutes. Now, a spicy side like a simple Tomato Gotsu makes the pongal even more enjoyable. If you are short on time, a blob of Indian pickle or a handful of potato chips work too. Enjoy!

June 6, 2016

[Pressure Cooker Recipes] Lauki Chana Dal | Bottle Gourd Cooked in Lentils

Piping hot dal + white rice (chawal) is a combination made in heaven. There are numerous ways to prepare a dal in Indian cuisine incorporating different kinds of veggies and spices. Today's recipe - Lauki Chana Dal (Bottle Gourd Cooked in Lentils) uses split bengal gram, bottle gourd also known as opo squash and my handy, best friend in the kitchen - a pressure cooker. I know it is one of those cooking equipments with a bad rep but it is making a comeback thankfully with many fool-proof, safety features. Did you know when compared to conventional cooking, most foods cook 70% faster (here's the proof) when using a pressure cooker. No wonder I love it so much especially on crazy weekdays when whipping up a simple meal seems like a big chore. Food taste better too, don't you think with all the aromatics, juices and nutrients trapped inside the pot. If you don't have one already, I would highly recommend it and there are tons of delicious recipes that you can make in minutes. Now, let's jump on the dal recipe. Shall we?

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