NO Onion – NO Garlic PUMPKIN DAL recipe| Gummadikaaya Pappu Recipe| Red Lentils Soup with Pumpkin Recipe| Gluten-free Lentil Soup with Pumpkin

It’s the Pumpkin season! Closer we are getting to Thanksgiving, my email feed is being stuffed up with recommendations of Pumpkin recipes. While pumpkin occupies a huge part on the tables at homes across the world in the form of pancakes,cakes, pies and warm winter soups, Indian cuisine owned this orange fleshy goodness with an unique adaa in the form of comforting dals or humble curries. Did you hear about the quintessential dish from Andhra cuisine, `Gummadikaya Pulsu‘? Will share the dish once I nail the recipe. Somehow I forget to pick up this vegetable on regular market visits. Now that I am adamant to relish this famous vegetable in all the myriad tastes, I am sure you’ll find more recipes around this golu-molu vegetable here.

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There is an other variant – the white pumpkin which is usually savoured in the form of a sweet, halwa or a vadiyams (fryums). The halwa is a pretty time consuming task hence got only cameo roles during festive occasions, Sankranthi most often. ;P And the fried vadiyams, favorites from childhood are beauties! Crushing and mixing them on the top of steaming hot white rice in the company of ghee is a food habit I picked up from mom which she picked up from grand ma. More and more I learn about food habits that define and differentiate our taste preferences and cuisines, I have been growing eager to dig up the anthropology of Indian food. How incredible it is that one life is just not enough to savour food in its uncountable forms! 😀

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November is the month of no onion and no garlic addendum, a practice which I couldn’t come to terms with any rationale till date. Would be happy to hear if you have any idea about this. Fed up looking at mom’s plate with plain dal or rice since the start of this month (Karteeka, its called in Telugu Calendar), I took it upon myself as a challenge to break the monotony. I wanted to have both dal and pumpkin curry one day and I was too lazy and thought why not mix them both, which brought Pumpkin Dal to the table. While I usually steam vegetables and add tadka for no onion, no garlic versions of curries, I wondered if a dal would sing the right tunes without the magic of garlic and onions. This recipe of Pumpkin Dal surprised me in all ways reimbursing belief in conjuring good dishes even without the usual ingredients. I have adapted Swasthi’s recipe from here.

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Ingredients:

1 cup chopped Pumpkin

½ cup lentils ( Here, I used Masoor Dal aka Red lentils)

3- 6 green chillies (adjust according to your spice levels and hotness of a mirchi)

2 medium sized chopped Tomatoes

¼ cup Evaporated/Pasteurized Milk

1 tbsp Mustard Oil

Salt (to taste)

Spices:

15-20 nos peppercorn

1/8 tsp Asafoetida

Handful of curry leaves

½ tsp Cumin seeds

¼ tsp Turmeric

Procedure:

  1. 1.Pressure cook lentils with 1.5 cups of water and chopped pumpkin with peppercorns, green chillies for 3-4 whistles. If you are using split pigeon pea or bengal gram, soak the dal before cooking so that it mashes up easily within 3-4 whistles.
  2. Add mustard oil into a heated up pan. Followed by asafoetida, cumin seeds and turmeric.
  3. As the cumin crackle, add chopped tomatoes. Cook them in medium flame until tomatoes come together mushy.
  4. Now, pour milk into it and simmer for 5 mins.
  5. To this, add the pressure cooked pumpkin-lentil mixture along with salt.
  6. Let the dal boil in low flame along with the tadka for 2-3 minutes and adjust the consistency of the dal with water.

I had paired it up with sauteed greens along with steamed rice. It tasted good with phulkas/rotis as well.

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Note: One could swap normal milk for coconut milk.

Did you try this recipe? Would love to hear about trial. Tag your dish @9sowmya9 with the hashtag #tadkatales on Instagram.

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Vankaya Pachi Pulusu Recipe| Fasting recipe |Indian Style Eggplant Salsa| Instant Roasted Eggplant recipe| 15min recipe| Andhra Style Festive Recipe

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Some days, we devour for the most simplest recipes with almost no cooking involved. This is such one absolute beaut. Roasted brinjals are quite famous for making Bhartha. Today’s recipe uses roasted eggplants in the simplest way. A sweet and sour dip style curry with a hint of chillies, this makes the best companion for the lazy days!

Ingredients:

200 gm White Brinjals (5-6 no.  medium sized)

1/4cup Tamarind Extract (from lemon sized tamarind pulp)

2 nos. Green Chillies

2 tbsp Grated Jaggery

2 tbsp Chopped Onions

1tbsp Chopped Fresh Coriander Leaves

Salt to taste

Ghee (just enough to coat the brinjals)

Water (1/2 cup to 1 cup)

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Method:

  1. Wash and dry the brinjals. You could as well pat them dry with a cloth.
  2. Prick it with a fork on couple of places.
  3. Grease the brinjal with ghee and roast over low heat using the mesh pan or you can place them directly over the stove. Flip them to all sides, to make sure it gets cooked evenly. This might take 5- 10mins. (depends on the size of brinjals and the size of mesh pan).
  4. As they cool down, peel of the skin and mash the pulp with your hand or a fork.
  5. Take a bowl and add mashed brinjal pulp, grated jaggery, tamarind extract, green chillies, salt.Add half a cup to one cup of water and adjust the consistency of the salsa.
  6. Adjust the salt and top it up with fresh coriander leaves.
  7. Serve it with hot rice or steamed mung dal rice.

Ghee is often used in festive recipes. This is optional and you could avoid ghee while roasting eggplants. This recipe tastes well with white brinjals. It is usually paired up with steamed mung dal rice, called ‘Athesira Annam’ in Andhra region. This rice item is usually paired up with Vankaya Pachi Pulsu or eaten plain with a huge dollop of ghee. Simple and comforting food, all together!

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Notes:

  1. Charring green chillies is optional. Poke a hole and smear oil before roasting them. If you don’t poke a hole or make a small slit, the chilli would pop on the stove. Freshly chopped chillies could also be added.
  2. You can add tempering to the dip. Heat oil/ghee in a pan. Add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add the cumin seeds and urad dal and let the dal turn red. Add the red chillis, hing and curry leaves, fry for a few more seconds. Pour the tempering into the mashed up dip.
  3. You could add some roasted sesame seed powder for enhanced taste.

Raju Gari Kodi Pulav Recipe| Recipe of Indian Chicken Pulav | Simple Recipe for Chicken Pulav| Andhra Special Pulav| Delicious Pulav Recipe

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Sundays used to be so synonymous with biryanis and pulavs during childhood. Growing up, living in hostels and working away from home, this synonymy took a back seat. It has become haphazard and started depending on whatever the whimsical palate fancies upon. Either way, there is always a wave of excitement around food. Especially around biryanis and pulavs. Any menu on a festive occasion or a party falls incomplete without them. Bading goodbye to the scorching summer, now is the time to pick up the spices and cook some warm pots of pulav and biryani. After tasting the delicious Maharaja Biryani Platter at Yuktha, couldn’t wait to make some spicy rice item at home.

Raju gari Kodi Pulav is a dish you would be suggested to try when someone asks for a delicious biryani-pulav in Hyderabad. It’s a signature dish of Ulavacharu and Kitchen of Kuchipudi. I haven’t visited this place yet but have heard so much about it and when I found a cookery show video with its owner-chef, Mr. Kuchipudi Venkat, I couldn’t wait to give it a try. The measurements mentioned are approximate in the video. So, I worked up on rough calculations and the dish came out so well. Couldn’t believe myself going for a second serving of this pulav! I usually prefer those pristine white shaded fried rice items (Not a fan of the mashed up Indo-Chinese versions) to biryani/pulav.

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Ingredients:

Basmati rice – 2 cups

300-350 gms Boneless Chicken

2tbsp Ghee

2tbsp cooking oil

3 tbsp green chilli paste

1 tbsp ginger garlic paste

2 medium sized onions, sliced

2tbsp brown onion paste

½ cup Curd

1 cup milk

1 cup – chopped mint leaves (tightly packed)

½ tbsp – home made garam masala powder

1 tsp – coriander powder

3 – 4 cups of Water

Salt – as per taste

Cashews – as required

Chopped coriander – 1 cup ( I haven’t added here)

Whole Garam Masala:

1 tbsp Shajeera

3 Bay Leaves

2 inch Cinnamon

10 Green cardamoms

20 Cloves

1 Black Cardamom

1 Marathi Mogga/ Indian Capers

Brown Onion Paste:

1 large size onion

¼ cup oil

Method:

  1. a) Brown Onion Paste:

Slice onion and sautee it in oil. Cool down and grind it into smooth paste. This gave me  2tbsp of paste.

b)

  1. Wash and soak the rice in two cups of water.
  2. Wash and keep the chicken aside. I personally rest chicken chunks in turmeric water for 5 min and rinse them finally.
  3. If the pieces you have are large, cut into small pieces. Since we are not marinating chicken, smaller sized pieces ensure that meat is cooked uniformly.
  4. Take a pressure cooker and add ghee, oil to it. ( I used a 5 litre pressure cooker pan)
  5. Once the oil-ghee heats up, add the whole garam masala.
  6. Scoop in the ginger garlic paste and after a minute add in the green chilli paste. Sautee till on medium heat till the raw flavour is out. This takes around 2 -3 minutes at the maximum.
  7. Add in sliced onions and saute them till translucent.
  8. Mix the curd and brown onion paste and add it to the pan.
  9. As it picks up heat, add the chicken pieces on high flame. Ensure you switch to high flame when the chicken is added.
  10. Pop in the chopped mint. This is the time to add in the chopped coriander. I didn’t have it today. Hence omitted.
  11. Put in the salt. Taste and adjust accordingly.
  12. Add the milk.
  13. As it heats up, sprinkle the garam masala and mix well.
  14. Add water and let it come to boil ( I added 1 ½ cups of water as the basmati rice completely absorbed the water it is soaked in)
  15. Now, add the rice and any extra ghee if you want. Stir it well and add salt and spice powders if required.
  16. Close the cooker and cook for 2-3 whistles.
  17. Serve it hot with raita/boiled egg/salan.

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I was too lazy to make salan or decorate it. So savoured it with slightly roasted boiled egg. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a small pan and roast the boiled egg uniformly on all sides. Sprinkled a pinch of salt, red chilli powder and few curry leaves on the egg. And remove it from the heat. Gotta see how this method would work for a vegetarian version.

Try and and let me know how you liked it.

Happy Cooking!

 

Note:

  • Be careful with rice water ratio. Adjust the water ratio according to your experience with rice variety you use. This pulav has a sticky texture when compared to others. I think the rich fats from ghee, milk, curd contribute to this.
  • Yes, the recipe doesn’t use red chilli powder or turmeric.
  • The amount of green chilli paste and garam masala powder depends upon how hot your chillies or masala is. So, adjust accordingly.
  • I have used homemade garam masala which has relatively less amounts of coriander. Hence, added it separately.  

 

Cashew Chicken with Drumstick Curry Recipe| How to make Chicken curry with Fresh Cashews and drumsticks| Pachi Jeedipappu-Mulakaada Kodi Koora

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Fresh seasonal produce always excite me and I think staying away from metro life has brought them closer and easily available than ever. In between simmering summer temperatures and onset of monsoons, unripe cashew fruits make their way into local farmers market. In Andhra region, from where I come, tender cashew nuts are relished with drumsticks and onions curry. Andhra curry recipes always have this subtle sweetish spicy taste, which make me consume more rice. Well, I think delicious food always comes with an invisible tag warning, ‘eat more at your own risk’.

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Unripe Cashew Fruits

Had the cashew fruits bought were ripe; I would have had the chance to know what they taste like. Curiosity doesn’t kill the cat, sometimes at least. Do you know this – what we commonly call as cashew fruit isn’t the actual fruit. As you can see, there are two parts –the kidney shaped part which has seed or nut and the juicy part. Scientifically speaking, the fleshy part is the modified stalk of the flower. The true fruit is the kidney shaped half which has the nut. I learned about it in the eleventh grade botany class. It was one the many fascinating things I learnt while learning botany. Do you know that there are plants which eat insects? Yes, it’s true. Okay, I will talk about the recipe now.

The traditional Andhra ‘Pachi Jeedipappu Kodi curry’ uses the fresh cashew in whole. But, I wanted to have it along with roti, so reserved only handful of them for the crunch and pureed the remaining. Mom already marinated the chicken by the time I woke up. She just used some chilli powder, salt, turmeric and curd. I left it that way without any further add-ons and let the chicken soak it all for about 4 hours. As most of you might have known, the more time you marinate the chicken, the better it would taste. Just remember to refrigerate if your margination time is beyond 6 hours or right way if you are living in hot climate. I didn’t follow any particular recipe (lazy to research actually) so, the measurements are not to the T. Adjust spice and salt levels according to your taste.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken – ½ kg (boneless preferred)
  • Fresh cashew nuts – 1 cup
  • Roughly Chopped Onions – ½ cup
  • Large sized tomatoes – 1
  • Green Chillies – 4
  • Drum sticks – 1 nos ( 6 – 8 nos 2 inch pieces)
  • Shahjeera – 1/2 tsp
  • Green cardamom – 1 nos
  • Dried bay leaf – 1-2 nos
  • Red Chilli Powder – as required (add half into marinade and half into curry)
  • Garam Masala – 1tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1tsp (add half into marinade and half into curry)
  • Ghee – 1tbsp + Oil – 2tbsp
  • Salt – as required

Step –by- step:

Marination:

½ tsp – turmeric powder

1 tbsp – chilli powder

½ tbsp – ginger garlic paste

2 tbsp – Curd

½ tsp – Salt

Clean the chicken pieces with water and take them into a bowl. Add the above ingredients into it and mix well, such that all the pieces are uniformly coated with the marinade.

Cooking:

  • Place the cooking pot/pan on heat. Add the ghee and oil and wait till it gets hot and put in the bay leaves, cardamom and shahjeera.
  • After a minute or half, toss in the slit green chillies, handful of fresh cashew nuts and chopped onions. Sautee the onions for a minute and add the drumsticks. Add the remaining amount of turmeric powder, mix well and put on a lid.
  • As the onions turn translucent, add the marinated chicken into the pot. Mix well, replace the lid and check the pot after ten minutes. The heat level can be from medium to high now.
  • Meanwhile, pulse the fresh cashews and tomato in blender.

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  • The juices from the chicken ooze out. This provides enough water for the chicken to cook. Add the red chilli powder, salt and tomato- cashew paste and mix. Let the lid on for another ten minutes.

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  • Now, add the garam masala and place the lid for another 2 minutes. Check for the spice and salt level. Adjust accordingly.
  • By this time, the gravy comes together. Let the curry stay on heat for some more time, if you want thicker gravy. Serve it with rotis/rice/biryani.

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I stored the left-over curry in the fridge and interestingly, the taste of the curry improved ten times the next day. I never experienced this before with chicken curries. Some post-cooking marination magic!

Notes:

  • Removing the cashew seed is a tedious process. Wear gloves while working with them. If not careful, the resin from the unripe fruit gives a burning sensation to the skin.
  • Garam masala used in the recipe is mom’s recipe. It is a fresh blend of poppy seeds; garlic cloves, cumin, cloves and coriander seeds.
  • Never add spices when the oil is at room temperature. Warm oil allows the spices release their aromatic compounds.
  • This recipe works well with dry cashews too. Just soak them in water overnight or warm water for about half an hour.