Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A simple Potato curry : Bateta Nu Shaak

On days that M is working away from home all I manage is to cook for little S and finish off what he  does not and eat some left overs or make odd combinations and call it a night.
Come Thursday, I am galvanized into action. I manage to cook, clean at a rate that startles even me! 
By 7 in the evening I have  everything ready.
Last week, some friends and I decided to go shopping and I had to bail out at the last moment because S was  sleeping. So with nothing to do I decided to get the dough ready and chop the potatoes and wait till the girls came home for tea. 
As it is with women and shopping, time simply flies and suddenly you realize, "Good Heavens! Look at the time!! HOW will I get dinner ready in time?" 
So when they came home to tea, we decided that  we would combine cooking and so doubling the curry ingredients, I made this curry which comes together quickly and does not require supervision, which gave me time to make 16 fulkas, divided amongst us.
This is also a great curry on days when the  vegetable crisper is bare or  the mind goes blank even after staring at an assortment of vegetables or even when you have guests for dinner ( and calmly bypass the rule of not trying anything new when expecting company). Your guests will love the curry with the tangy and sweet undertones.

Source : here

1lb. Russet or Yukon Gold Potatoes (peeled and cutr into 1/2 inch cubes and submerged in cold water)
1 Tbs. Oil
1 tsp. Mustard Seeds
2 tsp Cumin seeds ( 1 t. whole and 1 t. ground)
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Sugar
1 tsp. Coriander Seeds ground
1/2 tsp. Cayenne
1/4 tsp. Turmeric
1 can (14.5 oz can) Diced Tomatoes
2 Tbsp. Fresh Cilantro chopped
12-15 fresh Curry leaves

Drain Potatoes
Heat oil over med-high heat. Add mustard seeds. After they pop, sprinkle whole cumin seeds
Toss in the potatoes, salt, turmeric, ground cumin, ground coriander, sugar, cayenne and asafetida
Stir to cook ground spices till fragrant, about 1 min
Add tomatoes with juices, 1 cup water, cilantro and curry leaves. Stir once and bring to a boil
Reduce heat to  med-low, cover pan and simmer stirring occasionally until potatoes are  fork tender (15 mins)
Remove lid, raise heat to med- high and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens (7-10 mins)
Serve hot with fulkas/ roti / pooris
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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Chatni Pudi and Upma

The typical Indian dinner table is incomplete without it's usual set of pickles and  chutneys.
At my Mother's, we have a  small tray on which she arranges bottles of pickles and small containers like these (usually for Ghee) or these (for chutney) and is carried to the dining table for every meal (in my case, I prefer to leave it on the table to save that extra- read unnecessary, effort).
My Mother makes this awesome chutney. My Mother also makes awesome upma. The combination of Upma and Chutney (Mom made) is awesome... getting kinda repetitive, isn't it? But it is.... awesome. Honestly! 

This chutney poodi/podi/pudi (call it what you will) is a recipe handed down from Mother-in-law to Daughter-in-law.
I always referred  to the chutney as  'Bijapur' chutney. Mom almost always had a big bottle (complan/ horlicks bottles, now empty, washed and dried without a trace of the previous occupant) sitting on the shelf and would take out a few spoons in a small bowl or a container ( and sometimes a 'vati') and keep it on the dinner table. We would  help ourselves, sometimes adding perhaps a spoon of yogurt or just smearing it on the inner side of a phulka (which was already generously smeared with ghee), rolling it like a cigar to eat it or, mixing it with yogurt rice. But to me, the best combination was with either poha or upma. A small spoon of the chutney would liven up snack.

250 gms (approx 1 cup + 1tbs) Roasted Gram/ Daliya /Phutane/ DaaL ( the one used in Chivda)
1 cup Sesame / Til
2 cup grated  Dry Coconut
3/4 cup Jeere
100 gms (approx. 7 tbs)  *Byadagi Mirchi (dry red chiles)
Handful Curry leaves
1 tsp Asafetida

(*Byadagi is a variety of dry red chile)
Roast Sesame and keep it aside.
Roast grated coconut keep it aside
Roast jeera thereafter keep it aside
Add some oil to the frypan to fry the curry leaves
In the same oil(unless you added a few drops and it was consumed for the curry leaves) fry Byadagi Mirchi pieces.
Cool the mixture
Put everything together and the roasted gram (daliya)and salt and asafetida and grind it. 
Chatani is ready to serve.
For Upma: (serves 4)
1 cup Rava/ Coarse Sooji / Farina - Roast the rava to a golden color, using 1 tsp oil. Set aside.
1/2 medium sized Onion, chopped (optional)
2-3 Green Chiles (+/- to taste)
Few curry leaves
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp. Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Chana Daal
1 tsp Urid Daal
1/2 cup Yogurt
3 cups Water
1 tsp grated Ginger
Salt to taste
2 tsp Sugar
2 tbs Oil
2 tbs Ghee
Chopped Cilantro ( about 2 tbsp ) to garnish

Heat Oil in a wok / kadhai
Add the mustard seeds, chana daal and urid daal. The mustard seeds will pop and the daals will turn a nice golden brown.
Sprinkle with cumin seeds
Add asafetida, chopped green chiles and curry leaves
Add the chopped onion, cover and cook till the onion is translucent and thoroughly cooked.
Add 1/2 cup water to the yogurt and whisk. Add the grated ginger to the whisked yogurt.
Once the onion is cooked, add the water, the whisked yogurt
Add salt and sugar and bring all this to a vigorous boil
Reduce heat and slowly add the rava, stirring and mixing constantly to prevent lumps
cover and cook on medium heat until the water has evaporated 
Add the ghee ( I add it along the sides of the kadhai/ wok and then mix it in)
Cover and cook for 2-3 mins
Garnish with cilantro and serve with some chutney on the side.
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