Is the thanksgiving week over already? It seems like just a day ago I was looking forward to the 4 day weekend with lot of things planned and now can't believe it flew off so fast! Though I was looking forward to this holiday, my excitement for the weekend disappeared after hearing the Mumbai horror. It was heartbreaking to see so many innocent people being killed by some crazy bunch of people. To watch it live on TV was even more terrifying. Would we ever be able to defeat the evil and anti-social element called Terrorism once for all? My thoughts and prayers go for all the victims' families affected in this tragedy and hats off to all those commandos who did a terrific job in saving many lives.
I know I've not posted anything for more than a week now. The downside of a holiday weekend is that it makes it so hard to get back to routine after that. We had our friend's family visiting us last weekend and that kept us busy for all 4 days. We were continously out-of-doors moving around the city and had a hectic, but good time. Well, after the weekend, it has taken me a couple of days to recuperate my mood for my usual schedule. Its hard to keep up any kind of routine during holidays and I've been lazing around for a couple of days even after the holiday was over. I am here finally with yet another of my favorite recipe.
I had big plans for cooking while they were here, but nothing really got accomplished. Sometimes, no matter how well I plan my menu ahead, they all end up in vain and I wind up making my own decisions in the last minute. Especially, when we have outdoor plans, nothing gets executed per schedule. This weekend was like that. In spite of having my well-planned menu (atleast thats what I thought), I hardly followed it. But, one good thing is I learnt some new recipes from my good friend who visited us. She is a great cook and I always loved her healthy and authentic recipes! One of the most exciting moments in the kitchen for me is learning new recipes by watching the experts actually do it! I happened to see quite a few recipes like that and can't wait to try each of them on my own.
Have you ever had Poosanikkai Dosai (Ash gourd Dosai)? If you haven’t, don’t worry. I hadn't either until a few days before. And I don't think I'm overstating when I say that its now become one of my favorite dishes! There are several reasons for liking this dish, first of all the batter doesn't require fermentation and can be used immediately. Second, the fact that we're consuming a vegetable too along with dosa. Third and most important, if I have to like a recipe, it has to be simple :) And this is really a simple dish! I learnt this recipe from my friend over the weekend, and today I tried for the first time on my own. My first instinct when I heard about this dish was a bit of surprise that we could combine Poosanikai with Dosa! All I had known to do before with this vegetable was koottu and sambar. But ever since I heard about this recipe, I couldn't wait to try it eventhough I was a little nervous about the dosa batter consistency etc. Fortunately it turned out very good and crispy. A special thanks to my good friend for sharing such a nice recipe!
- Winter Melon (Vellai Poosani/Ash Gourd) - 2 cups (peeled, deseeded & chopped into 1 inch cubes)
- Raw rice - 1.5 cups
- Urad dal - 2 tbsp
- Methi seeds - 1 tbsp
- Yogurt - 1/2 cup (if its not sour enough, you need 1 cup)
- Soak the rice, dal and methi seeds overnight.
- First grind the winter melon to a smooth paste along with a little salt. Set aside.
- Then grind the soaked ingredients with some more salt and mix it with the melon paste. You can also add the melon paste to this mixture and give it a round in the blender, so that they are now mixed thoroughly. Transfer to a bowl.
- Add the yogurt and then sufficient water to make it to a dosa batter consistency. The batter shouldn't be thick nor too thin. You are now ready to start making dosas!
- Onion - 1 medium
- R.chillies - 4
- Ginger - 1 inch
- Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
- Chana dal - 1 tbsp
- Tamarind paste - 1/2 tsp
- Shredded coconut - 1/2 cup
- Heat 2 tsp oil and add mustard seeds first. Once they pop, add the chana dal and fry until it turns light brown.
- Add R.chillies, Onions, Ginger, Tamarind paste and Coconut one by one in the specified order and fry each of them for about a min.
- Grind the mixture along with salt to a thick paste. Yummy Onion-Ginger chutney is ready!
You can also season with mustard seeds before serving, but thats just optional. Goes well with idlis/dosas.