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Brussels the South Indian way :-)

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The Yuletide festivities are upon us and there are so many delicious seasonal Winter produce in the markets and Supermarkets out there. A typical seasonal veg here that our family loves is Brussels Sprouts. But I wanted to share with you a way to use them instead of the usual steaming or roasting, which is definitely a great way to get the full flavour of Brussel Sprouts, but you can also bring them alive with some gentle spices ūüôā

This is my favourite way of using Brussel Sprouts and using South Indian spices to make a light stir fry, or Poriyal as called in Tamil Nadu. It’s visually pleasing when you pair the Brussels with bright yellow Sweetcorn and garnished with coconut. I love the way this curry is not too fiery¬†as it uses gentle spices and so if you don’t like hot curries all the time, then this is perfect for you! You can leave out the dried red chillies completely if you are serving it to children.

A non-stick or ceramic pan is best for making this ‘Poriyal’ so the Brussels don’t stick to the bottom and burn.

If you are in a rush you can steam the chopped Brussel Sprouts in the microwave with a tablespoon of water. This will reduce the time needed for them to cook in the pan.

What you need:

  • Brussels Sprouts – 4 cups, finely chopped
  • Sweetcorn – 1 cup (defrosted if frozen)
  • Coconut – 1/2 cup – freshly grated or the unsweetened desiccated coconut¬†is fine
  • Ginger – 3 inch piece – finely grated
  • Lemon juice – 1 tsp
  • Oil (flavourless) – 1 tablespoon
  • Salt – 1 tsp or to taste

To Temper:

  • Black mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds -1 tsp
  • Split Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Whole dried chillies – x2
  • Asafoetida – a pinch

How to make it:

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the black mustard seeds. As soon as they start popping add the other ingredients under the ‘To Temper’ list above.
  2. Add the chopped Brussels Sprouts, sweetcorn and stir fry for 5 – 10 minutes until the Brussels are cooked (you will need less time if the Brussels Sprouts have already been steamed in advance)
  3. Finally add the salt, coconut and lemon juice and mix well. Check seasoning and serve ūüôā

brussels2

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Filed under brunch, Desi, Dinner, Food, indian, Kerala, mykitchenadventures, south India, south indian, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetarian

Is it Feb already?!

Wow. It is February. In the New Year. 2015. Whaaaaaaat?! A little freak out here!! I had so many plans (as usual) and so many things I wanted to have completed by now. Usually I would heave a big sigh and start moaning how I need to be more organised and moan about how little time there is to do everything….blah…blah…blah. But this year, unlike the “usual me”, I have brushed off the list of things I still haven’t done and can happily say ” oh well” and that I will definitely get around to it. It’s ok if I haven’t done it. For those of you who are like me – a control FREAK! – then you’ll understand how the aforementioned actions can be tough.¬†A REAL challenge in fact!

Ok, so before you send me to see a psychiatrist, haa haa, here’s¬†my first blog¬†for the new year. Yeyyyy! ¬†In addition, this month¬†also¬†commemorates a year since I started this blog and for me it’s proof that time does fly when you’re having fun ūüôā

My inspiration for the latest set of recipes, come from the need of comfort food. No matter where you are in the world, you always need that feeling that your food is like a huge hug in your mouth and makes Life feel better again. Oh yeah…you know that feeling. So my first recipe comes to you from the Far East country of Thailand which brings heat and spice to warm up even the most Icy¬†of Queens. My Thai Green curry is just my take on a big comfort food that my family and I love and I think the only difference really is the quantity of veg. Usually the Veg Thai curry that I eat at restaurants are yummy, but lack veg and I normally fight over the last pieces of veg with the person I am sharing it with. So my Thai curry does have a few vegetables that are not traditionally found in a Thai Green Curry, but I think nevertheless absorb the flavours and go together well. I am not going to preach about making your own Thai curry paste either, as the shop bought ones are not bad at all. However like most things, homemade makes a better and fresh taste and you can make it according to your liking. Either way, I hope you enjoy it!

Thai Green Curry with Lotus Root Fry and Quinoa

I have also had requests for a couple of traditional recipes and I have written¬†ones from one half of my family, Sri Lanka. Pittu is a great alternative to having rice with curries and is also healthier as it uses red rice which has more nutrients and is less processed than white rice apparently. Most of the time it’s steamed with grated coconut, but is equally yummy with greens and other grated or finely cut vegetables like carrots and cabbage. ¬†My family and I love Pittu with Aubergine in a tamarind gravy (Kathrikkai Kuzhambu) and Soya & Beans curry. My recipes are slightly different to the traditional ones as they don’t involve frying the veg in a lot of oil and use baking and steaming instead to retain maximum flavour, nutrients and most of all that all important comforting feeling. ūüôā I’d really like to know your thoughts on these if you try it out, or what your favourite dishes are to go with Pittu.

Pittu1

Last, but not least is a sweet and satisfying dessert. I was saddened to hear that the King of Chocolate, Mr Michele Ferrero passed away a few days ago. His chocolate were the only ones that were favourites in our household and I can’t remember a Christmas without Ferrero Rocher. Good times indeed and I know his chocolate will be remembered for many more years to come as they are timeless flavours. I myself am not a chocaholic in the slightest, but Ferrero Rocher and Nutella I do love when the craving arises. So in tribute to the late Mr Ferrero, I have written my version of Nigella’s Chocolate cheesecake using Nutella. A big hug of chocolate to start¬†a great year ahead I feel :-). Click here for the recipe and I hope you like it!

choc cheesecake PM

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The South Indian Tiffin

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“Tiffin-ikku yenna panrathu?” is what my grandmother usually says the second lunch is over at our house in India!. It is translated from tamil¬†as “What shall we make for Tiffin?”. Tiffin is a well known term in the foodie world as a light snack/meal from the Indian subcontinent. My family tell me it’s a¬†term¬†derived from the English slang tiffing,¬†which meant¬†“taking a sip”, but this term is no longer used in the English common language. However like verandah, pyjamas, rickshaw, curry and junk, tiffin is an India-derived noun that now has¬†a permanent place in the current¬†English language; and I feel we should be thankful that this Indo-Anglo¬†word gives rise to such delicious dishes!

In South India, Tiffin is often referred to as a snack in between meals or a light dinner. A¬†South¬†Indian Tiffin¬†includes¬†items like, Dosa, Idli, Kozhukattai etc.¬†In North India this term usually means a packed lunch for working men, women and school children and these lunchboxes are known as tiffin carrier or a¬†tiffin box. In Mumbai¬†and other big cities¬†you can’t miss the Tiffinwalla’s carrying many tiffin boxes to various offices and it’s quite amazing to see the technique of carrying so many of these containers all by just one person!

In¬†our household, dinner is nearly always light and so tiffin could many different things! One type of South Indian tiffin which is very healthy and fairly quick to prepare is the “Kara Pidi Kozhukattai”. Usually this is made from¬†rice flour or rava (semolina)¬†which is mixed with some tempered spices and then formed into handmade balls. The imprints of the cooks fingers when these balls are made¬†are a special mark of this healthy tiffin ūüôā The balls are then steamed until cooked through and served with either a chutney or a spicy &¬†tangy¬†gravy like “kuzhambu” or “Gotsu/Gojju”.

My version of this South Indian tiffin uses Oats¬† instead of rice flour, as well Wheatgerm/bran which are the most nutritious parts of the wheat grain and are not used as much as they could be, in my humble opinion. This tiffin could be made with other additional ingredients like peas, cabbage & carrots¬†is great served hot with a¬†spicy Gotsu/Gojju. ‘Gotsu’ is the term you will hear a lot in Tamil Nadu and ‘Gojju’ is used in Karnataka, but they both mean the same type of dish. They are made slightly differently in different households,¬†and my recipe was passed down to me from my grandmother and mother.

Here are my versions of Oats Pidi Kozhukattai and Gotsu and I hope you enjoy them!

What’s your favourite tiffin? Please let me know in the comment box below, thank you! ūüôā

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