Thursday, May 26, 2011

Melon rind Koottu / Melon rind & Moong dal Curry

Blame the scorching heat, the green large round water melons are still abundant here in TN. Well, it's a fact that a few weeks ago I was so carried away by this creative girl who made this pretty looking cake with the fruit and soon some stuff with its rind, the innovative  melon rind dosa ! Seriously, I couldnt wait even for a moment to try this. Rather for than the sweet red watery flesh enclosed, I was impatiently reaching for the 'glamourless' thick green cover.Undoubtedly the dosa proved to be a huge hit!
The rind tastes almost like ashgourd but bit harder and with a container full of it, I tried Koottu or Parippu curry the following week which was again a hit! The recipe is a bit more inclined towards the Kerala way :)

 Get ready with:

 Moong dal/pasi paruppu/cherupayar parippu, lightly roasted- 1/2 cup
*Melon rind pieces- 1 1/2 cup
 Green chillies slit lengthwise- 4
 Grated coconut- 1/2 cup (1/4 cup if you dont prefer mildly coconutty)
 Small onions-4 nos
 Garlic- 1 large clove
 Turmeric and Jeera Powders- 1/4 tsp each
 Salt - to taste

To Season:

Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Small onions- 6 nos, minced fine
Red chilly- 1 broken into 3 pcs
Curry leaves- 1-2 sprigs

A 3ltr pressure cooker- to make the job easier

* Yup, you have to be much patient with this part. Cut the melon into halves and cut across again to make quarters. After you scoop out the red flesh of the fruit, Peel off the thick green outermost skin and you are holding the half inched sturdy chunks of rind.Cut them into pieces of equal size as you see in the pictures.And before you keep them away, hold for a moment and enjoy the pretty looking pieces on your chopping board :)

The remaining part is not that difficult..
Grind coconut, small onions and  garlic to a smooth paste adding enough water.Keep aside
Give a quick rinse to the roasted moong dal and transfer to the pressure cooker. Add 1 1/2 cups, more or less, water, melon rind pieces, slit chillies, both the powders, stirring in the coconut paste. Wait until 2-3 whistles. Put off fire, vent out steam, open, and season.

Seasoning- Heat oil in a small pan / kadai, splutter the mustard seeds and brown the minced onion until the aroma spreads.Put off fire, throw in curry leaves and pour over the curry.

Serve warm with Rice or any Indian bread and enjoy the mild, simple, comforting curry as we did :)

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Caramel Custard (with custard powder)

I wanted to post this before I packed off for the holidays and then I was obsessed exploring the new camera and proceeded posting a recipe with the picture shot from that.
Well, now this one is contributed by my earlier cam and you can clearly see that, I believe ;)

Caramel Custard had probably been my first trials with desserts as a 12 year old. Believe me, I never used to go wrong with this recipe and always came out with the firm golden coloured puddings with the moist deep brown coating, which never went bitter as well.
Amma always used to try the same recipe with a little difference and that was nothing but the addition of custard powder instead of Vanilla.
This always made the pudding firmer and more comforting and never had the 'eggy' flavour like in mine..

And here goes her recipe,

You need,

Milk- 500 ml
Eggs- 3
Custard powder (vanilla flavoured)- a tbsp
Sugar- 2/3 cup, scant

1. Caramel- Melt 3 tablespoons of sugar in a saucepan or a stove top pan (which you can also use as a mould af ter you pour in the custard mixture) until golden brown or a bit darker as you see in mine. Remove from heat and set it aside ( if you use the same utensil for setting the pudding later). Do not panic if the caramel hardens and if you happen to hear mild cracking sounds :). It is natural and after you pour the custard and set the pudding, it melts and coats the bottom in a uniform way.
If you use separate moulds, lightly grease them and  transfer about 1- 1 1/2 tsps of caramel, while it's still hot and swirl around gently so as to coat the bottom. Set aside.

2. Custard- Stir in custard powder in 3/4 cup of milk in room temperature without lumps. Keep aside.
Bring the remaining milk to boil adding the rest of sugar. Simmer for a few seconds (not much as the addition of custard powder, which follows, compensates) Stir in the custard powder milk mixture carefully keeping the fire low taking care not to form any lumps until well blended. Remove from fire. Stir in lightly whisked eggs , gently.

3. Cool the mixture and fill the moulds. Cover each of them with butter paper tied around the mouths. Steam in medium heat for 10-15 minutes. If using oven, place the moulds in a flat tray and then fill the tray with water. Cover the tray with aluminium foil and bake in 140 deg C for 20-25 minutes.

Remove, chill and serve.

With brilliant pictures of perfectly shaped caramel custards carefully 'unmoulded' all over the blogosphere, I know this is an imperfect one, just a casual slice which I could reserve for the day light shot which much effort ;) after the dinner, the previous night.
I poured the custard on the utensil which I used to caramelise sugar being a bit lazy to wash the extra vessels. ;)

Just wanted to share the recipe with you as it is easy to make and tastes really good!

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