Friday, February 17, 2017

Fried Murungakkai - Drumstick Savoury Fry

FRIED MURUNGAKKAI


There was once a time when each and every house in the city - be it big or small - was enveloped by a lush green garden.  Trees like mango, coconut, banana, sapota, curry leaf, murungakkai/drumstick, flowering plants like jasmine, champaka, nandi battalu and many more were not uncommon in home gardens. A morning visit to the garden ensured one of the day's vegetable supply for the family. Murungakkai  was always sought after when there were special guests at home. The  sight of the Murungakkais  swaying like long green whips in the tall murungai tree is a beautiful sight to behold. To pluck them using a long cane with a split end avoiding a shower of the hairy caterpillars/ kambali poochi/hula at the same time, one needed an amazing acrobatic skill! Araichu vitta murungakkai sambar and Potato/urulaikizhangu curry always topped a special menu plan. They make a  deadly combination along with fried appalams. Nowadays with the drastic shrinking of open space, with the rise of apartment buildings, and the reckless felling of trees to accommodate the ever expanding city, forget the fresh home grown vegetables, we are petrified at the depleting level of the most important life giving element -  Oxygen - in the atmosphere. The Bengaluru citizens have come together in an effort to put a stop to the exploitation of trees. The City is all set to celebrate the annual Bengaluru Tree Festival which is aptly called  Neralu. Honouring trees and preserving and conserving the green cover of the city is its first and foremost aim.
Coming back to Murungakkai! When my maid bought a couple of huge and fleshy Murungakkais from the market (it was difficult to fit them in my camera frame!)I remembered the delicious fried Murungakkai which our Konkani neighbour had once shared with us. And here is how I prepared it for today's lunch.

INGREDIENTS


Murungakkais/Drumsticks( tender and fleshy) - 2 long ones
Besan ( Chana dal flour) - 1 tbsp
Rice flour - 1 tbsp
Plain flour ( Maida) - 1 tbsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Sambar Powder - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Cooking oil - for shallow frying
METHOD
1. Wash the murungakkais and cut them into 2 inch long pieces.
2. Cover with water, add a pinch of salt and cook till they are just done. Take care not to over cook as the murungakkai pieces will split.
3. Drain the cooked pieces and spread them on a plate.
4. Mix all the dry ingredients together and add the mixture to the cooked pieces.
5. Gently apply the masala mix on to the cooked pieces using your hand. The moisture in the cooked vegetable is enough for the masala to stick on.


6. Let the  murungakkai pieces with masala stand for a while before frying. It can also be refrigerated.
7. Heat the oil in a broad based kadai and arrange all the masala coated murungakkai pieces in the oil.


8. Cook for a while till the masala becomes firm and then turn them using a spatula so that all the other sides get similarly cooked.
9. Since the vegetable is already cooked, cook only till the masala coating becomes crisp.


When done remove the Fried  Murungakkai pieces using a slotted ladle on to a plate. Hold a piece with your fingers and scrape the murungakkai  using your bite, suck the pulp along with the masala and discard the hard fibrous peel. Enjoy the Fried Murungakkai! Enjoy the eating technique!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Arishinada Gojju / Pasum Manjal Gojju - Sweet And Sour Fresh Turmeric Sauce

ARISHINADA GOJJU / PASUM MANJAL GOJJU
 Manjal Inji Pisiral is a post Pongal relish I make to use up the Pasum Manjal / fresh turmeric rhizomes which are left over after the festival. This year I was quite excited to try out a unique recipe given to my sister-in-law by her friend from Sirsi. The delicious Arishinada Gojju / fresh turmeric gojju tasted sweet, sour and astringent all at the same time!It was worth trying out this recipe from the Malenadu region of Karnataka.


INGREDIENTS

Fresh turmeric / Hasi Arishina / Pasum Manjal - 1 fat 2 to 3 inch piece
Tamarind - a plum size ball (Soaked till soft)
Jaggery - a plum size piece (Powdered)
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Red chilly - 1 big (Broken)
Split black gram dal - 1 tbsp
Sesame seeds - 1 tbsp
Fresh grated coconut - 2 tbsps
Sesame oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 pinch
METHOD
1. Thoroughly wash the fresh turmeric and pressure cook it like you cook potatoes.
2. Dry roast sesame seeds till they pop and keep aside.
3. Heat a drop of oil and roast the split black gram dal with broken red chilly and asafoetida till you get a pleasant aroma.
4. Grind all the roasted ingredients into a powder. Add coconut gratings and grind again.
5. Peel the pressure cooked fresh turmeric and chop it into slices.


6. Add the chopped turmeric, soaked tamarind, salt and the powdered jaggery to the already powdered spice, and blend all of them together into a smooth paste.


7. Dilute the smooth and thick paste by adding a glass of water.
8. Heat oil in a pan and splutter the mustard seeds.
9. Add the gojju blend to the seasoning and bring it to a boil.


10. Keep stirring till the gojju reaches the required consistency. By adjusting the quantity of water you can make it into a thick turmeric chutney or a slightly thin sauce like gojju.



Enjoy the Arishinada Gojju/ Pasum Manjal Gojju with steaming hot rice. It can also be used as a dip or a spread for various snacks.