BM #116 Day 24 - 

Today's post is all about Bottle gourd, also known as lauki or doodhi or Sorrakaya or Anapakaya. One of my friends gave us a huge home grown Bottle gourd which is about 7-8 lbs in weight. 

On that particular day, it so happened that my refrigerator was full and I was worried as to how to store the bottle gourd. That's when another friend suggested that I could cook all the dishes with Bottle gourd. 

That sparked off the thought that I could make a thali with all dishes made with Bottle Gourd. I planned it around Andhra cuisine as that is my comfort food. :)

So I came up with Lauki Juice, Lauki Cutlet for starters, Sorrakaya Pindimiriyam, Sorrakaya Sambar, Sorrakaya Pacchadi, Rice and Yogurt for the main course and Lauki Halwa for the dessert.
It took me about 2 hours from start to finish. The majority of the time taken up for grating and chopping the bottle gourd. The fresh and tender bottle gourd was a delight to cook.

Today I shall feature the recipe for Lauki Cutlet while the rest of the recipes I shall update in the next few weeks.

Ingredients - 

Lauki / Bottle Gourd peeled and grated 1 cup
Besan / Gram Flour 2 Tbsp
Sooji 2 Tbsp
Almond Flour 2 Tbsp
Salt, Chaat Masala, Minced Green chilies as needed
Chopped Coriander leaves few

Method Of Preparation -

In a mixing bowl, sprinkle salt into the grated lauki. Set aside for a few minutes. 

Lightly squeeze out some water which oozes out of the grated lauki. Reserve the water.

Add chaat masala, minced green chilies, chopped coriander leaves, besan, sooji and almond flour into the lauki.

Gently mix into a stiff dough. Sprinkle the reserved water from step 2 if needed.

Make 10 lime sized portions of the dough. Flatten each portion into a disc of inches in diameter approximately. 

In a heated griddle, spray some oil and gently place the flattened discs. Allow them to brown a little on the underside and flip them. Let them cook on the other side too. 

Remove and continue cooking the rest of the discs.

Serve with ketchup or chutney of your choice.

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Preparation Time 20 minutes
Makes 10

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BM #116 Day 23 - 

This final week of our Mega Marathon, I will showcase dishes with a different theme each day. Today it is about Satyanarayana Pooja Thali.

Every year on the auspicious day of Vaikunta Ekadasi (which falls typically during Dec-Jan), we perform Sri Satyanarayana Pooja at home with friends and family. It is typically a gathering of about 50-60 of our near and dear.

We fast the whole day and perform the pooja in the evening and host a dinner with home cooked food. Since I cook for 50-60 guests, the measurements for this curry are for a large gathering. Please scale it down as per need.

The whole cooking takes me approximately 4 hours with the help of my husband and 2-3 Instant pots. Then the whole pooja setup, dinner arrangements takes up the rest of the afternoon. Some of our friends take over the post-pooja dinner arrangements, serving at dinner, packing of leftovers, cleanup etc.

The menu and picture was from Dec 2018. 
The menu features - 1.Semiya Upma, 2.Sambar, 3.Shahi Mutter Paneer, 4.Aloo Color Peppers Koora, 5.Almond Flour-Sago Kheer, 6.Urad Vada, 7. Pulihora, 8. Methi-Tomato Dal, 9. Rice, 10.Ghee, 11 Mysore Pak, 12. Godhuma Rava Halwa

Recipe Source Madhavi
Ingredients - 

Aloo/Potatoes 8 big ones
Color Peppers (Red, Orange, Yellow) Big ones 6
Tomatoes 2-3 chopped or Diced tomatoes can 1 (14 oz)
Vangibath Powder 2 Tbsp
Salt, Turmeric, Sugar as needed
Seasoning (Oil 1/4 cup, Chana Dal 3 Tbsp, Urad Dal 2 Tbsp, Mustard Seeds 2 Tbsp, Cumin Seeds 2 tsp, Curry leaves few)
To Grind - 
Peanuts roasted 1 cup
Sesame Seeds roasted 1/2 cup 
Coriander seeds 1/4 cup
Red Chilies 8-9 (or as needed)

Method Of Preparation -

Cube the potatoes and parboil them in boiling water.

Cube the color peppers and set aside.

Powder the ingredients listed under 'To Grind'.

In a wide heated pan, add oil and the rest of the seasoning ingredients.

After the mustard seeds pop, and the dal are brown, add the cubed peppers and saute for a few minutes.

Add in the tomatoes, parboiled potatoes and turmeric and allow them to cook through.

Add the salt, vangibath powder, the peanut powder from step 3. Pour about 1 cup of water if needed to adjust the consistency.

Mix well and remove from heat.

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Preparation Time 45 minutes
Serves 40-50 (approximately)

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BM #116 Day 22 - 

After travelling all over India, we come back to the South for yet another delightful thali. This time it is from Tamil Nadu. This is also a No-Onion,No-Garlic menu.  

The platter features
1.Rice, 2.Ghee, 3.Sorekai Mor Kuzhambu, 4.Paruppu, 5.Avarakkai Kootu, 6.Chow Chow Poriyal, 7.Maangai Saadam, 8.Beans Usli, 9.Pickle, 10.Yogurt,  11.Akkaravadisal and 12.Papad.

Special thanks to Kalyani of Sizzling Tastebuds for helping me figure out the menu and also for sharing some recipes with me.

The kootu was a delight to have and had a unique flavor which we all loved.

Here is a recap of all the thalis and platters I posted this month..

Week 1 - Platters

Week 2 - Everyday Mini Thalis

Week 3 - Flatbread Thalis

Week 4 - Regional Thalis

Rajasthani Thali - Gatte Ki Sabji - Day 21

Recipe Source here
Ingredients - 

Toor Dal 1/2 cup
Chikkudu/Avarakkai/Flat Beans stringed, chopped 2 cups
Tamarind lime sized - extract tamarind water
Salt, Turmeric as needed
Sambar Powder 1-2 tsp (as needed)
Seasoning (Oil 1 tsp, Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp, Curry leaves few, Red Chili 1, Asafotida 2 pinches)
To Roast and Grind - 
Chana Dal 1 Tbsp
Coriander Seeds 1 Tbsp
Fenugreek seeds 1/4 tsp
Dry Red Chili 3-4
Coconut, shredded (Fresh/frozen or dried) 1/4 cup

Method Of Preparation -

Wash and pressure cook toor dal and chopped avarakkai separately.

While the dal is being cooked, roast chana dal, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, dry red chilies and coconut. Grind into a powder and set aside.

In a heated pan, add oil and the rest of the seasoning.
After the mustard seeds pop, add the cooked avarakkai , salt, turmeric and sambar powder. 

Also add the tamarind extract as needed. While the mixture is simmering, add the spice powder set aside in step 2.

Mix in the cooked toor dal into the simmering mixture. Let all this come to a rolling boil.

Remove from heat and serve with rice as part of a meal.

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Preparation Time 40 minutes
Serves 6-7

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BM #116 Day 21 -

Today we travel to the Northwestern state of Rajasthan to explore their cuisine. The moment I think of Rajasthan, I think bright colored clothes, desert, camels, forts, palaces and their inimitable hospitality.

The internet helped me pick an array of dishes popular in Rajasthani cuisine. I did a mix and match and came up with a thali which was easy to plan and prepare.

The dishes with numbers corresponding to the names are listed here.
1.Lahsun ki Chutney, 2.Boondi - Kakdi Raitha, 3.Gatte Ki Sabji, 4.Kala Chane Ki Kadhi, 5. Sabz Jaipuri, 6.Papad Ki Sabji, 7.Dal Tadka, 8.Rice, 9.Poori, 10.Phulka, 11.Tawa Pudi, 12.Chaas, 13.Moong dal Vada, 14.Churma Laddu, 15. Onion-Tomato Salad

Here is the recipe for Gatte ki Sabji. I felt it was very flavorful and filling. This is a no onion no garlic recipe.

Ingredients - 

Oil 2 Tbsp 
Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp
Asafotida 2 pinches
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Coriander Powder 1 tsp
Kasuri Methi 1 tsp
Red Chili Powder 1/4 tsp
Yogurt 1/2 cup
Salt as needed
Coriander Leaves chopped 2 Tbsp
To Grind - 
Tomato chopped 1/2 cup
Ginger 1/2 inch
Green Chilies
For The Gatte -
Besan/Chickpea Flour 1/2 cup
Chilli Powder 1/4 tsp or as needed 
Salt to taste
Fennel Seeds/Saunf 1/4 tsp
Carom Seeds/ Ajwain 1/4 tsp 
Yogurt/curds 1 tbsp or as needed
Oil 1 Tbsp 

Method Of Preparation -

To Make the Gatte - 
In a mixing bowl add all the ingredients listed under 'for the gatte' and knead into a stiff dough adding as little yogurt as needed.

Divide the dough into 2-3 portions and shape each portion into 3 inch long cylinders about 2-3 mm thick.

In a deep stock pot, boil about 2 cups of water and after the water comes to a rolling boil, add the dough cylinders and cook for 10-12 minutes.

Drain the cooked gatte and allow them to cool. Reserve the drained water.

Cut them into 1/2 inch pieces and set them aside.

To make the Gravy - 
Make a paste of tomato, green chili and ginger and set aside. Whisk curd and set aside. 

Add oil in a heated pan. Add cumin seeds and asafotida to it. 
After cumin seeds are golden brown, add turmeric powder, coriander powder, kasuri methi and ground tomato masala and saute until oil starts floating on the surface. 

Then add the whisked curd and red chilly powder as well and keep sauteing until oil starts separating from the masala. 

Pour about 1/2 cup to a cup of the left over water (left after boiling gatte) if the gravy appears too thick. 

When the gravy starts simmering, add gatte and salt to taste. Let it cook for 2 to 3 more minutes. 

Remove from heat and add garam masala to it. 

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Preparation Time 40 minutes
Serves 4-5

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BM #116 Day 20 -

We shall stop by another Western state today to explore their cuisine. So let's go ahead and check out a traditional menu from Maharashtra.

In the picture are the dishes with numbers corresponding to the names listed here.
1.Salt, 2.Lemon, 3.Thecha, 4.Koshimbir, 5.Gajrancha Loncha, 6.Aloochi Vadi, 7.Chawli Chi Usal, 8.Gobi Matar Bhaji, 9.Batatachi Bhaji, 10.Amti, 11.Papad, 12.Varan Bhat, 13.Tondli Bhat, 14.Roti, 15.Mattha, 16.Aam Ras and 17.Sheera

Out of all the dishes, The Aloochi Vadi was store bought. We get those in the frozen section and we usually stock them as it works out for a quick snack and we love it. Also the Aam Ras was store bought unsweetened mango pulp mixed with milk.

I tried to number the dishes in the order they are served. But I might have messed up the order here and there. 

Special thanks to my friend, Shalaka who helped me in validating and planning the menu.

Recipe Inspiration here
Ingredients - 

Black Eyed Peas 1/2 cup
Salt, Turmeric, Red Chili Powder as needed
Seasoning(Oil 1 Tbsp, Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp
Onion chopped 1/2 cup
Ginger-Garlic paste 1 tsp
Tomato chopped 1/4 cup
Goda Masala 1 tsp
Garam Masala 1/4 tsp
Coriander Leaves as needed for garnish
Onion - Coconut Paste - 
Onion chopped 3 Tbsp
Coconut 1 Tbsp
Coriander stalks few

Method Of Preparation -

Wash black eyed peas, soak for 3-4 hours, drain and pressure cook for 15 minutes adding 1 cup of water, salt and turmeric.

In a heated pan, add about 1/2 teaspoon of oil and saute onions until they are golden brown. Remove from heat. Add a tablespoon of coconut and allow it to get a golden brown hue in the residual heat of the pan.

Let it cool and grind into a thick paste adding a few coriander stalks and as much water as needed. Set it aside.

Heat the same pan, add oil and cumin seeds. After the cumin seeds crackle, add onions and saute until they are golden brown.

Add in the ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, red chili powder, goda masala. Stir it for a few seconds.

Add in the chopped tomato and allow it cook well.

Add in the boiled black eyed peas. Mix well and sprinkle salt as needed. Cover and allow the flavors to blend in.

Remove from heat. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve it with roti.

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Preparation Time 30-40 minutes + 4 hours of soaking
Serves 6-7

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BM #116 Day 19 -

After the Andhra Varalakshmi Vratham Thali, Bengali Niramish Thali, today we travel to the West and check out some of the delicacies of Gujarat.

Coming to the stuffed Okra, this version has become one of our favorites recently. This is so easy and quick to make that I rely on this recipe without any tweaks.

Until a decade ago, my only favorite dish from Gujarat was Dhokla. Only after exploring Gujarati cuisine, I came to love their other dishes and some of them are showcased here.

In the picture are the dishes with numbers corresponding to the names listed here.
1.Gujarati Kadhi
2.Khatti Meethi Dal
3.Mag - Gujarati Moong Beans
4.Beet Nu Raito
5.Doodh Pak
6.Steamed Rice
8.Methi Na Gota
10.Batata Tamata Nu Shaak
11.Bhinda nu Bharela Shaak
14.Khatta Chutney
15.Green Chutney

Recipe Source here
Ingredients - 

Okra / Bhindi / Bendakaya 20 nos
Oil 1 Tbsp
Garlic, grated 2 tsp
For the Filling - 
Roasted Gram Powder 1/4 cup
Sesame seed Powder 2 Tbsp
Roasted Peanut Powder 1/4 cup
Amchur Powder 1/4 tsp
Hing 2 pinches
Red Chili Powder as needed
Sugar 1 tsp (Optional)
Coriander Powder 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala 1/4 tsp
Oil 1 Tbsp

Method Of Preparation -

For the filling, mix all the ingredients listed under 'For the filling' and make a stiff dough like consistency of the filling.

Wash and pat the bhindi dry. Chop the ends of the okra and make slits keeping both the ends intact. Fill about half teaspoon of the filling into each of the bhindi slits and keep them aside.

In a wok/kadai heat oil and saute the grated garlic.

Gently add all the stuffed bhindi and toss them gently. Let the bhindi fry/cook through. 

Remove from heat and serve as part of a meal.

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Preparation Time 25 minutes
Serves 4-5

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Posted by Harini R on Tuesday, September 22, 2020

BM #116 Day 18 -

Today we travel to the Eastern part of India to the state of West Bengal to explore their Niramish menu options. Niramish means vegetarian and no onion-no garlic.

I went through a lot of videos to understand their style of cooking and what combinations of dishes I can make to suit our palate. I took the advice of my Bengali friend in finalizing the menu. Special thanks to her.

In the thali I have arranged the dishes in the following order.
1.Potol Bhaja (Parwal Fry)
2.Paneer Dalna (Recipe below)
3.Bandhakopir Ghonto (Cabbage Sabji)
4.Aloo Posto (Potatoes cooked in Poppy paste)
5.Cholar Dal 
8.Mishti Tomato Chatni
9.Kumro Bhaja (Pumpkin Fry)

I had a few more things on my list like Mishti Doi, Luchi, Alur Dum and Veg chop. But I was unable to get them done. So if I ever try making this thali again I shall try to include these also.

Recipe Source various youtube videos
Ingredients - 

Paneer cubed 1 cup
Peas 1/4 cup
Capsicum/Green Bell Peppers sliced 1/4 cup
Tomatoes chopped 1/2 cup
Salt and Turmeric as needed
Coriander powder 1 tsp
Cumin powder 1 tsp
Garam Masala 1/2 tsp
Sugar 1/2 tsp
Seasoning (Oil 1 Tbsp, Bay leaf 1, Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp, Cinnamon 1/2 inch piece, Cloves 2, Cardamom 2 pods)

Method Of Preparation -

Soak the cubed paneer in hot water until needed. Or fry the cubed paneer in oil and set aside. [My family prefers the paneer soaked in hot water so I never fry paneer].

In a heated pan, add oil and the rest of the seasoning. Saute for a few seconds and add in the tomatoes. Add in coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala, salt, turmeric and sugar. Cook until oil oozes out.

Add the peas and bell peppers and mix well. Allow them to cook through.

Add about 1/2 cup of water and let it simmer. Adjust the flavors and add the soaked paneer. Cook for a few more minutes and remove from heat.

Serve with rice/roti or as part of a meal.

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Preparation Time 25 minutes
Serves 4-5

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