Coconut & coriander chutney

We have both been very quiet for the last few weeks as we have  gotten quite engrossed in our daily routines.   Hopefully we will get back into the habit of sharing recipes on a more frequent basis.   Apologies for the multiple posts today as we clear some of our back log.   The first recipe we would like to share with you is a simple accompaniment for dosai or idli.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1/2 cup of fresh coconut – grated or pieces
  • 1 Thai red chillies
  • 1 small red onion or 2 sambhar onions
  • Handful fresh coriander with stalk
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Around 1 cup

How do I make it?

Place all the ingredients in a blender  with a little bit of water and grind to a coarse paste.  Transfer into a serving dish and enjoy 🙂

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Parsley chutney

In the South of India you get two different varieties of chutneys – either one with fresh ground ingredients or the cooked type.   We tried using parsley as the core ingredient for a cooked chutney and were pleasantly surprised with the outcome.   The taste is slightly unusual at first as parsley is not a native Indian herb but after the first few mouthfuls your taste buds get used to it and it is quite enjoyable.

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What do I need to make it?

  • Large bunch of flat leaf parsley chopped with stalks
  • 3 tbsp split urad dahl
  • 3 dry red chillies
  • Piece of asafoetida
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp tamarind paste
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

A cereal bowl full

How do I make it?

First heat a tablespoon of oil and temper the urad dahl, red chilli and asafoetida till the dahl changes to a golden brown colour.  Cool and dry grind the ingredients to a powder.   Heat a pan and add a tablespoon of oil and then add the chopped parsley and cook for five to ten minutes till the parsley has wilted and cooked.   Transfer the cooked parsley into a blender and add the tamarind paste and a bit of salt and blend to a paste.   Place paste in a bowl and then add the powdered ingredients till it is full incorporated into the paste.   Enjoy with plain boiled rice or as a spread on toast.

Rava Stores (Palakkad, Kerala)

Rava  stores is a family  establishment that has weathered all the ravages of times.  A tiny little store which has survived the onslaught of modernization and thrived despite changes and the challenges of the economy.  It is a store which sells the finest quality locally produced spices, masalas, pickles, pickling spices, dried vegetables, condiments, sweets, savories , chutneys and mixes native to Palakkad.  The beauty of this store is that it procures  its goods from vendors who make them from  home and therefore promotes the local cottage industries.

Rava stores  holds a very special place in my heart because my dad and my grandparents swore by it and were very faithful customers.  I cherish the memories of coming here year after year as a child and even today have made myself visit the  store and buy my favourites every time I am in Palakkad.  Nothing has changed since I was a child.  The way the goods are stored in rectangular metal tins and stacked on the old wooden shelves, the blue shutters or the smell of freshly ground masalas.  All this evokes a great sense of nostalgia and a small sense of joy that something dear to  me from my childhood has remained  exactly the same.

Long live Rava stores.  I hope my children will also keep this tradition alive and make the culinary pilgrimage to Rava stores every time they visit Palakkad.  I hope they cultivate their taste buds and develop the fondness for Mahaani, Kaduku Manga and Tapioca Poppadums  and everything else that Rava stores has specialized in supplying for generations.

Rava stores 1  rava stores 2

Weekly rice treat – Bhel Puri

Trying to be strictly Paleo, diet wise,  is pretty hard work but  there’s no turning back on the wheat and gluten front (we have now abstained for over 4 months and feel a lot more energetic and rejuvenated).  This weeks rice treat was bhel puri with a wicked green chutney and store bought tamarind sauce. We had the bhel puri with a delicious smoothie – not sure how I missed the boat on making homemade smoothies – easy as ABC and incredibly tasty.  Had some left over apples and banana and blitzed it with some frozen berries and fruit salad (no ice needed!)

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Bhel Puri

What do I need to make it?

  • 125  gms puffed rice (mamra)
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • Small green mango chopped
  • 2 carrots grated
  • Handful of fresh coriander chopped
  • 4 tbsp tamarind sauce (we use Maggi Tamarina tamarind sauce – available in all Asian groceries)
  • 4 tbsp green mint & coriander chutney
  • Fine sev (gram flour noodles) to garnish

How much will I make?

Serves 4 comfortably

How do I make it?

Use a large salad bowl to pour the puffed rice in.  Sprinkle the other ingredients (except sev) and sauces and mix well till the puffed rice is evenly coated.  Add a little more of the sauces if needed.  Place into bowls and garnish with sev before serving.
Green chutney

What do I need to make it?

  • Handful mint leaves
  • Small bunch of coriander
  • Handful of basil leaves
  • 2-3 small green chilies
  • 1 sprig of spring onion
  • Small carrot (gives the chutney more body)
  • Juice of a lime
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Around 150 – 200  ml

How do I make it?

Put all the ingredients in a blender and puree to a fine paste – use very little water if needed.  Adjust the seasoning.  This is an awesome chutney to spread on bread with cucumber and cream cheese or as a dip for samosas, dokhlas or any Indian snack.