Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Inji Thokku

#InjiThokku  #GingerPickle : #Ginger is called #Inji in Tamil. Ginger [ Zingiber officinale ] is one of the most widely used spices [ condiments ] all over the world and it is used extensively in Indian and Chinese cuisines.
Ginger root is used not only for its flavor and also for its therapeutic properties. The therapeutic property is due to a chemical component called gingerol. It acts as a highly potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Ginger has been used in our dishes as it helps proper digestion of food. Traditionally Ginger has been used as home remedies to ward off various ailments.
So daily we should try to include ginger either fresh or dried form in small quantities in our food.
Now a recipe to prepare a spicy pickle using ginger.

inji thokku [ Ginger pickle ]

Ingredients :
150 gmsGinger
8 - 10Red chilly [ adjust ]
1/2 TspFenugreek
Amla sizeTamarind
1/2 TspTurmeic powder
15 - 20Curry leaves [ optional ]
1 TspJaggery [ adjust ]
1 TspMustard seeds
2 TspSalt [ adjust ]
1/3 cupGingelly oil [ till / sesame oil ]

Method :
Soak tamarind in lukewarm water.

Wash ginger well and remove the skin.
Chop nicely into julians.
Heat a kadai with 1/2 Tsp of oil on a stove over medium flame.
Fry fenugreek till it turns golden color and transfer into a mortar.
Set aside.

Now fry red chilly in the same kadai adding 1/2 Tsp of oil.
Keep stirring till it turns deep red in color.
Transfer into a bowl and keep aside.

Then in the same kadai add 1 Tsp of oil and saute ginger julians.
Keep stirring till its raw smell goes off and turns slightly golden color.
Turn off the stove.
Transfer into a bowl and allow to cool down to room temperature.
Squeeze tamarind and get the pulp.

Now transfer sauteed ginger, red chilly, salt and jaggery into a blender jar.
Grind coarsely and then add tamarind pulp.
Grind into a smooth paste.
Transfer into a bowl and set aside.

Heat a kadai with remaining oil on a stove over medium flame.
Crackle mustard seeds and then add curry leaves.
After that add the prepared paste & turmeric powder and mix well.
Adjust salt.
Keep stirring at regular intervals.
The paste slowly turns into a single mass and oil starts coming out.
At this stage powder the roasted fenugreek using a pestle and add into the kadai.
Mix well for a minute.
Turn off the stove and transfer into a clean and dry porcelain bowl or bottle.
Close only after the thokku comes down to room temperature.

Tasty tasty spicy inji thokku is ready.
It goes well with almost all tiffin items and tastes great with thayir sadham.

It can be stored in a dry and clean bottle for ten days to a month at normal room temperature.
Take extra care to use only a clean and dry spoon to take out the pickle every time.

inji thokku [ Ginger pickle ]

Other pickle recipes you might like to try

Lemon in salt [ uppu elumichangai ]
lemon in salt
Kothamalli Thokku [ Coriander Leaves Pickle ]
kothamalli thokku
Nellikkai Thokku [ Goose berry ( Amla ) Pickle ]
nellikkai thokku
Avakkai urugai
Avakkai urugai
Maangai Thokku [ Mango Pickle ]
maangai thokku

Saturday, March 18, 2017


#SwordBeansStirFry : #SwordBeans is called #Valavaraikkai or #Valavarangai in Tamil. We had been to Regional Agricultural Research Station at Ambalavayal in Wayanad district. The agricultural products from the Research station are being marketed through an outlet near the entrance. We used to get this vegetable at Villivakkam market in Chennai. After a long long time I happened to see sword beans and I immediately bought it. I always used to prepare thuvatal [ stir fry ] using sword beans.
Here comes the recipe.

Sword beans stir fry

Ingredients :
1/4 kgSword beans [ valavaraikkai ]
1/2 TspSambar Powder
1 pinchTurmeric powder
1 TbspCoconut scrapping
1/2 TspSalt [ adjust ]
To Temper :
1/2 TspMustard seeds
1 TspSplit black lentil
1Red chilly
1/2 TspOil

Method :
Remove top and bottom and also the fiber present along the edges of Valavaraikkai [ sword beans ].
Chop nicely into thin pieces.

Keep a cooker with 1/2 cup of water on a stove.
Add Sambar Powder, turmeric powder and salt.
Mix well and add avaraikkai.
Close the lid with weight ON.
Cook for a whistle and immediately release the steam by removing the weight.
Or by keeping the cooker under running water.

Open the cooker and transfer the cooked vegetable into a plate or bowl.
Keep a kadai with oil on a stove over medium flame.
Splutter mustard seeds and then add broken pieces of red chilly & split black lentil.

Add cooked vegetable once lentil turns gold in color and increase the flame to HIGH.
Stir continuously with a ladle to remove excess water.
Add coconut scrap and stir well for a few seconds only as the vegetable has already been cooked well.
Transfer into a serving bowl.
A very good side dish for sambar rice and rasam rice.

Sword beans stir fry

Some more curry recipes you might like to try

Kothavarangai [ cluster beans ] Poriyal Avaraikkai [ broad beans ] Poriyal Muttaikos [ cabbage ] Poriyal Cauliflower Poriyal Pudalangai Poriyal

Sunday, March 12, 2017


#BeetrootTomatoJam : #Beetroot reminds me of my college days!! On Sundays, we were served toasted bread with #BeetrootJam for breakfast in our college hostel. We were able to change the breakfast menu for all the other days but not for the Sundays. It never changed till I finished my studies. The taste was very sweet but didn't have that punch. So I never asked for more or simply avoided it. I have never tried to prepare this particular jam at home at all.
Last week I bought fresh beetroots from market. After preparing Beetroot Halwa and still some more beetroots were leftover. The beetroot jam that we used to get in my hostel suddenly came to my mind. But I had to change its bland taste. So I tried to prepare beetroot jam with country tomato. The sour taste of country tomato gave a distinct taste and flavour to the jam. I have also added a dash of lemon juice to get extra punch to the jam.

Approximately get 300 ml of jam for 2 cups of beetroot tomato pulp mixture.
Preparation time : 20 min
Cooking Time : 20 - 25 min

Beetroot tomato jam

Ingredients :
1 big sizeBeetroot
3 or 4Tomato
1 cupSugar
2 pinchSalt
1 TspLemon juice

Method :
Wash and peel off the skin of the beetroot.
Chop into half inch cubes.
Put in a pressure cooker and add 1/2 cup of water.
Pressure cook for a whistle.
Open the cooker immediately and allow to cool down to room temperature.

Wash tomatoes and make a plus mark at the bottom of the tomatoes using a sharp knife.
Immerse in hot water for a minute.
Then peel off the skin and then blend to get puree.
Approximately 1/2 to 3/4 cup of puree is enough.

Now blend the boiled beetroot in a blender and blend into a smooth liquid.
Take 1 1/2 cup of beetroot pulp and 1/2 to 3/4 cup of tomato puree in a heavy bottomed vessel.
Add sugar & salt and mix well.
Heat on a stove over medium fire and keep stirring on and off.
Slowly the mixture becomes thick and the color becomes very dark.

Take out a small amount of boiling mixture using a spoon or ladle and hold it over the cooking jam.
If drips down too quickly and watery then allow to boil some more time to get the required consistency.
Again take the boiling mixture using the ladle and do the same test, if mixture falls down as a thick sheet then the jam is ready.

At this stage add lemon juice and mix well.
Keep on fire for another half a minute.
Then turn off the stove.
Now tangy beetroot tomato jam is ready.

Now transfer the hot jam into the bottle/jar keeping on a wooden plank/cutting board.
Do not close the jar/bottle.
Allow to completely cool down to room temperature.
Then tightly close the bottle.

Thus the prepared jam can be stored for one week to 10 days without refrigeration.
It can be stored for a month or so under refrigeration.

Beetroot tomato jam

Note : If the quantity of the blended beetroot pulp & tomato puree is more than the given amount then increase the amount of sugar accordingly.

Adding lemon juice at end is optional.

Other preserves you might like to try

nellikkai jam [ amla jam ]
nellikkai jam
honey nellikkai [ amla in honey ]
honey nellikkai
nellikkai mittai [ amla candy ]
nellikkai mittai
pickles and preserves
pickles n preserves
Tomato jam [ microwave method ]
Tomato Jam [ microwave method ]