Vendakai Vatha Kuzhambu/ Tangy Okra Curry

Thakkali Aati Kachina Kuzhambu

Thakkali Aati Kachina Kuzhambu is basically a Tomato curry, that goes on the sides with pretty much anything. Idli, Dosa, Parathas and Rice, all taste great with this. This a traditional recipe from the Kongunaad region of Tamil Nadu. I have deviated a little from the original recipe, a few addition/deletion of spices and condiments. The rich taste and flavour of tomatoes and the texture given by coconut, makes this curry a winner.

This curry is different from a chutney or sambar, in its basic ingredients. The consistency may be that of Sambar, but there is no dal used in this curry. Just three ingredients  Shallots(Sambar onions), Tomatoes,Coconut, apart from other spices. Even better is the fact that you can store it in the fridge for a couple of days, and use as required.

If you have been following the blog, then you know by now what a tomato addict I am, and I just can’t cook without them. Anyone on the same page as me? Infact, in my social media handle I have spoken many times about my insecurity of tomatoes getting over. So much that i keep stocking excess of them. And this stocking has become excess during the pandemic lockdown. So every now and then such Tomato gravies and chutney’s are made at my place to keep consuming them????.

While you are here check out other curry recipes on the blog like Chakki Ki Shak, Rasakalan, Miloni Baby Corn and Bell peppers Curry, Menthiya keerai Kootu, Mirch Ka salan, Dum Aloo Ajwaini, and more…

 

Here is the recipe for Thakkali Aati Kachina Kuzhambu-

 

  PREP TIME: 10                                           COOK TIME: 20 MINS
 TOTAL TIME:30Mins                                    COURSE:  MAIN COURSE
 CUISINE: SOUTH INDIAN                           SERVINGS: 6
 AUTHOR: Rajni Ram

 

    Ingredients:

 
    Tomatoes 4 large ones
    Shallots/Sambar onions 20 nos peeled (10 ahead and 10 later)
    Garlic 4 cloves
    Dry red chillies 4 + 1
    Curry leaves a few
    Coconut 2 tablespoons
    Mustard seeds 1 tsp
    Fenugreek seeds 1/2 tsp
    Asafoetida 1/2 tsp
    Salt as required
    Sambar powder 1 tbsp
    Red chilli powder regular 1 tsp
    Kashmiri red chilli powder 1 tsp
    Pepper powder 1 tsp
    Oil for sauteing till oil/coconut oil/refined oil  
 
     Directions:
In a Pan/Kadai heat some oil for sauteing. Gently drop the shallots(half of them), garlic and red chillies and saute. Add curry leaves and continue to saute. When the onions start turning a light brown, add the tomatoes and saute until they turn mushy. Now add the coconut and saute for a minute or two. Put off the flame and cool the mixture. Once cool, grind this mixture to a smooth paste and keep aside. Now to the same kadai, add a little more oil and heat. Add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, dry red chilli and curry leaves. Add some asafoetida. Now add the remaining shallots and saute until light brown. Now add the prepared tomato paste. Also add salt, sambar powder, red chilli powder(regular), kashmiri red chilli powder, and mix well. Now add some pepper powder. Add about 2 cups water and allow the gravy to thicken. The final consistency of the gravy should be like Sambar. Enjoy with Rice, Idli Dosa, Puri or Parathas. Bon appetite.
 

 

     STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:

1. In a Pan/Kadai heat some oil for sauteing. Gently drop the shallots(half of them), garlic and red chillies and saute. Add curry leaves and continue to saute. When the onions start turning a light brown, add the tomatoes and saute until they turn mushy. Now add the coconut and saute for a minute or two. Put off the flame and cool the mixture.

 

 

2. Once cool, grind this mixture to a smooth paste and keep aside. Now to the same kadai, add a little more oil and heat. Add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, dry red chilli and curry leaves. Add some asafoetida. Now add the remaining shallots and saute until light brown. 

 

3. Now add the prepared tomato paste. Also add salt, sambar powder, red chilli powder(regular), kashmiri red chilli powder, and mix well. Now add some pepper powder. Add about 2 cups water and allow the gravy to thicken. The final consistency of the gravy should be like Sambar.

 

    NOTES:

1. Country tomatoes are the best variety for this recipe, as they are a little sour.

2. Instead of adding pepper powder later, once can add whole peppercorns while sauteing the onion and tomatoes.

3. This curry can be kept in the refrigerator for 3 days and warmed up as required.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chakki Ki Shak/ Chakki Ki Subji

 The cuisine of  Madhya Pradesh ( central India) has been unexplored by me so far. Recently while looking up the internet I saw this interesting recipe called Chakki Ki Shak from the MP cuisine. I found the recipe simple and interesting and as I don’t have this cuisine on the blog I gave it a try and the dish turned out so delicious that I had to blog it. 

While looking up this recipe in detail I also came to know of many more interesting vegetarian  recipes from the region and I will surely bring them all here over a period of time. If you are following the blog you know by now that when I try a new recipe it has to turn out well thrice, and that takes time.

Before we delve into the recipe, I must tell you that MP being the center of India is surrounded by various states and hence there is a similarity of cuisine between them. I found some dishes bearing similarities with Rajasthani and Maharashtrian cuisine. Wheat, Jowar, and Maize form the staple food, do you see that’s how “Bhutte Ka Kees” is a specialty from MP, Bafla which is made of whole wheat flour is also a famous dish from the region. The current dish Chakki ki Shak is a curry  made of whole wheat flour and some aromatic spices. The flour dumplings are simmered in a tangy sauce.

While you are here check out my other curry recipes like Miloni Baby corn and Bell Peppers curry, kadai Paneer( gravy), Kathrikai Masala Kuzhambu, Pachai Mochai Kuzhambu, Keerai Molagootal, Mirch Ka Salan, Dum Aloo Ajwaini, Pachai Sundakkai Kuzhambu and more…

Here is the recipe for Chakki ki shak-

 

 PREP TIME: 15                                          COOK TIME: 15 Mins
 TOTAL TIME: 30 Mins                                COURSE:  MAIN
 CUISINE: INDIAN/MP                                SERVINGS: 6
 AUTHOR: Rajni Ram

      

 

 



 



    Ingredients to make Chakki:

    Whole wheat flour 1.5 cups

    Oil 1 tsp

    Carrom seeds/ Ajwain 1 tsp

    Salt as required

    Red chilli powder 1 tsp

    Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

    Water as required to make a dough

 

    Ingredients for making the curry:

    Cumin Seeds 1 tsp

    Cardamom 2 pods

    Cloves 2-3

    Onions 2 small finely chopped

    Tomatoes 3 large

    Curd 1/2 cup 

    Cashewnuts 8 to 10

    Red chilli powder( regular) 1 tsp

    Red chilli powder( Kashmiri) 1 tsp

    Coriander powder 2 tsp

    Fennel powder 1 tsp

    Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

    Garam masala powder 1/2 tsp

    Fresh coriander 1 tsp finely chopped

 

    Directions for making Chakki ( wheat dumplings)

In a bowl take the flour add the oil, salt and all spices and using water form a soft dough. It should be like roti dough. Immerse this dough in water for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, scrub the flour lightly with your fingers, the water will become hazy. Throw this water. Pour some more water on the dough and scrub again and discard the water. The dough is now ready to be made to Chakki. Get the steamer ready, as the water in the steamer is getting boiled, smear your steamer plate with oil and spread this dough evenly on the plate using your fingers. Now place this in the steamer for 10 to 15 mins. Remove and cool the chakki. On cooling, cut into diamonds or squares. In a pan take some oil for shallow frying, and fry the Chakki to a golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper and keep aside.

 

   Directions for gravy preparation: 

In a blender add the chopped Tomatoes, and cashewnuts and blend to a smooth paste. In a Pan or Kadai take 1 tbsp oil and heat. Add the cumin seeds, cardamom and cloves and fry until aromatic. Now add the finely chopped onions ,turmeric powder,  and saute until light brown. Now add the ground paste followed by all the spice powders- red chilli powder(both regular and Kashmiri), coriander powder, fennel powder and mix well. Cook for two minutes until the raw smell goes away. Now add half a cup of curd and stir continuously for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups water and gently drop in the cooled and cut Chakki(wheat flour dumplings). Cover and cook the dumplings in this gravy until they turn soft and the gravy thickens up. Depending on what you are serving the Chakki Ki Shak with you can thin down or thicken the gravy. Finally add Garam masala powder and fresh coriander leaves and switch off the flame. 

Serving Suggestion: With Roti, Paratha, Naan or Plain or Jeera rice.

 

    STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:

1. In a bowl take the flour add the oil, salt and all spices and using water form a soft dough. It should be like roti dough. Immerse this dough in water for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, scrub the flour lightly with your fingers, the water will become hazy. Throw this water. Pour some more water on the dough and scrub again and discard the water.

 

 

2. Get the steamer ready, as the water in the steamer is getting boiled, smear your steamer plate with oil and spread this dough evenly on the plate using your fingers. Now place this in the steamer for 10 to 15 mins. Remove and cool the chakki. On cooling, cut into diamonds or squares. In a pan take some oil for shallow frying, and fry the Chakki to a golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper and keep aside.

 

 

3. In a blender add the chopped Tomatoes, and cashewnuts and blend to a smooth paste. In a Pan or Kadai take 1 tbsp oil and heat. Add the cumin seeds, cardamom and cloves and fry until aromatic. Now add the finely chopped onions ,turmeric powder,  and saute until light brown. Now add the ground paste followed by all the spice powders- red chilli powder(both regular and Kashmiri), coriander powder, fennel powder and mix well. Cook for two minutes.
 
 
 
 

 

 
4.  Now add half a cup of curd and stir continuously for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups water and gently drop in the cooled and cut Chakki(wheat flour dumplings). Cover and cook the dumplings in this gravy until they turn soft and the gravy thickens up.
 
 

 

6. Finally add Garam masala powder and fresh coriander leaves and switch off the flame. 

 

 

 

 

    NOTES:

1. Since most recipes suggested soaking and washing the dough, i have followed it. One can also try steaming the dough, cutting to pieces and frying also.

2. The gravy can be allowed to thicken further if serving with Rotis.

3. Whichever the method, resting the dough for 15 mins is essential. 

 

If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. I would love to hear from you. If you have a query about the recipe email us and i’ll respond as soon as I can.

If you would like to receive our recipes on your mail please leave your mail id at the homepage. Every time Rajjo’s Kitchenn has a new post we will mail the recipe to you.

 

 

  This is my meal with Chakki Ki Sakh. I served it with Jeera Pulav, Bombay Potatoes and Beet root Raita.

 

 

 

 

Creamy Palak In Coconut Milk

This recipe is really worth a try. It is different from the Palak recipes that we usually come across. As the name suggests the Palak/Spinach had been cooked in coconut milk. Surprised? Well, the flavor of the coconut is very subtle and does not overpower the palak at all. The coconut milk gives a creamy texture to the dish. This dish goes well with rotis, paratha, and rice. It is a simple and healthy recipe with loads of flavour. This is an excellent way to add palak to your diet, as  Palak/spinach is rich in iron and fibre. This recipe is adapted from a similar recipe I spotted on @ budgetbytes.com. I have also added a small video for this recipe for easy reference.

When I made this dish I had only 1 bunch of Spinach and then when I tasted the dish I regretted making it with just a bunch as it tasted so good, that we all craved for more. So made it again within a week’s time. If you feel this dish might be very bland because of the coconut milk, let me assure you that on the contrary, it holds on to how much ever spice you put. So one could increase or decrease the spice as per their preference.

While you are here please view my other recipes like Palak Paneer, Coriander rice, Kothimbir vadi, Drumstick curry, Mixed vegetable curry and more.

Here is the recipe of Creamy Palak in Coconut milk for you-

PREP TIME: 15 Mins                                     COOK TIME: 15 Mins
TOTAL TIME: 30 Mins                                    COURSE:  MAIN
CUISINE: NORTH INDIAN                             SERVINGS: 4
AUTHOR: Rajni Ram

Ingredients: 

Palak/Spinach 1 bunch

Coconut milk 1 pouch (200 ml)

Onion 1 large finely chopped 

1 Tomato large finely chopped 

Garlic 5 cloves finely chopped

Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp

Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

Salt as required

Red chilli powder 1 tsp( add more for more spice)

Coriander powder 1 tsp

Fennel powder 1 tsp

Garam Masala powder 1/2 tsp

Directions:

Chop the Palak finely and wash. Drain all the water and put the Palak in a pan. Pour 200 ml coconut milk to the palak and switch on the flame. Keep stirring and cooking the Palak. While cooking keep mashing the Spinach with the back of a ladle from time to time. Cook on low flame until most of the coconut milk is evaporated and the mixture resembles a mash. Transfer to another plate/ vessel. Now in another pan/ kadai heat some oil. Add the cumin seeds and as they splutter add the chopped garlic and saute for 30 seconds or until nicely brown. Now add the turmeric powder followed by chopped onion and saute until the onions start turning brown. Now add the chopped tomatoes and saute for a minute. Now add the salt and cook until the tomatoes start turning mushy. Keep mashing the tomatoes as you stir them. Add the chilli powder followed by coriander powder and fennel powder and stir. Now add the cooked Palak and mix well. Cook for a minute or 2 on low flame, add the garam masala and put off the flame. The Creamy Palak in Coconut Milk is ready to serve.

Serving Suggestions: Rotis, Parathas, Rice and also works as a dip for bread. To use as a dip  just blitz in a blender for a single spin after cooking.

STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:

1. Assemble all ingredients. Chop the Palak, wash and drain all the water.

2. Put the Palak into a pan and add the coconut milk and put it on the flame. Add salt.

 

3. Cook on low flame until most of the coconut milk gets evaporated. Keep mashing the Palak with the back of a ladle while cooking. The mixture should resemble a mash when cooked. Transfer to a plate or vessel.

 

4. Now in a karahi or pan heat some oil and add the cumin seeds. As they splutter add the chopped garlic and saute for 30 seconds.

 

 

5. Now add the turmeric powder followed by chopped onions and saute until the onions start turning brown.

 

6. Now add the tomatoes and saute for a minute.  Add the salt and continue to cook for a minute. Keep mashing the tomatoes as you cook. Now add the red chilli powder, followed by coriander powder and fennel powder and cook until the tomatoes turn mushy and the mixture looks like a paste.

 

7. Now add the Palak cooked in coconut milk and mix nicely. Lower the flame and let it cook for a minute. Finally, add the garam masala powder and switch off the flame. The Creamy Palak curry is ready to serve.

 

 

NOTES:

1. I have used only 1 carton of coconut milk and hence the flavour of coconut was mild. For a more intense flavour add more coconut milk. You can use up to 250 ml for a bunch of spinach.

2. As mentioned in serving suggestions this recipe works well as a sauce or dip for bread. Just blitz the curry through a blender after cooking it to use as a sauce.

 

SHORT VIDEO OF RECIPE HERE????

 If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. I would love to hear from you. If you have a query about the recipe email us and ill respond as soon as I can.

If you would like to receive our recipes on your mail please leave your mail id at the homepage. Every time Rajjo’s Kitchen has a new post we will mail the recipe to you.