chutney, pickle & raita

tamarind chutney

26th November 2017

In my earlier days when I was studying yoga in Mysore, there was an Indian lady who opened up her house for Westerners serving breakfast and dinner.  She would make the most delicious Pongal drizzled with a sweet-sourish tamarind gojju.  Only recently, after making it for so many years, I finally obtained an authentic recipe for the tamarind gojju in India on our last retreat.  The secret lies in obtaining fresh curry leaves and using a seedless tamarind pulp.

~ Fallen leaves

~ The caress of Autumn

~ Favourite spaces

tamarind chutney

The colour and taste will vary depending on the type of tamarind used.  I use a partially dried, seedless tamarind pulp (on the right in the photo below) or when this isn’t available I use a moist seedless tamarind pulp which comes compacted in a package (to the left). 

The chilli, commonly used in South Indian cooking, is Byaadagi chilli and is known for its deep red colour; it is relatively sweet and less spicy.  If unsure about the level of the spice of the chilli you are using, leave whole or cut in half. Both the Byaadagi chilli and the seedless tamarind pulp can be purchased at your local Indian store.

The sauce will keep in the fridge for about a month. I recommend doubling the recipe and freezing in smaller batches to use as needed.

ingredients 

150g seedless tamarind pulp

3¼ cups boiling water

for the voggarane

2 Tbsp oil

¼ tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp fenugreek seeds

2 Byaadagi chillies, sliced in half

⅛ tsp asafoetida powder

10 fresh curry leaves

150g jaggery, or dark brown sugar

¼ tsp turmeric powder

⅓ cup unsweetened dried coconut

½ cup water

½ tsp fine rock salt

to serve 

pongal

preparation 

1.  Break the tamarind pulp into pieces and place in a bowl.  Pour 1¼ cups boiling water over the top and set aside for 30 minutes, mashing and turning the tamarind regularly to soften and break it up.

2.  Pour through a strainer, drain, use ½ cup boiling water to rinse out the bowl and pour over the tamarind pulp.

3.  Using the back of a spoon, scrape against the bottom of the strainer to get as much of the thick tamarind liquid out as possible. Do this for 5 minutes and then pour over another ½ cup boiling water – keep doing this scraping and pouring to get as much of the thick tamarind liquid out as possible until the water is used up. This process is fiddly and normally takes me about 15 minutes until I am satisfied with the amount of tamarind extracted.

4.  When you have extracted enough thick tamarind juice, either compost the remaining pulp or place in a jar to use later in cooking.  Don’t worry, the tamarind sauce will be quite liquid, the jaggery will thicken it while it simmers. Set the tamarind sauce aside.

prepare the voggarane

5.  Over medium heat in a medium saucepan, heat the oil, add mustard seeds; when the seeds turn grey and pop, turn down the heat, add the fenugreek, chilli, asafoetida and curry leaves – fry for a few seconds.

6.  Pour in the tamarind sauce, bring to a rapid boil, turn down the heat, and add jaggery/sugar. Allow to rapidly simmer uncovered for 10 minutes or until it becomes slightly thicker and starts to come away from the edges around the saucepan.

7.  In a high-speed blender, add ½ cup warm water and coconut – blend for 1 minute.

8.  Pour into the tamarind sauce, using a spatula to get as much out of the blender as possible.  Allow the tamarind to simmer for a few minutes, then add turmeric and salt. The tamarind sauce will thicken as it cools.

My preferred way of serving this is drizzled over this pongal dish, or as a dipping sauce with these samosas.

ginger coconut chutney

7th August 2017

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Chutney can be consumed with rotti, chapati, dosaidli and rice. Recommended to all constitutions. Can be used once or twice a week, at any time during the day and in all seasons. For those suffering from Pitta imbalance(excess heat), little ghee can be mixed into the food in order to eliminate any aggravation. One may spice the dish as per his natural inclination adding or lessening the salty, sweet, sour (tamarind), pungent (chilli) tastes.

If having trouble finding the toasted chana dal; over medium heat, dry-fry ¼ cup split channa dal until fragrant and proceed as in the recipe.

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Ginger Coconut Chutney

Preparation – 10 minutes

Makes approximately 2 cups.

Recipe shared by our teacher Ganapati Aarya, as part of the Jivana Yoga Programme. 

I make this quick and tasty chutney whenever I make dosa or idli.  The dry roasted channa dal can be purchased from your local India store and once you purchase this everything comes together within minutes.

ingredients 

1 cup/80g unsweetened dried shredded coconut

1 – 2 cups lukewarm water (start with 1 cup for right consistency)

¼ cup dry roasted channa dal

1 tsp ginger, finely chopped

½ –1  red/green chilli (according to taste and strength of chilli)

6 sprigs coriander leaves, washed

¼ tsp tamarind paste

1 tsp sugar/jaggery

½ tsp fine rock salt

preparation 

1.  Place in an upright blender, the dried coconut, dal, ginger, chilli, jaggery, salt and tamarind paste. Wash the coriander leaves and place with the ingredients.

2. Add 1 cup water and grind until you have a thick paste, add more water until you have the desired consistency.  The texture should be a bit coarse.

3.  Taste for seasoning, adding more salt, sweet, tamarind or chilli, as needed.

Variation

Use the coconut meat from 1 whole coconut, grated.

dosa - 1

Goodness shared by Stacey

carrot raita & an offering

21st June 2016

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There is a spot on this property where three mighty cedar trees root together in a triangle creating a vaulted, protected, central glade below. This space draws you in, inviting a connection, a pause to listen, and quieten our minds and become present in that moment of beauty. One of the trees has a girth of almost 2-meters and is so tall it makes a visible home landmark from as far as the Moorish Castle lookout. The thick branches welcome you in, reaching out and upwards for the sky. They stand strong against the fierce gales that hurl off the Atlantic in the summer months. On windy nights, they moan, shake and call to us in our cosy beds.

When we first moved here we held fires under those trees, later it became a place to rest, a place to contemplate and gaze up into the branches; still later, a circle of flowers was planted, and one year we hung a swing from one arm, spending hours daydreaming, spinning, soaking up the feeling of being held by them. Now, it has become a place of offering: Abi and her boys created a mandala, a gesture of their gratitude – created from things collected, from the walks we did that week, from the land and sea, and the joyous celebration and wondrous family feeling of coming together in our home. If you create something in nature – a careful image, an honouring of beauty, an act of appreciation – it can help you tap into the inner light and deepen your connection to it.

It also has caught my attention each time I pass by it now, I pass much more slowly. I slow down and bow my head a little; it offers me perspective, a feeling of being filled with light and allowing that light to flow through and out into this world.

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Thank -you Abi, Issac, Aaron & Seth.

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carrot raita

Use heaped spoon measurements unless otherwise stated.

Serves 2 person

Recipe shared by our teacher Ganapati Aarya, as part of the Jivana Yoga Diploma. 

Raita is a very soothing dish, with the overall property of being cooling for the body.  It is recommended to serve with 1 – 2 cups of cooked rice and becomes a very cleansing and satisfying meal to have in the evening.  In Ayurveda, it is said to evoke a good night sleep.

For a variation on taste ¼ tsp lemon juice can be added and can be made with grated cucumber instead of carrot.  This raita can be used as a dressing over a salad, or roasted vegetables or accompanied with a spicy rice/grain dish or dal.   Fresh curry leaves can be found at your local Indian Store and when stored in the freezer keep their flavour up to 6 months. After fried briefly in oil they become a uniquely flavourful, and a crunchy surprise, as well as benefiting from their wonderful medicinal qualities.

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ingredients

1 cup regular yoghurt

1 cup filtered water

½ cup carrot, finely grated

½ tsp ginger, finely grated

¼ tsp rock salt

voggarane

2 tsp melted coconut/peanut oil

¼ tsp black mustard seeds

¼ tsp cumin seeds

10 fresh curry leaves – torn in half

2 pinches turmeric powder

preparation

1.  In a medium bowl, whisk the yoghurt, add the water and whisk again until well combined.

2.  Grate the carrot and ginger using the finer side on a box grater/parmesan grater. Stir into the yoghurt, and add the salt. Set aside.

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prepare the voggarane

3.  In a small pan over medium heat, add the oil and mustard seeds; when the seeds start to pop, add the cumin seeds, curry leaves and turmeric powder and fry for 30 seconds, swishing the pan around to allow for the spices to fry evenly, then turn off the heat, add ¼ cup yoghurt mixture into the voggarane, swishing the pan for the spices to fry evenly.

4.  Pour into the yoghurt mixture, mix well.

Serve with 1 – 2 cups of cooked rice, garnish with fresh coriander.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

baked vegetable samosas with mango chutney

29th March 2015

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I woke with a feeling of peace in my heart….

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all day I breathed softly, moved slowly

afraid it might disappear….

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baked vegetable samosas

Makes 13 half-moon samosa

I made these for a special dinner to have sitting around the fire outside.  I used a good quality ready-made puff pastry for my first attempt, but the second time I made my own pastry, which was a recipe tried and tested by Noa.  Both were great – it just depends on how much time you want to spend making them.  

I keep the filling mild, as the chutney adds the spark it needs, but if you like strong flavours, increase each spice by ¼ teaspoon.

for the dough

350g flour (200g white & 150g wholewheat)

½ tsp rock salt

1 tsp sugar

200g unsalted butter

100ml very cold water

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

for the filling

1 Tbsp oil

1 large bulb fennel/2 sticks celery (160g)

1½ cup/220g sweet potato/pumpkin, finely diced 

1 cup/190g potato, finely diced 

1 cup/90g cabbage, finely chopped 

1½ cups/180g cauliflower, finely chopped 

½ tsp brown mustard seeds

1  tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 Tbsp ginger, finely grated

½ tsp home-made garam masala powder

½ tsp turmeric powder

½ cup coconut milk/water

¾ cup/90g frozen peas

to make the dough 

1.  Place the flour, sugar and salt into a bowl and mix, then cut the butter into hazel-nut size pieces and add to flour, making sure all the pieces of butter are well coated with flour – cover and place in the freezer for a minimum of 1 hour or overnight.

2.  In a food processor with an S-blade attached, add the cold flour and butter, process for 20 seconds (the mixture should resemble fine meal), then stir the vinegar with the very cold water and pulse in short bursts. The dough will still look crumbly, but if you press it between your fingers, it should become smooth. If the dough is too dry and is not coming together, add ice water a tablespoon at a time.

3.  Turn dough out onto a clean work surface.  Gather and press the dough together to form a unified mass. Divide the dough into 12 equal balls, each one weighing roughly 50 – 55 grams each.  Press each ball into a small round disc, wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hour and up to 24 hours.

to make the filling 

4.  In a small pan dry-roast the cumin and coriander seeds, then place in a mortar and pestle and ground coarsely, then add turmeric and garam masala into the pestle.  Set aside.

5.  Remove the outer leaf of the fennel and finely chop into very small pieces, along with the remaining vegetables. Remove the thicker stems of the cauliflower and chop into thin shreds. Set aside.

6.  In a large skillet over moderate heat, add oil and mustard seeds; when the seeds start to turn grey and pop, add ginger, ground spices, garam masala and turmeric – fry for a few seconds, then add the fennel, cauliflower, potato and sweet potato, and cabbage, pour in the coconut milk/water and saute, covered for 5 -7 minutes.  

7.  Add the peas and turn off the heat, cover and allow to rest so that the vegetables continue to soften.  Set aside to cool for 30 minutes.

to assemble the samosas 

8.  Remove one of the discs of dough from the fridge.  If they are very firm, let sit for a few minutes at room temperature until the dough is pliable enough to roll.  The dough will soften and become easier as you work with it.

9.  Roll each disc between two pieces of cling film, into a circle of 5½-inches. Place two heaped tablespoons of the vegetable mixture into the middle of each circle.

10.  Brush the edges with milk/ghee, and flip the corner over the mixture to create a half-moon, then press the edges together with a fork and prick the top twice to allow the heat to escape.  Repeat with the remaining pastry. Place the pastries on a baking tray.

11.  Brush the top with melted ghee or milk and sprinkle over the sesame seeds.  Cover and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

when ready to bake

12.  Place the tray into a preheated 210C/420F oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes.

If using ready-made puff pastry, they will take longer to bake – about 30  – 40 minutes or until golden brown.

spicy mango chutney (mango gojju)

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Inspired by South Indian yogic cookbook.

I make this quick and easy chutney when I see green mangoes in the stores.  Can be also made with barely ripe mangos as well.  The less ripe the fruit is, the sourer the taste will be. Balance the amount of sugar accordingly.  I use it as a replacement for pickle in dishes like this one.  It makes a great dipping sauce for these samosas and perfect as an accompaniment to any rice dish or Indian meal. 

Makes about 1½ cups

ingredients 

2 medium-large/765g green mangoes (half-ripe, green outside and light yellow inside)

½ tsp mustard seeds

2 small whole chillies

6 fresh curry leaves

¼ tsp asafoetida powder

¼ tsp turmeric powder

3 heaped tsp rasam powder (moderately spiced)

½ tsp fine rock salt

4 heaped tsp jaggery/brown sugar

preparation 

1.  Peel the mango and cut into tiny cubes, then set aside.

2.  In a heavy-based saucepan, add oil and mustard seeds; when they start to turn grey and pop, add whole chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida powder – fry for 20 seconds, then add the turmeric and mango, saute until the mango becomes soft, adding ¼ cup water when it starts to stick – cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.

3.  Turn off the heat, add salt, jaggery and rasam powder.  Taste, adding more jaggery or salt.

4.  Puree half the mixture with a hand- immersion blender.

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quick puff pastry version

I make this version on a regular basis.  I follow the recipe but instead of making my own pastry, I buy a good quality organic puff pastry.

1.  Brush the outer edge of the pastry with melted butter or milk.

2.  Take the vegetable filling and scoop inside the pastry leaving a space of 1-inch around the outer edge.  Flatten the top of the filling with a back of the spoon so that there is less of a mound.

3.  Take the other round pastry from the fridge and gently place over the filling, so that it sits evenly on top.

4.  Roll the edges over itself and press to seal with the edge of a fork.  Place in the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up, then move the pastry back to your work surface.

5.  Brush the top with melted butter or milk, slash decoratively and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Prior to baking rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to prevent shrinkage during baking.

6.  Place the tray into a preheated 200C/400F oven and bake for 40 – 50 minutes, until deeply golden. Eat straight away with a very green tabouli salad and spicy mango chutney.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

roasted aubergine with yoghurt & Indian spices

1st August 2009

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Before leaving Israel for our summer holiday in Australia, I had a lot of aubergines in the garden and I needed to find ways to use them, hence why another post where they feature as the main ingredient.

This one is roasted eggplant, with spice-infused ghee, braised tomatoes, yoghurt and fresh coriander.   I serve it as a side dish to any simple dal and grain, goes well with oven roasted potatoes or as a dip with crunchy vegetables, small cold cucumber slices are especially nice.

roasted aubergine with yoghurt & Indian spices

Inspired by The Vegetable Table by Yamuna Devi

Makes approximately 1½ cups

ingredients 

1 large aubergine

⅓ – ½ cup Greek yoghurt

salt to taste

½ cup finely chopped fresh coriander

voggarane

1 Tbsp ghee/oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

tsp asafoetida powder

tsp red pepper flakes

¼ tsp turmeric powder

5 small cherry tomatoes, finely chopped

preparation 

1.  Cook the aubergine over a gas flame or electric grill as described in the recipe for baba ghanoush, until the skin blackens and blisters and the inside flesh is very soft; 10 – 20 minutes.

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2.  Slit the eggplant and scoop the flesh into a bowl, removing the charred skin, allow to sit in a strainer for a few minutes to allow the juice to leak out and drain away as this is quite bitter.  Drain out the bitter juice, place the flesh into a bowl and mash with a fork.

prepare the voggarane

3.  Heat the ghee, when hot, add cumin seeds – fry until golden, then add the asafoetida, red pepper flakes, turmeric and within seconds, the tomatoes. Fry until the tomatoes are slightly broken down, 3 – 4 minutes, then add to the aubergine.

4.  Season with salt and stir in the yoghurt and fresh coriander.  Drizzle with ghee before serving and garnish with more fresh coriander.

Serve warm or at room temperature with chapati or your favourite grain dish.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

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