Thursday, 8 May 2014

Ulli Kharam (Spicy Andhra Onion-Chilli Masala) .... Kitchen Basics

Ulli Kharam is a classic Andhra masala that can be used to spice up a range of vegetables. Its Very versatile base for a quick dish! I used it yesterday to make Gutti Vankaya Ulli Kharam (Baby white Brinjals). However, it can be used with  Turnips(Dondakaya) , Kakarakaya (Bitter Gourd or Karela), Beerakaya (Ridge Gourd), Chama Dumpa (Arbi or Taro), Bangala Dumpa (Potatoes) or even to prepare ulli kharam Dosa. So I thought, I would blog the recipe of the masala by itself and then post its use with various vegetables.

Ingredients for Ulli Kharam:

Onion – 1 Large
Byadagi chilli – 2 (Optional, for the deep red colour only)
Cloves – 3
Cinnamon – 1"
Coriander Powder – 1/2 tsp
Spicy Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
Grated Jaggery – 1/4 tsp (optional)
Thick Tamarind Pulp – 1/2 tsp
Oil – 1 tbsp + 1 tsp
Salt to Taste

To prepare Ulli Kharam :

1. Peel and slice the onion.
2. In a wok or kadai, heat 1 tbsp oil. Add the cloves and cinnamon. Stir-fry for 30 seconds.
3. Add the Byadagi chillies and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
4. Add the sliced onion and stir-fry till the onion is transparent. Turn off the heat.
5. Add red chilli and coriander powders. Mix well and let the onions cool.
6. Grind the onion along with tamarind pulp, jaggery and salt into a smooth paste.
7. Use it to make assorted vegetables or even to make ulli kharam Dosa.
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Peanut Chutney Powder

I love making peanut chutney powder especially it is very yummy and tasty to eat with Idleys, dosas and even it goes superb with white rice and ghee.


1 cup Peanut
4-5 pods of Garlic
1tsp to 11/2tsp Dry Red Chili powder
Salt to taste

To prepare Peanut Chutney Powder:

1. In a pan dry roast peanut by keeping the medium flame and allow it to come to room temperature.
2. In a mixer add all the ingredients and grind it to a coarse powder and store in air tight container.  
3. Very simple Peanut Chutney Powder is ready to serve with idley, dosa or white rice with ghee.

Tips / Notes:

·        This can be kept in a fridge so it retains its freshness and stay for long.
·        U can fry hing in a little oil and then put in a mixie with all ingredients to enhance the flavour.
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Green Beans Huli or Saaru

Ingredients for Green Beans Huli or Saaru :

1 large onion, chopped finely(you can also use 1 cup small whole onions)
1 cup toor dal
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 tsp sambhar powder
1 tsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
1/4 cup thick juice of tamarind

1/2 tsp sugar or jaggery water
1/2 cup green beans, cut into long pieces
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
1 tablespoon ghee(clarified butter)
A pinch of hing(asoefetida)
Salt to taste

To prepare Green Beans Huli or Saaru :

1. Pressure cook the dal, onions, green beans and tomatotill done.The dal should be soft and mushy. Set aside.
2. Add the sambhar powder, sugar(jaggery), coriander leaves,
tamarind juice and salt to taste.
3. Bring to a boil on a low flame.
4. Season with mustard, curry leaves and hing using ghee.
5. Eat hot with dosa or plain white rice.
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Mango Milk Shake

The mango milkshake is one such popular recipe that people love to have in the summer! its perfect blend of flavors, smooth texture and chillness make it a delightful treat for all. 

Ingredients Mango Milk Shake:

2 cup mango pulp from a can or flesh of 3 ripe mangoes
4 cups milk
2 Tbsp. sugar for canned mango pulp. More sugar if fresh mangoes used.
10 crushed ice cubes

To prepare Mango Milk Shake:

1. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Mango Milkshake is ready to serve. This recipe serves 6 to 7 people.
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Mango Lassi

Mango Lassi is a rich, creamy combination of  mango and yogurt, and I personally love it with a generous flavour of cardamom.
This popular drink is very easy to make, specially if you use store-bought mango pulp.  I usually make this with fresh mangoes pulp - just peel them and use the flesh.

Ingredients for Mango Lassi :

1 cup – Mango (nice ripe, chopped)
2 cup – Yogurt ( thick curd)
1/2 cup – Milk
1/2 cup – Water
1 tbsp – Sugar (as per taste)
Ice cubes as needed

To prepare Mango Lassi :

1. Peel the mango and cut it into cubes. Take a blender, add chopped mango, yogurt, milk, water, ice cubes and required amount of sugar and blend it into a puree. Adjust the consistency by adding required amount of water.
2. Sprinkle a pinch of cardamom powder if desired and serve chilled.

Tips / Notes:

·        The yogurt I used was fairly thick so I added some water, but you need not add water if you find the consistency good enough.
·        Also, please adjust the sugar accordingly - some mangoes can be very sweet and may not need much sugar. 

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