Friday, December 5, 2008

Yam Pickle

I found Suran (also called Indian Yam or Elephant Yam) the other day at Namaste Plaza. Generally I only find the sweet potato like yam at the chinese store, so I use only frozen yam in my curries. Here is how the Indian Yam looks.

I was thrilled to find this vegetable. Kala Chana-Yam curry, yam fritters, yam sabzi are some of my favorite Konkani dishes. I was in the process of deciding wich recipe to make, when I saw this recipe in Divya's blog. The recently introduced BLOG LIST feature by blogspot has been a great advantage. I just have to add the blogs I frequently follow in my list, and it gives me a update of the most recent recipes they post. I followed Divya's recipe given here, and the pickle turned out to be wonderful. Thanks Divya for the recipe.
I am generally not a great fan of pickles as they contain a lot of salt which is added as a preservative. I guess it is okay to eat these pickles if you live in a place with hot and humid climate like India. But here in US, unless a person is an athlete or exercises regularly to work up a sweat, there is a need for an moderate amount of sodium in the daily diet. Eating lot of salty items can cause a bloating in the body due to water retention.

To make this pickle, I added 1 teaspoon salt for around 200 grams of pickle. I used around 100 grams of fried yam. For this I used 7 byadgi chilies and 2 normal hot red chilies. Great thing about this pickle is that it can be made with less salt as it is preserved like other pickles for a long time. Click
here for the recipe.

Onion Bhaji / Kanda Bhajiya / Pyaz Pakoda

One of the perfect snack to make on a cold winter evening---Kanda Bhajiya with Chai. This is an easiest snack to make and is very popular snack every where in India. Everyone who has visited Pune knows the majestic Sinhagad fort overlooking the city of Pune. Seeing the vendor's selling hot kanda bhaji's, pitle-bhakri, and sweet curd after trekking all the way up the fort is a welcome sight.When ever we went for picnics or went on a travel trip, my mom would make vegetable bhajiya including onion bhajiyas. We would place them between bread slices and devour it with tomato sauce as a dipping. Here is the recipe.

1 large red onion
1 1/2 cup besan or chick pea flour
1 tablespoon rice flour
1 green chili chopped
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder or as per taste
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
3 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves or cilantro
1/4 teaspoon ajwain or Caraway
salt for taste
oil for frying

Chop the onion into small pieces. Mix well with choped green chili, coriander leaves and salt. Keep aside for 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoon besan at a time and mix well with the onion. Add rice powder. Add 2 tablespoon besan every time and mix it till the onion is well coated with the besan. Mix turmeric powder and chili powder. Now make a thick batter adding very little water. Adjust salt and red chili powder.

Heat oil in a kadai and drop the batter with a spoon into the hot oil till brown. Serve with tomato sauce and hot tea.

I mix besan with the onion first and then add water as the onion also gives out some moisture and the besan absorbs it. If I add water and the besan simultaneously, it has many times resulted in a very liquid-ish batter and the bhajiya's don't become crisp.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2-3 people