Maa Inti Vanta

Namaste,…Swagatam,..suswagatam….Welcome to Maa Inti Vanta and enjoy my dishes

Aavadalu Monday, March, 5, 2007

Filed under: Andhra Bhojanam — coolpepper @ 8:07 pm

                                                            I like to start the A –Z of typical Andhra food. This is inspiration I got from Nupur. I think its good start and hope I ll continue it and finish it properly.
Aavadalu :

What is this?
Aavdalu is a yogurt based snack in Andhra Pradesh. It is also called as Perugu garelu. It is similar to the famous north Indian snack – Dahi vada.


                                              Aavadalu garnished with coriander leaves

Vada/Garelu : Its a Indian snack shaped like doughnut and made from black gram lentils.
When is it made?
Garelu/vada is the mandatory first course of any festive meal and also during the guest visits.

How is it different from dahi vada?
The basic idea of either dahi vada or Aavadalu is same – The hot deep fried vadas/garelu are put in thick beaten yogurt. The difference is – in aavadalu, the blackgram lentil`s vada/garelu are dipped in a seasoned yogurt. The yogurt is seasoned with blackgram lentil, bengalgram, mustard seeds, green chilli, and curry leaves. Whereas in dahi vada, the vadas/garelu are dipped in a plain yogurt, and topped with crushed black pepper, chat masala, coriander leaves, etc..

Proverb associated with garelu:
                                                    “Thinte garelu thinali, vinte bharatam vinali”
This is very popular saying/proverb in Andhra. This means “Either you have to eat garelu or have to listen bharatam.”  Bharatam/Mahabharat is a Sacred and India’s greatest epic. This dish is related with the epic for the reason of its taste, a heavenly taste to say.

How is it served?
Whether it’s a dahi vada or aavadalu, they have to be soaked( in yogurt) for atleast 2 hours before serving. Can be served chilled or at room temperature( as long as the yogurt doesn t turn sour).

The funny explanation that my grandmom gave to me about the name aavadalu when I was kid 

 “Ee vadalu kadu kaabatti aa vadalu.” I hope telugu friends have understood this. The meaning goes like this :
Ee = These ; Vadalu = Plural form for vada ; Kadu = No/not ; Kaabatti = so ; Aa = Those ;  – “Not these vadas so that vadas. She meant by these vadas are the normal vadas that we prepare.
She also told me that, in olden days, when there was no fridge, this method was used to avoid throwing away of leftover vadas that were made. Vadas/ Garelu was/is the mandatory first course of any festive meal and also during the guest visits. ” Hope this is not a funny explanation.

This is my entry to VCC Q4 – You can cook for FAHC Campaign

Recipe :
Source – Grandmom
Makes – 7 – 8 medium size

Things needed for recipe :
For Vada/garelu :

Blackgram lentils – 1 cup
Ginger – Small piece
Green chillies – 2-3 finely chopped (acc to ur taste buds)
Cumin seeds – 1-2 tspn
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

For seasoning:

Curd – 2 – 3 cups
Blackgram lentils – 1 tspn
Bengalgram – 1 tspn
Mutard seeds – 1/2 tspn
Green chillies – 1 finely chopped
Curry leaves – 7-10 leaves
Turmeric powder a pinch
Coriander leaves for garnishing

How do we prepare :
1. Soak the blackgram lentils for 4-5 hours.
2. Clean them well and grind to paste by adding ginger and little salt. Remember it should be a tight paste.So do not add water.
3.Now remove from the grinder , add jeera, finey chopped green chillies. You can also salt at this point if you feel it to be less salty.

Vada/Garelu batter  Vada / garelu Batter with cumin seeds – Just before frying
4.Take a deep frying vessel and add enough oil for deep frying.

 Batter made into doughnut shape 5. Wet your hands with water and take a lemon sized ball and flatten it into a vada on a greased sheet. Make a hole in the centre of the vada.

Getting fried 7. Slowly drop it into the hot oil carefully and fry it on both sides on medium heat to a     golden brown colour.

Vada/garelu in seasoned yogurt8.Immediately drop them into the seasoned yogurt.

9.Garnish with coriander leaves
Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Seasoning :

Ingredients needed for seasonig1. Heat the oil in a pan, add blackgram lentils, bengal gram, mustard seeds, green chill and turmeric powder. When mustard seeds pop, add curry leaves.
Seasoning, yogurt2. Switch off the stove and add this seasoning to the thick beaten yogurt. Add salt to taste


                                             Aavadalu garnished with coriander leaves

1. Do not use sweetened yogurt. I have used dried curry leaves
2.  This dish can be served chilled or at room temperature but remember the yogurt should not turn sour.


Coriander-Tomato Chutney Saturday, March, 3, 2007

Filed under: Chutneys — coolpepper @ 12:54 am

                                                      This is my entry to weekend herb blogging.. The three important herbs which come to my mind are Coriander leaves, Curry leaves and Mint leaves. I can`t imagine preparing food without curry leaves and coriander leaves back home in India. In India, these are available year around with very nominal prices. Particularly in villages, every household will have a curry leaf tree, a small pot for mint and coriander leaves. I still remember my grandmom calling me from the kitchen and asking me to get the fresh curry leaves and coriander leaves from the garden. I used to obey her, and used to pluck the fresh greens from the garden and used to give to my grandmom. This was my daily routine every morning in every visit to her place. Coming to my mom, she has a small pot for coriander leaves n mint leaves in her apartment balcony.

                        But after coming to Tokyo, I started cooking with dry curry leaves which I always carry from India. And slowly got used with the curries without coriander leaves and particularly no mint leaves in Biryanis L. For me, these became seasonal greens.

                        Now, here its season for mint and coriander. Now I can blog on one of these herbs. I chose coriander leaves for my first weekend herb blogging

A little I know and read about coriander leaves:

Coriander is considered both an herb and a spice since both its leaves and its seeds are used as a seasoning condiment. Fresh coriander leaves are more commonly known as cilantro and bear a strong resemblance to Italian flat leaf parsley. This is not surprising owing to the fact that they belong to the same plant family. All parts of the plant, leaves, fruits (coriander fruits are often referred as seeds) , and root are edibleThe root of the plant is mostly used in Thailand. The plants develop leaves of two different shapesThe base leaves are broad and are reputed for the better flavorLeaves attached to the stems have a pinnate shape, and their flavor is said to be less fresh. Coriander, also commonly called cilantro in North America. Coriander is commonly used in South Asian, Chinese, South East Asian, African cuisines.

Purchasing and storing  :

1.Fresh coriander leaves should look vibrantly fresh and be deep green in color and should show no sign of yellowing and wilting. Try to buy coriander with their roots still attached. If you want to store with roots still then place the roots in a glass of water and cover the leaves with a loosely fitting plastic bag.. If you want to remove the roots then when you get your bunch home, immediately remove the roots and, wrap the coriander leaves in a damp cloth or paper towel and place them in a plastic bag..

2.Whenever possible, buy whole coriander seeds instead of coriander powder since the latter loses its flavor more quickly, and coriander seeds can be easily ground with a mortar and pestle. Coriander seeds and coriander powder should be kept in an opaque, tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place. Ground coriander will keep for about four to six months, while the whole seeds will stay fresh for about one year.

3.Coriander seeds and coriander powder should be kept in an opaque, tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place. Ground coriander will keep for about four to six months, while the whole seeds will stay fresh for about one year.

Health Benefits of Coriander:

Coriander is quite nutritious, and rich in Vitamin C. Research carried out in the United States suggests that coriander may be beneficial for lowering blood-cholesterol. In lab experiments carried out with diabetic mice, coriander also showed the effect of lowering blood sugar level. Coriander even contains antibiotic substances that can prevent some forms of food poisoning.

Source :

Coriander – Tomato chutney :
The chutney is very common dish in our family whether it a coriander-tomato or anything else. See the list of chutneys we prepare in our family here.

                         Coriander Tomato Chutney

                                                     Coriander – Tomato Chutney

Ingredients :
Coriander – 1/2 cup chopped
Tomato – 4 to 5 medium sized
Red chillies – 2
Garlic pods – 2-3 medium
Jeera – 1-2 tspn
Tamarind water – 3 tbsp
Oil – 2-3 tspn
Salt to taste

Method :
1.Heat oil in a pan and add red chillies, coriander, tomato and close with the lid.
2.Let them cook on slow flame.
3.Remove from the fire once they become soft (Takes roughly 7 min).Remember,….don’t overcook them.
4.In a mixie, add garlic pods, above mixture , jeera, tamarind water, salt. Grind them.
5.Serve with hot rice, indian clarified butter. Also goes well with Masala vada, pakodi,…

Note : This chutney can be served with / without tempering. Both versions tastes good. I do either way.In the picture above  u don’t find tempering.

For tempering :
1.Heat 1 tspn of oil in a pan , add red chillies(Check the spice level of the chutney once , since we have already added red chillies during frying.), 1 tspn of urad dal + Chana dal, jeera-1/2-1 tspn, mustard seeds-1/2 tspn.
2.When mustard seeds splutter add curry leaves – 10 no.
3.Add this mixture to the chutney.

                         Coriander Tomato chutney With rice

                                                   Coriander-Tomato chutney Rice

 Notes :
1.The quantity of the coriander should be less compared to the quantity of the tomato.