French Beans Fry

Quick and easy vegetable dish that comes in handy during time crunch. These are available in regular grocery stores.
1 bag French Beans
2 Potatoes - Optional

Heat a non stick skillet and do not add oil. Cut open the frozen vegetable bag and drop it in the hot skillet. This is a trick to fry any frozen vegetable (washing of frozen vegetable is an individual choice) the moisture in the vegetable will be absorbed by the heat while it is being cooked. Once the vegetable has dried then add oil as required and salt.

Peel and cut potatoes into thin long strips and cook with salt in the microven. Drain water and add to the skillet.Fry till they are nicely done and add red chili powder.

Serve as a side dish with rice or rotti.

Chitti Boorelu - Karam Boorelu

These are soft and spongy inside and crispy outside. The blend of all the items, specially green chili, ginger with curd and flour gives it that special taste. They donot absorb too much oil and fry pretty fast. Make a great evening snack.

2 cups Atta - Godhuma pindi
2 cups Rice flour
2 cups Sour curd
Chili-ginger paste
Green Chilies - Optional
½ tsp Red Chili Powder
1 tsp Jeera

Mix all the above with salt and water as required. The dough should be like chapati dough, soft enough without excess water. Let it ferment for 5 – 6 hours. Spicy lovers can add chopped chilies also.

Heat oil in a kadai (I personally prefer a traditional concave shape kadai for maximum usage of space with less oil) and never let the oil be screaming hot! It burns the first batch.

Drop a spoon of hot oil in the dough and mix well, this will make the fried item light. A pinch of cooking or baking soda can also be used.

Wet your palm in bowl of water, pick a hand full of batter in the hand and gently drop as small balls in the oil. Keep turning back and forth so it will not burn.

Once they all turn golden yellow remove from the oil. Place them on paper towels so the excess oil is absorbed.

Artipuvvu kura - Banana Flower

Banana flower is considered as a delicacy in South Indian. I am giving a very authentic dish here with ariti puvvu. Making the flower ready to cook is laborious but the real cooking of the dish is very simple.

Yet another Southern delicacy is Jack fruit kura, panasakaye kura. The cooking method is same for both. To chop panasakaye to fine pieces is an art done very skillfully with a razor sharp knife. But, I have an alternate method; will post that when I prepare it. For now, let see how to make ariti puvvu kura.

1 Banana Flower - Ariti puvvu
2 – 3 Green Chilies
1” Ginger
Few Curry Leaves
Few Pindi vadiyams – Kura vadiyams Optional
2 tsp Peanuts
2 tsp Tamarind Pulp
1 tsp mustard powder - Avapindi
½ tsp Sesame powder - Nuvupodi
¼ tsp Red chili Powder

To make Avapindi:
Dry grind mustard seeds in a mixer to make a soft powder, this is called avapindi or mustard powder and dry fry and grind sesame seeds to make sesame powder, this is called nuvvupodi. These powders have good shelf life, make in advance and store in Ziploc bags in the freezer or in air tight container. Or.

Take 1tsp of mustard seeds, 1 tsp of sesame seeds and 1 red chili in a mixer and grind using 5 tsp of water to a smooth paste.

Cooking with banana flower has a very laborious cleaning process. Grease your palms with oil before working on the florets. The pod oozes sticky sap which is very tough to remove from your hands and clothes.

Remove and discard flap and remove each bunch of florets from the pod and gently rub the tip of the florets holding on to the base. Each flower in the cluster will contain one hard and long stigma, pluck and remove the stigma, leaving the other parts of the flower.

Repeat the procedure until the layers of the pod can no longer be separated easily. In the center of the pod there is a pale colored pod which looks like a conch. It has a slight bitter taste can be eaten raw or in salads. You can also add it to the dish, finely chopping then along with the florets.

Now chop all the cleaned florets and roughly grind them and immerse the rough paste in a bowl of cold water. Clean them thoroughly at least 4 – 5 times. Using a drainer, drain the water, gently press and squeeze all the excess water and cook with salt and water in a pressure cooker or in a skillet. Drain the water and keep aside.

Take 4 tsp of oil in a skillet and fry peanuts and pindi vadiyams first, remove and in the same oil make tadka with ½ tsp urad dal, ½ tsp chenna dal, ¼ tsp jeera, ¼ tsp mustard seeds, hing. Then add chopped green chilies, ginger and curry leaves.

In a bowl add 1 tsp mustard powder, 1 tsp sesame powder, ¼ tsp red chili powder and mix well with 4 or 5 tsp of water.

Add the vegetable to the skillet. Add 2 tsp tamarind pulp and mix well. Let cook for a few minutes, remove from flame and add the above mixture and mix well. Test for salt and adjust seasonings.

Garnish with small vadiyams called pindi vadiyams before serving. While re-heating sprinkle some water and heat so the kura will be soft.