Sunday, January 23, 2011

                                                                    KONGU NADU CUISINE

Well, I have received a few Mails and Queries . why I was so interested  in Kongu Cuisine, and the recipes I am trying to collect. My Ancestors, my Parents are all from this region and to be precise in the heart of Kongu Nadu that is the Tirupur district and incidentally even I was born at my mothers native place, a remote village that hardly had about one thousand houses a few years back. One day as I was sitting and thinking after seeing Chef Jacob's blog and his activity on this cuisine,my mind got triggered  to find out more and share my views with others.

I have eaten this type of food almost daily but never tried to find out from my mother what cuisine she cooked........brainstorming and recalling my old memories I do remember that when we were young there used to be Coconut in almost all the dishes, so also the use of Gingely oil, Pulses, Cereals, Jaggery, Coffee at home those days used to be made with Jaggery or Brown sugar, My Quest for this Kongu cuisine started after seeing Jacobs TV anchorage on Kongu cuisine so I sought he help of friends and Blogger's  for me to upgrade on Kongu cuisine, also had to do a lot of reference on the pulses/cereals with their names ................ my own experience, observations made and my sought after information is really boosting me to share my views on KONGU Cuisine  and the food habits of the people.




Friday, January 14, 2011

                                                         COCONUT THUVAYAL
Thuvayal means chutney in Tamil  this is used in many villages, now try this variation with the Venn Pongal.........

YOU NEED
Coconut   1 cup Grated
Chick Peas   2tbsp Roasted  (this is available in markets known as Pottu Kadalai )
Dry Red chilly   3 nos
Tamarind   marble size
Salt to taste
Oil 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
Split Urad Dal   1/2 tsp

DO IT
*Put the coconut, red chilly, chick Peas, Tamarind salt to taste and blend  with little water, this should not be fine but a bit coarse, remove and keep in a serving bowl.
* Heat that oil in a small pan, add thee mustard when it crackles add the urad Dal and pour over the mixture mix slightly and serve with the Pongal.
This is a ideal chutney and goes well with Idly and Dosa as well, however one can always increase the quantum of Red dry chilly to taste
                                                                                     KONGU NADU CUISINE   (Continued)

Recalling the research done by Chef Jacob on Ethnic Kongu Nadu cuisine a few years back he explains about a unique dish that he came across, it is the VENNAI PONGAL..... (Butter Rice) at a place known as OOTHUKULI in Tirupur district. Now this village Oothu kuli is famous for its Ghee  and many up market Brands come here to get it and then process it under their Brand, I got to know that people in this village maintain high standards of Hygiene even though they do not have the modern sophisticated equipments , Chef Jacob says that the Vennai Pongal was exotic and tasted brilliant,
 Now, Starting with my recipes on Kongu Cuisine I have got a recipe for Venn Pongal made the Kongu way and contains only dry Items, not even a fresh curry leaf or Green chilly is used except for Fresh Ginger just for flavour, I used this fresh Ginger since I was not able to get Ginger Powder, known as SUKKU podi in Tamil ,
Try this for Pongal 2011 along with this coconut chutney.
                                             
                                                                     VENN PONGAL
YOU NEED
Raw Rice   1 cup---(Avoid Basmati use Ponni Rice)
Moong Dal   1/4 cup
Black Pepper   1/2 tsp ( coarsely powdered)
Jeera Powder   1 ts
Ginger paste  1 Tsp
Asofetida   1 generous pinch
Cashew nuts   2 tbsp
Butter  4 tbsp
Salt to taste and 5 cups of water,

DO IT 
* Wash the rice and Dal together, drain and keep aside,
*In a Rice cooker heat 2 tbsp of Butter , add rice and Dal and mix well on slow fire till the butter coats the mixture well, Now add the Pepper and Jeera powder, ginger paste and asafoteda, mix well, add the water salt to taste.
*Check and stir frequently so that the mixture does not get stuck to the bottom once cooked dry and well mashed remove and keep on a hot plate,
*In a pan melt the balance butter  and saute the cashew nuts till golden colour and pour over mixture, Mix well and serve

Thursday, January 13, 2011

ALL FOR THE YEAR ---2011---- LET US HOPE FOR THE BEST

                                                          ALL FOR THE YEAR  -----2011

Starting the year 2011, I have done a lot of rigging and cooking to explore more about KONGU NADU cuisine, This cuisine is catching up and will get more exposure in many cities of Tamil Nadu. Chef Jacob Sahaya Kumar has already worked a lot on this particular cuisine and also opened 2 Restaurants in Chennai City under the name RASAM which is owned by SRI KRISHNA SWEETS , the two restaurants are purely Vegetarian.

Now, let me give a small topography about  KONGU NADU  and here we go.it is brief since I have taken a lot of my time referring To Wikipedia and other Blogs;---------------

KONGU NADU ........... This is a region on the western part of TamilNadu, on the West to North west is the state of Karnataka,, Madurai and other districts on the East and West is the adjoining State of Kerala,Some of the present day Districts that come under Kongu Nadu are Coimbatore , Salem, Tirupur, Erode, Nilgiris then parts of Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri and also the close borders of Karnataka place known as Erumaiyur( Buffalo Village).

Referring to a Few Chefs and other blogger , I understand that the KonguNadu cuisine is very simple and more extensive than Chettinad since the area is also vast or rather the Region of Kongu Nadu.

Some of the aspects that make Kongu Nadu cuisine special are:-------

**Most recipes have their own nativity and Style.

**Food is not Oily and Spicy has a unique texture and flavour.

**Roasted Groundnut in form of paste or powder, Gingely seeds fresh Turmeric is added to most dishes hence it has a different flavour and aroma ,considerable amount of pulses are also used

**Where ever  Non Vegetarian is cooked it is always Mutton or Chicken that finds its place as Number One , since Sea food has to be brought from the East Coast or West  Coast  shores, farming of Chicken and Goats are a main occupation. Incidentally eggs are exported to many Middle Eastern Countries from the Kongu Nadu region since they are produced in Abundance