Break a fresh coconut into 2 parts. Reserve one half intact with the shell in the freezer for later use. If you are using the coconut from the freezer, soak it in normal water for 10 minutes before use.
If you have a coconut scraper you can use that to grate the coconut. An easier and faster way to grate coconut is to use a sturdy knife and insert it between the flesh and the shell. I use a blunt old knife which is short and sturdy. Now lift the flesh part away from the shell by applying pressure and separate big chunks of coconut flesh in seconds.
Wipe or wash the bits of coconut shell & coir and then chop them into tiny pieces.
If you just need grated coconut, you can grind this coarsely in a small mixer jar.
For the chutney, depending on which of the above colour you are going for, add the ingredients in the mixer. I use the small jar to grind chutney.
Start by pouring little water in the beginning and build up on the water depending on how thick or thin you prefer your chutney.
I prefer a thick consistency and therefore I’ve used the whole half of the coconut. You can reduce the amount of coconut and increase the water if you like a thinner consistency.
Grind into a paste and transfer to a bowl.
Now for the tempering, heat oil in a small pan.
Sputter Mustard seeds.
Add in the chopped Curry Leaves.
Add in the Dry Red Chilli. For Green Chutney, you can also add chana dal during tempering.
Switch off the flame and add this hot tadka over the chutney.
Mix well and serve with Idlis, Dosas, Chillis, Medu Vadas, Rice…
This is something my mother made and we all love this so much, we’ve never made Sambar for Idli/ Dosa/ Medu Vada after this. This is one of her creations and thankfully my brother knows all her recipes. Thank you Aai & Dada for experimenting with food and passing on the expertise.
INGREDIENTS: 1/2 Cup Toor Dal 1 Tbsp Oil 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds 3 Cloves (Lavang) 6 Peppercorns (Kali Mirch) 1 inch Cinnamon Stick (Dalchini) 1 Tbsp Ginger Garlic Green Chilli Paste 2 Medium sized Onions 2 Medium sized Tomatoes 1 Tbsp Turmeric Powder 1/2 Tsp Red Chilli Powder 1 Tbsp Garam Masala Powder 2-3 CupsWater Coriander Leaves Salt to taste
Wash & soak Toor Dal in enough water for 10 minutes.
Pressure cook with enough water and salt. 1 whistle on high flame. 2 whistles on low-medium flame. Set aside for the steam to escape.
In the meantime, heat some oil in a deep pan.
Splutter Cumin seeds.
Add Cloves, Peppercorns & Cinnamon Stick and stir for a few seconds.
Add freshly ground Ginger – Garlic – Green Chilli paste and stir for around 30 seconds .
Add finely chopped Onion and sauté until light brown and translucent.
Add finely chopped Tomatoes.
Add salt, mix well and cook until the Tomatoes seem mushy.
Add the spice powders – Turmeric, Red Chilli & Garam Masala Powder. Increase or reduce the quantity as per taste. Mix everything well. Stir & cook for a minute. Reduce or switch off flame and keep the masala aside while we check on the dal.
Once the steam from the pressure cooker seems to have escaped, safely release the whistle and the lid.
The dal should be completely cooked. If not, you can give a couple more whistles after adding water if necessary.
With the help of a wooden hand blender or any other blender, smoothen the dal.
Pour this dal over the spiced masala, switch the flame back on and combine everything.
Add water depending on the consistency you prefer. Check salt. Add if necessary.
Also add finely chopped Coriander Leaves.
For Medu Vada and Idlis I prefer a medium consistency. I break down the Idlis and Vadas into small bite sized portions and dip them in a big bowl filled with this stew! One happy bowl with a side of thick coconut chutney is a breakfast you’ll enjoy with this spiced stew!
INGREDIENTS: 3 Cups Urad Dal (Skinned Black Gram) 1/4 Cup Water or less 2 Green Chillis 1 String Curry Leaves Salt to Taste Oil for Deep Frying
Wash the Urad Dal thoroughly and soak overnight or for at least 5 hours.
Drain the water completely and transfer this to a mixer. I did this in 2 batches.
Add salt and very little water just enough to get the mixer moving. The lesser the water, the better.
Transfer this thick batter into a bowl and aerate well by mixing clockwise for a minute.
To test the batter, drop a small amount of this batter into a bowl of water. If the ball floats on top, they are perfectly aerated and ready to fry.
Batter that doesn’t float can turn your vadas harder in texture. There are 2 reasons why the batter won’t float. You’ve either added too much water while grinding or you didn’t aerate the batter well. If it’s the latter, aerate until it starts floating. For the former add 1-2 tbsps of Rice Flour, mix and aerate well.
Now, add the chopped Green Chillis and Finely chopped Curry Leaves and mix well.
Heat oil in a deep heavy bottom pan/kadhai.
Drop a small amount in the oil. The oil is hot enough if the batter starts to fry and float on top.
Keep a bowl of water beside you. Dip your hands in water and moisten them without any water dripping. You can oil your hands instead.
Place a small portion in the middle of your moist palm. With your other hand, flatten the batter. Make a hole in the centre. Transfer batter to the other hand (edge of your fingers) and slowly slide this into the hot oil, immediately retracting your hands. Be very careful of the hot oil that may splatter. Vadas with or without the hole will taste the same. So if you are not comfortable with this process, simply drop small portions into the oil.
Depending on the width of your pan, you can add multiple vadas at a time. I could handle a batch of 4-5 vadas.
Keep flipping the vadas for even cooking. Adjust the temperature of the oil if it is too hot. Once they get a nice golden brown colour on either sides, transfer them onto a paper towel and fry the remaining the same way, each time making sure the oil is hot enough and that your hands are moistened.
Serve crispy hot Medu Vadas with Sambar/ Spiced Stew & White Coconut Chutney.