I have always observed that the skin of every vegetable or fruit is enriched in vitamins and proteins and helps in the cure of many ailments. And that is the reason I love the way our ancestors have incorporated the peels into our cooking in many ways. The best way is a thogaiyal (chutney) which can be made spicy and tangy to satisfy the taste buds.
Chow chow aka seemai kathrikkai is what we call this Chayote. For starters, chayote contains no cholesterol and unhealthy fats, and is usually recommended for controlling bad cholesterol levels and promoting healthy weight. Furthermore, chayote is a rich source of dietary fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin C.
So, here is a simple yet delicious chow chow peel thogaiyal which is great on bread toast, chapatis and hot rice too!
Chow chow peels – peels from 2 small size chow chow
Coriander – one handful
Mint leaves – one handful
Tamarind – size of a small gooseberry
In a pan, fry the above said ingredients in a tsp of oil, by adding the required salt. Adding salt will help the peels to become soft and cook fast. Remove from heat and allow it to cool.
Red chillies – 2 nos
Urad dal – 1 heaped tablespoon
Pepper – 1 tsp
Mustard – 1/4tsp
Hing (Asafoetida) – the size of a peanut
In a pan, add a tsp of oil, fry the asafoetida bar first, add the mustard, let it crackle, then add the other ingredients and fry them on medium heat till the dal turns golden in color. Remove from heat and cool it.
After it cools down, take a blender and grind the peels and tamarind along with red chillies and hing to a fine paste. Now add the fried dals and pepper and use the whip button of the blender so that the thogaiyal is coarse to feel, which will give a nice crunch while eating.
The best part about my apartment is that the corridors are long and walking it up and down a few times will make up for the daily exercise. Also, I get a chance to meet my fellow floor-mates and maybe inhale the fragrance of cooking that wafts into the corridor.
Those fragrances will inspire me to cook a long forgotten dish or just tempt my palate so much that it becomes a consistent craving. And all thoughts are lost till the time the dish is cooked and eaten and finished with a burp!
Yesterday’s walk by the corridor was very fruitful that way as I met my little girl friends who hugged me tight with a “Miss you” which just warmed my heart! My nostrils tingled with the smell of fried onions and urid dal, as I hugged the little girls – something was cooking in their kitchen by their paati. I just knew it…vengaya thogaiyal.
I had to make it today.
So here it is…the recipe of vengaya thogaiyal as I made it today!
Onions – 3 nos medium size – chopped into cubes
Mint leaves & coriander leaves – a handful of each
Tamarind – the size of a small gooseberry
- Fry the above said in a one tsp of oil with the required amount of salt and keep them separately, to cool.
Prep for the thogaiyal
Red chillies – 2 nos
Urid dal – 1 heaped tablespoon
Pepper – 1 tsp
Mustard – 1/2 tsp
- Add a tsp of oil to a pan, add mustard. After it crackles, add the chillies, urid dal and pepper and fry them till the dal turns golden brown and keep them separately to cool.
- After it cools, grind the onions, red chillies, tamarind first to a nice paste.
- Then, add the urid dal and pepper and grind to a coarse paste.
- Vengaya thogaiyal was relished today with wheat rava upma.
Vazhakkai aka raw banana is one of the fav vegetable at home because of its ability to be made into a fried version; and at this point we ascertain our unfathomable loyalty to anything prepared in oil.
To break this oily comfortness, vazhakkai is made into a podimas version at home which is even more comforting on the palette.
Make sure to buy fully grown raw bananas and not the tender ones.
Take one vazhakkai and cut into 3 equal parts after trimming the ends.
Take about a litre of water, bring it to a boil, add a pinch of turmeric powder and a half tsp of salt.
Immerse the 3 pieces of vazhakkai and let it cook to half-done consistency. Cooking it soft will mush up the podimas. So extreme care should be taken to remove it from the hot water at the exact half-cooked time. This can be checked by inserting a pin or a knife.
Let the vazhakkai cool. Peel the skin. Grate the vazhakkai in a grater.
Take a pan, add about 2 tsp oil. When oil is hot, add 1tsp of mustard. When mustard pops, add 1/2 tsp urid dal and 1/2tsp chenna dal. Add 1 green chilli finely chopped. Add 1″ ginger finely grated. Add in a few curry leaves. Now add in the grated vazhakkai, sprinkle required amount of salt and mix well.
Add 1tbsp of grated coconut.
Switch off and squeeze a few drops of lemon juice.
Mix well and vazhakkai podimas is ready to serve.
I don’t like to waste food. And to avoid repeating menu at the dinner tables, I sometimes twist the rice to make something more appealing to the eyes, as we eat with our eyes first.
The morning’s left over rice, got converted to Mutter Masala rice and presented like this with Gobi fry, it was a big hit at the dinner table.
Left over cooked rice – 1 cup
Frozen Peas – 1 handful
Onion – 1 medium – thinly sliced
Cinnamon – 1/2″ stick
Bay leaf – 1
Cloves – 2
Saunf – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Red chili powder – 1/2 tsp
Soya sauce – a few drops
– Take a pan, heat up 2 tsp of oil. Add Saunf, Cloves, Bay leaf and cinnamon stick.
– Add the sliced onions and fry well. Then add the frozen peas, as it’ll cook quite fast.
– Sprinkle turmeric powder and red chili powder and mix well.
– When the peas is cooked, switch off heat.
– Now add the cooked left over rice, sprinkle salt to taste, soya sauce and mix well.
– Serve with Gobi fry or Potato fry and make your dinners more exciting.
– You can as well use it packing lunch with freshly made rice.
Cheese Tomato Sandwich
Thinly slice 2 tomatoes into circles.
Take two slices of bread. Keep a cheese slice on it.
Sprinkle some oregano on it.
Stack the sliced circles of tomatoes on the bread.
Cover it with another cheese slice. Sprinkle oregano again.
Now cover with the other bread slice.
Toast on a buttered pan till golden brown. Delicious breakfast like this with coffee is to die for 🙂
VEG CHEESE TOAST
Thinly slice one medium sized onion and half a capsicum.
Heat a pan with 1 tsp of oil, saute the onion and capsicum for a minute or two. Sprinkle little salt and sweet paprika for that flavor and color. Remove from heat.
Spread this saute-d veg mixture on one slice of the bread. Keep a cheese slice on top of it. Cover with the other slice.
Toast on a butter greased pan till golden brown.
Yummy Veg Cheese toast to gobble up is ready 🙂
CHEESE FRENCH TOAST
Beat one egg, with 1 tbsp of milk, a pinch of salt, a pinch of oregano and a pinch of chilli flakes.
Keep a Cheese Slice in between two slices of bread.
Soak them well in the egg mixture.
And toast on a butter greased pan till golden brown.
Totally yummy, oozing with cheese in the center !