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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fusion Cooking: CousCous Upma/Kichadi with Fiery Tomato Ginger Chutney

Blogging has introduced me to different ways of cooking and umpteen new ingredients. One such ingredient is CousCous(read it as kuskus). When I introduce a new ingredient in my life I mean cooking, I always try to cook something Indian with it. Fusion pasta, Apple Sauce, Asaparagus Egg poriyal (pan fry) are some successful outcomes of my fusion cooking. Here is another fusion recipe from my kitchen 'CousCous Upma' which V and I relished. When I was thinking about the accompaniment for this dish, I remembered that Sreevalli is hosting Spicy Fiery Chutney event in her blog. So I decided to prepare the fiery tomato ginger chutney instead of traditional coconut chutney. Ore kallula irundu manga, (it literally means throw 1 stone and get 2 mangoes) and moreover I prefer this chutney over coconut chutney. 
For those who don't know much about couscous, this is nothing but the "processed samba goduma rava/ broken wheat rava" that we could easily find in Indian grocery stores. Ok, let me reveal the truth(Source:Wiki). Couscous is a staple food in Morocco, Algeria, Libya and some parts of Africa and they are made from semolina /coarsely ground durum wheat and in some regions, from corsely ground barley or pearl millet. This is why they call it as "Healthy replacement for rice". They are usually served with stew, vegetables, meat and in some places it is prepared as dessert. 
Ok, now enough of chit and chat and let us go to the recipe:
CousCous Upma

Ingredients from my Pantry
CousCous - 1 cup
Water - 1 1/2 cup
Onion/Vengayam - 1/2 (Small, sliced)
Tomato/Thakkali - 1/2 (Small, chopped)
Green Chili/Pachai Milagai - 5 (make a small slit on the top)
Ginger/Inji - 1/2 tsp (finely chopped)
Oil - 1/2 tbsp
Ghee/Nei - 1 tbsp (Optional, if you are not using ghee add another 1/2 tbsp of oil)
Mustard Seeds/Kadugu/ - 1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds/Jeeragam/Jeera  - 1/4 tsp
Chana Dhal/Kadala parupu - 1 tsp
Broken Urad dhal/Ulutam parupu - 1 tsp
Hing/Asafoetida - sprinkle / 1/8 tsp
Turmeric Powder - sprinkle / 1/8 tsp
Salt to taste (around 1 tsp)
Curry leaves/Karuvaipilai - 4
Cilantro/Coriander leaves Kothamali - 1 tbsp chopped
Cooking Instructions
In a kadai, heat 1/2 tbsp of oil, 1/2 tbsp of ghee. When it is hot add mustard seeds and let it splutter. Then add cumin seeds, chana dhal. Wait for few seconds and allow chana dhal to fry. Now add urad dhal, hing. 
When the dhal starts changing color, add chopped ginger, curry leaves, sliced onions. Saute for 3-4 minutes until the onion becomes translucent. Add green chilies, tumeric powder and saute. Now add chopped tomatoes and saute for another 3 minutes until it becomes mushy. Add water, salt and bring it to boil. To find the right amount of salt, I usually add salt in portions and taste the water. I stop adding when it starts tasting salty(not on the higher side). 
When the water starts boiling, add couscous and keep stirring until the water is completely sucked (similar to upma/kichadi). Add 1/2 tbsp of ghee, chopped coriander leaves and mix. (Trivia: Unlike the traditional rava/semolina it doesn't get coagulated if you don't stir.)
I have added ghee for 2 reasons: Flavor + to nullify the effect of the fiery chutney I had prepared. You can opt to replace it with olive oil or any regular oil of your choice. 
Serve it hot with chuntey of your choice. In the worst case, you can serve it with hot ketchup :)
Tomato Ginger Chutney

Ingredients from my pantry
Tomato - 1 (Large, I mean it)
Ginger - 3 inch (3 inch length x 1 inch width)
Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds/Kadugu - 2 pinch 
Cumin Seeds/Jeera/Jeeragam - 2 pinch
Hing/Asafoetida/Perungayam - sprinkle (just little)
Chili Powder - 1 tsp (Medium Spice) / 1 1/2 tsp (Heavy Spice)
Turmeric Powder - pinch
Salt to taste
Curry leaves - 2
Cooking Instructions

In a blender add diced tomatoes, ginger and grind to a smooth paste. 
In a pan, add oil, when it is hot add mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add cumin seeds, hing, curry leaves. Immediately add the ground paste and let it cook. 

Add turmeric powder and chili powder and cook until some water evaporates and it start getting thicker. This will take 4-5 minutes on a medium flame. Serve it with dosas, upma, idlis. 

Serves 2 when served with another chutney. 


Sandhya Hariharan said...

Very neat step by step presentation.. I am also getting familiar with Cous Cous.. off late.. Had a Cous Cous Sheera the other day . It was good!

Unknown said...

Both the dishes look so delicious, love the color of the chutney.

RV @ Food for 7 Stages said...

Thanks Sandhya, Sadhana/Muskaan..
@Sandhya, Couscous is a wonderful ingredient.. I am getting used to it too..

my kitchen said...

Nice combination,Looks so yummy

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