Stringhopper Kottu

The last recipe in this month’s Kottu series is my mother’s stringhopper kottu. Check out this earlier post on how to make stringhoppers, also known as Idiappam or Idiappa in Sri Lanka. You could alternatively use rice noodles, if you don’t have leftover stringhoppers. I am bringing this tasty meal to Fiesta Friday #31.

DSC01276I’d like to wrap up the A.R.Rahman music month with some clips from MTV Coke Studio’s youTube channel (I do very much enjoy the experimental music generated at the Coke Studio). The first clip is a Tamil song sung by his sisters, Rayhanah and Issrath Quadhri.

The second clip is a lovely fusion of Hindustani and Carnatic music with the vocals by Hindustani classical singer Ustad Ghulam Mustafa and his family.

The last clip is A.R.Rahman’s fusion take on lyrics by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore with Bengali singer Suchi and Chennai rap artist Blaaze.

Hope you enjoyed this special selection of experimental Indian music by A.R.Rahman! Let me know which clip you enjoyed most as well as if you do try out this recipe!

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Stringhopper Kottu

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 20mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Leftover cooked stringhoppers – 1 cup, chopped
  • Green peas, cooked – ¼ cup
  • Chickpeas, cooked – ¼ cup
  • Leeks – ¼ cup, chopped
  • Carrot – 1/4 cup , chopped
  • Tomato – ¼ cup, crushed
  • Garlic – ½ tsp, chopped
  • Ginger – ½ tsp, chopped
  • Onion – 1 tbsp, chopped
  • Crushed chillies – 1 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil – 2 tbsp

Method:

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Lightly fry the ginger and garlic and add the onion.
  2. Next add the tomato and crushed chillies. Add 1 tbsp water. Mix well and remove from heat after a couple of mins. Mash the mix together and keep aside.
  3. Heat another 1 tbsp oil in a pan and fry the leeks and carrots for a couple of mins. Then, add the cooked chickpeas and green peas and stir-fry for a few minutes. Add the mashed spicy tomato mix.
  4. Finally, add chopped stringhoppers and some salt, to taste. Mix well before removing from heat.
  5. Serve warm.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

More blog awards to pass on

I noticed that I have three nomination posts to acknowledge and pass on. So, decided to do that today.

First, I’d like to thank Lori from Creating Beauty in the Kitchen for nominating me for a Liebster award. Delighted to accept the nomination. If you have not visited Lori’s blog yet, please do so as her delightful healthy recipes and craft work will be sure to enchant you.

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My responses to Lori’s 11 questions:

  1. What is your favorite thing to do (Besides cooking)? Travel
  2. What did you want to be when you grew up? Ambassador (Career diplomat) – this was my career plan from the age of five until I completed my first degree.
  3. What has been your favorite age so far, and why? The present. I try to live in the moment.
  4. Would you rather watch a movie or read a book? A book.
  5. Would you rather be inside or outside? I am very much an indoors person, except when I travel out of my city.
  6. If you could use one word to describe your home, what would it be? Mother.
  7. What is your favorite type of music? Carnatic music.
  8. What is your favorite song? It’s a beautiful day (Queen)
  9. Where is the farthest you have ever traveled? Hawai’i.
  10. Why do you like cooking? I like it when the people I care about enjoy the food I make for them.
  11. Sunrise or sunset? Sunrise.

I am combining my nominations for passing on this Liebster award with my nominations for the next award from Adorable Life blog. Thank you, Nimmi, for nominating me as part of your WordPress Family. Honoured and delighted to accept this special nomination. Within five months of starting her blog, Nimmi has shared many tasty recipes that she has been trying out. Do visit her blog, if you have not done so already.

WPFA

My combined nominations for the Liebster and WordPress Family awards are for the following lovely bloggers:

Finally, thank you once again  Nimmi, for nominating me for another blog award – this time, the Inspiring blogger award. Appreciate it much.

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I’d like to nominate the following fifteen bloggers, for the Inspiring blogger award, whose posts I enjoyed very much during the past week.

Congratulations to all the lovely bloggers and in lieu of questions, I’d appreciate it if you do share a favourite memory of yours, be it travel, music, movie or books.

To wrap up this nomination acceptance and passing it on post, I would like to share a lovely music clip. I have had this CD for over a decade now and had purchased it because it had one of my favourite musicians, tabla maestro Zakir Hussain, and one of my father’s favourites, South Indian violin maestro Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan collaborating together. Until recently, I did not know that A.R.Rahman was the keyboard player in this album and this was very early on in his music career. As this is A.R.Rahman music month on this blog, I am sharing this lovely clip from the Golden Krithis Colours album (1992).

Have a great week!

Paneer Kottu

This week features my favourite kottu under the kottu series – paneer kottu, which I am bringing to Fiesta Friday #30.
DSC01294Today’s A.R.Rahman songs are from his most recent movie work. The first clip is an excerpt from the concert in Mumbai promoting Imtiaz Ali’s movie Rockstar (2011) starring Ranbir Kapoor. The singers in this Hindi song clip are Mohit Chauhan, A.R.Rahman and his team together with Ranbir Kapoor.

The second song is a clip from MTV Unplugged.  The Tamil song is from Mani Ratnam’s movie Kadal (translation: Sea, 2013) with playback singer Shakthishree Gopalan.

The last song clip is from Imtiaz Ali’s movie Highway (2014) starring Alia Bhatt and Randeep Hooda. The playback singers of this Punjabi song are Sultana Nooran and Jyoti Nooran.

Hope you enjoyed the most recent of A.R.Rahman’s music! I am sure you will also enjoy this paneer kottu!
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Paneer Kottu

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 15mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Atta roti – 2, chopped
  • Paneer – ½ cup, chopped
  • Onion – ½
  • Green chilli – 1
  • Ginger – 1 tsp, chopped
  • Garlic – 1 tsp, chopped
  • Tomato – 1, chopped
  • Curry powder – 1 tsp
  • Oil – 1 tbsp

Method:

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and lightly fry the onion, ginger and garlic for 2 mins.
  2. Then add the chopped tomato and continue frying for another 2 mins.
  3. Add 1 tsp curry powder and a little water. Cook for a min.
  4. Remove from heat and transfer pan contents to a blender. Blend the mix and then return the spiced tomato puree to the pan. Re-heat.
  5. Add the paneer cubes and cook for 2 mins.
  6. Finally, add the chopped atta roti to the pan.  Mix well and cook for 2 mins.
  7. Serve warm.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Bread Kottu

In my mother’s kottu series, I am including one of her dishes she calls the ‘bread kottu.’ Home-baked bread, when leftover the next day or two, never tastes as good as it does fresh. So, when we do end up with a few slices of such bread, my mother makes this kottu dish. I am sharing this at the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck #8 as well as bringing a second kottu dish late to Fiesta Friday #29.

I received an interesting email a couple of days ago from Ellie Priestman, a researcher at Studio Lambert. After reading the email, I agreed to share the gist of it here on my blog. According to Ellie, Studio Lambert is an independent television production company based in London and “have produced a number of observational documentary and factual entertainment series including Undercover Boss, The Great Interior Design Challenge and the BAFTA award winning series Gogglebox. (More information about the company can be found at www.studiolambert.com).” They are currently planning a production for BBC2 and are “looking for lively and outgoing couples and families who will be happy to show us what happens in their kitchens and around their dinner tables. The series will very much be a celebration of food and family – so we’re looking for people who are passionate about cooking (and eating!) together.” So, if anyone reading this and living in the UK is interested, please get in touch with Ellie via email:  getintouch@studiolambert.com or phone on 0203 040 6875.

DSC01255For today’s music as part of the A.R.Rahman series, I decided to select a few of his collaborative work with other international musicians to share here.

The first song is an excerpt from the self-titled album SuperHeavy (2011) of the five member group of Mick Jagger, Dave Stewart, A.R.Rahman, Damian Marley and Joss Stone.

The second song is a collaborative work with Persian American music group, Niyaz, from their album Sumud (2012). This song is their interpretation of an Afghan folk song.

The last song for today is an interesting one from MTV’s Coke Studio (2013), fusing Buddhist chants with traditional Arabic tunes and Indian music. A fan of Ani Choying, I love it the way she calmly sits in the midst of all the sounds breaking out wildly around her and continues her chant.

Hope you enjoyed the collaborative music of A.R.Rahman and the other musicians today as much as I did! Let me know if you try out this bread kottu recipe.
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Bread Kottu

  • Servings: 5
  • Time: 20 - 30 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Bread – 2 cups, chopped
  • Green peas – ½ cup
  • Carrots – ½ cup, chopped
  • Cabbage – ½ cup, chopped
  • Olive oil – 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric – ½ tsp
  • Pepper and salt, to taste
  • Tamarind juice – ¼ cup
  • Coconut milk – ¼ cup
  • Curry powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Chopped coriander leaves, for garnish

Method:

  1. Make the sauce first by cooking the tamarind juice, coconut milk, curry powder and salt to taste for about five minutes till the gravy thickens. Remove from heat and keep aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan and add the vegetables and stir fry for a couple of minutes.
  3. Season with turmeric powder, pepper and salt.
  4. Add the chopped bread to the pan and continue to stir-fry.
  5. Just before removing from heat, add the sauce to the pan and mix well.
  6. Sprinkle with coriander leaves and serve warm.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Bean Curd Kottu

In this month’s Kottu series of my mother, I am sharing her bean curd kottu at both the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck and Fiesta Friday.
DSC01280For the third week of the A.R.Rahman month, I wish to share three beautiful Hindi songs from movies. The first two movies are among my all-time favourites.

The first clip is from Deepa Mehta’s acclaimed movie Water (2005) starring Sarala Kariyawasam, Lisa Ray and John Abraham. The movie was filmed in Sri Lanka and the cast includes Sri Lankan child actress Sarala.

The second song is from Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s movie Rang De Basanti (translation: Colour it saffron, 2006) starring Aamir Khan, Siddharth Narayan, Soha Ali Khan, Kunal Kapoor, Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Atul Kulkarni and Alice Patten. This song is sung by Naresh Iyer (who won the national award for best male playback singer that year for this song) and A.R.Rahman.

The last song clip is from the movie Rockstar (2011) starring Ranbir Kapoor. This clip is a lovely qawwali song filmed at Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, one of the most venerated Sufi shrines in Delhi. The singers are A.R.Rahman, Javed Ali, Mohit Chauhan and the Nizami brothers (whose family traditionally has sung at the Dargah for centuries).

Hope you enjoyed today’s music choice of A.R.Rahman and the bean curd kottu!
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Bean Curd Kottu

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 15mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Coconut Roti – 1 cup, chopped
  • Bean curd – ½ cup, lightly fried cubes
  • Onion – ¼ cup, chopped
  • Ginger – ½ tsp, finely chopped
  • Garlic – 1 tsp, chopped, finely chopped
  • Fennel – pinch
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Soya sauce – 1 tbsp
  • Tomato sauce – 1 tbsp
  • Crushed chillies – 1 tsp or Pepper – ¼ tsp
  • Sliced tomato and chopped coriander, for garnish (optional)

Method:

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Fry the onion, ginger, fennel and curry leaves.
  2. Mix in chopped bean curd.
  3. Add the soya and tomato sauce to the pan as well as the crushed chillies or pepper. Stir-fry for about 2 mins.
  4. Add the chopped roti and salt to taste and continue to stir-fry for a couple of minutes.
  5. Transfer to serving plate and garnish with sliced tomato and chopped coriander.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Egg Kottu

Today’s kottu recipe is Egg Kottu, which I am bringing to Fiesta Friday#28.
DSC01269This week’s A.R.Rahman feature starts with Rajiv Menon’s movie Kandu Kondain Kandu Kondain (translation: I have seen, 2000) based on the Jane Austen novel ‘Sense and Sensibility’ and starring Tabu, Aishwarya Rai, Ajith Kumar, Mammooty and Abbas. The playback singer is Shankar Mahadevan who won a national award for this song.

The second song is from Ashutosh Gowariker’s acclaimed movie Lagaan (translation: Land tax, 2001) starring Aamir Khan. This song is sung by playback singers Asha Bhosle, Udit Narayan and Vaishali Samant.

The last song clip is from K.Balachander’s movie Paarthale Paravasam (translation: Ecstatic over a glance, 2001) starring Madhavan and Simran. The playback singers are Srinivas and Sadhana Sargam.

Hope you enjoy the music as well as the kottu!
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Egg Kottu

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Atta roti/paratha – 1 or 2, chopped
  • Mysore dhal – 4 tbsp
  • Egg – 1
  • Green peas – 3 tbsp
  • Carrot – 3 tbsp, chopped
  • Onion – 1 tbsp, chopped
  • Potato – 2 tbsp, chopped
  • Gingelly oil – 1 tbsp
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Crushed chillies – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig (optional)

Method:

  1. Mix a little salt to the finely chopped carrot, onion, potato and green peas.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and lightly fry chopped and salted vegetables for 2-3 mins.
  3. Whisk egg and add it to the pan. Cook it before removing it from heat and keep aside.
  4. Cook 4 tbsp mysore dhal with water. Add 1 tsp crushed chillies, salt, ½ tsp pepper to the dhal.
  5. While the dhal cooks, chop up the paratha and the vegetable omelette.
  6. Once dhal is cooked, add the chopped roti/ paratha and the omelette to the pan and mix it well.
  7. Serve warm.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Vegetable Kottu Roti

Kottu roti is a street food that has its origins in Batticaloa, in the east of Sri Lanka. It quickly became a very popular street food across the country. While there are many popular Sri Lankan dishes that have its origins in South India, this meal  is one of the rare Sri Lankan meals that has become popular and localized in South India. If you walk around Colombo in the evenings, you are bound to hear a kottu vendor at some point or other. The noisy clang of the double cleavers that the kottu maker wields on a large roti pan and the smell and sight of the roti/ paratha and vegetables being chopped and cooked right in front of you is a treat. Check out this video clip of Mark Wiens for a visual of what I described above – the making of a kottu roti on the street.

When my mother has leftover roti or other dishes from the previous day, she sometimes attempts to recreate this popular Sri Lankan street food at home. While she does not chop the roti up with a cleaver nor is the mixing and cooking all simultaneously done on the pan, I do like the results. My mother wished to share her kottu series on this blog this month so I will be celebrating this blog’s first anniversary by bringing her vegetable kottu roti to my favourite weekly party over at The Novice Gardener‘s space.

DSC01265I have enjoyed sharing music clips together with the recipes on this blog. As I started featuring Indian movie songs with the music of one of south India’s influential music composers, Ilayaraja, I wanted to wrap up the playback singers and composers theme by featuring the other most influential composer of South India and beyond. This August, I will share the music of A.R.Rahman that I have enjoyed over the years. To kick-off the A.R.Rahman month, I would like to share today three songs that moved me and made me a fan from his early years as a music composer. The beautiful lyrics of all three were written by Vairamuthu.

The first song is from Mani Ratnam’s movie Thiruda Thiruda (translation: Thief Thief, 1993). The playback singers are K.S.Chitra and Mano. I remember enjoying watching this fun movie and this is one of the few songs for which I remember most of the lyrics.

The second song is from Bharathiraja’s movie Karuthamma (1994). The playback singer, Swarnalatha, won a national award for this sad song at the age of 21. There is an old youtube clip of an interview with the late singer where she talks of having been very much moved by the song that she was crying by the time she had finished the recording. Swarnalatha was particularly good at conveying emotions in folk tunes and won several state awards in her short career and life.

The last clip is from Suhasini Mani Ratnam’s movie Indira (1995). The playback singers are Anuradha Sriram, Sujatha Mohan, Shweta Mohan, G.V. Prakash Kumar, Esther and Sha. I get goose bumps each time I listen towards the end of the song, approximately the last 75 seconds of this meaningful song.

Hope you enjoy these special songs as you try out your own version of kottu roti!

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Vegetable Kottu Roti

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 30mins+ 1 hour dough resting time
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour – ½ cup
  • Warm water and salt, to taste
  • Onion – ½, chopped
  • Garlic – 1 tsp, chopped
  • Ginger – chopped
  • Tomato – ¼ cup, chopped
  • Crushed chillies – 1 tsp
  • Kesari or turmeric
  • Potato – 2 tbsp, chopped
  • Carrot – 2 tbsp
  • Beans – 2 tbsp
  • Leeks – 1 tbsp
  • Oil – 1 tbsp (for dough) + 1 tsp + 1 tbsp

Method:

  1. You can either use leftover roti or prepare fresh ones.
  2. For fresh roti, prepare the dough by mixing the flour, warm water and salt. Let it rest for an hour.
  3. Roll out the dough into one or two roti. Cook the roti until browned on both sides.
  4. Chop the roti up into thin strips.
  5. Heat 1 tsp oil in pan and fry the ginger, garlic and onion.
  6. Add chopped tomato, crushed chillies, turmeric and salt to the pan and continue to lightly fry for 2 – 3 mins.
  7. Transfer the pan contents to a blender, add a little water and puree it so that it makes ¼ cup.
  8. In a pan, fry 1 tbsp oil and add the chopped potato, carrot, beans and leeks. Mix in the puree.
  9. Add the chopped roti.
  10. Stir fry for a couple of minutes and transfer to serving dish.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.