Monday, September 3, 2012

Grandma's Gadgets

A state-of-the-art kitchen is every woman's dream these days. My wish list is a little different. It does include some of the essential gadgets (?! :) but I do equally love the older manual equipments (if I may say so).

So, I chose to add one such to my kitchen : A type of a grinding stone referred to as "Ammi kal". This is the older 'mixie' - used to make dry powders, chutneys etc.

I also have this smaller version of "Kaloral" another type of grinding stone that is the older "Grinder" - used to grind doughs etc.

These also come in varied sizes. Use of these stones not only assures you an authentic taste, retains the flavor of the spices, but also is an exercise to your hands. Do try using one when & if you can - you will agree with me readily :)

Here is the very first use of the 'ammi kal' by me. I couldn't resist and ended up grinding a spicy & tasty onion/tomato chutney with red chillie (a suitable side dish for idly / dosa).

Onion & Tomato Chutney:

  • Small onions       - 10 (if very small else little less)
  • Tomato              - 1 medium ripe (if not very ripe, you can also add a bit of tamarind)
  • Red Chillie         - 4-5 (based on spice you need)
  • Gingelly Oil (nallenai / til oil) - 2 tspn
  • Asafoetida         - 1 pinch
  • Curry Leaves     - 4-5
  • In a pan, add Gingely oil. When warm, first add onion and fry till it turns pinkish. Remove it to a bowl 
  • To the same oil, add tomato pieces and allow it to cook a bit. Remove it to the bowl (Fry both onion & tomato till the raw flavor is lost)
  • Then add the red chillie and fry it till it turns deep red. Remove it to the bowl
  • Allow the fried items to cool for a few seconds
  • Place these on the grinding stone, and slowly grind it to a smooth mix
  • Add salt and asafoetida to the ground mix
  • You can add the curry leaves at the end (Alternatively, you can fry a few leaves lightly and grind it along with the mix)

Next to my antique collection is a 'Man Panai' - A Mud Pot - old age refrigerator for cold water! This is a healthy replacement as it adds to the taste of water and can be had at any time of the year because it doesn't trigger 'Common cold'. Try it! Its easily available in any pottery shop that you might even find on pavements in places like Chennai or if you visit any village.

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