Apple Kosambari /Spicy Apple Salad

Fall is synonymous with apples here in New England. They grow so many varieties here I did not even know existed. For me apples meant Simla apples, small sweet and dull looking. (I also remember the Golden apples, but do not quite remember how it used to taste). But here apples are huge, shinny (because they are waxed and yucky), anywhere between maroon-golden-green in colour, very sweet to very tart, soft to kind of woody in texture. In fact Granny Smith apples can be so tart that it can practically be substituted for raw mangoes in most of the dishes. We make chitranna, tokku and kosambari as well. This is mom's innovation and we all loved it.

Serves 4 ||  Calories per serving  143 Kcl || Protein 14 gm ||  fat 0.02 gm || Fiber 0.2 gm

Granny Smith apples 2 diced
Chilly powder 1/4 tsp
Sugar 1/2 tsp
Lemon Juice to taste

  • Dice the apples into chunks. Mix all the ingredients in a big bowl.
  • Toss well.Serve Immediately.
P.S : For an alternate dressing, substitute honey for sugar and sprinkle a pinch of Chat masala, it tastes heavenly.

This recipe goes to the FIL- fruits, Thanks a lot Sanghi for the idea :) Dedicating it to Mother dear because she is my 'personal mom'...

Tomato Saaru/ Tomato clear curry

It is fall here and of course the onset of eating season! This time I am not doing much of baking because I am supposed to keep away from all such goodies for the next few weeks. So my baking season this time starts when the holidays are over. Till then it is just warm comfort foods that is easy to digest. Topping the list of such dishes will be Rasams and Tili Saaru of all variety. For me they are the ultimate comfort food. Here is mom's version of tomato Saaru

Tomato Saaru

We will need,

Tomatoes 2 large
Tamarind extract 1/2 tsp
Jaggery 1/2 tbsp (crushed)
Tili Saaru Powder 3/4 tsp (adjust according to taste)
Ghee 1 tbsp
Mustard 1/4 tsp
Hing a dash
curry leaves
Salt to taste
Fresh Coriander a handful

  1. Rough chop the tomatoes. Combine it with crushed jaggery and tamarind extract in a glass dish and pop it in the microwave for 4 minutes or till the tomatoes are mushy. Else cook the contents on the stove top till mushy.
  2. Remove and transfer the contents to a saucepan. Add the Tili Saaru powder and 2 cups of water. Bring it to a boil and simmer till the raw smell disappears, about 15 minutes.
  3. Prepare the oggarane in another pan. Heat ghee, drop the mustard, hing and curry leaves into the hot ghee. Once the mixture stops crackling pour it onto the tomato mixture.
  4. Simmer for a few more minutes, adjust salt and finish with fresh coriander.
  5. Serve piping hot with rice, a dollop of ghee and Papad.

Averebele toge/ Split Hyacinth Bean Curry

Averebele is split dried Indian beans/papadi lilva/Avarekalu/Cow beans. It is such a delicacy back home that during winters (when the vegetable is in season) the vegetable finds its way into practically everything that comes out of the kitchen. During off season, the dried variety is used. Though the dried ones are no where close to the fresh ones in either flavour or taste, it is definitely something that can sooth a craving palate for the time being. I have never liked the dried variety despite my undying love for the fresh ones. That is till my mother made this dish.
She is visiting us from India. We are having a fun time here with all experimentation in the kitchen and of course long sessions of yapping.
I have been prodding her for old forgotten recipes. This is one of the results. I have a treasure trove to publish and hope I find time in between our yapping sessions to get on to my machine and do some writing!!!

Avarebele Toge

we will need,

Avarebele 1/2 cup
For the spice paste
Garlic 2 cloves
Coconut 3 tbsp
Dry red chillies 4-5 (adjust according to taste)
Black pepper 1/2 tsp
Turmeric a pinch
For the Oggarane/Tadka
Oil 1 tbsp
Mustard 1/4 tsp
Hing a pinch
Curry leaves a handful

  1. Pick and clean the Avarebele washing it in several changes of water.
  2. Drain the Avarebele and combine two cups of water and the Avarebele in a pressure cooker and cook till very soft. (About 5 whistles in my pressure cooker) Set it aside to cool.
  3. Grind all the ingredients listed under the 'spice paste' into a smooth paste adding a little water.
  4. Bring the spice paste to a boil and simmer till the rawness disappear about 20 minutes.
  5. Mix in the cooked Avarebele and stir well. Add salt to taste and simmer.
  6. In another pan, heat oil. Drop the mustard seeds, hing and curry leaves. Once they crackle, pour the mixture onto the simmer Avarebele-spice mixture. Mix and cover. Simmer for a few more minutes till the flavors are well combined about 10-15 minutes.
  7. Finish with some fresh coriander. Serve hot with rice.