Chettinad Mandi

                                                          OK. Finally I am posting a chettinad recipe which has its roots from my childhood. Being born in a chettinad family I am in love with all the recipes prepared in the kitchen. The name chettinad brings water to anyone’s mouth. Its a very popular cuisine. Generally kuli paniyaram, chettinad curries are popular, but other than that there are lot of authentic recipes which is not that popular but it is very interesting and not that difficult to prepare. One such preparation is MANDI, it is called by that name as it uses the rice washed water that is “arusi kelanja mandi”. That gives a great taste to this dish. It is a dish which can be taken for a trip or when u r travelling, as it doesn’t get bad as there is no dal but only lot of tamarind in it. This is a single side dish that is had with rice as it has all the vegetables in it.

Same recipe is followed with just Lady’s Finger/Vendakai called Vendakai MANDI. It has a balance of flavours. I love the mandi to be spicy as our cuisine is called for spicy dishes.

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Cuisine: Indian(South) | Category: Side Dishes for Rice | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 20 mins | Serves: 4

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Ingredients

  • Onion – 1 Large
  • Tomato – 1 medium
  • Green chilies – 8 nos. (according to spice level)
  • Garlic – 6 cloves
  • Carrot – 2 medium sized
  • Potato – 2 medium sized
  • Beans – a handful
  • Drumstick – 1
  • Brinjal/Kathirikai – 2 medium
  • Bottle gourd/Sorakai – half of small one.
  • Tanarind paste – 2 to 3 tsp
  • Rice washed water – as needed
  • Rice flour – 1 tsp.
  • Salt – as needed.

To Temper

  • Mustard/Kadugu – 1 tsp.
  • Urad dal/Ulunthu – 1 1/2 tsp.
  • Cumin/Jeeragam – 1 tsp.
  • Curry leaves – few leaves

METHOD

  • Chop all the vegetables as shown or in a way to boil them evenly.
  • Take oil in a pressure cooker and temper mustard, cumin and urad dal along with curry leaves.
  • Add onion, garlic and green chilies and saute them for a while.
  • Now add beans, carrot, potato, sorakai/bottle gourd, tomatoes and brinjal one after the other.
  • Add salt and saute them until it gets sauteed a bit.
  • After that now add drumstick. No need to saute.
  • Meanwhile take rice and wash them with water. Remove the water for using it. Add water little by little to the rice and wash them so that you get a thick rice washed water(arusi kelanja thani – mandi).
  • Now add that water to the vegetables until it is almost immersed.
  • Time to add the tamarind paste and check the taste of the gravy.
  • Adjust the spiciness, tanginess and the salt at this stage and alter accordingly. Add green chilies if it is less spicy.
  • Now close the pressure cooker and cook them in a high flame for only one whistle. Let the pressure release and then open the pressure cooker.
  • Sometimes the rice washed water added will not be thick so the gravy will be very runny. To alter the consistency add little rice flour slurry.
  • Give the gravy a good boil and then switch off after checking its taste.
  • Enjoy with hot rice.

Note : If you don’t have tamarind paste then add a small ball of tamarind to the rice washed water and then extract the juice. Add that water to the vegetables. Don’t add just water to make the tamarind extract.

The rice washed water is a must but if some don’t like to use it just add water and then finally add the rice flour slurry to get the required consistency.

Making the rice flour slurry before adding to the hot gravy is a must as to avoid the rice flour forming lumps if adding it directly.

Adding vegetables like avarakai, mochai, vendakai also will be good. The choice of vegetables depends on one’s taste and preference. Adding the jackfruit seed called “Palakottai” will also be yummy. If adding palakottai remove the white hard skin and then divide into half and add.

Visual clicks

Take all your ingredients.
Take all your ingredients.
Check the chopped veggies for how to cut them for cooking them all evenly.
Check the chopped veggies for how to cut them for cooking them all evenly.
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A closer look.
Take oil in a pressure cooker and temper the items given under the to temper table.
Take oil in a pressure cooker and temper the items given under the to temper table.
Now add onion, green chilies and garlic.
Now add onion, green chilies and garlic.
After sauteing a while add beans.
After sauteing a while add beans.
Then carrot.
Then carrot.
And in goes the potato.
And in goes the potato.
Add sorakai now.
Add Sorakai/bottle gourd now.
Add tomato.
Add tomato.
Add brinjal/katharikai.
Add brinjal/katharikai.
Add enough amount of salt.
Add enough amount of salt.
Saute everything for a while and then add drumstick in the end.
Saute everything for a while and then add drumstick in the end.
Take the rice washed water or arusi kelanja thani.
Take the rice washed water or arusi kelanja thani.
Add that water to the vegetables.
Add that water to the vegetables.
Check the quantity. the vegetables need to be nearly immersed.
Check the quantity. the vegetables need to be nearly immersed.
Add tamarind and see the taste for salt chili and tamarind. all these should be balanced.
Add tamarind and see the taste for salt chili and tamarind. all these should be balanced.
Cover the pressure cooker and cook the vegetables for one whistle.
Cover the pressure cooker and cook the vegetables for one whistle.
Ok now time to check the consistency. It looks a bit watery.
Ok now time to check the consistency. It looks a bit watery.
Make a slurry of rice in water and add that to the mandi. Check the taste and consistency and serve the same with rice.
Make a slurry of rice flour in water and add that to the mandi. Give it a boil and switch off the stove. Check the taste and consistency and serve the same with rice.

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The MANDI is ready to be served. It is a one pot dish to be eaten with hot rice. Enjoy and let me know how it was.

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