Happy Monday everyone..I know am late n its evening now,but with only 4 working days ahead,it got to be a nice Monday kick starting this week,with much anticipations n plans for the coming long weekend..I didn't want to start the post on a sad note,but still ,June had been a month of losses..My favorite writer Kamala Das/Madhavikutty passed away leaving a permanent void in the literary arena and last week came the shocking news about MJ..n yesterday one of the famous n much adored director/script writer of Malayalam film world,Lohithadas also bid us good bye..Some losses are just un-repairable ..There is nothing,none to fill the gap that they left behind them.Haa..but that's the rue of life n that's how it goes..!
Weekend was bright n sunny with no signs of rain n we spent most of the time outside,n this time on my visit to Indian store I dint miss to grab the Porotta packets from the frozen aisle..Its been long since I was planning to try this dish,but always forgot it as we never buy any kind of frozen stuff other than grated coconut..For me,there are toms of memories associated with this one dish..When I was doing my Btech,back in Kerala ,I was staying in hostel with once-a-wee visit to home.Like in any hostel story,the sorry food served there made us resort to nearby hotels,that was specially aimed at us students n served all sorts of delicacies..One such restaurant close by was a Tamil one called Aryas,n they served this most yummy Chilli Porotta’s..even though we used to dig into their Masala Dosa’s n Oothappam’s n Pulav’s this one dish was a common favorite..Still remember those University exam times,when we would be terribly hungry after almost no sleep n full time study(u know..last moment study..:D),n to top it all ,bland food at hostel would make us go crazy n then we would order our junior’s(..;-) ) to go get some Chilli Porotta’s parcel for us..lol..n the best part is,we used to buy just 4-5 plates for a big group of us,n all the stuff dumped into a big plate n counting 1,2,3..we would just attack the plate..:D..Good old times..hmmmm..:)
Now,for all those who have not yet got a clue about this dish,Chilli Porotta’s are spicy saucy dishes made with flour Roti’s called Porottas,torn into pieces and pepped up with onions,chillies etc n a spicy base.Its absolute yum n best when served with some mild Raita ( Yogurt based Salad).
Coming to how I developed this recipe..I wanted to recreate that restaurant taste n Kutts also had this in his favorite list,as he also used to gorge this during his Chennai days..All I knew n could remember was that they had some saucy base in their recipe,but not the Chinese hot siracha type sauce.I spent a whale time hitting net n all the ones I got dint have any sauce,but the usual chilli-coriander base..Finally a fed up me,desired to whip it up myself.I wouldn't say I recreated the restaurant taste,but it was almost equally good n tasted really really good.I skipped the red color n added lots of tomato stuff..as sauce,paste,chunks etc..
Lets move on to the recipe:
Make your own porotta’s or if using frozen one’s bring it to room temperature.I dint deep fry it or so,as I like it bit soggy in my gravy..Purely optional..!
After toasting the Porotta’s ,tear it into pieces with a kitchen scissor and keep aside.I have used almost 4 Ceylon Porotta’s,which are rather big one’s to make that one kadai full of chilli porotta..
In a deep Saute pan,heat oil and add 1 inch cinnamon stick n 1 cardamom n 2 cloves.
When fragrant,splutter 1/2 tsp Fennel seeds n add a handful of curry leaves n fry.
Now add a tbsp of finely minced garlic n 1 tbsp of thin julienned ginger and saute till the raw smell goes.
To this add 2 cups of length-wise sliced onions,1/3 cup of sliced green/spring onions and 8-10 slit small green chillies and fry till golden brown.Half of the chillies can be removed now and kept aside to add at a later stage,as crisp bright chillies are the attraction of this dish..Again optional..
Now add a Tbsp of Tomato paste n 2 Tbsp of Tomato sauce ,1 Tbsp of Chilli Sauce(I used the less spicy version,not the Chinese kind..guess that would make the taste go in a different route)n mix well.Sprinkled some red pepper flakes as well for a kick.
After a minute or two add half a big juicy tomato ,chopped into cubes and 1/3cup of chopped green peppers.
Add 2 tsp of Chilli powder,1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder,1/4-1/2 tsp Cumin powder,1/2 tsp Garam Masala(a mix masala of cinnamom,cloves ,cardamom,nutmeg n mace) and 1/2 tsp of Pepper powder.
Saute well,close n simmer to make the tomatoes go soft,but the peppers should be crispy.
After the tomatoes are cooked,mash it up to make a thick base.
Chop up some fresh cilantro n throw in,add lil water if it has gone too thick.
Now to this thick base,throw in the porotta pieces and mix well with the base.
Keep on mixing till each piece is well coated with the gravy.
At this point I felt the need of a lil more sauce n hence added some more tomato n chilli sauce,almost a Tbsp each.
Close n simmer for a while to let the porotta pieces soak in the gravy.
After 5 minutes or so open n check the taste .Throw in the reserved crisp chilies' n a give a quick stir.
Adjust salt n sprinkle some more garam masala on top.
Sprinkle more chopped fresh Cilantro,Kasuri Methi n a liberal amount fresh lemon juice on top.
Garnish with thin sliced green onions n lime wedges..
Time to dig in..!
Verdict : As I hinted before,not exactly the restaurant taste,but it tasted real good.Actually I don't exactly remember the restaurant taste now.I felt Ceylon Porotta’s were better than those small Malabar Porotta’s.Of course you make at home n that's the best.But that requires some real patience..:D..Adjust the sauce as per your liking,I have added some good amount here.
So foodies,do try this out and lemme know how you liked it..:)
Many thanks to Stony field farms for sending me in that beautiful tote n Okios Greek Yogurt Coupons..Hope to get some n try out soon..:)
Busy week ahead for me n the long weekend too..am not sure if I will post again this week ..so friends,have a blast n stay smiling n don't forget to have tons of food,after all that’s what's fun for us foodies..;)