Friday, November 09, 2007

Announcing Grindless Gravies, the Event

So here’s the one-off event I’ve been mulling. Grindless Gravies stems from a day when you really aren’t in the mood for a number of procedures but also want a thick, fulfilling gravy. On some days, I find even the most mechanized of cooking laborious– be it fixing the jar on the blender, filling it with ingredients, waiting, watching and testing to see if the paste is fine enough, and then washing it thoroughly – who wants mango milkshake flavoured with idli batter? Judging from the comments to my previous post, it’s not a bad one and I’m all curious to see how the rules are interpreted and what you all come up with.

A request: Please follow the rules in the spirit rather than the letter (which means that even if you spot loopholes you should ignore them).

Since the food blogosphere is full of events, I’ve decided to give intending participants six weeks to send in their entries. So the last date for entries will be December 22. The host is also giving herself time to do the round-up sometime in the next six weeks ;-)

Here are the guidelines and what you have to do:

1. Please make a thick gravy specifically for this event. You can point to other such dishes on your blog, but the entry itself has to be fresh – just for some fun.

2. No electric grinder, mixer, (hand) blender or food processor or food mill in any form should have been used in the making of the gravy. A quick grating of cheese or onions (or other stuff) is fine but it can’t go on for … more than three minutes, shall we say? The less the labour, the better.

3. You can use packaged/prepared/frozen stuff like ginger-garlic paste, onion paste, tomato puree, spice powders and convenient stuff of that sort to make the dish, but that does not include commercial gravy/curry pastes/powders/mixes that you can just dunk vegetables or meat into to make an instant gravy (the butter masala mix, kolhapuri gravy mix, kadai whatever mix, I’m sure you get what I mean). Nor does it include homemade one-type-suits-all gravy that’s been sitting in the freezer. It can't all be lentils or all curds/yoghurt/all coconut milk (they shouldn't form the bulk of the dish because that makes it too simple and that's no fun - they should be dressed up substantially - please see my On The Gravy Train dish to get what I mean). As I said no dunking veggies or meat in a readymade curry mix and presenting it, I feel compelled to apply the same rule to something where the gravy's overwhelmingly made of one single ingredient so gravies like that are out too! {Sra flees the scene, trying to escape the brickbats and blows ...} It can belong to any cuisine.

4. I don’t mean that you should make the ground equivalents by hand, either. No, you don’t have to make ginger-garlic paste in the pestle and mortar if you don’t have it ready, just find another way to include those ingredients. Paste will take a long time in the p & m, so I usually smash the ginger and the garlic with a lentil masher or the pestle – just one or two thumps should do it. You can even crush the tomatoes with your bare hands. Violent, huh? You can even mash some of the vegetable pieces in the gravy to make it thicker.

6. You could mention the time, the (number of) implements and utensils used for this dish – the fewer the easier the recipe. The gravy can also boil away for as long as you like – if it allows you to catch up with the day’s papers or the news or give yourself a breather, that’s fine. You just don’t have to be in the kitchen watching over the pot, or washing the mixer or assessing paste consistencies.

7. You can send in your entries to srablogATgmailDOTcom. Please say ‘Grindless Gravies’ in the subject. The e-mail should contain the specific link to the dish, your name and blog name. As for photos, please send me a 75 x 75 pixel picture of the dish. I am not computer-savvy, already have a bad wrist and won’t be able to do this myself, please. Your entry will still be included in the round-up, it just won't have the picture.
A link back to this blog/event is necessary.

If you're not a blogger, please mail me the entry with the photo, I'll put it up on my blog with the details.

8. I will do the round-up sometime in the first two weeks of January.

There are a lot of questions, I will add the clarifications here as they come in:

Yes, of course, non-vegetarian, cream and international stuff is allowed

On to my own contribution for this event.

It’s an adaptation of a dish that’s quite new to me, called Gummadikaya Pindi Miriyam (yellow pumpkin with black pepper and flour). From what I understand, this is made with rice flour as one of the thickeners, the other being coconut and ginger, not to mention the mixture of freshly ground coriander, pepper and a smattering of chana daal/split chick peas.

I didn’t have rice flour, omitted the coconut and the chana dal, and used pre-ground spices to make the dish.

Gummadikaya Pindi Miriyam (Yellow Pumpkin with Black Pepper and Chickea Flour)

Yellow pumpkin, peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces: 2 cups
Green chillies, chopped: 3, or less
Water: ¾-1 cup-1-1/4 cups
Black pepper, ground: 1 tsp
Cumin, ground: 1 tsp
Coriander, ground: 1 tsp
Turmeric: A pinch
Ginger: 1-inch piece, peeled
Besan/Chick pea flour: 3 tsp
Salt: To taste


Oil: 2 tsp
Mustard seed: ¾ tsp
Cumin seed: ½ tsp
Urad dal/Split, hulled black gram: 1 tsp
Red chillies, broken: 2
Asafoetida: A sliver, or a pinch

Coriander/cilantro, chopped: ½ a cup

In a pressure cooker (or a pan), place the pumpkin and the water, season with salt and turmeric and boil till the pumpkin only begins to soften. If you’re using a pressure cooker, just boil it for a couple of minutes – it shouldn’t have boiled just yet.

Now season the vegetable with the ground black pepper, cumin and coriander.

Mash the ginger roughly (I did this with just one blow of the pestle on the chopping board, separated the fibres a bit) and add to the dish. Add the green chillies. Let the pumpkin cook till soft. It should hold its shape, though.

(If you’re using the pressure cooker, now cook under pressure for 3-4 minutes. Let the pressure come down on its own.)

Mix the besan with some water to make a lump-free paste and add it to the curry. Let it boil till thick. Turn off the heat.

In another pan, heat the oil, add the mustard seed, the urad dal, the cumin, the red chillies and the asafetida, in that order. You can even add curry leaves.

Once the urad dal browns and the red chillies just turn colour, turn off the heat and tip into the curry. Garnish with chopped coriander, mix gently.

Happy Deepavali and Season’s Greetings!


  1. MMMMMM a thick gravy dish without the mixer etc..........well does it have to be a traditional indian dish or can we go international :-)
    Happy Diwali to you and family

  2. Wow thats an excellent idea and will surely come in handy for many of us. Good luck with the roundup and I am surely gonna come up with something. Happy Diwali.

  3. thta looks good! and i all for the gravy without my blender..which i have to say gets a lot of abuse both physical and verbal ;)

  4. Thats a delicious bowl of gravy.

  5. Nice event SRA. Well-framed rules ;-)
    Will defintely try to contribute :-)

  6. One word! SUMEET!!! Grind , fish out and swirl the inside with hot soapy water, I am done cleaning grinding and the mixer!!;D
    Thank God for Dec 22, may even 30th would help too. Got to bake Christmas cookies too on 25th. Take your time for round up, no hurry after that.
    It's tough making Indian gravy without grinding. International sauces okay? How about Pav Bhaji? Have a great Diwali sra, will check here fir your reply!:))

  7. Another about non vegetarian entries

  8. Eeek, wow, Sra - this sounds like a difficult one! Gotta get the brain into gear!

  9. I don't know if I left a comment at the earlier post where u were e-mulling over whether or not this cd become an event.
    This sounds good to me. My mixer/blender and pressure cooker are two things I absolutely hate using'cos of the clean-up involved later. It will be interesting to see the entries:)

  10. This is going to be wildly creative and exciting.

  11. oh I am totally in... Non-veg gravies are accepted right? :)

  12. Happy Deepavali to you! This challenge does sound interesting...I may have something interesting...let's wait and see. ;-)

  13. Happy Diwali and I made something today which I did with you in mind:D

  14. wow, that's not easy to do. i usually like my gravies smooth and not with bits and things in them. plus, i've already posted olan. but it's fun and i like the challenge.

  15. What an innovative event!

    I wish I had delayed my puli kozhambu post by a few days so I could have posted that! :)

    But then again I would love to think of something else in this putting on my thinking cap - will come back with something soon.


  16. very challenging event sra:)
    wishing u a joyous deepavali:)

  17. Sra,mottaniki event start chesaru,eppudu nenu alochinchali emi cheyyali ani. Will make something up, actually ma mummy nenu US vachetappudu pulihora gravy chesi esthundi does that qualify as gravy or should it be only curry gravies.

    Anyways nenu Laaga CHunari me Dhagga movie choosanu,choosaka peeda tala noppu vachindi.waiting to see om shanti om.

    Intaki meru facebook lo unnara ?

  18. Happy Cook, yes, international too, I've clarified that.
    Seema, thanks, look fwd to your entry.
    Rajitha, verbal abuse - ha ha!
    Rina, thanks, welcome to my blog.
    Sirisha, thanks. Do try!
    Asha, I thought people would be busy with New Year and Xmas, so kept it at Dec 22. Swalpa adjust maadi! International stuff is okay - pav bhaji too, the gravy needs to be thick and un-ground, that's all.
    Nabeela, sure, I wouldn't leave that out. ;)
    Shyam, gear up!
    TBC, thanks. E-mulling: That's a new one, :)
    Cynthia, curious to see what you come up with.
    Sig, of course!
    Lyrical, I'm all eyes!
    Sandeepa, can't wait to see what it is!
    Bee, I know what you mean, I especially hate tomato curling and wilting in the gravy.
    Miri, please do!
    Sia, I'm going to look out for your entry. happy Diwali!

  19. I dint come to yr blog sooner. Was alerted by Rina. I just posted a 'grindless gravy'...hmmm...

  20. Hi Sra,
    event chala entru tappakunda vuntundi.

  21. YUM this dish looks great! I mean really great. I look forward to the roundup Have a happy and blessed Diwali.

  22. Sreelu, pulihora gravy ante emiti? Do you eat it with plain rice or do you use it to make something else? Like a vegetable pulusu? I really meant a curry gravy - that's why I said daal shouldn't be the bulk of the dish, just a thickener, if necessary. I'm not on Facebook. I saw the Telugu movie Happy Days last night - one day, I'll do a post on unimpressive, underage heroes on my blog, watch out!
    Suganya, do you want to enter this for the event since it's a coincidence? You're welcome.
    Vineela, mee Deepavali baaga jariginda? Mee Babu peru emiti? Will look out for your entry.
    Vegeyum, thank you v much.

  23. This is a great idea, like i said last time :). and i love your recipe with pumpkins and chickpea flour. got some banana squash (which is quite like pumpkins), so will try this one tonight. i am sure its gonna' taste really good!

  24. YAY!! Thanks sra. I will make atleast two for you girl. Dec 22nd is quite alright, I am combining 2 events in post (separate dishes of course)these days, so I can squeeze into all the events sideways! :D

  25. hi SRA, wow!..i have something just apt for u, thanks for this event...will ef. post it shortly...

  26. Hi Sra
    Really very helpful event.especially for working women.
    The gravy looks delicious!!!

  27. Yum! I'll look forward to coming up with something grindless, but it won't look good as your yellow pumpkin :)

  28. Yum! I'll look forward to coming up with something grindless, but it won't look good as your yellow pumpkin :)

  29. Sounds great Sra, very interesting...time to get my rusty brains to work now! :)

  30. Hi Sra,
    I sent my entry just couple of mins ago..:)

    - Siri

  31. Haa haa! I love this idea - very clever! I spent a while trying to just interpret the name! *excited* :)

  32. We prepare so many gravies that use just hing and turmeric. I have planned two entries for your event SRA!:)

  33. BTW your pumpkin kootu is yummy! Hope you has a great Diwali!:)

  34. Musical, did you try it?
    Asha, yay! But seriously, if you can't make it, don't fret - all those comments about having to particpate were just to tease you!
    Kitchen Scientist, thanks, am looking out for your entry.
    Swapna, thanks, I'm glad you like it.
    Linda, I'm confident it will be a stunner!
    Namratha, thank you, hope to see your entry.
    Siri, got it, replied to you.
    Kaykat, aha! I was wondering if anyone would raise the subject - none of the daily grind for this event!
    That's great, Latha. I'll look out for these entries. Tell me, isn't kootu a dish that has daal in it? Can a dish that doesn't have daal also be called kootu? Or does it just mean a gravy? So what's the difference between kozhambu and kootu? In TElugu, there are things we call pulusu - the name suggests that only sour stuff is pulusu but sometimes we use the word to denote gravies that don't have any sourness, either.

  35. Sorry Sra, little late in coming over!! I am definitely in but not sure what to make!!!
    Hope u had a great diwali!!

  36. nice idea sra...will try to contribute.

  37. Sra - I really like your pumpkin recipe. It looks tempting n thick too.

  38. Padmaja, will keep my eyes peeled for your entry.
    Prema, thanks, do try.
    Shella, thanks.

  39. hi sra, the pumpkin gravy looks really thick and yummy!
    very good event! will surely try to participate... :)

  40. Hi Sra, That's a cool theme :) Would something like a yogurt based palak ki kadhi qualify? :)

  41. Lissie, do send an entry, thanks.
    Shweta, ulp! I'm not sure myself - I've said no to a few bloggers who sent me daals so would a gravy that's all yogurt qualify? Maybe not unless there are one or two more ingredients substantiating it - why I'm saying this is because it's easy to whip some curds to a gravy-like consistency, put a few seasonings and veggies in it - but say, if you add a sizeable amount of besan, or some onions, tomatoes, etc etc, then it would qualify, I guess.

  42. No grinding for even ginger and garlic? Sra - this is a tough one!! But I feel like I must rise to the challenge...

  43. Mallika, nope, not even garlic and ginger - just cut roughly and bop them on the head - that should do the trick!

  44. Thanks for the detailed answer Sra! I totally agree! If you open the doors for kadhis, it'll be too easy! :D

  45. Hi, Just came across your blog and event. Nice idea, will have to rack my brains. Will see what I can come up with.

  46. Sra..just came to read your updated gosh so many no no...I am racking my brain...will Dal Makhani or Cabbage kootu fit for said no to only lentils..but in this cabbage kootu its more of cabbage than lentil!..let me know

  47. Shweta, glad you understand!
    Aparna, waiting for your entry!
    Srivalli, hmm ... cabbage kootu ... not really - what I meant was that lentils should not form the bulk or base of the gravy But if the dal for the dal makhani sits in a gravy that's made primarily of other ingredients, I will accept it. Hope this helps.

  48. Hi, Lovely blog this...was looking for gravies when I came upon your blog. Enjoyed reading your post - with all the rules & regulations for the event - very witty and unique. Whats the prize? Or did I miss reading that :)? I think its going to be fun seeing what recipes qualify here - you are definitely going to keep many brains busy. Great going.

  49. Hi Pritya, welcome, and thanks for the nice comment. No prizes, as I didn't make this a competition - that needs a lot of work and time.

  50. Your yellow pumpkin looks great . I have half a mind to send in an entry for grindless gravies - will have to put my thinking cap on .

  51. sra,lovely event..crazy as u are, ur event is sure to be now i know how u take out ur stress.:)
    let me see if i can conjure up an entry.

  52. sra,lovely event..crazy as u are, ur event is sure to be now i know how u take out ur stress.:)
    let me see if i can conjure up an entry.

  53. Anon, hope you're participating!
    Mallugirl, do try, how's the new little one doing?

  54. This was a bit of a tough one, but have sent you an entry.

  55. hi
    That gravy looks yummy and simple.
    My Blog

  56. Great event!will try to cook something.:)
    Gravy looks delicious.


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