February 18, 2019

Moringa Molagapudi | How to make Murungukkai Molagapudi | #IndianSuperFoods

As I sit to write this post, I must admit it has been an unusual Monday Morning (with all its blues intact). I had written to my blogger friends about being with my little kiddo as she was unwell, and all of a sudden she woke up late, she cried to go to school, despite her fever !! 

Imagine my joy (and confusion - as the school bus had already left) that I would get the entire monday morning to myself - to click and blog and do a million other things on a busy Monday morning ! 

Except that there was a caveat -as if to say she was doing me a favour by going to school - when she said, "Amma , would you please pick me up from school instead of the bus and I want to take home food for my snack today?" Well, along with the missed bus, now I was to pack a snack too ? 

Breakfast was on the go with a hurriedly put together ill-shaped dosa that she munched in the auto :) 

Being a curd-rice loving family helps :p , and although she was ill, she didn't want to miss meeting her friends and off we rushed through the morning stuff, praying that the autorickshaw would beat every traffic light ... and reached the school with just 1 min to spare before the gates were closed !!

Talk about one crazy morning, and its almost time now as write this, to head to school to pick up the little lady. 

I wouldn't have almost done this post, except that I secretly did a happy jig when Vidya - our host for the week - announced #IndianSuperfoods as the theme for week#182 @FoodieMondayBloghop coz I had literally just made this spicy condiment with one of the SuperFoods that's doing the rounds of global cuisine  - Moringa {a.k.a our humble Indian Drumstick / Murungakkai (Tamil) / Nuggekayi (Kannada)}. 

Vidya's blog Masala Chilli is chock-a-block with healthy treats and bakes, and the theme she proposed this week is an extension of her healthy obsession with Natural foods ! 

Like the turmeric latte, Moringa is now a globally accepted SuperFood (our grandmoms knew better so as to include the leaves in Drumstick leaves Adai, Keerai Vada , Soups (Moringa soup recipe coming up soon!) or add the veggies to the Tiffin Sambhar served with most South Indian Breakfasts ( Idli / Dosa Or Uttapams / Pongal / Vadai). Containing more Iron per serving than Spinach, its often given to lactating mothers too. 

The most amazing thing about moringa is that all parts of this plant including its bark, roots, leaves, flowers, seeds, sap and pods are a storehouse of nutrients and antioxidants. Thus, this plant possesses innumerable health benefits and has the capacity of curing several diseases. For this reason, it is referred to as the ‘miracle tree’ and is widely used in traditional medicine. - source
When I recently asked on my Instagram page on what else could be made with a batch of fresh Moringa leaves that I had chanced to buy, there were so many new ideas, and one of them particularly interested me - spice powder / Molagapudi to go with idli / dosa. 

So, that's what it was - a new condiment to the spice-powder-loving-family that we are. And makes what to serve with Idly or dosa a no-brainer. I adapted the same method as my Pudina Chutneypudi and made this. Its a keeper and be sure to make small batches to keep the flavour intact. 

Let's get to the recipe now - Moringa Molagapudi - a GF, Vegan , spice powder as a condiment to go with Idli / Dosa/ Uttapams or even plain steamed rice
Cuisine : South Indian, Course : Condiments, Spice level - Medium to high


Moringa leaves - packed 2 cups (200 ml = 1 cup)
Urad dal - 2/3 cup
Red chillies - 8 ~ 10 
Asafoetida - a generous pinch
Sesame oil - 2 tsp (to fry the spices)
Dry Copra - 1/4 cup (optional but recommended)
Salt - to taste (about 1 tsp)
Grated Jaggery - 1 tsp

How to:
On a low flame, dry roast the washed and completely dry moringa leaves till slightly crisp (Tip : sundry the leaves like I did for a day or two and u can use it directly without dry roasting). Remove leaves from pan after dry roasting them
add oil to the pan and dry the dal and chillies one after one till the dal turns golden brown. Switch off the flame and add the dry copra and saute for just a min. Cool the mixture completely.
Now grind leaves + spice mix in batches in a coffee grinder or a small jar. Add salt and jaggery , adjust spices.
Store in an airtight container

Similar spice powders on the blog you may like

Flaxseeds Chutneypudi

Poondu Podi (Garlic flavoured spice powder)
Pudina Chutneypudi - Mint based spice powder 

 Mint based spice powder  

(Chutneypudi is a generic Bangalore term for a condiment / spice powder that can spruce up anything from Rice to Upma to akki rotti (flattened spicy rice bhakri) to paratha or bread and anything in between :p)

Godhi Chutneypudi (chutneypudi made with wheat kernels) 

Bangalore special Chutneypudi

Idli Molagapudi

Paruppu Podi (mixed lentils spice powder)

February 13, 2019

Moong Dal Khichdi for #HealthyWELLthyCuisines

This is a post that's very close to my heart (no, that's not Valentine fever :p) for various reasons. Although Moong Khichdi is seemingly easy to make, getting the mushy , perfect texture is a challenge, especially for the Khichdi-lover that my husband is. 

Forget comfort food, he eats this all the time while travelling and at work, especially when he knows that the next meal may be too late for his rather tight schedule. So, I had to make this several times to get the perfect consistency, texture and taste that he waxed oh so eloquent so many times :-)

So what's great about Moong Dal Khichdi, the snobs might ask? Well, it :

  • Is the ultimate Comfort food (after Rasam-rice, for me :p)
  • Soothes tummy upsets
  • Is Filling and real food with almost no prep time- gets done in a jiffy (ask harried moms and bachelors :D)
  • Totally customisable - from bland to spicy to hollering-hot {Again, any combo of lentils and rice would work here (mostly!)|}
  • Tastes great with or without veggies
  • is made differently in every household, each with its own ratio of rice to lentils, and each yummy in its own way
  • is easy on the stomach, especially after the I-swear-this-is-is-the-last-time-I-am-eating-outside-food phase :-)
  • is Gluten free & vegan (mostly!)
  • Makes a filling meal with simple yoghurt, papad and pickle ! 

So, Moong Dal Khichdi, full of lentils (which is another reason you should be making this for the protein content) is my dish for @HealthyWELLthy Cuisines's "#LegumeAffairAtHW" - theme suggested by Seema for this fortnight. 

More Khichdi and One Pot Meal options:

Prep time - 5 mins, Cook time - 10~15 mins , Serves - 2

What you need:

Short Grained Rice - 1 cup (200 ml)
Cinnamon stick - 1 inch (optional)
Chopped veggies - I used 3 tsp of carrots and a handful of peas (one may also use cauliflower, broccoli, onions, garlic etc)
Badi Elaichi (Large cardamom - black) - 1 no. (opt.)
Split green gram / Moong Dal - 2/3 cup 
Salt - to taste
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Hot water - 4 ~ 4.5 cups (depending on the rice variety) 


Ghee - 1 tsp (use oil for vegan version)
Split green chilly - 1 or 2
Grated ginger - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp (skip for GF)

Chopped fresh coriander - 1 tsp

How to make:

In a pressure cooker, heat half the oil / ghee sauté the rice and the dal for a min or two till fragrant. Add the veggies, cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric, half the salt + hot water and pressure cook for 4~5 whistles. Let the pressure come down on its own.
In a deep bottomed pan, add the oil or ghee, make the tempering with the ingredients above and add to the cooked khichdi. If the Khichdi is too thick, add a tsp of two of hot water at a time and adjust the consistency.
Adjust salt and spices and serve the khichdi piping hot with yoghurt, papad and/or pickle (hot Khichdi is best coz it gets mushy and lumpy when cold). 

Other recipes for this theme have been :

Sending this to following event

February 12, 2019

Herbed Wholewheat Garlic Knots for #Breadbakers

Posting after a brief hiatus, back with #Breadbakers with the "Catch up Theme" hosted by Pavani. As mentioned earlier, my family's love for garlic - especially in bakes - saw me bake the following :

Braided Garlic Bread

Wholewheat Garlic Monkey Bread
Roasted garlic focaccia 
garlic cheese bombs 
dominos style garlic bread sticks
Coriander-garlic pull apart rolls

Re-visiting the garlic theme (from 2016), here's another quick and yummy wholewheat bake that caught my kids' fancy. The knots could definitely be better, but I was happy with the texture of the bread that came out. The kids had this bread with the Carrot Lentil Soup and that kept them full till bedtime :-) 

I used my Wholewheat pizza base  (that was freezing up), brought it to room temperature and made these knots.One could make the dough from scratch using either all purpose flour or wholewheat. I havent really had too much success baking breads with GF flours, but would be glad to know if someone's had a success run with these. 

Prep time - 15 mins, Rise time - 2 hours+ (if making the dougt from scratch), Bake time - 15 mins per batch.

Makes - approx 8~10 knots.


Wholewheat pizza base - 1 portion
Garlic powder - 1 T

To brush on top:

Melted butter - 2 T ( I used salted Garlic butter)

Olive oil - 1 T
Crushed garlic - 3 large pods
Finely chopped parsley / coriander - 2 tsp
Italian spices (I used crushed oregano and thyme) - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste (unless one is using salted butter)
Red chilli flakes - 1/2 tsp

How to:

Bring the frozen pizza dough to room temperature and knead garlic powder into it . Let it set for 10-15 mins. (if making fresh dough, add garlic powder while kneading itself before the first rise). Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix all the ingredients for the top brush - let it steep for 45-60 minutes.

Divide the dough and make thin long ropes and make a knot (better than mine :p) and lay them gently on a lined baking tray. Use up all the dough to make these knots. 

Cover and let it rise for 20-25 mins. Towards the end of the 2nd rise, pre heat oven to 180C. 
Gently brush the knots with the herbed, spiced butter. Bake for 15-16 mins or till tops turn golden brown. Broil for 30-45 seconds if needed. brush them once out of the oven with the herbed butter to keep them soft.
Serve warm as is or with some soup. 

This month, we are catching up on old ‘Bread Bakers’ themes we missed out on. Our host of the month is Pavani at Cook's Hideout. Check out what the Bread Bakers have baked up.
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

February 11, 2019

Wholewheat Broccoli Pineapple Pepper Pizza for #FoodbloggerLove

Pizza- In that word lies magic, intrigue and a whole lot of anticipation , especially if you have kids at home who love it. Well, mine love it (and with partial love to pasta too), this wholewheat pizza topped with kids' favourite toppings was a runaway hit. Like Kate's Recipe Box - my paired blogger for this year's edition of #FoodBloggerLove - both our kids seem to love Pizza a lot.

Katie is a busy mom of two kids who when not baking pizzas that her kids love(and there a WHOLE variety of pizzas on her blog!!), loves to work on her Instagram account (and what a wow collection she has with images that entice you to bake/ cook them instantly). Our kids also seem to have another common connection - the love for chocolate (like Katie says, who doesn't). I particularly would love to try her Layered Vegetarian Tostadas

Well, for the paired blogger series, I have brought up a version adpated from Katie's love for pizzas with simple changes that my kids love. Thanks to Katie, my kids got to eat yet another version of Pizza for weekday night (how cool is that !! :p)

Valentine's Day is around the corner, and although Chocolate is always welcome, I guess cooking what your kids (or family loves) is pretty much cool as well - showing how much you love them :-) So, if you are a pizza lover like our kids, do check out the many vegetarian and (mostly) wholewheat options at the end of this post.

Let's get to today's recipe:

How I made it:

I have used my Wholewheat pizza base with some funky toppings that the kids chose (and assembled themselves). Bake the crust without toppings / sauce for 4 mins (on either a pre-heated stone at 180C/375F) , top with the pizza sauce and preferred toppings and bake again for 8~12 mins or till the cheese melts. 

Serve immediately

Other Pizzas on the blog that you may like:

Wholewheat Cheese Pizza

Wholewheat Thin Crust Pizza (almost NewYork style)

Mini Quick Pizzas (for those Game Nights and Binge watching :)

Turkish Pide (Turkish Pizza with spinach and Corn)

Let's see what the #FoodBloggerLove has brought us this year. Do check the linky tool below to see what others have blogged to show some love ! 

Also, If you are a blogger who wants to participate in #FoodBloggerLove next year, make sure to join our Facebook group to know when sign-ups open!

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