April 18, 2019

Palak Brown Rice Khichdi | Spinach and Lentil dish - Gluten Free and Vegan

Palak Brown Rice Khichdi was my husband’s contribution to the ongoing mega BM. No, he didn’t cook it, but suggested the combo. As mentioned earlier, both of us are major Khichdi fans and he would gladly dig into a well made Moong Dal Khichdi even on his business / personal trips, while I would scour the buffet for some unknown gems :p 

As we make the transition from white polished rice into other grains, Brown rice is one substitute that we enjoyed both for the nutty flavour. It was interesting to read here the difference between brown and white rice, and how important that transition could be.

That said, this dish is a comfort one when not only time , but also taste is paramount. Some of the palak Khichdi dishes I saw online blanched and pureed the palak and used it with the rice , but somehow w preferred it plain. 

Add some veggies and you have a complete carb-protein balanced dish that’s perfect for lazy weekend cooking or rushed weekday lunch/brunch/dinner.  With some raita or plain curd + pickle, this is a great dish to dig into.

Other dishes with Brown Rice you may like on the blog:


Prep time - 10 mins, Soak time (for brown rice)- 30 mins, Cook time - 15 mins ; 
Serves : 2 generously 
PIN FOR LATER


Palak Brown Rice Khichdi - Spinach and Brown Rice+ lentil  One Pot meal (Gluten free and Vegan)

What you need:
Brown Basmati Rice - 1 cup
(Red Lentils) Masoor Dal - 1/4 cup
(Split green gram) Moong Dal - 1/4 cup
Spinach / Palak - 2 cups (packed) 
Salt - to taste
Ghee / Oil - 1 TBSP
Cumin seeds / Jeera - 1/2 TBSP
Tomato - 1 medium (opt.)
Veggies : Carrot - 1/2 (cubed), french beans handful chopped fine, Sweet Corn - 2 handfuls
Whole spices - cinnamon 1 inch,  Cloves - 2 
Garlic - 2 pods (I didn’t add)
Ginger - 1 inch 

How to:
Wash and soak brown basmati rice for minimum 20-30 minutes. Similarly, soak the masoor in another bowl with 1/2 cup water.  Blitz the tomato slightly into chunks and keep aside
Wash, prep spinach, shred and keep aside. 
In a pressure cooker, add oil. Splutter jeera and whole spices , Add the spinach, veggies, tomato and saute for 2-3 mins on low flame till the spinach wilts a bit. 
Now add the soaked masoor along with water, Add the soaked and drained rice. mix well and add salt. 
Add 1/2 cup more water (or as required) - pls note spinach and tomato also release water while cooking , so add accordingly.
Pressure cook for just 2 whistles and let the pressure come down on its own
Serve hot with curd/  raita / pickle.  We loved the spicy, tangy khichdi as is :)   





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April 17, 2019

Oats Masala Khichdi | Vegan One Pot Meals | Diabetic Friendly meals


Oats Masala Khichdi is adapted from Harini’s Sambhar Oats which I had bookmarked a while ago. Thanks to her, I started using Oats in a lot of recipes - including Oats Masala Chaas, Oats Pongal etc. The importance of a soluble fibre like Oats is understated in today's age. Oats is great for diabetics and is versatile to adapt into Indian dishes as well. 

This is again a one-pot meal (and made for just myself) as I wanted to be sure that the kids would love it as much as I did.  I had previously cooked Lauki dal (with tempering intact) so, that reduced the cook time drastically. 

Either way, it doesnt take more than 15 mins to put together this rather yummy khichdi (I had my expectations really low as I wasn’t sure I would like it). Goes great with a simple boondi raita / onion - cucumber raita for  lunch / brunch on hot summery days like these :)

Prep time: 15 mins, cook time - 10 mins, Serves  - 1

Cooked Lauki Moong dal (you can simply soak and cook 1/4 cup of plain yellow moong dal for 1 whistle) - 1/2 cup
Oats - 1/2 cup - I used plain rolled oats
Salt - to taste
Sambhar powder - 1 TBSP
Any veggies - carrots / beans / peas - about 1/4 cup - I used 1 medium tomato and 1/2 cup of broccoli 
Garam Masala - 1/2 TBSP
Oil - 1 tsp
Tempering : Cumin seeds, chopped green chillies (2), diced ginger 1/2 inch

How to:
Dry Roast Oats till slightly warm. Remove. 
In a pan, add oil, splutter cumin, ginger and chopped chillies. Add broccoli  and tomato, Saute till slightly soft. Add the cooked moong dal (or lauki dal in my case) and simmer for 2 mins. Add garam masala and sambhar powder + salt to taste. Now add the roasted oats and mix well. Add a little more water if required. cook and cover for 5-8 mins or till you get a Khichdi kind of consistency.  Serve hot with pickle / papad or any raita. 


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April 16, 2019

Navratan Pulao | How to make Navaratan Pulao


Navratan Pulao was one of the first dishes I listed down for this BM, and it didn’t change till I cooked it (although I did waver out thinking I would make Nasi Goreng with millets, but that didn’t happen). 

As mentioned during this Mega Marathon and earlier too, my little one loves pulao and I was very sure she would love this non-spicy Navratan pulao too ! and she did :) and so did we all. The surprise was my elder one asking for a second helping as she's not into pulao or any rice for that matter :-)

PS - this is the FIRST ever video made exclusively by my elder one - full marks to her.. :) I hope you would watch the video and encourage us (her!) to make more for the blog :)  

Like many more dishes on this blog, my dad introduced me to this while dining out during our monthly restaurant outing. We have had lovely memories of eating this (rather sweet-ish) pulao with some yummy vegetable gravy and Naan / Roti when North Indian food had started making its entry slowly but surely into Bangalore’s Udupi-dominated kitchens.

This is a rich and slightly time taking pulao, but the ingredients are simple and available everyday. Do make this for your next party / potluck. The seemingly easy pulao would surely be the star of the occasion. Pair this with any spicy gravy like Shahi Paneer Masala / Mughlai dish / Nargisi Kofta Curry (raita would not work well) and you have a winner  !


Prep time - 15 mins, Cook time - 20 mins, 
Serves - 3 generously.

What you need:
Basmati rice - 1 cup
Ghee - 2 tsp (divided use)
Saffron strands - few
Warm milk - 3 tsp
Nuts (all mixed 2 tsp) - Almonds sliced, raisins, cashewnuts
Apple (I used red delicious) - 1/2 (Cubed medium)
Onions - 2 large (divided use) - sliced thin
Ginger - 1 inch (pounded / grated)
Boiled and peeled potato cubes - 1/2 cup
Veggies (all 1 cup together) - carrots, beans, peas (may add cauliflower too)
Salt - to taste
Whole spices - black cardamom 1, bay leaf 1 or 2, cloves 2 or 3, whole black pepper 1/2 tsp, cinnamon 1 inch stick
Jeera / cumin - 1/2 tsp



Check out the video here and leave your valuable comments on the video too ! 




How to:
Wash and Soak Basmati rice for 15 mins. Soak the saffron in warm milk for 10 mins
Meanwhile, wash, chop and steam / microwave the veggies till al dente.
In a microwave proof dish, grease with little ghee, add the soaked rice, whole spices, 2 cups of warm water, 1/2 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of oil and cook till rice is 80% done (about 8 mins on 900W microwave). Once done , Fluff them and keep aside. 
In a non stick, add half he ghee, roast the nuts one by one till golden brown. Take it out with the slotted spoon. Simialrly saute the cubed apples and take it out. 
Now, add half the sliced onion, sprinkle some salt and saute the onions till they get brown and crisp (on a low flame, this should take 3-5 mins). Take the crispy onion slices out. SAute the steamed veggies for 2 mins along with the boiled potato slices till the potato is slightly crispy on the outer side. Remove from pan.  
In the same pan, add the remaining ghee, splutter jeera and the ginger. Add the remaining onions, salt and  fry till they turn translucent . Now add sautéed veggies, sauteed apples, half of the nuts, cooked rice and mix well without breaking the grains. 
Add the saffron milk and gently toss. Adjust spice and salt. 
Top with remaining nuts, crisped onions and serve warm. 



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April 15, 2019

Moong Aur Sama ki Chaashwali Khichdi | GF Millet Dishes


Moong little millet khichdi is again adapted from Suma's blog where she had posted it as Hare moong ki chaashwali khichdi . I simply subbed the rice with millet and after a great success with little milet pongal posted earlier, I was confident the millet would work here too, and it did .



As it’s scorching hot right now and being in the kitchen for more than 20 mins is not feasible, this is again a life saver kind of meal where dump it all and cook works brilliantly. Suma’s recipe had a lot of Masala and veggies , but I toned it down as it was to be quick meal. It’s also Satvik (free of onion-garlic) and am sure to make it in larger quantities as the husband also would relish this.

So far in the A-Z Grains Mega Blogging Marathon all April, I have dished the following 12 recipes over the past 2 weeks. Do take a quick look if you have missed the series:


A quick GF khichdi recipe made with buttermilk, let’s see how to make it 

What you need:
Samai / Little millet - 1/2 cup
Ghee / oil - 1/2 tsp
Jeera / cumin - 1 tsp 
Buttermilk - 2 cups
Soaked / cooked whole green moong - 2 handfuls
Tomatoes - 1 medium (I didn’t use)
Salt to taste
Broken red chillies - 1~2 
Slit green chillies - 1 or 2 
Crushed black pepper - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Grated ginger - 1/4 tsp (optional)
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Veggies - carrot cubed 1/2 cup (you may add potatoes, green peas, french Beans etc)
Chopped greens - 1/4 cup (I used amaranth/chawli/arakeerai)-optional 

PIN FOR LATER


How to:
Wash and rinse samai (soak for 5 mins while the veggies are getting chopped) 
In a pressure cooker, add ghee or oil. Splutter jeera, both the chillies. Add the carrots and chopped greens, sauté for 1/2 mins. 
Add salt, Turmeric, ginger , black pepper and sauté for further 2 mins 
Now add the soaked and drained Samai, soaked moong (moong needs to be soaked for at least 6-8 hours or overnight, at this stage if you have previously cooked moong, you can add it too) and mix thoroughly. 
Add buttermilk and pressure cook for exactly 2 whistles. 
Let the pressure drop on its own. Mix / mash up a bit. Serve hot.


Notes 
  1. Use slightly sour buttermilk if you are not using tomatoes. 
  2. Little millet can be subbed with any millet or rice with varying cook time and water / liquid proportions

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An InLinkz Link-up
   

No Fry Dahi Bhalle , and a perfect antidote to scorching summers !

Summers can be unbelievably fantastic and draining all at the same time ! Most days Yoghurt is a life saver during these  summer months. Filled with healthy probiotics, this cure promotes healthy gut flora. 

Although of late, I am slightly reducing the curd consumption for myself (owing to being partly vegan), the Tambrahm In me refuses to let go of the Curd Rice that sees many takers beyond the South Indian community, especially during summers. The husband however is a big fan of Iyengar Thayirvadai (South Indian Style Dahi vada) that we keep making often.

When Priya Iyer - our host for this week - suggested the theme #dahidelights for this edition of #191foodiemondaybloghop, it was the right time for one of my favourites to appear on the blog. 

Dahi Bhalla was also chosen as I have been paired with Swaty for RecipeSwapChallenge for this Month. Swaty has lived in most parts of North India and that cuisine features mostly on her blog too ! She has a plethora of North Indian dishes as well as some
Delectable bakes so I have bookmarked it many now :) 

So it’s a joint post for both the events - recipe swap challenge + foodiemondaybloghop and am sure you would all agree this is a lip smacking dish, irrespective of any weather or culinary blogging event. Personally, my admiration for this dish went up high whenever my neighbor sent over these melt in the mouth dahi ballad that are frequently made at her place 

I have adapted Swaty’s recipe to make it NO DEEP FRY with a few changes . Make sure you make the Khatta-Meetha imli/dates chutney and the teekha green chat chutney beforehand. 

Other quick recipes with Curd that you might like to make this summer:


and 15+ varieties of Raita and more....

Prep time - 15 mins . Soak time & grind time - 6-8 hours , 
Makes - approx 15-20 servings 

To make the bhalla:
Moong dal / split green gram - 1/2 cup
Urad Dal / split black gram - 1/2 cup
Jeera - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Cooking soda - 1/8 tsp
Ginger - 1 tsp
Oil to deep fry / shallow fry - as required 

To soak the bhalla 
Warm to hot water - 2 cups
Salt to taste 
Hing - 1/6 tsp

To serve
Beaten curd with a pinch of sugar - Approx. 1.5 cups
Spices - Roasted cumin powder , red chilly powder 
Chopped coriander leaves - a handful 
Pomogranate arils 


How to:
Wash and soak both the Dals for over 4 hours. Drain and grind with jeera, ginger and very minimal water to a smooth paste  .
In a large bowl, add the batter, salt , soda and whisk well for 8-10 mins till the batter fluffs up. 
Now heat up the oil in a kadai if you are deep frying ( I greased up my cast iron paniyaram pan/abelskiver pan). Drop spoonful of the batter into the hot oil or fill 3/4 of each dimple of the paniyAram pan. Drizzle a few drops of oil into the pan, Cook and cover till golden brown on all sides 
If deep frying, fry on medium flame till golden brown. 
Drain on absorbent kitchen towels. While still hot, drop in Large vessel (water mixed with salt and hing) and soak for 30-35 mins. Gently swueeze out the water and refrigerate till use 
Just before serving, whisk thick sweet curd with a pinch of kala Namak and sugar. To serve, take all the soaked vadas in a deep platter or in individual serving bowls , top with whisked yoghurt, top with both the chutneys, spice powders, chopped coriander leaves and serve chilled. 





April 13, 2019

Little Millet Pongal | Samai Pongal Recipe | GF Dishes

Another Millet after Foxtail (Thinai) that lends itself beautifully in place of Rice for Pongal is Samai or Little Millet. Samai is different from Sama (or Barnyard Millet that's used for fasting recipes during Navratri / Shivratri). 

Samai is a versatile grain that we loved making Upma with too.  Much to my surprise (and welcome relief!) , the husband has also started liking millets in place of rice, and so like the Dalia Bisibelebhath featured earlier, this Samai Pongal was our Sunday brunch for just the two of us. 


Mom who had a bit of this, also appreciated how soft and light this pongal was. Considering my unyielding love for perfectly made Pongal, I think this dish will be made very often even on weekday mornings as its so perfect and light   


I was surprised to find how much pongal it yielded, so the leftovers warmed up beautifully for  my Monday breakfast too ! This pongal can be served with Chettinad Khara Chutney / Coconut Coriander Chutney or even Hotel Sambhar


But considering the kitchen was like a furnace, we had this with Daangri Pachadi (Urad dal - roasted ground and the spicy paste mixed with yoghurt and tempered - Recipe soon! ).



Other Savoury Pongal Varieties on the blog:


Samai Pongal - Gluten Free One Pot meal | Can be vegan too ! 
Cuisine : South Indian ; Course : Breakfast / brunch/ dinner ; Difficulty level : Easy
Prep time - 5 mins, Cook time - 15 mins, Serves : 2 ~3 adults generously

What you need:
Little Millet / Samai - 1 cup (240 ml)
Moong dal / Pasiparuppu / split green gram - 1/3 cup (or even as less than 3 tsp with varying results)
Ghee - 1 TBSP (split use) - skip for vegan version or use vegan butter
Turmeric - 1/8 tsp
Salt - to taste
Jeera / Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
Hing / Asafoetida - a generous pinch (skip for GF)
Tempering : Few Curry leaves, grated ginger 1/2 TBSP, Broken red chillies - 1 or 2 (opt.)


How to:
In a bowl, wash and rinse the Samai several times. In a pressure cooker, add half of the 1 TBSP ghee, roast moong dal for a min or two, then add the samai, turmeric, half of the jeera + pepper mix, 3.5 cups of water and bring to a simmer.
Close and pressure cook for 2 whistles (Samai cooks very quickly, you don't want it too mushy). 
Once the pressure is released, mash it up a bit. Add water if you want a really runny consistency. Add salt and mix once. 
Prepare a tempering with the tempering ingredients + remaining half of the jeera+pepper mixure in the rest of the ghee. Pour on top of the cooked pongal. Adjust for salt and spice. Mix well and serve hot with any Chutney or Sambhar. 

PIN FOR LATER


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April 12, 2019

Karivepaaku Mamidikaaya Chitrannam | Curry Leaves and Raw Mango Rice | Vegan,GF


This Chitrannam (spcied rice) was made for our Ugadi spread this year. I had bookmarked it from a Telugu TV show and found the diary entry most unexpectedly. As we usually make Mavinakayi Chitranna / Mangai Sadam / Raw Mango rice with Bele Obbattu for Ugadi, this time we tried this and loved it a lot. 

It's a great way to incorporate curry leaves which are picked out of every dish by the kids. But a note of caution is not to go overboard with curry leaves as its 'heat' in nature and could cause internal bleeding. As with most foods, moderation is the key. 

If you are fond of variety rice like me, do try this and let me know how you liked it. Most of the rice dishes I made this BM are for the family, and personally I would like to sub the rice with millets or any low GI grains next time when making for myself.  

Similar quick Rice dishes (no onion and garlic) you may like on the blog:

Let’s get to today’s recipe:
Prep time - 15 mins, Cook time - 15 mins, Serves - 2 ~3 
Cuisine : Andhra (Indian), course : Main Course 
Vegan and GF dish

You need:
Short grained rice - 1 cup (240ml)
Oil - 3 TBSP (divided use)
Salt - to taste
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp

To grind:
Curry leaves - 2 large handfuls
Raw mango (tart variety) - 1 medium - grated fine
Fresh / frozen coconut  - 1/2 cup
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Jeera-  1/2 tsp
Red chillies - 3 to 4 (adjust spice)
Methi seeds - 1/2 tsp
Green chillies - 1 to 2
Asafoetida (skip for GF)

Tempering:
Oil, mustard seeds, broken red chillies 1 or 2 , Urad dal (1/2 tsp), cashew pieces few (opt.) OR peanuts (1 TBSP)

Notes:
  • Sauteeing coconut and grated mango increases the shelf life
  • Don’t add water while grinding 
  • If the raw mango is not tart / sour enough, add a small gooseberry sized tamarind (saute with to grind ingredients). This may alter the taste distinctly.   Buy raw, firm mangoes with no blemishes on top. 


How to:
Cook the rice with a tsp of oil and a dash of turmeric. fluff them once they are done and cool completely in a large, flat plate. 
In a pan, add 1 TBSP oil, saute all the ingredients for “To grind”  (except mustard and asafoetida) one by one for 1-2 mins taking care the fenugreek/methi seeds and chillies don’t burn. Cool completely and grind to a smooth paste without water (it’s possible as the raw mango provides enough moisture).
In the same pan, add the remaining oil, splutter the tempering ingredients and fry till the peanuts turn golden brown. 
Remove the peanuts with a slotted spoon. To the remaining, add the ground mango -curry leaves paste and saute well on medium flame for 3-5 mins till oil starts separating (This is an important step as it keeps the rice from spoiling even beyond 3 days), Now add the salt and rice and mix gently. 
Adjust salt and spice and serve immediately. 


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