Tag Archives: Indian

Red Rice Poha Upma

Lately, I have been on the lookout for brown rice poha (flattened rice). Although I haven’t found brown rice poha, I did come across some Organic red rice poha.

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Ingredients:

3/4 cup poha
1/2 onion sliced thin
1 small potato cut into small pieces
1 jalapeno sliced
1 carrot grated
1-2 tsp oil
1 tbsp channa dal
1 tbsp urad dal
1 tsp mustard seeds
a handful of cashews or peanuts
few curry leaves
salt to taste

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In a pan, heat the oil. Add channa dal, urad dal, cashews or peanuts (or both), and mustard seeds and fry till lightly golden. Add curry leaves and jalapeno and fry for a few seconds. Add onion, potato and carrot and fry on medium low mixing as necessary to prevent sticking, until onion are translucent and golden and potatoes crispy.

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Meanwhile rinse poha in some cold water. Don’t leave it in too long, or it will get soft and mushy. Rinse, and squeeze out the water and add to the pan above. Mix well. Season with salt and leave for 1-2 minutes. Can drizzle some lemon juice if desired.

poha3Serve warm with some tea, coffee or juice!

See Also:

Pearl Tapoica Upma
Quino Upma
Pearl Couscous Upma
Amaranth Upma
Upma & Pessarattu

Spicy Quinoa Vegetable Dum Biryani

When I saw this recipe, I just had to try it. It looked colorful, flavorful and delicious!

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Dum Biryani is one of my favorite food. And I had all the ingredients ready in the fridge. Almost.

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Although I planned to use white basmati rice, as the time approached to make it, I decided to swap in Quinoa instead. Here is the list of ingredients I used:

Ingredients:
1cup Quinoa
1cup Cauliflower florets
1 cup beans cut into 1in pieces
1 potato cut into 1in pieces
1/2 beetroot sliced
1/2 onion sliced
1tomato chopped
2-3 bay leaves
1/2tsp cloves
1/2tsp cumin seeds
1tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1tsp coriander powder
1 star anise
1small cinnamon stick
1tsp cardamon pods
1tsp ghee
1-2 tbsp oil
Turmeric
Pinch of saffron
2-3 tbsp milk to soak saffron in
Cilantro and mint chopped, a handful

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I followed all the steps as per the original recipe and you can find the step by step directions with excellent photographs here.

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It turned out delicious… and I feel good that it is healthy too 🙂 … Enjoy with some raita

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Cucumber Melon (Dosakaya)

Is an oval, sometimes stripped, tart melon that is popular in South India. This is not to be confused with the slightly sweet, yellow melon found in Asian groceries. It belongs to the cucumber family, and hence is a low calorie food that is packed with nutrients in the form of water or electrolytes.

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Three main recipes, that my mother loved to make are: dal, pickle or chutney. Although there are many others out there. In fact you can even dry the seeds and ground to a powder along with other spices and an enjoy with rice or as seasoning!

To make pickle is easy…

Ingredients:
1 cucumber melon
2-3 tbsp red ground chilli powder
2-3 tbsp oil
1-2 tbsp mustard powder
Salt to taste

dosakayaRinse and chop the cucumber into half. Remove the pulp and seeds and discard. Slice the cucumber into thin 1/2 inch slices. Add oil, red chilli powder, mustard powder and salt and mix well.

Store in air tight container.  Note can form fungi, if salt is less. Refrigerate to preserve for a longer time period. Serve with some warm rice!

 

dosakaya2To make dal…

Ingredients:
1 cucumber melon
1 cup Toor Dal
1 garlic, peeled and sliced

Seasoning:
1 tsp oil
1 tsp channa dal
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/s tsp fenugreek seeds
2-3 dry red chilli
1-2 sliced jalapeno
a dash of turmeric
a dash of asafoetida
a few curry leaves

Cook the dal in 2 cups water stove-top or in a pressure cooker.

Heat the oil, add turmeric, and asafoetida.Add sliced garlic and fry till golden.  Add all seasoning ingredients except jalapeno and curry leaves. Lightly fry till golden. Add jalapeno and curry leaves and fry for a minute. Add cucumber melon and fry for a few seconds.

Add some water and cook in medium low, until it softens. Add some tamarind juice and bring to a boil. Add some red chilli powder and mix well.

Garnish with some cilantro and serve warm with rice 🙂

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Announcing Mango Mania

I Love Mango in all forms and shape…

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  • Raw Green
  • Sweet Ripe
  • Dried Sour Green
  • Dried Sweet Ripe
  • Pickled
  • Dried Amchur Powder
  • Mango Ice Cream
  • Mango Greek Yogurt

and so much more…

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I use Mango in all forms… So much so, I have created an all new page specially for Mango!

Now you can follow every new mango related recipe. Hope you will enjoy them as I do 🙂

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Aloo Gobi (Potato and Cauliflower)

My memories of this curry are from elementary school. My best friend, used to get this for lunch. Her mom used to send over piping hot food, daily during lunch time. Aloo Gobi wrapped in fresh home made roti was always my favorite. When I think of Aloo Gobi, my mind goes back to that memory and those days. Over the years, I have tried to refine my recipe to the taste I remember from those days. Here is how I make it…

aloogobiIngredients:

1 cauliflower head separated into florets
2-3 potatoes cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 tsp tumeric
1-2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp amchur (dried mango powder)
1/4 tsp red chili powder (optional)
salt to taste
cilantro to garnish

Place a large pan on medium low. Add oil, turmeric and cumin seeds. Fry for a minute until the cumin seeds turn slightly brown. Rinse and add cauliflower florets and potato.  Add salt and mix well.

Usually the water from the rinsed vegetables is sufficient for the cooking if not sprinkle a few droplets of water. Close the lid and allow to cook, mixing occasionally to preventing sticking.

Once the cauliflower softens, in 10 minutes or so, add the spices. Adjust the spices to personal preference. Mix well. Garnish with cilantro and serve with warm roti. Can also be eaten with rice.

 

Quick Lunch Series: Mango Pullihora with Quinoa

Traditionally Pullihora (or yellow rice) is made with rice, the yellow color stemming from the fragrant turmeric powder that is used in abundance to give the rice the distinctive yellow color. The three key ingredients are the rice, turmeric and either citrus juice from a lemon or tamarind juice to give it a tangy flavor. Seasonings tend to vary by personal preference. Variations of this dish can be made by  substituting the lemon or tamarind juice with Indian grapefruit juice, mango juice, pulp or shredded mango, or any citrus fruit juice that is not sweet. Rice can be substituted with poha (flattened rice) or rice rava etc. Here is a healthy variation using Quinoa.

mq6Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa
1 green mango

Seasoning
1/4 cup chopped cashews (can also use peanuts)
1 tbsp channa dal
1 tbsp urad dal
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 dry red chillies
1-2 tbsp oil
dash of asafoetida
1 jalapeno sliced
a few curry leaves
some chopped cilantro to garnish
salt to taste

MQ1Rinse and cook the quinoa per directions. Set aside.

Heat a pan with the oil. Add all seasoning ingredients except jalapeno, curry leaves and cilantro. Fry till lightly golden. Add jalapeno and curry leaves and fry for a minute or two. Transfer to a large bowl.

mq2Meanwhile peal and cut the mango into 1in cubes, discarding the seed or hard shell in the core. Process in a food processor to reduce to a pulp or small shredded pieces.

mq3Fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork and transfer to the bowl. Add the mango pulp. Mix well. Add salt to taste and garnish with cilantro.

mq4Perfect for an office day meal or as a side. Can be prepared the previous night. Makes about 2-3 servings.

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Spicy Kale and Pea Uttapam

It is March. St Paddy’s Day. Believe it or not, a snow day in the Mid-Atlantic!

w1I had ample free time, and some left over Idli batter to play with, and green was in my mind 🙂

w4Ingredients
2-3 tbsp Idli batter
1/4 white or yellow onion chopped fine
a handful of frozen green peas rinsed
a handful of organic Tuscan kale chopped fine
1 green jalapeno chopped fine
a few sprigs of green cilantro chopped fine
4-6 cherry tomatoes sliced (optional)…. I love a colorful palate 🙂

Mix all ingredients. Add water as needed to lighten the batter.

w2Place a flat  non-stick pan on the stove on medium heat. Add 1 tbsp oil to grease the pan. Add the mixed batter and spread evenly with a spoon. Add additional oil as needed. Cover with a plate and cook until the side is lightly browned.

w3Flip and cook the other side until lightly golden, adding oil as needed,

w5Serve warm with chutney. Can be eaten stand alone or serve with a chutney such as peanut, coconut or mango. Or sweet ginger pickle my favorite!

w4Use any Idli batter: With brown rice or with the usual idli rava. Since I first made brown rice Idli batter, I rarely make any other. It’s healthy and good for you. Try it!

See Also:
Uttappam
Brown Rice with Cabbage Uttappam
Brown Rice Brussels Sprouts Uttappam
Brown Rice and Whole Black Gram Uttappam

Green Mango and Coconut Chutney

It has been a dreary Saturday with rain on and off and grey skies. Times such as those, it is comforting to stay indoors, tucked away with good books to read, a warm cup of tea or coffee and endearing comfort food.

South Indian chutneys are made following a very similar recipe. The same recipe works great with mango only, coconut only or a combination of the two. Any coconut chutney is best with fresh coconut kernel. But breaking a coconut shell and extracting the kernel can be a cumbersome process. The next best, is to use frozen coconut.

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Ingredients:
1 green mango
1 cup grated or chopped coconut
1 cube jaggary or 1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal
8-10 dry red chillies
a few curry leaves
1 jalapeno (optional)
some cilantro
touch of turmeric
touch of asafoetida
salt to taste

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Heat the oil in a pan. Add turmeric and asafoetida. Add cumin and mustard seeds, toor dal and red chillies and fry till lightly brown. Add curry leaves and fry for a few more seconds. Set aside.

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Peel the mango and chop into pieces. If using fresh coconut, cut and extract the coconut and chop into pieces. Add mango, coconut, jalapeno, cilantro, jaggary (or sugar) and red chillies and process in a food processor with a little water until blended into a smooth mixture.

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Remove from food processor. Add salt and mix well. Add the fried cumin, mustard and urad dal and mix well. Garnish with some chopped cilantro and serve with some warm rice or roti or dosa.

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Spinach and Yogurt Stew (Challa Pulusu)

It is very common to make a curry-like stew with vegetables and tamarind juice (or yogurt) in Southern India. While you can make this one with spinach leaves only, more commonly my mother would add bottle gourd, pumpkin and tomato. Occasionally I like to add other vegetables such as carrots, butternut squash or even green beans sometimes.

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Here’s how we typically made it at home:

Ingredients:
3 cups buttermilk (I used Kefir 1% buttermilk)
1 cup of cubed bottle gourd and butternut squash (or pumpkin)
2 cups chopped spinach
1 large tomato chopped
1 jalapeno sliced
a few curry leaves
chopped cilantro to garnish
1 tsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp turmeric
3-4 whole dry red chilli
a small piece of ginger minced
1 tbsp coconut flakes (optional)
2 tbsp chick pea flour
salt to taste

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I typically steam the vegetables (cubed bottle gourd, and pumpkin) in the pressure cooker. But you can also cook them stove top with a little water.

Meanwhile, heat a tbsp of oil in a pan, add turmeric and asafoetida, add cumin seeds, mustard seeds and dry red chilli and lightly fry for a few seconds. Add ginger, curry leaves and sliced jalapeno and fry for a few seconds. Add chopped spinach and continue frying for a few minutes. Add steamed vegetables, chopped tomato and continue cooking. Add salt to taste.

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Meanwhile, in a pan, mix chick pea flour and butter milk. This prevents the butter milk from cracking when boiled with the vegetables.

Add the butter milk mixture to the vegetables. Continue boiling for 15-20 minutes. Garnish with some chopped cilantro. Optionally add some coconut flakes.

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Serve warm with some rice and dal. I usually love to eat mine with Chinese Okra and dal.

Add a teaspoon of ghee…  Heavenly!

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Cooked Two Ways South Indian Style

There was an unwritten rule my mother followed and I seem to have picked it up along the way…

Whenever she cooked a pulusu without dal (or lentils), she always cooked a curry or kura with lentils. A pulusu is a South Indian (from Andhra Pradesh) dish which is cooked with tamarind juice or yogurt to name a few. Being vegetarian, we relied heavily on lentils for our protein, so it makes sense that the kura was cooked with lentils.

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Pumpkin Kura:
1/2 a small pumpkin
1 cup channa dal
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp channa dal for seasoning
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1-2 dry red chilli peppers
1 jalapeno sliced
curry leaves (optional)
chopped cilantro to garnish
pinch of turmeric
pinch of asafoetida
salt to taste
1-2 tsp oil

I usually like to cook my channa dal and chopped pumpkin  in a pressure cooker. But it should be easy enough to cook on stove top. Rinse, and chop half the pumpkin into 1 in cubes. Rinse and wash 1 cup channa dal. Cook the pumpkin and channa dal in 2 cups of water, adding more as needed or cook in a pressure cooker.

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In a large pan, heat 1-2 tsp of oil. Add turmeric, asafoetida, channa dal, urad dal, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and dry red chillies. Fry till lightly golden. Add curry leaves and sliced jalapeno and fry for a few seconds. Add the cooked pumpkin and channa dal, salt to taste and continue cooking till all the moisture evaporates. Garnish with some chopped cilantro.

Pumkin pulusu
1/2 small pumpkin
1/2 medium onion
1/4 small bottlegourd
1 small sweet potato
1 roma tomato
1tsp urad dal
1 tsp channa dal
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1-2 dry red chillies
1 jalapeno sliced
a few curry leaves
1-2 tbsp jaggery powder ( 2 1 inch cubes or as desired)
1 cup tamarind juice or as desired
1 tbsp white rice powder
salt to taste
chopped cilantro to garnish
I usually like to chop my vegetables into 1in cubes and pressure cook, but you can also cook stove top with some water. I add onion, bottlegourd, sweet potato, and pumpkin and pressure cook.

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Meanwhile, heat a large pan with a little oil. Add turmeric, asafoetida, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, channa dal, urad dal, red chillies and fry till lightly brown. Add curry leaves, sliced jalapeno, and fry lightly. Add cooked vegetables, tamarind juice, jaggary and continue boiling. Mix white rice flour in a bowl with some water and add to the mix. Add some chopped tomato and continue cooking for 10-20 minutes in low flame. Add salt to taste. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

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Serve both with some warm rice. Enjoy!