Tag Archives: south indian food

Quick Lunch Series: Quinoa Bisibele Bath

I’ve been meaning to try this for a while, and finally cooked it this weekend. It is perfect for an office day meal. I do love one pot meals!

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I swapped in  Quinoa, instead of rice, as has been the norm lately in my routine.

Ingredients:

2/3 cup white Quinoa
1/3 cup Toor dal (Pigeon Pea)
1 small white or yellow onion cut into 1in pieces
1 jalapeno, sliced
1 Chayote squash, peeled and cut into 1in pieces (typically bottle guard is used, but I often substitute with Chayote Squash)
1-2 medium tomatoes, chopped into large pieces
2/3 rd cup tamarind juice
1.5 cups water
1 tsp oil
a dash of turmeric
a dash of asaphoetida
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2-3 dry red chillies
2-3 tsp Bisibele powder, I typically use the MTR variety
2-3 tbsp fresh (or dry) grated coconut
a few curry leaves
cilantro to garnish
coconut slices to garnish
salt to taste
2-3 tbsp ghee (optional)

I like to use a pressure pan to cook this. Heat oil in the pressure pan, add turmeric, asaphoetida, cumin, mustard and dry red chillies and fry for a minute till lightly brown. Add onions, jalapeno,  curry leaves and squash and fry lightly. Add tomatoes and mix well.

Rinse and add Quinoa and toor dal and mix well. Add bisibele bath powder, salt and coconut powder and mix well. Add water and tamarind juice and mix well. Close pressure cooker lid and let simmer on medium low for 2-3 whistles. What makes this dish especially yummy is to add 2-3 tbsp of ghee!

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Let cool, before opening the pressure pan. Garnish with cilantro and coconut slices and serve warm.

Makes 3 servings.

Fun with Amaranth

Amaranth leaves are found  in abundance in the Tropics and growing up, I loved dal, tamarind stews, and yogurt stews made with them. It was only a few years ago, I started to use Amaranth grain or flour.

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Amaranth is not really a grain, but a seed. It is highly nutritious, packed with protein, vitamins and minerals.

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Here are some delicious recipes with this seed, flour or leaves that I posted previously:

Amaranth Grain Uttappam

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Amaranth Leaves cooked two ways

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Amaranth Dosa

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Amaranth Orange Cardamon Loaf

Amaranth Pumpkin Loaf

Amaranth Upma

The last few years I have been trying to grow Amaranth and Red Sorrel leaves in my patio garden, and it is challenging as well as highly rewarding!

Links:

Green
Patio Garden: Slow & Steady
Amaranth Plant
Amaranth Grain Nutrition
Health Benefits of Amaranth

Amaranth Grain Uttapam

I thought I was done with trying new recipes for 2015, and I was wrong. Here’s another keeper recipe.

I wasn’t really sure how this would turn out. I had a lot of Amaranth grain and since making the upma sometime back, I haven’t really tried anything else. On a whim, I soaked it overnight along with urad dal and decided to give it a go. And it was all good!

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Amaranth grain is actually a seed, quite minuscule in size and interestingly enough it doesn’t grow in size much when cooked or soaked in water and might be difficult to determine if it is cooked. It has nutty flavor, and is rich in protein, vitamins and minerals.

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Ingredients:

1 cup amaranth grain
1 cup urad dal
salt to taste

Soak the urad dal and amaranth grain in water in two separate bowls overnight or for 8-10 hours.

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Rinse and blend the urad dal with some water to make a thick batter. Rinse and add the amaranth grain to the blender and continue blending to make smooth batter. Season with salt.

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To make uttapam, scoop 4-5 tablespoons of the batter into a separate bowl. Add in your favorite vegetables and mix well. My favorite combination is peas, kale and sliced mini-heirloom tomatoes.

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Heat a flat pan on the stove. Add 1-2 tbsp of oil and grease it generously. Pour in the batter and spread evenly into a circle. Cover with a lid and cook on medium low until lightly browned. Flip and cook on the other side.

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Serve warm with chutney.

See Also:

Spicy Kale and Pea Uttapam
Brussels Sprouts Uttapam
Cabbage Uttapam
Brown Rice and Whole Black Gram Uttapam
Sweet and Sour Ginger Pickle
Tomato chutney

Quick Lunch Series: Quinoa Vangi Bath

I am a great proponent of one pot meals. So Vangi bath is great! It is even better if I can replace white rice with Quinoa.   This makes 2-3 servings if you are on a diet.

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup quinoa
1 Japanese eggplant, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 small yellow onion sliced
1 jalapeno sliced
a touch of turmeric
a dash of asafoetida
1-2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1-2 tsp Vangi Baath mix or make your own
1-2 tbsp tamarind juice
1 tsp grated coconut
1-2 tsp toasted cashews or peanuts (optional)
Salt to taste
cilantro to garnish

Bring one cup water to boil and cook the Quinoa as per instructions. Set aside.

Meanwhile heat oil in pan. Add turmeric, asafoetida, cumin and fry for a minute. Add sliced onion and jalapeno and saute for 2-3 minutes until golden. Add chopped eggplant and fr for 10-15 minutes till cooked. Season with salt, add tamarind juice and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Season with Vangi bath mix or home made curry powder, grated coconut and mix well.

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Combine with Quinoa, garnish with some chopped cilantro and top with some toasted nuts such as cashews or peanuts.

Serve warm.

See Also:

Vangi Baath

Baked Garelu or Plain Vada

I typically shied away from making vada, since it is a deep fried dish. While I was happy to eat it while my mother or other family member created it, I personally have never made this dish. That is until recently.

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After the success of baking masala vada, I have tried to recreate the plain vada with no success, until today. It can’t be re-created similarly. I ended up using a muffin tin, but if you have a donut tin that will do perfectly since Garellu are made with a hole in the center!

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Ingredients:

1 cup urad dal
Salt to taste
Oil

Soak the urad dal in water for 5-6 hours. Rinse and blend in a blender till smooth with some water to make thick batter, similar to what is needed to make idlis.  Season with salt and set aside to ferment,

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.

When ready to make vada’s, generously grease a muffin tin with oil, adding 1/2 – 1 tsp oil and add 1-2 tbsp of batter  to each muffin cup.

Bake 35-45 minutes till golden.

Serve warm with some sweet and sour ginger chutney.

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Sweet and Sour Ginger Chutney

Raw ginger has a very pungent flavor. It needs to be tempered with tamarind juice and jaggery (or brown sugar) to make it palatable.

This is my first attempt to make this chutney. Contrary to the Sweet and Sour Ginger Pickle, I posted a few weeks ago, this one is easy, short lived and goes well with vada. It is a very typical Andhra dish that is served during events such as weddings, funerals and other events. It is very often served with plain vada. Not to say  it can’t be served with other vada types.
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Ingredients:

2-4 in of ginger stalk, peeled and chopped
1/2-2/3 cup tamarind sauce
3-4 tbsp brown sugar or 1-2 cubes jaggary

Tempering:

1 tbsp oil
1 tsp urad dal
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1-2 dry red chillies
dash of tumeric
dash of asaphoetida
a few curry leaves

I previously provided a recipe for the Sweet and Sour Ginger Pickle that can last months and years. Contrary to that, this is a short lived recipe, that is quick to make and lasts up to a week.

Add the chopped ginger to a blender, along with tamarind juice and jaggery and blend till smooth. Adjust tamarind juice and sugar to personal preference. Transfer to a bowl. Season with salt.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan. Add turmeric, asaphoetida, urad dal, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and dry red chilli. Fry till lightly golden. Add some curry leaves and leave for another minute.

Transfer to the bowl containing the ginger paste. Mix well. Adjust tamarind juice, sweetness, and salt.

Serve with some fresh vada!

Note: You can make a roasted sesame chutney, by replacing the ginger with roasted sesame which is another traditional chutney that is served at events.

Sweet and Sour Ginger Pickle

One of my favorite South Indian pickles is sweet and sour ginger pickle. Ginger is available all year round,  and this pickle can be made all year round. In fact it can be  stored  in a jar,  and can last several months to several years. It is great with Upma, pesarattu and more.

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Ingredients:

2-3 ginger shoots, washed, peeled and grated
3-4 cubes of jaggery ( more if you have a sweet tooth)
1-2 cups of thick tamarind sauce
salt to taste
sesame or olive oil
red chilli powder to taste, and as needed
dash of asapoetida
touch of tumeric

To a pan, add some sesame or olive oil. Add grated ginger and fry till golden.

Meanwhile to a saucepan add tamarind juice and jaggery and continue to boil in medium low until the sauce thickens. Add grated and fried ginger and mix well. Remove from flame. Adjust jaggery, tamarind and ginger accordingly.

Meanwhile heat another saucepan with some oil, turmeric, asaphoetida, and red chilli powder for 1-2 minutes. Add to  sweet and sour ginger mix,  and mix well.

Season with salt and mix well.

Enjoy with Dosa, Upma, Uttapam, and more!

Note:

Always adjust salt and seasoning to personal preference.