February 9, 2017

Whole Green Moong Idli


The healthier options while cooking is what tempted me to start this blog.  I am always looking for other ways to prepare the ever favorite idlis. Here is one kind....using whole green moong.  Try frying this batter as bondas and the kids are sure to love them!!!





1/2 cup urad dal
1/2 cup green moong
2 cups idli rice
1tsp methi seeds


Soak the methi seeds, the dals and the rice separately. overnight.  It is more important that the whole green moong is soaked thoroughly for a longer time. 

Drain the water and begin by grinding the methi and the urad dal.  Half way through add the whole green moon w well

Lobiya/Black eyed pea Sambar

With some leftover boiled black eyed peas in my refrigerator, I decided to use in sambar preparation and found it very tasty.  This is a nice change from the masala gravy that I always try with this fast cooking bean....




1 cup of cooked lobiya
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 small tomato chopped
1 green chilli
1 red chilli
1/2 tsp sambar powder
1 flat tsp tamarind paste
salt to taste
1/2 tsp sambar powder(fresh)
curry leaves
coriander leaves
3/4 tsp mustard
1/8 tsp methi seeds


Take little oil and when it gets hot splutter the methi seeds followed by mustard.  Add the red chilli, green chilli, curry leaves and hing powder.  Add the onions and saute it for a couple of minutes followed by the tomatoes.  Let this cook for 3-5 minutes.  Add water and bring this to a rolling boil.  Add salt and a spoon of tamarind paste(you can always taste and add it also).  After this has cooked for a minute or so add the sambar powder and let this cook for 2 minutes on medium flame until the raw smell goes away.  Now remove about a ladle of the lobiya and add the rest to cooking water.  Nicely mash the set aside lobiya and add it to the gravy.  If you think a thicker consistency is needed,  mash the gravy with the masher while it is cooking. 

Garnish with some chopped coriander leaves and enjoy with rice.


November 17, 2015

Karpooravalli Kuzhambu



There can be no greater joy of outsourcing the ingredients from your own garden for using in your kitchen.  We started our own karpooravalli or omavalli(tamil names for ajwain) plant from a cutting given to us by my cousin sometime last year just to add to our collection of health benefical plants like tulasi, curry leaves and manathakkali.  Ajwain is more popular in northern India and the seeds are used as seasonings in dal or in the parathas and more so in the snacks.  Who can forget the aromatic taste of these lovely seeds in the very popular "omapodi" in the tamil households. However the leaves in abundance on my plant tempted me to try this dish which I would be making it again and again for sure.  Infact I do not hestitate to add these chopped leaves anytime I make rotis and puris.....






/4 tsp methi seeds
1/4 tsp urad dal
2 tsp dhaniya
1 tsp each tuar and chana dal
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2  long red chillies
15 to 20 black pepper
20 medium sized omavalli leaves

Roast all this in this order starting with methi seeds, dhaniya, pepper, the dals, cumin seeds and red chillies and add the chopped leaves in the end and saute it briefly

Grind with 3 tsp tamarind paste and about a tsp of salt and about 2 to 3 cups of water to make it into a fine paste.

Take about 3 tbsp oil season mustard hing, few curry leaves and add the ground paste.  Let this cook till the oil begins to separate.

Enjoy it by adding to hot rice!!!

October 27, 2015

Protein Rich Idlis

Coming back after a long time decided to start on a healthier note with some nutritious twist to the ever preferred idlis...



1 cup jowar
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup whole green moong
1/2 cup idli rice
1/2 cup urad dal
1/4 cup poha
1 tsp fenugreek/methi seeds

Start off by soaking the quinoa, whole moong and the jowar.  Basically I soaked these three ingredients double the time that I did for urad dal, rice, poha and methi seeds.  Wash everything thoroughly before starting to grind.  Grind the urad and methi in the idli grinder first till it is smooth and fluffy.  In the meanwhile, grind the quinoa, moong and the jowar individually in the blender jar with very minimal water.  You do not want to add too much water which might end up in a runny batter.  Add the rice to this and let it grind to a coarse consistency.  Now add all the other ingredients and also the ground poha to the above batter and let the grinder run till it is mixed thoroughly.  

Transfer the batter, add the needed salt and let it ferment overnight or till it rises in quantity.  
The batter is now ready to make some nutritious idlis.  

November 2, 2014

Quinoa Millet Pulao

A simple yet a tasty and a nutritious preparation made with the simplest of the ingredients




1/4 cup Red Quinoa
1/4 cup Millet
1/3 cup Chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped beetroot
1/2 cup frozen green peas
2 green chilies
1 inch piece of ginger
2 garlic cloves
few mint leaves
1 tblsp oil
Salt to taste
1/2 to 1 tsp garam masala powder

Soak the quinoa and millet together after rinsing them thoroughly.  Take oil, splutter some cumin seeds and add the onions to sauté them for 2 minutes.  Add the ginger, garlic and green chillies which have been crushed to the onions and sauté for another 1/2  a minute.  Add the quinoa and the millet which has been now drained completely and sauté for a minute before adding the vegetables to it.  Add the salt which is about a teaspoon and few mint leaves that have been chopped.  Add water in the ratio of 1:2 which would be 1 cup for the above quantity, garam masala and pressure cook for 5 to 6 whistles.   The tasty and nutritious pulao is ready to be enjoyed with some raita!!!!

Notes:  There are many kinds of millets and the one I used for the above recipe is the foxtail millet

May 10, 2013

Celery and Peanut Chutney

Celery is one such vegetable which I came to know of only after coming to the US.    Having pretty much used in salads or soups,  my first attempt to include in regular Indian cooking was in the sambar.    In recent times though, I have tried to come up with dishes like Celery Coriander Thokku, Celery and Potato Podimas, and more recently the Celery  Tomato Rice.   Today, I have attempted to camouflage this vegetable in yet another way......  



1 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup peanuts
1 red chilli
1 tea spoon tamarind paste
salt to taste

Take a spoon of oil and saute the celery with little salt for 2 minutes. Add the red chillies and the roasted peanuts and saute this again. Add the tamarind paste and little more salt.  Let this mix
well.  Grind this to a paste adding little water.

Season with mustard seeds

March 26, 2013

Blue berry Rawa Kesari

A very simple and common preparation enhanced by these lovely blue berries giving the dish a nice color and flavor...



1/2 cup rawa
1/2 cup sugar
little less than 1/2 cup blueberries
few broken cashewnuts for garnish
1/8th tsp of elaichi powder
1/4 cup of ghee

Roast the rawa in about 2 tsp of ghee till you get the aroma.  In the meanwhile, heat up about 2 cups of water in the microwave.  Slowly add this hot water to the rawa keeping the flame at low.  Turn up the heat and cook the rawa nicely without any lumps.  Once this is done, add the sugar, elaichi powder and half of the ghee.  Let this cook until the sugar is melted completely.  Again, microwave the blueberries quickly to soften them and add this to the rawa cooking in the sugar.  Add the rest of the ghee and cook until it comes together and does not remain sticky to the touch. 

Garnish with some cashews roasted in ghee...