Articles in the pulses and beans Category
There are a few moments in life when you are truly & completely happy. My yearly visit to hometown in Udaipur, Rajasthan is one such occasion when I wish I could stop the time and live in those moments forever. Though many old familiar houses have given way to high rise apartments now and there are very few familiar faces to greet, but every visit is worth preserving the childhood experiences and keeping them afresh…..from authentic Daal Baatis to exotic Gatte ki subji filled with nuts and dried fruits…they leave no stone unturned to pamper me with their love and let me indulge in my favorite food.
World is celebrating International Women’s day today. Hmm…Is a single day enough to celebrate womanhood? May be, who cares…
Though a little late but am glad that I came out of the veil of a daughter, a wife and a mother to appreciate in broader perspective, the most precious gift of God – womanhood!
breakfast medley, healthy snacks, kids lunchbox, Lunchbox bites, pulses and beans, Salads and dressings »
‘It’s the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary.’ Paulo Coelho. Life is harder when you complicate the simple things and my cooking follows suit to a greater extent. Most of the days I prefer dishes which need less time to cook, have fewer ingredients and still retain the freshness & nutrient quotient intact. These simple recipes are a perfect antidote for those busy days when you are hard pressed for time and need something healthy and filling which can be thrown in just minutes.
This warm Chickpea and Veggie Salad falls in the same category. I defer to call this recipe just a simple salad, with Olive oil, mixed veggies, bread croutons, herbs, spices and protein packed chickpeas, this recipe makes a complete meal in itself. I could happily start and end my breakfast, lunch and dinner with a bowl of this chickpea and veggie salad.
Like all the best families, we too have our share of family disagreements. Daughter likes plain flat breads (chapattis) while son prefers stuffed breads and if hubby likes Lachha parathas, its a big no-no for me. But there is something at home we all are one with…our good old Tandoor or grill, and anything cooked or baked in it is liked by one and all.
Crispy Missi Rotis (chickpea flour flat breads) and spicy Panchmel Daal (five lentils) is yet another popular combination of scrumptious foods from my hometown Rajasthan. People living in the desert areas cook this healthy, filling and delicious recipes during winter season when their body require more fuel in terms of protein and fat to combat the adverse cold conditions of harsh winter months.
Villagers in many places of Rajasthan still light their hearth by burning either wood or cow-dung to give them warmth from the cold waves and also to cook their meals on it.
It really amuses me how our taste buds evolve with time and quickly get accustomed to new foods. Bitter gourd, cluster beans, pumpkin which never made to my favorite list of veggies during childhood are now some of the most cooked vegetables at home.
Though I haven’t succeeded in making my children eat bitter gourd and a few other veggies as yet, they do like to bite on a pumpkin bread, Zucchini Biscotti, brownie and cakes. May be they need some more time to develop their taste buds before they start liking the unique taste of these foods.
Turkey berry/wild eggplant or Sundaikkai (in Tamil) was first introduced to me after my marriage in 1996 by my mother-in-law and there was a love at first sight. She plucked these tiny green round berries from her backyard and taught me how to prep the berries with a small stone. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience of prepping the berries, soaking in buttermilk and watching her cook the same in her kitchen.
“Mom, make your Rajasthani Pasta today” Said my son enthusiastically. History repeats, I murmured to myself handing over the bowl of dough to both of them. Yes, I am a happy mom to see my children enjoy rolling these Dhoklis as we did in our childhood. They love to make shapes and faces with the dough and later struggle hard to search for their creations in the final recipe.
This soupy comfort food always reminds me of home & mom. I grew up eating Daal Dhokli which used to be our Sunday meal for as long as I remember. I still disagree and argue with my Gujrati friends who call the recipe a signature dish of Gujrat.
Mom being a working woman never got time to make special recipes on weekdays. Sunday was the only day when she cooked scrumptious lunches and comforting dinner. She would knead the dough and give it to me and my brother to roll the Dholiks, This was her way to keep us busy on Sundays and avoid fights between us. Television & computer come to existence much later in life. Blessing in disguise I must say
Lunchbox bites, pulses and beans »
“Dicotyledonous, low in fat, loaded with nutrients, fibers and protein, nodules in their roots, red, speckled, white purple colored beans are some of the salient features of legume family” ….Phew, heard my son muttering from his study room. And I think I know my beans much better after reading & learning with my son.
Lentils are an integral part of any Indian kitchen. Be it a simple Daal recipe with green gram, red lentil, black gram, Bengal gram or a spicy Sambhar fromSouth India, lentil is a star of Indian cuisine.
I reserve the whole beans for weekends, combine it with some light salad or yogurt raita and serve it with either plain Indian flat breads, whole-wheat bread or flavored Basmati rice.
This regional recipe of Litti Cokha from India brings back the memory of my carefree childhood days. After living in a secured colony of central government quarters for many years, mom wanted to live in her own house and she bought a ground near a picturesque place in Udaipur. The place was very near to where we were currently staying and me and my brother used to visit the site every evening after school hours to monitor the activities in the construction area.
Each day as soon as the clock struck 5 PM, all the workers would stop working, gather at a common place and begin their evening activities of fun and cooking food together. After freshening up with the water stored in a small tank, men folks cut wood to light the fire for cooking and the women share the work of kneading the dough for Litti and prepping for the Brinjal Chokha.
Ahaa.. finally its here – the Summer Holidays, time we all look forward to year after year! Trip to home town, loads of ‘me time’ to relax and also to complete all the pending tasks I have been procrastinating the whole year wearing the shield of ‘no time’
My euphoria is but short lived, the very next day of the holiday and the mom is busier than ever. Library, cricket coaching, dance classes, piano lessons…and repeat. Well, as a good mother I also need to keep my children engaged and make their holiday more productive. Till then..’me time’ can wait.
Lunchbox bites, pulses and beans »
Rajma-rice, a plateful of sliced onion in vinegar, a few books in hand, hot debate on current topics and our dinner would be over in no time. This was the regular evening routine for a bunch of close friends during the college days we spent together away from our homes in Delhi, hardly missing out on homely food. We would stop by that open Dhaba (makeshift restaurant) with a very few chairs spread under a tree and wait for our piping hot plate of Rajma-rice served by this rugged looking pot bellied man who cooked & served the same meal throughout the year. At times he served us Rajma with Naan and a dessert which looked like cooked rice in sugar syrup during festivals to make sure we remain his loyal customers. Must say that I have never been able to cook nor have eaten better tasting Rajma than that.