Lite Bite http://litebite.in Fri, 08 May 2015 09:56:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Recipes | Cooking with Thuthuvalai – A tiny herb and a few healthy recipes http://litebite.in/recipes-thuthuvalai-kulambu-rasam-dosa-chutney-recipes/ http://litebite.in/recipes-thuthuvalai-kulambu-rasam-dosa-chutney-recipes/#comments Fri, 08 May 2015 09:34:31 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=11735 'All good food comes with a story, and the stories need sharing as much as the food'.

Wait, don’t keep that box for washing…taste the dish in it and tell me how is it?” asked hubby, who saw me holding and sniffing that small blue box. The tiny box and the food inside looked unfamiliar to me.

Hmm..it does taste good, but what is it and how did it come in your lunch-bag?” staring at him, I asked.

My colleague KC brought this Kulambu (curry) for lunch today. I found the recipe quite interesting and asked him to pack a little for me so that you can taste and try it at home.” Hubby smiled and answered, clearing the doubt in my mind.

The post Recipes | Cooking with Thuthuvalai – A tiny herb and a few healthy recipes appeared first on Lite Bite.

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healthy indian curry and chutney recipes

‘All good food comes with a story, and the stories need sharing as much as the food‘.

Wait, don’t keep that box for washing…taste the dish in it and tell me how is it?” asked hubby, who saw me holding and sniffing that small blue box. The tiny box and the food inside looked unfamiliar to me.

Hmm..it does taste good, but what is it and how did it come in your lunch-bag?” I asked, staring at him.

My colleague KC brought this Kulambu (curry) for lunch today. I found the recipe quite interesting and asked him to pack a little for me so that you can taste and try it at home.” Hubby smiled and answered, clearing the doubt in my mind.

Oh, that’s really good, do ask him to share the recipe of the same if he can.” I told hubby and continued rearranging my kitchen.

Sanjeeta kk of Lite Bite is ‘your’ wife?” my hubby’s colleague rushed to his cabin the next day morning and asked him in amazement.

Wondering as to how his colleague get to know about his wife, my hubby relied, “Yes, she is. Why?”

My wife works as assistant professor in a college and looks like most of the staff working over there is fan of Lite Bite. They regularly discuss the recipes and blog updates in their staff room.”  his colleague informed, barely hiding his disbelief.

The dish you tasted yesterday is a Kulambu (curry) made with a common herb Thuthuvalai greens which is a regular at my home.  Here are the three recipes my wife wanted to share with your wife. Hope she likes it” He continued handing over a few hand-written papers from a notebook to my hubby.

Thuthuvalai as is called in Tamil is a medicinal plant with loads of health benefits. Solanum trilobatum or purple fruited pea egg plant or climbing brinjal is a medicinal plant which is extensively used in regional cooking in Tamil Nadu. The plant which is a climbing shrub has tiny thorns on leaves and stems and is supposed to cure sore throat, cold, cough and flatulence.

The most common way to cook these thorny plants is in the form of chutney, soup or rasam, Khulambu or in crepes or Dosa.

healthy indian curry and chutney recipes

Thuthuvalai plant in my garden…

Here are a few of the recipes Mrs. Pattunnarajam Chandrasekaran, wife of my hubby’s colleague shared along with a few recipes of mine with the healthy Thuthuvalai plant.

Every Indian develops the taste of their regional cuisine quite early in life. The characteristic flavors, indigenous herbs and spices used in cooking varies according to the availability of these ingredients and climatic conditions.

It was difficult for me to develop the taste for certain ingredients which were introduced quite late in my life. Thuthuvalai, turkey berriessun berries, narthangai (citron) pachdai, mavadu (baby mangoes), Neem flower rasam, agathi greens are a few local ingredients which took me years to get used to.

I love to cook and grow local herbs and vegetables at home and have this small thorny plant of Thuthuvalai quietly growing in my backyard.

I often use the leaves to make crepes or Dosa or add them directly to my soups or Rasam whenever anyone catches cold at my home. And that is all I know to sue these greens in my kitchen.

1. Instant purple fruited pea egg plant semolina crepe aka Thuthuvalai rava Dosa

healthy indian curry and chutney recipes with thuthuvali greens

Thuthuvalai-semolina batter in top right and the crepes with tomato chutney…

Dosa or crepe is the most common way I use Thuthuvalai in my cooking, and this is how I make Thuthuvalai crepes.

Ingredients:

(serve 3)

  • 1/2 cup packed Thuthuvali leaves
  • 1 cup semolina
  • 2 tbsp. rice flour
  • 2 tbsp. wholewheat flour
  • 2 tbsp sour yogurt
  • 5-6 peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • Water

healthy indian curry and chutney recipes with thuthuvalai greens

Method: Wash Thuthuvali leaves and grind it into coarse paste with peppercorn (black pepper or kali mirch) and cumin seeds (jeera).

Take a large bowl and add semolina (rava), rice flour, wholewheat flour, salt (about ¼ tsp.) and combine well with a ladle.

Pour yogurt (curd or dahi), ground Thuthuvalai leaves paste and about 3 cups of plain water into the bowl.

Combine all the ingredients to make a runny batter. Add more water if the consistency is not as required.

Heat a griddle and pour a ladle full of batter on it. Drizzle a little oil if required (I use non-stick pan which do not require any oil) and flip the crepe to the other side.

Cook both the sided till it turns golden brown in colour.

Serve these healthy crepes with any chutney or sauce of your choice.

2. Purple fruited pea egg plant curry aka Tangy Thuthuvala Kulambu

healthy indian curry and chutney recipes with thuthuvalai greens

Ingredients:

Recipe courtesy: Pattunnarajam Chandrasekaran

(serve 3)

  • 100 gms Thuthuvalai greens
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste
  • 5-6 garlic pearls
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as required

Spices:

  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp. coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida powder

Method; Wash the Thuthuvala greens and grind into fine paste.

Make tamarind paste using a small lemon sized ball of fresh tamarind. I use homemade tamarind paste which I prepare and refrigerate.

Take about 2 cups of water in a vessel and add tamarind paste, red chilli powder, coriander powder (dhania), asafoetida powder (hing) and salt in it.

Heat oil in a wok or kadai and crackle mustard seeds in it. Add fenugreek seeds (methi dana) and garlic pearls (lasun)in the oil and sauté for a minute.

Pour spiced tamarind water in the wok and bring it to a boil.

Add ground Thuthuvala greens in the wok and let it simmer till the gravy or Kulumbu (gravy) becomes semi solid in consistency.

3. Purple fruited pea egg plant and tomato curry aka Thuthuvali-tomato Kuzhambu

healthy indian curry and chutney recipes with thuthuvalai greens

This is how I make Kulambu or curry with lots of tomato and shredded Thuthuvalai leaves. Deep red country tomatoes and a good Sambhar powder gives this Kulambu a bright red hue.

Ingredients:

(serve 3)

  • 10-12 Thuthuvalai leaves
  •  4 large tomatoes
  • 8-10 shallots
  • 2 tsp Sambhar powder
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp. Bengal gram
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • A pinch of asafoeitda powder
  • Salt to taste

Method: Wash Thuthuvali leaves and roughly chop it with kitchen scissors.

Wash and finely chop the tomatoes.

Peel and slice the shallots (small onion or chinna vengayam).

Heat a oil in a wok or kadai and splutter mustard seeds (rai dana) and Bengal gram (channa daal) in it.

Add sliced onion and saute for 2 minutes.

Add asafoetida powder and chopped tomatoes in it and cook for 6-7 minutes on medium heat.

Add Sambhar powder and chopped Thuthuvalai leaves in the wok and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.

Put off the flame and serve the healthy curry with Idly, Dosa or plain rice.

4. Purple fruited pea egg plant spread aka Thuthuvala Thuvayal

healthy indian curry and chutney recipes with thuthuvalai greens

Ingredients:

Recipe courtesy: Pattunnarajam Chandrasekaran

(serve 3)

  • 100 gms Thuthuvala greens
  • 2 tbsp grated coconut
  • 3 dry red chillies
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 Garlic pearls
  • 1 tsp. de-skinned black gram
  • 1/2 tsp tamarind paste
  • Salt to taste

Method: Pluck and wash Thuthuvala greens.

Heat oil in a wok or kadai and lightly brown the de-skinned black gram (urad daal). Take the roasted gram out and add greens in the same oil and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

Grind sautéed greens with grated coconut, garlic pearls, red chillies, tamarind paste and salt into fine paste. I like chunky bits of leaves and spices in my chutney and use mortar and pestle to grind.

Add the roasted gram in the Thuvayal and serve with plain rice, Dosa or Idly.

healthy indian curry and chutney recipes

Thuthavalai plant in my garden…

5. Purple fruited pea egg plant soup aka Thuthuvala Rasam

healthy indian curry and chutney recipes with thuthuvalai greens

Ingredients:

Recipe courtesy: Pattunnarajam Chandrasekaran

(serve 3)

  • 100 gms Thuthuvala leaves
  • 4-5 garlic pearls
  • 2 dry red chilies
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp. peppercorn
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. asafetida powder                    `
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as required

healthy indian curry and chutney recipes with thuthuvalai greens

Method: Pluck and wash the leaves of Thuthuvala.

Grind the leaves with peppercorn, cumin seeds and garlic pearls into fine paste.

Take 2 cups of water in a vessel and add tamarind paste and salt in it and boil it for about 7-8 minutes till the raw smell of tamarind disappear.

Add ground Thuthuvala and spice paste in the boiling tamarind water.

Take the vessel off the flame as soon as the Rasam starts to boil and cover the vessel with a lid.

Heat oil a small pan and crackle mustard seeds in it. Add asafoetida powder and broken red chillies in hot oil and pout this tempering over the cooked Rasam

6. Purple fruited pea egg and tomato soup aka Thuthuvali-tomato Rasam

healthy indian curry and chutney recipes with thuthuvalai greens

The Rasam I cook using Thuthuvalai leaves and tomato pulp has orangish hue to it and I do miss the flavors of the herbs in my recipe. As I don’t grind the leaves and just shred the leaves to use as garnish. This recipe is more like a soup which is good to have to get relief from common cold and cough.

Grinding the leaves along with spices (in her recipe above) to make Rasam gives strong flavor and much better taste.

Ingredients:

(serve 3)

  • 10-12 Thuthuvalai leaves
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 3 garlic pearls
  • 6-7 peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp oil
  • A pinch of asafoetia powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as required

Method: Wash and squeeze the tomatoes in a large vessel filled with 2 cups of water.

Bring tomato with water to a boil.

Wash the Thuthuvalai leaves and remove the hard thorns and finely chop the leaves with a kitchen scissors.

Grind peppercorn, cumin seeds and garlic cloves into coarse paste, I use my pestle and mortar to do this.

Add ground peppercorn and garlic paste to the boiling tomato water and let it simmer for 6-7 minutes on medium heat.

Heat oil in a small kadai or wok and splutter mustard seeds in it. Add chopped Thuthuvali leaves, stir and put off the flame.

Pour this tempering over the tomato water and continue to simmer for another 2-3 minutes.

Take the vessel off the flame and serve this healthy soup or Rasam with plain rice or with garlic bread.

Notes:

  1. Make sure to remove thorns which are hard and large at the back of the leaves before using it in cooking.
  2. Add handful of mint or coriander leaves in all the recipes for a better taste.
  3. The colour of Rasam cooked using tamarind will be muddy green while the rasam with tomato as base will be bright red.
  4. Use country tomatoes in the recipe which are sour and tangy in taste for better results.
  5. I often add a pinch of sugar in all the recipes made with Thuthuvalai as the greens are slightly bitter in taste.
  6. Thuthuvalai leave is said to generate heat in body and should be consumed occasionally.

Search for the English & Hindi names of various foods and ingredients used in the recipe in Glossary.
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Recipe & Food Styling | Orange scented Dry fruits Shahi Pulao – Passion creates positive energy http://litebite.in/recipe-food-styling-orange-scented-dry-fruits-shahi-pulao/ http://litebite.in/recipe-food-styling-orange-scented-dry-fruits-shahi-pulao/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 09:23:34 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=11720 Passion creates positive energy and we feed on that energy to stay motivated. ~ #onlineread

I am blessed by a number of things I love to do. Painting, travelling, cooking, reading, sketching, gardening, photography and many such activities. I do not find my diverse interest as a dilemma and love to engage myself in some of these activities whenever time permits.

But - well, there exists another life. A real world, where there is a laundry to be cleared, grocery shopping, doctor's appointments, a hungry family to feed, activity classes for children and the never ending list of mundane daily chores.

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Orange scented Dry fruits Shahi Pulao

Passion creates positive energy and we feed on that energy to stay motivated. ~ #onlineread

I am blessed by a number of things I love to do. Painting, travelling, cooking, reading, sketching, gardening, photography and many such activities. I do not find my diverse interest as a dilemma and love to engage myself in some of these activities whenever time permits.

But – well, there exists another life. A real world, where there is a laundry to be cleared, grocery shopping, doctor’s appointments, a hungry family to feed, activity classes for children and the never ending list of mundane daily chores.

No, I won’t name all my pending tasks at hand, as summer vacations for children have started and I am living on hopes :)

Hmm…if only wishes were horses….a mail and two phone calls and my list of pending chores is already threatening to escalate out of control.

I have been a strict follower of task-reward theory from my childhood days, which is nothing but a way to trick yourself in doing tasks which are relatively boring to do.

Trying to alternate a mundane job (household work) with an interesting task (styling assignments) always brings joy and act as a reward or motivation.

Food blogging and styling assignment is one such activity which recharges my body and brain, an activity where I can easily get lost in time and space and forget to even eat, drink or sleep.

And so, keeping my long list of to-do-works aside, I accepted and started working on yet another interesting food styling assignment last week.

Recipe & Food Styling | Orange scented Dry fruits Shahi Pulao

Rice cooked, labeled and packed individually in separate containers….I had never seen or cooked so many varieties of Basmati rice before…white Sella, Sella golden, traditional, classic,  steamed Basmati and so on.

I had an assignment to cook and style 8 different varieties of branded Indian Basmati rice last week. The shoot was Prateek Singhi.

My day started quite early cooking breakfast and lunch for children and hubby and then cooking the rice according to the instructions given by the client.

Recipe & Food Styling | Orange scented Dry fruits Shahi Pulao

I had to take care that the cooked rice should look camera friendly with long grains, perfect texture, good colour and which could sustain the long hours of shooting and heat.

I cooked, packed and labeled individual variety of rice in different boxes.

Recipe & Food Styling | Orange scented Dry fruits Shahi Pulao

Making every grain of rice count… the power to present food in the most artistic way is truly rewarding.
Recipe & Food Styling | Orange scented Dry fruits Shahi Pulao

A quick click from my phone from the work area…

Recipe & Food Styling | Orange scented Dry fruits Shahi Pulao

Decking up the dish for the next shot…I was literally segregating each perfect looking rice grain and placing it one by one using a fork.

The client had informed me to avoid onion, garlic, spices and root vegetables and wanted me to emphasize more on the texture and colour of long grains. I had to avoid excess garnish yet make the recipe look mouth-watering at the same time.

And after a marathon of cooking various rice recipes for the photo-shoot children demanded something exotic with the leftover export quality rice at home.

I waited for the weekend and cooked this delicious Orange scented Indian pulao with loads of dried and fresh fruits. I was planning to make the Jaipuri Mewa pulao which is a dessert recipe served during special occasions in Rajasthan. But changed the idea and made a savory version instead as my family is not conformable with sweet recipe with rice.

Packed with nuts, fresh fruits and infused with saffron and various Indian spices, this rice dish is perfect for party menu or for a holiday treat.

So with handful of assorted nuts, fresh fruits and a fragrant Basmati rice, a quick Shahi Pulao was on the menu.

Orange scented Dry fruits Shahi Pulao

Recipe & Food Styling | Orange scented Dry fruits Shahi Pulao
Ingredients:

(serve 3)

  • 1 cup Basmati rice
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup assorted nuts and fruits:
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tbsp Ghee or Olive oil
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 3 garlic pearls
  • 3 green chilies
  • 2 tbsp. warm milk
  • 4-5 Saffron strands
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • Few mint leaves
  • Salt to taste

Spices:

  • 2 cloves
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 small bay leaf

Recipe & Food Styling | Orange scented Dry fruits Shahi Pulao

Method: Wash the Basmati rice and soak it in clean water for 20 minutes or more.

Soak saffron strands in warm milk for 10 minutes.

I added an assortment of the following nuts and fruits in the recipe.

  • Cashew nuts
  • Almonds
  • Raisins
  • Pineapple pieces

Finely slice the onion and grate ginger. Slit the green chilies into two.

Grate the peel of orange and squeeze to take out the juice in a cup.

Heat ghee or Olive oil in a large wok or kadai and quickly fry cashew nuts and almonds for a minute and take them out in a small bowl.

Add cloves, cardamom pods, star anise and bay leaf in the same oil and sauté for a few seconds.

Add sliced ginger, chopped garlic, slit green chilies and sauté for another minute.

Drain the water from the rice, add the rice, raisins, sugar and salt in the wok and combine lightly to coat each grain with ghee or oil.

Pour warm water and orange juice in the wok, cover the wok with a lid and let it cook on medium heat 7-8 minutes.

Add roasted cashew nuts, almonds and soaked saffron strands with milk in the wok, stir lightly and cover again.

Cook for another 2-3 minutes or till the rice is cooked and water is absorbed completely.

Garnish with chopped mint leaves, pineapple pieces and grated orange zest.

Serve this flavorful pulao with yogurt raita or any Indian curry.

Notes:

  1. Replace orange juice with plain water if you wish.
  2. Add seedless grapes, small chunks of apples and pomegranate seeds to enhance the colour and taste of the recipe.
  3. Try substituting the orange juice with pineapple for yet another wonderful flavor in the recipe.
  4. Use good quality saffron for better aroma and colour. If you don’t have saffron in hand, use food grade orange colour or turmeric to get the same visual appeal to your rice.
  5. I added a few fresh peas and capsicum in the recipe.
  6. Use the best quality long grain Basmati rice for the recipe.
  7. Let the Pulao rest for 3-4 hours for the flavors of saffron to infuse in the recipe completely.
  8. Do not over stir the rice after adding saffron milk in it to get the beautiful mix of white and saffron rice.

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Recipe and Food Styling | Easy dessert with Rice dumplings in coconut milk aka Paal Kozhukattai – Follow your efforts http://litebite.in/recipe-paal-kozhukattai-dessert-food-styling/ http://litebite.in/recipe-paal-kozhukattai-dessert-food-styling/#comments Sun, 12 Apr 2015 09:09:50 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=11698 "With extreme joy, we thank Sanjeeta KK of Lite Bites for photographing the recipes in Indu Bokaria's "Recipes from a Diary". Her warmth and friendliness coupled with dedication and passion makes her a pleasure to work with. We look forward to seeing our 76-page, all-colour cookbook in the hands of our readers. If you think the pages look delectable, then you know where the credit lies! Thank you Sanjeeta." Indu Bokaria, cookbook author.

These beautiful words of appreciation are written by the author of a cook book on her Facebook page for whom I did a photo-shoot last year.

The post Recipe and Food Styling | Easy dessert with Rice dumplings in coconut milk aka Paal Kozhukattai – Follow your efforts appeared first on Lite Bite.

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paal kozhukattai, rice dumpling in coconut milk desert

With extreme joy, we thank Sanjeeta KK of Lite Bites for photographing the recipes in Indu Bokaria’s “Recipes from a Diary”. Her warmth and friendliness coupled with dedication and passion makes her a pleasure to work with. We look forward to seeing our 76-page, all-colour cookbook in the hands of our readers. If you think the pages look delectable, then you know where the credit lies! Thank you Sanjeeta.” Indu Bokaria, cookbook author.

These beautiful words of appreciation are written by the author of a cook book on her Facebook page for whom I did a photo-shoot last year.

The said project was initiated sometime back in July last year, when a good friend ‘Pratibha‘ sent me the proposal. I had a couple of other assignments in hand and was skeptical of accepting and completing the challenging project in time.

Moreover, the task of acting both, a photographer & a food stylist to shoot 60 recipes in a couple of day’s time was too daunting a project.

But then, I did accept the project and given the circumstances (to shoot with a basic camera lens and overcast sky) tried my best to click all the recipes in the stipulated time.

The project has certainly made me happy and confident about my work!

Well, it does feel good when your work is appreciated. But no appreciation or reward can replace the sense of satisfaction at having completed a difficult challenge you set out to do.

And yes, appreciation from friends and well wishers is an added bonus to my hard work :)

At times, I feel that its good if you just follow your efforts and forget the rewards, cause’ when you start loving what you are doing you can conquer almost any difficult task in hand.

healthy vegetarian recipes

Pic courtesy: Indu Bokaria’s cookbook

These are a few pictures I styled and photographed for the cooked food sent to me by Mrs. Indu Bokaria for her cook book.

I could not taste most of the food I shot, as it was styled to make it camera friendly. But whatever I could taste, blew my mind away.

It was undoubtedly some of the most delicious vegetarian food I tasted in recent times. I am eagerly waiting to hold the book in my hand and try out some of her recipes.

Rice dumpling in coconut milk aka Paal Kozhukattai 

paal kozhukattai, rice dumpling in coconut milk desert

Paal Kozhukattai or tiny rice dumplings dipped in coconut milk is an authentic dessert from Tamil Nadu. The dessert is prepared during festivals using some of the very basic ingredients in the kitchen, rice and jaggery.

Traditionally Paal Kozhukattai is prepared by soaking and stone grinding the rice flour with little water. The ground paste is then cooked with warm water till it becomes thicker and pliable dough.

Store bought rice works just good for me fro this delicacy from Karaikudi region of Tamil Nadu.

Cooked and served on a banana leaf, this delicious sweet also makes a popular snack in many parts of South India.

I prepared Paal Kozhukattai for a friend from North India who wanted a different menu for our dinner at my home sometime back.

paal kozhukattai, rice dumpling in coconut milk desert

Ingredients:

(serve 3)

For rice dumplings:

  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp oil
  • A pinch of salt
  • Almonds and Saffron strands for garnish
  • Water to boil the dumplings

For sweet sauce:

  • 2 cups thin coconut milk
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk
  • ½ cup sugar or grated jaggery
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp ghee

Method: Add salt and oil in water and bring it to a boil.

Take a large bowl and add rice flour in it.

Pour warm water little at a time and keep mixing with a spoon.

Use hands to bring all the ingredients together and form a soft dough.

Pinch small pea-sized dough and roll into balls.

Bring about 7-8 cups of water in a large vessel and add all the tiny balls into it.

The rice dumplings will start floating over the water once cooked.

Scoop out all the steamed dumplings and place them in a plate.

Thick coconut milk: Add 1 cup of warm water to one cup grated coconut. Squeeze the coconut lightly in warm water and use a filter or muslin cloth to strain the thick coconut milk.

Thin coconut milk: Add 1 more cups of warm water in the squeezed out coconut chaff and mash it lightly with hand. Strain the remaining coconut milk using muslin cloth.

Heat ghee in a thick bottomed wok or kadai and fry the almonds in to it.

Pour the thin coconut milk into the wok and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes on medium flame.

Add steamed rice balls into the wok and continue to simmer for another five minutes.

Add thick coconut milk, cardamom powder, grated jaggery or sugar and switch off the flame.

Garnish the dessert with almond slivers and saffron strands.

The dessert can be served cold or warm topped with saffron strands and more nuts as garnish.

paal kozhukattai, rice dumpling in coconut milk desert

Check Glossary for names in Hindi and English for various foods and ingredients used in this recipe.

Notes:

  1. The dumplings get hardened after refrigerated for long.
  2. Do not cook thick coconut milk as it may curdle.
  3. Use ready-made coconut milk powder for a quick and fuss-free coconut sauce in this recipe.
  4. Make sure that the dough made with rice flour is not too sticky or the balls will disintegrate in the sauce.
  5. I have used Palm sugar to sweeten the sauce but you can use sugar or grated jaggery also.
  6. The sauce will start thickening after it cools down. Add more liquid (plain milk, coconut milk or even water) to adjust the consistency of the sauce.
  7. Use condensed milk to replace the coconut milk for a different version of sauce for the recipe.
  8. Keep the size of rice balls really small for even cooking.

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Recipe and Food Styling | Vegetable Biryani – Life does exist. It’s the purpose that counts http://litebite.in/recipe-vegetable-biryani/ http://litebite.in/recipe-vegetable-biryani/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 12:12:57 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=11688 Life does exist. It's the purpose that counts.” ~Toba Beta

"Is your life passion-driven or purpose-driven” the lady sitting next to me in the lunch room asked.

I looked at her and smiled. I couldn't comprehend her question and was at a loss of words for a minute.

It was during a photo-shoot last week where I met this beautiful lady who works as an art director. She was assisting a jewellery shoot adjacent to my room. We were having lunch together when she checked my blog on her mobile and asked me about my work.

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healthy vegetarian biryani reciepe

Life does exist. It’s the purpose that counts.” ~Toba Beta

Is your life passion-driven or purpose-driven?” the lady sitting next to me in the lunch room asked.

I looked at her and smiled. I couldn’t comprehend her question and was at a loss of words for a minute.

It was during a photo-shoot last week where I met this beautiful lady who works as an art director. She was assisting a jewellery shoot adjacent to my room. We were having lunch together when she checked my blog on her mobile and asked me about my work.

Hmm…well, the blog was started to fill the empty space in my life and to keep me engaged & entertained.” I took another bite of the Missi roti (spicy Indian flat-bread) from the neatly packed lunch-box and replied.

“But yes, there were two primary reasons for me which prompted me to take up work again.” I leaned back on my chair and continued. She was all ears to me.

The first one was the constant urge to make my life meaningful and the second was to set examples before my children so they learn watching as they grow.” I continued.

With rate of affordability going up, today’s children get most things very easily. And I want them to realize the importance of hard-work in life, become self-dependent and start trusting their feelings so that they won’t be afraid of decision making when they grow.” I answered trying to maintain a tone of confidence.

Great, and what about these food styling projects?” she asked curiously.

Oh…I was accidentally pulled into the world of commercial food styling through a series of events. Lets’ keep this topic for our next meet” I looked into her eyes and smiled.

Nice talking to you Sanjeeta , do keep in touch” she said and gave her business card to me.

We waved good bye and moved on to our respected rooms to resume work.

Recipe | Vegetable Biryani -

I did one another photo-shoot with Prateek yesterday, with whom I had already worked for Hatsun brand.

The branded product was an export quality long grain Basmati rice selling by name ‘Signature’. I had also worked for the same brand last year with Kunal Daswani and did a photo-shoot for their breakfast cereals.

The client had listed out a few requirements and specifications for this shoot. Avoid using onion, garlic, cottage cheese or garam masala (spices) in the finale dish, was their main concern. Give more emphasis to the long grains of Basmati rice.

Peas pulao, Kashmiri pulav and vegetable Biryani were a few dishes we shot keeping in mind the restrictions given by the client.

Recipe | Vegetable Biryani -

I did most of the prepping at home and was quite comfortable at the shoot. Fried nuts, coloured long grain rice, tempering, half cooked rice, par boiled vegetables done a day before the shoot helped me ease out the pressure on the final day.

Recipe | Vegetable Biryani -

When the day started with Basmati rice how can a vegetable biryani be far. I had already cooked extra rice for the day before leaving for the shoot.

I just assembled every element and cooked this quick Biryani after reaching home. And yes, My Biryani had fried onions and garam masala in it… :)

Vegetable Biryani 

Recipe | Vegetable Biryani -

Ingredients:

(serve 3)

1st Step – Cooking the Rice 

  • 1 cup long grain Basmati rice
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 6-7 strands Saffron
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1/2 cup Mint leaves
  • 8-10 Cashew nuts
  • Salt as required
  • Water as required

2nd Step – Cooking the Vegetables

  • 2 cups chopped vegetables
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 green chilies
  • 2 garlic pearls
  • 1 small ginger piece
  • 1 tp. Garam masala
  • Salt as required

3rd Step – Tempering and layering Biryani

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 7-8 Peppercorns
  • 3-4 Coves
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 1 small Bay leaf
  • 1 star Anise

Recipe | Vegetable Biryani -

1st Step – Cooking Rice 

Wash and soak Basmati rice for at least an hour before cooking.

Add 4 cups of water in a large vessel and bring it to a boil.

Add soaked rice in it and cook it on high for about 6-7 minutes.

Put off the flame and drain the rice using a large colander.

Spread the half cooked rice evenly on the colander and let it cool.

Soak saffron stands in warm milk for about 10 minutes.

Peel and thinly slice the onion.

Heat oil in a pan and fry (about 7-8 minutes) the sliced onion till they turn bark brown in colour.

Recipe | Vegetable Biryani -

2nd Step – Cooking Vegetables

I have used an assortment of carrots, fresh peas and French beans in the recipe.

Prep the vegetables according to your choice.

Grind ginger, garlic and green chilies into fine paste.

Add garam masala in the yogurt and whisk it lightly.

Heat oil in the same pan used to fry te onion.

Add bay leaf, cloves, cardamom, peppercorns and star anise in oil and saute for a few seconds.

Add ginger-garlic-green chilly paste into it and sauté for a minute.

Add all the vegetables, salt, cover the lid and let it cook for 4-5 minutes on medium heat.

Pour the yogurt in the pan and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Turn the gas off and set it aside.

Recipe | Vegetable Biryani -

3rd Step – Tempering and layering Biryani

Take a large earthen pot to layer the Biryani.

Layer  about 3-4 ladleful of cooked Basmati rice at the bottom of the pot.

Sprinkle a few mint leaves and fried Onion or Brista over the rice.

Make a layer of  2-3 ladles of cooked vegetables with the gravy over the rice.

Repeat the same till the rice and vegetables are finished.

Make the last layer with rice.

Sprinkle fried onion, cashew nuts and soaked saffron with milk over the rice.

Cover the pot with a lid and secure it with dough (wheat flour mixed with water).

Place the pot over a Tawa or griddle and let ot cook on slow heat for 20 minutes.

Serve the Biryani with yogurt raita.

Check this traditional vegetable Biryani recipe here.

Search for the English & Hindi names of various foods and ingredients used in this recipe in Glossary.

Notes;

  1. Use clarified butter or ghee for wonderful aromatic Biryani.
  2. Garnish the Biryani with fresh pomegranate seeds and lightly fried raisins, almonds and cashew nuts.
  3. Use cottage cheese, cauliflower or Mushrooms to make this Birynai.
  4. Cook Basmati rice in coconut milk for a different flavor and taste.
  5. Add  a few teaspoons of butter or ghee at the last layer before keeping the Biryani for Dum (slow cooking).

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Recipe | Desi Health Bites – Tofu Pasanda aka Tofu in White Gravy http://litebite.in/recipe-tofu-pasanda-tofu-in-white-gravy/ http://litebite.in/recipe-tofu-pasanda-tofu-in-white-gravy/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 05:19:01 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=11624 Creamy, mildly spicy and an exotic recipe, Paneer Pasanda is a very elaborate Indian dish served in many hi end restaurants in India. Cottage cheese are sliced into thin triangles which are stuffed with a paste of nuts, coated with chickpea flour marinate, deep fried and then dunked into rich creamy gravy to make a delicious Paneer Pasanda.

The preferred gravy for Paneer Pasanda is deep red in colour, which comes from ground tomatoes, deep fried onions and turmeric powder.

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healthy tofu pasanda recipe, a vegetarian curry with white gravy.

Creamy, mildly spicy and an exotic recipe, Paneer Pasanda (cottage cheese curry) is a very elaborate Indian dish served in many hi-end restaurants in India. Cottage cheese are sliced into thin triangles which are stuffed with a paste of nuts, coated with chickpea flour marinate, deep fried and then dunked into rich creamy gravy to make a delicious Paneer Pasanda.

The preferred gravy for Paneer Pasanda is deep red in colour, which comes from ground tomatoes, deep fried onions and turmeric powder.

Such recipes make a rare appearance during celebrations or to entertain special guests at my home.

I keep trying to mix and match various Indian dishes to make it more convenient both in terms of time and health quotient. And this Tofu Pasanda (no, there is no deep fired stuffed Tofu sandwiches involved here) is one such recipes.

I have combined the Safeda curry (white gravies) from the royal cuisine of Rajasthan with Tofu to make this Pasanda dish.

White gravy dishes cooked with melon seeds and nuts are a hallmark of Rajput cuisine in Rajasthan, India. The Rajputs use this rich and delicate white sauce to cook the meat in it which is also referred as Safed Maas’ or white meat.

The secret of this creamy white gravy lies in the perfect blend of some aromatic spices, ginger, garlic and nutty paste. Tofu which normally has a bland taste to it, tasted good when cooked with this aromatic white gravy.

To make Tofu sandwiches follow this recipe link: Paneer Pasanda

healthy rice bran oil

Fortune rice bran oil: I started using this oil in my cooking sometime back and I am pretty pleased with the results. The fact that it’s high smoking point does not make the food sticky and help absorb less oil makes it a good deep- frying oil.

The presence of Oryzanol in it gives this oil slightly dark hue, but that does not alter the flavor or taste of the recipe.

I have been reading a lot about the benefits of rice bran oil lately. I found out that rice bran oil has good stability and is suitable for deep frying and many other cooking techniques and the oil absorption is also low.

Presence of a unique component in rice bran oil called Oryzanol makes it a special oil with many benefits.

Rice bran oil has the most balanced SMP ratio, which is, saturated fats: monounsaturated fats: polyunsaturated fats when compared to any other edible oil available in the Indian market (as read here).

You can read more informative articles about various kinds of Oils here:

Rediff

Huffington post

Tofu Pasanda aka Tofu curry in white gravy

healthy tofu pasanda recipe, a vegetarian curry with white gravy.

Ingredients;

(serve 3)

  • 1 cup Tofu cubes
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup Yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. Fortune Oil
  • 1 tsp. Kasuri Methi
  • 1 tsp. Cornflour
  • Salt to taste

Spices and herbs;

  • 2 onion
  • 10 Cashew nuts
  • 1 tbsp. Melon seeds
  • 1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 green chilies
  • 1/2 tsp. Garam masala
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 cardamom pods

healthy tofu pasanda recipe, a vegetarian curry with white gravy.

Method; Wash and dice Tofu into cubes or triangles.

Dissolve corn flour in 2 tbsp. of milk and soak cashew nuts and melon seeds in the remaining milk for 15 minutes.

Grind chopped onion and green chilly into fine paste by adding a little water in it.

Grind soaked chestnuts and melon seeds along-with the milk into fine paste. Try adding a few ground nuts for a different taste.

Take out the cashew paste in a bowl, pour yogurt into it and combine well with a whisk.

healthy tofu pasanda recipe, a vegetarian curry with white gravy.

Heat oil in a wok or kadai and add cloves and cardamom in it.

You can also lightly saute the Tofu cubes in oil before adding to the gravy for better taste.

Add ginger-garlic paste, onion and green chilly paste in the wok and sauté for 2-3 minutes

Pour cashew-nut-yogurt and cornflour-milk mixture into the wok and let it simmer for 5-6 minutes on medium heat.

Add Tofu cubes, garam masala, crushed Kasuri Methi and salt into the curry and take it off the flame.

Garnish with coriander leaves and fresh cream if you wish.

Let the curry sit for a few hours before serving. This will help Tofu absorb all the flavors and sauce of the gravy. Serve this Tofu Pasanda or Tofu in white gravy with Indian flat breads.

healthy tofu pasanda recipe, a vegetarian curry with white gravy.

You can also try out these gravies and recipes with Tofu;

Green Gravy with Spinach

Charmagaz or melon seeds Garvy

Tofu Malai Koftas

Notes;

  1. Add 1-2 tablespoons of grated cottage cheese or Paneer to get richer gravy.
  2. You can shallow fry the Tofu cubes in a little oil before adding them to the gravy for better taste.
  3. For the Tofu to infuse the flavors of spices and sauce let the curry sit for 5-6 hours before serving. The best should be to prepare the Tofu recipe in morning and serve it for dinner.
  4. Dice the Tofu into small pieces so that they can absorb the sauces and spices well.
  5. At times I do poke the Tofu block with a fork before dicing it into cubes.
  6. You can add more water to the gravy to make the consistency thin and runny.
  7. Increase the green chilies in the recipe if you like spicy curry.

“This blogpost is in association with Fortune Foods as a part of their Desi Health Bites activity– The Hunt for the Best Rice Bran Oil Recipes. For more updates and healthy recipes using Fortune Rice Bran Health Oil, follow Fortune Foods on Facebook  and on Twitter @fortunefoods “.

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Recipe | Desi Health Bites – Soya Nugget Pops http://litebite.in/recipe-healthy-soya-nugget-pops/ http://litebite.in/recipe-healthy-soya-nugget-pops/#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 04:37:39 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=11621 Ehh..not this oil…wait a minutemom said and moved away hurriedly only to be back with another bottle of oil in her hand.

She lovingly tilted the bottle and poured a thin stream of that dark coloured oil on my steaming hot savory Baafla baatis (steamed savory buns).

Baafla Baatis must be eaten only with ‘Kachchi Ghani til ka Tel’ (cold pressed sesame oil)" she told as a matter-of-fact and sat down on the chair next to me.

Back then, I never questioned her food choices....not that I knew much about it either :)

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healthy soya nugget snacks

Ehh..not this oil…wait a minutemom said and moved away hurriedly only to be back with another bottle of oil in her hand.

She lovingly tilted the bottle and poured a thin stream of that dark coloured oil on my steaming hot savory Baafla baatis (steamed savory buns).

Baafla Baatis must be eaten only with ‘Kachchi Ghani til ka Tel’ (cold pressed sesame oil)” she told as a matter-of-fact and sat down on the chair next to me.

Back then, I never questioned her food choices….not that I knew much about it either :)

But some of her preferences started to bother me once I took independent charge of my kitchen after marriage in 1996.

Why does she prefer only ‘Kachchi Ghani’ mustard oil for all her pickles and Baingan Bharta (Brinjal mash) or uses nutty cold pressed sesame oil to savour Baatis and millet rotis.

I never understood mom’s logic of using a particular oil for her recipe until I started to blog, recreating some of her recipes at home.

The subtle differences between cold pressed or Kachchi ghani oil and high smoking oils started getting cleared by reading various online articles. And now I am able to appreciate the finer differences between various oils I use in my cooking. Here are a few pointers from some of the information I gathered over the years:

Cold pressed or virgin oil:

A cold press oil or Kachchi ghani oil is extracted mechanically by crushing the nuts or seeds and is bottled immediately for future use.

And yes, we were fortunate enough to have our own farm at my grandparents village. The farmers in the field would use the strongest bulls to rotate the Ghani (indigenous machine to take out oil manually) and take out fresh oil from mustard and sesame seeds.

I have watched the entire process with amusement many a times without even thinking what the end result was :)

Cold pressed oil retains most of the natural properties and flavors in it which gives wonderful results when added to salad as dressing.

Oil with high smoking point:

The natural oil goes thorough various processes such as bleaching to get refined oil with high smoking point which is neutral in flavor and has longer shelf-life.

Smoking point is the temperature at which oil starts breaking down releasing toxic fumes and harmful free radicals.

Hmm…in simple terms when you heat oil in a kadai and it starts releasing fumes and smoke, that’s when the oil breaks down and becomes unfit for use.

Refining is a technique to make the oil more stable at higher temperature so that it does not break down easily. The higher the smoking point for an oil, the more ways it can be used in your cooking such as sauteing, stir-frying and deep-frying.

healthy rice bran oil

Fortune rice bran oil: I started using this oil in my cooking sometime back and I am pretty pleased with the results. The fact that it’s high smoking point does not make the food sticky and help absorb less oil makes it a good deep- frying oil.

The presence of Oryzanol in it gives this oil slightly dark hue, but that does not alter the flavor or taste of the recipe.

I have been reading a lot about the benefits of rice bran oil lately. I found out that rice bran oil has good stability and is suitable for deep frying and many other cooking techniques and the oil absorption is also low.

Presence of a unique component in rice bran oil called Oryzanol makes it a special oil with many benefits.

Rice bran oil has the most balanced SMP ratio, which is, saturated fats: monounsaturated fats: polyunsaturated fats when compared to any other edible oil available in the Indian market (as read here).

You can read more informative articles about various kinds of Oils here:

Rediff

Huffington post

Healthy Soya Nugget Pops

healthy soya nugget snacks

Soya nugget or chunk is textured soya protein made with soy flour or concentrate. These high-protein and zero cholesterol nuggets have mild beany flavor and can be dehydrated before use.

These nuggets are bland in taste and easily absorb the flavors of the spices and marinate in it.

The shallow fried Soya nugget pops have a chewy bite inside and make a perfect guilt free snack recipe. I am slightly apprehensive when it comes to adding colour to the food, but you may add food grade red colour to give a more appetizing look to your Soya nuggets.

Ingredients;

(serve 3)

Soya nugget Pops 

  • 2 cups soya nuggets
  • 3 tbsp. Yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. cornflour/rice flour
  • 1 tbsp. semolina
  • 2 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. red chilly powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala
  • Oil to shallow fry
  • Salt

healthy soya nugget snacks
Method; Soak soya nuggets in 4-5 cups of hot water for 15 minutes.

Squeeze remove excess water from the nuggets. Soaking softens the nuggets and helps in better absorption of marinate.

healthy soya nugget snacks

Combine yogurt, red chilly powder, garam masala, semolina, cornflour or rice flour and salt in a large bowl. Add a few teaspoons of water to make it a thick batter.

Add soya nuggets in marinate and coat each nugget with the batter. Cover the bowl and let the nuggets sit in the marinate for 15-20  minutes.

healthy soya nugget snacks

Baking: Pre-heat the oven at 190°C and grease a baking tray.

Place all the marinated Soya nuggets on the tray and bake for 15 minutes. Rotate the nuggets in between baking for even cooking.

Griddle: You can also shallow fry the marinated soya nuggets in a large pan. Heat a large pan or griddle and place the nuggets on it, drizzle a little oil around all the nuggets and cook on medium heat. Turn the nuggets and repeat the same process to get crispy nuggets.

Sesame dipping sauce

healthy soya nugget snacks

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Soya sauce
  • 2 garlic pearls
  • 2 tbsp. chopped spring onion
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Cornflour
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. pepper powder
  • 1 tsp. honey or sugar
  • Water as required

Method: Combine tomato sauce, soya sauce, cornflour and one cup of water in a vessel.

Add oil in pan and add finely chopped garlic. Pour the above prepared sauce in the pan and continue cooking at low heat for 4-5 minutes.

Add pepper powder, vinegar, honey and simmer the sauce for another 2 minute and put off the flame.

Serve the healthy Soya nugget pops with the Sesame dipping sauce

healthy soya nugget snacks

These Soya nugget pops are slightly chewy in texture but makes a healthy snack and a party appetizer.

Notes;

  1. You can deep fry the marinated soya nuggets for more crispy bites.
  2. The batter coats well with the nuggets, but make sure it is not too runny or too thick to coat.
  3. Use the smaller variety of nuggets as the nuggets double in size after soaking. Large variety of nuggets will not soak batter properly and the center will remain unappetizing.

“This blogpost is in association with Fortune Foods as a part of their Desi Health Bites activity– The Hunt for the Best Rice Bran Oil Recipes. For more updates and healthy recipes using Fortune Rice Bran Health Oil, follow Fortune Foods on Facebook  and on Twitter @fortunefoods “.

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Recipes | Quick and easy breakfast cakes – Life isn’t a matter of milestones, but of moments http://litebite.in/recipes-easy-eggless-breakfast-cakes/ http://litebite.in/recipes-easy-eggless-breakfast-cakes/#comments Thu, 12 Mar 2015 09:29:24 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=11659 “Life isn’t a matter of milestones, but of moments”~ Rose Kennedy.
Well, well…it took almost 25 years and an article in New paper for my mom to get convinced that I am doing well in life.
I left Udaipur in 1990 for higher studies and worked for a few years before getting married & settling in Chennai for good. But then, my mom was always concerned about me leaving my job, until I got myself involved in activities related to my blog Lite Bite.
Later, whenever I called her to tell about my ...

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quick and easy healthy breakfast cakes

Life isn’t a matter of milestones, but of moments”~ Rose Kennedy.

Well, well…it took almost 25 years and an article in New paper for my mom to get convinced that I am doing well in life.

I left Udaipur in 1990 for higher studies and worked for a few years before getting married & settling in Chennai for good. But then, my mom was always concerned about me leaving my job, until I got myself involved in activities related to my blog Lite Bite.

Later, whenever I called her to tell about my food styling projects or send her a paper cutting of Indian daily or a magazine featuring my work, her reply would be “HmmI know you were born with wings. Good that you learned to fly, though a little late in life. Keep it up, but do take care of your health also. Did you go for morning walks..don’t sit and work at one place for long…eat plenty of fruits beta (daughter)” and she would disconnect the phone. Moms will be moms.

An early morning call from mom, woke me up the other day. “Arrey beta, you are in Dainik Bhaskar today. I wanted to take a glance at the News paper before leaving for my regular morning walk when I saw your picture in it. I am so happy. I took the News paper with me during my walk and showed it to all my friends at Fateh Sagar (lake)” she continued in one breadth, barely hiding her excitement to congratulate me.

Her daughter is addressed as Lakecity ki beti (daughter of Lake city) and is featured in the News paper she has been reading for years. Her phone kept ringing the whole day, with friends and relatives asking about my work and whereabouts. And she is on cloud nine. :)

Though sitting miles away from her, I could feel the excitement in her voice and the happiness in her heart.

It is in these little moments that we live the longest, everything else is existence!

Recipes | Quick and easy breakfast cakes

The article was published in a very popular regional News paper in udaipur, featuring two women achievers from Udaipur on International women’s day.

Recipes | Quick and easy breakfast cakes

Oh yes, there was one another feature about me and my work on a popular online portal called Udaipur Times.

I am counting my blessings and thanking everyone for their unconditional love and support to me and Lite Bite.

1. Healthy Oats and banana breakfast cakes

Recipes | Quick and easy breakfast cakes

Happy day indeed, and what better than to start the day filled with childhood memories and a plate of soft breakfast cakes drizzled with honey or chocolate syrup.

Gulgule for breakfast…yes, you read it right. I was prepping for these traditional Indian delight in a different avatar.

Gulgule – these soft and mildly sweetened dumpling was  one of our favorite breakfasts at home. Mom would often treat us with these delicacies during weekends.

She used to leave for her office quite early, weekend was the only time when she could spend that extra time in kitchen and dish out some of our favorite recipes.

Over the years I have tried adding different flours, spices and various sweeteners to enhance the taste of these breakfast cakes trying to keep the nutrient quotient intact.

These breakfast cakes are not exactly similar to the traditional pancakes but they do taste good.

Years later, I found this interesting way to cook these breakfast cakes in a sandwich maker while browsing recipes on Pinterest and Pari’s blog.

Recipes | Quick and easy breakfast cakes

Ingredients;

(about 5-6 small   )

  • 1/2 cup Oats
  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp black sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • Handful of Nuts
  • A pinch of salt

Recipes | Quick and easy breakfast cakes

Method: Add peeled banana, oats and milk in a blender and make a smooth batter. Use the larger variety of  overripe banana.

Take out the batter in a large bowl and add yogurt, honey, oil, baking powder, cinnamon powder and salt into it.

Allow the batter to stand for 10-12 minutes until it thicken slightly. Check the consistency of the batter. The batter should flow freely when dropped from a ladle. Add a little milk if the batter becomes too thick.

Finely chop all the nuts.  I have used a mix of cashew nuts, almonds and walnuts. You can cook these breakfast cakes two ways:

a.Sandwich maker: Brush the sandwich maker with little oil and pre-heat it for 5 minutes.

Fill all the triangular wells of sandwich maker with the batter leaving a little space to let it expand.

Sprinkle the chopped nuts and sesame over it and close the lid and let it cook till the green light is on or for 3-4 minutes.

b. Griddle or Tawa: You can use the same batter to make pancakes if you don’t have a sandwich maker at home.

Heat a griddle and pour a ladleful of batter on it and sprinkle chopped nuts and sesame seeds over it.

Drizzle a little oil if needed and flip to the other side. Cook till brown spots appear on moth the sides.

Dust these healthy Oats and banana breakfast cakes with powdered sugar or serve them with fresh fruit compote or honey.

2. Whole-wheat raisin breakfast cakes

Recipes | Quick and easy breakfast cakes

Ingredients;

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup grated jaggery or sugar
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder

Method; Soak raisins (Kishmish) in orange juice and grind it into fine paste with the juice.

Grind fennel seeds (saunf) and cardamom pods (elaichi) into fine powder.

Combine both the flours, yogurt, baking powder, fennel-peppercorn powder, oil, grated jaggery  (or sugar) and the raisin-orange juice puree in a large bowl.

a.Sandwich maker: Brush the sandwich maker with little oil and pre-heat it for 5 minutes.

Fill all the triangular wells of sandwich maker with the batter leaving a little space to let it expand.

Close the lid and let it cook till the green light is on or for 3-4 minutes.

2. Griddle or Tawa: You can use the same batter to make pancakes if you don’t have a sandwich maker at home.

Heat a griddle and pour a ladle-full of batter on it and sprinkle chopped nuts and sesame seeds over it.

Drizzle a little oil if needed and flip to the other side. Cook till brown spots appear on moth the sides.

Serve these healthy wholewheat raisin breakfast cakes with fresh fruit compote, honey or chocolate sauce.

Recipes | Quick and easy breakfast cakes

These breakfast cakes or pancakes taste best when eaten immediately after cooking and make a healthy snack recipe.

Search for the English & Hindi names of various foods and ingredients used in Glossary.

Notes:

  1. Replace raisins with Dates in the 2nd recipe. You can chop the Dates or raisins finely and add to the batter.
  2. Use butter in place of oil for better taste and texture.
  3. Try the recipe with almond milk or coconut milk for a different flavor.
  4. Use traditional Appam mould to make small Appams from the same batter.

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Recipe | Amaranth Flat breads with Onion-Tomato Relish – Food, a language we all speak http://litebite.in/recipe-amaranth-flat-breads-onion-tomato-relish/ http://litebite.in/recipe-amaranth-flat-breads-onion-tomato-relish/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 15:26:51 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=11634 Food is an invaluable asset to connect with people across the globe and is also a perfect medium to get access to the cultural habits and cooking traditions of any region.
“Are you free for an hour or so in the day to meet, do let me know”, the mail from chef Saransh read.
What do you do when you get a mail from a celebrity chef asking you to take time out for a food walk in your city.
You count your blessings and leave every important work aside to make it ...

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health amaranth rotis with onion tomato relish

Food is an invaluable asset to connect with people across the globe and is also a perfect medium to get access to the cultural habits and cooking traditions of any region.

Are you free for an hour or so in the day to meet, do let me know”, the mail from chef Saransh read.

What do you do when you get a mail from a celebrity chef asking you to take time out for a food walk in your city.

You count your blessings and leave every important work aside to make it happen :)

A few more mails exchanged and  we zeroed in on a few local eateries around Mylapore and T. nagar in the city to visit for the day.

The idea of walking through Mylapore streets was finally dropped out as we had only a few hours at our disposal. There was one another meet scheduled at Westin hotel organized by CFG on facebook in the evening which we both were attending.

We had very little time at hand and the only option left was to take him to a place where he can taste some local delicacies of the city at one stop. And I suggested ‘The Rassa’ restaurant in T. nagar. 

I had already been there with a food blogger friend ‘Ishay‘ who visited Chennai from South Africa sometime back and was quite comfortable with the place.

The day started quite early, it was one of those hectic days when I had to pre-plan the entire day for my children at home. I prepared breakfast and lunch for my children and also baked some Brownies and French fries for a few friends of my daughter coming home for a group project.

I reached early and briefed the restaurant-in-charge and the head chef about Saransh and our purpose of the meet.

The staff extended their full support in letting us select and sample some of the authentic dishes of South Indian cuisine.

Recipe | Amaranth Flat breads with Onion-Tomato Relish

Picture credit: Chef Saransh

Saransh was completely bowled by the crispy banana flower fritters (varaipoo vada), unrefined black palm jaggery pudding (Karrupatti halwa), spicy pepper rice, creamy Mor kali (buttermilk-rice savory pudding) and some other dishes that we sampled.

Recipe | Amaranth Flat breads with Onion-Tomato Relish

I have been watching some of his shows on television and true to his TV image he is so talented yet a very simple and down-to-earth chef.

I thoroughly enjoyed every moment spent with the chef, sharing a few slices of life & work while tasting and talking about some of the local delicacies at the restaurant.

No wonder that people connected through food speak the same language and food is a language that can engage everyone and help build strong friendly bonds.

A quick selfie and we parted our ways only to meet again at Westin for CFG meet in the evening.

1. Amaranth flat-breads with millet

Recipe | Amaranth Flat breads with Onion-Tomato Relish

I had already prepared and refrigerated the Amaranth roti dough and onion-tomato relish a night before the meet. And it was a breeze to roll out the rotis for everyone the next day for a quick breakfast.

I grew up eating this broad red-leafy plant but did not know that it is called Amaranth then. Thanks to my online journey, now I know more about this leafy vegetable.

The leaves come in both green and purple or red variety and is called Arai keerai and Mulai keera in Tamil and chauri or chawli in Hindi.

With myriads of health benefits to boost this leafy vegetable is a nature’s gift to mankind.

I remember the frowns on our faces whenever mom served any rustic food in the name of super food. The irony is that I now often end up making these dishes at home.

A quick multi-grain Khichdi, lentil curries and millet rotis top the list of my go-to recipes.   The joys of recreating these dishes bring back the warmth and good memories of childhood days.

Fresh red Amaranth leaves or laal chawli gives a lovely dark purple hue to the rotis.

Ingredients:

(serve 3)

  • 1 cup pearl millet flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups chopped Amaranth leaves
  • 4 tbsp yogurt or curd
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 green chilly
  • 1-2 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste

Spices:

  • 1 tbsp Kasuri Methi
  • 1 tsp. red chilly powder
  • 1 tsp dry mango powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder

Recipe | Amaranth Flat breads with Onion-Tomato Relish

Method; Wash and pat dry the Amaranth greens with a kitchen towel and chop them finely.

Peel and finely chop the onion and green chilly.

Combine both the flours, chopped Amaranth greens, onion, yogurt, kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves), chilly powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, chopped green chilies, dry mango powder (amchoor), salt in a large bowl.

The water released from Amaranth leaves should be enough to bind the dough. Use very little water if required to bind the dough.

Recipe | Amaranth Flat breads with Onion-Tomato Relish

Keep the dough slightly hard as the water released from amaranth will make it soft after sometime.

Take a little dry wheat flour in a plate for dusting the rotis while rolling.

Pinch a small ball of dough, dust it in the plate of wheat flour and make a round balls again.

Roll the ball of dough into thin circle.

Heat a griddle and place the roti over it. Check for a few bubbles on the top and flip to the other side.

Drizzle ½ tsp. of oil around the roti and cook for a minute. Flip again and drizzle a few drops of oil and cook the other side too.

Repeat the same process to make all the Amaranth flat breads or rotis.

Serve these healthy Amaranth rotis with onion-tomato relish for breakfast or any meal for the day.

2. Onion tomato relish

Recipe | Amaranth Flat breads with Onion-Tomato Relish

Ingredients:

(serve 3)

  • 2 onions
  • 1 large tomato
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 2 Dates
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste

Spices:

  • 3 tsp. chilly powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/4 th spoon onion seeds
  • 1/4 th spoon fennel seeds

Recipe | Amaranth Flat breads with Onion-Tomato Relish

Method: Peel and finely chop onions.

Finely chop the tomato and Dates.

Heat oil in a skillet and add onion seeds, mustard seeds and fennel seeds in it and sauté fro a few seconds.

chopped onion and sauté for 5-6 minutes on high heat.

Add chopped tomatoes, dates, red chilly powder, salt, sugar and continue to sauté for another 2 minutes.

Add about 1/4 th cup of water, cover the lid and let it cook for 5-6 minutes.

Recipe | Amaranth Flat breads with Onion-Tomato Relish

Season the relish with cumin powder and serve with the Amaranth rotis.

Search for the English & Hindi names of various foods and ingredients used in the recipe in the Glossary here.

Notes:

  1. Increase the amount of oil used in the relish to preserve it for more days.
  2. The relish is slightly spicy, reduce the amount of red chilly powder if you want it less spicy.
  3. Kasuri Methi added to the amaranth rotis gives it a lovely flavor to the rotis.
  4. Use any green to make these flat-breads. Spinach, fresh fenugreek leaves, coriander, mint make wonderful rotis.
  5. You can grind the relish after it is cooked completely to get a smooth and chutney like consistency.

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Recipe | Foxnuts in Spinach Gravy aka Palak Makhane ki Subji – Moms will always be moms http://litebite.in/recipe-foxnuts-in-spinach-gravy-aka-palak-makhane-ki-subji/ http://litebite.in/recipe-foxnuts-in-spinach-gravy-aka-palak-makhane-ki-subji/#comments Tue, 17 Feb 2015 11:18:01 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=11614 Behind all your stories is always your mother's story. Because hers is where yours begin.”~M. Albom

I preparedPanjiritoday with fresh gond & Makhane'M' got it for me from Jaisalmer” told mom during our telephonic conversation the other day.

Awee…I already miss your gond ke ladoo and Palak Makhane ki subji , big timeOkay, mom, I have got to go now" I said and disconnected the line, stuffing my washing machine with soiled clothes.

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Palak Makhana Subji aka Foxnut in Yogurt Palak gravy

Behind all your stories is always your mother’s story. Because hers is where yours begin.”~M. Albom

I preparedPanjiritoday with fresh gond & MakhaneM’ got it for me from Jaisalmer” told mom during our telephonic conversation the other day.

Awee…I already miss your gond ke ladoo and Palak Makhane ki subji , big timeOkay, mom, I have got to go now” I said and disconnected the line, stuffing my washing machine with soiled clothes.

Two days later, I received a parcel from mom. I hurriedly removed the brown paper and saw a beautiful set of peach coloured hand-embroidered pillow covers inside. There were a few neatly packed zip-lock bags of fluffy Makhane (fox nuts), translucent Gond (edible gum) crystals and some exotic dry fruits in it.

Moms will always be moms!

Hmm…I started dreaming about Palak Makhane ki subji (curry)…with a never ending to-do list on hand.

Well, spinach (palak) was missing in my pantry and I had to wait for some days before I could actually cook and gorge on my Makhane curry.

Nevertheless I roasted a few Makhane (fox-nuts) and enjoyed the quick snacks.

Recipes | Foxnuts in Spinach Gravy aka Palak Makhane ki Subji

These Makhane or fox nuts make a wonderful snack when dry roasted on a pan.

Mom uses powdered Makhane for thickening her gravies and desserts.

Recipes | Foxnuts in Spinach Gravy aka Palak Makhane ki Subji

I received a parcel from Tupperware the same week which had two colourful steamers called Steam It.

Like many others mom also follows the same method of cooking or steaming spinach, by boiling it in water, draining and then grinding the spinach to make puree.

Somehow, I never liked cooking my greens directly in boiling water which I feel may drain out the most important water-soluble vitamins from it. I normally steam my greens in pressure cooker.

Steaming is my most preferred method of cooking, as it avoids the loss of vitamins & minerals and retain the colour, texture and taste of the vegetables.

One can also minimize fat intake through steaming method and can incorporate healthy diet of steamed vegetables and greens.

And this time I tried this new gadget from Tuppreware – Steam It, to steam the greens and vegetables. I liked the fact that I could steam the green and vegetables without adding water in it, thereby saving a lot of nutrient in it.

Recipes | Foxnuts in Spinach Gravy aka Palak Makhane ki Subji

Ingredients:

(serve 3)

  • 2 cups Spinach puree
  • 1/2 cup Fox nuts
  • 3 tbsp. yogurt
  • 1 tbsp chickpea flour
  • 2 onions
  • 2 green chilies
  • 4 garlic pearls
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tomato
  • 1’ ginger
  • Salt to taste

Spices;

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 4-5 peppercorns
  • 2 cloves

Recipes | Foxnuts in Spinach Gravy aka Palak Makhane ki Subji

Method; Wash and roughly chop spinach leaves and tomato. Peel and dice onion, ginger and garlic.

Mix chickpea flour and salt with yogurt in a small bowl.

Dry roast the Fox nuts (Makhana) in a pan for few minutes.

Make a coarse powder of peppercorns and coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar.

Place all the chopped vegetables in Steam It and cover the lid.

Fill a large wok or kadai with water till the mark indicated on the Steam It and place it in the wok.

Recipes | Foxnuts in Spinach Gravy aka Palak Makhane ki Subji

Let it steam for 10 minuets on medium heat.

Take all the steamed vegetables out and grind into puree.

Heat oil in a pan and crackle cumin seeds in it.

Add cloves, chopped green chillies, yogurt mixture and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes on medium heat.

Recipes | Foxnuts in Spinach Gravy aka Palak Makhane ki Subji

Pour the spinach puree into the pan and continue to simmer for 2 more minutes.

Add the roasted Fox nuts and sprinkle coarsely ground peppercorn & coriander powder in the gravy. I have also added cubes of Tofu in the recipe.

Recipes | Foxnuts in Spinach Gravy aka Palak Makhane ki Subji

Put off the flame and cover the pan with a lid.

Serve the hot Foxnuts in Spinach Gravy aka Palak Makhane ki Subji or curry with any Indian flat bread or plain rice.

Recipes | Foxnuts in Spinach Gravy aka Palak Makhane ki Subji

Steam It worked beautifully and helped cook my greens and vegetables for the recipe without loosing the nutrients and freshness from it.

Try these gravies with Fox-nuts or  Tofu:

Green gravy with spinach

Chaarmagaz or melon seeds gravy

The same recipe can be easily converted into a healthy fat-free dip by avoiding the last step of tempering with oil.

Notes;

  1. Adjust the consistency of gravy by adding more water.
  2. You can prepare the same gravy by avoiding yogurt and chickpea flour in the recipe and adding half a teaspoon of lemon juice in the end.
  3. Make sure to dry roast the fox nuts before adding them to the curry. Add the roasted fox nuts a few minutes before serving the dish else they tend to become soggy and mushy.
  4. Add Paneer or cottage cheese and Tofu or any other vegetables of your choice in the same green gravy.

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Recipes | Arachuvitta Sambhar and Vatha Kulambu – Indian spices and aromatic cooking http://litebite.in/recipes-arachuvitta-sambhar-vatha-kulambu-indian-spices-aromatic-cooking/ http://litebite.in/recipes-arachuvitta-sambhar-vatha-kulambu-indian-spices-aromatic-cooking/#comments Sat, 07 Feb 2015 04:45:07 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=11601 But your looks, accent, mannerism…I can’t believe you are not a South Indian….you don’t look like a Rajasthani  to me from any angle” her gaze narrowed on my face.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do” I replied with a cheery grin pulling out my glasses from the box and getting ready for the interview to follow.

She nodded with a naughty smile and started the audio recorder.

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healthy vegetarian recipes, south indian spices

But your looks, accent, mannerism…I can’t believe you are not a South Indian….you don’t look like a Rajasthani  to me from any angle” her gaze narrowed on my face.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do” I replied with a cheery grin pulling out my glasses from the box and getting ready for the interview to follow.

She nodded with a naughty smile and started the audio recorder.

Some days back, Kalyan Karmakar a food blogger friend contacted me and connected me to ‘S’ from IMRB international who was looking to source out expert opinion in regional cuisine of Tamil Nadu.

We are looking to explore and try to learn about the evolution, changes and shift in culinary culture in India, specifically Delhi and Tamil Nadu. We hope to get a better understanding of the correlation between culture and cuisine. The main aim of this study is to understand the changing and current role, relevance, importance and influence of spices in Indian cuisine.” read the mail from Imrb office.

‘R’ was appointed to interview me at my residence. To my surprise, the interview which was scheduled for 45 minutes stretched for more than two hours. That is the power of food, it has that ability to comfort and I could talk about food all day.

We spoke at length about how the cuisine of Tamil Nadu is roughly categorized based upon the region, frequently used spices, taste preferences, cultural influences on food and cooking techniques.

Some of the favorite topics of discussion were the distinct features of Tamil Nadu cuisines, changes in food habits and certain unique food ingredients which are indigenous to the state. More about these in the next post.

A small snippet about the spices of South India that I shared with her:

I am not an expert to talk about Tamil cuisine. But cooking a full course TamBrahm (Tamil Brahmin) meal for my better half and staying with him for 20 years in TN should be a reason good enough to imbibe the culture and love for local food of the place.”

healthy vegetarian recipes, indian spices

That’s me…happy memories 1996…traditional marriage in Tamil Nadu

The secret of all Indian spices is knowing when to use it. Apart from adding wonderful aroma to the recipes some of these spices act as appetizers & preservatives and are also well-known for its medicinal properties.

Indian cuisine is incomplete without a medley of colorful spices and Tamil cuisine is no exception to it. A set of few basic spices is all that one needs to prepare a simple daily South Indian meal.

I read an interesting online article in which Indian spices are divided into three categories:

  1. Basic spices, are some of the most essential spices used in daily cooking such as mustard seeds, cumin (jeera), asafoetida (hing), turmeric powder (haldi), dry red chillies.
  2. Complimentary spices: Spices which compliments the basic spices and helps enhance the flavor of the dish such as fennel, carom seeds, Nigella seeds (kalongi), fenugreek seeds etc.
  3. Secondary spices: These spices are generally warm in nature and have a characteristic strong aroma such as cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, Mace, peppercorn, bayleaf, saffron etc.

My home cooking is heavily influenced by Tambrahm iyer style of food which predominantly make use of the basic Indian spices. Cumin, coriander seeds, curry leaves, coconut, dry red chillies, tamarind, ginger and coconut are some of the frequently used spices and ingredients in this style of cuisine. Garlic and onion are completely avoided during auspicious days and are less preferred on normal days of cooking.

Masala dabba in Hindi and Anjarai Petti as in Tamil is a word  used to denote a box of spices and herbs to be used in daily cooking.”

Our discussion on Indian spices continued….

healthy vegetarian recipes, indian spices

And now for the recipe…..well, when we are talking about spices of South India how far the very popular ‘Arachuvitta Sambhar’ can be.

Like many other Sambhar recipes of South India this spicy stew also has tamarind (Imli) and pigeon peas (toor daal) as the two key ingredients. But the highlight of the recipe is the freshly roasted and ground spices which take this recipe to a different level.

The coarsely ground spices thickens the gravy and perfectly compliment each other enhancing the flavor of this tangy stew.

The spicy stew can be served as a breakfast accompaniment with Idly, Dosa or as lunch

I am sharing two of my favorite South Indian Kulambu or curry recipes I learned from my MIL here, Arachuvitta Sambhar and Vatha Kulambu. If the first recipe is a medley of flavors and requires an elaborate preparation than the second recipe is a breeze to cook and make use of a very indigenous ingredient called Manatakkali or Sun berries.

Manatakkali shrubs used to grow wild all over our garden in Udaipur but we were never allowed to touch those tiny berries as it was considered toxic. I never knew that the leaves and berries are edible until I got married and tried this delicious spicy Manathakkali Vatha kulambu my MIL cooked when I visited her first time after my marriage in 1996.

1. Lentil stew with freshly ground spices aka Arachuvitta Sambhar

healthy vegetarian recipes, indian spices

Ingredients;

(serve 3)

  • 1/2 cup of boiled pigeon peas
  • 1 tsp. tamarind paste
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 2 Drumsticks
  • 2-3 cups Water
  • Salt to taste

Spices;

  • 3 tbsp. Grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp. Bengal gram
  • 1 tbsp. Coriander seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. Fenugreek seeds
  • 1-2 Red chilies
  • 5-6 Peppercorns

Tempering;

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • A pinch of asafetida powder
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • 2 dry red chilies
  • Few Curry leaves

healthy vegetarian recipes, indian spices

Method; Wash and soak pigeon peas or  split Toovar daal for 20 minutes.

Pressure cook or steam pigeon peas with turmeric powder and about 3 cups of water till soft (3-4 whistles in a pressure cooker). Mash the cooked lentil with a ladle or churner.

Chop the drumsticks into 2 inch pieces.

Heat a skillet or wok and dry roast Bengal gram, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, peppercorn and red chilly in it for 5-6 minutes. Add grated coconut and sauté for 2 minutes.

Take out all the roasted ingredients in a plate and let it cool for a few minutes.

Grind all the roasted ingredients into fine powder by adding a few teaspoons of water in it.

I make a ready-to-use home-made tamarind paste and refrigerate it. If you are using fresh tamarind, soak a lemon sized ball of it in a little water for 15 minutes and extract juice from it.

Take 2 cups of water in a vessel and salt, chopped drumsticks and tamarind paste or extraction in it and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer till the drumstick pieces are cooked.

Add ground spice-mix in the boiling tamarind water and continue to simmer for 2-3 minutes.

healthy vegetarian recipes, indian spices

Pour cooked and mashed lentil or daal in the above vessel, let it come to a boil and take the vessel off the flame.

Heat oil in the same wok and crackle mustard seeds in it. Add dry red chilies (preferable round variety), fenugreek seeds, asafoeitda powder, curry leaves and sauté for a minute.

Pour the tempering over the cooked Sambhar and serve it hot with Idly, Dosa, plain rice or Indian flat-breads.

2. Tangy Sun berry stew aka Manathakkali Vatha Kulambu 

healthy vegetarian recipes, indian spices

Ingredients;

(serve 2-3)

  • 3 tbsp. Sun berries or Manathakkali
  • 1 tbsp. tamarind paste
  • 1 tbsp Sambhar powder
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp jaggery/sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as required

Tempering;

  • 1 tbsp Bengal gram
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 red chilly
  • Curry leaves

healthy vegetarian recipes, indian spices

Method; Soak tamarind in 1/4 th cup of warm water for 10 minutes and extract the thick paste or use pre-prepared tamarind paste if you have any.

Check a few Sambhar powder recipes using Bengal gram, balck gram and fenugreek seeds here.

Heat oil in a wok or kadai and fry the Sun berries or dried Manatakkali till they turn dark brown in colour.

Take out the berries and keep it separately.

Add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, Bengal gram and red chilly in the same hot oil and suate for 2 minutes.

Add salt, asafoetida powder and Sambhar powder in the wok and immediately add tamarind pulp or paste mixed in 2-3 cups of water in it.

Let the stew simmer for 3-4 minutes.

Dissolve rice flour in 2 tbsp. of water, pour it in the wok and continue to simmer for another 2-3 minutes.

Take off the wok from flame and serve the hot curry with plain rice.

This curry stays good for 4-5 days when refrigerated and can be savored with Idly, Dosa or even Indian flat breads.

Notes;

  1. Soak the lentil or Daal for 30 minutes before cooking it for the first recipe.
  2. Use any vegetable of your choice to make this Sambhar. Radish, Okra, onion, pumpkin, brinjal, carrots and colocasia (arbi) go well with the first recipe.
  3. Chop the vegetables into bite size pieces so that the vegetables hold the shapes after cooking. .
  4. Sometimes vegetables take longer time when boiled in tamarind water. To avoid this cook the vegetables in plan water first and then add them to tamarind water.

Search for the English & Hindi names of various foods and ingredients used in this post here in Glossary.

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