Jasmine Rice Khao Yum| Thai Rainbow Rice Salad

Want to eat the rainbow? You should try Khao Yum!

‘Eat the rainbow, eat the rainbow!’

Just how many times have we heard that being said? Studies have shown that eating different naturally coloured foods ensures that you get different types of nutrients into your system. And then, of course, there’s the leap that your heart takes when you look at all the pretty colours on your plate! The recipe that I’m about to share with you today, Khao Yum, will surely make your heart sing with joy with all its loveliness.

It’s not for nothing that Khao Yum is called Thai Rainbow Rice Salad – it is, really and truly, a rainbow on your platter. I made this some time ago for lunch as a surprise for the husband. He came home from a meeting for lunch, expecting the regular fare, and you should have seen the look on his face when he was presented with a rainbow instead. πŸ™‚ Take a look for yourself?

Khao Yum aka Thai Rainbow Rice Salad. Ain’t it prettiness personified?

What on earth is a Rainbow Rice Salad?

It is a salad made Thai style, with rice being the main ingredient. Cooked jasmine rice is at the centre of this salad, with assorted accompaniments to go with it, a delicious dressing included. All of it is typically served separately as above, on a platter or bowl. The diners are expected to mix together the various components of the salad, as per their personal taste preferences.

Now, the Thais, being the Thais, don’t do anything by half measures. On our visits to Thailand, I have always admired how the Thais make everything look cute and pretty – from pens and soaps to clothes and hot water bottles and, of course, food! At a little Thai restaurant, you could be ordering a simple Thai Sticky Rice With Mango that’s regular fare over there, but it’ll come to your table presented so beautifully it could give five-star chefs in big metros a run for their money! This Khao Yum is no exception – the jasmine rice is, traditionally, coloured blue using the butterfly pea flower, and colourful accompaniments are laid out all around it.

The dressing served with Khao Yum is bursting with flavour, the way most Thai dishes do. It is sweet and sour and spicy, the kind of thing that will make your tastebuds wake up and take notice. I’m serious! With the dressing and the sides, this Thai Rainbow Rice Salad makes for a supremely delicious, hearty meal.

It is quite a healthy thing, too, this salad, with no artificial colours or flavours going in, with limited usage of oil.

Is Khao Yum a very difficult thing to make?


We didn’t come across this dish in any of the Thai restaurants we visited, in Bangkok and Pattaya. It was only recently, while I was reading up about the country’s cuisine that I came across this dish on Hot Thai Kitchen, a treasure trove of Thai recipes that I have come to love. I’m wondering if this salad is more of a family thing in Thailand, and hasn’t really made it to the mainstream restaurants. I’m not sure.

Anyways, Khao Yum isn’t a difficult thing to make at home, at all. If you have all the right ingredients at hand, it is super simple to put this salad together. In Thailand, I understand this is a non-vegetarian salad, with shrimp being used in the dressing as well as a side. I have, however, made a vegetarian version here.

Are the ingredients for Khao Yum tough to find in India?


Depends on where you are based in India, I would say. However, you can definitely make this salad using vegetarian ingredients commonly available in most Indian cities. Here’s a breakdown of the ingredients for you.

Many departmental stores and gourmet food stores stock jasmine rice – the heart of this salad – these days. In a pinch, basmati rice or any other fragrant variety of rice can be used, but I would really suggest hunting down some jasmine rice.

Dried butterfly pea flowers are easily available online, albeit a bit expensive. In case you have the fresh flowers – called Shankha Pushpam or Sangu Poo down South – growing somewhere around you, you could use them too. You could leave the rice plain white, too, if you so prefer, or colour it a different colour using handy stuff from your kitchen – a pinch of turmeric, maybe? I have used butterfly pea-infused jasmine rice that I picked up in Big C, Thailand, to make this salad. I just had to pressure cook the rice like we do usually, and I ended up with this naturally coloured, beautiful blue cooked rice. In this video, Pailin of Hot Thai Kitchen shows how you can achieve the same blue effect using purple cabbage and baking soda. Yes!

There are no hard and fast rules as to what accompaniments this salad should have. The rice and toasted coconut is a must, as far as I understand, as well as the dressing. There should, ideally, be a sweet-sour juicy fruit too, like pomelo, pineapple, raw mango or apple – I have used pineapple. Tofu can be used in place of the paneer I have used here. I have also used lemon wedges, sweet corn, carrot, moong sprouts and seedless cucumber as accompaniments. All of these ingredients are fairly easy to source across India.

The dressing needs ingredients like tamarind, ginger, jaggery, dry red chillies, small onions, lemongrass, soya sauce, garlic and lemon zest, which aren’t difficult to find either. I have used regular Indian tamarind, ginger and jaggery in place of the Thai tamarind, galangal and palm jaggery that typically goes into the dressing. The lemongrass came from a potted plant in my balcony, but it is commonly available in stores like Namdhari’s and MK Retail in Bangalore. I used naturally fermented soya sauce from Shoyu, a Thai brand, in the dressing. You could use a regular Indian brand or look for naturally fermented versions online or in specialty stores.

All set to make your Thai Rainbow Rice Salad? Here’s how you roll!


Please find below instructions to put together Khao Yum or Thai Rainbow Rice Salad at home. Don’t be fazed by the number of steps in there – that’s only because I have tried to explain everything in great detail. In reality, this is a very, very simple thing to make. I have adapted the original recipe from Hot Thai Kitchen to suit my family’s vegetarian preferences, tastebuds and availability of ingredients.


I’m sharing this recipe with the A-Z Recipe Challenge group that I’m part of. Every alternate month, the members of this group present recipes made from ingredients in alphabetical order. The letter for this month is J, and I chose ‘jasmine rice’ as my star ingredient.

I’m also sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #301, co-hosted this week with Antonia @ Zoale.com. Now, without further ado, over to the recipe!

Ingredients (serves 2-3):

For the salad dressing:
  1. A small lemon-sized ball of tamarind
  2. 3-4 tablespoons jaggery
  3. 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  4. 3-4 dry red chillies
  5. A 1-inch piece of ginger
  6. 3-4 strands of lemongrass
  7. Salt to taste
  8. A small onion
  9. 1 tablespoon dark soya sauce
  10. 5-6 cloves garlic
  11. Water as needed

For the salad:
  1. 1 cup butterfly pea jasmine rice
  2. 1/3 cup peanuts
  3. 1 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon oil
  4. 100 grams paneer
  5. 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  6. About 2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander
  7. 1/4 cup fresh grated coconut
  8. 1 medium-sized carrot
  9. 1 medium-sized cucumber
  10. 1/3 cup sweet corn kernels
  11. 1/2 cup moong bean sprouts

Method:

Let’s first make the salad dressing.

1. Soak the tamarind in a little hot water for at least 15 minutes. When it cools down enough to handle, extract a thick paste out of it. You may add a little more water if needed, to help extract the juice. Keep aside.

2. Peel the onion and ginger and chop roughly. Peel the garlic cloves. Add these to a small mixer jar.

3. Roughly chop the lemongrass strands. Add to the mixer jar.

4. Break the dry red chillies roughly using your hands. Add to the mixer jar.

5. Grind the ingredients in the mixer jar coarsely or to a smooth paste, as you prefer.

6. Transfer the ground paste to a pan, and place on high heat. Add in tamarind extract and salt to taste. Cook on high flame for 2-3 minutes or till the raw smell of the tamarind goes away.

7. Add soya sauce, lemon zest, jaggery and enough water to bring the sauce to a runny consistency. Cook on medium flame till all the ingredients are well combined together and the sauce thickens a bit. This should take about 2 minutes. Switch off gas and allow the dressing to cool down fully.

Now, we will do the prep work that is needed for the salad.

1. Cook the butterfly pea rice as per the instructions on the package. I cooked the 1 cup of butterfly pea rice I used in a pressure cooker. I added 2 cups of water and cooked for 3 whistles on high flame. Let the pressure release naturally.

2. Make sure all the thorns and cores are removed from the pineapple, and that it is chopped into bite-sized pieces.

3. Peel the carrot and grate medium-thick.

4. Chop the cucumber into batons or rounds, as you prefer.

5. Dry roast the peanuts on medium flame till crisp. Ensure that they do not burn.

6. Dry roast the grated coconut on medium flame till it gets brown. Ensure that it doesn’t burn.

7. Cut the lemon into wedges.

8. Chop the paneer into cubes. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a pan, and add in the paneer cubes. Saute gently till they turn slightly crisp and start browning.

9. You may saute or blanch the moong bean sprouts if you so prefer. I kept them raw.

10. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in the same pan, and add in the sweet corn kernels. Saute on medium flame till the kernels are half cooked but retain their crunch.

Now, let’s assemble the Khao Yum or Thai Rainbow Rice Salad.

1. When the pressure from the cooker has entirely gone down, get the cooked blue rice out and let it cool down a bit. Then, fill a bowl tightly with the rice and invert it in the centre of a large serving plate. Sprinkle some finely chopped coriander on top of the mound of rice.

2. Arrange some of the moong bean sprouts, roasted peanuts and coconut, sauteed sweet corn and paneer, pineapple pieces, grated carrot, lemon wedges and grated carrot attractively all around the rice. Serve immediately, with some dressing poured into a small cup. Prepare salad platters for all the diners similarly.

And you’re all set!

Tips & Tricks

1. I used a mix of the hot Salem Gundu and the not-very-spicy Bydagi dry red chillies to make the dressing. Adjust the quantity of chillies you use, depending upon personal taste preferences.

2. I grated the skin of two regular-sized lemons to get 1 teaspoon zest, for the salad dressing. If you have kaffir lime leaves, you could use two of them in place of the lemon zest.

3. Filter out the seeds and impurities from the tamarind before using them in the dressing.

4. Sugar, honey, palm jaggery or coconut sugar can be used in the dressing. Here, I have used regular jaggery powder.

5. I used home-grown lemongrass to make the dressing. If you don’t find lemongrass leaves, you can use about 2-3 inches of the bottom, bulb-like part of lemongrass. It is even more fragrant.

6. Adjust the quantity of tamarind and jaggery as per personal taste preferences. Similarly, adjust the amount of water you use, depending on how thick you want the salad dressing to be.

7. The salad dressing can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Similarly, any leftover dressing can be bottled and refrigerated for later use. However, I prefer making it fresh.

8. This salad is typically served at room temperature. Hence, you must allow all the cooked ingredients to fully cool down before you assemble the salad.

9. This is a completely vegetarian recipe. You may substitute some of the ingredients in case you wish to make a non-vegetarian version. This is a gluten-free recipe as well. Using tofu in place of the paneer here will also render it a vegan or plant-based dish.

Did you like the recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Kovakkai Thogayal| Ivy Gourd Chutney

Ivy gourd or coccinea – ‘tendli‘ in Hindi and ‘kovakkai‘ in Tamil – is one of my most favourite vegetables. I love using it to make a Gujarati-style, masaledaar sabzi or in Maharashtrian Tendli Bhat. Did you know that this versatile veggie lends itself beautifully to a chutney too? Yes, Kovakkai Thogayal or Ivy Gourd Chutney is an absolutely, delightfully delicious thing to have! I’m here today to tell you how to go about making this chutney, the way I learnt it from Amma.

Left: Tender ivy gourd; Right: Ivy gourd, cut into rounds

I’ve come across quite a few Tamilian households where ivy gourd is not consumed, because of a belief that it dulls the brain. Exactly how this belief came about or how true it is, I’m not sure. The Internet did not give me satisfactory answers to this either. 😐 What I do know is that ivy gourd is a rich source of iron, among many other health benefits. It has always been a much-loved vegetable in our family, and I’ve grown up eating various dishes made using it. My mom started making chutney with ivy gourd when I was a little girl, as I would refuse to eat my veggies any other way. This chutney would be so delicious that everyone else in the family – dad, my grandparents, friends and cousins – started demanding for it. Amma began making it in large batches, all of which would be licked clean soon enough. πŸ™‚

Kovakkai Thogayal or Ivy Gourd Chutney, the way Amma makes it

Kovakkai Thogayal or Ivy Gourd Chutney is quite easy to make. It makes for a wonderful accompaniment to hot steamed rice, mixed with a little ghee. I love it as a side dish with rotis, parathas, idlis and dosas alike. The best thing is – even people who don’t like ivy gourd love this chutney, I’ve seen. πŸ™‚ You’ve got to try this out!

I’m sharing this recipe with the A-Z Recipe Challenge group that I am part of on Facebook. Every alternate month, the members of this group showcase recipes made from ingredients in alphabetical order. It feels like just yesterday that joined this group – when we were doing the letter B – and I can’t believe we have reached I already! I chose ‘ivy gourd’ as my star ingredient for the letter I.

I’m sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #292. The co-host this week is Ai @ Ai Made It For You.

Now, let me take you through the procedure for making Kovakkai Thogayal or Ivy Gourd Chutney, a la Amma. This is a completely vegetarian and vegan preparation. You can make it gluten-free by omitting the asafoetida used in the tempering here.

Ingredients (yields about 1 cup):

  1. 1 heaped cup tender ivy gourd, chopped into thin rounds
  2. A 1-inch piece of ginger
  3. 5-6 cloves of garlic
  4. Salt to taste
  5. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  6. 1/2 tablespoon jaggery powder or to taste
  7. A small piece of tamarind
  8. 3 dry red chillies or as per taste
  9. 1 tablespoon urad daal
  10. 1 tablespoons chana daal
  11. 1 teaspoon + 1 teaspoon oil

For the tempering:

  1. 1/2 tablespoon oil
  2. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  3. 2 pinches of asafoetida
  4. 1 sprig of fresh curry leaves
  5. 2 dry red chillies

Method:

1. Soak the tamarind in a little warm water for at least 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, peel the ginger and chop roughly. Peel the garlic cloves as well. Keep aside.

3. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the dry red chillies, urad daal and chana daal. Fry on medium heat till the daals turn brown and begin to emit a lovely fragrance. Ensure that the ingredients do not burn. When done, transfer the fried ingredients to a plate and allow them to cool down completely.

4. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in the same pan. Add in the chopped ivy gourd, ginger and garlic cloves. Fry on medium heat for 4-5 minutes or till they are cooked and the raw smell from them has gone away. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool down completely.

5. Take the fried ivy gourd, ginger and garlic cloves in a small mixer jar, and add in the tamarind, salt to taste and jaggery. Add in very little water. Pulse for a couple of seconds. Then, scrape down the sides and add in the fried dry red chillies, urad daal and chana daal. Pulse a couple more times, scraping down the sides. Transfer to a serving bowl.

6. Heat the oil for tempering in a small pan. Add the mustard seeds, and allow them to pop. Add the asafoetida, dry red chillies and curry leaves, and let them stay in for a couple of seconds. Take care not to burn the ingredients. Switch off gas. Add this tempering to the chutney in the serving bowl. Mix well.

7. Serve this chutney with piping hot steamed rice and ghee or dosas/idlis.

Notes:

1. You may omit the ginger and garlic cloves, if you so wish. Personally, I love the beautiful flavour they add to the chutney.

2. Make sure all the fried ingredients have completely cooled down, before proceeding to grind the chutney.

3. The jaggery powder can be omitted if you do not prefer a sweetish tinge to the chutney. We love it!

4. Make sure all the seeds and impurities have been removed from the tamarind, before adding it to the pan.

5. I grind the ivy gourd a bit first and then add in the fried daals. This helps keep the daals from a becoming a fine, mushy paste.

6. Add just a little water to the mixer jar, while grinding the chutney. Do not add too much.

7. You can use tender ivy gourd or ripened ones (which are reddish on the inside) to make this chutney. The ripe ones add a slight tang to the chutney. I prefer using fresh, tender ivy gourd that don’t have too many seeds.

8. You may cut the ivy gourd length-wise or into rounds. I prefer cutting them into thin rounds as they cook faster that way.

9. When refrigerated and stored hygienically, this chutney stays well for 4-5 days.

10. Gingelly oil aka sesame seed oil tastes best in this chutney. However, if you don’t have it, you may use any other oil of your preference.

12. I have used the small, fat and hot Salem Gundu chillies to make the chutney, as well as in the tempering. The three chillies I have added in the chutney make it medium-range spicy. Add more chillies for more spiciness. Using a mix of the long, crinkly Bydagi chillies and the Salem Gundu chillies will give the chutney a nice reddish colour. Please note that Bydagi chillies are relatively less spicy.

13. You can add in some fresh coconut, mint leaves, coriander and/or curry leaves to the chutney too. I haven’t.

14. Adjust the quantity of tamarind you use as per personal taste preferences.

Did you like the recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Kollu Masala Usili| Spiced Horsegram Stir-Fry

Kollu Masala Usili is a delicious, mildly spiced stir-fry that is made using horsegram. A big-time favourite at our place, this usili pairs beautifully with rotis as well as rice dishes. Let me share with you today how I go about making this dish.

Horsegram – ‘kulthi‘ in Hindi, ‘kollu‘ in Tamil – is a powerhouse of health benefits. This legume gets its name from the fact that it was widely fed to horses and other livestock in the olden times, but is nothing short of a superfood. Low in fat and high in calcium, protein and iron, horsegram has been known to aid in reducing one’s cholesterol levels, digestive disorders, asthma, bronchitis, urinary issues and kidney stones. It is believed to be an excellent food for diabetics and for those who want to lose weight.

‘Elaithavanukku ellu, kozhutavanukku kollu’, goes an old Tamil saying. This literally translates into ‘Sesame for the one who has lost weight, horsegram for the one who has put on weight’. Yes, sesame has always been recognised as a food that helps one in building body weight, while horsegram is believed to be an ally for someone who wants to lose weight. Now, I’m no nutritionist and use both of these ingredients in moderation – I love cooking with both of these ‘opposite’ ingredients equally. πŸ™‚ I think this Kollu Masala Usili is a great way to use horsegram!

I soak the horsegram overnight and then pressure cook it, to make the Kollu Masala Usili. The water in which the horsegram is cooked is full of nutrients, and I drain and reserve it for use in a gravy-based curry, soup or rasam. Here’s how we make Kollu Rasam from the water left over after cooking the horsegram. It’s a lovely, lovely thing – this rasam – I tell you.

For now, here’s how you go about making Kollu Masala Usili.

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

  1. 3/4 cup horsegram (aka kollu or kulthi)
  2. 1 medium-sized onion
  3. 1 sprig curry leaves
  4. 2 green chillies
  5. 1 tablespoon oil
  6. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  7. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  8. 2 pinches of asafoetida
  9. 2 dry red chillies
  10. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  11. Salt to taste
  12. Red chilli powder to taste
  13. 1 teaspoon chana masala or to taste
  14. 1 tablespoon jaggery powder or to taste (optional)
  15. 1 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
  16. 1/4 cup fresh grated coconut or as per taste
  17. A dash of lemon juice (optional)

Method:

1. Wash the horsegram thoroughly under running water, a couple of times. Then soak it for 8-10 hours or overnight in just enough water to cover it.

2. When the horsegram is done soaking, drain out all the water from it, and discard it. Transfer to a wide vessel and add in about 2-1/2 cups of fresh water. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook on high flame for 5-6 whistles or till the horsegram is fully cooked. Let the pressure release naturally.

3. In the meantime, chop the onion finely. Slit the green chillies length-wise. Keep aside.

4. When the pressure from the cooker has fully gone down, open it and get out the cooked horsegram. Strain out all the water from it – don’t throw it out, just reserve it for later use. Keep the drained cooked horsegram ready.

5. Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard and allow it to pop. Next add the cumin, dry red chillies, asafoetida, slit green chillies and curry leaves. Allow them to stay in for a couple of seconds.

6. Add the chopped onion to the pan. Cook on medium flame till it browns.

7. Now, add the cooked horsegram to the pan. Also add in salt and red chilli powder to taste, turmeric powder, jaggery powder and chana masala. Mix well. Cook uncovered on medium flame for about 2 minutes. Switch off gas.

8. Mix in lemon juice (if using), chopped coriander and grated coconut. Serve the Kollu Masala Usili hot, warm or at room temperature with rotis, dosas or a rice dish of your preference.

Notes:

1. Some people do not soak the horsegram and pressure cook it directly. I prefer soaking it overnight and then cooking it in the morning – it turns out much softer and delicious by doing so.

2. Always use soft water to soak the horsegram and to cook it.

3. Make sure the horsegram is well cooked before proceeding to use it in making this Kollu Masala Usili. The time needed for pressure cooking the horsegram might differ from one person to another.

4. I like using chana masala in the above recipe, but it can easily be substituted by garam masala or any other masala of your preference.

5. I use coconut oil or sesame oil to make this Kollu Masala Usili, usually. You can use any oil of your preference.

6. The jaggery powder adds beautifully to the flavour of the Kollu Masala Usili, and I would not really recommend skipping it. However, you may skip it if you are not too fond of a sweetish taste in your food.

7. Adjust the quantity of jaggery powder and grated coconut as per personal taste preferences.

8. I wouldn’t suggest skipping the lemon juice in the above Kollu Masala Usili recipe either. It rounds up the dish in a lovely way.

9. Ginger-garlic paste and/or chopped tomatoes can be used in the Kollu Masala Usili too. I usually don’t.

10. Like I was saying earlier, the water in which the horsegram is cooked is full of nutrients. Don’t discard it. Drain out the water from the horsegram after it is cooked, and reserve it. Use only the cooked and drained horsegram in the above Kollu Masala Usili recipe. Our family recipe for Kollu Rasam requires about 2 tablespoons of the cooked horsegram as well – if you plan to make the rasam our way, do make sure you reserve a little of it too.

11. This is a vegetarian dish, completely plant-based and suitable for those who follow a vegan diet. It can easily be made gluten-free by omitting the asafoetida added in the tempering. For a Jain version, skip the onions.

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This recipe is for the A-Z Recipe Challenge group that I am part of. Every alternate month, the members of this group showcase recipes that star ingredients in alphabetical order of their names.

The letter for this month is H, and I chose ‘horsegram’ as my star ingredient.

I’m also sharing this with Fiesta Friday #283. Your co-hosts this week are Antonia @ Zoale.com and Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook.

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Did you like this recipe? Do tell me in your comments!

Bombay Chutney| Gram Flour Chutney

What do you do when you need a side dish to serve with dosas or rotis, but don’t have much in your pantry? I often end up making Bombay Chutney in that case.

For the uninitiated, Bombay Chutney is a simple but very flavourful dish made with gram flour aka besan. It is quite a common accompaniment to breakfast in Tamil Nadu, and you will find it being served in several eateries. It takes bare minutes to prepare, making it the perfect go-to dish on busy weekdays and lazy weekends alike….or on hot, hot, hot summer days when you don’t want to spend hours slogging over the stove. Did I tell you that it tastes lovely too?

Why is this called Bombay Chutney, though? I haven’t found a satisfactory answer to that yet, but I am guessing it is because of the similarities this chutney has to the Maharashtrian Pitla, a runny side dish also made using gram flour. The recipe for pitla somehow trickled down south, a few ingredients got shuffled here and there, and Bombay Chutney was born. Bombay Chutney is Tamil Nadu’s version of pitla, if I may put it that way.

Come to think of it, several Indian states have a variation of the gram flour chutney. There’s the pitla, of course. You will find a slightly drier version of the same in Maharashtra and in the coastal regions of Karnataka, called Zunka. Gujarat has a similar, slightly sweet Kadhi Chutney, which is a popular accompaniment to snacks like khaman and fafda, called so because of its similar preparation style to kadhi. Andhra Pradesh has a tamarind-flavoured version called Senaga Pindi Pachadi.

Today, I present to you the Tamilian version of gram flour chutney, Bombay Chutney or Kadala Maavu Chutney the way it has always been made in our family. We don’t use buttermilk or garlic in it, ingredients which sometimes find their way into this chutney. Ours is quite a simple but robust affair.

Filled with the goodness of gram flour, this is a low-oil recipe that is vegan by its very nature. Skip the asafoetida, and it becomes a gluten-free dish as well!

Without further ado, here’s presenting to you the recipe for Bombay Chutney or Kadala Maavu Chutney.

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

  1. 3 cups water
  2. 1/4 cup gram flour (besan)
  3. 1 tablespoon oil
  4. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  5. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  6. 2 pinches of asafoetida
  7. 1 sprig curry leaves
  8. 2 green chillies
  9. 1 small tomato
  10. 1 small onion
  11. A 1-inch piece of ginger
  12. Salt to taste
  13. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  14. A dash of red chilli powder
  15. 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander

Method:

1. Peel the ginger and chop very finely. Keep aside.

2. Chop the tomato and onion finely. Keep aside.

3. Chop the green chillies into large pieces. Keep aside.

4. Take the water in a large mixing bowl. Add in the gram flour, salt to taste, turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Whisk well, ensuring there are no lumps. Keep aside.

5. Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds, and allow them to sputter. Add the cumin seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves and green chilli pieces. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds, taking care to ensure that the ingredients do not burn.

6. Add the chopped onion and ginger. Saute till the onion starts turning brown.

7. Now, add the chopped tomatoes to the pan. Sprinkle a little water and cook on high heat till the tomatoes turn mushy.

8. Now, turn the flame to medium. Add the gram flour slurry to the pan. Cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes or till the chutney starts thickening. Stir intermittently.

9. Switch off the gas when the Bombay Chutney has thickened but is still quite runny. It will thicken further on cooling.

10. Serve immediately with dosas, parathas or rotis, garnished with finely chopped fresh coriander.

Notes:

1. For best results, use good-quality gram flour that is free of any odours or insects.

2. This Kadala Maavu Chutney thickens quite a bit when it cools. So, it is best to keep it runny to start with. Also, for this very reason, this chutney is best served immediately.

3. You can add a glug of buttermilk to the Bombay Chutney to make it more flavourful. You might want to skip the tomato, in that case.

4. You can skip the tomato in the above Bombay Chutney recipe and squeeze in some lemon at the end instead.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

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This recipe is for the A-Z Recipe Challenge group that I am part of. Every alternate month, members of the group present recipes using ingredients in alphabetical order. This month, we are cooking using ingredients from the letter G, and I chose ‘gram flour’ as my star ingredient.

I’m also sharing this with Fiesta Friday #274. The co-hosts this week are Antonia @ Zoale.com and Liz @ Spades, Spatulas & Spoons.

Phool Makhana Namkeen| Roasted Foxnuts Recipe

The seeds of the lotus plant – called Foxnuts or Gorgon Nuts – were always quite commonly used in North Indian households. Called Phool Makhana or simply Makhana in Hindi, the seeds are typically used to make Makhane Ki Sabzi (a gravy-based curry), Makhane Ki Kheer (a sweet dish), Makhane Ka Rayta (a yogurt-based dish), or Phool Makhana Namkeen (roasted and salted foxnuts). Considering that they are a ‘seed’ and not a ‘grain’ per se, they are extensively consumed in North India during fasts, too. Today, with the growing awareness about the numerous health benefits of foxnuts, they have begun to be considered as a ‘superfood’, with people the world over beginning to use them in various forms.

Makhana or foxnuts are low in calories, fat and sodium, but rich in proteins, carbohydrates, and calcium. This makes them a great snacking option for those in-between-meals hunger pangs. Moreover, they are low in glycemic index (GI) and gluten-free, due to which they are just right for diabetics and weight-watchers. The high potassium and magnesium content in foxnuts helps regulate blood pressure, regulate kidney functions, and control heart diseases. They are rich in a flavonoid called kaempferol too, which has a positive effect on inflammation and also slows down the process of ageing. Foxnuts grow organically, without the need for any pesticide or fertiliser, and hence perfectly safe for consumption.

Makhana was something I would only ever occasionally pick up while grocery shopping, before the bub happened. Then, one fine day, the bub tried some roasted makhana and the world changed for us. It instantly became one of her favourite foods, and stays so till date. And, then, makhana began to inevitably wrangle its way into our shopping bags regularly. πŸ™‚ I must say I haven’t experimented with the seeds much – I use them only to make a simple roasted namkeen, the way the bub likes it. This Phool Makhana Namkeen or Roasted Foxnuts Recipe is what I am about to present to you today.

Let’s now check out the Roasted Foxnuts Recipe, shall we?

Ingredients (serves 2-3):

  1. 3 cups foxnuts or makhana
  2. 1 tablespoon ghee
  3. Salt to taste
  4. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

Method:

  1. Heat ghee in a pan.
  2. Lower flame to medium and add in the foxnuts. Roast on medium flame till the foxnuts get crisp, 6-7 minutes. You must stir intermittently, to avoid burning. The foxnuts are done when you press one between two fingers and it does not crumble.
  3. At this stage, turn flame to low. Add salt to taste and the turmeric powder to the pan. Mix well for about a minute, ensuring that all the foxnuts are evenly coated with the salt and turmeric powder. Avoid burning. Switch off gas.
  4. This Phool Makhana Namkeen can be served hot, immediately. If you plan to store it for later use, allow it to cool down completely before transferring to a clean, dry, air-tight container.

Notes:

  1. You can use oil, butter or ghee to make this Phool Makhana Namkeen. I prefer using ghee.
  2. You can add other ingredients like red chilli powder, amchoor powder, garam masala and/or chaat masala to the Phool Makhana Namkeen. There are other flavour combinations that you can explore too – garlic, tomato, onion, peri peri and the likes. I prefer keeping it really simple, as the bub likes it this way.
  3. The Phool Makhana Namkeen stays well for up to 10 days when stored at room temperature, in a clean, dry, air-tight box.
  4. You can mix the salt and turmeric powder in a little oil and then add it to the pan, to ensure even spreading. I usually don’t do that, and add them in directly.
  5. For the best Phool Makhana Namkeen, roast the foxnuts on a medium flame to avoid burning, stirring intermittently . Add in the salt and turmeric powder after turning the flame down to low.
  6. You may use more ghee if you so prefer.

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A to Z Recipe Challenge

This post is for the A-Z Recipe Challenge. Every alternate month, the participants cook with an ingredient beginning with a particular letter of the English alphabet. This month, we are cooking for the letter F. I chose ‘foxnuts’ aka makhana or phool makhana as my star ingredient for the theme.

I’m sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #265. The co-hosts this week are Laurena @ Life Diet Health and Kat @ Kat’s 9 Lives.