Moraiya Ni Khichdi| Samai Arisi Khichdi

Growing up in Ahmedabad, I would turn up my nose in disdain whenever the word ‘khichdi’ was mentioned. For me, ‘Khichdi‘ translated into boring, bland food that was for the sick or the elderly. Khichdi for lunch or dinner meant a lacklustre meal that I had no interest in consuming. And, then, one fine day, one of my Gujarati friends introduced me to Moraiya Ni Khichdi, a dish made with ‘moraiyo‘, the local name for barnyard millet. I fell for the delicious khichdi hook, line and sinker and the rest, as they say, is history. It remains a favourite of mine till date.

Moraiyo or Moriyo in Gujarati, Samak Ke Chawal or Sama Ke Chawal, Samai Arisi in Tamil, the barnyard millet goes by so many names. As it is technically not a grain, it is commonly used in the preparation of food during fasts, particularly so in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and surrounding parts. This is why you will also find it referred to as ‘Vrat Ke Chawal‘ (literally ‘the rice that you can consume during fasts’ in Northern India. Moraiyo is a very versatile ingredient too, lending itself beautifully to khichdi, kheer, dhokla and tikkis alike. It is gluten-free as well.

Today, I present to you the recipe for Moraiya Ni Khichdi or Samai Arisi Khichdi, the way my friend taught me all those years ago. It is a delicious confection, potatoes and peanuts added to it for flavour, scented by ginger and green chillies, coriander and curry leaves, soured with curd. The Gujaratis refer to this dish as ‘Farali Khichdi‘, i.e. khichdi that can be eaten during fasting. I’m sure you will love this khichdi too, fast or no fast!

A little goes a long way, as far as moraiyo or barnyard millet is concerned. Use just 1/2 cup of the millet, and it will yield enough khichdi to generously serve two. The husband loves Moraiya Ni Khichdi too, and I make it often for breakfast or dinner. It is quite light on the stomach and easily digestible, perfect for the hot, hot, hot days prevailing in Bangalore right about now. What’s more, the little grain cooks super fast too. Tell me what is not to love, with this khichdi? ๐Ÿ™‚

Now, without further ado, here’s the recipe for Moraiya Ni Khichdi or Samai Arisi Khichdi.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  1. 1/2 cup moraiyo aka sama rice (samai arisi)
  2. 1 medium-sized potato (urulai kizhangu)
  3. 2 tablespoons raw peanuts (kadalai)
  4. 1 tablespoon oil (ennai)
  5. 1 teaspoon cumin (jeeragam) seeds
  6. 4 green chillies (pacha milagai)
  7. 2-3 dry red chillies (vara milagai)
  8. A 1-inch piece of ginger (inji)
  9. 1 sprig of curry leaves (karuvepillai)
  10. Rock salt to taste (kallu uppu)
  11. About 3/4 cup sour curd (thayir)
  12. 1/2 cup + 2-1/2 cup water (neeru)
  13. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander (kothamalli)

Method:

1. Dry roast the peanuts till crisp. Take care to ensure that they do not burn. When they cool down completely, coarsely crush them in a mixer. Don’t make a fine powder. Keep aside.

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

3. Cut each green chilly into two, and slit length-wise. Keep aside.

4. Peel the potato and grate thick. Keep aside.

5. Wash the sama rice in running water a couple of times, draining out the excess water. Keep aside.

6. Now, heat the oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds and allow them to stay in for a couple of seconds. Add the finely chopped ginger, curry leaves and dry red chillies. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds.

7. Add the grated potatoes to the pan, along with a little salt and 1/2 cup water. Cook on medium flame till the potatoes are done, 1-2 minutes.

8. Now, add the remaining 2-1/2 cups of water to the pan, along with salt to taste and slit green chillies. Let it come to a boil.

9. Add the washed and drained sama rice to the pan. Keeping the flame medium, cook till the sama rice is completely done. This should take about 2 minutes. You will need to keep stirring constantly, to ensure that no lumps are formed.

10. Now, keeping the flame medium, add the sour curd to the pan. Mix well, and let the mixture cook on medium flame for a minute more. Stir intermittently. Switch off gas while the Moraiya Ni Khichdi is still runny, as it will thicken on cooling.

11. Serve immediately, garnished with finely chopped coriander and roasted, crushed peanuts.

Notes:

  1. You can adjust the amount of water and buttermilk, depending upon the consistency of the Moraiya Ni Khichdi you require.
  2. If the khichdi has become too hard on cooling, you can add in a bit more water and/or curd, and reheat it. It will loosen.
  3. Samai Arisi Khichdi is best served hot, when it is still runny.
  4. In this recipe, I have used only ingredients that are ‘allowed’ during fasting in a Gujarati household – rock salt, peanuts, buttermilk, cumin, ginger, green chillies and the like, with no asafoetida added in. If you plan to prepare this Samai Arisi Khichdi on a fasting day, please ensure that you use ingredients in accordance with the customs and traditions prevailing for the fast in your household. On a regular day, you can use common table salt instead of rock salt and add in asafoetida in the tempering too.
  5. This khichdi can also be made without the potatoes. Just skip the potatoes in that case, keeping the rest of the proceedure the same as above.
  6. You can also use ghee for the tempering, instead of oil.
  7. I have used home-made curd in the above Moraiya Ni Khichdi recipe, which is preferred on a fasting day. On a regular day, you may use store-bought curd instead.
  8. For best results, use curd that is sour but not overly so.

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

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Foodie Monday Blog Hop

This recipe is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop, a Facebook group that I am part of. Every Monday, a bunch of us food bloggers get together and cook for a pre-determined theme. The theme this week, suggested by me, is #DahiDelights, wherein all of us will be showcasing dishes made using curd.

Iโ€™m sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #271. Ai @ Ai Made It For You is the co-host this week.

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Classic Cupcake Recipe| Easy Vanilla Cupcakes

I consider myself a very amateur baker. Baking befuddles me. Getting together the right kind of ingredients, mixing them up perfectly, setting the oven at just the correct temperature and creating a bake that not only tastes lovely but looks pretty as well – that’s a tall ask for me. Tell me I need to ‘bake’ something, and my brain freezes, something I hardly ever encounter in case of stovetop cooking. With cooking the traditional way on the stovetop, my movements are fluid and natural, my thoughts flowing rapidly and easily.

Or, maybe, it’s all in my mind.

Maybe I just need more practice with baking.

Maybe I need to put my heart and soul into baking to crack it, the way I have with stovetop cooking.

I need to do it. I want to. For the sake of my little one who adores baked goodies. For the sake of my family’s sweet toothed-members who love their pastries and muffins.

I will definitely give it my best shot. I will try, stumble and learn.

So, here goes. Here I am, trying to expand my limited baking repertoire with these Easy Vanilla Cupcakes, which I made a couple of days ago and met my harsh critical appraisal. Then, they went on to be approved of by my daughter and her little friend, too. Here’s hoping there will be many more successful bakes from my kitchen in the times to come.

This is a Classic Cupcake Recipe, a recipe for the most basic of cupcakes, an easy-peasy one that needs barely 5 minutes to put together. There are no fancy ingredients in there, no egg replacer – I’ve used old-fashioned maida and eggs to achieve these little vanilla-scented beauties. There’s no icing of any kind, either. Just sprinkle some powdered sugar on them and they are ready to munch on! A right beginner baker’s recipe this is. ๐Ÿ™‚

If you, like me, have been scared of baking and want to break that barrier, this is the recipe you must be trying out. It’s so simple, really, so tough to mess up. Soft, fluffy, cute cupcakes will be your reward.

Here’s presenting to you the recipe for these Easy Vanilla Cupcakes.

Recipe Source: www.eggs.ca

Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes):

  1. 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  2. 1 cup powdered sugar + a little more to dust the cupcakes
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  5. 1-1/2 cups maida
  6. A pinch of salt
  7. 1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  8. 3/4 cup milk

Method:

  1. Preheat oven at 200 degrees for about 10 minutes.
  2. Place muffin liners in a muffin-baking tray. Keep ready.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the maida, salt and baking powder. Keep aside.
  4. Take the butter and sugar in another bowl. Cream them together until light and fluffy.
  5. Add the eggs and the vanilla essence to the creamed butter and sugar. Whisk well, until all the ingredients are well incorporated together.
  6. Now, add in the eggs-vanilla-sugar-butter mixture into the mixing bowl with the flour in it, little by little, combining all the ingredients well together.
  7. Add in the milk to the mixture. Mix in well. The batter for your Easy Vanilla Cupcakes is ready.
  8. Pour in the batter into the prepared muffin-baking tray, until the liners are 3/4 filled up. Leave space for the cupcakes to rise during baking.
  9. Place the tray into the pre-heated oven. Bake at around 170 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. At this point, your Easy Vanilla Cupcakes are ready.
  10. Let the cupcakes cool down fully, then dust each one with a little powdered sugar. They are now ready to serve.

Notes:

  1. Use all ingredients at room temperature, for best results.
  2. The cupcake batter should be mixed just right. Mix until the ingredients are well combined together, and that is it. Undermixing is a big no-no, while overmixing will give you dense cupcakes.
  3. I have used boiled and cooled milk, in this Classic Cupcake Recipe.
  4. These Easy Vanilla Cupcakes can be stored in a clean, dry, air-tight box for 2-3 days, at room temperature. Storing them in the refrigerator will increase their shelf life further, but I don’t really prefer doing that.

Did you like this Classic Cupcake Recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

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Foodie Monday Blog HopThis recipe is for Foodie Monday Blog Hop, a Facebook group that I am part of. Every Monday, a bunch of us food bloggers cook and share recipes for a pre-determined theme. The theme for this week is #MiniCake, suggested by Preethi of Preethi’s Cuisine. Each one of us is showcasing little baked goodies from their kitchen, for the theme, and I decided to conquer my fear of baking with these Easy Vanilla Cupcakes.

Here are some other amateur bakes by me, which met my approval as well as that of my family:

Boiled Fruit Cake| Baked Mango Cheesecake| Strawberry Bhapa Doi| Basic Butter Cookies and Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

I’m also sharing this post with Fiesta Friday #270. The co-host this week is Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook.

Healthy Thai Carrot Salad Recipe

You guys probably already know how big we are, as a family, on salads, especially healthy ones that are simple yet filled with flavour. Today, I present to you one more such salad – a Healthy Thai Carrot Salad Recipe.

Like most Thai dishes, this one too is a beautiful medley of flavours. Every single ingredient that goes into it lends a pronounced flavour and texture to the salad, making it sweet and salty and spicy and sour all at once. This is a vegetarian version of the typical Thai Carrot Salad Recipe, sans the fish sauce or oyster sauce, vegan and gluten-free as well. This is an absolutely zero-oil salad! I have also tried to make it as healthy as possible, using wholesome ingredients and a healthy sweetener. It is super easy to make as well! You know those days when you are dying to eat something lovely, but know you just cannot do unhealthy? This is definitely the kind of salad you should try out on such days! It makes for a wonderfully refreshing mid-morning or evening snack, or a lovely accompaniment to lunch or dinner.

I have used ‘Delhi carrots’ in this Healthy Thai Carrot Salad Recipe, those long, fat carrots that are a brilliant red when grated. I absolutely adore these carrots! They are winter delicacies, abundantly available in the cold months, supremely sweet when in season. For this reason, these carrots lend themselves beautifully to Gajar Ka Halwa, that all-time favourite dessert of Indians. Gajar Ka Halwa is all I ever thought of when I saw these red carrots – as opposed to the orange-coloured, smaller Ooty carrots. Recently, though, I picked up what are probably the last of the Delhi carrots for this year, and decided to go ahead and use them in something very different – this bursting-with-flavour Thai Carrot Salad!

Let us know check out the Healthy Thai Carrot Salad Recipe, shall we?

Ingredients (serves 2-3):

  1. 2 large Delhi carrots
  2. 1/4 cup groundnuts
  3. Salt to taste
  4. A 1-inch piece of ginger
  5. 2 green chillies
  6. 1 tablespoon jaggery powder or to taste
  7. Juice of 1/2 lemon or to taste
  8. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander

Method:

1. Dry roast the peanuts on medium flame till they get crisp. Take care not to burn them. Switch off gas and allow the roasted groundnuts to cool down fully.

2. Peel the carrots and julienne them. Place the carrot juliennes in a large mixing bowl.

3. Peel the ginger and chop it very finely. Add to the mixing bowl.

4. Chop the green chillies very finely. Add to the mixing bowl.

5. Add salt to taste, jaggery powder and finely chopped fresh coriander to the mixing bowl.

6. When the roasted peanuts have completely cooled down, pulse in a mixer to coarsely crush them. Add the crushed peanuts to the mixing bowl.

7. Add lemon juice to taste to the mixing bowl.

8. Mix all the ingredients in the mixing bowl well. Serve the Thai Carrot Salad immediately.

Notes:

  1. I have used Delhi carrots here, but you can use any other variety you prefer. Since the Delhi carrots are quite sweet, the need for sweetener in the salad is reduced quite a bit.
  2. You can also grate the carrots if you don’t want to julienne them.
  3. Honey or maple syrup can be used in place of the jaggery powder. You could also use refined sugar instead, which isn’t a very healthy substitute.
  4. You may use more or less peanuts, depending upon personal taste preferences. The above quantity is just perfect for us.
  5. Make sure you grind the peanuts coarsely and not make a fine powder. Just pulse once in the mixer for a second – that is enough.
  6. Make sure you chop the ginger and green chillies really, really fine.
  7. Do not let the Thai Carrot Salad sit around for too long after making it. Serve it immediately after making, otherwise it will start leaving water and losing flavour.

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

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Foodie Monday Blog Hop

This recipe is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop, a Facebook group that I am part of. Every Monday, a bunch of us food bloggers get together and cook for a pre-determined theme. The theme this week is #GajarKaJalwa, wherein we dish up various recipes using carrots, in honour of the upcoming International Carrot Day on April 4. Poonam, the very talented author of the food blog Annapurna, was the one who suggested this beautiful theme.

Check out the carrot recipes that the other participants have come up with!

  1. Gajar ka khatta mitha achar by Swaty

  2. Gluten free cornmeal carrot cake by Sujata

  3. Carrot oatmeal pancake by Poonam

  4. Healthy Thai carrot salad by Priya

  5. Carrot oatmeal cookies by Mayuri

  6. Carrot Vada by Preethi

  7. Indian spice roasted carrot hummus by Kalyani

  8. Oven roasted carrot by Archana

  9. Carrot mini crescent rolls by Sasmita

  10. Instapot carrot halwa

I’m also sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #269. The co-hosts this week are Mollie @ Frugal Hausfrau and Ai @ Ai Made It For You.

Kanchipuram Idli Recipe With No Rice| Kovil Idli Recipe

Did you know that idlis – that beloved breakfast of many across the globe – have a dedicated day, all to themselves? March 30 every year is celebrated as World Idli Day! I’m here today with a Kanchipuram Idli recipe for you guys, to mark the occasion. ๐Ÿ™‚

The town of Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu is famous not just for the gorgeous silk sarees manufactured here, but also for the temple of Sri Varadaraja Perumal (Lord Vishnu) that it houses. For several scores of decades now, a special type of idli has been prepared at the temple as an offering to the Lord. This idli – traditionally cooked in a bamboo cylinder (called ‘kudalai‘ in Tamil) on a wood fire – is believed to be a favourite of Varadaraja Perumal. Referred to by various names like Kanchipuram Idli, Kanjeevaram Idli, Kudalai Idli (after the ‘kudalais‘ in which they are steamed), and Kovil Idli (temple idli), this is one lovely-tasting confection for sure.

Today, the Kanchipuram Idli has become a staple in more or less every household, at least in Tamil Nadu. There are several different versions to the Kanchipuram Idli recipe – it is sometimes made with boiled rice (puzhungal arisi), sometimes with whole green moong (pacchai payaru), and with split moong daal (payatham paruppu) at other times. In her famous book Samaithu Paar (Cook & See), Smt. Meenakshi Ammal offers a Kanchipuram Idli recipe using just moong daal and urad daal, with no rice going into it. Yes, you heard that right – no rice. Making no-rice idli is not just a modern fad, this proves, but something that was in vogue even in 1950, when the cookbook was first published! Apparently, this is one very authentic recipe for Kanchipuram Idli, used in several. Tamilian households. Just how fascinating is all this history, eh? ๐Ÿ™‚

I make Kanchipuram Idli following the maestro Meenakshi Ammal’s procedure to the T. They turn out brilliant, soft and fluffy, absolutely delicious and flavourful, a hearty and filling meal, perfect for diabetics and weight-watchers. In the restaurants and homes of Tamilnadu, these idlis are typically steamed in bowls made of banana leaves or mandara leaves (‘donnai‘ in Tamil). In the absence of both of these, I tend to cook my Kanchipuram Idlis in areca leaf bowls, commonly available in most Bangalore departmental stores. If you don’t have access to any of the above steaming vehicles, don’t fret – you can still cook the idlis in steel plates, little steel bowls or glasses, and they would still taste absolutely fantastic!

Now, without further ado, let’s check out the Kanchipuram Idli recipe or Kovil Idli recipe, a la Smt. Meenakshi Ammal.

Ingredients (makes 12-15 big idlis):

  1. 1 cup split yellow moong daal
  2. 1 cup urad daal
  3. Salt to taste
  4. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
  5. A little ghee, for steaming the bowls

For the tempering:

  1. 2 tablespoons ghee
  2. 1 tablespoon chana daal
  3. 4 green chillies, chopped into large pieces
  4. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  5. 2 pinches of asafoetida
  6. 2 sprigs fresh curry leaves, roughly torn
  7. 1-1/2 teaspoon dry ginger powder
  8. 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  9. 1 tablespoon roughly chopped coconut
  10. 2 tablespoons roughly chopped cashewnuts

Equipment needed:

  1. Areca/banana leaf bowls for steaming the idli
  2. Pressure cooker

Method:

1. Wash the moong daal and urad daal together under running water a couple of times, draining out all the water from them. Then, add in just enough fresh water to cover the daals. Let them soak for 2-3 hours, covered.

2. When the daals are done soaking, drain out all the water from them. Grind to a smooth batter in a mixer, stopping at intervals to add a little water and scrape down the sides of the mixer. Transfer the ground batter to a large vessel.

3. Add salt to taste to the batter. Mix well. Keep the batter covered in a warm place, undisturbed, for 8-10 hours or till it ferments well.

4. When you are ready to make the idlis, prepare the tempering. For this, heat the ghee in a small pan. Add in the chana daal, and fry on medium heat till it gets brown. Now, add the cashews to the pan, and fry till they turn brown too. Now, switch off the gas. Quickly add the green chillies, coconut pieces, black peppercorns, curry leaves, cumin, asafoetida and ginger powder. Give the ingredients a quick stir with a spoon, ensuring that they do not burn. The rest of the ingredients will get slightly cooked in the residual heat in the pan, and that is enough. Add this tempering to the fermented batter.

5. Add the finely chopped coriander to the fermented batter too. Mix the batter well. It is now ready to be used to make Kanchipuram Idlis.

6. Place about 1-1/2 cups of water in a pressure cooker bottom. Place the cooker on high heat and allow the water to start boiling.

7. Meanwhile, grease two of the leaf bowls with a little ghee. Fill the greased leaf bowls about halfway through with the batter.

8. Once the water in the pressure cooker bottom starts boiling, place a stand inside and place a colander on top of it. Place the two bowls with idli batter in the colander. Close the pressure cooker and steam for about 15 minutes without putting the whistle on.

9. Serve the cooked idlis hot with the leaf bowl intact, with chutney of your choice.

10. Replenish the water in the pressure cooker bottom. Prepare Kanchipuram Idlis from all the batter, in a similar way.

Notes:

1. You can also add in a couple of tablespoons of fenugreek seeds (sabut methi or menthiyam) while soaking the moong daal and urad daal. This makes the idlis softer.

2. This Kovil Idli recipe uses split yellow moong daal and whole white urad daal. However, you can use whole green moong and split urad daal instead, too.

3. Make sure the batter is well fermented before using it to make the idlis.

4. The time the batter needs for fermentation would be different in different locales/weather. In hot weather, the batter might ferment much before 8-10 hours. In cold climes, one might need to leave the batter for over 12 hours to ferment.

5. Once the batter ferments, give it a good stir. You can make idlis with it immediately or keep it refrigerated for later use. If you plan to use the batter later, I would suggest doing the tempering just when you are ready to cook the idlis.

4. The fermented batter stays well in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

5. Any leftover batter (after tempering) can be used to make kuzhi paniyaram.

6. If you are using refrigerated batter to make idlis, make sure you get it out of the fridge well in advance. The batter should be completely at room temperature when you begin to make the idlis.

7. Make sure the ingredients do not burn while tempering, as per the above Kovil Idli recipe. This will alter the taste of the idlis.

8. I used medium-sized areca bowls to steam the idlis, and could fit two into my pressure cooker at a time. You might be able to steam more idlis at a time if using smaller leaf bowls or steel glasses. If steaming in a steel plate, you might be able to fit in only one.

9. You will need to keep adding more water in the pressure cooker bottom in between steaming the idlis.

10. About 15 minutes is usually good to steam Kanchipuram Idlis. A toothpick inserted in the middle of the cooked idli should come out clean – that’s when it is done.

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

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Foodie Monday Blog Hop

I’m sharing this recipe with the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for the blog hop this week is #IdliMedley, suggested by Mayuri of Mayuri’s Jikoni. wherein participants are cooking up a variety of no-rice idlis!

Check out the different types of no-rice idlis other members of the blog hop have come up with:

I’m also sharing this post with Fiesta Friday #268. The co-host this week is Julianna @ Foodie on Board.

Kaffir Lime Dal Tadka| Thai-Inspired Dal Tadka Recipe

‘Necessity is the mother of invention,’ they say. And they are right, whoever ‘they‘ are. In a lot of cases, discoveries come about when one is hard-pressed. This is especially true in the world of the kitchen, I think. Just how many new recipes have been discovered just because the cook simply had to use up a particular ingredient or because something went wrong and absolutely had to be salvaged? This Thai-Inspired Dal Tadka Recipe is one such thing. It came about, recently, because I had a few ingredients (kaffir lime leaves, galangal and bird’s eye chillies) left over after making Thai Green Curry, and wanted to use them to make something Indian. This Kaffir Lime Dal Tadka went on to become a favourite at home, and I’m sure it is now going to find pride of place on our dining table quite often.

I adore the fragrance of kaffir lime leaves, and love using them to infuse just about everything in my kitchen. So, I’m surprised as to how this Kaffir Lime Dal Tadka didn’t happen sooner in my kitchen! Anyways, better late than never, eh?

The Thai-Inspired Dal Tadka tasted fabulous, if I may say so myself. Paired with piping hot steamed rice, some ghee and cauliflower curry, it made for a hugely satisfying lunch. It’s so simple to make, and such a lovely change from the usual – you must try this out too! This is a vegan dish, and can be made gluten-free too if you leave out the asafoetida used here.

Here goes the recipe for the Kaffir Lime Dal Tadka!

Ingredients (serves 4-5):

  1. 1/2 cup toor daal
  2. 4-5 medium-sized kaffir lime leaves
  3. 1 tablespoon oil
  4. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  5. 1 teaspoon cumin
  6. 2 generous pinches of asafoetida
  7. A 1-inch piece of galangal
  8. 4 Thai bird’s eye chillies
  9. 2 dry red chillies
  10. 2 medium-sized tomatoes
  11. Salt to taste
  12. 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  13. Red chilli powder to taste (optional)
  14. 1 tablespoon jaggery or to taste (optional)
  15. 1 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves
  16. Juice of 1/2 lemon or to taste

Method:

1. Take the toor daal in a wide vessel, and wash it thoroughly under running water a couple of times, draining out the water from it each time. Now, fill in just enough fresh water to cover the toor daal. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker, and cook for about 5 whistles on high flame or till the daal is well-cooked and soft.

2. Chop the tomatoes finely. Slit the Thai bird’s eye chillies. Chop the galangal finely. Keep ready.

3. When all the pressure has released (naturally) from the cooker, get the cooked toor daal out and mash it well.

4. Now, we will begin making the Kaffir Lime Dal Tadka. For this, heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the mustard seeds, and allow them to sputter. Add the dry red chillies, bird’s eye chillies, asafoetida, cumin seeds and galangal. Saute for a couple of seconds, taking care to ensure that the ingredients do not burn.

5. Now, add the chopped tomatoes to the pan, along with a bit of salt. Add in a splash of water. Cook on high flame till the tomatoes turn mushy.

6. Add the cooked and mashed toor daal to the pan, along with about 1 cup of water. Add salt to taste, turmeric powder, 4-5 kaffir lime leaves (roughly torn), red chilli powder to taste (if using) and jaggery powder (if using). Mix well.

7. On high heat, bring the Kaffir Lime Dal Tadka to a boil. Then, lower the flame to medium and allow to cook for about 2 minutes. Stir intermittently to ensure there’s no sticking to the bottom of the pan. Switch off gas at this stage.

8. Mix in the finely chopped coriander leaves and lemon juice. Your Thai-Inspired Dal Tadka Recipe is ready! Serve hot with steamed rice or rotis and sabzi of your choice.

Notes:

  1. Masoor daal or moong daal can be used in place of toor daal.
  2. Make sure the daal is well cooked and soft before using it in this Thai-Inspired Dal Tadka recipe.
  3. If you don’t have Thai bird’s eye chillies, you can use regular Indian green chillies instead. Adjust the quantity as per personal taste preferences.
  4. Adjust the quantity of kaffir lime leaves you use, as per personal taste preferences. The above quantity worked perfectly for us.
  5. Thai galangal can be substituted by Indian ginger. However, the galangal adds a unique flavour and smell to the dal tadka, which you will not get in case you use Indian ginger.
  6. There is no substitute to the kaffir lime leaves. They are an absolute must in this recipe.
  7. You can skip the jaggery powder, red chilli powder and lemon juice in the above recipe, if you so desire. I used them.
  8. I have not used garlic in the dal tadka as I was skeptical it might overtake the fragrance of the kaffir lime. In a regular dal tadka recipe, I do add in some garlic too, and some onion as well.
  9. I prefer using country (Nati) tomatoes in this Kaffir Lime Dal Tadka, over the regularly commercially available farm tomatoes.
  10. Adjust the quantity of water you use, depending upon the consistency of the daal tadka you prefer.

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Foodie Monday Blog HopThis recipe is for Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for this week is #DesiTwist, suggested by Kalyani of Sizzling Tastebuds. Members need to cook a desi dish, imbued by videshi ingredients. I chose to share this Thai-Inspired Dal Tadka recipe for the theme.

I’m also sharing this post with Fiesta Friday #267. The co-hosts this week are Antonia @ Zoale.com and Abbey @ Three Cats and a Girl.

 

Godhumai Rava Thengai Paal Pongal| Broken Wheat Sweet With Coconut Milk

Well-made Sakkarai Pongal aka sweet pongal is a thing of joy. Beautiful in taste, creamy and decadent, it is a pleasure to gorge on, especially for people like me who are in possession of a huge sweet tooth. ๐Ÿ™‚ Today, I present to you the recipe for another version of sweet pongalGodhumai Rava Thengai Paal Pongal – which is an absolute treat to the senses!

This version is made with broken wheat or daliya instead of the commonly used rice, a healthier substitute. It lends a lovely, grainy texture to the pongal that all of us at home love. The addition of coconut milk makes this pongal all the more delicious and decadent. You absolutely have to try this out to believe how gorgeous it tastes! Like me, you could use store-bought coconut milk or make your own at home – it tastes brilliant either way.

This Godhumai Rava Thengai Paal Pongal is a big favourite of everyone at home. The bub loves it too, so I make it occasionally for her, when all of us are in the mood for a sweet treat. It is a super simple thing to prepare too!

Let us now check out the recipe for Godhumai Rava Thengai Paal Pongal.

Ingredients (serves 6):

  1. 1 cup broken wheat (godhumai rava aka dalia)
  2. 1/2 cup moong daal (payatham paruppu)
  3. 4 cups + 2 cups of water
  4. 3 cups jaggery powder (podi vellam)
  5. 1 cup thick coconut milk (thengai paal)
  6. 2 generous pinches of cardamom powder (elakkai podi)
  7. 4 tablespoons ghee (nei)
  8. 10 cashewnuts (mundhiri paruppu)
  9. 10 almonds (badam)
  10. 1 tablespoon raisins (drakshe)

Method:

1. Take the broken wheat and moong daal together in a wide vessel. Wash them thoroughly under running water. Drain out the excess water. Now, add in 4 cups of fresh water, and place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook on high flame for 5 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.

2. In the meanwhile, let us prepare the jaggery syrup for the pongal. Take 3 cups of jaggery powder and 2 cups of water together in a thick-bottomed pan, and place on high heat. Cook, stirring intermittently, till the jaggery is completely dissolved in the water. Let the jaggery syrup come to a boil and then switch off the gas.

3. When the pressure in the cooker has entirely gone down, remove the cooked broken wheat and moong dal from it. Now, place the pan with the jaggery syrup back on high heat. Add the cooked broken wheat and moong daal to the jaggery syrup. Mix well. Mash with a potato masher if needed.

4. Stirring intermittently, cook the mixture on medium flame till everything is well incorporated together, and the pongal starts to thicken. This should take 4-5 minutes.

5. Now, add the thick coconut milk to the pan. Mix well, and cook for another 2 minutes on medium flame or till the pongal starts to thicken again. Switch off the flame.

6. Chop the cashewnuts and almonds roughly. Keep them handy.

7. Heat the ghee in another pan. Add in the chopped cashewnuts and almonds, as well as the raisins. Fry on medium flame till the cashewnuts and almonds start turning brown and the raisins plump up. Take care to ensure that the ingredients do not burn. When done, switch off the gas and add this to the pongal.

8. Add the cardamom powder to the pongal as well. Mix well. Your Godhumai Rava Thengai Paal Pongal is ready to serve! You can serve it hot, warm or after bringing it to room temperature.

Notes:

  1. I have used broken wheat that was slightly bigger than Bombay rava. I think it lent a lovely texture to the pongal. You get different sizes of broken wheat in departmental stores these days – you can use any, as per personal taste preferences.
  2. The broken wheat and moong daal should be well-cooked and soft, before adding it to the pongal.
  3. I have used store-bought coconut milk here (Dabur Home-Made). You can use thick, first-pressing coconut milk in case you are making your own at home.
  4. Adjust the quantity of ghee, jaggery, raisins, cashewnuts and almonds you use, as per personal taste preferences.
  5. I add the coconut milk towards the very end, so that it doesn’t lose its prominent taste in the pongal.
  6. You may add in some nutmeg powder/cloves/edible camphor into the Godhumai Rava Thengai Paal Pongal. I haven’t used any of these ingredients here.
  7. The colour of your pongal will depend upon the type and quality of jaggery you use.
  8. Typically, the jaggery syrup is allowed to cool down completely and then strained via a cotton cloth, before using it in the pongal, to remove any impurities that might be present in the jaggery. However, you can skip this step if you are sure there are no impurities in the jaggery you are using. I don’t.
  9. The typical Sakkarai Pongal (sweet pongal) that I make includes the use of (dairy) milk to make it sinfully delicious and creamy. Here, I have used coconut milk instead and completely omitted the (dairy) milk.
  10. Switch off the gas when the Godhumai Rava Thengai Paal Pongal is still quite runny. It will thicken further on cooling.

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Foodie Monday Blog Hop

This post is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. Every Monday, a bunch of us food bloggers cook for a pre-determined theme.

The theme for this week is #PlantBasedMilk, suggested by Archana of The Mad Scientist’s Kitchen. While there are plenty of plant-based milks that I could have delved into – soya, sesame seeds, hemp, almonds, cashewnuts, peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts and corn, for instance – I chose to use coconut milk to make this Godhumai Rava Thengai Paal Pongal.

I’m also sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #266. The co-hosts this week are Laurena @ Life Diet Health and Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook.

Summer Salad| Skin Glow Salad

Best wishes to all of you on the occasion of Maha Shivratri! I am here today with a recipe for a colourful Summer Salad, which also doubles up as a Skin Glow Salad. You can have this salad even if you are fasting!

Summer is, really and truly, settling in into Bangalore. Rather early too, at that. The days are getting hotter and hotter, and it is becoming difficult to get out of the house post 10 AM! Standing in the kitchen for any time above 10 minutes is becoming a sweaty affair. I have started resorting to preparing very simple meals and a lot of salads, these days. This Summer Salad is a fruit-and-vegetable salad that takes bare minutes to prepare, perfect for hot days when you totally don’t want to come up with something elaborate. Why is it called Skin Glow Salad? Because every single ingredient in this salad has been carefully chosen to contribute towards better skin health!

Let us take a closer look at the ingredients of this salad:

  • Carrots are rich in Vitamin A, which helps repair skin tissue and offers protection to the skin against the harsh rays of the sun. They are also full of beta-carotene, minerals and antioxidants, which help in maintaining better skin complexion.
  • Onions are rich sources of sulfur-rich phytochemicals, which help slow down the process of ageing. They improve blood circulation, and help keep one’s skin moisturised, youthful and radiant.
  • Pomegranates possess a high degree of antioxidants, which arrest the process of ageing. They help in cellular regeneration, keeping wrinkles and sagging skin at bay.
  • Cucumbers have a high water content, as well as a good amount of ascorbic acid and caffeic acid, thanks to which they are great in soothing skin irritations and rashes. They are high in various minerals too, which helps keep replenish skin losses and keep it healthy.ย 
  • Lemon is high in Vitamin C and citric acid, which aids in collagen production, helping in the removal of tan, age spots and dark spots. Consuming lemon also helps in flushing out toxins from your blood, which in turn helps in keeping your skin clear and radiant.
  • Ayurveda considers rock salt or sendha namak as far more superior than commercially available salt. Being rich in minerals, rock salt helps in removing dead skin cells, strengthen skin tissue, improving blood circulation, and protecting the natural layers of skin. All of this, in turn, helps in retaining youthful, glowing skin.

Isn’t that just amazing? You are what you eat, after all.

And now, here’s the detailed recipe for this Skin Glow Salad.

Ingredients (serves 4):

  1. 1 medium-sized carrot
  2. 1 small onion
  3. 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
  4. 2 baby cucumbers
  5. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
  6. Salt to taste
  7. A dash of black pepper powder
  8. Juice of 1/2 lemon or to taste

Method:

1. Peel the carrot and grate medium-thick. Place the grated carrots in a large mixing bowl.

2. Chop the onion and baby cucumber finely and add to the mixing bowl.

3. Add the pomegranate arils, salt to taste, black pepper powder, finely chopped coriander, and lemon juice to the mixing bowl.

4. Mix everything well together, gently. Let sit for just about 5 minutes for the flavours to meld together. Your Summer Salad or Skin Glow Salad is ready! Serve immediately.

Notes:

1. You can add in other vegetables or fruits of your choice to this Summer Salad too. Raw mango, tomato and sweet corn would be good additions.

2. Other ingredients like roasted cumin (jeera) powder, black salt and honey can be added to this salad too. I have avoided these, and kept the salad really simple. The sweetness from the carrot was just right, and the Summer Salad didn’t really need any sweetener.

3. Since the baby cucumbers were really tender, I haven’t peeled them. You may want to, if they are a bit mature.

4. Don’t let the Skin Glow Salad sit around for too long after it is ready, for it might start leaving too much water and get tasteless. Serve it after about 5 minutes of the making.

5. If you want to prepare ahead of time, you can keep the vegetables chopped/grated and ready. Add the salt, black pepper powder, fresh coriander and lemon juice just before serving the Skin Glow Salad.

6. This Summer Salad is made using rock salt, and can hence be consumed even during fasts.

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Foodie Monday Blog HopThis post is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop, a Facebook group wherein a bunch of us cook for a pre-determined theme every Monday. The theme for the week is #GlowingSkinRecipes, suggested by Amrita of The Food Samaritan.

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

Arachuvitta Mullangi Sambar| Radish Sambar With Freshly Ground Spices

Arachuvitta Sambar‘ refers to sambar made using a freshly-ground spice mix, as opposed to that made using sambar powder. The freshly ground spices make the sambar special, extremely delicious and flavourful. In traditional Tam-Brahm homes, sambar is almost always prepared the ‘arachuvitta‘ way, with freshly ground spices added in. This is typically the way sambar is prepared in several restaurants in Tamilnadu, as well on occasions like weddings.

In our family, we almost always make sambar with home-made sambar powder, quite delicious and flavourful in itself. Arachuvitta sambar is an occasional treat, reserved for special days like festivals or lazy weekends, when we are in the mood to indulge. With coconut added in, this sambar is a rich affair, but in a healthy way. Making this is a bit of a tedious job as compared to making sambar with sambar powder but, I can assure you, the end result is totally worth it. Served with some piping hot rice, a bit of ghee and some potato roast, it is but a slice of heaven!

Different families have different versions of Arachuvitta Sambar, with slight changes in the ingredients used for the spice mix. Today, I present to you the recipe for Arachuvitta Mullangi Sambar, radish sambar made using freshly ground spices, our family’s way.

The Arachuvitta Mullangi Sambar recipe below is gluten-free and vegan, as I have done away with the asafoetida that is traditionally added in. It is also pegan (a diet that combines the principles of paleo eating and veganism). The pegan diet proposed by Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D., advocates a plant-based eating style, with a focus on consuming whole foods that do not spike one’s blood sugar levels, avoiding sugar and processed foods, skipping dairy products entirely, restricting the intake of meat and legumes. The diet suggests the use of ingredients that are organic and wholesome, 75% of your daily intake consisting of non-starchy vegetables and the balance 25% made up of the other ingredients that are allowed in peganism.

Now, let us check out the recipe for Arachuvitta Mullangi Sambar, shall we?

Ingredients (serves 4-5):

  1. 1/3 cup toor daal
  2. A gooseberry-sized ball of tamarind
  3. 2 medium-sized radishes
  4. Salt to taste
  5. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  6. 1 tablespoon jaggery powder or to taste
  7. Red chilli powder to taste (optional)
  8. 1 sprig curry leaves
  9. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander leaves

For spice mix:

  1. 1 tablespoon chana daal
  2. 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  3. A pinch of fenugreek seeds
  4. 4 dry red chillies or to taste
  5. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  6. 1 sprig curry leaves
  7. 1/4 cup fresh grated coconut
  8. 1 medium-sized tomato
  9. 1 small onion

For the tempering:

  1. 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
  2. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  3. 2 dry red chillies

Method:

Firstly, we will prepare the tamarind extract for the sambar.

1. Soak the tamarind in a little hot water for at least 10 minutes.

2. When cool enough to handle, extract all the juice out of the tamarind, adding fresh water little by little. Keep aside.

We will now boil the toor daal and keep it ready.

1. Wash the toor daal well under running water. Drain out all the water, and transfer to a wide vessel. Add in just enough fresh water to cover the daal. Pressure cook on high flame for 5-6 whistles, or till the daal turns mushy. Let the pressure release naturally.

2. When the pressure has fully gone down, get the cooked toor daal out. Mash it well. Keep aside.

Next, we will prepare the radishes.

1. Peel the radishes and chop into thin rounds. Place in a wide vessel. Sprinkle a little water over the radishes. Pressure cook on high flame for 2 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.

Now, we will get the spice mix for the sambar ready.

1. Get a pan nice and hot, then add in the chana daal, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, dry red chillies, cumin seeds and curry leaves. Dry roast on medium heat till the chana daal turns brown and the ingredients begin to emit a lovely fragrance. Take care to ensure that the ingredients do not burn.

2. Now, add the coconut and roast for a minute. Switch off gas and allow the ingredients to cool down completely.

3. Chop the onion and tomato roughly. Transfer to a mixer jar.

4. When completely cooled down, add the dry roasted ingredients to the mixer jar too. Grind to a paste. Keep aside.

Now, we will prepare the sambar.

1. Take the tamarind water in a pan. Add in a little salt, the turmeric powder, the cooked radish, and the curry leaves. Cook together on high flame for about 2 minutes.

2. Now, add the cooked and mashed toor daal to the pan, along with the spice mix paste we ground earlier. Add in salt to taste, red chilli powder to taste (if using) and jaggery powder, along with about 1 cup of water. Mix well.

3. Stirring intermittently, cook on high flame till the raw smell of the tomato and onion goes away and the sambar thickens a little, 4-5 minutes. Switch off gas.

Lastly, we will prepare the tempering for the sambar.

1. Heat the coconut oil in a tempering pan.

2. Reduce heat to medium. Add in the mustard seeds and allow them to pop.

3. Add in the dry red chillies and let them stay in for a couple of seconds. Switch off gas. Pour this tempering into the sambar cooking in the other pan.

4. Mix in the finely chopped fresh coriander leaves. Your Arachuvitta Mullangi Sambar is ready!

Notes:

1. You can use any other vegetable of your choice in making the sambar. Here, I have decided to use only radish.

2. In a traditional Arachuvitta Sambar, tomato and onion are not used in making the spice mix paste. I usually add them in, for the delicious flavour they provide to the sambar.

3. Since this is the pegan version of sambar, I have used organic coconut oil to do the tempering and have omitted asafoetida in it. To make a non-pegan, non-gluten-free version, you can use asafoetida in the tempering and any other variety of oil you prefer.

4. Make sure the toor daal is cooked well. Mash it well before adding it to the pan, for best results.

5. Adjust the quantity of coconut you use in the spice mix, as per personal taste preferences.

6. Adjust the amount of water you add in the sambar, depending upon the consistency you require.

7. I use a mix of the spicy Salem Gundu dry red chillies and the non-spicy Bydagi ones to make the spice mix paste. You can use any variety of chillies that you prefer.

8. Adjust the quantity of tamarind you use, depending upon personal taste preferences.

9. If you think the heat from the red chillies is enough, skip using any red chilli powder in the sambar altogether.

10. Don’t miss out on adding the jaggery powder to the sambar. It doesn’t make the sambar overly sweet, but balances out the other flavours beautifully.

11. Instead of the regular, starchy white rice, I have served this Arachuvitta Mullangi Sambar with Rajahmudi rice, a type of red rice that is local to Karnataka. About 3/4 cup of cooked Rajahmudi rice, a cupful of this Arachuvitta Mullangi Sambar, a cupful of salad, along with a little gluten-free South Indian poriyal would make for the perfect pegan meal.

12. I am no expert on peganism, nor am I a qualified nutritionist. I am just your regular home-maker who loves food and working with different ingredients, and tries to feed her family meals that are as healthy as she can make them! I present the above recipe based on my understanding of ingredients and the pegan diet, which comes about from extensive reading up from various sources.

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Foodie Monday Blog HopThis recipe is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. Every Monday, the members of this Facebook group cook for a pre-determined theme. The theme this week is #PeganDiet, as suggested by Veena of Veena’s Veg Nation.

I am also sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #264, co-hosted this week by Mollie @ Frugal Hausfrau.

Manjal Thokku| Turmeric Root Pickle

Manjal Thokku or Turmeric Root Pickle is one of my most favourite things to make using turmeric. All of us at home love it, and it goes well with everything, from rotis and dosas to curd rice.

Turmeric, as we all know, is loaded with health benefits. It helps not just in keeping cold and cough at bay, but also increases the body’s ability to fight chronic diseases, improves digestive functions, improves skin health, and aids in better control of one’s blood sugar, for instance. Our ancestors have always revered turmeric for its medicinal properties, and now its healing properties are being recognised the world over, due to which it is being touted as a ‘super food’.

fb_img_15475523553922068489678.jpg
The turmeric root that we got home for Pongal, this year

Turmeric powder is the most common form in which this medicinal plant is used. However, turmeric root or fresh raw turmeric is available in India in the months of winter, nature’s way of helping us combat the major and minor illnesses that prevail at this time. Consuming turmeric root is a great way of getting in all those health benefits, without any of the processing that converting it into powder form might involve. I typically use turmeric root (manjal kizhangu in Tamil) to make a simple South Indian-style pickle, but I recently started making a sweet-sour-spicy thokku with it. It turned out so finger-licking delicious, everyone at home loving it so, that it has now become a regular. I have made it quite a few times this winter already.

Manjal Thokku or Turmeric Root Pickle, my way

Here’s how I made the Manjal Thokku or Turmeric Root Pickle.

Ingredients (makes about 3/4 cup):

  1. About 1 cup roughly chopped raw turmeric
  2. A small gooseberry-sized ball of tamarind
  3. A 1-inch piece of ginger
  4. 5-6 cloves of garlic
  5. 1 large onion
  6. 4-5 dry red chillies or as per taste
  7. Salt to taste
  8. 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  9. 1 tablespoon jaggery powder
  10. 1 sprig curry leaves
  11. 1 teaspoon + 2 tablespoons of oil
  12. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  13. A pinch of fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
  14. 2 generous pinches of asafoetida

Method:

1. Remove seeds and impurities, if any, from the tamarind. Soak the tamarind in a little boiling water for at least 10 minutes. This will soften it. Keep aside.

2. Peel the ginger and chop it roughly. Keep aside.

3. Peel the garlic cloves. Keep aside.

4. Remove the skin of the onion. Chop into cubes. Keep aside.

5. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a pan. Add in the chopped turmeric, ginger, garlic and onion, along with the dried red chillies. Cook on medium flame for about 2 minutes. Take care to ensure that the ingredients do not burn. Transfer the roasted ingredients to a plate, and allow them to cool down fully.

6. When the roasted ingredients have completely cooled down, transfer them to a mixer jar. Add in the soaked tamarind along with the little water it was soaked in. Add in jaggery powder, salt to taste and turmeric powder. Grind to a paste, using a little more water if required.

7. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan we used earlier. Add mustard seeds, and allow to sputter. Now, add in the asafoetida, curry leaves and fenugreek seeds. Allow them to stay in for a couple of seconds, taking care to ensure that they do not burn.

8. Turn the flame to medium. Now, add the turmeric paste we ground earlier. Mix the paste and the tempering well, and cook together on medium flame for about a minute. Your Turmeric Root Pickle or Manjal Thokku is ready!

Notes:

1. Use very fresh turmeric root when in season, for best results.

2. Turmeric roots tend to have a lot of mud on them, typically. Make sure you wash them thoroughly, and get off all the mud.

3. Gingelly oil works best in the making of this Manjal Thokku. However, if you don’t have it, you can use any other oil of your preference.

4. Allow the Turmeric Root Pickle to cool down fully before transferring it to a clean, dry, air-tight container. Use only a clean, dry spoon for the same.

5. When stored hygienically, the Turmeric Root Pickle stays well for up to a week. Refrigeration increases its shelf life even more.

6. Adjust the quantity of dry red chillies you use, depending upon how spicy you want the pickle to be.

7. Turmeric root tends to stain yellow everything that it touches, including your hands, utensils and kitchen surfaces. Please be prepared for the same. Wear disposable gloves while preparing this pickle, if you so wish.

8. Turmeric root, on its own, can be quite strong in taste. Hence, it is advisable to use ingredients like tamarind, onion, ginger and garlic to make this thokku, as they help mellow down the turmeric’s strong flavour.

*************Foodie Monday Blog Hop

This recipe is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. Every Monday, a bunch of foodies get together and cook for a pre-determined theme. The theme this week is #IndianSuperfood, as suggested by Vidya Narayan of Masala Chilli. We are all sharing recipes made using three key superfoods – moringa, makhana aka foxnuts and turmeric – for the theme.

I’m also sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #263.

Pressure Cooker Jeera Rice| One-Pot Indian Cumin Rice

It was September 2008. A ‘boy’ had come from Bangalore to our place in Ahmedabad, with his mom and his brother, to ‘see’ me. Well, it wasn’t the first time the boy, his family and I were meeting – a year before their visit, courtesy of my Bangalore aunt, I had already met them. The boy and I had kind of approved of each other but, for one reason or the other of the boy’s making, official talks of our wedding never happened. However, we kept in off-and-on touch on chat. Then, one fine day, a year after we met, this boy pings me saying he’s had enough and that he’s serious about getting married to me! We started chatting regularly, a lot of doubts clearing, new respect and love building. His family and mine were thrilled that the cogs were finally turning and some progress was happening in our relationship. So, when this boy and his family came over to Ahmedabad to visit, deep, official talks were conducted, as was an unofficial engagement ceremony. And then, in January 2009, this boy became my wedded partner in life. He became my husband, and I his wife. 10 years since, today, together we stand.

Why am I talking about this today? Because I am about to share with you guys the recipe for the first-ever dish I cooked for the husband and his family – Pressure Cooker Jeera Rice or One-Pot Indian Cumin Rice – at my place. From what I knew of the husband’s family, they were a typical non-foodie bunch, used to typical South Indian home-cooked meals. This Pressure Cooker Jeera Rice was my way of indicating that a change in the household’s culinary scene was in order, shortly, yet nothing too jarring or disruptive or disrespectful. ๐Ÿ˜€ I served the jeera rice with a simple Dal Tadka, and the combination was quite liked by them.

This is an easy one-pot recipe that gets ready in a jiffy. In just about 10 minutes, it yields supremely flavourful, fluffy cumin rice that makes for just the perfect accompaniment to dal or a gravy-based curry.

Try this out, will you?

Ingredients (serves 4):

  1. 1-1/2 cups rice
  2. Salt to taste
  3. 2 green chillies
  4. 2 teaspoons jeera aka cumin
  5. 2 tablespoons ghee
  6. 3-3/4 cups of water
  7. 2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander, to garnish

Method:

  1. Slit the green chillies length-wise. Keep them ready.
  2. Wash the rice a couple of times in running water, draining out the excess water each time. Keep the washed and drained rice ready.
  3. Heat the ghee in a pressure cooker bottom. Add in the cumin seeds, and let them stay in for a couple of seconds.
  4. Add in the slit green chillies and the washed and drained rice. Saute on medium flame for a minute, ensuring that the rice does not burn.
  5. Now, turn the flame to high. Add in the water and salt to taste. Mix well.
  6. Allow the water to come to a boil. At this stage, close the pressure cooker and put the whistle on.
  7. Cook on high flame for 3 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.
  8. When the pressure has entirely gone down, open the cooker. Gently fluff up the rice. Mix in the finely chopped coriander.
  9. Serve hot with a gravy-based curry or dal of your choice.

Notes:

  1. I have used Sona Masoori rice to make this One-Pot Indian Cumin Rice.
  2. It is imperative that you use good-quality cumin, rice and ghee in this recipe, since these are the ingredients that will impart maximum flavour to the Pressure Cooker Jeera Rice.
  3. I used a 5-litre pressure cooker to make this One-Pot Indian Cumin Rice.
  4. Some people add in whole spices like bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon and/or cloves, as well as caramelised onions and shelled green peas to the One-Pot Indian Cumin Rice. I have skipped all of these ingredients, and used just the most basic ones.
  5. You can use basmati rice in place of Sona Masoori rice, too. In that case, adjust the quantity of water you use accordingly.
  6. To cook plain steamed rice in a pressure cooker, I use 3-1/2 cups of water per 1 cup of Sona Masoori rice. For this Pressure Cooker Jeera Rice, however, since I wanted it to be grainy but well-cooked, I have used 2-1/2 cups of water per 1 cup of rice. So, for 1-1/2 cups of Sona Masoori rice, I have used 3-3/4 cups of water in total. Adjust the quantity of water you use depending upon the type of rice used and how grainy you want the One-Pot Indian Cumin Rice to be.
  7. Pressure cooking for 3 whistles gives just the perfect output for us. You may want to increase or decrease the number of whistles depending upon the make of your cooker, the quantity of rice you are cooking, and the texture of rice that you are aiming at.
  8. After adding salt to the water in the pressure cooker, taste it. It should be a bit salty. When the rice is added to it, the salt content turns out to be just perfect.

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Foodie Monday Blog Hop

This recipe is for Foodie Monday Blog Hop, a Facebook group that I am part of. Every Monday, the participants of this group cook and share recipes for a pre-determined theme.

The theme for this week, suggested by Swaty Malik of Food Trails, is #DownMemoryLane. As the name of the theme suggests, each of us participants have to share a recipe that means something to us, which has memories attached to it. I chose to write about this simple Pressure Cooker Jeera Rice recipe for the theme, as it brings back a rush of several fond memories.

I’m also sharing this post with Fiesta Friday #262. The co-host is Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook.