Keerai Poriyal| Rainbow Chard Stir-Fry

Until very recently, Rainbow Chard was something I only ever read about on international food blogs. It wasn’t readily available in India – it still isn’t, in the mainstream market. If at all we find a vendor selling it, it costs a bomb. No wonder it isn’t a popular green in Indian households! A pity, considering how full of nutrition the greens are, and oh-so-pretty with those gorgeously coloured stalks!

Just a couple of weeks ago, I found Mapletree Farms from Hosur selling their organically grown produce at Ragi Kana, a very non-commercial market that happens every Sunday at Bannerghatta, an event that I have come to love. I was thrilled to find Swiss Chard and Rainbow Chard among the veggies on offer by Mapletree – all of which was very fresh, very much grown locally, without the use of pesticides, and priced quite nominally too. I simply had to pick up some of their produce, Swiss Chard included – I’d be a fool not to! I must say I am thrilled with the variety of greens, fruits and veggies that Mapletree offers; it has been an out-and-out delight using this great-quality produce in my kitchen. I can’t see myself not being a regular customer of theirs! (An honest, straight-out-of-the-heart review that I make without any commercials involved.)

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The Swiss Rainbow Chard that I picked up at Ragi Kana last week. When greens look as good as that, how do you not click them?!

I used the Rainbow Chard leaves in a very Tamilian stir-fry, a Keerai Poriyal. This is an easy preparation, one that takes bare minutes to put together, and is quite a delicious way to get all the nutrition from those greens in. All of us at home absolutely loved it! It made a wonderful pair with the sambar rice I served it with.

Keerai Poriyal or Tamilnadu-Style Rainbow Chard Stir-Fry

Let’s now check out the recipe I used for the Keerai Poriyal or Rainbow Chard Stir-Fry, shall we?

Ingredients (serves 2):

  1. 1 medium-sized bunch of Swiss chard, roughly 3 cups when finely chopped
  2. 1 tablespoon oil
  3. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds aka rai
  4. 2 pinches of asafoetida or hing
  5. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds or jeera
  6. 1 teaspoon split white urad dal
  7. 2-3 dry red chillies
  8. Salt to taste
  9. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  10. 1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste
  11. 1/4 cup fresh grated coconut

Method:

  1. Wash the greens well under running water. Place them in a colander for a few minutes, and let all the water drain away.
  2. Chop the greens finely. Keep aside.
  3. Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds, and let them pop. Add the dry red chillies, cumin, urad dal and asafoetida. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds, or till the urad dal begins to brown. Take care to ensure that the ingredients do not burn.
  4. Now, turn the flame down to medium. Add the finely chopped greens to the pan. Cook, stirring intermittently, till the greens wilt, about 2 minutes.
  5. Lightly salt the greens, and add the sugar and turmeric powder. Mix well. Cook on medium flame, stirring intermittently, till everything is well incorporated together. In another 2 minutes or so, any water draining out of the greens should have dried up, and the stir-fry should get dry.
  6. Add the coconut at this stage. Mix well. Cook on medium flame for a minute more. Switch off gas.
  7. Serve hot or at room temperature with hot rice, along with morkozhambu, rasam, sambar or vattalkozhambu.

Notes:

  1. Gingelly oil or coconut oil works best, in this Keerai Poriyal. If you don’t have either, though, any other variety of oil you prefer can be used.
  2. Some green peas, chopped carrot, boiled chickpeas or cowpeas, garlic cloves, pearl onions, chopped beans or red onion can be added to the Swiss Chard Stir-Fry too. We usually keep it really simple, though, and use only the greens.
  3. Any other greens (spinach or amaranth, for example) can be used to make a stir-fry in a similar manner, instead of Swiss Chard. You can even mix 2-3 varieties of greens.
  4. Be careful while adding the salt. The greens don’t withstand salt very well – the dish can become overly salty if you aren’t cautious.
  5. Adjust the quantity of coconut you use, depending upon personal taste preferences.
  6. Chop the greens finely, for a great consistency of the Keerai Poriyal.
  7. You may skip the sugar entirely, but I like adding it in. It balances out any slight bitterness that the greens might have.
  8. Finely chopped coriander or curry leaves can be added to the stir-fry too. We usually don’t.
  9. The heat in this Keerai Poriyal comes only from the dried red chillies. If you want more spiciness, you may add in a dash of red chilli powder, but that does not really belong in an authentic Keerai Poriyal.
  10. Do not add any water while cooking the stir-fry. The greens will release enough juices of their own, and the stir-fry will have enough liquid to cook in. Cook the stir-fry uncovered.

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

I’m sharing this post with Fiesta Friday #251. The co-hosts this week are Mollie @ Frugal Hausfrau and Monika @ Everyday Healthy Recipes.

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Mor Keerai| Keerai Mor Kootu

The first of the winter greens have started appearing in the markets, here in Bangalore. It is a soothing sight to see those lush, fresh greens piled up at the vegetable vendor’s. I love playing with leafy greens any day, and winter provides me just the perfect opportunity to cook with a variety of them. Spinach or palak is one of the most commonly used greens in India, and I present to you today a beautiful way to use them. Say hello to a traditional Tamilnadu recipe – Mor Keerai or Keerai Mor Kootu, using spinach.

Here, spinach is cooked and mixed with a freshly ground spice paste (that includes coconut and a few other ingredients), to which whisked curd is added later. The addition of curd is what gives this dish the name of Mor Keerai or Keerai Mor Kootu (‘Mor‘ is Tamil for ‘buttermilk’, while ‘keerai‘ refers to any sort of leafy greens. ‘Kootu‘ refers to the South Indian style of preparing a curry, usually of the runny sort that can be mixed with rice and eaten.)

Mor Keerai or Keerai Mor Kootu can be made using any variety of greens, but I love making it with spinach the most. I adore the combination of spinach and curd, along with the ground coconut and other spices that goes into the making of this kootu. This Mor Keerai is traditionally used as an accompaniment with plain, steamed rice, but I love having it with rotis as well.

Different Tamilian families have their own minor variations to the Mor Keerai, while the basic proceedure to prepare it remains, more or less, the same. The recipe below is the way we prepare it, the way we have always done in our family. Do try out this kootu – a delight to make, considering that it can be put together in minutes, and a pleasure to savour!

Ingredients (serves 4):

  1. 3 cups finely chopped spinach, tightly packed
  2. Salt to taste
  3. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  4. 1 teaspoon oil
  5. 1 tablespoon rice flour

For the tempering:

  1. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  2. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  3. 2 dry red chillies
  4. 3/4 cup curd or to taste
  5. 2 pinches of asafoetida

To grind:

  1. 3 tablespoons fresh grated coconut
  2. 2 tablespoons chana daal
  3. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  4. 4 dry red chillies
  5. 1 teaspoon oil

Method:

We will first cook the spinach and keep it ready.

  1. Take the finely chopped spinach in a large vessel, along with a little salt, the turmeric powder, and 1/2 cup water.
  2. Pressure cook for 4 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally. Keep the cooked spinach aside.

Now, we will prepare the spice paste.

  1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a pan.
  2. Add in all the ingredients to be ground to a paste, except the coconut – dry red chillies, chana daal and cumin seeds. Fry on medium flame till they begin to turn brown, taking care to ensure that the ingredients do not burn.
  3. Now, add in the coconut, and fry on medium flame for a few seconds, again ensuring that the ingredients do not burn. Switch off gas.
  4. Transfer all the fried ingredients to a plate, and allow to cool down completely.
  5. When the fried ingredients have completely cooled down, grind them to a fine paste with a little water. Keep aside.

Now, we will temper the cooked spinach and add in the ground spice paste.

  1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a pan. Add in the mustard seeds, and allow them to pop.
  2. Add the dry red chillies, cumin seeds and the asafoetida (for the tempering).
  3. Allow them to stay in for a couple of seconds.
  4. Add the cooked spinach to the pan, along with the spice paste we ground earlier and the rice flour. Mix well, ensuring that no lumps remain.
  5. Cook on medium flame for about 2 minutes, or till the mixture thickens.
  6. You may add in a bit of water, if you think the mixture is too thick. Taste and adjust salt if needed too. Switch off gas.

Lastly, we will mix in the curd.

  1. Whisk the curd till smooth, and add it to the pan, after the gas has been turned off.
  2. Mix well.

Notes:

  1. You can use a tablespoon of fried gram (pottukadalai) or raw rice while grinding the spice paste, which will later help in thickening the Keerai Mor Kootu. If you are using any of these two ingredients, skip adding the rice flour to the kootu.
  2. Finely chopped garlic can be added to the tempering, if you so prefer, as can curry leaves. We usually don’t add either of these.
  3. Use curd that is fresh and not overly sour, for best results. I used home-made curd that was thick but runny. Adjust the quantity of curd you use, depending upon your personal taste preferences.
  4. Coconut oil or gingelly oil works best in the making of this Mor Kootu.
  5. Adjust the quantity of grated coconut as per personal taste preferences.
  6. Chop the spinach (palak) finely, for beautiful consistency of the Mor Kootu.
  7. You can use any other greens of your choice in a similar manner, to make Mor Kootu, instead of spinach.
  8. Adjust the quantity of dry red chillies you use in the spice paste, depending upon how spicy you want the kootu to be. I have used Salem Gundu chillies here, which are quite spicy.
  9. Add the curd at the very end, after the greens are cooked and the gas has been turned off. It is okay if the kootu is still hot while you add the curd.
  10. Don’t cook the kootu after the curd has been added to it. If you plan to serve it later, you may lightly heat up the Mor Kootu while serving, but don’t overdo it.

Do you like the recipe? Do let me know, in your comments!

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Foodie Monday Blog HopThis recipe is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for the week is ‘#SaagSaga‘, wherein members need to prepare a curry using any of the leafy greens of winter.

I’m sharing this post with Fiesta Friday #251. The co-hosts this week are Mollie @ Frugal Hausfrau and Monika @ Everyday Healthy Recipes.

Agathi Poo Poriyal| Vegetable Hummingbird Stir-Fry From Tamilnadu

Last month, we finally made that long-pending trip to Thailand. This voyage had been waiting to be undertaken for years on end, and it did happen over the bub’s Dassera holidays in October. Thailand is where the bub turned 4, and we spent some happy days there, roaming around and exploring as much as we could. This time around, I saw Thailand from the eyes of a food and travel blogger, a completely different experience to the one I had previously, on our honeymoon. Among the foodie souvenirs I brought back to India from our holiday were these edible flowers, called Vegetable Hummingbird.

Walking around the aisles of Big C, a departmental store in Pattaya, I spotted this packet of flowers – labelled ‘Vegetable Hummingbird’. Apparently, these are flowers of the Sesbania Grandiflora, called so because their shape resembles that of the beak of little hummingbirds. The flowers, called Dok Khae in Thai, can be white, pink or red. They are used in several Asian cuisines like Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Lao, Maldivian, Indian and Sri Lankan. The Thais use vegetable hummingbirds, mostly the white ones, raw in Nam Prik, and cooked in curries like Gaeng Som. I was intrigued, and absolutely had to pick up a packet of these to carry back home with me.

Vegetable Hummingbird, Agathi Poo or Bokful

It was only after I got back home and did some quick reading on the Internet that I got to know that these flowers are the same as Agathi Poo, quite commonly consumed in Tamilnadu in the olden days. With time, though, there are fewer and fewer families in South India using these flowers, sadly. I have never had them before, and had no way of knowing these were from our very own Tamilnadu – I lugged them all the way from Thailand! The family had a hearty laugh, at my expense, but I was thrilled to have had an opportunity to cook with something new to me! 🙂

The Internet also told me that these flowers are also commonly used in Bengali cuisine. The Bengalis call these Bokful, and they are dipped in chickpea-flour batter and deep-fried to make delicious Bokful Bhaja. I cannot help but marvel at these little similarities in cuisines throughout the world!

Both the flowers and the leaves of the Sesbania Grandifloraagathi poo and agathi keerai in Tamil, respectively – are chock-full of nutrients. The flowers have the power to ward off ailments like asthma, rheumatism and epilepsy, and to keep stress and anxiety at bay. Rich in calcium, the flowers have a cooling effect on the body, too. In Tamilnadu, agathi poo are used to make a lip-smackingly delicious stir-fry or poriyal, the slight bitterness of the flowers balanced by the addition of sugar, grated coconut, onions and/or beans.

Check out the lovely Tamilnadu-style Agathi Poo Poriyal I made using these flowers, under Amma‘s expert tutelage. It was, indeed, super delicious and made for a wonderful pair with piping hot rasam rice!

Agathi Poo Poriyal or Tamilnadu-Style Vegetable Hummingbird Stir-Fry

Ingredients (serves 2-4):

  1. 15-20 vegetable hummingbird flowers aka agathi poo 
  2. 1 medium-sized onion
  3. Salt to taste
  4. 1 tablespoon sugar or to taste (optional)
  5. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  6. 1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
  7. 3 green chillies
  8. 1/2 tablespoon oil
  9. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
  10. 1 sprig curry leaves
  11. 2 pinches of asafoetida (hing)

Method:

  1. Open up the agathi poo and remove the stamen – the hard stalk within. Discard the stamen. Chop up the agathi poo finely – you should get about 1 cup of the chopped flowers. Keep aside.
  2. Chop the onion finely. Keep aside.
  3. Slit the green chillies length-wise. Keep aside.
  4. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add the mustard seeds, and allow them to pop. Add the asafoetida and the finely chopped onion. Stirring intermittently, saute on medium flame till the onion begins to turn translucent. This should take about 2 minutes.
  5. Now, add the curry leaves, the slit green chillies and the chopped agathi poo to the pan. Add in the salt to taste, sugar (if using) and turmeric powder too. Cook on medium flame, stirring intermittently, till the flowers are cooked. This should take 2-3 minutes. You may sprinkle a little water if you feel the poriyal is too dry or is sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  6. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Mix in the fresh grated coconut and cook for a minute more. Switch off gas. The Agathi Poo Poriyal is ready!

Notes:

  1. The agathi poo has a slight bitterness to it, and the onions, sugar and fresh grated coconut help to counter that. You may skip the sugar if you don’t want to add it, but I personally think it adds a lovely flavour to the poriyal.
  2. Agathi poo comes in red, pink and white hues. The white ones are less bitter and tastier than the pink ones. Thai cuisine makes use of the white flowers only, while Tamilians use the white, red and pink ones.
  3. Coconut oil or gingelly oil works best in this kind of poriyal. However, you can use any other kind of oil you prefer, instead, too.
  4. You may add finely chopped coriander leaves to the Agathi Poo Poriyal too. We usually don’t, in this kind of poriyal.
  5. Typically, only the heat from green chillies is used in this kind of poriyal. However, if you feel it is too mild, you may add a dash of red chilli powder too.
  6. Considering the vegetable hummingbird flowers are quite thin, they cook really easily. There’s no need to cover the pan while the flowers are cooking, but you may if you want even faster cooking.
  7. Vegetable Hummingbirds or Agathi Poo are quite fragile, and do not have much of a shelf life. They are best consumed straight after plucking or buying at a vegetable vendor’s, as the case may be.
  8. The calyx of the agathi poo – the greenish part at the bottom of the flower, which holds the petals together – is okay to consume. The stamen – the hard stalk within each flower – needs to be removed.

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

I’m sharing this post with Fiesta Friday #251. The co-hosts this week are Mollie @ Frugal Hausfrau and Monika @ Everyday Healthy Recipes.

Hot & Sour Vegetable Soup With Burnt Garlic

It is soup weather now, at least here in Bangalore!

Winter is setting in deeper in the city, bit by little bit, giving me the perfect foil to make a variety of soups. 🙂 We are quite the soup-loving family, and a bowl of hot soup makes the perfect evening snack for us most evenings.

Today, I present to you the recipe for Hot & Sour Vegetable Soup, a simple soup that you can whip up within a matter of minutes. You can use whatever vegetables you have on hand, and it will taste absolutely wonderful! Especially, the burnt garlic that I temper it with adds a whole lot of oomph to the soup. Do try this recipe out, and let me know how you liked it!

Let’s now check out the recipe for the Hot & Sour Vegetable Soup With Burnt Garlic.

Ingredients (serves 4):

  1. 4-5 beans
  2. A small piece of cabbage
  3. 2 pieces of babycorn
  4. 1 small onion
  5. 1 medium-sized floret of cauliflower
  6. 1 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon of salted butter
  7. Salt to taste
  8. 1 tablespoon sugar
  9. Juice of 1/2 lemon or to taste
  10. 2 tablespoons hot Sriracha sauce
  11. 2 tablespoons wheat flour
  12. 2 tablespoons soya sauce
  13. Black pepper powder to taste
  14. 5-6 cloves of garlic
  15. 1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander

Method:

1. First, we will prep the vegetables we need to make the soup. Remove strings from the beans and chop finely. Chop the cabbage, onion, cauliflower, babycorn and garlic finely. Keep aside.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a thick-bottomed pan. Add in the finely chopped beans, cabbage, onion, cauliflower and babycorn. Add salt to taste. Saute on high heat till the vegetables are cooked, but still retain a bit of a crunch.

3. Mix 2-3 tablespoons of water into the wheat flour, and make a paste without any lumps. Keep aside.

4. Add 4 cups of water to the pan. Add in the wheat flour paste. Mix well. Cook on medium flame till the soup thickens and begins to boil.

5. Now, add in the soya sauce, Sriracha sauce, sugar and black pepper powder. Mix well. Check and adjust salt if needed. Cook on medium flame for 1-2 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in another pan. Add in the finely chopped garlic. Saute on medium flame till the garlic browns, allowing it to burn slightly, but not overly so. Add the burnt garlic to the soup in the other pan.

7. When the soup has simmered for 1-2 minutes, switch off gas. Mix in finely chopped coriander and lemon juice to taste. Serve hot.

Notes:

  1. Vinegar can be used to sour the soup, instead of lemon juice. You can even use a mix of lemon juice and vinegar.
  2. I have used salted butter from Amul, Sriracha sauce from Thai Heritage and naturally fermented soya sauce from a Thai brand called Shoyu.
  3. You may skip the sugar if you want to, but I personally wouldn’t suggest that. The sugar doesn’t make the soup overly sweet, but helps in rounding up the other flavours beautifully.
  4. Be careful while adding in salt to the soup. Remember that the butter and soya sauce that we are using in the soup contain salt as well.
  5. Here, I have used whatever vegetables I had handy at the moment. You may use any other veggies of your choice to make this Hot & Sour Soup.
  6. Paneer or tofu can be added to the soup as well. Here, I haven’t.
  7. You may lightly roast the wheat flour before adding it to the Hot & Sour Soup. I haven’t. I have used raw wheat flour here.
  8. I haven’t used any ginger in this soup. You may, if you want to.
  9. Corn flour can be used to thicken the Hot & Sour Soup, instead of wheat flour.
  10. You can use herbed butter in the soup, instead of ordinary salted butter.

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This post is for the Healthy WELLthy Cuisines Facebook group that I am part of. The members of this group cook for a particular theme every fortnight. This fortnight, all of us are cooking different types of soups.

Check out what the other members have prepared for the theme!:

Vegetable Manchow Soup by Jayshree| Vegan Wonton Soup by Geetanjali| Creamy Cauliflower Soup by Rosy| Bottlegourd Soup by Seema| Thukpa by Sasmita

I’m also sharing this post with Fiesta Friday #251. The co-hosts this week are Mollie @ Frugal Hausfrau and Monika @ Everyday Healthy Recipes.

Diwali Marundhu| Diwali Legiyam

Diwali means time to shop till you drop, to dress up to the hilt, to meet friends and family, to exchange gifts, to light lamps and celebrate. It also means time to gorge on a huge variety of sweets and savouries, not just at your own place but also at your relatives’. The festive season is a time of indulgences and excesses. Bloated tummies and indigestion are common ailments around Diwali season, thanks to consuming a whole lot of oily, rich foods. To counter this, households in Tamil Nadu resort to preparing Diwali Marundhu or Diwali Legiyam, a common home-made herbal concoction.

Making Diwali Marundhu (which literally means ‘Diwali medicine’ in Tamil) is an age-old practice in Tamil Nadu. It is typically made the day before Diwali, using a horde of herbs and roots, cooked with jaggery and ghee. On Diwali day, a little of this herbal ‘medicine’ is consumed on an empty stomach, before the feasting begins. Some households continue to consume spoonfuls of the Diwali Marundhu till the festival season ends. It is also offered to lactating mothers, to keep minor ailments at bay and give them strength.

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The horde of ingredients that goes into the making of Diwali Marundhu – long pepper, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, carom seeds, cumin seeds, long pepper root, coriander seeds and the like.

These days, ready-to-consume Diwali legiyam is available in Tamil Nadu stores, but to me, nothing matches the charm of making it at home. Different families make the legiyam with minor variations of their own, the basic ingredients and technique of cooking remaining more or less the same. Today, I present to you my family recipe for Diwali Marundhu or Diwali Legiyam, the way it has always been prepared by our ancestors.

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This season’s batch of Diwali Marundhu at our place

Ingredients (makes about 1 cup):

For the spice powder:

  1. 2 tablespoons coriander seeds (dhania)
  2. 1-1/2 tablespoons carom seeds (omam or ajwain)
  3. 2 teaspoons fennel seeds (sombu or saunf)
  4. 1 tablespoon black peppercorns (milagu or kali mirch)
  5. 1 tablespoon long pepper (rice pepper, arisi thippili or pippali)
  6. 1 tablespoon long pepper root (kanda thippili or pippali mool)
  7. A small piece of nutmeg (jathikkai or jayphal)
  8. A 1-inch piece of greater galangal (alpinia galanga, sittharatthai or kulanjan)
  9. 2-3 cardamom (elakkai or elaichi)
  10. 2-3 cloves (krambu or laung)
  11. 2 teaspoons of poppy seeds (gasa gasa or khus khus)
  12. 1 teaspoon turmeric powder (manjal podi or haldi)
  13. 2 teaspoons dry ginger powder (sukku podi or saunth)
  14. 1 tablespoon cumin seeds (jeeragam or jeera)
  15. A 1/2-inch fat piece of cinnamon (pattai or dalchini)

Other ingredients:

  1. 2-3 tablespoons of ghee
  2. 2 cups powdered jaggery
  3. 2 tablespoons honey

Method:

1. Crush the nutmeg, long pepper, long pepper root, cinnamon and greater galangal roughly, using a mortar and pestle. Place these in a pan, along with all other ingredients listed under ‘For the spice powder’. Dry roast all these ingredients on medium heat, till they begin to emit a lovely aroma. Ensure that they do not burn. Transfer the roasted ingredients to a plate and keep aside.

2. Take the jaggery in the same pan, and add in about 2 cups of water. Place on high flame, and cook till the jaggery is entirely dissolved in the water. Stir intermittently. Switch off gas when the jaggery syrup comes to a rolling boil. Keep aside.

3. When all the roasted ingredients have cooled down completely, grind to a powder in a mixer.

4. Strain the jaggery syrup through a fine sieve, to remove any impurities. Add the filtered jaggery syrup back to the same pan, and place on high heat. Allow the syrup to heat up a bit, about a minute.

5. When the jaggery syrup heats up, lower the flame to medium. Add the spice powder we prepared earlier to the pan, stirring constantly, ensuring that no lumps are formed.

6. Cook the mixture on medium flame till it begins to thicken, stirring intermittently. This should take 2-3 minutes.

7. At this stage, add the ghee to the pan. Continue to cook on medium flame, stirring intermittently, till the mixture comes together well and begins to separate from the sides of the pan. This should take another 2 minutes. Switch off the gas when the mixture is still runny, otherwise it will become hard.

8. Mix in the honey at this stage.

9. Allow the mixture to cool down completely before transferring it to a clean, dry, air-tight container. Store at room temperature.

Notes:

  1. Obtaining some of these ingredients might be an issue in certain parts of the world. They are easily available in most ‘naatu marundhu‘ (local medicine) shops in Tamilnadu, though, which is where I pick up my stash from. You may even be able to find a few of these ingredients online. I have tried to include the common Tamil and Hindi names of all of the ingredients used here.
  2. Some families add gingelly oil (nalla ennai) to the Diwali Legiyam, at the time of adding the ghee. We don’t.
  3. Dried turmeric root can be used in place of turmeric powder.
  4. Dried ginger can be used in place of dried ginger powder. Here, I have used dried ginger powder from Kitchen D’Lite, of which I was sent a sample to test and review. I loved the freshness and good quality of the product, an honest opinion of mine, not influenced by anything or anyone. For those of you who are interested, Kitchen D’Lite ginger powder is available on Amazon, as are other products by the brand.
  5. We add honey to the Diwali Legiyam or Diwali Marundhu, because we love the flavour it adds. You may even skip it if you don’t want to.
  6. If you are not able to procure all of the ingredients this recipe requires, you can make a basic version that skips the exotic ones – nutmeg, long pepper, long pepper root and greater galangal.
  7. Adjust the quantity of jaggery powder you use, depending upon how sweet you want the Diwali Marundhu to be. The amount of jaggery you will need also depend upon the brand and quality you use. The above measurements work out just perfect for us.
  8. I add in 2 cups of water in the above recipe because I like my Diwali Marundhu to be runny and not too thick. You may decrease the quantity of water you use, if you would prefer the final product to be thicker in consistency.
  9. Make sure you do not overcook the Diwali Marundhu. Switch off the gas when it is still runny, as it hardens further on cooling.
  10. Store the Diwali Marundhu at room temperature. Refrigeration might cause it to crystallise or harden. Use only a clean, air-tight, dry container to store it, and a clean, dry spoon to remove it.
  11. This Diwali Legiyam is meant to be consumed in small quantities only, say, 1 tablespoon every 2 days or so. Over-consumption is not recommended.
  12. The consumption of Diwali Marundhu or Diwali Legiyam is not advisable for children below 5 years of age.

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Foodie Monday Blog Hop

This post is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for this week is ‘Detox Recipes’. I couldn’t think of anything that would fit the theme better than this Diwali Marundhu, so here I am! 🙂

I’m sharing this post with Fiesta Friday #249. The co-hosts this week are Diann @ Of Goats and Greens and Jenny @ Apply To Face Blog.

 

Drumstick Leaves Roti| Murunga Keerai Roti

The fact that moringa aka drumstick leaves are loaded with health benefits is very well known.

  • The greens are a rich source of Vitamin A, B6, B12, C and E, apart from possessing a high content of protein and calcium, iron and beta carotene, magnesium and chlorogenic acid.
  • Drumstick leaves aid in hair care and skin care, preventing neurological disorders Alzheimer’s Disease, alleviating pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), lowering cholesterol levels and improving one’s vision.
  • They also aid slow ageing, lower the risk of cancer, and help the body in fighting against toxins that air pollution throws at us.
  • Apart from this, moringa greens also help in fighting inflammation, promoting bone and cardiovascular health, protecting the liver, aid in wound healing, help in keeping anxiety and depression at bay, and also help one in combating diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and asthma.

Any wonder they are being touted as a ‘super food’?

I try to include moringa greens or drumstick leaves (‘Murunga Keerai‘ in Tamil) in our meals at least once every two weeks. There are several things I use these drumstick leaves in – I add them to uttapams and adais, I use them in sambar and dal tadka, or in a South Indian-style poriyal. One of my family’s most favourite ways to consume these greens is in a roti!

Drumstick Leaves Rotis are extremely easy to make, but super delicious, not to forget healthy. I add a lot of ingredients to these rotis, so they can be eaten on their own and don’t really need any accompaniment. This makes the rotis an ideal candidate for busy weekday lunches or dinners.

Ingredients (yields about 15 parathas):

  1. 2 cups whole wheat flour
  2. 1 tightly packed cup drumstick leaves
  3. A fistful of fresh coriander leaves
  4. 1 medium-sized onion
  5. Salt to taste
  6. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  7. 2 generous pinches of asafoetida (hing)
  8. A 1-inch piece of ginger
  9. 3 green chillies
  10. 5-6 cloves of garlic
  11. 2-3 tablespoons powdered jaggery or to taste (optional)
  12. Red chilli powder to taste (optional)
  13. 1 tablespoon nigella seeds (kalonji)
  14. 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (til)
  15. 1 tablespoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  16. 1/4 cup sour curd or 2 tablespoons amchoor powder (optional)
  17. 1 tablespoon oil + more to make the rotis

Method:

1. Wash the drumstick leaves well under running water. Chop them roughly and keep aside.

2. Chop the onion finely. Keep aside.

3. Chop the coriander finely. Keep aside.

4. Peel the ginger and chop finely. Peel the garlic cloves and chop finely. Chop the green chillies finely. Grind the ginger, garlic and green chillies together to a paste, using a little water. Keep aside.

5. Take the whole wheat flour in a large mixing bowl. Add salt to taste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder (if using), asafoetida, sesame seeds, cumin seeds, nigella seeds, powdered jaggery (if using), 1 tablespoon oil, and amchoor powder or sour curd (if using).

6. Add the finely chopped coriander and onions, the ginger-green chillies-garlic paste, and the chopped drumstick leaves to the mixing bowl.

7. Bind the ingredients in the mixing bowl together into a soft dough, using a little water if needed. Knead for a couple of minutes. Cover, and let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes.

8. Heat a thick dosa pan on high heat. Meanwhile, take one small ball of the dough, place it on a floured work surface, and roll it out into an even roti.

9. When the dosa pan is nice and hot, turn the flame to medium. Place the rolled-out roti on the pan, and spread a little oil all around it. Cook on medium flame till it gets brown on the bottom. Now, flip the roti over, and cook till done on the other side as well. Transfer to a serving plate.

10. Prepare all the Drumstick Leaves Rotis in a similar manner. Serve hot on their own or with raita, pickle, curry or any other accompaniment of your choice.

Notes:

  1. For best results, use tender drumstick leaves that aren’t overly mature. Leave the bunch of drumstick greens wrapped in a newspaper or in a paper bag, outside at room temperature, overnight. Most of the leaves would have fallen off by morning – this is an easy way to separate the tiny leaves from the stems.
  2. The use of jaggery and curd or amchoor powder is purely optional. You can skip these ingredients too, and keep the parathas really simple. I would personally suggest using them, though, for they add a lovely taste to the rotis.
  3. Moringa or drumstick leaves can be a bit difficult to digest, especially for children. This is why it is crucial to use tender greens to make these Drumstick Leaves Rotis. If the leaves you have are a bit tough, you can chop them roughly and saute them a bit, before using them in making these rotis.
  4. Use a heavy dosa pan to make these Murunga Keerai Roti. Get the pan nice and hot, till drops of water sprinkled on it dance, then ensure that you turn the flame down to medium. Cook the rotis on medium flame on both sides. This will ensure even cooking, without the rotis getting burnt.
  5. Adjust the quantity of green chillies, salt, jaggery and garlic that you use, depending upon personal taste preferences.
  6. Add in red chilli powder if you want, if you feel the heat from the green chillies isn’t enough. I usually use only green chillies in making these Murunga Keerai Roti – I skip the red chilli powder entirely.
  7. The dough should be soft and pliable, but not sticky, for best results.

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This post is for the A-Z Recipe Challenge. The A to Z challenge was initiated on a Facebook Group, wherein a group of bloggers come together and choose key ingredients alphabetically to cook and post a dish every alternate month. This month’s Alphabet is ‘D‘, and I chose Drumstick Leaves as my key ingredient. I decided to make these Drumstick Leaves Rotis with them.

A to Z Recipe Challenge

I’m sharing this post with Fiesta Friday #249. The co-hosts this week are Diann @ Of Goats and Greens and Jenny @ Apply To Face Blog.

Lavender Kulfi| Easy No-Cook Dessert

This festive season, why not try out something hatke?

Check out this Lavender Kulfi, a unique fusion dessert that I made this Diwali, taking inspiration from The Take It Easy Chef. With its creamy texture, only enhanced by the slivers of almonds I added in, and the gorgeous scent of lavender, it was a huge hit at home.

I have always been charmed by lavender, thanks to mentions of it that I have come across in several books. I have never had the pleasure of visiting a lavender field or taking in the lovely fragrance of the flowers in person. I have never before worked with lavender in my kitchen, fresh or dried. A pity, I know! A cousin, knowing this, was kind enough to recently bring back a bottle of lavender extract from the US of A. The bottle had been waiting patiently in my kitchen, begging to be used, waiting for a recipe exactly like this to come by! 🙂

Making kulfi the traditional way is a laborious process that involves cooking milk till it, slowly and gradually, reduces and becomes creamy in consistency. The Take It Easy Chef’s recipe uses a short cut – the use of thick cream and condensed milk to reduce the cooking time. The lazy me decided to make the recipe even simpler – I went the no-cooking way – and yet, the results were nothing short of fantabulous! The lack of cooking did not impact the creaminess of the kulfi, I think; it was still sinfully rich and delectable!

Let’s check out the recipe for this Lavender Kulfi now, shall we?

Ingredients (serves 4-5):

  1. 1 cup thick cream
  2. 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
  3. 1/2 teaspoon lavender extract
  4. 10-12 unsalted, raw almonds

Method:

  1. Chop the almonds into small pieces or sliver them. Keep aside.
  2. Take the thick cream and sweetened condensed milk in a large mixing bowl. Whisk gently till both are well combined together.
  3. Add in the lavender extract and the chopped/slivered almonds. Whisk a couple of seconds more.
  4. Transfer the whisked mixture to a clean, dry, air-tight freezer box. Place in your freezer and allow to set for at least 3 hours.
  5. While serving, bring the box out of the freezer, scoop and place in serving bowls. Serve immediately.

Notes:

  1. I have used Amul fresh cream and Amul Mithai Mate (sweetened condensed milk) to make this Lavender Kulfi.
  2. The original recipe calls for the use of pistachios in the kulfi. I did not have any, and have used almonds instead. I think the almonds went beautifully with the fragrance of lavender too.
  3. Go easy on the lavender extract, otherwise you can end up with kulfi that smells like a soap or a flower garden. 🙂 The extract that I had was mild, and 1/2 teaspoon worked out just perfectly. You may have to use more or less lavender extract, depending upon the brand you use and how strong it is.
  4. You may use kulfi moulds to set the mixture. I haven’t, here.
  5. I have used Beanilla Lavender Extract here, which a cousin picked up for me from USA. You can use any other brand of extract too. Sprig has lavender extract too, widely available in India.

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

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I’m sharing this post with Fiesta Friday #249. The co-hosts this week are Diann @ Of Goats and Greens and Jenny @ Apply To Face Blog.

 

 

Masala Dosa Recipe| How To Make Masala Dosa

I would have been around 12 years of age when my first real spark of interest in cooking ignited. I don’t remember precisely which grade I was studying in then, but I do remember the particular day when it happened very, very clearly.

We were living in Ahmedabad then – Amma, Appa, me, and my paternal grandparents. I was a studious girl, hugely focused on getting good grades and making a good career for myself. A good career = a good life, to the 12-year-old me. I was never required to cook or even help out around the house. I lived a highly protected life, which some would call privileged. We weren’t uber rich or anything – we were just an ordinary, middle-class family – but I had the freedom to spend my days as I chose, not having to be encumbered by things like grocery shopping, paying electricity bills, taking care of the elderly or cooking. That said, I would help out Amma and my grandmother in the kitchen sometimes of my own free will, small tasks like shelling peas, chopping vegetables, rolling out rotis or making glasses of lemon juice on hot summer days. Never had I cooked a meal entirely on my own, though, till then.

Then, one fine day, my young self found herself face-to-face with temptation. There was no one at home that day; I was alone. Amma had gone out with Appa, to attend to some urgent errands. The grandparents were off to a religious discourse, I think. The dosa batter was thawing on the kitchen counter, and a batch of potatoes had been boiled and were cooling, ready for Amma to get back home and make piping hot Masala Dosas for everyone. I saw this and felt – Why not? Why can’t I make that Masala Dosa myself? Why can’t I give Amma a surprise when she gets back? And that is just what I did. I got busy in the kitchen, wishing fervently that the doorbell wouldn’t ring before I was done with my job. It didn’t.

Making Masala Dosa isn’t a big deal for me today, but back then, it was. It was a huge thing, an achievement! There was no Google at our place then, to turn to for ideas or queries, so I had only myself to rely on. Beginner’s luck or whatever, the potato filling turned out finger-lickingly delicious. I was in the kitchen all of that evening, making Masala Dosas for everyone, in the midst of which I realised that I was quite enjoying myself. I invited a couple of friends over too, to relish my beginner Masala Dosas. Much praising and patting of the back ensued, along with quips like ‘Beti badi go gayi hai!’ (‘The little girl has grown up.’)

This incident set me off. I began suggesting to Amma to mix this flavour and that, to cook this vegetable that way, to make this dish that way. Soon, I was making little dishes on my own in the kitchen. I think the Masala Dosa incident was the catalyst that made me the huge foodie I am today. Here I am today, not in a proper ‘career’ per se, but doing something around food, and loving every bit of it!

The Foodie Monday Blog Hop group that I am part of has ‘#MyBeginnerRecipe’ as the theme this week, wherein we are required to share the recipe for the very first dish we cooked on our own. This has got all of us delving deep into our foodie memories, with more than one skeleton tumbling out of the closet. 🙂 This here is my skeleton, my beginner foodie memory, my tale.

Let’s now hop over to the Masala Dosa recipe, shall we? This is how I made the Masala Dosa when I was 12, and this is how I still make it.

Ingredients (makes about 10 masala dosas):

For the filling:

  1. 6-7 medium-sized potatoes
  2. 1 big onion
  3. 3-4 green chillies
  4. A 1-inch piece of ginger
  5. About 1/4 cup shelled green peas
  6. 1 tablespoon oil
  7. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  8. 2 generous pinches of asafoetida
  9. Salt to taste
  10. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  11. Red chilli powder to taste (optional)
  12. About 2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh coriander
  13. Juice of 1/2 lemon or to taste

For the dosas:

  1. About 10 ladles of dosa batter
  2. Oil, as needed to make the dosas

Method:

We will first get the filling for the Masala Dosas ready.

  1. Wash the potatoes thoroughly, and cut each one into half. Transfer to a wide vessel and add in just enough water to cover the potato halves. Pressure cook on high flame for 4 whistles. Allow the pressure to release naturally.
  2. Slit the green chillies length-wise. Keep aside.
  3. Chop the onion finely. Keep aside.
  4. Peel the ginger and grate finely. Keep aside.
  5. When the pressure in the cooker has come down entirely, get the potatoes out and discard the water they were cooked in. Add in some fresh, cold water and allow them to cool down a bit.
  6. When the cooked potatoes are cool enough to handle, discard the water they were cooling in. Peel the potatoes and mash them. Keep aside.
  7. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the mustard seeds, and allow them to pop. Add in the asafoetida and let it stay in for a couple of minutes.
  8. Add the chopped onion, grated ginger, slit green chillies and shelled green peas to the pan. Cook on medium heat till the peas begin to shrivel and the onion begins to turn brown. Stir intermittently to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  9. Add the mashed potatoes to the pan, along with salt to taste, red chilli powder (if using) and turmeric powder. Mix well. Cook on medium flame for about 2 minutes, or till everything is well integrated together. You may add a little water at this stage, if you feel the potato filling is too dry. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.
  10. Switch off gas. Mix in the finely chopped coriander and lemon juice. Your potato filling is ready to use in the Masala Dosas! Keep aside.

Now, we will make the Masala Dosas.

  1. Place a heavy dosa pan on high flame, and allow it to get nice and hot.
  2. When the pan is hot enough, turn the flame down to medium. Place a ladleful of dosa batter in the centre of the pan. Spread it out quickly, using the back of the ladle. Spread some oil evenly all around the dosa.
  3. Let the dosa cook on medium flame till it turns brown on the bottom.
  4. Now, flip the dosa over to the other side using a spatula. Let it cook on the other side as well.
  5. Transfer the cooked dosa to a serving plate. Place a little of the potato filling in the centre of the dosa and close it. Serve hot, with sambar and/or chutney.
  6. Prepare all the Masala Dosas in a similar manner.

Notes:

1. You can even add finely chopped/grated carrots to the potato filling. I usually don’t.

2. Using the red chilli powder is purely optional. If you think the heat from the green chillies is enough, you can skip the red chilli powder entirely.

3. A dash of sugar can be added to the filling, for enhanced flavour. I sometimes add it in, I don’t at other times.

4. We like the dash of lemon juice in our Masala Dosa filling, and so, I add it in. You can skip it, as well.

5. You may use butter instead of oil, to make the dosas.

6. Some people add curry leaves to the potato filling. We don’t. You may, if you want to.

7. When you are entertaining, you can make the potato filling in advance and keep it ready. When your guests arrive, you need to heat up the filling, prepare the dosas, add in the stuffing and serve!

8. Here is the recipe for a Basic Coconut Chutney you can serve with these Masala Dosas.

9. Head here to learn how to use the potato filling to make Bangalore’s famous Open Butter Masala Dosa.

10. Have some potato filling left over? Here are some lovely ways to re-purpose it!

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

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Foodie Monday Blog Hop

This recipe is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for the week is ‘#MyBeginnerRecipe’.

I’m sharing this post with Fiesta Friday #249. The co-hosts this week are Diann @ Of Goats and Greens and Jenny @ Apply To Face Blog.

Home-Made Chana Dal Namkeen

Diwali is just a couple of days away!

Are you looking for an easy yet delicious snack to serve to friends and family\n this Diwali? Try out this super-simple Chana Dal Namkeen!

Yes, this is a deep-fried snack, but still way better than store-bought. Here, you know exactly what has gone into your namkeen. You can control the quality of ingredients you use here, and use just as much salt and spices you need, vis-a-vis packaged namkeen versions that usually come with a high salt content. And, of course, this Chana Dal Namkeen being home-made, it is preservative-free!

This is quite a simple snack to make too, one that you can achieve in about 20 minutes or so. You can add in the spices you choose – customise the namkeen to your liking. It turns out extremely delicious, quite addictive, and pairs really well with chai and conversations!

Let’s now take a look at the recipe for Home-Made Chana Dal Namkeen.

Ingredients (serves 2-3):

  1. 1 cup chana dal
  2. Oil for deep-frying, about 1/4 cup
  3. Salt to taste
  4. Red chilli powder to taste
  5. Amchoor powder to taste
  6. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  7. 2 generous pinches of asafoetida

Method:

1. Wash the chana dal well under running water a couple of times. Drain out the excess water. Soak the chana dal overnight, in just enough water to cover it.

2. In the morning, drain out the excess water from the chana dal, if any. Spread out the soaked and drained chana dal on a cotton cloth, in sunlight. Allow the dal to dry for about an hour or till it is not soggy, but just moist to the touch.

3. Heat oil for deep-frying in a heavy-bottomed pan.

4. When the oil is nice and hot, turn down the flame to medium. Put in a little of the dried chana dal into it. Deep fry the dal on medium flame, evenly, till the wet sizzle from it subsides and it begins to turn crisp and brown. Ensure that it does not burn. When done, remove the fried dal from the oil, and transfer into some paper. The paper will absorb all the excess oil from the fried dal.

5. Deep fry all the chana dal in this manner, in little batches. Transfer all the fried dal onto the paper, for the excess oil to be absorbed by it.

6. When the fried dal is still warm, add to it salt, red chilli powder and amchoor powder to taste, along with turmeric powder and asafoetida. Mix well, with your hands, ensuring that the fried dal is evenly coated with all the spices and salt.

7. When the dal has cooled down completely, transfer to a clean, dry, air-tight container.

Notes:

1. Once the oil for deep frying gets hot, reduce the flame to medium. Fry the chana dal on medium heat, a little at a time. This will ensure even frying, without the dal getting burnt.

2. You can add any other spices or additions of your choice to the deep-fried chana dal. Sugar, a tempering of mustard seeds and curry leaves, roasted cumin powder, black salt, garam masala, roasted peanuts – take your pick! Here, I have used only asafoetida, salt, red chilli powder, turmeric and amchoor.

3. Add the salt and spices to the deep-fried chana dal while it is still warm to the touch, otherwise they might not stick.

4. You can use moong dal instead of chana dal, in the above recipe, and make Moong Dal Namkeen exactly the same way.

5. Allow the fried chana dal to cool down completely before storing it. In a clean, dry, air-tight container, this stays well for over 2 weeks.

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I’m sharing this post with Fiesta Friday #249. The co-hosts this week are Diann @ Of Goats and Greens and Jenny @ Apply To Face Blog.

Indori Poha| Authentic Indori Poha Recipe With Jeeravan Masala

This month, the talented food bloggers who are part of the Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge are exploring the cuisine of Madhya Pradesh, the ‘heart of India’.

I’m not sure if you guys know, but a few years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Kanha in Madhya Pradesh. I was invited by Pugdundee Safaris, to check out their beautiful, beautiful Kanha Earth Lodge and indulge in a wildlife safari in the gorgeous Kanha National Park. This was my first and only visit to Madhya Pradesh, special in more ways than one. Spectacular as the food at the lodge was, I did not get a chance to explore the famed local food of Madhya Pradesh. Well, I was not much of a ‘food blogger’ then, and wasn’t very aware of the brilliant foods that the state has to offer. Now, I am older and better read, and definitely more aware! I think I need to go on a special trip just for hunting down some of those delectable-sounding dishes! Till then, I will make do with trying my hands at one of the state’s most well-known foods.

For the uninitiated, Madhya Pradesh has several vegetarian and non-vegetarian delights to offer. The cuisine changes in different parts of the state, depending upon its history and geographical conditions, but wheat and meat remain the staples almost everywhere. Amli Ri Kadhi, Bhutte Ka Kees, Indori Poha & Jalebi, Bedai, Gatpat, Garadu, Daal Bafla, Mawa Baati and Khoya Jalebi are some of the vegetarian dishes that you can enjoy in the state of Madhya Pradesh. For this month’s Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge, I decided to make Indori Poha, a famous beaten rice dish from the streets of Indore.

The Indori Poha is not your ordinary dish of rice flakes. It is a fragrant, extremely flavourful version of poha that you have to try out to believe the beauty of. Freshly made Jeeravan Masala, the fennel seeds (saunf) that go into the tempering, the generous dose of sev, raw onions, finely chopped coriander and pomegranate arils that it is served with – all these are the hallmarks of a good plate of Indori Poha.

I made the poha with home-made, freshly ground Jeeravan Masala, and was richly rewarded for my efforts. The Indori Poha turned out lip-smackingly delicious, and was much adored by everyone at home. It makes for a beautiful breakfast option, something quite different from the usual for us. Needless to say, I’m so thrilled at having discovered this!

Traditionally, to make Indori Poha, the rice flakes aka poha are first steamed in a colander, and then the other ingredients are mixed in, one by one. I cooked this in a different way, though, in a pan, the way one would normally make Batata Poha or Kanda Poha. Like I said earlier, the taste was just awesome! I can’t wait to try making this the traditional way!

Now, let us check out the recipe for Indori Poha, shall we?

Recipe adapted from: Yummy Diaries

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

  1. 3 cups rice flakes aka poha
  2. Salt to taste
  3. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  4. 1 tablespoon sugar or to taste
  5. 1/2 tablespoon oil
  6. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
  7. 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (saunf)
  8. 2 pinches of asafoetida (hing)
  9. 1-1/2 tablespoons Jeeravan Masala, or as needed
  10. 8-10 Curry Leaves
  11. 2-3 green chillies
  12. 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander
  13. Pomegranate arils, as needed for garnishing
  14. 1 medium-sized onion
  15. Juice of 1 lemon
  16. Sev, as needed for garnishing
Method:
  1. Wash the poha under running water a couple of times. Place in a colander, and let all the excess water drain away.
  2. Fluff up the washed and drained poha in the colander, gently. Add salt to taste, turmeric powder and sugar. Mix well, gently, with your hands. Keep aside.
  3. Chop the onion finely. Keep aside.
  4. Slit the green chillies length-wise. Keep aside.
  5. Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds, and let them pop. Add in the fennel seeds, and asafoetida. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds.
  6. Now, turn the flame to medium. Add the poha to the pan, along with the Jeeravan Masala, slit green chillies and curry leaves. Mix well.
  7. Cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring intermittently. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Switch off the gas.
  8. Mix in the lemon juice and finely chopped coriander and onion.
  9. Serve hot, garnished with sev and pomegranate seeds as needed.

Notes:

  1. Dry red chillies have been added in the preparation of Jeeravan Masala, which gives it spiciness. You need not add red chilli powder in the preparation of the Indori Poha, as you are already using Jeeravan Masala.
  2. I have used the thin variety of poha here, so I did not need to soak it beforehand. If you are using the thicker version, you might have to soak it for a while before you begin making the Indori Poha.
  3. Adjust the quantity of green chillies, salt, Jeeravan Masala, sugar and lemon juice you use, depending upon personal taste preferences.
  4. I have used refined sunflower oil here. You may use any other type of oil you prefer.
  5. Pomegranate arils are a must in the making of Indori Poha – you can use as many or as little as you want. However, I have not used them since I did not have any on hand.
  6. Typically, thick Ratlami sev is used to garnish this poha. I did not have any of that, so I have used store-bought medium-fine sev instead. Use as much or as little sev as you prefer.
  7. Jeeravan Masala, sev, lemon juice and sugar, onion, pomegranate arils, fresh coriander and fennel seeds in the garnish – these are the essential components of Indori Poha, without which it just wouldn’t be the same. Please do try not to skip any of these ingredients when you make Indori Poha.
  8. Click here to go to the detailed recipe for Jeeravan Masala.

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

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shhh-secretly-challenge-image

This recipe is for the Ssshhh Cooking Secretly Challenge group that I am part of. Every month, the participants of the group cook dishes from a particular part of India, using two secret ingredients assigned to them. This month, all of us over are cooking dishes from the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. My partner for the month, Poornima Porchelvan from Poornima’s Cook Book, gave me two secret ingredients – fennel seeds and onion – and I decided to use them in making Indori Poha.

I’m sharing this post with Fiesta Friday #249. The co-hosts this week are Diann @ Of Goats and Greens and Jenny @ Apply To Face Blog.