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Monday, July 19, 2021

Uthappam Waffles / Dosa Waffles

Dosa waffles or uthappam waffles are those made with leftover, savory dosa batter and these make a filling breakfast or dinner. Dosa batter is needed for this recipe to start with and here is the recipe for dosa batter. These waffles can be made in less than half an hour if you have the batter ready.

Waffles are a fun way to use any leftover dosa batter besides using them to make uthappam, ponganalu, onion dosa and such. Mixed veggies can be added to make the waffles more nutritious. Serve these gluten-free, vegan waffles with coconut or peanut chutney for a delicious breakfast or dinner.
Ingredients: (About 3)
2 cups dosa batter
Salt if needed
1 small red onion, chopped
1 small tomato, chopped 
1 small carrot, peeled and grated 
1 or 2 green chilis, finely chopped
2 tbsp. cilantro, finely minced
Oil to grease the waffle pan
Directions:
1. Left over dosa / idli batter is needed for this recipe. Add salt only if it was not added earlier to the batter. Add few tbsp. of water if the batter appears too thick.
2 & 3. Add chopped vegetables, green chilis, and cilantro to the batter and mix well with a ladle.
4. Preheat the waffle maker and brush the grooves with oil. 
5. Pour the prepared batter into the waffle maker.
6. Cook the waffles according to the instructions in the manual of your waffle maker. 
* Once done, gently remove the cooked waffle from the waffle maker. Use the remaining batter and prepare waffles. 
* Serve them warm with chutney of your choice.
This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon. Check the link to find out what other marathoners are cooking.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Cornmeal Idli

Idlis are a classic south Indian breakfast item that are prepared with skinned black gram (urad dal) and parboiled rice or cream of rice. My version today is a twist to the standard version, using cornmeal. Cornmeal is ground, dried yellow corn which ranges from coarse to fine textures. Mine is the coarsely ground version, similar to idli rava aka cream of rice typically used in idli preparation. 

Corn is naturally gluten free but be sure to read the labels since other gluten products may be processed in the same facility. Cornmeal is a good source of carbohydrates, phosphorous and iron. These idlis are obviously vegan and gluten free and make a great breakfast or dinner option. Serve them warm with some side dishes like chutney and sambhar for a filling meal. Ours were served with vegetable saagu and chutney. 
Ingredients: (Yield - about 20)
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup skinned black gram / urad dal
3/4 cup water
1.5 tsp. salt or to taste

Directions:
1. Rinse black gram / urad dal thoroughly twice with water by rubbing between fingers. Drain and soak in water in a container for about 3 hours. Similarly rinse cornmeal with water and soak in water in another bowl. 
2 & 3. Drain the water from both black gram and cornmeal containers. Squeeze out the water from the cornmeal as much as possible.
4. Add black gram, salt and water (as needed) to a blender and grind finely. (It took me less than two minutes to grind in the blender. Skip adding salt while grinding if living in a hot climate. Add salt to the fermented batter before making idlis.)
5. When the black gram is ground, add cornmeal to the blender.
6. Run the blender for a couple of minutes just to blend the mixture.
7. Transfer the batter to a container and cover it. Leave it in a warm place to ferment overnight. The final batter should be of thick, pouring consistency.
* If living in a cold place, leave the batter container in the oven with the light on. Don't turn on the oven. The batter may take 8 - 10 hours to ferment in a warm place. It may take longer to ferment in cold climate. 
* Heat water in a idli cooker / pressure cooker / steamer base on medium heat.
8. Stir the fermented batter with a ladle.
* Grease the idli plates and fill the moulds with the batter. Place the idli stand in the steamer and close the lid. Don't use the pressure valve if using pressure cooker.
* On low medium flame, steam for about 20 - 25 minutes or until when the surface of the idlis don't stick when touched with moist fingers. Turn off the stove and let sit for about 10 minutes.

* Run a sharp spoon around the edges of idlis and remove the idlis.
* Serve them warm for breakfast drizzling some melted ghee over idlis, along with coconut chutney and/or sambhar. Ours were served with vegetable saagu and chutney. 
This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon. Check the link to find out what other marathoners are cooking.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Moonglet

Pesarattu is a traditional breakfast of the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, especially in the northern parts of the state where it commonly prepared at homes and eateries across the region. It is basically a pancake prepared with soaked and ground whole mung beans and sometimes with the skinned yellow variety. It is ground  with the addition of ginger, green chillies, cumin and salt to add flavor and usually served with ginger chutney.  

Moong dal chilla or pudla or polis, are again pancakes prepared with mung beans and are mostly popular in northern and western parts of India. They can be made of desired consistency - thick or thin and is a popular street food as well in the region. You can add finely chopped vegetables to make them nutritious or can stuff them with a spicy paneer, potato or any vegetable filling of your choice. Or they can be served plain with some ketchup or green chutney. 
I came across another version called moonglet sometime last year which has become a new favorite at home. To be honest, I eat pesarattu because they are healthy where as my husband eats it because I am the one who decides the menu and cooks, and he has no other option. You get the drift, right? 😀 Basically no one gets enthusiastic at our home when I prepare pesarattu. This changed when we tasted these moonglet for the first time. 

Moonglet (or the lentil omelet) are also made with the yellow mung which are basically the whole mung beans that are hulled and split. These beans are quick to cook and easily digestible. If planning to make breakfast, soak yellow moong beans overnight or soak them around noon, if planning for evening snack / dinner. They can be soaked just for an hour too, in a time crunch. 

These thicker version pancakes are gluten-free and can be turned vegan by skipping butter in the recipe. What makes these protein rich moonglets different is the addition of fruit salt to the batter which makes the pancakes airy and fluffy. When cooked to a perfect golden brown and crispy with a generous addition of oil and butter, these make a great treat even to the naysayers of pesarattu. These wholesome and nutritious pancakes can be served with a chutney of your choice or some ketchup.
Ingredients: (Yield - 3)
1 cup yellow moongdal
1 tsp. salt or to taste
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. grated ginger
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped tomato
1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1 green chili, finely chopped
2 tbsp. minced cilantro
1/2 tsp. Eno's fruit salt
Oil and butter as needed

Directions:
1. Soak moong dal for an hour or two in enough water. (It can be soaked overnight too if planning for breakfast and doesn't want to waste time for soaking in the morning.)
2. Drain the water used to soak and grind moong and salt together into a thick batter adding water if necessary. (I added slightly more than 1/4 cup of water in total.) 
3. Transfer the batter to a bowl. Add cumin seeds, ginger, chopped onion, tomato, bell pepper, chili and cilantro and mix well.
4. Add Eno's fruit salt and sprinkle a tablespoon of water over it and immediately whisk it with a ladle. Add some water if the batter appears too thick.
* Heat a small pan with some depth and pour oil or butter generously. (I used more about 2 tbsp. oil. Mine was a 8 inch pan with inner circumference of 6 inches). 
5. Pour 2 to 3 ladles (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup) of batter into the pan. 
6. Cover and cook on low flame until it turns golden brown on the bottom side. Don't rush since the pancake needs to be cooked through as it is thicker than usual ones.
7. Flip it and gently score a '+' on the surface with the spatula. 
8. Pour oil / butter over it. (I used a tbsp. of butter.)
* Continue to cook until the other side turns golden brown as well. 
* Transfer it with a spatula onto a plate and repeat the steps with the remaining batter.
* Serve it warm with a chutney / ketchup.

This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon and check the link to find out what other marathoners are cooking.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Oats Idli / Steel Cut Oats Idli

If one is looking to incorporate oats in diet, especially Indians who are looking for other than porridge / instant cereal ideas, here are some healthy idlis to try. These idlis are prepared using steel cut oats and not the quick cooking version. They are therefore prepared the traditional way, by soaking the ingredients, grinding and fermenting the batter. These idlis are nutritious, gluten-free, and vegan like many idli versions I have posted so far in this idli series. They make a filling and wholesome meal when served with sambhar and chutney. 
The different types of oats available in the market - the steel cut version, rolled oats and the quick cooking oats, all start from oat groats. When the tougher outer shells aka hulls are removed from oat kernels, they are called oat groats. The difference among the oat varieties lies in the way they are prepared and processed. Steel cut oats aka Irish meal is the less refined of all the three. They are oat groats chopped into 2 to 3 pieces using a steel blade and hence the name. They have a chewier and coarser texture and take longer to cook of all the three varieties. Rolled oats or old fashioned oats are oat groats that have gone through steaming and flattening process. Quick cooking oats are further processed for a quicker cooking time.
I have posted two versions of idli below, the second version has less oats compared to the first version. Second version idlis are a tad lighter compared to the first version and makes a delicious meal, served with sambhar. If using idli rava (cream of rice) instead of idli rice, then soak it in water individually and don't grind it along with the ingredients. After grinding the rest of the ingredients, squeeze the water out of the idli rava and just mix it with the ground batter.

Version 1
Ingredients: (Yield - 20 idlis)
1 cup steel cuts oats
1/2 cup idli rice
1/2 cup skinned black gram / urad dal
A handful of flattened rice
1/4 tsp. fenugreek seeds
2 & 1/4 tsp. salt
1 & 1/4 cup water to grind

Version 2
Ingredients: (Yield - 16 idlis)
1/2 cup steel cut oats
1/2 cup idli rice
1/2 cup skinned black gram/ urad dal
2 tbsp. flattened rice / poha
1/4 tsp. fenugreek seeds / methi seeds
About 2 tsp. salt
1 & 1/4 cup water to grind
Directions:
1. Add steel cut oats, idli rice, skinned black gram, flattened rice and fenugreek seeds to a container. 
2. Rinse them twice with water and drain. Soak them together in water, in a wide bowl for about 4 - 5 hours and drain the water (used for soaking) completely. 
3. Grind them together adding salt and water as needed to grind into a smooth and thick batter. (The salt can be added just before making idlis if living in a warm climate. I add it while grinding since I live in a cold climate and the batter takes longer to ferment.)
4. Transfer the batter to a container large enough to hold the fermented batter. (The batter raises while fermenting and so plan accordingly and use a big container.) Cover the container and allow it to ferment overnight (if the batter was ground in the evening) or for about 10 - 12 hours in a warm place. If living in a cold climate, leaving the batter in an oven with the lights on (without turning on the oven) helps. Or use yogurt setting in an instant pot.
5. The fermented batter looks like below - thicker than when grounded, airy, and slightly sour smelling. Refrigerate the batter if not using it immediately and bring to room temperature or leave it outside for a couple of hours when ready to use it.
 
* Heat about 2 cups of water in a idli cooker base or a idli cooker or a steamer on medium heat. 
5. Gently stir the batter a couple of times with a ladle.
6. Grease the idli moulds with ghee / oil and fill them with batter.
* Place the idli stand in the prepared cooker / steamer and close the lid. Don't use the valve for the lid if using a pressure cooker.
7. Steam the idlis on low heat setting for about 20 - 25 minutes or until done. (The idlis should not stick when touched with moist fingers.) Check the water level in the steamer base and add extra if needed.
* Wait for about 10 minutes and then remove the idlis by running a spoon around the edges.
* Drizzle melted ghee over the idlis and serve them with a chutney and /or sambhar. Mine were served with tomato chutney, roasted gram chutney and sambhar.
* Refrigerate any left over idlis and use in a day or two. Or they can be cooled down immediately after preparation and frozen to use later. Just nuke them in a microwave, covered and enjoy hot, piping idlis when needed. 
This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon and check the link to find out what other marathoners are cooking.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

A - Z Idli Series ~ N for Navadhanya Idli

 

I had planned another traditional idli recipe from Karnataka for today but could not source an ingredient needed for it and had to discard the idea. I then went ahead and as an experiment, prepared these idlis using navadhanya. To be honest, the idea would never have occurred to me if not for this series and these protein rich idlis turned out soft and fluffy. Navadhanya refers to the nine grains used in Hindu religious rituals - Bengal gram, black gram, black sesame seeds, chickpeas, green gram, horse gram, rice, wheat, and white colored beans (I used black eyed peas for it). 

These idlis are simple to make though advanced planning is needed as the ingredients need to be soaked, ground and fermented before steaming the batter in the idli moulds. Though the process sounds tedious, the steps are quite simple and doesn't need much of one's energy. The idlis can be made in advance and can be refrigerated or even frozen to have a healthy breakfast ready in the morning rush hours with a simple step of reheating them in a microwave.

Navadhanya idli turned out fluffy with a subtle flavor to them, because of the wheat used in the recipe. These navdhanya idlis served with chutney and / or sambhar  make a filling breakfast or dinner option as they are super healthy, nutritious and vegan. Ours were served with peanut chutney and erra karam, Andhra style onion chutney.
I used navadhanya as I mentioned above but some ingredients may be substituted or omitted from the recipe as per preference. Brown rice can also be replaced with idli rice. Wheat can be completely omitted from the recipe as well if it's flavor in the idli is not to your taste. Whole black gram can be replaced with skinned variety as it needs only a couple of hours of soaking and also doesn't need thorough rinsing to get rid off the skins. Omitting one or two beans that are not on hand works too.

Some of the beans used here like chickpeas, black gram and horse gram need to be soaked overnight or for at least 8 hours. It is hard to sort out and soak the ingredients individually according to their soaking periods and therefore I soaked rice, wheat, Bengal gram, green gram, black eyed peas, chickpeas and horse gram in water in one container and black gram in another bowl. The black gram needs some thorough rinsing to get rid off the skins as much as possible and so they were soaked separately.

I soaked the ingredients overnight and ground the batter in the morning. The batter fermented quickly, in about 7 hours which never happens with my regular idli batter. It maybe partly because of the quantity of the beans used in the recipe and partly because of the weather the day I made these idlis, at 80 deg F / 27 deg C. I would recommend to grind the batter in the morning to keep an eye on the fermentation process. I am not sure but guessing that too much fermentation may cause the batter to start smelling foul because of the beans used here.

Ingredients: (Yield - 28 idlis)
1 cup idli rice 
1/2 cup brown rice
1/4 cup wheat kernels
1/2 cup + a handful of black gram *
6 tbsp. each - Bengal gram, green gram, black eyed peas, chickpeas, and horse gram **
Toasted black sesame seeds as needed
Salt to taste (I used about 2.5 tsp. salt.)
Water to grind the ingredients
Notes:
* I used whole black gram but it can be substituted with skinned black gram which takes only about 2 hours of soaking. 
** Some of the ingredients used here like black gram, chickpeas, horse gram need overnight or about 8 hours of soaking.

Directions:
1. Add idli rice, brown rice, wheat, Bengal gram, green gram, black eyed peas, chickpeas and horse gram to a container. Rinse them with water twice and drain. Add enough water and soak them overnight or for at least 8 - 10 hours.  
* Add black gram to another bowl and rinse. Drain and add water to the bowl and soak it also overnight or for at least 8 hours. (Or skinned black gram can be substituted which needs soaking for only a couple of hours.)
After the soaking, drain the water from the rice - lentil container and rinse again twice with water and keep aside. However the black gram needs some thorough rinsing to get rid off the skins as much as possible. I used whole black gram since it is used in navdhanya but skinned black gram can be substituted to skip the rinsing part.
2. Add all the soaked and drained ingredients to a grinder. Grind them adding salt and enough water into a smooth and thick batter. If using a mixer then grind them in 2 batches. (The salt can be added just before making idlis if living in a warm climate. I add it while grinding since I live in a cold climate and the batter takes longer to ferment.)
* Transfer the batter to a container large enough to allow the batter to raise during fermentation. Cover the container and allow it to ferment for about 7 - 8 hours. (It took me about 7 hours to ferment the batter when the temperature was about 80 deg F / 27 deg C and it may take longer in  cold climate. Leaving the batter out after fermentation may turn smelly.)
3. The fermented batter looks like above in the picture 3. Refrigerate the batter if not using immediately and use within a couple of days. Leave the refrigerated batter on the counter for a couple of hours before using.
* Heat about 2 cups of water in a idli cooker base or a idli cooker or a steamer on medium heat. 
4. Grease the idli moulds with ghee / oil and sprinkle black sesame seeds over them.
5. Gently stir the batter a couple of times with a ladle. Pour the batter into the idli moulds carefully without spilling.
6. Place the idli stand in the prepared cooker / steamer and close the lid. Don't use the valve for the lid if using a pressure cooker.
Steam the idlis on low heat setting for about 20 - 25 minutes or until done. (The idlis should not stick when touched with moist fingers.) Check the water level in the steamer base and add extra if needed.
7. Wait for about 10 minutes and then remove the idlis from idli stand. Remove the idlis by running a spoon around the edges.

Serving the idlis: 
* Drizzle melted ghee over the idlis and serve them with a chutney, and sambhar if preferred. Mine were served with peanut chutney and erra karam / Andhra style onion chutney.

What to do with leftover idlis:
1. Refrigerate the left over idlis and use in a day or two. 
2. Or they can be cooled down immediately after preparation and frozen to use later. Nuke them in a microwave, covered and enjoy hot, piping idlis when needed. 
This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon and check the link to find out what other marathoners are cooking.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

A - Z Idli Series ~ M for Mallige Idli

So far in my idli series,
D for Dal Idli
J for Jowar Idli
L for Lauki Idli

Here are some spongy and pillowy soft idlis from Karnataka called mallige idli, for some breakfast indulgence. These idlis which are popular in the Mysore area are made with rice, urad dal, along with the addition of flattened rice and tapioca pearls. These idlis are named after another specialty of the region, Mysore mallige, a renowned variety of jasmine flowers in the state. It is an allusion to the color and texture of these idis.
The texture of these plump and soft mallige idlis is so splendid that I would recommend it to all idli connoisseurs out there. This is a 'must try' idli and I prefer them over the regular version idlis any day.  There is a similar version of idlis  in Tamil Nadu called khusboo idli, named after a popular south Indian actress. 
The recipe of these idli vary from home to home and this dish needs some advance planning as the ingredients need to be soaked, ground and fermented. The secret behind 'perefct' idlis is always well fermented batter and here are some tips to make good idlis. These idlis pair superbly with coconut chutney and serve it with sambhar to make it a complete meal. We enjoyed our mallige idli with peanut chutney and tomato - onion chutney.

Ingredients: (Yield - 32 idlis)
2 cups idli rice / Selam akki
1/2 cup / skinned black gram / urad dal / uddina bele
1/2 cup flattened rice / poha / avalakki
1/4 cup tapioca pearls / sago / sabudana / sabbakki
Water to grind (I used about 1 & 3/4 cups.)
2 tsp. salt or to taste
Directions:
1. Rinse idli rice, skinned black gram, flattened rice and tapioca pearls together and drain. Soak them together in water, in a wide bowl for about 4 to 5 hours and drain the water used to soak completely.
2. Grind them together adding salt and water, only as much needed to grind them into a smooth and thick batter. (The salt can be added just before making idlis if living in a warm climate. I add it while grinding since I live in a cold climate and the batter takes longer to ferment.)
2. Transfer the batter to a container large enough to allow the batter to raise during fermentation. (Compare the pictures 2 and 3 to see the volume of the batter increasing after fermentation). Cover the container and allow it to ferment overnight (if the batter was ground in the evening) or for about 10 - 12 hours in a warm place. If living in a cold climate, leaving the batter in an oven with the lights on (without turning on the oven) helps. Or use yogurt setting in an instant pot.

3 & 4. The fermented batter looks like above in the picture - thicker than when grounded, airy, and slightly sour smelling. 
* Heat about 2 cups of water in a idli cooker base or a idli cooker or a steamer on medium heat. 
* Grease the idli moulds with ghee / oil. 
* Gently stir the batter a couple of times with a ladle. 
5. Ladle the batter into the idli moulds carefully without spilling.
 Place the idli stand in the prepared cooker / steamer and close the lid. Don't use the valve for the lid if using a pressure cooker.
6. Steam the idlis on low heat setting for about 20 - 25 minutes or until done. (The idlis should not stick when touched with moist fingers.) Check the water level in the steamer base and add extra if needed.
7. Wait for about 10 minutes and then remove the idlis from idli stand. 
8. Remove the idlis by running a spoon around the edges.

Serving the idlis:
Drizzle melted ghee over the idlis and serve them with a chutney, and sambhar if preferred. Mine were served with peanut chutney and tomato - onion chutney.

What to do with leftover idlis:
1. Refrigerate the left over idlis and use in a day or two. 
2. Or they can be cooled down immediately after preparation and frozen to use later. Nuke them in a microwave, covered and enjoy hot, piping idlis when needed. 
This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon and check the link to find out what other marathoners are cooking.

Monday, July 5, 2021

Sweet Potato Kheer

This post was originally published in 2009 and needed some revamping both in terms of content and images. I had posted a microwave version but I am updating with the stove-top method too. 

Kheer / payasam is a popular and quick to cook dessert from Indian cuisine. It is equivalent to the pudding recipe from the western world sans eggs. Rice, vermicelli, sago/tapioca pearls, and split chickpeas versions are the most common and traditional kheers prepared across India. There are though several other delicious versions and kheers are mostly easy to prepare. The basic preparation of a kheer remains the same. A grain / lentil / vegetable / other ingredient is cooked in milk and sweetened with sugar or jaggery. Dairy milk is most commonly used though other milks like coconut milk, almond milk can be easily substituted in the recipe. Whole milk adds richness to a kheer but replacing it with half and half or a splash of condensed milk makes it festive. Cardamom is the most common flavor used in south India while saffron, kewra essence and rose water are other flavoring agents that go in north Indian style kheers. A garnish of ghee toasted dry fruits and nuts finishes the dish.

I love simple kheers like carrot / chayote / dates that sound special and unusual. I sometimes combine half & half to my kheers for the extra richness. These are some of the kheers that I have already posted on my blog. The first time I prepared this sweet potato kheer was for my guests who had hard time guessing the contents of the kheer and were bowled over by it's taste. I had never heard about sweet potato kheer before that and it was an experiment done on a whim. I use the pink fleshed sweet potato that is common in USA to make this kheer. The color of this chilled kheer is just because of the yam and no saffron was added. It can be cooked with the Indian variety sweet potato too but the sugar quantity in the recipe needs adjustment as it is a more sweeter variety. This is so delicious that it can be served to guests or can be included in festive meals. It can also be cooked during vrat / fasting since sweet potato is allowed during the period.
Ingredients:
2 tbsp. ghee
1/2 cup peeled & shredded sweet potato 
1.5 cups whole milk or as needed (or substitute with half & half for more richer version.) 
3 - 4 tbsp. sugar or to taste
Seeds ground from 2 cardamom pods / 2 pinches of ground cardamom
1 tbsp. cashews and raisins for garnishing (optional)
(For the original microwave version, I had used a tbsp. of ghee and 1.5 tbsp. sugar.)

Stove-top method:
* Heat ghee in a pan and add cashews and raisins. Toast them until raisins turn plump and cashews turn golden brown. Remove them with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a small bowl.
* Add grated sweet potato to the same ghee and sauté for 5 - 6 minutes, stirring continuously. 
* Next add milk to the pan and cook until sweet potato softens. (It doesn't tale much time.)
* Next add sugar and ground cardamom and cook until the sugar melts. Turn off the stove.
* Garnish with toasted cashews and raisins. 
* I usually serve it chilled but it can be served both warm or chilled.

Microwave version:
* Mix the ghee and the shredded sweet potato in a microwave safe bowl and cook it for a couple of minutes in the microwave. Remove and stir the contents once in between. 
* Add 3/4 cup of milk to the bowl and mix well. Put the bowl back in the microwave and cook until the sweet potato is almost done. Check once in between and if the milk has been absorbed by the sweet potato, add some more. (It may take about 3 - 4 minutes.) 
* Add sugar, remaining milk, and cardamom to the bowl. Mix well and put it back in the microwave and cook for a couple of minutes or until the sweet potato is cooked. Garnish with nuts/raisins if using. Stir well before serving. This kheer can be served warm or cold.
 
Note:
1. For diabetic-friendly version, omit the sugar and add a little sweetener to the bowl just before serving.
2. The time to cook the kheer in a microwave may vary depending upon the strength of the microwave. Use your discretion and cook accordingly.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Rajgira Kadhi / Vrat Ki Kadhi / Farali Kadhi

A Indian kadhi generally is a spicy, yogurt based gravy which is thickened by the use of chickpea flour. Other flours are substituted for chickpea flour aka besan especially during the Navratri fasting season, a tidbit I have learnt from the blogging world over the years. I tried recently amaranth flour based kadhi aka rajgira kadhi and it turns out that even a basic version kadhi without all the frills can taste good too. No chickpea flour, onions, tomatoes, asafoetida, mustard seeds, turmeric or dried mango powder in this version but one wouldn't call this gluten free gravy a flavorless one. We at least didn't mind even a bit and I am sure that any kadhi lover would enjoy this amaranth flour kadhi as well. The lackluster color of the kadhi may be a giveaway that it may not be the regular version kadhi but one would probably just assume the lack of turmeric in it.

Whisk the yogurt well to a uniform consistency. I was lazy to do so when I made this and that's why the kadhi looks curdled but it is not so. If not using this as a fasting meal, feel free too use turmeric, mustard seeds, asafoetida, onion, salt and other stuff one would prefer in a kadhi. Even buckwheat flour or chestnut flours can be used in place of amaranth flour in the recipe.

Ingredients: (2 servings)
1 cup yogurt
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup amaranth flour
2 tsp. ghee / oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. ginger paste or grated ginger
2 finely minced green chillies or 1 tsp. green chili paste
Rock salt to taste
Minced cilantro to garnish

Directions:
* Whisk yogurt well in a bowl. Add amaranth flour to the yogurt and mix until there are no lumps. Yogurt and flour together can be whisked in a blender as well.
* Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. When they start to brown add ginger and chillies. Saute for few seconds and then add water.  Next add yogurt - amaranth flour mixture and rock salt to the pan. Continue to cook on low flame stirring intermittently until the mixture thickens. If the mixture appears to be thicker than the preferred consistency, add extra water and bring the mixture again to a boil and turn off the stove.
* Garnish with cilantro and serve warm. It can be served with any cooked grains allowed during fasting or rice / rotis.

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Aloo Raita / Indian Potato Yogurt Dip

Potato is one of the limited vegetables that is allowed during fasting in some parts of India. Plantain, sweet potato, colocasia, bottle gourd, pumpkin, cucumber, raw papaya and yam are the other ones. Fruits, dairy products and a few spices are allowed as well. I made this quick and nutritious raita using aloo / potato and other allowed 'vrat' ingredients.

Freshly made, full fat yogurt is what used in raita preparations but I went with fat-free yogurt as that is what eaten at our home. Sendha namak / saindhava lavanam / rock salt is used instead of regular salt during fasting in some parts of India and that is what I have used in this raita. Regular salt can be added if not following the fasting diet. 

The raita can be made just with the base recipe I mentioned below, without adding any optional ingredients, the one which I personally prefer. Cumin powder and black pepper are 'allowed' during fasting and I have added those as well to my raita bowl as my husband absolutely loves them. 

My husband always sprinkles chili powder, black salt and chaat masala to any raita I make and he enjoyed this raita adding those to his portion. Some consume these spice powders and some don't while fasting and so they can be added accordingly. I personally don't prefer that much of spices in my raita and omit them. 

Ingredients:
1 cup peeled and cubed potato cubes
1 tsp. oil
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 spicy green chili, finely chopped
1 cup yogurt (I used homemade fat-free yogurt.)
Sendha namak / rock salt to taste or use regular salt
1 tsp. grated ginger
Minced cilantro to garnish

Optional ingredients that can be added if fasting:
1/2 tsp. toasted and ground cumin 
Ground black pepper to taste 

Optional ingredients that can be added if not fasting:
Chili powder
Black salt 
Chaat masala 

Directions:
* Cook potatoes adding water as needed, in a microwave or on stove-top until done. Drain them and keep aside. Mash the potato when they come to room temperature.
* Heat oil in a small pan and add cumin seeds. When they start to change color, add green chillies and sauté for 20 to 30 seconds and turn off the stove.
* Add yogurt and sendha namak / rock salt to a bowl. (Use regular salt if not fasting.) Beat the yogurt with a spoon for a smooth consistency.
* Add the mashed potatoes, cumin -green chili tadka, grated ginger and minced cilantro to the bowl. Mix them with a spoon to combine. (One can certainly stop at this point and serve this.)
* Add ground cumin and black pepper if preferred and stir to combine. (These are allowed during fasting.)
* Chili powder, black salt and chaat masala are other flavorful additions that can be used if not fasting. (Some eat these spice powders as well during fasting and so need to be used accordingly. I added these spice powders to a portion of raita which is not pictured here.) 
* Serve this with 'allowed breads' during fasting like parathas made with amaranth flour, water chestnut flour or barnyard millet pulao and such.
This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon and check the link to find out what other marathoners are cooking.