Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Milagai Podi (Spicy powder)

It is typically called as Idli milagai podi.   My kids literally smear the dosa/idli generously with the powder mixed with sesame oil.      They even sprinkle this over curd rice or Upma.   They have reminded me many times to post this recipe on my blog!  Here is the actual log of what they have been eating on their childhood!   They have been experimented with all grains/pulses and seeds!   I am hoping in the ultra to ultra modern world, they will be making their meals when they grow up!  Just a wish!   Now-a-days you get each and every thing out in the market, buy, microwave and eat!  Importance of cooking your own home made food is old-fashioned but I am very happy about it.    I don't have any ready to eat processed food at home including ketchup or sauces!   I firmly believe that if you want to be sure what you are eating then better make it!

This is really a grandma recipe!  My moms recipe!  My kids would be like can you make like how pati makes?   Whenever they talk to her, they will ask for Mysore pakku, tomato thokku and Milagai podi.  I will be like 'Grandma is old now, don't bother her,  I can make it for you kiddos! '  I usually restrict the intake of junk items but not this one!  I make it less spicy and it is protein rich so they have a free hand on this item.  

What you need?

Whole urad (bengal gram)- 1/2 cup
Chana dal - 1 cup
Brown sesame seeds - 1/4 cup
Jaggery - 2 Tbsp
Tamarind dry - 1 small lemon size
Salt to taste
Red chillies Long - 10-15 (adjust spice)
Sesame oil- 1 Tbsp
Asofoedita - 1/2 tsp

How to make?

1. Dry roast Urad and chana dal separately till aroma comes, it is very important to roast them properly.

2. Pop sesame seeds.  It is done by adding a handful to the kadai while it is hot.  Cover the kadai with lid to avoid spluttering.  Once done transfer to a small bowl.


3.   Heat oil, add asafetida(hing) and then red chillies, turn on the exhaust fan since it will spread the spicy.  Roast till the chillies are roasted nicely.   Transfer it to a plate leaving rest of the oil.   Now fry the tamarind in this oil till they are crisp.

4.   Allow it to cool for for 10 mins.   We have to grind in the following order,

      First red chillies, hing and tamarind till they are fine. It will be noisy because of the roasted tamarind.
          Once it is powdered, all the red chillies would be sticking to the jar, scrap it inside the jar itself.  

    Next,  Add urad and chana dal, run it in pulser mode few times and then in speed 1 and 2 for few turns, the end product should be coarse.  So please make sure than you don't run it for too long.  

    Last Add sesame seeds and run it few turns in pulser only.  Sesame seeds need not be ground longer.   Add Jaggery and salt for run it just to mix all together.

This powder will be very hot on the day you made, It will adjust in a day.  

Variations:

You can bring a different taste by adding flax seeds or amaranth seeds.    All the seeds should be popped and ground coarsely.  

Enjoy this topping with Idli/dosa or rice!   This powder is typically mixed with sesame oil since it is cooling.



Non-organic vegetables

In India, organic vegetable/fruits concept is still evolving.    Atleast we can try our best to remove the pesticides since we cook with the skin for most of the vegetables.  

Soak vegetables//Greens/fruits atleast for 15 mins in salt water before cutting/cooking or consuming.  

Cookware!

Cookware is  critical for healthy cooking.   We take so much effort is buying quality ingredients and spend time in preparing the dish but if we don't use the right cookware then it wouldn't be beneficial.  

Most of us have been trapped under the non-stick cookware atleast for more than a decade..   I got rid of all my non-stick cookwares atleast 5 years ago.  It was hard to let go the griddle for making dosas/chappathis!   I bought a simple iron griddle for Rs.500 for a local store and it does amazing job for dosas/pancakes using very less oil.    I bought a separate light weight iron griddle for chappathis and it is also quite decent.   I was  wondering when all these age-old cookwares work so perfectly why did the non-stick cookware even came into picture!   Someone wanted to make money out of our ignorance!  

Beware of new cookwares entering the market, stick to the old ones since they have proved historically.    

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Heart Healthy Breakfast Porridge

I am surprised that I haven't posted it yet in my blog.   This porridge had been a typical breakfast on weekends especially for kids while my hubby likes it every day.  He got this recipe from his cafeteria!  His office serves oats grits porridge with walnut and crasins topping.   He tells that it is kept in perfect consistency without the gooey texture.   I asked him to get the recipe and made it couple of times to get a hang of it.   Ofcourse, we would definitely make some modifications!  Recipe credit goes to Sandisk Cafeteria and Sundar!   I take the pride of the flavorings, toppings and alternate grain experiments.

What you need?
(for 4 servings)

Oat/Barley/red rice/cr wheat millet grits - 1 cup
Water - 5 cups

Flavorings: 

Cinnamon/Cardomom powder-1/4 tsp

Toppings:

Sunflower/Pumpkin/Pomegranate seeds - 1/4 cup
Shredded walnuts/Almonds - 1/2 cup
Raisins/Crasins - 1/2 cup
Chia gel-1/4 cup
Mango pulp-2 Tbsp per bowl (Kids love this topping)
Honey/Sweetener- 1 Tbsp (optional)

How to make?

1. Boil water in a pan
2. Once water boils, add any grits/millet of your choice. Slower the flame and let it cook for about 15 mins.  Time depends on your stove.   Keep a laddle immersed in the pan to avoid the liquid flowing out.
3.  Remove from heat  while it still has about quarter measure of the liquid in it since it will absorb all the liquid while cooling.   Typically it should have some broth over it.
4.  Mix in cinnamon or any other flavoring that you are using.

Serving guide

Arrange bowls with the toppings of your choice.    Top the oats porridge over it, mix all and drizzle mango pulp/honey over it for a great look.

You can occasional add choco chips for kids!

Tip

Water measure will change based on the grain that you use.  Above given measure is for Oat grits.     Red rice will take longer.  You can soak it overnight.   Millets will cook faster.  

This is best when it is still warm.

2. I make barley grits by coarsely grinding the unhealed barley and sieve it to remove the fine powder.  Fine powder will make the porridge gooey.


Friday, February 27, 2015

Sprouted Jowar Dosai

We started our new episode in Bangalore.. I got Activa and started roaming around in search of the healthy ingredients for my Pantry.  Not bad, found most of them.    

One advantage is sprouting is fast since it is warm here.    I can sprout any grain and dry it on sunshine.   I am experimenting sprouting wheat and grinding it in the near by mill.     

What you need?

Sprouted Jowar 1 cup
Sprouted Bengal gram 1/4 cup
Sprouted Methi seeds 2 Tbsp
salt 

Prep work

Soak Jowar, bengal gram (urad with skin) and Methi seeds for about 8 hrs or overnight.   

I just leave it in colander and let it sprout.  There are various methods to sprout.   

All three of them sprouted.  Grind all together till it is smooth and mix salt.  Ferment overnight.

How to make?

I use my iron griddle to make these dosas.  It does' nt take lot of  little oil.    Please see tip if you want to use iron griddle.

* Heat your griddle as per the usage instructions
* On iron griddle, spread little oil and pour a laddle full of batter.
* Allow it to cook on that side, it forms nice pours, turn it around and let it cook.  These dosas can be made thin.

Serve hot with chutney or sambar.

Tip:

1.This dosas can be made without sprouting too.  Just soak and grind and let it ferment. 

2. It was slightly tough to switch from non stick to iron griddle.  Once you get used to it, I am sure you will not go back to the unhealthy non-stick griddle.    On using the iron griddle,  we need to season the griddle with potato or onion.    I typically cut potato into half and insert a fork on it for the sake of convenience to use it over the griddle.     Pour a tsp of oil and spread it nicely with the potato before you start making dosas.   Good luck with your switch.   





Monday, November 17, 2014

Multigrain Pancake

Now-a-days non-bread breakfast has become common in our house.   I don't buy pre-made pancake mixes.   I keep exploring and log my experiments here if it was successful!  Ofcourse, it flops many times.

What you need?


Barley flour - 1/2 cup
Oats flour-1/4 cup
Spelt flour-1/4 cup
Almond meal-1/4 cup
Rice flour-2 Tbsp
Flax meal-2 Tbsp
Chia gel-1/4 cup
Salt-1/4 tsp
Sugar-1 tsp
Baking soda-1/4 tsp
Butter milk-1/2 cup
Water-1/2 cup
Toppings - Raisins, shredded walnuts, sunflower/pumpkin seeds


How to make?


1. Mix all the ingredients except baking soda and let it rest for atleast 30 mins.

2. Adjust water to make the batter thick.   When you are ready to make,  add baking soda and mix well.

3. Mix the toppings into the batter.  I like to top the raisins once I pour the batter over the tava.

4. Heat the griddle and check if it is hot enough.  Pour batter and expand it to desired size.  Top with raisins/choco chips if you want to.   Leave it for a min.  It would puff it.   Turn it to the other side and let it cook.   I used coconut  since I was using iron griddle.  You can use oil as per your gadget.

Serve with Maple syrup or honey.

My kids enjoyed the whole grain pancake.  We had some leftover for lunch and it was quite moist

Tips:

* From my experience:  Pancakes should cook down completely before serving for better taste

* You can play around with the ingredients based on what is available in your pantry.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fig and Nuts Sweet

Fig is a nature's treat!   Fig and nuts cake has become one of the deepavali sweets for 3 years in row now.   Beauty is this sweet can take as little as 2 Tbsp ghee and still tastes palatable.   One batch was distributed so quickly that my kids and hubby were like what happened to the Fig halwa/cake that you made.   Then I set out to make the second batch.  Most of my friends whom I shared this sweet asked for the recipe!  I already have a fig sweet recipe in the blog.  This is another variation to it.    I did not add lot of sugar to keep the nature's sweet intact.  But feel free to add if you have sweet tooth. We prefer it this way!

What you need?

Figs-15 dried ones
Dates-10 dried ones (optional)
Almonds-1 cup
Nuts of your choice ( 1 cup)
Ghee-2 Tbsp
Honey-2 Tbsp(optional)
Turbinado Sugar-2 Tbsp

How to make?

1. Soak Figs/dates and almond seperately in hot water overnight or for 6 hrs.     Remove the stem of Fig and pits from dates.

2. First grind Fig and dates smoothly then add almonds and give a good crush.  It is ok if almonds are not ground thoroughly.  You can use the soaked water to run the blender.  Use as little water as possible to grind in order to reduce the cooking time.

3. Cut the nuts of your choice(cashews, walnuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios) into bite sized pieces.  


4.  Heat a pan on medium heat and pour the ground mixture.  Let it cook for about 15 mins.   Add the nuts, sugar and ghee.   Mix well.   Keep stirring till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.

5.  Switch off the stove.  Add honey if you wanted it to be bit more sweeter and mix thoroughly.  Honey should not be cooked so be sure to add it only at the end .  

6. Prepare a pan by lining little bit ghee spread all over.  Pour the mixture and pack it well.  Level with the laddle and keep it aside or better refrigerate it.

7. This sweet can be cut into cubes once it is cooled completely!

Enjoy the nature's treat without any guilt! Itz all healthy.

Tips

1.  Add 2 tbsp more ghee to get a glossy texture

2. Grind with milk to get more richer taste

3. Sugar can be replaced with jaggery.

Note:

Buy unsulphured dried figs.   I used white figs in this recipe.