Monday, February 11, 2008

Vegetable Pongal


I usually make this vegetable pongal for our weekend brunch as it is a power packed one pot meal that satisfies everything we usually have in a full course meal.It has lentils,vegetables ,spice seasoning and most importantly our staple food ,rice.

To make this vegetable pongal,

  • Take equal measure of rice and split mung lentil(or can be increased or decreased according to taste)
  • Roast dal and rice in a tsp of ghee ,cook till soft.
  • In a deep,wide pan,heat a tsp of ghee and saute 1/2 tsp each of mustard and cumin,till mustard seeds pop.Add leaves from a sprig of curry leaf.Saute.
  • Add choice of vegetables like chopped carrot,beans,green peas.Tomato can also be used.
  • Add finely chopped green chilly,saltand pepper to taste.
  • Cover and cook till veggies are soft and tender.Sprinkle water if needed.
  • When done,gently stir in cooked lentil-rice mixture.Stir.
  • Add fried cashewnuts and few cilantro sprigs finely chopped.Serve with yogurt or any other choice of accompainment.

As suggested by Latha of masala magic,I am sending this vegetable pongal to Suganya's WBB - Healthy Eats and Meeta's Monthly mingle - One dish dinners.

Thank you Latha.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Grits Idly


Grits is made by finely grinding corn kernels that are dried and hulled.More information about grits can be found here.I have been using this grits to make idlies like rav idly.It has now become a part of my common breakfast menu these days.

To make these idlies,

  • Dry roast grits till nice aroma comes and grits turn to very light golden colour.
  • Remove from heat and add desired amount of grated carrot and finely chopped beans.Few sprigs of cilantro finely chopped can also be stirred in.
  • Add and stir yogurt to this mixture just enough to make the batter thin like a cake batter.
  • In a pan,heat a tsp of ghee,add a tsp of cashewnuts and/or peanuts and fry them till golden.Then,add half tsp each of mustard and cumin and let mustard seeds pop.
  • Add this to the mixture.Add salt to taste,stir and leave it overnight so that the mixture is ready to make idlies the next day morning.
  • Make idlies as usual and serve with any chutney.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Aritikaya Bajji(Plantain Bajjis)


Assorted Bajjis,Muri mixture(bhel puri) and Spiced raw mango slices.These are the street foods that come into mind when I think of my very own native vizag beach. Ask any vizagite and the first thing they miss apart from their family and friends is these street foods.Even I am one among them.No wonder everytime I visit vizag now,I visit beach only to have these street foods. How ever much we try to replicate the taste,it is only an effort but not the exact one.One such effort I made in the recent times is this aritikaya(plantain) bajjis stuffed with onions

Bajjis are a deep fried snack where vegetables most commonly such as onion,potato,plantain,eggplant,ridge gourd are cut into thin round discs and are dipped in little spiced chickpea - rice flour combined batter.Other veggies and greens like cauliflower ,cabbage and spinach are also commonly used.

To make the ones I made ,

Ingredients:

1.5 cup chick pea flour(besan/senagapindi)
1/2 cup rice flour
1 tsp red chilly powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp carom seeds roughly crushed(cumin also can be used)
Pinch of baking soda
1 medium sized plantain peeled and cut into round discs

To make the batter,mix all the dry ingredients,add water little by little while stirring until the batter reaches thin pan cake batter consistency.
To make bajjis,heat 1 cup or enough oil to deep fry in a pan.Dip plantain circles in the batter to coat both sides then gently drop into hot oil.Repeat in batches for the remaining discs .Deep fry in medium flame,till golden on both sides.Drain on to a paper towel and bajjis are ready to stuff.Can be had just as it is with any pickle like avakaya.
For the stuffing, dry roast one tsp raw peanuts.Let cool and crush corasely with hand.Finely chop half of a medium onion.Add a pinch of salt,chilly powder and 2 tsps lemon juice.Also add one or two cilantro sprigs finely chopped .Let this stand for a minute.
While the bajjis are still warm,make a slit and stuff with the prepared onion mixture.
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