Spicy Bread And Eggs Scramble




This is one of our easy weekday breakfast recipes. I make this on days when we are in the mood for something spicy and takes a little time to prepare in the morning rush.  You can also just make this with only ground pepper and salt instead of the spices I have used.  That combination also tastes great.

Ingredients:
1. Toasted whole wheat bread slices, 3. (crust removed).
2. Onion, medium size, 1, diced.
3. Green chilies, 2, chopped finely. (Ground pepper or 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder can also be used instead of chilies)
4. Fennel seeds, 1/4 teaspoon, (optional).
5. Ginger-garlic paste, 1/4 teaspoon.
6. Salt, as per taste.
7. Eggs, 2, or a cup of egg whites.
8. Curry leaves, a handful.

Preparation:
Cut the bread into small cubes and keep aside.Heat a pan with a tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is hot, add the fennel seeds and fry for a few seconds. Now add the diced onions, ginger-garlic paste, green chilies and saute for a few minutes until the onions are tender. Add the salt now and mix well.  Mix in the bread cubes now and saute for a minute. Now break in the eggs and scramble them with this mixture. Cook under low flame until the bread pieces are fully coated with the eggs and becomes a little soft.

Quinoa Kara Pongal And Some More Pongal Recipes




Here is another healthy, low-carb pongal that I like very much. Quinoa blends very well with lentils and is my favorite grain whenever I am preparing dishes like kichadi, pongal, bisiblebath etc. To cut down the calories, instead of ghee I usually add low-fat butter like Smart Balance. It does not make a big difference in taste and this pongal goes well with coocnut chutney and sambar.

Ingredients:
1. Quinoa, 1 cup, washed thoroughly.
2. Moong dhal, 1/2 cup, washed and cooked.
3. Finely chopped ginger, 1/2 tablespoon.
4. Broken cashews, 1/2 tablespoon.
5. Peppercorns, 1/2 tablespoon.
6. Cumin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon.
7. Curry leaves, a sprig.
9. Salt, as per taste.
10. Ghee or butter, 1 tablespoon.

Preparation:
Heat a pan with a tablespoon of oil. Add the broken cashews, peppercorns and cumin seeds and fry for a few seconds until the cashews are brown. Add the chopped ginger and curry leaves and fry for 2 more seconds. Add 3 cups of water along with the salt, quinoa, and cooked dhal and let everything come to a boil. Once it starts boiling, lower the flame and cook under low-to-moderate flame until the quinoa is cooked and the desired consistency is reached. Garnish with ghee or butter and serve hot with coconut chuntey and sambar.

Here are some more interesting low-carb and low-calorie pongal recipes from my kitchen:

Quinoa Sweet Pongal






Sugar-Free Sweet Pongal







Wheat Rava Vegetable Pongal






Little Millet/Saamai Pongal







Oats Keerai Pongal






Paripoorana Pongal or Thalitha Pongal with Wheat Rava






Cracked Wheat Rava Pongal






Oats Pongal


List of Low Calorie Soups For Winter

Dear friends here is a compiled list of warming soups for the weather. Most of these soups are balanced and make a complete meal all by itself.  Enjoy this cold weather with a hot bowl of soup!


Mixed Vegetable Soup



Asparagus Soup



Brocoli And Cheddar Cheese Soup





Barley, Lentils, and Vegetable Soup





Cream Of Mushroom Soup




Drumstick Leaves Soup





Homemade Chicken Broth




Chicken Noodle Soup




Chicken Soup For Kids




Brown Rice And Lentil Soup





Lentil Soup






Middle Eastern Lentil Soup





Spicy Oats Soup





Barley Mixed Vegetable Soup





Black Bean Soup





Split Peas Soup





Egg Drop And Egg Noodle Soup






Tomato And Fava Bean Soup






Sweet And Sour Noodle Soup






Tomato Soup With Barley and Pasta






Spinach Soup






Minestrone Soup






Red Bell Pepper Soup




Kids and Toddler Recipes: Oven-roasted Parmesan Potato Wedges



Wishing all my friends and readers a very Happy New Year.  I am starting my first post for this year with a kids favorite.  This is my version of Parmesan and garlic fries. This takes very less time to assemble and bake with just a few ingredients and will be ready in half an hour. This has to be served hot or warm since that is when the Parmesan cheese makes a nice coating on the potatoes and sticks to them. When cold, the cheese layer sometimes just slides off the potatoes. You can always warm it up for a couple of seconds in the microwave just before serving. It can be served as a snack  or any side with dishes like salads, soups, baked chicken etc. to make a balanced and complete meal for the kids.

Ingredients:
1. Any type of potatoes, washed and cleaned and cut into thick wedges, 2 cups.
2. Garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon.
3. Dried parsley, 1/4 teaspoon.
4. Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup.
5. Salt, 1-2 pinches, since the cheese has some salt as well.
6. Oil, a tablespoon.

Preparation:
Mix all the ingredients together and spread them evenly on a baking sheet sprayed with oil. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees until the potatoes are done and crispy. Keep stirring them up twice in between, so that all the sides of the potatoes wedges are browned evenly and serve hot.

Asparagus Soup





This recipe is adapted from a Betty Crocker cookbook. The original version used cream and the asparagus was boiled and then blended into the soup. I roasted the asparagus since we love the texture of roasted vegetables in our soup. The vegetable bouillon cube used here is from a local farmer's market which also specializes in health foods and had a no salt and no MSG bouillon cube. This can be substituted with any soup or seasoning mix.  A vegan version of this soup can also be made with almond or soy milk. It was a comforting meal on a cold day with some grilled cheese sandwich. I used a cracked wheat sourdough bread for the sandwich. Sourdough bread goes well with these kinds of soup. You can also just toast the bread with butter and serve it along with the soup.

Ingredients:
1. Asparagus, 1 big bunch, washed, trimmed, and cut into small pieces.
2. Garlic, 2 cloves.
3. Milk, 1/2 cup, Cream can also be used here for a richer version.
4. Vegetable bouillon cube, 1. I have used a no-salt, no-MSG and vegetable cube here.
5. Salt and pepper as per taste.
6. Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons.

Preparation:
Spread the asparagus and garlic cloves on a baking sheet and spray them an oil spray. Bake them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and let it cool. Blend them into a smooth puree with a little water. Add this blend into a pot along with 3 cups of water, milk, vegetable bouillon cube, salt, and pepper and let it come to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the Parmesan cheese and switch off the stove. Serve hot with any kind of bread or sandwich or garnish with croutons and serve.

Broccoli Salad




I had this salad at Souplantation first and ever since then I have been making broccoli salad the same way. This is also a kids favorite since it is very sweet with the addition of cranberries and almonds. I have tried different versions of this with raisins and other dried fruits along with walnuts and pistachios.  All the combination taste equally great.  I have used a low-fat mayonnaise and Splenda instead of sugar to cut down the calories in this version. The broccoli is not cooked here and  the salad needs to mixed at least 30 minutes before serving for the flavors to set in. It can also be made in advance and stored in the fridge fro up to a day. Let it come to room temperature and serve.

Ingredients:
1. Broccoli, cut into small florets, 2 cups.
2. Mayonnaise, 1-1/2 tablespoon. ( I have used a low-fat vegan mayonnaise here).
3. Cranberries, 1/4 cup. (Raisins can also be added here instead of cranberries).
4. Slivered almonds, 1/4 cup. (Chopped walnuts is also another good choice)
5. Lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon.
6. Any preferred sugar substitute or honey or agave nectar, 1 teaspoon. (I have used Splenda here).
7. Salt, a pinch.

Preparation:
Mix in all the given ingredients together in a bowl and let it sit for at least half an hour and serve. This salad can be stored in the fridge for up to a day.

Zucchini Chutney - Kids and Toddler Recipes






A few weeks ago, the kids had a session about food groups and healthy eating in their school and they came home with a big bag of fresh vegetables and fruits. There were 2 large zucchinis in each bags and I was cooking quite a few dishes with those 4 humongous zucchinis like dhals, soups, and the latest was this chutney recipe, which came out rather very well.  The only thing to be noticed here is that zucchini is a little sweet and rather bland to our Indian taste buds and requires a little bit of extra heat and sourness to balance the sweetness. I have prepared this chutney the same way as that of my regular tomato chutney with the addition of tamarind. This chutney was a little spicy as well as sour and tasted so good with idlis and dosas and makes us feel good that we fed something healthy for the kids :)

Ingredients:
1. Zuchini, a big one, 1, cut into small pieces.
2. Onion, medium size, 2, diced into big pieces.
3. Tomatoes, medium size, 3, chopped.
4. Garlic, 3 cloves.
5. Dried red chilies, 3-4, depending upon preferred spice level.
6. Tamarind, a small gooseberry size.
7. Salt, as per taste.
8. Mustard seeds, 1/2 teaspoon.
9. Urad dhal, 1/2 teaspoon.
10. Curry leaves, sprig.

Preparation:
Heat a pan with a tablespoon of oil.  Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Then add the urad dhal and curry leaves and fry for a few seconds. Transfer this tadka into a small bowl and keep aside. Add the diced onions, garlic, and red chilie into the same oil with one more tablespoon of oil and saute until the onions are tender. Then add the zucchini and tomatoes and keep sauteing until the zucchini and tomatoes are cooked and tender. Let it cool and grind into a smooth paste. Add this puree back into the pan along with the required amount of water and boil for 5 more minutes. Pour the tadka over the chutney, mix well, and switch off the stove. Zucchini chutney is ready to be served with idlis, dosas, chapathis, or as a spread on toast or as a dip for chips.

Wheat Rava Vegetable Pongal




One of my favorite comfort foods. Any kind of  vegetables can be used here. Chopped spinach or any other greens like drumstick leaves, methi leaves etc can also be used here.

Ingredients:
1. Wheat rava, 1 cup. I have used the bigger grain, the smaller ones can be used if preferred.
2. Moong dhal, 1/2 cup, cooked.
3. Cut vegetables like capsicum, carrot, cabbage, greens beans, peas etc, all coming around to a cup.
4. Peppercorns, 1/2 tablespoon.
5. Cumin seeds, 1/2 tablespoon.
6. Curry leaves, a sprig.
7. Chopped ginger, 1/2 tablespoon.
8. Broken cashews, 1 tablespoon.
9. Salt, as per taste.
10. Ghee, 1 tablespoon, (optional).

Preparation:
Heat a pan with a tablespoon of oil. Add the peppercorns, cumin seeds, and cashews and fry for a few seconds until the cashews turn brown. Now add the curry leaves, chopped vegetables and chopped ginger and keep frying under low flame for 2 -3 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add 2-1/2 cups of water along with the rava, cooked dhal, and required salt and cook closed for 5-7 minutes until the rava is cooked and the desired consistency is reached. Add the ghee now and mix well. Serve hot with coconut chutney or sambar.

Moong Dhal Idli





This is the same as my toor dhal idli that I had posted a couple of months back. I have not used any rice at all here, it is just moong dhal and urad dhal and the idlis were very soft and tasted good. This is an ideal protein-rich, low-fat, and low-carb south Indian breakfast recipe. This has to be paired with side dishes like coconut chutney, tomato chutney, garlic chutney, garlic podi or idli podi. Sambar or any other dhals do not go well with these idlis. I make a simple onion kothsu to serve with these idlis. Dosas can also be made from the same batter.

Ingredients:
1. Moong dhal, 2 cups.
2. Urad dhal, 1 cup.
3. Fenugreek seeds, 1 tablespoon.
4. Salt as per taste.

Preparation:
Wash the dhals and soak them separately. The fenugreek seeds needs to be soaked along with the urad dhal. Grind the moong dhal first into a smooth paste. Then grind the ural dhal until it is smooth and fluffy. Mix both the dhals along with some salt and some water according to the desired consistency. Let it sit overnight or 6-8 hours to ferment. I usually put them in the oven with the lights on. The batter should be a little raised and frothy, which means it is well fermented.  Pour this batter into idli moulds and steam them. Serve them along with side dishes like  coconut chutney, tomato chutney, garlic chutney, garlic podi or idli podi.

Kollu (Horse Gram) Rasam



A healthy rasam with all the cholesterol-lowering goodness of the horse gram. This is a kids favorite too.  This rasam can also be had as a soup on cold days. I make this for the kids when they are starting on a cold or cough. I serve this with rice and any spicy side dish (potato fry with this rasam is my family favorite).

Ingredients:
1. Boiled horse gram, 1/4 cup.
2. Ripe tomatoes, 2.
3. Garlic, 2 cloves.
4. Thick tamarind extract from a small lime sized ball or tamarind paste, 1 teaspoon.
5. Asafetida, a pinch.
6. Turmeric powder, a pinch.
7. Salt, as per taste.
8.Curry leaves and chopped cilantro for garnishing.
9. Rasam powder, 1 teaspoon. (For a quick and fresh rasam powder, roast 1/2 teaspoon of roasted cumin seeds, 1/4 teaspoon peppercorns, 1/2 teaspoon of coriander seeds, and 1-2 dried red chilies in a spice grinder).

For seasoning:
1. Mustard seeds, 1/2 teaspoon.
2. Cumin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon.
3. Dried broken red chilies, 1-2.

Preparation:
Blend the boiled horsegram into a coarse paste. Pour this over the tamarind extract. Crush the tomatoes and garlic and add them into this mixture along with salt, hing, and turmeric powder. Add 4 cups of water to this and heat it on a medium heat. Once the mixture comes to a boil, add the rasam powder, curry leaves, and chopped cilantro and switch off the stove.  Fry the seasonings in a tablespoon of oil (First add the mustard seeds and let it splutter, then add the cumin seeds and red chilies and fry for a few seconds)and pour this over the rasam. Kollu rasam is ready.

Coconut Rice And Some Tips for Cooking with Brown Rice

One of the common queries that I have been getting lately from my readers are regarding cooking with brown rice and also more recipes with brown rice.  I have been using brown rice for the last 6 years now and with the varieties of brown rice sold in the market these days we don't find that much of a  difference between white rice and brown rice these days.  Both brown rice and white rice have the same carbohydrate value and the only thing that makes brown rice healthier is its high fiber content, which makes us feel full with less consumption of rice. Brown rice also retains most of the B vitamins since it is unpolished.

Here are some tips that I have been using while cooking with brown rice:

1. If you are new at consuming brown rice, go for brown basmati rice, which is smaller than other varieties of brown rice.
2. Soaking the rice in hot water for 30 minutes before cooking gives the prefect cooked brown rice. The rice can be cooked in a rice cooker or a pressure cooker in the ratio 1:2 (rice and water) in the same amount of time used to cook white rice.
3. If using a new brand of rice, cook with a less amount of rice at first to check if the rice takes a long time to cook or if it gets mushy even with less amount of water. Usually aged basmati brown rice gives the perfect texture than the new ones.  This way you will have an idea as to how much water and cooking time the rice requires.
4. Boiling the rice and draining the water once the rice is done is also one way to get the perfect texture. Make sure to keep an eye on it, check the rice for doneness and drain the water immediately to prevent overcooking of rice.
5. This particular method has been circulating in Pin Interest lately and I have tried this one as well a couple of times and is a keeper. I usually cook brown rice this way if I using the rice for fried rice, pulav etc.  For a cup of rice, boil the rice with 3 cups of water for 30 minutes and drain the water. Then put back the dish with the rice back on the stove in a low flame and close the lid. Let it steam for 10 minutes and switch off the stove.  Let it sit for 10 more minutes and fluff it with  a fork.

Coconut Rice Recipe:



This rice is my favorite variety rice and has been a regular in my lunch box growing up.  My mom usually mixes in some fried pappads with the rice and they turn soft and soggy as they sit and tastes so good with rice. A very simple and easy preparation which gets done in no time at all.

Ingredients:
1. Cooked rice, 1 cup.
2. Grated coconut, 2/3 cup.
3. Mustard seeds, 1/2 teaspoon.
4. Urad dhal, 1/2 teaspoon.
5. Channa dhal, 1/2 teaspoon.
6. Broken cashews, 1 tablespoon.
7. Broken red chilies, 1-2.
8. Green chilies, 2, slit into 2.
9. Asafetida, a pinch.
10. Salt, as per taste.
11. Curry leaves and chopped cilantro for garnishing.

Preparation:
Heat a pan with a tablespoon of oil. Once the oil turns hot, add mustard seeds and let it splutter. Then add the urad dhal, channa dhal, broken cashews, and broken red chilies and fry for a seconds until the dhals and cashews turn brown. Now add the grated coconut along with green chilies, salt, curry leaves, and asafetida and keep stirring under low flame for 2 minutes with care taken not to burn the coconut. Add the rice now and mix everything well. Garnish with chopped cilantro and switch off the stove. This goes well with any spicy side dish and pappads.

Aloo Methi / Potato And Fenugreek Leaves Stir Fry





Dishes with potatoes, green peas, beetroots etc. are advised to be taken in moderation for diabetics due to its high carbohydrate content. Here are some tips that can be followed while cooking potatoes for diabetics:
1. Some potato varieties like red potatoes have low starch in them naturally. Choose them instead.
2. Washing the diced or cubed potatoes before cooking is also one way to reduce the starch content in the potatoes.
3. Paring them with vegetables or greens is also a good way to reduce the amount of potatoes required for the dish and reducing the total carbs from the dish.

This is a healthy potato dish with all the goodness of the methi leaves. This pairs well with rice and rotis.

 Ingredients:
1. Potatoes, 4, medium sized, washed and boiled.
2. Methi leaves, 1 big bunch, cleaned and trimmed.
3. Onion, medium size, 2, diced.
4. Green chilies, 2, slit into 2.
5. Ginger-garlic paste, 1 teaspoon.
6. Mustard seeds, 1/4 teaspoon.
7. Cumin seeds, 1/4 seeds.
8. Chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon.
9. Coriander powder, 1/2 teaspoon.
10. Turmeric powder, a pinch.
11. Salt, as per taste.
12. Curry leaves, a sprig.

Procedure:
Peel the potatoes and mash them lightly into little lumps and keep aside. Heat a pan with a tablespoon of oil. Once the oil turns hot, add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Then add the cumin seeds and fry for a few seconds. Then add the diced onions and sauté for a few minutes until tender. Now add the curry leaves, ginger-garlic paste, and slit green chilies and saute for a few more minutes. Lower the flame to low at this stage and add the turmeric powder, chili powder, coriander powder, and salt and mix everything well. Add the mashed potatoes now, mix well, and cook under low flame for around 10 minutes stirring in between.  The potatoes should be turned around gently to prevent them from getting too mushy. Finally add the chopped methi meaves, mix well, and cook for 2 more minutes and turn off the flame. Aloo methi is ready to be served along with rotis and rice.

Whole Wheat Eggless Banana Cake




A low-fat and low-sugar cake and is one of our favorite cake recipes, especially which comes in handy when you have to use some overripe bananas right away. The texture of this cake is very soft and the sweetener that I have used here is coconut palm sugar, which has low sugar content. You can use brown sugar if preferred.  This is an ideal evening snack with a cup of tea or coffee. I wanted to take another picture of the sliced cake but my son had other ideas. I had to turn my back only for a couple of seconds.  He tried to cut the cake for mummy and there was a big bowl of cake crumbs for us. We had to eat them with a spoon and a bowl :)


Ingredients:
1. Whole wheat flour, 1 cup. (I have used Arthur Brand Whole Wheat flour).
2.  Ripe bananas, 2.
3. Any sweetener of choice, 1/2 cup. I have used coconut palm sugar here.
4. Baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon.
5. Baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon.
6. Butter or any light flavored oils like canola oil, light olive oil etc. 1/2 cup.
7. Salt, a pinch.
8. Raisins, 1/2 cup.
9. Chopped walnuts and slivered almonds, 1/2 cup.
10. Vanilla essence, 1/4 teaspoon.

Preparation:
Mash the bananas in a bowl. Add the vanilla essence, butter or oil and beat them for a minute. Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt separately and add them to the wet ingredients in the bowl. Mix everything along with the raisins and chopped nuts and transfer them to a greased baking dish. Garnish with chopped or slivered nuts and bake at 350 degrees in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until done.

Kids Recipes - Sweet potato Sukka Fry/ Dry Roast



This is a regular side dish that I make for my kids just to make them eat sweet potatoes.  Gone are those days when I can just puree or bake sweet potatoes and serve them with a dollop of butter or ghee. Now  they hate mushy foods and I started preparing it this way. This recipe is a simple sukka fry that I make with regular potatoes. I serve this as a side dish with rice, dhals, rasam rice, curd rice etc.

Ingredients:
1. Sweet potatoes, large, 2.
2. Mustard seeds, 1/2 teaspoon.
3. Fennel seeds, 1/2 teaspoon. (optional, my grandma usually add fennel seeds in these kinds of dishes and I followed her method here).
4. Ginger-garlic paste, 1/2 teaspoon.
5. Chili powder, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon or more depending upon preferred heat level.
6. Curry leaves, a sprig.
7. Salt, as per taste.

Preparation:
Wash and peel the potatoes and cut them into very small cubes. Heat a pan with 2 tablespoons of oil. Once the oil turns hot, add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Now add the fennel seeds and curry leaves and fry for a few seconds. Now add the cubed potatoes along with the ginger-garlic paste. chili powder, and salt and mix everything well. Keep the flame under low and cook the potatoes until they are done. Keep stirring in between often. The potatoes usually gets cooked in 10-12 minutes. If needed, an additional tablespoon of oil can be added to prevent the potatoes from getting stuck to the bottom of the pan.

Beetroot Chutney/ Thogayal







This recipe is from my foodie friend, who is a great cook. She is not a food blogger and I have been asking her to start her own blog for  quite sometime now. This chutney recipe came up during our phone conversations and one day she said that she made beetroot chutney, with rassam, rice, and pappad for lunch.  This combination was new to me and I jotted it down and tried it soon. This chutney recipe is a keeper and my kind of comfort food especially on cold and rainy days. I served it brown rice, rasam, and omelet.

Ingredients:

To roast and grind into a fine powder:
1. Dried red chilies, 1-2.
2. Fenugreek seeds, less than 1/4 teaspoon.
3. Cumin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon.
4. Coriander powder, 1 tablespoon.

Other:
1. Beetroot, medium-size, 2, cleaned, peeled, and chopped finely.
2. Onion, medium size, 2, diced.
3. Garlic, 2 pods.
4. Tamarind, a small goose berry sized ball, or tamarind extract, 1/2 tablespoon.
5. Grated coconut, 1/2 cup.
6. Salt, as per taste.

Preparation:
Dry roast the ingredients in the "roast and grind section" into a fine powder and set aside. Meanwhile heat a pan with a tablespoon of oil. Add the diced onions, beetroot and garlic and sauté for 10-12 minutes under low flame under the beetroot is cooked. If needed, some water can be added to cook the beetroot. Once this is cooled, add the mixture into a blender along with the ground powder, tamarind, salt, and coconut and blend into a smooth paste with some water if needed. Add this mixture back into the pan along with a tablespoon of oil and cook under low flame for 5 minutes until the mixture thickens to the desired consistency.

Spinach and Peanut Stir Fry




This is a simple stir fry that my mom makes on weekends. She usually pairs greens with seafood. Being a working mom, it is only on weekends, she can prepare such elaborate dishes with greens and seafood, in particular. I guess that is why I love the combination of any kind of greens with fish fry or gravy like meen kuzhambu. The idea of adding  peanut podi is from Malar's space and this takes the taste of the stir fry to a next level. My hubby, being a peanut lover, liked this greens stir fry prepared this way and since then this recipe has been a regular at our home. Here is the link of my grandma's signature fish fry and meen kuzambu recipe if you are looking for a combination to try this keerai poriyal :)


Ingredients:
1. Spinach, a big bunch, washed, trimmed, and chopped finely.
2. Onion, medium, 1, diced.
3. Garlic, 2 cloves, crushed. This can also be substituted with 1/2 teaspoon of ginger-garlic paste.
4. Mustard seeds, 1/4 teaspoon.
5. Urad dhal, 1/2 teaspoon.
6. Dried red chilies, 1-2.
7. Hing, a pinch.
8. Salt, as per taste.
9. Roasted peanuts, 2 tablespoons, crushed into a coarse powder.

Preparation:
Heat a pan with a tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Then add the broken red chilies and urad dhal and fry for a few seconds. Now add the diced onions and crushed garlic and sauté until the onions are transparent. Now add some salt, hing, and the chopped spinach and mix everything well. Cook closed under low flame for 2-3 minutes until the spinach is wilted and cooked. Finally add the crushed peanut powder and mix well and serve.

Saamai / Little Millet Kichadi








 
This is a very easy and simple recipe and healthy as well. Millets are rich in protein and low in carbohydrates and ideal choice for a light lunch or dinner. I am big fan of kichadi and pongal dishes and I usually make these kind of one-pot dishes just for me when everybody else in my house are in a "pizza or burger for dinner" kind of mood. This is a complete meal with just some pappads, pickle, and yogurt on side. I was hooked on to this particular kichadi recipe, which was served in a north Indian thali at a nearby restaurant.  It was made with just a few ingredients and loaded with ghee and the best part of the meal. A true comfort food!

Ingredients:
1. Saamai /little millet, 1 cup.
2. Moong dhal, 1/2 cup.
3. Onion, 1, medium-size, diced.
4. Tomatoes, 2, chopped.
5. Green chilies, 2, slit into 2.
6. Ginger, long thin strips, 1 tablespoon.
7. Turmeric powder, a pinch.
8. Hing, a pinch.
9. Curry leaves, a handful.
10. Salt, as per taste.
11. Ghee, 1 tablespoon or more upon preference.

Preparation:
Wash the moong dhal and millet and take them in a pressure pan or pressure cooker. Add the turmeric powder, salt, and 3-1/2 cups of water and cook for 15 minutes for up to 3 whistles. Meanwhile heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and fry for few seconds. Add the diced onions and sauté until tender. Then add the diced tomatoes, green chilies, ginger,hing and curry leaves and sauté for a few minutes until everything is well blended. Add the millet and dhal mixture to this along with the ghee and more water if needed and cook under low flame for 2 more minutes and serve hot with pappads and pickle.