This recipe is for my mother. My father is a diabetic and though his diet is controlled, there are some foods which he takes in moderation. These are particularly the ones which he loves like briyani, pongal, and SWEETS. I have been trying some to introduce some rice substitutions for my mom, which she can cook easily without going through a lot of trouble. When I say something like, “I tried this dish with cracked wheat or oats”, the first question that she asks me is “How does it taste”. You know how skeptical moms can be :( I hope she likes this picture of wheat pongal I have posted here and tries it soon. I have not used ghee here and still it tasted great. A spoonful of ghee or butter can also be added while seasoning.
Cracked wheat, 1 cup.
Moong dhal, ½ cup.
Ground pepper, 1 teaspoon.
Cumin seeds, 1 tablespoon.
Chopped cashews, 1 tablespoon.
Curry leaves, a handful.
Ginger, 1 small piece.
Green chili, 1 (optional).
Any cooking oil, 1 tablespoon.
Salt as per taste.
Dry roast the cracked wheat for 5 minutes and let it cool. Wash the moong dhal and cook it in a pressure cooker until it is well-cooked and turns mushy. Chop the ginger into fine pieces and slit the chili into 2 and keep aside. Heat a small pan with a tablespoon of oil. When the oil is hot enough, add the cumin seeds and cashews and fry for a minute until good smell comes cumin and the cashews turn brown. Then add the chopped ginger, curry leaves, and chili and fry everything for another minute. Now add the cooked dhal, cracked wheat with 2 cups of water along with salt, mix everything, and cook under medium flame until the whole dish turns to a pongal consistency. At this stage, add another tablespoon of oil or ghee and cook for a few more minutes under low flame. Switch off the stove and serve the hot pongal with coconut chutney and sambar.
REPOSTS FOR ITS A VEGAN WORLD - INDIAN EVENT
This chutney is the same as the onion and tomato chutney I make regularly, only this time I substituted the tomatoes with cranberries. This chutney was a little sour, so I added some jaggery to balance the taste. It tasted so good with idlis and dosas. I even paired this chutney with wheat rava idlis next day and it tasted good with those idlis too. The jaggery can be replaced with brown sugar, regular granulated sugar, or any artificial sweeteners.
Red onions, medium-sized, 2.
Cranberries, fresh or frozen, 1 cup.
Garlic, 2-3 cloves.
Red chilies, 3-4.
Asafetida, a pinch.
Jaggery or brown sugar, 1 teaspoon.
Salt as per taste.
Mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon.
Dice the onion into big chunks and keep aside. Heat a pan with some oil. When the oil is hot enough, ad the onions and sauté them for a few minutes until they turn brown, then add the garlic cloves, red chilies, asafetida, and cranberries and sauté everything for a few more minutes until the cranberries start to burst. Let it cool and grind everything into a smooth paste and add some salt and jaggery as per taste. Heat another small pan with some oil and when the turns is hot, add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Pour this mixture over the chutney and mix well. Serve with idlis, dosas, and chapathis.
If needed, the chutney can be diluted with a little water and cooked under low flame for a few more minutes to get the desired consistency.
I made whole wheat pizza from scratch this weekend. I made the crust with whole wheat flour, 1 teaspoon of wheat germ, and ground flaxseeds. The crust tasted more or less similar to that of a regular pizza. The only topping I used here were some skim milk mozzarella cheese and caramelized onions. I cut the onions into long thin strips and sautéed them until they were brown and added it as the toppings. If you are crazy about onions like my hubby and I, you are sure to love this pizza :)
Coming on to the recipe, I had this dish for the first time soon after my marriage when my mil prepared this for evening snack. Actually idli milagai podi is a very common evening snack in many Tamilian households. This is very easy to prepare too, takes just a few minutes if leftover idlis are at hand. This had to be eaten hot and when the idlis are crispy on the outside. I prepare this dish with sesame oil for a better taste. Another variation is the same dish can be made with bread too. This tastes really great and is much crispier than made with idlis but when bread is used, sesame oil is not ideal as it changes the taste of the dish. I have also included my mom’s idli milagai podi recipe here.
FOR THE PODI:
Channa dhal, 1 cup.
Urad dhal, 1.
Mustard seeds, ½ teaspoon.
Fenugreek seeds, 2-3.
Salt as per taste.
Red chilies, around 15 (this can be increased or decreased according to personal preferences).
Curry leaves, 2 springs. (optional).
Asafetida, 1 pinch.
Dry roast the dhal one by separately and let it cool by spreading it on a plate covered with paper tissue or newspaper. Dry the chilies, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, and curry leaves and let them cool. Once everything is cooled, blend everything to a smooth powder along with some salt and asafetida making sure the jar of the mixie or blender is completely dry. Transfer the contents to an airtight container, let it rest by leaving the lid open for an hour. This can be stored for up to 3 months outside.
FOR MAKING IDLI MILAGAI PODI:
Leftover idlis, 4-5.
Idli podi, 2 tablespoons.
Sesame oil, 1-2 tablespoon.
Cut the idlis into small bite-size pieces. Heat a pan with a little bit of oil and add the idlis and turn everything for a few seconds until the idlis pieces are coated with oil. Then sprinkle the idli podi over the idlis, add some more oil and keep sautéing under medium-high flame for a few minutes until everything turns crisp. Serve hot and enjoy.
TRIED AND TASTED VIKI’S INDIAN CHICKEN CURRY IN OVEN:
I tried Viki's chicken and it came out very well. I took of photograph of the dish to share it with everybody. I made a few variations to the dish like sautéing the onions, tomatoes, ginger garlic paste, and powders (instead of ground ingredients she had made) and then adding it to the cut chicken and baking it. This taste was completely different from my usual chicken preparation. The flavors and very much concentrated and tasty. Next time, I am planning to follow her recipe as it is and cook the chicken.
TOFU AND PEAS MASALA
This recipe was on my mind for long ever since I started cooking with tofu. It came out pretty good. Here I have fried the tofu a little bit to get that crispy brown color on tofu. The tofu can be added as such too. The same gravy can be used for paneer butter also.
1. Extra-firm or firm tofu, 1 small box.
2. Fresh or frozen green peas, 1 cup.
3. Medium-sized onions, 2.
4. Tomatoes, 2. Canned tomatoes works best too. If canned tomatoes are used, 1 cup is required.
5. Ginger-garlic paste, 1 teaspoon.
6. Almonds or cashews, around 8-10 pieces.
7. Red chilies, 3-4.
8. Coriander seeds, 1 tablespoon.
9. Cardamom seeds, 2.
10. Fennel seeds, ½ teaspoon.
11. Cinnamon, 1 small stick.
12. Paprika powder, 2 teaspoons. (optional).
13. Salt as per taste.
14. Cilantro for garnishing.
Dice the onions and tomatoes finely and keep aside. Drain the water from the tofu and pat it dry with a paper towel. Cut the tofu into bite-size pieces. Heat a pan with a tablespoon of oil and place the tofu pieces on the pan leaving sufficient space between each piece. Fry the tofu under medium flame for 10 minutes, taking 5 minutes for each side. Remove the tofu from the pan and let it cool. In the same pan, add another teaspoon of oil and add the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, fennel seeds, coriander seeds and let everything fry for a minute. Then add the red chilies and fry for a few seconds. Transfer everything to a plate and let it cool. Add the diced onions to the same pan and sauté for a few minutes until onions turn brown. Then add the tomatoes and ginger-garlic paste and keep sautéing until everything is blended. Switch off the stove and let it cool. Grind the mixture into a smooth paste along the almonds and fried spices. The spices can also be ground separately and added to the blended onion and tomato paste. Transfer all the contents into the pan, add a teaspoon of oil, 1 cup of water, paprika powder, and salt as per taste and let it cook closed for 5-10 minutes under low flame. Add the fried tofu and peas, mix everything, and cook for 2 more minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with chapathis. I am sending my recipe for Side Dish for Chapathi event hosted by Viki
FESTIVE FOOD EVENT FF
These are my entries for Festive Food Event FF hosted by Priti and Purva
Vinayaka Chadurdhi Celebrations
SHOW ME YOUR OMELET EVENT
These are my entries for Show me Your Omelet Event hosted by Dhivya
Spinach omelet with egg whites
Cheese omelet with scallions
SIDE DISH FOR CHAPATHI EVENT
These are my entries for Side Dish for Chapathi Event hosted by Viki
Easy chicken kozumbu or gravy
Baked Vegetable Manchurian
Red bell pepper dhal
Black chickpeas curry
Quick and easy moong dhal with red amaranth leaves
Soya peas fry
SOUP 'N JUICE EVENT
These are my entries for Soup ‘N Juice Event hosted by Sireesha
Tomato and fava bean soup
Tomato soup with barley and pasta
Black bean soup
Spinach and barley soup
Tomato and basil soup
16 beans and pasta soup and red bell pepper soup
Middle Eastern lentil soup
Lima bean soup
Kale and white bean soup
Egg drop and egg noodles soup
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