My mother-in-law typically makes these kinds of dhal with greens or vegetables almost every week for breakfast. Our favorites are the ones with greens or ridge gourd and she serves this as a side dish for idlis and dosas rather than rice. These kinds of dhals go well with rice and chapathis too. Her preparation is also a very simple one, kind of one-pot dish using a pressure pan. Dhal with banana blossoms was very new and interesting to me, so I decided to take a couple of quick pictures just before we had our breakfast. These shots were taken at the table with my baby girl sitting on a feeding chair from across the table and looking intently to see what was I doing and taking a peep at the dishes and plates on the table.
1. Banana blossoms removed from a flower.
2. Moong dhal, 1 cup.
3. Onion, medium size, 1.
4. Tomatoes, 2.
5. Green chilies, 2.
6. Ginger-garlic paste, 1 teaspoon. (optional).
7. Chili powder, 1 teaspoon.
8. Coriander powder, 2 teaspoons.
9. Hing or asafetida, 2 pinches.
10. Turmeric powder, ¼th teaspoon.
11. Mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon.
12. Cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon.
13. Curry leaves 4-5.
14. Chopped cilantro, 1 tablespoon.
15. Salt as per taste.
Clean the blossoms, chop them finely, and soak them in a diluted solution of buttermilk for 10-15 minutes. Chop the onions and tomatoes and slit the green chilies into 2. Heat the pressure cooker or pan with a tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add the cumin seeds and fry for a few seconds. Add the chopped onions and sauté for a few seconds until the onions are tender. Then add the chopped tomatoes, green chilies, ginger-garlic paste, curry leaves and keep sautéing for a few more minutes until everything is well blended. Now add chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, asafetida, washed moong dhal, chopped banana blossoms (squeeze out the excess water from the blossoms before adding), and salt along with 2 cups of water. Mix everything well and cook for up to 3 whistles. Once the pressure is released, add chopped cilantro and let it simmer for 5 more minutes before serving. Serve hot with rice, chapathis, idlis, or dosas.
This is a favorite and regular breakfast item for us, a healthy and easy one-pot dish. Usually when preparing plain upma, I only season them with green or red chilies and onions. For the vegetable version, I add tomatoes and chili powder to make it more spicy and colorful. This type of upma doesn’t need any side dish alongside.
1. Cracked wheat (samba ravai), 1 cup.
2. Onion, medium size, 1.
3. Roma tomato, 1.
4. Green chilies, 2.
5. Mixture of chopped vegetables like carrot, green beans, capsicum, cauliflower, green peas, 1 cup.
6. Ginger-garlic paste, 1 teaspoon.
7. Chili powder, 1 to ½ teaspoon depending upon preferred spice level.
8. Mustard seeds, ½ teaspoon.
9. Channa dhal, 1 tablespoon.
10. Broken cashews, 1 tablespoon.
11. Curry leaves, 3-4.
12. Chopped cilantro for garnishing.
13. Salt as per taste.
Dry roast the rava under low-to-medium flame for 10 minutes and let it cool. Chop the onion and tomatoe and slit the green chilies into 2. Heat a thick-bottomed pan with a tablespoon of oil. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Then add the cashews and channa dhal and fry for a few seconds until they turn brown. Add the chopped onions now and sauté for a few minutes until the onions are tender. Then add the chopped tomatoes along with the green chilies, curry leaves, and salt and keep sautéing until everything is well blended. Add the chopped mixed vegetables along with chili powder and keep frying under low flame for 2-3 minutes until the chili powder loses its raw smell. Add 2 cups of water now and let it come to a boil. Once the water starts to boil, reduce the flame and add the cracked wheat slowly. Keep stirring the mixture to avoid any lumps as the cracked wheat is added and once the wheat is added, add another tablespoon of oil, mix everything well, and cook closed under low flame for 10 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro once the upma turns dry and the vegetables have been cooked and serve hot with pickle.
As a part of the Food Buzz Tastemaker Program, Food Buzz sent me a coupon for the new Ore Ida Sweet Potato Fries. These were very different and interesting from the regular fries that my family loves. The cooking instructions were to either bake them on deep fry them in oil. I deep fried them and this version was delicious. The outsides were flaky and crispy and the inside was soft. Despite of being used to savory and spicier version of potato fries, we actually liked these sweet fries. We had these with our evening tea and these fries were a hit at my home. Next time, I am planning to bake them instead of deep frying them. The baked version can be a totally guilt-free snack loaded with beta-carotene.
This is a favorite egg dish of my father-in-law and it has been in the family for many generations. It seems that my father-in-law’s mom used to prepare this as a side dish with rice for lunch quite often and she used to mix duck eggs along with chicken eggs when she prepares these adais to add some richness to the dish. Adding channa dhal flour to the eggs is used for increasing the volume and stretching the buck during those days. Now-a-days we see this as a healthy protein-rich evening snack. The eggs can also be substituted with Egg Beaters or plain egg whites.
1. Eggs, 3.
2. Onion, medium size, 1.
3. Green chilies, 2-3.
4. Ginger—garlic paste, ½ teaspoon.
5. Roasted channa dhal or chutney dhal (pottukadalai or udaicha kadalai) , 2 tablespoons.
6. Salt as per taste.
7. Curry leaves and cilantro for garnishing.
Grind the roasted channa dhal into a fine powder. Dice the onions and green chilies finely. Heat a pan with some oil. When oil starts to bubble add the diced onions and green chilies along with 2-3 curry leaves and ginger-garlic paste and sauté for a few minutes until the onions are tender and let it cool. Break the eggs into a bowl and beat them along with the sautéed onion mixture, channa dhal powder, salt, and a tablespoon of chopped cilantro. Heat a thick-bottomed pan or a kadai with a tablespoon of oil and once the oil is hot, ladle the egg mixture into the pan. Cook closed for 4-5 minutes under medium flame until the corners get crisp, and flip it to the other side. Cook for another 2 minutes until that side also turns brown and crisp. Repeat the process with the remaining batter and serve hot with ketchup or as a side dish with rice.
VARIATION: Half a teaspoon of fennel seeds can also be powdered along with the channa dhal for much tastier and flavorful adais.
This post had been ready to be published a month ago but I couldn’t find time to post this until today. Everything has been moving at a fast pace since the twins were born. Days keep flying by with Aryaa and Krithikha keeping us on our toes all the time and I have only a little time for myself at the end of the day. We started going out for evening walks but sometimes it doesn’t work well for the twins and I have to come back holding one baby in my arm and dragging a stroller behind (my mom-in-law will be coming along with another stroller and the other little one :) Some days are real tough and it usually gets crazier as the day goes by, but we are enjoying every bit of it. Coming on to the recipe, my mother-in-law makes these idlis for me very often for breakfast. After coming here, amma got very much interested in my blog and she is also helping me to take pictures for the blog. I am hoping to post regularly for the next few months with her help….I don’t know what my babies have decided :)
1. Whole wheat flour, 2 cups.
2. Urad dhal, 2/3 to 1 cup depending upon the type of dhal.
3. Fenugreek seeds, 1-1/2 tsp.
4. Salt as per taste.
Wash the urad dhal well and soak it for half-an-hour along with the fenugreek seeds. Grind the dhal into a smooth paste using a blender or grinder. Then add the whole wheat flour and blend everything together to a smooth paste until the batter is fluffy. Add salt to the batter and mix everything well. Let it sit overnight or 6-7 hours to allow fermentation to take place. When the batter has risen to 1/3rd of its size, they are ready to be steamed. Pour them into idli moulds and let it steam for 5-7 minutes. Once the idlis are cooked, remove them from the molds and serve with sambar or chutney.
Note: The softness of the idlis depends on the type of the urad dhal used. I have used the ratio of the flour to the dhal to 2:1 since I have used a blender to grind the batter. If using a mixer grinder, less dhal can be used. The same batter can also be used for preparing dosas.
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