Moong Usal

BM #64 Week 4 Day 3 -

Here is another legume based sabji from the Maharashtrian region. I am amazed at the variety of legumes used in their cuisine. 

I had initially noted down 'Misal Pav' for M. But somehow it didn't happen and it still remains in my to-do list. I am sure I will get it to it in the near future.

Moong Usal

Recipe Source Shalaka
Ingredients - 

Moong Beans 1 cup
Onions chopped 1/2 cup
Salt, Chili Powder, Garam Masala, Turmeric, Green Chili, Sugar as needed
Seasoning (Oil 2 tsp, Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp, Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp, Curry leaves few)


Moong Usal

Method Of Preparation -


Wash the Moong beans, soak them for 6-8 hours. Wrap them in a moist muslin cloth, cover in a container and set aside in a warm place for sprouting. I had to set aside for 20 hours for them to sprout beautifully.

Steam cook the sprouted moong beans.

Meanwhile, heat a pan and add oil. Mustard seeds and cumin go in next. After the mustard seeds pop, add curry leaves and saute the onions. Add the green chili and saute for a few seconds.

Sprinkle salt, turmeric, chili powder and transfer the boiled moong beans.

Mix well and add garam masala. The curry is semi dry or dry.

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve warm with rotis. 

[I also served it garnished with green chutney, tamarind date chutney, onions, beaten yogurt and sev just as a chaat!]



Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 64. 

Preparation Time 30 min
Serves 6-8

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Posted by Harini-Jaya R on Thursday, May 26, 2016

Drumstick Pitla

BM #64 Week 4 Day 2  -

This Pitla was one of the first Marathi recipes I cooked for the previous month's Mega Marathon and listed it under 'D'. Later when I realized that the recipe names needed to be in the local language, I moved this into my drafts. I am so glad this is helping me now :).

We fell in love with this instantly and I was ready to make this again thinking that the pictures were lost. But looks like I had uploaded these and so here they are..

Recipe Source Shalaka
Ingredients - 

Drumsticks 1 cup (chopped into 1 inch pieces)
Gram Flour / Besan / Senagapindi 1/2 cup
Salt and turmeric as needed
Green Chili paste as needed
Ginger-Garlic paste 1/2 tsp
Seasoning (Oil 2 tsp, Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp, Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp, Curry leaves, Asafotida a couple pinches)


Drumstick Pitla

Method Of Preparation -

Steam cook the drumsticks and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, add Besan, salt, turmeric, green chili paste and about 2-3 cups of water. Make sure there are no lumps.

In a heated pan, add oil. After the oil is sufficiently heated, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. After they crackle, add asafotida and curry leaves.

Saute the ginger-garlic paste for a few seconds. Pour the besan mixture into the seasoning and let it cook.

Add the steamed drumsticks to the simmering mixture.

Keep stirring, making sure there are no lumps in the mixture.

Once the pitla gets to the desired consistency, remove from heat and serve warm with rice/roti. Keep in mind that this pitla thickens upon cooling.



Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 64. 

Preparation Time 20 min
Serves 4-5

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Posted by Harini-Jaya R on Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Kala Vatana Sabji

BM #64 Week 4 Day 1 -

This week it is all about the bookmarks from the previous mega marathon.

I have made a lot more from what my friend, Shalaka, shared. But unfortunately I lost all the pictures when the hard disc crashed a few weeks back. So I have made a few more from her recipes as they sounded awesome.

I had never seen nor tasted these beans known as Kala Vatana. These had an earthy taste and quite different from the regular Vatana. My friend was gracious enough to share these kala vatana with me so I could make this sabji. I have since been unable to find these in the local Indian stores. 


Kala Vatana

Recipe Source Shalaka
Ingredients - 

Kala Vatana washed and soaked overnight 1 cup
Tomato, chopped 1 
Salt as needed

Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Seasoning (Cooking Oil 1 Tbsp, Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp, Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp, Asafotida a pinch and curry leaves)
For the Gravy -
Cooking Oil 1 Tbsp 
Onions, chopped 1 cup
Ginger-Garlic Paste 1 tsp
Coconut Powder 1/4 cup
Chili Powder as needed 
Garam Masala as needed
Coriander Stalks few



Kala Vatana Sabji

Method Of Preparation -


Pressure cook the kala vatana with adequate salt and water.

Meanwhile prepare the gravy - 
Heat a pan and dry roast coconut powder until golden brown. Set aside. 
In the same same heated pan, add oil. Saute onions, ginger-garlic paste. After they turn a shade of golden brown, add turmeric, chili powder and garam masala and fry for a few seconds.
Add water and let it simmer for a few minutes.
Remove and grind into a fine paste along with coriander stalks, adding as much water as needed. Set aside the gravy.

In a heated pan, add oil and prepare the seasoning. Add mustard, cumin, asafotida and curry leaves.

After the mustard seeds pop, add the ground masala paste, boiled kala vatana and salt. Adjust the consistency by adding water as needed. Adjust the flavors and let the gravy simmer for a few minutes until oil floats on top.

Remove from fire and serve with Roti/Rice.




Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 64. 

Preparation Time 40 min
Serves 4-5

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Posted by Harini-Jaya R on Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Peanut-Date Energy Bites

BM #64 Week 3 Day 3 - 

This third recipe using a maximum of 3 ingredients is a simple one. We love to eat our share of nuts everyday. To make it even more interesting, I tried out this combination of peanuts and dates and we loved it.

Peanut-Date Energy Bites

Ingredients - 

Peanuts, roasted and skinned 1 cup
Dates, fresh, pitted 7-8 (I used Big Medjool Dates)

Peanut-Date Energy Bites

Method Of Preparation -


Coarsely crush the roasted peanuts.

In a chopper, chop the dates into a coarse paste. Add in the crushed peanuts. Blend them together to make a stiff dough.

Pinch bite sized portion of the mixture and roll into desired shape. I rolled them into marble shape.

Serve them as needed for an instant energy boost.


Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 64. 

Preparation Time 10 min
Makes 10 bites

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Posted by Harini-Jaya R on Thursday, May 19, 2016

Chocolate Sauce

BM #64 Week 3 Day 2 - 

Check out this easy chocolate sauce recipe which needs just three ingredients. It can be used to pour on top of a cake or just to make hot cocoa, drizzle on ice cream etc. It is left to the creativity of the choco-lovers on how else they want to enjoy this sauce.

My little one can lick the sauce as is :).

Ingredients - 

Milk 1 cup
Sugar 1/4 cup
Cocoa Powder 2 Tbsp (I used 100% Cacao)


Method Of Preparation -


Let the milk come to a boil. Add in the sugar and cocoa powder.

Reduce the heat to low-medium. Keep whisking the bubbling mixture for about 4 minutes or until the solution thickens a little.

Remove and store in an air tight container.

Preparation Time 15 min
Makes 1/2 cup

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2 Ingredient Banana Icecream

BM #64 Week 3 Day 1 -

This week I have chosen to blog some 3 ingredient recipes which are quick and easy to make and are coincidentally they are kid friendly too :).

My little one has been after me after she came across this banana ice cream somewhere online and I kept postponing it keeping in view the weather for the past few days. Now that the temperatures are slowly improving and the kids have started playing outside in the evenings, I thought to surprise her with her chosen ice cream.

Little did I know that she would invite all her friends to come over to have these little banana ice cream muffins :). There were nine kids and nine 'muffins' and poof...gone...

2 Ingredient Banana Icecream

There are many
Recipe Source here
Ingredients - 

Banana, Over ripe 2 nos
Cinnamon a dash
Chocolate chips, mini size as needed

2 Ingredient Banana Icecream

Method Of Preparation -


Slice the bananas and freeze them for a few hours (a minimum of 2 hours to about 8-10 hours)

In a food processor, blend the frozen bananas until creamy and fluffy. Don't stop sooner ass there might be bits of banana hidden. Make sure the mixture is aerated enough by all that whipping action.

Add in the chocolate chips and scoop out into a cupcake pan. I used silicon moulded cupcake liners.

Freeze them for a few hours and then enjoy the banana delight by drizzling with chocolate syrup or honey or maple syrup.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 64. 

Preparation Time 5 min + Freezing time a few hours
Makes 9 mini muffin sized ice cream bites

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Posted by Harini-Jaya R on Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Bottle Gourd Kheer - Detox Diet

BM #64 Week 2 Day 3 - 

Today I shall go over a simple dessert/dinner recipe which qualifies for the Bottle Gourd Detox. 

When my dietitian friend told me about this, my first question was, how can sugar be included in a detox diet? She say this detox diet is all about salt elimination and about 1 teaspoon of sugar is allowed per day in this diet plan.

So if it gets boring to eat the same bottle gourd sabji or bottle gourd raita, try this kheer for a change.

As a recap here is the diet plan again..

Rule 1 - Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water in a day
Rule 2 - Avoid regular salt, use Saindha Namak (Saindhava Lavanam or Himalayan pink rock salt)
Rule 3 - No other Nuts, Vegetables, Fruits or dairy products other than specified in the plan.
Rule 4 - Stay away from citrus fruits and berries. 

Day 1 and Day 2 
Breakfast - Bottle Gourd Juice 
Mid Morning Snack - Fleshy Fruits like Papaya, Water Melon or Cantaloupe
Green Tea with no additives (Optional but recommended)
Lunch - Bottle Gourd Pulp - Wheat Bran Roti with Bottle Gourd Raita
Evening Snack - Fleshy Fruits like Papaya, Water Melon or Cantaloupe
Dinner - Bottle Gourd Kheer or Bottle Gourd Sabji with Peanut


Bottle Gourd Kheer - Detox Diet

Recipe Source Pooja
Ingredients - 

Bottle Gourd peeled, chopped and cooked 1/2 cup
Milk, Low Fat 1 cup
Sugar 1 tsp
Cardamom Powder as needed


Bottle Gourd Kheer - Detox Diet

Method Of Preparation -


Blend the cooked bottle gourd, sugar and milk into a fine puree and boil for a couple of minutes.

Serve warm or cold.



Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 64. 

Preparation Time 15 minutes
Serves 1

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Bottle Gourd Sabji - Detox

BM #64 Week 2 Day 2  -

As a continuation of the Bottle Gourd Detox Plan, here is a salad/sabji which can be had as dinner. Again the idea is to refrain from consuming any salt and major carbohydrates. It is very easy to stay on this plan as it is only for a couple of days and there are a few options to make it interesting as well.

Yesterday, I wrote about breakfast and lunch options. This would be a dinner option and make sure dinner time is no later than 7 pm.

The quantity of sabji can vary from person to person but a big bowl full of sabji is typically enough to fill you up.

Recipe Source Pooja
Ingredients - 

Bottle Gourd, peeled, chopped and cooked 1 1/2 cups
Saindha Namak / Himalayan Rock Salt as needed
Turmeric as needed
Peanuts, Roasted and coarsely crushed 2 Tbsp
Green Chili paste as needed
Seasoning (Oil 1/2 tsp, Mustard Seeds a pinch and Cumin Seeds 2 pinches)
Coriander leaves for garnish

Bottle Gourd Sabji - Detox

Method Of Preparation -


In a heated pan, add oil and the rest of the sesoning.

After the mustard seeds pop, add in the cooked bottle gourd and green chili paste. Saute for a few seconds.

Sprinkle turmeric, saindha namak and crushed peanuts.

Sprinkle some water if needed, let the flavors blend in.

Remove from fire and garnish with coriander leaves.


Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 64. 

Preparation Time 15 min
Serves 1

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Lauki Wheat Bran Roti and Lauki Raita

BM #64 Week 2 Day 1 -

This week as part of BM #64, I have chosen to post a two day Bottle gourd detox diet as explained by my dietitian friend, Pooja. I shall outline the rules and the diet plan with a couple of recipes from the plan today. The next two days I shall blog one recipe each.

According to the dictionary, 'Detoxification' is the process of removing toxic substances or qualities. As I understand from reading various articles on this topic, our body has been built in a way that it takes care of all the detox needs naturally.

But then why this hype about Detox, detox foods and detox diets, you ask. I am no expert on this topic but my understanding is these detox diets take care of improving and optimizing the function of our body’s own detoxification systems. 

Essentially high water intake, total elimination of processed foods, alcohol, increased intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, reduction of salt is the mantra for detox. 

Also we need to recognize and understand the purpose of detox for our bodies. My friend says, in her practice, she recommends a detox diet for people who are maintaining their weight management goals but need help in correcting any slip-ups, so to say. It is especially true when one has to deviate from the regular healthy eating patterns owing to festivals, parties or other important life events.

She recommends that this Bottle gourd diet be done for 2 consecutive days a week, typically on Mondays and Tuesdays assuming the weekends were the 'deviant days'. This regimen, she says, will help keep your weight management goals in line. This is also of great help with issues like bloating, water retention and the like.

Most of us under estimate the power of Bottle Gourd / Doodhi / Lauki / Sorakaya / Anapakaya. It is extensively used in Ayurveda and Naturopathy. 

I cannot emphasize enough that these diets are not for everyone and must be undertaken under a doctor's supervision.

Let us get into the nitty-gritties of this diet ..

Rule 1 - Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water in a day
Rule 2 - Avoid regular salt, use Saindha Namak (Saindhava Lavanam or Himalayan pink rock salt)
Rule 3 - No other Nuts, Vegetables, Fruits or dairy products other than specified in the plan.
Rule 4 - Stay away from citrus fruits and berries. 

Day 1 and Day 2 
Breakfast - Bottle Gourd Juice 
Mid Morning Snack - Fleshy Fruits like Papaya, Water Melon or Cantaloupe
Green Tea with no additives (Optional but recommended)
Lunch - Bottle Gourd Pulp - Wheat Bran Roti with Bottle Gourd Raita
Evening Snack - Fleshy Fruits like Papaya, Water Melon or Cantaloupe
Dinner - Bottle Gourd Kheer or Bottle Gourd Sabji with Peanut

For Day 1, I have provided the link to the breakfast Bottle Gourd juice and so let us look into the lunch menu.


Lauki Wheat Bran Roti

Recipe Source Pooja
Ingredients - 

For Bottle Gourd Pulp - Wheat Bran Roti -
Bottle Gourd Pulp 2 Tbsp (Got after straining the bottle gourd juice made for breakfast)
Wheat Flour 2 Tbsp
Wheat Bran / Oat Bran 2 Tbsp

For Bottle Gourd Raita - 
Bottle Gourd, peeled, chopped and boiled 1/2 cup
Low Fat Yogurt 3/4 cup
Saindha Namak as needed
Pepper and Cumin Powder as needed


Lauki Raita

Method Of Preparation -

For Bottle Gourd Pulp - Wheat Bran Roti -
Mix the wheat flour, bottle gourd pulp and wheat bran along with warm water. Knead into a soft dough.

Cover and set aside for 5 min.

Heat the griddle/tawa.

Pinch the dough into 2 equal parts and roll each of them into a thin circle (roti).

Gently place the dough circle on the hot griddle.

After bubbles appear, flip it and after a few seconds, cook it on a flame directly or on a phulka griddle. This ensures that the roti puffs out resulting in a soft roti.

Cover in a paper lined box and make another roti.


For Bottle Gourd Raita - 
In a bowl, mix the boiled bottle gourd, yogurt, saindha namak, pepper and cumin powder. Whisk well and serve.



Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 64. 

Preparation Time 20 min
Serves 1

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Wheat Rava Upma Kozhakottai

BM #64 Week 1 Day 3 - 

For the third day of cooking with whole wheat, check out this filling snack. I intended to make this with cracked wheat only to realize in the last minute that I was out of cracked wheat. So I had to settle with wheat rava. 

Recipe Source here
Ingredients - 
Wheat Rava / Cracked Wheat 1 1/2 cups
Salt and Turmeric as needed
Water 2 cups
Almonds coarsely crushed 2 Tbsp
Seasoning (Oil 1 Tbsp, Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp, Chana Dal 1 tsp, Urad Dal 1 tsp, Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp, Asafotida a pinch)
Soak and Coarse Grind -
Chana Dal 1/4 cup
Red Chilies 1-2
Wheat Rava Upma Kozhakottai

Method Of Preparation -


Soak the chana dal and red chili for an hour and coarsely grind adding as little water as needed. Set aside.

Dry roast the wheat rava until aromatic. Set aside.

In a heated pan, add oil and the rest of the seasoning ingredients.

Add the coarsely ground chana dal and saute for a few seconds.

Add in salt and turmeric and water.

After the water comes to a rolling boil, add the roasted wheat rava.

Mix well, cover and reduce heat. Let it cook for a couple of minutes.

Remove from fire. Allow it to cool a little so it is easy to handle.

While it is still hot, pinch big lime portions of the mixture and shape into an oblong. Set aside and continue to make more oblong shapes of the mixture.

Place all of the oblong shapes in a steamer and steam for about 8-10 min.

Remove and serve with a chutney of your choice.



Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 64. 

Preparation Time 30 min
Makes 30 kozhakottai

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Vegan Coconut Milk Pancakes

BM #64 Week 1 Day 2 -

These pancakes were an instant hit with the kids. They loved the idea of shredded coconut as a topping and they set the berries which they love.

Fortunately I was able to recover a few pictures from my camera's memory card and these pictures were among them. 


Vegan Coconut Milk Pancakes

Ingredients - 

Whole Wheat Flour 1 cup
Baking Powder 1 Tbsp
Brown Sugar 2 Tbsp
Salt 1/4 tsp
Coconut Milk 1 cup
Olive Oil / Coconut Oil 1 Tbsp
Flax meal 2 tsp + 2 Tbsp of warm water
Shredded Coconut Flakes for topping as needed


Vegan Coconut Milk Pancakes

Method Of Preparation -


Whisk the flour, baking powder, brown sugar and salt in a mixing bowl and set aside.

In a measuring cup whisk the coconut milk, flax egg and oil.

Mix in the wet and dry ingredients gently until there are no lumps.

Heat a griddle and pour 1/4 cup of batter and sprinkle the coconut flakes. Cook on both sides and continue with the rest of the batter.

Serve with more coconut flakes or fruit and maple syrup.



Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 64. 

Preparation Time 15-20
Makes 8-10

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Posted by Harini-Jaya R on Wednesday, May 4, 2016
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