BM #87 Day 19 -

Welcome to the last week of 'Explore the flavors'. This week I shall post some Whole Grain recipes. Today the star grain is Jowar. The benefits of Jowar are innumerable. I try to incorporate Jowar in our diet in many ways. Recently, I have been able to lay my hands on cracked jowar at a local Indian store. 

I have used Jowar Rava before when I brought a pack of Jowar Rava from India. Here are some recipes where I have used Jowar Rava.
Jonna Rava Pongal
Instant Jowar Rava Idli
Jowar Rava Kesari
Jowar Rava Besi Bele Bath

I have made this vegetable khichdi both in the regular pressure cooker and also in an Instant Pot. So I have mentioned the process for both. When cooking in the regular pressure cooker, I found that presoaking is faster and cracked jowar cooks well.

Ingredients -

Cracked Jowar or Jowar Rava 1/2 cup
Moong Dal 1/2 cup
Assorted Vegetables (Peas, Green Beans, Carrots, Spinach, Zucchini, Cauliflower, Lima Beans) 2 cups
Salt, Pepper, Ginger, Green Chili Paste, Turmeric as needed
Lime/Lemon Juice as needed
Seasoning (Oil 1 tsp, Mustard seeds 1 tsp, Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp, Asafotida a pinch, Curry leaves few)

Method Of Preparation -
Pressure Cooker Method - 
Wash the cracked Jowar and soak for a few hours. 

Wash moong dal and set aside.

In a pressure cooker, prepare the seasoning. After the mustard seeds pop, add all the vegetables, pepper, ginger, green chili paste, turmeric and the soaked cracked jowar and moong dal.

Sprinkle salt and add about 4 cups of water.

Cook for about 20 minutes or for 4-5 hisses.

Allow the pressure to be released and remove. Squeeze in lemon juice and serve hot with ghee and papad.

Instant Pot Method - 
Wash the cracked Jowar, moong dal and set aside.

Power on the Instant Pot in the 'Saute' mode. Once the display says 'Hot', add oil and the rest of the seasoning.

After the mustard seeds pop, add all the vegetables, pepper, ginger, green chili paste, turmeric and the washed cracked jowar and moong dal.

Sprinkle salt and add about 4 cups of water.

Cover with the lid, set it to 'Porridge' mode. Make sure it is set to the 'sealing' mode. [It displays a time of 20 minutes].

Let it naturally release the pressure. Squeeze lime juice before serving.


Preparation Time 40 minutes
Serves 3-4

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BM #87 Day 18 - 

To end this series of Kid's Lunch box Ideas, here is another of my little one's favorite. It is so easy to put together and healthy as well so I prefer to make this weekly once for her.

Please note that I have barely used any spices as my little one cannot handle the spicy stuff. So I added only some pepper powder and loads of nuts.

Here is the recap this week's ideas posted -

Ingredients - 

Cooked Rice 1 cup
Palak, finely chopped, handfull
Paneer, shredded 1/4 cup
Onion, finely chopped 2 Tbsp
Tomato puree 2 Tbsp
Ginger-Garlic 1/2 tsp
Green Chili paste as needed (I didn't add)
Salt, Pepper and Turmeric as needed
Garam Masala 1/2 tsp
Seasoning (Oil 1 Tbsp, Chopped nuts handful, Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp)
Lemon/Lime Juice as needed

Method Of Preparation -

In a heated pan add oil, chopped nuts and cumin seeds. After they crackle, saute ginger-garlic paste for a few seconds and then saute onions until golden brown.

Add in the tomato puree, turmeric and salt. Let it boil and the mixture come together. Cover and let it cook for a couple minutes.

Add in the chopped palak and shredded paneer. Mix well and let the flavors blend for a few minutes.

Sprinkle garam masala and pepper. Add in cooked rice, mix well. Remove from heat. Sprinkle lemon juice.


Preparation Time 15 minutes
Serves 1

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BM #87 Day 17  - 

This sandwich was an accidental find when my older one was looking for vegetable based sandwiches. As far as I understand she saw some ideas on her social media page and was confirming with me if she might like something like this. 

It has been since a favorite of hers and the husband wouldn't mind a sandwich or two as well. 

The key is to lightly toast the bread slices. I have learnt with experience that the zucchini when placed on the bread slices, will make it soggy. Toasting the bread makes it slightly immune to that.

When it comes to packing for the lunch box, wrap the cooled sandwich in a wax paper and then wrap it in a foil.

Ingredients - 

Bread Slices 4
Zucchini , sliced 1 small
Salt, Garlic Powder, Red Chili Powder as needed
Cheese, shredded or sliced as needed
Butter as needed (Optional)

Method Of Preparation -

In a hot, greased grill pan, arrange the zucchini slices and grill them until the grill marks are visible.

Remove onto a bowl, sprinkle salt, garlic powder and red chili powder and toss them so the slices are evenly coated with the spices.

Lightly toast the bread slices and set aside. [To ensure the sandwich doesn't get soggy.]

Arrange these seasoned zucchini slices on two bread slices, sprinkle cheese, cover with another bread slice, grill it until the grill marks are visible. Repeat for the other set of bread slices.

Allow it to cool on a wire rack, wrap it in a wax paper and foil wrap it to pack it for lunch.


Preparation Time 15 minutes
Makes 2 sandwiches

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BM #87 Day 16 - 

On some good days when my older one agrees to take some spicy paratha to school, I count my blessings :). Her specifications are clear - "I should not need any accompaniment, not even yogurt if I have to take it to school".

To suit her requirements, I make this extra spicy Methi Paneer Paratha. I feel it is a wholesome and flavorful meal. I wish she would take some yogurt too but can't push my luck too far, Can I ?

Ingredients - 
For the Outer Cover - 
Wheat Flour 1 1/2 cups
Salt as needed
Turmeric a pinch
Red Chilli Powder as needed
Water to knead the dough
For the Filling - 
Paneer, crumbled 1/2 cup
*Methi Leaves,  chopped 1/2 cup or more if desired
Ginger-Garlic-Green Chillies Paste 1-2 tsp (or as needed)
Salt to taste
Red Chilli Powder to taste
Garam Masala 1/2 tsp
Seasoning (Oil 1 tsp, Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp)

* Typically I would add a couple of pinches of kasuri methi in addition to the fresh methi leaves.

Method Of Preparation -

Knead the dough with the whole wheat flour, turmeric, red chilli powder and salt with as much water as needed. Make sure the dough is not too tough to handle. Keep it covered for about 10-15 min.

Meanwhile prepare the seasoning. In a heated pan, add oil and cumin seeds. 

Saute ginger-garlic-green chili paste, chopped methi leaves  
(and kasuri methi, if using) and add it to the crumbled paneer. 

Add salt, red chilli powder, garam masala to the above mixture. Adjust the spices and salt as per taste. Knead well and divide the filling into 7-8 portions.

Make equal portions of the dough. Roll out small chapatis and fill in a spoonful of the methi-paneer mixture, close the edges and roll out the parathas taking care that the mixture doesn't fall out. 

Shallow fry in a heated pan until both the sides are done. Repeat the procedure for all the parathas. Store in an insulated container until ready to serve. Roll/wrap them in paper towel and aluminium foil while packing.

Serve with Yogurt or any gravy curry!


Preparation Time 30 minutes
Makes 7-8

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BM #87 Day 15 - 

This blend of rice is a favorite with my family. This is one such dish which can be customized to accommodate my little one's not-so spicy taste buds as well.

I make two versions of guacamole, one a super spicy one and the other bland one. So it works out well. When I pack their lunch boxes, I pack some extra guacamole for extra flavor. 

Ingredients - 

Short Grained Rice 1 1/2 cup (I used Sona Masuri)
Pinto Beans 1/2 cup 
Assorted Vegetables finely chopped (Carrots, Green Beans, Colored Peppers) 2 cups
Peas 3 Tbsp
Corn 1/2 cup
Avocado, mashed 1 cup
Garlic 2-3 cloves
Salt and Green Chili paste as needed
Lemon/Lime juice 2 Tbsp or as needed
Coriander leaves few
Olive Oil 2 Tbsp (divided use)

Method Of Preparation -

Wash and soak Pinto beans 4-6 hours. Boil the beans with some salt and set aside.

Cook rice as per your preference (in a rice cooker, pressure cooker or in a pot on stovetop).

Blend the avocado, 1 tablespoon of oil, lime juice, garlic, salt, coriander leaves and green chili paste to make guacamole.

In a heated pan, add oil and saute the vegetables. After the vegetables are 80% cooked, add in the cooked and drained beans. Sprinkle salt and add green chili paste. Mix well.

Remove from heat. Add in cooked rice and mix well. Allow it to cool a little.

Add in the guacamole as needed and mix gently. Adjust the flavors as needed.

Serve at room temperature with additional guacamole if needed.


Preparation Time 30 minutes
Serves 3-4

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BM #87 Day 14 -

My older one is a super fan of Schezwan sauce. So to accommodate her taste buds, I made this sandwich. She loves Tofu and Schezwan sauce and so the combination cannot go wrong. Since it was a spicy sandwich my little one was happy to enjoy her Carrot Lemon Sevai.

It is a very quick and no-nonsense sandwich. The only time taken is to marinate the tofu and then grill it. I usually marinate it overnight thus reducing the active time required to make this in the morning rush hour.

I had to quickly take a picture before it went into her box and hence 
Ingredients - 

Tofu 2 Slices (3 X 2 inch slice)
Bread 2 slices
Cheese as needed (I didn't add)
Salt and Schezwan Sauce as needed

Method Of Preparation -

Marinate the tofu slices in schezwan sauce and sprinkle salt to taste. Set aside for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile apply schezwan sauce to the bread slices and set aside.

Grill the Tofu slices until the grill marks are visible.

Arrange them on one bread slice, cover it with the other bread slice and grill until done.

Remove and serve for a spicy treat.


Preparation Time 15 min + grilling time 15 minutes
Serves 1

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BM #87 Day 13 - 

This week the theme I would be posting under would be 'Lunch Box Ideas for Kids'. I know every parent has a tough time packing lunch for their kids either because the kids are picky eaters or they need creative ideas for healthy lunch boxes or lack of time or lack of pantry essentials. The list goes on.

I am no exception to that situation. My kids also dread the question 'What do you want for lunch box tomorrow?'. The problem for me is that both my kids rarely agree to take the same thing for lunch and so I end up making two or three things in the morning rush hour.

I don't like to force the kids to eat something they don't want to and they know my weakness too well :). 

This carrot lemon sevai is my little one's favorite form of Sevai. This is a non-spicy version and so my older one won't touch it. Try and see if your kids like this version.

Ingredients - 

Idiyappam 1/2 cup (I used ready made one)
Salt as needed
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Green Chillies, slit as needed (I didn't use it)
Pepper Powder 1/8 tsp
Cashew and Almonds chopped 2 Tbsp
Lemon Juice as needed
Carrot, grated 3/4 cup
Seasoning (Oil 1 tsp, Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp, Urad dal 1 tsp, Chana dal 1 tsp)

Method Of Preparation -

Cook the ready made idiyappam in boiling water for about 2-3 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a pan, heat oil and add the rest of the seasoning ingredients. After the mustard seeds pop, add the grated carrots, chopped cashews and almonds.

After the carrots are cooked well (about 2 minutes), sprinkle turmeric, salt and pepper.

Add in the drained idiyappam. Mix well gently and remove from fire. 

Squeeze the required amount of lemon juice and mix. Serve warm or allow it to cool and pack.


Preparation Time 15 minutes
Serves 1-2

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BM #87 Day 12 - 

Here is a humble no-nonsense everyday dal to conclude this 'No Onion No Garlic' series. I am surprised that I haven't posted this everyday dal here. 

The above platter includes Palak Dal, Rice, Roti, Tomato Koora, Yogurt, Roasted Carrots and Rice Kheer.
The process I used here can be simulated in a pressure cooker as well. Before I acquired the Instant Pot, I used to follow the same process in the pressure cooker. Some people like the tempering/seasoning after the dal is cooked and ready to be served. So adjust accordingly.

To recap the dishes I posted under this series..

Ingredients - 

Spinach/Palak chopped 1.5 cups or more
Toor Dal (Kandi Pappu)  1 cup
Salt as per taste
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Green Chillies 3-4 (or as per taste)
Seasoning (Oil 2 tsp, Mustard seeds 1 tsp, Urad dal 1 tsp, Jeera (Cumin seeds) 1 tsp, Hing couple pinches, 1 dried red chilli, curry leaves)
Lemon Juice 2 tsp or tamarind juice 2 Tbsp

Method Of Preparation -

Gently clean the leaves well and chop. Wash Toor dal and set aside.

Place the inner pot in place. Power on the Instant Pot to 'Saute' mode.

Once the display changes to 'Hot', add oil, mustard seeds, urad dal, cumin seeds, asafotida and curry leaves. 

After the cumin seeds crackle, add the spinach. Saute for a minute.

Add in the washed dal, turmeric, chopped green chilies, tamarind juice if using and salt. Add about 3 cups of water. 

I cook rice along with it by placing the trivet into the dal, wash rice in a separate steel container and place it on the trivet.

Put the lid on, set the vent to sealing. Set it to 'Manual' or 'Pressure Cook' for 10 minutes.

After the Instant Pot does the magic, wait until the pressure is released naturally. unplug the Instant Pot. Remove the container with the cooked rice, remove the trivet and transfer the dal into a serving container.

Squeeze in the lemon juice (if tamarind juice has not been added) into the dal and serve over hot rice and ghee.


 Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 87

Preparation Time 30 minutes
Serves 4-5

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Posted by Harini R on Saturday, April 14, 2018

BM #87 Day 11 - 

Here is another version of a delightful Dum Aloo. To make this recipe authentically, the baby potatoes need to be deep fried.

I took the healthy route and air fried the potatoes. I did not anticipate that the kids would enjoy the air fried potatoes as is. As I was busy with the gravy preparation, the kids and the husband finished off the air fried potatoes with some spicy sauce to the side :). So I had to air fry another batch of potatoes and make this gravy.

Recipe Source Pooja
Ingredients - 
Baby Potatoes about 20-22
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Salt and Kashmiri Chili Powder as needed
Seasoning (Oil 1 Tbsp, Cumin Seeds 1/4 tsp)
For the Gravy - 
Oil 2 tsp
Red Chilies 3-4 
Coriander Seeds 2 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp
Cloves 4-5
Cardamom Pod 1 
Cinnamon Stick 1 inch
Fennel Seeds / Saunf 1 tsp
Ginger, chopped 2 tsp
Green Chilies 1-2 as needed
Tomatoes, diced, 4 Roma Tomatoes (14 oz can of diced tomatoes)
Yogurt 3 Tbsp
Cashews handful

Method Of Preparation -

In a Big Pot, boil water with a teaspoon of salt and slide in the potatoes and let them cook for about 4-5 minutes until they are about 80-90% cooked.

Poke each potato with a fork , spray oil and arrange in the Air Fryer basket which has been preheated to 400 °F. Air fry them for about 20-24 minutes until they turn crispy. Set aside.

Place the Instant Pot inner pot in place and switch on the power. Set it to 'Saute' mode.

Add 1 teaspoon of oil and roast the Red Chilies, Coriander Seeds, Cumin Seeds, Cloves, Cardamom Pod, Cinnamon Stick, Fennel Seeds until they turn aromatic.

Then add in ginger, green chilies and tomatoes. Close the lid, Set in the Manual or Pressure Cook mode for 1 minute. Switch off the IP.

Transfer into a high power blender and grind into a fine paste.

Place the Instant Pot inner pot in place and switch on the power. Set it to 'Saute' mode.

Add oil to the inner pot, wait till 'Hot' and add cumin seeds. After they crackle, transfer the gravy paste and whisk in yogurt, salt, turmeric and Kashmiri Red Chili Powder, dunk in the air fried potatoes in the gravy. Cover the lid and change the mode to 'Manual' and set it for 2 minutes in the 'sealing' mode. 

Do a quick release and open the lid after the pressure is released and garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve with rice/naan/roti and enjoy.


Preparation Time 30 minutes
Serves 5-6

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