Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sprouted moth dal

Moth beans/Matki sprouts is something that I discovered while in Pune. First from my friend's dabba; then from fresh vegetable markets. The vendors sold these sprouts in small packets. These sprouts are used in Misal and Usal dishes and just by themselves - sauted with some spices. After trying to use the market sold sprouts (which had tiny stones!) twice, I resorted to sprouting it at home. And never went back to buying these from stores ever.

When my mil visited us, She saw me use this in cooking and gasped! And said it is called naripayar in Tamil. So, when I went back home last time, I looked for it. People were very surprised that I was looking for that. They were growing it in the fields for soil conditioning and selling it. Not using it much! Now, here's a delicious way to use these yummy sprouts.

Dry Matki/Moth beans - 1 cup (Soaked in water overnight and sprouted)
Onion - 1, finely chopped
Tomato -1, well ripe, finely chopped
Coriander leaves - some, finely chopped
Curry leaves - 5-6
Jeera/Cummin seeds - 1/2 tsp, crushed
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Salt - to taste
Oil - 1 tsp
Lemon juice - from 1/2 of a lime/lemon

Heat oil and add the crushed jeera seeds. When it is well roasted, add asafoetida. Add onions and curry leaves and saute for a few mins. Add the chopped tomatoes and add 1 tsp salt. When the tomatoes are well cooked, Add the sprouts and chilli powder and turmeric powder. Sprinkle some water and cover the pan. Let it cook for 3-4 mins. Give it a stir and sprinkle some more water. Cover it and let it cook. Switch off the heat, add coriander leaves and lemon juice and stir once more. Enjoy!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Whole Masoor dal (brown lentils) - another comfort food!

It was only after I came to the US, that I discovered this dal. First it was the orange colored broken masoor using which my roommate made an amazing dal. I tried to replicate it on my own, after I moved out. But failed miserably. The whole masoor dal didn't turn out any better too. It tasted okay... but okay wasn't good enough. I wanted tasty. Then it was Meenal Mehta's Sabut Masoor dal which gave me some hope and ideas. After a few adaptations, I've finally settled on this recipe which we now make quite often at home. My husband and me love it and my daughter loves it too with a splash of rasam in hers. [That's the way she eats all her dals... I can't complain!]

This recipe does not use any masala powders in it and is very tasty by itself. Sometimes I omit the chilli powder too, and have never missed it. The amount of ginger garlic paste used here, is more than what we normally use in our daily cooking. That, combined with the well ripe tomatoes create some magic in the recipe that you don't really miss the heat from the chilli powder. The recipe is very quick to make, if you have a pressure cooker.

Whole masoor dal
Whole masoor dal, brown lentils - 1 Cup
Well ripe tomatoes - 3-4 (well ripe is a must for this recipe),
finely chopped
Onion - 1, big, finely chopped
Ginger Garlic paste (made with 5-6 garlic pods and 1 inch of ginger)
Curry leaves - 5-6
Hing/Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Red Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Salt - to taste
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard - 1/4 tsp
Jeera/Cummin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Lime - 1/2

Heat the oil and add the mustard and cummin seeds.

When the mustard splutters, add the asafoetida, curry leaves and onions and saute till the onions get translucent. Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute for a minute or two.

Put the chopped tomatoes in and add 1 tsp of salt. Add the red chilli powder. The salt helps the tomatoes to melt in a few minutes. When the tomatoes are well cooked, Add the dal and 4 cups of water to the pan. Cook until 4-5 whistles.

Add more salt to taste and the juice of half a lemon. Serve hot with rice.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

100% WholeWheat bread - No added gluten flour

Some of you must have read about my really poor baking skills in comments sections of many posts by skilled bakers. I had almost given up on breads until I found out about bread machines. :) Obviously I was thrilled, when a friend of ours gave us her Bread machine before she moved. I scoured the net for all types of interesting recipes to use in the bread machine. One such winner is this 100% wholewheat bread, even without added gluten that many recipes as for. I do not like to use milk powder in my recipes, so I used milk instead. [Do not use the timer feature for delayed bread making, with fresh milk.] You can use butter or extra virgin olive oil in the recipe. I've tried both and I like them both.

Like Megan says, it is not crumbly or dense and is pretty light for a 100% Wholewheat bread. And yes, it slices beautifully. My 21 month old DD loves it and can't keep her hands off it. While it stays fresh for more days, I found that it is even better on the second day or third or fourth than when eaten fresh. I keep it sealed in a big ziploc bag and leave it on the kitchen counter.

After eating homemade bread, I don't like the store bought sliced bread anymore. Too spoilt, am I??

100% Wholewheat Bread, without added gluten flour

Milk - 1 cup (8 oz) warmed in microwave
Egg - 1, beaten lightly
Molasses - 1 Tbsp
Sugar - 1 Tbsp
Butter - 2 Tbsp (or olive oil - 3 tbsp)
Whole Wheat bread flour - 3 1/4 cups
Sea salt - 1 1/2 tsp (or table salt)
Rapid rise/Bread machine yeast - 2 tsp

Put them in the pan and set it inside the bread machine. Use the wholewheat cycle and bake. Mine took 4.10 hrs. Enjoy! As simple as that.

ETA: I've increased the milk to 8 oz + 1 tbsp these days. It results in an even softer and taller loaf.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Ribbon Pakoda

As far as I can remember, no Diwali passed by without my mom's special Ribbon Pakoda. We had to have it to make it a Diwali. Thick, crunchy, crispy, right amount of salt, right amount of heat, not oily at all by any means - the perfect way it should be. Amma used to soak 2 kgs of rice and grind it in her grinder machine and add pottukadalai powder (roasted gram dal) and other stuff and make it deep into the night, just a day before Diwali. Sometimes she used to make it even on other days just because. To make a normal day special. I have never tasted Ribbon Pakoda, better than hers. This I say after trying many many different Ribbon Pakoda recipes from aunties, my grandma, relatives and even those well renowned sweet stores.

Now I had made it once, exactly the same way my mom used to make and it was just awesome. I tried the first time halving her recipe, but even that took a HUGE amount of time to finish making the entire lot. I never tried it again. Then recently I was going to Saffronhut's yummy recipes and found a ribbon pakoda recipe which used 1 cup rice flour. Just 1 cup! No soaking, grinding, nothing. This, I can do - I thought. It should take very less time and effort. But I don't like kadalaimaavu taste in Ribbon Pakoda. What do I do now?? Then something clicked and I realized that I could micro-size my mom's recipe and use rice flour instead. :) Voila! This recipe was born that minute. And guess what? It tasted almost the same way as my mom's. And now, my daughter enjoys it the same way her mom did in her early years.

Rice flour - one 265 ml cup + 2 tbsp
Pottukadalai (Roasted gram dal/dhalia) - powdered - 1/2 of the same cup
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp (or more if you like)
White sesame seeds - 1 Tbsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Butter - 1/2 tsp, softened
Salt - to taste

Heat oil in a thick cast iron pan. I used Canola oil.

Sift rice flour and pottukadalai flour and mix together. Add the rest of the stuff (except butter) and mix well and keep it aside. Mix it with the dry flour till it's not sticky anymore and it is well mixed with the flour. Add some water and mix it till it becomes a thick dough. The lesser the water, the better.

Use the ribbon pakoda disc in the murukku maker and make flat ribbon like designs in the hot oil. Drain on paper towels. Leave it out for 20 mins and store in airtight container.

Keeps well for almost a month, if you have that much self control to not eat it until then. :) I like it to eat on its own or with Sambar saadham or rasam saadham.

1. If the ribbons are not forming well and is absorbing more oil, the dough is too watery. Add more rice flour.
2. If it's too hard to press, add 1/2 tbsp of water and try again. If still hard to press, add some more water.
3. Do not add more butter. It makes the ribbons very crumbly.