The word "khana" in Indian Khana Made Easy means food. So come on, let's explore and cook some easy Indian food together including Gluten Free dishes.

March 28, 2017

Karapappalu - Crispy Ragi and Kale Patties


It's surely been a healthy ride these past couple of months...and still going! We're ending National Nutrition Month with a "Krispy" twist; scroll down for more details...




Every year my mom and I try various ways to eat better and stay healthy. Rice is our staple and we ate a lot of it. Alas, that has come to an end. Instead of eating rice heavy meals, we switched to salads for dinner. Don't get me wrong, I still eat rice but not as much as before. 

Does judge me when I say this but I love shopping for food items more than clothing. I love the aromas of different spices, herbs, fruits and vegetables. Our local farmers market has a good stock of vegetables and that's where we got the KALE

Didn't realize it at the time but I think we bought too much. So we started using it in everything. Even kale in Karapappalu

Karapappalu are crispy rice and moong dal patties that are a popular Telangana snack.  We got soo bored of eating salads few weeks back that we got creative and made Karapappalu with kale and other healthy ingredients. Check out the recipe below and tell us what you think:

Ingredients
- 1 cup Ragi flour
- 2 cups Rice flour
- 1 long squash
- 1 cup kale, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup moong dal, soaked in water for 30 minutes
- 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
- 3 Tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 Heaved Tbsp cornmeal
- 1/2 Tbsp Salt (or as needed)
- 2 to 3 cups Vegetable Oil (for frying)


Procedure
Combine all the dry ingredients in a medium to large bowl and mix well. Then add all the vegetables and soaked moong dal to the dry mixture and mix well. 




Slowly add water to the mixture and knead until it is of dough consistency. (Note: raw vegetables release water after few minutes of taking in salt, so keep the dough somewhat dry).




Heat oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Shape (lime size) dough balls into round flat ½ cm thick patties.




Quick tip: To avoid dough from sticking to your fingers, slightly wet your hands.  You can also use wax paper or plastic bag to press the dough into patties as shown below.




Transfer each shaped patty into hot oil and fry to golden brown/reddish color. 




For best results:  Use a steel skimmer to turn each patty in-between for even frying. Then use it to transfer the fried patty into a metal sieve resting in a bowl so that excess oil can be drained. After that, you can transfer the patty to a serving bowl (see video for for clarification). 

After the patties were ready, we served them with a dipping sauce we made with sour cream and crushed dried mint. You can use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream too. 

March 8, 2017

March Lentil Madness Continues with Chayote and Moong Dal


ARE YOU GETTING YOUR NUTRITION ON??

MARCH IS NATIONAL NUTRITION MONTH

This year's theme is "Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle" which focuses on fitness and making good food choices. 

We're definitely on board with not only the message but also doing our best to stay fit and eat better. We've already kick started our fitness by replacing rice at night with healthy salads and/or smoothies. We also incorporate lentils wherever we can so we can get our protein intake. 

Lentils such as chickpeas, black beans, masoor dal, moong dal, etc. are a good source of protein. This week we cooked chayote and moong dal. Moong dal has a high source of nutrients including manganese, potassium, magnesium, copper, and dietary fiber. 

Let's check out the Chayote and moong dal recipe:

Chayote and Moong Dal

Ingredients
- 2 Chayote, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
- 1/4 cup Moong dal (mung), soaked for 30 minutes to 1 hour
- 1/2 tsp crushed green chilies  or 2 chilies, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup dry shredded coconut
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp whole mustard
- 1/2 tsp whole cumin 
- 1/4 cup fresh coriander, chopped (optional)
- 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp salt

Procedure
- Heat oil in a a two quart saucepan and season with whole mustard and cumin. When they splutter, add green chilies and turmeric. Stir for 30 seconds.
- Now add chopped chayote and drained moong dal. Next add salt and half cup of water. Cook on medium heat under closed lid mixing intermittently until he chayote and dal are soft. (Add more water if needed).
- Remove lid and stir until remaining water is dried. Then add dry coconut and stir for one minute. Remove from heat and garnish with fresh coriander and serve.

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Quick Tip: If chayote is not readily available, you can use spinach, carrots, long squash, or even kale. Try our other dishes with moong dal, such as Carrots and moong, South Indian Khichdi, and Pongali


March 3, 2017

Comfort Food Series: Vegetable Paneer Biryani with Tomato and Onion Raita

Don't you wish your biryani was hot like mine? Don't ya!! 

April showers, brings May flowers, right?? Except it's not April and when it pours, it rains...like cats and dogs!! 

We were shopping in Bed, Bath and Beyond on Saturday when I heard thunder from inside the store. That was the day I decided not to wear jacket because it was so nice outside. What was I thinking? 

As we made our way to the front of the store, I could see that the sky was turning navy blue and it just poured. We paid for our stuff, raced to the car and went straight home without going anywhere else. :(

No where to go, we decided to lighten up the mood and cook something special for dinner that night. And she was in the mood for BIRYANI!!! 

The biryani I made (while my mother supervised) is similar to Pineapple Paneer Biryani except this time there was no pineapple, so we added cauliflower. Same great taste. 


I enjoyed the fruits of cooking labor with freshly made with Tomato and Onion Raita (yogurt dip) which is so easy to make and it's so refreshing. Check out recipe below:

Tomato and Onion Raita

I funneled my inner Emeril Lagasse when I made the raita. I put my knife skills to work and finely chopped two ripe and firm plum tomatoes as well as half medium onion. I transferred them into a bowl and then came the wet ingredients: 1/4 cup of sour cream and 3/4 cup of plain yogurt. Mix the ingredients without mushing everything. 

Next add 1/2 teaspoon of salt for taste and BAM!!! I sprinkled a dash of mint that I crushed myself. Mint makes everything so refreshing. 

I put a dollop of the tomato and onion raita right on top of my hot biryani and ate it with a big smile on my face. I CAN COOK BABY!!