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.

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Showing posts with label light meals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label light meals. Show all posts

September 12, 2010

My Favorite Festival – Ganesha Chavithi

Yesterday was an auspicious day for all Hindus. It was the day we celebrate Ganesha Chavithi, a festival dedicated to Lord Ganesha. He is known to help people overcome obstacles in their lives and bestow great wisdom and wealth. It is important for this pooja and every pooja that we prepare prasad (offering to the God) and wear new clothes.

So our day started with making his favorite dishes, cleaning and decorating the place where the pooja will take place.
We also drew rangoli (colored chalk/powder drawings) in front of our house. Usually, we create more colorful drawings but we were really tired and just decided to keep it simple.


My parents told me that the story goes that Lord Ganesha's favorite dishes are steamed sweet rice dumplings, rice kheer (pudding), besan ka ladoo, and boondi ladoo.
However, we are health conscious and so we made steamed rice and lentil dumplings with ginger & coriander chutney, vermicelli & tapioca pudding, and beet root rice. Don't you just want to grab a couple of the balls off the screen.

Steamed Rice & Lentil Dumplings (Undrallu) Ingredients: 
2 cups of Idli rava/cream of rice/coarsely powdered rice 
- 1 cup of Moong dal
- 1½ cups of fresh grated coconut (frozen grated coconut can be used as well)
- 2 tsp of Salt or as needed
- 4 tbsp of Vegetable oil
  
Procedure:
1) In a pressure cooker or heavy bottomed sauce pan cook the moong dal with two cups of water until it is soft & firm (Hint: should be able to split it when pierced with the nail). Remove excess water and set aside.
2) Add 3 cups of water into the pan or cooker (including the water collected from the dal earlier). Add 2 tbsp of oil and salt and allow the water to come to a boil. Reduce heat and add idli ravva into it and mix.
3) If using cooker, close the lid and cook in medium to low heat under pressure for 5-6 minutes. If using pan, cook under low heat until the rice and dal is fully cooked (may require slightly more water in the pan).
4) Transfer the cooked mixture into a wider container and add remaining oil and spread the cooked rice to cool. When it is cooled down, add grated coconut and mix well.
5) Make lemon size balls with the mixture and put them into a container. Cook them under steam by adding 1-1 ½” height water and place the rice balls container in it. Close the inner container and the outer and steam cook in medium heat for 10 minutes.
6) When done, eat the dumplings with ginger chutney. 

Quick Tip: To enhance the taste of the dumplings, just add a drop of ghee on it.

Vermicelli & Tapioca Kheer (payasam) Ingredients:
- 2 cups of Vermicelli (sevia)
½ cup of Tapioca (sabudana)
- 1 liter of Milk
½ can of Condensed milk
½ cup of Sugar
- 6 pods of Cardamom, seeded and powdered
- 15-20 Cashew nuts, halved and roasted
- 15-20 Golden raisins
Procedure:
1) Roast vermicelli & sabudana separately in a 1/2 to 1 tbsp butter and keep aside. Soak the sabudana in 1 cup of water for atleast 1-2 hours (this will reduce the cooking time immensely).
2) In a heavy saucepan or crock pot add milk, vermicelli, and sabudana. Allow them to cook on low heat (15-20 min) stirring the contents frequently to avoid caking and burning at the bottom. Cook until the sabudana turns opaque to transparent and vermicelli is soft.
3) Now add sugar, condensed milk, raisins and cardamom powder and bring it to boil on low heat stirring continuously. Taste the kheer and add more sugar as needed. Remove from heat and then add cashew nuts.
4) This kheer can be enjoyed when hot or chilled and served as pudding (thickens when chilled).

Quick Tip 1: While use of condensed milk gives a rich taste, you can replace it with extra milk or evaporated milk and sugar if preferred.
Quick Tip 2: The kheer can be made with vermicelli only if sabudana is not available; adjust the milk and sugar accordingly.

July 16, 2010

Go "Green" with Garden Poha

The teacher (pertaining to myself) becomes the student today since I have searched through the internet to look for different meanings for explaining what Poha is. Poha is another name for flattened rice. It is widely known all over South Asia (which does not only refer to South Indians); it includes Nepal and Bangladesh as well.

Did you know that when flattened rice is mixed with any liquid, it puffs up four times thicker than a normal rice grain. I don't know how true that is but according to Wiki it does. I will put this to the test and get back to you. Also, did you know unlike rice grains, poha can be consumed raw? That's right, so just go ahead and pop some into your mouth. The only thing is that it doesn't have a lot of taste until you mix something with it like milk, jaggery (sugarcane sugar) or other ingredients. In that case, let's add some taste to it.

You in the mood to do some cookin'? I can't hear ya. In light of the hot weather we have been experiencing in the East Coast lately, we are going to make more dishes that are not so heavy and chill out.


So gear up and get into the kitchen. We are cookin' up Garden Poha. Then you can enjoy your freshly made dish with a glass of Mojito or Lemonade (keeping with the green theme).

Here are the ingredients to get you started and I know what you are thinking, the list below looks lengthy but once you see the picture,  you'll see it's not that serious.



***Please note: French Cut beans missing in picture but it is included in the recipe.


• 3 cups Poha (flattened rice), thick variety
• 2/3 cups Carrots & peas (frozen)
• 1 large Onion, chopped finely
• ½ cup French Cut Green beans (frozen)
• 1 medium Potato, peeled and chopped finely (keep in water)
• 3 to 4 Green chilies, split into half
• ½ cup Peanuts
• 1 Lime or 1-2 tbsp of Lime juice  (as desired)
• ½ to ¾ tbsp Salt (as needed)
• 2-3 tbsp Vegetable Oil
• 1 heaped tsp Turmeric powder
• 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
• 1 tsp Cumin Seeds (jeera)
• Handful of Coriander / cilantro, chopped


Now, let's get down to cooking with all these ingredients:

1. Wash poha in plenty of water in a big bowl and drain the water completely using a strainer or sieve. Allow the poha to soak for atleast 10 minutes.


2. In a wide skillet, heat oil and fry peanuts on medium heat until golden brown. Then add mustard, cumin seeds, and green chilies. When they crackle add onion, potato (drain water) and frozen beans. Next, add a pinch of salt and close the lid for 3-5 min until potato and beans are soft.


3. Add the remaining salt and turmeric and mix. Next, add poha and mix well. Cook on medium to low heat with closed lid for another 5 min.


4. Remove from stove and add lemon juice, carrots & peas and mix. Keep the lid closed for 5-6 minutes for the frozen vegetables to be cooked by the warm food.


5. Garnish it with cilantro and grated coconut (optional) and serve hot. This recipe makes 3-4 servings so invite your close friends over. Kick off those heels or sneakers, whatever you have on and have some Poha.



If you don't mind, I'm going to have some right now and I'll see you next time, right here at my blog for the next summer creation. Until then, keep those mouths hungry and I'll make sure to fill you up Real Good.

***Also check out Bread Poha @ Honey, What's Cooking? adapted from KiranTarun.com Sure to please the taste buds.***