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 pongali. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pongali. Show all posts

January 16, 2011

South Indian Treasure: Pongali

Pongali
The main ingredients of Pongali are rice and lentils...and of course lots of love. We decided that instead of making a totally different sweet for the festival, we would make two types of pongali: one sweet and one savory as mentioned in the post about Pongal. It is preferred that you eat them both when they are warm for the optimal taste. First we will discuss how to make Pongali (the savory kind). 

Ingredients for this dish make 6 servings:
- Basmati Rice......................................................... 1 cup
- Moong dal............................................................ 1 cup
- Salt....................................................................... 1 tsp or as needed
-Unsalted butter....................................................... 3 tbsp
For seasoning:
  - Cumin & mustard seeds...................................... 1/2 tsp each
- Vegetable Oil..................................................... 1.5 tbsp
- Asaphoetida (hing)............................................. 1/4 tsp
- Curry leaves ...................................................... 5-6 leaves (optional)
- Black peppercorns............................................ 1/2 tsp coarsely ground
- Dried red chilies................................................. 2, broken into two pieces
- Cashew nuts......................................................15-20, as halves
- Ginger.............................................................. 1 inch piece, grated or chopped finely

Procedure:
1) Take rice and dal in the electric rice cooker (>5 cups size) container, wash them thoroughly and drain well. Start off with adding 5 cups of water and add more water if needed. Then add salt and cook (if using smaller size cooker, start with 4 cups of water and add remaining one plus cups at intervals as the water is being absorbed).
OR
If cooking on stove top, use appropriate heavy-bottomed container so that water will not spill over and cook on low to medium heat. Cook until the dal is soft (approx. 20 - 30min). 
2) When the rice and lentil mix is cooked, mix in 3 tbsps of butter.
 
3) In a small saucepan, add oil and heat on medium. When oil is heated, fry cashews until light golden, add red chilies and mix for 30 sec later add cumin & mustard seeds. When they splatter, add pepper powder and a pinch of salt, hing, grated ginger and curry leaves. Mix well and transfer the seasoning into the cooked pongal and mix well.
Quick Tip: To add an extra lil kick serve it with any type of  Indian pickles such as Achar or chutneys.

January 15, 2011

Happy Sankranti To All!

I love the holidays, don't you? I've had the opportunity to celebrate not only my native holidays but also American ones since I moved here. I realized that every holiday no matter the religion, there are key elements that make them one of the same: prayer, food, family and more Food. The first holiday we celebrate after New Year's is Pongal. It is a harvest festival which is celebrated all through India but called by different names in different regions of India: for instance in the South, it is known as Pongal (Tamil Nadu), and Sankranti (Andhra Pradesh). In the north it is known as Makar Sankranti (Bihar, Goa, Uttar Pradesh), Maghi (Haryana), and Uttarayan (Gujarat and Rajesthan).
I would love to go on and on but I still have to tell you all about the goodies prepared for this holiday. I know you are dying to know...as I am dying to tell you. Just as there are different names for this festival, the food prepared is also different in the regions. In the north, poha and jaggery are eaten together with milk or yogurt, sweets made with Sesame seeds, chikkis (peanuts and jaggery), and multi-colored halwa. In the South, specifically in Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu, Pongali (Telugu) or Pongal (Tamil) is made and also it is served as prasad at the temples. Other items that are made in other areas in the South are Ariselu (flatbread with jaggery) and Sakinalu (rice flour and cumin pretzels).
Wow, by the time I finished typing all those goodies' names, my mouth was watering. Since Sankranti fell on a working day this year, we prepared the popular dish the night before and ate in the morning after prayer. My mom even drew some rangoli before going off to work. She's a Wonder Woman, I tell ya! The Pongali dish was prepared in two versions: Meetha & Namkeen (sweet and savory).

I hope you've enjoyed learning more about our festivities and cuisine. Please feel free to share with us what you did on the holiday. Sharing is Caring!