Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Main Dish, Rotis/Parathas, Vegan

Amaranth/Rajgira Flour Roti

Amaranth / Rajgira seeds is a grain/seed that has been cultivated for more than 5000
years and has an incredibly high nutritional profile. The name itself means immortal /
everlasting. It contains twice times the amount of calcium when compared to milk and is
high in elements like iron, magnesium, phosphorous and is the only grain that contains
vitamin C. It has a mild nutty flavor and is gluten free. These seeds can be cooked as
is to make upma. Amaranth flour can be used to make delicious rotis, parathas, or puris. Amaranth seeds can be popped to make super healthy satiating desserts such as kheer or chikki. Since the amaranth flour is gluten free, the rotis can be slightly tricky to roll out. If you are not gluten allergic, you may add some wheat flour along to get the elasticity so that
you can roll out the rotis well. Use warm water to knead the dough. You may also mix mashed potato to the flour while kneading the dough. This will make the rotis very soft. Use amaranth flour/wheat flour to dust the dough and roll out the rotis.


We need to seek more native grains such as Amaranth, Buckwheat, Millets that are power
houses of nutrition. This would also support our local farmers.

Recipe for Amaranth seeds upma: https://samagni.com/2016/05/amaranth-seeds-upma/

Bachelor-friendly, Everyday Simple Recipes, Main Dish, South Indian, Vegan

Tangy Spicy Raw Mango Rice – Mavinkai Chitranna

Karnataka cuisine has many varieties of Baths and Chitranna. One is, Mavinkai Chitranna, a tangy and spicy rice made with mature raw mango. I had this first at my friend’s place last week and it has become my favorite since then. I have already made it thrice in 10 days or so. It is a must try if you like tangy food and love easy-to-cook meals. It is a one-pot meal and ideal for lunch dabba and for short journeys. I will share two different versions of making this. Both are unique and tasty.

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Ingredients:
Cooked rice (raw rice of any variety)- 3 cups
Grated raw mango (Totapuri is ideal) – 1 cup

For Grinding (version 1):
Green chilies/Red chilies – 2
Sesame seeds – 1 tbsp (optional)
Roasted peanuts – 2 tbsp (optional)

For Grinding (version 2):
Chana dal – 1 tbsp
Urad dal – 2 tbsp
Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp
Green chilies/Red chilies – 2 (adjust to taste)

For Seasoning:
Cooking oil (Sesame oil/groundnut oil are preferred) – 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Asafetida – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Jaggery powder – 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves – a sprig
Whole dry red chilies – 1-2
Grated coconut – 3/4 cup
Salt as needed

Method:
Cook the rice, transfer to a plate, and let it cool. Keep aside.
If you are following version 1, in a mixer, grind the sesame seeds and roasted peanuts. If you are following version 2, dry roast the ingredients (urad dal, chana dal, fenugreek seeds) separately. Grind together in a mixer to make a powder. Wash, peel, and grate the raw mango after removing the tough outer skin and the seed. Instead of grating, you can cut mango into small cubes and grind this coarsely. If you choose to grind the mango pieces instead of grating it, then after the dry ingredients are powdered in the mixer, add the mango pieces along with chilies and grind coarsely. Do not make a paste. Grind coarsely ensuring that no more big mango chunks remain. Do not add water.
Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and let them crackle.
Add turmeric powder, asafetida powder, curry leaves, and whole dry red chilies.
Stir for about half a minute and then add the coarsely ground paste into this. Add jaggery powder. Stir and cook for about 3 minutes until the raw mango smell goes away and mango gets cooked.
Add the cooked rice (this should be in room temperature) little by little, mix well. Taste and adjust the quantity adding salt as required.
Add grated coconut as well. Mix well and serve hot along with papad pickle.

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Since the mango rice is tangy by itself, I do not prefer any pickle along with it and love eating it as is.

Notes:
1. The roasted peanuts and sesame seeds are optional but they add to the taste.
2. Jaggery helps balance the mango tart and helps enhance the taste.
3. I roasted the grated coconut separately and added to the rice. This enhances the taste but is optional.
4. Instead of grating the raw mango and coconut, you can peel and cut them into chunky pieces and use the mixer to a coarse mixture.

Breakfast, Everyday Simple Recipes, Kerala Recipes, Main Dish, Millet Recipes, South Indian, Vegan

Thinai (Foxtail Millet) Appam and Potato Mappas

Potato Mappas and Thinai AppamNever before have I thought of, collected info and ingredients, prepared, and executed a recipe with such urgency and efficiency. Appam is one of my favorite breakfasts and I wanted to try appam with Foxtail/Thinai millet. I was really excited about this gluten-free and healthy breakfast option. Soaked the ingredients (randomly without any reference), ground the batter yesterday evening. I tried to think of what side dish to prepare and suddenly remembered the vendakka mappas (a type of Okra stew, a typical Kerala preparation) curry that used to be my favorite while living in Kochi. Being unfamiliar with the dish since this is not prepared in our region, I read some recipes online and tried the same recipe with potato instead of okra. Both appam and mappas turned out to be excellent. Had to share this immediately with Samagni readers.

Foxtail Millet Appam

Ingredients:
Foxtail millet – 2 cups
Raw rice – 2 cups
Grated coconut – 1-1/2 cups
Cooked rice – 1-1/2 cups
Salt as needed
Water as needed
Sugar – 1 tsp (to be mixed with the batter next morning)
Yeast – 1 tsp (optional – i skipped this)

Preparation time: 10 mins
Soaking time: 4-5 hours
Grinding time: 10 mins
Fermentation time: Overnight (8-12 hours depending on the climate)
Makes roughly 20-22 appams

Method:
Soak the millet along with raw rice for about 4-5 hours. Using a mixer to grind this
along with grated coconut and cooked rice to a smooth paste by adding adequate amounts
of water. Make a batter of dosa battery consistency. Keep aside to ferment overnight. In
warmer regions, overnight fermentation is enough. But in colder regions, you may need to
add yeast and keep the batter at a warm place (near the stove or closer to the
refrigerator compressor). In the morning, add a teaspoon of sugar to the batter and mix
well.

To learn how to make appams, click here.

Notes:
I did not add yeast to the batter but yet it turned out fluffy and crisp at the edges. You may choose to add skip it.

Potato Mappas

Ingredients:
Potato – 300 gms, peeled and sliced 1″ lengthwise
Onion – 2 medium, thinly sliced
Tomato – 2 medium, thinly sliced
Green peas – 1/2 cup (optional)
Ginger – 1 tsp, thinly sliced 1-inch pieces
Garlic – 1 tsp, thinly sliced 1-inch pieces

Coriander powder – 2 tsp
Garam masala – 1/2 tsp (you may use whole ingredients)
Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Pepper powder – ¼ tsp (optional)
Green chilies – 2
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Coconut milk powder/coconut milk – 50 gms/1 cup (I used two 25 gm Maggi coconut milk
powder packets)
Salt as needed
Cardamom pod, clove, cinnamon (Optional)

Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Serves 3-4

Method:
Heat oil (coconut oil is preferred because this is a Kerala dish) in a pan and add mustard seeds.
When mustard seeds splutter, add chopped ginger, garlic, slit green chilies, and curry leaves. Saute for a minute. If you are adding cardamom pod, clove, cinnamon, add it at this stage.
Add sliced onion and cook for 5 mins.
Add chopped tomatoes. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add all the masala powders, i.e., coriander, chili, turmeric, pepper, garam masala. Saute and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add chopped potato and green peas. Stir. Add a cup of water.
Empty one packet of coconut milk powder into one cup water to make a thin coconut milk. Add this to the vegetables. Close with a lid and cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally until gravy thickens and potatoes and green peas look well cooked. Add salt, cover and cook for 2 more minutes.

Mix the other coconut milk powder packet in half a cup milk. Add this thick coconut milk to the dish, simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from fire. Garnish with freshly ground pepper, if desired.

Notes:
You may use some cashew nuts while making mappas. Soak the cashew in warm water for 5-10 mins. Grind to a smooth paste and add this to the gravy when you add the first set of coconut milk.

Breakfast, Dosas, Everyday Simple Recipes, Kerala Recipes, Main Dish, Palakkad Iyer Recipes, Tiffin, Vegan

Ada Dosa with Drumstick Leaves

Ada dosaAda dosa is a popular traditional morning breakfast or evening tiffin in Kerala Iyer households. It is a thick dosa made of coarsely ground parboiled rice and lentils. It is a balanced food consisting both carbs and protein and after having a couple of adais, your stomach feels very full for at least 3 hours. Adai is a family favorite and we make two variations. One is with rice and multiple dals and the other one with rice and chana dal and drumstick leaves/methi leaves mixed in the batter. This is a very good way of including greens in your diet. Earlier I had shared a soft and instant dosa with drumstick leaves made of raw rice. Check it out here.

Moringa leavesIngredients:
Parboiled rice/idly rice – 2 cups
Chana dal – 1/4 cup
Shallots/asafetida(hing) – a handful of shallots or 1/2 tsp hing
Dry red chilies – 6-8
Water – just enough to grind to medium consistency
Salt to taste

Drumstick leaves – 1 cup tightly packed
OR
Methi leaves – 1 cup washed and chopped

For Dosa:
Sesame oil/groundnut oil – 1 tsp per adai

Preparation time:
Soaking: 3-4 hours
Grinding: 10 mins
Cooking time: 3 mins/dosa

Method:
Wash and soak the rice, chana dal, and dry red chillies together for 3-4 hours. Grind the soaked ingredients along with handful of shallots (or 1/2 tsp asafetida) coarsely. Since only coarse grinding is necessary, you may use a mixer to grind in batches. Add necessary amounts of water to grind the batter to a medium consistency. Do not make it too loose. Add salt and drumstick leaves/chopped methi leaves to the batter. Mix well.

Batter consistency should be thicker than the dosa batter. Ada dosai batter does not require fermentation.

Heat an iron griddle. Use a cotton cloth to grease the griddle with sesame oil.

Ada dosaWhen the griddle is hot, spread a ladleful of batter and spread around to make a thick dosa. My grandmother never used to a ladle to spread adai. She would use her hand to spread the batter around.

Drizzle oil around the adai batter and in the middle. Do not economize on oil. Since this is a thick dosa, a good amount of oil is needed so that the batter gets cooked properly. Cook in medium heat.

When the sides start getting brown, turn over and cook the other side. Cook until both sides turn crisp.

Remove from tava and serve hot. Since this is a spicy dosa, it does not need chutney. It is traditionally served with unsalted white butter or jaggery.

Bachelor-friendly, Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Main Dish, Millet Recipes, Vegan

Bajra Khichdi

Bajra is good for diabetics and helps maintain blood glucose levels. It has high fiber content and makes you full for a longer period of time thus reducing the tendency to snack. It is also good for the heart and reduces acidity problems. What’s more? Bajra can help you reduce weight. Bajra rotlas and bhakris are famous in the North.

Instead of rice and wheat, which is normally eaten thrice a day, I try to include bajra and ragi in my meals at least 3-4 times in a week, mostly as dosas. Bajra khichdi is something that I have picked up from Tarla Dalal’s recipe collection. Quick and nutritious yet super easy to make.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIngredients:
Bajra / Pearl millet – 1/2 cup
Yellow split mung dal – 1/2 cup
Oil / ghee – 1 tsp
Jeera / Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Black pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
Tej pata /Bay leaf – 1 piece (optional)
Cinnamon / Dalchini – 1/2-inch piece (optional)
Hing powder / Asafoetida – 1/2 tsp
Haldi / Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Coriander leaves finely chopped – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Serves: 1

Method:
Wash and soak bajra in water overnight (8 hours). To increase the nutritive value, if you plan in advance, can even sprout the bajra. To sprout bajra, wash bajra, and soak in water for 8 hours. Drain all the water and keep the wet bajra in the same vessel. Keep it closed. You will notice sprouts in a day or 2. Wash sprouted bajra thoroughly, drain, and keep aside. Wash mung dal, drain and combine with the bajra. Add two cups of water (double of the combined quantity of bajra and mung dal) and pressure cook for four whistles. Allow the steam to escape naturally before opening the lid.
Heat oil/ghee in a kadai and add cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds crackle, add asafoetida, tej pata, dalchini, and turmeric powder. Turn off the fire. Add this to the cooked bajra and moong dal. Add salt and black pepper powder. Mix well. You can garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve with raita.

Recipe courtesy: Tarla Dalal

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Breakfast, Everyday Simple Recipes, Main Dish, Millet Recipes, Palakkad Iyer Recipes, South Indian, Tiffin, Vegan

Steamed Barnyard Millet Dumplings (Odalu Kozhukatai)

Kodo rice milletRecently there has been a hype about health foods like quinoa. Why look at videshi options when we have plenty of easily accessible, swadeshi, and cost effective options? Ragi, bajra, jowar, kodon, and the list goes on. Our villagers survived solely on millets before rice and wheat took over. For the same reason, during those times, lifestyle diseases were unheard of and people were healthy, energetic, and lived long and strong.
Barnyard millet

Millets have much more calcium, protein, and iron than rice and wheat. These poor man’s grains are high in fiber, rich in minerals, low fat, and gluten free also. Millets are not just good for you but for the environment as well. Millets can grow in dry lands and even in poor soil quality. They need only one-fifth to one-tenth of the water that rice and wheat cultivation needs. As if these reasons werent enough, most millets are grown organically because they are naturally pest-resistant! Can you beat that?
So it is established that millets are miracle grains. Now what? How do we include them in our diet? Earlier I had written about sprouted ragi dosa and sprouted bajra dosa. To break the dosa monotony, here are steamed dumplings made of barnyard millet. Simple, easy to make, and great for health.

IngredientsIngredients:
Barnyard Millet/Odalu/Varagarisi – 1 cup
Water – 2-1/2 cups
Onion – 1 (optional)
Carrot – 1 small (optional)
Green chilies – 3
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Grated coconut – 1/2 cup
Oil – 1 tsp
Asafetida – 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Urad dal – 1/2 tsp
Chana dal – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 25 mins
Serves 3-4

Method:
Wash the millet in water thoroughly. Drain and keep aside. Peel and chop onion and carrots finely. Slit the green chilies. On a thick bottom pan, pour oil and add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start to crackle, add urad dal and chana dal. When the dals turn red, add slit green chilies, asafetida, curry leaves, and chopped onion. When the onion turns pink, add finely chopped carrots. Saute for two minutes. Add 2-1/2 cups of water. Add salt. When the water starts boiling, stir in the washed millet. Keep stirring until it thickens. When the water has reduced and the millet, vegetable, and water mixture has become thick like upma, turn off the fire. Add the grated coconut. Mix well and let it cool. At this point the millet is half cooked.

When the cooked millet mixture has cooled down, take handfuls of the mixture and make small balls.

Dumplings

Place on an idli stand and steam for about 10-15 mins.

Steamed barnyard millet dumplings

I prefer serving steamed barnyard millet dumplings with sambar for a tangy combination. You can serve it with coconut chutney. Little ones can have it with sugar also.

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Dals/OzhichuKootaan/Saaru, Everyday Simple Recipes, Main Dish, Palakkad Iyer Recipes, South Indian, Vegan

Rasam

RasamSambar may be an important and inevitable dish of a South Indian meal, but the meal is incomplete without hot and tangy rasam. Although sambar and rasam have many common ingredients, they both taste distinct and unique. It is surprising that a simple dish like rasam can overpower a supreme dish such as sambar. It may look and taste simple but making finger-licking rasam that makes you want to sniff your hand much after you have finished your meal and washed your hands is an art to be perfected. Although I have been cooking for many years, I still feel the rasam I make can never match the taste of my mother’s rasam. Thanks to the variety of rasam powders in the market, making good rasam is easy these days. Perfecting the taste is just a matter of time.

Rasams are of different types – Tomato Rasam, Garlic Rasam, Pepper rasam, Jeera rasam, and the list is long. My recipe is a combination of some of these.

Ingredients:
Toor Dal – 1/2 cup
Tomato – 2-3 large ones
Water – 3-4 cups
Tamarind – lemon size

Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Chili powder – 1 tsp
Rasam powder – 2 tsps
Asafetida powder – 1/2 tsp
Pepper – 1/4 tsp
Jaggery powder/shavings – 1/2 tsp

For tempering
Coriander leaves – a bunch
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Garlic (optional) – 6-7 cloves
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Coconut oil/vegetable oil – 1 tsp

Salt to taste

Preparation Time: 20 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Serves: 4 people

Method:
Soak toor dal overnight or 6-8 hours and pressure cook it. You may choose to skip the dal. Not adding dal makes the rasam very watery, just like the versions served in weddings. I prefer to add dal because it gives it slight bit of thickness. Soak tamarind in 1 cup of hot water and set aside for 10 mins. In a pot, add 2 cups of water and add chopped tomatoes and turmeric powder. Close and cook for 5-10 mins in medium heat until tomatoes are soft and well cooked. When the tomatoes are cooked well, add salt and tamarind juice. Cook for 2-3 mins. Add the jaggery powder. This helps balance the tanginess of the tamarind without making the rasam sweet. Bring to boil. Mix asafetida powder, pepper powder, chilly powder, and rasam powder in few spoons of water and pour into the cooked tomato. Bring to boil. Do not boil for more than 5 minutes because it can turn rancid and increase acidity in people prone to acidity. Taste and adjust salt, chilly powder/pepper powder if necessary.

In a small kadai, heat 1 tsp oil and add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start crackling, add crushed garlic and saute. Garlic can be avoided if you do not prefer that flavor. When the garlic turns brown, switch off the fire and add curry leaves. Add this to the rasam. Add finely chopped coriander leaves.

If you do not have rasam powder at home, while tempering, after the mustard seeds crackle, you can add a tbsp of coriander powder, chilly powder, crushed jeera, and asafetida. This works as a good substitute for rasam powder.

Serve with rice or separately as a soup. I prefer to have rasam with a dollop of ghee mixed in my rice. This makes the rice extremely tasty and cools down your body and heals your throat and stomach. If you are down with a cold, you can spike the pepper in your rasam and drink it as a soup. This helps clear up the throat. My favorite combination is rice, ghee, rasam, and potato poriyal. Yummy!