Dals/OzhichuKootaan/Saaru, Everyday Simple Recipes, Palakkad Iyer Recipes, Vegan

Mixed Vegetables and Lentils Curry

A simple and easy to make dal and vegetables curry that can be easily cooked and is nutritious too. Sometimes you are so tired of the sambar, rasam, and all the spicy curries and crave for simple and mild dishes, or on days that I am super busy and cannot bother to make two different things, I go for this one. Goes well with rice as well as roti. It is very similar to the koottu curry that is a part of the Kerala sadya, but much more simpler.

Ingredients:
Ash gourd/kumbalanga – 100 gm
Ripe Pumpkin/mathan – 100 gm
Elephant yam/chena – 50 gm
Raw banana/kaya (optional) – 100 gm
Tur dal / Split pigeon peas – 1/2 cup / 50 gm
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Water as needed
Salt as needed

For grinding:
Grated coconut – 1/2 cup
Jeera – 1/2 tsp
Black peppercorns – 1/2 tsp or Green chilies – 3
Water as needed

For tempering
Coconut oil – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins
Serves: 4-5

Method:
Remove the peels of the vegetables, wash and clean them, and cut into small cubes.
Wash the tur dal 2-3 times in water.
Pressure cook the tur dal and cut vegetables along with a cup of water and 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and the required amount of salt. 1-2 whistles would do.
Meanwhile, grind the grated coconut, jeera, black peppercorns along with few tbsp of water that is required to grind the mixture well. You may use green chilies instead of black peppercorns. Make a smooth paste and set aside.
After opening the pressure cooker lid and ensuring that the vegetables and dal and are cooked well, add the ground coconut, jeera and pepper mixture to the cooked vegetables and dal. Mix well well and bring to boil. Adjust salt if required.
When the dal and vegetables and coconut mixture bubbles well, turn off the fire, add a teaspoon of coconut oil for flavor and add a sprig of curry leaves. Aromatic and flavorful dal and vegetables is ready.

Breakfast, Dals/OzhichuKootaan/Saaru, Everyday Simple Recipes, Kerala Recipes, Vegan

Mung Dal (Cheru Parippu) Curry – A Side Dish for Dosa and Idli

A dal cooked along with simple and minimal spices, a very good side dish for dosa and idli. When you are bored of sambar and chutneys along with idli and dosa, make this occasionally. Supplements you with good protein for your breakfast. This koottan (curry) is a family specialty. My mother makes it even on her father’s death anniversary because apparently my grandpa used to love this curry along with idli. The fragrance of the roasted mung dal and roasted coriander seeds is the dominant flavors of this curry.

Ingredients:
Split yellow mung dal – 200 gms
Potato – 2 medium sized
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt as needed
Water as needed

For Grinding:
Coriander seeds – 1/4 cup / 3-4 tbsp
Dry red chilies – 2-3
Grated coconut – 3-4 tbsp
Shallots – 4-5

For Seasoning:
Coconut oil – 1 tsp + 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 40 mins
Serves: 4

Method:
Dry roast mung dal in an iron wok until the raw smell goes away and the dal turns red. Keep aside.
Clean, peel, and dice the potatoes into cubes. Keep aside.
Peel the shallots. Keep aside.
Pressure cook the diced potatoes and mung dal (in separate vessels). For every cup of mung dal, add twice the amount of water for pressure cooking.
While the dal is getting cooked, in a wok, add 1/4 tsp oil. Add coriander seeds and dry red chilies and saute until you get the roasted smell of coriander seeds. Be careful not to burn them. Slow roasting is better. Just before you turn off the fire, add grated coconut. Once the roasted mixture cools down, grind the roasted mixture along with the shallots to make a fine paste. You may add small quantities of water.
In a wok, add the pressure cooked mung dal and cooked potatoes along with turmeric powder and salt. When the dal and potatoes start boiling, add the ground paste. Bring to boil. Adjust water and salt to desired levels. The consistency can be that of dal that is served along with rice.
In a small pan, heat a teaspoon of oil and add mustard seeds. When the seeds crackle, add curry leaves and pour this into the boiling dal.
Mildly spiced cheru parippu koottan is ready to be served along with idli or dosa.

Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Kerala Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegan

Water Spinach Dry Subzi (Vayal Cheera Thoran)

When you visit a new place, visiting the local vegetable market is such a delightful way
of getting to know locally grown vegetables and greens. You discover and learn so many
new things. One such really exciting discovery is the semi-aquatic perennial Water
Spinach or the Swamp Cabbage called Kalmi saag (Hindi) and Vayal cheera (Malayalam).
Like most other greens, there are numerous health benefits of consuming this spinach. It is rich in antioxidants and strengthens the immune system. It is also excellent to relieve issues of constipation and even reduce menstrual pain! Water spinach is a rich source of calcium, iron, amino acids, and vitamins B. The plant, its leaves and flowers look very similar to that of sweet potato. They belong to the same genus of plants. The stems are hollow. You can use the leaves and tender parts of the stem for this dish.

Ingredients:
Water spinach leaves (cleaned and chopped) – 3 cups tightly packed
Onion – 1 small
Garlic – 1 clove
Oil – 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
Green chilies – 2
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Grated coconut – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins
Serves: 2

Method:
Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
When they splutter, add the split green chilies.
Add finely chopped onion and garlic. Saute until they turn pink.
Add chopped water spinach leaves and turmeric powder. Mix well and close with a lid.
Cook in slow fire for about 5 mins stirring occasionally. The leaves will shrink and
become soft and darker in color.
Turn off the fire. Add salt and grated coconut. Mix well.

Bachelor-friendly, Dals/OzhichuKootaan/Saaru, Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Vegan

Simple Spinach Curry

Spinach/Palak leaves are healthy, rich in iron and nutrition. This super simple palak recipe is made with limited ingredients and goes well with rice as well as roti. In this recipe, I have steamed and pureed the spinach leaves. You may choose to just use chopped spinach leaves. I prefer the pureed spinach. You may also add cooked tur dal/split pigeon peas or split mung dal to this curry to increase volume and nutrition.

Ingredients:
Spinach leaves – 1 bunch
Green chilies – 1-2
Garlic – 1 clove
Onion – 1/2
Tomato – 1
Jeera – 1/2 tsp
Oil – 1/2 tsp
Lemon – 1/4
Salt as needed

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins to steam and 7 mins to cook

Method:
Clean and wash the spinach leaves well in water.
Drain and place in a double boiler or pressure cooker to steam the leaves. You will notice that the leaves have wilted, turned dark green, and reduced significantly.
Peel the garlic and onion. Chop finely and keep aside.
When the steamed spinach leaves cool down a bit, puree it using a mixer. Keep aside.
In a wok, add oil and jeera, slit green chilies and garlic. Saute.
Add finely chopped onion and tomato. Saute for 2-3 mins.
Add the pureed spinach into this. Bring to boil. Add salt.
Add lime juice just before serving.

Bachelor-friendly, Dals/OzhichuKootaan/Saaru, Everyday Simple Recipes, Kerala Recipes, Vegan

Mulaku Varutha Puli (Chilies and Shallots in Tamarind Water)

Every region has a few dishes that involves just rustling up some basic stuff together to get by on a lazy or difficult day. These dishes are never made for guests as they are considered too simple, minimalistic, and not grand enough to be served to guests. Palakkad has it’s own set of such dishes – Chembu thandu curry, moloshyam / molagoottal, vattikkal, pachadis, and the list goes on. Mulaku varutha puli is one such and a family favorite. On days when amma makes this, we run out of steamed rice because everyone tends to overeat. It is nothing but some chilies and shallots cooked in diluted tamarind water. The title sounds very grand like the accented Mulligatawny soup coined by Britishers. It is actually quite similar to a clear sour soup. So here is how.

Ingredients:
Green chilies – 2-3
Shallots – 4-5
Tamarind – a lemon sized ball
Jaggery – 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Oil – 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Water as needed
Salt as needed

Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 7 mins

Method:
Soak the tamarind in warm water and extract the juice. Discard the pulp. Keep the tamarind water aside.
Slit the green chilies. Peel the shallots and chop finely. Keep aside.
In a wok, add oil and mustard seeds. When mustard seeds splutter, add slit green chilies, finely chopped shallots, and curry leaves.
Saute the chilies and shallots in oil for about 2 mins.
Add the diluted tamarind water into the fried green chilies and shallots.
Add salt as needed and bring to boil.
Add jaggery and stir.
Taste and adjust the amount of water and salt.

Sour and tasty mulaku varutha puli is ready to be served with steamed hot rice.

Notes: It is important to add jaggery as it balances the tart of the tamarind and gives it a wonderful taste without making the dish sweet.

Chutneys/Thogayals/Dips/Podis, Everyday Simple Recipes, South Indian, Vegan

Mint & Coconut Chutney

Green chutneys are a great way to add raw greens in your diet. This mint/pudina chutney is simple to make, tangy, and flavorful. You can replace mint with coriander and make coriander coconut chutney also and add variety and different kinds of flavor and goodness to your diet.

Ingredients:
Mint leaves/Pudina – 2 cups (tightly packed)
Grated coconut – 1 cup
Ginger – a small piece
Green chilies – 5-6
Lemon juice/Tamarind/Raw mango – half a lemon
Salt as needed

Preparation Time: 15 mins
Serves: 6

Method:
Grind all the ingredients to a smooth paste.
For tart you may add lemon juice, a small gooseberry sized tamarind ball, or use raw mango.
You may choose to add garlic if you prefer the raw garlic taste in the chutney. Adjust salt and sourness by adding more lemon juice.
Those who prefer to balance the tart can add a little bit of sugar powder.
Serve along with rice, dosa, idli, roti, or with snacks such as samosa and paniyaram.
Store in an airtight container and take out in small batches as necessary.

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/