Bachelor-friendly, Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Snacks, Tiffin, Vegan

Boiled Peanut Chaat

Peeled peanutsIt is groundnut season again. Bangalore has a unique festival dedicated to celebrating this nutritious nut. Many years back, Basavanagudi, a place in Bangalore, was surrounded by villages where groundnut was cultivated. On full moon nights, a bull used to charge and destroy the crops and the farmers were really upset and prayed to Basava aka Nandi (bull) Shiva’s vehicle) that they would offer their first crop to Nandi if their crops are preserved. Soon after this, a Nandi’s idol was found at Basavanagudi, and the farmers started worshipping Him. The idol started growing in size tremendously and to arrest the growth, the farmers put an iron rod on the idol’s head. You can see this nail in the form of a Trishul when you visit the Bull Temple at Basavanagudi. The tradition of offering the first crop of groundnuts continues till date. The annual Kadalekai Parishe (Groundnut Festival) is on right now.

Eating seasonal and local produce is the best for health as well as sustainability. Buying local produce means that the goods reach you sooner thus ensuring minimal loss of nutrients. By doing this you also support local farmers. Earth knows what is best for us in which climate. All seasonal crops are best suited for the climate of the season in which they get ripe. To give some examples, cucumber and watermelon available in plenty during summer acts as tummy coolants. Peanuts, Chinese potato, and other yam varieties found only in winter gives heat to the body. The recipe here is very simple, easy to make, nutritious, and chatpata. Involve children and all family members while peeling the groundnuts. With all the chitchat and banter, you will not realize how fast the work gets done.

Ingredients:
Raw groundnuts – 1 cup
Raw mango (medium size) – quarter portion
Coconut – 2 thin ring slices from a broken coconut
Coriander leaves – 2 tbsp
Green chilies – 2
Lime juice – 1/2 lime
Olive oil – 1 tsp
Rock salt as needed

Preparation Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 5 mins
Servings: 3 small cups

Method:
Peel the groundnuts. Boil them in minimal water along with some rock salt. (I pressure cooked them to one whistle). Remove the water if there is excess left after boiling. Chop mango piece and coconut slices into small thin pieces. Slit green chilies. Remove the seeds. Chop into thin pieces. Chop coriander finely. Add all the chopped ingredients to the boiled peanuts. Add lime juice. Adjust salt if required. Pour oil. Mix well and serve.

Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Salads

Fruit Salad with a Twist

Crunchy fruits, chewy paneer, sweet, citrus, and peppery. A very enjoyable mix of tastes and textures, this salad can be served before or after food.

Summer is when fruits are available in plenty. Including a salad in your menu cuts down time spent near the stove and is a welcome refreshment and hydration for your body.

A fruit salad sounds as easy as tossing pieces of fruits together in a bowl and serving it. But the amount of care and thought that you put into your fruit salad shows in its taste. Texture-wise, your fruit salad will taste better if the fruits you choose are soft and ripe with a slight crunch to each bite. Your individual fruits pieces should take on the flavor of the other pieces yet without seeping into the other pieces. Over-ripe fruits can break quickly into a mess and coat into the other fruit pieces. By mixing together ripe but not mushy fruits, your fruit salad looks fresh and vibrant for a long time.

fruit saladIngredients:
Apple – 1
Pear – 1
Orange – 1
Paneer – 100 gm
Cashew nuts – 6-8
Raisins – 6-8
Honey – 1 tsp
Mint leaves – 6-8
Pepper – 1/4 tsp
Olive oil – 1 tsp
Lemon juice – 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Method:
Wash all the fruits. Wipe clean and cut the fruits into cubes and mix in a bowl. Pour salt and lemon juice over the cut fruits to retard oxidizing (browning of exposed portions). If you plan to serve the salad chill, at this stage, you could refrigerate. This will allow the flavors to mingle. But do not refrigerate for more than four hours. Cut paneer in cubes. Add the paneer to the cut fruits along with cashew nuts and raisins. Add honey, olive oil, pepper, and mint leaves. Serve immediately or serve after chilling for a short while.

This salad is inspired by a recipe I saw here.