Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Sweets, Vegan

Dates and Peanuts Laddoo

Dates and Peanuts LaddooDoubt if there can be a simpler, healthier, and tastier laddoo than this one. It is protein-rich and sugar free. I learnt this recipe from a Gujarati friend who is a very big mungphali/singdana/peanuts fan. Natural sweetness of dates, flavor and crunchiness of peanuts with a hint of salt, made with just two ingredients.

Ingredients:
Roasted peanuts – 400 gm
Sesame seeds (white or black) – 50-70 gm
Seedless Dates – 400 gm

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 5-10 mins
Yield: 30 laddoos

Dates and Peanuts Laddoo

Method:
Lightly roast the roasted peanuts. You may add ghee if you prefer but it is enough to just dry roast the peanuts because the oil from the peanut is sufficient to make the laddoos. Although the peanuts are roasted, it is good to roast them again just before making the laddoo. When the peanuts cool down, remove the skin, put in a mixer jar, and grind to a coarse powder. Keep aside. Dry roast the sesame seeds until they start leaving an aroma and popping up (roughly 5 mins on medium fire).
Check the seedless dates carefully to ensure that there are no hard parts or seeds present. Add the seedless dates into the mixer jar and grind to a smooth paste. Add some part of the coarsely ground peanuts into the mixer and grind a little along with the dates mixture to blend both the ingredients. Remove this mixture from the jar and mix well with the remaining coarsely powdered peanuts. Add the roasted sesame seeds to this mixture. I do not prefer to pulse the sesame seeds in the mixer as I like to the taste of biting into the roasted sesame seeds. Mix all the ingredients well and break lumps, if any. Taste a little of the mixture and blend and add more dates if you prefer more sweetness. Take handful of the mixture and shape into laddoos. Store in an airtight container. Will stay good up to 10 days. They taste very similar to Snickers yet totally sin-free. Even a “dates-hater” like me is unable to stay away from snacking frequently on these.

Notes: I used 200 gms salted peanuts and 200 gms unsalted peanuts. So there was a hint of salt in the laddoo just to balance the sweetness.

Recipe courtesy: Srushti Desai

Breakfast, Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Snacks, South Indian, Tiffin, Vegan

Tangy Poha

Here is a tangy variety of poha that almost tastes like puliyodarai. I tasted this at a friend’s house and soon after tasting the first spoon, me and my mother were after my friend and her mother-in-law to get the recipe secret out. I tried making it soon enough so that I don’t forget the ingredients. Dry roasted and powdered whole masala ingredients are used for this recipe. Store this powder in an air tight container and then making this tangy poha is just a matter of few minutes. Let’s look at how tangy poha is made.

Ingredients:
Poha (beaten rice flakes/aval) – 6 cups
Tamarind juice – from a lime-sized tamarind ball
Water (optional, only enough to lightly moisten the poha)
Jaggery powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

For masala:
Coriander powder – 2 tbsp
Fenugreek (uluva) – 1/2 tsp
Jeera – 1/2 tsp
Red chilly powder – 1 tsp
Black pepper – 1/2 tsp
Asafetida – 1/2 tsp

For seasoning:
Cooking oil – 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tbsp
Urad dal – 1 tsp (optional)
Chana dal – 1 tsp (optional)
Roasted Peanuts – one fistful
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

For garnish:
Coriander leaves – 4-5 stalks
Curry leaves – 2 stalks

Method:
Soak tamarind in half a glass of water and extract the juice. Choose the amount of tamarind very carefully. If you feel later that it is not sufficient, you can add lime juice to balance the taste.

Grind the poha in a mixer to make a coarse powder (slightly bigger than rawa consistency). Transfer to a large bowl and keep aside. Mix the tamarind juice along with water and salt to moisten the poha. Use water carefully because the poha should just be sufficiently moistened. The consistency should be moist powdery but neither lumpy nor dry. Add jaggery powder. Mix well. Jaggery helps balance the tanginess and enhances the taste. Keep aside for 10 minutes. Since I used matta rice variety of beaten flakes, I could not get a fine powdery version. The white rice variety helps you get a nice powdery version.

If you are using whole masala ingredients, dry roast each ingredient separately and powder them. I used powders except for fenugreek and jeera. Dry roast fenugreek and jeera in an iron kadai. Powder the roasted ingredients using a mortar and pestle before it cools down. Dry roast the remaining ingredients (coriander powder, black pepper powder, chilly powder, asafetida) together in the iron kadai in low flame for about 2 minutes until the raw smell is gone. Add the powdered fenugreek and jeera to this roasted masala and mix well.

In an iron kadai, pour oil and crackle mustard seeds. If you prefer to add urad dal and chana dal, you can add them now. When the dals turn red, add curry leaves and peanuts. Roast for a minute. Add the masala powder along with turmeric powder and stir for half a minute. Add the powdered poha. Stir and cook for about two minutes. Add coriander leaves. Tangy poha is ready.

An extremely easy alternative is to use readymade Puliyodarai mix for this recipe. Coarsely grind the rice flakes using a mixer. Add sufficient salt and water to this coarsely ground powder and moisten the powdered rice flakes. In a kadai, heat oil and crackle mustard seeds. Add sufficient puliyodarai paste to this oil and mix well. Cook for a minute. Add the moistened rice flakes powder to this. Mix well and serve.

Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Side Dishes, Vegan

Stuffed Brinjal

Another stuffed vegetable that is very similar to the previous one. I have always been a brinjal fan. Isnt it one of the prettiest of vegetables? What a color! When I buy sarees for my mother, I always look for the aubergine or the brinjal flower color because that’s her favorite! Man has not yet mastered the art of replicating the colors of Nature very well, yet we take pride in saying that we came close. Whether it is the purple brinjal or the unique green long brinjal variety, the streaked purple and white ones, or the ivory white one; all taste excellent when cooked with the right ingredients. Who can resist the smell of the smoky bhartha baingan?

Stuffed brinjal is easy to make and makes good accompaniment for rotis or puris. You can go crazy with your imagination and use anything you fancy for the masala of this recipe. Make this one and you will fall in love with brinjal.

Ingredients:
Brinjal (purple small round ones) – 250 gms
Cooking oil (sunflower) – 2 tbsps
Coriander leaves – a bunch
Salt – to taste

For masala:
Onion – 2 (medium sized)
Peanuts – 2 tbsp
Sesame seeds – 1 tbsp
Grated coconut / Copra pieces – 2 tbsp
Garlic – 3-4 cloves
Tamarind – 1 lime size
Jaggery – 1 tsp
Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Chilly powder – 2 tsp
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method:

Please make sure that you use the small purple brinjal variety to make this dish. Wash the brinjal and pat them dry using a cloth. Make slits that cross each other while keeping the stem intact. Ensure that there is no dirt/worms. Keep aside.

Peel and cut the onion. In a pan, dry roast the grated coconut / copra and peanuts. Set aside.
Add one tbsp oil and add chopped onion, garlic, tamarind and saute well. After the onion turns pink, add turmeric power, chilly powder, jaggery, and salt. You may add anything you fancy, like coriander powder, garam masala, or ginger garlic paste instead of garlic. Turn off the flame and let the mixture cool. Grind this to a fine paste in a blender. Add just enough water so that the paste is not too loose. Carefully stuff this paste into the slit brinjal so that the paste of masala coats the insides of the brinjal. If you choose to and have the time and patience, you can keep this aside for half an hour before you start cooking the brinjal. I did not do this and cooked the stuffed brinjal straightaway after stuffing them with the masala.

In a thick bottomed pan, pour 2 tbsp of cooking oil and place the slit brinjal with masala stuffing. Close with a lid. Hold the brinjal stem and turn them over occasionally to cook all sides until the brinjal is tender (about 10-15 minutes on medium fire). If you prefer some gravy for the dish, you can make the masala slightly watery and that will make the dish watery. If you prefer it tangy, you can cook the stuffed brinjal in tomato puree. When the brinjal is tender, remove from fire, and add chopped coriander leaves. Serve with rotis or warm rice.

If you enjoyed reading this recipe, please consider subscribing to this blog. It’s free and you will receive e-mail notifications with each updation.

Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Side Dishes, Vegan

Stuffed Bhindi/Okra

This is definitely a rich one! Once you try this stuffing, you will give up your other mundane bhindi subzis. It is an excellent combination with roti. I had this dish first when my friend’s aunt packed this along with rotis for our train journey. She had given us fairly big portions, but my friend and I licked it clean in a single sitting. First thing we did after finishing it was call up my friend’s aunt and get the recipe. The unusual ingredients (copra and peanuts) turn the otherwise dull bhindi into an exotic dish. Here is how to make it.

Ingredients:
Bhindi/okra/lady’s finger – 250 gms
Copra/dried coconut kernel shavings – 1 cup
Peanuts – 1/2 cup
Garlic pod (medium sized) – 1
Chilly powder – 1 tsp
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
Salt – as needed

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

Method:
The okra that you choose for this subzi should be of small size. Use only the tender ones. Make sure that you wash them thoroughly and pat dry. Remove both the ends and make a single slit on the okra ensuring that it does not split into two. Okra is a favorite hideout for worms! So make sure that you check for any dirt or worms. Keep aside.

Slice the copra into small, even pieces. In a thick bottomed pan, dry roast the copra pieces until golden brown (for around 5 minutes). Remove from fire. Dry roast the peanuts in medium fire for around 5 minutes. When the peanuts start changing color, remove from fire. Grind the roasted peanuts, copra, garlic pod, and chilly powder in a blender to make a coarsely ground powder.

In a pan, pour one tbsp oil and add the slit okra. Close with a lid and cook for 3 minutes in medium fire. Stir occasionally. When the okra is half cooked, add the the coarsely ground powder. Add the required amount of salt, stir, and close with a lid. Cook for 5 mins in medium fire. Stir occasionally. Stuffed okra is ready. Serve hot with warm rotis. Since this is a dry subzi, you may serve it along with dal.

If you enjoyed reading this recipe, please consider subscribing to this blog. It’s free and you will receive e-mail notifications with each updation.

Everyday Simple Recipes, Salads

Raw Papaya Salad

A quick and healthy salad, simple and easy to make.

Grated raw papaya, seed-ridden green chillies finely chopped, generous sprinkle of sesame seeds (may be some crushed flavored peanuts as well!), dash of lime and salt. Yummy salad is ready. Sorry no pictures 😦

P.S. – Could use partially cooked papaya if raw gets to you!

Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Salads

Cucumber & Beetroot Salad

An easy and tasty salad. Great way to start a meal.

Ingredients:
Cucumber – 1
Beetroot – 1
Peanuts (preferably flavored) or almonds – a handful
Green chilies – 1
Coriander leaves – 6-7 stalks
Lime – one-half
Salt to taste

Preparation Time: 5 mins.
Cooking Time: 5 mins.

Method:

Peel the cucumber and beetroot and grate them. Crush the (flavored/plain) peanuts and add to the grated veggies. Cut the green chilies, remove the seeds, and chop them finely. Chop the coriander leaves finely and add them and green chillies to the grated veggies. Squeeze the lime juice into the veggies. Add salt and mix well. Healthy and tasty salad is ready to serve.

Health Benefits/Alerts:
Cucumber is low in calories and cools the tummy. Beetroot improves the quality of blood. It cleanses and kidneys and gall bladder. Peanuts are a great source of protein and contain significant amounts of iron, zinc, and magnesium. Overall this salad is a healthy way to begin a meal.

If you enjoyed reading this recipe, please consider subscribing to this blog. It’s free and you will receive e-mail notifications with each updation.