Moong Sprouts Salad

BM #113 : Week 2, Day 2
Theme : Protein rich recipes

I used to be a big fan of sprouts salad in my twenties. If I didn’t have time to make sprouts from scratch, I used to pick up readymade packets from the supermarket just to make these salads. My recipe was simple – add some tomatoes, maybe onions and a green chili to the sprouts. Season with salt and then add the most important thing- lemon juice! It was the pairing of lemon juice with sprouts that I liked the most.

All that changed when I got pregnant. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t just have morning sickness. Instead, I had morning/ afternoon/ night sickness and it continued until the minute I delivered my son. I used to throw up multiple times a day and naturally my food habits changed a lot during those months. Apple became a favorite because it was the one and only food item that wouldn’t cause vomiting. It was tough in the initial months, later I figured out that it doesn’t matter what I eat, I am going to throw up anyway. So it was all fine.

The sprout salad was one of things that I gave up during my pregnancy. It took me more than a decade to give it another chance. It’s great that I am able to enjoy it now :-).

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sprouts
  • 1/2 big tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small green chili, minced- optional
  • Salt as needed
  • Lemon juice as needed (I start with about 1/2 of a big lemon)

Method:

  1. In a bowl, add everything. Mix gently and taste test. Add more salt and lemon juice if needed. I like this with a lot of lemon juice.

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Green gram Sundal

BM #113 : Week 2, Day 1
Theme : Protein rich recipes

When I got married, I used to prepare Sundal varieties a lot and my husband always had this confused look. He would ask me why I am preparing something that was made only during the festival season on an everyday basis. You see, Sundal is way of preparing dry beans and lentils (commonly with coconut) and is made during the pooja holidays as an offering to the God. But in my house, it was a everyday dish.

The reason – my younger brother was a picky eater. His lunch and dinner every single day was curd rice, served with a side of (a) potato fry (b) raw banana fry (c) Sundal of any kind OR (d) potato/tapioca/ raw banana chips. The first time I saw him eat rice with sambar was when I was over 25. You really could have knocked me down with a feather at that moment!

Fortunately for my mother who was working, my brother’s eating habits came handy. Everyday she would make some kind of vegetable porial and then a Sundal as a second side dish for everyone. It’s much more easier to prepare a Sundal than a regular vegetable. Soaking overnight and pressure cooking is the major part, which is not too much effort. The sautéing part is the only active work and it takes less than 5 minutes even when you are cooking for a crowd. So no wonder we all adopted this into our regular diet.

With my husband, who grew up in a household without picky eaters, Sundal remains a once in a while dish. Or a healthy evening snack. So after our marriage, instead of making this a couple of times a week, I started making this only when the veggies run low. It’s not surprising that Sundal made a strong comeback during this quarantine time when grocery shopping wasn’t as easy as before :-).

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry whole moong beans
  • 2 teaspoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 red dry chili
  • 6-8 curry leaves
  • A pinch of hing, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoon shredded coconut
  • Salt as needed

Method:

  1. Soak the beans overnight. Drain the water and rinse the beans. Add enough water to the beans to so that there is at least an inch of water on top of it. Pressure cook for one whistle or for 1 minute in Manual mode if using Instant Pot. Let the pressure release naturally.
  2. Drain the beans and If possible, let it cool down for sometime. Cooking when it’s hot could make it mushy.
  3. Heat oil in a pan. add the mustard seeds, red chili and curry leaves. Once the seeds crackle add the hing and let it cook for a few seconds. Add the turmeric powder, chili powder and salt. Mix with a spatula and add the drained beans. Gently mix everything without breaking the beans. If the beans are undercooked (each batch of beans is different, so cooking times might differ slightly), sprinkle some water and cover and cook until it’s done.
  4. Add the shredded coconut and mix it in gently. Taste test and adjust seasonings, if needed. Take off the heat and serve with rice and morkuzhambu (yogurt based curry for rice).
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Lasooni Chana Paneer

BM #112 : Week 3, Day 3
Theme : A-Z Curries

I got this recipe from a friend of mine and she told me that it’s her regular base recipe. She makes a big batch of the below garlic paste and the uses a spoon or two as needed for various Curries or rice preparations throughout the week. Here I have used the whole batch for a single curry and as you can guess from the ingredient list, it is a very spicy dish. You can always use half of the spice paste and make it less spicer or simple reduce the amount of chilies and black pepper.

Here I have used what I had at home which happened to be Chana and paneer. You can use any vegetable you have at home. If you are using this for rice preparations, go about it the same way – Sauté the prepared garlic paste in oil after cooking the onions, then cook along with vegetables of your choice and rice.

Between pepper and red chilies, the paste is really spicy, but I find the taste quite alright and not overwhelming for us. In a nutshell, the paste contains about one whole garlic, a big piece of ginger, Handful of red chilies, a handful of black pepper and a bit of Jeera. The measurements here are based on that and you can always adjust it according to your preference. This curry goes well with rice and roti. I prefer it with rice.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

For the garlic paste:

  • 2” piece ginger, peeled
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • 10-12 red chilies or per taste
  • 3 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 teaspoon jeera

For the curry

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • Curry paste from above
  • 2 cups cooked Chana
  • 1 cup diced paneer or more
  • Salt as needed
  • Coriander leaves for garnish

Method:

  1. In a blender jar, grind the ginger, garlic, red chilies, pepper and jeera to a paste. Grind without water first, but if needed, add a spoonful of water to help with grinding. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan. Add onions and sauté until it turns pink. Add the ground masala and sauté till the raw smell goes away. Add the tomatoes and cover and cook until tomatoes are soft and done. You can sprinkle some water if the curry looks dry and starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add the cooked Chana, paneer, salt as needed and one cup of water. Mix everything well and add more water, if needed, to bring to the consistency of your choice. Bring it to a boil, taste test and adjust seasonings. Remove from heat, serve with rice or roti.

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Kadai Kumbh Palak

BM #112 : Week 3, Day 2
Theme : A-Z Curries

The library here was one of the first places to close when COVID 19 started spreading. They had emailed us to let us know that we should hold on to the books we borrowed until further notice. They are renewing the books from their end to avoid fines during this time. It’s a blessing that we can borrow digital copies using their App. I am fine reading a book in my phone, but somehow for cookbooks I don’t like the digital copy. I still prefer the paper copy.

So good thing is that, I am home with some really good books. One of which is Vegan Richa’s Indian cooking. I have already checked out that book couple of times and every recipe I have tried so far has been delicious. I am sure it’s a matter of time before I will be buying a copy of this book, but until then I have the library copy with me.

This is a mushroom and spinach curry with a base tomato gravy is from that book. I added some onions and peppers too to the mix, it’s a simple recipe to make and it was delicious. I had made extra servings, but it all got finished in one go – which I think is a good sign:-).

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup mixed peppers, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon kasoori methi
  • 3 big tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups packed spinach
  • Salt

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a pan. Add garlic, green chilies, peppers and onion. Sauté until onion changes color. Now add the spices – coriander powder, garam masala, chili powder, kasoori methi and salt. Cook for a minute. Add the tomatoes, mix well, cover and cook until it’s mushy. About 5 minutes or so.
  2. Add mushrooms, spinach. Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of water, if needed. Mix well, reduce heat, cover and cook until the mushrooms are done. Taste test and adjust seasonings. Serve with rice or roti.

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