Cabbage Moongdal curry

BM #105: Week 3, Day 2
Theme : Easy side dishes for rice/roti

This is a new recipe for me and I learnt it from my mother in law. I clicked the step wise pictures when she was cooking to make it’s easier for me to try it later when she is not around. I have already made this multiple times after she left and this has become an alternate way to prepare cabbage. My go to recipe has always been coconut based cabbage Thoran.

I have seen recipes where moong dal is cooked first and then the veggies are added. Here, everything is added together and yet the dal cooks to perfection. It needs to be stirred in between, but it’s mostly a handsfree kind of recipe. You don’t have to babysit it continuously.

Turmeric is usually not added to cabbage. But it’s my father in law’s way of preparing and my husband loved (and still loves) the bright color. So my mother in law adds it whenever she prepares it too. You can skip it if you want.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon broken urad dal
  • 2-3 green chilies, chopped
  • 1/4 cup moongdal
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1/2 of a small cabbage, chopped (about 2-2.5 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt as needed

Method:

Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds and once it’s done popping, add the urad dal. Mix a little so that it turns a little golden.

Add chopped green chilies. Sauté for a minute until it is fried a bit.

Add moongdal and water. You needn’t to wash the dal.Add cabbage in a heap in the middle and add the turmeric powder on top.

Cover and cook until the dal is done, stirring in between. You may have to sprinkle some more water if the cabbage seems to stick to the bottom of the pan before the dal is cooked. Remove from the heat and serve with rice and gravy of your choice.

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Beans porial with fennel seeds

BM #105: Week 3, Day 1
Theme : Easy side dishes for rice/roti

Rice is the staple dish for South Indians. We serve it everyday for lunch and even for dinner some days. Rice is served along with a gravy like sambar and a vegetable on the side. The sambar and the prepared vegetable are different everyday to keep the food interesting.

Beans is usually prepared once a week. I usually stir fry the beans and once cooked add shredded coconut on top and call it a day. But I was served this version which had ground fennel seeds and I loved the flavor. So now I have a small batch of ground fennel seeds at home, just to make this particular dish. This also starts off with sautéed onions and tomatoes as the base, again a deviation from normal for me. You can replace green beans with the yardlong beans/ karamani beans too.

Read on for the recipe.

Recipe source: My friend Purnima

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 small onion, chopped finely
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 2 cups of cut green beans (about 1/2″ long pieces)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt as needed
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
  • Method:
    1. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and once it has stopped popping, add the onions. Sauté until the onions turn pink. Now add the chopped tomatoes. Mix it in and add the spice powders and salt. Cover and cook in medium to low heat, until the tomatoes are mushy.
      Add the chopped beans. Mix it in and cover and cook, stirring in between, until the beans are done. You might have to sprinkle a little water if the curry sticks to the bottom of the pan. Taste test and adjust the seasonings, if preferred.
      Turn off the heat. Now add the crushed fennel seeds and mix it in. Cover and set aside. Serve with rice and sambar of your choice.

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    Greek frappe

    BM 103: Week 4, Day 2
    Theme: Balkan States

    While looking for recipes under this theme, I came across the frappe recipe and the interesting story behind its invention. Apparently a Necafe employee wanted to have coffee but didn’t have any hot water to make it. So he mixed Instant coffee, with ice water and ice cubes in a shaker and thus frappe was born!

    It’s a very popular drink in Greece and it’s so easy to make. I wish I had come across this recipe at the start of summer than at the end of it. Take instant coffee, sugar and a little water in a bottle with a tight lid and shake it for a minute or two. I actually keep a kitchen timer, else I might shake for ten seconds and say it’s done :D. Pour this frothy mix into a tall glass filled with ice. Add water or if you prefer coffee with milk, add cold milk. That’s it! Frothy delicious frappe is ready to serve.

    Recipe source : Classic Greek Frappe

    Serves 1

    Ingredients:

    • 2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
    • 2-4 teaspoons sugar, or per taste
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • Ice cubes
    • Milk or Water as needed

    Method:

    1. In a clean glass jar with a tight lid, add the coffee, sugar and water. Screw the lid on and shake vigorously for about 2 minutes.
    2. Fill a tall coffee cup half way with ice cubes. Add the frothy coffee into it. Slowly add water and/or milk to the cups. Serve. I like to add water first and then a little milk to it.

    And here it is with a little milk. Frothy still!

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    Djuvec Rice


    BM# 103: Week 4, Day 1
    Theme : Balkan States

    While looking for recipes from the Balkan states, I came across this dish that’s similar to ratatouille. A little bit of reading online told me that Djuvec (pronounced as joovetch), can be a vegetarian or meat based stew. It can be made with a variety of vegetables and you can add beans or meat to make it a complete meal. When rice is added, it becomes djuvec rice and a main dish that can be served on its own if preferred. The recipe is common to the Balkan states so you might find it marked as Bosnian/ Croatian/ Serbian depending on the blog you read from.

    I made it for lunch recently and loved it. To an Indian, this is similar to tomato rice loaded with vegetables and free from the regular masalas.

    Read on for the recipe.


    Recipe source: Bosnian Djuvec rice

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup uncooked rice
    • 2 cups vegetable broth/water
    • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
    • 1 small capsicum, diced small
    • 1 small eggplant, diced small
    • 1/2 zucchini, diced small
    • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
    • 2 tomatoes, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder, or per taste
    • 2 tablespoons oil
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Method:

    1. Heat oil in a big pan and sauté onions, garlic, capsicum, zucchini and eggplants.
    2. Once the vegetables are almost cooked, add the tomatoes and green peas along with chili powder and salt. Mix well and cook until the tomatoes are mushy, about 5 minutes.
    3. Mix in the rice and broth/water. Taste test and adjust seasonings if needed. Let the water come to a boil. Cover and cook until the rice has absorbed all the water, about 10-15 minutes. Take off the heat. Done!

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