Categories
Recipes

Sarson, Rice, Dal

I received a bunch of ingredient suggestions from the Safal Team this month, with one caveat; there should be at least one khichdi recipe amongst the lot. I confess, that while khichdi, is one of my favourite dishes, and I’ll take some care to ensure there’s pickle, raw onions and desi ghee when eating it, I’ve never, ever thought of cooking it, let alone actually cooked it.

safal

This recipe was created for The Right Side of Life, a Safal community on Facebook. If you’re interested in eating healthier and involving food in different aspects of wellness, this is a group for you. We’re planning lots of activities and content for this group that I’m sure you’ll love!

So, this is my first time making any sort of khichdi, let alone some of the more elaborate one’s you’ve probably done. Be kind please. The haldi is missing from this recipe on purpose, so the colour ends up a nice, bright green.

Ideally, I must have pickle, ghee and raw onions with my khichdi.

Ingredients:

  • Step 1
    • Masoor Dal, 1/2 cup, washed and drained (about 100gm)
    • Rice, 1 cup, washed, pre-soaked for 30 minutes and drained (about 200 gm)
    • Salt to taste
    • Green chillies x3 pieces, slit
    • Garam masala x1 tbsp
  • Step 2
    • Sarson/Mustard leaves, 1 bunch, washed and trimmed.
    • Ginger, 1″ piece, finely chopped
    • Garlic, 6 cloves, finely chopped
  • Peanuts, crushed
  • Garnish
    • Chilli Pickle (I used Safal)
    • Raw onions
    • Ghee (I used Mother Dairy)
    • Peanuts, whole

Method:

  1. Put all the ingredients from ‘Step 1’ into a cooker, mix well, and cook until the rice is done, but not too mashed.
  2. Put all the ingredients from ‘Step 2’ into a cooker, mix well and cook for 1 whistle. Remove, drain and puree finely.
  3. Mix the outcomes from ‘Step 1’ and ‘Step 2’ with the crushed peanuts, pour into a plate, garnish with the ingredients from ‘Garnish’, and serve.

Notes:

  • Adjust garam masala and chillies to your liking.
  • Sarson ka saag sometimes has thick stalks. Peel these stalks of the fibrous outer casing, coarsely chop and add to the ingredients of step 2. I would also consider blanching these and adding them to the garnish or whole, like the peanuts, for crunch.
  • The role of the peanuts is for added crunch. I forgot to add the peanut garnish.
  • Given the number of pickles we have in this country, it is easy to vary flavour profiles simply by changing the pickle used.

Categories
Recipes

Chaar Saag Vyanjan

Greens were never my favourite vegetable and while I never avoided them, they weren’t ever sought out in my kitchen. Today, greens have a special place at home. We eat quite a bit of greens of all sorts, and mix and match them into dishes like this delicious vegetable stew cooked in dahi/yogurt that used both radish greens and spinach.

safal

This recipe was created for The Right Side of Life, a Safal community on Facebook. If you’re interested in eating healthier and involving food in different aspects of wellness, this is a group for you. We’re planning lots of activities and content for this group that I’m sure you’ll love!

At this time, there are so many wonderfully radiant and fresh greens available in the market and we thought we’d have a sort of mega-greens evening, even if it did mean eating a fair bit more carbs and fried stuff than we usually do.

Naming this post was a problem, because this post isn’t about a single dish, it’s about three – rotis and saag, paanch saag paratha and paanch saag kachori, all based on one delicious blend of four different greens – bathua (lamb’s quarters), methi (fenugreek), sarson (mustard) and suva (shepuchi / dill greens).

Ingredients:

  • Chaar Saag
    • Bathua, 150 gm, washed and picked
    • Sarson ka Saag, 150 gm, washed and picked
    • Suva Saag, 100 gm, washed and picked
    • Methi leaves,150 gm, washed and picked
  • Sabat (whole) Masala
    • Saunf (aniseed), 2 tsp
    • Methi (fenugreek) seeds, 1 tsp
  • Powders
    • Heeng (asafoetida), 1/4 tsp
    • Red chilli powder, 1 tsp
    • Saunth (dried ginger) powder, 1 tsp
    • Aamchur (dried mango) powder, 1 tsp
  • Ginger-Garlic paste, 2 tbsp
  • Green chillies, 2 pieces, finely chopped
  • Mustard oil, 2 tbsp
  • Salt, 1 tsp

Method:

  1. Grind all the sabat masalas and mix with all the powders, including the salt.
  2. Heat the mustard oil in a large pot till medium hot.
  3. Add the mixture from step 1, fry for a minute. Add the green chillies. Fry for another 30 seconds.
  4. Add all the leaves. Keep mixing and stirring till the water has all but dried out.
  5. The saag is now ready and can be eaten with rotis.

You can use this saag as a filling for parathas and kachoris too. See notes for more information.

Notes:

  • You can chop the leaves if you want. We didn’t.
  • Don’t heat the oil too much before putting in the mixture from step one, or the whole lot will immediately burn.
  • The sabat masalas can be ground as coarsely or finely as you want. I did it midway.
  • If you’re planning to eat with rotis, you can retain some more moisture within.
  • If you’re planning to use as a stuffing, dry it out quite a bit more. Remember to cool it before using as a stuffing.
  • For the dough for kachoris and parathas, we used the same as in Sweet potato and carrot halwa. The dough turned out quite nice for really crisp and flaky parathas.
  • The saag goes really, really well with dahi/yogurt.
  • Did I mention it goes great with dahi?
Categories
Recipes

Buttery Methi Baingan

I love baingan / aubergine in all its forms – bharta, bhaja, with aloo and all the rest. There is though the fact, that I haven’t seen as many variations in flavour as desired.

Here’s a dish Cherie and I ate for lunch. I made this a few days ago and all three of us thought it was delicious enough to do it again, and this time, note down the recipe, something I’m spectacularly bad at.

This dish is buttery, soft and though delicious, can be a bit bitter due to the kasoori methi and mustard seeds used. If you don’t like it that way, try reducing the amounts of these spices.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sized Baingan / aubergine, diced
  • Spice mixture – grind to a coarse texture
    • 1 tbsp Saunf / aniseed
    • 1 tbsp Kasoori methi / dried fenugreek leaves
    • 1 tsp Kali mirch / Black peppercorns, whole
    • 1 tsp Rai / Yellow mustard, whole
    • Chili flakes
  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • Salt to taste
  • Half a Lemon, juice

Method:

  1. Melt butter in a pan
  2. Saute the spice mixture and a little salt for a bit, until aromatic
  3. Add the diced baingan, mix well, so all the dices are coated with the spice
  4. Reduce flame and cook, covered until the baingan is tender, about 7 – 9 minutes usually.
  5. Check and adjust seasoning, add lemon juice, serve hot with rotis.
Categories
Recipes

Spicy Tuna Salad

There’s this very cliched and common blend of spices that results in a fairly typical south Indian flavour profile, and it’s one I particularly enjoy. Last night whilst putting together a salad, I used this to top the lot and it tasted wonderful. If you’re using tuna, as I did, you might find it somewhat dry. If so, a dab of mayonnaise (the white gloop, not the real stuff) alleviates the dryness and even adds to the overall experience.

Ingredients:

  • 500 gm Tuna fillet, diced, washed and drained
  • 1 tbsp Yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 handful Kadi patta / curry leaves
  • 2 tsp Chana dal / split and polished baby chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp Ginger, fresh, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Garlic, fresh, finely chopped
  • 1 large Onion, coarsely sliced
  • 1 tsp Chili flakes
  • 3 – 4 Red chilies, dried
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil as required

Method:

  1. Heat the oil
  2. Splutter the mustard seeds
  3. Add the red chilies, chili flakes, onions, garlic, ginger, kadi patta and chana dal
  4. Saute till the dal is well fried. The onions should be browning around the edges by now.
  5. Add the tuna.
  6. Cook and toss repeatedly for about 5 – 7 minutes.
  7. Serve hot.

Notes

  • Please use black mustard if you prefer and reduce the quantity if you wish. I like my mustard.
  • Sometimes, tuna fillets have quite a large bit of dark meat, which I don’t particularly like the taste of. I repeatedly soaked and drained the diced tuna until the colour was lighter and then drained it one final time for cooking.
  • This dish
    • can be eaten as a salad
    • will go well with boiled potatoes
    • works nicely in a sandwich or a wrap.
    • makes a nice filling for a pie, with potatoes
    • tastes good stuffed into a paratha, mashed with some potatoes and seasoning
    • can be bulked up by tossing with some cooked pasta
Categories
Recipes

Besan ki Sabzi in Mustard Gravy, by Alpana

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Besan (chickpea flour)
  • 2 Onions, finely chopped
  • 2 Tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp Mustard paste using soaked mustard seeds
  • 1.5 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1.5 tbsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 4 tbsp Mustard oil or as required
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as required
  • Fresh coriander leaves

Method

BESAN DUMPLINGS

  1. In a bowl take besan, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp red chilli powder, 2 tbsp chopped onion and salt.
  2. Add enough water to make a thick paste.
  3. Heat a non stick pan, lower the heat and put the besan paste into the pan. Stir continuously till the batter becomes a thick halwa-like consistency.
  4. Spread oil on a plate. Take out the cooked besan from the pan and place onto the oil coated plate. Flatten it with a spatula into a 1/2 inch thick layer.
  5. When the mixture cools down, cut into square pieces.
  6. Heat oil in a kadhai and deep fry the square besan pieces until golden brown on both sides.

MUSTARD GRAVY

  1. Heat oil in a kadhai and add methi/fenugreek seeds. When they begin spluttering, add chopped onions.
  2. When the onions become light brown, add garlic and mustard paste, then saute for 2 – 3 minutes.
  3. Add chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder and salt.
  4. Cover & cook for 4 – 5 minutes or till the oil separates from the masala.
  5. Add water, remaining red chilli powder and bring it to boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Add besan squares into the hot gravy and simmer for another 2 – 3 minutes, then turn off the heat.
  7. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with steamed rice.

Tip: Always use soaked mustard seeds to make paste. The paste may otherwise might taste bitter.

Alpana Singh is a talented cook who has even published a collection of her recipes. This is one she posted to our group and one that looked like it ought to be saved for future reference.