Monday, September 27, 2010
Each State of India has it's own style of making Khichri(Khichadi)---it is a very popular Indian Comfort Food!!!Instead of using the Traditional Rice with the Dal, I've substituted it with Cracked Wheat (Bulghur) or you can use Oats if you want. Traditionally Shallot Strips are fried crisp and golden and added along with the Seasoning but that needs 1-2 tbsps. more Ghee---so I don't do that anymore---those who don't want the Ghee as listed can reduce the quantity even further.This is the way my Bengali Friend Mitra makes it---hence Bengali Style.
CALORIE COUNT 264.5
Total Fat 6.9 g, Saturated Fat 3.7 g, Cholestrol 15.5 mg, Potassium 597.4 mg, Sodium 400 mg, Carbohydrate 39 g,Dietary Fibres 11 g,Sugars 1.6 g,Protein 10.2 g.
INGREDIENTS for 12 Servings
100 gms.Cabbage shredded
100 gms.Carrots chopped
100 gms.French Beans cut into diagonal Strips
100 gms.Green Peas Shelled
100 gms. Tomatoes chopped
2 bunches Fresh Spinach finely chopped
5 hot Green Chillies
3" piece Fresh Ginger Root
2 Cups(250gms) Bulghur(Cracked Wheat)
5 cups(750 gms) Mixed Moong-Masoor Dal(mixed in equal Proportions)
2 tsps Turmeric Powder
1.5 tbsps.Coriander-Cumin Powder
Salt to taste
2 pieces 2" Cinnamon Bark(Daalchini/Taj)
10 whole Cloves(Lavang/Laung)
20 whole Black Peppercorns(Kaali Miri/Kaali Mirch)
2 Black Cardamoms(Kali/Mothi Velchi/Badi/Doda Ilaichi)
5 Bay Leaves(Tamaal Patra/Tez Patta)
2 tsps.White Poppy Seeds(Khus Khus)
Pick,clean and wash Dals and soak for 30 minutes in warm Water.
Wash the Bulghur and drain.
Grind the Green Chillies and Ginger Root to a fine paste.
Chop the Vegetables in the manner desired.
Boil the Dals till soft.Add the Bulghur and continue cooking till Bulghur too is cooked and the mixture is like a thick Stew.Add the Vegetables,Green Chillies---Ginger Paste,Salt to taste,Turmeric and Coriander Cumin Powders and mix well.Cover with a lid and simmer till all the Vegetables are cooked.Adjust the Salt to taste if needed.
Heat the Seasoning Pan on low flame and melt the Ghee.Add the Whole Spices and allow to sputter and pop.Sprinkle in the Asafoetida and fry for 1 minute.Pour this Seasoning over the thick stew and cover with a lid instantly to seal in the flavours and aromas.Simmer covered for 5 minutes more before stirring to mix well and serve hot with crisp Indian toasted Papads and hot spicy Indian Pickles for nourishing and satisfying one Dish Meal!!
TO TOAST PAPAD
Apply a thin Film of Oil on each side of the Papad and microwave for 10-15 seconds till crisp.
P.S. Add or subtract the Vegetables to your taste---these are the Vegetables I generally use.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Total CALORIES 198,Total Fat 8.1 g, Saturated Fat 4.2 g,Polyunsaturated Fats 1 g ,Monounsaturated 2.3 g,Cholestrol 15.5 mg,Sodium 504.4 mg ,Potassium 640.7 mg,Total Carbohydrate 32 g,Dietary Fibre 8.7 g,Sugars 2.1 g,Protein 7.8 g
IF BULGHUR(CRACKED WHEAT) IS USED INSTEAD OF OATS
THEN Total Calories 240.6, Total Fat 7.6 g,Saturated Fat 4 g,Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g,Monounsaturated Fat 1.7 g, Cholestrol 15.5 mg, Sodium 503.8 mg,Potassium 529.2 mg,Total Carbohydrate 34.1 g,Dietary Fibre 9.3 g,Sugars 2.1 g,Protein 9.5 g.
INGREDIENTS for 8 Servings
3 cups(500 gms.) Split Green Gram Dal(with Husks/Skins)
1 cup (150 gms.)Oats
1 bunch Fresh Spinach
Salt to taste
2"piece Cinnamon Bark(Daalchini/Taj)
5 whole Cloves(Lavang/Laung)
1 tsp.Cumin Seeds
5-8 Dry Round Red Chillies(Boriya Mirchi)
2 tsps.Turmeric Powder
3 tbsps.Clarified Butter(Ghee)
Pick,clean,wash and soak the split Moong Dal in warm Water for 30 minutes.
Pick,wash and chop Spinach fine.
Set out all the Seasonings in order.
Add more Water to the soaked Dal and boil till soft and mashed.Lower flame and add the Spinach , Oats and Salt to taste to it.Simmer till thick and semi solid in consistency.Heat the Ghee in a Seasoning Pan on low flame.Add the Cinnamon,Cloves,Cumin Seeds and the Dry Red Chillies.When these sputter and pop add the Turmeric Powder and Hing Powder.Fry till the aroma wafts up.Plunge into the Dal-Oats Mixture and cover instntly to seal in the Flavours and Aromas of the Seasonings.Simmer for 5 minutes more.Stir to mix well and serve hot---healthy nutritious and satisfying on cold Winter nights or during the Monsoons.
Friday, September 24, 2010
The Mind's eye is a great Picture Album---keeping each detail of every Picture frame sharp and clear---also retaining the Tastes,Aromas and Flavours of bygone Years as fresh and crisp as they were then----but this frame of Mind leads to Temptation and Nostalgia Beckons!!!Throughout my childhood and adolescent years Nature in various moods has been my constant companion---and my Best Friend!!!Only those who have seen and experienced the beauty of the "Dusty Plains of India"can relate to what I'm describing.Each Season has it's own individual Face---and an indescribable beauty.The Spring is beautiful as it steals in on soft feet---the gradual warming of the Breeze turns it balmy and soft---as against the Winter cold and crisp touch!!The land basks in liquid Gold Sunshine---and as the Woolens begin coming off,they are carefully washed,dried in the pleasant Sun and stored away for the coming Winter later in the year.Around April Summer begins to ease in---the Breeze turns hot and dry---and the beautiful scent of Mango Trees budding and flowering hangs intoxicatingly in the still Air.The temprature rises in May and touches extremely hot heights in June---heavy with the intoxicating scents of the "Chameli"---a type of Jasmine---which grew just outside my Bedroom window.This is the time of year when the stray Dust Storms blow in from the Thar Desert of neighbouring Rajasthan--followed by thick,heavy and sudden pre-Monsoon showers----temporarily cooling the hot,dry Atmosphere!!By mid- July the Monsoon arrives in earnest---the almost black Clouds accompanied by the flashes of white Lightning flickering in their folds---the crash of Thunder drums a loud,wild beat and Lightning dances to that--forking in and out of the Black Clouds---a totally wild uninhibited sight----achingly beautiful to behold----I used to wish that I too was a Peacock---dancing away to the tune of Nature in joyous wild abandon!!!The Monsoon Air creates an intense Perfume of it's own-----a tantalising mix of wet Earth,soaked Trees and Plants overlaid by the pervading scents of the blooming sweet scented Flowers and Jasmines---so many varieties of it that one couldn't even recollect all their names!!The Monsoons were a cold and wet time---celebrated with piping hot Mixed Vegetable Fritters served with a hot spicy Chutney----and accompanied by lashings of hot steaming Tea----my mouth waters even today at the memory!!!The luscious Mountain Fruits would make their appearance---and the Markets would literally bloom with delectable Cherries,Apricots,Peaches and Pears!!
Around September as the Monsoon abated the Air would turn pleasant and cool----September and October Sunshine was like a wash of antique Gold---and the Gardens would begin blooming with a riotous array of vibrant Colours---coming alive to give out their best!!!The Sunsets too would turn special as each day drew to a close---spectacular pennants of Colours streaming across the Sky---the Air scented with new mown Grass , fading Summer Flowers---and the new incoming Winter Fragrances of Narcissisii and Tube Roses---there were many hours that I have spent at my Bedroom Window---hanging out of it----just taking deep breaths with my mouth open--trying to gulp in huge mouthfuls of the heady scents!!Early November the Winter would start making it's presence felt---the Air would gradually--almost imperceptibly---begin to crispen and turn cooler---light Woolens would start making an appearance---and my mother and her friends would start sitting out in Sun during the day---gossiping as their hands moved supplely to and fro at great speed Crochetting and Knitting---it was a fascinating sight!!The luscious Winter Vegetables would flood the Markets---and huge Bowls of appetising creamy Soups would again become a regular feature of the Daily Menus!!By mid December the Winter rains would hit us---each time it snowed in the Mountains it rained heavily in the Plains--sometimes accompanied by huge Hailstones---turning the Weather extremely chilly and blisteringly cold!!The most bitterly cold months were January and February----memories of roaring Fires in the Fire Place--Potatoes,Sweet Potatoes and Onions roasted in the embers---then dusted off,split open and drowned in thick fresh home made Butter sprinkled and with Salt and Pepper----those Vegetables tasted different---maybe the unspoilt ground they were cultivated in added to the taste??
All I know is that the World was different then-----pretty backward but unspoilt and wholesome.There were no Foods laced with Pesticides or cultivated with the help of Chemical Fertilizers or genetic alterations!!The Forests were thicker,the Weather was predictable and children were children---innocent and Godfearing,enjoying simple Pleasures----believing in Miracles and Magic!!!
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