Category: Dals

WV14 ~ Gongura Pappu from Amma

Beatific Butterfly from Backyard
Beatific Butterfly from Backyard
(Of all the transplanted, showy flowers in the backyard, the butterflies are drawn to the wild ones which are known in this part of the world as weeds. Butterflies are precious! So now weeds have become part of the landscape.)

Today is Vara Lakshmi Vratham, an auspicious day on which Goddess Lakshmi Devi is celebrated with fasting, Pooja and neivedyam. It’s customary to share the Lakshmi Devi amma blessings with family and friends, and I am glad to share this day with you Net friends.

Neivedyam for the Pooja:

Semiya-Saggubiyyam Payasam
Atrasalu
Alasanda Vada
Chintapandu Pulihora (Tamarind Rice)
Sona Masuri Annam
Gongura Pappu
Chayote Kura
Brinjal-Jaggery Pacchadi
Coriander Rasam
Dadhojanam
Biyyam and saggubiyyam vadiyaalu

My Meal Menu:

Fasting in the morning.

Has ended the day with an early meal -small helping of each item from the Pooja neivedyam.

Workout:
Cooking. Pooja and meditation

In retrospect:
Great day! Calming cooking, peaceful Pooja in the morning hours.
Met good friends and had pleasant time in the evening.

Generous Gongura from Backyard
Gongura From Backyard

Gongura Pappu from Amma

The gongura seeds I had planted in March are now thriving healthy plants. The generous gongura didn’t mind when I plucked some mature leaves for the Pooja neivedyam menu today. There are several ways to prepare gongura pappu, and the following recipe is from my amma. I thought it’s a great way to pay homage to her on this auspicious day through this favorite vantakam.

Ingredients and Preparation:

Preparation happens in two steps.

Step 1:

Toor dal: 3/4 cup
Fresh gongura leaves – 6 cups, tightly packed
Indian or Thai variety green chilli – 8, chopped to tiny pieces
Red onion or shallots – chopped to chunks, 1 cup
Turmeric – 1/4 teaspoon

Take the above ingredients in a pressure cooker. Add two cups of water.
In a mortar, add a garlic clove and 2 teaspoons of coriander seeds. Pound to coarse paste. Add this paste to the ingredients in pressure cooker. Mix. Close the lid and cook until everything has become soft, particularly the toor dal.

Step 2:

Salt – 1/2 teaspoon or to taste
Peanut oil or ghee – 1 tablespoon
From masala dabba: Following ingredients for inguva(asafetida) Tadka:
a sprig of curry leaves
4 pieces of one-inch, majjiga mirapa(dahi mirchi)
1/4 teaspoon of urad dal
a pinch each – cumin, mustard seeds and hing (asafetida)

Add salt to the cooked dal in pressure cooker. With a pappu gutti (wooden whisk), mash the cooked ingredients to fairly coarse paste like. Remove the dal to a bowl or vessel.

In a small pan, heat the peanut oil or ghee. Add the tadka ingredients in this order, from big to small: curry leaves, dahi mirchi pieces, urad dal, cumin, and mustard seeds. Continuously stirring, toast the ingredients to golden. When mustard seeds make pop sounds, sprinkle the hing. Stir for couple of seconds. Immediately add this fragrant tadka to the cooked dal. Mix well and cover with a lid so that the flavors and aroma of hing tadka are thoroughly absorbed by the pappu (dal).

Serve the gongura pappu with rice or roti. The blissful combination is the old classic: gongura pappu and freshly cooked, hot Sona Masuri rice with some ghee and vadiyaalu on the side. Heaven!

Gongura Pappu
Gongura Pappu in Vadiyam Vadi on Muruku Peetam ~ For Meal Today

© Recipe and Photos Copyright 2009 Indira Singari.

WV13 ~ Palak Chole

Tella Mandaram (White Hibiscus) from Front Yard
Tella Mandaram (White Hibiscus) from Front Yard

Morning:
Sprouted moong + sprouted chickpeas combined with generous amounts of ginger, green chilli, cumin and salt, ground into smooth batter. The batter is then made into dosa. I had one dosa for breakfast with tomato chutney.
A glass of ragi ganji without sweetener

Noon:
Sprouted moong + sprouted chickpea dosa
A cup of palak chole
A small cup of cucumber and carrot slices

Evening:
A glass of ginger buttermilk

Night:
1 sprouted moong + sprouted chickpea dosa
A small cup of palak chole
A glass of tomato soopa (rasam)
A glass of cold ginger buttermilk

Workout:
Made another batch of biyyam vadiyalu for Sun-drying in the morning
Pillow covers are done and now on to curtains sewing project – evening

In Retrospect:
Busy but beautiful day. No carbo cravings and reduced appetite.

Palak Chole:

2 cups – cooked (or canned) chickpeas (Chole)
6 cups – chopped fresh spinach (Palak)
1 onion and 1 tomato- finely chopped
1×1 inch piece – fresh ginger, skin peeled
2 tablespoons – chana masala powder
1/2 teaspoon – salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon each – turmeric and red chilli powder
1/4 cup each – fresh cilantro and lemon juice to garnish
From masala dabba: tadka ingredients

Step 1: Take quarter cup of cooked or canned chickpeas in a mixer. Add ginger and blend to fine paste. Remove the paste to a cup and keep aside. (This is added to thicken the chole gravy.)

Step 2: Heat a tablespoon of peanut oil in a deep pan. Add and toast a teaspoon each – cumin, black cumin and kasuri methi to fragrance. Add onion and tomato. Saute to soft. Next goes the spinach. Saute spinach until it has collapsed. Add chickpeas, chickpea-ginger paste, chana masala powder, salt, red chilli powder and turmeric. Add about two cups of water. Mix well. Cover and simmer on medium heat, stirring in-between for 15 to 20 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and lemon juice, and serve warm with rice or roti. Good on it’s own too.

Palak Chole
Palak Chole for Meal Today

© Recipe and Photos Copyright 2009 Indira Singari.

WV6 ~ Chard with Chickpeas


Workout Vratha Pusham ~ Deva Ganneru (Plumeria/Frangipani) from Backyard

Morning:
A glass of ragi ganji without sweetener
Fistful of pressure-cooked chickpeas
Few pieces of apple

Noon:
A cup of Kasuri methi chole
A big bowl of tomato rasam
Carrot-cucumber raita

Evening:
A glass of cold ginger buttermilk

Night:
A cup of homegrown chard sautéed with chickpeas. Simple to make and tasty.
Dear Vijay brought Khaman from local Swami Narayana Temple. Had two pieces of Khaman.
A cup of hot, hot tomato rasam
Dinner was at 7PM. Felt hungry around 10, had a glass of cold buttermilk

Workout:
An hour of kickboxing and an hour of weights and abs class at the gym. Excellent teachers and I actually enjoy attending these classes. – morning
Gardening – evening

In retrospect:
Good day. Thinking of putting a stop to online food diary after day 7. Writing and sharing about daily intake feels monotonous and purposeless.


Homegrown Chard

Chard with Chickpeas

I sowed some chard seeds at the beginning of June. Now they are young plants. The tender leaves have robust spinach like flavor. When cooked with protein-rich chickpeas and Bharath seasoning, they tasted quite good. Beans and greens, I could never get tired of this combination.

Ingredients:
Chard leaves and tender stems – finely chopped about 8 cups
Cooked chickpeas – one cup
Red onion or shallots – finely chopped, about a cup
Red chilli-garlic powder – a tablespoon
Turmeric – 1/4 teaspoon
Salt -1/4 teaspoon or to taste
Lemon/limejuice – 2 tablespoons
From masala dabba: Tadka ingredients

Preparation:
In a big skillet, heat a tablespoon of peanut oil. From masala dabba, add and toast a teaspoon each cumin and mustard seeds. Sprinkle a pinch of asafetida and sauté to fragrance. Add the onions and cook to soft.

Add the chard and chickpeas to the onions. Mix well and cover and cook until the chard has wilted. At the end, add the chilli-garlic powder, turmeric and salt. Stir well and cook for couple of minutes. Add enough lemon/lime juice to sharpen the flavor and adjust seasoning to taste.

Serve straight from the skillet with rice or roti. Good on its own too.

Chard Chickpeas with Khaman
Chard Chickpeas with Khaman ~ for Meal Today

© Recipe and Photos Copyright 2009 Indira Singari.

WV3 ~ Pea Sprouts Soopa with Kale

Morning:
A glass of ragi ganji without sweetener
One boiled egg, white only

Noon:
1 gatti vada with chana dal in a cup of veggie-rich sambar
1 boiled egg, white only
Half carrot and half apple

Evening:
A small cup of ginger tea without sweetener
Remaining half of industrial-sized Fuji apple. Apples are huge here.

Night:
A cup of pea sprouts soopa with plenty of fresh kale from backyard, which was grown on dear Kay’s recommendation. Fresh and filling, good food
A cup of veggie-rich sambar and one papad
A glass of cold and delicious buttermilk from homemade yogurt

Workout:
15 minutes cycling, mile walk, and high intensity step aerobic class for one hour – Morning. Gardening work in the evening.

In retrospect:
Mild stomach discomfort because of all the guggullu. Should include more ginger, hing and lemon.
Peaceful and pleasant day.

Sprouted Yellow Pea with lone green pea sprout in the center (Yellow Vatana Sprouts)

Pea Sprouts Soopa with Kale
(for four or two for one or two meals)

Dried peas from Bharath are available in two colors. Green and yellow. Like fraternal twins, they are from the same family but are different taste and texture wise. Today’s recipe is with yellow dried peas with one lone green one.

The yellow peas are soaked in plenty of water overnight, then kept in a muslin cloth covered for a day for sprouting. The pea sprouts are then cooked with kale and seasoned with traditional Bharath flavors.

Why take the trouble to sprout? It’s because the sprouting process makes the legumes and lentils easily digestible and also increases nutritional value. The following recipe is based on Vatana Ambat of Karnataka/Maharashtra. Creamy pea sprouts and silky greens, it’s a decent soopa particularly when you are in no mood for fancy fixings. Give it a try.

Ingredients:
Yellow Peas (yellow vatana) sprouts – 2 cups
Fresh Kale, finely chopped – about 4 cups
Red onion or shallot, finely chopped – about half cup
From masala dabba – tadka ingredients
For Traditional Bharath Flavor:
Toast half teaspoon methi seeds to fragrance. Take them in mixer. Add two tablespoons of fresh coconut gratings and one inch piece of tamarind, five red chillies and pinch of salt. Blend to smooth paste.

Preparation:
Step 1: Place sprouted peas and two cups of water in a pot. Add half teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, until peas are fork tender. Takes about 15 minutes.
Add the kale to peas and continue to cook until they collapse. Add the blended Bharath flavoring. Mix well. If the soopa looks too dry, add about half cup of water. Simmer on low heat for five minutes.

Step 2: At the end of the cooking, do the onion tadka: Heat a tablespoon of peanut oil in another pan. Add pinch each – hing, cumin and mustard seeds and a sprig of curry leaves. Toast to fragrance. Add the onion. Fry to crisp. Stir in turmeric and toast for couple of seconds. Add this onion tadka to simmering soopa. Enjoy hot with ghee, rice or roti. Good on it’s own as well.

Pea Sprouts Soopa with Kale
Pea Sprouts Soopa with Kale ~ Meal Today

© Recipe and Photos Copyright 2009 Indira Singari.

Ginger Lemon Soopa

I am glad to see a new word “soopa” reintroduced into our cookery lexicon by Pratibha and Jigyasa through Sukham Ayu cookbook. Like the authors I found it interesting that ayurvedic texts refer to watery broth/soup like preparation as soopa. Research is done rarely in centuries old Indic cookery. We are more used to label our food items in occidental and arabic terms, and blindly repeat the colonial self-aggrandizing stories of our food roots. So, for a change, it is greatly refreshing and empowering to know about soopa. I think this Sanskrit word alone is worth the book price. Original research equals to precious gold, don’t you agree? Welcome back Soopa. Goodbye Soup.

Here is a soopa I made from Sukham Ayu. The base is toor dal and the flavor is from ginger and lemon. It’s a familiar, charming soopa, simple yet sublime. Perfect to usher in “I am not cold but not yet warm” spring season.

Ginger, Lime, Toor dal Ginger Lemon Soopa

Ginger Lemon Soopa
Recipe adapted from Sukham Ayu, page-37
(makes about four cups of soopa)

Toor dal: Pressure-cook half cup of toor dal in two cups of water to soft. With a wood masher or whisk, churn the dal to soft, smooth consistency.

Ginger: Take a 1×1 inch piece of ginger. Peel the skin and grate. Add the grated ginger to mashed toor dal. Also half teaspoon each- red chilli powder and salt, and quarter teaspoon of turmeric. Add half cup of water and simmer for about 10 minutes on medium heat.

Tadka: While the soopa is simmering, do the tadka. In a small pan, heat a tablespoon of ghee. Add and toast 10 curry leaves, cumin, and mustard seeds, in that order. When seeds start to pop, sprinkle a pinch of asafetida. Sauté for couple of seconds and pour this tadka into the simmering soopa. Mix and turn off the heat.

Lemon: Flavor the soopa with about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Serve hot. Soothing and a strength saver, ginger-lemon soopa is a great warm-up food and recommended during convalescence.

© Recipe and Photos Copyright 2009 Indira Singari

Methi Carrot

Homegrown Methi
Homegrown Methi

It was such a beautiful day!

“Pick me, pick me, please,” methi moved.

“Ok darling dainty methi.”

“I want to be with carrot today,” methi murmured.

“That sounds interesting. Your wish is my dish today. :)

“We now have green and gold. To complement, let’s invite the yellow, mellow mung,” methi recommended.

“Some protein? Good thinking. Let’s get all together.”

Plants brought into home. Leaves plucked and washed. Carrots grated. Yellow mung daal soaked in water for about an hour.

When it was time for nastha, kura was made in ten minutes for chapatis. Carrot’s sweetness, mung daal nuttiness combined with methi’s goodness. It was light, yet filling and extremely tasty. Loved my meal today.

Methi, Carrot and Mung Daal
Methi, Carrot and Mung Daal

Methi Carrot
(for one or two meals for two adults)

1 big bunch of fresh methi or about 4 cups of tightly packed methi leaves
3 carrots or 3 cups of grated carrot
1/2 cup yellow mung daal. (Soak in water for about an hour)
Oil, curry leaves, cumin seeds, hing, turmeric, salt, red chilli flakes and coconut

******

Heat a teaspoon of peanut oil in a wide, thick-bottomed skillet.

When oil is hot, add 10 curry leaves, half teaspoon of cumin seeds and pinch of hing. Sauté for a minute or so, until leaves become golden brown.

Add grated carrot, soaked mung daal and methi leaves to the skillet. Mix.

Add half teaspoon each – turmeric, salt and red chilli flakes. And a tablespoon of grated coconut. Mix thoroughly. Cover the skillet with lid. Keep the heat on medium and cook, mixing in-between. The moisture from carrots and methi steams the mung daal to tender. It would take about ten minutes.

Serve this light and delicious Indian dish with chapatis or rotis.

© Recipe and Photos Copyright 2009 Indira Singari

Methi Carrot with Chapati
Methi Carrot with Chapati and An Orange ~ Meal Today

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