Packing my child’s lunch box is an ordeal. Its not the work I loathe, but the myriad permutations and combinations of pabulum ravaging the morbid mind to lure my little girl. It’s a task – to think of something nutritious, something that will survive a closed box for a couple of hours, something that will invite the kid to pick, eat and relish.
Milee enjoys the food she eats, but at her own terms. She likes it fresh, slightly warm and preferably savoury. And if her will prevails, something new everyday! In an effort to appease her taste buds, tickle the pink fixation and boost her health food intake, we came up with this idea of combining caramelized onion sabzi with some pink beetroot parathas.
Now who deosn’t like caramelized onions! For one it is so freakin easy. And not to forget ‘quick’ and most important, so ‘tasty!’. Mildly spiced with a green chili and garnished with loads of coriander leaves, this simple humble side dish with ghee and rice is my ultimate comfort food.
Caramelized Onion Sabzi/Side:
- 2 cups thinly sliced onions, use whatever you have, pink, red or white
- 1-2 green chili, slit lengthwise
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1/4 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
- a pinch of asafetida
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder/haldi
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder/dhania
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
- salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp of dry mango powder – optional
- 2-3 tbsp of fresh chopped coriander leaves – to garnish
Heat oil in a wok/kadai, crackle cumin seeds, add asafetida and sliced onions, green chilies, along with salt. When we add salt to any vegetable, it leaves water which helps in cooking quicker. On medium flame, saute the onions till slightly dark pink or light brown. Now they are slightly caramelized. At this stage, add the masalas. if you notice the quantity of masalas/spices is quite less. We want the dish to be mildly spiced so that the onion flavor is strong and fresh.
Saute for an additional 2-3 minutes. Switch the flame off and garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve with parathas, rotis, hot rice or even with bread.
Note: Caramelized onions can also be used in wraps, savoury crepes/dosas and in sandwiches.
Now for the beetroot parathas:
Beet’s health benefits need not be eulogized. It’s common knowledge that the wonder veggie is packed with immense blessings. But, try making your little fuss pot eat this super vegetable with a smiley face. Not a smiling matter. And have you noticed? grumpy elder faces equals the strength of surly sour faced kids.
Hence, we hide. We try to give the good, but away from the prying eyes of the acutely finicky consumer.
It’s so simple to make this, you could even change the veggie according to your choice. Substitute the beet with a squash or some carrots or maybe broccoli. They are deceptively good and so simple to make.
- 1 cup whole wheat flour/atta
- 1 medium sized beetroot, grated – preferably a small holed grater
- salt to taste
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
- 1/2 tsp grated garlic – optional
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- Ghee or oil – to make the parathas
Combine the flour, grated beet, coriander, salt and cumin powder( and if using garlic paste, then that too). Mix well. Use little water to make a semi stiff, pliable dough. Cover with a wet muslin cloth and keep aside.
After 10 minutes, heat a flat griddle/tawa. Grab handful of dough, using extra wheat flour, roll out into thin tortillas. Carefully, pick the rolled out dough. Transfer to the hot griddle, using little oil or ghee, cook from both sides on medium flame till they tiny brown dots appear.
Serve with any raita, sabzi/vegetable side and pickle.
This Caramelized onion with green chili recipe is also my entry to the ‘Dish it Out‘ event hosted by Krithi’s Kitchen.