Radish leaves Stir Fry, South Indian Style

Radish leaves stir fry with coconut

Radish leaves stir fry with coconut

Bargaining at the local produce market is a classic case of being penny wise pound foolish, according to the ever critical husband. But I do what I do. It’s a matter of self-satisfaction. The okra doesn’t just taste as good if not bought a rupee less. He calls me Cheapo. I take a bow.

Well, it was in this very situation, when I was haggling for a few drumsticks to be sold a penny cheaper, that a very chic lookin lady caught my eye. She came haughtily to the stall I was sweetly squabbling at.

‘Mooli chaiye, jaldi do’ she seemed in a hurry. Give me radish. Quickly.

The intimidated vendor dashes a pair of handsome radish, fresh as dew drop with glistening green leaves. Oh! yumm.. I must buy some too .. were my immediate thoughts. What she did next was so startling that both the guy and me were dumbstruck for a few seconds.

The lady tears those beautiful leaves with such fervor and tosses them aside, dishes into her purse, flashes a 10 buck and literally throws them at the vegetable seller’s face. With only the radish neatly tucked under her arms, she vanishes as soon as she appeared.

Oh! I sigh, the vendor regains his composure and we both look at each other. The first thing I do is pick up those beautiful green leaves and announce that I am taking these – for FREE 🙂 He laughs. Hard. I bought some radishes too. I paid for them, don’t worry.
We cannot really change the world, but a few smiles here and there, just because of you seems like a life worth living.

Tossing the greens aside is like the most stupidest thing to do. Radish leaves have more of Iron, Calcium, Vitamin C, phosphorous than the radish itself. The leaves of radish are diuretic, antiscorbutic and have a laxative effect. But maybe the poor lady didn’t know, lets give her the benefit of doubt.

The ingredients

The ingredients

Mother makes the greens in a typical north Indian style. She calls it mooli ki bhurji. I did not really care for it then, but now as we turn more aware and conscious of what we put in our mouth, the leaves take their place back in on our plates.
But dinner that night was rice and simple drumstick dal made the south Indian way. So I decided to try the leaves in a different style.

Taste best with rice and ghee

Taste best with rice and ghee

The recipe:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chopped radish leaves
  • 10-12 sambhar onions/shallots or 1 big onion chopped
  • 4 pods of minced garlic
  • a tiny piece of grated ginger
  • 2-3 green chilies, minced
  • 3-4 curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp grated fresh coconut
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp urad dal
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • salt to taste

Method

In a pan, heat oil. When slightly hot, add the urad dal and fry till they turn orange. At this stage add mustard seeds, curry leaves, garlic, ginger, green chilies and chopped onions. Fry till the onions turn translucent. Now add the radish leaves along with salt. Stir fry on medium heat till the leaves wilt and combine with the rest of ingredients into a soggy type mass.

Switch the flame off. Sprinkle grated coconut. Enjoy over a bed of rice and some fresh home-made ghee… ah so yumm!

Just a hint of ginger garlic

Just a hint of ginger garlic

Note: Shallots taste best in south Indian curries, although other onions would work well. But I like my kootus/poriyals etc with the shallots.

Note: You can have the stir fry just as a salad on its own, incase you are avoiding rice or other carbs.

Healthy and yummy!

Healthy and yummy!

I was on a Go green mission with my daughter the entire march, and using these leaves for my best out of waste dinner seemed just perfect for me. What do you think?

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Carrot Beans Stir fry Salad / Poriyal

Carrot beans poriyal

Carrot beans poriyal

Simple vegetable stir fry seasoned with chana dal and mustard seeds flavored with coconut and coriander is PORIYAL in Tamil. Poriyals can be made with any vegetable of your choice. It is inanely simple to prepare and delicious with hot soft white rice(SIN!!).

Settled in Mumbai for the past 5 years has not diminished my love for South Indian food. Infact, since I am not in Bangalore anymore where ever increasing in number Darshinis(self service South Indian restaurants) serve awesome authentic Karnataka/Tamil food, I try to make as much of it at home.

Almost a salad!

Almost a salad!

These simple poriyals have fresh diced veggies in minimal spices and oil with just a wee bit of tempering. SO, its almost a salad. Most of the time you will find yourself eating it all by itself sans the sinful rice. Along with a big bowl of lentil soup(Daal), it accomplishes to make a complete meal for those weight watchers.

Great alternative to those chewy boring salads.

Great alternative to those chewy boring salads.

A list of different vegetables that can make a yummy poriyal awaits for you at the end. But for now, its the recipe in queue:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped french beans
  • 1 spoon oil
  • 2 tbsp channa dal, split bengal gram
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 pinches asafetida
  • 3-4 curry leaves, torn
  • 2 green chilies, slit lenghtwise – use accordingly
  • 1 tiny piece of ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp grated fresh coconut – reduce the quantity if you don’t like the taste
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves to garnish

Method

In a pan, heat oil. Roast channa dal on medium heat till light brown. Splutter mustard seeds at this stage. Sprinkle asafetida. Next goes in the curry leaves, green chilies and ginger and the diced veggies. Sprinkle salt and turmeric powder. Cover and cook till almost done. I like some bite to the veggies, so I leave it at 3/4 th done. But I personally know many who like their vegetables fully cooked. So, your call.

Once done, sprinkle coconut, lime juice and coriander. Mix well. Turn the flame off.
Serve with hot rice or chappathis or enjoy them on their own.
This is one dish that need not be reheated. It tastes yumm even when cold( and I don’t mean, straight out from the fridge).

Orange and Green... reminds me of our Indian Flag.

Orange and Green… reminds me of our Indian Flag.

Note:
If you want your veggies to reflect the natural bright color, don’t cover and cook. Let the veggies be done without the lid and stir frying in between so as not to burn the contents.
Chances are your mom would scold you for doing this. The nutrients vanish in thin air .. literally, but when we lidd the contents, the goodness doesnt go away. So they say.

But, what I do is: When Im having guests over, and if this is on the menu, I let the colors shine, as presentation and colors should appeal to my guests. But when I make it regularly at home, I retain the goodness.
PS: For the pictures that you see… you know what I did..;)

I like some crunch!

I like some crunch!

Vegetables that you can use:
1. Single vegetable can be made from using only carrot/beans/beetroot/cabbage/bottle gourd/potato/radishes/pumpkin
2. Combination of two – carrot-beans / carrot-beets / carrot-cabbage / beans- potato / beans cabbage
3. Boiled chickpeas can be used, and the dish is called “Sundal”, for this you skip the fried bengal gram.
4. Boiled peanuts made into a poriyal make a very tasty and healthy snack.

If you know of any more combinations, do drop me a line.

Regular fare in any South Indian Home

Regular fare in any South Indian Home

Red amaranth leaves with channa dal

December to march is the best time to feast on the freshest produce available. Tis my favorite time of the year.
The fruits and vegetables have a different color and flavour in them!

Abundantly available at this time of the year is Red amaranth leaves. Amaranth leaves are similar in taste to spinach but with a stronger flavor and cook very easily. In terms of nutrition, amaranth has a higher concentrations of calcium, iron, phosphorus, and vitamins.

One of my neighbor friend, who is a Tamilian Brahmin, made this wonderful leaf with channa dal(split bengal gram lentil). I just loved it. After a couple of tries, I finally got this dried curry, right. With a blend of grated coconut and a hint of garlic, it’s a recipe to be shared and tried.

The red color camouflage the rest.

The red color camouflages the rest.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch amaranth leaves, washed, chopped.
  • 1 small cup split bengal gram, soaked for at least 2-3 hours
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 green chili, minced
  • 1 big piece of fresh coconut, grated
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder(haldi)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp oil

Method

In a pan, heat oil. When its hot enough, add mustard seeds. Let it splutter. Now throw in the garlic, onions, green chilis and red chilis. Saute till pinkish. Then add the soaked channa dal, along with salt and turmeric powder. Fry till the lentils are 1/2 cooked. Now add the chopped amaranth leaves. Mix well. Cover and cook. Keep checking on it as you have not added any water, and you would not want to burn it down.
Keep stirring till all the water released from the leaves has dried. When it’s almost done, you throw in the grated coconut. Give it a good mix. Stir till all the water has evaporated. The result should be a dry, not too mashed vegetable.
Remove into a bowl, and serve hot with rice and ghee or with chappathis/rotis.

The day I made this, did not feel like eating rotis or rice. So I made plain cracked wheat porridge/dalia. A combination of porridge, yoghurt and this super healthy curry. Wow. I felt like a harbinger of good health;)

Souled out

Souled out