Aloo Methi

Simple rustic Aloo methi served with rice and salad

Simple rustic Aloo methi served with rice and salad

There are some memories which never fade and some which just evanesce into oblivion. But smell can be a powerful memory trigger. Smell so rustic and comforting that deep buried images stand bare and bigger, usually leaving you distraught. You will be tormented and distressed till you put all those cognizant images back to where they belong.

Now before you speculate extraneous theories, let me clarify. The smell that invoked such strong visuals of my past, was nothing more than potatoes and fenugreek being sautéed on a particularly hot humid day. It wafted from somewhere above. Where, who, when and how … I did bother, but soon all that dissipated when flashbacks of the mother’s kitchen loomed up at me. Someone was making food just like my mothers – this thought was eerily comforting.
I mean, how weird, I tell myself. Whats there to get excited to smell food like what your mother cooked for you. But I was.

Fenugreek has medicinal properties.

Fenugreek has medicinal properties.

Aloo methi. Something so traditional and homey and simple….now why am I making a post for this? I am making this for all those young people out there who suddenly-mindlessly crave for food that they have grown up with. That cozy feeling – that you get out of familiarity.
And for documentation purposes too 😉
15 years down the line, I doubt if the daughter will ever call and ask for a recipe. She most probably will scan her favourite sites and lastly come to her mums where she will read this and nod and say yes, I miss my mother’s cooking too. And now I’m just being too hopeful! Am I not??! Never mind.

What all you need -

What all you need –

Just potatoes and fresh fenugreek leaves sautéed in some powerful mustard oil, with a bit of all Indian spices, and look how I am dancing with my words! Well, the above picture shows you all that you need to make this wonderful side to your everyday bread or rice.

That essential piece of lime!

That essential piece of lime!

There are plenty of variations for this vegetable side or sabzi as we call it. Mother used mustard oil, and no onions or garlic or any other paraphernalia for this dish. She kept it simple and it worked fabulously. A drizzle of lime and some fresh salad is all that you need to make your day.

Made my day :)

Made my day 🙂

Ingredients

  • 2 cups par boiled potatoes, diced into medium sized chunks
  • 2 cups of fenugreek leaves, picked, washed and roughly chopped
  • 2-3 green chilies, minced – optional
  • 1 big whole red chilli
  • 2 tbsp mustard oil or any other oil would also do.
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1-2 tsp red chill powder or as desired
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds and mustard seeds mixed
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida powder – I don’t skip this!
  • salt to taste.
  • Lime wedges to serve with

Method

In a large skillet or pan, drop a tsp of oil. Gently roast the potatoes till it gets a golden coating all over it. Regular tossing and turning help. Once done, remove from the pan and keep aside.

In the same skillet, heat rest of the oil. Crackle cumin and mustard seeds. Add asafoetida and whole dried red chili. Fry chopped fenugreek leaves and green chilies till they wilt. Now add potatoes, along with all the masalas and salt. Saute for another minute or so.

Serve with chappathis or rice or any bread.

No onion, no garlic. So easy peasy!

No onion, no garlic. So easy peasy!

Note: if desired, 2 tsp chopped garlic can be added before adding the fenugreek leaves.

you will not regret making this :)

you will not regret making this 🙂

Like someone rightly said We live on the leash of our senses. Taking this wonderful aromatic side to pair with Angie’s gorgeous phulkas, for her 41st Friday Fiesta. come take a look, she make these chappathis and every single one puffs up! P
Happy Cooking dear foodies!

Advertisements

Methi Muthiya / Steamed Fenugreek Bottle Gourd Dumplings

Steamed fenugreek bottle gourd dumplings

Steamed fenugreek bottle gourd dumplings

I was a disaster. A recidivous disaster in their kitchen. Not that I have redeemed myself or anything but of course I am not that clueless anymore. 10 years back, newly married, coming from a disparate environment and having no clue what they eat or how they eat has its effects – For my part I did well in my own pond. My parents gratified with me exorbitant cheer and praises, in effect rendering me totally naive to any critique or opinions. But the women of the house I married into, did what they had to do. They taught me. Well. I can never equal their expertise or their flair, but here I am, attempting to recreate the mother in law’s signature dish with a bit of both, confidence and apprehension.

finger food

finger food

Muthiya literally means a fist. When grated minced vegetables are mixed with smashed rice and flour, you fist them, make little logs to be steamed and then tempered. That’s muthiya. They are delicious, healthy and a wonderful party appetiser. In his house, they make it for dinner with spiced buttermilk curry or kadhi as they call it.

Truthfully, I sucked at making this. I just didn’t get it! you make a dough, steam and then cool and then temper.. for what? A little snack. Nah! too much work. And I am lazy – remember. So when we lived on our own, I dodged this snack as much as possible. And the few times that I did pursue, I failed so miserably that I vowed never to make them again.

Methi leaves

Methi leaves

Well, bottle gourd and fenugreek leaves are not exactly my child’s favourite. So when I get to incorporate these two in one and make something appealing out of it, I decided to attempt this formidable dish, one more time. Thankfully I saved it. Relieved that I would make it yet again with a not so surly outlook and a dour mind.

What I love about this snack is the tempering or seasoning! Vaghaar or tadka or chonk as it is called in India, the finale dish is brought about by heating oil, spluttering mustard, a bit of sesame and fenugreek seeds, along with the very aromatic curry leaf and some asafoetida! Slices of the steamed dumplings are then thrown into the hot oil-mustrad-sesame mix. It is so nutty and fresh and earthy. You need to have a slice or two to know what I mean. 🙂

Yea, so the ingredients for this one might not be in your spice box or pantry if you are not an Indian. But things like asafoetida and sesame and fenugreek make this dish what it is. So please go ahead and get it, make sure you have it when you try this one out.

Sesame and fenugreek seeds

Sesame and fenugreek seeds

As I proof read my write up, I realise the incessant rambling about how long and tedious it is to make this, might have dismayed you to ever attempt it. But I was digressing from the truth. The whole truth being that it is a super cool snack and all that you need is a bit of planning to complete any task. I make this for her lunch box at 6 in the morning – yea of course, with a bit of an outline.

all ready to be sliced and tempered

all ready to be sliced and tempered

The Recipe –

Ingredients

For the dumplings

  • 1 cup over boiled rice, mash it coarsely.
  • 1 cup fenugreek leaves, washed and minced
  • 1 cup grated bottle gourd
  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves, washed and minced
  • 1 cup or more whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp ajwain seeds or bishops seeds
  • 1 tsp green chili, minced
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3-4 tsp red chill powder, or as you require
  • 2 tbsp curd or as required
  • 2 tsp oil and salt to taste
  • For the Seasoning: 2 tsp oil, 1 tsp asafoetida or hing, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds, 1 tsp sesame seeds, 5-6 curry leaves, 1 whole red chili, 1 tbsp coriander leaves to garnish.

    Method

    Make a dough of all the ingredients listed for dumplings using curd instead of water to bring it all together. If you add too much flour the result will be hard difficult to swallow kinda muthiyas. And if the flour is too less, you will have great difficulty in bringing it all together. So add the flour little by little, to make sure the muthiyas turn out soft yet firm to hold a shape.
    Once done. Keep a wide wok on fire, fill it partially with water, place a ring or some holder in it.
    On a greased plate, grab fistfuls of the dough and shape them into small sized logs. Place them carefully on the plate. Do that with all of the dough. Once the plate is full, keep the plate inside the wok. Cover and steam for at least 30 minutes. Keep checking at regular intervals for water at the bottom.

    Right after steaming

    Right after steaming

    After 30 minutes, remove the plate full of dumplings. Cool the plate. Once cooled, slice the logs into bite size rounds. Taste one to see if the spices and salt are in check.

    Get ready with your seasoning. In a wide wok, heat oil. Splutter fenugreek seeds and sesame seeds till just right about crisp. Take care not to burn them. Throw in mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves, whole red chilli and sauté for a minute or two. If the dumplings lack in salt or chilies, then sprinkle the necessary spice over the steamed dumplings before adding them to the tempering.

    Now add the sliced dumplings. Toss and serve with coriander leaves garnish.

    Sesame seeds, whole red chill and mustard tempering

    Sesame seeds, whole red chill and mustard tempering

    Note: you can prepare them ahead of time and take it along with you for a party or a get together. They require no re heating. They taste good even when cold.

    Note: Green chutney or ketchup or kadhi/spiced buttermilk can be served along with it.

    Note: For a detailed step by step recipe, click here.

    A great way to eat vegetables

    A great way to eat vegetables

    Taking this to lovely Angie’s Fiesta Friday #33. Once there, drool over these incredible rainbow pizzas that she dished up to satiate her little girl’s whim 🙂 They look SO gorgeous! And a whole list of beautiful food awaits. You just have to look.

    Makhni Paneer

    Classic Paneer Makhani

    Classic Paneer Makhani

    I am highly skeptical about this. Taking an old post, revamping it with new photographs and republishing is a first for me. I have my doubts and reservations. The old one is very much a part of me, an integral part of my growing up here. Now with a wee bit more photography skills, to demolish the old one simply seems cruel.

    Well, I did it anyways. And for keep sake, this picture below shows you what it was when I shot it a year back 🙂

    Cottage Cheese in Creamy tomato gravy

    Cottage Cheese in Creamy tomato gravy

    I have an improved version of the same classic recipe. Adding whole kashmiri red chilies to the gravy worked fabulously on the gorgeous deep red colour!

    Now for keep sake, I even lifted some of my original words and placed it here –

    Makhani Paneer is a popular curry from the northern states of India. Add fresh home-made paneer or cottage cheese to a simmering hot blend of onions-cashews and tomatoes. Crushed kasuri methi lends that mesmerizing aroma, which fills your home with such love, that neighbors know you are cooking something special. It’s a great accompaniment with naan, chappati, rice or simply toasted bread.

    Top on the husband’s list of favorites, it’s a sure winner every time I make this. Ideal for sunday lunches and on party menus. I make it rarely as it is loaded with butter and cashews and FAT. But whenever I do, the family pigs out.

    Well.. er… that rarely has become quite regularly in my house. And yes, they still pig out.

    Rich and creamy

    Rich and creamy

    Ingredients

    • 200 gms paneer, diced into neat big pieces
    • 3 onions, chopped
    • 6-7 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1 small tiny piece of ginger
    • 4 tomatoes, chopped
    • a fistful of cashew nuts
    • 1 cardamom
    • 2 cloves
    • 3/4 whole kashmiri red chilies
    • 1 small stick of cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
    • 2 tsp red chili powder or according to taste
    • 1 tsp coriander powder
    • 1/2 tsp crushed kasuri methi or dried fenugreek leaves.
    • 1 tsp oil
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1 tsp butter
    • salt according to taste
    • 1 small capsicum or green bell pepper, sliced
    • chopped coriander to garnish

    Method

    Heat oil in a kadai/pan. When hot, throw in garlic, ginger, onions, cashews and the whole spices. Add little salt, cover with lid and let it cook. After 5-6 minutes, add tomatoes, along with the dry masala powders – turmeric, red chill, whole red chilies and coriander. Now cover again and cook for 10-15 minutes, taking care to keep mixing it in between. It should be cooked well enough for the oil to leave sides. Once done, cool the mixture.
    Then with the help of milk, grind the cooled onion tomato mix to a fine smooth orange paste. In another pan, heat butter, saute the sliced capsicums. Once almost done, add this orange gravy, and let it simmer for a minute. Sprinkle crushed kasuri (fenugreek) leaves and salt. Mix well. Add the diced paneer. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

    Serve along with onion ring salad.

    Ideally served with super soft rotis or naans. Any kind of bread or rice also goes well with this flavorful curry.

    Note: If you like, slightly saute the paneer in butter and add them to the gravy. But I added them as it is. This is a rich full fat curry, did not want to add more.

    Perfect with soft wheat rotis

    Perfect with soft wheat rotis

    When in no mood to experiment or debate or try, we turn to this fool-proof signature dish of mine. Returning from an erratic work schedule and long travelling dull days, he knows for sure what he will find on the table. His most favourite dish 🙂

    Comfort Food

    Comfort Food

    I am taking this over to Angie’s Weekly Potluck Parties, Friday Fiesta #24! Do have a look at the other dishes and recipes.

    Shahi Paneer and Whole Wheat Stuffed Kulchas

    A complete meal.

    A complete meal.

    Sunday Lunches are usually special in our house. I don’t know why. Maybe because I lighten the breakfast and skip cooking dinner. Whatever the reason, these meals bring much happiness, smiles and cheer. So, one such beautiful sunny day our lunch was a full blown punjabi meal.

    heavy lunch, this.

    heavy lunch, this.

    Delicacies using paneer or cottage cheese is very integral to the vegetarian Punjabi. If you are going to refuse tandoori chicken and lamb kebabs, then paneer is the The Protein for you. The cuisine comprises of lip smacking dishes with chickpeas, paneer, whole black lentils and copious amounts of cream and ghee. Punjabi food was the hottest cuisine to tuck into back in the late 70s and 80s.

    That Sunday I made a creamy paneer side along with vegetable stuffed oven baked unleavened bread and some rich whole lentil dal. The dishes are heavy and little bit of it stuffs you up. But we like to make it just the way it should be. No fat free version, no zero oil. This kind of lunch makes us forego dinner and just snack on salads and soup.

    I have recipes for the paneer and the flatbread. Saving the dal for another post.

    SHAHI PANEER

    Shahi is royal in hindi. Royalty comes with a whole lot of ghee/butter and cream. So please don’t attempt this curry with fat free oils 🙂
    Shahi paneer is a wonderful aromatic curry made using cream, tomatoes and spices. This is my second favourite recipe of the cheese after Makhani Paneer.

    Shahi paneer

    Shahi paneer

    Ingredients

    • 200 gms paneer/cottage cheese, cut into cubes
    • 2 medium sized onions, minced
    • 5/6 cloves of minced garlic
    • a tiny piece of ginger
    • 2/3 green chilies, minced
    • 3 red ripe tomatoes, chopped
    • 1 tbsp ghee or butter
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 2 cloves
    • 1 green cardamom
    • a small stick cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
    • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
    • 2 tsp red chili powder or as per taste
    • 1 tsp coriander powder
    • 1 tsp tandoori masala or garam masala
    • 1 tsp dried crushed kasoori methi
    • salt as per taste
    • 1 cup cream or malai
    • optional: 1/2 cup mushrooms or bell peppers.
    • To garnish: coriander leaves or mint leaves.

    Method

    In a wok, heat ghee/butter. Drop the bay leaf, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. Saute for just about a minute. Crackle the cumin. Add the minced garlic, ginger, green chilies and onions. Sprinkle little salt. Cook till the onions turn translucent. Remove the whole spices if you’re afraid kids will bite into it. Add kasuri methi and fry for another 30 seconds. Now add the tomatoes, along with red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt. Cover and cook till the fat leaves the sides. Takes approx 10-12 minutes.

    Once that is done, stir in the cream. Mix well. Give it a boil. Stir in the tandoori masala. Add chopped cubes of paneer. Switch the flame off, garnish with coriander leaves or mint.

    Serve hot with any flatbread or rice.

    Note: If you want to add other vegetables, sauté the chopped veggies in a different wok using very little fat or oil. Stir the sautéed veggies when you add paneer to the onion tomato cream mix.

    Note: Mincing the veggies really fine is the key here. Makes the gravy come into one harmonious mix.

    Easy to make

    Easy to make

    UNLEAVENED STUFFED KULCHAS

    Kulchas are small round Indian bread made from flour, milk, and butter, typically stuffed with meat or vegetables. Some use leavening agents like yeast or baking powder. I have skipped the leaveners and used whole wheat instead of refined flour. Dotted with nigella seeds and sesame seeds these little breads are extremely nutritious and very easy to make.

    Whole wheat stuffed roasted flatbread

    Whole wheat stuffed roasted flatbread

    The stuffing I used was made with crushed boiled potatoes, minced onions and coriander leaves. You can be innovative and use any grated vegetable you like. Carrots, cheese, cauliflower, peas make great fillings too.

    Stuffing

    Stuffing

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups whole wheat flour
    • a bit of salt
    • 1/2 tsp carrom seeds or ajwain
    • 1 cup milk
    • Optional: 2 tbsp cream or ghee
    • 1 tsp white sesame seeds and 1 tsp nigella seeds, mixed and set aside.
    • To serve: ghee or white butter.

    Method

    To the flour, add salt, carom seeds. Using luke warm milk bind the dough. Use more milk if required. The dough should be soft and pliable. If you like, you can add a bit of cream or ghee to the flour before binding. Once done, keep covered for 30 minutes or more.

    For the stuffing: Use boiled potatoes, minced onion, green chilies and coriander leaves. Mix well, add salt and cumin powder.

    To make the kulcha:

    Heat a flat griddle or tawa.
    Grab a handful of the dough, make a well in the centre, put a tablespoon of the stuffing, close it like a basket. and using more flour roll it out into a small circle. Before placing the rolled out circle onto the griddle, sprinkle some mixed sesame and nigella seeds. Press the seeds into the dough using the rolling pin. Carefully pick the rolled out circle and slap it onto a semi hot griddle. Once it browns a bit, flip the kulcha and roast a bit from the other side.

    The making

    The making

    Now, you can roll the rest of the dough in similar fashion and keep the slightly roasted ones aside. There are two ways to go ahead from this step:

    1. You can use a tong and directly roast the kulcha on an open flame till it browns beautifully. Serve hot with ghee or butter on top.

    2. Pre heat the oven to 200 degree C. Place the kulchas on a tray and bake till they brown. Takes approximately 6-8 minutes. Serve with ghee or butter.

    Kulchas taste great with paneer, kali dal, amritsari channe and many more!

    Note: If you add spices to the stuffing and use it for filling the kulcha, it will be good enough to eat with a bowl of yoghurt. No curry, sides or lentils required then.

    Perfect combination

    Perfect combination

    Whole urad lentil and rajma is soaked overnight and pressure cooked. Cream, ghee and milk is again used copiously in this dal. It is so rich and whole I felt it deserves a space of its own. So another post will carry the recipe and mouth-watering pictures.

    Not to forget the daal

    Not to forget the daal

    Alarmed at the quantity of fat and cream used in the recipes? Well, that’s why we make it sparingly and save it for special occasions. Like a sunday 🙂

    Yumm.

    Yumm.

    Amritsari Channe

    Amritsari Channe

    Amritsari Channe

    I am fretting and fussin over a name. An apt name for this wonderfully aromatic royal north Indian beans usually eaten with puffed deep fried pooris or bhaturas. They are made in a host of different ways hence we have names for every kind.

    What I have here is a dark semi thick gravied version, usually made in Punjab, a northern state in India. Lot of spices are used, some whole, some ground. The end result is spicy, earthy and extremely flavorful. Love for these beans is eternal in my house. They sit happily waiting for their meal to arrive! Bliss, when you have happy faces to feed.

    Over the years I’ve had little problem with Chickpeas. They usually turn out well. Having changed recipes several times, and now finally zeroed in on a cross between a couple of formulas, my tryst with these beans is here to stay.

    With bread and salad

    With bread and salad

    My grouse lately is what to accompany this curry with. Traditional pooris and other deep fried stuff is out of our menu. Husband is happy with plain old chappathis. But I find it almost belittling to serve this curry with phulkas… just doesn’t seem right. Bread or ready made whole wheat kulchas are a better option. They somehow justify this royal dish 🙂

    With rice, papad and salad

    With rice, papad and salad

    For me, I almost always make some rice. Chole chawal is a regular in many north Indian homes. Roast a papad, cut up some salad, drizzle salt and lime juice – and you have a very tempting plate in your hands!

    Works like magic

    Works like magic

    Chickpeas are usually white to light brown in color, and post boiling they turn a pale yellow. So, to deepen/darken the gravy, we have a very rustic old way to do so. A spoon full of tea leaves bundled in muslin cloth is dropped into the pot of boiling chickpeas. This darkens the beans and imparts an earthy flavor to the gravy. Mother also added whole spices into the bundle sometimes. Made it easier for her to remove the spices after their work was done, she says.

    Ideal for anytime

    Ideal for anytime

    The Recipe:

    Ingredients

    • 1 and half cups kabuli channa or dried big chickpeas, soaked overnight.
    • 2-3 tbsp channa dal, soaked along with the chickpeas
    • 2 tsp ghee or oil
    • 2 whole cardamoms,
    • 1 bay leaf, 2/3 cloves, a small stick cinnamon
    • 3 garlic pods
    • a tiny piece of ginger
    • 1 big onion, chopped
    • 1/2 cup leaves of mint and coriander leaves
    • 2 medium sized tomatoes, ground
    • 1 tsp anardana or dried pomegranate seeds
    • 3 tsp chole masala, store brought or home made
    • 1 tsp coriander powder
    • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
    • salt to taste
    • 1 tsp tea leaves tied in a muslin cloth
    • Garnish: Julienned ginger, onions, tomatoes, french fries and coriander leaves – optional.

    Method

    Boil chickpeas and channa dal along with the bag of tea leaves, crushed garlic and salt. Keep aside.
    Grind chopped onions, ginger and leaves of mint and coriander to a fine smooth paste.

    In a big wok, heat ghee or oil. Throw the whole spices – bay leaf, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon. Saute for a minute. Add and fry the onion-coriander mint paste till the oil leaves sides. To this add ground tomatoes along with anardana, chole masala, coriander powder and red chili powder. Mix well and fry the paste very well till the fat separates. Now mix in the boiled chickpeas. Give it a final mix and boil. Garnish.

    Serve with pooris/bhature/bread/kulchas/rice.

    For the calorie conscious!

    For the calorie conscious!

    Note: You can add the whole spices while boiling the chickpeas.

    Note: Oil or any butter can be used, but I prefer ghee. It adds to the aroma and richness of the dish.

    I love my rice!

    I love my rice!

    Comin back to the name. Ah a name! Since the method leans more towards the ambarsariya kinds, mother advised me to call it Amritsari Channe. And so I do as I am told. Its mothers day after all. 🙂

    Punjabi tadka

    Punjabi tadka

    Mixed Sprouts Curry

    Mixed Sprouts Sabzi/Vegetable

    Mixed Sprouts Sabzi/Vegetable

    We joined the race. Long back though. But in order to revive the spirit of the so-called rat race I plunged again into a foray of ‘healthy food’. So I make greens one day, sprouts the next. Give porridge for dinner to sulky faces and sell squash soup as ‘the tastiest’ thing on earth. Yes, God gave them all a good mind of their own. Who am I trying to fool? sigh! I think I am just convincing myself that if I cook healthy, my family would be far from disease, pain and suffering. Ah, well.

    So in those times when I go manic with my cooking, the family sorts out the yummy from the yucky. Some of the healthier stuff actually does taste good (please ask Elaine of foodbod.. she eats healthy ALL the time! I envy you Elaine 🙂 ), like this sprouts curry I made the other day.

    Sprouted and ready

    Sprouted and ready

    I mostly always mix all my beans/lentils to sprout. Its never only mung beans or only dew beans. A handful of mung, some dew beans(mat/moth), throw in some small black chick pea, a bit of dried white peas or anything you like! Soak overnight. Drain the water. Tie them all in a muslin cloth, sprinkle water over the tied cloth basket. Keep it for a day or two and let them germinate!

    Mixed Sprouts

    Mixed Sprouts

    You can have them raw or cooked. I go the mid way usually. Cooking them a little bit till the raw smell and taste disappears but retaining the crunch. If you want to know more about sprouts, read here.

    With Chappathis, pickle and salad

    With Chappathis, pickle and salad

    The Recipe:

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup mixed sprouts
    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
    • a piece of ginger, minced
    • 1/2 tsp chopped green chilies – optional
    • 1 tomato, chopped
    • 1 tsp oil
    • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
    • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
    • 1/2 tsp red chili powder or as desired
    • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
    • juice of 1/2 a lime, salt to taste
    • coriander leaves to garnish

    Method

    In a wok/kadai, heat oil. Splutter cumin seeds. Throw in the garlic, onions, ginger and green chilies. Saute till the onions turn translucent. Now add the tomatoes along with all the said spices. cover and cook till the oil starts to leave the sides of the wok. This may take about 10 minutes or so. Now add the sprouted lentils. sprinkle 2-3 tsp of water. Cover and cook till the sprouts are half done. I like mine not very mushy, so I add the sprouts in the end, but you could add it earlier in case you like them fully cooked.

    Switch the flame off. Sprinkle lime juice and garnish with coriander leaves.
    Serve as a salad or with chappathis or with any pulao or simple plain hot steaming rice.

    Simple Nutritious lunch

    Simple Nutritious lunch

    Now for a note of caution:
    Germinated raw food does not usually suit everyone. People suffering from gastric problems can get very uncomfortable after a small bowl of sprouts. Cooking the beans is easier to digest.

    I suffer from migraine, and whenever I eat sprouts for dinner or raw, I end up with a splitting headache. Whereas, cooking the grains, having them during the day and combining them with garlic and ginger helps me get the best of everything that they have to offer 🙂

    Try a bite

    Try a bite

    This curry passed the acid test with my family’s taste buds. You try it too and if they don’t like it… well, I have some other recipes up my sleeve to include these wonder beans in your daily diet. 😉

    Lentil Nugget Peas Curry/ Mangodi Matar

    Summers Now: Lots of Frozen Yoghurt, Lemonade, Swimming Camps, Crash Courses for kids, Playdates and Exotic Holidays.

    Summers Then: Relentless play under the sun, Nimbupaani, matka kulfis from kulfiwalas, Nani house and Mom making pickles, stocking spices for the entire year and drying mangodis.

    Mangodi Matar

    Mangodi Matar

    Mangodis/Mung Wadiyan, are nothing but sun dried mung lentil nuggets. They are usually made in the summers when ample sunshine dries them perfectly to store for an entire year.

    In my house, a day was pre-decided and fixed to make these nuggets. Work started early, with soaking, grinding and then dropping them on to clean plastic sheets(spread on the terrace for maximum sun). I particularly remember the task mom gave us. To find 4 stoppers, like a brick or a stool/table or some unused broken box – to place on the corners of the plastic spread, to prevent it from flying away. Now why didn’t mom use thalis/plates? Well, at that time, they made huge batches to stock for a year catering to at least 12 or more people. Thats why, plastic sheets worked better than thalis.

    Yearly stock of mangodis

    Yearly stock of mangodis

    It is actually very easy to make these, but I’ve never attempted it.

    Simply because, my yearly supply comes from both sides – mother and mother in law. Hence never found the need really. If you ever want to attempt making these nuggets, I did find a very resourceful link here.

    Usually these nuggets are mixed with some fresh vegetable like potatoes or peas or corn. You can make them plain too, but combine it with a veggie and you are in for a treat.

    Simple Curry, takes less than 10 minutes to make this.

    Simple Curry, takes less than 10 minutes to make this.

    I made a simple no onion, no garlic mangodi-matar. It’s so quick, that I put that wok on fire just 10 minutes before we sat for lunch.

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup mangodi
    • 1 cup fresh peas, you can use frozen too.
    • 1 tsp ghee/clarified butter
    • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
    • a pinch of hing/asafetida
    • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
    • 1 tsp chili powder, salt to taste
    • lots of fresh coriander to garnish

    Method

    First, heat an empty thick bottomed pan, dry roast the mangodis, till they are slightly brown. I usually do it on an iron tawa/flat griddle(used for making rotis). Keep turning the nuggets else they will not brown uniformly. Once done, keep aside.

    In a deep pan, heat ghee. Once hot, splutter cumin seeds, add hing/asafoetida. Throw in the peas, along with salt, turmeric, red chili powder and little water. Once the peas are almost done, add 2 cups of boiling water( I have a kettle, so it works faster for me). Add the mangodis, give it a mix, and let it boil for another 4-5 minutes. The lentil nuggets absorb water and swell up. Making sure it is not completely dry, you can switch the flame off.

    Garnish with coriander leaves. Best when served hot with phulkas/puffed chappathis.

    No onions, no garlic

    No onions, no garlic

    It is advisable not to mix too much with your ladle once the mangodis are inside. The nuggets tend to break and mash. We don’t want that. The curry should show the mangodis in their distinct shape, as my mom says.

    yummy Bite

    yummy Bite

    This is a perfect recipe for days when you want to cook without onions and garlic or when you’re just too lazy to make something fancy. With hardly any chopping required, mangodi matar proves to be scrumptious and filling.