Learn how to make Mizoram Koat Pitha the healthy way in a Kuzhi Paniyaram Kal instead of frying it.
This month, us bloggers from Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge traveled to the beautiful north eastern state of Mizoram. A state nestled in the southern tip of north eastern India. This beautiful state has a pleasant climate through out the year and has an amazing array of flora and Fauna
Though most of the people are Christians by faith, the Mizos are very proud of their rich heritage, culture and lively traditions.
Poonam who blogs at Annapurna gave me Rice flour and oil as my secret ingredients to create a delicious dish from the Mizo Land.
Looked at many blogs to get an idea of the recipe for Koat Pitha and found that it is a simple desert and it is fried. As a family we have more or less reduced our fried food consumption and hence I came up with a plan of making a healthy variation of the traditionally fried Koat Pitha
I decided to use the kuzhi paniyaram kal to make this desert instead of frying it. Using this method greatly reduces the usage of oil and one can have Mizoram Koat Pitha without any guilt.
Here is the link to making a traditional Kuzhi Paniyaram – a savoury snack that can be eaten as breakfast too !!!
Dissolve the jaggery in the water and sieve it through cloth to remove any dissolved dirt
Crush the bananas and add to the jaggery
Add the flour and salt to this liquid mixture and mix well
Wash the paniyaram vessel well with water and dry it with a cloth
Place the vessel on medium flame on the stove and brush oil into each mold
Once the mold is hot add the batter and cover it with a lid
Once one side of the batter is cooked and has a golden colour, turn the white (wet) side facing down and cook without the lid. ( one can use a spoon to turn the sweet paniyaram over to cook on both sides)
Once both sides are cooked and have a golden colour, remove them from the mold and serve them hot.
Here is my vegetarian Jadoh with tofu and mushrooms. This simple yet flavour-some rice recipe is easy to make and very healthy too.
This month, us bloggers from Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge traveled to the beautiful north eastern state of Meghalaya. Meghalaya which literally means “abode of clouds” is part of the ” seven sister states” of North East India. Psst…did you know Cherapunji, once known as the wettest place on the planet is situated in Meghalaya??
Mayuri our didi who blogs at Jikoni gave me two ingredients, mushrooms and rice to create a beautiful vegetarian dish. Now lets think about this beautiful state for a moment, a state where most of the people are tribals like the Khasis,Garos and Jaintias. What do they eat?? non vegetarian food of course :). So how do i, a vegetarian, cook a recipe from the cookbooks of Meghalayan Cuisine??
Adaptation or lets say, my version of the local non vegetarian recipe was the answer. I decided to make the vegetarian version of Jadoh ( Ja means rice and Doh means meat), Jatofu 😉 . I looked at various recipes online so that i could get my dish looking very similar in terms of colour, presentation and get almost the flavour.
Making of the vegetarian Jadoh with tofu and mushrooms
In a traditional Jadoh, local red rice from Meghalaya and pork is used, i used local short grained rice and mushrooms. In the original recipe, the colour (rich brown) is achieved by cooking the pork blood and rice together, i got that by browning my onions and mushrooms. The meaty part in my recipe got replaced by the firm tofu, which i marinated in soy sauce to introduce more flavour into the rice. The flavor of ginger through the rice and vegetables was to die for.
The final outcome ( i used other veggies such as broccoli and capsicum as well), was a hearty meal for Sunday family lunch. A must try for all who want to try something different, a little bland ( yup i like bland food) yet flavour-some.
Here are some of the famous things to see in Madhya Pradesh
Sculptures of Khajuraho
Wildlife at Bandhavgarh
Kanha National park
Temples at Ujjain
The historical city of Gwalior
Buddhist stupas at Sanchi
Apart from the historical sites and national parks, Madhya Pradesh is also known for vegetarian food such as poha, bhutta ka khees, palak pooris, malpua and mawa bati.
This month my partner Shobaji from Shobasfoodmazaa gave me two very simple ingredients to use and make a dish representing Madhya Pradesh. She gave me whole wheat flour and cumin seeds. The obvious thing for me to make was Chakki Ki Sabzi.
A few things to know about this recipe:
The chakki / whole wheat flour dough used in this recipe is first steamed, then fried and then in gravy.
Make nice and small pieces of the dough ( once it is steamed it does become big).
3. It is time time consuming to make this sabzi, but it is absolutely delicious.
4. Don’t go overboard with the spices, subtle flavours make this sabzi delicious.
This recipe is similar to Gatte ki Sabzi which is a popular recipe from Rajasthan. Here whole wheat flour is used instead of gram flour (besan). The main difference is seen in the way that the Gatte and chakki are cooked. Gatte are cooked like a pasta in boiling water whereas chakki cubes are steamed, fried and then added to gravy.
Some of the other recipes using whole wheat flour / atta ingredients are:
Vazhakka Thoran is an easy and classic dish made with Raw banana and coconut. This version of stir fry can be easily served with rice or rotis.
In the last few months, the state of Kerala has been in the news because of floods and devastation across the state. Many people have lost their near and dear ones. In the middle of all this devastation, news channels also showed us resilience and positive vibe that the people of Kerala have.
This month i was paired with Anu Kollon from Ente Thattukada and she gave me coconut and raw banana as my secret ingredients. This gave me the perfect opportunity to make the traditional Vazhakka Thoran.
My quest to make a very traditional dish using coconut and raw banana led me to my neighbour’s (Aruni’s) house. After chatting with her on various recipes like kallan or erissery, i decided to make a simple dry raw banana preparation to go with rice last week.
Did you know this about Banana??
Did you know the banana plant might be the only plant where almost all parts of the plant get used and nothing goes waste?? Let me write how 🙂
Banana plant Stem / trunk – Also known as Vazhai thandu in tamil, this part of the plant is used in south indian cuisine to make a raita or a dry sabzi.
Banana leaves – The leaves which are large and water proof, are very commonly used as plates to serve food in marriages or family functions. It is also used to make eco-friendly containers in India.
Banana flower – In south India this part of the plant is used as a vegetable to make dry sabzis or even tasty vadas (fried lentil fritters).
Raw banana – Raw banana is very versatile and can be used in curries / sabzis as a vegetable or gets used to make some yummy chips.
Ripe banana – What can i say, that you dont know, in Banana cake, in fried bananas or had just as a fruit, so many options to eat these.
Coming back to the recipe, I made the Vazhakka Thoran as an accompaniment to sambar/rasam rice for lunch, but it can also be served with mixed rice varieties or rotis.
This traditional and authentic Bassaaru and sabakki soppu pallaya from Karnataka, was taught to me by my help. This recipe calls for multiple steps but the end result is so tasty and highly nutritious.
Life with Ragi
I got married in 2003 and have been in Bangalore ever since. Before i write about anything else let me give you some details of the land : Karnataka that i call home. Karnataka formerly known as Mysore state was formed on November 1, 1956. The state has something for every person. It has a rich culture, has beaches, dense forests, hills and exciting cities. Other than rice, the staple for the people of Karnataka includes Ragi (finger millet). Ragi is also used in making ragi mudde, ragi kunji, laddoos and even cakes these days
Ragi kunji was a staple while growing up, but ragi mudde was a totally new food concept for me. I mean, one is supposed to gulp the ragi mudde with saaru and not bite into it?? How is that possible?? Having said that it is all about practice and we are getting there. For the past few years, our saturday lunch has been more or less the same, Ragi mudde with Saaru, many a times we have also switched the saaru with tamil style sambar or even dal. My help Nanjamma always says “ragi thin beku sakthi barum”, which translates to “eating ragi gives one strength”.
Bassaaru and sabakki soppu pallaya – how to make it ??
Recently my help showed us a very different variation of saaru, Bassaru. Bassaaru also roughly translates to “drained saaru” or “drained sambar or rasam”. This saaru is the perfect accompaniment to Ragi Mudde (finger millet flour balls). Bassaaru can be made with dill leaves, spinach leaves and averekkai also. For this recipe i have made Bassaaru with dill leaves and toor dal. This recipe has a series of steps and within those steps there is a lot of interlinking steps..sounds confusing isnt it but the end product is so good that the effort is all worth it.
For this month’s Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge, us food bloggers are cooking recipes from Karnataka. This month i was paired with Amrita Iyer from The Food Samaritan and she gave me dill leaves and toor dal as my secret ingredients. This gave me the perfect opportunity to make Bassaaru and sabakki soppu pallaya.
Couple of other posts that you might like to read:
In a pressure cooker, add dill leaves, salt, some green chillies with 2 cups of water and pressure cook for 2 whistles (here we ensure that the dal / lentil is just cooked and does not get mashed completely
Once the pressure is released, drain just the liquid part of the dal mix into a different utensil and let it cool. Remove the dry dill leaves & undercooked dal into another vessel
Making the ground mixture
Heat some oil in a kadhai and add jeera, garlic, oinions and little salt. Saute on low flame.
Add sambar powder, jeera powder, coriander powder and chiili powder and mix gently
To this add cinnamon, cloves, half of the coconut and tamarind paste and mix well
Add corinader leaves to this mixture and remove from flame / gas and let the mixture cool
Once cooled, grind the mixture into a smooth paste
Portion into 3/4th and 1/4th quantities in two separate bowls
Heat oil in a kadhai, add mustard seeds and let it splutter
To this, add jeera, garlic, hing, curry leaves, dried red chillies, onions and sautee till the onions turn pink and soft.
Remove from flame / gas and let this cool
Divide this into two portions
Making the Bassaaru
To the liquid portion of the dal which we have separated, add one portion of the tempering and mix well
To this liquid dal mix add 3/4th of the coconut groun mixture and bring the entire concoction to a boil
Simmer for a couple of minutes and transfer to the serving bowl
Making the dill leaves dry dal
In a kadhai, to the remaining tempering add the 1/4th ground mixture and mix well
To the above mixture add the dry dill leaves and undercooked dal and mix well. Garnish with the remaining grated coconut
.Check the salt in both the dry and the liquid dal and then serve as below
In a plate, keep the ragi mudde in the centre, serve the liquid dal on one side and add the dry dill leaves - dall mix to another side
Take a piece of the soft ragi mudde, dip it into the bassaaru ( liquid dal), take a small portion of dry dal mix and eat
Are you a vegetarian and looking for healthy preparations, which are full of protein and also tasty to eat?? then this Sattu ka Paratha is your answer. Sattu for the uninitiated is roasted channa dal powder and it packs a power punch with regards to protein in our diet.
When Priya Suresh from Priya’s Versatile Recipes, gave me sattu ka atta and green chillies as my secret ingredients, i was stumped. I never realised that sattu ka atta was nothing but roasted channa dal ??? silly of me ..i went to the store and bought it :D. Anyways i started to look out for recipes which use this combination and came upon Sattu Ka Paratha.
Since this recipe is used in Jharkhand..i thought let me write a little bit about one of our newer and younger state. Jharkhand came into existence in November 2000, after it was shaped from the southern part of Bihar. Though relatively a small state, Jharkhand is known to have more than 40% of mineral reserves of India.
Coming back to Sattu Ka Paratha, one can either buy the powder ready made from a store (like i did) or one can dry roast channa dal and powder it. For vegetarians getting protein into diet is not easy, we get our proteins from lentils, tofu and some diary products. This sattu ( roasted gram flour) is an excellent protein addition to our food. In our house we also use this powder to different dry curries, chutneys, or chutney powder. Did you know that this powder is also used by many a households to make ganji or malt powder to be mixed with milk. There is another very simple way to eat this…mix the sattu ka powder with some ghee and some sugar and that’s it…eat it as a desert…it tastes yumm..
Lotus root! I have seen it, eaten it as chips but I haven’t really cooked with it. Actually, I didn’t know how to cook with it. So when Priya asked me to use Lotus root and curd / yogurt in a vegetarian dish, what did i do? I googled – lotus root and yogurt-oh my, the land of Kashmiri recipes came up with a variety of Kashmiri Nadru Yakhni. Continue reading “Kashmiri Nadru Yakhni | Lotus root in yogurt sauce”
Homemade sambar powder is the quintessential ingredient found in every south Indian household – each having their own mix forming the homemade sambar podi recipe.
The Samabar does not require any introduction, it is what we South indian families eat almost every day. It is present during breakfast, lunch and sometimes even during dinners. Today I would like to share a little story on how to make Sambar Powder at home. This recipe is very easy to make and gives the sambar a fragrance that is unbelievable.
It was the year 2003, I was a new bride and had some knowledge in the kitchen area. Having helped my mother in the kitchen, I was not a total failure but the one thing I wanted was to learn making Sambar Powder at home.
My Sudha chithi (aunt) is an amazing cook and I love her sambar. That colour, that bright orange Sambar powder used by her to make Sambar….there have been so many instances in those early days that i would call her up and check with her whenever i had a confusion with regards to a recipe or ingredients to use in a specific dish.
During one of those days, i asked for her recipe of sambar powder and that homemade sambar powder recipe is something i still use and follow. This recipe never fails…its simple and easy to make and best of all it has got passed on to me from my chithi (aunt)
Here it is from my kitchen to yours, a vibrant and lovely orange homemade sambar powder recipe !!!
In this recipe, we have used two varieties of dried chilli – salem and byadegi. The salem variety are spicy and the skin of these chilli’s are smooth to touch. The Byadegi variety are less spicy and have a very wrinkled texture.
The mixture (recipe shared below) can be powdered in small quantities at home…if one has larger quantities, then a mill is the way to go. I have one near my house and is my go to place to get Sambar Powder ready…