Friday, October 30, 2015

Simple grated carrots and zucchini pulao

We had three parties for Navarathri.  With back to back parties on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, we ended up eating a lot of rich food three days in a row.  And – since we had a ton of leftovers, we continued eating rich food through the week.


By Thursday, I was ready for comfort food.  So made keerai (spinach), cabbage curry, and rasam.

I also had a lot of carrots and zucchini at home.  So yesterday, I made a simple but flavorful pulao, that takes about 20 minutes to make, but tastes great.  We had this with left over ghuguni and a salad.

Here is what you need:

  • 2 tsp. ghee
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 -3 cloves
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • salt to taste
  • 2 – 3 medium carrots grated
  • 1 zucchini grated 


Here is how I made it:

  1. Soak basmati rice in water for about 15 minutes.  Drain and set aside
  2. Heat ghee in a pot.  Add cumin seeds and cloves
  3. When the cumin changes color, add the rice and salt, and fry on medi
    um heat till it turns translucent.
  4. Add two cups of water.  Bring it to a boil.  Reduce heat to low.
  5. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes.
  6. Add grated carrots and zucchini.  Cover and cook for 5 more minutes.
  7. Turn off the heat.  Let this sit for 5 more minutes.
  8. Fluff with a fork to separate grains.

Serve hot with dal or curry of your choice.

Sunday, October 25, 2015


We had a mini party at our place a couple weeks ago.  A few of our close friends came over.  We all had kids the same age.  When our kids were younger, we used to meet our friends regularly, because every Friday, kids would start asking for play dates and sleepovers.   We would also go regularly to Balvihar and could get updates on important and not so important events in each others' lives.

Now our kids are much older and several have gone away to college.  Of those still at home, some are applying to schools this year and others are busy with school and sports.

So now we have to plan ahead so that we can meet and catch up.  Since I planned this party a couple of weeks in advance, I sent out a poll on what cuisine people wanted to eat.  Mediterranean won!

It was a potluck.  For tapas, we had polenta with mushrooms and caramelized onions, hummus and roasted pepper fillo cups, baba ganoush, hummus, crackers, dolmades, and olives.  For the main course,  we had a mediterranean soup with harissa, green peas soup,  tabbouleh, couscous salad, quinoa salad, pita bread,  hummus, falafels, tzatziki sauce, lettuce and cucumbers, mediterranean rice, and for dessert, we had fruit tarts and fruits.

We all enjoyed both the dinner and the company.  

I have had this fantastic falafel recipe from my friend Neerja.  Neerja makes the most amazing appetizers, and had brought these to a party.  I followed her recipe exactly.  The falafels came out great!  I have reproduced her recipe here just as she sent it to me.  Thanks Neerja!

Here is what you need:

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas - Soak overnight
  • 5 dried red chillis - soak in a small cup of water for 30 mins.
  • 1 small onion - chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic - chopped
  • 1 small bunch Italian parsley - stems removed
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 6 Tbsp. rice flour
  • 1 Tbsp. coriander seeds - grind in spice grinder
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds - grind in spice grinder

Here is how I made it:

  1. Drain water from the chickpeas and dried red chilies. Using a food processor, Pulse to a coarse breadcrumb texture.
  2. Add onion, garlic, parsley, salt, coriander and cumin powders and pulse some more.
  3. Scoop the falafel mix into a dish, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  4. After a couple hours have gone by, remove mix from the fridge. Add baking soda and rice flour to it. Mix well.
  5. Heat oil for deep-frying. Make small balls.
  6. Deep-fry slowly on medium heat until they turn nice and golden. The falafels will be crisp for many hours to come if fried this way.

Serve as an appetizer or as a pita sandwich

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Sprouted Masoor Sundal

Navarathri has started and with it all the great sundal recipes.  On the first day of Navarathri, I had Parent-Teacher conferences – so my husband made sundal.  I soaked dried green peas the previous night and pressure-cooked them in the morning. My husband did the tadka in the evening.


On the second day (I almost feel like breaking out into the song “On the first day of Christmas..”) I was in a rush and forgot to soak something in the morning – so ended up making kadalai paruppu sundal (channa dal sundal).

Today – the third day, I made sprouted masoor sundal.  I had sprouted masoor matki over the weekend.  So decided to make sundal with it.

It is so quick and easy to make (of course you need to have the sprouting done)

Sprouted Lentil Stir Fry

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 tsp. oil
  • 1 – 2 red chilies
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp. hing (asafetida)
  • 2 – 3 curry leaves
  • 1 cup sprouted whole masoor (red lentils)
  • salt to taste
  • graded coconut (optional)

Here’s how I made it:

  1. Heat oil in a pan.  Add mustard seeds.  When they sputter, add red chilies, hing and curry leaves.
  2. When the red chilies get slightly browned, add the sprouted masoor, salt an a little ware (I added about ¼ cup)
  3. Cover and cook on low heat till the lentils are cooked (about 10 minutes).
  4. Turn off the heat and add coconut (if you are using) and mix well.

That’s it!
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