Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Beetroot Chapati

Another way of feeding my 3 year old Veg. He doesn't eat any veg as a side dish. I personally believe there's not much nutrition in a plain chapati. So I cook and puree a vegetable and give him. That way he gets his nutrition and gets to eat chapati. Moreover, he looooooves his "pink" chapati. :).

I keep this chapati very simple. Absolutely no spices are added. I feel the spices do not balance the sweetness of beetroot.That's my personal opinion.

Since there are not particular ingredients, I will explain briefly how I made this.

Take 1 beetroot. Peel and chop and cook. I cook it in the microwave. If cooking in the microwave, its like cooking a potato. Once cooked, drain any water, let cool and grind it to a smooth paste. Do not throw the water. You can use when mixing a dough. You can also freeze it and use it the next time you are making chapati.

Take 2 cups atta, mix the paste and add extra water as needed and knead a dough. Let it rest covered for 30 minutes. Now make your chapatis as usual.

Me and P have it with a curry on the side. But our 3 year old just eats plain "pink" chapati.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Soya Nugget Pulao

Is the climate really changing??? Its been unusually warm for November here in Scotland. We are having frost spells once a week. I remember it used to be more often than that. Not that I am complaining :-) . I just hope this is not the lull before a storm. I definitely don't want a snow storm like last year when P and I were stuck in the traffic for 12 hours each.

Coming to today's recipe, I am not going to start off on the health benefits of soya. I am sure you guys know and have heard from loads of other blogs. I am not going to repeat it. Incase you are unaware of the benefits of soya, just google it. You will be inundated with information.

After knowing the benefits of soya, I have been wanting to incorporate it in our meals forever but never got around to do it. About a month back, I came across packets of soya nuggets and soya kheema in the Asian grocery store. Without thinking twice, I picked them up. They've been sitting in my cupboard from then on.

Last Sunday, I decided I need to start using the soya. So I made this soya nugget pulao and all of us liked it. Here's the recipe:

1.5 cups Basmati Rice – washed and soaked in water for atleast 20 mins
1.5 cups Soya Chunks – prepared (See Note 1)
1 small Onion – chopped
1 tsp Ginger Paste
1 tsp Garlic Paste
1 Tomato – chopped
1 tsp Shahjeera / Caraway seeds
1 Bay Leaf
5 Cloves
4 Green Cardamoms
1 inch Cinnamon stick
2 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste
Chopped Coriander Leaves to Garnish

Make a paste:
Stems of 1 bunch of coriander
10 – 12 mint leaves
2 Chillies

  1. In a pan, heat the oil. When the oil is hot, add the Shahjeera, Bay Leaf, Cloves, Green Cardamoms and Cinnamon Stick and fry for a minute.
  2. Add the chopped Onion and fry till translucent.
  3. Add the Ginger and Garlic pastes and fry till the raw smell goes.
  4. Now add the tomatoes and cook till the masala comes together.
  5. Now add the paste and fry till the raw smell goes. It is very important to fry this paste well if you want the pulao to taste good.
  6. Now add the drained rice and fry for 5 minutes.
  7. Add 1.5 cups water, salt and mix .
  8. Get to a boil on medium high without covering the pan.
  9. Once it boils, reduce to sim and cover and cook till done.
  10. Garnish with chopped Coriander Leaves and serve hot with raita.

Note 1: Boil some salted water in a pan. Add the soya chunks and cover and cook for 10 mins. Take the pan off the heat and let it sit for atleast 30 minutes. You should see that the soya nuggets have swollen up. Drain and squeeze out the extra water from the nuggets and cut / tear them to desired size. The nuggets are now ready to use.

This goes to Vardhini's Dish it out - Soy and Tomatoes.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Pesarattu / Mung Bean pancakes

Finally back with a new recipe. Hope I can continue putting up more recipes as I did last year.

As far as I know, this is a very "Telugu" dish. This is a quicker & healthier option to Dosa. Quicker because there's no fermentation required. Healthier because it uses more green gram than rice. You can make it more healthy(and tastier) by "filling" it with different kinds of vegetables.

Upma is the favourite accompaniment to this. The "Pesarattu – Upma" combination is often called MLA Pesarattu. I am not sure how or why this name originated but that's how the combo is called.

According to me, Pesarattu is best eaten with Ginger Chutney. I don't know how to make this and I get this from India.

Though rice is not required for this recipe, I use a little bit of rice to give it the crispy texture.

2 cups Mung Beans
2 tbsp raw rice OR 1/2 cup cooked rice
2 tsp Ginger Paste
1 Onion - roughly chopped
3 Green Chillies (adjust)
2 tsp Cumin Seeds
Salt to taste

For the filling: (optional)
1 Big Carrot – finely grated
1 Onion – finely chopped
2 – 3 Green Chillies (adjust) – finely chopped
1 – 2 tsp Grated Ginger

  1. Soak Mung Beans and rice separately for atleast 12 hours.
  2. In a blender, add all the ingredients (not the ones under filling) except Mung Beans and blend to a smooth paste using as little water as possible.
  3. Now add Mung Beans and blend to a coarse batter using as little water as possible.
  4. This batter is a little thicker than the regular dosa batter.
  5. Heat a dosa pan (crepe pan) to medium high.
  6. Pour a ladle full of the batter and spread it as thin as possible
  7. Add the spread the filling as required.
  8. Pour a tsp drop by drop around the ends of the pesarattu and cook well.
  9. If required, flip it and cook for some more time.
  10. Flip it back and fold it in half and remove it onto a plate.
  11. Serve hot with a chutney of your choice.

Note: This is a bit heavier than the regular dosa. You might not be able to eat as many as regular dosas.

This goes to Priya's Cooking With Seeds-Mung/Moong Beans