Archive for the ‘One pot’ Category

Sprouted Channa Masala Rice ( Sprouted Garbanzo rice)

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Last week I wanted to make some channa masala and soaked the beans overnight. But the next day we were invited for dinner at a friend’s place and I forgot that I had to transfer the beans to the fridge. Though I have made moong sprouts I wanted to check if I can make something out of garbanzo beans too. I let the beans sit for one more day at room temperature(after draining all the water) and it gave off cute sprouts.

Instead of making the usual gravy to go with chapatis, I tried a masala rice.

Ingredients( Serves-2)

Sprouted Channa(Garbanzo beans)- 1 cup
Red onion- Medium size-1
Slit green chili-2
Potato- 1 (optional)
Channa Masala powder- 1 tsp
Red chili powder- 1/2 tsp
Ginger Garlic Paste- 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Basmati rice- 1 cup
Bay Leaf-1
Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
Oil- 1 tbsp

To grind to a smooth paste (Green Paste):
Green Chili- 2
Mint Leaves- a handful
Cilantro- handful


Making Sprouts:

Soak the garbanzo beans overnight in water(12 hours). The next day, drain all the water and tie the beans in a cheese cloth and keep it covered in a bowl. By 1-2 days you can see the sprouts.

Instead of using sprouts, you can use plain garbanzo beans also.

Steam the garbanzo sprouts for 10-15 minutes, as they need to cook slightly before adding it to the rice.

Roughly chop the onions and blend it to a smooth paste. Roughly chop the tomatoes and make a smooth paste. Peel the skin of potato and finely chop it.

Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds and bay leaf. When the seeds sizzle, add slit green chilies, ginger garlic paste and stir for a minute. When the raw smell of the paste disappears, add the onion paste and potato and stir fry for 3-4 minutes till the paste turns slight brown in color.

Add the tomato paste, salt, red chili powder, chana masala powder,garam masala powder and stir fry for 3-4 minutes. Add the garbanzo beans and a cup of water and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

In the mean time, wash the basmati rice once and drain the water from it. Blend green chilies, mint and cilantro to a smooth paste with just enough water.

Cooking on Stove top:

Once the gravy has thickened, add the rice, the green paste and an additional 1.5 cups of water and let the rice cook. Check for salt. Fluff it with a fork.

Rice cooker: If you are using a rice cooker, after the gravy has thickened, transfer the gravy, rice, green paste and water to a rice cooker and let it cook.

Once the rice is cooked, separate the grains with a fork, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with raitha and lemon wedges.

I am sending this Sprouted Channa Masala Rice to My Legume Love Affair, hosted this month by Mirch Masala and started by Susan.

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Greek hay- Cooking with Fenugreek

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Venthayam(Methi in Hindi and Fenugreek in English) is a regular herb used in South Indian cooking, atleast once a week. Most of the spice powders will have the addition of roasted fenugreek, and it is also common in pickles to act as a stabilizer.

Both the leaves and seeds are used for cooking and flavoring, though they taste slightly bitter. Besides cooking, Fenugreek has a lot of medicinal uses:

– Fenugreek seeds help to lower cholesterol levels.

– The seeds are used as a cure(to control) diabetes (Check with the doctor first before using, as there can be some side effects)

– For women, fenugreek seeds are a good cure for Menopause and PMS. Regular use of fenugreek will increase lactation for nursing mothers. But if taken during pregnancy, the fenugreek infused water can induce labor, because of this use, it is also given during labor to help in the process of child birth. Fenugreek seeds with rice or Urad Dal(black lentil gram) is made into a soft pudding and that also helps to strengthen the uterus.

– Soaking a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in half a cup of yogurt and taking it in the morning will reduce body heat.

– Fenugreek seeds with yogurt is a good cure for uncomfortable tummy (Diarrhea).

– When used with yogurt or vinegar as a conditioner, fenugreek seed paste can help in hair growth.

How to use fenugreek in cooking:

I like using fenugreek seeds for a spicy tamarind sauce and the leaves for a comforting rice dish(Khichdi).

Methi Khichdi: (Vegetables, rice and lentils with Fenugreek leaves)

Ingredients: serves-2

Rice- 1 cup
Lentils(yellow or green moong beans)- 1/2 cup
Salt- to taste
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala powder- 2 tsp
Green chilies-2
Chopped Ginger and Garlic- 1 tsp each
Red onions- Chopped-1/4 cup
Fenugreek leaves- 1 cup
Mixed vegetables (carrot, peas,cauliflower, potato, beans)- all together- 1 cup
Olive oil- 1 tsp
Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
Cinnamon sticks- 1″ piece
Bay leaf-1
Cilantro leaves- to garnish


This dish can be prepared as a one pot dish, in a slow cooker, in a pressure cooker or a rice cooker. With mild spices and vegetables, it is the comfort food for a weekend brunch or a weekday dinner. It is very simple to prepare this khichdi and you can throw in all the veggies you want if you want to clear out the fridge. Whichever way you cook, add lot of water to cook the rice.

Stove top: Wash the lentils and rice, keep aside.Heat olive oil in a pan, add cumin seeds, bay leaf and cinnamon sticks. Fry well for a minute, add onions, green chilies, ginger and garlic and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the fenugreek leaves, chopped vegetables, salt, turmeric powder, garam masala powder and stir fry well for another 2-3 minutes. Add about 6 cups of water, cover and let it simmer. Once the water is boiling, add the lentils and rice and simmer for 25 minutes or till the rice is cooked. Once in a while, mix the veggies and rice well and mash it as you cook. The more you mash them all together, the more tasty it till be. Once all of the veggies and rice is well mashed and is cooked through, garnish with cilantro leaves and serve hot with spiced yogurt(Kadhi).

Pressure cooker: Follow almost the same method but instead of waiting till the veggies are cooked, add rice and lentils and pressure cook for 2 whistles.

Rice Cooker: Cook till stir frying the vegetables in a pan. In the rice cooker, add water, rice and lentils and transfer the stir fried vegetables to the rice cooker. Cover and let it cook like normal rice.

Slow cooker: Stir fry the vegetables in the pan, transfer the rice, lentils and the vegetables to the slow cooker. Add atleast 8 cups of water (slow cooker needs more water than a rice cooker), set it on high (3 hours) or low(8 hours) for the rice to cook.

Cooking with Fenugreek Seeds:

Appalam Vathakozhambu (Poppadams in spicy tamarind sauce)

Can you cook without any vegetable to make a sauce? That too with poppadams? Sure you can. The simplest of all sauces in South Indian cooking, a favorite for summer season to have with yogurt rice.

Ingredients: (Serves-2)

Poppadams (about 14 each)

Green chilies- 2 each

Red Chilies- 2 each

Curry Leaves- 5

Tamarind- 1 small lemon size

Red Chili Powder- 1/2 tsp

Turmeric Powder- 1/4 tsp

Mustard seeds- 1 tsp

Fenugreek seeds- 1/2 tsp

Chana dal- 1 tsp

Asafoetida- 2 pinches

Salt- to taste

Gingerly oil- 4 tbsp (You can also use light olive oil)

Rice flour- 1 tbsp

To be ground to a powder

Coriander seeds- 1.5 tsp

Red Chilies-4

Chana dal- 1 tsp

Fenugreek seeds- 1/4 tsp


Soak the tamarind in about 200 ml of hot water. You can also substitute 1/4 tsp of tamarind paste for this. Squeeze out the juice from the tamarind, add another 100 ml of water, extract the juice again, filter and discard the pulp.

Roughly break the poppadams into two. Slit green chilies lengthwise.

Heat oil in a thick bottomed vessel(kadai) and add hing and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds splutter, add chana dhal, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves ,red chilies and green chilies. Stir fry for a minute. Add the poppadams and salt and stir fry for another 2-3 minutes. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder and stir fry till the raw smell of the red chili powder disappears.

Pour the 300 ml of tamarind water into the pan and simmer for 15-20minutes(tiill poppadams are tender). The tamarind water should have reduced to at least 1/2 of its original volume.

In the mean time, toast(dry fry) the coriander seeds,red chilies, chana dal, fenugreek seeds to a golden brown color. Cool and grind to a fine powder. This powder is my version of the vathakozhambu powders sold in stores. I grind it fresh, but you can also sprinkle some store bought vathakozhambu powder if you want.

In a bowl, mix about 3 tbsp of water and rice flour into a thick paste. Add the ground powder to this paste and add these to the boiling kozhambu. Stir well to avoid any lumps.

Let it simmer for another 4-5 minutes. Switch off. Serve hot with rice and spicy potato stir fry or stuffed  okras.

The Methi Khichdi is my entry for Yasmeen Health Nut’s Bitter- Better Health Event.

The appalam kozhambu is my entry for cooking with fenugreek seeds byDenufood an event started by Priya.

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Ven Pongal and Pongal stories

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Though Pongal is still a few days away, the excitement that a fresh start comes with pongal always gives the enthusiasm to share about the festival and the food.

When I was a kid in school, we had this joke doing rounds about pongal.

“Which festival is useful, Pongal or Diwali”?

“Obviously Pongal. You see, for Diwali, you can eat pongal, On Pongal day also you can eat Pongal, but on Pongal day, can you eat diwali?”

Ouch..That’s a kadi joke, I agree, and for once, I am glad that I am not near any of you, in case you were about to chase me for this joke.

The beginning of Margazhi month(Dec15-Jan 15) was a welcome change for Sis and I from the usual school schedule. We used to draw kolams(rangolis) during this month and we would tour our entire street to see how our friends have decorated their front porch. We’d even have healthy competitions on who’s kolam is better.

Now, the secret about me you did’nt know till now. Back in the 1980’s, we had cows in our backyard, yup, that’s correct, cows..

Amma had the feeling that since we were kids, it is better to have a cow at home for fresh milk, yogurt and ghee instead of buying milk from the milkman. And because of that mattu pongal (pongal for cows) was also celebrated in our house.
The love of my life, N, even till this day, greets me (with glee) a Happy Maatu Pongal because of this cow story.

Pongal festival is celebrated for 4 days:

Bogi- The bye-bye’s of old stuff begin by cleaning the house, repainting and throwing away trash.
Pongal- Pongal day to thank the sun god for a good harvest and to pray for a good year ahead.
Maatu Pongal- Pongal festival for cows to thank their support for agricultural purposes and for their milk.
Kannum Pongal- A day to meet and greet relatives.

When I was at the University, completing my Bachelor’s, our Dean would keep track of people who were preparing to mass bunk the classes. Ofcourse, who would want to attend the classes for a week when at least 3 days would be a holiday along with the weekend :)

OK, Back to the real Pongal story at Home:

Mom used to make pongal from freshly harvested rice( as we also had rice fields). The entire house had the aroma of different varieties of food and flowers. Other dishes like payasam, vadais,sundals would also be prepared. Sis and I would draw a chariot kolam to welcome the sun god in to our house. Since sun also starts his journey from Makra rasi (Capricorn), it is a sort of welcome given to him in the first day of the “Thai”Month.

Dad would do the pooja and then it would be the time to offer sweet pongal and ven pongal to the gods. Then comes another unique food for Pongal- The Sugarcanes. Since sugarcanes are also harvested around that time, cutting sugarcanes into foot long pieces and slowly sucking the juice is something worth waiting.

Here is the recipe for preparing ven pongal, the savory recipe with rice, lentils and pepper.

Pongal is dish made from rice and moong dal, usually served for breakfast in Tamilnadu. It is a simple dish, and often comes into the boundaries of one pot wonders. You can either cook the rice separately and add the seasonings or just cook the rice and seasonings in the same pot. You can make this pongal in 25 minutes in a pot. This is an excellent dish to be made in a slow cooker also. I used to pick out the peppercorns while eating this dish and so my mom started using ground pepper which was a good idea as pepper has good medicinal effects.

Ingredients: (Serves 3)

Rice: 1.5 cups
Moong dhal- 3/4 cup
Salt- To taste
Turmeric Powder- 1/2 tsp
Asafoetoda – 1/4 tsp
Grated Ginger- 1 inch piece
Crushed peppercorns- 3/4 tsp or whole peppercorns – 15
Curry Leaves- 5
Ghee- 3 tbsp
Red Chili- 2
Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
Cashew nuts- 2 tsp


Wash the rice and dhal together and drain. In a pan or deep pot, add ghee and slightly fry the rice-dhal mixture.

Add salt, turmeric powder, pepper powder and pour 6 cups water(1 part rice: 3 parts water) to the pan and partially cover and cook. If you are using slow cooker, just make sure that you add a cup of extra water while cooking.

When the rice is cooked throughly with dhal, mash them together. Pongal has to be slightly runny and it will thicken as it sits, so the softer it is, the better. Mash the rice smoothly so that it is almost like the texture of mashed potatoes.

In another pan, heat ghee and add asafoetida and add cumin seeds,curry leaves, ginger, red chilies and cashew nuts in the same order. Pour this over the pongal.

Serve hot with Sambar, chutneys, Aviyal or kathirikkai kothsu(recipe follows soon).

This pongal is also made in a special vessel called uruli back home (pix of sweet pongal in uruli follows soon).

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Khichdi with Kadhi

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Ultimate comfort food.Simple yet fulfilling  khichdi and kadhi is perfect for any weekday dinner or weekend brunch. The weather here has started to become quite chilly and it prompted me to make khichdi this weekend.

Though it is not the authentic regional khichdi, it tastes similar to one. I usually use whole green moong beans, soaking it in water for 15-20 minutes. If not, I also make it with tuvar dhal or yellow moong dhal. Usually I make khichdi as a one pot dish in a slow cooker or rice cooker to save time. The cinnamon gives it a whole refreshing aroma and adds secret kick of spice.

My neighbor M taught me the kadhi recipe(out of frustration I guess) as I’d I turn up in her house every now and then asking for the preparation. Initially though my kadhi was not like her authentic kadhi but after making it for quite some time(every weekend if I have to confess), I can say that its comparable but I adjust it to my taste every now and then.



Green moong beans – 1/2 cup

Rice 1.25 cups

Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp

Chopped Ginger- 1/2 tsp

Chopped garlic- 1/2 tsp

Chopped Onion-1/4 cup

Slit green chilies- 3

Mixed veggies(peas, cauliflower, carrot,potato)- 1 cup.

Garam Masala powder- 1 tsp

Salt- 1 tsp plus to taste

Oil/Ghee- 1 tsp

Cumin seeds- 1 tsp

Bay leaves, Cinnamon stick, Clove- 2-3 each.


Soak green moong beans overnight in water. Wash and drain.

In a non stick pan, heat ghee and fry cumin seeds. Add cinnamon sticks, bay leaf and cloves and saute for a minute.

Add onions, green chilies, garlic and ginger and saute till brown. Add all other veggies and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add salt turmeric powder and garam masala powder.

If you are using rice cooker/ slow cooker transfer the above said ingredients to a slow cooker, add rice and moong beans, required quantity of water(1 cup rice: 3 cups water hence here I added 6 cups water including veggies) and turn the cooker on(3 hours for fast setting-8 hours for slow cooking in a slow cooker)

If you are cooking it on a stove top pan, add the required amount of water, simmer but do not cover fully as the water may push the lid out(cook for about 20-25 minutes)

Depending on the cooking method used, check if veggies are soft and rice is cooked. Khichdi has to be slightly mushy so mash well before serving.Check seasonings, add salt if needed and garnish with cilantro. Pour a tsp of ghee on top if you prefer.Serve hot with kadhi or pickles.



Sour yogurt- 1 cup

Besan- 1/4 cup

Water- 1.5 cups

Salt- to taste

Red chili powder- 1/2 tsp

Broken red chilies- 2

Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp

Oil- 1 tsp

Jeera- 1 tsp

Hing- 1 pinch


Whisk yogurt with besan and water well so that it is without any lumps. In a deep pan or kadai(vessels with narrow bottom), heat oil and add jeera. When it splutters, add red chilies, red chili powder, turmeric powder, hing and salt. Immediately pour the yogurt mix into the pan and keep stirring for a minute- two. Reduce the flame for the kadhi to simmer. After about 10 minutes the yogurt would turn slightly glossy.  Let it simmer for another minute after this stage. You can switch off after this stage and serve it with khichadi.

This khichdi and kadhi goes to Think Spice Think Turmeric Event hosted by Sudeshna. started by Sunitha.

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