Monthly Archives: November 2015

Oats Pongal

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So with all the buzz on whole grains and eating right it does put a lot of pressure on us moms and chefs in the kitchen to ensure a healthy, balanced and yet delicious meal for the family! I always argue with my husband that our ancestors ate white rice all the time and did just fine. But the truth is, in today’s world our sedentary lifestyle is much unlike the hard physical work that our ancestors did. Not to mention that the white rice we get today is super polished and stripped of all its nutrients and fiber. We are in the world of plastic mixed with rice!! And god knows what other surprises! Feeding our families right is definitely a challenge today!
In an effort to eat healthy, here I am sharing with you a recipe for Oats Pongal. To be honest, it took me a long time to get used to the sticky texture of oats. But once you start eating it enough, you will actually begin to like it and even enjoy it. And this recipe is a great way to start if you like South Indian food and prefer Savory to sweet for breakfast!! Of course, this recipe is great for dinner too.

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You will need:
Quick Oats – 1/2 cup (I have used whole food brand quick oats, you can use Quaker or any that is available)
Moong Dal – 3 tbsp
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger (missing here since i ran out of ginger at home 🙂 )
a few curry leaves
1/4 tsp Hing or Asafoetida
Salt to taste
1 tsp Olive Oil (Alternatively you can use 1 tsp Ghee if you like)
a few pieces of Cashews (I have not used here, but it definitely adds taste to Pongal)

Method:
1. In a pan, bring about 2 1/2 cups water to a rolling bowl. Add the washed moong dal and allow to cook in open pan for about 15 minutes until the dal is fully cooked. You will the grains split. See below. Once the dal is cooked, keep aside. Do not throw the leftover water from the dal.
2. Meanwhile, in a mortar pestle coarsely powder the cumin and pepper. If you don’t have one, powder in a coffee grinder or mixer.

3. In a pan, heat the oil (or ghee). Add the coarsely ground cumin and pepper powder, hing and curry leaves and saute for a minute. At this point you may add grated ginger and cashews and fry. Then add the quick oats and mix well. Add salt and fry for about 1 minute.

4. Then add the cooked moong dal with all the water that is left in the dal. Add about 1/2 to 1 cup water if needed. Close and cook for about 5 minutes on a medium to low flame.

5. Open the lid and cook for 2 more minutes. Ensure that most of the water evaporates.

6. Hot and delicious Oats Pongal is ready to be served.

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Your protein rich, fiber rich Oats Pongal for a great start to the day!!

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Thanks for stopping by!!

Capsicum / Bell Pepper Curry

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Today from the Masalamagic kitchen, I would like to share with you a very flavorful and delicious but yet simple Capsicum or Bell Pepper Curry.
If you are a family that eats lots of rotis or chapatis then the question is always “What Side dish?” Making the same side over and over again also does not cut it! My family gets edgy every time i make the same or similar curry. I am always on the lookout for simple side dishes. Time is of the essence especially on a busy weekday morning, so the simpler the curry the better it is 🙂

This curry requires minimum prep time and will be ready in less than 10 minutes 🙂

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You will need:
2 Capsicum or Green Bell Pepper – Wash and chop into cubes. I usually get rid of the seeds in the middle, you can use them too if you like.
1 Large tomato – Wash, chop into rough cubes and coarse puree in a blender (just 1 round).
2 tbsp Roasted Peanuts – Dry roast 2 tbsp peanuts on a pan until golden brown, cool and remove the peel. Coarse grind into a dry coarse powder.
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Curry Powder or Sambar Powder
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp or 1 small piece Jaggery
1 tbsp Oil
Cumin, Mustard seeds and hing for seasoning

Method:
1. Prep the peanuts, Tomato and capsicum as mentioned above. Keep everything ready.
2. In a pan, heat the oil. Add the hing, cumin and mustard seeds. Allow the mustard to splutter.
3. Add the chopped capsicum and turmeric powder. Mix well.
4. Then add the Sambar powder or curry powder and salt. Mix well.
5. Add about 1/2 cup water and pureed tomato , mix and cover with a lid and cook for about 5 minutes.
6. Allow the gravy to thicken a bit. Then add the Peanut powder and Jaggery and mix well.
7. Serve hot with Rotis or Rice.

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Thanks for stopping by 🙂

 

Chutney Magic

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Chutney Magic

Today I would like to share with all of you two simple chutney recipes. If anything, Andhra Pradesh is known for its spicy food and finger licking chutneys aka “Pachadis”. Pretty much any vegetable can be converted into a delectable chutney.
True to my Andhra genes, I love spicy food and spicy chutneys. Mixed with hot rice and a hint of ghee will take you into a blissful state!! Of course for the conscious eater staying away from carbs, these chutneys can be used as a spread on whole wheat toast or inside a whole wheat tortilla to make a wrap or as a dip with whole wheat crackers! Take your pick on how you would like to eat these..but definitely don’t miss out on these super delicious chutney recipes!!

My first recipe is called “Cleaning my fridge out Chutney” 🙂 Which is actually an Onion-Tomato Chutney recipe that tastes great with Dosa, Idli, Rice, Bread, Rotis etc. any which way you want to eat it.

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You will need:
2 Large Onions – Peel, wash and chop into chunks
1 Medium Tomato – Wash and chop into cubes or slices
4 to 5 green chillies
a handful of cilantro or coriander leaves
a few mint leaves
a small piece of tamarind (1/4 lime sized)
1 Garlic – Peel
Hing
Salt to taste
1 tbsp grated coconut (optional)
Oil for frying – About 2 tsp

Method:
1. Chop all the veggies as above.
2. Heat a frying pan with 2 tsp oil on high heat.
3. Add all ingredients except the salt and coconut as listed above together into the frying pan.
4. Saute for about 3 to 4 minutes on high heat until the veggies are slightly charred and roasted. (see in picture below).
5. Turn off the stove, add the grated coconut and cool.

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6. Combine all the roasted ingredients in a food processor or mixer, add salt and grind without adding any water. Grind until coarse.
7. This chutney does not require any additional seasoning. If you would like, you can always season with mustard seeds, hing, curry leaves and dry red chillies.
8. Serve with hot rice as below or use as a spread.DSC_0035

Next on my list here today is a Zucchini Yellow Tomato Chutney. This super delicious chutney tastes great with just about anything. My family loves it and it is a great way to have your kids eat veggies!!

Zucchini Yellow Tomato Chutney

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You will need:
1 Large Zucchini – Wash and Chop into cubes or slices
1 Large Yellow Tomato – Wash and Chop into cubes; If you don’t have yellow tomatoes, you can use a red tomato or a green tomato instead; Or you can even omit the tomato completely
2 pods garlic – Peel (This is optional, for those who do not like the taste of garlic just omit it)
4 to 5 green chillies
a small piece of tamarind
a handful of cilantro
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp Grated coconut (optional)
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Method:
A similar method as above.
1. Heat oil in a frying pan on high heat, add cumin seeds. Fry for a few seconds.
2. Add all the veggies except the salt, add the tamarind also.
3. Saute on high heat until slightly charred and roasted. (will take about 4 to 5 minutes)

4. Turn off the stove. Add 1 tbsp grated coconut, Cool.
5. Add salt and grind in a mixer or food processor with adding just about 1/4 cup water. Grind coarse.

6. You can omit seasoning or season if you prefer with mustard seeds, hing, cumin seeds, curry leaves and dry red chilli.
7. Serve with rice or as a spread.

Thanks for stopping by!! Happy Cooking..