Friday, February 7, 2014

Matki chi Usal (Stir fried moth beans)

Pulses are low in fat and cholesterol, high in dietary fiber and rich in protein. This makes them a fantastic heart healthy food choice.

Indian cooking incorporates a lot of pulses in it's cuisines. Especially regional cuisines. You might not find all pulses at most of the restaurants but you will surely find them in most homes.

I enjoy making pulses for our regular lunch and dinners, mostly because there is minimal or no chopping required. Just soak the pulses in water and a few hours later, you are ready to use them.

The recipe I am sharing today is a simple one I cook almost once a week at our home mostly because of it's simplicity. This recipe has No Onion and No Garlic, which makes it ideal for days when you choose to offer it as 'Naivedya'  to God on auspicious days. I personally follow this recipe as it involves no chopping! Couldn't ask for more on a busy day.

Level: Easy
Serves: 4 - 5 people

3/4 cup matki (moth beans), soak in a lot of water overnight or for 6 - 7 hrs.
1 tblsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 pinch asafoetida
6 - 7 curry leaves
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilly powder, or to taste
1.5 tsp goda masala, or to taste
2 - 3 kokum/ Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp jaggery (optional)
Water as required
Salt to taste
Coriander to decorate

Step 1 - Heat oil in a pot. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle and turn a little brown. Add the asafoetida and curry leaves. Stir for a couple of seconds.

Step 2 - Add the turmeric powder. Stir for a second and immediately add the drained, soaked matki. Saute for 2 mins. Add the red chilly powder and saute for 2 - 3 mins. If you notice that the mixture is too dry and the spices might burn, sprinkle some water over the mixture and keep mixing. Then add enough water, such that the matki are almost all under water. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and let the matki cook well. Keep mixing occasionally.

Step 3 - Once you notice the water has substantially reduced and your matki is almost cooked, add in the goda masala, jaggery, kokum and salt. Mix well. Cook till the matki is well done. This can be checked by lightly pressing a few matkis. They should easily give way, but should not be all mashed up.

Decorate with coriander, squeeze some lemon if you are not using kokum and serve with some hot rotis.

Do not add the kokum or jaggery before the matki are almost cooked, this could prevent the pulse from cooking properly.

If you do not have goda masala, you could add some garam masala (3/4 tsp) instead. This will alter the taste of the preparation, but it will still taste great.

Some homes decorate this preparation with some fresh grated coconut. This makes for a great topping.

Using sprouted matki, would make this dish even more healthy. So if you have time, go for it.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Batata Kaalvan (Potato Curry) CKP Style

For everybody who do not understand why fish curries rock!

As my husband does not eat fish and I can't stop eating them, we are almost always in a fix as we have to prepare two separate meals whenever I get my hands on some fresh fish. I also do feel a little bad that he misses out on the amazing curries that fish are cooked in.
The recipe I am sharing today is exactly how fish curry is made at my husband's home. We just replace the fish with potatoes, so 'anti-fishitarians' can have a good time, while we gobble down on our fishy meals.

Do give it a try on a cold winter night, cuddled up in a comfy chair with a large bowl of some hot steamed rice and this amazingly flavorful curry. Trust me this recipe is a keeper.

So here is how we make it!

Level: Easy
Serves: 4 people
Source: MIL (Nita Pradhan)

3 large potatoes
4 - 5 garlic cloves, crushed
3 pinches asafoetida
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1.5 tsp red chilly powder
1.5 tsp ginger garlic paste
2 tsp tamarind pulp (or to taste)
1/2 cup fresh coconut
4 tsp oil
Water as required
Salt to taste
Coriander to decorate

Step 1 - Cut the potatoes into even thin slices and then cut them into medium pieces. Place the cut potatoes in water till you are ready to use them. This will prevent discoloration. Grind the coconut with 1/4 cup water to form a smooth paste.

Step 2 - Heat oil in a pot and add crushed garlic in it. Saute till the garlic turns golden. Add the asafoetida and stir it for a few seconds.

Step 3 - Add the drained sliced potatoes and stir them well till all the potatoes are coated with the garlic oil. Add the turmeric powder, red chilly powder and ginger garlic paste. Stir well for 5 - 10 mins till you see oil in the sides of the pot.

Step 4 - Add enough water till it is 1/4 inch above the potatoes. Stir for a minute. Cover the pot with a lid and let the potatoes cook on medium-low heat for 5 - 7 mins till they are almost done. Keep stirring occasionally.

Step 5 - When the potatoes are 90% cooked, add salt, tamarind pulp and coconut paste from Step 1. Adjust the taste of the curry as per your liking (mostly for red chilly powder and tamarind pulp). Boil the curry for 2 more minutes till the potatoes are cooked through. Decorate with coriander and we are done!

Serve hot with some steamed rice. Indulge!

You can chop the potatoes in any shape you prefer. Just make sure they are even, so they all cook at the same time.

Do not add tamarind pulp until the potatoes are almost cooked. Adding tamarind to uncooked potatoes prolongs the cooking time.