Thursday, December 25, 2014

Masala Khichdi | Vaghareli Khichri : Gujarati Style

During the last couple of years, I learnt many Gujarati recipes. Masala Khichdi is one among them too. Thanks to my friends here. I usually make this on a lazy weekend. It is healthy, filling and I wont feel guilty for not cooking a complete meal. This is a complete win-win deal :)

Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 30-40 mins
Serves: 3-4

Basmati rice: 1.5 cups, refer notes
Split gram dal | hesaru kalu | hara moong: 1/4 cup, with skin
Moong dal | hesaru bele | skinned gram dal: 1/4 cup
Salt: As needed

Vegetables: 2.5 cups, diced (I used French beans, carrots, potatoes, and eggplants)
Onion: 1 medium sized, chopped fine
Spinach: 1/4 cup, finely chopped
Green peas: 1/4 cup, I used frozen

Oil: 2 tsp
Ghee: 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Cinnamon: 1 inch stick
Clove: 4-6 nos
Curry leaves: 4-6 torn
Green chili paste: 1 tsp, more or less
Ginger paste: 1 tsp
Garlic paste: 1 tsp
Garam masala: 1/2 to 1 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp
Water: As needed

Wash both the lentils thoroughly and let them soak for 30 mins.
Wash the basmati rice separately and keep it aside.
In a big sauce pan, add ghee and oil. When hot, throw in the mustard seeds, cinnamon and clove. When mustard seeds splatter, add the cumin seeds. When cumin seeds turn golden brown, throw in the curry leaves, the onion and saute until the onions become translucent.
Add the diced vegetables, chopped spinach and mix. Cook the vegetables on a medium heat uncovered for 3-4 mins.
Put the turmeric, green chili paste, ginger and garlic paste to the vegetables and mix.
Add water and allow the water to boil.
Once water starts boiling, throw in the soaked lentils, salt and garam masala. Give it a stir.
Keeping the pan half covered, cook the lentils for 10 mins in medium heat. Once the lentils are half cooked, add the green peas and rice.
Cook it until the rice is soft and fluffy. (It will not take more than 10-15 mins).
Once rice is cooked, cover the sauce pan and let it sit for another 10 mins.
Fluff up the khichdi and serve it with raita or kadhi or any side dish of your choice.


  • I generally add water in the below mentioned proportions. 1 (rice + lentils) = 2 to 2.5 water
  • This recipe can be customized according to what you have or what you want. You can replace moong dal with toor dal, basmati rice with any other rice (like sona masoori, ponni or long grain rice). Throw in whatever vegetables you have. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Rawa Idli Recipe (Without Yogurt or curd) | Vegan Rava Idli Recipe : South Indian Recipes

How to make the popular Rawa idli?

I got a sudden craving for rawa idli one day and decided to do it the same evening for dinner. As usual roasted the rawa, only to find out that there was no yogurt in my pantry. The determined me decided to make rawa idli without yogurt. The idli turned very spongy and soft even without the yogurt. Do want to know, what did I substitute yogurt with? Jump to the recipe!!

Some side dishes that go well with this idli are:
Bombay Saagu
Ginger Chutney
Kadlebele Chutney | Gram dal chutney

Preparation Time: 20 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins (for each batch)
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients: (Makes about 25 idlis)
Semolina | Rawa | Cream of Wheat: 2 cups
Quick cooking oats: 3/4 cup
Avalakki | Poha | Rice flakes: 3 tbsp, optional

Oil: 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Urad dal | Black dal: 2 tsp
Channa dal | Gram dal: 1 tbsp
Cashew nuts: 1 tbsp

Coriander leaves: 1/4 cup
Grated carrots: 1/4 cup

Salt: To taste
Eno fruit salt: 1.5 tsp, refer notes
Vinegar: 1 tbsp
Water: As needed

Other ingredients:
Oil: Few drops to grease the idli mould

Wash the rice flakes thoroughly and soak them in water for 5-10 mins.
Heat oil in a broad sauce pan or wok. When oil is hot, throw in the mustard seeds, urad dal, and channa dal. When dal turns golden brown, add the cashew nuts and mix until the cashew nuts turn golden brown.
Add the rawa to the pan and roast the rawa on a medium heat for 3-4 mins. Add the oats and roast again for a minute.
Remove the roasted rawa from the heat. Allow it to cool completely.
Drain the water from the rice flakes (poha) and add it to the rawa mixture.

Add about 2 cups of water to the rawa and mix well to make a thick batter.

Mix the vinegar with a quarter cup of water and pour it to the batter. Mix again and allow it to rest for 20 mins.

Put water to the steamer (or idli cooker or pressure cooker). Turn on the heat and let the water boil.
Just before making the idlis, add the salt, more water, grated carrots, and finely chopped coriander leaves to the batter. Mix well.

Finally, add the Eno fruit salt to the batter. Whisk the batter well.

Grease the idli moulds. Pour about 2-3 tbsp of batter to each mould and steam the idlis for 15 mins.
After 15 mins, turn off the heat and allow the steamer to cool for 5 mins.
Scoop out the idlis and serve it with chutney of your choice.

If you are using pressure cooker to steam the idlis, refer this post.
You can substitute Eno Fruit salt with the same amount of baking soda. If you are making the idli in two batches, divide the batter into two. Add fruit salt only to the batch going to the steamer. Do not add the fruit salt at once.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Tips to freeze parathas ( Step by step instructions and pictures )

........  How to make Indian food in bulk and freeze?
......... How to freeze parathas for parties?

This space took a back seat because of my travel, many unplanned events and mostly my laziness. However, I am still active in my facebook page.and Instagram . If you want updates about my life, you are free to like me there. Now, hopefully I'm back here too....

Before leaving to India, I had to cook food for three weeks for my kiddo and hubby. So, I started experimenting with freezing the food that I cooked. Not that I didn't do it before, but I did try freezing idlis, dals too. So, I thought I'll share with you some of the tips about freezing the parathas. Parathas can be easily freezed for upto a month.

Here are some paratha recipes that you can cook and freeze.

All you need is....
Some freshly rolled parathas

Wax paper sheets(cut into a 5" square)

Ziplock bag

Roll about 10 parathas. Heat the skillet on a medium-high heat.
When the skillet is hot, drizzle about 1/4 tsp of oil to the skillet. Dust the parathas and warm both the sides of the paratha for 20 secs only. Very few brown spots should be formed on both the sides of the paratha.
Remove it from the griddle and repeat the same procedure for the remaining parathas.

Allow the paratha to cool completely. Dont stack them. Spread them on a big plate.
Once completely cool, place the wax paper sheets in between each paratha and pop them in the ziplock bag.

Label them and freeze until further use.

This is how the zip-lock looks after being  freezed for 6 hours.

Do not thaw the parathas. Just remove one at a time from the freezer and roast/cook on a hot skillet. (The same way you cook the freshly rolled parathas). 

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