Beetroot Leaves Dal

Beetroot Leaves Dal

Do you throw out the Beetroot leaves? STOP!!! 

Don’t just cut off the green leafy tops and toss them away! The leaves and the stems are edible, and make a great substitute for any green such as palak, swiss chard, collard greens, bok choy. They  can be added to dals/sambars, soups or added to sabzis.

Beetroot leaves 

The best part of buying beetroot with the leaves-you can make two dishes for the price of one!! Other leaves that are edible and should not be thrown out:

  1. Radish leaves: Click here for Radish sabzi with leaves
  2. Turnip Leaves: Click here for Turnip leaves sabzi(Sri Lankan style)

Here is a simple dal with the beetroot leaves. (Note:The stems (like the beetroot) have a natural pink dye that can turn the dal slightly pink).

Ingredients for Beetroot leaves dal: Serves 4-5
  • 1 cup toor dal/arhar dal
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons oil/ ghee
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1-2 green chili, slit
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1/2 -1 tsp red chili powder (optional)
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder (optional)
  • salt, to taste
  • 1-2 teaspoon lemon juice

Method:

  1. To a pressure cooker add the washed toor dal, add 2.5 cups water,  and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder. Cook at high flame for 3 whistles. Let the pressure of the cooker come off on it’s own. Then mash well.
  2. Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Wait till cumin seeds crackle and mustard seeds start popping out.
  3. Once the seeds start popping, add chopped garlic and green chili. Saute for a minute or till garlic just starts turning golden brown in color.
  4. Add chopped tomatoes, salt and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add chopped beetroot leaves and mix. Cook for 2-3 minutes or till the leaves are wilted.
  6. Add the mashed dal to the pan, a cup of water , the red chili powder and coriander powder (both optional, but I like to have the extra spice)and let it all come to a boil. Lower the heat, add more water if needed and let the dal simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Check the salt and adjust to taste. Sprinkle garam on top and remove pan from heat.
  8. Squeeze in some fresh lemon juice and serve beetroot leaves dal with any hot rotis or steamed rice.

Other Beetroot recipes:

  1. Beetroot Mocktail/ Juice: Click for recipe here
  2. Beetroot Upkari(a simple Mangalorean style stir-fry): Click for recipe here

 


Beetroot Upkari (a simple Mangalorean style stir-fry)

Though beetroot is loaded with vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, iron, magnesium and potassium, it isn’t a popular vegetable and somehow doesn’t get onto the diet more often. The nutrients they contain fight inflammation, lower your blood pressure, and could also fight cancers.

Since it is naturally sweet, it can be used as a salad by those who don’t like sweet vegetable sabzi.

Here is a simple Mangalorean style stir-fry which tastes great with chapathis and even with rice and dal. My kids love eating it with curd rice as they love to see the colour of the curd rice change from white to pink when they mix the beetroot with it. Do note that beetroot has a naturally occurring dye that can colour your hands/cutting boards while cutting. It will also cause you to have pink stools and urine after consuming it, so don’t be alarmed.

Beetroot Upkari: Serves 4-5

Ingredients:

  • Beetroot: 3 big
  • Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
  • Green chilli- 2-3
  • Curry leaves- Few
  • Urad dal/ Split Black gram- 1 tsp
  • Coconut Oil- 1 tsp
  • Salt- To taste
  • Sambar powder(optional): 1-2 tsp
  • Grated Coconut: 2-3 tbsp for garnish

Method:

  1. Wash and peel the beetroot. Then chop it into small cubes.
  2. Heat oil in a kadai and add mustard seeds. Once it starts popping, green chilli, curry leaves and urad dal. Fry for a minute.
  3. Add in the chopped beetroot and mix well. Add the salt and water, sambhar powder(for a variation, though not added to regular upkari), close and cook for 15-20 minutes on a medium flame.
  4.  Once cooked, add grated coconut as garnish and serve with rice+dal or curd rice or even chapathis.

Other Beetroot Recipes:

  1. Beetroot Juice: Click here for recipe

Beetroot Juice is a great drink for athletes ,sports persons and for those who exercise regularly as beetroot is loaded with nitrates . Nitrates when consumed are converted to nitric oxide which helps in opening the blood vessels and allows more blood and thereby oxygen to be delivered to the muscles.

 

 

 

 


Egg Fried Rice

Egg Fried Rice is a quick and easy rice dish which is best made with leftover cold rice.  It is a basic yet simple dish for those who want to try their hand at Chinese cooking. You can add some diced vegetables like carrots, peas and bell peppers if you want.

Ingredients for Egg Fried Rice:

  • Eggs (preferably Free-range): 4
  • Cooked rice : 4 (cups cooled)
  • Carrots, peas: 1/2 cup diced (optional)
  • Red onion: 1 medium (finely diced)
  • Ginger: 1 tsp diced
  • Garlic: 1 tsp diced
  • Coriander (stem): 2 tbsp (finely chopped)
  • Light Soy sauce: 2 tbsp
  • Spring onions: ⅔ cup (finely sliced)
  • Coriander leaves: 1 tbsp for garnish
  • Salt: to taste
  • Sesame oil: ¼ tsp
  • Oil: 4 tbsp

Method:

1. Break eggs into a bowl and beat lightly. Heat half the oil in a kadai/wok . Pour the beaten eggs into the kadai and leave to cook for 10 seconds before lightly scrambling until almost cooked through. Keep aside.

2. Heat remaining oil in the same kadai and stir fry onion, ginger, garlic, and coriander  stems along with the diced  vegetables(optional) for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are almost cooked.

3. Add rice to the kadai with spring onions, soy sauce, salt, sesame oil and the cooked egg and stir fry for 3 minutes or until well combined and rice is heated through. Break up the egg  into smaller pieces if needed while cooking. Transfer rice to a bowl and serve garnished with coriander.

If you like it spicy, then you can serve it with a side of red chili in soy sauce ( finely slice fresh/dried red chilies with three tablespoons light soy).


Mixed Vegetable Pulav/Pilaf (Gluten free, Vegan)

This is an easy recipe and can be made for the lunch box or even for a party.

Recipe for Mixed Vegetable Pulav:

Ingredients: (Serves 6-8)

  • Brown Rice/ Basmati: 2 cups (soak in water for 30 mins)
  • Tomatoes: 3 medium (finely chopped)
  • Onions: 1 1/2 big or 2 medium sized (finely sliced)
  • Garlic: 3-4 (finely chopped)
  • Ginger: 1 ” piece (grated)
  • Green chilies: 1-4 (depending on your heat tolerance)
  • Mixed vegetables: 1 1/2 cups cut into bite sized pieces(carrot,cauliflower, peas, green beans)
  • Cinnamon: 2″ stick
  • Cloves: 4-5nos.
  • Peppercorns: 5-6 nos.
  • Bay leaf: 2nos.
  • Cardamoms: 4 nos.
  • Jeera/Cumin seeds: 2 tsp
  • Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
  • Red chili powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder: 1 1/2 tsp (heaped)
  • Garam masala: 1/4 tsp
  • Oil/ Butter/ Ghee: 3 tbsp
  • Water: 4 cups
  • Salt: to taste
  • Cilantro leaves: 2 tbsp (chopped) for garnishing
  • Mint leaves: a few (for garnish)

Method: 

  1. Heat the oil in a pressure cooker, add the whole spices (cumin, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves, cardamom, peppercorn).
  2. When the jeera seeds start to sizzle, add the chopped garlic and saute on a low flame till it starts to brown.
  3. Add turmeric and the onions, salt and saute till the onions start turning pinkish brown.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cook till they are completely mashed and oil starts to leave the sides.
  5. Add the red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala and mix well.
  6. Then add the mixed vegetables and mix till the masala coats the vegetables.
  7. Strain the rice and add it and mix for 1-2 minutes.
  8. Add the water, mix and taste the water for salt and flavours.
  9. close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook for 2 whistles. Switch off
  10. Once the pressure drops open the cooker and garnish with coriander leaves(cilantro) and mint leaves. Slowly fluff the pulav a little.
  11. Serve the mixed vegetable pulav with raita.

 


Fennel (Saunf) Bulb Salad (with mixed fruits and carrots)

The fennel bulb is actually the base of the fennel(saunf) plant. It’s a shame that it isn’t used in India as it is edible and has some of the benefits of saunf. The fennel bulb is low in calories and rich in fibre and contains vitamin C and potassium. Fennel (saunf) has been used for ages for aiding digestion after meals and also as a carminative (relieving flatulence/gas) and the same properties are present in the bulb too. It has a mild saunf flavor and a lovely crunchy texture and is perfect for salads.

ChatPata Fennel Bulb salad

Try out this easy salad with mixed fruits. I just use whatever fruits and salad vegetables there are at home, so feel free to try out your own combination:

Ingredients for Fennel Salad:

  • Fennel bulb: 1/2 (finely sliced)
  • Carrot: 1 medium (cut into thin sticks)
  • Apple: 2 (cut into sticks)
  • Blue Grapes: 15 ( quartered)
  • Navel Oranges: 2 (thinly sliced)
  • Lemon juice: from 1 lemon
  • Apple Cider vinegar: 2 tbsp
  • Honey/Sugar: 1 tsp (optional)
  • Chaat masala: 1 tsp (optional-I love the Indian flavour it adds to the salad)
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add the Apple Cider Vinegar and lemon juice, salt and chaat masala and toss.
  3. Chill in the fridge for at least half and hour.
  4. Toss again before serving.

 

 


Bell Pepper Fried Rice (Vegan, Gluten free)

Capsicum Rice (Indian Style Bell Pepper Fried Rice)

Capsicum or bell peppers are rich in vitamins A, C, K, niacin and folate along with copper and magnesium. The red bell peppers have more vitamin A and  C when compared to the green peppers.

Ingredients for Capsicum Rice:

  • Cooked Basmati Rice: 2 Cups
  • Capsicums(bell peppers)-2 big cubed or 3 small (you can use coloured too)
  • Onions: 1 medium (finely sliced)
  • Cashew nuts (or peanuts): a few (optional)
  • Mustard Seeds: 1 tsp
  • Urad dal: 2 tsp
  • Channa dal: 2 tsp
  • Coriander Seeds: 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
  • Dry red chillies(adjust spice level according to heat tolerance): 3-4 piece
  • Fresh Curry Leaves: 10-12 number
  • Roasted Peanuts: 3 tbsp
  • Garam Masala powder: 1 tsp
  • Oil: 2 tbsp
  • Ghee: 1 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves: 1 tbsp (chopped) for garnish (optional)

Method:

  1. Dry roast (no oil) mustard seeds,cumin seeds,urad dal, channa dal, coriander seeds, curry leaves, dry red chillies on medium heat till the rawness disappears and the flavors come out. Switch off and let it cool.
  2. Once cool, add the roasted peanuts and grind  to a make a fine powder.
  3. Heat oil in a vessel and add the sliced onions and saute till golden brown.
  4. Then add the sliced capsicums and cashew nuts(or peanuts) and fry them till the capsicum are still crunchy in texture. Add salt to taste and mix.
  5. Reduce heat and add the the ground masala powder, garam masala and mix well.
  6. Then add the cooked rice and combine.
  7. Garnish with the chopped coriander.
  8. Serve hot with raita.

Brown rice Masala Dosa( Savoury Crepes with Potato filling)

This is a great recipe for those on a Gluten-Free diet.

Ingredients (for the potato filling):

  • Potatoes: 4 nos. (boiled and coarsely mashed/cut)
  • Green chillies: 1-2 nos. (slit length-wise)
  • Onions: 1 large or 2 medium (cut lengthwise-and then cut into half)
  • Ginger: 1/2″ piece(chopped fine)
  • Turmeric:1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt: to taste

For the tempering:

  • Oil: 1 teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds: 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin seeds: 1 teaspoon
  • Curry leaves: 2-3 nos.
  • Channa dal/split black chickpeas/Myles: 1 teaspoon
  • Cashew nuts: 4-5 nos(chopped)

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan,then add the mustard, cumin and the channa dal.
  2. When the mustard starts to sputter,add the curry leaves and the cashew nuts and stir till the cashew nuts are brown.
  3. Add the ginger and fry till it turns a golden brown.
  4. Add the slit green chillies,the chopped onions,turmeric powder,salt and saute till the onions turn translucent.
  5. Add the coarsely mashed potatoes and mix well. Add 1/2 cup water and cook stirring continuously for 5-6 minutes. Set aside.

Ingredients (for the dosa):

Method:

  • Wash, then soak the raw rice, urad dal and fenugreek seeds in water for at least 4-6 hours.
  • Drain the water used for soaking.Add the cooked rice (if using flattened rice-wash,drain and let it stand for at least 10-15 mins), and about a cup of water and grind to a fine paste (should be as thick as the pancake batter).
  • Let it ferment overnight (or for 10-12 hours) in a big bowl(the batter will rise if the weather is warm enough).
  • Once it has fermented,add salt and mix. Then pour a ladleful of the batter onto a HOT pan and spread the batter with the ladle in a circular motion(going from the centre of the pan to the outside).
  • Add a little ghee/butter/oil to the edges of the dosa and let it cook till you notice it getting golden brown from underneath.
  • At this stage, place the yellow potato filling at the centre of the dosa and fold from both sides (like a wrap) or you could also fold it from three sides(the resulting dosa would looks like a triangle).
  • Remove from the pan.Serve hot with a little cilantro chutney and sambar .

Note:

  • Warm weather is crucial for the batter to ferment.
  • The pan needs to be really HOT before you start making the dosas.
  • The dosas can be made without the potato filling too- then it would be known as ‘Plain Dosa’ (not as much fun as eating the ‘masala’ variety).

 


Mangalorean Kori Rotti and Chicken Curry

Kori Rotti  is another Mangalorean favourite. What makes it different is the crispy rotti. Kori means Chicken and the rotti  is rice dosa that are dried and are hard like papad.  We always bought the kori rotti from Mangalore stores when we were in India, and was overjoyed when I spotted it in the Indian Stores in the US.

The chicken curry is a spicy coconut based gravy that is poured over the crisp rotti. The best way to eat this would be with your hands. I love my rotti to be slightly crunchy so I don’t let it sit in the gravy for too long, but some love it all soggy and soaked up in the gravy.

Ingredients for Kori Curry (Mangalorean Chicken Curry):

  • Chicken (whole): 1 kg (chopped into small pieces, washed)
  • Onions: 2 big (finely chopped)
  • Methi seeds: 6-8 nos.
  • Tamarind paste: 1/2 tsp
  • Coconut milk: 1.5 cans
  • Salt: to taste
  • Oil: 2 tablespoon
  • Ghee: 1 tsp

For Grinding together:

  • Onions: 1 big (or 2 small)
  • Coconut: 1/2 cup (scraped)
  • Garlic: 3 cloves+ 2 cloves (chopped)
  • Dry red chilies: 12 nos.
  • Bydagi chilies:  12 nos. for colour
  • Coriander seeds:2 tbsp
  • Jeera seeds: 1 tsp
  • Peppercorns: 1/2 tsp
  • Methi: 1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric:1/2 tsp
  • Oil: 2 tbsp

Method:

  1. First roast all the dry masala ingredients(dry chilies, coriander,methi,jeera,peppercorns)  separately and keep aside.
  2. Then in a kadai, add the oil , once it is hot add the sliced onions, 3 cloves garlic and fry till the onions are slightly brown.
  3. Add the coconut and stir fry till the coconut starts turning brown (make sure to keep stirring, otherwise it will burn). Then switch off and let it cool.
  4. Grind all the ingredients (onions+coconut mixture) along with the roasted spices and the 2 cloves of garlic. Add little water and grind till you get a fine paste.
  5. Add some salt, turmeric and the ground masala paste to the chicken and let it marinate for 1/2 an hour.
  6. In a big vessel, add the oil and heat, add the methi seeds, sliced onions and saute till the onions turn pink.
  7. Add the marinated chicken, salt and saute for a few minutes. Lower the heat and cover and cook till the chicken is done (add a little water),
  8. Add the coconut milk, tamarind paste and let it boil.

How to eat:

  • Since we don’t have the traditional deep steel plates that holds the gravy, I prefer to eat this in bowls, but you can eat this on a regular plate.
  • Break the rotti into bite sized pieces and place on the plate. Pour the chicken curry over the pieces. Let it soak or just dig in.
  • It tends to get a little dry after the rotti has soaked up the gravy so you can top it with some more.

Mangalorean Chicken Sukka (Kori Ajadina)

This is one of the famous Mangalorean dishes (the other’s being Neer Dosa, Kori Rotti and chicken curry) . As the name suggests it’s a dry dish with loads and loads of coconut.

Again, there are many versions, this is my families recipe 🙂

 

Ingredients for Kori Ajadina (Mangalorean Chicken Sukka):

  • Chicken (whole): 1 kg (chopped into small pieces, washed)
  • Onions: 2 big (finely chopped)
  • Methi seeds: 6-8 nos.
  • Tamarind paste: 1/2 tsp
  • Salt: to taste
  • Oil: 2 tablespoon
  • Ghee: 1 tsp

For Grinding together:

  • Onions: 1 big (or 2 small)
  • Coconut: 1/2 cup (scraped)
  • Garlic: 3 cloves+ 2 cloves (chopped)
  • Dry red chilies: 12 nos.
  • Bydagi chilies:  12 nos. for colour
  • Coriander seeds:2 tbsp
  • Jeera seeds: 1 tsp
  • Peppercorns: 1/2 tsp
  • Methi: 1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric:1/2 tsp
  • Oil: 2 tbsp

For garnishing:

Fresh Coconut: 2 1/2 cups (saute till it turns slightly brown )

Method:

  1. First roast all the dry masala ingredients(dry chilies, coriander,methi,jeera,peppercorns)  separately and keep aside.
  2. Then in a kadai, add the oil , once it is hot add the sliced onions, 3 cloves garlic and fry till the onions are slightly brown.
  3. Add the coconut and stir fry till the coconut starts turning brown (make sure to keep stirring, otherwise it will burn). Then switch off and let it cool.
  4. Grind all the ingredients (onions+coconut mixture) along with the roasted spices and the 2 cloves of garlic. Add little water and grind till you get a fine paste.
  5. Add some salt, turmeric and the ground masala paste to the chicken and let it marinate for 1/2 an hour.
  6. In a big vessel, add the oil and heat, add the methi seeds, sliced onions and saute till the onions turn pink.
  7. Add the marinated chicken, salt and saute for a few minutes. Lower the heat and cover and cook till the chicken is done (add very little water if needed as the chicken will leave water).
  8. Then open, add the tamarind paste and cook uncovered till you get a thickish gravy.
  9. Add the sauteed coconut and mix well such that the coconut coats every piece of the chicken.
  10. Serve with rice and dal.

Other famous Mangalorean recipes:

  1. Neer Dosa
  2. Kori Rotti 
  3. Drumstick leaves Upkari
  4. Collard Upkari
  5. Mangalorean Egg Curry
  6. Mangalore cucumber and Moong Sprouts gassi 
  7. Alasande Kalu Gassi (Lobia/black eyed beans in spicy coconut gravy)
  8. Kadale Manoli (Brown chickpeas with tondli)
  9. Kala Channa rasam 
  10. Sweet Banana Dosa
  11. Ragi Manni/ Pudding (Millet pudding)
  12. Moong Dal Payasa/ Kheer

 

 

 


Indian Spicy Broccoli Stir-Fry (Masaledar Broccoli Sabzi)

Broccoli belongs to the same cruciferous family like cabbage,kale, cauliflower,collards and Brussels sprouts. It is a low calorie vegetable and is loaded with fibre, vitamins A, C folic acid and is also known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties. It must be noted that eating raw broccoli has actually more benefits than eating these in the cooked form as some of the antioxidants and vitamin C are destroyed by heat.

Ingredients for Spicy Broccoli Stir-fry (Serves 4):

  • Broccoli: 2 medium heads (wash, cut into bite sized florets
  • Garlic: 5-6 cloved (minced)
  • Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
  • Red chili powder: 1-2 tsp (adjust according to heat tolerance)
  • Coriander powder: 2 tbsp
  • Jeera powder: 1/4 tsp
  • Garam masala powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Green chilies(optional): 1-2 slit
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil: 2 tbsp

Method:

  1. Add a little salt  and steam the broccoli florets for 2-3 minutes (the broccoli should be crunchy and not soggy). Keep aside (alternatively, you could add the broccoli florets to boiling salt water and cover and keep for 4-5 minutes. Then drain and keep aside).
  2. Heat the oil in a kadai, add the minced garlic and green chilies(optional)fry for a minute.
  3. Reduce the flame to medium heat and add the spice powders (turneric, coriander, jeera, garam masala) and quickly mix in the oil (otherwise the spices will burn).
  4. Quickly add the steamed broccoli and mix well such that the spices coat the broccoli.
  5. Check for salt(add more if necessary). Stir-fry for a couple of minutes.
  6. Serve as a side with rice and dal.

Other broccoli recipes to try out: Broccoli Paratha (Broccoli Stuffed Indian flatbread)