How to cook Red parboiled rice (Rosematta/ Oorpel ari)

How to cook Red parboiled rice (Rosematta/ Oorpel ari)

Parboiled rice (rosematta/oorpel ari) is the type of rice that is commonly made in Manglaore/Udupi, Kerala, and some parts of Tamil Nadu. It is fondly known as ‘bullet rice’ in my house as each grain of rice is double the size of the regular white rice. Parboiled rice is partially precooked in its husk, which helps to retain the nutrients that would otherwise be lost during polishing. It is believed to be good for the gut health and impact blood sugar less than brown/ white rice.

Here’s a simple way of cooking parboiled rice in the cooker (pot in cooker and draining method):

Method:

  1. Soak about a cup of parboiled rice in water for about 15 minutes. Wash it well in several rinses of water, till the water turns clear.
  2. Drain and put the rise in a pot that fits into the pressure cooker. Add about 4-5 cups of water into the pot.
  3. Put some water into the pressure cooker and place the pot inside the cooker.
  4. Close the lid and let it cook for at least 6-7 whistles.
  5. When the pressure drops open the pressure cooker, add another two cups of hot water to the pot and stir.
  6. Then close the pot with a lid and tilt the pot to drain the water(use a kitchen cloth to hold the pot). You can even use clips to keep the lid on the pot.
  7. Once the water is drained, open the pot and fluff. Serve hot with curries.

 


Rice Vermicelli Tawa Pulav (Gluten Free)

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, triticale and in some cases oats. Gluten is commonly blamed for gut symptoms experienced by people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). However, recent research suggests that the carbohydrate component in wheat, rye and barley is more likely to be the cause of the problem (part of a group of foods known as FODMAPS.A gluten-free diet allows bowel healing and symptom improvement in people with coeliac disease.

Tawa vermicelli pulav is a recipe using the rice noodles found in the Asian section of the grocery store and the pav bhaji masala. I prefer using rice vermicelli instead of the more commonly used  wheat vermicelli. It’s a tasty and unique dish to take in the lunch box too. The pav bhaji masala gives a very different flavour to the dish.

Rice Vermicelli Tawa Pulav

Ingredients for Rice Vermicelli Tawa Pulav:

  • Rice vermicelli: 500g
  • Mixed vegetables: 1 cup chopped (green beans, carrots, peas, capsicum, etc)
  • Onion: 1 medium(thinly sliced)
  • Cashew nuts: 10 nos.
  • Ginger garlic paste: 2tsp
  • Tomato: 2 big , finely chopped
  • Green chilies: 1 slit lengthwise (optional)
  • Pav bhaji masala: 3 tsp
  • Kashmiri red chili powder: 1/2-1 tsp (as per heat tolerance)
  • Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp
  • Jeera: 1tsp
  • Cinnamon: 1″ stick
  • Cardamom: 2nos.
  • Coriander: 3 tbsp( finely chopped) for garnish
  • Lemon juice: 2 tsp
  • Oil/ Butter/Ghee: 1 tbsp
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  • Heat oil/butter in a kadai and add the cumin/jeera, cinnamon, cardamom, cashews ,slit chili(optional)
  • Then add the turmeric powder, sliced onions and the ginger garlic paste. Saute till the onions start turning brown.
  • Add, the mixed vegetables and stir fry till the vegetables are almost cooked.
  • In the meanwhile, boil some water with a tsp of oil in a saucepan. Once it boils switch off,add the rice noodles/vermicelli(broken into smaller pieces) and let it sit for 2 minutes and then drain and keep aside.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes ,salt and saute until the tomato turn soft and mushy then add the pav bhaji masala, chili powder.
  • Saute until the oil is released from the masala paste.
  • Add the rice noodles/vermicelli and mix well to coat every strand of the vermicelli with the masala.
  • Squeeze some lime juice, mix well and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  • Serve the Rice vermicelli tawa pulav with raita or as is.

Mixed Vegetable Pulav with Coconut Milk (Pressure/Rice Cooker)

Another Gluten free rice pulav recipe. The addition of coconut milk gives a different flavour to the pulav, You can add turmeric if you don’t like the white colour of the pulav-but I don’t add it as it makes the pulav look different.

This can be made in a pressure cooker or even in the rice cooker. I normally fry it in a kadai and then transfer it into the rice cooker and add water and let it steam. I know many who even do the frying of the onions and veggies in the rice cooker itself-but I prefer to do it separately.

Mixed Vegetable Pulav with Coconut Milk (Pressure/Rice Cooker)

Ingredients for Mixed vegetable pulav with coconut milk

  • Basmati rice: 1 cup
  • Mixed vegetables(Green beans, carrots, peas): 1 cup
  • Onion: 1 medium (thinly sliced)
  • Ginger-garlic paste: 1 tsp
  • Green Chilis: 1-2 (slit length wise)
  • Cashew nuts: 10-12nos.
  • Jeera: 1 tsp
  • Cardamom: 4nos.
  • Cinnamon: 1″
  • Peppercorns: 8nos.
  • Cloves: 4nos.
  • Bay leaf: 1 no.
  • Coriander leaves: 2-3 tbsp (chopped)
  • Coconut milk: 2 cups
  • Ghee: 2tbsp
  • salt to taste

Method:

  1.  Wash and soak the rice for 20 minutes.
  • In the meanwhile , heat 2 tsp of ghee in a kadai /pressure pan and add the whole spices (cumin seeds, pepper, cinnamon, etc) and saute for a few seconds.Then add the green chilies and cashews.
  • Add the sliced onions and saute till the onions start turning golden.
  • Add the mixed veggies and saute for a 1-2 minutes(if using the rice cooker, then make sure to saute it for a little longer till the veggies are half cooked)) .
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw aroma of ginger and garlic goes away.
  • Drain the water from the soaked rice and add it to the kadai and fry for a few minutes (if making in a rice cooker, now would be the step to transfer from the kadai to the rice cooker).
  • Add the coconut milk, salt to taste add 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves and mix well.
  • Pressure cook for one whistle(if using rice cooker, just switch on and it’ll be ready in 15-20mins)
  • Once the pressure drops, open the lid and gently fluff the pulav.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with a spicy side dish(as this pulav is mostly bland, it’s best served with something spicy)

Cabbage Zunka/ Junka (Cabbage and Besan/Chickpea flour stir-fry)

Zunka/Junka is a common Maharashtrian dish which is also known as pitle/pitla in some places. The basic dish is made with besan/chickpea flour and water with a tempering of onions, ginger and garlic. This simple and quick dish is mostly eaten with bakhri made from either rice or jowar.

Kobiachi(Cabbage) Zunka is a variation of this dish by first adding cabbage and then the rest of the Zunka ingredients.

Cabbage Zunka/Junka

Ingredients for Cabbage Zunka:

  • Cabbage- 2 cups (finely chopped)
  • Onion- 1 cup (finely chopped)
  • Besan(chickpea flour)- 1/2 to 3/4 cup
  • Garlic pods: 3-4
  • Turmeric- 1/4 tsp
  • Hing/Asafoetida: a pinch (optional)
  • Chili powder- 1-2 tsp(as per your spice tolerance)
  • Garam masala- 1/4 tsp
  • Coriander leaves : 3 -4 tbsp (finely chopped)
  • Oil- 2-3 tbsp

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a kadai and add the smashed garlic and hing(optional). When it turns slightly brown, add the onions and saute till the onions turn translucent.
  2.  Then add turmeric, chili powder, salt and stir fry for a few seconds.
  3. Add the cabbage and mix well such that the spices coat the cabbage evenly.
  4. Cover and cook. The cabbage will go soft and release its own juices after about 7-10 minutes.
  5. Now quickly stir in the besan/chickpea flour and saute gently on medium heat. Make sure there are no lumps of the flour. The besan will absorb the juices and cook.
  6. Cover and cook on low heat for another 4-5 minutes.
  7. Now open the cover, check that everything has been cooked well and mixed. The besan should give out a wonderful cooked aroma.
  8. Garnish with lots of chopped coriander and serve hot with rotis or even hot rice, dal and pickle.

 


Sukha Bhel (Gluten-free vegan snack)

Healthy (and Tasty) Snack-Sukha Bhel

It’s 5pm and i feel like having something ‘chatpata’. Hmmm,so what is quick,tasty and chatpata-Sukha bhel!!
If you are wondering why I’ve added “and tasty” in the title,it’s because my husband strongly feels that if I just put it as ‘Healthy Snack’ nobody will want to try it as everyone assumes that anything healthy is not tasty. Not true. You don’t have to pour oodles of ghee/oil/butter to make something tasty. Try out this simple and easy snack,and you’ll know!!
Sukha Bhel-Tossed puffed rice salad (Serves 2)
Ingredients:

  • Puffed rice-2 cups
  • Tomato-1 chopped
  • Onion-1 small (finely chopped)
  • Carrot-1/2 (Grated)
  • Cucumber-1/2(finely chopped)
  • Coriander(cilantro) leaves-a handful,finely chopped
  • Green Chilly-1 finely chopped or 1tsp red chilly powder
  • Chaat masala-1/2 teaspoon
  • Raw mango(optional)-1/2(finely chopped)
  • Salt-to taste

Method:

  1. Put all the ingredients into a big bowl.
  2. Toss well and serve immediately.

Korean Cinnamon Ginger Tea (for Blood Sugar control)

Cinnamon tea is a popular drink in Korea and is called ‘SuJeongGwa’. It is usually served on festivals or special occasions. I first tried it years ago at a Korean restaurant and it was served as a cold dessert drink after the meal. It was delicious and we were told it is normally served chilled but can be had hot. It is actually served with sugar, but I have omitted that and used stevia as a sugar substitute.

What makes this drink (without added sugar) a great drink for diabetics and pre-diabetics as well as those looking to lose weight is the cinnamon. Several studies have shown that cinnamon is effective in reducing blood sugar levels as well as the HbA1C levels. Some researchers also found that it could lower the total cholesterol levels.

Cinnamon Ginger tea

Ingredients: (makes approx 5 litres)

  • Cinnamon Sticks (Ceylon cinnamon): 70g
  • Fresh ginger: 100gms , skinned and thinly sliced.
  • Water: 22 cups (1 cup=250ml)
  • Stevia(a natural sugar substitute)

Garnish:

  • Lemon juice (optional)
  • Mint leaves (optional)

Method:

  1. In a large saucepan put in 11 cups of water and the ginger, cover and boil it on medium heat for 40 mins.
  2. At the same time, put the cinnamon sticks into a separate large saucepan. Add 11 cups of water cover and let it boil on medium heat for 40 mins.
  3. After 40 mins, strain the ginger water and the cinnamon water into one large pot.
  4. For those who like it hot- pour a cup of the hot tea, add some stevia (you can garnish it with mint or lemon juice if you want).
  5. Otherwise, chill the batch of Sujeonggwa and serve cold after a meal with some stevia and garnish(optional).

It can be stored in airtight glass containers for about a week.

Note:

  1. Use Ceylon Cinnamon (found in Indian Stores) and not the Cassia Cinnamon found in regular grocery stores (in the US)
  2. Have it after your meals to aid in controlling sugar levels after meals (post-prandial).
  3. It is not a substitute for medications/insulin prescribed for diabetes.
  4. It is not a miracle drink to reduce your sugar levels after feasting and eating sugary snacks.
  5. Both Cinnamon and ginger are warming spices according to Ayurveda and this drink can also be used when you have a cold. Those prone to mouth ulcers should avoid taking it too often.
  6. You will see better results if you are on a prescribed diet for your condition and take these after sticking to the diet.

For getting a personalized Online Diet Consultation: Click on -> ONLINE DIET CONSULTATION PACKAGES

Also Check out our Indo-Korean recipe: Kimchi Uttapam


Benefits of Fermented foods (Fluffy Idli Recipe)

Naturally fermented foods may help strengthen your gut microbiome which are basically the beneficial bacteria and microorganisms that live in your digestive tract. Gut microbes are now believed to be key to many aspects of human health including obesity, immune, metabolic and neuro-behavioural traits. Reseraches believe that fermented and probiotic foods are seen to improve immunity, aid in better digestion, prevention of allergies and also treating diarrhea.

One such naturally fermented food that is commonly made in most South Indian homes regularly are idlis and dosas. Who knew eating the humble idli (in moderation) could actually benefit your health?

Besides idli/dosa batter here are some of the other Indian foods that are fermented:

  • Curds/dahi/yogurt– a part of of a traditional meal in most Indian families, this contains live cultures.
  • Pickles
  • Gajar/Beetroot Kanji (North India): a drink made with fermented carrots/beetroot
  • Traditional Dhoklas (Gujrat) that are fermented and not instant
  • Traditional Handvo (Gujrat)-where the batter is let to ferment overnight
  • Fermented rice– called panta or poita bath(Assam, West Bengal,Tripura),  pazhaiya choru(Kerala), pazhaya saadam (Tamil Nadu) is basically the extra cooked rice soaked in water overnight during which it ferments, and is eaten in the morning with buttermilk and garnish of onions, green chilies etc.
  • Gundruk (Himalyan areas, Darjeeling, Sikkim): Fermented greens
  • Sinki (Himalyan areas, Uttarkhand, Sikkim): Fermented radish
  • Iromba( Manipur):  A dish made with fermented fish

Besides these there are many drinks/dishes that incorporate curds/buttermilk like kadhi, Rajasthani rabdi, Ragi ambli (Karnataka) and yeast fermented products like traditional naan and parottas.

Coming back to the humble idli,  what exactly happens when you ferment the idli batter?How does it become more nutritious?

During the fermentation process the carbohydrates get converted into simpler sugars that are easier to digest. This is one of main reasons that it is given to babies and those who are sick. It also increases the bioavailablity of many vitamins and minerals  such as iron, potassium and calcium and also increases the vitamin B content. It was seen that after 12 hours of fermentation of 100 grams of rice, the availability of iron changed from 3.4 mg to 73.91mg .

Unlike other fermented foods which still have the live cultures, the steaming process will kill the live cultures but it still makes the idli more nutritious than plain rice and dal.

Try making your own batter instead of buying store made ones. It’s easy, just follow this recipe:

Ingredients for Idli:

  • Idli (Par boiled) rice: 2 cups
  • Urad dal (skinless) : 1/2 cup 
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp 
  • Beaten rice (poha) – 1/3 cup
  • Salt : to taste

Method:

  1. Wash and soak  the urad dal (without skin), idli rice and fenugreek seeds in water for 6-7 hours. Soak poha for 1/2 hour before grinding.
  2. Grind the urad dal with enough cold water to make a smooth, fluffy paste. Keep aside.
  3. Grind the idli rice along with the poha with enough water till you get a smooth paste.
  4. Now mix the rice batter with the urad dal batter. Add salt (if the weather is cold, avoid adding salt if the weather is hot) and mix it well to aerate the batter with enough air to aid in fermentation.
  5. Let it ferment overnight (if it’s cold, you can keep it inside the oven with the light of the oven switched on).
  6. In the morning, mix the fermented batter well and grease the idli moulds.
  7. Boil water in a steamer, once water starts boiling,  pour the batter into the greased moulds.
  8. Steam for 10-12 minutes or until it is cooked.
  9. Serve with sambar and chutney.

Appe with Mixed vegetables(Paddu/ Guliyappa/ Paniyaram/Gundponglu)

Appe is a common breakfast dish in Mangalore. It’s also popular in the other Southern states and is called Paadu/Guliyappa in Karnataka, Paniyaram in Tamil Nadu, Gundponglu in AP and Telengana. And called ‘dosa in a ball’ by my daughter!

It’s made with the dosa batter in a special ‘appe pan’ which has 5-7 or more round holes. The batter is poured into these holes and the resulting appe is almost round like a ball.

Appe, Paddu, Paniyaram pan

Here’s a healthier version of the recipe in which I have added sauteed mixed veggies into the batter to make it more nutritious and can be packed and taken for lunch :

Ingredients for the Batter:
  • Idly Rice: 3/4 cup
  •  Raw Rice: 1/4 cup
  • Urad Dal: 1/2 cup
  • Fenugreek seeds: 1/2 tsp

Other Ingredients: 

  • Carrots: 1 medium (finely diced)
  • Green Beans: 1/2 cup
  • Peas: 1/2 cup
  • Green Chilli: 1 finely chopped (optional)
  • Curry leaves: 10-15 nos., finely chopped
  • Onion: 1 medium, finely chopped
  •  Salt: to taste
  • Coriander leaves: 3 tbsp, finely chopped
  • Oil/ghee/butter
Method:
  1. Wash the idly rice, raw rice, fenugreek seeds and whole urad dal then soak for 6-8 hours.
  2. Grind the soaked mixture with enough water to get a smooth batter.
  3. Transfer the ground batter to a clean vessel and cover it and let it ferment in a warm place overnight.
  4. Heat oil in a pan and add the curry leaves, onions green chili(optional) .
  5. Saute till the onions are soft. Add the chopped veggies and the coriander leaves and sautee till the veggies are cooked. Add the salt. Remove from heat and set aside to cool
  6. Add this mixture when cool to the batter and mix well.
  7. Heat the appe pan till its really hot(test by sprinkling water-it should sizzle). Add a little oil/ butter/ ghee into each mold. Drop the batter to fill the mold. Cover and cook for a minute. Then turn and cook on the other side till its golden in colour.
  8. The appe should be crispy and golden on both sides.
  9. Serve hot with chutney.

 

 

 

 


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
  3. Beetroot and Carrot Salad: Click here for recipe

 


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.