Masala Quinoa is in effect Ummagalli with quinoa. I was cracking my brains to feed my kids something nutritious and they left me with very few choices and so it had to be ummagalli with quinoa. By now, it is probably clear that I have got hooked on to quinoa more so because of its nutritional profile. Its versatility and ease of adaptability has made it a favorite at home. So here's how my kids liked it..

Masala Quinoa

Ingredients - 

Quinoa 1 cup
Mixed Veggies (Carrots, Peas, Beans, Shelled edamame, Palak) 2 cups
Sambar Powder 1 tsp
Turmeric 2 pinches
Salt as per taste
Tamarind juice / Lemon juice 1 Tbsp (I used lemon juice)
Seasoning (Oil 1 tsp, Chana dal 1 tsp, Urad dal 1 tsp. Mustard Seeds 1 tsp. Jeera 1/2 tsp, Curry leaves) 

Method Of Preparation - 

In a sauce pan, boil 5 cups of water and cook quinoa for about 10-13 min. 

Boil all the veggies separately (to speed up the cooking process). I microwaved the veggies with 1/2 cup of water.

After the quinoa is cooked, it would look like a gravy. Add turmeric, salt, sambar powder and all the veggies. If using tamarind juice, now is the time to add it too.

Meanwhile, in a small pan, heat oil for the seasoning and fry all the seasoning spices. After the mustard seeds start spluttering, add the sesaoning to the quinoa mixture.

Let the quinoa mixture simmer for a while and when the consistency seems right, switch off the flame. 

Serve and enjoy!

Note - Please alter the ingredients to suit your taste..

Serves 3 Adults

Preparation Time 30 min

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Posted by Harini on Thursday, June 24, 2010

The long beans in the Indian store used to intrigue me in my first few years in US (about 10 yrs back). I casually mentioned this vegetable to Amma over the phone and she told me that they are known as Barbatti (probably in Hindi) and that she used to make curry out of it when we were in Assam (sometime during 1978-82 time period). Anyway I don't remember seeing this vegetable in Hyderabad where I spent about 15 yrs. Over the years I have modified Amma's recipe to suit our changing tastes!! This is how I currently like and make :)

Ingredients -

Barbatti chopped 3 cups 
Peanut-Coconut Masala - 1/4 cup (see the recipe)
Turmeric - a pinch
Onion - 1 medium, finely chopped (Optional)
Salt to taste
Seasoning (oil, chana dal, urad dal, mustard seeds, dried red chilli, curry leaves)

Method of preparation - 

Boil the chopped barbatti.

In a heavy bottomed pan, heat oil and add the seasoning to it.

After the mustard seeds splutter and the chana dal and urad dal turn golden brown, add the chopped onions and saute until golden brown.

Add the boiled barbatti and turmeric, the peanut-coconut masala and salt and mix well.

After about 2-3 min the curry is ready to be served with steaming hot rice!!

Serves 4 Adults 
Preparation Time 30 min

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Posted by Harini on Sunday, June 20, 2010

I had only one Beerakaya in my refrigerator and that wouldn't be enough to make curry for us. So I made Pacchadi out of the beerakaya. I didnt scrape off the peel. In fact the peel is supposed to be very good in fiber. In fact my mom makes chutney out of the peel specifically. And that tastes just as divine as this pacchadi! 

Ingredients - 

Beerakaya Chopped 2 cups
Green chillies 3-4 (as per taste)
Turmeric 2 pinches
Salt as per taste
Sugar/Grated Jaggery (Optional)
Tamarind juice or lemon juice as per tasteGarlic cloves 2-3 (Optional)
Coriander leaves 1/2 cup

For Seasoning

Any Oil 2 tsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Urad Dal 1 tsp
Chana Dal 1 tsp
Methi seeds (Fenugreek seeds) 1 pinch
Jeera 1/2 tsp
Red chillies (Optional)
Curry leaves (Optional)
Method Of Preparation  -

In a skillet on a medium-high flame, Pour the oil and the rest of the seasoning items and after the mustard seeds splutter and the rest of the items are done, add the chopped beerakaya and chopped green chillies and saute them. (Make sure it doesn't get burnt by stirring it occasionally)

After about 10 min, add turmeric, salt and sugar and mix well and let the beerakaya pieces cook for a while.

After the beerakaya pieces are cooked and become tender, switch off the flame.

Let the mixture cool down and then grind it to a coarse paste .

Enjoy it with steaming rice and ghee. Some like it with Idli, Dosa or Vada too.

Makes 1 cup of Chutney

Preparation Time 25 min 

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Posted by Harini on Thursday, June 17, 2010

A few years back when my parents-in-law visited us, I took them to the local farmer's market. Looking at Zucchini my father-in-law asked me if I knew the vegetable. At that time I was not aware of Zucchini, so I told him I didn't know that vegetable. He then tells me that it looks familiar to a vegetable called 'nethi beerakaya', which he used to eat as a child. I was amazed to discover the correlation and since then I have been using zucchini as often as possible. In my initial experiments with baking, I found this recipe in some local magazine here where they used eggs to dip the zucchini in. Later on I came to know that the egg wash can be substituted with flour+ milk mixture and so I did ! Trust me my kids love to eat zucchini like this..I am ever so glad to make this as often as they want to eat!! Who wouldn't be??

Ingredients - 

Zucchini 1 medium
Maida (All Purpose Flour) 3/4 cup
Milk 1 cup
Bread crumbs 1 cup (or as needed)

Method Of Preparation  - 

Make a paste of Maida and Milk and add more milk if necessary to get a bajji batter consistency.

Cut the Zucchini vertically to make thick pieces, dip them in the Maida-Milk batter and roll on bread crumbs or sprinkle bread crumbs on them.

Arrange the Zucchini pieces on a greased baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 400F for 25 min on one side.

Flip them onto the other side and bake for another 10-15 min until they brown a little.

Serve them with ketchup and the kids will love it!!

Notes - I used Italian flavored bread crumbs, so I didn't need to add any more salt or seasoning. 
Serves 2 Adults
Preparation time 40 min

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Posted by Harini on Monday, June 14, 2010

Tindora fry / Dondakaya vepudu is one of the easiest of the side dishes and yet delicious!! During my childhood, we were told that tindora is one such vegetable which has no essential nutrients and causes dullness of the brain ('Mandha Buddhi'). So it was always a neglected vegetable at home. To the contrary, I just learnt that Tindora is rich in Beta-Carotene and has numerous medicinal uses of its leaves and roots. It is supposedly good for diabetic patients. I wonder why this vegetable has been 'defamed', so to say, for so long.

Ingredients - 

Tindora 1 lb
Onion chopped 1 medium
Salt as per taste
Red Chilli Powder as per taste
Oil 1-2 Tbsp

Method Of Preparation - 

Wash and chop the tindora into thin circular discs.

Put them in a microwave safe bowl, add 1/2 cup of water, cover with a microwave safe lid and microwave for about 6 min (until almost cooked). By microwaving tindora cooking time is reduced in half and less oil is used! This step can be skipped if microwave cooking is a no-no. Tindora can be cooked on the stove top too :)

In a hot skillet, add oil and saute chopped onions until they are golden brown and add the strained tindora to the sauteed onions. 

Add salt and continue to saute the tindora until they turn light brown. That takes about 15-20 min. The cooking can be stopped at anytime now depending on personal preference.

Switch off the flame and then add the red chilli powder. If it is added when the flame is on, the chilli fumes would spread to the whole house and everybody would start sneezing!!

Serve it as a side dish for Sambar/Dal and enjoy!

Serves 3 Adults

Preparation Time 30 min 

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Posted by Harini on Thursday, June 10, 2010

Baked potato wedges are a very healthy substitute for french fries. This particular seasoning I used give these wedges an Italian touch which we all enjoy. I was introduced to this Pizza-Pasta seasoning blend by one of my friends and we got hooked on to this seasoning and also the wedges...yumm...

Ingredients -

Potatoes vertically cut into 2-3 inch wedges with skin 3 cups
Pizza-Pasta seasoning 1 tsp 
Salt as per taste
Olive oil (or any vegetable oil) 2-3 tsp

Method of preparation - 

In a mixing bowl, add the potato wedges, oil, pizza-pasta seasoning and salt and mix thoroughly so as to coat all the wedges evenly. (They could also be mixed in a big ziploc bag to avoid the hassle of cleanup!)

Preheat the oven at 400 Degree F. Meanwhile arrange all the wedges on a greased foil lined cookie tray so they don't overlap and put the tray in the oven for 15 min. 

Take them out and flip them with the help of tongs and return them to the oven for another 10 min. Check to see they don't burn and put it in broil mode for about 5 min for crispy and crunchy wedges! (Even without broiling them they are delicious !)

Take them out and munch them as is or as an accompaniment to Sambar/dal

Notes - 

The pizza-pasta seasoning is very spicy and doesn't have salt in it so make sure salt is added as per taste.
There are other variations to the seasoning but this is the most popular at home. 
Herbal seasoning or more Indian type of seasoning can also be used.

Serves 4 Adults
Preparation Time 10 min Baking Time 30 min

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Posted by Harini on Thursday, June 3, 2010
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