Brisk Breakfast · Easy LunchBox Series. · Snacks & Tiffin Items

Aloo Pohe/ Aloo Poha

Aloo Poha was one of my favourite dishes growing up. Poha was one of the most tastiest  yet easy lunch items that my grandmom used to make. Just the aroma was enough to make us go for seconds whenever she makes it. A couple of my readers have been requesting for Aloo Poha for quite some time and this was reason enough.  Today I had no cilantro, and no peas, yet I longed for recounting those beautiful memories, growing up!!!

INGREDIENTS:

1 Medium Onion.

3 Cups Thick Poha.

2 Potaotes steamed and cubed.

1 Tsp Sugar.

1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder

1/2 Tsp Garam Masala Powder.

Salt to taste.

1 Tsp Lemon Juice.

Chopped Cilantro to garnish.

Seasonings:

1 Tsp Mustard Seeds.

1 Tsp Cumin Seeds.

A handful of peanuts (raw or roasted).

2 Green Chillies slit.

Curry leaves torn.

Hing.

PREPARATION:

  • Beaten Rice is a dehusked rice which is flattened to dry flakes. When added to any liquid like water, milk or buttermilk they swell up in size and volume.
  • Whenever I work with beaten rice, I am always reminded of Sabudhana which I use in making Delicious Sabudhana Khichdi.
  • Take your measured quantity of beaten rice and wash it in cold water. Drain away all the water by pouring the moist beaten rice on to a collander.
  • Add the required salt and mix it in lightly so as NOT to break the delicate grains of beaten rice. Sprinkle salt over the poha, mix and set aside until required and keep covered lightly.
  • Take a kadai and add 2 tsp of oil and allow to heat. Add mustard seeds and when its crackling, add jeera, slit green chillies, hing and the curry leaves.
  • Now add the handful of peanuts and then the finely chopped onions. Allow to saute and when its just beginning to brown add the cubed potaotes.  If the potatoes are raw, chop them in to small pieces  and pop them in the microwave for 3-4 minutes. This would speed the time spent on the stove and  quicken the total time taken to prepare the poha .
  • If the potatoes are cooked and then cubed, add them to the onions, add peas if needed  and then follow with turmeric powder and salt.
  • Cover and cook for a couple minutes and then add a spoon of sugar and mix it well.
  • Now add the moist poha and mix the onion masala to mix with the beaten rice. The beaten rice already has enough salt so if needed adjust this quantity.
  • Add 1/2 tsp garam masala powder and cook for a couple more minutes.
  • Finish off with squeezing fresh lemion juice and incorporate it in, Garnish with finely chopped cilantro.
  • Cover for at least 5-10 minutes before serving. Sometimes If I make this for kids, I add a dash of ghee and I must say I have been rewarded with requests for seconds!!!
Brisk Breakfast · Snacks & Tiffin Items

Healthy Murungai Ilai Adai/Drumstick Leaf Adai ( A savoury pancake made with brown rice and drumstick leaves)

My earliest love for the Moringa/Drumstick Plant was probably from when I was a little kid. Our home in Chennai had all sorts of plans and flowers – Coconut Trees, Mango Trees, Lemon tree, banana plant, drumstick or Moringa Tree, lovely fragrant roses, hibiscus and jasmine. I sometimes wonder how I left all of them to come to live in apartments in the midst of the whirlpool of city life. My earliest games were always cooking in the backyard, under the cool branches of the mango tree.We would make our “food” and serve them on coconut shells , fashion  mud pies with mud and water, eat on fresh green banana leaf that I would tear off the plant, much to the chagrin of my parents. We would pretend that it was our home, make a little “idol” of our “God” and offer fresh flowers to “Him”…Sometimes if its too hot, Appa would get the gardener to cut off some tender coconuts for us, and we would enjoy our afternoons this way. Lovely lazy summers. I sometimes miss those days of my childhood…

Amma made Muringa Yelai Adai pretty often as I can remember as  her raw materials for this dish were all available all the time! We would all help her in the laborious task of separating the tender leaves from the stem . She always said that Moringa leaves were very good for health and would make Adai or a kootu. My favourite part was having it hot with a dollop of butter,to enjoy portions of adai soaked in melted butter. My sunday was made!!! Moringa Leaves are the most nutritious of the plant itself asa they are loaded with Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, ProVitamin A, Beta Carotene, and protien.

Nutrients Common food Moringa Leaves
Vitamin A Carrot 1.8 mg 6.8 mg
Calcium Milk 120 mg 440 mg
Potassium Banana 88 mg 259 mg
Protein Yogurt 3.1 g 6.7 g
Vitamin C Orange 30 mg 220 mg

Its interesting to see that the drumstick leaves have 4-5 times more of these vitamins as compared to the most common source. Which explains, why I seek them out in Indian stores, take out the tender leaves, with the help of my daughter, all the time reliving my childhood stories with her….

INGREDIENTS:

1 Cup idli Rice.

1/2 Cup Brown Rice.

1/2 Cup Cracked Wheat.

A handful of urad dhal.

1 Cup Drumstick Leaves packed.

1/4 Cup Fresh Coconut Grated.

Salt to taste.

Hing.

PREPARATION:

  • Soak the brown rice and the idli rice along with the urad dhal and cracked wheat for about 3-4 hours.
  • Remove the drumstick leaves from the stalks and dunk them in to a bowl of cold water and give them a good wash. Set aside to drain in a collander.
  • Grind the brown rice, idli rice,cracked wheat  and urad dhal with water to make a slightly gritty batter.
  • Add salt, hing, coconut and give it a quick pulse.
  • Transfer to a shallow bowl and add water to adjust the consistency.
  • Now add the washed drumstick leaves to the batter and mix it all in.
  • Take your cast iron tava and smear it with a little gingely oil.
  • Pour out the batter almost like an adai – not too thin and drizzle a little oil on all sides.
  • Cook the adai on medium heat on both sides and serve HOT with a dollop of butter.
  • Peace Out!!!

 

Snacks & Tiffin Items

Under 20 minutes – Sweet Corn & Alu Tikkis.

 

Today was one of those days when I actually “craved” for chat foods! I had to have anything that could even  remotely be categorised under “chat”! I check my pantry and I was out of puffed rice..else I could have made Bhel Puri/Jhaalmuri. No time for pani puris and there was too much prep work needed for Channa Chat. Uncheck!  Not enough boiled potatoes to make regular cutlets, but I remembered watching a TV show where the host used corn to make some sort of a patty for a burger. I turned to dear Sanjeev Kapoor for help and he did not disappoint me…These fast fix Makki Aur Alu ki Tikki were super easy and super yuummmmmmyyyyy!!! Make this evening for your family before they come home and let me know what they thought of it!

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 Cup Sweet Corn.

1 Medium Potatoe boiled soft.

1 Tsp Jeera Seeds.

1 Tsp Saunf

1 Green Chilli chopped fine

1 Tbsp Ginger chopped fine.

1 Medium Onion chopped fine.

1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder.

3/4 Tsp Red Chilli Powder.

3/4 Tsp Garam Masala.

1 Tsp Dhania Powder.

2 Tsp Chat Masala.

2 Tbsp Lemon Juice.

1/2 Cup + 1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs.

Salt to taste.

Oil to deep fry/shallow fry.

PREPARATION:

  • Keep all the ingredients ready at hand before starting the prep as the whole process hardly takes more than 20 minutes. Its a wonderful quick fix snack for you and your family with ingredients that are always at hand.
  • In a kadai, add a spoon of oil and when its hot,  season with jeera and saunf. When they sizzle, add the green chillies and the ginger and allow them to get fried in the oil.
  • Follow with the chopped onions and mix it around and immediately add the sweet corn kernels.
  • Now add all the dry masala powders except the chat masala  – Turmeric Powder, Red Chilli Powder, Garam Masala and dhania powder. We add the powders at this point as we want the powders to part cook in the heat of the kadai.
  • Mix for a couple more minutes and switch off the stove.
  • Transfer to a mini food processor or a mixer and add the 1/2 cup of bread crumbs.  The bread crumbs allow the flavours to mix in and acts as a binding agent. Keep the remaining bread crumbs for dredging the tikkis before you fry them.
  • When they are almost well pulsed add a smal bunch of chopped corriander leaves, the lemon juice and the chat masala.
  • At this point add the boiled potatoe ( optional) and mix it in.
  • When they come together to form a homogenous mixture , empty on to a clean dry bowl.
  • The mixture has to be thick and not sticky. If you feel there is still moisture left over, add a little more bread crumbs, but adjust the salt accordingly.

  • Using your palms, make out little patties , dunk them in to the bread crumbs and shallow fry them on  your dosa pan.
  • Optionally, you could deep fry them in oil.

  • Make a serving base of  micro greens, finely julienned cabbage and carrots and add a dash of lemon juice and chat masala for that extra crunch.
  • Place warm cutlets over the salad base and enjoy with a side of Tomato Ketchup or Sweet Tamarind Chutney.
  • Makes about 10 medium sized tikkis.

HINTS:

  1. You can omit out the potatoes completely. I had one boiled potatoe already in my refrigerator so I wanted to use it.
  2. When you use the sweet corn that is frozen , keep it out for at least 30 minutes before you use it.
  3. ELse transfer to a microwave for about 2-3 minutes and transfer to a kitchen tissue so all the extra moisture is absorbed. This would make your cooking on the stove top faster.
Easy LunchBox Series. · Snacks & Tiffin Items

Grilled Cucumber Sandwich

Everyday lunch for my older one has to be a creative, in bite size pieces, healthy, proportionate to her palate, seasoned, yet not filled with curry powders and masalas.  It has to be healthy, but not loaded with veggies and stay crisp yet soaked in the sauces. It has to hold shape until afternoon, yet not get too dry that you would need to wash it down your throat. I love making grilled sandwiches, as they slightly tank up the taste and hold on to their filling. As far as the fillings are concerned, really sky is the limit and is well governed by what is leftover in the refrigerator.

INGREDIENTS:

4 Slices of Bread.

Cucumber round slices as needed.

Egg Free  Mayo.

Salad Veggies diced.( i used a combination of cabbage, brocolli and lettuce as available in the Asian Kit)

Salt.

Pepper

cheese

Hummus as needed.

Chopped cilantro.

PREPARATION:

  • Warm the griller/ toaster and slather the bread slices with a layer of egg free mayo. PLace them face up on the sandwich maker.
  • Arrange sliced cucumbers over the mayo and top with cut salad pieces.
  • Now place another bread slice with hummus spread on them.
  • Add more veggies like cucumber and top with chopped cilantro.
  • Place a layer of American cheese slice and finish off with another slice of bread.
  • Grill and serve HOT with a side of marinara sauce or ketchup.

 

 

Brisk Breakfast · Snacks & Tiffin Items

Spicy Chettinadu Cauliflower Masal Dosa.

Cauliflower Masaal Filling

They say the best cooking comes out of planning with little or no ingredients in the pantry with little time left…and this was just the case with me. I had a big bunch of cauliflower florets and dosa batter and I was wondering If I should try and make a spicy masaal for dosa. I had no potatoes so I knew I pretty much had no luck there! If there was any hope of making any filling with the cauliflower I had to mash it up. I also needed some form of a binding agent so I knew tomatoes…I remember having cauliflower masal with pieces of cashews dunked in them but decided to make it in to a paste. Armed with this basic knowledge and inspired feverishly by Anu I attempted this spicy Cauliflower Dosa and I was in heaven. The masal as it gets cooked smells so amazing that I couldn’t wait to taste it on the dosas! Tasted even more amazing the next day as a filling for sandwiches! Its an amazing side for rotis and parathas….Try it and then  there is no looking back…I mean really…

INGREDIENTS:

1 Cup Finely chopped Onions.

2 Medium Vine Tomatoes chopped finely.

1-1 1/2 Cups Shredded Cauliflower.

8 Pods Garlic peeled and cut in half lengthwise.

2 Tsp Ginger.

1 Green Chilies slit lengthwise.

Curry Leaves.

1/4  Tsp Turmeric.

1/2 Tsp Red Chilli Powder.

1/2 Tsp Dhania Powder.

1 Tsp Sambar Powder.

1 Tsp Rasam Powder.

1 Tbsp Cashew ground to a powder.

Salt.

Seasoning:

Mustard, Curry Leaves, 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds, 3 Red Chilies.

PREPARATION:

  • In a flat bottomed pan, add 2 tsp of oil and when hot pop in mustard seeds and cumin. When they splutter away to glory add in the red chilies, curry leaves and the hing.
  • Now add the flavorings  – Garlic, Ginger, and saute well until the garlic turns a dull brown.
  • Keep your flame on medium low so that the garlic does not burn.
  • Toss the diced onions and wait until they turn translucent ,  follow up  with chopped tomatoes and the cashew paste.
  • Give it a good mix.
  • Now add the shredded cauliflower to the kadai and mix well.
  • Spices form the base for the defined taste of this masaala filling  and we add all of them next –  Turmeric, Red Chilli Powder, Sambar Powder, Rasam Powder and salt.
  • Stir in all the spice powders and allow to cook well until the contents turn mushy.
  • Pick out your favorite ladle or masher and mash the  contents well until they fuse to form a homogeneous mixture.
  • The onions, chilies, cauliflower and the tomatoes simply become one mushy goodness!
  • Add a spoon of ghee at this stage and allow it to complete the cooking. I found that adding the ghee at this point completely enhances the flavor to a different level!!!
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and transfer to an air tight vessel.
  • This is a great filling for Dosa, chappatis and parottas, or bread to make yummy sandwiches.

ASSEMBLING THE MASAAL DOSA:

Spread the Cauliflower Masaal on the Dosa.
  1. Keep the dosa batter ready and turn on the tava and grease the tava pan.
  2. With the help of a dosa ladle or a little cup. scoop out a portion of the batter and slowly spread the dosa to a thin layer. This is important as we do not turn it around and cook it on the other side.
  3. Add oil or ghee and immediately spread out the cauliflower masala as a thin layer over the dosa.
  4. Allow a couple minutes to cook and gently pry  out the dosa. Fold it in half and serve on the platter with delicious Andhra Tomato Chutney or Coconut Chutney.
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Easy LunchBox Series. · Snacks & Tiffin Items

Stuffed Bread Rolls – Quick Fix Lunch Box for Kids!

 

Stuffed Breaad Rolls.

Quick fix snacks and lunch options have always been welcome everywhere and my home is no exception. A quick scan of the refrigerator and pantry is almost always the basis for deciding a side dish, a snack or sometimes even lunch options for the kids!  Every time I make a filling for a “roti” it doubles up as a stuffing in a bread or a kati roll. Sprucing up a “filling” with some spice powders almost always makes it for me. A dash of pav bhaaji masala or amchur transforms the original subzi on to a totally new avatar. This is one such idea that was borne out of a lazy monday morning and an idea in the back of my head, from whatever I could remember reading in an old Indian magazine. Its pretty much “do-your-own-thing-from-whats-in-the-pantry”  kind of a filling and it promises to be quick and easy and innovative!!!

 

INGREDIENTS:

4 Slices of Regular White Bread / Whole Wheat Bread.

1 Boiled Potatoe mashed.

Sweet Tamarind Chutney ( Use Ketchup if not available)

2 Slices of American Cheese. (Optionally use  Shredded Paneer / Cheddar Cheese ).

Pinch of salt.

Pinch of Punjabi Chaat Masala.

Cilantro to garnish.

PREPARATION:

  • Add a dash of oil in a kadai and drizzle some jeera. Immediately add the mashed alu and allow to mix well.
  • Smoosh the mix using the back of your ladle to get a smooth mixture. Now add a little salt, chaat masala and garnish with chopped cilantro. Set aside.
  • Slice out the corners from your bread slices and set them aside.
  • With the help of your rolling pin, flatten out each slice , making them stretched, soft and pliable. Sprinkle 2-3 drops of water to help if the bread is not fresh.
  • Now arrange them neatly one after the other.
  • Smear a spoon of sweet tamarind chutney on each of them to serve as a sticky base. I always have them stashed in my refrigerator for a quick dollop.
  • Use tomato ketchup if you run out of the sweet chutney.

  • Dabble the prepared alu stuffing on to the bread slices.
  • Add a lettuce leaf, and then the sliced / shredded cheese on top.
  • Slowly fold it so one edge is over the other and seal.
  • Place a tava on the stove and grease it with butter/ghee.

 

Stuffed Bread Rolls ready for getting shallow fried!

  • Saute the bread rolls on all sides until they turn a lovely golden brown.
  • Remove and serve warm with Sweet Chutney and lettuce garnish.

Snacks & Tiffin Items

Cracked Wheat Pidi Kozhukattais.

Cracked Wheat Pidi Kozhukattais.

Its always an endeavor to cook with as less oil as possible, with as much fiber as possible, with as less calories as possible, with as much flavor as possible and so on and so forth. There is always a trade off here and with the mounting instances of lifestyle related diseases and  its only getting more and more difficult to make this possible. My aim is to not get too off the handle and restrict me and my family, but more to moderate the measure of any intake and yet to make it more interesting  by substituting rice with cracked wheat, oats , bulgar wheat, quinoa, cous cous etc. Here I take my traditional Pidi Kozhukkatais made with raw rice and make a healthier version of  it using cracked wheat. The results were astoundingly delicious as any dish gets masked with Hotel Sambar or Tomato Chuthey so, one never really knows!!!

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 Cups Cracked Wheat.

2 1/2 Cups Water.

1/3 Cup Toor dhal.

Handful Urad Dhal.

3 Green Chillies.

3 Tbsp Dry/Fresh Coconut. (Optional)

Seasoning:

Oil.

Mustard.

Cashew.

2-3 Red Chillies.

Curry Leaves.

Hing.

PREPARATION:

  • Soak the urad dhal, toor dhal and the green chillies in water for about 2-3 hours. The Urad Dhal is mostly a binding agent for bringing the kozhukattais together.
  • If the cracked wheat is a little too coarse for you, pulse it slightly. Set aside.
  • Grind the urad dhal, toor dhal and the green chillies using little water, to a smooth paste. Set aside. Measure out the fluid (apprx 1/2 cup).
  • To this ground paste add enough water to bring it to 2 1/2 cups measurement. Set aside.
  • Take your favourite kadai and splash in some oil. When hot, add the ingredients mentioned under “Seasoning” and mix away until they are lightly roasted.
  • Now bring down the flame to a medium low and add the ground paste. Take care to see that it does not catch the bottom.
  • Immediately add the measured water + paste (2 1/2 cups)  and allow it to mix in with the seasonings.
  • Now add sufficient salt and wait until the water just starts to boil.
  • Bring down the heat and slowly add the pulsed cracked wheat and the dry coconut.
  • With a whisk bring it together until its almost resembling a thick upma.
  • Switch off the flame and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  • When its a little more easy to handle, make little balls by holding them inside your palm and closing your fingers over the mass…..thats where the name comes from…”pidi”!!!

  • Grease the idli plates and place all the kozhukattais on them all ready to be steamed.
  • Keep in the pressure cooker without weight , until you get heavy steam. Then bring it down to sim for about 6-8 minutes and switch off.
  • Serve with Molagai Podi or Chettinad Thakkali Chutney.
Snacks & Tiffin Items

Mixed Vegetable Semiya Upma.

 

Mixed Vegetable Semiya Upma.

Mixed Vegetable Semiya Upma is one of my all time favourite dinner options.  Its simple as its the same concept as a simple rice pulav, versatile as I can throw in whatever veggies that I have left in the pantry and vermicelli hardly takes any time to cook. In all, its a simple substitute for rice for making Lemon Semiya Upma, Tomato Semiya Upma etc. This was a mish mash of veggies in the pantry, made steaming hot on a cold weeknight enjoyed with chutney, and chips!!!

INGREDIENTS:

2 Green Chillies Chopped fine.

1 Tsp Chopped Ginger.

1 Tsp Chopped Garlic.

Handful of broken cashews.

1 Medium Onion Chopped fine.

1 Medium Tomato Chopped.

2 Carrots diced fine.

1/2 cup baby corn thawed.

Handful of thawed Sweet Peas.

2 Cups Vermicelli cooked as per instructions and drained on colander.

PREPARATION:

  • Apply a few drops on oil on the cooked vermicelli and keep it aside. This is so that the vermicelli does not stick to each other and become a gooey mass.
  • Microwave all the veggies – Carrots, Beans, peas, corn etc for 3-4 minutes so they are almost half cooked.
  • In a kadai, a spoon of oil and allow to heat up. Add mustard, curry leaves, ginger, garlic, green chillies and allow to crackle for a few minutes.
  • When done, add the chopped onions and saute it well.
  • When the onions have turned a dull brown, add the diced tomatoes and allow it to get mushy and cook through until all the water has disappeared.
  • Add salt, turmeric, the half cooked veggies   and allow a couple of minutes for it to cook through.
  • Now add the cooked vermicelli and mix it well.
  • Add more salt and bring the veggie semiya upma together.
  • Add a drop of ghee, garnish with chopped cilantro and keep it closed until its ready to be served with Cilantro Chutney.

Salads/ Recipes for the Calorie Conscious. · Snacks & Tiffin Items

Healthy Low Cal Cracked Wheat & Oats Pongal. (Diabetic Friendly Recipes)

Healthy Low Cal Cracked Wheat Pongal.

It has been a constant endeavour to enrich the quality of the food we eat, by reducing unwanted fat, cholestrol, calories, and increasing the fibre, protien and nutrients. After reading up about the benefits of Cous Cous , Quinoa , Bulgur Wheat and Cracked Wheat, I have been waiting to experiment by substituting rice with these protien and fibre rich ingredients.

WHAT IS CRACKED WHEAT???

Cracked Wheat  is a wheat product made from whole raw wheat kernels which are crushed or cut into smaller pieces. There are a large number of uses for cracked wheat, and the food makes a popular dietary supplement in many cultures. Many grocery stores carry cracked wheat, which should be stored in a cool dry place until use so that it does not go rancid. If not used within one year, cracked wheat should be discarded.

A similar product, Bulgur wheat, is also made by cracking wheat kernels. Bulgur, however, is made from wheat kernels which are steamed and toasted before cracking, so that they develop a rich, nutty flavor. Bulgur also requires minimal cooking, since it is already partially cooked. Cracked wheat, on the other hand, uses whole raw wheat berries.

Because cracked wheat is made from whole wheat berries, it carries a great deal of nutrition and fiber since it includes the fiber and nutrient rich outer bran  and germ of the wheat. For this reason, it is often added to healthy diets, especially those eaten by people who are concerned about heart health. Other whole cracked grains may be used as well, for variation in flavor and nutrition.

There are a wide range of uses for cracked wheat. Many people use it as a base, like couscous serving vegetables or meats alongside it. It can also be used in grain pilafs, and many recipes for multi-grain pilafs call for cracked wheat, since it is fluffy and flavorful. Many people also include cracked wheat in multi-grain bread,pancakes, upma, dosa , and other grain dishes. The crushed wheat berries may be soaked or partially cooked when they are included in recipes such as bread, to ensure that they are fully cooked when the food is served.

COOKING WITH CRACKED WHEAT:

As with all grains, cracked wheat should be washed before use, to remove residual dirt and other compounds which may have adhered to the wheat during growing, processing, and shipping. The easiest way to do this is to measure the wheat out into a fine grained colander, running water over it and gently stirring it with a spatula or by hand to make sure that each grain is washed. Soaking the washed cracked wheat will also make it cook more quickly.  Cooked cracked wheat can be stored in a snug container under refrigeration for several days for use in salads, pancakes, and other foods.

INGREDIENTS:

Cracked Wheat + Oats + Moong Dal.

1 1/2 Cup Cracked Wheat.

1/2 Cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats.

3/4 Cup Moong Dal.

6 Cups Water.

2 Tsp Pepper Cummin Powder.

1/2 Cup Finely Grated Carrots. (Optional).

Salt.

Seasoning:

1 Tsp Ghee.

8-9 Whole Black Pepper.

1 Tsp Jeera.

2 Tsp Pepper Jeera Powder.

Handful Cashews.

1 Tsp Jeera.

PREPARATION:

  • Dry roast the cracked wheat on a dry tava until you get the aroma. Set aside on to a cooker vessel.
  • Dry roast the oats also on the tava and grind to a coarse texture. Add to the cracked wheat.
  • Dry roast the moong dal and add to the same vessel.
  • In a seasoning ladle, add a spoon of ghee and when hot, pop in the whole pepper, 2 Tsp finely chopped ginger and curry leaves. When all of them are well fried, add this to the ingredients in the vessel.

Seasonings...

  • Lastly add the finely grated carrots, salt and 6 cups of water.
  • Stir in well and pressure cook for 2 whistles. Allow the  steam to completely vanish and then open the cooker.
  • Take a flat bottomed pan and add 2 spoons of ghee. When melted, add curry leaves, whole black pepper, jeera,  1 tsp pepper jeera powder, 2 tsp grated / chopped ginger and fry for a couple of seconds.
  • Now add the cooked craked wheat + oats + moong mixture to the kadai and mix in well.
  • IF you feel that its hardened up a little, simply add some milk to the kadai so it will loosen up the pongal and make it mushy.
  • Add sufficient salt and the remaining 1 Tsp Pepper jeera powder and mix in well.
  • When the Pongal has come together, add one more spoon of ghee and switch of flame.
  • Keep closed to lock in the flavours and serve Hot with Chettinad Onion Tomato Chutney

HINTS:

  1. Moderate the amount of water depending on the graininess of the Cracked Wheat and the rolled oats. If you use Quick Cooking Oats, it hardly takes any time to cook. If you feel that the water is a little too much, simply let it stand for a few minutes and this will harden up the moong dal. Then proceed to make the Pongal.
  2. If its too thick, simply add milk, as mentioned in the post to loosen it up.

Brisk Breakfast · Snacks & Tiffin Items

Cracked Wheat & Oats Instant Idlis.

 

Cracked Wheat & Oats Idlis.

In my constant endeavour to find meals that are low in calories but on the other hand rich in protein and fiber, I picked out this packet of cracket wheat from the global store I regularly visit.  I did not pick out the Indian brand but from the meditteranean brand “Sadaf” which brings out this good quality cracked wheat. They are number 1, 2 and 3 based on the coarseness of the wheat grain. I bought no 2 as I did not want the grain to be far too fine and refined, or too big to bite. I am aware that cracked wheat is an excellent source of  nutrition and fiber and so I wasted no time there.

What is Cracked Wheat???

Cracked Wheat is a wheat product made from whole raw wheat kernels which are crushed or cut into smaller pieces. There are a large number of uses for cracked wheat, and the food makes a popular dietary supplement  in many cultures. Many grocery stores carry cracked wheat, which should be stored in a cool dry place until use so that it does not go rancid. If not used within one year, cracked wheat should be discarded.

Because cracked wheat is made from whole wheat berries, it carries a great deal of nutrition and fiber since it includes the fiber and nutrient rich outer bran and germ of the wheat. For this reason, it is often added to healthy diets, especially those eaten by people who are concerned about heart / diabetic health. Other whole cracked grains may be used as well, for variation in flavor and nutrition.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup Coarse Cracked wheat

1 cup Steel Rolled Oats  oats.

1 Medium Carrot grated fine.

2 Tbsp Dry Coconut.

Salt to taste.

Hing

2 Cups Sour Buttermilk. (PLEASE SEE NOTES BELOW)

Finely Chopped Cilantro.

1 Tsp Baking Soda.

Season:

Mustard.

Curry Leaves.

Hing.

Cashew Pieces.

2 Tsp Bengal Gram.

2 Tsp Peanuts.

PREPARATION:

  • Take a dry kadai and dry roast the rolled oats until  you get the pleasant aroma.  Place in a large mixer.
  • In the same kadai, dry roast the cracked wheat for 3-4 minutes and add to the mixer. Pulse for a few seconds. Measure it and you will find it comes to almost the same two cups you started off with.
  • Take a wide mouthed vessel and add the pulsed powder.
  • Add finely grated carrot, finely chopped cilantro, salt, hing, baking soda, dry coconut and mix it lightly.
  • In a seasoning kadai, add 1-2 tsp oil and when its hot, add cashew, peanuts, bengal gram, mustard and then the curry leaves.
  • Allow the seeds to cackle and add it to the bowl.
  • Now add the 2 cups of sour buttermilk little by little and mix it in.
  • It should come to a slightly runny consistency but not too much. Adjust the quantity of fluid for the desired consistency.
  • Allow it to sit for 10 – 20 minutes. By now, the cracked wheat and the oats, absorb the water and it becomes slightly hard.

  • Grease the idli plates and just before spooning it on to the idli moulds, dilute the batter with a little water and then pour on to the plates.
  • Steam for about 10-12  minutes and remove and store in the casserole to serve HOT with Andhra Tomato Till Chutney.

 

HINTS:

  • I use good quality steel rolled or old fashioned oats from Whole Foods. You would probably not great results from quick cooking oats etc from stores like Walmart etc. I have seen that the oats from Walmart etc crumble very easily and dont hold on to their texture.
  • My cracked wheat is SADAF brand of coarseness 2 from an international foods store. SADAF  is pretty much available in all leading indian stores.
  • Secondly moderate the amount of buttermilk and keep the batter just as thick as idli batter and NOT runny. If your cracked wheat and oats take only 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk, you dont have to add the 2 cups. Please watch the consistency and keep it thick, if you find its too thick, you can always add a few tablespoons of buttermilk jst before adding to the idli plates.