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

Brown Rice Pidi Kozhukattai (Brown Rice Steamed Dumplings).

IMG_5563

Rice Pidi Kozhukkatais has been an absolute favourite saturday night dinner, all through my childhood.  Those were days when we would never go out all weekend. It would be spent at home with my sisters, catching up on the week`s lessons, cleaning, getting ready for the next week and of course chatting up with each other. We could never ever get enough of talking to one another. There was always something that we had forgotten to share, about an event at school, or that nasty girl who spoke behind our back, or a shocking gossip about a teacher, or the topic we all three always always loved – Music! We could talk about it for hours on end and it would figure all kinds of music forms – Pop, Rock, Carnatic, Classical, Movie Songs, Indipop….there was just so much music all the time around the three of us. I always miss those days of my growing up together with my sisters!!!

These days rice pidi kozhukattais have been a little rare and I have been using other fibre rich or protein rich ingredients as substitutions for rice. I had made a version completely with cracked wheat  and I have another version with Quinoa. Today`s version is with Brown Rice, as its high in fibre ,and minerals like manganese and phosphorus, and low in saturated fat and has a moderate glycemic index.

INGREDIENTS:

1 Cup Brown Rice.

Handful of Cracked Wheat.

A handful Toor dhal.

1 Tsp Urad Dhal.

2 Green Chillies.

2 1/2 Cups of Water.

Seasoning:

Oil.

Mustard

Curry leaves.

2 Red Chillies as per taste.

A few broken cashews.

PREPARATION:

  • Grind the brown rice and the cracked wheat to a coarse gritty texture.
  • 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.
  • Grind the urad dhal, toor dhal and the green chillies using little water, to a smooth paste. I also added a few sprigs of cilantro and some curry leaves.Set aside. Measure out the fluid (apprx 1/2 cup).

IMG_5540

  • To this ground paste add enough water to bring it to 2 1/2 cups measurement. Set aside.
  • Take your favorite kadai and add about 1 Tbsp of coconut 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 measured water + ground paste which is totally 2 1/2 cups. Mix them all in.
  • Now add sufficient salt and wait until the water just starts to boil.
  • Bring down the heat and slowly add the pulsed brown rice + cracked wheat mixture.
  • Bring down the heat to medium low and 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 them so as to fashion them so.
  • Grease idli plates with coconut oil and place the pidi kozhukattais in the depression.

IMG_5552

064

Rotis/ Parathas/ Flatbreads.

Super Soft Avocado Parathas.

Super Soft Avocado Parathas.

Our times at Phoenix, AZ will always remain close to our hearts…It was one city, where we had outdoor activities all year old… well, except for maybe a  couple of months in January and February.  Vegetables and fruits in all colours and of all seasons are perennially available all year old. We also had our favourite restaurants specializing in Mexican cuisine. One such restaurant that we were always game to visit, was Macayo`s. . They served authentic Mexican , suited to our palates, extremely refreshing food, filled with tradition and taste. My husband had a special liking for their Guacamole and would always end up asking for seconds. When I read up about Avocados, I was filled with wonder at the information about this fruit.

The avocado is colloquially known as the Alligator Pear, reflecting its shape and the leather-like appearance of its skin. Avocado is derived from the Aztec word “ahuacatl.” The ripe, ready to eat avocado is slightly soft but should have no dark sunken spots or cracks. If the avocado has a slight neck, rather than being rounded on top, it was probably tree ripened and will have better flavor.

A firm avocado will ripen in a paper bag or in a fruit basket at room temperature within a few days. As the fruit ripens, the skin will turn darker. Avocados should not be refrigerated until they are ripe. Once ripe, they can be kept refrigerated for up to a week. If you are refrigerating a whole avocado, it is best to keep it whole and not slice it in order to avoid browning that occurs when the flesh is exposed to air. Browning can be avoided by squeezing a few drops of lemon juice on the open portion.

(Courtesy-WH Foods)

Avocado Shells ...

Health Benefits:

  1. Avocados contain oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that may help to lower cholesterol.
  2. Avocados are a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure. Adequate intake of potassium can help to guard against circulatory diseases, like high blood pressure, heart disease or stroke.
  3. Avocados help greatly to increase the body’s ability to absorb the health-promoting carotenoids that vegetables provide.
  4. One cup of avocado has 23% of the recommended daily value of folate. Studies show that people who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower incidence of heart disease than those who don’t. The vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and glutathione in avocado are also great for the  heart.
  5. Avocados are the best fruit source of vitamin E, an essential vitamin that protects against many diseases and helps maintains overall health.

Courtesy – WH Foods.

In my opinion, scooped out Avocado has no taste at all, so it would assume the taste of the ingredients that go with it. Incorporating this fruit in to our everyday cuisine was not so difficult.  Avocado parathas turned out soft and flavourful, combining good health and great taste!!!

Avocado Paratha Dough.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups Whole Wheat Flour.

1 Ripe Avocado.

8-10 Garlic Pods.

1/4 Red Onion.

4 Green Chillies.

1 1/2 Tbsp Lemon Juice.

Pinch of finely chopped cilantro.

Salt.

Water as required.

PREPARATION:

  • Scoop out 2 cups of whole wheat flour. Add salt as required. Set aside.
  • Cut a ripe avocado in half  lengthwise. Gently twist the two halves in opposite direction if you find the flesh clinging to the pit. Remove the pit  with the tip of a spoon .If the avocados are ripe, and  the flesh is too soft to be sliced, just slide a spoon along the inside of the skin and scoop it out placing it in a mixing bowl.
  • With  a zester,  grate 6 garlic pods and add to the scooped avocado.
  • With  the same zester grate onions and green chillies.
  • Add lemon juice, chopped cilantro, pinch of salt.
  • Using a fork, mash the avocados and the other ingredients until they are well incorporated.
  • Mashing the grated onions, chillies, cilantro  and garlic helps in the flavours mixing well with each other.
  • Add this mixture to the flour, and mix well before adding water.
  • Avocado has inherent moisture and oil content which itself helps the dough to mould well.
  • Now add water little by little and knead the dough well.
  • Mix it to a homogenous ball and set aside for 20 minutes under a covered vessel.
  • Later, divide the dough in to equal balls, dust with wheat flour and make rotis/ parathas.
Grated garlic on the paratha..
  • Grate a pinch of garlic with the zester on the rotis again.
  • Put on a hot tava and cook on both sides.
  • Serve HOT with Hara Bara Sookha Aloo.

Packing off this dish to Priya`s Event Vegetable/Fruit A Month which would feature a veggie and a fruit every month.