It has been a very busy break for me, having another baby after 6 years!!! I have almost forgotten the simple and joyous , yet difficult times of having a newborn in the home! Sleep times and wakeup calls are completly regulated by her and so are the schedules of the rest of the day. Yet, when I see her face, calm in her sleep, a smile now and then, I realise its worth every pain I have gone through…a million times over!!!!
Last night I was browsing the aggregator, and found Srivalli`s posting for MLLA – 18. And I realised that I had the perfect yet simple post for for her event!!! Steamed Jumbo Peanuts….Memories of this goes as back as when we were little toddlers and Madurai amma used to steam them in the cooker for us to have when we get home in the evenings. It would always be a pleasure to sit with my siblings, chat up about the happenngs of the day and catch up with each other.Summer vacations are never complete without all the cousins, sharing a plate of steamed peanuts!!!
Raw Jumbo Peanuts.
Wash the raw peanuts well and pop them in to the pressure cooker with just enough water to cover them.
Add salt to the peanuts and give it a good stir.
Switch on the gas and when there is enough steam, put the weight.
In India, the raw peanuts have a thin skin, so all it needs is just one whistle.
Here, the peanuts have a thick skin and so I allow three whistles.
Switch off and when ready, open the cooker and have juicy salted soft steamed peanuts.
Healthy snack for kids when they are back from school and a great idea for picnics and weekend drives.
On this Ashtami of Navarathri I wanted to make an all time favourite – Black Channa Sundal garnished with sliced coconut pieces. Black Channa is very common among our homes as a classic Neivedhyam for Navarathri. It is in fact made on Saraswathy Pooja day as the “traditional” offering to Sarswathy, in my home. Just like any other legume, the black channa variety is high in cholestrol lowering fibre and has a lot of protien content which is very useful for people on diets and for a healthy snack.
1 cup Black Channa.
Water to cook
4 Red Chillies Dry.
1/4 cup of finely slit coconut pieces.
Soak the black channa for at least 6 hours prior to cooking.
Put in a wide mouthed container, add salt, turmeric and add just enough water to cover the channa.
Put in the pressure cooker and when the steam comes, put on the whistle.
Wait for one whistle and then reduce the flame to “SIM” and keep for ten minutes and then switch off.
Drain in a collander, but save the water to mix chappathi, make rasam, sambar etc.
Take a kadai, add 2 spoons of coconut oil. When the oil is hot add mustard, curry leaves, hing, dry red chillies and then the cooked channa.
Mix well and wait until the seasoning ingredients are mixed well in to the legumes.
Garnish with finely sliced coconuts and serve HOT after offering as Neivedhyam.
Today being the fourth day of the nine day celebration of Navarathri, the offering to the Devi was Yellow Vatana Peas Sundal. This has already been posted here previously and its also one of my favorite of the sundal preparations. Here is the pic…
Today is the third day of Navarathri and we thought we should make a neivedhyam with the white channa or the garbanzo beans. This is probably the most used and most under-valued in the legumes family.Garbanzos (also called chickpeas) are a good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, as are most other beans. In addition to lowering cholesterol, garbanzos’ high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia. When combined with whole grains such as rice, garbanzos provide virtually fat-free high quality protein. It is also a very rich source of dietary fibre, iron and magnesium.
This variation of Arachu Vitta Sundal is also made by Amma with Mochai ( Field Beans) and its a favourite at home.
White Channa – 2 cups.
Water just enough to cover and cook.
4 spoons Channa Dal.
2 spoons Dhania.
8 red chillies
1 spoon of urad dhal.
1/3 cup of coconut.
Mustard, Curry Leaves, Oil & Hing for seasoning.
Soak the white channa for at least 6-8 hours prior to preparation of neivedhyam. Cook in the pressure cooking adding water, salt and turmeric for 3 whistles.
Drain all the cooked channa in a collander and allow to stay.
Use the water for cooking rasam, sambar etc and also for grinding the “masala” for the sundal.
In a kadai, add a spoon of oil and when it is hot, add all the ingredients specified for roasting. Roast on a medium flame until the dals get brown and you get a gentle aroma.
Pop in the mini mixer jar, add fresh grated coconut and using a alittle of the cooked channa water, grind to a very smooth paste.
Take your kadai/wok and add 2 spoons of oil. Season with mustard, curry leaves and hing and add the cooked white channa beans.
Stir them gently and now add the ground masala from the mixer jar.
Mix well and allow to cook for a couple of minutes until all the water is absorbed.
Delicious Arachu Vitta Sundal is ready for Neivedhyam.
Moderate the number of red chillies as these were a tad spicy for people like me. People who want the heat from the red chillies are most welcome!
Follow the same method for sundal made out of Mochai or Field Beans. Very YUM !!!
The best thing about summers when I was a little girl was the fact that I had unlimited supply of books to read, time to play, helping amma in the kitchen, shopping walks now and then, cutting veggies, and most importantly, mmy favourite cousins would visit us for 2 whole months!!! Reading in my opinion is the best way to spend lazy summer vacation afternoons….Summers also remind me of juicy Banganapalli Mangoes, fragrant in their aroma from miles away and of course the water fruits like watermelons and the tender cucumbers. The footpaths would be lined with mounds of green watermelons stacked one on top of the other. We would buy a big one, get it home, and make little crescents for all of us to eat. At the end of it, we would be so messy with the watermelon juice and seeds, that amma would send us right in to wash up and have a bath!!!
This summer, my daughter S was also excited to see watermelons and honeydew and cantaloupes. She loves to help me in the kitchen so I got this little Melon Scooper from Walmart which is a really creative way of scooping out little rounds of fruit. We both do that and pop them in to a large glass bowl, covered with cling film , ready to be served chilled.
We scoop out entire fruits which are firm like apples and bananas and refrigerate them so you have little cups of mixed fruit ready for your little ones when they come home from school or from a tiring evening at the park.
Kids love the variety of the shape and the infusion of colour which makes this a healthy and interesting snack.
Add a scoop of ice cream for a lovely after dinner dessert!!
Add custard to have a whole new taste. Pop a few in your morning cup of cereal for your fruit serving for the day.
Use as a topping over oats.
Pack a boxfull for an easy travel snack.
The simplicity of the shape renders them easy for kids/toddlers to scoop and eat!!!
Every evening I have to think of healthy easy quick fix snacks for my husband and daughter…I am not a snack peson, but I have to cater to two completely different palates. There is always the resolve to add as much green leaves and vegetables to our daily food intake. Sometimes I have to give in to certain kinds of snacks like “Bhujia, Chips, etc which are not healthy. So I try to make it up by adding healthy food which my daughter does not prefer to go with the not-so healthy snack, wherever possible. Like this Easy Bhujia Chat. I have added thinly diced raw carrots, raw tomatoes and a spoon of flax powder. I also add a 1/2 cup of pomogranate seeds whenver I have them.
2 cups of Bhujia.
1 carrot diced small.
1/4 onion chopped to small pieces.
1/2 tomato chopped in to small pieces.
1/2 cup of pomogranate seeds.
2 spoons of flax powder.
A dash of squeezed lemon.
Sweet Tamarind Chutney for garnish.
In a bowl add the bhujjia, chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, diced carrots and pomogranate seedsand give it a quick mix.
The water from the tomatoes helps in binding the ingredients together.
Add 2 spoons of flax powder and do not worry about it altering the taste. It acts as a catalyst and boosts the fibre in your food, but never changes or alters the taste.
Serve on to cups, add a dash of squeezed lemon and garnish with chopped cilantro and sweet tamarind chutney.
Your kids can help assemble this and its also an easy pre-party snack.