Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Popeye Pongal - Broken Wheat, Green gram dal and Spinach dish

Years ago my kids were addicted to cartoons and they especially loved to watch Popeye The Sailor Man. Often I have persuaded them to eat spinach by promising them that they would gain 'muscles' similar to their hero who emptied a whole can of spinach into his mouth and gained 'strength' to thrash the baddies!  Broken Wheat, Green gram dal and Spinach (Popeye's tonic for instant strength !) cooked together results in a deliciously mushy Pongal and is  named after my children's childhood hero Popeye!


Bansi Broken Wheat - 1/2 cup
Green gram dal - 1/2 cup
Spinach/ Palak - 1 bunch
Salt - 1 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Pepper (Slightly crushed) - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Fresh coconut slivers or cashew nuts - 2 tbsps
Green chilly (Slit) - 1
Ginger (Slivered) - 1 tbsp
Curry leaves - a few
Oil - 2 tbsps
Ghee - 2 tbsps
1. Dry roast green gram dal until it emanates a pleasant aroma.
2. Wash and blanch the spinach and allow to cool.
3. Blend the spinach into a smooth puree using a mixer.
4. Wash broken wheat and roasted green gram dal together.
5. Add 1 1/2 cups of water, salt , asafoetida and the spinach puree.
6. Pressure cook until it gives out three whistles and switch off flame.
7. Heat 2 tbsps of oil in a kadai and splutter the slightly crushed pepper.
8. As soon as it pops add cumin seeds followed by coconut slivers/ cashew nuts.
9. When the nuts turn golden in colour add green chilly, ginger and curry leaves.
10. Add the cooked Pongal to the seasoning and stir well.
11. Finally add ghee and switch off flame.

Kids are sure to enjoy Popeye Pongal when they hear about Muscle Man Popeye who is still going strong at 90 !

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Soupy Tomato and Lentil Rasam - Tomato and Lentil Indian Soup

 It is appetizing and soothing. Fights colds, fever and sore throats. The best comfort food for one and all. Best food for babies and convalescents. An ambrosia one can survive on forever.The elixir of life! Yes! It is Rasam ! The mildly spicy and tangy broth that no South Indian can live without !  A flavoursome Rasam mashed with soft mushy rice into a porridge like consistency, topped with a spoon of ghee is THE magic food for all Rasam lovers. Soupy Tomato and Lentil Rasam prepared using Tomatoes and Green gram dal serves as an appetizing starter. It tastes delicious when mixed with rice and can be relished as a second course in a South Indian meal. A glass of Rasam acts as a digestive after a heavy meal.

Tomatoes - 5 ( Chopped)
Green gram dal - 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Rasam powder - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Curry leaves - a few
Pepper and Cumin seeds ( Powdered coarsely) - 1 tsp
Salt - 1 1/4 tsp
1. Take washed green gram dal in a vessel and add turmeric powder and 11/2 cups of water.
2. Add chopped tomatoes and Rasam powder in another bowl and add little water.
3. Place the vessels one on top of the other and pressure cook them together until three whistles.

4. When the cooker cools down remove the cooked rasam powder - tomato mixture and blend it in a mixer.
5. Mash the cooked dal and add asafoetida, salt and curry leaves and set it on the stove.
6. Add the blended tomatoes and allow it to boil for two minutes.

7. Pour two glasses of water in a slow stream as it is cooking. ( Add less water if you prefer a thick Soupy Rasam)
8. Top the Rasam with coarsely powdered pepper and cumin seeds.
9. Cook on low flame till the Rasam becomes foamy and switch off flame as soon as it is about to boil over.

Soupy Tomato and Lentil Rasam is ready to be served as a starter.

Mustard seeds spluttered in ghee and chopped coriander leaves can be added as a garnish if you want to serve the Soupy Tomato and Lentil Rasam with rice.