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Super delicious millet based recipes!

There are enough websites and enough people around to tell you about the health benefits of millets. Besides the fact that they are healthy, I like to use them in different recipes because I can get bored easily with the same kind and colour of food. So I try and kill two birds with one stone as using different grains/seeds every week helps keep me motivated to cook from scratch and also make a healthier meal simultaneously. So here are 3 simple recipes for the entire family to enjoy 🙂

Recipe 1

Ragi idli

For the ragi idlis, here is what you will need

Ragi flour or whole finger millet seeds- 2.5 cups

Idly rice-1.5 cups

Urad dal- 1 cup

Wash and Soak the ragi seeds and rice for a minimum of 4 hours. If using flour, soak only rice.

Soak urad dal for less than an hour.

Grind to idli batter consistency with salt and allow to ferment. Do not grind batter to a super smooth consistency. Grind till you can feel a slightly gritty feeling between your fingers so you get a nicer texture.

If adding ragi flour, mix the flour towards the end with the ground rice and grind for few minutes till it all comes together.

Once fermented make idlis as normal and serve with chutney of choice. I would normally prefer a green chutney using coriander or mint for these idlis while for a ragi dosa with the same batter I would make a red chutney with onions, garlic and red chutney.

Recipe 2

Kambu/pearl millet set dosa

Pearl millet flour- 3 cups

Idly rice-1 cup

Urad dal- 3/4th cup

Fenugreek seeds/methi seeds-1 tablespoon or a little more if you love the flavour

Red rice flakes-1/4th cup

Soak idly rice and fenugreek seeds separately for a minimum of 4 hours.

Soak urad dal and rice flakes for atleast half an hour.

Grind altogether to a nice smooth batter. Allow to ferment and make small dosas without too much pressure while you swirl them for nice set dosas. If you like a crispier version simply make as normal.

Any chutney or sambar goes well with this dosai.

Recipe 3

Methi/fenugreek leaves millet dosa

Varagu/Kodo millet- 2.5 cups

Idly rice-1.5 cups

Urad dal -1 cup

Soak rice and millets for a minimum of 4 hours. Soak urad dal for a minimum of one hour. Grind all together to a nice smooth batter. Add salt and mix well.

Allow to ferment.

Once fermented, clean and wash fresh fenugreek leaves and grind to a smooth paste. Add to freshly fermented dosa batter. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of turmeric too.

Make dosas as normal.

If you want a variation, thinly slice shallot sor small onions, handful of peas and make a little thicker dosa than normal, add thinly sliced onions, peas and podi/powder on top and cook on a medium low flame until the onions have slightly browned. You could add ghee or sesame oil for the podi dosa.

Serve with chutney of choice. I would omit the podi for toddlers and only add onions and peas.

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Post-wedding musings!

The confetti has settled, music has been stopped and the feasting is done. Everyone’s heading back home. The most awaited wedding is over. And life has started to feel a little pointless already and I am wondering what to do.  Today, there is an overwhelming sadness that it’s all over..Why can’t there be weddings to plan every month? I want to wake up every day and still feel that there is a wedding  just a few weeks away because there is a certain happiness in planning  and getting lost in all the madness. But despite all the stress,personally I think the last few months have been rather amazing.

While we are all relieved in many ways that its over, I think it is the closeness of family and friends that I miss the most. Because, even after years, one may not remember the details of your dress but one will surely remember how nicely you treated them. And the little things that you remember of them. We were so happy to have almost all of the family around. Some of those I haven’t seen in years were around too. So you can imagine what an emotional ride we have had over the last few weeks. At the end of it all, I am thankful to everyone who joined us and helped us in their own way. And I only wish for a wonderful life ahead to my dearest brother and sister-in-law.

My thoughts on having a boy and recipe for a spicy south Indian gravy!

Hurrah! my boy is going to be 2 next month. Although I am very happy to see him grow and shine, I am also secretly wishing for him to stay a little boy forever. Little boys should never grow.Yep, I am going to be biased here. There is something very very very nice about having a boy. Perhaps, he is the only one who thinks I am so beautiful even on my bad hair days which is almost very often. And he is the only one who loves me despite giving him the same ol’ carrots and lentils for three days in a row.

My husband always wanted a boy more than me. He knows me too well to have wished for one because I am having way too much fun now. I kind of hoped for a girl as I love being one and thought it would’ve been easier to raise one too. Plus, I also feared having to look at too many cars and trains and all that. I couldn’t have been more stupid really. Because one fine day, this boy entered into my world and blew me away. So much so that I don’t mind raising a dozen of boys. I love the way he helps me see the world through his tiny little eyes. I now think fire trucks and magnetic trains are the coolest things ever. I enjoy seeing digger trucks and car transporters on road. I get excited when I spot the bus before he does. I love dinosaurs and fast cars. Enough said!

Onto a lovely recipe passed onto me from my mother. It is a very spicy black pepper based gravy. South indian at its best. Perfect to have with bread or rice . For a non vegetarian version, just add chicken.

Melagu Kuzhambu or Black pepper gravy 

Pepper kuzhambu final

Here is what you will need:

Black peppercorns/Melagu in Tamil – A handful 

Cumin seeds- One heaped teaspoon

Dried Red chilli – 2

Chana dal/Yellow Split peas- 3/4th quantity of black pepper

Urad dal – Half the amount of Chana dal

Tamarind – size of golf ball soaked in lukewarm water or use 2 spoons of paste

Shallot onions- atleast 6 

Garlic pods- according to your preference (we add around 10 bulbs as we are a little partial to garlic)

To season: Curry leaves, Mustard seeds and Gingelly oil 

Method :

In a wide pan, dry roast black pepper, cumin seeds, red chilli and the dals individually. yes, its a bit time taking but worth it. Lightly roast them till you can fill the entire house with a wonderful aroma.

Once a bit cooled, grind all of the above with the tamarind water/paste till it forms a nice smooth paste.

Heat a kadai/gravy pot, add gingelly oil and season with mustard seeds and curry leaves. Add onions and garlic now. Saute till translucent.

Now add the ground paste and add little water to loosen it up to a gravy like consistency. Also, once boiled, the gravy does tend to reduce so add a little extra water if you wish to.

Let it boil well for 8-9 minutes in a rather low flame. Keep stirring as and when required. This delicious concoction is ready to be served hot with a bowl of rice and a dollop of ghee. Pure bliss! Perfect for those wintry nights!