indian spices

vegetable bath

5th September 2020

We first made this dish with Ganapathi Aarya in the Jivana Yoga Programme, after that I made it once or twice, and then it got tucked away forgotten. It was only when Lior made it one Wednesday after practice that I remembered how delicious it is. Now, it is a dish I make on a weekly basis. I cook the dal and rice separately to keep them fluffy and whole. This does mean you are using three pans for cooking; one for the rice, one for the dal, and then one for the vegetables. If wanting to keep it simple, soak the whole moong dal overnight and cook it with the rice the following day, as in the original recipe.

For serving, grated beetroot and carrot salad with a ginger-lemon-sweet dressing, and raita with dill and a finely sliced cucumber. Use a mandoline for grating the carrot and beetroot and for slicing the cucumber finely. A mandoline is such a useful tool to have in the kitchen, especially for putting together a quick salad. So much so that my son has asked to take one back with him to university!

Vegetable Bath is suitable for all constitutions – it is simple, nourishing and balancing.

Niyamas

“One of the niyamas is santoṣa – “contentment”. Many people are confused when trying to differentiate between contentment and happiness. Contentment is a feeling of satisfaction or completeness. Contentment arises from inside of us. It tends to have a lasting or enduring quality. Happiness is a feeling of pleasure or lightness that tends to be a result of some external reason and is usually fleeting.”

The Sacred Tradition of Yoga by Dr. Shankaranarayana Jois

vegetable bath

Preparation 45 minutes

Serves 3

All spice measurements are heaped unless otherwise stated.

ingredients 

¼ cup/50g whole moong dāl + 2 cups water

¾ cup/150g white basmati rice + 1¾ cups water

½ cup/40g dried shredded coconut

1½ – 2 heaped tsp sambar powder (moderately spiced)

flat tsp fine rock salt

1 tsp ghee

¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped

voggarane

⅓ cup/80ml peanut or coconut oil

½ heaped tsp black mustard seeds

⅛ heaped tsp asafoetida powder

⅛ heaped tsp turmeric powder

20 fresh curry leaves

3 cups/350g beans, carrot, capsicum

¾ cup water

½ flat tsp fine rock salt

preparation

1.  In a small saucepan, rinse the dāl, add 2 cups of water and simmer for 20 – 25 minutes, set aside.

2.  In a large-sized pan, wash the rice, drain, add 1¾ cups water, bring up to boil, then reduce heat to maintain a rapid simmer. Simmer, uncovered for 8 – 10 minutes or until water evaporates and the rice is cooked, turn off the heat. Cover, set aside for 10 minutes. Add the cooked dāl.

3. Cut vegetables into small uniform pieces and measure remaining ingredients.

voggarane

4.  In a skillet, over medium heat, add the oil and mustard seeds; when the seeds turn grey and pop, add asafoetida, turmeric powder and curry leaves, fry for a few seconds, add vegetables – mix well.

5.  Add water and ½ tsp salt, simmer uncovered until vegetables soften – 8 minutes, stir once or twice.

6.  To the rice and dal, add the vegetables, coconut, sambar powder, remaining salt, ghee and coriander. Combine well and serve.

serve

Twice a week, as a morning or midday meal, across all seasons.

variation

Using a pressure cooker; combine all ingredients including the vegetables, alongside the separately fried voggarane with 2 cups water. Cook for 3 whistles – set aside until the pressure has subsided.

pepper rasam

26th July 2016

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Pepper Rasam is a simple and tasty liquid dish, considered tridhatus samya, balances all three doshas, vata, pitta, and kapha.  It provokes the appetite and is helpful for indigestion. It helps to reduce nausea and is beneficial for those with a high fever.  It may be consumed two or three times in a week.  It is recommended to be served with rice, a spoon of ghee and goes very well with steamed greens or a green bean palya.

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~ Evening, Praia Do Guincho

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Pepper Rasam

Preparation – 45 minutes

Serves 3 – 4

Recipe shared by our teacher Ganapati Aarya, as part of the Jivana Yoga Programme.  

Use heaped measurements except when stated otherwise.

ingredients

⅓ cup/65g toor dal

3 cups/750mlwater

1 tsp fine rock salt

4 tsp jaggery/brown sugar

¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped 

first voggarane

2 tsp ghee 

½ tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp urad dal

½ – 1 tsp whole black peppercorns, depending on your preferred spice

1 tsp cumin seeds

6 fresh curry leaves 

⅛ tsp asafoetida powder (hingu)

⅛ tsp turmeric powder

½ cup/40g shredded dried coconut

1½ cup/375ml warm water

second voggarane 

1 tsp  ghee

1 tsp cumin seeds

6 fresh curry leaves – torn in half

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preparation

1.  In a saucepan, wash toor dal until water runs clear, drain and pour 3 cups water, bring to boil, then reduce heat to maintain a rapid simmer – simmer, uncovered until dal is soft and broken down – approximately 30 – 40 minutes.

2.  While waiting for the dal to cook, chop the coriander and measure out the spices for both voggarane – set aside.

prepare first voggarane

3.  In a small pan over medium heat, add ghee and mustard seeds; when the seeds turn grey and pop, add urad dal, whole peppercorns, and cumin seeds – fry until the urad dal is golden brown. Add asafoetida, 6 curry leaves, and turmeric powder – swish or stir the pan for the spices to fry evenly, stir in the dried coconut and 1 cup water. 

4.  Pour into blender and blend until smooth – 1 minute. Add to dal, use some liquid from dal to swish blender clean.

5.  Add salt and jaggery – set aside.

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prepare second voggarane

6.  Heat remaining ghee, add cumin seeds and curry leaves – fry until the seeds are golden-brown.  Add to dal, and stir in the coriander.  

7.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes before tasting, adding more jaggery or salt, as needed.  

Serve with rice, green bean palya or sauteed greens and drizzle with a spoon of ghee.

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 Goodness shared by Stacey

sprouted moong coconut lemon palya

8th March 2016

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I made this last weekend for a relaxed lunch with family and friends.  It was served with fermented Indian dosasspicy chickpea sambar, carrot palya and a bowl of sliced avocados with arugula leaves and mustard micro-greens.  After a last minute panic, thinking this may not be enough, I had moong dal sprouts waiting to be used.  Initially, I had soaked them for fermented moong bean pancakes but had not got around to grinding them, so they ended up as sprouts waiting for a purpose.

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-sweet winter plum tree. In Summer, it is laden with fruit that is brilliant in colour.

-went outside to find her – soft and silent when she is out of the water.

-slate skies, frosty mornings and fingers tingling.

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sprouted moong dal coconut lemon palya

Serves 4

Any left-overs from the fresh coconut can be kept in the freezer, otherwise, it tends to go off before it can be used.  If you are unable to obtain fresh coconut, replace with ¾ cup unsweetened, dried, shredded coconut.  The urad and chana dal add a nice crunch, however, if you are unfamiliar with these, they can be omitted and replaced with roughly chopped cashews or almonds, frying them until golden.  The secret to getting this simple palya just right is to saute the sprouts very minimally so that they are just slightly soft, but still, retain their freshness and are not overcooked.

During colder seasons, sprouts act as an excellent source of fresh vegetables.  Cooking them at this time of year balances their cooling nature. When lightly steaming or sautéing, they still keep their vital and energizing qualities. 

ingredients 

2½ cups sprouted whole moong dal (whole mung beans)

1½ cups freshly grated coconut

1 Tbsp oil/ghee

1 heaped tsp urad dal

1 heaped tsp channa dal

½ tsp cumin seeds

10 curry leaves

zest from a lemon

juice from a lemon

1 cup chopped coriander

salt and pepper, to taste

pre-preparation

1.  For sprouting, follow the directions here, using 1 cup whole moong dal. After an overnight soak, the sprouts are ready in just two-three days.

preparation

2. Grate the fresh coconut into fine shreds until you have 1½ cups.  Set aside.

3.  In a skillet over medium heat, add the ghee/oil and urad and channa dal, fry until both dals are golden-brown, then add cumin seeds and curry leaves – fry for 30 seconds. Add in the sprouts and saute for a few minutes, stirring to keep the sprouts moving.

4.  Add the grated coconut and saute for 2 more minutes, or until the sprouts are slightly wilted, but still hold their shape.

5.  Transfer to a medium-sized serving bowl and mix in the lemon zest, lemon juice, coriander and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

6.  Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more lemon or salt as needed.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Indian spiced millet cauliflower mash

7th February 2016

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This would have to be my second favourite Indian breakfast – my first being idli.  In my earlier days, when I was studying yoga in Mysore, there was an Indian lady who opened up her house for Westerners serving breakfast and dinner.  She would make the most delicious pongal drizzled with a sweet-sourish tamarind sauce.  Only recently, after making it for so many years, I finally obtained an authentic recipe for the tamarind sauce on our last retreat in India.  The secret lies in obtaining fresh curry leaves and using a seedless tamarind pulp.  A wonderful soothing dish, perfect for chilly mornings.

When my husband made it with our teacher’s wife a few years back, she added a heaping spoon of rasam powder to the sauce, and it oozed and tasted of India.  I must admit I prefer mine sweeter and drizzled lavishly with ghee.

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Indian spiced millet cauliflower mash

This millet mash is a lighter version of the traditional South Indian breakfast dish – pongal, which is usually made with white rice and a yellow split moong dal.  The traditional method uses ½ cup white rice with ½ cup yellow split moong dal and is simmered until soft.    

The millet mash is lovely just on its own without the addition of the Indian spices – with a side of greens and a drizzling of ghee. 

I start to soak the tamarind first, then pressure cook or simmer the millet and cauliflower while going back to the spices and chutney…..

Serves 2 – 3

for the millet mash

½ cup millet, washed and soaked overnight (if not soaking, cooking time will be longer and more water added as required)

400 grams cauliflower, cut into florets – thicker stem discarded

3 cups water

½ tsp salt

1 Tbsp ghee

voggarane

1 tsp ghee

1 tsp cumin seeds

10 fresh curry leaves

½ tsp freshly ground pepper

2 tsp grated ginger

1 dried chilli, broken in half (optional)

10 pieces raw cashew nuts, roughly chopped

½ tsp turmeric powder

1 cup freshly grated coconut or ( cup unsweetened dried coconut)

to prepare the millet mash 

1.  Drain and rinse the millet, place in a medium saucepan with the cauliflower, water and salt, bring to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 25 minutes or until millet is soft, fluffy and all the liquid has absorbed.

2.  Remove from heat and set aside for 5 minutes, add ghee and mash with a potato masher until creamy.  I like to puree a quarter of the mixture using an immersion hand blender for a more creamy consistency. Set aside.

prepare the voggarane

3.  In a small pan, add the ghee and cumin seeds, curry leaves, pepper, ginger, chilli (if using) and cashew nuts – fry gently until the cashew nuts are browned slightly and there is a wonderful aroma.

4.  Add the coconut and turmeric, mix well and set aside.

5.  Stir the Indian spices into the millet mash, season with salt and spoon into bowls.  Drizzle with ghee and a generous helping of the tamarind sauce.  Enjoy warm.  The cauliflower and millet will thicken as it cools, just add hot water and mix well.

 

TAMARIND sauce

tamarind chutney

This tamarind sauce really deserves a post all on its own, it is so good.  The colour will also vary with the type of tamarind used.  Use a seedless tamarind pulp which comes compacted in a package. When I am pressed for time, I use ¼ cup tamarind paste which I dilute with a little water, then proceed as in the recipe.  The sauce will keep in the fridge for a few weeks, use it to drizzle over kitcheree, rice dishes, or as a dipping sauce.

ingredients 

150g seedless tamarind pulp

2 ¼ cups hot water – divided

2 Tbsp oil

¼ tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp fenugreek seeds

1 green chilli, sliced in half

⅛ tsp asafoetida powder

10 fresh curry leaves

80g – 100g jaggery, or dark brown sugar

¼ tsp turmeric powder

1 cup loosely packed freshly grated coconut (or cup unsweetened dried coconut)

½ cup water

salt to taste

preparation 

1.  Break the tamarind pulp into pieces and place in a bowl with 1¼ cups hot water, set aside for 30 minutes, mashing and turning the tamarind regularly.

2. Pour through a strainer and allow to drain, then using the back of a spoon, scrape against the bottom of the strainer to get as much of the thick tamarind liquid as possible.

3.  Pour the remaining 1 cup hot water over the pulp to flush through more of the tamarind. Compost the remaining pulp.  Don’t worry, the sauce will be very liquid, the jaggery/sugar will thicken it while it simmers.

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4.  On medium heat in a small saucepan, add the oil and mustard seeds; when they start to pop, add fenugreek, chilli, asafoetida and curry leaves – fry for a few seconds, then pour in the tamarind sauce, bring to a rapid boil, turn down the heat, and crumble in the jaggery/sugar – allow to simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, until it becomes slightly thicker and comes away from the edges around the pan.

5. In a high-speed blender, add half cup water and grated coconut – blend for 1 minute.

6.  Add to the tamarind sauce, using a spatula to get as much out of the blender as possible.  Let simmer for a few minutes, then add the turmeric and season with salt.

Drizzle over the millet mash, or enjoy with rice, vegetable palya, or as a dipping sauce with these samosas.

tamarind-chutney

Goodness shared by Stacey

carrot moong dal soup – a winter warming soup

6th December 2015

I thought I would re-visit this soup, as it is one I make most often in the colder months and a particular favourite of Donna’s.  It is also very quick and easy to prepare and has such simple flavours and warmth due to the pepper and ginger, keeping us nourished and grounded in these colder months.  Dry roasting and roughly grinding your own spices make all the difference to bring out the flavours, don’t be tempted to skip this process.

Out of all the pulses, moong dal (green gram) is one I use most often; as it has a calming, cooling and balancing effect on all dosha’s.  It is also very cleansing and medicinal.  The tomatoes can easily be omitted if desired; as the lemon juice adds the acidity that this soup requires.

A few memorable images from our recent retreat in India.

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– Sri Ramana Maharshi Ashram

– Banyan Tree, Firefly Resort

– Illuminating cloudscape

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carrot moong dal soup

The original recipe is from Yamuna Devi’s, The Vegetable Table.  It is a little worn and splotched on most pages from over-enthusiastic use.  A great book to start with when wanting to cook good, wholesome Indian meals without the addition of onion or garlic.  There is also a sense of devotional cooking in all the recipes which I really like.

This is my version of her soup with a few changes.  The original recipe uses split moong dal (yellow) which results in a lighter soup. I particularly prefer using the whole moong for a heartier Winter soup.

Serves 4

Preparation – 45 mins

ingredients 

1 cup whole moong dal

8 cups water

4 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

3 whole cardamom pods (peeled and seeds crushed)

1-inch piece fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp whole coriander seeds

1 small plum tomato, finely chopped

¼ cup coriander leaves, finely chopped

2 Tbsp lemon juice, or more to taste

1 tsp fine rock salt

1 tsp freshly ground pepper

voggarane

1 – 2 Tbsp ghee

 tsp asafoetida powder

1 dried chilli, torn in half

6 fresh curry leaves

⅛ tsp turmeric powder

preparation

1.  In a medium pot, wash the dal until it runs clear, drain, refill with water, add the carrots, ginger, and cardamom pods and bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer, partly cover and cook until the dal is soft – 30 – 40 minutes.

2.  In a small pan over moderate heat, dry roast the cumin and coriander seeds until golden and deeply fragrant, allow to cool, then place in a mortar and pestle, and grind into a rough powder.

3.  Add to the dal with the tomatoes, coriander, lemon juice, salt and pepper – turn off the heat.

prepare the voggarane

4.  In a small pan over medium heat, add the ghee, asafoetida powder and chilli – fry for a few seconds, then add the curry leaves and turmeric powder, fry for a few more seconds, remove from heat and pour into the soup.  

5. Taste, adding more salt or lemon if needed.  I find the lemon juice and freshly ground pepper bring this soup together, so you may want to add more.  Drizzle with a spoon of melted ghee when serving.

Serve with your favourite bread toasted and a bowl of guacamole, or if trying to avoid bread make a pot of red rice or quinoa and serve a spoon in each bowl of soup.

Goodness shared from Stacey

roasted pumpkin palya

25th October 2015

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from garden to table…

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There is something about the shape and colour of a pumpkin in their round jolly state, glowing bright and light amongst the blackened droopy leaves and tangled stems, that makes you smile.

Particularly now, after being absent from the garden for three weeks, attending our yearly yoga retreat in India.  I came back full of calm and brightness to a garden that had too many dreary wet days, causing the tomato and zucchini plants to melt, far too early in the season.  The sight of not one, two, but three, bright balls of sunshine ignited hope and light into a neglected garden.  They had survived a long absence, a storm and a take-over of zillions of snails.

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pumpkin palya

Inspired by Sandya’s place in Mysore.

serves 4

ingredients

1 kg pumpkin, peeled & chopped 

4 Tbsp ghee – divided

1 red/60g capsicum, finely chopped

voggarane

1 tsp black mustard seeds

1 Tbsp split channa dal

1 tsp split urad dal

¼ tsp asafoetida powder

6 – 8 fresh curry leaves

2 Tbsp dried coconut

salt to taste

¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped

preparation

1.  Preheat the oven 210 C/410 F. Line a rimmed baking tray with baking paper.

2. Wash the pumpkin, peel and chop into 1½ cm pieces.  Place in a bowl and drizzle with 2 tablespoons ghee, toss until well coated, then place on the baking tray in the oven to roast until soft and golden brown around the edges, approximately 30 – 40 minutes.

prepare the voggarane

3.  In a heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat, add remaining ghee and mustard seeds; when the seeds turn grey and pop, add the channa and urad dal – fry until both dals are golden-brown, then add the asafoetida and curry leaves – fry for a few seconds, swishing the pan around for the spices to fry evenly.

4.  Add the capsicum and fry for 2 – 3 minutes.

5.  Turn off the heat, add the coconut and roasted pumpkin. Mix well, season with salt and sprinkle with coriander when serving.

Serve with chapati, dosa or your favourite grain dish.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

green gram tovve (split moong dal)

9th July 2015

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precious evening twilight

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“Every thought you produce, anything you say, any action you do, bears your signature.”

~Thich Nhat Hahn~
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soothing split moong dal

Serves 3 

Inspired by our teacher, Ganapati Aarya.

I have been making this a lot lately, sometimes as a soup or other times with rice and a simple palya. Drizzled with ghee, it is a complete soothing, easy to digest and cleansing meal. Brings strength, balance along with calmness and quietness to the body and mind. Helpful to the elderly and due to its lightness can be used during a period of sickness. Supports the yogic practice.

I like to add thinly sliced cabbage or chuchu and grated carrot just towards the end of cooking. If using whole moong dal instead of the split decrease the amount of dal to ½ cup and proceed with the recipe.

ingredients 

¾ cup/125g moong dal split (split yellow lentils)

4 cups/1-litre water

1 tsp rock salt 

1½ tsp jaggery/brown sugar

¼ cup/20g dried shredded coconut

1 heaped tsp finely chopped ginger

voggarane 

1 Tbsp  ghee

½ heaped tsp black mustard seeds

1 heaped tsp cumin seeds

⅛ tsp asafoetida powder (hingu)

1 medium red chilli

10 fresh/dried curry leaves

⅛ heaped tsp turmeric powder

juice of half a lemon or more to taste

¼ cup coriander leaves, finely chopped

to serve

vegetable palya

rice

preparation 

1.  In a medium saucepan, wash dal until the water runs clear, pour in water and bring to boil, then lower the heat to maintain a rapid simmer – simmer until creamy and the dal has broken down – approximately 30 minutes. 

If using a pressure cooker, allow for three whistles before turning off the heat, then set aside for 20 minutes or until the pressure has subsided.

2.  While waiting for the dal to cook, chop the chilli into three pieces and tear the curry leaves in half (this way everyone is guaranteed to consume a curry leaf and benefit from their medicinal properties).

3.  Once the dal has softened, add salt, jaggery, coconut and ginger – simmer for 5 minutes more, then turn off heat, cover and set aside.

prepare the voggarane

4.  In a small pan over medium heat, heat ghee, add mustard seeds; when the seeds turn grey and pop, turn down the heat and add cumin seeds, asafoetida powder, and chilli – fry until sizzling and fragrant. 

5.  Add the curry leaves and turmeric powder – fry for 30 seconds, swishing the pan around to allow for the spices to fry evenly, then pour the voggarane into the dal.

6. Stir in the lemon juice , add coriander – stir to combine.  Check for seasoning, adding more salt or lemon if needed.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

carrot palya

11th June 2015

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golden rays of Spring colours peeking through….

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and enjoying this unusual stillness…

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a simple carrot palya

for Anna

Serves 4  (I use 1 small-medium carrot per person).

This is such a quick & easy dish to make to serve with dosa.  Especially good with a bowl of guacamole and a spicy Indian Sambar.  The secret to getting this simple palya just right is to saute the grated carrot very minimally so that it is just slightly soft, but still retains its freshness and isn’t overcooked.  I found that using the smaller grater attachment on the food processor or box grater makes a difference to the finished dish.  The jaggery and coconut make it slightly sweet, so it is a favourite with the younger and more fussier eaters in the family. I keep it very simple as I love how the carrots get to shine, but you could easily spruce it up by adding finely chopped fresh coriander, a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkling of lemon zest.

ingredients

3 medium carrots

1 Tbsp spoon ghee/oil

½ tsp mustard seeds

¼ tsp turmeric powder

1 generous tsp jaggery/brown sugar

2 heaped Tbsp unsweetened dried coconut

¼ tsp fine rock salt

preparation

1.  Top, tail and peel the carrots.  Either using a smaller hand grater or your food processor (using the smaller grater attachment), grate the carrots.  Pick out the bigger bits and finely chop them, adding back in with the rest of the grated carrots.  Set aside.

2.  In a skillet, add the ghee and mustard seeds; when they turn grey, then add the turmeric and grated carrots, use two spoons and toss the carrots around as you would toss a salad, keeping the carrots moving – saute just for a minute or two.  

3.  Add the jaggery and dried coconut and a sprinkling of salt.  

Serve immediately, or if you are making ahead, transfer to another dish so it doesn’t continue to cook, then serve at room temperature.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

Jonathan’s weekend upma

22nd April 2015

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My husband has a few signature dishes, the most favoured is his pasta sauce, Indian lemon rice and this one, which he makes for us every Saturday morning.

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Jonathan’s weekend upma with charred okra

Serves 2-3

This is a savoury semolina pilaf.  Cut the vegetables into small uniformed pieces, so they cook evenly and vary your choice of vegetables to what is in season.

ingredients 

1 cup/170g medium-ground semolina

2½ cups hot water

voggarane

cup/80ml peanut or coconut oil

½ tsp mustard seed

1 Tbsp split channa dāl 

1 tsp split urad dāl

⅛ tsp asafoetida powder

10 cashew/peanuts, cut in half

1 dried red chilli, chopped

1 tsp cumin seed

10 curry leaves

⅛ tsp turmeric powder

1 medium carrot, finely chopped

1 green or red bell pepper, finely chopped 

1 tsp ginger, finely chopped 

1 tsp salt

1 tsp jaggery

1 tsp lemon juice

¼ cup/20g dried coconut

¼ cup coriander, chopped

toast the semolina 

1.  Dry-fry the semolina in a skillet over moderate heat, stirring continuously until it turns golden- brown or emits a good smell – pour into a bowl and set aside.

prepare the voggarane

2.  Heat oil in a medium-large skillet, add mustard seed, channa and urad dāl, asafoetida, cashew and chilli; when mustard seeds pop and both dāl are golden-brown, add cumin, curry leaves and turmeric – fry for 10 secs.

3.  Stir in the carrot, green pepper, ginger, salt, sugar, lemon juice and coconut -bring to boil, simmer for 1 minute, then reduce heat.

4.  Pour in the semolina, stirring continuously – until the water has evaporated, 1 – 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the coriander, cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes.  When ready, fluff up with a fork and add more salt if desired. When serving, drizzle with ghee to aid digestion.

charred okra

ingredients

300g small okra

2 Tbsp coconut/peanut oil

pinch asafoetida powder

a sprinkling of salt

preparation

1.  Using a small knife, trim the okra, removing the stem, slicing in half lengthwise and half again.

2.  Place a heavy-based frying pan on high and leave to heat for a few minutes; once hot, drizzle in a tiny bit of oil/ghee and asafoetida, add the okra, stirring every minute.  The okra should start to have dark blisters and a charred look – cook for 5 minutes until charred and soft.

3.  Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately over the upma.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

Prepared by Jonathan

baked vegetable samosas with mango chutney

29th March 2015

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I woke with a feeling of peace in my heart….

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all day I breathed softly, moved slowly

afraid it might disappear….

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baked vegetable samosas

Makes 13 half-moon samosa

I made these for a special dinner to have sitting around the fire outside.  I used a good quality ready-made puff pastry for my first attempt, but the second time I made my own pastry, which was a recipe tried and tested by Noa.  Both were great – it just depends on how much time you want to spend making them.  

I keep the filling mild, as the chutney adds the spark it needs, but if you like strong flavours, increase each spice by ¼ teaspoon.

for the dough

350g flour (200g white & 150g wholewheat)

½ tsp rock salt

1 tsp sugar

200g unsalted butter

100ml very cold water

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

for the filling

1 Tbsp oil

1 large bulb fennel/2 sticks celery (160g)

1½ cup/220g sweet potato/pumpkin, finely diced 

1 cup/190g potato, finely diced 

1 cup/90g cabbage, finely chopped 

1½ cups/180g cauliflower, finely chopped 

½ tsp brown mustard seeds

1  tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 Tbsp ginger, finely grated

½ tsp home-made garam masala powder

½ tsp turmeric powder

½ cup coconut milk/water

¾ cup/90g frozen peas

to make the dough 

1.  Place the flour, sugar and salt into a bowl and mix, then cut the butter into hazel-nut size pieces and add to flour, making sure all the pieces of butter are well coated with flour – cover and place in the freezer for a minimum of 1 hour or overnight.

2.  In a food processor with an S-blade attached, add the cold flour and butter, process for 20 seconds (the mixture should resemble fine meal), then stir the vinegar with the very cold water and pulse in short bursts. The dough will still look crumbly, but if you press it between your fingers, it should become smooth. If the dough is too dry and is not coming together, add ice water a tablespoon at a time.

3.  Turn dough out onto a clean work surface.  Gather and press the dough together to form a unified mass. Divide the dough into 12 equal balls, each one weighing roughly 50 – 55 grams each.  Press each ball into a small round disc, wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hour and up to 24 hours.

to make the filling 

4.  In a small pan dry-roast the cumin and coriander seeds, then place in a mortar and pestle and ground coarsely, then add turmeric and garam masala into the pestle.  Set aside.

5.  Remove the outer leaf of the fennel and finely chop into very small pieces, along with the remaining vegetables. Remove the thicker stems of the cauliflower and chop into thin shreds. Set aside.

6.  In a large skillet over moderate heat, add oil and mustard seeds; when the seeds start to turn grey and pop, add ginger, ground spices, garam masala and turmeric – fry for a few seconds, then add the fennel, cauliflower, potato and sweet potato, and cabbage, pour in the coconut milk/water and saute, covered for 5 -7 minutes.  

7.  Add the peas and turn off the heat, cover and allow to rest so that the vegetables continue to soften.  Set aside to cool for 30 minutes.

to assemble the samosas 

8.  Remove one of the discs of dough from the fridge.  If they are very firm, let sit for a few minutes at room temperature until the dough is pliable enough to roll.  The dough will soften and become easier as you work with it.

9.  Roll each disc between two pieces of cling film, into a circle of 5½-inches. Place two heaped tablespoons of the vegetable mixture into the middle of each circle.

10.  Brush the edges with milk/ghee, and flip the corner over the mixture to create a half-moon, then press the edges together with a fork and prick the top twice to allow the heat to escape.  Repeat with the remaining pastry. Place the pastries on a baking tray.

11.  Brush the top with melted ghee or milk and sprinkle over the sesame seeds.  Cover and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

when ready to bake

12.  Place the tray into a preheated 210C/420F oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes.

If using ready-made puff pastry, they will take longer to bake – about 30  – 40 minutes or until golden brown.

spicy mango chutney (mango gojju)

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Inspired by South Indian yogic cookbook.

I make this quick and easy chutney when I see green mangoes in the stores.  Can be also made with barely ripe mangos as well.  The less ripe the fruit is, the sourer the taste will be. Balance the amount of sugar accordingly.  I use it as a replacement for pickle in dishes like this one.  It makes a great dipping sauce for these samosas and perfect as an accompaniment to any rice dish or Indian meal. 

Makes about 1½ cups

ingredients 

2 medium-large/765g green mangoes (half-ripe, green outside and light yellow inside)

½ tsp mustard seeds

2 small whole chillies

6 fresh curry leaves

¼ tsp asafoetida powder

¼ tsp turmeric powder

3 heaped tsp rasam powder (moderately spiced)

½ tsp fine rock salt

4 heaped tsp jaggery/brown sugar

preparation 

1.  Peel the mango and cut into tiny cubes, then set aside.

2.  In a heavy-based saucepan, add oil and mustard seeds; when they start to turn grey and pop, add whole chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida powder – fry for 20 seconds, then add the turmeric and mango, saute until the mango becomes soft, adding ¼ cup water when it starts to stick – cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.

3.  Turn off the heat, add salt, jaggery and rasam powder.  Taste, adding more jaggery or salt.

4.  Puree half the mixture with a hand- immersion blender.

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quick puff pastry version

I make this version on a regular basis.  I follow the recipe but instead of making my own pastry, I buy a good quality organic puff pastry.

1.  Brush the outer edge of the pastry with melted butter or milk.

2.  Take the vegetable filling and scoop inside the pastry leaving a space of 1-inch around the outer edge.  Flatten the top of the filling with a back of the spoon so that there is less of a mound.

3.  Take the other round pastry from the fridge and gently place over the filling, so that it sits evenly on top.

4.  Roll the edges over itself and press to seal with the edge of a fork.  Place in the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up, then move the pastry back to your work surface.

5.  Brush the top with melted butter or milk, slash decoratively and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Prior to baking rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to prevent shrinkage during baking.

6.  Place the tray into a preheated 200C/400F oven and bake for 40 – 50 minutes, until deeply golden. Eat straight away with a very green tabouli salad and spicy mango chutney.

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