Pesarattu with Yellow Moong dal | Ideas for Healthy Diet Lunch | Diet Program Updates

>>  Thursday, March 25, 2010

I am back with my weekly updates on the Diet program. I know I haven't been very strict with the diet the whole of last week. Well I had lot of excuses. With Athamma not being in town and no help with the household work, I was stressed beyond words. I needed energy to just move about or so I said to myself! This forced me to eat the regular food that was cooked.

Anyway I tried compensating at least one meal. Tough times won't last long, so here I am in a much better situation, being able to manage things to an extent. In fact I have gone back to my diet regime. The major dish that helped me in this aspect was the Goduma Dosa, when rolling out or even cooking those rotis sounded tough, these quick doses came as a big help.

If plain goduma dosa bores you, then spice it up by mixing in Green chili paste, or add vegetables or even onions would really help. When you are on diet there is no need to eat boring stuffs right.

So here is the plan, when rolling out Phulkas sound like a herculean task, try these Dosas with Wheat flour

1. Plain Goduma Dosa
2. Spiced Goduma Dosa with either Red chili powder or Green Chili paste
3. Vegetable Goduma Dosa
4. Goduma Uthapam with Onions.

Similarly you can make Dosas or Adais with Channa Dal/ Bengal Gram dal. Spilt Yellow Moong Dal.

The famous Andhra Pesarattu is made with Whole Moong Dal. When we don't add the rice flour, the dosas/ pesarattus comes out soft. But as a replacement for nutrition, it is really good.

With the Vada Pappu I offered as prasadam on Sri Rama Navami, I didn't want to make the salad with the whole lot. Instead ground it to make dosas for the lunch.

Pesara pappu Dosa / Pesarattu / Split Yellow Moong Dal Dosa

Yellow Split Moong Dal - 1 cup
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 -3 tsp
Cumin Seeds - for garnish
Onions (opt)
Grated Ginger (opt)

Method to prepare:

Wash and soak yellow moong dal for 30 - 40 mins. Drain and grind to a smooth paste. Add salt.

Heat a tawa and grease with oil.  Pour one ladleful of batter and spread as you would a regular dosa.

Sprinkle the cumin seeds, Onions and ginger if you are using on the top. Sprinkle little oil. Cook on medium flame to ensure it gets cooked well.

Then flip to the other side and cook again.

With one cup, you would get about 4 medium sized dosas.

Serve with Chutney or Dal.

Well I clicked a photo with groundnut chutney. But since I should not eat, I again took it with the Gongura Dal that I took for Lunch. I wouldn't say these were the best of combos, but then it was one healthy lunch. You can serve this with Sambar or other regular Dals.

How is everybody's diet going on?


Penne Pasta with Onion, Tomato sauce, Quick Lunch for Kids!

>>  Tuesday, March 23, 2010

This is another pasta that I recently made for Konda. I didn't want to try the usual way of making the Tomato Macaroni way. In fact this was my first time cooking with Penne pastas. These had such wonderful texture and looked very pretty after being cooked.

The best part unlike Macaronis, these didn't get dry after 4 hours of being cooked. And were quick to make and tasty. What else will I ask for! Only upsetting part for me was I ended up making it little spicy and I was upset until Konda assured me later in the evening that the heat was all gone when she ate it.

Update on Kid's Delight Wholesome Snacks - The round up will be done shortly, apologies for the delay!

Penne Pasta with Onion, Tomato sauce

Ingredients Needed:

Penne Pasta - 1 cup
Onions - 1 medium
Green Chili paste - 1/2 tsp
Ginger Garlic paste - 1/4 tsp
Tomato Puree - 1/2 cup
Red Chili powder - 1 /2 (opt)
Salt to taste
Oil - 1-2 tsp

Method to prepare:

Boil the penne pasta in 3 times its quantity and drain the water when the pasta is cooked. Keep it aside.

In a non stick pan, heat the oil. Saute onions till brown, add ginger garlic paste, then green chili paste, fry well.

Then add the tomato puree, salt to taste, if you are using the red chili powder, add now. Combine everything well.

Simmer for 5 mins with lid covered. Then add the cooked pasta to the sauce and mix well.

Notes: You can also use the ready made Tomato sauce if you don't have puree. Red chili powder is optional if your kid doesn't eat much spice.

Sending this to Sowmya's Pasta event!


Ariselu / Aathirasallu for Indian Cooking Challenge to celebrate 100 posts!

>>  Monday, March 15, 2010

Another wonderful Indian Traditional dish tried out for Indian Cooking Challenge. It naturally had to be a sweet dish after the wonderful Kachoris. While browsing through the list of items that everybody wanted to learn, I saw that the famous Andhra traditional sweet Ariselu or Athirasallu was the most sought one. Actually when I saw this choice I was thinking maybe I will ignore, having made it myself. But then how can I ignore when most of the members wanted to try.

Only sad part being I couldn't make it, though till the end I was thinking I will somehow make it. You can read about the passion and effect these have on me. I simply love these and even more, because my daughter loves it more. What can be more enjoyable than making something your child loves, absolutely nothing!

Since I have a tried and tested recipe from my Mom, it becomes very easy this month. Infact she has two types, one the traditional Athirasallu recipe which is tricky, the other that is quite simpler.

This post also marks a milestone for Spice your life, this being the 100th post! What a way to celebrate the occasion! Thank you everybody for the support and encourage I always get in whatever I do and share. Thank you for allowing me to share my spices in life!

My Mom says Athirasallu are something that even an expert cook can fail at. Well I am not scaring but this is one recipe that requires lots of practice and loads of patience. For your convenience I again asked Amma for a smaller measurement.

I gave the members two different recipes that my mom had.

Since many of the members didn't have an idea of the Jaggary that is the Pacham Bellam or Paku Jaggary, I took this photo with all different variety I get locally.

Recipe 1
Ariselu / Aathirasallu For Indian Cooking Challenge
Recipe Source : My Mom, recipe re-posted from Ariselu from Cooking 4 all Seasons
Makes 7 -8 pieces of regular poori size

Ingredients Needed

Raw Rice - 200 gms
Paku Jaggary - 250 gms
Sesame Seeds - 2 tsp or less
Gasa gasa or Poppy Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cardamom powder - a pinch

Method to prepare.

Soak rice for 6 hrs and then shade dry it. Meaning it should not become dry but should still have some wetness in the rice. You can either grind this to fine powder using your mixie or give to mill. The rice flour should have that texture of soft and wet feeling when you take a handful and also it should kind of retain your fist shape. Hope you understand what I am saying. This is very important because if the flour is very dry it wouldn't turn out well.

Have all the things ready when you put the jaggary for cooking.

Take water that is enough to dilute jaggary. Dissolve the jaggary. Remove any impurities that may be present. Then again cook till the pakam is ready. The consistency here is also very important. Hope you know that pakam is calculated as threads.

This is how we check the thread consistency, when the jaggary starts boiling and becomes thick, carefully take a small bit and touch it between your thumb and Index fingers. A thread will be formed when you take your fingers away from each other.

Likewise when the syrup becomes thick, you can find 3 threads being formed. So after 3 thread consistency the jaggary is really cooked well and it become thick. When you take a bit and put it in water, you should be able to make a ball of it. This is when you know the pakkam is ready.

Remove from fire, and add poppy seeds, sesame seeds and cardamom. Mix well. Then slowly add the rice flour and keep mixing well. The consistency is very important, so you need to add the flour little by little. Mix till you get a chapati dough consistency. End of this, you may still have some flour left out.

Divide into lemon size balls. Grease a plastic sheet and your fingers. Place the ball on the sheet, and pat it down to a poori size.

Heat oil for frying and slowly drop these discs into the hot oil. You can simmer for a while until you know the inside is cooked. Turn to the other side and cook till its golden in colour. If you are cooking alone, you can roll out one by one and cook. Else it might get burnt. Once done, remove and drain on a Kitchen towel.

Recipe 2

This method yeilds about 8.

Ingredients Needed

Rice Flour - 1 glass (standard measurement)
Jaggary - 1/2 glass
Coconut grated - 2 tsp
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Water - 1/2 glass
Sesame seeds - 1 tbsp

Oil for deep frying.

Method to prepare:

I had the Achu vellam, so grated and added water just enough to cover them. Cooked on high and removed the scum. Then added the cardamom powder. Once it starts boiling, add the grated coconut. You will see lot of bubbles coming out.

At this stage, add the Rice flour slowly and stir it together well. You will know when the consistency is correct, so till then you got to keep adding the flour, but I used up the entire glass of flour.

The beauty of this dough is, you can store and use whenever you want. If it becomes too hard, just add about 2 tsp of water along with 2 tsp of sugar. Get it to boil, while you keep stirring it. The mix should become soft again. When you handle it, it should come together as a soft dough. Divide it to equal balls.

Heat a kadai with oil to deep fry these. In a greased plastic sheet, pat them down to equal sized discs. Press down the sesame seeds over the top. Once the oil is hot, gently drop these into them. Fry on both sides. Since the sesame seeds are just pressed over the top, they will get into the oil. If you want to avoid this, try adding to the dough.

Once they are golden brown, remove and drain them on a kitchen towel.They will be soft when you remove them, will become crunchy once they are cooled.

The regular ones are normally soft and oily, but these were crunchy and no oil at all!

To all my ICC members, please link your Ariselu / Aathirasallu post to Mr. Linky.



Parathas with leftover Potato Peas Kurma ~ Quick dish for kids!

>>  Wednesday, March 10, 2010

There are days when one feels there should be more hours for a day. The only pushing thought to make you accept that you can't sleep anymore, would be the child who has the early school. Try you may to escape this vicious circle, but you simply can't. The work looks very appealing at night and you are with so many ideas. Yet you keep an eye on the clock which is always tickling away. The moment you hit the pillow you are lost!

The next moment that comes to senses is the time well past the time for you to make something decent. The past few days have been like this. After many months of procrastination, I finally decided the pending work needs to be attended. Gosh work on the code and you never know where the time disappears. Recently I was working on implementing those fancy social network buttons on the blog, it took forever to do that. Anyway I love the result.

So when I overslept one of these days, I was so upset I hadn't planned for Konda's breakfast or lunch. I remembered the Potato Peas Kurma that was in the fridge and remember Aloo Peas Tikkis, yes when I had made these for burger, I had made them into parathas for Konda's lunch. Knowing how well she liked that, even said she didn't feel the peas in her parathas, I was tempted to make them again.

This time it was with the leftover sabji/kurma, which gave an altogether different and lovely taste.

The way I did with regular stuffing was, pressure cook potatoes and peas. mash them well together, sauté onions, little bit of green chili and salt to taste.

Blend this mix into the flour well and knead into a dough and make parathas.

The way I made these parathas with leftover Kurma was,
micro the kurma for 1 -2 mins.
skin the potatoes if they are left on.
remove the tomato skin or other things that your kid may not eat.
grate the potatoes and peas into the flour.
Add salt and bit of spice if you feel the need.
Add ghee and knead to a soft dough.
Heat a tawa and after rolling out, press with a small disc over the rolled paratha to get a small disc. Kids love to be given these small chapatis.

Serve with table butter or curds/yogurt.

I sent these to Konda's lunch and served as breakfast to the rest. It was really so enjoyable. I increased the spice when served to the adults.

Sending this to Suma who is hosting JFI : Breakfast, an event started by Indira


Diet Program ~ Weekly updates

>>  Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I know I haven't updated for the entire week last. Except couple of times that I cheated, I tried following the regime.

Breakfast is mostly soup with bread slices
Lunch mostly phulkas with dal/sambar with vegetables.
Two times buttermilk and lemon juice when I can squeeze which was about two times in a week. This is bad I know.
Evening 1 fruit either Apple/ 1 big bowl of pomegranate
by 7.30 pm - legume salad
by 8.30 pm- bread slices

Twice in the last week I eat Banana for breakfast.
Twice I had paneer for protein.
Once I made Goduma Dosa and another time Sadda Roti which was very filling.
I even had a chapati for dinner last night.

Of course I cheated on the weekend as I was not able to manage otherwise.

Athamma made a new soup with Jowar, which was excellent and very filling. Will make it again and post it.

I guess overall I have managed to control my calorie count. Will have to increase my exercise factor.

Sorry I haven't been able to check on everybody who have got on this diet, do share how your diet program is going on?


Activities with Kids ~ Paintings with Oil Pastels.

>>  Sunday, March 7, 2010

Finally after many months and Konda asking me for sometime, we sat down to paint. She wanted me to show her how to draw and choose this Chinnu's favorite bed cover featuring Tiger and Bear. I thought the tiger looks very cute!

I drew it and Konda painted it with Oil pastels. She was really thrilled doing this. Maybe we should do this more often.


Hope the weekend was fun!


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