Gajar subzi

I grew up eating a staple diet of rice and dal, at least on weekdays. On the side, we normally had at least one vegetable and sometimes a non-vegetarian dish. I haven’t really stuck to the same routine since I moved to the U.S. For one, I ate in the cafeteria for almost 9 months (probably the most fattening months of my life here)! Secondly, since a lot of people have asserted that rice is not the most ideal weight loss food, I have been trying to eat less of it (without much success). My fondness for rice makes me more South Indian than I appear to be!

This afternoon I had my friend S over for a meal. It was good to see her after long and to spend time together just talking and praying and sharing our burdens! She was my first friend in Denton and I will be forever grateful to God for placing her and others in my life. God always has been great in His timing and I’m always amazed at His providence. Meeting S today encouraged me and also helped me vocalize my anticipation about the future and my struggles in the present. We had a simple meal of rice, kadhi and gajar (carrot) subzi with khaman as appetizer. I forgot to give her the pedas I made as dessert, but there is always a next time! I haven’t mastered my kadhi and khaman recipes yet, when I do, I will post them. But I have made my gajar subzi a few times now and my housemates L&P have always liked it. That makes me confident enough to want to post it. Here it is!

Ingredients:

Carrot – 2-4 nos., grated

Oil – 1 tsp

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp

Chilli powder – to taste

Salt – to taste

Water – 1/4 cup or as required

Procedure

Heat oil in a non stick pan with high edges at medium heat.

Add mustard seeds and let them splutter.

Add cumin seeds and let them brown slightly. Be careful not to let them burn.

Add in the grated carrots and mix well.

Add in 1/4 cup water. Depending on how many carrots you use make sure that there isn’t too much water in the pan either.

Next add chilli powder and salt and close the lid of the pan.

Let the carrots cook for about 2-4 mins. Keep checking to make sure the water hasn’t completely evaporated. In case it does, sprinkle some more water. Make sure the carrots do not stick to the bottom of the pan.You will know that they are cooked when they are tender, but not mushy.

By the time the carrots have cooked, the water would have evaporated. If it hasn’t turn the stove to medium-high and let the water evaporate as you keep stirring the carrots.

Serve hot!

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Pundi

I’ll begin blogging by something I cooked recently. That happens to be pundi, or in other words Mangalorean rice balls. Indian cuisine varies from state to state. My family is from the south, from the state of Karnataka. Mangalore is one of the larger towns in southern Karnataka. My grandparents migrated to Bombay, which is in the West, for work. I was born and brought up in the Bombay, but grew up eating primarily South Indian food. However, I am certainly not partial towards it. I don’t normally make all the traditional foods I grew up eating. I do make them when I crave them, or to finish some of the ingredients in my pantry. This pundi cooking spree was a mix of both. I called my mom and asked her to give me the recipe. I used different ingredients from the ones that she mentioned, but that’s just me, I love experimenting 😛

Here’s the recipe

1 cup rice flour (normally idli rawa is used, I used Japanese rice powder!)

1 cup water

1 tsp oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

2 red chillies, broken in 3 pieces

1-2 tsp urad dal (husked black gram – you’ll find it in the Indian store)

sugar – 1 tsp (optional)

salt to taste

Procedure:

Keep oil to heat in a thick bottomed pan on medium heat.

Add mustard seeds and let them splutter, add the urad dal and red chillies.

Add water. When it boils turn off the stove and add the sugar, salt and rice flour. Mix it and cover the pan for 5 mins.

After 5 mins, open the pan and take the pan off of the stove. Make sure the dough inside is not too hot. Mix it again and form golf sized balls.

Now steam these golf sized balls in a steamer for 15-20 mins.

The pundi can be eaten with sambhar or any type of chutney. We normally had it for breakfast or as a snack in the evenings. I personally like to eat it with coconut and cilantro chutney or pudi chutney (powdered chutney). The recipes for those will be coming up next!