Thursday, January 30, 2014

Ginger Chai – Indian ginger Tea

If you ask me for one thing I am really addicted and find it very difficult to give up is my morning cup of Tea. And what makes it most interesting is that I had started drinking Tea just four year before.
I used to ask myself how did I survive without drinking tea all along J
I am usually a very strong willed person. But when it comes to tea, I really get tempted. Even the days I diet or fast I cannot stay away from my tea. My day usually starts with a cup of hot strong sweetened ginger tea.  
For me tea is an energy booster, it just refreshes me and keeps me happy.
I have developed a particular taste for tea, so I keep trying out tea at various Indian restaurants and Coffee/Tea shops in U.S  whenever I get a chance. So far “Starbucks” – Chai Latte is the one that impresses me.
So when I visited India recently after four years, I was really excited to try out Tea in India as  this was the first visit to India after I started drinking Tea. Okay, I have to agree that the best tea I have ever tasted was when I visited a textile(cloth) store with my sister.
My sister is one of their favorite customers, and so I was treated with a “Special Masala Tea” ; I guess came from some Tea- Stall nearby in a small glass.
Since my husband did not come with me that day I kept on him telling about the tea. I even tried “Chai Latte” in some coffee shop in the ‘Dubai Airport’ when we were in-transit…sorry could not resist.
Okay, I need to take a breath here and give you the recipe before getting carried away. Below is one of my favorite recipe for my “cup of tea”:

Makes 2 servings
1 cup of milk
1 cup of water
1 big piece of ginger
(1 tablespoon grated ginger)
3 cardamom pods
2 teaspoon sugar
2  and ½ teaspoon Tea (loose tea)
You might need a ‘Tea Strainer’ to strain in the end, but in case you don’t have one in hand, a clean kitchen towel or cheese cloth might help you temporarily.
Combine the milk and the water in sauce pan and heat it in a stove. When they start boiling add the grated ginger and sugar. if you don’t take sugar for some reason you can omit the sugar and just add the grated ginger. Let it boil for few more minutes.
Now add the loose tea and crushed cardamom powder and bring it to a boil. Switch off and cover and let it steep for another 5 minutes.
Then strain the tea directly into the cups using the strainer carefully. Serve hot with some tea rusk or Indian biscuits.
I usually add some hot boiling water in my cup or thermos and keep it aside until the tea is ready to be strained. Then empty the cup and strain the tea into the hot cups/thermos. The hot cup helps to  keeps the tea hot a little longer, and is especially very useful during winter times.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Green Moong Curry - Green gram curry

When I am really in a hurry and need something to cook fast. This is one of the recipes I go forJ as it is very healthy and easy to make. This dal doesn’t need any prior soaking; you can cook it directly without soaking.

Green gram also known green moong are known to be very healthy and are packed with variety of nutrients. They are packed with vitamins and minerals. The bean is popular as the perfect food for reducing weight, as it has a very low fat content. It is also a rich source of protein and fiber, which helps to lower the high cholesterol level in the blood system.
You can cook this for lunch or for a quick weekday dinner and server it with Roti or any kind of Rice.


2 Cups dry green moong dal
4 cups water
1 cup of chopped onion – approximately half a big onion
2 Tomatoes chopped into small pieces
½ teaspoon chili powder
(I use the really hot variety; you can adjust this amount according to the type of chili powder and your spice level)
1 and ½ teaspoon of coriander powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon garam masala
2 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves
1 and ½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon oil
Chopped coriander leaves for garnishing
Cook the green moong with the water and 1 teaspoon salt in a pressure cooker for 6 whistles.
Meanwhile take a pan and pre-heat it. When the pan is hot enough add the oil. Then add the cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds start spluttering add the ginger and sauté it for a minute. Then add the chopped onions and the remaining salt and cook until the onions are really soft. Then add the tomatoes and cook them for another 4 minutes. After the tomatoes are completely cooked, add all the spices (chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and garam masala). Sauté them until the raw smell of the spices disappear and the oil starts separating.
Now add the cooked dal and crushed dried fenugreek leaves. Cover and cook on low flame for another 10 minutes.
Garnish with the chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with Roti/Rice.
It usually takes me 30 minutes to prepare a meal with the Green gram curry and Roti.
You can save time by simultaneously pressure cooking the dal and preparing the masalas for the gravy.
If there any leftover I cover and keep them to make green moong Theplas (Parathas) with the leftover green moong curry.  Will soon post that recipe alsoJ
Please let me know your valuable comments and feedback.
--Sang V

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ragi Adai - Finger Millet pancakes:

Hello everyone !!!!!
This is the first post in my blog and I wanted to start it with a simple and healthy recipe.
Today’s recipe - the Ragi Adai can be eaten for breakfast or as an evening snack. Ragi is rich in Calcium, Iron, Protein, Fiber and other minerals. It has low-fat content and contains mainly unsaturated fat. It is easy to digest and gluten-free. Ragi is considered one of the most nutritious cereals.
Due to the high fiber content I prefer it to add in my breakfast especially during weekends.

To make 4 to 5 medium sized adai’s
2 cups of Ragi flour
(I use the store brought variety)
1 tablespoon oil – for making the dough
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup finely chopped onion
2 green chilies chopped finely
¾ to 1 cup of water
Add the ragi flour, oil, salt, onions and chilies into a bowl and mix them with your fingers.
Rest this mixture for 5 minutes and then slowly add the water little by little to make it into elastic dough. This dough should not stick to your hands. If you have added extra water and feel that the dough it little sticky then add some dry ragi flour and knead it again.
Cover and rest the dough for another 5 minutes. Divide it into 4 or 5 equal balls.
Pre-heat a non-stick or a cast iron skillet.
It should not be very hot. Keep the stove at low flame. Grease your fingers with a little oil and flatten the ragi balls directly on the skillet. Instead of directly doing over the hot skillet you can also do this over a greased Ziploc bag or banana leaf.
Once you flatten or transfer the flattened to the skillet, cover the skillet and increase the flame to medium. Let it cook for a couple of minutes. Covering and cooking on one-side will prevent it from getting dried on the top and also helps in even cooking as it gets a little steam from covering.
Now open the lid and flip the adai. Drizzle few drops of oil over the adai and cook it uncovered for another 2 minutes. Then remove the adai from the skillet. Reduce the flame and repeat the same procedure for the next adai.
Serve hot with little sugar or pickle with some hot coffee/tea (chai).
This adai comes out really soft, I cover and keep any left overs at room temperature and eat them at lunch. May be because of the high fiber content even one adai with our morning cup of Tea (Chai) keeps us really satisfied until our lunch time.
-- Sang V