Monday, March 19, 2012

Quinoa Upma

"A" aunty, our neighbor (yes we have an neighbor here in US who gets us food at times, isn't that awesome?) - came over with this Upma to our place. "Kinwa" - whats that I asked ? Then she spelled it out - Quinoa . She said it was one of the healthiest whole grains with high protein content, that doesn't spike the blood sugar levels. She is 70, looks 60 and is active like a 40 year old. Well if she eats it and says it is good for you - has to be! I bought a packet of this from the local grocery store and have been experimenting since... It is slightly tough to chew, and has a different tast to it, but takes on the flavors of the spices pretty well. I used it in place of Suji or Rava here to make upma... You can use it as a rice substitute too! So go ahead and try this unique cereal/grain and let me know how you like it. If you have any recipes using Quinoa, let me know and I will be happy to try them!


2/3 cup Quinoa
1 small Onion - finely chopped
1 carrot- diced
10-12 green beans cut into small pieces
1 boiled potato - diced
1/2 inch of ginger - grated

handful of peanuts
1-2 green chillies

1 tea spoon of mustard seeds
1 tea spoon of cumin seeds
1 tea spoon of urad dal
1 tea spoon of channa dal
1 table spoon of cooking oil
fresh curry leaves a bunch
Salt to taste

How to

Bring 1 and 1/2 cups of water to a boil, add salt and quinoa. Let it simmer covered in a pan for 15-18 mins. When completely cooked, fluff with a fork and set aside.

In a separate pan, heat oil, splutter mustard and cumin seeds. Add green chillies and curry leaves and peanuts and urad dal and channa dal and stir.

Add the chopped onions and saute for a couple of minutes. Add the rest of the vegetables (carrots and beans) and some salt, cook it covered for a few minutes. Once the vegetables are cooked, add grated ginger and the diced boiled potatoes and mix well.

When the vegetables are completely cooked add the boiled quinoa. Check for salt and mix well.

Let it stand on low flame for about 2 minutes. Turn off the stove and eat it warm. Squeeze half a lemon - will taste great too. Else sprinkle some coriander leaves. Make it yours!

Enjoy! I like mine with a little bit of coriander chutney !

    Thursday, March 8, 2012

    Happy Holi with Methi Mathri

    I called home and Mom was making preparations for  Holi. Usually she makes Dahi Vada and Aloo Dum and Spicy Bhujias for Holi... When I was young, my Papa's friends would come in huge groups of 10-15 to play Holi. Mom would have Dahi Vada and Aloo Dum prepared and ready for a group of 10. Once the 1st batch of men would leave, she and her team would quickly clean up the plates and get ready for the next batch of papa's friends. This would continue until noon. After noon, a big group of 10-15 ladies would come over with kids so that the moms could go play Holi. Holi was one colorful and Happy event! Happy Holi everyone - wherever you are! 

    I made Methi Mathri to celebrate Holi. I am not brave enough to try Bhujias or Sevs and I did want to make something spicy and fried to keep the Holi spirit going. I called up Mom and took her recipe and tweaked it a little bit. It was really fun making (with Hindi music blasting in the background) these Mathris and remembering Happy Holi times...


    1 cup Maida
    1 cup Atta (whole wheat flour) 
    1/3 cup sooji or rava
    Salt to taste (I added about 1 tablespoon, but you can put a little bot more if you want it salty)
    1 tablespoon of dried Kasoori methi (crumbled well with your hand)
    1 tea spoon of ajwain seeds
    1/2 tea spoon of black pepper powder
    1/2 cup oil for making the dough
    Additional oil for frying

    How To

    Start with mixing the dry ingredients (Atta, Maida, Sooji, Kasoori Methi, ajwain seeds, salt and black pepper powder) nicely in a large bowl.
    Add a few tablespoons of oil to the mixture and mix well. Keep adding the oil in small quantities and kneading the mixture, until all the oil is incorporated and you get a mixture that looks like crumbs.

    Add warm water and make a dough. Cover with a warm towel and leave aside for 15-20 min.
    Make small bowls and roll out the dough (thick circles). I cant make circles, so I used a circular bottle cover to cut mine into shape.
    Take a spoon/bread knife and prick the circles on both sides.
    Now when you fry these circles in medium heat, they don't puff up like pooris.
    Fry the circles in medium heat, until you get nice golden color Mathris.

    Enjoy Mathris and have a Happy Holi!