I would go so far as to say that it joins the list of those traditional snacks, like namak paras, or atta laddus (so rich, but highly desirable!) that are generally kept around the house, especially during exams or vacations.
And what could be nicer than a tropical holiday drink that instantly conjures up an image of relaxing under the coconut palms, with the mesmerizing sounds of the waves…..
If you like coconut and pineapple, then this is just the smoothie to try.
In a healthy avatar (and vegan, to boot!) this uses freshly prepared fruit without any added ice.
A fresh and seasonal burst of energy-giving nourishment for those young minds of kids who might be slaving away for their exams, which are going on right now in my city. 😉
But if you wish, feel free to use ice or frozen fruit (frozen banana slices will make it creamier in fact!). Add before the blitz.
Replace the tender coconut water (and/or flesh) with coconut milk for an even richer version!
|Tender coconut water.|
Tastes great plain. toasted, in sandwiches or even panfried with some fresh home-made butter as a snack which i packed as here in this picture.
Note: This is the second of five posts, the first of which was featured here, which includes a product from my organic textile range Greener Grasses. It is a bit of an old story, so I won’t go into all the details! Although I did picture the series in a row, I’m bringing them up non-sequentially. What prompted me this time was the near-scare I recently received of nearly losing all my archived pictures! So expect three more posts (at least) very fast, with products from some of my favorite projects in home linen from Greener Grasses. (And henceforth, regular posts because of my near-scare!) 😀
Indulge guilt-free, gluten-free, and vegan in this simple and easy-to-make dish with millets.
Chitranna is the term that usually refers to flavoured and tempered rice most often with lemon juice, occasionally other things like raw mango when in season, but is versatile enough to be made in a number of other ways, even using grains like poha, semolina, bulghur, or quinoa, for that matter.
The lemon juice preserves the rice (or grain) for longer, so it is also a popular choice as a packed snack or meal. Besides the other reason that it’s quite simply delicious.
Are you planning to make your own mix version like I did for the next time?! So easy.
Or just use any single millet.
So here goes –
Millet (mixed or single variety) – 1 cup, preferably soaked for at least a couple of hours or more. Lightly roasting the grains before use will increase the pleasant “nutty” flavour. (I skipped both these steps this time, but well recommended.)
Lemon juice – freshly squeezed from one large lemon
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Salt – to taste
Fresh coriander – a handful, finely chopped
Roasted peanuts or Cashewnuts – 2-3 tablespoons (optional)
Cold-pressed, organic cooking oil (or Ghee, if not vegan) – 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves – a sprig
Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin seeds – 1/4 teaspoon (optional)
Asafoetida – a pinch (optional)
Split, husked black gram – 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
Bengal gram – 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
Dried Red Chillies – 1-2, broken up(or to taste, optional)
Fresh green chilly – 1 split vertically into half (optional, I left this out)
Rinse and pressure cook the millet in twice the volume of water for two whistles or till done. Or cook any other way, as you would with rice.
Note: Don’t do what I did (which is, to direct-cook in a small pressure cooker!) Cooking this inside a lidded container within the (larger) pressure cooker (as with daliya/bulghur) would work better, as millets tend to froth and clog the vents.
Done. ‘Al dente’ or soft, as desired!
Next, mix the salt, turmeric and lemon juice together,
– and then mix thoroughly with the cooked millets.
Heat the teaspoon of oil/ghee in a wok or pan, add the tempering ingredients, first the dry ingredients, (including peanuts or cashewnuts, if using)
then the red chillies towards the end, next the green chillies, if using, and finally the curry leaves.
Turn off the flames when the spluttering slows down. Add in the flavoured, cooked millet.
Alternatively, this bit can be made in a tempering-ladle and poured onto the millet.
in it all goes.
Add the finely chopped coriander.
A good mix.
And it’s ready to serve!
One might be forgiven for wondering if it’s too good to be true!
A meal in itself.
Foxtail millet which is known in Andhra by various names like Korralu, Korra Annamu, Korra biyamu, is also sometimes used as a substitute for rice, especially in rural communities.
Given it’s delicious, nutty flavour, great texture, and nutritive value, it should be used more often than it is.
Thanks to a resurgence of sorts in the organic and health-food space, millets are making a comeback into our food culture. Livemint asks: What’s your millet mojo?
According to “Bhoole Bisre Anaj”, a publication by Navadanya, which strives to remind us of “forgotten foods”, – ‘millets are so called because many thousands of grains are harvested from each seed sown’. And foxtail millet (Setaria italica), along with several other small millets like finger millet (Eleusine coracana), kodo millet (Paspalum scrobiculatum), proso millet (Panicum miliaceum), barnyard millet (Echinichloa colona), little millet (Panicum sumatrense), Job’s tears (Coix lachryma-jobi) as well as the two major millets, sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) and pearl millet (Pennisetum typhoides) ‘are all classified as “coarse cereals”.
Such labeling has degraded their value, even though millets are the most nutritious of all cereals’.
It’s also heartening that they note in it, that “the fact that these crops have withstood the competition from major cereals in the past forty years and are still cultivated in substantial areas is testimony to their resilience, and their importance in local diets”.
It is possible to use many of the other millets listed above (or a mix of similar-sized ones) in place of the foxtail millet for even greater variety, besides the usual wheat-semolina version. The smaller millets can be whole, instead of semolina, but will need more cooking and perhaps more water. Keep hot water handy for consistency adjustments in the final stages.
Foxtail millet semolina – 1 cup
Mixed vegetables (eg. carrots, beans, potaotes, cauliflower) – 1 cup, chopped and steamed/cooked
Onion – 1 finely chopped
Tomatoes – 2 finely chopped
Ghee/Oil – 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
Hing (asafoetida) – a pinch (optional)
Green chillies – 2, slit/chopped
Whole, dried, red chillies – (optional) 2, broken
Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
Urad/Black gram dal (husked, split) – 1/2 teaspoon
Chana/Bengal gram dal (split) – 1/2 teaspoon
Ginger – 1 inch piece grated/julienned
Curry leaves – 1-2 sprigs
Fresh coriander – 2-3 tablespoons, chopped
Salt – to taste
Lemon juice – from 1-2 lemons (to taste)
I used Foxtail millet semolina from Timbaktu organic – one of my favorite co-ops for organic products.
Keep the roasted semolina aside.
When spluttered and browned, add the curry leaves, green chillies (if using) and the chopped onion.
I add the ginger after the onion is browned a bit because the grated version tends to stick to the bottom and get burnt (julienned or chopped is not as tenacious and can be added before the onions).
Some more sauteing (a minute or two). At this stage the aroma is complete!
Then the chopped, steamed vegetables. This is a shortcut: – i use the little pressure cooker (one whistle) for cooking these before starting.
If these are diced very fine – they can simply be sauteed at this stage followed by a rolling boil in the next step which ought to be enough to cook them through.
Add the water.
Bring to a boil.
Lower the heat, then add the roasted semolina in a thin steady stream, stirring it into the pot all the while as it goes in.
The stirring will get increasingly tougher as the mixture thickens
Until it is pretty much solid. (If you prefer a more runny consistency, increase the water accordingly.)
Adjust salt to taste. Add the lemon juice. Mix.
Great with chutney or pickle.
Because you’re worth it.
Go ahead. Spoil yourself (or a loved one) with this simple but versatile bread that can be a teatime snack, a meal by itself, or even the main accompaniment in a grand spread.
Ajwain paranthas are in a class by themselves. With just some salt and a few seeds of ajwain in the dough, the end result is complete enough to be rolled up and munched right away. With a dash of butter as above. Or with some fresh home-made yoghurt to dip into. Accompanied by a nice cup of chai on cold days or some “chaas” or spiced buttermilk when the mercury is up.
Aata (Dough) kneaded with a little salt to taste – as required
Ajwain seeds – 1/2 tspn per parantha
Oil or Ghee – for cooking – approx 1-2 tspns per parantha.
Here’s how ajwain looks. (A bit like the tinier, rounder version of jeera or cumin seeds, but with a distinct, and strong, – quite pungent when raw, – aroma). It is also often used as a digestive aid and an antiseptic.
The usual way is to knead the ajwain seeds into the dough, (use as little as half a teaspoonful for 3-4 paranthas or double or triple that much).
To make the paranthas using plain dough (which is what I usually do, since that’s what is always available in my fridge as daily stock), roughly and thickly roll out a ball of dough (this is called a “loi” in Hindi – the ball of dough that will be used to roll out one flat bread).
Sprinkle some ajwain seeds on the surface. Skip this step and the next (embedding), if the ajwain is kneaded in.
“Roll” over the seeds to embed them in the dough.
Spread out evenly half or one tspn of oil using a spatula (less oil will do if you roll out a smaller circle this first round)
Make a radial cut – again using the same spatula that will also be used cook the parantha on the griddle.
Start rolling one end from the cut –
And making a cone shape while rolling around the centre
All the way around till it forms a cone shape.
Stand this ‘cone’ on one end
And squash it down into a flat circle.
This forms the new “loi” to be rolled out once more, a procedure that creates many ‘layers’ in the parantha.
Place this on a hot tawa or griddle (cast iron is great)
As soon as the layers start looking ‘cooked’ flip it over and let the other side ‘cook’ for a few seconds,
Then add some oil
And spread it with the spatula
The oil from one side might be enough for the other side when flipped again, if not, add a few drops more
Press down (using a medium flame – keep adjusting the heat so as not to burn the parantha) and cook evenly both sides till golden brown,
The secret of a great parantha lies in the multiple layers and perfect texture – soft and layered inside and crisp outside.
Also great with some Khatta-Meetha Achar (Sweet-Sour Pickle) and Chaas (Spiced Buttermilk).