Spicy White Peas Masala Curry/ Ragada


We returned back home after a whirlwind trip in the North East. Even though it was quite hectic, we had a good quality family time. 

Now what we missed most during this extended trip was the wholesome meals. While we had so many choices healthy or otherwise nevertheless after a week or so we start craving for home made food even if it is the regular old daal-chawal. It is always a good feeling to come back home and have the “ghar ka khana” in a familiar environment.

 Anyway back to the recipe. This curry is Ragada recipe that is the part of the famous Ragada Pattis duo. I did not make the pattice, but served it with rotis. This versatile curry goes well with chapathi, roti, poori, rice or bread.

 I cook often with Garbanzo beans, but not as much with White peas (dried vatana). Dried white peas looks similar to the garbanzo beans in shape and color. But white chickpeas/garbanzo beans have a rugged appearance and are little bigger than the white peas.

 

Serves: 2-3 people

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white peas (dry)
  • ¾ cup chopped onions
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 2-3 medium tomatoes (ripe)
  • 1  tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder (optional)
  •  2-3 garlic pods (peeled and grated)
  •  1 inch ginger (grated)
  • 2 Tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • Handful of chopped coriander for garnish
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil 

Method: 

  • Soak the peas overnight or for about 8-10 hours in enough water. Pressure cook the white peas using sufficient water. Keep aside.
  • Grind the green chillies along with ginger and garlic to a coarse paste (without adding any water).
  • Heat a heavy bottom pan (prefer non-stick), add about 1 Tbsp oil. Add cumin seeds and stir.
  • Next add the ginger, garlic, green chilli paste and sauté until it turns light brown.
  •  Now add the onions and stir until it turns light brown.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, salt and cook until the raw smell of tomato is gone. Add more oil at this time.
  • Add garam masala powder, turmeric, chilli powder, tamarind paste and mix well. Now add the water from the cooked peas and make a gravy.
  • Add the peas and continue to cook on simmer and covering with lid. Add more water if required.  Finally garnish with chopped cilantro and close the lid.

 Do not forget to serve some chopped raw onions and slice of lemon. Goes well with chapathi, roti, poori, rice or bread. 

Cabbage Rice – a lunch box recipe


I am usually on the lookout for new and interesting ideas to pack for my lunch. I prefer light lunches that way I continue feeling alert in the afternoons. 

This rice recipe with cabbage works well, as it is light and not too heavy. It is easy to make and does not take a long time. If there is some left over rice from the previous night, then this gets done in a jiffy. All that is needed is to season and sauté the vegetables and then mix the powder and rice. 

I use the readymade MTR brand Vaangi Bhaat powder (easily available in the Indian store) for this dish. It is so flavorful and enhances the taste of cooked vegetables. Some people, who do not like cabbage, prefer eating this rice without problems. In this dish I do not add onions or garlic or tomatoes, but you can add it if you choose to. 

I change the vegetable depending on what is available in the fridge it could be capsicum, cabbage, eggplant, potato or even carrots.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice (raw)
  • 3 cups finely chopped cabbage
  • 1 Tbsp vaangi bhat powder ( I use MTR brand readymade)
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 Tbsp urad daal
  • 2 Tbsp peanuts
  • 5-10 curry leaves
  • 2 Tbsp coriander leaves (for garnish)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp jeera seeds
  • Juice of half lemon (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste 

Method:

  • Cook the rice separately either on stove top or pressure cooker using enough water. Make sure it cooks well without getting mushy.
  • Take a plate and spread out the rice, add little oil and make sure there are no lumps.
  •  Heat a big skillet on medium and add oil on medium heat. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves and urad daal.
  • After the urad daal is very lightly cooked add the peanuts and roast until it becomes crispy.
  • Add the chopped cabbage, salt to this and stir. Cover with lid and let it cook.
  • Add the chilli powder, vaangi bhaat powder and mix again. Again little oil if it is too dry.
  •  Add the rice and mix thoroughly. Cover the lid and let it cook for a minute or so. 
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and juice of lemon (optional). Serve hot.
  • Tastes delicious as is or with side of raita and some roasted pappad.  

Drumstick Sambhar

Sambar is one of the most loved lentil based dish in the South Indian cuisine. This versatile recipe of sambhar is  mom’s  and is one of her well loved recipes.

This sambhar does not use the store bought powder instead the masala is made from scratch. Lentils, spices etc are roasted and then ground along with coconut and tamarind. Drumstick is the main vegetable in this, but you can substitute with other vegetables like brinjal, radish, carrots, beans etc. 

Serves well with plain rice, idli, dosas or vadas. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Tur dal
  • 2-3 medium drumsticks ( cleaned and cut into 3 inch pieces)
  • 2 tsp Chana Dal           
  • 1 ½ tsp urad dal
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 3-4 Black Pepper corn
  •  ½ tsp Jeera/cumin seeds       
  • ¼ tsp Mustard seeds    
  •  ¼ tsp Fenugreek seeds  
  • ¼ tsp Turmeric Powder      
  • ½” piece Cinnamon                
  • 2 Cloves
  • 1 tsp jaggery               
  • Tamarind  Lemon size (soaked in water)
  • ¼ cup Coconut scraped      
  • Curry leaves
  • 3-4 Red Chillies
  • Asafetida a pinch         
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil  for seasoning 

Procedure

  • Boil the Tur dal in a pressure cooker along with Drum sticks in enough water. Switch off the gas and keep aside.
  • Add 2 Tbsp of oil in a pan, add the chana dal, urad dal, coriander seeds, jeera, black pepper,  red chillies, cloves, cinnamon and sauté it until it turns light brown. Let this cool.
  • Grind the above mix along with scraped coconut, tamarind, sufficient water to a smooth paste.
  • Heat a saucepan and add the boiled tur daal along with drumsticks. Next put the above ground paste in the boiled tur dal.
  • Add turmeric powder, salt, jaggery and boil it thoroughly.
  • Seasoning: In a small pan put 2 tsp oil and heat it. Add mustard seeds, asafetida, curry leaves and let it splutter.
  • Add the seasoning to the boiled sambar, cover with lid. Serves well with plain rice, idli, dosas or vadas.