Mixed Vegetable Sagu – Karnataka Special Meals

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I am back to Blogging after what seems like ages though it’s actually been just a month. This week I will be posting three different thalis or combo menus. When Valli announced this theme, she was benevolent to allow us to post one recipe from our previous thali menus. So when I checked on the few thalis I posted, I realised I had not posted this awesome recipe of the mixed vegetable sagu from the Karnataka special meals I posted a while ago. The amazing thing about this sagu is that it has quite a few vegetables, is delicious, quite easy to make and best of all it goes with poori, dosa, rotis and rice. So what I do is make a big batch of it for a Saturday / Sunday and have it for breakfast with dosa, for lunch with rice / poori and for dinner with rotis. The meals seem different but involve less effort from my end and I can enjoy the weekend too. Yay!

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The Sagu is not very spicy and so works well with kids too. If your kid loves coconut like mine does, it is a perfect way to sneak the vegetables in. Sagu is a also made with potatoes only but I love the mixed vegetable option better because I eat way too many potatoes as is. So here goes –

Serves 4-5

Recipe adapted from here

WHAT WE NEED

2-3 Carrots, medium size

4-5 Cauliflower florets

1 Potato, big

8-10 French beans

1/4 cup green peas

1 Onion, big

1 Tomato, big

1 tbsp Oil

1/4 tsp Mustard seeds

1/2 tsp Urad dal, split and skinless

1 sprig Curry leaves

Salt

To grind

1/2 cup Grated coconut, loosely packed

1″ Ginger, skinned and finely chopped

3-4 Garlic cloves, chopped

1 tsp Cumin seeds

1 tsp Coriander seeds

2 tbsp Roasted gram

1 tsp Poppy seeds

2 Green chillies, chopped

1″ Cinnamon

2-3 Cloves

1 Cardamom, green

2 tbsp Coriander leaves, chopped

WHAT TO DO

  • Chop the carrots, potato, beans and cauliflower florets
  • Add salt and steam them for 12-15 minutes or and set aside
  • Take all the ingredients specified under ‘to grind’ above and grind them to a fine paste with little water and set aside
  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds
  • Once it splutters, add the Urad dal and curry leaves
  • Chop the onion and add it to the pan
  • Once the onion is translucent, add the chopped tomato and let it cook till the tomato is soft
  • Add the cooked vegetables and ground paste
  • Add a little water if necessary. The Sagu needs to be at a thick gravy consistency
  • Adjust for salt and let it come to a boil, around 7-10 Minutes
  • Simmer 2-3 minutes and turn off the gas
  • Serve hot with rice, roti, poori or set dosa
  • Enjoy!

This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Thalis’.

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Beans Parupu Usili

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Today I have a recipe with the most used lentil at home, the split pigeon peas / ṭoor dal. As a Tamilian, we use this in many dishes including rasam and sambhar, without which it is tough for us to survive. Parupu usili ( lentil scrambled) is always a part of any celebration menu, be it a wedding or new year. 

The key consideration for this dish, according to me, is the balance between the vegetable and the lentil. In weddings, the lentil is almost double the quantity of the vegetable, probably to save costs and adjust for large number of people. That is something I do to manage unexpected guests. But an ideal combination for me is the lentil is little less than 1/2 of the vegetable by weight. It ensures that the flavours of both mingle well and neither dominates the other.

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Another consideration is the oil required for cooking the lentils. I agree it is on the higher side but that compensates by being absolutely delicious. I have tried steaming the lentils instead of frying and it does turn out ok. It uses lesser oil and needs almost zero involvement from you. But once you are used to the frying, it is hard to settle for the steamed version. 

This was one of the first dishes my mother-in-law taught me and also one of the first I perfected earning her admiration. 

Protein – Toor dal / split pigeon peas

Recipe from my mother-in-law with some modifications by me

Serves 4

WHAT WE NEED

French beans                          250 gms

Ṭoor dal / split pigeon peas  1/2 cup heaped / 120 gms

Dried red chillies                    2-3

Oil                                              3-5 tbsp

Mustard seeds                         1/2 tsp

Curry leaves                             1 sprig

Water

Salt

WHAT TO DO     

  • Soak the ṭoor dal and dried red chillies in 2 cups of water for 3 hours. If you are in a hurry, soak them in boiling hot water for 20 minutes
  • Cut the beans into 1/2 inch long pieces
  • Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and add mustard seeds
  • Once the seeds splutter, tear and add the curry leaves
  • Then add the beans, salt (required for the beans) and 1/2 cup water 
  • Cover and cook till it is done. Add additional water if needed 
  • Ensure that the entire water is used up in cooking the beans and no part of it is left with the beans. If so, then the end result will be soggy and blob like with the lentils. If the water added to the beans is in excess, then drain it out and cook. Set aside
  • Drain the water from the ṭoor dal and chillies add them to a blender. If you have soaked it ib hot water you need to wait for 10 minutes for the dal to slightly cool down
  • Add salt and grind to a coarse paste. You may probably only need to pulse it a few times else it becomes a very smooth paste and that is not what we want
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and add the ground lentil paste. You can use the same pan which cooked the beans but I usually wipe it down with a tissue / cloth before cooking the lentils. If it is your first time, a non stick pan is recommended since it would be easier to work with
  • With a steel / wooden spatula, break up the paste across the pan and let it cook in the oil
  • Break it up frequently and stir to cook.
  • If you see it getting dry but yet uncooked, add another tbsp of oil and continue to break up the paste and stir
  • The final result, after around 10-12 minutes, should be near sand like texture, well cooked, dry but not too dry and not very oily
  • Mix the lentils with the beans and simmer for 2-3 minutes for the beans to slightly warm up
  • Serve with rasam and rice
  • Enjoy!

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 This is my post for Day 3 of the mega marathon for the theme, ‘Protein Rich Dishes’.
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