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Monday, 18 November 2019

Ankurit Mugachi Usal / Sprouted Green Gram Stir- Fry


Ankurit Moogachi Usal is a simple yet delicious and healthy sprouted green gram stir-fry cooked in a Maharashtrian style. This moogachi usal can be served as a side dish with chapati or simply had on its own as a flavorful salad. Made with minimal ingredients and very less oil this stir-fry can be made in a jiffy if you have sprouted green gram ready at hand. Goes well in the lunch box as well. The dish is vegan and if you skip the asafoetida while tempering, it can be gluten-free as well.


My family loves this ankurit moogachi usal and hence it is a regular affair at my place. I try to add sprouted beans in our diet at least twice every week either as stir-fries, curries or salads. My little one happily takes it in his lunch box or stuffs this stir-fry in his sandwiches and veg Frankie rolls. Apart from having whole green gram in sprouted form i do make Pesarattu, a healthy moong bean dosa very often.


What is sprouted Green Gram ?

The whole moong beans that have been sprouted are called moong sprouts or sprouted green gram. Moong sprouts are edible,  have a mildly sweet and nutty flavor and are crunchy. They can be eaten raw as well in salads but they are prone to bacterial contamination, hence they are often blanched before consumption.

Whole moong beans are cleaned, washed and soaked in water for 6-8 hours. They are drained, rinsed again and tied in a clean kitchen towel for 10-12 hours depending upon the climate. Water is sprinkled on the cloth to keep it moist. Once you see sprouts coming out of the kitchen towel, the moong sprouts are ready to use. Make sure you rinse them thoroughly before use. The sprouts can be refrigerated for 2-3 days and cooked as per need.


Health Benefits of Sprouted Green Gram
  • Moong sprout is a nutrient-dense food. It is a good source of Vitamin B, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K. It is also rich in several nutrients like potassium, magnesium and phosphorous.
  •  Moong sprouts are a good source of antioxidants that help neutralize the effects of free radicals in the body.
  • The fiber from the sprouted moong has been linked to lower LDL Cholesterol (bad cholesterol) levels thus decreasing the risk of heart diseases. 
  • The high fiber content of these sprouts gives you a feeling of fullness thus aid in weight loss.
  • Sprouts are easily digestible since complex nutrients are broken down into simpler substances. The presence of pectin in it helps in the smoother passage of bowels and clearing your gut of the food. Click here to read more about it.
What all goes into this sprouted green gram stir-fry?

This is a very simple stir fry and all the ingredients used in it are basic and easily found in any Indian pantry. 
  • Sprouted Moong: I have sprouted the whole moong beans at home. You may use store-bought if you wish to. Sprouted moong can be replaced with sprouted moth beans also. Only the cooking time will differ a bit as moth sprouts take a little longer time to cook as compared to the mung sprouts. 
  • Peanuts: I have used about 2 tablespoons of peanuts here. Peanuts add to the protein content of this stir-fry and give it an appealing nutty flavor and crunch to the dish so do not skip it.
  • Garlic: Minced or grated garlic can be used in this stir fry.
  • Curry leaves: A sprig of curry leaf is used here. it can be skipped if you do not have it handy but would recommend its use.
  • Green chilies: I have used finely chopped green chilies as we like this stir fry to be a bit spicy. You can avoid it completely if feeding this stir fry to kids or if you cannot tolerate so much spice.
  • A basic oil tempering of mustard seeds, cumin seeds asafoetida and turmeric powder is done in this stir fry, as I do for almost all my stir-fries and dals.
  • Onion and tomatoes: Finely chopped onion and tomato add a lovely and appealing taste to this sprouted moong stir fry.
  • Spice powders - As this is a spicy stir fry, I have added red chilly powder and goda masala apart from the green chilies. You may adjust the amount of red chilly as per your taste and goda masala can be substituted with garam masala if not easily available.
  • Fresh coriander leaves: This is optional but definitely adds a refreshing flavor to the stir fry so add it if you have it handy.
  • Lemon juice. I squeeze a juice of one lemon to this stir-fry at the end just before serving. This is also optional but I love that zesty flavor and of course, it adds to your daily Vitamin C intake. 
The Event-related to this Post:

I made this delicious and healthy Ankurit Mugachi Usal for the #221th Foodie Monday Bloghop event with Moong Magic as the theme for this week. This theme was suggested by Swaty who blogs at Foodtrails. Swaty wanted us to cook any dish with whole green moong as a star ingredient. As this sprouted green gram is a regular affair at my home i chose to contribute this dish to the event. Meanwhile do check out swaty's space for many scrumptious dishes both from regional and International cuisine. I find her writing style and food styling very interesting.
Preparation Time: 5 minutes 
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Serves 4-5

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cup moong sprouts / sprouted green gram
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoon peanuts
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 /4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon goda or garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
Method:
  1. Heat oil in a pan on medium flame. Add mustard seeds to it. Once the seeds splutter, add cumin seeds and allow them to crackle. Next, add asafoetida followed by peanuts. Allow the peanuts to fry until they turn crisp. Keep the flame low to avoid the peanuts from turning brown. Next, add the curry leaves, green chilies and minced garlic. Fry until the raw smell of garlic goes away.

2. Now add the chopped onions followed by the tomatoes. Stir fry the veggies for 1-2 minutes.


3. Now add the spice powders, turmeric powder, red chili powder and goda masala. Mix well and fry the spices on low flame for about 30 seconds.


4. Add the rinsed sprouted moong and salt to the masala and stir fry everything for 1-2 minutes and cover cook for 3-5 minutes max. Do not overcook the sprouts as they lose their nutrition and they taste best when they retain a bit of crunch in them.



5. Open the lid and put off the flame. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon to it and garnish the stir-fry with finely chopped fresh coriander leaves. Give a quick stir and serve the healthy and delicious ankurit mugachi uasal with chapati.

                           

Recipe Notes:
  • To make moong sprouts at home: Whole moong beans are cleaned, washed and soaked in water for 6-8 hours. They are drained, rinsed again and tied in a clean kitchen towel for 10-12 hours depending upon the climate. Water is sprinkled on the cloth to keep it moist. Once you see sprouts coming out of the kitchen towel, the moong sprouts are ready to use. Make sure you rinse them thoroughly before use. The sprouts can be refrigerated for 2-3 days and cooked as per need.
  • Sprouted moong can be replaced with sprouted moth beans also. Only the cooking time will differ a bit as moth sprouts take a little longer time to cook as compared to the mung sprouts. 
  • Green chilies can be skipped if you cannot tolerate much spice.
  • Do not skip peanuts as they add a lovely crunch and nutty flavor to the stir fry.
  • Do not overcook the sprouts as they tend to lose their nutritional value and also as they taste great when they retain a bit of crunch in them.
I hope some of you would love to try out this recipe. If you do so, feel free to share your feedback with us in the form of likes and comments in the comment section below this post. All your suggestions are also more than welcome. If you like my work and feel it is worth following, do hit the follow button at the top right corner of this blog. Your appreciation means a lot to me. For more recipes and new updates follow us on social media.

Related Posts:
                                  


                                  

                                  


                                  


Friday, 15 November 2019

Aliv Kheer / Garden Cress Seeds Jaggery Pudding


Alivachi kheer is a delicious Maharashtrian pudding made with iron and calcium rich Garden Cress seeds, sweetened milk and nuts. This dessert is refined sugar free as i have used jaggery as a sweetener. Aliv kheer provides warmth to the body and is a nutritious winter delicacy. Aliv or Halim seeds boosts milk in nursing mothers hence kheer and ladoos are made with it typically for lactating mothers but people of all age can enjoy this healthy and delicious winter treat either as breakfast or as dessert. The kheer tastes equally good when served hot or chilled.


What exactly is Aliv or Garden Cress Seeds ?

Garden cress is called Aliv in Marathi and Halim in Hindi. It is a rich source of iron, folic acid, calcium, dietary fiber,protein, vitamin C, E and A. The seeds are high in calories and protein and contain essential fatty acids. Since they contain phytochemicals that resemble estrogen to some extent, intake of these seeds help to regulate menstruation and stimulate milk production in lactating mothers. That is why women are given foods containing Garden Cress following childbirth. I relished on Aliv kheer when i was a new mom. Even today i make Aliv Ladoos every year at least once during winter months. This time i made it especially for Kiran , as he needs calcium and iron rich food after our recent accident.

Health Benefits of Consuming Garden Cress Seeds
  • Helps treat Anemia: Being a rich source of iron and fol-ate, consumption of this seeds helps treat iron deficiency and Anemia.
  • Helps to treat Diabetes: Garden cress contains vegetable gum that secrets phytochemical. Phytochemical has properties that help reduce blood sugar, which helps control Glucose levels in diabetics.
  • Treats menstrual cycle disorders: As garden cress contains estrogen like phytochemicals, its consumption helps create hormonal environment to regulate menstrual periods.
  • Treats high blood pressure: Garden cress is characterized by anti-hypertensive properties. It has also diuretic property that helps reduce blood pressure.
  • Strengthens immune system:  Garden cress contains 69 mg of vitamin C and 346 micrograms of Vitamin A. These 2 vitamins are key to good immunity. Click here to know more about this wonder food. 
                                        

How is Aliv consumed ?

Aliv or Halim are washed thoroughly and then soaked either in coconut water or normal drinking water for 2-3 hours. The seeds swell on soaking and turn like jelly. Now, these can be consumed directly my mixing in water as it is, added to health drinks, milk , smoothies or consumed as sweetened preparations like as porridge, kheer or ladoos.

What goes into this Aliv Kheer?

Soaked Aliv is cooked in milk. You can use a low fat cow milk, full fat milk or even coconut milk to make this pudding. Using coconut milk will make this aliv kheer vegan. After boiling soaked aliv n mulk for few minutes will give a lovely creamy texture. Now this pudding can be sweetened with either sugar or jaggery. I have used powdered jaggery, which not only makes the kheer more nutritious and guilt free but also provides warmth to the body in winter and definitely adds to the taste of the pudding. You may use any nuts to garnish this kheer. I have used slivered almonds and pistachio in this kheer. Green cardamom powder is used to flavor this aliv kheer which compliments very well with the jaggery flavor.


I am submitting this healthy and nutritious Aliv kheer to the A to Z recipe challenge group, a gourmet group on Facebook where i post every alternate month. Members of this group post different food recipes with a key ingredient having particular alphabet. As per the alphabetical order, this month we had to cook a dish startig with alphabet J. I chose jaggery as my key ingredient and made this healthy Maharashtrian delicacy, Alivachi Kheer - Garden Cress seeds Jaggery Pudding. This post is my 9th contribution towards this group.The other recipes i have shared here, so far are
                                  

Preparation Time: 2-3 hours
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4-5

Ingredients: Measurements used 1 Cup= 250 ml
  • 2-3 tablespoon  Garden cress seeds / Aliv / Halim
  • 2 cups / 1/2 liter milk, cow or coconut milk 
  • 1/2 cup jaggery, crushed or grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 2 tablespoon Almond slivers
  • 2 tablespoon Pistachio slivers
Method:
  1. Wash the garden cress seeds in water and soak them in either plain or coconut water for 2-3 hours. 

2. On soaking, the seeds swell and become sticky and jelly like.

3. Heat milk in a pan on medium flame. Once it boils, add the soaked Aliv and give a good stir. Allow the seeds to cook in milk for about 7-10 minutes while stirring occasionally.



4. The kheer will turn thick and creamy. Now add jaggery powder to it, stir well. cook for 2-3 minutes more and put off the flame. Do not boil the kheer for longer time after addition of jaggery as it might split. Also, the kheer thickens further on cooling, so adjust the cooking time accordingly.


5. Lastly, flavor the kheer with cardamon powder and garnish it with slivered almonds and pistachio and serve.



6.Enjoy the healthy and delicious Aliv kheer warm or chilled with your loved ones !

                              

Recipe Notes:
  • Coconut milk can be used to make this kheer to make it vegan.
  • Jaggery can be used in grated or powdered form.
  • The color of the kheer will depend upon the color of the jaggery used.
  • You may use any nuts of your choice to garnish the kheer.
I hope some of you would love to try out this recipe. If you do so, feel free to share your feedback with us in the form of likes and comments in the comment section below this post. All your suggestions are also more than welcome. If you like my work and feel it is worth following, do hit the follow button at the top right corner of this blog. You appreciation means a lot to me. For more recipe and new updates follow us on social media.
For more desserts with jaggery as sweetener, checkout the following recipe links:
                     
                     
                    
                    
                    
                                  

                               


Monday, 11 November 2019

Gujarati Handvo / Vegetable Rice Lentil Cake Recipe


Handvo is a traditional savory cake from the Indian state of Gujarat. Made with fermented rice, mixed lentils and fresh vegetables, this baked cake is healthy, delicious and wholesome snack. I have shown here both the oven and pan version of making handvo at home. The added vegetables like bottle gourd, carrots, fenu greek, coriander give required moisture to the dish making it soft and delectable. The tempering of spices and herbs makes it all the more flavorful. This is a gluten-free and onion-garlic free recipe. Gujarati Handvo tastes best on its own at tea time but you can also serve it with ketchup or Dates Tamarind Chutney or pickle of your choice and enjoy it any time of the day.


I tasted a typical Gujarati handvo in one of my gujju friend, Shradha Patel's house. I instantly fell in love with this savory cake and tried it myself following her recipe. Traditionally handvo is made by soaking the rice and mixed lentils in water for few hours. The drained lentils and rice is then ground using either buttermilk or curd. I have used curd here. The batter is then allowed to ferment overnight. To this fermented batter, grated bottle gourd and other veggies like cabbage, peas, fenu greek, carrots etc may be added. Handvo is made in a handvo cooker but you can easily make it in oven or in a pan.

Before baking or cooking the handvo in a pan, the batter is oil tempered with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, sesame seeds and curry leaves. When making handvo in a pan make sure you make a thin layer compared to the baked one. Do not forget to add little baking soda just before baking in the oven or else the handvo will not rise much. You can also make the handvo instantly, skipping the fermentation time using eno or fruit salt if you are running short of time. A perfectly made handvo is soft from within with a crisp top layer. The baked handvo turned out more soft and fluffy compared to the pan version. You can have it on its own at tea time or serve it with some pickle, chutney or ketchup.


I made this Gujarati handvo for the #220th  Foodie Monday Blog Hop event with Gourds are Beautiful as the theme for the week. This theme was suggested by Sujata Roy di who blogs at Batter Up With Sujata. Sujata di wanted us to cook any healthy dish using gourds like bottle gourd, bitter gourd etc. Sujata di is a lovely Bengali lady and no doubt her blog is a home to many mouth-watering Bengali desserts. I am awed with the variety of sandesh and rasgullas on her blog. You can also find many interesting and healthy bakes on her space. I already have a Stuffed bitter gourd and Karela Stir-Fry on the blog and i had few bottle gourds lying in the fridge so decided to cook a dish with bottle gourd. At first, i thought of making doohiche thalipeeth, a Maharashtrian flat bread made with grated bottle gourd, spices and multigrain flour. But then finalized this Gujarati handvo. My family thoroughly enjoyed it as a delicious and filling Sunday brunch.

                                            
If you are looking for more recipes using gourd, checkout the following recipe links from this blog.
Bharli Karli - stuffed bitter gourdKarela stir-fryDoodhichi Koshimbir - Lauki raitaLauki ki kheer / Bottle gourd puddingLauki ki Barfi / Gulkand flavored bottle gourd fudgeTondalichi Bhaji / Ivy Gourd stir fry

Preparation time: 12- 13 hours
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 5-7

Ingredients: Measurements used 1 cup = 250 ml
  • 3/4 cup rice
  • 1/4 cup Bengal gram / chana dal
  • 1/4 cup Pigeon pea / tur / arahar dal
  • 2 tablespoon skinned and split black gram/ dhuli urad dal
  • 1/2 cup curd
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup tightly packed grated bottle gourd
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1/4 cup chopped fenu greek leaves
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 2-3 tablespoon finely chopped coriander leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1-2 teaspoon oil
  • 1-2 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt to taste
For tempering:
  • 1-2 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1-2 tablespoon white sesame seeds
  • 1-2 sprig curry leaves
Method:
  1. In a mixing bowl take rice and lentils. Wash them thoroughly and soak them in clean water for 3-4 hours. Drain the rice and lentils and grind them in a grinder jar with curd to a coarse batter. The batter should resemble the idli batter in consistency. Do not add any water while grinding. Now add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda to the batter. Give it a good mix and cover the batter. Let it ferment overnight in a warm place.



2. After fermentation, you will find small bubbles in the batter. Add peeled and grated bottle gourd, carrot and chopped fenu greek leaves to it. Also add the minced green chilies and ginger to the batter.




3. Mix the batter well. Next add the turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt, sugar and finely chopped coriander. Blend all the ingredients well. You can do a taste test at this stage and add more salt or spice to the handvo batter if desired. Our handvo batter is ready. Now, we will see the pan method first of cooking handvo.


Making Handvo in a pan on stove top:
  1. Heat about 2 teaspoon oil in a thick bottom pan. Add mustard seeds to it. Once the seeds splutter add the cumin seeds followed by curry leaves and sesame seeds. Allow the seeds to sizzle in the oil for few seconds. 



2. Now pour a portion of the batter in the pan and make a smooth layer. Cover and cook the handvo on low to medium flame for 4-5 minutes and then flip it and cook the other side as well. Make all the handvo similarly with the remaining batter.



Making Handvo in an Oven:
  1.  Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda to the batter and give it a quick stir. Pour it to the greased cake tin. Now heat oil in a small tadka pan. Add mustard seeds to it. Once the seeds splutter add the other cumin seeds followed by curry leaves and sesame seeds. Allow the seeds to sizzle in the oil for few seconds. Do not burn them. Now put off the flame and add the tempering to the handvo batter.



2. Bake the handvo in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 25-30 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the center of the baked handvo to check for doneness. I baked the handvo further for 5 more minutes at 200 degrees Celsius to get that golden top. Let the handvo cool a bit , then loosen the sides using a knife and invert the cake pan to remove the handvo.


3. Slice the handvo into desired shape and serve at tea time with some pickle or ketchup and enjoy with your loved ones!


Recipe Notes:
  • You can alter the proportion of rice and lentils as variation. Handvo can be made entirely using different lentil varieties, skipping rice altogether. 
  • Many vegetables like cabbage, green peas, spinach etc also can be added to hadvo along with bottle gourd, carrots and fenu greek.
  • Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda to the handvo batter just prior to baking it to get that soft and fluffy texture.
  • Make the pan handvo thinner than the baked ones for even cooking and ease in flipping.
  • Do not add water while grinding the rice and lentils. The moisture from curd is enough to give it the idli batter consistency. Keep the batter a bit thicker initially as on adding vegetables the batter further becomes moist.
  • Handvo tastes best while warm. Serve it plain or with some ketchup or pickle of your choice.
  • You can add broken red chilies also in tempering. 
  • You can also make the handvo instantly, skipping the fermentation time using eno or fruit salt if you are running short of time. 
  • Use a thick bottom pan preferably non-stick pan to make handvo on stove top. 
I hope some of you would definitely love to give this recipe a try. If you do so, feel free to share your feedback with us. Would love to know your thoughts and suggestions in the comment section below. Follow us on #Facebook  #Instagram ,  #Twitter,#Pinterest and #Google+ for more recipes and new updates.

For more Gujarati recipes, check out the following from this blog
                        
                        
                       
                       
                      
                      
                      


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