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Thursday, 31 January 2019

Manipuri Khichdi And Mangal Ooti Recipe

Mangal Ooti is a simple yet flavorful vegetarian side dish from the North East Indian state of Manipur. It is basically a yellow peas curry with aromatic mustard oil seasoning. It can be served with any Indian flat bread for lunch but Mangal Ooti is typically served with Manipuri Khichdi during the Kang festival (Rath Yatra of Manipur) . This khichdi is comforting and delectable and very different from the regular rice-lentil khichdi we make.

To make the Mangal Ooti, dried yellow peas are soaked overnight and pressure cooked with some cooking soda. The boiled peas are then added to a aromatic and flavorful mustard oil tadka (tempering) and cooked. It is a delicious curry made with very few basic ingredients and a simple to follow recipe. Apart from pairing it with a Manipuri khichdi, you can serve Mangal Ooti with any Indian flat bread like chapati or phulka or with some steamed rice.

Manipuri Khichdi is prepared with rice , arahar/ tuvar dal, whole spices and peanuts. This recipe calls for pressure cooking the lentil first , then raw rice is added to it along with the ghee tempered whole spices like bay leaves, green cardamom, dried red chilies, cloves . The whole thing is pressure cooked again and fried peanuts are added as garnishing to the khichdi just before serving it. More than the Ooti, my family liked this khichdi and believe me it tastes good on its own and does not require any accompaniment. You may serve it with curd or pickle if you wish. I have made this khichdi couple of times by now and we just enjoy it to the core. I served Mangal ooti with Manipuri khichdi , lemon pickle and roasted lentil papad for our lunch . 

Manipur state is located in the lush green corner of North East India. It is known for its natural beauty and rich cultural heritage .The staple diet of Manipur is rice, fish and large varieties of leafy vegetables which the people raise in their kitchen gardens. The food dishes are typically spicy because of the use of chili pepper. Food is cooked in Mustard oil and is seasonal. Manipuris use various aromatic herbs and roots found in the region in their food preparation, making the food stand apart from the other Indian cuisines. Source : Wikipedia

Wondering why I am talking so much about this particular North Eastern Indian state ? Well, Manipur Cuisine is the theme for the January month on Facebook food group, Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge. My partner for the challenge was Priya Satheesh who has a wonderful culinary blog, Priyasmenu . Do check out her space for a variety of delectable recipes. Priya gave me ginger and peas as my two secret ingredients and I cooked this delicious Mangal Ooty using the ingredients. I wanted to pair it with Manipuri Khichdi so cooked it as well. I gave her mustard oil and red chili and she cooked Aloo Kangmet , a staple food of Manipur using those ingredients. I have referred the recipes from here. So let's get started.


Mangal Ooti Recipe:


Preparation Time: 8 hours
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serving: 3-4

  • 1/2 cup dried yellow peas
  • 1/4 teaspoon cooking soda
  • Salt to taste
To temper:
  • 1 tablespoon mustard oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 inch ginger , grated
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2-3 red chilies
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  1. Rinse the dried yellow peas and soak it in water for 6-8 hours or overnight. Rinse the soaked peas and cook them in a pressure cooker with 1 cup water, soda and salt for 2 whistles on medium flame. On cooking the peas should be soft but should hold their shape and not mushy.

2. Heat mustard oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds to it. Once the seeds crackle add broken red chilies and bay leaf to it. Fry for 30 seconds. Next tip in sliced onions with a pinch of salt and fry until they become soft and brown. Add ginger followed by turmeric powder. Saute for few seconds.

3. Add the boiled peas to this and add up to 1/2 cup hot water and allow the curry to boil. Simmer for 5 minutes and put off the flame. Delicious Mangal Ooti is ready to be served.

Manipuri Khichdi Recipe :


Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 3-4

  • 1/4 cup split pigeon peas /tuvar/arahar dal 
  • 1 cup raw rice ( i have used Basmati rice)
  • 1 onion , finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoon ghee
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 2-3 dried red chilies
  • 2 tablespoon peanuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 inch ginger, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Salt to taste
  1. Wash the dal and pressure cook it with turmeric and 1 cup water until it is soft. Meanwhile wash the rice, drain and keep aside until the dal is cooked. 

2. Add rice to the cooked dal in the cooker and allow to simmer.

3. Heat a small non stick pan for the tempering. Add 2 tablespoon ghee to it. Add the cumin seeds. Once the seeds crackle add the bay leaves, cardamom pods, cloves and broken red chilies. Allow the spices to fry for few seconds taking care not to burn them. Next add ginger and garlic followed by onions and fry for a minute or so. Add this tempering to the boiling dal and rice with salt to taste. Give a quick stir and close the lid of the cooker and pressure cook for 2 whistles.

4. Once the khichdi is cooked, heat remaining ghee in the pan and fry the peanuts in it. Add the fried peanuts to the khichdi, once all the pressure has been released. Mix and serve the khichdi either with ooti or with some pickle , curd and papad.

If you ever try this recipe, do share your feedback with us in the comment section below.
Follow us on #Facebook  #Instagram ,  #Twitter,#Pinterest and #Google+  for more recipes and new updates. 

For more recipes from North East Indian Cuisines, check out the following post from this blog

Monday, 28 January 2019

Quinoa Vegetable Khichdi Recipe

Quinoa Vegetable Khichdi is a nutritious and delectable one-pot meal. This gluten-free, low-carb dish loaded with healthy goodness of vegetables, lentil, and quinoa is comfort food for sure. Serve it at brunch or dinner with some salad and curd or buttermilk and you are sorted. Quinoa imparts a lovely nutty taste and compliments very well with mung dal in the khichdi. Quinoa vegetable khichdi is soft and mildly spicy in taste. The recipe is diabetic-friendly and perfect food for the calorie conscious people, toddlers and the elderly. 

I usually try to use the easily available fresh ingredients in my everyday cooking. I am comfortable cooking with the locally grown food, that I have been eating since my childhood. But there are certain food items like oats, which were not as much popular 2 decades back as much as they are today. I use oats in my breakfast, in main meals, snack, desserts, and bakes. One more grain which has recently entered my kitchen and became a favorite food is Quinoa. I started experimenting with quinoa 2 years back owing to its vast health benefits and now I am so comfortable with this super grain that I use it at least once per week in my cooking.


Quinoa has a mild nutty flavor, is very versatile and cooks fast. I substitute it for rice in many dishes, this quinoa vegetable khichdi being one of them. The other quinoa dishes on my blog are Quinoa Summer SaladCurd QuinoaPurple Cabbage Quinoa SaladDetox Quinoa Vegetable Soup

For those who are new to this super food, here's a little briefing about Quinoa. Quinoa(Keen-wah) is one of the world's most popular health foods and often referred to as a super grain. It is gluten-free, high in protein and fiber and one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids. It is also high in magnesium, B-vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidant. 

Quinoa pronounced as kinwa or kinuwa is a flowering plant in the amaranth family. It is a herbaceous annual plant grown as a grain crop for its edible seeds. Quinoa cooks easily and fast to give a light fluffy texture with a slightly nutty flavor. It is versatile and can be used as a replacement for rice.


I have used quinoa and mung dal in 1:1 ratio in this recipe which gives a perfectly soft and mushy khichdi texture. You may increase the amount of quinoa or completely skip mung dal for a firm upma consistency if you wish. Quinoa has a slightly bitter taste, so remember to rinse it thoroughly with cold running water until the water runs clear and then soak it for at least 10-15 minute. This step will remove the bitterness. For a perfectly cooked quinoa, the ratio is 2 cups water to 1 cup raw quinoa. Skip the addition of red chilies if serving to toddlers. For a vegan version use oil instead of ghee. So let's get started.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2-3

  • 1/4 cup Quinoa 
  • 1/4 cup split and skinned green gram (mung dal)
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 medium size onion
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 medium size carrot
  • 2-3 tablespoon sweet corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
  • 2-3 tablespoon green peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 2 red chilies, broken 
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Fresh coriander leaves to garnish
  • Rock salt to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  1. Rinse the mung dal and quinoa several times until the water runs clear. Soak them separately in drinking water for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes drain the quinoa and keep aside until use. While the lentil and Quinoa are soaking, chop the veggies and keep ready.

2. Heat ghee in a pressure cooker on low flame. Add cumin seeds. Once the seeds crackle, add the curry leaves followed by broken red chilies. Fry for few seconds. Next tip in the chopped onion and saute for about a minute. Now add the tomatoes, green peas, sweet corn, carrot, and stir fry the veggies for 1-2 minutes.

3. Add turmeric powder to the veggies and stir well. Now add the drained quinoa, soaked mung dal and stir fry everything for further 1-2 minutes. Next, add 2 cups hot water followed by salt. Give a quick stir and close the pressure cooker lid and cook for 2 whistles on medium flame and put off the flame.

4. Open the cooker after all the pressure is released.

5. Squeeze juice of 1 lemon and garnish the healthy flavorful quinoa vegetable khichdi with finely chopped fresh coriander leaves and serve warm. I have served it with salad and Mattha (Maharashtrian spiced buttermilk)

Recipe Notes:
  • I have used quinoa and mung dal in 1:1 ratio in this recipe which gives a perfectly soft and mushy khichdi texture. You may increase the amount of quinoa or completely skip mung dal for a firm upma consistency if you wish. 
  • I have used onion, tomato, carrot, green peas and sweet corn in this khichdi, you may add potatoes, broccoli, bell pepper, french beans, bottle gourd, pumpkin or any other veggie of your choice.
  • Quinoa has a slightly bitter taste, so remember to rinse it thoroughly with cold running water until the water runs clear and then soak it for at least 10-15 minute. This step will remove the bitterness. 
  • For a perfectly cooked quinoa, the ratio is 2 cups water to 1 cup raw quinoa. 
  • You may add vegetable broth instead of water to make the khichdi more nutritious and flavorful.
  • I have kept the spice levels mild. You may add spice powders like red chili powder or garam masala to the khichdi for a spicier version.
  • Skip the addition of red chilies if serving to toddlers. 
  • For a vegan version use oil instead of ghee. 
  • On cooking the quinoa turns slightly translucent and we can see tiny spirals/germ ( appear like small tails) coming out from the quinoa seed.
  • I have not used ginger or garlic in this recipe, you may add either or both of them if you wish. 
This recipe is featured in the #180th #FoodieMondayBlogHop with # Low-calorie food as the theme for the week. 

If you ever try this recipe, do share your feedback with us in the comment section below.
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Friday, 25 January 2019

Chocolate Biscuit Cake Recipe

Chocolate Biscuit Cake is an utterly delicious and one of the easiest cake one can ever make. Made with just 3 ingredients, this egg-less biscuit cake can be whipped up in a Jiffy. This chocolate cake is made with readymade choco biscuits, milk, and Eno and can be either baked in an oven or steamed in a pressure cooker. Serve this soft, moist and spongy cake in kids snack box or enjoy it with your evening tea. If you are a chocolate lover, then this cake is a treat for you for sure. This cake comes to rescue when you have unannounced guests or pressed for time yet wish to serve something quick and yummy.

I chose to bake this chocolate cake to thank you all for your continuous support and motivation. This week, this blog, Annapurna has recorded an overwhelming 8 lakh hits (page views) and 3K likes on Facebook page. I am grateful to my readers for sparing their valuable time and reading my blog post and following me on various social networking sites. Each like and comment inspires me to give my best every time. Hoping to get more love as I move ahead in my journey.

The weather here in Mohali is very uncertain these days. For the past few days, we are experiencing rains accompanied by a cool breeze. I baked this cake twice but unfortunately could not get expected clicks on both days. On the first day, by the time I finished baking, the weather became gloomy and in desperation to click pictures in good daylight, I did not wait for the cake to cool down before inverting it and the cake broke into pieces. I was literally in tears but my 10-year-old son was more than happy and he gobbled the broken pieces of cake and said, no worries mumma, this is super delicious. I do not mind eating it in crumbs. The child always has to wait patiently until I finish clicking pictures before he could taste the dishes. Anyways, this is the life of a blogger and my little one understands it very well. The second day, there was a power failure and oven do not work on generators in my society, so this particular cake, did rise but it fell down due to a drop in temperature during baking. The results are very much visible in my photographs but taste wise it was delicious and the cake vanished within 2 days.

You can either bake the cake like I did or steam it in a cooker. The recipe calls for use of bourbon biscuits, these are chocolate cream biscuits and are sweet enough, so no extra sugar is required. Vegans can use any plant-based milk like almond milk or soy milk or use plain water instead. I have topped the cake with chopped nuts and this is purely optional. You may skip it or add choco chips or tutti frutti or raisins instead. I packet of Eno has approx 1 teaspoon of quantity which is sufficient for this cake. You can use baking powder instead of Eno but then you also need to add lemon juice or vinegar along with it. The original recipe calls for use of small 5-inch cake tin, but since I had 6-inch one with me I used it. I have adapted the recipe from here. let;s get started.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Baking Time: 25-30 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 250 grams Bourbon Biscuit / 2 packets
  • 1 teaspoon Eno 
  • 1 cup milk (250 ml)
  • 2 tablespoon chopped nuts (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven at 180 Degrees Celsius for 15 minutes. Grease a 6-inch cake pan with oil and set aside. Place the biscuits in a grinder jar and blend to make a fine powder. 

2. Add the biscuit powder to a mixing bowl. Add milk to it gradually and keep mixing to get a lump free batter.

3. Lastly, add the Eno powder and blend it with the batter in one direction.  Do not over mix.

4. The batter will rise. Pour the batter to the greased cake pan and tap gently. Top it with chopped nuts and transfer the pan to the preheated oven and allow the cake to bake at 180 Degrees Celsius for 25-30 minutes. Keep an eye after 25 minutes, as temperature may vary from oven to oven.

5. Check for the doneness of the cake by inserting a toothpick in the center of the cake. if it comes out clean the cake is baked perfectly. If the toothpick is sticky, bake the cake further for 5 minutes. Allow the cake to cool down completely on a wire rack. Losen the sides of the cake by running a knife through the edges of the pan. Keep a plate over the cake pan and gently invert the pan to unmold the cake.

 6. Cut the cake into the desired shape and serve this utterly delicious biscuit cake to your loved ones. Keep the remaining cake pieces in an airtight container. The cake stays good for 2 days at room temperature.

 Recipe Notes:
  • This cake can be steamed in a pressure cooker, just as we steam the dhokla if you do not wish to bake it in an oven. Steam the cake for 20 minutes in a steamer or cooker over low to medium heat.
  • You can use between 250-300 grams biscuit to make the cake. 
  • Milk can be replaced with any plant-based milk or with water, for a vegan version.
  • You may use choco chips or tutti frutti instead of nuts or completely omit it.
  • You may use baking powder instead of Eno, but then do add about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar along with it.
  • The cake stays good for 2 days at room temperature in an airtight container.
I have recently joined a group Healthy WELLthy Cuisines, hosted by my dear friend and fellow blogger, Sasmita. Members of this group cook fortnightly a dish according to the predecided theme. The current theme for the event is #60HWCG #TwistWithBiscuitsAtHW. I have a couple of homemade cookie recipes on the blog but have not worked much with readymade biscuits. So I chose to bake this chocolate biscuit cake for the theme.


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