Soya Chunks Pulav with Coconut Milk

Creating nutritious and tasty lunches for kids can be a real challenge. When I was growing up, we didn’t focus much on high-protein diets, and our meals were often carb-heavy. However, as my son got more into sports, I realized the need for a change in our eating habits. I’m still learning, but I’ve taken small steps towards healthier cooking.

Last year, I discovered soya chunks, and my kids loved them. That encouraged me to get creative, and that’s how the Soya Chunks Pulav with Coconut Milk came to be.

My usual pulavs and biryanis needed something new, so I decided to add coconut milk. The result was a creamy and delicious Soya Chunks Pulav that my kids can’t get enough of.

What’s great about this recipe is that you can achieve fantastic flavors with just a few spices. Even with simple ingredients, this pulav satisfies both taste buds and nutritional needs.

Switching to a healthier menu doesn’t happen overnight. It’s all about taking small steps. Trying new ingredients, playing with flavors, and seeing the positive reactions from my kids keep me motivated. This Soya Chunks Pulav represents my commitment to providing nourishing meals that kids love.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups soya chunks, soaked in hot water
  • Little ghee
  • 1″ cinnamon
  • 2 cardamoms
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • A pinch of turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 and 1/2 cups washed basmati rice
  • 1 can thick coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves (for garnish)

Method:

  1. Prepare Soya Chunks:
    • Soak 2 cups of soya chunks in hot water.
  2. Tempering:
    • Heat a little ghee in a pan.
    • Add 1″ cinnamon and 2 cardamoms.
  3. Saute Aromatics:
    • Add 1 cup of chopped onions and 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger-garlic paste.
    • Fry for a few minutes until the onions are translucent.
  4. Add Vegetables and Soya Chunks:
    • Add 1 cup of chopped carrots and 1 cup of green peas, followed by the soaked soya chunks.
  5. Spice it Up:
    • Add 1 teaspoon of cumin powder, a pinch of turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder, 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala, and salt to taste.
    • Mix everything well.
  6. Incorporate Rice:
    • Add 1 and 1/2 cups of washed basmati rice.
    • Fry everything for a few minutes.
  7. Moisture and Cooking:
    • Pour in one can of thick coconut milk and another half cup of water.
    • Cook until done. If using an Instant Pot, manual 3 minutes is sufficient.
  8. Fluff and Garnish:
    • When done, fluff the pulao with a fork.
    • Garnish with 1/4 cup of chopped coriander leaves.
  9. Serve Hot:
    • Your Soya Chunks and Vegetable Pulao is ready to be served hot. Enjoy this flavorful and nutritious dish!

Note: Adjust spice levels and salt according to your preference. This recipe is suitable for both stove-top and Instant Pot cooking methods.

Serves :3-4
Preparation time : 30mins

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Curry Leaves Rice

Few days ago, I had posted a recipe for Curry leaves chutney powder. It is such a tasty and healthy powder that can go well as a side dish with rice, idlis or dosas. I made a big batch of it when my friend shared some fresh curry leaves. For a get together over the weekend, I thought I could make this curry leaves rice. It comes together quickly and is full of flavor. If you have the powder ready, you could make this with left over rice in under 10 mins.

Ingredients:
2 cups cooked rice
2 tbl spn of curry leaves chutney powder
Oil
1 tea spn mustard seeds
1 tea spn urad dal
1 tbl spn peanuts
Salt

Method:
Take cooked rice and lightly fluff it with fork to remove any lumps.
Heat oil and peanuts and fry for sometime.
Add mustard seeds, when they start popping, add urad dal.
Let it become brownish.
Now add curry leaves chutney powder and let it fry till a nice aroma comes out.
Add all rice, mix very well.
Adjust salt.
Serve hot.

Notes:
If using freshly cooked rice, make sure it is at room temperature.
Coconut oil works best but any other oil or ghee can also be used.

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Cumin and Ginger Potatoes

Are you tired of wracking your brain for dinner ideas that are both quick and delicious on a hectic weekday? Look no further! We’ve got just the recipe that will not only save you time but also leave your taste buds dancing with joy. In this blog post, we’ll introduce you to a simple yet incredible potato dish that’s bound to please everyone at the table. Say hello to the aromatic magic of ginger and cumin that elevates this humble potato creation to a whole new level of culinary delight. This dish is inspired by aayi’s potato bhaji that I grew up eating.

Weeknights can be a whirlwind of activity. After a long day at work or a series of daily responsibilities, the last thing you want to do is spend hours in the kitchen. But settling for bland and uninspiring meals isn’t the solution. Instead, consider a delightful and hassle-free potato dish that will satisfy your hunger without robbing you of precious time.

Our weeknight wonder is none other than the Ginger and Cumin Potatoes. This dish is a testament to how a few simple ingredients can come together to create something extraordinary. The combination of earthy potatoes with the aromatic goodness of ginger and cumin creates a flavor profile that’s both comforting and exciting.

What sets this potato dish apart is the captivating aroma that fills your kitchen as you prepare it. The combination of ginger and cumin creates a fragrant symphony that’s as delightful to the nose as it is to the palate. The gentle spiciness of the ginger and the earthy notes of cumin complement the starchy sweetness of the potatoes beautifully. It’s a harmonious blend that can turn a simple side dish into the star of your weeknight dinner.

Ingredients:
3 cups chopped potatoes
1 tea spn cumin seeds
1/2 tea spn grated ginger
1 tea spn oil
4-5 curry leaves
1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
A pinch turmeric
1 tea spn chilli powder
1 cup chopped bellpepper(optional)
Salt

Method:
Heat oil and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds.
When they start popping, add curry leaves.
Add chopped potatoes, grated ginger, salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder.
Mix everything very well.
Add tiny bit of water, close the lid and let the potatoes cook half way through.
Open the lid and add bellpepper.
Close the lid again and let the potatoes cook completely.
Serve hot.

Serves: 3-4
Preparation time :20mins

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Curry leaves Chutney Powder

Curry leaves, abundant in iron, are an indispensable element in South Indian cuisine. They infuse dishes with their unique flavor and contribute to the region’s culinary identity. But did you know that these humble leaves also offer a wealth of health benefits, particularly in their iron content?

In this blog post, we’ll explore the rich world of curry leaves and unveil a delightful recipe for curry leaves chutney powder. This versatile condiment can elevate your meals, serving as a delectable dipping chutney for rotis and idlis or as an exquisite flavor enhancer for your rice dishes.

The Nutritional Powerhouse: Curry Leaves

Curry leaves, scientifically known as Murraya koenigii, are more than just a flavor enhancer. They are teeming with iron, making them a nutritional powerhouse. Iron is a vital mineral that plays a crucial role in transporting oxygen throughout the body, supporting energy levels, and maintaining overall health. Incorporating iron-rich ingredients like curry leaves into your diet can help combat fatigue and boost your vitality.

In my hometown, curry leaves flourish abundantly in our backyard garden. Until I left for college, I didn’t fully appreciate their true worth. These days, a small pack of curry leaves comes with a hefty price tag, so I handle them with utmost care. Recently a friend shared a big batch of them, so I made this chutney. We have been consuming it with everything!.

Ingredients:
2 cups washed and dried curry leaves
1 cup dry coconut
1 tbl spn chana dal
1 tbl spn urad dal
1 tea spn cumin seeds
A pinch asafoetida(optional)
7-8 red chillies
A small piece tamarind
Oil
Salt

Method:
Wash the curry leaves and spread them on a dry towel to air dry completely.
Heat a little oil and fry the curry leaves, on a low flame, until they turn crispy.
Remove the leaves and in same pan, add little more oil.
Fry chana dal, urad dal, cumin seeds and roast till they are brownish.
Then add coconut, asafoetida(if using), tamarind and fry for sometime.
Add salt.
Once cooled to room temperature, grind to a powder.
Store in air tight container.

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Omlet Pulao

Years ago, I discovered an Omlet pulao recipe and have since experimented with various modifications. Now, I’ve perfected a version that my family loves, which I’d like to share for future use. I usually make this on busy weekdays for a delicious dinner. Serve with a raita and a simple salad for a complete meal.

Omelette Pulao Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 can thick coconut milk
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tea spn garam masala
  • 1 tea spn fresh garlic-ginger paste
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato
  • Oil
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing

    For Omlet:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tea spn chilli powder
  • 2 tbl spn onion
  • Oil
  • Coriander leaves
  • Salt

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a pan and add cardamom and cloves.
  2. Add onion and ginger-garlic paste and fry for few minutes.
  3. Add chopped tomato; cook until it turns mushy.
  4. Stir in chili powder and garam masala; fry briefly.
  5. Add washed basmati rice to the pan(if needed, add more water); stir-fry for few minutes.
  6. Pour in coconut milk, season with salt, and cook till rice is done.
  7. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  8. Prepare an omelette using eggs, coriander leaves, chili powder, and chopped onion; cut into small squares once cooked.
  9. Mix omelette pieces into cooked rice gently before serving.

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Chickpeas Parathas

We love parathas, I also find making kids lunchboxes (with some kind of protein) a big challenge every day. Today I had soaked chickpeas, so I decided to make these chickpeas parathas for their lunchbox. These were delicious and full of nutrients.

I never use canned chickpeas. So I soak them fresh and make any dishes. If I forget to soak them beforehand, I soak them for an hour or two in hot water or put them in instantpot on yogurt mode for couple of hours. Then cooking them for couple of whistles in pressure cooker yields soft chickpeas. Use the cooked ones for this Chickpeas paratha or any other curries.

Ingredients:
2 cups cooked chickpeas
2 cups wheat flour
2 tbl spn mozerella cheese (optional)
2 tbl spn coriander leaves
1 tea spn chilli powder
1/2 tea spn garam masala
1/2 tea spn chaat masala
Ghee
Oil
Salt

Method:
Make a loose dough with wheat flour, water, salt. Knead very well by adding a little oil.
Leave it aside for atleast 30mins.
Soak chickpeas overnight and pressure cook them.
Grind them (without any water) to a smooth paste.
Add salt, spices, cheese and coriander leaves.
Mix it very well. Make balls from the mixture.
Stuff the chickpeas balls in the dough. Carefully roll them into parathas.
Roast on hot tava applying enough ghee.
Serve hot with pickle or any other side.

Makes about 4-5 parathas
Preparation time : 30mins


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Pulav with Green Moong and Coconut Milk

It is hard to make time consuming dishes during the weekdays. But with all our daily work, it is very important to have the right nutrition. I pick easy but nutritious dishes on such days. This Pulav with Green Moong and Coconut Milk is one such dish. It is very similar to the other Sprouted moong pulav I posted few years ago, but I made some modifications.

I make this Pulav with Green Moong and Coconut Milk in Instantpot. It takes very less active work, but is full of flavor and nutrition. Preferably use sprouted moong but I don’t always remember to sprout moong, so I just cook the moong in pressure cooker for few whistles(taking care not to make it mushy) and then add it. I add thick stems of coriander leaves(we would otherwise waste these!) that give a nice aroma to the pulav.

Ingredients:
1 cup basmati rice
3/4 cup green moong
1 tea spn chilli powder
1/2 cup carrots
1/2 cup onion
1/2 cup tomatoes
1/4 cup thick stems of coriander leaves
1/2 tea spn garam masala
A pinch turmeric
1/2 tea spn coriander powder
1/2 tea spn cumin powder
1 can coconut milk
Oil
1 tbl spn coriander leaves
Salt

Method:
If you haven’t sprouted green moong, pressure cook the moong for 2-3 whistles.
Heat oil and fry onions and finely chopped thick stems of coriander leaves. Add salt.
Add carrots, tomatoes. Cook for few mins.
Add turmeric, chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala.
Now add washed basmati rice, fry for few mins.
Add cooked or sprouted moong.
Pour in one whole can of coconut milk (if needed, add more water that is enough to cook rice).
Cook on manual for 3 mins, high pressure.
When pressure is gone, open the instantpot, gently mix the pulav.
Garnish with coriander leaves.

PS: Follow exact steps in a pressure cooker if you don’t have Instantpot.

Serves :3
Preparation time : 20mins.

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Moth Beans Curry (Easy Matki Usal)

Easy Matki usal

Moth Beans are these tiny beans that are popular in Maharashtrian cuisine. Misal Pav is one of the very popular dishes made with these beans. There was a time I would make the more traditional version but now due to time constraint, I started making this easy matki usal. I make this often on weekdays, I put everything in InstantPot before I leave for kids classes. By the time I am back home, I have the hot dinner ready.

Different ways to serve this Easy Matki Usal.
Serve with either pav/bread or chapati
– Topped with onions and lemon juice
– Topped with chiwda
– Topped with both onions, and chiwda
– Topped with some spiced yogurt(add chilli powder, chaat masala to yogurt)
– Just plan usal without any topping

Ingredients:
2 cups moth beans (matki)
1/2 cup onion
1/2 cup tomatoes
1 tea spn grated ginger
1 tea spn chilli powder
1 tea spn goda masala(or use garam masala)
1 tbl spn grated coconut
1 tbl spn coriander leaves
3 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock or water
A pinch turmeric
Salt
Oil

Method:
Heat oil, add onions and grated ginger, salt and fry for sometime.
Now add turmeric, chilli powder, tomatoes.
When tomatoes get a bit softer, add goda masala, fry again.
Add the stock or water.
Close the lid and cook for 4mins manual(if using sprouted matki, reduce it to 3 mins since it cooks really fast).
When pressure is gone, open the lid and adjust water.
Add coriander leaves.
Serve hot.

Serves : 5-6
Preparation time : 15mins

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Moringa Leaves Dal (Drumstick Leaves Dal)

Moringa Leaves Dal
Moringa Leaves Dal

Moringa leaves or drumstick leaves (Maskasangi Pallo) is the new health food craze. Drumstick is the humble vegetable that is a must-have, at least once a week, on the menu in most Konkani homes or for that matter, any South Indian home. The leaves were not used in cooking in my home but I use them very regularly now. This moringa leaves dal is one of our favorites.

Moringa is full of iron and anti-oxidants. It is supposed to have so many other health benefits too. Many people take it in the form of powder or even pills. But we love to add it to different dishes.

This Moringa leaves dal is full of flavor and very easy to make. We usually buy these leaves every time we see these. The dal goes so well with rice and ghee, with a simple spicy sidedish.

We also make rotti out of these leaves.

Moringa Leaves Dal

Moringa Leaves Dal (Drumstick leaves dal)

A very simple dal with drumstick/moringa leaves, that is healthy and delicious.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Moringa leaves
  • 1 cup toor dal
  • A pinch turmeric
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 green chillies
  • 1 tspn thick tamarind extract
  • salt

Seasoning

  • 1 tspn mustard seeds
  • 1 tspn chana dal
  • 1 tspn urad dal
  • 1 tspn cumin seeds
  • 6 curry leaves
  • 2 red chillies

Instructions
 

  • Remove the little stems of the moringa leaves and separate out the leaves.
  • Wash the leaves and chop into small pieces.
  • Wash toor dal and pressure cook with moringa leaves, garlic, finely chopped green chillies, turmeric, 2 cups of water for about 3 whistles.
  • Open the cooker when all the pressure has gone and slightly mash the contents with the back of spoon.
  • Add a little more water to the dal micture, add tamarind, salt and bring to boil. Switch off heat.
  • For the seasoning, heat oil, add chana dal, let it fry for a min.
  • Then add urad dal, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, broken red chillies, curry leaves. Fry for a min.
  • Pour the seasoning on the dal and close the lid.
  • Serve hot with rice and dollop of ghee.

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Mixed Greens Khichdi

Mixed Greens Khichdi


I usually get a huge pack of mixed greens from Costco that gets used enthusiastically for few days. Since it goes bad quickly, I try to make few different recipes – this also makes sure we consume all of those greens in two-three weeks’ time. This Mixed Greens Khichdi is one of those dishes. It tastes great, it is a one-pot dish that comes together quickly, it is healthy, so it checks all the right boxes.

I prefer making this dish in InstantPot because I can start the dish and walk away. But this can be easily prepared in a normal pressure cooker – I prepared it pressure cooker before I bought InstantPot.

You can make this Khichdi with just spinach or with a combination of few different greens. I have tried both and it comes out great with any combination. I have used masoor dal here, but this can also be prepared using moong dal.

Also check out sweet khichdi, pongal and other pongal recipes.

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