Gram Flour/Besan Uttpam

Besan Dosa with cheese 1

Gram Flour / Besan Uttapam

Gram flour, also known as garbanzo bean flour, chickpea flour, or besan, is a pulse flour made from ground chickpeas. Used in many countries, it is a staple ingredient in Indian, Pakistani, Nepali and Bangladeshi cuisines.

Hi friends! Gram Flour / Besan Uttapam is a tasty dish for breakfast or as a snack. This recipe is easy and quick to prepare and can be served with coriander / cilantro chutney. It is a favorite dish of the family for breakfast, folded with cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup gram flour / besan
  • 150 gms fresh cottage cheese / paneer, grated
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 level tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp Ajwain / Carom seeds
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp cilantro / coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 6 tbsp of oil to cook

Method:

Step 1.

Grate the the cottage cheese/ paneer and keep aside.

Step 2.

In a mixing bowl take Gram Flour / Besan, rice flour , add salt, baking soda, carom seeds, coriander powder, red chili powder slowly add water mix to make a smooth batter. The mix consistency of pancake batter or Dosa batter.

Step 3.

Take  a non-stick pan /tava and place on medium flame. To check the heat level required, test by sprinkling a few drops of water on it. Water should sizzle right away.

Step 4.

Pour about 1 ladle of the batter onto non- stick pan / tava stick and spread evenly with a back of ladle. Starting from the center, with spiral movement spread the batter outward evenly to form a circle about 6″ in diameter.

Step 5.

Immediately after spreading the batter onto non-stick pan /tava , spread evenly two tbsp grated cottage cheese/ paneer, 1 tsp finely chopped cilantro / coriander leaves on the dosa.

Step 6.

When batter starts to dry a little, slowly spread little cooking oil over and around it. After 30 seconds; flip the uttpam using a flat spatula. Press the uttpam lightly all around with the spatula to make the cheese and uttpam cook evenly until crisp and golden brown on both sides.

Step 7.

Repeat the process for the remaining uttpam. Serve uttpam hot with cilantro / dhania / coriander chutney.

Note:

Quick spread of the batter on hot non-stick pan / tava, will make the spreading easier and will give better results.

Health benefits of Besan/ gram flour:

Besan flour, or gram flour, may not sound familiar until you hear its third name: chickpea flour. The characteristic nutty flavor from finely ground chickpeas gives besan flour the ability to create tasty, simple breads that stand on their own with few ingredients. It also stands above wheat flour in protein and folate content.

Basics

Besan flour is naturally higher in protein than wheat-based flours. One-half cup contains 10 grams of protein, compared to 8 grams in whole-grain wheat flour and just 6 grams in white flour. One-half cup of besan flour has 178 calories and 3 grams of total fat. Even though that’s double the fat of whole-wheat flour, 70 percent of the fat in besan flour comes from healthy unsaturated fats that can lower cholesterol. The same portion has 5 grams of fiber.

Vitamins

One-half cup of besan flour has 201 micrograms of folate, compared to 26 micrograms in whole-wheat flour and 182 micrograms in enriched white flour. If you consumed an entire half-cup of besan flour, you’d get 50 percent of the recommended daily intake of folate. This important vitamin is critical for the production of proteins and genetic material. In this role, folate is especially important during periods of rapid growth. When taken before and during pregnancy, it helps prevent birth defects of the brain and spinal cord. The same portion of besan flour is a good source of thiamin and vitamin B-6. Thiamin converts food into energy, while vitamin B-6 is needed for the synthesis of red blood cells and the neurotransmitter serotonin that regulates appetite and mood.

Minerals

Besan flour delivers a boost of iron, magnesium and phosphorus. Well known for its role carrying oxygen, iron also functions as an antioxidant and it’s needed for the production of collagen. Magnesium causes muscles to relax, which helps maintain vascular health and regulates blood pressure. Phosphorus combines with calcium to form the primary compound used to build bones. It also carries lipids through the body and activates enzymes that produce energy. One-half cup of besan flour has 2 milligrams of iron, 76 milligrams of magnesium and 146 milligrams of phosphorus.

Preparation Tips

Besan flour is usually mixed with water, olive oil, yogurt or milk to make a paste that can be any consistency depending on the desired use. The paste is seasoned with any combination of parsley, cumin, coriander, turmeric, red chili, rosemary, onion or garlic. It’s traditionally cooked in a skillet to create a flatbread called socca or fried into fritters. Use a thick besan flour batter to coat and fry vegetables or add small shrimps to a thin batter and fry them into appetizer-like pancakes.

Gluten Free

Besan flour doesn’t contain gluten, so it makes a good substitute for wheat flour in gluten-free diets. Depending on the food you’re making, the bean taste may not create the best result. Try mixing besan flour with white rice flour, making sure that the total amount is the same that’s called for in the recipe. You’ll probably need to adjust the fluids to create the same consistency achieved with wheat flour. If you’re making yeast dough, you’ll need to add about 1 teaspoon of guar or xanthan gum for every 1 cup of flour so that the yeast can rise.

Ref. http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/nutrient-besan-flour-3167.html

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

Save

Pumpkin Sambar

Samber

Hi friends! Sambar is a very delicious and popular dish from South India. It is served with steamed rice or with idli, dosa. Sambar is served with rice as the main course in everyday South Indian meals. Sambar can be made with pumpkin or only onions or a wide variety of vegetables .

Prep time : 20 minutes
Cook time : 20 minutes
Serves: 5-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Tur/Toor dal
  • 2 medium size Onions, finely chopped
  • 2 drumsticks, dressed and cut into two inch pieces
  • 100 gms yellow Pumpkin, cut into medium size cubes
  • 3 medium size Tomatoes, finely chopped
  •  25 gms Tamarind, or small lemon sized ball of Tamarind
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida / Hing
  • 3 tbp Sambar powder( I used MTR Sambar powder)
  • 4 cups Water
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt or / salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp Oil

For the tempering

  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Asafetida / Hing
  • 1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 2 Red Chilies
  • 2 sprigs Curry leaves

Method:

Step 1.

Clean and wash tur/toor dal very well. Pressure cook tur dal with 500 ml of water and a pinch of asafoetida and salt. When the pressure is formed, reduce the heat to low flame and cook for twenty minutes. Switch off the stove. When the pressure subsides open the cooker, put the cooked dal in a large bowl and keep aside.

Step 2.

Soak tamarind in hot water for 10-15 minutes and take out the extract, 1 1/2 cups of tamarind juice. Strain and discard the pulp.

Step 3.

Heat oil in a pressure cooker, add mustard seeds. When mustard seeds start spluttering, add fenugreek seeds. Sauté for few seconds till slight colour change (don’t let it turn dark brown) and add curry leaves. Fry for a second and add onions.

Step 4.

On medium flame, sauté the onions until they are translucent. Add tomatoes, drumsticks and pumpkin cubes. Fry these for two  to three minutes on high flame. Then add sambar powder, tamarind juice and salt. Let it come to a boil. Reduce heat add the previously cooked tur dal.

Step 5.

Add two cups of water and close the pressure cooker lid. Pressure cook on high flame until the pressure is formed, and then switch off the stove.

Step 6.

When the pressure subsides open the cooker. Check the consistency of the sambar, it should not be too thick nor too thin. Adjust the quantity of water accordingly. If too thin, cook till it thickens, then switch the stove off.

Step 8.

Serve with hot steamed rice idli, dosas.

Note : If the sambar is to be served with idli and/or dosa, it should be thin consistency. If it is to be served with rice, it should be a little thick consistency. The taste of the sambar varies according to the sambar powder used.

Health benefits of Pumpkin:

  • It is one of the very low calorie vegetables. 100 g fruit provides just 26 calories and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol
  • it is rich in dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins. The vegetable is one of the food items recommended by dieticians in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.
  • Pumpkin is a storehouse of many anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-A, vitamin-C and vitamin-E.With 7384 mg per 100 g, it is one of the vegetables in the Cucurbitaceae family featuring highest levels of vitamin-A, providing about 246% of RDA. Vitamin A is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and is required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes.It is also an essential vitamin for good visual sight. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin A help a body protects against lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • It is also an excellent source of many natural poly-phenolic flavonoid compounds such as α, ß carotenes, cryptoxanthin, lutein and zea-xanthin. Carotenes convert into vitamin A inside the body.Zea-xanthin is a natural anti-oxidant which has UV (ultra-violet) rays filtering actions in the macula lutea in retina of the eyes. Thus, it helps protect from “age-related macular disease” (ARMD) in the elderly.
  • The fruit is a good source of B-complex group of vitamins like folates, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid.It is also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.

Ref. http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/pumpkin.html

Toor dal is also sometimes referred to as lentils or split pigeon peas. This traditional Indian dish is often served with rich spices over rice, and is a staple in many Indian restaurants and households. Toor dal is a member of the legume family, and this meal is not only delicious, it also has a number of health benefits.

Folic Acid

Toor dal contains folic acid. Getting adequate amounts of folic acid in your diet can help to reduce specific brain and spinal cord birth defects by more than 70 percent, according to the New York State Department of Health.

Protein and Vegetables

 This is because legumes such as toor dal are an excellent source of nutrients and plant protein, and they also contain dietary fiber. In essence, legumes are nutritionally similar to poultry, meat and fish, though they represent a low-fat and low-cholesterol alternative. Legumes such as toor dal provide essential nutrients, fiber and protein for vegetarians as well as those who wish to merely limit their meat consumption.

Carbohydrates

Toor dal is also an excellent source of carbohydrates, which your body needs for energy.

Fiber

Legumes such as toor dal are a healthy source of dietary fiber, which can help to prevent constipation and promote regularity. A diet that includes healthy dietary fiber can also reduce your risk of chronic diseases.

Ref. http://www.livestrong.com/article/549835-what-are-the-health-benefits-of-toor-dal/

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.