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.

Chickpea Sundal

Sundal-Recipe

Chickpea / Kabuli Chana Sundal

Chickpea/ Kabuli chana/ Garbanzo Beans Sundal-It is known as ‘sundal’ in Tamil and ‘gugari / ghugari’ in Kannada.

Hi friends! Here is one easiest recipes to put together. Channa/Chickpea sundal are made during Navaratri or Ganesha chturthi in South India. It is great as a snack at any other time too.We can always make a variety of sundal for any festival as it is very easy to prepare and an absolutely guilt free snack or breakfast to compensate the extra calories from the fried stuff and sweets made on festivals.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Kabuli Channa/ Chickpeas(white chole)
  • 2-3 tbsp grated fresh Coconut
  • 1 tsp chopped Coriander,to garnish
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 level teasp /Salt to taste

For seasoning:

  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • a sprig of Curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp Oil

Method:

Step 1.

Soak Chana overnight or at least for 8-9 hrs, Add salt and pressure cook ,after the first whistle, reduce the heat and after 20 minutes remove from the stove.

Step 2.

Let the pressure cooker cool, open the Chana should be soft and firm to touch and should not be either hard or mushy.

Step 3.

Drain the chana and keep it aside, you can use this drained water to make healthy soups.

Step 4.

Heat oil in a kadai and crackle mustard seeds , add curry leaves fry for few seconds ,add grated coconut and fry it for a minute.

Step 5.

Add cooked and drained chana and mix well and blend it with seasoning on low flame for two minutes.

Step 6.

Switch off the flame and add lemon juice and mix well. Serve them hot, warm or cold as a snack or with breakfast.

 Note:

  • If using canned chickpeas, drain water and use.
  • I used here dry white chickpeas/Garbanzo beans/Kabuli chana. I soaked and cooked according to instructions given above.
Possible health benefits of consuming chickpeas:

Chickpeas have been associated with a number of possible health benefits for medical conditions. We will go through each condition one at a time.

1. Diabetes

Studies have shown that type 1 diabetics who consume high-fiber diets have lower blood glucose levels and type 2 diabetics may have improved blood sugar, lipids and insulin levels.

2. Bone health

The iron, phosphate, calciummagnesium, manganese, zinc and vitamin K content present in chickpeas all contribute to building and maintaining bone structure and strength.

3. Blood pressure

Maintaining a low-sodium intake is essential to lowering blood pressure, however increasing potassium intake may be just as important because of its vasodilation effects.

4. Heart health

The high fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B-6 content all support heart health. Chickpeas contain significant amounts of fiber, which helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood, thereby decreasing the risk of heart disease.

5. Cancer

Selenium is a mineral that is not present in most fruits and vegetables, but can be found in chickpeas. It plays a role in liver enzyme function, and helps detoxify some cancer-causing compounds in the body. Additionally, selenium prevents inflammation and also decreases tumor growth rates.

6. Cholesterol

Research shows that including chickpeas in the diet lowers the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the blood.

7. Inflammation

Choline is a very important and versatile nutrient in chickpeas that help with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. Choline also helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.

8. Digestion and regularity

Because of their high-fiber content, chickpeas help to prevent constipation and promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract.

Ref. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/280244.php

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.

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.

Urad Dal/Husked Black Gram Vada

Husked Black Gram lentil-Hindi Name: Dhuli Urad:

Husked Black gram is popularly sold as white lentil in the market. It is obtained by removing the skin of black gram. They are small black and narrow lentils somewhat cylindrical in shape. Since it is made from black gram it is only cultivated in India and is commonly used in Indian cooking. Also called as urad, it is also very popular in Punjabi cuisine of India.

Hi friends!Urad dal Vada is a popular breakfast or snack dish in south India. The delicious vadas are served with sambar and coconut chutney.

Soaking the dal :  45-50 minutes

Cook time: 45 mins

Recipe type: breakfast, snacks

Cuisine: south Indian/ North Indian

Gives: 8-10 vadas

Ingredients :

  • 1 cups urad dal/ husked black gram (soaked for 45 minutes)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2/3 tsp salt / or salt to taste
  • oil for deep frying
  • 1/2 cup water if needed to make the batter

Method:

Step 1.

Soak the urad dal for at least 4o -50 minutes .(can soak dal overnight also). Drain and grind the urad dal to a smooth batter.

Step 2.

In the grinder jar, some water needs to be added. Try and add very little water. The batter should become fluffy, thick.

Step 3.

Add salt, cumin seed. Mix well.

Step 4.

Heat oil for frying the vadas. Take a empty bowl cover it with a hanky size muslin cloth. Gather and hold the cloth tightly under the bowl such as the cloth is stretched tightly on the bowl. Keep a small bowl of water next to you. Apply some water from the bowl the stretched cloth as well as your hand.

Step 5.

Since you are holding the stretched cloth bowl in your left hand, take some batter in your right hand from the bowl put it on the stretched cloth and pat the batter gently to give it a round shape, making a hole in the center with your index finger ( with the hole in the center, vadas will be cooked well from inside and not leave a wet core! you can also use polythene zip lock bags to give the vada shape).

Step 6.

Gently slid the vada in to the oil. The oil should be not very hot, frying is done on medium flame.(very hot oil will quickly make the vadas brown from outside but they will remain uncooked from inside. )

Step 7.

Fry all the vadas this way till they are fried evenly brown and crisp. Drain vadas on paper kitchen towel to remove excess oil.

Step 8.

Serve the vadas, hot with coconut chutney/ sambar.

Note: A tip to add a few drops of batter in a bowl of water. The batter drop should float, if they float and do not get dissolved, then that’s the right consistency. If the batter becomes watery, then quick control measure will be to add some semolina to the batter.

Health Benefits of Urad Dal/ Black gram lentil:

  • It is highly valued due to its numerous health benefits. For example, Urad dal has protein, fat, and carbohydrates which is required by the body. If you are looking for a protein-friendly diet, then opt for urad dal.
  • This dal is one of the richest sources of proteins and Vitamin B. Urad dal is also good for women as it has iron, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, potassium which makes it a healthy pulse.
  • For those who do not eat meat or fish, have black gram as it is rich in protein which is much required by the body. For strong bones and a healthy body, have urad dal.
  • Urad dal is also rich in fibre which makes it easy to digest.
  • Some types of dals are good for the heart as well. For example, urad dal benefits the health as it is good for the heart. Consuming urad dal helps to reduce cholesterol and improves cardiovascular health.

Ref.http://www.ipga.co.in/health-benefits-of-urad-daal

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.

 

Coconut Curd Chutney

DSC01896 Coconut curd Chutney

Hi friends! learn yet another variety of chutney. This is  super easy chutney which can be made in less than 4-5 minutes

Prep time:5 minutes

Total time:6-7 minutes

Recipe type: Chutney

Cuisine: south Indian

Main Ingredients:

  • ½ cup grated fresh coconut
  • 1/2 cup curd/ yogurt
  • ¼ cup roasted chana dal / bengal gram
  • 1 green chilies, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt / or as required

For seasoning:

  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp urad dal (husked Black gram dal)
  • 2 tsp Olive oil

Instructions:

Step 1.

Put fresh coconut, roasted chana dal , green chillies, salt and curd, in a grinder and blend the ingredients to a smooth chutney. Remove the chutney into a bowl from the grinder jar.

Step 2.

Heat oil in a small pan.Put mustard seeds , the curry leaves and urad dal, fry a bit. When mustard crackles, switch off the heat.

Step 3.

Add the seasoning to the chutney.Check the salt and adjust as per your taste.Serve the coconut chutney with idlies, dosas,Chana dal vada or uttapams.

Note: Refrigerate for one or two days and use as required

Health Benefits of Coconuts:

  • Lower cholesterol
    • Improve digestion
    • Ward off wrinkles
    • Stabilize glucose levels
    • Fight off viruses
    • Build cells
    • Regulate hormones
    • Increase thyroid production
    • Lose weight
    • Increase metabolism
    • Fight infections
    • Stave off memory loss
    • Kill bacteria
    • And more!

Ref. http://undergroundhealthreporter.com/coconut-health-benefits/

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.

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