Thursday, 9 April 2015

Moong Dal Khichdi

Khichdi is basically a porridge like light meal made with dal-rice mixture and garnished with dollops of ghee and seasonings. Any choice of lentils (Dal) can be used along with rice. Also, the addition of veggies to the khichdi gives it a flavourful healthy twist. There are many ways to prepare khichdi, but personally, I tend to choose this simple version cooked with moong dal. Khichdi cooked in ghee gives it the best flavour, but it can be prepared using oil too. I have used pressure cooker to cook khichdi, but it can also be prepared in pot using same method with 1-2 cups extra water added to it, only cooking time will differ. Just cover and simmer until it reaches soft porridge like consistency. Once you make and garnish it with way I have done in my recipe, you will keep wondering “Can a khichdi ever look and taste so exotic” !   ;) 

1 cup, broken basmati rice
3/4 cup, dhuli moong dal(split green gram without skin)
1 inch cinnamon stick
4-5 black peppercorns
1/2 tsp, turmeric powder
1 nos, small onion finely sliced
1 nos, green chili slit (optional)
7-8 cups of water
salt as per taste
1 tbsp, ghee/oil

For tempering:
1 tbsp, ghee
1 tsp, cumin seeds 

For Garnish:
Freshly cracked black pepper powder
Golden fried onions ( birista)
Lemon juice
Chopped coriander leaves


Clean and wash moong dal and rice together

Soak them in enough water for 30 minutes 

In  a pressure cooker, heat ghee.

Add cinnamon stick, black peppercorns and fry for few seconds

Add sliced onion, green chili and fry until onions are translucent

Drain the water and add dal rice mixture in to the pressure cooker

Sauté for a minute and then add 7 to 8 cups of water, season with salt

Stir and pressure khichdi upto 5 whistle or until it is soft and porridge like consistency 

Allow the pressure to settle down once done

If khichdi is still thick, add more water to adjust the consistency

For tempering:

Heat ghee in a small pan

Add cumin seeds and allow it crackle

Add this tempering over the khichdi

Dish out khichdi in a bowl or plate

Add dollop of ghee, squeeze lemon juice, sprinkle freshly cracked black pepper, garnish 
with golden fried onions and coriander leaves

Serve hot with khichdi with pickle, papad and fried side dish of your choice

You can also use whole basmati rice 
If you prefer to make it without onion, just skip it and proceed with the rest

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Grilled Cajun Chicken Sub Sandwich

Sub sandwiches are my most liked light nosh. Flavoured slab of meat, or paneer or patties stacked with all the crunch of fresh veggies, tartness of pickles and lusciousness of sauces is what I habitually crave for. Filling for sub sandwiches is not at all confined to few. It can be any meat or veggies or patties flavoured with any spices or sauces and cheese, choice is all yours to deck up your sub breads not only at sub counters but even at home. So, here is one such stunning combo of chicken with cajun spice that is grilled to infuse smoky aroma and stacked between sub bread along with crunchy ice- bergs, veggies, pickles and mayo. Quick, easy, cheesy, healthy home made sub sandwich….let’s go through how we do it….

For marination:
2 chicken breasts, boneless
1 tsp, garlic paste
1 tsp, ginger paste
1 tbsp, cajun spice powder(I have used my home made spice, find the recipe here)
juice of one lemon
1 tbsp, olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

For Sandwich:
2 submarine breads
1/2 cup, onions rings
1/2 cup, cucumber slices
1/2 cup, tomato slices
Ice berg lettuce, roughly torn, as required
Pickled gherkins as required
Pickled jalepenos as required
Olives as required
Mayonnaise as required
2 nos cheese slices

For Grilled Cajun chicken:

Wash, clean and make slits on the chicken breasts.

To make the marinade, mix all the ingredients mentioned for marination.

Marinate the chicken breasts in the prepared marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

When ready to cook, brush the griddle pan(grill pan) with little oil.  Heat it over high heat until very hot.  Add few drops of water to sizzle it.  Place the chicken breasts and cook each side until thoroughly cooked.

Remove the chicken out of the pan, slice them. 


Slice both the loaves horizontally into two and slightly roast it on griddle or grill.

Place cheese slice as bottom layer on base of each loaf

Make layer of generous amount of ice berg lettuce,onion rings, cucumber slices, tomato slices 

Top with grilled cajun chicken slices on both the loaves

Put dollops of mayonnaise and gently spread it.

Top with olives, pickled jalapeno, and gherkins

Cover the sandwich with other half of the sub bread


Sliced grilled cajun chicken can made ahead and refrigerated, assemble sandwich when required

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Barley Lemon Honey water

Barley is commonly called as ‘Jau or Jav” in India. Barley- a cereal that existed since our ancestor’s era. This miraculous grain is stacked with several health benefits, but we disregarded the prosperity of this god- send boon. The present era is so health and fitness conscious that gradually we are rising up to the fact-home remedies are better to prevent the ailments compared to chemical remedies. 
Have you really ever wondered about  how healthy barley is? Let’s savvy about the benefits of barley. It is richly filled with soluble and insoluble fibres that induces the reduction of triglycerides and cholesterol levels. Barley aids digestion by disposing harmful toxins and maintaining healthy bowel movements, probably the best tonic for gastric inflammations.
The beta-glucan fibre present in barley cuts the risk of Type-2 diabetes.
Selenium element present in barley preserves the elasticity of the skin giving us clean wrinkle free skin decelerating the signs of ageing.
The diuretic property of this grain keeps the urinary tract infection away. Barley is trusted remedy for kidney ailments. I can go on and on talking about the benefits of barley as they are just endless.
Drinking barley water induces the urinations releasing the toxins out of the body. It acts as a cooling agent, hence reduce the burning sensations of the stomach. During summers, the regular consumption of barley water brings down the heat content of the body. It is an excellent substitute for fizzy beverages. 
Barley water has a bland taste, so adding a dash of lemon and honey will not only enhance the taste but also provide health benefits of lemon and honey too. Regular consumption of this barley water  helps in weight loss too. With so many advantages of barley, for me it is definitely the best drink. So, next time when you think about coolers, I bet it has to be this ;)

100 gms, barley
1.5 litres, water
lemon juice as required
honey as required
Few mints leaves
Few ice cubes(optional)


Clean, and wash pearl barley.

In a vessel or a pan, bring the water to boil.

Once water starts to rolling boil, add barley, simmer until water reduces to 1litre and turns milky. While boiling, remove the scum if any

Take it off the stove, strain and allow it to cool completely. 

Chill it in refrigerator for few hours

Just before serving, add 2 tsp of lemon juice and 2 tsp of honey in each serving glasses along with few ice cubes and mint leaves

Fill each glasses with prepared barley water- stir, sip and enjoy.

Barley water can be prepared in a bulk and kept in refrigerator easily for 2-3 days

Add lemon juice and honey just prior to serving. 

You can re-use the strained barley pearls in soups, salads, porridge or curries

In a day, you can stir and enjoy this barley water as much as you want

Adjust honey and lemon juice as per your preference