Ragi (red millet) uthappam

Following yesterday’s post I decided to try Anna’s recipe for ragi uthappam.   I must admit my preconceived notions on ragi (based on childhood years in Bangalore) have not done this flour justice.  It is quite filling and based on the two dishes I have made so far appears to be fairly versatile.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 cup ragi flour (red millet)
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 2 small shallots
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 medium tomato
  • Handful of fresh coriander chopped
  • Salt to taste

How many will I make?

Depending on size around 4

How do I make it?

Chop all the vegetable into fine pieces.   Mix the ragi with 1 cup of water till you get a medium consistency batter.   Add the chopped vegetables and season to taste.   Heat a frying pan or dosai pan if you have one and spoon a ladle of the mixture, drizzle some oil around the uthappam.   Cover with a lid and cook for a couple of minutes before turning over and cooking on the other side.  Enjoy on its own or with a chutney/sambar of your choice.

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Garden fresh – cauliflower soup

Our garden patch of cauliflowers was under attack from worms and caterpillars so we decided to salvage the edible ones to make a hot batch of cauliflower soup tonight.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 2 celery sticks chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 sprigs of spring onion (optional)
  • 2 green chillies finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 50 ml almond milk
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 3 tbsp yogurt
  • 50 gms butter
  • 2 tbsp oilve oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Heat a pan, add butter and olive oil.  Saute the garlic and bay leaves first for a minute before adding the chopped onion, celery and carrot.  Stir for a couple of minute before adding a bit of salt, pepper and garam masala.  Stir for 30 seconds and then add cauliflower florets, stock cubes and about 3 cups of water.   Bring to boil and simmer till the vegetables are cooked.  Remove the bay leaves before putting blending the soup in a liquidizer to a fine puree.  Return to heat and add the almond milk and yogurt – adjust the seasoning and turn off the heat.  Enjoy.

 

Salad therapy – punchy parsnip salad

Shiv and  I have come to love parsnips and are fond of parsnip soup, Parmesan crusted parsnips, parsnip chips and crisps. We found yet another way of enjoying parsnips by making this tasty salad.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 4-5 parsnips peeled, washed and grated in a food processor
  • 2-3 green chillies slit lengthwise
  • 1 shallot thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
  • Few curry leaves
  • A handful of peanuts
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp split urad dhal
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Peel, wash and  finely grate the parsnips.  Mix with salt and set aside.  Heat ghee in a skillet.  Add a pinch of asafoetida to flavour the ghee.  Add the mustard seeds.  When the mustard seeds splutter, add the urad dhal, peanuts, finely chopped shallot, garlic, curry leaves and green chillies.  Fry till the peanuts are crisp and the garlic and shallot slices are golden brown and crisp.  Put this on top of the grated parsnips.  Mix well.  Add the lime juice and voila you have a punchy parsnip treat.

Gardening woes

I must admit that trying to grow my vegetables without pesticides is a challenge.  My home made oil based pesticide does not seem to deter pests.  I was upset to see the leaves of my brussel sprouts completely stripped.  On careful investigation and to my utter horror I saw colonies of caterpillars on the leaves.  I tried to remove them manually using forceps but just gave up when I saw the biblical proportion.  I do not think I am going to grow brussel sprouts again next year.  My beautiful bluish green cabbage leaves have large holes in them and the slugs seem to have taken over every inch of the garden.  My squash and pumpkin plants have been afflicted by some sort of black powdery bug which is so sticky and difficult to remove.  We have had small victories like a few beautiful cauliflowers and rhubarb chard and baby green tomatoes are looking promising.  My initial enthusiasm has almost turned to despair and just hope that I will have some vegetables before winter for the hard work I have put in.

caterpillar

Garden fresh – celery soup

Our vegetable patch bounty of celery is more than we can consume in a month and we used some to make a fresh batch of soup for dinner a couple of nights back.  I decided to experiment a bit with the finishing off the dish and added a couple of teaspoons of flavoured cream cheese which works really well instead of cream (not sure if it is healthier but different definitely).

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What do I need to make it?

  • 3-4 bunches of celery washed, trimmed and diced
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 medium carrots chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 gluten free vegetable stock cubes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 50 gms butter
  • 2 tbsp oilve oil
  • 2 tsp cream cheese (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Heat oil and butter in pan and add garlic and bay leaves to it.  Saute for a minute before adding the onions and sweating them down a bit.  Then add the celery and carrot and give the pan a good mix.   Add 500 ml of water and the stock cubes and bring to a boil.  Simmer the soup on low heat for 30-40 minutes till the vegetables are cooked.  Remove the bay leaves before blending the soup in a food processor till you get a fine puree.  Return to heat and adjust the seasoning.  Add couple of teaspoons of cream cheese, mix and switch off heat.  Serve hot.