Friday, May 18, 2018

Whole Kambu (pearl millet) Dosai

Millet offers a variation from the regular rice, wheat back to rice routine. I read that 90% of our time is spent indoors under artificial lights and mostly sitting doing sedentary jobs which means eating a lot of rice and wheat is not necessarily the best. So to mix it up a little bit I like to add some millet to our diet and hopefully to tackle the ever expanding mid section :(

While the recipe I have here is the way I know in which kambu dosai is made with the addition of spices. I wanted to change the recipe around a little bit so that it is similar to the regular dosai recipe. Since millet is also carbohydrate rich I add more lentils to get a crispy dosai.

Normally I use whole kambu for this but i have a couple of packets of broken kambu and I used that since i was not going to make porridge with the broken kambu.




Soak the pearl millet, rice, lentils and fenugreek seeds overnight.
Grind the fenugreek seeds and white lentils till it is smooth and fluffy. Remove it to a separate vessel.
Grind the pearl millet and when it is getting smooth add in the rice and grind till it is completed smooth.
Remove it to the vessel along with the lentil batter.
set the batter to ferment overnight. Once fermented mix it with a laddle so the batter looks smooth and is ready for use.
Heat a griddle and add a laddle of batter and spread it into circle. Flip on cook on the other side.

Kambu dosai batter made with whole kambu and plenty of lentils is much lighter and crispier.



Kambu Dosai
Soaking Time: 8 hours or overnight
Batter Grinding Time: 40 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 cups of kambu (pearl millet)
  2. 1 1/2 cups of idli rice
  3. 1 1/2 cups of whole urad dal (white lentils)
  4. 2 tbsp of fenugreek seeds
  5. salt to taste
  6. For the Dosai
  7. Oil

Batter Preparing
  1. Wash the kambu in several changes of water and let it soak overnight. Wash and soak the rice and lentils. Soak the fenugreek seeds.
  2. Grind the soaked fenugreek seeds and when it is looks almost blended add the lentils to it and blend to a smooth batter, remove to a vessel. I let the grinder run for about 20 minutes.
  3. Next add the soaked millet and let it grind till most of the millet has been blended, add the rice to this and continue to grind till it becomes a smooth batter.
  4. Remove the millet rice batter to the lentil batter, add salt and mix it well and leave it overnight to ferment.
  5. Note:Where it is cold and fermenting is a problem, put it in the oven or microwave with the light oven overnight and it should ferment nicely.
Method
  1. Heat a dosai pan or griddle, wipe some oil on it with some cloth.
  2. Add a laddle of batter and spread it in a circle.
  3. Add oil along the edges of the dosai, let it cook on one side and then flip and cook on the other side.
Serve with chutney of choice.


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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Can White Eggs be Organic? Are Brown and White Eggs made equal?

Absolutely, pasture raised, cage free and no different from the brown eggs. I was talking to my neighbor a farmer of course who was joking that it was hard for her to sell white eggs in her farm store because customers question if they are organic, pasture raised and what not.





Our Flock!

So here's my little exploration to the cause. While most of us who are used to buying organic eggs always see brown eggs in the carton and our mind is programmed to think that brown = good, white = meh! The color of the eggs is dependent on the breed and the genes of the chicken. If you really want to know, you have to check the ear lobes and the feather color of the chicken. If they are white they lay white eggs and if they have red ear lobes and darker colored feathers they are usually brown egg layers. But this is not an exact science. There are some breeds of chickens that also lay blue or pale green eggs.



With that established, the majority of eggs sold in this country are factory farmed, which means chickens are kept in pens where they can't move other than eat and lay eggs. I won't go into the cruelty of what else is done to these chickens. White egg layers used to need lesser feed than the brown egg layers so the majority of the factory farmed chickens are you guessed it white feathered and lay white eggs.

This is in no way means that some of the brown egg layers are not subjected to the same treatment as those white egg layers. So do your research. There are several different articles to read if you want to wade through the different labels on egg cartons these days (cage free, organic, free range, pasture raised etc.,).


The friendliest one!

If you ask me what kind of eggs I want? I want eggs from 100% pasture raised in a good clean environment for the chickens. I want to use the word clean carefully here, not in the human clean and sterile environment sense of the word. Chickens like to get dirty, dig and scratch in areas that humans might consider unclean.

Pasture raised chickens wake up in the morning, jump out of their coop and roam around the whole day and then get back in the coop for the night. Do you want to know what the perfect source for this might be? Your local small farmer where you can visit and see how the chickens are raised. Or do it yourself and have a small backyard flock. Short of that you have to believe the claims the egg producers make on their cartons and websites.



As for the nutrition content of the white and brown eggs. They are typically about the same apparently. Read this article here for a lot more information. Also the taste profile of fresh farm eggs and factory raised eggs are hard to tell apparently. To me personally the eggs from these pasture raised chicken eggs or more specifically my pasture raised chicken eggs are very easy to tell. Bright vibrant and nary an eggy smell. Even one of my friend's sons can tell the difference, he said these eggs were soft and fluffy. Either he is a foodie or the difference is not that hard to detect. You have to find out for yourself.


Eggs


The very same farmer from the first paragraph also said that the average supermarket egg is at least 2-3 months old. I thought buying organic eggs solved all my problems! It is quite possibly very true because I am guessing the egg farmer has a certain day that he deposits all his eggs to whomever is buying it, he is not doing it every day right? Then whoever buys these eggs, packages it and then it gets sent to a warehouse and then shipped to your local grocery store. Then of course I went looking and found this article which is also a pretty good read.

Read this Washington Post article. I do not agree with Ms. Haspel's taste experimeent of course but the rest of the article does provide good information about the confusion that exists.

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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Simple Lemon Rice

Lemon rice is so easy to make but it has never been a go to meal for me for some reason. Not because I do not have limes or lemons on hand. I usually do. Anyway on this particular day the lemons that DD2 had forced me to buy for one of her experiments was showing signs of being distressed and that's when it was decided to make lemon rice. Also because it had been a long time since I made lemon rice.

I have one other recipe for lemon rice, this one here to which I add some powdered spices - masala powder just to jazz things up a bit because lemon rice is usually a bit bleh!






A friend at work brought me some lemon rice as a prasad after she had done poojai at home. That lemon rice with its pure taste of just the lemon was something I suddenly craved. So the decision to make this simple lemon rice was made.

Back then as far as I knew lemon rice was one of those things that was made to spice up leftover rice which nobody would touch. But now it is a popular one pot meal that with some potato chips and yogurt is pretty good.



Lemon Rice
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

  1. 2 cups of rice (I used ponni par boiled rice)
  2. 2 medium sized lemon juiced
  3. 1/2 cup of chopped red onion or shallots
  4. 8-10 green chilies slit (adjust as per the heat level)
  5. 2 cloves of garlic diced (optional)
  6. hand full of roasted peanuts (skip for nut free)
  7. 2 tsp of turmeric powder
  8. seasonings: cumin seeds 1/4 tsp, mustard seeds 1/2 tsp, channa dal(kadalai paruppu) 1/2 tbsp, urad dal (2 tsp), curry leaves
  9. salt to taste
  10. 2-3 tsp of oil

Method
  1. Set the rice to cook with enough water and make sure it does not get mushy. Add a bit of oil and rice if preferred.
  2. Juice the lemons and set it aside. Also the shake the seeds out of the green chilies if you want, I usually do.
  3. In a wide mouthed pan or kadai add oil, add the channal dal and when it starts to brown add the urad dal, followed by the cumin and mustard seeds. When the mustard starts to pop add the curry leaves.
  4. Add in the onions and green chilies and saute till it starts to brown, add the garlic. Do not let the garlic burn.
  5. Add the turmeric powder and salt and saute for a couple more minutes.
  6. Add the roasted peanuts and saute for a minute.
  7. Turn off the heat and let the onion mixture cool down a bit.
  8. Now fluff up the cooked rice and set aside.
  9. Once the onion mixture is come to room temperature add in the lemon juice, mix it in, add in the rice and gently mix it so all the rice is coated.

A simple but very flavorful lemon rice is ready.

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