Thursday, April 17, 2014

Whole Oats and Brown Rice Dosai (Indian style crepes)

I was a bit apprehensive when I bought the whole oats wondering how I will use them up. I needn't have worried. They were great tasting when cooked in whole and as a substitute for rice in this recipe. The next logical step was to try making dosai of course. I initially wanted to try making idlis but the batter was bit too loose and I fermented the batter longer than I should have.

Grind the oats and brown rice. Grind the lentils and mix it salt and let it ferment overnight.
On a dosai pan pour a ladle of batter, swirl it around so it spreads on the pan, drizzle oil on the sides. Let it brown, flip and if required cook on the other side.

Dosai on the other hand being not as picky as idli was the next logical step. Dosai is always my backup plan when I try a batter with a new grain. The surprising this the oats dosai was a lot tastier than the rice dosai according to my family, so much so that they are ready to ditch the rice dosai altogether.

I have some more oats left and I will definitely try making idlis with them. I am not giving up on that yet.

White Oats and Brown Rice Dosai
Preparation Time:overnight soaking and fermentation + 30 minutes
Cooking Time:25-30 minutes
  1. 2 cups whole oats groats
  2. 1 cup brown rice
  3. 1 cup urad dal
  4. 1 tbsp methi seeds
  5. salt to taste

  1. Soak the oats and brown rice overnight after rinsing in changes of water till the water runs clear. Add the methi seeds to the brown rice.
  2. Soak the urad dal for about 30 minutes.
  3. Add the soaked oats along with soaked brown rice and the methi seeds to the wet grinder/blender. Grind to a fairly smooth consistency. Remove to a vessel big enough to allow rising and fermenting.
  4. Add in the soaked urad dal and grind it till it doubles in volume about 20 minutes. Remove to the same vessel. Wash out the grinder and pour the water into the batter and mix it with the salt to pourable consistency. Not too thin.
  5. Ferment overnight till it rises. It will not rise as much as the rice batter but will rise some.

To make the dosai
  1. Mix the batter well. Heat a dosai pan and with a cloth spread oil over the pan. Pour a ladle of the batter. Spread in circular motion towards the end of the pan.
  2. Drizzle a few drops of oil over the edges. Cook till you see brown spots appear. Flip and cook on the other side if required. Cooking only on one side keeps the dosai crispy.
Serve with chutney or sambhar of choice. We had them with cauliflower-potato kurma.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Grain of the Week - 16 - Foxtail Millet - Thinai

Foxtail Millet is an ancient grain of the Tamils - called Thinai in Tamil. Foxtail Millet was a staple in Northern Africa and also in India and China. It was the staple in these places before rice became popular. Foxtail millet grows in dry areas and hence its popularity in the ancient times. In the US foxtail millet was more popular as bird feed than human food, it is available these days in health food stores. Source.

While I was familiar with pearl millet (kambu), foxtail millet got introduced only now. The first time I saw it In Whole Foods here I mistook it for pearl millet in a different color.

Foxtail millet is rich in carbohydrates, dietary fiber and is naturally gluten free. Perfect as a substitute for rice. It can also be made into dosai and anything that can cooked with rice like pongal, payasam etc.,

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sambhar Rice

Dear Readers,
Wishing you all a Very Happy Tamil New Year! தமிழ் புத்தாண்டு வாழ்த்துக்கள்!

I set out to make Bisi Bela Bhath but I forgot to buy the spice powder. Then I set out to make the spice powder but left out the whole aromatic spices. The recipe I finally decided on was similar to making sambhar so I am calling it Sambhar Rice rather than Bisi Bela Bhath.

If you want a one pot meal quick and easy this is the recipe to try. We were packing for an afternoon trip and this came in handy. With some potato chips this recipe is a great pack away lunch and cooking a large quantity is also easy.

Sambhar Rice
Preparation Time:15 minutes
Cooking Time:25-30 minutes
  1. 1 cup rice Sona Masoori Rice (see Note:)
  2. 3/4 cup toor dal
  3. 3 cups of avrakkai (field beans) chooped , carrots cut into half moons and fresh green peas
  4. 1/4 cup shallots chopped
  5. 1 tbsp sambhar powder
  6. 2 tomatoes chopped
  7. 1 cup of tamarind pulp from a small lemon sized ball of tamarind (use a bit more or less depending upon taste)
  8. salt to taste
  9. For Masala Powder
  10. 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  11. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  12. 2 tsp pepper corns
  13. 4 red chilies
  14. few fenugreek seeds
  15. 1/2 tbsp split urad dal
  16. 2 tbsp fresh or grated coconut
  17. 2 tsp of oil
  18. Seasonings: curry leaves, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and cumin seeds
  19. 1/4 cup roasted peanuts
  20. Note:
  21. Do not use Basmati rice. Par boiled rice will work or any other rice that could be cooked to mushy will work.
  22. I used only 1/2 cup of dal but 3/4 would have been good.

  1. Cook the rice and toor dal together with twice the amount of water normally used to get a mushy and soft cooked rice and dal mixture.
  2. While the rice is cooking roast the masala powder ingredients one by one, browning them evenly and making sure not to burn them. Set them aside. Add the coconut finally and in lower heat roast, cool and powder. (I use a coffee grinder).
  3. In a big pot that will fit the rice and the vegetables, heat oil add the chopped shallots and saute till translucent.
  4. Add in the chopped tomatoes and saute till it is soft.
  5. Now add the vegetables and saute for a minute or two. Add the sambhar powder and give a good mix.
  6. Add in the tamrind pulp and 1 cup more of water and let them cook till the vegetables are almost cooked.
  7. Add salt and the rice and dal mixture and mix well.
  8. Add the powdered masala and mix it into the rice. Keep the rice a little bit watery because it solidifies as it cools.

  9. Now in a small sauce pan, heat a bit more oil or ghee and add the seasonings and the peanuts and pour it over the rice.

  10. Serve with some roasted potatoes or potato chips.
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