Sunday, March 8, 2009

Rotis with Stone Ground Wheat Flour and Kale with Toor and Chana dal

I have always wondered if some fried foods are considered more equal or less junky than others. I would never associate ulundu vadai (black gram fritters) with junk food whereas french fries would always be associated with junk food. Not all fried food are completely bad and none of them are good to be consumed on a daily basis. So if I do end up eating fried foods everyday am I not the one who is solely responsible?

Lot of Indians were in the news, Bobby Jindal who is trying to become the leader of the other party talks so fast that I had trouble keeping up with his delivery the speech hid the whiz kid who so impressed everybody, Dr. Gupta who apparently turned down the position of Doctor in Chief, Vijay Mallya the guy who pooh poohed "Be Indian as Buy Indian" as old fashioned is the knight in shining armor to rescue the Gandhi memorabilia on auction and who can forget the Slum dog Millionaire awards. Perhaps all good things.

The thing I am most afraid of is it is becoming clear that our law makers do not have the guts or ability to set right the country's ills and it starting to stare at us from the front pages of the newspaper. The speaker of the house cancelling events to make nice with one half of Brangelina and the supposed leader of the free world and his team having a war of words with the drug abusing talk show host is enough to send shivers up your spine. If this is somehow supposed to inspire confidence that these people are in charge?

The economy is hurting us in different ways. Here is something that I think I have complete control over namely my grocery bills. Not to say I did not have these methods at my disposal before, just that I did not pay close attention to them. Now with the saving and shopping judiciously the order of the day these things are taking a life of their own. When I was too busy there was just enough time to run in and grab everything I wanted and rush out, shopping smartly was the last thing on my mind. At the checkout, stood and watched in awe as the smart shopper in front of me got close to $150 wiped off her bill with various coupons and cards. I would resolve to do something about my shopping habits but nothing changed. Well now with time on my hands being that smart shopper does seem a definite possibility. Clipping coupons helps but it also makes you buy over priced stuff. Paying attention to the fliers from the local grocery seems to the best way to cut costs. They have coupons that give a $10 or $5 off if the purchase is more than an certain amount which seem to work out better than coupons for a specific product. Also there are items that are on sale each week. Just a little extra planning can help save $20 or so every visit. Moreover even organic items are on sale on certain days of the week.

When things get to me I to head to the nearest swimming pool. On days that the weather or the news or whatever gets to me the dip puts me in a better frame of mind. If you are into swimming, running, walking or dancing I bet you know what I am talking about.

Stone Ground Wheat Flour
The wheat flour that Indian grocery stores carry is called atta and is also labelled as whole wheat flour, it has a slightly yellowish tinge and is pretty fine and smooth. There is no bran - look here. The last time around I found a 25 lbs bag of stone ground whole wheat flour for the price of 20 lbs of atta. Though a bit reluctant to buy that large a quantity, what if it was a disaster, I picked it nevertheless (see above). Fast forward, the texture of the flour is a bit coarse but the rotis or chapatis made out of the flour are so soft. They do not get hard or chewy the next day which is not the case with rotis made of atta. If you like a slightly smoother texture you can always sift the flour. I have not tried it but just a thought. Following Kay's method of leaving the dough to rest for 3-4 hours or soaking as she calls it gives even better results.


Stone ground Wheat Flour Rotis
1. 3 Cups Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour
2. 1 tsp salt
3. 1 tsp oil - amended - 1 tbsp yogurt or yogurt whey
4. 1 cup of water

1. Mix the flour, salt and oil.
2. Add water bit by bit and make a pliable dough
3. Let the dough rest for at least an hour but preferably for 3-4 hours/
4. make small lime sized balls and roll it out into circles about 1/4 inch thick.
5. Heat a griddle and transfer the rolled out dough onto it. Wait for a second and turn it
6. Let it cook on one side till brown spots appear
7. Flip and apply slight pressure till the rotis start to puff
8. Remove from the heat. apply a bit of ghee or spray of oil if desired.


Kale is a green that I have not tried before. One look at Sig's Chickpeas and Kale stir fry is all the encouragement I needed. I had not soaked chickpeas so decided to use a combination of toor and chana dals.

Kale with chana and toor dals
1. 1 bunch Kale washed and chopped
2. 1/2 onion chopped
3. 1/2 cup toor dal
4. 1/2 cup chana dal
5. 5 garlic cloves chopped
6. 1/2 tbsp sambhar powder
7. 1 tsp turmeric powder
8. 1 tbsp lemon juice
9. salt to taste
10. 1 tsp oil

1. Cook the toor and chana dal with a bit of turmeric and a drop of sesame oil
till soft. (should not be mushy)
2. Heat a pan add the oil when hot add the onions and garlic and saute till soft.
3. Add the kale and let it cook till wilted (will be still a bit crunchy)
4. Add the sambhar powder and salt
5. Add the cooked dal and mix
6. Add the lemon juice.

Serve with rotis or as a side for rice.


  1. Great combination and yes the stone ground wheat flour definitely gives the best results for chappathi's and roti's ! The Kale curry looks yum and tasty :-)

  2. "Bobby" (guy selected his own name himself off of Brady bunch serial! Lame!!) Piyush Jindal is not at all proud of his Indian heritage, regardless what religion he chose to lead his life!

    Sanjay Gupta(love that guy) surprised me by saying NO but his wife is expecting their daughter any time, so I guess it's too much responsibility to take on DC too.

    Mallya rocks, so does Anoop! HeHe!!

    I bought a Sujatha brand atta last time, really makes soft rotis. Roti and dal sag are the best combo, looks delicious.

    Arvind is in a meeting, so got nothing to do today but wine and movies for me! :P

    Two birthdays coming next weekend, scared already!:D

  3. Doesn't it seem every new politician is somehow enmeshed in hollywood now -- it's a disgrace, really.

    I always thought it was me, making poor chappatis since I don't have much experience -- but I will try the longer rest and maybe some of that stone ground flour too :)

    Dal and kale sounds interesting and looks great, ISG!

  4. Yeah, lots of folks with Indian roots in the news these days, right? I was amazed by the coupon-cutters featured in an Oprah show. They cut their bills by almost 70%! I figured I'll at least try to use coupons that grocery stores give along with the bill but somehow I never remember to carry them with me when I go to shop or the few times I managed to remember, those had expired already.
    Rotis that I make never stay soft. I can blame the atta now! :) Kale dal looks great, ISG!

  5. Good point there about what is junk vs what is junk :-) Even within Indian foods, pakodas and bondas are considered more junk than vadas, come to think about it. I wonder whether the time at which they are served adds to that perception - breakfast and lunch are serious meals, but pakodas and bondas are seen as snacks and usually not served at meal times ... maybe that has something to with it.

  6. Nothing to beat chakki ka atta I guess and its proven again by those soft, puffed up rotis of yours! Haven't ever come across kale and only see it on these blogs, but looks like it makes a great combination with chana dal!

  7. A excelent post yeah itoo try to control my gorcerry bills these days, i tend to look for bargains etc.....roties lmook so yumm and the dal so healthy and yummy.

  8. Wow kale is something new to me. Looks yum....

  9. Hi

    It would be great if you could post a link to what you refer to as "kay's method"


  10. I look out for those coupons too.. that stores offer.. for several months I had one where i got $20 off $40 purchase - awesome. Tried with the individual ones but it was too much to keep track of even with a coupon organizer so abandoned it.

    Sig's recipe had me intrigued too.. stone ground must make the rotis extra special.

  11. That kala looks really good. I use ragular dals in kale & even spinach, they always add some kind of crunch & texture.
    regarding the atta, a lot of them in indian grocers are like maida. I had got sujata atta once which i had liked & buy that whenever i see it. another option is to mix the coarse whole wheat from the whole food tot he atta. I cannot take too much whole wheat as I have allergy which shows up whenever there is too much whole wheat!

  12. Usha, absolutely, yet to try with ragi flour combo. Will soon.

    Asha, did not know that. For a smart guy like him should have looked further than Brady bunch!!

    Linda, it is depressing just confirms that it is one profession which does not need special qualification, after CA, NM might be seeing a Hollywood type as governor.

    Vani, been there done that. I just stuff the coupons in my purse, so it is with me wherever I go.

    Sra, you put it way better than me. Interesting right?

    Miri, it certainly does. If you use drumstick leaves they might come close texture wise.

    HC, these habits learned never go away. Thanks.

    Gayatri,I just did.

    Laavanya, I keep the ones I will use for sure in my purse. so about 80% of the time I remember, sometimes I buy keeping the coupon in mind and then forget to hand over. Yes it is a pain.

    Soma, the crunch is what got me excited about the Kale too. I tried the Stone Ground with the regular atta and the rotis were excellent too.

    Got to try this Sujatha brand, I have never seen it around here though.

  13. Lot of Indians in the news these days for good and bad....
    I have heard the coupons save a lot. I use only the Costco coupons and I will have to try them at the grocery shops. I usually forget them. Will have to cultivate the habit.
    I have to try the Kale. Chappatis look too soft... I use Sujatha Brand and they come out good.

  14. Yeah I was really sad that Sanjay Gupta turned down the offer.
    I am not a coupon person either, I don't even bring the grocery flyers in. is there an online coupon place that is good ? Any idea

    Stone ground wheat flour is definitely good. I suck at making rotis though, Baby A's nanny makes them twice a week and I ask her to add Flax Seed powder to the atta. Sometimes I also add wheat germ to the dough.
    On other days I buy these flax seed wraps

  15. Cilantro, yup I sure can understand, remembering to take the coupons is another matter altogether. I stuff it in my purse.

    Sandeepa, if you shop online, using online coupons works out great. I went to ifrogz for some some stuff and searched online for coupon/code and that made a good saving. I used do the same fling them in the recycle, my advice don't - at least the flyers from your regular grocery store. They have coupons sometimes or the best is the items they have on sale.

    I am glad to hear that, I suck at making rotis too. I used to think anybody from up North(for us in the South any state besides TN,Kerala,AP,Karnataka) made super duper chaptis and rotis. Flax Seed wraps or whole wheat wraps make great substitutes.

  16. Thats a gr8 meal! Nice combo .. Looks lovely!! I'm a coupon person too... I clip coupons regularly, look on the flyers, make a list of items to purchase and buy only those items on the list.. I follow this strictly to avoid buying extra items just because i have a coupon for that! This saves me a lot of money.. also i get few cents reduced in the total for using my cloth bag insted of their plastic bags!! If not now.. one day those cents might add up worth an item!! Some people feel clipping coupons are waste of time and need some home work before shopping.. But to save money in this recession, the best way is- coupons! ;D Did u get bored of this lengthy comment? :)

  17. Anu, no absolutely not, long comments give me a boost :) You are my model shopper. I am not completely there but I am trying. Absolutely those cents add up and avoiding buying unwanted items is itself a big saving.
    Yes cannot forget those bag savings. Sure, I am seriously thinking of abandoning a grocery chain that does not give credit for the bags.

  18. Lovely combination. I love the greens and daal combination version of yours.

  19. healthy combo...looks yummy and soft ISG. kale.. have never used it. shud start experimenting with other greens.

  20. I don't buy wheat flour normally, I buy ready made rotis. Yep, I am that lazy. But I've been planning to switch to making my own rotis after this trip, and stone ground wheat flour it is for me! Thanks for the tip.
    BTW, did you like Kale?

  21. I've never used kale either..yours looks very inviting. And ISG, must say, I really love reading your posts :)

  22. Sig, we all liked it. The crunch and the slightly peppery taste was something to relish. Thank you for the inspiration. There is nothing wrong with buying rotis. For me making rotis does not come naturally as making dosai, so I can understand your hesitation.

    aquadaze, give kale a try, you will like it. Wow, thank you. I love hearting that :)

  23. Wow!! Glad you are sold on the soaking roti dough idea.

    And Kale, huh? :) lol
    I tried kale sambhar once, pressure cooked everything together and never bought kale again. Maybe it's time to revist kale.

  24. Indo - Wow! Kale, I can't imagine you can cook such delicious, healthy food using Kale. I never used anything other than spinach. I would surely give it a try.

  25. ANI, it is nice to see you here again, it's been a while. Yes Kale, is crunchy and peppery and very different from spinach. Does not go mushy that easily.

  26. i've found that the annapoorna brand has that stoneground texture and aroma. the others just don't.


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