Tag Archives: fenugreek

Rice Free Idli of Bajra (Pearl Millet) & Ragi (Finger Millet) Grains: Plain and Masala Varieties

Rice Free Idli of Bajra (Pearl Millet) and Ragi (Finger Millet) Grains

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let me start off this post with a disclaimer: I have nothing against rice. In fact, I like rice in all shapes and form although I rarely eat it. In my quest for a healthy and nutritious diet, I try to replace rice with other grains wherever possible.

today’s recipe is a tale of two idlis which met by chance in one cooking session

Having successfully made rice-free jowar (sorghum) idlis in the past, for this recipe, I thought of experimenting with two other types of millet grains: pearl (bajra) and finger (ragi).

a successful experiment which demonstrates that it is possible to make idlis without rice

Batter for Rice Free Bajra and Ragi Idlis (Masala)
Batter for Rice Free Bajra and Ragi Idlis (Masala)
Batter for Rice Free Bajra and Ragi Idlis (Plain)
Batter for Rice Free Bajra and Ragi Idlis (Plain)

Another fortuitous discovery I made while making these is masala idli.

While the first round of idlis were merrily steaming away, I suddenly remembered that I had some shelled peas and mixed sprouts lying around in the refrigerator. I thought of adding these along with some freshly grated turmeric and green chilli-ginger paste to the second round of idlis.

Both types taste equally good. They are soft like conventional idlis although not as fluffy (absence of rice I imagine).

The following makes 24 regular size idlis.

Ingredients for Plain Idli Batter

1 Cup bajra (pearl millet)

1 Cup ragi (finger millet)

1 Cup white urad dal (white gram/white lentil)

2 Tablespoons methi seeds (fenugreek)

Salt to taste

Ghee for greasing idli moulds

Ingredients for Masala Idli Batter (Optional)*

2 – 3 Tablespoons shelled peas

2 – 3 tablespoons mixed sprouts

1 Teaspoon turmeric

1 Teaspoon green chilli-ginger paste

Method:

  1. Wash the bajra, ragi, urad dal and methi seeds.
  2. Add water and soak for 8 to 10 hours.
  3. Grind in a food processor. The end result should be a batter which is neither too thick nor too thin. Some of the ragi grains may remain whole, this is perfectly okay.
  4. Cover and place the batter in a warm, dark place to ferment. This can take anything from a few hours to 34 hours depending on the temperature (see note below).
  5. When you are ready to cook the idlis, add some salt to the batter and mix well. If you are making masala idli, you can add the optional ingredients at this stage.
  6. Grease idli moulds and pour the batter in them.
  7. Put in a steamer and let the idlis steam for 40 minutes.
  8. Remove from the steamer and leave for a few minutes.
  9. Run a knife under each idli to remove it from its mould.
  10. Serve with chutney of your choice.

Note:

  1. In warm weather, the batter can ferment in a matter of 4 to 6 hours. If the temperatures are low, the fermentation process takes much longer.
  2. For masala idli, you can add any vegetable of your choice. Grated carrots, grated cabbage and grated bottlegourd would work equally well.
  3. I had fresh turmeric root which I grated and used which is why the colour of my masala idlis is so bright! You can use turmeric powder instead.

Here are the two friends side by side – plain and masala.

Rice Free Bajra and Ragi Idlis (Plain)  Rice Free Bajra and Ragi Idlis (Masala)

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Methi Per Eedu/Fenugreek Leaves with Eggs

Fenugreek Leaves with Eggs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My very dear friend Meher is a Parsi. We regularly exchange notes on what’s for dinner in our respective homes and she often mentions methi (fenugreek leaves) or bhinda (okra) with eedu (eggs). Parsis love their eggs and add them to many vegetables during the final cooking stage.

I had fenugreek leaves left over after I had made the muthia and wanted to try something totally new. I thought of Meher’s eggy dinners and came up with my interpretation of methi per eedu (fenugreek leaves topped with beaten eggs).

The final dish is a soft, spongy vegetable and egg mixture which is totally divine. Definitely on my “make again” list!

serve with some crusty bread or rotis

Note:

  1. I am not claiming this to be an authentic Parsi recipe, just my take on their famous “per eedu” vegetable dishes.
  2. If you don’t have fenugreek leaves, try it with okra, potatoes or spinach. It will taste just as good.

Ingredients

2 Cups fenugreek leaves

2 Onions

2 Tomatoes

3 Green chillies

2 Tablespoons ginger-garlic paste

1-2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce* (optional)

1 Teaspoon turmeric powder

1 -2 Teaspoons chilli powder

Salt to taste

1 tablespoon oil

2 Eggs

1-2 Teaspoons coarsely ground black peppercorns

Method

  1. Finely chop the onions, tomatoes and green chillies.
  2. Heat the oil in a wide base frying pan. When hot, add the onions, green chillies and the salt. Mix well, cover and cook for 5 minutes on low heat.
  3. While the onions are cooking, chop and wash the fenugreek leaves (or whichever vegetable you are using).
  4. Now, let’s go back to the onions. Once the 5 minutes are up, add the ginger-garlic paste to the onion mixture and stir for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, turmeric powder and chilli powder.
  6. Mix well, cover and cook for further 5-7 minutes (or till tomatoes are well cooked).
  7. Add the fenugreek leaves and mix everything together. This may take some time. In the process, you will notice that the leaves wilt.
  8. Cover and cook for 2 minutes.
  9. While the fenugreek leaves are cooking, beat the 2 eggs with a pinch of salt and ground peppercorns.
  10. Open the lid of the frying pan and pat down the fenugreek mixture with the back of a spoon. Once it is level, pour the beaten eggs all over the surface. Do NOT stir or touch.
  11. Cover and let it cook for 20 minutes.
  12. Switch off the burner and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.
*Worcestershire sauce is usually not used in Indian cooking. I had read a recipe in a Parsi cookbook by Jeroo Mehta which listed this as part of a “per eedu” recipe. Since I had a bottle on hand, I thought I would try it. Although it is optional, it definitely gives the end dish a nice zing.

This is what the spinach mixture looks like once you level it.

Methi per eedu1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After which, you pour the beaten eggs.

Methi per eedu2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The final result, once the eggs are cooked.

Methi per eedu3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cut in wedges and serve

 

 

Carrot & Cabbage Bajra (Pearl Millet) Idli

Carrot and Cabbage Bajra Idli with Tomato-Ginger Chutney

A couple of months back, I had made the most delicious jowar idli. I am currently out of jowar so decided to replicate the experiment with bajra (pearl millet) instead.  Additionally, I decided to add grated carrots and cabbage to make a nutritiously balanced dinner.

like tomatoes, carrots are more nutritious cooked

Ingredients

1 cup whole bajra (pearl millet)

0.5 cup urad dal (split black gram)

2 tablespoons brown rice

1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi dana)

2 grated carrots

Half a head grated cabbage

Salt to taste

Oil/ghee to grease idli moulds

Method

  1. Wash and soak bajra, urad dal, brown rice and fenugreek seeds for 10-12 hours.
  2. Finely grind them making sure the batter is of pouring consistency.
  3. Transfer to a container, cover and leave in a warm, dark place for 8-10 hours to ferment. (If you are in a cool climate, place container with the batter in a larger empty container which you have just warmed. My personal experience is that this speeds up the fermentation process.)
  4. When ready to cook the idlis, mix the carrots, cabbage and salt to the batter.
  5. Grease idli moulds and pour the batter.
  6. Steam for 25 minutes.
  7. Once cooked, take out the moulds and let them rest for about 5 minutes before removing the idlis.
  8. Serve with tomato and ginger chutney.

This is what the fermented batter looks like:

Fermented Idli Batter

Here are the idlis cooked to perfection:

Idlis Hot off the Steamer

Tip:

If you don’t have idli moulds, you can still make this recipe. Just pour the batter in a cake tin or equivalent and steam. Once cooked, cool and cut in squares before serving.

Mixed Cereal and Cauliflower Paniyaram/Mixed Cereal and Cauliflower Aebleskiver

Cooked Paniyaram

Paniyaram is a type of dumpling popular in South India. It is usually made with idli or dosa batter of lentils and rice and can be made savoury or sweet.

Paniyaram is made in a special paniyaram pan with holes in which the batter is poured.

Paniyaram Cooking

Interestingly, the Danes also have a similar dish called aebleskiver, a type of sweet pancake made in a special pan with round dents.

English: This is the top side of my Griswold A...
English: This is the top side of my Griswold Aebleskiver pan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These cute dumplings are a recent discovery of mine after I was given a paniyaram pan by my beloved members on our annual meetup in scenic Kerala. I have had lots of fun experimenting with conventional and unconventional recipes.

most of my recipes have been savoury although I did try the sweet Danish version by adapting this recipe

In this post, I want to share with you one of my more unconventional paniyaram recipes. You can also think of them as savoury aebleskiver!

Ingredients

1 cup mixed cereal of your choice (I used a combination of black eyed beans, chickpeas, black bengal gram/desi chana, fenugreek, whole wheat, brown rice and pearl millet/bajra)

Image

2-3 tablespoons chickpea flour and/or rice flour and/or semolina (optional but I find that it gives some texture)

Half head of cauliflower

2 tomatoes

2 onions

A spoonful of minced ginger and green chillies (or according to taste)

1 teaspoon turmeric

Salt to taste

1 tablspoon oil

Method

  1. Soak the mixed cereal for 10-12 hours.
  2. Grind the cereal with water very finely, making sure it is of pouring consistency.
  3. Leave the batter to ferment in a warm place for 8-10 hours. (If you want to skip this step, please see Tips below.)
  4. Finely chop the cauliflower, tomatoes and onions. Holes in the paniyaram pan are small so you want to make sure that the vegetables are very finely chopped. If you have a manual or an electric chopper, you can use that instead of a knife.
  5. When ready to cook, put the paniyaram pan on high heat.
  6. Mix the batter with the remaining ingredients.
  7. Reduce the heat to minimum and pour the batter in the holes using a spoon.
  8. Add a drop of oil on each paniyaram.
  9. Cover and cook on minimum heat for 10 minutes.
  10. Flip over, leave it open and cook for further 10 minutes.
  11. Once cooked, they will come out loosely from the holes. Serve with some hot sauce like the extra hot Tobasco.

Tip:

  1. If you don’t have time or the right climate to ferment the batter, use it as is. Just add a pinch of bicarbonate of soda (Eno).
  2. Fenugreek seeds are optional. I add them since, apart from being good for health, they aid the fermentation process.
  3. Please don’t use kidney beans as part of your mixed cereal combination since they contain a toxic agent called lectin. As a result, they have to be cooked before being used in any recipe.
  4. Even if you don’t have paniyaram pan, you can try out this recipe. Simply make pancakes instead

paniyaram batter is very forgiving; if it is too thin or insufficient you can add semolina or any other flour like ragi flour

in case you have left over batter, refrigerate it and use it the next day to make more paniyarams or dosa like pancakes