Salted Lassi

Salted Lassi is a 10 rupee (15 cents) drink that Indians love, particularly in the morning. You can find it at most breakfast bars around Bangalore. It is drunk as a refresher and is considered to have good health properties.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. yogurt
  • 2 tbs. fresh coriander
  • 1 tsp. ginger, rough chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Instructions

  • Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Add about 2 cups water to dilute.
  • Drink.

Makes about 3 cups

Note: This drink is definitely an acquired taste.  The salt makes it tart, the ginger pretty strong and the overall texture something not quite like a smoothy, but also not milk. I’m afraid neither one of us enjoyed it much.

Two Chutneys – Onion & Coconut

Onion Chutney

  • 2 big onions, big dice
  • 2 dried chillis (spicy)
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ginger, skinned and rough chopped
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • Small piece of white meat of fresh coconut
  • Pinch salt

Instructions

  • Saute all ingredients for 10 minutes, until softened.
  • Put ingredients into food processor/blender and grind until relatively smooth, but small chunks might remain.

Coconut Chutney

  • 50 gm small chana dal
  • 1 small piece white meat of fresh coconut
  • Few coriander leaves
  • 1 fresh green chilli
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • Pinch mustard seeds
  • 5 fresh curry leaves

Instructions

  • Mix the ingredients (chana dal, coconut, coriander, geen chilli and salt) in a bowl and then put into a food processor/blender and grind.
  • Add water (add 1 tbs. at a time) to get right consistency, which should be not too liquid
  • Saute in a little oil (1 tsp.) the mustard seeds and curry leaves, about 2 minutes, until lightly cooked.
  • Put mustard seeds and curry leaf oil on top of chutney for flavor.

Makes 1 cup each

IMG_1450

Prawns with Spices

Ingredients

  • 1 tbs. oil
  • 2 tsp. channa powder
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder
  • Pinch tumeric powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/4 kilo (about 1/2 pound) prawns

Instructions

  • Mix all ingredients (except oil) and let sit for 5-10 minutes.
  • Heat saute pan with oil.
  • Add prawn mixture when hot.
  • Cook until prawns are translucent, about 3 minutes each side.
  • Don’t over cook because they get rubbery.
  • Serve when done.

Makes 1 1/2 cups

Okra and Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 4 tbs. oil, split
  • 1/4 kilo (about 1/2 pound) okra or lady fingers, as they are known in India, sliced into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 potato, diced
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • Pinch jeera powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Instructions

  • Heat saute pan without oil.
  • Once hot add 2 tbs. oil and continue heating.
  • Add lady fingers and cook until browned and not gummy, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove lady fingers from pan and put in bowl.
  • Add 2 tbs. oil to same pan and heat.
  • Add potato and  cook until soft, about 10 minutes.
  • Add lady fingers back into pan with potatoes and stir.
  • Add spices, mix and serve.

Makes 1 1/2 cups

Vegetable Fried Rice with Prawns

Just because I haven’t posted recently doesn’t mean we aren’t eating!

Ingredients

  • 1 c. white rice
  • 3 tbs. oil
  • 1/2 c. beans, chopped
  • 1/2 c. scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 c. cauliflower, chopped
  • 1/2 c. carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 c. green peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 lb. prawns
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. green chili sauce
  • 1 tsp. tomato sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground pepper

Instructions

  • Heat 1 tsp. oil in pressure cooker and then add rice and two cups of water.  Close pressure cook and cook on medium heat for 3-4 pressure pops.
  • Let pressure cooker cool.
  • Heat large pan with oil.
  • Add all the chopped vegetables and saute about five minutes or until vegetables have softened.
  • Add prawns, soy sauce, green chili sauce, tomato sauce, salt and pepper and cook until prawns are just done.
  • Add prawns and vegetables to rice.  Mix and serve.

Makes 4 cups

Scrambled Eggs with Onions and Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 2 – 3 tbs. oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp. tumeric powder
  • 2 small tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs

Instructions

  • Heat oil in saute pan
  • Add chopped onion, chili powder, tumeric, tomatoes and salt and cook for 10-15 minutes until very soft.
  • Add eggs and mix vigorously to scramble them so there are no big pieces of yolk or egg whites.
  • Cook for a few minutes until eggs are cooked through.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Observation: Tumeric is primarily used for coloring and to kills strong odors, in this case eggs!

Chana

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, rough chopped
  • 1 small tomato, rough chopped
  • 1 heaping tsp. garlic paste (chopped)
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • Pinch tumeric
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 3-4 tsp. coconut milk
  • 2 tsp. fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 c. chana beans, soak for 3 hours in water (chickpeas!)
  • Pinch mustard seed
  • 6 fresh curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Instructions

  • Blend onion, tomato, garlic paste, coriander powder, tumeric, chili powder, coconut milk and fresh coriander leaves until smooth
  • Heat pressure cooker base
  • Add 3 – 4 tsp. oil after cooker is heated
  • Continue to heat oil for a few minutes
  • Add pinch mustard seeds to oil, cook for 30 seconds
  • Add fresh curry leaves and heat for a minute
  • Add onion and tomato blended mixture, stir together and cook for five minutes on medium-high heat.
  • Add 1/4 c. water to blender to get rest of sauce out and add water mixture to cooker.
  • Add drained chana beans and salt.
  • Mix and make sure the mixture isn’t too thick.  Add additional water to right consistency.
  • Close pressure cooker and cook on medium heat about 15 minutes, but really by the number of pressure releases.  Every time the top pops it is a unit of cooking time.  So this dish requires 3 – 4 pressure releases before the dish is done.  DO NOT OPEN THE PRESSURE COOKER IN THE MIDDLE!

Makes about 2 cups

 

What do we eat?

Amazingly enough after being here over two months we aren’t hankering for non-Indian food.  That doesn’t mean we don’t periodically go out and enjoy a bowl of pasta, but generally we are very, very happy eating Indian food every day.

I think this is because of the immense variety and wonderful flavors.  The spices are incredible (I’ll do a separate post on that!), the breads varied and we haven’t found eating vegetarian to be difficult.

Paneer provides the protein.  They call it cottage cheese here, but it is more sturdy in structure than our cottage cheese.  There are lots of ways to include paneer in your diet.

Because India is a poor country things are really available seasonally.  Right now we are in summer so the mangos are really starting to appear (they need a few rains to make them even sweeter), jackfruit, and other seasonal fruits like mash melons (looks like cantaloupe to me!) and watermelon.

Right now because of the mangos Annette is making mango lassis daily.  They haven’t been too hard to consume.  So this might be breakfast.

IMG_1328

For us lunch is usually leftovers from the night before.  Annette makes enough for Eric to pack a lunch box, or a modern day tiffin box and enjoy a great meal.  It makes it really easy, but by the time he gets home it is time for dinner so we eat early.

IMG_1543

Annette works 10am-4pm and leaves dinner for us each evening.  Here are some sample meals over the past few days.  My next post will show how these are made (including recipes!)

  • Meal 1 – Fried Eggplant, Green Gram Dal with Onions and Tomatoes, Vegetable Biryani, Paneer Masala, Cucumber Raita and Chapati

IMG_1382

  • Meal 2 – Methi Paratha, Scrambled Eggs with Onions and Tomatoes and Chana
  • Meal 3 – Vegetable Fried Rice with Prawns, Prawns with Spices and Okra with Potatoes
  • Meal 4 – Dosas with Potato, Onions and Coriander filling and Onion Chutney and Coconut Chutney

Most Indians actually enjoy a large breakfast and lunch with a small and late dinner, around 10pm.  The heat around dinner time makes it less pleasant to eat a heavy meal. Obviously we are still on an American clock!