Gluten-Free Cooking For One

Celiac And The Single Girl, Or: How To Make Food That Does Not Suck For One Person {Although I Suppose You Could Feed Other People, Too}


2 Comments

Kichari (Kichdi) – mung beans and rice

Another Indian veg recipe here! It’s been a busy couple of weeks and my stomach’s been wonky, so I’ve been mostly eating potato chips and meat rolls (ok, fancy name for sandwich meat rolled up) and finally I had a minute to cook last night. Whew!

I’ve been wanting to try kichdi for a while, so last night was the night. Kichari or kichdi is a basic dish, using mung beans (moong dal) and basmati rice. In India, when your stomach’s not feeling good, they might give you jeera rice (cumin seed rice) or kichdi to soothe your system. Jeera rice is easy to make in the rice cooker – just make regular rice, and before you turn on the rice cooker, add cumin seeds that have been fried in oil just until they crackle, dump in both seeds and oil. Many of the kichdi recipes I’ve been seeing call for a pressure cooker, and I don’t have one, so I made this on the stovetop.

You can add any vegetables you have, and I love potatoes, so I added those.

Here’s a link to a proper kichdi recipe – I adapted this one, given what I had and my limited time: http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/moong-dal-khichdi-recipe/

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup mung beans, split and rinsed
1/2 cup rice
1 small to medium onion, chopped
1/4 t Ginger (I used powdered because it’s what I had – add enough for your taste)
3/4 t Cumin seeds
1/4 t Turmeric powder
Hot pepper, if you like it hot, or chili powder
Salt
Water as necessary
Potatoes, precooked and cubed – you could also use raw, but then add them in time for
them to cook
Oil

METHOD

First, rinse your mung beans and then soak the rice and beans together for about 30 minutes. I did this by putting them in a bowl with water to cover.

I put about 2 Tbsp oil (I used olive) into the pan and, after it was hot, I dropped in the cumin seeds and let them fry until they crackled. Then I put in the chopped onion and let it soften until translucent. I added my spices after the onion was translucent and then stirred well. Then I drained my rice/beans and added them to the pot, with about 2 cups of water (you’re going to cook the rice/beans in this water, so make sure there’s enough, and check back to make sure you’re not burning the bottom of the mixture), which filled my pot as full as I wanted it. I didn’t want it too full, to avoid boiling over.

Bring this mixture to a gentle boil, stirring frequently, then cook for 20 – 30 minutes, or until rice and beans are nice and soft. Add the potatoes a little bit before the end and stir well.

This mixture can be either thick and mushy or have a runnier consistency like porridge – it’s up to you and how much water you add. If you notice that it’s turning out thicker than you’d like, add more water and stir!

I served this with curd (plain yogurt or raita) and it was yummy. I did find it a bit bland, which doesn’t surprise me in food for invalids, so I’m spicing it by the bowl. No photos, I keep eating it before I can take one. lol I’ll try again this evening.

Enjoy!


6 Comments

Paneer and Onion Pakoras

Not my image; courtesy of indobase.net

Made these for the first time, went according to the recipe, and they were yummy – despite some of my spices being (I think) a little out of date. The recipe is only for paneer pakoras, but I love onion pakoras and haven’t had them in an age, so I chopped some long onion slices, dipped those as well, and — yum!!

My big tip would be to make sure the batter isn’t too thick. Mine was quit thick at first, and my first paneer cubes looked like marshmallows and the batter didn’t cook all the way through, because it was too gooey… they wanted to burn on the outside and not cook on the sides. Still yummy, once I got them cooked enough to eat, but much more difficult than necessary and not crispy!! I added more water (and salt for my taste) and the next batch were better.

I’m thinking for the next time out, I might slice the paneer thinly instead of cubing it, because melted paneer is super-yummy as well… although this may make a horrific mess… well, I’ll let you know. I’ll probably be making this again soon!!

They were also delicious the second day, which is not always something I can say about fried food. :}  If you’re tentative about cooking Indian food, or about frying, these were pretty easy for me, and they turned out pretty well!

No photos, I’m sorry — I forgot in the excitement of battering and frying! And, of course, eating. NOM.

Oh!! One last note. I don’t know why, but the paneer didn’t seem to bother my lactose intolerance as much as other (richer?) cheeses do. Part of that might be that my system might finally be mending after my December glutening, but it might be something with the cheese. Who knows? I’m just recording what I see.

http://vegetarian.about.com/od/vegetarianappetizers/r/Fried-Paneer-Pakora.htm

In case this site’s down, here’s the recipe:

Paneer pakoras are Indian paneer cheese cubes or slices fried in a gram flour batter. Ah fried cheese, is there anything more indulgent? Fried Indian paneer cheese, battered and fried like a traditional Indian pakora is absolutely delicious. Enjoy these little vegetarian fried paneer pakoras as is, with a chutney or barbecue sauce.Paneer pakoras are made with chickpea flour, which is “stickier” than regular flour when making pakoras. Check in a large health food store or Asian grocer if your regular grocer doesn’t stock it. It’s a common ingredient in vegetarian Indian cooking.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Indian paneer cheese (250-300 grams), sliced about 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 cup chickpea flour (also called gram flour or besan)
  • 2 tsp oil or ghee (Indian butter) – I used oil
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala (optional) – aw yayuh, this is the stuff
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup water
  • oil for frying

Preparation:

Whisk together the chickpea flour, oil or ghee, garam masala, salt and chili powder. Slowly incorporate water, adding just enough to form a thick batter.Dip each paneer slice in batter, turning to coat well.

Fry in hot oil just until lightly golden brown. These fried paneer slices are best when they’re fresh, so enjoy your paneer pakoras hot.