Thursday, October 7, 2010

mung tahiri with vegetables.....

What do you do when you want to eat healthy and nutritious lunch and have no time  , or may be you can spare just about 15 minutes to cook and still you want something pleasing to eat. It's not that difficult if you are a good planner and keep some chopped veggies in the fridge . Freezing the veggies is a very good idea if you have good freezer space . I do not have much space in the freezer but most of the times when i buy some fresh vegetable and cook something with half of the quantity , i prefer chopping the leftover vegetable and keep that in ziplock bags inside the freezer . Carrots , beans , lotus stem , baby corn , sweet corn and even bitter guard behave really decently when they are cooked straight out of the freezer. This way it is ensured that the vegetable is processed in it's freshest form , keeping the vegetables in the lower sections of fridge may end up in shriveled and stale vegetables , and it takes more time to peel and chop ( with a heavy heart of course ) ..........you can even freeze the ginger Julienne and they are so easy to use after that , just thrash them to make smaller pieces or a coarse paste as required. 

Although many vegetable do not freeze well like mushrooms , potatoes and many cucurbits , but we should make the best use of the vegetables who are friends with the freezer ....so if you do that , you know you are never too tired to cook a great looking healthy meal for your family. Lots of precut frozen vegetables are available in the stores these days and that can be chosen if you need so...


Tahiri and khichri are the most favorite one pot meals and they are specially very rewarding when there is a time crunch.. Traditionally cooked tahiri needs to stir fry the vegetables and then the rice along with them and then adding water to cook . This takes double the time than this quick tahiri recipe ( or an idea again ) as the vegetables take time to be stir fried and then the rice takes it's own time to cook . Here in this recipe i cook the rice ( and mung dal as used here ) simultaneously when i stir fry the vegetables and they are mixed up in the final stages of cooking to reduce the total cooking time.... see how i do it.

ingredients ...
( two servings )

rice ( i used white basmati tukda ) 1 teacup
mung dal 1 tea cup
sliced lotus stem 200 gm
baby corn chopped 100 gm
soy nuggets 10-12 nos.
sliced onions 1 cup
ginger chopped in thin julienne 1 tbsp
lenthwise slit green chillies 3-4 nos.
cumin seeds 2 tsp
black pepper corns crushed 2 tsp
cinnamon stick 1 inch long
black cardamom lightly crushed 2 nos.
bay leaves 2 nos.
salt to taste
ghee 2 tbsp
( any vegetable can be used here and green peas especially are very good addition , but at the end of the day you make it with whatever is there in your freezer )

preparation...

To make the maximum use of time on hand first place the soy nuggets with enough water (200 ml ) into the microwave for 2 minutes.

In the meantime wash the dal and rice together , immerse in 4 teacups of water in a microwave safe bowl and place the bowl inside the microwave oven ( after taking out the soy nuggets ) for 10 minutes on high , uncovered. Add the bay leaves to the cooking rice and dal mixture . If not using microwave this can be done on the other burner of the gas stove conveniently.

This is the time to come to a thick base kadai . Heat ghee in the kadai and throw in the cumin seeds and cinnamon stick . Now add the black cardamom and crushed pepper corns along with the green chillies and ginger julienne . Add the sliced onions too without waiting for any popping of the spices. The onions need to be caramelized a bit and adding a pinch or two of salt quickens up the process.

Now add the chopped veggies , the soy chunks get slightly cooled up to this time and they are also added at this point of time after squeezing all it water. Add salt to taste and stir fry on low heat ( the vegetables are not to be overcooked ) till the rice becomes almost 90% cooked . There should still be some liquid into the rice. And if you do the stir frying fast like me you will need to switch off the gas till the rice is ready.

When the rice is just about to cook , take it out and pour over the cooked veggies , mix lightly and cover with a tight fitting lid and cook on very low flame for about 2-3 minutes.

As you see i served it with a salsa like salad here , that is made within the 2-3 minutes when the rice is being finished . Dunk two tomatoes ( crossed with a knife on the top ) in the microwave for 2 minutes , they will burst open and become squishy . Let them cool a bit while you chop some cucumber and onions and may be a green chilly . Mash the cooked tomato after removing the skin , add the chopped onion and cucumber , salt to taste and a dash of raw mustard oil ( Extra virgin olive oil is great too ) , mix well and it's ready to be served on the side.


This tahiri is mildly spicy and the taste of the individual veggies comes out nicely.The texture of mung dal is very interesting in this because every grain of dal remains separate and gives a nice complement to the rice.
I like serving the tahiri with this salsa or kachumber style salad as it combines well with the mildly spiced rice . If serving a curd based raita on the side , you may like to make the raita a bit hot .

Eating healthy is not a herculean task if you love the vegetables for their color , texture and nutrition....This is a yummy balanced meal with intelligent planning and minimal physical work....

cheers for good health...

9 comments:

  1. Hi Sangeeta,

    Looks so yummy and colourful...Love it...

    Dr.Sameena@

    www.myeasytocookrecipes.blogspot.com

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  2. This is a beautiful in a crunch-fast, healthy and looks delicious.

    I agree that we should take the opportunity if freezer space permits to pre-cut and bag vegetables for later fast use.

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  3. yes, freezer can definitely be your friend in such cases. this looks beautiful and healthy too.

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  4. Love this healthy and yummy dish, all in one pot...

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  5. Oh My God. I am drooling. This is so damn nice. I am going to try it. Thanks a ton for sharing it.

    Have a great day ahead.

    regards

    Shiva

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  6. Very healthy dish..This is my first visit. I like your blog so much. you have nice recipes glad to follow you:-)

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  7. new one to me Sangeetha. Will try it out.

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  8. This looks very healthy with all the vegetables...nice and complete meal..

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