I am a stickler for nutrition packed recipes with minimal amount of cooking fat. The recipes should be quick to cook and convenient to serve if it is your daily routine meal . We all like exotic recipes , fresh ingredients and elaborately arranged plates , but that we do once in a while to please ourselves . To take pleasure in buying the stuff fresh and processing them lovingly, to lay out the table and enjoying the meal , all by ourselves or with loved ones around. Daily meals need to be made with staple ingredients and for me they need to be cooked in one or two simple steps . Taste and nutrition i cannot compromise .... so even if the dish looks monochromatic , it is packed with all the goodness our body requires...
( 2-4 servings )
lotus stems 1 stick (200gm)
chana daal or split chickpeas 1/2 cup
freshly pureed tomatoes 1 cup
cumin seeds 2 tsp
asafoetida a pinch
turmeric powder 2 tsp
salt to taste
red chilly powder 1 tsp
or a bit more if you like it hot
ghee 1 tbsp
spices to be powdered together...
cumin seeds 1 tsp
black peppercorns 1 tsp
coriander seeds 2 tsp
bay leaves 2 nos.
I call it my everyday curry powder which keeps well for 2-3 months and i used a heaped tbsp of the ready powder from my lot.
Wash and soak the chana daal in 2 cups of water for 15 -25 minutes or till you do the preparations .
Peel the lotus stem and wash the interiors properly , then slice the lotus stem in thin (.5 cm) slices .
Put the chana daal along with the soaking water , lotus stem slices , salt and turmeric powder and freshly pureed tomatoes in a pressure cooker pan and cook on high flame till the whistle blows . Turn the flame to low and cook for another 8-10 minutes. Let it cool by itself , till the pressure releases.
For the tempering , heat the ghee in a pan and throw in the asafoetida powder and the cumin seeds and wait till the cumin crackles. Take the pan off heat and now throw in the everyday curry powder or the spice powder you made freshly , stir and then add the red chilly powder quickly . The heat of the ghee will cook the powders even if the pan is off heat and spices would turn aromatic.
Now pour the cooked daal and lotus stems into the pan and cook on medium heat till a soft boil stirring all the while .
Serve hot with chapatis or plain boiled rice.
Lots of vegetables and a small serving of rice or a chapati , that sums up my everyday lunch .
And that keeps the spice level in my meals to my liking too...
PS : lotus stem is one of the highest plant sources of iron . It is high on calories unlike other vegetables ... prepared in a healthy way it can be your savoir for good health .