Monday, March 9, 2009

Fasting Recipes

Shivaratri feast
Maha Shivaratri has come and gone by. And finally I'm getting the opportunity to write the recipes of the dishes I made. Like I mentioned in my blog that day, food that can be eaten is generally saatvik in nature. This means limited use of spices, which results in the recipes being almost bland. But the true challenge lies in making those few ingredients taste delicious. Well, I was able to do just that with the following recipes. Though I was inspired by already available recipes it takes a couple of tries to get them right. And that's exactly what happened. So I give them here in the hope that you try them on the next major fasting day or otherwise.

sabudana khichdi - tapioca pearls cooked with spices
Sabudana (Sago/tapioca pearls) - 1 cup
Onion - 1 (medium size)
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Mustard seeds (rai) - 1/2 tsp
Black gram dal (urad) - 1/2 tsp
Oil for seasoning
Salt to taste
Hing - a pinch
Haldi - a pinch
Peanut powder - 1tbsp or according to taste (recipe follows)

Soak sabudana for 3-4 hrs. After it has soaked, prepare the seasonings. Heat a couple of teaspoons of oil in a thick bottomed pan. Once hot, add the rai, urad dal and curry leaves. Once these sputter, add some hing and turmeric. Now lower the heat, add the chopped onions and let them cook till translucent. In the meanwhile drain the sabudana, rinse and spread in single layer on a paper towel. Make sure that the pearls are just moist before you add them to the onions in the pan (any excess water will result in the khichdi turning to one gooey lump) . After you put the pearls in, add salt to taste and mix thoroughly. It takes just 3-4 minutes for the pearls to get cooked. A minute before switching off the heat add the peanut powder quintessential to this khichdi. Garnish with some fresh coriander leaves and you have a delicious and filling fast food on your plate.

Peanuts - 2tbsp
Urad dal- 1tbsp
Chana dal - 1 tbsp
Sesame seeds - 1 tbsp (optional)
Jeera(cumin seeds) - 1/2 tsp
Whole red chillies - 2 ( more if you prefer )
Dry Roast ( implies roasting without any oil) all the listed ingredients, seperately. Then let them cool and pulse in a food processor to make a coarse powder. Use as required and then store in air-tight container. Stays fresh for couple of weeks. It can be used after that but starts to lose its color, flavor and taste.

Moong daal (pesara pappu) - 1 cup
Water - 3cups
Salt to taste
For the Seasoning:
Rai - 1tsp
Jeera - 1/2 tsp
curry leaves - a sprig
Whole red chillies - 1
Hing - a pinch.
Wash the daal and put in a thick bottom saucepan with the water. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it starts boiling, remove the cover. Stir and lower heat to medium. Let it cook till the daal is al dente. We check for doneness just the way you do for pasta. Take a little bit in a spoon and press the daal. If it gets mashed with just a tiny hard kernel inside, that's the end point. Remove from heat, add salt to taste and cover. Just before serving you have to add the seasoning. Heat a couple teaspoons of oil, add rai and wait till it sputters and dances around. Then add jeera, whole red chillies, hing and curry leaves in that order, take off of heat and add to the daal immediately. Stir the daal once and put the lid back on. This allows for all the flavors to marry before we actually eat it.
pesara kattu - a simple soupy daal
This is more like a watery daal soup because of the 3 to 1 ratio of water. And goes well served over hot rice with a smidgen of ghee and a side of aaloo fry. MMMM YUM!!!
Need to run now to bring Princess back so maybe I'll post the other recipes later. And I hope that this post reminds you that observing a fast makes you and your God happy whilst fasting food will definitely make your tummy quite happy.