बीटाची कोशिंबीर Beetachi koshimbir (Beet Salad)

Sweet, salty, tangy, crunchy beet salad 

Beets are highly nutritious and calorie friendly root vegetables. They are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains which provide antioxiadant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification support. These betalains undergo a steady loss as cooking time increases, so make sure you keep steaming time for beets under 15 minutes. Reference – whfoods.com

This is a simple, easy to make, yet a tasty recipe from my mom.

beetachi_koshimbir

Ingredients

2 cups shredded steamed beet (around 2 medium beets)
1/4 cup ground roasted peanuts
1/4 tsp fennel seeds (optional See Notes below)
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp तिळाची चटणी or 1 tsp sesame seeds (optional)
1/4 cup finely chopped tomato (optional)
2-3 chopped green chilies
3-4 curry leaves
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp hing
1 tsp oil
salt to taste

Wash and peel beets and cut them into halves. I usually steam beets along with rice in a pressure cooker for 3 whistles. It takes around 10-12 minutes if you are using a steamer.
Once they are cooked properly, transfer them into a pot containing ice water before you start gratin;. so that they cool down quickly.

Add chopped tomato, roasted peanut powder (roughly grounded), sesame seeds, fennel seeds lemon juice and salt and mix well.

Heat oil in a small tadka pan, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds when oil becomes hot. Add hing powder, chopped green chilies and curry leaves. Transfer this seasoned oil to the bowl containing beets and mix well.

Notes –

You can substitue lemon juice with yogurt if you like, but make sure it brings enough tanginess to the dish.

Beets contain lot of natural sugar, so don’t add sugar until you taste it.

Roughly grounded peanuts add a nice crunch. I also like to use pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds instead of peanuts.

I love fennel seeds in such recipes, but they are completely optional.

Sesame seeds are also optional, they don’t add any taste but make the dish healthier with good fats. You can also try flaxseed powder instead.

Since beet juice can stain your skin, wearing kitchen gloves is a good idea when handling beets. If your hands become stained during the cleaning and cooking process, simply rub some lemon juice on them to remove the stain.

Hope you will enjoy it!

Sending this to ‘Flavors of Maharashtra‘ event hosted by SeduceYourTasteBuds and Simply.Food 

Vangi Batata – Unbeatable!

I adapted my mom’s recipe of “bharli vangi” to make it super simple and extremely delicious. The one thing I like about वांगी/brinjal/eggplant is it’s readily available in American grocery stores and this subji does not need any special ingredients. It’s super easy and super delicious.

vangi-batata

Ingredients
5-6 medium sized eggplants
2-3 small potatoes
For masala –
1 tb spoon dhana-jeera powder
2.5 tb spoon peanut powder (दाण्याचे कूट)
1 tsp kala masala ( गोडा मसाला )
1 tb spoon shredded coconut
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp sesame seeds (roughly powdered)
1 tsp tamarind paste (deep tamarind chutney works well)
1 tsp jaggery
for tadka (फोडणी)
1 tb spoon oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds,
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp hing powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
4-5 curry leaves
salt to taste

If you want you can make tamarind paste at home but I really like Deep Tamarind Chutney instead. But make sure you account for the salt and chili powder contained in this chutney.

Let’s get started. The whole did does not take more than 25 minutes. Wash eggplants and pat them dry and dice them and keep these cubes immersed in water added with a pinch of salt to avoid their discoloration. Same for potato. Time taken = 5 mins.

Prepare tadka in a pan and add curry leaves after you add turmeric powder. Now add potato cubes and few drops of water. Let it cook for 2 minutes with lid on. Now transfer eggplant cubes to the pan and add some more water. I like to use the same water used for immersing eggplant pieces. Again, if you decide to use this water, remember to adjust salt accordingly because the water does contain some salt. Now let it cook for 5-7 minutes before we add our masala.

Mix all dry ingredients of masala together except for tamarind paste and jaggery. If you add jaggery early in the process, eggplant and potato take longer to cook.

dry masala

Okay, so add the masala to the pan and also add some more water to mix it together. Add salt and let it cook for another 5-7 minutes. Eggplant doesn’t take long to cook so just make sure potatoes are cooked properly. Now add tamarind paste and jaggery and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes. Done. Yummy creamy vangi batata bhaaji is waiting for you!

Extra Credit –
Once I ran our of sesame seeds so instead I used तिळाची चटणी (dry sesame seed chutney) and कारळ्याची चटणी. Also add flax seed powder if you have some. It not only boosts omega-3 intake but gives the subji its creamy texture without using more oil.

Gajarachi Koshimbir

Eat healthy, eat salads! Are you confused with so much ‘diet advice’ around you? Eating salad is a proven way of cutting down calories without compromising on necessary nutrients. A typical Maharashtrian Koshimbir is the best example of such salad. Even if you don’t like raw carrorts, I bet you will enjoy this गाजराची कोशिंबीर –

Gajarachi Koshimbir

Ingredients
2 fresh medium carrots, grated
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 tb spoon peanut(groundnut) powder
1 tb spoon sugar
1 tb spoon fresh lemon juice
2 medium green chiliis, finely chopped
salt to taste
4 springs of cilantro, finely chopped

This is the simplest recipe so far. Grate carrots , chop tomatoes and ground roasted(optional) peanuts. Mix everything together with salt, sugar, green chilies ( can be substituted with red chili powder) and lemon juice. Toss everything together and garnish with finely chopped cilantro leaves. I sometimes add roughly chopped cashew nuts along with peanuts.

Optional –
Some people use a standard tadka(phodni) including curry leaves (कढीपत्ता) but I like it without any tadka.

A quick look at its nutritional value –
Carrots, as we all know, are excellent source of Vitamin A and tomatoes provide Vitamin C and some dietary fiber. The peanuts provide proteins and some essential fatty acids. So, it’s perfect 🙂

Sabudana Khichadi

It was the very first time, since our marriage, when my husband was visiting me in Pittsburgh; I wanted to make something he loves. He asked for “साबूदाण्याची खिचडी”. I somehow managed to serve him what he wanted but I was not at all happy with my attempt. I knew I had to learn the trick from my mom to make him happy.

Ingredients :
Sabudana, soaked overnight                         1 cup
Groundnut (peanut), coarsely crushed       1/2 cup
cumin seeds                                                      2 tea-spoons
Green chillies, finely chopped                        4-5
Sugar                                                                 1-2 tea-spoon
Potato, diced                                                    1 small
Ghee                                                                  2-3 tablespoons
Salt                                                                    to taste
Cilantro, finely chopped                                 5-6 springs
Lime juice                                                         to taste
Grated coconut                                               3 tablespoons (optional)
Soak the sabudana at least for 6 hours in minimum amount of water, just enough to soak all the grains.

In a wide bowl, separate the sabudana gently and mix it with peanut powder, salt and sugar. Stir it well so that all the grains get coated. Microwave the small potato cubes for 2-3 minutes.

Add ghee in a large pan and a few cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds start to crackle, add the remaining cumin seeds and finely chopped chillies. Add potato cubes and fry them for 1 minute. Add the sabudana mix and stir it together. It takes 10-15 minutes for sabudana to cook nicely. Keep stirring occasionally. If needed add few drops of water and/or ghee. When done, add some cilantro and lime juice and mix again. Add coconut and cilantro while serving.

Sabudanyachi Khichadi

Insider Tricks :

  1. If you don’t have 6 hours, use warm water to soak sabudana. It takes around 2-3 hours.
  2. Grind 1 tea-spoon of cumin seeds and green chillies with some sugar in khal batta. Use this mixture with peanut powder to coat sabudana grains. Sugar makes grinding green chillies easier. It adds nice cumin flavor to khichadi.
  3. If possible, grind peanuts using khal batta. It gives nice oily texture to the powder.