Quick-Meal Tips

Hey…ever walk into your kitchen in the morning, knowing you have hungry mouths relying on your culinary skills, and realize that you have no idea what to make? Happens to me at least once a week.

So usually I rely on the very dependable idli, dosa batter. This takes care of breakfast for 2 mornings a week, but then we still have 5 days more. Being a Malayalee I have the palappam or puttu in my magic bag of tricks. But here is the problem with batter based breakfast ideas, you have to remember to soak and grind the batter the previous day and then too, sitting here in Detroit MI, I find that my batter takes its own sweet time to ferment some days. So here are a few quick and yummy recipes for such mornings.

Moong Dal Dosa (The green full lentil)


Soak a cup of moong dal and a half teaspoon of fenugreek overnight. Next morning grind it along with some ginger, green chilies, and salt to a dosa batter consistency. Leave it aside for 30 mins and then start preparing your dosa. Trust me it tastes good and is healthy too.

Multigrain Dosa


Here you soak the different variety of grains instead of just the one. I use millets, chana (black and Kabuli), moong dal, urad dal, cowpeas (red, white), kidney beans & fenugreek. The millets I take about 1/2cup and the rest about a tablespoon each, except fenugreek which is just a pinch. Soak it all overnight and exactly like the moong dal batter you grind it with some ginger, salt, and green chilies. You can also add 1/2 cup of grated coconut to the mix.

Lemon Rice


If you aren’t averse to eating rice first thing in the morning like I am, this one is a quick fix. Cook some raw rice and spread it on a large plate to cool down. Once it cools add some lemon juice and salt to it. Next heat some oil, throw in some mustard. Once that splutters add some chana dal and urad dal, be careful not to let these burn. Now add some split green chilies and some peanuts. Once the peanuts have roasted add some sliced onions and saute until translucent. Turn the gas off and add some turmeric to the mix. Let this mixture cool a little before you mix it in with the rice. Voila! Lemon rice ready!!!

Medu Vada


This is another one of those recipes where the batter needs no fermentation. Wash and then soak 2 cups of Urad dal for 3-4 hours. After 3-4 hours, grind the dal using very little water. Add a tsp of water at a time if you find that grinding is difficult. You know your batter is ready when you get a small blob of it and put it in a bowl of water, it floats. Now transfer the batter to a bowl, add some salt and stir it vigorously to incorporate some air into it. Keep the batter in the refrigerator for about 30 mins. After 30 mins, heat some oil to fry the vada in, over medium-high heat. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and add some crushed black peppers, chopped chilies, finely chopped ginger and some finely chopped coriander. You can add all of the those or just whatever you like really. Now for the slightly tricky part of making the hole in the vada, wet your fingers, scoop a little of the batter using your fingers and use your thumb to poke a hole in it. Now quickly upturn your hand so that the batter drops into the oil. This is why you need to ensure the batter isn’t watery. A watery batter won’t hold its shape. The refrigeration helps with getting really crispy vadas. Another tip would be that if you have a wet grinder, use that to grind your batter as it gives you a really fluffy batter.

Making curd at home


This tip is mostly for all those Indians abroad that cannot get their hands on some good culture to make curd at home. You can prepare the culture quite easily at home itself. Take a bowl of lukewarm milk; drop either 2 green chilies along with its stalk, or 2 dry red chilies along with its stalk, or 1 tsp of lemon juice into the milk and leave it in a warm place for 12-18 hours. The milk with form a curd-like consistency. You cannot consume this, however, what you can do is use a tablespoon of this in lukewarm milk and this will turn into an amazingly lovely textured curd within 8-10 hours.

Hopefully, you find this post helpful. There are a lot more little tricks that make life in the kitchen easier and makes you the star with your spouse and children.


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