How to sprout beans – Instant Pot Method

Sprouting is the process of germinating beans, seeds and nuts. Sprouting involves soaking beans for several hours. Soaking softens the skin on the beans, allowing the sprout to grow. The soaked beans are rinsed and placed  in a dark, warm place(away from the sun light) for at least 24 hours. The goal is to create dark, warm and moist environment for the sprouts germination. 24 hours later, you will see that the  beans have sprouted. There are different methods to create a sprouting environment. You can tie the soaked beans in a cheese cloth and place them in a casserole. You can use mason jars and cover them with a cheese cloth or sprouting lid. I usually follow a very basic and simple method. I place the soaked beans in a wide colander. I rinse them with fresh water and when the water is completely drained, I cover the colander with a loose lid and place it in the oven. I check them after 12 hours and if  they look dry,  I place a damp paper towel/cheese cloth on it. After 24 hours, beans are sprouted and ready to use.

There are many other ways to sprout beans. I wanted to explore the ‘Yogurt’ option in Instant Pot to sprout beans. I experimented with mung beans and was very happy with the results. I am sharing the procedure along with some useful tips. If you are looking for the method of sprouting the beans in Instant Pot, then this post is for you. This is another new method of sprouting beans.

Ingredients:

Measuring cup used: 1 cup = 250 ml

Whole mung beans – 1 cup

Water – as needed

Procedure:

Step 1:

Rinse and soak mung beans in enough hot water for 12 hours. I usually soak them overnight.

Note: Since past few years, when I soak mung beans in normal water at room temperature, some beans remained hard and didn’t soak up any water. Soaking beans in very hot water, eliminated this problem. I do not know the science behind it but it really works. This is an important tip to sprout mung beans. If you are not facing the problem of hard beans, you can use normal room temperature water to soak beans.

Step 2:

After soaking them overnight, beans will absorb water and  almost double in size. Beans will look swollen and plump. You will see the green skin on the beans split open. Drain the water and place them in a steamer basket that fits in instant pot. Rinse the soaked beans with fresh tap water and let the water drain.

Step 3:

Add 1 cup water in the instant pot insert. Place the steamer basket with mung beans in the instant pot. Close the lid. Remove the sealing ring. Turn the steam releasing valve in venting position. Press the ‘Yogurt’ button on instant pot. The default time is 8 hours. Press the ‘+’ button and adjust it to 10 hours.

After 10 hours, Turn off the instant pot and unplug it. I opened the lid and was surprised to see tiny sprouts. Usually it takes 24 hours for the sprouts to appear. Close the lid and leave them in the instant pot for another 12-14 hours, to get longer sprouts.

Sprouted mung beans are ready to use in your favorite recipes.

Note: You can store them in an air tight glass container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Line a glass bowl with paper towels and add the sprouted mung beans. Place another paper towel on top and close the lid. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for later use.

Mung bean sprouts stay fresh when stored properly. You can use them in salads,  curries, sandwiches and many more dishes.

 

Cranberry Ginger Chutney/Cranberry Ginger Thokku/Cranberry Allam Thokku – Instant Pot Method

Fall is cranberry harvesting season. This is the time of the year we can find bags of fresh cranberry in the grocery store aisles. Fresh cranberries have a sour-tart flavor. They work as an excellent substitute for raw mangoes, tomatoes and tamarind in many Indian recipes. Last year, I posted the recipes for Instant Cranberry Pickle and Cranberry Tomato Rasam. I wanted to share few more interesting cranberry (Indian) recipes this year. I tried preparing popular Andhra Allam Pachadi/Ginger chutney by substituting tamarind with cranberries. It tasted delicious. The combination of cranberry and ginger was so tasty. Since it was my first trial, I had not taken any step by step pictures.  I bought another bag of cranberries to prepare it again and post it with step by step pictures. Meanwhile, I was browsing through the Facebook posts and I stumbled upon Cranberry Ginger Thokku/ Cranberry Ginger Chutney recipe shared by Shubha Iyengar. It looked so good and what interested me is,  chutney was made in Instant Pot. As I already knew that cranberry ginger combo tastes amazing , I immediately started making Shubha Iyengar’s Cranberry Ginger Chutney recipe in my Instant Pot. The result was amazing. It was so easy to prepare using instant Pot. I followed the procedure exactly but I reduced the quantity of spices and jaggery to suit my tastes. This sweet, spicy and tangy chutney makes a great accompaniment to Idlis, Dosas, Savory Pongal,  Medu Vadas and especially Pesarattu/Moong dal Dosa.

This is the time of the year enjoy this lip smacking Cranberry Ginger Pickle. Winter  is (almost) here. It’s almost the end of Fall/Autumn. We will not find cranberries until next fall season. Stock up during the fall harvest so you will have plenty for your favorite cranberry recipes. This Cranberry Ginger Pickle is a must try, especially if you are a Chutney lover. The tartness of the fall harvest fruit is combined with the warmth of the wonderful winter spice and blended with roasted aromatic spices and jaggery. It is a delicious blend of flavors and ingredients!!!

Lets begin the process of making this spicy, sweet and tangy pickle.

Ingredients:

Measuring cup used: 1 cup = 250ml

Fresh Cranberries – 340 g(3&1/2 cups)

Grated jaggery – 150 g(3/4 cup)

Grated fresh ginger – 1/4 cup

Red chilli powder – 1 Tbsp.

Paprika – 1 Tbsp.

Salt –  4&1/2 Tsp.

Turmeric powder – 1 Tsp.

Asafoetida powder- 1/2 Tsp.

Water – 3 Tbsp.

Ingredients for (Fenugreek & Mustard) powder

Fenugreek seeds – 3/4 Tsp.

Mustard seeds – 3/4 Tsp.

Ingredients for tempering/tadka

Oil – 3 Tbsp.

Urad dal split – 2 Tsp.

Mustard seeds – 1 Tsp.

Procedure:

Step 1:

Prepare Fenugreek and Mustard powder.

In a small pan, dry roast 3/4 Tsp.  fenugreek seeds and 3/4 tsp. mustard seeds. Let them cool and powder them. Keep aside.

Step 2:

Have all the other ingredients ready to go before you start cooking. Cranberries should be red, plump and firm to the touch. Do not use cranberies that are shriveled and too soft to the touch. Rinse the cranberries and pat them dry with a paper towel. Grate the jaggery and fresh ginger.

Step 3:

Turn on the instant pot in ‘Saute’ mode. Just press the ‘Saute’ button.  Add oil in the instant pot insert. Once the oil is hot(after few seconds), add mustard seeds and urad dal. After you hear the crackling sound of the mustard seeds, add asafoetida powder. Turn off the instant pot. Press’ Cancel’ button. Add water(3 Tbsp). Add cranberries. Make sure they cover the entire bottom layer of the Instant Pot insert.

Layer the rest of the ingredients one by one.

Grated ginger, grated jaggery, salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder & paprika.  Do not mix. (We do this to make sure that the spices do not touch the bottom of the Instant Pot insert and burn).

Step 4:

Close the lid. Make sure that the sealing ring in placed under the lid and the anti block shield under the lid is placed and pressed in its position correctly. Turn the steam releasing valve on top of the lid to the ‘Sealing’ position. Pressure cook in manual high pressure setting for 7 minutes. To do this, Hit ‘Manual’ button. The default pressure setting will be high. Do not change this.  Press on minus ‘-‘  button and set it to 7 minutes. Once the 7 minutes have elapsed, the instant pot will beep and go into keep warm mode. The display will show “L0:00”.

Step 5:

After two minutes, release the pressure using controlled QPR/QR/Quick Pressure Release method. Release the steam manually by turning the steam releasing valve from sealing to the venting position. Do it slowly using a fork, spoon or tongs.

Instant pot has a indicator pin next to the steam releasing valve to indicate if the steam is released or not. The pin drops down when the steam is completely released. Open the lid when the pin drops down. Add the roasted fenugreek and mustard powder. Mash with a potato masher. Cook on ‘Saute’ mode for few seconds. Turn off the instant pot.

Step 6:

Transfer the prepared chutney into a dry, glass container. Let it cool completely. Store in an air tight glass container in the refrigerator. It will last for 2 months in the refrigerator.

 

This sweet, spicy and tart chutney is a great addition to your holiday breakfast table and perfect for holiday gifting.

Rajgira Chikki/Amaranth Brittle

Chikki is a traditional Indian sweet.  Rajgira/Amaranth  is the seed of the Amaranth plant. Rajgira Chikki is a sweet bar made with popped Rajgira/Amaranth seeds and Jaggery. Though, the label on the bag of Amaranth says that it is a grain, it isn’t a grain like oats, wheat or rice. It is a seed like Quinoa. It is a seed used like a grain. It has many vitamins and minerals and it is gluten free.  Rajgira/Amaranth is mostly eaten during Navratri festival/vrat/fasting period when grains are not consumed.

I love home made traditional sweets. Since many years, I have been making different varieties of chikki/brittle like peanut chikki, sesame chikki and dry fruit chikki.  Sesame Ladoo and Peanut chikki are must have items at our home, for the Pongal festival every year (in the month of Janauary). You can find the recipe for Sesame Ladoo and Peanut chikki here.

Rajgira chikki was on my to-do list since very long time but I attempted to make it for the first time, just few days ago. Rajgira seeds need to be popped(like popcorn) and used in the recipe. I was able to pop Rajgira/amaranth seeds after many trials and errors.  I couldn’t figure out the right technique on the day, I started experimenting. I gave up after a few trials. Next day, I called my mom, asked her few questions. I watched few you tube videos and attempted again. Finally I understood the technique after few attempts. Once you understand the technique, it is a very simple process.  I am sharing the recipe of Rajgira Chikki along with the tips and techniques to pop the Amaranth/Rajgira seeds. 

Let’s begin the process of making this nutritious sweet treat.

Measuring cup used: 1 cup = 250ml

Ingredients:

Rajgira/Amaranth seeds – 1/2 cup (this will yield more than 2 cups of popped seeds)(We use 1 heaped cup(approximately) of popped seeds in this recipe.  The remaining popped amaranth can be eaten just like that or it can be added in a sweet or savory trail mix.)

Vegetable oil – 1/2 Tsp.

Grated Jaggery – 1/2 cup

Water – 1/4 cup

Vegetable oil – 1 Tsp.(To grease the parchment paper)

Procedure:

Step 1:

We need to pop Rajgira/Amaranth seeds.

Heat a heavy bottomed wide pan on medium/high heat until it is very hot(about 3-4 minutes). When the pan is hot, add 1 Tsp. Rajgira seeds at a time and keep stirring them. The seeds will start popping.  You can hear the popping sound of the seeds and they also look puffed up.  It will take less than 40 seconds to pop 1 tsp. seeds. Not all seeds are going to pop. There will few unpopped seeds in each batch. Transfer them to a mesh sieve and shake it to separate the unpopped seeds. Repeat the process.

 

Here is the picture of Rajgira/Amaranth seeds before popping(left) and after popping(right).

I have added the picture of unpopped seeds(bottom) in this picture. Unpopped seeds can be used whole to make porridge/kheer. They can be ground into flour and used to make Poori, Chapathi or many other recipes.

Tips: If the pan is well heated, the seeds will start popping within 5 seconds.(If the seeds doesn’t start popping within 10 seconds, it means that the pan is not hot enough. The seeds will roast and turn into brown color, but they will not pop. Remove the seeds and heat the pan for few more seconds or minutes. Add a fresh batch of seeds.

Once the seeds start popping, do not reduce the heat or close the lid. We need to stir the seeds continuously so that they do not burn.. If you think that the pan is too hot, you can lift the pan off the flame for just few seconds and shake the pan. Place it again on heat.

I tried to  pop more than 1 tsp. seeds at a time, but the quantity of  unpopped seeds was more.

I am sharing a small video to help you understand the process better.

Step 2:

Add the grated jaggery and 1/2 cup water in a suace pan. Heat the pan on medium heat and keep stirring until the jaggery is melted. Turn off the heat and strain the melted jaggery liquid into a thick wide bottomed pan. This step is done to remove dirt from the jaggery, if any.

Step 3:

Add 1/2 Tsp. of oil to the filtered jaggery syrup in the wide pan.

Place the pan on low heat and keep stirring it continuosly. The mixture will start to bubble and thicken gradually.

Step 4:

We need to cook the jaggery syrup until the desired consistency is reached.

Tip: To check if the jaggery has reached the required consistency, put a small amount of the syrup in a small bowl filled with water. The syrup should come together to form a ball. If you drop it on the kitchen counter top, it should sound like a stone.

After this stage, the jaggery syrup needs to be cooked for few more seconds on heat until it turns a little darker in color and thicker in consistency. Add the popped Rajgira/Amaranth seeds(approximately 1 cup(heaped) popped seeds)  and mix. Transfer the mixture on to a parchment paper greased with oil. Roll it into a thin layer(desired thickness) with a rolling pin greased with oil. While the mixture is hot, make marks on it with a greased knife. Separate the into pieces when it cools down completely.

Try this age-old recipe at home. Enjoy this traditional and nutritious snack!!!

Bellam Paramannam/Rice Kheer/Rice Pudding – Instant Pot Method

Hello Readers, Wishing you all a very happy Vijaya Dasami. It has been a long time since my last post.  I had mentioned in my last post that I will be taking a break from blogging.  I haven’t actively started blogging yet, but today is a special day. I am celebrating the first anniversary of my blog( I started my blogging journey on Vijaya Dasami/Dussehra, 2016. Dussehra in 2016 was on October 11th. ) and I wanted to thank all my readers on this special day.

I am sharing the recipe of an age old traditonal Indian dessert ‘Bellam Paramannam’. It is a delicious sweet rice pudding that is usually prepared as an offering to god on festive occasions in south India. Rice is cooked with milk and sweetened with jaggery syrup. It is flavored with cardamom powder, saffron and garnished with fried cashews and raisins. It is also known as Ksheerannam, Rice Kheer, Bellam Payasam or Annam Payasam. I prepared this dessert for Navratri. I made it in my Instant Pot pressure cooker.

I prepared a different variety of Indian dessert on each day of Navratri, 2017. I also prepared different varieties of Sundal.

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I haven’t posted all the recipes in my blog yet. I have earlier shared few recipes.

Puran Poli/Oliga/Holige/Poornam Bobbattu – You can find the recipe here.

Medu Vada/Gaarelu –  You can find the recipe here.

Besan Ladoo – You can find the recipe here.

Kaju Burfi – You can find the recipe here.

Seven Cup Burfi – You can find the recipe here. I substituted desiccated coconut with equal quantity of Almond Powder(Grind whole almonds with skin).

Let’s start the process of making ‘Bellam Paramannam’.

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Ingredients:

Measuring cup used: 1 Cup = 250ml

Whole Milk – 3 cups

Water – 1 cup

Rice(Sona Masoori) – 1/2 cup

Freshly Ground Cardamom powder – 1/4 Tsp.

Raw Cashews – 10(split/ chopped in half)

Golden raisins – 1 Tbsp.

Salt – 1/16th Tsp. (a pinch)(optional)

Ghee – 1 Tbsp.

Saffron – a pinch

Ingredients to make Jaggery Syrup:

Grated Jaggery – 1/2 cup

Water – 1/2 cup

Procedure:

Step 1:

Boil Milk.

Add 1 cup of water and 3 cups of milk in the instant pot insert. Close the lid. Turn the steam releasing valve to sealing position. Press ‘Yogurt’ button. Hit ‘Adjust’ button to select ‘Boil’. Mean while you can move away from instant pot and work on other things. You will hear a beep sound when the  milk is boiled. Turn off the instant pot. Open the lid.

Step 2:

Cook rice in the boiled milk.

Turn on the ‘Saute’ mode. Keep stirring the milk and let it come to a rolling boil. Rinse and drain the  rice and add it to the instant pot insert. Mix it well. Now you need to switch to low saute mode. To do this, turn off the instant pot. Press ‘Saute’ button and hit adjust button twice. Continue to cook on low saute mode until rice is cooked. Keep stirring the milk every 4-5 minutes to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan and getting burned. Make sure it doesn’t become mushy. This will take around 15-20 minutes. Turn off the instant pot. Remove the insert from the instant pot. Let it cool at room temperature.

Step 3:

Prepare jaggery syrup.

Add 1/2 cup jaggery and 1/2 cup water in a small sauce pan. Heat the pan on low/medium heat until the jaggery is melted. Strain the melted jaggery into a seperate pan to remove dirt, if any.

Place the pan with strained jaggery mixture on heat. Cook the mixture for 7-8 minutes on medium heat(The consistency doesn’t matter). Let it cool at room temperature.

Step 4:

Fry the Cashewnuts and Raisins in ghee

In a separate pan, add ghee and place the pan on low heat. Add cashews and fry until golden brown. Add raisins and saute for few seconds. Turn off the heat.

Step 5:

Add cooled jaggery syrup to the cooked rice+milk mixture. Mix it well. Add the fried cashews and raisins. Mix it well. Add cardamom powder, saffron and salt. Mix it well.

Notes: Do not add hot Jaggery syrup to the cooked rice+milk mixture. This can cause the milk to curdle.

Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl.

We enjoyed the Rice Pudding/Bellam Paramannam after making an offering to god.

 

Thanks to all the visitors, readers and followers of my blog for your encouragement and support.

Wish you all a very Happy Vijaya Dasami!!!!!

 

 

 

 

Mango Seekarane/Mango Dip

Mango season is here! So, I thought it was time to share a mango dessert in my blog. I think I am long overdue in posting Mango recipes. I have previously shared Eggless Semolina Cake recipe in my blog which can be made with mango puree or pumpkin puree. You can find the recipe here.

Mangoes are hands down my favorite fruits. A ripe, fresh mango, peeled and sliced into cubes/slices is a delicious summertime treat. Mangoes are also delicious in salads and desserts. My most favorite mango dessert is ‘Seekarane’. It is an age old traditional dessert that my loving grandma(Ammamma) and my loving mom used to make for us in the summer vacation/mango season. Mother’s Day in 2017 is on May 14th. I thought, I will post the recipe of this mango dessert which reminds me of my mom and grandma and say a few words about them.

Mother’s Day is a celebration of the mothers and the maternal bond. Children give flowers, cards and presents to their mothers.  I love my mom,  but I am not comfortable saying “I love you” to my mom.  We both know that we love each other without having to say the words.  I think, none of my friends of my generation(who grew up in India) have ever said “I love you” to their parents. It was not a part of our family culture. Things have changed now. We moved to US many years ago and I noticed that, I feel pretty much comfortable saying “I love you” to my kids. I say it everyday to my kids and it comes naturally to me. Love can be expressed in so many ways. Whatever way we choose to express, the important thing is, words mean nothing if they aren’t backed up with the actions. Actions speak louder than words. I feel that becoming a mom made me love my mother – even more. The older I grow, the more I realize that my mom has been my best critic and my biggest supporter. She has always been there for me when I needed her. I have a great mom and I love her more and more everyday!!!

Seekarane is a very popular dessert in Karnataka(India) and its neighboring states.  It is a simple dessert made with mango pulp, milk, sugar and few flavoring ingredients. It tastes best when served with Holige/Puran Poli.  It also goes well with Bili Holige(Rice Flour stuffed paratha), Rotis and Pooris. This traditional dessert is known with different names Mango Shikaran/Mango Rasayana/Mavina HanninaSeekarane/Mamidi Pandu Seekarana.  I am really enjoying writing this post because it is about my most nostalgic food combo Holige/Puran Poli – Seekarane/Mango Dip and it also reminds me my beloved Ammamma(grand mother).  This dish takes me back to the magical days of my childhood – Summer Vacation/Summer Holidays. We used to spend our summer vacations at  my grand mother’s(Ammamma) place. My mom’s brothers, sisters and their kids used to come and spend time with us. My grandma(Ammamma) used to make at least 100-150 puran polis all by herself. My mom and my aunts used to sit together and prepare seekarane/mango dip, while chatting with each other. My mom was visiting them only once a year and my grandma would leave no opportunity to pamper us.  I very much enjoyed the pampering and used to feel so happy but I never verbally expressed the gratitude and appreciation to her. It  was only expressed with smiles. I didn’t know how to express the feelings in words. Today, I would like to Pranam(salute) and Thank my Ammamma(Grand Mother) from the bottom of my heart for everything she has done for us. Grandma, you may be gone but you will NEVER be forgotten. <3

I often crave for this delicious Holige/Seekarane food combo in the mango season, but preparing puran poli/Holige is a lengthy process. My mom used to prepare them very often. Kudos to her patience.  I prepare puranpoli/Holige only once or twice in an year for Navratri/Dusshera and mangoes are not available during that time. In the mango season, I prepare ‘Seekarane’ and serve it with ‘Pooris’. Last week, I was badly craving for this food combo and I decided to treat myself. This is the first time I made puran poli/Holige in  the mango season. I thoroughly enjoyed every bite.

Lets begin the process of making this traditional dessert:

Ingredients:

Fresh, Ripe Mango – 1

Poppy seeds – 1 Tbsp.

Milk – 2 Tbsp.

Cardamom pods -2

Fine desiccated coconut – 1 Tbsp.

Raw sugar or Granulated white sugar – 1 Tbsp.(You can add more or less as per desired sweetness)

Pistachios/Almonds/Cashews – 4(optional, for garnishing)

Procedure:

Step 1:

Pick a ripe and juicy mango. Rinse it under tap water and wipe it with a kitchen towel. Place the mango on a chopping board. Slice one side of the mango off and then the other side. Then, cut the small remaining portion on either side of the pit.

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Step 2:

Pick one slice at a time and hold it in your palm with skin side down. Place a bowl under your palm. Scoop the pulp from the mango with the help of a spoon.

Step 3:

Place a small pan on medium/low heat. When the pan is hot, add poppy seeds and dry roast them stirring continuously until they start to give a nice aroma. Turn off the heat. Transfer them to  bowl and let them cool. Add them to a blender/coffee grinder and powder them.

Step 4:

Crush cardamoms using a mortar and pestle.

Step 5:

Keep all the ingredients ready. Fine desiccated coconut, cardamom powder, 1 Tbsp. dry roasted poppy seeds powder, milk and sugar.

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Step 6:

Add all the dry ingredients into the mango pulp. Mix well. Cover the bowl and put it in the refrigerator for an hour or two. Spoon it into dessert bowls before serving. Garnish with blanched and chopped pistachios.

Step 7:

Serve Seekarane with Holige/Puran Poli or Pooris. Enjoy!!!!!

Puran Poli/Holige recipe is shared here.

Dear Readers, I will be taking a break from blogging for a few months. I started this blog to save all my tried and tested recipes and also share them with others. After blogging for 6 months, I realized few things.

The best thing is that, my readers love my recipes. Many of them expressed that they like my way of explaining the recipes and also like to read about my cooking tips and techniques.

Blogging is a lot more work than I thought it would be. I had no idea what I was getting into. Blogging is a full time job.  I am not a great writer and it takes me a very long time to write a single blog post. Writing a blog post is a time sucking task. I have been spending so much time on blogging and I have too many pending tasks on my To-Do list. I feel that I really need to take a break from internet. It’s time for a digital detox.  I want to spend all summer with my kids and also complete the tasks on my To-Do list.

I never measure the ingredients unless I am baking or trying a new recipe. I feel that precise measuring is required for successful baking. I don’t measure for cooking.  I have been cooking for years and learnt to eye ball almost everything. I know the measurements just by looking and tasting. It takes quite a lot of time for me to write a recipe for the blog, with exact measurement of the ingredients. Taking step by step pictures, editing the pictures and watermarking the pictures is another time consuming task.  I need to figure the best way to post my recipes without spending too much time in front of computer/phone screen and without writing a detailed content.

Thanks to all the visitors, readers and followers of my blog for your encouragement and support. I never expected that my blog would have more than 100,000 views in just 6 months.

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The most viewed recipe is my blog is my mom’s ‘Vegetable Pulao’ Recipe. Thank you all for trying my mom’s recipe and sharing your wonderful feedback. I will pass on your feedback and compliments to my mom on ‘Mother’s Day.  You can find ‘Vegetable Pulao’ recipe here.

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A big thank you to all the readers of my blog!!!! I will see you all again soon! Happy Mother’s Day!!!!

Jaisalmeri Chane/Kale Chane ki Kadhi/Black Chickpeas in Yogurt Gravy – Instant Pot Method

Jaisalmeri Chane, is a delicacy from Rajasthan. Jaisalmer is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the state of Rajasthan, India.  ‘Kale Chana’ means black chickpeas. ‘Kadhi’ means yogurt based dish. ‘Kale Chane ki  kadi’ literally translates to ‘black chickpeas in yogurt gravy’. I came to know about this recipe very recently, when it was shared by my dear friend and fellow blogger Dhwani Mehta. She shared the stove top pressure cooker version of the recipe. She had mentioned that it was a traditional dish from Jaisalmer. I love traditional recipes. I really liked this recipe because it was a protein rich dish and it looked so appetizing. Being a vegetarian,  I always look out for different vegetarian options to include protein in our diet. This dish was made with yogurt, gram flour and black chickpeas which are all good sources of protein. My kids like chickpeas so I thought my kids might enjoy this dish too.  The recipe was so simple and the dish was so nutritious that I bookmarked it immediately to try it soon. Earlier, I had prepared many varieties of South Indian Kadhi(Majjiga Pulusu, Challa Chaaru, Challa Pulusu), Maharashtrian Kadhi and Punjabi Kadhi but I prepared ‘Kale Chane Ki Kadhi’ for the first time. The dish had a very unique taste and we all liked it. I would definitely make it again and again.

While writing this post, I recalled an incident which happened 20 years ago when we planned to attend ‘Desert Festival’ in Jaisalmer. You all might have read the recent news about the United Airlines flight passenger who was dragged from an overbooked flight. We were in a similar situation then. Thank god it was not that bad though. We booked our tickets for a 10 day trip to visit Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. A friend of ours had suggested us to attend the unique and special ‘Desert festival’ in Jaisalmer, which is a 3 day celebration that happens once a year. Coincidentally the ‘Desert festival’ for that year was scheduled in the same period we planned our trip. We were so excited and made our plans to attend this festival.  After reaching Delhi, we talked to  a travel agent and booked our bus tickets from Delhi to Jaisalmer. The tickets were issued and everything was going smoothly as planned. We packed our bags and boarded the bus that was heading to Jaisalmer. After travelling about 30 miles, a couple boarded the same bus. The bus was totally booked and there were no room for more passengers. The couple got mad and had an argument with the bus conductor. Finally, the bus conductor came to us and said that the travel agent who issued the tickets to us had overbooked the bus and we need to make an alternate plan for our travel. He said that the other couple were issued the same seat numbers and they had bought their tickets on an earlier date and our tickets were issued on a later date. Our plan was all messed up because of the irresponsible act of the travel agent. We had no other option left. We got down the bus and returned back to our hotel room by taking a cab. Next day, travel agent apologized to us and said that he will reissue the tickets in a day or two. But, it was too late, because we will not be able to make it in time to attend the dessert festival. Hmmmm!! We were disappointed a lot for not being able to attend the desert festival. We reminded ourselves that ‘Whatever happens, happens. Don’t stress’.  Keep calm and carry on. We visited Jaipur, Agra and Mathura. We had a great time and enjoyed rest of our trip.

Here is some information about Rajathani Cuisine, that I read from the online resources. Rajasthani Cuisine is influenced by both the war-like life style of its inhabitants and the scarcity of vegetables and water in this arid (excessively dry and having insufficient rainfall to support agriculture) region. Gram flour(Besan) is of the ingredients that is widely used in Rajasthani food. Rajasthan is one of the leading producer of milk in India. Due to scarcity of water and fresh vegetables, the dishes were cooked with dried lentils, beans, milk and milk products(ghee & buttermilk). Dry mango powder/Amchur powder was used as a substitute for tomatoes. Most Rajasthani cuisine uses clarified butter/Ghee as the main medium of cooking. Food that could last for several days and could be eaten without heating was preferred. There is so much more to learn and explore about this delicious cuisine.  I noticed that, the recipe I am sharing today is made using all the above mentioned ingredients besan(gram flour), dried beans(black chana), ghee, amchoor powder(dried mango powder) and yogurt.

‘Jaisalmeri Chane’ is traditionally served with Missi Roti(flat bread made with whole wheat flour, gram flour(besan) and spices. It can be served with plain rice or any type of roti. Since the preparation of this dish doesn’t need any vegetables, it would be ideal to prepare especially on the days when you run out of fresh vegetables in the refrigerator. I have adapted the recipe from here and made it in my Instant Pot. Lets begin the process of making this nutritious and delicious dish in the Instant Pot.

I also shared the process of making it in a regular pressure cooker. Please refer to the notes in the bottom of the post.

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Ingredients:

Measuring cup used: 1 Cup = 250ml

Black Chickpeas/Dried Kala Chana – 1 cup

Ghee – 1 Tbsp.

Plain yogurt – 1&1/2 cup(use slightly sour yogurt for the best taste)

Asafoetida/Hing – 1/8 Tsp.

Cumin seeds – 1/2 Tsp.

Red chilli powder – 1&1/2 Tsp.(You can add more as per desired spiciness)

Roasted cumin powder – 1/2 Tbsp.

Roasted coriander powder – 1/2 Tbsp.

Turmeric powder – 1/2 Tsp.

Besan/Gram flour/Chickpea flour – 3 Tbsp.

Corinader leaves/Cilantro(finely chopped) – 1/4 cup

Amchur/Dry Mango powder – 1/2 Tsp.(optional ingredient to be added,  if the yogurt is not sour)

Salt – as needed(approximately 1&1/2 Tsp.)

Garam masala powder – 1 Tsp.(I used MTR Garam Masala powder) The original recipe uses 1 Tsp. Garam masala powder but I reduced the quantity(I used only 1/3 Tsp.). I personally experience burning sensation in the stomach whenever I eat foods with a lot of Garam Masala. You can add more as per your choice.

Procedure:

Step 1:

Wash Black Chickpeas/Kala Chana. Soak them in a bowl of water for 8-10 hours (I soaked them overnight).

Step 2:

Discard the soaking water from black chickpeas/Kala chana. Add chickpeas in the instant pot insert. Add 4 cups water. Add 1/2 Tsp. salt, 1/4 Tsp. turmeric powder and mix.  Close the lid.

Pressure cook the chickpeas/Kala Chana in manual high pressure setting for 20 minutes. Hit manual button. The default pressure setting will be high. Do not change this. Press on minus ‘-‘  button and set it to 20 minutes. Make sure that the sealing ring in placed under the lid and the anti block shield under the lid is placed and pressed in its position correctly. Turn the steam releasing valve on top of the lid to the ‘Sealing’ position.

Step 3:

You will hear a beep when the chickpeas is done. Let the pressure release naturally. Instant pot has a indicator pin next to the steam releasing valve to indicate if the steam is released or not. The pin drops down when the steam is completely released. Unplug the instant pot and open the lid when the pin drops down. Chickpeas should be soft and tender. Strain the cooked chickpeas/Kala Chana. Save the strained liquid and keep it aside.We will use it later. Now the instant pot insert is empty. Rinse the insert, wipe it with a dry cloth and use it to prepare kadhi in Step 5.

Step 4:

In another bowl, mix besan/gram flour, turmeric powder, roasted cumin powder, roasted coriander powder, red chilli powder, salt and yogurt. Add amchur/ dry mango powder if the yogurt is not sour. Mix them with a whisk to prepare a smooth batter without any lumps.

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Step 5:

Turn on the instant pot in ‘Saute’ mode. Just press ‘Saute’ button.  Add ghee in the instant pot insert.  Once the ghee is hot(after few seconds), add cumin seeds and let them crackle. Add asafoetida. Now you need to switch to low saute mode. To do this, turn off the instant pot. Press ‘Saute’ button and hit adjust button twice.

Add the chana water that we kept aside in ‘Step 3’ and the yogurt mixture prepared in ‘Step 4’.

Stir continuously until  it comes to a boil (this will prevent the yogurt from splitting) and continue to cook on low saute mode for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

Step 6:

Add boiled chana/Chickpeas and cook on low saute mode for 7-8 minutes stirring occassionally. It will thicken as it cooks. Turn off the Instant Pot. Kadhi will thicken further as it cools. Transfer the prepared kadhi into a serving  bowl and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve it hot with Missi Roti, Rice, Phulka, Poori or Paratha.

Notes: This dish can be made in a regular pressure cooker and a regular pan. I am sharing the procedure below:

Step 1: Pressure cook Black chickpeas with 4 cups of water for 4-5 whistles. Cook until chickpeas are totally soft.

Step 5: Use a wide thick bottomed pan instead of Instant Pot and cook on stove top on low/medium heat.

If you do not have amchur powder/Dry mango powder, you can add lemon juice after tranfering the kadhi into a serving bowl. Mix it well and serve.

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This is a simple and easy recipe to make. Serve Jaisalmeri Chane with any Indian flat  bread or over rice. !!!!!

Thick Poha Chudwa/Chivda

Poha Chudwa is a classic comfort snack. This tasty, crunchy and comforting snack is very easy to prepare. My MIL prepares a deep fried version of this snack and she uses thick poha. It is a pantry staple at my MIL’s place. I am sharing my MIL’s way of making this snack. I prepare this snack occasionally for my kids. My kids enjoy munching on it. Since this is a deep fried version, I try not to over indulge but who isn’t tempted by this comforting snack?  It doesn’t seem too bad to indulge in deep fried goodness occasionally 🙂

My mom prepares a pan roasted version of this snack and she uses thin poha.  I have earlier shared Thin Poha Chudwa/Chivda recipe in my blog. You can find the recipe here.  I prepare this snack and stock up almost all year round. It is my comfort snack to have with my hot cup of tea.

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Ingredients:

Measuring cup used: 1 Cup = 250ml

Thick Poha – 2&1/2 cups

Peanuts – 3/4 cup

Roasted Chana Dal/Dalia – 1/3 cup

Cashews – 1/3 cup (halves)

Curry Leaves around – 20-25

Green chillies  – 3 (cut in half lengthwise)(optional, I did not add)

Raisins – 1-2 Tbsp.(optional, I did not add)

Roasted Cumin Powder – 1/2 tsp.

Roasted Coriander Powder – 1 tsp.

Dry Mango/Amchur Powder – 1/2 tsp.

Red Chilli Powder – 1&1/2 tsp.(Reduce the quantity if you are adding green chillies)

Granulated Sugar – 3/4 tsp.

Turmeric powder – 1/2 Tsp.(optional)(I did not add)

Salt as needed

A metal sieve to deep fry.

7-8 paper towels to soak the oil from the deep fried ingredients.

Procedure:

Step 1:

Place a big wide pan on medium heat. Add the oil. Once the oil is hot, place a metal sieve in the oil. Add handful of poha in it and fry them. Transfer them to a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat the process and fry the remaining poha in the same way adding a handful at a time. Keep changing the paper towels to soak up the oil.

 

Step 2:

Fry the peanuts, cashew nuts, dalia, raisins, green chillies and curry leaves in the same way. Place them in a plate lined with paper towel. Keep changing the paper towels to soak up the oil.

My MIL also fries home made sun dried potato chips and sun dried curd chillies(challa mirapakayalu) and adds them. I didn’t have them at home so I skipped adding them.

 

 

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Step 3:

Take another wide pan and add 1 Tsp. oil. Place the pan on low heat. Once the oil is hot, turn off the heat. Add all the spices, salt , sugar and mix well. Make sure they do not burn. Now add all the fried ingredients and mix well. Taste it and adjust the spices as needed. Let them cool completely in the pan.

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Sometimes, I skip the above step and I just add the spices directly to the fried ingredients and mix. But the above method works efficiently and nicely coats all the ingredients with the spices.

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Step 4:

Transfer it to an air tight container after it is completely cooled.

 

Enjoy with a hot cup of tea or coffee!!!

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