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Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 10 quick and easy recipes

Whether it’s breakfast, a quick snack or your kid’s tiffin, these traditional recipes are sure to come in handy!

By Kavita Devgan

Traditional eating habits are a delicious roadmap to a happier, healthier, kinder you. Our ancestors have a lot to teach us about hearty eating habits that not only focus on health but also the pleasure that food can bring to our lives.

ALTERNATIVE BREAKFAST

Pongal

Dry roast 50 g of rice and 30 g of moong daal. Add 400 ml water, cover and cook till done. Meanwhile, make a tadka of cumin seeds, black peppercorns, curry leaves, ginger and garlic, with a few cashew nuts. Let it get heated for a minute or so in a teaspoon of ghee. Pour over the rice and daal, season to

taste and stir in fresh curry leaves.

Ragi Kuzhu (Porridge)

Boil water. Slowly add 30 g ragi powder to the boiling water and stir constantly to avoid forming lumps. Keep it boiling until it forms a medium thick fluid. Add salt to taste, stir and put off the flame. Add the juice of one lemon and a bit of salt to 250 ml buttermilk. Add buttermilk to the thick ragi fluid and have it with lime pickle. You can even cook ragi at night and leave it overnight in the fridge. In the morning, add buttermilk to it and have it.

Bajra Pongal

Slightly dry roast the broken bajra till it is a bit hot. Pressure cook the green gram daal, roasted broken bajra (the ratio of bajra to daal should be 70:30), and a bit of salt with 3 cups of water till it is soft. Heat some ghee and add cashews. When it is slightly golden brown, add cumin seeds, pepper, curry leaves and ginger paste and add it to the pongal. Have it with buttermilk.

Kosambari (Lentil Chaat)


Soak 30 g daal (split green moong or yellow moong) for around an hour. Discard the water and add grated carrot, chopped cucumber and half a tomato, and 20 g of shredded coconut to it. Add lemon juice, some chopped coriander leaves, and salt to taste. Mix well. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil and add a pinch of mustard seeds. When they start popping, add a few curry leaves, a pinch of asafoetida and 1 red chilli broken into pieces. Mix well and dig in. You can also add half finely chopped apple on top to get some fruity goodness.

Amaranth Pancake

Add 30 g amaranth flour, 200 ml milk, 30 g desiccated coconut, a pinch of salt and baking powder and water (if needed) and mix well. Add 1 tablespoon honey and a bit of cinnamon powder. Now heat a non-stick fry pan, add half a teaspoon of oil and add a dollop of the pancake mix. Spread evenly to give it a round pancake shape. Cook both the sides on slow heat. Drizzle some honey on top and enjoy!

SNACKY DELIGHTS


Daal Tikki

Soak 30 g chana daal. Then grind it, add finely chopped 20 g onions, spices, 30 g boiled potato or steamed cauliflower, shape like a patty and air fry. Place the patty in between burger buns and eat or perhaps with a coleslaw on the side.

Lentil Hummus

Mix up 30 g boiled claal of any kind, 10 g tahini paste, Z cloves of garlic (mashed), a pinch of red pepper flakes, a pinch of salt and half a teaspoon mustard oil. It is perfect on a toast!

Banana Spiced up

Take a banana and make a slit in the skin to open it up. Drizzle in a mixture of 1 teaspoon lime juice, 1 teaspoon honey and one-fourth teaspoon black salt. You can eat it straight off the peel.

DELIGHTFUL DESSERTS

Litchi Dessert

Deseed 200 g litchi, Stuff it with lightly sweetened honey or sugar, 100 g chaina (crumbled cottage cheese), chill and enjoy a delicious dessert.

Besan Sheera

In a pan on low flame, heat half a tablespoon ghee and add a pinch of turmeric powder. Now add one-and-a-half tablespoon besan and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add a few almonds and continue to stir for another 3-4 minutes or till the gram flour is roasted well and a strong aroma wafts from the pan. Now add 1 cup warm milk and 1 tablespoon sugar and stir well. Boil the mix, add a pinch of crushed pepper and let it boil for another 2 minutes. Drink it hot.

(Excerpted with permission from Ultimate Grandmother Hacks by Kavita Devgan, published by Rupa Publications.)

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