Roast the cardamoms (skin on), cloves, cinnamon, and peppercorns until lightly toasted. Once cool, grind the mix to a medium-fine powder. Mix in the dry ginger, nutmeg, and mace. Store in an airtight container.
Note: The cinnamon sticks I have at home measure under 3 inches in length.
A quick weeknight dinner that comes together in minutes, if you have quinoa and vegetables on hand.
Cook quinoa (I use one part to two parts water) as per instructions. Do a quick sauté of vegetables (I used baby bok choy and asparagus) and tofu (optional) in oil of your choice. Keep the veggies crunchy and bright. DO NOT OVERCOOK.
An easy-peasy recipe that involves roasting a spaghetti squash in the oven (400 F, 40-45-50 minutes), a quick sauté of chopped vegetables (onion, asparagus, red pepper) and tofu, seasoned with Bragg’s liquid aminos.
Can add bok choy, spinach, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, zucchini… as you can see, the options are nearly endless.
As a child (or young adult), I never cooked. I didn’t know how to. I could rustle up a decent cup of instant coffee but that was it. Mummy tried her best to get me to help around the kitchen, perhaps learn to cook a few basic things. But I wasn’t remotely interested.
Mummy, smart and wise woman that she is, gave up on the obvious to-be-wasted effort. Her thought? You will learn to cook when you need to.
How right she was.
I arrived in the United States, a young and hopeful bride, hopelessly earnest and wondering/wandering. And I had to get cooking. So I learned quick on the job. Some blogger friends may recall old posts where I describe cooking moong dal, or what I thought was moong dal but ended up being masoor instead. I used to call P at work, asking him to “troubleshoot” difficult cooking situations. Ahhh, those were the days.
That was the time I began maintaining a notebook of recipes I got from my mother. And that’s how I got hold of the Parippu Pradaman recipe.
This is a traditional Kerala dessert, made from moong dal, jaggery and coconut milk. Yes, it is vegan. And it is ready in minutes, if you use canned coconut milk. You can fancify this dish with raisins and toasted cashew pieces, if you like.
I prefer the simple version, so here goes.
3/4 cup moong dal 1/2 cup jaggery 1 cup boiling water 2/3 cup canned coconut milk (preferably full-fat) 1/4 tsp powdered/crushed cardamom (optional) 1/4 tsp powdered dry ginger powder (optional)
Roast moong dal in a flat pan until lightly toasted. Let cool. Wash the dal with water, rinsing thoroughly.
Cook moong dal in a pressure cooker, or on the stovetop in a pan.
Using the back of a spoon (or a potato masher), mash the cooked dal to remove lumps and gain a uniform consistency.
Place jaggery in a pan. Add boiling water, mix evenly. Cook on medium-low heat until the jaggery melts into a syrup consistency.
Add moong dal to the jaggery syrup. Mix thoroughly.
Add coconut milk. Turn off the heat.
Sprinkle cardamom and/or ginger.
Serve warm or cold.
Add more (or less) coconut milk to get the desired consistency. Remember, coconut milk adds sweetness, so adjust the amount of jaggery accordingly.