A wedding feast or a festive feast in our family is incomplete without aviyal. Aviyal is a medley of native vegetables & tubers cooked in coconut gravy. Traditional Indian recipes like kummiyanam, adai, avial, panchamirtham, etc. use assorted grains, pulses, vegetables, or fruits. But nowadays we could find the nutritionists recommending us to include a medley of vegetables, pulses, grains, or fruits in our diet regularly as it prevents vitamin & mineral deficiency. Hence it is a good practice to prepare such foods often and serve them particularly to growing children and old people.
Author: Megala (page 11)
Drumstick Leaves Sambar
Simple Chickpeas Gravy
I prefer to make my dinner light, so I try to reduce oil as much as possible while cooking as it helps to reduce the load on liver. I also prefer to make foods that are rich in protein using beans or lentils for dinner. Hence I find my chickpeas gravy (chana masala) ideal as it is prepared with boiled chickpeas, that are easily digestible and also rich in protein, using little or no oil.
Millets are tiny food grains (hence the name), so we can cook them quickly & easily. Though millets are tiny they are nutrients dense food grains. Hence they are increasingly popular among Indians nowadays particularly for the low glycaemic index. There are different millets like kodo millet, barnyard millets, little millets, pearl millets, etc. available in the market. You can refer to the table below for the nutrition data of commonly used food grains & millets. It is useful to compare their nutrients and choose the right one that meets our dietary requirements. Now I have prepared millet payasam using foxtail millets (thinai arisi) suitable for making payasam.
Carrot peas poriyal
Mushroom Pepper Fry
Mushroom pepper fry is a simple recipe with quite a few ingredients. So I prefer to prepare this dish than any other mushroom recipes as I can serve these stir fried mushrooms with rice or with roti. We can also stuff this inside dosa or between sandwiches. It goes well with sambar, rasam, or particularly with mor-kuzhambu for lunch.
Methi Roti or vendhaya keerai chappathi is a food with low-glycemic index as both wheat & methi are of low GI. If you check your blood sugar after taking them (postprandial levels) using a home kit, you will be surprised to see your glucose at its low. Besides fenugreek leaves have the properties of reducing the body temperature and hence they are beneficial to the people living in tropical country like India.
Millet pongal is a healthy hearty dish that can be served for breakfast. Since millets have low GI, millet pongal is slowly digested & absorbed and hence the slower rise of blood sugar levels. Millet pongal may be simply served with spicy coconut chutney unlike pongal made of rice, so we can prepare this breakfast in a jiffy. Besides we can also serve this pongal with sambar, or vegetable gothsu.
Vallarai keerai (Centella Asiatica) is an amazing herb used by Indian pharmacologists to prepare a food supplement to improve the memory beneficial to children who are preparing for competitive exams and also to old people suffering from diminished memory. Nevertheless it is better to include such fresh herbs into our diet rather than taking them in capsule form. So we can make vallarai thuvaiyal at home to enjoy its benefits naturally. I personally found a significance difference when vallarai keerai thuvaiyal was served frequently to my father and also to my son.
Every South Indian’s culinary journey begins with making simple coconut chutney because we all take this dish every day. Our breakfast platter is incomplete without the addition of creamy white chutney. We simply prepare coconut chutney by grinding fresh coconut meat & chillies and serve with most of the South Indian breakfast dishes.
Sambar for Tiffin
Sambar is the most popular side dish for idli, or dosa typically prepared by south Indians, others used to feel that their sambar is not as delicious as the one prepared by south Indians. Here I have shared a fail-safe recipe for making delicious sambar which is a perfect accompaniment for idli, masal dosa, vennpongal, kichadi, or medhu vadai.
Millet Kichadi is one of our favorites that I usually prepare for breakfast. I serve this nutritious kichadi particularly when my son preparing for his exams as it helps to keep him fresh & focused during his exam even though he had not slept well the previous night. Since all the ingredients in this kichadi are rich in micro-nutrients, it turns out to be a complete meal. Hence millet kichadi is the perfect breakfast for active children & busy professionals to keep them energetic all through the day.
Broad Beans Poriyal
Avarakkai poriyal (Broad beans poriyal) is a delicious side dish that goes well with rice & sambar, rasam, morkuzhambu, or any other kuzhambu. Kids also like this vegetable mainly for the nutty beans inside the tender pods. Indian broad beans (avarakkai) are good sources of calcium, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and iron, and they also contain some dietary fiber and vitamin C.
If you are keen to reduce the intake of carbs and rice is your staple food, then here is the cooking method that you can follow to reduce the carbs in rice by 40%. I have used a special cooking pot with a perforated locking lid. We just need to boil the rice in this cooking pot and then drain the starch by closing the pot with its lid. Since the pot is locked with its lid, we can safely keep the pot tilted allowing it to drain out the starch. You can check out other similar rice cooking vessel here.
Murungai keerai idli
Drumstick leaves (moringa leaves or murungai keerai) contain all the nutrients required for active mind & body. So murungai keerai idli is the perfect breakfast for the energetic children, dynamic professionals and busy women as it meets their daily dietary requirements. Apparently, weight-watchers, diabetics, and all the health-conscious people prefer to take these idli over plain idli. These are so filling compared to plain idlis. Hence we can reduce the intake of carbs to a good extent.
Kambu koozh (millet porridge) is one of the best breakfasts that can be taken on a scorching sunny day during summer as it keeps us cool & energetic all through the day. It is so filling that we don’t require to take anything until lunch. You can check out the link here to know more about various millets, their health benefits and also millet recipes. I found this site on millets very informative. We can prepare koozh (porridge) using millets by cooking the whole millets or millet powders, and serve it diluted by adding either milk or buttermilk.
Since rava upma is the easiest meal prepared with commonly available ingredients, it is being served often for breakfast or dinner in most of the south Indian families. Hence people especially children get bored of taking upma, but we can make this simple meal appetizing just by adding a handful of fresh green peas. Rava upma with fresh peas can be enjoyed the most when served warm in the evening particularly during monsoon.