Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ragda with Toast

Breakfast is an important meal in my house. Although I went through most of my college years without breakfast (which one of us hasn't done that, right?) things changed when I got married, since my husband was a great believer of starting the day with a heavy breakfast. This was indeed a challenge...not only did we have to wake up earlier to make it and consume it... most breakfast recipes that we preferred called for a little more planning. Dinner khatam hua nahi ke breakfast ki planning shuru... I used to really hate it initially... especially since I did not want to eat breakfast!! But as years passed by and my daughter grew into a school going kid I realized the necessity and importance of inculcating this habit and took it upon myself to make breakfast interesting. While the usual Idli, dosa, uttappam, did find their way to out breakfast table, they were interspersed with days of plain toast-butter-jam/chutney or grilled sandwiches and other variants of bread based recipes as did the cornflakes, museli, oats etc.
When we first landed in Sweden (we lived there for 7 years) in the early 1990’s , Europe was still a predominantly meat-eating culture. Add to that the fact that there weren’t too many Indians who had migrated to Sweden which meant that there was a limited set of “Indian groceries” that were available. This changed substantially over the next 7 years, but needless to say, variety was a big problem at the time for us Indians. We happened to discover something that was called “gula arter” which basically means yellow peas. The cooked dish that we saw the first time looked completely unappetizing and tasted even worse...however, Arvind identified it as our very own “safed vatana” or ragda (rather the main ingredient in ragda). So, a modified version of “ragda” served with was included in our list of breakfast items. Today’s breakfast is “Ragda-toast”

Preparation soak a cup of dried yellow peas overnight and pressure cook them in the morning with a little bit of salt. Usually one whistle is enough to cook them, but fine-tune according to the variety you have. When you open the cooker, the peas should be whole (skins will separate and float) but when u press them, they should be completely soft.

Ingredients (in the order required)

Oil                                            3 tsp
Mustard seeds                         1tsp
Coriander powder                   3 tsp
Turmeric                                  ¼ tsp
Red chili powder                      1 tsp
Salt                                          to taste
Chopped fresh coriander       
Cumin powder
Finely chopped raw onion
Method –
1.       Heat a pan/wok/kadhai
2.       Add oil
3.       Mustard seeds and wait for them to crackle
4.       Take the pan off the heat and add coriander powder. Keep stirring it till it begins to change colour to darker brown.
5.       Now add turmeric, chili powder and salt.
6.       Return to the stove, add about ½ cup of water and bring to boil
7.       Now add the cooked yellow peas, mix everything well and bring to boil
8.       Lower the heat and let it simmer for 5 mins
9.       Garnish with chopped fresh coriander.
10.    Serve with a sprinkling of cumin powder, chopped raw onion and toasted bread slices on the side.

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