Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Protein Packed Power - Paruppu Usili

broccoli usali

Broccoli Usili with Chappati



I am a self proclaimed "Freezer Queen". I LOVE freezing food! I experiment all the time with freezing cooked food, semi-cooked food, raw food - well, you get the idea.

I especially like freezing semi-prepared food. Keep it handy in the freezer, pop it out, finish cooking it and voila! dinner-in-a-jiffy. Also very handy when unexpected guests drop in.

One semi-prepared food that freezes very well is "Paruppu Usili Mix". "Paruppu" is lentils in Tamil and I think "Usili" is mix, so there's a little redundancy in my terminology there!

I make the basic mix and freeze in small single-serve containers. When I want to make any kind of paruppu usili (beans, cabbage, broccoli, spring onions, leeks etc), I pop out a container, thaw in the microwave and add to the sauted vegetables. No one can tell it's been frozen!

I also make and freeze batches of chappatis and parathas and they really come in handy on "crazy" days.

Getting the RDA of protein can be really challenging for vegetarians. Protein packed Paruppu Usili is one yummy way of getting a mega dose of protein. It also gives the much-maligned Broccoli a chance to shine :-) :-)

Enjoy!

DSC05520

Usili mix, ready for the freezer



chappati

stack of chappatis




Ingredients:

For the Usili Mix:
1 cup of tur dal
1 cup of chana dal
handful of dried red chillies
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp jeera seeds
2 tsp udal dal
1 tsp asafoetida
salt to taste

For the Subji:
1 small onion
2 green chillies
1 cup broccoli (or vegetable of your choice)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp jeera seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
a few curry leaves
salt to taste

Method:

For the Usili Mix:
Soak the dals and chillies for 2 hours. Grind to a smooth paste. Add turmeric powder and salt to taste. I use a microwave egg poacher to steam 2 "idlis" of this dough at a time. Prepare all the "idlis" this way. Crumble with your fingers and keep aside.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the asafoetida, mustard and jeera. When they sizzle and pop, add the udad dal. When the udal dal gets golden and roasted, add the crumbled dal mixture. Fry well till the mixture gets roasted and become a lovely orange/golden brown color.

Cool completely. Pack into freezer containers and store away :-)

For Making Usili Subji:
Chop the onions and vegetables. Heat 1 tsp oil in a frying pan. Add the asafoetida, mustard seeds, jeera and udad dal. When that is roasted, add the onions, green chillies and curry leaves. Saute lightly. Add the broccoli and fry till it is cooked. I like it quite crunchy. Then add the thawed Usili Mix . Adjust the salt to taste and serve garnished with chopped cilantro.

Yummy with rice and sambhar or rasam. Less carbs with chappatis :-)

36 Comments:

At Wed Mar 08, 08:17:00 AM 2006, Blogger sailu said...

Hmm that's a smart way to cooking,SH and makes sense too..:)
Your pictures are getting wonderful by the day.Great pictures!

 
At Wed Mar 08, 08:22:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey SH,
Usili is one of my favourites...after I came to the US I never made an attempt initially to make it cos I thought it was a very tough recipe. But once I did I make it quite often. I like it with the 'mor kozhambu' with a few 'idlis' in to too. And yeah...I will try it with Broccoli. I havent yet got used to its taste. I think it needs to cook longer to take in the spices of the dish.
Will definitely try this soon.
Bye and belated B'day wishes to ur daughter. :-)

Bye

 
At Wed Mar 08, 08:22:00 AM 2006, Blogger BDSN said...

Man Iam drooling over all your wonderful pictures...Iam gonna try ur usili...I like the idea of using egg poacher to make the usili dough..very neat and i have always liked the idea of storing stuff in the freezer....

 
At Wed Mar 08, 08:25:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Priya said...

Hi SH,
The 2nd comment was from me...I dont know why my name came up as Anonymous. I am Priya, and have been visiting ur blog often.

I wanted to know if there was any difference in the Chapati dough if u want to make n store them. I am student and wud love to store them for the week. I just hate the tortillas we get in the grocery store.. !! :-(

 
At Wed Mar 08, 08:37:00 AM 2006, Blogger Saffron said...

Priya, nope no difference. I make chappatis as usual. Layer them with a square of wax paper to prevent them from sticking to each other. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. When I want to use them, I wrap a few in a wet paper towel and nuke like for 10 secs for 1, 15 for 2, 25 for 3 or something like that! is there a formula? hmmmm!!

 
At Wed Mar 08, 08:38:00 AM 2006, Blogger Saffron said...

sailu, bsdn, thanks!! I am loving this picture-taking-blogging thing!!

 
At Wed Mar 08, 09:15:00 AM 2006, Blogger Kay said...

Brocolli-usili - How interesting! and that picture is a beauty! You sure have talent for pictures! I freeze all kinds of stuff too, but totally un-organized! :)

I like making usili mix and storing it for later use.

 
At Wed Mar 08, 09:21:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Gini said...

I have never frozen any cooked food..i have wanted to try it but I shy away from it always. Dont they get ice coated in the freezer? I have never heard of usili. Not a big fan of dals, but your dish looks awesome!

 
At Wed Mar 08, 09:25:00 AM 2006, Blogger Sandhya said...

Holy Guacamole! Those pics are amazing! I wish i were a part of your family. Yummy food every day :-)

 
At Wed Mar 08, 09:43:00 AM 2006, Blogger Kitchenmate said...

SH: Amazing pictures and voila... you try so many variations:) broccoli in usili, picture makes me mouth-watering:)have to surely try this.
wow to your organising skills, very neat!
Enjoying your blog buddy:)

 
At Wed Mar 08, 10:14:00 AM 2006, Blogger Garam Masala said...

You are one organized cook!! If I wasn't impressed already, you got me today, SH!!!

I don't usually like freeze ahead foods, since that usually means eating the same things for an extended period. But this is great, freezing stuff half way through, that you can complete anyway you like!

Do you have a label maker? Or do you use tape to create those neat labels.

 
At Wed Mar 08, 11:26:00 AM 2006, Blogger Fiber said...

Wow - this is my first time to the blog, and I'm loving it.
What an excellent recipe.

 
At Wed Mar 08, 01:34:00 PM 2006, Blogger Saffron said...

gini, as long as the food is properly packaged, there should not be any freezer burn.

sandhya, drop in anytime!

kitchenmate, GM, thanks! yes, I don't like freezing cooked food, but semi-cooked/prepped food is a time saver. The labels are just file folder labels that I write on and stick.

fiber, welcome!

 
At Wed Mar 08, 01:52:00 PM 2006, Blogger Dumb Cook said...

SHUT, Good recipes with great photographs! I am sure you are watching a lot of Food network as I see good style in your food arrangement.

Regarding your dosai comment, I really didn't understand. I use "garam Tavai" as everyone else does, but the results are not that great. I bet it is in the atta (preparation) that goes into it which is where I am looking forward to your recipe.

BTW, I tried your Adai, they came out okay. If I learn to make good Dosai, I don't think I am going to try Adai again.

 
At Wed Mar 08, 02:17:00 PM 2006, Blogger shammi said...

I usually steam my usili mix (like idlis) and then crumble it when cool - doesnt need any oil at all, that way. I did NOT know you could freeze usili - what a GREAT IDEA! Thanks! :)

 
At Thu Mar 09, 06:02:00 AM 2006, Blogger KrishnaArjuna said...

SH that is a really great idea and a great time saving tip too. What does usili mean?

 
At Fri Mar 10, 07:32:00 AM 2006, Blogger Priya said...

wow !!! the pictures are SOOOOO GOOOOD.. u seem to be a PRO photographer. the brocolli usili is killing me.u r so creative, iam gonna learn lotsa innovative recipes from u. I have posted a similar recipe with beans.

 
At Mon Mar 20, 05:42:00 AM 2006, Blogger Mahek said...

wow i love freezing too but do not know how to do much of freezing i am not sure if the humid weather of mumbai permits too much freezing so pls give me some tips as as when you give your posts
great work.....

 
At Fri Mar 24, 01:27:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi SH
Is it possible to make usli just with one dal, I mean just toor dal or just channa dal ?

 
At Fri Mar 24, 01:57:00 PM 2006, Blogger Saffron said...

anon Sure, usili can be made with just one of those dals. In fact my MIL even makes it with left over adai batter

The taste will vary depending on the proportion of dals, but that's the fun of experiment.

 
At Wed Apr 12, 03:29:00 PM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saffronhut@how long you microwave the usili mix in egg poacher disc. I want to try it, do you think egg poacher discs might be available in walmart or in what kind of shops it is available?
thanks
Simhran

 
At Thu Apr 13, 06:34:00 AM 2006, Blogger Saffron said...

Simhran, Egg poacher trays are available in walmart, target, type of stores. I m/w for 1.5 to 2 minutes for 2 "idlis". Hope that helps.

 
At Tue Apr 18, 02:28:00 PM 2006, Blogger Luv2cook said...

Hey SH:

I LOVE cooking from scratch so like freezing foods too but I haven't had enough luck trying to freeze chapathis and parathas. Can you please post about that plz?

 
At Thu May 18, 05:17:00 AM 2006, Blogger PALLAVI said...

Dear U...Thanks a lot for the gr8 recipes and the pics..Y don't u go ahead and publish ur own cook book? Hey I need ur help..Recently there is a ladies get to-gether at my place...and I'm almost a novice when it comes to cooking..so haven't still decided the menu..The rule is one starter..one maincourse and one dessert..can u pls help me..I'll be forever greatful! Pls suggest me the menu wid recipe..it shud be smthg interesting...my email ID is pal_stars11@rediffmail.com

 
At Wed Nov 22, 06:48:00 AM 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At Mon Mar 12, 01:14:00 PM 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved this.

Can you please post how to freeze chapathis and paranthas.

Thanks
yossarin@hotmail.com

 
At Mon Mar 12, 01:29:00 PM 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,

I always use paneer for various recipes. Where do u buy low-far cottage cheese ? Please let me know....

cheers
yossarin@hotmail.com.com

 
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At Sun Dec 21, 03:47:00 AM 2008, Blogger sandhya said...

Hi SH,
i stumbled upon this site..when looking for Kaju katli recipe,am going to try it for this new year...
btw,when i came across usili,i wanted to share this idea with you all..
i have tried this...
you can grind 10 left over paruppu vadais in the mixer,just as bread crumbs abd make usili wth the verggies of your choice..
of course,you got to have had some festival the day before..ha ha...
this recipe doesnt even need any seasoning..
i think you can start deep freezing the vadais too from now on...

bye...and thanks for the wonderful pics
that itself is a wonderful appetiser..!great going

 
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At Tue Apr 05, 02:48:00 PM 2011, Blogger Karunya said...

Just tried this. Came out very well. Thanks!

 

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