Jal Khabaar – Indian Breakfast Foods

January 28th, 2010

Breakfast food in India is different from lunch or dinner. Breakfast dishes vary from state to state, and all families cook different. Some families cook the British standard breakfast, cereal, milk, fruit, eggs and toast with butter and jam. The usual creamy curries, nut and tomato based heavy sauces are not found. Vegetables mostly and meats are cooked with some seasonings. Indian Flatbreads, like plain Rotis or Chapatis are made quite often. There is also deep Fried Breads called Puris and griddle fried ones called Parathas. These can be filled or plain. They are eaten with a boiled light Daal or Lentil Soup seasoned with a little cumin, or a very simple mixed vegetable dish. Sometimes there is some plain yogurt over some rice and a little chutney or pickle as a relish. Methi Aloo or Fenugreek and Potato is one of the most healthy and popular curries to go with breakfast. You can get a bunch of fenugreek leaves at an Indian grocery store or grow some from fenugreek seeds in your garden. This is a delightful herb which is good for every part of your anatomy. It is a little bitter like Arugula but is excellent cooked with potatoes or vegetables and rolled up in a Chapati. Here is a nice Vegan Vegetarian Gluten free recipe:

Methi Aloo

Fenugreek and Potatoes

2 Cups Potatoes chopped up small with skin on

1 Cup Fenugreek leaves chopped up small or you can get dried ones at some Indian or Asian grocery.

2 Tbs. Safflower or Vegetable Oil

½ Tsp. Whole Fenugreek Seeds

½ Tsp. Whole Mustard Seeds

½ Cup Chopped fresh Tomatoes

1 Tsp. Sugar, optional

1 Tsp. Salt or to taste

1 Cup Water

If you find fresh Fenugreek leaves, just pull out the leaves only and discard the stems. Chop the leaves fine. Otherwise you can only use the whole fenugreek seed as a seasoning. Heat the oil, and put in the whole fenugreek and mustard seeds. As they pop, add the potatoes, sugar and salt. Fry these in medium heat for about five minutes and add the water. When the potatoes come to a boil, turn the heat as low as possible and cover the pot. After about seven more minutes check and stir and put in the tomatoes. Cook some more till you have a thick sauce over the potatoes. You are free to add any other vegetables or Spinach with this too. Serve with chapatis or over rice, with a little plain yogurt on the side if you are Vegan use a non dairy yogurt substitute.

There are a lot of different foods you can make for breakfast in India. You can fry onions with tomatoes, green chili and cilantro, add cream of wheat and some water, the result should be wet and dry. This is called Upma in South India. You can also make pancakes with rice flour called Appams. Appams are gluten free but the flatbreads and Upma are not. You can always experiment making the breads with gluten free flour too. Cooking is so much fun, almost anything is possible to make. In North India most people prefer Daal, Lentils and Rotis or Flatbread. Puris or fried bread is sometimes served with mixed vegetables. Sundays and holidays when everybody is home many different items are made in the morning because lunch is usually late, around 1.00pm. Children mostly eat Chapatis with fruit and milk or rice and milk. It gets difficult to mention everything because there are so many things you can make and still invent. Cooking is an on going art that never stops. Every chef cooks his or her own way. I am still learning.

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