Lunch! Hot and spicy Varagu (Kodo millet) sambar rice with loads of beans, carrots, peas, drumstick, plump peanuts for the crunch and store bought potato chips. It is a very doable one pot lunch for a workday!
I prefer to make yummy wholesome fuss free meals and one pot meals are a boon. You can customise them as you like , they are quick, filling, and not too much dishwashing involved . The Varagu -kodo millet, sambar rice is one such meal,you can substitute the Varagu with any other millet or even rice.
Ingredients for the Varagu Sambar Sadham
Toor dhal -11/2cup
Diced Mixed veggies -11/2 cups ( carrots , French beans , potatoes , green peas , cauliflower florets, capsicum )
Small Onion -5-6 or Red onion -1big
Sambar powder -1tbsp
Turmeric powder -1/2tsp
Oil and salt as required
Tamarind extract from a goose berry size ball of tamarind
Items for seasoning
Ghee or oil -.2tbsps
Mustard seeds -1/2tsp
Channa dhal -1tsp
Dried red chillies -5-6 depending on the required spice level
Fried cashews or boiled peanuts with skin as desired (optional )
Asafoetida -a couple of pinches
Curry leaves -few .
Wash and soak the millets for at-least half an hour .
Wash the toor dhal , add both the dhal and millets together, add turmeric and asafoetida and about 4-5 cups of water pressure cook it until very soft . In another pan , add oil , sauté shallots or onions , then sauté the cut vegetables,tomatoes,add turmeric powder,salt and water and cook until vegetables are done , then add in the tamarind extract and after it starts boiling add in the sambar powder and switch off the stove after a min or two .
Now all that needs to be done is to mix the veggie sambar to the cooked millet -dhal and mix well until it’s well combined with no lumps and keep on stove again and stir for about 5 mins, while constantly stirring , then season all the ingredients mentioned in ghee and add to the sambar saadham and it’s done .Garnish with coriander and serve. This is a lunch box friendly meal too.
*Add more water to cook the millets /rice and dhal, eg if you normally use 1:2 millet water ratio then use 1:4 ratio . Millets need more water to cook. This way the sambar saadham will not become hard after it cools down .
*I love ghee in my sambar saadham , so I am usually quite liberal with it .
*if using capsicum , add them in just before adding the tamarind water , so they don’t get too mushy .
*boil peanuts with the skin in salted water and air dry & then freeze them,you can drop a few frozen ones in water to thaw and add them as your seasoning in mixed rice like sambar saadham , curd rice etc
*dried green peas can also be soaked over night , air dried and frozen, so they are ready to be used when cooking vegetables.