Raagi also known as Finger Millet, is an important millet grown extensively in various regions of India. In India, Raagi is mostly grown and consumed in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and Goa. It has different names in local languages. In India Finger Millet is commonly called by various names like Raagi (in Kannada, Telugu and Hindi), Kodra (Himachal Pradesh), Mandia (Oriya), Taidalu (in Telangana region), Kezhvaragu in Tamil. Raagi is considered one of the most nutritious cereals which contains protein, carbohydrates, dietary fiber and minerals. Of all the cereals and millets, Raagi has the highest amount of calcium and potassium.
Dal Palak is nothing but lentil (Tuvar Dal) cooked with Palak also known as Spinach & along with basic Indian spices. It is a healthy, delicious and one of the most made Palak recipes in Indian homes. Palak and Tuvar Dal come together, pressure cooked and hand blended to the right consistency. A couple of spices added to impart irresistible flavor and fresh aroma. This simple protein rich dish is served with Raagi Oonda or plain rice, chapatti / roti or different kinds of bhakri (flatbreads).
Recipe for Dal Palak:
Fresh Palak (Spinach) Leaves – Two Bunch.
Tuvar Dal (Yellow Lentil) – 300 gms.
Tomato – 3 medium size.
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp.
Jeera seeds – 1 tsp.
Onion – 3 medium size – finely chopped.
Tamarind paste – 3 tbs.
Hot Red chilli powder – half tsp.
Kashmiri Red Chilli powder – half tsp.
Garam masala powder – half tsp.
Green Chilli – 4 (chopped finely).
Garlic cloves – 8.
Turmeric powder – 1/4th tsp.
Jeera powder – half tsp.
Dhaniya powder – 1 tsp.
Sambar powder – 1 tsp.
Curry Leaves – 6 to 8 leaves.
Jaggery – 1 inch piece.
Cooking Oil – 2 to 3 tbs.
Ghee – 2 tbs.
Salt to taste.
Clean all the Palak leaves nicely under running water. Chop them roughly and keep it aside.
Clean the Tuvarr Dal nicely under running water and keep it aside.
Chop Tomatoes roughly.
Chop Garlic roughly.
Take a Pressure cooker. Add Palak Leaves, Tuvar Dal, Green Chilli, Garlic, pinch of salt, jaggery, tumeric powder and tomatoes into the cooker. Add 2 cups of water. Cover the cooker with its lid and cook them until 4 whistles.
After 4 whistles of the pressure cooker, turn the heat off. Don’t open the cooker lid immediately. Leave it for atleast 15 minutes.
Open the pressure cooker lid after 15 minutes and crush/blend all the ingredients inside the cooker into thick paste like consistency. Use Hand Blender to turn the mixture in a thick paste.
Take a Kadai (Wok) and add Cooking Oil. Heat up the Oil.
Add Mustard seeds and Jeera seeds. Let it crackle.
Add chopped onions and curry leaves. Fry the onions until it turns light brown.
Add all the remaining powdered spices and stir well for a minute.
Add the thick (Palak and Dal) paste from pressure cooker to the Kadai. Mix well continuously and let it cook for 5 to 7 minutes on medium heat with the lid covered.
Add Tamarind paste and Salt to taste in to the Kadai. Mix them well. Cover the Kadai with a lid and let it cook for another 5 to 7 minutes on medium heat. Then turn off the heat.
Serve hot with Raagi Oonda.
Recipe for Raagi Oonda:
Raagi Flour – 500 gms.
Cooked Rice – One cup.
Water – 1 liter.
Salt to taste.
Ghee – 4 tbs.
Lime Juice – 1 tbs.
Take a large Kadai. Add liter of water into it and heat it up.
As the water starts boiling, add 2 tbs of ghee, salt to taste, and lime juice in to the Kadai. Give it a gently mix. Let the water boil for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the cooked rice in to the Kadai and mix it well. Cook the rice for 3 to 4 minutes on high flame.
Take a small bowl. Add 3 to 4 tbs of Raagi flour in the bowl. Add 1 to 2 small cups of water. Mix it well using a stirrer or a spoon. Ensure there are no lumps in this bowl. This step is important as it prevents lump formation as soon as you add all the Raagi flour into the hot water kadai. This mixer in the small bowl is added and stirred before adding remaining Raagi flour to prevent lump formation.
Add the Raagi water from the small bowl in to the Hot water in the Kadai and immediately start stirring continuously on high heat for 2 to 4 minutes and allow the water to boil.
Add slowly the remaining Raagi flour in to the Hot water in the Kadai and continously keep stirring it to prevent lump formation.
Keep stirring the Raagi on medium flame until the dough becomes thick. This may take 10 to 12 minutes. Add remaining ghee in to it and continue to stir.
Turn off the flame. Allow the Raagi to cool as much as you can put your fingers in it.
Take a utensil and fill it with water. Dip both your palm and fingers in it and lift a chunk of Raagi dough and roll it in to a orange sized Balls (Oonda in Telugu). Do this for all the Raagi.
Allow all the Raagi Oonda to cool.
Raagi Oonda is ready to be served along with Dal Palak.
Enjoy this nutritious dish.