My life has been a whirlwind these past couple of weeks, as I expect all of yours have been during the holiday season! A lot of it was excellent fun, which I am very thankful for, and yet yesterday was somewhat of a slow start to the New Year as I rested at home due to what I presume is a viral infection. It has progressed somewhat and I woke up today with a terrible headache. I still have horrible memories of my last illness in November, when I got body aches/chills and felt so miserable that I could barely get out of bed. It’s not so bad this time. I think I bolstered my immune system with Vitamin C/herbal supplements and fresh fruit packed with antioxidants, such as pomegranate. I’m not completely out of the woods yet, and I’m back at work, but I’ll try to sleep early tonight and get some rest.
Over the past couple of days, I also had a good amount of that lovely porridge you see above, which has helped as well due its nutritional value. It is a sweet porridge that is best served warm. More milk can be added based on your preference, but I like mine somewhere between thick and thin- a happy medium.
Dalia- Sweet Indian Porridge
- Dalia/cracked wheat (get it from an Indian store, the ones in supermarkets have varying textures)
**These instructions are still a work in progress. I will have to make it at least once more in order to be sure of the measurements and cooking times. The recipe below is more for general guidance- I will probably be editing it later!
Heat 4 tablespoons of butter in a deep pot. On medium-high heat, add 3 cups cracked wheat and stir continuously and vigorously until browned. Be careful to not let it burn (turn dark brown or black). Add 6-8 cups of water (you want the wheat to be submerged) and allow water to reach a boil. Lower to a simmer and let cook for about 10 minutes, cover with lid but leave a crack for steam to escape. Stir every couple minutes or so. Once wheat has poofed up (expanded noticeably) and water level has reduced, add milk to the consistency you could like the dalia/porridge to have. Then, add maybe a third more milk (I’m still tweaking this). Now, let the milk reach a boil again. Stir in 1/2 cup sugar. Lower to a simmer and cover with lid again, leaving a crack open for steam. Let it cook for another 10 minutes, this time stay near it so you can constantly stir it every minute and make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom. As the wheat cooks, it will absorb the milk and fatten up even more. When you think it is just about fully cooked (stick a spatula in and if it is thick and the wheat looks nice and plump, you are done), turn off the heat, cover the pot with a lid, and move it off the burner. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes and then it is ready to eat! You can add more sugar to your individual portion if it’s not sweet enough, but it’s good to not make it too sweet- the goal is to keep it healthy and nutritious!
After I made a large pot of this I was as happy as a clam. I finally made an Indian dish all by myself! It was a triumphant moment. For the first time in a long time, I played the role of the main chef instead of the sous chef. My mom sounded out instructions and I did all the prep work and the cooking. (I usually shy away from trying to make Indian food because my parents can make it so much better and whenever I try, I’m constantly second-guessing myself.)
Granted, this is one of the easier dishes to make, but sometimes you need a push to take any step at all, easy or not! What was my push? I wanted to get started on my New Year’s resolutions, of course!
Next on my list of MATTAR PANEER. It’s going to be awesome. It’s my favorite Indian dish of all- total yum. Served over a bed of white rice, it is delicious, healthy, and vegetarian.
Some of my other New Year’s resolutions are to:
- Exercise on a more consistent basis.
- Stay away from large cookies.
- Take a more active interest in understanding news items such as the “fiscal cliff”- seriously, I don’t get it.
- Try new things and go on new adventures- Groupon is great for this!
- Read more books, and be patient (I just finished The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and was so curious about the ending that I rushed through the last third of the book.)
- And finally, put in my best efforts for my work and educational goals each and every day, and be proud of my accomplishments!
What are your New Year’s resolutions?