Sunday, 9 December 2018

Eggless Black currant tea Cake/ No baking powder cake with dried black currant

Hello there, it is December! Christmas & New Year mood is on right? Then you must be thinking of baking and kitchen should be filled with that baked aroma!
Here is an easy to make cake recipe for this year end… It is a similar to my other cake recipes with a rich flavour of black currant. This is a ‘no baking powder’ cake which is as spongy and good as using baking powder. This cake was liked by my family, sister & cousin's family and I am very happy to share the recipe here in this post!   
You can also try other bakes such as Ghee Residue Rava ButtermilkCake, Guava tea Cake, Cucumber wheat jaggery tea cake with coconut flour, Eggless Pumpkin Cake, Eggless Custard powder Spongy Cake.
I used the 'Natural Vanilla Sugar' for the flavor of this cake which I received from a friend Vidya Lakshmi of ‘Sahaja Natural Farms’. Thanks Vidyakka for this wonderful product that you shared to us with love, it makes the magic. 
Ghee residue is an optional ingredient in this cake. It gives the extra flavor if add it. Thank you Shri Kripa for the initial idea of ghee residue cake recipe which I learnt from, not wasting ghee residue anymore!

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 250 grams of cake
Wheat flour – ½ cup
Plain flour/ Maida – ½ cup
Fine Semolina/ Chiroti rava – 2 tbsp
Dry black currant – ¼ cup
Milk - ½ cup
Buttermilk (fresh/ sweet) – ½ cup
Butter/ Ghee – ¼ cup
Salt – a pinch
Sugar – ¾ cup
Cinnamon powder (fine) – ¼ tsp
Baking soda – ½ tsp
Natural Vanilla sugar – ½ tsp
Ghee residue – 1 tbsp (optional)

  • Soak dried black currant in half cup of milk for 1 hour.
  • Once it is soft, blend it using a mixer coarsely. Do not over do this step as black currant chunks in the cake enrich the taste.
  • Take a large mixing bowl, add buttermilk and sugar, stir to dissolve sugar.
  • Add blended black currant milk to the above. Mix well with a spatula.
  • Add ghee/butter in room temperature. Add ghee residue (if using that) too.
  • Beat well once with the spatula to spread it evenly.
  • Add in all the dry ingredients like rava/ semolina, wheat flour, maida, salt, cinnamon powder, vanilla sugar and baking soda.
  • Mix well with the spatula so that there is no lump formed and all the ingredients combined well.
  • Grease baking tray of 8 inch square, pour the batter/ mix.
  • Now preheat the oven to 180deg Celsius. Bake it for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted fork comes out clean.  It took 25 minutes for me.
  • Allow to cool down, invert the cake. Cut and serve warm with tea or coffee!
  • You can bake a plain vanilla flavoured tea cake by just omitting the ingredient ‘black currant’.
  • Baking time changes from oven to oven. So keep monitoring the cake after  20 minutes of bake. Do not open before 18-20 minutes.
  • If you change the baking tray size, baking time varies.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Avarekalu uppittu/ Hyacinth beans & vegetable upma/ Avarekai uppittu

Winter being season of the pulses like Hyacinth beans (Avare kai), Pigeon peas (Togari), it is the time people enjoy various dishes made of them. Life in Bangalore introduced me so many avarekai/ togari kai recipes to me and I tried few on my own. Avarekai uppittu is one of very famous breakfasts that is simple to make. People prepare it with either Rice rava or with Wheat rava, whatever, it is delicious I can say. Today I am sharing the recipe of my version of Avarekalu uppittu. This is a simple, wholesome & protein rich breakfast one can make in the season.

Avarekai/ Hyacinth beans is a seasonal crop as I said earlier which grows well in Karnataka in the season of winter. It goes well in many delicacy which includes both sweet & savory. To name a few, Avarekai uppittu (today's post), Avarekai saaru, vade (fritters), spicy mixture, Obbattu (Holige), Avarekai - Akki rotti, Rice and many more.. List continues. I will try to cover atleast few of them as this time we have a good harvest in the home garden! 

Uppittu – Avalakki (beaten rice) is a great breakfast combination in Mangalore/ Coastal region which is very common during any festival or celebrations like pooja. It will be generally served with coffee/ tea and paired with banana. In general, uppittu / upma will be prepared without adding onion. I am sharing here the recipe using onion. You can just leave it if not preferred, which does not make much difference.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2-3
Avarekalu/ Avarekai/ Hyacinth beans – ½ cup
Medium Rava/ Semolina – 1 cup
Green chillis – 2
Ginger – ½ inch
Salt – to taste
Sugar – 1-2 tsp
Ghee – 2 tbsp
Coconut Oil or other cooking oil – 2 tsp
Onion – 1
Tomato – 1
Vegetables of choice (beans, carrot, potato) – ¼ cup (chopped & optional)
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Gram dal - 1 tsp
Dry red chilli – 1
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Water – 2.5 cups
Grated coconut – 2 tbsp (optional)
Coriander leaves – for garnishing (optional)

  • Keep avarekalu ready by removing the seeds from the pods.
  • Cook Avarekalu in a pressure cooker with 1 cup of water and 1 tsp salt. It will be done in 2 whistles. Keep aside until pressure releases.
  • Meanwhile, wash and peel off other vegetables like potato, carrot (if using) and onions. Chop green chillis, tomato & peeled vegetables as desired and keep aside separated from one another.
  • Wash, peel and crush ginger too.
  • Now take a thick bottomed wok or a pan. Heat 1 tsp. ghee and fry rava or semolina on medium flame until you get a nice fried aroma. Keep sautéing in order to avoid burning.
  • Transfer the fried rava to a plate.
  • Now prepare a seasoning of oil, gram dal, minced red chillis, mustard. On spluttering add curry leaves, chopped green chillis & crushed ginger. Fry for couple of minutes.
  • Add onions, cook until translucent.
  • Add tomatoes & other chopped veggies. Fry for 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle salt required while doing it.
  • Now pour 1.5 cups of water, add cooked avarekalu (hyacinth beans).Bring to boil. Add sugar.
  • On boiling, add fried rava/ semolina. Stir well in order to avoid the formation of lumps.
  • Cook covered on medium flame until all the water absorbed and it is cooked properly. You can sprinkle little water if it looks like not cooked.
  • Add remaining ghee and mix well.
  • Garnish with grated coconut & chopped coriander leaves.
  • Serve this upma or uppittu hot with a cup of coffee or tea.

  • It can be served with choice of green chutney which is optional.
  • Addition of chopped veggies is optional, which makes upma more nutritious.
  • Same procedure can be followed to make regular upma without adding avarekalu if it is not available. In that case reduce the water to 2 cups.
  • Onions can be avoided in case of festival cooking.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Odupale/ Odu dosa/ Dosa done on an earthen pan

Odupale/ Odu dosa is a traditional South canara (Tulunadu) dish. Odu is pan and pale (PaaLe) is sheet (dosa) in Tulu! It can be translated as Dosa made in an earthen pan. It is delicious & tastes heaven when served with sweet coconut milk that is thick coconut milk with jaggery. It is my favorite and it was the one dish I used to crave for. It is very aromatic when prepared using firewood cooking method. 

The specific pan to make this dosa looks like this!

Today’s post focuses on the Odupale recipe which is not very difficult to make.

Preparation time: 4 hours
Cooking time: 1 hour
Serves: 12-15 dosas

Dosa rice – 3 cups
Boiled rice – 1 cup
Cooked rice – fistful (optional)
Salt – to taste

  • Wash and Soak rice for 4 hours.
  • Drain water completely, wash once again and grind to smooth batter adding salt & cooked rice. Consistency should be little thicker than neer dosa batter.
  • Preparing Odupale/ Odu dose:
  • Heat the earthen pan (Odu) on medium heat.
  • No application of oil required in this. When the pan is hot enough, pour 1.5 ladle of batter. Do not touch it after.
  • Cook covered for 2-3 minutes, until it is cooked.
  • Remove from the pan with the spatula. Allow cooling a bit before serving. Place the hot odu dosa separately spread on a large plate (that is, not on top of the previous one).
  • It is suggested to clean the pan with a clean wet cloth after making 2 odupales!
  • Serve with Chutney & sweetened coconut milk.
  • It can also be served after soaking in sweet coconut milk for 1-2 hours.

  • There is a process to season the earthen pan/ odu. In which, oil will be applied to each sides of the pan and heated on high flame. But this procedure is optional. It is sufficient if oil is applied properly on the new pan and keep it for a day before making dosa.
  • This dosa takes little longer to cook than other dosas as it is comparatively thick.
  • Cook it on low – medium flame. Otherwise, one side of dosa will be charred when other side gets cooked completely.
  • This dosa should not be flipped off to cook other side. Cooking should be done only from one side.

Kohlrabi/ Knolkol and Sprouted green gram Salad

Knolkol or Kohlrabi is also known as German turnip is a juicy vegetable of cabbage family. It is called as Navilu kosu in kannada. It is highly used in German cooking and also in India. Here it is highly used in Sambhar or palya generally. It makes easy to use as it can be consumed either raw (in salads) or cooked. I love making the salad of it and hence sharing the recipe. Check for the recipe of Knolkol/ Kohlrabi & Moong Dal Salad.

Knolkol and Sprouted green gram Salad

Preparation time: 10 minutes (excluded soaking time)
Serves: 2
Knolkol/ Kohlrabi/ Navilu kosu – 1 big (tender)
Sprouted green gram – ¼ cup
Green chilli – 1
Salt - to taste
Coriander leaves – few strands
Cucumber (small) – 1 (optional)
Tomato – 1
Coconut oil – 1 tsp
Lemon juice – 2 tsp (of 1 lemon)
Optional seasoning:
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Coconut oil – 1 tsp
Red chilli – 1(minced)
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp

  • Wash and soak green gram for 4 hours. Drain water allow sprouting. It will be done in 1 day.
  • Wash Knolkol, peel off the outer skin and cut into desired shape (Or chop it fine).
  • Chop tomato, green chilli, cucumber and coriander leaves.
  • Combine all the chopped vegetables in a wide serving bowl with sprouted green gram.
  • Add salt, lemon juice and 1 tsp of oil and mix well.
  • Optional seasoning (suggested): Heat oil in a pan, add mustard, minced red chillis, cumin seeds and allow spluttering. Season the salad with this. Serve fresh crunchy salad.
  • Variations possible by adding chopped vegetables like carrot/ beetroot.
  • Cucumber is optional.
  • Vinegar/ apple cider vinegar can also be used in salad dressing. I prefer using fresh lemon juice always.
Kohlrabi/ Knolkol and Sprouted green gram Salad

Friday, 30 November 2018

Moong Dal Roti/ Dhal paratha

This is a wholesome Roti/ paratha, which is not too hard to make! As I normally avoid making stuffed parathas as I am not good in making them. This has the goodness wheat & richness of lentils/ dhal. It works great as breakfast/ dinner which is nutritionally rich. You can have it with curds & choice of pickles if you make it bit spicier. Hence you have reduced work of making side dish.
You can choose lentil of choice like mung or tur dal. Now let us come to the making part. I am sharing the recipe which I did using moong dal & moringa powder. Check for the recipe of Moringa Chutneypowder here.

Moong Dal Roti

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 15- 16 rotis
Wheat flour – 2 cups
Cooked mung dal/ split moong bean – 1 cup, tur dal can also be used
Salt – to taste
Ghee – 2 tbsp
Carom seeds/ ajwain/ Om kalu – ½ tsp
Red chilli powder – ½ tsp
Moringa chutney powder – 2 tbsp (optional)
Ghee – for frying parathas

  • Wash and cook dal (moong dal is used) in a pressure cooker with water. Allow pressure to settle down.
  • When pressure is released, allow bit cooling. Mash the dal with fingers.
  • Now add wheat flour, salt, chilli powder, ajwain (carom seeds), moringa powder (chutney powder) and 2 tbsp ghee to the mashed dal. Mix well and knead into soft roti dough.
  • Adjust the dough by adding water/ flour as required.
  • Keep aside for at least 15 minutes covering the dough.
  • Now divide the dough into equal sized balls of small orange size. Roll over to make rotis of medium thickness by applying flour when it sticks.
  • Cook (fry) these rotis on a tava by flipping frequently. Apply ghee on both sides while cooking. It is done when you observe brown spots on both sides.
  • Store the rotis in a casserole. Serve hot with curds & pickles or with the preferred side dish.
  • Split pigeon peas (tur dal) or split mung (moong dal) can be used to make this.
  • Adjust the spice level to your requirement.
  • Moringa powder is an optional ingredient.
  • You can add any chopped herb for the flavour.
Dhal paratha

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Jeerige Bendi/ Vegetable side dish with Cumin flavored Coconut Gravy

Jeerige bendi, (translation would be Cumin curry) is a coastal Karnataka dish belongs to particular community. It is very less spiced and mildly sweet gravy which goes well with Rice (especially brown rice). It is a better way to feed vegetables to toddlers or kids as it is not hot (not spicy).
Vegetables like Ridge gourd, bottle gourd, Snake gourd or Yellow cucumber suit best to make this curry. I am sharing the recipe today with ridge gourd or heere kai. This is a simple side dish. The ridge gourd peel removed from the veggie can be used to make delicious chutney instead throwing it. Look for the recipe of 'Ridge gourd peel chutney'.

Cumin flavored Coconut Gravy

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves: 3
Ridge gourd/ Heere kai – 2
Grated fresh coconut – ½ cup
Cumin seeds/ jeera/ Jeerige – 1 tsp
Dry red chilli – 1
Red chilli powder – ½ tsp (optional)
Salt - to taste
Jaggery – 2 tsp
Coconut oil – 2 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Wash ridge gourds, peel and remove outermost skin. Cut into about ½ inch pieces. Direction to cut: Slit ridge gourd lengthwise (4) first, then chop into chunks.
  • Cook the chopped gourds with very little water (¼ cup) as ridge gourd leaves water on boiling. Add salt, jaggery and chilli powder (optional) while cooking.
  • Grind grated coconut, raw cumin seeds and dry red chilli (optional) into smooth paste.
  • When vegetable is cooked, add the coconut paste. Boil well.
  • Prepare a seasoning of oil, mustard & curry leaves, add it to the curry.
  • Serve curry hot with steamed rice and a dollop of ghee.
Jeerige Bendi

  • Red chilli can be avoided while grinding to reduce the spice level (if feeding babies), instead it can be used in seasoning.
  • Ridge gourd can be replaced with vegetables like bottle gourd/ snake gourd. Or a combination of ridge gourd & snake gourd can be used.
Vegetable side dish with Cumin flavored Coconut Gravy

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Monday, 26 November 2018

Menthe Kadubu/ Menthya kadubu/ Wheat flour dumpling in spicy fenugreek leaves gravy

Menthe kadubu is a recipe originally from North Karnataka. It was introduced to me from a friend Anuradha & the recipe that I follow is the one which I learnt from her. There are various methods to do it. It can be soupy (with liquid consistency) or dried version.  It works as a main dish for the gloomy weather in winter season or you can serve it as a started too.
The process is bit lengthy, that is it calls for parallel processing of making the gravy & wheat dumpling and at the end combining both. It can be made sweet & spicy or less spiced one too. HuLi Kadubu (dumpling in sambhar) is another similar dish which tastes heavenly and I will post the recipe soon.
Now let us come to the point of making Menthe Kadubu.

Preparation time: 20-30 minutes
Serves: 2-3
Menthe soppu/ Fenugreek leaves – 1 bunch
Onion – 1 (medium)
Garlic – 10-12 cloves
Tamarind – gooseberry sized
Jaggery – lemon sized
Chilli powder – 1 tsp or green chillis – 2, Adjust to taste
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Salt to taste
Sambhar powder – ½ tsp (optional), adjust to taste
Oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Asafoetida (hing) – 1 pinch
Coriander leaves – to garnish
Rice flour – 1 tsp (optional), to thicken the gravy
Chapathi/ roti dough – 1 large orange sized

  • Prepare chapathi dough with wheat flour, salt, water and little oil. Keep aside covered.
  • Clean, wash green leaves (menthe soppu). Remove stems. I normally add stems which are tender. Stems bring slight bitter taste.
  • Chop methi/ menthe leaves finely. Keep aside.
  • Peel and chop onions fine.
  • Peel garlics & mince.
  • Slit or chop green chillis.
  • Soak tamarind in ¼ cup of water.
  • Prepare a seasoning of mustard, hing & cumin seeds in oil. On spluttering, add minced garlic, sauté for couple of minutes.
  • Add chopped onions & green chillis (if using) and fry until translucent.
  • Add chopped fenugreek leaves. Sprinkle turmeric powder and salt to taste. Add chilli powder too.
  • Let the leaves cook for a while.
  • When it is almost done, add tamarind extract prepared (soaked in water), jaggery and sambhar powder. Add water to adjust the consistency. Allow boiling.
  • Add 1 tsp rice flour, dissolved in little water to the gravy to adjust the thickness. This is just optional.
  • Meanwhile, make chapathis of medium thickness (little thicker than regular chapathi) from the dough.
  • Apply oil on both sides, cut into small chunks.
  • Boil 2-3 cups of water in a separate vessel adding little salt and 1 tsp oil.
  • On boiling, add cut pieces of chapathi to it, bring to boil, close the lid for a minute.
  • Now, Drain water from the wheat dumplings. Add these dumplings to the boiling gravy.
  • Bring to a boil. Mix once well.
  • Garnish with the chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot.

  • Adding rice flour is optional & it is just for thickening the gravy. If the gravy becomes thick by boiling, then you can leave it.
  • Menthe kadubu can be made dry or gravy like soup.
  • Addition of garlic enriches the taste, though there is a recipe of without garlic.