Saturday, 18 January 2020

Cream of mushroom soup with coconut milk/ Vegan creamy mushroom soup

Ever since I tried my first soup made with coconut milk, I stopped using cow’s milk or cream in soups. The flavor of coconut milk blends so well in soup and it turns out to be super delicious. I made & posted vegan sweet corn soup & bamboo shoot soup earlier and now it is mushroom soup. It is very simple except only process of extracting coconut milk if you are a person of doing it from scratch like I do!
It is thick, creamy, rich & at the same time, flavorful. There are not too many ingredients used.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves: 3
Button mushrooms – 100 grams
Thick Coconut milk – 1 cup
Salt - to taste
Pepper powder- ¼ tsp, adjust to taste
Finely minced garlic – 1 tsp, or 4-5 cloves of garlic
Sugar/ jaggery – 1 tsp
Corn flour – 1 tsp
Cooking oil/ butter/ ghee – 2 tsp. Use oil if you need a vegan option

  • Wash mushrooms well in clean water. Discard thinly sliced portion of stalk base (normally that looks black).  Slice whole mushroom with a sharp knife or cut as desired. I normally peel outer skin of mushroom before cutting.
  • Peel off garlics and finely chop them & keep aside.
  • Extract coconut milk and keep that ready too.
  • Now heat oil/ butter in a thick bottomed vessel or pan. Add finely minced garlic. Fry until they turn brown.
  • Add chopped / sliced mushrooms and continue sautéing. Mushroom releases water. Continue to fry them until they turn tender, all water evaporates and mushrooms turn slightly brown.
  • Add salt and pepper powder.
  • When mushroom is properly cooked, add coconut milk. 1 tsp sugar/ jaggery.
  • Add 1 tsp corn flour dissolved in ½ cup water.
  • Bring this soup to boil.
  • Switch off and serve hot creamy soup.

  • You can make variations adding chopped onions along with garlic.
  • You can also add choice of herbs to this soup.

Monday, 13 January 2020

Dates Sesame Juice/ Ellu Kharjura milkshake

Why sesame in sankranti? 
Sesame/ til/ ellu, these tiny seeds are very rich in various nutrients including some of the rarely found micro nutrients. The benefits of which are often overlooked. Being rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre (important) and couple of essential fat, til is good for digestion, beneficial in maintenance of cholesterol level, colon health, heart and skin health too.. The rich iron content is good in treating anaemia.. It keeps us warm...Applying sesame oil on skin helps in reducing dryness in winter. 
As sankranti or pongal is the time of transition, and still falls in winter, the food habits to be followed is pro winter food.. As our digestive system is highly active during winter, it is suggested to consume food which is heavy, oil rich, carbohydrates & protein  rich too.. Recommended are protein rich lentils (dals), seeds rich in oil (peanuts, til, ..), nuts, dry fruits, rice, root vegetables like potato, yam, sweet potato which are rich in carbs.. 

So other than ellu- bella (mix of sesame, jaggery, peanuts, fried grams, dry coconut.. ) how can we consume this seed? We can make gravy or curry with sesame, top it on bread , add fried til in kheer or juice! Yes, you read it right. One can make very healthy juice which is perfect summer coolant. I was not knowing about it until my sister (Ayurvedic practitioner) introduced it to me last summer. Let us see the process of making this. I used here dates as sweetener.. It can be replaced by jaggery completely, original recipe has only jaggery.. 

Wish you all happy sankranti/ harvest festival.. 

white Sesame

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2
Sesame/ til/ ellu (white) – 2-3 tsp
Chilled milk – 1 glass
Cold Water – 1 glass
Dates – 6
Jaggery powder – 2 tsp (optional), add only if you need sweet milk
Cardamom powder - 1 pinch (optional)

  • Remove seeds of dates, wash and soak in little water or milk.
  • Wash sesame seeds using a tea sieve.
  • Now take the sesame seeds in a wet mixer jar and grind nicely adding little water as required. Strain using the sieve to extract its juice completely. Discard the residue. While doing this, add little water at a time.
  • Now take collected sesame juice in a mixer jar (juice making). Add dates and chilled milk, jaggery (if using) and cardamom powder. Blend well to make the milkshake.
  • Transfer to serving glass and serve chilled with added ice cubes. 
Dates Sesame Juice

  • I have used dates as sweetener and 1 tsp jaggery too as dates gives mild sweetness.
  • You can use dates syrup instead of soaked dates to make it simple.
  • Dates are not being used in traditional ellu juice. To make it, follow the same procedure except dates. Grind ellu & jaggery with water, filter. Mix milk and cardamom powder, serve.
Ellu juice

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Guava leaf green tea/ Seebe kudi kashaya

Digestive system disorders like stomach discomfort, indigestion, diarrhoea, acidity … are too common problems that everyone faces in life. It may be a post effect of over eating or eating outside frequently or in some cases microbial or even side effect of medication.
About 10 months back, my little daughter fell sick with vomiting and diarrhoea.  Without pre knowledge I just tried making simple tambuli of guava leaves and made her it it with little rice. It improved her condition in just one serving. Similarly it helped my mom to recover from similar issue too! Later from a cousin, I have learnt that tender guava leaves are greatest remedy for acidity/ gastritis related problems. Making tea is easier too.

Guava leaf green tea

Now, let us see how to make this tea!
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Serves: 1 cup

Tender guava leave – 4-5 tips
Water – 1 cup

  • Wash leaves cleans.
  • Keep one cup of water to boil.
  • Tear the cleaned leaves with fingers and add to the boiling water.
  • Boil for about 1 minute.
  • Strain and drink this tea as it is or with added sugar/ jaggery. I prefer without sweetener.
Guava leaf


  • Before trying any home remedy, please monitor the condition properly.
  • If the issue seems to be critical or existing for long time, then consult a physician.
  • When giving the tea for small kids/ toddlers, make with less than ¼ cup of water so that it is easy to make them drink.
  • Important note, do not add honey to any hot tea. Ayurveda suggests not to add honey to anything with temperature above room temperature!
Seebe kudi kashaya

Thursday, 2 January 2020

Mixed vegetable pepper korma/ Easy to make, no spicy vegetable gravy

Are you looking for a simple, less complicated side dish for chapathi or poori? Do you want to try a healthy side dish with no masala or spices & no onion – no garlic dish? Here is an answer. This is too comfort dish for your tummy as there is not any strong spice or flavour except very mild pepper flavour! Your child will also enjoy this dish with rich creamy coconut gravy combined boiled vegetables. This can be made quickly as no complicated procedure too. You call it sagu/ korma or kootu, but it is a delicious combination to chapathi/ poori. Now, let us see the recipe!

Mixed vegetable pepper korma

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves: 3
Chopped mixed vegetables of choice – 1 cup, I used carrot, beans, knol khol, tomato
Fresh peas/ togari/ avarekalu – ¼ cup, you can use soaked dry peas as well
Fresh grated coconut – ½ cup
Pepper corns – 10 , adjust according to required spice level
Salt - 1 tsp, to taste
Oil – 1 tsp (I used coconut oil)
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Dry red chilli - 1

Wash and chop vegetables into small pieces.
Wash peas/ hyacinth beans and boil with chopped vegetables with water and salt. Cook until soft. You can use pressure cooker to cook these vegetables.
Meanwhile, grate coconut. Grind with pepper corns to make smooth paste.
Add this coconut paste to the cooked vegetables. Boil well.
Prepare a seasoning of oil, mustard, cut dry red chilli and curry leaves. On sputtering, add to the curry.
Serve with chapathi or poori.

Easy to make, no spicy vegetable gravy

You can use your choice of vegetables.
If you like mildly spiced gravy, then you can add small piece of cinnamon & 3 cloves while grinding coconut.

Vegetable gravy

Sunday, 29 December 2019

Orange rasam/ Orange saaru

Having a question of finishing juicy yet very sour oranges? Are you looking for any recipe other than orange juice? Looking for something hot drink out of oranges to sip on like soup? Here is the answer, very quick to make & at the same time tasty stew/ soup with oranges! Soothing for one’s throat in the cold winter evenings! It makes a combination to rice as well. Check for one similar recipe of lemon rasam.

Orange rasam

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2
Orange – 1-2 (Use 1 if it is very sour)
Water – 2 glasses
Jaggery – 1-2 tsp
Green chilli – 1 or 2 (to taste) or ½ tsp chilli powder
Salt – to taste
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Cooking Oil – 1 tsp (coconut oil preferred)
Dry red chilli – 1 (optional)
Coriander leaves – 1 tsp finely chopped (optional)

  • Boil water,salt, jaggery and chilli powder/ slit green chillis in a vessel. It will take just 4-5 minutes.
  • Switch off the stove. Cut the orange from the centre (like how you cut lemon to squeeze), remove seeds and squeeze to extract the juice completely. Add this juice to the boiled rasam.
  • Prepare a seasoning with oil, mustard, minced dry red chilli and curry leaves. Add to the rasam. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot rasam with rice or have as soup.
Orange saaru

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Mango ginger lemon rice/ Mavina shunti chitranna

Mango ginger is one of the winter root vegetables belongs to the Zingiberaceae / ginger family. It closely resembles to turmeric and scientifically known as Curcuma amada. It looks like ginger with a distinct flavour of mango. These rhizomes are commonly used in mixed pickles, chutney & tambuli.. Recently I came to know that they are also used in salads and in some region, it is consumed raw by sprinkling little salt & lemon juice on top.

Mango ginger

The common names are mango ginger, mavina shunti (kannada), kukku shunti (tulu), …
Now let us see the recipe of mango ginger rice, which was suggested by my co sister Vanitha after she tried it in her kitchen. Thanks akka for this idea which was new to me.

Mango ginger lemon rice

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 3-4
Rice – 2 cups
Mango ginger/ mavina shunti/ kuku shunti – 2 inch piece
Grated coconut – 3 tbsp
Tamarind or lemon juice – small gooseberry sized if using tamarind or 2 tsp lemon juice
Jaggery – 2 tsp powder
Salt – tp taste
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Dry red chilli – 2
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Peanuts – 2 tbsp
Gram dal – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Coconut oil/ any cooking oil – 2 tbsp

  • Wash the rice well with water, drain water completely.
  • Cook this rice with water as required and little salt in a pressure cooker. For normal sona masoori rice, 4.5 – 5 cups of water and 3 whistles should be sufficient.
  • Set aside until pressure settles down.
  • Meanwhile, grate coconut wash the mango ginger and slice them thin.
  • In a mixer jar, take grated coconut, sliced mango ginger, dry red chillis, tamarind (if using), jaggery powder (grated), turmeric powder & little salt (very less as you added while cooking rice, if rice doesn’t have salt, then add more salt here). Grind to get smooth paste. Don’t add lemon juice in this if using it.
  • Now heat a pan. Add oil, mustard seeds, gram dal, peanuts. On spluttering & when peanuts are done, add curry leaves.
  • Add ground masala and sauté for a while. Switch off the stove. Mix cooked rice. Add lemon juice at the end.
  • Serve this rice warm. Or pack in the lunch box.
  • This special ginger gives mild flavour of mango to the rice.
  • If raw mangoes are in season, then you can use grated mangoes to make the mango rice. In this case, don’t add tamarind or lemon as mango gives the required tanginess. Rest of the process remains same and add grated mango to the tadkaor seasoning, fry for a while and then add coconut paste.  
Mavina shunti chitranna

Methi Tepla/ Fenugreek leaves wheat spicy roti

Want to make your regular roti more delicious & nutritious too? Here is a recipe for the season. It is the season you get plenty of fresh fenugreek leaves. You can add some of them in your roti dough bychopping along with commonly available spices in the kitchen to make these tasty teplas basically a Gujarathi delicacy made with wheat flour & millets like bajra & jowar flour. I tasted it for the first time about 8-9 years back when my north Indian neighbour shared the traditionally made teplas which was so good in taste. She made with bajra flour if I remember it right. Now, here is my version with just wheat flour, gram flour and methi leaves. This exotic looking dish is not very difficult to make as well.

Methi Tepla

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 10-12 medium teplas
Fresh fenugreek leaves – 1 bunch
Wheat flour – 1.5 - 2 cups
Gram flour – ¼ cup
Ajwain/ Carom seeds/ Om kalu – ½ tsp
Salt - to taste
Jaggery powder – 2 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp or as required
Cumin powder – ¼ tsp
Coriander powder – ¼ tsp
Green chillis – 1-2 finely chopped (optional), I don’t use as kids don’t like
Ghee or oil – 2 tsp for the dough and extra for frying teplas.
Curds – 2-3 tbsp, instead you can use water as well

  • Clean fenugreek leaves, by removing root & hard stems. Collect only leaves & soft stems. Rinse well with clean water, drain and chop finely.
  • Take the chopped leaves & green chillis (if using) in a large mixing bowl. Add salt, chilli powder, carom seeds, cumin powder and coriander powder. Add jaggery powder and mix well.
  • Now add gram flour and wheat flour, mix well with your fingers adding curds (only water if vegan) or water as required to form soft dough. Add 2 tsp of ghee (oil if vegan) and kneed very well. Greens will release little water as you press with fingers, so add water or curds looking at the dough.
  • Cover the bowl with a lid and set aside for 10 minutes.
Methi wheat Tepla
  • Now start making rotis by dividing dough into equal sized balls and rolling one by one.
  • Heat a pan/ griddle, apply little oil. Cook the rotis like regular chapathi/ pulka applying little ghee/ oil on top. It is done when you find brown spots on each side. Transfer to a hot-box on cooking both sides evenly.
  • Serve warm teplas with choice of chutney or with curds & pickles. It makes a perfect combination with cup of hot coffee or tea.

Fenugreek leaves wheat spicy roti

  • You can avoid using curds & ghee completely while making these if you are on a vegan diet. Use water instead curds & oil in place of ghee.
  • You can add 1.25 cups of wheat flour & ¾ cup of mixed millets (bajra & jowar flour).
Fenugreek leaves wheat Tepla