Sunday, 8 December 2019

Bottle gourd peel chutney/ Sorekai sippe chutney

Hello there, if you have followed my blog posts so far, you must have found some of the recipes with ingredients which are otherwise thrown as waste. Examples are ridge gourd peel chutney, cucumber core tambuli, pumpkin core chutney, watermelon rind stir fry and so on… As I strongly believe in sustainable living, I try to follow as much as possible. As simple as growing some herbs or easy to grow vegetables in the kitchen garden, reduce chemicals usage in the kitchen or home, trying to reduce the waste or converting bio waste to manure for plants.. Also, eating locally produced or especially home grown food wherever possible where we are 100% sure that it is chemical free is in my agenda. I cannot say one can be complete/ perfect and go 100% in one shot. But my humble request to everyone that let us try our level best to save our mother earth to future. Let us educate our next generation about it too!

Today, I am sharing a recipe which goes to zero waste or no waste list in cooking! I would suggest to use vegetable peels when you are know that it is chemical free or organically grown at home. This chutney goes well with dosa, idli or rice.

Bottle gourd peel chutney

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5-10 minutes
Serves: 3
Ingredients:
Peel of bottle gourd/ outer skin removed while cooking bottle gourd – ¼ cup (roughly chopped)
Coconut grated – ¼ cup
Green chillis/ dry red chillis – 2 , adjust as required (anything will do)
Tomato – 1 (optional)
Ghee or oil – 2 tsp
Tamarind – small piece/ ¼ tsp extract
Salt – to taste
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Garlic cloves – 4 (optional)
Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Method:
  • Wash the gourd well before cutting.
  • Chop the bottle gourd peel roughly, keep aside.
  • Chop tomato too if using it.
  • Heat 1 tsp oil or butter or ghee in a pan/ wok. Fry red chillis (if using) until done. Take out of heat and keep aside.
  • Now in the same pan, fry bottle gourd peel until soft. Add green chillis while frying if using it.
  • When it is cooked, add tomatoes and fry until water is absorbed completely.
  • On cooling, take fried vegetables, chillis, grated coconut, salt and tamarind in a mixer jar and grind until smooth to make chutney.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl.
  • Prepare a seasoning of mustard, garlic and curry leaves in 1 tsp oil/ ghee. On spluttering, add it to the chutney.

Notes:
  • This chutney can be made with ridge gourd peel or snake gourd seeds too.
  • Variations possible with or without onions/ garlic and even tomato..
  • You can use green chillis without frying too.
Sorekai sippe chutney

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Hemantha Rutucharya/ Hemant rutu

As per the ‘Kaala Vibhaga’ (division of the year), we have welcomed the last rutu of Dakshinayana. When we consider, strength of the body, it goes on increasing in dakshinayana & it goes on decreasing in uttarayana.
Previous 2 rutu Varsha, Sharad and the forthcoming rutu Hemanth are the 3 seasons of dakshinayana (visarga). Being last rutu of visarga kaala, it is the season in which body attains maximum ‘bala’ (energy). Aacharya quotes it as ‘balam tu sheete agryam’.

Hemanth rutu consists of 2  months, Margashirsha (margashira) and Pousha (pushya) respectively. It runs generally from mid-November to mid – January.  (Present calendar  year  Hemantha  rutu starts from 27/11/2019 upto 24/1/2020; in which margashirsha -> 27/11/2019 – 26/12/2019 and pousha -> 27/12/2019 – 24/1/2020)

During hemanth, climate will be cold and dry, it has its impact on body as coldness will block the minute openings on the skin and increase body heat. This is the mechanism which takes place in response to the climatic condition. This will prevent the heat loss from the body, increase core temperature of the body & in turn helps the body to withstand the cool atmosphere.
When the core temperature raises, it increases ‘agni bala’ (digestive fire) in the body. Body requires good amount of food articles which are heavy for digestion, in order to balance the condition. In the absence of adequate fuel (food supply), the digestive fire tends to burn its own body tissues. Cold atmosphere also brings in heavy winds which in turn causes increased movement of vayu (gas) in the body. This vayu always persuades agni making it very strong.
This is the season of special flowers like parijatha and season in which many trees shed their leaves.


Food:
According to body strength & digestive power, one should choose the food articles in this season. Food articles tasting sweet, sour and salt are ideal for this rutu.



Hemanth -> madhur (sweet), amla (sour), lavan (salt) ras. Food to consume should be hot as the season is cold. They should also be heavy.
Example: Wheat, black gram, sugar cane & its products, milk & milk products, new cereals, fatty substances like meat, mustard oil, soups topped with ghee…



Lifestyle:
  • As nights are longer, consume food as early as possible in the morning.
  • Vigorous exercise should be practiced.
  • Specially, Taila abhyanga (oleation), strong massage, games like kabaddi, wrestling which involves action & strength.
  • Hot fomentation, hot water bath, anointment with paste of hot potency drugs like kumkum.
  • Dhoopana – medicated fumigation. Better to avoid if one has breathing difficulty and sensitive nose/ respiratory system.
  • Bathing using powdered drugs which are astringent by nature (ex: kashaya choorna, khadira bark…)
  • Using hot water internally & externally
  • Wrapping the body with thick, warm clothing, using blankets, silk & woollen cloths
  • Sun basking
  • Wearing shoes
  • Reside in warm houses.

Avoid these:
  • Cold intake, exposure to cold breeze
  • Skipping food
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Light food
  • Barefoot walk
List of food from Sahaja Siri, this blog
Soups: thick and creamy like pumpkin soup, Peanuts soup...


Warm’ wishes to everyone for this ‘Hemantha’ rutu. Take care of self and family.
Post credit: Dr. Soumya Bhat. M.D. (Ayu)

Notes:
  • Care must be taken while following any regimen in case of any known medical complications.
  • Consult a physician & please don't follow self medication in any cases of illness.
  • This post is generalized and it cannot be made individual specific unless direct consultation with doctor.
  • Person having weak digestive system should continue the lighter diet..


Sunday, 1 December 2019

Ash gourd Dosa/ Instant Boodu kumbalakai dosa

Ash gourd Dosa

Ash gourd, a healthy & humble vegetable. As per my observation, we use this vegetable highly in our region (Dakshina Kannada) in cooking ranging from curries, dosa to halwa/ desserts. Whereas in Bangalore it is not much used in cooking but mainly in pooja! 
Scientifically, it is Benincasa hispida and other common names are wax gourd, white gourd, winter melon... It has numerous health benefits!. It has the cooling & neutralizing property which makes it a perfect diet in case of hyper acidity and getting rid of ulcers. Good for weight watchers & diabetic. This juicy vegetable is good to hydrate the body and it relaxes the brain. Good for skin health too!

Ash gourd

So how better we can use this vegetable than regular curries and feed it to the fussy eating kids! Option is very simple, it is dosa. It makes a perfect breakfast item with soft dosa which can be served with choice of chutney. I love making dosa with added goodness of various vegetables!
Please note that this dosa does not require fermentation of the batter.. It should be made instant. Check for the recipe of Plantain stem dosa, Cucumber neer dosa, plain dosa, Multi grain dosa, horse gram dosa, tender coconut dosa... 

Preparation time: 4 hours
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Serves: 18 - 20 dosa
Ingredients:
Roughly chopped ash gourd – 2 cups/ around ¼ of a small ash gourd
Dosa rice – 3.5 cups
Salt – to taste
Oil/ ghee – to make dosa

Method:
  • Wash and soak dosa rice in water for 2-4 hours.
  • Now, wash and peel off the outer skin of ash gourd. Chop roughly removing core (seeds) as well.
  • Drain water from soaked rice completely. Take chopped ash gourd, rice in a mixer jar. Add salt and grind it adding enough water to make smooth batter. Consistency of the batter should be little thicker than neer dosa batter.
  • Make dosas with fresh batter or refrigerate this batter until dosa is prepared. Do not ferment this batter.

Making of dosa:
  • Adjust the batter adding required water to make the consistency that of little thicker than neer dosa batter and thinner than plain dosa batter. You can check and add more water after making one dosa if it is harder.
  • Heat iron griddle/ pan. Apply little oil or ghee.
  • Drop a ladle full of batter and spread to make dosa. Or you can follow the method of making neer dosa.
  • Close the lid and cook for a minute or until it is cooked properly and dosa comes out of tava clean. Apply ghee on top and roast inverting it for a while. (This is optional.)
  • Serve hot healthy dosa with choice of coconut chutney.
Boodu kumbalakai dosa


Note:
  • You can make this dosa with grated ash gourd instead of grinding it with rice too.
  • Consistency of batter depends on the ash gourd measurement & water content of ash gourd used. So check and add water as required after making 1 dosa.


wax gourd dosa

Friday, 29 November 2019

Cinnamon flavored finger millet cookies/ Ragi cinnamon cookies

Hey, we are on last day of November! Looking for some healthy Christmas indulgence? Here is a recipe to make healthy chemical free flavorful cookies! It has many nos, no refined flour, no refined sugar, no eggs, no baking powder and definitely no guilt in eating and feeding your family!
I have tried some of the cookies so far, few came out nice, few were not up to the mark. I am very happy with the result of this one and hence sharing the recipe. This is my first cookie recipe on blog too!  

Ragi cinnamon cookies

I always wanted to make cookies at home after learning from a genuine source that many of the store bought biscuits/ cookies are completely made with artificial ingredients (there is no milk, no butter)! Kids crave for them all the time makes us more guilt. So I am happy this time as my two kids liked these cookies! I will be making them regularly.

Healthy Ragi cookies

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 18 minutes
Serves: 18-20 cookies
Ingredients:
Finger millet flour/ Ragi hasi hittu – 1 cup
Whole wheat flour – ½ cup
Jaggery powder – ¾ cup
Salt – ¼ tsp
Baking soda – ½ tsp or little less
Cinnamon fine powder – ¼ tsp
Unsalted butter/ Ghee (clarified butter) – 3 tbsp
Fresh curds – 2 tbsp
Milk – 2 tbsp
Vanilla powder – ¼ tsp (optional)

Method:

  • Initially take all the dry ingredients in a wide mixing bowl starting from millet (Ragi) flour. Add wheat flour mix once. Add salt, baking soda and cinnamon powder.
  • Add jaggery powder too. Combine everything well. Add ghee/ butter. Mix well with fingers until you get crumbles.
  • Now slowly add fresh curds and mix. Add milk little by little and knead really well. The dough should be softer than chapathi dough and bit stickier dough is fine.
  • Apply little ghee or oil or dust with the flour to the palms while kneading if it becomes very sticky. If dough looks very dry, then sprinkle little more milk. Or if it is too wet and sticky so that you are finding it difficult to knead then add little flour.
  • It will need good amount of liquid than regular maida as ragi absorbs more fluid.
  • When dough is ready, keep aside covered for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, grease the baking tray with little ghee. Preheat the oven for 180 degrees.
  • Make small balls of the dough and make the discs of desired shape. Do not make too thin in order to retain the shape after baking.
  • Place the cookies on greased tray, leaving small gap in between each cookie. Bake in batches if you cannot finish off all the dough once (As I use convection microwave, I can make only 10 cookies at a time). Bake for 16-18 minutes. It took 17 minutes to me.
  • Check after 15 minutes to avoid burning. It is done when color turns brown and outer layer of cookie becomes brittle. It will be bit softer inside when hot. On cooling cookies turn crisp.
  • Allow cooling completely and serve with tea or milk. Store them in airtight container.
Refined sugar free ragi cookies

Note:
  • You can optionally add chopped nuts or choco chips in the dough.
  • If you are baking the cookies in 2 batches, then keep remaining dough for the 2nd batch covered or refrigerated till first set of baking is done.
  • Addition of coconut flour makes nice coconut cookies.
  • Adjust the sweetness by increasing/ decreasing jaggery measurement.
  • Baking time may vary depending on the oven.
  • Adjust the quantity of liquid and flour a bit if it becomes too sticky or too dry. Addition of milk to the dough should be made with care. 
  • Note that, I have made all the mixing and kneading process with my fingers and not any mixer!
Cinnamon flavored finger millet cookies

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Onions, moringa leaves pakoda/ Onions & drumstick leaves fritters/ bajji/ pakora

Who doesn’t like Pakoras, a crispy deep fried snacks made of chopped onions!? Now let us make it little healthy by adding today’s super food Moringa/drumstick leaves. How do you feel reading this? Have you ever tried in your kitchen? Believe me it is very tasty with crunchiness intact but added greens. I initially tried it with the Moringa chutney powder that I make at home. Added about 4 tbsp of spicy chutney powder (for some reason, that chutney powder turned very spicy hence I had to finish it off this way) and did not use any other spice except salt & asafoetida. That was a super hit and for the second and subsequent trials I used fresh leaves chopped along with onions. It makes a perfect combination to the evening tea especially the current winter evenings!

Onions, moringa leaves pakoda

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients:
Onions – 3 (medium)
Moringa leaves (fresh) – 1- 1.5 cups
Curry leaves – 2-3 sprigs
Gram flour – ¼ cup
Rice flour/ corn flour – 1 tbsp
Asafoetida – ¼ tsp
Chilli powder – ½ tsp
Salt – ¾ tsp or little less
Sambhar powder – ¼ tsp
Chat masala/ garam masala – 2 pinches (optional)
Carom seeds/ Om kalu – ¼ tsp (optional)
Oil – for deep frying

Method:
  • Clean the leaves removing very hard stems and leaves affected by pests. Wash thoroughly with the running water. Dry with a clean kitchen towel. Same way, clean curry leaves as well.
  • Chop these cleaned leaves fine.
  • Peel off onions, wash and chop as desired; that is chop fine or slice thin.
  • Now, mix chopped leaves and onions. Add all other ingredients except oil. Mix well with your fingers by pressing gently so that the required moisture is released from the greens & onions. It is fine if it crumbles or comes to dropping consistency. You can sprinkle few drops of water if required & looks very dry. It is good to go if the flours become wet and everything binds well.
  • Keep oil in a frying pan to heat. Keep the flame medium.
  • When oil is ready, shred/ drop the prepared pakora mix little at a time. Fry until hissing noise is stopped. You can also make small balls of it and drop into the oil (as you like).
  • Strain and remove the pakoras from oil and transfer to a plate with tissue spread on it.
  • Finish off the mix completely following above step.
  • Serve pakoras hot with tomato sauce and a cup of tea.
Onions & drumstick leaves fritters

Notes:
  • If you make the pakoras without moringa leaves it is onions pakora/ Neerulli bajji.
  • Optionally, you can add chopped green chillis with the chopped green leaves to make it spicier.
  • If you use moringa chutney powder instead fresh moringa leaves, you can leaves ingredients such as sambhar powder, chilli powder…
Onions, moringa leaves bajji/ pakora

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Vegan creamy bamboo shoot soup/ Kanile coconut milk soup

It is winter & weather is unpredictable each day! Craving for some piping hot thick creamy soup for winter evening! Today I am sharing a recipe of creamy soup with bamboo shoot or bamboo sprout. Bamboo shoot is being used highly in Chinese and Japanese cuisines whereas in India we use only during rainy season that too specific communities and specific location not all over the country as I understand. Though it has mild bitterness, it makes delicious dishes such as stirfry, curry, pickles & more..  We call it as Kanile in Kannada, which is known to be nutritionally rich and slightly heat to the body. So eating it in moderate level is good.
I made a creamy soup with it using milk about an year back or 2! Though it tasted good & liked by me & my husband, somehow combination of milk + salt and bamboo shoot did not sound good to me as I am a follower of Ayurvedic lifestyle to some extent! So preparing it with coconut milk & making it vegan was in my to-do for long time. Hurray, did it and it was a big hit at home!
You can make it with precooked bamboo shoot or fresh, I did with fresh one as I have a bamboo bush in my garden and it produces sprouts as & when needed.. Sounds funny!? Ha ha, that is when we water the plant! I have not tried with salted!
Refer Process of Cleaning & cooking freshbamboo shoot for getting precooked bamboo shoot! Find Extracting coconut milk post here!

Vegan creamy bamboo shoot soup

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 3
Ingredients:
Bamboo shoot – 1 small/ 1 cup roughly chopped pieces
Fresh/ canned coconut milk – 1 cup
Salt - to taste
Pepper – ½ tsp, adjust to required spice level
Cumin powder – ¼ tsp
White rice – 2 tbsp
Sugar – 1-2 tsp
Corn flour – 1 tsp (optional)
Chilli flakes - for garnishing

Method:
  • Clean bamboo shoots by removing outer hairy skins (if using fresh) & remove and discard hard nodes.. Chop roughly or slice thinly & boil with water well for 2 times and discard boiled water (I follow this procedure which helps in reducing bitterness). Check my post Process of Cleaning& cooking fresh bamboo shoot for details.
  • Now take the above boiled bamboo shoot in a vessel with enough water to cover & cook. Add 2 tbsp washed rice to it. You can use a pressure cooker to cook as well. I cooked in a pressure cooker.
  • Cook for 3 whistles if using pressure cooker. It will take 20 minutes to cook if using a open vessel to cook till soft.
  • Allow cooling.
  • Meanwhile, extract coconut milk if making it from the scratch or keep it ready.
  • When bamboo shoot is cooled & ready, take out few slices (6-7) for garnishing and take remaining in a mixer jar. Add little water or coconut milk and blend to make smooth paste.
  • Take this ground kanile/ bamboo sprout paste in a thick bottomed vessel or pan. Add salt, ground pepper (powder), cumin powder, Sugar and bring to boil.
  • Add coconut milk Boil well. If soup looks very thin, then add a tsp corn flour in 2 tbsp water, dissolve and add to boiling soup.
  • Switch off on boiling.
  • Garnish with chilli flakes & reserved slices of bamboo shoots and serve hot soup.
bamboo shoot / Kanile

Notes:
  • You can add milk instead coconut milk, I prefer coconut milk.
  • You can add your choice of spices/ herbs such as Italian seasoning of mixed herbs.
  • Instead of rice, you can use rice flour dissolved in water while boiling soup. You can avoid corn flour in this case.
  • This soup has mild bitterness in taste, still it tastes great.. 
Kanile coconut milk soup

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Huliyallina kadubu/ Wheat flour dumplings in sambhar/ Huli Kadubu

Huliyallina kadubu// Huli kadubu is North Karnataka version of Gujarathi Dal Dokla! The recipe is similar to that of Menthe Kadubu, which needs a lengthy process, yet it is worth trying for the taste. Menthe kadubu is wheat flour dumpling in fenugreek leaves stirfry, & this one is in dal gravy (sambhar).
This was introduced to me by my friend who hails from Raichur. This dish is made as main course for dinner and usually a great makeover of leftover sambhar too!. With a soupy consistency it works best as filling evening snack! It is a protein rich food as main ingredient goes in this is Tur dal or split pigeon pea lentils.
This dish was in my to–do list for a long time and made this today and posting it!

Huliyallina kadubu

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2
Ingredients:
Tur dal – ¾ cup
Wheat flour – ¼ cup
Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
Sambhar powder – 1 tsp
Red chilli powder – ¼ tsp
Tamarind extract – 1 tsp
Jaggery (grated) – 2 tsp, adjust to taste
Salt to taste
Cumin – ½ tsp
Mustard – 1 tsp
Cooking oil – 3 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Garlic – 4 cloves (optional)

Method:
  • Wash tur dal clean and cook by adding 2 glasses of water in a pressure cooker. It should be cooked very soft & 5-6 whistles are needed. Once done, switch off the stove and keep the cooker aside.
  • Meanwhile, make soft chapathi dough with the wheat flour, salt and water as required. You can add little chilli powder in this as well (optional).
  • Divide the dough into 2 balls, roll to make rotis thicker than regular chapathi. Cut into diamond shaped pieces using a sharp knife.
  • Peel off garlic and mince very fine, garlic is again an optional ingredient.
  • Open the cooker when pressure is released and mash the cooked dal very well. You can use a hand blender for this as well.
  • Now heat a pan or thick bottomed vessel with cooking oil. Add mustard seeds, cumin and minced garlic. On spluttering, add cleaned curry leaves and asafoetida/ hing.
  • Add mashed dal, salt, tamarind extract, jaggery, turmeric powder, chilli powder and Sambhar powder.  Add water to get the thinner consistency as it thickens as it boils.
  • When it starts boiling, add cut pieces of wheat flour dough little by little at a time. Stir once when you add the dumpling, this is just to avoid sticking one to another. Finish off all the dumplings this way.
  • Boil this in low flame for 10 minutes. Adjust the consistency to that of thick soup consistency by adding water. Switch off the stove when it is done, that is raw smell of the wheat flour dumpling is completely gone.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve this hot.
Wheat flour dumplings in sambhar
Notes:

  • Instead of diamond shaped dumplings, you can also make small balls of wheat dough and use in this.
  • Garlic is not generally used in the original recipe.
  • While dropping the wheat dumplings into the gravy, please don’t do all at once which will end up in a single mass.
  • This tastes good when hot/ warm.
  • As time passes, the Huli/ sambhar turns thicker and even it will turn into solid state.
  • You can add tomatoes in the dal as well.
Huli Kadubu