Thursday, 21 September 2017

Brahmi/ Ondelaga Tambuli

Tambuli or Tampu huli is basically originated in the state Karnataka of Indian subcontinent. As name says, (tampu meaning cool and huli is curry or raita) it is nothing but curd based side dish which is served with hot rice. Normally tambulis are not boiled except few. It is best to hydrate body and hence highly consumed in coastal region to balance the hot weather! It has many health benefits including probiotic which aids digestion. 

Centella asiatica or Indian pennywort; also referred as Brahmi is easily grown in any kitchen garden / pot (Indian climate). There are multiple varieties of this herb available. It is used in the kitchens of many of the Asian countries. Other than culinary usage, it also is an amazing herbal medicine. It is rich in Iron, calcium, vitamins and minerals. It is suggested to feed brahmi to children regularly as brahmi works as memory booster. It also works as sugar regulator in case of diabetes patients. A spoon of brahmi extract (juice) from crushed leaves help curing constipation in infants. It benefits treating dry scalp, dandruff and hair fall by using externally in hair oil. As per Ayurveda, the best time to consume brahmi is morning and it is advised to avoid in the night.

I am sharing the recipe of Centella/Brahmi/ Ondelaga tambuli.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves: 3
Brahmi leaves/ Centella – 12-15 or ¼ cup tightly packed
Fresh grated Coconut - ¼ cup
Green Chilli – 1 or Pepper – 4 (I prefer later)
Cumin seeds - 1/2 spoon (optional)
Fresh Curds/ Buttermilk – 1/2 cup
Ghee/ Melted butter – 1 spoon
Oil – 1 spoon
Mustard seeds - ½ spoon
Red Chilli – 1
Curry leaves - 4 leaves
  • Wash Centella/ Ondelaga leaves. Heat Ghee in a pan and stir fry the leaves for a minute. (Note: You can avoid frying the leaves in case of small variety of Brahmi.)
  • Grind coconut, fried leaves, cumin, salt, and pepper together to a smooth paste.  
  • Add curds/ buttermilk to the ground paste. 
  • In a tempering pan, heat oil, add mustard and chilli flakes. Whne starts spluttering, add curry leaves, switch off the stove and add to the tambuli. 
  • Serve with rice and palya/ sambhar.
Notes & variations:
  • Cumin seeds can be avoided to retain the flavor of the herb while preparing any tambuli.
  • Pepper is the better choice to use in tambuli as it is a healthier option.
  • Avoid frying the centella if using smaller variety and not the hybrid one.
  • Centella can be replaced by vitamin soppu/ elevarige or garden night shade/ ganike soppu.
  • Serve tambuli fresh always and avoid refrigerating.
Health benefits:
  • Works as probiotic drink as it has buttermilk/ curds.
  • It has the goodness of herbs & spices which has numerous health benefits!
  • Best to keep ourselves hydrated with added nutrients.

Blue Tea/ Butterfly pea flower Tea/ Purple lemonade

Shankapushpa or Butterfly pea plant is a very good medicinal plant. Shankapushpa (kannada), Aparajita (Hindi), Karnika (sanskrit) are few other names for this pretty flower. It can be cultivated easily by seeds. The flower varies in color and type. We can find flowers of colors white, blue, sky-blue, purple and more. Similarly, we get flowers having single petal and multi petals. It is known for its rich medicinal properties which is known as brain tonic.  It is is believed to be good for brain development and memory power.
In many Asian countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, this flower is being used highly in cooking as natural food coloring to get that blue/ purple color in rice and various drinks. The blue drink either hot or cold is very famous due to its attractive color which turns to purple on adding lemon juice makes it magical drink. 

Blue Tea

Check here for the recipe of Blue rice/ butterfly pea flower rice. Here is a recipe to prepare Shankapushpa Tea.  You can make it hot or cold iced tea. 
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Serves: 2

Butterfly pea flowers/ Shankapushpa flower (fresh/ dried) – 10-12
Water – 2 cups
Honey/ Choice of sweetener – 2 spoons (optional)
Lemon juice – 1 spoon (optional)

  • Clean and wash shankapushpa flowers and put in a pot/ glass. 
  • Boil 2 cups of water and pour to the glass/vessel having the flower. Close the lid and leave for 5 mins. 
  • Sieve & discard the flowers out and serve the tea with added sweetener. 
  • If you like chilled ice tea, then add few ice cubes or you can use this water in your lemonade to get magical purple drink.
Purple lemonade

  • Same procedure needs to be followed to make other flower based teas like hibiscus/ rose tea...
  • The color of blue tea turns to purple color if you add lemon juice to it.
  • You can optionally add herbs like khus root/ lemongrass while making this drink for that added rich flavor as blue pea flower has no particular flavor.
  • According to Ayurveda it is better to avoid adding honey to hot drinks.  So add honey to the iced tea, not hot tea. I prefer this without any sweetener or with little sugar if making lemonade.
Butterfly pea flower Tea

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Pumpkin Flower Chutney

These yellow color flowers are very attractive to the eyes and even good for healthier eyes. If you have a plant in your garden, you should definitely try a recipe on this as the delicate flowers are loaded with lot of nutrients. They are rich in Vitamin A, C, D, B and folic acid. They are also good sources of potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, sodium...
Pumpkin plant has separate male and female flowers usually male flowers come first. Pluck male flowers fresh in the morning (for cooking) as they don’t last for longer. Leave female flowers in the plant as they develop as fruit.

Here you find the recipe for chutney:

Pumpkin flowers – 6 -8
Grated coconut – ¼ cup
Tamarind pulp/ extract – 1 spoon
Ghee/Oil – 1tsp
Red/ Green Chillis  - 1-2 (As per spice requirement)
Oil – 1 spoon
Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
Red Chilli – 1
Curry leaves – 4-5

  • Take ghee/oil in a pan, heat. 
  • Add washed pumpkin flowers and Chilli and fry for a minute. 
  • Add coconut gratings, tamarind, fried flower and chilly, salt in a mixer jar. Grind them to make a smooth paste. 
  • Temper with Oil, mustard, chilli flakes and curry leaves.  
  • Tasty chutney is ready as a combination for Dosa/ Rice.

Navane/ Foxtail millet Bisibele bhath

Millets are used by human from ancient times.  Though usage was less so far, people are attracted towards millets due to their high nutritional values. Being referred as ‘Siri dhanyagalu’ in kannada they are real rich cereals (food grains) for human consumption. They are good sources of dietary fibre, Vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids. To specify, these are ‘gluten’ free.

Navane (Kannada)/ Foxtail millet is known as first domesticated millet. It is the annual grass crop grown for human food. It’s an easy to cook cereal, which can be used in preparing upma, payasa or kheer, rice bhath.
Here you read recipe for preparing bisibele bhath. You can follow your regular bisibele bhath replacing Rice by Navane.

Type: Main course/ Lunch
Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins
Serves: 4

Tur Dal – 1 cup
Foxtail millet/ Navane – 3/4cup
Rice - 1/4cup
Carrot – 1 – 2 medium
Beans – 10 – 12
Green peas – ¼ cup (soaked overnight/ fresh/ frozen)
Onions – 1 medium
Capsicum – 1 small (optional)
Tamarind pulp/ extract – 1 spoon
Bisibele bath mix – 2 –spoons
Ghee/ Butter – 2 spoons
Oil – 1 spoon
Peanuts/ Cashews – 2 spoons
Curry leaves – 1 strand
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Salt – to taste

Wash clean vegetables (carrot, beans) and cut them into small pieces, keep aside. Peel onions, wash and make thin long slices. Slice capsicum too. Wash Dal, rice, millet and put them in a cooker. Add vegetables – carrot, beans, and green peas to the same. Add pinch of turmeric powder and pressure cook with 6 cups of water and a spoon of oil.
Soak tamarind in water and get the extract. When the pressure cooking is done with 3-4 whistles, leave it until lid opens. Once done, add salt, bisibele bath powder, tamarind extract and bring to boil. Add water to make the mixture to the consistency of gravy. Switch off the stove when it boiled well.

In a pan, take a spoon of ghee, fry peanuts. Add cashews & curry leaves, toss and add fried peanuts, cashews to the bisibele bath. Similarly fry sliced onions and capsicum separately in little ghee until turns brown and add to the bisibele bhath. Mix well, serve hot with your choice of raita/ curds and sev/ mixture.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Jackfruit Seed Rasam/ Halasina Beejada Saaru

Type: Curry/ Side dish/ Soup
Serves: 4 Cups
Time: 30 mins

Jackfruit seeds – 1/2 cup
Tomato – 2 (optional)
Grated coconut – 4 spoons
Tamarind pulp – 1 spoon
Jaggery powder – 2 spoons
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Coriander seeds – 2tsp
Cumin – 1tsp
Fenugreek seeds – ¼ tsp
Asafoetida – a pinch
Dry Red chillis – 2
Curry leaves/ Coriander leaves

Clean jackfruit seeds, wash and pressure cook with 2 cups of water. 3-4 whistles are sufficient to cook properly. Once done, remove the lid, Peel the skin of seed with your nail and allow cooling.
Wash and cut tomatoes into small pieces.
In a pan, take the items listed in Spices list and fry with little oil until coriander and cumin changes color and you get a nice fried aroma. Grind all the fried ingredients, tamarind, and coconut to get a smooth paste. Add peeled Jack seeds to the same and grind coarsely. Transfer the mixture to a vessel, add 2-3 cups of water (looking required consistency), tomatoes, salt, jaggery powder, turmeric powder and boil until tomatoes get cooked. Add chopped curry/coriander leaves (whichever being preferred). Switch of the stove. Take mustard seeds and oil in a tempering pan and add it to the rasam when mustards start spluttering. Enjoy with roasted papad as soup or as a side dish for cooked rice.
Note: Pepper powder/ chilli powder can be added to increase the spice level.

Pineapple Sheera/ Pineapple Semolina Halwa

You have sweet tooth? Or you have sudden requirement to prepare a sweet/dessert. Then here is a recipe. Rava kesari/ sheera, sooji halwa is a simple & quick dessert perfect to serve at tea time or with breakfast or even at lunch. There are various methods to make it with different flavors. It can be with fruit flavors like mango, pineapple and others. Or you can make it with the flavors of spices like cardamom or nutmeg. All different but tasty.
If you make it with kesari (saffron) then it is kesari bhath.
Now let us note the recipe of making pineapple semolina halwa or kesari or sheera, whatever you like to call!

Type: Dessert
Preperation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins
Serves: 4-6

Pineapple Puree – 1 cup
Rava/ Semolina – 1 cup
Ghee/ Melted Butter – ¼- ½ cup
Sugar – 1.5 cup
Roasted Nuts (Cashews, Almonds) – 2 Spoons (Chopped)
Raisins – 2 Spoons
Water - 2 cups


  • Peel off Pineapple, cut into small pieces and blend coarsely in a grinder/ blender. Keep it aside. 
  • Take 2 spoons of ghee (melted butter) in a thick bottomed pan and heat it. 
  • Add semolina (rava) to the pan and fry in medium flame. Do it until you get a nice aroma and color of rava changes to golden. 
  • Boil 2 cups of water separately while frying and keep hot water ready. 
  • Add water and the pineapple puree to the pan of semolina and leave until water gets absorbed. 
  • See if rava cooked properly, if not, add little water. 
  • Add sugar to this when rava is cooked. 
  • Stir occasionally in order to avoid the mixture from sticking to the pan. 
  • Do this adding little ghee at a time. 
  • Add roasted nuts and raisins to the mixture. 
  • The sheera is done when mixture starts thickening and it leaves the sides of pan. 
  • Transfer it to a container and garnish with chopped nuts. Serve hot.

  • If you prepare pineapple jam at home, then you can add 2 tbsp of it while making this halwa for the flavor. Add this when rava is cooked & just before adding sugar.
  • You can also make plain sheera/ halwa without adding Pineapple. In this case rava can be cooked with milk+ water combination.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Fruit salad with Ice-cream

Type: Dessert

Various fruits: Select few of your choice from the below. Either of Mango/ Banana is a must.
Mango – 2
Banana – 2 Big
Chickoo or Sapota – 1-2
Apple -1
Grapes – 10
Pineapple, Papaya, Pomegranate (chopped) -   ½ cup
Vanilla Ice-cream – 100ml
Sugar/ Honey – 4-6 spoons or as per taste (Optional)
Chopped Dry fruits (Cashews, Pista), roasted – 4 spoons (Optional)
Raisins/ Dates (deseeded & chopped) – 2 spoons

Wash fruits; Peel off Mango, Banana, Pomegranate, and Pineapple. Chop them into small pieces. Similarly do Chickoo, apple, grapes without peeling. Add raisins/ dates too. Mix Sugar/ Honey and keep in refrigerator. I prefer honey over sugar or no extra sweetener.  Roast chopped nuts and keep in an airtight box.
At the time of serving, add ice-cream and mix properly. Put to serving bowl, sprinkle the nuts and serve.

It’s a favorite dessert of many including me!!

Sabakki Payasa / Sabudana Kheer/ Tapioca pearls dessert

Sabakki/ Sabudana/ Tapioca pearl is carbohydrate rich food item which is considered as food after fasting. It is very rich in calories and hence largely used in baby food in India. It works best in kheer/ pudding or halwa to spicy sabudana kichdi. Here is the recipe to make kheer which is my favorite!

Tapioca pearls dessert

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 3
Type: Sweet/ Dessert


Sabudana/ Sabakki / Tapioca Pearls – 1 cup
Coconut Milk / Milk– 2 Cups (I prefer Coconut milk), Keep first extract separate
Sugar – 1.5 Cups
Cardamom powder – ¼ tsp
Dry fruits of choice (Cashew nuts, raisins, Almonds) – 4 spoons (Chopped)
Ghee – 2 spoons


  • Wash Sabakki in running water, drain and soak in 2 cups of fresh water in a vessel with lid covered. It will take 1-2 hours to bulge.  (You can cook fried sabakki in pressure cooker without soaking as well, refer notes).
  • Allow thin coconut milk (with added water) to boil in a thick bottomed vessel. 
  • Add soaked sabakki and cook until it becomes transparent and there is no white pearls found.
  • Once done, add Sugar and bring it to boil to melt sugar completely. Mix it properly. 
  • Add thick coconut milk (first extract)/ milk and switch off the stove when it just reaches boiling point. 
  • Fry the dry fruits & nuts with ghee without burning them and add to the kheer. Sprinkle the cardamom powder and Enjoy the kheer hot. 
  • You can also serve it refrigerated for a cool dessert.
Sabudana Kheer

There is a second way to cook Sabakki:
Method: Fry Sabakki in a thick bottomed pan with 2 spoons of ghee. This will take  5-8 mins in low flame.  In a cooker, keep 4-5 cups of water and bring to boil. When it starts boiling, add sabakki and close the lid. Cook till 4-5 whistle. The sabakki will be cooked without soaking. This method works only for Sabakki which cooks faster.

  • You can add 1 tsp cocoa powder & 2 tsp of grated milk chocolate while boiling this kheer to make the chocolate flavored sabudana kheer.
  • Coconut milk can be replaced by cow's milk for making the process simpler. Vegans go for coconut milk and the flavor will be rich and great in this case.
  • Rose or saffron flavor can also be infused in this dessert.
  • This dessert is a powerhouse of energy as Sabudana is loaded with carbohydrates. I would suggest to avoid if diabetic.
Sabakki Payasa

Pomegranate - Lemon juice

Pomegranate & Lemon; known and used from the ancient times, for the medicinal properties they contain. Pomegranate is rich in Vitamins, Iron and it has been used as digestion aid. They have anti-oxidant, anti-tumour properties too. This is a fruit suggested by nutritionists for diabetics as well. Lemon is vitamin-C rich fruit that will act as an immunity booster. This is the fruit comes to mind when there is a problem of indigestion or vomiting. So a glass of Pomegranate-lemon juice should be part of your diet chart. Here is the recipe.

Preparation time: 10mins
Serves: 4 glasses

Pomegranate seeds – ½ cup
Lemon juice – 2 spoons
Sugar – 6 spoons or Honey - 4 spoons.


Add pomegranate, lemon juice and sugar (if not using honey) in a mixer jar and grind it adding about 3 glasses of water. Strain in a juice strainer. Add honey (if chosen it) and serve fresh chilled with ice cubes or in room temperature. Enjoy the juice.