Sunday, 31 December 2017

Eggless whole Wheat Chocolate Spongy Cake

I take up a simple basic cake recipe to share with my readers on this occasion of New Year’s Eve. This is an easy chocolate sponge cake recipe without eggs and prepared with whole wheat flour. Not too many ingredients used here. If you need fluffier version, you can add 1:1 maida (wheat: maida). 
I wish you a very Happy New Year 2018.


Preparation time: 10 mins
Baking time: 25 mins
Serves: 500gm cake
Ingredients:
Wheat flour – 1 cup
Small Semolina/ Chiroti Rava – ¾ cup
Granulated Sugar – 1 cup
Cocoa powder – 3 tsp
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Baking soda – ½ tsp
Salt – a pinch
Milk – ¼ cup
Curds – ½ cup
Lemon juice – 1 tsp
Coconut oil/ Ghee – 1/4cup or little lesser
Vanilla essence – ¼ tsp (optional)

Method:
Preheat oven to 180 deg Celsius. Grease round cake pan of 9 inch diameter.
Take wet ingredients like milk and curds in a large mixing bowl. Add lemon juice and set aside for a minute. Add sugar, oil to the same and beat well with a spatula. In a separate bowl, mix all other dry ingredients – wheat flour, semolina, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt. Mix well. Add these to the wet mix and beat well to for a smooth mix without any lumps.  


Pour the mix in the greased pan and bake for 25 minutes. Check after 20 minutes of baking, if the cake is done by inserting a toothpick or fork. It is baked if the inserted fork comes out clean. 


Once done, allow to cool for some time. Invert the cake on a plain surface. Do cream topping or any frosting of your choice. 


Enjoy!!!



Baked Capsicum Salad

Salads are healthier options to add to your diet anytime in a day. It will be boring to have same green salad or salads with sprouts (Kosambri) more often. Here is a recipe to bring a twist. Not to mention, both the main ingredients used here (Capsicum & Onions) are low carbohydrate veggies and a good bet for diabetics.


Preparation time: 50 minutes (includes baking time)
Serves: 2
Ingredients:
Capsicum (red / green) – 2-3 (large)
Onions – 1
Coconut Oil – 2 tsp
Lemon juice – 2 tsp
Basil/ Holy basil/ Tulsi (crushed) – 1 tsp
Pudina/ Mint leaves (crushed) – 1 tsp (optional)
Pepper powder - ¼ tsp
Salt – to taste
Garlic - 5-6 cloves

Method:
Wash capsicum, cut into 3-4 pieces. Peel off and slit onions lengthwise. Preheat oven to 180 deg Celsius. Spread capsicum pieces, skin facing up in a wide baking tray. Add in garlic cloves as well. Spread/ brush 1 tsp oil on top of them. Bake this for 30 – 40 minutes or until charred as shown in below image. Place sliced onions in the same baking tray after 10 minutes of baking capsicum.

When done, allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes. Remove the skin of capsicum and discard. Cut them roughly into large pieces. Place these capsicum and onions in a serving bowl. Shred crushed herbs (basil & mint). Sprinkle salt and pepper. Add lemon juice and 1 tsp oil and mix well. Serve.

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Eggless Apple - Cinnamon Cupcake/ Muffins

I love making cupcakes as quick evening snacks for Kids. It is very less time consuming, easy to make and healthier than any store bought snacks as we can have control on the ingredients. Usually kids love them when warm! It can be a good snack to school as well. Here is a recipe for Apple – Cinnamon (checke) cupcake. There is no maida used. Its indeed whole wheat eggless cupcake that you can prepare in 45 minutes total.


Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Baking Time: 20 – 25 minutes
Yields: 6 medium muffins
Ingredients:
Apple – 1 medium
Wheat flour – 1¼ cup
Small semolina/ Fine rava – ¼ cup
Sugar – 5-6 tbsp (Mild sweet, you can adjust according to taste)
Baking soda – ½ tsp
Baking powder – ¼ tsp
Cinnamon powder – ¼ tsp
Butter/ Ghee – 2 tbsp
Milk – ¼ cup
Curds – ¼ or ½ cup
Lemon juice – 1 tsp
Lemon zest – 1 tsp
Salt – a pinch

Method:

Peel off apple, core out the seeds & fibre and discard them. Now chop apple finely, keep aside. Powder cinnamon stick and sugar together in a mixer. In a large mixing bowl, pour milk and add lemon juice; allow curdling. Collect lemon zest by grating the peel of lemon after extracting juice of it. Add ¼ cup curds, chopped apple, lemon zest and sugar & cinnamon powder to the curdled milk and mix well. Add ghee or butter too. Add wheat flour, small semolina (chiroti rava), baking powder, baking soda and salt. Combine well until a single mass is formed and there are no lumps in it. Add little curds if mixture is too dry. Do not make the mix runny. Now, preheat the oven to 180 deg Celsius. Drop batter prepared in each muffin mold (liner) equally. Make sure that you are leaving enough space for the muffins to rise. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until inserted fork or toothpick comes out clean. Do not open the oven door before 18 - 20 minutes to check. Once done, allow to cool for few minutes. Serve warm with any topping of your choice or as it is.


Bitter gourd Stir fry/ Karela Subji/ Haagala kai Palya

I have fond memories with this palya. We used to harvest a lot of them in our front yard. We all loved bitter gourds. When my paternal aunts visited us during school vacation, it was them who used to prepare this and we all relished. Good part is, this palya can be stored 2-3 days without refrigeration, if it is properly done.
Ingredients:
Bitter Gourds – 2
Grated coconut – ¼ cup
Urad Dal/ Black gram dal – 2 tsp
Red chillis – 2
Tamarind pulp – 1 tsp
Jaggery – 2 tbsp (powder) or 1 large lemon sized piece
Salt – to taste (1 tsp)
Coconut Oil or oil of your choice – 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Channa/ Gram dal – 1 tsp
Curry leaves

Method:

  • Wash and chop deseeded bitter gourds. Rinse the chopped bitter gourd in salt water and drain water completely. 
  • Now take a frying pan or wok. Fry urad dal, red chillis by adding few drops of oil until dal turns brown and you get a nice roasted aroma. Do not burn any ingredient. 
  • Dry grind the fried ingredients with grated coconut coarsely. Keep aside. 
  • In the same frying pan, heat 1 tbsp oil, add mustard seeds & gram dal. Allow spluttering. Add chopped bitter guard, salt, tamarind, jaggery and required water to cook. Cook the gourd by covering the pan. 
  • Once done, add ground paste or coconut mixture. Mix well, allow until water evaporates completely. 
  • Add remaining oil and sauté the palya thoroughly. Garnish with curry leaves. Serve the palya with hot rice and ghee and enjoy.


Cucumber Kadubu/ Mullusouthe Kottige

This is a traditional Dakshina Kannada breakfast during the cucumber season. The kottige or kadubu can be made with cucumber, bottle gourd, ash gourd, pumpkin, sambar cucumber etc. Usually this will be prepared in the afternoon and served next morning. There are two versions of it, sweet or unsweetened. Here is a recipe without sweet/ jaggery. This will taste heavenly with the aroma of the vegetable (cucumber here) and mild aroma of wilted banana leaf. Try and enjoy this healthy breakfast.


Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 40 mins
Serves: 15 medium kadubu
Ingredients:
Dosa Rice – 3 cups
Cucumber chopped (Yellow or green) – 4-5 cups
Salt – to taste
Banana leaves - 15-20

Method:
Wash and soak dosa rice for 4-6 hours. Before grinding rice, get the banana leaves ready. To do so, collect banana leaves; wilt them by keeping over the flame. Wash and clean the wilted leaves. Wipe once with a dry cotton cloth. If you have no banana leaves you can prepare it as idli. Click here for the recipe.
If you are using yellow or ripe cucumber, peel off the skin and core out the seeds. No need of peeling if it is a tender, green cucumber. Just core out the seeds and keep them separate. Chop the cucumbers. Mix a teaspoon of salt to cucumber pieces and keep aside for 5 minutes. Collect its juice by squeezing. Now wash the soaked rice, drain water completely and grind to smooth batter adding required salt and collected cucumber juice and core of cucumber (if using tender cucumber). Mix the chopped cucumber to this batter. Make sure that batter is not runny in order to avoid batter from running out of the leaf. If that happens, add little rice flour to the batter and mix well. Keep water to boil in the traditional steamer (or cooker). 
Process of folding: Now spread each cleaned banana leaf on plain surface. Pour 1- 1½ ladle (depending on the size of the leaf) of batter on centre of each leaf. Spread the batter a bit with the ladle. Fold the banana leaf as shown in the image below.




Place folded kadubus upside down in the steamer leaving small place in the centre for the steam to move around. Steam cook for 30-40 minutes. Do not use weight (Whistle) if using cooker. Once done, allow little cooling. Serve warm with coconut chutney and/or jaggery syrup.


Monday, 11 December 2017

Home remedies for Mouth Ulcers

Today, I am focusing on a very common but painful condition called mouth ulcers. I know how difficult it is to cope with this situation and people will definitely seek for easy home remedies. 
Mouth ulcers are usually reddish sores those appear inside mouth or on tongue. Person with this feel very uncomfortable while eating, drinking and even while speaking! The pain felt anytime during day or night. There may be dryness of lips and mouth. These might have occurred due to body heat or any medication side effects or other health conditions.  
Reason behind this post is to list out some very common tips which are in practice. Here you find:
1.     Consume more liquids including water, Tender coconut, Fresh fruit juices, and buttermilk.


Fresh juice

2.     Avoid or reduce intake of coffee/ tea and spicy food.
3.     Cool body by having more salads, cucumber or juicy fruits such as watermelon.
4.     Oil pulling: Take 1-2 spoons of pure coconut oil, and rinse your mouth with it for about 10 minutes. Spit it out and wash your mouth with fresh water or leave it. It will be more effective if you do it as first thing in the morning after brushing your teeth. It cleanses mouth, improves total oral health, and whitens teeth as coconut oil has strong antibacterial property.
5.     Honey: Consume 1 tsp of pure honey for 3-4 days (1 time a day). Apply honey on the ulcer using your finger tip or tongue. Honey is rich in vitamin B. If you feel burning sensation, add/mix little ghee with honey.
6.     Guava leaves: Chew 3-4 tender leaves of guava plant if you have access and you can either swallow or spit. You can also prepare tambuli out of this. 
7.     Malabar Spinach/ Basale soppu:  Chew 1-2 basale soppu/ Malabar spinach leaves. It has good cooling property.



8.     Jaaji mallige/ Jasminum polyanthum leaves: Botanical name of Jaaji is Jasminum polyanthum.  I found this as a very effective remedy for mouth ulcer. Chew 2 tender leaves and repeat 2-3 times a day. It reduces the pain associated with mouth ulcers. Also you will feel freshness of mouth after doing it.


Jaaji mallige

9.     Fenugreek seed Tambuli: It cools body. Click here for the recipe.
10. Ixora flower (wild): Chewing few flowers and consuming the juice is very impressive medicine in curing mouth ulcers. One can prepare tambuli from this too.


Wild ixora flower

Note:  It is suggested to consult oral health practitioner in case of other serious health condition.

Cucumber Spicy Dosa

Here is one of traditional breakfasts from Dakshina Kannada & Kasaragod region, cucumber spicy dosa resembles uttappam. It is very delicious and nutritious with all the goodness of cucumbers.
It was the monsoon delicacy with variations possible. At present, it can be prepared any season as plenty of cucumbers available any time.


Preparation time: 5 hours
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 20 dosas
Ingredients:
Rice- 4 cups
Grated Cucumbers/-2 cups or medium sized cucumbers -2
Green chilli – 2
Ginger – 1 inch
Chopped Onions
Salt
Curry leaves/ coriander leaves
Curds-1 ladle (optional)
Ghee & Oil – for preparing dosa

Method:
  • Wash & soak rice for 4-5 hours. 
  • Peel off and deseed cucumber if using yellow ripe cucumber. Otherwise if cucumber is tender, use it right away. Grate it, add little salt and keep aside. 
  • Wash the soaked rice once and drain water. In grinder/ mixer grind rice along with chillies, ginger and salt to smooth paste.The water oozed from the cucumber gratings (if lot)  can be added while grinding the rice. Consistency should be little thicker than neer dosa batter. Click here for the 'Neer dosa' recipe. 
  • To this batter, add cucumber gratings, chopped coriander leaves, curds, chopped onions and mix well. 
  • Heat a griddle on medium flame. Apply oil. 
  • Spread 1- 1½ ladle of batter on the heated griddle and cook covered.  The dosa will be bit thicker.
  • Apply ½ tsp of ghee and roast dosa inverted for few seconds. Serve hot with green chutney or any coconut chutney.
Note: 
  • Prepare dosa with fresh batter, or refrigerate the batter if using it later. Do not ferment it.
  • Cooking both sides of dosa on medium flame until brown spots is very important.
  • Paddu can also be prepared with this batter. 




Variations:
  1. Half of the cucumber can be used while grinding and remaining can be grated & mixed in the batter.
  2. Curd is optional.
  3. 2-3 tbsp grated coconut can also be added while grinding the batter.

Sessile Joyweed – Jackfruit seed curry/ Honegonne – Halasina beeja sambhar

This is a healthy & wholesome side dish, loaded with nutrients. It makes a good accomplishment to rice, dosa, Ragimudde (finger millet balls). Honnegonne can be replaced by other greens such as spinach, Amaranthus, Nelabasale… I used a combination of greens Honegonne & Nelabasale with jackfruit seed (dried). 
Jackfruit seed: is rich in proteins, micronutrients, iron, and vitamin A. This is considered to be good for eyes, skin, hair, muscles. Sources say it improves eyesight, digestion and good in building muscles. We (in South Canara) usually cover jackfruit seeds with mud and dry in shade during season and store for months. Seeds can be used in various dishes such as stew (saaru), curries, Holige (sweet rotti)... Click here for the saaru recipe.
Sessile Joyweed: Honegonne is a wild plant cultivated for food & as a herbal medicine. The plant is used in treatment of asthma, cough and fever. Sources say it is good for healthier eyes. It improves production of breast milk and works as liver tonic. It is suggested to avoid the use during pregnancy. Click here for the Honegonne stirfry recipe.


Nelabasale: Scientifically referred as Talinum portulacifolium. This is a tropical plant found in Africa, East Asia. We grow it as an ornamental plant as well as for culinary use. Sources say leaves are used to treat eye diseases and constipation.  Plant propagation can be done through seeds & stem cutting. Regular watering is required.


Note the recipe for the curry.
Ingredients:
Jackfruit seeds – 1 cup
Greens of choice (I used nelabasale & honegonne) – 2-3 cups
Grated coconut – ¼ cup
Coriander seeds – 1½ tsp
Cumin – 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds- 10-12 seeds
Channa/ Gram Dal – 2 tsp
Red chillis – 3
Tamarind pulp - ½ tsp
Jaggery – a small piece (optional)
Salt
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Oil – 2 tsp
Curry leaves

Method:
Wash, peel off the outer skin of jackfruit seeds. Cut each seed into 2 pieces. Cook the jackfruit seeds with 2 - 3 cups of water in a pressure cooker. 4 whistles should be sufficient. Once done, allow to settle the pressure down. Mash roughly with the help of a spoon. Do not make smooth paste. Now clean the green leaves and chop roughly. Cook chopped leaves with added salt and turmeric powder. Add tamarind extract, jaggery and cooked (& mashed) jackfruit seeds and boil well. Meanwhile, in a wok or tadka pan, add coriander seeds, cumin, fenugreek, gram dal, 2 red chillis and 1 tsp oil. Fry until you get a nice aroma and all the seeds change color to golden brown. This stage is important as taste of the curry is decided by the quality of frying. Make sure that you are not burning any ingredient. Switch off the stove. Grind these fried spices with grated coconut to make a smooth paste by adding required water. Mix the ground masala (spice mixture) to the cooked vegetables and boil well. Switch off the flame.

Seasoning: Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard, crushed red chilli, curry leaves and allow spluttering. Season the curry with this. Serve hot curry with rice or any south Indian breakfast.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Eggless Banana Bread

This banana bread recipe is the simple and easy to make. It resembles more of any tea cake than bread! The number of ingredients used is very less. There are no eggs & no dairy products.The original recipe that I referred is from web. I altered the recipe according to my preferences and came up with my own version of it. This makes a very good teatime snack.

Eggless Banana Bread

Use of lemon zest enriches the taste of this bread which is really exotic!

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 35 minutes
Serves: 300-400gms of bread
Ingredients:
Ripe Bananas (Medium) – 5, I used Robusta
Whole wheat flour – 1½ Cup
Fine Rava/ Small Semolina– ½ Cup
Sugar – ¾ Cup
Coconut oil/ ghee/ melted butter – ¼ cup
Nutmeg powder – ¼ tsp
Baking powder – ½ teaspoon
Baking soda – ½ teaspoon
Salt -1/4 teaspoon or a pinch
Chopped Nuts & Raisins – 2 tbsp
Breakfast Cereals – 1-2 tbsp (optional)
Lemon zest (of a big lemon) – 1 tsp (optional)

Method:

  • Peel off and mash bananas well with your fingers. Grate the outer skin of a lemon (zest, only green/yellow skin) and add that to the banana. 
  • Add sugar and blend well to get a single mixture (puree) with a flat spoon or with a blender. Few small banana chunks are fine to have. 
  • Add coconut oil/ghee to the same and mix again.



  • In a separate bowl, add wheat flour, small semolina, salt, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg powder and fold once. 
  • Add these dry ingredients to the banana mixture and mix well so that there are no lumps.
  • Mix until all the ingredients blend well to form smooth dough. 
  • Add the chopped nuts and breakfast cereals to it and fold to spread evenly. 
  • Consistency should be as shown in the picture below or little more liquid is fine. Do not make dry than this.


  • Preheat the oven to 180 deg Celsius. 
  • Grease a loaf pan or rectangular cake pan of size 8”x8”. 
  • Pour the mixture to this pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until inserted fork/ toothpick comes out clean. By then top of the bread becomes brown. 
  • It took 35 minutes in my oven.



  • Once done, allow to cool down. Invert on a plain surface/ Plate/ wired rack. Slice and serve warm with tea/ milk.




Variations:
  • You can replace coconut oil with ghee/ melted butter.
  • If batter becomes dry with less banana, you can add buttermilk/ curds to adjust the consistency.
  • Addition of 2 tsp cocoa powder & choco chips enhances the taste & you will have a nice choco banana cake/bread.
Notes:
  • Do not open the oven before 20 minutes to check.
  • If you are using a Pressure cooker to bake, bake without gasket & weight but with lid closed.
  •  Store left over bread refrigerated in an air tight container. Warm before every serving.

Banana Bread

Friday, 1 December 2017

Passion Fruit Gojju/ Menaskai with Dry Fruits

This nutritious tropical fruit is becoming popular among health conscious population. It is due to the high nutritional values of this small fruit. The juicy, tasty fruit goes well in desserts like cakes, fruit salads, juices and even curries. Here is a recipe to prepare Gojju which is a very good accomplishment for Rice, Idli, Dosa…etc.


Also find recipe for Passion fruit Saaru here and Passion Fruit Juice here.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Ingredients:
Passion Fruits – 2
Grated coconut – ¼ cup
Peanuts – 2 tbsp
Sesame/ Ellu – 1 tsp
Gram dal - 2 tsp
Red chillis – 2 (Or as per taste)
Jaggery – 1 large lemon sized piece or 3 tbsp (powder)
Salt - to taste
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Chilli powder – ½ tsp
Coconut Oil (or any) – 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Curry leaves
Dry fruits and nuts of choice (Chopped) – Almonds, Raisins, Dates (2 tbsp), It is optional to add.

Method:

  • Cut passion fruit into halves & get the pulp. 
  • Boil this pulp with 1 cup of water, Salt, Jaggery and pinch of turmeric powder. 
  • Meanwhile, roast peanuts until brown. 
  • Dry roast sesame till you get nice aroma and start spluttering. 
  • Fry red chillis with few drops of oil. 
  • Grind roasted peanuts, sesame, chillis with grated coconut to form smooth paste. 
  • When the fruit pulp starts boiling and jaggery dissolves, add the ground paste to it. 
  • Add chilli powder and adjust consistency adding water. It should not be too runny. 
  • Fry chopped nuts & dry fruits with little oil and add to the boiling gojju. 
  • Boil well and switch off the heat.
  • For seasoning: Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds. On spluttering add curry leaves and season the gojju with it. 
  • Serve hot with rice or roti.


Passion Fruit Gojju

Possible variations:
  • One can use either of gram dal (channa dal) or peanuts. Any one of these ingredient can be removed.
  • Dry fruits/ nuts are optional. Gojju tastes good without that as well.
  • Pineapple/ raw mango (chopped)/ Hog plum or ambate can also be used instead of passion fruit.