Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Cucumber Raita/ Southekayi Mosaru gojju

Raita or mosaru gojju is prepared with thick yogurt/ curds mixed with vegetables or sometimes fruits. It is a must have side dish for rice items. It is easy to make them; on other hand they are healthy. These Salads are good options for the individual, who is looking for low carb diet. Click here for Cabbage Raita recipe.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2-4
Tender cucumber – 1 (big)
Green chilli – 2 (as per taste)
Coriander leaves – a few
Salt – to taste
Onion – 1 (small)
Thick curds – ½ cup
Oil – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Cumin – ¼ tsp
Curry leaves – few leaves
Dry red chilli - 1


Wash cucumber in running water. Chop them fine. Chop green chillis, onions and coriander leaves. Combine all of them in a bowl. Add salt, thick fresh curds and mix well. For seasoning: Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin, mustard seeds, curry leaves and broken red chilli to it. On spluttering, add it to raita. Serve this raita as a side dish for rice items (Pulav, Biriyani or Bisibele bhath) or with Paratha. 

Pumpkin & Hyacinth beans Paratha /Sihikumbala - Avarekai Paratha

This year, we harvested a pretty good number of pumpkins from our garden. That is about 6-7, good sized pumpkins from one creeper. Same way, Avarekai! I tried many recipes out of these. This post is special for me as the parathas are made up of the vegetables grown at home garden.
I usually do parathas without stuffing that is by combining all the ingredients in dough. It saves a lot of time. These can be served with a combination of flavoured yogurt or curds with pickles.
This Pumpkin Avarekai paratha is a wholesome food which is nutritionally rich. It packed with protein, carbohydrates, vitamins & minerals. It has the goodness of pumpkins & Avarekai mixed with whole wheat & spices. I was overwhelmed when my 7 year old son complemented it asking to prepare again the very next day. It was an achievement as he never likes homemade food at once!

Now, let’s see the recipe.

Grated pumpkin – 1 cup
Avarekai or Hyacinth beans – ½ cup
Wheat flour – 2 cups
Salt - to taste
Carom seeds/ Ajwain/ Om kalu – ½ tsp
Red chilli powder – ½ tsp
Coriander leaves – few strands
Ghee – 1 tbsp
Ghee or Oil – For frying paratha

Wash and cook Avarekai in pressure cooker by adding required water and salt. Allow it to cool. Peel off pumpkin, deseed and grate it using a vegetable grater. Chop washed coriander leaves finely. Drain water from cooked Avarekai & preserve it separately. De husk (remove the skin) cooked Avarekai (need not remove skin of all the Avarekai, about half of the quantity should be fine). You can also leave this step if you are fine with the fibre. Churn Avarekai coarsely in a mixer. Do not make very smooth paste.
Now it is the step of preparing dough! Take a large vessel. Add ground Avarekai, grated pumpkin, chopped coriander leaves, salt, chilli powder, carom seeds/ ajwain and 1 tbsp of ghee to it. Add wheat flour and kneed well to get soft dough. Add little water preserved (of cooked Avarekai) if the dough looks too dry or little flour if it is very sticky. Set aside for 15 – 30 minutes.
To prepare Paratha: Divide dough into equal sized balls. Roll each ball into thin parathas by applying little flour as and when needed, that is when it sticks. Meanwhile heat a griddle or tava on high flame. Apply little ghee or oil on tava. Fry/ cook each paratha flipping in regular intervals until you see few brown spots on both sides of it. Apply little ghee or oil on paratha while cooking. Do not make it too dry. Repeat the procedure until you finish all the dough. Serve hot with a choice of gravy or yogurt & pickles.These parathas can be stored in a casserole for 10-12 hours.

Green gram Rice Kichdi with Coconut milk / Hasaru kaalu Hejje (Ganji)

This is a traditional healthy recipe from Northern Kerala. It is very nutritious and less spicy. It makes perfect food for toddlers, growing kids and pregnant as it is rich in protein & carbohydrates. This can be packed in kids’ lunch box. Totally it is a healthier option for any age group with a blend of green gram, rice & coconut milk.

Preparation time: 6 hrs
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2
Green gram – ½ cup
White Rice – 1 cup
Salt - to taste
Pepper powder -  ¼ tsp
Coconut milk – 1 cup or grated coconut – 1½ cups
Bay leaf – a small piece
Cashews – 2 tsp (optional)
Ghee – 2 tsp

Wash and soak green gram for minimum 6 hours or overnight. Heat a tsp of ghee in a pressure cooker. Add bay leaf and sauté until you get nice aroma. Wash rice, soaked green gram and add to the pressure cooker. Add 5 cups of water, salt, pepper powder to this. Cook until 3-4 whistles. Meanwhile, extract thick coconut milk from grated coconut. Click here for my post on coconut milk extraction. Once rice is cooked and pressure settles down, add coconut milk to it and bring to boil. Heat remaining ghee in a tadka pan, add cashews and fry until golden color. Add it to the kichdi. Serve it with any pickles or plain tomato rasam or with any raita.

Note: You can also use ground coconut paste instead of coconut milk.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Banana Papaya smoothie

Banana & Papaya are two rich fruits, easily available throughout the year and a very good / healthy addition to our diet anytime during a day.

Banana is a very nutritious fruit loaded with carbohydrates, fibres, vitamins C, B6, minerals like potassium, magnesium, copper manganese, fat and more. It is easy to carry banana as a snack while travelling or to school as it is safely covered by skin.
Papaya is another fruit of choice for a healthier diet due to the amazing nutrients found in it. It aids digestion, has healing property and it is good for healthier heart. This fruit is a better choice for diabetics.  
So Smoothie or milkshake prepared with these two fruits is a great food to start your day.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2

Well ripened papaya – 6 pieces (1inch cube)
Banana – 1 big (robusta)/ 2 medium (any small variety), sliced
Milk – 1 glass (100ml)
Fresh curds/yogurt – 4 spoons (optional)
Sugar/honey for sweetness
Cardamom powder (optional)
Any nuts/dry fruits – 1 spoon (chopped)
Breakfast cereals – 1 spoon(optional)

Take the pieces of fruits (banana and papaya) in a mixer grinder jar , grind to smooth paste. Add all other ingredients like milk, curds, sugar, nuts, spice, cereals to the same jar and blend to mix well. Serve fresh in a glass chilled. The crunchiness of the cereals and nuts in the milkshake makes it nice and tasty. It can be a perfect healthy desert after light lunch or soothing, fresh drink when you come back home in sunny days.

Note: It is important to serve this smoothie fresh. Milkshake/ lassi which has papaya tastes best when fresh and it will not be very tasty after sometime.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Pumpkin core (tirulu) Chutney

Usually we tend to throw the core and seeds of vegetables such as pumpkin, ash gourd, snake gourd or any such, while using them for cooking. But I am sure there will be many benefits of using them in different ways while cooking. Our ancestors used to prepare chutney out of them which were not only tasty, but had many benefits definitely. Biologically peels, seeds and core of any vegetable are nutritionally rich and seeds of pumpkins are used in bread preparation which is not new for many. Here is a recipe to pumpkin core chutney. Chutney tastes good with tender tirulu (core). Enjoy.

Pumpkin core (tirulu) – ½ cup
Red chillis – 2 (as per taste)
Grated fresh coconut – 3-4 tbsp
Tamarind – ½ tsp
Salt - to taste
Coriander leaves – few strands
Oil – 1 tsp
Mustard – ½ tsp
Curry leaves

Core out a pumpkin and collect the core (tirulu) with seeds. You can do this while cutting it for preparing any dish out of it. Do not throw seeds if they are not hard. You can add seeds too in the chutney. This core can be stored in a closed container for 1-2 days if refrigerated.

Cook the pumpkin tirulu (core) with very little water added (just sprinkle water). Once done, allow it to cool for few minutes. Fry the red chillis with few drops of oil. Add coconut, cooked pumpkin core, chillis, tamarind, salt and coriander leaves in a mixer jar and grind well. Transfer this chutney to a bowl. Heat oil in a tadka pan, add mustard and curry leaves. On spluttering add to the chutney. Serve with dosa, idli or with hot rice and ghee. 

Eggless Passion fruit, Guava & Chocolate cupcake

Here I am with a post on baking with fruits. I wanted to try out a bake with guavas for quite some time. It was in my to-do list. There, I found couple of guavas & passion fruits settled in fruit bowl for few days after harvesting from our garden. So I grabbed one fruit each and started working. I just used my basic cupcake recipe. It did not disappoint me and my family! Here you can try your hand on it to enjoy.

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Bake time: 20-25mins
Yield: 6 large cupcakes
Passion fruit pulp (with seeds) – 2-3 tbsp (of one fruit)
Chopped ripe guava (deseeded) – 3 - 4 tbsp
Whole wheat flour – 3/4 cup
All-purpose flour (Maida) – 3/4 cup
Small semolina (Chiroti Rava) – 2 tbsp
Cocoa powder – 1 tsp
Sugar – ½ - ¾ cup (As per taste)
Curds – ¼ cup
Milk - ¼ cup
Coconut Oil – 2 tbsp
Baking soda – ½ tsp
Baking powder – ½ tsp
Choco chips/ chopped Chocolate bar – 2 tbsp
Salt – a pinch

Chop deseeded guava. Core can be used for milkshake or one can eat it. Take milk and curds in a wide mixing bowl. Add passion fruit pulp, chopped guava, sugar and mix well. Sugar will almost be dissolved while doing so. Add Oil, salt and mix once again. Add wheat flour, maida, small semolina (rava), baking powder, baking soda and cocoa powder one after another. Mix well with a flat spoon so that it forms an uniform single mass. Do not beat too fast. The mix should be wet and of dropping consistency. That is little thicker than idli batter. Adjust accordingly. Add little flour if it is too watery or add little oil / milk if it is too dry. Then add choco chips or chopped chocolate. I used store bought chocolate cubes which is usually sold in hill stations. It will be little harder and takes time to melt. Fold the mix once again just to mix the chocolate pieces evenly. Do not over mix. Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius (I use a microwave oven). Fill batter into each muffin mould (liner) equally. Leave little space for the muffins to rise while baking (fill only about ¾ th or little more in each liner). Bake for 20 mins or until inserted fork / toothpick comes out clean. 

Once done, allow to cool and serve warm. The muffins taste awesome with the sweet & tanginess and with the chocolaty flavor.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Neer dosa/ Tellavu

This is a Mangalore delicacy served with coconut chutney, coconut-jaggery mix or sambar. Being a Mangalorean I am privileged to post the recipe of Neer Dosa. It is easy to prepare except the step of spreading the dosa batter on tava which needs little expertise. Here is a basic Neer dosa recipe which can be altered by adding ingredients like cucumber or coconut which gives a different taste. Usually, this is prepared for breakfast and can be carried in lunch box as it will not be hardened after hours, like other dosas.

Dosa Rice – 4 cups
Salt – 1 tsp (to taste)
Grated Coconut – ½ cup (optional)
Water as required
Oil/ Ghee for preparing dosa

Batter: Wash and soak dosa rice for 4-6 hours. One can use only dosa rice or combination of dosa rice & red raw rice (1:1 propotion). Wash again after soaking and drain water completely. Grind Rice, coconut (optional) and salt in a mixer or wet grinder to smooth paste adding required amount of water. Using a wet grinder enhances the taste as it can finely grind. Dosa should be prepared with the fresh batter or refrigerate the batter until you prepare dosa. It should not be fermented.
Making dosas: Adjust the consistency of the batter by adding enough water. It should be of running consistency (watery/Neer) than any other dosa batter, hence the name. But, requirement of water depends on quality of rice. So make the consistency of batter not too watery initially, check by preparing one dosa if it comes out clean from the tava/ griddle. It should not stick to tava. You can add water if dosa is hard and brittle. Refer the image.

Now it is the tricky phase of spreading the dosa batter on heated tava/ griddle to prepare dosa. Iron griddle/ tava is best suited for this dosa than non-stick tava. Heat the tava on medium flame. Apply ghee/ oil neatly all over the tava. Pour one ladle of batter on tava without touching the ladle to the tava. Fill the large gaps if any. Cover the lid and cook for 1 to 1.5 minutes. The dosa is ready when the extra water is evaporated and if it comes out clean from the griddle. Remove from the tava and serve hot with any chutney/ sambar/coconut & jaggery mix (Bella-kai suli). You can also store it in a hot box or box with lid closed. Stored breakfast dosa can still be very good to consume as evening snack.

Cabbage Raita/ Mosaru gojju

Cabbage is a vegetable which is nutritionally rich, but with low carbohydrates. It is a great source of dietary fibre, vitamins & minerals. Using uncooked cabbage is a good option, especially for diabetics. Main concern usually is the pesticides & insecticides used while growing them. It is better to wash the cabbage in warm salt water before using in order to remove major chemicals from it. This was the suggestion that I got from a nutritionist. Here is a recipe to consume raw cabbage; that is without cooking. Very simple recipe yet it makes an attractive addition to your menu.

Cabbage – 3-4 tender leaves (¼ cup finely chopped)
Green chilli – 1 (optional)
Coriander leaves – a few
Salt – to taste
Pepper powder – a pinch
Roasted cumin powder – ¼ tsp
Thick curds – ½ cup
Oil – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Cumin – ¼ tsp

Wash cabbage leaves in running water. Soak them in warm water with added salt, keep aside for 5 minutes. Drain water completely and wash once again in tap water. Chop washed cabbage very fine. Chop green chilli, coriander leaves. Take all of them in a bowl. Add salt, pepper powder, chopped coriander leaves. Add thick fresh curds and mix well. Do not use sour curds which will not taste good. Dry roast ¼ tsp cumin seeds and crush to get powder or use readymade cumin powder. Sprinkle cumin powder on the raita. Temper remaining ¼ tsp cumin and mustard seeds in oil and season raita with it. Serve this raita as a side dish for rice items (Pulav, Biriyani or Bisibele bhath) or with Paratha.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Tomato & mixed Vegetable salad

This is a salad prepared with tomato and multi vegetables in mayonnaise sauce. You can play around with herbs of your choice. Kids will definitely love this. I got the recipe from one of TV shows.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Serves – 2-3
Tomato – 3 medium
Cabbage – 2 leaves (¼ cup pieces)
Onion – 1 medium
Capsicum – 1 small
Carrot – 1 medium
Eggless Mayonnaise – 2-3 tbsp
Tomato sauce – 1 tbsp
Chat masala – ¼ tsp
Oil – 2 tsp
Lemon juice – 1 tsp
Basil/ Holy basil (Tulsi) leaves - 1 tsp
Mint leaves – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste

Cut tomatoes lengthwise. Take these pieces in a bowl, add oil & lemon juice. Sprinkle little chat masala and add salt to taste. Mix this well and keep aside. Chop cabbage, capsicum, onion, and carrots into thin & long pieces. Take them in a separate bowl. Add little salt, mix and set aside. In a mixer jar, take mayonnaise, tomato sauce, basil, mint and churn so that all of these ingredients combine well to form a single mass. Add this sauce to the mixed vegetables prepared and mix well. Arrange tomatoes in a serving plate. Top with dressed vegetables, that is, vegetable pieces mixed with mayonnaise sauce. Serve.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Snake gourd – White chickpeas stir fry/ Padavala kai – Channa palya

This is a delicious healthy palya as both main ingredients are rich in nutrients. Channa/ chickpeas; a rich source of plant based protein. It is said that Snake gourd has antipyretic property; it detoxifies body and improves immunity power. It is good for diabetics and for the healthier hair. Try this recipe for the healthy palya.

Snake gourd – 1 medium (2 cups chopped)
White chickpeas – 1 cup
Tomato - 1
Sambar powder/ Gojjavalakki powder – 1 tsp
Chilli powder – ¼ tsp (as per taste)
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Green chilli – 1 (optional)
Salt – to taste
Mustard – ½ tsp
Channa dal – 1 tsp
Red chilli - 1
Coconut oil/ any cooking oil – 2 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 strand
Asafoetida/ hing – a pinch

Soak White chickpeas/ Kabuli channa in water for 6-8 hour or overnight. Wash and drain water. Cook in a pressure cooker adding required amount of water and salt to taste. Once done, switch off the heat and allow the pressure to settle down. Meanwhile, wash and chop snake gourd or padavala kai to small pieces of chickpeas size. Chop tomato too. Need not core out or remove seeds if snake gourd is tender. If not, remove seeds before chopping. Now heat a wok/ pan, add oil, mustards, channa dal, and broken red chilli; allow spluttering. Add curry leaves, asafoetida. Add tomato, sauté once. Add chopped snake gourd, turmeric powder, salt(little as added already while cooking chickpeas) and sauté again. Cover the lid and allow cooking on a medium flame without adding water. It will take 5-10 minutes to cook the vegetable. Once done, add cooked chickpeas, sambar powder (I used gojjavalakki powder), chilli powder. Mix well. Allow on low flame for 2 more minutes. Serve with rice and Rasam/ Sambar. It goes well with chapathi as well.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Strawberry Milkshake

Preparation time – 10mins
Serves - 2
Fresh Strawberries – 4(large)
Chilled Milk - 2 glasses
Sugar – 4-5 spoons (as per taste)

Freeze boiled milk for 1-2 hour or refrigerate. Wash strawberries and remove the green leafy portion. Take frozen/ chilled milk, strawberries, sugar in a mixer jar and blend well. Transfer to serving glasses and serve. The baby pink colour and the freshness in the taste will definitely attract you and your family.