Thursday, 29 March 2018

Mixed Vegetable salad in creamy white mayo sauce

I was always fascinated by the creamy salads and soups during my stay in Germany! I used love them and relish the variety of such salads & pastas as main course. After coming back to India, I did little research on them and could succeed in developing recipe for few of them. Mayonnaise is of great help for this. In today’s post, I am sharing one such recipe which you can try for other items such as pasta.


Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients:
Vegetables of choice (You can add or remove any of them)
Potatoes – 2
Carrot – 1 medium
Capsicum – 1
Cauliflower/ broccoli – few florets (cleaned)
Onions – 1
Spring onions – 2 stalks (optional)
Fresh mint leaves – 1 tsp (You can use any other herb)
Salt – ¼ tsp
Pepper powder – a pinch (as required)
Original Mayonnaise (veg) – 3-4 tbsp
Milk – ¼ cup

Method:
Step 1: Preparing Vegetables
  • Wash all the vegetables. Cut potatoes, capsicum, and carrot into chunks or cubes. Avoid chopping too fine.
  • Cook above vegetables and cauliflower (if using) with very little water in a pressure cooker or in a vessel until tender.
  • Peel off and slice onions. Clean & chop spring onions roughly and set aside. When other vegetables are cooked, add onions & spring onions & just heat them up (not needed to cook well, need to wilt them). Sprinkle salt and mix well.

Step 2: Preparing sauce
  • Mix milk and mayonnaise in a large serving bowl. Sprinkle ground pepper and crushed mint (or herb of your choice).
  • Mix the vegetables with the sauce at the time of serving. Serve fresh!


Dry fruits Kulfi / Homemade creamy ice candies with nuts

Kulfi or ice candies are favorite of kids. Without age limit and anyone will like if one gets it in the hot afternoon. I can have ice cream & candies anytime during any season and they take me to evergreen childhood memories. It reminds me my best primary school friends. Four of us used to buy ice candies sold near our school after lunch and have it together. Today scene has changed. We are scared off to give these candies to our kids unless we trust the brand manufactured them. Obviously, it is important to check if it is safe to have. What if we can easily prepare mouth-watering kulfis at home with healthy ingredients? We need not stop our kids from enjoying them. This is one such recipe and the recipe credit goes to my friend Sowmya. Interesting point is she is one among four of us having candies together!! Thanks Sowmya.

Preparation time: 6 hours
Serves: 6-8 regular kulfis
Ingredients:
Full fat milk: 250 ml
Sugar/ powdered Jaggery: 4-6 tsp (Adjust as per your taste)
Horlicks powder – 2 tsp (optional)
Unsalted Dry fruits (Cashew, almonds, pista) – 8-10 each, any two is must
Method:
  • Soak dry fruits of your choice in warm water for an hour.  I used cashews & almonds here. You can try various combinations or add other dry fruits as well.
  • Boil milk and keep aside.
  • Take the soaked dry fruits, Sugar (or jaggery) & Horlicks powder in a mixer jar and grind to form smooth paste. Add cream of milk from the boiled milk while grinding for better result.
  • Add the ground dry fruits & sugar paste to the boiled milk. Mix well.
  • Bring this mixture to a boil again. Keep stirring. Switch off the heat when it starts thickening. Allow cooling.
  • When it comes to room temperature, pour the mixture to kulfi mould, close with its lid having stick. Keep in freezer.
  • You can relish the kulfis guilt free after 5 – 6 hours.
Notes:
  • You can grind the dry fruits coarsely in order to achieve the crunchy texture if you like so.
  • If Kulfis don’t come out cleanly attaching to its stick while unmoulding, dip the form in a glass of hot water and then try.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Dill leaves sweet & spicy chutney

Dill leaves are nutritionally rich and suggested for the new mothers (postnatal food). It is known as strong source of iron andit improves milk production in lactating mothers. But many don’t like dill leaves just because of its strong flavour and the hard texture. Recently a neighbour gave us a lot of dill leaves from his farm. It was very fresh, still finishing it was a challenge to me as only I like it in any form. So I prepared palya, rice, savory bread and chutney out of it. Bread and chutney were really a big hit and chutney became my favourite to have with rice and ghee. It can be stored for 2 days if refrigerated! Read my post on the recipe of dillmultigrain savory bread.
Recipe for chutney is here.


Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Serves: 2
Ingredients:
Dill leaves – ½ cup (tightly packed)
Grated coconut – 2 tbsp
Coriander seeds – 1.5 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Channa dal – 1 tsp (optional)
Urad dal – 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds – ¼ tsp
Dry red chillis - 2
Asafoetida – a pinch
Salt – to taste
Tamarind – small grape sized
Jaggery – 1.5 tsp (adjust as required)
Oil – 2 tsp
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Curry leaves - few

Method:
  • Clean, wash dill leave and spread on a dry towel. Pat dry and chop roughly.
  • Heat a pan; add coriander, cumin, dals and dry red chillis. Fry them by adding few drops of oil, until you get nice aroma and color changes to golden brown. Add asafoetida too. When done, add coconut gratings and sauté well. Switch off the heat, transfer these ingredients to a bowl & set aside.
  • In same pan, take chopped dill leaves fry until all the leaves wilted properly and turn to dark green in color. The quantity of leaves taken will reduce to half now. Allow that too cooling.
  • Take all the friend ingredients, dill leaves, salt, tamarind & jaggery in a mixer jar and grind without adding water. You need not make it too fine paste.
  • Transfer to the bowl. Temper mustard & curry leaves in oil and season the chutney with it. Serve with rice.


Monday, 26 March 2018

Tender coconut Juice

This is the season, everyone looks for dishes those ‘beat the heat’. First option comes is nothing but juice. What do you say if juice is prepared with tender coconut! this is the richest drink that nature has prepared for us. This is a 2 minutes work which provides you highest energy and freshness needed. Just go for it, it has the sugarcane juice flavour.
Preparation time: 2 minutes
Serves: 2-3, depending on the water available in the tender coconut chosen
Ingredients:
Fresh tender coconut - 2
Tender coconut pulp/ malai/ Tirulu - of 2
Sugar or Jaggery powder – 2 tsp (as required)
Lemon juice – 1-2 tsp (of 1 lemon)

Method:
  • Blend all the ingredients mentioned above in a mixer jar so that pulp is crushed coarsely & mixed well with the juice.
  • Transfer to the glass & serve fresh & chilled (with ice cubes).

Medu Vada/ Uddina Vade

This snack is a traditional one, at the same time very tasty and favourite of many. This can be a perfect tea time snack or great accomplishment with Idli for breakfast. So I post the recipe of Vada which is favourite of my husband and my father!!


Preparation time: 6 hours (includes soaking time)
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 12-15 vadas
Ingredients:
Urad Dal/ Split black gram lentil – 1 cup
Green chillis – 2
Ginger – 1 inch
Curry leaves – 2 strands
Salt – to taste
Oil for frying

Method:
  • Wash and soak urad dal for 6 hours.
  • Grind soaked dal and ginger very well to make smooth paste. Do not add much water; batter should be of dropping consistency.
  • Chop green chillis and curry leaves finely. Add these chopped chillis & curry leaves to the urad dal batter. Add salt and mix well.
  • Pour oil to a wok and heat it up. To check the readiness of oil, add a pinch of batter to it which should float immediately.
  • When oil is ready, take small balls of batter in your hand (about a spoonful of), drop to the hot oil carefully one by one. Fry until golden brown. Take out from oil by removing excess oil.

  • Follow the step above until you finish the batter.
  • Serve hot vada with chutney or sambar. You can also prepare Bonda Soup or Dahi Vada out of them.


Moringa and Curry leaves Rice

Moringa also known as drumstick leaves or Nugge soppu (Kannada) is very rich in nutrients. It is very good to consume this leaf orally to maintain haemoglobin level in the blood. Many do not like to use it in cooking because of the bitterness & the texture which does not allow it to blend in the cuisine even after cooking. So the best way to use it is in the powdered form.
Curry leaves or Karibevu (Kannada) on the other hand be used every day in our cooking while seasoning and even this is kept aside on the plate and is not consumed completely. This is also a nutritionally rich herb which is good to increase the hemoglobin level and it is good for healthier hair.
Here is a recipe of rice item using both these greens in large quantity, which tastes very good. It is perfect to carry for lunch box or for dinner if served with any raita.


Preparation time:  15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients:
Curry leaves – ½ cup (tightly packed)
Drumstick leaves– ½ cup (tightly packed)
Rice – 2 cups
Salt – to taste
Coriander Seeds - 2 tsp
Cumin - 1 tsp
Channa dal – 3-4 tbsp
Urad dal/ Black gram lentil – 2 tsp
Dry red chillis – 3-4 (as per taste)
Fenugreek seeds – ¼ tsp
Lemon juice or tamarind juice – 2 tsp, I used lemon juice here
Grated coconut – 2 tbsp (optional)
Coconut oil – 2 tbsp
Onion – 1 (optional)
Peanuts/ ground nuts – 2 tbsp
Cashews for garnishing (optional)

Method:
  • Clean both the leaves and remove hard stems. Wash the leaves well and spread on a clean kitchen towel and allow drying for few minutes.
  • Cook rice in a pressure cooker with 4 cups of water and salt to taste. It should be done in 3 whistles. Let the pressure settle down completely.
  • Chop onions and keep aside.
  • Heat a wok/ pan, add coriander seeds, cumin, channa dal, urad dal, fenugreek seeds and red chillis. Add few drops of oil and fry them until you get nice aroma. Avoid burning of ingredients. Add grated coconut at the end and sauté once. Transfer this to a plate and allow cooling.
  • In the same pan, add cleaned green leaves and fry until the leaves are wilted and they leave good flavor. Add this to the above fried ingredients. Let it cool down completely.
  • Now, take a mixer jar, dry grind all the fried ingredients along with leaves (curry leaves & moringa) and powder everything together. It need not be very fine powder.
  • Heat the pan; add coconut oil, mustard seeds & peanuts. Fry the peanuts & let the mustards splutter.
  • Add onions, salt as required (remember that little salt is already been added while cooking rice) and fry until they turn translucent.
  • Add cashews and the spice & greens powder that is prepared before. Sauté for a while and add rice, mix well.
  • Switch off the stove, add lemon juice and mix thoroughly.
  • Serve this rice when warm with choice of raita. Enjoy healthy & nutritious rice with your family.

Notes:
  • This rice can be prepared with any one variety of leaves; that is either of moringa leaves or curry leaves . You need not mix both, take 1 whole cup of any of these two  leaves! That tastes great too.
  • Even if you miss to add the spices (ingredients) such as coriander & cumin, the rice still tastes good.
  • Variations can be done by adding cinnamon, cloves and it can be done following the Pulao recipe as well
*Notes on moringa: 
  • Keep monitoring your health if you are consuming moringa leaves/ pods on regular basis. It may have adverse health effects such as stomach upset if consumed in larger quantities (leaves, pods, flower) especially in kids!
  • It is believed to have heat property on body & few chemicals cause negative symptoms.

Please share the recipe with your circle & do tag me in Facebook (as Nisha Mithoor)/ Instagram (@nishamithoor) if you try this recipe!  Thanks in advance.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Tender coconut Pudding/ Bannankai Halubai

Have you ever faced the question, ‘how to use hard pulp of tender coconut’? This is the situation many times in which we drink tender coconut water and the malai or flesh or pulp of it would have become hard. We call that bannankai and finish it by adding that in neeru dosa. Recently we had many of them and tried preparing halubai or pudding which tasted really good. It becomes a healthy, filling evening snack for kids.
Halbai is a traditional dessert which can be prepared with rice-jaggery or finger millet – jaggery. It makes a healthy dessert when compared to other maida & sugar based sweets! Doesn’t that make sense?

Tender coconut Pudding

Preparation time: 2 hours
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves – 20 pieces
Ingredients:
Tender coconut pulp/ malai – 1 cup (or grated coconut 1 cup)
White Rice – 1 cup, Basmati or dosa rice can be used
Jaggery – ½ cup, Adjust to sweetness needed
Vanilla Essence – few drops (I used dried vanilla bean)
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Ghee – 2 tbsp

Method:
  • Wash & soak rice for 2-3 hours.
  • Core out & collect the tender coconut pulp from the shell using a knife or large spoon.
  • Grind soaked rice, coconut pulp, jaggery to smooth paste without using much water. That is, do not make the batter runny.
  • Grease a plate or tray with little ghee and keep aside.
  • Now, take a thick bottomed wok or pan. Add 1 tbsp ghee & ground rice & coconut batter to it. Add the vanilla bean or essence to it.
  • Cook in medium flame stirring occasionally. Stir continuously & keep turning the mixture upside down when the mixture thickens. This is to avoid it from sticking to the pan. You can sprinkle little water if it looks uncooked. Add remaining ghee & sauté well.
  • It is done when the pudding becomes glossy. It will take 30- 40 minutes.
  • Transfer to the prepared greased plate. Allow to cool, cut into desired shape and serve.
Notes:
  1. This pudding will not yield firm pieces like regular rice & jaggery halbai as there is more tender coconut content.  It will be little sticky. If you like firm pieces, increase rice & jaggery quantity & reduce tender coconut.
  2. You can prepare jaggery syrup, filter to remove impurities & then add while cooking the pudding.
  3. Cardamom can be used instead vanilla.
  4. Store it in refrigerator for next day. It will taste good if refrigerated as well.
  5. You can use grated coconut instead of tender coconut pulp.
Bannankai Halubai

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Fried baby potatoes in white Mayonnaise sauce

This is the recipe which I could recollect from one of the TV shows long ago! I tried to re-create that with some self-thought ingredients. It turned out really good. If you like potatoes & mayonnaise, it is a must try kind of recipe.


Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4
Ingredients:
Baby potatoes/ small potatoes – 8
Spring onions – 1-2 stalks (optional)
Mayonnaise – 4 tbsp
Milk – ¼ cup
Any herb – 2 tsp (if you are using fresh or 1 tsp dry herbs), I used fresh maruga
Ground Pepper – ¼ tsp
Salt – a pinch
Oil for frying

Method:
Stage 1: Preparing potatoes
  • Wash and pressure cook baby potatoes. Let pressure settle down completely & allow cooling.
  • Now fry potatoes, you can follow either shallow frying or deep frying method. I fried them using less oil, 2 tbsp (shallow fried). To do so,
  • Take oil in a wok and heat. Add the cooked whole (or halved) baby potatoes and fry until they turn to golden brown. Sprinkle little salt on potatoes.
Stage 2: Preparing the sauces
  • Wash and chop spring onions fine. Chop fresh herb too very fine.
  • Take a serving bowl. Mix milk, mayonnaise, pepper powder & herbs.
  • Add fried potatoes at the end and mix well. Garnish with spring onions and serve.
  • It can be a good starter or even goes well with pooris. Keep refrigerated for later use.

Friday, 23 March 2018

Dill Multigrain Dark savory bread

Dark breads are always healthier option for breakfast than white breads. One thing which we were missing here in India and we liked during our stay in Germany was these varieties of breads. Typical European breakfast would be combination of multiple varieties of breads, cut fruits, eggs, cereals, milk / juice. Many of the breads will be dark, thick, hard and filling and are made of either whole wheat or rye (very dark bread). A nice spread of marmalade (or any jam), cheese or chocolaty spreads make them very tasty.
Recently a neighbour gave us lot of dill leaves which were very fresh. My husband is not a big fan of them, but he likes dark bread! I took the challenge of finishing the leaves without wasting. I prepared vada (snack), Palya (stir fry); what next? Baking with them was the answer. I tried brown bread couple of times earlier and result was not bad. So this time choose this with small twists. I had jowar flour in my pantry, which was again sitting there for quite some time as roti making was not my cup of coffee!!
This bread made my day very happy as it was very good and it remembered us the German bread. Moreover, my hubby liked it! Oh, are you asking me to stop the story and come to the topic!?? Will do, please note down.


Preparation time: 1-2 hours
Baking time: 25 - 30 minutes
Yields: 300 - 350 gms of bread
Ingredients:
Jowar flour – ½ cup
Ragi/ finger millet flour – ½ cup
Whole wheat flour – ½ cup
Maida/ white flour – 1 cup
Dill leaves – ¾ - 1 cup (tightly packed), Washed and dried with a towel
Dry active yeast – 1 tsp
Sugar – 2 tsp
Milk – ¼ cup
Water – ¼ - ½ cup
Salt – ¼ tsp
Baking soda – ½ tsp
Carom seeds/ Ajwain/ om kaalu – 1 tsp
Red chilli powder – ½ tsp
Ghee/ oil – 2 tbsp
White sesame/ til/ Ellu – 1 tsp (Optional)

Method:
Step 1: Preparing yeast
  • Take lukewarm water, add 1 tsp sugar and dissolve. Sprinkle dry yeast from top and stir vigorously to mix well. Set aside for 5 minutes and allow yeast proofing. (Or follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.)
  • The solution should be cloudy and frothy after five minutes. If not, discard and prepare again.
Step 2: Preparing dough and allow rising
  • Chop dill leave fine.
  • Take the above prepared active yeast solution in a wide mixing bowl. Add Milk and remaining sugar.
  • Add the chopped dill leaves & flours one by one. Add baking soda, salt, chilli powder & carom seeds on top of the flour. Add water as required, combine and knead this well to prepare soft dough by adding oil or ghee.
  • If it is too sticky, add little flour. If dough looks too dry, sprinkle little water. Set aside for an hour, covering the bowl with clean & wet kitchen towel.
  • The dough will rise and become almost double the initial size after an hour.
Step 3: Baking
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius. Dust the loaf pan or baking tray with a tsp of flour.
  • Press and knead the dough lightly on a floured surface once again. Roll over white sesame seeds so that whole bread is covered by it from outside. You can use any method below (1) or (2)
  1. If using loaf pan: Place the dough in a loaf pan and bake for 20 – 30 minutes or until the color becomes brown and bread becomes harder from outside & inserted fork comes out clean.
  2. If you are using a cake tray and not loaf pan (which I used): Divide the dough into two portions and bring each of them to two loaf shapes. Place them in the tray side by side leaving little space in between and sides. Bake for 25 minutes or until done as instructed in (1). It took 25 minutes to bake in my oven (convection mode)
  • Allow the bread to cool as it is after baking. Slice and serve warm with any spread or plain with tea.

Enjoy this as breakfast, brunch or filling snack. 





Monday, 19 March 2018

Brahmi/ Ondelaga/ Centella Juice

Centella asiatica or ondelaga is a wonderful herb which is nutritionally rich. Our ancestors used it as memory booster. It is not new using it in cooking & other home remedies. Read little more about it here: ondelaga tambuli.
Centella is used in Thailand cuisines either raw (in salads) or in cooked form. They prepare a drink of it with sugar syrup. Here is a recipe for Centella juice which is better & effective if served in the morning.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2
Ingredients:
Centella/ Brahmi leaves – ½ cup
Mint leaves – 2 tsp
Sugar/ Honey – 2-4 tsp (As per taste), I used sugar
Salt – a pinch
Lemon juice
Water – 2 glasses
Method:
  • Wash centella & mint leaves clean.
  • Take all the ingredients except honey (if using it) in a juice making mixer jar and grind with water.
  • Strain and collect juice using a juice strainer. Add honey and mix well.
  • Serve chilled.

Note: Make sure to prepare this juice at the time of serving to retain the attractive green color.


Saturday, 10 March 2018

Masala Buttermilk/ Masala Majjige

This one is simple but powerful recipe. Having 1-2 glasses of masala majjige in summer midday is heavenly. Those who work in farms during hot days of April/ May have it to hydrate themselves and energize! It is a must have in every house of Dakshina Kannada & coastal area of Mangalore.


Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2 glasses
Ingredients:
Fresh Buttermilk/ Curds – 1 glass
Water – 1 glass
Salt – ¼ tsp
Lemon juice – 1 tsp
Green chilli – 1
Ginger – small piece
Coriander leaves/ Curry leaves
Coriander & Cumin tea powder – 2 pinches (optional)
Oil – ½ tsp
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Asafoetida – a pinch
Method:
  • Mix buttermilk, water, lemon juice and salt in a vessel. Churn curds once in a mixer if you are using curds.
  • Add crushed or finely chopped green chilli and ginger. Add chopped coriander leaves too.
  • Add Coriander cumin powder. Look for the recipe of this Coriander Cumin milk (tea) powder / Kottambari Jeerige Kashaya hudi.
  • Prepare the seasoning of mustard, asafoetida in hot oil, add to the buttermilk. Serve chilled.



Hulichikki soppu/ Clover/ Oxalis Chutney

Clover or trefoil is a weed usually found in pots or any small kitchen garden. The name trefoil is from Latin ‘trifolium’ meaning three leaved! This is because common plant of this family is three leaved or three lobed (clover like). It is generally confused with oxalis as the leaf structure resembles one another. Both are different in nature as well as structurally they have minute differences. Each leaflet of clover is of oval shaped, whereas it is heart shaped in case of oxalis. I never knew about the culinary usage of this plant until a friend had introduced this to me when we spotted this in our garden. I am not very much aware of medicinal uses of these plants. Limited use of these in cooking will be helpful .
I am sharing the recipe of chutney in this post. It tastes very good with the natural tanginess. No tamarind, not too many ingredients!

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients:
Clover/ Hulichikki soppu – fistful, about 3-4 tbsp
Grated coconut – 4 tbsp
Green chilli – 1
Salt – to taste
Oil – 1 tsp
Mustard – ¼ tsp
Red chilli – 1 (optional)

Method:
  • Wash the leaves; wilt them with few drops of oil in a pan. 
  • Grind coconut, these leaves, salt & green chilli to smooth paste. Transfer to a bowl. 
  • Add oil, mustard, minced dry red chillis in a pan and heat. On spluttering, season the chutney with it. It makes a good combination for poori, neer dosa and rice.



Friday, 9 March 2018

Passion fruit Lassi/ Passion fruit flavoured sweet Yogurt

Hot summer has arrived! Craving for cool drinks and looking for multiple options to cool your body & mind? If you are considering health factor, Lassi or flavored yogurt, masala buttermilk is the best option. These probiotic rich drinks should be your first pick for you or your family in these lengthy bright days. Here you find the recipe for simplest lassi with passion fruit.
Passion fruit is a nutritious fruit rich in vitamins, minerals, anti oxidants & fibre. The flavour & taste makes it perfect for fresh juice, rasam, gojjusasive & even in baking a cake.

Passion fruit Lassi

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2
Ingredients:
Passion fruit pulp – ¼ cup, or 2 fruits
Chilled fresh curds – 1.5 cup
Water – ¼ cup
Sugar/ honey –2 tsp, adjust to taste
Salt – a pinch(optional), I don’t use it

Method:
  • Initially, prepare the passion fruit juice. To make it, cut the fruit. Scoop out the pulp into a mixer juice jar. Add the water and blend once just to separate the juice from the seeds.
  • Strain using a juice strainer.
  • Now using the same jar, churn or blend all the ingredients (curds, passion fruit juice, sugar or honey) once to combine all well.
  • Transfer to the serving glass and serve chilled with optional added ice cubes.

Notes:
  • You can use (homemade) passion fruit squash or juice if available handy. In that case you just check and add the sugar only if required as juice contains it.
  • You can optionally top the lassi with a teaspoon of fresh passion fruit pulp if you like its seeds. I like this way.

Passion fruit flavoured sweet Yogurt