Thursday, 31 May 2018

Moringa/ Drumstick leaves Chutney powder

Moringa/ Drumstick leaves (Nugge soppu in kannada) are nutritionally rich and easily available greens in India. These are packed with goodness being rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants & amino acids. It supplies large portion of daily requirement of iron & fibre. Best way to consume them in the powdered form as cooking the moringa leaves doesn’t make them soft and hence avoided by many including kids. It is usually suggested in the treatment of anemia.
As I understand, whole plant is useful and each part has medicinal values.
Recently a large branch of a drumstick tree in our garden snapped due to wind. It had fresh leaves & flowers which I did not want to throw as I am aware of the benefits. I & my neighbors could not utilize & finish them in a single day. Then, this idea of preparing chutney powder came to my mind. It can last for few days or even for couple of weeks if dry powdered & refrigerated. This was the first time I prepared it and it was so good and I am going to do it again. And, the flowers are used to make great stir fry & mudde palya!

Preparation time: 1-2 hours (cleaning & drying)
Cook time: 20 minutes (max)
Serves: 100 grams of powder
Fresh Moringa leaves – 2-3 cups (tightly packed)
Dry coconut – 1 (medium)
Gram dal – 2 tbsp
Urad dal – 2 tbsp
Coriander seeds – 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp
Fenugreek seeds – ½ tsp
Asafoetida – ¼ tsp
Dry red chillis – 8-10
Oil – 2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Tamarind – 1 tsp, I used Kette (unde) huli powder which is botanically named as Artocarpus lacucha

  • Clean moringa leaves (small tender stems are fine to have), wash and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel. It can be sun dried for 1-2 hours as well.
  • Chop dry coconut into thin small pieces.
  • Now heat a wide pan/ wok in medium flame. Fry chopped coconut until golden brown and you get nice aroma. Set aside to cool.
  • Add oil to the pan, Fry red chillis without burning. Keep aside.
  • Fry all the spices & dals (Coriander, cumin, dals, fenugreek, and asafoetida) until light brown and nice aroma released. Transfer to the plate having fried coconut.
  • Finally fry the moringa/ drumstick leaves for 3-4 minutes in low flame.
  • Take all the fried ingredients in a dry mixer jar when they come to room temperature. Add tamarind, salt and powder them using the mixer.
  • Transfer to an airtight container and store in refrigerator for a week or two.
  • It tastes great with hot rice and ghee or even with curd rice.
*A spoonful of this powder can be added in curries while preparing.

Keep an eye on the health if you are consuming 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.
Consult an expert if you intake stem extract (better to avoid root).

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Eggless Ghee Residue Rava Buttermilk Cake

Hello Dear Reader, are you a person who prepare ghee at home? If so, what do you do the residue!? I used to throw it or used to apply on the skin of kids before bath if they are in good mood! Recently a friend and food blogger Shrikripa posted the cake recipe using ghee residue in her blog! Tried this out when I prepared ghee last time with fewer changes in original recipe! My goodness, it is such a soft, moist cake anyone will like it with tea. It is obviously a very good utilization of this dairy by-product, which otherwise usually thrown off! I believe it will have the goodness though very sure about the nutritional facts!!
Thank you Shrikripa!

Preparation time: 10 minutes (if ghee residue is ready)
Baking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 250 grams of cake
Fine Semolina/ Chiroti rava – 1 cup
Ghee residue – 2-3 tsp
Plain flour/ Maida – 2-3 tbsp
Buttermilk (fresh/ sweet) – 1 cup, Combination of milk+ buttermilk can be used as well
Butter/ Ghee – ¼ cup
Salt – a pinch
Sugar – ¾ cup
Cinnamon powder (fine) – ¼ tsp
Baking soda – ½ tsp
Baking powder – ¼ tsp
Chopped dry fruits (Almond/cashews) - 2 tbsp (optional)

  • Scrape out and collect the ghee residue. You can use the same vessel to prepare the batter if it is wide enough.
  • Add Buttermilk and sugar, stir to dissolve sugar.
  • Add in all the dry ingredients like rava, flour, Sugar, salt, cinnamon powder, baking soda and baking powder.
  • Mix well with a spatula so that there is no lump formed.
  • Add in the chopped dry fruits & mix once again.
  • Grease baking tray, pour the batter.
  • Now preheat the oven to 180deg Celsius. By then, rava will absorb the moisture well and batter will be ready! Bake it for 20-25 minutes.  It took 25 minutes for me.
  • Allow to cool down, invert the cake. Cut and serve warm with tea or coffee!

Monday, 28 May 2018

Fresh Pineapple Juice/ Ananas Juice

Summer is calling for juice and who says no if it is fresh homemade juice. It is easy to make satisfying juices at home with the juicy fruits like mango, pineapple, sweet orange, orange or any other fruit! So why to go for unhealthy store bought processed juice or artificially flavored drinks! It is a task of just 10-15 minutes. Serve your family guilt free.  So do not forget to try this recipe of pineapple juice before sending off this summer.
Check here for all fresh juice recipes by me!

Preparation time: 15 minutes max
Serves: 2
Roughly Chopped pineapple pieces – 1.5 cups
Chilled water – 1 ½ - 2 glasses
Sugar – 2-4 tsp (as per taste)
Ice cube - optional
  • Peel off the pineapple and chop roughly.
  • Take chopped pineapple, sugar & 1 glass of water in a juice jar of a mixer. Blend to get smooth puree.
  • Strain using a juice strainer by pressing gently with a spoon (This is to extract juice completely).Add remaining water while doing so.
  • Serve fresh & chilled adding ice cubes if required.

  • You can increase pineapple and reduce water for thicker juice.
  • Adjust the sugar depending on the requirement & sweetness of pineapple.
  • You can skip the addition of sugar if preparing for small babies.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Wild Ripe Mango Stir fry/ Kaadumavina hannu Palya

Mango, King of fruits! Season is about to end. The fruit justifies the name as it is one which can be eaten in any for fresh/ cooked/ raw/ ripe form. It can be used in preparing various desserts and wild mangoes can be used in making of curries.
We as kids used to enjoy picking and collecting wild mangoes early morning. It was great fun doing it with a large team of cousins and eating 1 or 2 near the tree. This season, we had lot of wild mangoes at our native place. Kids enjoyed the routine of collecting them. Here is the recipe for the ripe wild mango stir fry or palya.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4
Ripe wild mangoes/ Sakkare kutti – 10-12
Grated coconut – ¼ cup
Urad Dal/ Black gram dal – 2 tsp
Red chillis – 3
Grated Jaggery – 4 tbsp, adjust according to the taste. Increase if mangoes are sour.
Salt – to taste
Coconut Oil or any cooking oil – 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Curry leaves

  • Wash and clean mangoes. Remove stalk. With a sharp knife, slice 2 sides and retain other skin associated with the seed. Do not throw the seeds.
  • Now take a frying pan or wok. Fry urad dal, 2 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 oil, add mustard seeds &1 red chilli broken into rough pieces. Allow spluttering.
  • Add chopped mangoes (with seeds), salt, jaggery and required water to cook. Cook it well by covering the pan. Once done, add ground paste or coconut mixture. Mix well, allow until water evaporates completely. Garnish with curry leaves.
  • Serve the palya with hot rice, ghee or with curd rice and enjoy.
Note: It tastes good even with little gravy like gojju.

Friday, 25 May 2018

Raw Mango Rice/ Mavinakai Chitranna

This tangy and tasty rice recipe is a must try in summer. It is easy to make, quick and a great option for lunch or dinner. Kids enjoy even after evening play time!
It tastes best if prepared with Totapuri/ Ginimoothi mango.  To note, there are different methods one can prepare this rice and here I am sharing my way of doing it.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2-3
Grated Raw Mango – ½ cup, Preferred Totapuri
White rice – 2 cups
Salt – to taste
Green chillis – 2
Coconut oil – 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Dry red chilli- 1
Gram dal – 1 tsp
Peanuts – 2 tbsp
Sugar – 1 tsp (optional)
Grated coconut – 2 tbsp (optional), for garnishing
Coriander leaves/ Curry leaves – For garnishing

  • Wash and pressure cook rice following regular method. Usually it requires 1:2 (rice:water) and 3 whistles. Set aside.
  • Grate mango (along with skin) and keep it ready. Peel off the skin if using any variety with bitter skin.
  • Prepare seasoning/ tadka: Heat a wok/ pan. Add oil, gram dal, Peanuts, Mustard and red chilli pieces. On spluttering, add curry leaves.
  • Add grated mango and fry for 2 minutes sautéing in between. Add salt and sugar, mix.  Switch off the stove.
  • Add cooked rice and mix well. Garnish with grated coconut and chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Chikoo/ Chiku/ Sapota Milkshake

Sapodilla commonly referred as sapota or chikoo is a tropical ever green plant. Many varieties of these trees bear fruits throughout the year. The fruit works as energy provider known for its sweetness. These are great sources of vitamins, iron, and antioxidants and not to mention carbohydrates. The mature fruits usually ripen all together after harvesting. So other than eating as it is, one can prepare milkshake or rasayana/ fruit salad or even halwa as value addition.  I am sharing the recipe of milkshake which makes a perfect summer treat with minimal ingredients and great for growing kids.

Preparation time: 10 minutes, if chilled milk is ready
Serves: 2
Well ripe sapota fruits – 4
Sugar – 2 spoons (optional or adjust according to taste)
Cold milk – 2 glasses

  • Wash chikoos/ sapota clean. Deseed or remove seeds & core associated with the seeds. Chop the fruits roughly.
  • Take deseeded & chopped sapota in a juice jar of mixer. Add cold milk, sugar and blend well to get smooth milkshake.
  • Transfer to serving glass, serve fresh and chilled (with ice cubes if prefered).

My notes: 
  • It tastes great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  • Serve fresh, ideal for any milkshake.
  • You can apply a tsp of cooking oil to the mixer jar before adding sapotas in order to avoid sticking of the wax to the sides. This happens only with few varieties.
  • For diabetics, it is better to consume little by monitoring glucose level.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Pineapple Coconut Chutney

Summer is the season of many fruits including pineapple, mango, jack fruit… In our native, place we get lot of them and people will usually look for various options to use them. Though using pineapple in cooking is not new to many, Chutney is a new trial at my kitchen. It turned out good and the tangy – sweet & spicy chutney goes very well with Dosa, chapathi & even with rice. Here you find the recipe.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2-3
Pineapple pieces – 3-4 Tbsp (5-6 1 inch cubes)
Freshly grated coconut – ¼ cup
Red chillis – 1 or 2 (as per taste)
Salt – for taste
Coconut oil – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig

  • Peel off & cut pineapple into small cubes.
  • Fry red chillis by adding few drops of oil until you get nice aroma.
  • Grind pineapple pieces, grated coconut, salt & fried chillis together in a mixer to smooth paste.
  • Prepare a seasoning with oil, mustard & curry leaves. Enjoy the chutney with Dosa or Chapathi.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Palak Poori/ Spinach Poori

Usually kids love pooris for breakfast. Meanwhile they try to avoid vegetables and green leaves. What if the veggies/ greens combined in the poori dough!? Sounds interesting, isn't it? It gives attractive colored pooris which are healthier than regular ones. Does it make sense!? This is one such recipe which solves multiple requirements like taste, colour and health factor (to some extent, as main concern of deep frying technique still remains).  One need not compromise with the quality of pooris as well. Anyone will love the light green/ golden color and it is good for breakfast/ snack/ lunch. It tastes great with palya, chutney or gravies of different masala & vegetables.

Preparation time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 15minutes
Serves: 12 medium pooris
Palak leaves – 2 cups (tightly packed)
Wheat flour – 1 cup
Maida – ½ cup
Small Semolina/ Chiroti rava – 2 tbsp (optional)
Ghee – 1 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Oil (coconut or any cooking oil) – for deep frying, I prefer coconut oil

  • Clean, wash palak leaves and drain water completely.
  • Roughly chop the cleaned leaves and boil with little water (Just sprinkling is sufficient). Switch off the stove and allow cooling.
  • Puree the boiled greens in a mixer. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  • Add Wheat flour, ¼ cup of maida and small semolina to the palak puree. Add salt and ghee.
  • Knead the above ingredients well to get smooth and soft dough (like regular poori dough). Add preserved maida if sticky or sprinkle water if too dry.
  • Set aside for minimum half an hour for better result.
  • Now, divide the dough into small equal sized balls, roll over to get small pooris.
  • Heat the frying oil in a large wok (kadai).
  • When oil is ready, fry the rolled pooris one by one. Cook both sides of poori by flipping in between. Once done, take pooris out of oil draining excess oil from it. Place on tissue paper. 
  • Serve with your choice of gravy, stir fry or chutney.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Red Hibiscus Stew/ Saaru

Hibiscus or Shoe flower is a group of flowering plants in the family mallows. The genus is very large having thousands of varieties of ornamental flower. These plants are best suited for tropical gardens as they call for warmer weather to grow.
I knew it as only show flower in gardens & its usage in poojas until a friend introduced the recipe of hibiscus juice to me. Still I could not prepare it due to various reasons. Recently, I came to know the health benefits of using hibiscus as food from my co-sister. She was consuming tea of it on regular basis in order to maintain haemoglobin level and it helped as well. It is not only healthy but has attractive color.
I also, heard from a neighbour that it makes a good remedy for constipation if consumed uncooked form as salad. 
I tried preparing the saaru/ rasam of red hibiscus at native place this summer vacation and it turned out to be very tasty. So please try this cooling saaru as a good combination with rice and veg fry.

Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Serves - 2
Hibiscus flowers – 6-8, I used 5 petals red variety
Tamarind – ½ tsp
Jaggery – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
Red chilli powder – ½ tsp
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Green chilli – 1 (optional)
Mustard – ½ tsp
Oil – 1 tsp, I prefer coconut oil
Garlic flakes – 4-6 (optional)
Curry leaves – 1 sprig


  • Pick fresh hibiscus flowers which are free of bugs and wash clean in running water.  Remove stem & green part associated with it. Remove stigma as well in order to avoid any minute insect. Keep the cleaned petals aside.
  • Chop above obtained flower petals roughly and keep aside.
  • In a vessel, take 2 cups of water. Add tamarind extract (soaked in water), jaggery, slit green chilli and bring to boil.
  • Add chopped flowers, salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder and boil well.
  • Switch off the stove.
  • Prepare regular seasoning (tadka) of mustard, crushed garlic in coconut oil. On spluttering add curry leaves too and season the rasam with it.
  • Enjoy with hot rice, veg fry and a spoon of ghee or drink as soup.

  1. It serves the daily requirement of iron, but it may worsen the case if the consumer is suffering from cold or prone to catch cold!
  2. It is better to avoid the intake of hibiscus if pregnant as it may cause adverse effect.

Friday, 4 May 2018

Kodagasana/ Kodasige / Kutaja flower Tambuli

Kodasige or Kodagasana is commonly referred as Kutaja (Sanskrit), a well-known medicinal plant majorly used in the treatment of diarrhoea, amoebic dysentery and other gastrointestinal conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome. It relieves the pain associated with the digestive system disorders. Kutaja/ Kurchi (English) is a flowering plant native to Africa & Indian subcontinent grows well in the hilly forest areas all over India. They are usually found as large shrubs or soft trees.The plant is scientifically named as Holarrhena antidysenterica or Holarrhena Pubescens.

All the parts of this plant such as bark, leaves, flowers & fruits bear medicinal properties making it a powerful herb. The white fragrant and beautiful flowers resemble jasmine. The tambuli prepared by the dried flowers of Kutaja plant is being served to the new mothers for ages in the parts of south canara. It is considered as a postnatal food as it aids digestion!
I remember as kids we used to collect these seasonal flowers during summer vacation and grandma used to store them after drying under sun. The flowers used in tambulis or as flavouring agents in curries. The beans of these plants are also used as vegetables to prepare curries/ gojju.
Found the flowers recently in our native place when we were on vacation. Thanks to all my lovely family members for helping me to collect them! Special thanks to my mother-in-law for the preparation of this tambuli.

(1) Fresh flowers

(2) Dried flowers

Look here for the recipe to prepare tambuli from the scratch. It tastes slightly bitter and works as an appetizer.

Preparation time: 1-2 days (Drying time) 
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes
Serves: 4
Fresh Kutaja flowers – 2 bunches/ handful
Fresh grated coconut – ¼ cup
Fresh buttermilk – 1 cup
Salt – to taste
Pepper – 4-6 seeds
Coconut oil – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig

  • Collect the flowers plucking from the stem, clean and wash in running water.
  • Dry under sun for couple of days until flowers turn brown and become crisp. One can use an oven to dry. These dried flowers can be stored for 6 months to an year in airtight container.
  • Take 2-3 tbsp of dried flower in a pan, add few drops of oil and fry for 1-2 minutes in low flame. Care to be taken in order to avoid burning.
  • Take the fried flower, grated coconut & pepper in a mixer jar. Grind to smooth paste.
  • Transfer to the serving bowl, add salt and buttermilk. Mix well.
  • In a tempering/ tadka pan, heat mustard and curry leaves with coconut oil. On spluttering add it to the tambuli.
  • Serve this with rice and other side dishes.

Note: It is suggested to boil the tambuli if to be served to the new mother. This process of boiling is followed in our region and my mother suggests it.

Nelanelli Tambuli/ Tambli

Hello dear reader, I am back with a post after a long time. I was on summer vacation with kids. It was really high time at native with parents & in laws though it is burning hot weather out there. Definitely you are going to read interesting posts from me now. Yes, I am here with many recipes of great value! Ah, don’t wait more! This is one such very healthy recipe using a prominent medicinal herb. And... obviously it is for the hot summer..., you got it right.. It is that cool cool tambuli! This recipe credit is to my mother, who always served us great food.

Nelanelli, scientifically named as Phyllanthus amarus (reference: a book of Venkatrama Daitota) is a tropical plant widely spread in the coastal areas as weeds. The other common names of this herb are ‘gale of the wind’, ‘seed-under-leaf’…
These plants are known for their use as medicine for fatty liver or in the treatment of jaundice. The fresh extract or dried powder is being used in the therapy for ages. I remember, people collecting these plants from the fields in case of jaundice attack. Studies show that, this plant has a very positive benefit in the development of younger kids.
So just try this recipe out if you can manage to find these plants in your garden!

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves: 3
Fresh Nelanelli leaves – 10-12 sprigs/ 10-12 tender tips
Grated coconut (fresh) – ¼ cup
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Fresh buttermilk – 1 cup
Pepper – few (optional)
Coconut oil – 1 tsp
Ghee – ½ tsp
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Dry red chilli – 1
Curry leaves – 1 sprig

  • Collect the fresh nelanelli leaves and wash clean.
  • Take the nelanelli leaves in a pan, add ghee and wilt them sautéing frequently.
  • Grind the wilted leaves, coconut, cumin seeds & pepper to smooth paste using a mixer. Add little water if needed.
  • Transfer to the serving bowl, add salt and buttermilk. Mix well. Adjust the consistency adding water. Do not make it too thick.
  • Prepare the seasoning of mustard and curry leaves in hot oil and add it to the tambuli.
  • Serve this with rice and choice of side dish.