Saturday, 22 December 2018

Eggless banana chocolate cupcake/ No baking powder Choco Banana Muffins

Hello lovely reader, it is just 2 days to go before Christmas. It is the time each home baker is active and I guess preparations would have been kicked off long back! Kids will be happily getting ready for various events either at school or society! It is the time of vacation mood and sweet craving!
Here is a quickest method to make cupcakes which should satisfy the entire requirement during this season. I baked it for my daughter’s school event of Christmas celebration. I tried to make it healthier with the addition of banana. Hope you like this post and going to try it out!

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 8 medium muffins

Ripe banana (small variety) – 4 (medium)
All-purpose flour/ maida – ¾ cup
Chiroti rava/ Small semolina – ¼ cup
Cocoa powder – 1 heap tsp
Salt – a pinch
Sugar – ½ cup
Curds – 4 tbsp
Ghee – 2 tbsp
Baking soda– ¼ tsp
Choco chips/ grated milk chocolate – 1-2 tsp (optional)

  • Peel banana and chop roughly. Mash the chopped bananas with fingers in a wide mixing bowl. Few chunks are fine to have.
  • Add 2 tbsp curds, ghee, sugar and mix well with a spatula.
  • Add flour, semolina, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda one by one. Mix thoroughly so that no lumps are found and everything combines evenly.
  • See if the batter is of idli batter consistency. It it looks dry, add little curds to adjust.
  • Now, preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.
  • Fill the cupcake forms with the batter (about ¾th).
  • Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Check inserting a fork after 20 minutes of bake. If it sticks to the fork, then bake for 5 minutes more or until inserted fork comes out clean.

  • This is the quickest baking as I observed.
  • Banana can be substituted by apple.
  • You can add flavours of choice with added spices like cinnamon or nutmeg or vanilla.
  • Chopped nuts can be added for enhanced taste.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Avarekai Pudina Pulao/One pot Hyacinth Beans Mint Rice

Winter will not complete in Bangalore without Avarekai recipes! Hope you will agree if you are a Bangalorean. Here is a simple one pot rice item recipe with mint & hyacinth beans. It is a perfect menu for lunch/ dinner/ lunch box. Tastes great if served with raita/ mosaru gojju.

Avarekai Pudina Pulao

I need not mention about the health benefits of mint/pudina. It is a great herb which helps to improve digestion and rich in iron. Similarly avarekalu is very nutritious too. Check for my recipes of avarekai uppittu, Aloo avare tikkis/patties, Pumpkin & avare paratha

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves: 3-4
White Rice – 2 cups
Avarekalu/ Hyacinth beans fresh – 1 cup
Vegetables of choice (Beans, carrot, potato) – ½ cup (chopped)
Onions – 2
Mint leaves – ½ cup, tightly packed
Coriander leaves – ½ cup
Cinnamon – ½ inch stick
Cloves - 3
Garlic – 6 cloves
Cardamom – 1
Green chillis – 2, adjust to your taste
Bay leaf/ Pulao ele – 1
Ghee - 3-4 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Water – 4.5 – 5 cups, adjust based on the requirement to cook the rice you use
Lemon juice - 2 tsp (optional)

Keep avarekai/ Avarekalu ready removing from the pods. Wash them well.
Wash, peel and chop all the vegetables like carrot, beans & potato and keep aside.
Peel off onions, wash and slice thinly and keep separate.
Now, clean the mint & coriander leaves and wash. Take these leaves in a small mixer jar draining water completely. Add peeled garlic, cinnamon, cloves, small piece of bay leaf, cardamom and ¼th of onions sliced and green chillis. Grind and make smooth paste without adding water.
Now, heat the pressure cooker that you use. Add 2 tbsp ghee and bay leaf (remaining piece after grinding). Stir it once.
Add sliced onions and fry for couple of minutes or until translucent.
Add ground paste, fry for 3-4 minutes or until raw smell goes off.
Now add washed avarekai and chopped vegetables. Stir once well so that masala mixes well with the vegetables.
Wash rice clean following your method, drain water and add it to the cooker too.
Mix everything well with the spatula.
Add salt and water. Close the cooker lid and cook for 3 whistles.
Once done, allow set aside until pressure settles down.
Open the lid, add remaining 2 tbsp ghee, lemon juice and mix well. Serve this pulao/ rice hot with choice of raita.

Hyacinth Beans Mint Rice

Fresh pigeon peas/ togarikalu can be used instead of avarekalu.
You can add your choice of vegetable or remove any!
Please monitor if you are feeding avarekai items to toddlers as it is believed to be digested slow in the system of few individuals.

Avarekai Pudina Pulao/One pot Hyacinth Beans Mint Rice

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Eggless Black currant tea Cake/ No baking powder cake with dried black currant

Hello there, it is December! Christmas & New Year mood is on right? Then you must be thinking of baking and kitchen should be filled with that baked aroma!
Here is an easy to make cake recipe for this year end… It is a similar to my other cake recipes with a rich flavour of black currant. This is a ‘no baking powder’ cake which is as spongy and good as using baking powder. This cake was liked by my family, sister & cousin's family and I am very happy to share the recipe here in this post!   
You can also try other bakes such as Ghee Residue Rava ButtermilkCake, Guava tea Cake, Cucumber wheat jaggery tea cake with coconut flour, Eggless Pumpkin Cake, Eggless Custard powder Spongy Cake.
I used the 'Natural Vanilla Sugar' for the flavor of this cake which I received from a friend Vidya Lakshmi of ‘Sahaja Natural Farms’. Thanks Vidyakka for this wonderful product that you shared to us with love, it makes the magic. 
Ghee residue is an optional ingredient in this cake. It gives the extra flavor if add it. Thank you Shri Kripa for the initial idea of ghee residue cake recipe which I learnt from, not wasting ghee residue anymore!

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 250 grams of cake
Wheat flour – ½ cup
Plain flour/ Maida – ½ cup
Fine Semolina/ Chiroti rava – 2 tbsp
Dry black currant – ¼ cup
Milk - ½ cup
Buttermilk (fresh/ sweet) – ½ cup
Butter/ Ghee – ¼ cup
Salt – a pinch
Sugar – ¾ cup
Cinnamon powder (fine) – ¼ tsp
Baking soda – ½ tsp
Natural Vanilla sugar – ½ tsp
Ghee residue – 1 tbsp (optional)

  • Soak dried black currant in half cup of milk for 1 hour.
  • Once it is soft, blend it using a mixer coarsely. Do not over do this step as black currant chunks in the cake enrich the taste.
  • Take a large mixing bowl, add buttermilk and sugar, stir to dissolve sugar.
  • Add blended black currant milk to the above. Mix well with a spatula.
  • Add ghee/butter in room temperature. Add ghee residue (if using that) too.
  • Beat well once with the spatula to spread it evenly.
  • Add in all the dry ingredients like rava/ semolina, wheat flour, maida, salt, cinnamon powder, vanilla sugar and baking soda.
  • Mix well with the spatula so that there is no lump formed and all the ingredients combined well.
  • Grease baking tray of 8 inch square, pour the batter/ mix.
  • Now preheat the oven to 180deg Celsius. Bake it for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted fork comes out clean.  It took 25 minutes for me.
  • Allow to cool down, invert the cake. Cut and serve warm with tea or coffee!
  • You can bake a plain vanilla flavoured tea cake by just omitting the ingredient ‘black currant’.
  • Baking time changes from oven to oven. So keep monitoring the cake after  20 minutes of bake. Do not open before 18-20 minutes.
  • If you change the baking tray size, baking time varies.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Avarekalu uppittu/ Hyacinth beans & vegetable upma/ Avarekai uppittu

Winter being season of the pulses like Hyacinth beans (Avare kai), Pigeon peas (Togari), it is the time people enjoy various dishes made of them. Life in Bangalore introduced me so many avarekai/ togari kai recipes to me and I tried few on my own. Avarekai uppittu is one of very famous breakfasts that is simple to make. People prepare it with either Rice rava or with Wheat rava, whatever, it is delicious I can say. Today I am sharing the recipe of my version of Avarekalu uppittu. This is a simple, wholesome & protein rich breakfast one can make in the season.

Avarekai/ Hyacinth beans is a seasonal crop as I said earlier which grows well in Karnataka in the season of winter. It goes well in many delicacy which includes both sweet & savory. To name a few, Avarekai uppittu (today's post), Avarekai saaru, vade (fritters), spicy mixture, Obbattu (Holige), Avarekai - Akki rotti, Rice and many more.. List continues. I will try to cover atleast few of them as this time we have a good harvest in the home garden! 

Uppittu – Avalakki (beaten rice) is a great breakfast combination in Mangalore/ Coastal region which is very common during any festival or celebrations like pooja. It will be generally served with coffee/ tea and paired with banana. In general, uppittu / upma will be prepared without adding onion. I am sharing here the recipe using onion. You can just leave it if not preferred, which does not make much difference.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2-3
Avarekalu/ Avarekai/ Hyacinth beans – ½ cup
Medium Rava/ Semolina – 1 cup
Green chillis – 2
Ginger – ½ inch
Salt – to taste
Sugar – 1-2 tsp
Ghee – 2 tbsp
Coconut Oil or other cooking oil – 2 tsp
Onion – 1
Tomato – 1
Vegetables of choice (beans, carrot, potato) – ¼ cup (chopped & optional)
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Gram dal - 1 tsp
Dry red chilli – 1
Asafoetida/ hing - 1 pinch
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Water – 2.5 cups
Grated coconut – 2 tbsp (optional)
Coriander leaves – for garnishing (optional)

  • Keep avarekalu ready by removing the seeds from the pods.
  • Cook Avarekalu in a pressure cooker with 1 cup of water and 1 tsp salt. It will be done in 2 whistles. Keep aside until pressure releases.
  • Meanwhile, wash and peel off other vegetables like potato, carrot (if using) and onions. Chop green chillis, tomato & peeled vegetables as desired and keep aside separated from one another.
  • Wash, peel and crush ginger too.
  • Now take a thick bottomed wok or a pan. Heat 1 tsp. ghee and fry rava or semolina on medium flame until you get a nice fried aroma. Keep sautéing in order to avoid burning.
  • Transfer the fried rava to a plate.
  • Now prepare a seasoning of oil, gram dal, minced red chillis, mustard and asafoetida. On spluttering add curry leaves, chopped green chillis & crushed ginger. Fry for couple of minutes.
  • Add onions, cook until translucent.
  • Add tomatoes & other chopped veggies. Fry for 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle salt required while doing it.
  • Now pour 1.5 cups of water, add cooked avarekalu (hyacinth beans).Bring to boil. Add sugar.
  • On boiling, add fried rava/ semolina. Stir well in order to avoid the formation of lumps.
  • Cook covered on medium flame until all the water absorbed and it is cooked properly. You can sprinkle little water if it looks like not cooked.
  • Add remaining ghee and mix well.
  • Garnish with grated coconut & chopped coriander leaves.
  • Serve this upma or uppittu hot with a cup of coffee or tea.

  • It can be served with choice of green chutney which is optional.
  • Addition of chopped veggies is optional, which makes upma more nutritious.
  • Same procedure can be followed to make regular upma without adding avarekalu if it is not available. In that case reduce the water to 2 cups.
  • Onions can be avoided in case of festival cooking. 
  • Flavor variation possible by adding crushed cumin & pepper while seasoning / tadka. In this case, avoid onions for better taste.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Odupale/ Odu dosa/ Dosa cooked in an earthen pan

Odupale/ Odu dosa is a traditional South canara (Tulunadu) dish. Odu is pan and pale (PaaLe) is sheet (dosa) in Tulu! It is a variant of Kerala special dish appam. It can be translated as Dosa made in an earthen pan. It is delicious & tastes heaven when served with sweet coconut milk that is thick coconut milk with jaggery. It is my favorite and it was the one dish I used to crave for. It is very aromatic when prepared using firewood cooking method. 

The specific pan to make this dosa looks like this!

Today’s post focuses on the Odupale recipe which is not very difficult to make.

Preparation time: 4 hours
Cooking time: 1 hour
Serves: 12-15 dosas

Dosa rice – 3 cups
Boiled rice – 1 cup
Cooked rice – fistful (optional)
Salt – to taste
Coconut oil - 2 spoons
  • Wash and Soak rice for 4 hours.
  • Drain water completely, wash once again and grind to smooth batter adding salt & cooked rice. Consistency should be little thicker than neer dosa batter. Add 2 spoons of oil to this batter & mix well.
  • Preparing Odupale/ Odu dose:
  • Heat the earthen pan (Odu) on medium heat.
  • No application of oil required in this. When the pan is hot enough, pour 1.5 ladle of batter. Do not touch it after.
  • Cook covered for 2-3 minutes, until it is cooked.
  • Remove from the pan with the spatula. Allow cooling a bit before serving. Place the hot odu dosa separately spread on a large plate (that is, not on top of the previous one).
  • It is suggested to clean the pan with a clean wet cloth after making 2 odupales!
  • Serve with Chutney & sweetened coconut milk.
  • It can also be served after soaking in sweet coconut milk for 1-2 hours.

  • There is a process to season the earthen pan/ odu. In which, oil will be applied to each sides of the pan and heated on high flame. But this procedure is optional. It is sufficient if oil is applied properly on the new pan and keep it for a day before making dosa.
  • This dosa takes little longer to cook than other dosas as it is comparatively thick.
  • Cook it on low – medium flame. Otherwise, one side of dosa will be charred when other side gets cooked completely.
  • This dosa should not be flipped off to cook other side. Cooking should be done only from one side.
  • Take care while getting the batter consistency. Initially check with thicker batter and see if odu dosa turns brittle/ harder on cooking, then thin batter by adding little water. Depending on the rice used thickness should be adjusted. It may stick to the pan even after cooking if consistency is thinner & rice used is sticky.
  • People also make it only with white dosa rice (no boiled rice). In this case it is recommended to add 1/4 cup grated coconut & fistful of cooked rice while grinding to make the batter.
  • You can use concave shaped iron griddle/ pan if you have no earthen pan. 

Kohlrabi/ Knolkol and Sprouted green gram Salad

Knolkol or Kohlrabi is also known as German turnip is a juicy vegetable of cabbage family. It is called as Navilu kosu in kannada. It is highly used in German cooking and also in India. Here it is highly used in Sambhar or palya generally. It makes easy to use as it can be consumed either raw (in salads) or cooked. I love making the salad of it and hence sharing the recipe. Check for the recipe of Knolkol/ Kohlrabi & Moong Dal Salad.

Knolkol and Sprouted green gram Salad

Preparation time: 10 minutes (excluded soaking time)
Serves: 2
Knolkol/ Kohlrabi/ Navilu kosu – 1 big (tender)
Sprouted green gram – ¼ cup
Green chilli – 1
Salt - to taste
Coriander leaves – few strands
Cucumber (small) – 1 (optional)
Tomato – 1
Coconut oil – 1 tsp
Lemon juice – 2 tsp (of 1 lemon)
Optional seasoning:
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Coconut oil – 1 tsp
Red chilli – 1(minced)
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp

  • Wash and soak green gram for 4 hours. Drain water allow sprouting. It will be done in 1 day.
  • Wash Knolkol, peel off the outer skin and cut into desired shape (Or chop it fine).
  • Chop tomato, green chilli, cucumber and coriander leaves.
  • Combine all the chopped vegetables in a wide serving bowl with sprouted green gram.
  • Add salt, lemon juice and 1 tsp of oil and mix well.
  • Optional seasoning (suggested): Heat oil in a pan, add mustard, minced red chillis, cumin seeds and allow spluttering. Season the salad with this. Serve fresh crunchy salad.
  • Variations possible by adding chopped vegetables like carrot/ beetroot.
  • Cucumber is optional.
  • Vinegar/ apple cider vinegar can also be used in salad dressing. I prefer using fresh lemon juice always.
Kohlrabi/ Knolkol and Sprouted green gram Salad