Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Moringa leaves & flower tambuli/ Drumstick flower & leaves tambuli

Moringa/ Drumstick is one useful tree, almost each and every part* is edible and has its own health benefit. It is called as Moringa oleifera scientifically. Bark or stem, leaves, flower and pods, can prevent or cure many health issues. Leaves are rich in iron and other vitamin, minerals and fibre and hence cure anaemia if consumed on regular basis. It is helpful in treating joint pain, diabetes, some of the stomach & intestinal ailments. It works as anti-inflammatory, anti- microbial too! It improves breast milk production.
Care must be taken while consuming (pods, seeds mainly) during pregnancy as it has laxative property. It is suggested to monitor while consuming larger measure of seed extract or even pod as sometimes it may show adverse effects such as body pain or it may increase body heat (nature being ushna (Sanskrit) which means heat.
Flower of this tree is also nutritionally very rice and good to have whenever available.

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).

Moringa flower

Also find other recipes of Moringa (drumstick) leaves & flowers such as Moringa  leaves & multigrain spicy bread, Moringa leaves mudde palya, Moringa rice, Moringa chutney powder and Drumstick flower mudde palya. Now, let us see how to make tambuli.

Moringa leaves & flower tambuli

Preparation time; 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Serves: 4
Moringa/ Drumstick flowers – ¼ cup or 1 fistful
Moringa leaves – 1 handful
Grated coconut – ¼ cup or little less
Fresh curds or buttermilk – 1 cup
Green chilli – 1 or Pepper corns- 10, I prefer later
Salt to taste
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp (optional)
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Ghee/ oil – 3 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Dry red chilli - 1

  • Collect the leaves and flower. Remove very hard stem and softer stems are good to have.
  • Clean and remove any bugs or dried parts and wash well. Drain water completely.
  • Take cleaned flower & leaves in a pan. Add few drops of oil or ghee and fry in medium flame until they turn tender or until leaves wilt.
  • Now take grated coconut, fried leaves and flowers, green chilli or pepper, salt and cumin seeds in a mixer jar. Grind to make smooth paste of chutney consistency, adding required water.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl, add buttermilk/ curds.
  • Prepare a seasoning of mustards, minced dry red chilli and curry leaves in remaining oil/ ghee. On spluttering, add it to the tambuli.
  • Serve with hot steamed rice.

Either leaves or flower alone can be used in making tambuli. Remaining process goes same.

Drumstick flower & leaves tambuli

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Mustard flavoured Ivy gourd Rice/ Tondekai sasive Chitranna

Tondekai/ Tindora/ Ivy gourd or Coccinia grandis is a tropical vine and grown in almost every kitchen garden in Dakshina Kannada and Malnad region. This vegetable can be used in making curries, majjige huli, stir fry and gravies. Look for my recipes of Tindoraennegai and Tindora chutney.
Basically, we prepare coconut & mustard masala chitranna (huli anna) with lemon or tamarind in our place which tastes different than the chitranna that we make in Bangalore! I used the basic recipe of the masala chitranna with slight variations to make this Tindora rice. Let us come to the recipe part now.

Mustard flavoured Ivy gourd Rice

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 – 30 minutes
Serves: 3-4
Ivy gourd/ Tindora/ Tondekai - 15 – 18
Rice – 2 cups
Onion – 1 (optional)
Grated coconut – ¼ cup
Mustard seeds – 1.5 tsp
Gram dal – 1 tbsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Dry red chillis - 2
Lemon – 1 or tamarind – 1 tsp
Jaggery - small lemon sized (2 tsp powdered)
Oil – 2 tbsp
Mustard – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Cumin – 1 tsp
Dry red chilli – 1
Cashews – 10

Wash and cook the rice using a pressure cooker. It requires 1:2 water and 3 whistles generally. Add 1 tsp salt while cooking the rice to combine well.
Set aside until pressure settles down.
Meanwhile, Peel the onion and slice thin or chop.
Wash ivy gourd/ tindora/ tondekai and chop. While chopping, cut length wise from the centre, slice two halves and cut each slices into halves. This is to make thin pieces so that it cooks fast.
Take a pan, fry red chillis, channa dal/ gram dal, urad dal with few drops of oil in medium flame until dal turn to golden brown and you get nice aroma.
Take the fried ingredients in a mixer jar, add grated coconut, 1.5 tsp Mustard seeds, Jaggery, 1 tsp salt, turmeric powder and tamarind (if using it, Don’t add lemon at this stage if using lemon). Grind to smooth paste without water. If required sprinkle very little.
Now heat the pan to make chitranna. Add all the ingredients under Seasoning except cashew. On spluttering add cashews and sauté once.
Add chopped Onions, sprinkle little salt and fry until translucent.
When onions done, add chopped ivy gourd. Fry in medium flame until this vegetable is soft.
Add ground masala to the cooked vegetable and mix well.
Now switch off the heat, add cooked rice. Add lemon juice if using it.
Mix very well.
Serve this chitranna hot as it is as it does not usually require any side dish. If preferred serve with choice of raita.

Tondekai sasive Chitranna

This chitranna can be made without tindora and onions. Addition of peanuts in the seasoning enhances the taste.

Tindora rice

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Fresh Turmeric Tambuli/ Curcuma Tambli /Haladi Tambuli

Though turmeric rhizomes can be harvested anytime during an year winter is the best season to harvest and use them. Turmeric/Curcuma/ Haldi is a well-known healthy spice belongs to Ginger family. Other than using them in curries & pickles as flavouring agent or as dye, you can also consume it as main ingredient in chutney & tambuli! The medicinal benefits of this spice/ root herb are really big. It works as anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and has great influence in treating cold and related issues. It is also helps to improve skin health. Read my post on Turmeric/ Golden milk for the recipe & health benefits.

Let us now come to the recipe of Turmeric Tambuli which is a malenadu recipe belong to a particular community. Tambuli as name says a perfect coolant and it is best to hydrate oneself and also works as a probiotic drink. Check for other tambuli recipes here.

Preparation time: 10 minutes (max)
Serves: 4
Fresh Turmeric root/ rhizome – ¼ inch piece
Freshly grated coconut – 3 tbsp
Buttermilk/ curds – ½ cup
Pepper corns – 10, adjust to the spice level required. You can also use 1-2 green chillis.
Salt - to taste
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Oil – 2 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Dry red chilli - 1

  • Wash and clean turmeric root, chop roughly.
  • Take chopped root, grated coconut, salt and pepper in a mixer jar and grind to make smooth paste adding little water.
  • Transfer to the serving bowl. Add buttermilk/ curds, mix very well. Adjust the consistency by adding water. Tambuli will not be of very thick consistency.
  • Prepare a seasoning/ tadka with oil, mustard and minced dry red chilli. On spluttering add cleaned curry leaves and add that to the tambuli.
  • Serve the tambuli with steamed hot rice and other side dish/ palya.
  • Replace turmeric root by mango ginger or ginger to make the ginger tambuli or mango ginger tambuli. No need of pepper for the ginger tambuli as it is spicy by itself.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Herbal Garlicky Mayonnaise dip / Salad dressing

Sauce or dips always make a plate special. Though you are serving a more complicated dish as a main course, it looks blank without an accomplishment. Choosy & sensitive kids look for the attractive sauce with their snacks! Mayonnaise is the life saver in that case. It is most liked sauce option. It goes well in sandwiches, burger, salad or as great combination with tikkis or cutlets. So it is handy in case of party/ celebrations.
It can be done with mixed herbal powder or with fresh herbs of choice. I usually prefer fresh herb if available easily! Now let us see how to make this quick mayonnaise dip.

mayonnaise Salad dressing

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Serves: 3
Mayonnaise – 3-4 tbsp
Milk – 2-3 tbsp
Crushed herb of choice (Mint) – 1 tsp
Garlic cloves – 5-6
Chat masala/ garam masala – 2 pinches

  • Mix milk and mayonnaise in a serving bowl. Beat gently with a spoon to make a single mass.
  • Finely chop the cleaned herb with fingers. Add to the mayonnaise.
  • Peel and mince garlic very fine.
  • Roast the minced garlic in a pan until brown. Add it to the sauce.
creamy salad dressing

  • This sauce can be served as side dish for patties/ tikkis, chips, French fries and barbecues…
  • It works as a great salad dressing which makes salad creamy and yummy.
  • It can be used as a spread on sandwiches & burgers which makes juicy & hence enhances the taste.
  • I generally use egg less mayonnaise (regular). You can choose any variant of choice.
Herbal Garlicky Mayonnaise dip

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Dry Dates Milkshake/ Karjoora Rasayana/ Dates smoothie

Dates/ Karjoora - popular dry fruit which is easy to use. I can say it is one of the richest dry fruits when talking about nutrients! They are greatest source of dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates. It is low in fat. It is beneficial in treating anaemia and also works as immunity booster as it is rich in antioxidants. Most of the calories come from carbohydrates and it is low in protein, hence diabetics are usually suggested to avoid dates.
Today I am sharing the recipe of dates milkshake which is easy to make yet very healthy and works as an energy drink. It requires very less/ no sugar as it itself works as a natural sweetener. It is a perfect drink for kids/ toddlers and sports persons. It is best to start your day with this healthy drink. Other than milkshake, Dates go well in kheer, halwa and other desserts.

Preparation time: 1 hour (includes soaking time)
Serves: 2
Dates – 8-10 (nos)
Chilled milk/ coconut milk – 2 glasses
Jaggery powder – 2 tsp (optional)

  • Remove the hard seeds of dates (if not using seedless). Chop roughly and soak in half glass of milk for an hour.
  • Take the soaked dates in a mixer juice making jar. Add jaggery powder and blend well to make smooth paste. Few chunks of dates are ok to have which enriches the taste.
  • Now add remaining 1.5 glasses of milk (chilled) churn once or twice to combine well.
  • Transfer to the serving glass and serve chilled with added ice cubes if required.

  • Sugar can be used instead jaggery powder.
  • Jaggery can be avoided to make it healthier as it naturally tastes sweet.
  • You can make it vegan by using Coconut milk/ almond milk instead milk.
  • This smoothie or milkshake can be refrigerated for few hours and served.
  • Roasted & chopped nuts can be added on top while serving to enhance the taste.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Brinjal Chutney/ Eggplant chutney/ Badane Gojju

Bringal/ Eggplant/ Aubergine is a vegetable which is commonly found worldwide. This vegetable is easy to cook and goes well in many cuisines either continental or oriental! It is rich in vitamins & minerals, but low in carb & fat, hence makes it best for everyone!
The varieties dishes I tried with brinjal are Sambhar, Palya, stuffed brinjal (ennegai), Sutta Gojju (special Mangalore dish made with a variety Gulla Badane), Aubergine pizza…
Today I am sharing the recipe of Brinjal Chutney which I tried for the first time & liked it! It is no coconut chutney! I tried it out soon after my co-sister Vanitha shared the recipe to me.  It goes well with chapathi, akki rotti, neer dosa and even hot rice & ghee. Thank you Vanithakka for this quick & tasty chutney recipe.

Brinjal Chutney

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4
Brinjal/ eggplant – 2, preferred long thin variety (Naali badane)
Green chilli - 2, adjust to taste
Coriander leaves – 2 tsp (chopped)
Coriander seeds – 1 tsp
Garlic – 4-5 cloves
Oil – 2 - 3 tsp
Tamarind paste – ½ tsp
Salt – to taste
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Cumin - ¼ tsp (optional)
Asafoetida - pinch

  • Wash eggplants/ brinjal.
  • Take fresh water in a bowl. Slice cleaned brinjal thin and chop roughly.  Add it to the water. This procedure is to avoid brinjal turning into black.
  • Keep it aside for few minutes (5-8 minutes). Drain water completely.
  • Now, heat about 2 teaspoon of oil in a pan. Add coriander seeds and peeled garlic to it. Fry them for 2 minutes or until they turn to golden brown.
  • Add slit green chillis, chopped brinjal and chopped coriander leaves. Fry until brinjal becomes soft, that is cooked.
  • Add salt and tamarind extact and sauté once again.
  • Switch off the stove and allow the fried ingredients to cool down.
  • Once the temperature comes down, take everything in a mixer jar and grind to make smooth chutney. Transfer to a serving bowl.
  • Prepara a seasoning (tadka) of oil, mustard, cumin, dry red chilli, curry leaves & asafoetida. On spluttering, add to the chutney.
  • Serve fresh chutney with chapathi, rotti or rice.
Eggplant chutney

  • This chutney stays good for whole day, no need of refrigeration.
  • Ladies finger/ okra can also be used instead brinjal. In that case, do not add any water after cutting vegetable.
Badane chutney

Friday, 4 January 2019

Khadira infused water (Kashaya)/ Catechu water/ Kaachi Neeru

Khadira / Rakta saara (Sanskrit), Catechu, Kath/ Khair (Hindi), Kaggali (kannada)... Ah! hold on! Are you wondering what I am writing about? Yes, all names refer to one wonderful herb, medicinal values of it are really huge.
Years ago, when there was no water purifiers at homes, people used to drink water, boiled & cooled. Usually it was infused with various herbs or spices. You might have used water which was red in color, it is nothing but Khadira water or Kaachi neeru (in a community language Havyak kannada). Where Kaachi is Catechu, neeru is water. This Kashaya (boiled water with herbs is called so) is easy to prepare. Water need to be boiled with a piece of cleaned wood crust or with piece of heartwood.

Khadira Kashaya

Botanical name of Catechu is Acacia catechu, the extract of heartwood and bark is usually used in medicines. The Sanskrit name ‘Rakta saara’ is because of the red color the extract gives!

Pic of Catechu tree. Picture credit: Vidya lakshmi of 'Sahaja Natural farms'.

When coming to medicinal benefits, as I already mentioned it is one of the greatest herbs. It is useful in many ailments such as bleeding gums, mouth ulcers and sour throat/ hoarseness. It is used to heal cuts & wounds and other skin problems. It is believed that the oral consumption in limited dosage purifies blood and cleanses digestive system and hence detoxifies body. In Ayurveda, it is being used in the treatment of diarrhea, cold, ulcers and various skin problems. It is helpful in diabetics & several liver problems. It can be used externally as well as orally. Soft stems are also used to brush teeth which cure several teeth and gum diseases.
It is also highly used as one of the basic ingredients of ‘paan’ in North India for its red color.
In this season (winter), people usually suffer from cold, throat infection and fever. I am not an exception to it. Recently my condition worsened even after a course of antibiotics. I could not open my mouth wide to speak with severe throat pain. No pain relievers/ salt water gargling helped. Khadira extract (of multiple Ayurvedic brands) along with the Khadira water helped like magic for me. I was in great pain relief after chewing the tablet for few minutes and I drank warm/ hot khadira water frequently for couple of days.
Please check for my post on ‘Home remedies for Mouthulcers’ here.
Now let us see how to make Catechu water/ Khadira Kashaya at home!

Preparation time: 1 hour
Boiling time: 10 minutes
Serves: 1 litre of kashaya
Khadira crust/ Piece of heartwood (Kaachi kette) - 1-2 inches long
Water – 1 litre
  • Clean the piece of khadira/ Catechu, wash well with running water.
  • Crush the above a bit using a mortar pestle/ stone.
  • Soak in water for an hour.
  • Boil the water with the Khadira well. Allow cooling, strain and drink as and when needed.

  • It will be effective if you warm before every serve in case if throat infection.
  • If you are using Khadira extract instead of crust/ heartwood piece, then follow the manufacturer’s note regarding the dosage.
  • Suggested to avoid in case of pregnancy or trying to get pregnant as not sufficient research on it.
  • Please consult your physician if the conditions are severe illness or taking it as medicine.
Khadira infused water

Special notes:
  • The benefits & medicinal values are noted down in this post are collected from family members and friends who were practicing and using this herb at homes in olden days and at present in some places.
  • I referred various online resources (https://en.wikipedia.org) for the name of the herb in different languages.
Kaachi Neeru

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Yellow Cucumber stew/ Bolu huli/ Southekai Bolu kodilu

Hello, this is my first post of year 2019. At first, let me wish you a very happy new year. I am sharing a very simple to make side dish that we make on regular basis at home especially when we are running out of time while cooking!
Yellow cucumber/ matured green cucumber and sambhar cucumber (Mangalore southekai) are two varieties those are being used largely in any coastal Karnataka home. Making of bolu huli/ Bolu koddel (in Tulu) is very simple as it does not contain dal (lentils) or coconut. Taste of it comes from the simple common spices & from a seasoning (tadka).  Now, let us see how to make it!

Cucumber Bolu huli

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4
Southe Kai/ Cucumber (yellow) – 1 or ½ (if big) or 2 cups of chopped pieces
Tamarind – gooseberry sized
Jaggery – medium lemon sized
Salt – 1.5 tsp, to taste
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Green chilli – 1 (optional)
Cooking Oil- 2 tsp, preferred coconut oil
Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Cumin – ½ tsp
Dry red chilli – 1 or 2
Garlic – 10 cloves
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Asafoetida/ hing – 1 pinch (optional)

  • Wash the vegetable, peel and cut into pieces of ½ inch cube size removing the core (seeds).
  • Take the cut vegetable in a vessel, add 2 cups of water, slit green chilli and bring to boil.
  • Now add tamarind extract, jaggery, salt, turmeric powder and chilli powder. Cook covered until cucumber becomes soft.
  • Add water as required, it should be watery in consistency. Boil well.
  • Peel of garlic cloves & crush a bit. Prepare a seasoning of crushed garlic, mustard, cumin, minced red chilli in oil. When mustards splutter and garlic turn brown, switch off the heat and add cleaned curry leaves. Add this tadka (oggarane) to the bolu huli.
  • Serve hot with steamed hot rice, palya and curds! This makes a simple soothing lunch.

  • Other vegetables like bottle gourd/ ash gourd can be used instead cucumber.
  • Sweet, sour, spice level can be adjusted as you like.
  • Optional cooked dal can be used make it rich & thick.
Southekai Bolu kodilu