Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Tomato Chutney/ Sweet & sour tomato onions chutney

Hello, looking for sweet & sour tomato chutney recipe!? This is the right one. It makes a good combination to rice based breakfast, chapathi or even with rice. It can be stored for 2-3 days in refrigerator.

Tomato Chutney

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients:
Tomatoes – 3
Onions – 1
Garlic cloves – 3
Dry red chillis – 2, adjust to taste. You can also use red chilli powder instead.
Grated coconut – 2 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Jaggery (powder/ grated) – ½ tsp
Fenugreek seeds/ Menthe/ Methi seeds – ¼ tsp
Cooking oil - 2 tsp
Mustard – ½ tsp
Cumin – ¼ tsp
Asafoetida/ hing – 1 pinch
Curry leaves – 4-5 leaves

Method:
  • Wash & chop tomatoes roughly
  • Peel garlic, keep aside.
  • Peel onions, wash & chop roughly.
  • Now, heat 1 tsp oil in a pan. Add dry red chillis (if using) & fenugreek/ methi seeds, saute for a while until it releases fried aroma. Add garlic and fry for few seconds.
  • Add chopped onions, fry until transparent.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and fry until water content is evaporated and tomatoes cooked well.
  • Add grated coconut and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add chilli powder (if using it) and switch off the stove.
  • Allow fried ingredients to cool.
  • On cooling, take them in a mixer jar, add salt, jaggery powder and grind to make smooth chutney.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl.
  • Prepare a seasoning of oil, mustard, cumin, asafoetida and curry leaves. On spluttering add it to the chutney and serve with south Indian breakfast items like dosa/ Idli or even with chapathi.
Sweet & sour tomato onions chutney

Notes:
  • You can add little tamarind if you like tangy taste.
  • Jaggery can be adjusted to the taste.
  • Ripe or half ripe tomatoes can be used here.
Tomato Onions Chutney

Saturday, 26 October 2019

Sharad Rutucharya

Hello dear Reader,
After my previous post on Rutucharya & Varsha Rutucharya with the help of my friend Dr. Soumya Bhat, here comes second one!


Rutucharya:
Human body is a pancha boutik constitution and is of such a kind that, anything that you give habitually, it becomes used to it! Yes, shareera (body) gets habituated to a thing which is given to it on a regular basis.

We have discussed about ‘Varsha Rutu/ Rainy season’ in our previous post. Following Varsha Rutu, here comes Sharad rutu which is already in its last phase this year.  This is the season of festivals beginning with Navarathri and we are now celebrating Deepavali. Wish you a Very Happy Diwali, festival of lights.

Now let us understand the facts of health related to Sharad rutu.
With the Varsha Rutu, the season of monsoon, body was acclimatized to cold temperature and changes took place in body was in accordance to that.
During Varsha Rutu, Vaata dosha was predominant in the body and pitta dosha was having tendency to get accumulated.  Varsha rutu was the season where pitta dosha had attained ‘Sanchaya avastha’.
Like any other Rutu, Sharad rutu consists of 2 maasa which are Ashwina Maasa & Karthika Maasa. In English calendar, it is mid-September to mid-November.

During Sharad rutu, sun rays become intense and cold atmosphere of the earth goes on decreasing. Body becomes hot all of a sudden and doshas also undergo certain changes in their state. Basically Pitta, liquid dosha may be correlated to bile juice and other hormones that secrete in our body for various functions.
Pitta dosha which is accumulated in the body tends to aggravate in sharad rutu & starts dislodging from its site.  A simple example will be overflowing tank, which cannot accommodate any more if supplied.
If proper care is not taken, aggravated pitta dosha may cause various diseases.

Our food and lifestyle should be such that, they should control pitta dosha in the body and must be helping the body to withstand the on-going climatic changes.

There is a concept called Rutu shodhana* in Ayurveda. That is all about removal of aggravated doshas from the body! It is suggested to adopt one of the Panchakarma procedures in order to remove excessive pitta dosha.
As pitta dosha is liquid in state, it is having more of downward flow by nature. Ayurveda has two main panchakarma procedures that are commonly used in expulsion of doshas.
  • Vamana (Urdva marga nirharana): It is done by inducing vomiting
  • Virechana (Adho marga nirharana): It is nothing but inducing defecation
Virechana is the ideal technique for expelling pitta dosha. One can under undergo virechana during sharad rutu, preferably in the second month (Karthika maasa) in order to detoxify the body. But it should be done under strict medical supervision. It is not at all advisable to take self-medication as per virechana therapy is concerned.
Apart from therapeutic measures, there are several simple and easy-to-adopt diet and lifestyle practices which we can adopt ourselves. This requires very simple knowledge on quality of food items that we should consider in this season.  This post will help you in this regard.



Ghee is one of the best pacifiers of pitta dosha. Using cow ghee is recommended in this season.
The ideal Rasa (taste) here is tikta (bitter). Internally, bitter taste helps to balance pitta. It decreases water retention and acts as liver tonic. It is cleansing and takes away burning sensation caused by pitta.
Some food items having bitter taste are:
Turmeric
Basil
Fenugreek seeds
Aloevera
Green leafy vegetables
Barley
Pomegranate pod
Skin & tender leaves of vegetables
Neem
  • Dishes having bitter, sweet & astringent taste are ideal in this season.
  • Light for digestion food items
  • Rice, green gram, sugar candy, gooseberry, snakegourd, honey,…
  • Water from all sources (well, tank, bore well, river, stored rain water) are good enough to consume.
To avoid:
  • Exposure to fog and eastern wind
  • Taking alkaline diet
  • Heavy food
  • Curds
  • Sesame/ gingelly oil
  • Sun bath
  • Strong alcoholic beverages
  • Day sleep
To avoid adverse effects of sun rays:
  • Evening – Anoint the body with chandana (sandalwood), ushira (cuscus grass/ laavancha) & karpura (camphor)
  • Wear garlands/ pearl chains, light cloths
  • Enjoy moonlight atop the terrace
  • Reside in white mansions

Suggested Food list from this blog, Sahaja Siri:
Nelanelli Tambuli, which is best for the season
Soppu green gram Palya/ Any green leaves subzi
Important Notes:
  • *Ruthu Shodhana is a technique used to maintain health of healthy individuals. Periodically one can undergo vamana or virechana to detoxify the body and maintain good health.
  • It is always suggested to undergo any of these techniques with a supervision of Ayurveda practitioner. No self-trials & should be avoided in case of other medical complications.
  • This article credit completely goes to Dr. Soumya Bhat, who has referred "Ashtanga Hrudaya' text book of Ayurveda

Monday, 21 October 2019

Beetroot Milkshake

Hello readers, this is October and it is breast cancer awareness month! So let us all join our hands to spread the words & hence contribute a bit for this health campaign. Every woman should undergo regular health checks & educate oneself about it!
So it is month of ‘Pink’, here is a simple recipe of beetroot milkshake.
Beetroot is a rich dark pink  pigmented root vegetable which is nutritionally rich, in specific iron rich. It can be used in curries, salads, kheer, halwa and in simple milkshake/ lassi (sweet & flavored yogurt). Now let us look at this calcium & iron rich drink both nutrients are very important in maintaining woman’s health in good condition.

Pink Milkshake

Total time: 15 minutes
Serves: 1 glass
Ingredients:
Beetroot – 2 tbsp, grated or finely chopped
Chilled Milk – 1 glass
Sugar – 2 tsp
Method:
  • Wash, peel off beetroot and grate or chop finely.
  • Cook the chopped beetroot with ¼ cup of water and milk (equal proportion) until beetroot cooked soft. If not cooked properly with this water & milk, add more water.
  • Once cooked switch off the stove and allow cooling.
  • Now take cooked beetroot, chilled milk and sugar in a juice making jar or blender, blend well to make smooth milkshake.
  • Serve chilled with added ice cubes optionally.
Beet Milkshake

Notes:
  • Optionally, you can add rose essence or gulkand to get enriched rose flavor in this pink drink.
  • Cardamom can also be used to spice up this drink.
  • You can sieve this drink after blending to avoid any beetroot chunk, which I don’t do.
Beetroot Milkshake

Tomato Rice/ Tomato Bhath

Tomato rice is one simple rice item from South India especially from Bangalore & Mysore region. This naturally colored rice can be made spicy or less spicy as per taste and which is a quick to make lunch box idea as well. It was introduced to me by my roommates when I was living in Mysore. This flavorful rice can be served with raita/ thick curds or as it is.
Now let us go through the recipe of making medium spiced tomato rice.

Tomato Rice

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients:
Rice (Sona Masoori) – 2 cups
Tomatoes – 4 (medium)
Onions – 1 (medium)
Cinnamon – ¼ inch piece
Cloves – 3
Star anise – 1
Cardamom – 1 or 2
Pepper – 8
Garlic cloves – 6
Green chilli – 1 (optional)
Bay leaf – 1
Salt – 1.5 tsp, as per taste
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Sugar – 1 tsp
Oil – 2 tbsp
Coriander leaves – 2 tsp, finely chopped (for garnishing)
Water – 4 - 4.5 cups, I usually prefer soft cooked rice 

Method:

  • Peel onions, wash, cut ¼ th of it and keep aside.
  • Chop/ slice rest ¾ of onions finely and set aside.
  • Wash tomatoes, chop roughly.
  • Now take chopped tomatoes, ¼ onion, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, peeled garlic cloves, star anise, pepper (all spices except bay leaf) in a mixer jar and make smooth puree of it.
  • Wash rice clean, drain water completely and keep it ready.
  • Now heat a pressure cooker with oil. Add bay leaf, Slit green chilli and saute couple of times.
  • Add chopped or sliced onions to it and fry until translucent.
  • When done, add tomato puree. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes. Add Turmeric powder, salt and washed rice. Add 4 cups of water or as required cooking the rice that you use.
  • Mix everything well once, close the lid. Cook for 3 whistles.
  • Allow pressure to settle down. Once done, open the lid, add chopped fresh coriander leaves, mix once and serve hot with curds, salad, papad or with raita.
Tomato Bhath

Notes:

  • You can optionally add vegetables of choice and green peas while making this rice to make it more nutritious.
  • Spice level can be adjusted according to your taste.
  • Measurement of water will be little lesser than regular pulao as tomato is pureed here.
Tomato Rice Bhath

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Milk pudding with china grass/ Gelatin free pudding recipe

Pudding / jellies are definitely a favorite of many, especially kids. It is very simple to make with fewer ingredients. You can try milk pudding or other fruit based puddings. China grass or agar agar is plant based gelling agent which makes a good vegetarian alternative for gelatin (animal based gelling agent). Now let us look at the making part!

Milk pudding with china grass

Preparation & boiling time: 15 minutes
Setting time: 2- 3 hours
Serves: 16-20 small pieces
Ingredients:
China grass/ agar agar – 7.5 - 8 grams, little more than ¾ th of 10 grams bar
Milk – 1.5 cup
Water – ¾ cup
Sugar – ¾ cup
Chopped dry fruits/ nuts – 2 tbsp (cashews, almonds, pistachios)
Grated milk chocolate – 1 tsp (optional)

Method:

  • Cut china grass bar into pieces and soak in ¾ cup water. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Now, take milk and sugar in a vessel. Boil well until sugar is dissolved. Switch off the heat.
  • Boil soaked china grass water until it dissolved completely and you get clear water like liquid.
  • Mix boiled china grass liquid with boiled milk & sugar mix.
  • Boil well once stirring this mix, switch off the heat.
  • Pour the mixture into a baking tray or desired mold and keep aside untouched.
  • It starts setting in few minutes when the hot liquid reaches room temperature.
  • Now sprinkle finely chopped nuts and grated chocolate on top of the pudding which stays on top. Let it set for few more minutes.
  • Refrigerate for 1-2 hours, cut into desired shape before serving.
  • Remember to serve immediately after taking out of refrigerator. It starts releasing water if you keep outside refrigerator for more time.
Vegetarian Milk pudding

Notes:

  • Quantity of china grass is important. It does not set properly if you reduce it . I tried with 5-6 grams for this measure of milk, which did not come out well.
  • Dry fruits/ nuts and chocolate powder are optional, to enhance the taste of pudding.
  • Serving chilled is really important as it starts leaving water outside the refrigerator.
Gelatin free pudding recipe

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Vegan fresh figs banana smoothie/ rasayana

Banana & figs, both are very nutritious fruits loaded with vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates… There is no doubt about the richness of a smoothie or rasayana by combining these two super fruits. A bowl of this Rasayana/ smoothie is a great source of energy and it makes a simple dessert as well. As coconut milk is used in making, it is a great option to start any day for vegan diet followers too. So don’t wait more, just try this super easy dessert breakfast. You can add this with any regular breakfast as well. This is no fire dish too..

Vegan fresh figs banana smoothie

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2
Ingredients:
Ripe Banana – 6 (medium), any sweeter variety is fine
Fresh well ripe figs -4
Jaggery powder – 4 tbsp or as per taste
Thick Coconut Milk – 1 Cup
Chopped nuts/ dry fruits (cashews, almonds, pista) – 2 tsp (optional) for garnishing

Method:
  • Peel off banana, discard skin. Chop into small pieces keeping one banana aside.
  • Similarly, wash figs, remove thin skin and chop finely leaving 1 fig.
  • Mix Jaggery powder to chopped banana & figs and set aside covered.
  • Now take banana & fig which were kept aside while chopping in a mixer jar. Blend to smooth paste by adding little coconut milk.
  • Now combine ground puree, remaining coconut milk, chopped fruits mix and jaggery together and mix well.
  • Roast chopped nuts and add to the rasayana and serve fresh.
Vegan fresh figs banana rasayana

Notes:
  • Adjust the sweet level according to taste. Dates syrup can also be added instead sugar or jaggery.
  • You can add other fruits of choice to this smoothie.
  • Optionally, you can add choco chips in this.
fresh figs banana smoothie