Sunday, 29 December 2019

Orange rasam/ Orange saaru

Having a question of finishing juicy yet very sour oranges? Are you looking for any recipe other than orange juice? Looking for something hot drink out of oranges to sip on like soup? Here is the answer, very quick to make & at the same time tasty stew/ soup with oranges! Soothing for one’s throat in the cold winter evenings! It makes a combination to rice as well. Check for one similar recipe of lemon rasam.

Orange rasam

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2
Orange – 1-2 (Use 1 if it is very sour)
Water – 2 glasses
Jaggery – 1-2 tsp
Green chilli – 1 or 2 (to taste) or ½ tsp chilli powder
Salt – to taste
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Cooking Oil – 1 tsp (coconut oil preferred)
Dry red chilli – 1 (optional)
Coriander leaves – 1 tsp finely chopped (optional)

  • Boil water,salt, jaggery and chilli powder/ slit green chillis in a vessel. It will take just 4-5 minutes.
  • Switch off the stove. Cut the orange from the centre (like how you cut lemon to squeeze), remove seeds and squeeze to extract the juice completely. Add this juice to the boiled rasam.
  • Prepare a seasoning with oil, mustard, minced dry red chilli and curry leaves. Add to the rasam. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot rasam with rice or have as soup.
Orange saaru

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Mango ginger lemon rice/ Mavina shunti chitranna

Mango ginger is one of the winter root vegetables belongs to the Zingiberaceae / ginger family. It closely resembles to turmeric and scientifically known as Curcuma amada. It looks like ginger with a distinct flavour of mango. These rhizomes are commonly used in mixed pickles, chutney & tambuli.. Recently I came to know that they are also used in salads and in some region, it is consumed raw by sprinkling little salt & lemon juice on top.

Mango ginger

The common names are mango ginger, mavina shunti (kannada), kukku shunti (tulu), …
Now let us see the recipe of mango ginger rice, which was suggested by my co sister Vanitha after she tried it in her kitchen. Thanks akka for this idea which was new to me.

Mango ginger lemon rice

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 3-4
Rice – 2 cups
Mango ginger/ mavina shunti/ kuku shunti – 2 inch piece
Grated coconut – 3 tbsp
Tamarind or lemon juice – small gooseberry sized if using tamarind or 2 tsp lemon juice
Jaggery – 2 tsp powder
Salt – tp taste
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Dry red chilli – 2
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Peanuts – 2 tbsp
Gram dal – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Coconut oil/ any cooking oil – 2 tbsp

  • Wash the rice well with water, drain water completely.
  • Cook this rice with water as required and little salt in a pressure cooker. For normal sona masoori rice, 4.5 – 5 cups of water and 3 whistles should be sufficient.
  • Set aside until pressure settles down.
  • Meanwhile, grate coconut wash the mango ginger and slice them thin.
  • In a mixer jar, take grated coconut, sliced mango ginger, dry red chillis, tamarind (if using), jaggery powder (grated), turmeric powder & little salt (very less as you added while cooking rice, if rice doesn’t have salt, then add more salt here). Grind to get smooth paste. Don’t add lemon juice in this if using it.
  • Now heat a pan. Add oil, mustard seeds, gram dal, peanuts. On spluttering & when peanuts are done, add curry leaves.
  • Add ground masala and sauté for a while. Switch off the stove. Mix cooked rice. Add lemon juice at the end.
  • Serve this rice warm. Or pack in the lunch box.
  • This special ginger gives mild flavour of mango to the rice.
  • If raw mangoes are in season, then you can use grated mangoes to make the mango rice. In this case, don’t add tamarind or lemon as mango gives the required tanginess. Rest of the process remains same and add grated mango to the tadkaor seasoning, fry for a while and then add coconut paste.  
Mavina shunti chitranna

Methi Tepla/ Fenugreek leaves wheat spicy roti

Want to make your regular roti more delicious & nutritious too? Here is a recipe for the season. It is the season you get plenty of fresh fenugreek leaves. You can add some of them in your roti dough bychopping along with commonly available spices in the kitchen to make these tasty teplas basically a Gujarathi delicacy made with wheat flour & millets like bajra & jowar flour. I tasted it for the first time about 8-9 years back when my north Indian neighbour shared the traditionally made teplas which was so good in taste. She made with bajra flour if I remember it right. Now, here is my version with just wheat flour, gram flour and methi leaves. This exotic looking dish is not very difficult to make as well.

Methi Tepla

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 10-12 medium teplas
Fresh fenugreek leaves – 1 bunch
Wheat flour – 1.5 - 2 cups
Gram flour – ¼ cup
Ajwain/ Carom seeds/ Om kalu – ½ tsp
Salt - to taste
Jaggery powder – 2 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp or as required
Cumin powder – ¼ tsp
Coriander powder – ¼ tsp
Green chillis – 1-2 finely chopped (optional), I don’t use as kids don’t like
Ghee or oil – 2 tsp for the dough and extra for frying teplas.
Curds – 2-3 tbsp, instead you can use water as well

  • Clean fenugreek leaves, by removing root & hard stems. Collect only leaves & soft stems. Rinse well with clean water, drain and chop finely.
  • Take the chopped leaves & green chillis (if using) in a large mixing bowl. Add salt, chilli powder, carom seeds, cumin powder and coriander powder. Add jaggery powder and mix well.
  • Now add gram flour and wheat flour, mix well with your fingers adding curds (only water if vegan) or water as required to form soft dough. Add 2 tsp of ghee (oil if vegan) and kneed very well. Greens will release little water as you press with fingers, so add water or curds looking at the dough.
  • Cover the bowl with a lid and set aside for 10 minutes.
Methi wheat Tepla
  • Now start making rotis by dividing dough into equal sized balls and rolling one by one.
  • Heat a pan/ griddle, apply little oil. Cook the rotis like regular chapathi/ pulka applying little ghee/ oil on top. It is done when you find brown spots on each side. Transfer to a hot-box on cooking both sides evenly.
  • Serve warm teplas with choice of chutney or with curds & pickles. It makes a perfect combination with cup of hot coffee or tea.

Fenugreek leaves wheat spicy roti

  • You can avoid using curds & ghee completely while making these if you are on a vegan diet. Use water instead curds & oil in place of ghee.
  • You can add 1.25 cups of wheat flour & ¾ cup of mixed millets (bajra & jowar flour).
Fenugreek leaves wheat Tepla

Monday, 16 December 2019

Pasta Vegetable Salad/ Pasta Salad

How do you like your pasta? Is it in creamy white sauce or red tomato sauce or as sweet kheer? Have you ever tried pasta in chilled salad? If so how did you like it?
If not, here the recipe to try! You can make pasta salad with mayonnaise or without it. I love it in tangy lemon dressing with herbs & spices and more fresh vegetables.

Pasta Vegetable Salad

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2
Any kind of pasta – 1 cup
Mixed salad veggies diced (cucumber, tomato, carrots, cabbage) – 1.5 cups,You can add or remove any
Lettuce of choice – few leaves, I used frilled lettuce
Herbs of choice (fresh or dried) – finely minced 1 tsp or ¼ tsp mixed Italian seasoning, I used Indian borage leaf
Salt – to taste (about ½ tsp)
Pepper powder – ¼ tsp, adjust to taste
Roasted cumin powder – ¼ tsp
Oil – 2 tsp, you can reduce too
Lemon juice – 2-3 tsp
Vinegar/ apple cidar vinegar – 1 tsp (optional)

  • Cook pasta as suggested by the manufacturer. Ie, boil in water with added salt and oil until soft. Drain water, allow cooling.
  • Keep the vegetables ready. Wash and cut as you like. Tear washed lettuce with fingers.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add salt, pepper, cumin powder, oil, lemon juice & vinegar (if using).
  • Add cut vegetables & lettuce, mix well. Add the cooked pasta which is in room temperature. Mix well.
  • Set aside for 10-15 minutes before serving to marinate well.
  • Enjoy pasta salad as your dinner or with lunch.
Pasta Salad

  • To make mayonnaise pasta salad, Add about 3 tsp mayonnaise mixed with 2 tbsp milk instead lemon juice and vinegar.
  • You can add vegetables and green leafy vegetables of choice which can be used raw in salads.
Italian pasta Vegetable Salad

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Moong chilka dal vegetable kichdi/ Split green gram (green moong dal) rice kichdi

Who doesn’t know or use green gram or moong dal? This is considered as healthiest lentil and I need not mention it is the easiest or greatest source of protein, iron & vitamins. It is easy to be used in cooking either raw or cooked. Using whole green gram on regular basis needs a bit planning, such that you should not forget to soak it well ahead. 
Even if you are a regular green gram user, this chilka moong dal may be new, at least for south Indians! This is nothing but split whole moong without removing its green skin. This is a great replacement option of whole green gram for the one like me who always forget to soak it in water. Split green gram does not require to be soaked to cook well. Adding them in regular plain kichdi (pongal) or regular bisibele bhath makes them very delicious too. It makes a perfect dish for the lunch box of school kids as well.
Check for other kichdi recipes Palak/spinach kichdi, Green gram rice kichdi with coconut milk or hesaru kaalu ganji.
Let us check the recipe of making kichdi (pongal) now. I am writing basic recipe without much spice and keeping it mild. If you like spicy kichdi then refer the notes below. So, are you ready to make protein rich non spicy and delicious kichdi?

green moong dal rice kichdi

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2-3
Split green gram (with skin)/ Moong chilka dal – ½ cup
Tur dal/ moong dal – ½ cup (optional), if not using you can increase the split green gram to 1 cup
White rice – 1 cup
Salt – to taste
Crushed pepper – ¼ tsp or as required, you can use powdered as well
Cumin powder – ¼ tsp
Coriander powder – ¼ tsp
Slit green chilli – 1 or 2 (optional)
Curry leaves – 1 spring
Ghee/ butter – 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Mustard – ¼ tsp (optional)
Choice of vegetables (beans, carrot..) – ¼ cup chopped (optional)

  • Wash moong chilka dal clean with running water and soak in water for 15 minutes if you have time or until you finish off other preparations.
  • Wash rice and dal and keep them ready too.
  • Wash and chop vegetables and keep them ready.
  • Heat pressure cooker with ghee/ butter.
  • Add mustard seeds, crushed pepper &cumin. On spluttering, add cleaned curry leaves, slit green chillis, cumin powder & coriander powder. Saute for a minute.
  • Now, add chopped vegetables (if using) and stir nicely once. Drain water completely from washed rice &dal, add it to the cooker.
  • Add salt and 6 cups of water (that is measurement 3 times of rice & dal). Cook for 3 whistles.
  • When pressure settles down, open the lid of cooker. If kichdi looks dry/ hard, then add 2 cups of water. You will have to add it as dal tends to thicken as time passes. Mix well and boil really well.
  • Serve kichdi warm with additionally topped with fresh ghee as it is or with choice of sweet and sour side dishes like gojju.
Moong chilka dal vegetable kichdi

  • If you love spicy kichdi then add 1 tsp bisibele bhath powder/ sambhar powder in the end while boiling it.  Add little tamarind paste & powdered jaggery for taste.
  • Addition of vegetables is optional.
  • Above recipe can be followed replacing chilka dal & tur dal completely by moong dal to make tasty pongal. In this case, use equal portions of rice and moong dal. Add roasted cashew nuts in the end and you need not add vegetables.

Split green gram rice kichdi

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Bottle gourd peel chutney/ Sorekai sippe chutney

Hello there, if you have followed my blog posts so far, you must have found some of the recipes with ingredients which are otherwise thrown as waste. Examples are ridge gourd peel chutney, cucumber core tambuli, pumpkin core chutney, watermelon rind stir fry and so on… As I strongly believe in sustainable living, I try to follow as much as possible. As simple as growing some herbs or easy to grow vegetables in the kitchen garden, reduce chemicals usage in the kitchen or home, trying to reduce the waste or converting bio waste to manure for plants.. Also, eating locally produced or especially home grown food wherever possible where we are 100% sure that it is chemical free is in my agenda. I cannot say one can be complete/ perfect and go 100% in one shot. But my humble request to everyone that let us try our level best to save our mother earth to future. Let us educate our next generation about it too!

Today, I am sharing a recipe which goes to zero waste or no waste list in cooking! I would suggest to use vegetable peels when you are know that it is chemical free or organically grown at home. This chutney goes well with dosa, idli or rice.

Bottle gourd peel chutney

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5-10 minutes
Serves: 3
Peel of bottle gourd/ outer skin removed while cooking bottle gourd – ¼ cup (roughly chopped)
Coconut grated – ¼ cup
Green chillis/ dry red chillis – 2 , adjust as required (anything will do)
Tomato – 1 (optional)
Ghee or oil – 2 tsp
Tamarind – small piece/ ¼ tsp extract
Salt – to taste
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Garlic cloves – 4 (optional)
Curry leaves – 1 sprig

  • Wash the gourd well before cutting.
  • Chop the bottle gourd peel roughly, keep aside.
  • Chop tomato too if using it.
  • Heat 1 tsp oil or butter or ghee in a pan/ wok. Fry red chillis (if using) until done. Take out of heat and keep aside.
  • Now in the same pan, fry bottle gourd peel until soft. Add green chillis while frying if using it.
  • When it is cooked, add tomatoes and fry until water is absorbed completely.
  • On cooling, take fried vegetables, chillis, grated coconut, salt and tamarind in a mixer jar and grind until smooth to make chutney.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl.
  • Prepare a seasoning of mustard, garlic and curry leaves in 1 tsp oil/ ghee. On spluttering, add it to the chutney.

  • This chutney can be made with ridge gourd peel or snake gourd seeds too.
  • Variations possible with or without onions/ garlic and even tomato..
  • You can use green chillis without frying too.
Sorekai sippe chutney

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Hemantha Rutucharya/ Hemant rutu

As per the ‘Kaala Vibhaga’ (division of the year), we have welcomed the last rutu of Dakshinayana. When we consider, strength of the body, it goes on increasing in dakshinayana & it goes on decreasing in uttarayana.
Previous 2 rutu Varsha, Sharad and the forthcoming rutu Hemanth are the 3 seasons of dakshinayana (visarga). Being last rutu of visarga kaala, it is the season in which body attains maximum ‘bala’ (energy). Aacharya quotes it as ‘balam tu sheete agryam’.

Hemanth rutu consists of 2  months, Margashirsha (margashira) and Pousha (pushya) respectively. It runs generally from mid-November to mid – January.  (Present calendar  year  Hemantha  rutu starts from 27/11/2019 upto 24/1/2020; in which margashirsha -> 27/11/2019 – 26/12/2019 and pousha -> 27/12/2019 – 24/1/2020)

During hemanth, climate will be cold and dry, it has its impact on body as coldness will block the minute openings on the skin and increase body heat. This is the mechanism which takes place in response to the climatic condition. This will prevent the heat loss from the body, increase core temperature of the body & in turn helps the body to withstand the cool atmosphere.
When the core temperature raises, it increases ‘agni bala’ (digestive fire) in the body. Body requires good amount of food articles which are heavy for digestion, in order to balance the condition. In the absence of adequate fuel (food supply), the digestive fire tends to burn its own body tissues. Cold atmosphere also brings in heavy winds which in turn causes increased movement of vayu (gas) in the body. This vayu always persuades agni making it very strong.
This is the season of special flowers like parijatha and season in which many trees shed their leaves.

According to body strength & digestive power, one should choose the food articles in this season. Food articles tasting sweet, sour and salt are ideal for this rutu.

Hemanth -> madhur (sweet), amla (sour), lavan (salt) ras. Food to consume should be hot as the season is cold. They should also be heavy.
Example: Wheat, black gram, sugar cane & its products, milk & milk products, new cereals, fatty substances like meat, mustard oil, soups topped with ghee…

  • As nights are longer, consume food as early as possible in the morning.
  • Vigorous exercise should be practiced.
  • Specially, Taila abhyanga (oleation), strong massage, games like kabaddi, wrestling which involves action & strength.
  • Hot fomentation, hot water bath, anointment with paste of hot potency drugs like kumkum.
  • Dhoopana – medicated fumigation. Better to avoid if one has breathing difficulty and sensitive nose/ respiratory system.
  • Bathing using powdered drugs which are astringent by nature (ex: kashaya choorna, khadira bark…)
  • Using hot water internally & externally
  • Wrapping the body with thick, warm clothing, using blankets, silk & woollen cloths
  • Sun basking
  • Wearing shoes
  • Reside in warm houses.

Avoid these:
  • Cold intake, exposure to cold breeze
  • Skipping food
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Light food
  • Barefoot walk
List of food from Sahaja Siri, this blog
Soups: thick and creamy like pumpkin soup, Peanuts soup...

Warm’ wishes to everyone for this ‘Hemantha’ rutu. Take care of self and family.
Post credit: Dr. Soumya Bhat. M.D. (Ayu)

  • Care must be taken while following any regimen in case of any known medical complications.
  • Consult a physician & please don't follow self medication in any cases of illness.
  • This post is generalized and it cannot be made individual specific unless direct consultation with doctor.
  • Person having weak digestive system should continue the lighter diet..

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Ash gourd Dosa/ Instant Boodu kumbalakai dosa

Ash gourd Dosa

Ash gourd, a healthy & humble vegetable. As per my observation, we use this vegetable highly in our region (Dakshina Kannada) in cooking ranging from curries, dosa to halwa/ desserts. Whereas in Bangalore it is not much used in cooking but mainly in pooja! 
Scientifically, it is Benincasa hispida and other common names are wax gourd, white gourd, winter melon... It has numerous health benefits!. It has the cooling & neutralizing property which makes it a perfect diet in case of hyper acidity and getting rid of ulcers. Good for weight watchers & diabetic. This juicy vegetable is good to hydrate the body and it relaxes the brain. Good for skin health too!

Ash gourd

So how better we can use this vegetable than regular curries and feed it to the fussy eating kids! Option is very simple, it is dosa. It makes a perfect breakfast item with soft dosa which can be served with choice of chutney. I love making dosa with added goodness of various vegetables!
Please note that this dosa does not require fermentation of the batter.. It should be made instant. Check for the recipe of Plantain stem dosa, Cucumber neer dosa, plain dosa, Multi grain dosa, horse gram dosa, tender coconut dosa... 

Preparation time: 4 hours
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Serves: 18 - 20 dosa
Roughly chopped ash gourd – 2 cups/ around ¼ of a small ash gourd
Dosa rice – 3.5 cups
Salt – to taste
Oil/ ghee – to make dosa

  • Wash and soak dosa rice in water for 2-4 hours.
  • Now, wash and peel off the outer skin of ash gourd. Chop roughly removing core (seeds) as well.
  • Drain water from soaked rice completely. Take chopped ash gourd, rice in a mixer jar. Add salt and grind it adding enough water to make smooth batter. Consistency of the batter should be little thicker than neer dosa batter.
  • Make dosas with fresh batter or refrigerate this batter until dosa is prepared. Do not ferment this batter.

Making of dosa:
  • Adjust the batter adding required water to make the consistency that of little thicker than neer dosa batter and thinner than plain dosa batter. You can check and add more water after making one dosa if it is harder.
  • Heat iron griddle/ pan. Apply little oil or ghee.
  • Drop a ladle full of batter and spread to make dosa. Or you can follow the method of making neer dosa.
  • Close the lid and cook for a minute or until it is cooked properly and dosa comes out of tava clean. Apply ghee on top and roast inverting it for a while. (This is optional.)
  • Serve hot healthy dosa with choice of coconut chutney.
Boodu kumbalakai dosa

  • You can make this dosa with grated ash gourd instead of grinding it with rice too.
  • Consistency of batter depends on the ash gourd measurement & water content of ash gourd used. So check and add water as required after making 1 dosa.

wax gourd dosa