Sunday, 29 March 2020

Multi dal savory cupcake/ Mixed dal cupcakes/ Spicy dal muffins

Hello there, Hope you are doing great! As every family member is at home most of the time day and night which is actually need for today to fight against Corona. For home makers, it must be question all the time what to cook as there is not many options like going out or getting food from outside. Feeding the family with healthy food is much needed to keep oneself fit too. So, I am sharing a healthy snacks recipe today with protein packed dals. In a way, it is a variant of my ‘Moong dal dokla’. It is baked version of dokla with moong & gram dal.Also find recipe of whole moong dokla here.
Any dal, be it moong or channa (gram) dal, it is packed with protein and many other nutrients! So consuming them on regular basis is highly recommended. Dals are greatest food options during winter and also for growing kids. This snack is sugar-free and hence perfect protein rich food even for diabetics. So let us see the method of making it.
Multi dal savory  cupcake

Preparation Time: 2 hours
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 6 cupcakes
Moong dal – 1/2 cup
Gram dal – ½ cup
Fine semolina – 1 tbsp
Curds – 2 tbsp
Salt – 1 tsp, adjust to taste
Green chillis – 2, as per taste
Ginger – ½ inch
Sugar – 1 tsp (optional)
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Baking/ cooking Soda – ¼ tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Oil - 2 tsp
Curry leaves (finely chopped) – 2 tsp
Grated fresh coconut – 1 tbsp

  • Wash and soak dals (moong & gram dal) in water for 1- 2 hours.
  • Drain water completely and grind the dals with green chillis, ginger, coconut and salt to make the batter which is neither too fine nor too coarse. Add little water while grinding (2-3 tbsp water).
  • Now transfer this to a mixing bowl. Add fine semolina/ chiroti rava, turmeric powder, sugar, curds, crushed cumin and chopped curry leaves. Add 2 tsp oil to this. Mix well to get a batter of pouring consistency (of idli batter). If it is thick, add little curds to adjust.
  • Add baking soda and mix lightly once.
  • Preheat the oven for 180 degrees (convection mode).
  • Grease muffin moulds (dish) with few drops of oil. Pour the prepared batter to each cup leaving little space for the cakes to rise.
  • When the oven is ready, place the filled muffin tray inside. Bake them for about 15 / 20 minutes or until inserted fork comes out clean. Please do not check before 12 minutes.
  • Once done, allow cooling for few minutes. Then, remove from the muffin mould.
  • Serve warm savory cupcakes with chutney or choice of sauce (dip) with a cup of coffee/tea.
Mixed dal cupcakes

  • Baking time may vary depending on the oven.
  • Adjust the spice level to your taste.
Spicy dal muffins

Monday, 23 March 2020

Shishira Rutucharya and Ruthu sandhi kaala

Dear Reader,

If you have come across our posts on rutucharya, I have last posted about ‘Hemanta Rutu’ which was the last Rutu of Dakshinayana. Shishira being the first rutu of Uttarayana and it is in fact the last two months of winter. Cold & dryness intensified here. In southern part of India, the characteristics of this rutu, ‘Shishira’ is not too different from the previous rutu ‘Hemanta’. The regimens (lifestyle & food habits) to be followed in this season remain similar to that of Hemanta Rutu with intense way.

At this moment, we thought of focusing on the current happenings and the challenges that we have in front of us. Let us all think over, behave thoughtfully, listen to the authority and fight against #Corona/ #Covid19.

This period comes under Rutu Sandhi Kaala (last few days of Shishira. To be noted, Vasanta rutu will begin from Ugadi). Today is Trayodashi (22 March 2020), which is very near to Amavasya, which is again a Sandhi kaala, wherein Krishna paksha is changing into Shukla paksha. According to Astrology and Ayurveda, Sandhi kaala in time zone is said to be very very crucial for human life in terms of their effects on health. During sandhi kala, body strength/ immune power is less and body weakly fights against sudden change overs may be in climate or bodily activities. Negative energy/ microbial activities will be more during this period. Hence the sound vibrations (shankha or ghanta nada (bell), chanting, clapping) and the smoke (homa dhooma) which can spread very fast in air over several kilometres distance will effectively purify/ disinfect the air... Therefore these practices are very scientific and aim at safeguarding community health.

Note: Above mentioned information (Rutucharya & Ayurveda practices) belongs to Dr. Soumya Bhat. M.D. (Ayu). Complete credit goes to her.

Not only these, everyone should follow few basic guidelines & etiquette as below:
  • Please do not crowd & visit crowded places.
  • Avoid unnecessary travels. If travel is unavoidable, then stay away from unknown people as much as possible. Focus on personal hygiene.
  • Do not ignore any major / minor illness including common cold, cough. Isolation or staying away from other family members is must if sick.
  • Eat healthy food/ drink more liquids & stay hydrated.
  • Take care of elderly and kids with utmost care.
  • I request everyone, please stop any celebration with more people gathered.
  • Meditation & healthy breathing practices, Yoga, activities like gardening are recommended (again without many people around)
  • Have quality time with family, focus on self-development, focus saving natural resources.
  • Please remain/ stay where ever you are if there is no emergency.

Wish you all very good health and happiness.

Friday, 20 March 2020

Lemon rind tambuli/ Nimbe sippe tambuli

Hello there, hope you are doing great. I know it is bit challenging to come out of the current situation and I am sure it is possible with every citizen’s effort. Let us all make sure that we follow the guidelines of ‘World Health Organization’ and every government to fight against Corona virus. Let us stay home as much as possible, respect and support the one strive to fight against it, eat fresh, follow healthy life style and mainly stick to the mantra social distancing! IT is good in case of any other summer diseases too.

Anyway it is important to have daily routines in a healthy way. Drink more water to stay hydrated, prepare and eat fresh food at home, eat more vegetables, greens and fresh fruits to get essential nutrients. Intake of healthy ingredients like turmeric, pepper, ginger, coconut and commonly used spices is important in moderate level on regular basis. Citrus fruits are generally known as healthy and good to boost immunity! Especially, lemon with its rind is one such vitamin C food. We generally discard lemon rind or peel without knowing how to use it. The best way to consume them in pickles or as zest (grated lemon rind) in bakes and another ideal way is this in the form of tambuli. Sometimes back I learnt that lemon rinds can be used in cooking to make gojju from my aunt. I was looking for some ideas as we had nice harvest of the lemons this year specifically, that of ‘Assam lemons’ a variety which is big, having thick rind with less sour juice compared to other regular variety. These lemons can be eaten completely with little salt sprinkled over it too. I tried to make candied lemons about a month back which was little bitter and hence remained in my fridge for a while. Finally I made tambuli of it and it was a big hit. Tried the tambuli with fresh rind too which turned out great and appetizing.  This sweet & tangy tambuli makes your summer lunch special with added health benefits.
Lemon rind tambuli

As lemons rinds are rich in vitamins, don’t discard them and try this tambuli sometimes. 
Why to waste them when we get lot of goodness in its raw form!?

lemon tambuli

Check other lemon recipes such as eggless lemon, cocoa cupcake, lemon pickles...

Also check more tambuli recipes !

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves: 3
Lemon rind/ Lemon after squeezing out the juice – of ½ lemon (big)
Freshly grated coconut – 3 tbsp
Salt – to tatse
Jaggery – small piece/ about 2 tsp powder
Green chilli – 1, adjust to taste or you can use pepper corns
Fresh buttermilk/ curds – 1 cup, preferably buttermilk
Coconut oil – 1 tsp
Mustard – ½ tsp
Cumin – ¼ tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Dry red chilli - 1
  • Wash lemon clean, cut and extract juice and discard seeds. Juice can be used to make lemonade or in other dishes.
  • Roughly chop the rind of half lemon if using large one.
  • Grind grated coconut, chopped lemon rind, green chilli/ pepper corn, salt and jaggery to make smooth paste.
  • Transfer to the bowl. Add buttermilk.
  • Prepare a seasoning of mustard, cumin, red chilli in coconut oil. On spluttering, add curry leaves and add to the tambulli.
  • Serve this tambuli fresh with hot rice and palya. One can drink this tambuli as buttermilk too.

Nimbe sippe tambuli

  • I have tried it with rind of assam lemons not with the small regular ones. It may turn little bitter.
  • This tambuli tastes best when served fresh as the ingredients are raw.
  • Use fresh buttermilk, not sour as it has sourness of lemon too.

Monday, 16 March 2020

Tomato Dal Rasam/ Tomato saaru with tur dal

Summer is the season which calls for more liquid food, and light food. Rasams come to one’s help then. They are light and digestive system friendly. It is good appetizer and quick to make. No need of spending longer hours in the kitchen.
There are number of ways to make rasam/ stew in South India.  Process of making rasam and taste varies from region to region and community to community. Rasam with tomato is always a highlight of special menus in south Indian taali.
Here is one such recipe of rasam with tur dal and tomato. You can make it without tur dal as well to get runnny rasam.

Tomato Dal Rasam

Check for more rasam recipes here!

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 3-4
Tomatoes – 3
Soft cooked tur dal – ½ cup
Tamarind paste – ½ tsp, adjust as required
Jaggery – A small piece/ 2 tsp powder
Green chilli – 2 or you can use 1 tsp chilli powder. Reduce chilli powder if using both chilli and powder.
Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
Ginger – ¼ inch crushed (optional)
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Mustard – ½ tsp
Cooking Oil – 2 tsp
Asafoetida/ hing – 1 pinch
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Coriander leaves – few strands (optional)

  • Wash tur dal/ split pigeon peas. Pressure cook until soft, keep aside.
  • Wash tomatoes, chop roughly and cook with water as needed.
  • Add slit green chilli, crushed ginger to the boiling tomato.
  • Mash cooked tomato a bit with the spatula.
  • Add tamarind extract, salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder and jaggery.
  • Add cooked dal and add water to bring required consistency.
  • Boil very well until everything combines well. Add chopped coriander leaves.
  • Switch off the stove.
  • Prepare a seasoning / tadka of mustard, cumin and asafoetida in oil. On spluttering, add curry leaves.
  • Serve this piping hot flavorful rasam with steamed hot rice, ghee, papad and choice of vegetable stir fry.
Tomato saaru with tur dal

  • To make havyak style no dal rasam, follow the same method without dal. In this case ginger, green chillies are must with generous amount of hing/ asafoetida (tadka).

tomato bele saaru

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Coffee chocolate mug cake in microwave oven/ Quick microwave mug cake

Cake and cookies are a great snacking option for kids in the evening. Kids normally like them and if you get a perfect recipe, then there are very less chances of failure. It is just the matter of getting right consistency and baking temperature and time. Sometimes baking an elaborate cake may not be possible due to time constraint or other reasons! Then comes mug cakes for your rescue. Especially its summer holidays that too, earlier than expected! So this should be a handy recipe to satisfy anyone’s craving for a quick sweet treat.

Coffee chocolate mug cake in microwave oven

I wish everyone good health during this time. Let us all be aware of the current situation and stay safe and healthy with little effort from our side too.
Now, let us see the process of making these mug cakes in a microwave oven. In this recipe I have used left over filter coffee decoction!

Preparation time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking time: 3 minutes
Serves: 6 medium mug cakes
Maida/ All purpose flour – ¼ cup
Ragi/ finger millet flour – ¼ cup
Small semolina/ chiroti rava – 2 tbsp
Sugar  - ¼ cup or little more
Cocoa powder – 1 heaped tsp
Thick coffee decoction (filter coffee) – 2-3 tsp or 1 tsp instant coffee powder
Baking soda/ cooking soda –  little less than ¼ tsp
Salt – 1 pinch
Milk – ¼ cup
Fresh curds/ buttermilk – 2 tbsp
Ghee or coconut oil – 2-3 tbsp
Choco chips/ chopped nuts – 2 tsp (optional)

  • Mix all the dry ingredients except sugar in a large mixing bowl. It includes flours, salt, cocoa powder, coffee powder (if not decoction) and baking soda.
  • Mix milk and sugar so that it dissolves partially. Pour in sugared milk to the dry ingredients and mix well so that there is no lump formed.
  • Add buttermilk/ curds, mix well. If you are using filter coffee, then add it in this stage. Adjust the consistency to that of dli batter. If it looks dry then add little water/ buttermilk.
  • Add ghee/ oil. Mix the batter nicely once.
  • Fold in chopped nuts or choco chips.
  • Fill 3/4th of ceramic / glass dessert bowls or microwave safe mugs with the prepared batter. Heat and cook in microwave energy (not convection) for 2.5 - 3 minutes or until inserted fork comes out clean.
3 minutes mug cake recipe

  • Please note that the cooking time varies depending on the quantity, microwave oven.
  • You can use ceramic coffee mugs to do. If using larger mug containing more batter, then it will take more time to cook.
  • You can cook as many mug cakes (6-8) at a time depending on your oven capacity. Or you can just make 1 for yourself.
  • This cake will turn harder if you heat more time even after it is cooked.
  • Coffee can be just left to make plain cocoa mug cake or you can add vanilla essence or powder to make choco vanilla cake.
Quick microwave mug cake

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Wheat grass apple drink/ Micro greens detox juice/ wheat grass green juice

Though I have heard about them many times after started food blogging, I haven’t researched more on them. In fact, I never thought of trying them as I always try greens which are around me and sold in local market. Recently, I found them in the weekly chemical free market happening every Sunday at Forum Neighbourhood Mall, Whitefield. I got a pack of them to home as well. Before taking them home I have asked about the recipe from the vendor, who asked me to just blend and drink it as any other juice/ smoothie.
Next morning, I washed these greens and made a juice by adding an apple (chopped) along with 4-5 home grown star gooseberry for the tangy taste, sweetener.
I am sure, like any other green it must be rich in nutrients and has many health benefits. About benefits (of micro greens), I need to study bit more, please do share your thoughts on this (wheat grass/ any micro greens). This juice with the rich nutritional contents, works as a best detox to purify our digestive system when consumed in the summer mornings on regular basis. It is a perfect summer drink to hydrate oneself. This juice is loaded with the goodness of all the ingredients (greens, apple, gooseberry) in raw form. You can add other fruits like oranges, passion fruit , pomegranate... to it to make it more beneficial.

Wheat grass apple drink

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2
Wheat grass – 10 grams/ 1 small bunch
Apple – 1
Star gooseberries/ Mysore Nellikai – 4-5 or 1 tsp lemon juice
Sugar/ Jaggery/honey – to taste (optional)
Salt – 1 pinch
Chilled water – 1.5 - 2 glasses

  • Wash greens and fruits clean. Add greens to a juice jar/ blender.
  • Remove seeds of star gooseberries and discard core with seeds of apple. Chop them roughly and add to the blender/ jar having greens. Add pinch of salt and sweetener of choice.
  • Blend everything together to smooth paste adding water as required.
  • Run this mixture through a sieve or juice strainer. Try to extract complete juice with the addition of more water if needed.
  • Transfer the juice to the serving glasses and serve fresh with added ice cubes (optional).

You can replace the micro greens with other fresh herbs like mint or Garike/ durva (Bermuda grass) or other healthy herbs of choice.

Wheat grass micro green detox juice/

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Preserved lemons/ Two ingredients lemon pickles/ Nimbe uppinakai

As we hear the word pickles, at first it strikes as spiced pickles or the complicated process behind it. It is not true always. Today, I am sharing one process of preserving lemons with salt or nimbe uppinkai as we call in our region. It is a yearly ritual of many homes in Dakshina Kannada/ Mangalore/ Coastal Karnatak to make this pickles when lemons are available in abundance. It stays good for one year or more. As I feel, it is therapeutic to make them at home. In general, it does not include many complicated process except that care needs to be taken to have really dry environment to make them. Otherwise things can go bad and end up in spoilt pickles. As kids we were not allowed to touch the ingredients and vessels while mom was making it!

Preserved lemons

Coming to benefits, lemon is one such fruit has number of health benefits. At first place it is rich in vitamin C hence a very well-known immunity booster. It catalyses iron absorption! Appetizer, so it makes a good accomplishment to one’s meal when sick. As this specific pickles has no spices, it is good to have during cold, throat infection, fever etc. as spicy food isn’t a good option then.

Preparation time: 1 hour
Incubation time: 1-3 months, depending on the variety of lemons used
Lemon pieces – 2 cups or approximately 12-15 medium lemons
Rock salt/ table salt – 1 cup
Water – ¾ cup

  • Keep a glass jar with a proper lid or porcelain jar made for pickles ready. It should be washed and dried carefully.
  • Wash lemons clean; pat dry with clean cotton cloth.
  • Spread on a dry cloth and allow drying completely. Care should be taken such that no traces of water should remain.
  • Meanwhile, you can make strong salt water and keep it ready.
  • To do it, Take a small vessel, add salt and water mentioned under ingredients. Boil well until water reduces to about half the initial measure.
  • Switch off the stove, allow water to cool and comes to room temperature. Filter it to remove impurities.
  • Cut each lemon into 8 or more pieces as shown below. If you have large lemons then it may need to cut into more than 8 pieces.
  • Fill the lemon pieces into the jar which is ready. Add salt water, mix well with a dry spoon.
  • If the salt water does not cover from the top of lemons, then top it with a spoonful of table salt/ powdered salt, keep the lemons covered b salt on top.
  • Close the lid tight so that it does not expose to the outside environment.
  • Keep checking it every morning, for initial 5-7 days. It should not be attacked by fungus. Each time you mix with a dry spoon carefully.
  • After a week’s time, lemons should release water well by covering it nicely and the color must be changed & looked as if cooked.
  • After this time, keep it in a dry place untouched for 15 day to one month. I suggest to check it in between so that it won’t be spoiled (extra care is better for the beginners). If you still have doubt, you can also refrigerate it after first week.
  • This recipe remains the basic recipe for lemon pickles which can be relished as it is with rice/ ganji, ghee and other side dishes. You can also add chilli powder and other spices to make spicy pickles.
Two ingredients lemon pickles

  • Above is the basic lemon pickles made at our place, coastal region and Kasaragod.
  • You can make variations by adding fresh hippali/ long pepper or fresh green pepper corns or fresh gandhari menasu (jeerige menasu which is a small variety of green chilli). I have added few long peppers this year as it was available fresh from a relative's farm.
  • Spices (chilli, fenugreek, turmeric powder) powder along with fried garlic & tadka (seasoning of mustard and oil) can be used instantly to a small portion of this pickles and finish it off in few days.
  • You can directly mix rock salt or table salt to the cut pieces of lemons initially instead of salt water if you are confident. My mother makes it this way. But as a special precautionary measure, I make it a point to add prepared salt water.
  • I used assam lemon here which is a large variety of lemon which is less sour compared to smaller one.
  • Any sour variety of lemon can be used here such as regular small ones or dudlu huli (Pomelo/ Citrus maxima) or herale kai (Citron lime).
Nimbe uppinakai