Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Solkadhi/ Kokum Tambuli/ Punarpuli tambli

Though solkadhi and Kokum tambuli aren’t same, I combined them in a single post as they are closely related. Solkadhi is a drink originated from India, highly made in Goa & Maharastra. This is served before, during or after meal which is a greatest appetizer. Basically it is made of kokum juice and coconut milk with few basic spices in seasoning. Both the major ingredients kokum & coconut milk are known for their cooling and healing property, hence it is a perfect drink during summer days! This Konkani delicacy is very easy to make at the same time very satisfying too.

When it comes to coastal Karnataka, Udupi & Mangalore region, tambulis are the integral part of the menu here especially in the summer. It is so comforting during those hot & sweaty days. In tambuli buttermilk is used & coconut is ground with kokum rind instead of adding coconut milk. This is the major difference between tambuli & solkadhi. I believe jaggery is not used in solkadhi, but I added it for the balanced taste!

To mention about kokum / punarpuli (tulu) / birinda which is one of wonderful wild fruits scientifically known as Garcinia indica. These trees are majorly found in Asia & Africa, belongs to the family of mangosteen. Having number of health benefits, its largely being used in cooking and it had many industrial uses too. The outer rind/ skin is used in cooking and the butter extracted from the seed is used in making chocolate as well as in cosmetic industry as ointment base, lipstick base and some other applications too. The fruits are harvested in the season summer. The rind is collected & sun dried after discarding seeds which is stored for long term use generally. Also it is stored in the form of squash or concentrated juice extract which is diluted to make juice as and when required too. Many places, the rind is used for its sour taste which works as a replacement to tamarind! The attractive dark pink color makes beautiful rasam which is liked by many.


Preparation (soaking) time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2
Dry kokum rind/ Punarpuli odu/ sippe – 8-10, adjust depending on how strong it is
Coconut milk – 1 glass
Salt – to taste
Pepper powder – to taste
Jaggery – 1 tbsp (optional), adjust to taste
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Cumin - ¼ tsp
Coconut oil – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Garlic cloves – 3-4, chopped 
Dry red chilli – 1
Water – 1.5 glasses
Ice cubes - optional


  • Wash the kokum rinds clean and soak in ½ glass of water for half an hour.
  • Extract 1 glass of coconut milk and keep it ready.
  • When the kokum rinds are soft, squeeze them with fingers to extract the juice completely. Strain using a juice strainer; add more water if required while doing so.
  • Juice can be extracted by churning the kokum rinds once in a blender/ mixer & then straining too instead of squeezing with hand. If you are using this procedure, then don’t overdo the grinding process.
  • Now mix coconut milk & extracted kokum juice, salt, pepper powder & jaggery powder.
  • Prepare a seasoning of mustard, cumin, chopped garlics, minced red chilli and curry leaves. Add it to the solkadhi drink.
  • Serve chilled/ with added ice cubes. You can garnish with chopped coriander leaves optionally.

  • Instead of extracting coconut milk, you can add coconut by grinding it into very smooth paste too. Add buttermilk to this to make tambuli.
  • Jaggery is not added in original solkadhi recipe, it tastes great with mild sweetness.
  • There is another version of solkadhi, without coconut milk or buttermilk. In that case, it is just kokum extract with salt and aromatic seasoning.

Kokum Tambuli

Saturday, 25 April 2020

Pink water apple salad/ Nakshatra nerale salad/ bell fruits salad with onions & vegetables

Pink water apple/ bell fruit/ nakshatra nerale which is also called as rose apple sometimes are crunchy, juicy and tangy tropical fruits. A single tree or young healthy plant yields a lot of fruits during the season spring/ summer. They fall off tree within a week of maturing too. They are tasty to eat with salt and they go well in juice, chutney too. This time we had nice harvest in our garden during this period of lock down and I tried this salt which was really delicious. Even raita can be prepared with it by adding thick curds. If you are a person who likes tomato raita, then you will like this too with that tangy taste in it. I made both salads with and without curds, liked both of them.

Pink water apple salad

Served raita with bisibele bhath, salad goes well as a started during lunchtime or as a healthy mid-day snacks! Check for the recipe of bell fruit juice.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Serves: 3
Bell fruit/ water apple/ nakshatra nerale (chopped after removing seeds)– ½ - 1 cup
Onions – 1
Grated carrots – ½ cup
Freshly grated coconut – 2 tbsp
Chopped green chilli – to taste
Chopped fresh coriander – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
Coconut oil – 1 tsp
Chilli powder – to taste (optional)

  • Clean bell fruits properly, wash clean. Remove seeds and chop them as desired.
  • Peel, wash & chop onions.
  • Wash, peel carrot and grate it. Grate coconut too, keep it ready.
  • Now take a wide mixing/ salad serving bowl. Mix all the vegetables, bell fruits and grated coconut. Add chopped chilli & coriander leaves.
  • Add chilli powder if using and coconut oil too.
  • Mix salt before serving and serve fresh & delicious salad.
bell fruits salad withonions & vegetables

  • You can use any variety of bell fruits, I used pink & sour tasted ones here.
  • You can make variations by adding other vegetables like cucumber/ capsicum/ beets and so on.
  • Optionally yogurt/ curds can be used to make raita.
Nakshatra nerale salad

Friday, 17 April 2020

Vasanta Rutucharya

Vasanta rutu indicates the beginning of new year (Yugaadi). Chaitra & Vaishaka maasa come under Vasanta rutu.
From 25-3-2020 to 22-5-2020 is the Vasanta rutu. It is the time of flowers & fruits harvest!

During Hemantha & Shishira,  Kapha is accumulated in the body due to the food regimen and climatic conditions. The coldness of atmosphere did not cause its aggravation.
(Imagine the state of the solidified ghee/ oil).

During Vasanta rutu, sky becomes clear and sunlight is bright. The accumulated kapha dosha, due to hot sun rays, begin to liquify and spread to other sites. When a dosha gets displaced from its original site, it tends to get accumulated in other sites & starts vitiating the original dosha, which are already present in that site. It is called as sthanika dosha dushti, which may lead to disease (vyadhi). All the food & lifestyle practices suggested in vasantha aim at control of increased kapha dosha & prevent it from causing disorders.

The molten kapha dosha hampers agni (digestive power). When there is deranged digestive power, it affects metabolism at various levels. Therefore, Vasanta charya is mainly planned for agni deepana along with kapha shodhana.
Vamana & Nasya therapies are administered here for cleaning purpose.  Food of quality strong potency & pungent (katu in sanskrit), astringent, drying, light & hot potency (ushna) are suggested in this season. 
  • Below is the list which is considered as good during Vasanta rutu:
  • Cereals:  like barley, rice, wheat which are stored and old.
  • Meat:  of arid origin (light for digestion), grilled (exposed to direct heat)
  • Beverages: Honey, aasava, arishta, wine, shunti kashaya etc..
  • Vegetables: bitter leafy vegetables

Lifestyle suggested are as follows
  • Vigorous exercise
  • Walking, jogging
  • Outdoor games like kabaddi, football, swimming
  • Self-hygiene – bath twice a day
  • Body anointment with fragrant pastes of Kapoor/ chandan etc.. (prevents body odour due to excessive perspiration)
  • Medicated smoke inhalation
  • Oil pulling, one can also use warm water or hot decoction

Ayurveda suggests to avoid the following:
  • milkshakes, thick pulpy juices, lassi  
  • Sour, salt, sweet food articles
  • Heavy, oily , milk & milk products, ghee
  • Day sleep

Food from this blog Sahaja Siri

Moringa chutney

Heerekai sippe chutney
Drumstick leaves palya, Chutney powder, moringa powder
Majjige huli
Seasonal fruits curries / seasonal vegetable curries, raw preparations
Plantain stem preparations like dosa, palya, barley banana stem juice
Traditional kashaya such as coriander cumin kashaya
Khadira water
Dodda patre tea
Rasams such as Jeera pepper rasam, red hibiscus rasam, lemon rasam, pan leaves rasam…
Moringa rice
Mustard flavoured rice/ mango ginger chitranna

Post credit to Dr. Soumya Bhat, M. D. (Ayu)

Saturday, 11 April 2020

Jackfruit seed milkshake/ Halasina beeja milkshake / Jack seed smoothie

Jackfruit is one of the nutritious fruits and I consider it as super fruit as it is really good in filling stomach with many important nutrients. Jackfruit seed is no different in terms of nutritional benefits which is generally thrown away/ wasted in our place. Though many people like jackfruit, the seeds are highly ignored. Except few items such as curries, holige, laddoo (that too rarely made) they aren’t used much.
Being rich in carbohydrate, protein, vitamins, minerals and other micro nutrients they can be healthier options for daily meals especially can be used for food safety in poor countries where there is scarcity of food. Jackfruit seed is our family favorite and I am always ready to try anything with it.
Now, jackfruit is given the title of state fruit of Kerala and lots of researches & trials happening with it and number of dishes being made and highly appreciated by the consumers too. Recently when I have come across the Jackseed milkshake post of Shree Padre, Journalist & Rain Water Harvesting expert (Adike patrike’s ‘Neeringisona’ fame), I could not wait anymore to try that out. Fortunately I had few jackfruit seeds (about 10) in my pantry in this lock down time! So tried it in my kitchen, the taste is just wow. It is delicious, nutritious & satisfying on tummy and not to mention a big hit at home.  You can call it milkshake or kheer or smoothie, anything you like... Process of making milkshake isn’t difficult too. I understood from Shree Padre that it is a big hit in Kerala/ internet world too. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe.

Jackfruit seed milkshake

Please check Jackfruit seed halwa recipe here.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2 glasses
Jackfruit seeds(seeds collected from ripe fruit) – 6-8
Chilled milk – 1 glass
Chilled Water (water + ice cubes) – 1 glass
Jaggery powder – 2-3 tbsp, adjust to taste
Cardamom powder – a pinch (optional)

  • De-husk jackfruit seed. That is, remove the thick plastic like skin covering the seed. Retain the brown thin coating of the seeds.
  • Wash, cut into halves and pressure cook with sufficient water (about 1 glass). It may require 5-6 whistles depending on the freshness of the seed. It should be cooked very soft.
  • Once done, set aside until pressure is released & cooled down to room temperature or little warmer.
  • Now take cooked seeds, jaggery, and cardamom powder in a mixer / blender jar. Grind to smooth paste adding water as required. You can use the water in pressure cooker which is used for cooking seeds so that nutrients are not discarded.
  • When it is smooth without any chunks (you can have few chunks if you like, I like that way), add cold milk and blend very well once so that everything is combined well into milkshake.
  • Transfer to the serving glass & serve with added ice cubes (optional).
Halasina beeja milkshake
  • You can add dates soaked in water (or dates syrup) instead jaggery as sweetener.
  • Leaving few chunks of jackfruit seed in milkshake gives nice texture and gives you the feel of kheer.
  • This is very filling milkshake, so better served in the morning hours or with breakfast.
  • Milk can be replaced with coconut milk to make the vegan version of this milkshake.
Jack seed smoothie

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Khara Dosa/ Mangalore style masala neer dosa/ Khara tellavu

Being a Mangalorean, I grown up eating varieties of neer dosa. It was sometimes, plain white neer dosa/ tellavu, Vegetable neer dosa like cucumber neer dosa, tender coconut dosa, & many more. Today I am sharing one such recipe of making spicy neer dosa or khara dosa which is nothing but a variant of neer dosa with the addition of basic spices. With the flavour of common spices found in indian kitchens like coriander seeds & red chillis, it makes a special breakfast or snacks option! Jaggery syrup or coconut- jaggery mix is a perfect combination to this spicy dosa, whereas one can serve it with choice of chutney/ sambhar too which is equally good combination. This dosa can be made with mix of 2 varieties of rices, white dosa rice & parboiled rice (Kuchilakki/ red rice). I am writing this recipe using this combination, but you can make it with just white dosa rice.

Khara Dosa

Preparation time: 4 hours
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Serves: 15 dosa
Dosa rice (white) – 1.5 cups
Boiled rice/ Kerala matta rice – 1.5 cups, you can replace it with white dosa rice too
Dry red chillis - to taste, I add 1-2 as we eat less spice (you can increase the number)
Coriander seeds – 2 tsp
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp (optional)
Salt – to taste
Oil/ ghee – to make dosa
Ginger – a small piece (optional)
Fresh green leaves (coriander / curry leaves/ moringa)- 3-4 tbsp (finely chopped). I used mix of brahmi, moringa, coriander & curry leaves here
Freshly grated coconut – ¼ cup (optional)

  • Wash and soak both rices for 4 hours.
  • Once done, drain water and keep aside.
  • Take coriander seeds, cumin, red chilli in mixer jar (wet grinding).  Blend them so that the spices are coarsely powdered. Now soaked & drained rice, salt and water as needed and grind to smooth batter.
  • The batter consistency should be slightly thicker than regular neer dosa batter. You can add water & adjust the consistency if required after making a dosa.
  • Add finely chopped greens to this batter and make dosas with fresh batter.
  • Don’t ferment this batter.
Making dosa:
  • Heat iron griddle or pan.
  • Apply oil on top. Spread dosa with a ladleful of batter. Follow the process of making neer dosa.
  • Cover & cook dosa well. Apply ghee on top, flip dosa (optional).
  • Serve hot dosa with chutney or jaggery syrup or coconut – jaggery mix.
  • After making one dosa, see if dosa is turning harder. Add little water to the batter in this case.
Mangalore style masala neer dosa

  • Store left over batter in refrigerator.
  • You can add finely chopped onions to the batter too.
  • Fresh greens can also be avoided. I add available edible greens around me many times which is a great idea to feed fuzzy eating kids!
  • If you are using only white rice, then I suggest adding coconut while making batter. If using boiled rice, then coconut need not be added.
  • 1 tsp grated jaggery can also be added while grinding batter.
Khara tellavu

Friday, 3 April 2020

Prevention & control of pandemic disease as in Ayurveda

With the end of Shishira Rutu, we have stepped into the next, that is Vasantha Rutu about a week back (on Yugadi). Warm wishes to all, let this new Sharvari samvatsar bring all the goodness to everyone.

Already in the last post, we did highlight the effect of ’Rutu sandhi’. Consequences can be considered as janapadodhwamsa, meaning mass destruction of community. Acharya Charaka has described the consequences of environmental pollution (vikrita vayu – jala – desha (place) – kaala – lakshana) under janapadodhwamsa. He also describes the remedial measures as well.

Primary prevention (before the disease occurrence)
  • Rasayana (Rejuvenative therapy): improves immunity
  • Sadvrutha palana - following codes of conduct
  • Daiva vyapashraya - following rituals & religious practices

Secondary prevention (after the disease occurrence)
  • Bheshaja prayog/ Treatment protocol
  • Panchakarma (detoxification & disinfection measures)

Tertiary prevention (to prevent the spreading & complications of the disease)
  • Rasayana – to restore the immunity
  • Sthana parityaga – leaving the endemic area

By following these, one can keep all types of diseases & disease causing agents at bay..
One among the secondary prevention measures is the panchakarma, during which one should stay isolated and follow the treatment regimen. If one is advised shodhan chikitsa, it lasts for 10-14 days. One can relate it with the ‘quarantine’ that is imposed for controlling the pandemic ‘COVID-19’.

  • A beautiful explanation is given under the heading ‘Aachar Rasayana’. He highlights
  • Truthfulness
  • Have self-control
  • Be away from alcohol & sexual relationships
  • Be away from violence
  • Maintain celibacy (brahmacharya), calmness of mind
  • Have satvic food. Ex: milk, rice, ghee
  • Serve cattles, Brahmins, teachers, elderly, god
  • Have patience & sympathy for other beings
  • Gain knowledge of Desh (Country), kaal (time) and behave accordingly to maintain ecological balance
  • Do aadhyathma sadhana (self-analysis)
  • Do justices always, do charities
  • Treat everyone equally, be with own people
All these have similar qualities as that of a rasayana dravya, which rejuvenates & revives body into full of life.

Along with the above, Ayurveda also has the answer of herbal medicines formulated using various herbs. According to this ancient practice, the medicine must be formulated & prepared using the herbs collected before the pandemic occurs. It is good to have fresh green teas & kashaya to maintain & improve good health and hence preventing the severe effect of disease in individual.

Personal hygiene, self-awareness and maintaining cleaner surrounding have very important role in controlling pandemics. In Indian culture, we had many such rituals, which were instructed & followed by everyone in the society had greatest aim of maintaining socio-economic health.

To highlight few,
  • Speaking/ communicating with others maintaining distance (social distancing). There were no handshakes, no hugs/ kisses to greet. It was namaskar!
  • Leaving footwear outside the home while coming from outside.
  • Washing hands, feet, wiping and stepping inside home
  • Cloths worn outside was never used at home
  • Following few days of isolation on child birth or death in a family. It used to be 11 days, closest family members were not supposed to go out, attend gatherings…
  • Isolation during menstruation
  • Preparing food after bathing.
  • Bathing is must after hair cut & shaving

Everything listed here makes sense?

In kaliyug, life span is limited only upto 100 years. Hence, one should always take care of his physical mental & social health.
Aim of Ayurveda is to maintain the health of a healthy person, which itself is the cure for the sick!

Note: This post credit goes to my friend, Ayurvedic professional Dr. Soumya Bhat, M. D. (Ayu)

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Sweet corn, multi grain dosa/ Corn wheat rice dosa

In the current situation of everyone staying at home to maintain social distancing, one ‘mantra’/ practice that many of us are following and should follow is ‘cook with what you have’. No wasting of food & avoid going out to the shops/ market, where there is a possibility of getting in touch with other citizens if it isn’t really necessary. Stay home, stay safe.
At the same time, cooking healthy meal all the time is challenging too! Trying to be bit creative while cooking with the available stuffs helps in many ways! We have been taught to cook and eat with the locally available stuffs as our parents followed & still following this practice. We were used to serve with the food prepared using seasonal & local ingredients. Buying vegetables & fruits was not so common!  With this background I strongly believe in sustainability, but urban living & space constraint, following this practice isn’t easy too.
Yesterday, while I was thinking what to do for breakfast, I remembered about the whole wheat that I had in my pantry for some time now.  I had only 2 cups of it which was not sufficient. I also had few sweet corns from our neighbour’s farm. So prepared this dosa with the available stuffs, which was not only tasty but also nutrient dense!
Check below links for the recipes of

Sweet corn, multi grain dosa

Preparation time: 3-4 hours
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 12 dosas

Whole wheat – 2 cups
Dosa rice – 1 cup
Corn cob – 1
Green chilli – 1
Salt - to taste
Ghee – applying on dosa

Wash and soak wheat & rice for 3-4 hours.
Remove outer skin & fibre of corn, wash and separate the kernels.
Take soaked rice, wheat & corn kernels in a mixer jar. Add salt and green chilli.
Grind to smooth batter adding water as needed. The batter should not be runny. Keep it little thicker than regular dosa batter. Add water & adjust while making dosas if dosa turns harder.
Prepare dosa with fresh batter, don’t ferment the batter.
To make dosa:
Heat iron tava/ griddle. Apply little oil/ ghee initially. Later you should not apply oil before making dosa, if applied dosa won’t come neatly.
Take a ladle of batter, spread thin dosa like regular dosa.
Cook covered until done.
Apply ghee on top & flip the dosa to cook on medium flame until brown spots are found.
Serve hot dosa with choice of chutney.
If corn is not available, then you can avoid it.
You can add ginger while grinding and chopped curry leaves to the batter.
If unables to spread dosa , because of the oil on tave, then wipe with a clean wet piece of cloth before making dosa.
Refrigerate the left over batter to make dosa later.

Corn wheat rice dosa