May 25, 2020

Sugarfree Lemon Iced Tea | How to make Lemon Iced Tea | Summer Coolers

Come Summer, and we hanker for Sugarfree Coolers / Mocktails / Smoothies for a mid-morning snack or at breakfast time. This year, thanks to the lockdown, we have all members of the family working / studying / playing at home 24x 7, so naturally the demand for these simple homemade coolers are increasing.

We are not fans of milkshakes (milk / ice cream with fruits) but rather prefer the naturally ripened fruits as a whole. Lemons are a cool favourite during the summers like this Lemon Fresca and my elder one is a fan of Iced Tea like this Orange Iced Tea or the Pistachio Rose Iced Tea . So, rather than use store bought (and calorie / sugar laden pre mix), we made the Iced Tea at home. 

This is naturally sweetened with honey and tasted delicious (I am not a tea drinker,so didn’t have it). You could sub the honey with maple syrup to make this completely vegan too.

The husband and the elder one enjoyed this in the place of their afternoon masala Chai ritual. Tea drinking as a ritual and lemon added to it made for a welcome change. If life hands you lemons make Waagmi's Eggless Lemon Cake who shared a theme with Lemons. this week for FMBH #248LemonLove. Or make a lemonade . Or if you still love your tea, make this Sugar Free Lemon Iced Tea. 

Other Sugar Free beverages / Smoothies that might interest you this summer :)

Takes under 10 mins to make. Do let me know how you liked it.


Prep time - 5 mins, Cook time - zero. Serves - 2

What you need:
Water - 200 ml
Assam Black Tea (used to make Masala Chai) - 2 tsp (OR use 2 tea bags)
Honey - to taste
Lemon juice - 1 TBSP

How to:
Bring the water to rolling boil. Add the tea leaves and let the leaves steep for a good 5 mins. Switch off flame. After 5 mins, strain out the tea liquid. 
If using sugar, you can also add at this stage, and refrigerate this for further use (if not making tea immediately) 
In chilled glasses, add 1 tsp of honey to the bottom layer. Mix well. 
Add few cubes of ice, top up with the tea decoction, add lemon juice and stir well. 
Top with more crushed ice, a sprig of mint and enjoy immediately. 

May 18, 2020

Video Recipe - Wholewheat Baked Papdi for Chat | How to make Baked Wholewheat Papdi for Chaat

It's absolutely true when they say necessity is the mother of invention. Being Chaat lovers at home, we frequently indulge in quick, healthy, sumptuous chaats as snacks and sometimes as dinner too (Think Ragda Patties / Chole Patties etc). Keeping the chutneys - Red chilli garlic pasteGreen chilli Chutney and Dates - tamarind chutney  (a.k.a Teekha - Meetha Chutneys) becomes very handy to make quick chaats

 to Taco Bhel to Kutchi Dabeli to Dahi Moong Chaat (GF) , Chaat is something the kids and elders love at home . 

Need more Chaat recipes ? Check these out while we make today's dish...
I had made Sev Puri several times (even with the deep fried Papdis) made at home. But with this lockdown, I had to make the Baked Papdis - something on my bucket list for a while. 

Adapted from Swati’s recipe (who incidentally also suggested the theme for this week’s FMBH “Chaat Time”), this was a breeze. Thanks much Swaty for this wonderful, homely way to bake the papdis for the chaats

Not just for Sev Puri or Sev Batata Puri, this became a great go-to snack for those 4 pm hunger pangs, and I see this becoming a healthy base snack like canapés. The husband added some boiled potato and moong sprouts and some schezwan sauce to make his own fusion sev puri last week. 

 I made a second batch while shooting the video, and full credit to my little one who helped me with the over head shoots (while balancing on her tiny wooden stool next to me).    

I have made few minor changes from Swati’s recipe. Do watch my video below, subscribe to the channel and leave your comments on this blog as well as the video.

Over to the recipe. 

Wholewheat Baked Papdi ~ No Deep fry 
Prep time - 20 mins + rest time of 30 mins | Bake time - 12 to 15 mins per batch. 
Makes ~  50 pieces (medium sized)
Spice level - Medium ; cuisine / Course - Indian Snack


You would need:
Wholewheat flour - 1.5 cups 
Roasted Semolina - 2 heaped TBSP
Ghee / clarified butter - 4 tsp
Salt - to taste
Ajwain / carrom seeds - 1/4 tsp
Kasuri Methi (dried fenugreek leaves) crushed - 1 tsp
Red chilli pwdr / paprika - 1/2 tsp
Sesame seeds - 1/2 tsp
Ice Cold water - for binding - I used about 4 TBSP + 1 tsp  

How to:
Refer the following youtube link for directions, and do leave your comments on what other video recipes you would like to see on the blog / youtube channel.

May 4, 2020

2-min Coffee Cocoa Mug Cake - Eggless too ! | Easy Cake Recipes for #Lockdown

Serious Baristas would agree that "Good communication is just as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after." Well,I don't drink either coffee or tea (except an occasional green/herbal tea). My coffee-loving family tells me often that I am missing out a lot without either of the beverages, but I don't miss either of them, having not drunk both since childhood.

Ahem! If you are done rolling your eyes,I make it up with baking / cooking with Coffee for small, impromptu celebrations at home. And for the record, I make excellent South Indian Filter Coffee for others at home without which no self-respecting TamBrahm would start their day :)      

So, today's dessert came rather as a welcome surprise for my family who were served this coffee-rich dessert within minutes of wrapping lunch. My little one was the most excited and my coffee-loving (critic of a) husband declared it a roaring success. Mind you, he takes his Affogato, Mochiatto and Espresso as seriously as South Indian Filter Coffee. The elder girl had made a Dalgona Coffee Cake with Choco chips recently - a recipes which I intend to share soon !  

Well, if you have 5 mins of prep time and 2 mins to watch over, you can beat all the midnight sugar cravings post dinner or even make a quick treat during this #lockdown. I have used Instant Coffee powder here, but you can use any variant you have. You may also serve it with Vanilla Ice Cream or topped with Rich Chocolate sauce 

The best part of this recipe is you can exercise portion control (the most difficult part of any dessert) and make it in a jiffy whenever those choco-coffee cravings kick in !  In fact, it took me more time to write/edit this post than it took to me bake it:)

Sasmita gave #LoveforCoffee theme for #FMBH. She has an amazing eye for capturing beverages, and her food styling is something worth emulating.  

Pin for later

Prep time - 5 mins | Bake time - 2 mins | Serves - 1

For each serving, add a mix of the following. Just repeat the steps and quantities for X number of servings

What you require and how to make:

Sift 2 TBSP all purpose flour, 1 TBSP Cocoa pwdr, 1.5 TBSP powdered Sugar, 1 tsp Instant Coffee granules, 1/8 tsp baking powder. To this dry mixture, add 2 TBSP milk, 1 TBSP oil and a few drops of vanilla essence. Mix well.
Pour into ramekins / microwaveable coffee mugs. Sprinkle choco chips on top if desired.
Microwave for 1 min. Let it stand for 10 seconds. 
Microwave for 30 secs more. Check with toothpick, if it comes out clean, let it stand for 10 more seconds in the microwave . serve immdly after that.
If it doesnt (owing to quanities made or quality of cocoa / milk etc), microwave for 20-30 seconds more.
It should be done in max 2 mins, give or take a few seconds
Serve in the same ramekins or topped with ice cream / chocolate sauce.
I served it wit drizzled confectioner's sugar.


April 30, 2020

How to make Kodo Millet Pongal | வரகு அரிசி பொங்கல்| Millet Recipes

Pongal is a favourite breakfast at home. Apart from Ven pongal (the classic rice-dal combo), we also enjoy a variety with millets and other grains in both savoury and sweet variants. The brown rice chakkara pongal (sweet variant) is one of our favourite made on festive occasions,  while the Oats pongal, thinai pongal (foxtail millet pongal) , samai pongal (little millet) , Rava Pongal are also repeated  during the menu rotation. 

Varagu (Kodo Millet) is one pseudo-grain that I alternate along with Foxtail Millet (Thinai), Samai to use in place of rice for everyday meals or in Pongal (savoury porridge). Pongal is mostly our go-to dish for Sunday breakfast

Whatever the dish, whatever the reason, Millets in pongal form is yummy, light. The kids don’t even need to know it’s not made of rice. You can also moderate the ghee (clarified butter) used in pongal, but we prefer it on the lower side . Asafoetida is a must in most of our savoury pongal and that combined with kodo millet (called varagu in tamil) was a yummy dish. We love pongal with Avial. But kids love it  coconut chutney or even veg peel chutney. 

Anu - my paired blogger for this month’s theme of millets (Sshh Cooking Challenge theme by Aruna) brought a new dish at home. Anu has made a delicious Ragi Rotti with ragi flour and chillies that I gave her..  

Other millet dishes on the blog include:

Varagu Upma - Kodo Millet Upma

and many more...

Let’s see how to make today's pongal 

Prep time - 5 Mins, soak time - 10 Mins ; Cook time - 15 Mins, Serves : 3 generously.

What you need:
Varagu / Kodo Millet - 1 cup (240 ml)
Moong dal - 1/4 cup (soaked for 10 mins)
Salt - to taste
Pinch of turmeric

Tempering :
Ghee - 2 tsp 
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp 
Black Pepper and ginger crushed - 1 tsp combined 
Cashews bits - few (optional)
Curry leaves - few
Asafoetida - a generous pinch.


How to:
  • Wash millets twice or thrice well. Soak in water for 10 mins. Similarly dry roast moong for 1-2 mins till aromatic and also soak it for 10 mins.
  • In a pressure cooker, add the soaked millet and dal along with 5-6 cups of water , a pinch of turmeric and half the salt . Pressure cook for 4-5 whistles .Let the pressure come down on its own. Mash the dal-millet mixture with a ladle while it’s hot and add the remaining salt. 
  • Adjust the pongal gooeyness at this stage - if Its too runny , simmer the mixture on the stove for a few mins till it reaches the right consistency. If it’s too dry, add upto 3-4 tbsp of HOT water, mix well and adjust consistency. Some people like pongal runny and some like it a Tad dry. We prefer something midway. It’s totally personal. 
  • Prepare tempering with ghee. Splutter cumin seeds, asafoetida , cashews and curry leaves till cashews turn golden brown. Switch off the flame and add pepper-ginger mixture. Mix well and pour this tempering  into the pongal. Mix well, adjust salt if needed and serve pongal steaming hot. 

April 27, 2020

Video Recipe - Quick Masala Murmura | Khara Pori | How to make Masala Mamra

Masala Murmura is a quick to make, almost-oil free and healthy snack for kids. My little one loves this and calls this Sukha Bhel (not quite a misnomer), and I make this quite often at home . Murumura (Puffed rice) is called Kadalepuri in Kannada or Pori in Tamil. And for all those from Bangalore, you would remember those hawkers in Lalbagh / Cubbon Park peddling these Masala Murmura or Khara Kadlepuri cones over a hot coal pot !!

In these days of a forced stay at home, snacks are demanded by kids through the day. These kind of jar snacks with a long shelf life take care of those hunger (or quasi-hunger) pangs. As Renu suggested , this week we are going with #SnackMania where we present long shelf-life as theme for #FMBH. 

Similar low-oil  / no deep fry jar snacks on the blog include:

Karnataka special Baked Nippattu (similar to masala Mathri)

Baked Pepper Sev

Murmura / Kadalepuri –  250 grams
Groundnuts – ¼ cup
Dalia / fried gram – 4 tbsp
Curry leaves – few
Salt – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Broken dry Kashmiri red chillies – 1 or 2 (or sub with 1 tsp red chilli powder)
Turmeric – 1 tsp
Oil – 2.5 tsp (split use)


Please check the youtube video embedded below and do leave your valuable comments too. 


April 22, 2020

30 Curd-based Dishes to beat the heat | Summer Meals | #Yoghurt #Curd

Yoghurt or curd is an excellent probiotic promoting healthy gut flora as well as aid in digestion. Indian Meals have largely included  Curd or Yoghurt (a.ka. Dahi in Hindi, Thayir in Tamil, Mosaru in Kannada etc) as part of their meals. From the humble Tamilnadu style Curd Rice to the exotic Spanish Cucumber gAzpacho, curd is used in various dishes.   

This article also mentions that yogurt has been found to reduce the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis, as well as aid in weight management. It's known for containing a lot of calcium, a mineral necessary for healthy teeth and bones. Just one cup provides 49% of your daily calcium needs

The following is a collection of 30 curd-based dishes. Hope you find them helpful to incorporate Curd / Yoghurt into everyday meals. 

Dahiwali Hari Chutney - served with Kebabs

Palak ke Raita (spinach in curd sauce)

Doddapatre Thambli (Karnataka style raita made with Owa leaves)

Mooli Raita (Radish Raita)

Katrikkai Pachadi (Eggplant raita)

Gravies (Served with Rice)

Ashgourd in Yoghurt sauce (Pusanikai Morkozhambu)

Kadhi Pakodi (gramflour dumplings in yoghurt sauce)

Methi Kadhi (fresh Fenugreek leaves in yoghurt sauce)


Oats Methi Dhokla - GF snack

Iyengar style Thayir Vadai (South Indian style Dahi Vada) 

Khatta Dhokla (GF snack)

Morkali (Tamilnadu Special Rice flour-Buttermilk Pudding) 

Dahi Batata Puri (streetfood / Chaat)



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