June 26, 2014

Vellarikai Inji Pachadi | Cucumber and Ginger Raita | Summer Meals

When I saw Sapana's Cucumber raita it reminded me of the Vellarikai Inji Pachadi we make at home - its a sellout success everytime, as we team it up with UpmaPongalSet DosaVangibhathBisibeleBhath or even Chinna Vengaya Kuzhambu (Pearl Onion Tamarind Gravy) . Earthy, rustic and homely - that's how I would describe this dish. The pics dont do justice to the dish as it was clicked just before dinner in front of a hungry family (you know how it goes from there on....But I shall update the pics soon)..

In the meantime, this dish goes to BM # 41 under bookmarked recipes and also to my event - My health, My way - Calcium rich recipes guest hosted by PJ. If you have any Calcium rich recipes do send it to her here - the event ends 16th July. 

If you have missed any of the BM posts this month under different categories, here's a quick recap:

Under Summer Foods:

    Under Iron Rich recipes:

Under Bookmarked recipes:

   Now to today's recipe :

   Prep time : 15 mins | Zero Cook | Serves : 2
   Serving suggestions : 


  •   Cucumber - 1 medium
  •   Grated coconut - 3 TBSP
  •   Ginger - 1 tsp
  •   Jeera / Cumin - 1/2 tsp
  •   Green chillies - 1
  •   Curd / yoghurt - 1 cup
  •   Salt - to taste

  Tempering (optional) : Oil 1 tsp, mustard seeds 1/2 tsp, curry leaves- few

  1.   Peel and dice the cucumbers finely.
  2.   Grind coconut, jeera, ginger, chillies, salt to a fine paste using very little water.
  3.   Whisk the curd well, free of lumps. Add the ground paste, mix well. Chill well.
  4.   Just before serving ,add salt and if required tempering with mustard and curry leaves

June 25, 2014

Wholewheat Margherita Pizza | Cheesy Pizza from scratch | Homemade Pizza - A Step by Step recipe

Pizza needs no introduction - for kids and adults alike. Kids pester adults to buy/ make it, and adults eat (gulp) them under the guise of feeding it to kids :-) either way, both of them love it. My kid, like any other, loves it too - and this time helped me make it from scratch. The lil chef was so cooperative and waited patiently as the dough rose and we baked it. She ever so lovingly even transferred it from the warm pan to the plate, but didnt leave me time to click the pics (cant really blame her - kids' patience at play here :-))

Nevertheless, inspired by Sapana's recipe (whom I am paired with this week), we got to make this. So, go ahead, make this and let me know how you liked it.. Btw, whats your favourite Pizza topping ?

I pretty much followed Sapana's recipe here with minor tweaks. And thanks to her, I also made a batch of homemade pizza sauce that was super delish - that post later.The quantites and ingredients are the same as my Wholewheat Veggie Pizza with Olives and Bell peppers (except that I omitted all veggie toppings and went with just onions and tomatoes and cheese)

Now enjoy the pics, and have a virtual treat :) Sending this to BM # 41 under bookmarked recipes.

Step 1 : Prove the yeast in warm water with sugar
Step 2 : sieve wholewheat flour with soda salt etc
Step 3 : add yeast into the flour
Step 4 : Make the dough 
Step 5 : Let it double (as its wholewheat, it wont rise that much but will be soft)
Step 6 : knead before rolling out
Step 7 :  Spread the pizza sauce, top with tomatoes and cheese, bake for 160C in a preheated oven for 10-12 mins till the Cheese melts

Your Margherita pizza is ready :)

June 24, 2014

Ellogarai or Ellu Sadam | Sesame seeds spiced Rice | Flavoured Rice Variant | Main Course | Festival Recipe

Ellaogarai is a classic Tamilian dish . Ogarai means flavoured / tempered rice.. Puli (tamarind) + ogarai = Puliyogarai (tamarind flavoured rice). Similarly Ellu (sesame) + ogarai = Ellogarai (sesame seeds flavoured rice).. All these tempered rice are served at South Indian Tamil Temples as prasad and also made at home during festivals and occasions. I credit my grandmom (Pati) completely for having introduced us to these delicacies..

When I saw this recipe at Sapana's blog (with whom I am paired for this BM), it brought back memories of that wonderful dish. I have tweaked Sapana's recipe based on how it is made at our home. Sapana's blog is a wonderful collection of recipes, and I was especially hooked on to her desserts and north indian section, esp the Punjabi / Delhi cuisine. Sending this to BM # 41 under bookmarked recipes (paired blogger recipes)

Prep time : 10 mins | Cook time : 20 mins | Serves : 2
Recipe Type : South Indian, Main Course / Festival recipes

(You may make this with pre-cooked and cooled rice, but as I was making it for Naivedyam / offering to God, I made the rice from scratch - either way make sure the rice is fluffed up with separate grains)

  • Rice - 1 cup
  • Salt - to taste
  • Oil - 3 TBSP (pref Sesame Oil as it gives authentic taste) 

Spice Powder:
  • Til / Sesame seeds (white) - 3 TBSP
  • Black Sesame seeds - 1 TBSP (optional)
  • Hing / Asafoetida - a generous pinch (1/4 tsp)
  • Urad Dal / Split black gram - 3 tsp
  • Dry copra grated - 2 TBSP
  • Channa Dal - 1 tsp
  • Dry red chillies - 3 (adjust spice)
  • Oil - 1 TBSP 

  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
  • Cashewnuts - few
  • Broken red chillies - 1 or 2 
  • Curry leaves - few 

  1. Cook rice, fluff it nicely and spread in a large flat plate. Drizzle 1 TBSP oil into it and leave aside.
  2. In a dry pan roast the sesame seeds till it splutters (take care not to burn it). Transfer to a plate and cool. Similarly dry roast the copra (dry coconut) for 10 secs and transfer to another plate.
  3. Add 1 TBSP oil, and roast the Urad Dal, Channa Dal, Red chillies one by one. Cool in a plate.
  4. Grind the dals and chillies first to a coarse powder. Now add sesame seeds and copra and hing and blitz it just once in a spice grinder (dont over do it as the sesame and copra would leave behind oil) 
  5.  In a non stick pan, add oil for tempering. Splutter mustard seeds, urad dal curry leaves, broken red chillies and cashewnuts. Once the cashew and urad dal turn golden brown, add the ground spice mixture and salt on a low flame. After two minutes, turn off the heat and add the cooked rice and toss well.
  6.  Serve immediately or with fried papads. I served it with Pineapple Cucumber Raita for a sumptuous Sunday Brunch. 

June 19, 2014

Oven Roasted Chickpeas | Healthy Snacks | Iron Rich foods

Chickpeas (aka Garbanzo Beans or Kabuli Channa) is another great source of Iron. While I generally make PunjabiChole (Curry) or Sundal (steamed snack) or Potato Chickpea Soup with this, of late I have been cooking this in bulk and freezing – it comes handy while adding it to a kootu (gravy) or even making a quick snack or adding it to Tikki. Of course, the best way to enjoy this is to make a batch of Hummus or Falafels and enjoy it with Pita or Crackers. But that one – another day !

Till then enjoy this oven roasted chickpeas – it’s a great snack for kids, as well as to quell those 4 pm hunger cravings. What’s more – its homemade, so you get to choose the oil and spice that go into this. It only requires you to keep watching the oven and monitoring the beans a bit, but once its done, I bet you cant stop digging into the snack box, hunger time  or no !  Hope you enjoyed the Iron Rich series presented this week – Sugarfree Dates and Anjeer Halwa, Broccoli-Spinach Paratha and now this Roasted Chickpeas.

If you have any iron rich recipes (click here on what all contains iron) – both old and archived – do link it up at my event that’s being hosted till July 15th (Pssst : Yes, there's a giveaway too - so hurry :))

Prep time : 15 mins | Soaking and cooking time : 8-10 hours
Baking time : 45 mins (will vary from oven to Oven)

Note : As I already had a batch of cooked chickpeas, I followed this recipe, and it came out great. Else you may need to soak overnight and cook the chickpeas (make sure you add a pinch of salt and also ensure that they don’t turn mushy). Alternately, if you are using canned chickpeas, kindly drain before using and add the seasonings directly.

Source : Vardhini

  • Cooked Chickpeas – 1 cup
  • Oil – 4 to 5 TBSP (I used olive oil)
  • Red chilli powder – 2 tsp (adjust spice)
  • Salt – to taste (adjust as the cooked chickpeas may also contain salt)
  • Cumin Powder – 1 tsp
  • Garam Masala – ½ TBSP
  • Chat Masala – ¼ tsp

  1. In a large bowl, add the chickpeas and add all the masala (spice powders) incl salt. Mix well. Add 1 TBSP of oil and toss again.
  2. Layer the spiced beans on a foil lined tray. Grease the foil with cooking spray or any oil that you are using. Preheat oven to 200C/400F
  3. Bake for 35-40 mins (depending on when they get crunchy – they harden a bit on cooling, so twice durig the bake, I retossed the beans and put it back into the oven)
  4. Let it cool a bit and store the baked beans as an any-time snack !

June 18, 2014

Stuffed Broccoli-Palak Parathas | Broccoli and spinach stuffed flatbread | Iron Rich Recipes

While on the lookout for Iron Rich Recipes, I found that two of my kids favourite ingredients - Broccoli and Spinach - contained Iron in good quantities. While a stir fry was the first thought on how to combine these two, Parathas (or Stuffed flatbread) was a better option coz that meant I would have a new Lunchbox dish and Breakfast as well. I made only a couple in the rushed mornings, and the pics are just before they were packed off. Serve it with vegan / eggless coleslaw or just a salad, it makes for a complete meal.  Off to the recipe filed under BM's Iron Rich dishes after yesterday's Sugarfree Dates and Anjeer Halwa.

Similar Parathas you can check out on this blog:

Prep time : 20 mins | Cook time : 15 mins | Makes : 4 Parathas

  • Wholewheat flour - 1/2 cup
  • Besan / Roasted gramflour - 1 TBSP
  • Broccoli - 2 medium florets
  • Spinach - about 10- 15 medium leaves
  • Salt - to taste
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Ajwain / Carrom Seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Jeera powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Chilli powder - 1/2 TBSP
  • Minced ginger - 1/2 tsp
  • Chopped coriander - 2 tsp
  • Minced chillies - 1 (optional)
  • Warm water - to make the dough
  • Oil - to pan fry the Parathas

  1. In a large bowl, add flours, salt. Mix well. Add 2 TBSP of oil and make a medium soft dough adding warm water little by little. Cover and rest for 10 mins. 
  2. Wash and pat dry the veggies. In another bowl, grate the broccoli and add the shredded spinach. Add a pinch of salt and leave for 2-3 mins. Squeeze out the water if any. Now add the spices, coriander and very little salt and a tsp of oil and make a stuffing . Mix well.  (If making for adults, skip the salt and add a tsp of mango pickle to the stuffing : it tastes awesome).
  3. Pinch out a small roundel of the dough. Roll into a small disc. Add a tsp or two of the filling, and close the filling from all sides. 
  4. Now gently roll again to a largish disc of medium thickness. 
  5. Place on a moderately hot tava/ skillet. Now flip once some brown spots are seen. 
  6. Drizzle oil and cook on medium heat on both sides.
  7. Repeat till all the dough is exhausted. You should get about 4-5 medium sized parathas.
  8. Serve with Tomato Pachadi or any Pineapple Raitha 

June 17, 2014

Sugarfree Dates and Anjeer Halwa | Dates and Fig Pudding | Iron rich recipes

I prefer Sugarfree sweets (especially those mildly sweet like a Rasmalai), and so does my family. Although we dont have a sweet tooth, we prefer those which are easy to make without too much refined sugar. And this recipe from the versatile and my favourite cookbook author, Tarla Dalal helped me do just that  - Anjeer and Dates Halwa without a pinch of added sugar. I made my personal modifications and the family loved it.

What's more ? Its so rich in Iron and Haemoglobin, even my toddler liked it when I made little roundels and fed her.  This week I am hosting Valli's Kid Delight with the Iron Rich Recipes theme, and this recipe fit the bill perfectly. Stay tuned on more Iron Rich recipes that are kid friendly coming your way this week ! Linking it to BM # 41 Iron Rich Recipes as well as my event. If you have an Iron Rich recipe (archived or new), do feel free to link it up here

Recipe Source : Tarla Dalal

Prep time : 10 mins | Cook time : 20 mins | Serving : 4 , keeps for 1 week under refrigeration.

  • Anjeer (dried figs) - 100 gms 
  • Dates (pitted) - 100 gms 
  • blanched and powdered almonds (reserve a few for garnish) - 50 gms
  • Black raisins - 25 gms (about 2 tsp)
  • unsweetened milk powder - 1/3 cup 
  • Elaichi powder (cardamom powder) - 1/2 tsp 
  • Ghee (Clarified butter)- 2 TBSP 
In a large pan, add 2 cups of water. Bring to a rolling boil. Cook the figs, dates and raisins for 4-5 mins. Drain and puree them.
Heat ghee in a non stick pan, add the ghee and saute the powdered almonds for 2-3 mins
Add the puree, milk powder and on a very low flame stir till the ghee leaves the sides.
Add the elaichi powder and mix well. 
Cool to room temperature and garnish with the reserved almond slivers.

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