October 21, 2014

Happy Diwali to all my readers, and some quick Diwali recipes...

Here's wishing all my readers a very happy Diwali. Wishing you ever lasting happiness and prosperity ! 

Presenting some quick Diwali treats for you and your family ! 

Thirukannamudhu - Sweet Rice Pudding


Iyengar Puliyogarai

Ellogarai - Sesame Rice

Gasagase Payasa (poppy Seeds Kheer)

Wholewheat Pista Gulgula

Maa Laddu - fried gram laddu

Obbatu - Karnataka special (Poli)

October 20, 2014

Ginger Honey Tea | Home Remedy for Sore throat | How to make Ginger Honey Tea

With the weather changing ever so frequently, we find ourselves and our loved ones down with sore throat and cough. This is one sure shot home remedy thats not only quick to make but tasty to savour. After Rava Kanji, this is another quick Home Remedy for BM # 45.

Lets see how we can make this hot beverage that cures sore throat and a persistent cough for both adults and kids. Adjust ginger proportion when serving to toddlers though, and please note honey is not to be administered to infants below 2 years for fear of botulism.

Please note : These home remedies are what work at my place and treats the ailment safely without any side effects. It DOES NOT replace any doctor's advice. Please check with your local practitioner for more on this. See notes below.

Prep time : Nil | Heating time : 5 mins | Serves : 1

You need:
  • Hot water - 2 cups
  • Ginger - 1 inch - peeled and grated
  • Honey - 1 TBSP
  • Black pepper - 1/2 tsp - crushed
  1. In a pan, bring 2 cups of hot water to a rolling boil. Add the grated ginger and crushed black pepper. Boil till it reduces to half (about 1 cup). Switch off. Let the spices remain for 3-4 mins. 
  2. Strain, add honey and serve hot.

  • For kids above 3 years, take half of the simmered decoction, add honey and serve. Repeat after 4-6 hours.  
  • For adults, make this tea in full strength thrice a day. Make fresh batches everyday.

October 19, 2014

Mixed vegetable Saagu | Side dish for Roti & Puri | Easy Side Dishes

If there is one food memory from my Bangalore days that I was allowed to carry forward, it would be rava idli with veg sagu (semolina idli with mix veg curry). Set Dosa too is served with Sagu and Chutney. There was something about these two combos that are full of warmth, comforting and filling too ! I was amazed to see I am yet to post homemade Rava Idli, although I have posted two varieties of Set Dosa here and here.

Today's post is a super combo with chapati,Roti,Rava Idli, NaanPoori or even dosa. I personally love this curry coz its healthy, and entire curry can be made with less than 2 tsp of oil for 4 people. Mom taught me a super healthy mode where she steams the cut veggies in a steamer. And entire curry comes together in less than 15 mins (once the veggies are chopped). 

You may use fresh or frozen mixed veggies, and except maybe brinjal and okra, you can pretty much add anything. Although the classic version of this saagu is made with beans, carrots, cauliflower and peas. I had a handful of baby corn which I added today. Lets get to making this delicious curry / gravy. Hope you had fun reading all 3 posts this week with Nargisi Kofta Curry, Rasila Gobhi Matar and today's Mixed Veg Saagu as part of Side dishes theme for BM#45

Prep time : 15 mins | Cook time : 15 mins | Serves : 4

  • Fresh or frozen mixed veggies (beans, carrots, cauliflower, peas, baby corn) - 1 - 1.5 cups
  • Oil - 2 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Tempering : oil - 1 tsp, Mustard seeds, Curry leaves
  • Turmeric - 1/2 tsp

Masala paste:
  • Fresh coconut - 1/3 cup
  • Pottu kadalai / fried gram - 3 tsp
  • Onions - 2 nos (medium sized)
  • Green chillies - 2 nos
  • Ginger - 1 inch
  • Garlic - 2-3 pods (opt.)
  • Red chillies - 2 nos
  • Saunf / Fennel Seeds - 1 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
  • Jeera / Cumin - 1/2 tsp
  • Cinnamon - 1/2 tsp
  • Elaichi / cardamom - 1pod (opt.)
  • Cloves - 2 nos
  • Khus Khus / poppy seeds - 1/2 TBSP
  • Coriander  leaves - a handful

  1. Dry roast poppy seeds and fried gram separately - stage 1 . 
  2. Fry the onions, ginger, garlic, red chillies,green chillies and coriander leaves in 2 tsp of oil for 4-5 mins till onions turn pink. Cool - stage 2 
  3. Grind these two (stage 1 and stage 2) with the rest of the ingredients under masala with minimal water to a smooth paste.
  4. Blanch or steam veggies with a pinch of salt till 3/4 done but not mushy. Drain water completely.
  5. In a pan, add oil, splutter mustard seeds, curry leaves, add the ground paste and saute for 6-8 mins till the raw smell disappaears. Add water as needed to make a thickish gravy. 
  6. Now add blanched or boiled veggies, turmeric and lightly saute again, simmer on low-medium for 3-4 mins.
  7. Serve immediately with hot rotis /Naan / Poori

October 18, 2014

Rasila Gobhi Matar | Cauliflower and Peas Gravy | Quick Side dishes for Roti

Sometimes the veggies at home can flummox you - a little of this, a handful of that - I found myself in the same situation last weekend. And ended up making this deliciously lip smacking curry that we actually ran out of second helpings. 

During Navratri, we dont eat onions or garlic / ginger. So, I had lots of onions left over but no other veggies except for a head of cauliflower and a handful of frozen peas. It was too late to run to the supermarket or order in food. But am glad we made this curry out of a written down recipe.

Team it with rotis / Kulchas / Naans and you have a winner on hand. Sending it to BM #45 under Side dishes for Gravies. Presenting Rasila Gobhi Matar (or cauliflower - peas gravy)

Prep time : 15 mins | Cook time : 15 mins | Serves : 4
  • Cauliflower - 1 medium head (about 8-10 medium florets)
  • Fresh or frozen peas - 1/2 cup
  • Onions - 1 large
  • Tomato - 2 medium
  • Garam masala - 1/2 TBSP
  • Jaggery - 1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Salt - to taste
  • cinnamon - 1 inch and cloves - 2
  • Oil - 1 TBSP
  • Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
  • Shahjeera - 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper (whole) - 1/2 tsp
  • Garnish - coriander leaves 

  1. Blend cinnamon, cloves and onion to a smooth paste. Add half the tomatoes and puree again. 
  2. In a small pressure cooker, add oil, splutter cumin seeds and shahjeera. Add whole black pepper. Now add the cauliflower, peas and saute. Add tomato and saute again. Add turmeric and the ground masala paste. saute till raw smell disappears.
  3. Now add 1-1.5 cups of water and pressure cook for just 1 whistle. We need veggies to be cooked but not mushy. Add garam masala, jaggery and cook for 2 - 4 minutes more.
  4. Serve hot garnished with coriander.

October 17, 2014

Nargisi Kofta Curry - a decadent delight.... | Side dish for Rotis | North Indian Gravy

There's something about Mughlai Dishes - Anjeer Halwa, Cabbage Channadal KoftaMalai Kofta, Galouti Kebab, Nawabi Biryani ---- all these give you so much happiness even when you talk about them, and the tastebuds do a happy dance when you savour them. Thanks to the new vegetarian wave that's swept our country, most of these meat-based dishes have been converted to vegetarian, even vegan options. 

One such dish is today's Nargisi Kofta Curry - which imitates the egg curry of Mughlai cuisine. I adapted this from Vaishali's recipe, making slight changes along the way.

An ardent paneer lover, my daughter asked me to make this twice in a week - and she loved it both the times. Its richness blew us away, and I promise this would be the star of the Diwali party when you make it at home. Team it with Wholewheat Kalonji naan and it would blow your mind away. Sending this across to BM #45 under Side Dishes for Rotis theme. Stay tuned on what other 2 dishes are coming your way this week..

Prep time : 20 mins | Cook time : 20 mins | Serves : 4

  • Paneer - 200 gms
  • Bread slices - 4 nos (divided use) or use 3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • Oil - to deep fry the koftas
  • Saffron strands - few (soaked in hot milk)
  • Salt - to taste

Filling :
  • Raisins and nuts - 4 TBSP
  • Grated ginger - 1 tsp
  • Coriander leaves - 1 tsp
  • Mint leaves - 1/2 tsp

  • Fried Onions - 1 cup (I simply replaced with sauteed onions)
  • Tomatoes - 4 large
  • Dhania / coriander powder - 1 TBSP
  • Jeera powder - 1/2 TBSP
  • Garam Masala - 1/2 TBSP
  • Red chilli powder - 1/2 TBSP
  • Green onions - 2 large (minced)
  • Cashewnuts / pumpkin seeds - 2 handfuls (soaked in warm water)
  • Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
  • Raw onions - 1 large
  • Poppy seeds - 1/2 tsp (also soaked in warm water)
  • Salt - to taste

(a) To Make the koftas:

Grate panner and gently mash it with the heel of your palm. Add 1/2 of the bread crumbs (or trimmed bread slices) and mash gently to a smooth mixture. Add a pinch of salt and mix lightly. Now to about 1/3 of the paneer mixture, add the milk soaked saffron. Mix well. Keep aside.
Make 8 equal portions of this 'yellow' panner. 
Mix the ingredients of the filling (nuts, mint, ginger, coriander leaves)
Fill 1/4 tsp of this filling in the yellow panner and make small balls

Wash your hands and mash the remaining paneer again. Check for salt. Divide this too into 8 portions. Spread one portion of the white panner into a disc of 4 inch diameter, Place the stuffed yellow panner ball and gently close into a ball / oblong roundel. Repeat for remaining paneer till you have all koftas ready.

Keep oil for heating (you may also use ebelskiver / paniyaram pan for frying : which I did the next time I made this dish). Roll these koftas very gently in the remaining bread crumbs and fry till golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper (please note the koftas are very delicate , so handle them with care and make to fry in batches, not more than 3 at a time)

(B) to make the gravy:

Grind together sauteed onions, tomatoes into a smooth paste - paste 1 
Grind cashew nuts,poppy seeds, onions to a smooth paste - paste 2

In a pan, heat oil, saute the paste 1 for few mins, then add paste 2, dry masala powders one by one and simmer on low flame till you get a thickish gravy. 

(C) To serve:
Place all the koftas in a serving dish. Gently spoon the gravy over the koftas, do not mix. Serve warm with rotis or phulkas

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