January 27, 2020

Kakarakaya Karam Podi - Video Recipe | Andhra Special Bitter gourd Spice Powder

There are several people I know (me included) who would turn their nose up at eating bitter gourd / bitter melon, despite its health benefits. 

Goes by the name Bitter gourd, bitter melon, kakarakaya (Telugu), Hagalakayi (Kannada), Pavakkkai (Tamil), this has lovers and haters in equal proportion. Without this recipe, surely I wouldn't be attempting to eat bitter gourd on a regular basis. For the lovers of this veggie, this is a tasty, healthy podi that goes well with hot steamed rice and Idli / Dosa / Adai equally.

As the blog turns 9 today, I can’t help but reflect how much our eating and lifestyle habits have changed (for the better). With absolutely no knowledge of lighting or photography or plating or social media or facebook, it’s been a wonderful learning experience as I take into presenting recipes in healthier, ecologically sustainable formats. 

The family’s support in this journey has been undoubtedly massive as has the support and comments from readers and co-bloggers ! Thank you for the same and hoping to see more traction and movement as I gather more momentum to
Take this blog forward !!

As this is a video recipe, please do refer the video embedded below for the directions. The ingredient list however is given as below. Do let me know how you liked this recipe and video. Your valuable feedback is most sincerely appreciated. 

Renu had given us a theme where we could use secret / generally unused ingredients to make condiments for #Foodie Mondaybloghop

Prep time - 15 mins , cook time - 20 mins (or bake/ fry time as needed), 
Makes - approx 150 grams of spice powder.

Bitter gourd - 250 grams
Oil - 4 TBSP + 2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Sesame powder - 1 heaped tsp
jaggery - 1 tsp (optional, i didn't add)

For the spice powder:
Tamarind - gooseberry size
Garlic pods - 8 to 10 (optional)
Urad dal / split black gram - 2 TBSP
Channa dal / bengal gram - 5 TBSP
Dry Red chillies - 10 to 12 (adjust spice)
Curry leaves - few
Coriander seeds - 2 tsp
Jeera / Cumin seeds - 1 tsp

Shelf life - about 30~45 days if stored under sterile conditions. 

Follow the YouTube video embedded below and check how to make this.

January 22, 2020

Kadale Manoli - Guestpost by Preethi | Guestpost Series #23

Continuing the #Guestpost series on this blog, we have a very talented food blogger Preethi, who blogs at Preethi's Cuisine. Hailing from Bangalore, but settled out of India now, we have similar roots in Karnataka Cuisine. Preethi specialises in no-fuss, healthy, hearty eats as is evident from her recipes on the blog. Thank you, Preethi for sharing your family recipe Kadle Manoli. 

Over to Preethi in her own words now.....


This is Preethi Prasad. I am  passionate about cooking . Being a  working professional, cooking helps me to destress. I am basically from Bangalore and currently  based out of Singapore.

I had never thought of starting a food blog even  in the  wildest of my dreams.My mom always wanted me to start a blog and whenever she raised this topic, I would  brush her off. I had a helper all these years, and  never bothered about cooking as it was taken care of by her. I used to cook once in a while, when I felt like or there was a demand for my signature dish.  

My helper left in September 2013 and since then I have taken over the realm of my kitchen. Initially ,I used to cook as if it was my duty and really did not enjoy it. From June 2014 my perspective towards cooking changed. I started enjoying it and wanted to try something new everyday in spite of my hectic schedule. My hubby used to tease me that I am bitten by a bug. Well this seems to be true as I enjoy cooking now and try and experiment in my own way as and when I have time. Kitchen has become my favourite place these days.

On May 1 2015, I was talking to my elder son about starting a blog and he helped me to create one. I must admit that kids these days are very fast.

I started this blog to document my recipes for the benefit of everybody. Being a Vegetarian, you will find mostly Vegetarian recipes here along with few recipes using eggs on special request from some of my friends. Most of them will not be on the Restaurant menu. You will find many uncommon but healthy and Yummy Recipes.

I would like to thank Kalyani for inviting me to do a guest post for her blog. I got to know Kalyani when she joined our Foodiemonday bloghop. She is an amazing blogger and has some wonderful recipes on her blog Sizzling Tastebuds  There are many Vegan recipes too. You need to check her blog to learn some wonderful recipes.She is basically from Bangalore and now based out of Mumbai.Glad to connect with her.

Coming back to the recipe….

I am sharing a delicious and quick recipe from Mangalore region called Kadale Manoli.This is a traditional preparation from Mangalore made with chickpeas and Ivy Gourd and is usually served on special occasions.I had this at my friends place and instantly fell in love with it. I make it often and have it with yogurt and skip rice. It is made with fresh grated coconut which enhances the taste and takes it to a new level.It has a nice sweet and tangy flavour.

Recipe for Kadale Manoli:

250 Gms Ivy Gourd / Tendli
½ Cup Black Chickpeas 
1 Tsp Cumin Seeds / Jeera
5 Kashmiri Red Chillies
½ Cup Grated fresh coconut
2 Tsp roasted Coriander Seeds /Dhania
½ Cup Chopped Onions
¼ Tsp Haldi / Turmeric
¼ Tsp Mustard
2  Cloves of Garlic Chopped
½ Tsp Chopped Ginger
1 Tsp Tamrind Pulp
¾ Tbsp Palm Jaggery
Finely Chopped Coriander Leaves
Few Curry Leaves
Salt to taste

For Tempering:
½ Tsp Mustard seeds
Generous pinch of Hing
Few Curry leaves
¼ Cup finely Chopped Onions
1 Garlic clove finely chopped

  • Soak Black chickpeas overnight .Pressure cook them upto 3 Whistles. Drain the excess water and keep it aside. Do not throw the excess water.
  • Wash and clean the Ivy gourd. Slit them vertically and cut each one into 4 parts.
  • Grind roasted coriander seeds ,cumin seeds , red chillies ,mustard seeds,haldi,few curry leaves,chopped ginger and garlic in a blender. Now add grated fresh coconut and pulse it to get a coarse mixture. Do not make a paste. Add very little water only if required.Keep this mixture aside.
  • Heat a wide bottom pan. Add oil. Once the oil is hot add crushed garlic ,hing ,mustard and chopped onions , tendli and curry leaves. Shallow fry tendli until it is cooked.Now add the ground masala and salt. Mix well and stir fry for about 3 minutes until the masala is nicely absorbed.Next step is to add palm jiggery , tamrind pulp and boiled black  chana. Mix well and allow is to cook on low flame until the flavors are well absorbed.Cook for about 2-3 minutes. Garnish with finely chopped coriander and switch off the flame.
  • Serve hot with Ghee, rice or Phulkas or Rotis. Enjoy!!!!!!!!!

January 15, 2020

Rajma Pulav | How to make Kidney beans pulav | GF One Pot meals

Rajma Pulav - a delicious one pot meal has me in smiles. Smiles not because of the onion prices have dropped a bit,but smiles because the husband who’s a staunch Anti-Rajma campaigner asked for second helpings !!

Yay… I found a way to serve Rajma in a pure form (rather than sneak them in Rajma Pepper Quesedillas , the Mexican Baleadas Honduras or Multigrain Adai or the favourite Galoti Kebab, of course the fresh Rajma Sundal is quite welcome, but well, during Navratri). 

Some time ago, I also used fresh Rajma that my friend had sent over in these delicious GF / Vegan Rajma Sweet Potato Tikkis which were also well received. 

So, all in all we have another Rajma (Kidney bean) dish that can go to the meal rotation. 

But as I had a worthy winner in persuading the better half to eat Rajma in a delicious form, I shall definitely be looking at making this dish again.

Do try this nutrition packed version and let me know how you liked it.

Other similar One Pot meals on the blog you may want to check out + 26 different varieties of Khichdis and Pulao:

Kabuli Channa pulao (GF, Vegan)

Menthye Bataani Bhath (fenugreek leaves + peas aromatic rice - karnataka speciality)

Prep time - 15 mins. Soak time : overnight. Cook time - 20 mins+15 mins
Serves - 3~4 generously


What you need:
Kidney beans / Rajma  - 1 cup (soaked and cooked overnight to soft but not mushy texture) ; if using canned beans, be sure to rinse thoroughly.  
Basmati rice - 1.5 cups
salt - to taste
Mint and coriander leaves - a handful each
turmeric - 1/8 tsp
Dry masala powders : Coriander powder 1 TBSP, Red Chilli powder 1 tsp
Tomato - 1 medium - juilenned 
Onion - 1 small - sliced thin
Garlic pods - 2 (minced fine)
Oil - 1 TBSP
Ghee - 1 tsp (skip for vegan version or replace it with 1 tsp oil or vegan butter)

Whole masala / spices
bay leaf 2 nos, green elaichi / cardamom 1 no,
Shahjeera - 1 tsp, large cardamom / Badi Elaichi - 1 no.  (optional)

Masala paste (Optional)
Onion - 1 large
Garlic pods -2 -3
Ginger - 1/2 tsp
Cashews soaked in warm water - 6 to 8 nos. (opt. but recommended)  

How to:
Check out this video embedded below for the method

January 12, 2020

8 Healthy Pongal Recipes you must try !

Pongal / Sankranti is around the corner. The festival of Harvest season is celebrated across India as Sankranti / Uttarayan / Bhogi / Pongal / Lohri etc etc. 

To celebrate This festival, try one of these healthy Pongal varieties (both sweet and savoury) and make your festival healthier and better !

Clockwise from top left featured in the above collage are:

Wishing all my readers and friends a very joyous and happy Pongal and a happy new year ahead.. 

January 8, 2020

Methi Jowari Bhakri | GF and Vegan | Fenugreek and Sorghum Flatbread

Changing lifestyles, one meal at a time can be rewarding. There was a time when baking white bread (or actually eating them regularly for sandwiches) used to be my favourite. I still love the aroma of baking bread, don't get me wrong. But eating them on a regular basis isn't happening, both for health and awareness reasons.

Its the start of a bright new year, and my friends and me at VEGAN GF Group bring you Gluten Free Indian flatbreads this month. Join us as we explore many Indian Flatbreads that are traditionally part of the Indian Cuisine.  

t’s an easy, healthy and nutritious flatbread that’s vegan and gluten free. I had already posted jowar Bhakri with ennegayi (a North Karnataka speciality) earlier. This is a take on the same flatbread but enriched with iron and calcium rich fresh methi (or fenugreek) which are so abundantly available in the winters.

The little one and me are quite fond of Bhakri for dinner so I make this often. Of course patting this requires a bit of practice and patience , so give this a try often to get the perfect flatbread.

Other GF Flatbreads are:

Prep time - 15 Mins , cook time - 10 Mins, makes 4 servings 


You need:

1 cup = 200 ml
Jowar flour - 1.5 cups
Fresh Methi leaves - 1/2 cup (chopped fine)
Ajwain / carrom seeds - 1/8 tsp 
Salt - to taste 
Finely chopped coriander leaves - 1 tbsp
Hot water to make the dough
Oil - 1/4 tsp for each bhakri

How to:
Chop the methi leaves and sprinkle little salt for 3-4 mins, squeeze out excess water. In a flat plate, add the flour, sprinkle of salt, methi leaves and ajwain. mix well for 1-2 mins with your hands. Add hot water as needed, and make a stiffish dough.
On a greased plastic sheet / parchment / banana leaf, pinch out the dough and pat down with your hands. Dip hands in water to ease the patting down. Make a circular disc of 7-8 inches diameter
Cook on a hot griddle / tava on both sides, drizzling little oil. 
Serve hot with any pickle / Curd for a healthy meal

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