Monday, August 31, 2015

Dil & Palak Leaves Curry

Dil (Sabbassige & Palak (Spinach) leaves curry is a gravy dish and goes well with chapatis, rotis, idli, dosa and even with plain rice. It is prepared using simple spices which are available in our kitchen  "Oggarane dabba". (The box which is used to keep seasoning items).
Dil leaves are called Sabbassige or Sabseege soppu in Kannada. (Karnataka)
This curry reminds me that many people eating raagi balls (raagi mudde) and this type of curry. Soppu (leaves ) is used with dal or legumes (different varieties of peas). But that has loads of strong garlic and chilly. I have seen people enjoy hot curry with raagi mudde. I have used very less spices and no dal or any kind of peas. It is a simple and quick curry, any one can prepare and enjoy their meal.

Lets see some benefits of having coriander seeds in our diet. 
Coriander seeds have many healthy compounds like anti oxidant, disease preventing and health promoting properties. They also contain digestive properties. They are rich in dietary fiber. Coriander seeds help to ease constipation problems. They also help to control cholesterol levels.The sees are an excellent source of minerals like iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc and magnesium. These minerals help in the production of red blood cells, improving metabolism, controlling the heart rate and blood pressure. They are good for diabetes. Coriander seeds are good for common cold and cough. They are contain antiseptic qualities and help in healing mouth ulcers. remedy for bad breath.
Remember that using over dose of coriander seeds  might cause problems to your liver.
Lets see the recipe now. As I said it is easy and tasty recipe and anybody can try it out, I mean the learner can also try and enjoy.
These leaves grown in our home garden and I am very happy to prepare curry using these leaves. No onion or garlic added in this " Dil &Palak Leaves Curry".

Things needed :

Palak leaves : 1 Bundle  (Small)
Dil Leaves : 1 Bundle (Small)
Coconut : 2 to 3 Tablespoons
Coriander seeds : 1 1/2 or 2 Tablespoons.
Jeera/ Cumin seeds : 1/2 Teaspoon
Red chilly : 5 to 6 (according to your wish)
Ingh : a little
Turmeric powder : a little
Jaggery : 1/2 Tablespoon Tamarind : a small marble size.
Salt : to taste
Curry Leaves : 5 to 6
Methi/Fenugrik Seeds : 1/2 Teaspoon

Method :

1. Wash and cut palak and dil leaves into small pieces. Cook them with very little water til they turn soft and keep it aside.
2. Grate coconut and grind with raw coriander seeds, red chilly, small size of tamarind, little ingh and jeera/cumin seeds.
3. Keep a pan on the fire and put cooked leaves, salt,jaggery and turmeric powder. Mix it well and let it boil for 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Add ground coconut mixture and mix it well. Add 1/2 Teaspoon of methi seeds to the curry. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes.
5. Stir in between so that it does not get burnt at the bottom. Boil for at least for 5 minutes.

6. Add curry leaves and shift the curry to a serving bowl.

Note :

You can add cut onions and garlic while cooking. (optional). ( I have not added). Adding Dal is also an optional. (Toor/Moong). I have not added. Adding jaggery a little is also a good option. (It helps to reduce the acidity if caused by the spices in the curry). Adding seasoning to the curry is optional. Adding methi/fenugrik helps the curry to be thick and it reduces the cholesterol in the curry.
Time : 20 minutes
Serves : 4 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Cucumber Neeru Dosa

Cucumber Neer dosa is a type of dosa. Neer means water. Since the dough should be like water consistency and the dosa turns as thin, it is called neer dosa. The ingredients used here is raw dosa rice, a very little coconut and cucumber. Nothing much is added because I do not like this dosa to be filled with spices. These palin dosas are eaten with coconut chutney, pickle, jaggery and some like it with rasayana.Rasayana is nothing but fruits with sugar or jaggery and milk or coconut milk.
Its a simple recipe. Some may feel preparing neer dosa is very difficult. Just try with non stick pan. The dough should be watery. The pan should be piping hot.(high flame). Put 1/2 teaspoon of oil on the hot pan. Wipe out the oil with a clean kitchen tissue. Pour a ladle of the neer dosa dough. Immediately turn the pan so that dough will spread easily to a round circle. Cover it quickly and cook for a minute. Remove the cover and just wait for 10 seconds and remove the dosa from the pan. Give a try. You will be a happy person and you are an expert of Neer dosa chef.

Lets see some benefits of eating banana in our diet.
Bananas are good energy booster and it helps to control the blood sugar level. It protect against the muscle cramps. It helps to improve the mood and build strong bones. Bananas protect against type 2 diabetes and weight loss and strengthen the nervous system. It contain high level of Vitamin B-6. Banana is rich in iron and it helps to relieve anemia. Bananas are rich in potassium and low in salt. They are good for blood pressure and protect against heart attack and stroke. Bananas are good for digestion and help to remove the toxins from our body. They are good for people who suffer from constipation because they are rich in fiber.
It is simple and healthy recipe and can prepare any time of the day and enjoy with any type of Rasayana (Fruit punch). at any time of the day.

Things Needed :

Raw Rice (Dosa Rice) : 2 Cups
Methi/Fenugrik seeds : 1/2 Teaspoon
Cucumber : 2
Coconut : 2 Tablespoons (optional)
Salt to taste
Water : 4 Cups Normal water + 1/2 Cup hot water).
Oil : 3 to 4 Tablespoons
Ghee : 2 Tablespoons

Method :

1. Wash and cut the edges of cucumber. Check the taste that it is not bitter. Cut into small.Keep it aside.
2. Soak rice for 3 to 4 hours and remove complete water from it.
3. Grind rice,grated coconut with cut cucumber nicely till paste. No need to add water while grinding. (As cucumber is water content).
4. Grind it nicely and remove it from the mixi jar.
5. Add 4 cups of water and salt. Mix it well. Add 1/2 Cup of hot water (not the boiling water, just leave it for 5 minutes and then add that water).
6. Now keep a pan on the fire. Heat and put 1/2 Teaspoon of oil. Just spread it.
7. Mix the dough and take a ladle of dough and pour it on the pan in circle shape.(Or just hold the pan and turn around and keep it back on the fire. This action should be quicker). Cover it and cook for a minute. 

8. Remove the cover and leave it for 5 to 10 seconds. Take out the dosa from the pan. Just spread ghee on the hot dosa.
9. Repeat the same and prepare rest of the dosas. Mix the dough each time).
10. Serve Cucumber Neer Dosa with any Rasayana, pickle, coconut chutney or any side dish of your choice. It is nice to eat with pickle, honey or jaggery.

Note :

Do not add much water while grinding rice. The dough may not turn soft and paste consistency or it might take longer time.
Do not add boiling water, because the dough may turn sticky and your dosa might stick to the pan. Boil the water and leave it for few minutes just before adding. Add only the 1/2 cup of hot water. It helps to soften the neer dosa. Adding coconut is just to get the good aroma and taste. Do not add much coconut.(Dosas turn thick).
Time : 30 minutes + Rice soaking time  : 3 to 4 hours.
Servers : 4 to 5

Quick Banana Rasayana : Cut ripe bananas into small pieces. Add sugar/jaggery, cardamom and boiled and cooled milk to it and mix it well. Banana Rasayana is ready to serve.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Festival Feast

India is a festival country. India is full of colours I mean there are different languages, customs, traditions, religion, traditions and so and so on. It is wonderful to be an Indian. Bharatha Mata, Vande Maatarm and many more songs teach you to learn and respect. It also helps to understand, respect and love  towards our country.
We have so many festivals to celebrate and enjoy. Now it is Shravana Maasa. This is the time you get good vegetables and bunch of festivals on the  way. Where ever you are in India, the celebration goes on one or the other way. Raksha bhandhan, Thread ceremony    (Upakarma), Nagapanchami, Mangala Gowri Vrutha, Vara Mahalaxmi Vrutha (Pooje), etc etc. Even Onam is also celebrated on the same day of Varamahalakshmi Habba. So the air of celebration ringing all around and its FANTASTIC feeling. Taking part in the pooja, going around the houses to see Maha lakshmi.Praying Mahalakshmi to Bless all.

The feast food is a must but we should take care of our health too. So keeping in mind the thought of healthy eating here are some dishes which you can cook easily, quickly and enjoy the celebration with our near and dear ones.
Happy Vara Mahalakshmi Festival and Happy Onam to one and All.
No Onion or Garlic is used here.

1. Capsicum -Carrot Kosumbari

Things Needed :
Capsicum :1 6
Carrots : 2
Green chilly : 1
Coriander leaves : 1 Tablespoon
Curry Leaves : 4 to 6
Coconut : 1 Tablespoon
Salt : To taste
Oil : 1 Teaspoon
Mustard Seeds : 1/2 Teaspoon
Urid Dal : 1/2 Teaspoon
Jeera : 1/2 Teaspoon
Carrot and Capsicum Kosumbari 

Method :
Wash and cut capsicum, green chilly into thin pieces, grate coconut and carrots. Now keep a pan and prepare Mustard splutter and add curry leaves, green chilly and cut capsicum. Fry nicely till it turn soft add salt. Put off the fire. Add grated carrots, coriander leaves and coconut. Mix it nicely and Capsicum- Carrot Kosumbari is ready to serve.
Time : 10 Minutes
Serves : 4 to 5 

2, Tonde Kai Dry Curry (Ivy Gourd Dry Curry )

Ingredients :
Tonde Kai : 1/4 Kg.
Green chilly : 1
Red chilly Powder/Rasam Powder : 1 Teaspoon
Coconut : 2 Tablespoons
Tamarind pulp/Lemon extract : 1 Teaspoon
Jaggery : 1 Teaspoon
Salt : To Taste
Mustard splutter prepared with curry leaves.
Method :
Wash and cut tonde kai. Cook them with little water till it turn soft. Now prepare the mustard splutter and add curry leaves, green chilly and cooked Tonde Kai/Ivy Gourd. Add salt, Turmeric powder, tamarind pulp and jaggery. Mix it well and let it cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Let all the moisture disappear. Add red chilly powder/rasam powder and mix it well. Add grated coconut and curry leaves and shift the ready curry to a serving bowl and serve along with other dishes.
Time : 15 minutes
Serves : 2 to 3

 3. Channa Dal + Palak + Mangalore Cucumber Chutney 

Things needed :
Channa dal/Bengal gram :  1 Tablespoon
Palak Leaves : 1 Handful
Mangalore Cucumber outer layer : 1 Cup
Raw Mangoes : 5 to 6 pieces
Red chilly : 5 to 6
Curry Leaves : 6 to 8
Coconut : 1 Cup
Salt : to taste
Oil : 1 Teaspoon
Mustard splutter with ingh and curry leaves.
 Method : 
Wash palak leaves (only the leaves), cut raw mangoes and keep it aside. Fry Channa dal and red chilly in 1/2 teaspoon of oil and add curry leaves, palak leaves, mangalore cucumber outer layer. Fry it for 2 to 3 minutes. Leave it for cooling. Add raw mangoes, salt and coconut. Grind it with little water till paste. Now shift the ground chutney to a serving bowl. Add mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida splutter and mix it well. Serve along with other dishes.
Time : 10 minutes.
Serves : 3 to 4.

 4. Brinjal Sambar

Things Needed :
Brinjal/ Egg plants : 2 to 3 (Medium size)
Toor/Moong Dal : 1/2 Cup
Rasam Powder : 2 Tablespoons
Tamarind Pulp : 1 Tablespoon
Jaggery : 1 Tablespoon
Salt : To taste
Turmeric Powder : a pinch
Mustadard splutter : 1 Tablespoon with little asafoetida and curry leaves.

Method :
Wash and cut brinjals and soak the pieces in full bowl of water for 5 minutes. Wash and pressure cook toor/moong dal. Leave it for cooling. Cook brinjals in little water and add cooked toor/moong dal. Add salt, turmeric powder, jaggery and tamarind pulp. Mix it well and cook for 1 minute. Add rasam / sambar powder and mix it well and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Shift the curry to a serving bowl and add mustard splutter with ingh and coriander leaves. Serve with other dishes.
Note : Dry roast 1/4 teaspoon of methi seeds, 1/2 Teaspoon of urid dal. 2 tablespoons of coriander seeds, and 1/2 Teaspoon of jeera/cumin seeds and 5to 6 red chillies, asafoetida and curry leaves. Leave it for cooling and dry grind the roasted ingredients to get sambar powder. 
Time : 30 Minutes
Serves : 4 to 5 

5. Mangalore Southe Kai Majjege Huli (Mangalore cucumbr/ bannada southe kai)

Things Needed :
Southe kai : 1/2  (1 bowl)
Almonds : 10
Coconut : 1 small cup (3 to 4 Tablespoons)
Green chilly : 2
Pepper Pods : 3 to 4
Salt : to taste
Curd : 1 Cup
Coriander leaves : 1 Tablespoon
Jeera splutter with Majjige Menasu (green chilly soaked in butter milk and salt and dried it in the sun),  ingh and curry leaves.

Method :
Wash and cut Mangalore Cucumber into small pieces and cook with little water till it turn soft. Grind grated coconut, almonds and pepper. Now add cooked mangalore cucumber, salt, green chilly and mix it well and cook for a minute. Add ground coconut, pepper pods with almond mixture. Mix it well and cook for 2 minutes. Put off the fire and shift the curry to a serving dish. Let it cool (1 to 3 minutes). Add curd and coriander leaves. Add jeera splutter with curry leaves, ingh and the dry chilly. Mix it again just before serving.
Time : 15 minutes
Serves : 3 to 4 

6. Fried Sweet Potatoes

Things Needed :
Sweet Potatoes :  2 to  3
Oil : 1 Cup
Salt : to taste
Curry Leaves : Handful
Red chilly Powder : 1/2 Teaspoon

Method :
Wash and remove the skin of sweet potatoes and cut it slightly thicker. (Slice them into thick slices). Put the slices into water. (or they turn black). Keep oil in a pan on the fire. Heat it . Now remove the soaked sweet potato slices from the water. Fry them till they turn slightly brown. Fry on both sides and remove from the oil. Put them on kitchen tissue so that extra oil is absorbed. Put them in a bowl. Add salt, chilly powder and fried curry leaves. Mix it well and serve along with other dishes.
Be careful while frying. (squeeze out the water and put the slices slowly in the oil).
Time : 15 Minutes
Serves : 3 to 4

7. Vanghi Baath .(Brinjal Rice).

Things Needed :
Cooked Raw Rice : 2 Cups
Long Brinjals : 4 to 5
Bajji Chilly : 2 to 3
Vanghi baath Powder : 2 Tablespoons
Puliyogre Gojju/ Tamarind Pulp/Lemon  : 1 Tablespoon
Grated Coconut : 1 Small Cup (2 to 3 Tablespoons)
Salt : To taste
Mustard seeds : 1 Teaspoon
Urid Dal : 1 Teaspoon
Curry leaves : 1 Handful
Ingh /Asafoetida : a little
Oil : 3 Tablespoons
Ghee : 1 Tablespoon
Coriander Leaves : 2 Tablespoons
Method :
Wash and cut brinjals into small pieces and put the pieces in the bowl of water. Remove seeds from bajji chilly and cut it into small.
Keep a big pan on the fire. Heat and put oil. Put mustard seeds, urid dal. Let the mustard seeds splutter. Add curry leaves and cut bajji chilly and fry them nicely. Add brinjal pieces and fry them nicely till they turn soft. Add turmeric powder and salt. Add puliyogre gojju and mix it nicely. Add vanghibaath powder and mix it well. Let every thing cook for a minute. Mix it well and then add cooked rice. Mix it slowly. (Let the process be on low flame). Add, a table of fresh ghee, grated coconut, coriander leaves and shift the ready Vaanghi baath to a serving bowl. Serve with other dishes.
Preparation time : 10 minutes.
Mixing process : 20 minutes.
Total time : 30 minutes . ( Time to cook rice is not included).
Serves : 4 to 5 
 I have used home made vanghibaath powder. Dry roast channa dal, urid dal, coriander seeds each 2 tablespoons, 1/2 teaspoons of methi/fenugrik seeds, 1/2 teaspoon of jeera and a piece of cinnemon, (an inch), 4 to 6 cloves, red chilly (6 to 8). Dry roast and dry grind with coconut to get home made vaanghi baath powder. You can also use any brand of vaanghibaath powder you get in the market.

8. Poppy Seeds + Almonds Kheer (Gasagase Paayasa).

Things Needed :
Poppy seeds :  2 to 3 Tablespoons
Almonds : 1 Small cup
Coconut : 2 Tablespoon (1/2 cup)
Cardamom : 4 to 5 pods. 
Jaggery : 1 Cup
Milk : 1/2 Litre. (Boiled milk).
Method : 
Remove cardamom seeds from the pods. Soak poppy seeds/gasagase with little water for 10 minutes. Soak almonds in hot water for 5 minutes and remove the outer skin. Grind almonds, cardamom seeds, soaked poppy seeds and coconut with little water till paste and remove from the jar. Put 2 glasses of water and allow it to boil. Keep another pan add a glass of water and jaggery. Let the jaggery melt and boil for a while. Now remove that jaggery water in a strainer. Add the clean jaggery mix to the boiling poppy seeds mixture. Let it boil for a minute. Mix it nicely. Put off the fire and shift the kheer to a serving bowl. Let it cool for 2 to 3 minutes. Add boiled milk and serve warm or cool Poppy Almonds Kheer.
Time : 30 minutes
Serves : 5 to 6.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Quick Almond Burfi

Almond Burfi is a sweet dish and this is one of the easiest way to prepare burfi in5 to 10 minutes. Preparing Burfi is a long procedure. This particular recipe is done in very easy way. I have seen one of my friend preparing quick almond burfi. I too have prepared this many time. Each time its yummy burfi time.

You all know kids love to have these burfi and elders do not mind munching them now and then. It is one of the party dish too. You can have them at any time of the day.
Lets see some benefits of eating Almonds in our diet. 
Almonds are nutritious nuts and they are loaded with healthy benefits. They are loaded with minerals. Almonds are rich in vitamin E, Calcium, magnesium and potassium. Almonds are a significant source of protein and fiber. They are low in sugar. It is low in saturated fat no cholesterol or salt. They are good for heart health.They are good for people who want to loose weight. They also help to control diabetes. Almonds also help to regulate the blood sugar level in our body.
It is easy to prepare, no soaking, no peeling off the skin. Try it out . You all love it.

Things Needed :

Almonds : 1 Cup
Sugar : 1 Cup
Milk Powder : 1 Tablespoon
Water : 1/4 Cup
Cardamom : 3 to 4 pods (Optional)
Ghee : 1 Tablespoon

Method :

1. Remove the seeds from cardamom.
2. Dry grind almonds and cardamom seeds till it turn into powder. Remove from the mixi jar and keep it aside.
3. Keep a pan on the fire. Add water and sugar. Mix it well. Let the sugar melt nicely.
4. Sugar syrup starts bubble. Let the syrup gets one string consistency.
5. Add powdered almonds to the sugar syrup. and keep stirring.
6. It starts to leave the pan. Stir little more. Add milk powder and stir for another 3 to 4 minutes. (On low flame).
7. Now put the mixture in a ghee spread tray. Allow it to cool for 3 to 4 minutes.
8. Cut it according to your wish and serve tasty burfi.

Note : 

You can add more ghee if you wish. (Optional). Do the whole process on low flame. You can also add half portion of cashew (half cup almonds - half cup cashew nuts).  ( I have not added cashews here). Let the sugar melt and mix it nicely, then you add the almond -cardamom mixture.
Time : 15 minutes.
Serrves : 15 small pieces. (pieces according to your wish).

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Cucumber Dal

Cucumber Dal is a gravy dish. This Cucumber dal goes well with almost all dishes like plain or masala rice, chapatis, idli, dosa etc. This can be prepared quickly and taste really nice. Normally cucumber is used as raw with salads, raitha (along with curd) and chutneys etc.
 Lets see some benefits of eating cucumber.
Cucumber contain mostly water and eating them on a hot summer day definitely help you and take care of you from dehydrated. It also contain Vitamin K and Vitamin B. Cucumber is a rich source of minerals like copper, potassium, vitamin C and manganese. Cucumbers contain anti inflammatory compound and it helps to take care of  our brain health. It helps to improve our memory and protecting our nerve cells. Cucumber helps to fight inflammation. Cucumbers contain numerous anti oxidants including Vitamin C and beta carotene. It helps to freshen our breath. According to Ayurveda, eating cucumber will help to release excess heat in our stomach which is the reason for the bad breath. Cucumbers contain multiple B Vitamins and they help to reduce the feeling of anxiety and stress. They are rich in water and in soluble fiber and it help to support the digestive system.
Cucumber Dal is easy to prepare and No Onion or No Garlic in this curry. I have used dal, some simple spices and little milk is added.

Things Needed : 

Cucumber : 2 to 3
Green Chilly : 2
Toor dal : 1 Small cup
Ginger : 1 Teaspoon 
Milk : 1 Small cup
Oil : 1/2 Teaspoon
Ghee : 1 Teaspoon
Ingh : a pinch
Turmeric Powder : a pinch
Mustard seeds : 1/2 Teaspoon
Jeera/Cumin Seeds : 1/2 Teaspoon
Curry leaves : 6 to 8
Coriander Leaves : 1 to 2 Tablespoons
Salt : as required 

Method :

1. Wash and pressure cook toor/moong dal for at least 5 to 6 minutes. Leave it for cooling.
2. Wash and cut cucumber, green chilly, coriander leaves and keep it aside. Crush pepper pods and keep it aside. 

3. Wash ginger,  remove the outer skin and then wash again and grate and keep it aside.
4. Now Keep a pan on the fire and heat. Add oil, mustard seeds and let it splutter.
5. Add jeera, crushed pepper and ingh.
6. Add cut cucumber and fry for 1 minute. Add water and let it cook till soft.

7. Add cooked dal, green chilly, turmeric powder and salt. Mix it well.

8. Add grated ginger and cook for 2 minutes. (on low flame).

9. Add a cup of boiled milk and mix it again. Let it cook for a minute.

 10. Shift the dish to a serving bowl and add cut coriander leaves and ghee.  

11. Cucumber Dal is ready to serve. Serve with hot rice or chapati or  wish of your main dish.
12. Mix it again just before you serve.

Note :

Cut cucumber with skin and cook. Add dals and other spices when it is half cooked. Adding milk is optional. No lemon or tamarind is added to this curry. (optional). Adding onions or garlic is optional. Adding any other spices like garam masala or chat masala is also optional.
Wash cucumber thoroughly and keep them in water at least half an hour and then wash it again. It helps to remove the pesticide or chemical on any vegetable.
Time : 3o Minutes
Serves : 2 to 3

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My name is Nalini Somayaji. Teaching is my profession. Cooking is my passion. Reading, travelling, visiting new places, having fun with kids are some of the hobbies I can say. My recipes are Healthy, quick, easy and simple. Grown up being a traditional family member I love and respect Indian culture and traditions. Love classical dance and music.
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