Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Cucumber - Kamakasturi Coolant ( Cucumber Juice)

Cucumber Juice helps to reduce the heat and takes care of you to be cool. Cucumber juice can be done easily and its available plenty in the market every where at any time of the year.

I have used Small size cucumber, Kamakasturi seeds and honey. 

Kamakasturi plant is also known as Thai Basil, Sweet basil. They are known as Sabja seeds. Sabja seeds are known as Kama Kasturi in Kannada, Vithai in Tamil, Sabja Ginjalu - Telugu. Baburi - Punjabi. The plants looks like Tulsi and it is also known as tulsi seeds. TulsiBija in Bengali.
Sabja/Kamakasturi seeds contain carbohydrates, very low in fat and rich with protein. It is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium. Kamakasturi seeds helps in good digestion, makes the body cool and helps the skin to glow. It is said that the leaves helps to keep away the tummy worms and reduces the menstrual cramps. It helps to control the inflammation and increases the appetite. Its oil is used for treating pains and aches
Lets see the recipe now:
Kamakasturi seeds from home garden. It grows very well in pots.
I have used honey instead of sugar. Jaggery can be used instead of honey /sugar. Adding little salt helps you get away the dehydration.

Things Needed :

Cucumber : 2 (Small size)
Lemon : 1/2 (Lemon extract)
Honey : 2 Tablespoons
Salt : A pinch
Kamakasturi seeds : 1 Teaspoon.

Method :

1. Wash and remove the outer layer of cucumber. Cut them into small.

2. Soak kamakasturi seeds in water.

3. Grind cut cucumber with very little water. Cucumber is loaded with water. ( Very little water to grind).

4. Put it in a big bowl.
5. Add honey and a pinch of salt. Add lemon extract.

6. Add Kamakasturi seeds and mix it well.

7. Serve Cucumber Juice with Kamakasturi seeds.

Note :

Adding cold water is optional. Adding ice while serving is also optional. Adding sugar/jaggery is optional. Adding a pinch of salt helps you to get away with cold or cough.
Time : 10 Minutes
Serves : 2.
Kamakasturi Seeds.
Kamasturi Seeds just from the plant.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Red Pumpkin Curry

Peter ..Peter pumpkin eater...Had a wife and couldn't keep her
Put her in a pumpkin shell...kept her very well...
Do You remember this Rhyme ?
Pumpkin has such a last long shelf life vegetable and the rhyme depicts the strong shell of it.

Red Pumpkin curry is a side dish and goes well with almost all the main dishes.

It all reminds me the pumpkin growth in our birthi house. Birthi is a small place near Brahmavar in Udupi district. |My father in  law used to grow lots of vegetables in the Angala(court yard) in front of the house during the rainy season. (When rains are bit low during August and September). They are like bendekai (lady;s finger), Heere kai (Ridge gourd), Harve soppu (Amaranth leaves), Padavala kai (Snake gourd) so and so.
During the summer when the field is empty after harvesting urid they used to grow, vegetables like cucumber (Mangalore Cucumber), pumpkins (both the varieties) and harvest them and keep them hanging in hatti or padsale (hatti is cow shed and padasale is inner room next to kitchen where they pray). These all turned as stories to our kids and they can only imagine the beauty of our village home surroundings. The pumpkin which are saved are used in the rainy days. Rains used pour at its best in rainy days.
Let us see some benefits of having Pumpkin in our diet.
Red Pumpkin, the vegetable has many good vitamins and minerals. It is full of nutrients and low in calories. Pumpkin helps to reduce the obesity and helps to protect you from diabetes, heart diseases and helps to gain healthy skin glow. It provides the energy and take care of the weight. Pumpkin has the rich source of beta carotene content and Vitamin A. It is good for easy digestion since it is full of fiber content. It has potassium and vitamin c and it helps to support heart health.
Let us see the recipe now :
Udupi Special  " Red Pumpkin Curry ", traditionally done during feast or festival or even day today's lunch. 
Udupi Brahmins do not use Onions or Garlic in their curries. Though onions are used occasionally but strictly not on some fasting and special days. It is in  a way healthy and keeps you away from acidity and gastric problems.

Things Needed :

To Cook :
Red Pumpkin : 1 Bowl.
Methi Seeds : 4 to 5 seeds.
Ginger gratings : 1 Teaspoon.
To Grind :
Coconut : Grated : 1/2 Cup
Jeera /Cumin Seeds : 1/2 Teaspoon
Mustard Seeds : 1/4 Teaspoon
Red Chilly : 3 to 4
Tamarind Pulp : 2 Tablespoons
For Seasoning :
Coconut Oil : 1 Teaspoon
Mustard Seeds : 1/2 Teaspoon
Ingh /Asafoetida : A pinch
Curry leaves : 5 to 6

Method :

1. Wash and remove the thick outer layer of pumpkin and cut into pieces. Wash it water and keep it aside.
2. Grate coconut and keep it aside.

3. Soak a marble size tamarind in hot water for 5 minutes and squeeze out the pulp.
4. Wash and remove the outer layer of ginger and wash it again. (an inch). Grate it and keep it aside.

5. Keep a pan on the fire and heat. Add coconut oil and put mustard seeds.
6. Let it splutter. Add ingh and curry leaves.
7. Add cut pumpkin pieces and stir once or twice. Add 4 to 5 methi seeds and grated ginger.

8. Add little turmeric powder and required water. Add methi seeds and grated ginger.
9. Cover and cook pumpkin pieces till they turn soft. (Cook on medium heat).
10. Grind coconut, jeera,mustard seeds, tamarind pulp and red chilly with required water till paste.
11. Remove from the mixi jar to a bowl.
12. Put cooked pumpkin pieces in a bigger pan. (I used small cooker).
13. Add salt, ground coconut mixture and required water. Mix it well. Let it boil for 2 to 3 minutes.

14. Shift " Red Pumpkin Curry " to a serving dish. Add coriander leaves and serve with main dish.

Note :

Red pumpkin cooks faster and it turns softer soon. Be careful while cooking and do not over cook. Adding onions or garlic to the curry is optional. ( I did not add). Use of coconut oil is optional.
Use of chilly more /less is optional. Adding methi seeds and grated ginger, while pumpkin cooking helps to reduce the gas quantity in pumpkin.
Time : 20 Minutes 
Serves : 3 to 4 .


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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