Aloo Sabji – No Onion No Garlic

During almost all festivals, we do not have onion and garlic. So we will have to come up with different varieties of spice mixtures in order to bring in the taste in curry and also to thicken the gravy.

This is one such potato curry that everybody loves in my family. It goes well with hot paratha or poori.

Read on for the recipe below.

Ingredients:

For the spice mixture:

  1. Raw rice – 2 tsp
  2. Freshly grated coconut 2 tbsp or chunks of coconut pieces 10-12 pieces
  3. Coriander seed – 1 tsp
  4. Cumin seed – 1 tsp
  5. Red chilli – 1 (can be avoided or increased depending on required spice level)
  6. Raw peanut – 5 to 6
  7. Oil – 1 tsp

For Curry:

  1. Potato – 3 (big)
  2. Salt – as per taste
  3. Tomato – 2 (small)
  4. Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  5. Garam masala – 1 tsp
  6. Oil – 1 tbsp
  7. Water – 3 cups

Method of Preparation:

  1. Heat pan and add 1 tsp oil. Once oil is hot, all the ingredients mentioned in the spices section one by one.
  2. Roast for five minutes till nice aroma comes.
  3. Then take out on a plate and let it cool.
  4. Once it cools down, put in blender and blend to a less coarse powder. Keep aside.
  5. Now take 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add chopped tomatoes once the oil is hot enough. Add salt, turmeric powder and garam masala. Mix and let the tomatoes become tender.
  6. Now add cut potato pieces and stir for few minutes.
  7. Add our blended spice mixture and give a good stir. Now add in three cups of water and cover.
  8. Let it be on simmer till the potatoes are well boiled.
  9. Once the potatoes are boiled and gravy is of desired consistency, switch off the flame.
  10. Our curry is ready to be served with hot rotis or chapatis or parathas.

Doodh Peni

Peni is like very thin noodles which is prepared from all purpose flour and ghee. This doodh peni is a very famous sweet dish around southern parts of India. During the festival of Diwali, almost all households prepare this and the sale of instant peni surges like anything. Previously peni used to be prepared at home manually. But these days easy availability of peni at sweet shops and super markets has made the life easier and people prefer to buy it from there.

So, with the insistence from one of my colleagues I gave it a try and it turned out to be delicious.

Read on for the recipe below.

Ingredients:

  1. Peni – 1 small cake (broken into small strands)
  2. Milk – 800 ml
  3. Sugar – as per taste
  4. Cashew – 12 to 15 pieces
  5. Raisins – 10
  6. Almond – 5 (cut into small pieces)
  7. Cardamom powder – 1 tsp
  8. Sugar (for caramelization) – 1 tbsp

Method of Preparation:

  1. Boil milk in a heavy bottomed pan.
  2. Once the milk starts boiling, add sugar and the cashews.
  3. Let it boil for few more minutes and then add cardamom powder.
  4. Let it simmer for few more minutes.
  5. In another small pan, take 1 tbsp sugar and put on low flame for caramelizing it.
  6. Once the sugar melts, carefully add it to the milk mixture. Mix well. This gives a nice light brown color to our pudding.
  7. Now add the broken strands of peni to milk. Mix well and switch off the flame. Do not boil after adding the peni. It will thicken automatically once it cools down.
  8. Add the raisins and give a good stir. If raisins are added while milk is on heat, then there is a chance that the milk will be curdled. So we add it after switching off the flame.
  9. Garnish with cut almond pieces and serve.

Diwali – The Festival of Lights

Diwali or Deepavali is the festival of lights that is celebrated on the amavasya of Hindu month Kartik. It is said that lord Shri Ram along with his wife Sita and brother Laxman reached the state of Ayodhya on this day after killing Ravana. So the people of Ayodhya had decorated the streets with diyas in order to welcome them and lighten the roads on this dark amavasya night. This is considered to be the symbolism of victory of good over evil, light over darkness.

Also there are other stories around southern parts of India mentioning the destruction of another rakshyas (demon) Narakasura by a goddess. So, Diwali is celebrated signifying that victory. Anyway, whatever story it is, the bottom line remains the same — victory of good over evil.

The eastern states of India like Odisha, West Bengal observe goddess Kali puja on this day whereas the other states observe goddess Lakshmi puja.

Lot of sweet and savory dishes are prepared in all households. Family get-together’s happen. Coloured rangoli are spread for the prosperity at home. And during evening, people decorate houses with diyas, candles, string lights etc.

I too prepared sweet dishes and did Lakshmi Puja at home. Below there are some glimpses of Diwali celebration in my family.

A very happy, prosperous and safe Diwali to all wonderful people out there from flavour indulgence.

Kankada Bhaja (Forest Bitter Gourd Fry)

Kankada bhaja or forest bitter gourd fry is a one of the liked side dishes with white rice amongst the Odiya people. Though this vegetable is from bitter gourd family, it doesn’t taste bitter.

It’s preparation is very simple. Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  1. Kankada (forest bitter gourd) -10
  2. Rice flour – 1 tbsp
  3. Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  4. Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
  5. Salt – as per taste

Method of Preparation:

  1. Wash the forest bitter gourds thoroughly and cut those into disc like shapes.
  2. Add salt, turmeric, red chilli powder and rice flour to the cut veggies. Toss everything together. If needed add one tsp water in order to make the dry ingredients stick to the cut veggies.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and once oil is hot enough, place the forest bitter gourd pieces in it.
  4. Cover and let the veggies become tender.
  5. Uncover and turn the sides after few minutes. Let both the sides become golden brown.
  6. Now our delicious crispy kankada bhaja or forest bitter gourd fry is ready.

Protein Rich Smoothie

Most of the times I love to have different kinds of healthy smoothies as my breakfast as that saves me the cooking time. Lazy me 🙂 . But yes, I do utilize that saved time in preparing lunch.. fair enough I guess 😉

This smoothie in context is rich in protein and packed with nutrients. Also it keeps one full for longer. I usually have this smoothie around 9.50-10.00 AM and do not feel hungry till around 2.00 PM. In a nutshell, it keeps me sane at work 🙂

Read on further for the recipe. You may play with the ingredients as per your convenience. You may like to check here for another healthy smoothie recipe.

Ingredients:

  1. Apple (chopped) – Half of an apple (adjust as per your carbohydrate intake)
  2. Roasted rolled oats (optional) – 1 tbsp (adjust as per carb)
  3. Almonds – 8
  4. Whey protein powder (I have taken chocolate flavour) – 1 scoop
  5. My protein powder (optional) (alternatively you can add varieties of seed mix used in this recipe) – 2 tsp
  6. Fresh Cream – 10 grams
  7. Chilled water – 1 cup
  8. Ice cubes – 2
  9. Cinnamon powder – 1/3 tsp

Method of Preparation:

  1. Put all the ingredients except cinnamon powder in the blender and blend well. Adjust water quantity as per desired consistency.
  2. Smoothie is ready. Take it out in a serving glass and sprinkle cinnamon powder on top.
  3. Enjoy the protein rich drink and stay full for long.

Keto Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate mousse is my toddler’s all time favorite. Even at times I love to indulge in the heavenly chocolaty mousse. My physician has advised me to follow low carbohydrate diet because of some medical issues. And there was I craving for something sweet very badly. But then I wanted it to be guilt free as well. So I went ahead and prepared this heavenly keto friendly (Ketogenic diet is a type of food habit that includes high amount of fat, moderate amount of protein and low amount of carbohydrate) chocolate mousse.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  1. Fresh cream (I used Amul fresh cream) – 2 tbsp
  2. Unsweetened cocoa powder – 1 tbsp (increase or decrease as per your tolerance level for bitterness)
  3. Erythritol (or any sweetener of your choice) – 3 to 4 tsp (adjust to taste)
  4. Almonds (chopped) – 3

Method of Preparation:

  1. In a mixing bowl, take chilled fresh cream. Whip for few minutes. Then add cocoa powder, erythritol. Fold everything together.
  2. Take out in a serving bowl and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Garnish with chopped almonds before serving.

Oats Porridge with Raisins

Oats is considered to be one of the healthiest whole grains with innumerable benefits. It’s a good source of carbohydrate and dietary fiber. It helps in lowering cholesterol level in body.

There are many recipes those can be prepared using oats. Oats porridge or kheer can be had as a breakfast item. This recipe is hassle free and can be prepared instantly.

Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

  1. Rolled Oats – 1 cup
  2. Milk (coconut milk or almond milk can also be taken for a healthier version) – 2 cups
  3. Honey or pure maple syrup – 1/2 tbsp (adjust to taste)
  4. Almonds (chopped) – 5 to 6
  5. Raisins – 8 to 10

Method of Preparation:

  1. Dry roast the rolled oats for few minutes. Do not over roast.
  2. Add milk slowly with continuous stirring. Let the oats absorb milk. The mixture becomes thick within few minutes. You may add little more milk in order to adjust the consistency.
  3. After bringing the porridge to desired consistency, switch off the flame. Add honey and raisins. Give a good stir.
  4. Take out in a serving bowl and garnish with chopped almonds.

Sevaiya (Vermicelli) Upma

Upma is a savoury Indian dish that’s prepared with grains like flattened rice (poha), oats, dalia (broken wheat) etc and mixed vegetables. Different combinations of spices and sauces are also used in different types of upma.

Upma is mostly considered as a breakfast dish. But it can be had as brunch or heavy snack item also.

Here the recipe talks about vermicelli upma. I mostly prepare this in dinner when I am tired and not in a mood to prepare roti and curry. So, I add veggies to vermicelli and my healthy meal is ready.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  1. Roasted vermicelli – 2 cups
  2. Peanuts – 1/2 cup
  3. Potato (chopped length wise) – 1 big
  4. Onion (chopped length wise) – 2 medium
  5. Green chilli (chopped) – 1
  6. Salt – to taste
  7. Black salt – 2 tsp
  8. Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  9. Red chilli powder – 1 tsp (as per taste)
  10. Schezwan Sauce (optional)
  11. Oil – 1 tbsp
  12. Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  13. Curry leaves – 8 to 10
  14. Water – 3 cups

Any veggie of your choice can be used in this recipe.

Method of Preparation:

  1. Heat oil in a pan and then add cumin seeds. Once the cumin seeds splutter, add peanuts and stir.
  2. Then add curry leaves, chopped green chilli, chopped potatoes and onions.
  3. Add salt, chilli powder, turmeric powder. Mix well. Cover and let the veggies be done half way through.
  4. Once the veggies are half boiled, add the roasted vermicelli. Mix well. Add 3 cups of water. Cover and let the vermicelli and veggies be tender.
  5. Let all the water evaporate.
  6. Add schezwan sauce (or any sauce of your choice) and mix everything well.
  7. Switch off flame and sprinkle black salt all over. Stir everything well.
  8. Hot vermicelli upma is ready to be served.

Healthy Ragi (Finger Millet) Laddu – with Video

Ragi or Nachni or Finger Millet is a very healthy cereal with wide health benefits. It’s consumed all over the country in different forms. It’s very famous mostly in the southern parts of India.

Ragi has innumerable health benefits. Allow me explain some of those.

  1. Gluten free : Ragi is gluten free. So, people with gluten intolerance can consume it without being worried.
  2. Cooling : Ragi is said to have a cooling effect on stomach post consumption. So it aids in proper digestion.
  3. High fibre: Ragi does have a very good fibre content which helps in digestion and relieves constipation.
  4. Baby Food: As Ragi is said to have a soothing effect on stomach and easily digestable, babies at some places are fed with ragi porridge.
  5. Aids in weight loss
  6. Helps in regulating blood sugar level etc

Actually this grain is having innumerable amazing benefits. If I start explaining all those details in this page, I won’t be doing justice to my laddu recipe 🙂

For preparing Ragi Laddu, we will primarily need ragi flour. I have prepared the ragi flour at home from the ragi grains. However store bought ragi flour can also be used.

Watch the video or read on further for the recipe.

For Ragi Flour:

Ingredients:

  1. Ragi grains – 3 cups

Method of Preparation:

  1. Wash ragi grains thoroughly to remove impurities if any.
  2. Sun dry those till the grains become absolutely dry.
  3. Roast the dried ragi grains.
  4. Let it cool completely.
  5. Put in a blender and blend till a fine powder.
  6. Ragi flour is ready. Store it in an airtight container.

For Ragi Laddu:

Ingredients:

  1. Ragi flour – 2 cups
  2. Ghee – 2 tbsp
  3. Chopped almonds – 1/2 cup
  4. Dates (deseeded) – 1 cup (can be increased if more sweetness is required)
  5. Desiccated coconut – 1/4 cup
  6. Unsweetened cocoa powder – 1/4 cup

Method of Preparation:

  1. Heat pan add it add ghee to it.
  2. Add the ragi flour to it and stir well on low flame.
  3. Stir till ragi and ghee are mixed thoroughly. Ragi will become darker in colour and you can feel a nice aroma.
  4. Now take the mixture out in a bowl.
  5. Put the deseeded dated in a blender and blend to thick paste.
  6. Add the dates paste to ragi mixture along with chopped almonds, desiccated coconut and unsweetened cocoa powder.
  7. Mix everything well using hand.
  8. Grease palm with little ghee. Take small amount of the prepared mixture in palm and give a round shape in order to prepare the laddus.
  9. Our healthy ragi laddus are ready.

Hari Matar Pakodi Sabji (Curry with Green Peas Fritter)

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I have learnt this recipe from my Mom. We had green peas lying in freeze for quite some time. And then Mom gave this idea to make curry out of it. This came out to be delicious.

For this curry, first we need to make fritters out of the green peas paste. And then we will make curry with those fritters.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  1. Green Peas – 2 cups
  2. Garlic – 8 to 10 cloves
  3. Green chilli – 2
  4. Chopped onion – 1 medium
  5. Rice flour – 1 tbsp
  6. Salt – to taste
  7. Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  8. Coriander powder – 1 tsp
  9. Curry paste – 2 tbsp
  10. Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
  11. Oil – 1 tbsp
  12. Oil – for deep frying fritters
  13. Water – for gravy

Method of Preparation:

  1. Soak raw green peas in water over night.
  2. Next morning wash the green peas nicely and put in blender along with garlic cloves and green chillies. Blend to a coarse paste.
  3. Take the paste out in a container and add salt, turmeric, coriander powder, rice flour and half of chopped onions to it. Mix everything well.
  4. Heat oil in pan for deep frying. Make small small fritters of the green peas paste. Once the oil is hot enough, add these fritters to the oil.
  5. Fry on low flame till both the sides are light golden brown.
  6. Take out the fritters on a paper towel so that the extra oil will be absorbed.
  7. Now take 1 tbsp oil in another pan and heat it.
  8. Add rest of the chopped onions to it. Let the onions sweat.
  9. Then add curry paste and ginger garlic paste. Add little water if required.
  10. Cover and let it be cooked for few minutes.
  11. Now add 3-4 cups of water and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  12. Add the fritters carefully and let it simmer for five more minutes.
  13. Now switch off the flame. Serve with hot white rice.
  14. Be careful while serving so that the tender fritters do not break.
  15. Adjust the water quantity while preparing gravy as the fritters tend to soak up water.
  16. Optional: one small mashed boiled potato can be added while preparing the gravy in order to make it thick.