Saturday, 29 November 2014

Thinal Sakkarai Pongal / Foxtail Millet Pongal

Another healthy and tasty millet recipe. You can also check out other millets recipes Little Millet Adai, Varagirisi Pidi Kozhakattai.
I dedicate this  sweet post to my friends Aiswarya and Sharath who is getting married in couple of days. They are such a sweet couple and a lovely pair.
Aish and Sharath, wishing you lifetime happiness together.


·         Thinai /  Fox tail Millet – ½ cup
·         Powdered Jaggery – ½ cup (Paagu vellam)
·         Moong dal – 1 tbsp
·         Water – 2 cups
·         Ghee – 2 tbsp
·         Cashews -6 (Broken or whole)
·         Cardamom  – 2 pods

Method :

Wash the millet, drain the water and keep it aside.

Add 1 tbsp of ghee in a Kadai. Fry the cashews to golden brown and keep it aside.
In the same kadai, add powdered Jaggery and ½ cup of water. Heat the kadai till the jaggery melts completely and filter jaggery to separate the impurities. Keep the jaggery syrup aside.

Heat the kadai in medium flame and add 1.5 cups of water. Once the water boils, add the washed millet and 1 tbsp of moongal. Cover and cook for 5-10 mins in low flame with stirring in between. Make sure it doesn’t burn out. Check if it is cooked well. If not sprinkle lil more water and cook it soft. Alternately you can also use pressure cooker and cook it for 2 whistles.

Once it is cooked, add the jaggey syrup and cook for 5-10 mins, till the jaggey is completely absorbed by the millets.
Add a tbsp of Ghee. Powder the cardamom and add it to the Pongal. Finally Add the fried cashews. Now super healthy pongal is ready. Serve it hot or chilled.

When you serve it cold, fluff it with a fork or spoon before you serve, as it becomes like a cake after a while.

·         This pongal can be made with other varieties of millets too.
·         You can add milk while adding jaggery syrup and make the consistency like payasam too.  I tried making payasam with saamai. 

Monday, 24 November 2014

Ragi Idli with Whole Ragi

Am trying to use millets in my food in all possible ways. This one particular millet Ragi – finger millet is rich in calcium.
Health benefits of Ragi :
·         Helps weight loss
·         Good for bones
·         Diabetes
·         Rich in Iron
I have mentioned only few.  Source: Internet
Ragi idli is similar to our usual idli. For our normal idli the rice:urad dal ratio is 4:1. I replace 2 cups of rice with 2 cups of ragi. Simple right ? Not complicated at all. So weekly once, instead of making normal idli replace it with ragi idli.
·         Ragi – 2 cups
·         Par boiled rice – 2 cups
·         Whole Urad dal – 1 cup
·         Fenugreek seeds – 2 tsp ( for softness, can skip too)
·         Salt to taste
Soak rice, ragi, fenugreek seeds, urad dal at least for 4 hours.
Grind them like our usual idli batter for 20- 25 mins. Add salt to taste.
You can also soak ural dal separately and mix finally. This will yield more quantity. Since I had only one cup of urad dal, the quantity was too low to grind separately.
The important process is fermentation. You have to leave the batter over night for fermentation to get soft idlis.
While making idli, grease the idli plates with little oil, pour the batter in the plates and steam it for 10 mins. The time taken is same like our usual idlis.
Serve it hot with hot Sambar (highly recommended)  or spicy chutney.
Note: You can also make dosa with the same batter. It will be unbelievably soft and tasty.

Baby Corn Salad

After 2 months break, I was able to join back my gym. Surprised to see, I hadn’t gained any weight J. That has inspired me to make something to pack my healthy dinner. Eating right is equally important to any exercise.
Here is a simple salad I tossed within very less time I had.

·         Baby corn – 5 (Cut into half and slit into 4. One corn will have 8 pieces)
·         Onion – 2 medium size or 1 Big
·         Capsicum – 1 small size
·         Ginger – 1tsp – finely chopped
·         Garlic - 1tsp – finely chopped
·         Green chili – 1 finely chopped
·         Soy sauce – 1 tsp
·         Red chili sauce – 1 tsp
·         Salt and pepper to taste
·         Little olive oil.

I have just put the pics of how to peel the baby corn easily from husk without creating big mess in the kitchen.
Just slit deep thru the husk with a knife and pull apart the husk and take out the baby corn inside with hands. Do not try to peel the skin layer by layer.

Cut the baby corn into 2 and slit it lengthwise into 4 pieces. By baby corn was bigger in size, so I further cut into 2 more slits. If yours is small, 2 is fine.
Cut one onion and Capsicum length wise.
Finely chop the other onion, chili, garlic, Ginger.
Now heat a wok, add little olive oil. Once it heats up, add the lengthwise cut onion. Don’t fry it too much. We want it to be crunchy.
Add chili, garlic and ginger.Add the soy sauce and chili sauce. Always use a spoon while adding soy sauce, don’t pour directly from the bottle. I once added from the bottle directly and poured more soy sauce and produced Manchurian which was horrible. Learn from mistakes.
Now add the baby corn and2 tbsp water and close the wok with a lid and cook for 4-5 mins.
Add the capsicum and give a sauté.Add salt and pepper to taste. Already we have chili, chili sauce, so add pepper carefully.
Garnish with finely chopped onions and pack it in lunch box.
Reheat them and eat at office. (This is my case)


Thursday, 20 November 2014

Pesarattu - Green gram dosa

Pesarettu is a famous break fast in Andhra / Telugana. (We should give importance to both the states). Main ingredient being whole green gram. It is usually served with upma and called as MLA pesa
I have not had pesarettu in any restaurants before, but had been curious to taste it. So searched for recipe and tried it. Fairly simple, but I won’t say it’s delicious.

·         Green Gram – 1 cup
·         Raw rice – 2 tbsp
·         Onion – 1 Big size
·         Green Chilies – 2 number
·         Ginger – 1 inch length piece.
·         Salt to taste
·         Oil for cooking it

Soak Green gram and rice over night or atleast 3-4 hours.

Roughly chop onions, green chili and ginger.
Grind the gram, rice, onion, Green chilies, Ginger in a dosa batter consistency. Not too thick or running. Add salt.

No fermentation required. U can make pesarettu right away after grinding.  Cook it like our usual dosa. Drizzle lil oil. Sprinkle some finely chopped onion and chili. I repeat I am lazy and I dint do it.
The batter looks slight green, spreads smooth like dosa, while cooking u get the smell of egg, tastes like adai. This has some multiple personality disorder.
 Serve Hot with Chutney or pickle of ur choice. 


Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Homemade Peanut Butter


Yes, you heard it right. Homemade peanut butter. It is very easy to make at home and economical too.
You really don’t know what all goes into the peanut butter you buy from stores. So much preservatives.
There is no head cracking ingredients involved in this, so chill.
Here is the easy recipe.. Enjoy ur bread with this healthy spread and enjoy ur life.

·         Roasted Peanuts – 1 cup
·         Olive oil – 1-2 tbsp  (I used olive oil, you can use the oil of your choice)
·         Honey – 1-2 tbsp
·         Salt – a pinch

Dry roast the peanuts for a minute or two. You can peel the skin too. I am a lazy bugger to do roast and peel. If you are not like me, you please do these.
Grind it in the mixer for a minute. You wil get the below coarse consistency.
Add Honey, oil, salt to the mixture and continue grinding until you get a smoother consistency. Some people like it creamier, some like it coarse. You grind according to ur taste.
Store the peanut butter in a clean container. It keeps well for few weeks if you store in fridge.
Spread it on your bread and have fun.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Brown Rava Idli

Lets look into some instant, healthy, tasty breakfast today.
Brown Rava idli.

This is twin sister of usual rava idli, but a healthy sister.

Instead of white I went for brown. No racism here. I mean just the color of the rava.

There is no soaking, grinding, fermenting like usual idli. So you can make this whenever your fridge has no stock of dosa or idli mavu.


·         Brown Rava – 2 cups
·         Thick curd – 1 cup  
·         Water – Little for making the batter
·         Coriander leaves finely chopped – 2 tbsp
·         Carrot – 1 big size
·         Ginger - 1/2 finger length piece
·         Finely chopped Chili – 1 or 2 numbers
·         Salt to taste.

To temper

·         Oil / Ghee – 1 tbsp
·         Mustard seeds
·         Cashews – 10 numbers


Dry roast brown rava for 5 mins in medium flame in a wok. Transfer it to a bowl. Let it cool down. Keep it aside.

Grate the carrot, finely chop the coriander leaves. (No pics taken for this, forgive me)

Grate the ginger and finely chop the chili.

In the same wok, add ghee and fry the cashews till golden brown and keep aside. Don’t eat cashews after you kept them aside. I did J

In the remaining oil after frying cashews, add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add it to the rava.
 Add the grated ginger and chili, coriander leaves to rava.
 Add the curd, check the consistency. If it is too thick then add little water. The batter should be like little thicker than our usual idli mavu consistency.Add the salt as per the taste.
Grease the idli plates with lil oil and place the cashews one on each plate.

Pour the batter on the plates and put some grated carrot on each plate. Steam cook for 5-10 mins. Carefully take it from the idli plates.
Serve hot with sambar or chutney of your choice. I had no time, so ate it just like that.


Sunday, 9 November 2014

Paneer Kebab / Cutlet

You can call this whatever you want kebab or cutlet. I know no difference between them. I love it however you call it. I call this kebeb because of the soft texture.

This is the bestest kebab/ cutlet I have ever made.

The origin of the recipe is paneer bread balls. It’s almost similar to this, but it needs deep frying. So insead of balls, I made it like patties and shallow fried in tawa. Sounds simple and healthy right? It does.
·         Paneer – 200 gms
·         Potato – 2 medium sized
·         Bread 2 or 3 slices. (I used brown bread)
·         Onion – 1 big size
·         Coriander – 3 tbsp  (finely chopped)
·         Green chillies – 2 (finely chopped)
·         Ginger – garlic – 1 tbsp (finely chopped) ( I dint add it, but highly recommended)
·         Salt to taste
·         Cooking Oil to shallow fry

Spices :
·         Garam masala – 1 tsp
·         Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
·         Jeera / Cumin powder – ¼ tsp
Preparation Time  : 10 - 15 mins
Cooking time         : 10 - 15 mins
Preparation :
  • Boil the potatoes, peal and mash them perfectly without any lumps.
  • Meanwhile, grate the paneer and knead it well like below. I used Aavin paneer. I feel they are the cheap and best. They are very soft. Next choice is heritage.
  • Finely chop onions, green chillies, ginger, garlic, coriander.
  • Immerse the bread slices one by one in water, take it out immediately sqeeze them nicely to remove the water.
Method :  

In a wide bowl, Mix all the ingredients except oil thoroughly.

Take small portion from the mixture, make it round balls and press it in the palm to make it as small patties. Do not make it too thin. Make it little thick as they are very soft.

Heat the tawa, drizzle some oil and gently place these patties in the tawa. You can toast 6 -8 at a time. Cook it in medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Flip to the other side carefully. I used hands to flip, as they were soft. But be careful while doing it. Cook the other side too same way. Cook until both sides are nicely brownish.

Serve hot with ketchup or green chutney. 

You might Also like my another easy paneer recipe - Chilly Paneer

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