Khamang Kakdi | Seasoned Maharashtrian style Cucumber salad

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Mr Google says Khamang means savory, tasty, spicy in Marathi and Kakdi means cucumbers. That’s exactly what this salad is! Savory spicy tasty cucumber salad. I have been making Khamang Kakdi since many years now and it is my 2.5 year old son’s favorite salad. Whenever I make it, he has to eat it as soon as it is done, along with his meal and afterwards, with my meal too. πŸ˜…πŸ˜… In short, most of this salad goes into his tummy. 😍

My mother will not be pleased to read this, I know, πŸ˜… as she always wants me to eat well. That’s why I keep updating her over voice messages whatever I eat all throughout the day. It makes her happy and she sends all the possible love smileys in the world to show her joy. 😍❀️

We can’t talk for hours like before or video call as her grandkids snatch the phone from me to talk to their “moga mamama” (loving grandma). So we just send voice messages to each other. I give her updates regarding what I am doing every hour and she does the same. Our day starts with good morning to each other and ends with good night kisses. That’s what is called true love, being far from each other physically, yet closest to one another, in thoughts, in feelings and in heart, not separated ever. ❀️

Writing the above line just overwhelmed me to tears and I won’t be able to write anymore.. This girl with loads of thoughts, feelings, memories is never going to change.. ❀️

Hope you all try this easy cucumber salad, Khamang Kakdi. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

3 regular sized English Cucumbers (or 1 Indian Cucumber)

1/4 Cup Peanuts

1/4 Cup freshly grated Coconut

3 Green chillies

3 Tbsp finely chopped Coriander leaves

Lemon juice from 1 Indian lemon or to taste

Salt to taste

For seasoning:

2 tsp Coconut oil

1 tsp Mustard seeds

5 to 7 Curry leaves

A pinch of Hing/ Asafoetida

Step by step recipe:

1. Dry roast the peanuts in a pan till it browns. Allow it to cool. Now using a mortar pestle, crush it to a coarse mixture. Keep aside.

2. Take chopped cucumbers, green chillies, coriander leaves and coconut in a bowl. Add salt.

3. Now add the crushed peanuts to this. Also, heat oil in a pan. Splutter mustard seeds, add curry leaves and hing. Pour this seasoning over the cucumbers.

4. Add lemon juice and mix well. Do a taste test for salt and also add more lemon juice if you like.

5. Serve with rice meals or enjoy as it is!

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Notes:

* I used English Cucumbers which do not need peeling. If using Indian cucumbers, peel and remove seeds. Then chop and use.

* You can make ahead and keep at room temperature. Maybe add salt later if your cucumber leaves a lot of water after adding salt.

* I also make this Moong dal Kosambari regularly with cucumbers and carrots. You can check that.

Click on the image for the recipe

* Another Konkani style salad that I make always is Carrot Kismuri.

* I also use Cucumbers in this Instant Cucumber dosa and Instant Cucumber Idli.

Kali dosa | Soft and spongy dosas for lunch box

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Traditional recipe + mom’s recipe + unique name + dosa = I have to try it! πŸ˜„ This is what ran in my mind the moment my friend Sreeja posted this Kali dosa. It was a dosa which her Amma made regularly for her college lunch box and she loved it as it stayed soft till lunch time unlike other dosas. I too have made this dosa many times now following her recipe and love how soft these dosas come out.

College lunch time reminds me of my lunch sharing with my best friends, Taniya and Sunanda (Tanu and Chu 😍😍). Tanu being brought up in the North used to bring roti-sabzi for lunch whereas Chu being a Malayalee used to bring dishes from the Kerala cuisine. And you can guess what I used to take for lunch box πŸ˜… – Konkani food. So it was a great combination of three cuisines and we used to have a wonderful time sharing our food while chattering our hearts off, giggling at our silly jokes which only we understood. πŸ˜…πŸ˜β€οΈ

Even though I miss seeing, hugging, talking and laughing with them, I am so grateful to Mr Whatsapp 😁 that we are in contact everyday even after being in three different countries in our small group named “Tanu Chu Ladoo”😍😍😍. Our friendship has been strong since more than 12 years now and I am sure we will be the same forever. ❀️

My Amma shared a quote yesterday saying she felt it apt to describe our friendship and I can’t agree more. Here’s the quote. ❀️

For me, soul connection is most important and these relations are what I treasure the most..❀️

Here’s ending my write-up by thanking Sreeja for her recipe and sharing her mother’s recipe with all of you. Happy and healthy cooking!

Thank you dear Sreeja. Loved the dosa very much. ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { Makes about 12 dosas }

2 Cups Raw white rice ( I use any regular variety available)

1/2 Cup Urad dal (I use split ones)

1/2 Cup thick or thin Poha (flattened rice/ beaten rice)

1 tsp Fenugreek seeds or Methi

Salt to taste

Ghee or oil to cook the dosa

Step by step recipe:

1. Wash well and soak Urad dal with poha while rice and Methi separately for 3 to 4 hours.

2. Drain water from urad dal- poha bowl. Add water as required, little by little and grind Urad dal with poha and Methi to a smooth paste. Don’t drain water from soaked Methi. It is very healthy and also helps ferment the batter well. Pour the ground paste into a large bowl.

3. Now add drained rice to the mixer and grind to a smooth paste too. Add to the Urad dal batter and add salt. Mix well.

4. Keep covered at room temperature overnight or for about 8 hours.

5. Heat a dosa pan and add a ladle of batter. No need to spread this dosa. Cook on medium flame or else the dosa may turn black due to poha in the batter. Add ghee on top when it cooks on the surface.

6. Flip and cook for few seconds.

7. Remove and repeat the same with the rest of the batter. Serve hot with a chutney or your choice or with sambar or with both like me. πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

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Notes:

* Adding the soaked Methi water in the batter is beneficial to health and also ensures good fermentation of the batter which gives very soft dosas.

* Remember to make these dosas on medium flame and not on high flame as this dosa turns black underneath very quickly due to poha in the batter.

* You can also cook these dosas only on one side like set dosas.

* Check all my dosa varieties in my Dosa Corner page.

* For all my no rice dosas, check this No Rice Dosa Recipes Compilation.

Dry fruit Coconut Ladoos | Sugar free ladoos | Easy to make, Ready in 15 mins

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So happy to be posting this super healthy, easy to make, heavenly tasting ladoo recipe on Hanuman Jayanthi today. The thread you can see above in my hand is from Shri Hanumantha temple in Moodbidri near Udupi. It’s been around 2 years that I got it as a prasad from the temple but I am happy that the thread has not deformed nor lost its beautiful colour. Grateful to God for that. This thread is a constant reminder to me that I have Hanumanji’s blessings always and it has removed fear completely from my mind. πŸ™

My devotion to Hanumanji started when we shifted to Elamakkara, Kochi when I was in 9th std. Elamakkara is a place with so many temples located very close to each other. My dad used to go to each of these temples on weekends and I would accompany him too. In the Dattatreya Swamy temple, there is a Hanumanji gudi ( a smaller temple) where I started going quite often and I always felt so peaceful standing in front of that gudi while sharing both my happiness and sorrows with Hanumanji. πŸ™

During college days, I also started wearing his pendant which had Shree Ram on one side and Hanumanji on the other. Found this picture from exactly 10 years back and sharing with all of you along with the pendant’s picture as it not clear from my photo.

This picture brought back so many memories of our house in Elamakkara. ❀️ Our mandir which you can see behind, the showcase with photos and soveigners, our old computer in which I used to do my college work, the wooden sofa with velvet seating and a glimpse of our kitchen where my grandmother and mother used to make so many dishes very lovingly for me. One photo, hundreds of memories. 😍😍

Talking about photos, my devotion to Hanumanji also was through collecting his pictures, his books, his keychains, in fact anything with Hanumanji in it. I have saved all of it even now and had brought them along with me to Qatar. Looking at them makes me so so happy. Sharing a glimpse with all of you.

My treasure. β€οΈπŸ™

There is a story behind Hanuman chalisa book in my life. During my final college trip to Hyderabad, my Amma was very scared to let me go. But for my happiness, finally she agreed reluctantly. Alongside, she prayed to Hanumanji that if I come back safely, we would give Hanuman chalisa books to my Hindu classmates (I know it might sound childish but a mother’s love is something which only a mother can understand ❀️). And you know the most divine part?

On the way to Hyderabad in the bus, while my friends were dancing, me being a very bad dancer (πŸ˜…), just sat looking outside the window and what do I see! Small Hanumanji temples in every few kms!! It made me feel so happy that I wanted to call Amma then and there to share my happiness. I saw so many idols of Hanumanji together that evening that I have not seen in my entire life. Such a blissful and unforgettable experience it was! πŸ™ And yes, I did reach back safely and we distributed the Hanuman chalisa books to my classmates, much to their surprise. ❀️ My best friend Sunanda still has that book which made her a Hanumanji devotee too. πŸ™

Sorry for so many nostalgic stories today but Hanumanji is so close to my life that I just went on writing. Thank you so much for reading. Here’s wishing all of you a very blessed Hanuman Jayanthi. πŸ™

Hope you all try these delicious ladoos for your family. Happy and healthy cooking! ❀️

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RECIPE:

Ingredients: { Makes 20 small ladoos }

1 Cup deseeded Dates (I used Khudri variety)

10 dried Apricots

3/4 Cup Mixed Nuts { I took 1/4 Cup each of Cashews, Almonds and Walnuts }

1/4 Cup Raisins

1/2 Cup Desiccated Coconut

Step by step recipe:

1. Soak dried apricots in hot water for about 10 mins. Also soak dates if using hard variety of dates.

2. Meanwhile, dry roast the Desiccated Coconut in a pan on medium flame till it starts changing colour and turns light brown. Immediately transfer to a bowl. (Don’t allow it to turn dark brown. Just a light colour change as shown below is sufficient.) Keep aside till use.

2. Add the nuts to a mixer or food processor. Also keep the apricots, dates and raisins ready.

3. Powder it coarsely, not grinding continually but pulsing in regular intervals. Took me about 5 pulses for 15 seconds each for it to get powdered coarsely. { If ground continually, it will turn into paste as nuts release oil when ground too much. }

4. Now add the drained apricots, dates and raisins.

5. Again pulse in the food processor till the mixture gets blended together to almost like a coarse paste. { Do not add water while grinding.}

6. Now add to a frying pan and heat it for two mins just till it becomes dry. Remove and keep aside.

7. Now add the mixture to the dry roasted coconut and mix well using a spatula.

8. Once mixture has cooled slightly, make ladoos by taking little portions and shaping between your palms. These ladoos can be easily shaped by anyone as the mixture is not dry.

9. Repeat the same with the mixture. Enjoy these guilt free healthy ladoos!

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Notes:

* Store them in an air tight container free from moisture and it will last well atleast for couple of days in room temperature. Refrigerate after that.

* Desiccated Coconut can be substituted with freshly grated coconut. Just that it will take a little while longer to get brown colour.

* If using hard variety of dates, soak it in hot water for about 10 mins or till it turns soft.

* If you don’t have dried apricots, substitute with 1/2 Cup more of Dates. So total 1 1/2 Cup Dates in the recipe.

* In the 3/4 Cup nuts, you can use any variety of nuts. I used a mix of Cashews, Almonds and Walnuts.

* You can use either golden or black raisins.

* If you don’t want to use coconut, just skip it like I do for my Dry fruit bites.

* If you don’t want to make them as ladoos, spread onto a plate and cut once it gets hard. I do that for my Dry fruit bites.

* You can check my Ready in 15 min healthy sweet recipes compilationfor easy, healthy sweet recipes.

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Vegetable Paneer Chilly | Broccoli stir fry | Kid friendly recipes with Broccoli

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Broccoli is not something I grew up eating. In fact, don’t remember even seeing this vegetable till few years back (Talk about being desi πŸ˜…). In the winter months here in Qatar, which is between November and March, there opens a Mahaseel festival which sells varieties of flowers, indoor/outdoor plants and also fresh vegetables grown in different Qatari local farms. Inspite of the quality of the veggies being so good, the rate is surprisingly very cheap. I found this “pretty green vegetable similar to cauliflower” (exactly what was in my mind πŸ˜‚) in the festival and could not resist buying it. That started my love for Broccoli and my kids too love it so much now. ❀️

The Mahaseel festival is a treat to the eyes for flower lovers and I want to share a picture which I clicked when we went there in December 2019. Look at the beauties. 😍😍

This reminds me of my favorite song from the movie Silsila, Ye kahaan aa gaye hum.. That song too has been shot in midst of floral heaven. Admire how beautifully it has been picturized and such an eternal love song too. ❀️❀️

For me, merely looking at greenery, lush trees, mountains, fields, flowers, birds chirping, cows grazing, waves of the river, streams of water in a waterfall, early morning dewdrops on leaves, the heavenly aroma of the freshly wet soil in the first rain and so many similar such experiences brings so much unexplainable joy. ❀️ I don’t know about you all, but being with nature makes me feel so alive and refreshes me a lot. If I could, I would love to live atop a mountain, far away from the city, embracing nature in it’s purest form (One among my dreams in life. ❀️)

Among these, there is also the wonderful feel of cooking with freshly plucked vegetables. 😍 Now, since a year, these locally grown vegetables like Broccoli and cucumber are available in our nearby supermarket. It’s a boon since we can’t travel all the way to the Mahaseel festival due to the Covid situation.

My kids love these two ways of Broccoli that I make and they eat it as it is even without rice. Sharing it so that you can try for your family too. Hope you all try and love it too. Happy and healthy cooking! ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

For Broccoli stir fry:

2 Cups Broccoli florets
1 tsp Oil
A pinch of Pepper powder
Salt to taste

For Vegetable Paneer Chilly:

1 Cup Broccoli florets

1 Cup diced Carrots

1 Cup Paneer cubes

1/2 a medium sized Capsicum, cubed

1 medium sized Onion, cubed

3 Garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 to 4 Green chillies

2 Tbsp Tomato ketchup

2 tsp Chilli sauce

1 tsp Soya sauce

Pepper powder to taste

Salt to taste

1 tsp Vinegar

Finely chopped coriander leaves

Step by step recipe:

1. For Broccoli stir fry, take bite size broccoli florets in a bowl and wash it well. Drain and keep it ready.

2. Heat oil in a pan and add the broccoli florets. Also add salt and pepper. Fry on high flame for few seconds. Cover and cook on medium flame till the florets turn soft. Sprinkle water only if needed. You are done!

3. For Vegetable Paneer Chilly, take Broccoli florets, diced Carrots and cubed capsicum in a bowl.

4. In a pan, heat oil and fry the green chillies and garlic first. Then add cubed onions and fry till it turns translucent.

5. Now add the veggies along with Paneer and fry for few seconds.

6. Add very little water and cook till the veggies turn soft but don’t overcook them. Now add ketchup, chilli sauce, soya sauce, salt and pepper. Mix well and cook for 5 mins.

7. Remove and add vinegar. Mix well adding coriander leaves.

Serve both the Broccoli stir fry and Vegetable Paneer Chilly with fried rice or any variety rice or meals.

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Notes:

* I usually make easy Schezwan fried rice with this. You can check the recipe here.

* Skip Paneer if you don’t like it. Makes regular vegetable chilly.

* You can make it as a gravy if you want. Just add more ketchup and water. For a thicker gravy, add corn flour mixed in water to the gravy. It will make it very thick. I love this dry version though.

* The broccoli stir fry makes for a great snack for kids. My kids dip it it ketchup and eat by themselves. Great finger food for toddlers as well.

Ram Navami recipes | Konkani dishes made on Shri Ram Navami festival day

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Tomorrow, April 21st 2021 is Ram Navami which is celebrated as the birth day of Lord Rama. For me, as much as I love my Krishna, that much I respect Rama too (“my” Krishna because I consider Krishna to be my own, dwelling within me and not separated from me ever ❀️). If Krishna has taught me unconditional love, Rama has taught me righteousness. They are both incarnations of Lord Vishnu but their teachings are different and we have lots to learn from stories of their life. πŸ™

Apart from reading about their life, there are two shlokas which I listen to daily. It is the Shri Rama Raksha Sthothra and Hanuman chalisa. Amma taught them to me when I was a child and told me to chant these whenever I felt lonely, sad or need to talk to God. Now, when I listen to these shlokas, I feel God is always with me and listening to my woes. Also, the divine vibration in the house when these shlokas are chanted are the reason that I believe brings peace and happiness in my house. If you have any stress in life, do try listening to shlokas and trust me, you will definitely feel better. You will feel yourself entrusted in God’s hands and once that is done, there is no need to worry as he will take care of everything. πŸ™

When I had mentioned about my daily shlokas in my earlier posts, I got messages from couple of my friends asking how do I manage to read shlokas in midst of household chores and taking care of kids. I want to clarify with all of you who wonder the same that I don’t sit and read the shlokas. I listen to my daily shlokas playlist on Youtube while cooking and doing other chores. In fact I keep the shlokas first and then start cooking. It keeps my mind engaged in a positive way and I keep reciting alongside too (that is when my kids are not talking in between 😁). So, those of you who are not finding time to sit and read shlokas, try listening to them on Youtube.

A snapshot of my daily shlokas playlist on youtube. My day starts with these. πŸ™

Lord Rama’s life or The Ramayana has been a path of inspiration for his believers like me and I would like to share a picture of him describing his qualities which I found apt to share on this auspicious occasion. πŸ™

Though it is not easy for us, mere mortals to follow all these qualities, we can atleast:

* Try to be good and kind towards everyone, choosing empathy and being understanding instead of being judgemental while controlling our negative emotions like anger, pride and jealousy.

* Love and show compassion to all beings, not only humans but also every creature, every bird, every animal as they deserve to live peacefully on this Earth too as much as we all.

* Also, always remember to be humble and grateful, for what we are is due to God’s blessings and without that, we are nothing.

This is what I feel Lord Rama’s life and his qualities show us. Jai Shree Ram. πŸ™

Coming to the occasion of Ram Navami, there are some dishes which are made in every Konkani household on this day. Though it may vary with every family, these dishes are the most commonly made ones.

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1. Paanak Spiced Jaggery Lemonade drink

2. Muga dali Kosambari A salad with raw moong dal, cucumber and carrots

3. Muga dali Usli Seasoned Konkani style moong dal

4. Sheera A sweet with semolina and sugar but I add jaggery instead

5. Chane Usli & Godu PhovuA classic combination of seasoned black chickpeas and sweetened rice flakes made as prasad

You can click on the names above for each recipe. Will write in detail about each dish below.

1. Paanak – This drink is made on Rama Navami in our temples and served to all the devotees. One of the most precious memories of my childhood is when I used to wait for my turn to get to drink this refreshing Paanak in Venkatarama temple, Katapadi. Though the ones made in temples are divine and heavenly, we can easily make it at home to dedicate to Lord Rama on his birth day.

Recipe herePaanak

Click on the image for the recipe.

2. Muga Dali Kosambari – This is also a offering made commonly on Ram Navami in not only Konkani households but also among Kannadigas, Tamilians and Telugu community too. It is a salad with soaked moong dal, cucumber and carrots. I make it regularly even otherwise as it is very tasty and healthy too.

Recipe hereMuga Dali Kosambari

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3. Muga dali Usli – Moong dal in another form that is made on Ram Navami. It is seasoned in a simple manner and cooked either till soft or mushy, like how I like it. I make this during those sudden hunger pangs too as it is very healthy and delicious.

Recipe hereMuga Dali Usli

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4. Sheera – Also known as Rava Kesari in South India, this sweet was regularly made on festive days at my house by my grandmother and mother. They used sugar but I have been using jaggery in it since many years. We all love Jaggery Sheera more than sugar ones now.

Recipe hereSheera

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5. Chane Usli & Godu Phovu – This is yet another prasad made in temples, even on Ram Navami day in some places. Chane Usli is seasoned black chickpeas and Godu Phovu is sweetened rice flakes. The combination is delicious and hardly takes time to make.

Recipe hereChane Usli & Godu Phovu

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So, these were the dishes that are commonly made on Ram Navami day to offer Lord Rama. Apart from these, you can also make sweets like Churmundos or wheat flour ladoos on this festival. You can check my Ready in 15 min healthy sweet recipes compilation for easy, healthy sweet recipes.

Click on the image for the recipe compilation.

Wishing you all a very Happy Rama Navami. May Lord Rama bless you all with peace and happiness in your lives. Jai Shree Ram. πŸ™

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Paneer Kathi Roll | Paneer Frankie | Paneer wrap

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If there is one event here in Qatar that I used to wait eagerly for (pre corona times), it is the Qatar International Food Festival or QIFF as it is called. My first visit to the QIFF was in 2016. It was held in one of my favorite parks here, the MIA park which is in a picturesque location. I love to sit there, just admiring the beauty and calmness of the gleaming blue waters 🌊. And enjoying food there made it extra special. That first experience of QIFF at MIA park was the best one till date. ❀️

Being vegetarians (who love Indian food ❀️) actually takes away the point of going to an “international” food festival (the irony 😁) but there were so many options from Indian restaurants that we got spoilt with choices. It was like finding all the famous Indian restaurants from Qatar in one place and you get to choose their best dishes from the menu. In short, Foodie heaven! 😍

After that, we made a point to go to the QIFF every year, for some variety chaats, north Indian platters, south Indian delicacies, sweets, ice creams and juices, hovering from stall to stall (basically rummaging into all the veg options πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚). I know it sounds like a lot of food but these food festivals make me go crazy and I forget all the healthy eating for a while (Sorry but not sorry, Mr Diet πŸ˜…πŸ˜…).

The last food festival we visited was held in November 2019 which was a street food festival. The chef at the live counter of Desi Dhaba restaurant making hot Jalebis fried in ghee was the highlight of the event for the sweet lover in me. Look at how delicious the Jalebis were! 😍 My mouth waters as I think about it. πŸ˜‹

Another unforgettable food memory with these food festivals is the Paneer Kathi Rolls from Zaffran cafe stalls. I never missed it and it is the most delicious kathi rolls I have ever eaten. ❀️

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So since due to Covid, it has been more than an year of no food festivals (😭), I decided to recreate those Paneer Kathi Rolls at home and how amazing did it come out. Never knew making them at home was so easy. My kiddos too loved it so much that they could not stop saying “mmmmm yummyyyyy 😍😍” (gone ditto after me 🀣🀣 exactly how I can’t stop saying it when I eat something yummy, not caring for anyone else in the world. πŸ˜‚)

So I thought I must share this yumminess of a recipe with you all too. Makes a filling evening snack or even a meal in itself. Also a great way to finish your leftover rotis. Hope you all try and like it. Happy and healthy cooking! ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { Makes 5 to 6 Rolls }

For the Roti:

2 Cups wheat flour

Salt to taste

Water as needed

For the Paneer filling:

200 grams Paneer cubes

1 Tbsp thick Curd/ Yogurt

1 tsp Tomato ketchup

1/2 tsp Cumin powder

1/2 tsp Garam masala powder

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

Salt to taste

For the Salad:

1 medium sized Onion, thinly sliced

1/4 a medium sized Capsicum, thinly sliced

Salt to taste

1/2 tsp Vinegar or Lemon juice

For Chutney:

Check the detailed recipe here

Ghee while making the rotis and pan frying paneer

Step by step recipe:

1. Take wheat flour and salt in a bowl. Add water and form a firm yet soft dough like that while making rotis. Keep aside.

2. Now take paneer cubes in a bowl. Add yogurt, ketchup, cumin powder, Garam masala powder, Turmeric powder and salt.

3. Mix well.

4. Now heat 2 tsp ghee in a frying pan and roast the paneer cubes on medium flame till the cubes get browned on all sides. Keep flipping as they turn brown each side.

5. Remove from the flame and keep aside. Also make the green chutney.

6. Take sliced onions and capsicums in a bowl. Add salt and vinegar. Mix well. Now the things ready for filling are ready.

7. Make roti like you make regularly. I make it almost like a square so that it’s easier to roll. Place in a plate. Spread with a spoon of the chutney. In the center, keep the paneer pieces are shown. Top with the salad.

8. Roll and serve!

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Notes:

* I make this roasted gram dal coriander leaves chutney for the roll. You can make regular Coriander leaves chutney for it too. Just remember to make the chutney thick and not liquidy as we have to spread it.

* You can add more veggies into the salad filling. I just keep it simple as I don’t want to overfill the rotis.

* Be careful to roast the marinated paneer on medium flame. Else due to Yogurt, it can turn black.

* You can also add red chilli powder to the marinate to make the paneer filling more spicy. I don’t add as I make for my kids too.

* These rolls are the best way to finish leftover rotis in a delicious and unique way. Also great for lunch box. Just make the chutney very thick if making for lunch box.

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Chane Usli – Godu Phovu | Seasoned black chickpeas – sweetened rice flakes | Konkani Breakfast/snack combo

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Since childhood, my Amma has always taught me the importance of days dedicated to each God. Not sure how many of you believe in it but sharing the little I have learnt.

* Mondays To worship Lord Shiva and in our case, our Kuladevata too, Shree Damodar. πŸ™

* Tuesdays For Ganpati Bappa, Devis/ Goddesses and Hanumanji. πŸ™

* Wednesdays Dedicated to Lord Krishna. β€οΈπŸ™

* Thursdays A day dedicated to Lord Vishnu and our Gurus. Dattatreya Swamy or Guru Raghavendra Swamy or Sai Baba or as believed by each individual in their life. πŸ™

* Fridays To worship Devis/ Goddesses. πŸ™

* Saturdays Dedicated to worship Lord Venkatarama. Also, Shanidev and since worshipping Hanumanji is said to remove the Shani dosha or wrath in one’s life, Hanumanji too is worshipped on this day. πŸ™

* Sundays Dedicated to Sun God. Also, Mahalasa Narayani (Amma’s Kuladevi in her mother’s side); Sunday is dedicated to this devi. πŸ™

You might be wondering why all this explanation (free ka gyan πŸ˜…) is for. Actually, along with all the days dedicated to each God, there have been foods dedicated to these days too. In almost all Konkani households, black chickpeas is cooked on Fridays as it is believed to be a favorite of Goddess Lakshmi. Hence, considered auspicious to make a ghashi (curry) or this usli with black chickpeas on Fridays. Same is the case with Horsegram which is said to be good to be had on Saturdays saying it gives us strength like Hanumanji.

Some of you may laugh at this, but I believe all of these traditions were made by our ancestors for a reason. When I think about it, this tradition made sure we had the healthy legumes atleast once a week. Else, I would forget to make it as Chickpeas and Horsegram have a long shelf life, easily can be bought and forgotten (if you are like me πŸ˜…).

And whenever I make Chane Usli on Fridays, it has to be combined with this delicious Godu Phovu. This is a classic Konkani breakfast/ snack combination, also made as Navaratri prasad.

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Inspite of being from Udupi, I have grown up among our Konkani community in Elamakkara, Kochi where we have a GSB Vikas Parishad group which conducts meetings every month in one of the members’ house to discuss issues faced by our community and also to help those in need. During Navaratri, members would volunteer for bhajans to be conducted in their house and the rest of us would go, sing bhajans together and consume the prasad made by them. The prasad would always be Chane Usli – Godu Phovu in every member’s house and it used to taste so divine and delicious that I still remember the flavours. Every family had their own unique way of making it and that made it even more special. ❀️

Now, whenever I get black chickpeas, I always make it on Fridays, to respect our traditions and not allowing it to diminish away at any cost. Also, since these traditions have health benefits associated with it, it is an added advantage too, right! πŸ˜„

Hope you all try this combination too. Very filling and comes out delicious. Also, can be made as a breakfast or evening snack too. Happy and healthy cooking! ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { Serves 3 }

For Chane Usli –

1 Cup dried Black Chickpeas/ Kala Chana

1 Tbsp Coconut oil

1 tsp Mustard seeds

A sprig of Curry leaves

A pinch of Hing/ Asafoetida

3 to 4 Green chillies

Salt to taste

3 Tbsp freshly grated Coconut for garnish

For Godu Phovu –

1/2 Cup Jaggery

1/4 Cup water

1/2 Cup freshly grated Coconut

1 1/2 Cups Poha/ Flattened rice/ Beaten rice/ rice flakes (thin variety)

1 Tbsp Ghee

1/4 tsp Cardamom powder

Step by step recipe:

For Chane Usli:

1. Soak the black chickpeas in more than double the water for atleast 6 to 8 hours. Drain the water. Add to a pressure cooker. Add fresh water enough to soak the chickpeas. Pressure cook till soft. {Takes a whistle on high and 10 mins on medium flame on my electric stovetop.}

2. Heat oil in a pan. Splutter mustard seeds. Add curry leaves, hing and green chillies.

3. Fry till green chillies change colour. Now add the cooked chickpeas. {I add along with the cooked water. If you plan to make saar (check notes), add only the chickpeas and keep the cooked water aside}.

4. Mash lightly with a ladle. Add salt and cook till the mixture turns dry. Mix in coconut and keep aside.

For Godu Phovu:

1. Melt jaggery in water. I use 1/2 Cup jaggery and 1/4 Cup water. It melts and bubbles start forming. Then I remove it from the flame. Sieve and mix in 1/2 Cup coconut.

2. Now add thin Poha, first 1 Cup, mix well. Then if needed add 1/4 Cup at a time till the texture and sweetness is perfect. Do taste tests.

3. When the mixture is even and done, add ghee and cardamom powder. Mix well.

Serve with Chane Usli. I have garnished the Godu Phovu with Tulsi leaves as they do in temples.

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Notes:

* Mixing few Tulsi leaves in the Godu Phovu not only makes it more aromatic, but gives us the benefit of eating Tulsi leaves which are very healthy and also giving us the divine feel of temple prasad.

* Thin Poha does not need soaking. Just mix as it is with melted jaggery. Add little at a time to ensure you don’t over add the poha as it leads to less sweet poha.

* Both these recipes require atleast the amount of freshly grated Coconut I have mentioned. Lesser than that, it does not give the authentic taste. You can add more too if you love coconut.

* Make sure to cook the chickpeas till soft.

* Black chickpeas can be substituted with white chickpeas too.

* The cooked water is usually drained and kept for Chane Saaru (A kind of rasam). Just add salt to the water and bring to a boil. Season coconut oil with mustard seeds, curry leaves and broken red chillies. Pour over the boiled water. Mix well. Serve with rice meals. You can also give fried garlic seasoning instead.

* You can also check this Quick to make Kerala style Kadala curry recipe.

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Dates and Carrot Ubbatti | whole wheat Dates Carrot Puranpoli

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Sometimes you listen to a song and the lyrics plus music is so beautiful that you can’t help but listen to it on repeat. Same happened with me today. As I sat down to have my lunch, as usual, checked my youtube subscriptions and saw that a new song has been released by T Series – Rab Manneya from the movie Koi Jaane na. I started listening to it without much thought but the song got me so much hooked to it that I have heard it so many times till now and was even compelled to add to my spotify playlist. ❀️

Such were the words, “Tu maane ya na maane dildaara, asaan te tenu rab manneya” which means, even if you agree or not, I consider you as God. I don’t know if any of you have felt it but some people come to your life, change it in a beautiful way and then your perspective towards life changes completely. Such people are God sent angels and they leave their mark on our life forever. Having felt the presence of beautiful souls like that in my life, I can say it’s one of the most precious feelings in the world. ❀️

And this can be said the same about these Dates Carrot Ubbattis. The outer dough is plain and normal but when filled with the sweetness of dates and carrots makes it into a super delicious dish. Just like how the beautiful people fill our life with happiness. 😍 #mithastheories πŸ˜…

These ubbattis were my idea after successfully combining dates and Carrot in cake and halwa making it sugar free. So thought why not make Ubbattis with the same filling. It came out so delicious that my husband says I can sell them. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ My kids too loved them a lot and I hardly got two bites when I made for the first time.

So thought I should share with all of you too and what better time to share right before Ugadi, our new year. Here’s wishing all my readers a very Happy Ugadi and Vishu on 13th and 14th respectively. May this festival bring loads of happiness in your lives. ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { Makes 5 Ubbattis }

For the outer dough:

2 Cups Whole wheat flour/ Atta

1/4 tsp Turmeric/ Haldi powder

Salt to taste

For the filling:

10 Soft Dates (I used Khudri variety)

1 Cup grated Carrots

1/4 Cup Jaggery powder (optional)*read notes

1 Tbsp Ghee

1/2 tsp Cardamom powder

Ghee as needed while cooking the ubbattis

Step by step recipe:

1. Take wheat flour, turmeric powder and salt in a bowl. Add water and form a soft dough. Coat with little oil or ghee so that the surface does not turn dry. Keep aside.

2. Deseed and finely chop the dates. 10 dates gave me 3/4 Cup of chopped dates.

3. Heat ghee in a frying pan and add grated carrots. Fry till the raw smell goes away and the carrots change colour.

4. Now add the chopped dates and jaggery powder. Mix well for about 5 mins till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan and dates turns very soft. The whole mixture should be almost like a paste. Mash the softened dates with the spatula.

5. Now add to a bowl. Mix in cardamom powder.

6. Divide both mixtures into equal portions.

7. Heat a frying pan. Roll the outer dough using dry flour to small round shape. Keep the filling inside.

8. Cover the filling by bringing all the outer dough together like shown below. Add dry flour.

9. Roll into a circle as thin as possible.

10. Fry both sides using ghee.

11. Repeat the same with the rest of the dough and filling. Serve the ubbattis warm with ghee.

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Notes:

* I get one extra ball of outer dough with the measurements with which I make normal chapati.

* The variety of dates I used were very soft. If the dates you use are hard, soak them in hot water for 30 mins and then use once they become soft.

* Jaggery is optional if you want to make the ubbattis sugar free. The dates and carrots give it the needed sweetness. I add as I love my ubbattis a tad sweeter.

* Since they are made with wheat flour, the ubbattis are not as soft as maida ones but definitely very tasty and taste like sweet parathas.

* Here are two other recipes where Dates and Carrot come together beautifully and make delicious sugar free dishes.

Dates and Carrot Cake , eggless and whole wheat

Dates and Carrot Halwa, healthier version of carrot Halwa but definitely tasty too

* Also, this is one more whole wheat Ubbatti that I make always – Peanut Ubbatti

* This is the compilation of my 15 mins healthy sweet recipes.

Ragi Set Dosas | “No rice” soft dosas

When I had posted the Ragi Urad idli recipe, I had got many queries about if it can be made as dosas too. Though I do make dosas with that batter, there is a way I make my Ragi dosas which come out as soft as restaurant style set dosas and I thought it was high time I share it too.

If not for my readers who continually keep asking me queries and request for recipes, I will not be inspired to post them. Most of my day passes in household chores while juggling between two kids, one seeking my attention to draw for her ( my daughter 😬) while the other clinging to me like fevicol ( my son πŸ˜„). The only thing that keeps my sanity are these daily shlokas, bhajans and songs which I have made as playlists on youtube and keep them in the background whole day. They give me strength in my motherhood battles and otherwise too. Music is really my life. ❀️

So here is the most requested dosa by my readers. They come out very soft and my kids are huge fans of it. My daughter used to call it chocolate dosa as a toddler and even now, in spite of knowing it’s ragi, still calls it the same. πŸ˜ƒ Ragi is a very healthy millet and this is one of the best ways to include it in your diet. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { Makes about 20 dosas }

3 Cups Ragi flour / Finger millet powder/ Nachni ka atta

1 Cup Urad dal (I use split ones)

1/2 Cup Poha/ flattened rice (thick or thin, white or brown)

Salt to taste

Ghee or oil to cook the dosa

Step by step recipe:

1. Wash well and soak Urad dal for about 4 hours. Drain water completely. Add about 1 Cup water and 1/2 Cup poha (washed) and grind to a smooth paste. Add to a large preferably steel vessel.

2. Now take ragi flour in another bowl. Add water, 1 cup at a time and whisk well to remove lumps. It takes me 3 Cups water to 3 Cups Ragi flour for it to come to a thick batter.

3. Add this to the Urad dal batter. Add salt and mix well using hands. Cover and keep at room temperature for fermentation for 8 to 12 hours. Might take longer during winters.

Love the fermented batter 😍

4. Heat a dosa pan and pour a ladle of the batter on the center of the pan. No need to spread this dosa. Cover and cook one side first adding ghee or oil.

Sorry for the dull picture. Kitchen lights 😬

5. Flip and cook the other side too. Remove and repeat the same with the rest of the batter too.

Notes:

* You can store the rest of the batter in the refrigerator and use it the next day. The texture of the dosas are soft even the next day.

* You can use thick or thin Poha, brown or white poha, does not make any difference. It gives it the softness in the dosas.

* If due to any reason you can’t eat poha, just skip it and add 1 tsp Methi instead along with Urad dal. Grind it to smooth paste. It will give soft dosas too.

* For making idlis, you can check this Ragi Urad Idli recipe. Comes out very well.

* I served these dosas with Hing Chutney. Just grind 1 Cup Coconut with a pinch of Hing powder, 4 long red chillies, 1 tsp Tamarind paste, salt and water to a smooth paste. You can season the chutney using mustard seeds and curry leaves if needed.

Poha Vegetable cutlet | easy cutlet recipe

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I have had a weakness for cutlets all my life. 😁 My mother who will be reading this would add, “Not only cutlets but all bakery foods, which is why I had decided to get you married off to a bakery owner. πŸ˜…πŸ˜…”. That brings a wide grin on my face as I realize how true is that! I love bakery snacks a lot but still, cutlets definitely hold a special place in my heart (read : missing native : missing cutlets from Hotel Diana, Udupi). ❀️

Hotel Diana in Udupi is very famous for their cutlets and those must be the first ones I ever tasted too, as a child. I still remember the swirling walkway leading to the restaurant where we used to go, specially after picking Amma, whose office was next door. My order would be Puri bhaji and Cutlets (about 25 years later, my order in any south Indian restaurant is still the same, if they have both in the menu. #puribhajicutletfanforever πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚). The cutlets would be so crispy and dipping them with the green chutney- ketchup combo would be a bite into heaven for the little foodie Mitha. 😍

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Amma saw that gleam in my eyes while enjoying the cutlets and after that, whenever she had any party in her office, be it in Udupi or Kochi, all cutlets would come packed safely for me, without her taking even a bite of it. That’s a mother’s love and I used to wonder how she could do it. But now, after being a mother myself, I really understand her. ❀️

My Annama (grandmother) used to make beetroot cutlets as evening snack and I used to sit like a cat next to fish, ardently waiting for the cutlets to come out of the frying pan. 😍 I still have the flavours of her cutlets in my taste buds. ❀️

But even though I am such a huge cutlet lover, it is honestly such a shame that I never attempted to make them at home. Always thought it was too much work. How amazed I was to find these poha cutlets on Instagram reels, made by so many food bloggers. It looked so easy and delicious that I had to try it out.

Truly, it comes out too delicious for words. A must try recipe for sure. By using poha, you can reduce potatoes in the cutlets and it becomes quite filling too. This cutlet is very soft and flavourful on the inside but crispy on the outside.

I am so happy that I have learnt to make a good cutlet. Will definitely be making often for sure. Hope you all try and love it. Happy and healthy cooking! ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { Makes 12 cutlets }

1 Cup thick Poha/ flattened rice/ Aval

1 Cup Mashed potatoes (2 medium sized potatoes)

1/4 Cup grated Carrot

3 Tbsp Green Peas

3 Tbsp Sweetcorn

2 Tbsp Capsicum, finely chopped

2 Tbsp Coriander leaves, finely chopped

1/4 tsp Turmeric or Haldi powder

1/2 tsp Cumin powder

1 tsp Red chilli powder

Salt to taste

While making cutlets:

2 Tbsp Corn flour

About 1/2 Cup Bread crumbs

Oil as required to shallow fry

Step by step recipe:

1. Get ready all the veggies required for the cutlet. Boil two potatoes, peel skin and mash it. Keep in a bowl. Steam peas and corn. Keep aside. Grate carrots, finely chop capsicum and coriander leaves.

2. Now wash the thick Poha well and soak in water for about 5 mins. Drain water completely and mash the poha with your hands.

3. Now add the mashed potatoes, steamed peas and corn, grated carrots, finely chopped capsicum and coriander leaves along with turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder and salt to it.

4. Mix well to form a even thick mixture.

5. Now make corn flour slurry by mixing 2 Tbsp corn flour with about 2 to 3 tbsp water. It’s should neither be very thick nor thin. Also keep bread crumbs in another bowl. Take a mixture in your palm and shape into cutlets as shown.

6. Dip in the corn flour slurry and roll in bread crumbs. Keep aside in a plate. Repeat the same with all cutlets.

7. Now heat little oil in a pan. Place each of the cutlets gently and fry on medium flame.

8. Flip to the opposite side and shallow fry till both sides turn golden brown in colour.

6. Serve hot with chutney and ketchup.

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Notes:

* These cutlets taste heavenly with this Coriander leaves Chutney and tomato ketchup combination.

* I use thick Poha for this recipe. If using thin Poha, then no need to soak the poha, just washing and mashing will make it soft.

* 1 Cup mashed poha and 1 Cup mashed potatoes gives it the correct binding. If still you are unable to bind the cutlets due to the potatoes being moist, just add little bread crumbs to the mixture and you will be able to shape the cutlets well.

* Peas, corn and capsicum gives the cutlets a good bite and increases the health quotient too. But if you don’t have any one of these, you can skip.

* You can also add chopped green chillies to the mixture if desired.

* Bread crumbs in the coating makes the cutlets very crispy. So please do use it. I freeze my bread crumbs as it lasts well for many months that way.

* Shallow fry them on medium flame such that the cutlets get the beautiful golden brown colour.

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Join me in my journey with a foodie husband and hungry kiddos while I make them eat healthy!