All posts by Healthy Cooking with Mitha

"Healthy food can be oh so delicious too!" Yes this site is all about that. Join me in my journey of healthy eating accompanied by my foodie of a husband and an equally foodie toddler.

Surnali / Sweet and spongy Dosa

Surnalis are sweet, spongy dosas made on Tulsi Pooja day in our GSB community. But since my family loves this dosa, I make it regularly.

My daughter is specially a fan of this dosa and she loves sitting beside me while I make these delicious, aromatic dosas. I don’t blame her as I too used to wait for my mother to make these dosas for our breakfast. These dosas don’t need any accompaniment and can be had as it is.

We, the GSB’s (Gowda Saraswat Brahmin) are famous for our variety of dosas and this is one of the most famous and loved one. You can call this the king of dosas made by konkanis. There are many other yummy dosas which I will be sharing one by one. My family loves dosas and over the years, it has made me a variety dosa specialist. Maybe some day I will open my own dosa corner, haha.

Anyhow, here is the recipe for delicious Surnalis. This was how my mom made them with the exception of adding curd. I add it to get the dosa more spongier. Hope you and your family enjoy them as much as we do. Happy Tulsi Pooja.

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

2 Cups Raw Rice (Any variety of white rice)

1 Cup grated coconut ( fresh/ desiccated)

1 Cup Beaten rice/ Poha

1/2 Cup Curd

3/4 Cup Jaggery

1 tsp Turmeric powder

1 tsp Fenugreek seeds/ Methi

Salt to taste

Ghee to cook the dosa

Recipe:

1. Wash well and soak the raw rice with fenugreek seeds for 2 to 4 hours.

2. Wash beaten rice/ Poha well in water. Keep aside.

3. Melt jaggery in very little water (about 1/4 Cup). Keep aside to cool.

4. Now grind soaked rice – Fenugreek seeds along with Poha, jaggery, coconut, curd, turmeric and salt to a smooth paste. Add buttermilk instead of water while grinding for spongier surnalis. Don’t add too much water while grinding. It should be a thick batter.

5. Mix well with hands to start fermentation. Keep aside covered for 8 hours or overnight in a warm place of your house. In winters, it takes up to 12 hours for the batter to ferment well.

6. Take a ladle full of the batter and pour a thick dosa. Do not spread like regular dosas. Add ghee on top.

7. Cover and cook on low flame till the dosa cooks. (This dosa requires low flame to cook. Else it will turn black due to jaggery in it.)

8. Remove and serve hot with butter.

Notes:

* Any variety of white rice ranging from Sona masoori to short grain white rice (used for eating) works well to make this dosa.

* You could substitute curd with buttermilk.

* Ensure the batter is a slightly thick ( not very thick) smooth paste and not watery to get perfect surnalis.

* The amount of jaggery is to taste. You could increase or decrease as per your taste.

* Cook the Surnalis on medium to low flame. Else it will turn black underneath if cooked on high flame due to jaggery and poha in the batter.

* Surnalis come out the best when the batter is freshly fermented. Once refrigerated, the dosas does not come as spongy. Still they come out like regular dosas.

* Although it tastes amazing with butter, I make Sambarpalli leaves chutney with it and it tastes super delicious. Here is the recipe for the Sambarpalli leaves chutney .

* You can also check this recipe of Mangalore cucumber or Magge Surnalis .

Vegetable Chilly

I don’t know about other places but in Kerala, you get something called “Gobi chilly” which is a slight dry variety to Gobi Manchurian. My dad used to get one plate of both to go with fried rice and it was a heaven made combination for a weekend dinner.

Fast forward to restaurants here in Qatar and the Gobi chilly changed to “Paneer chilly” with a paneer loving husband. I used to love the gravy they made with large cubes of onion and capsicum with a humble ketchup based sauce.

After I started trying the sauce at home, I added more veggies to it ( because that’s how I sneak veggies into everything) and hence came “Vegetable Chilly”. Now it’s become the favourite in the family and my 5 year old also loves it.

And it is so easy to make that it gets ready within few minutes. Also it is super filling that I sometimes eat it without any rice.

This time, I used the precut vegetable mix from Emborg called Garden mix which contains Broccoli, orange and red carrots with beans. It added a whole lot of flavors to the curry. Do get it if you can.

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

1 tbsp Oil

5 pods of Garlic, chopped

1 inch Ginger piece, finely chopped

3 Green chillies

1 large Onion, cubed

1/2 a large Capsicum, cubed

5 to 7 Babycorn, cut into small strips

1 Cup mixed vegetables ( I used the Emborg bag of precut carrots, broccoli and beans)

2 tbsp Tomato ketchup

1 tbsp Chilli sauce

1 tsp Pepper powder

Salt to taste

Recipe:

1. Heat oil in a pan and add ginger, garlic and green chillies. Saute for few seconds.

2. Add onions and capsicum. Saute on high flame for a minute.

3. Add all the veggies. Mix well adding salt and pepper powder. Saute on high flame continually.

4. Cover and cook till the veggies get cooked. I keep a little crunch and do not fully cook them. Sprinkle little water if needed while cooking.

5. Now add both ketchup and chilli sauce and mix well. Remove from flame.

Note:

* You could also add paneer if needed.

* Sauces can be added as per your choice. Add red chilli powder too if you prefer it spicy.

* I did not take step by step pictures as I had no intention of posting this on the blog. But had to post due to many recipe requests. Will add the pictures when I make it next time.

Makhanas can replace chips

There was a time when my 4 year old got kind of addicted to chips. Since she started solids at 6 months, I had always made sure to offer her healthy options. No processed junk like biscuits or chips. But as we moved along, somewhere along the line, I lost my determination and she fell in love with chips.

Now what do I do? How do I bring her out of this unhealthy love? As I read about various healthy options, Makhanas or lotus seeds came into my eyes.

Makhanas/ Fox nuts/ Lotus seeds

Makhanas also called as Fox nuts (yes, fancy name too!) are super healthy and as crunchy as chips. I am lucky that it’s easily available in our local supermarket and hence it was easy to make the switch. It tastes bland in its original form but when fried in ghee, it turns out oh so yummy!

As available locally here.

My little girl now crunches and munches on Makhanas and they have become her favourite snacks. Be it after school hunger pangs or post dinner snack, Makhanas are her best friend now. I also take them along during flight journeys so that she can munch on to curb boredom.

Ghee fried Makhanas

My one year old also loves Makhanas and they serve as excellent finger food too. Just fry and quarter them to offer to babies.

My one year old snacking on Makhanas. Have halved them before offering.

Health benefits of Makhanas/ Fox nuts: Low in cholesterol and fat, low glycemic index, high in magnesium, gluten free, rich in protein, beneficial to kidneys.

How to prepare fried Makhanas?

You will need:

* 1 Cup Makhanas/ Fox nuts

* 1 Tbsp Ghee/ Butter/ Oil

* A pinch of salt (optional)

How to prepare:

1. Heat a frying pan and add ghee to it.

2. Add Makhanas and fry them till the colour changes to slight brown. It will take 3 to 5 mins. Don’t keep on high flame as the Makhanas may burn.

3. Remove from flame and sprinkle little salt if needed.

Notes:

* You can also add chat masala or cheese powder or red chilli powder for more flavors.

* For younger kids, quarter the Makhanas after frying and offer. Skip salt if the baby is less than an year old.