Amma’s Carrot Upkari | with ground masala

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This recipe of carrot upkari is simple but the blog is very special as I am posting it on my Amma‘s birthday today. Since I am not with her, this post is my gift for her, my little way of showing my love to make her feel special (the least I can do ❀️). Hope you like it Amma. 😍

Amma and Aanu (my dad) got married in March 1989 and I was born in December the same year. So Amma always says that I am the greatest gift from God as I came into her life so quickly. As for me, her love made me so close and attached to her that even today, she’s the one I am closest to, in my life. ❀️

Amma was a working woman and I am amazed at how well she used to manage both work and home together. She used to cook very lovingly for me and my brother, which made the food taste so delicious that I still remember the flavours and aroma of her dishes (Maa ke haath ka jadoo ❀️).

These are some of my favorites from what she used to make and each of these dishes carry a special memory of Amma in it. ❀️

The moong curry with chapatis which I used to take in my college lunch box, a favorite among my friends too.. ❀️

The eggless Tomato omelette which Amma used to make with the most pieces of tomato in my omelette (out of extra love for me 😍).. ❀️

The panpolos with tomato chutney which Amma made during my pregnancy craving, not one or two but more than 15 at a time, while using her walker for support.. Can never forget that ever in my life.. ❀️

The piping hot, delicious Alu parathas and carrot pulao which were made during weekends by Amma after we were bored of regular meals.. Her love made it extra tasty for sure. ❀️

Same is with today’s recipe of Carrot Upkari.. Though it’s a very simple dish, Amma made it so well that I used to ask her to make it always.. ❀️

This is a collage of pictures of Amma with me in the first two photos and with my kids in the photos below it. The left side picture is of Amma with my daughter, when she had come here to Qatar and we had taken her to Villagio mall. I captured this moment between the loving grandmother in Amma and her first grandchild, to be treasured forever. ❀️ The right side picture is with my son, her second grandchild but not loved any less. This is when he had worn the Krishna costume on Janmashtami. Such a beautiful moment this was, my Shankar Krishna immersed in grandma love. ❀️

As loving a mother Amma is, she is equally my kids’ most loving grandmother too, their moga mamama, as they call her. 😍

I searched for many quotes to describe her, to make a card and found this one apt for her. ❀️

Her beautiful smile is always reassurance for me, that I have her with me, to share my feelings and thoughts, to listen to my woes, to feel happy for my happiness and to pray for me always. ❀️

Amma suffers from muscular dystrophy in her legs since many years and needs wheelchair for movement. But the way she lives her life, happily, filled with devotion to God, music, even doing many household chores while sitting on the wheelchair, without complaining, is commendable and very inspiring for me. Hats off to you, Amma. So proud of you! ❀️

A mother’s love is always exceptional and unconditional. I believe that we can’t be loved by anyone more than our mother can love us. Even if we are far from her, she only wants us to be happy and will always pray for us. Her love is not based on conditions that I should be with her, I should talk to her or even does not expect me to love her as much as she loves me. She just loves truly with all her heart, irrespective of any conditions. ❀️

On this note, here’s wishing you a very Happy Birthday, Amma. May you always be healthy and happy. Love you so much. ❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️❀️

For my readers, excuse me for such a long write-up. But I know you all will also agree that no matter how much we write for our mothers, it’s very less for their love. Anyhow, hope you all will try this recipe and remember my Amma when you do. Happy and healthy cooking! ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

3 Cups peeled and chopped Carrots

1 medium sized Onion

3 to 4 Red chillies (depends on the variety)

6 to 8 Curry leaves

Salt to taste

2 tsp Coconut oil

2 Tbsp grated Coconut for garnish

Step by step recipe:

1. Take chopped onion, red chillies and curry leaves in a mixer.

2. Now add little water and grind to a smooth paste.

3. Heat oil in a pan and add the ground paste. Fry for couple of minutes till the raw smell of onion goes away.

4. Now add chopped carrots and salt. Mix well. Add little water, cover and cook till the carrots turn soft.

5. The mixture turns dry on cooking as all the water is absorbed. Remove from flame. Garnish with grated Coconut. Serve with rice meals.

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Notes:

* The number of red chillies depends on the variety of chillies you have. Since carrots are sweet, the masala needs to be spicy to make the curry spicy too.

* Remember to fry the ground paste well in oil. Else there will a raw smell of onions in the curry.

* Curry leaves adds a wonderful aroma and flavour. So don’t skip it.

* Here are the other recipes by Amma which I have added on the blog:

# Amma’s Moong curry with freshly ground masala

# Amma’s Carrot Pulao

# Amma’s Tomato Chutney and Panpolos

# Amma’s Alu Paratha

# Amma’s Eggless Tomato Omelette

Cabbage Kosambari | Easy Cabbage salad

As my kids are finally asleep, I can sit to write a new recipe now. A recipe I had been wanting to add to the blog since long but could not find time. With Eid holidays going on here, kids sleep till late in the morning and thus, my son skips his evening nap. Him skipping his nap = I don’t get time to sit for long in a place = I can’t blog. So night time is blog time as of now. πŸ˜„

Is night time also a time for deep thoughts for any of you? (or is it just me πŸ˜…) I find the silence of night so peaceful and comforting that I get time to talk to the divine, to understand myself, to over think (πŸ˜„), to listen to my favorite music and to relax too. After all this, when I finally sleep, I dream a lot, also remembering my dreams completely when I wake up. I see myself going back to my school days, my college days, the tension of exams, the fun of enjoying with my friends, chatting with Amma along with seeing people close to my heart, in my favorite places like the mountains and beaches, every night in my dreams. ❀️ I feel very happy when I wake up that, so what if I can’t see them for real, atleast they visit me in my dreams. 😍 So, thank you my dream companions for coming in this crazy girl’s dream world. πŸ˜„β€οΈ

So that was about night time which is my own “me” time. And what about my day time? Here is a glimpse into it:

My son making towers, cars, trucks, ships, tents, caves, houses, see saw, slides and what not with our sofa cushions. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ These cushions are his inhouse park and me being a child with them, don’t stop him too πŸ˜… (I just see that he does not go overboard and is safe.) He has taught his elder sister as well and both of them enjoy making their own creations with these cushions. 😍

By the way, did any of you notice his dress? Yes, he loves wearing his Akka’s frock, specially this red one. Reminds me of how my brother used to love wearing my dresses too as a kid. Such wonderful memories. ❀️ His sister also adorns him with necklaces and accessories to doll him up. One of their favorite games. Look at him admiring his bangle. 😍

My daughter also loves to draw and colour, which can be clearly seen from the first picture above. Almost all of our walls are stuck with her paintings. She also likes to create various dress designs and here is one among them. I admire her for her creative ideas in art and craft, which I lack completely. πŸ˜‚

So these two bundles of joy (sometimes also the reason for my 1 minute angers πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚) make my mornings worth waking up and are huge entertainment in my daytime. I don’t realize how my day passes with them. Also, I am so glad they have each other for company in these home bound times. ❀️❀️

Finally after my long chatter, here’s sharing the recipe of this simple yet very delicious Cabbage Kosambari which I learnt recently from my dear friend, Ambratha Shenoy. This is too tasty for words and definitely a must try recipe. Hope you all like it too. Happy and healthy cooking! ❀️

Thank you Ambratha for sharing this recipe! β€οΈπŸ™

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

2 Cups grated Cabbage

1 medium Onion, finely chopped

3 Green chillies

1/4 Cup finely chopped Coriander leaves

3 Tbsp freshly grated Coconut

Juice from 1 Indian lemon or to taste

Salt to taste

Step by step recipe:

1. Take the grated Cabbage in a mixing bowl. { I grated the cabbage as much as possible and finely chopped the end pieces}

2. Now add finely chopped onion, green chillies, coriander leaves, coconut and salt.

3. Add lemon juice and mix well.

4. Mix well and serve as an accompaniment to meals.

Notes:

* Try to serve freshly made as much as possible as onions may start to leave water if kept for long as it has salt in it. Else you could salt just before serving.

* You could increase or decrease lemon juice and coconut as per your taste.

* Instead of grating cabbage, you could also very finely chop it. I combine both ways. Grate as much as I can and then finely chop the end pieces.

* Tastes very good as an accompaniment to rice meals.

* You could also try these three South Indian style salads that I make regularly:

1. Moong dal Kosambari with Cucumber and carrots

2. Carrot Kismuri

3. Khamang Kakdi

Instant Pumpkin idlis | Dudhi idli | Dudhe Kadamb

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With online classes becoming the new way of life, my mornings are busy juggling between my daughter (who wants me to be with her during the class), my son (who needs me to be close to him as he always spends the first hour after waking up in my arms and nowhere else 😍) while preparing breakfast which we have to eat right after the class which gets over by 10 15 am. So, since I can’t spend time in kitchen making dosas, idlis are my best friend these days!! ❀️

I have shared many varieties of idlis which you can check in my Idli recipes collection. They have been very helpful for me nowadays as I can just put them to steam while sitting with both my kids and the idlis get ready by themselves. πŸ˜…

My daughter’s first term exam is soon coming (she’s only in 1st std πŸ˜„) but I take studies very seriously (aadat se majboor since my school days 😁). So made a little planner last night which I want to share with all of you. I started making such planners for each of her term exams since last year (when she was only in KG 2 πŸ˜†) but it has been very helpful for both of us. I get to know when her exams are and what to teach her as this is always in front of my eyes. She also reads the spellings daily which makes her learn it very quickly. Sharing in case it is useful for any of you. Teaching small kids is not easy but this way has helped me a lot.

I have stuck it in front of our dining table or our makeshift study table or mainly our artist’s table πŸ˜„ as both my kids love to draw, colour and paint sitting on it. Here is a glimpse of it with my son wondering what Amma is upto πŸ˜… while my daughter is busy writing.

Life changes a lot post kids and all our attention goes into their studies plus playing plus activities plus cooking for them, but I am grateful that they keep me very busy which is essential to not overthink, for the very sensitive me. Whenever I feel I am getting overwhelmed by thoughts, I make myself super busy with them so that I forget everything else. They are my blessings. β€οΈβ€οΈπŸ™πŸ™

On this note, sharing the recipe of these delicious idlis with all of you. This is a traditional Konkani recipe and makes me so happy to add this on my blog. Happy and healthy cooking! ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { Makes about 22 idlis }

2 Cups Idli Rava/ Rice Rava

2 Cups peeled and grated Pumpkin

1/2 Cup fresh or desiccated Coconut

1/2 Cup powdered or grated Jaggery

Salt to taste

1/8 tsp Cardamom powder

Note: Skip jaggery to make plain pumpkin idlis.

Step by step recipe:

1. Wash the Idli rava well two to three times. Then drain the water completely. Add grated pumpkin.

2. Now add coconut, salt, cardamom powder and about 2 cups water to make a slightly thick batter.

3. Grease idli moulds with oil/ghee and add the batter into each moulds. Let there be little water in each mould as shown.

Note: I filled half of the moulds with plain idli batter and added jaggery to the rest of the batter. Then filled the rest of the moulds with sweet idli batter.

4. Steam for 20 mins or till done.

Serve hot with a simple coconut chutney or sambar. Sweet ones can be relished with ghee.

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Notes:

* If you are not much of a pumpkin or sweet lover, you can make a spicy chutney with these idlis. It masks the pumpkin flavour and balances the sweetness of the idlis well.

* You can skip jaggery completely if making plain ones.

* Cardamom powder is also optional for plain ones but gives a great aroma and flavour.

* You can also make extra sweet ones adding 1/4 Cup more of jaggery with raisins and cashews. Steam them in a vessel and cut into pieces. It is called Dudde Sannan if made that way.

* The 2 cups water is perfect for my idli rava. You can reduce or increase if needed. Don’t make the batter very thick nor very thin. There should be little water in each mould of the idli container. That’s what makes soft idlis.

* They are authentically steamed in Banana leaves but I make them in idli moulds. Still tastes delicious. Add little less water to the batter if steaming in banana leaves.

* I make a similar idli with Cucumber called Thoushe idli or Instant Cucumber idlis.

* One more instant idli with idli rava – Instant Poha Idlis

* You can check all my Idli recipes here – Idli recipes collection.

Oats recipes Compilation | Dosas, idli, cake, paratha and pizza with oats

As I write this, I am sitting on our sofa with my son sleeping soundly in my arms, completing his evening nap. I have had many people tell me that it’s not a good habit and I should practice him by putting him down on the bed during nap time so that I can be free then. I usually say “okay, I will try” to them as I know they won’t understand that the peace I get when my son sleeps in my arms 😍 is incomparable to any free time I may get after putting him on the bed. Also, he too naps much better, very peacefully when he sleeps in my arms. ❀️

What I do is, finish all my chores before his nap time and while he sleeps on me, I either chat with Amma or listen to my favorite songs or like I am doing now, blog a new recipe. I feel relaxed then and his nap turns into my rest time too. ❀️

Also, I know this won’t last long as I used to do the same with my daughter too. Now at 6 years, she no longer sleeps next to me while my son who is 2.5 years needs all the cuddles in the world at night too. So I just tell myself to enjoy this bliss of motherhood, the love, the attachment, the “mogu mogu“, his hugs, his caressing, his kisses, his tight embraces while it lasts. ❀️

I just hope that even if he grows, he will still love me the same, if not show it physically but still the affection remain the same. That’s all a mother wants and this motherhood journey has taught that to me. ❀️

Here’s sharing the Oats recipes which I make always to include the super food in our diet. Hope you all try and like it. Happy and healthy cooking!

1. Instant Oats Idlis : This was one of the first recipes that I learned with oats many years back and has been my regular specially when I have not planned ahead or don’t know what to make for breakfast.

Recipe here: Instant Oats Idlis

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2. Instant Oats Poha dosa: An instant dosa with oats and poha which goes really well with sambar. My kids love this dosa very much.

Recipe here : Instant Oats Poha dosa

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3. Oats and Mixed dal dosas : These dosas come out as delicious as beautiful they are to see. Great way to include protein and nutrients in your dosa.

Recipe here : Oats and Mixed dal dosas

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4. Moong sprouts Oats dosa : Yet another healthy dosa combining sprouts and Oats which comes out very tasty. I make this to include sprouts in my kids’ diet who don’t eat sprout as it is.

Recipe here : Moong sprouts Oats dosa

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5. Instant Oats Vegetable Bhakri : This is hands down my favorite breakfast with oats. Combining so many veggies and oats, this Bhakri or thick dosa does not even need an accompaniment. Tastes so delicious with butter. Hardly takes time to make the batter and is so filling that it can be a meal in itself too.

Recipe here : Instant Oats Vegetable Bhakri

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6. Masala Oats Paratha : This unique and super delicious parathas are a must try. Learnt it from a friend many years back and I make it for a change from regular chapatis. My kids love it a lot and eat more than usual when I make it, making me a happy mommy. 😍

Recipe here : Masala Oats Paratha

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7. Dates and Oats Cake : A healthy and yummy cake combining the goodness of dates and Oats. You can never say it has oats in it and trust me, comes out very delicious. One among the most tried cake recipes from my blog after Sugar free Dates Carrot Cake.

Recipe here : Dates and Oats Cake

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8. Gluten free Oats Pizza : I usually make whole wheat Vegetable Pizza at home as evening snack for my kids. Apart from that, I have learned to make this Oats pizza which only has oats in the base. Comes out very soft and super tasty too. A must try pizza specially for those looking to bake gluten free pizza at home.

Recipe here – Gluten free Oats Pizza

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You can also check my other compilations:

* “No rice” Dosa recipes Compilation

* Easy to make, ready in 15 mins Healthy sweet recipes compilation

* Healthy cakes and cookies compilation

* Baking basics guide for beginners

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

Click on the image for the recipe.

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

Click on the image for the recipe.

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

Click on the image for the recipe.

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

Click on the image for the recipe.

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