Memoirs of two beautiful souls | A tribute to my grandmother and Sasidharan Uncle

I never thought I would be penning this as an article on my blog but today, I can’t seem to sleep without writing down my thoughts.

I lost two important people in my life last week.

First was my grandmother who was seriously unwell since a month and finally her illness took her away from us on March 9th. Looking at her through the mobile screen, lying lifeless is something I won’t forget ever in my life. Though I know she is at peace now as she has been relieved from her suffering, it is difficult to believe that I will no longer see Annama (as I call her) when I go back to India.

And look at destiny’s play here. I was supposed to travel back to India this month but due to some major situation change, our plans were cancelled. The day it was cancelled, it had left me shattered as I was really hoping to see her and my Amma too. We had even finished most part of the packing. But life is really unpredictable and these past few months have shown that to me. So here I am, still in Qatar, with just memories remaining of my Annama to share with all of you.

Annama has been the inspiration behind all my Konkani recipes as that is what she made for us when we grew up. I still remember the way she used to say in her typical style, “Khavnu pale!!” meaning atleast taste and see, when I used to make a face at some not-so-favorite dishes of mine. Thinking of it does bring a smile on my face now. ๐Ÿ˜

She was an expert at making sweets and her Churmundo (wheat flour ladoos) and soyye khadi (coconut burfis) are my favorites. She always made it and kept for me when I went on vacation. She would keep those along with a packet of tingalavro (white beans), some cotton towels, a small purse and a bottle of Ponds talcum powder, all ready for me to take back to Qatar. That love filled bag will definitely be missed next time. โค๏ธ

Another memory of my Annama which I am remembering continually is her expression when I used to show her my newly bought artificial earrings during my school and college days. She used to tell me why are you wearing all these “santheche” (market ones) as she always believed in wearing gold and not other materials which she considered cheap. I wish I could show her that I now wear only gold earrings which my Amma gifted me during marriage. This woman now is no longer the girl who used to love those fancy earrings. I have become the woman you wanted me to become, Annama. โค๏ธ

Also, she always believed in eating healthy homemade food and hardly ate bakery or restaurant foods. That is the sole reason that she was free from any disease even after being more than 85 years of age. I wish I had started following her way of life much earlier but as they say, better late than never. Her lifestyle is definitely an inspiration for me.

Annama, you will be missed a lot but I know you will look at me from above and will be happy to see me cooking just like you. Hope I can share more of your dishes and take your recipes forward to the next generation. Loads of love. โค๏ธ

The second person that I lost is my college mate Rajath’s father, Sasidharan Uncle on March 10th. Even though Rajath was from the same college as mine, I had hardly talked to him once or twice as I only knew him as my best friend Taniya’s friend. So it was just a formal kind of relation.

But after I came to Qatar, Taniya gave me his number saying Rajath and his family are here too. From then started our friendship which is not only a mere friendly relation but definitely a family bonding. It would not be wrong if I call Rajath my elder brother as he has always fulfilled his duties of being one.

When blockade was imposed on Qatar and we hardly had any veggies available here, it was Rajath who drived all the way amidst his work schedule to bring us about 10 varieties of vegetables which lasted more than a month for us.

After that, when I was supposed to travel back to Qatar post delivery alone with my newborn son and daughter, he booked his and his wife’s tickets such that we were on the same flight and he could take care of us. He and his wife Malavika (who’s a beautiful girl inside out โค๏ธ) made me feel so comfortable that I forgot all the tensions of travelling with a one month old baby.

All these good nature of Rajath is credits to his parents. Both Sasidharan Uncle and Geetha Aunty are gems of human beings. Even as I write this, I still can’t believe uncle is no more. His talks, jokes and the way he shared his stories about his experiences in life is what I enjoyed always.

Uncle always considered me as his daughter and used to call me lovingly as “Mole..” which means daughter in malayalam. So I always felt he was like a father figure and someone whom I looked up to all these years, living away from my own family.

Ever since Covid started, we hardly met but last month, on Feb 9th, I got Rajath’s message asking if they could come to our house that evening. He knew I was excited to meet his little boy and we were planning since long. So that day, since my husband too was home, I said okay. I confirmed if uncle and aunty were coming too and he said yes.

It made me so happy and I made Almond cookies and Churmundos for them. Had shared it on my Facebook page that day. Here is the picture.

They all loved it so much that none of these were left. It had me so happy and it was one of the unforgettable days of my life.

Who knew that it would be the last day that I would see and talk with my dearest Uncle.. His last words as he sat in the car are still in my ears. He had said, “Mole, Mannarkkad endayalum varanam.. Kaanan pattiya sthalam aanu.. endayalum varanam ketto..” (Dear daughter, you should come to Mannarkkad (his hometown), it’s a must visit place.. do come..)

As these words echo in my ears, I have promised myself that I will definitely visit Mannarkkad sometime in my life. That will be my true tribute and my way to offer respects to his soul. ๐Ÿ™

So these are my memoirs with both these beautiful people whom I lost physically but they are always in my heart as precious memories which no one can take away. These past few days made me realize how unpredictable life is and all that remains is the love we have shown on everyone. So, love truly and unconditionally with all your heart. That love remains a lifetime to be cherished forever. โค๏ธ

My weight loss journey – How I fought infertility/ health issues by walking and healthy eating

I dedicate this blog to my best friends Taniya and Sunanda who have been motivating me to pen down my weight loss journey since a long time. But yesterday while chatting on our mini whatsapp group (of only the three of us ๐Ÿ˜…), I was so inspired by their talks that I decided to write as soon as possible (the moody me who gets this sudden burst of energy ๐Ÿ˜†). So thanks my dearest Tanu and Chu for encouraging me so much. If I know true friendship, it is because of both of you. Thank you for being there for your Ladoo (๐Ÿ˜) all this time (more than 12 years) and I know we three will be there for each other forever. โค๏ธโค๏ธโค๏ธ

Now to my journey. It started when I was trying to conceive for a baby from 2011 to 2014 (Though I was only 21 to 24 years then, I love babies and was eager to have mine too). I did not have any major health issue nor was over weight. Still it took me three years to conceive my daughter. (Sometimes there are no reasons medically, yet you can’t conceive. It’s the hardest kind of infertility.) I had many sleepless nights and used to cry a lot as I had lost all hopes of becoming a mother. (One of the most difficult phases of my life.) As I was about to fall into depression, a friend of mine suggested a famous Indian infertility doctor here in Qatar – Dr Khudsiya Begum. Couple of months of consulting with her and with God’s blessings, I conceived. It was the happiest moment of my entire life. ๐Ÿ˜

So from a girl, I became a mother in Feb 2015. Motherhood made me so excited that I gave it my all, neglecting my health, mindless eating and with lack of exercise, I gained a lot of weight. Still I did not realize I was gaining as I was busy bringing my baby up in the best possible way (love is blind and I was so blinded by my daughter’s love that I could not see anything else, not even myself ๐Ÿ˜…).

March 2017 was when that blindfold got opened by a friend here who mentioned to me how much fat I had become (much more than in the above second picture ๐Ÿ˜ฌ). Though I felt sad then, I thank her with all my heart now as that was the reason I got motivated to start losing weight (Thus began my fight with fat to become fit.) That rhymed! ๐Ÿ˜„

Then, from March 2017 to November 2017, I lost almost 9 kgs of weight. Will share how I did it as pointers so that it’s easy for you all to read.

* Followed “3 miles walk by Leslie Sansone” video on YouTube which is a heart healthy walk while standing in a place. I do this even now when I don’t get time to walk outdoors. I keep the video and follow her for atleast 30 mins which covers 2 miles in a day. I found time for this when my daughter slept and did it everyday without fail.

* Along with this, I did an hour of brisk walking outdoors in the evenings while pushing the stroller with my daughter in it. It not only gave me the much needed fresh air but also sunlight to my body.

* Started portion control while eating healthy meals instead of eating out and eating late at night. I saw how that helped in my weight loss too. Eating dinner before 8 is what I follow even now. Gives us ample time to digest the food before sleeping.

* I also stopped sitting in a place and forced myself to move throughout the house when I felt like sitting idle. Sitting in a place was one of the major reason that I had gained weight. So this helped me maintain my weight loss.

* Lemon juice has really helped me in my weight loss journey. Just squeeze one Indian lemon and add little water making it to a glass. Don’t add anything else. Drink it on empty stomach or anytime of the day when you remember. It will not only aid in digestion and weight loss but gives you the much needed Vitamin C boost to the body.

* I also want to add that the first couple of kgs took the longest time. After that I lost the rest of the weight very quickly. So don’t get disheartened within a week. Atleast do these walks for two months and you will definitely see the result.

And as I lost those 9 kgs, I conceived my son in November 2017 which was a great surprise and a miracle too. It showed me how the walking and healthy eating had affected my body and I conceived naturally without any medication this time. The third picture is just before conceiving my son. See how much I had reduced.

During my second pregnancy, I was much more aware of my body due to Birth Village – The natural birthing center where I consulted and delivered my son. It was a natural VBAC which is “Vaginal birth after C section”. Though it is considered risky, my confidence in the Birth Village team was so much that I was not worried at all.

I ate healthy and walked throughout my pregnancy, even took part in the pregnancy workouts and dance sessions, making it a very happy kind of pregnancy. ๐Ÿ˜ All thanks to the BV team!

I delivered my son in August 2018. This time around, I knew I had to take care of myself too post partum and took time everyday for some walks. Again, the “3 miles walk” video became my best friend which helped me reduce my postpartum weight.

In the above pictures, the first one is when my son was about an year old in 2019. The second picture is on his second birthday in August 2020 followed by this recent picture during my daughter’s bday in Feb 2021.

The second picture is when I had again lost focus on myself and got so busy taking care of both the kids that I hardly ate. This led to a massive weight loss which can be seen from my face. I realized if I go this way, it will affect adversely on my health (All thanks to my Amma this time who realized on video calls that I was reducing much more that I should be and neglecting myself. Mothers’ always know us, no matter how far they are. โค๏ธ).

So now, I am eating well but eating healthy along with brisk walking daily for atleast an hour (combining outdoors and indoors) and also not sitting for long in a place. I make sure I walk inside the house whole day while listening to my daily shlokas and favorite songs. Also, after finishing cooking and household chores before 5 in the evening, I dedicate the rest of the time till night to walking. My son has been keeping me active too by asking me to play football with him and also since he loves dancing, he asks me to join him as well (even though I am the world’s worst dancer, it does make my little boy happy and that is all that matters. ๐Ÿ˜)

So this third picture is the me now and I feel really good about myself. Though not the ideal kind of “slim and trim” body or face (and have those chubby cheeks too ๐Ÿ˜„), I am healthier and fitter now than ever before as I am taking care of myself well. Though late but as they say, better late than never, I realized that I should take care of myself too and not get drowned in becoming a wife or a mother. So, self love is very important as well. โค๏ธ

Hope you all enjoyed reading this long writeup and hope it will be helpful to atleast some of you. Happy and healthy cooking – with walking! ๐Ÿ˜„

Chocolate Sponge Cake | Eggless, whole wheat, jaggery chocolate cake

As a kid, I was always excited about my birthday (was pampered a lot by my parents and my bday was celebrated the whole of December ๐Ÿ˜…). And now there is a “mini me” here, (everyone says she’s just like me – super hyper talkative ๐Ÿ˜‚) who’s even more excited about her birthday. So much that she’s been waiting for it since last year. Everyday I used to get the same question, how long for February, Amma? ๐Ÿ˜„

So now, when Mr Feb is finally here, I decided to announce it to her that her birthday month has finally arrived (much to my relief ๐Ÿ˜…) by baking her favorite chocolate sponge cake. Just like me, she too loves chocolate cake very much and this cake tastes as yummy as the McCafe ones here in Qatar (my fav chocolate cake is theirs and I go mmm yummm when I take each bite ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ When will I grow up? ๐Ÿ˜…). Baking a similar one at home was my goal but did not know I would get the exact same taste and texture even with wheat flour. One of the bakes that I am very happy about and the way my kids enjoy it, it increases my confidence in the recipe each time I bake it. โค๏ธโค๏ธ

My daughter loved this surprise cake and even took it in her snack box to school to show her friends. She’s now eagerly waiting for her birthday on Feb 15th (right after Valentine’s day๐Ÿ˜) which she will celebrate with her small kiddo gang from our lane (her daily evening playmates, her source of joy โค๏ธ). Now that Feb has arrived, her next question is when will 15th come (the never ending story ๐Ÿ˜). My solution to that – I have made a small calendar and stuck it on the wall. Have asked her to strike off each day and countdown till her birthday. #momideas ๐Ÿ’ก๐Ÿ˜„

Anyhow while I find solutions to her queries, hope you bake and enjoy this cake. Do let me know if you have any doubts. Will be a pleasure to help. Happy and healthy cooking! โค๏ธ

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { 1 Cup = 250 ml }

Dry ingredients:

1 Cup Whole wheat flour or Atta

1/4 Cup unsweetened Cocoa powder

1/2 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp Baking soda

1/4 tsp Salt

Wet ingredients:

3/4 Cup Jaggery powder

1/2 Cup Hot water

1/2 Cup Milk

1/4 Cup Ghee

1/2 Tbsp Vinegar

Step by step recipe:

1. Preheat the oven at 180 C for 10 mins.

2. Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl using a sieve.

3. Keep it aside.

4. In another bowl, add jaggery powder, hot water, milk (at room temperature), ghee and vinegar. Mix using a spatula.

5. Now add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix only till you can’t see any dry flour specks. Do NOT over mix the batter as it can lead to dense cakes.

6. Add the batter to a greased cake pan (or lined with parchment paper). My rectangular loaf pan is 20 cm * 4 cm. Level the batter using a spatula.

7. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for 30 to 35 mins in the center rack of your OTG or with both rods on or bake mode in conventional oven. In my oven it took exactly 30 mins. Might vary depending on your oven type. Once done, a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake must come out clear or with crumbs. Should not be wet.

8. Allow it to cool. Invert onto a plate. Frost with melted chocolate- milk mixture. Have shared the process to do it in this Chocolate brownie recipe. Then grate chocolate over it. Slice and serve.

I had cut it into two halves. This is one of the halve.

Notes:

* I use Pillsbury brand of wheat flour for all my bakes. It really comes well with Pillsbury. I have tried with other brands but the texture of cakes, bread, pav and cookies is best with this.

* Please use milk at room temperature and not cold.

* If you don’t have jaggery powder, you can also substitute with cane sugar or brown sugar. Else just grate and powder jaggery in a mixer.

* When you add vinegar to the mixture, it will curdle. Don’t worry about it as it will give very spongy cake.

* When the cake is hot, it will crumble easily on slicing. Allow it to cool well atleast for an hour and then slice for firm slices.

* If frosting, check this Dates Chocolate brownie for easy melted chocolate frosting recipe which I have shared at the end of the step by step pictorial.

* If you are new to baking, here are some tips:

# Always preheat your oven at 180 C for atleast 10 mins. Temperature might be 200 C also. It varies according to the recipe but for cake, it’s usually 180 C.

# For whole wheat cakes, do sift the dry ingredients using a sieve for a soft texture of the cake.

# Do NOT overmix the batter. Just mix till you don’t see dry flour specks. Over mixing can lead to dense cakes.

# Do NOT open the oven door atleast till 25 mins into the baking time. Opening the oven door in between can lead to temperature variations leading to uneven baking.

# Always insert the toothpick or skewer in the center of the cake for accuracy. It should come out clear or with crumbs. Wet means it’s not done yet.

I have tried to note down as much points as possible so that it’s easy for you all to follow but if you still have any doubts, either comment here or message me on my Facebook pageย Healthy cooking with mitha or on myย Instagramย handle and I would be happy to help.

You can also check my Healthy cakes and cookies recipe collection.

Update: I just baked chocolate cupcakes with this batter and it comes out perfect with flat top, super spongy, soft and delicious. It gets done in 20 mins at 180 C in my oven and yields 10 cupcakes with the measurement given above. Look at how excited my kids were to see their favorite cupcakes. They loved it a lot. โค๏ธโค๏ธ

Amma’s Moong curry (with freshly ground masala)

All of us have a special kind of liking towards our mother’s cooking and I am sure you all will agree that no matter which Masterchef cooks for us, our Amma’s food is the best. Why not, as she makes everything with a secret ingredient in it – Love. โค๏ธ

My Amma too used to cook so well and the flavours of all her dishes are still in my taste buds. This moong curry was one among them and I used to take it with puris in my lunch box during my school/ college days. My friends used to love it too and I used to take extra boxes of it for them as well. The precious memory of those days is forever etched in my heart and I remember it each time I make this curry. โค๏ธ

Now Amma can’t cook like before as she suffers from muscular dystrophy in her legs. Although she’s strong most of the days and remains happily engaged all day, there are times when she falls into self doubting sadness and I have to convince her my best that she is still very much loved and an important part of our lives. Right now, she’s going through a difficult phase and this post of mine is to cheer her up in my little way, by adding her recipe on my blog.

Amma, this is for you. โค๏ธ I am coming in few months to make this curry for you and you have to tell me if it tastes as good as yours or not. ๐Ÿ˜ Loads of love to you Amma. ๐Ÿ˜˜ Please be happy always as that is what makes me happy too. โค๏ธ Sharing some words for you which I found as best to describe our love for each other. Hope it cheers you up. ๐Ÿ˜

Now to Amma’s recipe. Hope you all try her way of moong curry too. Tastes amazing with puris, chapatis or even with rice. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

1 Cup dried whole green gram/ whole moong

1 Tbsp Oil

2 tsp Red chilli powder or to taste

Salt to taste

For the ground paste:

1/4 Cup Coconut (freshly grated or desiccated)

6 to 8 sprigs of Coriander leaves

1/2 a large Tomato

1 small sized Onion

2 Cloves

1 Cardamom

1 small piece of star anise

1/2 tsp Cumin seeds or Jeera

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

Step by step recipe:

1. Soak whole moong in atleast thrice the amount of water overnight or for 6 to 8 hours. When soaked, drain the water. Add fresh water enough to soak it in a pressure cooker and cook until soft. Takes 3 to 4 whistles on high in my electric stove top. Might vary depending on your cooking range.

2. Add ingredients to grind in a mixer.

3. Grind adding about 1/4 Cup water or as needed to a smooth paste. Now heat oil in a pan and add the paste. Also add red chilli powder and cook till the raw smell goes away. (About 5 mins and this paste splatters. So be careful and mix continually.)

4. Now add the cooked moong and salt. Bring it to boil and cook for 5 to 8 mins. Adjust consistency of the gravy.

5. Serve hot with Puris, Chapatis or rice meals.

Notes:

* The gravy thickens when kept at room temperature as moong absorbs a lot of water. So if serving later, add water that time to adjust gravy consistency.

* Star anise and coriander leaves make this masala very aromatic. So don’t skip it.

* The masala splatters while cooking. So be careful while sauteing.

* I also sprout moong and make this same curry.

* You can also check my mother’s other three recipes –

# Amma’s Carrot Pulao

# Amma’s Tomato Chutney

# Amma’s Alu Paratha

Little millet dosa | No rice dosa

Just finished sending off my little girl to school (she has classes every alternate week) and before my son wakes up in a while, I thought of finishing off this blog. As soon as he wakes up, all he would want is to cuddle me and sit like that for an hour (Wish I could share a picture of that scene ๐Ÿ˜) until he gets hungry, asking me to go make “bobbo” (dosa) for him. ๐Ÿ˜„ This tiny man of mine is such a loving one that I call him my “lover boy”. ๐Ÿ˜ Seriously, the way he hugs me, holds me and kisses me, I feel so so loved. I realize how these moments matter in our lives and how kids can brighten our day by their sweet gestures. โค๏ธ

Talking about gestures, as you can see from the picture of the dosa, my daughter is holding the plate. It was supposed to be my usual (boring ๐Ÿ˜) kind of click until this girl saw her Amma clicking in the regular way and being the typical Aquarian (An unique sign โค๏ธ) that she is, said, ” Amma, let me hold this and see, how many likes you will get for your blog!” ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

She is a huge fan of vlogs and loves making videos herself. Looking at her interest at making videos, I wonder from where she has got this. I can’t imagine facing camera and dread taking even my pictures, let alone videos. ๐Ÿ˜‚ But the confidence in which she presents herself, talking with so much enthusiasm, makes me feel proud of her. Atleast she is not camera shy like me and loves herself. Hope she can be a YouTuber like she wishes to be in future. โค๏ธ

So here’s the little millet dosa presented by my soon to be 6 year old daughter. You can never say it is made of millets and tastes just really delicious. A great way to add the healthy millet in your diet. Hope you all try this. Happy and healthy cooking! โค๏ธ

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { About 10 to 12 dosas }

1 1/2 Cups Little millet (Kutki/ Saamai)

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

1 tsp Fenugreek seeds (Methi)

Salt to taste

Ghee or oil to cook the dosas

Step by step recipe:

1. Soak Urad dal with Methi in a large bowl for about 4 hours. Also soak little millet in another bowl for 4 hours.

2. Now drain water from both completely. Grind Urad dal- Methi with about 3/4 Cup water to a smooth paste. Pour in a large vessel. Now add the soaked millet with about 1/4 Cup water in the mixer.

3. Grind the millet to a smooth paste too. Add this to the Urad dal dal paste. Add salt and mix well with hands.

4. Keep covered at room temperature for about 8 hours. Might take longer during winters. Always love to look at the well fermented batter in the morning. ๐Ÿ˜

5. Now heat a dosa tawa and pour a ladle of dosa batter. Spread using behind the ladle like regular dosas. Add ghee or oil and cook till the dosas turn crisp.

6. Remove and serve with a chutney of your choice.

Notes:

* As can be seen from the picture, I have used Manna brand of Little millet which is readily available here, in Qatar. For readers’ from Qatar who ask me the source, I got them from Lulu hypermarket, Barwa City. Also available in Grand hypermarket, Wakra and all Lulu outlets.

* This dosa comes out crispy when cooked one side till the underside turns brown.

* Making this dosa with ghee adds such a wonderful flavour to this dosa.

* You can check all my Millet recipes in this Millet recipes Collection.

* You can also check my No rice Dosa recipes collection.

Broken wheat sweet sannan | Konkani style broken wheat steamed cake

Traditional recipes always attract me as I believe in going the age old ways to live a healthy life. Simple, homemade food combined with regular exercise even if brisk walk for atleast 30 mins a day is enough for our good health instead of any diets. Having said that, I do indulge in restaurant food and store bought goodies sometimes (especially sweets for the sweet lover in me โค๏ธ) which I believe is necessary too for a change in tastebuds.

But finally, making sweets at home gives me happiness and specially simple and tasty Konkani sweet like this one, which is filling and doubles up as a great evening snack too. I learned to make this from my dear friend Sreeja Shenoy whom I came to know through Facebook food groups. She says she resonates with my feelings in each of my posts and feels close to me (how sweet of her โค๏ธ) while for me, her posts take me back to my days in Kochi as her food is Kerala Konkani style.

So when she posted this broken wheat sannan, I knew I had to try this and saved the post immediately. And how amazing does it come out! So so delicious. Cannot believe this simple sweet can have such an amazing texture and flavour.

Thank you so much Sreeja for this recipe. A definite keeper and will surely be making this whenever I crave for something sweet. My kids loved it a lot too which made it even more special. โค๏ธ

Also, I want to thank you and your sister Ambratha for always encouraging me with your kind words. It means so much to me that I am always filled with gratitude. Much love to both of you. โค๏ธโค๏ธ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™

Hope you all will try this recipe. Happy and healthy cooking! โค๏ธ

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { Makes about 12 squares of 5 cm each }

1 Cup Broken wheat / Gonva Khan/ Dalia

3/4 Cup Coconut (freshly grated or desiccated)

3/4 Cup Jaggery

Seeds from 2 Cardamom pods

A pinch of Salt

Ghee to grease the bowl

Step by step recipe:

1. Soak 1 Cup Broken wheat for 3 to 4 hours in thrice the quantity of water.

2. Now drain the water completely and add the broken wheat to a mixer. Also add 3/4 Cup Coconut, 3/4 Cup Jaggery and seeds of 2 cardamom pods.

3. Add a pinch of salt and grind to a semi coarse paste. Don’t add water at first while grinding as soaked broken wheat leaves water while grinding. Only if required, add 1 Tbsp at time. It took me about 4 Tbsp to grind it to a thick semi coarse batter.

4. Now grease a vessel with ghee and pour this mixture to the vessel. Level using a spoon and spread evenly. My vessel is of 18 cm diameter.

5. Steam for about 20 mins till a knife inserted in the center comes out clear. Cool down. Slice and serve.

Notes:

* I used Patanjali brand of Broken wheat or Dalia.

* Soaking the broken wheat for atleast couple of hours ensures that the broken wheat turns soft and grinds quickly.

* The amount of jaggery can be changed according to your taste.

* You can grind to a smooth paste too but grinding coarsely gives a bite of coconut which tastes delicious.

* It takes me exactly 20 mins to steam. You can check by inserting a knife in the center. If it comes out clear, it’s done.

* Remember to level the mixture evenly in the bowl for it to steam evenly.

* Grease the bowl well with ghee so that the pieces comes out in perfect shapes.

* I poured in a round vessel of 18 cm diameter.

* You can also try this:

# Broken wheat sweet khichdi

# No rice Broken wheat idlis

# No rice Broken wheat mixed dal dosas

Radish Chutney

In my last post of Ragi Jaggery ladoos, I had mentioned about our relocating back to India but I had never expected my readers to comment and message me with their best wishes. It really made me so happy that people actually take time to read the full writeup and also write such heartfelt words for me. โค๏ธ I always consider my readers to be a part of my extended family and the love showered on me in the past couple of days proves that my readers feel the same, which means the world to me. Thank you dear readers. Love and blessings is what I need the most now. โค๏ธ๐Ÿ™

I had actually decided to stop blogging for a while as I am not in the right frame of mind to write. Most of the families we know will be separated, even us, as only me and kids will shift back as of now. But we knew this since a year, were mentally prepared for it and specially as I have a great support system in my parents, we are not much worried. But there are many families who don’t have that and hearing their situations make me feel very sad too. Praying that God blesses all of them and they can survive this change well. ๐Ÿ™

Sorry that this is turning out to be such a emotional write-up which is why I did not want to blog but I guess you all will understand, like always. โค๏ธ

Coming to this chutney, it is my way to sneak radish in my kids’ diet as they love dosas with chutneys. So making them eat vegetable in this form too. I learned this chutney long back from a cookbook but have changed it to suit our tastebuds. Comes out very tasty and you can never say it has radish in the chutney.

Hope you all try and love this chutney. Happy and healthy cooking! โค๏ธ

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

1 Cup peeled and grated Radish

1/4 Cup Coconut

1 Tbsp Coconut Oil (+ 1 tsp)

4 Red chillies

1 tsp Urad dal

1 tsp Cumin seeds

1/4 tsp Hing or Asafoetida powder

Salt to taste

Step by step recipe:

1. Heat 1 Tbsp Oil in a pan. Add grated Radish and saute on medium flame till the raw smell of radish goes away and the radish turns dry. Takes about 5 mins. Now remove from flame and allow it to cool.

2. Now add the radish to a mixer along with coconut. In that pan, heat 1 tsp Oil and add Hing, 1 tsp Urad dal and 1 tsp Cumin seeds. Also add red chillies. Fry till Urad turns brown. Allow it to cool.

3. Now add the fried chilies, Urad dal, cumin seeds to the radish- coconut. Also add salt and about 1/4 Cup Water or as needed. Grind to a smooth paste. This is a thick chutney. Remove to a serving bowl.

Notes:

* Do fry the radish till the rawness goes away. Else the chutney will have the raw taste.

* This chutney is not seasoned with mustard seeds but you can season if needed.

* Can be had with rice meals or dosa/idli.

* Here is my Chutney/dips recipe collection that I make always.

Ragi Jaggery Ladoos | Easy to make healthy ladoos

I can’t believe till some time back, I thought making ladoos were the most difficult among sweets. Now, if you give me 15 mins, I can make ladoos for you. ๐Ÿ˜„ That’s the change which practice has brought in me. Now I can understand the real meaning of “Practice makes a man perfect”. Though not perfect by looks (I am reaching there ๐Ÿ˜ฌ), these ladoos come out looking like ladoos ๐Ÿ˜‚ and tastes so delicious that my kids love it a lot. So I thought it was worth sharing with all of you.

And what a wonderful day to share. On our ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ Republic day. Having lived for 9 years away from India, I realize the value of our country more now. When I first came to Qatar, I was so excited to be living in a foreign country with such amazing buildings, super clean places and was in awe over everything ๐Ÿ˜. I feel lucky to have stayed here for so long. Qatar is definitely a very sweet little country and has my heart forever โค๏ธ.

But now, when we will be mostly relocating back to India within few months and most of the people we know are worried about shifting back, I am simply in gratitude and actually happy too that I am finally going back to my country. I can already imagine myself chit chatting with my mother, visiting Udupi Shri Krishna temple with my dad, the pamper that my kids would be getting from our dear ones and being the foodie that I am, will enjoy my favorite foods too. ๐Ÿ˜

Life will not be easy as it’s a major change from the comfort of living in midst of facilities here but what’s life without challenges. Also, I believe everything happens for the good and we must always see the positives. โค๏ธ

So, on this positive note, wishing all of you a very Happy Republic day. ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ

Hope you all try these healthy and delicious ladoos. Happy and healthy cooking! โค๏ธ

RECIPE:

Ingredients: {Makes about 12 ladoos}

1 Cup Ragi or finger millet powder

3/4 Cup Jaggery powder

1/4 Cup + 2 Tbsp Ghee

2 Tbsp Raisins

Step by step recipe:

1. Heat 2 Tbsp Ghee in a pan and add 2 Tbsp Raisins. Fry till the raisins puff up. Remove to a bowl.

2. Now melt 1/4 Cup Ghee in the pan and add 1 Cup ragi flour. On medium flame, saute the flour in the ghee. Saute till the ghee and ragi flour combines well.

3. Now, keep sauteing on medium flame till the mixture comes together as shown below. It will take about 6 to 8 mins. The mixture turns aromatic and raw smell of the flour goes away.

4. Remove it in the bowl where we had put the raisins. Also add 3/4 Cup jaggery powder.


5. Mix well and allow it to cool slightly. When it still warm, bind to make ladoos. I am attaching some pictures that I took when making these ladoos. Hope it helps all of you.

Keep it in your palm and open close your fingers. Keep doing it till it forms round shape.

6. Repeat the same with the rest of the mixture. Enjoy the ladoos!

Notes:

* Store in a moisture free container at room temperature. Stays well for atleast 2 to 3 days. Mine gets finished off before that.

* Don’t reduce the amount of ghee or you won’t be able to bind the ladoos well.

* Add little ghee to the mixture and on your palms if you find it difficult to form ladoos.

* Do remember to saute the ragi flour well in the ghee so that there is no raw taste in the ladoos.

* You can add cardamom powder too if you like.

* Substitute ragi flour with wheat flour to make Churmundos or wheat flour ladoos. They come out delicious too.

* These ladoos are very soft when freshly made but turns hard as they cool down and tastes much better when kept for little while.

You can also check my 15 mins healthy sweets recipes collection.

You can check all recipes with Ragi that I make regularly like Ragi idlis, Ragi dosas, Ragi cake, Ragi cookies, Ragi Malpua in this Ragi recipes collection.

Paneer Butter Masala | No Onion No Garlic easy recipe | Ready within 20 mins

Ideally I should be sleeping now as my kids have finally slept after chattering and more chattering (just like me ๐Ÿ˜) but I decided to finish writing this (blog baby calls โค๏ธ). Had planned to give it a break, actually fully from social media as I am someone who needs quiet time to focus inwards (the other side of me ๐Ÿ˜„) but that went for a toss as I got many beautiful feedbacks from my near and dear ones. So I had to post it and hence was active on my Facebook page (perfect example of how life never goes as per my plans ๐Ÿ˜ฌ).

But I did listen to a lot of songs on repeat from Sanam and Maadhyam bands (my latest favourites โค๏ธโค๏ธ). The meaningful lyrics, combined with the singers’ soulful voices soothes me so much that I wonder what my life would have been without music. It’s as important as air and water for me (I know I am going overboard but that’s the truth ๐Ÿ˜). Don’t know if anyone can understand this but once you fall in love with music, you just fall crazily and there’s no going back. ๐ŸŽถโค๏ธ

That’s why I guess it’s called “falling” in love.. We slowly fall, without our control and by the time we know it, we have already fallen quite deeply into it.. โค๏ธ (sometimes there’s no way out and you don’t want to come out either ๐Ÿ˜) – proof of my craziness ๐Ÿ˜…

Now coming back to today’s post before I lose my focus in my chatter (night time gives me ample time to think and write ๐Ÿ˜„), this combination is what I regularly make especially on days when we are fasting and don’t consume onion/garlic. The paneer butter masala comes out so delicious that you can never say it is a Satvik one. I make it only this way now and it can really beat restaurant ones anyday for sure (not exaggerating. Try it to know the magic ๐Ÿ˜)

Hope you all try this and love it. Happy and healthy cooking! โค๏ธ

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

200 grams Paneer cubes

1 Tbsp Butter or Ghee

1 Bay leaf

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

1/2 tsp Coriander powder

1/2 tsp Cumin powder

1 tsp Red chilli powder or to taste

1 tsp Shahi Paneer Masala (I use catch brand) *substitute with any Garam masala powder of your choice

Salt to taste

2 Tbsp Milk

3 Tbsp Coriander leaves to garnish, finely chopped

To grind to paste:

2 to 3 medium sized Ripe Tomatoes

1 inch Ginger piece

2 Cloves

1 Cardamom

Step by step recipe:

1. Grind tomatoes, ginger, cloves and cardamom with about 1/4 Cup water to a smooth paste. Heat butter in a pan and add bay leaf along with the ground paste.

2. Allow it to cook, sauteing in between till the mixture turns thick (takes about 10 mins) and leaves the sides of the pan. Now add all the masala powders and salt.

3. Mix well. Now add milk and bring to a boil. Also add paneer cubes and cook for about 5 mins till paneer turns soft.

The colour looks orangy due to my kitchen lights and my mobile camera clarity. It comes out as shown in the main picture which was captured in daylight.

4. Remove from flame and garnish with coriander leaves. Mix well. Serve with rotis, rice or pulav.

Notes:

* I serve this with Peas Pulav. For peas pulav, heat 1 Tbsp ghee in a pan. Add bay leaf. Add washed and drained 1 Cup Rice along with about 1/2 Cup frozen peas and salt. Add water and cook till the rice turns soft yet firm. Amount of water depends on the variety of your rice. Garnish with coriander leaves.

* Please use ripe and bright red tomatoes for best results as it really makes a difference in the flavour. You can increase the number of tomatoes to 3 if you want to make more of the gravy.

* Cooking the ground paste very well till the rawness completely goes away is the most important step in this recipe.

* You can also add 1 Tbsp Tomato ketchup to the curry along with the masala powders if you are not particular about “no onion no garlic”. I add when we are not fasting and it adds a wonderful flavour to the curry. ( Some brands of ketchup contains garlic paste.)

* I use Catch Shahi Paneer Masala to make this curry as the flavours are great and it does not contain garlic or onion powders. You can use any powder of your choice though.

* Milk can be substituted with cream for a richer version but add cream after cooking paneer and don’t cook much after adding it.

Bajra Moong dal dosa | No rice dosa

As I had mentioned in my last post of Aloo Corn Bharta, my friend Ashwini Kulkarni sends me different healthy recipes that she makes and this dosa was one among them. These don’t contain rice but comes out so crispy that the texture is just like restaurant dosas. And it contains the healthy bajra or pearl millet too with protein rich lentils. So in all, a healthy and tasty breakfast option.

When I posted the Bharta, Ashwini commented on the post which touched me a lot. Would like to share the comment with all of you. She said, ” Thank u so much Mitha. Yes even u r blessing for me. Have made so many of ur recipe which my family eats happily. My mom always says that a lady who feeds everyone happily is a ANNPURNA. U DO it through ur blog and our group. Am sure ur family is blessed to have it. Best wishes and love always.” โค๏ธ

It took me back to my teenage days when I used to be condemned by some of my relatives for not knowing how to cook, not doing household chores while questioning my mother over my upbringing (the saddest part as Amma has cried many times due to it). I have also been condemned for not being beautiful (by their standards) and that I will have a difficult life post marriage. That had let me to not believing in myself and always thought myself as not good looking or even good for nothing (some sad but true memories of my childhood which I can never forget).

And now, when Ashwini compared me to Goddess Annapurna, I felt I could never get a greater compliment. โค๏ธ๐Ÿ™ I can finally tell that looks don’t matter at all and girls who don’t know how to cook before marriage need not be the same later too. In fact cooking is just a basic skill which can be learnt at any age by anyone. There is no rush for it. And your character is what defines you in life, not your looks.

Just shared my deepest feelings with you all. I am sure all of you must have experienced this in some way or the other and can relate with me. Thanks for reading. Happy and healthy cooking! โค๏ธ

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { Makes about 10 dosas }

1/2 Cup whole Bajra (pearl millet)

1/2 Cup Moong dal

1/2 Cup Urad dal

Salt to taste

Ghee or oil to cook the dosa

Step by step recipe:

1. Soak Bajra, moong dal and Urad dal together for about 4 to 5 hours. Drain water and add to the mixer.

2. Add about 1 and 1/2 Cups water along with salt and grind to a smooth paste. Pour into a large vessel preferably steel.

3. Keep for fermentation at room temperature for 8 to 10 hours.

4. For making dosas, heat a dosa pan and pour a ladle full of dosa batter. Spread like you spread regular dosas. Add ghee or oil and cook till the underside turns brown.

5. Remove and serve with a chutney of your choice.

Notes:

* I serve this dosa with coriander leaves chutney. Just grind coconut with coriander leaves, curry leaves, ginger, salt and water to a smooth paste. Season mustard seeds and curry leaves in oil and pour over the ground chutney. Mix well.

You can also check my “No Rice” dosa recipes collection.

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