Tag Archives: Carrot

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

Click on the image to save the recipe on Pinterest.

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.

Click on the image to save the recipe on Pinterest.

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.

Dates and Carrot Ubbatti | whole wheat Dates Carrot Puranpoli

Click on the image to Pin the recipe on Pinterest.

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

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

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

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

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

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { Makes 5 Ubbattis }

For the outer dough:

2 Cups Whole wheat flour/ Atta

1/4 tsp Turmeric/ Haldi powder

Salt to taste

For the filling:

10 Soft Dates (I used Khudri variety)

1 Cup grated Carrots

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

1 Tbsp Ghee

1/2 tsp Cardamom powder

Ghee as needed while cooking the ubbattis

Step by step recipe:

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

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

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

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

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

6. Divide both mixtures into equal portions.

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

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

9. Roll into a circle as thin as possible.

10. Fry both sides using ghee.

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

Click on the image to Pin the recipe on Pinterest.

Notes:

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

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

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

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

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

Dates and Carrot Cake , eggless and whole wheat

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

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

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

Jowar Vegetable Bhakri

I have mentioned before that I always believe in following our age old traditional recipes for a healthy lifestyle. So when I found a youtube channel through food groups named NK Food & Lifestyle by Mr Krishnamurthy Setty sharing similar beliefs as mine, I felt happy and subscribed instantly.

I don’t follow many channels just for the sake of it, but only those whom I really feel are worthy enough (I am choosy that way πŸ˜„). This channel is in Kannada language showcasing Uttar Karnataka dishes, which makes me even more interested being from the south part of Karnataka. All their recipes are unique, simple and healthy, making me want to try that time itself.

This Jowar Bhakri, which they call as thalipittu was tried following their video, even though I chose to make it as thick ones rather than thin as my kids prefer that way and it’s easier too (for the busy mommy me πŸ˜€). My kids, specially my 2 year old son loved it so much that he became a fan of it. Can you believe this has radish too in it which goes into the tummy in a secret way 😁. We all loved it very much. A must try recipe for sure!

On a side note, I read something which made me think a lot (me and my best friend – my thoughts πŸ˜…). I was reading about how we should be kind and supportive even to strangers as we don’t know what they must be going through. We all have that facade which we show to the world but inside we might be suffering which is hidden deep inside us. So, as much as possible we must show empathy towards everyone. Have you ever noted how kindness showed by a stranger increases your faith in humanity? And what if you were the person who was kind to someone whom you don’t even know, without expecting anything in return? Doesn’t that make you happy?

That happiness is what I feel while sharing about Mr Krishnamurthy Setty’s youtube channel. He thanked me many times when I shared my feedback and said I would be writing about his channel on my blog. The way he expressed gratitude made me confident that I am on the right path.

So, support everyone, even strangers without expectations and love your loved ones with all your heart without conditions. Though expectations are human nature and unconditional love is not easy at all, once we experience it, we understand life fully. ❀️

After this long heartfelt writeup, here’s sharing the recipe with all of you. Do try. This comes out very delicious. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Recipe adapted from: NK Food & Lifestyle

Ingredients: {Makes about 7 to 8 thick Bhakris}

1 Cup Jowar flour

3/4 Cup Whole wheat flour

1/2 Cup Chickpea flour or Besan

1/4 Cup finely grated Radish

1/4 Cup finely grated Carrot

1/4 Cup finely grated Cucumber

1/4 Cup finely chopped Onion

1/4 Cup finely chopped Coriander leaves

2 to 3 Green chillies

Salt to taste

Ghee to cook the Bhakris

Step by step recipe:

1. Take Jowar flour, wheat flour, chickpea flour and salt in a bowl.

2. Now add finely grated Radish, carrot, cucumber and finely chopped onion, coriander leaves and green chillies.

3. Mix everything once with hands so that the veggies mix well into the flours. Now if making thalipeet, add very little water and make into a soft dough. Since I made Bhakris, I added water to bring it to a thick dosa batter consistency (about 1 1/2 to 2 Cups of water).

4. Now heat a dosa pan and add a ladle of dosa in the center of the pan. Spread to make a thick dosa. Drizzle ghee over the surface.

5. When the surface cooks, flip and cook for about 1 to 2 mins.

6. Serve hot with butter and a chutney of your choice.

Notes:

* I refrigerate the leftover batter for use the next day. It lasts well and there is no taste change in the Bhakris.

* Skip radish if you don’t have but it’s a great way to include the vegetable in your diet as you can never find out that the bhakris have radish in it.

* I have not tried these Bhakris without wheat flour. So can’t say about the result.

* Chickpea flour gives a good flavour to this. So don’t skip it.

* You can spread it like thalipeet but I find them making like Bhakris easier.

* Cook both sides well as this takes time to cook than regular Bhakris due to Jowar flour in it.

* I served these with Coriander leaves chutney. For the chutney, grind together coconut with green chillies, ginger, coriander leaves, salt with little water to a smooth paste. Season in coconut oil with mustard seeds and curry leaves.

* You can check all my bhakri recipes in this recipe compilation post.

Barley Carrot Soup | Barley salad |Healthy soup recipe

Soup takes me back to the piping hot tomato soup in paper cups that used to be served during our 3 day long train journey to Bombay. My uncles lived there and we used to be so excited, waiting for the train to reach the destination yet enjoying every bit of the journey too. Me and my brother would sit close to the window seat, watching trees, fields and mountains pass by, counting the number of bogies in goods trains while waiting for food hawkers to come, to buy their snacks. 😍

Among them, tomato soup used to be sold early in the morning and I specially would wake up early for it (sacrificing my precious sleep for that delicious soup πŸ˜…). As soon as they started calling out, soup.. soup.. I would wake up my father asking him to buy one for me (spoiling his sleep too 😬). But the feel of drinking that tasty hot soup while looking outside the window of the train, enjoying nature come alive early in the morning with the background music of birds chirping, is something which can’t be replicated at all. Which is why even after so many years, it is as fresh in my memory. ❀️

After that, if there is any soup I loved, it is my mother’s tomato soup. I can never forget how lovingly she made it and we used to enjoy it together in small steel bowls with mickey mouse spoons (😍) sitting together chatting away (major missing 😭).

It is the same recipe that I am sharing today but have included barley in it too. Barley was brought home by my husband as he wanted me to taste it after eating it in his company “canteen” (as he calls it but it is no less than a restaurant which offers so many delicious options in the buffet). He said soup and salad with it tastes delicious and I looked through few recipes on how to cook it and combined it with Amma’s soup recipe.

It tasted really good and I loved the soft texture of Barley. Funniest part is when I made the soup for the first time and was serving my son, he asked me what was in the other bowl too. I said salad. He asked me to mix both in his bowl. I told him that’s not the way to eat it but he still was confident he wanted to eat it that way. πŸ˜… So I gave in and served him exactly that way. (Tip to survive motherhood: Give in if it’s safe to do before tantrums start. 🀣)

And he could not stop saying “Amma, yummy!!” with every bite while I was very surprised at this weird combo. πŸ™„ Then, when we tried it, it was delicious for real. πŸ˜„ The bite of cucumber, carrots and onion gave a great texture as well as flavour to the soup. Since then, we have been eating this soup the same way. πŸ˜€ Huge credits to my two year old boy for showing us the right way to enjoy this soup. 😍

Sorry for the super long write up. Did not realise how lengthy this turned out to be but don’t feel like cutting it short too. You can always skip if it bores you. 😁 Hope you all try this healthy, filling and tasty soup. Happy and healthy cooking!! Happy winters too. The best time to enjoy soup! ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { Serves 4 }

1/2 Cup Barley (I make both soup and salad using this measure)

1/2 a large Carrot (about 1/2 Cup chopped)

1 medium sized Tomato

1 small sized Onion

Red chilli powder to taste

Salt to taste

Step by step recipe:

1. Wash barley well and soak in about three times water overnight or for 6 to 8 hours. This makes barley soft and aids in digestion too.

2. Then drain water from it and add to a pressure cooker. Add water a little above the level of barley (about 2 cm) and pressure cook till soft. It takes me 1 whistle on high flame and then reduce to medium flame and keeping for 10 mins. It gives me perfectly cooked barley.

3. At this point, I remove 1/2 Cup of this cooked barley and add to my salad (will share the recipe of that in the notes towards the end of the recipe.) It leaves me with 1 Cup of cooked barley. Just add chopped carrot, onion and tomato along with 1/2 Cup water.

4. Pressure cook for about 3 whistles on high flame or cook till the carrots turns soft. Allow it to cool.

5. After it cools down, puree it in a mixer. Leave some cooked barley without pureeing as it gives a wonderful bite to the soup. I leave about 1/2 Cup of cooked barley.

6. Now add the blended puree back into the pressure cooker and add red chilli powder and salt. Also add water to make it into your desired consistency. Bring to a boil and cook for about two mins. Soup is ready! Garnish with Coriander leaves. Serve with croutons or bread sticks.

Notes:

* You can garnish with butter, cream or pepper or anything you like. I make it very basic as my kids love it this way.

* My son enjoys this soup along with salad in one bowl. It makes for a tasty and filling snack or a meal in itself.

* For the barley salad, add finely chopped cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, carrots, coriander leaves and green chillies (optional) in a bowl. Add cooked barley with salt, pepper powder and lemon juice. Mix well.

* Barley absorbs a lot of water when pressure cooked. So add atleast about 2 cm level of water more while pressure cooking it.

* I soak Barley when I remember. Drain the water after 8 hours and refrigerate. This lasts well for couple of days. So when I need to make it, I already have the soaked barley. So can make both the soup and salad instantly.

* Adding more carrot or onions can make the soup very thick and sweet. So if you are not a fan of sweet soups, you can reduce the amount of both.

* Don’t add all the barley while pureeing. Save half of it as it gives a good bite to the soup.

* The soup thickens as you keep it. So if you are making ahead, you might need to add little water to bring it to desired consistency.

* These are the other soups that I make regularly.

# Narangi Shorba (Orange flavoured Pumpkin soup )

# Easy Cream of Mushroom soup

Collection of my healthy cake and cookie recipes

It’s Christmas time and the official “bake at home” time too πŸ˜„. I have been seeing so many wonderful bakes on various Facebook food groups that I am part of and it is really amazing that now, everyone bakes so many varieties at home itself. So I thought I too should compile my healthy cakes and cookies in one page for those who want to bake guilt free goodies even for Xmas (if you are like me πŸ˜€).

For me, Christmas brings back two memories of my childhood. One is my dad bringing me Plum cake from our nearby bakery and I used to wait so eagerly for it. The aroma and flavour of the cake is still in my taste buds that it brings so much nostalgia. 😍

Second memory is singing Christmas carol at school (yes, I used to sing too πŸ˜…). We all used to wear white top and black skirt, practice so much for weeks and finally when standing on the stage singing the choir together with friends, it felt so good. ❀️ Though I don’t have a picture of the carol singing, here is a picture of the dress, which was my favourite as a 12 year old. This is from Amma’s album which is a treasure trove of old memories (love looking at them remembering old times 😍).

A part of the album page for the memory of old style albums. Nothing can replace the pleasure of looking through those albums. ❀️

Though after school, I never sang on stage, I still sing bhajans and songs for my kids when putting them to sleep and record them to send Amma who loves to listen to them. 😍 The best part is I still remember the lyrics and tune of the Christmas carols, much to the amazement of my daughter (she loves Christmas πŸŽ„). So we have been singing carols together, making cards for her friends while baking some goodies to enjoy this season.

Hope you all try some of them too. Happy and healthy Baking! Merry Christmas to all of you in advance! ❀️

Click on the name or image for the recipe.

Healthy Cakes:

1. Chocolate Banana Cake ( using wheat flour and jaggery ) – A moist and delicious basic chocolate banana cake with easy frosting.

Recipe here – Chocolate Banana Cake ( using wheat flour and jaggery )

2. Ragi Chocolate Cake ( using ragi flour, wheat flour and jaggery ) – My kids and readers favorite cake. You can never say it has Ragi in it. With the frosting, it tastes heavenly.

Recipe here – Ragi Chocolate Cake ( using ragi flour, wheat flour and jaggery )

3. Dates and Oats Cake – My idea to sneak some oats in the cake as well. Because you can never say it has oats in it. Another of my readers’ favorite cakes. Tried and loved by so many.

Recipe here – Dates and Oats Cake

4. Mango Ghee Cake – A super soft, moist and oh so delicious cake. My mouth waters whenever I think of this cake 😍

Recipe here – Mango Ghee Cake

5. Dates and Carrot Cake – Sugar free cake – My personal favorite as it is free from sugar or even jaggery can be skipped. Beautifully combines the natural sweetness of dates and carrots. Another of my recipe tried a lot by my readers.

Recipe here – Dates and Carrot Cake – Sugar free cake

6. Dates Chocolate Brownie – Guilt free indulgence at its best! ❀️ You can also skip dates for plain chocolate brownies.

Recipe here – Dates Chocolate Brownie

7. Mango Rava cupcakes – Easy one bowl recipe to make delicious mango cupcakes which are enjoyed a lot by my kids.

Recipe here – Mango Rava cupcakes

8. Wheat Jaggery Cake – Basic cake to which you can add dried fruits to make a dry fruit cake. Also can make cupcakes with this. Have been making this cake for years now for my kids.

Recipe here – Wheat Jaggery Cake

Healthy Cookies:

1. Chocolate Chip Cookies ( using wheat flour and jaggery ) – Perfect cafe style cookies at home, only healthier and tastier 😍

Recipe here – Chocolate Chip Cookies

2. Almond Butter Cookies – With basic ingredients and uses no baking soda or powder, these cookies are still very soft and melt in the mouth.

Recipe here – Almond Butter Cookies

3. Ragi Butter Cookies – Another heavenly cookies with Ragi in it, yet tastes so good that you can’t stop devouring them. My favourite! ❀️

4. Wheat Jaggery Cookies: These easy to make cookies are not only loved by my kids but by their friends too. Comes out so tasty.

You can check all my other healthy bakes here. Enjoy Baking!!

Easy, Healthy Sweets (under 15 mins)

This is another easy, healthy sweet recipes collection that I made last time. You can find the recipes here. They are sweets that can be made under 15 mins.

Carrot Kismuri | Konkani style salad

Most days, our dinner is just ukde pej (matta rice cooked soft, eaten with its gruel) and couple of accompaniments to go with it. As much as it may seem from my posts that I cook a lot, our daily meals are very simple and basic.

One of the reason why I don’t (or rather can’t) cook elaborate meals are my kids who hardly give me time in the kitchen (I know it’s hard to believe πŸ˜€). My son pulls my dress (he literally roams around behind me with his fingers clutching my dress πŸ˜‚ #fevicolkajod πŸ˜…) asking me to play football with him while my daughter who loves colouring asks me to draw something for her to colour (One is making me a footballer and the other, an artist 😬😬).

But my time passes very well and both the activities are so good to calm the mind. Never knew drawing is such a stress reliever. And about football, try playing it with a two year old who knows only to laugh when you kick the ball. It’s such precious source of happiness that I can’t thank God enough for blessing me with both of them. ❀️

And on days when they don’t leave me to cook at all, this carrot kismuri or Konkani style salad is our accompaniment for the day. Very quick to make, hardly taking 10 mins and tastes heavenly with pej and some pickle to go with it. The kids love it very much which makes it a perfect side dish for busy days.

Hope you all try and love it too. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

2 large Carrots, peeled and grated (about 2 Cups grated carrots)

3 Green chillies or to taste

1/4 Cup freshly grated Coconut

3 Tbsp finely chopped Coriander leaves

Juice from 1 1/2 Indian lemons

Salt to taste

For seasoning:

1 tsp Coconut oil

1/2 tsp Mustard seeds

A pinch of Hing or asafoetida

One sprig of curry leaves

Step by step recipe:

1. Take the grated carrots in a large mixing bowl. Add grated coconut, green chillies, salt and lemon juice.

2. Now heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds, add Hing and curry leaves. Fry till curry leaves turn crisp. Pour seasoning over the carrots. Mix everything well. Done!

3. It’s really that simple. Serve along with white rice and rasam or matta rice gruel with some pickle. Trust me, it tastes delicious!

Notes:

* You can add finely chopped onions to this too but I skip as after a while, it starts smelling. If made without onions, I can make even couple of hours beforehand and keep at room temperature.

* Some people add a tsp of Urad dal to the seasoning but I prefer only mustard seeds in it.

* If you add soaked moong dal and cucumbers to this, it becomes Kosambari which is another accompaniment that I make regularly. You can check the recipe here.

Moong dal Kosambari | Konkani style seasoned salad

Click on the image to save the recipe on Pinterest.

I have been blogging continually for a week now and my readers must be wondering what kind of energy has got into me πŸ˜…. Actually I realized how much time I was wasting in overthinking and felt it was best if I deviate my time towards something productive. So here I am with my son sleeping in my arms completing his evening sleep while I am blogging with my favorite songs in the background on spotify instead of random browsing or feeding my moody thoughts (which are sometimes too much to handle for the sensitive me 😬).

This kosambari is my favorite accompaniment to our rice meals. It is quick to assemble, very healthy with protein rich moong dal and tastes yummy too. People from Karnataka and Konkanis know this as they have grown up eating it at home, in temples and even in weddings.

There are many variations but this is how I make kosambari. It can beat any exotic salad in terms of taste and I am sure will won’t be able to stop eating it. It’s a favorite of my family and I have to make a huge bowl of it. Even then I hardly get to eat couple of spoons of it (my son comes when I eat my dinner and finishes off my share of the kosambari too πŸ˜‚).

Hope those who don’t know will try and love it. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

1/4 Cup Moong dal

3 English cucumbers ( I use them as Indian ones are rarely available here)

1 Carrot, peeled and grated

3 Green chillies or to taste

3 Tbsp freshly grated coconut

Juice of one Indian lemon

Salt to taste

For seasoning:

1 tsp Coconut oil

1 tsp Mustard seeds

Few curry leaves

A pinch of Hing powder

Step by step recipe:

1. Soak moong dal in almost double the amount of water for about 30 to 45 mins. It will swell in size and when you bite, there will be no rawness in it. Then you can use it. Meanwhile, also wash well and chop cucumbers. Add cucumbers, grated carrot, green chillies and grated coconut in a mixing bowl.

2. When the moong dal is soaked, drain water from it completely and add to this along with salt.. Also heat oil in a pan, splutter mustard seeds and fry curry leaves slightly in it. Add Hing powder too. Then pour the seasoning over this.

3. Finally add lemon juice and mix well.

4. Serve with rice meals or enjoy as it is.

Note:

* Make sure to soak the moong dal well. When you taste and see by 30 mins, you will know whether it has rawness or can be eaten. If you feel it’s still raw, soak for more time. Anyhow, by maximum one hour, it will swell well and will be ready to be added to the salad.

* You can make this with cucumber alone or carrot alone but I love mixing both as it gives a good flavour and looks good too.

* Goes well as an accompaniment with rice and rasam.

Click on the image to save the recipe on Pinterest.

Sugar free Dates Carrot Halwa

My second sweet recipe for Navaratri after Mango Kesar Peda is this sugar free dates carrot halwa which is not only tasty but very healthy too. A healthier alternative to the regular carrot halwa which uses refined sugar.

I got this idea from my Dates Carrot cake which does not need sugar nor jaggery for its sweetness. Dates and carrots combine so well making it a heaven made match that it does not need anything else for sweetness.

So I decided to use this perfect match to make a healthier version of carrot halwa and I was so happy when it came out so delicious. My kids who absolutely adore carrot halwa did not realise the difference at all. They relished it a lot and I was one happy mommy. After that, it’s become a regular dessert for us and I can’t be happier.

Hope you all try and love it too. Healthier alternatives are not only an option but a need too. We should respect our body and eat as healthy as possible. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

3 Cups grated Carrots {I took 3 large carrots}

8 Dates { I used Khudri variety} * to make 1 Cup Dates paste

2 Tbsp Ghee

3 to 4 Dates

8 to 10 Cashews

8 to 10 golden Raisins

Step by step recipe:

1. Soak the 8 dates (deseeded) in water enough to soak it, for about 15 mins. Also keep grated carrots ready.

2. Grind dates in the soaked water to a smooth paste (in about 3 Tbsp water). Keep aside. (It gave me 1 Cup Dates paste.)

3. Heat ghee in a pan and add deseeded and quartered dates, cashews and raisins. Fry till cashews turn golden.

4. Now add the grated carrots and fry on medium flame till the carrots loses its rawness and change colour. Takes about 5 mins.

5. Now add the dates paste and mix well. Cook on medium flame till the carrots turn soft and the mixture leaves the sides of the pan getting well combined. (Takes another 5 to 8 mins. Do a taste test to see if the carrots are cooked well. If not, cook for little while more.)

6. Remove from flame and serve warm.

Notes:

* This halwa gets tastier when kept for couple of hours before serving as the carrots absorb the dates paste well and gets more delicious. So prepare little while beforehand if you have time.

* This is not like the regular carrot halwa with milk and sugar but definitely a healthier alternative and very tasty too for sure.

* I have purposely not added milk to this as dates is an ingredient. Dates are rich in iron whereas milk is calcium rich. Calcium hinders iron absorption in the body when consumed together. So I skipped milk in this halwa to make it more beneficial to the body. {Just as an after note, Vitamin C rich foods (lemon, tomato, orange) enhance absorption of iron in the body. So always consume them together with iron rich foods when possible.}

* 8 dates making 1 cup dates paste is perfect sweet for 3 Cups grated carrots. Lesser than that might not taste as good and more might be extra sweet while masking the taste of carrots.

* I have also not cooked carrots for long like traditional carrot halwa recipe as I did not want to reduce the nutritional value by doing so. Just saute well in ghee for 5 mins and then cook in dates paste for 5 to 8 mins. It will cook well.

Easy Vegetable Biriyani | Layered style

Before this Covid situation, our weekends would be Veg Biriyani from the nearby restaurant and I used to wait for it after bored of my own cooking. But since March, we have stopped restaurant foods completely and I started making Biriyani at home.

Though the initial few times it did not come out so well, now my husband says it comes out even better than restaurant ones. So I thought I must share this recipe with my readers as I know most of you must be cooking only at home and missing Biriyani from restaurants.

I feel homemade ones taste better mainly because of the pure ingredients that we use such as ghee as compared to the refined oil used in restaurants. Now I can’t imagine eating that and feel satisfied when my family loves the Biriyani I make. Don’t think we will ever go back to eating out. One of the many positives that Corona has taught us, I must say.

Hope you all try for your family and love it too. Happy and healthy cooking. Stay safe!

RECIPE:

Ingredients: {Serves 3}

For the rice layer:

1 1/2 Cups raw Basmati or any long grain rice, soaked for 30 mins

Salt to taste

2 Cardamom pods

2 Cloves

1 Bay leaf

For the gravy layer:

2 Tbsp Ghee

1 Tbsp Oil

1 tsp Cumin seeds or Jeera

1 tsp Fennel seeds

1 tsp Peppercorns

2 Cardamom pods

2 Cloves

1 Bay leaf

6 to 8 Cashews

1 large Onion, thinly sliced

2 Cups Mixed Vegetables (carrot, potato, beans, green peas) { I used frozen peas}

1/2 Cup Yogurt or thick Curd

2 tsp Red chilli powder or to taste

2 tsp Garam masala powder

1/2 tsp Haldi powder

Salt to taste

Other ingredients:

4 Tbsp finely chopped Mint or Pudina leaves

4 Tbsp finely chopped Coriander leaves

1/4 Cup Milk

A pinch of Saffron strands

Step by step recipe:

1. Boil water in a large pan. Add soaked and drained Basmati rice along with salt, cardamom, cloves and bay leaf. Cook till the rice is almost done. Keep aside to cool.

2. Heat ghee plus oil and add jeera, fennel seeds, peppercorns, cardamom pods, cloves, bay leaf and cashews. Fry till cashews turn brown. Add thinly sliced onions (with a pinch of salt) and fry till they start turning brown.

3. Now add the mixed vegetables and fry well for couple of minutes.

4. Add little water and cook the vegetables till almost done. Now mix Yogurt with turmeric powder, red chilli powder and garam masala powder till there are no lumps and it turns a smooth paste. Add to the cooked vegetables while mixing well on low flame.

5. Cook on low flame for about 5 mins. Remove from flame. Keep aside.

6. Now heat the saffron stands in milk for little while. I microwave on high for 1 minute till the colour of milk changes.

7. Now start layering. Take a large pan and first add a layer of the curry. I use the same pan in which I cooked the rice.

8. Now add a layer of the cooked rice (half of it) evenly over it. Add half of the saffron milk and half of the finely chopped Mint – coriander leaves evenly over it.

9. Now layer the rest of the curry over it.

10. And finally the rest of the rice along with the saffron milk and mint coriander leaves evenly over it.

11. Now take another large pan with little water in it. Place this layered Biriyani pan in it and cook covered well for atleast 20 mins in the lowest flame possible.

12. Remove and serve with raita.

Notes:

* Don’t cook the rice fully in the first step or it will get mashed when steaming after layering.

* This style of Biriyani may seem difficult than one pot ones but trust me, it tastes very delicious and is easier than other layered Biriyanis.

* The spice level is to taste. I don’t make the Biriyani spicy as my kids eat it as well. You can add more red chilli powder in the Yogurt if desired.

* Make the gravy thick and dry, not watery or the Biriyani won’t come out well.

* For raita, I add finely chopped tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, coriander leaves to yogurt with little water, salt and chaat masala. Mix well.

Instant Oats Vegetable Bhakri | Quick Oats Uthappam

As my regular readers know already, my kids love dosas and our morning usually starts with any variety of dosa. I have already posted many of them on my Dosa corner page.

Even though I make sure that I always have dosa batter handy for their dosa love, there are some days when it gets over and I am left wondering what to do apart from the Instant Oats Poha dosa that I make always when I don’t have dosa batter.

That is when I started making these oats vegetable bhakris and it was loved a lot by both kids. It hardly takes 15 mins to get the batter ready and it is very tasty and filling. Also a healthy snack option for evenings.

Hope you all try and love it too. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

2 Cups Instant Oats (I use Quaker or Saffola instant Oats)

1 Cup wheat Semolina/ Rava/ Sooji

1/4 Cup Curd or Yogurt (optional)

3 Cups water or as required

1/2 Cup grated Carrots

1/4 Cup finely chopped Capsicum

1/4 Cup finely chopped Onion

2 to 3 Green chillies or to taste

2 Tbsp finely chopped Coriander leaves

Salt to taste

Oil or ghee to cook the uthappams

Step by step recipe:

1. Take 2 Cups oats, 1 Cup rava, 1/4 Cup curd and salt in a large mixing bowl.

2. Add 3 Cups water and mix well to remove any lumps.

3. Add grated carrots, finely chopped capsicum and onions, green chillies and coriander leaves.

4. Mix well.

5. Heat a dosa pan and add a ladle of the batter. Spread into a thick dosa as shown.

6. Cover and cook till the surface cooks well.

7. Now add oil or ghee. Flip and cook for few minutes.

8. Serve hot with butter and chutney.

Notes:

* You can skip onion if you want but it gives a wonderful bite and flavour to the bhakri. Don’t skip capsicum though. It’s a main ingredient.

* I sometimes don’t need chutney with it too. Just the bhakri with butter tastes so delicious.

* Don’t spread the bhakri too thick or else it won’t cook inside. Cook both sides very well on medium to high flame.

* I have used instant Oats as it is (without powdering or roasting). You can use rolled oats but it might need powdering.

* You can skip curd if you don’t have. I make without it too sometimes. Does not make much difference.

Do let me know if you have any doubts. Will be a pleasure to help. πŸ™‚