Monday, June 25, 2012

Things you need to know....

Written by Divya Sawhney   
Reading THIS, you'll NEVER look at a BANANA in the same way again!!
Bananas which contain three natural sugars (sucrose, fructose and glucose) and fiber gives an instant, sustained, and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous, 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes. But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.
Reducing Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.
PMS: Forget the pills -- eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.
Anaemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.
Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it the perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.
Brain Power: Two-hundred students at a Twickenham (Middlesex, UK) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.
Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.
Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.
Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.
Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood-sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.
Mosquito Bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.
Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.
Overweight and at Work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and crisps. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood-sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every 2 hours to keep levels steady.
Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in chronic cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.
Temperature Control: Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer, tryptophan.
Smoking Cessation: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6 and B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.
Stress Relief: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. They can be re-balanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.
Stroke Risk: According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!
Wart Removal: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!
Splinter Removal: For those hard-to-remove wood splinters, rather than poking and prodding with tweezer and needle, take a small piece of banana skin, large enough to cover the splinter wholly, yellow side out, and carefully tape it over the splinter with a band-aid or tape. Overnight the banana and its enzymes will work the splinter out, dissolving it and sealing the wound. So in the morning, when you remove the band-aid, the pad will be yucky brown mush and no more splinter!
Conclusion: So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around!
So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say: "A banana a day keeps the doctor away!"
1. It relieves gas and heart-burn caused by onion & garlic.
2. It increases appetite & soothes the mucous membrane.
3. Tea made from cardamom is useful in headache caused by indigestion.
4. Ground cardamom seeds mined with ginger cloves & coriander is an effective remedy for indigestion.
5. Cardamom is a breath freshener.
6. The herb is used in several dysfunctions like impotency & premature ejaculation.
7. The powdered seeds of cardamom mixed with a table spoon full of banana leaf & amla juice taken thrice a day serves as an excellent diuretic for the treatment of gonorrhea, cystitis & nephritis.
8. A pinch of powdered cardamom seeds boiled in milk & sweetened with homey every night gives good results but its excessive use should be avoided.
9. Cardamom oil stimulates the mind & heart & brings joy.
10. It detoxifies caffeine if used in coffee.
11. When feeling week & mentally fatigued, cardamom oil can help with its refreshing & uplifting effect.
12. Cardamom's expectorant property helps to clear cough.
13. Cardamom is good for Pitta because it kindles Agni.
14. Current research has revealed cardamom's potential therapeutic value as an inhibitior of human platelet aggregation.

Dhania: (Coriander stivum): It is rich in various elements. It has mineral & vitamin contents like calcium, phosphorus, iron, carotene, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin C. It is also having sodium, potassium & oxalic acid. Here are some of the medicinal properties of coriander:
1. The leaves of coriander are stimulant & tonic.
2. It strengthens the stomach & promotes its action, relieves flatulence, increase secretion & discharge of urine & reduces fever.
3. It also act as aphrodisiac & help in the removal of phlegm from the bronchial tubes.
4. The leaves can be used by making chutney or by putting in curries & soups.
5. For digestive disorders of all sorts one or two teaspoon full of coriander juice is added to fresh buttermilk & taken twice a day.
6. A chutney made of dry coriander, green chilies, grated coconut, ginger & black grapes without seeds are a remedy for abdominal pains due to indigestion.
7. Regular drinking of coriander water helps lower blood cholesterol because it stimulates the kidney.
8. A decoction prepared from freshly dried coriander is an excellent eye wash in conjunctivitis.
If these herbs are used along with taking proper rest, sleep, sex, exercise, meditation & a regulated dincharya & ritucharya all the three dosha remained balanced & perfect health prevails.

Tulsi Sacred & Medicinal HerbPrint
Written by Dr. Parveen Kumar   
Considered as lord Krishna’s wife, it has a mythological background and therefore is the most worshipped plant in Hindu culture. It is a strong belief that those who implant Tulsi in there houses never get sick, as it is very lovable to lord Krishna and lord Krishna has blessed this herb with this property. Tulsi contains such a chemical composition that no mosquitoes and flies can come near the plant because of it s peculiar odor. This herb is found everywhere in India. Plant height varies from 2 - 4 ft. It flowers in winter season i.e. from December to February
Ayurvedic energetics : Tulsi is bitter and pungent in taste & hot in potency. It has light and dry properties with vata and kapha pacifying properties.
Varieties of Tulsi are Krishna Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Rama Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) & Vana Tulsi (Ocimum gratissimum) Tulsi finds great importance in respiratory tract disease. It gives marvelous results in upper respiratory tract infection. It acts rigorously on kapha hence it works as good expectorant relieving from wet cough. It is also very useful in bronchitis, asthmatic conditions and allergic conditions. Tulsi acts as antibacterial and antiparasitic and is thus widely used in infectious diseases. It acts on nervous, relieves stress and is also helpful in relieving pain, as it is vata suppressant. It is a good appetizer and promotes digestion by helping in secretion of digestive enzymes. It is also heipful in preventing any infection that might invade our digestive system. It also helps to eliminate any toxins that might be circulating in the blood. Tulsi finds great use in fever as it act as antipyretic, pain reliever, and provides strength to our body.

1. Healing Power: Tulsi leaves promote the removal of the catarrhal matter and phlegm from the bronchial tube. The seed of the plant are mucilaginous.
2. Fever & Common Cold: Tulsi leaves are used for many fevers. During the rainy season, when malaria and dengue fever are widely prevalent, tender leaves, boiled with tea, act as preventive against theses diseases. In case of acute fevers, a decoction of the leaves boiled with powdered cardamom brings down the temperature. The juice of tulsi leaves can be used to bring down fever.
3. Sore Throat: Leaves boiled in water or as a herbal tea can be taken as drink in case of sore throat. This water can also be used for gargles.
4. Respiratory Disorder: A decoction of Tulsi leaves, with honey and ginger is an effective remedy for bronchitis, asthma, influenza, cough and cold. A decoction of the leaves, cloves and common salt also gives immediate relief in case of influenza. It helps to mobilize mucus in bronchitis and asthma. Chewing tulsi leaves relieves cold and flu. It checks infections of the respiratory tract.
5. Heart Disorder: It reduces the level of blood cholesterol, which prevents various ischaemic heart diseases like angina pectoris and myocardial infections.
6. Stress: Tulsi leaves are 'adaptogen' or anti-stress agent. Recent studies have shown that the leaves provide significant protection against stress. Even healthy persons can use Tulsi to prevent stress.
7. Mouth Infections: The decoction of the leaves as a mouth wash is quit effective for the ulcers and infections of the mouth. Its leaves, dried in the sun and powdered, can be used for brushing teeth. It can also be mixed with mustered oil to make a paste and used as toothpaste. This is very good for maintaining dental health, counteracting bad breath and for massaging the gums. It is also useful in pyorrhea and other teeth disorders.
8. Insect Bites: The herb is a preventive and curative for insect stings or bites. Fresh juice should be applied to the affected parts. A paste of fresh leaves and roots is also effective in case of bites of insects.
9. Skin Disorders: Applied locally, juice of the leaves is beneficial in the treatment of ringworm and other skin diseases. It is also useful in the treatment of leucoderma.

Written by Dr. Chander Shekhar Sharma & Dr. Amrita Sharma   
Since ancient times, plants have been an exemplary source of medicine. Ayurveda and other Indian literature mention the uses of plants in treatment of various human ailments. Acharyas have written that there is nothing in this world that cannot be used to keep one disease free or to maintain the health.
Meetha Neem (Murraya koenigii) is commonly known as curry patta is a herb which is available in our surrounding, and also used as an ingredient in recipes
Meetha Neem (Murraya koenigii) has not been mentioned in detail in major Ayurvedic classical texts. In ancient texts, this plant has been described by the Neem of Kaidrya and Surbhinimba.
A small spreading shrub, about 2.5 meters high; the main stem, dark green to brownish, with numerous dots on it; its bark can be peeled off longitudinally, exposing the white wood underneath
Flowering starts from the middle of April and ends in the middle of May. The fruiting season was observed to continue from the middle of July to the end of August. The peak fruiting season, however, was found to continue from the last week of July to the 1st week of August.
Pulp of the fruit contains 64.9 per cent moisture. The content of total soluble solids of the fruit juice is 16.8 per cent. The vitamin C content of the fruit is 13.35 mg per 100 gm of the pulp.
The leaves, the bark and the roots of Murraya koenigii (curry leaf) are used as a tonic and a stomachic.
They are bitter, acrid, astringent, cooling, aromatic, demulcent, antihelminthic, febrifuge, stomachic, carminative, appetizing, anodyne, anti-inflammatory, mild purgative. They are useful in vitiated conditions of Kapha and Pitta, burning sensation, pruritis, skin diseases, bruises , dyspepsia, colic, flatulence, diarrhoea, dysentery, vomiting The green leaves are stated to be eaten raw for curing dysentery and the infusion of the washed leaves stops vomiting .
Strong odiferous oil occurs in the leaves and seeds of Murraya koenigii. This oil exhibit a strong antibacterial and antifungal activity. The shiny-black fruits are liked both by children and adults. As revealed by the chemical composition of the fruits, they are very nutritious. The leaves are used as a spice in different curries and impart a very good flavor to the preparations. These fruits have also many medicinal properties. Branches of Murraya koenigii are very popular for cleaning the teeth as datun and are said to strengthen the gums and teeth.
How to use
1. An infusion of roasted leaves is used to stop vomiting
2. The bark, root and leaves are crushed and applied externally to cure eruptions.
3. The green leaves are to be eaten raw for the cure of dysentery
4. Crushed leaves may be applied over bruises.
5. The decoction of leaves is given to reduce or eliminate fever.
6. The powder of leaves dried in shadow has shown remarkable results in curing ailments such as hyperacidity, sour eructations, dyspepsia etc.


Daadi Maa ke Nuskhe - Home remedies to deal with day-to-day problems

n the present times, natural cure home remedies are gaining momentum. Many people are heading their way towards adopting home remedy treatment to get rid of several forms of diseases. There is a natural home remedy for almost every ailment. The best part about them is that, they have no side effects and are absolutely inexpensive. Thus, not only are they safe for health, but also turn out to be an economical option.

This trend for resorting to home remedies is not new. In fact, they have their origin in the ancient times. To deal with day-to-day problems, like cough and cold, headache, vomiting, upset stomach etc; there are plenty of effective cure home remedies. Home remedy treatment makes use of things bestowed on us by nature like fruits, vegetables and herbs.

Home Remedy for Acidity

• Consume a small piece of jaggery after having all three meals and see what wonders it can do to keep acidity away.
• Take a cup of water and boil it. Add 1 tsp of Aniseed (Saunf) to the water and leave it overnight. On the next morning, filter the water and add 1 tsp of honey to it. Drink it thrice a day and bid goodbye to acidity.
• Take a cardamom and a clove and powder it. Consume it like a mouth freshener after having your each meal. Not only this remedy will take care of your acidity problem, but also will keep away bad breath.
• Take about 1-½ liters of water and add 1 tsp Caraway seeds (shah jeera) to it. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Drink it while warm at least 2-3 times a day for 5-6 days.

Home Remedy for Acne

• Gently apply fresh limejuice on pimples and blackheads.
• Dab the mixture made by combining 1 tsp fresh coriander powder and a pinch of turmeric powder on the pimples, while going to bed in the night and wash it off when you wake up the next morning.
• Take a few fresh curry leaves and make a paste. Apply the paste on the acne-affected area and keep it overnight and wash it off with warm water the next morning.
• Apply the paste made of nutmeg (Jaiphal) and raw milk on acne and wash it off after 20 minutes. Do it for about 10-12 days and see the magical effects.
• Take some fresh fenugreek leaves and make a paste to apply on the acne pimples overnight.
• For people with oily skin, the perfect home remedy is to apply a paste made by mixing sandalwood and few drops of rosewater on the acne affected area for about an hour and then wash off gently.
• For dry skin, the best remedy is to take a piece of sandalwood and rub it on a smooth stone and make a paste using a few drops of raw milk. Apply the mixture on the acne and keep it for an hour and thereafter gently wash with water.

Home Remedy for Backache

• Limejuice serves as an excellent home remedy for backache. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon and add common salt in it. Drink it two times in a day. It will act as a great back pain reliever.
• As a part of back pain home remedy treatment, raw potato in the form of poultice is to be applied on the pain affected area. Usually potato is used to treat lower back pain.
• Vitamin C that is mainly found in citrus fruits is considered valuable for getting rid of backaches. Consume about 2000 mg of this vitamin everyday.
• Applying garlic oil on the back gives immense relief from back pain. Take about 10 small garlic pieces and fry them in oil on a low flame. You can either use sesame oil, coconut oil or mustard oil. Fry till the garlic cloves turn light brown. Let the oil prepared from garlic cool completely. Thereafter apply it on the back and keep it for about three hours. In a couple of days, you’ll feel its magical effects.

Home Remedy for Blackheads

• In 3-4 cup boiled water, add 2 tsp of soda bicarbonate. Steam a towel with this. Thereafter, place the towel gently on your face. Do it for about 5-6 times. Make a paste by mixing 1 tsp curd and 1 tsp rice flour. Apply the paste on the affected area. After some time, wash your face with cold water.
• Take a pinch of soft portion of glycerin soap and mix with a pinch of table salt. Apply this mixture on the blackheads. Do it for about a week and see the magical results.
• Take about 1 tsp of juice extracted from fresh coriander leaves and add ½ tsp of turmeric powder in it. Apply this mixture while going to bed. Wash your face the next morning with cold water.
• Make a paste by mixing 1 tsp limejuice and 1 tsp of finely powdered cinnamon. Apply it on the affected area before going to bed. Wash it off in the morning.

Home Remedy for Body Odor

• To overcome the problem of unpleasant body odor, use antibacterial soap or deodorant soap while bathing.
• During summers, it’s a good idea to wear cotton clothes that soak sweat.
• Eating habits also tend to affect body odor. Avoid consuming refined foods; hydrogenated oils and other processed foods. Eat healthy food that contains loads of fiber, whole grains, wheat, soy products and green leafy veggies.
• To combat the unpleasant armpit odor apply cider vinegar. It serves as the best body odor home remedy treatment.
• Applying baking soda on the underarms helps to kill bacteria and also aids in absorbing sweat.
• In the bathing water, add a few cups of tomato juice and soak yourself in water for about 15 minutes.

Home Remedy for Body Rashes

• The best home remedy for body rashes is to apply olive oil on the rash affected area.
• As a part of skin rashes home remedy treatment, baking powder is applied gently on the rash affected area.
• Wash the rash affected body part with chamomile tea.
• Take Aloe Vera gel, cod liver oil and Vitamin E and apply on the rashes. 

Home Remedy for Boils

• Apply the juice of onion or garlic on the boils, as it helps in evacuating the pus.
• For boils filled with blood, bitter gourd acts as the perfect boils home remedy treatment. Take 1 cup juice of bitter gourd and add 1 tsp limejuice to it. Consume this mixture empty stomach in the morning on a daily basis for a couple of months and see the magical results.
• Milk cream is considered valuable in the treatment of boils. Take 1 tsp of milk cream and add ½ tsp vinegar and a pinch of turmeric powder to it. Apply it on the blood filled boils.
• Cumin seeds are beneficial in healing the boils. Grind the seeds in water so as to form a paste and then apply on the boil-affected area.

Home Remedy for Common Cold

• Lemon can be used effectively to treat common cold, as it increases the body resistance. Take one glass of warm water and pour some limejuice and a tsp of honey in it and consume it once or twice on a daily basis.
• Take a tbsp of carom seeds (ajwain), crush and tie them properly in a muslin cloth. Inhale in case of nose blockage.
• Take 1 tbsp of pepper powder and boil it in a cup of milk. Also add on a pinch of turmeric to it. Put some sugar for taste. Drink it once in a day for about three days.
• Take 3-4 tsp onion juice and 3-4 tsp honey and mix well before consuming.

Home Remedy for Common Fever

Holy Basil:
One of the effective home remedies for common fever is the holy basil. Make a potion using about twelve grams of these holy basil leaves, boiling them in half a liter of water. This should be given twice daily with half a cup of milk, one teaspoon of sugar and a quarter teaspoon of powdered cardamom (chhoti elaichi) to the diseased. This will help in bringing down the temperature

Fenugreek Seeds:
Drink tea made from fenugreek seeds twice daily. It is very beneficial as a cleansing and soothing drink. It is specifically helpful in dissolving mucus.

Another useful home treatment is tea made from saffron. Prepare this tea by putting half a teaspoon of saffron in 30 ml of boiling water. Give a tsp of this tea to the patient every hour till the temperature returns to normal.

The extract from raisins is quite helpful in the treatment of common fever. Prepare this extract by soaking twenty-five raisins in half a cup of water and crushing them in the same water. Strain the potion and discard the skin. The raisin water thus prepared becomes a tonic. Adding half a teaspoon of limejuice to the extract for enhancing its usefulness. Take this twice daily.

A cup of fresh juice of apricots mixed with one teaspoon of glucose or honey is quite good for fevers. It quenches the thirst and eliminates the waste products from the body. It also supplies vitamins and minerals to the body. Thus, it helps in toning up the eyes, stomach, liver, heart, and nerves.

The juice of grapefruit is valuable in all fevers. Helpful in quenching thirst, it also removes the burning sensation produced by the fever. Half a glass of grapefruit juice should be taken with half a glass of water.

Another ideal food in all types of fever is orange. It provides energy, increases urinary output, and promotes body resistance against infections. It is especially effective when the digestive power of the body is seriously hampered.

Home Remedy for Constipation

• Bael fruit works wonders in treating constipation. Consume the fruit everyday for about 2-3 months.
• Consume a medium sized pear either with breakfast or else before dinner. It is the best home remedy for constipation as it aids in clearing the entire faecal matter.
• As a part of constipation home remedy treatment, it’s a great idea to eat guava with seeds, which provides adequate amount of fiber to the diet and aids in normal evacuation of the bowels. Consume about one or two guavas on a daily basis.
• Other effective laxatives are papaya, figs, grapes and orange. Consume about four or five dry figs soaked in water overnight.
• Spinach is a perfect vegetable oriented home remedy for constipation. The best is to eat it raw or else you can go in for 100 ml spinach juice mixed with an equal quantity of water and drink it twice in a day.

Home Remedy for Cough

• Take three peppercorns and add a pinch of black cumin seeds and salt to it before consuming.
• On a hot pan, burn a clove by stirring. Keep it in your mouth and suck it.
• Take 1 cup water and bring it to a boil. In this add on 1 tsp turmeric powder and 1 tsp carom seeds (ajwain). Boil till half. Add 1 tsp of honey and drink it twice a day.
• Grapes help a great deal in treating cold in a few days. Consume 1 cup grape juice and also add 1-teaspoon honey to it.
• Almonds are excellent for dry coughs. Soak about seven almonds in water and keep them overnight. Next morning peel off the brown skin. Now grind them to form a powder and add twenty grams each of butter and sugar and form a paste. Consume it twice a day, once in the morning and the second time in the evening.

Home Remedy for Corns

• Liquorice serves as the perfect home remedy for corns. All you need to do is to grind three to four liquorice sticks and add half tsp sesame oil or mustard oil to it. The hardened dead portion of skin also known as corn is to be smeared with this mixture while going to bed.
• Lemon is of great value in the corns home remedy treatment. Cut out a fresh slice of lemon and tie it over the painful corn affected area and keep it for the whole night.
• Take about a half tsp of papaya juice and apply it over the dead skin of foot and do it at least three times in a day and see its magical effects.
• The milky juice of green figs is very beneficial in treating the corns of long duration. Apply about half tsp of this juice thrice a day.

Home Remedy for Dandruff

• Soak 2 tbsp of fenugreek seeds in water and grind them the next morning to make a paste. Apply this paste all over the scalp and leave for half an hour. Thereafter wash your hair with ritha solution or shikakai. It serves as the best dandruff home remedy treatment and you’ll see the amazing results it gives in a couple of days.
• Fresh limejuice is considered valuable as a part of home remedy for dandruff. All you need to do is to apply 1 tsp limejuice on your scalp for the last rinse. It will not only aid in removing stickiness and getting rid of dandruff, but also lend a glow to your hair.
• Rubbing snake gourd juice on the scalp has been found to be beneficial in treating dandruff.
• Beets can be used to your advantage in treating dandruff. Boil its tops and roots in water and then massage your scalp with this water every night.

Home Remedy for Dark Skin

• Prepare a natural skin pack by mixing 1 tsp of milk powder, 1 tsp of honey, 1 tsp of lemon juice, and ½ tsp of almond oil. Apply the pack on face and wash it off after 10-15 minutes. It is an effective remedy to lend glow to the skin.
• Take a raw potato and cut fine slices. Place a potato slice on your face. It will help in removing the tan and improving your skin tone.
• Make a paste using limejuice and turmeric powder. Apply it on your face. It acts as fabulous natural bleach.
• Mix dry orange peels with curd and apply on the blemishes. Wash it off with cold water after 15 minutes.

Home Remedy for Discoloration of Lips

• If the discoloration of lips is caused by smoking, there is a need to control this habit.
• Drink plenty of water, at least 10 glasses on a daily basis. It helps in flushing out the toxins from the body.
• Take some Vaseline and apply it on your lips. It will help to keep your lips smooth and shining.
• Apply some limejuice on your lips everyday. It helps in retaining the color of your lips.
• Apply some sunscreen lotion on your lips, so as to protect them from harmful UV rays.

Home Remedy for Dry Chapped Lips

• Drink plenty of water everyday.
• Cut fine slices of cucumber and rub on lips.
• Apply Aloe Vera gel on your lips.
• Take a saline bath
• Apply neem leaves extract on your lips.

Home Remedy for Gaining Weight

• Muskmelon is considered valuable in the underweight home remedy treatment. Consume muskmelons thrice a day for about 40 days and see its wonderful effects.
• To gain weight, adopt mango-milk diet for a month. Eat two medium sized ripe and sweet mangoes, followed by a glass of milk. Consume mangoes three times in a day. Mango acts as a rich source of sugar, but lacks the necessary proteins required by the body. On the other hand, milk is rich in proteins but deficient in fats. Thus, the deficiency of mango is made up by milk and vice versa.
• For instant weight gain, you can go in for an exclusive milk diet, in which milk has to be taken after every 2 hours.
• Soak 3 dry figs in water and consume it two times in a day.
• Raisins act as a good remedy for increasing weight. Consume about thirty grams of raisins on a daily basis

Method 1:- Slightly roast a big onion on a naked flame. Mashit and add 1 tsp of turmeric powder and ghee each. Apply it on the area affected with boils and tie a bandage.
Method 2:- Fresh garlic cloves (lasan) can be crushed and applied externally on the affected area.
Method 3:- Neem leaves ground into a fine paste can also be applied on the affected parts.
Method 4:-Equal amounts of ginger (adrak) powder and turmeric (haldi)can be mixed and applied on the boils.
Method 5:-A paste of some black cumin (kala jeera)seeds prepared in water can be applied on the affected areas.
Method 6:- Heat black pepper powder in ½ teaspoon ghee until charred. Use this as an ointment on the affected area.
Method 7:- Make a paste of fenugreek leaves (methi patta), heat it and when lukewarm, apply on the affected parts of the body.
Method 8 : - Soak bread in warm milk and sandwich the mixture in between the folds of a clean cotton cloth. Apply this poultice to the boil and hold in place with a cotton bandage. This draws the dirt to the surface of the skin and simultaneously bursts the boil.

Constipation In Adults:
Method 1 : - 'A healthy stomach is a healthy body". Constipation is a very common problem affecting a lot of people. Wrong eating habits,sedentary lifestyle & sluggish intestines are the main reasons. If the stomach is not cleared well, it leads to a lot of problems such as headaches, gas etc.However, use of laxatives should be discouraged as it is habit forming and also harmful in the long run. Here are some tips to relieve you of your problem. (It will take some time but be persistent and you will surely benefit)
Method 2 : - Take a glass of warm water with the juice of 1/2 lime and 1 tsp honey on waking up every day in the morning on an empty stomach. Drink one litre of water first thing in the morning.
Method 3 : - Eating 6-8 dates (khajoor) soaked overnight in a cup of water first thing in the morning also helps relieve constipation.
Method 4 : - Consume approx. 250-300 gms fresh grapes (angoor) everyday. When not in season, soak 12-15 raisins (kishmish) in water and have them.The water in which they are soaked should also be consumed.
Method 5 : - Liquorice (mulathi) sticks can also be eaten to relieve constipation. One of its many properties is that it is a natural laxative.

Constipation in children:
Method 1 : - Soak 6-8 raisins (kishmish) in hot water (depending on the age). When crushed and given routinely even to little infants, it helps to regulate bowel movement (however care should be taken so as not to give too much otherwise the child will get loose motions.)
Method 2 : - Consumption of 6-8 apricots (khurmani) a day or 2-3 cucumbers (kheera) a day or 1-2 bananas a day is also very useful.
Method 3 : - Bulk forming vegetables like carrots, radish, spinach,cabbage or roughage creating things should be consumed.
Method 4 : - Always eat the whole fruit instead of taking a juice fruit.The fibre content which provides roughage is lost during the process of juicing the fruit
Method 5 : - Include Whole wheat flour and avoid processed foods(maida, cheese, confectionery) in the diet
Method 6 : - Taking 2-3 teaspoon of isabgol in milk or warm water either first thing in the morning or at bed time is very beneficial.

Hair Greying :
Method 1 : - Wet a lemon half and rub lemon juice into the scalp well. Wash off after it turns dry.
Method 2 : - Soak shredded ginger (adrak) in honey. Eat a spoonful every morning.

Memory improvement :
Method 1 : - Add a pinch of finely powdered cinnamon (dalchini) to 1 tsp of honey and have it at bedtime regularly every night regularly.
Method 2 : - Mix ½ teaspoon black cumin (kala jeera) powder with honey.This paste needs to be taken throughout the day at regular intervals.
Method 3 : - Take 1 tsp each amla root powder and white sesame seed (safed til) powder.Mix it with 1 tsp honey and consume it daily for a few days.

Method 1 : - Massaging the area where wrinkles have set in with coconut oil every night at bed time helps lessen the wrinkle lines.
Method 2 : - Shred ginger (adrak) and soak it in honey. Eat a spoonful of this every morning regularly
* For A Glowing Face
• Method 1 : - Mix 2 drops of lemon juice with 2 drops of rose water and apply on the face in case there are pimples on the skin. Wash after an hour if required.
• Method 2 : - Make a paste of neem powder and fresh turmeric rhizome and apply it on the face before going for a bath for glowing skin and to remove scar
• Method 3 : - To remove tanmarks on the skin add 2 drops of lemon / orange juice to a spoon of honey and apply on face.
• Method 4 : - Aloe vera pulp mixed with turmeric powder and applied on the face improves the complexion. Applying a paste of tulsi leaves on face also does wonders.
• Method 5 : - Massaging the face for a few minutes with a mixture of Aloe vera gel, paste of marigold flowers, lemon juice and orange juice for half an hour also improves complexion.
* For General Good Health
Method 1 : - Include the amla fruit (gooseberry)or drink it's juice to increase body's immunity.
Method 2 : - Cut amla fruits (gooseberry) and keep it in honey for a month. Eat this daily fresh amla fruit is not available

To Remove Tan
apply buttermilk on the face & body -and wash after  20 min
mix tomato juice  + curd  -keep it for  15 min on face...

Effective home remedy for infants, small kids and adults as well - Nutmeg.
Nutmeg is also known as Jaiphal in hindi, Jadhikkai in Tamil, Jajikaya in telegu. Refer to picture of Nutmeg on your left.
Nutmeg is very effective in loose motions. It helps arrest the motions and also gives a peaceful sleep to the baby.
  1. MOUTH ULCERSMouth Ulcers or Canker sores are small boils which appear in the inside of your mouth, on the tongue or inner lips. Sometimes they are so painful that the person cannot speak, eat or drink anything.
    Causes of Mouth Ulcers are:
    Lack of Vitamin B2 in the diet
    Eating acidic or spicy food
    Bad stomach
    Eating antibiotics or other medications which cause heat in the body
    Viral infections
    Sometimes minor injuries can also cause it.
    Home remedies for mouth ulcers
    Avoid stress, Have a good sleep and eat a balanced diet
    Avoid eating hot and spicy food, avoid drinking hot tea/coffee.
    Have a diet of Rice mixed with cold yogurt and a pinch of salt till your mouth ulcers are gone.
    Take B-Complex capsules (Becosules) twice a day, it is quite effective.
    Keep rinsing the mouth with salt water. Take more salt, about 2 tsps in one cup of lukewarm water.
    Make a solution of 1tsp salt and ½ tsp turmeric powder in lukewarm water and rinse 3-4 times a day.
    Gargle alternately with hot and cold water.
    Take 4-5 leaves of Tulsi ( Holy Basil) and chew them in the morning and evening with water. This can be done 5-6 times a day. This not only cures mouth ulcers but also prevents bad breath.
    Biting on to small pieces of coconut, chew until the coconut milk starts to flow, swish the coconut milk in your mouth, this is one home remedy suggested by my grandmother which is quite effective.
    Apply Coconut milk mixed with honey 3-4 times a day on the ulcers for relief.
    Mix one teaspoon of turmeric powder to one teaspoon of glycerine and apply this solution on the ulcers
    For bad mouth ulcers take raw coconut break it into pieces and chew it with little sugar. Do this 4-5 times a day.
    Application of Peppermint oil to the mouth ulcers gives relief from pain and irritation.
    Make a paste of Amla (Indian Gooseberry) and apply to the ulcers, this also works effectively.
    Have Mint leaves (Pudina), 2-3 in the morning and chew onto it. You can do this 2-3 times a day. Mint is very cooling for the system.
    Remove the gel from aloe vera and put it in a blender with some distilled water. Keep this solution in a bottle and regularly, swish it round your mouth, holding and swishing for a few minutes then just swallow it, if you also have a sore throat gargle before swallowing. Aloe vera can also be used on other ulcers.
    Boil one teaspoon of coriander seeds in a cup of water. When this is warm, gargle with it 3-4 times a day.
    Baking soda and lemon juice is very effective in ulcers of the oral cavity relieving pain as well as the severity of the sores.
    Gargle a solution of 1 teaspoon of apple vinegar with half a cup of water three times a day.
    Bicarbonate of Soda dabbed on the ulcer will clear it up quickly. Dip finger in powder and apply to ulcer, leave for as long as possible. It will sting at first but will give relief soon after.
    For mouth ulcers, use alum. Take a cotton swab and place alum on infected area.
1. Soak two teaspoonfuls of ajwain seeds(bishops weed) in cold water. Add a pinch of common salt. Using this infusion as a common gargle substantially eases the acute sore throat.
2. Two tablespoons of fenugreek seeds should be added to a litre of cold water and simmered on a gentle flame. This should be allowed to cool to a temperature that could be tolerated by the buccal cavity. Strain this mixture and gargle with it several times a day. This cures a sore throat.
3. Coarsely powder the cinnamon bark. Boil a teaspoonful of this powder in water. Strain the extract and add a pinch of black pepper and a teaspoonful of honey. Consuming this decoction every three hours in a day cures a sore throat.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Koocing !! Cooking!! fun

some copy paste from other Cooking Blog...this is just for my collection and not for other...sorry if any breaking copyright or so..does not meant to do so... this is for me so when I have time I can see and make and don't have to search .....

Eggless Garlic Rolls Recipe

I halved the recipe and got 8 mini rolls, enough to serve 2 very generously. We had one here and one there, through the weekend. 

Garlic Pull-Apart Rolls
Recipe source: Suhaina
Makes 8 mini rolls

Plain Flour - 1.5 cups 
Warm Water- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp 
Yeast - 1/2 tbsp
Salt - 1tsp 
Sugar - 1 tbsp 
Olive Oil - 1 tbsp + 1 tsp

For Garlic Spread:
Salted butter, at room temperature - 6 tbsp
Minced garlic - 2 tbsp
Chopped coriander leaves - 2 tbsp

How I Made It:

1. Mix flour, yeast, warm water, salt and sugar together until you get a smooth, slightly stick dough. 

Eggless Garlic Rolls Recipe

2. Add oil to your fingertips and knead until the dough springs back when you press with your fingers - about 4-5 mins. 

Eggless Garlic Rolls Recipe

3. Wrap in cling film and allow to double by keeping in a warm place for about 45 mins. Meanwhile, make the garlic spread by simpy mixing all the ingredients. 

Eggless Garlic Rolls Recipe

4. Grease a baking pan or loaf tin with olive oil. I used my Pyrex loaf pan which was the perfect size for 8 mini garlic rolls.

5. Knock down the air in the dough and divide the dough into two equal portions.

Eggless Garlic Rolls Recipe

6. Transfer one portion of the dough to a floured surface and roll gently into a rough rectangle of 1/2" thickness. Apply more flour sparingly if sticky. 

7. Spread about 2 tbsp of garlic spread on one side. 

Eggless Garlic Rolls Recipe

8. Roll from one end gently and firmly. 

Eggless Garlic Rolls Recipe

9. Cut into half and then each half again into two halves to get 4 equal portions. 

Eggless Garlic Rolls Recipe

10. Now place the rolls with the cut side up in the greased pan. 
Repeat the same procedure for the remaining dough. 

11. Spread a little milk on the rolls and add the remaining garlic spread on top. I am sure sesame seeds as Suhaina has added will make the flavour even better but I didn't have any. 

Eggless Garlic Rolls Recipe

12. Allow to rise for another 20 minutes. In the mean time preheat the oven to 180C / 375F.

13. Bake for about 30 mins until the top is golden brown. My Pyrex glass pan usually takes longer to bake in, so mine took about 35 mins to bake just right.

Eggless Garlic Rolls Recipe

These are really really soft and have an amazing flavour. Serve fresh and hot!

Cauliflower/Gobi Manchurian/ Chilly Gobi

Gobi Manjurian is a wonderful dish to go along with any type of roti, appom or fried rice. It can be made in dry form as a starter, or in a gravy or semi gravy form like I have did here. Which ever form it takes, it is a yummy dish and even kids would love it.
  • Cauliflower-2.5 cups (cut into small florets)
  • Soy sauce- ½ tsp
  • Pepper pwd- ½ tsp
  • Chilly pwd- ½ tsp
  • Salt- ¼ tsp
  • Plain Flour- 2 tbsp
  • Corn Flour- 2tbps
  • Oil for frying- 1/3 cup

  • Marinate the items except oil and keep aside for 10 minutes.
  • Shallow fry the pcs in two or three batches and keep aside.

Ingredients for the gravy:

  • Onion- 2 medium cubed
  • Celery - 2 tbsp chopped
  • Capsicum- 1 cubed( you can used ½ of red and ½ green to make it colourful)
  • Green chilly- 2
  • Garlic- 2 grated
  • Ginger – 1 inch grated
  • Corn Flour- 1 tbps heaped
  • Salt- to taste.

Sauces Mix together and keep ready:
  • Soya sauce- 2tsp
  • Chilly sauce- 1 tbps
  • Tomato sauce- 1 tbps
  • Vinegar- 1 tbps
  • Chilly pwd- ½- 1 tsp( optional)
  • Use the remaining oil that is left in the pan from frying the cauliflower.
  • Add in the grated garlic and ginger and fry till fragrant.
  • Add in the chopped celery and fry for one minute.
  • Add in the chopped onions, chilly and capsicum and sauté for two minutes.
  • Add in the sauce mix and stir well. Add salt to taste.
  • Mix ½ cup water with the corn flour and make a smooth paste and pour into the pan and thicken the gravy.
  • Stir well and add in the fried cauliflower pcs and cook covered for two minutes.
  • Sprinkle some spring onion and serve immediately.
Chilli Paneer Recipe 
Serves 2 

2 cups cubed paneer (I used longer slices) 
1 bell pepper / capsicum 
2 large onions 
4 green chillies, slit 
1 tsp ginger garlic paste (use freshly ground paste if possible) 
1 tbsp soya sauce 
1 tsp 
green chilli sauce
1 tsp tomato paste / ketchup
2 tbsp + 1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp cornflour + 3tbsp water (make a smooth paste)
Salt to taste

For the Marinade:
3 tbsp flour
2 tbsp corn flour / corn starch
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
A pinch of salt

How I Made It:

chilli paneer indo chinese recipe

1. Make a thick-ish paste with the ingredients for marinade. Dunk the paneer pieces in and let them soak in the marinade. It will be instant love, I promise.

chilli paneer 
2. Add 3-4 tbsp oil in a pan and shallow fry the paneer pieces, turning them over when the cooked sides are brown.

chilli paneer indo chinese recipe 
3. Drain and set aside. Its okay to slightly burn a few sides, especially when you are packing to move out of your apartment!

chilli paneer indo chinese recipe 
4. In the same pan, add chopped onions, green chillies, and capsicum. Cook until the onions turn transparent - 2-3 mins.

chilli paneer indo chinese recipe 
5. Next, turn the flame to high and add soya sauce, green chilli sauce, sugar and tomato paste. Stir-fry on high for about 30 seconds until well blended and turn the flame to medium-low.

chilli paneer indo chinese recipe 
6. Add the fried paneer cubes and the cornflour-water paste. Taste and adjust salt (since the sauces will have salt). Stir and cook for another 3-4 mins until the sauce comes around and thickens due to the cornflour.

chilli paneer indo chinese recipe

Serve steaming hot as an appetizer!

Cabbage Onion Vada
This recipe is made from soaked and ground urad dal, flavored with chopped cabbage, green chillies and onions and steamed with a little oil in the Kuzhi paniyaram Pan . These vadas are exceptionaly tasty and healthy as well. Eliminates the hassels of getting the right shape as well. The vada tastes great in itself without the need for any accompaniments.

 Non fried cabbage onion vada
Non fried cabbage onion vada
Non fried cabbage onion vada
: 20 vada’s

  • 1 cup whole white urad dal (soaked for 3 hours)
  • ½ cup finely chopped cabbage
  • ½ cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
  • 1 teaspoon chopped green chilles
  • ¼ finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste

Finely grind the soaked urad dal with salt and adding as little water as possible into a thick smooth paste.
Add the chopped cabbage, onions, green chillies and coriander leaves and mix into the ground urad dal paste.
Heat the Kuzhi paniyaram Pan and add a drop of oil to coat the pan; once the pan is well heated scoop the dal mixture using a scoop spoon. Cover the pan and allow it to steam . You will notice the top part of the vada getting cooked. At this point you could add another drop of oil and then using a tiny flat spoon gently flip the vada so it can get cooked from the other side and crip as well. When you insert the back of the spoon or a knife in the center it should come out clean - this the test to check whether it is hass been cooked. Continue the same process with the remaining lentil batter and enjoy the healthy version of the vada's.
Note: You could make plain vada's as well incase you want to use them for the dahi vada's. In this case, spoon the vada mixture which has salt into the pan and cook the same way as above. And follow he steps for the dahi vada process.
Chocolate Cupcake Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour 
2 cups granulated sugar 
1/2 cup cocoa powder 
2 teaspoons baking soda 
1 teaspoon salt 
2 cups hot water 
3/4 cup vegetable oil 
2 teaspoons white vinegar 
1 tablespoon instant coffee crystals 
1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
Regular or silver cupcake paper liners 


Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a large measuring cup combine the water, oil, vinegar, instant coffee, and vanilla. Whisk it into the dry ingredients until just combined. Don't worry if there are a few lumps. 
Line 2 muffin tins with cupcake liners and fill each 2/3 full of batter. Bake until wooden skewer comes out clean from the center, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting. 
Ice each cupcake with peanut butter frosting and sprinkle with favorite toppings. 

Makes 24 cupcakes

[Recipe via Gale Gand]

Ingredients for one mini cake:mug cake

3 tbs plain flour
2 tbs cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
3 tbs sugar
1 egg
2 tbs milk
2 tbs vegetable oil
Splash of vanilla


-Combine first four ingredients together and mix well. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir.
-Spray a wide cappuccino cup with a non-stick spray, or spread a little bit of oil in the cup.
-Add the cake mixture to the cup and cook in the microwave for about two minutes on high.
-Its a nice spongy texture but it can be a little dry, so I suggest adding fruit, icing, ice cream, chocolate sauce, or icing sugar. Serve immediately.

Grab a cup of tea or glass of milk and enjoy! 

Peanut Butter Frosting Recipe

Peanut Butter Frosting Ingredients

2/3 cup confectioners' sugar 
1 cup creamy peanut butter, natural or organic 
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature 
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt 
4 tablespoons unsweetened coconut cream 


Place the confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. 
Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth. 

[Adapted from Ina Garten]

Tofu Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

SND Note: Oat flour contains no gluten and will not rise when baked. If you want some crumb to your cookies, mix the oat flour with some white whole wheat flour. If you don't like the taste of oat or wheat flour, use all-purpose flour instead, but you are giving up some nutritional value.

7 ounces soft tofu (1/2 a square), roughly chopped 
1/3 cup (3 ounces) cream cheese 
1/3 cup (3 ounces) natural or organic salted, creamy peanut butter 
3/4 cup white sugar 
3/4 cup brown sugar 
4 large egg whites 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
A touch of almond extract (optional) 
2 1/2 cups oat flour or white whole wheat flour 
1/4 cup semolina flour or cornmeal 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
8-10 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips/chunks

1) Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 375°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray.

2) Whisk the flour, semolina and baking soda in a medium bowl; set aside.

3) With an electric mixer, mix the tofu until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Add cream cheese and peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended. Add the sugars; mix until combined, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the egg whites and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat at a low speed just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips to taste. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

4) Roll a scant 1/4 cup of the dough into a ball. Hold the dough ball with the fingertips of both hands and pull into 2 equal halves. Rotate the halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, join the halves together at the base, again forming a single ball, being careful not to smooth the dough's uneven surface. Place the formed dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, jagged surface up, spacing them 1 1/2 inches apart.

5) Bake the cookies until light golden brown 13 to 16 minutes, rotating the baking sheets from to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Cool the cookies on the sheets. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets with a wide metal spatula.

Makes 28-30 cookies

Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

Makes about 18 Large Cookies

If you prefer a less sweet cookie, you can reduce the granulated sugar by 1/4 cup, but you will lose some crispiness. Do not overbake these cookies. The edges should be browned, but the rest of the cookie should be very light in color. 

1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but still cool 
1 cup packed (7 ounces) light brown sugar 
1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar 
2 large eggs 
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats 
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1) Adjust the oven racks to the low and middle positions and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with a nonstick cooking spray.

2) Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.

3) Either by hand or with an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add the sugars; beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at time.

4) Stir the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture with a wooden spoon or large rubber spatula. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips.

5) Working with a generous 2 tablespoons of dough each time, roll the dough into 2-inch balls. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them at least 2 inches apart.

6) Bake until the cookie edges turn golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes. Transfer the cookies with a wide spatula to a wire rack. Let cool at least 30 minutes.

Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies or Date Oatmeal Cookies 
Follow the recipe for Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, substituting 1 1/2 cups of raisons or 1 1/2 cups of chopped dates for the chocolate chips. Additionally, add 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg with the dry ingredients.

[Recipe via Cook's Illustrated - The New Best Recipe cookbook]

Best Cocoa Brownies Recipe

SND Note: The recipe below is from Alice Medrich's Bittersweet cookbook. The ingredients and directions are the same except for step 2. The original direction was to add the butter, sugar, cocoa and salt in the bowl all at once and to melt the butter and make a smooth mixture, which takes forever. We think it's easier to melt the butter first then add the remaining ingredients. The next time we make this recipe, we would double it to make thicker brownies.


10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter 
1 1/4 cups sugar 
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process) 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
2 cold large eggs 
1/2 cup all-purpose flour 
2/3 cup walnut or pecan pieces (optional) 
Special equipment: An 8-inch square baking pan 


Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of the baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. 
In a medium heatproof bowl, add the butter and set on top of a large sauce pan with barely simmering water. Melt the butter, then add sugar and salt, and stir until well combined. Next add the cocoa powder and stir until mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot. 
Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Stir in the nuts, if using. Spread evenly in the lined pan. 
Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack. 
Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 16 or 25 squares. 

Chocolate note: Any unsweetened natural or Dutch-process cocoa powder works well here. Natural cocoa produces brownies with more flavor complexity and lots of tart, fruity notes, which maybe more exciting for you. Dutch-process cocoa results in a darker brownie with a mellower, old-fashioned chocolate pudding flavor, pleasantly reminiscent of childhood. 

Makes 16 large or 25 smaller brownies

[Recipe via Bittersweet: Recipes and Tales from a Life in Chocolate by Alice Medrich]

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Torte Recipe

11 ounces salted macadamia nuts, ground 
11 ounces semisweet chocolate 
1 heaped teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder  
8 ounces unsalted butter  
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
6 large eggs, separated 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

1) Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line the bottom of an 8 to 10-inch springform pan with a piece of parchment paper before buttering the bottom and sides then dust with flour. 

2) Place the nuts into a food processor and pulse until ground and set aside. Be careful not to over-process or you'll make macadamia butter. Add the chocolate and cocoa to processor and pulse for 30 seconds to break up the chocolate and set aside with nuts. Add the butter and sugar to the food processor and beat until pale and fluffy. Add vanilla and beat the egg yolks in one at a time. Then by hand mix together with the chocolate and nuts.

3) In another bowl beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate, butter and nut mix. Pour all the mixture into the cake pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes. To test if the torte is cooked, insert a toothpick or the tip of a knife for 5 seconds; when removed it should be reasonably clean. Transfer to wire rack and cool for 15 minutes. Serve with whipped cream, ice-cream or powdered sugar.

[Recipe adapted from The Naked Chef Takes Off by Jamie Oliver]

Fabulous Fudge


2 cups good quality dark cooking chocolate 
2/3 cup condensed milk 
1 Tbsp water 
1/2 cup toasted then chopped walnuts 
1/2 cup pistachio nuts - chopped 
1 tsp vanilla

Falafel is a popular Middle Eastern chick pea patty. Falafel is stuffed in pita bread with salad and sauce.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Recipe serves 4.



1 cup dried chick peas (garbanzo, kabli chana)
2 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 green chili
About 1/4 inch piece of ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/4 cup all purpose flour (plain flour, maida)
Also need oil to fry

Tahini Sauce

1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 1/4 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
About 2 tablespoon chopped parsley
About 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 green chili adjust to taste
About 1/4 cup water use as needed

Also Need

2 cups of thinly sliced lettuce
2 medium size chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
4 pocket pita bread


Tahini Sauce

In a small frying pan dry roast the sesame seeds on medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
mix all the ingredients and blend to make a pourable paste use water as needed
Keep it aside.


Soak the chickpeas in 4 cups of water over night. After soaking chickpeas will be about 2 and half time in volume.
In pressure cooker add chickpeas with the 3 cups of water. Close the cooker and put the pressure on.
Cook on medium high heat.
As pressure cooker starts steaming turn the heat down to medium and cook for about 4 minutes.
Close the heat and wait until steam has stopped before opening the pressure cooker. Chickpeas should be just tender not very soft.
Drain the water and let it cool; combine all the ingredients for falafel grind using food processor, mixture should be grainy. If needed add few spoons of water.
Divide the mixture in 24 equal parts or make them as desired size patties.
Heat oil in a frying pan on medium high heat.
The frying pan should have at least 1 ½ inch of oil. To check if the oil is ready, put small piece of dough in oil. The dough should come up but not change color right away.
Slowly drop the falafel patties in the oil and fry until they are brown in color both sides. It should take about 5-6 minutes to cook each batch.
Keep the patties aside.

Serving suggestion

Take pita bread and heat over the skillet on medium high heat both sides lightly.
Slice the pita bread from center in half take one part and open from center looking like a pocket.
Fill the pita pocket with chopped lettuce so it 1/3 full. Next add some chopped tomatoes and cucumber.
Pour about one tablespoon of tahini sauce, 3 to 4 pieces of falafel and again tahini sauce.
It’s best to serve the sandwich with hot falafels. Falafels can be easily re-heated before serving using an oven or toaster oven.


Serve the falafel over green salad use the tahini sauce as a dressing.

Chocolate Cake : VEG

This cake is happening ... the texture and the taste is out of the world. I used the common prescription of yogurt cake ... but with few changes ... Here is the recipe and the video will teach you how to do a cake 
1 white yogurt 1 "as" 
2 parts sugar 
3 parts white flour (I mix white flour) 
3 / 4 as sunflower oil 
1 As milk 
3 / 4 chopped almonds measure (the chop in the blender with the skin) 
1 tablespoon vanilla soup good 
type of yeast 1 royal 
1 / 2 teaspoon baking soda 
2 large eggs 
use nutella 
is all for the cake mixture as in the video and put in a greased pie pan and bake at 180 for and 50 minutes or more ... that afternoon but by the mass density 
when this cold is smeared with Nutella

VEG manchurian

2 cups Grated Cabbage
2 Grated Carrots
1/2 onion finely chopped
1 Chopped Spring Onion
2 Chopped Green Chilies
3-4 Crushed Garlic Flakes and ginger chopped
2 tbsp Corn Starch or Flour
Oil for deep frying
1 tbsp Soya Sauce
Salt to taste
1 tsp Pepper Powder(kali mirch powder)
1/2 tsp Sugar(very little)
2 tbsp oil

Preparation of vegetarian Manchurian :

Veg balls
* Mix grated cabbage and carrots and squeeze the water out from
them,then add onion to that
* Now in a bowl take the squeezed cabbage and carrots and mix 1
tbsp. corn starch and add few chopped chilies and little salt to it.or
you can add some maida if you want
* Make small balls (like koftas) of the mixture .
* Heat the oil in a kadhai / wok and deep fry the balls till
golden brown, drain and keep aside.
* Now in a separate pan heat 2 tbsp oil.
* Sauté garlic, green chilies and spring onions and ginger for few seconds
* Add pepper powder, sugar and soya sauce then put some water
not too much lets say 1 1/2 cup then Bring it to a boil.
* Mix 1 tbsp corn foulr with half of a cup of cold water and stir
into it. Gently add the fried balls to the gravy.
* Cook the vegetable manchurian for 3-4 minutes and in the end put
1 tbs vinegar for spicy Manchurian put more green chillies and hot
sauce .

Whole Cauliflower in Gravy (Gobhi Musallam)

21 Sunday Aug 2011

Posted by CK in Cauliflower, Gravy, Wholemeal



Cauliflower, Gobhi,Gobhi musallam, Gravy

3 Votes

Items needed:

One whole fresh cauliflower
One slice of smoked cheese
One spoon of desi ghee

For Gravy:

One big potato
One big onion
Two big tomato
One teaspoon fine cut chili and ginger
Various Spices and herbs

For Green sauce:

Half cup mint leaves
Half cup coriander leaves
One green chili
Half tomato
Salt and pepper to taste


Boil the whole cauliflower, add a pinch of salt. (Don’t over boil, it shall remain a bit solid and keep the shape)


Use baking oven to bake the whole cauliflower, with sprinkle of salt and pepper


Grind the raw potato, onion, garlic and ginger and make thick paste
Grind tomato and chili separably
Now take half a spoon of ghee in frying pan, add various spices such as Cumin seeds, Fennel seeds, Coriander seeds, Mustard seeds, Trachysermum Copticum seeds
Fry onion, potato paste in this, keep it mixing with spices, so that it doesn’t stick to the pan, once this paste turns golden brown, add tomato chili paste and keep on frying with added garam masala, or you can use chicken masala OR pavbhaji masala
Add a spoon of taramind juice in this paste, and cook till it become thick curry.
Green sauce:

Grind mint, coriander leaves with tomato and chili
Add salt and pepper to taste

Complete preperation

Take the boiled cauliflower, keep it pan till the water vaporizes
Fry it all sides, try to keep the shape of whole cauliflower
Once it is well cooked, and turned a bit brown, add cheese on the top of whole cauliflower


If cooked in baking over, take it out hot and add cheese on the top of whole cauliflower

Serve it hot in the plate, spread the gravy on complete cauliflower, and little green sauce.
This is good to eat with naan, kulcha or even fried rice.


(10-12 crackers)

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup Flax seeds
2 tbsp. sesame seeds
1/4 cup melted butter/ghee/oil
2 tbsp. powder sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
A few tsp. milk

Method; Pre heat oven to 375°F or 180°C  for 10 minutes.

Dry roast flax and sesame on slow heat for a few minutes. Take a large vessel and add flax seeds, sesame seeds, wholewheat flour, salt, powder sugar, baking powder and mix well with a fork.
Add melted butter (I added ghee, clarified butter) and mix the dry ingredients with light hands till it resembles coarse bread crumbs. Pour milk little by little till all the ingredients bind together to form a hard ball. Avoid adding too much milk if you want to get crisp crackers.

Take out the ball of dough and knead it on a floured surface to make a large circle. It will be difficult to knead the dough as the flax seeds will keep coming out. Press them again in the dough and mend any cracks and breaks in the flattened circle with hands.

Roll it as thin as you can without breaking and cut it into squares or rectangles with a Sharpe knife.

Arrange all the crackers on a greased baking tray and bake at 180°C for 15 minutes or till the crackers are slightly brown at the edges. Just keep in mind that the thinner the crackers are less time it will take to bake and vice versa.

Take out the baking tray and let it cool completely before biting into these addictive Flax seed wholewheat crackers. 

Grated fesh sweet corn


(serves 2)

1 medium size sweet corn
1 cup coconut milk or normal skimmed milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cardamom powder
Edible silver foil (optional)

Method: The recipe require extremely soft, tender & fresh corn. Clean & prep the fresh corn and remove all the husk from it. There are two different ways you can take out the corn kernels from it;

Grate the corn from all the side.
Scrape the corn with a sharp knife and take out all the fresh kernels.

If the corn is soft and tender you can use it as it is, else grind it in a mixer and make a coarse paste.

If you want a vegan version and are using coconut milk you need to grate the flesh of coconut and squeeze it to take out the milk from it. I used store bought coconut milk in a sachet which makes the work easy.

Heat a heavy bottom pan and pour the coconut milk (or normal milk) in it. Bring it to boil and add the grated fresh corn into it. Let it boil on medium heat. Keep stirring the mixture to avoid scalding of milk.

Looks pretty with edible silver foil..

Boil the corn milk mixture till it becomes thick, this will take about 10-12 minutes.  Remove from heat and add the sugar in it. Mix it well to dissolve the sugar. Add the cardamom powder in it.

Cool it a little and fill it in individual mud pot and decorate it with a small piece of edible silver foil. Refrigerate the pudding for 3-4 hours.

The Fresh Corn Pudding should be best enjoyed when cold and served in an earthen ware. But this is how I served mine as the mud pot are difficult to get here. The purpose to serve in earthen ware is to give the pudding a rustic feel and earthy aroma. Beside these factors it also helps in making the pudding thicken faster by absorbing extra liquid from it.

You can bake the pudding for a much delightful version of the recipe. For baking just mix all the ingredients and bake it in a bake proof dish at 180°C for about 20 minutes. Refrigerate and serve the corn pudding cold.


Add 1-2 tbsp. of condensed milk after the corn pudding is done to make it more rich and creamy in consistency.
Fresh cream would also be wonderful for a real royal treat. Add the cream after the cooking process is over.
Sprinkle chopped pistachios over the healthy pudding.
Increase or decrease the quantity of sugar as you desire.
You can try using other sugar substitutes to make it more healthy.
I have not tried this recipe in almond milk but must taste wonderful in almond milk as well. 

Chocolate & Vanilla Bread Pudding – Two Easy Eggless Desserts with Custard

1. Vanilla Custard Bread Pudding

8 bread slices or 2 cups bread torn into pieces
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup raisins and Goji berries
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla custard powder
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. dessicated coconut
1 tsp. cinnamon powder

2. Chocolate Custard Bread Pudding

8 bread slices or 2 cups bread torn into pieces
1 1/2 cups milk + 1 tbsp. milk
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla custard powder
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. cinnamon powder

Method; Tear the bread slices into small bits. Add 1 tbsp. of milk in the custard powder and dissolve it well. Take milk, sugar, cinnamon powder and custard powder mix in a large vessel and stir till the sugar is dissolved.

For the chocolate pudding dissolve cocoa powder in 1 tbsp. milk add it to the custard mixture and follow the rest of the recipe.

Soak the raisins and Goji berries (if using) in a little milk for about 5 minutes.

Grease 4 Ramekins (small ceremic bowl)  with little butter and preheat the oven at 190°C for 10 minutes.
With custard drizzled on top.

Fill the ramekins with the bread pieces and add the raisins and Goji berries over it and add 1/2 tbsp butter on it. Pour the custard over the bread pieces add rest of the butter and bake it at 190°C  for about 30-35 minutes till the top appears golden brown in colour.

Hot from oven...

Look at the warm golden brown bread pudding…just a drizzle of sauce and you are ready to dig in.

Sitting pretty..

You can eat the pudding from the Ramekin itself, I took it out for the picture. The chocolate bread pudding is assembled by both the kids, you could see streaks of plain bread peeping out  :)

Add fruits like chopped apples, banana, mango, pears and strawberries in the pudding for more flavors and nutrition. 
Serve the pudding warm with honey, caramel, maple syrup, yogurt sauce, chocolate sauce or just as plain dessert. 

Zucchini & Carrot Wholegrain Biscotti – A Healthy Tea Time Munch


(makes 12 slices)

1 cup wholewheat flour
1/4 cup oatmeal flour
1 cup grated Zucchini & carrot
1 tbsp. yogurt/curd
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. cinnamon powder
1 tbsp. of raisins and black current
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
A pinch of salt

The dough is slightly wet due to veggies in it..

Method; Wash and scrub carrots. Grate zucchini & carrots. Grind the oatmeal into fine powder. Mix both the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt. dried fruits and cinnamon powder in a large bowl.

Take another vessel and add grated veggies, oil, yogurt and sugar in it. Whisk it well till the sugar is dissolved.

Grease a baking tray with oil or line it with a parchment paper. Preheat the oven for 10 minutes at 190°.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well. Make a semi solid dough. Grease your hands with a little oil or just dust them with dry flour.

Make a rectangular dough or about 4 inch wide and 1 inch thickness on the greased baking tray. Bake it for 25 minutes at 190°C.

1st bake and the soft veggie cake slices..

Remove and let it cool completely for 15 minutes.

Slice the baked loaf crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces using a sharp knife. Place the cut side up and arrange all the slices on a baking tray. Bake it at 190°C for 7-8 minutes till they become slightly brown.

Hot and fresh from the oven..

Turn them to other side and bake again for 6-7 minutes at190°C.

Crunchy bites..

Take out the baking tray and let it cool. Store the Biscotti in an air tight container for up to a week. Serve the Bisotti plain or smeared with fresh fruit preserve with hot milk or tea. 


Use a double boiler to melt chocolate.  Add condensed milk, water and vanilla and stir to combine well.  Add chopped nuts.

Pour into a lined small slice tin.  Chill in fridge before cutting into squares.

Store in pretty glass jars, dressed with fabric and ribbon. Great home made Christmas gift.


Recipe will make 16 brownies.
  • 1/2  cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2  cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup silken tofu
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour (maida, plain flour)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree F/180c. Grease the 8×8-baking pan.
  2. Mix the tofu until it is smooth.
  3. Mix flour, salt and baking soda, set aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl stir together the oil, cocoa powder and sugar until its well blended. Then stir in the mixed tofu and vanilla.
  5.  Add the flour mix and once its well-mixed, then fold-in walnuts.
  6. Pour the mixture into a greased baking pan evenly and bake it for 25 to 30 minutes. Place the pan on the middle oven tray.
  7. Once the brownies are baked, let them cool to room temperature before cutting the brownies into squares. Cutting too early will make the brownies to crumble.
  1. Replace the walnuts with chocolate chips
  2. Serve with scoop of ice cream

Dahi Bhindi




    For the bhindi

    1. Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the lady fingers in oil until crisp. Remove and drain on absorbent paper.
    2. Heat the oil again; add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and urad dal. When they crackle, add the red chillies and curry leaves.
    3. Add the onions and sauté until it is golden in colour.
    4. Add the tomatoes, chilli powder, turmeric powder, the ground paste and salt and fry until the oil comes out from the sides.
    5. Add 1¼ cups of water to the curds, beat well and add it to the mixture.
    6. Add the sautéed bhindi and cook for a few minutes.
    7. Serve hot.

    1. If you don't wish to deep fry the bhindi you can sauté it. But the bhindi.

    Curd Rice ( South Indian Recipes )



    1 1/2 cups cooked rice
    2 cups fresh curds (dahi)
    1 tbsp coconut oil or any other oil
    1 tsp mustard seeds ( rai / sarson)
    1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
    1 tbsp urad dal (split black lentils)
    1 to 2 green chillies , slit
    4 to 6 curry leaves (kadi patta)
    1/2 tsp asafoetida (hing)
    salt to taste
    2 tbsp chopped coriander (dhania) for the garnish

    1. Combine the rice and curds together in a bowl and keep aside.
    2. Heat the oil in a kadhai and add the mustard seeds.
    3. When the seeds crackle, add the cumin seeds, urad dal, green chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida and sauté on a medium flame for a minute while stirring continuously.
    4. Add the rice-curds mixture and salt, mix well and cook for another minute. Serve hot garnished with coriander.

    Paneer Pita Pockets


    For The Pita Bread3/4 cup whole wheat flour (gehun ka atta)
    3/4 tsp fresh yeast , crumbled
    1/4 tsp sugar
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp oil for kneading

    To Be Mixed Into A Marinade
    2 tbsp oil
    1 tsp. lemon juice
    12 mm. ( 1/2”) grated ginger (adrak)
    salt to taste
    2 tbsp chopped coriander (dhania)
    1 tsp finely chopped garlic (lehsun)

    For The Paneer Coleslaw
    1/2 cup paneer , cut into 12 mm. ( 1/2”) cubes
    1 cup shredded cabbage
    1/2 cup grated carrot
    1/4 cup eggless mayonnaise
    1/4 tsp mustard powder
    1 to 2 tsp lemon juice
    salt to taste

    For the pita bread
    1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and knead into a soft dough using enough water until it is smooth and elastic.
    2. Add the oil and knead again till smooth.
    3. Cover the dough with a wet muslin colth and allow it prove till it doubles in volume (approx. 15 to 20 minutes).
    4. Press the dough lightly to remove the air and divide it into 4 equal portions.
    5. Roll out each portion into a circle of 100 mm. (4") diameter and 6 mm. (¼") thickness.
    6. Cook the pita breads on a hot tava (griddle) on a medium heat on each side for a minute or till the bread puffs up and a cavity is created in the bread.
    7. Cut each pita bread into 2 halves and keep aside.

    For the paneer coleslaw

    1. Combine the paneer and the prepared marinade in a bowl, mix gently and marinate for at least 20 minutes.
    2. Add all the remaining ingredients,mix gently andrefrigerate for ½ an hour.
    3. Divide the coleslaw into 4 equal portions and keep aside.

    How to proceed

    1. Just before serving, warm the pita bread halves on a tava (griddle) stuff each with a portion of the coleslaw and serve immediately.

    Paneer Tikka Kathi Rolls



    the paneer tikka filling1 cup low fat paneer (cottage cheese) cubes
    1/2 cup deseeded and cubed tomato
    1/2 cup capsicum cubes
    1 tsp oil

    To be mixed into a marinade
    1/4 cup low fat curds (dahi), beaten
    1 tsp chilli powder
    1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
    1/2 tsp ginger (adrak) paste
    1/4 tsp garlic (lehsun) paste
    1/4 tsp besan (Bengal gram flour)
    1/2 tsp chaat masala
    1/2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
    1/2 tsp garam masala
    salt to taste

    For the chapatis
    1 cup whole wheat flour (gehun ka atta)
    1 cup low fat milk
    salt to taste


      For the paneer tikka filling

      1. Add the paneer and tomatoes to the prepared marinade and toss lightly.
      2. Leave aside for 10 minutes.
      3. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan, add the capsicum and sauté for 2 minutes.
      4. Add the paneer mixture and sauté over a high flame for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

      For the chapatis

      1. Combine all the ingredients and knead into a soft dough.
      2. Divide the dough into 9 equal portions.
      3. Roll out each portion into a thin chapati.
      4. Cook each chapati lightly on a tava (griddle) on both sides. Keep aside.

      How to proceed

      1. Divide the paneer tikka filling into 9 equal portions.
      2. Spread one portion of the filling in the centre of each chapati and roll up tightly.
      3. When you want to serve, cook the rolls on a hot tava (griddle).
      4. Cut into 50 mm. (2") long pieces and serve hot.
      1. Wrap each roll in a lettuce leaf as I have done in the picture . You can also use a scooped carrot slice to hold the roll together. It is easy and l
      Chatakedar Paneer

      1. Heat the oil in a kadhai, add the green chilli paste and sauté for 30 seconds.
      2. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree , chilli powder, coriander seeds powder, pav bhaji masala, dried fenugreek leaves and salt, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring once in between.
      3. Add the fried paneer cubes and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes on a medium flame.
      4. Remove from the flame, add the lemon juice and mix well. Serve hot.
      Hara Tava Paneer ( Healthy Starter Recipe

      For The Hara Chutney (makes Approx 7 Tbsp)1 cup chopped coriander (dhania)
      3 tbsp fresh grated coconut
      3/4 tsp sugar
      1 tbsp lemon juice
      2 green chillies , chopped
      salt to taste
      2 tbsp low-fat curds (dahi)

      Other Ingredients
      20 pieces low-fat paneer (cottage cheese) , cut into 25 mm. (1”) x 25 mm. (1”) pieces
      3/4 cup boiled sweet corn kernels (makai ke dane)
      a pinch of sugar
      a pinch of salt
      2 tsp finely chopped coriander (dhania)
      2 tbsp low-fat milk (99.7% fat-free , readily available in the market)
      3 tsp oil for cooking
      1/4 cup finely chopped onions

      For the hara chutney

      1. Combine all the ingredients, except the curds, and blend it in a mixer to a smooth paste.
      2. Transfer it to a bowl, add the curds and mix well. Keep aside.

      How to proceed

      1. Cut each piece of paneer into half to get 40 pieces of 25 mm. (1”) x 12 mm. (½”)
      2. Combine the paneer pieces and 5 tbsp of the hara chutney in a bowl, toss gently and keep aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
      3. Meanwhile combine the corn, sugar, salt and the remaining 2 tbsp of the hara chutney and blend in a mixer to a coarse paste.
      4. Transfer the paste to a bowl, add the coriander and milk and mix well. Keep aside.
      5. Heat 1½ tsp of oil in a broad non-stick pan, add the onions and sauté on high flame till the onions turn translucent.
      6. Add the corn mixture and sauté on a medium flame for another 2 to 3 minutes.
      7. Remove from the flame and cool slightly.
      8. Divide the filling into 20 equal portions and keep aside.
      9. Place a piece of paneer on a dry flat surface and spread a portion of the filling evenly over it.
      10. Sandwich it using another piece of paneer and press gently.
      11. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make 19 more stuffed paneer pieces.
      12. Heat the oil in a non-stick tava (griddle) and cook the stuffed paneer pieces, using the remaining 1½ tsp of oil till they are golden brown in colour from both the sides.
      13. Serve hot.
      Steamed Paneer Dumplings With Spicy Sauce

      For The Spicy Sauce2 tbsp vinegar
      1 tbsp tomato ketchup
      1 tsp red chilli paste
      3/4 tsp sugar substitute

      For The Paneer Dumplings
      1/2 cup grated low-fat paneer (cottage cheese)
      1/4 cup finely chopped and boiled mixed vegetables (carrotsgreen peas and
      french beans)
      1 tbsp chopped dill leaves (shepu / suva bhaji)
      2 tsp semolina (rava /sooji )
      2 tsp quick cooking rolled oats
      2 tsp finely chopped green chillies
      1/4 tsp baking powder
      1/4 tsp sugar substitute
      salt to taste

      Other Ingredients
      8 thick carrot sticks , 75 mm (3”) long

      For the spicy sauce

      1. Combine all the ingredients, except the sugar substitute, in a broad non-stick pan and mix well.
      2. Bring to boil, while stirring continuously and keep aside to cool.
      3. Add the sugar substitute and mix well. Keep aside.

      For the paneer dumplings

      1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Divide the mixture into 8 equal portions and roll out each portion into small round balls.
      2. Steam the balls in a steamer for 5 to 7 minutes.
      3. Cool slightly, pierce each dumpling on a carrot stick and serve immediately with the spicy sauce
      Paneer and Tomato Skewers ( Paneer Snacks )

      16 bread slices , with crust trimmed
      oil for brushing
      1 1/4 cups paneer , cut into 25 mm. (1”) cubes
      5 tomatoes , deseeded and cut into 25 mm. (1”) cubes
      1 cup fresh basil leaves
      salt and to taste
      1/2 tbsp lemon juice
      1 tsp dried mixed herbs
      2 tbsp chopped coriander (dhania)

      1. Cut each slice of bread into four equal slices, brush each slice with a little oil and toast in a pre-heated oven at 220ºc (450ºf) for 3 to 5 minutes or till they turn golden brown in colour. Keep aside.
      2. Combine the paneer, tomatoes and basil leaves in a bowl.
      3. Add the salt, pepper, lemon juice, dried herbs and 3 tbsp of coriander and toss lightly. Keep aside for 10 minutes
      4. On a skewer, arrange one piece each of toasted bread, paneer cube, tomato cube and some basil leaves.
      5. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make more skewers.
      6. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200°c (400°f) for 5 to 7 minutes or till the paneer turns golden brown in colour. Serve hot garnished with remaining coriander.

      4 વ્યક્તિઓ માટે બનાવો સેવખમણી


      2 કપ ચણાની દાળ
      10 કળી લસણ
      1 નાનો ટુકડો આદુનો
      2 ટીસ્પૂન રાયના દાણા
      1 ટીસ્પૂન હળદર પાવડર
      1 ટીસ્પૂન ધાણા-જીરુ પાવડર
      1 ચપટી હીંગ
      5-7 ઝીણા સમારેલા લીલા મરચાં
      2-3 લીમડાંના પાન
      2 ટીસ્પૂન ખાંડ
      2 ટેબલસ્પૂન લીંબુનો રસ
      1 કપ દૂધ
      સ્વાદ અનુસાર મીઠું
      1/2 કપ સમારેલી કોથમીર
      1 કપ ઝીણી સેવ
      1 કપ દાડમના દાણા


      - ચણાની દાળને 3-4 કલાક સુધી પાણીમાં પલાળી રાખો. નિતારીને તેને ગ્રાઈન્ડ કરી લો અને જરૂર પડે તો થોડું પાણી ઉમેરો.
      - આદુ, લસણ અને મરચાંને એકસાથે પીસી લો.
      - એક ઊંડા પેનમાં તેલ ગરમ કરો. તેમાં રાયના દાણા ઉમેરો. રાયના દાણા ફૂટી જાય એટલે હીંગ ઉમેરો.
      - ત્યારબાદ લીમડાના પાન, લસણ, આદુ અને લીલા મરચાંની પેસ્ટ ઉમેરીને એક મિનીટ સુધી સાંતળો.
      - હવે તેમાં પીસેલી ચણાની દાળ, હળદર અને ધાણા-જીરુનો પાવડર ઉમેરો.
      - ધીમી આંચ પર પાકવા દો. જો ચણાની દાળ બહુ સૂકી થઈ જાય તો દૂધ ઉમેરો.
      - તેમાં મીઠું, લીંબુનો રસ અને ખાંડ ઉમેરો. બરાબર મિક્સ કરો અને તેલ છૂટુ ન પડે ત્યા સુધી પાકવા દો.
      - સર્વ કરતા પહેલા લીલા ધાણા અને દાડમના દાણાથી ગાર્નિશ કરો. તેના પર ઝીણી સેવ ભભરાવો.

      નાસ્તામાં બનાવો પસંદીદા 'ખાંડવી'

      1 કપ ચણાનો લોટ
      1/2 ટી સ્પૂન લીંબુનાં ફુલ
      1/4 ટીસ્પૂન હળદર
      1 કપ છાશ
      1 1/2 કપ પાણી
      2 ટેબલ સ્પૂન તેલ
      1/2 ટી સ્પૂન રઈ
      1 ટી સ્પૂન તલ
      3-4 લીલા મરચાં
      4 ટેબલ સ્પૂન કોથમીર
      2 ટેબલ સ્પૂન કોપરાની છીણ
      મીઠું સ્વાદઅનુસાર

      -ચણાના લોટમાં મીઠું, લીંબુના ફુલ, હળદર, છાશ અને પાણી નાખી ખીરુ બનાવો
      -તેને ગેસ પર ગરમ કરો અને હલાવતા રહો
      -થોડુ જાડું કે જેને પાથરતાં તે ઉખડી શકે તેવું ઘટ રાખો
      -તેને થાળીમાં કે કુંકિંગ સ્ટેડ પર પાથરી ઠરી જાય એટલે ગોળ ગોળ વીંટા વાળી લો
      -ગેસ પર એક વાસણમાં તેલ, રાઈ, તલઅને લીલાં મરચાં નાખી વઘાર તૈયાર કરો
      -વઘાર વીંટા ઉપર રેડો તેમજ કોથમીર અને ટોપરાંની છીણથી ગાર્નિશ કરો

      નાસ્તામાં બનાવો બ્રેડ ઈડલી

      સામગ્રી :
      બ્રેડની સ્લાઇસ - ૬ નંગ
      બાફેલાં બટાકા - ૨ નંગ,
      સમારેલાં લીલા મરચાં - ૧ ચમચી,
      ધાણાનો પાઉડર - ૧ ચમચી,
      સમારેલી કોથમીર - ૧ ચમચો,
      જીરું, અડદની દાળ, રાઇ - ૧ ચમચી,
      દહીં - ૧ કપ,
      તેલ - ૨ ચમચા,
      મીઠું - સ્વાદ મુજબ

      રીત :
      -બટાકાને બાફી, છોલીને તેનો છુંદો કરી લો. તેમાં બારીક સમારેલાં લીલા મરચાં, કોથમીર, ધાણાનો પાઉડર અને મીઠું નાખી બરાબર મિકસ કરો.
      -દહીંને સહેજ વલોવી નાખો. એક પેનમાં અડધી ચમચી તેલ ગરમ કરી તેમાં જીરું, રાઇ અને અડદની દાળનો વઘાર કરો
      -તેને વલોવેલા દહીંમાં રેડો. બ્રેડને વાટકી કે ગોળ ઢાંકણાની મદદથી ગોળાકાર કાપી લો.
      -તેની એક બાજુએ બટાકાનું મિશ્રણ લગાવો. બ્રેડના બીજા ભાગ પર બે ચમચી દહીંનું મિશ્રણ પાથરી દો અને ફ્રાઇંગ પેનને બે મિનિટ માટે ઢાંકીને રાખો.
      -લો તૈયાર છે ટેસ્ટી બ્રેડ ઇડલી

      ઘરે જ બનાવો ડ્રાય વેજ મન્ચુરિયન


      3 કપ સમારેલી કોબીજ
      1 કપ સમારેલા ગાજર
      3 થી 4 ટેબ.સ્પૂન મેંદો
      3 થી 4 નંગ લીલા મરચા ઝીણા સમારેલા
      1 નાનો કટકો આદુ
      2 થી 3 કળી લસણ
      1 ટેબ.સ્પૂન કોથમીર
      1/4 ટી.સ્પૂન મરી પાવડર
      ચપટી આજી નો મોટો
      સ્વાદ પ્રમાણે મીઠું
      2 નંગ ડુંગળી
      (6 થી 7 નંગ લીલી ડુંગળી પાન સાથે)
      તળવા માટે તેલ

      કોટિંગ માટે:

      1 1/2 ટેબ.સ્પૂન તેલ
      3 થી 4 નંગ લીલા મરચા
      3 થી 4 કળી લસણ
      2 ટેબ.સ્પૂન કોર્ન ફ્લોર
      2 ટેબ.સ્પૂન સોયા સોસ
      ચપટી આજી નો મોટો

      ગાર્નીશિંગ માટે:

      ઝીણી સમારેલી કોથમીર
      ઝીણા સમારેલા લીલા લસણ ના પાન


      -ડ્રાય વેજ.મન્ચુરિયન બનાવવા માટે સૌ પ્રથમ કોબીજ અને ગાજર ને બારીક સમારી લો.
      -લીલા મરચા ને પણ ઝીણા સમારી લો.આદુ અને લસણ ને ક્રશ પણ કરી લો
      -કોથમીર ને ઝીણી સમારી લો.ડુંગળી ઝીણી સમારી લો.(લીલી ડુંગળી હોય તો પાન સાથે ઝીણી સમારી લેવી.)
      -1/4 કપ પાણી માં સોયા સોસ અને કોર્ન ફ્લોર મિક્સ કરી ગ્રેવી તૈયાર રાખવી.


      મન્ચુરિયન માટે:

      -ડ્રાય વેજ.મન્ચુરિયન બનાવવા માટે સૌ પ્રથમ ઝીણી સમારેલી કોબીજ,ગાજર,આદુ,મરચા,કોથમીર,લસણ મિક્સ કરવા
      -ત્યાર બાદ તેમાં સ્વાદ પ્રમાણે મીઠું,મરી પાવડર અને આજી નો મોટો નાખી ને તરતજ જેટલો ભળે તેટલો જ મેંદો નાખવો.
      -ગરમ તેલ માં નાના નાના મન્ચુરિયન વાળી ને તળી લેવા.

      કોટિંગ માટે:

      -બીજી એક કઢાઈ માં તેલ મૂકી તેલ ગરમ થાય એટલે તેમાં ગેસ ફાસ્ટ જ રાખી ને ડુંગળી અને મરચા સાંતળવા.
      -ત્યારબાદ તેમાં ગેસ ફાસ્ટ જ રાખી ને આજો નો મોટો અને લસણ ઉમેરો
      -હવે ગેસ ધીમો કરી તેમાં સોયા સોસ ની તૈયાર કરેલી ગ્રેવી ઉમેરો.ગ્રેવી ઘટ્ટ થવા દો.
      -ગ્રેવી ઘટ્ટ થાય એટલે તેમાં તૈયાર કરેલા મન્ચુરિયન બોલ્સ નાખી ૨ મિનીટ માટે ગરમ કરવું.
      -તૈયાર ડ્રાય વેજ.મન્ચુરિયન ને ઝીણી સમારેલી કોથમીર અને લીલા લસણ ના ઝીણા સમારેલા પાન વડે ગાર્નીશ કરી ગરમ ગરમ સર્વ કરવા.

      ખસ્તા કચોરી


      કણક માટે:
      2 કપ મેંદાનો લોટ
      1/2 ટીસ્પૂન મીઠું
      1/4 કપ ઘી

      પૂરણ માટે
      1/2 કપ પીળી મગની દાળ
      1 ટીસ્પૂન જીરું
      1/4 ટીસ્પૂન હીંગ
      1/2 ટીસ્પૂન આદુની પેસ્ટ
      1/2 ટીસ્પૂન લીલા મરચાંની પેસ્ટ
      1 ટીસ્પૂન લાલ મરચાંનો પાવડર
      1 ટીસ્પૂન ગરમ મસાલો
      1 ટેબલસ્પૂન આમચૂર
      2 ટેબલસ્પૂન બેસન
      3 ટેબલસ્પૂન તેલ
      સ્વાદ અનુસાર મીઠું
      તળવા માટે તેલ
      પાણી જરૂર પ્રમાણે

      ગાર્નિશ કરવા માટે:
      2 કપ દહીં
      લીલી ચટણી
      ખાટી-મીઠી ચટણી (આંબલી-ખજૂર)
      લાલ મરચાંનો પાવડર જરૂર પ્રમાણે
      શેકેલા જીરુનો પાવડર
      સમારેલા લીલા ધાણા
      સ્વાદ અનુસાર મીઠું

      રીત: કણક
      - બધી જ સામગ્રીને મિક્સ કરો અને થોડા પાણી સાથે કઠણ કણક બાંધો.
      - 5-7 મિનીટ સુધી બરાબર ગૂંથો.
      - કણકમાંથી 12 એકસમાન લુઆ વાળો અને તેને કોટનના કપડામાં વિંટાળીને રાખી દો.

      રીત: પૂરણ
      - એક પેનમાં તેલ ગરમ કરો. તેમાં જીરુ અને હીંગ ઉમેરો.
      - ત્યારબાદ તેમાં મગની દાળ નાંખીને થોડી ક્ષણ માટે હલાવીને પાકવા દો.
      - તેમાં લીલા મરચાંની પેસ્ટ, આદુની પેસ્ટ, ગરમ મસાલો, બેસન, લાલ મરચાંનો પાવડર, આમચુર અને મીઠું ઉમેરો.
      - બધી સામગ્રીને મિક્સ કરો અને 5-7 મિનીટ સુધી સતત હલાવતા રહો.
      - આ મિશ્રણને 12 સરખા ભાગમાં વહેંચી દો અને બાજુમાં રાખી દો.

      રીત: કચોરી
      - દરેક લુઆને હાથથી દબાવીને 2 ઈંચની નાની રોટલી જેવુ બનાવો.
      - પૂરણના 12 ભાગમાંથી 1 ભાગને તેમાં વચ્ચોવચ્ચ મૂકો.
      - પૂરણને પેક કરવા માટે રોટલીના બધા છેડા ભેગા કરીને વચ્ચેના ભાગમાં દબાવી દો.
      - આ છેડાને બરાબર બંધ કરો જેથી તળતી વખતે કચોરી ફૂટી ન જાય. વધારાનો કણક કાઢી શકો છો.
      - હવે કચોરીને બન્ને હથેળી વચ્ચે રાખીને સહેજ દબાવી દો જેથી તેના આકારમાં આવી જાય.
      - કચોરીના મધ્ય ભાગમાં અંગૂઠાની મદદથી સહેજ દબાવી દો.
      - બાકીના કણક અને પૂરણમાંથી આવી જ રીતે કચોરી વાળી લો.
      - તેલ ગરમ કરીને ગોલ્ડન બ્રાઉન થાય ત્યા સુધી તળી લો.
      - કચોરીને સર્વ કરવા માટે એક પ્લેટમાં કચોરી લો અને તેની વચ્ચે કાણું પાડો.
      - તેની અંદર ચટણી, દહીં અને જીરા પાવડર અને લીલા ધાણા ઉમેરીને સર્વ કરો.


      (makes 15 or more small cupcakes)
      • 1 cup All purpose flour
      • 1/2 cup sugar
      • 1/4 cup oil
      • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
      • 1 tbsp. yogurt/curd
      • 1/4 cup milk
      • 2 tbsp. Nutella
      • 2 tbsp. chocolate chips/sprinkles
      • 1 tbsp. cherries in sugar syrup (optional)
      • 2 tsp. coffee powder
      • 1/2 tp. baking powder
      • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
      Method; Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa powder twice. Beat sugar and oil in a vessel till sugar is dissolved. Add yogurt and milk in it and beat it again.
      Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold it lightly to make  smooth batter.
      Mix Nutella, coffee powder and cherries in sugar syrup in a small vessel.
      Preheat oven at 190°C for 10 minutes.
      Arrange cupcake liners in a muffin tray.
      Pour a little batter in the liner, just to coat the base of it. Add a tsp of Nutella mix, a few chocolate chips on the batter and cover it with some more batter. Do the same for all the cupcakes.
      Bake the cupcakes at 190°C for 9-10 minutes or till done. Take the tray out and let it cool.
      Dust the Nutella & Coffee molten lava cupcakes with powder sugar and serve. these goodies will have a gooey center but firm base and top.
      1. I added a little mixed fruit preserve instead of cherries with syrup.
      2. Replace APF with wholewheat flour for healthier option.
      3. Coffee in the filling makes it slightly bitter, avoid it if you are making the cupcakes for children.
      4. These cupcakes also need to be slightly under-baked to get that gooey center.
      2. Chocolate Molten Lava Cake
      Chocolate Molten Lava cake chocolate..
      (Adapted from here)
      • 1/2 cup Chocolate
      • 1/2 cup butter
      • 1/2 cup All purpose flour
      • 1/3 cup sugar
      • 2 tbsp. yogurt/curd
      • 1 tsp. coffee powder (optional)
      • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
      Method; Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler (keep the vessel of chocolate & butter over another vessel filled with hot water). Beat sugar and yogurt till sugar is dissolved and it forms a ribbon like pattern when dropped.
      Add baking powder & coffee powder to the flour and mix well.
      Chocolate Molten Lava cake
      Sunken beauty..
      Preheat the oven at 190°C for 10 minutes.
      Pour both the wet ingredients of  sugar and chocolate mix in the dry ingredients and fold it lightly.
      Grease small Ramekins with butter and pour little batter in each.
      Bake the cake at 190°C for 6-7 minutes till the sides are firm but the center look slightly wobbly. Take out of the oven and serve. You can invert the chocolate molten cakes on serving dish, dust with powder sugar and pour chocolate sauce for a royal treat.
      1. I increased the flour a little in the recipe.
      2. Increase the yogurt quantity by 1 tbsp. if you like gooey and runny center.
      3. The molten cake will rise first while baking and will sunk as soon as you take it out of the oven, since it has more liquid content.
      Coffee & Nutella Molten Lava Chocolate Cupcakes
      Moments of delight, serve the cake with more chocolate sauce!
      And yes, I did not forget our Banana love Nelly, am bringing a Banana Cake as well for your shower. Wish we could share our dishes with you in person. Congrats to both of you, enjoy the moments and treasure the memories for life. Sending you love & happiness from my family to yours.
      Special thanks to Heather for the logo, Elizabeth for the intro write up and to Junia for the spreadsheet. Don’t forget to check out what the other wonderful food bloggers brought with them in this virtual wedding shower party. Thanks everyone for making this online event happen, love you all!

      Molten Chocolate Lava Cake
      Fills 4 medium-sized ramekins
      Recipe source -

      Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate – 4 oz (113g)
      Butter – 1/2 cup + to grease ramekins
      Eggs – 2
      Sugar – 1/3 cup (75 g)
      All-purpose Flour – 1/4 cup (40g)

      How I Made It:
      1. In a double boiler, melt chocolate. Once melted and shiny, remove pan from heat and add in butter. Mix until the butter melts fully. Set aside to cool.
      2. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 mins by electric mixer, 5 mins by hand)
      3. Add chocolate-butter mixture into the eggs, add all-purpose flour and mix until well incorporated.
      4. Butter bottom and sides of ramekins (small glass/porcelain bowls) and pour in mixture until 3/4 way full.
      5. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 C) for 10 – 15 minutes. Shorter for gooey (molten) inside, longer for stiff inside. I baked for about 13-15 mins.
      6. Serve warm with ice-cream, fruits or whipped cream.

      Molten Lava Chocolate Cake Recipe

      Yep, I had to push out some of the centre with my spoon to demo that ;) Now, one thing to remember is, you have to serve this with some fruits, whipped cream, or ice cream to balance out the dense chocolate flavour - its really overpowering. True death by chocolate!


      Pavakkai Thokku (Bittergourd Thokku)

      Bittergourd Thokku

      Believe it or not, I love bittergourd because it is bitter and presents quite a challenge to make a palatable dish. What makes the vegetable exciting is that the dishes usually need sweet, sour and heat in them so you mask the bitterness to a large degree. Some say very dark green bittergourd are too bitter and best avoided. It is a shame that such a medicinally rich vegetable is not even known in this part of the world. The juice of this vegetable is extremely good to keep blood sugar controlled. I wanted to do something different with this vegetable this time and thought making it like a pickle, i could mix it with rice or eat it with curd rice. I had some spice powder left from making the ennai kathrikai kuzhambu so I have used that in this recipe. Click here to see the ingredients for the spice powder. I quite liked the outcome so here it is for you...

      2 bittergourd, seeded, halved and cut
      1 teaspoon mustard seeds
      1 teaspoon tamarind paste
      Turmeric powder
      Salt to taste
      1 teaspoon spice powder
      ½ teaspoon chilly powder
      1 tablespoon jaggery
      Heat a kadai and add the bittergourd, tamarind paste and enough water to immerse the bittergourd and boil until bittergourd is just done. Drain the liquid and take a ladle and keep poking into the bittergourd so it gets cut into smaller pieces

      Heat some oil in the kadai and add mustard seeds. Once it crackles, add turmeric powder, asafoetida and the bittergourd

      Add salt, chilly powder, jaggery and mix well.

      After all of them come together, add the spice powder and cook for couple of minutes


      Stuffed Ridgegourd

      Stuffed Ridgegourd

      Of the many hard to come by vegetables in the region I live in, ridgegourd is one. I have written about this wonderful vegetable in a previous post. One day when I was pretty aimlessly browsing the internet I came across many stuffed ridgegourd recipes and then I thought I should make some myself. During my recent visit to England I managed to get hold of some of these goodies and first thing I tried after returning home was stuffed ridgegourd. My husband is usually not very fond of such stuffed vegetables so it was pretty much me that I was cooking for. I used 2 ridgegourds while the filling could yield 3-4 large ridgegourds. I was left with extra filling which I later used with chayote squash. I had no problem finishing off all that I made as it was really tasty.

      2 tablespoons peanuts, roasted
      1 tablespoon sesame seeds
      1 onion, chopped
      3 dry red chillies
      Piece of ginger
      1 tablespoon coriander seeds
      Few curry leaves
      Salt to taste
      Turmeric powder
      1 teaspoon mustard seeds
      3-4 ridgegourds
      Cooking oil

      Heat some oil in a pan and fry the onions for couple of minutes

      Add the coriander seeds and red chillies and fry for couple of minutes

      Add the ginger and sesame seeds and fry until aromatic

      Keep aside and grind to paste along with curry leaves, salt, turmeric powder and peanuts

      Peel the ridgegourd and cut into about 1.5 inch long pieces. Try to scoop some of the seeds out using a bread knife so you make some room for the stuffing

      Fill the ridgegourds with the stuffing. You can smear the left over filling on the vegetable

      Heat some oil and add mustard seeds and once they crackle, add turmeric powder and asafoetida. Add the stuffed veggies and sprinkle some salt, cook covered until done (about 20-25 minutes)

      Serve with rice or chapatti

      Arbi/Seppankezhangu Podimas (Taro Root/Colocasia with spicy powder)

      Arbi/Seppankezhangu Podimas (Taro Root/Colocasia with spicy powder)

      There are some vegetables that are called ‘naatu kai’ and that simply means it belongs to that particular place. Back home such vegetables include snake gourd, chayote squash ash gourd, arbi etc. Beans, potatoes, carrots etc. are considered ‘english’ vegetables. When I was in India, I had taken the native vegetables for granted but once I moved to Scotland, I was quite shocked to barely find any of the wonderful vegetables I was used to. So every visit to an Indian grocery shop (which was once in a quarter), I will try to get as many vegetables as possible. That week would be exciting because I will recreate many yummy dishes that my mom and grandmothers used to do prepare and enjoy them. On a recent visit to my brother’s place, I got to make this arbi podimas and again because I seldom get arbi around where I live, it was a treat and did not miss my opportunity to photograph the steps. Here is the recipe...

      20-25 numbers of small arbi
      Cooking oil
      1 teaspoon tamarind puree diluted in 2-3 tablespoons of water
      Turmeric powder
      Salt to taste
      Curry leaves
      Couple of pinches of dessicated coconut/freshly grated coconut
      1 teaspoon mustard seeds

      For powder:
      3 tablespoons channa dal
      2 tablespoon coriander seeds (dhania)
      4 dry red chillies
      Cooking oil

      Wash arbi well as it could be covered with mud. Steam them until a knife would comfortably slide in

      Allow to cool so it is easy to handle, then peel the skin

      In the meantime heat little oil in a kadai and roast the channa dal until golden brown then coriander seeds until aromatic and dry red chillies until they begin to change colour. Keep aside to cool and powder

      Once powder is ready and arbi is peeled, heat oil in a kadai and add mustard seeds. After it splutters add asafoetida and turmeric powder

      Add the arbi, if some of them are big, cut it else I would put them straight in as they are likely to get mashed when we stir. I cooled the arbi well so they retain their shape and do not get mushy. Add the curry leaves as well

      Mix carefully so all the arbi are coated with the oil, mustard seeds and turmeric. Then add the tamarind water and again stir carefully

      Fry for 8-10 minutes and then add salt and the ground powder and mix well. Roast for 10 minutes adding little more oil if needed


      Arisi Upma

      Arisi Upma

      While growing up, rice upma was one of the dishes mom used to make often because all of us at home liked it. Infact I used to love the bits that were a bit overcooked and came out crisp at the bottom of the dish. Speaking of the dish, it is normally made in a traditional utensil called ‘vengala paanai’ which is a heavy metallic pot. The heaviness of the pot allows slow cooking without burning the food. My mom had bought one for me in my ancestral town of Kumbakonam as usually people there expect very high quality when it comes to utensils and end up being demanding customers. Anyway, she had sent it to me sometime back and I finally got to use it now as an uncle of mine asked me for arisi upma recipe. My husband does not like this dish at all so, honestly I have never made it before; my sister-in-law makes it often though. I got the recipe from my mom and almost followed it just until I wanted to add my twist. I substituted part of the raw rice with raw brown rice. As this recipe involves grinding the rice coarsely, one cannot find the brown rice without being told. So there you go, some wholegrain added to otherwise traditional recipe. A little technique that gets used while cooking this dish is covering it with a small cup half filled with water. This is said to prevent the upma from going dry and also, if you think you need more water, you could just add it from this cup as it would be warm. Some people like the upma grainy (grains standing out), some like it bit more mushy. The below recipe is for the latter so do reduce water quantity if you like it grainy. My mom used to make something called ‘pachai puli’ to go with this; I did not as it needed aubergine which does not arrive until middle of the week. So, finally, here is the recipe...

      1 ½ cups rice (I used ½ cup brown rice and rest regular raw rice)
      1 heaped tablespoon toor dal
      1 teaspoon cumin seeds
      ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
      2 dry red chillies
      Few curry leaves
      1 teaspoon mustard seeds
      1 teaspoon urd dal
      2 teaspoons channa dal
      Salt to taste
      Cooking oil

      Grind together rice, toor dal, cumin seeds and black pepper to a powder that is not fine but not too coarse

      Heat some oil in a heavy bottomed dish or vengala paanai and add mustard seeds. Once it begins to crackle, add the dry red chillies, urd dal, channa dal, curry leaves and asafoetida. Allow the dals to start browning

      Add about 3 glasses of water and required salt and bring to boil

      Add the ground rice mixture and stir quickly so lumps do not form. Cover and cook on slow flame stirring occasionally. Cook for about 20-30 minutes, you can check if it is done by tasting the rice; if it still has a bite, give it more time. Depending on the desired consistency, you may want to add little more water in the middle of the process, make sure you add boiling water

      Serve hot with a tangy chutney or kuzhambu