Hello. You know I feel that current times, we are so overwhelmed with information that it sometimes plays to a disadvantage. Like for instance the super foods or energy bites (like today’s recipe Chocolate Almond Date Balls) or even green smoothies. Agreed, that these recipes were developed to fit into our ever changing and fast lifestyle. But somehow trying to catch up with the every changing trends is taking a toll on our health too. Having said that I also read an article in Vogue that Millennial are more health driven and conscious of what goes in their body.
I am not an expert or a nutritionist. I am just a plain mother who tries to give my child what my mother taught me and also learn from the current food/ nutritional needs. I am personally not a fan of almonds or dates. I am more driven towards walnut. But kids, they like only cashews. They will not entertain nuts in any form. The advertisement that is shown on TV of giving your child soaked, peeled almonds in the morning, well, it does not work. At least not with my kid.
Of course when i saw this trend of energy balls I knew that this is it. Although I already have a protein bar recipe with sprinkles in this blog (check here). Even for this recipe there is only 70 percent chances of my little one enjoying it as healthy snack since it is too sweet (Thanks to dates and honey). So kids who are more inclined towards spicy snacks mothers you need to dig in more.
Chocolate Almond Date Balls
Chocolate Almond Date Balls are these cute balls of overloaded but natural sweetness. These were created for my little one's school party. It is made with not so favorite nuts - almonds. Since it has chocolate flavor chances are that sweet loving kids would love these balls. Plus it is good for elders too. Makes for an healthy and easy grab it snack. Make it over the weekend (spare only 30 minutes) and store it for good 4-5 days (that is if it stays that long).
Take almonds in blender and blend it coarsely. Careful not to blend too much or it will become butter.
Now add in pitted dates, honey and chocolate spread.
Now grease your hand with little oil and make small balls. Don't make it too big as it is heavy on stomach.
Done. Your Chocolate Almond Date Balls is ready. Pack it up or store it in fridge.
- Instead of chocolate spread (which is already sweetened) use cocoa powder. I didn't have it in hand hence used spread.
- Don't use strong flavored oil for greasing your hand like coconut or even ghee. Sunflower will be good.
- Roll the balls in your choice of flavors. Few examples - Dry coconut, sprinklers or even nuts.
Hey There. You know family recipes are the best. You grow up with them. You may have loved them from your growing up days and you may love them even more now. Or you may just have hated them then and started loving them now. These are the recipes that your mom or dad have tried and tested and worked on your family. Hence, you know the flavor will be right up there. Especially because during those days there was no Google to search for recipes. It was either trial and error kinda recipe or word of mouth recipe. Kerala Style Bhindi Arbi Masala is my family regular recipe.
Lady finger or okra or bhindi is my favorite veggie. However, it is very important to get good quality lady fingers as hard and stiff lady fingers can ruin the dish. Do try this Kerala Style Bhindi Arbi Masala with good quality lady finger and you are sorted for a good dinner.
HOW TO PICK A GOOD LADY FINGER:
My basic test of picking a good lady finger is to press them. If it feels soft without any resistance then these are good to be ought. Another test is to break it. If it snaps perfectly then it is good.
Kerala Style Bhindi Arbi Masala
Do you like lady finger? Have you tried lady finger with a coconut based paste ? Check out this simple yet delicious recipe that is perfect for your dinner with rotis. Usually it is is made with potato but to add a healthy twist I replaced it with taro roots/ arbi.
Add cubed taro. Saute for 2 minutes.
Add lady finger. Saute on high heat for 2 minutes.
Reduce the flame to medium and keep sauteing the lady finger.
Meanwhile, take coconut, green chilly, turmeric, coriander powder, cumin and blend it coarsely. I also added some curry leaves for that extra flavor.
Once the lady fingers have softened add tomatoes. Season with salt.
Add the blended mix in and close and cook on low flame. Keep checking and stirring every 1 to 2 minutes.
Once the taro is cooked and the tomatoes are soft mash them all slightly.
Stir for another two minutes before switching off.
Optionally, add chopped coriander leaves.
Make sure that you add ripe tomatoes. Ripe tomatoes give a nice tang to the dish.
Increase the green chilly if you like spicy.
Psst: I am not too proud of the pics. Maybe some other time I will update with new pics. Do try this recipe and lemme know how it turned out for you.
Hey There. Can’t believe its May already. Where has time gone? Soon it will be June and kids will start school. Parents would be gearing up for school schedule and its routine. Especially mothers would have those small tips and tricks and plans ready for school days. While it is important to keep in mind kids taste it is equally important to feed them healthy food. Paneer is an excellent source of protein. Indians are very well known for their parathas. There are so many varieties of stuffings for parathas. One such stuffing is paneer. Makes a great breakfast and tiffin recipe. Right away make this Protein packed Paneer Paratha.
Also, do check out the other paratha recipes you can find in this blog. Zucchini Paratha, Mooli/ Radish Paratha, Beetroot Paratha, Matar Paratha, Gobhi/ Cauliflower Paratha and Sweet Potato Paratha.
Protein packed Paneer Paratha
School days means double stress for working mothers as they decide and plan for every day meals. Breakfast being the most important dish of the day it becomes necessary to keep it healthy and yet wholesome. There are many variations in which you could try this paratha. I have kept it simple yet with blast of flavors.
In a plate take grated paneer or cottage cheese.
Add in chopped mint, coriander, red chilly powder, turmeric powder, roasted cumin and salt. Mix well. This is your stuffing.
Make wheat dough as you usually make. Make small balls of the wheat dough.
Flatten the dough in your hand and add 1 spoonful of stuffing. Bring the ends together and seal the dough ball. Flatten again on your palm and roll it out.
In a heated griddle or tawa, place the rolled paratha.
Cook on both sides and roast with ghee.
Once both sides of paratha is nicely browned (see image) take it off the tawa. Repeat the same for other parathas.
- I served with dates pickle and raita flavored with red chilly powder and salt.
- Be careful with salt. Since the stuffing and wheat dough will have salt.
- I like to make thin parathas. In case of thick parathas use bigger dough balls and stuffing.
Who doesn’t love dal? Ahem. Well. Many. Yes, you heard it right. Especially men doesn’t prefer dal. Not all. But majority I know of. Especially in my part of the world. But me, I love dals. I love to make it different ways. With different dals. A bowl of warm dal instantly relaxes me. How about you? Read on how to make this Creamy Mixed Dal Tadka.
Mixed Dal Tadka - A creamy blend of Masoor, Moong and Tuvar Dal
Do you love dal? Do you make same recipe or try new ones? Read this version of creamy dal and bookmark it for a change in your meals.
In a pressure cooker take washed Moong, Tuvar and Masoor dal.
Add turmeric and salt to the dal along with 2 cups of water.
Pressure cook it till one whistle. Lower the flame and let it cook for 5 minutes. Let the steam release on its own.
To prepare the tadka, heat oil in a pan.
Splutter mustard and cumin seeds.
Add broken dry red chilly.
Add finely chopped shallots.
Add finely chopped ginger and garlic.
Finally add red chilly powder and mix well. Take it off the flame and pour on the dal.
Adjust the dal consistency as you like.
Serve hot with rice or phulkas.
This dal can get very creamy and mushy. Adjust the consistency of the dal as per your liking.
Make the tadka with ghee for that burst of flavors.
Add chopped coriander leaves as garnish.
Hello There. This is not a recipe post. So if you have come looking for recipe there is none. This is my feelings on how a mother’s love is reflected in her food. On why Maa ke haath ka Khaana is so famous that no matter how far you go you always love coming back to Maa ke haath ka Khaana.
This is again an emotional post for me due to all the feelings that come flooding back. If you are a regular in my blog or follow me on Instagram and Facebook you will know that I recently lost my mother. I have still not recovered from her loss. Food is one of my respite as it connects me with her.
Anyways, moving on to today’s post, have you given a thought as to why “Maa ke haath ka khaana” is so famous and comforting? Literally translates to “Mom made food” every human being would relate to this thought or feeling. Every mom not only puts in efforts, time and her knowledge in the food she prepares for the family but also puts in lots of love. That love is the crucial factor that adds taste to the food. You don’t believe me? You know how we first eat with our eyes and then with our mouth. Likewise the goodness of the food only contributes to our good health if it is made with love and served with love. Have you heard someone loving outside food every day of his/her life? No one can replace mom but sometimes there are other people who take these roles. And automatically the food plays important role again in such relationships.
Some of the ways mother’s love is reflected in food are:
- Extra spoon of homemade ghee or butter – When those parathas are loaded with the goodness of homemade ghee or butter you know that your mom is building up your strength to face this world.
- Extra Curry on the dining table – When the whole family is having one curry and you notice another curry lands up on the table and it happens to be your favourite one.
- Mixing the Idli batter with hand – Don’t frown. It is said that mixing the Idli batter with hand helps it to ferment better and make soft fluffy Idlis. The heat and the love passed on from mom’s hand into the batter makes the batter ideal for perfect Idlis.
- Learning new recipes – How magically she includes your not—so-favourite-veggies in yummy recipes to please your palate as well as making you eat healthy.
- Whip up something even though tired to the bone – Her each muscle might be tired and aching but still she manages to prepare delicious dinner in minutes.
- A simple dish as dal chawal does the trick – The world cuisine will fail to feel you satisfied but a dal-chawal makes you and your tummy happy.
- Professional Cake versus her kheer/ payasam – All the professional and beautifully decorated cakes is one thing. But payasam/kheer/ladoo made by her the best gift in the world.
- Spoons can never replace the magic from mom’s hand- Remember those small balls of rice that mom made while serving us. It was not only a mix of rice and curry but warmth and love mixed with each ball.
Do comment if you have some other reflections on your interpretation of ‘Maa ke haath ka khaana’. Would love to hear from you. Happy Mother’s day to all of you. Enjoy ‘Maa ke haath ka khaana’.
Image Source: Google
Hey There. How have you been ? Here is the story behind today’s post “Banana Flavored Syrup”. So recently it so happened that I was to make pancakes for my little one’s tiffin. And I was out of stock of any sort of syrup or chocolate sauce. I said “Oh well, then let me make stuffed pancakes by adding my home made papaya jam as stuffing.” See mother’s are so handy and flexible to cook up a storm in minutes. But still I was not satisfied and wanted to give some kind of syrup of jam as sides. I again gave two minutes thought and came up with the idea to make a simple syrup. But the twist I introduced was to add some ripe chopped banana. I brought the whole thing to jammy consistency and it was just wow.
So when I added the pic in my Insta Story (btw if you are not already following me there you are missing on much), it got so many comments and questions. So decided lemme share this super simple recipe. Do try this Banana Flavored Syrup and let me know how it turned out for you.
BANANA FLAVOURED SYRUP
This is a very simple recipe. Kids would love it since its sugary and has bananas. Though personally I don't prefer it much due to the amount of sugar involved. But it is far better than store bought one, correct? At least we know what goes in.
In a pan take sugar and water.
Add cardamom powder or vanilla essence.
Keep stirring till it comes to 1 string consistency. Basically 1 string means if you lift up your spatula it should form a string.
Add finely sliced banana pieces and mix.
When the bananas have softened slightly mash the bananas.
If you want jam consistency then keep stirring a little more. Else switch off the flame.
Serve with pancakes or rotis.
Upma is a staple breakfast in India. The reason this breakfast is so loved is because it doesn’t need soaking, fermentation process and that it can be made with any leftover items. Add your choice of veggies and a power packed breakfast is ready. Usually when a packet of bread is bought there is always leftover. Use those leftover slices to make this quick, healthy and delicious Sprouts Bread Upma. This is also a perfect tiffin recipe. Now that the kids schools are about to re-open keep your tiffin recipes ready.
I have added cooked green gram or moong dal to add to the protein quotient. Do try it and let me know if it is a hit in your dining table.
Leftover bread slices – 4
Ghee – 2 tblspn
Mustard Seeds – ¼ tsp
Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
Red chilli Powder – ½ tsp
Tomato – 1 big ripe
Tomato ketchup – 2 tblspn
Cooked moong dal – 2 tblspn
Chopped Coriander leaves – 2 tblspn
Onion – 1 medium
Oil – 2 tblspn
Curry leaves – 1 stem
Salt to taste
- Take leftover bread slices.
- In a pan toast the bread slices with ghee.
- Then cube the bread slices.
- In a kadai, heat oil.
- Once oil is hot splutter mustard seeds.
- Add chopped onion and saute till translucent.
- Drop in curry leaves.
- Put in chopped tomato.
- Cover and cook till the tomatoes have wilted or turned soft.
- Now mix in turmeric and chilly powder.
- Stir in ketchup.
- Add the cooked moong dal.
- Season with salt.
- Now mix in cubed bread pieces.
- Cover and cook for another minute. Let the water evaporate.
- Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Your Sprouts Bread upma is ready.
- Use butter to toast the bread if desired.
- You also skip toasting the bread but toasting it gives it a crunch and added flavour.
- You can add sprouted moong as it is too without cooking for bring up the health quotient.
- Be careful about salt since bread and ketchup already contains salt.
So this post was due last week itself. The reason(s) it got delayed are many. But the main reason was that this post is emotionally related to me. So few months back, my mother, before getting admitted to hospital had requested me to make this powder. Since she was mostly on bed rest, this powder would help dad to make rasam quickly (in my absence). In my house we don’t buy any ready made powders. You will find only khada masalas (raw spices). When required the masalas are mixed and matched based on the dish to be prepared. Even the red chilly powder and coriander powder is home made. Once in a year dad buys dry red chillies and coriander seeds, sun dry them and powder it. So, every time a rasam or sambhar or meat curry is made the masalas are freshly roasted and grounded.
But by the time I got to make this masala, she was already in hospital. At that time she was dreading the hospital food and I used to pack rasam from home. Hence, I was finding it difficult to pen down this post without getting emotional.
Anyways, coming to this post I know many bloggers who make their own masalas at home and store it. It is a good habit as we know what all goes into the masalas and can be trusted more than store bought one. However, for working moms this might be a challenge. So the idea is to find some time on one weekend in a month to prepare small batches of all the masalas you need. I am sure the home made masalas will stay longer and fresh than store bought ones.
I also recall my days from Hyderabad when my roomie who is a Kannadiga made rasam a little different than I knew of. She used to cook and add a little amount of tur dal to the rasam. I had till then never seen these practice anywhere. Do you add cooked pulses to your rasam?
Moving on to today’s recipe.
Tur Dal/ Sambhar Dal/Split pigeon peas – 1/4 cup
Coriander Seeds – 1 cup
Cumin/ Jeera – 2 tblspn
Black Pepper corn – 2 tblspn
Dry Red chillies – 4 -6
Fenugreek seeds/ Methi – 1/2 tblspn
- In a pan dry roast the dal till light golden colour.
- Remove in a plate.
- In the same pan dry roast red chilly and coriander seeds until they have popped and nice aroma is released.
- Remove to the plate.
- Dry roast cumin, black peppercorn and fenugreek seeds till they have popped and nice aroma is released.
- Transfer them to the plate and let it cool down.
- Once cooled powder all the ingredients and store in an air tight jar.
1.While making rasam you need to additionally add kayam/ hing.
2. You can add black pepper powder once the rasam comes to a boil for that extra zing.
Hello There, you food lovers. I love being connected to various food lovers, chefs, home cooks and food bloggers across the world. This journey has given me a chance to know lots of wonderful people, new techniques, tips and methods. One such awesome blogger is Ria and I love her blog. This recipe is from her blog. I have made my twists and it is a keeper recipe. But yes if you are against deep frying then this recipe is not for you. Still I would insist you try it at least once.
Chicken- 1/2 kg
Onions – 4-5 medium
Tomatoes – 2 big
Ginger- Garlic Paste – 2 tblspn
Red Chilly Powder – 2 tblspn
Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder – 1 tblspn
Garam Masala – 1 tblspn
Curry Leaves – 2 stems
Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying + 2 tblspn
Water as required
- In a pressure cooker take cleaned chicken pieces, ginger-garlic paste,onions, tomato, chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and salt.
- Pressure cook for 1 whistle.
- Heat oil for deep frying. Splutter mustard seeds and lots of curry leaves. Take the chicken pieces along with the onions and tomato and deep fry till golden brown.
- Put these pieces back to the pressure cooker and mix well.
- Add water and adjust salt if you want a thick gravy.
- Let the masala coat the chicken and cook for another 5 minutes by mixing well. Make sure not to break the pieces.
Serve hot with phulkas or rice.
So how is your summer ? Its pretty hot and humid at my part of the world. Although the house is quiet breezy but it is humid. Resulting in tiredness, headaches, irritation and mood swings. To keep up with the summer it is quiet important to hydrate ourselves.
Anyways, today’s recipe is super simple. In fact why do I even need to blog about it? Because its better to document the number of ways you can keep yourself hydrated by using just what you find in your fridge. Let’s stop being dependent on shops and other means as much possible and carry our own bottle.
So I do pack my tiffin to office and these days the bag is heavier due to buttermilks and juices that I carry. Of course we get juice in canteen but I prefer to make my own, thus having control of what I use and the flavourings.
Today’s post is a simple post on a drink that my little one and myself enjoyed recently. If you have been following me on Instagram you would know that that we made this juice on a particularly hot sunny weekend. Off to the quick and easy recipe.
Oranges – 2
Carrot – 2
Sugar – 3 tblspn (Optional)
Honey – 4 tblspn
Ginger – Less than half an inch
- Take real sweet oranges. Take the pulp out into the juicer.
- Peel and cut carrot. Add these into the juicer.
- Add ginger piece.
- Add sugar/honey.
- Blend it all up and strain.
- Serve it with ice cubes if you like.
Some facts about oranges and carrots:
- Of course we know oranges are excellent source of Vitamin C. They are good if you are on a weight loss diet.
- Carrots are rich source of powerful antioxidants. I know eating carrot just as it is is difficult. Hence juicing it up is a great option.
- Carrots not only help in maintaining a healthy skin but also is excellant for eyes.
Hey There. How is the weather treating you? Well here things are little runny (nose), hoarse (voice) and tired (weakness). The weather is playing games with bright sunny hot humid weather during the whole day and cold and breezy in night. We reach office all sweaty and then a blast of cold AC air meets you.
While the weather can wear you out its important to keep your energy levels high. For that you need to multitask and keep yourself updated with little tricks and tips to make your life easier. If you have been following me on Instagram or FB you may know that I share tips around a topic or ingredient. So I thought why not share them here too. So here it goes. Today we’ll talk about how to make a curry thick or basically what can be added to make a thick curry.
- Cream – The most common and rich option to thicken up your gravy is Cream. If you are watching your weight then better to avoid this option. Many popular recipes are made using cream like malai paneer, butter chicken, dal makhni,etc.
- Cashew Paste – Next in line common option used in dishes is paste of Cashew. Soaked cashews in hot water makes a smooth paste that makes the curry thick beautifully. Click here for one such egg curry.
- Corn Flour – Corn flour is usually used to thicken the soups.
- Maida/ Flour – Pasta sauces are thick due to flour and milk. Maida acts a great thickener. Of course it is unhealthy to use it often hence you can replace Maida with wheat flour. Click here for Pasta in white sauce recipe.
- Curd – World famous ‘Moru Curry‘ and ‘Kadhi’ is made with curd. Thick whisked curd is perfect to add dimension to any curry. Click here to know how to make thick curd at home.
- Coconut milk – Who hasn’t heard about Stew ? There are veg and non-veg versions of stew. Coconut milk is the thickener used in stew. Third, second and first extract of a good grated coconut is added to curries not only to thicken it but also to provide a sweet flavour. Click for a vegetable stew recipe.
- Besan/ Gram flour – ‘Kadhi’ is made using curd and besan. Besan known for its binding properties is great as a thickener.
- Makhana/ Lotus/ Seeds paste – One of the healthiest seeds is Lotus Seeds also known as Makhane. Soak these in warm water and then blend it to a smooth paste. Use it as you like. While grinding your masalas include sunflower, melon, flax seeds, etc. These not only will bring up the nutrition quotient but also thicken up your gravy.
- Potato – Potato is a natural thickener. Add some boiled slightly mashed potatoes to your curry and the starch in the potato will do the work for you. Click here for recipe.
- Dal – Do you know why dal is added to sambhar? Yes. To thicken it.
- Oats – Powder quick cooking oats and use it. Or, add directly to your dishes. After boiling it will thicken.
- Onion-Tomato mix – The most easiest way. If you are making chole or kadala then after cooking your onion-tomato mix, take it in a blender along with some cooked chole. Blend it to smooth paste. Cook it along with other masala and chole.
Hope you liked this post. Do try these methods and let me know how it turned out for you. Also if you know of any other method drop me a comment.
Till next time, see ya
Note: All the images except curd is taken from Google search images.
Hi There. So did you try my homemade curd recipe? How did it go? If not perfected then please keep trying. It is a recipe that you can definetely win. Do share me pics of your success.
What I love and almost don’t like about Kerala recipes is the usage of coconut. Almost in all recipes coconut is used. But some recipes do need coconut to add the flavour in. But I tend to add a little lesser coconut than what mostly people in this part of the world uses.
This recipe is calls for raw banana (the thick small variety) and green gram. You need not soak green gram. It can be instantly used.
Raw banana – 2
Green Gram – 1 cup
Grated fresh coconut – 1/2 cup
Shallots/ Small onion – 3-4
Garlic – 2 cloves
Green chilly – 3
Curry leaves – 2 stem
Cumin – 1/4 tsp
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Mustard – 1/4 tsp
Oil – 2 tblspn
Salt to taste
- Peel and dice the banana into medium cubes.
- In a pan take green gram and water (just above the level of green gram) and bring it to a boil. Let it boil till it cooks. Add water if needed. The cook on green gram should be just cooked. Do not over cook.
- In a blender take coconut, green chilly, garlic, shallots, cumin, turmeric and salt and blend it coarsely. It need not be fine paste. Instead all the ingredients should be coarsely blended.
- In a thick bottomed pan, add some oil.
- Splutter mustard seeds.
- Add curry leaves.
- Add the chopped banana.
- On high flame saute the chopped banana for 30 secs.
- Add 2-3 tblspn of water. Lower the flame and close and cook. Make sure to stir it in every minute so it does not burn or catch at the bottom of the pan.
- Once the banana is partially cooked add the green gram along with water.
- Add the blended coconut mix in.
- Adjust the salt and mix properly.
- Close and cook for another minute.
- Mash it lightly if you like.
- Remove and serve hot with rice and rasam.
You can also blend curry leaves with the coconut mix. It will give a different flavour.
Keep checking my Instagram posts to see what I am upto. Till next time see ya.