Do you know Makhana? In my place very few people are aware of what a makhana is. Makhana, also known as Fox Nuts or Lotus seeds are very healthy seeds that is very good for all. In north India is it commonly known as fasting food. It is also high in fibre and hence aids in weight loss. Do read up on the advantages of Makhana and try to incorporate it in your diet. If you follow my Instagram or Facebook stories, you would know that I eat Caramelized Makhana as my snack in office.
Makhana is bland in taste. It does not have a taste of its own. You also need to roast the makhanas for it to become crisp. Kids will love it and consider it as popcorn. Go on. Do try Caramelized Makhana recipe and let me know if you liked it.
CARAMELIZED FOX NUTS/ LOTUS SEEDS/ MAKHANA - A TASTY WAY TO EAT HEALTHY
I believe if you are prepared then you won't eat unhealthy. Only if you carefully plan and prepare for what you have to eat only then you can avoid junk or binge eating. When you plan well you know what to eat and then you buy and prepare accordingly. Today's post is just that. Healthy eating. This ingredient is commonly used in north India especially during fasting. Caramelized Makhana is just like caramelized popcorn. So the kids will love it too. It is sweet and crispy. Makhana is usually found in all major hypermarket or in nuts and dry fruits store.
Roast it on low flame for around 2-3 minutes.
Add a pinch of salt and mix well.
Keep roasting. Take a makhana and crush it between your fingers. If it crushes and gets powdered then it is roasted completely. If not then continue till this happens.
If roasted add 1 tblspn sugar and mix.
After a minute mix again. You will notice that the sugar when comes in contact with the hot pan dissolved and forms a brown caramelization.
Add another tblspn sugar and mix again. Repeat the process till the sugar is finished or till your desired amount of caramelization is reached. I added very little sugar because I don't like much sweet.
Switch off the flame and let it cool. Store it in airtight container.
- Only after makhanas have roasted completely, start adding the sugar.
- Do not touch the caramelized makhana when hot. You may burn your fingers. Wait till it cools down.
Are you struggling with kid’s tiffin box recipes? Especially if your kid is just starting schooling, I know what kind of emotions a mother goes through. Especially food related. Try this Mini Jam Pancakes and you have a regular kids favorite recipe now.
You can either use home made jam or store bought jam.
Try other pancake recipes from this blog.
Choco Wheat Eggless Pancake
MINI JAM PANCAKES - PERFECT KID'S TIFFIN BOX RECIPE
Kids love pancakes. And kids love jams. Why not mix both. Till now I have only served jam with pancakes.But this is different. This is jam flavored pancakes. Do give this Mini Jam Pancakes a try and let me know if your kids love it.
Take a bowl and add egg, sugar, milk and melted butter and beat till it is slightly fluffy.
Add in flour, salt and baking powder and mix so no lumps form.
Take jam in a small bowl and cream it by whisking it with a whisk. Add it to the batter and mix well.
Heat a tawa/griddle and once hot grease it with butter. (if using non-stick then no need)
Take a little batter in ladle and pour on tawa. Make small pancakes. No need to spread as we do for dosa.
Cook on medium and when bubbles form on top flip the pancake to cook on other side.
After a minute remove from griddle and repeat the same process to make more pancakes.
Serve the pancakes with syrup, jam, butter, fruits or honey.
Hey There. How is life going on? Well here it is raining crazy. It is good since from last few years we are having rains only on alternate years. Having said that many areas are suffering the side effects of rain. Rain also brings lots of diseases. We must be extra cautious about the conditions we live in and what we put in our mouth. Especially since schools have begun it is expected that out kids should be taken special care of. Today’s recipe is not only super healthy but also delicious. It is Beetroot Aloo Paratha – goodness of beetroot and carbs from potato. The beetroot also renders nice pinkish colour the stuffing that peeks at places also increases the curiosity of kids. See the pic below. Again I made 2 parathas in shapes that kids love.
Do check out other parathas from this blog-
Sweet potato paratha
Radish/ Mooli Paratha
Beetroot Aloo Paratha
Since I am trying meal planning now, it becomes easier for me to pack healthy tiffin without any hurry. Just keep some beetroot and potatoes boiled on your meal planning day and use it on a busy weekday. It is that simple.
Take the peel off the beetroot, chop it and blend it smooth with very little water.
Take the beetroot paste in a bowl and add salt and wheat flour.
Bring it together as you would knead a dough. Use water and flour as you need it.
Take grated boiled potato in a bowl.
Add in cumin, chilly, chat masala powders, salt and coriander leaves and mix well.
Make small balls of the dough. Stuff the balls with potato masala.
Roll it out thinly or thickly as you prefer.
If you want to shapes then cut the desired shapes using any type of cutter you have.
Roast them in pan with some ghee. When both sides have golden brown spots remove it on a plate and serve.
I served with Cumin flavored curd.
- You can add some ajwai/carom seeds in the dough for flavor.
- I don't like biting green chilly hence I prefer using red chilly powder instead of green chilly.
So I had to take an unintentional short break again. Schools have started and like every mother I too was freaking out. One of the concerns I had was tiffin box. I wanted to give him healthy yet tasty food. The kind kids would like. Also, since he’s is small he is still unaccustomed to feed himself properly without spilling. Expecting a 3 year old to break rotis, take some curry and feed himself is high expectations. So I had to made sure that I give him finger food or something that he can manage with spoon. DALIYA OATS IDLIS are a result of this need of a mother. I made these idlis in a flat plate and I have made use of cookie cutters to give these idlis kids lovable shapes. Also check out carrot idli, oats idli and stuffed idli for other variations of idlis especially for kids.
DALIYA OATS IDLIS
So this recipe came up when I had a packet of broken wheat almost reaching expiry date. Also, I am doing meal planning and prepping for the week. Check my insta/FB stories every weekend as I share my plan there. And it has helped me to make use of my ingredients well and finish them on time. DALIYA OATS IDLIS is a good way to eat healthy yet it is a different dish. Pair it up with a good chutney and you are sorted. Go on and try this recipe. Don't forget to read the recipe notes.
Take Broken Wheat Powder and Oats in a bowl..
Add salt and curd and whisk well.
Keep is aside for half an hour. If using immediately then add baking soda and mix well.
In a tadka pan, heat oil.
Add finely chopped green chilly.
Pour this over broken wheat/oats batter and mix well. Add water to adjust the consistency, It should be thick like idly batter.
Grease a idli plate and heat up the idli stemer. If you want to give shapes then use a flat plate or dhokla plate to pour the batter in.
Steam for 5-8 minutes or until done.
Let it cool down for a bit. De-mould. If you needs shapes then shape the idli using cookie cutter.
Serve them with chutney of your choice. I served it with peanut tomato chutney.
- You can skip baking soda all together. I did not use soda at all. The idlis won't be very fluffy but is good enough.
- Add more veggies of your choice.
- You can skip green chilly.
- If you do not have cookie cutter then use a knife to cut into desired shape - diamond, square,etc.
Hey There. A very quick post today. Its a very busy weekend and am literally running out of time not to forget unexpected problems popping up. Today’s recipe of Bread Milk Nuts balls are from my teenage days when mom tried this recipe and it became a hit. So during exam preparation time to satisfies between meals hunger mom used to prepare some snacks and store it. She knew if I am hungry I will enter the kitchen to prepare something thus loosing some precious study time. Hence she used to prepare murukku, sweet mixture, achappams, banana chips, etc. This came as a result of trial and error recipe. I have added my health twist to it and loved it. It is perfect for kids snacks and finishes your leftover bread. Do try and let me know how it turned out for you. I would love to hear from you. I will feature your pics in my facebook and instagram stories if you share your wonderful dishes tried from my blog.
BREAD MILK NUTS BALLS
As the title suggests, Bread Milk Nuts balls, have the goodness of milk and nuts. I have used almonds since it is the least consumed nut in my house. Finish your leftover bread with this fried snack that goes very well as tiffin box snack idea.
Powder the bread slices in a blender
Add the almonds, cardamom, sugar and blend again
Keep the oil for frying in low heat
Take the blended mix in a plate and add 1 spoon of milk at a time and mix.
Mix and try to make balls of it. Add only as much milk for it to stay together.
Once the balls are ready deep fry them till brown from outside.
- I used white milk bread which is already sweet. If using wheat or brown bread increase the sugar as per your taste.
2. You can also try frying them in appe pan hence not deep frying.
3. Add some raisins if you feel like.
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.