WATERMELON COOLER

Good Morning all. The weather is playing hide and seek. This Sunday when I went shopping at 9:30 AM and was waiting to get into an auto when the security personnel (an old uncle) requested me to stand in shadow till the auto arrives. He said this heat is bad for health. And we discussed how it is only 10 AM and it feels hot like it is 12 or 1 PM. But by evening there was a drizzle and black clouds wandering in the sky. That is how the weather is these days.

I wish a little bit rain because there are people complaining of no water in their homes. This year it rained lesser than what was expected. I guess it is a wake up call for all of us to preserve and nurture mother nature.

Hence many of my recipes are weather inspired. It helps me to keep my cool on weekends when I am at home. Watermelons are in season. Watermelon itself has so much water. When turned it into juice with some complimenting ingredients it is a soothing cool drink.

1Here we go,

INGREDIENTS:

Watermelon – 1 cup

Sugar/ Honey – 1.5 tblspn

Lemon Juice Β – Half a lemon

Black Salt as per taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

Blend together watermelon, honey, lemon juice and black salt.

Serve chilled.

2

PALAK PAKODA/ SPINACH FRITTERS

Hola. How are you wonderful readers. How is the weather there? The weather here sucks. The wells are drying up. There was/ is no rain. By summer there will be serious water shortage.It worries me when I think of it. I mean what are we giving to our future generation? And it irritates me when I see someone lavishly wasting water, electricity,etc. My father was/ is very strict. He scolds us royally if he sees the light on in empty washroom or water dripping from any tap.I know what you are thinking. No he’s not military but it is good thing right. We should conserve energy. And as parents we should inculcate the good habits in kids. So when those days I never understood dad getting angry every now and then but his scolding got us into this good habit.

I love nature.I love gardening. And I do my teeny tiny bit for conserve energy. Small day to day task helps. Like for watering my plants I use leftover water from boiled potatoes. It not only waters my plants but also nourishes it. Before sleeping I ensure none of the electrical socket is on like phone charger, etc. Of course even check the rooms lights are off too.

Moving on to today’s recipe it is a wonderful and healthy snack. Palak or spinach is rich in iron. And these days I am growing Bangalore Palak at home too. So I get enough palak from my garden itself. Fun right? πŸ™‚

1INGREDIENTS:

Chopped palak – 1 cup

Besan/ Gram Flour – 1/2 cup

Rice Flour – 1/4 cup

Chilly Powder – 1/4 tsp

Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp

Soda – a pinch

Salt – as per taste

Oil for deep frying

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Take besan, rice flour, chilly powder, soda and salt and sift it together.
  2. Add water to make a thick batter. Make sure there are no lumps.
  3. Add the chopped palak and mix well.
  4. Heat oil.
  5. Take spoonfuls of the palak batter and drop it in oil.
  6. Fry till a brown color appears on the pakodas.
  7. Drain and serve.

Crispy and tasty palak pakodas for your evening hunger.Β 2

 

HONEY ROASTED CARROT STICKS

Hello There. I know its been a while since I posted something. But to speak frankly I am super busy these days. There are increased number of professional and personal commitments. But I am not complaining. I love being busy. I love not having idle time. Only thing that I hate is missing out on mother-son time. But nevertheless I catch up on it.

To write today’s content I was wondering how many carrot dishes I have in my blog. And I was surprised since there are many. There is a cake, chutney, sabji, Β halwa, idli. In all of these carrot if the hero.

1Well this is also carrot dish. More like a snack. When I am at home I make an attempt to make fresh, hot and healthy dishes. Most of the time having healthy food from office is next to impossible. Or else you need to pack it and eat it cold. So I focus to eat healthy food whenever at home.

Like many kids (and me ) my son is also fussy about carrots. If it is there in a spoon of pulav he will remove that carrot and eat only the rice. Now I am an ardent fan of MasterChef. In MasterChef Australia almost all the seasons contestants bring up dishes that has honey roasted baby carrots or beets. Β I thought well, so what if we don’t get baby carrots. We get carrots right. So I prepped up the carrot sticks and made this yummy snack.

I bet your kids will love it too. It has soft interior and crispy skin.

2INGREDIENTS:

Thin Carrot Sticks – 1 cup

Honey – 2 tblspn

Butter – 2 tblspn (If it is for you and you are health conscious then replace butter with olive oil)

Pepper Powder – a pinch

Dried Mixed herbs – a pinch (Optional)

Salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Drop carrot sticks in salted boiling water and cook till tender. Drain and keep aside.
  2. In a non-stick pan add butter and honey and mix well.
  3. Add the carrot sticks and mix well till the honey butter is coated well on carrots.
  4. Roast it on low flame and occasional stirring till a nice glaze is visible on carrot sticks.The liquid sauce will be gone as the sauce will stick to the carrots.
  5. Adjust salt and add pepper powder.
  6. Add mixed herbs and mix well.

Serve.

I am sure this will be a hit with your kids too. Do let me know how it turned out for you.3

AAM PANNA/ GREEN MANGO COOLER

Hello All. It almost feels like summer here. So hot and sweaty. Keeping yourself hydrated it very important. It is mango season and mango is one such ingredient that is widely used in savory and sweet dishes. It is a side ingredient as well as hero of the dish.

2In my home raw mango had 2 uses – kadu manga (pickle) and panna (raw mango drink). Panna acts as a coolant to the body during summer. We used to boil the mangoes and store it in fridge. Whenever required we used to take those mangoes and squeeze out the pulp and prepare the panna. With some ice it used to taste divine.

One more memory I have of raw mangoes is having them with some chilly and salt. While in college the boys used to get raw mangoes from the nearby farms and the whole class used to have them with chilly and salt. Ahh those were the days. Just had to study, play, eat and sleep. No other worries. πŸ™‚

Coming to today’s recipe is a basic “Aam panna”. When I say basic I mean you can prepare this basic aam panna and then customize it to bring it up a notch.

1INGREDIENTS:

Raw Mango – 2 small

Sugar – 1 cup

Salt – As per taste

Cold Water – 1 cup

Ice Cubes – 2-3

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Wash and clean raw mangoes in fresh water properly.
  2. Remove the eye of the mango.
  3. Take it in a pan with 3 cups of water.
  4. Bring it to a boil.
  5. Boil the mangoes till they are tender.
  6. Once cooled, in the same water squeeze out the pulp of the mangoes.
  7. Squeeze out the skin and seed.
  8. Now add sugar and salt and mix well.
  9. Add in cold water and serve in glasses with ice cubes.

TIPS:

  1. Replace sugar with honey if you want a healthy twist.
  2. You can boil mangoes in bulk and store it in fridge. When required take the mangoes and make panna.
  3. Instead of salt you can use black salt.Β 3

PANEER/ COTTAGE CHEESE BITES

4Hello There. I am keeping very busy these days. And I am struggling to juggle time. Recently in one of the training sessions, one colleague asked everyone if they would like few hours extra per day. Everyone stated few hours based on their requirement. But I knew that no matter how many hours you give me extra I will still struggle. The reason being women tend to take up more work in her bucket than she should. Unless I prioritize I won’t be able to manage my time. Also when you are working mother there will be piles of clothes to be folded, groceries to be kept away, new lists to be made and many other unplanned activities.

 

5Today’s recipe like many of my other recipes is a quick one. And healthy too. It is just a mix of fresh ingredients. It can be a party starter or a snack for kids or serve it when you have unexpected guests.

Cheese is widely appreciated. Our very own cottage cheese/ paneer has so many culinary uses. But I am not very keen on cheese. God knows why. I know people who crave for cheese. I know people who drool when they hear cheese. Not me. Even paneer is difficult for me enjoy. I do have it but it is not one of my favorite. But cheese has many nutritional facts. Just Google them out and you will have ample reasons to include paneer in our diet.

1INGREDIENTS:

Grated paneer – 1/2 cup

Chopped Mint leaves -5-6

Chopped Coriander leaves – 1 tblspn

Pepper Powder – 1/4 tsp

Salt to taste

Oil – 3-4 tblspn

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a bowl take grated paneer, mint, coriander, pepper and salt. Mix them properly.
  2. Make small cutlets.
  3. Heat oil in a pan.
  4. Place these cutlets on the pan and fry it on both sides till brown.

Serve hot with ketchup or green chutney.Β 23

 

PINEAPPLE COCONUT MILK ICECREAM

1Hello There. How are you doing? How was your weekend? Sitting in office I don’t realize how hot it is outside. On weekends only I realize how hot it is outside. Ice cream is perfect on these days.

2Pineapple is commonly found in small town and village areas. I usually get pineapple, papaya, ash gourd, green chilly, ginger, yam, etc. from my parents house. Half of the pineapple I used to make pineapple upside down cake. Rest I used to make this ice cream.

It is super simple. Do try it for some home made ice cream.

3INGREDIENTS:

Pineapple Juice – 1 cup

Thick Coconut Milk – 2 cups

Honey – 5 tblspn (You can use sugar – 6 tblspn)

4INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Pour it in ice cream moulds.
  3. Freeze it overnight. (5-6 hours)

Enjoy this pineapple- coconuty ice cream.Β 5

MULBERRY PANCAKES

2Holla. How you doing today? Its already Friday. Yipee. TGIF. Remember I got lovely mulberries from my cousin. Well I used it up three ways – Mulberry Jam, Mulberry Smoothie and Mulberry pancake. I wish I could get these beauties everyday. Berries very healthy for you. It is said to consume these fruits everyday.

Kids love pancakes and this is a good way to make them eat fruits. I believe it will also go well with any other type of berries, oranges and even kiwi.

3INGREDIENTS:

Flour – 1 cup

Sugar – 2tblspn

Baking Powder -2 tsp

Milk – 1cup

Salt – a pinch

Mulberries – 1/4 cup crushed

Butter – 3 tblspn + extra while serving

Egg – 1

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Melt butter in a pan.
  • Take a bowl and add egg, sugar, milk and butter and beat till it is slightly fluffy.
  • Add in flour, salt and baking powder and mix so no lumps form.
  • Mix in crushed mulberries and mix well.Β 1
  • Heat a tawa/griddle and once hot grease it with butter. (if using non-stick then no need)
  • Pour a ladle full of batter on tawa and slightly spread in round form. (If you are unable to spread no worries)
  • 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.

Soft, fluffy and light pancakes are ready to be stacked up. πŸ™‚Β 4

VANPAYAR/ MUTHIRA RASAM

4Today’s recipe is special one. Because I learnt it recently from my parents. I do not recall it being made during my childhood. But recent visits to my hometown I got to taste this flavorsome rasam that I was bowled over. It tastes best with white rice. You can make bulk and then reuse it over the week. It makes use of legumes such as ‘vanpayar’ or ‘brown peas’ and can be also made with ‘muthira’ or ‘horse gram’. I was planning to share this recipe from a long time and when my good blogger friend Rafeeda announced this contest featuring legumes then this recipe was on top of my mind.

logo

Hence this post is for the ‘My Legume Love Affair (MLLA) #103 contest.

β€œLinking this post to MLLA #103, conceptualized by Susan and hosted by Lisa.”

Legumes are significant sources of protein, dietary fibre, carbohydrates and minerals. They not only provide a variety in your food style but also gives you essential energy required for your day to day activities.

1INGREDIENTS:

Vanpayar/ Muthira – 1 cup soaked

Coconut grated – 1/4 cup

Dry red chilly – 2

Coriander seeds – 1 tblspn

Black Pepper – 1 tblspn

Shallots/ Small onion – 5-6

Fenugreek Powder – 1/4 tsp

Asafoetida Powder – a pinch

Tamarind – 1 gooseberry sized or 2 tblspn tamarind paste

Mustard – 1/4 tsp

Curry Leaves – 1 stem

Coriander leaves – 2 tblspn chopped

Oil – 2 tblspn

Salt to taste

2INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a pressure cooker take soaked vanpayar with 1.5 cups water and salt. Pressure cook for 1 whistle and then let it cook on low flame for 15 minutes.
  2. Take grated coconuts in a pan and satue it on low heat.
  3. Once coconut starts browning add coriander, red chilly and black pepper.
  4. Saute until the coconut is browned and spices have popped.
  5. Remove to a plate.
  6. Soak tamarind in water or use tamarind paste.
  7. In a blender take 2 tblspn of the cooked vanpayar along with some shallots (keep few shallots for tadka/tempering) and blend.
  8. Add the roasted coconut and spices and blend it together to make a smooth paste. Add water if required.
  9. Add tamarind paste and blend again.
  10. In a pan, heat some oil.
  11. Splutter mustard.
  12. Add chopped shallots. Saute till brown.
  13. Add fenugreek powder and asafoetida powder and curry leaves and mix well.
  14. Add the contents of the blender and mix well.
  15. Add 1.5 cups water in the blender and pour it back in the pan.
  16. Bring the contents to a boil.
  17. Adjust the salt.
  18. After 5 minutes switch off the flame and garnish the rasam with chopped coriander.

Enjoy this with rice. Don’t throw away the remaining vanpayar. Have it as a salad or stir fry it or use it in fried rice next time.Β 5

 

 

ORANGE LEMONADE

1Hello All. How you doing today? The weather is getting stranger day by day. When we were kids there were only 4 seasons – Winter, summer, monsoon and spring. But these days it is ‘Not so cold winter’, ‘Sunny and hot summer’, ‘Rain whenever monsoon’ and ‘No bloom spring’. But who am I to complain. I am part of that civilization that likes to live an urban life. The environment balance is gone due to urbanization.

However, I am doing my bit in bringing back the balance. Like many out there among you, I am also trying to save electricity, water, trying to grow few of my veggies, etc. If we do our bit and teach the future generation to care then only we can give a better world for them.

Coming to today’s post it is a quick juice that not only quenches your thirst but also is nutritious. Oranges are in season and I plan to make maximum use of it. I am not a very big fan of oranges. Maybe because unlike other fruits you cannot predict with this fruit if it will be sweet or sour. The problem with citrus fruits is just that. It may or may not have sweetness. Weekend afternoons are very hot. I prefer to feed my family with some juice to cool them down.

INGREDIENTS:

Oranges – 2 medium

Lemon – Juice of 1 small lemon

Mint Leaves – 2 tblspn

Honey – 4 tblspn (My oranges were very sweet. Add more if you like it more sweet)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Blend together oranges, lemon, honey and mint leaves.
  2. Strain and serve with or without ice.

Enjoy this glass of Vitamin C and quench your thirst healthy way.Β 3

SUNSHINE BREAKFAST

1Hello wonderful readers. Wow. Can you believe its already 10th January 2017. Well I hope you had a awesome start to New Year. You may be wondering where I was and why my blog was silent for so many days. Well I was very much here but was caught up with lots of work and responsibilities. No, I was not resting. In fact just the opposite. My blog called out to me but I just couldn’t post anything. Moreover I wanted the first post of 2017 to be simple, healthy and refreshing. Not the usual stuff. Not the difficult stuff either. But something that everyone can make. Something that yells out “healthy”. Something that is colorful. Something that is peaceful.

This week you will see many colorful posts that are healthy and very quick too. By the way you can find me on Instagram too. Do follow me and stay updated with the latest posts and pictures.

2I got to meet lots of new people and make friends though some training programs. And I was so glad to know that people are now showing interest in growing their own veggies and fruits. Many people are aware of the institutions that support such initiatives. Many are beginners. Some want to start in future. I think the need for eating healthy and pesticide free food is fueling this hobby. I have been gardening from childhood. My parents inculcated this habit from very tender age. Everywhere we stayed we had big gardens. In fact 2 garden – one kitchen and one flower garden. I still have old photos of dad holding the brinjal plant. Everywhere we went curry leaf tree was a regular family member. Those things have been part of me till now. In my small balcony garden I grow aloe vera, palak, amaranth leaves (cheera), mint, holy basil (tulsi) green chilly, curry leaves, coriander leaves, ginger, pineapple etc. along with some other floral plants. Sometimes some plants dry up when we take vacation. But I usually get them back on their green leaves.

Coming to today’s recipe it is a no cook version. It is a good way to eat many fruits at the same time. And very quick to make. And it is satisfying since some fruits are heavy and you do not feel hungry soon.

4INGREDIENTS:

Corn flakes – 1/2 cup (plain)

Watermelon – 1 cup cubed

Pineapple – 1/2 cup cubed

Apple – 1/2 cup cubed

Orange – Β 1

Pomegranate – 1/2 cup

Cherry – 2 tblspn

Nuts of your choice – 2 tblspn (I used chopped almonds, chia and sunflower seeds)

Flavored Yogurt/Curd – 1 packet strawberry and mango flavored

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Add all the fruits and mix them with the nuts.
  2. Take 2 bowls.
  3. In one bowl add mango flavored yogurt.
  4. Add fruits and top it with corn flakes.
  5. In another bowl add strawberry flavored yogurt.
  6. Add fruits and top it with corn flakes.

Enjoy it for a sunshine and healthy breakfast. The addition of these many varieties of fruits makes it nutritional and heavy.

NOTE: The pictures does not show the fruits as cubed instead they are cut the way they are for presentation sake.Β 3