Friday, September 23, 2011

Ragi & Mung Bean Idli (Finger Millet & Mung Bean Steamed Duplings)


Looking for a low carbohydrate and high protein breakfast, then give this Idli a try. With ground batter in hand this is so easy to make on a busy morning. Finger millet with its dark brown color is much superior in terms of nutrition when compared to other millet varieties. With no gluten in them this is such a ideal grain for people on gluten free diet. Very easy to digest and a good source of Iron and calcium finger millet is one of the first table foods given to babies in certain parts of India.  If you are looking for ways to include this grain in your diet, give this one a try and I am sure you are going to like it.

Preparation Time - 10 Minutes

Cooking Time - 15 Minutes

Serves - 16 to 18 Idlis


Yellow Mung Dal - 1/2 Cup

Urad dal - 1/2 Cup

Ragi seeds -  2 Cups

Eno - 1/2 Tsp

Salt - 1 1/2 Tsp or to taste

Chopped coconut - 1/4 cup

Tempering -

Coconut Oil - 1 Tbsp

Mustard seeds - 1 Tsp

Split urad dal - 1 Tsp

Green chili - 2 or more to taste

Grated Ginger - 1 Tbsp


1) Rinse and soak the dals for 2 hours and the ragi for 6 - 8 hours. Once well soaked, drain them and grind them separately into a fine batter.  Add little water at the time of grinding and more water can be added later if desired.

2) Add salt and mix thoroughly and leave this overnight to ferment.

3) Heat oil, once it is hot add all the tempering ingredients and once they are done add it to the batter.

Also add the coconut pieces and combine thoroughly.

4) Take the Idli molds & grease then with a thin layer of oil. Heat a pressure cooker or idli vessel with enough water. To the ground batter add eno and mix thoroughly. The whole batter will fluff up nicely, now pour the batter in the molds and steam it for 15 minutes in medium heat and then switch off the stove.  Insert a knife in the center of the idli to check if it comes clean to make sure, the idli is properly cooked.

5) Remove them and serve the Idlis with your choice of chutney and sambar.



Also sending this to Serve it Steamed hosted by Krithi's Kitchen an event started by Denny's

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Almond Milk Pudding(Badam Kheer)

Tastes good, looks good, a super food with high fiber, protein, rich in calcium. Can a dessert be delicious & good for you too? Why not, this Almond Milk pudding made out of Almonds,

milk & sweetened with Xylitol tastes really good and also is safe for people on low glycemic index (low sugar) foods. Very easy to put together, this dessert is once again a dessert that can be made even by a novice cook. So if you haven't tasted this dessert before, try this out and let me know how you liked it.

Preparation Time - 10 Minutes

Cooking Time - 10-15 Minutes

Serves - 6


Almonds - 1 Cup

Milk - 2 3/4 Cup

Water - 1/4 Cup

Xylitol - 1/3 Cup(Traditionally done using sugar, if using sugar go for 1/2 cup or to your taste)

Saffron few strands

Cardamom 1 pod

Toasted Charoli nuts - 1 Tbsp


1) Soak the almonds over night. Rinse and drain the water. Boil 2 cups of fresh water and once the water reaches the rolling boil point add the almonds and boil for 2 minutes. Then switch off the stove, immediately drain the water and add cold water rinse and once it is cold enough to handle. Just press the almonds between your thumb and index finger and the almonds will pop out of the skin. Do the same for the rest of the almonds.

2) Place the peeled almonds, saffron strands, cardamom and 1/2 cup of milk in a food processor and process till you get a smooth paste. Pour the ground paste in a thick bottomed pan and add 1/4 cup of water to the food processor to get any remaining paste sticking on to it.

3) Add the remaining milk and cook in medium heat. When it is slight hot add xylitol and boil till mixture slightly thickens and the xylitol melts approximately 8-10 minutes. Stirring in between to avoid burning  the bottom.

4) Add toasted nuts and serve hot or cold as per your choice.

Note - Another good thing(or bad thing!!) about using xylitol is they teach you portion control, any time you exceed or go overboard with big portion sizes then the result is upset stomach. 



1) Sending this to "Cook - Eat Delicious Desserts Almonds hosted by Anu" an event started by Raven.

2) This is one of my favorite desserts and I am sending this to My favorite dish event hosted by Sreevalli.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Navara Rice Salad with Coconut Milk & Honey Dressing


Have you heard of Navara rice before? If not, don't be surprised because it is a special kind of rice grown in Southern India(Asia in Kerala) and unless you come from that part of the country it is very doubtful if you would have come across it. Unlike brown rice, in spite of its health benefits this rice is still not in the main stream cooking. This rice is an essential part of Ayurvedic treatment used for muscle strengthening associated with certain neuro muscular disorders. This unpolished variety of rice red in color is very  nutritious  and has lot of health benefits associated with it.

There are certain days when  I have little bit of everything  in my refrigerator which will not fit a single meal when cooked alone, I am sure this happens to every body. So I threw in whatever I had to come up with this colorful salad. A cup of  cooked navara rice along with peanuts, blanched carrots, beans, chopped cucumber, bell pepper, raisins & pomegranate seeds not only tastes great but is good for you too. Also my refrigerator was all cleaned up to get more fresh veggies & fruits and I was done with my meal.  Do try out and let me know, how you liked it.

Preparation Time - 15 - 20 Minutes

Cooking Time - 20 Minutes

Serves - 2


Navara rice - 1 Cup (cooked)

Boiled peanuts - 1/2 Cup (salted)

Carrots - 1/2 Cup (Blanched in hot water for 3 minutes)

Chopped Beans - 1/2 Cup(Blanched in hot water for 5 minutes)

Chopped bell pepper - 1 Cup (Red & Green each 1/2 Cup)

Cubed cucumbers - 1/2 Cup

Raisins - Handful

Pomegranate seeds - Handful


Coconut Milk - 2 Tbsp

Salt - 1/2 Tsp or to taste

Honey - 1 Tbsp

Freshly Ground Black pepper - 1 Tsp or to taste


1) Add the coconut milk, salt, honey, freshly ground black pepper in a big bowl and whisk together.

2) In a wide mouthed bowl add the cooked rice, cooked peanuts, blanched carrots, beans, bell peppers, cucumber, raisins and pomegranate seeds and to this add the dressing and

toss and stir to combine and serve.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Eggplant & Tomato, Onion Stir Fry with Peanuts

Do you like eggplants? I love them in all forms and this is such a simple stir fry even a novice can put together in few minutes. Known in different names like eggplant, brinjal and aubergine in different countries they come in different colors and shape. White, purple, light green, round, huge, small, long ones. Each one has a different taste but still they have lot of fiber which is needed for a healthy body. A very funny thing about this recipe is, I threw in a handful of roasted peanuts in this curry by mistake instead of another dish which I was cooking in the next stove. But the addition of peanuts added an extra crunch to this soft dish but it is totally optional and you can add it if you want. Next time when you go for your groceries don't forget to grab few Japanese eggplants(Purple, thin ones) and try this out and let me know how you liked it.

Preparation Time - 10 Minutes

Cooking Time - 10 to 15 Minutes

Serves - 2 to 3


Japanese purple eggplants - 2(Cut into small pieces)

Onion - 1 big(Chopped finely)

Tomato - 1 big(Chopped finely)

Turmeric powder - 1/2 Tsp

Coriander(Dhania) powder - 1 Tsp

Red chili powder - 1 Tsp or to taste

Salt - 3/4 Tsp or to taste

Garam Masala powder - 1/2 Tsp

Coconut Oil - 2 Tsp

Mustard seeds - 1/2 Tsp

Chopped cilantro - 1 Tbsp

Roasted Peanuts - Handful (Optional)


1) Heat a pan add coconut oil and once it is warm add the mustard seeds. After they stop spluttering add the turmeric powder, coriander powder and red chili powder and saute for a seconds and then throw in the onion with a pinch of salt and saute till tender.

2) Now add the tomatoes and stir once in a while till the tomatoes are slightly tender and have become watery.

3) At this point add the chopped egg plants, salt, garam masala powder and simmer till the eggplants are cooked which will take around 8-10 minutes.

4) Add roasted peanuts and garnish with some chopped cilantro and serve with cooked quinoa, rice or flat bread of your choice.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Vegan Tropical Smoothie(Mango, Papaya & Pineapple)

The ignored and tainted coconut has become the new super food and is every where in all different forms coconut milk, coconut flour, coconut oil. Even main stream restaurants offer smoothies with coconut milk in their menu. People are reinventing the wheel and coconut is in the lime light. At least now I hope the dietitians keep themselves updated and advice their patient to avoid coconut!!! Now coming to this smoothie recipe, I saw it in a restaurant menu card and fell in love with the ingredients used. So delicious and nutritious and a great way to kick start the day.

But if some one is on a diabetic diet, fruit smoothies are not advisable as the sugar in the juice form easily and quickly spikes the blood sugar. So if you are looking for a low sugar beverage go for any of this Almond Butter Milk shake, Ash gourd & Cilantro Smoothie, Chocolate Truffle Shake, Almond Milk, Cucumber Cilantro Smoothie, Almond Saffron Milk Falooda.

Preparation Time - 10 Minutes

Cooking Time - Nil

Serves - 4


Coconut Milk - 2 1/2 Cups (Chilled)

Papaya pieces - 3/4 Cup

Mango pieces - 3/4 Cup (Fresh or frozen both will work great)

Pineapple pieces - 3/4 ( All fruits washed, peeled and cubed)

Xylitol or Honey - 1 Tbsp or per taste(once again use the sweetener of your choice, but honey gives a lovely tropical flavor to this drink)

Vanilla extract - 1/4 Tsp

Ice cubes - 1/2 Cup


1) Place the papaya, mango and pineapple pieces along with honey, vanilla extract and coconut milk in a food processor and blend till smooth.

2) Add the ice cubes and blend one more time and serve immediately.

Note - Using a good quality food processor will eliminate the need to filter and discard the fiber. Fruits and vegetables are eaten for their vitamins and fiber and do not filter and discard the fiber and lose the health benefits.



This energizing smoothie goes to Sizzling Tastebuds Vrat Ka Khaana.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Kale & Coconut Chutney


Kale is the King of Greens along with Brocolli. Though greens in general are nutritious foods, kale stands a head above the rest. Not only is it one of your best sources of beta-carotene, one of the antioxidants believed by many nutrition experts to be a major player in the battle against cancer, heart disease, and certain age-related chronic diseases, it also provides other important nutrients. In addition to beta-carotene, kale posses other important carotenoids: lutein and zeaxathin. These carotenoids help keep UV rays from damaging the eyes and causing cataracts.

Because of its nutritional content, I always pick up a bunch of kale from the farmers market. There are numerous ways you can include kale in your diet steamed kale, kale chips, salads. Being little bored of all these, I tried out this chutney and we all liked it. Do try out and let me know, how you liked it.

Preparation Time - 10 Minutes

Cooking Time - 10 Minutes

Serves - 4


Kale - 2 Cups ( Washed, stalks removed and torn or chopped into small pieces)

Coconut - 1 Cup (grated fresh)

Tamarind - 1 small goose berry sized ball(soaked in 1/4 cup water and discard any dirt in the bottom)

Salt - 1 Tsp or to you taste


Coconut Oil - 2 Tsp

Mustard seeds - 1/2 Tsp

Asafoetida - small piece or 1/4 Tsp powder

Split Urad dal - 2 Tbsp

Red chili - 8 to 10 depending on the spiciness of the chili and your taste preference cut into half


1) Heat a pan add oil and once it is hot add the mustard seeds and asafoetida piece

2) After the mustard seeds stop spluttering add the urad dal and then the red chili pieces.  Saute till slightly brown. Now add the kale leaves and cook till slight tender.

3)  Once the kale is slightly cooled add all the contents from pan setting little bit of urad dal and mustard seeds aside to a food processor, to this add the salt, coconut, soaked tamarind and blend till smooth adding more water as desired.

4) Now add the urad dal and mustard seeds to this ground chutney and mix well and enjoy.

Event Participation

Sending this kale chutney to Srivalli's Condiment Mela.

This also goes to Yummy food in Tummy's Life is Green Event.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mango Lassi/Smoothie

Last few days/weeks were very busy for me with work, last minute visits to friends & families back home, last minute shopping, packing and then flying back to NJ after the stormy Irene. Coming back here and feeling like a stranger in a quiet house with no hustle and bustle and kids back to their school making me even more home sick. I am just now catching up with things in my house and the blog and my blogger buddies posts. Now getting on to this simple but super delicious recipe, do try out and let me know and I am sure who ever hasn't tried Mango lassi before is going to love it. But wait, if you watch your sugar and carbs, mango is not a fruit for  you.

Preparation Time - 5 to 10 Minutes

Cooking Time - Nil

Serves - 2 to 3


Mango - 2 Big to Medium or 3 Small as shown in the photo

Yogurt - 1 1/2 Cups

Butter Milk or Milk - 1/2 Cup

Xylitol - 1/4 Cup (You can use an sweetener of your choice like Honey, Sugar and increase this based on the sweetness level of the mango)

Rose water - 1 Tsp

Saffron few strands

Ice cubes - 1 cup (optional)


1) Peel and cut the mangoes into small pieces, throwing out the seed after squeezing out the pulp.

2) Place the mango pieces, yogurt, butter milk, xylitol, rose water and saffron in a blender and blend till smooth.

3) Add the ice cubes and blend one more time and serve immediately.

Note - You can add ginger, cardamom for flavoring and also the lassi can be served with some chopped nuts on the top (like pistachio, almonds etc).


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