Monday, December 30, 2013

Instant Multigrain Idli

Instant Idli recipe using wheat rawa, corn meal, oatmeal & ragi flour.

Here is a picture of the semolina, wheat rawa & corn meal.

Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins for each batch
Serves: Makes around 30-34 idlis

Wheat rawa: 3/4 cup
Corn meal: 3/4 cup
Oatmeal: 3/4 cup (instant or quick cooking)
Ragi flour: 1/2 cup
Finely chopped dill: 1/2 cup
Frozen corn kernels: 1/4 cup
Plain yogurt/curd: 1.5 cups
Water: About 2 cups, divided use
Oil: 2 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Channa dal | Gram dal | Kadalebele : 2 tsp
Curry leaves: 4-6 nos, torn
Salt: As needed
Baking soda: 1 tsp

Heat oil in a sauce pan. When oil is hot, throw in the mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds splatter, add the channa dal. When dal turns golden brown, add the curry leaves & let the leaves wilt.
When leaves wilt, pour in the wheat rawa, and corn meal. Roast the corn meal & rawa for about 3-4 mins on medium heat.
Add the oatmeal & roast again for couple of more mins.

Turn off the heat & let it cool completely.
Meantime, add about 1 cup of water to the yogurt & whisk it.
Once cool, add the ragi flour & mix it. Pour in the whisked yogurt, thawed corn kernels, dill leaves, salt & mix well. If needed, add 1/4-1/2 cup more water & mix.

Let the batter rest for atleast an hour.
Just before making the idlis, add the baking soda & mix. If needed, adjust the consistency of the batter (refer notes).
Grease the idli plates & pour about 2-3 tbsp of batter on each mould. Steam the idlis for about 15 mins.
Let the idlis cool for a couple of minutes. Scoop the idlis & serve it hot with chutney or any other side dish.

(PS: Pardon the picture. Will try for better pics next time!)


  • If you do not like ragi, you could totally skip it. 
  • The cornmeal, oats & the wheat rawa absorbs the moisture & batter becomes hard. So, do add about 1/4 -1/2 cup of water to the batter & adjust the consistency.
  • You could replace dill leaves with coriander leaves. 
  • Use the above ingredients as a reference & modify it according to your preferences. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Putani Pudi | Roasted Channa dal Chutney Powder | Hurigadale Chutneypudi

One more spiced powder recipe that stays good for at least couple of months! The spice level of this powder is low to   medium unlike the other chutney powders :)

Putani/Daaliya/Hurigadale : 1 cup
Roasted peanuts: 1/3 cup
Garlic: 6-8 pods
Curry leaves: 6-8 nos, sun dried or dry roasted
Chili powder: 2 tsp, more or less
Salt: As needed
Sugar: 1 tsp, optional

Add all the ingredients mentioned above to a food processor & pulse till you get a coarse powder.
Can it get any easier than this?!

  • You could replace the  roasted peanuts with grated dry coconut for a fine chutney powder.
  • Garlic pods could be dry roasted too
  • I used 6 big garlic cloves. The garlic cloves available in USA are quite big compared to the ones available in India. If you have small cloves, I suggest using 10-15 pods. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Hara Moong dal | Indian style spicy mung beans | Hesaru kaalu thovve (Without garlic)

December is going to be all healthy food at my blog. I have decided not to make any deep fried sins for a month & also to avoid sugar/desserts as much as possible. We are going good so far with the deep fried foods, but we are sometimes cheating on desserts. Being a holiday & festive season, it is very difficult to say "no" to holiday cupcakes :)

So, to keep us going with the initial plan of eating healthy, I made these mung dal. It is a very simple, nutritious & yet a tasty dal that goes well with roti, plain rice, lightly flavored rice or a paratha. This dal is very forgiving. You could add/remove some of the ingredients according to your choice.

Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 45-50 mins (including the beans cooking time)
Serves: 3-4

Split mung beans | Hara moong | kesaru kaalu: 1.5 cups
Turmeric powder: a big pinch

For the dal/tempering:
Oil: 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida: a big pinch
Green chilli: 3-4 nos, slit
Onion: 1 medium sized, finely chopped
Curry leaves: 3-4 nos, torn
Turmeric powder: a pinch
Garam masala: 1/2 tsp
Salt: As needed
Water: As needed

For the garnish:
Coriander leaves: 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Lemon juice: 2 tsp

Wash the mung beans thoroughly. Add about 2-2.5 cups of water, a pinch of turmeric to the mung beans/dal.
Pressure cook the mung beans for 4-5 whistles. Let the cooker cool until all the pressure is released.
Once cool, mash the cooked mung beans/ dal gently.
Heat oil in a broad sauce pan. When oil is hot, add cumin & mustard seeds. When mustard seeds crackle, add the asafoetida, green chilli & curry leaves.
When leaves wilt, throw in the onion.

Cook the onion on medium heat until it turns translucent & light brown.

Add the mashed dal, water, turmeric powder, garam masala & salt.

Mix well & allow the dal to boil on a medium heat. Keep stirring in between to avoid burning of the dal.
Once the dal boils, turn off the heat. Throw in the coriander leaves, lemon juice & mix.
Serve it hot with roti, rice or paratha.


  • This dal sits at the bottom & burns easily. Keep stirring the dal once a while to avoid that.
  • I normally keep the dal a little thick when I serve roti or paratha with it. I make it a little thinner for rice.
  • You could add 1 tsp of grated ginger to this dal to enhance the flavor. Add the grated ginger along with the green chilli.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Spinach Soup | Palak Soup : Healthy Soup Recipes


I talked about eating healthy in my last post. Also, I am planning to cook soups often this winter. Soup fills your tummy & is very satisfying to sip a hot bowl of soup in the winter.

Some of you already know that we belong to "popeye family". So, I decided to kick off our soup journey with a spinach soup :p

Preparation Time: 
Cooking Time: 
Serves: 3-4
Recipe Source: Monsoonspice


Fresh Spinach : About 5-6 cups, loosely packed (stems separated)
Onion: 1/3 cup or 1/2 onion, sliced (I used red onion)
Bay leaf: 1 small or 1/2
Cinnamon: a small stick, about 1/2 inch
Cloves: 2-3 nos
Green chilli : 1 no, slit
Sugar: 1 tsp, a little more or less
Lemon juice: 2 tsp
Oil: 1 tsp
Water: About 2-2.5 cups
Salt: As needed

For the white sauce:
Butter: 1 tsp
AP flour/Maida: 2 tsp
Milk: 3/4th cup

For the garnish: 
Croutons (optional). I used some toasted whole wheat bread.



  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker. When oil is hot, add the sliced onions & saute till the onions turn translucent.
  • Add the coarsely chopped spinach to the sauteed onions & cook till the spinach turns soft.
  • Throw in the cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, green chilli, lemon juice, salt, and sugar to the sauteed spinach. Add the water & pressure cook the spinach for 1 whistle. Allow the steam to escape & let the spinach cool.
  • Meantime, prepare the white sauce. Heat butter in a saucepan. Add the all purpose flour the butter & cook the flour on a low-medium heat until the flour turns light brown in color. Keep stirring the flour to ensure even cooking of the flour. When flour is cooked, add little milk at a time & whisk. Ensure there are no lumps. Cook the white sauce mixture on medium heat until the sauce thickens. Keep stirring to ensure even cooking. Keep the cooked white sauce aside.
  • Discard the cinnamon stick, cloves, bay leaf & green chilli from the cooked spinach. Drain the water & keep the water aside. You will need the water later.
  • Make a smooth puree out of the cooked spinach. Add the drained water while making the spinach puree.
  • Pour the puree to a sauce pan, adjust the seasoning (if needed) & bring it to a boil. Add the white sauce little at a time & whisk well.
  • Allow the soup to boil. Once the soup is hot & boiling, turn off the heat.
  • Serve the soup hot with croutons or toasted garlic bread or with a salad.


  • You could add a tsp of cream just before serving the soup. 
  • You could even add a pinch of pepper powder before serving.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Ragi Idli | Finger Millet Idly

ragi idly

Me & my hubby have put on weight so much that, we had to have a resolution to reduce the weight (Even before the new year!!). I am against all crash diets & wanted to keep it very healthy by including lots of whole grains, legumes & salads. We are even planning on a "no rice" week.

Today is the second day & I packed this ragi idli for lunch. I'm challenging myself to cook healthy & yet delicious meals. I'm planning to post my lunch/dinner menu on the facebook page. Keep following my facebook page if you want to know what we will be eating for lunch & dinner in the coming days.

Nutrition information of ragi idli: (Got this from myfitnesspal. I added this recipe there) Not to forget, we have added benefits as this idli is made with a  fermented batter!!
ragi idli nutrition
Note: This is an approximate nutrition information. I am not a nutrition specialist or a dietitian. I added the quantity of ingredients used & the website calculated the nutrition information. 

Preparation Time: 30 mins
Steaming Time: 10-15 mins (for each batch)
Serves: 5-7 (Makes about 45 idlis)

Skinned black lentils/Urad dal/Uddina bele: 3/4th cup
Fenugreek seeds: 1/2 tsp
Ragi flour/ragi hittu/finger millet flour : 2 cups
Salt: As needed.
Oil: A drop on each mould to grease.

Special utensils:
Idli moulds
Steamer or a pressure cooker.
ragi idli

Soak the urad dal & fenugreek seeds together for a minimum of 4 hours.
Grind the urad dal & fenugreek seeds to a very smooth & fine paste. Refer here to learn more about grinding  the urad dal to make perfect idlis using a food processor or a blender.
Scoop out the urad dal mixture to a large utensil. Add the ragi flour, salt & adjust the consistency of the batter (add little water at a time). Batter should be of dropping consistency.
Allow the batter to ferment overnight or a minimum of 8 hours. Refer notes for more details.
The batter would have doubled after fermentation. Mix the batter gently.
Grease the idli moulds. Add enough water to the steamer.(I use a pressure cooker & this is what I do!)
Add about 2 tbsp of batter to each mould & steam it for 10-12 mins. If you are using a steamer, you might need to steam the idlis for 15-20 mins.
Turn off the heat. Let the idlis cook in the steam for couple of more mins. Remove the mould from the steamer.
Scoop out the idlis using a spoon or a spatula.
Serve the idlis hot with a sambar & a chutney of your choice.

  1. The same batter could be used to make dosa too. I have the dosa recipe here. I usually make more batter. On day 1 of fermentation, I make idlis for lunch & Day 2 evening, it would be ragi dosa with the same batter :)
  2. Some tips for fermenting the batter in cold weather. 
  • Soak the lentils for a couple of hours more. 
  • Add a tbsp of fresh plain yogurt to kick start the fermentation fast. 
  • Keep the ground batter inside the oven with the oven lights ON. 
  • If your oven doesn't have a light, use a microwave instead. Keep the batter inside the microwave oven. Do not close the microwave completely. The idea here is to keep the microwave lights ON. Close it, but do not lock it. I hope you get the point! 
  • Grind the batter at around 5 or 6 pm & let the batter ferment for 10-12 hours. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Savory Oatmeal Porridge Recipe | Instant Oats & Yogurt Porridge

All oats & yogurt lovers, this is a must try. This porridge is healthy, filling & tastes great. You can be happy that you started your day with a healthy breakfast.

Preparation Time: 2 mins
Cooking Time: 1 min
Serves: 1

Oatmeal | Instant Oats: 1/2 cup
Water: 1/2 cup
Salt: 1/4 tsp, more or less
Plain yogurt: 1/4th cup
Finely chopped cucumber: 1 tbsp
Grated carrots: 1 tbsp
Finely chopped coriander leaves:  1 tsp

For the tempering:
Oil:  1 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds: 1/4 tsp
Urad dal | Skinned black gram dal: 1/4 tsp

Microwave the oatmeal in the 1/2 cup of water for a minute. Add salt, mix well & let it cool.
Heat oil in a small wok, when oil is hot, add mustard seeds & cumin seeds. When seeds splatter, add the black gram dal. When the dal turn golden brown, turn off the heat. Pour the tempering over the cooked oatmeal.
Add yogurt, chopped cucumber, grated carrots. and coriander leaves.
Mix well & relish the hearty porridge!

This porridge should be consumed as soon as it is prepared. If kept for long time, the oatmeal becomes soggy & goo-ey.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Ragi rotti | Finger millet flat bread | Ragi Thalipeeth

How to make Karnataka Style Ragi rotti? 

                              (Served with spicy green chilli chutney & butter)

It's already very cold & gloomy here. The Sun is hardly seen for 4-5 hours a day. I normally cook around 3-4 p.m & by the time I'm done cooking, the Sun would sleep. I'm struggling with the pictures. When I checked my old hard disk, I found a whole lot of food photos taken during my Singapore days. Hence decided to utilize all the pictures. So, for the next couple of months, it'll be mostly clearing my old draft posts.

Ragi | Nachni | Finger millet is rich in calcium, low GI, good for diabetic & keeps you full for a long time. Not to forget, it is rich in fiber, protein, and iron too. If you are using ragi for the first time, you might not like it. You need to develop the taste of ragi to relish the goodness.

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 2-3 mins for each rotti
Serves: 2-3


Ingredients: (Makes about 6-7 rottis)
For the rotti dough:
Ragi flour : 3 cups
Onion: 1 medium sized, finely chopped
Dill leaves : 1/2 cup, finely chopped (refer notes)
Grated coconut: 3 tbsp, fresh or frozen
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Salt: As needed
Water : As needed

Other ingredients:
Oil: About 1 tsp for each rotti/flat bread

For making the rotti:
Aluminium foil or parchment paper or brown paper:  about 10-12 wide.


(Served with chutney powder & ghee)

Mix all the ingredients mentioned for the rotti (Except water). Add 2-3 tbsp of water at a time & prepare the dough. The dough will be soft & a bit sticky. Consistency of the dough should be like a patty dough consistency. Let the dough sit for 5-10 mins.

Make golf ball sized dough balls.

Grease the aluminium foil & pat them on the aluminium foil. Wet your hands  in between with water to ease the patting.

Heat the griddle. When griddle is hot, grease the griddle. Put the aluminium foil(I used a brown paper this time, aluminium foil works great too!) on the griddle (rotti side on the griddle). Cook the rotti along with the aluminium foil for 30-45 secs. Slowly remove the foil. 


The rotti gets transferred from the foil to the griddle.Add oil around the rotti & also few drops on top of the rotti.
Cook it covered on a medium-high heat on both sides.
Remove the cooked rotti. Repeat the patting & cooking procedure. 
Serve the rotti hot with a chutney/dip or vegetable stew/curry of your choice.

  • You could mix a portion of cooked rice (mash it thoroughly) for softer rottis. Adding jowar flour (sorghum flour ) works too. 
  • If you do not have dill leaves handy, other green leafy vegetables like spinach, methi (fenugreek leaves) or coriander leaves could be added. 
  • I have served rotti with chutney powder & ghee for my hubby, while I ate it with butter & spicy green chilli chutney.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Chayote Squash Curry | Seeme badnekai huli menasina kodilu | Chayote Squash Side dish

kodilu recipe

When I tell my friends that I frequently buy chayote squash or chow chow, they all look at me amazed! They have asked me what all can we prepare with chayote? Seeme badanekai (Chayote Squash in Kannada) is used extensively in Karnataka. My mom uses this vegetable regularly. She makes kootu, dal or thovve, chutney, sambar, majjige huli, palya & many other varieties. I have already posted the palya (stir fry) & chutney recipes.

Today am posting a South Canara specialty dish, kodilu made using chayote Squash. Kodilu is a spicy, and a tangy curry flavored with lots of garlic! This kodilu is mostly prepared using tendli (thonde kai or Ivy Gourd). However, I prepare it using few other vegetables too. This is a great side dish for dosa, especially the set dosa, banana dosa or bread dosa!

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins
Serves: 2-3


Cubed chayote squash/seeme badnekai : 2 cups
Grated coconut: 1/2 cup (fresh or frozen) [Refer notes]
Fresh tamarind :  big marble sized (soaked in 1/4 cup warm water) [Refer notes]
Red chilli powder: 1.5 tsp, more or less
Salt: As needed
Turmeric powder: a big pinch

For tempering:
Oil: 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Curry leaves: 4-6 nos, torn
Garlic: 1 tbsp, sliced


chayote squash

Add enough water to the cubed chayote squash, a pinch of turmeric & bring it to boil. Cook the squash until it is soft & yet firm. Do not add too much water while cooking the vegetable. You have to discard extra water which could be avoided.
Soak the tamarind in about 1/4th cup of warm water for about 10 mins. Squeeze the soaked tamarind & extract the pulp. Discard the fiber strands & the seeds from the tamarind.
tamarind soaked in warm water


Make a smooth paste of the coconut, red chilli powder & tamarind extract. You could add water to make a smooth paste.
Heat oil in a broad vessel. When oil is hot, throw in mustard seeds. When seeds crackle, add the curry leaves. When leaves wilt, throw in the sliced garlic & saute in a medium heat until the garlic turns golden brown.

Add the prepared coconut paste to the tempering & cook for 2-3 mins until the raw smell of tamarind & red chilli powder vanishes.
Drain extra water from the cooked squash & throw in the cooked squash to the coconut mixture. Add the salt & let the mixture boil on a low-medium heat for about 15 mins.

chayote squash curry

The squash should absorb the flavors. If you find the curry dry, add some of the drained water & boil again.
Let the cooked gravy or curry sit for about 10 more mins. Serve it hot with dosa or rice.

huli menasina kodilu


  • I do not like throwing away the water in which the vegetables are cooked. Hence, I add little water while boiling the vegetables.
  • Instead of adding water, the drained water from the vegetable could be added for making the coconut paste.
  • Always thaw the frozen coconut well. Also, use hot or warm water while making a paste using frozen coconut. The coconut will not ooze out oil. I have mentioned the tip here before.
  • You could replace fresh tamarind extract with store bought tamarind pulp or paste. Use just 1 tsp of tamarind paste. I prefer using the fresh tamarind pulp because I love the sweet tinge from the fresh extract.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Avalakki Oggarane | Batata Poha | Avalakki uppittu | Seasoned Rice flakes : Without onion & garlic


After all the festive cooking, I wanted to make something simple for the next couple of days. Hence, made this avalakki oggarane for brunch. Avalakki oggarane is a very simple, yet filling breakfast item that can be cooked in 20 mins.

Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins
Serves: 3-4

Thick rice flakes | Gatti avalakki | Thick poha: 3 cups
Boiled Potato: 1, medium sized
Diced bell pepper: 1/4th cup (I have used red bell peppers)
Frozen corn: a fistful, refer notes
Green chillies: 3-4 nos, sliced
Curry leaves: 4-6 nos, torn
Oil: 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Urad dal | Skinned black gram dal: 1 tsp
Peanuts: 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder: 1/8 tsp
Salt: As needed
Sugar: 2 tsp, optional
Lemon juice: 2 tsp

Dice the boiled potato & keep aside. Thaw the frozen corn kernels.
Wash the rice flakes thoroughly. Add the washed rice flakes to a colander & let the rice flakes sit in the colander for about 5 mins. The rice flakes will absorb water & become soft.

Meantime, heat oil in a broad kadai/pan. When oil is hot, throw in the mustard & cumin seeds. When seeds turn golden brown, add the urad dal & peanuts. Cook till the peanuts turn golden brown.

Add the sliced green chillies, curry leaves & saute till the curry leaves wilt. Add the diced bell pepper. Cook till the bell peppers are soft & yet firm.

Throw in the corn kernels, diced potato & turmeric. Mix well. Cook for a minute.

Add the soaked rice flakes to the tempering. Throw in the salt, sugar & mix well.

Cook the rice flakes on a medium heat for 2-4 mins.
Add the lemon juice. Mix well & turn off the heat.

Serve the seasoned rice flakes (avalakki oggarane) hot or warm. It tastes great either ways.

  • You could replace frozen corn kernels with frozen sweet peas or frozen green peas too. 
  • Fresh corn kernels could be added as well. Make sure to cook the fresh corn kernels before adding it to the tempering. 
  • This is a very basic avalakki oggarane or batata poha recipe. You could add or omit vegetables as per your choice. 
  • One more variation is making the avalakki oggarane with onion. Onion adds the crunch & a different flavor to the poha. 

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