BANANA STEM ‘N’GINGER LASSI


Banana stem also known as a Valathandu in Tamil,has ample amounts of benefits which some 

are ignorant of ,and consider it to be a waste.

This banana stem is amassed with fiber ,and can prevent constipation and ulcer.The potassium 

and vitaminB6 contained nutrients ,help to increase production of haemoglobin and insulin,

thus beneficial to anaemic and diabetic patients.Though not a miracle cure for weight loss,it 

gradually helps in weight loss.It is a miracle drink for those suffering from kidney stones.So 

that’s the information for now.

For the recipe 

INGREDIENTS (serves 3-4)

2 cups of diced banana stem

a small piece ginger

1 cup curd or yoghurt

salt to taste

1/2 tsp cummin powder

METHOD

When you clean the banana stem ,remove all the thick linings.Finally when you can 

no more remove it is the part you have to use.

Blend all the ingredients in a juice extractor.If you like serve chilled.

It is considered to be the best ,when taken in an empty stomach,after a workout,in the morning

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MUGHAL MUTTON BIRIYANI


When it comes to biriyani there are numerous varieties from numerous cultures in India.

This Mughal biriyani is richly flavoured ,and what is unique in this preparation is the 

layering ,creating a rich aroma and  the blend of saffron color is really a feast to 

the eye .

For the recipe now.

INGREDIENTS

1 kg mutton 

FOR THE MARINADE

2 inch  piece ginger

15-20 pips garlic

7 green chillies

2 tomatoes chopped

1.5 cup curd

1.5 tblsp cummin powder

1.5 Garam masala powder/biriyani masala powder

1.5 tblsp chilli powder

1.5 tblsp salt

1/4 cup chopped mint leaves

1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves

7-8 dry plums

7-8 blanched almonds cut

1/2 tsp turmeric or a pinch of saffron mixed in hot water

Grind the bold listed .Marinade the mutton for 2-3 hours minimum .You can marinade and leave it in the fridge overnight.

FOR THE RICE

500 gm basmati rice (washed and soaked for half an hour)

6-7 cups water

1 tsp peppercorns

1-2 bay leaves

1/2 tsp saunf 

3 green cardamoms 

1.5 tblsp salt

Heat the water  till boiling point,and add the soaked rice and the rest of the ingredients .

Stir once and cook till 3/4 done.Drain and set aside .Reserve 1/2 cup rice water.

TO COOK MUTTON

4-5 big onions thinly sliced and fried in 1/2 cup ghee or oil till crisp.Take half of the fried onions 

and set aside for assembling finally.

In the same cooker add the marinaded mutton with half of the fried onions and cook till 

mutton is tender.(pressure cook for 4 whistles).Allow the steam to release on its own.

FOR THE LAYERING

1/2 cup milk and reserved rice water mixed in with saffron strands/food color

1/2 cup ghee

A drop of Kewra essence or rose water

3 cardamoms and 1 tsp saunf ground coarsely

Mix in half of the mutton gravy for the base.Next layer with half of the rice .Then mix in the 

kewra essence into the milk water.Sprinkle this water and a little of fried onions.Next add the 

rest of the mutton curry and spread on the rice .Next add the last layer of the rice sprinkling 

the kewra and color water ,thenthe remaining onions .

Heat ghee in another pan,and add the cardamom and saunf and pour on top of the rice.

Cover and cook on a slow fire (DUM) for 15-20 minutes.

Serve with all the layers or transfer into a large serving tray,with the bottom meat layer on the 

top .If you need a still richer biriyani,you can top with fried cashewnuts .

Serve with raita ,and other accompaniments you like.

Do send in your comments after trying!

VENDHAYA IDDLI (FENUGREEK IDDLI)


This is a very healthy dish,and good for diabetic patients mostly.

Venthiam/fenugreek/methi is normally included when grinding batter for the basic

Iddli,but in this recipe it is used more.I got this recipe from a health program,and as

usual made my changes and it really turned out soft and tasty.In fact,this Iddli is very

light on you,easily digestible.As the present trend,is high towards Iddli which is South

Indian ,I can very well endorse that this vendhaya Iddli is  too excellent.

It is advisable to use whole lentils with skin on.(for the extra nutrients ).Convenient food

is never convenient on you.So it’s best to include lot of grains and millets in your diet.

For the recipe now.
INGREDIENTS

1 measure /cup black whole urad dal(ulundu)

1 measure/cup Iddli rice (parboiled rice)

1 measure/cup corn or horse gram

1 measure /cup pearl millet (kambu /bajra )or any available millet.

1/4 measure/cup venthiam/methi/fenugreek

Salt to taste

Coconut water(optional)

METHOD

Soak all these in different bowls for 3-4 hours.Wash the urad dal till most of the skin comes out.

Grind the urad dal finely with the fenugreek seeds.Next add all the other 3 ingredients

together and grind fine with coconut water or water.Mix the batters together with

salt,and allow to ferment for a minimum of 4-5 hours.Mix well,add water if necessary

.Pour into Iddli moulds and steam till done.Serve with sambhar and chutney.

Note:The same batter may be used to make vendhaya dosai .To make dosai you have to add a little more water.

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COCONUTTY ALMOND PANEER


When the word paneer comes up,authentic dishes like paneer butter masala,Kadai paneer,and 

many more flash through our mind.Well,this time I wanted to try with the inclusion of coconut,

and it was a success!As coconut has many health benefits,I think anyone could have this dish.

Most of the ingredients I have used in this recipe are protein rich.This dish can be served with 

chappathis,naan,or any type of rotis.It will be a good combination with hoppers,stringhoppers

and pulaos.

Now let’s get into the recipe ..

INGREDIENTS (serves 4-5)

200-250 gm paneer cut into cubes

1/2 cup fresh or pre-soaked green peas

2 onions ground coarsely

4 tomatoes puréed

1/2 cup coconut+a handful of almonds ground together to a paste

1 tblsp.ginger-garlic paste 

3-4 green chillies chopped 

2 tsp.kashmiri chilli powder

1 tsp Garam masala powder

a pinch of turmeric

1/2 tsp.cummin seed powder

1 tblsp kasoori methi leaves

1 tblsp honey /jaggery 

3-4 tblsp.butter(not margarine)

salt to taste

METHOD

Heat butter add onions with salt,and sauté for 5 minutes.Next add the ginger-garlic paste,

tomato puree,and all the spice powders,and cook for a further 5 minutes.Next add the coconut 

paste and the green peas and cook till peas are cooked.Add 1/2 cup water (add more if you like).

Add the cubed paneer pieces and simmer for 10 minutes.Add kasoori methi leaves and remove 

from fire.

QUICK TOMATO CHUTNEY


I’m back again after a long long pause.Today I’m going to share with you a quick hassle free 

and tasty recipe.Working women and those who are travailing to be amazing cooks ,will love 

this recipe.

For the recipe now

INGREDIENTS

3 -4 big tomatoes slit

2 big onions or a cupful of red onions

3 pips garlic

1″ piece ginger

1 tblsp red chilli powder

2 tblsp ghee or oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp.fenugreek seeds

Curry leaves (optional)

1/2 tsp.cummin seed powder

1/2 lime size tamarind 

1 tblsp.jaggery 

salt to taste

METHOD

Put all ingredients in a pressure pan or cooker  except for the bold listed.Allow the steam to 

escape,and puree using a hand blender preferably ,or in a blender.Temper with the ingredients 

bold listed and cook till thick.(do not add water).

Note : For those who love the taste of chettinadu flavours ….you could add 1/2 tsp slightly 

roasted and coarsely ground fenugreek powder .Another option ..you can add kasoori methi 

leaves

FESTIVE BIRIYANI


Why I titled it festive biriyani ?Because it is a richly flavoured biriyani ,which can be prepared 

with chicken,mutton,or prawn.My first preference would be with mutton and then comes 

the rest.The preparation in grinding takes a little more time,but it’s worth the labor as this 

recipe has unique aroma and flavour.You could make the biriyani curry the previous day and 

add the rice the following day.This biriyani tastes even better the next day.When I make this 

biriyani I always make more…So now let’s get into the recipe.

INGREDIENTS

1 kg basmati rice

3/4  -1kg mutton

4 onions sliced

4 onions ground coarsely(just pulse in the mixie.Do not grind fine)

5-6 tomatoes

3-4 inch piece ginger

2 -3 whole pods garlic peeled

15-18 green chillies ground separately

6 red chillies ground separately

1 cup curd

juice of 4 limes

1/4 cup coconut ground fine

10 cardamoms

7 cloves

3 inch piece cinnamon

1tsp.saunf

1tsp sea moss(optional)

1 cup mint leaves

1/4 cup coriander leaves

1/2 cup ghee

1/2 cup oil 

Salt to taste.

METHOD

Grind the ginger+garlic together coarsely and set aside.Before you start making.reserve a 

tsp.of ginger-garlic paste,green chilli paste,red chilli paste,and roughly chopped onion 

and set aside this mixture for the final adddition.

Heat the ghee and oil(set aside 2 tblsp of this oil to add later).

Add the whole spices,and the onions and cook till onions are light brown.Next add the coarsely

ground onions,salt,and sauté till translucent.The ingredients have to be added one by 

one,giving time for each ingredient to release its flavour and blend.

Next add ginger-garlic paste,then green chilli paste,and red chilli paste.Add chopped tomatoes

and cook till tomatoes are soft.Now add the mutton and cook for 5-10 minutes.Add curd and 

ground coconut and sauté well.Cover and cook the mutton in its own juices without adding 

water,until it is tender.

Once the gravy is done,remove the meat pieces from the gravy and set aside.Add the soaked 

rice (20 minutes) to the gravy.Pour water 1 inch above rice level.Add lemon juice and check for 

salt.

Heat the reserved oil in another vessel,add add the reserved onions and masala paste,with the 

mint leaves,and sauté till the leaves change color.Add this tempered paste to the meat and rice 

mix.Lastly add the meat pieces on top.Add coriander leaves.Cover and cook on a slow flame till 

done.Mix well and serve with your favourite accompaniments.

Awaiting your comments .

WHEAT FLOUR PIZZA WITH CAPSICUM SAUCE


This pizza is made with wheat flour ,and no tomato sauce added .I just made a

tangy capsicum sweet sauce(red peppers only).You could add slices of tomato if you

like,or serve with tomato sauce if you like.We had it tomato free.Vegetables can be your

choice.Well,i added only cucumber and some thin green capsicum slices .

The preparation of the dough had a slight change(my twist).Let’s get into the recipe.

Ingredients for the dough

250 gms wheat flour

1/2 cup white flour (you can opt out if you like)

2 tblsp.milk powder or 1/2 cup warm milk

1 egg yolk

2 tsp.active yeast

3 tblsp.olive oil.

1 tblsp.sugar.

1/2 tp.baking soda.

1-2 tp.salt

curd to apply on dough.

Method

Mix in the yeast to 1/2 cup lukewarm water.Sprinkle sugar on top,cover and allow to

rise.Once you see active fermentation,add in to the flour with the rest of the ingredients

and bind to a soft dough.Apply curd on the dough .Cover and allow to double in size.

Once it has doubled roll out into pizza shapes you like.Place on greased trays,cover till

you make the sauce.

For the red pepper sauce

3-4 red capsicum cut and seeds removed.

1 inch ginger

4 pips garlic

1 tsp.chilli paste.

1 tsp.kashmiri chilli powder

2 tblsp.vinegar

3-4 tblsp.of jaggery or sugar(preferably brown)

salt to taste.

Method 

Grind all the ingredients together .Cook on a slow flame till you get a thick saucy texture.

For the cheese sauce.

2 cups milk

2 tblsp cornflour

1 tsp.black pepper powder

1/2 cup cheddar cheese grated.

salt to taste

Method

Make a thick flowing paste with cornflour and milk.Heat the rest of the milk,simmer and

add the cornflour mixture preventing lumps.Next add the rest of the ingredients and

cook for 2-3 minutes.It will look like custard.Set aside.

For the topping

Thin slices of cucumber,green and yellow capsicum rings.

tomato slices (optional)

1 cup mozzarella cheese or plain cheese grated .(optional)

Assembling

Apply the prepared capsicum sauce on the prepared dough(if the dough has risen

up.punch it down flat.)Arrange the cucumber and capsicum slices.Drizzle the cheese

sauce.Add mozarella cheese and bake in a hot oven (200 degrees for 10 minutes per

pizza).

Pan pizza also can be made with this dough,as this dough has a nice texture (soft inside

and crispier on the crust.

Note: Olives and herbs can be added as per your choice.

Herbs can be added to the dough too.

INNOVATE AND ENJOY!

 

 

 

DUM KA ROAT HALWA(Ash Gourd Halwa)


This is an awesome halwa originating from South India.It is also known as kaasi halwa.

The dominating ingredient is the ash gourd.I have given pointers to health benefits

before,but as it’s my style to first get into health benefits shall give a few points.

The intense cooling property in ashgourd,gives relief to acidity and peptic ulcers.

The juice of ashgourd taken with lime juice or amla helps obese , diabetic,anaemic

patients.It is best to include this vegetable in any form for general health.It is an

excellent combination when cooked with dhal.

Today i would like to share this sweet and healthy recipe with you all.Believe me it excels

in taste competing with carrot halwa.Let’s get into the recipe now!

Ingredients

500 gm ash gourd (peeled and grated)

1 cup sugar

1 cup mawa /khova(you can use 1/2 cup milk powder if you can’t find khova)

4 tblsp.fine rawa (sooji,rulang,semolina)

3 tblsp.raisins

1/4-1/2 cup cashewnuts

1/4 cup milk (coconut milk also can be used for a variation)

1/4 cup ghee

1/2 tsp.powdered cardamom

a pinch of salt

Method

Heat ghee in a wok ,and fry the cashewnuts and raisins and set aside.In the same ghee

add the grated gourd with a pinch of salt,till the liquid in the vegetable dries up.Next add

the rest of the ingredients,and cook on a medium flame till it gets the texture of halwa.

Transfer to a plate and serve warm or  after it is cool.

Some areas they keep this halwa in the oven for a few minutes to get the crusty burnt

look on top,or maybe for longer shelf life.Well i avoided the oven ,believe me it was

yummy!

Note:Those who want to opt for jaggery( vellam ),instead of sugar also can go ahead and

try.Please do send in your comments.

Those who love to add food color may do so.I have not added color.

 

PRUNE ‘N’ WALNUT PIE


Prunes and walnuts are both listed under nutritious category.Prunes especially,though

the health benefits are excellent,some do not like prunes (dried plums),so this recipe is a

good way to introduce into the diet.To endorse a few benefits of prunes  now

1. The content of fibre,sorbitol (a sugar alcohol that can loosen the stool) and a natural

laxative compound diphenyl isatain  are beneficial to the digestive tract.

2. The high soluble fibre helps to keep the sugar levels stable,as it delays the absorption

of  sugar into the blood stream.It also makes you feel full and satisfied after a meal,hence

overeating is avoided.

3.They help in lowering cholesterol,and improving bone health effectively.

Hope this outline is enough on the health note,and let’s move on to the awesome recipe.!

Ingredients for the basic tart pastry (9-10″ pie)

2 cups flour

120 gm butter

1 egg yolk

2 tblsp.sugar

1/4 tsp.salt

1/2 tsp.vanilla essence

Method

Mix all these ingredients and bind to a soft dough.Keep covered for 30-35 minutes.Do not

knead too much,but lightly put it together.If the dough is kneaded too much the pastry

will be tough.You can prepare this the previous day,and keep covered in the

refridgerator,and use it when needed.For this recipe,you could prick the base of the

pastry, and directly pour the filling,without prebaking the pastry .

For the filling

18-20 prunes

100 gm butter

2 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla

50-75 gm walnuts

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup milk

1 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup rum,or grape juice (lightly heated to soak)

Method

Heat the grape juice lightly and soak the prunes for a few hours or overnight for a richer

taste.If using rum or any other liquor you needn’t heat .Remove the prunes from the

juice(do not discard the juice) and arrange on the pricked and unbaked pastry.

Cream the butter and sugar till creamy.Add one egg at a time ,beating well after each

addition.Sift flour and baking powder,and add to the mixture.Add the rest of the

ingredients,with the rum or grape juice.(it should be of a dropping consistency.)

Pour the mixture over the prunes,and bake in a moderate oven for 45 minutes,or untill

done.Serve warm or cold with cream or a blob of ice cream.

Well!we had it plain.Looking forward to your comments, and suggestions.

Variation:Dates,dried apricots,and dried figs  can be substituted for prunes

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KERALA VEGETABLE BIRIYANI


India is blessed with different cultures,languages,traditions, so is the Indian cuisine too.If

you take a look at the glossary of  the types of biriyani in India,it is a long list.Today i am

going to share with you a Kerala type biriyani.This is not too spicy but has a good flavor

with  coconut milk creating the twist .Before i go into the recipe i would like to share

with you the method of frying crisp onions for biriyanis and pulaos.

Fried onions for pulaos and biriyanis 

Onions sliced fine (quantity depends on how much you need)

salt.

oil for frying.

Method

Transfer the sliced onions to a bowl.Add salt and ,mix well with your hands for 3-4

minutes and squeeze out the water from the onions .Fry the onions in oil till golden

brown.Drain on absorbent kitchen paper.Use as required

For the Kerala biriyani

500 gm basmati rice washed and soaked for half an hour.

2-3 onions sliced

5-6 green chillies sliced

2 tblsp ginger garlic paste

1-2 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp cummin seed powder

1 tsp whole peppercorns

1 tsp.fennel seed powder

1 tbsp.garam masala powder

2 tomatoes coarsely pureed

few mint leaves

few coriander leaves

2 cups thick coconut milk

whole spices (3 cardamons,3 cloves,2 inch piece cinammon,sea moss a pinch,javitri a

small piece)

2-3 cups vegetables of your choice cut (peas ,carrot,beans,cauliflower,potatoes).

1/2 tsp.turmeric

1/2 cup curd

salt to taste

1/4- 1/2 cup ghee

For the garnish

1 cup fried onions

1/4 cup fried cashewnuts

a few raisins fried in ghee.

saffron strands mixed in 1/4 cup milk (optional)

METHOD

Cook the rice  with required salt until 3/4th done.Drain and set aside.

Heat ghee in a thick bottomed vessel or biriani pot,and add the whole spices,onions and

fry till onions are light brown.Add the green chillies,ginger garlic paste ,salt,and spices

and saute till raw smell is gone.Next add tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes,and then add

the cut vegetables.Saute for a few minutes,and add 1 cup water.Cover and cook till

vegetables are cooked.Add coconut milk and remove from fire.Transfer half of the gravy

into another bowl. Top the remaining gravy in the pot with half the rice ,mint,and

coriander leaves and half of the garnish.Pour the remaining gravy on top of the layered

rice,and lastly the remaining rice and garnish the same way.Add milk and saffron

strands on top if you are using.Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook on a slow fire for 10

minutes.Serve with raita and curries you prefer.

Variations:The same recipe can be done with chicken  too.

                    In addition to the vegan list tender jak biriyani,egg biriyani,paneer,or only cashew 

                    biriyani could be made with the same recipe

Try and let me know your valuable comments