Sunday, May 31, 2015

Chiroti Rava Chakkuli

Chakkuli is also known as chakli or Muruku. Chakkuli is a fried dish. It is crispy and crunchy that every one will surely like to munch..Previously fried things are prepared during the festivals in large scale and used it for many weeks.The time has changed. Different varieties of fried items are shining in the market. Indian fried snacks have become famous world wide.
Chakkuli or chakli is one of the popular fried dish of every one. Especially South Indians like this dish and it can be prepared with different ingredients.Chakkuli mould is very important here to give a shape. Chakkuli the word has come from Sanskrit. ( the circular shape). The chosen flours are mixed with water and then made into thick dough. Then the dough is put into the mould and then pressed to give a round shape. Then fried in hot oil till they turn slightly golden brown and crispy. It can be kept for many days.
I remember my aunt used to prepare this chakkuli in large quantity during "Gokulastami Festival" and share with the neighbours around our home. Gokulastami festival falls  in the month of August or September. It is the biggest festival celebrated in grand manner in Udupi, Dakshina Kannada and all over India.It is believed that Shree Krishna is born on that day night. It is also a rainy season and the rains just slow down during this period and the weather is cool and nice to enjoy in South Canara.. Gokulastami is celebrated in grand way in Udupi and Shree Krishna temple is very famous temple here.
Home made things are always better and safe. You can prepare chakkuli at home and satisfy your taste bud and your people.Here Chiroti rava and rice flour are the main ingredients that I have used. Little spices like jeera and chilly powder are added to give a spicy taste. Crispy, crunchy chakkulis can be kept at least for 1 to 2 weeks in air tight bottles.
Lets see the recipe
Ingredients : 
Chirote Rava (thin variety of Semolina) : 1 Cup
Rice flour : 3 Cups
Water : 1 Cup
Butter : 1 Table spoon
Salt : to taste
Chilly powder : 1 Tea spoon
Jeera : 1 Tea spoon
Sesame seeds : 2 Table spoons
Oil : 2 Cups ( To fry)
 Method :
1. Keep a cup of water to boil on the stove. Add salt and let it boil nicely.
2. Add chiroti rava to the boiling water. Mix it well till it thickens. Put off the fire.
3. Add rice flour and a table spoon of butter, jeera and sesame seeds. 
4. Prepare the dough. Kneed the dough nicely. (Use water if necessary while preparing the dough).
5.Divide the dough in to small portion. Take a portion of it and put it in the chakkuli mould and let the mould be ready with dough.
6. Keep a frying pan on the fire and put oil. Let it become hot.
7. Now press the mould  handle by turning it.Let the chakkuli fry nicely on both side. (I pressed the dough directly to the hot oil).

8. Fry it till both sides turn crispy and crunchy.(slightly golden brown).

9. Remove the fried chakkuli and put it on the kitchen tissue. It absorbs the extra oil.
10. Prepare the chakkuli with rest of the dough.
11. Serve hot chakkuli with  a cup of hot coffee or tea or juice.
12. Put them in airtight bottle when they are cool.
Note :
You can use water if necessary while preparing the dough. Do not add more butter, chakkuli may break in to tiny piece and spread in oil. Do not use any cooking soda or baking soda. Adding more chilly powder is optional. You can mix rice flour when the dough is bit cool. You can prepare chakkuli first on a plate and then fry them. At time you can fry 3 to 4. I directly pressed chakkuli in to hot oil. You can also prepare these type of chakkuli with medium size rava.
Time : 40 minutes.
Serves : 5 to 6.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Almond & Dates Kheer

Almond & Dates Kheer is a desert which is easy to prepare and healthy to have as a desert. It is simple easy and yummy to have it. It is sugar free and ghee free. This way you can reduce the sugar intake and quench your thirst of sweet bite. Many have a habit of eating some sweet after their meal. This desert will surely serve the purpose. It is completely diet recipe as no sugar or ghee is used.
Lets see some benefits of adding  almonds and dates in our diet.
Almonds or badam lower the bad cholesterol. They protects artery walls from damage. They reduce the heart attack risk. Almonds help to build strong bones and teeth. They also provide healthy fats and help in weight loss. Almonds lower the rise in blood sugar and insulin after meals. They help provide good brain function. They nourish the nervous system. According to Ayurveda, almonds help increase high intellectual level.
Dates are good for heart problems, anemia , diarrhea, and constipation. They are good for gaining weight. They are rich in many vitamins, minerals and fiber. They contain oil, calcium, sulfur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium. They are very beneficial for good health. Eating one date per day is good for healthy diet.
Now lets see the recipe.
This is a sweet dish and we can have them after lunch or dinner.

Things Needed :

Almonds : 1/2 Cup
Dates : 1 Cup
Cardamom : 2 to 3 pods
Milk : 1 Cup;
Cashew nuts : 1 Table spoon

Method :

1. Dry roast and dry grind almonds and keep it aside. (Medium size rava consistency).
2. Remove the seeds from dates and dry grind it nicely to powder form.
3. Remove the outer skin of cardamom and powder it.
4. Keep milk for boiling in a pan.
5. Add almond powder and mix it well and stir for a while.
6. Add powdered dates and mix it well and boil it for 2 to 3  minutes. Stir in between.
7. Put off the gas and add powdered cardamom and mix it well.
8. Add cashew nuts and mix it well just before serving.

Note :

Cut cashew nuts in to small pieces. Adding more milk to get little thinner consistency is optional. Adding more dates is also optional. It adds to the sweet taste. Frying cashew nuts in a spoon of ghee is optional. ( I have used as it is, did not fry in ghee). You can also dry roast them. Heat a pan or tava and just roast them on it with out oil or ghee.
Time : 10 minutes.
Serves : 5

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Flax Seeds - Urid Dal Dosa

Flax Seeds are healthy seeds and you must add Flax seeds in your diet. It is loaded with healthy values. Urid dosa is loved by many. That too who does not like soft, fluffy and tasty dosas in their food. Whether morning, snack time or even dinner I am sure every time and anytime this goes well.
I soaked some flax seeds thinking of adding them while cooking. I was really not known that soaking flax seeds turns sticky. So when I checked them after 1 hours so, it already soaked well and I did not want to add them in the curry because of the texture as it turned. I did not want to throw them either, so I added this soaked flax seeds along with my dosa ingredients to grind and left it for ferment. I knew that flax seeds are added to cake instead of eggs. Was just thinking how the dosa will be. To my surprise the dosa was superb, soft and fluffy and tasty too. So this way flax seeds added urid dosa derived and you can try this also and enjoy eating them.
Methi seeds, urid dal, raw rice and flax seeds are used in this recipe. 

Let us see some benefits of having Methi Seeds in our diet.
Methi or Fenugrik seeds contain loads of medicinal values. It contain protein, fibre, Vitamin C, potassium, iron and alkaloids.(Alkaloids are group of naturally occurring chemical compounds). Methi seeds help to reduce the cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart diseases. It contain large amount of potassium and helpful for heart rate and blood pressure. Methi seeds contain amino acid and it helps to produce and insulin and helps to control blood sugar levels in diabetics. It is full of fiber and helps in good digestion. It is good for heart burn.It helps to loose weight and good remedy for fever and sore throat. It helps to increase breast milk production in lactating women. (Lactating mother should have methi leaves in their diet). Helps to soothe skin inflammation and reduces scars. It also helps people who suffer with their hair problems.
Now lets see the recipe:

Things Needed :

Raw Rice : 2 Cups
Urid Dal : 1/2 Cup
Methi Seeds : 2 Tea spoons
Flax seeds : 1 full Table spoon
Salt : to taste
Oil or Ghee : 2 Table spoons

Water : required water.

Method : 

1. Wash and soak raw rice, methi seeds, urid dal together for 4 to 5 hours.
2. Wash and soak flax seeds separately
3. Now grind them all together including soaked flax seeds. Divide the whole ingredients in to two parts. (grinding small quantity helps to grind the ingredients nicely and quickly).
4. Use only required water while grinding. (or the dough may turn watery and it may not churn nicely).
5. Remove from the mixi jar and add salt and allow it to ferment. (overnight is better).
6. Let it ferment well for at least 6 to 8 hours.
7. Keep a dosa pan on the fire and heat. Sprinkle oil and spread it nicely.
8. Mix dosa batter nicely and take a spoon of the batter and put it on the tava and make a small circle size.
9. Sprinkle oil on the top of the dosa and cover. Cook for a minute and turn the dosa to the other side and cook.(10 seconds).
10. Now Dosa is ready to serve. Serve with the side dish you have prepared. Add little ghee on the hot dosa just before serving.

Note :

Let the batter be like normal dosa batter consistency. I have not added awalakki for this dosa. Just 4 to 5 pods of soaked cow peas added. (It is not necessary to add cow peas, It was mixed with flax seeds while soaking). Using ghee or oil is optional. Do not add more flax seeds. It increases the body heat. At a time you can have 3 tea spoons of flax seeds or powder. Thinner dosa also comes out nicely but its not crispy. It is soft.
Time : 30 minutes + soaking  4 hours and ferment 6 to 8 hours.
Serves : 5 to 6

Friday, May 22, 2015

Ondelaga Raw Mango Chutney


Ondelaga are healthy leaves and contain loads of medicinal values. They are commonly known as centella and Gotu Kola. (Centella asiantica). These leaves can be grown in pots too. You can just add handful leaves in any kind of chutney or tambuli. (Curd contain gravy dish). I have used a spoonful of moong dal. My aunt used to say using a spoon of moong dal will not only adds to the taste and it reduced the heat ( body heat caused by eating raw mango - ushna in Kannada language).
Ondelaga - Raw Mango Chutney is prepared using dry coconut (Copra). This chutney goes very well with Hot Plain Rice and a spoon of fresh ghee. We can eat with chapatis, rotis, rice or raagi rotti, idli, dosa and almost all main dishes.
Ondelaga or timire (in Kannada language) (Gotu Kola) is known as Bengsang Brahmhi - in Hindi, Tulukudi-Bengali, Sarasvathi Aku- Telugu, Vallari Kirai - Tamil, Karivan Karivana -Marathi, Kuduvan or kudungal- Malayalam and Khanda Brahmi in Gujarathi.
Lets see some benefits of adding Ondelaga in our diet. 
Ondelaga is an ancient Indian herb used both for culinary and therapeutic purposes.Gotu Kola is an effective herb for depression. It is rich in anti oxidants.Ondelaga is good for  healing gastric ulcers. Ondelaga helps to relieve fever symptoms. It is good for muscle pain and stiff joints. It helps to strengthen the circulatory and vascular system. It is used for boosting the functions of kidney and liver. It is good for treating skin diseases eczema. Gotu Kola's diluted solution is used for conjunctivitis eyes. It is also good for blood sugar and rise in cholesterol levels.
Lets see the recipe Now:
Things Needed :
Ondelaga Leaves : One handful
Raw Mango : 1 Bowl. (1/2 of big size mango)
Green chilly : 2 to 3
Soaked Moong dal : 1 Tea spoon
Salt : to taste
Ingh : a pinch
Oil : 1/2 Tea spoon
Mustard Seeds : 1/2 Tea spoon
Curry Leaves : 5 to 6
Dry Coconut 1
Method :
1. Wash Ondelaga leaves, green chilly and keep it aside.
2. Cut mangoes in to small pieces.
3. Cut coconut into pieces and keep it aside.
4. Keep a small pan and add a drop of oil and fry green chilly for a few minutes. ( 2 to 3).

 5. Grind all the ingredients ..with little water.

6. Dry grind first , so that coconut and mango pieces churn nicely.
 7. Add little water and grind it till paste.

 8. Shift the ready chutney to a serving bowl and add mustard, curry leaves and ingh seasoning.

 You need to dry grind in the beginning. So that the coconut pieces can be churned well. You can also use fresh coconut. Just dried coconut is the best to prepare this chutney. Adding little ingh while grinding will add to the taste. You can use any cooking oil for seasoning. I have used coconut oil. Do not fry Ondelaga leaves. They might loose their values when roast or fried. Adding more chilly is optional. Use less water while grinding. Thick Chutney always taste better.
Time : 10 Minutes
Serves : 3 to 4..

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Cow Peas-Ash Gourd Curry

Cow Peas and Ash gourd (white pumpkin) curry is a gravy dish and  it is one of the traditional dish
The combination of cow pea and Ash Gourd goes well and thick curry can be one of the side dish. It goes well with idli , dosa, plain rice, raagi or akki rotti, even wheat rotti, chapatis and pulkas. Just give a try and you will love the taste.

Lets see some benefits of having Cow peas and Ash gourd in our diet.
Cow pea subordinates cholesterol level. They contain good level of proteins and  dietary fibers. They are rich in anti-oxidants. They are good option for weight loss.They do not contain cholesterol. They contain soluble fiber and it is good for people who suffer from diabetes.They are low in fat and calories. They also help and safe gourd from numerous health problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and depressive disorders.
Ash gourd is known for its medicinal values and healing power. They are low in calories. It is good for diabetic people. It has a cooling content and it helps to secretion and disposal of urine. It contain good amount of anti oxidant values. It is a good remedy for people who suffer from constipation. It is good for peptic ulcer and ash gourd seeds are used for treating in ejecting tape worms and other intestinal worms. Ash gourd juice is used to treat acidity and common cold. Ash gourd is used to treat epilepsy, lung diseases, urine retention and cough. Ash gourd juice is used for treating mouth cancer, protecting teeth and gums and bleeding gums.

No Onion or garlic is used in this curry. 

Ingredients :

Ash Gourd (White Pumpkin) pieces : 1 Big bowl.
Toor dal : 1/4 Cup
Red Cow Pea : 1/2 Cup
Coconut : 1 Cup  ( or 4 table spoons full )
Rasam Powder : 2 Table spoons
Jeera : 1/2 Table spoon
Methi seeds : 1/4 Tea spoon
Salt : to taste
Tamarind pulp or lemon : 1 Table spoon
Ingh : a pinch
Coconut Oil : 2 Tea spoons
Curry leaves : 6 to 8 leaves
Turmeric powder : a pinch

Method :

1. Wash and cook toor dal and red cow pea in a pressure cooker for 6 to 8 minutes and leave it for cooling.
2. Wash and remove the outer  layer of Ash gourd (boodu kumbala kai). Cut in to small pieces.

3. Keep a big pan and put a cup of water and boil. Add cut Ash gourd pieces and cook until it is soft. (5 to 6 minutes)
4. Grate coconut and grind it with little water till paste.
5. Now add cooked dal and cow peas to cooked Ash gourd pieces. Add salt. Add tamarind pulp. Add pinch of turmeric powder.
6. Mix it well. Add 1/4 spoon of methi seeds to the boiling curry.
7. Add ground coconut and rasam powder. Mix it well and let it boil for 2 minutes. Shift the curry to a serving bowl.
8. Add jeera - curry leaves, ingh splutter done with coconut oil to the curry and serve with main dish you prepared.

Note :

You can cook cow pea directly or soak in water for over night. ( I cooked directly here).
You can use any brand of rasam powder or home made rasam powder. I have added Mayya's Rasam Powder. You can also add onions and garlic to the curry. (optional). You can use any brand or type of cooking oil instead of coconut oil. Adding one or two green chilly to the curry while boiling adds to the aroma. Just slit green chilly and add it. You can also add jaggery or sugar. I have not added.
You can also prepare this curry with Mangalore Southekai. (Curry Cucumber or bannada southekai).

Time : 30 minutes 
Serves : 3 to 4 
Tip : Adding Raw Methi seeds reduces the cholesterol in the intake of food. 
Preparing home made Rasam powder :
Dry roast 1/4 tea spoon of methi seeds, 2 table spoons of coriander seeds, 6 to 8 red chilly (using byadgi is better), ingh and put off the gas or remove the pan from the fire. Add jeera and mix it well. Add curry leaves. When it cools dry grind to powder form and your fresh Rasam powder is ready to use. (one time use). You can also use a tea spoon of oil to fry all these ingredients. (optional).

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