Monday, 10 September 2018

Instant Raagi Gundpongal / Paddu / Paniyaram - gluten free and guilt free breakfast
Preparation time  30 minutes
Cooking Time        20 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients :

  • Chiroti rava / sooji     4 cups
  • Ragi flour                  4 cups
  • Curds                        4 cups
  • Baking soda              1/2 teaspoon
  • Groundnut oil            1/2 cup
  • Mustard seeds           1 teaspoon
  • Hing        1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt to taste

  • Finely chopped Onions                         4 Big  
  • Finely chopped Chillies                         2 tablespoon
  • Finely chopped Dill/ sabbasige soppu    2 cup
  • Nicely chopped Methi                           2 cup
  • Nicely chopped Coriander                     1 cup
  • Nicely chopped Curry leaves                 1/4 cup

Preparation :

  • Soak sooji/chiroti rava in curds for 1 hour.

  • In a thick bottomed kadai heat 1 tablespoon oil.
  • To this add mustard seeds.
  • When they splutter add hing.
  • Now add all the finely chopped vegetables/greens and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Take the soaked sooji and add ragi flour mixed in water and mix both well taking care that no lump is formed.
  • You may add a little water to adjust the consistency.
  • To this add the above sauteed vegetables.
  • Add salt and baking soda.

  • Heat the non stick paddu vessel.
  • Put in a little oil in each of the holes.
  • Now put in the paddu mix in the holes and cover the lid.
  • Cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
  • Flip them once they turn brown and crisp.
  • Now cook in the other side for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Once they are golden brown and crisp remove from the appam vessel and serve hot with coconut chutney.

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Organic Gardening tips - chapter 1
"..... You have Vitamin D deficiency. You must sit in the morning sun at least for an hour." My doctor told me three years ago, post my spinal surgery. I would sit on the terrace,with music and newspaper giving me company.Then the empty pots left unused in the terrace started getting filled with little saplings. Whenever a new flower, new saplings in the vendor's cart caught my eye, the temptation was too hard to resist. The collection grew slowly and steadily.
But I had limitations about the strain I can take because of my back problem and with the busy schedule both at home and office. Then one fine day I learnt about growing the plants totally in organic manure. Though earlier I had been growing a random plant in coco peat bought from exhibitions, this method of growing totally in organic manure is entirely different like chalk from cheese.

From mud and cement pots filled with soil, I have switched to paint boxes filled with organic mix and manure from my kitchen scraps and wastes. The result is a beautiful garden with happy plants and smiling flowers. Water is saved by 70%, physical work by 90% and cost by 50% whereas the happiness has increased multifold and now everyday I get a big bowl of flowers of almost 10-15 varieties! There are many medicinal plants, greens and most of the seasonal vegetables. I am waging a battle with monkeys to allow me to have my share of veggies - at times i win and some other times they beat me.

Ours is a small west facing house.There is little space in the front but because of lack of sunlight, plants won't grow. I am crazy about gardening and was hell bent on having Parijatha and Jaaji plants in front of my house.So I grow the plants in the terrace, nurture them and once they grow some 8-10 feet tall, transfer them to the ground floor and repot them at some elevation and bend them outside the compound so that they catch full sunlight. Now my Parijatha is growing healthy at 15 feet, Fragrant Jaaji flowers peep at us through windows at night and Nitya Mallige grown on the terrace, transplanted to the ground is spreading its wings to reach the terrace :-) I haven't left the window planter box and planter box on the compound! I have put cosmos plants there, which keep giving seeds and growing themselves. 

I have stopped purchasing flowers since last two years and hope to do the same for veggies soon - monkeys willing!!!
Look at this video taken by me when I first switched from soil to manure.

Gardening in one of the most fulfilling and rewarding of the hobbies because you don't just get the fruits of your efforts - pun intended - the positive hormones in your brain when you look at the tiny leaf peeping at you or a little colorful bud smiling at you enhances not just your mood but your health and may be even your longevity!

Look at the flowers I have grown in my terrace over the last one and half years.

Would you like to know the tips and tricks of growing your own organic vegetables and fruits? Does it bother you that you don't have a big backyard or ample space in your front yard? Or that you have physical limitations to carry out the gardening work? Don't you have enough time, space or resources at your disposal but still would love to have colourful flowers for your daily pooja?
Then you are at the right spot!!
Now enjoy these visual treats and book mark this site as I would take you through my gardening journey and would share my easy tips and tricks to grow.
You have ample space? Fine. You have just enough space? No problem! Do you have still lesser space? Enough to keep some 10 pots? That's enough. Do you want to grow on terrace? Still better. It's enough for you to grow flowers and veggies even in 10x10 area. Only thing is it must have direct sunlight for the abundant growth like mine.

I would love to share my experience in organic terrace gardening and give you tips about how to take care of your plants and how to grow maximum with minimum efforts and investments.
Keep watching this space for more...
So long...
Till next time.....

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Sambar powder

Ingredients :

2 cup dry red chillies - byadagi menasina kayi
1 cup hot chillies - guntur mensina kayi
1 cup urad dal
1 cup channa dal
1 cup coriander seeds
1/4 cup methi seeds
1 cup curry leaves
1/4 cup black peper
1/2 cup jeera 
4-5 sticks cinnamon
1/2 cup kallu hoovu
1 cup grated dry coconut

Preparation :

Heat a thick bottomed pan.

Dry fry each item separately.
Fry Channa daal, urad daal separately till they are golden brown.
Fry grated dry coconut lightly till they turn crisp.
Fry curry leaves till they are crisp.
Fry methi seeds and jeera till they are golden brown.
Fry peppers till they splutter.
Finally fry the chillies adding a teaspoon of oil.
Let everything sit for half an hour.

Now in a jar grind all the ingredients separately and put in a basin.
Then mix everything and once again grind in the mixer so that they all blend and mix thoroughly.

Keep in an airtight jar. It can be used upto 3-4 months by taking out a small portion for daily usage.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Hurigadale ( puthani) Karadantu North Karnataka style
Shri Krishna Janmashtami is fast approaching. The preparations are on for making Chakli, Kodubale, Nippattu, Tengolu.....

Which sweet are you planning to make this time? Is it the usual Mysore Pak, Khobri Mithai? Or Five cups or seven cups?

Why not make a very different tasty yummy sweet for Krishna this year? One which is absolutely delicious, very very light on your tummy and waistline and hardly takes about 20-30 minutes?
It's called Karadantu but has nothing to do with Gokak Karadantu except for the fact that both are sweets from North Karnataka. My sister Geetha is an expert in making this sweet and I got the recipe from her...

Recipe? Here you go....

Preparation Time  20 Minutes
Cooking Time       20 Minutes

Serves : You decide!

Ingredients :

Hurigadale hittu           2 big cups
Sugar                         2 big cups
Elaichi powder             2 teaspoon
Grated dry coconut      2 tablespoon
Poppy seeds               2 teaspoon
Dry fruit mix pieces     1 cup
Ghee                          2 tablespoon
Water                         2 cups

Preparation :

  • Apply ghee to a plate and keep aside.
  • Lightly roast to a golden brown the dry fruits pieces, dry coconut powder and poppy seeds and set aside.
  • In a thick bottomed kadai mix and heat sugar in water such that the water should stand one inch above sugar when you first pour in.
  • Keep stirring to make syrup - paaka.
  • Wait till it turns to ele paaka ( when you test with your two fingers it should come like a thread )
  • Now switch off the gas and take down the kadai.
  • Pour in all roasted dry fruits.
  • Add grated coconut powder and poppy seeds.
  • Start pouring in the roasted gram powder slowly and gradually into the paaka taking care not to form any lumps. The mixture should be light when you mix. It depends on the consistency of your syrup. If you feel that the mixture is turning hard, stop adding the roasted gram powder.
  • Pour in the mixture into the plate, level it and cut into desired shapes. Let it cool.
  • Take out the pieces. It tastes very good both when hot and cold.
  • It can be eaten upto 8-10 days without refrigeration provided it lasts that long!

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

You know the good old Bhelpuri has as many recipes as the eaters. And each one is unique and tastes equally good. In fact it can be prepared even without a recipe. Really.
Just take the core ingredient, the kadlepuri - puffed rice - add any fresh veggies you can put your hands on, toss in some savouries and a dash of sweet and sourness and lo and behold you will have people fighting over for it.
I have my own recipe for Bhelpuri. It represents me and how I want my life to be - sweet, hot, sour and tangy. Precisely.
So give a break to your recipe and try mine. I bet you would want to add this to your favorites.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Godhi hittina tambittu

How the time flies. It seems just yesterday that I was doing my first Mangala Gowri pooja and here today both my daughter and daughter-in-law are doing the pooja together.
And the most important part of the Mangala Gowri pooja is making godhi hittu - wheat flour - tambittu. When I was doing pooja my co-sisters would do the tambittu and I had never dwelled deep into the recipe as I was busy performing pooja and running to the office.
Today I sought help from my friend Padmaja, who is an expert in making soft holige - puran poli - bele obbattu, who gave me this quick and easy recipe. By the way you can check here the best recipe for making soft bele obbattu. Follow this recipe to the T and your obbattus would be a real treat.

And here is the recipe for godhi tambittu. Ooops... Did I mention that these tambittu are so so yummy and delicious that you would have great difficulty in controlling yourself to stop gobbling one after another. If you want to distribute them as prasada, make sure to prepare more else nothing would be left when the guests arrive. And when the first guest starts eating, nothing would be left for the last guest! Or else train yourself into a great lesson of self control.

Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking Time       20 minutes

Ingredients :  

Pounded Unde Bella 4 cups
Wheat flour                4 cups
Desi ghee                     1 cup

Preparation :

  • In a thick bottomed kadai dry roast the atta till the raw smell goes and it starts giving a nice aroma. 
  • Then add ghee and fry for a minute or two. Shift the roasted flour to a plate. 
  • Now in the same kadai put bella - jaggery with 2 cups of water. 
  • Keep stirring till jaggery melts and it becomes antu paaka - sticky syrup - and switch off the gas. 
  • Don't leave for long else tambittu becomes hard. 
  • Then add the roasted flour and mix well. Within a few minutes it thickens into nice soft tambittu. 
  • Let it cool. 
  • Now prepare the tambittu deepas, gopura or unde.
This tambittu is generally prepared for pooja diyas during mangala gowri and other festivals in Shravana. If you want to eat tambittu during non-festival season, you can add fried dry fruits, fried grated dry coconut and elaichi powder to enhance the taste.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Fried gram laddu and sesame seed laddu - Nagara Panchami sweets

These are the most famous delicious sweets prepared in North Karnataka during Nagara Panchami festival. They are very very easy to prepare, taste extremely delicious and can be stored even without refrigeration for more than a fortnight.

So this time try these delicacies with this easy and quick recipe.
Fried gram Thambittu.

Prep time : 30 minutes
Cooking time : 30 minutes
Serves : depends!!!

Ingredients :
  • Fried gram powder 4 cups
  • Ground Jaggery 3 cups - increase or decrease depending upon the sweetness you like
  • Ghee 2 cups
  • Grated dry coconut 1 tablespoon
  • Fried sesame seeds 1 tablespoon
  • Elaichi powder 3/4 tablespoon
Preparation :
  • In a thick bottomed kadai, heat a tablespoon of ghee and lightly fry the grated dry coconut to a light golden brown and keep it aside.
  • In the same kadai heat the remaining ghee and add the jaggery.
  • Once the jaggery melts, turn down the heat, add the roasted dry coconut, fried sesame seeds and the elaichi powder.
  • Switch off the gas and add the fried gram powder and mix well.
  • Prepare round balls - unde - when the mix is hot, because once it gets cold the mixture becomes hard.
  • Relish hot yummy laddus.
  • Once the undes become cold, store in an airtight jar.

Step by step images of the Recipe :

Ellu Chigali

Preparation Time 30 minutes

Serves Depends!!!

Ingredients :

Nylon ellu ( Nylon sesame seeds ) 4 cups
Pounded Unde Bella ( Jaggery )  3 cups - It may vary depending upon how sweet you want your undes

Preparation :

In a thick bottomed kadai toast the sesame seeds till light golden.
Let them cool.
Once cool, coarsely grind the sesame seeds, transfer to a wide bowl.
Mix the pounded ground to this sesame powder.
Now transfer this mixture to mixie jar and grind into nice mix.
It becomes oily and sticky and soft.
Now roll into undes - laddus.
Keep in an airtight jar.
They can be savoured without refrigeration for upto 15-20 days, provided they last for so many days!!!

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Office Humour.... Humour in my workplace....
It has been quite some time since I wrote in my blog other than sharing my recipes. I took VRS last year and so naturally got very busy! Today I want to share some funny anecdotes from my work life, the funny incidents that happened in my office in LIC. So sit back and enjoy...

Have you noticed? There is hardly any difference between the demeanour of a nursery child going to school and a forty plus lady going to office. Given a choice both would rather be left alone and would love to stay at home.And I fully endorse that feeling. Friday evening is the best time of the week and Sunday evening just flies off and I would give anything to Sun if he sleeps off for another week or 48 hours at least. But you know He is never accommodative!

But in spite of this procrastination, we have to go, because we have chosen to go and there are moments in the mundane office hours, some incidents, some innocent comments or wild and witty humour that lifts your mood and lingers like that taste of chocolate on your tongue, which you keep recalling and which gives a nostalgic smile to your lips.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Creamy Cheesey Pasta in White sauce
Preparation time 20 minutes
Cooking time      20 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients :

Ready to cook whole wheat pasta    2
Salt                                                         2 teaspoon
Water to cook pasta

Long and thinly cut vegetables : 

Carrots                                              1/4 cup
Green capsicum                              1/4 cup
Red capsicum                                  1/4 cup
Baby corn                                          1/4 cup

Broccoli  florets                               1/4 cup
Sweet corns                                     1 cup

Corn flour                                         2 tablespoon 
Milk                                                   2 cups 
Butter                                                3 tablespoon 
Finely chopped garlic                     1 teaspoon
Oregano                                            1/2 teaspoon

Dry basil leaves                               1/2 teaspoon
Black pepper powder                      1/2 teaspoon
Red chilli flakes                                1 teaspoon
Grated cheese                                  2 tablespoon
Groundnut oil                                    1 tablespoon
Salt to taste


  • In a thick bottomed kadai or cooker boil 2 liters of water and add the raw pasta and salt to the boiling water. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes till the pasta turn firm yet soft.
  • Drain the excess water and set aside.
  • In a thick bottomed kadai add 1 tablespoon oil and add all the veggies and a little salt and saute for 4-5 minutes. See that they are lightly fried and retain their colour and crunchiness. Then transfer them to a bowl.
  • Heat 3 tablespoon butter in the kadai, add finely chopped garlic and saute for a minute.
  • Add the corn flour and continue to stir for 2 minutes.
  • Then add milk little by little stirring continuously so that no lumps are formed. Continue to stir till the sauce thickens. If you feel that it has become very thick, you can add more milk. Remember though that even though you are adding very little corn flour it thickens very fast so depending upon your requirement add or reduce the quantity of corn flour.
  • Now add oregano, pepper powder, basil leaves,chilli flakes and salt and mix well.
  • After checking the consistency of the sauce add sauteed veggies and cooked pasta and stir well.
  • Again check the consistency and add a little milk if you prefer.
  • Serve hot garnishing with grated cheese.

Saturday, 21 July 2018

How to make soft chapati???

Art of Cooking Tip # 9

How to prepare soft,fluffy and light Chapatis?

Chapati, the regular healthy staple food is prepared by everyone everyday.
But do your chapatis have many soft layers?
Whether your chapatis looks like poori - round - fluffy and light?
Whether your chapatis can be broken in just three fingers?
Whether your chapatis are soft like Obbattu - puran poli?
Whether your chapatis remain as soft and light even after 10-12 hours after cooking?
If your answer is in the negative to any of the above questions, then here is the solution.

  • Prepare the soft dough at least one hour before you roll them.
  • Knead the dough well at least for 5-10 minutes.
  • Finally smear a little groundnut oil and keep the dough well covered for an hour.
  • Now make small balls, dust some atta and roll them round.
  • Put and spread a few drops of oil, sprinkle a little atta on it as shown in the picture.
  • Fold it and again smear a little oil and sprinkle some more atta and fold
    into a triangle.
  • Do this for all the balls.
  • Now while rolling the chapati, it should be remembered that chapatis are to be lightly ROLLED and NOT PRESSED with the rolling pin. This is very important.
  • Remember while cooking chapati the fire should be always high.
  • Put the chapati on the tawa, just when the color changes, turn it.
  • Again within a minute or two reverse it.
  • Put a little oil, turn it and smear a little oil on the other side also.
  • It will turn round like a poori. 
  • Take it with your hands, holding the edge lightly press on the kitchen slab so that the layers get separated because of the oil and the atta inside. 
  • Repeat this for all the chapatis.
  • Put them in a wide vessel and lightly apply ghee.
  • Every time a chapati is cooked, the hot chapati should invariably go below and the ones cooked earlier should come on top. This should continue till all chapatis are cooked. 
  • Serve hot with sabji.
For more such recipes here you go .....