- Very healthy recipes from the kitchen to the table in minutes

I have been blogging since 2007, but I have never had this much fun, coming up with the idea, preparing every pickle, documenting, pic...

Strawberry Pickle/Oorugai/Achar: Strawberry Avakai, Thundu Strawberry And Vadu Strawberry

I have been blogging since 2007, but I have never had this much fun, coming up with the idea, preparing every pickle, documenting, picking out names for each pickle and relishing it. The original idea for the strawberry pickle came from my husband. He suggested that I treat strawberries like vadumanga, a pickle that is very popular in the south of India, prepared with baby raw mangoes. Since the strawberry have a tartness and its size resembled the raw baby mango I decided to experiment with it. Though, he suggested one type of pickle I made three different types.

 My consultant for this pickle was my Amma. In all these years, she has been the sole pickle maker for our family and friends. She has been blessed and gifted with hands that made pickles that never spoil or taste bad. I asked her how she made the vadumanga's and if there was a recipe. She said it all depended on the type of raw baby mango used. Apart from that, she said she would throw in the salt and spices and it always worked. But, I asked her to help me out with this recipe because I was no pro. She told me that the most important thing to do was clean and dry well before use and to add enough salt to allow the ingredients used to release its water. Apart from that it was important to preserve it well.

Strawberry Vadu:



Gadgets: 

Bowl
Cloth
Measuring Spoons and Cup
Bottle
Blender


Ingredients:

Strawberry ( not too ripe) - 9
Sesame Oil - 3 tbsp
Mustard Seed Powdered - 1 tbsp
Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Salt - 4 tbsp
Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp


Preparation:
Time: 5 Days
1. Wash the strawberries and dry them on a bowl to remove water.

2. In a bowl mix oil, turmeric powder and salt. Add the strawberries and coat it well with the spice mix.

3. Store this in a bottle and cover the lid tightly. Allow it to sit with the salt for 3 days. By this time, the strawberry would release its water.

4. Add the mustard powder and chilli powder and mix well. Allow it to marinate for over a day before serving it with yogurt rice.

.................................................................................................................................................

Strawberry Aavakai:





Gadgets:

Clean Cloth
Bowl
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Jadi/ Bottle
Blender



Ingredients:

Strawberries - 12 ( preferably not the sweet kind)
Sesame Oil - 3-4 tbsp To coat the strawberries
Turmeric Powder - 3 tsp
Salt
Red Chilli Powder - 4 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 3 tbsp powdered
Garbanzo Beans - a hand full

Preparation:
Time : 5 days

1. Wash the strawberries  and dry them with a towel gently.

2. In a bowl mix oil and turmeric powder. Toss in the strawberries until they are all well coated.

3. Sprinkle salt ( 2 tbsp) and mix and cover the bowl. Allow to sit on the kitten counter for a day. The next day add more salt ( 2 tbsp) and give a gentle toss. On the third day you will see the salt bringing the water out of the strawberries. Add another 2 tbsp of salt and let it sit.

4. On the fourth day grind mustard seeds in a blender. Add this mustard along with the chilli powder and garbanzo beans. Give it a toss.

5. Cover and allow for the spices to enter the strawberries.

6. Make a bowl of yogurt rice ( thair sadham) or mix it with rice with a dash of sesame oil and enjoy strawberry avakai sadham.

.........................................................................................................................................................

Thundu Strawberry Oorugai:


Gadgets:

Seasoning Ladle
Measuring Spoon and Cup
Bowl
Cutting Board
Knife


Ingredients:

Strawberry - 10 ( Try using the tart strawberries)
Salt
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Sesame Oil - 1 tsp
Asafoetida Powder - a few pinches
Fenugreek Seeds - 1/8 tsp


Preparation:
Time: Under 10 Minutes
1. Cut the strawberries into small pieces.

2. Heat the seasoning ladle with some oil. Add asafetida, mustard seeds, allow it to pop, add fenugreek seeds, chilli, turmeric powder and salt.

3. Toss it into the strawberry. Serve it with yogurt rice.



29 Comments:

My friend Cari introduced me to this treat/snack a few years ago. Soon, I was hooked on it and felt super happy when I found that they wer...

Frozen Grapes : A Snack Under 70 Calories

My friend Cari introduced me to this treat/snack a few years ago. Soon, I was hooked on it and felt super happy when I found that they were just 70 calories a cup. If you were not having a cup of them, but popping a few into your mouth, then each grape is about 3 calories. So do the math and get your instant sweet and frozen treat fix this summer. As my yoga teacher used to say, guilt free eating is the way to weight reduction. Seriously, by the time you have a few frozen grapes you feel so satisfied with the sweet in them. Apart from adults, it is a great treat for the kids because, they are excited to have something cold and you cannot beat this healthy frozen fruit treat. Serve them these healthy after school snacks anytime.



Gadget:

Ziploc container/ bag

Ingredient:

A bowl of seedless grapes any kind ( please use the sweet ones, makes all the difference when cold)



Preparation:

1. Wash the grapes and wipe them dry. Toss them into a ziploc bag or container and store it in your freezer. After a few hours enjoy your treat.

13 Comments:

I know most of you must  be wondering what sort of vadai that is. I wondered too. On my last visit to India, our friend, Prabhu came home...

Thata Vadai/ Disc Vadai


I know most of you must  be wondering what sort of vadai that is. I wondered too. On my last visit to India, our friend, Prabhu came home with a bag of 30 plus of these vadai's, which were hot off the stove. The whole room smelt of a tea shop and in minutes all the vadai's were gone. I am sure everyone in our house must have had multiple vadai's. Remember that these are no normal sized vadai's . They were bigger than your palm and as big as a CD disc. Prabhu was nice enough to get me this recipe and here I am sharing it with everyone. It has been drizzling this morning, which reminded of Coimbatore in June/ July and to enjoy the weather, I decided to make the thatai vadai, that is sold in my home town and have my hot cup of elachi chai.  Valzhalga Prabhu!!



Gadgets:
Frying Pan
Cutting Board
Knife
Aluminum Foil
Draining Spatula
Paper Towel
Colander
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Bowl



Ingredients:
Makes 5 Vadai's 

All Purpose Flour/ Maida - 2 cups
Rice Flour - 2 heaped tsp
Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp plus
Green Chilies - 2 or more thinly sliced
Onion - 1 finely sliced 
Ginger - 1 tbsp grated
Garlic - 1 tbsp grated
Cilantro - 1/4 cup roughly chopped
Oil - 2 tbsp
Water - 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp
Oil for frying ( roughly 2 cups)





Preparation:

1. Place the frying pan on the stove on medium heat with oil for frying. 

2.Add all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add oil and mix well. 

3. Add all the onions, ginger, garlic, chillies and mix well with the flour.



4. Add water and form a soft dough.

5. Split the dough into 5 portions and make a ball with it. 





6. Flatten the ball of dough to lightly so that it helps in frying easily

7. On the kitchen counter, place 2 square sheets of aluminum foil. 

8. Increase the level of heat over medium high. When the oil is ready to fry, add one vadai portion into the oil and fry on both sides 40 seconds each.

9. Remove the vadai from oil and place it on one aluminum foil sheet.


10. Place the other sheet over it and flatten it with your palm and shape it to the size of a CD disc but keep it thick (1/2 inch).







11. Put the disc shaped half fried vadai back into the oil and fry on both sides until golden brown and enjoy it with a cup of hot tea. 


22 Comments:

For dinner, we had uthappam. When I started to learn cooking, I had many challenges with preparing a perfect uthappam. I would make such...

Uttapum / Savory Rice Pancakes Topped With Mixed Veggies

For dinner, we had uthappam. When I started to learn cooking, I had many challenges with preparing a perfect uthappam. I would make such a mess with it that I decided to not make them for some time. All that changed when my cousin Murali, whose fried rice recipe is posted here, showed me how he made perfect uthappam. So for those who struggle like I used to, here is the thing that you have to remember:

1. Slow cooking. Set the tava to medium heat. This helps to make a perfect crisp base and cook through the batter.
2. Have a lid to cover the uttapam when its cooking. The steam helps in cooking the dosai batter and veggies.
3. Remove all the juice and seeds from the tomato before adding as toppings ( Use a firm tomato)
4. Use veggies that have a crunchy texture.
5. Keep it small. Do not make it as big as a dosai it will disintegrate when you flip the uttapam.

Voila, you create the perfect uttapam.


Gadgets:

Bowls
Tava/ Iron Griddle
Spatula
Measuring Cups and Spoona
Cutting Board
Knife
Vegetable Chopper

Ingredients:
Serves 4 
Dosai/Dosa Batter - 2 cups ( use 1/2 cup per person).
Note: If you cannot make the batter please buy them at the local Indian store)
Mixed Veggies ( Capsicum or bell pepper in different colors if you can find them, carrot, tomato  asparagus, onion cut uniformly) - 2 cups ( 1/2 cup per person)
Ginger - 2 tsp grated
Green Chillies - 2 ( add more if you like the spice)
Curry Leaves - a few
Cilantro - 1/4 finely chopped
Salt
Oil - a few tsps
Ghee - 1 tsp.


Preparation:

1. Set the tava on medium heat.

2. Mix all veggies along with ginger and herbs. Add 1 tsp of salt and set it aside.



3. Add very little salt to the dosai batter and mix well. Pour 1/2 cup of batter on the have and make a thick pancake. Add 1/2 cup of veggies on top evenly.


4. Mix the ghee and oil together and drizzle around the uthappam. Cover with with a lid and allow it to cook for a few minutes.







                                                       

5. When you remove the lid, make sure to see that all the batter is fully cooked. Carefully, flip the uthappam and cook it uncovered.

6. Serve it hot with chutney and sambar.

24 Comments:

Cauliflower masala roast/dosa is very popular in the south of India. It is one of our favorite dosa's to have at the restaurants. Some...

Cauliflower Masal Dosai/ Cauliflower Masal Roast Using A Green Cauliflower

Cauliflower masala roast/dosa is very popular in the south of India. It is one of our favorite dosa's to have at the restaurants. Sometimes, they add too many spices and kill the taste of cauliflower. This week at the farmers market they had a very green looking cauliflower ( no, not broccoli ) and we were enamored by its color that it  landed up in our basket. I thought using it in the preparation of cauliflower masala dosa would be interesting. After a long discussion with my sister, regarding on what is added to the cauliflower masala, I had to agree that she was right and her method of not adding extra spices makes it very tasty and enhances the taste of cauliflower and keeps the food simple.

Gadgets:

Heavy bottom pan
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Sauteing Spoon
Dosa Tava/ Griddle
Spatula
Lid






Ingredients:

Cauliflower - 1 whole medium size ( I used green cauliflower)
Onion - 1 sliced
Tomato - 1 medium chopped
Garlic - 2 pod
Ginger - 1 inch
Asafoetida Powder - 1/8th tsp
Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp ( please adjust as per your spice level)
Salt
Water - 1/3 cup
Oil - 1 tbsp
Whole Green Chili - 1


Preparation:

1. Heat the heavy bottom pan with oil. Add asafotida powder.

2. Add the sliced onions, salt and cook on medium heat. Cover and cook and keep mixing frequently.

3. Add tomatoes, chili powder and water and allow to boil.

4. Add the cauliflower heads cut uniformly in small flowers. Add more salt if needed. Mix well and cover and cook for a few minutes.

5. The cauliflower must not be mushed, but rather mixed well with the onion and tomato and hold its form. Add one whole chili and mix. This chili will add a lot of flavor to the masala.

6. Once the water is evaporated, add cilantro and give it a toss.

7. Make thin dosa, cover and cook on one side only. When the batter is cooked spread the cauliflower masala in one half and cover it with the other side.




27 Comments:

When I made quinoa ladoo , I was told by bloggers and my sister that it was best to soak, dry and roast the quinoa before making anything...

Quinoa Bars/ Quinoa Burfi/ Quinoa Cake

When I made quinoa ladoo, I was told by bloggers and my sister that it was best to soak, dry and roast the quinoa before making anything out of it. Personally, I liked the ladoo the way I had blogged. But, I wanted to make sure I was using the quinoa in the right way. I looked through many blogs, websites and found that roasting was common, but they washed the roasted quinoa and cooked it in some kind of liquid. So I decided to the try out soaking, drying and roasting method.

 I soaked the quinoa for about an hour, drained the water and dried it on the towel over night. In the morning, I roasted these seeds and here (see below) is the change in size and color of quinoa through the process. The size of the soaked and dried quinoa was big. They however came back to normal size when I roasted them.



I decided to make burfi with the powdered quinoa this time. It took less than 5 minutes. Last night, I had to make it twice on demand and these were the comments the burfi received:

"Chewy"
"tasted awesome when warm"
"nutty"
"perfectly balanced"
"the sweet is perfect" .


Gadgets:
Heavy bottom wok
Microwave safe bowl
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Blender
Spatula


Ingredients:
Makes 6 pieces

Quinoa grains - 1/2 cup
Cashew Nut - 1/4 cup
Roasted quinoa and cashew nut powder - 1/2 cup
Butter - 2 tbsp
Condensed Milk - 1/2 cup
Cardamom Pods - 4 powdered freshly
Saffron - a few strands
Edible Camphor - a very tiny pinch



Preparation:

1. Prepare the quinoa as mentioned above. Once roasted add cashew nuts and allow for it to cool. Make a powder of the two ingredients.

2. Add quinoa mix with condensed milk and butter. Mix well and microwave for 1 minute. Remove mix well and microwave for another minute. By then it must all come together into a ball.

3. Add saffron, cardamom powder and edible camphor and mix well.

4. Line a square bowl with parchment paper / foil and transfer the quinoa mix into it. Level it evenly and cut into square pieces and enjoy.

21 Comments:

If you happen to go by any Godiva chocolate store around Valentines day, you will know what I am talking about. Strawberry and banana...

Chocolate Drizzled Strawberry Banana On Skewers: My Take On The Godiva's Creations


If you happen to go by any Godiva chocolate store around Valentines day, you will know what I am talking about. Strawberry and banana arranged on skewers and covered in drizzled chocolate: Absolutely elegant and divine.I would have not noticed them, if it was not for my pursuit in finding something special for my niece Nethra's 16th birthday. I had a cute box of chocolate in my hand but my eyes kept wandering towards the strawberry banana skewers near the checkout counter. Added to that the high school girl behind the counter was waiting for me to make my decision with a knowing smile. She said "I would go with the skewers"  so, I chose the strawberry banana on a skewer.



 My daughter thought it was the coolest thing that she saw and wanted one for herself. When I went back to the store, they told me they don't have them anymore and was seasonal. To cheer my daughter up, I decided to make them for her. It was a challenge preparing this strawberry banana with chocolate on skewers. My daughter and I ate most of the fruit and chocolate before it went on the skewer. Super easy to make and a lot of fun for both adults and kids. A perfect thing to place on your dessert table and allow people to make their own skewers.



Gadgets:

Squeeze bottle
Microwave Safe Bowl
Measuring Cup and Spoon
Cutting Board
Knife
Bamboo Skewers
Spoon
2 bowls of even height
Parchment paper



Ingredients:

Strawberry - 12 ( plus extra to much while slicing)
Banana - 2
Dark Chocolate ( 75% Cocoa) - 1 cup finely chopped ( it depends on how much chocolate you like to have on your skewers. Chocolate chip can also be used.)
Butter - 2 tbsp


Preparation:

1. Clean and cut the banana and strawberries breath wise into 1/4 - 1/2 inch disc.

2. Add chocolate and butter to a bowl and microwave to a minute until the chocolate starts to melt. ( Note: Please check the power levels in your microwave. It might vary depending on it)

3. Remove the chocolate from the microwave and mix well to make a smooth and shinny sauce. Allow to cool for a few seconds and transfer into the squeeze bottle. (Note: If you do not have a squeeze bottle use a ziploc bag or a parchment paper. Make a cone and cup of the tip making a tiny hole. That would work too)

4. Start arranging the fruit in the skewer. Always start with the strawberry with its stock and leaves. Then add bananas and strawberry as per your wish. I added 2 strawberry slices initially and then added a banana strawberry slices alternatively.

5. Roll out some parchment paper on your work surface and place 2 bowls of equal height about 9 inches apart. This helps to hold the skewers.

7. Using the squeeze bottle as swiftly as you can drizzle the chocolate going from bottom to top all over the skewers. Turn the skewer over and do the same on the other side.

8. Transfer the bowls to the fridge and place the skewers there and allow for them to set. It takes about 20 minutes. Again it all depends on the amount of chocolate drizzled.

9. You will have a lot of chocolate drippings on the parchment paper. Ask you little ones to make beautiful chocolate faces like mine did. She called her master piece "The Chocolate Faces. For those of you who think its wasting chocolate, allow the painting to dry and using the knife scrape out the chocolate and pop it into your mouth.

"The Chocolate Faces"




21 Comments: