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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Karmbalache Thikshe Lehya ~ Spicy Star Fruit (Carambola) & Herb Infused Jam



The flu season is on here. Almost everyone I know is dealing with a bout of a cold or cough or fever or all the three. Ever since we moved homes early January we have been literally on house arrest trying to recover from this not so serious but pesky illness. I am sure that the season has treated most of you the same way irrespective of where you live. 

When I was going through my posts in draft I was reminded of three recipes that I had created last January and never got around to posting them. The husband had brought back some star fruit from Mangalore last year and I had divided the loot into 3 portions to be used in three different recipes. Here's the first one. A thick jam like preparation that is made from the juice of star fruits, dried herbs and a load of peppercorns to give you a kick of spice and heal you from within. Meant to soothe a bad throat, this preparation is medicinal and should be consumed in very little quantities. People with serious health issues and pregnant women may kindly refrain from consuming it. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Moong Dal Idli ~ Diabetic Friendly Idli


Folks I am back with another healthy recipe for you. I am taking my resolution of posting recipes that are as healthy as possible, a bit too seriously :-) This is not a New Year's resolution. I decided to do this late last year and I hope to keep at it as much as possible. 

When I was going through my archives I realised that I posted 60 odd recipes which is pretty low as compared to the other years. A few months from now this blog will celebrate its 8th birthday! Time simply flies, doesn't it. So this year's actual resolution from a blogging point of view is to post a 100 recipes by the end of 2017. Will I be able to do this? I do not know but putting it down on paper makes it impossible to squirm out of the deal for me. I also follow the videos of a motivational speaker Jay Shetty on Facebook who also asked for an affirmation to be added along with every challenge taken. So I will now aim to post at least 25 health recipes (out of the total 100) that are aimed towards helping those with special dietary needs/restrictions. There! In the days to come I will also share my experiences with the monthly challenges I plan to start taking this year. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Foxtail Millet, Chocolate & Orange Mousse Cake ~ Gluten Free Recipe


For the longest time my only association with millets was in the form of ragi (finger millet) and jowar (sorghum). A couple of years ago my friend Lakshmi who lives in Chennai introduced me to foxtail millet which is also called as 'navane' in Kannada, 'thinai' in Tamil and 'kangi' in Hindi. She highly recommended that I use it as a substitute to rice in pulaos and idli/dosa batters (a great option for diabetics who wish to avoid rice). Since living in Dubai also meant access to such products was limited I decided to hunt for it on my trip to Mangalore. In 2015 July I finally found a whole variety of millets at Desi Utthana, a small store in Mangalore (see notes for details), the focus of which was to popularise organic and locally grown/native grains using sustainable farming methods. I was told that while 'desi' means 'of one's own land/local', 'utthana' means 'to raise/grow/arise from the land'. The store is a very basic one with perhaps more than 200 different products showcased on simple iron shelves. Products ranging from different kinds of honey, herbal teas, jams and spices to organic grains is what you can choose from. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Gingernuts ~ Ginger Biscuits


The festive season is in full swing at my place. Been trying out various Christmas recipes this week and I am so excited to share them with you. I do hope you have been enjoying the 'Best of RR' ~ Christmas Series. If yes, do come back daily to check for more recipes. The recipes that I post in this series have been tried and tested and loved by thousands of readers across the globe and they are perfect for the season too so you can confidently give them a try :) In this series I will post recipes that are part of the traditional Mangalorean 'Kuswar' platter (Kuswar is a collective term given to homemade Christmas goodies that include sweets and savouries) and also Christmas favourites that I've been making over the years and lots of contemporary ones which I have recently discovered. So do come back daily for more recipes won't you?  

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Barley Pulao ~ Diabetic Friendly Recipe


I was introduced to the health benefits of barley when I was expecting my son. I had edema of the feet and was asked to cut off salt completely from my diet. The days that followed weren't fun. Eating seafood especially without salt is terrible for the taste buds but then it was a small price to pay considering that I could have had many other complications like other women were faced with during their pregnancies. God was merciful. My mum fed me a lot of barley water during that time as it is supposed to be very good for overall health especially for those with high blood pressure. 

Now if you're wondering why I came up with a health recipe in the midst of all the festive posts, well, the reason is this. Over the past few years as a food blogger I have been inclined towards all things food even on social media. It is almost impossible to dodge the festive posts that bombard one's news feed. In some way I have contributed to this deluge too. However, this time I decided to post as many healthy recipes as possible during the festive season in order to help people with several dietary restrictions and special needs enjoy the season just as well as the rest of us do. Nobody should be deprived of good things to eat especially during the festive season cuz 'healthy' doesn't have to be 'bland and boring'. So here's today's recipe for you. A simple yet delicious pulao or a one pot meal made of an assortment of veggies and barley cooked to perfection in homemade chicken stock (you may use regular water, vegetable stock or coconut milk too!)

Monday, December 12, 2016

Marzipan ~ Cashewnut or Almond Confection


Marzipan is a quintessential Christmas sweet prepared in Goa and Bombay. It is nothing but a thick paste of ground almonds (traditionally) or cashew nuts (in most tropical countries) which is used in the preparation of sweets (using molds of different shapes or free hand molding) or rolled up to drape cakes (similar to fondant covered cakes). 

However, during Christmas in Goa and Mumbai the term 'marzipan' is synonymous to molded and coloured sweets that often take the shape of many Christmas symbols such as wreathes, bells, holly leaves, Santa's face, reindeers or a variety of berries. The sweets are bite sized and most times extremely sweet. Food colouring may or may not be added although the latter results in attractive sweets suitable for the season. 

Although I have tried to make it over the past few years the result was never up to the mark. Getting the consistency of the sugar syrup and then cooking the paste of ground cashewnuts in it was such a tricky thing for me! I eventually gave up as I was in no mood to slave over recipes that weren't accurate. This is when my dear Aunt Rosette came to my rescue and shared her lovely recipe with me. Thank you so much Aunty!! Her recipe is not just easy, the taste of the sweets is just right - the sweetness is not tooth tingling! The taste is velvety, creamy, nutty and it makes you want to eat one more and another one and another after that!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Chocolate Truffle/Crinkle Cookies


Last Christmas I tried out the chocolate crinkle cookies and they were a super hit with kids! The  fact that they crinkle/crack on top is definitely the USP. My kids love to pull up their little chairs and sit in front of the oven and watch the science of cookies baking unfold before their very eyes. They can't seem to wait until the cookies are out of the oven and cool a bit before they dig into the slightly soft, brownie-like cookies with a molten chocolate centre (thanks to the choco chips sneaked inside!). These cookies are so irresistible that you won't be able to stop at just one! I love the fact that they are soft, crumbly and melt in the mouth unlike regular cookies! I have tried several recipes - most of them were complex and over the top but in the end I stuck to the good ol, simple and fool proof recipe that I found in a cookbook years ago. I have slightly tweaked it to add chocolate chips as they help give u gooey centers but you can leave them out.  

Monday, December 5, 2016

Homemade Chicken Stock



With Christmas around the corner I am sure that most of us will be cooking several pots of biryanis and pulaos to celebrate. The best way to cook your rice dishes is to use chicken or vegetable stock which adds a great depth and flavour to them, something that plain water cannot achieve.  Since we are huge fans of biryanis and pulaos at home the use of bouillon cubes (stock cubes) was always a part of my grocery list until I discovered homemade stock. I never went back to using bouillon  cubes to flavour my rice dishes after that. I do keep a couple of them for emergencies (yep! guilty of that) but I almost always have a box or two of frozen stock. 

Trust me, the effort is almost nil and you have beautifully flavoured stock that is sans preservatives and excess salt. When you make your own stock you have full control over what goes in it. You alter the ingredients according to what you have in your fridge and pantry and ofcourse, you add only as much salt as you require. Most times I add very little salt to the pot and prefer adding salt to the dish that I am preparing using the stock. This is helpful if you are trying to cut down salt intake especially those who have high blood pressure and other health issues. 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Marbled Mocha Whoopie Pies


There are days when I just want to bake something but its not a cake or cookie that I am craving for. On a gloomy day these pies helped satisfy my sweet tooth and also my baking obsession! Actually it was my son who was after me to bake these for him. I made them twice in a row and they were gobbled up in no time! The pies which look like large cookies are actually soft like cake and go very well with the filling sandwiched between them. I think they are a real treat for little ones. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Quinoa Brownies ~ Gluten Free Brownies


Over the past few Christmases I have posted a large variety of recipes, ranging from traditional Mangalorean to contemporary, sweets, savories et al. I totally love this season and I am thrilled that we are inching towards Christmas. However, as much as I love to indulge and let people around me eat out of my hands (literally!) I receive a lot of mails asking me for healthier recipes. When I come to think of it, while the healthier lot enjoys all kinds of sinful stuff what do those with dietary restrictions do? I personally know many people who have a various reasons why they want to keep it simple during the festive season and so this Advent season and the run up to Christmas I am going to try and post as many recipes that can be easily tried and enjoyed by people with special dietary needs. I do hope you enjoy these recipes. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Chilli Coriander Brown Rice with Mushrooms


The past one month has zoomed by so quickly that I can hardly tell where the days vanished! Everything seems to be a blur. All I know is that a ton of recipes were tried and tested and enjoyed but none were noted down (shucks!) ** except ** ofcourse, this recipe for a lovely one pot meal that I made several times in the past few weeks. Since we are trying to eat healthy as far as possible I found myself buying a bag of brown basmati rice sometime last month. I was hesitant at first as I wasn't sure how to cook it right and whether there would be any takers for it at home. To my surprise, my experiment was a success and the final product, a big hit. The first time I made it I served it with grilled salmon (recipe coming up shortly - still experimenting with the flavours). The combination of flavours was awesome! I did not add mushrooms to the rice at that time but had served it alongside the fish. Over a period of time I have tried adding different veggies to this preparation but I guess it tastes best with mushrooms or without them (simple and plain chilli-coriander rice). 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Kadi ~ Mangalorean Wedding Style Besan Burfi (Chickpea Flour Fudge) ~ Gluten Free Indian Sweet


Happy Diwali to all my dear readers who celebrate the festival of lights!! May you be blessed with health, happiness, peace & prosperity today and always! I bet you are having a gala time this festive season. Most of you in India are enjoying a really long weekend too! I heard that Karnataka has an extra day off because of Rajyotsava (birth of the state)! I am totally missing the festivities and the joy of having an (almost) endless weekend! Anyway, since you have plenty of time on your hands (hehe) and if you have run out of sweets that you prepared you can give this new recipe a try. In Mangalore and only in select bakeries you get this very unassuming sweet that won my heart as a child. It is called the kadi and is nothing but besan (chickpea flour) fudge or burfi that is usually made with a small ratio of ground cashewnuts. However, since the time my friend Anupama Michael shared the recipe with me a couple of years ago, I've been meaning to try it out every Diwali and have been shelving the project due to lack of time! I also mixed up her careful instructions and ended up tweaking her original recipe slightly but the result was just as good. It reminded me so much of the stuff we still get in bakeries back home and lug around back to Dubai without fail every year. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Karmbalache Thikshe Lehya ~ Spicy Star Fruit (Carambola) & Herb Infused Jam



The flu season is on here. Almost everyone I know is dealing with a bout of a cold or cough or fever or all the three. Ever since we moved homes early January we have been literally on house arrest trying to recover from this not so serious but pesky illness. I am sure that the season has treated most of you the same way irrespective of where you live. 

When I was going through my posts in draft I was reminded of three recipes that I had created last January and never got around to posting them. The husband had brought back some star fruit from Mangalore last year and I had divided the loot into 3 portions to be used in three different recipes. Here's the first one. A thick jam like preparation that is made from the juice of star fruits, dried herbs and a load of peppercorns to give you a kick of spice and heal you from within. Meant to soothe a bad throat, this preparation is medicinal and should be consumed in very little quantities. People with serious health issues and pregnant women may kindly refrain from consuming it. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Moong Dal Idli ~ Diabetic Friendly Idli


Folks I am back with another healthy recipe for you. I am taking my resolution of posting recipes that are as healthy as possible, a bit too seriously :-) This is not a New Year's resolution. I decided to do this late last year and I hope to keep at it as much as possible. 

When I was going through my archives I realised that I posted 60 odd recipes which is pretty low as compared to the other years. A few months from now this blog will celebrate its 8th birthday! Time simply flies, doesn't it. So this year's actual resolution from a blogging point of view is to post a 100 recipes by the end of 2017. Will I be able to do this? I do not know but putting it down on paper makes it impossible to squirm out of the deal for me. I also follow the videos of a motivational speaker Jay Shetty on Facebook who also asked for an affirmation to be added along with every challenge taken. So I will now aim to post at least 25 health recipes (out of the total 100) that are aimed towards helping those with special dietary needs/restrictions. There! In the days to come I will also share my experiences with the monthly challenges I plan to start taking this year. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Foxtail Millet, Chocolate & Orange Mousse Cake ~ Gluten Free Recipe


For the longest time my only association with millets was in the form of ragi (finger millet) and jowar (sorghum). A couple of years ago my friend Lakshmi who lives in Chennai introduced me to foxtail millet which is also called as 'navane' in Kannada, 'thinai' in Tamil and 'kangi' in Hindi. She highly recommended that I use it as a substitute to rice in pulaos and idli/dosa batters (a great option for diabetics who wish to avoid rice). Since living in Dubai also meant access to such products was limited I decided to hunt for it on my trip to Mangalore. In 2015 July I finally found a whole variety of millets at Desi Utthana, a small store in Mangalore (see notes for details), the focus of which was to popularise organic and locally grown/native grains using sustainable farming methods. I was told that while 'desi' means 'of one's own land/local', 'utthana' means 'to raise/grow/arise from the land'. The store is a very basic one with perhaps more than 200 different products showcased on simple iron shelves. Products ranging from different kinds of honey, herbal teas, jams and spices to organic grains is what you can choose from. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Gingernuts ~ Ginger Biscuits


The festive season is in full swing at my place. Been trying out various Christmas recipes this week and I am so excited to share them with you. I do hope you have been enjoying the 'Best of RR' ~ Christmas Series. If yes, do come back daily to check for more recipes. The recipes that I post in this series have been tried and tested and loved by thousands of readers across the globe and they are perfect for the season too so you can confidently give them a try :) In this series I will post recipes that are part of the traditional Mangalorean 'Kuswar' platter (Kuswar is a collective term given to homemade Christmas goodies that include sweets and savouries) and also Christmas favourites that I've been making over the years and lots of contemporary ones which I have recently discovered. So do come back daily for more recipes won't you?  

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Barley Pulao ~ Diabetic Friendly Recipe


I was introduced to the health benefits of barley when I was expecting my son. I had edema of the feet and was asked to cut off salt completely from my diet. The days that followed weren't fun. Eating seafood especially without salt is terrible for the taste buds but then it was a small price to pay considering that I could have had many other complications like other women were faced with during their pregnancies. God was merciful. My mum fed me a lot of barley water during that time as it is supposed to be very good for overall health especially for those with high blood pressure. 

Now if you're wondering why I came up with a health recipe in the midst of all the festive posts, well, the reason is this. Over the past few years as a food blogger I have been inclined towards all things food even on social media. It is almost impossible to dodge the festive posts that bombard one's news feed. In some way I have contributed to this deluge too. However, this time I decided to post as many healthy recipes as possible during the festive season in order to help people with several dietary restrictions and special needs enjoy the season just as well as the rest of us do. Nobody should be deprived of good things to eat especially during the festive season cuz 'healthy' doesn't have to be 'bland and boring'. So here's today's recipe for you. A simple yet delicious pulao or a one pot meal made of an assortment of veggies and barley cooked to perfection in homemade chicken stock (you may use regular water, vegetable stock or coconut milk too!)

Monday, December 12, 2016

Marzipan ~ Cashewnut or Almond Confection


Marzipan is a quintessential Christmas sweet prepared in Goa and Bombay. It is nothing but a thick paste of ground almonds (traditionally) or cashew nuts (in most tropical countries) which is used in the preparation of sweets (using molds of different shapes or free hand molding) or rolled up to drape cakes (similar to fondant covered cakes). 

However, during Christmas in Goa and Mumbai the term 'marzipan' is synonymous to molded and coloured sweets that often take the shape of many Christmas symbols such as wreathes, bells, holly leaves, Santa's face, reindeers or a variety of berries. The sweets are bite sized and most times extremely sweet. Food colouring may or may not be added although the latter results in attractive sweets suitable for the season. 

Although I have tried to make it over the past few years the result was never up to the mark. Getting the consistency of the sugar syrup and then cooking the paste of ground cashewnuts in it was such a tricky thing for me! I eventually gave up as I was in no mood to slave over recipes that weren't accurate. This is when my dear Aunt Rosette came to my rescue and shared her lovely recipe with me. Thank you so much Aunty!! Her recipe is not just easy, the taste of the sweets is just right - the sweetness is not tooth tingling! The taste is velvety, creamy, nutty and it makes you want to eat one more and another one and another after that!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Chocolate Truffle/Crinkle Cookies


Last Christmas I tried out the chocolate crinkle cookies and they were a super hit with kids! The  fact that they crinkle/crack on top is definitely the USP. My kids love to pull up their little chairs and sit in front of the oven and watch the science of cookies baking unfold before their very eyes. They can't seem to wait until the cookies are out of the oven and cool a bit before they dig into the slightly soft, brownie-like cookies with a molten chocolate centre (thanks to the choco chips sneaked inside!). These cookies are so irresistible that you won't be able to stop at just one! I love the fact that they are soft, crumbly and melt in the mouth unlike regular cookies! I have tried several recipes - most of them were complex and over the top but in the end I stuck to the good ol, simple and fool proof recipe that I found in a cookbook years ago. I have slightly tweaked it to add chocolate chips as they help give u gooey centers but you can leave them out.  

Monday, December 5, 2016

Homemade Chicken Stock



With Christmas around the corner I am sure that most of us will be cooking several pots of biryanis and pulaos to celebrate. The best way to cook your rice dishes is to use chicken or vegetable stock which adds a great depth and flavour to them, something that plain water cannot achieve.  Since we are huge fans of biryanis and pulaos at home the use of bouillon cubes (stock cubes) was always a part of my grocery list until I discovered homemade stock. I never went back to using bouillon  cubes to flavour my rice dishes after that. I do keep a couple of them for emergencies (yep! guilty of that) but I almost always have a box or two of frozen stock. 

Trust me, the effort is almost nil and you have beautifully flavoured stock that is sans preservatives and excess salt. When you make your own stock you have full control over what goes in it. You alter the ingredients according to what you have in your fridge and pantry and ofcourse, you add only as much salt as you require. Most times I add very little salt to the pot and prefer adding salt to the dish that I am preparing using the stock. This is helpful if you are trying to cut down salt intake especially those who have high blood pressure and other health issues. 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Marbled Mocha Whoopie Pies


There are days when I just want to bake something but its not a cake or cookie that I am craving for. On a gloomy day these pies helped satisfy my sweet tooth and also my baking obsession! Actually it was my son who was after me to bake these for him. I made them twice in a row and they were gobbled up in no time! The pies which look like large cookies are actually soft like cake and go very well with the filling sandwiched between them. I think they are a real treat for little ones. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Quinoa Brownies ~ Gluten Free Brownies


Over the past few Christmases I have posted a large variety of recipes, ranging from traditional Mangalorean to contemporary, sweets, savories et al. I totally love this season and I am thrilled that we are inching towards Christmas. However, as much as I love to indulge and let people around me eat out of my hands (literally!) I receive a lot of mails asking me for healthier recipes. When I come to think of it, while the healthier lot enjoys all kinds of sinful stuff what do those with dietary restrictions do? I personally know many people who have a various reasons why they want to keep it simple during the festive season and so this Advent season and the run up to Christmas I am going to try and post as many recipes that can be easily tried and enjoyed by people with special dietary needs. I do hope you enjoy these recipes. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Chilli Coriander Brown Rice with Mushrooms


The past one month has zoomed by so quickly that I can hardly tell where the days vanished! Everything seems to be a blur. All I know is that a ton of recipes were tried and tested and enjoyed but none were noted down (shucks!) ** except ** ofcourse, this recipe for a lovely one pot meal that I made several times in the past few weeks. Since we are trying to eat healthy as far as possible I found myself buying a bag of brown basmati rice sometime last month. I was hesitant at first as I wasn't sure how to cook it right and whether there would be any takers for it at home. To my surprise, my experiment was a success and the final product, a big hit. The first time I made it I served it with grilled salmon (recipe coming up shortly - still experimenting with the flavours). The combination of flavours was awesome! I did not add mushrooms to the rice at that time but had served it alongside the fish. Over a period of time I have tried adding different veggies to this preparation but I guess it tastes best with mushrooms or without them (simple and plain chilli-coriander rice). 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Kadi ~ Mangalorean Wedding Style Besan Burfi (Chickpea Flour Fudge) ~ Gluten Free Indian Sweet


Happy Diwali to all my dear readers who celebrate the festival of lights!! May you be blessed with health, happiness, peace & prosperity today and always! I bet you are having a gala time this festive season. Most of you in India are enjoying a really long weekend too! I heard that Karnataka has an extra day off because of Rajyotsava (birth of the state)! I am totally missing the festivities and the joy of having an (almost) endless weekend! Anyway, since you have plenty of time on your hands (hehe) and if you have run out of sweets that you prepared you can give this new recipe a try. In Mangalore and only in select bakeries you get this very unassuming sweet that won my heart as a child. It is called the kadi and is nothing but besan (chickpea flour) fudge or burfi that is usually made with a small ratio of ground cashewnuts. However, since the time my friend Anupama Michael shared the recipe with me a couple of years ago, I've been meaning to try it out every Diwali and have been shelving the project due to lack of time! I also mixed up her careful instructions and ended up tweaking her original recipe slightly but the result was just as good. It reminded me so much of the stuff we still get in bakeries back home and lug around back to Dubai without fail every year.