Thursday, March 26, 2015

AalaN Kanda Paat Ghalun

It is the season of vatli dal and I made my stash. This is a dish I make with soaked chana dal and spring onions. Yes but the kairi is missing in this one.

The pictures are old and this recipe was in the drafts for ages. The beauty about this dish is that it can be enjoyed as is at snack time or as an accompaniment with any type of roti, the best with Bajarichi bhakri.

Before I go on to the recipe I have a something to share. On March 21, it was divine intervention. It was the auspicious day of Navroz and Gudi Padva, a descendant of the original inhabitants of Mumbai and the heir of the discoverer of Aspro decided they want to spend the rest of their life together. The outcome, the Koli resident of this blog promises to show you some awesome Parsi fare here soon.

But before I show you how to make the best Akuri lets make this Aalan.


1 cup Chana dal, soaked and ground to paste
1 cup chopped spring onion greens
2 green chilies 
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida.
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
2-3 tablespoons of oil
and sugar for taste
A squeeze of lime


Soak the chana dal for 1 hour. Drain the dal thru a sieve. Grind into smooth paste.

Heat oil in a wok. Add the asafoetida and wait till it is fragrant, just a moment. Splutter the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Add the green chilies and chopped spring onions into the oil. Give it a stir. Follow in with ground paste of dal. Salt and sugar to go in at the point. Cover and cook to creamy consistency.

Give a squeeze of lime over it mix well. Serve with your favorite roti or eat it up from a cup like I did.

While I do love to cook for friends this time I just want to relax and chill out so now going over to find
Foodcoupons and deals to treat my friends and family who are visiting me since the announcement.

I also found exclusive Dominos coupons and saved my money when I ordered once from them.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Desi Health Bites : Ragi Noodles in Peanut Sauce

Every time there is a nostalgia post on those instant noodles I go Eww... We as a family never liked instant noodles and it was never ever made in our home. My mother and aunts being stay at home Mums indulged us with fresh food 3 times a day. 

But I did see my cousin sisters take the short cut with their children they being working mothers even though they worked from home. There have been times when the child demanded and they made. Later times when the kids saw Mum busy with their tuition students the kids made instant noodles for themselves. I however never indulged them with those instant noodles in my home when they visited. I always made Rice shevayi or Whole wheat shevayi and served them in different soups or curries and they would love it. 

Today's recipe is something I made from the memories of those days when I would make noodles from scratch  for the kids. This time I wished they were there to taste it but today there is my cousin Harshada. She is an adult but has rustic tastes and so this dish was a challenge and I awaited with bated breath for her verdict.

Here is the recipe for a colorful bowlful and two.

Portions : 2


For the noodles
1 cup ragi/ Nachani flour/ finger millet
3/4th cup water
salt to taste

For the peanut sauce
0.5 cup raw peanuts
1.5 cup water
2 green chilies chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
a small piece of jaggery to taste
5-6 pieces of Kokum
salt to taste

Fortune Rice Bran Health Oil 
2-3 teaspoons for seasoning the peanut sauce 
1 teaspoon for ragi noodles

This oil contains more antioxidants than blended oils or pomace olive oil. They fight harmful free radicals, which cause heart disease and other chronic illnesses, keeping the heart healthy. It is enriched with a gamut of nutrients and is good for heart, immunity, skin and hormones. It is appropriate for people of all ages.    


Grind the raw peanuts.

Measure out all the ingredients and keep the mezze ready as we work fast.


Making the peanut sauce

In a degh or saucepan heat 2-3 teaspoons of oil. Make the seasoning with cumin seeds and chopped green chilies.

Add to it the ground raw peanuts. Add the kokum pieces, jaggery and salt. Top up with 1.5 cups of water and leave it on simmer. 

Meanwhile get the ragi noodles made.

Making the ragi noodles.

Boil the 3/4th cup water. Add salt to taste. Add the ragi flour to it. Mix with the water to get a crumble like consistency. Remove the hot cooked flour on to the counter. Let it cool a bit till you can handle it. 

Knead the dough into a ball. Fill an extruder with the dough and keep it ready.

Heat about four cups of water in a saucepan and bring to rolling boil.

Extrude the noodles into the hot water. Cook for 5 mins. It should be al dente. It will get further cooked in the sauce. So this is important. Remove the cooked ragi noodles into a strainer and add cold water over it. Keep aside.

Putting together

In a saucepan added the cooked ragi noodles and as much peanut sauce as you like. Bring to rolling boil on high heat then put off the heat. This is now ready for plating.

Plating and Serving

In a medium bowl laddle out the ragi noodles in peanut sauce. Garnish with a sprig of cilantro. I served fried potato chips and coconut chutney on the side. The sides are really not required but a perk for the kids and adults alike.

How was the taste?

Just the ragi noodles in peanut sauce are lipsmacking and soul satisfying by itself. A warm bowl makes a hearty breakfast or an anytime complete meal with the starch, calcium and the valuable amino acid methionine from Ragi and the good fat and proteins from peanuts.

Lets get the kids chanting Ragi Noodles ho jaay!!

This blogpost is in association with Fortune Foods as a part of their Desi Health Bites activity–The Hunt for the Best Rice Bran Oil Recipes. For more updates and healthy recipes using Fortune Rice Bran Health Oil, follow Fortune Foods on Facebook and on Twitter @fortunefoods .

Monday, March 16, 2015

Desi Health Bites : Stuffed Soya Tikki

My Family loves all types of tikkis stuffed with coconut chutney, matar but this one turned out the best rich in protein and oh so light.

The Soya granule stuffing made my cousin Harshada who now lives with me really happy. I am sure you will love eating it and making it too.

This tikki can get done in less than 15 mins if planned and prepared ahead of time. Hey but even otherwise this in a under 30 mins recipe if you have the boiled potatoes ready.

I am always on the look out for healthier options for my cooking. Selecting a good oil that is healthy is topmost on my priority. The Fortune Rice Bran Health Oil that I have used today fits this criteria. This oil is extracted from the bran of rice and not the starchy rice that we eat, therefore the presence of the micronutrient Oryzanol. This Oryzanol lends the oil a dark color yet keeps the oil stable for long heating time and high temperatures. So there you go not all dark colored oils are bad atleast not this one. That makes it a perfect choice for shallow frying and deep frying.

I am a responsible cook and hence choose to shallow fry the tikkis than deep fry. I also know how health conscious my readers are, so are you ready to make the tikkis now? Set your clock.

Portions : 4 


For the stuffing
2-3 spring onions with greens
2-3 green chilies chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon Koli masala OR garam masala
1/2 cup soya granules
1-2 teaspoon kokum agal (extract) or lime juice
salt and sugar to taste

For the Tikki covers
10 boiled potatoes, mashed
rice flour for dredging

Fortune Rice Bran Health Oil for frying


Soak soya granules in water for 10 mins and drain.

Knead the mashed potatoes to as smooth dough and keep aside.

Chop the spring onions finely and save.


Heat oil in a wok. Add green chilies. Fry the spring onions a bit. Add the soaked and drained soya granules. Sprinkle Koli masala OR garam masala. Add the kokum agal or lime juice. Mix well and cook for 5 mins. Put off the gas and let it cool.

Now take the kneaded potato mash and pinch of lemon sized balls. Shape out cups and stuff a spoonful of the soya granules. Pull together to form a ball. Pat it into a tikki. Roll along the edges on the counter to get a neat round shape. Dredge the shaped tikki in rice flour. Shape all the tikkis first and then shallow fry in batches.

Keep in the fridge for 10 mins to get wonderful crisp on the outside and soft on the inside tikkis. You can skip this step if in a rush. You can also leave in the tikkis covered with cling film at this stage until you want to fry. This works wonderfully for parties and also when unexpected guests land up at home.

Now shallow fry on a non stick pan. Brush the tikkis with Fortune Rice Bran Health Oil. Shallow fry on both sides till golden and crisp.

Plating and Serving 

In a plate place a cutting of banana leaf. Place the Stuffed Soya Tikkis on it. Quenelle (shape with 2 spoons) out your favorite chutney on top of the tikkis. I used the Purple grape and basil dip I made sometime ago and was at hand in the fridge. A side of Koshimbir adds wonderful freshness to the plate, you could add your favorite crunchy salad.

How was the taste? 

The tikkis are hearty yet healthy and the oil taste is neutral letting the flavors of the tikki smile. Hope you will enjoy making them and eating them as much as I did.

This blogpost is in association with Fortune Foods as a part of their Desi Health Bites activity–The Hunt for the Best Rice Bran Oil Recipes. For more updates and healthy recipes using Fortune Rice Bran Health Oil, follow Fortune Foods on Facebook and on Twitter @fortunefoods .

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Growing Basil

One of the gifts Nupur of One hot stove brought for me when she visited was seeds of Genovese basil and Habanero chillies. The later did not sprout but the Genovese basil was a success. I have been enjoying a good harvest of basil since I planted which means I have to share the story with you.

I always try to have a lower carbon footprint and consciously up-cycle packing material. This time I used the Styrofoam box in which came my cup and saucer set. It is perfect for sowing seeds with the pockets. I filled up the boxes with earth about 3 inch deep. Then sprinkled the seeds evenly. Later sprinkled water on the seeds.

In 3-4 days the seeds sprouted showing false triangular leaves. Within a week I had lush green basil growing in my Window grill box outside the Kitchen.


Water lightly. Sprinkle water on the leaves to keep them lush.

Harvest : 
Use scissors to harvest the Basil or hand snip just the leaves.The leaves will keep growing and you will have a steady harvest.

Cleaning for Use:
Rinse in water to remove any earth. Handle delicately to maintain the freshness of the green leaves.

Some uses:
Basil is used in Italian cooking a lot and many continental dishes too. It is hand torn and used as garnish and also in sauces and pestos. 

Since this was my first experience of growing basil at home I went all ballistic with it in this pasta!

Monday, March 09, 2015


A very long time ago I had made this sweet bread. I had loved the recipe the moment I saw it on Finla's blog. It uses sugar pearls which are available in the European market but are not found easily even in the imported goods sections in Indian markets. As I always do I try to use Indian ingredients instead and found sugar batashas suited this recipe perfectly, they just need to be crushed coarsely.

It is a celebration bread therefore the process is elaborate. it is not your callously throw in all the ingredients and let it rise recipe, so make it when you have good amount of time on hand. Finla got this recipe from a Belgian baker and it is really lovely even without egg, that's my experience.


Main dough

250 gm white flour / maida
20 gm fresh yeast
1 tablespoon milk ( to replace egg yolk in original recipe)
110 ml luke milk
25 gm sugar
37 gm soft Amul butter or any salted butter

For the core dough ball
100 gm Pearl Sugar or coarsely crushed sugar batasha
15 gm molten butter


Measure out the flour. Dissolve the yeast in the milk and use it to knead the dough. Add the sugar and mix well. Knead the dough to form a ball about 10 mins. Mix in the butter and leave it to rise. Pinch off a piece of the dough and weigh about 125gms. This is to be used as outer shell of the bread. Keep the dough covered with a wet cloth.

After proofing for 30 mins. Punch down the dough to remove air.

In the bigger sized ball mix the sugar batasha pieces like I used or sugar pearls if you can lay your hands on it. Distribute well in the dough along with the molten butter. Keep aside.

Roll out the 125 gms dough ball into 2 mm thick disc. 

Wrap the core ball into the rolled out disc of dough. Tuck the folds on the underside so you get the smooth top. Cover the bread with a wet towel and let it rise till doubled. This is the second proofing in a round cake tin.

Once the bread is plump and doubled. Score the bread on top and fill some more crushed sugar batashas in it and let it rise a third time for just 15 mins covered with a wet towel.

Get the oven preheated to 180 deg celcius. Bake the bread for 35 mins or until it sounds hollow on tapping. 

Cool completely before slicing.

This bread is very popular in the Friesland region of the Netherlands and it is traditional to gift it to the parents of a new baby. We don't need any such reason. I love it just at anytime and I am soon going to make it again for my cousin sister who is in hospital fighting it out right now suffering the after effects of arterial thrombosis. Seeking prayers for her.

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