Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Badam Milk Powder

Badam Milk Powder is a flavorful mix of dried nuts and sugar which is added to milk. This powder is simple and very hard to go wrong. All you need to do is grind them together and store. 

Badam milk is a very popular drink in India. It can be served hot or cold. I grew drinking this using the MTR brand. It is one of my favorite drink. Few months back I bumped into this recipe and was amazed at the simplicity. I had everything on hand. Hence tried it right away and was very happy with the outcome. Do try making it and its a great way to have the dried fruits in this form (especially to those who don't like to eat whole almonds). A sip of hot or cold badam milk is always comforting :-)

  • Almonds (badam)- 1/2 cup
  • Cashew nut- 2 Tbsp
  • Pistachios- 1 Tbsp
  • Raisins- 10-12
  • Sugar*- 1 cup
  • Saffron (kesar)- Few Strands
  • Cardamom Pods- 4-5
* I used rock sugar (kallu sakkare in kannada).


Measure all the dried nuts and sugar mentioned under 'Ingredients'.

Now grind all of them together in a dry mixer until you get a fine powder (if your jar cannot hold all of them at one go then, grind them in batches. Make sure each batch contains sugar. Without sugar you get a sticky mass because of the oil released from the dried nuts).
Badam Milk powder is ready!!

Store it in a dry air tight container. It stays good for 3-4 months.

How to use: Add this powder (1 Tbsp) to a glass of hot or cold milk. Add additional sugar, if desired. Mix and serve.
This powder can also be used in vermicelli payasam or any other milk based dessert.

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Masala Oats Appo (Masala Oats Paniyaram)- Instant Version

Masala Oats Appo is a healthy, quick breakfast. I got this recipe from a FB group (posted by Archana ). Recently I have been using oats so much that I keep hunting for more recipes. The recipes using oats are not only healthy but it is also quick and tasty. Without much effort, a comforting breakfast is ready :-)

  • Quick Cooking Oats- 1 cup
  • Rice Flour- 3 Tbsp
  • Yogurt/ Curd (thick)- 1/2 cup
  • Baking Soda- 1/8 tsp
  • Coconut pieces- 2-3 tsp (I didn't add)
  • Onion, chopped- 1/4 cup
  • Oil- 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
  • Chanadal (split chickpeas)- 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves- Few
  • Green chilli- 1 
  • Salt- To taste


Take oats, rice flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl.

Then add yogurt and mix well. Then slowly add water to make it a thick batter (oats will soak up little moisture. Yogurt I used was really thick. Hence I ended using 1 cup of water). Let this batter rest for 10- 15 minutes.

While the batter is resting, prepare the seasoning.
Heat oil in a small pan. Then add mustard seeds. When it starts to splutter, add chopped green chillies and curry leaves. Then add in chanadal and roast for few seconds. Then add in the chopped onions and roast this mixture until the onions starts to turn brown. Add this seasoning to the batter. Mix well.

Add more water to the batter, if it is very thick (consistency of the batter should be thick but of pouring consistency).
Now heat the special pan, used for making Appo.

Add few drops of oil in each small moulds. Now pour the batter in each of them.

Let it cook on a medium heat, covered/uncovered until it turns golden brown on bottom part. Then carefully turn them using a fork/spoon.

Fry the other side until you get a uniform color throughout. Remove them and serve. Masala Oats Appo is ready!!

Serve it hot with any chutney of your choice. Above measurement serves two people.

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Pancharatna Dosa

Pancharatna Dosa is a newly tried recipe. I got this recipe from a FB food group, long time back. But I never got a chance to try it. Finally I tried it and it turned out really good. Do try making this simple dosa. It comes out very crispy.

  • Rice- 1 cup
  • Split blackgram/Urad dal- Fistful
  • Moong dal (Split Green gram)- Fistful
  • Chanadal (Split Chickpeas)- Fistful
  • Fried gram dal (dalia)- Fistful
  • Fenugreek seeds/Methi seeds- 1/2 Tbsp
  • Salt- To taste


Wash and soak rice, 4 types of dal (mentioned above) and methi seeds in water for 3-4 hours. Drain the water and grind it to get a smooth batter. Add water as required. The batter should be thick. Ferment it for 8-10 hours. Then add salt as required. Adjust the consistency of the batter by adding water. It should be thick but of dropping consistency. Batter is ready.

Now, heat the dosa pan. Add a ladel full of batter and spread it in circular motion (you can also make thick soft dosas without spreading the batter too much)

Now add oil (if using) and close the lid for half a minute. Then the dosa starts to turn brown.

At this point, you can flip it and fry the other side or transfer it to a plate. 
Pancharatna Dosa is ready!!

Serve it hot with chutney. Above measure serves 2-3 people.

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Beetroot Halwa (Microwave Method)

Beetroot Halwa is a popular Indian dessert. The grated beetroot is cooked in milk with loads of ghee, resulting in a yummy halwa. I made slight variations to my carrot halwa recipe and made this halwa. It tasted very good.

From a very long time I wanted to try beetroot halwa and somehow I was always doubtful regarding its taste. Neither did I get a chance to taste anywhere. Finally I gathered all my courage to try it out and to my surprise it tasted good. I tried to make it in a microwave oven for a change and it worked great. 

  • Beetroot, grated- 3 cups
  • Milk - 3/4 cup
  • Sugar- 2/3 cup (adjust as per your taste)
  • Ghee/ Clarified butter- 3-4 Tbsp (you can add more)
  • Dry fruits, chopped*- of your choice
  • Cardamom Powder- 1/2 tsp
*I used a mixture of cashew nut, pistachios and raisins. You can add any of these or omit it completely.


Wash the beetroots and trim its ends. Then remove its outer skin and then grate it.

Now take a microwave safe bowl (I used a pie dish) and add 1 tsp of ghee (you can as well make in a kadai on stove top). Then add the chopped dry fruits and microwave it until they turn light brown (it took roughly 4 minutes for me). Then transfer them to a small bowl.

Now in the same pan add 2-3 Tbsp of ghee.Then add the grated beetroots. Mix it well and microwave it for 5 minutes on high or until you start getting a nice aroma (stir once, in between to avoid burning).

Then add the milk and give a good mix. 
Then microwave it again on high until all the moisture gets evaporated. It took 7 minutes for me (stir 1-2 times in between so that the mixture doesn't burn).

Then add sugar, remaining 1 Tbsp of ghee and the roasted dry fruits (save some of the roasted dry fruits for garnishing). Mix well and again microwave it on high until all the moisture goes away and a halwa consistency is got (it took a total of 12 minutes for me. For every 3-4 minutes take it out to give it a stir). 

Finally add cardamom powder. Mix well and transfer it to a bowl and garnish it with remaining roasted dry fruits. 
Beetroot Halwa is ready!!

Serve it hot/warm/cold. Above measurement serves 2-3 people.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Karathe Nonche (Bitter gourd Pickle)

Karathe Nonche is a popular Konkani dish. In konkani, karathe means bitter gourd (bitter melon) and nonche means pickle. I got this recipe from my mother. 

This dish is not the usual pickle which can be stored in jars, for months. This pickle is cooked and served immediately, hot/ warm. My mother makes this once in a while. This pickle has a very different taste. The bitterness, spiciness, sweetness, sourness are all well balanced. Do give it a try and get the goodness from bitter gourd :-)

  • Bitter gourd, small sized- 2
  • Jaggery- 2-3 Tbsp (adjust accordingly)
  • Tamarind paste- 1/2 tsp
  • Salt- To taste
For roasting:
  • Dry Red chilli (byadgi variety)- 5-6
  • Mustard seeds- 2 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds/ Methi- 1/4 tsp
  • Asafoetida (hing)- 1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric powder- 1/8 tsp
For Seasoning:
  • Oil- 1-2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves- Few


Wash bitter gourd. Chop off the ends and then cut it open to remove the seeds.

Then chop it into small cubes.

Then put the chopped bitter gourd in a bowl and add salt to it. Keep it for half an hour. After half an hour, squeeze out the extra moisture (bitterness) from the bitter gourd pieces and then keep it aside.

Now roast the dry red chillies with few drops of oil until it changes its color slightly. Then transfer it to a plate. Now in the same pan start roasting the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds until a nice aroma is got. Then turn off the heat and add asafoetida and turmeric powder immediately. Mix well and fry for few seconds. Then transfer it onto a plate/ bowl and allow it to cool.
Now grind the roasted spices along with tamarind to get a fine powder. Then add few tablespoons of water, so as to get a fine paste. Set it aside.

Now start heating water in a small pot, just enough to cook the bitter gourd pieces. When it comes to a boil, add in the prepared bitter gourd cubes and allow it to cook for 8-10 minutes, on a medium flame.

Once the bitter gourd pieces are soft (not mushy), add the ground masala, jaggery and salt. Mix well. Adjust the consistency of the pickle by adding water (I kept it medium thick). At this point taste it and check if salt/ tamarind/ jaggery is required. Allow it to boil for 3-4 minutes. Then turn off the heat and then add the seasoning.

For Seasoning: Heat oil. Then add mustard seeds. Once it starts spluttering, add curry leaves and turn off the heat. Add this to the prepared pickle and mix well.

Serve it hot or warm, as a side dish to rice. Above measurement serves 3-4 people.

Note: You can also add chopped bamboo shoots (canned or brined) along with bitter gourd pieces. It adds a wonderful flavor and crunch to the pickle.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Benda Chakko ( Okra Dry Curry)

Benda Chakko is a popular konkani dish. The okras are cooked in a coconut based masala resulting in a very yummy dish. This dish is little bit on the dry side and makes a good accompaniment to rice. I got introduced to this recently from my SIL. Till then I thought it can be made only using raw jackfruit. This is specially made using overgrown (hard) okras.

Try making this simple yet delicious curry. I am sure you will love it. 

  • Okra (Lady's finger), small sized- 18-20
  • Grated coconut, fresh/frozen- 1/2 cup
  • Roasted red chillies- 4-5
  • Tamarind- A small ball (gooseberry sized)
  • Coriander seeds- 1 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal/Split blackgram- 2 tsp
  • Jaggery- 1tsp
  • Oil- 2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds- 1tsp
  • Curry leaves- few
  • Salt- To taste


Wash okra and pat dry it completely using a cloth or paper towel. Then trim off its ends.

Then cut them into small pieces (1.5- 2 cm long or as desired). 

Then prepare masala.
To Prepare MasalaFry coriander seeds and urad dal in 1/2 tsp of oil, until it turns light brown. Allow it to cool. 

Now grind grated coconut, roasted red chillies, tamarind, jaggery, salt and roasted coriander seeds, urad dal. Add little water so that all the things get well blended. Don't make the masala very fine. 

Now take a kadai and heat oil. Add mustard seeds. Once it starts to splutter, add curry leaves and the cut okra. Mix well and fry for 3-4 minutes on a medium heat.

Then add the ground masala.

Mix well until all the okra pieces get a coating of the coconut masala. Then add little water just enough to cook the okras (nearly 1/3 cup). 

Then close it with a lid and allow to cook until the okra pieces are well cooked and most of the water has evaporated. Then turn off the heat. Benda Chakko is ready!!

Serve it hot as a side dish to rice or rotis. Above measurement serves two people.

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Phova Maandi (Rice Flakes Burfi)

Phova Maandi is a very old, traditional jaggery based sweet. I found this recipe when I was going through a cook book written by Jaya Shenoy. Then I asked my mother about this sweet and she told me that my paternal grandma used to make this. But I didn't get a chance to taste this. I came up with my own measurements and the resulting burfi was out of the world. Do give it a try and enjoy :-)

  • Rice Flakes/ Poha- 3 cups
  • Dark Jaggery/ Antu Bella- 1 cup+ 3 Tbsp
  • White Sesame seeds- 1/4 cup
  • Grated Coconut, fresh/ Frozen- 2/3 cup
  • Ghee (Clarified butter)- 1/4 cup
  • Cardamom pods- 5-6
  • Cashew nut, Almonds- As desired
  • Water- 1/2 cup


Take sesame seeds in a wide bottomed pan on a medium flame. Heat it until it starts releasing the oil (no need to brown it). Then transfer it to a bowl. 

In the same pan, add half of the ghee and then add the rice flakes. Mix it well until the ghee coats every flake evenly. Fry it until a nice aroma is got (no need to brown it). The flakes gets wilted to a small extent. Transfer it to a big bowl. Once it cools down a bit, crush it lightly using your hand.

In the same pan, add small portion from the remaining ghee and then add the cashews and almonds. Fry them until they turn slight brown. Turn off the heat and transfer it to a small bowl.

Crush the cardamom seeds, grate the coconut (if using fresh). Chop the fried nuts as well.

Next step is to melt the jaggery. The jaggery I used looked like this (This jaggery is very soft and is specially used to make ladoos, burfi, chikkis. This jaggery gives good binding and has a distinct taste).

Now in the same pan, add the jaggery and water. Start heating it on a medium heat and keep stirring. Slowly the jaggery starts to melt.

Once the jaggery melts completely and begins to boil, add the grated coconut and mix well. Let it cook along with jaggery. Slowly the jaggery syrup starts to thicken.

Continue heating till the end point. To know the end point, add 1-2 drops of melted jaggery in a small bowl containing water for every 2 minutes. The jaggery should form a firm drop and it should turn little hard. Once this consistency is reached, add the roasted chopped nuts, sesame seeds, cardamom powder, remaining ghee and roasted rice flakes. Mix it well.

Then pour it on a greased tray or plate and spread it evenly. Press it lightly using your hands.

When it is still warm, cut into desired shape. 

Then allow it to cool completely. Phova Maandi is ready!!

Once the burfis turn hard, remove from the tray and store them in an air tight container. I made 25 burfis.

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