Fennel (Saunf) Bulb Salad (with mixed fruits and carrots)

Fennel (Saunf) Bulb Salad (with mixed fruits and carrots)

The fennel bulb is actually the base of the fennel(saunf) plant. It’s a shame that it isn’t used in India as it is edible and has some of the benefits of saunf. The fennel bulb is low in calories and rich in fibre and contains vitamin C and potassium. Fennel (saunf) has been used for ages for aiding digestion after meals and also as a carminative (relieving flatulence/gas) and the same properties are present in the bulb too. It has a mild saunf flavor and a lovely crunchy texture and is perfect for salads.

ChatPata Fennel Bulb salad

Try out this easy salad with mixed fruits. I just use whatever fruits and salad vegetables there are at home, so feel free to try out your own combination:

Ingredients for Fennel Salad:

  • Fennel bulb: 1/2 (finely sliced)
  • Carrot: 1 medium (cut into thin sticks)
  • Apple: 2 (cut into sticks)
  • Blue Grapes: 15 ( quartered)
  • Navel Oranges: 2 (thinly sliced)
  • Lemon juice: from 1 lemon
  • Apple Cider vinegar: 2 tbsp
  • Honey/Sugar: 1 tsp (optional)
  • Chaat masala: 1 tsp (optional-I love the Indian flavour it adds to the salad)
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add the Apple Cider Vinegar and lemon juice, salt and chaat masala and toss.
  3. Chill in the fridge for at least half and hour.
  4. Toss again before serving.

 

 


Bell Pepper Fried Rice (Vegan, Gluten free)

Capsicum Rice (Indian Style Bell Pepper Fried Rice)

Capsicum or bell peppers are rich in vitamins A, C, K, niacin and folate along with copper and magnesium. The red bell peppers have more vitamin A and  C when compared to the green peppers.

Ingredients for Capsicum Rice:

  • Cooked Basmati Rice: 2 Cups
  • Capsicums(bell peppers)-2 big cubed or 3 small (you can use coloured too)
  • Onions: 1 medium (finely sliced)
  • Cashew nuts (or peanuts): a few (optional)
  • Mustard Seeds: 1 tsp
  • Urad dal: 2 tsp
  • Channa dal: 2 tsp
  • Coriander Seeds: 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
  • Dry red chillies(adjust spice level according to heat tolerance): 3-4 piece
  • Fresh Curry Leaves: 10-12 number
  • Roasted Peanuts: 3 tbsp
  • Garam Masala powder: 1 tsp
  • Oil: 2 tbsp
  • Ghee: 1 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves: 1 tbsp (chopped) for garnish (optional)

Method:

  1. Dry roast (no oil) mustard seeds,cumin seeds,urad dal, channa dal, coriander seeds, curry leaves, dry red chillies on medium heat till the rawness disappears and the flavors come out. Switch off and let it cool.
  2. Once cool, add the roasted peanuts and grind  to a make a fine powder.
  3. Heat oil in a vessel and add the sliced onions and saute till golden brown.
  4. Then add the sliced capsicums and cashew nuts(or peanuts) and fry them till the capsicum are still crunchy in texture. Add salt to taste and mix.
  5. Reduce heat and add the the ground masala powder, garam masala and mix well.
  6. Then add the cooked rice and combine.
  7. Garnish with the chopped coriander.
  8. Serve hot with raita.

Brown rice Masala Dosa( Savoury Crepes with Potato filling)

This is a great recipe for those on a Gluten-Free diet.

Ingredients (for the potato filling):

  • Potatoes: 4 nos. (boiled and coarsely mashed/cut)
  • Green chillies: 1-2 nos. (slit length-wise)
  • Onions: 1 large or 2 medium (cut lengthwise-and then cut into half)
  • Ginger: 1/2″ piece(chopped fine)
  • Turmeric:1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt: to taste

For the tempering:

  • Oil: 1 teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds: 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin seeds: 1 teaspoon
  • Curry leaves: 2-3 nos.
  • Channa dal/split black chickpeas/Myles: 1 teaspoon
  • Cashew nuts: 4-5 nos(chopped)

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan,then add the mustard, cumin and the channa dal.
  2. When the mustard starts to sputter,add the curry leaves and the cashew nuts and stir till the cashew nuts are brown.
  3. Add the ginger and fry till it turns a golden brown.
  4. Add the slit green chillies,the chopped onions,turmeric powder,salt and saute till the onions turn translucent.
  5. Add the coarsely mashed potatoes and mix well. Add 1/2 cup water and cook stirring continuously for 5-6 minutes. Set aside.

Ingredients (for the dosa):

Method:

  • Wash, then soak the raw rice, urad dal and fenugreek seeds in water for at least 4-6 hours.
  • Drain the water used for soaking.Add the cooked rice (if using flattened rice-wash,drain and let it stand for at least 10-15 mins), and about a cup of water and grind to a fine paste (should be as thick as the pancake batter).
  • Let it ferment overnight (or for 10-12 hours) in a big bowl(the batter will rise if the weather is warm enough).
  • Once it has fermented,add salt and mix. Then pour a ladleful of the batter onto a HOT pan and spread the batter with the ladle in a circular motion(going from the centre of the pan to the outside).
  • Add a little ghee/butter/oil to the edges of the dosa and let it cook till you notice it getting golden brown from underneath.
  • At this stage, place the yellow potato filling at the centre of the dosa and fold from both sides (like a wrap) or you could also fold it from three sides(the resulting dosa would looks like a triangle).
  • Remove from the pan.Serve hot with a little cilantro chutney and sambar .

Note:

  • Warm weather is crucial for the batter to ferment.
  • The pan needs to be really HOT before you start making the dosas.
  • The dosas can be made without the potato filling too- then it would be known as ‘Plain Dosa’ (not as much fun as eating the ‘masala’ variety).

 


Mangalorean Chicken Sukka (Kori Ajadina)

This is one of the famous Mangalorean dishes (the other’s being Neer Dosa, Kori Rotti and chicken curry) . As the name suggests it’s a dry dish with loads and loads of coconut.

Again, there are many versions, this is my families recipe 🙂

 

Ingredients for Kori Ajadina (Mangalorean Chicken Sukka):

  • Chicken (whole): 1 kg (chopped into small pieces, washed)
  • Onions: 2 big (finely chopped)
  • Methi seeds: 6-8 nos.
  • Tamarind paste: 1/2 tsp
  • Salt: to taste
  • Oil: 2 tablespoon
  • Ghee: 1 tsp

For Grinding together:

  • Onions: 1 big (or 2 small)
  • Coconut: 1/2 cup (scraped)
  • Garlic: 3 cloves+ 2 cloves (chopped)
  • Dry red chilies: 12 nos.
  • Bydagi chilies:  12 nos. for colour
  • Coriander seeds:2 tbsp
  • Jeera seeds: 1 tsp
  • Peppercorns: 1/2 tsp
  • Methi: 1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric:1/2 tsp
  • Oil: 2 tbsp

For garnishing:

Fresh Coconut: 2 1/2 cups (saute till it turns slightly brown )

Method:

  1. First roast all the dry masala ingredients(dry chilies, coriander,methi,jeera,peppercorns)  separately and keep aside.
  2. Then in a kadai, add the oil , once it is hot add the sliced onions, 3 cloves garlic and fry till the onions are slightly brown.
  3. Add the coconut and stir fry till the coconut starts turning brown (make sure to keep stirring, otherwise it will burn). Then switch off and let it cool.
  4. Grind all the ingredients (onions+coconut mixture) along with the roasted spices and the 2 cloves of garlic. Add little water and grind till you get a fine paste.
  5. Add some salt, turmeric and the ground masala paste to the chicken and let it marinate for 1/2 an hour.
  6. In a big vessel, add the oil and heat, add the methi seeds, sliced onions and saute till the onions turn pink.
  7. Add the marinated chicken, salt and saute for a few minutes. Lower the heat and cover and cook till the chicken is done (add very little water if needed as the chicken will leave water).
  8. Then open, add the tamarind paste and cook uncovered till you get a thickish gravy.
  9. Add the sauteed coconut and mix well such that the coconut coats every piece of the chicken.
  10. Serve with rice and dal.

Other famous Mangalorean recipes:

  1. Neer Dosa
  2. Kori Rotti 
  3. Drumstick leaves Upkari
  4. Collard Upkari
  5. Mangalorean Egg Curry
  6. Mangalore cucumber and Moong Sprouts gassi 
  7. Alasande Kalu Gassi (Lobia/black eyed beans in spicy coconut gravy)
  8. Kadale Manoli (Brown chickpeas with tondli)
  9. Kala Channa rasam 
  10. Sweet Banana Dosa
  11. Ragi Manni/ Pudding (Millet pudding)
  12. Moong Dal Payasa/ Kheer

 

 

 


Zoodles (Zucchini spirals) in creamy avocado sauce

Wondering what ‘ZOODLES’ are?? Zoodles= Zucchini noodles, or in other words noodles made by spiralizing zucchini (using a vegetable spiralizer). The resulting zoodles is a great low-carb substitute for any recipe that calls for noodles, pasta/spaghetti (or even rice)! You can even make zucchini sheets and use them instead of lasagna sheets. If you don’t have a vegetable spiralizer then use your vegetable peeler to make sheets, then cut the sheets into strips.

Zoodles (Zucchini noodles)

This is an easy no-cook recipe. Zoodles are now available in the salad section of the grocery store and you could pick up one if you are running late and don’t know what to cook for dinner. Avocados are great for making sauces because they are naturally thick and creamy. They are loaded with healthy fat (monounsaturated) and research has shown that people who eat avocados have higher levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol than those who do not. Other essential nutrients include fiber, vitamins, folic acid, vitamin E and potassium. Add some protein in the form of cheese (or paneer) and you have a wholesome and filling meal.

To learn more about avocados, read my article that was published in Complete Wellbeing: Why You Should Try Avocados (and how to buy them)

Ingredients for Zoodles in creamy avocado sauce:

  • Zucchinis (about 4 pounds): 6 large,  spiraled  into zoodles
  • Grape tomatoes: 8-10 nos. halfed ( or 1 medium tomato cubed)
  • Bocconcini: 6-8 nos (substitute: you can add grated cheese at the end )
  • For the sauce:
  •  Avocados :(about 3/4 pound total), peeled and pit removed
  • Fresh basil leaves (about 15 medium sized leaves): 1/4 cup packed
  • Ground black pepper: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Garlic: 3 cloves, minced
  • Extra virgin olive oil: 2 Tablespoons
  • Fresh lemon juice: 1 Tablespoon
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. To make the sauce, place all of the sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired.
  2. Toss the zoodles, bocconcini, grape tomatoes in the sauce. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired.

You can also try adding some chili flakes if you want something spicier.


Apple Cinnamon Infused Water

There is nothing better than a glass of water to quench your thirst. It’s the perfect zero-calorie drink that not only hydrates but also helps in maintaining a balance in the body fluids. It is also needed to flush out toxins from the body and prevents constipation. For those trying to give up sodas, softdrinks, juices, drinking plain water can be a little boring. Infused water is the perfect solution to get a mildly flavoured drink without all the calories.

You can make different flavours by using different fruits. You can mix these with some spices or even cucumbers or mint. The combinations are endless, but try this simple Apple-Cinnamon infused water for starters 🙂

Ingredients for Apple-Cinnamon Infused water:

  • Organic Apple: 2 (thinly sliced)
  • Cinnamon sticks : 2
  • Water: 2 litres

Method:

  1. In a pitcher add all the ingredients and refrigerate for a minimum of 4-6 hours.
  2. Pour into a glass and drink whenever you want a tasty treat.

Note:

  1. You can keep refilling the pitcher till the flavours still infuse into the water.
  2. The longer you keep it, the stronger the flavour.
  3. Choose different varieties of apples (red or even green)

Read more about :

How to Detox after a Major Festival??

Beetroot Mocktail/ Juice (Liver cleansing juice)

 

 


Oats Dosa (Savoury Oats Crepes)

Oats are rich in fibre, protein vitamin B1 and minerals like manganese, phosphorous, copper, selenium and zinc. It is made up of three types of starch mainly rapidly digested, slowly digested and resistant starch of which the resistant starch is important as it does not get digested and is seen to be beneficial to gut health. Oats is shown to be helpful in reducing cholesterol, increasing satiety as well as reducing constipation.

If a bowl of oats porridge isn’t your cup of tea, then try out this Oats Chilla or dosa recipe and you can still get the health benefits of oats.

Ingredients for Oats Dosa/chilla :

  • Rolled oats: 1 cup (powder in a mixie/blender)
  • Urad dal: 1/4 cup
  • Tur Dal: 1/4 cup
  • Channa dal: 1/4 cup
  • Moong dal: 1/4 cup
  • Ginger: 1/2 inch grated
  • Red chili powder:  1/4 tsp (add more if you like it spicy)
  • Cumin/Jeera seeds: 2 tsp
  • Cilantro/Coriander leaves: 4 tbsp (chopped)
  • Salt: to taste
  • Water: enough to make a smooth pourable batter
  • Oil/ghee: for making dosas (you can use a small onion cut into half breadth wise to dip and spread the oil on the tava)

Method:

  1. Wash and soak the dals for 4-5 hours. Then grind it together till you get a fine paste.
  2. In a big bowl whisk it with all the ingredients, add water and whisk again to make a smooth batter(add more water if the batter is too thick). Keep aside for at least 30 mins.
  3. Heat a tava, dip a cut onion in the oil and spread over the tava. Check if the tava is hot by sprinkling some water on top of it-if it sizzles, then the tava is ready.
  4. Take a ladleful of the batter into the centre of the tava and spread using the back of the ladle in circular movements, spreading the batter thinly over tha tava.
  5. Cover and cook for a few minutes over medium flame.
  6. Then remove the cover, add some oil to the sides of the dosa and cook till you see the dosa leaving the sides.
  7. Flip the dosa,add some oil and cook the dosa on the other sides for a few minutes.
  8. Flip back to the first side and let it cook again for a minute.
  9. Remove and serve hot with a spicy chutney.

 

 

 

 


Green Apple Panna (An Indian style Summer Drink)

Beat the heat with this variation of the popular ‘Aam Panna’- The Apple Panna!!

Traditionally in North India, ‘Panna’ is made from green mangoes (unripe) and had as a drink during the sweltering summers. The unripe mangoes are tart which adds a different flavour to this drink. Added to that the different spices makes it an unusual, yet tasty drink. The Black salt /kala namak used in this drink is a type of salt found in India which due to the sulfur content, gives a distinct aroma and taste.
Since fall is also the season for apples and everyone seems to be making desserts with them, I thought a ‘Green Apple Panna’ will be a welcome change!
This recipe was tested out and also photographed by Taranjeet Kaur-Kothari. Thanks a ton TJ- the photos are superb ( do we see a budding photographer and blogger in the making???).

Green Apple Panna-An Indian Style summer cooler

Ingredients for the Green Apple Panna:
  • Green apples(Granny Smith) – 4nos.
  • Roasted cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Sugar: 4-5 tsp (or according to taste)
  • Black salt- 1 tsp
  • Lemon-1no.
  • Mint leaves- a few
  • Green apple chunks – 20-25g (optional)

Method:

  1. Coat the skin of the apples with a little oil and bake( or roast over a flame) till soft.
  2. Scoop out the pulp and mash in the mixie with lemon juice with water, sugar, mint leaves,black salt and roasted cumin.
  3. Whisk thoroughly.
  4.  Let the panna cool down and then add lots of crushed ice to the panna.
  5. Add green apple chunks(optional)
  6. Garnish the Green Apple Panna with some mint leaves and serve chilled.

Note: Black salt/Kala namak can be found in all Indian grocery stores.


Zucchini Majjige huli/ Moru curry/ Morkulambu/Majjige Pulusu (Buttermilk/Yogurt Curry)

Zucchini is a member of the gourd family and is a low calorie, high fiber, antioxidants, B vitamins and minerals like zinc and magnesium.
Majjige huli is a popular curry in Karnataka. It’s called “Morkulambu” in Tamil Nadu, “Majjiga Pulusu” in Andra Pradesh and “Moru Curry” in Kerala-just goes to show the similarities in cooking styles in South Indian cuisine.

‘Majjige’ is ‘buttermilk’ ,while ‘huli’ is ‘sour’ in Kannada. Usually majjige huli is made with one vegetable (like cucumber, eggplant, ashgourd, spinach,etc). I had a couple of Zucchinis in the fridge and decided to use it as the vegetable in the majjige huli.

Ingredients for the majjige huli:

  • Zucchini: 2 small cut into cubes (or any one of the vegetables listed above)
  • Coconut: 1 cup grated(fresh/frozen)
  • Channa dal/split chickpeas: 1tbsp soaked in water for 1/2hour (optional)
  • Green chillies: 2-3
  • Cumin seeds/zeera: 1tsp
  • Mustard seeds: 1tsp
  • Yogurt/ curd: 1 cup (should be slightly sour)
  • Water: 2-3 cups
  • Salt: to taste

For the tempering:

  • Mustard seeds: 1tsp
  • Cumin seeds/zeera: 1tsp
  • Urad dal: 1tsp
  • Curry leaves:3-4 nos.
  • Oil: 1tsp

Method:

  1. Boil the zucchini in just enough water till half done.
  2. In the meanwhile grind the coconut,green chillies, the soaked channa dal(optional), mustard and cumin seeds till you get a fine paste (add a little water when grinding).
  3. When the zucchini is half cooked add the ground masala and a cup of water and let it boil.
  4. Add salt, yogurt and another cup of water and cook for a minute or two.
  5. In a separate pan, heat the oil and add the mustard,cumin and the urad dal. Wait till the mustard starts to pop, add the curry leaves , then pour the tempering over the majjige huli and mix.
  6. Serve the majjige huli hot with rice.

Q: What is your favorite side dish to go with rice?


Mangalore Basale Curry (Malabar Spinach and Whole Moong in coconut gravy)

Basale soppu or Malabar /Ceylon Spinach is also called as mayalu in Marathi and poi in Gujrathi . It’s very common to see houses in Mangalore growing it and Basale ghassi or Basale koddel is a specialty of the region. Malabar spinach is rich in vitamins A, C, iron and calcium, and is also good source of soluble fiber.  The addition of green moong not only increases the protein conent of the dish but also adds a lot of flavour to it.

I was lucky to find the seeds locally and have been making this curry with homegrown organic basala. This is how Basala and payar (whole moong) curry is made in my family.

Ingredients for Mangalore Basale curry:

  • Green moong: 1 cup (wash and soak for an hour)
  • Basalla /Malabar Spinach: 3 cups (washed, chopped, both leaves and stems are traditionally used)
  • Tomato: 2 small or 1 Big
  • Salt: to taste
  • Tamarind paste: 1/4tsp

Grind together:

  • Grated coconut/dessicated coconut: 1 1/2 cups
  • Onion: 1 medium, sliced
  • Turmeric: 1/4tsp
  • Red chili powder(or 8-10 whole dried byadagi chilies roasted): 1-2tbsp (as per your heat tolerance)
  • Coriander powder (or 1 tbsp corriander seeds roasted): 1tbsp
  • Cumin powder: 3tsp
  • Mustard seeds:1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Garlic: 2 cloves

Method:

  1. Pressure cook the moong and the basale (leaves and stem) without adding salt for one whistle.
  2. Grind the ingredients mentioned under grind together to a smooth paste and keep aside.
  3. Open the pressure cooker (if it’s too small, then transfer contents to a deep vessel), add the ground masala, little water, cut tomatoes, tamarind paste and salt.
  4. Allow the curry to boil vigorously for five minutes, check for salt, tamarind add more if required. Adjust the consistency if needed before switching off.
  5. It is traditionally served with rice, but tastes great with chapathis too.

Note: You can add seasoning/tadka if you want, but it isn’t added in our family recipe.