Wheat Rava Upma ~ Godhuma Rava Upma

Wheat Rava Upma has almost become a regular at home these days. But until a few years back I never appreciated the wheat rava. 

This week for the final day of BM #31, as part of the moderator's choice, I made this upma from Srivalli's space, Spicing Your Life.


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Posted by Harini-Jaya R on Monday, August 26, 2013

Banana Ginger Smoothie

I found this smoothie in some online magazine (I am sorry, I can't recollect) and thought the addition of ginger in a banana smoothie was interesting. We are all aware of the benefits of ginger in our diet. 

In that background, when I saw that this combination helps with nausea and upset stomach, I tried it when most of us were sick at home with cough/cold and one of us was suffering from nausea. 

Check it out as part of Day 2 week 4 of BM#31 under the theme 'Healthy Smoothies'.

Ingredients - 

Banana, sliced 1 medium size
Ginger, Grated 1 tsp
Honey 1 Tbsp (Use Vegan sweetener for a Vegan version)
Low Fat Yogurt 1 cup (For a vegan version use soy yogurt)


Banana Ginger Smoothie

Method Of Preparation -

Blend the banana, ginger, honey and yogurt to a smooth consistency adding water if needed. Instead of water, try adding a few ice cubes for an extra cold smoothie!

Transfer into glasses and serve.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#31.

Preparation Time 5 min
Makes 1 1/2 cups

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Posted by Harini-Jaya R on Sunday, August 25, 2013

Dhokla In A Microwave

I have tasted Dhokla umpteen number of times over the years and I have developed a taste for it as well. I have so far not attempted it at home as my husband refused to eat it at home. 

But this time I forced it on him and he was surprised at the taste and he in turn asked me as to why I had never made it at home..now what do I say??? I just gave him a 'look' and filed this incident in my mind for future reference :)).

For Day 1 week 4 of BM #31, we were given a choice for 6 themes out of which I have chosen this one under 'Microwave Cooking'.

Ingredients - 

Besan / ChickPea Flour 1 cup
Sooji / Semolina 1/4 cup
Ginger, Grated 1 tsp
Salt 3/4 tsp
Lemon/Lime Juice 1 Tbsp
Sugar 1 tsp
Water to make the batter about 3/4 cup
ENO Fruit Salt 1 tsp
Chopped Coriander leaves and grated fresh coconut for garnishFor Seasoning (Oil 1 Tbsp, Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp, Sesame Seeds 1 tsp, Curry leaves few, Green chillies slit 2-3 , water)


Dhokla In A Microwave

Method Of Preparation -

In a bowl, add besan and 1/2 cup of water and mix it well until there are no lumps.

Add the sooji,salt and grated ginger and slowly add water to make sure the batter is in pouring consistency. Squeeze in the lemon juice. Mix well, cover and set aside for 5-10 min.

Sprinkle the ENO fruit salt, gently mix until well combined. Don't mix too vigorously.

Grease a microwave safe pan, pour the batter evenly, cover and microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes.

Remove and check if it is done by inserting a knife or toothpick to see if it comes out clean.

I had to microwave it for another minute. Let it stand as is for another couple minutes while the seasoning is prepared.

The seasoning can be prepared in the microwave itself in another microwave safe bowl. But this time around I chose to do it on the stove top.

Heat oil, add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, sesame seeds, and green chillies. After the mustard seeds pop, add 1/2 cup of water and let the water come to a boil. Remove from fire.

Meanwhile remove the prepared dhokla by inverting it onto a plate, slice it as required and evenly pour the seasoning with water all over the slices. All the water will be absorbed by the dhokla making it soft.

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and grated coconut and serve it warm along with Coriander-Mint Chutney or any other chutney of your choice.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#31.

Preparation Time 7 min  + resting time 5 min + Cooking Time 4 min
Serves 3

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Wheat Pretzels

I asked my kids if they would love to have pretzels for a snack. They answered in a chorus that they love pretzels and would love to have them. I was surprised by their answer as they never expressed their liking before. So I went about searching for an easy recipe to make pretzels when I came saw the recipe here

Once I had the recipe on hand, I questioned my kids as to why they had not been too interested in pretzels. I was told that that the salt sprinkled on top of the pretzels is what was keeping them away from pretzels.

That is so easily fixed, I thought and made the pretzels without the additional sprinkling of granulated salt. My older one and the husband loved them with honey mustard while the little one enjoyed with her favorite tomato ketchup :).

This forms part of Day 3 week 3 of BM #31 under 'After school mini bites'.

Ingredients - 

Flour (I used All Purpose Flour 2 1/2 cups and Wheat Flour 1 1/2 cups) 4 cups
Active Dry Yeast 2 1/4 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Sugar 1 tsp
Warm Water 1 1/2 cups 
Optional topping - Granulated salt (I didn't use)


Wheat Pretzels

Method Of Preparation -

Dissolve yeast in warm water and stir until dissolved. Sprinkle salt and sugar and mix.  Slowly add flour one cup at a time and stir with a wooden spoon.

Continue adding flour and when the dough is a little stiff, use your hands and knead into a smooth dough for about 5 minutes. I found that dividing the dough into 3-4 portions made it easier to knead.

Divide the dough into lime sized portions [This depends on the size of the pretzel you intend making]. Roll each portion into a rope of about 1 cm thickness, take the ends and draw them together so the dough forms a circle. Twist the ends, then bring them towards yourself and press them down into a pretzel shape.

Continue for the rest of the dough and arrange them in a lined baking tray.

Preheat the oven to 425 °F.

Place the baking tray in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 10 min and then broil for 4-5 min keeping a close watch on them so they don't get burnt.

Allow them to cool and serve with Honey Mustard for a filling snack.


Also sending these pretzels along to Srivalli's 'Kid's Delight' hosted this time by Nisha at Themagicsaucepan.

Preparation Time 30 min + Baking Time 15 min
Makes approx 30 

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Oat And Nut Scones - Vegan

I have tried a variety of scones as that happens to be my kid's favorite after school snack. This time tried a healthier version which I thought was very filling as well.

Here they are as part of day 2 week 3 of BM#31.

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Spinach-Cheese Puffs

I have been looking for some interesting kid friendly recipe using spinach for quite some time. The other day my husband suggested that I should try the Greek appetizer, spanakopita. 

So on those lines, I have tried these puffs. Only difference being, I have used the regular Mexican blend of cheese instead of Feta cheese. 

For Day 1 week 3 of BM#31, I am blogging under the theme 'Kid Friendly after school snacks'.

Ingredients - 

Phyllo sheets Thawed 30 sheets
Melted Butter
For the Filling - 
Spinach chopped, 3-4 cups
Onions, chopped 1/2 cup
Spring Onions chopped 4 Tbsp
Nutmeg powder a pinch
Salt 1/4 tsp
Oil 1 tsp
Cheese Shredded, 1 cup

Method Of Preparation -
To Prepare the filling - 

Blanch the spinach by soaking it in boiling water for a couple of minutes and drain. 

Saute onions in 1 teaspoon of oil. Add the spring onions and blanched spinach. 

Sprinkle salt and nutmeg. (You can omit the salt as spinach and cheese have enough salt to satisfy your taste preferences.)

Mix well and remove from fire. Sprinkle cheese and set aside.

Layer two phyllo sheets one on top of another. Cut them into 3 strips of 2 inches in width. 

Brush with melted butter, place a tablespoon of the filling in one corner of the strip, fold into a triangle and wrap the rest of the strip into a triangular puff. Brush the ends with butter and set aside. 

Continue with the process for the rest of the sheets.

Preheat the oven to 375 °F. Line the baking tray with parchment paper.

Arrange the prepared puffs in the baking tray, brush them lightly with some butter and bake for about 22 min or until they become golden brown.

Remove and serve them warm for a nutritious snack.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#31.

Also sending these puffs along to Srivalli's 'Kid's Delight' hosted this time by Nisha at Themagicsaucepan.

Preparation Time 30 min + Baking Time 22 min 
Makes 15 puffs

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For this edition of Indian Cooking Challenge, Srivalli, upon the choice of Mireille suggested that we make these Meethay Ghodey (Sweet Horses??). Apparently the original recipe is from  Zaiqa.

This is a traditional Hyderabadi dessert which is made for festivals. This reminds me of what we used to eat during our childhood - Crunchy Poori crushed in sweetened milk. That is absolute bliss! The additional work involved here was about the shaping the flowers which is time consuming. 

I would love to just fry tiny pooris and boil in sweeteened milk. But this was a matter of challenge so I went ahead with the laborious process which resulted in a delectable result!

Ingredients - 

Wheat Flour ¾ cup
Canola Oil 1 tsp
Salt 1/8 tsp
Water to knead the dough
Oil to deep fry
Milk 1 1/2 cup
Water 1 cup
Sugar 1/2 cup (or more as per taste)
Roasted chopped or sliced Almonds and Raisins for garnish


Method Of Preparation -

In a mixing bowl, add the flour, salt and oil. Knead into a stiff dough adding as much water as is necessary. Cover and set aside for 30 min.

Make 3-4 portions of the dough and roll out thin (as thin as possible) circles. Using a pizza cutter or a knife, cut out one inch squares of dough and pinch the opposite ends to resemble a flower or an 'X'.

Make such flowers with the remaining dough. Let the flowers air dry for a few hours. (I let them dry for an hour. It is recommended that they dry for 6-8 hours).

Heat oil in a pan and deep fry these flowers until they are golden brown. Drain them onto paper towels to absorb the excess oil.



In a heavy bottomed pan, heat water (1 cup) and milk (1 1/2 cups). After the milk boils over add the deep fried dough flowers. Mix well and let it simmer covered for about 10-15 minutes until they are softened. Keep stirring once in a while. 

Add sugar and mix. Add more water if you need to cook them more. Once cooked thoroughly, add the shallow fried raisins and sliced almonds. [I added shopped almonds and left out the raisins.] 


Let it cool to room temperature. 'Meethay Ghoday' is ready to be served.Preparation Time  hr
Makes 2 cups

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Apple Enchiladas

After 2 days of Mexican main course recipes, I thought it is time for a dessert. I found this delightful and filling dessert using tortillas (yet again) here and fell in love with it.

I should have grated the apples to get a thinner roll but nevertheless the finely chopped apples had a bite which we all loved. 

So check it out for Day 3 Week 2 of BM#31.

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Posted by Harini-Jaya R on Monday, August 12, 2013

Black Bean Quesadilla

After a lot of deliberation, I finally tried out these Quesadillas (pronounced as kesediyas) and we have fallen in love with these protein packed powerhouses. 

I had a misconception that these are filled with cheese and so avoided it for so long. Thanks to this Blogging Marathon, I looked into the various varieties of Quesadillas and figured out that my family will take to these happily and I was so right!!

For Day 2 Week 2 of BM #31, check these out..

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A few months back when we were introduced to Chipotle, a Mexican eatery Chain, we got hooked onto this veggie Bowl. I have since been making this at home often by varying the toppings/veggies as per availability at home.

I found that picky eaters at home are easily satisfied and it can be a very balanced meal as well.

As part of BM #31, I have opted to showcase some interesting Mexican food. For Day 1 Week 2, here it is..

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Colored Capsicum Curry (No Onion No Garlic)

I make this curry often mimicking my mom's version of capsicum curry. I am sure my mom makes this curry with the regular green capsicum and eggplant. I found that this curry is suitable for those festival days and also for parties as this looks colorful on the buffet table!

For Day 3 of Week 1 of BM #31, here is the recipe..


Colored Capsicum Curry (No Onion No Garlic)

Ingredients - 

Yellow Capsicum, cubed 1 cup
Orange Capsicum, cubed 1 cup
Red Capsicum, cubed 1 cup
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Salt as needed
Seasoning (Oil 1 Tbsp, Chana Dal 1 tsp, Urad Dal 1 tsp, Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp, Curry leaves few)
To Grind - 
Sesame seeds, Roasted 1 Tbsp
Coconut Powder 1 Tbsp
Peanuts, Roasted 2 Tbsp
Coriander seeds, Roasted 1 tsp
Dry Red Chillies, Roasted 2-3 (or as needed)


Colored Capsicum Curry (No Onion No Garlic)

Method Of Preparation -

In a heated Kadai/wok add oil and the rest of the seasoning. After the mustard seeds pop, add the chopped capsicum and let it cook until cooked through.

Meanwhile Grind the ingredients listed under 'To Grind' to a fine powder and set aside.

Add salt and turmeric to the cooked vegetables. Sprinkle the ground masala powder.

Mix well and remove from fire after a few minutes.

Serve hot with Rice/Roti.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#31.

Preparation Time 25 min
Serves 4-5

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Rajma Masala

This is by far one of the healthiest accompaniments for Roti/Naan/Kulcha. I remember having tasted this combo at a Dhaba about 10-12 years ago along with steaming hot Aloo Parathas and I remember commenting that the combo was heavenly. I have not been able to reconstruct the same feel and mood but nevertheless this combo is sure to win hearts!

This is for Day 2 Week 1 of BM #31 under 'Main Course Dishes'.

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Posted by Harini-Jaya R on Sunday, August 4, 2013

Avocado Rice

Sometimes the most tense moments for me are those when my husband willfully goes to a farmer's market. He says that the vegetables there are so fresh and tempting that he gets unusual amounts of them for throwaway prices. The other day he really tested my limits by getting home a crate full of avocados. 

To top it all, he had a list of recipes at the top of his head which I could make using avocados. He said he was ready for all those and many more!!

But I must say the rice I made with avocados will be made once or twice more before the they are done. The kids also loved it. I made the rice with some traditional south Indian dishes and the fusion worked out well for us. Check it out for Day 1 Week 1 of BM #31 under the theme 'Main Course Dishes'.

Here in the picture are Avocado Rice, Green Apple Pickle, Kobbari Pachadi, Plain Dal with Garlic Tadka and Plain Rice.

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