BM #90 Week 3 Day 3 - 

As part of an everyday meal, I made this healthy green pasta to keep my kids happy and also to celebrate my little one's birthday. Featured in the platter - Healthy Green Pasta, Coconut Brownie and Ice cream. I made the brownie (Recipe coming soon) for the midnight cake ceremony per my little one's choice.:)

My kids are fond of pasta in all its variety and when they saw this in the social media feed, they were after me to make this. To convince me that they would eat it without any complaints, they went grocery shopping all by themselves to buy the required ingredients.

This dish was done in a jiffy as I had the spaghetti cooked by the time they got back with the basil and arugula. I then made the pesto, steamed and seasoned the veggies and served immediately. I couldn't be happier to see their oohs and aahs. My little one gave me a big hug and said that I made her birthday extra special. :)

Recipe Source social media feed
Ingredients - 

Spaghetti 1/2 lb
Salt as needed
Vegetables (I used Cauliflower, Broccoli and Carrots) as needed
Seasoning for the Vegetables (Salt, Pepper, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder and Crushed Red pepper Flakes) as needed
Arugula or any other Salad Greens as needed
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese cubes as needed
For the Pesto - 
Basil Leaves 3/4 cup
Arugula 3/4 cup
Almond Meal 3/4 cup
Lime/Lemon Juice 1 tsp or as needed
Garlic 2 cloves
Olive Oil 3 Tbsp
Water 1/4 cup
Salt and Pepper as needed

Method Of Preparation -

Boil 2 liters of water with enough salt and add the spaghetti. Cook as per the instructions on the box.

While the spaghetti is cooking, get the pesto ready.

Also get the vegetables steamed and seasoned to taste.

Grind the ingredients listed under 'For the Pesto' into a fine paste.

Remove the boiling spaghetti from heat. Reserve about 2-3 tablespoons of the starchy water. Drain the spaghetti into a colander. 

Transfer the spaghetti into the pan and mix in the pesto.

Serve the warm green pasta and top it off with fresh mozzarella, steamed vegetables and salad greens.


Preparation Time 20 minutes
Serves 4

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BM #90 Week 3 Day 2 - 

For today, I have a simple assortment of dishes. My older one prefers to be able to pick from an array of dishes whereas I prefer just dal, sabji and rice for comfort food.

In the ongoing summer vacation, it is getting tougher to please my older one. So to get her to the dining table, I prepared this small thali with assortment of idli, roti, rice, dal, sabji and kalakand. And her favorite of all was the matka dahi. Sigh...

Ingredients - 

Carrot and Peas 1 1/2 cups
Garam Masala, Dhania Powder, Red Chilli Powder, Salt and Turmeric, Kasuri Methi as needed

Sugar 1 tsp (Optional)
Seasoning (Butter 1 Tbsp, Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp)
For the Gravy - This is a great make-ahead gravy
Cooking Oil 2 tsp
Onion, chopped 1/2 cup
Tomato, chopped 1 1/2 cups
Tomato Paste 1 tsp
Ginger-Garlic-Green Chilli Paste 2 tsp
Cinnamon 1/2 inch
Cloves 3-4
Cashews 4-5 (Optional)
Milk 1/2 cup

Method Of Preparation -
For the Gravy - 
In a heated pan, add oil and saute onions until golden brown.

Add in the cloves and cinnamon, ginger-garlic-green chili paste and tomatoes.

Cook until the tomatoes are mushy.

Remove from heat. Make a smooth paste of the mixture adding cashews and milk as needed.

Get the pan back on medium heat. Add butter and cumin seeds.

Add the smooth gravy, cover and allow it to simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Add in the carrots and peas.

Sprinkle Garam Masala, Dhania Powder, Red Chilli Powder, Salt and Turmeric, Kasuri Methi as needed.

Adjust the consistency by adding more milk. I like to add a little sugar as well. 


Preparation Time 30 minutes
Serves 3-4

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Posted by Harini R on Wednesday, July 18, 2018

BM #90 Week 3 Day 1 - 

This week I shall showcase some everyday lunch/dinner platters which are not so elaborate and sometimes just make-do kind of meals. 

Here I have this rich and creamy gravy with an unusual vegetable, Ridge gourd or Turai or Beerakaya. A lot of times, my lunch consists of Roti, sabji and a little bit of yogurt rice or Carrot Raitha. Though the picture doesn't show raitha, my meal is never complete without yogurt in some form. 

Ingredients - 

Beerakaya / Ridge Gourd peeled and chopped 4-5 cups
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Salt, Red Chili Powder as needed
Seasoning (Oil 1 tsp, Chana Dal 1 tsp, Urad Dal 1 tsp, Mustard seeds 1 tsp, Curry Leaves few, Dry Red Chili)
For the Gravy - 
Oil 1 tsp
Onions 3 Tbsp
Tomatoes 1/4 cup
Green Chilies 2-3
Coriander Seeds 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp
Sesame Seeds 1 tsp (Optional)
Peanuts, roasted handful
Tamarind extract (thick) 1 tsp

Method Of Preparation -

For the Gravy - 
In a heated pan, add oil and roast coriander and cumin seeds. Add the sesame seeds and green chilies. Roast for a few seconds. 

Add in the onions. Saute onions until they are translucent. Add tomatoes and allow them to cook until mushy. Remove from heat.

Grind the above mixture, adding tamarind extract and roasted peanuts, to a fine paste. Set aside.

For the Curry - 
In a heated pan, add oil and the rest of the seasoning. After the mustard seeds pop and the dals are golden brown, sprinkle turmeric and transfer the chopped beerakaya. Mix well, sprinkle salt and cover.

After about 5-6 minutes, when the ridge gourd is cooked through, pour the gravy with as much water as needed. Sprinkle red chili powder as needed. Let the gravy simmer for 3-4 minutes.

Remove from heat. Serve with Roti/Rice.


Preparation Time 25-30 minutes
Serves 3-4

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BM #90 Week 2 Day 3 - 

To conclude this month's series 'Instant dishes', here is a personal favorite. This version of kalakand is a great way to enjoy the last few mangoes of this season.

I remember my mom slogging in front of the stove to make kalakand the old-fashioned way. Now when it is my turn to make it, I always look for easy and quick ways to enjoy such treats. 

My family and friends enjoyed this mango kalakand.

Ingredients - 

Mango Pulp 1 1/4 cup (I used store bought pulp)
*Paneer 1/2 cup
Milk Powder 3/4 cup
Condensed Milk 1/4 cup (adjust as per the sweetness of mango pulp)
Cardamom Powder and Chopped Nuts for Garnish

*I used homemade soft paneer from 1 liter low fat milk (2%). Store bought grated paneer can also be used.

Method Of Preparation -

In a microwave safe deep bowl, add the mango pulp and microwave in high power for 3 minutes.

Remove, mix and add in the soft paneer and milk powder. Whisk well and zap for another 2 minutes.

Remove, mix and cook for 2 more minutes.

Remove, add condensed milk, mix and cook for 5 more minutes in 1 minute intervals. Make sure the mixture doesn't overflow.

When the mixture is semi dry and looks grainy, it is done. Ensure that it the mixture is not totally dry.

Transfer the mixture onto a greased container. Pat it evenly. Sprinkle the cardamom powder and chopped nuts. Allow it to rest/cool for a few minutes.

Slice and enjoy.


Preparation Time 15 minutes + Cooling time 30 minutes
Makes 16 1-inch pieces

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BM #90 Week 2 Day 2 - 

We are all fond of masala vada dunked in sambar, right? Imagine you have a craving to eat masala vada on a rainy day, but there is no readymade batter available on hand. Then this instant version is a life saver.

These vadas turn out crispy and are very addictive. I am always skeptical about using bread in a deep fried dish and have an inherent fear that the dish would absorb excess oil. But in this case I didn't observe anything of that kind. 

Recipe Source here
Ingredients - 

Bread Slices 4-6
Semolina/Sooji 1/4 cup
Rice flour-1/2 cup
Medium Onion 1
Ginger-1 inch piece
Green Chilies, finely chopped 1 tsp (or as needed)
Coriander Leaves,chopped 2 tbsp
Chilli Powder 1/2 tsp (or as needed)
Cumin Seeds 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Curd 1/2 cup 
Oil For Deep Frying & greasing

Method Of Preparation -

Roughly tear up the bread slices and pulse to make a coarse powder.

In a mixing bowl, add the powdered bread, sooji, rice flour, onion, ginger, green chilies, coriander leaves, cumin seeds, chili powder and salt.

Mix well and knead into a stiff dough slowly adding curd as much as needed.

Pinch lime sized portions and shape them like a donut/vada and gently slide in a pan of hot oil.

Let them fry until they are golden brown all over.

Remove them onto paper towels to drain excess oil and continue with the rest of the dough.

Serve hot as is or with any chutney.


Preparation Time 

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BM #90 Week 2 Day 1 - 

Do you freak out on weekday mornings when you realize you have nothing planned for the day's breakfast? Then today's post might come in handy. 

I have chosen to make some instant versions of some tedious/time taking dishes this week. For today's recipe, the instant idli mix can be made ahead of time and stored or it can be prepared (roasted and powdered) in 7-8 minutes.

If there is not enough time, then the vegetables/seasoning can be omitted and just plain idlis can be made. But don't forget to add salt and baking soda/ENO fruit salt. 

Recipe Source loosely adapted from a tv program
Ingredients - 

For the Instant Poha Idli mix - 
Poha 1/2 cup
Sooji / Semolina 1/2 cup
Urad Dal 1/8 cup
Methi Seeds a pinch
To make poha vegetable idli - 
Seasoning (Oil 1 Tbsp, Chana Dal 2 tsp, Urad Dal 1 tsp, Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp, Mustard seeds 1 tsp, Asafotida a pinch and few curry leaves)
Mixed vegetables, grated or coarsely crushed 1 cup ( I used corn, peas, carrot and beans)
Salt as needed
Baking soda or ENO fruit salt 1/4 tsp
To grind - 
Almonds 8-9
Green Chilies 2-3
Coriander leaves few

Method Of Preparation -
To make the Instant Idli mix - 
In a heated pan, dry roast the poha and set aside.

In the same heated pan, dry roast methi seeds and urad dal until it turns golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Dry roast sooji in the same heated pan.

After they cool, grind urad dal, methi seeds and poha to a fine powder. Mix in the roasted sooji. The instant idli mix is ready to be stored in an airtight container.

When the idlis need to be made, take the required amount of the mix and follow the next steps.

To make Poha Vegetable Idli - 
In a heated pan, add oil and the rest of the seasoning. After the mustard seeds pop and the dals are brown, add in the crushed almonds, coriander leaves and green chili. 

Add in the grated vegetables and saute for a few seconds.

Add in salt and remove from heat. Let it cool for a few minutes.

In the instant poha idli mix, add in the seasoned vegetables, whisk in yogurt and sprinkle baking soda or ENO fruit salt and gently mix.

Divide the batter into a idli plate. 

Steam it for 15 minutes. Let it cool for a few minutes.

Unmould and serve it warm with a chutney of your choice.


Preparation Time 
Makes 16 idlis

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BM #90 Week 1 Day 3 -

Under the theme of Indian Regional dishes, here is my third one this month. I cannot pin this recipe to one particular state/region but can safely say it is from North India.

In the picture the gravy doesn't look too smooth but trust me the gravy was rich and creamy when we ate it. I took the picture the after a few hours and by then the makhana were soggy and so the resultant picture. I shall definitely update these pictures as soon as I get to make this sabji.

Ingredients - 
Makhana 1 1/2 cups
Homemade Khoya 1/2 cup
Salt, Turmeric as needed
Coriander Powder 1 tsp 
Cumin Powder 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala 1/2 tsp
Amchur Powder 1/4 tsp
Sugar 1/2 tsp
Kasuri Methi 1/2 tsp
Seasoning (Oil 1 Tbsp , Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp)
For the Gravy -
Oil 1 tsp
Onions, chopped 1/2 cup
Tomatoes, chopped 1 cup
Ginger-Garlic Pasta 2 tsp
Green chilies, finely chopped as needed
Cashews 7-8

Method Of Preparation -

In a heated pan, dry roast the makhana until they are crisp. Remove and set aside.

In the same pan, add a teaspoon of oil and saute onions until they are translucent. Add in ginger, garlic, and green chilies. Saute for a few seconds.

Add in the tomatoes and cook them until mushy.

Remove from heat, transfer into a blender and grind into a fine paste adding cashews and water as needed.

Return the pan to heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil and cumin seeds. After the cumin seeds crackle, add the gravy paste.

Add in the khoya and all the spices listed including salt and turmeric. Adjust the consistency by adding water as needed.

Mix well and let it come to a boil and the gravy is ready when the oil floats.

Add in the roasted makhana, cook for a couple of minutes and remove from heat.

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve warm with rice/roti/naan. 


Preparation Time 30 minutes
Serves 5-6

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BM #90 Week 1 Day 2 -

This is a typical Hyderabadi dish served with Biryani. I have already tried this gravy here and here. We loved both the versions. 

My sister shared this recipe with me. Since we are fans of mirchi ka salan with any combination of ingredients, I tried this out.

I was surprised that there was no tomato, cinnamon, cloves etc and not even dhania jeera powder. But trust me on this, the addition of tamarind is the best part. The flavor was too good to pass. 

Tip to remember - upon cooling, this gravy thickens and so ensure that the gravy is slightly runny to begin with.

Ingredients - 

*Poblano Peppers 3
Cooking Oil 3 Tbsp
Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp
Onions, finely chopped 1/2 cup
Salt, Jaggery, Red Chili Powder, Garam masala as needed
Coriander leaves, finely chopped for garnish
To Grind - 
Peanuts, roasted 4 Tbsp
Sesame Seeds, roasted 2 Tbsp
Poppy seeds, roasted 1 tsp
Coconut Powder 2 Tbsp
Ginger 1 inch
Garlic 3-4 cloves
Tamarind extract 2 Tbsp or as needed

* I usually use 10-12 Banana peppers as is but since the poblano peppers are huge, I deseeds,  cut into 1 inch wide and 2 inch long strips.

Method Of Preparation -

In a heated pan, add oil and pan fry the sliced peppers until they are slightly wilted but not cooked through.

Remove the peppers onto a plate and add cumin seeds in the remaining oil.

Saute the onions until they are golden brown.

While the onions are sauteing, grind the ingredients listed under 'To grind', adding as much water as is necessary to make a smooth paste.

After the onions are golden brown, add the paste from the previous step and let it come to a boil.

Add in salt, red chili powder, jaggery and garam masala.

Mix well and gently transfer the pan fried pepper slices.

Cover and let the gravy come to a rolling boil (about 4-5 minutes).

After the gravy comes together, remove form heat and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve with Pulao or Biryani.


Preparation Time 30 minutes
Serves 4-5

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BM #90 Week 1 Day 1 - 
Welcome to yet another month of Blogging Marathon. This week I have chosen to highlight some regional dishes. 

Most of us are familiar with Idli being the staple breakfast/dinner in many parts of Tamil Nadu. With idlis being so popular, I can imagine the number of idlis dished out and inevitably many idlis being left over. So I believe this to be the reason for the birth of Idli Upma. 

I feel this is one of the best ways to repurpose Idlis. This might not be an authentic recipe for Idli Upma but it is how we like it.

Ingredients - 

Idlis, crushed to resemble bread crumbs 12-14
Onion, finely chopped 1/2 cup
Tomato, finely chopped 1/4 cup
Mixed Vegetables 1 cup (I used carrots and peas only)
Salt and Turmeric as needed
Seasoning (Oil 1 Tbsp, Chana Dal 1 tsp, Urad Dal 1 tsp, Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp, Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp, Curry leaves few, Red chili 1)
To Grind - 
Almonds or Roasted Peanuts handful
Green chilies 2-3
Ginger 1/2 inch piece
Coriander leaves few

Method Of Preparation -

In a heated wok/kadai/pan, add oil and the rest of the seasoning. After the mustard seeds pop and the dals are brown, saute the onions.

After the onions are golden brown, sprinkle turmeric, add in the tomatoes and vegetables (in this case carrots and peas).

Meanwhile, make a coarse powder fo the ingredients listed under 'To Grind'.

When the tomatoes are mushy and the vegetables are cooked, add in the crushed idls and salt to taste.

Mix well and lower the heat, cover and let the flavors blend in.

Remove from heat after a few minutes and serve hot.


Preparation Time 15-20 minutes
Serves 3-4

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Posted by Harini R on Tuesday, July 3, 2018
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