BM #87 Day 22 - 

I finally could lay my hands on Kodo Millet at a local Indian Store. I paid a pretty penny for it, though. I have tried quite a few dishes with this millet. I found that it is not very difficult to like it as it doesn't seem to have any distinct smell or taste. In fact when blended with Yogurt and the seasonings, it is not very different from the rice version.

This is also a favorite lunch box dish for my little one. I was in two minds whether to post it under Kid's lunch box recipes or under the Whole grain recipes :). I typically don't add ginger and green chilies for my little one. I just add a little black pepper and loads of crunchy dals (she calls them 'katum kitum') and raisins in the tadka for her.

Ingredients - 

Kodo Millet/ Arikelu / Varagu 1/2 cup
Milk 1/2 cup
Yogurt/Curds 1/2 cup + more
Salt as needed
Ginger, grated 1/2 tsp
Garnish with coriander leaves and pomegranate pearls
Seasoning (Ghee/Oil 2 tsp, Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp, Chana Dal 2 tsp, Urad Dal 1 tsp, Jeera 1/4 tsp, Red chilies 2, Curry leaves few, Asafoetida a pinch, Raisins few, Cashews few)

Method Of Preparation -

Wash kodo millet and soak it for 5-10 minutes. I observed the water turns a little muddy, so I like to soak and make sure the muddy colored water is all washed out. 

Pressure cook the kodo millet by adding about 1.5 cups of water. After the pressure cooker cools down, transfer the cooked millet into a wide bowl and mash it so that there no lumps. [I cooked in the Instant Pot - Manual 8 minutes.]

Add in milk and yogurt. Mix well.

Sprinkle salt and grated ginger.

To prepare the seasoning, heat ghee/oil, add mustard seeds, after they are ready to crackle, add the remaining ingredients in the order listed.

After the dals are brown, transfer the seasoning ingredients into the kodo millet daddhojanam. Mix well and garnish with pomegranate pearls. Enjoy with fried mirchi!


Preparation Time 30 minutes
Serves 2-3

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BM #87 Day 21 - 

After Jowar and Whole Wheat, I picked up Barley as my Whole Grain for today. Here the traditional Pulihora is made replacing rice with barley.

The weekend meal depicted above has Roti, Tomato Sabji, Rice, Motichur Laddu, Palak Dal, Barley Pulihora and Yogurt apart from carrot salad and chips. The chips and Motichur Laddu were store bought.

I learnt that the texture of barley is a tricky one to get used to. But it is one of my favorite grains apart from millets. I felt barley is best consumed in this form of pulihora where the taste of the tamarind mix overtakes all else.

Ingredients - 

Barley Pearls 1/2 cup
Tamarind, 1 lime sized portion
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Seasoning (Oil 2 Tbsp, Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp, Chana Dal 1 tsp, Urad Dal 1/2 tsp, Peanuts handful, Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp, Asafoetida 1/4 tsp, Curry leaves few, Dry Red Chili 1, Green chilies 2)
To Grind - 
Coriander Seeds 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek Seeds 1/8 tsp
Coconut Powder 1/2 tsp
Sesame Seeds 1 tsp
Sugar 1/2 tsp
Red Chilies 2-3

Method Of Preparation -

Pressure cook/microwave the tamarind with 1/4 cup of water and upon cooling I make a fine paste, sieve and discard the pith. Set aside the extract.

Wash and cook Barley in 1 cup of water either in the pressure cooker or in a pan on stovetop.  Fluff and spread the cooked barley pearls in a wide bowl/tray.

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

In a pan, heat oil and add in the seasoning ingredients. After they are all browned well, add in the turmeric and tamarind extract.

Let the tamarind extract cook well and become a little thicker. Add salt and the powder which was set aside. Mix well. Remove from heat.

Add the tamarind mixture to the cooked barley, mix well and make sure every grain of barley is coated with the tamarind mixture.

Serve it warm.


Preparation Time 30-40 minutes
Serves 2

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Posted by Harini R on Wednesday, April 25, 2018

BM #87 Day 20 - 

In continuation to the Whole Grain theme, here are some humble pancakes made with whole wheat flour. I sometimes add flax meal whisked in warm water as an egg substitute. But just buttermilk also works well.

This is my go-to pancake recipe for my little one. I usually freeze the leftover pancakes and they work very well for busy mornings. They are her favorite when I am not home as she can pull them out the freezer, thaw them in the microwave, add whatever fruits are in the fruit basket and her after school snack is done without waiting for me.

Ingredients - 

Whole Wheat Flour 3/4 cup
Baking Powder 1 tsp
Cinnamon Powder 1 tsp
Sugar 1 1/2 tsp
Salt 1/4 tsp
Chocolate Morsels 2 Tbsp
Olive Oil 1 tsp + more to grease the griddle
Butter Milk 1 cup or as needed

Method Of Preparation -

Sift the flour along with salt, baking powder, cinnamon powder and sugar.

Add in the chocolate morsels to the flour and gradually pour the buttermilk in the flour mixture and gently mix until the right consistency is reached.

On a hot griddle, pour 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. Let it cook on one side, then flip and cook on the other side.

Continue with the rest of the batter.

Top it with sliced banana, chocolate morsels, and maple syrup and serve warm.


Preparation Time 20 minutes
Makes about 12

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BM #87 Day 19 -

Welcome to the last week of 'Explore the flavors'. This week I shall post some Whole Grain recipes. Today the star grain is Jowar. The benefits of Jowar are innumerable. I try to incorporate Jowar in our diet in many ways. Recently, I have been able to lay my hands on cracked jowar at a local Indian store. 

I have used Jowar Rava before when I brought a pack of Jowar Rava from India. Here are some recipes where I have used Jowar Rava.
Jonna Rava Pongal
Instant Jowar Rava Idli
Jowar Rava Kesari
Jowar Rava Besi Bele Bath

I have made this vegetable khichdi both in the regular pressure cooker and also in an Instant Pot. So I have mentioned the process for both. When cooking in the regular pressure cooker, I found that presoaking is faster and cracked jowar cooks well.

Ingredients -

Cracked Jowar or Jowar Rava 1/2 cup
Moong Dal 1/2 cup
Assorted Vegetables (Peas, Green Beans, Carrots, Spinach, Zucchini, Cauliflower, Lima Beans) 2 cups
Salt, Pepper, Ginger, Green Chili Paste, Turmeric as needed
Lime/Lemon Juice as needed
Seasoning (Oil 1 tsp, Mustard seeds 1 tsp, Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp, Asafotida a pinch, Curry leaves few)

Method Of Preparation -
Pressure Cooker Method - 
Wash the cracked Jowar and soak for a few hours. 

Wash moong dal and set aside.

In a pressure cooker, prepare the seasoning. After the mustard seeds pop, add all the vegetables, pepper, ginger, green chili paste, turmeric and the soaked cracked jowar and moong dal.

Sprinkle salt and add about 4 cups of water.

Cook for about 20 minutes or for 4-5 hisses.

Allow the pressure to be released and remove. Squeeze in lemon juice and serve hot with ghee and papad.

Instant Pot Method - 
Wash the cracked Jowar, moong dal and set aside.

Power on the Instant Pot in the 'Saute' mode. Once the display says 'Hot', add oil and the rest of the seasoning.

After the mustard seeds pop, add all the vegetables, pepper, ginger, green chili paste, turmeric and the washed cracked jowar and moong dal.

Sprinkle salt and add about 4 cups of water.

Cover with the lid, set it to 'Porridge' mode. Make sure it is set to the 'sealing' mode. [It displays a time of 20 minutes].

Let it naturally release the pressure. Squeeze lime juice before serving.


Preparation Time 40 minutes
Serves 3-4

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BM #87 Day 18 - 

To end this series of Kid's Lunch box Ideas, here is another of my little one's favorite. It is so easy to put together and healthy as well so I prefer to make this weekly once for her.

Please note that I have barely used any spices as my little one cannot handle the spicy stuff. So I added only some pepper powder and loads of nuts.

Here is the recap this week's ideas posted -

Ingredients - 

Cooked Rice 1 cup
Palak, finely chopped, handfull
Paneer, shredded 1/4 cup
Onion, finely chopped 2 Tbsp
Tomato puree 2 Tbsp
Ginger-Garlic 1/2 tsp
Green Chili paste as needed (I didn't add)
Salt, Pepper and Turmeric as needed
Garam Masala 1/2 tsp
Seasoning (Oil 1 Tbsp, Chopped nuts handful, Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp)
Lemon/Lime Juice as needed

Method Of Preparation -

In a heated pan add oil, chopped nuts and cumin seeds. After they crackle, saute ginger-garlic paste for a few seconds and then saute onions until golden brown.

Add in the tomato puree, turmeric and salt. Let it boil and the mixture come together. Cover and let it cook for a couple minutes.

Add in the chopped palak and shredded paneer. Mix well and let the flavors blend for a few minutes.

Sprinkle garam masala and pepper. Add in cooked rice, mix well. Remove from heat. Sprinkle lemon juice.


Preparation Time 15 minutes
Serves 1

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BM #87 Day 17  - 

This sandwich was an accidental find when my older one was looking for vegetable based sandwiches. As far as I understand she saw some ideas on her social media page and was confirming with me if she might like something like this. 

It has been since a favorite of hers and the husband wouldn't mind a sandwich or two as well. 

The key is to lightly toast the bread slices. I have learnt with experience that the zucchini when placed on the bread slices, will make it soggy. Toasting the bread makes it slightly immune to that.

When it comes to packing for the lunch box, wrap the cooled sandwich in a wax paper and then wrap it in a foil.

Ingredients - 

Bread Slices 4
Zucchini , sliced 1 small
Salt, Garlic Powder, Red Chili Powder as needed
Cheese, shredded or sliced as needed
Butter as needed (Optional)

Method Of Preparation -

In a hot, greased grill pan, arrange the zucchini slices and grill them until the grill marks are visible.

Remove onto a bowl, sprinkle salt, garlic powder and red chili powder and toss them so the slices are evenly coated with the spices.

Lightly toast the bread slices and set aside. [To ensure the sandwich doesn't get soggy.]

Arrange these seasoned zucchini slices on two bread slices, sprinkle cheese, cover with another bread slice, grill it until the grill marks are visible. Repeat for the other set of bread slices.

Allow it to cool on a wire rack, wrap it in a wax paper and foil wrap it to pack it for lunch.


Preparation Time 15 minutes
Makes 2 sandwiches

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BM #87 Day 16 - 

On some good days when my older one agrees to take some spicy paratha to school, I count my blessings :). Her specifications are clear - "I should not need any accompaniment, not even yogurt if I have to take it to school".

To suit her requirements, I make this extra spicy Methi Paneer Paratha. I feel it is a wholesome and flavorful meal. I wish she would take some yogurt too but can't push my luck too far, Can I ?

Ingredients - 
For the Outer Cover - 
Wheat Flour 1 1/2 cups
Salt as needed
Turmeric a pinch
Red Chilli Powder as needed
Water to knead the dough
For the Filling - 
Paneer, crumbled 1/2 cup
*Methi Leaves,  chopped 1/2 cup or more if desired
Ginger-Garlic-Green Chillies Paste 1-2 tsp (or as needed)
Salt to taste
Red Chilli Powder to taste
Garam Masala 1/2 tsp
Seasoning (Oil 1 tsp, Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp)

* Typically I would add a couple of pinches of kasuri methi in addition to the fresh methi leaves.

Method Of Preparation -

Knead the dough with the whole wheat flour, turmeric, red chilli powder and salt with as much water as needed. Make sure the dough is not too tough to handle. Keep it covered for about 10-15 min.

Meanwhile prepare the seasoning. In a heated pan, add oil and cumin seeds. 

Saute ginger-garlic-green chili paste, chopped methi leaves  
(and kasuri methi, if using) and add it to the crumbled paneer. 

Add salt, red chilli powder, garam masala to the above mixture. Adjust the spices and salt as per taste. Knead well and divide the filling into 7-8 portions.

Make equal portions of the dough. Roll out small chapatis and fill in a spoonful of the methi-paneer mixture, close the edges and roll out the parathas taking care that the mixture doesn't fall out. 

Shallow fry in a heated pan until both the sides are done. Repeat the procedure for all the parathas. Store in an insulated container until ready to serve. Roll/wrap them in paper towel and aluminium foil while packing.

Serve with Yogurt or any gravy curry!


Preparation Time 30 minutes
Makes 7-8

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BM #87 Day 15 - 

This blend of rice is a favorite with my family. This is one such dish which can be customized to accommodate my little one's not-so spicy taste buds as well.

I make two versions of guacamole, one a super spicy one and the other bland one. So it works out well. When I pack their lunch boxes, I pack some extra guacamole for extra flavor. 

Ingredients - 

Short Grained Rice 1 1/2 cup (I used Sona Masuri)
Pinto Beans 1/2 cup 
Assorted Vegetables finely chopped (Carrots, Green Beans, Colored Peppers) 2 cups
Peas 3 Tbsp
Corn 1/2 cup
Avocado, mashed 1 cup
Garlic 2-3 cloves
Salt and Green Chili paste as needed
Lemon/Lime juice 2 Tbsp or as needed
Coriander leaves few
Olive Oil 2 Tbsp (divided use)

Method Of Preparation -

Wash and soak Pinto beans 4-6 hours. Boil the beans with some salt and set aside.

Cook rice as per your preference (in a rice cooker, pressure cooker or in a pot on stovetop).

Blend the avocado, 1 tablespoon of oil, lime juice, garlic, salt, coriander leaves and green chili paste to make guacamole.

In a heated pan, add oil and saute the vegetables. After the vegetables are 80% cooked, add in the cooked and drained beans. Sprinkle salt and add green chili paste. Mix well.

Remove from heat. Add in cooked rice and mix well. Allow it to cool a little.

Add in the guacamole as needed and mix gently. Adjust the flavors as needed.

Serve at room temperature with additional guacamole if needed.


Preparation Time 30 minutes
Serves 3-4

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BM #87 Day 14 -

My older one is a super fan of Schezwan sauce. So to accommodate her taste buds, I made this sandwich. She loves Tofu and Schezwan sauce and so the combination cannot go wrong. Since it was a spicy sandwich my little one was happy to enjoy her Carrot Lemon Sevai.

It is a very quick and no-nonsense sandwich. The only time taken is to marinate the tofu and then grill it. I usually marinate it overnight thus reducing the active time required to make this in the morning rush hour.

I had to quickly take a picture before it went into her box and hence 
Ingredients - 

Tofu 2 Slices (3 X 2 inch slice)
Bread 2 slices
Cheese as needed (I didn't add)
Salt and Schezwan Sauce as needed

Method Of Preparation -

Marinate the tofu slices in schezwan sauce and sprinkle salt to taste. Set aside for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile apply schezwan sauce to the bread slices and set aside.

Grill the Tofu slices until the grill marks are visible.

Arrange them on one bread slice, cover it with the other bread slice and grill until done.

Remove and serve for a spicy treat.


Preparation Time 15 min + grilling time 15 minutes
Serves 1

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BM #87 Day 13 - 

This week the theme I would be posting under would be 'Lunch Box Ideas for Kids'. I know every parent has a tough time packing lunch for their kids either because the kids are picky eaters or they need creative ideas for healthy lunch boxes or lack of time or lack of pantry essentials. The list goes on.

I am no exception to that situation. My kids also dread the question 'What do you want for lunch box tomorrow?'. The problem for me is that both my kids rarely agree to take the same thing for lunch and so I end up making two or three things in the morning rush hour.

I don't like to force the kids to eat something they don't want to and they know my weakness too well :). 

This carrot lemon sevai is my little one's favorite form of Sevai. This is a non-spicy version and so my older one won't touch it. Try and see if your kids like this version.

Ingredients - 

Idiyappam 1/2 cup (I used ready made one)
Salt as needed
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Green Chillies, slit as needed (I didn't use it)
Pepper Powder 1/8 tsp
Cashew and Almonds chopped 2 Tbsp
Lemon Juice as needed
Carrot, grated 3/4 cup
Seasoning (Oil 1 tsp, Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp, Urad dal 1 tsp, Chana dal 1 tsp)

Method Of Preparation -

Cook the ready made idiyappam in boiling water for about 2-3 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a pan, heat oil and add the rest of the seasoning ingredients. After the mustard seeds pop, add the grated carrots, chopped cashews and almonds.

After the carrots are cooked well (about 2 minutes), sprinkle turmeric, salt and pepper.

Add in the drained idiyappam. Mix well gently and remove from fire. 

Squeeze the required amount of lemon juice and mix. Serve warm or allow it to cool and pack.


Preparation Time 15 minutes
Serves 1-2

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