BM #95 Week 1 Day 3 - 

Under the theme of Meal time dishes, here is the last one. This is a simple and delicious version which can be made in a jiffy. Add in the flavors which the family favors and a side dish is ready for the meal. 

This creamy sabji with Green beans was an accidental hit at home. My husband, in an attempt to sabotage my dinner prep plans threw in some cream into the sabji while it was cooking. It so happened that we all loved the addition of cream in the sabji and now it has become a defacto standard. He got all the praises for that 'creamy addition', though that was not the reaction he expected :). 

Ingredients - 

Green Beans 4 cups (I used the frozen French cut beans)
Onion sliced 1/2 cup
Ginger-Garlic Paste 1 tsp
Salt, Turmeric, Red Chili Powder as needed
Garam Masala, Chaat Masala as needed
Cream 1/4 cup
Seasoning (Butter 2 tsp, Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp, Chana Dal 1 tsp, Urad Dal 1 tsp, Jeera 1/2 tsp, Curry leaves few)

Method Of Preparation -

In a heated pan, add oil and the rest of the seasoning ingredients. After they dals are brown and the mustard seeds pop, add ginger-garlic paste and saute for a few seconds.

Then toss in the onions and let them saute until they are translucent.

Add in the green beans, sprinkle turmeric, cover and let them cook.

After they green beans are cooked through, after about 8-10 minutes, remove the cover and sprinkle salt, red chili powder, garam masala and chaat masala to taste.

Add in cream and mix well. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes and remove from heat.


Preparation Time 15-20 minutes
Serves 4-5

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BM #95 Week 1 Day 2 - 

This week we are talking about quick meal time dishes and I wanted to highlight this ever popular and no nonsense sabji which is a God-send. I am not sure how the name jhanak came by, but my mom used to make this during my growing up years and that is how I remember. I am not sure if my mom used onion. But I add it.

This is our go-to accompaniment for rotis. It works well for me as it is my husband's all time favorite. When I run out of ideas or veggies or time, I make this sabji. The best part is that it gets done in under 15 minutes. I keep a can of chopped tomatoes in my pantry for emergencies. It comes in handy when I need to make a quick sabji and my refrigerator is empty :).

Ingredients - 

Tomatoes, chopped 2 cups
Onions, chopped 1/2-3/4 cups (as preferred)
Salt, Red Chili Powder, Green Chilies, Turmeric as needed
Seasoning (Oil 2 tsp, Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp, Chana Dal 1 tsp, Urad Dal 1/2 tsp, Jeera 1/2 tsp, Curry leaves few)
Coriander leaves for garnish

Method Of Preparation -

In a heated pan, add oil and the rest of the seasoning ingredients. After the mustard seeds pop and the dals are brown, add in the onions and saute until they are golden brown.

Sprinkle turmeric, chopped green chilies and mix well. Add in the chopped tomatoes. Mix well and cover for a couple of minutes.

After the tomatoes become mushy, add salt and red chili powder to taste, mix well and remove from heat.

Serve it hot with roti or rice.


Preparation Time 15 minutes
Serves 3

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Posted by Harini R on Tuesday, December 4, 2018

BM #95 Week 1 Day 1 - 

We have come to the last edition of Blogging Marathon for this Calendar year. For this week, I have opted to highlight some meal time dishes. Here is a simple vegetable saute which pairs very well either with rice or roti.

We all encounter situations when we have to clean out the vegetables in the refrigerator and also come up with a side dish for meal time. I usually make this sabji in such circumstances. I found adding so many vegetables adds color and variety to the dish.

Ingredients - 

Cauliflower Florets, small 1 cup
Broccoli Florets, small 1/2 cup
Cabbage, finely chopped 1 cup
Potatoes, chopped 1/2 cup (I used 1 small red potato)
Carrot, shredded 1/2 cup
Ginger + Green Chili Paste 1 1/2 tsp
Salt and Turmeric as needed
Coriander leaves few for garnish
Seasoning(Oil 2 tsp, Chana Dal 1 tsp, Urad Dal 1 tsp, Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp, Cumin Seeds 1/4 tsp, Curry leaves few)

Method Of Preparation -

In a heated pan, add the cooking oil and the rest of the seasoning. 

After the mustard seeds pop and the dals are golden brown, add the chopped cabbage and saute for a couple minutes.

Then goes in the chopped potato and carrot. Sprinkle turmeric and the green chili + ginger paste.

Add in the cauliflower and broccoli florets. Cover and let the vegetables cook until tender. It takes about 8-10 minutes.

Remove the cover and sprinkle salt as needed. Mix well and remove from heat.

Serve it warm with roti or rice as part of a meal.


Preparation Time 25 minutes
Serves 4-5

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Posted by Harini R on Monday, December 3, 2018

BM #94 Week 3 Day 3 - 

This is the last recipe showcased under the theme 'Prep to plate in 30 minutes'. This is a family favorite and is easy to make on short notice. This sabji goes well both with rice and roti. 

Over the summer, a group of friends went on a camping trip armed with Instant Pot and an electric griddle. One of my friends made a similar Aloo tamatar ki sabji in the IP and we all had a wonderful meal both with rice and store bought rotis. 

That definitely inspired me to tweak the recipe and make this my own.

Ingredients - 

Potatoes, peeled, cubed 1 1/2 cups
Tomatoes, cubed 1/4 cup
Salt, Turmeric, Dhania Powder, Jeera Powder, Garam Masala, Chaat Masala, Red Chili Powder as needed
Kasuri Methi 1/2 tsp
Seasoning (Oil 1 Tbsp, Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp, Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp)
To Grind - 
Tomatoes, cubed 1 cup
Almonds 5-6
Cashews 5-6
Green Chilies 1-2
Ginger 1/2 inch (Optional)
Coriander leaves few

Method Of Preparation -

Switch on the power for the IP with the inner pot placed. Set it to 'Saute' mode.

When the display shows 'Hot', add oil and the seasoning. After the mustard seeds pop, add cumin seeds and ginger. Saute for a few seconds.

Grind the ingredients listed under 'To Grind' and set aside.

Add in the chopped tomatoes, the tomato mixture set aside and mix well.

Add in the Salt, Turmeric, Dhania Powder, Jeera Powder, Garam Masala, Chaat Masala, Red Chili Powder as needed.

Add the cubed potatoes and about a cup of water. Put the lid. Cancel the Saute mode.

Set the mode to 'Manual' or 'Pressure Cook' [depending on the IP model]. Set it for 4 minutes. After it is done, let the pressure release naturally. 

After the pressure is released (I have tried QR after 5 minutes as well), open the lid, sprinkle kasuri methi and mix well.

Remove from the IP. Serve with Rice or Roti.


Preparation Time 25 minutes
Serves 4-5

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Posted by Harini R on Monday, November 19, 2018

BM #94 Week 3 Day 2 - 

These noodles are comfort food for my kids and my older one makes them all the time. She cooks as a way to relieve stress and these noodles are relatively easy and quick to make. 

She makes about 3-4 servings, shares them with her sister, and packs away the rest for their lunch boxes for the next working day. I was surprised the other day when she made these in the middle of the night and left a note for me that I needn't worry about their lunch boxes the next morning. Would I be a bad mom to feel relieved? I honestly don't think so :).

If I were to make these noodles, I would definitely add grilled tofu to the side and some salad too. 

Recipe Source my older one's social media feed
Ingredients - 

*Noodles 3-4 Servings
Cabbage and Carrot julienned 2 cups
Onions sliced 1/4 cup
Sesame Oil 2 Tbsp (Any cooking oil is fine) 
Garlic, grated/crushed 2-3 Cloves
Salt as needed

For the Sauce -
Soy Sauce 3 Tbsp
Brown Sugar 2 Tbsp
Garlic Salt 1/4 tsp
Salt as needed
Pepper as needed
Paprika as needed
Red Chili Powder/Flakes as needed
Lime/Lemon Juice 1-2 tsp
Pasta Water 1/2 cup (Reserve the water after the spaghetti/noodles are cooked al dente)

* I use spaghetti most of the times.

Method Of Preparation -

Boil the noodles/spaghetti al dente as per the instructions on the package. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients listed under the 'For the Sauce' and whisk until the brown sugar is dissolved.

In a heated wok, add oil and grated garlic. Saute until golden brown. Add in the onions and saute until translucent. 

Toss in the cabbage and carrots, stir fry for a few minutes making sure the vegetables retain a crunch.

Pour the prepared sauce, mix well and toss in the drained noodles/spaghetti.

Toss all of them so the sauce is absorbed well by all the spaghetti/noodle strands.

Remove from heat and serve immediately.


Preparation Time 25 minutes
Serves 3-4

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BM #94 Week 3 Day 1 - 

This week I shall showcase some meal ideas which takes about 30 minutes from preparation to the plate. When I first came across this version of Nawabi Dal a few years back, I could not believe or digest the addition of milk in the dal. 

But over the years I have learnt to disregard some of my fears and biases and in the recent months I have started making this dal at least once a week as it has become one of the favorite dals at home. 

I typically cook dal and rice at the same time in the Instant Pot (in the pot-in-pot method) which takes around 25 minutes from start to finish. Meanwhile I make rotis for the adults. The rotis are ready by the time the pressure has dropped from the Instant Pot. I prepare the seasoning on the stove top and by the time the table is set everything is ready.

The idea is to keep the consistency of the dal slightly runny and I love to slurp it as a soup. My kids love it with Rice whereas I prefer either the soup version of with roti. This dal thickens a little as it cools down.

Ingredients - 

Toor Dal 1 cup
Salt, turmeric, Green Chilies as needed
Milk 1 cup
Coriander leaves, finely chopped 2-3 Tbsp
Seasoning (Oil 1 Tbsp, Cumin seeds 1 tsp, Asafotida 1/8 tsp, Grated Garlic 1 Tbsp)

Method Of Preparation -

Wash and pressure cook toor dal with 3-4 cups of water along with salt, turmeric and green chilies.

After the pressure is released, prepare the seasoning.

In a heated pan, add oil and the rest of the seasoning. After the cumin seeds splutter and the garlic is golden brown, add the cooked toor dal mixture and adjust the consistency by adding water.

Let the dal come to a rolling boil. Boil milk separately and add the hot milk to the simmering dal.

Sprinkle the chopped coriander leaves and remove from heat.

Serve with rice or roti.


Sending this to MLLA - #122 started by The Well Seasoned Cook  and Lisa's Kitchen and guest hosted by Cook With Renu

Preparation Time 30 minutes
Serves 4-5

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Posted by Harini R on Saturday, November 17, 2018

BM #94 Week 2 Day 3 - 

For the last day of this series of 'Sweets without refined ingredients', I showcase the classic recipe of Maramarala Laddu or Borugula Unta with a change in shape.

My childhood fear has always been to eat a giant sized maramarala laddu. I never could properly take a bite of the huge laddu. To this day that fear remains at the back of my mind and hence I never thought of making this laddu at home.

It so happened that my husband casually mentioned his childhood memories regarding these laddus and I warned him ahead of time about my fears and he accepted the smaller sized laddus :). 

Ingredients - 

Maramaralu / Puffed Rice 5 cups
Jaggery , grated 1 cup
Water 1/4 cup
Ghee 1 tsp

Method Of Preparation -

In a heated pan, dry roast the puffed rice for a couple minutes and remove onto a wide plate.

In a heated wide pan, add jaggery and water. Let the jaggery melt. Strain the syrup to remove any impurities.

In a clean pan, add ghee and the jaggery syrup and let it simmer until the syrup is frothing up.

After about a couple of minutes, pour a couple drops of the simmering syrup into a bowl of water. If the syrup forms a tight ball, the syrup is of the right consistency.

Reduce the heat, put in all the roasted puff rice. Mix well and remove from heat. The whole mixture should still be a little moist. Transfer into a wide plate.

With slightly moist hands, pinch portions of the mixture and make laddus or any shapes.

I wanted a smaller sized laddu so I was unable to get a proper shape.

Serve immediately or store them in an air tight container.


Preparation Time 15 minutes
Serves 5-6

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BM #94 Week 2 Day 2 - 

For the second day of sweets without refined ingredients, I have here some healthy bites made with pumpkin, almonds, dates and coconut. 

These bites made a delightful snack and a treat for friends on the eve of Diwali.

Keep in mind that these were very addictive and they were made on a cold day and might have survived for a couple days more in the wintry climate we are experiencing right now.

Ingredients - 

Pumpkin peeled, cubed 1/2 cup
Fresh Dates 8
Almonds 1/2 cup
Dry Coconut powder 1/2 cup + more for rolling

Method Of Preparation -

Boil the pumpkin cubes and mash them (or 1/4 cup of store bought pumpkin puree can also be used).

In a chopper, coarsely grind almonds and set aside.

Make a coarse paste of the dates .

Combine the pumpkin puree, coarsely crushed almonds, coarsely ground dates and coconut powder.

Min well and pinch bite sized portions of the mixture and roll into any shape desired.

Roll these bites in dry coconut powder and arrange them on a platter. Serve immediately.

These bites stayed fresh for 2 days on the countertop. 


Preparation Time 15 minutes
Makes 10

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BM #94 Week 2 Day 1 - 

This week I have chosen to highlight some sweets without any refined ingredients. Here the sweetener used is Jaggery.

I have tried it a couple of times so far and each time it came out the same. I added milk the first time and half n half milk the second time. The difference wasn't as noticeable. 

This is a perfect sweet pongal to offer to the Lord as well.

Ingredients - 

Foxtail Millet / Korralu 1/2 cup
Chana Dal handful
Jaggery 3/4 cup
Half n Half Milk or cream 1/2 cup
Ghee 2 tsp or more as needed
Almonds and Cashews chopped 1/4 cup
Cardamom Powder 1/2 tsp

Method Of Preparation -

In a pressure cooker, wash foxtail millet and chana dal. Add 2 1/2 cups of water and cook for 15 minutes or up to 2 hisses.

Meanwhile, heat jaggery in a tablespoon of water until it melts. Strain the melted jaggery and remove any impurities.

After the millet-chana dal mixture is cooked well, transfer into a pan with the melted jaggery. 

Sprinkle the coarsely crushed nuts and cardamom powder. Cook well until the jaggery syrup starts solidifying.

Heat the half n half milk separately. Allow it to cool a little. 

Remove the pongal from heat. Add in the milk from the above step. Mix well and set aside for 5-10 minutes.

Serve warm with a topping of more toasted nuts and ghee.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 94 

Preparation Time 30 minutes
Serves 3-4

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BM #94 Week 1 Day 3 - 

These bite sized paniyarams are one of the best ways to sneak in millets. My family has yet to accept all forms of millets. To ease them into accepting, I found that making idlis, dosas and paniyarams are the best ways. 

I made these paniyarams for breakfast and felt that they were accepted without any complaints. Was it because of the rush hour nerves or was it whole hearted acceptance? Now, do I really want to know? I knew the answer when they wanted them later in the evening as well. :)

Ingredients - 

Foxtail Millet 1/2 cup
Poha / Rice flakes handful
Moong Dal 2 Tbsp
Toor Dal 1 Tbsp
Chana Dal 1 Tbsp
Salt as needed
Green Chilies  + Ginger paste as needed
Coriander leaves finely chopped 2 Tbsp
(Cooking Oil 2 tsp, Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp, Chana Dal 1 tsp, Urad Dal 1 tsp, Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp, Asafotida 1/8 tsp, Curry leaves, Onions finely chopped 1/2 cup, Carrot grated 2 Tbsp)

Method Of Preparation -

Soak foxtail millet, chana dal, toor dal, moong dal and poha for about 4-5 hours. [I soaked them overnight].

Grind them into a fine batter adding as little water as needed.

Mix in salt, green chili-ginger paste and coriander leaves.

In a heated pan, add oil, mustard seeds, chana dal, urad dal, cumin seeds, asafotida and chopped curry leaves.

After the dals are brown and mustard seeds pop, saute the onions for couple of minutes. Add in grated carrots and saute for another minute. Remove from heat.

Add this mixture to the batter.

Heat the Paniyaram pan (Appe pan/Abelskiver/Ponganala Penam). Grease the slots with about 1/2 teaspoon of oil in each. 

Pour about a tablespoon of the batter in each of the greased slots. Cover and allow to cook for about 4-5 minutes or until the steam starts sizzling.

Remove the cover, flip the paniyarams and allow them to cook for a further couple of minutes.

Remove carefully using a spoon and continue with the rest of the batter.

Serve warm with chutney of your choice.


Preparation Time 20 minutes
Makes 33

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BM #94 Week 1 Day 2 - 

These days I have been substituting rice with a variety of millets. Today I have an idli with Kodo millet made with kodo millet and urad dal. The batter is easy to grind and it ferments beautifully as well.

Recently I have had friends talk about using millets in their diet and my parents have already started using millets on a daily basis. The 'back to the roots' movement has caught on, so to say. 

So it is definitely useful to catalog all the millet recipes so we have all recipes at one place.

Recipe Source - handout by AP Government 
Ingredients -

Kodo Millet 1 cup
Urad Dal 1/2 cup
Poha handful
Methi Seeds 1/2 tsp
Salt as needed

Note - If the batter is not sufficiently fermented, add half teaspoon of ENO fruit salt to the batter just before pouring into the idli plates.

Method Of Preparation -

Wash and soak Kodo millet and Poha for about 4 hours.

Wash and soak Urad Dal and fenugreek seeds for about 4 hours.

Drain and blend the kodo millet - poha mixture into a coarse batter adding as little water as needed.

Drain and blend the urad dal - methi seeds mixture into a fine batter adding as little water as needed.

Combine both the batters, add salt as needed and mix well.

Cover and set aside in a warm place for a few hours for fermentation.

After the batter is fermented,  divide the batter in the Idli plates. Steam for about 15 minutes. Let it cool for 5 minutes and then remove from the moulds.

Serve it with Peanut Chutney or Coconut Chutney for a filling meal.


Preparation Time 15 minutes + Soaking time 4 hours + Fermenting time 8 hours
Makes 16-18 idlis

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