Monday, August 31, 2009

Horsegram(muthira/kulith) Sprouts

Horsegram sprouts with grated coconut and jaggery is a recipe straight from my mom's kitchen. A very healthy breakfast option and is as simple as it gets.
Horsegram is a legume that is high in iron, a good source of protein and a fairly good source of calcium. Sprouting or germination is a simple method of food processing that increases nutritive value. Combined with jaggery which is known for its iron content, makes this preparation highly nutritive for growing kids.
1/2 glass horsegram
grated coconut
cardamom powder
  • Wash, clean horsegram and soak overnight.
  • Drain the water and clean the seeds removing all the non-viable ones. These seeds will remain hard and are very unpleasant to bite into if not cleant.
  • Tie in a cloth and let it sprout for 8 hours.
  • Pressure cook the horsegram with water. After one whistle check if its soft enough.
  • Spoon it into a bowl, add jaggery grated coconut and cardamom powder.
  • Your breakfast of sprouted muthira with jaggery and grated coconut is ready to be devoured.
Happy chewing!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Home-made Paneer/Cottage Cheese

There are many brands of paneer available in a supermarket. However for certain recipes I prefer to make the paneer myself. Home-made paneer is any day fresher, softer, richer and preservative free.

Ingredients -

1 litre whole milk
1 lemon (juice)


  • Take out the juice of the lemon carefully removing the seeds. The seeds will taste very bitter if they find their way into the paneer by mistake.
  • Boil the milk and take off the fire. Add lemon juice.
  • Return to low heat, stir continuously till all the milk curdles and the whey separates.
  • Remove from fire. Leave it covered for 15 minutes.
  • Strain through a muslin cloth and squeeze out all the whey. For recipes that requires grated paneer it can be used at this stage.
  • If cubes of paneer are required, keep the paneer which is wrapped in the muslin cloth in a box. The paneer will take its shape.

  • To get compact brick of paneer, place a heavy weight on the paneer for an hour. Remove the cloth and use perfect home made paneer.
  • The whey which is collected is high in protein content. It can be used for cooking vegetables and curries.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rava/Semolina/Sooji Halwa

Sooji Halwa is also referred to as Sheera in Maharashtra. I have made it using milk only, focussing on the nourishment for babies and kids. It is usually made in a mixture of milk and water. If you would like to use is as part of the baby's first foods you can sustitute the broken dry fruits with dry fruit powder, so that its easy to swallow. If you cut it into diamonds as I have it can be easily packed for dessert as a part of the school lunch.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Methi Parathas (Theplas) /Fenugreek Flatbread

Methi parathas are easy to make and nutritious in content.
1 1/2 cups methi leaves chopped fine
2 cups wheat flour
1 1/2 cups curd
2 tbs oil
1 chilli crushed fine
7 flakes of garlic crushed fine
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp tumeric powder
1/2 tsp asafoetida
salt to taste

  • Wash methi leaves and chop fine.
  • Crush chilli and garlic in mortar into a fine paste.
  • Mix all the ingredients together and knead into dough.
  • Keep aside for 1/2 an hour to ferment and the flavour of the spices to set in.
  • Roll into chappatis and fry both sides till crisp on the hot girdle. Drizzle ghee while frying.
  • Serve hot with pickle or chutney powder or chilled yoghurt.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Health Benefits of Mint

The health benefits of mint include the following:

Digestion: Mint is a strong diuretic and thus, helping to eliminate the toxins from the body. It is an appetizer and promotes digestion. Dried mint leaves, boiled in water, form a strong concoction that helps in soothing the digestive tract in case of indigestion and to ease the severity of stomachaches in case of inflammation. Drinking herbal mint tea reduces irritated bowel syndromes and cleanses the stomach. When included in the diet on a regular basis, mint reduces the growth of bacteria and fungus in the body.

Nausea & Headache: The strong and refreshing aroma of mint is an excellent and quick remedy for nausea. Just smelling the oil of mint or crushed fresh mint leaves or using any product with mint flavor, will rid one of the nausea and headache.

Respiratory Disorders: The strong aroma of mint is very effective in opening up congestion of nose, throat, bronchi and lungs, giving relief in respiratory disorders resulting from asthma, cold etc. As it cools and soothes throat, nose and other respiratory channels, it gives relief in cough too. Many balms are based on this property of mint. Regular use of mint is very beneficial for asthma patients, as it is a relaxant and gives relief in congestion. But, over dosage may irritate as well.

Skin Care, (pimples,burns and insect bites): While mint oil is an anti septic and anti pruritic, mint juice is an excellent skin cleanser. It soothes skin, cures infections, itching etc., and is also good for pimples. Its anti pruritic properties can be used for treating bites of insects like mosquitoes, honey-bees, hornets, wasps, gnats etc. Mint juice can be applied on burns to heal and soothe them.

Oral Care: This is a well known property of mint. Being a germicidal and breathe freshener, it takes care of dental hygiene by inhibiting harmful bacterial growth inside mouth and by cleaning tongue and teeth. Crushed mint leaves help in whitening teeth.

Cancer: Current researches indicate mint as having anti-cancer properties. The phytonutrient, called perillyl alcohol, in mint is believed to prevent colon, skin and lung cancer.

Relaxant: Inhaling essential oil of mint provides a sense of calm and thus, helps one relax the mind.

Other Benefits: Besides its wide industrial use in food stuffs such as ice-creams, chocolates etc., alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, cosmetics, medicines, inhalers and mouth and breathe fresheners, it is used as a condiment and decorative item in culinary world-wide. Menthol present in mint makes it an important component of many medicines and drugs. Drinks and food-stuffs containing mint cools you off in summer. One more peculiar property which is very much in contrary to its cooling and soothing effects is that it induces sweating if consumed in fever, thereby curing it. It is also beneficial in rheumatism.

Try out this Mint Chutney.

Mint Chutney

For the health benefits of this herb, please read Health Benefits of Mint.

a handful of mint leaves
3flakes of garlic
1 1/2 tbs grated coconut
lime size ball of tamarind
1 green chilli
salt to taste

  • Clean the tamarind well and soak in water, later remove the pulp by squeezing it. Alternatively you can microwave the tamarind with a little water for 1 minute on full power and squeeze out the pulp. Keep aside.
  • Grind the garlic and chilli.
  • Add the mint leaves and tamarind pulp and grind well.
  • Add the grated coconut and grind to a smooth paste, adding water if required.
  • Add salt to taste and mix well.
  • To preserve refrigerate in a dry container.
  • Mint chutney can be used for sandwhich spreads, and can be eaten with parathas, dosas, and idlis.
Mint Chutney on Foodista

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Carrot Tomato Soup with Croutons

Here’s a simple recipe that can be whipped up by anyone. It can be given as a baby’s first foods and can be relished by an adult as well. I love croutons in my soup. What about you?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Cheese Paratha

Another Cheese Delight simple, nourishing and tasty. You can make the paratha with grated cheese only. If you use only cheese be careful not to over stuff the paratha. When the cheese melts, there is a tendency to ooze out if its over stuffed.


For stuffing

1 cheese cube grated

1 small carrot grated

pepper powder.

For roti

1cup wheat flour

water to mix

pinch of salt


  • Mix the grated cheese, grated carrot and pepper powder well. Keep aside.

  • Mix flour and water to prepare dough.

  • Roll out 2 rotis. Spread the stuffing evenly on one roti.

  • Place the other roti over it and press the edges firmly.

  • Heat girdle and fry both sides.

  • Top with butter or ghee and serve hot.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Bread: Brown or White

" baby, it does matter whether brown or white"


is made is from wheat flour from which the bran and germ have been removed. This is where much of the nutritional bread value is. White bread is lower in zinc, fiber, thiamin, niacin, trace elements and "good" fats and oils. White bread in many countries has to be fortified with vitamins and minerals by law during the bread making process. These are usually sprayed into the mix. It's somewhat ironic that the nutrients that are removed from wheat are re-added by this means.

Once the bran and germ is removed, the flour is bleached using potassium bromate, benzoyl peroxide or chlorine dioxide gas. Potassium bromate is also known as Bromic Acid or Potassium Salt. It's an oxidizing agent, can be fatal if swallowed, is harmful if inhaled or absorbed through the skin and may also cause kidney damage. Benzoyl peroxide is another irritant that can kill animals, birds, or fish, and cause death or low growth rate in plants. Chlorine Dioxide is also a pesticide.


is a designation often given to breads made with significant amounts of whole grain flour, usually rye or wheat.

However, just because bread is brown in color doesn't necessarily mean it's whole wheat or wholemeal. Check out the ingredients on the bread that you buy and ensure that the first ingredient is whole wheat or wholemeal flour rather than enriched wheat flour or just wheat flour. Enriched/wheat flour is the same type of flour used in white bread. The presence of caramel also is an indicator that it's not true brown/wholemeal bread as caramel is used as a coloring agent. A couple of other ingredients to avoid if possible are fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oil/fats; aka trans fats.

Thus the less ingredients in the bread and the presence of wholemeal flour as the major ingredient is what you need to look out for.

You can check out this yummy brown bread pudding!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is one of my favourites for many reasons. I can use up all the left-over bread from sandwhich sides and crusts and it serves as a nutritious between meals snack for kids. It can also be given to a baby who is on semi-solids. Can be served as dessert to anyone. Above all easy to make!

Health Benefits of Mooli(Radish)

Radish, is a root vegetable, pungent or sweet in taste with a lot of juice. Radishes can be white, red, purple or black, long cylindrical or round in shape. They are eaten raw, cooked or pickled. The white radish is also known as "little Ginseng" in China.Radish has proved its health benefits in the following ailments-

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Mooli Paratha(White Radish Flatbread)

If you havent already included this root vegetable in your diet, here's why you should. Read Health Benefits of Mooli(Radish) .

The best thing about a paratha is that it includes the roti as well as the vegetable in one go. Easy to include it in school lunches since it avoids the mess of packing the roti and vegetable seperately.


For the stuffing

2 White radish/mooli

3tbs grated paneer (cottage cheese)

1tsp jeera/cumin powder

1/2tsp chilli powder

1 tbs chopped fresh corriander

salt to taste

For the dough

1 cup wheat flour

water to mix


  • Mix the flour and water and knead to prepare the dough. Keep aside.

  • Grate the paneer and keep aside.

  • Grate the radish, add jeera powder, chilli powder.

  • Cook the radish mixture till the water evaporates.

  • Add grated paneer, chopped coriander and salt and mix well. Take off the heat.

  • Roll out 2 rotis. Spread the stuffing over one roti and place the second roti over the first.

  • Press the edges firmly together.

  • Heat the girdle. Fry the paratha.

  • Top it with ghee on both sides.

  • Serve hot.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Cheese Omlette

Cheese is an all- time favourite in my family! My adaptation of cheese omlette includes sambhar onions/ shallots. I just love the aroma they give when sauteed. Black pepper is said to improve digestion and promote intestinal health, so am usually generous in my use of it with kids recipes.


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