Genasale/Steamed rice cake with coconut jaggery filling:

Genasale is coconut and jaggery filled steamed kadubu or steamed rice cake, usually folded and steam cooked in banana leaves. Banana leaf gives beautiful aroma and a good taste to this Genasale. Genasale is prepared using few basic ingredients but the end result is mouth watering, everyone’s favourite dish. 

In my ancestral home, Navaratri/Dasara is celebrated by worshiping Goddess Durga. This Genasale is the main offering to the Goddess during night puja. I still vividly remember waiting for this Genasale prasadam to be served, while having a scrumptious traditional dinner. Now let us learn how to prepare this Genasale or kayi kadubu (kayi = coconut).

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Dosa rice /white rice – 2 cups

Grated coconut – 1 cup

Grated Jaggery –  ½ cup (to taste).

Ghee/ Clarified butter – 4 tsp.

Salt to taste

Banana leaves


-Wash Dosa rice and soak it for 2 to 3 hours.

 Grind soaked rice in to a fine paste with minimal water and salt.

Batter should be a little thick but of spreadable consistency.

Add 2 tea spoon of ghee and mix nicely, keep aside.

Now prepare filling by mixing coconut, jaggery, and little ghee and mix everything nicely. keep it aside.

Now take banana leaf, hold this on a gas flame (for wilting), then clean it with a wet cloth.

-Now take one spoon of rice batter, apply on banana leaf like a thin Dosa. 

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  Take one spoon of jaggery mixture and Spread it over the thin Dosa and fold the banana leaf like a pocket. 

  Steam cook for 30 min.

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Serve this Genasale with dollop of Ghee and Enjoy.

Citrus medica / Dudle huli Chithranna:

Dudle huli is a big lemon and is known as Citrus medica. Citrus medica is much bigger than normal lemon with thick outer rind and less sour and sweeter than normal lemon, excellent for thin Rasam, juice, pickles or Chithranna. This Chithranna is fragrant, rich in vitamin C and very tasty. We normally serve this in any festivals or weddings. It is a no onion no garlic recipe and we use mustard, dry red chilli and coconut for flavour. This is our traditional and much-loved recipe for Chithranna.

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Rice – 3 cups

Citrus medica – 1 (big citrus fruit)

Dried red chillies – 2 to 3

Mustard – 1 tsp

Coconut – ½ cup

Jaggery – 1 to 2 tsp


Oil – 1 tsp


Coconut Oil – 3 tbl sp (any refined oil is ok)

Mustard – 1 tsp

Urad dal – 1 tsp

Cumin – 1 tsp

Hing – ¼ tsp

Curry leaves – 2 springs

Ground nuts – ¼ cup


-For cooking rice:

Boil water in a big vessel by putting 1 tsp of salt and oil. Add washed rice and cook for 7 to 8 minutes or until it is soft and firm and cooks. Drain cooked water and spread this rice in a colander.

– Grind masala by putting coconut, roasted red chillies, mustard, jaggery and dry run without adding any water.


-Take one thick bottomed kadai, add oil and heat. When it is hot, add mustard.

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-When it starts splutter, add urad dal and ground nut and fry until it becomes little dark. Next add cumin, hing and curry leaves.

-Now add ground masala and fry for 2 minutes. Add drained rice, juice of citrus medica and salt.

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-Mix well and switch off the gas. Check for the seasoning and adjust according to your taste.

– This is very ideal vitamin C rich option for tiffin box as well.


Arrowroot Halwa:

Traditionally we call this Arrowroot halbayi. Which is easy to digest and considered as a very light food during fasting or illness. This should be consumed fresh and the shelf life of any halbayi is only 24 hours.

Arrowroot powder is extracted from the arrowroot plant, which is milky white in colour and powdery like corn starch. It has high nutritional content and is a very good substitute for bleached corn starch as a thickening agent in cooking. It is odourless and works well too.

Arrowroot powder’s “Easy to digest” quality is qualified to make infant food as well as to treat diarrhoea. It is usually consumed in a porridge form in our region. Usually, 1 tablespoon of powder is mixed with little water (according to the consistency) and cooked until it is shiny and glossy. Then with preferred seasonings like salt or jaggery.

Although it is a starch, it contains no gluten, so works well in gluten-free baking or cooking as well.

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Use a small tumbler to measure arrowroot, milk and jaggery or sugar.

Arrowroot powder – 1 cup 

Coconut milk or milk – 1 cup

Jaggery or sugar – 1 cup (grated)

Ghee – 2 tablespoons

Water – 2 cups

Cashew bits – 2 tablespoons

Cardamom powder – 1 teaspoon


– Mix arrowroot powder in water and keep aside for one hour.

– After an hour, pour the top/soaked water. Add 2 cups of water, mix nicely and sieve this solution to remove any impurities.

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– Make jaggery syrup by adding little water, boil and sieve the solution to remove any impurities.

– Grease one steel plate with little ghee and keep it aside. Roast cashew bits with a drop of ghee and keep aside.

– Mix sieved mixture, coconut milk, jaggery syrup in one thick Kadai and heat the mixture by stirring continuously on low fire.

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– Add ghee in-between, when it is half done add cardamom powder, cashew and stir once.

– When the mixture leaves the sides of the vessel and becomes one mass and non-sticky, pour the mixture to a greased plate.

– Take one flat spoon/ladle, apply some ghee to the back of the ladle and press the mixture to give a uniformly smooth texture and even thickness.

– When it cools down a little, mark and cut this into the desired shape and serve.

– Please note, this halwa/ halbayi stands good only for one day. If you want to enjoy this dish over more days, you should store this in a refrigerator and reheat it before serving.


Sorekayi Kottige / Bottle gourd steam dumpling:

Sorekayi is nothing but humble bottle gourd, which we usually neglect to use in our daily diet, which incidentally has numerous health benefits. In our native, bottle gourd is mainly used to treat stomach illness or jaundice. It is believed that, it has the power (anti-inflammatory properties) to heal our Liver and intestine during the illness. Bottle gourd has close to 90% water content and is great on the stomach and light on digestion. Apart from this, bottle gourd juice is very good for weight watchers, diabetics and for a healthy heart too. We have so many traditional preparations of bottle gourd and all are very low in calories and tasty too.



Dosa rice – 2 cups

Bottle gourd – 1 or 2 (according to size)


Banana leaves or turmeric leaves – to wrap

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-Wash Dosa rice and soak it for 3 hours.

-Grate bottle gourd by using big hole of a grater or chop it into very small chunks.

-Grind soaked rice into a fine paste with minimal amount of water and salt.

-Mix chopped or grated veggie and rice batter.

-If you are using turmeric leaves, wipe it and use as it is.

-If you are using banana leaves, take banana leaf, hold it over a gas flame (for wilting) then clean it with a wet cloth.

– If you are using turmeric leaves, use 2 leaves, place it in a “Plus” position, now pour one serving spoon of batter and fold the leaves like a packet.

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-If you are using banana leaf, pour batter, fold side wise, then close the ends.

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-Steam cook these ready packets in a water filled idly steamer for 30 minutes to 40 minutes in a medium heat.

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– Serve this kottige with jaggery syrup with ghee / Honey, coconut chutney or sambar.



Banana/Plantain Stem Salad:

Traditionally we have used banana stem from ages and it is a super-rich vegetable and neglected by many. Our ancestors were very intelligent and included all the available nutritive vegetables from their surroundings. In our native, usually most of the people rely on agriculture for a livelihood and include all parts of banana plant in day to day cooking. When a bunch of bananas is harvested, the banana tree is cut away. Which is 80% water and 20% fibre.

Eating banana stem is very good for health as well as the kidney. It’s high fibre nature is known for its cleansing property of the digestive system. So, it is very good for diabetic or kidney stone patients.

It has layers of covers which should be peeled off and foot long pieces are made by retaining only a couple of outer layers as a protective layer for this vegetable and they are stored and kept aside for future use.

According to the requirement, before chopping this veggie, chop off required length of the stem, remove outer remaining sheath, until you find the very soft inner core.

Now comes the chopping part. Make thin slices, while slicing you will see the thread like fibre, which sticks to the knife and sometimes it will stick to the slices itself. If you find any thread like fibre either in sliced pieces or knife, remove it by hand.

After slicing the roundels, stack 5 to 6 roundels one over the other and chop as desired. I usually make square small pieces for this salad.

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Plantain stem – 10-inch long.

green chillies – 2 (if available use bird eye chillies)

Fresh Coconut – 2 table spoons


Lemon – ½

Coriander leaves – 1 table spoon (chopped)

Coconut Oil – 2 tsp

Mustard – 1 tsp

Hing – 1 pinch

Curry leaves – 1 spring


  Chop banana stem as described in description.

  Now, remove the remaining outer cover.

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  Slice inner pith into roundels by removing thread like fibre.

  Stack all the roundels and chop as needed. I prefer small square pieces.

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  Sprinkle salt and lemon juice and mix it thoroughly.

  Chop chillies.

  Do seasoning, heat oil, splutter mustard, add chopped chillies, hing and curry leaves.

  Add this seasoning over salad.

  Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and grated coconut.

  Goes very well with hot rice or curd rice.


Thai Clay Pot Rice with Vegetables:

This recipe is my entry for BetterButter Contest in collaboration with SPRIG.

SPRIG is a brand that scours the world to get the finest gourmet ingredients into kitchens of people who love to experiment in their kitchen.

It was basically an introduction to SPRIG’s range of unique spice blends, to be used in our dishes covering cuisines from Europe to the Middle east to Asia.

To participate, at first there were four choices of spice blends and they made us select one spice blend from the lot and asked us to create a dish and recipe.

I chose Malacca: Oriental spice Blend.

This spice blend is a symphony of fragrant herbs and spices, inspired by the orient. It captures the rustic richness of South East Asian curries, with a twist. Flavourful chilies make for a delightful fusion, best enjoyed when sprinkled into curries, sauces, salad and stir fries. This versatile ingredient can be used as rub, marinade, glaze, paste, crumb, sprinkle or dressing!

We relish Thai food, lemon grass flavour, one pot meals. Being a Mangalorean, we love our dose of coconut milk too. So, I tried my hand in creating Thai flavoured rice, using clay pot. The dish turned into a super tasty, mildly flavoured one pot meal.

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Rice – 2 cups (small grain rice/ Jeera samba variety)

Vegetables – 1 bowl

Tofu – 100 grams

Onion – 1 medium

Ginger – ½ inch

Thai chillies – 3

Lemon grass – 4 sticks

SPRIG MALACCA spice blend – 2 table spoons

Thick Coconut milk – I tetra pack or 200 ML

Water – 3 ½ cups

Salt – as required

Oil – 2 table spoons (any refined oil)

Sesame oil – 1 table spoon.

Clay pot – for cooking


– Wash rice and drain the water and keep aside.

– Chop vegetables according to your choice.

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– I have used Broccoli, cabbage, three colours of capsicum and baby corn.

– Chop onion, slice chillies, sliver ginger and keep aside.

– Make 3-inch pieces of lemon grass, make a bunch and tie it with a small piece of cord.

-Take a clay pot and smear it with Sesame oil.

– Sesame oil will act as a non-sticky coat for clay utensil while cooking for long.

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-Now take oil for seasoning. When it is hot, add onion, chillies, ginger, lemon grass and fry until onion is glossy.

-Add all the vegetables and fry for a while.

-Now add tofu, Malacca spice, salt and mix everything thoroughly.

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– Next proceed with addition of drained rice and fry for 2 minutes.

-Add coconut milk, water.

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-Cook the mixture by closing the lid, in a very low flame for 20 to 30 minutes or until done by mixing twice in between.

-Serve hot by discarding lemon grass sticks. (Used to enhance flavour, since they can’t be swallowed)

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  • If Thai chillies are not available, one can use any variety of chilli.
  • I have used bird eye chilli.
  • If sesame oil is not there, one can use refined oil to smear the clay pot.

Onion Chutney with Coconut:

We normally refer to this as Neerulli Chutney in Mangalore. Here Neerulli is Onion.Coconut is an integral part of our cooking. This is how we prepare onion chutney traditionally in our households. It can be paired with anything and everything from our breakfast list.

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Grated Coconut – 1cup

Red chillies – 2 (Byadagi variety)

Salt – as required

Tamarind – ¼ tsp

Onion – ½ of medium size.

For seasoning-

Coconut oil – 1 tsp

Mustard – ½ tsp

Curry leaves – 1spring


-Roast the red chillies by putting 2 drops of oil.

-Chop onion

-Grind Coconut, roasted red chillies, tamarind, onion by adding required amount of water and salt into smooth paste.

– Empty out this paste to one small bowl.

-Do seasoning by heating oil, add mustard. When mustard starts to splutter, add curry leaves and pour this over the chutney.

Spring Onion Akki Rotti:

 Akki Rotti is a traditional Breakfast item of Karnataka. Usually it is prepared either by adding chopped greens, grated veggies or only onion. Here I have added chopped spring onion greens as well as bulbs, which is mixed with rice flour to form a thick pliable dough to make super tasty gluten free flat bread. I have served it with coconut and onion chutney, which we traditionally prepare in a Mangalore house hold.

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Rice flour – 3 cups

Spring onion -1 bundle

Green chillies – 2


Fresh Coconut gratings – 2 table spoons

Water – to bind

Oil – to fry the rotti.


  Wash and clean the spring onion and green chillies.

Chop green chillies, spring onion greens and bulbs finely.

 Take one wide steel bowl and mix in rice flour, chopped green chillies, spring onions, coconut gratings, salt.

 Make a pliable dough by adding sufficient water.

Keep it aside for 5 to 10 minutes to absorb all the seasoning as well as to soak.

 When you want to make rotti, take one piece of banana leaf or butter paper.

Take a little rotti dough in your moist hand, and start patting in a circular motion by dipping your hand in a water in-between.

Sprinkle one teaspoon of oil over this patted rotti and keep it ready.

 Heat iron griddle and cook oil sprinkled rotti by putting upside down on it.

After 2 to 3 minutes, peel off banana leaf or butter paper.

Sprinkle little oil over it and flip.

Cook and serve hot with Onion and coconut chutney.


-Keep one bowl of water in a reachable distance to dip your hand in-between.

-While patting the rotti, dip your hand in a bowl of water which you have kept aside.

– wetting your hand will help to avoid the dough sticking to your fingers while patting.


Ili Kivi leaves Tambli:

Emilia sonchifolia, Cupid’s Shaving Brush, Lilac tassel flower is locally known as Ili Kivi in Kannada. Sasasruti in Sanskrit and it is one among the “Ten sacred flowers of Kerala state in India, collectively known as Dasapushpam. It has been used in traditional medicine for the treatment of fever, sore throat, diarrhoea, eczema and as an antidote for snake bites.

The plant requires well drained soil and grows in open fields. it is an annual herb with weak and erect stems. Leaves are ovate or obovate. The flowers are pinkish purple in colour and usually blooms around July to October. Herb contains Calcium, Phosphorous, Magnesium, sodium and Potassium and some vitamins too. The herb is used as a folk medicine not only in India as well as China and some other parts of the world too.

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According to Ayurveda plant pacifies Kapha, vata and is effective in treating fever, tonsillitis; juice is a natural for eye diseases. It is also good in conditions like worm infections and allergy. Whole plant is crushed and the juice is extracted and is used to cure intestinal worms. The paste of the plant is useful for bleeding piles. A decoction of the plant is good in bringing down fever. The herb is useful in treating cough and bronchitis. Applying a paste on the thyroid region helps to cure the swelling in is sometimes used in cases of diabetes. (Details are from this website)

Whenever I come across this plant, I don’t hesitate to make use of it and usually prepare this Tambli for lunch.

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Ili Kivi leaves – from one plant

Cumin – ½ tsp

Black pepper – 4

Bird eye chilli – 2

Ghee – 1 tsp

Coconut – ½ cup


Butter milk – ½ cup

Seasoning: ghee – ½ Tsp, cumin – ½ tsp, curry leaves – 1 spring.


-Wash leaves, Chop.

-take 1 tsp of ghee in a small kadai. When it is hot, add cumin , pepper and bird eye chilli. If you don’t have bird eye chillies, instead you can use half green chilli and roast. Then add chopped leaves and fry until it wilts.

– Now take out all these fried items and cool.     

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-Grind this into smooth paste by adding coconut, salt and little water.

-Put this into a vessel, add buttermilk, and adjust the consistency by adding little water if needed.

-Consistency should be like normal milk.

– Add seasoning by heating ghee, cumin and curry leaves.

– Enjoy this with hot rice.

Gluten free Masala Cookies:

This masala cookie is low in sugar and perfect as a snack for toddlers or elders. This recipe works out with any permutation combination of flours. I have worked with the addition of Amaranth flour with banana flour. As well as the Combination of whole wheat flour, oats flour and banana flour as well. Every time, it gives crunchy outside, soft inside cookies, and if you are feeding diabetic people, it is a healthier option when compared to packaged biscuits. 

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Amaranth flour /Rajgira Atta – 1 cup ( you can use 1/2 cup of whole wheat + 1/2 cup of oats flour as well) 

Plantain/Raw banana flour – ½ cup

Butter – 100 grams

Salt – 1tea spoon

Baking powder – ¼ teaspoon

Baking soda – ¼ teaspoon

spice blend –1 to  2 tablespoons (a blend of spices like cinnamon, pepper, ginger or as per the choice ) 

Desiccated coconut – 2 tablespoons

Sugar – 3 tablespoons

Curd –2 tablespoons


  • Pre-heat oven at 170-degree C.
  • Take one bowl, mix all the dry ingredients such as flours, salt, baking soda and powder, spice blend dry mix/sieve a couple of times and keep it ready.
  • Cream butter, sugar and curd (2 tbl spoons) by using a food processor or hand. Add dry flour, desiccated coconut and make a firm dough.

  • Line the cookie tray with butter paper.
  • Drop the dough into the cookie tray using a table spoon to shape and get the uniform cookies.
  • Mark X at the top of the cookie to get a design by using the tip of the knife.
  • Bake this in a pre-heated oven for 15 – 20 minutes. Pull out and cool.
  • Store this in an airtight container. This measurement yields around 18 -20 cookies.