Instant Khichdi Mix:

-Add salt, turmeric, red chilli powder, and garam masala; if you are adding jaggery, add that as well.

Vegetarian lasagna:

Who doesn’t love Lasagna/lasagne? It is a baked dish consisting of layers of cooked sheet pasta, pureed tomato sauce, and a preferred filling, such as vegetable or meat and topped with cheese.

 It is an ultimate one-pot meal, and when it is homemade, without using All-purpose-flour nothing is like it. Here I am, sharing my slightly healthier version lasagne pasta recipe.

Lasagne made from scratch:

I have used a circular glass baking pan that is 10” wide.

For dough:

For 4 circular thin lasagne sheets, I took –

Flour – 1 ½ cup ( ¾ cup whole wheat + ¾ cup All purpose flour)

Salt

Water

Olive oil – 2 tsp (approx.)

Method:

For the Lasagne sheet:

Take Flour, and salt, make a stiff dough using sufficient water, knead until soft, apply oil and keep it resting until you make other things.

For Marinara /Red sauce:

-Blanch 4 tomatoes ( take ½ cup of water, chopped tomatoes, microwave for 3 min), cool, grind.

-Boil with required seasoning ( garlic salt, oregano, little jalapeno seasoning etc.) and two tablespoons of  Hot and sweet tomato ketchup and adjust the consistency by adding water.

For Bechamel/ white sauce:

I usually make the veggie-loaded sauce and use it as a filling. ( ½ of zucchini, yellow and red bell pepper, half onion)

-Roast 2 tsp of whole wheat flour OR all-purpose Flour with little butter, whip in a mixer jar with a cup of milk, and keep it ready.

-Heat tawa, add little butter /olive oil, and fry the onion until it turns light brown. Add veggies and fry for a while. Add all the seasonings according to your choice. I usually use garlic salt, red chilli flakes, oregano, and a little jalapeno seasoning.

-Next, add Flour mixed with milk, adjust the consistency by adding extra milk, boil and keep it ready.

Final Layering:

Prepare lasagne sheets one by one. Heat water in a wide vessel, take out the ready dough, divide it into 4, roll it into a circular one, and put it into boiling water; when it is done, it pops up. Remove, drain, and cool it by spreading. Repeat the process.

-For assembling, take the glass bowl in which you bake. Spread one layer of marinara sauce.

Place one cooked sheet, then spread one layer of veggie-loaded white sauce.

-Repeat the process once again. Marinara, lasagne sheet, veggies, last, end with the marinara sauce and grated cheese, and bake at 180 °C preheated oven until the top layer is light brown. Remove, and serve hot.

Veg Fried Rice:

Who doesn’t love fried rice? Even I love fried rice, especially what my husband makes. Yes! You heard that right. It is his recipe, which I learnt from him. He usually prefers to make vegetable-loaded egg fried rice; today, I kept it simple by preparing veg fried rice.

Here, rice preparation would decide the texture of the final product. So, I suggest preparing rice in advance ( at least 2 hours before the final touch). Remove the starch by using the open vessel cooking method.

At first, I would brief the rice preparation:

Ingredients:

Small grain rice/ sannakki/ Jeera rice – 1 cup

Salt – 1tsp

Oil – 1 tsp

Method:

-Boil water in a big pot; add oil, salt and washed rice. Cook for 7 to 9 minutes / Al dente.

-Rice should be cooked as well as firm. Drain the starch and cool the cooked rice grains to room temperature before making the fried rice.

For the Fried rice:

Ingredients:

Cooked rice – From 1 cup of rice

Chopped veggies – Carrot, capsicum, cabbage.

Spring onions – 4 bulbs with greens (chopped)

Oil – 2 tablespoons

Ginger garlic paste – ½  tsp

Salt

Pepper powder – ½ to 1 tsp

Vinegar – 1 tablespoon

Soy sauce – 1 tsp

Method:

-Take one wide kadai, heat oil, and fry the chopped bulb part from the spring onion choppings.

-Add chopped veggies, fry for a while, add ginger garlic paste, and fry further.

-Add vinegar and soya sauce and fry for 2 minutes.

-Sprinkle a little salt and pepper powder, give a toss, add cooled rice, and mix nicely by adding the required amount of salt and pepper powder.

-Garnish with spring onion greens and serve with any Chinese side dish or eat as it is or with fried egg chunks.

-Here, I served it with Veg Ball Manchurian with Hot Ginger sauce.

Hagalakai Melara / Bitter gourd Majjige Huli :

Bittergourd always comes under the Love or Hate category. People are fond of this veggie or hate it at the core. Bitter gourd is an acquired taste. All four of us in our family love it and Bitter gourd Melara is synonymous with the Chowthi celebration at our home. As a kid, I relished Chakli dunked in this Melara, and the custom continues with my daughters.

In Mangalore, we always use pale/white bitter gourd the most,taste-wise less bitter and loved by many.

Method:

Ingredient:

Bitter gourd – 1 big

Salt- as needed.

Green chillies – 2

tamarind – one gooseberry size (soak in 1 cup of water)

To grind: Fresh Coconut – 1 ½  cup

For Seasoning: Coconut oil- 1 tablespoon, mustard – 1tsp, red chilli – 1 (optional), curry leaves- 1 spring.

Method:

-Wash the bitter gourd, slice roundels, and if seeds are hard, remove seeds.

-Boil little water, add tamarind pulp, slit green chillies, salt, and Bitter gourd roundels and cook until it is soft and perfect.

-Now, grind the coconut into a fine paste, add the paste to the cooked veggie, adjust the consistency, and boil for 2 minutes.

-Add buttermilk or beaten curd, and switch off when it starts to boil.

-Prepare seasoning, heat oil, splutter mustard, add red chilli and curry leaves, fry and pour over Melara. Serve with Rice.

The best way to have this Melara is during festivals when Chakli is made. That too Chakli immersed in a pool of bitter gourd Melara. Try this if you have not tried it yet.

Soya Nuggets Kurma:

Soya Chunks/nuggets curry is a perfect protein rich side dish for any Rotis. I usually make Yeasted Roti’s to go with it. It tastes good with regular whole wheat pulka or chapati as well.

Soya chunks or nuggets, also known as meal makers, are made from defatted soy flour, a by-product of extracting soybean oil. It is easy and quick to cook and known as veg meat. Though it does not have its flavour, it tends to absorb flavours well. I have shared Soya chunks in  Biryani, and now, I want to share this kurma.

Ingredients:

Soya nuggets – 1 to 2 cups

Oil – 1 + 1 tbl spoon

Cumin – 1tsp

Green chillies – 2 (slit)

Cashew – 10

Onion – 2 (medium, chopped)

Garlic – 8 – 10 (crushed)

Turmeric – ½ tsp

Red chilli powder – 1tbl spoon

Coriander – 2 tsp

Garam masala – 1tsp

Coconut – 1 cup (grated)

Curds – 1 small tumbler

Salt, sugar – to taste

Coriander leaves – little

Method:

-Take one saucepan, boil water and pour soya nuggets, and when it swells, drain the water and keep aside.

-Now, take one skillet, heat one tbl spoon of oil, and fry cashew, garlic, and onion.

-When the onion turns translucent, add all the dry masalas such as turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander powder and garam masala.

-Add coconut, switch off the flame and toss the coconut for 2 minutes.

-Cool the mixture, grind it into a smooth paste, and keep it aside.

-Now, heat one tbl spoon of oil, cumin, and green chillies toss for 1 minute. Next, add ground masala paste, adjust the consistency by adding water and boil.

-When it has boiled for a while, switch off the gas. Add beaten curd and drained soya and mix everything properly.

-Switch on the gas, and allow the gravy to boil. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with roti or any flavoured rice.

Menthya Baath: Fenugreek/ methi greens rice:

Menthya baath/bath is a quick, healthy, flavourful south Indian dish, made with methi greens and mixed veggies or plain. It is a one-pot nutritious meal and ideal for lunch boxes.

Here, we use fresh methi/ fenugreek leaves and green peas. The rice’s raw and earthy flavour of methi greens makes it unique. Hence, it is an added advantage to avoid the difficulty of including greens in kids’ diets. Each family has its recipe, and I will share how we like it. Typically eaten with raitha or just with some curds. But it tastes great with any mild vegetable curry, like gobhi and broccoli, which I shared earlier. 

Ingredients:

Rice – 2 cups (wash a couple of times, drain and keep aside)

Fresh Green peas – 1 small bowl (frozen would do)

Methi/fenugreek leaves – 1 small bowl ( cleaned, chopped)

Coriander leaves – ½ small bowl (washed, chopped)

Milk – 1 cup ( you can opt for any plant-based milk as well)

Onions – 2 ( medium) thinly sliced

Oil – 2 to 3 tablespoons (As required)

Whole masala: Cumin – 1 tsp, cinnamon – 1″, cloves, Marathi moggu, cardamoms and bay leaves ( 2 each)

To dry grind: Green chillies – 3 to 4, ginger – 1 inch, garlic – 6 to 8 cloves

Coriander powder – 1 ½ tsp

Salt ( as required)

Lemon – ½

Method:

-Take one cooker, heat oil, and put all the whole masalas such as cumin, two pieces each of cinnamon, cloves, Maratha moggu, cardamom, and bay leaves.

-Now, add sliced onion, and fry until it is transparent. Then, add green peas and continue to fry.

-Next, add dry and roughly ground ginger-garlic-green chilli paste. Fry until its raw smell vanishes.

-Next, add chopped methi greens, coriander greens, coriander powder, and salt and fry further.

-Add drained rice and fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Add 3 cups of water and 1 cup of milk and allow to boil.

-Lastly, add the lemon juice. When water starts boiling, close the cooker lid. Cook until the first whistle.

-When pressure releases, serve with any preferred raita, plain curd or veg curry.

 

 

Cauliflower and Broccoli curry:

This curry happened by accident. Yes! My daughter was craving creamy cauliflower and broccoli curry, as a side dish for one pot rice dish, like menthya bath/methi greens rice or jeera rice.

It was challenging for me to create creamy without using fresh cream or any considerable quantity of fat. The final verdict was to publish this curry in my blog so they could refer to the recipe and make it.

The result is here, which is vegan as well as creamy, super rich side dish with roti or rice.

Let us see the recipe part-

Ingredients:

Broccoli and cauliflower florets – 1 Bowl (cleaned and blanched)

For Masala Paste:

Oil – 1 tbl sp

Cumin – 1 tsp

Cinnamon – 1” piece

Bay leaf – 1

Clove – 2

Black peppercorns – 3 to 4 (optional)

Almond – 6

Cashew – 6

Garlic – 6 to 10 cloves

Onion – 1 (chopped)

Turmeric – 1 tsp

Green chillies – 1 to 2 (slit)

Tomato – 1 (chopped)

Salt and sugar – according to the taste

Coconut – ½ cup (freshly grated)

Paneer butter masala powder or any oriental curry powder – 1 spoon

Method:

-Wash cauliflower and broccoli florets, blanch in boiling water, drain the water and keep it aside.

-To prepare masala paste, heat oil, and add all the dry masalas from cumin to peppercorns, fry a little.

-Add cashew and almond, and fry until it turns light brown.

-Add chopped onion, green chillies, turmeric, and fry until it turns transparent and light brown.

-Next, add a little salt to chopped tomato to quicken the process. When it turns soft, add coconut and fry until it emits an aroma.

-Cool the content and make a smooth paste by adding water.

-Now, put this ground paste into the same Kadai in which masala has been roasted and adjust the consistency by adding water.

-Check the seasoning and adjust the salt and sugar according to the taste. Boil the content.

-When it starts to boil, add blanched broccoli and cauliflower and allow it to boil.

-Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with roti, peas pulav or menthya bath.

Thovve:

Our Thovve is nothing but dali thoye, a delicacy of the Konkani household. With Idli or buns,thovve is somewhat the most loved combo of my husband and his family. Over the years, even I have started to relish this combo as much as they do.

According to my father-in-law, tempering is the basis of any dish. Here, cooked toor dal is boiled and added with a liberal tempering. As we have now monsoon season, it is a most comforting and soothing meal option for us.

Ingredients:

Toor dal – 1 cup

Turmeric powder – ½ tsp

Green chillies – 2 (slit)

Salt

Hing – ¼ + ¼  tsp

Ghee or coconut oil – 1 tbl spoon

Mustard – 1 to 2 tsp

Red chillies – 1 or 2

Curry leaves

Method:

-I prefer to soak toor dal in advance to get a smooth texture. Wash the dal, add sufficient water, and collect and discard all the foamy froth which forms at the upper surface.

-Now, before closing the cooker lid, put turmeric, green chillies and a tsp of coconut oil or ghee and cook for 3 to 4 whistles with sufficient water.

-Mash the dal, and adjust the consistency by adding extra water. Add salt, ¼ tsp of hing and nicely boil.

-Now, do the tempering. Heat oil or ghee, crackle mustard, hing, red chillies, and curry leaves and pour over the boiled dal.

-Close the lid for some time and allow it to seep in all the flavours. Serve with Idli or buns.

NOTE:

-Soaking the dal and skimming (removing the foam) is optional. It does change the taste of the final product. Hence, I follow the process.

 

 

Badanekai Gojji Sambar/ Brinjal Dal :

Our Native Brinjal has its charm and a fan base. People who like it relish it in many ways. I have already shared the palya, and this dal is one more item, which is our family favourite and mild at the taste. Here, we use either Gulla or a native variety of big green brinjal.

It needs hardly any ingredient but tastes fantastic and soothing in the summer heat. It is No coconut, vegan curry. 

Ingredients:

Brinjal – 1 ( big)

Toor dal – 1 cup ( cooked with turmeric and mashed)

Green chillies – 5 to 8 ( slit)

Salt – as per taste

Jaggery – as per taste

Roasted methi powder – ½ to 1 spoon

Tamarind – small lemon sized

coriander leaves – 2 tbl spoon (Chopped)

Seasoning: Coconut oil – 1 tbl spoon, Mustard – 1 tsp, Hing – peanut size ball, red chilli – 1, curry leaves – 1 spring.

Method:

-Here, we use full brinjal, even its stalk. So, the chopping procedure is, Halve the brinjal, even the stalk. Make four slits lengthwise. And dice it. Remove the inner woody part of the stalk and discard.

-Put those brinjal pieces in water and immerse.

-Now, take one vessel, Boil tamarind, 2 cups of water, salt, jaggery, slit green chillies. When it starts boiling, add brinjal pieces by draining the immersed water.

-When brinjal pieces turn soft, add mashed dal, roasted methi powder, adjust the salt and, jaggery and chillies according to your taste.

-Boil nicely, garnish with coriander. Do the seasoning by heating oil, splutter mustard, hing, red chilli and curry leaves.

-Enjoy with hot rice and papad.

NOTE: You can check the quantity of all the essential ingredients in the Above picture.

 

 

 

Khara Pongal/ Ven Pongal :

Ahh..what to say about humble Pongal? It is one of the comfort food for any South Indian. It is most prevalent in Tamilnadu as a Ven Pongal and a Khara Pongal at Bangalore.

Be it breakfast or as popular Tiffin Item or Lunch or Dinner in a chilly winter season, with added healing properties of ginger, black pepper, hing and loads of ghee to soothe your soul.

It is one of the wholesome, one-pot meals. As the Makarasankranthi festival is around the corner, I would love to share the recipe I follow at home and loved by my family.

Ingredients:

Rice – 1 cup

Moong dal /green gram dal – 1 cup

Ghee – 2 tbl spoons

Cumin – 1 tsp

Hing – ¼ tsp

Green chillies- 2 (slit)

Ginger – 1′ ( julienne)

Curry leaves – 1 spring

Turmeric – 1 tsp

Milk – 1cup

Water – 7 cups

Salt

Fresh coconut gratings – ½ cup

Tempering: Ghee – 1 tbl sp, mustard, cumin- 1 tsp, black pepper – 1 tsp – 2 tsp, curry leaves – 1 spring, chopped cashew nuts – 1 to 2 tbl spoons.

Extra ghee – to serve ( optional)

Method:

-Dry roast yellow moong dal for 2 to 3 minutes. Cool it. Wash rice and dry roasted moong together and soak it for some time, or you can use it directly.

-Take a cooker, add 2 tbl sp ghee, add cumin, hing, green chillies, ginger, curry leaves and turmeric and fry for 2 minutes.

-Now drain the rice and moong dal, add-in, mix everything and add water, milk and boil.

-When water starts boiling, add salt, coconut, close the lid, and cook for three whistles.

-Crush black pepper and cumin by putting them together in a mortar and pastel. Keep it ready.

-After opening the lid, make tempering by heating ghee, splutter mustard, add crushed pepper and cumin, curry leaves, cashew bits and fry until the cashew becomes light brown. Pour over the tempering on ready Pongal.

-Mix everything, serve with tamarind gojju, sambar, Raita or chutney.

NOTE: I usually use Broken rice, which is used explicitly for Pogal and available in all the local Rice traders here in Bangalore.

If it is not available, I would prefer to use Jeeraga samba rice/ small grain rice/ sannakki.