Jan 31, 2014

Rice Murukku ....

Murukku is a famous traditional south-Indian snack which is called by many names - murukku, murukkulu, chakli and so on. They are a must snack on our Diwali menu. It is a very simple snack to make with just a few ingredients - rice, urad dal, chutney dal and seasoning. It is an all-time favorite in all homes and has been well entertained always

They are usually made in big batches and stored in big containers. They stay fresh for couple of weeks if stored properly

I have seen my mom, mil and grandma making this for us all the time. The aroma of this savory snack will fill the house and invite everybody to the kitchen to take quick enjoyable bites. Elders to kids and everyone one will sure enjoy

I dont have a step-by-step pictures here as I always forget to take pics when I make them. So this time I decided to post with the finished product and update with step-wise pics later... if I dont forget again ;)

Ragi vermicelli .. a healthy choice for breakfast

Ragi vermicelli is made from ragi flour which has a very high nutritional value. It is very important to include ragi in our regular diet. I like to help my family getting the benefits of this millet by making simple and nutritious brakfast. We make this vermicelli upma or puttu, which the most regular way to consume ragi in our family, say once a week. Other than that I add handfuls of ragi flour in chapathi dough or dosa batter to get the goodness coming without it being explicitly noticed by little fussy eaters

I have no complains eating this vermicelli in my family except that some prefer the sweet puttu kind version and some like the upma kind version. So everytime its served it is made in both the ways

There is nothing special about this recipe but I have had friends asking me about what is this when we had a conversation last time. It is a simple post for them to let them know the ease of adding healthy bits to our lifestyle without sweating out much

Jan 28, 2014

Green Peas and Spinach Soup

With nice cozy evenings outside, its time to enjoy warm soups. Children are getting very bored with regular milk evenings these days. They want to skip milk but promise they will have something healthy instead. Most of the time I think of the simplest option of soup. They love soup with croutons served alongside. Taking advantage of their liking and to give them a little choice in skipping their boring milk, I let them enjoy warm soups

Green peas is in season now so we are enjoying a lot of peas in all curries, parathas, soups, rice and every way possible. My kids love green peas and their sweet taste. They love them in all the recipes. Last week we had a very large packet on green peas at home... I saw them at the market and picked some, the same evening my hubby picked some when he saw them arrive fresh at the store and guess what my father-in-law also bought a big batch of green peas that day on his way back from work. So we all ended up working on peeling the whole batch and at the end got a big box full of fresh green peas

I love this soup as it has a nice texture and sweetness to it. Kids love it too. My younger kid is a big fan of soups and when he has green peas soup one day, he will sure ask me for some more over the next couple of days. This has become a regular habit of his but never mind I never feel like saying no as I enjoy watching my kids drink it. They just love it  so much that they can even skip their favorite cartoon show for this wonderful soup. Last week I had to make this soup 3 times as they got to see the big batch of peas hanging around the fridge right in front of their eyes. So every time they see it they will sure ask "When are we making green soup". We enjoy this soup and hope you enjoy it too

Jan 25, 2014

Spicy sweet Khoya balls...

"Spicy sweet Khoya balls" .. I named it this way cos they tasted this way. This recipe tasted a little sweet cos of the khoya and little spicy because of the spices added in to get the flavors combined. We had a lot of khoya left after making gulab jamuns. I had no idea of making gulab jamuns again within the next month so thought of using it for some other recipe. I was thinking of making some dessert but apparently at the same time my kid insisted me on making some cutlets. When juggling thoughts in my mind as to what to make for snack that evening, I thought of trying something with khoya but a cutlet-kind version that would my baby happy

When thinking of using the leftover khoya in a new kind of recipe, I tried this recipe and guess what... my kids loved it. They just popped them all in no time. Worst was they asked for more but I just had made a little, skeptical as I was trying it for the first time. Never mind we made the same recipe again the very next day too and enjoyed it a lot

This recipe made me really happy and is for sure a keepsake. We loved the soft bites with different flavors blended really well. I would say a perfect treat and especially a special treat for kids

Jan 22, 2014

Whole wheat healthy muffins...

Savory muffins serve as a perfect breakfast when you just wanna grab something on-the-go. Made with whole wheat flour this turns healthy and filling for clean eating habits. Its not that I dont make this all the time but sure a 'once in a while visitor, say once in a month' for a change from boring old breakfast styles. Serve couple of muffins with a glass of warm milk or chilled juice for a good alternative to the regular b'fast menu

I started making this a few years ago from the after-effects of a good-ole tv show. I guess I was in some kind of a baking spree those days when I used to try to bake anything and everything trying to make what not. Thinking about it now makes me giggle about how silly I was. But I should say I wasnt very silly either as there were quite a few recipes that really turned out well and have carried themselves through these years in our kitchen to be served now and then. There were also a few lot many disasters that gave me a lot of experience and quick tips to help me get better

This muffin was one among a few picked recipes that turned out good and is enjoyed in our family even now. Simple to put together and healthy to eat gives it a warm welcome for an enjoyable breakfast

Jan 19, 2014

Kara Sev ....

Kara Sev is a very common south Indian snack. It is a make-ahead snack that stays up fresh as "just-made" for quite a few days. The only thing that it might demand from you to stay fresh is an air-tight container, which obviously you should not say no to. This is usually had as a festival snack followed on the other days as a simple tea-time snack. A little spicy and crunchy it serves perfect as munch-ons

There were days when I used to eat them all day and end up saying "oops... my tummy hurts" and my mamma would say "a snack should be had as a snack and not a meal". Now you know how much I loved it. Mamma used to make it in big batches and store in big stainless steel dabbas. We could serve ourselves whenever wanted

These snacks are made in different ways in different parts of  tamilnadu. Some make it with besan / gram flour, some use rice flour, some use both. For the spice kick some use pepper powder, some use red chilli powder, some use whole pepper corns. It all finally ends up with what one wants. We prefer making this 2 ways - one with rice flour and red chilli powder and the other one with rice-flour and peppercorns

Om podi / Plain Sev

Om podi / Sev has been an all-time favorite for me. I have loved it on every occasion. As a child my mamma used to make this for me when I stayed in a hostel. I used to take them in big covers and stack them in my shelf for quite a while. After coming back from college this had been a perfect tea-time friend for all those lonely evenings. Not only then I have enjoyed this every time it was made

Now my kids enjoy them too but they dont call it om podi - instead they have named it baby murukku. They love it - the only problem being the clean-up task after they have finished eating. You can find bits and pieces of them around every corner of the house they have visited with their bowl in hand. Yes the spilled bits linger around even after a week that we finished eating it ;)

We make this as a regular stock-up snack and also a festive special snack. They also find a good place in chaat items 

Jan 18, 2014

Homemade banana chips

Had some raw bananas that one of my neighbourhood friends shared with us. Niks asked me to make some chips for evening snack. So I decided to use up the bananas so that they can serve as snack for the evening and as school snack the next day. Making these chips is very simple. All you need is bananas, salt and oil and of course a little patience

These chips stay fresh for about a week if stored properly in an airtighht container. My kid loved them so much that he keeps asking me make them again. Planning to make some more today evening

Jan 11, 2014

Besan Bread toast ... a lovely snack

Bread is a very important part of our lifestyle. There are countless recipes to make with bread as the basic ingredient. We love it in so many ways. Mix a few ingredients n veggies together, top them on bread slices or sandwich them or roll them in bread and yes a new fancy delightful recipe is in front of you. Try using whole bread for better health and improved nutritional value

We love bread but we dont like having it the same way every other time. So I keep looking for new ways to make even though I have a bundle of recipes that run through our menu list. Starting from a simple bread omelette to fresh vegetable sandwich to fried bread rolls, everything is perfect to taste in their own way. They help if you want to eat a very light and healthy meal or even if you want a rich and heavy meal. It all just depends on the way its made - a little tweak n twist and you can line up recipes

This recipe is a simple toast but heavy to fill you up with a healthy breakfast or perfect evening snack

Homemade Ghee...

Sometimes there are basics which are not necessary to be posted as per some people. Even I think "Why to post when everyone knows this and I am sure I will not come to my blog to check how to do it as it is a part of my daily life?" But you know what, there are times when my friends ask me how I do it and I stay puzzled thinking "Is this something that has to be learnt?" There are also times when I post a simple recipe or some kitchen basics when my friends ask "Why did you have to put even that on your blog?" The answer to all this is simple ... not everyone knows everything. For some, kitchen basics might be a snip but for some it may just be a trick to learn

I am posting this for a friend who wanted to learn making homemade ghee when she learnt about its goodness. She has always had store bought ghee but when she tried homemade stuff she just fell in love with it

Wraps with leftover cutlet/pattie mixture...

Leftover cutlet/patties mixture can help you make a delicious and filling breakfast/snack. Usually when there is just a little left which doesnt convince anyways, I like to make wrap and enjoy a hearty meal. Sometimes I just even leave it in the freezer for a couple of days before I can take it out again and transform into a wrap

Dont go by the color of the cutlet mixture here. The picture shows it too gaudy whereas it wasnt as bad when I made the cutlets. I think the flash in my camera gave that scary red look. I admit that this time it was deep red - coz it was a red cutlet we made ;) and it was my niks who named it so. It so happened that we had beetroots to be moved from the fridge. So left with no other choice that day, we made beetroot cutlets / red cutlets to be correct. Oops they look like red meat to me now 

Anyways the key here is to use the leftover cutlet mixture to make long thin shaped patties and then roll them in whole wheat flatbread with some fresh onion and cabbage for a perfect wrap to enjoy

Jan 5, 2014

Beetroot soup...

Soups no longer need an explanation to be included in healthy lifestyle. Kids who love to stay away from veggies can get the same nutrients in without making fuss. Yes many kids dont like eating their vegetables the regular and my kids are not an exception either. I have to follow lots of tips and tricks to get nutrition into their regular diet. Yes I do have to remember that I should see smiling faces when they eat it and they dont intend to waste it

For me the best option to get beetroot into our routine is through this soup. They have always liked it. Initially I remember my elder kiddo did not like the color as it was too deep to convince our senses. But we started with lots of talks before we got into the process of drinking. I still remember the day when i first made this for niks. He was not even three then. He was at a learning stage when he loved guessing colors of anything and everything around.  So yes we tried the colors game together. We tried to guess the color of all the soups we had till then... say orange, white, brown, green and so on. Finally we said today is a new color for our soup .... and it is darrrkkkkk red. He liked the stress in it. Well he was reluctant to try for the first time but he did try and yes he liked it. We enjoyed it till the last drop

The recipe is simple as for most soups. I hope you and your kids like it too

Jan 3, 2014

Bread croutons ... topping for soups

Bread croutons are a must for us to enjoy our soups. We love adding them more than we enjoy salt crackers in them. We love this homemade, delicious and crispy croutons. Making  them is simple and we can store it an airtight container to keep it crisp for a while. My kids enjoy them so much that they sometimes eat them alone just as snacks. Even I love to pop a few in when I see them around ;)

Jalebi... Instant jalebis without using yeast

Jalebis .... oh my god!!!!! the name makes my mouth water. In my home everyone loves jalebis. My hubby and me are very big fans of this wonderful dessert and now my kids are no less. We cant even wait till all are done. The moment they are out of the pan ans then out the syrup, they have to be served. We like it nice and warm

The best ones we fell in love with were a time when we were dining at a punjabi restaurant. OMG they serve the best jalebis ever. Those were the ones which made me crazy about these sweet little treats. I knew I would sure try it when I have a kitchen of my own. And yes I did .... as soon as I got a chance. It has always been a pleasant experience every time I make it and we have it. Love it always

This recipe is to make instant jalebis which means just no waiting to enjoy ;). I make this without using any yeast which means no  fermentation in any way. It tastes the same good way as other versions

Jan 2, 2014

Wish you a very HAPPY NEW YEAR - WELCOME 2014

Wish you a very happy new year. I hope you had a great time welcoming the new year. We enjoyed it as "Happy, Peaceful and Simple" 

Being with family and friends around this time of new years eve gives a cozy and warm feeling. We enjoyed happily and made lot of resolutions too. Dont know how many we would stick to ;)

My resolutions have been pretty simple but lengthy - I want to be a little more nice, little more smiling, little more helping, little more caring. little more busy, little more cooking, little more crafty, lot less lazy and lot less angry. Wish I follow each one. Too much to wish for this "little me"


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