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North Indian Punjabi Recipes

North Indian Punjabi Recipes
If Punjabi recipes tempt your taste buds, then this page is a must-visit. Take a peep into Anita Chahal aunty's kitchen and see what authentic Punjabi food is all about. You will also find fusion recipes from Anita aunty's Punjabi kitchen. Not to mention, she has started to share OPOS recipes as well.

Authentic South Indian Recipes

Authentic South Indian Recipes
If you love south Indian food, do not leave without checking this page. Dedicated to Chitra Balachander, a south Indian homemaker, the page is all about taking a journey into her south Indian kitchen. Travel with me to her kitchen to savor traditional south Indian food.

How to Make Sambar Masala Powder at Home: Authentic Recipe from South India


sambar masala

Sambar Masala Powder

1 cup- coriander seeds
1/4cup- Bengal gram (chana dal)
1/4 cup- Split black gram (urad dal - you may skip this, but I added)
1 tsp- methi dana
2 sprigs- curry leaves
1tsp-mustard seeds
2tsp- cumin seeds (jeera)
2tsp- black pepper corns
3 - cinnamon sticks (dalchini)
1/2-1 cup- dry red chilli ( I added 1/2cup)
1 tsp- turmeric (haldi)

sambar powder



  • Roast coriander seeds. 
  • Then roast dals separately. 
  • Roast curry leaves. 
  • Roast all the remaining spices (except haldi). 
  • Let the roasted spices cool down. 
  • Grind all spices together. 
  • Add haldi. 
  • Some sambar recipes use dry coconut as well.
  •  If you want, you can add 4 tsp dry coconut powder to the sambar masala. I did not add coconut.

The authentic sambar masala recipes use coconut.

I prefer to add fresh coconut along with sambar powder to the recipe.


Sambar is a delectable blend of vegetables and lentils. It is a health food, since it uses little oil and is a blend of boiled vegetables.








Do not forget to check this 5-min sambar post.
http://www.mercuryimp.com/2016/09/opos-sambar-hotel-style-sambar-with-no.html



Home Made Garam Masala North Indian Style


Home made garam masala of north India is different from that of south and east India. I have shared the recipe of Odiya garam masala, which is my MIL's unique recipe.

It tastes different and much better than the one bought from market!!

North Indian Garam Masala Ingredients

1/2 cup coriander seeds (sabut dhaniya)
1/4 cup fennel seeds (saunf)
3 tbsp cumin seeds (jeera)
3 Tbsp green cardamom (hari elaichi)
5-6 black cardamom (badi elaichi)
2 inch cinnamon stick (dalchini)
1 tsp cloves (laung)
1/2 tsp black peppercorn (sabut kali mirch)
2 red chilies (lal mirch/kashmiri mirch)
1/2 star anise (chakri phhol )
1 nutmeg (jaiphal) 1 javitri phal
1 bay leaf (tej patta)

How to make garam masala north Indian style

Roast all the ingredients on a low flame one by one.
Let them cool down and then grind.
Keep in an airtight container and enjoy the real taste of food cooked in home-made garam masala!
Yumminess in a bowl!

Home Remedy for Cold: Besan Sheera (A Lip-Smacking Blend of Chickpea Flour & Milk Flavored with Spices)


cold remedy
Whether you are looking for home remedy for cold or cough, this post can come in handy.

Home remedies for common cold and cough are tried and tested and shared by our grandmoms. These home remedies of nanis and dadis are both effective and yummy.

The monsoon is a time to enjoy rains 'n fall ill! Ooops, sorry but it's true for most of us! This is that time of the year when a number of us suffer from a severe bout of cold (yea - you may count those low on immunity). Yes, common cold can bring quite irritating symptoms. 

The changing weather also has an impact n our health. When autumn knocks at our doors, most of us tend to fall ill, especially those with low immunity. 

Nevertheless, I have come up with a delectable home remedy for initial cold symptoms. 






While you will relish each sip of this soupy sheera, you will surely get relief from cold symptoms :) With the addition of black pepper and turmeric, this becomes a home remedy for cold you would always want to try. It gives me immense relief from cold, while tempting the taste buds! High in calories, with the addition of desi ghee (clarified butter) used for roasting gram flour (besan), this is nevertheless a must try for its sheer taste n aroma :) 

Here's presenting besan sheera - a popular dessert and remedy for common cold!!! Has been relished by my family since ages


cold remedy



Ingredients:
1/4 cup besan
1 cup milk
sugar as per taste
roasted almonds
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp desi ghee (clarified butter)
1/4 tsp -dry ginger powder (or fresh grated)- optional


Procedure

  1. Add ghee to a pan. 
  2. Let's roast almonds first. 
  3. Add 1/4tsp of black pepper. Roast well. 
  4. Then add besan and roast until the sweet aroma of roasted besan fills your kitchen! Of course, it will be little browned as well.
  5.  Now it's time to add turmeric and ginger. Stir well. 
  6. Add sugar. Stir. 
  7. Then add milk in batches so that no lumps are formed. Keep stirring and adding milk. Give it a good boil. Do not boil too much if you want it to be soupy!! We do not want it to thicken like a gravy.
  8.  You can add more milk if you wish to make it more flowy. That's it - enjoy every sip of this immensely beneficial remedy for cold :) Serve hot!
Here's one tried-n-tested dry cough remedy suggested by Anita Chahal aunty ji from my group "Healthy Recipes by Homemakers"
dry cough remedy

cough cold remedy by Deepti Aggarwal

cough remedy by Anita Chahal
feedback from Ritu Mendiratta on this yummy cold remedy- besan sheera

Boiled Bitter Gourd-Potato Recipe


Ever imagined how karela salad would taste?

Surprised, are you?

Well, you no longer need to imagine now.

I have come up with boiled karela-alloo bharta recipe, which makes a lip-smacking delight.

There aren't too many people who love bitter gourd (karela) but if you try this potato-karela bharta, you can help your family derive the benefits of bitter gourd. This simple recipe uses boiled aloo and karela. So no frying needed at all. But tastes yummmm (with little to no bitterness) with the immense benefits of bitter gourd - a MUST TRY for karela lovers, and also for those who do not like this immensely health-friendly vegetable!!!!!!!!!


The karela salad or side dish goes well with lentil curry and rice. If you are an alloo bharta lover, you are almost going to love this unique but delish recipe shared by a Bengali aunt.

Here is the simple, no fuss karela alloo bharta recipe:
  • Peel 2 potatoes. 
  • Wash & keep aside. 
  • WASH 3 bitter gourds and pressure cook them together with potatoes, adding little salt and turmeric for 2 whistles. 
  • After boiling, discard the excess water. 
  • Squeeze karela and mash it along with potatoes.
  • No need for any tadka, just add one chopped onion. 
  • Add 1/2 tsp of mustard oil. 
  • Check for salt. You can add black pepper. Mix well. 
  • Garnish with coriander leaves. That's it!
I have also tried kheera salad or kheera bharta in addition to this karela bharta recipe. Take a look here.

Eggless Olive Oil Cookies

Add caption
When health is your top priority, taste can definitely take a back seat. But with a little twist and experiment, you can make a perfect match between taste and health.

These olive oil cookies are a typical example of the marriage of health and taste. Having baked these olive oil cookies successfully, I feel on cloud 9.

But with the goodness of olive oil and aroma of fennel (which is a loaded with health benefits), there is no comprising the taste! Give these crunchy cookies a try for health sake and enjoy a taste you have never had earlier! As someone who is a strict disciplinarian as far as health is concerned, I keep experimenting with cookie recipes - just trying to find a perfect match between health and taste. After having tried cookie recipes with clarified butter (which isn't too good for cholesterol), I experimented with olive oil. Voila. This doesn't disappoint either. Happy me!!

Happy to share the recipe here:

1 cup sugar (I used half cup only)
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tsp fresh cream

1cup- wheat flour
1/2 cup- gram flour
1/4 cup semolina
1/4tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp roasted fennel seeds
2-3 tsp -milk (if the dough feels dry, add more)


Mix sugar, cream, and olive oil. The recipe calls for blending this in a blender.


Mix baking powder , wheat flour, gram flour, and semolina well. 
Add fennel to the oil mixture.
Mix dry and wet ingredients. Roll into a dough and give your choicest shapes.
Of course, you can use a cookie cutter.
Now, I tried making these on a greased non-stick skillet (tawa) or pan.

Take an iron skillet. Place a nonstick tawa over it. Grease it.
Place cookies on it and cover it.

Cook on medium flame.
Check after 3-4 minutes. Then change side of the cookies. Again cook for 3 minutes or more.
That's it.
If you wanna bake them in oven - set a temperature of 180 degrees and bake them for 10-12 mins or more.


I made these on a skillet -- wanted to break the monotony of baking in MW. I feel this is a healthier version, though the cookies bake quickly here and you need to keep an eye on them. They may get a little too browned at the bottom, but that's okay!!!

Home made Kalakand

In my endeavor to promote healthy living, I have decided not to buy any sweet from the market. So tried making this Kalakand (milk sweet from cottage cheese) at home.

It's better to get going in the kitchen than marketing for the same stuff outside.


1 cup panner (cottage cheese)
3 tbsp - milk powder
1 cup milk
sugar as per taste
1/2 tsp ghee for greasing the plate (keep the plate greased before you begin the entire process)
Mix milk powder with milk, sugar, and boil in a heavy bottomed pan. Let it simmer on low flame until it becomes dense and the milk is reduced to half. Stir well so that it does not stick to the bottom or sides of the pan.

Then add paneer to the mixture. Keep stirring until the mixture becomes dense and leaves the sides of the pan.
When it solidifies. Switch off the flame.
Pour the thickened mixture over the greased plate. SMoothen the top with a spatula.
Let it cool for a while. Once it cools, cut and serve.

Have You Seen Blue Garlic Color; What Are the Reasons


garlic changes color
We associate garlic with an off-white, uninteresting color. Have you ever noticed a COLOR change in garlic, when it turns to turquoise, blue, or green color, especially when pickled or baked? Why does the garlic change color?



More often that not, most people throw away this type of garlic, fearing health risks. But the color change in garlic is no reason not to use this immensely beneficial herb.






garlic color change
The colors occur as a result of the reaction of enzymes and amino acids with the sulfur compounds present in garlic. So the next time your garlic cloves turn bluish-green, do not be surprised. It's simply the sulfur in garlic reacting in an acidic environment with natural amino acids to form the harmless colored pigments.

The age of the garlic may determine whether it will change color when pickled or cooked or even kept in sunlight.  The garlic is perfectly safe to eat, and will retain the same taste.

So the next time your garlic changes color, do not throw it. Consider using it in the same way as you have been using it for consumption and derive immense benefits of garlic.

Resource: http://extension.psu.edu/food/preservation/news/2012/garlic-turns-blue

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