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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.

Kaddu Methi Sprouts Sabzi (Pumpkin Fenugreek Sprouts Stir Fry)

kaddu methi sprouts
Methi sprouts are a healthy addition to your diet. After my alloo methi sprouts stir fry recipe, I followed Balvinder Kaur's idea of using fenugreek sprouts with pumpkin. It was such a delicious recipe that I have fallen in love with methi sprouts and keenly look for different combinations.

Here is kaddu methi sprouts recipe:

Pumpkin (I took 1/4th size of a medium size kaddu)
1/2 cup- methi sprouts
1 tomato
salt, red chilly powder
turmeric, cumin seeds
1 tsp-mustard oil
coriander leaves










Procedure


  1. Cut pumpkin into small pieces. 
  2. Take oil in a nonstick pan.
  3. Add jeera. Let it splutter.
  4. Next add pumpkin pieces and methi sprouts.
  5. Add salt, haldi, red chilly powder, and tomato pieces.
  6. Stir fry for a couple of minutes. 
  7. Cook & cover.
  8. Check after 5-8 minutes.
  9. Cook & cover. Keep on a low flame.
  10. Check once done. 
  11. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  12. Your kaddu methi sprouts stir fry is ready!
  13. Enjoy with rice or roti.




Lauki Methi Sprouts

lauki methi sprouts
After my alloo methi sprouts stir fry was a hit, I followed a friend Balvinder Kaur's idea of using fenugreek sprouts with pumpkin to make kaddu methi sprouts stir fry. I loved the recipe, which was liked by hubby as well.

So I tried to replace pumpkin with lauki, ghiya, or bottle gourd, which is hated by most young members in Indian households. I must say this is one of the yummiest lauki recipes ever.

Undoubtedly, this is the best way to serve lauki to your family. The humble bottle gourd is rich in nutrients, vitamins, minerals and full of easily digestible fiber. It is useful in weight loss, lowering your blood pressure levels, and keeping heart healthy.

Bottle gourd has a cooling effect on the body. Since it is available in plenty in summers, so why not increase your intake of lauki in the hot season and enjoy its benefits. It replenishes water loss from your body.

Let's get back to the lauki methi sprouts recipe:

1 lauki
1/2 cup- methi sprouts
1 tomato
1 boiled potato (optional)
salt, red chilly powder, sambar powder (optional - here is the home made sambar masala recipe)
turmeric, cumin seeds
1 tsp-mustard oil

Procedure
lauki methi sprouts stiry fry


  1. Cut lauki into small pieces. Wash and then marinate lauki and boiled potato pieces with salt, turmeric, and sambar masala.
  2. Keep aside for half an hour.
  3. Take oil.
  4. Add jeera. Let it splutter.
  5. Add the marinated lauki and potato pieces to the oil.
  6. Next, add methi sprouts.
  7. Stir fry for a couple of minutes. Sprinkle red chilly powder if you want it spicy.
  8. Now add chopped tomato and cook & cover.
  9. Keep checking intermittently after 5-8 minutes.
  10. The lauki methi sprouts vegetable will be ready in a jiffy!
  11. Enjoy with rice or roti.





Another Quake Strikes Japan; 9 Dead; Aftershocks Continue

Japan earthquake hits Kinki
Another deadly tremor measuring 6.5 on richter scale has struck Japan's Kyushu island in the wee hours of April 15th. Nine persons have already died in the south Japan earthquake and many more are feared trapped under collapsed buildings.


The earthquake was so severe that the tremors were felt for 20 seconds, leaving 800 severely wounded.

About 7,50,000 people felt the violent to severe shaking due to the shallow depth of the earthquake, reported just 10 kms or 6.1 miles beneath the earth.

Since it was a shallow earthquake, the shaking of the earth is more intense. Deeper quakes cause less shaking, while shallow and surface tremors are the most severe, since they are closer to the surface and can spiral to a larger area.

Thankfully, there are no fears of tsunami, since the epicenter of this Japan earthquake was in the land, not in the sea bed.

This quake follows the recent Okinawa quake. Japan experiences frequent tremors since it sits in the Ring of Fire, which is the most prone to tremors, primarily because the islands sit on three continental plates that are striking against each other, thus producing enormous seismic pressure.

April 1 st Earthquake Jolted Central Japan, Tremors Felt in Kinki, No Casualty Reported


An earthquake of 6 magnitude in Richter Scale hit Japan’s central west coast at 11:39 AM, April 1. Honshu, Japan’s premier tourist destination, was jolted along with large swaths of land in central and western parts of the country, including the Wakayama prefecture and Kinki region.

 No tsunami warning has been issued, though the civil defense is advised to remain prepared. There are no immediate reports of damage or causality.

 The epicenter was believed to be at a depth of 10 km and at 170 km away from Osaka and 56km South East of Shingu.



Japan Tremor History

 Japan has been frequented by earthquakes and tsunamis are a result of underwater earthquakes. Almost 20% of world's tremors are felt in Japan. Its proximity to the "Pacific Ring of Fire" volcanic zone and location at two tectonic junctures make it more vulnerable to earthquakes. To the north, the Pacific Plate is going below the Okhotsk Plate and to the south, Amurian Plate and Okinawa Plate are being pushed upward by the Philippine Sea Plate making tremors rampant.

Recently, an earthquake measuring 9 on Richter scale led to a massive damage in 2011. The Japan earthquake caused a massive tsunami along the pacific coast of Tohoku that swept away many settlements and damaged a nuclear power plant.

Image credit: http://japanlover.me/lists/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/MapSquared.jpg

Obesity Danger Lurks; Know Reasons, Risks, Simple Ways To Control

Obesity danger signs are ringing loud and clear. Yes, the world is becoming fatter by the day, with over 641 million obese people around the globe.
world obesity bmi
Statistics reveal that there has been a spike in the number of people with a body mass index of over 30.

The number of such people was 641 million in 2014.

Another glaring statistic from the The Lancet medical journal study is that one in every seven women are obese, while in men, of every 10 men, one has a BMI of over 30.

What is Obesity- BMI

Divide weight in kilograms by height in square meters to get the BMI of a person. It indicates whether a person is obese or enjoys a healthy weight. Any person with a BMI of over 25 is overweight. Those with a body mass index above 30 are obese and those over 40 are categorized under morbidly obese, with about 2 % women and  1 % men.

In morbid obesity, the weight interferes with normal physical functions of the body, which include breathing and walking.

The statistics reveal that the world's population is becoming 1.5 kg heavier by every decade. If the trend continues, the world is at a greater risk of becoming obese, with 18 % men and 21% women at a threshold of obesity by 2025.

American adults have the highest body mass index, while Japanese lowest.

In simple words, if you weigh 20% more than what is considered normal weight, you are obese.

Reasons of Obesity

Obesity can be traced to:

  • poor diet and lifestyle
  • eating more calories than you need
  • eating high amount of junk, processed, or fast food 
  • binge eating and food addiction
  • hyperpalatable food intake
  • drinking sugary drinks frequently
  • intake of food high in fat and sugar
  • comfort eating 
  • lack of physical activity
  • genetic problems
  • underactive thyroid gland
  • over-production of steroid hormones



Risk Hazards of Obesity

Anyone who is obese is prone to:
  • High blood pressure
  • Coronary heart disease and stroke
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Cancer - breast, colon, esophagus, kidney, ovaries, kidneys
  • Gallbladder malfunctioning and gallstones
  • Gout
  • Sleep apnea
  • Reproductive problems
  • Breathing problems

How to Control Obesity

The rising obesity figures do not portray a better future for the world as a whole. The growing number of obese people only mean an increased risk to life and a number of diseases.

However, obesity can be managed with a proper dietary & exercise regimen. Here are a few tips to control obesity:

  • Control your appetite - avoid junk, fried, and too oily foods. Baked goodies aren't a healthier option either. However, they make a better alternative to fried and deep fried snacks. When it comes to snacking, it is better to go for nuts than processed foods. 
  • Eat healthy, balanced diet - rich in fiber - Your regularly diet should comprise wholesome food - with a balanced proportion of fiber, proteins, and carbs. Reduce your fat intake.
  • Drink plenty of water - Increase your intake of water.
  • Focus on potion size and eat small meals throughout the day
  • Be active and exercise regularly
  • Monitor weight regularly
  • Reduce stress levels
  • Stick to a healthy diet plan
Here's how you can achieve your weight management goals and stay healthy.

Why An Oats Diet is Important? Why should you make oats part of regular diet? Some people try to avoid oats mistakenly believing that oats contain gluten. But what is the reality?

Oatmeal is loaded with benefits. It won't be wrong to dub it as another superfood. When you are planning your weight loss diet, oatmeal is a must-include ingredient in your healthy diet plan. You will be seriously surprised to see how you can include oatmeal in your healthy diet to lose weight, boost immunity (by getting your supply of antioxidants), get a strong digestive system, and stay fit with all the goodness of fiber, vitamins, minerals and nutrients loaded in oats.

Here are some of my tried-n-tested healthy snacks from oats. Make oatmeal a part of your healthy meal and you would be better off than ever before.

Weight loss recipe:
Who says you cannot munch on cookies on a diet? This batch of oatmeal cookies uses no butter and is loaded with fiber to help with your weight loss goals.If you are doubting the taste of these oatmeal munchies, then better try this batch out and find it out for yourself. One batch would disappear soon!

Click here to go to the recipe
weight loss cookies - rich in fiber, low in calories, and delicious in taste



Image credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/08/Obesity-waist_circumference.svg/2000px-Obesity-waist_circumference.svg.png



Tasty, Tangy, Sweet Bitter Gourd Stir Fry (Khatta Meetha Karela)

khatta meetha karela
Khatta Meetha karela ?

Yes, the credit for this recipe goes to Chitra Balachander, a dear friend of mine. This lady boasts amazing culinary skills, with a repertoire rich in south Indian delicacies. Of course, she knows it all about north Indian food and other food varieties across India.

She shared this khatta meetha karela recipe a few days back, which tempted me to try the recipe myself. I have given it a try and found it as one of the best karela recipes ever.

The sweet & tangy bitter gourd stir fry goes well with rice, lentil curry, and any other gravy.

Here's a sneak peak into Chitra di's recipe:

khatta meetha karela by Chitra Balachander
I made little modifications:
1 tsp- mustard oil
6-7 karelas (bitter gourd)
turmeric, salt, jeera
1 big onion
1 tsp- tamarind paste
1 tsp- jaggery powder
red chilly powder

Procedure
sweet & tangy karela


  1. Wash and cut karelas into round slices.
  2. Chop onion and mix with sliced karela.
  3. Sprinkle salt and haldi. Keep aside for 5 minutes.
  4. Heat oil in a nonstick pan. Add jeera.
  5. Let it splutter.
  6. Now add karela and onion.
  7. Stir well so that oil coats every single piece. 
  8. Cover & cook for 8-10 minutes until half cooked.
  9. Open the lid and add tamarind paste and jaggery powder.
  10. Mix well and cover & cook for 5-8 minutes.
  11. Enjoy the khatta meetha karela.

Eggless Wholemeal Flour Cake Recipes

3-Ingredient Steamed Biscuit Cake No Bake

Biscuit cake no bake!!

Surprised, are you?

Well, yes, this is simply the simplest cake recipe ever that gives you the tastiest cake.

steamed biscuitt cake


What's more, it uses just 3 key ingredients - take biscuits of your choice, add milk to make batter, and little amount of baking soda - that's it!

Here's my another take on biscuit cake. Yes, I bake cookies at home and then use them for baking a cake, though this time again, I chose to steam the cake than baking it. It has come out super soft and yummy!!

I crushed the besan-oats cookies I had baked two days ago and then blended them with powdered cornflakes (2 tbsp). You may skip cornflakes altogether. The no egg biscuit cake no bake would still taste delicious.

This is one biscuit cake recipe in cooker or vessel that you would want to try every time your kids want a spongy cake.

Any takers?

biscuit cake no bake steamed




Steamed Biscuit Cake Ingredients
20 biscuits (I used home made; you may choose marie or parle G or hide & seek, oreo or any other cookies available with you)
1/4 cup -Cornflakes powder
1/2-1 cup- milk (depending on the quantity needed for the cake batter)
1 tsp- sugar (you may add more)
cinnamon powder, elaichi
1/4 tsp- baking soda/ eno fruit salt

No Bake Biscuit Cake Procedure
biscuit cake
Whether you are looking for a biscuit cake recipe in cooker or a baked version, this recipe is a keeper. The best part is it can double up as a baked recipe. So what are you waiting for?
  1. Take 20-30 biscuits and elaichi, dalchini, and grind them to powder.
  2. Powder cornflakes.
  3. Add sugar.
  4. Add warm milk slowly. We need a cake batter, so make sure you do not pour all the milk at once. 
  5. Place a baking pan in the steamer. Pour the batter in the greased pan. You may top the cake with nuts of your choice. I add almonds to my cookies, so did not top the cake with any nuts.
  6. Cover the pan with aluminum foil  and cover the steamer with a plater.
  7. Turn the heat on high flame for 10 minutes.
  8. Then change to slow flame for 20 minutes.
  9. Your biscuit cake will be ready.
  10. Yes, this will be a spongy, soft, and melt in mouth biscuit cake. Enjoy!!
  11. If you want to bake it in microwave, pre-heat the oven for 10 minutes at 180ยบ C. Then you need to bake the cake for 15-20 minutes or little longer until done.
  12. Here is my first eggless biscuit cake no bake.


Kaddu Chutney (Pumpkin Chutney/Condiment/Seasoning)

kaddu chutney, bengal gram chutney
It was kaddu or pumpkin day in my kitchen today. I tried kaddu raita, kaddu buttermilk, and kaddu chutney and savored all of these with dosa! Yum platter it was!

The decision to make kaddu or pumpkin chutney came all of a sudden. It's very simple to prepare this tasty, tangy, and healthy chutney.
Let's see what all I have included here!












Ingredients
kaddu
1/2 tsp- chana dal
1/2 tsp - urad dal
1/4 tsp- mustard seeds
1/2 tsp- oil
1 small piece of tamarind (I used sweet tamarind chutney) If you are using tamarind, then keep it for boiling along with little sugar for 8-10 mins
Tomato -1 (if you do not want to use tamarind - I used imli instead of tomato)
Salt, black salt
Green chilly
4-5 mint leaves

Procedure
kaddu chutney pumpkin chutney


  1. Cut pumpkin into small pieces and boil with little salt and turmeric for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Let them cool down.
  3. Take oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds,chana dal and urad dal. Let them splutter on low flame.
  4. Add green chilly. Mix and switch off the flame. However, if you are using tomato instead of tamarind, cut tomato into small pieces and add to the tempering. Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes and its juices blend with the tempered ingredients. Turn off the flame and let them cool.
  5. Pour the tempering over the pumpkin pieces.
  6. Add this mixture into the grinder along with tamarind paste and 2-3 mint leaves. 
  7. Add little sugar and black salt.
  8. Run the processor for 2-3 minutes or until you get paste.
  9. Your tasty, tangy pumpkin chutney is ready!
  10. Garnish with coriander or mint leaves. Enjo!


Kaddu Lassi (Pumpkin Buttermilk)


kaddu lassi
I am a Punjabi and love curd. Lassi is widely used in Punjabi homes. I love the salty, spiced lassi. But yes, I do not like its sweet version. Well, that's my choice. Hubby loves the sweeter one. Everyone has a choice!

After trying out kaddu raita with inspiration from Tanvee Sharda's recipe, I used the leftover to make buttermilk. I try to increase the intake of curd in our daily diet, especially in the summer season. Curd keeps our bodies cool! I love it !



Ingredients
1/2 cup- pumpkin or kaddu raita or pumpkin puree
2 cups of water
2 tbsp- curd
black salt
pinch of sugar or little more if you want it sweeter
salt
mint leaves
ginger grated -1/2 tsp
Roasted jeera powder
Roasted flax meal

Pumpkin Buttermilk Procedure

  1. If you are using kaddu puree, then you need extra curd. Take 1/2 cup curd.
  2. Take all the ingredients and add them to the processor, except water.
  3. Give them a churn once.
  4. Then add water and churn once again.
  5. Check for spices.
  6. Sprinkle little flax meal and roasted jeera powder and enjoy this cool, refreshing summer drink.
You may want to try cucumber buttermilk recipe.
Add caption



Kaddu Raita (Pumpkin Yogurt Curry)

kaddu raita 
Kaddu was never a favorite this side. However, ever since I tasted kaddu sabzi (pumpkin curry) in a community kitchen in Khadur Saheb, I have developed special liking for pumpkin. Nevertheless I had never thought of trying kaddu ka raita unless I came across my dear friend Tanvee Sharda's heirloom kaduu raita recipe.

Finally, I have given it a try and amazingly, the unique blend of pumpkin and curd tastes yum! I made my own adjustments to the recipe.



Ingredients
1/4 pumpkin (sliced into small pieces)
1 cup- curd
1/2 tsp- mustard seeds
1/4 tsp- chana dal
1/4 tsp- urad dal
black salt
salt
sugar- 1 big pinch
green chilly
coriander leaves
roasted jeera powder (cumin seeds)
flax meal (alsi powder)
1/4 tsp- oil

Procedure
dosa, kaddu chutney, bengal gram chutney and kaddu raita


  1. Boil pumpkin with little salt and turmeric for 20-30 minutes or until soft.
  2. Let it cool.
  3. Meanwhile, let's prepare the tempering.
  4. Put oil in a pain. Drop in mustard seeds. Let them splutter.
  5. Add chana dal and urad dal. Let them crackle.
  6. Turn off the flame. Add green chilly to the tempering. Keep aside.
  7. Take the pumpkin pieces and add them to the grinder along with the tempering ingredients.
  8. Add sugar and black salt.
  9. Give it a good churn once again.
  10. Pour this pumpkin mixture into the curd.
  11. Check for salt. Sprinkle roasted cumin powder and flax meal.
  12. Garnish with coriander leaves. Enjoy this kaddu ka raita with rice or roti.
  13. I had it with dosa, kaddu chutney, and bengal gram dal chutney with a twist.
  14. I kept 1/4 cup of this pumpkin curd mixture aside to make kaddu buttermilk.

Chakuli (Crispy, Crunchy, Savory Rice Spirals)

rice chakuli
Whenever I visit Odisha, I make it a point to bring loads of dantikulu or chakli or rice flour spirals along with me to Delhi. It's not that I do not get them here, but I have always loved ethnic food made by traditional hands. Yes, before I land in Odisha, my mother in law makes sure she buys dantikulu in bulk so that her daughter in law can feast over them. But that does not mean I gulp down everything just like that. I have set my own limitations when it comes to food and eating and hardly eat more than 1 piece at a time.

Anyway, so my love for chakuli motivated me to try my hands at this traditional snack, which is made with rice flour. In some areas, they include besan or gram flour or chickpea flour as well to rice flour to enhance the flavor. Shall try including gram flour next time. This time I have made chakuli with rice flour and oats. Unlike its traditional deep fried version, I have chosen to bake it. Of course, you all know the reason by now - I hardly deep fry anything.

Ingredients
1 cup- rice flour
2 tbsp- oats (optional)
1/2 cup- curd
1 tbsp- dry coriander leaves (optional)
salt - as per taste
Pinch- sugar
Jeera (cumin seeds)
Carom seeds (ajwain)
2 tsp- oil
water-1/4 cup or little more to knead a semi-soft dough

Rice Oats Chakuli Procedure
chakuli- oats, rice


  1. Mix rice flour, oatmeal or oat powder, salt, and sugar.
  2. Sprinkle jeera and ajwain. If you are adding coriander leaves, just try to rub them with hands and then drop into the flour. This will enhance their flavor. Mix everything.
  3. Next add oil. Rub the flour with hands.
  4. Now add curd. Again try to mix everything well.
  5. Add water little by little - making sure you get a soft dough, though not too soft - more like semi-soft, which is easy to work with in the sevai machine or press.
  6. Preheat oven at 180 degrees for 10 mins.
  7. Take sevai machine and use the disc with one star.
  8. Place one log of dough and press on a greased baking sheet. Start drawing a spiral from the center. This was my first time so I didn't get most of the spirals right.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees.
  10. Enjoy this set of coriander flavored chakuli or dantikulu with tea. I started enjoying these crunchy bites with rice when a dear friend of mine from Tamil Nadu introduced me to this snack during my hostel days in Delhi. I still enjoy these crispy crunchy bites with rice :)

Aam Papad (Sweet & Tangy Mango Slices)

aam papad
Aam papad has been a hot favorite since childhood. I do not remember how many times I have enjoyed these sweet & tangy mango sheets, though no one from my mom's side ever tried making them at home. After marriage, my mother in law, who is an awesome cook, made these savory & sweet mango pulp slices for me. I must tell that she makes the best mango pickle in the world - which is both sweet & sour. She made two buckets full for me after she found that I love aam achaar.

Let's come back to the recipe of aam papad:

Ingredients

2 ripe mangoes
1-2 tsp- sugar (depending on how sweet you want your aam papad)
Black salt- 1/4 tsp (my MIL adds little black pepper as well)
ghee/oil for greasing tray


Procedure
aam papad/ mango slices


  1. Cut mangoes into small pieces or you may use a chopper.
  2. Mix sugar, salt with the slices and run into a blender.
  3. Take a pan and pour this mango puree into it.
  4. Stir constantly on a slow to medium flame for 10 mins or until the mixture has thickened and forms almost like a mass.
  5. Take out the mixture in a greased plate.
  6. Pat with a spatula or spoon and flatten it like a chapati.
  7. Sun dry it for a day or two. Cut into slices and relish these tasty bites!
  8. Enjoy these home made aam papad or mango slices.
  9. You'll never have to buy aam papad from the market again.



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