Instant Bajra (Kambu)Dosa

If you normally like dosas, I’m sure you would love this one. This instant dosa has been a super hit at my place. The hubby and the girls love it equally. I feel the reason behind its success is its flavor. All millets are flavorful and according to me, bajra tops the list. The flavor burst during your first bite is undeniable.

The fact that it is instant gives me an option for mornings when I haven’t planned in advance. But beware, each dosa takes a couple of minutes (much longer than a normal one) on the tawa! You’ve got to give the dosa the time it deserves on the hot tawa, for a crispy, golden, flavourful outcome.


Bajra – 1 cup

Rice flour – 1 cup

Jeera – 1 teaspoon

Onions – ¼ cup (finely chopped)

Green chillies – 1 (finely chopped)

Coriander leaves – a few sprigs (finely chopped)

Coconut – 2 tablespoons (grated)

Water – to make a runny batter

Salt – as needed


Mix all the above ingredients to make a thin, runny batter. Heat the tawa. Give a good mix to the batter, take a ladle full and pour it on to the hot tawa from a height of about 2 inches. This makes the batter form several pores as it touches the tawa. Ensure you pour the batter equally all around the tawa and the batter is connected among the pores (else you will end up with several dosas instead of one 😊). Add a spoon of oil and cook until the dosa turns light golden brown. Flip on to other side, add another spoon of oil and cook for one more minute. Your crispy bajra dosa is ready to enjoy!

*The tawa should be very hot before pouring the batter.

* It should be well-seasoned and non-sticky.

Know Your Ingredient


Bajra/Pearl millet is a milletcommonly grown in the rural areas of North & South India. It is a drought resistant crop and thus has a lesser chance of failure. Hence farmers who choose to grow Bajra are assured of their crop even when the monsoon fails, making it more profitable for them.

Bajra is not only beneficial for the farmers but also for us, the consumers. It is 10 times richer in calcium than wheat. That’s a solid reason for us to switch to bajra dosa dinners for at least a couple of days in a week. Isn’t it?

Bajra is a good source of iron. It is low in Glycemic index and is one of the most wonderful foods for diabetics. The high level of magnesium in bajra helps in controlling glucose receptors in the body.

Bajra is rich in insoluble fibre and in turn helps in better digestion. If you are looking at decreasing the risk of stones in your gall bladder, add more of bajra in your diet as it reduces the secretion of bile acids.

Bajrais gluten free and hence is a great option for people with celiac disease.

Type Grain
Form Flour
How to Buy If you are buying the grain,look for fresh, moisture free, insect free grain. If you are buying the flour,check the date of packaging and buy the freshest pack available.
Storage Bajra flour tends to become rancid quickly. The flour can be stored for 1-2 months at normal temperature and if you are looking to store it for a longer period, you can freeze it.

Fermented RagiKoozh (KeppaiKoozh/Millet Porridge)


I have to thank my helper lady for this wonderful recipe. She is from a village where hard labour used to be the order of the day and she was literally brought up on food like this. Even now, after moving to a city, she is very fond of this koozh and can survive on this for days together. She says this koozh is what keeps her going. I cannot but mention that she is a highly active, hard working woman even at the age of 65. This sums up how nutritious this koozh is.

Ok, what is fermentation?

When you ask this question to Google, it throws up a million answers. Here I have tried to simplify it for you. Fermentation is a process where molecules in food (such as sugar and carbohydrates) are broken down into carbon di oxide and other organic acids under anaerobic (absence of free oxygen) conditions. Fermentation can be called as a process where bacteria and yeast pre-digest your food, making it easy on your digestive system and also making the nutrition more readily available for your body to absorb. If you’re still trying to understand what fermentation is all about, it’s time to think of some examples of fermented food. Very common ones include curd (dahi), most pickles (not the store-bought variety), and idli-dosa batter (what do you think is happening when the batter rises – fermentation!).

Fermentation is a simple process which can be done by anyone, anywhere. In this case, to ferment for porridge, you just need a clean container with lid, and of course a bit of patience.:)


Keppai/ Ragi (Finger Millet) flour – 1 cup

Water –3 cups to cook porridge and 3/4 cup to make a runny paste

Salt – to taste

Cooked rice – a few spoons (optional)

Onions and green chilies – optional


Mix ragi with just enough water to make a runny paste and keep it closed for 12 – 24 hours for fermentation. After 12 – 24 hours, boil 3 cups of water separately and add the ragi paste, cooked rice(if using) and salt. Stir and cook until the ragi becomes soft and turns into a homogenous, thick mixture. The porridge thickens further on cooling. Now, this mixture is ready to consume immediately. You can also let it cool and keep it closed for 2- 3 days to facilitate further fermentation. To consume, take a portion of the mixture, add enough water or buttermilk to dilute to the consistency you need. You can also add chopped onions and green chilies.

*Cooked rice is traditionally added for texture. I too like the texture of this porridge with added cooked rice. Let me know how you like it.

Fermented porridges are quite common all across the globe. Each place has its own local ingredients (mostly grains) fermented and made into porridge. They offer many nutritional benefits and are also filling. The porridges are mostly made by soaking whole grains (broken/milled into flour) for up to 36 hours. This facilitates 1st level fermentation and then it is cooked.  After cooking, the porridge is stored for fermentation up to 36 hours. Porridges are generally good for health and fermenting adds to the nutrition as well as makes it easily digestible. So, here are some fermented porridges from around the world:

Uji – A Kenyan fermented porridge using corn meal

Kishk – A fermented Arab dish made from wheat and milk

Nuruk – Made from whole wheat, rice or barley in Korea. It is used as a fermentation starter.

Koji – A Japanese fermented porridge made from glutinous rice, wheat and sometimes soybean to produce the starter culture which is used to ferment various other food products.

Fermented Oatmeal – Popular in Ireland and other countries where oatmeal is grown locally.

And our own ragi koozh.

Here are some links you can follow to know more about fermentation and fermented porridges:

Know Your Ingredient

Ragi (Finger Millet)

Ragi is a whole grain which is gluten free. It is widely used,and even considered a staple in some parts of south India. It is rich in fiber and packed with calcium, vitamin D and amino acids. It helps in controlling diabetes. It is a rich source of iron, making it a great food for those with anemia.

Type Grain
Form Flour
How to Buy If you are buying the grain,look for fresh, moisture free, insect free grain.

If you are buying the flour,check the date of packaging and buy the freshest pack.

Storage The flour can be stored for 3-4 months at normal temperature and if you are looking to store it for a longer period, you can freeze it.


Thandai Panna Cotta


Panna cotta is an Italian dessert which literally means cooked cream. It is a mildly flavoured combination of sweetened milk and cream set with an agent like gelatin. I’m vegetarian and hence, I used Agar Agar (china grass) instead of gelatin. Even a simple payasam can be set into a panna cotta. I know it sounds weird. But, you should try it to believe me. Add some soaked Agar Agar to hot payasam. Mix well. Pour into individual cups and set in the refrigerator for 4 – 5 hours. Your payasam panna cotta is ready!

Taking this concept forward, I tried the holi ka thandai and made panna cotta out of it. The result was mind blowing. The creaminess of thandai set into tiny glasses and chilled is a match truly made in heaven. Try it and experience the awesomeness.



Milk – 500 ml

Cashew – 1 tablespoon

Melon seeds – 1 tablespoon

Almonds – 1 tablespoon

Pepper – 1 teaspoon

Fennel – 1 teaspoon

Saffron – 1 pinch

Cinnamon – 1 tiny piece

Cardamom – 5 numbers

Rose petals – 1 tablespoon (dried)

Sugar – 4-5 tablespoons

Agar Agar – 4 -5 grams (soaked for minimum 10 minutes)

*Agar Agar is commonly available in a 10 gram pack. So, half of the pack would be perfect for this recipe


Add all the ingredients except Agar Agar to milk and boil on low flame for around 20 minutes. Strain the milk and grind the well-cooked nuts and spices to a smooth paste. Meanwhile, soak Agar Agar in a few spoons of water. Add the nuts and spices paste back into milk along with soaked Agar Agar and give the mixture a boil by stirring constantly. Pour into individual portions (or shot glasses) and refrigerate for atleast 4 hours. Serve chilled.

*Adding the whole nuts and spices to milk helps in reducing constant stirring. It also helps in grinding the nuts and spices to a smooth paste.


Know Your Ingredient

Agar Agar


Agar Agar, also called china grass, is a gelatinous substance made from red algae. It is a vegetarian substitute for gelatin. It is used to set foods like puddings and jelly. It is tasteless and takes on the taste of whatever it is mixed with, thus, giving you many possibilities.

Agar Agar is a good source of iron and helps in fighting anaemia. It is rich in many important micro-nutrients and also an excellent source of fiber. It is also rich in calcium and manganese.

Agar Agar is free from sugar, carbohydrates and fat and it provides a lot more vitamins and minerals than gelatin.

So, who knew Agar Agar is so healthy. Come on! This one reason is enough to use it in our desserts and make mind blowing flavours look and feel as yummy as they get!

Type Gelatinous substance used to set puddings
Form Comes in three forms – bar, flakes or powder. Bar and flakes are more common in India.
How to Buy Check the date of manufacture for the freshest pack.
Storage Stays well for months in room temperature.


You can find more useful information about Agar Agar on


Sweet Potato Paratha

Flat bread stuffed with spiced, sweet potato mash. Though it is a fancy explanation, this dish is just a healthy cousin of the well-loved aloo paratha. Most people wouldn’t even find the difference this paratha and its potato version. It’s yummy and nutritious. Give it a try!


For the filling

Sweet potato – 1 medium(boiled and mashed)

Horse gram sprouts – 2 spoons (steamed)

Onions – 1 medium (finely chopped)

Green chillies – 1-2 small (finely minced)

Red chilli powder – ¼ teaspoon

Garam masala – ½ teaspoon

Jeera powder – ½ teaspoon

Coriander powder – ½ teaspoon

Amchoor(dry mango) powder – ¼ teaspoon

Salt – as needed

Fresh coriander – 1 teaspoon (finely chopped)

For the dough

Whole wheat flour – 2 cups

Salt – as needed

Water – to knead into smooth, firm dough

IMG_20170316_192618 (1)


Mix flour, salt and water to make a firm, smooth dough.  Keep aside for at least 20 minutes. Meanwhile, to make the filling, mash or grate the boiled sweet potatoes. Add steamed sprouts and mash again. Add the other ingredients mentioned for filling in the ingredients list, making sure that items like onion and green chillies are free from extra moisture. Mix well. Your filling is ready.

Take a lemon sized ball of the whole wheat dough and shape it into a large cup using your fingers. Take an almost equal quantity of filling. Place it in the dough cup and bring the edges together so that the dough completely covers the filling. Roll this filled cup in your hands to form a ball, dust the filled ball with flour and roll it into parathas using light strokes (without exerting pressure). Heat a pan and cook the parathas on both sides with oil or ghee.


* The sweet potatoes have to be mashed well. Otherwise, you will find it difficult to roll out the parathas. I find that grating the boiled potatoes makes the filling finer, thereby the rolling out easier.

* I have added steamed horse gram sprouts for extra nutrition. You can replace that with other small sized sprouts or omit adding sprouts. It will not hamper the taste of parathas.

* Onions, green chillies and coriander should be chopped finely. This, again, ensures easy rolling of parathas.

* Ensure the ingredients are free of any extra moisture. Otherwise the parathas will turn out soggy.

* The spices mentioned in this recipe are basically of my choice. You can adjust according to your taste and preferences.

Know Your Ingredient


pic courtesy:


Sweet potato is an underground tuber and grows on the root of the plant. It is rich in fiber and highly nutritious. It’s also rich in beta carotene, which gets transformed to vitamin A in the body.

It is an excellent food for people looking to gain healthy weight and hence a great option for kids (well, my kids 😉).

Sweet potatoes are rich in zinc, magnesium and vitamin B complex making it an excellent food for managing arthritis.

They also have high levels of potassium, which helps in maintaining a healthy blood pressure level.

Choline, a nutrient present in sweet potatoes, is a water soluble, vitamin-like nutrient which is important for liver function, brain development, muscle movement and nerve function.

Now, you know why sweet potatoes can be considered a super health food.Feel free to add it in large quantities to your daily diet. Check out the table below on how to buy and store sweet potatoes.

Type Vegetable
Form Fresh
How to Buy Look for firm, heavy (for their size) potatoes which are free from bruises, soft spots or sprouts.
Storage Store in a cool, dry place away from moisture. Stays good for up to two weeks. Do not refrigerate.


Pumpkin and Flax Seed Thuvayal (Chutney)

pumpkin, flaxseed thogayal1It is a challenge for me to include seeds such as flax seeds in everyday diet. So it feels good when I stumble upon a new idea to include something as nutritious as flax seed in as simple dish as thuvayal / chutney. Combined with pumpkin, this creates a super tasty and nutritious dish rich in Omega 3 fatty acids.

Thuvayal is a vegetable mash; kind of a thick chutney normally made from vegetables and(or) coconut, and eaten with rice. Thuvayals are wonderful in that they make it super easy to include any veggie in your meal. And flax seeds add a wonderful texture to the thuvayal. You should try it to feel the richness of the texture.


Pumpkin – 250 grams (de-skinned and chopped)

Flax seed – 50 grams (roasted)

Urad Dal – 1 tablespoon

Curry Leaves – 20 numbers

Tamarind – a tiny bit

Dry Red Chillies – 3 or 4 (according to desired level of spiciness)

Oil – as needed

Salt – to taste


Dry roast the flax seeds and keep aside. Cook the chopped pumpkin without water either by flashcooking* or in an open pan. Heat enough oil in a pan. Add urad dal, chillies, tamarind and curry leaves. Once urad dal turns golden brown, take the urad dal, curry leaves out and keep aside.

In a blender/mixer jar, add the cooked pumpkin, roasted flax seeds, tamarind and chillies. Blend to a smooth paste. Now add the urad dal and just whirr for a few seconds. This adds crunch to the thuvayal. Finally, add the roasted curry leaves for garnish.

pumpkin, flaxseed thogayal-collage

*Flash cooking is an OPOS® technique of cooking food at the highest possible heat for the lowest possible time. This produces dramatic results. It heightens the flavour, colour, and texture of the food, and promises greater nutrition.

pumpkin, flaxseed thogayal

Know Your Ingredient

Flax seed,also called linseed, comes from a crop which is also grown for its fiber, linen. Linen is the oldest plant fiber grown by mankind. Flax seed is a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids. It is high in fiber and low in carbohydrates, making it ideal for weight watchers. This also helps in lowering LDL cholesterol and supports heart health.

Flax seeds are high in antioxidants. A component called lignan in flax seed supports the growth of probiotics (good bacteria) in your gut, thus making your digestion better and immunity stronger. Flax seeds are the richest source of lignan. Sesame seeds come second only with about 1/7th of the lignans present in flax seeds. Lignans also help in treating hormonal imbalance. So, include flaxseeds in your everyday meal and reap its numerous benefits while enjoying its nutty flavor.

Type Seed
Form Whole, Dried
How to Buy Always check ‘best to use by’ date to ensure freshness. Prefer opaque packaging as light promotes spoilage in flax seeds.
Storage The whole seeds can be stored in a cool, dark place for a year. The ground / powdered flax seeds that are available in the market have to be refrigerated. When stored at room temperature, they go rancid within a few weeks.


Home made Peanut Butter


Imagine a morning, you snoozed your alarm couple of times and for some odd reason it failed to go off again. You wake up well past your usual time and have nothing ready to prepare breakfast. The kids are also in a sleepy mode and whine at the idea of plain bread toast for breakfast. I’m sure most of you can relate to this.

Being the super health conscious mom, I try to keep homemade peanut butter in the pantry. It comes in handy in these situations and gives a perfect kick start to a busy day.

Once you try it at home, I am sure you will never go back to the store bought version for three reasons. 1. It is extremely easy and 2. It is super tasty and 3. It has absolutely zero preservatives, additives or added flavours.


Peanuts – 1 ½ cups (roasted and peeled)

Salt – ½ teaspoon (or more to taste)

Sugar – 2 tablespoons (adjust according to your preference)

Oil – 2 tablespoons (I used peanut oil)


Blend everything in a mixer or blender until smooth. If you like your peanut butter chunky, keep aside half a cup of peanuts before blending. You can add this at the end and blend for just a few seconds.

If you don’t get roasted peanuts in a store near you, you can roast them yourself by spreading on a plate and microwaving on high for approximately 5 minutes.


Know Your Ingredient

Peanut, also known as groundnut, is one of the healthiest foods.  Peanuts are a good source of vitamin E, manganese, niacin and folate. They are also rich in protein and monounsaturated fats. This kind of fat makes it a great food for heart health. Among a host of other health benefits, peanuts offer an excellent source of resveratrol, a polyphenolic antioxidant which helps in cancer prevention, reduced risk of stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.  So, what’s stopping you? Go indulge yourself with a handful of peanuts.

Type Technically legume; a nut for common culinary purposes
Form Dried
How to Buy Look for a fresh pack which has been stored in clean, moisture free environment. Check if the nuts are whole and are not cracked.
Storage Store in a cool, airtight container. Peanuts can be refrigerated for longer shelf life.

Roasted Peanuts and Pumpkin Soup

I first tasted this soup in an Italian restaurant and the flavour was just mind blowing. I had to come back home and search all of Google to get the various versions. Finally, I came up with my own version which is not just awesome but is also healthy and made from scratch. Okay, I know I am praising myself here. But, try for yourself and do let me know. I’m sure, just like me, you too would love this soup.


Soup topped with crushed peanuts. Can you see charred bits?


Ingredients you would need:

Pumpkin – 250 grams

Roasted and de-skinned peanuts – 30 grams (or just a handful)

Garlic – 2 pods

Butter – 1 tablespoon

Onions – ¼ cup (sliced)

Oregano (or any Italian seasoning) – 2 teaspoons

Cream – 2 tablespoons

Milk – ¼ cup or as desired to bring the soup to the required consistency

Salt – to taste

Pepper – to taste

Bread croutons – for garnishing


Main ingredients at a glance


Chop the pumpkins into medium sized squares. If you like the smoked flavour (I love it!), char a couple of pieces on an open flame after brushing with oil. Keep aside.


Char your way to glory!


Add some butter to a small 2 or 3 litre pressure cooker. Lightly roast the garlic and onions. Add in the pumpkin pieces. Top up with ¼ cup of water. Close the lid and set the pressure valve. Cook for 3 whistles on high flame. Turn off the flame and let the pressure settle.

Add the peanuts to a blender or mixer jar. Blend till the peanuts are powdered fine. Add in the cooked pieces of pumpkin (including the charred pieces) along with the onion and garlic. Blend till everything comes together. Add milk and cream to bring the soup to the consistency you like. Add salt and pepper.  Serve with bread croutons.


Roasted Peanut with Pumpkin Soup. just the golden beauty without char!


Know Your Ingredient

Pumpkin is a highly versatile vegetable. Just cook pumpkin pieces and blend till smooth. Your pumpkin puree is ready to go into a whole lot of dishes. Pumpkin is used right from our South Indian sambar and kootu through many global cuisines (it goes into the making of pies, breads, soups and even desserts). Pumpkin is one of the most nutrient-rich easily homemade baby foods in the world.

Pumpkin is super rich in vitamin A (which aids in better vision and eyesight). The vegetable, being rich in potassium, is a great source of energy. It is also rich in Vitamin C, which greatly helps with immunity.  Eating this vegetable is a great way to lose weight as it is rich in fiber and low in calories.

Type Vegetable
Form Fresh
How to Buy Check for firmness of skin and flesh. If you are looking to buy just a piece cut out of the whole pumpkin, ensure that it was cut not more than a few hours earlier.
Storage Store the cut pumpkin without covering/cling wrap in the refrigerator. This way, it will not rot. While using, just cut the outer dried out layer and use the rest. It will be as good as fresh. Pumpkin puree can be frozen for almost a month. If you have lots of pumpkin, puree might be a good way to store it.


Barley Risotto

Barley Risotto

I tend to think of risotto as the Italian cousin to our very own pulav. The arborio rice used in risotto is a starchy variety which, when cooked, gives a beautiful creamy texture to the dish. When we think of an ingredient to replace arborio rice in risotto, nothing comes close to barley. This recipe helps barley to cook into a nice sticky texture, which in turn helps get the perfect risotto.

I was introduced to barley by my physician who explained its various benefits and asked me to take it. I started consuming the water boiled with barley and later moved on to using the grains as a salad. Recently, one day, I suddenly had this brainwave, and thought, “why not make barley risotto using the OnePotOneShot method?”. So I did, and voila!, what a brilliant dish it turned out to be!1468542726428


Barley – 1 cup

Sweet corn kernels – ¼ cup

Basil – ½ cup (chopped)

Garlic – 2 to 5 pods (minced)

Water – 4 cups or more

Oregano – for seasoning

Olive oil – 1 tablespoon or more

Butter – 1 teaspoon

Cheese – ½ cup (grated)

Salt – to taste

Crushed almonds and chilli flakes – to garnish

In a pressure cooker, brush the bottom with butter and olive oil. Layer sweet corn, garlic and basil over the greased bottom. Top it with washed barley grains and water. Add salt. Drop the cheese into the cooker. Shut the cooker, put the valve on and cook it on high for 3 whistles.  Expect to be amazed when you open the cooker. You should be looking at the perfectly cooked, gooey, creamy risotto cooked in one shot. Garnish with whatever you like. And, don’t forget to enjoy!


Add veggies of your choice

Add flavourings of your choice


Know Your Ingredient

I cannot brag enough about the health benefits of barley. It is nothing short of a so-called super food.

Barley is a versatile cereal with a nutty flavour. It is rich in fibre and a good source of various nutrients like manganese, selenium, copper, phosphorous, magnesium, niacin and vitamin B1.

Barley helps control constipation and lower cholesterol. It also lowers the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. It also prevents gallstones because of its high insoluble fibre.

I always make it a point to include barley grains in my mix for multi grain roti flour (yep, I grind the flour at home… that’s a topic for another post). Barley flour can be added to any bread or cake flour to get an interesting, sweet, nutty flavour to these baked goodies. The grains can also be added to soups and salads to give a rich texture. Go ahead; improve your health by including barley in your diet.

Type Grain
Form Whole
How to Buy Make sure the grains are free of moisture and are stored well
Storage Store in a cool, dry place. If you live in a warm, humid area, you can refrigerate it.


For more info on barley:


Green Peas Crispies (Microwave)

photo 1

Sunday and snacking don’t go together for me. I’m talking just about the preparing part and not the eating of course. So when it comes to Sundays and snacks, I have got to make it in advance. So this recipe comes in handy.

I was inspired by Jenna of Delicious Daydreamers. She had posted the roasted chick pea and we had even discussed if it could be done on a microwave. So last Saturday I tried it using the microwave and it turned out super crisp! The lazy me, I reserved it for Sunday snacking without the hassle of even going into the kitchen. Not that it is difficult to do it on a Sunday, but having something healthy to snack without entering the kitchen is surely tempting.


Whole dry peas – 100 grams

Oil – 2 teaspoons

Salt – as per taste

Seasoning/spices (you may experiment widely with this)

I used:

Chilli powder – ½ teaspoon

Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon

Cumin or Jeera powder – ¼ teaspoon

Coriander powder – ¼ teaspoon

photo 2

Soak the peas in water for 8-10 hours. Drain the water and dry it on a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Spread it on a plate and microwave on high for about 2 minutes. Take it out and add oil, salt and the various spices and microwave on high till it is crisp. You might have to wait until it cools down to check if it has turned crispy. If you feel it is not as crispy as you want, microwave for a few seconds more for it to reach the perfectness that you expect. It took 8.5 minutes in my microwave with 100% power (i.e. 900 watts).  Adjust the timing according to your microwave, but be careful, since even 1 minute more than necessary in the microwave could turn your beautiful roasted peas into burnt ones. So it is always better to set a shorter time in the microwave, check the crispness of the peas, and then put them back if they are not done.

Crisp and healthy snack is ready to serve.

Know Your Ingredient

Dried whole peas is the fully mature, dried form of fresh peas. This legume, like others, is very rich in soluble fibre and hence helps lower cholesterol. Dried peas are the perfect substitute when fresh peas are not available.

Type Legume
Form Dried
How to Buy Pre-packed dry peas are available in stores. Check for impurities and bugs before buying.
Storage Always store in an airtight container in a cool and dry place. Refrigerate or rather freeze them to increase the shelf life drastically.
Usage Soak them for 8 -10 hours before cooking. If you don’t have that much time, soak it in hot water for 2 -3 hours.