Posted in Beverages, Kitchen 101, Recipes

Aam Panna and the fragrance of Mango Blossoms!

Hello you lovely souls who are ready this! Happy Holi! I am one of those odd folks who don’t really enjoy Thandai, not sure why, I just dont. So I will quite fix myself an Aam Panna this Holi. And for quite some days to follow. Well, as loyas the green mangoes last I suppose. I will be honest, growing up, I never was much wowed by Aam Panna or Keri no Baaflo | , કેરીનો બાફલો as it is known in Gujarati. But I guess appreciation for simple things comes to most of us much later in life. Summer is in full swing in Bengaluru, so naturally tart, beautiful green Totapuri Mangoes have flooded the market. But back home in Gujarat, people usually don’t start consuming green mangoes before Holi. It is customary to first offer one tiny green mango to the communal, sacred Holi bonfire and then is usually consumed. The most popular way of consuming the first, tiny, extremely tart mangoes at the very beginning of the season is by making a fresh mango pickle called Mohariya | મોહોરીયા from the lovely mango blossom fragrance from these tiny mangoes. We both love the fresh pickle but then how much pickle can one consume in the summer heat. So for the in house Totapuri fan, I made a concentrate of sorts to make Aam Panna. The process is very basic and I will add the recipe in comments below. Stored refrigerated, it will stay good for about 5 days to a week. While the rest of the ingredients are pretty straightforward and customisable, I would recommend not skipping the few strands of saffron because of the lovely aroma it imparts to the drink. I picked up this way of adding saffron, ground to a powder with crystalline sugar, from a middle Eastern dessert YouTube video ages ago. It is supposedly releases maximum flavours from the strands and no wastage of flavours happen when used this way. When want to fix yourself a glass of Aam Panna, just mix 1 part of the concentrate to 5 parts of water. You can ofcourse adjust this based on how sweet/tart you make the concentrate.

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Posted in Kitchen 101, Recipes

Stuffed Parantha Masala!

Finally getting around to updating this recipe on the blog. I tried this recipe on a dear dear friend Anuja’s, recommendation and loved the fresh flavour it brought to my paranthas. A few pointers before you try this recipe. This is not meant to be radically different from YOUR way of seasoning the parantha filling. If you @ me in your comments cooing “Oh but I do it this exact way all the time! ” with an implied “There is nothing new here!”  then well, I am sincerely delighted for you ( no sarcasm here ) but FAIR warning, I am going to ignore your comment. You might as well stop reading further right now, right away. I don’t mean to claim that this is the best seasoning in the world, nor is it revolutionary. I liked something and I am sharing this for the interest of people who showed interest and who were up for trying out something new for fun, not for people who want to make it a competition about whose masala is better. It is only for folks who are curious. You might already be using 80% of the ingredients I mention here. With that out of way, I will get to the good things. I added this to a potato stir fry I made and it tasted excellent, a fresh flavour to my good, but always tasting the same Aloo ki Sabzi. I have a gut feeling, it will taste great on roasted veggies too. I have tried to recreate/reverse engineer this using the list of ingredients I read on the pack of a store-bought Parantha Masala from MDH. I haven’t used all the ingredients mentioned on the pack though, because I like to use things like ginger garlic in its fresh form. I will share more of my experiments with it on Instagram! Cheers!

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Posted in Breakfast, Dips, Raitas and Sides, Kitchen 101, Recipes

Brahmins Coffee Bar Style Coconut Chutney – you know Bengaluru has grown onto you! <3

If you have stayed in Bangalore for more than a year now, and if you haven’t even heard about Brahmins Coffee Bar, it would be a sacrilege. Brahmins Coffee Bar is one of the iconic eateries of Bangalore, in the league of Vidhyarthi Bhavan and Mavalli Tiffin Rooms (MTR), that has been serving Bangalore Tiffin Food for quite a while now. By the word Tiffin,  I mean light, healthy and quick to serve and eat snacks that are usually devoured by people for breakfast or between the meals / 4 pm snacks. There are many such wonderful places apart from the two that I have mentioned above and I would probably need another blog post to do them adequate justice.

Anyway, talking more about the Brahmins Coffee Bar, the thing about this place is that it has only 5 items on the menu, yes you read it right, only 5 items. They are: Idli, Vada, Khara Bath, Kesari Bath and Filter Coffee. Also, They serve everything with only their special Coconut chutney. No Sambhar is served. But the chutney more than makes up for the lack of Sambhar. It is light green in colour, smooth in texture and of pouring consistency. Take my word for it: ditch the spoon and dig into the plate of steaming idli and piping hot Vada with your finger. Break a piece, dunk, gulp and repeat.

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Posted in Kitchen 101, Recipes

Karivepillai / Karivepaaku Podi or Curry Leaf Podi!

Before I get into the details of what went into this Podi, I will do a short rant on what are Podis. If you are a native of Southern India or have lived there for a reasonable period of time, you would definitely be familiar with this, if not already crazily fond of this the way I am. Podi is a dry spice mix frequently used as a condiment over steamed rice, dosas, and idlis. There are numerous variants of this beautiful fragrant spice mix and infinite variations in the recipes, but basically, Podi consists any combination of dry roasted lentils, peanuts, red chilli powder and aromatic spices like coriander seeds, cumin, mustard seeds and asafoetida. Since it is dry roasted and ground, it stays unspoilt of a reasonable amount of time and hence is a preferred accompaniment to idlis and dosas while travelling.

The variant that I made last night has curry leaves as the base ingredient. Now, I am neither qualified nor knowledgeable enough to rant about the nutritional values of curry leaves, but a quick google search will tell you all that you want to know. Or, if you are lazy like me, just think of a few generic words like antioxidants, rich in iron, good for hair, skin and nails, etc. I think you get the gist. Also, this recipe solved a logistics issue for me. Now, anyone who stocks a basic Indian pantry will know how difficult it is to preserve these fragrant leaves beyond a certain period of time. And so, this recipe was God send. Okay, Kindle sent, technically speaking, but yes, essentially I mean I found at just at the right time.

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Karivepillai / Karivepaaku ( Curry Leaf ) Podi – My first DIY/from scratch Podi and I am loving it! It smells good, is slightly coarser than the regular, store bought ones and took me 15 mins in total, what's not to love! The recipe is from Chandra Padmanabhan's Dakshin with a few tweaks like using the coriander seed powder instead of seeds because I did not have them at hand. Frustrated with the curry the curry leaves turning bad in the fridge, no matter how much I care for them, I finally took the plunge last night. Call it beginner's luck, but I am encouraged to try the the other podis in the book now! And next time, I will use all the ingredients whole. 😎 #homemadepodi #curryleaf #karuvepilai #diy #fromscratch #chandrapadmanabhan #dakshinthecookbook #accompaniment #diylove #spicemix #podi #chutneypodi #chutneypowder #homemademasala #southindianfare #happinessishomemade #chutneypudi #curryleafpowder

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Posted in Breakfast, Kitchen 101, Recipes

Ragi Idli ~ A lil bit of healthy stuff!

Trying out new fruits, vegetables and grains is one of my new fascinations. So, I decided to try out Ragi, also know as Finger Millets. Millets are way more nutritious compared to wheat and polished rice, so I thought why not try it out! I am citing this off internet after a quick Google search but some of its health benefits are:

  • Aids weight loss ( Well, who doesn’t want that! )
  • Is rich in Calcium and Iron ( I can definitely do with some of that stuff )
  • Is a good source of Tryptophan, which is a relaxant ( Ha ha, welcome any weekday/working day )
  • Is a decent source of proteins and fibre ( bring em on!)

Enough of reasons, lets get to making it!

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Ragi / Finger Millet Idli with Molagapodi and Filter Kaapi for Breakfast – breakfast 44 of #100happybreakfasts ! The idlis were way softer than my expectations and it does feel too heavy or chewy or anything unpleasant while eating. A little grainy but nothing irritating! Best eaten hot, but they weren't too bad cold either. The batter is made in the same way as normal idli batter with whole Ragi grain, Gota Urad Daal and Rice in 2:1:1 proportion. You may use ragi flour and skip the grinding. I used the whole grain because I am not very sure about the quality and purity of the Ragi flour that was available in my neighborhood store. Citing the internet, Ragi is rich in fibre, calcium, vitamin D and tryptophan, a relaxant. Well, since it is Monday, I am not complaining! 😉 #ragi #fingermillet #nagli #idli #ragiidli #molagapodi #filtercoffee #millets #rice #lentils #vegetarian #vegan #glutenfree #paleo #whatsonmyplate #whatsforbreakfast #lensplated #myblrbrkfst #myblr #srujans100happybreakfasts #healthyyetdelicious #healthybreakfast #healthybreakfastclub

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Posted in Breakfast, Kitchen 101

Idli Batter / Idli Maavu and How to make plain Idlis – Trust me this is a lifesaver, err… or atleast breakfast saver!

Every since I have made this switch to eating a freshly cooked breakfast instead of something out of a packet (read cereals, cookies, rusk, toast), planning meals is a bigger challenge. Well, I am not 100% successful, but there is a huge difference in my eating pattern, more than enough to motivate me to stay on track.

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