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Showing posts with label No onion No garlic recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label No onion No garlic recipes. Show all posts

Monday, May 2, 2016

PANAKAM ~ A Traditional Healthy Drink

Panakam is a traditional drink prepared in Indian households, particularly South India. One of the ancient recipes prepared by our ancestors to consume during summer and also distributed in temples on special occasions in summer. Panakam is a delicious combination of jaggery, tamarind juice, dry ginger powder and cardamom. The ingredients used tell us a lot about the wise choice and knowledge our ancestors possessed about what they consumed according to the season. Each of the ingredients used has its own health benefit and most importantly it balances the three doshas of our body.

I would call it an instant refreshing thirst quencher and definitely a healthy option when compared to Colas and other aerated drinks. It is prepared during Rama Navami festival (Birth of Lord Rama) as Neivedhyam (offering to God) in large quantities and distributed to all.

Refreshing, delicious. body coolant, thirst quencher, healthy, simple ingredients, no cook drink - Do we need another reason to prepare it? Here comes my twist to this wonderful drink, without spoiling its original taste at the same time not compromising on the healthy ingredients.

I had a good stock of lemons at home (a usual for summer) and wanted to put it to good use. Lemonade is nice but  I hate monotony! At the same time, I din't want to use it in cooking, I was looking for a drink. Ah! why not replace tamarind juice and prepare panakam was the instant thought. All excited to experiment, I started juicing the lemons but ho, I ran out of jaggery! Not wanting to use sugar, I used palm sugar syrup, which I prepare and store to use when required for sweet dishes. Also, it will give the colour which tamarind juice gives if I had used that. Enough said, let me give you the recipe now.


Lemon - 3
Palm sugar syrup - 1/2 cup (adjust according to tatse)
Water - 31/2 cups (adjust according to taste)
Dry ginger powder - a pinch
Cardamom - 3-4  


Cut the lemon and remove the seeds, squeeze the lemon by hand or using a sqeezer. Pour the lemon juice in a wide vessel or bowl and mix the palm sugar syrup using a spoon. Add water and give it a good mix. Please adjust the syrup and water according to your taste. Add the dry ginger powder. Using a mortar and pestle, pound the cardamom and add it to the juice. Mix well and serve. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016


Curd rice completes a meal, at least for South Indians. This humble dish is a comfort food that we all love with or without any accompaniment. Thayir Sadam, as we call in Tamil is a delicacy and loved by all . We usually make curd rice with rice and sometimes with vermicille (bagala bath) and present it in different ways ~ we temper it with cumin and mustard, add fruits, veggies or consume as it is. 

Here, I've used millets to prepare the curd rice. Millets have a lot of health benefits and it's suitable for all age groups. I've already shared a millet recipe - one pot sambhar rice. Here's another simple and tasty one from my kitchen. At home, mom prepares curd rice by mashing the rice well and adds more milk than curd so it's never sour even if we have it late. It also gives it a rich and creamy taste. I've incorporated the same method here just that I've added milk while cooking the rice itself instead of adding it to cooked rice. 

This is made with Barnyard millet but you're free to choose the millet variety of your choice. If you're using rice instead of millet then cook it in a pressure cooker with water in 3:1 ratio i.e 3 cups water for 1 cup rice because we're looking for a mushy consistency. Once the rice is cooked, mash it further adding milk and temper!  


Barnyard millet - 1/2 cup
Milk - 1/2 cup
Thick curd/yoghurt - 1/4 cup
Water (to cook millet) - 1 + 1/4 cup
Salt to taste

For Temering
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Urad dhal - 1 tsp
Dry Red chili - 2 
Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp 
Curry leaves - 6
Coriander - chopped finely for garnish


Wash the millet in water for about 5-6 times. This recipe uses Barnyard Millet, feel free to use any variety of your choice. Add the millet, water and required salt in a vessel or boiling pot and keep it on high until it boils. After the first roaring boil, slow down the heat, add the milk and keep mashing until all the liquid is absorbed by the millet. This will take about 7 minutes. Switch off the heat, mash the millet further with a wooden ladle. Check for salt and add the yoghurt. Give it a good mix. 

In a small pan, heat oil, add mustard, cumin, urad dhal, dry chili and once the mustard splutters and the urad dhal has become light brown add the asafoetida and curry leaves. A quick stir and add to the curd rice. Transfer it to the serving bowl and garnish with chopped coriander. 

You can add grated carrots, pomegranate or chopped ginger if you prefer. It enhances the taste. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016


Potato is one versatile vegetable and loved by all. From soup to desserts it can be used in all! So here's another recipe with the versatile potato. Potato fingers is a good old recipe and I've already posted one of my Potato Fingers recipe but this one is a little spicy and different from that. Try it out, it's very simple to prepare. A very good evening snack recipe that can be had with rice preparations too.


Potatoes - 3 medium size
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Corn flour - 2 tsp


Wash, peel and cut the potatoes into long strips. In a bowl add chilli powder, salt and corn flour. Mix well. Heat oil and fry immediately. Serve hot. Add corn flour if you're going to fry it immediately otherwise add when you're going to fry them. 

Saturday, January 30, 2016


I love salads and these pasta salads are my favourite for it's simplicity and taste. These salads are kept on all the buffets these days! As usual, I wanted to re-create that at home just by tasting and without finding out what actually goes in. I usually do such experiments at home, sometimes, it's a hit and at times it's a miss. Don't worry! I share only the hit ones here.

Here's my recipe for the pasta salad, try it out and I'm sure you'll love it. It's a cold salad, so chill it before you serve. Also, do add your favourite seasoning or veggies to it if you prefer.


Pasta - 100 gms (I've used Penne)
Fresh cream - 1 tbsp
Eggless Mayonnaise - 1 tbsp
Cherry Tomatoes - 5
Fresh Basil - 3 leaves
Celery - 1 tbsp finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper - a pinch 


Boil pasta with enough water and salt. Add a drop of oil to prevent from sticking together. Make sure you don't over cook them. Once done, run under cool water. Add all the ingredients except cherry tomato and give a good mix. Finally add the cherry tomatoes and give a light mix. Chill and serve!

If you don't have cherry tomatoes, then use 1/4 tsp tomato sauce to give a tangy and sweet taste. Use not more than 1/4 tsp otherwise it'll alter the whole taste. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016


This smoothie is an ideal breakfast for kids as well as adults. It's vegan too! Made with Arabian dates and raw peanuts, it has all the necessary nutrients for a power packed breakfast. At home, I avoid using sugar as much as I can so I've used honey for this one. You can use sugar if you prefer.

*Peanuts are not only good in taste they're also rich in monounsaturated fats and numerous other nutrients that have shown to promote heart health. It's a legume and not a nut! They're rich in antioxidants and folic acid. They're low in carbs but packed with protein, vitamins, fibre and minerals. It has a low glycemic index, hence suitable for diabetic patients too.

Since we're using raw peanuts here, it should be soaked in water overnight or at least for 6-8 hours. This eliminates digestive issues caused by having raw peanut. Please don't skip this process. It is necessary.  


For a big glass of smoothie

Raw peanuts - a handful, soaked in water overnight. 
Arabian dates - 6
Honey - 1/2 tbsp 
Water - 1 cup or more


Blend the nuts with little water to a smooth paste, then add dates and honey. Use more water if required to get the smoothie consistency. Pour it in a glass and enjoy! 

Feel free to use any fruit of your choice along with dates or without dates. 
*Source - 

Friday, October 23, 2015


It's raining in Chennai now so how about some hot potato fingers to have by the window sill, enjoying the rain? Here comes the recipe for homemade, all time favourite potato finger- Indian style.


Potato - 2
Chili powder - 3-4 pinches
Oil to deep fry


Cut the potato into thin strips. Heat oil and when ready add the potato fingers and fry only till the potato turns pale yellow and remove immediately. Repeat this until all the strips are fried. Cool them. Heat oil (let it be smoking hot) and add the lightly fried and cooled potato strips. Fry till they turn golden brown. When hot and just out of oil, add the salt and chili powder and toss well. Here you go! Homemade potato fingers is ready to eat! You can add seasoning of your choice. Try black pepper and salt or add some chili flakes and oregano to make it Italian!

Monday, July 27, 2015


Potato and broccoli fry tastes great with any rice preparation, roti or simply relish it like a healthy snack. The potatoes are crisp and the broccoli is cooked soft which makes it a nice combination. Try this and you're sure to like it.  


Potato - 3 medium (cubed)
Broccoli - 1 whole (small size)
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds / Jeera - 1/4 tsp
Sambhar pwd - 11/2 tbsp
Turmeric - a pinch
Salt to taste


Wash and clean the broccoli. Cut them into big florets, don't cut them into small pieces, it might get mashed while boiling. Boil the florets in a wide vessel with little salt for about 5 mins. Drain the water and let it cool.  In a non stick pan, add little oil, when hot add the mustard seeds and let it crackle then add the cumin seeds. Now add the cubed potatoes, turmeric, sambhar pwd and give a good mix. Cook till they turn little brown and then add the broccoli. Don't add water while cooking this, may be little oil if necessary. This gives a nice crisp to the potato but make sure it's cooked in non stick pan. Check for salt and turn off the heat. Serve hot. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


This is something different and easy to try with snake gourd. Apart from the boring and usual podalanka poriyal, podalanka or snake gourd can be used to make something interesting like this. Its similar to the bajjis we eat, so it can be prepared as an evening snack, served as a starter or even with a rice preparation. 


Snake gourd - 2 (small size)
Gram flour - 1 cup
Rice flour - 1/2 cup
Chili pwd - 1 tsp (add more if you require)


Wash and wipe the snake gourd dry. Scrape the skin lightly and cut them into rings. Remove the pith from the rings and keep the chopped rings aside. Prepare a batter with gram flour, rice flour, chili pwd and salt with water. It should resemble dosa batter. Check for salt and chili pwd and add more if required. Now add chopped snake gourd into the batter. Heat oil in a kadai and fry them. Snake gourd rings are ready!! 

Thursday, March 19, 2015


Preparing roti and poori with whole wheat and multigrain was little boring so wanted to try something different at the same time healthy. Here comes the recipe to a HEALTHY, NO BAKING POWDER, NO BAKING SODA, NO OIL, NO BUTTER multigrain crackers. Relish these lovely crisps with mayonnaise or any dip of your choice. I tried it with egg less sweet chili mayo and it was yummy!

It doesn't involve any hard work and its not time consuming. It can be made in ten minutes and will sure be a good evening snack or even a starter. You can even try it out with whole wheat and get experimental by adding herbs and spices of your choice. 


Multigrain flour - 1 cup 
Salt - 1 tsp
Chili pwd or pepper pwd - 1/4 tsp
Dry herb - 1/4 tsp 


Mix the multigrain flour (I used Ashirvad multigrain flour) salt, spices and herbs first. Mix well and check for salt and spice level. Then make a dough by adding little water. The dough should be tight. Please ensure that you add water little by little to make a perfect tight dough. Roll it like a chappati, using a fork make holes on it. This prevents puffing up and cut into pieces with a knife. The thinner you roll, the crisper the cracker. 

Pre-heat the oven to 200 c for 10 mins. Place a baking sheet on a tray and then place the cut pieces. Bake for 15 mins or until the they turn light brown.

Monday, December 29, 2014


Beans usili is a traditional dish prepared in South India more particularly by the brahmins. It's a lovely combination of lentil prepared in a particular way and mixed with beans. Its packed with nutrients and can be made with very little oil. Beans usili can be a good side dish for sambhar rice or mix it with hot rice with little ghee. It's delicious!

Usili is usually prepared using beans, cluster beans or banana flower. At home we use either cluster beans or beans.


Beans - 30 nos
Toor dhal - 3/4 cup
Dry Red chili - 5 
Asafoetida - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Split Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves


Wash and soak the toor dhal for an hour. Meanwhile, wash and cut the beans into small pieces. Cook beans with water and salt till done and keep aside. 
Drain the dhal of water and grind it to a coarse paste with cumin seeds, asafoetida, dry red chilies and salt. 
Heat oil in a kadai and add split urad dhal and curry leaves then add the ground paste with little turmeric and fry on low heat for about 11- 15 mins. You can also steam the ground paste in an idli maker. 
When it reaches a crumbly texture, add the beans and stir well. Check for salt. 
Cook for another 5-10 mins and beans usili is ready. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014


This creamy kadai vegetable dish tastes good with rotis and pulao. Its a mild gravy cooked with milk and cream and made without onion and garlic. Yes, it does not have onion and garlic and still tastes yummy. At home, we use onions for almost all our dishes in our daily cooking so I was wondering if I can cook something tasty and satvic - without onion and garlic. Determined to try a gravy without the 2 main (family.. lol) ingredients.. I got into my kitchen. Ingredients and method follows. 


Potato - 2 small if big 1
Capsicum - 1 (I've used green, yellow and red. So one of each) 
Peas - 1/2 Cup
Paneer - 10 cubes
Tomato - 2
Green chili - 1
Mint leaves/ Pudina- 20
Coriander - 1 tbsp chopped
Turmeric pwd - 1 tsp
Coriander pwd - 1/2 tbsp
Chili pwd - 1/2 tbsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Dry methi leaves - 1 tsp
Jeera/ cumin seeds- 1 tsp
Ginger paste or chopped ginger - 1 tsp
Milk - 1/2 cup
Cream - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1 tsp

Please use your choice of vegetables to it. Also, you can do away with the cream if you don't prefer. 


Parboil* all the vegetables in little water with salt. 
Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan and saute the chopped tomatoes, green chilies, chopped coriander and pudina/ mint  leaves one by one. Let it cool and grind it to a paste.
Heat a kadai, add oil and crackle jeera seeds. Add the garlic and saute for a minute, add the dry methi leaves, ground paste and after 3 mins add all the masala pwds. Add the parboiled veggies and cook for 5-10 mins in low heat adding little water. Add necessary salt and 1 tsp sugar. Once the veggies are cooked and the raw smell of the masalas go add the milk and cream. Stir and mix well in low heat for a minute and switch of the heat. 
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

*Partially cooking the vegetables and removing from water once they are soft and before they are fully cooked. 

Friday, September 5, 2014


I've already posted a recipe with yam/chena kilangu and this is just another variation.


Chena kilangu/ Yam - 250 gms
Sambhar pwd - 2 tbsp
Turmeric pwd - a pinch
Salt to taste
Oil - 2


Cut the yam into small cubes.
Boil them in water with required salt and turmeric till its cooked about 70% (it should not get too soft or mashed)
Drain the water and cool the yam cubes (it should dry completely) 
In a pan add oil, yam cubes, sambhar pwd (you can use plain chili pwd too, in that case reduce the quantity to 1 tbsp) and salt.
Toss it and cook till crisp.
This dish goes well with sambhar sadham/rice, curd rice or as an evening snack all by itself.

Yam should not be cooked completely while boiling.
A few curry leaves can be added while frying to enhance the flavour.

Saturday, June 14, 2014


This sandwich can be prepared in no time. Actually feels silly to write ingredients and method for this post. Nevertheless, I hope it helps beginners. Here goes the recipe for an utterly simple and utterly delicious mint and cheese sandwich. 


Bread slices - 4
Pudina/ mint chutney - 2 tbsp
Cheese slices - 2
Ghee or Butter to toast


Spread the mint/pudina chutney on a bread slice, place a cheese slice and close it with another slice of bread. Toast it on a tawa or a sandwich maker. Use a little butter or ghee if you're using a tawa to toast. This is too simple and can be made in a jiffy with left over mint chutney at home and tastes yummy. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Though I've tried a variety of raitha recipes, something with peanuts was little unusual and that intrigued me. I ended up preparing it the very next day for bisi bela bath and trust me it was simply superb and heavenly for this summer heat. It tastes too good that it could be eaten without any roti or rice preparation. 
A little information about peanuts wouldn't hurt. Despite their name, peanuts are not actually nuts, they are legumes. Peanuts contain mono unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that keep the heart healthyPeanuts are an extremely high source of plant protein. Peanuts contain high concentrations of the antioxidant polyphenols, primarily a compound called p-coumaric acid and oleic acid, that not only protect the heart but inhibit the growth of free radicals, keeping infection at bay.  Peanuts provide our body with essential vitamins, that also help in regulating metabolism, converting fat and carbohydrates into energy, and facilitating bone and tissue formation. A good source of folate, peanuts reduce the incidence of birth defects, and anemia related conditions. The number of peanuts health benefits match the number of ways it can be consumed.
Here's the recipe to yummy and healthy peanut and carrot raitha. 


Carrot (grated) - 1
Peanuts - a handful
Curd/ Yoghurt - 2 cups
Mustard - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds/ Jeera- 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves- 4-5
Oil - 1 tsp


Mix the grated carrots, curd and keep it aside. In a pan, add the peanuts and toss for about 3-4 mins in medium heat without oil. In case you're using roasted peanuts then this step can be skipped. Add the roasted peanuts and required salt to the curd mixture and give it a good mix. In a small pan heat oil and add mustard and cumin. Once they crackle add the curry leaves, switch off the heat. Pour this over the curd mixture. Roasted peanut carrot raitha is ready to be served. Tastes good when chilled.  

Friday, March 7, 2014


We all love this crunchy nut, don't we? This delicately sweet yet crunchy and delicious cashew nut is packed with energy, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins that are essential for robust health. Here are a few health benefits of these super nuts : 

  • Cashews have a lower fat content when compared to most other nuts
  • They contain soluble dietary fibre 
  • Contains magnesium and copper that help to strengthen bones and are good for blood flow.
  • Cashews (100 gms) have almost 7 mg of iron while beetroot has only 0.8 mg.
  • Cashews keep our arteries flexible, prevent plaque build up.
  • Promotes bone health and traditionally used to prevent night cramps.
Rujuta Diwekar (

Coming to the recipe. Its a quick evening snack and can be made in a jiffy! I have used chili powder, the same can be prepared using pepper powder too, if you prefer. 


Whole Cashews - 20-30
Chili pwd - 1 tsp
Ghee for frying


Heat ghee in a kadai and when hot drop the cashews. Fry until golden brown in medium flame. Before letting it to cool add the chili pwd and salt and give it a good mix. Let it cool for a few minutes and enjoy your masala cashews with hot tea. 

Monday, December 16, 2013


I was looking to make a salad and the only ingredient I had was tomato and luckily found some sprouted green gram too! So the chef in me said why not put them together with a dash of olive oil and a pinch of pepper and salt. Here's the recipe to my tomato and sprout salad with a twist ;)


To make a small bowl of salad for one person

Tomato - 1 (cut into 1 inch pieces)
Sprouted green gram - a handful
Rusk - 2
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Lemon juice - 2 drops
Salt and Pepper as per taste
Chopped coriander leaves for garnish if you prefer


Add the chopped tomato pieces and sprouted green gram to a bowl. The twist in this salad recipe is adding sweet rusk. Yes, rusk!! Break the rusk into 2 inch pieces. I've used sweet rusk here but it can be tried with any kind of rusk. Flavoured rusk may change the taste of the salad so refrain from using that unless you like it. Add the rusk pieces to the tomatoes and sprouts along with a tbsp of olive oil. Give it a good mix. Add 2 drops of lemon juice and the required salt and pepper. I've used white pepper for this salad. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. The crunchiness of sprouted green gram and the sweetness of rusk mixed in the juice of tomato and olive oil makes it tasty. Try this simple and healthy salad and you're sure to love it.