Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Vella Aval | Aval Nanachadhu | Beaten rice with jaggery

No, the title doesn't indicate white - beaten rice. Vellam also means jaggery. So the title is jaggery + beaten rice. In kerala people also call it as aval nanachadhu - literally meaning beaten rice soaked. This is a quick preparation made in minutes and ideally used for poojas / neivedhyams.

Though there are a lot of diabetics in my family, almost everyone of them don't like sweets. Atleast I have not seen them craving for sweets. So I have never thought of making sweets in the "diabetic-friendly" way. When I took up this topic for this BM it was a real challenge for me. Somehow I came up with 2 recipes. But for the third recipe I really had to rack my brains. That is when H asked for some snacks last week; one day evening saying he is very hungry. And I immediately prepared this dish. After he finished eating I realized that this would be an ideal "diabetic-friendly" sweet!! But I didn't take any snaps. So after 2 days I again prepared this recipe for evening snacks. 

To make it diabetic friendly, I did a small change. Decreased the amount of jaggery and added little dates to make the recipe more interesting.


Aval / beaten rice - 1 cup
Coconut (grated) - 3 tbsp
Jaggery (grated) - 2 tbsp
Dates (seedless) - 4 nos
Salt - a pinch
Cashewnuts - few


  • Wash/soak the beaten rice/aval preferably in mineral water. Wash it for about 20-30 seconds and strain the aval. We do not want the aval to be soaked and soft. Rather it should be crunchy.
  • Chop the dates into small pieces.
  • Mix the aval, dates, jaggery and coconut. 
  • Also add a pinch of salt. Mix well and garnish with some cashewnuts.

Instant snack is ready!!


  • The salt enhances the taste of the jaggery. So add only a pinch.
  • We can garnish with other nuts like ground nuts, badam etc..

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#66

Monday, 25 July 2016

Thengai Poornam Kozhukattai | Rice flour dumplings with jaggery-coconut stuffing

Ganesh Chathurthi is nearing and I realized that I haven't yet posted the famous kozhukkattais in my blog. So I am picking this "diabetic friendly sweets" as the opportunity to post this famous recipe. Since this is made of jaggery and steam cooked, this is lot more diabetic friendly when compared to modak which is fried in oil. Nevertheless all the festival foods are my favourites..

Kozhukatta or Kozhukkattai is a popular South Indian sweet dumpling made from rice flour, with a filling of grated coconut and jaggery, and is similar to Modak made in other parts of India. In South India especially in Tamil Nadu this is a must for the Vinayaka chathurthi pooja and neivedhyam. Other specialities generally include ulundu kozhukkatai, vadai, sundal, nei appam etc..

There are other varieties of kozhukkatais also, one that is made with channa dal as the filling, one that is made with green gram as the filling and so on... I haven't yet tried these. Since the kozhukattai with jaggery and coconut is the favourite of all I end up making the same every year.


For the outer cover:

Rice flour (Ready made idiyappam flour) - 1/2 cup 
Oil - 1 tsp 
Water - As needed 
Salt - As needed

For the thengai poornam (coconut filling):

Coconut - 1 cup
Jaggery - 1 cup minus 3 tblsp
Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
Ghee - 1 tsp


  • For the dough, bring water to boil with a tsp of oil and let it boil for a minute. Add it to the flour with salt and mix well. Use a spatula for mixing. You may need lots of water. So make sure you boil enough. The procedure is the same we do for making idiyappam dough.
  • After it becomes warm, knead to a smooth dough and keep covered. You can make equal sized balls and keep covered.
  • Place a Kadai on heat. Add the powdered jaggery and dissolve it using ¼ cup of water.
  • Strain the jaggery syrup for impurities. Wash the kadai and pour the syrup back into the kadai.
  • Heat it on medium flame for 5 to 6 minutes stirring once in a while. Let the syrup form a soft ball consistency. To check for consistency, add a drop of the syrup in a bowl of water and try to gather it and form a ball with you fingers.
  • Once the soft ball consistency has reached, add the scraped coconut and stir continuously for 3 to 4 minutes or until all the moisture has almost evaporated and the whole thing starts coming together as a mass.
  • Add the powdered cardamom and a teaspoon of ghee. Mix well and keep aside.
  • Cool and make into small balls.
  • Take one ball from the rice dough and flatten the dough in your palms and place a ball of jaggery coconut filling in the center. Gather the edges and seal the filling forming a peak at the top.
  • Prepare more kozhukattais using the remaining dough and filling.
  • Heat a steamer, you can also use the idli stand. Place the kozhukattais one by one without touching each other and steam for 10 minutes or until the outer layer is shiny.

Enjoy this sweet kozhukattais with Ganesha!!


  • To get the outer layer soft, its important to boil water well for making the dough. Dough should be almost cooked with the hot water so that you get non sticky pliable dough. If the dough is not cooked well, you may not be able to make the cups properly and will break while making. 
  • Do not over cook , it may give you rubbery and broken kozhukattais.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#66

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Mulayari Sarkara Pongal | Bamboo rice with jaggery

For this week's blogging marathon I have chosen "Diabetic friendly sweets". I am starting with an ingredient that is appearing in my blog for the first time - Mulayari.

Bamboo rice or Mulayari (in malayalam) or Moongil arisi (in Tamil) is well known with the forest tribals for its medicinal and nutritional values. I was introduced to bamboo rice some 3 years ago when one of my relatives got it for onam and said we can make payasam out of this. That is when I got to know that the bamboo tree flowers and this flowering happens once in 50-60 years after which the bamboo dies. These flowers have seeds which are collected and now-a-days sold as bamboo rice.

In kerala people are not new to mulayari or bamboo rice. They make payasam out of this. I shall post this yummy payasam sometime later. But this mulayari is very costly. A kg costs between 200-300 INR and it is also a rare commodity. We don't see it in all stores. I bought it from a government run farm from Wayanad.

Now that I have 1 kg of this rice in stock I have to come up with various recipes. In Internet the only recipe I found is for payasam made with coconut milk and jaggery. Since I have already tasted it I wanted to try something new. So thought of why not sarkara pongal. That is also a sweet. And it turned out yummy. Diabetics can relish this.

Diabetic patients can use Bamboo rice instead of normal rice because the Glycemic Index (GI) of Bamboo rice is lesser than normal rice. Bamboo rice needs to be soaked in water for 5-6 hours before cooking. It will not easily get cooked like normal rice. 


Bamboo rice - 1 cup
Jaggery - 1/2 cup
Grated coconut - 3 tbsp
Ghee - 3 tbsp
Cashew nuts - 1 tbsp
Jeera powder - 1/2 tsp
Nutmeg powder - 1/2 tsp
Dry ginger powder - 1/2 tsp
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp


  • Clean the bamboo rice carefully, they often have stones. Soak the bamboo rice or mulayari in water for about 5 hours.
  • Pressure cook the bamboo rice with 3 cups of water. I cooked for one whistle and lowered the flame and cooked for another 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile heat the jaggery in 1/4 cup of water until the jaggery melts. Strain the jaggery for impurities and keep aside.
  • Once the pressure is released check if the bamboo rice is cooked. Then add the jaggery syrup and grated coconut. Mix well.
  • Heat the mixture in medium heat and keep stirring. 
  • Keep aside 1 tsp of ghee for frying cashews and add the rest of the ghee in batches to the bamboo rice mixture. Keep stirring.
  • When all the water is consumed by bamboo rice and it becomes a solid mass, add all the flavoured powders. Mix well and switch off stove.
  • Fry the cashew nuts in ghee and garnish this sarkara pongal

Mulayari sarkara pongal is ready!! Enjoy this different dish!!


  • We can also garnish with fried badams / dried grapes.
  • I have used the dark brown variety of jaggery which is very sweet. Hence 1/2 cup was enough for me. Adjust sweetness if using other varieties of jaggery.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#66

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Palak Tomato veg soup

Here's another soup which I tried of my own. Since I often make tomato soup, today I thought why not add palak also to it and some veggies. So this is my own creation. 

To make this soup kid's approved, I also added some noodles to it. The soup turned out to be dark in color. Thats because I cooked the palak leaves and didnt think about retaining the color of the palak. So after cooking the palak leaves were very dark green and after mixing it with tomatoes I got a brown color. Its better to retain the color of the palak leaves. So cook the palak leaves separately and add little lemon juice to retain the color. 

Over to my recipe:


Tomatoes  - 4, finely chopped
Palak (leaves) - a bunch
Vegetables (cauliflower and mushrooms) - 1/2 cup
Onion - 1 small, finely chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
Tomato sauce - 2 tbsp
Soy sauce - 1 tbsp
Chili sauce - ½ tsp
Sugar - 2 tsp
Vinegar - 1 teaspoon
Maggi veg broth - 1 cube
noodles - 2 tbsp
Oil  - 1 tbsp
coriander leaves (chopped) - ½ tsp
Salt - to taste


  • Boil noodles in salted water. Strain it and keep aside.
  • Microwave the tomatoes and palak leaves for 4 minutes. Once cooled, grind them into a fine paste.
  • In a pan, take 1 tablespoon of oil. Add minced garlic and chopped onions. Saute them till the onions turn translucent and there is not any raw smell of garlic.
  • Add the vegetables and fry for 5 minutes so that the vegetables are half cooked.
  • Add the ground tomato and palak paste. 
  • Add all the tomato sauce, chili sauce, soy sauce, Maggi vegetable broth cube and sugar. 
  • Let it boil and then for 5 minutes.
  • Add seasoning, salt and noodles. Mix well. Cook for another minute.

Serve hot with some bread!!

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Monday, 11 July 2016

Aloo Raitha

I had some left over boiled potatoes in the fridge. And I was searching for some new and easy recipes to make. That is when I remembered in the regional cuisines my fellow bloggers had made and posted raitha with aloo. I immediately searched for it and found this link in Sandhya's blog. I didn't think too much about it, just followed the recipe and this was a wonderful salad.

Aloo raitha would be a hit among kids because kids generally love potatoes. I understand that this raitha or salad definitely takes a spot in the plate in our northern cuisine (haryana / bihar). I served it with rotis and it was an instant hit. This raitha would come in handy when we are preparing dinner I guess. I added little finely chopped onions also to this raitha to bring in that crunchy feeling.


Potatoes - 2 large
Finely chopped onions - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Sugar - 1 tsp
Thick curd - 1 cup
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Chaat masala / Garam masala powder - pinch


  • Boil the potatoes. I boiled the potatoes in cooker.
  • Once cooled, peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes.
  • In a bowl add the chopped onions, curd and all other spice powders. Mix well.
  • Finally add the cubed potatoes and coat the potatoes with the curd mixture.

Serve immediately so that the crunchiness of the onions is not lost.


  • The potatoes can also be cooked in microwave. Cube the potatoes and microwave high for 5 minutes.
  • Chaat masala or garam masala is optional. But if adding add only a pinch.

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Sunday, 10 July 2016

Hot and Sour Veg soup

For this week's blogging marathon I have chosen soups and salads as the theme. Soups and salads are very good for our health. We should have it at least in one of our meal course. But I am very lazy to prepare these some how : even though soups and salads are the most easy recipes to prepare.

Hot and sour soup is basically introduced from the Chinese cuisine and the non-veg version of this is very famous. I just tried the veg version. Chinese cuisine has the characteristics of being nutritious, economical, balanced and delicious. And in this generation Chinese cuisine is world famous.

I have often tried the hot and sour soup in restaurants and this is the first time I tried it at home. The taste was a little different. I actually am not able to point out the difference but nevertheless it was fabulous. I researched this recipe in the internet and found many versions and finally did a mix and match of 2-3 recipes and prepared it to suit our taste. 


Beans - 100 grams
Carrots - 100 grams
Cauliflower - 100 grams
Cabbage (finely chopped) - 3 tbsp
Spring onion - few
Green chillies - 3 nos
Sugar - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Garlic - 5 cloves
Soya sauce - 1 tbsp
Tomato sauce - 1 tbsp
Chilly sauce - 1 tbsp
Oil - 1 tsp
Corn flour - 1 tbsp
Pepper powder - 1 tsp


  • Chop the spring onion, carrots, beans, cabbage finely. 
  • In a deep wide pan, add oil (preferably olive oil) and add the slit green chilli.  
  • Add the finely chopped garlic and sugar and saute for a while.
  • Now add the veggies which we chopped finely. Saute for a minute and add 3 cups of water.
  • Add salt and bring it to a boil. Once the water boils, lower the flame and leave it for 5-7 minutes so that veggies are half cooked.
  • Add all the sauces and mix well.
  • Mix corn flour in 2 tblsp of water without any lumps and add it to the pan. Mix well. The soup will reach the right consistency in 2 minutes.
  • Add pepper powder and lemon juice.

Serve hot with some bread


  • Any veggies can be added like capsicum, peas etc
  • Garnish with spring onion leaves. I didn't have any.
  • You can add extra 1 tblsp of soya sauce if you want the darker color. But don’t add too much it will spoil the taste

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#66