White & Black Sesame Laddoos

Makara Sankranti also known as Maaghi is a festive celebrated on the 14th or at times on the 15th of January when the Sun transits into Capricorn or Makara Rashi.

It is dedicated to the Sun god who never fails to rise.

The sun rises with hope, kites fly in the sky with vigour, and the crops are ready to be harvested – all signifying hope, joy and abundance.

Happy Makar Sankranti to all of you!! May the Sun God bring abundance and fill your lives and home with sunshine and happiness.

Each day is a new beginning…

On this day all over our country, people from different regions celebrate it by revering the Sun god and thanking him for the good harvest and granting each of them good health

The days now start to seem longer and is the beginning of the auspicious month of Uttarayan.

In the Konkan belt we call it Sankranti where women adorn themselves and exchange til or sweets made from Sesame and jaggery and offer salutations to lord Surya and then offer Haldi Kumkum to ladies around the neighbourhood .Children fly kites with the family. Every home Khichidi is cooked which is enjoyed by the whole family. People also donate food and clothing to the needy.

Pomegranate Chutney

Pomegranate Chutney is an authentic dish prepared in the homes of people in Mangalore.

The peels of the fruit are sun dried and stored in glass jars to be used especially during the rainy season and also during the November December months when temperature is cool.

The peel is rich in polyphenols which are rich in antioxidants beneficial for reducing blood pressure, cardiac vascular disease, improve gut and stomach health, indigestion , control blood sugar fluctuations and mainly an appetiser with anti- diarrheal properties.

Ingredients:

Sun dried peels of pomegranate- 3 to 4 small bits.

Ghee – 1 t spoon

Cumin – 1/2 t spoon

Coriander – 1 t spoon

Red chillies roasted – 2 (bedgi)

1 (Guntur)

Pepper corns – 1/4 t spoon

Tamarind – size of two peas.

Coconut grated – 1/2 cup

Water 1/2 to 3/4 cup

Salt as per taste.

Method:

Heat a pan (preferably iron) and add the broken bits of the pomegranate peels,red chillies,cumin, coriander, peppercorns followed by tamarind and salt.

Roast them on low flame for about 3 to 4 minutes until you get an aroma.

Now allow the roasted mixture to cool.

Transfer the roasted masala to a mixer jar and add the grated coconut and the water and grind the mixture to a smooth paste.

Transfer the Chutney to a small container and the Chutney is now ready.

Please Note:

I have used the bedgi chillies for colour and Guntur chilli for the pungency.

You may use chillies of your choice.

I have fond nostalgic memories enjoying this Chutney along with the kadhi also known a tambuli which is nothing but the Chutney diluted and then boiled and tempered with mustard and curry leaves in a spoon of coconut oil..

Tambuli

Stuffed Snake Gourd

Ingredients:

Snake gourd.-1 big piece

Baking soda – 1/4 spoon

Water – 1.5 cups

For the stuffing:

Coconut grated – 1 handful

Red chillies(roasted) – 5 to 6

Tuvar dal – 1/2 cup

Asafoetida- 1/2 spoon

Salt as per taste

Cumin 1/2 t spoon

Semolina – 2 tablespoons

Method:

Deseed the snake gourd and slice it into three big and equal pieces.

In a saucepan heat 1.5 cups of water and then when it begins to boil drop the gourds in them and also add the baking soda to the water.

Allow to simmer for about 3 to 4 minutes and then remove them from the pan and immerse it in cold water to which a little salt is added.

Keep them aside.

This process helps the gourd to retain its colour.

Now in a mixer jar grind the soaked dal, red chillies, cumin and coconut to a fine paste adding very little water.

Add 2 table spoons of semolina,asafoetida and salt as per taste and mix well.

Now in a steamer add some water and boil it.

In a greased vessel keep the gourds vertically and fill them with the ground masala and press firmly.

Follow the same procedure with the rest of the gourds and steam them for about ten minutes.

Enjoy them with coconut oil.

You may slice the steamed gourds into thin slices using a sharp knife.

Then roast them on both the sides using a little oil to golden brown and enjoy.

Sautéed Okra /Lady finger

Okra or Lady finger is a versatile vegetable which is loved by most of us. If Cooked in the right manner, tastes finger licking good.It has a lot of health benefits too like good skin, improves memory,relieves constipation and also good to regulate the blood sugar levels.

Ingredients:

Okra/ Lady finger – 15 to 20 pieces

Onions – 2

Garlic cloves – 6

Green chillies – 2 sliced finely

Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing – A handful.

Oil – 3 table spoons

Salt as per taste.

For the masala:

Red chilli powder – 1/2 spoon.

Turmeric – 1/4 spoon

Lemon juice – 1 table spoon.

Cumin Powder – 1 spoon

Mixed spice powder or Garam masala – 2 to 3 pinches.

Mix and keep aside.

Method:

Heat a pan and add in finely sliced onions and keep sautéing until it turns pink.

Add salt , green chillies and lemon juice to the thinly sliced okra and mix well and keep aside.

Once the onions Turns pink add sliced garlic. You may even randomly smash the garlic cloves and add them.

Now add the green chillies, salt,lemon juice and sliced okra which had been mixed and kept aside.( This removes the sticky mucus like liquid formed while cooking the okra )

Now add the masala which was kept aside.

Cook on open low flame for about 8 to ten minutes and the dish is ready.

Garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves.

Goes well with roti.

Tips:

To retain the green colour of the okra immerse them in cold water to which a little ie around quarter spoon of baking soda is added.

Strain them after 10 minutes and wipe them dry before you slice them for cooking.

Refreshing Cucumber salad with onions and Beetroot

Salads are refreshing and add colour and zest to the meals.They complete the meal and is also nutritous and natural source of fibre which is essential for a healthy living.

 

Ingredients:

Cucumber – 1 (sliced thinly)

Beetroot – 1 halved and sliced thinly

Onion – 1 halved and sliced thinly

Chat masala – 1\2 spoon

Lemon Juice -1\2  lemon

Black salt – As per taste

Method:

In  a plate arrange the cucumber, beetroot and onion slices and sprinkle the black salt, lemon juice and finally the chat masala.

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and enjoy the cool salad as a side with meals.Cooling and refreshing.

Jambul/Black Java Plum

Jambul is available in plenty during the summer months until the beginning of the rainy season.

It’s a super food packed with nutrients and antioxidants.

Good for those having spikes in their blood sugar levels and having an history of diabetes in the family.

It also aids digestive health.

Brined them for a week and today made this yummy and appetising chutney.

Ingredients:

Brined jambuls – 4-5 deseeded

Red chilli – 3

 Coconut grated – 2 handfuls

 Garlic with the peel – 2 cloves

Salt as per taste.

Method:

Deseed the jambuls and using light finger movements extract the pulp.

Now grind all the above to a smooth paste.

Chutney is ready.

Tastes yummy when you drizzle some coconut oil over it.

Please Note:

The jambuls are brined and so add salt accordingly.