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Fermented RAGI (Finger Millet) IDLIS- Gluten Free | Gut Friendly | Breakfast Recipe

At home Idlis is our favourite breakfast. Ragi idli is a nutritious wholesome South Indian meal. They are light, easy on stomach and have tremendous health benefits. Idlis are like steamed cakes made with lentils and idli rice. Ragi idli is just another variation where ragi is replaced by rice. The batter of these ragi idlis will also be beneficial for making dosas the next day. I like to serve these millet idlis with Coconut Chutney or Kara Chutney.

Ragi idli is made using idli rice, flattened rice (poha), ragi flour, urad dal and fenugreek seeds. The ingredients are first soaked and then the batter is prepared by grinding the ingredients followed by fermentation, then the batter is steamed to make idlis. This batter yields consistent results. The idlis will always be pillowy soft and totally melt in mouth.

Not just Ragi idlis or dosas, if you are a pancake lover, you can also try these, Ragi Pancakes or these Millet Cutlets which you can easily make at home in 10 minutes using minimal oil. They come out absolutely delicious and are so healthy.

Given the health benefits of ragi, these steamed cakes becomes a superfood which not only has benefits of whole grains but it is also fermented. 

Why fermented food is good for you? 

Fermented foods like idli, dhokla, dosa are a fabulous addition to your diet.

  • It helps in increasing immunity and improves digestion. 
  • It also increases the bio availability of minerals. It breaks down proteins, carbohydrates and other minerals in a way making it easily available to our body. 
  • Also a lot of good bacterias are at play when your food is fermenting. All fermented foods are natural probiotic. It’ll strengthen your immune system making you disease resistant.
  • The lactic acid bacteria which helps in fermentation also creates omega 3 fatty acids, essential for the immune system. It will help to remove toxins and helps your body build a healthy gut flora. 

Here are 5 excellent reasons why this millet should be in your diet.

  1. High fibre content: Ragi is high in dietary fibre which will help to promote proper digestion and keep your bowel movements in check. 
  2. Rich in Calcium: It is an ultimate non-dairy source of calcium. Just 100 grams of Ragi can give you 344 mg of calcium.
  3. Supports Gluten- Free Diet: Ragi is a great choice if you are on a gluten-free diet – it’s naturally gluten-free! No need to worry about hidden gluten as it’s a safe and delicious way to enjoy your meals.
  4. Child Nutrition: It helps to fulfil child’s nutritional needs. It is rich in protein, calcium, iron, zinc and other essential nutrients.
  5. Treats Anaemia: Since Ragi is an excellent source of iron too, which is essential for producing red blood cells, it helps to fight off anaemia.

With all such goodness and nutrition packed in this humble dish, let’s get to the recipe now

Recipe: serves 4

Ingredients: measuring cup size 250 ml

  1. Ragi flour: 1 cup
  2. Idli Rice/Parboiled Rice or Broken Rice: 1 cup
  3. White Split Urad dal: 1/2 cup
  4. Flattened Rice/Poha: 1/4th cup
  5. Fenugreek seeds/Methi dana: 1/4th tsp
  6. Rock Salt or any non-iodised salt: As per taste
  7. Oil/ghee for greasing
  8. Water as required for making batter and steaming 

Method: 

  • Wash rice and poha 3 to 4 times. Soak them in enough water for 5 hours. 
  • Wash urad dal and fenugreek seeds 3 to 4 times and soak for 5 hours. 
  • Drain the water from dal and rice. First grind urad dal to a smooth and fluffy batter. Add little water at a time to get a smooth paste. Do not add too much water in one go. 
  • Then grind rice and poha to a smooth batter using water as required. Again, don’t add too much water. Add little at a time. 
  • In large steel bowl, mix together both dal and rice batter. 
  • Add roughly 3/4th cup of water to ragi flour and make a smooth consistency batter. Make sure there are no lumps. 
  • Mix Ragi batter with rice and dal batter till it completely incorporates. 
  • Add rock salt as per taste. Cover the bowl with a lid and keep the batter in dark warm place for 9 hours or more. I had to keep it for 12 hours.
  • The batter will double and become fluffy and airy. Give a gentle mix before making the idlis. Do not mix rigorously or you will loose the airiness of the batter. 
  • In an idli maker, bring water (roughly 3″ above) to boil. Grease idli moulds with oil/ghee. Fill in the cavities with the batter.
  • Now, steam the idlis in idli maker for 10 to 12 minutes or till toothpick inserted at the centre comes out clean. It shouldn’t be sticky.

Tips for fermentation: – 

  1. Add rock salt to the batter before fermenting. Salt helps in fermentation. Do not use iodised salt. 
  2. Do not skip Fenugreek seeds. It helps the batter to get bubble like texture. Also, it’s makes dosa crispier. 
  3. Add enough water while grinding dal and rice to get smooth and fluffy batter. Do not add water in one go. Keep adding little at a time. This will give you soft idlis. 
  4. Mix the final batter with your hands for a minute and then keep it at a warm place. The warmth in your hand will help in fermentation. 

I hope you enjoyed reading this recipe and will give it a try. Do let me know if you do. I would love to hear from you guys. Here’s to healthy eating! 🙂

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Easy and Healthy Oat Cookies- No Sugar | No Butter | No Refined Flour

If you are looking for healthy cookies recipe for your kids, this is it! These soft, chewy, perfectly sweet and wholesome cookies will be your go to recipe. I highly recommend this for your sweet cravings and pick-me-up snack moments.

Being a mother I am always on a look out for healthy snacking options for my child. I hate to give him sugary packet snacks everyday. While they are ok as once in a while indulgence but I get wary of all the artificial flavours, preservatives and processed sugar added in bakery cookies. 

These cookies have the goodness of whole-grains, oatmeal, egg and dates as prime ingredients. The natural sweetness and moisture come from a fruit, dates and coconut oil. The best part about these cookies is that they are one bowl cookies. No endless use of utensils and whisking is required. 

Main Ingredients and their Substitutes

Rolled Oats: I have used rolled oats or old fashioned oats here because they are better for baking. However, you can also quick oats. Quick oats will give you a slightly uniform texture. I however, prefer the taste and texture of rolled oats

Wholewheat Flour: I have added wholewheat flour for more fibre. Also, it brings together the cookie dough and gives nice crunch to these cookies. 

Apple: I like to add an apple in the cookies for moisture and natural sweetness. You can totally substitute apple with either a banana or applesauce. 

Virgin Coconut Oil: Coconut oil offers an almost direct substitute to butter. It lends a sweet but subtle flavour to bakes. You do not need to use as much coconut oil to get the same fat content as butter, since butter comprises 20% water. You can use butter here if coconut oil is not available. Just increase the butter by 20%.

Egg: Egg not only adds more protein and nutrition in cookies but it also helps to bind and improve texture of the cookies resulting in more light and chewy cookies. However you can totally make them eggless too by substituting 1 egg with flaxmeal. 1 tsp ground roasted flaxseeds in 4 tbsps water. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Use this mixture in place of egg or use 1/4th cup of greek yogurt. 

Dates: I have added dates as a natural replacement for sugar. Dates are also rich in iron, fibre and antioxidants. If you want to substitute dates in this recipe, you do that by adding 1/4th cup of pure maple syrup.

Dark Chocolate: Use a good quality dark chocolate, atleast 70%. You can totally substitute it by adding raisins, black currants, cranberries, walnuts, dried blueberries or any other dried fruits or nuts of your choice.

Now let’s get to the recipe

Recipe: makes 14 to 15 cookies

Ingredients 

  • Rolled Oats: 1 cup
  • Wholewheat flour: 1/2 cup
  • Apple: 1 medium
  • Virgin Coconut oil: 3 tbsps
  • Egg: 1 
  • De-seeded dates: 4
  • Baking powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Cinnamon powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Vanilla Extract: 1 tsp
  • Dark Chocolate chunks (70%): 1/2 cup

Method:

  • Soak dates in hot water for 10 minutes to soften it.
  • Sieve wholewheat flour, baking powder and cinnamon in a large bowl. Now mix rolled oats. Keep aside. 
  • In a blender, crack an egg or add flaxmeal/yogurt. Add chopped apple, softened dates, vanilla and oil. Blend this mixture to a purée.
  • Now add wet ingredients to dry ingredients in batches. Mix till everything incorporates well. Do not over mix. Cut and fold gently.
  • Add chocolate chunks and mix well. The mixture will be moist at this time. You can refrigerate the cookie dough for 30 minutes. It will become easier to give it a shape. Also, the oats will absorb the flavour and soften.
  • Line baking tray with a baking paper or a silicon sheet.
  • Take one tbsp scoop and scoop out the mixture on the baking tray. Scoop will give you even size cookies. Flatten a little with a back of a spoon.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes at 180 C
  • Transfer on a wire rack. Allow it to cool. Once cooled, store in an airtight container.

How to store

These Healthy Cookies store well for a few days, so you can make a batch on the weekend and enjoy them throughout the week. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for up a week. They will soften further as they sit in the container making it perfect for toddlers. 

You can also try more of such healthy bakes- Healthy Carrot Orange Marmalade Cake and Wholewheat Banana and Jaggery Cake. 

Do give these healthy cookies a try. I am sure you and your kids will love it. Let me know in the comment section below if you do give it a try. It will be great to hear from you guys. Stay Healthy! 🙂

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Instant Masala Bread Idli- Easy Breakfast Recipe

Instant Masala Bread idli is delicious protein rich breakfast. They are air light, super easy to make and above all healthy. I can bet you can’t stop at one. This is one of my favourite breakfast recipes. Easy, simple with no fancy ingredients required!

It is like a slice of bread with a filling of your choice on one side and steamed tempered yogurt on the other side, adding different textures to this simple yet delicious dish. It’s creamy, soft and crispy- all of that in one slice of bread. 

I had these bread idlis for the first time some 17-18 years back at my Aunt’s house and instantly fell in love with it. Years later when I got married, I remembered those instant bread idlis and wanted to make it for my husband and child. Just like me, my family too totally loved it.

You need very basic ingredients for this recipe- bread slices, either brown or white bread, thick yogurt or homemade curd and Indian cottage cheese (Paneer) or potatoes.

I shared this recipe in one of the food community groups on facebook, Eatlo and it was such a huge hit. I was amazed to see that hundreds of people tried this recipe and the feedback was just fantastic. If you talk about food just as much as you eat, you should definitely join this community. It’s a safe space where you can share your cooking adventures, know more about different cultural and regional foods, ask for recipes, get health tips and interact with food enthusiasts all over the world.

Now without further delay let’s see how you can make this delicious recipe

Recipe: serves 3

Ingredients: 

  • Bread slices: 8
  • Oil/Ghee for Cooking

For Tempered Yogurt/Curd

  • Thick Yogurt/Curd: 1.5 cup
  • Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves: 1 sprig
  • Asafoetida/hing: a pinch
  • Oil: 1 tbsp
  • Red chilli powder: 1/4th tsp
  • Salt to taste

For Paneer Filling

  • Paneer: 150 grams
  • Coriander Leaves: handful 
  • Capsicum: 1/4th cup; finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Minced Garlic: 1/4th tsp
  • Red Chilli Powder: 1/4th tsp or to taste
  • Garam masala: 1/4th tsp
  • Roasted Cumin Powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Raw Mango Powder: 1/4th tsp
  • Green Chilies: 1; finely chopped (optional)

Method:

  • Whisk thick yogurt/curd to get a smooth consistency. 
  • Now heat oil in a small pan. Add mustard seeds and hing. Let it splutter. Switch off the flame and add curry leaves, salt and red chilli powder. Let it sit in hot oil for 15 seconds and then add this tempering to yogurt and mix well. Keep aside.
  • Cut bread slices in roundels using a bowl or a round cutter and keep aside.
  • Crumble paneer in a plate. Add finely chopped capsicum, coriander leaves, minced garlic, salt, red chilli powder, garam masala, cumin powder and raw mango powder. Mix well. Check for seasoning and your filling is ready.
  • Now take the bread slice and spread the prepared filling on one side. Do not make a very thick layer. 
  • Heat a non stick pan to a medium heat. Brush it with some oil or ghee. 
  • Now put the filling side down. Reduce the flame to the lowest. On the top, apply the prepared tempered yogurt. Do not overload it with curd but put a generous amount so that the bread is coated well. 
  • Cover the slice with a large bowl. The idea is to steam the yogurt side and make the filling side crisp. This should take about 3-4 minutes to cook. Keep the flame low.
  • Cook till bottom side becomes golden brown. 
  • Serve hot with chutney of your choice.

Notes: 

  1. You can choose the filling of your choice. I also make this with potatoes. Just replace paneer with potatoes. 
  2. Always cook bread idli on low flame. Otherwise the bottom side will be cooked and yogurt side will not get time to get set. 
  3. Serve it immediately or the bread will become soggy.
  4. For leftover bread sides, you can toast them in the oven and turn into bread crumbs.
  5. If the yogurt or curd you have is watery, simply line a colander with muslin cloth. Add yogurt/curd and keep it refrigerated for an hour. This will drain the excess whey.

For more quick yogurt recipes you can try out my quick and absolutely delicious Hung Curd Spinach Cheese Sandwiches

Do try out this recipe. I promise you will not be disappointed. Let me know in the comments if you do try. Would love to have your feedback. Happy Cooking! 😊

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A perfect and foolproof Jowar Bajra Roti Recipe

When winter rolls around, or when I’m on a diet, there’s one recipe I always turn to: Jowar Bajra Paratha. This wholesome and nutritious paratha is incredibly satisfying and pairs beautifully with jaggery or any curry sabji. Not only is it a staple during colder months, but it’s also a fantastic option for those looking to incorporate more healthful grains into their diet. So lets see how to make perfect jowar bajra paratha.

Ingredients:

1 cup Jowar Flour

1 Cup Bjara Flour

Water as needed

Ghee for Cooking

Instruction:

In a mixing bowl, combine the jowar flour and bajra flour. Gradually add hot water to the flour mixture. Keep adding water until the mixture comes together to form a soft and pliable dough. Knead the dough for a few minutes until it becomes smooth. The hot water helps in binding the flours.

Divide the dough into equal-sized portions to make roti. Take a portion of the dough and dust some flour to prevent sticking. Roll out the ball into a round roti. Heat a tawa on medium-high heat. Place the rolled paratha on the hot tawa. Cook for a minute  Flip the paratha and cook the other side. Apply ghee on both sides for added flavor and to keep the roti moist.

Once both sides are cooked and crispy, remove the roti from the tawa. Serve hot with jaggery or a curry of your choice.

Enjoy your nutritious and wholesome Jowar Bajra Roti! 🌾🍽

Do try out this simple recipe. I am sure you guys will love it. Let me know what other kind of millet roti you make at home in the comments section. It will be great to know.

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Lesua (Gum Berries) Rajasthani Gunda Kairi Ki Sabji

Irrespective of the scorching heat, summer comes with some amazing fruits and vegetables and one of them is lesua. Lesua is a unique berry known for its sticky seed inside. This seasonal vegetable is available only for a few months during the summer and favorite among who enjoy this vegetable. Lesua is often used in various traditional pickles and dishes. Rajasthani gunda kairi ki sabji is summer specialty of Rajasthan now widely used in north part of India too.

Ingredients:

Lesua (Gum berries)
Coriander powder
Garam masala powder
Red chili powder
Amchoor powder
Salt
Mustard oil
Cumin seeds (for tempering)

Instructions:

Begin by boiling the lesua in salted water until they are tender. Once cooked, drain the water and separate the seeds from the lesua.

Heat mustard oil in a kadai (or any frying pan) over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and allow them to splutter. Add the boiled lesua to the kadai and sauté for a couple of minutes. Sprinkle coriander powder, garam masala powder, and red chili powder over the lesua. Stir well to coat the lesua with the spices.

Cook the lesua with the spices for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking. Add amchoor powder and salt to the kadai. Mix well to incorporate the spices evenly. Cook the lesua for another minute to allow the flavors to blend together.

Once the lesua is cooked and coated with spices, remove from heat. Serve the lesua sabji hot with roti or paratha.

We encourage you to try out this delicious lesua sabji and share your feedback with us. If you want to enjoy this seasonal vegetable throughout the years don’t forget to check out our website for authentic lesua pickle.

Happy cooking!