Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Amla (Gooseberry) Preserve with Raisins and Cashew Nuts

During our recent visit to Mumbai, I tasted this wonderful Preserve at my brother's place and really relished it. So, naturally I had to have the recipe.
(He called it “Awla Lacha”. I have changed the name to Amla Preserve). What’s in a name anyway? ! It tastes fantastic either way !
My better-half got the Amlas and I made it immediately - not once but twice (prepared after two days again) since it was consumed in no time ! Everybody loved it and since Amlas have immense health benefits and are packed with Vitamin C, you don’t feel guilty of consuming it. Generally, taste and health don’t go hand-in-hand but this one does!

Next time however, I would like to try this same recipe substituting jaggery (molasses) for sugar and make it still healthier!

Chutney prepared from Amla also tastes good. I have already posted the recipe. In case anyone of you are interested, you can see it here.

 Amla Preserve 20

 Amla Preserve 3


Amla/Gooseberry  (grated)
1 cup
1 cup
1 cup
Red Chilly powder
¼ tsp
Black pepper powder
¼ tsp
Garam masala
¼ tsp
Rock salt (Kala Namak)
½ tsp
Cumin (jeera) powder
½ tsp
Turmeric (haldi) powder
¼ tsp
As per taste
Raisins (cleaned and washed)
1 tbsp
Cashew nut pieces
1 tbsp


Ingredients - kept ready
  1. Keep all the above mentioned ingredients ready.
  2. Heat a pan preferably a non-stick one. Add water, grated amla (gooseberry) and sugar.
  3. Mix well. And keep it on a medium heat.
  4. Add rest of the ingredients (except raisins and cashew nuts).
  5. Allow it to boil. Lower the flame and let it cook till it forms single string syrup and glazy.   This should take about 25 - 30 mins.
  6. At this stage, add the raisins and cashew nut pieces. Cook it for another 2 minutes. Remove from flame. Let it cool.
  7. When cooled, store it in an air-tight glass jar at room temperature.

Water, grated Amla and sugar being boiled

Added all the masalas
Has become glazy with one string syrup after 25 mins
 raisins and cashew nut pieces added

Preparation time: 15-20mins
Cooking time: 25-30mins

  • Needs no refrigeration and can last for a year.
  • This quantity fills a 250-300 gm glass jar/bottle.
  • It goes well with chapattis or as a sandwich spread.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Black-Eyed Bean Salad

Now-a-days everyone is so health concious that inclusion of salad is a must in ones' daily diet. I too try and rustle up simple to exotic salads whenever possible.
I had kept aside some boiled black-eyed beans and tried this recipe from one of my various collections. Addition of boiled beans along with other salad vegetables enhances its nutritive value and besides it can also be eaten as a meal by itself especially when one is too tired or lazy to do an elaborate recipe !

 Bean Salad 12>


Black-eyed beans (boiled)
1 cup
Spring onions (chopped)
Tomatoes (chopped)
Coriander leaves (chopped)
2 tbsps
Ginger Dressing*
About 2 tbsp
As per taste

*Ginger Dressing:
Olive Oil
1 tbsp
Soya sauce
¾ tbsp
Lemon juice
¾ tbsp
Ginger (finely chopped)
1 inch piece
Garlic (chopped)
1-2 cloves
¾ tsp or As per taste

  1. Place all the Ginger dressing ingredients in a screw-topped bottle or jar and shake well to blend.
  2. Drain the boiled black-eyed beans well and mix with the dressing while still warm. Leave it to cool.
  3. When cooled, add the remaining ingredients (chopped spring onions, chopped tomatoes, chopped coriander leaves) and season with salt and pepper   
  4. Mix thoroughly and serve.
Vegggies chopped & dressing ready

Cooking time     :   25 mins
Preparation time: 15-20 mins
Serves: 2


  • I have used olive oil for the dressing. You may use any oil of your choice.
  • You can substitute Red Kidney beans for Black-eyed beans. 
  • Tastes good with chapattis too. 
  • Since soya sauce is used in the dressing, limit the usage of salt in the salad as soya sauce contains a high amount of sodium.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Strawberry Vanilla Milkshake

After a hectic day, I wanted to just relax and have some refreshing drink which could be prepared in a jiffy and without cooking. And at the same time I wanted it to be healthy too.
I noticed that I had strawberries in the refrigerator and I also wanted to finish off the Vanilla Ice-cream that was lying in the freezer. So I combined both these and added a little milk to it and voila! - A tasty and a refreshing drink!  It tasted so delicious that I thought of sharing this with you all.

Strawberry Vanilla Milkshake


Fresh Strawberries
150 gms
Vanilla Ice-cream
About  200 ml.
100 ml


  1. Wash the strawberries and pat them dry with a kitchen towel. Set aside two for decoration (Do not remove the stalk)
  2. Let the ice-cream thaw a little.
  3. Chop the rest of the strawberries and blend it to a fine puree.
  4. Add the vanilla ice-cream and milk and blend it until smooth.
  5. Pour into glasses and decorate with the strawberries that have been set aside.
  6. Serve immediately.

Preparation time: 10 mins
Serves: 2


  • I have omitted sugar. If you like it sweeter, you may add powdered sugar as per your taste.
  • I used low fat milk. You may increase the quantity of milk to dilute the drink if you so desire.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Oats Upma (Rulau)

He who has health has hope and he who has hope has everything - Arabian Proverb
Happiness lies, first of all, in health - George William Curtis

So here's wishing you all Health and Happiness in this New Year 2013.
I also take this opportunity to Thank You all for your support in making this blog a success.

And what better way to start the day than with an easy, tasty and a healthy breakfast.
“Rulau” is the Konkani word for “upma” (its a breakfast dish made from semolina). Here I have substituted oats for semolina and the result was excellent (my spouse endorses it too).

 Oats Upma 15


1 cup
Onion (chopped)
1 small
Tomato (chopped)
1 small
Green chilly (sliced)
1 or as per taste
Mustard seeds
1 tsp
Curry leaves
1 sprig
Turmeric powder
¼ tsp
Green Peas (frozen)
¼ cup
Cashew nuts (halved)
8-10 pcs
1 tbsp
2 cups
As per taste
Lime juice
1 tsp
Coriander leaves
1-2 tbsp (chopped)


Step 1
  1. Keep all the ingredients ready.
  2. Heat a pan – preferably a non-stick one. In it add oil, mustard seeds and curry leaves.
  3. As soon as the mustard seeds start spluttering, lower the flame and add the cashew nut (halved) pieces, green chilies (sliced or chopped), chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, and turmeric powder. Saute the mixture till the onions turn translucent.
  4. Add the frozen green peas, water and salt. Mix well. Increase the flame and let it boil till the peas are cooked. Then lower the flame.
  5. Now add oats little by little into it and keep stirring (to prevent any lumps being formed) till all the required oats have been added.
  6. Then cover it with a lid for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from flame.
  7. Add lime juice and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  8. Serve hot.

Step 2
Step 3
Step 4

Step 5

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2

Serving suggestion:
  • Keep aside a tbsp of chopped coriander leaves.
  • Smear a small steel vessel (vati) with oil. In it sprinkle a few chopped coriander leaves and cover this with the upma (just prepared) and press gently and overturn the vessel onto a serving plate. It will slide easily.
You can use any vegetables like carrot, beans, capsicum etc. (frozen or fresh) of your choice OR you can even omit the vegetables all together. The choice is yours.