Wanna gatecrash to great health…Stick to this rule: Don’t throw away those sticks…Pal..aka…Spinach! Stay slim with this all season super versatile veggie that is dense in nutrients and low in calories, heals your heart and guards your health.

 Dish Type:  South Indian sss enjoy copy

Preparation Time:  10 min

Cooking time:  20  min

Serves:  4 persons


Spinach sticks                    1 bunch

Water                                   500 ml

Salt to taste                        2 tsps approx.

Cinnamon                           ½” pc

Cardamom                          1 no.

Clove                                     1 no.

Flour                                      1 tbsp (Ragi or Rice or Wheat flour)

Fresh cream                       1 tbsp

Pepper powder                                1 tbsp


Separate spinach stalks and leaves. Wash the stalks thoroughly in water. Drain out the water.

Boil the sticks in about 250 ml water. Grind the boiled sticks to a paste. Put the paste back to the boiled water. Add some more water (250 ml approx.) and salt. Continue boiling. Tie cinnamon, cardamom and clove in a cloth and put this into the boiling water. Add flour to a bowl. Make it into a paste using few spoons of water. Add this paste to the boiling water. Continue boiling for 10 to 15 min. When the stock reaches soup consistency, add fresh cream whisked along with few spoons of milk, a pinch of salt and pepper. Add this to the boiling broth and switch off the flame.

Spinach Stalks Soup is now ready.


Boiled peas, sweet corn or any other boiled vegetable, boiled noodles, fried bread pieces may also be added to this soup.

Spinach stalks are rich in fibre and easy to digest as compared to those of few other leafy greens.

Since only stalks are used here, the soup is not really green in colour. To get a clear green coloured soup, cook spinach leaves, grind and add the paste to the soup. The more of the paste that you add, the greener shall be the soup in colour!


Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater….pump your kith and kin with this bold and beautiful sweet veggie and see them sprint to a healthy, nutritious diet. Enjoy them ebbing in calories amidst a generous flow of fibre, vitamins and minerals, packing themselves with proteins all the way. Why leave yourself out, Pete? Join them in their race to great health!

Called by many other names like Sugar pumpkin, Pie pumpkin, Baking pumpkin, Golden nugget pumpkin, etc. the secret behind the bright orange hue lies in beta carotene that boosts eye health. While savoring the earthy flavour and sweet taste of the creamy orange flesh don’t forget to save the shell and the seeds, for its true treasure lies here!

 Dish Type: South Indian Side Dish Sweet Pumpkin

Preparation Time: 15 min

Cooking time: 15 min

Serves: 5 persons


For boiling

Sweet pumpkin           500 gms

Water                          ½ litre

Tamarind paste           1 tsp

Curry leaves                1 sprig

Turmeric pwd             A pinch

Salt to taste                 1 tsp approx. (divide into 2 parts – 1 part at the start of boiling and the 2nd part towards the end when ground chutney is added)

Jaggery                        1 tbsp (optional; if used, add towards the end of boiling)

For dry frying

Til seeds                     1 tbsp

Methi seeds                ¼ tsp

Jeera                           ½ tsp

Red chillies                  6 to 8 nos.

For grinding

Raw grated coconut    ¼ of a coconut

Dry fried ingredients (mentioned above)

For seasoning:

Oil                               1 tsp

Mustard seeds            1 tsp

Black gram                  1 tsp

Red chillies                  2 nos.

Asafoetida                   A pinch


Wash sweet pumpkin in salt water. Drain the water. Remove the seeds. Cut the vegetable into small cubes with the skin.

Boil the vegetables in a vessel along with ½ litre water, tamarind paste, curry leaves, turmeric powder and salt for about 10 min.

While vegetable is boiling….

Dry fry til, methi, jeera and red chillies seperately in a small kadai. Transfer it to a plate and let it cool.

Grate raw coconut and grind it along with the above dry fried ingredients. Use little quantity of water to grind it to chutney consistency.

Mix this ground chutney to the boiling vegetable. At this stage, add little more salt (check if required) and jaggery, if desired. Continue boiling for another 5 min. The tempting flavour you get at this stage tells you, it’s time for seasoning.

Heat oil in a small skillet. Put mustard seeds. When they crackle, add black gram and then broken red chillies. Switch off the flame. Add asafoetida and immediately pour it on to the boiling gojju.

Sweet Pumpkin Gojju is now ready. Use it with rotis, hot steam cooked rice or dosas.


What’s gojju…did you ask? Read all about it in “Tamarind Gojju” recipe from this blog.

Also view other gojju recipes in our blog Raisins Gojju” “Onion Tomato Gojju” “Lime Juice Gojju” and “Cucumber Onion Hasi Gojju”.


When Neeru means water, then doesn’t Neeru + Dosa add up to become Water Dosa? Literally known as ‘Water Dosa”, is it made only of water? Not really…for this paper thin crepe is a batter made using only rice and coconut. Water is added in larger quantity than usual, to get the watery consistency, integral to making this variety of dosa. Coconut adds to the taste and texture of the dosa.

 Dish type: South Indian Breakfast/Supper Dish Neeru Dosa

Preparation time: 10 min

Soaking time:  8 to 10 hours

Grinding time: 15 min

Fermenting time: 12 hrs

Yield: 2 kgs

Ingredients   (for preparing batter)

Rice                             500 gms

Raw grated coconut    ½ fresh coconut

Water                          1.5 litres

Salt                              2 tsp approx.


Soak rice for 8 to 10 hours.

Drain the water after soaking time is over. Save this water for adding to batter later. Grind rice along with raw grated coconut in grinder or mixie.

Keep adding little quantities of water and stir the batter at intervals.

The batter keeps sticking to the sides of the grinder/mixie. Keep clearing the sides off the batter by pushing the batter towards the centre.

Let the grinding continue till the texture of batter becomes smooth.

Transfer it to a vessel of size that holds the batter in less than half its height. Now add salt and mix thoroughly. Add more water since the batter must be of flowing, buttermilk like consistency. To test the consistency, dip a spoon in the batter. If the spoon has a thick coating of the batter, then more water has to be added. This batter doesn’t need fermenting and can be used immediately.

Neeru Dosa Batter is now ready.

Leftover batter can be refrigerated for later use. But when reusing the refrigerated batter, it should be brought back to room temperature. Cold batter sticks to the tawa. Mix the batter thoroughly before preparing the dosa.

To prepare dosa….

Heat a greased tawa (preferably iron) on high flame. Sprinkle few drops of water on the hot tawa. It should sizzle. Now reduce the flame to low.

Mix the batter thoroughly with a ladle. Do this for every dosa. Pour a ladleful of batter on the tawa in circular fashion starting from the outer sides of tawa towards the centre.  Actually, the batter flows by itself towards the centre. Fill big holes if any with the batter. Let tiny holes remain. No need to add oil, unlike many other types of dosas.

Cover it with a lid. Turn the flame to medium and cook the dosa for a few seconds. Neeru dosa cooks quite fast and doesn’t turn brown. So, make sure dosa is not overcooked expecting it to turn brown. When the top layer appears no longer raw and a bit dry, lift the sides by sliding a flat spatula from beneath. No need to flip the dosa to cook the other side. Fold the dosa into half and again into half to form a triangle. Place it on a platter of size bigger than the size of the dosa you prepared. Wipe the tawa clean, before making the next dosa.

When you continue to make more Neeru Dosas, place them away from each other, since they tend to stick to each other when hot. Once cool, they can be placed one above the other in a covered bowl and served warm later. A fully cooked Neeru Dosa will have a rich white colour.

Serve it steaming hot or cool, with coconut chutney, peanut chutney, ginger chutney, sambar, pickle, onion tomato curry or jaggery-coconut mix.

Also view in this blog recipes of “Plain Dosa” and “Curd Dosa


Neeru dosa batter can be refrigerated. Before using, thaw it to room temperature. Also you will see a layer of water on top and the batter settled below. Discard this layer of water and add fresh water (it should be at room temperature). Mix thoroughly and if required, do add a pinch of salt.

Typically, Neeru Dosa is pure rich white in colour. Red rice Neeru Dosa  copy

However also shown in the picture alongside is Neeru Dosa in reddish brown colour. This is because it is made using unpolished red rice. It contains high fibre and has high nutrition value. More about red rice and its recipes some time in our future posts.

BAINGAN (Badanekaayi/Eggplant) BHARTHA

Beauty of an accompaniment embraced equally well by rotis or rice. A delightful dish made with Brinjal, cooked or roasted, peeled and mashed making it awesomely aromatic; cooked tomatoes making it tangy; ginger, garlic making it gently pungent; spice powders making it spicier and onions marking a broad baseline of sweet and earthy flavour. The term “Bhartha” is used when ingredients are mashed roughly either before or after the dish is done. Baingan (also known as Badanekaayi, Brinjal, Eggplant, Aubergine, Guinea Squash, Melanzane, Melongene, Garden Egg) is a low calorie vegetable. Antioxidants present in the vegetable keeps the arteries healthy and prevents heart attack. Being rich in fibre, it helps clear toxins from the digestive tract, prevents colon cancer and prevents overeating since even a small serving makes one feel full. Its high water content also flushes the toxins away….making your skin glow the fairy way!

Dish Type:  Indian Vegetarian Curry BB 3 copy

Preparation Time:  10 min

Cooking time:  20 min

Serves:  2 persons


Brinjal                         1 no. (purple coloured, big size, round variety)

Oil                               1 tbsp

Cumin seeds                ½ tsp

Onions                         4 nos.

Tomato                        2 nos.

Ginger Garlic paste     1 tsp

Coriander powder       1 tsp

Cumin powder            1 tsp

Chilli powder               1 tsp

Masala powder           A pinch

Turmeric powder        A pinch

Salt to taste                 2 tbsps. approx.

Coriander leaves         1 tbsp (fine chopped)


Cook brinjal in tandoor style for that distinct smoky flavour….greased in oil (with a few pricks all over for fast and uniform cooking) and roasted over an open flame on low setting till it is cooked well. Keep turning and cooking till the entire skin is charred, the inner flesh looks really soft, the skin starts curling and is in a ready to peel state. (helloeasyroutefinders”, cook brinjal in pressure cooker with water like you cook potatoes. Let it cool.) Peel the skin of onions and chop them fine. Pour oil (2 tbsps.) in a kadai. Heat the oil and put cumin seeds. When they splutter, add ginger garlic paste. Fry it and then put chopped onions. Add salt and turmeric powder. Stir well. Fry in low flame slowly. When onions have fried well, they would have reduced in quantity. Now put coriander (dhania) powder, cumin (jeera) powder, chilli powder and masala powder. Mix well and continue frying in low flame. Fried onions appear further reduced in quantity. Now add finely chopped tomatoes and continue frying. Meanwhile, try piercing the cooked brinjal with the back of a spoon. Did the spoon make its way in, just as it would into soft butter? Yes…now peel the skin of cooked brinjal. Open the brinjal into half. Make sure brinjal is not spoilt inside. Sure fire check systems in place…right? Now mash it and add to the onion tomato mix that is being fried. Mix well. Let it simmer for few more minutes. Switch off the flame. Garnish with finely chopped fresh coriander leaves.

Baigan Bhartha is now ready. Serve hot with rotis, chapathis, phulkas, plain rice, jeera rice, crunchy toast…hmmm can’t resist!


Brinjals that are big in size, with smooth and shiny surface are more likely to have lesser number of seeds. Pick the ones that look firm, shiny, healthy, heavy and solid.

Check to see if the stalk is green, firm and stout. The whole vegetable including its skin and small, fine seeds are edible.

It is preferable to use a stainless steel knife to cut brinjals since it prevents the chemical reaction between phytochemicals present in brinjal and the metal.

If you have itching problems et al, don’t go dying for brinjal.