How to make Refreshing Fennel Drink

In Ayurveda fennel seeds are considered very beneficial. Fennel seed is widely used in Indian cooking. Fennel seed not just adds flavor but it also have several health benefits.

In India it’s a common practice to have some fennel seed post meals. Fiber content in fennel seeds helps in improving digestion and often act as a handy mouth freshener. Most of the restaurants in India keeps a bowl of fennel seeds at the exit.

I remember during summers guest were often welcomed by healthy pudina (mint) drink or a glass of saunf ka sherbet. This easy saunf ka sherbet or fennel drink is still made every summer at my mom’s place.

Saunf-ka -sherbat

Tomato juice, sattu drink are also great summer drinks. These drinks are healthy and also helps in weight loss.

Health benefits of fennel seeds:

When consumed on regular basis in any form it works as a superb antioxidant. Fennel seed provide several valuable minerals to body and maintains hormonal balance.

Fennel seeds have a cooling effect on the body. It’s advisable to consume a fennel drink during pricking summer, to sooth body from heat.

When consumed regularly, fennel seed imparts cooling impact on the skin. It soothes skin inflammation and irritation and provides a healthy glow.

Its super easy to make and can be made in few minutes. Let’s have a look at easily available ingredients.

Ingredients for Fennel seed drink:

  • Fennel seed: ½ cup
  • Sugar: ½ cup
  • White pepper powder: ¼ tsp
  • Water: ¼ cup

How to make fennel seed syrup:

  • Soak fennel seeds for 3-4 hours.
  • Drain water and grind it in thick paste.
  • Sieve the fennel paste and collect its thick extract.
  • Heat sugar in pan with water. Let it simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. Let the sugar syrup cool down.
  • Now add the fennel juice, pepper powder and mix well.

fennel-drink

Transfer it in dry container and keep in refrigerator. This syrup will stay good for a month.

So here is the process of making simple and healthy fennel seed drink:

Mix ¼ part syrup and ¾ part cold water to make a glass of refreshing drink. This drink taste best when served chilled. Having a glass of this refreshing drink in summers is so soothing.

fennel-sherbat

So this summer say no to harmful ready-made drinks and packed juices. Instead go natural and try different healthy and refreshing home-made drinks.

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How to Draw Border in Madhubani Painting?

Border makes any painting look complete. They add depth within the composition, working as a frame for a painting. Often borders point inwards to the painting, establishing the viewer’s eye on the subject.

In Madhubani Painting, borders play important role. They expand upon the essence of the painting they are surrounded. It can be said, they are additional space to depict symbols related to the main Madhubani painting. You can consider border as footnotes that contain additional information supporting the main text.

Key features of Madhubani painting borders:

  • Borders are done with double lines.
  • Border surround the painting with unbroken continuity.
  • Borders can have linear patterns, asymmetric swirling motifs, scrolling lines and geometrical motifs.
  • Figurative natural motifs used in borders are fish, lotus, sun, abstract peacock, and parrot to name few. While geometrical motifs used are triangle, circle, semi-circle and square.
  • Borders can be simply drawn in black or only single color can be added. Colors in border are added keeping in mind the colors used in painting. Colors in border can be complimentary or contrasting in nature.

If you are interested in learning Madhubani painting, do read Madhubani painting in 6 easy steps. This folk art is based on figurative motifs and bright colors which catch kids attention. Practicing this detailed art increases kids’ focus and concentration. You can teach this interesting art to kids by following this post on easy Madhubani Painting for kids.

Here I’m sharing three easy steps to draw Madhubani borders each one with a different look.

Border 1:

This is an easy half inch width Geometrical pattern border. Double lines run on inward and outward line.

geometrical-pattern-madhubani-border1

Step 1: As you can see in the first image, I have drawn free-hand continuous semi-circles of same sizes. Added double line to the semicircle.

Step 2: Drawn same pattern on inside boundary. Added circles with double line.

Step 3:  Lastly filled the space between circle with lines. These lines add spatial depth to this simple border.

easy-madhubani-border

After adding colors, border looks like this. Here I have added random colors, one should add colors according to colors used in main composition.

Border 2:

Have used popular fish motif in this border. In Madhubani painting the fish is an auspicious sign for growth and prosperity.

fish-motif-madhubani-border

Step 1: Space out fish through-out the border at approximately equal distance.

Step 2: To add detailing in fish, I have made check pattern. Check pattern consists of crossed horizontal and vertical lines forming several squares.

Step 3: Filled the alternate squares with black ink to make check pattern more intricate. In the space between fish, I have added swirls and small circles.

easy-fish-border

So here is how the border looks like after dash of color. Addition of colors makes border come alive.

Border 3:

This is one inch border with lotus motif. Lotus motif signify feminine sexuality while bamboo trees stands for masculine sex.

lotus-motif-madhubani-border

Step 1: Have drawn lotus at equal distance. Lotus are lined up with upright and downward sequence. Draw the double line in lotus.

Step 2: Make detailing inside lotus and filled the negative space between lotuses with an ornate motif.

Step 3: Have added turquoise blue color which in madhubani painting symbolizes sky and the water. Pink is used in lotus being its obvious color and also works as contrasting color to turquoise blue.

easy-lotus-border

Things to remember:

  • Borders support the painting but one should keep in mind to not make borders too profound that they overwhelm the central theme.
  • Border is supporting artist so should not steal the beauty of central characters.

You must have got an idea that border adds amazing effect on a painting. Try and practice different forms and motifs in border. Try the effects that border can add to your own creations.

I have shared here what I’m learning each day by practicing and observing Madhubani painting. Hope this post helps you in your quest of learning this beautiful art form.

Keep practicing, keep learning!

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How to Make Raw Mango Chutney?

Mango season is here and I’m simply loving it. With the arrival of king of fruits, so many delicious seasonal food preparations are made. Although, I enjoy fresh mango aam-ras, but my childhood favorite is raw-mango chutney. At my home, it’s called kairi ki lungi.

Frankly speaking, more than mangoes, it’s raw mangoes that I wait for. Even while writing about it, my mouth has filled with taste of sweet and tangy raw mango chutney. 🙂

raw-mango-lungi

This sweet and tangy accompaniment can be paired with multi-grain paratha, kebabs or even chana dal pakora. Well, when you are fond of something, you actually tend to combine it with anything and everything. Same is the case with this raw mango chutney. Since I relish its taste, I pair it with even a slice of toast. 🙂

It can be used as a spread, dip or for adding sweet and sour taste to any food preparation.

I make it as soon as I see raw mangoes for the first time in market. So, here is the season’s first batch of my ultimate favorite lungi.

Ingredients:

  • Raw mangoes: 4-5 medium size
  • Sugar: ½ cup
  • *Panch-foran: 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida: ¼ tsp
  • Dry coriander powder: ¼ tsp
  • Red chili powder: ¼ tsp
  • Salt: As per taste
  • Turmeric: ¼ tsp
  • Ghee: 1 tbsp

*Panch-phoran literally means “five spices.”   It’s basically combination of five dry spices often used in eastern India recipes. However, you may notice it in Rajasthani curries and chutneys as well.

These combination of five spices invoke authentic Rajasthani flavor. It consists of cumin-seeds, mustard, nigella, fennel, and fenugreek. Normally, these are mixed in equal proportion. Since panch-phoran is often added in food preparations, these spices are mixed together and kept ready for use.

panch-phoran (five dry spices)

Depending on use, seeds can be dry roasted and coarsely grounded or can be used in tempering as whole seeds. Panch-phoran is also used in making authentic Rajasthani tomato chutney.

Procedure for raw mango chutney:

  • Peel and cut raw mangoes into small pieces. You can cut into thin slices or chop per your liking.
  • In a heavy bottom skillet, heat ghee and add panch-phoran and asafoetida.
  • Temper the spices on medium heat. When you hear crackle of spices, add coriander powder, chili powder, raw mango pieces and stir.
  • Add salt and turmeric and ½ cup of water. Stir well, cover and cook on low heat for 5 minutes.
  • Add sugar and ¼ cup water once you notice raw mango pieces have become little tender.
  • Cook further for 5 more minutes and take it off the flame.

This raw mango chutney or sauce stays good for 3-4 days at room temperature. Since this raw mango chutney can sustain without refrigeration it was a must companion for long travel trips during earlier days.

raw-mango-chutney

And if you keep it in refrigerator, it can easily for a month. Transfer it in a dry container for storing in refrigerator.

If you like making chutneys at home, you may also like to try mint chutney and tamarind chutney.

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Egg-less Ragi Cardamom Cookies

Ragi (Finger-millet in English) is a healthy gluten-free grain. Its also called nachni and is full of fiber and minerals like  iron and calcium.

People are now more aware about these alternative grains and their health benefits, and cookies and cakes are easy way to include these alternative flours in our diet.

Some time back I had shared recipes for delicious egg-less ragi flour orange cake and millet flour and sesame seed cake. Both these cakes are tasty and guilt-free indulgence.

Easy to make, these ragi cookies have nice crumbly texture (even after no use of baking soda). These healthy ragi cookies and whole-wheat coconut cookies can be a good companion of a glass of milk or a cup of masala tea.

egg-less-ragi-cookies So,here is the recipe for these easy egg-less ragi cookies:

Ingredients

  • Ragi flour: 1 cup
  • Whole-wheat flour: ¼ cup
  • Ghee: ¼ cup
  • Powdered sugar: ½ cup
  • Milk: 3-4 tbsp
  • Baking powder: ¼ tsp
  • Cardamom powder: ¼ tsp

Process

  • Sieve together baking powder and flour for two times and keep aside.
  • In a bowl take sugar and melted ghee.
  • Add flour and rub it with fingers and mix evenly. Proper rubbing and mixing flour with fingers will result in nice texture of cookies. In around 5 minutes flour will get collected.
  • Add milk to form a soft dough. Do not knead too hard.
  • Divide the dough in equal balls. This quantity will give you approximately 15-16 medium sized cookies.
  • You may use cookie cutter. Here I have shaped each ball by just pressing between palms.
  • Bake the cookies at 180°C in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Baking time differ from oven to oven, so keep an eye while cookies are getting baked.
  • Cookies will be soft and gooey when just out of oven. Let them rest for 5 minutes and then gently transfer them on cooling rack for further cooling. On cooling they will become firm and crisp.
  • Once cooled, transfer these healthy ragi cookies in an air-tight container, and they’ll stay good for 15-20 days.

healthy-easy-cookies

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How to make Instant Gulab-Jamuns?

Gulab-Jamun is one Indian dessert that’s loved by all. Traditionally, gulab-jamuns are prepared with mawa (khoya) and paneer (cottage cheese). However, many a times, following traditional recipe becomes difficult due to crunch. So, if you want to instantly serve guests with some traditional dessert, this gulab-jamun recipe should help you.

Instant-milkpowder-gulab-jamun

These instant gulab-jamuns are really simple and easy to make. Frankly speaking, whoever I have served these gulab-jamuns, everyone has asked for its recipe. They taste just like traditional rich gulab-jamuns.

It’s long due to share the recipe to so many of my bhaili’s. So, why not share it on this blog! 🙂

Here is the process I follow to make instant gulab-jamuns:

  • Making time: 25 minutes
  • Serving: 10-11 pieces (medium-size)

Ingredients

  • Milk powder: 1 cup
  • Ghee: 1 tbsp
  • All-purpose flour: ¼ cup
  • Milk: ¼ cup
  • Baking soda: 1 pinch
  • Cardamom powder: ¼ tsp
  • Saffron: few strands
  • Pistachio: ¼ tsp
  • Almond flakes: ¼ tsp
  • Rose extract: ¼ tsp (optional)
  • Ghee for deep frying

Ingredients for sugar syrup

  • Sugar: 1 cup
  • Water: 1 cup
  • Saffron: few strands
  • Cardamom: ¼ tsp

Procedure of sugar syrup:

  • To make the syrup, add water and sugar into a heavy bottom vessel and put it on low flame. It will approximately take 10 minutes.
  • Take a drop of syrup between your fingertips, join your fingers and move them apart. You must see a single strand. This is called “ek taar ki chaashni”. We need “ek taar ki chashni” for gulab-jamuns.

Make the sugar syrup (chaashni) and keep aside. The sugar syrup should be warm while putting gulab-jamuns into it. If the syrup is hot gulab-jamuns will burst.

Also, sugar will thicken a bit on cooling. So, it’s advisable to make it before-hand you will get exact idea on cooling and no chance of any doubt. If on cooling you find syrup too runny put it again on flame and if it’s too thick on cooling just add little water and heat a little. See it’s so easy!

  • Add few strands of saffron, cardamom powder and rose extract in this syrup and keep aside.

Procedure of gulab-jamuns:

  • Mix milk powder, flour, ghee and milk with gentle hands. Milk powder and flour will bind and result in a sticky dough.
  • Cover and let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
  • Gently rub the dough, you will find it little less sticky.
  • Apply ghee on palm and divide the dough into 10 equal portion.
  • In each potion add a stuffing of pinch of cardamom powder, saffron and make smooth ball.
  • Heat ghee in a heavy bottom skillet and fry balls on medium heat till they are golden.
  • Immediately soak them in warm sugar syrup.

After dipping gulab-jamuns in sugar syrup, cover the vessel with a plate. Let gulab-jamuns soak the syrup for an hour before serving. You will notice the increase in size of gulab-jamuns.

easy-gulab-jamun-recipe

Garnish with few almond and pistachio pieces before serving. You can increase these gulab jaumuns richness by adding a generous amount of kesaria rabdi on it just before serving.

If you like traditional Indian desserts you will also love instant moong daal halwa.

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How to make easy coconut cookies

These days I have been baking some healthy cookies. Some of the attempts have been really good while some were close to disaster.

However, of all the attempts, these crunchy and soft coconut cookies are the simplest and easiest to make. With a mischievous kid at home I’m always looking out for easy to make healthy recipes. 🙂

These coconut cookies are made of whole-wheat flour and without baking soda, making them perfectly suitable for kids. My daughter is fond of these soft coconut cookies and like to munch them along with cup of milk.

eggless-coconut-cookies

Kids normally like taste of coconut thus I often make these easy non cooking coconut ladoos.

If you are looking out for healthy recipes for kids you will definitely like cottage cheese muffins, millet flour and sesame seed cake and not to forget tasty egg-less ragi flour orange cake.

Coming back to these egg-less coconut cookies, here is the list of ingredients:

  • Whole wheat flour: 1 cup
  • Ghee: ½ cup
  • Powdered sugar: ¾ cup
  • Desiccated coconut: 1/2 cup
  • Milk: 3-4 tbsp.
  • Baking powder: ¼ tsp
  • Coconut extract: ¼ tsp
  • Rose petals: few

Procedure

  • Sieve together baking powder and flour twice.
  • In a bowl, beat sugar and melted ghee together for 2 minutes. You will notice sugar dissolving completely.
  • Keep aside 1 tbsp coconut powder and add rest of it in the bowl.
  • Further add coconut extract and flour in the bowl. Rub flour with fingers and mix evenly with ghee and sugar mixture. Proper rubbing and mixing with fingers will result in nice texture of cookies. In around five minutes flour will get collected.
  • Add milk to form a soft dough. You may require to add little more milk, it depends on flour to flour.
  • Divide the dough in equal balls. This quantity will give you approximately twenty medium size cookies.
  • You may use cookie cutter, here I have shaped each ball by just pressing between palms. Roll each ball in remaining desiccated coconut powder and give final shape. After giving shape, stick dry rose petal on each of the cookie.

easy-coconut-cookies

  • Bake the cookies at 180°C in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Baking time varies from oven to oven. So keep an eye while cookies are getting baked. On baking you will get nice golden color.
  • They will be soft and gooey when you take them out of oven. Let the cookies rest for 5 minutes and then gently transfer them on cooling rack for further cooling at room temperature. On cooling they will become crisp and crunchy.

healthy-coconut-cookies

Once cooled, transfer these healthy coconut cookies in air-tight container. These cookies stay good for 15-20 days.

I relish the combination of coconut cookies and healthy ragi cookies with my evening cup of masala tea. Do let me know how the cookies turned out. It’s always good to get your feedback.

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Happy International Women’s Day!

International Women’s Day (March 8) is the global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. A day to celebrate women empowerment.

Here is madhubani painting done by me and dedicated to all women. This painting depicts my desire of right for education for all women – women educated and well aware of their rights.

International-womens-dayMy dear bhailis, it’s been a wonderful journey with you all so far. I have grown a lot and learned so much from you all. I hope you all must have learned new things and met some amazing people around.

So, on the eve of Women’s Day, I want to say few things with you all.

  • Take yourself seriously: I know we are always taught to think about others first. But the truth is we cannot keep others happy if we are unhappy. So, do things that make you happy. If you want others to take you seriously, first take yourself seriously.
  • Time is money: Yes honey, time indeed is valuable money. More valuable than that diamond ring on your finger! So dispense your time very carefully. Stop wasting time on gossips, it’s not going to take you anywhere. In fact after meaningless negative talks you feel drained.
  • Make better use of technology: We are blessed to be in this internet age. Learning anything is easy with vast range of information available on our fingertips. Use technology for your advantage and for learning new things. However, think twice before donating your time on social media watching photos of others. Rather read some news and be aware of current happenings.
  • Take out time for yourself: We all know we should exercise, but how many of us actually do so. Consistency is important. Yoga class today, aerobics tomorrow and gym the other day with lots of bunking in between. Include some form of exercise in your routine and follow it regularly and sincerely.

Take out time for some art work (or anything creative) if you have inclination for it. Even some amount of creative art work will leave you relaxed and rejuvenated. Coloring pages for grown-ups in an excellent way to sooth your overworked mind.

  • Eat healthy and fresh: It’s so easy to get tempted by convenient options and follow unhealthy eating habits. Our dadi’s and nani’s are active in their old age because they ate fresh home-cooked food. So include some multigrain and healthy food options in your diet.

It’s so easy to include amaranth laddos and millet cakes and cottage cheese in our diets.

  • Don’t compete but empower others: The sad truth is, most females are competing with each other instead of supporting and helping. Stop castigating and judging others. You never know what someone’s struggle have been and their journey so far. Together we women can achieve so much.

So here’s wishing you all a very Happy Women’s Day!

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Easy and Authentic Sangri ki Sabzi

Food is not just something we eat to satisfy hunger. I believe food have emotional connection to it. Some food preparations have memories associated with them and we relate it to our loved ones.

I relate sangeri ki sabzi with my maternal grandmother. It’s been more than a year since she left us and still whenever I make sangria ki sabzi I feel the void she left.

It was a practice whenever I used to make sangri, I called her to ask the process she followed to make sangri ki sabzi. Every time she would say that I already know how to cook and have made several times but I still ask her how to make it. 🙂

She is no more, but I have loving memories of her. She used to make sangri ki sabzi, tamatar ki lungi and churma all by herself whenever I would be visiting her.

Few days back my mother had sent me a pack of ready to eat sangri ki sabzi. It was so horrible in taste that I decided to soon share the sangri ki sabzi recipe here. It’s so easy to prepare please make it yourself to relish authentic taste of this marwadi food.

sangri-sabzi

Rajasthan has hot and dry climate, so fresh vegetables were not easily available. Hence, most of the Rajasthani food has extensive use of dry vegetables, curd, flour and pulses. Moong dal halva is another popular Rajasthani delicacy. I have shared easy process to make traditional moong dal halva.

Have a look at moong dal tikki, farra if you are looking for lentil recipes.

Sangri ki sabzi can be made in several ways combining different dry berries. Ker and sangri is one popular combination.

sangri-subzi

I have used sangri and dry kachri just the way my grandmother used to prepare lovingly for us. So sharing her recipe with you all.

Ingredients for Sangri sabzi

  1. Dry Sangri: 1 cup
  2. Kachri: 3-4 pieces
  3. Ghee: 3tbsp
  4. Sugar: 2 tbsp
  5. Dry mango powder: 1 tbsp
  6. Red chilly powder: 1 tbsp
  7. Coriander powder: 1 tbsp
  8. Asafoetida (heeng): ¼ tsp
  9. Dry red chilly: 2
  10. Cumin seed: ¼ tsp
  11. Bay leaf (tej-patta): 1
  12. Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
  13. Salt as per taste

Process for Sangri sabzi

  • Rinse and soak sangri and kachri in water overnight.
  • Next day, soaked sangri and kachri will look like this and it’s ready to be cooked.

sangri-sabzi

  • In a closed vessel add some salt, ½ tsp turmeric and boil sangri and kachri for 15 minutes. On boiling sangri and kachri will become soft and tender. It will look like this.

sangri-sabzi

  • Drain out water and keep sangri and kachri aside.
  • Heat ghee in a skillet. Turn the heat to minimum and add cumin seeds, asafoetida, dry chilly and bay leaf.
  • Add sangri, kachri and stir well. Now add salt, turmeric powder, chilly powder, coriander powder and let it saute for a minute.
  • Now add rest of the ingredients like dry mango powder, sugar and stir well. Stir it for a minute allowing everything to blend well.

sangri-sabzi

As it’s cooked in generous amount of ghee and water is not used, it stays good for 2-3 days without refrigerator. This subzi is very handy while traveling.

Sangri is easily available in grocery stores in Rajasthan along with different berries. So, next time when you are visiting Rajasthan do remember to bring along some sangri.

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Egg-less Ragi Flour Orange Cake

Most of us look for ways to make food more nutritious and healthy. Cakes are liked by all and it’s an easy way to incorporate some multigrain flours. Multigrain flours like ragi, bajra definitely make cakes healthy compared to refined flour (maida).

However, initially I was quite skeptical how multigrain flour will taste in baked items, but trust me they add amazing texture and taste to cake and cookies. Egg-less millet and sesame seed cake that I shared here few days back was appreciated and liked by many of Bhailis.

So, here I’m sharing nutritious ragi orange cake. Ragi is also called nachni and is called Finger-millet in English.

ragi-flour-orange-cake

Health benefits of Ragi

Ragi is a whole grain that is gluten-free and a staple in South India. This wonder grain is full of iron, calcium and other minerals. That’s why this grain must be included in diets of individuals with iron and calcium deficiency.

Additionally it’s rich in fiber and fiber-rich grains are always good for heart. It also helps in weight-loss. The more overweight a person is more likely chance to develop heart diseases. So even a slight reduction in weight can reduce risk of heart diseases.

Is Ragi flour good for Diabetics?

Of-course yes! The low glycemic index (GI) of ragi controls blood glucose levels. A low GI indicates that the food is slowly absorbed, preventing the spike in insulin level. Hence consumption of ragi flour is suitable for diabetics.

The more overweight a person is the more likely he/she is to develop heart diseases. So even a slight reduction in weight can reduce risk of heart diseases.

Also, when Vitamin C is combine with ragi it helps in better absorption of iron in body. Hence I have used fresh orange juice in this nutritious ragi cake. Have served this rich cake with orange marmalade.

healthy-ragi-cakeI would like to add I’m no medical expert, and these are some healthy tips that I have learned over the period of time. The golden rule is, anything in excess is harmful while moderation is always beneficial. Coming back to my healthy ragi cake. 🙂

Ingredients for ragi orange cake:

  1. Ragi flour: 1 cup
  2. Whole wheat flour: 1/3 cup
  3. Fresh malai: 2/3 cup
  4. Orange juice: ¾ cup
  5. Coco powder: 2 tbsp
  6. Palm sugar: 2/3 cup
  7. Orange extract: ¼ tsp
  8. Baking powder: ¼ tsp
  9. Baking soda: ¼ tsp
  10. Orange zest: ¼ tsp

Procedure

  • Bring together both the flours, baking powder and soda, coco powder and sieve thrice.
  • Extracting juice from two medium size orange it will give you ¾ cup juice.
  • In a bowl add malai, orange extract, palm sugar and beat for 2 minutes.
  • Add dry ingredient in bowl and give a quick blend with beater.
  • Pour orange juice, orange zest and using spatula fold in to get smooth consistency batter.
  • Pre-heat the oven at 180° Celsius. Grease and line the baking tray.
  • Pour the batter in mould and bake for 35 minutes at 180° Celsius. After 35 minutes continue baking for further 10 minutes at 160° Celsius.
  • Check by inserting toothpick at the center of cake. If toothpick comes out clean, cake is baked and allow it to cool. If the toothpick gets sticky, it means cake requires further baking.
  • Allow cake to cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes and then transfer it on cooling rack for further cooling. Slice the cake once it has cooled completely.

nutritious-eggless-ragi-cake

If you are looking for healthy recipes you will surely like egg-less cottage cheese muffins and Egg-less banana walnut muffins. Egg-less banana oats pancake makes a easy and healthy lunchbox recipe.

P.S: Instead of malai you can very well use ghee (clarified butter), butter or oil of your choice.

I have used fresh orange juice, however packed juice can be used as well. Make sure all ingredients used are at room temperature.

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Goddess Saraswati – Madhubani Painting

As per Hindi Lunar calendar, Basant Panchami or Saraswati Puja is celebrated on the fifth day of Magh Shukla. Basant panchami is also called Vasant or Shree panchami. This year it will be celebrated on 01/02/2017.

maa-saraswati-madhubani-painting

Goddess Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge and basant panchami is celebrated as goddess Saraswati’s birthday.

In eastern parts of India especially in Bihar, Saraswati puja is celebrated with great pomp and show. Pandals are set up and statues of saraswati maa is placed and worshiped.

Chath puja is another festival celebrate with with great dedication in Bihar. Here is a madhubani painting depicting Sun God worshiping on Chath puja.

My memories of Saraswati puja

I have fond childhood memories of saraswati puja. I remember we used to had school holidays on basant panchami and we would get ready early in morning.

As kids, we used to get new sets of yellow color garments specially to be worn for saraswati puja.

Significance of yellow color on Basant Panchami

Basant panchami embarks arrival of spring. At this time of the year, yellow mustard flowers are in full bloom and nature has hue of yellow around it. I also remember special sweet saffron rice and yellow lentil curry was made for lunch on basant panchami.

We used to clean our ink pens and keep our books and stationery in front of maa saraswati and perform puja. As we were supposed to abstain from reading and writing on this day. This day was spent in total fun sans any studies. 🙂

About this Goddess Saraswati madhubani painting:

Madhubani painting is folk art of Bihar and you can read more about this art here.  In this Madhubani painting I have shown maa saraswati siting on swan holding her musical instrument veena. Goddess Saraswati is also known as veena vadini.

saraswati-veena-painting

Goddess Saraswati’s favorite color is white. Traditionally, goddess of wisdom and enlightenment is dressed in white clothes sitting on white lotus with white swan on her side.

However, Madhubani painting being all about bright colors, I have dressed saraswatiji in yellow attire with pink lotus flowers.

According to  vedas, each god has an animal or bird associated with them. Like ganesha has mouse and Krishna has peacock associated with them. In this basant panchmi Madhubani painting, I have kept Swan (maa Saraswati’s vehical) in white color with intricate colorful detailing.

goddess-saraswati-swan-art

I sincerely wish Goddess Saraswati grant all of us intellect and wisdom to differentiate between good and evil.

Happy Basant Panchami to all!

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