Ramdana Snack for Vrat

During Navratri some of us observe nine days’ fast and are always looking out for some easy to make vrat or upvas (fasting) food. Whole lots of variety of falahar (food for fasting) dishes are made these days. Endless food combinations with lot of creativity can be seen even on fasting days.

However, if you talk about me I believe in doing simple things and don’t prefer too much elaborate cooking during fast. I prefer low-fried and simple eating during fast.

So I came up with this idea of making and storing amaranth (ramdana or rajgira) and dry fruits snack before navratri.  I particularly wanted to avoid using potato in this namkeen because potato is anyways used in lot of other vrat foods.

Rajgira snack for vrat

This type of dry snack is handy when sudden hunger pang strikes on fasting days.  Have a bowl of it with a warm glass of milk or masala chai and you are relieved from sudden hunger.

This amaranth or rajgira snack requires just 1 tsp of ghee and that too without frying. It’s quite healthy and can be had as regular snack as well. In fact, it’s a better option for kids as evening snacks than giving them packet of unhealthy snacks full of fat.

Amaranth is no less than a super-food with lots of health benefits. You may also read my post on ramdana (amaranth) ladoo with jaggery, which is another healthy snack that we can easily include in our daily eating.

All right, so here is the list of ingredients for this easy-to-make ramdana namkeen for vrat.

Ingredients

  • Puffed ramdana (amaranth): 1 cup
  • Roasted almonds: 2 tbsp
  • Roasted cashew: 2 tbsp
  • Roasted peanuts: 2 tbsp
  • Roasted makhana (Euryale ferox): 2 tbsp
  • Dry coconut (small pieces): 1 tbsp
  • Raisins: 2 tbsp
  • Few curry leaves
  • Rock salt (optional): 1 tsp
  • Ghee (clarified butter): 1 tsp

Procedure

  • In a heavy bottom skillet, roast almonds, cashews, peanuts, small dry coconut pieces and makhana on low flame. Continue roasting on low flame till they turn golden and crisp.
  • I didn’t used ghee for roasting, however you can if you like. After cooling, cut roasted almonds, cashews and makhana into halves.
  • Heat ghee in a small skillet and temper curry leaves in it. For tempering, heat the ghee very hot, then reduce to medium and then add the curry leaves. You will know tempering is over once leaves get dark and change color.

Normally in vrat food, we use ghee in cooking. I make ghee at home from malai or chhalii formed on the top of milk. You can read my post on how to make ghee in microwave to know the easy process I follow to extract ghee.

  • Let curry leaves cool. After cooling, crush the leaves by hand. Curry leaves makes this snack flavorsome and fragrant.
  • Bring everything together in a bowl and add the tempered curry leaves, rock salt and mix well.

ramdana-vrat-recipe

Store it immediately in air-tight container to maintain its crispiness. This healthy snack stays good for a month.

People observing fast in India abstain from regular salt and have rock salt instead. If you are making it as a regular snack and not as fasting food, then you can add regular salt too.

While tempering curry leaves you can also add green chilies. Since, my daughter is fond of munching this snack, I avoid adding chilly in it. 🙂

ramdana-falahar-recipe

You may also like to read vrat related recipes like easy rabdi, coconut ladoos. I have written about sugar peanut chikki as well as jaggery peanut chikkis.

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Egg-less Banana oats-Pancakes

There are times when we look for a healthy meal option that gets ready in jiffy and is filling too. It also brings a change from same old regular preparations. This is where egg-less banana and oats pancake becomes helpful.

Some days, my daughter wakes up little late for her school and not much time is left to run behind her for milk and breakfast. This is when these pancakes come really handy. In these whole wheat pancakes, milk and curd is used, so it becomes a good alternative to separate portion of milk and regular breakfast dish.

Eggless banana-oats-pancakes

Even on weekends, when we are going out and know it will be late for lunch then these pancakes becomes a good brunch idea. I usually make some extra and even pack along while going out. Whenever going out, I’m in habit of keeping some home-cooked food for my daughter.

So, here is the list of ingredients for easy and healthy banana pancakes recipe. Quantity mentioned here makes 7-8 medium sized pancakes.

Ingredients

  • Whole wheat flour: ½ cup
  • Roasted oats: 1/3 cup
  • Banana: 1 big size
  • Desiccated Coconut: 2 tbsp
  • Curd: ½ cup
  • Milk: 1 cup
  • Honey: ¾ cup
  • Cinnamon powder: 1 tsp
  • Cashew powder: 1 tbsp
  • Fennel: ½ tsp
  • Ghee (clarified butter) for cooking
  • Glazed cherries: 4-5

Process

  • Take banana, desiccated coconut and mash it with the help of a fork.

Healthy banana-oats-pancakes

  • Bring together all dry ingredients in bowl.  Add honey, curd and mix properly.

Eggless banana-oats-pancakes

  • Start adding milk to form a batter with thick consistency. If batter is still thick even after adding 1 cup milk, you can further add 1-2 tbsp milk to it. Adjust quantity of milk according to thickness of batter.  Make sure there are no lumps in batter.
  • Cover and leave the batter for 10 minutes before proceeding to make these soft and scrumptious pancakes.

If you notice, no baking powder or baking soda is used in these pancakes. As I make these pancakes especially for my daughter, I deliberately avoid baking powder. Banana, curd and milk make these pancakes soft. The best part is these pancakes remain soft even after cooling.

  • Heat an iron girdle on medium heat. Once the girdle is hot, grease it with some ghee and switch off the flame. Let the girdle cool once. Again heat the girdle and take a ladle full of batter and spread on hot iron girdle. This heating and cooling the girdle will prevent the pancakes from sticking on girdle or getting burnt.
  • Drizzle few drops of ghee around the pancake. I have used generous amount of ghee as it is good for brain development of kids. Depending on your choice, you can reduce the amount of ghee or not use it at all.

Eggless-banana-oats-pancakes

I make ghee at home from malai or chhalii formed on the top of milk. You can read post on how to make ghee in microwave to know the easy process I follow to extract ghee.

  • After a minute or two, you will notice pancake on girdle is all bubbly and edges have become dry. With the help of broad spatula, flip it to cook it on other side too. You will get some nice golden brown layer and sweet cinnamon smell filling your kitchen.
  • Before serving, pour honey or any sweet syrup of your liking. Fresh fruit and yogurt also taste good along with pancakes. Since my daughter love cherries, I sprinkle few pieces of it before serving her.

Eggless-banana-oats-pancakes

If your kid is not fond of fennel seeds or cinnamon, you can skip these ingredients. You can add cardamom powder instead.

I hope you try these healthy pancakes and it’s loved by your child and all in the family. It would be great if you can let me know your feedback on it.

My side tip: When kids are in the phase when they just don’t want to drink milk, the recipe that comes handy is egg-less cottage-cheese muffins. Cottage cheese is nutritious and can be given to kids in variety of forms. You can easily make Cottage-cheese at home. If kid has liking for pasta and pizza then you can also try Italian veggie potato which also uses cottage cheese in its preparation and is quite healthy too.

I’m really delighted as Bhaili.com will soon be celebrating its first birthday. Thank you all the readers for reading and appreciating the posts.

Do visit and like Bhaili’s Facebook page to get regular updates. You can also find me on Pinterest. You may also subscribe to this blog by entering your email-id in EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION section (top of the right-hand column for desktop-readers and bottom of screen for mobile-readers).

Thank You

My heart is filled with so many thoughts and emotions as Bhaili’s first anniversary approaches on 13th October. It feels really happy and satisfying with the journey so far.

Blogging allowed me to know so many wonderful people with knowledge on different topics. I’m enriched by reading so many wisdom-rich blogs.

I remember when I was struggling for words when I sat down to write my first post – What is Madhubani Painting. However, reading and seeing others work made me more confident to present my work too.

Piyusha Vir is my ‘Guiding Angel’ – I often refer her with this name! Her command over English is inspiring. I’m always in awe how she weaves magic with her words.  You can read her interactions with aliens on her blog WanderingSoulWriter.com.

I remember I came to know Anand through commenting boot camp and his guidance in initial days was so valuable. I bet you can’t stop laughing after seeing his humorous creations on RoflWithqsm.com.

When I got few appreciations for my post on farra, I realized people will read about recipes only if it looks good. Sadly my earlier food recipe posts went unnoticed! This is when I came across Madhuri  rustic photos on MadAboutKitchen.wordpress.com.  Madhuri you are a magician – you can even make dry chilies look so glamorous.

I came to know of another Madhuri – Madurie Singh – who is so focused and inspiring. Always coming up with new ideas and working to empower women. If you are looking for guide on your kid’s school, have a look at Madhuri’s blog at MadhurieSingh.com.

When Freda cooks food, I always sit up and take notice. Efforts she take to present her food taught me to work on mine. Have a look at some of her authentic Goan food at AromaticEssence.co.

Vinayak’s knowledge and command over vast variety of art amazes me. From calligraphy to logos to hand-lettering and many more art form. I’m enriched being a regular visitor at ZeroCreativity0.wordpress.com.

Following Danny’s blog made me aware that if you want interaction on your blog, start interacting with fellow bloggers. His in-depth knowledge about blogging can be of great help to every blogger. Danny continues to help and encourage fellow bloggers at DreamBigDreamOften.co.

Questions that Akhila ask on her blog –  WordsAndNotion.wordpress.com – are so thought-provoking. I often find thinking myself that what she will come up with next. Her philosophical thoughts are always a good read.

Sonia is such a wonderful writer whose posts made me more comfortable with writing. Check her blog at scribbles50.com.

I can go on and on to write and thank so many creative people that I came to know this year. However, I will stop here and hopefully there will new names next here.

I know I have company of wonderful bloggers looking forward to many more wonderful years of blogging together.

Do visit and like Bhaili’s Facebook page to get regular updates. You can also find me on Pinterest. You may also subscribe to this blog by entering your email-id in EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION section (top of the right-hand column for desktop-readers and bottom of screen for mobile-readers).

Free mandala coloring page

Drawing mandala and adult coloring books with mandalas have become newfangled meditative activities. When you start coloring a mandala, you get engross in its intricate patterns, leaving behind your stress, worries and anxieties. Concentrating in mandala art sharpen your artistry and stimulate mental prosperity.

So, here I’m sharing a free printable lotus bud mandala. You can try yourself and see how effective stress-buster mandala coloring can be.

free-printable-mandala-coloring-page

The bud of lotus personifies potential to grow. From mud and slush blossoms a pure lotus unaffected by its surroundings. I hope coloring this lotus mandala harmonize your thoughts as it did mine while drawing it.

You can learn to draw a mandala all by yourself by reading post on how to draw mandala in 6 easy steps.  However, before you begin drawing or coloring a mandala I would suggest you familiarize yourself little bit about what is mandala?

What is a Mandala?

Being an Indian, I feel great pride in saying that the word “mandala” arrived from Sanskrit language. In Sanskrit “mandala” means circle.

Mandala is blend of geometric and organic patterns used as symbolic representation of universe. Monks in Tibetan, Buddhism and saints in Hinduism have used mandalas as aid to focus in meditation.

How Mandala has evolved?

From the basic square shape, Mandala has evolved into Mandala art. Mandala art refers to mandala design created in circular form, be it sketched, drawn or painted.  It can be on any medium – paper, canvas or any other fabric.

These days any intricate circular pattern is considered to be a mandala pattern. However a mandala pattern has a central point from where it grows into a symmetrical mandala design with repeated patterns.

Why people are connecting to Mandala art?

This is because Mandala is helps people to connect with their inner-self. Life is busy and there are so many distractions all around, and Mandala gives the piece of mind.  Drawing a Mandala act as a relaxing therapy as its intricate pattern detaches you from things around you.

You can also have a look at free printable coloring page if you are interested in free coloring page.

Drawing or coloring Mandala will work like a meditation resulting in mentally renewed and more focused you. I attain the same meditative state of mind while doing Madhubani painting and Zentangles.

So go ahead, leave behind your concerns and worries and connect with your inner self. Save this lotus Mandala image on your laptop, take a printout and start coloring using pencils or pens.

free-printable-lotus-mandala

Let your creative juices flowing. I’m sure once you color a mandala you will be looking forward to it more and more. Keep coming back I will be sharing some more intricate mandalas on this blog.

Do visit and like Bhaili’s Facebook page to get regular updates. You can also find me on Pinterest. You may also subscribe to this blog by entering your email-id in EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION section (top of the right-hand column for desktop-readers and bottom of screen for mobile-readers).

Non Cooking Coconut Ladoo

Coconut ladoo is simplest of all recipes that I have shared here on this sweet little blog of mine. It had to be simple because these ladoos were made with help of 7 years old cute daughter of my neighbor.

instant-coconut-ladoo

Actually, she was participating in fire-less cooking competition in her school and she had to make something all by herself without using fire.

So, I suggested her to make easy coconut ladoos. Coincidentally, coconut ladoos are her favorite and she instantly liked the idea of making her favorite dessert all by herself. So we both made it – I pitched in only where required.

It was a fun thing to do and even my 3 year old daughter was all excited to see her friend shaping ladoos. She also tried her hand at making ladoos! 🙂

Since I’m talking about kids, I would like to add that if your kid is too fussy about drinking milk (like my daughter), give him/her homemade cottage cheese in various combinations. It’s so healthy and can be easily made at home. You can also try egg-less cottage cheese muffins and healthy and easy Italian veggie potato.

Coming back to coconut ladoo, this recipe only requires mixing of all ingredients and making balls. I find this recipe really handy when I have unexpected guests coming over and I am running short of time.

Alright, here is the list of ingredients for coconut ladoo with condensed milk:

Ingredients

  • Condensed milk: ½ tin
  • Desiccated coconut: 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups
  • Cardamom powder: 1 tsp
  • Rose extract: 1 tsp
  • Rose petals for garnishing
  • Ghee (clarified butter): 1/2 tsp

Process

  • In a bowl bring together condensed milk, dry coconut, cardamom powder and rose extract. Mix evenly to bring everything together and form a soft dough.

coconut-ladoo-dough

  • With the help of spoon, divide the dough into small equal parts. Apply ghee on your palm to prevent dough from sticking on your palm.

I mostly use home-made ghee in cooking. Do read how to make ghee in microwave where I have shared easy process that I follow to make ghee at home.

  • Take each part between your palms and give it round shape.
  • Garnish ladoo with some red rose petals, as red petals compliment beautifully with white coconut ladoos.

coconut-ladoo-for-kids

Both the kids were eager to try the result of their hard labor. 🙂 Truly speaking, I was extremely happy to see both of them enjoying coconut ladoos just like they enjoy having healthy ramdana (amaranth) ladoo.

So, next time when your kid has fire-less cooking competition, you have one more option to pick from. It’s a perfectly suitable and enjoyable recipe for kids to try.

coconut-ladoos-kids-cooking

Do visit and like Bhaili’s Facebook page to get regular updates. You can also find me on Pinterest. You may also subscribe to this blog by entering your email-id in EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION section (top of the right-hand column for desktop-readers and bottom of screen for mobile-readers).

How to Make Sweet Boondi?

Of all the Indian confections, sweet boondi is the most common and loved by all. Think of any Indian festival, and you will find sweet shops filled with boondi-laddoos.

Sweet-boondi

However nowadays, sweet shops often sell boondi fried in refined oil instead of ghee. Indian desserts taste best when made in ghee while refined oil just reduce their authentic taste.

I mostly use home-made ghee in cooking. Do read how to make ghee in microwave where I have shared easy process that I follow to make ghee at home.

I had been thinking since long time to try making boondi at home. So on the occasion of Ganapati celebration in my society, I planned to make Ganeshji’s favorite boondi ke laddoo as prasad. Last year I had made ramdana ladoo so thought of making something else.

I had seen boondi-making process often at home, but it I was the first time I had made myself. Boondi turned out really soft and sugar syrup was also perfectly absorbed in it.

Earlier, I used to think that boondi-making would be a difficult task, but surprisingly I found it quite easy.  So, here I am sharing with you the easy process of boondi-making.

Ingredients for Boondi

  • Gram flour (besan): 1 cup
  • Food colors (optional): red, green
  • Cardamom powder: ½ tsp
  • Almond flakes: ½ tsp
  • Pistachio flakes: ½ tsp
  • Saffron: few strands
  • Ghee for frying

Ingredients for sugar syrup

  • Sugar: 1 and 1/2 cups
  • Water: 1 cup
  • Saffron: few strands
  • Cardamom powder: ½ tsp

Procedure of sugar syrup

  • To make the syrup, add water and sugar into a vessel and put it on low flame. It will approximately take 15 minutes.
  • Take a drop of syrup on your finger tip, join your thumb with the finger and move them apart. You must see a strand. This is called “ek taar ki chaasni”. We need “ek taar ki chaasni” for boondi. However, for making boondi laddoos, you will need “do taar ki chaasni”. This means you need to get two strands while doing finger test, and this requires further thickening of syrup.
  • Add few strands of saffron and cardamom powder in this syrup and keep aside.
  • Reheat sugar syrup while adding boondi as syrup should be warm while putting boondi into it.

If you have leftover sugar syrup of gulab-jamun or jalebi it can be easily used for soaking boondi.

Process of making boondi

  • Take flour in a bowl, add little water and make a thick paste. Adding small quantity of water in flour prevents lump formation in batter. Add more water and dilute the paste. It should be of pouring consistency. For making soft boondi, consistency of batter is very important.
  • If batter is too thin, boondi will fall flat on frying and won’t acquire round shape. If batter is too thick, boondi will not absorb enough sugar syrup. To check consistency, my mother performs this test. Drop a spoon of batter from height and it should have continuous flow and it should not break in between.

boondi-batter-consistency

  • Take 1 tbsp each of batter in two small bowls and add red and green color for red and green color boondi. Here I would like to mention that these colorful boondi are optional, and you can skip this if you are not in favor of using food colors. However, colorful boodis make laddoos more appealing.

boondi-batter

Frying Boondis

  • For making boondi, special perforated ladles are available in market.  It has several round holes and gives you several round boondi at a time. Since it was an impulsive idea to make boondi at home, I used a ladle with holes that we normally use for deep frying.
  • Heat ghee in a heavy bottom skillet on medium heat. To test the ghee, pour a drop of batter in the ghee, and the drop should immediately come on the surface without changing color. Once ghee is heated, hold the ladle above the center of the skillet.

boondi-frying

  • Pour a spoonful of batter over ladle and let it drop through holes. Don’t shake the ladle, batter will strain by itself. Don’t overcrowd boondi into ghee. Boondi should just cover the surface of the ghee in skillet in a single layer.  After pouring boondi, stir intermittently for even cooking.
  • Now, strain and remove boondi from ghee and immediately transfer in warm sugar syrup. Soaking immediately after frying helps in better absorption of sugar syrup.
  • Repeat the process of making boondi and adding to the syrup with rest of the batter. Cover the vessel with a plate and let boondi soak the syrup for an hour before serving. You will notice the size of boondis have increased and they have become delectable.
  • Garnish with few almond and pistachios pieces before serving. Can be served warm or at room temperature.

Since I was running short of time I didn’t made laddoos, however you can make laddoos as well from the same boondi.

boondi-sweetYou can use this boondi in curd raita too. You just need to skip soaking in  sugar syrup.

So, do try making boondi at home and let me know your feedback. 🙂

Do visit and like Bhaili’s Facebook page to get regular updates. You can also find me on Pinterest. You may also subscribe to this blog by entering your email-id in EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION section (top of the right-hand column for desktop-readers and bottom of screen for mobile-readers).