Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

Order of Food Items Served on Banana Leaf

Last week during Sree Krishnajanmasthami my daughter asked to be served food on Plantain leaf. We have 4 big pots which have the plants, and they are getting quite big now. So, we offered all the prasada to Lord Krishna in the leaf, and also used a few additional ones for us as well.

There were a few emails from my extended family who asked me to share the order of food items to be served during festivals and other occasions. The two images shown below are for two different occasions. The first one is served during festivals and the second one during Shradda and Paksha masa when you are performing the annual rituals for the departed souls. The food items prepared differ but the order remains the same.

If you click on the images displayed below, you can see the order of food items in English.

Below is the items listed to be served from left to right. Also remember the plantain leaf the narrow edge comes to the left hand side, and the broad ones towards your right hand side. For festivals, marriages and happy occasions draw rangoli in front of the leaf.

  1. Start with salt at the left most corner.
  2. If you are serving Chatni or pickle, it comes next. See second image.
  3. All the way at the top left after salt, Channa Dal Kosambari
  4. Next, Moong Dal Kosambari
  5. After Kosambari, First Dry Vegetable Palya.
  6. Than comes Second Dry Vegetable Palya.
  7. Just below this is any sweet dish you have prepared like Laddu, Hayagreeva so on
  8. Right bottom towards where you are sitting, any payasa you prepare like Shavige or Vermicilli.
  9. Above that Thove. Both images have them shown.
  10. All the way left bottom, Chitranna, Veg bath or lemon rice.
  11. Next to the Chitranna, Papad or any fried item.
  12. At the very center, White Rice.
  13. Ghee on top of white rice and Payasa.
  14. Once ghee is served and the priest finished giving hastodaka, start eating the food starting from Payasa.
  15. Next, the Sambar or Kootu is served. Along with any fried items like papad, ambode, vada so on.
  16. Once we finish eating sambar, any vegetable rice prepared such as lemon rice, Vangibath, Puliyogre is served.
  17. Next, the payasa is served.
  18. Following this is Rasam with Rice and ghee again
  19. You ask for second servings of any vegetables and kosambari
  20. The Sweet dish prepared such as Laddu, Hayagreeva, Chiroti is served.
  21. Finally, Rice and yogurt.
  22. Once you are done, make sure you put a few drops of water on the salt.
  23. Close the leaf from top towards you so any leftover food items are covered.
  24. If you serve me on a plantain leaf, my leaf will be clean. I never waste anything served. Seriously. :)

Enjoy a great tradition in our Hindu religion which is Eco friendly, less work since you don’t have to wash the plates and hygienic since you have no clue when and how those plates would have been cleaned.


Steamed Modaka – ಮೋದಕ Recipe


So many of you had asked for the recipe for Modaka – ಮೋದಕ prepared during Ganesha Festival. I had not prepared this one in a long long time. Last year I tried the same and it came out just delicious. We ate it with a dollop of Ghee. Yes, you heard it right, Ghee for a change.

So, here is what you require for preparing this.

Ingredients for the Coconut Filling:

  • 2 and 1/2 cups freshly grated coconut
  • 2 and 1/2 cups Brown Sugar, or Powdered Jaggery
  • 5 Cardamom
  • 2 tsp Poppy Seeds, Gasgase fried in Ghee (optional)


  • In a heavy bottomed pan , mix both the Coconut and Jaggery as shown below.

  • Keep stirring the mixture and make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom and burn.
  • After, 10-15 minutes, the mixture will change its color to dark brown
  • If it is too think, just add 2-3 drops of water.
  • Once it becomes thick, add the ground Cardamom, and Poppy seeds.

Ingredients for the Dough:

* 1 cup rice flour
* 3/4 cup water – be judicious here
* pinch of salt
* 2 tsp oil


  • Boil water in a pan. When it is boiling add salt, oil.
  • Slowly mix the rice flour and keep stirring.Turn off the stove.
  • When it is easy to handle and still hot, keep kneading the dough.
  • When the dough is well kneaded, take a small ball in your palm, flatten the edges, keep the filling and close it.
  • When you have completed all of them, place in a pan and steam it in a cooker.I used the Idli stand, steamed 4 at a time.
  • Place it in a plantain leaf and offer to Lord Ganesha.


Sree Krishna Janmasthami Recipes


Links for all Sree Krishna Janmasthami Recipes. These food items will have no onion and garlic. And these items and recipes can be prepared and offered to the Lord Krishna. No rice items.

The shopping items to be purchased are listed in this link:

Kosambari ಕೋಸಂಬರಿ

Hesaru Bele Kosambari

  1. Cucumber Kosambari

  2. ಕಡಲೆ ಬೇಳೆ ಕೊಸಂಬರಿ – Channa Dal Kosambari

ಚಟ್ನಿ Chutney

  1. Channa Dal or Kadale Bele Chutney

  2. Coconut Chutney

  3. Pudina or Mint Chutney

  4. Mint Mango Chutney – ಫುದಿನಾ ಮಾವಿನಕಾಯಿ ಚಟ್ನಿ

Bonda – ಬೋಂಡ ಭಜ್ಜಿ Bhajji


  1. Heerekayi Bonda

  2. Red and Green Capsicum Bonda or Fritters

  3. Aloo Methi Pakoda

  4. Ambode

  5. Bombai (Aloo) Bonda

  6. Sabhudani Vada – Gluten Free

ಸಿಹಿ ತಿಂಡಿಗಳು- Sweet Dishses


  1. Badam Poori

  2. Kayi Kadabu

  3. Dry Coconut kadabu

  4. Coconut Burfi

  5. Thambittu or ತಂಬಿಟ್ಟು

  6. Mango Rasayana or seekarane

  7. Pineapple Kesaribath

  8. Besan Unde or Laddoo

  9. Rave Unde or Laddoo

ಪಾಯಸ – Payasa – Kheer


  1. Broken Wheat Payasa

  2. ಶಾವಿಗೆ ಪಾಯಸ – Vermicelli Kheer

  3. Evaporated MilkyWay ಶಾವಿಗೆ ಪಾಯಸ – Vermicelli Kheer

  4. ಹೆಸರು ಬೇಳೆ ಪಾಯಸ – Moong Dal Payasa

  5. Gasgase or Poppy seeds Payasa

  6. ಸೀಮೆಅಕ್ಕಿ ಪಾಯಸ – Sabhudana Kheer

  7. ಹೆಸರು ಬೇಳೆ ಪಾಯಸ – Moong Dal Payasa – Variation 2

ತಿಂಡಿಗಳು – Breakfast


  1. Mixed Vegetables Upma or Uppittu

  2. Gojju Avalakki

  3. Avalakki / Poha Bisibele Bath

  4. Red Capsicum Upma – ಕೆಂಪು ದೊಣ್ಣೆ ಮೆಣಸಿನಕಾಯಿ ಉಪಿಟ್ಟು

  5. ಅಕ್ಕಿತರಿ ಉಪ್ಪಿಟ್ಟು – RiceRava Upma

Fired ItemsShree-Krishnastami-20141

  1. Thengolu

  2. Chakalli

  3. Ompudi

  4. Shankarpoli

  5. Kobbari Mittai

  6. Rave Unde or Laddoo

  7. Besan Unde or Laddoo

  8. Kodubale

  9. Poori

Gruhini – ಗೃಹಿಣಿ Cook Book By Hemalatha Parashuram

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 8.50.27 AMMr.G P Sudhakar had  left a comment here at the blog asking my home address. To quote him, he wrote to me “Hello Madam
Am visiting my son in DC and want to send you a book by my 80 year old mother. It is called gruhini and has been published for 30 yrs… might want to review the book or use some recipes if you find them interesting. Kindly send me your postal address by mail so that I can send a copy of the book.
Your writing helps a lot of people!
All the best

Mrs.Hemalatha Parashuram, is Mr.G P Sudhakar’s 80 year old mother. He sent me this book, and also a book on our beloved Rayaru.

The book can be purchased at the following publication in India:

Sahitya Bhandar


In America:



The book Gruhini – ಗೃಹಿಣಿ is written in Kannada. The book is divided into 9 sections or as we call in Kannada ಅಧ್ಯಾಯ.

The first section is about marriage and being a a home maker. This one lists all the items you for any social function we perform. For example what we need to bring for an engagement, what items to give for the bride, the groom, people who attend. A nice to have checklist. I am sure it will come very handy whether you are performing a thread ceremony for your son, engagement for your daughter, starting a new life with your spouse. Liked this section very much.

The second section is all about festivals. Not very detailed, but again gives you a list of all items you need to buy, how to arrange, for each and every important festival.

The third about making juices such as lemon, grape, tomato so on. Mainly focused on the oens which you drink before food.

Fourth section is all about food, mainly focused on lunch and dinner items such as soups, vegetables, sambar, rasam, chatni, sweet dishes. I haven’t tried any of them as of now, but will definitely post recipes as and when I prepare them.

Breakfast, evening snack, sweet and spicy dishes are covered in the 5th section.

Section 6 is again drinks and jams, and section 7 is international food such as breads, bun, muffin, cake, biscuits, ice cream and fruit salads. Interesting to try and find out how they turn. As you have seen, I am not a baker.

Section 8 is mostly health related tips and tricks.

And finally the last section is about how to stay happy. I skipped most of the food preparation pages and read these few pages. Couldn’t stop laughing reading a few stories about unhappy wives. The author does give a few nice tips and tricks to be happily married ever after. Only if men and women read this and actually work towards a happy married life.

As much time as I had skimming the book, it was interesting.

I would once again thank Mr.G P Sudhakar for sending me this book. Thanks, Sir and my Namaskaras to your Mother. Please convey to her my hearty congratulations for a great book she has shared with me and the community.

Sabudana Khichadi with Cucumber

The cucumber instead of Potato was the main change. It was so yummy. If not, there isn’t much difference in the procedure posted earlier also. I forgot to take pictures, and realized after tasting this that it is way too delicious and needs to be posted here.

There are many ways of making Sabudana Khichdi. Over many years I have prepared this, this is one method which is quick and easy and comes out the same way every time I prepare. One of the favorite dishes of my daughter. So, here are the detailed steps to make this. Click on the pictures to see a bigger image.

1/2 pound Sabudana/ Sabudani
1 medium sized Cucumber, finely grated and microwave for 5-6 minutes until tender.
salt to taste
1 tsp haldi
1 tsp mustard seed,
1 tsp channa dal
1 tsp urad dal
hing to taste
6 tbsp oil

Grind the following ingredients in the food processor into coarse powder.
5 tsp groundnuts
5 tsp Putani – Dhalia
6 green chillies
4-5 sprigs Coriander leaves
5-6 curry leaves


Wash Sabudani, drain water completely and leave for a couple of hours in the colander.

Sabudani soaked in a colander

Keep sprinkling water as and when you see that the Sabudani is getting dry.
Sabudani ready

Grind all the ingredients listed above, Mix with the Sabudani.

Sabudani with the ground ingredients mixed

Add salt also to this mixture. Heat oil, add mustard seeds, hing, channa dal, urad dal. Next add the cucumber and fry for a few minutes. Add Sabudani and mix well. Keep stirring so that the Sabudani doesn’t get burnt at the bottom of the pan. Add water if the Khichadi looks too dry.

Serve with Yoghurt.

ಹೆಸರು ಬೇಳೆ ಪಾಯಸ – Moong Dal Payasa – Variation 2


Today being Dwadashi and a holiday due to President’s day, and to top that a very cold windy and snowy day, my Husband asked me to make ಹೆಸರು ಬೇಳೆ ಪಾಯಸ – Moong Dal Payasa.

There was literally no milk at home, and I didn’t want to drive to the store. Opened the pantry and saw Coconut milk. So, replaced milk with coconut milk, added almost 1/2 cup chopped nuts. The ಹೆಸರು ಬೇಳೆ ಪಾಯಸ – Moong Dal Payasa was out of this world.

ಹೆಸರು ಬೇಳೆ ಪಾಯಸ – Moong Dal Payasa with coconut milk recipe below.


  • 1 cup ಹೆಸರು ಬೇಳೆ  – Moong Dal
  • 1 and 1/2 cup ಬೆಲ್ಲ  – Jaggery
  • 4-5 tsp Fresh or Dry Coconut
  • 1/ 2 cup Nuts of your choice
  • Raisins, and Cardamom
  • Oil or Ghee
  • 1 can Coconut Milk
  • 4-5 Cloves (optional)


  • Fry the ಹೆಸರು ಬೇಳೆ  – Moong Dal in oil or ghee.
  • I also fried the Raisins, cloves along with the ಹೆಸರು ಬೇಳೆ  – Moong Dal.
  • Add enough water and pressure cool for 2 whistles.
  • The ಹೆಸರು ಬೇಳೆ  – Moong Dal should still hold its shape and not be completely mushy.
  • Once the pressure cools down, add Jaggery, coconut milk.
  • Let it boil for a few minutes.
  • Fry chopped nuts and add to the ಹೆಸರು ಬೇಳೆ ಪಾಯಸ – Moong Dal Payasa
  • Finally, add cardamom.
  • Serve hot or cold.

picstitchThe usual recipe is posted here:

Easy Ways to Eat 5 Fruits/Vegetables Everyday

Today being holiday for President’s Day here in USA, I was looking at cleaning the refrigerator and the pantry. It might have been years since I have discarded any fruit or vegetable for not being able to cook. Thought of posting some useful tips for eating more fruits and vegetables.

We hear it day in and day out that we need to incorporate 5 servings of fruits and vegetables everyday. I follow this rule religiously everyday except for Ekadashi day. So, here is some easy ways to incorporate lots of fruits and vegetables.

  • If you make Upma for breakfast, use two cups of vegetables to 1 cup of Sooji/Rava. I use 2-3 kinds of vegetables together while making Upma. Green pepper, Peas, cabbage, potatoes.
  • While making Poha/Avalakki, use again green pepper, peas, carrots and potatoes.
  • Sambar – With spinach use carrot, and beans. Use Chayote, beans and carrots another variation. Spinach, sprouted beans, potatoes, carrot and beans. Mix and match 3-4 vegetables to make sambar.
  • Serve fruit salad in the night with several fruits. We usually eat 3-4 times a night – Banana, Apple, Pineapple, Peach, Plum. Use pomegranate, orange as optional fruits when available.
  • At least 2-3 times a month, I make Moong Dal Kosambari with carrot and cucumber.
  • Every time I make chapathi and vegetable bath, I make Raita. Raita almost includes carrot, tomato, cucumber and sometimes onion. Make Saagu, it has several vegetables you can use.
  • When you make vegetable bath I use several vegetables like  all color capsicum, beans, peas, potatoes, methi leaves, carrot.
  • What better way to eat more fruits than Smoothie. Many variations possible here also, Banana, apple, strawberries, blue berries, pineapple, peach, and many more. ( updated based on comment from Mithra Bindu)

If you have a creative mind, you can definitely include 4-5 fruits and vegetable in a day.

Look at the food section on the right for many more ideas:

Share your thoughts on how you incorporate more fruits and vegetables in your day to day cooking.


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