Ragi Vermicelli Upma

Everybody likes their breakfast to be both healthy and has to keep us full for a long time so I thought of posting this very simple and yummy ragi vermicelli upma. I was never a big fan of ragi and my mom would always insist me on  having it as porridge or dosa as ragi has a high iron content which is very essential nutrient for women but now after understanding that she was correct! [Because most of us are iron deficient:(] I try to incorporate ragi everyday in some form or the other.

While I was grocery shopping, I happen to see this ragi vermicelli packet which made me curious to try something interesting with it but once I came home my mind was blank I could not think of any dish with a “Vermicelli” apart from upma so I thought to play safe and followed the instructions to cook and made upma with just few table spoons of vermicelli as I was not sure how it would taste[Picky Eater 🙂 ] but trust me! it tastier than all other upma ‘s , I have been feasting on this alone for almost a month for breakfast and dinner, I sometimes steam it in the morning and just make the upma after coming back from work for a quick evening snack, it doesn’t need anything on the side, you can just have them with a cup of tea. I hope you all enjoy this recipe.


Ragi Vermicelli – 1 cup

Water – Enough to soak the vermicelli

Onion – 1 medium [Finely Chopped]

Green chillies – 2

Ginger – small piece [Finely Chopped]

To Temper:

Oil – 2 tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Urad dhal – ½ tsp

Hing Powder – 1/4 tsp

Curry leaves – 1 sprigs







  1. In a big pot, soak the ragi vermicelli with just enough water to cover the vermicelli for three minutes
  2. After three minutes, drain it completely and in a steamer/idli pot, steam it until the vermicelli is well cooked
  3. Transfer the vermicelli to a plate and let it cool
  4. Heat a kadai on medium heat, add 2 tbsp of oil into it
  5. Once the oil gets hot, add everything mentioned under ‘To Temper’ one after the other and sauté for 2 mins
  6. Add the ginger, green chillies and onions into the tempering and add ½ tsp of salt and Sauté the onions until they turn translucent or pink
  7. Now, add the steamed ragi vermicelli into this mixture and toss them all together by adding more salt as needed
  8. Reduce the flame to low and allow the upma to cook nicely for 4 mins[This step is to ensure all the flavors get mixed well into the ragi vermicelli]
  9. Serve the ragi vermicelli upma with coconut chutney or onion chutney

Ragi upma ready to be served



  • It is very important not to over soak the ragi as it might turn mushy
  • Steamed vegetables like carrot, potato, broccoli can also be added to make it more healthier
  • Do not cook the vermicelli over slow flame for a long time as it might dry out and it would be difficult to swallow

Idli Upma

Have left over idli s or ls your idli batter really sour????Don’t worry, I have a quick fix for it, make upma out of it. Yes! Idli upma is so simple and yummy that you can have it as such without the need for anything on the side like chutney or sambar as it tastes so good. It needs just the basic ingredients available at home and can be made in a jiffy.I always make more number of idli’s for dinner so that I can have this upma for breakfast. You can store these in the refrigerator for two days also and microwave them for a minute when you are ready to serve.


Home made idli – 5 ( broken/ mashed into tiny pieces or bite size pieces)

Onion – 1 ( medium )

Green chillies – 1 ( sliced thinly)

Ground nut – handful( roasted) – optional

Salt – to taste

To season:

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Oil – 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

Urad dhal – 1 tsp

Red chillies – 1 ( broken into pieces )

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Hing powder – 1/8 tsp


1. Heat a thick bottomed wide kadai over medium flame, add a tbsp of oil into it.

2. Once the oil gets hot, add mustard seeds and allow them to splutter

3. Then add urad dhal, curry leaves and hing powder, sauté until the dhal gets slightly brown

4. Now add the green chillies and sauté them for few seconds.

5. Add onions, sprinkle little salt over them, this makes the onions to cook quickly.

6. Sauté the onions until they turn translucent and pink

7. Now add the turmeric powder, ground nuts( optional) and the idli pieces, toss them all nicely until the pieces get well incorporated.

8. Simmer the flame and allow the upma to get cooked by tossing now and then for few mins until they look bright yellow and smells heavenly 🙂

9. Serve the upma warm as a evening snack or as a breakfast with a glass of warm milk or hot steaming filter coffee on the side.


Healthy Bran Raisin Muffins

Having cereals or oats for breakfast everyday is really boring so at times I crave for something different, thats when I saw my muffin tray lying in my pantry, Then I decided,why not make a muffin??? I had a huge packet of wheat bran which I wanted to incorporated into it  to make it more healthier so here goes my very healthy bran muffin in which I have used apple sauce instead of butter, less sugar and bran+ whole wheat flour instead of “All” purpose flour.

This breakfast was whole some and I just had 2 of these muffins with a glass of orange juice which kept me full for three hours 🙂


Wheat Bran – 1 1/2  cup

Whole Wheat Flour – ½ cup

All Purpose Flour – ½ cup

Apple Sauce – ½ cup

Baking powder – ½ tsp

Baking Soda – ½ tsp

Salt – A pinch

Brown Sugar – 1/3 cup

Milk – ½ cup

Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp

Raisins – ¼ cup (dusted with some flour)



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Line up the muffin tray with muffin liners or you can just spary them with oil or butter and use it.

  3. Heat ½ cup of milk until it is luke warm and mix it with 1 ½ cup of wheat bran, this is just to soften up the bran, set this aside for 15 mins.

  4. Sift the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda and baking powder together in a bowl.

  5. Take a large bowl, add the apple sauce, sugar and vanilla extract, mix them together such that it becomes creamy.

  6. Add in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and fold them together.

  7. Finally add the bran and raisins to it.

  8. Scoop the batter into the muffin tray or the liners equally.

  9. Bake this in the oven for 30 mins. Keep an eye on the batter after 20 mins and insert a tooth pick in the center of a muffn, if it comes out clean then it is cooked.

  10. Allow it to cool for 15 mins. Serve it warm with some butter and tea.



  • Never remove the muffins from the liners when they are warm as they will stick to the liners and will be wasted so let it cool completely and then the muffins would peel out of the liners easily.

  • Oat bran can be used instead of wheat bran as well.

  • You can replace apple sauce with butter if you like.

  • Raisins can be replaced with nuts, strawberry or blueberry as per taste.

Rava Dosa/ Sooji Dosa

                          A nice variation to the regular dosa is this “Rava Dosa” which is very thin, lacy and crispy and does not require any soaking or grinding. My husband loves this dosa, he would order it every time we go to an Indian Restaurant, so inorder to impress him I decided to try this at home, I still remember it was just three months after my wedding and my attempt was a disaster 😦 I have this habit where if I go wrong in something I keep trying it again until I get it right. So by making some more improvisations I made rava dosa again this time it was an instant hit and my husband even told me this was better than what he gets in the restaurant so from there on, if we have any guests at home I immediately make this dosa which is different and can be prepared in less than an hour.

                         The main thing you need to keep in mind while making this dosa is that the batter needs to be watery, the batter needs to rest for atleast 20 mins and clean the tawa with a paper towel after every dosa.


All purpose Flour – 1/4 cup

Semolina/ Fine Rava/ Sooji – 1/2 cup

Rice Flour – 1/2 cup

Grated Ginger – ½ tsp

Chopped green Chillies – ½ tsp

Finely chopped onion – To Taste(Optional)

Cumin seeds – ½ tsp

Whole peppercorns/Pepper powder – ½ tsp

Hing Powder – ¼ tsp

Curry leaves – 1 sprig(Leaves chopped finely)

Coriander leaves – To Taste (Finely chopped)

Water – As needed for the batter

Salt – To taste

photo 3


  1. Take a bowl, add in the all purpose flour,semolina, rice flour and mix them well.

  2. Then add the ginger, green chillies, peppercorns, cumin seeds,hing powder and salt to this mixture, add water little by little and make a batter.

  3. Do not add too much of water at first as it would form lumps, make sure to add water in small quantities to make a lump free batter.

  4. Set the batter aside for atleast 20 mins, the batter would become thick, add more water and make it watery.

  5. Finally, add the curry and coriander leaves to the batter, this dosa has to be really thin and crispy so the batter needs to be thin and watery. You can adjust the batter consistency after the first dosa.

  6. Heat a tawa over medium heat, you can use nonstick or cast iron, anything will work for this.

  7. Drizzle few drops of oil and wipe the tawa with a paper towel such that the tawa gets coated with oil evenly.

  8. Once it gets hot, sprinkle some onion on the tawa and then pour a griddle of batter around the tawa (like joining the onions 🙂 )

  9. Since your batter is watery it would spread easily so you don’t have to spread it out.

  10. Drizzle some sesame oil around the dosa, this add a nice flavor and smell to it.

  11. Allow it to cook until the edges turn brown(This would take more time to cook than the normal dosa)

  12. Rava dosa is paper thin so you don’t have to flip it and cook on both sides but if you feel that your dosa is thick and needs to be cooked on both sides, then go for it, flip and cook on both sides until it crisps.

  13. Serve it hot with Coconut Chutney, Sambar and Idli Podi.


Onion Rava Dosa served with Coconut chutney

Onion Rava Dosa served with Coconut chutney



Lemony noodles

                            Lemon (rice) noodles also called Elumichai sevai in my language is a very authentic South Indian tiffin(breakfast) recipe. You can find this in our wedding menus as it is really light and makes you eat more 🙂

                           In India, at my home we used to make rice noodles by ourselves, especially during summer when all my cousins would come to my home in Chennai, my grandmother would teach us how to make these rice noodles. Since ninety percent of us were girls we were assigned tasks to do, one would make the idli s for the rice noodles, other would put it into the press and the stronger one would twist the top of the press which needs to be done with two hands to push the noodle strands out of the press. Then my grandmother would cool it and make a variety of different noodles out of it, then my whole family would sit together and enjoy a sumptuous sunday dinner 🙂

                              Life has changed so much now that everybody is busy that we dont have to cook everything from the scratch. So we go for easier and healthy options that we can sneak into our pantry, one among them is this instant rice noodles which you can find in the Indian/Korean stores. This comes in handy on a busy day when I couldn’t think of any dinner to cook, I would immediately make the lemon noodles, it is so easy and yummy which can be made in a jiffy.

Serves : 3


Instant Rice noodles – ½ packet

Water – As required to cook the noodles

Lime/lemon – 3 ( as per taste)

Oil – 2 tbsp

Salt – To taste


Mustard seeds – ½ tsp

Urad dhal – ½ tsp

Channa Dal – ½ tsp

Red chillies – 4 (Broken into pieces)

Curry leaves – 4 sprigs

Roasted Peanuts – a handful(Optional)

Hing powder – ½ tsp

Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp

photo 1


  1. Cook the rice noodles as per the packet instructions and keep it separately.

  2. Heat a kadai/pan over medium flame, add 2 tbsp of oil to it.

  3. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and allow them to splutter, then add in the urad dhal, channa dhal, red chillies, curry leaves and fry for 10 sec.

  4. Then add in the roasted peanuts along with hing and turmeric powder, fry for another 20 sec.

  5. Make sure not to burn any of the ingredients and cook in slow flame for even heating.

  6. Toss the rice noodles into the seasoning mixture by adding salt such that the noodles turn into a nice yellow color.

  7. Now squeeze in the lime/lemon juice as per your taste. Serve this an hour later so that the lemon flavor gets well incorporated into the rice noodles.

  8. Best when served with coconut chutney.

photo 3


  • Make sure to buy the noodles without any preservatives in it for a healthier option.

  • Lemon juice can be increased/decreased as per taste.

  • You can add cashews and raisins too for richness.

  • Finely grated ginger can also be added with the seasonings.

photo 4

Whole Wheat Roti

Roti is the most commonly consumed food in the Northern India, according to me its one of the most convenient and easy food to make which is both healthy and wholesome. When I started to cook,the first food I ever learnt to make was roti, my mom used to make such a perfect and round roti’s and we all used to sit around her and eat them hot, right out of the tawa. Although these days we get frozen and ready to eat roti’s in the Grocery stores, nothing could be equivalent to making them fresh at home.

Back in India, people usually buy the wheat, dry them in sunlight for a couple of days then grind them into a smooth powder in the mill. This flour is so fresh and pure, we used to do this every 4 or 6 months such that we always have fresh whole wheat flour in stock but these days we all have time crunch,we want things to be done faster and easier so we just buy the flour from the local grocery store which is not bad either but just make sure that the flour you buy is whole wheat and doesn’t have any maida added to it which hinders the quality of the roti.


Whole wheat flour – 1.5 cups(Some extra flour for dusting)

Ajwain(Carom seeds)  – ½ tsp

oil – 2 tsp

Salt – ¼ tsp

Water – As needed

Ghee – For Roti


  1. Take a wide bowl, add the whole wheat flour and oil first, mix them together such that the oil spreads well in the flour.

  2. Then mix in the ajwain seeds and salt. Add water little by little and knead into a stiff, soft dough.

  3. Let the dough rest for 20 mins, then make 8 golf size balls out of the dough.

  4. Dust a flat surface with some flour, flatten the round dough into disc shape, roll them into thin discs using a rolling pin, use more flour if required so that the dough doesn’t stick to the rolling pin.

  5. Heat a tawa over medium flame, once it gets hot, place the roti in it and then using a spatula press the roti nicely in the pan such that it gets cooked fully.

  6. Turn on the other side and allow it to cook for few more minutes.

  7. Drizzle some ghee on top of it and serve hot with some dal and pickles.



  • Ensure you buy good quality wheat to get soft and fluffy roti.

  • Adding ajwain is purely optional, you can even replace it with cumin or dill seeds.

  • Ghee adds a nice aroma and taste to the roti so do not replace it with oil.

Methi Paratha

Methi Paratha, Methi is fenugreek leaves and paratha is a kind of Indian flat bread. I always love greens( all colors & sizes 🙂 ) as they are easy to cook and healthy to eat, you will have a very satisfactory meal when you include greens in them 🙂 So adding methi to the rotis  is a simple way to incorporate greens in your diet. Fenugreek greens are bitter in taste but rich in vitamins and minerals. You can replace methi with any type of greens you like, you just have to know how to handle the recipe depending on the taste of the greens. There are many ways of making parathas, what I have given below is a quick and easy way to make them.


Fenugreek leaves – 1.5 cups (finely chopped)

Wheat flour – 2 cups and some extra flour for dusting

Oil – 2 tbsp

Turmeric powder – ½ tsp

Chilli powder – ½ tsp

Salt – 1tsp

Garam masala – 1/2 tsp (optional)

Water – as required

Ghee – for the parathas


  1. Finely chop the fenugreek leaves(discard the stem) and set it aside.

  2. Take a wide vessel and add the wheat flour, salt, oil, turmeric powder, red chilly powder,fenugreek leaves and mix them all together.

  3. By adding water little by little form a nice firm dough.

  4. Set it aside for 15 mins.

  5. Make 8 golf ball size balls out of the dough. Roll them on a flat surface into round shapes by dusting little flour.

  6. Now heat a skillet /tawa over medium heat, place the parathas in the middle of the tawa and allow them to cook over medium flame.

  7. Drizzle some ghee/oil around it. This allows the paratha to cook fast and adds a nice smell and flavour to it.

  8. Allow the paratha to cook on both sides, you will see brown spots appearing over the paratha which indicates that they are cooked.

  9. Serve these parathas warm with pickle and curd.


Disclaimer :: I can never make a perfect round paratha 🙂


  • Fenugreek leaves are slightly bitter, you can add some salt to the finely chopped fenugreek leaves and mix them well, let it sit for 20 mins, then squeeze out the excess water out of it. This would reduce the bitterness.

  • You can even add some garam masala to these parathas if you like but I prefer the flavor of fenugreek leaves which is very aromatic so I keep it simple and do not add any kind of masalas to the paratha.

  • I have even tried replacing salt with some chat masala and amchur powder, it gives a slight tanginess which tastes great too.

  • Make sure you use the leaf part of the fenugreek greens and wash them thoroughly in cold water before using them.

  • Fresh methi works best but can be substituted by kasuri methi( dried fenugreek leaves) as well.



Is anyone out there who could hate dosa??? I don’t think so. These crispy crepes are everyone s favourite, once you taste it, you would fall in love with it again and again. In South Indian cuisine, dosa is mostly eaten as a breakfast food which we call it as “Tiffin”, our day starts only with this. My childhood days I would eat dosa and idli everyday for breakfast but now I have only oats or cereals for my breakfast, but once in awhile I would indulge myself in eating sumptuous dosa with chutney and sambhar for breakfast, it would be heavenly:) I know I am elaborating too much but breakfast is the best meal of the day so you got to have it full and healthy.


Urad Dhal – 1 cup ( whole and white)

Idli rice – 2 cups

Fenugreek seeds – ½ tsp

Salt – To taste

Sesame oil/ghee- for dosa


For batter:

  1. Soak the urad dhal and fenugreek seeds together and soak the rice separately for 6 hrs. I prefer to soak them both separately because its easy to grind at the consistency I want.

  2. After 6 hrs, drain the water from urad dhal completely in a vessel, we can reuse this water for grinding so do not throw them away.

  3. Do not wash the urad dhal too much.

  4. Similarly drain the water from rice and set it aside.

  5. Add the urad dhal to a blender and by adding little water grind it into a smooth paste. Do not run the blender/mixie continuously as it tends to heat the motor which in turn heats the batter which hinders the fermentation process.

  6. Take out the urad dhal paste from the blender and set it aside. Now add the rice to the same blender and grind it into a paste. Rice batter is always coarse  and not very smooth.

  7. Now mix the urad dhal and rice batter together by adding salt and mix well with your hand. The warmth of your hand gets transferred to the batter which helps in fermentation.

  8. Set this batter aside to ferment overnight. The batter would rise when it gets fermented. Then mix well and refrigerate.

Dosa batter

Dosa batter – You can see batter marks on the sides of the bowl – My batter rose up to the brim 🙂

For Dosa:

  1. Leave the refrigerated batter outside for at least an hour before you start making the dosa,so that the batter comes to the room temperature.

  2. After an hour, heat a skillet or a tawa over medium heat and drizzle some oil on it. Take a piece of paper towel and spread the oil throughout the tawa, the oil gets absorbed by the paper but still the oil spreads throughout the tawa from the paper.( Traditionally halved brinjal or onion is used for wiping the tawa between every does which yields aromatic and crispy dosa.). Re use the oiled paper towel to wipe the tawa between every dosa.

  3. Once the tawa is hot, pour a laddle full of batter onto the tawa and spread it into a nice circle, you can make it thick or thin depending on how you like.

  4. Drizzle a teaspoon of sesame oil around the dosa and allow it to cook.

  5. The sides of the dosa becomes slightly colored when it gets cooked completely.

  6. Now flip the dosa and allow the other side to cook completely.

  7. Once its done, serve the dosa hot with sambhar, coconut chutney and idli podi.

Dosa cooked in nonstick tawa

Dosa cooked in nonstick tawa


  • You can use non stick tawa or an iron skillet to make the dosa.

  • Sesame oil is the best oil for dosa but can be replaced with other oils as well.

  • You can sprinkle idli podi or curry leaf powder over dosa for a nice variation.

Mini Ragi Pancakes

Breakfast is the best part of our everyday meal, as it is the first meal of our day and I always love to have it heartful, eating cereals everyday is kind of boring so I try to find some healthy options to have it for breakfast, one amongst them is ragi pancakes. Ragi flour is kind of bland, it needs to be mixed with something else to make it taste better so I thought of adding a fruit to it and decided to go with banana. This batter is kind of gooey as we add banana to it but the overall result is very delicious, you can atleast have 4 or 5 of this along with a glass of orange juice to kick start your day as ragi is full of iron and banana is rich in potassium and gives you plenty of energy to be active day long.


Ragi Flour – 1 cup

Mashed Banana – 2

Crushed Jaggery or brown sugar – ¼ cup

Tutti Frutti – 3 tbsp

Ghee or butter – optional

Water – As needed


  1. Mix ragi flour, tutti frutti and crushed jaggery, finally add mashed banana to this mixture and mix well by adding little water to it.

  2. Heat a skillet over medium flame and drizzle some butter or ghee over it.

  3. Scoop a spoonful of ragi batter and make small rounds out of it.

  4. Drizzle some ghee or butter around it which is optional.

  5. Let it Cook on slow flame and turn it slowly, you need lots of patience to turn it without tearing it.

  6. Allow the other side to cook, serve it hot with some butter and fruits.


  1. Adding sugar or jaggery depends on how big is your sweet tooth if the banana which you use is very sweet you can skip the sugar completely.

  2. You can mix wheat flour or even rice flour to ragi flour to make it more easier to flip and cook.

  3. You can skip tutti frutti and add cardamom powder, nutmeg powder, cinnamon powder or even raisins.


Idli (Steamed Rice Cakes)

                     Indian steamed rice cakes or Idli is a renowned dish familiar to most of us, its white colour and fluffy texture makes it everyone s favourite dish. In South India, Idli is the daily breakfast in most of the household and people like me can survive on idli alone lifelong 🙂 Trust Me! its so hot and yummy that you will fall in love with it every time you eat it. The typical method for making idli batter is by using the stone grinder or wet grinder but unfortunately for people who live outside India, its hard to have a wet grinder so we use a blender or a mixie to make the batter.

                       Initially I wasn’t successful in making soft idli, there were lots of disasters like the idli turning out very hard or idli would end up yellow and mushy. After lots of redo and variations, I ended up with this recipe which yields super soft and fluffy idlis. I have highlighted some of the important points to be kept in mind in my “notes” section below while making idli. Lets get started with the recipe.


Whole white Urad Dhal – 1 cup

Idli rava – 2 ½ cup

Poha –  ½  cup

Fenugreek seeds – ¼ tsp

Salt – To taste


For batter:

  1. Soak the urad dhal with fenugreek seeds for 6 hours.

  2. Soak the idli rava separately for 4 hours. Poha needs just few minutes of soaking, it becomes soft.

  3. Now for the grinding process, Rinse out the urad dhal once and drain the water completely. (Refer notes)

  4. Add the urad dhal to a mixer or a blender, grind into a very smooth batter. Use cold water for grinding and grind at regular intervals, this prevents the motor from heating up which in turn makes the batter hot which hinders the softness of the idli.

  5. Squeeze out the water from the idli rava completely, you need some muscle power 🙂 here to extract as much water as possible.

  6. Take about a handful of idli rava along with the poha and grind into a smooth paste. You need to take just a handful and not the entire idli rava.

  7. Mix this paste to the remaining idli rava and urad dhal batter and fold them all together by adding some salt.

  8. Use your hands to mix them nicely for atleast 5 mins, the mild warmth of our hands gets transferred to the batter which aids in the fermentation process.

  9. Store this batter in a container and let it ferment overnight.

  10. After fermentation, the batter would rise nicely and small pores would have formed inside the batter.

  11. Mix the batter well and Refrigerate it. This can be used up to 5 days.

Idli pot with plates

Idli Pot

Idli Pot

For Idli:

  1. Use idli cooker or idli pot for making idlis(shown above).

  2. Oil the idli moulds with oil or place a wet muslin cloth over the moulds and pour the batter into the moulds. Fill up to three fourth of the mould as the idli puff s up once it gets cooked.

  3. Pour enough water inside the idli pot and place the plates above it.

  4. Allow it to steam cook for 10 mins and switch off the stove.

  5. Let it sit for 5 mins, then remove the plates and allow  it to cool for 5 mins.

  6. Sprinkle some water over the idli plates and use a wet spoon to scoop the idlis from the mould.

  7. I use a white cloth to cover my idli plates and pour the batter over the cloth and steam it, I find that this method yields very soft and fluffy idlis. The idlis do not stick to the plates and its easy to clean the plates as well.

  8. Serve the idlis hot with sambhar ,coconut chutney and idli podi.


  • Quality of urad dhal and idli rava plays a major role to get nice white idlis, so ensure that you use good variety of dhal and rava.

  • Do not wash urad dhal too much, most of the nutrients gets lost by over washing it so just wash it once and grind it.

  • Adding fenugreek seeds and poha enhances the idli texture and yields very soft idlis.

  • In cold countries, fermentation doesn’t happen easily in that case, preheat the oven to 200 degrees and switch off the oven, place the batter inside and ferment it overnight.