Banana Pancake – an easy breakfast, dinner or a tidbit
Last day back from college, i was feeling very hungry. I wanted to have something fresh, sweet, (provided I like mild sweetness only ) and filling. Small ripe bananas in the kitchen, caught my attention. I decided to make banana pancakes.
Bananas are a rich source of nutrients like magnesium, copper, potassium etc. They are also rich source of antioxidants and fibers. Banana are good for health of digestive system , may help in soothing ulcer.
Wheat flour is also a rich source of many nutrients and protein. They help in weight control and regulate diabetics.
Ghee is a prominent neutral (satvic) ingredient in ayurvedic cooking (in controlled quantity). Its good for health of digestive tract. and is source of vitamin A,E and K.
Ingredients of Simple Banana Pancake
Wheat Flour – 1cup
Bananas – 2 large or 4-5 small
ghee – 1.5 tbsp
Salt – a pinch or two
Put peeled bananas in a mixer jar. Add 1.5 Tbsp ghee and blend till it becomes a smooth paste . Take 1 cup wheat flour in a bowl, add the banana mixture in to it. Pour water little by little and mix till a thick batter like consistency.
Keep aside for 5 minutes. Then heat the tawa/ skillet or frying pan. Pour one big soon batter on to hot tawa. Flip when one side is cooked. Then transfer to a plate.
Chemba Puttu – Steamed Chemba Rice with coconut (Steamed brown rice cake)
Puttu (steamed rice cake) is a popular traditional breakfast in Kerala. Puttu made from chemba (brown) rice flour is termed as chemba puttu. I have comprehended from internet, that puttu is consumed in some parts of Karnataka and Tamilnadu as well. Different parts of south east Asia have some variants of puttu (as per wikipedia).
Two packets of Brahmins chemba puttu powder, my husband brought last week made me think of this recipe. Initially, I thought of preparing green gram (cherupayar) curry as the side dish, but later made up my mind to have the puttu with banana (I like it so, and it is simply delicious.) You will see this change of mind in my photographs. Also you can see the imprints of little hands that helped me in mixing.
Chemba Rice Powder
As I have mentioned earlier, Puttu made from chemba (brown) rice flour is termed as chemba puttu. Brown rice is a whole grain. Only the husk is removed from rice kernel . Brown rice may be more nutritional than white rice which is the processed form of rice.
Brown rice and hence its flour is a good source of fiber, manganese selenium, magnesium and folate.
Preparation of Chemba Puttu
Chemba Rice flour – 500gm
water – 600ml
shredded coconut – 1 cup
salt – 1.5 teaspoon
In a bowl, mix the chemba rice flour, half cup shredded coconut and salt with hand. Sprinkle water little by little and continue mixing till the right wetness is obtained. You must be able to form lumps with hand which break when you press a bit harder. And you must feel the wetness of the flour.
Allow the mix stand for ten minutes, when right wetness is attained. Meanwhile you can boil water in pressure cooker without weight. After the standing time of 10 minutes, for the mix, fill the puttu maker ( or chiratta , if you want it in chiratta shape), with little coconut (from the remaining half cup) and the chemba puttu mix using a spoon or hand. Preferably fill till 3/4 or less. Coconut is added in the bottom to ensure easy passage of steam to cook the puttu mix.
Fix the puttu maker on to the pressure cooker head. When steam comes through puttu maker, simmer for 5 minutes. Then using the stick (puttu kuti), push the puttu onto a plate .
Enjoy the puttu with banana or green gram curry and pappad. You can also have it with kadala curry.
Note : I have used Brahmins Chemba puttu podi to make this recipe. Other brands might require a little more or less water for right puttu mix consistency.
Cold wave during dusk and dawn, vibrant sun and high temperatures whole day is affecting almost everybody health here. Me and my family too had bad and long cold that prolonged for weeks. Running nose and sore throats made me think of a lemon juice spiced up with ginger and fresh basil leaves.
Health note on main ingredients
Lemon juice is a very good source of vitamin C, which increases immunity to common cold, flu and infections.It improves digestion, contains a good amount of dietary fiber. Also, it kills harmful bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.
Lemon contains calcium in small quantity. But potassium of lemon proves beneficial to maintain bone’s calcium density. Potassium prevents the loss of calcium through the kidney. Thus, it protects from osteoporosis. It is also good for skin health and in maintaining weight.
Ginger has many medicinal properties. It has a very long history of use as a home remedy in Kerala. It is commonly used to help digestion, reduce nausea, help fight the flu and common cold.
Gingerol, bio-active substance in fresh ginger, help lower risk of infections. ginger extract can inhibit the growth of many different types of bacteria .
I found some beautiful flat beans hanging from the climbers’ net on a Saturday morning. Suddenly I wanted to have them stir fried for lunch. Home grown flat beans is nutritious. With cooked rice or roti, flat beans stir fry make a delicious side dish.
As a natural source of proteins and fiber flat beans are good for digestive health. They are good source of vitamins and minerals and beta carotene and fol-ate. Mature beans get woody and fibrous and are less edible. So collect flat beans when they are young and tender.
Flat beans are known by the name kathipayar ,valanga, valavaranga in different localities of Kerala.
Onions fall under alliums family of vegetables and herbs, which also includes chives, garlic, scallions and leeks. Allium vegetables are always preferred in dishes not only for their characteristic, pungent flavors but also for their medicinal properties. Onions can vary in size, shape, color and flavor. The most common types include red, yellow and white onion. Flavors can vary from sweet and juicy with a mild flavor to sharp, spicy, and pungent, often depending on the season in which they are grown and consumed.
Including onion in daily food could lower the risk of several types of cancer, improve mood and maintain the health of skin and hair. Onions are nutrient-dense food, i.e. they are low in calories with rich vitamins and minerals. Also they are good source of antioxidants.
Coriander Powder is good for digestion. It increases appetite. Also helps in purifying the blood and curing inflammation, fever and various allergies. It has great ‘cooling’ qualities. Coriander also helps in cleansing the body by detoxifying it. Due to strong medicinal properties consume it in controlled quantities.
Ingredients for flat beans stir fry
Flat beans – 10 (medium-sized tender beans)
Onion – 1 large
Coriander powder – 1tsp
Chili Powder – ½ tsp
Pepper powder – ½ tsp (optional)
Garlic -3 pieces
Curry leaves and salt – as needed
Preparation of flat beans stir fry
Cut the flat beans into small pieces to make the stir fry. Cook finely chopped flat beans in a pan with a little water (5-6 tbsp) and salt. Check the beans at times add more water if needed.** By this time in another pan pour oil. Splatter mustard and curry leaves. Add chopped garlic, onion and sauté till brown. Then put all three powders. Again sauté till the powders roast well. Now add the cooked beans to the mixture and stir fry till its properly cooked.
** You can also cook the beans in pressure cooker till one or two whistle. Then directly add it to the sautéed mixture.
After a hectic day, having bread or roti with chocolate spread is highly refreshing and energizing. The idea to make them at home !!, is highly appealing and of course healthy.
Last weekend, I made a batch of chocolate spread nourished with dates and roasted peanuts. The left over spread was stored in fridge, as a saving for a hardworking week ahead. At home we have it with wheat dosa or chapati for breakfast. This can also be taken with bread and cookies.
Health benefits of Chocolate
Chocolate is my weakness. Whenever possible, I try to incorporate chocolate flavor in to my dishes. Controlled intake of real or dark chocolate is good for health (but it is not that sweet to taste).
Dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients that has positive effect on your health. Made from seed of cocoa tree, it is a best source of antioxidants . Studies show dark chocolate (not the sugary crap) can improve health and lower the risk of heart disease.
Health benefits of dates
Dates are super food for digestive system, recollect Muslims break the Ramadan fasting by eating dates. The benefits of dates include relief from constipation, intestinal disorders, heart problems, anemia, diarrhea, abdominal cancer, and many other conditions. Dates are good for gaining weight also.
Dates are a good source of various vitamins and minerals. Essential minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium and zinc are found in dates. It also contains vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin A and vitamin K.
Health benefits of peanuts
Peanuts feature an array of nutrients that are believed to promote heart health along with monounsaturated fat content. Peanuts are good sources of vitamin E, niacin, folate, protein and manganese. In addition, peanuts provide resveratrol, the phenolic antioxidant found in red grapes and red wine.
For better paste like consistency, soak washed dates in water overnight. Peel off the outer cover, (you can save a bit of the water to be added during blending, if needed). Remove seed from dates.
Put peeled dates and chocolate powder (you can use dark chocolate bars instead, if so melt them by double boiling and use) in the mixer jar and mix for a minute. Then add the roasted peanuts and mix until blended smoothly.
Add a spoon or two of sugar if you like it to be more sweet. Transfer to a container and refrigerate. When need, use it with you favorite dishes and enjoy!!!
***For those who don’t like chocolate flavor can omit chocolate powder. Dates and peanuts alone mixed, also makes a healthy spread.
Note: You can substitute peanuts with any other single or group of roasted nuts as cashew, almond etc…. Also any other natural sweeter can be used instead of dates. But the taste will vary accordingly.
Note: When selecting chocolate powder try to use a brand with minimum ingredients, preferably one ingredients ie. Cocoa powder. The more the number of ingredients the more it will be treated with chemicals.
We are always ready to spend a little more money on quality food items, if required. Are those health mix really healthy? Are organic labelled vegetables, really organic? Are the freshly packed meat really fresh? What makes a quality food.
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Best quality foods are always those grown at our home, whether it is your papaya, tender jack-fruit, tender plantain, spinach, lettuce or some other vegetable, or the chicken or duck. I know this is not possible 90% of city population, but we can do try and find time for a very small kitchen garden.
The next option is to choose food items from local farmers as far as possible. This will provide us more fresh vegetables; and reliable meat, as at least you that your food comes from a reliable source and them their living (than our hard earned money adding to the profit of a corporate brand).
In Kerala, we cultivate little vegetables and are highly dependent on fruits and vegetables from other states for our daily meals. These so called edible food items are highly contaminated with pesticides and hormones, during various stages of growth; which can leave their traits in our body. They are given various beatification treatments to gain weight, look fresh etc… during the whole process of cultivation and transportation. I have heard from a farmer in our neighbouring state that, they will put pesticides and hormones in regular intervals from 15- 20 times, for a plant once it is planted, till the harvest!! A proof is as below.
I remember an incident, one year ago. We have bought 0.5 Kg mozambi from a branch of a reputed retail store in India. One was left unnoticed for about 2 months.The most interesting part was that, the fruit didn’t had a single sign of rotting even after such a long time!!! It look little bit fresh too!! Do you think that the fruit was not at all treated with any chemicals?
MEAT, EGG & MILK
I always prefer meat egg or milk from homegrown animal and /or birds, above commercially grown caged birds and animals. Batch grown animals in crowded farms are given regular antibiotic courses to prevent them from illness and resulting loss of income. They are more stressed during their whole life time and are not free moving.
Home grown animals and birds enjoy freedom till they are killed. So their body accumulates more positive energy as they grow, due to low stress hormones as compared to caged animals and birds. This makes them more edible or suitable to be consumed as food.
Thus quality of food also contributes to edibility. Quality is not determined by the brand or price of food, but the knowledge of how that food reached us (as far as possible) from the source. If we can find time grow food items at home even less numbers, that will give us fresh and healthy food, and in long run we may save some bugs from the hospital bill.