October 31, 2017

Simple Rainwater Harvesting

Want to reuse the rainwater which is going down the drain?  Buy the very cost effective plastic tube like this and connect it to a terrace pipe, and take it to a water sump. Even in a simple drizzle our residence sump (8000 lt) gets filled up and we saved the cost of buying tanker.

October 29, 2017

Millets - The personal and social change that millets can bringout

Kicking the rice-habit:

Idlies and Masala Dosas have today become the very identity with South India itself. But not many would realize that some 30-40 years or one generation back, Rice was not the predominant food ingredient of South India. It was Millets which was the staple food of the masses. The food habits have changed that not many people, both in villages and cities, can cook a good millet based meal. The drastic increase in rice production after the Green Revolution, dams construction, fertilizers, new agricultural production and irrigation methods have made rice easy to produce. These changes have also bought rice within affordance of the masses as well.

However, recently we are noticing huge drawbacks of rice based diet. On the personal level, rice based diet has widely identified as a reason for increase in diabetics onset, even at very early ages. On the social level, large rice cultivation which needs very high water content (4,000 to 5600 litres per kg of rice while a person's water needs are just 1000 litres per month) is taking its toll of the country's water resources, leading to social agitation across states. For the farmers, rice cultivation is not profitable leading to debts for the fertilizers and other inputs like electric power. Hence the overall impact of heavy indulgence in rice diet is a loss-loss game for everyone in the society.

Krishna Byre Gowda - The Millet Man

 Mr. Krishna Byre Gowda 

Mr. Krishna Byre Gowda, the present agricultural minister of Karnataka and a true visionary leader, has come up with a simple solution for the above crisis. This simple solution is to decrease the rice intake of our people by making them adopt more millet based meals per month. Today everyone knows that millets are nutricereals having low glutonic index as it reduces and releases sugar slower than rice. It is rich in fiber, iron, calcium and micro-nutrients.

Mr. Gowda notes that for most of the previous generation of South Indians, idlis were festival sweets for Diwali while millets were the daily foods. Yet it is surprising that even when people know that millet is good, they are not consuming it adequately. Even the Organic Foods activists have been very vocal about their support for Millets. What are the reasons for this?

Oats, Quinoa and other imported ingredients are being projected as super foods and heavily advertised in mass media like TVs and Newspapers. Many People have started to have them as alternates for rice and wheat as the mass media have shaped the social perception that it is "fashionable" to have Oats or Quinoa through advertisements. People are not able to realize that millets are better than these imported alternatives which are also not good for the economy as it affects livelihoods of farmers as well. 

a. Brand New Image and Initiatives for Millets


New Brand Muscats for Millets 
As the agriculture minister of Karnataka, which had been the Millet Granary of India, Mr. Krishna Byre Gowda wants to make people comeback to millets in a big way. His Innovative approach is to create a new Brand Image for millets as the "Smart Food of the 21st Century" as Millets are not only good at personal level, millets are also good for the entire Ecology by consuming less resources, no chemical fertilizers, drought resistant and global climate friendly - the key concern for everyone in the world feating global climate change. Mr. Gowda has create initiatives like new brand-icons that speak today's consumerist cultural language to the kids and adults.

b. Farmer Cooperatives 

He had initiated the formation of Farmer Cooperatives which enables farmers to group together as collectives so that they can bargain a better price for themselves. Organic Entrepreneurs who have been struggling to source millets are now able to get better prices and offer the millets at lower rates to their consumers.
As the farmers are getting better and are beginning to cultivate more, the area under millet cultivation has started to increase. When it is increased further, the farmers dependency on water and fertilizers can decrease along with their debt burden.

c. Events and Trade-Shows

In order to increase the market for millets, Mr. Gowda is now taking newer and bigger initiatives like media events and trade-shows. Karnataka Agriculture Ministry had conducted a big event for promoting millets by combining with organic foods in Bangalore during last year and it has been a big success attracting thousands of people. This year, he wants to make the event even bigger. The upcoming Event in January 2018 is set to be an international event where large national and international businesses are also set to participate. This event will be very helpful for entrepreneurs in organic sector as they will be able to meet both the B2B players and consumers in the same venue.

d. Millet Startups and Ecosystem to make millet a world-superfood


The Karnataka Government is now planning to encourage Startups in the Millets Growing space by creating a Startup Program so that the Millet Ecosystem grows. Mr. Gowda's mission is to make millets a world superfood and also make Karnataka and India exports tons of millets to the world as only India is ideal for Millet cultivation.

Call for Food Bloggers, Activists and Social Media Influencers :

I met Mr. Gowda in a Conference and Blogger meet organized by the Karnataka Agriculture Ministry in Taj Coromandel, Chennai. Social Media and Food Bloggers have a very role in making millets a world superfood. Food Bloggers should use the power of social media to spread the awareness on Millets and ensure that people start actually consuming it a few meals a week instead of just taking it as a fancy food once in a while. Food Bloggers need to create a few killer millet recipes, the equivalent of idlis and dosas through fusion of regional, national and international cuisines and create tasty new recipes which are complete re-imagination of Millet recipes which kids and elders are addicted to.

As Food Bloggers, we should be definitely participating in the Bangalore Millets and Organic Foods Event and make valuable contributions for the cause of Millets.

Click HERE for my 50+ Millet Recipes.

October 28, 2017

TV Show in Sathiyam News - Vidiyal Puthusu

I have participated in Sathyam News channel’s Vidiyal Puthusu show which was telecast from October 23rd to October 27 - 2017.

October 26, 2017

How to make Jathi Malli Garland?

This is easy method to make garland with different color threads.

Video Link for Garland Making:

Peas Pulao / Matar Pulao / Pattai Pulav | Lunchbox Recipes

This is very easy and delicious one pot lunch box recipe. 

Click HERE to View 20+ Variety Rice Recipes.

Full Video:

Recipe Cuisine : International | Recipe Category: Baking
Preparation Time: 10 mins  | Cooking Time: 10 mins | Yields: 20 cookies

1 cup
1 cup
As Required
To Temper:

2 tsp
2 tsp
1 inch stick
Bay Leaf
Kalpasi / Stone Flower
1 tsp
Maratti Mokku / Kapok Buds
Onion (medium size)
Green Chili
Ginger Garlic Paste
1 tbsp

1. Wash and rinse the rise twice. Soak the rice with 1 cup of water for 15 mins. Then drain the water and keep it aside. Keep this water for later use.
2. Heat the oil and ghee in a pressure cooker, add whole spices (cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf, kalpasi, cardamom, maratti mokku ) and fry for few seconds.
3. Add chopped green chilies. Fry for few seconds.
4. Add ginger garlic paste and sauté for few seconds.
5. Add chopped onion and sauté till the onion becomes translucent.
 6. Add 1 cup of peas and sauté for 1 mins.
7. Add soaked rice and mix them well.
8. Add salt and 2 cups of water ( 1 cup normal water + 1 cup rice soaked water (from 1). Mix them well.
9. Close the pressure cooker with its lid and wait till the steam comes out. Put the whistle immediately when the steam comes out from the cooker lid and keep the flame at very low (simmer). Cook for 12-14 mins. [if whistle does not come, don’t worry about it]
10. After 12 mins switch off the flame. Once pressure has gone completely, open the cooker and transfer the pulao into a wide bowl. Mix the pulao gently with the fork.
    Yummy, tasty and aromatic pulao is ready to serve. Serve with raitha.

1. I have used jeeraga samba rice. You use basmathi rice or normal rice also. Adjust the water level according to the rice used.
2. Adjust the green chilies according to your spice level.
3. You can use fresh peas, frozen peas or dried peas.
4. In case you can use dried peas, soak it for 6-8 hours and then use.

October 25, 2017

Nature Bran - Brand Product Review

Ready to use mixes is the trend of the time as it helps working people to cook their favorite dishes at home quick and easy. There are not many good readymade mixes for millet based recipes. I came across Nature Bran Millet Rava dosa and tried it.  Its good, tasty and handy to prepare. I recommend it for working people to want to cook healthy fast food at home.
This company has good reputation among the millet activist community and is known for their high quality standards.    Nature Bran is a brand you can trust and you can buy in amazon .

You can try their other products in their website.

October 13, 2017

Chinese Sesame Smiling Cookie Balls / Chinese Sesame Laughing Balls

Why not try an International recipe yet strongly Indian as an additional sweet for this Diwali? Chinese Sesame Smiling Cookie Balls seems to be a variant of our local tea shop vettu cake (I have already posted HERE). Its also easy and it came out very well. My strong recommendation for second sweet for Diwali.

Full Video:

Recipe Cuisine : International / Chinese | Recipe Category: Sweet
 Source : China Sichuan Food
Preparation Time: 10 mins  | Cooking Time: 15 mins | Yields: 20 Balls
1 cup
Corn Flour
¼ cup
Baking Powder
1 tsp
¼ cup (heaped)
1 tbsp
1 tbsp
Warm Water
¼ cup
½ tsp
White Sesame Seeds
¼ cup or Required
Vanilla Essence
1 tsp
For Deep fry

1. Sieve maida, corn flour and baking powder together for 2 times. Keep it aside.
2. In a bowl, add warm water and sugar. Mix them well till the sugar dissolves completely.
3. Now add the butter, salt, vanilla essence and curd with the sugar mixture. Mix them well.
4. Add sieved maida mixture (from 1) little by little and mix with spoon.
5. Now knead the mixture into a soft, pliable and non sticky dough. Add little water if you need. Cover the dough for 15 mins.
6. Make gooseberry size balls from the dough.
7. Roll each ball into sesame seeds. If the dough is too dry, apply little water on the surface of the balls then roll into sesame seeds. Do this step for all the balls.
8. Heat the oil in a pan, add the balls one by one slowly. Keep the flame in between sim and medium. Slowly the balls will rise and open by itself.  Flip them using the ladle for uniform cooking and cook till they become golden in color and sizzling sound stops completely.
9. Take them out from the oil and drain the excess oil using the tissue paper. Cool it completely and store it in an air tight container.
        Delicious and yummy Chinese Sesame Cookie Balls / Chinese Sesame Fried Balls are ready to serve.

1. Don’t overload the oil with the balls.

2. If the dough is too soft, add little maida and make non sticky dough.

October 12, 2017

Andhra Teepi Gavvulu / Sweet Shell Recipe

We always make the same set of sweets for diwali. It is always good to try atleast one or two new sweets as well. My suggestion for this diwali is a very famous 
Andhra sweet called Andhra Deepi Gavvulu or Sweet Shell. Gavvulu means shell and is named so because of its shell like shape. What is more important is that the recipe is very simple even for a beginner. Even though this is sweet, you will not get overwhelmed by having a few Gavvulus. You will always want to eat more.

Full Video :

Recipe Cuisine : Andhra | Recipe Category: Sweet | Source : Vanitha
Preparation Time: 10 mins  | Cooking Time: 20 mins | Yields: 30 shells
For Gavvulu:

1 cup
Semolina / White Rava / Sooji Rava
½ cup
Dalda / Vanaspathi
¼ cup
¼ tsp
For deep fry
For Sugar Syrup:

3/4 cup
½ cup

* Use any measuring cups.
1. In a wide bowl, add maida, rava and salt. Mix them well.
2. Heat the dalda till it melts completely.
3. Now add the melted dalta to the maida mixture (from 1). Mix them quickly with the help of the spoon.
4. Now add the water little by little and make a soft and pliable dough. Keep it aside for 5 mins.
5. Now make turkey berry size balls from the dough (from 4).
6. Take fork (backside) or new comb or gavvulu making wood, keep one ball over the fork/comb/wood.
7. Just press it downwards using the thumb. Then remove from the opposite direction. Now you can get shell shape pieces. [ See the VIDEO]
8.  Make shells from all the balls and keep it aside.
9. Heat the oil in pan, deep fry the shells till they become golden in color. Don’t over load the oil with the shells.
10. Meanwhile, add sugar and water in a bowl. Bring it into boil. Boil the syrup till you can get the single string consistency.
11. Now remove from the heat, them immediately add the deep fried shells (from 9) and mix them gently till the sugar syrup will coat well with all the shells.
12. Remove from the syrup and allow it to cool down and dry.
     Yummy, tasty and easy Deepi Gavvulu / Sweet Shell is ready to serve.

1. You can use hot oil instead of dalda.

2. I have used 240 ml cup for this recipe. So that I got 30 shells. 

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