Ganesh Chaturthi – Sep 5th, Monday

How to celebrate Ganesh chaturthi Ganesh Chaturthi recipes

Search Chitra's Food Book

June 24, 2010


bitter gourd pitlai
I learnt this from my MIL.I love this pitlai a lot.I make this at least once in a week. My hubby hates BG but he eats this gravy .Tastes the best when mixed with plain rice topped with ghee.It tastes more like arachuvitta sambar with the bitterness of pavakkai.Adding jaggerys & sauting bitter gourd in oil before cooking or soaking bittergourd in curd for sometime reduces the bitterness a bit but we like to have it as such.Lets see how to make this bitter gourd pavakkai recipe below.

Bitter gourd pitlai recipe<

Bitter gourd pitlai recipe< Bitter gourd pitlai recipe
Cuisine: Indian
Category: Kuzhambu
Serves: Serves 2
Prep time: 10 Minutes
Cook time: 15 Minutes
Total time: 25 Minutes


  • Bitter gourd - 1 no ( medium sized)
  • Moong dal - 1.5 tbsp
  • Tamarind - A big gooseberry size
  • Sambar powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt & water – As required
  • Grated coconut –2 tbsp
  • Urad dal – 2 tsp
  • Coriander seeds –3 tsp
  • Hing – 2 –3 pinches
  • Jaggery – a small berry size
  • Coriander leaves – a few to garnish.
To temper
  • Cooking oil - 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves - a few

    • Soak the tamarind in water for 10 mins in hot water and extract the juice.
    • In a cooker vessel, take the tamarind juice, sliced bitter gourd pieces,moong dal, Sambar powder,salt & required water. Cook till one whistle.
pitlai tile2
    • In the mean time , heat a kadai with a tsp of oil .Roast the coriander seeds ,  urad dal with 2 pinches of hing. Grind the roasted items with grated coconut to make a coarse powder.
pitlai tile1
    • Once the BG is cooked , add the roasted ,ground powder and jaggery to it.Allow it to boil for sometime. Do the tempering and add.
    • Garnish with coriander leaves and enjoy mixing with plain rice and ghee.
pitali tile3
    Enjoy !
The bitter melon (also known as bitter gourd) looks like a cucumber but with ugly gourd-like bumps all over it.
As the name implies, this vegetable is a melon that is bitter.  There are two varieties of this vegetable:  One grows to about 20 cm long, is oblong and pale green in color.  The other is the smaller variety, less than 10 cm long, oval and has a darker green color.
Both varieties have seeds that are white when unripe and that turn red when they are ripe.  The vegetable-fruit turn reddish-orange when ripe and becomes even more bitter.
Bitter gourd thrives in hot and humid climates, so are commonly found in Asian countries and South America.
Westerners may not be so used to bitter melons, so may find them more difficult to consume.  But if you can generally take bitter taste, you may be able to take this too.  Try it, at least for all its healthful virtues!

Nutritional Benefits
Bitter gourds are very low in calories but dense with precious nutrients.  It is an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, and B3, C, magnesium, folic acid, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, and has high dietary fiber.  It is rich in iron, contains twice the beta-carotene of broccoli, twice the calcium of spinach, and twice the potassium of a banana.
Bitter melon contains a unique phyto-constituent that has been confirmed to have a hypoglycemic effect called charantin.  There is also another insulin-like compound known as polypeptide P which have been suggested as insulin replacement in some diabetic patients.
Health Benefits
Few other fruits/vegetables offer medicinal properties for these ailments like bitter melon does.
Blood disorders:  Bitter gourd juice is highly beneficial for treating blood disorders like blood boils and itching due to toxemia.  Mix 2 ounces of fresh bitter gourd juice with some lime juice.  Sip it slowly on an empty stomach daily for between four and six months and see improvement in your condition.
Cholera: In early stages of cholera, take two teaspoonfuls juice of bitter gourd leaves, mix with two teaspoonfuls white onion juice and one teaspoonful lime juice.  Sip this concoction daily till you get well.
Diabetes mellitus:  Bitter melon contains a hypoglycemic compound
(a plant insulin) that is highly beneficial in lowering sugar levels in blood and urine.  Bitter melon juice has been shown to significantly improve glucose tolerance without increasing blood insulin levels.
Energy:  Regular consumption of bitter gourd juice has been proven to improve energy and stamina level.  Even sleeping patterns have been shown to be improved/stabilized.
Eye problems:  The high beta-carotene and other properties in bitter gourd makes it one of the finest vegetable-fruit that help alleviate eye problems and improving eyesight.
Hangover:  Bitter melon juice may be beneficial in the treatment of a hangover for its alcohol intoxication properties.  It also help cleanse and repair and nourish liver problems due to alcohol consumption.
Immune booster:  This bitter juice can also help to build your immune system and increase your body's resistance against infection.
Piles: Mix three teaspoonfuls of juice from bitter melon leaves with a glassful of buttermilk. Take this every morning on empty stomach for about a month and see an improvement to your condition.  To hasten the healing, use the paste of the roots of bitter melon plant and apply over the piles.
Psoriasis:  Regular consumption of this bitter juice has also been known to improve psoriasis condition and other fungal infections like ring-worm and athletes feet.
Respiratory disorders:  Take two ounces of fresh bitter melon juice and mix with a cup of honey diluted in water.  Drink daily to improve asthma, bronchitis and pharyngitis.
Toxemia:  Bitter gourd contains beneficial properties that cleanses the blood from toxins.  Sip two teaspoonfuls of the juice daily to help cleanse the liver.  Also helpful in ridding jaundice for the same reasons.
Continue Reading...

June 19, 2010


I love ginger tea a lot..When i was working i used to go with my friend  to a nearby canteen at least twice a day just to have this tea ..It was a flavorful ,mild and tasty tea.After this , I never had a tea similar to that taste.Last week when i was surfing the net i came across a ginger tea which is a bit different from the usual one we make.I immediately tried it on the same evening.To my surprise i found this taste similar to the one i had in canteen.. I was very much satisfied ..Though its not a special,unique recipe to share with ,  i wanted to have this post in my blog.. So here comes the recipe with a picture for u all..

Ginger tea 1


  • Boiled Milk – 1 cup
  • Water – 1/4 cup
  • Tea powder – 3/4 - 1 tsp ( i used 3 roses)
  • Ginger – 2 inches (crush a little)
  • Cardamom – 1 no ( crush with skin)
  • Sugar – 1.5 – 2 tsp ( depends)


  • In a wide mouthed bowl, add water and the crushed ginger & cardamom.
  • Allow it to boil for 3 mins so that the ginger gets cooked in the water and gets nice flavor.
  • Then add the milk , sugar , tea powder .. Allow it to boil for 4 mins in medium flame.
  • Strain the tea sediments and enjoy !!

Serve hot with snacks !!

Note :The ginger should be well cooked before u add the milk and other ingredients.The essence of ginger would be well absorbed into the water..



Ginger has been used for its health benefits for over 5000 years and is a favorite medicinal as well as culinary herb. Unlike most spices, the part that has the most medicinal value grows under ground. Often mistakenly called “ginger root” this is actually the rhizome of the plant which is more of a subterranean stem than a root.

Although you can use dried ginger and powdered ginger for health benefits, fresh ginger is preferred. It is readily available in most supermarkets. Pieces of the rhyzome can be sliced off for use and the remainder stored in the refrigerator where it should keep for about 3 weeks as long as it is not fully peeled.

One of ginger's most touted health benefits is its ameliorating effects on digestive ailments. It can help digest fatty foods and break down proteins. It is excellent for reducing gas. Many people report that it will also relieve nausea, and can be effective in treating morning sickness as well as motion sickness.

Ginger can also help reduce inflammation. So it can be used to treat any disease that is caused by inflammations such as arthritis or ulcerative colitis. Some studies show that it can even help inhibit the replication of the herpes simplex virus.

Being a warming herb, ginger can help knock out a fever. This property also makes it effective in stimulating circulation of the blood. It can also help relax muscles around the blood vessels and is said to help prevent blood clots from forming. The warming effects make it a natural decongestant as well as an antihistamine, making it the perfect remedy for colds.

Recent studies show that ginger might also have a role in lowering LDL cholesterol because the spice can help reduce the amount of cholesterol that is absorbed. It has also been shown in animal trials to help slow or even prevent cancerous tumor growth.

Gingers healing properties come from it’s volatile oils, gingerols and shogaols, which are also responsible for it’s pungent taste. The oils cause more digestive enzymes to be produced which helps with the whole digestion process and neutralizes the acids that can cause nausea, cramps and even diarrhea.

To discover the health benefits of ginger for yourself, simply make a tea by steeping about 5 slices of ginger in hot water. If you prefer it in your food, ginger is excellent in many dishes and is perfect when combined with garlic.

Continue Reading...

June 2, 2010


I tried this from Nags Space..I made some slight changes according to the ingredients what i had in hand..The taste was excellent  ..Thanks a lot Nags..I want to treasure this recipe in my blog for future reference. .So here comes the yummy restaurant style PBM .Do try this and let me know ladies..

Ingredients :
  • Paneer – 50 gms (cubed ) ( Fry in little oil and soak in hot water till usage)
  • Big onion – 1 no (chopped finely)
  • Tomatoes – 2 nos (medium sized , blanched, peeled and pureed)
  • Ginger , Garlic paste – 1 tsp ( i used 1 inch ginger & 5 cloves of garlic)
  • Coriander powder – 1.5 tsp
  • Red chilly powder – 1 tsp
  • Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Tomato ketchup -  1 tsp
  • Salt- As required.
  • Milk – 1 cup ( use as reqd)
  • Fresh cream -  1 tbsp ( i dint have fresh cream i removed a tsp of skin from the boiled milk and added .)(Paalaadai)
  • Cashew – 5 nos ( Grind to a smooth paste)
  • Coriander leaves – to garnish.. ( i dint use)
Method :
  • Blanch tomatoes and peel the boil tomatoes in water till it cracks.Then peel the skin and set aside.Grind cashews to a smooth paste and keep aside.
  • In a wide mouthed kadai , take a  tbsp of oil and add the chopped onions .Saute till it turns transparent .
  • Now add the G& G paste and saute till its raw smell emanates.
  • Then add all the powders and Mix well for sometime in low flame..Make sure it doesn’t get burnt.
  • Take all these ingredients in a mixie jar and grind it along with blanched tomatoes.Make it to a smooth paste.
  • Heat oil in a kadai and add 1 tbsp of oil.when the oil is hot,add this ground paste and saute till its raw smell vanishes.Allow it to boil.Then add the ketchup , required salt and milk and cashew paste.Let it boil and thicken.U get a nice orange color.
  • Check for spice & salt.If its too spicy add some more milk and vice versa.
  • At last add the paneer cubes , Milk skin ( paalaadai ) and toss well . Boil & Switch off the flame..
Yummy Paneer Butter Masala is ready to be served hot with Chapathi , Naan..
As i dint have a stock of fresh cream and coriander leaves , i couldn’t garnish ..But still there was no compromise in taste.I am sure it gotta restaurant taste..Its a keeper recipe..And NAGS , thnx  so much again Smile
Kindly adjust the quantity of ingredients according to ur taste buds by keeping this as a reference ..



Paneer is one of the most varied and fascinating of dairy products. In its most basic form, cheese is the curdled milk of sheep, goats, cows or other mammals.
Health benefit of Paneer
1:  Paneer is a good source of calcium, which helps build strong bones and teeth, and also prevents osteoporosis. Cheese provides 25% of the calcium in the food supply.
2:  Paneer in moderation, is associated with lower body weight as well as reduced risk of developing insulin resistance syndrome.
3:  Paneer is a good source of protein and it reduces cancer risk.
4:  Paneer can prevent stomach disorders and even help with your bones as you get older, especially in women.
5:  It also helps in lower, back and joint pain.
Nutritional information of Paneer
100 gms of paneer made from cow milk provides
Protein - 18.3 grms
Fat - 20.8 grms
Mineral - 2.6 grms
Carbohydrates - 1.2 grms
Energy - 265 kcal
Calcium - 208 mgs
Phosphorous - 138 mg
How to make paneer?
Paneer is quite easy to make at home. Bring 2 litres of fresh whole milk to the boil. Add 2 table spoons of vinegar or lemon juice or curd and stir well. Put aside. After the milk has curdled, wrap it in a clean muslin cloth, rinse with fresh water and drain well. Form a ball and place it under a heavy saucepan for approx. 20 minutes. 200 g of your paneer is ready..
Continue Reading...

back to top