Quick Penne Tomato Pasta, Bread Jam Pinwheels ~ Kid's Lunch Box | Easy Kid Friendly Recipes

>>  Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sending a balanced diet to kids is always a big worry. Since all three of them go at the same time, I really go crazy thinking what to send for recess, for lunch and what to feed them when they are back home. Konda manages to eat something, while the boys just drink their milk. So I pack them breakfast for their snack break. The menu for them is almost standard as I think Dosas, Idlis can only be standard, as rice can't be feed for breakfast.

Coming to Konda's lunch or snack, when ever I ask her what she wants for lunch, she says sandwich. So finally today I made just that and sent. She simply loved it. It was a mild curried potato baked in microwave oven.

Quick Penne Pasta and Jam Pinwheels were on the menu yesterday. Both disappeared, with no traces found. And also she was happy that her friends loved both the dishes.

Quick Penne Pasta was very much the same, except I didn't add the onions.

Bread Jam Pinwheels:

Ingredients Needed

Bread Slices - 4
Mixed Fruit Jam - 2 tsps
Butter for roasting.

Method to prepare

Trim the sides of the bread slices and on a rolling board, place the slices and roll on them real hard. You will find that bread will become like a sheet.

Spread the Jam on the top. Then from one side, roll inward very tightly to join the other side. You will get a long roll. Cut into smaller pieces.

Heat a pan and place the small rolls, sprinkle butter and toss on all sides. Since these are filled with jam and also roasted, it remains soft yet very sweet to eat.


  1. This was a quick method. Normally I attach 3 -4 slices together while pressing the slices and spread the jam before rolling. This way you will get a bigger Pin wheel. 
  2. Once the sides are tucked in well, this needs to be refrigerated for the ends to get stuck.
  3. Just before serving, remove, slice into smaller pieces and roast them in butter.


Quick Recipes for Sandwiches Fillings | Ideas for Kid's Breakfasts

>>  Monday, June 28, 2010

I have always loved Sandwiches. I don't actually remember since when. But these always made a dull morning very bright and an evening to look forward. I have always wanted to try out as many different fillings to go between those slices, no matter what.

I love cheese stuffing and including other interesting ingredients with this makes it more interesting. When my nephew and nieces visited us, I was specially asked for a sandwich breakfast, especially with cheese and paneer. So it was. I made them in sandwich maker, which really gives a cool look and makes it very crispy.

I made the tomato sauce for the spread for some, grated cheese. The other alternative fillings were curried potatoes, paneer, Plain cheese with green chilies, Cheese slices, Mixed Fruit Jam etc. Before I could even think of taking pictures, those disappeared. But I knew I would be making those again since Konda loves sandwiches.

This time round I make some more fillings to go with.

Potato Filling

Boiled Potatoes - 2 medium
Salt to taste
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Red Chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Oil 1/2 tsp

Mash boiled potato well. Heat oil in a non- stick pan, add the potatoes, add all the spices, mix well. remove and allow it to cool.

Curried Onions

Onions - 1 medium

Salt to taste

Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Red Chili powder - 1/2 tsp

Saute everything in oil over medium flame till the onions are brown.

Grated Cheese with finely chopped Green chilies.

Curried Paneer

Grated Paneer - as required

Onions - 1 medium
Salt to taste

Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Red Chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Same as onions, add the grated paneer along.

Mint Potato Stuffing

Make a paste of the mint leaves. Saute it along with the above potato stuffing.

Assembling the Sandwiches

In the sandwich maker, grease both sides. Fill the bread with the stuffing, grease the sides with ghee/ butter and cook it.

Then if you want cheese over it, spread the filling on the slices, top it with grated cheese and then grill it.
It takes about 3-4 mins for the sandwiches to get done.

Serve with tomato ketchup!

Though these normally tastes good to be served right away, you can always send these for your Kid's snacks which might be earlier than lunch.

My kids enjoyed all the fillings, except the chili ones which I made for the elders at home.

Do share other fillings that you make.


Diabetes and Eye disease

>>  Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Source: Written for Spice your Life, by Dr. Nagarathnam Jetti, MBBS,DPH,DIH,FIAOH.


In one of my earlier articles I had mentioned that India has the dubious honour of being called as the Diabetic capital of the world. We can sign a relief that we no longer hold this distinction. In recent studies, taking the absolute figures on the incidence and prevalence of diabetes reported in China, it is clear that China will occupy the number one position.  Second in the list is Mauritius, which has about 33% incidence of diabetes.  In India it is about 15 to 20 % among urban Indians.

In my previous article I discussed about the renal damage due to prolonged hyperglycaemea (due to uncontrolled diabetes), today I will be talking about how hyperglycaema can cause damages to the eyes.

Of all the senses, the ability to appreciate the beauty around us is one that makes this life complete.  We need vision to enjoy the God’s creation, the nature and the world around us. Let us not forego that ability due to our carelessness.

Diabetic disease may include cataract, glaucoma and retinopathy, cataract-clouding of eye lens-irregular control of blood sugar can lead to early development of cataract.

Glaucoma: Increase in fluid pressure inside the eye that leads to optic nerve damage and loss of vision. A diabetic is twice at the risk in developing the glaucoma than a non diabetic.

Retinopathy:  The most common eye disease and a leading cause of blindness all over the world are caused by the changes in the blood vessels of the retina.

In long standing diabetics due to poor control of blood sugar, the blood vessels that supply blood to retina may swell and leak fluid and in some people new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina. The walls of the new blood vessels are brittle and so may break leading to leakage.

The retina is the light sensitive tissue at the back of the eye and a healthy retina is necessary for good vision. Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes. And over a period of time the retinopathy can get worsened and can lead to blindness.

In the early stages the blood vessels supplying blood to retina get blocked progressively and this is called non-proliferative retinopathy. Where there is a near complete block, the retina sends signals for nourishment which triggers the growth of new blood vessels. These newly grown blood vessels have thin fragile walls, may grow on the retina and Vitreous gel may break and leak blood resulting in severe vision loss and blindness.

What a diabetic has to do.

The diabetics either type 1 or type 2 must have a comprehensive dilated eye examination atleast once a year.

The pregnant women with diabetes must also have eye check up during pregnancy

Often there are no symptoms in the early stages of the disease, nor is there pain.  Do not wait for the eye symptoms; be sure to have a comprehensive dilated eye examination.

Blurred vision: When the macula, the central part of the retina that provides sharp central vision, is damaged when new blood vessel grows on the surface of the retina they can bleed into the eye and block the vision.

People with proliferative retinopathy can reduce the risk of blindness by 95% with timely treatment and appropriate follow up.
Some useful tips about symptoms:

If a diabetic sees few specks of blood or spots “floating’ in the vision.

If floating spots occur one has to see the eye doctor immediately.

The eye doctor may do the visual acuity test, dilated eye examination and tonometry. He will check up for the early signs of the disease like leaking blood vessel, retinal oedema (macular oedema) pale fatty deposits on the retina-signs of leak of blood, damaged nerve tissue and any changes to the blood vessels.

If required, the eye doctor may do fluorescein angiogram.

If early stages of retinopathy is detected that is the time for the patient to act to achieve good control of blood sugar, good control of blood pressure and cholesterol.

For macular oedema and proliferative retinopathy the laser treatment is available which will prevent vision loss.

Even if a diabetic achieves good control of blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol, it is advisable to have yearly eye check up in order to prevent the vision loss.

Next time we will talk about cardiovascular complications arising due to improper control of diabetes.

Earlier on Diabetes:

General Notes on Diabetes
Introduction to Diabetes ~ What Is Diabetes?
Why Early Diagnosis Is Important?
Diagnosing Diabetes ~ Different Types Of Diabetes
Dietary aspects in the management of diabetes

Diabetes Diet:

Appey or Paniyaram with Jowar Four
Healthly Snack with Chickpea Salad
Gooseberry Rice
Guava ~ the Wonder Fruit


Pani Puri / Gol Gappe - Indian Cooking Challenge for May ~ Step By Step Recipe!

>>  Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I know for many Panipuri kindles too many gourmet dreams to confine within. And I simply love all chats, you give me anytime I am all set ready for it. Except for Pani Puri! After tasting my first one, I never turned to it. Seriously, I ran a mile if I had to eat this. On the other hand, hubby dear eats only this and nothing else. Of course as I have said Dad never app roved us on eating on the road side shops, but where else you get the finest of chats you ask? Well next best is to make at home is the pat response.

When I was introduced to these chats many many years ago, I devoured all but this Pani Puri, simply because I couldn't gulp the entire one in one shot nor could I eat so much spice as a whole. So when we go for chats, I eat Bhel Puri, Dahi Puri or even Masala Puri, while Hubby eagerly stands next to the Chat wala gulping down the numerous puris before the next one can be made.

Then something happened! We have a Gangotri, the Gujarati specialty shop close by and on couple of occasions we ordered it. Since it was delivered, everything was kept separately and we had to make it ourselves. One day giving into the temptation, I had one and there after stopped counting! What followed was endless revelry with Pani Puri. We always had the recipe for making these, though I have almost made most of the chats at home, I never attempted at making Pani Puri from scratch. 

That is exactly why Indian Cooking Challenge comes in place. This event is to make us attempt at dishes we may never try. So I decided this was surely on list. When I expressed my choice, I had instant approval from all my ICC members. I was really very late in choosing the recipe, but it was fine as I selected one from my cuttings. Still I was apprehensive in attempting it. 

As always Saturday was the chosen day, I even met my neighbour Aunty and told her that I will be making by evening. She had recently made it couple of times, but I was not at home. So I borrowed her Roti maker to make half of them. Rest of the dough we rolled it out. Yes I had Amma, Athamma along with it. Towards the end, even Konda helped in pinching out the balls. 

It was a wonderful experience having everybody at home pinching in to make these awesome puris to go with the filling and pani. I adapted the recipe while I was making it. Though making lot of changes to the given recipe is not allowed, I take the liberty as this was not previously tried and tested.

I almost made changes to all the process involved, including the Aloo stuffing. I was happy recreating the taste I remember eating at Gangotri.

Let me take you through the process step by step!

To make the pani, get the mint, coriander, chili and tamarind pulp ready. Puree it together for the pani. Refrigerate till served.

Both Mint water and Tamarind sweet water ready for serving!

To make the Puris

Prepare the dough the semolina, cover with a muslin cloth for nearly 1 hour.

Either roll our as a big circle, press down with a sharp lid to get same sized circles

Like this,

else press down using a roti maker like this..

Heat a pan with oil, quickly drop in the rolled puris, and cook them till golden colour. Trick here is to get the oil hot and them drop in the puris.

Once all done, ensure you spread it for cooling, else the puris will become soft. Only after it is completely cooled should you store them in a container.

Then serve with the pani!
Pani Puri / Gol Gappe ~ Famous Indian Chat

For making Gol Gappe

Sooji (Semolina) 1 cup
Maida (Plain Refined Flour) 1/2 tsp.
Salt to taste
Oil for Frying

The recipe called for adding Cooking Soda, I didn't and still it perfectly puffed up.

For Spicy Pani or Spicy Water / Mint Water

Mint Leaves 1  cups
Coriander Leaves handful .
Tamarind pulp 3 tsp1/3 cup
Green Chillies 2
Roasted Cumin powder 1 tsp.
Salt to taste

Ok, I didn't have Kala Namak / Black Salt but you need to add 1 - 2 tsp. Trust me still the pani was yummy!

Potato Filling

Boiled Potato, grated to form a fine paste, sauteed in 1 tsp Oil along with Roasted Cumin powder, Red chili powder, salt.

This was awesome!

Another filling I gave was the Lentil Filling

Cooked Channa or Peas - 1 cup
Salt to taste
Chili powder 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder
Garam masala powder 1/4 tsp

Cook the channa or peas till tender. Then drain and cook with the masala till aroma comes out.

For Red Tamarind Chutney

Tamarind 1 cup
Jaggery 1/2 cup
Red chilli powder 1/2 tsp
Dry Roasted cumin powder 1 tsp
Warm water 2 cups
Salt to taste

Again I missed Kala Namak, but by all means do add it if you have!

Method to prepare:

For Gol Gappe or Puri:

In a bowl take semolina, plain flour, salt and knead well to make a stiff dough, leave it bit stiffer than normal. Actually since Rava was so much, the moment I add drops of water, it formed a stiff dough. I left at to rest for nearly 45 mins.

Cover it with a wet muslin cloth and let it rest till you get other things ready. Actually if it rests for more it tends to roll out best.

Then pinch out very small balls and roll them into small circles.

Remember you will be eating these as whole, so make small circles

Put the rolled out circles back under the muslin cloth while you are rolling the rest and before they can be fried.

Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan, deep fry the puris

The idea is to puff them and fry them till golden brown.

Take them out and put them on kitchen paper towel, to get rid of the extra oil.

Notes: Allow the puris to cool before storing them in an airtight container. Else they will become soggy.

I also made using the Roti maker, place 3 - 4 pinched balls and press to get an even rolled out puris. Fry them immediately.

For making spicy water or Pani

Extract pulp from the tamarind

Add mint leaves, coriander, chillies and dry roasted cumin seed to the tamarind pulp. Add little water and blend to a smooth paste.

Add salt and black rock salt to taste.

Put it in the fridge to cool down.

Add water as required. It is normally recommended to add Ginger, but ginger and I are not friends!

How to make Red Tamarind Chutney

Extract the pulp from tamarind.

Recipe asks you to pound the roasted cumin seeds along with garlic cloves. But I am not for such process. I always have roasted cumin powder on hand, so used that instead. And cloves, well!

To the tamarind pulp add jaggery, red chilli powder, roasted cumin powder and salt.

You are supposed to cook this over low flame and store once it cools. But I used it as raw.

Assembling the Pani Puri / Gol Gappa

Poke a small hole in the center of the Gole Gappa/ Puri

Add a tsp of mashed boiled potato / Channa in the middle of the puri. Add a little of the red tamarind Chutney. Dip it in the spicy water / pour some spicy water in it

Gulp it down.

Notes: Alternatively you can mix small quantity of Tamarind Chutney, Spicy water and pour this on stuffed puris and gulp down too. Which is how I normally get my Pani Puri down.!


Konda was elated on tasting these Pani Puris. She said it was the best she has eaten till now. Yes all of us liked it a lot. This surely is a keeper recipe.

To all my ICC members, please link your Pani Puri post to Mr. Linky.


Wholesome Homemade Baby Food Recipes | Introducing Solids to Your Baby | Rice Porridge for 7 to 12 months babies

>>  Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Preparing Baby Food at home is the best thing you can do. That is especially essential when you start thinking of introducing solid food to your baby. Wholesome homemade baby food is always advised. I still remember Amma making those Ragi Kanji, Rice Kanji apart from trying out with Dalia, and other lentils.

I get many emails asking for baby food ideas, especially wholesome baby food for infants. By the time I realized that many new mothers have lot of questions on how to make baby food, my twins crossed that stage. I prepared some of those best baby food based on Indian diet again just for the requests.

Dal Tadka is one of the basic food used as introducing lentil to babies of 7 months and older. Then there were few other variations that we used to follow, each time introducing an ingredient at a time.  It has always been a challenge, hitting on the correct menu and getting the babies eat without making a fuss.

We recently visited my 14 months old niece who was so adorable and very sweet. For all I was told about her throwing tantrums for eating, she was so much better than my boys I felt. Or maybe she wanted to show her best behavior in front of us or she was entertained by our company. Or so I want to think.

When I saw my Aunt preparing the baby food, I immediately asked if I can take pictures of the food and also take notes on what she was preparing. I knew this diet coming from my Aunt who is a doctor, is mostly surely very balanced and nutritious. She gladly shared her recipe and half way after feeding my niece she gave it to me for taking pictures, while baby looked at us very keenly trying to understand what we were doing.

This food made with Rice, Lentils, Vegetables can be introduced when the baby is 7 months old. More complex lentil like Kidney Beans, Soya Bean can be introduced after 12 months.

Rice Porridge | Indian Baby Food | For age group from 7 months

Rice - 1/4 cup
Toor Dal - 3 tsp
Potato - 1 small
Radish - 3"
Beans - 4 medium
Carrot - 3"
Cumin Seeds
Salt to taste

Clear Rasam water

Method to prepare:

Wash and soak rice, dal for 15 mins. Prep the vegetables and cut into pieces.

In a pressure cooker add the rice, dal and all the vegetables along with salt and cumin seeds with 2 times of water.

Once the pressure is off, run it in a mixer to get a smooth porridge. Adjust the salt if required.

Then add clear water you get from Rasam. Since Rasam will have Asafetida, garlic, it aids as a digestive food for the baby.

Add 2 tsp of Ghee to the porridge along with just enough of rasam water to make the porridge consistency easy for the baby to eat. It should not be very runny at the same time not too thick.

Lentils to be introduced after 12 months:

To the same measurement given above, you can add about 4 Kidney Beans, 6 Soya Beans during pressure cooking. And follow the same process.

The menu that can be followed after 12 months

For Breakfast : Chapati, Idli, Upma, Pongal.

As babies are active, they need to be fed every 2 hours solid. If you are giving liquids/ fruits then give by 1 hour of gap.

The different food items can be like this.

For snack - 3 Threptin biscuits
Fruits can be Apple/ Pomegranate / Banana / Orange
Egg yolk.

After 13 months, you can start introducing non veg if you want to include in the baby's diet.

In India we are not very fussy about verifying if the vegetable introduced suits the baby or not. We normally introduce one at a time and check out if the baby likes the taste or not. But my cousin said she had to add  a small piece of the vegetable for 4 days in small quantities before adding more of it to the baby food. Though I understand the logic behind this rule, it is not followed so strictly in India. 

Verdict on the porridge: Baby mostly eats without complaining after couple of times, provided she has enough distraction to know she is even eating. Which I guess is very normal.

Sending this to Roma, who is host an event My Baby’s Favourite Food

Disclaimer: Please always consult your baby’s pediatrician before introducing new foods to your baby.  I am sharing what we have given to our kids, but your pediatrician may have a different opinion.


Announcing Kid's Delight ~ Colouring your Kid's Delight!

>>  Saturday, June 5, 2010

Yes you read it right! While I was breaking my head on what theme can be best for the next version for Kid's Delight, I happen to read Nithi's pinky puris and I thought well this is the next theme. I know I have tried colouring the food to make it more attractive, like adding Spinach to puris to get Green Puris, Beets to get pink ones. But I never really thought much beyond that. Then of course you may remember Harini's Food in Colour  the event that coloured many blogs.

Coming to this event, this is going to be one edition focused on colouring food to please your kids. My daughter was so happy getting green, pink puris. so it is natural that kids love colourful food.

So here is what you got to do.


Post on your blog from now till July 15th, 2010.

Once done, you can fill in your details in the form below for the event (if you face problem please mail me, I will address it)

Link back to this announcement and add the logo so that we spread the news on the event.

The dish prepared should have been accepted by your own kid, kid from your family or friends. Or even something that you loved eating as a kid. (Because the idea is to tell my kids that another kid loved this, there by making them eat it, thank you!)

The last date for the entries is 15th July 2010. You can send in as many entries you can. Older entries are welcome too.

Other ideas and suggestions are most welcome. I am hoping you will help me get better ideas!


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