What are the dishes that can be prepared from ragi / finger millet, which is said to give excellent health benefits?

Ragi mudde, ragi roti / rotti, ragi halbhai (a sweet dish), ragi malt, ragi idli, ragi dosa, ragi upma, ragi vada, ragi kodabale, ragi vegetable soup and ragi thambittu are some of the cuisines that can be prepared from ragi.

What is the key ingredient for soft chapatis?

Add milk to the wheat flour to prepare a dough for soft chapathis. Please refer to soft chapati recipe for details.

I mostly buy vegetables once a week and store them in the refrigerator. Is using these vegetables for cooking a good practice?

You should try to use vegetables, as much as possible, that are not more than 2-3 days old. Remember, the fresher the vegetables the better the cooking and better the benefits for your health.

What is the significance of curry leaves in seasoning?

First, curry leaves add a distinct dimension to the food. Second, these leaves offer many health benefits.

I have seen some people remove, unfortunately, the curry leaves from the food they are eating. I, however, think these should be eaten, as these wonder leaves have medicinal values.

Curry leaves are rich in antioxidants. These leaves also have vitamin A, which is necessary for eye health. Further, curry leaves are a source of iron, calcium and vitamin C.

From maintaining eye health to stimulating hair growth, increasing digestive abilities to treating nausea, curries leaves can play a great role in our day-to-day life. Make sure these leaves are a part of your everyday cooking.

How to make onions tasty?

Onions, sometimes, have a bland taste. To make these taste better, add a pinch of sugar while frying.

How to prevent the overflowing of water when cooking dal?

Water may overflow while cooking dal. To prevent this smear oil / ghee to the inside of the rim of the utensil before cooking.

How to cook the dal soft and fast?

Add about half-a-teaspoon of oil / ghee to the dal before cooking.

How to cook tomatoes fast while frying?

Add a pinch of salt.

What vegetables are rich in calcium?

calcium rich vegetables
Here are a few of the vegetables rich in calcium:

- Fenugreek Leaves / Methi
- Beetroot
- Cauliflower
- Okra
Source: Meyer Vitabiotics leaflet.

What is red rice flour?

red rice
Red rice flour is made from red rice. This type of rice is usually available in super stores and in stores that sell only rice and other grains.

Please give a solution for kayi holige I am not able to get thin kayi holige as available in the stores & in the picture shown by u, I get a thick holige, but the taste is good, I used the proportion given by u, I do the holige on a plastic sheet & sometimes I use banana leaf, as I stay in Muscat I do not get butter paper here.

Using a banana leaf for rolling-out the holige is fine. You can also use the glossy-side of the brown paper used for book binding.

The possible reasons you are getting thick kayi holiges are:

1. The dough / kanaka shoud be very soft. Otherwise, you cannot roll out thinly.

2. Coconut & jaggery should be a fine paste.

3. You may be using less quantity of dough.

IMPORTANT: Roll out the hoorana-filled dough in such a way that the hoorana shows through the kanaka layer.

How to add oil to a dish that's already cooking in a pan?

Add oil slowly at the edges of the pan. By the time it reaches the food, the oil will be heated. Cook the food for some more time.

How long should I soak the vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli before using them?

Soak the vegetables, such as the above, in cold salt water for at least fifteen minutes so any chemicals present in the vegetables are released.

When frying items like maddur vada, how to make sure the oil is hot enough?

Drop a dal-size portion of the vada batter into the oil. If the batter sizzles and moves toward the surface, then you can proceed with frying. Or, dip the end of a wooden spoon into the oil. If you see bubbles around the spoon, it means the oil is hot.

How to store idli and dosa batter for more time?

Do not add salt to the batter. Transfer the fermented batter to an air-tight container and store it in the fridge. The batter remains in a good condition for about a week. In this period, if you want to use only a portion of the batter, transfer that portion to a utensil and store the remaining immediately in the fridge.

Is it necessary to use rice flour for masala vada? Can I substitute besan or gram flour for rice flour?

Rice flour is not necessary, but it helps to retain the crispiness of the masala vada for more time. Besan or gram flour or rice flour, however, can be used, in Step 4, to thicken the mixture if it becomes watery.

Can I use wheat flour instead of maida, for holige,because my husband is not allowing me to use maida as it is not good for the health?

You can use wheat flour in place of maida. However, the taste of the holige would not be as good as that made from maida. Further, it would not be possible to roll-out the top-layer of the holiges thinly. The other option is to use a mix of wheat and maida flours and chiroti rava. Try with equal quantities of the three ingredients. Again, the taste may not be the same as maida-chiroti rava holiges.

For making kajjaya, can we use just rice flour, why soak the rice and grind it?

You cannot use rice flour to make kajjaya, because store-bought rice flour will be usually made from un-washed rice. Home-made rice flour is also prepared by not soaking the rice. Kajjayas prepared from such rice flour will be hard. To make soft kajjayas, you have to soak the rice in water.

For ragi malt, can I add pista?

You can add pista to the ragi malt. In Step 2 of How to make Ragi Malt? dry fry the pista along with the other items like almonds, and grind. Or, you can dry fry the pista alone and grind. In either case, add the ground pista in Step 5.

How to add coconut powder to sambar powder and how long will it last?

To add the coconut powder to sambar powder:

- Dry fry the coconut powder till it becomes hot.

- Wait till the coconut powder cools.

- Mix the coconut powder with the sambar powder.

The sambar powder may remain in good condition for 3-4 weeks.