Bananti -Post partum recipe

I have been getting mails from new mothers all over requesting Bananti recipes..I thought I should go ahead with the write up and not wait for the photos given the time sensitive nature for the request. I hope all the people who requested for such recipe read this post.

The basics are pretty clear. I mean traditional Bayaluseeme Karnataka style Banantana. I am mostly documenting the traditional wisdom of our folks that appears logical and has some scientific basis.

Consume a lot of protein :
  • Milk- preferably organic grass fed cow Milk (the corn fed cow milk is rather difficult to digest also GM-Soy-Corn in the feed makes me apprehensive. ) One of the better brands to look for is Organic Valley. 
  • Consume generous amounts of Ghee. Home made ghee using organic pasture butter is the best. Try getting Organic Valley  pasture butter and make your own ghee. If unavailable try their organic butter.
  • Avoid Eggs as it is an allergen.
  • Avoid most beans and legumes except Toor, Moong and Urad. The rest are hard to digest and may cause flatulence. Obviously new mothers are so much more prone to constipation, flatulence, we do not need to overburden her digestive system with food that can aggravate the situation.
  • Toor, Moong and Urad should be soaked in water for a few hours, drained and washed well then cooked till the grains fall apart, tempered with generous amounts of garlic and ghee before consuming.
  • Include plenty of greens especially Dill and Fenugreek greens. They are supposed to stimulate production of milk. 
  • Consume vegetables like carrots, green beans, beet root rich in nutrition. This indeed is a latest development. My grandmother says these vegetables were not a served during her time but she did give my mother a lot of these vegetables when my mother had me.I did say thumbs up for this rule.
  • Consume meat in moderate quantities if you are not a vegetarian.
  • Drink plenty of warm to hot water. 
  • Many women got back asking if wearing warm clothes and sweating is mandatory. I am not a medical professional but sweating does not convince me. Wearing warm clothes does make sense to me. Because our immune system is on the alert when our body temperature is higher and it sort of sleeps when body temperature is cooler. So to keep away from minor irritants like cold it is a good idea to wear warm clothes and keep indoors. This reduces the chance of  baby catching cold etc.
  • Also Sowbhagya Sunti Lehya is something many women consume. It might not agree with some women. So if this Lehya increases bleeding or gives cramps it is best not to consume it. 
  • On the Question of when to introduce cow's milk to your baby, I am pretty skeptical. As per the World Health Organization, breast feeding for at least two years is the best for baby (also the mother). But it might not work for every new mother. My pediatrician has suggested I start cow's milk after Sunny boy's first birthday. I held out a little longer. But when I did introduce cow's milk, Sunny boy had very bad episodes of constipation. Finally I switched over to raw pastured milk which I gently heated till cream formed on top, cooled it slightly and gave it to him. He tolerated it better than the homogenized milk. I would not consume homogenized milk much less give it to my baby.
Sample Menu:

  • Pre- Breakfast : One Antinunde and one cup of Milk
  • Breakfast: Akki Dose  or Akki Tari Idli with Ghee and Heralikai uppinakai or Akkitari Uppittu
  • Mid morning: Apple/Mango or any sweet fruit except Banana, citrus and grapes. (I did still eat citrus but not banana and grapes)
  • Lunch: A tbsp of  rice, 1/2 tsp ghee and Bananti Pudi ;  or Menasina Saaru or Dal with rice, Carrot/Green Beans/ Beetroot Palya and a cup of Milk, 
  • Late Afternoon: Half a cup of Akki Payasa , Gattaki Payasa, Halkeer , Belladanna or any Kheer /Payasa and a fruit.
  • Dinner:  A tbsp of  rice, 1/2 tsp ghee and Bananti Pudi ; fenugreek/dill/Chayote squash/ green beans dal   or Menasina Saaru  with rice, Carrot/Green Beans/ Beetroot Palya and a cup of Milk.
  • Drink warm to hot water, about 10 or more glasses a day. 
  • Munch on almonds and raisins if you are a grazer like me.

Akki Dose:

Mix 1/4 cup of Rice flour in about 1/4- 1/2 cup water to make a runny batter. Pour it over a hot skillet and cook till the sides are golden in colour. Remove and serve hot with Heralikai uppinakai and Ghee

Rave Idli

The umpteen Darshinis that populate every single street corner in Bangalore will have a few common favorites on their menu.  Undisputed King according to me is the Masale Dose. Honey contests it- dip-Idli means Idli dipped in a bowl of steaming hot Sambar or Chutney gets his vote. MIL on the other hand goes with Rave Idli. I have never seen her order something else! I for one will never change my loyalty to beloved Masale Dose. Every time we visit Darshini I keep thinking aloud ..may be Rave Idli or say Kharabath but at the counter the magic spell takes over and I feel partially tongue-tied ; one that makes me say 'ondu Masale Dose Kodi'...and nothing else. That is my fondness for Masale Dose.
However the star of today's show is obviously Rave Idli. So let us hear about Rave idli.

Apparently Rave Idli was born as an answer to war-time supply constrains. Wonder how legitimate the claim is but it is very much plausible. 

We will need, (makes 15-18 large sized Idlis )
Rave (Krishna Rave/ Uppittu Rave/Semolina)  2 Cups
Expeller Pressed Peanut oil       1 tbsp + More to grease the Idli mould
Mustard seeds    1/2 tsp
Jeera 1 tsp
Urad Dal split   2 tbsp
Channa Dal split  2 tbsp
Cashew nuts 2 tbsp (optional -I do not like them in Rave Idli so I do not use them)
Curry leaves a handful
Hing a dash
Salt to taste
Carrot grated  1/2 -3/4 cup
Fresh Coriander  chopped about 1/4 cup
Baking Soda   1/4 tsp
Tart Yogurt thinned out with water or tart butter milk 4 cups

  • We will need to prepare the Rave first. Heat oil in a thick bottomed Kadai, throw in the mustard seeds, once it stops spluttering add the jeera, urad, channa and hing. Once they stop sizzling about 20 seconds throw in the shredded curry leaves. Reduce heat to low. 
  • Throw in the cashews if using. Saute till golden. Throw in the Rave. Keep it moving else it will burn easily.
  • Once the rave is fragrant and warmed through, remove it from heat. Cool completely before assembling the idlis.
  • Once the Rave is cool, stir in the grated carrot, coriander, soda and salt. Make a well in the centre of the rave mixture and pour in the yogurt/buttermilk. Fold it gently till everything is combined. Set it aside for at least 20 minutes. The Rave needs to absorb the moisture to be able to plump up while steaming.
  • Set up a Idli steamer, or bring about 2- 2 1/2 " water to boil in a Pressure Cooker. Add a tiny piece of tamarind to the water if you want cleaning up to be easy!!
  • Pour the idli batter into the greased Idli moulds and steam till the batter is completely set when poked with a wet finger. (Yes it is going to be very hot, keep a bowl of cold water at hand, just in case of scalding) about 12-15 minutes.
  • Remove the idlis using a spoon and serve it hot with Saagu.
According to Mom the spiced rave after cooling can be stored in glass jar for a few weeks. I do not recommend it for this recipe because the expeller pressed peanut oil might smell weird if stored for a while. I recommend using up the Rave at once. However if you need to make a big batch of Rave try using refined peanut oil instead.

    Vegan chilly Chicken -Karnataka style /Temphe Chilly

    I am not a very big fan of soy products..'soy milk', I did say eww...Soy cheese I did say 'no thank you'. I did rather have my cup of milk-milk or 'cheese-cheese'. Tofu is still fine, nothing can beat Panner. Will I ever be a vegan? I do not think so, give me my yogurt, give me my cheese and I am as happy as a lark.  So what about this Temphe?

    I have been reading about Temphe in most western vegetarian cook books. I was always curious to check it out. So a few months back we got a slab of Temphe. I did not do my home-work properly and replaced half the slab of Temphe in a recipe that called for Paneer..We all hated the Temphe then. It was absolutely tasteless and so much like eating a bitter cardboard. Even though first impulse was to trash it, I threw the remaining Temphe in the freezer after much deliberation.
    And then I came across a recipe that called for Temphe and the recipe also called for it to be deep fried the first thing! So be it. I said and bingo this is how it was. This dish was such a hit, we polished it off straight off the Kadai.
    My mother got me a Karnataka style Chilli Chicken recipe from her friend.. I substituted chicken with deep fried temphe. It was heavenly. Love it.

    We will need,
    Temphe 1/2 lb cup into strips.
    Expeller pressed peanut oil to deep fry + 4-5 tbsp
    Whole Red Chillies      4-5  (Byadagi variety prefered)
    Garlic                           2 cloves
    Ginger                          1/2 " piece
    Tamarind paste            1/2 teaspoon
    Salt to taste
    Fresh Coriander            a handful

    • Bring 4-5 tbsp of water to a boil. Dump all the chillies and cover with a tight fitting lid. Set it aside.
    • Deep fry Temphe strips in hot oil till golden brown and crisp. Drain it on paper towels. 
    • Once all the Temphe is fried and good to go, start making the sauce. Grind the soaked chillies and the soaking liquid, garlic, ginger and tamarind into a smooth paste.
    • Heat 4-5 tbsp of oil in a Kadai. Pour the spice mixture into the hot gently and carefully. Stir well and simmer.Cook it till the raw smell of the garlic and tamarind disappears.About 10-15 minutes. The sauce by now should be fairly thick. Add salt to taste.
    • Toss in the fried Temphe and turn off the heat. Sprinkle some fresh coriander and serve immediately.
    If preferred substitute Chicken/ Mutton for Temphe.


    The other day I had prepared some Pacchadi to go along with a Pulao and ritualistically started clicking pictures. Honey noticed it and asked if it was for my blog. I said it was. His reaction was horror! 'What! you do not yet have Pacchadi on your blog?....' The silence hung so heavy as if i had invited people for dinner and sent them away hungry.

    Our salad marathon is still on. We are managing to eat more vegetables and hopefully from next week onwards more fruits too. Because we just signed up for a weekly home delivery of organic fruits here . Here is one more tradition salad that goes particularly well with Pulavs and are a must on festive meals in my family.

    We will need

    Cucumber diced about 3 cups
    Tomatoes diced  1 cup
    Onion       diced 1/4 cup
    Green chillies  2-3
    salt to taste
    Mint a handful
    Sugar a generous pinch
    Yogurt  1.5 Cups (use organic whole milk yogurt for best results)

    • Place all the vegetables in a bowl. 
    • Beat the yogurt till smooth. Stir in the salt and sugar. Add a dash of freshly ground black pepper if you desire.
    • Just before serving toss the vegetables with the yogurt. 
    • Enjoy with rice dish of choice.

    Dear LG has passed on a meme.. here it goes..
    7 things you dont know about me..
    1) I love fragrant homestyle Ghee..I have at least 2 tbps every day..
    2)Decided to reduce sugar and sweets and not been successful ..had a huge chocolate chip cookie @Nestle toll house :(
    3)My little monster gives me a hard time...his likes and dislikes changes as much as BSE-SENSEX!!!
    4)I love organic milk, butter, cheese, cream etc etc..Organic valley is my favorite brand
    5)Fell in love with the expeller pressed peanut oil that has become available in our super markets.. reminds me so much of the good old days when oil meant peanut oil got from the local expeller...more on that story later.
    6) Right now thinking of one more huge double chocolate chunk cookie..
    7)Rooting for Steelers this super-bowl...

    Temphe with Punde Pale / Mutton with Punde Pale aka Gongura

    Our recent India visit meant a lot of good eating. My brother-in-law who disputes my argument that Karnataka is mostly known for its vegetarian cuisine treated us to this dish. My sister was a thorough vegetarian before her marriage and now she loves non-vegetarian. So, 'love' does change one's food preference :). My BIL, well I often refer to him as my cousin rather than the distant sounding 'BIL', has been very gracious sharing this recipe with me. He hails from Bellary which is in the northern part of Karnataka, so this recipe makes it even more exotic. Honey gorged on this one and called it manna from heaven. Despite repeated attempts I failed to eat.. i still feel vegetarian is the best. My sister's Toge+rice+ghee is the proof..Toge..That reminds me.. Got to get the recipe from her.

    Vegetarians, the Temphe version follows....

    Here it goes ...courtesy Sudhir my dear BIL..

    Pundee Pale (Gongura)     3 bunches 
    Chuke pale             1 Bunch (I cannot get a more familiar term for this..May be it is a regional specialty)
    Sabakshi pale (Dill leaves)      1 Bunch
    Green Chillies          7-9
    Mutton                  ½ Kg   (Temphe 1/2 lb will do cut into strips)
    Onion                    1 big
    Turmeric powder    ½ Spoon
    Salt                    to taste
    Expeller pressed Ground nut oil  3-4 tbsp
    Fresh ground Paste of coriander leaves, Garlic and ginger 3 tbsp

    • Coarsely chop all the three leafy vegetables and dump it in a thick bottomed pot along with green chilles. Add a cup of water and cook on low flame. When the mixture is through cooked,  mash it using a { Dal gotni (device used to mash the dal)} a masher.
    • Take freshly cut mutton pieces in a vessel. Add oil, turmeric, sliced onion and Ginger-garlic-coriander masala. Cook on low for about 15 minutes (stir occasionally).
    • Add one glass of water (200 ml) and allow it to boil. Simmer and cook till the meat is tender. Add more water if all the water has evaporated and the meat is still tough.
    • Once the meat is cooked and tender, add the mashed paste of leafy vegetables. Simmer on low flame for 10 mins.
    • Serve it hot, goes well with plain rice and jawar rotis.
    Note; If the mutton in not tender and water is hard use raw or dried Papaya flowers and   pre cook mutton  oil, turmeric, sliced onion and Ginger-garlic-coriander paste with little water in a pressure cooker for 2 to 3 whistle.

    Vegetarian version with Temphe:

    Pundee Pale (Gongura)     3 bunches 
    Chuke pale             1 Bunch (I cannot get a more familiar term for this..May be it is a regional specialty)
    Sabakshi pale (Dill leaves)      1 Bunch
    Green Chillies          7-9
    Temphe                 1/4 Kg   ( cut into 1/4 " strips)
    Onion                    1 big
    Turmeric powder    ½ Spoon
    Salt                    to taste
    Expeller pressed Ground nut oil  3-4 tbsp  + oil for deep frying

    • Deep fry the Temphe till it is golden in colour, remove from heat and drain on a paper towel.
    • Coarsely chop all the three leafy vegetables and dump it in a thick bottomed pot along with green chilles. Add a cup of water and cook on low flame. When the mixture is through cooked,  mash it using a { Dal gotni (device used to mash the dal)} a masher.
    • Heat oil in a thick bottomed pot throw in the turmeric, sliced onion and Ginger-garlic-coriander masala. Cook on low till fragrant about 15 minutes.
    • Stir in the mashed paste of leafy vegetables. Simmer on low flame for 15 minutes.
    • Toss in the fries Temphe. Mix gently. Bring it to gentle boil and turn off the heat.
    • Serve hot with Jowar roti..