Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Palak Paratha or Spinach Paratha

Palak Paratha is an Indian flat bread, one among many healthy dishes of its category. Palak Paratha is made up of spinach (palak) and wheat flour. These Palak Parathas are known for their healthy nutritious values. Kids who hate to have spinach also enjoys Palak Paratha, as they taste similar to their favorite chappathis (the head of the flat bread family). 

Palak Paratha
Palak Paratha

Palak Paratha Ingredients:

Whole wheat flour or Atta -2 cups and 1/4 cup for rolling
2 cups finely chopped Spinach
3 tsp finely chopped Coriander
2 finely chopped Green chilies
1/2 a tsp Red chilli powder (Optional)
1 tsp Ginger-Garlic Paste (Optional)
1/2 a tsp Coriander powder (Dhania Powder)
1/2 a tsp Cumin powder (Jeera Powder)
Salt as per taste
Water as required (for making dough)
Oil or Ghee for frying parathas

Cooking Directions:

1. Clean spinach and coriander leaves with water and chop them finely. 
2. Make Ginger-garlic into coarse paste.
3. Chop green chilli into very fine pieces.
4. Take a large bowl and add whole Wheat flour, salt, finely chopped spinach or palak, coriander leaves, chopped green chilli, ginger-garlic paste, dhania-jeera powder and red chilli powder. 
5. Add water as required and knead it to a smooth dough.

Palak Paratha dough

6. Add little oil to coat the dough and knead well again. 
7. Cover the dough and set it aside for 30 minutes.
8. After 30 minutes, divide the dough equally and make balls out of it. 
9. Take  the balls and press between palms slightly. Dust the flattened ball with dry wheat flour and roll out into a circle using rolling board and rolling pin.
10. Place the paratha. on the preheated tava and cook the parathas in medium flame. Cook both sides of the palak paratha with some oil or ghee till they turn crisp and brown from both sides.
11. Serve palak paratha hot with raitha and or mango/lemon/tomato pickle.

NOTE: Rolling and folding of the dough helps softening of the parathas.

Palak Paratha Recipe Video (How to Make Palak Paratha):

Easy to follow Video on 'How to make Palak Paratha'.


Instead of adding the raw ingredients mentioned in step 4, we can grind all of them before adding to the wheat flour. This way the palak parathas get a nice deep green color. We can also use blanched palak (spinach) for the preparation of Palak Paratha.

Nutritional Values of Palak Paratha: 

As spinach has almost 0 cholesterol and 0 fat, it is good for all age groups. Spinach being the main ingredient, Palak Paratha becomes a good source of Iron and calcium apart from Vit-A, Vit-C and other vitamins and minerals. Though India is not in top-ten spinach producing countries, we consume spinach on a regular basis, on a day-today diet.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Ugadi Pachadi | Andhra Festival Recipes - Inikas Kitchen

People from Hindu community in India celebrate the festival of Ugadi also called Yugadi. Just after the festival of colors, Holi, comes the Ugadi or Yugadi festival that brings good fortune and happiness. This festival is considered to be the beginning of the New Year

Ugadi or Yugadi derived from Sanskrit is a combination of two words in Sanskrit, 'Yuga' meaning age and 'Adi' meaning new beginning. Hence, Ugadi means the beginning of a new age.

Ugadi or Yugadi being the New Year for different people from different communities, all of them prepare one special dish representing the beginning of a new year. The dishes are named differently in different regions of India, in Andhra being called as Ugadi Pachadi.

Ugadi Pachadi Significance:

The dish, ugadi pachadi, reminds every individual to enjoy all the flavors of life, all through. This dish is made up of six different ingredients each from a different category of taste. The six tastes being sweet, sour, salty, bitter, spicy and tangy. Ugadi Pachadi significance implies that as the dish is made up of 6 different tastes and consumed on the first day of the year, so is life full of different emotions as Happy, Sad, Surprise, Fear, Anger and Disgust.

Ugadi Pachadi Ingredients:

  Neem Flowers implies Disgust (bitterness)
  Raw Mango implies Fear (tanginess)
  Tamarind Juice implies Surprise (sourness)
  Green chilly or Red Chilly powder implies Anger (spicy, hotness)
  Jaggery implies Happy (sweetness)
  Salt implies Fear (saltness)

Ugadi Pachadi Ingredients

Ugadi Pachadi Recipe:

1 cup finely grated jaggery
1/2 cup peeled and finely chopped raw mango
3 tablespoons tamarind pulp
1 tablespoon raw Neem flowers
Salt as per taste
Green chilly or Red chilly powder as per taste

How to Make or Prepare Ugadi Pachadi:

Soak tamarind in water for about half an hour and extract the required pulp out of it.
Add finely grated jaggery, raw mango pieces and mix well.
Pluck out the little neem flowers avoiding the stems and add them to the mixture.
Add salt and red chilly powder or green chilly to the mixture as per your taste.
Add water as required to increase the quantity.
Mix all the ingredients thoroughly till the jaggery is dissolved.

Ugadi Pachadi

Variations to Make Ugadi Pachadi:

Though the above six are the prime ingredients for ugadi pachadi, optionally one can also add finely grated coconut, banana, sugar cane pieces, ground nuts, sesame seeds,  finely ground black pepper as add-ons.

Health Benefits of Ugadi Pachadi:

The Neem flowers detoxifies tissues and fights allergies if any. It also clears the stomach.
Jaggery helps in easy digestion and also helps building tissues.
Green chilly  improves skin health and also enhances eye-vision. It also manages metabolism and immune system.
Tamarind increases minerals absorption and cleanses the tissues.
Green mango purifies blood and helps improve blood circulation.
Salt manages sugar levels and fights dehydration.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Minapa Sunnundalu or Urad Dal Laddu Recipe

Minapa Sunnundalu or Urad Dal Laddu is Andhra's favorite sweet dish that is enjoyed by all ages

Sunnundalu or Urad Dal Ladoo is an all time favorite sweet, made and consumed in almost all parts of India. These traditional Andhra sweets are mostly considered as the best sweets for diwali. Irrespective of the occasions and festivals, sunnundalu is made and enjoyed on any day in Andhra, India. The recipe of the delicacy given here is very simple and takes just few minutes for preparation.

Sunnundalu or Urad Dal Laddu

Urad dal, jaggery & ghee - a rare combination that acts as an instant energy booster, are used into the preparation of sunnundalu or roasted urad dal laddu. The ingredients used for the preparation are as simple as the preparation steps.
Now let us see how to make Sunnundalu or Urad dal ladoo.

Minapa Sunnundalu Recipe (with Jaggery):



  • 1 cup roasted whole Urad dal flour
  • 1 cup grated Jaggery
  • 1/2 cup Ghee (in melted form)
  • Cardamom powder-------1/2 tsp
  • Cashew nuts : 50gms

     Cooking Directions:

1.     In a frying pan, heat and dry roast the whole urad dal (can used split urad dal also) on low heat till they turn very light brown in color and you get nice aroma.
2.     Leave the urad dal to cool.
3.     Grind the urad dal to very fine sand-like powder.
4.     Mix urad dal powder and  jaggery powder in a bowl.
5.     Take a little ghee and fry the cashew nuts in the ghee.
6.     Mix the fried cashew nuts and cardamom powder in the urad dal-jaggery mix.


7.     Heat the remaining ghee and Pour the ghee in the above prepared urad dal-jaggery mixture and mix well.
8.     Leave the mixture to cool down to lukewarm.
9.     Make the mixture into round balls and arrange them in a plate. (laddu size can be varied)

                     Once the sunnundalu (urad dal ladoo) are cooled completely, store them in an airtight container. By the way, the laddus can be stored for over a month.


1.    The same sunnundalu recipe can also be made using black whole urad dal. Black whole urad dal is preferable for its extra nutrition in the skin.
2.    Jaggery can be replaced with 1 cup of sugar powder for the preparation. The quantity of jaggery (or sugar) can be adjusted as per taste.
3.    We can even add almonds and pistachios along with cashews while frying (at step 5).
4.    Adding nuts to this recipe is optional as it gives extra taste and nutritional value to the laddus.

     Sunnundalu Health Benefits:

                  Urad dal, called as black lentil in English, is considered to be a good protein and fiber source. It helps reduce cholesterol.

                  Jaggery, a healthy substitute for white sugar, is good source of iron and minerals. It helps stimulate bowel movement and prevents constipation. It detoxifies the liver as well. Thus is considered as the medicinal sugar. 

                  Ghee is rich in vitamins A & E. Helps in better digestion.

      Calories Alert:

         Check on the intake of the laddu's calories as it is slightly heavy in terms of calories. Needless to say, one will never consider the calories count against the laddus count, considering its taste and nutritious values. Above all, Sunnundalu health benefits offer a great value to kids and pregnant woman.

                  Final Words! Sunnundalu or Urad Dal Laddu made up of sugar or jaggery, make a very healthy and tasty bite for all age groups !