Pearl Millet Gruel / Kambu Koozh

I am trying out different recipes with millets or siru thaniyangal (as we say in Tamil) these days and today it is all about the pearl millet or Bajra or Kambu (கம்பு). India is the largest producer of pearl millet and Rajasthan is the highest producing state. So this shouldn’t be hard to find in India right? 

Here is the nutrition information: (Source Wiki)

Crop / Nutrient Protein(g) Fiber(g) Minerals(g) Iron(mg) Calcium(mg)
Pearl millet 10.6 1.3 2.3 16.9 38

Continue reading “Pearl Millet Gruel / Kambu Koozh” »

Quinoa – Foxtail Millet Pongal

Millets are small grains, as we say in Tamil it is called Siru Dhaniyangal. Millets are one among the oldest food known to humans and very popular in villages but in recent days because of high nutrition they are gaining popularity. This time when I went to Chennai to my mom’s place I got a chance to visit restaurant called “Pasumai” and its close to Tambaram Sanatorium (Chitlapakkam). Its very small fast food joint but they serve  only small grain foods. That aroused my curiosity and also recent posts by Mullai made search these millets in US. (I couldn’t bring them from India) I thought being in BayArea it shouldn’t be difficult and yes I found all the millets here in Bay. I didn’t need to export it from there. For people in Bay Area, you can find all short grains in Madras Groceries in Sunnyvale. Not sure if they take online orders will check and update. In India it shouldn’t be a problem as India is one of the largest producer of these millets.


Today’s theme is One pot meal and I wanted to try pongal with these short grains. So the first millet that I am trying here is FoxTail Millet / Thinai or Tenai  in Tamil and Kangni in hindi. 

I think I have written enough about quinoa so let me now write about Foxtail Millet. When I was surfing I came across this article from Hindu which talks about foxtail millet and diabetes. According to this article, “foxtail millet releases glucose steadily without affecting the metabolism of the body. The incidence of diabetes is rare among the population which consumes foxtail millet diet.”


Crop / Nutrient Protein(g) Fiber(g)
Foxtail millet
12.3 8
24 12
Source : Wikipedia

For me this venpongal always reminds me the prasadam that we get in Venkateshwara/Perumal temples. IMO the hot pongal served in Dhonnai is the yummiest pongal. Nothing can beat that taste. I have stood in the queue multiple times for getting those prasadam.  So what are these Dhonnai?


Dhonnai is an eco-friendly disposable dried leaf bowl which is mostly made up of dried banana leaf and these dried banana leaves are called as Sarugu in Tamil. They are also made of Mandara leaves. (I am still looking out for exact English name for the mandara tree)The prasadam are served in Dhonnai in temples. This time I got these dhonnai in bulk from Thaayar Diary in Ranganathan Street, T.Nagar  in the effort of saving some trees and being more eco-friendly.


For this pongal I skipped rice completely and used ½ cup of quinoa and ½ cup of foxtail millet and ½ cup of moong dhal with loads of cumin seeds. So here is the protein loaded diabetic friendly ven pongal served in Dhonnai. Add everything to pressure cooker and pressure cook it with four cups of water. The serving size is 1 cup and it yields close to 3 cups.

Detailed recipe below:



Quinoa - Foxtail Millet Pongal
Serves 4
A popular South Indian dish with quinoa and foxtail millet replacing rice and making it light and protein filled dish.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
  1. Quinoa – ½ cup
  2. Foxtail Millet – ½ cup
  3. Moong dhal – ½ cup
  4. Cumin Seeds – 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp
  5. Black pepper corns – 2 tsps + 1 tsp
  6. Salt – 1tsp
  7. Oil – 1 tsp
  8. Ginger – 1 inch piece finely chopped
  9. Water – 4 cups
  10. Curry leaves – 1 strand
  1. 1)Wash the quinoa, foxtail millet and moong dhal nicely. If you can soak them for 15 minutes that’s great if not that’s fine too. Let it cook for couple more minutes.
  2. 2) Now in a pressure pan or handi or cookers add these washed grains and dhal. Add 1 tbsp of cumin seeds, 2 tsps of black pepper and salt.
  3. 3)Add 4 cups of water and mix well.
  4. 4) Now pressure cook this for up 4 to 5 whistles.
  5. 5) Let it cool and once the pressure is off mix the pongal well. It should be soft and mushy and sticky.
  6. 6) In a separate tadka pan heat 1 tsp of oil and once the oil is hot add the remaining cumin seeds and pepper, ginger and curry leaves. As they start to crackle add them to the pongal.
  1. 1) If you are not able to get quinoa you can ignore and use 1 cup of foxtail millet itself.
  2. 2) Or you can also use 1/2 cup of barnyard millet and 1/2 cup of foxtail millet. Mix and match with what you have.
  3. 3) You can ignore the tadka step and add all the cumin seeds, pepper and ginger in step 2 itself making it oil free. :-)
Vidhya’s Vegetarian Kitchen



Sending this entry for Valli’s breakfast event.



Baked Asparagus with Balsamic Vinegar

Yes, this week Diabetic friendly theme is outdoor grilling. Summer is here in full fledge and the weather is perfect for BBQs and grilling. As I don’t have a grill, thought of baking asparagus. In Calif we get asparagus till May and luckily I found this in the supermarket last week. Asparagus is a perfect veggie for grilling, roasting and of course baking. Asparagus has sufficient source of Vitamin K and Vitamin B and its know for its health benefits. You can read about the benefits of asparagus here. Including balsamic to this recipe give an unique flavor and enhances the taste of asparagus. According to google, “Balsamic has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties which can make it an effective remedy for treating infections and wounds. Folk healers used balsamic to cure body pain and as energizer.”  The other benefits are listed here.


Baked Asparagus with Balsamic Vinegar - DFT

  • Servings: ~3
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  • Asparagus – 1 bunch
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Grounded black pepper – 2 tsp
  • Balsamic Vinegar – 2 tsps
  • Extra virgin olive oil – 1 tbsp (Came across this article about EVOO)


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degree F.
  • While the oven is preheating, remove the tough ends of the asparagus. (Just bend the asparagus, the tender part will automatically come off. Discard the tough ones)

Cleaned Asparagus. Ends removed

  • Drizzle the olive oil, salt and pepper and mix well.

Salt, Pepper and Olive oil mixed

  • Bake the olive oil coated asparagus for 12 minutes.

After 12 minutes baking with drizzle of balsamic

  • Now take them out and drizzle the balsamic and bake it again for 15 more minutes.

Out from oven

  • Make sure they are crisp and tender. If required bake them for couple more minutes.


That’s it. Yummy baked asparagus is ready. :-)


<em>Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or dietitian. My knowledge and information is based on my research and reading from different resources. Please consult your doctor or dietitian before making any changes to your diet.</em>


NonAlcoholic Green Tea Spritzer With Fruits


When I heard that this week DFT theme is mock tail I was super elated. To get acquired to green tea I have mixed and matched various combinations. So immediately I thought I will do a green tea mock tail. We all very well know the health benefits of green tea. Green tea is rich in anti-oxidants and according to WebMD Green tea seems to help keep blood sugar stable in people with diabetes.


As it is a party mock tail I made into a spritzer by adding non-alcoholic unflavored sparkling water.  But you can always ignore and go without it also. Also berries, citrus fruits and juicy fruits like cherries, apricots and plums go well with green tea. I got home grown plums and apricots so included them along with some raspberries. You can find the health benefits of each and every fruit here.



Before getting into today’s recipe the successful mix and match green tea combinations that I have tried and worked out are,

  • Green tea with lemon herbal tea
  • Green tea with barley water with a dash of lime and black salt
  • Green tea with store bought raspberry juice

For today’s recipe this is what I did.


  • Green tea – 2 tea bags
  • Handful of raspberries
  • Apricot – 1
  • Plum – 1
  • Mint leaves – a couple
  • Fresh lime/lemon juice – 2 tsps
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Non-alcoholic sparkling water – 1 cup (adjust accordingly to your taste)


  • Boil the water and add the green tea bags and let it cool luke warm temperature.
  • Meanwhile crush the raspberries and roughly chop the apricots and plums.


  • When it is luke warm remove the tea bags and add these chopped fruits, lemon juice and mint leaves.
  • Let it site for up to 2 hrs. And that’s it your base drink is ready.


Before serving remove the fruits and add the sparkling water.


<em>Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or dietitian. My knowledge and information is based on my research and reading from different resources. Please consult your doctor or dietitian before making any changes to your diet.</em>


Sugar Free Apple Rabadi


This week Diabetic Friendly recipe is a Father’s Day Special recipe. I wanted to try some low calorie sweet and when I was thinking what to prepare I found this “Delicious Diabetic Recipes – Low Calorie Cooking” book by Tarla Dalal. I don’t know how I missed this book for such a long time. Its great book with detailed information about diabetes, types of diabetes, causes and diagnosis. These invaluable information was shared by Dr. R.B Phatak, an  eminent diabetologist.


I slightly modified this recipe by ignoring sugar completely and went with fat free milk. Make the apple you are using is sweet and not sour. Sour and sharp apples may spoil the milk. If you feel its not sweet enough  try adding 2 tsps of sugar or honey. I am not a big fan of artificial sugar so I am not suggesting that. Now my new cooking and eating mantra is “Moderation”. Will talk about in a separate recipe post soon.


Creating Recipes with a Cause!
I am a proud DFT blogger. To learn about DFT, read this link. To view more DFT recipes, Click here!

Here is the simple apple rabadi recipe. Its a four ingredient fix.



  • Fat free or 1% milk – 3 cups
  • Apple – 1 grated
  • Nutmeg / Jaadikai powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp


  • Bring the milk to boil in a heavy bottomed pan.
  • Once it starts to boil, lower the heat and simmer it for 10 more minutes till it gets reduced to 3/4th.
  • Now add the grated apple, nutmeg and cardamom powder and simmer it for another 10 minutes.
  • That’s it. Turn off the heat and let it cool.

Simple and yummy rabadi ready. Serve cold with nuts and raisins.


Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or dietitian. My knowledge and information is based on my research and reading from different resources. Please consult your doctor or dietitian before making any changes to your diet.

Here are the recipes from other DFT members


1. Anu


3. Shailja

4 . Paro

5. Chahat

6. Prachi

7. Aprasa

8. Sonal

9. Suchi

Zero Oil Vegetarian chili / chili sin carne

This week DFT theme is “Tex-Mex”.   I am bringing one more stew recipe but not with quinoa. But this stew is also loaded with protein. I always see ways to add protein into our diet. Being a vegetarian that is always a difficult. I have to keep doing my protein math at least for my kiddo. So coming to this recipe it is loaded with three different kind of beans (Black beans, pinto beans and Red Kidney beans) which are good source of protein and fiber. Also we add corn which gives the carbs and bell peppers and chili powder the other essential nutrients.This making it a complete balanced meal and diabetic friendly too. I prepared this without oil too.You can see the benefits of bell peppers and red chili powder here.

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Baked Masala Peanuts with Flax seeds and Oats– Diabetes Friendly Thursdays

Yayyyy.. I did it. I did it. whooooo :-) :-) (Thats my whistle he he) I completed my second blogging marathon.  Explored a lot and at the same time learnt a lot. So here we are on the last of this baking marathon. As its DFT thursday I am going for a healthy snack.


Creating Recipes with a Cause!
I am a proud DFT blogger. To learn about DFT, read this link. To view more DFT recipes, Click here!

We all love to have something crunchy during tea time. With diabetic eating smaller portions helps a lot. So two snacks becomes very important. When it is baked and when it has the goodness of peanuts, flaxseeds and oats its hard to resist. It is a simple recipe which can be done under 30 minutes. I wasn’t sure if peanuts can be used for diabetes, but this article helped me to understand and yes peanuts can be used for diabetic patients. You can find the health benefits of flax seeds here.

2015-04-24 18.26.23

Baked Masala Peanuts with Flax seeds and Oats-- Diabetes Friendly Thursdays

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Peanuts Masala Mixture

  • Raw peanuts with skin – 1/2 cup
  • Flax seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Oats – 1 tbsp
  • Besan/Gram flour – 2 tbsps
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilly powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp
  • Fennel powder – 1 tsp
  • Water – 3 tbsps
  • Oil for spraying
  • Rice flour – 1 tsp (Optional)


  • Mix all the ingredients by adding adding the water.
  • The mixture should be thick and not watery.
  • Now line the silicone mat or parchment paper in a cookie tray and spray some oil.
  • Spread the mixed peanut mixture in the tray.
  • Bake it for 13- 15 minutes until the peanuts are light brown, crispy and crunchy.


  • Don’t bake for more than 20 minutes.


Enjoy with hot tea. :-)

Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or dietician. My knowledge and information is based on my research and reading from different resources. Please consult your doctor or dietician before making any changes to your diet. 


Other Entries from this week DFT featuring more snacks.

1. Prachi’s Multigrain Mathris

2. Shailja’s Manakish, a middle eastern bread 

3. Apsara’s Crunchy Thattai

4. Suchitra’s Masala Peanuts, pan roasted

5. Chahat’s Baked Methi Pooris

6. Anupama’s Red Rice Flour Baked Nipattu with oats and mung dal

7. Swati’s Baked Oats and Methi Crackers

8 Sonal’s Lemon Pepper Crackers. 



Roaster Bell Peppers and Butternut Squash Soup

Roaster Bell Peppers and Butternut Squash Soup

Welcome to the 20th day of baking mania. This recipe uses both conventional and microwave oven. Irrespective of diabetic and non-diabetic, portion control and a well-balanced diet is very important. We don’t want to deprive ourselves and at the same time we don’t want to over eat also. I love soups. It’s easy to incorporate all the veggies and you get your sufficient vitamins and fiber in a single serving. I found these great articles about bell peppers and diabetic diet. 

Continue reading “Roaster Bell Peppers and Butternut Squash Soup” »