Author Archives: dosaikal

About dosaikal

A simple person who believes strong roots and values build up stronger generations; and good food and good food habits are one of the best gifts that one can give to their off springs.

100% Whole Wheat Fish Pizza

After a vegetarian pizza, let’s try a Fish Pizza. This is how I made it.

Whole Wheat Fish Pizza

Ingredients (for 2 medium pizzas)

  • fish fillet – 1/2 a kilo appr.
  • button mushroom – 200 gms (halved)
  • frozen corn – 1/2 cup
  • shredded mozzarella cheese – 300 gms appr. (more or less)
  • cut green chillies or thai red chillies – for a spicy treat (optional)

The quantity of each ingredient can be altered according to family preferences. Also, insead of fish, one can use chicken, prawns or any meat of choice.

Method of Preparation

Keeping things ready

  1. Clean and cube fish fillet.
  2. To make fish flavorful, marinate the cubes in soya sauce, tomato sauce and red chilli sauce for an hour or any masala of choice
  3. Pan fry them in minimal oil. Set aside

4. Blanch the mushrooms. i.e. Pour hot water over halved mushrooms and close with lid. Leave this for 1/2 an hour. Mushrooms would be cooked

5. Run water over frozen corn until thawed. Or, keep frozen corn soaked in water for a few minutes. Drain well without water

Creating your Pizza –

  1. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Or grease a plate that can go straight into the oven
  2. Place the pre-cooked pizza base on the baking tray and spread enough pizza sauce

3. Arrange corn, fish and mushroom to cover the base

4. Add cut green or red chillies for that extra spice, that’s completely optional

5. Sprinkle cheese on top

6. Get ready to bake.

Pizza in the oven-

  1. Pre-heat oven at 220 degree centigrade.
  2. Reduce the temperature to 200-210 degrees Centigrade before baking
  3. Since I have a Gas Oven, the burner makes the baked dishes cook faster, at the same time there is this risk of burning the goodies in a giffy. That’s why I am cautious about mentioning exact temperatures. Set temperatures according to your oven. 
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes

Pizza would be done in 10-15 minutes.

100% Whole Wheat Paneer Pizza

Having made the Pizza base and sauce in the previous post, without wasting much time, let’s create our vegetarian pizza – with paneer/indian cottage cheese.

Store bought pizzas may contain just a few sprinkles of vegetables. The base and loaded cheese are enough to fill our tummies. But, when we make pizza at home, we are able to load more vegetables and alter the nutrient content. That’s why I feel we are creating our own version of Pizza here.

So, feel free to create your own.

Whole Wheat Paneer Pizza

Ingredients (for 2 medium pizzas)

  • paneer/cottage cheese – 20-25 cubes
  • green capsicum – 1 no. (cubed)
  • red capsicum – 1 no. (cubed)
  • button mushroom – 200 gms (halved)
  • frozen corn – 1/2 cup
  • shredded mozzarella cheese – 300 gms appr. (more or less)
  • cut green chillies or thai red chillies – for a spicy treat (optional)

The quantity of each ingredient can be altered according to family preferences. I like to load my pizza with vegetables, and hence this list.

Method of Preparation

Keeping things ready

  1. To make paneer flavorful, marinate the cubes in soya sauce, tomato sauce and red chilli sauce for an hour
  2. Pan fry them in minimal oil. Set aside

3. Saute the capsicum for a few minutes or if preferred, use them raw

4. Blanch the mushrooms. i.e. Pour hot water over halved mushrooms and close with lid. Leave this for 1/2 an hour. Mushrooms would be cooked

5. Run water over frozen corn until thawed. Drain well without water

Creating your Pizza –

  1. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Or grease a plate that can go straight into the oven
  2. Place the pre-cooked pizza base on the baking tray and spread enough pizza sauce

3. Arrange corn, paneer, capsicum and mushroom to cover the base

4. Add cut green or red chillies for that extra spice, that’s completely optional

4. Sprinkle cheese on top

5. Get ready to bake.

Pizza in the oven-

  1. Pre-heat oven at 220 degree centigrade.
  2. Reduce the temperature to 200-210 degrees Centigrade before baking
  3. Since I have a Gas Oven, the burner makes the baked dishes cook faster, at the same time there is this risk of burning the goodies in a giffy. That’s why I am cautious about mentioning exact temperatures. Set temperatures according to your oven.
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes

Pizza would be done in 10-15 minutes – cheese melted to glory and the base crisp and golden.

100% Whole Wheat Pizza Basics – Dough and Pizza Sauce

Why not make a healthier version of PIZZA – one of world’s most sort after and popular foods.

In this post, lets get into the basics of making pizza – the dough and the tomato sauce to spread. White flour is substituted with whole wheat flour.

The ingredients provided here, are sufficient to make two medium pizza bases.

The Dough

Ingredients

  • whole wheat flour – 2 cups
  • active dry yeast – 1/2 tsp
  • salt – 1/2 tsp
  • honey – 2 tbsp
  • warm water – to make a soft dough
  • olive oil – to grease the bowl

Making the dough

  1. Take all dry ingredients – whole wheat, yeast and salt together in a kneading bowl
  2. Add honey and warm water and knead to a smooth dough
  3. Honey can also be substituted with a tbsp of raw sugar
  4. Grease the same bowl or use another greased bowl
  5. Place the kneaded dough covered in a warm place

Let the dough rise for half an hour

Rolling the dough-

6. After 1/2 an hour, knock the dough down and knead to make a smooth ball

7. Divide the dough into two portions

8. Grease two plates, that can also be used for baking

9. Spread the dough with a rollar pin into pizza base

10. Prick the rolled base with a fork

11. Let this rest in a warm place for 15 minutes

12. The pizza base is ready

Pre-cooking the pizza base-

13. Preheat the oven at 200 degrees C

14. Bake the pizza base for 10 minutes at 180 degrees C. Here, we are pre-cooking the base for the sauce spread and toppings, to be done later.

Pizza Sauce

Ingredients (for 2 medium pizzas)

  • tomatoes- 5/6 no.s (1 kg appr.)
  • salt – to taste
  • pepper – 1 tsp
  • oregano – 1 tsp

Method of Preparation

  1. Wash tomatoes throroughly and boil them in water
  2. Once boiled, remove the skin
  3. Blend the tomatoes
  4. Take a pan, add the blended tomato puree
  5. Let the puree thicken well
  6. Add salt, pepper and crushed oregano once it thickens
  7. The sauce should be in spreadable consistency
  8. Too much liquid would make the base soggy.

Nellikkai Thakkali Thuvayal/Gooseberry Tomato Chutney (Gooseberry Chutney Series)

This one is going to be the last in the series, for now. We added coconut, then included roasted/fried lentils to gooseberries. Why leave the beautiful tomatoes, that are used in several chutneys/dips to give texture, colour and flavor? So, this time it is the turn of tomatoes to do the honours for gooseberries.

I have added coconut too, as I find it difficult to imagine a thuvayal without coconut. Certainly, coconut provides added flavour to tomato chutney, even without gooseberry. If one would like to omit the coconut in this chutney, please go ahead. It tastes as good as it would with coconut.

Nellikkai Thakkali Thuvayal/Gooseberry Tomato Chutney

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • periya nellikkai/gooseberry (bigger variety) – 5 no.s chopped
  • thengai/coconut – 1/4 of one- finely chopped/grated
  • milagai vatral/redchillies- 10 or as preferred
  • chinna vengayam/shallots- 8 no.s
  • poondu/garlic– 8-10 cloves
  • thakkalli/tomato- 4 no.s
  • uppu/salt – to taste
  • yennai/oil – 1 tsp

Method of Preparation

  1. Peel shallots, grate coconut, chop tomatoes and gooseberries
  2. In a pan, take a tsp of oil. Fry red chillies, garlic and shallots, and fry till shallots become opaque
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry till soft and slightly mushy
  4. Switch off the stove. Let the fried stuff cool a bit
  5. In the blender jar, add grated coconut and chopped gooseberries
  6. Add the fried ingredients
  7. Add salt and water and blend to a smooth paste
  8. First blend with very little water, as tomatoes would have some moisture to make the thuvayal
  9. Add more if needed
  10. This thuvayal tastes best with seasoning.

thaalippu – seasoning

  • yennai/oil  – 2 tsp
  • kadugu/mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • ulundham paruppu/skinned black gram – 1 tsp
  • kariveppilai/curry leaves- 5/6
  1. Heat oil in a small pan
  2. Add mustard seeds
  3. When they splutter add black gram
  4. When it becomes golden brown, add curry leaves
  5. Pour this into the thuvayal.

I think I didn’t have curry leaves, while making and clicking this chutney. That’s why picture doesn’t have them.

Serve with Idli, Dosai, Uthappam or any main course of your choice.

NO COCONUT- Nellikkai Milagaivatral Thuvayal/ Gooseberry Red Chilli Chutney (Gooseberry Chutney Series)

Incase you just felt overwhelmed with the coconut in the recent thuvayal/chutneys, this post is to bring some change. Or, did you think this is not only gooseberry but also a coconut chutney series, here you go – a NO COCONUT chutney. Needless to say, raw coconut any time is a healthy nut/vegetable.

Coconut serves as an important blending agent, and without that ingredient, thuvayal needs yet another texture provider. Roasted or fried lentils are substitutes here. Those who do not like coconut or want to avoid the fleshy nut, roasted lentils can be used instead.

This is yet another chutney, with minimal ingredients – two lentils, garlic, red chillies and gooseberries, that’s it. One can make with one lentil too.

There can be endless combinations to create a healthy and tasty chutney with gooseberries. So, feel free to create your own. These are a few variations, that came to my mind, nothing more. But, there are plenty more chutneys that I make with gooseberries, but haven’t clicked pictures to post.

NO COCONUT- Nellikkai Milagaivatral Thuvayal/ Gooseberry Red Chilli Chutney

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • periya nellikkai/gooseberry (bigger variety) – 5no.s chopped
  • vatral/redchillies- 6/7 as preferred
  • garlic- 10-12 cloves
  • ulundham paruppu/skinned black gram – 2 tbsp
  • kadalai paruppu/bengal gram – 2 tbsp
  • uppu/salt – to taste
  • yennai/oil – 1 tsp

Method of Preparation

  1. Chop gooseberries
  2. In a pan, take a tsp of oil and fry skinned black gram and bengal gram till golden.
  3. Add red chillies and garlic and fry till garlic turns slightly golden. Too much frying is not needed
  4. Switch off the stove. Let the fried stuff cool a bit
  5. In the blender jar, grind chopped gooseberries and the fried ingredients with just enough water
  6. For me, this thuvayal tastes best without seasoning. 
  7. It can also had with Rice, apart from the usual Idli and Dosai.

Nellikkai Thengai Milagaivatral Thuvayal/ Gooseberry Coconut Red Chilli Chutney (Gooseberry Chutney Series)

Next in the nellikkai/gooseberry thuvayal series, is a blend of coconut, red chillies, shallots, ginger and the star ingredient gooseberry.

There is an extra addition here – black gram, to give some texture to the chutney. We fry deskinned blackgram, shallots, ginger and redchillies. The fried ingredients are then added to fresh coconut and gooseberry to be blended.

Nellikkai Thengai Milagaivatral Thuvayal/ Gooseberry Coconut Red Chilli Chutney

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • periya nellikkai/gooseberry (bigger variety) – 5no.s chopped
  • thengai/coconut – 1/2 finely chopped/grated
  • milagai vatral/redchillies- 6/7 as preferred
  • chinna vengayam/shallots- 8 no.s
  • ginger– 1/2 inch piece
  • ulundham paruppu/skinned black gram – 2 tbsp
  • uppu/salt – to taste
  • yennai/oil – 1 tsp

Method of Preparation

  1. Peel shallots, grate coconut, chop gooseberries
  2. In a pan, take a tsp of oil and fry skinned black gram till golden. Then add red chillies, ginger and shallots, and fry till shallots become opaque. This would take a minute or two
  3. Switch off the stove. Let the fried stuff cool a bit
  4. In the blender jar, add grated coconut and chopped gooseberries
  5. Add the fried ingredients
  6. Add salt and water and blend to a smooth paste
  7. I prefer adding just enough water to all the gooseberry chutneys, to give a feel of thuvayal made in ‘Ammikkal’- stone grinder or the traditional roller stone.
  8. This thuvayal tastes best with seasoning.

thaalippu – seasoning

  • yennai/oil  – 2 tsp
  • kadugu/mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • ulundham paruppu/skinned black gram – 1 tsp
  • kariveppilai/curry leaves- 5/6
  1. Heat oil in a small pan
  2. Add mustard seeds
  3. When they splutter add black gram
  4. When it becomes golden brown, add curry leaves
  5. Pour this into the thuvayal.

Serve with Idli, Dosai, Uthappam or any main course of your choice.

Nellikkai Pudhina Thuvayal/ Gooseberry Mint Chutney (Gooseberry Chutney Series)

This thuvayal is a combination of coconut, green chillies, shallots, garlic, gooseberry and mint.

For this chutney, we fry onions, garlic and mint leaves. The fried ingredients are added to fresh coconut, green chilli and gooseberry.

Nellikkai Pudhina Thuvayal/ Gooseberry Mint Chutney

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • periya nellikkai/gooseberry (bigger variety) – 3 no.s chopped
  • thengai/coconut – 1/2 finely chopped/grated
  • pachchai milagai/green chillies- 6/7 as preferred
  • chinna vengayam/shallots- 5 no.s
  • poondu/garlic cloves – 6 no.s
  • pudhina/mint leaves- 1 cup
  • uppu/salt – to taste
  • yennai/oil – 1 tsp

Method of Preparation

  1. Clean the mint leaves well
  2. Peel garlic and shallots
  3. In a pan, take a tsp of oil and fry garlic and shallots, till shallots become opaque. This would take 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the cleaned mint leaves and switch off the stove. Let the mint cook a bit in the hot pan. Frying of mint is not needed.
  5. In the blender jar, add grated coconut, green chillies and chopped gooseberries.
  6. Add the fried garlic, shallots and mint leaves
  7. Add salt and water and blend to a smooth paste
  8. This thuvayal too doesn’t need thaalippu or seasoning.

For a tangier dip, add gooseberries; adjust green chillies as per family preference.

Nellikkai Malli Thuvayal/ Gooseberry Coriander Chutney (Gooseberry Chutney Series)

The next thuvayal/chutney is a combination of – coconut, green chillies, coriander and ginger, with the goodness of gooseberry.

Like the previous coconut gooseberry chutney, this one is also a NO FRY dip. This easy to make Thuvayal, goes fresh into the blender and comes fresh to your plate.

Nellikkai Malli Thuvayal/ Gooseberry Coriander Chutney

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • periya nellikkai/gooseberry (bigger variety) – 3 no.s chopped
  • thengai/coconut – 1/2 finely chopped
  • pachchai milagai/green chillies- 6/7 as preferred
  • inji/ginger – 1/2 inch diced ginger
  • malli ilai/coriander leaves – a bunch (appr. 100gms)
  • uppu/salt – to taste

Method of Preparation

  1. Clean the coriander well
  2. Chop all ingredients for easy grinding in the blender
  3. Add salt and water and blend to a smooth paste
  4. This thuvayal too doesn’t need thaalippu or seasoning with oil and mustard seeds like other chutneys. Still if one prefers, go ahead. 
  5. One can even substitute the ginger with fresh garlic- That tastes awesome but don’t forget to brush your teeth or use a mouth freshener while talking to people.

For a tangier dip, add gooseberries; adjust green chillies as per family preference.

Nellikkai Thengai Milagai Thuvayal/ Gooseberry Coconut Greenchilli Chutney (Gooseberry Chutney Series)

This thuvayal is a simple combination of three ingredients – coconut, green chillies, and ginger, with the goodness of gooseberry.

Tastes awesome with idli, dosai, oothappam, paniyaaram, vadai and why not, rice too.

Nellikkai Thengai Milagai Thuvayal

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • periya nellikkai/gooseberry (bigger variety) – 3 no.s chopped
  • thengai/coconut – 1/2 finely chopped
  • pachchai milagai/green chillies- 5/6 as preferred
  • inji/ginger – 1/2 inch diced ginger
  • uppu/salt – to taste

Method of Preparation

  1. Chop all ingredients for easy grinding in the blender
  2. Add salt and water and blend to a smooth paste
  3. This thuvayal doesn’t need thaalippu or seasoning with oil and mustard seeds like other chutneys. Still if one prefers, go ahead.

thaalippu – seasoning

  • oil  – 2 tsp
  • mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • urad dal – 1/2 tsp
  • curry leaves
  1. Heat oil in a small pan
  2. Add mustard seeds
  3. When they splutter add split black gram
  4. When it becomes golden brown, add curry leaves
  5. Pour this into the thuvayal.

Any Thuvayal is a flexible dip to make. Increase or reduce the quantity of coconut, green chilli or gooseberry as per taste preference. For a tangier dip, add gooseberries; for a spicier thuvayal add chillies.

Nellikkai Thuvayal – Gooseberry Chutney Series

Gooseberry is one of those nutritious fruits that often brings back nostalgic memories. When we used to travel during school vacations to my paternal grandmother’s native place in down south Tamilnadu, the houses that had ‘nelli maram’ or the gooseberry tree was a special place for me. ‘Arunelli’ – the yellow and extremely sour, smaller variety of gooseberry was my favorite. With the beautiful Kutralam Falls nearby and the monsoon setting in, the village would have intermittent pleasant showers and chill air. The fields, farm lands, and the tall trees imparting different shades of green, would present such a soothing atmosphere, that the developed cities should beg for.

Visiting elders and relatives of the close knit family was a routine, common to most households. Also, introducing the third generation to other relatives of the extended family was part of those village visits. That is one of the major tasks of grandfathers and grandmothers, providing essential links through generations.

Coming back to gooseberry, most houses would welcome you with the arunelli maram in the frontyard, with bunches of the delicious fruit. I think the hosts should have been amused seeing my eyes rest on the gooseberries than in their conversation, I would always come back with packs of berries, the fruit and the taste I’ve treasured in my memory till today.

By Abhishek Jacob at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44823119

Post vacations, back at home in the city, thankfully those days, there were no branded food outlets in the corner for junk intake. On the way back from school, arunelli/gooseberries sprinkled with salt and chilli powder was a favorite walking partner. This memory glittered back during my Cambodia days, where I could buy arunelli from the street vendor with salt and chilli powder.

photo taken from dosaikal.com/the cambodia connections-I, my post back in April 2013.

The other gooseberry is the bigger variety. While arunelli is a snack in hand, periya nellikkai is versatile. Eat it raw, make thuvayal/chutney or pickles, make nellikkai saadham/rice, thayir pachchadi/yoghurt raita – the options are endless.

First, enjoy the sourness of nellikkai; then, have a tumbler of water; get amazed by the sweetness that spreads in your mouth.

Setting new nutrition goals during the Covid crisis, I had been trying out different kinds of thuvayal/chutneys with periya nellikkai/big gooseberries. The fruit is at its nutritious best, when consumed raw. Hence, I try to add gooseberries without roasting or stir frying in the dips i make. Also, I have tried to add chinna vengayam/shallots in the fried chutneys, as a replacement for normal onions.

As a thuvayal series, I would like to share a few of those chutneys in the coming posts.

See you all soon.