TAVSALI

Cucumber Cake is called by East Indian Community as Tavsali……. Tavsali gets its name from the Konkani word Tavshe……. Tavshe means cucumber……. Very easy to make, the texture of Tavsali is light, moist and soft……. Cucumber cake is generally made from large and ripe yellow cucumbers.

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INGREDIENTS : 1 large cucumber, 1 cup semolina, 1 cup jaggery, 3/4 cup fresh grated coconut, 4-5 green cardamoms, cashew nuts as needed, coconut oil/ghee.

DIRECTIONS : Wash and peel the yellow cucumber…… Cut into half…… Remove the seeds….. Grate the cucumber…… Don’t discard the cucumber juice…… Keep aside….. In the meantime, roast the semolina till fragrant….. Keep aside…. Powder the cardamoms……. Chop few cashew nuts.

Take a bowl……. Mix roasted semolina, grated cucumber with all its juice, freshly grated coconut, jaggery, cardamom powder and chopped cashew nuts…… Mix well to get a batter of medium consistency without lumps……. Keep aside for at least 1 hour.

Take a container….. Grease with ghee……. Pour the batter…….. Heat some water in the pressure cooker…… Keep the container containing batter in the pressure cooker…….20180427_004229.jpg Cover the container………20180427_004410.jpg Cover pressure cooker with lid…….20180408_115910.jpg Steam for 30-40 mins……. Check whether it is done by inserting a knife….. If the knife comes out clean, then it is done……20180427_004502.jpg Cool the cake a little and take out by inverting the container on a plate……20180427_003736.jpg Decorate with cashew nuts…….20180405_204441.jpg Serve warm…… One can also serve it with some ghee/milk…… Cucumber cake can be served wit thickened milk/condensed milk…..20180427_005006.jpg

One can bake Tavsali instead of steaming it……. Bake in preheated oven at 180 degrees for 30-45 mins.

NOTE : If yellow cucumber is not available, then one can use regular green cucumbers……. If using green cucumbers, one does not need to remove seeds…… Increase/decrease jaggery according to the sweetness required……. If the consistency of the batter is too thick, one can add a little milk/coconut milk…… On can use steamer or Electric cooker too.

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CHUKKU KAPPI

(DRY GINGER COFFEE)

Since monsoons are round the corner, I thought I might as well write about one of Kerala’s home remedies……. Kerala is the only State of India where Ayurveda is predominant & not alternative system of medication….. Chukku or dry ginger, in all Ayurvedic medicines, is a common ingredient due to it’s carminative & digestive properties……. The main source of all diseases, as per Ayurveda, is indigestion…… Chukku Kappi is a concoction of coffee with pungent spices, aromatic herbs & jaggery……. It is a strong sweet & spicy brew which helps to reduce nasal congestions, throat infections, mild fevers, indigestion, etc……. One can find similarity of this brew with Kava, Arabic Coffee drunk throughout the Middle East, which is brew of coffee + spices ( particularly cardamom).

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INGREDIENTS : 1 tsp Coffee powder, 1/2 tsp ginger powder, 1/2 tsp black pepper corns(crushed), 1/4 tsp cumin powder, 1/4 tsp coriander powder, 3-4 fenugreek seeds(optional), 2 cardamom(crushed), 2 cloves(crushed), 1/4″ cinnamon(crushed), 5-8Tulsi (basil) leaves, 2-3 guava leaves(optional), 1 tbsp palm jaggery, 2 cups water.

DIRECTIONS : Break dry ginger into tiny pieces…… Grind it to get fine powder….. Can be stored in airtight containers for quite some time……. Heat water in a pan…… Add palm jaggery (if palm jaggery is not available, one can use normal jaggery, i.e., sugarcane jaggery)……… When jaggery melts add in the spices….. Boil……. Add coffee powder & boil for a minute….. Now add tulsi & guava leaves…… Cover the pan with lid & turn off the flame…… Strain the coffee after 5 minutes……. Serve hot.

NOTE : The said importance  of each ingredients…….

Coffee : Potentially protects against liver cancer, Parkinson’s disease, etc.

Ginger : Is anti bacterial & an analgesic…… Serves as a detoxifying agent, aids digestion, helps alleviate cough & cold/fever/nasal congestions/sore throat, etc.

Black Pepper : The health benefits include relief from common cold, coughs, respiratory disorders, anaemia, indigestion, etc.

Cumin : Aids digestion, improves immunity, provides relief from insomnia/Asthma/ anaemia/skin disorders/ common colds/ cancer, etc.

Coriander : Helps in the treatment of high cholesterol levels, skin inflammations, indigestion, anaemia, mouth ulcers, etc.

Fenugreek : Provides relief from fever, sore throat, mouth ulcers, anaemia, insomnia, dandruff, stomach & respiratory disorders, etc.

Cardamom : Combats acidity, bloating, gas, heartburn, loss of appetite, nausea, constipation, etc.

Cloves : Have antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti -mutagenic, local anaesthetic & carminative properties…… Thus it aids in digestion, fights against oral diseases/ headaches/cancer, boosts immune system, controls diabetes, protects liver, preserves bone quality, etc.

Cinnamon : Has anti-inflammatory compounds which helps to relieve pain & stiffness of muscles/joints due to arthritis….. It enhances antioxidant defences, etc.

Tulsi : Has very powerful anti-bacterial, fungicidal, germicidal & antibiotic properties…… Thus it provides great relief for regular fever, bacterial & viral infections, cold, cough, etc.

Guava leaves : These are full of antioxidants, anti-bacterials, anti-inflammatory agents & tannins which have noteworthy health benefits – from treatment of stomach ailments to chronic diseases like cancer.

Palm Jaggery : Cleanses body, provides a lot of vitamins & minerals,acts as a digestive agent, boosts immunity, helps treat cold & cough, etc…… Being highly rich in calcium it is very good for bones.