Who am I?

Hi, I am Vijaya, the person behind this website. I am a home maker married to a banker husband. Moving to different places is part of my life and has helped me learn different cuisines. When diabetes struck me, I was forced to change my diet. First step was to slowly move away from white rice. I started using bulgar wheat instead of rice. When I learnt that millets are wonder grains which help in maintaining sugar levels, I started exploring them. Initially, Google search threw very few recipes using millets. So I started experimenting with different kinds of millets and found that they can be used easily in almost every dish which calls for rice. Now my sugar levels are under control and I lead a very healthy and active life. I want to share my recipes with all of you via this blog. So weight watchers, diabetic people and millet lovers, this is the place for you!

While exploring millets, I also learnt about OPOS. The techniques were actually a boon to millets. I was able to create new recipes which were once considered impossible with millets. Please go through and understand OPOS before attempting any OPOS dish. OPOS and One Pot One Shot are registered trade marks of Mr.Ramakrishnan and I am using them with his permission.

My other interests include travelling, Tamil literature, mythology and food photography . Presently I live in Gurugram, Haryana with my husband Venkatesh and my two sons are living abroad.

Why Millets?

Millets are ancient grains which are healthier compared to rice and wheat. They have low glycemic index and thus help in controlling sugar levels. They are rich in iron, protein, fiber, calcium and other micro nutrients. They are gluten free. Since millets are diabetic friendly, they have become an essential part of my life completely replacing rice. I have also been able to replace wheat considerably.

What is OPOS?

OPOS means One Pot One Shot with 26 techniques developed by Mr. Ramakrishnan. In his words :

OPOS is not a fancy word for pressure cooking. It is a set of validated scientific techniques designed to bring the best out of food. It is a lot more than ‘ Dump all in a cooker’ style of cooking. OPOS replaces manual skill with the right equipment and the right recipe. We believe OPOS is the cleanest, greenest, healthiest, tastiest and fastest way to cook just about anything. OPOS works for anyone, anywhere, anytime!

All one needs is a 2L cooker (any reputed brand, any material), an induction/gas stove, a blender, measuring cups and spoons, kitchen scale, knife, peeler & grater. To know and learn more about OPOS, I advise you to join his OPOS School Facebook Group where he teaches OPOS to newcomers and OPOS veterans.

I take this opportunity to thank Mr. Ramakrishnan for teaching and allowing me to use OPOS techniques for this website.

What is Autolysis?

This is one of the techniques used in OPOS. Many recipes on this website use this technique. Here is how Mr. Ramakrishnan explains it:

Though mankind has been kneading flour for millennia, the technique of letting the flour absorb water gently by itself, rather than force water into it by vigorous kneading, was discovered just a few decades ago by the French bread making guru Professor Raymond Calvel. He called it Autolysing (Greek : Self- digest).
His method is very simple. Mix flour and water at low speed and let it rest (from 30 minutes to overnight). Finish kneading after this resting period. That’s it!
This technique lets the dough relax before kneading, making it more elastic and easier to shape. The shorter mixing time results in less oxidation, which improves colour, flavour and texture.
This technique was originally developed for leavened breads. We have adapted it to Indian unleavened breads, renaming it Aatalysis, as it is mostly used with Aata (wholewheat flour).

Here’s how it works for wheat flour:

  1.  Knead flour as you do normally, but carefully note down the flour: water ratio. Let us assume you use 250g water for 500g wholewheat flour.
  2. The next time you knead, take 250g water. Add 500g flour to water. Mix gently (do not knead) till all water is absorbed by the flour and the flour resembles wet sand.
  3. Keep the mix covered for atleast 30 minutes. When you open, the dough would look mostly kneaded and would need minimal kneading.
  4. Make balls and roll out chappatis/phulkhas as you do normally. Cook as usual. There is no change in the rolling out/cooking method. The only change is in kneading.
  5. Different flours absorb different amounts of water. It varies from 50% to 80% (500 ml to 800ml water for 1 kg flour) depending on the flour. Prefer flours absorbing more water as they result in softer breads. We later found that the same principle can be extended for use with non-gluten flours (rice/millet flours) to cook up rice/millet flatbreads, dumplings ( kozhukattais/ modaks) and steamed noodles (string hoppers).

Here’s how it works for non gluten flours (rice, millet etc.)
The key difference is that we use boiling water instead of plain water. Due to lack of gluten, rice/ millet flours do not stick to each other. By mixing in boiling water, the flours get partially cooked. This semi-cooked starch is sticky and so can hold its shape. The water needed for non gluten flours is around two to three times the quantity needed for wheat flour. Rice/millet flours can absorb around 1.5C water for every cup of flour.

  1. Add hot water to non-gluten flour as you do normally, but carefully note down the flour: water ratio. Let us assume you use 750g water for 500g rice flour.
  2. The next time you knead, take 750g hot water. Add 500g flour to water. Mix gently (do not knead) till all water is absorbed by the flour and the flour resembles wet sand.
  3. Keep the mix covered for atleast 30 minutes. When you open, the dough would look mostly kneaded and would need minimal kneading.
  4. Make balls. Roll into flatbreads, extrude into string hoppers, stuff to make momos/ modaks, steam into dumplings as you do normally. Cook as usual. There is no change in the rolling out/ cooking method. The only change is in kneading.

The technique has now been validated in hundreds of kitchens for phulkhas, parathas, chappatis made from whole wheat flour, flatbreads made from millet flours, modaks, kozhukattais ( stuffed/plain dumplings), elai adais made from rice flour & idiappam ( string hoppers) made from rice/millet flours.

Apart from improving the flavour, texture and softness, many members have reported that this technique has almost eliminated the need for kneading and is a boon for those unable to do heavy kneading. The process works the same way for any volume of flour. Manually kneading a large volume of flour is a back breaking job. Machines do not help much as cleaning them after kneading is as laborious. If you are : dough on a regular basis, you will find this technique very helpful tips:

  1. The mixed/kneaded dough can be kept refrigerated in an air tight container for many days.
  2. Measure flour and water quantities carefully using measuring cups or a kitchen scale.
  3. Salt can be mixed in right at the beginning or when you do the final kneading.
  4. No oil needs to be added.