Traditional Healthy Recipes From Grandma's Kitchen

Comfort foods are often synonymous with grandmothers' recipes. Passed on from one generation to another these recipes are truly incomparable. Here are some exquisite recipes from Mrs Jayalakshmi!

By Jayalakshmi Srinivasan

Traditional Healthy Recipes From Grandma's Kitchen
Jayalakshmi Srinivasan
"I remember, when I was four years old my mother would try to feed me spinach. She always lectured on the importance of greens for health. I would listen to all that she said but simply refused to eat it. A power struggle would always ensue. One fine day, my grandmother, on witnessing the drama. She quickly rushed to the kitchen and prepared a crispy paper roast dosa for me.
Tempted by its aroma and crispy texture, I finished eating two dosas within 10 minutes. I thanked her for saving me from having the spinach. To my surprise, after a hearty laugh, my grandmother responded saying that she had in fact, mixed the very same spinach in the dosa batter and sprinkled some idli podi over it." shares Siddiqha Naseem from Chennai.

Grandmothers' recipes are authentic, soul-warming and the very thought of it brings back fond memories of childhood days. With time, most of the yester years' healthy delicacies have been forgotten in today's modern world. Fast food has become the norm.

Well, for those interested in reviving some age-old traditional recipes for your kids, Jayalakshmi Srinivasan, shares with us some of her easy-to-make lip-smacking recipes.

Ragi thayir bonda

Traditional Healthy Recipes From Grandma's Kitchen
Ragi thayir bonda

Ingredients for bonda

  • 50g ragi
  • 50g black urad dhal
  • 50g toor dhal
  • 50g puffed rice (Aval)
  • 50g Bengal gram
  • Oil for frying
  • Green chillies, ginger, coriander paste (3 green chillies, a small bit of ginger, five to six leaves of coriander)
  • 1 ¼ spoon salt

Ingredients for thayir (curd)

  • 1 ½ cup curd
  • ½ spoon chaat masala
  • ¼ spoon black salt


  1. For the bonda, soak the ragi, black urad dhal, toor dhal, puffed rice, Bengal gram for an hour.
  2. Grind them coarsely along with the chilli-ginger-coriander paste.
  3. Fry them in a non-stick appakarai (use oil as necessary), rather than a deep-fry kadai, as it requires less oil consumption.
  4. Midway, turn the bondas over to fry both sides completely.

For curd

  1. Add the black salt, chaat masala to the curd and mix well.
  2. Put the bondas in the curd for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Decorate with coriander and carrot gratings.

Malpuas (Appam)


  • 3 cups wheat flour
  • 1 cup sooji (rava)
  • 2 cups jaggery
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp curd
  • Salt
  • A pinch of soda
  • Oil for frying


  1. Dissolve jaggery with a little water and strain. 
  2. Mix together all other ingredients except oil.
  3. To this mixture, add the jaggery water. Mix and bring to dosa batter consistency.
  4. Grease the appakarai (preferably non-stick) with cooking oil (ghee optional).
  5. Pour some batter into the karai. Use medium heat and turn midway until both sides are golden brown.
  6. If karai is not available, you may deep fry the batter.

Urad dhal laddu

Traditional Healthy Recipes From Grandma's Kitchen
Urad dhal laddu


  • 1 cup urad dhal flour
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar/jaggery powder
  • 1/2 cup ghee
  • Cashew (optional)
  • 1 tsp cardamom/dry ginger powder


  1. Add hot melted ghee to the flour and jaggery powder.
  2. Mix together with cardamom and dry ginger powder.
  3. Make it into small laddus.
  4. Preferably make the balls when the mixed flour is warm.
  5. You can lightly dry fry the prepared mixture so that it will ensure that the balls do not ‘split’.
  6. Dry roast the urad dhal till golden brown and grind to a fine flour.
  7. You could grind it in your mixer-grinder at home and sieve out the fine powder.
  8. Alternatively, you may grind the same at a flour mill.

Methi protein poli

Traditional Healthy Recipes From Grandma's Kitchen
Methi protien poli


  • 100g green gram
  • 100g bengal gram
  • 100g kasoori methi (dried methi)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 green chillies
  • A small piece of ginger
  • 1 tsp cooking oil
  • 150g maida

For seasoning

  • 1 tbsp (50g) mustard and cumin seeds


  1. Dry roast both the green gram and Bengal gram.
  2. Pressure cook with 3 cups of water. Wait for three whistles.
  3. Take out, cool the mixture and grind it with salt, green chillies, ginger and kasoori methi.
  4. Put some oil in a kadai and add mustard and jeera till it sputters.
  5. Add the ground mixture and stir till it becomes thick. Allow it to cool.
  6. Knead the maida with cooking oil and a pinch of salt.
  7. Add the required amount of water and make a soft dough.
  8. Divide the dough into small balls, roll it and fill it with the gram stuffing.
  9. Roll it again and make parathas on a tawa.

So, go on, try out these scrumptious heirloom recipes and make your child fall in love with some age-old Indian dishes!

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