Category Archives: recipes

Healthy and Tasty Khandavi

Its an amazing dish. Super easy to make and healthy too. Its almost no oil except for the small amount used for the ‘tadka’, which you can omit if you wish. But the tadka is like the feather in the cap so I would go for it, using very small quantity of vegetable oil or substitute it with a good quality olive pomace oil. Khandavi is an Indian Gujarati dish made with besan (chick pea flour) and curd. Both of these are very healthy ingredients. The best thing I like about it is that it can be made ahead for any small get together with a couple of friends and is best enjoyed at room temperature (Store in fridge if you intend to use it next day). Further it can serve as an anytime snack or food. Hey , it should be an ideal snack for the festival of ‘Holi’! O.K. so enough of talking for now. I’m sure you’re getting a wee bit impatient. Here goes the recipe:

Ingredients for Khandavi:
1 cup besan
1 cup curd
2 cups water
1 level tsp salt
1/4 level tsp turmeric
1 pinch asafoetida (hing) which is optional
Paste of 1/2 inch piece ginger and one large green chilli

Ingredients for tempering (tadka) and garnish:
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
10- 12 curry leaves
chopped coriander leaves
1 to 2 tbsp fresh grated coconut or paneer (optional)

Method:
Mix together all the ingredients for the khandvi into a smooth paste. There should be no lumps. Pour this mixture into a heavy bottom sauce pan or wok and cook stirring continuously on low to medium heat till the mixture thickens but is still spreadable. This should take about 10 to 12 minutes. Taste a little to check that the rawness of the besan is not there. Take about 2 ladle fulls of the batter and spread evenly into a thin layer (approximately 4 mm thick) onto the back of a large steel tray, or baking tray or even kitchen counter. You may need several plates depending on their size. Let cool for 5 to 6 minutes. Meanwhile prepare tempering by spluttering the mustard seeds in the hot oil. Add the roughly chopped curry leaves and switch off the gas. Now using knife cut the khandavi layer into equal sized strips (about 1and 1/2 inch width) and loosen the edge with knife. Roll starting from one end and arrange into serving dish. Garnish with the tadka and grated coconut or paneer (cottage cheese). I like to add a dash of red chilly powder too. Enjoy the healthy almost no oil and gluten free Khandvi.

Note: 1. In first attempt, usually the layers turn out a bit thick.
2. If curd is not sour,add 1 tbsp lemon juice, for better flavour.

Source: Healthy and Tasty Khandavi

Easy Recipe For Churros with Hot Chocolate Sauce for Cool Days!

My son had first tasted Churros at a Christmas market in Paris last year . When he was back from his trip, he just couldn’t stop going gaga over the doughy and chewy, yet succulent taste of the churros with hot chocolate sauce and insisted that we attempt to try making them at home. I looked up a few recipes from the internet and some from the cook books I had, and finally came up with my own version of an easy recipe for homemade churros with hot dipping chocolate sauce which is just perfect for the changing weather. My son gave a helping hand. My family and my son’s friends loved the churros! His friends said that our homemade churros were way better than those available in one of the best local bakeries here in Chandigarh. No not boasting , that’s exactly what they said. Now, as it has again started to become a bit cool, one yearns for a hot snack accompanied by a glass of hot wine which incidentally I also first heard about from my son. So here we go, lets get ready to make some piping hot churros!

Ingredients:

For the churros

  • 1and ½ cup flour
  • 1 and ½ cup boiling water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 and ½ tbsp sugar
  • ½ cup powdered sugar or icing sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder (optional)
  • ½ litre to 1 litre oil for frying

For the sauce

  • ½ cup chocolate chips (or dark chocolate chopped well)
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp Nutella (optional)

Method:

      Add the 1 and 1/2 tbsp of sugar to the water and boil. In another bowl place the flour, salt and baking powder, making a well inside. Pour the 2 tbsp of the vegetable oil into this well along with the boiling water. Mix using a wooden spatula till well combined and there are no lumps. The mixture will look like a sticky gooey mass. Fill the dough into a cloth or plastic icing bag. Attach a star nozzle to the piping bag, in order to get the distinctive lined texture on the churros. The hole in the icing bag should be of at least 1 inch diameter. Let the dough rest in the piping bag for a few minutes. Heat the oil for frying in a wok. Meanwhile prepare the sauce.

Heat the cream in a saucepan, but do not boil. Pour over the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Let rest for half a minute. Add the Nutella and whisk till the chocolate melts and all ingredients are well combined and the sauce looks smooth and glossy.

Now hold the piping bag vertically above the hot oil and squeeze till the dough comes out like a thick rope. Cut with scissors to 4 inch pieces and deep fry to light golden brown. Drain and place the churros on a kitchen paper. Next drench them with the icing sugar (to which some powdered cinnamon has been mixed in).Serve the piping hot churros with hot chocolate dipping sauce!

 

Awesome Chef- Dream Meals at Your Dinner Table

Have you ever dreamed of being an awesome chef? Desired to be able to rustle up perfect meals that are fresh and awesome, straight from your kitchen to the dining table? How one yearns to earn that well deserved praise from spouse, children, relatives and friends!

Well, the time has now come to help you fulfill that long cherished wish, and that too with minimum fuss! You can be an ‘awesome chef’ with the launch of a new brand called ‘Awesome chef‘ by Awesome Cuisine Pvt. Ltd. The “Ready-to-cook Meal Kit”  food delivery service, was launched by the company in Chennai recently in February, 2016. Since this launch there has been no looking back. My friends in Chennai have been singing praises of this service and sharing pictures of their awesome home cooked dishes like Kung pao potatoes and Spirelli in mushroom sauce! So delicious and mouth watering, you would wish to cook these and more everyday. With the ready to cook meal kit this is possible.

Kung Pao Potatoes
Kung Pao Potatoes

According to the Co-Founder & Head of Operations of Awesome Cuisine (also winner of the 2015 “Best Chennai Blog” award), over the past few years, there has been an increase in home-cooks, thanks to amazing programs like MasterChef or shows featuring famous chefs like Chef Venkatesh Bhat or Chef Damu. The “Art of Cooking” these days, has surpassed the gender divide and we see amazing chefs in husbands, dads and kids. Living in a hectic world there is either less time to shop or a challenge to source the right ingredients. Awesome Chef fills this need by providing all the requisite ingredients along with the set of instructions to cook the dishes one sees on their site.

The Chief Culinary Officer explains that they are thrilled to be able to help people avoid waiting in queues, offering the best ingredients with no harmful chemicals and giving families more precious time with each other. All Awesome Chef “ready-to-cook” kits are packed with the freshest and finest pre-measured ingredients that can serve 2 to 3 people.

These efforts are in deed laudable. Safe, pure, hygienically cooked home food, that’s chef inspired with the exact recipe and really so tasty that it is nonpareil. To top it all, commitment to excellent customer care is the feather in the cap. You can experience Awesome Chef at https://www.AwesomeChef.in and give your taste buds a real treat! This is such a novel idea that it can revolutionize  the way the world cooks. We all look forward to having Awesome Chef dream meals on our dinner table everyday!

 

 

Bhang Pakoras For Holi ! (Marijuana Fritters)

Holi Hai! Time for some masti and some fun. Its good to let your inner child awaken during a festival such as holi and indulge in some fried goodies such as Bhang pakoras. It will make you happy ‘guaranteed'( but of course eat responsibly- for your senses and waistline alike).

Recipe for Bhang Pakoras 

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Bhang (marijuana leaves)

Ingredients:

2 cups besan (chick pea flour)
2 large onions finely sliced or cubed.
one big bunch of bhang leaves,chopped.
one small bunch of methi (fenugreek) leaves.
2 large potatoes peeled and chopped.
3/4 cup or more water (can be adjusted).
7 or 8 coves of garlic peeled and mashed.
1/2 tsp ajwain (carom seeds).
1 tsp red chilli powder.
1/2 tsp anardana powder (optional).
salt to taste.
oil for frying (vegetable oil or groundnut oil is suitable).

Method:

Wash and chop the bhang leaves and methi. If fresh methi is not available, you may use dry leaves (kasturi methi). The purpose is just to add flavour to the dish. Make a thick paste of the besan with water, ensuring that there are no lumps. Add water gradually. The paste should not be too thick or too thin. It must not be a runny batter. Add all the ingredients to this paste and mix well. If need be add more water and again mix. If by chance mixture becomes too thin add some more besan. Heat the oil to a high temperature in a deep pan or wok. Drop small dumplings of the mixture into the hot oil with the help of your fingers and thumb.If you find this difficult you can also fill up the mixture in one table spoon and use another table spoon to slide it into the wok. Reduce heat to medium. Let fry to lightly golden brown but not fully done. Remove from the wok with the help of a strainer. Continue in small batches till all the pakoras are made. Now press each pakora lightly with a small cup (katori) to flatten it slightly and again deep fry till crisp and golden. Serve hot with mint chutney and tomato sauce.

The idea for second time fry is to make the pakoras nice and crisp. The health conscious people can also use the air fryer very effectively for the second time fry. The pakoras can be made a few hours in advance (only once fried) before your guests start coming for Holi.  Pop them in your wok or air fryer , when your guests arrive, and surprise them with the crispy delight!

Be responsible, be safe. Have a Happy Holi!! 

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Bhang Pakoras with Thandai

 

Comforting Fig and Corn Salad with Basil

What could be a better start to the evening than a comforting and wholesome fig and corn salad garnished with fresh basil leaves. My sister has a farm close to chandigarh and I had to visit her today for some work. She insisted that I pick some figs to take back home. I really must thank her, because the figs were beautifully ripe, succulent and juicy, and immensely inviting in their deep purple colour. Along with these I also plucked some fresh basil leaves and the idea to make a tasty salad had already popped in my head. The result was just as I expected- worthy of sharing the recipe! God bless my sister.

The dictionary defines a salad as something that is served cold. But over a period of time the concept of a salad seems to have evolved and we can have salads that can be devoured warm as well as cold. This particular salad tastes great when it is warm! Besides being tasty and super quick to make its very healthy and packed with nutrition. Its a delicious salad to perk up your summer evening. So, here goes the recipe!

Warm Fig and Corn Salad with Basil  (Serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion chopped into small pieces
  • 3 or 4 cloves of garlic chopped
  •  4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 and 1/2 cup of juicy corn kernels
  • 1 large carrot peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 5 figs, halved or quartered ( or more if you like)
  • About ten to fifteen basil leaves
  • Fresh coriander leaves
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp red chilli powder
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • Balsamic vinegar

Method:

Heat the olive oil in a pan, but don’t let it overheat. add the garlic

Comforting fig and corn salad with basil
Comforting fig and corn salad with basil

and saute for half a minute. Now add the chopped onion and continue to stir fry till they become translucent and just begin to caramelize. Add carrots and corn kernels (The corn kernels can be pre- cooked in a microwave with 2 tsp water on high for about 1 minute). Stir fry  for about 1 minute more. Transfer the veggies  to the serving plate. Now place the halved figs flat side down in the same pan. Add a few more drops of olive oil. cook for 1 minute and turn the sides and cook for 30 seconds more. Transfer to serving plate. Drizzle some honey over the figs. Garnish with fresh basil and balsamic  vinegar. Enjoy!

Easy, Healthy and Yum- Tomato Soup!

Come November and winter is just round the corner.

“October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces.”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Well, the winter is not so harsh in the Indian subcontinent,but yes, it has started to become slightly cold in the northern parts of India.and we are rather enjoying this weather. With the slight chill comes the desire for warm and comforting food as evening descends. What could be better than a simmering bowl of tomato soup?

Ingredients:

1 kg ripe tomatoes roughly chopped

3 medium size onions sliced

4 to 5 cloves of garlic

1/2 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp black pepper powder

2 pieces of cloves (optional)

1 tbs butter (optional)

1 tbs cornflour

Salt to taste

Method:

Boil all the ingredients in 5 cups water (pressure cook if possible for up to 4 whistles), till the tomatoes are soft and the skins begin to peel off.Decant the liquid in another container with the help of a large sieve with medium sized perforations.Mash the tomatoes now trapped within the sieve so that the pulp and juice passes into the rest of the liquid, leaving the seeds and skins behind. Discard them. Put the soup back on the flame to cook for a few more minutes.To thicken the soup, 1 tbs of cornflour dissolved in a little water can be added. Alternatively,a trick is to add 2 tbs of thick Knorr or Maggi tomato soup powder .It adds to the flavour and makes it more delicious! Lastly add a knob of butter and voila, soup is ready to serve! Garnish with fresh celery or coriander.Cottage cheese pieces added to the soup taste great too!  Serve with bread sticks.

Pancakes with Honey Cinnamon Sauce

Delicious, soft ,fluffy pancakes always make my mouth water. In the recipe that i share below i have replaced all purpose flour with wheat flour as it is comparatively a healthier option. Adding a spoonful of oats could further enhance the nutritive value.The recipe inspiration is from BBC food which always has foolproof recipes, but I have tweaked it to my suitability and added the honey cinnamon sauce.The dish is wholesome and healthy. Ideally a breakfast food, but honestly I don’t mind eating pancakes as dessert too!

Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat flour —- 1/2 cup
  • Milk                       —- 1/2 cup
  • Egg                       —- 1 large
  • Castor sugar         —- 2 tbs
  • Salt                        —- 1/2 tsp
  • Baking powder       —- 1 tsp
  • Melted butter          —- 2 tbs

Method: 

Sift all the dry ingredients together and keep aside. Whisk together the milk ,egg and gradually add the melted butter.Finally mix the dry and the wet ingredients while beating lightly with a fork. Leave the mixture to rest for 2 minutes. Now heat a nonstick pan and smear a knob of  butter over it. Pour a ladle full of the mixture on the pan and let cook. Holes will appear on its surface. Flip the side and cook till lightly brown.Make a stack of the pancakes.

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Honey Cinnamon Syrup:

Ingredients-

  • Honey —-3/4 cup
  • butter —- 1/2 cup
  • Ground cinnamon —- 1/2  tsp

Heat all the above ingredients over a low flame till warm and the butter gets melted.Don’t overheat but keep it warm.

Serve the pancakes with the dripping honey cinnamon syrup and slices of caramelized apples or fresh cut strawberries.

There are so many variations that can be made to the basic recipe. As an Indian twist try addind some aniseed (saunf) to the pancake batter.It has an amazing flavour and the pancakes taste almost like ‘Meetha Pura’- a local Indian dish. Meetha means sweet and pura is anything of batter consistency that is pan fried. Follow my blog for more — if you like this post. See you 🙂