Tag 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

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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!

Moist Carrot Cake

It is winter time in the northern hemisphere,the time when one often craves for comfort food.With an abundance of wonderful fresh fruits and vegetables available at this time of the year, why not cook up something that is tasty, flavorful as well as healthy? A carrot cake? A carrot cake with a twist– rich moist and upside down!

Ingredients:

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

3 eggs

1 cup sugar ( take about 2 tbsp lesser)

1/4 cup sugar for topping

2 tbsp butter for topping

3 or 4 carrots

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

3/4 cup refined oil or butter

1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

A handful of mixed dry fruits like almonds, walnuts and raisins

Method:

Peel 2 of the carrots and cut into medium thickness round slices. In a saucepan heat the 1/4 cup sugar along with 2 tbsp butter and 1 tsp water till it melts and is bubbling. Do not stir. Pour into baking pan and arrange the carrot pieces so as to cover the whole base of the pan.Grease and flour the sides of the pan and keep aside.Sieve together all the dry ingredients except the dry fruits. Peel and grate the other two carrots. Meanwhile beat the sugar and the butter/refined oil till fluffy. Add the eggs one by one as you continue beating. Now add the flour mixture in small batches and continue to beat. You can add some milk between each addition of flour if the mixture becomes too thick. Finally fold in the grated carrots and dry fruits. Beat a little bit more till combined.Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake immediately in preheated oven at 180 degree Celsius for about 45 minutes or till done. Let the cake cool in the pan for a while, but not too cool. When still slightly warm, run a knife along the edges of the pan and carefully invert onto a plate. Fingers crossed – your beautiful ,succulent , colourful carrot cake is ready to serve! It makes an excellent tea time accompaniment and can also be used as a dessert along with some ice-cream

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Use of whole wheat flour along with some all purpose flour makes the cake healthier. To enhance the health quotient , the white sugar can be replaced with brown sugar.

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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 🙂

Pumpkin Halwa (pudding)

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When I got a call from my sister, asking if I wanted some more pumpkins from her farm, I flatly refused, saying I had cooked enough savoury dishes already from the vegetable. But then she gave me the idea of making ‘pumpkin halwa’! It sound quite interesting, and I decided to make the pudding as it was the festive season in India . Moreover, Halloween was also just round the corner.It is a popular Halloween tradition to make soups and desserts from pumpkins. So, I thought that I must give this dish a try and believe me the result was a mouth  watering dish worth blogging about! I used a medium sized green pumpkin for the dish, but you can also experiment with yellow pumpkin.So here goes the recipe.

Pumpkin Halwa

Ingredients:

  • Pumpkin (about 1 kg )     – peeled and cut into medium sized pieces
  • Pure desi ghee (clarified butter)–1 cup
  • Suji (semolina)                                      — 1 cup
  • Sugar                                                         —  1 cup  or more as per taste
  • Green cardamom                               — seeds of 4 cardamoms ground
  • Almonds and raisins                          — a handful
  • Saffron (kesar)                                      — 1/4 tsp

Method: Boil the chopped pieces of pumpkin preferably in a pressure cooker for about ten minutes (2 whistles ) after the steam 853201048_53b1774e57_z  starts to issue out of the nozzle. Don’t put any water as the pumpkin has enough water of its own. If you do not have a pressure cooker then boil the pumpkin in very little water in a saucepan till it becomes soft. Drain all excess water and mash it with the help of an electric mixer-blender. Mix the saffron and keep aside. Meanwhile heat the ghee in a wok, add the semolina and keep on roasting it till it becomes a light golden brown and the fragrance fills the room. You must keep stirring so that it does not get burnt.Now add the pumpkin puree, raisins and the sugar. The mixture will start to thicken. add cardamom powder.This could take only about 5 minutes or lesser. Mix well and remove from  gas. Garnish with almond slivers and serve hot.

This post is in response to NaBloPoMo

Give Me Some Easy Reads !

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The great divide- fiction vs non-fiction. How does one choose? I love both actually, depending on the time of the day,maybe even month and of course my mood.When I am travelling I prefer to carry some novels because I can be sure of a couple of hours of uninterrupted reading time (that’s why i mentioned month too, as that’s vacation time when we are most likely to travel).Fiction reading can be addictive and if the story is particularly alluring its a tough task staying away from the book,resulting in neglecting most of your other work.

When i am cooking or have a few minutes of free time I prefer to pick up a glossy magazine, reading in bits and pieces ,or just flick through the pictures or read through some food recipes.My choices are also sometimes influenced by the best- seller and must read lists.download (1)

When it comes to choosing favourites between the two genres of fiction and non-fiction i guess for me non-fiction wins hands down! I find it way easier to read through a non-fiction book albeit if its on a topic that interests me. And mind you, even a non-fiction book can be as unputdownable as a fiction book, but it can easily be picked up from where you left it last. i mean there may not be a story connect, making this easier.Further, I also find that non-fiction books have greater re-read value as in certain self-help books,although some might find this view debatable.This brings us back to the square one. Well to each his own. The idea is to love books!

Pictures credit; google images