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Breakfast

Breakfast/ Quick n Healthy/ Smoothie

Berrylicious Power Smoothie

Here is a cool way to give your body what it needs: Toss a few specific, nutrient-dense ingredients in a blender, press “high”, pour into a glass and drink up. Bona fide smoothies, that flower the early health food movement, are a far cry form today’s heavily sweetened concoctions that certain coffee shops have popularized. Resurrect the original smoothie concept and stay satisfied for hours -using rediscovered “superfoods” like anti-oxidant rich cocoa powder or protein-and omega laden chia or hemp seeds.

This every day protein smoothie is not-too-sweet yet satiating and rich in anti-oxidants. Use your favorite unsweetened non-dairy milk such as almond / cashew / coconut or soy milk. Blend it with a well ripe fresh banana and handful of berries.  Add whey protein powder for extra punch and chia or hemp seeds for healthy fats. Berrylicious Protein Smoothie

 

Berrylicious Power Smoothie

Berrylicious Power Smoothie

Everyday breakfast smoothie!

Instructions:

2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 fresh or frozen ripe banana
1/2 cup your favorite berries
1 serving of Whey protein powder
1 tbsp chia or hemp seeds or both
1 date soaked in water overnight (for more sweetness, optional) or 1 tbsp Honey

In a blender combine all ingredients and blend on high.

Enjoy your vegan power packed breakfast smoothie!

Breakfast/ Continental/ Desserts/ Spring - Summer Special

Zucchini Bread

Everyone around me seems to be fighting allergies these days. The culprit? Climate Change! Warmer, drier air is prompting trees to release their offending pollen prematurely. Stay sniffle free with this nutrition packed treat – zucchini bread with cranberries and walnuts!

zucchini bread

This was a complete surprise. I was under the impression that zucchini bread was a mere attempt to hide veggies inside a sweet treat without adding anything to the flavor. But that’s not really true. After first bite, I was sold; partly because I had pretty low expectations and also because it does taste yum!zucchini cranberry breadAddition of cranberries and walnuts contributed a whole new dimension to otherwise chewy one-tone bread. So I totally recommend adding nuts and dried fruits of your choice.

zucchini bread slicesVitamin C, anti-oxidants and Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids from the 3 key ingredients will definitely help you build your defenses against the seasonal allergies. That’s how I convinced my husband to try this bread and he loved it, as always!

Zucchini Bread with Cranberries and Walnuts

Zucchini Bread with Cranberries and Walnuts

A nice treat to have after a long day!

Ingredients:

Instructions:

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter two 5 by 9 inch loaf pans.

2 In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in the grated zucchini and then the melted butter.

3 Sprinkle baking soda and salt over the mixture and stir it in. Add the flour, a third at a time, stirring after each incorporation. Sprinkle in the cinnamon and nutmeg over the batter and mix. Fold in the nuts and dried cranberries or raisins if using.

4 Divide the batter equally between the loaf pans. Bake for 55 minutes (check for doneness at 50 minutes) or until a wooden pick inserted in to the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to cool thoroughly.zucchini bread loaf

Notes

I will recommend cranberries as they add a slight tangy note to this sweet bread. Feel free to try raisins or chopped apricots or dried figs.
Walnuts can be substituted by any other nuts of your choice such as pecans or almonds or pistachios.

Breakfast/ Maharashtrian/ Quick n Healthy

फोडणीची पोळी / Phodnichi Poli – Leftover Rotis Makeover

Tadka,  Phodani,  bhagar,  vaghar, chaunk or tempering or seasoning, we may call it by different names but we all agree that it’s one of the greatest inventions of Indian Cooking! A method that’s widely used in Indian Cooking and the only ubiquitous ingredient in many of our traditional dishes from North to South and East to West.

A simple method in which whole or ground spices – such as  mustard seeds, cumin and coriander with some hing and turmeric are added to hot oil or ghee. The heated oil or ghee has amazing qualities of extracting and retaining vital nutrients from the added ingredients, the same technique being used since ages for making Ayurvedic oils and medicated ghees.

The hot oil or ghee infused with the aromas of whole spices is so magical that it can elevate any basic ingredient, including as humble as a leftover roti or poli in Marathi. And what you get is a popular Maharashtrian dish; extremely tasty, super easy and a perfect healthy breakfast item that pairs nicely with a cup of chai or bowlful of fresh yogurt.

leftover-roti-makeover

It tastes best with leftover rotis as they tend to absorb oil more easily due to their extra dryness. A simple tadka with standard ingredients and curry leaves with some characteristic Maharashtrian ingredients such as peanuts and dry coconut flakes and sesame seeds, the dish provides enough oil to digest the dry rotis with extra yum factor! The peanuts can be substituted by fresh green peas, they add a hint of sweetness and a beautiful green color. But I prefer the nuttiness of roasted peanuts.

Phodnichi_poli1

 

Phodnichi Poli

Phodnichi Poli

A magical makeover for leftover rotis - takes no more than 15 minutes. Quick, tasty, easy and healthy - perfect for breakfast!

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Grind all rotis coarsely. It's best done with your hands.
  2. In a medium pan, prepare tadka by adding all ingredients listed under tadka in the given order.
  3. Add finely chopped onion and fry it until it becomes translucent.
  4. Add roasted peanuts or green peas and let them fry for a minute.
  5. Add red chili powder, cumin-corainder powder (optional) dry coconut flakes, and salt. Mix well.
  6. Now add roti flakes, mix everything together and let it steam for 2 minutes.
  7. Add sugar and lemon juice and again steam it for another 2 minutes.
  8. Serve hot! Garnish with fine shev or chopped coriander leaves.
Breakfast/ Gujarati/ Roti Paratha Dosa & More/ Snacks

Doodhi Bajra na Thepla / Whole Grain Flatbread with Bottle Gourd

Gujaratis are well known for their snacks and they have all kinds – deep fried, steamed, baked, fermented, roasted. It’s pretty amazing that one single region of India has encompassed so many diverse techniques as part of their daily cooking.dudhi thepla

Theplas are Indian flatbreads made with whole grain flour mixed with seasonal vegetables and some commonly used spices such as green chilies, cumin-coriander powder, ginger-garlic paste. All combined into a dough using yogurt. Since there is hardly any water used in making the dough, these theplas last for couple of days, making them a perfect healthy snack for picnics or long journeys. The dough also contains some jaggery or sugar, which is signature of any Gujarati dish, trust me it actually makes it yummy! Serve it hot with pickle or chundo and yogurt.dudhi bajra thepla

Bajra flour has a very earthy flavor and it combines well with the mild flavor of dudhi. There is a good balance of different tastes of whole wheat, bajra, dudhi and ginger-garlic and jaggery.

Dudhi Bajra Na Thepla

Dudhi Bajra Na Thepla

Healthy breakfast with not so used Bottle Gourd

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Wash, peel and grate dudhi using wider slots on grater.
  2. Squeeze out all the water from grated dudhi, and I really mean all of it. Dudhi contains lot of moisture and it leaves out more after we add salt to the dough, so it's time to use some muscle power.
  3. Add all ingredients together one by one, except for oil. Initially add 1 spoon of yogurt at a time and add more as needed. But make sure you try to bring the dough together before you add more yogurt.dudhi thepla ingredients
  4. Lastly add oil and knead everything nicely. Oil adds more moisture so do keep it in mind.
  5. Make smaller balls, and roll them flat using a rolling pin.dudhi thepla in process
  6. Cook them on a flat tawa just like a paratha, using oil on both sides.
Breakfast/ Events/ Gujarati/ Snacks

હાંડવો / Handavo / Savory Lentil Cake and Bake Fest June 2013 Announcement

Gujaratis are known for their variety of farsan – snacks – dhokla, khaman, shev-khamni, khandvi, gote, lochyo, kachori, mathiya, muthiya …. it’s a long list. I have previously posted two recipes for muthiya – dudhi na muthiya and palak-methi na muthiya. Handvo or Handawa is yet another healthy Gujarati snack which is not deep fried. It’s actually baked!handvo

Traditionally this savory lentil cake is baked in an aluminium pot filled with sand in the bottom, which when heated, provides dry heat just like our modern ovens. I found it quite interesting. It’s prepared with a mixture of different dal flours such as chana dal, toor dal and urad dal and rice flour. The veggies such as dudhi (lauki), lilwa tuwer – which is a speciality of Gujarat and mutter maintain the moisture and yogurt helps it ferment before you bake it. It cannot be classified as a Gujarati dish until it’s seasoned with oil tadaka! You might be tempted to try it without the oil but please don’t unless you want to miss the real charm. The oil seasoning with mustard seeds and sesame seeds makes it very special and very Indian.

I used handwa flour I bought at an Indian grocery store. If you want to make it at home, please scroll down I have mentioned the proportions of the dals and rice. Don’t use the instant handvo mixtures, they contain lot of citric acid and the taste is nowhere close to an authentic dish.

Handavo / Handwa / Savory Lenti Cake

Handavo / Handwa / Savory Lenti Cake

Savory non deep fried lentil cake!

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Prepare batter using handvo flour, yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, ajwain seeds, turmeric powder, chopped green chilis, salt and a pinch of sugar. 
  2. Let it sit for 6-7 hours or overnight.
  3. Then add grated doodhi and other vegetables.
  4. Add fruit salt and whisk it in one direction until the batter becomes light.
  5. Pour this batter in loaf pan or muffin pan and bake it at 350 F for 30-35 minutes for a loaf pan and 20-25 minutes for muffin pan.
  6. In a small skillet, prepare tadka with oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and sesame seeds. Add this on top and serve it warm.

Notes:

You can more veggies like fresh methi leaves, spinach leaves or zucchini.

For Homemade Handavo Flour soak all these ingredients for 3-4 hours and grind toa fine paste.

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/4 cup tour dal
  • 1/4 cup chana dal
  • 1/4 cup urad dal

Sending this to Dish it Out event.

I am so happy to let you know that I am hosting Vardhini’s Bake Fest event for June 2013. Teh event is open from June 1st till June 30th. Here are some rules –

  • Send in any recipe which has been baked / broiled.
  • Only vegetarian or vegan recipes please.But Eggs are okay for baked dishes.
  • Usage of the logo is mandatory as it helps spread the word.BakeFest-200
  • Linking to original Bake Fest page and this announcement is mandatory.
  • Leave a comment below.
  • You can link your old entries if they are reposted with the below links and the logo.
  •  You can send in any number of new entries and a maximum of 2 old entries.

Looking forward to your innovative creations. Happy baking!


Breakfast/ Events/ Punjabi/ Roti Paratha Dosa & More/ Winter Special

मुळ्याचे पराठे / Muli Paratha and WTML April 2013 Event Announcement with a Giveaway!!

मुळा / Muli or White Radish and शेपू / Savaa or Dill, the two vegetables I hated from my core white I was little. I gave my mom hard time since she either had to convince me for eating it or make something else . Convincing me was a harder task than preparing something else. She tried many ways to hide these vegetables in other dishes. the characteristic smell the two vegetables have turned out to be my biggest advantage.

It was quite rare to have my mom open the door for me as I return from school since her office timings never coincided with my school hours. It was one of those lucky days during Ganapati Festival. The rains were unstoppable and my mom decided to come home early. When I saw her at the door, I could not stop smiling. She then served me a ‘garama-garam’ (hot from the pan) paratha with mango pickle which is her ultimate speciality I have yet to conquer and some yogurt. It was so yummy and so satisfying. You can imagine, the slight coldness in the air with continuous pouring rains, the background Ganapati music which does not stop until power is completely disrupted (including generators)  and these soft, hot yummy parathas. I gave my mom a tight hug and said thank you for such delicious “aloo parathas”. Her smile only became bigger at that point. She replied, “Sure only if aloo was a new name for muli in my dictionary” Duh! Well since then muli paratha has been a permanent entry in our house menu and my favorite dishes.

Muli Paratha

 

Muli Paratha

Muli Paratha

Healthy and hearty Indian flat bread with white radish stuffing!

Ingredients:

Instructions:

Method:

  1. Prepare chapati dough by adding chapato flour, salt, red chili powder, turmeric, oil and warm water. 
  2. Add a tsp of hot oil and knead well.
  3. To prepare stuffing, in a medium bowl add grated white radish and boiled and smashed potatoes.
  4. Now add other spices and finely chopped coriander and mix well.
  5. The actual paratha is similar to any other parathas. For detailed instructions follow this procedure.
  6. Serve it hot with pickle and raita.

Tips:

White Radish sometimes has very strong smell. You can squeeze out the water from grated radish by adding some salt to it. By adding fennel seeds and ajwain seeds  help to reduce the strong smell.  Be careful with the salt if you add it to the grated radish, the stuffing and the dough.

 

muli parathaAnd now the Event Announcement! Last year I came across this wonderful event called WTML – Walking Through Memory Lane”. The event is a brainchild of Gayathri, a lovely lady and super innovative cook who writes about her culinary creations at Gayathri’s Cook Spot. As the name suggests, the event is all about recreating your childhood favorite dishes prepared by your mom, gradma, aunt or anyone special in your life. This is our chance to pay a small tribute to their cooking. I was instantly drawn to this idea and I submitted my “Rava Cake” recipe to her event and luckily I was the winner for that month’s giveaway. I received the wonderful book – Chocolate Cookbook by Tarla Dalal from Gayathri.

Long story short, Thanks to Gayathri, I am hosting this month’s WTML event at MyHomeMantra. Here are some simple rules.

  • Make your favorite dish which makes you cherish your childhood moments and also tell us a small story about the dish. Not just the recipe!
  • No restrictions on the number of story telling entries.
  • Only vegetarians dishes please.
  • You can link your old entries if they are reposted with the below links and the logo.
  • Link your post to my announcement page and Gayathri’s  WTML event page. That’s mandatory.
  • Add this logo to your posts, it helps spread the word.
  • Non bloggers can send me your recipes at myhomemantra [at] gmail [dot] com
  • The event is open from April 1 to April 30th

And the Big Giveaway – Gayathri will select an entry through random selection and give away the book for the selected entry.

Note that the books Gayathri gives are not sponsored and it is her own contribution to the event. You get a whole year’s subscription of Tarla Dalal’s Cooking and More as the giveaway. I am not eligible for the give away.

On the first of May, Gayathri will select a lucky winner and send a mail. After receiving her mail,you can give an address to which she has to ship the book. She will ship the book within India so if you reside abroad, please give an address in India for her to ship.

Let’s cherish our childhood memories with this wonderful event!


Appetizers/ Breakfast/ Gujarati/ Quick n Healthy/ Snacks

દુધી ના મુઠીયા / Dudhi na Muthiya / Steamed Bottle Gourd Fist Cakes

A Diet Friendly Recipe

Moist and fluffy inside; golden crispy outside; the Muthiya make a perfect pairing with a cup of tea! ‘Muthi’ means fist in Gujarati and it’s called Muthiya because the dough is turned into cylindrical shape using fist.

Spinach Dudhi Muthiya

Made with whole wheat flour and grated dudhi with very little oil, since the dough is steamed and then sauted in a typical Indian tempering, this dish is perfect for those who are on a “diet”.

I love Spinach and Cilantro in my Muthiya, it adds moisture and flavor and color. So I actually made Dudhi Palak (Spinach) Muthiya but Spinach is completely optional.

Dudhi Na Muthiya

Dudhi Na Muthiya

A Diet Friendly Recipe

Ingredients:

Instructions:

It might look like a big list of ingredients but almost everything is straight from your pantry so it does not much time to prepare it.

  1. Wash and peel bottle gourd and grate it. Squeeze out excess water in a separate bowl. We can use it if needed.Shredded Dudhi
  2. In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients together and knead to make soft dough by adding water if required. You can also use the juice we just squeezed from the grated dudhi. Also add 1 tsp of oil and knead again.
  3. Now divide it in 3-4 parts. Apply some oil to your palms and using your fists shape it in cylindrical rolls.Dudhi Muthiya in progress 1
  4. Place these rolls in a steamer and let it steam for 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Once done, remove from the steamer, let it cool slightly. Then cut it into equal sized small pieces.Dudhi Muthiya with tadka
  6. If you want to make tempering, in a frying pan, heat some oil.
  7. Add mustard seeds and sesame seeds. Add the pieces and saute on a medium flame for a few minutes.
  8. Serve hot!

 

 

Breakfast/ Maharashtrian/ Quick n Healthy/ Superfoods

भाजणीचे थालीपीठ / Bhajaniche Thalipeeth

 Comfort, redefined!

There are times when we eat to find a feeling beyond fullness. We eat looking for a feeling of joy, a momentary salve for sore spirits, a feeling of goodness. At times like these, we usually turn to what we call “comfort food”. वरण भात (Varan Bhaat), rice and dal in its simplest cooked form rates high on my list of “comfort foods”. Then comes the khichadi and my all time favorite –  थालीपीठ (Thalipeeth) with metkut and yogurt!

Bhajaniche ThalipeethIt’s a very common and very typical Maharashtrian recipe and it’s speciality is that it’s a perfect menu for morning, noon or night. It’s made with a flour mixture which is called भाजणी or Bhajani. It’s actually a grounded mixture of whole grains like whole wheat, rice, jowar, bajra, urad dal, chana dal and cumin and coriander seeds. “Bhajane” in Marathi translates to dry roast in English. The whole grains are first dry roasted in a pan and hence the name – “bhajani” and then are ground together to form fine flour which can be stored for months. You can think of it as an instant mix.

thalipeethachi bhajaniIt takes less than 10 minutes to make actual thalipeeth if you have the mix ready.

Thalipeeth-1

 

Bhajaniche Thalipeeth

Bhajaniche Thalipeeth

Hearty pancakes, super quick and super healthy, loaded with healthy carbs and fibre!

Ingredients:

Instructions:

If your bhajani mix contains salt and red chili powder, feel free to adjust the amounts accordingly. Ajwain seeds, fennel seeds and sesame seeds are totally optional but they do add more flavor to every bite. Cilantro and onion help make thalipeeth moist but they are optional too. And same is the case with ginger-galric-chili paste., it's for added flavor. If your bhajani doesn't contain cumin and coriander seeds, you can add 1 table spoon of cumin-coriander powder.

Now the more interesting part - It's just 4 step process - mix everything, put it on a pan, cook and eat with butter! I am getting too excited, I know!

  1. Finely chop your onion and cilantro.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix everything together except for oil and water.
  3. Mix in water gradually to form a firm dough. Taste it and adjust salt to your taste.
  4. Use a little bit oil to knead the dough and mix it together. No real kneading is needed.
  5. Heat a tawa / flat skillet on a medium heat.
  6. Take handful of dough and press it down with your fingers to to roll it out like a pancake, around 1/2 inch thick. Be careful with your hand if the skillet is hot.
  7. If it feels sticky, use some water.
  8. Make three to four holes in it and add few drops of oil in each hole. Also add a few drop surrounding the thalipeeth.
  9. Cover it with a lid and let it cook for 5-6 minutes until you hear crackling sound.
  10. Turn it over and let it cook again for 3-4 minutes.
  11. Wipe the skillet with a wet towel before making the next one.

Serve it hot with yogurt and pickle or chutney. By the way, homemade butter is a must!

I like it with metkut mixed with yogurt and topped with talnachi mirchi! Yum!

This is my entry to Jagruti’s Pancake Day celebration.

Breakfast/ Jams & Pickels/ Spring - Summer Special

Homemade Pineapple Jam

Simplest Jam made with Exotic Ingredients

When I was little, one of my favorite treats were fresh pineapple. A pineapple is a seasonal fruit in India so finding ways to preserve it for rest of the year was quite natural. The obvious was Pineapple Jam; still my most favorite!

homemade pineapple jam

I like it crunchy and not spreadable like store bought ones. So I prefer not to blend it. If you plan to keep it for longer which is so hard since it’s so tempting, you can use some preservative. But for me simple sugar syrup works best. Many recipes ask for adding water which inherently needs some preservative, at least lemon and that also means a way more sugar than my simple recipe. Also I tend to cook it lesser than usual so it still maintains the juices. The only trick is to use perfectly ripe pineapple with no green skin.

I use s pinch of spices and also saffron which add a whole new dimension to this flavorful fruit. Try it on a hot toast with some butter and you will fall in love with it.

pineapple_jam

Homemade Pineapple Jam

Homemade Pineapple Jam

Preserving summer bounty in a jar cannot be simpler

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. To peel the skin off a pineapple, first chop off the top green crown and also slice off its bottom so that it stands straight on your chopping board.
  2. Peel off the skin with a sharp knife. You can make deep cuts to remove the black parts called 'eyes' or remove them separately.
  3. Now make rectangular slices by carefully avoiding the middle tough part. Don't use it, it's hard to digest.
  4. Chop it nicely and and put them in a medium sauce pan.
  5. On a medium heat, let them saute for a minute or so.
  6. Now add sugar and mix well.
  7. Let it come to a boil and them simmer for couple of minutes.pineapple_jam in making
  8. Once done, turn off the heat and add cardamom powder and saffron. Mix well.
  9. Let it cool down completely, so not cover it else the steam will add unwanted moisture.
  10. Once cooled down, store it in a dry glass jar and keep it refrigerated. It lasts up to 6 weeks.

[Update] A jar full of love and flavor, perfect to send with kids at hostel., sending it to Kid’s Delight – Back to Hostelspecial event started by Srivalli

Breakfast/ Punjabi/ Roti Paratha Dosa & More

Paneer Paratha

Punjabi cuisine has given the greatest gift to Indian cuisine – paneer. Soft (Indian) cottage cheese full of fat has to somehow translate in any language as ‘yum’! A whole-wheat flat bread filled with mildly spiced paneer served with yogurt is just a breakfast for Punjabis but can be a complete meal for me.

I need a better picture and the only way to get it is to make these parathas when S is not around. Learned from my mistakes 😉 For now this is best capture I have got –

paneer_paratha

[Update] This might be a little better –
paneer_paratha

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