Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Poha laddoo


Recently learnt these delicious sweet poha laddoos from Ms. Neelam Awasthi who shared it on a mutual food group. Dont be surprised, you read it right. Its made up of our poha. People make traditional maharashtrian poha in snack or even use it for cutlets / tikkies but laddoos were unbelievable. Lovely!

Poha the name only reminds us of kanda poha (MP state) / matar poha (UP state)/ poha sev (maharashtra) and now a days new version is creating rage in metro cities - corn poha. Besides this, poha was making a good binding and cover purpose in tikkies to give it a firm and crispy texture. Until few days back when I learnt these yummy healthy laddoos , I was in fix what to do with huge stock of poha in my home. Thankfully got the recipe just in time.

The best part of the making of these heart melting laddus was that it was not at all cumbersome process, infact was quick and easy to prepare. What more you will ask for? I know you want my thumbs up ! 😹
Its already given , do you really think I would have made it at first place 😉😏 if they werent healthy and quick recipe. Nah !

For this recipe we need jaggery , nuts which adds to its flavour and crunchiness while keeping it nutritious. What I liked the most in this recipe was the fact that not many ingredients are required and whatever is used is readily available in everyhousehold and sone p suhaga dat it is a low calorie sweet. Now not keeping you on wait, we will start with the recipe.

Ingredients required for making 10 no.s of laddu

Poha _2 bowl
Jaggery powder or gur grated 5 tbsp
Cardamom powder or elaichi powder 2 tsp
Cream or malai 1_2 tbsp ( sprinkle milk in case you dont have it)
Almond crushed / coarsly powdered 5 tbsp
Raisins fistful

Method of making laddus

Dry roast poha on low flame until colour changes to light brown. Switch off the flame.
Let it cool.
Grind it coarsely.
Add jaggery and grind one more time to give it a good mix.

Take this mixture out in a big bowl. Add elaichi powder,malai or cream, almond powder, raisins and make crumbslike.
After mixing well bind into laddoos.
Your yummy quick healthy poha laddus are ready !



Monday, July 18, 2016

Moong Sprouts Dosa / Chila





I am so so so fond of these chilas or dosas that I keep bringing variations in it. Few days back I enjoyed Moong bean sprouts chila. Chila or dosa whatever you name it, they are the same.

Sprouting of beans is easiest among all and making moong sprouts at home is better than market's ready made ones.
Now why I took sprouts? They are wonder food due to its high nutritive value. Dont tell me you know little about this healthy food. Not to worry, I am here to educate about ingredients I always pick. Sprouts are good for healthy body and mind development. It purifies blood, strengthen immune system. Sprouts are no less than a medicine.

These are germinated seeds of legumes which are full of health promoting qualities, packed with adequate protien and calcium. If you want to reduce weight, you must include this high fibre food because of its preserving and promoting health aspects.

Sprouts are rich in fibre, nutrients, enzymes, protiens and are low in calories. However, you must take care while using sprouts as they easily gets infected with fungus. Stale, stinking and blacken or dull sprouts should not be used. Cooking of sprouts must be discouraged so that it does not loose nutrition whereas raw sprouts are better but people allergic to it or if have gastic problem can steam for easy digestion.
As I cant digest raw sprouts I always use /eat steamed or little cooked.

Here I have taken moong bean which is rich in Vitamin A, E and C. Sprouts chila makes a good healthy breakfast.

Lets learn to make chilas 

Things we need to make 5 no.s of chilas 
2 bowls of sprouts
2 tbsp of besan / gramflour
1 tsp red chilly powder + 1/4 th inch ginger or / 1 tsp of ginger green chilly paste
Salt as per taste 
Oil to make chilas 

Method 

First wash thoroughly the bean sprouts in clean water. Take care not to wash away the delicate sprouts. 

In a mixer grinder grind sprouts little. Do not make it a paste. 


Now in a big bowl mix all ingredients and make a thick batter of dosa like consistency.

Grease a non stick pan and when little hot pour a ladle of batter. Spread evenly fast and let it cook for 2 mins on medium flame till it is brown.  
Apply oil and turn side and cook till done.



Serve with green chutney. 



Friday, July 15, 2016

Green Peas paratha

How many kinds of parathas do you think exist? Well, I would say infinity 😜😂😋 Lol, ask any punjabi and he/she would tell you number of parathas you cud not even imagine. Let me try how many do I know - Aloo paratha, Onion paratha, Methi paratha, Mix Veg paratha, Dal paratha, Sattu paratha, Green peas paratha, Corn paratha, Plain ajwaen paratha, lachcha paratha, gobi paratha, sprouts paratha, cabbage paratha, spinach paratha, paneer paratha, cheese paratha, pizza paratha, multigrain paratha, beetroot paratha, mooli paratha.... ummm I give up. Its 20 I can name. Not bad. 😉. But I promise I will teach you ol of them one by one. Sattu paratha I already did if you remember. Now its Green Peas Paratha today.

Being punjabi myself I had been relishing parathas in breakfast almost daily throughout my childhood. Aloo paratha being my favourite , saves me for dinner when there are no vegetables at home. 😉
As the name suggests paratha word comes from parat plus atta means cooked layers of flour. Paratha belongs to north India where mainly wheat flour is used for dough and various combinations of stuffing and kneading is used to make them.

Parathas are so quick and easy meal. Combined with curd or raita, salad, pickle and papad -its a complete meal itself. Any holiday this makes a perfect brunch accompanied by a kadak chai.

Well, by large all knows how to knead a dough. Right? We shall be skipping the kneading part today and will go to stuff preparation. Hahaha just joking. Will guide for kneading too. Chill. 😁😁😝

Green peas are available now 12 months but earlier it use to be winter delight. The sweetness of fresh peas add flavour to our plain rice. In winters in punjab matar pulav, aloo matar, matar vadiyan,matar poha , matar gobi, nushroom matar, matar paneer will become every day dishes. Like my corn fever, 😉 I add corns in everything when its in season.

Parathas as I said is not so tough job , though I always heard South Indians complaining its a big job. May be coz they are more into rice eating hence parathas are rarely made.

Come lets learn to make the stuffing first

For stuffing we need 1 big bowl of peas
1 tsp jeera / cumin seeds
Salt 1 tsp or as per taste
Red chilly powder 1 tsp or green chilly crushed 1 tsp whichever you want to add
Hing pinch
Coriander powder 1 tsp
1 tsp oil


Process of roasting and grinding for filling

Wash your peas thoroughly with water.
In a pan dry them on flame stirring continuously till water dries up.
Add 1 tsp oil and jeera each. When jeera is roasted. Add rest ingredients and saute for some time. Switch off the gas and let it cool.
We will not roast peas too much or it will loose its sweetness.
When its cool, grind them coarsly.
Keep aside this mixture for filling.

Now lets knead the dough.

We need 4 big bowls of wheat flour.
2 tsp oil
1 tsp ajwaen
2 tsp salt
1 tsp red chilly powder.
Water enough to bind


Process of kneading and stuffing parathas
Knead all ingredients pouring little water from time to time to make a stiff but soft dough. Keep aside for half an hour. 
Make 10 balls out of it. 
Roll them each little and fill 1 tbsp of peas mixture in it. 
Close it from all ends and seal in centre.  



Time to roll them and make parathas

We need
Oil to apply. 

Roll the balls flat with light hands on rolling pin and use partan (atta flour) for dusting to ease the rolling. 
Heat the tava. Put paratha and flip in 1 min when its cooked little from one side. Apply just little oil and flip again when its cooked little from other side as well.
Apply oil on other side also and cook parathas from both sides till they are brown well.
Serve hot with chutney, salad, curd/raita, pickle and papads.
Enjoy !



Thursday, July 14, 2016

Oats Bread Pizza

Pitzzaaaaa yeaaah ! No no no no not that cheesy one you are thinking about. Coming from me ?! Hah, Being health freak I am focussed on healthy cooking and eating habits so here pizza has been named for its familiar looks only. Awww... dont be disappointed. This is going to be more delicious than your circle of cheese, triangle of calories.


Yes, I have changed your typical italian dish into desi one. Lol. Here the base is not regular maida dough base but multigrain bread, toppings are vegetables of your choice but no cheese please and no baking, its made in heavy bottom flat pan. Hmm, now everything sounds healthy and right.

I had made this dish with semolina also earlier but this time I used Oatmeal instead of suji. And both the ways it tasted yum. By changing the ingredients and method of cooking you can certainly make any unhealthy dish into healthy one.  Though I dont bring or bake breads at home, rarely do I bring these multigrain bread, say once in every 15 days. So it has to be a grand breakfast, something special and different from routine. Somehow,I dont like bread as soft base in this dish so I dry roast them in non stick pan till they become little crunchy like typical pizza base while making. And if you dont want to do it in pan You can use pop up toaster first. Serves the same purpose. Just dont brown it more. Now thats my favourite _ plain toasted bread with butter. Simply divine. But I gave up on butter long back. Now a days bread are also doubtful whether its baked in proper hygenic conditions and how it is prepared. I would suggest bake your own. Its always advisable to make fresh and at home.


Its raining hard here in Mumbai and continuous pouring makes me yearn for hot hot snacks and adrak wali chai. What say, should we make our oats bread pizza. ?!

Come on lets assemble the ingredients , we require

7_8 bread pieces ( I used multigrain)
3/4 cup oatmeal( pre roasted and powdered)
Red chilly powder 1/2 tsp
Salt as per taste
Water enough to make a dosa like ghol ( thick but pouring consistency)
Vegetables of your choice _ I used corns , chopped capsicum, onion, grated carrot, etc.
Oil to apply

How to make it

Cut the bread pieces in desired shape. May / May not remove the sides.

In a big bowl mix all ingredients ( except bread and oil) and make a mixture of thick consistency.


Apply the mixture on one side of the bread slices. Dont apply too much else it wont cook properly.



In a non stick pan apply some oil, when little warm arrange these slices upside down.

When cooked little, flip the side and cook till its little brown.


If both sides are little brown, cooked and crispy, what are you waiting for. Serve hot with your fav chutney or sauce. Enjoy !! Me enjoying with mumbai rains .... wow !!


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Corn oats pudding


Asusual went to my favourite work station ie. Kitchen with someone's recipe but made something else. I just cant follow any recipe from start to end or what 😉 very bad very bad. 😠. But you can see I always come out with something new. Isnt it great. 😉. Very good very good. 😝

Yes as the same suggests I took the seasonal ingredient corns for my dessert. I always like to eat seasonal fruits or vegetables but now everything is available everywhere off season too. Enjoying rains with hot bhuttas sprinkling over it little black salt, red chilly and rub lemon juice... mmmmmm 😋😋 gone are the days when we cud only think of enjoying this cereal as hot steaming bhuttas. Anyone who has eaten fresh corn on the cob knows how satisfying it can be to chew. Corns has become popular over the years and now gets added in number of dishes. Be it gravy corn palak, pizza, salads, dessert, fritters, rice, tortillas, dhoklas, what not. I love corns and keep adding it to almost every other dish. I am madly in love with it.

Corns are one of the most popular cereal grain, also known as maize. Whole grain corns are very healthy and nutritious, rich in fibre, minerals, vitamins and are antioxidants. Known to promote eye health.

Few days back Anita Chahal aunty shared corn kheer recipe and instantly I knew this would be on my to do list. What I like the most was the simplicity of her recipe.Today got the chance to try my hands on it. Went inside the kitchen to make Corns kheer but came out to serve corns pudding. 😂😋😉 lol. I am so predictable ha ha ha. Even my family knew I will be inventing something new today.

For this I took fresh corns though if not available you may use frozen ones. Let the frozen kennels come to room temperature before you put them to use. But more than frozen, fresh ones are preferable and good for health. Why not use fresh corn cob, it would be more tastier.

Coming to my corn pudding , I had taken less quantity as we are only three at home and I usually dont make dessert in large quantity to avoid getting indulge in sweet things. So rarely I do make anything sweet at home. You may increase the ratio and quantity of ingredients as per your liking. Also I used oatmeal to give my pudding the required thick yet creamy consistency when frozen. It works like cornstarch. Yet taken just a tsp so dat the original corn flavour is not overpowered.

Here we go,

Corn Pudding

Ingredients required
Fresh yellow juicy Corns kennel 1 cup
Milk 1 litre
Sugar 1/2 cup adjust as per your taste
Cardamom powder of 3 no.s
Oatmeal 1 tsp (preroasted little and grinded)

Method

Crush coarsly corn kennels (may add little water or milk if required)

In a flat bottom thick base non stick pan or heavy bottom kadhayi add milk and let the boil come.

When its boiling, sim the gas and cook stirring continuously till milk gets reduced a little. This will take about 15-20 mins

Now add corn kennels and cook for 10 mins stirring inbetween.

Add sugar and cardamom powder. (I generally grind cardamom with sugar only) Add oatmeal. Cook for sometime.

Mix well. If you find it thick enough and corns cooked proper (taste it yar!) Switch off the gas and let it cool.

Now pour these in matkas or any serving bowls you may like. Keep it in freezer for half an hour to set.


Serve chilled.
Yummmmmmm ...... here's my first bite !!


Thanks to Anita Chahal aunty for a yummy recipe she shared and giving me an idea.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Kelyachi baajhi or Raw banana vegetable


Raw banana vegetable here means green triangular bananas found in maharashtra which makes a very common and popular side dish in every mahatashtrian household. Quite easy, less time consuming and has unique taste.
It has to be eaten cooked, either boiled, steamed or fried unlike ready to eat yellow ripe bananas. Its good source of fibre, vitamin b6, minerals, and starch, it helps to manage weight, blood cholestrol levels and blood sugar. Hence it has high nutritional value. A greener banana means you will absorb less calories. Did you knew that ? 😏

Its as simple as stir fry method of indian cooking. Ideal for begginers who can also try it without any doubts. Simplest and healthiest dish for lunch or dinner. Goes well with chapati.

Its been a decade am living in mumbai, learned and adopted many maharashtrian dishes in meals and believe me the spicy maharashtrian food is addictive. 😜
But sounds so hilarious when we count famous maharashtrian dishes.. pav bhaji, vada pav, samosa pav, bhajji pav, misal pav, usal pav... pav pav pav pav pav pav pav... uff. So much paaav !! Not only these street foods mumbai authentic dishes are divine. Sea food is par excellence if you are non vegetarian. Gauti chicken also I heard here only. In short Maharashtrian cuisine is a zesty and spicy one, which makes abundant use of aromatic and flavourful ingredients.

Coming back to our banana bhaji, In mumbai hectic fast pace life, such quick recipes gives relief to hunger panks. Easy, quick and spicy as you may like.

Lets learn how to make it


Kelyachi Bhaji

Ingredients
Raw green bananas 3_4  nos. ( washed, chopped into round pieces _ no need to peel)
Red chilly powder 1 tsp
Asafoetida pinch
Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves few
Oil 1 tbsp
Salt
Dhaniya powder 1 tsp
Amchur powder 1/2 tsp
Grated coconut 2 tbsp
Fresh finely chopped coriander leaves.
Green chillies chopped -optional

Method
In a pan take oil.

When hot, add mustard seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves. Let the spluttering sound come.
Now add chopped bananas. Let it cook till little brown from both sides.

Add green chillies, turmeric and salt, dhaniya powder and amchur powder. Mix well.
Cook on sim for 10 mins covered. Sprinkle some water if needed. And keep stirring inbetween.
When banana pieces are cooked, Add freshly grated coconut (optional , I usually skip it) and coriander leaves. Cook for some more time on sim.
Serve hot and spicy kelyachi Bhaji with chapaties Or can enjoy as snacks too.




Monday, July 4, 2016

Firni

Mumbai monsoons arrived last week and so the rainy food cravings ! Hot samosas, vada pavs, pakodas... I have become typical mumbaikar .lol. I remember in childhood I would get drenched fully in our garden at home on swings alongwith my sister and brother. We three would enjoy rains thoroughly. And to top it our mom would also join us ... hahaha. Our beautiful garden would look extremely breadthtaking with flowers like marigold, roses and lilies. Swing at one end and pond on the other end with lotus and frogs ki tarr tarr in night. Hill on one side with natural waterfall and cactus all over it.Rabbit cage aside and how we would become worried during rains for them coz of snakes. Watching quietly parrots from our windows early morning eating chillies, bhuttas and guava. Lovely memories. Getting nostalgic. My kids being a metro citizen are not enjoying the nature and life like we did. I wished they could.

The rains by then were beautiful. We would feast on hot hot bhuttas or besan pakodas with home made tomato sauce. Now a days pakodas sounds so heavy and unhealthy that I rarely make them. Even my son doesnt like to eat deep fried - puris or pakodas. Hmm...but offer him these street food vada and samosa he would grab it without second thought. 😂😂. Afterall there's no guarantee when he would get them to eat next.

When rains gets started my Mom use to make kheer with puye. Hot puye with chilled kheer. Yes, chilled. We always liked chilled kheer more than hot. Somehow it tastes yum and more delicious. Isnt it? But then we were so clever, would eat hot when ready coz its good to eat hot as mumma says, right. And then check with mumma if more is left to feast chilled later on. 😏😉

I could not make dat delicious as mumma use to make but mine is also okay. Self praise is must to keep self motivated 😂

Its raining in mumbai for last 10 days and It was obvious that I would satisfy my craving. After a hectic week, sunday came like break to routine though a mother of infant hardly gets time to rest. So myself being working 24x7 managed to make firni for my family. My recipe is simple yet nutty and delicious. Emmm...  😋 Firni and kheer are more so similar. Difference is only that kheer has liquid consistency while firni is thick.

It was after I saw Anita chahal aunty's kheer post that I charged up and made firni. My family is thanking her instead of me. 😂😂
Lets learn simplest one !

Firni

Ingredients
1.25 ltr milk
3/4 cup broken rice or chotte daane wale rice. ( I grind my basmati rice little into small)
3/4 cup sugar powder (you may increase or decrease as per your taste)
Ghee 1 tbsp
Cardamom 3-4
Almonds 10-15 no.s
Cashewnuts 7-8 no.s
Raisins 15 no.s
Pista 4-5 no.s
Vanilla essence or kewda few drops (optional)

Pre preparation

Grind and keep aside rice (if required) - take pre wash and dried clean rice.

Grind sugar alongwith cardamom seeds.
Keep aside.

Grind /break little almonds , cashewnuts and pista and keep aside.

Method

Keep big pan on gas. Add ghee. Add all nuts and saute little and take out.

In same vessel now add milk and let it come to a boil.
Add rice and let it cook on sim. Until milk gets thicken and rice gets cooked. It will take say about 15-20 mins. Add more milk if you find it too thick.

Now add essence, nuts , sugar to it and let it cook. Keep sauting for 5-6 mins.

Add milk if required as per desired consistency.

Firni is ready. Garnish with more nuts and serve hot or chilled as you like.

P.s. Firni is thick as compared to kheer. And it also thickens more when cooled so add milk accordingly.



Sunday, July 3, 2016

Stuffed okra and bhindi fry


Bhindi in hindi, also called as okra or lady finger in english. It contains potassium, vitamin B, C, folic acid, and Calcium. Its low in calories and has high dietary fiber content. Okra has been considered to manage blood sugar in diabetes. Hence lady finger is very good for health.


Bhindi chopped and prepared in little steam with just hint of masala use to be my favourite with ajwaen parathas. Yum. My mom use to make it crispy. I remember my mom use to make two types of okra on same day. Half being chopped ones and half stuffed kinds. Stuffing of spices _ fresh roasted jeera grounded and coriander powder, chilly powder n garam masala. Hot and spicy. Mom's dishes were always awesum. Unfortunately my son never liked lady fingers. Neither chopped nor stuffed. Lol I use to feed him forcefully telling that eating okra increases and improves maths skill. 😂😂😂 and he use to gulp for the sake of it.

Now a days he has developed taste for chatpati items so with little change in spices I once made stuffed bhindi for him. Just forced him to taste once... and now I dont have to ask him ... seeing lady finger he only ask me when am I making stuffed ones. Hahaha. Kids are unpredictable. We can make everything eatable for them without fuss with little alterations in cooking style, presentation and above all taste. Thats the reason why I keep learning new dishes from my friends so that my family dont discard any food item from meals.

This is my own recipe actually blend of few recipes I learned over time. Spices are same but additionally I included chaat masala and roasted besan to it. The new chatpati taste is really worthtrying. Kids would definately like it.In case you dont have besan you can replace it with sattu roasted. I tried once and it was equally yummy. Made no difference.

Recently I made one more change in the style of making it and it was also welcome by my family. I would name it bhindi fry. Would share both recipes with you here.

1. Stuffed okras

Ingredients
Lady finger 1/2 kg
Garam masala 1/2 tsp
Dhaniya powder 2 tsp
Red chilly powder 1 tsp
Haldi pinch
Hing pinch
Saunth 1/2 tsp
Chat masala 1 tsp
Fresh roasted jeera powder 1 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Roasted besan 3 -4 tsp
2_3 baby onions.
Oil 2 tbsp

Method
Wash throughly the lady fingers. Wipe dry.
Chop the heads and tail.
Cut slit on one side of each okra.

Now in a bowl mix all rest ingredients for filling. Taste and adjust spice or salt as per your liking.

Fill these spices in okras and keep aside.

Slit baby onions criss cross from two sides. Fill spices in this slit also.

In a flat pan put sarso oil. Let the smoke come and bitterness go. Switch off and let it cool.
Now again put the pan on gas. When little warm add the stuffed okra and onions. And let it cook until little brown from all sides. Keep tossing carefully to avoid to get them burnt. Keep it covered for first few minutes and then can cook open.

When its done. Serve hot garnishing with fresh chopped coriander leaves.

2. Bhindi fry

Ingredients are same (skip onion) and additionally I had taken boiled potato one chopped in small pieces.

Remove hed and tail of each and Chop bhindi in four pieces in length.

In a nonstick pan add oil(smoked and cooled before use) .
Now add okra and saute for 5 mins till they are crispy. Then add all spices as taken in above recipe alongwith potato. Saute, mix and cook covered for 3 mins. Its done.

Serve hot with chapati.


Friday, July 1, 2016

Zero Oil Stuffed Capsicum

Zero oil recipes are great way to keep health under control. Zero oil food is equally delicious as oily ones but more nutritious. By adopting various other ways of cooking like steaming, grilling, etc. we can easily convert our food more healthy and nutritious. Oil plays a vital role in adding pounds around our belly but cooking without oil sounds like eating without spoon. Not difficult really. We can very well manage that. Right !

For me zero oil was never boring and blant tasting as I adopted this technique long back when I wanted to reduce weight. And learning to cook delicious without oil was not so hard. Its just that we may have to alter our tastes and change few habits. Its all in our mind and with little control over our taste buds we can simply enjoy all that we eat but healthy and nutritious. Like said earlier its not so hard cooking without oil, thanks to new age techniques, we are now blessed with new innovative, advanced electronic and cooking range in our kitchen which not only saves our time and energy but also helps to change our food habits as per our convenience and need.

Microwaves has been a bombed blessing to those who want to save time as well involve less oily food in their meals. When I brought microwave in my home I didnt knew much cooking and didnt actually realise what a big advantage I was bringing home. To my wonder, I not only learnt quick cooking but also invented many healthy meals and snacks over the years.

Today I am sharing one of my simplest recipe which everyone makes at home but surely not without oil. Here I experimented the old oven grilled stuffed capsicum without a drop of oil and believe me outcome was not only surprisingly beautiful but delicious too.

Let me share the recipe and you try it yourself to find out what a wonderful way it is to cook without oil. Dont forget to thank me (I know you will ) 😁😝. Leave feedback for me.



Stuffed Capsicum (zero oil)

Ingredients
Capsicums 3
Boiled potatoes 4 big
Rai/jeera1 tsp
Hing pinch
Red chilly powder 2 tsp
Dhaniya powder 1 tsp
Amchur powder 1/2 tsp
Salt as per taste
Haldi 1/4 tsp
Coriander leaves chopped

Method:
1. Cut the cap side and deseed the capsicum and micro for 6 mins (turn side after 3 mins inbetween)

2. In microwave bowl dry roast rai / jeera for 2 mins. Add red chilly powder, hing, haldi, amchur powder and dhaniya powder.Micro again for 30 sec.

3. Add boiled potatoes.mix well alongwith salt and micro for 2 mins.take out and mix and micro for another 1 min.Take out and mix coriander leaves.

4. Fill in the capsicums. Cut in wheels. Micro for a min. Serve hot.