31 August 2015

Amaranth Pav Bhaji

My new found love for Amaranth, the leafy version, has me experimenting with it in almost every dish!! One of them - one of the yummiest street foods - PAV BHAJI !!! This one's also my entry for the third #FoodieMonday #BlogHop 


Ingredients :

For Vegetables Potatoes - 2, large
Cauliflower florets - 1 cup
French Beans - 1 cup (chopped into 1" pieces)
Capsicum - 1, diced
Peas - 1 cup
Amaranth leaves - 1 cup, roughly chopped
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

For gravy & seasoning :
Oil - 2 tbsps
Tomatoes - 2 large (pureed)
Onion - 1 large (ground to a paste)
Ginger-garlic paste - 1 tsp
Tomato Ketchup - 1 tbsp (optional)
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Chili powder - 2 tsps
Salt to taste
Pav Bhaji masala - 2 1/2 tsps

To serve :
Lemon juice
Chopped onion - 1/4 cup
Chopped coriander - for garnish
Pav buns - as required

Method :

1. Pressure cook all the vegetables along with turmeric powder and some salt, I added in the amaranth to the lot as well as I didn't want any fibres to be revealed in the bhaji!! This is optional though and you can simply finely chop them and blanch instead. Once the veggies are done, mash them while still hot. Keep aside.

2. Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and let crackle. Add the ginger-garlic paste and let fry for about a minute. (A tip here : cover the pan as soon as you add the ginger-garlic paste and have stirred it for a bit, this prevents it from spluttering all over the cook top!!)

3. Now add the onion paste or chopped onions (I like them ground!) and fry till golden brown or in case of the paste, till oil starts to separate. At this point, tip in the tomato puree, stir and let cook for about 7-8 minutes on medium flame or till it leaves the raw aroma.

4. Add the chili powder, salt and pav bhaji masala. Stir well and check for taste. Add tomato ketchup if you like it tangy else it's optional.

5. Now add the mashed vegetables and fold into the gravy. Add little water if required. 
Note : The bhaji tends to thicken gradually even after it stops cooking. You might need to dilute it further before serving anyway, so do not add too much water now.

6. Garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves. Roast the pav buns on a tawa with a generous (or near-generous) helping of butter :) Serve with bhaji with lemon wedges and freshly chopped onions on the side.

24 August 2015

Multi-grain Thalipeeth

               A  'Multi-grain' or 'Whole-grain' thalipeeth gives you the goodness of fibre, protein, minerals, iron and so much more. It's a wholesome meal that can be had on its own or with pickle and curds.
Ingredients : 
Whole wheat flour - 1 cup 
Besan (Bengal gram flour) - 1 cup 
Bajra/Jowar flour - 1cup 
Soya flour - 1cup 
Rice flour - 1 cup 
Rajgira Flour - 1 cup 
Maida - 1/4 cup 
Jeera - 2 tsps 
Dhaniya-curry leaves chutney - as required (Click link for chutney recipe) 
Salt to taste 
Whisked curds - 1 cup 
Water - as required

Method : 
1. Add all the flours and pinch salt to a clean bowl and mix well with hands. If possible, sift them together on to a large plate to allow them to mix well together. 
2. Add the jeera and green chutney and mix again. You can add as much chutney as desired, based on the spice and flavour you need. 
3. Now gradually add the curds and keep kneading the flours into a tight but soft dough. Add water only if required. Drizzle a little oil on to your hand and coat the dough with it. Cover and let rest for about 5-7 minutes.
4. Take 2 clean plastic sheets. Give the dough a rough kneading but do not knead too much. Divide into equal sized portions and keep aside.
5. Heat a tawa on medium heat. Place one dough round in between the plastic sheets on a counter and either press evenly into a pancake using your hands or use a rolling pin if it's easier. It's OK for the edges to be uneven. 
6. Cook the thalipeeth on the tawa using oil/ghee till golden brown on both sides. Use a flat ladle to press down and let cook evenly. Serve hot with pickle / chutney and curds.

16 August 2015

Eggless Banana Blueberry Cupcake

An eggless fruity chocolicious cupcake...


Ingredients :

All purpose flour - 1 cup
Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Softened Butter - 100 gms
Powdered sugar - 1/4 cup
Ripe banana - 1
Milk - 1/4 cup
Vanilla essence - 1/2 tsp
Blueberries - 6 to 7
Chocolate sauce - 1/4 cup

Method :

1. In a bowl, add butter, sugar, mashed banana and a few tbsps milk. Blend well using a hand blender.

2. Keep blending adding all the milk gradually.

3. Sieve together all-purpose flour, baking powder and baking soda. Fold into the butter mixture.

4. Finally add the vanilla essence and blueberries and give a final whisk.

5. Spoon out a little batter into the  cupcake moulds. Now pour a little chocolate sauce and top off with little more batter.

6. Bake in a microwave in convection mode @ 200 deg C for about 6 minutes.

7. Remove and cool. De-mould and garnish with remaining chocolate sauce and blueberries.

14 August 2015

Simple Carrot Kheer

                   A simple Carrot Kheer, colourful, delicious and very simple to make. Can be improvised upon and served as a porridge too by adding in some rolled oats, dry fruits, and so on...


Ingredients :

Finely grated carrot (or roughly minced in a mixer) - 1 cup
Milk - 1 and 1/2 cups
Condensed Milk - 1/4 cup
Cardamom powder - 1/ tsp
Roasted cashews (in ghee/clarified butter)- a few

Method :

1. Add the milk to a thick-bottomed saucepan along with the grated carrot. Cook on a low-medium flame, stirring gently and occasionally.

2. Once carrot is cooked, stir in the condensed milk and let simmer for 7-10 minutes more.

3. Remove from the flame, and add in the roasted cashews and cardamom powder. Serve hot or cold.

Healthy Ghee Mix

                 Many of us prefer preparing ghee at home, whether it's from the homemade butter or the ready-made uncooked butter. Once the butter's melted to the desired point and we have the ghee we need, there is a brownish residue left-over in the pan. 
Now most of us might be doing this already, this is something I learnt from my mother. 
[Note : This works best with the golden brown butter residue, if it is too dark then the mix will taste bitter]


Ingredients : (makes 1 cup) 

Brown residue of melted butter - 1/2 cup 
Wheat flour - 1 cup 
Powdered Sugar - 1/2 cup 
Cardamom (Elaichi) powder - a pinch


1. Sprinkle the wheat flour over the butter residue and mix well so there are no lumps and you get a nice powdery consistency.

2. Now add the sugar and cardamom powder and give it a final mix. 
Note : Granular sugar can be used too, but it will be easier to mix in the powdered form.

Now whenever hunger pangs attack, munch through a few spoonfuls of this healthy mix!!!

13 August 2015

Mixed Vegetable Rassa (gravy)

I have fond memories of the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in our apartment complex in Delhi. It used to be a 11-day affair and full of fun and gaiety. On the Sunday (in between these 11 days), there would be detailed prayers-puja followed by the Mahaprasad bhog. This would consist of a delightfully simple fare of Halwa, Puris, Batata (Potato) rassa, Rice, raita and crisps. Like I said, simple, but just the fun of community eating made this no less than a grand feast. 
The Rassa wouldn't have any onion or garlic in it, as it was part of the 'Bhog' or offering to God, but yet it would have an out-of-the-world taste.
Here's the simple recipe...... 
Note : Though the original only had potatoes, I added in few more vegetables for variety and colour..so that part is completely optional.


Basic :
Potatoes - 2 large (cubed) 
Cauliflower florets - 1 cup 
Beans (Cut into 1" pieces) - 1/4 cup 
Peas - 1/2 cup 
Capsicum (diced) - 1/2 cup 
Tomatoes (roughly chopped) - 2 large (or 3 medium) 
Ginger (finely chopped) - 1 tbsp 
Coriander leaves - a few 
Salt to taste
Sugar - 1 tsp (optional)

Spices : 
Coriander (Dhaniya) powder - 1 tbsp 
Cumin (Jeera) powder - 1 tsp 
Garam masala - 1 tsp 
Chili powder - 1 tsp 
Turmeric (Haldi) powder - 1/4 tsp 

For seasoning
Oil - 1 tbsp 
Cumin seeds (Jeera) - 1 tsp 
Mustard seeds (Sarson) - 1/2 tsp 
Fenugreek seeds (Methi) - 1/2 tsp 

Method : 
1. Pressure cook the vegetables up to 2 whistles, remove and keep aside. 

2. In a pan, heat oil and add the cumin seeds and let crackle. Now add the mustard seeds and let crackle as well. Finally add the fenugreek seeds. Take care not to let them become too brown. 

3. Add the dry spice powders - Coriander powder, Jeera powder, Chili powder, turmeric powder and Garam masala. Saute for about 5 to 10 seconds. 

4. Add the chopped tomatoes along with salt, that will help them cook faster. Traditionally sugar is also added, but I opted out as I like the gravy to be spicy.

5. Once the tomatoes are done, add in the cooked vegetables and stir well. Check salt and add little water if needed (use the stock), cover and let cook on low to medium heat till the gravy is thicker and well-combined with the vegetables. This should take about 7-10 minutes. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with puris!!

9 August 2015

Paneer Lentils Tikki

Post a recent festival, a bowl of Dal Vada batter was found hiding in the corner of our fridge. Quick way out would have been to make small bondas or mini vadas for a tea-time snack. But, how predictable!!! And, what's a recipe without a twist!! So here goes...


Dal Vada recipe can be found here ....

Ingredients :

Tikki Mixture :
Crumbled Paneer - 250 gms
Rice flour - 2 tbsps
Soya flour - 1 tbsp
Chili Powder - 2 tsps
Salt to taste>
Crushed Kasuri Methi - 2 tsps
Garam Masala - 1 1/2 tsps

Stuffing :
Finely chopped carrots - 1/4 cup
Finely chopped capsicum - 1/4 cup
Blanched and chopped spinach - 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsps

Method :

1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a small pan, add the chopped carrots and sauté for a bit. Add salt and stir once. After about 3-4 minutes add the capsicum and sauté for 4-5 minutes more. We do not want the vegetables to become over-cooked, as they will be re-cooked along with the tikki. Finally add the chopped spinach and chili powder. Let cook for 2-3 minutes more, remove and cool.

2. For the Tikki mixture, in a bowl, add the dal vada batter, followed by the rice flour, soya flour, crumbled paneer and mix well. 

3. Add the chili powder, salt, kasuri methi and garam masala. Mix well again and check for consistency if you are able to assemble into a tikki. If the mixture is too crumble, add 1-2 tbsps milk to add little moisture.

4. Divide the tikki mixture and vegetable stuffing into equal number of portions. Take one portion of the dough, place the stuffing and seal gently. Roll and flatten into Tikki shape. Prepare the others in the same way.

5. Heat oil in a tawa enough for shallow frying. Place the tikkis in the oil and shallow fry till golden brown on both sides. 

Remove and serve hot with desired accompaniment.