Monday, March 20, 2017

Black Chana Salad, served on Lettuce leaves, Lettuce Wraps

It took me almost 2 weeks, to post this recipe. For reason unknown, i didn't touch my laptop or my camera all these days. Not touching laptop, can be considered healthy, but camera, that is total disaster. Signs of no creativity, brain-block, clogged mind and soul. 
I needed a drain remover to flush out my body and go touch and feel my camera again. It is not like i create stunning photos, but i keep in touch with my other side of brain and slow my aging and brain rust! These 2 weeks i feel like i have aged 10 years. 
I finally broke out of that tight chain, clogged drain and took my camera out and whipped my lazy bum, to shoot some pictures yesterday. 
Coming to the recipe, there isn't any here. A simple salad, served in  a funky way. It will definitely brighten your party table, serve it as an appetizer or part of a filling meal or just a light dinner to satiate your system after a heavy lunch.  Whatever it is, this salad sure will delight your senses. 
When i posted the picture in instagram, one of my friends tried it and gave me a thumbs up. A simple recipe, just boil the chickpeas and toss it with rest of the ingredients.
1 cup boiled black chana/black chickpeas
2 nos lebanese cucumbers, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 green chili, indian green chili, finely chopped
2 nos plump tomatoes, finely chopped and seeds removed
lettuce leaves as needed, i used iceberg lettuce

3 tbsp Finely chopped mint leaves
3 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
Black salt to taste
1/2 tsp freshy pounded pepper powder
2 generous pinches of chat masala (optional)
juice of 1 small lemon

  • Take boiled chickpeas in a large bowl, add finely chopped cucumber, tomatoes, chili and onions to it.Toss well. Remove the seeds of the tomatoes before chopping it. 
  • Add finely chopped mint, coriander leaves to it. Top it with pepper powder, black salt ,chat masala , lemon juice, and toss everything together. Chill it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  • To serve, place lettuce leaves on serving plates, top each leaf with generous 3-4 tbsp of salad and serve immediately.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Handvo pops - Handvo in appe pan

For the 3rd and the final day, i made some delicous handvo using the handvo flour vaishali sent me. So, for the past 3 days it has been Gujju dishes for our evening snack, White dhokla, Beets Dhokla and now Handvo pops. I have already made Handvo by soaking grains and grinding them. So , when vaishali sent me readymade flour, i thought of doing something different with them.
Apparently these dishes are so versatile, you can make so many different varieties with the same flour base. I m going to make myself some readymade flour-mixes and  try other varieties pretty soon.
Handvo pops, is nothing but, handvo made in appe pan. They consume very less oil, just 2 tsp for 11 pops. I have added carrots and cabbage to this flour, you can add some lauki, peas or some finely shredded zucchini also. It is a complete meal with rice, dal and veggies made attractive. 
Both my kiddo's enjoyed their snack with some sauce and chutney. I even served this as dinner for my dear hubby. Do try i t and let me know how you liked it!!

Ingredients (makes around 45-50 pops)
2 cups Handvo flour
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup water
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 cup shredded cabbage
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp of roasted white sesame seeds
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
2 tbsp white sesame seeds for garnish
oil for making the handvo in appe pan
Grind to a paste
1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
2 green chilies
a small piece of ginger
2-3 tbsp water

  • Take the handvo flour in a large bowl. Add butter milk and water to the flour and mix it well. It will be a thick batter. Let it sit overnight of atleast 6-8 hours to ferment.
  • I made the batter around 7 in the morning and made the handvo around 5 in the evening for my kiddo's snack.
  • After the said time, take the ingredients given under 'To Grind' and grind to a fine paste and add it to the handvo batter and give it a good stir. Add grated carrots, shredded cabbage, roasted white sesaem seeds and salt to this and mix it well.
  • The batter will be thick, but pourable. If you find the batter too thick, add another 1/4 cup of water to it and mix well. I made the handvo in the appe pan, you can make it like a pancake too. 
  • Heat the appe pan, divide 1 tsp of amongst the pan holes. add 2 pinches of sesame seeds to each hole and our 1-2 tsp of batter into each hole. Reduce the flame to simmer, cover it with a lid and let it cook for a minute or 2 in a simmer flame. 
  • Do not be tempted to increase the flame, that will burn the handvo and leave it uncooked in the center. Once it is cooked at the bottom, using a pick or a fork, gently turn it to the other side, spread 1 tsp of oil on them. Let it cook for another minute in simmer flame. 
  • Remove the handvo pops on to a serving plate and serve it warm with chutney of your choice. I served it with coriander chutney.
For the Chutney
2 fistful of coriander leaves
2 green chilies
a small piece of ginger
1 garlic clover
2 tbsp of freshly grated coconut
salt to taste
1/4 cup - 1/3 cup of water
  • Take all the ingredients in a mixer and grind it together to make fine chutney. Transfer it to a serving bowl.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Beetroot Dhokla with Dhokla flour

Dhokla is a vegetarian food, made using fermented batter of rice and lentils. The flour mix is fermented with curd/buttermilk overnight and in the morning it is steam cooked and served with a yumm tempering of white sesame and pickle masala garnish. The second ingredient, as part of ingredients thru mail theme is yellow dhokla flour. Though it looks like flour, it is not a fine flour, you can feel coarse lentil in it. I already have khaman dhokla in my blog, and also spinach, peas dhokla. I wanted to make a vegetable dhokla, since i had some beets puree in my refrigerator, i decided to use it in the dhokla. 
When i added it to the flour, it had a bright pink hue, but then after steaming it lost that bright color, may be i should have gone ahead and added little more. But the taste was spot on, dont miss 2 green chillies or else you might find the beets flavor dominating, which some might not prefer. Here is another easy to make snack for day 2.

1 cup Dhokla flour (a coarse mix of rice and lentil)
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp water
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1/4 cup beetroot puree (could have increased to 1/2 cup)
2 green chilies, minced
a small piece of ginger or 1/2 tsp shredded ginger, 

For Garnish
2 tbsp toasted white sesame seeds
1 tbsp methia masala
  • Take the dhokla flour in a large bowl, mix with butter milk and water. Stir well and let this rest for 4-5 hours on the kitchen counter. If planning for evening snack, mix it and set aside by morning 10. So, it will easy for you  to make it around 4 or 5.
  • Just before making the dhokla, add the beetroot puree, salt and minced green chili and ginger. Give it  a good stir, check the consistency,it should be of pouring consistency.
  • I used my small bundt cake pan, for steaming this dhokla, you can use muffin moulds or just small thali plates for steaming them.
  • Pour the batter in the greased pan, steam cook for around 10-15 minutes or until done, A tooth pick inserted in the middle should come out clean, that is the check for done-ness.
  • Once done, wait for 10 minutes for it cool, loosen the sides with a blunt knife and invert it onto a serving plate. 
  • Garnish with roasted sesame seeds and methia masala. Serve it warm with chutney or any sauce of your choice. I served it tomato sauce.

Check out the Be belogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#73

Friday, February 24, 2017

White Dhokla/Safed Dhokla with readymade flour

The last week of BM, valli gave us an interesting theme - Ingredients thru mail. Valli paired 2 bloggers and we need exchange 1 or 3 main ingredients amongst us and we need to cook something interesting from those ingredients. 
Sounds easy na, now comes the twist, we should not tell what ingredients we are sending. Why, what is so tough? you might ask, if it is something which we use regularly like rice/pulses/cereals it is ok. What if it is a flour or some ingredient which we have never cooked or even seen? There it becomes interesting!!!
For this theme i was paired with +Vaishali Sabnani. She is in India and i m here, thank god, we both had somebody travelling to our respective places, so it was easy to send the package through them.
I sent her Tricolor Quinoa, freekah and Kodo Millet. She made 3 delicious recipes, quinoa salad, Kodomillet idly and a salad with freekah.
She sent me a packet, with methia masala, beautiful stencil,chopsticks and 3 packets of coarse-looking flours. I was able to identity methia masala immeidately, but couldn't identify the flours. I could taste rice in them, nothing else😟. Finally Vaishali helped me to identify them. It was fun, receiving the packets, being a kid again and guessing what ingredient it would be, it was great fun!!
The first recipe with her ingredients is this yummilicious safed dhokla/white dhokla. It is super easy to make with readymade flour. just mix and keep in the morning, let it sit till late inthe afternoon, make it for evening snack. 
Ingredients (serves 3-4 people)
1 cup White Dhokla flour 
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup water
2 green chili + 1/2 tsp ginger, minced together
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1/4 tsp baking soda

For garnish
Fresh coriander
roasted white sesame seeds
Methia masala
you can also use red chili powder and black pepper powder

Green chutney
handful of coriander leaves
handful of mint leaves
1 green chili
1/4 tsp salt or to taste
  • Take flour, butter milk and water in a big bowl. Mix well to make a thick batter and let this sit for 4-5 hours on the kitchen counter to ferment.
  • After the said, add ginger and green chili paste, salt and give it a good stir. Add baking soda and stir well.
  • I used 2 small round thali/plates to steam the dhokla, it can be done in idly plates, silicon moulds or any shape of your choice.
  • Grease the plates well, divide the batter amongst the two thali;s and steam cook for 10-15 minutes in a medium flame.  When a tooth-pick inserted inthe center comes out clean,it is done. 
  • While the dhokla is cooking, let us make the green chutney. Take all the ingredients in a small blender and blend it smooth with 2-3 tbsp of water
  • Remove from the steamer, unmould it on to a serving plate, sprinkle methia masala, roasted sesame seeds and fresh coriander on top.
  • Serve it warm along with green chutney for a yummilicious snack! 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Eggless Whole wheat Banana Bread with cream cheese center

Banana bread, there must be some 100 + recipes on the web for this loaf of deliciousness! Every passionate baker will have their own recipe of banana bread, yes me too have one. I just keep experimenting with my base recipe to get a different taste every time. Like this one, i tried to surprise my kiddos with a yumm cream cheese in the center of this loaf i baked today. 
We love banana breads,  there will be a loaf for my boys to enjoy during their weekend. Sometimes, we wantedly leave a banana to over-ripe, so i can make banana bread for the weekend.  I spiced the bread with cinnamon, you can use vanilla instead. Whatever spice it is , the aroma of banana bread in your oven, just fills the entire house. Kids come floating in air to the kitche, just like jerry mouse swifting mozzarella cheese.
I have used brown sugar, so the loaf has turned like a chocolate loaf, if you want a chocolate loaf, try replacing buckwheat flour with cocoa. Since both the flours are dense, do not skip sifting, helps in aerating the flour-mix for a fluffy loaf. Ok, enough of the banter, lets get to the recipe.
1 cup wholewheat flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
3 small banana's (i used indian poovan pazham), If using philiphines banana 2 is enough
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
3 tbsp chocolate chips
2 tbsp crushed walnuts

Cream cheese center
1/2 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • Preheat the Oven to 180C. Grease two mini loaf tins with oil. Whisk together cream cheese, vanilla extract and powdered sugar until fluffy and keep aside until use.
  • Take the banana's in a large bowl, and mash it well with a fork. To this mashed banana add brown sugar and mix well.
  • Take both the flour in a flour-sifter, i used my Ikea flour sifter, Add baking powder and baking soda and cinnamon powder. Sift it directly into the banana-sugar bowl.
  • In a measuring cup, take milk and oil and mix well. Add this liquid to the flour-banana mix and using a spatuala combine everything together. Do it gently, in one direction, this ensures the air is well incorporated and the loaf turns fluffy.
  • Fill half the loaf tins with the batter and add 2 ice-cream scoops of cream cheese into the loaf tins on top of the banana bread batter. spread it in the center with a spatula, do not stir.
  • Divide the remaining batter on top of the loaf tins, covering the cream cheese. Gently tap the loaf tins to release any trapped air. Sprinkle chopped walnuts and chocolate chips on top.
  • Bake the loaves for about 45 minutes or until done. It was done at 45 minutes for me. Oven temperatures differ from oven to oven. so please check the loaves after 40 minutes. If a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, it is done. 
  • Remove the loaf tins onto a wire rack, let it sit for 10 minutes. Slowly release the edges with a blunt knife and invert the loaves onto the wire-rack. Let it sit for another 10 minutes and become warm. Slice and enjoy. My boys enjoyed with a drizzle of chocolate sauce on top.
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