Saturday, June 23, 2012



An apple a day keeps the doctor away, I wonder why apple got picked for this proverb. Why not Avocado a day keeps the doctor away, yes avocado technically a fruit but used as a vegetable has tons of nutrients like Vitamin E, K , B, C and mono unsaturated fats. With so many health benefits it is good to include at least one avocado a day either in salads, smoothies or simply make this guacamole. Guacamole is an avocado-based sauce that originated with the Aztecs in Mexico. It is traditionally made by mashing ripe avocados with a molcajete (mortar and pestle) with sea salt.  You can use guacamole as a dip, salad or condiment. Guacamole with some whole grain chips and salsa serves as a good snack or starter. Or if you are looking for a grain free option, you can serve with some almond flour cheese triangles which I will post soon. So make sure to check back.

Preparation Time – 10 Minutes

Cooking Time – Nil

Serves – 4 to 6


Avocado – 3

Roma tomatoes – 2

Onion – 1/2

Green Chili – 2 or more to taste( you can substitute this for jalapeno)

Lime – 1 (Juiced)

Sea salt – 1/2 Tsp or to taste

Cilantro – handful(leaves alone no stalks)


1) Peel, deseed and scoop out the avocado pulp in a bowl and to this add half of the salt and lemon juice.

2) In a food processor place the tomatoes, onion, green chili, rest of the salt and cilantro and pulse for a second and transfer the mixture to the avocado pulp and using a masher mash nicely and combine it well and serve immediately.

Note – You can add a clove of garlic along with the tomato, onion and serve guacamole with corn chips, multi grain chips or almond flour triangles which I will post soon.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Brown Rice Pulao/Pilaf


Summer time. Beautiful  flowers blooming all around, fresh colorful produce flooding the farmers market, no heavy winter clothing to wear and making life whole lot easier to move around and with kids out from school there is no reason to waste even a single minute in this wonderful season. So I settle down to easy to make, healthy and filling one pot meal dishes like this.  This brown rice pulao tastes simply fantastic with all the spices and herbs thrown in and seasoned with some pan fried cottage cheese(paneer) and cashews. Served with some spiced kidney beans(rajma), they are so tasty and filling and keeps you going for hours. If you include brown rice as a part of your diet, you should try this pulao and I am sure you will happy you did it. Do not be intimidated by the long list of ingredients,  believe they are pretty easy to put together.

Preparation Time – 15 Minutes

Cooking Time – 30 Minutes

Serves – 4


Brown basmati rice – 1 1/2 Cups

Chopped vegetables – Cauliflower florets, green beans, green peas, carrots, bell peppers(multiple colors) – 4 Cups or more of your choice

Onion – 1 big sliced

Salt – 1 1/2 Tsp or to taste

Coconut oil or clarified butter – 2 Tsp

Cinnamon stick – 2 inch pieces

Yogurt – 1/4 Cup

Water – 4 Cups and add more if required

To be ground to paste

Coriander leaves – handful

Mint leaves – few

Green chilies – 2 or more to taste

Ginger – 1 inch piece

Fennel seeds – 1/2 Tsp

For seasoning

clarified butter – 1 Tbsp

Cashews – few broken

Paneer (Indian cottage cheese) – few cubes


1) Soak the basmati rice for at least 12 hours.

2) Heat a thick bottomed pan add the coconut oil and add the cinnamon sticks, once they are slightly brown add the sliced onions and add a pinch of salt and saute till they are translucent.

3) Now add the chopped veggies and half of the salt cover and cook for 5 minutes. To the veggies add the soaked and drained basmati rice and add the yogurt, ground green paste, water and the remaining salt and cover and cook till the basmati rice is well cooked. Keep stirring in between and add more water if necessary.

4) Heat the clarified butter in another small pan and once it is warm fry the broken cashews till golden and after removing the cashews, fry the paneer adding a pinch of salt till golden and transfer both the cashews and the paneer along with the remaining clarified butter to the cooked pulao and stir gently and serve.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Home made Roasted Almond Butter


Summer vacation, kids at home, lot of cooking, snacking, running around, no time for yourself. I am sure I am not alone and this is what all the Moms experience. With kids at home, I am really kind of stocking up on lot of different healthy snacks. This is one such combo and comes very handy. Not alone they are healthy and natural but also tastes awesome together. Fruits because of the water content keeps you full and fat and protein content in almond butter curbs the craving and serves as quick and healthy snack. If you are some one you buys the pricey Almond butter in the store, then you should definitely read this recipe. Such a simple and easy one and home made almond butter just costs a fraction of what you buy in the store. If you happen to try this recipe do let me know how you liked it. If you happen to have suggestions for healthy and easy snack ideas please do share it with me and I will be happy to try that out.

Preparation Time – None

Cooking Time – 15-20 Minutes

Serves – Makes 1 cup by volume


Almonds – 2 Cups oven roasted or you can go for raw ones too

Coconut oil – 2 Tbsp

Salt pinch optional


1) Bake the almonds for 15-20 minutes stirring in between till they are slightly brown.

2) Set it aside to cool.

3) Once the almonds are cold enough to handle, transfer them to a food processor and grind till you get a nice powder. Now add the coconut oil and process once again to get a smooth paste.

4) Transfer to clean, dry container and enjoy.

5) This stays good at room temperature for at least 7 days, mine was all done by that time.

Note – You can add sweetener and flavoring of your choice like honey, maple syrup, stevia and unsweetened cocoa, vanilla extract etc.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Whole Wheat Date & Nut Cake(Eggless)


Baking is definitely therapeutic, if you love to bake you know what I am talking about. I used to bake a lot few years back when gluten was still a part of our diet. It is definitely lot of fun and very easy to bake with flours containing gluten. So I seriously look forward for opportunities to bake with wheat and make it for people who include them. My Parents include wheat in their diet and I baked these cup cakes few months back and sent it to them. This recipe I saw in a magazine  few years back and the recipe was for making the cake in Microwave. This is such a simple recipe and a definite keeper. I have changed the recipe slightly replaced the all purpose flour with whole wheat,  added more dates, as I had ton of them and cut down slightly on the sugar.

Dates are healthy alternate for refined sugar, but still are sugar and in fact very high in sugar. All dried fruits have more sugar than when they are fresh. So this recipe is not recommended for people with diabetes. If you can include gluten and dates in your diet, do give it a try and let me know how you liked it.

Preparation Time – 20 Minutes

Cooking Time – 12-15 Minutes

Makes - 24 mini cup cakes + 4 regular cup cakes


Whole Wheat Flour - 1 1/4 Cups

Dates - around 25

Raw sugar - 1/2 cup

Brown butter/Clarified butter/Ghee - 1/4 cup

Warm Milk - 1 + 1/4 cup

Salt – pinch

Baking Soda - 1 tsp

Chopped walnuts - 1/2 cup

Vinegar -1 Tbsp

Vanilla extract – 1 Tsp (Cardamom + Nutmeg + Cinnamon also will work to give a fruit cake flavor)


1) Soak the dates in warm milk and set this aside for an hour till the dates are soft and tender.

2) Puree the dates in a food processor to a fine a paste.

3) Add salt, baking soda, chopped walnuts  to the whole wheat flour, combine it and set it aside.

4) To the date and milk puree, add the melted clarified butter, raw sugar, vanilla extract and combine well.

5) Preheat a baking oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit and  line a 24 mini cup cake mould  cups and also another 4 cup cake mould with paper cups.

6) Slowly add the combined dry ingredients to the wet ones and gently stir and combine well with a spatula without over mixing. Now add the vinegar and give one last stir.

7). Fill the lined moulds till 3/4th of their height and bake for 12-15 minutes till a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

8) Cool in a wire rack and enjoy!!


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Black Chick Pea Snack(Kala Channa Chat)


Black chick peas are a good source of protein and Iron and of course complex carbohydrates.  They are nutritionally superior than the light colored garbanzo beans. As a quick snack I prepare sundal a traditional South Indian seasoned and stir fried snack with grated coconut. When I was half way making this dish, my elder one said asked me if, I can make something else instead of sundal.  After a little thinking I changed the supposed to be Sundal in to a much healthier snack by adding veggies and coconut and spiced it up with the sweet and spicy chutney.

If you are looking for a low carb snack you should definitely try this, the veggies like cucumber, tomato, onion are safe for people who count carbs in their diet. Coconut is good source of protein and apart from a good taste it gives a sense of fullness. So try this and let me know, how you liked it.

Preparation Time – 10 to 15 Minutes

Cooking Time – 10 – 15 Minutes (If you have pre cooked chick peas – nil)

Serves – 2


Cooked black chick peas – 1 Cup

Cucumber and Tomato – 1 1/2 Cups(Chopped)

Chopped or grated coconut pieces – 1/2 Cup

Onion – 1/2 medium sized onion finely chopped

Salt – 1/2 tsp or to taste

lime juice – 1 Tsp or taste

chat masala – 1/2 Tsp

chopped cilantro – handful

Green chutney – 1 Tsp

Roasted cumin powder – 1/2 Tsp(optional)

Sweet chutney – 1/2 Tsp(omit this if you are looking for a low carb version)

Sev – 1 Tbsp(this is once again optional)


1) Combine the cooked chick peas, cucumber, tomato, onion, coconut, chopped cilantro, salt, lime juice, roasted cumin powder, green chutney and toss well.

2) Top it with sweet chutney and sev and serve, this is very much optional and you can even drizzle some yogurt on top and serve it.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mixed Bean & Vegetable Rice Flakes(Aval/Poha)


Of late my week ends are becoming more hectic than the week days. Especially Saturdays with too many activities for the kids, the day is very busy and exhausting too. So Sunday morning, I  try to relax from the previous hectic day/week, wake up little late than usual.  Every body is hungry including me and I open the refrigerator and have a little bit  of different vegetables and don’t have any kind of batter to come up with a quick breakfast. With pretty much no options and some left over veggies and boiled beans in my refrigerator I came up with this quick and well balanced breakfast. I always have some kind of boiled beans kept  either in the refrigerator or freezer to whip up some thing quick on un-predictable days like this.

If you include grains in your diet you should try this gluten free rice flakes. Poha or Aval can be found in Asian Indian stores and resembles pale, elongated and smaller variety of oats and is made from rice that is parboiled, pressed and dried. With some beans, vegetables and nuts they make a totally delectable dish which is very quick to make too. Do not be intimidated by the long list of ingredients, it is very easy recipe and also very forgiving.  Do try it out and let me know how you liked them.

Preparation Time – 10 to 15 Minutes

Cooking Time – 10 Minutes

Serves – 4 to 5


Onion – 1 big

Green chili – 2 to 4 or more to taste

Ginger – 1 inch piece

Green and red bell pepper, tindora(small gourd) – 1 1/2 to 2 Cups

Boiled green mung bean & black chick pea(kala channa) – 1 to 1/2 Cups

Roasted peanuts – 1/3 Cup

Fresh grated coconut – 1 Cup

Lime juice – Juice of 1 lime or more to taste

Cilantro – handful (chopped)

Poha/Aval/Rice flakes – 2 Cups

Salt – 1 1/2 Tsp or to taste

Turmeric powder – 1 Tsp


Coconut oil – 2 Tsp

Mustard seeds – 1 Tsp

Split urad dal – 1 Tbsp

Split channa dal – 1 Tsp

Curry leaves – handful(Definitely add this for a lovely aroma but I didn’t have it in hand so left it out)


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1) Heat a wide mouthed pan and once it is hot add the coconut oil. Once the oil is warm add the mustard seeds.

2) After the seeds stop spluttering add the split urad dal, channa dal and after they slightly brown add the onions, green chilies and chopped ginger and a pinch of salt and saute till the onions become translucent.

3) Now add the chopped peppers, tindora half tsp of salt and turmeric powder and saute for five minutes.

4) Soak the poha in water and the dirt and husk if any will float on top, remove the impurities and then set it aside to drain in a colander.

5) Now add the cooked beans give a quick stir, squeeze out the water from the poha and add it to the pan and add the remaining salt and stir and switch off the stove.

6) Now add the lemon juice, grated coconut, roasted peanuts and chopped cilantro and stir and serve with some yogurt and pickle.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dahi Bhalla/Bhalle (White Lentil dumplings in yogurt sauce – not deep fried)


Which do you think is the challenging meal of the day? I think it is snacks that too when you have to make a different snack every day for hungry kids back from school and at the same time not to indulge on sinful ones. In my quest to make not so sinful snacks, I modify some of the recipes and try to make it little guilt free and this is one such one. If you are familiar with Indian cuisine, this bhalla/bhalle is a slightly jazzed up version of the South Indian Thayir vadai. If you are not familiar with Indian cuisine Soaked and ground white lentil dumplings are deep fried and soaked in yogurt pepped up with red chili powder, tangy and sweet chutneys. Even though I seriously don’t have anything against fried snacks, I normally stay away from fried food because I either use coconut oil or organic clarified butter(for sweets) for deep frying. These are slightly calorie dense and are also pretty expensive, so I try to find alternate methods like pan frying or baking. I used the Aebleskiver pan/ appam pam/ appe pan the magic utensil I love the most to pan fry this instead of deep frying. Very easy to put together if you have the basic ingredients in hand and serves as a quick snack or even as a gluten free party appetizer. If you haven’t tried this out before do try it and let me know how you liked it.

Preparation Time – 20 to 30 Minutes

Cooking Time – 20 to 30 Minutes

Serves – Makes around 24


Urad Dal – 1 Cups

Salt – 1 Tsp or to taste

Raisins – 48

Cashews – 24(Toasted and split into half)

Oil – 2 Tbsp

Water – 3 to 4 Cups

For the yogurt sauce

Yogurt – Around 3 to 4 Cups

Black salt  - 1/2 Tsp or to taste

Mint chutney  - 2 Tbsp or to taste

Sweet date and tamarind chutney – 2 Tbsp or to taste

Kashmiri chili powder – 2 Tsp or to taste

Roasted cumin powder - 2 teaspoons

Chat masala powder – 1/2 Tsp

Fresh coriander leaves,chopped - 2 tablespoons

Ginger,cut into thin strips 1 inch piece – 1 Tbsp


1) Rinse and drain urad dal and soak it in water just covering an inch over  the surface for 2-3 hours. Now drain the water and reserve the excess water. Add little by little of the reserved water and grind into a smooth paste adding salt and keep it aside.

2) Heat the appam pan and once it is hot add few drops of oil in each of the groove and pour batter till 3/4 of the groove and insert two raisins and  the half piece cashew and cover and cook on one side.

3) Now flip and cook the other side. Take this out of the pan and repeat the steps for the rest of the batter. Once all the vadas/appam/bhallas what ever you call is done. Heat another wide mouthed pan and boil the water. Once the water comes to rolling boil. Put the bhallas in hot water and leave it for 2 minutes.

4) Remove the bhallas and set it aside to cool as they will be little hot to touch. Once they are cool enough to handle, squeeze out the excess water and set the bhallas aside.

5) Now add the salt, chat masala to the yogurt and whisk it without any lumps. Place the bhallas in individual serving bowls or in a place and pour the yogurt mixture over it. Top it with red chili powder, roasted cumin powder, ginger pieces, chopped cilantro and the sweet & spicy chutney and serve.

Note – You can also substitute half of the urad dal with mung dal as mung is a superior lentil than urad as far as nutrition is concerned.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Quinoa Pulao(Pilaf)


If you are in quest to adapt a low carbohydrate and high protein vegetarian diet, then you should definitely try quinoa. Quinoa is a protein rich pseudo grain, meaning a seed actually used as grain and is of South American origin. With a slightly crunchy texture and a nutty flavor this can be substituted in place of rice in most of the dishes. You can buy Quinoa in your local health food store or you can order online and ordering in bulk works out much cheaper than buying it in store in pounds. When you use quinoa take care to soak and rinse it thoroughly because some of the bitter saponin covering on the grain can still be present even though most quinoa is washed before being sold, you should thoroughly rinse the dry grain until the water runs clear. Quinoa is an every day staple in my house and can be easily substituted for rice in different main dishes, this pulao is normally made with fragrant basmati rice but I substituted it with quinoa. The spices surely gave a lovely flavor and taste to this versatile grain. Do try this and let me know how you liked it.

Preparation Time – 10 Minutes

Cooking Time – 20 to 30 Minutes

Serves – 2 to 3


Quinoa – 1 Cup

Water – 2 Cups

Cinnamon – 1 stick

Clove – 1

Salt – 1/2 Tsp or to taste

Coconut Oil – 1 Tsp

Onion – 1 Sliced into thin slices

Green Beans – Cut into 1 inch pieces 1/3 Cup

Frozen and thawed peas – 1/3 Cup

Cauliflower florets – 2 Cups

Carrots – Peeled and cut into sticks – 1/2 Cup

Bay leaves, cinnamon stick, star anise, coriander seeds, pepper corns, cloves(whole garam masala) –1 Tbsp

Salt – 1/2 Tsp or to taste

Slit green chilies – 2 or to taste

Ghee ( Clarified butter) – 2 Tsp

Cashews – 8 to 10

Raisins – few


1) Soak quinoa for 30 minutes and rinse, drain and add half tsp salt, cinnamon stick and clove and cook on stove top adding 2 cups of water or in a pressure cooker for two whistles. Once the pressure is released, take it out and make sure the quinoa is completely cooled then refrigerate preferably overnight. For pulao, the previous day cooked and refrigerated quinoa works better than the quinoa cooked on the same day.

2) Heat a pan add the coconut oil and the whole garam masala and the slit chilies, sliced onions and saute till the onions become translucent.

3) Now add the chopped beans and saute for few minutes 3 to 5 and after that add the carrots, cauliflower, peas and add salt and slightly cover and cook till tender.

4) Now add the quinoa and give a quick stir and switch off. Heat the remaining ghee and once it is warm add the cashews and fry till golden. Now add the raisins and heat till the raisins swell and add this cashew, raisin ghee to the cooked veggies and quinoa. Combine and serve with some raita.



Sending this to Julie’s Show me your HITS – Iron rich foods an event started by Sangee of Spicy Treats.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ragi, Green Mung, Kala Channa Sweet Puttu using Coconut Palm Sugar(Finger Millet & Bean flour steamed sweet)


Ragi or Finger Millet is a staple in the part of the Country I am coming from. Ragi porridge is one of the first semi solid food an infant is introduced to in our house holds.  This healthy and cheap pseudo grain is a rich source of Calcium, Iron, Protein, Fiber and other minerals. The cereal has low fat content and contains mainly unsaturated fat. It is easy to digest and does not contain gluten; people who are sensitive to gluten can easily consume Finger Millet.  The break fast porridge using ragi was one of the time tested one in lot of house holds in the Southern districts of India. Unfortunately now I see lot of house holds are replacing this with Oats. Oats surely is healthy, but ragi is much much more superior in terms of the nutritional profile and also doesn’t cause any health issues for people with gluten sensitivity.

This sweet is very simple to make and a perfectly healthy dessert with the iron rich ragi, protein rich bean flour and coconut and sweetened with low glycemic coconut palm sugar. Try it out and let me know how you liked it.

Preparation Time – 10 to 15 Minutes

Cooking Time – 10 to 15 Minutes

Serves – 2


Ragi Flour – 1 Cup (8 oz)

Whole Green Mung flour – 1/4 Cup (2 oz)

Whole Black Chick Pea Flour(Kala Channa Besan) – 1/4 Cup(2 oz)

Water - 1/3 Cup

Salt -  pinch

Grated Coconut – 1/2 to 3/4 Cup (Adjust this depending on your liking)

Coconut Palm Sugar – 2 Tbsp or more to suit your taste(You can replace this with raw sugar or grated jaggery)

Ghee Clarified butter - 1 Tbsp

Cashews – Around 6 to 8

Cardamom powder – 1/4 Tsp


1)  Combine the ragi and the bean flours. Heat a heavy bottom pan, keep it in low to medium heat. Dry roast the flour till the raw smell is gone stirring in between and to make sure that the flours are not burnt.

2) Warm the water slightly. Add salt, cardamom powder  to the ragi flour and set it aside.

3) To this slowly add the water little by little and combining it nicely, the flour should be slightly wet and damp enough for steaming. If you take a small amount of flour in your hands and give a slight pressure and set it down, the flour should be able to hold it's shape. If not add little more water and try. (Do not pour a lot of water at the same time,  since you are not trying to form a dough).

3) Grease a flat, wide bowl and keep the dough mixture in this bowl steam it for 10 minutes. Remove this steamed flour and set it out to cool slightly.

4) Warm the clarified butter and to this add the chopped cashews and fry till golden and remove it from heat.

5) To the steamed flour mixture add the grated coconut, fried cashews with ghee and combine thoroughly. Once the flour is cold enough to handle by hand add the coconut palm sugar and mix evenly and serve.



Sending this to Divya’s Show case Dessert event.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Green Apple, Cucumber, Onion Salad/Chat


What do you think is good combination Banana with peanut butter or Apple with Almond Butter. Even though I like the second one much better than the first one, I was totally getting bored with the sight of loads of green apple lying in my refrigerator and snacking on them with nut butters. I some times make pickle out of these tart apples and for a change and as a easy and healthy snack tried this green apple, cucumber, onion salad spiced up with red chili powder. I wanted to give it a little more twist and  added little bit of black salt and chat masala which you can get in the Indian grocery stores with a dash of lemon. The result was a very interesting and healthy snack. Next time make sure to pick some tart green apples and try this one out and let me know how you liked them.

Preparation Time – 15 Minutes

Cooking Time – None

Serves – 1 to 2


Green Apple – 1

Cucumber – 1 (Peeled and diced into small cubes)

Onion – 1 small(Washed, peeled and sliced)

Red chili powder – 1/4 Tsp or to taste

Salt – 1/4 Tsp or to taste

Black salt – 1/4 Tsp

Chat masala – 1/2 Tsp

Chopped cilantro – handful

Juice of a lime – 1/2 Tsp


1) If using organic apples wash, core and cut into small cubes or pieces. If you are not using organic variety make sure to peel the apples. You will be better off without eating those waxed peels than getting the nutrients from the skin of the apples.

2) Add the cucumber, onion, cayenne pepper, salt, black salt, chat masala, cilantro, lemon juice. Toss and serve.



Sending this to Let’s Cook with Fruits an event by Radhika of Tickling Palates.

Also sending this to Bon Vivant #4 – Fruit recipes.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Asparagus Curry(Stir Fry)


Asparagus is a very nutrient dense vegetable with loads of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients and also is a very good source of Vitamin C, beta-carotene and vitamin E. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients are some of the best risk reducers  for common chronic health problems including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. With all these health benefits this is such a tasty vegetable and very easy to cook and is also very versatile. You can make salads, steam, stir fry or bake. The lesser the cooking time, the better nutrients the veggie will retain, so I prefer to make stir fries with this wonderful veggie. The addition of coconut makes it even more healthy and tasty. Don’t forget to grab a bunch of these healthy vegetable when you happen to pass them in your next grocery store visit.

I normally steam asparagus and eat it but my Mom when she visits us here she used to prepare a quick stir fry using black pepper and that’s when the idea of making a curry using coconut struck me.

Preparation Time – 5 Minutes

Cooking Time – 5 Minutes

Serves – 2 to 3


Asparagus – 1 bunch

Coconut oil – 1 Tsp

Mustard seeds – 1/2 Tsp

Split Urad Dal – 1 Tbsp

Dried red chilies – 2 or to taste

Grated coconut – 1/2 Cup

Salt – 3/4 Tsp or to taste

Turmeric powder – 1/2 Tsp


stirfry1 stirfry2
stirfry3 stirfry4
stirfry5 asparagusstirfry2

1) Wash and trim the thick white ends of the asparagus and then chop into fine pieces.

2) Heat a wide pan and add the coconut oil once the pan is hot. To the oil add mustard seeds. After the mustard seeds stop spluttering, add urad dal and stir it becomes slightly brown.

3) Now add the red chilies and saute till they are slightly brown and then add the chopped asparagus, turmeric powder and salt and stir fry on high heat for 3-5 minutes and then switch off.

4) To this add grated coconut fresh or frozen, not dried and mix evenly and serve.



This delicious and healthy Curry is off to Wellness Weekend hosted by Ricki of Diet Dessert n Dogs.

Sending this to Srav’s Cooking concepts – Mom’s recipes.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Eggless Spinach & Cheese Muffins with Whole Wheat and Almond Flour


If you love cheese then you will surely like these muffins.  This was lying in my drafts for a long time and was the time when we started eliminating Wheat from our diet and started to try out recipes with Almond flour. So I had used a combination of Wheat and Almond flour. These muffins make a perfect substitute for bread rolls or bread along with some soup. Much more nutritious than regular bread because of the cheese, milk and almond flour. If you do include Wheat as a part of your diet, do try this out and let me know how you liked it.

Preparation Time -

Cooking Time -

Serves – Makes around 18


Butter - 2 Tsp

Small red onion - 1/2 small   

Whole Wheat flour – 1 3/4 Cup (Original recipe uses 2 3/4 Cup AP Flour)

Almond Flour – 1

Baking powder -   2 1/2 Tsp

Cayenne pepper – 1 1/2 Tsp (Adjust this according to your taste)

Cheddar cheese -   2 cups grated

Milk – 1 Cup

Ener-g egg replacer – 1 1/2 Tsp + 3 Tbsp Water (Instead of 1 egg)

Baby spinach – 4 oz roughly chopped


1) Heat a pan, add the butter once it melts add the chopped onion and saute till translucent.

2) In a wide bowl add the whole wheat flour, almond flour, baking powder, cayenne penner and combine thoroughly.

3) Preheat the baking oven to 325 Degrees Fahrenheit and like a baking tray with muffin liners.

4) In another bowl spoon the ener-g egg replacer and add the warm water and using a whisk mix thoroughly. Now add the milk and add the onions, spinach, cheese and combine.

5) To this slowly add the flour little by little and combine thoroughly. You will be getting a thick mix. Now spoon it in the muffin cups till 1/2 of the liner and bake it for around 20-25 minutes till a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Notes  - This recipe has been adapted in from  The hummingbird bakery cookbook. The original recipe uses 2 3/4 all purpose flour, but I substituted it with Whole Wheat and Almond flour. Because of the substitution the muffins didn’t rise much but they tasted yummy. Also I added 1/2 Tsp more pepper because the almond flour gives a slightly sweet taste to the batter. Also I felt instead of using milk if substituted with butter milk the muffins would rise better when using a egg replacer. The muffins taste best when fresh and hot out of the oven, so if you think 18 muffins will be little more to be used up on the same day, try halving the ingredients.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Kadhi Pakodi/Pakora(Baked Gram flour dumplings in Yogurt Sauce)


Kadhi Pakodi or pakora whatever name you call, is an Indian side dish made with tangy yogurt and besan(split chick pea) flour with spices and fried besan and onion dumplings and normally served with steaming hot rice and clarified butter(ghee).  Believe me they taste so good by itself or with hot cooked quinoa mixed with some ghee or even finger millet flat breads. What ever the main dish is this side dish is heavenly.  I love fried food but I  make fried snacks very rarely and try to bake or use the Aebleskiver Pan as the alternate method of cooking. Believe me the dumplings after they are soaked in the Kadhi, you cannot make out if it is fried or baked.

Now coming to the recipe, I used to have a Nanny couple of years back when I used to work full time. She is a Gujarati and was from Mumbai and  used to run a Catering business before she moved here with her Daughter. She was so  well versed in different Indian regional  dishes and I surely learned a lot of cooking from her. This is one of her recipe. Thank you Nirupama Ben if you happen to read this post.

Preparation Time – 10 Minutes

Cooking Time – 30 Minutes

Serves – 4


For Pakora

Onion - 1 Big
Red Chili powder 1/2 tsp or to taste
Salt - 1/3 Tsp or to taste
Besan - 1 Cup
Water - About 3/4 th Cup
Oil - 1 Tbsp


Sour Yogurt - 1 Cup
Besan - 1/3 Cup
Turmeric powdder - 1 Tsp
Salt - 1 Tsp
Red Chili powder - 1 Tsp
Garam Masala powder - 3/4 Tsp
Ghee - 1 Tsp
curry leaves - few
Mustard seeds - 1/2 Tsp
Methi seeds - 1/2 Tsp
Asafoetida - 1/4 Tsp
Water - 3 Cups


Ghee - 1 Tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 Tsp
Red chili - 2
Red chili powder - 1/2 Tsp


280 277
279 278

1) Preheat baking oven to 400 Degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Mix the onion, salt, red chili powder and besan and grease your hands with the oil and pour the
rest of the oil in the flour mixture.

2) Take small balls of the mixture and place it in the baking tray and bake for 15 Minutes each side, by turning in between.

3) While the pakoras are baking let us get the kadhi prepared. Mix besan, red chili powder, asafoetida powder, turmeric powder, salt and make a smooth lump free paste. Using a whisk mix this mixture and then add the water and keep this mixture ready.

4) Heat a pan, add 1 Tsp of ghee and once it is hot add the mustard seeds, after they stop crackling
add the methi seeds and after they slightly brown add the curry leaves.

5) Now pour the besan mixture and slightly simmer in low to medium heat till the besan is well cooked and
the kadhi comes to a boiling point, now add the garam masala and the dumplings and simmer it for 4-5 minutes.

6) Heat a tsp of ghee once it is hot add the cumin seeds, red chili and red chili powder and pour on top of the kadhi and serve hot.

Note - You can add bay leaves, thinly sliced onions and garlic in step 4. But for some reason, I prefer it this way.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Vepampoo(Neem flower) Pachadi

vepanbu pachidi1

Tamil New Year’s day is celebrated in accordance with the solar calendar and is celebrated by preparing  many festive treats.  Vepampoo(Neem flower) Pachadi is a mandatory dish prepared on the Tamil New Year's day in our house hold. This is made with neem flowers which have a bitter taste and the addition of tamarind juice, jaggery, green chili, salt to this dish gives it a bitter, sweet, sour, salt and spicy taste depicting the different tastes life has to offer in one’s life.   Interesting right ? One has to get acquired to taste of this dish in order to enjoy this unique dish .

Preparation Time – 10 Minutes

Cooking Time – 15 Minutes

Serves – 4


Vepampoo (Neem flower) – 3/4 Cup

Tamarind – Gooseberry sized ball

Water – 2 1/2 Cups

Salt – 1 Tsp

Green chili – 2 to 4( I used just two as the green chili I bought were super spicy)

Jaggery – 1/3 Cup( I used palm jaggery which is low on glycemic index and on the dark brown black color)

Rice flour – 1 Tsp

Oil – 1 Tbsp + 1 Tsp

Mustard seeds – 1/2 Tsp


1) Soak the tamarind in 1/2 Cup of warm water for 30 minutes and squeeze out the pulp at least 3 times adding 1/2 Cup of water each time and set it aside.

2) Heat a pan and add 1 Tbsp of oil and then add the neem flowers and fry till they are well roasted and are brown in color and crispy and keep the neem flowers aside.

3) Now add the remaining oil and once it is hot add the mustard seeds. After they stop spluttering add the asafoetida piece and green chilies and then add the tamarind juice and boil for 7-10 minutes till the raw smell of the tamarind is gone.

4) Add 3/4 Cup of water to palm jaggery and simultaneously simmer on low heat till the jaggery disolves, once it is completely dissolved pass the liquid through a strainer and add this to the boiling tamarind mixture. In the remaining water, dissolve the rice flour and add the rice flour paste to the mixture and simmer for 2 minutes and switch off.

5) Before you serve crush the roasted neem flowers and add it to the spicy sweet tangy mixture combine and serve immediately.

vpachidi5 vpachidi4
vpachidi3 vpachidi1

3) vepamboopachidi

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