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

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Besan Kheer(Split Chick Pea Flour Pudding) using Xylitol as Sweetener


Happy Varusha Pirappu, Vishu, Vishuva Sankranti, Poyela Boishakh to all my readers. If you are new to these names and are wondering what it means? This is the name of the New Year celebrated in different regions of India based on the Hindu Solar Calendar.  Kheer , Payasam or pudding is a must on such occasions and this is one of the easiest one to prepare, can be done in a jiffy. Most of the traditional Payasam/Kheer in the Southern parts of India is made with Jaggery and a very few are made with Sugar. This is one such sweet dish which is normally made with sugar and I substituted Xylitol instead of refined sugar. For those of you who are new to Xylitol, it is a low glycemic sweetener, a natural sugar substitute which looks like sugar but has a slight chilling effect when you taste it. One draw back about xylitol is, not every one can digest it. So try it in low quantities and if you can digest it  go ahead in replacing this instead of sugar. However, portion control is critical when using xylitol as a sugar substitute.

Preparation Time – None

Cooking Time – 20 Minutes

Serves – 4


Besan/Split Chick Pea Flour/Kadalai Maavu – 1 Cup

Water – 1 Cup

Milk – 21/2 to 3 Cups

Xylitol – 1/2 Cup(You can replace this with sugar if you want to and increase the quantity depending on your sweetness level)

Safrron – pinch

Clarified butter/Ghee – 1/4 Cup

Nuts – 2 Tbsp


1) Heat a thick bottomed pan and once hot, add the ghee and toast the nuts till slightly golden and keep them aside.

2) Now to the warm ghee add the besan flour and roast till it becomes golden browns and a nice aroma comes.  Make sure to keep stirring the flour to prevent burning.

3) To the roasted flour add water and saffron and with a whisk keep stirring till it becomes a nice thick paste without any lumps and starts thickening.

4) At this stage add half of the milk and simmer till it starts bubbling/boiling and now add the xylitol and stir till it completely dissolves. Now add more milk to the desired thickness and set it aside to cool.

5) Top it with nuts and serve or, refrigerate and serve it chilled topped with the toasted nuts.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Cook Eat Delicious Dessert – Desserts without refined sugar or flour round up and the winner is


Madhu of Madhur’s recipe and the winning entry is Granny Smith Apple Crisp . Congrats Madhu and you will be getting your book soon from Raven.

Thanks once again Raven for giving me a chance to host the Cook Eat Delicious Dessert Event. It surely was lot of fun. Thanks every one who had sent in your entries. I am going to surely try all these delicious desserts one by one and I am sure many of you will do so.

Once again I would like to mention the rule of the event “ Desserts made without any eggs and gelatin and not using any “REFINED SUGAR” and refined flour. So there were couple of more entries which I got but  since it didn’t fit in the rules of the event, sorry I couldn’t post them.


Thinking of desserts how about some Gulkand-e-khaas, Apple Candied Salad, Black berry Coulis, Strawberry banana smoothie, Fruit Salad with honey lime dressing, Banana Coconut Milk Ice Cream?

Interested Click on the pictures to check out the recipe.

gulkand-e-khaas appleandcandiedsalad
blackberrycoulisnyogurt strawberrybananasmoothie
fruitsaladwithhoneylimedressing coconutmilkbananaicecream

Desserts with Jaggery/Panela as Sweetener

With jaggery as a sweetener the options are unlimited, next time when you crave for some thing sweet try one of this Oats payasam, Sweet Potato Dumplings, Ragi Pudding, Ulundu Kali, Soft Sesame Fudge, Cashew nut balls, Cracked Wheat and Corn Payasam, Aval Payasam, Peanut Ladoo, Jackfruit Pancake, Coconut Ladoo, Banana Thekua, Channa Dal Halwa, Undan Pori, Brown banana muffin, Appam with whole wheat flour, Healthy ground rice balls and Payatham Paruppu Payasam.

Tempted, I am sure. Click on the images to check out the recipes.

oatspayasam sweetpotatodumplings
ragipudding Ulundukali
softsesamefudge cashewnutballs
Crackedwheatandcornpayasam avalpayasam
peanutladoo Jackfruitpancake
Coconutladoo bananathekua
Channadalhalwa undanpori
brownbananamuffins appamwithwheatflour
Healthygroundriceballs payathamparuppupayasam


Desserts with Palm Sugar as Sweetener

Palm sugar is lower in glycemic index – so when you are counting carbs but want to eat something sweet check out the Granny Smith Apple Crisp, Mawa burfi, Oats Almond Raisin Cookies, Strawberry Choco Chip Cookies.

Grannysmithapplecrisp mawaburfi
Oatsalmondscoconutraisincookies Strawberrychocochipcookies

Desserts with Dry Fruits – Dates, Fig etc as Sweetener

Love something sweet but concerned with cavities – do try the Sandesh, Oats energy bar, Healthy Sesame balls, Beets halwa, No bake almond bars, Sarahs Raw brownie or the date fudge.

Sandesh Oatsenergybar
HealthySesameBalls BeetsHalwa
nobakealmondbars Sarahsrawbrownie

Desserts with Maple Syrup as Sweetener

Looking for vegan sweet something then try out these Avocado Chocolate Pudding or vegan granola bars.

Healthychocolatepudding vegangranolabars

Desserts with Agave, Stevia and Xylitol as Sweetener

Stevia and Xylitol or safe for people with diabetes. So try this without any guilt.

Strawberrytofucheesecake Strawberryparfait

And finally how about a Fruit Kebab for dessert?


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Facebook Themes