Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bonde aar Muri - breakfast on Mahalaya

Processed white sugar is something which we have completely eliminated from our diet but there are few occasions in a year when we indulge a little and break this rule. This is one such occasion.

Besan /Chickpea Flour - 2 cups, heaped
Water - 2 cups

Sugar - 2 cups
Water - 2 cups
Saffron - a pinch
Cardamom Powder - 1/4 tsp

Ghee - 1 tbsp
Peanut Oil for deep frying
Ladle with small holes

Sift the besan with a sifter. Add water slowly and make a batter by mixing simultaneously using a wire whisk. The batter should not be too watery and should be of dosa batter consistency.

Mix oil and ghee in a kadai and heat over medium heat. The oil should be sufficiently hot before dropping the batter. This can be tested by putting a drop of batter in the oil. The drop should immediately bubble up.

Now hold the ladle over the kadai and pour some batter on it. The drops of batter will fall on the oil and immediately bubble up. Remove the boondis after 10 seconds. The boondis should not get dark in color and should not be crisp. If a boondi is pressed between 2 fingers, it should get squeezed in and not crumble. Leave the boondis on a paper towel to soak excess oil.

Before frying the next batch of boondis, wipe the ladle completely clean. If the ladle has some batter clinging to it, the next batch of boondis will not be round and they will have an elongated shape. Continue frying like this for the entire batter.

Make a sugar syrup of 2 cups sugar and 2 cups water. Boil till the syrup for a couple of minutes. Add saffron and some cardamom powder. Add all the fried boondis and mix well. Now put the syrup along with the boondis back on heat for a few minutes till all the syrup is soaked. Leave the mixture to cool down for  a few minutes before serving. We had ours with some crisp brown rice muri.

Black and White Wednesday - Cast Iron Skillet

My most precious possession in the kitchen - well seasoned cast iron skillet.

This picture is my entry to Susan's Black & White Wednesday - Culinary photos.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Banana Muffins with Almond Flour, gluten free

These gluten free processed sugar free muffins are light, fluffy and so guilt free. Once you have these muffins you will never go back to the greasy and heavy white flour muffins sold in most bakeries.

Almond Flour - 1 cup (pyrex measuring cup)
Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
Salt - a pinch
Walnuts - a handful, chopped
Raisins - a handful
Egg - 1, beaten well
Pure Vanilla Extract - 1/2 tsp
Raw Honey - 3 tbsp or more depending on how sweet you want the muffins
Ripe Banana - 1, mashed

Melted Butter  - 2 tbsp or 1/3rd stick
Nutmeg powder - 1/4 tsp
Cinnamon Powder - 1/4 tsp

Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix together almond flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl. Mix in the walnuts and raisins.

Combine beaten egg, honey, butter, vanilla, spices in a separate bowl and add the well mashed banana. Mix wet ingredients into dry.

Grease 2 mini muffin trays with a little butter or oil and put 1 tbsp in each muffin cup.
Bake at 350° for 20 minutes

Remove from oven and cool. Makes about 24 mini muffins.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Chickpea Chaat

Dried Chickpeas - 1 cup
Red Onion - 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Boiled Potato - 1, chopped (optional)
Tomato - 1 small, chopped (optional)
Cucumber - 1 small, chopped (optional)
Cilantro - a handful, chopped
Green Chili - 1, finely chopped
Lemon Juice - 1 tbsp
Chaat Masala - 1/2 tsp or a mix of roasted cumin and aamchur masala
Homemade Tamarind Date Chutney - 2 tbsp
Roasted peanuts - a handful
Sev / Crispy gramflour noodles  - 2 tbsp.
Black Salt

Soak the chickpeas in plenty of water overnight.

Drain, add 2 cups of water, a little salt and cook in the pressure cooker for 3 whistles after full pressure is reached. The chickpeas should be just cooked and not too soft. Remove the chickpeas from the remaining liquid.

Add chickpeas, onion, potato, tomato, cucumber, cilantro, green chili, lemon juice, chaat masala. Mix well. Add some tamarind date chutney on top, sprinkle sev and roasted peanuts and serve immediately.



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Buckwheat and Amaranth Flour Pancake, gluten free

Buckwheat Flour - 1/3 cup
Amaranth Flour - 1/3 cup
Brown Rice Flour - 1/3 cup
Whole Milk - 1 cup
Egg - 1
Pure Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
Turbinado Sugar - 2 tsp
Baking Powder - 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda - a pinch

Beat the egg well. Add milk and sugar and mix well.

Mix buckwheat, amaranth, brown rice flour, baking powder, baking soda and add to the egg mixture.

Mix gently till there are no lumps.

Heat a non stick pan over medium heat. Add half a tsp of butter.

Pour a ladle of the pancake mixture, cook for a couple of minutes.

Once the bottom side has browned slightly, flip and cook on the other side. Add half a tsp of butter. Cook till the other side also browns.

Remove and serve with pure maple syrup and some sliced bananas.

Black and White Wednesday - Buckwheat Pancake with Sliced Bananas

This picture is my entry to Susan's Black & White Wednesday - Culinary photos.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bhaja Mung Daler Bhuni Khichudi / Roasted Mung Beans Risotto

Adapted from

Mung Dal / Split Yellow Mung Beans - 1 cup
Brown Basmati Rice - 3/4 cup
Water - 5 cups
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp

Ghee /Clarified Butter - 2 tsp
Cashewnuts - 1 a handful
Raisins - a handful

Peanut Oil - 1 tbsp
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Bay Leaf - 1
Green Chili - 2, finely chopped
Ginger - 1/2 inch, grated
Small Cauliflower - 1/2, cut into very small florets
Roasted Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric - a pinch
Frozen Green Peas - 1/2 cup

Take the mung dal in a heavy bottomed pan and dry roast over low heat till the dal emits a nice aroma and starts to change color to light brown.

Add the brown rice to the roasted dal and wash with plenty of water. Add 2 cups of water, salt, sugar, turmeric, red chili powder and bring to boil.

At the same time, take 3 cups of water in a sauce pan and bring it to boil over low heat. Cook the dal and rice mixture till the liquid reduces, then add a cup of warm water from the sauce pan. Cook the mixture this way adding warm water when the liquid dries up till the rice is soft and cooked.

Heat ghee in a skillet and add the cashews and raisins. Saute till the cashews turn golden and remove and keep aside.

In the same pan, add a tbsp of peanut oil. Add cumin seeds, bay leaf, green chili, grated ginger and saute for a minute.

Add the cauliflower florets, salt, turmeric. Saute till the florets are half cooked. Add the roasted frozen peas and cumin powder and saute till the florets are completely cooked and start to get brown.

Remove and mix with the cooked dal and brown rice. Sprinkle the roasted cashews and raisins on top and serve with fried papads.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Buckwheat & Almond Flour Crackers

Adapted from

Buckwheat Flour - 1 cup
Almond Flour - 1/2 cup
Cayenne Pepper
Sesame Seeds or Nigella Seeds - 1 tsp
Chopped fresh rosemary or roasted cumin powder - 1 tsp
Water - 3/4 cup

Mix all the above ingredients together except water. Add water little by little to make a soft dough.

Wrap the dough tightly in a cling wrap and leave it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Take 2 parchment papers of the size of the baking sheet. Roll out the dough in between the parchment papers. Roll out evenly and as thin as possible.

Remove the top parchment paper. Cut the rolled dough into small squares using a knife or pizza cutter. Poke with a fork to prevent puffing.

Transfer the bottom parchment paper with the rolled dough carefully onto the baking sheet.

Bake for around 30 minutes on until the edges turn golden brown. Remove and cool and break the crackers along the pre-cut edges. If stored in an airtight container they stay crisp for a week.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Matki Usal / Moth Beans Curry

Matki / Moth Beans Sprouts - 2 cups
Oil - 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp
Onion - 1 big, thinly sliced
Garlic Cloves - 6, crushed
Desiccated Coconut - 1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Hing / Asafoetida - a pinch
Goda Masala - 1 tsp (optional)
Red Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp
Lemon Juice

Boil the matki with 2 cups of water and a little salt till it becomes soft but retains its texture and not mushy. It should take around 15 minutes. Keep aside.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Add the crushed garlic and sliced onion and cook till the onion starts to caramelize.

Add the dry shredded coconut and cook till the coconuts gets light brown. Remove the mixture from heat and cool. Blend till it forms a smooth paste. While blending, add a little water if required. Keep aside.

Heat another tbsp oil in the pan. Temper with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, hing, turmeric. Add the ground onion paste, goda masala and red chili powder and cook on low heat till the oil separates from the masala.

Add the boiled matki, fry for a couple of minutes and add a cup of water. Bring it to boil, check for seasoning and cook till you get the desired consistency.

Add a little lemon juice on top and serve with shev and chopped raw red onions.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Lettuce Salad with POM Vinaigrette

Lettuce - 1 head, tear into bite sized pieces
Red Onion - 1/2 cup, cut into thin slices
Avocado - 1, chopped
Raisins - a handful
Toasted Walnuts - a handful
Pomegranate juice - 1 tbsp
Lemon Juice - 1 tsp
Olive Oil - 1 tbsp

Take lettuce, red onion, avocado, raisins, walnuts in a bowl.

Make a vinaigrette of pomegranate juice, lemon, salt, pepper, olive oil.

Pour the vinaigrette over the salad. Gently toss and serve.

Gathiya / Savory Chickpea Chips

Chickpea Flour / Besan - 1 cup
Red Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp
Black Pepper Powder - 1/4 tsp
Mace, nutmeg, cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
Chaat masala - 1 tsp (optional)
Peanut Oil - 1 tbsp

Peanut oil for deep frying.

Sieve the besan. Add salt, red chili powder and the rest of the spices.

Mix water little by little to make a soft dough. The dough will be very sticky. Apply a little oil to the palms and take a lemon sized ball of the dough. Using both palms, roll the dough on a flat oiled surface and make a long thin string. Twist and cut the string into 2 inch pieces and keep aside. Similarly do for the entire dough.

Deep fry on medium low heat till golden brown. Remove on paper towel to soak excess grease.

Cool and store in an air tight container.