Savory Buckwheat pancake(kuttu cheela)

Buckwheat or kuttu is a gluten free grain which is full of blockbuster nutrients like protein, iron and zinc. In India, it is often served during days of fasting as it is not made from wheat but is more like a millet. Buckwheat pancake is a quick and easy recipe. Here I have added grated bottle gourd to the buckwheat flour to make it a more nutritious and filling meal.

What you need:

1 cup buckwheat flour

1/2 cup grated bottle gourd (lauki)

1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro

1-2 green chillies finely chopped (optional)

1 lemon juiced

Salt as per taste

How to make:

  1. Take buckwheat flour in a bowl. Now add all the other ingredients to the flour.

2. Add water to make a batter of pouring consistency. It should not be very thick. Mix well.

3. Heat a nonstick pan or tawa and pour the batter in circular motion on it. Gently spread it like a pancake.

4. Drizzle oil or ghee over the edges and also a few drops over the cheela. Cook on low to medium flame till the edges start turning brown. Then flip the cheela to cook on the other side for about a minute.

5. Serve warm with raita or chutney.

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Hummus

I love this super creamy, healthy, vegan appetizer! Only a handful of fresh ingredients are needed to churn out this delicious chickpea recipe. Hummus can be used not only as a dip but also as a spread for sandwiches and wraps.

What you need:

1 can (7 oz) chickpeas (Garbanzo beans) or you can use fresh soaked chickpeas which are then boiled in a pressure cooker (which is what I did)

1/4 cup chickpea liquid (use more if needed)

2-3 garlic cloves

1/4 cup tahini

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp cumin

1 lemon juiced

Salt to taste

Garnish:

Pinch of paprika

few parsley leaves

1 tsp olive oil

How to make:

  1. Add all the ingredients to your blender and blend till the mixture turns creamy. Add more liquid for a softer consistency.

2. Remove from blender onto a serving dish and garnish with olive oil, parsley and paprika.

Notes:

1. You can either use store bought Tahini or make it fresh at home.

2. Tahini is an easy 2 ingredient recipe made from sesame seeds and olive oil. Using hulled sesame seeds, gently toast them on the ook top till they turn a slight golden color. Blend in a blender with olive oil to get delicious and creamy tahini (2 tbsp olive oil for 1 cup sesame seeds).

3 ingredient simply great chicken

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On days when I feel lazy, dinner can’t get easier than this chicken dish. All you need are 3 ingredients – chicken, Italian seasoning and brown sugar. Give this delicious and flavorful chicken a try.

What you need:

3 1/2 pounds skinless and boneless chicken

1 packet (0.7 ounce) Italian seasoning

1/2 cup brown sugar packed

Juice of 1/2 lemon (optional)

How to make:

  1. You can make this chicken both in the oven or on the stove top. If baking, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 12 inch x 9 inch pan and set aside, and/or it may be preferable to line your dish with aluminum foil as the sugar tends to caramelize while baking.
  2. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towel.
  3. Mix the Italian seasoning and brown sugar well.

4. Coat the chicken pieces well with this mixture and place in your prepared pan. If making on stove top, then first heat a wok before placing the chicken in it.

5. Bake for 50-60 minutes turning the chicken every 10-15 minutes. The sauce becomes a nice melted brown. If making in a wok, cook on medium heat for 30-40 minutes turning the chicken from time to time. Squeeze half a lemon if you want to make it a bit tangy.

Chicken pulao

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Chicken pulao is a lighter version of the rich Biryani.  This mildly spiced dish is a favorite in our house, and is full of goodness, taste and flavor.  This yummy pulao combines well with plain yogurt or with raita.  A one dish meal this is a must try!

What you need:

250 gms chicken cut in pieces

2 cups basmati rice

3 large onions sliced finely

2-3 garlic cloves peeled

1 inch ginger piece chopped

1 bay leaf

1 big cardamom

3-4 small cardamom

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tbsp oil

1/2 tsp chilli powder

Salt to taste

Cilantro and mint leaves for garnish

How to make:

  1.  Put the chicken pieces in a pressure cooker along with 1/3 rd of the sliced onions (keep the rest of the onions aside), ginger and garlic, big and small cardamoms, cinnamon sticks and some salt.  Add 4 cups of water and let it cook till one whistle and then remove from heat.  

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2.  Wash the rice and soak for 20 mins.  Drain and keep aside.

3.  Once the steam is let out, open the Cooker.  The chicken would be almost cooked.  Remove the chicken pieces from the stock and keep aside.

4.  In another pan, heat oil.  Add bay leaf to the oil and then throw in the remaining onions.  Stir the onions till they start turning brown.  

img_89805.  Now add the chicken pieces.  Saute the chicken on medium heat for 3-4 minutes.  Add chili powder and mix well.

img_89816.  Now add the rice to the chicken.  Stir nicely and then add the chicken stock (after removing all the spices from it).

img_89837.  Once this mixture starts boiling, add salt to taste.  Then lower the heat and cover and cook till the rice is done.

8.  Garnish with cilantro and mint leaves. 

9.  Serve hot with plain yogurt or raita and salad.

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Poha salad

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This is a quick, easy and nutritious recipe which needs no cooking.  Using rice flakes and healthy vegetables, this dish can be eaten any time in the day as a meal in itself.  

What you need:

1 cup poha (beaten rice flakes) washed and drained

1 small Onion finely chopped

1 cucumber finely chopped

1 small tomato finely chopped

1 green bell pepper finely chopped

1/4 cup chopped cilantro/coriander leaves

2 tbsp roasted peanuts

1 tbsp lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp Aloo sev and/or  2 tbsp Pomegranate seeds are optional

How to make:

  1.  Wash and drain the poha and set aside in a bowl.
  2.   Finely chop all the vegetables and add to the poha.

img_8848 3.   Now throw in the peanuts, cilantro and lemon juice.  Add salt and pepper.

img_88494.  Toss well and sprinkle with some aloo sev (optional) and/or pomegranate seeds.

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Tibetan thukpa soup

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The rains have arrived and the weather has become cool and pleasant!  A perfect day to have a one pot meal.  I love Thupka soup for its perfect mix of carbs and proteins.  It is nourishing and so so delicious.  Do give it a try.

What you need:

2 spring onions bulbs chopped

1 tsp ginger garlic paste

1 cup mushrooms sliced

2 tbsp tomato puree

1 green chilli

1/2 tsp tomato ketchup

1 chicken breast

1 carrot chopped

1/2 cup finely chopped spinach

1 tsp cilantro chopped

1 cup cooked noodles

1/2 tsp soy sauce

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp oil

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

How to make:

  1.  Heat oil in a pan and throw in the chopped spring onions.  Fry these till they are translucent.  Now add the ginger garlic paste and stir well.img_8630
  2. Add the sliced mushrooms to the pan now.  Stir and cook for a couple of minutes.  Now toss in the carrots, green chilli and chicken.  Mix well.  Cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes.

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3.  Add the tomato paste and tomato ketchup and cook for another 2 minutes.  Then add 600 ml of water and let it cook for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

4.  Separately boil egg/rice noodles.  Drain the water and keep the noodles aside.

5.  Now add the spinach to the pan.  After 2 minutes throw in the cooked noodles and also add the soy sauce.  Let the broth simmer for 2-3 minutes as the flavors seep into the soup.

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6.  Squeeze the lemon juice into the soup.  Then garnish with chopped cilantro and the green part of the spring onions.

Enjoy!

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Pan fried Tilapia

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This Sunday was particularly hectic as I had been running around since morning.  I was in no mood to make something time consuming for dinner.  While rummaging through my fridge, I found some Tilapia fillets in my freezer and decided to make this quick and tasty pan fried tilapia. I tried making the fish more healthy by using whole wheat flour.   It literally took me 10 minutes to make and tasted delicious!

What you need:

4 tilapia fillets

2 tbsp wheat flour

1 tbsp onion flour

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tbsp paprika

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup butter

How to make:

  1.  Wash the tilapia fillets and pat dry with paper towel.  Cut into smaller pieces.

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2.  Combine all the dry spices in a bowl.

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3.  Dip the fish fillets in the spices and pan fry in butter on medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side till golden brown.

4.  Serve with salad or just enjoy with a dip.

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