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.

Advertisements

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).

Poha salad

img_8853

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.

img_8851

 

Walnut and Mushroom soup

img_7790

I love walnuts in recipes and when I saw Sanjeev Kapoor’s recipe of Walnut and Mushroom soup, I just had to make it.  The walnuts in the recipe eliminate the need of adding any cream or flour to the soup and thus make it very healthy and nutritious.  This soup is perfect for winters and was a hit at a recent lunch which I had.

What you need:

1 onion finely chopped

2 garlic cloves chopped

1/2 cup walnuts chopped

2 cups sliced mushrooms

1 cup water

3 cups milk

1 tbsp butter

salt to taste

pepper to taste

How to make:

  1.  In a deep pan, heat the butter.  Add the sliced onions and saute till they change color.  Throw in the chopped garlic and saute for another minute.
  2. Now add the chopped walnuts and stir well.

3.  Now add the sliced mushrooms to the pan.  Mix all the ingredients well together.  At this time you can add the salt and black pepper and stir well.  Pour 1 cup water and  cover and cook the mushroom and walnuts on low heat for 10 minutes.

4.  The walnuts and mushrooms are now soft.  Add the milk to this mixture and let it cook for another 5-7 minutes.

5.  Now using a hand blender, blend the mixture well till it becomes smooth and creamy.

 

6.  Serve hot with a baguette!

 

 

 

Healthy roasted Chickpeas

img_4423

Roasted chickpeas are highly addictive, crunchy and nutritious!  What more does one need in a snack?  Oh and I forgot to add that they are really easy to make.  These delicious oven roasted chickpeas are truly a guilt free snack to keep handy.

What you need:

1 12 oz can of chick peas, drained

1/2 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp garlic salt

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

How to make:

  1. Open the chickpeas tin and drain well.  Spread the chickpeas on a paper towel and blot with another paper towel on top so that they are totally dry.  You can also make your chickpeas from scratch by picking up dry chickpeas from the store and boiling them.  It is very important that the chickpeas are absolutely dry.
  2. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Now spread the chickpeas on a baking tray and bake for about 35 minutes.

img_4411

3.  Remove the tray from the oven and add the oil and seasoning to the chickpeas and toss well.  Then put the baking tray back in the oven for another 10 mins.  Now close the oven but let the tray remain inside till cool (about an hour).

4.  Remove from oven.  Enjoy the perfect and crispy chickpeas!

img_4424

 

 

 

Fried plantains

 

friedplantains2

Fried plantain is a dish cooked wherever plantains grow, from Latin America through West Africa to East Africa and the Caribbean such as Jamaica, and in many parts of Southeast Asia.  This is a quick and easy snack which tastes delicious too!  This recipe was sent to me by Peter, my daughters fiance.  Thanks Pete!

What you need:

2  ripe plantains peeled and cut round

Oil for frying

1/2 lemon

Sea salt to taste

How to make:

1. Drizzle oil into frying pan just enough to coat the bottom of the pan and place on medium heat.

 

2.  When oil begins to shimmer, add plantains (work in batches), and fry for 1 and 1/2 minutes on one side, flip and cook for 1 minute on the other side.

friedplantains1

3.  Remove plantains from pan and drain the excess oil by placing them on paper towels.

4. Sprinkle with lime and salt. Enjoy!

Kadai Paneer

img_1565

Kadai is a kind of wok which is similar to the chinese wok.  Cooking the paneer (cottage cheese) in masala in the Kadai gives the dish its name Kadai Paneer.  This dish can be made both dry or with gravy.   This spicy and tangy dish gets its flavors from the roasted kadai masala and tastes very good with naan, roti and rice.

What you need

250 gms Paneer (cottage cheese) cubed

1 medium bell pepper julienned

1 tsp ginger garlic paste

2 medium onions finely chopped

4-5 tomatoes pureed

2 tbsp cream (optional)

1 tbsp kasuri methi

1/2 tsp garam masala

salt to taste

Cilantro leaves for garnishing

2 tbsp oil

For Kadai masala

  1.  4-5 kashmiri whole chillies
  2. 5 tsp coriander seeds

How to make:

  1.  Roast the kadai masala(coriander seeds and red chillies) ingredients on a low flame till they turn aromatic.img_1568
  2. When the spices cool, coarsely grind them in a blender.

img_1564

3.  Heat the oil in a pan and add the ginger garlic paste.  Saute for a couple of minutes and then add the chopped onions.  Stir well till the onions turn translucent.

4.  Throw in the ground kadai masala and mix well.  Now add the tomato puree and cook on a low flame, stirring from time to time.  Saute well till the oil leaves the side (about 7-8 mins).

5.  Add the bell pepper now and simmer on a low flame for 2-3 minutes.

6.  Add 1-2 cups water and salt and simmer the gravy for another 5 mins.  Add the paneer cubes and the kasuri methi and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  You can add cream now if you want to.  Mix it gently into the gravy.

7.  Sprinkle garam masala and cilantro leaves on the kadai paneer and serve hot with roti, rice or naan. Enjoy!

img_1566