All posts by Healthy Cooking with Mitha

"Healthy food can be oh so delicious too!" Yes this site is all about that. Join me in my journey of healthy eating accompanied by my foodie of a husband and an equally foodie toddler.

Ram Navami recipes | Konkani dishes made on Shri Ram Navami festival day

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Tomorrow, April 21st 2021 is Ram Navami which is celebrated as the birth day of Lord Rama. For me, as much as I love my Krishna, that much I respect Rama too (“my” Krishna because I consider Krishna to be my own, dwelling within me and not separated from me ever ❀️). If Krishna has taught me unconditional love, Rama has taught me righteousness. They are both incarnations of Lord Vishnu but their teachings are different and we have lots to learn from stories of their life. πŸ™

Apart from reading about their life, there are two shlokas which I listen to daily. It is the Shri Rama Raksha Sthothra and Hanuman chalisa. Amma taught them to me when I was a child and told me to chant these whenever I felt lonely, sad or need to talk to God. Now, when I listen to these shlokas, I feel God is always with me and listening to my woes. Also, the divine vibration in the house when these shlokas are chanted are the reason that I believe brings peace and happiness in my house. If you have any stress in life, do try listening to shlokas and trust me, you will definitely feel better. You will feel yourself entrusted in God’s hands and once that is done, there is no need to worry as he will take care of everything. πŸ™

When I had mentioned about my daily shlokas in my earlier posts, I got messages from couple of my friends asking how do I manage to read shlokas in midst of household chores and taking care of kids. I want to clarify with all of you who wonder the same that I don’t sit and read the shlokas. I listen to my daily shlokas playlist on Youtube while cooking and doing other chores. In fact I keep the shlokas first and then start cooking. It keeps my mind engaged in a positive way and I keep reciting alongside too (that is when my kids are not talking in between 😁). So, those of you who are not finding time to sit and read shlokas, try listening to them on Youtube.

A snapshot of my daily shlokas playlist on youtube. My day starts with these. πŸ™

Lord Rama’s life or The Ramayana has been a path of inspiration for his believers like me and I would like to share a picture of him describing his qualities which I found apt to share on this auspicious occasion. πŸ™

Though it is not easy for us, mere mortals to follow all these qualities, we can atleast:

* Try to be good and kind towards everyone, choosing empathy and being understanding instead of being judgemental while controlling our negative emotions like anger, pride and jealousy.

* Love and show compassion to all beings, not only humans but also every creature, every bird, every animal as they deserve to live peacefully on this Earth too as much as we all.

* Also, always remember to be humble and grateful, for what we are is due to God’s blessings and without that, we are nothing.

This is what I feel Lord Rama’s life and his qualities show us. Jai Shree Ram. πŸ™

Coming to the occasion of Ram Navami, there are some dishes which are made in every Konkani household on this day. Though it may vary with every family, these dishes are the most commonly made ones.

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1. Paanak Spiced Jaggery Lemonade drink

2. Muga dali Kosambari A salad with raw moong dal, cucumber and carrots

3. Muga dali Usli Seasoned Konkani style moong dal

4. Sheera A sweet with semolina and sugar but I add jaggery instead

5. Chane Usli & Godu PhovuA classic combination of seasoned black chickpeas and sweetened rice flakes made as prasad

You can click on the names above for each recipe. Will write in detail about each dish below.

1. Paanak – This drink is made on Rama Navami in our temples and served to all the devotees. One of the most precious memories of my childhood is when I used to wait for my turn to get to drink this refreshing Paanak in Venkatarama temple, Katapadi. Though the ones made in temples are divine and heavenly, we can easily make it at home to dedicate to Lord Rama on his birth day.

Recipe herePaanak

Click on the image for the recipe.

2. Muga Dali Kosambari – This is also a offering made commonly on Ram Navami in not only Konkani households but also among Kannadigas, Tamilians and Telugu community too. It is a salad with soaked moong dal, cucumber and carrots. I make it regularly even otherwise as it is very tasty and healthy too.

Recipe hereMuga Dali Kosambari

Click on the image for the recipe.

3. Muga dali Usli – Moong dal in another form that is made on Ram Navami. It is seasoned in a simple manner and cooked either till soft or mushy, like how I like it. I make this during those sudden hunger pangs too as it is very healthy and delicious.

Recipe hereMuga Dali Usli

Click on the image for the recipe.

4. Sheera – Also known as Rava Kesari in South India, this sweet was regularly made on festive days at my house by my grandmother and mother. They used sugar but I have been using jaggery in it since many years. We all love Jaggery Sheera more than sugar ones now.

Recipe hereSheera

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5. Chane Usli & Godu Phovu – This is yet another prasad made in temples, even on Ram Navami day in some places. Chane Usli is seasoned black chickpeas and Godu Phovu is sweetened rice flakes. The combination is delicious and hardly takes time to make.

Recipe hereChane Usli & Godu Phovu

Click on the image for the recipe.

So, these were the dishes that are commonly made on Ram Navami day to offer Lord Rama. Apart from these, you can also make sweets like Churmundos or wheat flour ladoos on this festival. You can check my Ready in 15 min healthy sweet recipes compilation for easy, healthy sweet recipes.

Click on the image for the recipe compilation.

Wishing you all a very Happy Rama Navami. May Lord Rama bless you all with peace and happiness in your lives. Jai Shree Ram. πŸ™

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Paneer Kathi Roll | Paneer Frankie | Paneer wrap

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If there is one event here in Qatar that I used to wait eagerly for (pre corona times), it is the Qatar International Food Festival or QIFF as it is called. My first visit to the QIFF was in 2016. It was held in one of my favorite parks here, the MIA park which is in a picturesque location. I love to sit there, just admiring the beauty and calmness of the gleaming blue waters 🌊. And enjoying food there made it extra special. That first experience of QIFF at MIA park was the best one till date. ❀️

Being vegetarians (who love Indian food ❀️) actually takes away the point of going to an “international” food festival (the irony 😁) but there were so many options from Indian restaurants that we got spoilt with choices. It was like finding all the famous Indian restaurants from Qatar in one place and you get to choose their best dishes from the menu. In short, Foodie heaven! 😍

After that, we made a point to go to the QIFF every year, for some variety chaats, north Indian platters, south Indian delicacies, sweets, ice creams and juices, hovering from stall to stall (basically rummaging into all the veg options πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚). I know it sounds like a lot of food but these food festivals make me go crazy and I forget all the healthy eating for a while (Sorry but not sorry, Mr Diet πŸ˜…πŸ˜…).

The last food festival we visited was held in November 2019 which was a street food festival. The chef at the live counter of Desi Dhaba restaurant making hot Jalebis fried in ghee was the highlight of the event for the sweet lover in me. Look at how delicious the Jalebis were! 😍 My mouth waters as I think about it. πŸ˜‹

Another unforgettable food memory with these food festivals is the Paneer Kathi Rolls from Zaffran cafe stalls. I never missed it and it is the most delicious kathi rolls I have ever eaten. ❀️

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So since due to Covid, it has been more than an year of no food festivals (😭), I decided to recreate those Paneer Kathi Rolls at home and how amazing did it come out. Never knew making them at home was so easy. My kiddos too loved it so much that they could not stop saying “mmmmm yummyyyyy 😍😍” (gone ditto after me 🀣🀣 exactly how I can’t stop saying it when I eat something yummy, not caring for anyone else in the world. πŸ˜‚)

So I thought I must share this yumminess of a recipe with you all too. Makes a filling evening snack or even a meal in itself. Also a great way to finish your leftover rotis. Hope you all try and like it. Happy and healthy cooking! ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { Makes 5 to 6 Rolls }

For the Roti:

2 Cups wheat flour

Salt to taste

Water as needed

For the Paneer filling:

200 grams Paneer cubes

1 Tbsp thick Curd/ Yogurt

1 tsp Tomato ketchup

1/2 tsp Cumin powder

1/2 tsp Garam masala powder

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

Salt to taste

For the Salad:

1 medium sized Onion, thinly sliced

1/4 a medium sized Capsicum, thinly sliced

Salt to taste

1/2 tsp Vinegar or Lemon juice

For Chutney:

Check the detailed recipe here

Ghee while making the rotis and pan frying paneer

Step by step recipe:

1. Take wheat flour and salt in a bowl. Add water and form a firm yet soft dough like that while making rotis. Keep aside.

2. Now take paneer cubes in a bowl. Add yogurt, ketchup, cumin powder, Garam masala powder, Turmeric powder and salt.

3. Mix well.

4. Now heat 2 tsp ghee in a frying pan and roast the paneer cubes on medium flame till the cubes get browned on all sides. Keep flipping as they turn brown each side.

5. Remove from the flame and keep aside. Also make the green chutney.

6. Take sliced onions and capsicums in a bowl. Add salt and vinegar. Mix well. Now the things ready for filling are ready.

7. Make roti like you make regularly. I make it almost like a square so that it’s easier to roll. Place in a plate. Spread with a spoon of the chutney. In the center, keep the paneer pieces are shown. Top with the salad.

8. Roll and serve!

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Notes:

* I make this roasted gram dal coriander leaves chutney for the roll. You can make regular Coriander leaves chutney for it too. Just remember to make the chutney thick and not liquidy as we have to spread it.

* You can add more veggies into the salad filling. I just keep it simple as I don’t want to overfill the rotis.

* Be careful to roast the marinated paneer on medium flame. Else due to Yogurt, it can turn black.

* You can also add red chilli powder to the marinate to make the paneer filling more spicy. I don’t add as I make for my kids too.

* These rolls are the best way to finish leftover rotis in a delicious and unique way. Also great for lunch box. Just make the chutney very thick if making for lunch box.

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Chane Usli – Godu Phovu | Seasoned black chickpeas – sweetened rice flakes | Konkani Breakfast/snack combo

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Since childhood, my Amma has always taught me the importance of days dedicated to each God. Not sure how many of you believe in it but sharing the little I have learnt.

* Mondays To worship Lord Shiva and in our case, our Kuladevata too, Shree Damodar. πŸ™

* Tuesdays For Ganpati Bappa, Devis/ Goddesses and Hanumanji. πŸ™

* Wednesdays Dedicated to Lord Krishna. β€οΈπŸ™

* Thursdays A day dedicated to Lord Vishnu and our Gurus. Dattatreya Swamy or Guru Raghavendra Swamy or Sai Baba or as believed by each individual in their life. πŸ™

* Fridays To worship Devis/ Goddesses. πŸ™

* Saturdays Dedicated to worship Lord Venkatarama. Also, Shanidev and since worshipping Hanumanji is said to remove the Shani dosha or wrath in one’s life, Hanumanji too is worshipped on this day. πŸ™

* Sundays Dedicated to Sun God. Also, Mahalasa Narayani (Amma’s Kuladevi in her mother’s side); Sunday is dedicated to this devi. πŸ™

You might be wondering why all this explanation (free ka gyan πŸ˜…) is for. Actually, along with all the days dedicated to each God, there have been foods dedicated to these days too. In almost all Konkani households, black chickpeas is cooked on Fridays as it is believed to be a favorite of Goddess Lakshmi. Hence, considered auspicious to make a ghashi (curry) or this usli with black chickpeas on Fridays. Same is the case with Horsegram which is said to be good to be had on Saturdays saying it gives us strength like Hanumanji.

Some of you may laugh at this, but I believe all of these traditions were made by our ancestors for a reason. When I think about it, this tradition made sure we had the healthy legumes atleast once a week. Else, I would forget to make it as Chickpeas and Horsegram have a long shelf life, easily can be bought and forgotten (if you are like me πŸ˜…).

And whenever I make Chane Usli on Fridays, it has to be combined with this delicious Godu Phovu. This is a classic Konkani breakfast/ snack combination, also made as Navaratri prasad.

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Inspite of being from Udupi, I have grown up among our Konkani community in Elamakkara, Kochi where we have a GSB Vikas Parishad group which conducts meetings every month in one of the members’ house to discuss issues faced by our community and also to help those in need. During Navaratri, members would volunteer for bhajans to be conducted in their house and the rest of us would go, sing bhajans together and consume the prasad made by them. The prasad would always be Chane Usli – Godu Phovu in every member’s house and it used to taste so divine and delicious that I still remember the flavours. Every family had their own unique way of making it and that made it even more special. ❀️

Now, whenever I get black chickpeas, I always make it on Fridays, to respect our traditions and not allowing it to diminish away at any cost. Also, since these traditions have health benefits associated with it, it is an added advantage too, right! πŸ˜„

Hope you all try this combination too. Very filling and comes out delicious. Also, can be made as a breakfast or evening snack too. Happy and healthy cooking! ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { Serves 3 }

For Chane Usli –

1 Cup dried Black Chickpeas/ Kala Chana

1 Tbsp Coconut oil

1 tsp Mustard seeds

A sprig of Curry leaves

A pinch of Hing/ Asafoetida

3 to 4 Green chillies

Salt to taste

3 Tbsp freshly grated Coconut for garnish

For Godu Phovu –

1/2 Cup Jaggery

1/4 Cup water

1/2 Cup freshly grated Coconut

1 1/2 Cups Poha/ Flattened rice/ Beaten rice/ rice flakes (thin variety)

1 Tbsp Ghee

1/4 tsp Cardamom powder

Step by step recipe:

For Chane Usli:

1. Soak the black chickpeas in more than double the water for atleast 6 to 8 hours. Drain the water. Add to a pressure cooker. Add fresh water enough to soak the chickpeas. Pressure cook till soft. {Takes a whistle on high and 10 mins on medium flame on my electric stovetop.}

2. Heat oil in a pan. Splutter mustard seeds. Add curry leaves, hing and green chillies.

3. Fry till green chillies change colour. Now add the cooked chickpeas. {I add along with the cooked water. If you plan to make saar (check notes), add only the chickpeas and keep the cooked water aside}.

4. Mash lightly with a ladle. Add salt and cook till the mixture turns dry. Mix in coconut and keep aside.

For Godu Phovu:

1. Melt jaggery in water. I use 1/2 Cup jaggery and 1/4 Cup water. It melts and bubbles start forming. Then I remove it from the flame. Sieve and mix in 1/2 Cup coconut.

2. Now add thin Poha, first 1 Cup, mix well. Then if needed add 1/4 Cup at a time till the texture and sweetness is perfect. Do taste tests.

3. When the mixture is even and done, add ghee and cardamom powder. Mix well.

Serve with Chane Usli. I have garnished the Godu Phovu with Tulsi leaves as they do in temples.

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Notes:

* Mixing few Tulsi leaves in the Godu Phovu not only makes it more aromatic, but gives us the benefit of eating Tulsi leaves which are very healthy and also giving us the divine feel of temple prasad.

* Thin Poha does not need soaking. Just mix as it is with melted jaggery. Add little at a time to ensure you don’t over add the poha as it leads to less sweet poha.

* Both these recipes require atleast the amount of freshly grated Coconut I have mentioned. Lesser than that, it does not give the authentic taste. You can add more too if you love coconut.

* Make sure to cook the chickpeas till soft.

* Black chickpeas can be substituted with white chickpeas too.

* The cooked water is usually drained and kept for Chane Saaru (A kind of rasam). Just add salt to the water and bring to a boil. Season coconut oil with mustard seeds, curry leaves and broken red chillies. Pour over the boiled water. Mix well. Serve with rice meals. You can also give fried garlic seasoning instead.

* You can also check this Quick to make Kerala style Kadala curry recipe.

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Dates and Carrot Ubbatti | whole wheat Dates Carrot Puranpoli

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Sometimes you listen to a song and the lyrics plus music is so beautiful that you can’t help but listen to it on repeat. Same happened with me today. As I sat down to have my lunch, as usual, checked my youtube subscriptions and saw that a new song has been released by T Series – Rab Manneya from the movie Koi Jaane na. I started listening to it without much thought but the song got me so much hooked to it that I have heard it so many times till now and was even compelled to add to my spotify playlist. ❀️

Such were the words, “Tu maane ya na maane dildaara, asaan te tenu rab manneya” which means, even if you agree or not, I consider you as God. I don’t know if any of you have felt it but some people come to your life, change it in a beautiful way and then your perspective towards life changes completely. Such people are God sent angels and they leave their mark on our life forever. Having felt the presence of beautiful souls like that in my life, I can say it’s one of the most precious feelings in the world. ❀️

And this can be said the same about these Dates Carrot Ubbattis. The outer dough is plain and normal but when filled with the sweetness of dates and carrots makes it into a super delicious dish. Just like how the beautiful people fill our life with happiness. 😍 #mithastheories πŸ˜…

These ubbattis were my idea after successfully combining dates and Carrot in cake and halwa making it sugar free. So thought why not make Ubbattis with the same filling. It came out so delicious that my husband says I can sell them. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ My kids too loved them a lot and I hardly got two bites when I made for the first time.

So thought I should share with all of you too and what better time to share right before Ugadi, our new year. Here’s wishing all my readers a very Happy Ugadi and Vishu on 13th and 14th respectively. May this festival bring loads of happiness in your lives. ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { Makes 5 Ubbattis }

For the outer dough:

2 Cups Whole wheat flour/ Atta

1/4 tsp Turmeric/ Haldi powder

Salt to taste

For the filling:

10 Soft Dates (I used Khudri variety)

1 Cup grated Carrots

1/4 Cup Jaggery powder (optional)*read notes

1 Tbsp Ghee

1/2 tsp Cardamom powder

Ghee as needed while cooking the ubbattis

Step by step recipe:

1. Take wheat flour, turmeric powder and salt in a bowl. Add water and form a soft dough. Coat with little oil or ghee so that the surface does not turn dry. Keep aside.

2. Deseed and finely chop the dates. 10 dates gave me 3/4 Cup of chopped dates.

3. Heat ghee in a frying pan and add grated carrots. Fry till the raw smell goes away and the carrots change colour.

4. Now add the chopped dates and jaggery powder. Mix well for about 5 mins till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan and dates turns very soft. The whole mixture should be almost like a paste. Mash the softened dates with the spatula.

5. Now add to a bowl. Mix in cardamom powder.

6. Divide both mixtures into equal portions.

7. Heat a frying pan. Roll the outer dough using dry flour to small round shape. Keep the filling inside.

8. Cover the filling by bringing all the outer dough together like shown below. Add dry flour.

9. Roll into a circle as thin as possible.

10. Fry both sides using ghee.

11. Repeat the same with the rest of the dough and filling. Serve the ubbattis warm with ghee.

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Notes:

* I get one extra ball of outer dough with the measurements with which I make normal chapati.

* The variety of dates I used were very soft. If the dates you use are hard, soak them in hot water for 30 mins and then use once they become soft.

* Jaggery is optional if you want to make the ubbattis sugar free. The dates and carrots give it the needed sweetness. I add as I love my ubbattis a tad sweeter.

* Since they are made with wheat flour, the ubbattis are not as soft as maida ones but definitely very tasty and taste like sweet parathas.

* Here are two other recipes where Dates and Carrot come together beautifully and make delicious sugar free dishes.

Dates and Carrot Cake , eggless and whole wheat

Dates and Carrot Halwa, healthier version of carrot Halwa but definitely tasty too

* Also, this is one more whole wheat Ubbatti that I make always – Peanut Ubbatti

* This is the compilation of my 15 mins healthy sweet recipes.

Ragi Set Dosas | “No rice” soft dosas

When I had posted the Ragi Urad idli recipe, I had got many queries about if it can be made as dosas too. Though I do make dosas with that batter, there is a way I make my Ragi dosas which come out as soft as restaurant style set dosas and I thought it was high time I share it too.

If not for my readers who continually keep asking me queries and request for recipes, I will not be inspired to post them. Most of my day passes in household chores while juggling between two kids, one seeking my attention to draw for her ( my daughter 😬) while the other clinging to me like fevicol ( my son πŸ˜„). The only thing that keeps my sanity are these daily shlokas, bhajans and songs which I have made as playlists on youtube and keep them in the background whole day. They give me strength in my motherhood battles and otherwise too. Music is really my life. ❀️

So here is the most requested dosa by my readers. They come out very soft and my kids are huge fans of it. My daughter used to call it chocolate dosa as a toddler and even now, in spite of knowing it’s ragi, still calls it the same. πŸ˜ƒ Ragi is a very healthy millet and this is one of the best ways to include it in your diet. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { Makes about 20 dosas }

3 Cups Ragi flour / Finger millet powder/ Nachni ka atta

1 Cup Urad dal (I use split ones)

1/2 Cup Poha/ flattened rice (thick or thin, white or brown)

Salt to taste

Ghee or oil to cook the dosa

Step by step recipe:

1. Wash well and soak Urad dal for about 4 hours. Drain water completely. Add about 1 Cup water and 1/2 Cup poha (washed) and grind to a smooth paste. Add to a large preferably steel vessel.

2. Now take ragi flour in another bowl. Add water, 1 cup at a time and whisk well to remove lumps. It takes me 3 Cups water to 3 Cups Ragi flour for it to come to a thick batter.

3. Add this to the Urad dal batter. Add salt and mix well using hands. Cover and keep at room temperature for fermentation for 8 to 12 hours. Might take longer during winters.

Love the fermented batter 😍

4. Heat a dosa pan and pour a ladle of the batter on the center of the pan. No need to spread this dosa. Cover and cook one side first adding ghee or oil.

Sorry for the dull picture. Kitchen lights 😬

5. Flip and cook the other side too. Remove and repeat the same with the rest of the batter too.

Notes:

* You can store the rest of the batter in the refrigerator and use it the next day. The texture of the dosas are soft even the next day.

* You can use thick or thin Poha, brown or white poha, does not make any difference. It gives it the softness in the dosas.

* If due to any reason you can’t eat poha, just skip it and add 1 tsp Methi instead along with Urad dal. Grind it to smooth paste. It will give soft dosas too.

* For making idlis, you can check this Ragi Urad Idli recipe. Comes out very well.

* I served these dosas with Hing Chutney. Just grind 1 Cup Coconut with a pinch of Hing powder, 4 long red chillies, 1 tsp Tamarind paste, salt and water to a smooth paste. You can season the chutney using mustard seeds and curry leaves if needed.

Poha Vegetable cutlet | easy cutlet recipe

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I have had a weakness for cutlets all my life. 😁 My mother who will be reading this would add, “Not only cutlets but all bakery foods, which is why I had decided to get you married off to a bakery owner. πŸ˜…πŸ˜…”. That brings a wide grin on my face as I realize how true is that! I love bakery snacks a lot but still, cutlets definitely hold a special place in my heart (read : missing native : missing cutlets from Hotel Diana, Udupi). ❀️

Hotel Diana in Udupi is very famous for their cutlets and those must be the first ones I ever tasted too, as a child. I still remember the swirling walkway leading to the restaurant where we used to go, specially after picking Amma, whose office was next door. My order would be Puri bhaji and Cutlets (about 25 years later, my order in any south Indian restaurant is still the same, if they have both in the menu. #puribhajicutletfanforever πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚). The cutlets would be so crispy and dipping them with the green chutney- ketchup combo would be a bite into heaven for the little foodie Mitha. 😍

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Amma saw that gleam in my eyes while enjoying the cutlets and after that, whenever she had any party in her office, be it in Udupi or Kochi, all cutlets would come packed safely for me, without her taking even a bite of it. That’s a mother’s love and I used to wonder how she could do it. But now, after being a mother myself, I really understand her. ❀️

My Annama (grandmother) used to make beetroot cutlets as evening snack and I used to sit like a cat next to fish, ardently waiting for the cutlets to come out of the frying pan. 😍 I still have the flavours of her cutlets in my taste buds. ❀️

But even though I am such a huge cutlet lover, it is honestly such a shame that I never attempted to make them at home. Always thought it was too much work. How amazed I was to find these poha cutlets on Instagram reels, made by so many food bloggers. It looked so easy and delicious that I had to try it out.

Truly, it comes out too delicious for words. A must try recipe for sure. By using poha, you can reduce potatoes in the cutlets and it becomes quite filling too. This cutlet is very soft and flavourful on the inside but crispy on the outside.

I am so happy that I have learnt to make a good cutlet. Will definitely be making often for sure. Hope you all try and love it. Happy and healthy cooking! ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { Makes 12 cutlets }

1 Cup thick Poha/ flattened rice/ Aval

1 Cup Mashed potatoes (2 medium sized potatoes)

1/4 Cup grated Carrot

3 Tbsp Green Peas

3 Tbsp Sweetcorn

2 Tbsp Capsicum, finely chopped

2 Tbsp Coriander leaves, finely chopped

1/4 tsp Turmeric or Haldi powder

1/2 tsp Cumin powder

1 tsp Red chilli powder

Salt to taste

While making cutlets:

2 Tbsp Corn flour

About 1/2 Cup Bread crumbs

Oil as required to shallow fry

Step by step recipe:

1. Get ready all the veggies required for the cutlet. Boil two potatoes, peel skin and mash it. Keep in a bowl. Steam peas and corn. Keep aside. Grate carrots, finely chop capsicum and coriander leaves.

2. Now wash the thick Poha well and soak in water for about 5 mins. Drain water completely and mash the poha with your hands.

3. Now add the mashed potatoes, steamed peas and corn, grated carrots, finely chopped capsicum and coriander leaves along with turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder and salt to it.

4. Mix well to form a even thick mixture.

5. Now make corn flour slurry by mixing 2 Tbsp corn flour with about 2 to 3 tbsp water. It’s should neither be very thick nor thin. Also keep bread crumbs in another bowl. Take a mixture in your palm and shape into cutlets as shown.

6. Dip in the corn flour slurry and roll in bread crumbs. Keep aside in a plate. Repeat the same with all cutlets.

7. Now heat little oil in a pan. Place each of the cutlets gently and fry on medium flame.

8. Flip to the opposite side and shallow fry till both sides turn golden brown in colour.

6. Serve hot with chutney and ketchup.

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Notes:

* These cutlets taste heavenly with this Coriander leaves Chutney and tomato ketchup combination.

* I use thick Poha for this recipe. If using thin Poha, then no need to soak the poha, just washing and mashing will make it soft.

* 1 Cup mashed poha and 1 Cup mashed potatoes gives it the correct binding. If still you are unable to bind the cutlets due to the potatoes being moist, just add little bread crumbs to the mixture and you will be able to shape the cutlets well.

* Peas, corn and capsicum gives the cutlets a good bite and increases the health quotient too. But if you don’t have any one of these, you can skip.

* You can also add chopped green chillies to the mixture if desired.

* Bread crumbs in the coating makes the cutlets very crispy. So please do use it. I freeze my bread crumbs as it lasts well for many months that way.

* Shallow fry them on medium flame such that the cutlets get the beautiful golden brown colour.

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Roasted gram dal and coriander leaves chutney

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As much as I love my dosas and idlis, there is no denying that they are incomplete without a good chutney. I usually discuss which chutney to make with my family in the morning while making dosas/ steaming idlis and the demand is either for Hing chutney ** (by Mr Husband) and Tomato Chutney (by Miss Daughter). My son is just like me who loves any kind of chutney. 😍

But ever since I made this roasted gram dal coriander leaves chutney, the common demand by everyone including my son has been for this “green chutney”. My 2.5 year old son who is talking a lot now (inspired by you know who πŸ˜‚) calls it “geen chechi” and it sounds so cute that I can’t make any other chutney ever. πŸ˜„

So here is the recipe for the green chutney which tastes too delicious for words. A must try chutney for sure!

Thank you so much Vinaya Prabhu Akka for this keeper of a recipe. ❀️ We have become such huge fans of this chutney that we no longer like any other chutney now. 😍

Happy and healthy cooking everyone!

{** recipe for Hing chutney mentioned above is in the notes section of this Urad Rava idli recipe }

RECIPE:

Adapted from: Vinaya’s Culinary delights

Ingredients: Serves 2 to 3 people

1/4 Cup Gram dal

1/2 Cup freshly grated or desiccated Coconut

3 to 4 Green chillies

5 to 6 sprigs of Coriander leaves

6 to 8 Curry leaves

1 tsp Tamarind paste

Salt to taste

Step by step recipe:

1. Dry roast the gram dal on medium flame till it turns brown in colour. Don’t allow it to turn black. Cool down and powder in a mixer.

You can see the gram dal packet in the background for those who are new to it.

2. Now add coconut, green chillies, coriander leaves, curry leaves, tamarind paste and salt.

3. First grind once without adding water. Then add water as needed (about 1/4 to 1/2 Cup) to make a smooth paste. Dilute with more water to your desired consistency of thickness.

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Notes:

* This chutney does not need seasoning with mustard seeds/ curry leaves.

* Be careful while roasting the gram dal as few extra seconds of roasting can make the dal turn black and burning it which can spoil the flavour of the chutney. Roast only till the dal starts turning brown.

* If you don’t have gram dal, then just increase the quantity of coconut to 1 Cup and skip the gram dal. That’s how I make my regular coriander chutney.

* I made this chutney with Barnyard Millet Idlis and it made a super delicious combo.

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Check all my Chutney recipes here.

Barnyard Millet idli | No rice Idli recipe

What does breakfast mean to you? I am sure we have our own choices when it comes to breakfast dishes. For some, it may mean just to have a cup of tea or coffee with toast or a bowl of cornflakes with milk or even just fruits to start the day while for some it may be a typical Indian style breakfast (guess for who? πŸ˜¬πŸ˜†). I realized the importance of breakfast during our trip to Singapore and Thailand few years back.

The hotels we were staying had an amazing in-house restaurant serving “free” buffet breakfast (make my trip deals πŸ˜„) every morning of our stay. The first couple of days, I was super excited looking at the magnificent spread of assorted breads, freshly baked aromatic cinnamon buns and raisin rolls (fav fav ❀️❀️), croissants lathered with butter, tasty mashed potatoes with kidney beans, variety of fresh fruits and juices along with a live counter of the most delicious waffles. These were among the vegetarian options and I remember, I was more excited than my daughter to see the goodies. 😍😬

But that excitement lasted exactly for two days and after that, I started craving for my idli – dosa – chutney – poori – bhaji – upma – poha and that made me realize where my food roots belong too. For me, breakfast meant this and I could never survive on continental style of breakfast for long (unless it was the only option to stay alive of course πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚). We were lucky that both Singapore and Thailand had many Indian options available and we would have a second “proper breakfast” there daily. Some fun memories those are! πŸ˜„

Coming to today’s post, this is what my kind of breakfast looks like. Idlis made with Barnyard millet and Urad dal with coriander leaves chutney. Filling, healthy and so so delicious. Once we eat it, we get fueled up for the day and there are no snack pangs in between which is very necessary not only for weight loss but also to avoid junk food binge.

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I learned this combination from my dearest Vinaya Prabhu Akka who is an inspiration for me. Her site is a treasure trove of amazing vegetarian recipes and I am so happy to have tried this idli and chutney from her recipe collection. She is not only very talented but also encourages all of us so well that we are indebted to her for her love and support. ❀️❀️

The food group that we belong to, whose admin Vinayakka is, turns 1 and we are dedicating a day to her recipes. So this is my contribution, a tribute to her for being such a wonderful person and managing the group so well. We are one big family now and it’s all due to her. Hope you like my post, Akka. ❀️

These idlis come out so soft that you cannot say it does not have rice at all. My kids loved them so much that on their request, I made them on 2 consecutive days last week. Such is the flavour combo of this idli- chutney.

Do try them and you will surely love it. Happy and healthy cooking! ❀️

Thank you so much Vinaya Prabhu Akka for the recipe. πŸ™

RECIPE:

Adapted from: Vinaya’s Culinary Delights

Ingredients: { Makes about 26 idlis }

1 Cup Urad dal (I used split ones)

1 1/2 Cups Barnyard Millet

Salt to taste

{ Barnyard Millet is called Varai in Konkani, Kuthiraivali in Tamil, Sanwa in Hindi and Kavadupullu in Malayalam }

Step by step recipe:

1. Soak Urad dal and Barnyard millet separately after washing them well for about 3 hours.

2. Now drain water from the Urad dal completely and grind with about 1 cup water to a smooth paste. Add drained Barnyard millet to it.

3. Grind to a slightly coarse paste. Add to a bowl along with salt. Keep for fermentation at room temperature for about 8 hours or overnight.

4. While making idlis, pour into greased idli moulds. Please note that the batter does not rise much like regular idli batter but idlis do come out soft. So don’t worry if the batter has not risen after fermentation.

5. Steam in idli steamer for 15 to 20 mins or till done. A knife inserted in the center of the idli should come out clear and free from wet batter.

6. Allow it to cool slightly and then remove from the moulds using a knife or back of a spoon. Serve with a chutney of your choice.

Notes:

* I served them with Roasted gram dal and coriander leaves chutney. Tastes amazing with this chutney.

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* Do not grind the Barnyard millet smoothly. Just keep it slightly coarse to get perfect texture of the idlis.

* The fermented batter does not rise much. But don’t worry about it. The idlis will still be soft.

* The original recipe of idlis were made in grinder while I made in mixer. But still the ratio of Urad to Barnyard millet gave me very soft texture of idlis.

* I used Manna brand of Barnyard millet as it is readily available here in Qatar. For readers living here, I buy them from Lulu hypermarket or Grand hypermarket in Wakra.

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Here is my Compilation of all my no rice dosa recipes.

Poha Sheera | Aval Kesari with Jaggery | Easy 15 min sweet recipe

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A new recipe after nearly two months! Both Feb and March were filled with so much uncertainties and many sad days due to losing my loved ones that I did not even feel like trying something new or blogging recipes. If there was something that kept me going without breaking down, it is my love for music. I kept listening to my daily shlokas, bhajans and my favorite songs on youtube all day, which gave me peace of mind. Youtube has become my favorite app now! ❀️

Music really has healing powers and when you don’t feel like talking with anyone, immerse yourself in the world of music and it will definitely bring you peace! ❀️

In devotional music, Guru Raghavendra Swamy’s bhajans and shlokas are my favorite. Whenever I feel nobody can understand me, and also when there are instances in my life which I can’t share with anyone else (not even with my Amma as I don’t want to worry her ❀️), that’s when Guru Raghavendra Swamy comes to my aid. Through his bhajans, I talk to him and he shows me the way. Not all would believe, but I get the answer to my talks within a day. That’s the power of my relation with him and those who believe in him will know how he’s always with us, taking care of us, knowing all the battles that we face in life.

Sharing my favorite picture of Guru Raghavendra Swamy with all of you. The way he is hugging Krishna depicts so much love that I feel very happy just looking at this picture. ❀️

So, I am dedicating this sweet that I learnt recently from Usha Thukaram mai, which we loved a lot, to my Guru Raghavendra Swamy. πŸ™ Today is Thursday (Guruvaar) and my Guru’s day. An apt day to post this Sheera as prasad to him. Om Shree Guru Raghavendraya Namaha πŸ™

This sweet is very easy to make and a unique twist of adding roasted poha powder instead of semolina, gives it a wonderful flavour. Do try for a change and I am sure you will love it. Happy and healthy cooking!

Thank you Usha Thukaram mai for your recipe. You had once said that you see me as your daughter. Just want to say that I will never forget that and always admire you for your amazing dishes that you post. Love, respects and seeking blessings from you! β€οΈπŸ™

RECIPE: { Serves 2 }

Ingredients:

1 Cup thick or thin Poha / Aval / Flattened rice / Beaten rice

3/4 Cup Jaggery (I used powder)

2 Tbsp Ghee

6 to 8 chopped Cashews

6 to 8 Raisins

2 Cups Water

1 tsp Cardamom powder

Step by step recipe:

1. Heat 1 Tbsp ghee in a pan and roast the poha on medium flame till it turns light brown in colour. Allow it to cool.

2. Add to a mixer and powder it finely.

3. Now heat the rest 1 Tbsp ghee in the pan and fry cashews and raisins in it till cashews turn brown in colour. Add 2 Cups water and bring to a boil.

4. Add the powdered poha along with jaggery powder. (If adding jaggery as blocks, melt jaggery first in the water and then add the poha powder.) Mix continually removing lumps if any.

5. Now cook mixing continually on medium flame till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan. Takes about 8 mins.

6. Add cardamom powder. Mix well and remove from the flame. Serve hot or cold. Both tastes yummy.

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Notes:

* You can use both thick or thin Poha for this recipe.

* Make sure to not burn the poha while roasting. Remove from flame as soon as it starts turning brown in colour.

* For 1 Cup Poha, 2 Cups water and 3/4 Cup jaggery works well for me. It turns out sweet enough for our taste buds. If you have a extra sweet tooth, you could increase the quantity of jaggery to upto 1 Cup.

* When poha powder is added to the hot water, there is chance of it forming lumps. So mix continually with a spatula removing lumps if any.

* If using jaggery blocks instead of powder, melt it in the water and then add the poha powder.

* Also, if the jaggery you use has impurities in it, make jaggery water separately (3/4 Cup jaggery in 2 Cups water). Sieve and then add the water to the roasted cashews and raisins.

* Don’t skip the cardamom powder as it enhances the flavour so much.

* I found that as the Sheera is kept in room temperature, it increases the taste than when had hot. So I would suggest to make this sweet a bit ahead of time for the poha to absorb the flavours well. The tagline behind this Sheera is ” As time went by, the Sheera kept tasting better and better! πŸ˜„”

* Here is yet another Sheera that I make always with Rava/ Semolina: Jaggery Sheera

* This is the compilation of all my Easy 15 mins sweet recipes.

Baking basics for Beginners | How to bake easily at home

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It has been long I have not blogged a recipe and the last one was this Chocolate sponge cake that I had posted on Feb 6th. It was a special cake close to my heart (many reasons that this page won’t be enough if I start writing about it πŸ˜„) and I had posted it with so much love. ❀️ How glad I am now that many of my readers have tried and loved it too. Thank you dear readers. Your feedbacks make all the efforts of blogging worthwhile. πŸ™

Along with the feedback messages that I keep receiving, if there is something I get regularly, it is doubts regarding baking. Since I have been baking for about a decade now, I can understand what went wrong when readers message me. So I try my maximum to help them as much as I can. Helping people gives me a kind of peace and happiness which nothing else can give (simple but precious joys of life). ❀️

So, no matter what doubt you have, even if you feel it’s a very silly one, Ask away.( I get that quite often that people think their doubt is very silly). I would not mind at all and will surely reply when I find time. No doubt is small and clearing it will ensure you get the recipes well and your ingredients/ time is not wasted.

Today, I got a baking doubt from my reader and after I replied, she asked me if I have written a blog regarding oven basics. That’s when I realized I had not blogged an article dedicated to it and how helpful it would be for all of you if I write a detailed one explaining what all I have learnt in these 10 years of baking. Have a long way to go and so much to learn but still will try to jot down whatever I know.

So, here goes the article. I will write as Q and A so that it’s easier for you all to read. Also, will keep updating whenever I get new doubts and I feel it will help you all.

My Oven –

Q : Which oven do you use?

A : This is the picture of the oven that I use. It is an OTG and I have not bought it. Since we live in a company provided accomodation, we were provided with all electronic appliances too and this came along with it. It is a INDESIT oven plus glass top cooking range. I have been using the same since 10 years now and very happy with it. I can say it is my best friend and my favorite appliance in the kitchen since I both cook and bake in it. 😍😍

Q : Which oven is better to buy? OTG or conventional oven?

A : As I mentioned above, I did not buy the oven. But I have always baked in this OTG only and love how evenly it bakes. My parents have a microwave with conventional mode oven and I love how user friendly it is. Yes, the space inside is less when compared to OTG which brings to the point that if you want to bake in large batches, OTG is for you while if you want to bake just for your family, microwave with conventional mode oven is very easy to use. Here is the inside picture of my OTG. Love how spacious it is.

Q – Which rack to use in my oven for baking? It has three racks.

A – I have always used only the center rack as shown above in the picture for all my bakes. This ensures even baking and I get good results with it. But it sometimes depends on your oven. Some readers say they only have two racks. In that case, place in the bottom rack and bake longer (it’s better than keeping in the top rack which can cause the cake to burn). Once you start baking, with experience you will know which rack of your oven works best for you. (For people owning microwave conventional oven, this is not for you as you have just one rack to place your bakes. In your case, just bake in conventional mode or with two rods on as per your type of oven.)

Q – How to preheat the oven?

A – Preheating the oven to the mentioned temperature is very important to get perfect bakes. Almost all of my recipes require pre heating to 180 C for 10 mins atleast. This ensures you are placing the cake batter or cookie/ bread dough in a hot oven which is the first important step in baking. So before you start making the batter or while making, don’t forget to preheat the oven. Most cake recipes need only sifting the dry ingredients, mixing the wet ingredients and then the batter is done which hardly takes 10 to 15 mins. So preheat the oven during that time. Here is the picture of the knobs from my oven.

My Baking accessories –

I am someone who believes in not hoarding stuffs unnecessarily and all my baking equipments are from the time I started baking. I am happy that these bake wares have lasted all these years inspite of me using them so often. Here is a picture of some of my most used ones.

The nonstick loaf pan and the colourful measuring cups were my first buys when I started baking.

Measuring cups are the most important when you bake as no matter what anyone says, baking is definitely a science. You can’t just add ingredients in any ratio blindly and expect perfect results unless you are that experienced a baker. As for me, I can’t imagine baking without measuring cups. I have also been getting requests from readers for measurements in grams and I am planning to buy a kitchen weighing scale soon for this purpose. Weighing scales gives even better results as measuring cups comes in various sizes. Mine is a 250 ml one but it also comes in 200 ml cups.

Nonstick loaf pan that I use measures 20 cm in length and 4 cm in width. I have baked all my cakes, bread and pav in it. I also don’t use parchment paper. I just grease it with oil or ghee and the bakes come out clean. One of the best baking buys ever!

Muffin pan is useful if you like baking cupcakes. I use it while making cupcakes for my kids.

Sieve is essential in baking for me as I bake without eggs and using whole wheat flour. So to make the batter airy and light, I sieve the dry ingredients using the sieve shown above.

Spatula – While mixing the dry and wet ingredients, a spatula is required as you can mix without the batter sticking on it and also ensures that you don’t over mix the batter.

If you are my regular reader, you must have noticed this baking plate on which I bake my cookies, pizzas and also my falafel bread. It has been 10 years I am using it and so it’s not as beautiful (πŸ˜¬πŸ˜…) but still I love how my bakes do not stick on it with very little greasing with ghee and bakes evenly. Can’t count the number of times I have baked on this plate. My best friend in baking for sure. 😍 It is a oven proof plate/ tray available in any bake ware stores.

Healthier Ingredients that I use –

Q – Which brand of wheat flour do you use?

A – This is the question I had been getting a lot of times. So I started mentioning the brand that I use which is Pillsbury Atta in my recent posts. I have used many brands of wheat flour but the flavours and texture that Pillsbury gives is the best. I get queries specially with whole wheat bread and whole wheat Pav that they did not get the desired taste nor softness even though they followed the recipe properly. When I ask them, I find they have used some other brand of Atta. So if you can find, use Pillsbury only as that is what gives the best results from my recipes.

Q – Which brand and kind of jaggery do you use? Also, can I use liquid jaggery?

A – I used to buy jaggery blocks, melt in water and then use in my initial baking recipes. After that, we started getting Jaggery powder from Goodness foods company ( here in Qatar) and my life changed. It is so easy to add to cakes and cookies. Apart from being healthier than refined sugar, it is also a lot more flavourful which gives amazing bakes.

About liquid jaggery, I have never used them in my bakes but you can add with wet ingredients a little lesser in quantity as liquid jaggery is more concentrated in taste.

Baking soda and Baking powder –

Do make sure of two points with these:

1. Make sure to check the expiry date as the bakes won’t come out as soft and spongy if the baking soda or powder is expired.

2. They usually form tiny lumps even if stored in a dry place. So do sieve before using in cakes and cookies. Else you will get those tiny lumps in the baked goodies which spoils the taste.

Same is the case with Cocoa powder too. I freeze my cocoa powder as it lasts well for many months that way. Sieve to remove any lumps that form.

Ghee or Butter instead of Oil –

I use Ghee or Butter in my bakes instead of Oil as I mostly bake for my kids and they need the fats since we are Vegetarians. Another reason why I don’t use oil is the flavour and aroma of the oil in the cakes which my kids don’t like. You can substitute with a neutral flavoured oil like Sunflower or Canola oil if you want to make the bakes free from Ghee or Butter. Using Olive oil or Coconut oil means the bakes will taste and smell of the oils as they have their own strong aroma and flavour.

I use Amul Ghee and Lurpak salted butter which are readily available here in Qatar.

Tips while Baking – Cakes

* Always preheat the oven at 180 C for atleast 10 mins (unless it is mentioned to preheat at a higher temperature).

* Sieve the dry ingredients to remove lumps and to ensure the flour mixture is airy and light.

* Always use all wet ingredients like milk and curd at room temperature unless otherwise mentioned like hot milk or hot water.

* Mix both the dry and wet ingredients using a spatula till the mixture is free from flour specks. But do NOT overmix as it leads to dense cakes. Just mix with light hands till the ingredients combine and you are done.

* You can use parchment paper to line your cake tin and cookie tray but I grease them with ghee or butter. It ensures that the cake comes out clean and cookies do not stick to the plate after baking.

* Do NOT open the oven door atleast till three fourth of the bake time. If you keep opening the door, the temperature varies drastically and it will lead to imperfect bakes. So if the bake time is 30 mins, open the door only after about 20 mins.

* Check for doneness using a toothpick or skewer inserted in the center of the cake. If it comes out clear or with little crumbs, the cake is done. If it comes out sticky and with batter in it, bake for 5 mins more and then check again.

* When you check and see that the top portion of the cake is done and turning dark brown but inside has to bake, cover the tin with aluminum foil during the last 5 to 10 mins of bake. This is ensure that the cake does not burn or turn black on surface and the inside with bake well too.

* Allow the cake to cool completely before running the knife along the sides and trying to unmold it. Best is to leave the cake covered at room temperature overnight. I have noted that cakes always taste best the next day.

* For easy frosting recipes without whipping cream, you can check my Ragi Chocolate Cake and Dates Chocolate Brownie recipes.

* You can keep the cake at room temperature for 24 hours and then leftovers can be refrigerated in a airtight container. Microwave before use and get the same softness when you eat each time.

Tips while Baking – Cookies

* Remember to refrigerate the cookie dough for atleast 10 mins so that the cookies can be shaped perfectly.

* Also, remember to grease the tray well with ghee or butter so that the cookies don’t stick on it.

* Don’t make the cookies very thick and pat them into thin discs. Else the insides of the cookies can remain underbaked.

* Space the cookies with some distance in between them as they increase in width after baking.

* Cookies get baked very quickly than cakes. Takes only about 15 mins. So keep an eye after 10 mins so that the cookies don’t burn.

* When the cookies get slightly brown streaks, it means they are done. If they turn too much brown on the surface, they turn very crispy. So if you want soft cookies, remove as soon as it starts turning dark brown. Else it turns crispy.

* Store in an airtight container at room temperature and the cookies last well for atleast 5 days.

Tips while Baking – Pizza and Falafel bread

* The main point to note while baking both the pizzas and Falafel bread is to grease the plate well and spread the dough as thinly as possible so that the dough cooks inside and bakes evenly.

* Here are all 4 recipes. I have mentioned the tips in detail with step by step pictures in all the four recipes.

** Whole wheat Vegetable Pizza

** Gluten Free Oats Pizza

** Whole wheat Cheesy Garlic bread

** Vegan, Gluten free Falafel flatbread

Tips while Baking – Whole wheat Pav and Breads

I have made a step by step pictorial with tips in notes in these posts below. You can check to make soft wheat Pav and assorted wheat breads at home easily.

** Whole wheat Pav

** Whole wheat Bread

** Whole wheat Tutti Frutti Bread

** Easy Semolina Bread

Also, here is the compilation of all my Healthy cakes and cookies recipes in one page.

Okay, so finally ending this post as I think I have finished noting all the points (had put up a huge thinking cap on πŸ˜‚). Though this turned out to be a very long one, I know it will very useful for beginners. Do let me know here in comments or on my Facebook page or Instagram if you still have any doubts. Happy and healthy baking! ❀️

On request from my readers, here is the post on Pinterest. Find the Pin here.