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.

Eggless Chocolate Banana cake, using wheat flour and Jaggery

Baking a cake is very easy. Hardly takes 15 mins to make the batter and then you just have to keep it in the oven to see magic happen. But those 15 mins while making the batter needs to be done precisely. Else the whole recipe can turn a disaster. In my case, post two kids, getting alone time for even 5 mins is difficult, leave 15 mins. Hence baking becomes a rare occasion when the husband is at home.

During Christmas holidays, I got some free time and decided to bake my favourite banana chocolate cake. It really gives me immense pleasure to bake and my free time was spent well. The family loved it and it made me happy to see them devour the cake.

You can never say this is a wheat jaggery cake. I have tasted many chocolate cakes from renowned bakers and this one really matches them in all levels. The cocoa powder and bananas mask the wheat taste very well.

I have used the same frosting that I used for Ragi Chocolate cake and it really takes the cake to another level. Hope you all try the cake and love it. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

Dry Ingredients:

2 Cups Whole wheat flour

1 1/4 Cup powdered Jaggery/ Cane sugar

2/3 Cup unsweetened Cocoa powder

1 tsp Baking soda

Wet ingredients:

1 1/2 Cup hot water

1/2 Cup fully mashed Bananas (ripe ones)

1/2 Cup melted Butter [1 stick or 100 grams] (salted/ unsalted)

1 Tbsp Lemon juice

1 Tbsp Vanilla extract/ 2 tsp Sugared vanilla

For the frosting:

1 Cup full fat Milk

1/4 Cup Sugar

2 Tbsp Cocoa powder

1 tsp Vanilla extract

Step by step recipe:

1. Preheat the oven at 180 C for 10 mins.

2. Meanwhile, sieve wheat flour, cocoa powder and baking soda in a bowl. Add powdered jaggery and mix well. Keep aside.

3. Add mashed bananas, melted butter, lemon juice and vanilla extract in another bowl. Add 1 1/2 Cup hot water and whisk.

4. Now add in dry ingredients to wet ingredient mixture. Mix so that both are combined well and you can’t see any flour specks. Do not over mix.

5. Line a baking pan with parchment paper or with oil/ butter. Pour the mixture evenly into it.

6. Bake at 180 C for 20 to 30 mins. My oven took exactly 30 mins.

7. Remove and check with a toothpick in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s done. If it comes out wet or sticky, it still needs some more baking time.

8. Allow it to cool. Invert and remove the parchment paper.

9. For frosting, combine together milk, cocoa powder, sugar and vanilla in a bowl. Whisk well first and then keep on flame.

10. On medium flame, keep whisking continually while allowing it to get thicker (usually takes about 5 mins). Once it gets thick, remove from flame and pour over the cake and spread evenly.

11. Allow the frosting to set for atleast 30 mins before you slice and serve.

Notes:

* This cake lasts well for a day without refrigerating. After that stays well for atleast 4 days if handled properly.

* Ensure that you use over ripe bananas and mash them well with fork before adding into the cake.

* The cake tastes amazing with the frosting. So don’t skip it unless you want just a plain banana bread for tea time.

* Since it is made of wheat flour, it takes time to bake. So give the cake atleast 20 mins of baking time before checking. Don’t open the oven door before that to ensure even bake.

If any doubts, do message me on my Facebook page Healthy cooking with mitha or on my Instagram handle and I would be happy to help. Happy cooking!

Amma’s Tomato Chutney

Everyone must have their own way of making the simple but lipsmacking tomato chutney. Here is how my mother made it and it’s my favourite way to make it.

She made it as an accompaniment to chapatis and Panpolos or Neeru dosas. It tastes heavenly with panpolos and to date, whenever I make them, it has to be tomato chutney for the dip.

My husband too is a huge fan of this chutney and asks me to make it quite often.

Thank you Amma for this amazing recipe.

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

2 medium sized Onions

4 medium sized Tomatoes

2 tsp Red chilli powder or to taste

1 tsp Coriander powder

2 tsp Coconut oil

1 tsp Mustard seeds

5 to 6 curry leaves

Salt to taste

Step by step recipe:

1. Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and add roughly chopped onion to it. Fry well till it changes colour to translucent.

2. Now add roughly chopped tomatoes. Fry well and cook till the tomatoes turn mushy. Allow it to cool by removing from flame.

3. Once cooled, blend in a mixer to a smooth paste. It’s also okay if little bits of onion and tomato remain. Gives a bite to the chutney.

4. Now heat the same pan and add 1 tsp oil. When it gets heated, add mustard seeds and curry leaves. Let mustard seeds splutter.

5. Add the tomato onion paste along with coriander powder, red chilli powder and salt.

6. Add water if needed and bring to a boil. Let it cook for about 5 minutes.

Remove and serve with chapatis or Panpolos.

Notes:

* I also add hing (asafoetida) sometimes while adding mustard seeds as my husband loves hing flavour.

* This chutney lasts well for a day without the need to refrigerate as it does not use coconut and is heated well.

* You can also add a tsp of rasam powder for a different flavour which turns delicious as well.

If any doubts, do message me on my Facebook page Healthy cooking with mitha or on my Instagram handle and I would be happy to help. Happy cooking!

Panpolos/ Neeru dose

Panpolos in Konkani or Neeru dose in Kannada are one of the yummiest variety of dosas. Though eating it is very easy due to its soft and melt in the mouth texture, making it perfectly is not at all easy. Atleast for me, it took many years to get this dosa right.

My mom made the best panpolos ever and I cannot match her taste. When I was pregnant with my daughter, she used to stand with her walker leaning against the kitchen slab and make almost 20 panpolos for me ( even more sometimes). It was my topmost pregnancy craving and my dad was fed up eating panpolos every other day for breakfast.

Then when my daughter was an year old, Amma came here to Qatar and taught me how to make perfect panpolos. She stood beside me and showed me the batter consistency and how I should pour it. After that, I too learned the art of making panpolos and now I can say I make them perfectly.

Panpolos taste the best with Amma’s Tomato chutney and I love the combination very much.

Amma can no longer walk using her walker and uses wheel chair for movement. She is sad that she cannot cook like before. But Amma, whatever you have taught me, it will always remain with me and will be passed on to the next generation.

Here’s sharing the recipe. The main ingredient always will be Love. Make them with love and they will come out right. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

2 1/2 Cups Raw white rice (any variety of white rice works)

1 Cup grated Coconut (fresh/ desiccated)

Salt to taste

Step by step recipe:

1. Wash well and soak the rice for 4 hours.

2. Drain and add the soaked rice along with coconut and salt to a mixer.

3. Grind with water as required (do not add a lot of water) to a smooth paste.

4. Remove in a vessel and add more water to make a thin batter. The batter should be thinner than regular dosa batter and should be free flowing. (Be careful while adding water though. Prepare a dosa and check if it is coming out well. Excess water in the batter makes dosas sticky.)

5. The first dosa shows whether your batter texture is perfect or not. If the dosa comes out thick and less holes, you need to add more water to the batter.

6. Heat a flat bottomed dosa pan and when it becomes hot, pour the dosa batter. Just add one or two ladles of the batter on the hot pan in one single layer. This dosa does not have the round shape of regular dosas.

7. Cover and cook for couple of minutes till the surface cooks well.

8. Fold the dosa as shown into half.

9. Fold again resembling a triangle.

10. Remove and serve hot with a chutney of your choice. I have served with my Amma’s Tomato Chutney.

Notes:

* The main point while making these dosas is the batter consistency. It takes some trials to get the perfect texture. If the batter is too thick, the dosas don’t come out as soft. You will know that when you pour the dosa. Check the difference here.

When the dosa batter is too thick. No holes and thick dosa. Needs more water to make batter thin.
Perfect dosas. Holes in the dosa and thin, soft dosa.

* You can also add coconut water while grinding for a delicious flavor to the dosa.

* This dosa can be had with honey, grated coconut with powdered jaggery, tomato chutney or any chutney of your choice.

* Leftover batter can be refrigerated and used later. I sometimes grind at night and refrigerate for breakfast next day.

* Make sure to grind the batter smoothly and not coarse. Coarse batter makes hard dosas.

*The dosa batter should NOT be fermented like regular dosas. The batter is ready to use as soon as ground.

*This dosa cooks only on one side. Do NOT flip and cook the dosa.

All these tips were taught to me by my mother, Rekha Shenoy and I am ever grateful to her for that. If I know to make perfect panpolos, it’s because of her. 🙏

If any doubts, do message me on my Facebook page Healthy cooking with mitha or on my Instagram handle and I would be happy to help. Happy cooking!

Edited to add: Have got many doubts with Panpolo making after I posted this recipe . One of them is-

Q: My panpolos stick to the pan each time I make it and the dosas turn sticky. What is the reason?

My answer:

Oh that’s so sad. There can be many reasons for that. I have faced it as well.
The first reason is that the batter is more watery than it should be. To solve this, grind the batter smoothly and add less water while doing so. Make the first dosa. It will turn thick but it will not stick to the pan. Then add little by little water to the batter if required.
Second reason is never ferment panpolo batter. Even if it stays in room temperature for few hours, it tends to get sticky. Always use it as soon as you grind the batter or refrigerate till use.
Third reason is the pan is not hot enough. For panpolos, the pan should be very hot. Only then pour the batter.
Hope you get your panpolos right this time.

Eggless Ragi Chocolate cake

Baking is therapy for me. I love how the ingredients mix in together to create something so delicious and the aroma which fills the house is magical. I have been baking different varieties of cakes now using wheat flour and jaggery. My daughter loves it more than the refined flour based cakes. There is a richness in wheat flour cakes which makes it more tastier and of course healthier.

Ragi Chocolate cake was an amazing find of a recipe as it uses another healthy ingredient but is quite hidden in the cake. You could never say it has ragi in it. Even when I made it the first time, my little girl had loved it so much.

The simple frosting of chocolate sauce takes this cake to another level. We are a huge fan of this cake and it’s my pleasure to share it with all of you. Happy and healthy cooking.

RECIPE:

Adapted from here.

Ingredients:

Dry Ingredients:

3/4 Cup Ragi flour/ finger millet powder/ Nachni atta

3/4 Cup Whole wheat flour/ Atta

2 Tbsps Cocoa powder

1 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp Baking soda

Wet Ingredients:

150 grams (2/3 Cup) Butter (salted or unsalted can be used)

80 ml (1/3 Cup) Yogurt/ thick curd/ Dahi

3/4 Cup Milk

1 Cup powdered Jaggery/ cane sugar

1 Tbsp Vanilla extract

For the frosting:

1 Cup Milk

1/4 Cup Sugar

2 Tbsp Cocoa powder

1 tsp Vanilla extract

Step by Step recipe:

1. Preheat the oven at 180 C for 15 mins. Keep the heating rack as the center one if using a conventional oven like me.

2. Keep the baking tin ready by lining with parchment paper or applying butter inside so that the cake does not stick to the pan.

3. Sift all the dry ingredients using a sieve to ensure all the powders are lump free and mix uniformly.

4. Melt butter by microwaving it for two to three mins on high. Allow it to cool down. Add in the milk, Yogurt (which has been whisked well), jaggery and vanilla. Mix well using a whisk.

5. Now add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix using a spatula such that everything is mixed uniformly and there are no specks of flour visible. Do NOT over mix the batter.

6. Pour the batter into the baking pan and spread uniformly.

7. Bake at 180 C for 30 to 35 mins. It took 35 mins for my cake to bake in my conventional oven. In microwave with conventional mode ovens, it gets done even quickly. So keep an eye after 25 mins into the baking time. Read NOTES.

8. Check with toothpick inserted in the center of the cake. Is comes out clear, then the cake is done. If comes out sticky or wet, it needs few more mins of baking. After done, allow it to cool for few minutes.

9. For frosting, combine together milk, cocoa powder, sugar and vanilla in a bowl. Whisk well first and then keep on flame.

10. On medium flame, keep whisking continually while allowing it to get thicker (usually takes about 5 mins). Once it gets thick, remove from flame and pour over the cake and spread evenly.

Check how thick it has got. Sticks well to the spoon.

11. Wait for a while for the frosting to set before you slice and serve. Refrigerate the cake after a day at room temperature.

Notes:

* Use a pinch of salt while sifting the dry ingredients if using unsalted butter. I used salted butter.

* This cake tastes heavenly with the frosting. So don’t skip it. But for those who prefer their cakes plain, without frosting tastes good too. And no, there is no ragi flavour at all as cocoa, vanilla and jaggery do an amazing job at masking the ragi flavour.

* While baking, always ensure your oven is preheated well (180 C for 10 to 15 mins is the norm).

* Don’t keep opening the oven door between bake times. Check only after 25 mins if the bake time says 30 mins of baking. Else opening the door too often leads to uneven baking.

* This cake tastes good even after getting refrigerated. The frosting sets well and enhances the flavor. Just microwave for a minute before serving. I have kept the cake a maximum of three days in the fridge before it got finished off by my family.

* I have used organic powdered jaggery. You could also use cane sugar. Both work well for this recipe.

If any doubts, do message me on my Facebook page Healthy cooking with mitha or on my Instagram handle and I would be happy to help. Happy cooking!

Whole wheat vegetable Momos

I am always on look out for variety dishes to feed my tantrum throwing 4 year old. She’s easily bored eating the same dish. I ate this just yesterday, she says looking at rice. Off late her favourite chapatis are also given a thumbs down sign while I get sleepless nights on how to feed her anything apart from dosas, dosas and more dosas.

Welcome momos!

Don’t know if it’s because of the exciting name or the gorgeous appearance or indeed it did taste delicious, she loved it. And I heaved a sigh of relief. Carbs for her ever lasting energy and veggies for the nutrients, a perfect win win situation.

I had got this idea when I made steamed wheat modaks during Ganesh Chaturthi but never thought it would turn out so yummy. A keeper of a dish this turned out to be.

Sharing the recipe with all of you. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

2 Cups whole wheat flour/ Atta

Salt to taste

Water to knead the dough

For the filling:

1 tsp Oil

1 medium sized Onion

1/4 Cup finely chopped Mushrooms

1/4 Cup finely chopped Capsicum

1/4 Cup finely chopped Carrots

1/4 Cup finely chopped Cabbage

1/2 tsp Soya sauce

1/2 tsp Chilli sauce (optional)

1 tsp Tomato ketchup

1/2 tsp Pepper powder

Salt to taste

Step by step recipe:

1. Take wheat flour and salt in a bowl and knead using water to a soft but firm dough. The dough should not be sticky.

2. Take all the finely chopped veggies and keep it ready.

3. Heat oil in a pan and add onions. Fry them till turn translucent. Now add the rest of the veggies along with salt and pepper powder and keep frying on high flame.

4. Keep frying while adding all the sauces and cook till they turn a little soft. Since we will steam them later, no need to cook them fully.

5. Divide the outer and inner filling into equal portions.

6. Now apply little oil in the your fingers and take a portion of the dough in your hands. Press them between your palms and then using the fingers, make a small roundel as shown.

A thinner version of puri

7. Now add a portion of the filling and seal the edges together as shown.

8. Now keep the water in the steamer to boil while you repeat the same with the rest of the dough.

I used my idli plates. Grease the plates with little oil.

8. Steam for 15 to 20 mins till the surface of the dough looks glossy and cooked. Remove and serve hot with ketchup or Schezwan chutney.

Notes:

* These have to be had hot to enjoy it just like regular momos. So leave all your works aside and enjoy them right after they come out of the steamer.

* You could spice up the filling by adding red chilli flakes too.

* I even add finely chopped broccoli and shredded paneer to the filling. They taste amazing too.

* Do not make the inner filling liquidy by adding more sauces as it will be difficult to hold the shape of momos.

* The outer roundel of wheat dough should be thinner than what we make for puris. Still it should be firm enough to hold the filling.

* After adding the filling and bringing the dough together to form the momo shape, make sure you pinch off the excess portion of dough if there is a lot of it.

Enjoy momo making!

Gooseberry chutney/ Avale Gojju

Being a rich source of Vitamin C and also really good for digestion, for the hair and eyes along with numerous other health benefits, Gooseberries are a must include food in the diet. Ever since I got this recipe of chutney, I have been making it regularly as an accompaniment to our dosas.

Do you know that Vitamin C is essential for absorption of Iron in the body? Ever since we have come to know this, we try to include it in our diet daily and have seen improvement in our health. The simplest form being lemon juice or fresh oranges.

Gooseberries are available in dried candies or pickles and I love both of them. But when I get fresh ones, this chutney is the best bet as it is easy to make and is super delicious.

Here’s sharing the recipe. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Adapted from: The Konkani Saraswat Cookbook by Asha Satish Philar

Ingredients:

6 to 8 Gooseberries/Amla / Avalo (in Konkani)

1/2 Cup Coconut (freshly grated/desiccated)

3 Green chillies

1/4 tsp Hing powder/ Asafoetida

Salt to taste

Step by Step recipe:

1. Wash the gooseberries well and boil in little water for two minutes till the colour changes.

2. Drain water and keep aside to cool.

3. Deseed and cut into pieces.

4. Grind these pieces along with coconut, green chillies, hing and salt with little water as required to a smooth paste.

5. Remove into a bowl and serve with dosa, idli or rice.

Notes:

* This chutney lasts well for two days if refrigerated and handled well even though it’s best consumed when freshly prepared.

* You can even decrease the number of gooseberries that goes in the chutney depending on the availability.

Instant Cucumber Dosa / Thoushe Bhakri

Since most of my readers love my dosa recipes, here is one more of my favourite. This dosa too is a Konkani speciality but I have changed it according to my family’s taste.

Cucumber dosa uses very few basic ingredients and takes very less time to make but is filling and tastes delicious. Both my kids enjoy it with butter and when kids love anything healthy, it is bound to be a winner.

Here’s sharing the recipe. Hope you all will love it. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients: (Makes around 6 dosas)

1 1/2 Cups grated Cucumbers (read Notes below for more details)

3 Green chillies

1 inch Ginger (grated)

2 Cups Wheat Semolina/ Rava/ Sooji

1/2 Cup Wheat flour

1/2 Cup freshly grated Coconut

1 Tbsp Jaggery powder

Salt to taste

Buttermilk or curd or water to dilute the batter

Ghee or oil to cook the dosa

Step by step recipe:

1. Grate cucumbers in a large mixing bowl. Add grated ginger and green chillies.

2. Add semolina, wheat flour, coconut, jaggery and salt.

3. Dilute the batter using buttermilk or you could add around 1/4 cup Curd with water or you could use only water to make the batter. Do not add a lot of water. The batter needs to be thick.

4. Heat a dosa pan and add a ladle full of batter into the pan. Spread it using the ladle into a thick dosa.

5. Cover and cook till top portion cooks. Add ghee or oil as desired.

6. Flip and cook for few seconds. Remove and serve hot with butter or ghee.

Notes:

* I have used English cucumbers which do not have big seeds and needs no peeling. But if you are using Indian cucumbers, they do need peeling and removal of seeds. Grate after that.

* Wheat flour and coconut are optional and won’t make much of a difference if not used.

* I dilute the batter with buttermilk or curd just because I like the tangy flavour in my dosa but you could use just water if you don’t like sour flavour.

* You could make the batter at night and refrigerate till use in the morning. I do that most of the time. It lasts well for two days if refrigerated.

* This dosa is traditionally made as a thick bhakri while spreading on a banana leaf and transferring on the dosa pan. I have been making them as dosas since many years now because they are easier and less time consuming. Also, they come out softer in texture which my family loves.

Do let me know if you have any doubts on my facebook page and I would be happy to help.

Surnali / Sweet and spongy Dosa

Surnalis are sweet, spongy dosas made on Tulsi Pooja day in our GSB community. But since my family loves this dosa, I make it regularly.

My daughter is specially a fan of this dosa and she loves sitting beside me while I make these delicious, aromatic dosas. I don’t blame her as I too used to wait for my mother to make these dosas for our breakfast. These dosas don’t need any accompaniment and can be had as it is.

We, the GSB’s (Gowda Saraswat Brahmin) are famous for our variety of dosas and this is one of the most famous and loved one. You can call this the king of dosas made by konkanis. There are many other yummy dosas which I will be sharing one by one. My family loves dosas and over the years, it has made me a variety dosa specialist. Maybe some day I will open my own dosa corner, haha.

Anyhow, here is the recipe for delicious Surnalis. This was how my mom made them with the exception of adding curd. I add it to get the dosa more spongier. Hope you and your family enjoy them as much as we do. Happy Tulsi Pooja.

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

2 Cups Raw Rice (Any variety of white rice)

1 Cup grated coconut ( fresh/ desiccated)

1 Cup Beaten rice/ Poha

1/2 Cup Curd

3/4 Cup Jaggery

1 tsp Turmeric powder

1 tsp Fenugreek seeds/ Methi

Salt to taste

Ghee to cook the dosa

Recipe:

1. Wash well and soak the raw rice with fenugreek seeds for 2 to 4 hours.

2. Wash beaten rice/ Poha well in water. Keep aside.

3. Melt jaggery in very little water (about 1/4 Cup). Keep aside to cool.

4. Now grind soaked rice – Fenugreek seeds along with Poha, jaggery, coconut, curd, turmeric and salt to a smooth paste. Add buttermilk instead of water while grinding for spongier surnalis. Don’t add too much water while grinding. It should be a thick batter.

5. Mix well with hands to start fermentation. Keep aside covered for 8 hours or overnight in a warm place of your house. In winters, it takes up to 12 hours for the batter to ferment well.

6. Take a ladle full of the batter and pour a thick dosa. Do not spread like regular dosas. Add ghee on top.

7. Cover and cook on low flame till the dosa cooks. (This dosa requires low flame to cook. Else it will turn black due to jaggery in it.)

8. Remove and serve hot with butter.

Notes:

* Any variety of white rice ranging from Sona masoori to short grain white rice (used for eating) works well to make this dosa.

* You could substitute curd with buttermilk.

* Ensure the batter is a slightly thick ( not very thick) smooth paste and not watery to get perfect surnalis.

* The amount of jaggery is to taste. You could increase or decrease as per your taste.

* Cook the Surnalis on medium to low flame. Else it will turn black underneath if cooked on high flame due to jaggery and poha in the batter.

* Surnalis come out the best when the batter is freshly fermented. Once refrigerated, the dosas does not come as spongy. Still they come out like regular dosas.

* Although it tastes amazing with butter, I make Sambarpalli leaves chutney with it and it tastes super delicious. Here is the recipe for the Sambarpalli leaves chutney .

* You can also check this recipe of Mangalore cucumber or Magge Surnalis .

Vegetable Chilly

I don’t know about other places but in Kerala, you get something called “Gobi chilly” which is a slight dry variety to Gobi Manchurian. My dad used to get one plate of both to go with fried rice and it was a heaven made combination for a weekend dinner.

Fast forward to restaurants here in Qatar and the Gobi chilly changed to “Paneer chilly” with a paneer loving husband. I used to love the gravy they made with large cubes of onion and capsicum with a humble ketchup based sauce.

After I started trying the sauce at home, I added more veggies to it ( because that’s how I sneak veggies into everything) and hence came “Vegetable Chilly”. Now it’s become the favourite in the family and my 5 year old also loves it.

And it is so easy to make that it gets ready within few minutes. Also it is super filling that I sometimes eat it without any rice.

This time, I used the precut vegetable mix from Emborg called Garden mix which contains Broccoli, orange and red carrots with beans. It added a whole lot of flavors to the curry. Do get it if you can.

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

1 tbsp Oil

5 pods of Garlic, chopped

1 inch Ginger piece, finely chopped

3 Green chillies

1 large Onion, cubed

1/2 a large Capsicum, cubed

5 to 7 Babycorn, cut into small strips

1 Cup mixed vegetables ( I used the Emborg bag of precut carrots, broccoli and beans)

2 tbsp Tomato ketchup

1 tbsp Chilli sauce

1 tsp Pepper powder

Salt to taste

Recipe:

1. Heat oil in a pan and add ginger, garlic and green chillies. Saute for few seconds.

2. Add onions and capsicum. Saute on high flame for a minute.

3. Add all the veggies. Mix well adding salt and pepper powder. Saute on high flame continually.

4. Cover and cook till the veggies get cooked. I keep a little crunch and do not fully cook them. Sprinkle little water if needed while cooking.

5. Now add both ketchup and chilli sauce and mix well. Remove from flame.

Note:

* You could also add paneer if needed.

* Sauces can be added as per your choice. Add red chilli powder too if you prefer it spicy.

* I did not take step by step pictures as I had no intention of posting this on the blog. But had to post due to many recipe requests. Will add the pictures when I make it next time.

Makhanas can replace chips

There was a time when my 4 year old got kind of addicted to chips. Since she started solids at 6 months, I had always made sure to offer her healthy options. No processed junk like biscuits or chips. But as we moved along, somewhere along the line, I lost my determination and she fell in love with chips.

Now what do I do? How do I bring her out of this unhealthy love? As I read about various healthy options, Makhanas or lotus seeds came into my eyes.

Makhanas/ Fox nuts/ Lotus seeds

Makhanas also called as Fox nuts (yes, fancy name too!) are super healthy and as crunchy as chips. I am lucky that it’s easily available in our local supermarket and hence it was easy to make the switch. It tastes bland in its original form but when fried in ghee, it turns out oh so yummy!

As available locally here.

My little girl now crunches and munches on Makhanas and they have become her favourite snacks. Be it after school hunger pangs or post dinner snack, Makhanas are her best friend now. I also take them along during flight journeys so that she can munch on to curb boredom.

Ghee fried Makhanas

My one year old also loves Makhanas and they serve as excellent finger food too. Just fry and quarter them to offer to babies.

My one year old snacking on Makhanas. Have halved them before offering.

Health benefits of Makhanas/ Fox nuts: Low in cholesterol and fat, low glycemic index, high in magnesium, gluten free, rich in protein, beneficial to kidneys.

How to prepare fried Makhanas?

You will need:

* 1 Cup Makhanas/ Fox nuts

* 1 Tbsp Ghee/ Butter/ Oil

* A pinch of salt (optional)

How to prepare:

1. Heat a frying pan and add ghee to it.

2. Add Makhanas and fry them till the colour changes to slight brown. It will take 3 to 5 mins. Don’t keep on high flame as the Makhanas may burn.

3. Remove from flame and sprinkle little salt if needed.

Notes:

* You can also add chat masala or cheese powder or red chilli powder for more flavors.

* For younger kids, quarter the Makhanas after frying and offer. Skip salt if the baby is less than an year old.