Category Archives: Snacks

Methi Thepla | Easy, soft, flavourful theplas with fenugreek leaves

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As my son is sleeping after coming back tired from school, I have finally sat down to write this recipe of Methi Theplas which are his favorite 😍. He loves variety of dosas, bhakris, parathas and his recent love is this Methi Thepla. ❀️ It’s winter now in Qatar and we have fresh methi (fenugreek) leaves growing in our tiny kitchen garden, handled very lovingly by my husband. Here are the tiny yet pretty and very healthy leaves 😍

These leaves are plucked when my son demands for Theplas and love how homegrown leaves have an amazing flavour of it’s own. Farm to kitchen lifestyle is really the best way to enjoy and respect food. ❀️

Though I also make Alu methi and methi dal, these Theplas have become more regular as my kids love it. It’s also very easy to make and hardly takes 30 mins from start to finish.

They also stay well at room temperature for few hours and remain soft. So, in case there are leftovers, they still taste yum when enjoyed later.

Do try this delicious and healthy variation instead of rotis or parathas and you will definitely love it. Happy and healthy cooking ❀️

Ingredients: { Makes about 7 Theplas }

1 Cup = 240 ml

1 cup finely chopped Fenugreek leaves/ Methi leaves

2 Cups Wheat flour / Chakki ka Atta

2 tsp white Sesame seeds / Til

2 tsp Oil ( I use coconut oil)

1 tsp Red chilli powder

1 tsp Coriander powder

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

A pinch of Hing/ Asafoetida

Salt to taste

Approx 1/2 cup water to make the dough

Oil or Ghee to cook the Theplas

Step by step recipe:

1. Take finely chopped methi leaves in a large mixing bowl (I chop the tender stems too along with the leaves. You can chop only the leaves if the stems are thick). Add sesame seeds, red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, salt, oil, hing.

2. Now add wheat flour and mix everything well. Add water little by little and form a soft dough just like chapati dough.

3. Now divide the dough into equal sized balls as shown.

4. Using dry wheat flour, dust each of the balls and roll just like chapatis.

5. Heat a pan and fry the Theplas, both sides while applying oil or Ghee. Cook till brown spots appear on either sides of the Thepla.

6. Enjoy hot Theplas with curd and pickle or even as it is. Tastes so yum ❀️

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Notes:

* You can also enjoy them after a while as they remain soft for many hours. Hence they make an excellent lunch box option or to make and carry during traveling.

* Just pack them tightly in a steel box or a hot case.

* The ratio of 1 : 2 for methi leaves : wheat flour works well for me. If you change the ratio, it might be difficult to roll the Theplas.

* Remove thick stems from methi leaves before adding to Theplas. I add thin, tender stems finely chopped and you can never feel them in the mouth.

* Make sure to cook both sides of the Theplas well with oil or Ghee which makes the Theplas soft.

* I also make Theplas adding yogurt which is another method you can try. I make Bottlegourd or Dudhi/ Lauki Thepla that way. Here is the recipe : Bottlegourd Theplas

* For growing your own methi leaves, just sprout regular methi seeds and add them to soil. You can also grow in pots of you don’t have the space for direct soil. It takes about two weeks for methi leaves to grow completely once sowed in soil. I have shared the detailed blog on how to sprout methi seeds in this blog. You can check HERE.

Batat Phovu| Kanda Batata Poha | Easy Breakfast recipe with rice flakes

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Whenever I ask my husband what breakfast he would like to eat when there is no dosa or idli batter, he immediately says “Batat Phovu”. πŸ˜„ And to imagine that he used to simply dislike potatoes when we got married. I used to beg him to please get us some potatoes as it used to be my favorite vegetable. Yes, “used to be” πŸ˜‚ Now I have joined him in not liking potatoes so much but he is slowly liking them in some dishes and one of them is this Batat Phovu. 😍

In fact, it is he who suggested me that I should definitely share this recipe on the blog while I was sceptical as this is quite a well known recipe. “Everyone makes this and everyone knows the recipe..”, I told him. “But don’t think anyone can make it as perfectly as yours!”, was his reply instantly. (This man really loves what I cook πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚)

So I decided to share the recipe on the blog. Because if it helps even one, I will consider my efforts worthwhile. Though I am not a perfect cook in any way, some dishes I cook comes out really tasty and Batat Phovu is one among them.

Here’s sharing the simple recipe for those who don’t know yet. Hope it’s helpful for you. Happy and healthy cooking! ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients: {Serves 2 to 3 people}

1 Cup = 240 ml

2 Cups Thick Poha / Rice flakes / Beaten rice

2 Tbsp Coconut Oil

1 tsp Ghee

1 tsp Mustard seeds

1 tsp Cumin seeds

2 Tbsp Peanuts

Few Curry leaves

3 Green chillies

1 medium sized Onion

2 medium sized Potatoes

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

A pinch of Asafoetida/ Hing

2 tsp Sugar

Salt to taste

2 Tbsp Coriander leaves, for garnish

2 Tbsp freshly grated Coconut, for garnish

Juice of 1/2 an Indian lemon

Step by step recipe:

1. Heat oil + ghee in a pan. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Allow mustard seeds to splutter. Now add peanuts, curry leaves and finely chopped green chillies. Fry for few seconds till peanuts get roasted.

2. Now add finely chopped Onion and fry till onions turn translucent.

3. Add peeled and finely chopped Potatoes and turmeric powder. Mix well and fry the potatoes for a minute. Now add few spoons of water. Cover and cook till the potatoes turn soft. Will take about 5 mins.

4. Meanwhile take Thick Poha in a bowl. Note to take thick variety of Poha and not the thin variety of Poha.

5. Now wash it well once or twice to remove impurities from it. Drain water completely after washing. Poha turns soft now. Add salt, sugar and hing powder. Mix well.

6. Once potatoes turn soft, add poha to it and mix well continually till the mixture combines. Cover and keep for 5 mins on very low flame.

7. Now remove from flame and garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves and grated coconut. Drizzle lemon juice on top. Mix well. Serve hot. Done! ❀️

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Notes:

* We like the Poha soft and moist. So I wash really well and also cook after adding to the pan. If you don’t like it soft, you can wash only once and just mix in the pan and remove from flame without covering it.

* Batat Phovu is best had hot when freshly made. If kept for long, it tends to get dry. In case you have to make ahead, just sprinkle few drops of water while reheating before serving. That makes it moist again.

* You can skip potatoes if you don’t like and make simple Kanda Poha with only onions.

* Some people also add carrots, capsicum and peas to this making it Vegetable Poha which is even healthier but my family loves Batat Phovu the authentic way only. Just shared as I thought it’s a great idea.

* I add oil + ghee to enhance the flavour of the Batat Phovu. You can add only oil if you like.

* Thick Poha is used to make Batat Phovu and not Thin Poha. Thin Poha is used in dishes like Godu Phovu (sweetened rice flakes) and Bhajjil Phovu (roasted rice flakes).

* I mix salt, sugar and hing in the washed Poha instead of adding in the pan as I have seen it results in even mixing and tastes really good.

* The thick Poha I use does not need soaking at all and turns soft when I wash it twice. If your Poha is very hard, you will need to soak for few minutes to make it soft before use.

* You can also try my other Poha recipes:

Kobi Pohe (Satwik version of Pohe with Cabbage)

Poha Vegetable Cutlet

Instant Poha Idlis

Instant Oats Poha Dosa

Other Breakfast Ideas

Eggless Wheat Banana Cupcakes | Healthy muffins | Easy recipe

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I have been baking cakes and cupcakes with wheat flour, jaggery and ghee since many years now and I am happy to say that my kids too have got so much used to this flavour that they love it much more than store bought maida based cupcakes. I bake them for their school tiffin box and also as an evening snack before they go out to play. ❀️

Now that they are at home whole day (demanding for food quite often πŸ˜…), my cooking has also increased and while I was about to make these banana cupcakes, I realized I had not shared the recipe on the blog. So quickly took some pictures and here I am writing this recipe while they are enjoying the cupcakes. ❀️

Cinnamon gives a wonderful aroma and flavour to these cupcakes and that makes these cupcakes super tasty too. They come out so soft too and you can never say it does not have eggs in it.

Hope you all try these delicious, filling cupcakes too and I am sure you will love it too. Happy and healthy baking! ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { Makes 6 medium sized muffins }

1 Cup = 240 ml

Dry Ingredients:

1 Cup Whole Wheat flour / Atta

1/4 tsp Cinnamon powder (or Vanilla essence)

1/4 tsp Baking soda

A pinch of salt

Wet Ingredients:

1/4 Cup Mashed Bananas ( I took 2 small overripe Indian bananas)

1/2 Cup Jaggery powder

1/4 Cup Water

1/4 Cup Ghee

1 tsp Vinegar (or lemon juice)

Step by step recipe:

1. Sift together using a sieve 1 Cup wheat flour, 1/4 tsp Cinnamon powder, 1/4 tsp Baking soda and a pinch of salt. Keep aside.

Note: If using Vanilla essence, you can mix with wet ingredients.

2. In another mixing bowl, take 1/4 Cup mashed bananas, 1/2 Cup Jaggery powder, 1/4 Cup Water, 1/4 Cup Ghee and 1 tsp Vinegar. Mix very well using a spatula.

Note: I mashed two overripe Indian bananas and got 1/4 Cup of mashed bananas. Even if you use three Indian bananas, it’s fine. Cupcakes will come out well. Just take care to mash really well.

3. Now add the dry ingredients mix to the wet ingredients mix and fold using the spatula. Do NOT overmix. Just mix so that you don’t see any dry flour specks in the mixture.

4. Preheat the oven at 180 C for 10 to 15 mins in the center rack of the oven. If using microwave convection oven, choose the option of turning both rods on.

5. Meanwhile line the muffin pan with liners or just grease well with ghee or butter. Add a spoonful or two of the batter into each mold.

6. Bake at 180 C for 18 to 20 mins. Mine gets done exactly at 18 mins. Keep an eye after 15 mins into baking time so that the cupcakes don’t turn brown on the surface. Allow them to cool and then enjoy!

Note: To check if done, insert a toothpick in the center most cupcake. If it comes out clear or with tiny crumbs and is not wet, then the cupcakes are well baked. If it comes out wet, bake for few minutes more.

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Notes:

* These cupcakes lasts well at room temperature for a day. Just keep in a moisture free container. After a day, refrigerate it and then microwave for few seconds before consuming.

* I have used 1/4 Cup mashed Bananas to 1/2 Cup mashed Bananas in this recipe and it does not make much difference. It depends on how many overripe bananas I have. If I have two, I add two and if I have three, I add all three. Just make sure to not increase the quantity more than 1/2 Cup though.

* I recommend using Cinnamon powder for this recipe as it gives such a wonderful aroma and flavour. But if you don’t have, you can use vanilla essence or even Cardamom powder too.

* Always remember to sieve the dry ingredients to get soft muffins, specially when using whole wheat flour.

* Ghee can be substituted with melted butter, Jaggery can be substituted with brown sugar or regular sugar and Vinegar can be substituted with lemon juice, all of same quantity.

* Don’t overmix both the dry and wet ingredients. Just mix well once. Overmixing can lead to hard muffins.

* Preheating the oven before placing the muffin pan is a very important step. Don’t forget it. Preheat at 180 C for 10 to 15 mins.

* Bake in the center rack of OTG or with both rods on in a microwave convection oven. Keep an eyes after 15 mins into baking time but don’t keep opening oven door before that. Mine gets done exactly at 18 mins in OTG.

* To check if done, insert a toothpick in the center most cupcake. If it comes out clear or with tiny crumbs and is not wet, then the cupcakes are well baked. If it comes out wet, bake for few minutes more.

* You can give this to kids as evening snack or in their tiffin box for a filling, tasty treat.

For more Healthy cakes, cupcakes and cookies recipes, you can check my collection:

Healthy Cakes, Cupcakes and Muffins

For Baking tips for Beginners, you can check:

Baking Tips for Beginners

More recipes with Bananas like Banana pancakes, Banana Rava Cupcakes, Chocolate banana cake:

Banana recipes Collection

Bottlegourd Thepla | Lauki/ Dudhi Thepla

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The house is silent now, till afternoon, when my kids come back from school. I am utilizing this alone time to write this interesting, very healthy and super tasty Bottlegourd thepla recipe which I learned sometime back. Once the kids return from school, all they say is “Amma, Potta Bhook!” meaning “Mom, I am hungry!” in Konkani. 😁

So I have to keep something ready for them so that I can feed them as quick as I can. And it should be filling as well. Else in another 30 mins, it’s the same dialogue again. πŸ˜„ So, in my search for healthy snack recipes, I found this Bottlegourd Thepla which I tried one day for the hungry siblings. 😍😍

Both of them literally had a fight till the last bite while I had the last laugh as they did not realize they were eating bottlegourd too in it. 😁 Seriously speaking, you can never say it is made of bottlegourd. The taste of these soft theplas are heavenly to say the least. ❀️

So now, bottlegourd is bought weekly in our grocery shopping to specially make these theplas and I had to share the recipe with all of you too. ❀️

Bottlegourd ❀️

Do try them for a change from the regular food that we make and you are sure to be a fan of Bottlegourd theplas too. Happy and healthy cooking! ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { 1 Cup = 240 ml }

Makes about 4 Theplas

1 Cup Whole Wheat flour/ Atta

1/2 Cup peeled, cored and grated Bottlegourd/ Lauki / Dudhi / Sorekai / Chorakaa

1/2 inch Ginger piece, grated

3 Tbsp Coriander leaves, chopped

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

1/2 tsp Red chilli powder

1 tsp Coriander powder

1 tsp Garam masala powder

Salt to taste

1 to 2 Tbsp Yogurt/ Curd or as needed

Dry wheat flour as needed while rolling

Oil or Ghee to cook the Theplas

Step by step recipe:

1. Peel, core and grate Bottlegourd. I took half of one medium sized Bottlegourd and got 1/2 Cup gratings.

2. Add it to a mixing bowl. Add wheat flour. Then add grated ginger, chopped coriander leaves, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, Garam masala powder, coriander powder and salt.

3. Mix well using hands. Bottlegourd will release it’s water and the dough will be moist.

4. Now add 1 Tbsp Yogurt and mix well to form a dough.

Note: This step is very important as if you add more yogurt, the dough will be wet and you won’t be able to roll the theplas. Add only as much as to form a dough. In case by mistake you add more yogurt, just add more wheat flour to form a non sticky dough.

5. Coat the dough with few drops of any kind of oil so that the dough becomes non sticky.

6. Now divide into equal sized dough balls. Flatten and dip into dry wheat flour. Roll as thin as you can.

Note: The shape will not be perfect round due to grated bottlegourd in it but it’s fine. Just dip into as much dry wheat flour as needed and roll.

7. Now fry both sides on a hot tawa applying oil or Ghee on either sides, cooking the Thepla really well till it turns golden brown in colour.

8. Serve hot with mango or lemon pickle. ❀️

Notes:

* Hot theplas with pickle taste the best but you can also make ahead and keep as these last for two to three days. A perfect travel food made regularly by Gujaratis.

* Do a taste test by eating a small bite of the bottlegourd before grating to see if it’s bitter. I have never found a bitter one but I have heard some do taste bitter. So I always taste before grating.

* You can also add finely chopped green chillies to thepla dough but since I make for my kids, I add only little red chilli powder.

* Knead the dough only using the moisture from bottlegourd and yogurt. Don’t add water while kneading.

* The ratio of 1/2 Cup grated bottlegourd to 1 Cup wheat flour and 1 Tbsp Yogurt gives a very soft Thepla but is slightly tricky while rolling. If you are not good at rolling, you can increase the quantity of wheat flour to 1 1/2 Cups wheat flour. The texture will be similar to rotis though.

* While rolling, use ample amount of dry wheat flour which helps in rolling easily. If using less, the dough will stick to the rolling platform.

* I used ghee to fry the theplas. You can use oil too.

* A simple mango pickle tastes the best with this Thepla. You can also make coriander chutney or raita too.

* I regularly make this Bottlegourd Halwa which tastes really delicious. You can try it as well.

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Nendrapazham Nirachathu | Stuffed Nendran Banana

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It’s a special weekend day today as my daughter Ashritha’s half yearly exams are finally over and it really feels like my exams are over too. πŸ˜… Teaching her for her second standard exams was not less than my engineering semester exams for me. 😁

Planning her lessons, teaching her, preparing notes, asking her questions while I do my work, then finally heaving a sigh of relief when she says the exams were easy… All of these were my last two weeks in short. πŸ˜„ So since yesterday, I have been making her favorite dishes to celebrate “freedom from exams” and today was the day to give freedom to these fast ripening Nendran Bananas too. 😍

Nendran Bananas are her favorite and apart from slicing round, frying in ghee, I also make this Nendran Banana Halwa when the bananas turn overripe. I also learned to make this Nendrapazham nirachathu last month which she loved a lot. So I decided to make it today with these bananas and took some pictures to add on the blog too.

This is very easy to make and tastes so delicious for words, specially if you love Nendran Bananas. Hope you all try it too. Happy and healthy cooking! ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { For two stuffed bananas }

Two Ripe Nendran Bananas (should not be very soft or over ripe)

4 Tbsp Freshly grated Coconut

2 to 3 Tbsp Jaggery powder

1 tsp Ghee + 1 Tbsp Ghee

1/2 tsp Cardamom powder

Step by step recipe:

1. Heat 1 tsp Ghee in a small pan and add freshly grated coconut and jaggery powder.

2. On medium to low flame, fry the coconut- jaggery well in ghee for a minute.

3. Remove from flame. Add Cardamom powder. Mix well.

4. Take the ripe Nendran Bananas. If they are very soft, we can’t use it as it will break when we fill and fry it. Just see that they are ripe yet firm.

5. Peel the bananas. Make a small slit with knife in the center leaving the ends as shown. Don’t make a very deep cut too. Just slit until 3/4th depth of the banana.

6. Now stuff the bananas with the coconut jaggery mixture using hands. Divide the mixture between the two bananas.

7. Now heat 1 Tbsp Ghee in a pan and roast all three sides of the bananas till they turn slight brown. Do it on medium to low flame, else they can burn.

8. Done. Slice into three to four pieces and serve. Enjoy! ❀️

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Notes:

* If you have very soft or over ripe bananas, you can make this Quick Nendran Banana Halwa that I make regularly.

* This recipe requires the bananas to be ripe yet firm to hold.

* While frying the bananas, be careful while turning and see that you do so on medium to low flame, else the stuffing can burn as it has jaggery in it.

Instant Sweet Appo | Wheat Jaggery appe | Easy Sweet Paniyaram | Godu Appo

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The bowl of sweet appes that you can see above has been finished off by my sweet 3 year old son as I write this. After I made it and gave him one, he took a bite and asked me innocently, “mmm yummy Amma, ye hotel?” πŸ˜„. I felt very happy and like a chef that my son found the appes so good that he thought they were from hotel. 😍

He wanted more and finally ate the whole bowl of it. My heart filled up as a mother by seeing him eat happily and I wanted to share my happiness with all of you too as soon as possible. So, sat to write down this blog now itself. ❀️

These appes were one among the first I learnt to make when I got the Appe pan as we have grown up eating them. My kids love it a lot and I make it regularly for them as a tasty snack. It’s so quick to make yet fills up their tummies in a healthy way. ❀️

I also want to share a glimpse of my kitchen counter with all of you today seeing which makes me very happy each day. I love arranging it and love to keep the house clean. Took this picture to send my Amma and felt like sharing with you all too. A peek into my kitchen and my favorite place in the house. 😍

The popsicle molds are my recent purchase and I am loving making new varieties of fruit popsicles each day for the kids. Their excitement while enjoying them is one of a kind. 😍 Will share the recipes when I find time. ❀️

Hope you all loved reading this blog. Do try these appes and I am sure you will love them. Happy and healthy cooking! ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { Makes about 24 small sized appos }

1 Cup Wheat flour (Chapati Atta)

1/2 Cup Jaggery powder or to taste

2 to 3 Tbsp freshly grated Coconut

A pinch of Salt

1/4 tsp Cardamom powder

1/2 Cup Milk

1/2 to 3/4 Cup water (to make the batter)

1 small Indian Banana (1/4 Cup mashed banana)

Ghee to cook the appos

Step by step recipe:

1. Take 1 Cup wheat flour, 1/2 Cup Jaggery powder, about 2 Tbsp freshly grated coconut, salt and Cardamom powder in a mixing bowl.

2. Add 1/2 Cup Milk and water (1/4 Cup each time) to make a slightly thick lump free batter. It takes about 1/2 Cup to 3/4 Cup water to make this batter depending on the brand of wheat flour and how much water it absorbs. The consistency should be neither very thin nor very thick. It should be thicker than dosa batter.

3. Now add the mashed banana to the batter. Mix well. I add 1 small Indian Banana which is 1/4 Cup when mashed.

4. Now heat the Appe pan and when it becomes hot, reduce the flame to medium. Now add a drop of ghee in each of the holes of the pan. Add one spoonful of batter in each of them. Don’t keep the flame on high as the appes may turn black in colour. Always keep the flame on medium to get golden coloured appes.

5. Cover and cook for a minute or till the surface looks slightly cooked.

6. Flip and cook for a minute again.

7. Serve them warm or at room temperature. Tastes so yum! 😍

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Notes:

* You can skip banana if you don’t have but trust me, these appes taste really heavenly with the banana flavour and the slight bite of bananas in them.

* If you are not adding bananas, you will need to add a pinch of baking soda to help the appos fluff up. I don’t like to use soda and hence I add bananas everytime while making appos.

* This is how I make Wheat banana pancakes too. So you can use appe batter to make pancakes.

* The measurements I have shared above works very well for me. You can add or reduce jaggery, coconut and milk as per your taste.

* Always cook the appes in medium flame for perfect golden coloured appes.

* I also make Mixed dal Appes which comes out delicious. You can check the recipe here.

Bhajjil Phovu | Easy Konkani style roasted Poha snack

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I know I have been taking long breaks from blogging and there are many reasons for it, some are personal, some are worth sharing with all of you. The main reason why I can’t blog like before is my son, who needs me all the time, to play with him, to hear his life issues as a 3 year old (πŸ˜…) and sometimes to just hug him tight, sitting on our sofa, looking outside at the birds. ❀️

But all this will last only for 4 more months as we have got him admission for Kindergarten (KG 1/ LKG) which he will join in April. It’s a bitter sweet moment for me as both the kids will be at school while the home turns empty.. Though I know I will get all the time in the world for myself, I really don’t know what I will do with that time πŸ˜‚. Will definitely miss the chatter and the fun mornings with my son. ❀️

It’s been many days my husband has been asking me to restart blogging ( he loves this blog much more than me πŸ˜…) and I wanted more time to get my mind reset on blogging. Today he said he will play with the momma’s boy and here I am writing this blog.

I learned to make this roasted Poha snack long back when Nandini Bhandarkar Akka posted it on our common food group. We all loved it and it has now become a regular at my place. I absolutely love how quickly it can be made, yet tastes really delicious with simple flavours.

Hope you all try and love this Bhajjil Phovu. Happy and healthy cooking! ❀️

Thank you Nandini Bhandarkar Akka for your recipe. ❀️

RECIPE:

Recipe credit: Mrs Nandini Bhandarkar

Ingredients:

1 1/2 Cups thin Poha/ Aval/ flattened rice (thin variety)

2 tsp Coconut oil

1 tsp Mustard seeds

6 to 8 Curry leaves

3 Green chillies

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder/ Haldi

1 tsp Sugar/ Jaggery powder

Salt to taste

Freshly grated Coconut for garnish

Step by step recipe:

1. Dry roast the thin variety of Poha in a pan (without oil) on medium flame till it turns crisp. Takes about 5 mins.

2. Now remove it in a mixing bowl. Keep aside.

3. Now heat coconut oil in the same pan. Splutter mustard seeds, add curry leaves, finely chopped green chillies, turmeric powder and fry for few seconds.

4. Add the roasted Poha to this seasoning along with salt and sugar. Mix well. Switch off the flame.

5. Remove in a bowl. Garnish with freshly grated coconut. Serve!

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Notes:

* Bhajjil Phovu makes for an excellent evening snack as it is light on the tummy and can be easily made, yet really delicious.

* You can also roast peanuts in the seasoning.

* Please note that this snack is made using thin Poha and not thick Poha. Thick Poha needs soaking before consuming whereas thin Poha does not need it.

* If making for breakfast, you can combine it with Upma or Chane Usli too for a filling breakfast.

* Store this in a tight, moist free container and it lasts well for few days too. You can add freshly grated coconut just before serving.

* This Bhajjil Phovu tastes just like the Phova Chiwda that is made during festivals, the difference being this Phovu is a simpler and easier version of it.

* For more recipes with Poha/ Aval, you can checkPoha recipes collection

* For all breakfast recipesBreakfast recipes collection

* For all snack ideasSnack recipes collection

* For all Konkani recipesKonkani recipes Collection

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Dry fruit Coconut Ladoos | Sugar free ladoos | Easy to make, Ready in 15 mins

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So happy to be posting this super healthy, easy to make, heavenly tasting ladoo recipe on Hanuman Jayanthi today. The thread you can see above in my hand is from Shri Hanumantha temple in Moodbidri near Udupi. It’s been around 2 years that I got it as a prasad from the temple but I am happy that the thread has not deformed nor lost its beautiful colour. Grateful to God for that. This thread is a constant reminder to me that I have Hanumanji’s blessings always and it has removed fear completely from my mind. πŸ™

My devotion to Hanumanji started when we shifted to Elamakkara, Kochi when I was in 9th std. Elamakkara is a place with so many temples located very close to each other. My dad used to go to each of these temples on weekends and I would accompany him too. In the Dattatreya Swamy temple, there is a Hanumanji gudi ( a smaller temple) where I started going quite often and I always felt so peaceful standing in front of that gudi while sharing both my happiness and sorrows with Hanumanji. πŸ™

During college days, I also started wearing his pendant which had Shree Ram on one side and Hanumanji on the other. Found this picture from exactly 10 years back and sharing with all of you along with the pendant’s picture as it not clear from my photo.

This picture brought back so many memories of our house in Elamakkara. ❀️ Our mandir which you can see behind, the showcase with photos and soveigners, our old computer in which I used to do my college work, the wooden sofa with velvet seating and a glimpse of our kitchen where my grandmother and mother used to make so many dishes very lovingly for me. One photo, hundreds of memories. 😍😍

Talking about photos, my devotion to Hanumanji also was through collecting his pictures, his books, his keychains, in fact anything with Hanumanji in it. I have saved all of it even now and had brought them along with me to Qatar. Looking at them makes me so so happy. Sharing a glimpse with all of you.

My treasure. β€οΈπŸ™

There is a story behind Hanuman chalisa book in my life. During my final college trip to Hyderabad, my Amma was very scared to let me go. But for my happiness, finally she agreed reluctantly. Alongside, she prayed to Hanumanji that if I come back safely, we would give Hanuman chalisa books to my Hindu classmates (I know it might sound childish but a mother’s love is something which only a mother can understand ❀️). And you know the most divine part?

On the way to Hyderabad in the bus, while my friends were dancing, me being a very bad dancer (πŸ˜…), just sat looking outside the window and what do I see! Small Hanumanji temples in every few kms!! It made me feel so happy that I wanted to call Amma then and there to share my happiness. I saw so many idols of Hanumanji together that evening that I have not seen in my entire life. Such a blissful and unforgettable experience it was! πŸ™ And yes, I did reach back safely and we distributed the Hanuman chalisa books to my classmates, much to their surprise. ❀️ My best friend Sunanda still has that book which made her a Hanumanji devotee too. πŸ™

Sorry for so many nostalgic stories today but Hanumanji is so close to my life that I just went on writing. Thank you so much for reading. Here’s wishing all of you a very blessed Hanuman Jayanthi. πŸ™

Hope you all try these delicious ladoos for your family. Happy and healthy cooking! ❀️

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RECIPE:

Ingredients: { Makes 20 small ladoos }

1 Cup deseeded Dates (I used Khudri variety)

10 dried Apricots

3/4 Cup Mixed Nuts { I took 1/4 Cup each of Cashews, Almonds and Walnuts }

1/4 Cup Raisins

1/2 Cup Desiccated Coconut

Step by step recipe:

1. Soak dried apricots in hot water for about 10 mins. Also soak dates if using hard variety of dates.

2. Meanwhile, dry roast the Desiccated Coconut in a pan on medium flame till it starts changing colour and turns light brown. Immediately transfer to a bowl. (Don’t allow it to turn dark brown. Just a light colour change as shown below is sufficient.) Keep aside till use.

2. Add the nuts to a mixer or food processor. Also keep the apricots, dates and raisins ready.

3. Powder it coarsely, not grinding continually but pulsing in regular intervals. Took me about 5 pulses for 15 seconds each for it to get powdered coarsely. { If ground continually, it will turn into paste as nuts release oil when ground too much. }

4. Now add the drained apricots, dates and raisins.

5. Again pulse in the food processor till the mixture gets blended together to almost like a coarse paste. { Do not add water while grinding.}

6. Now add to a frying pan and heat it for two mins just till it becomes dry. Remove and keep aside.

7. Now add the mixture to the dry roasted coconut and mix well using a spatula.

8. Once mixture has cooled slightly, make ladoos by taking little portions and shaping between your palms. These ladoos can be easily shaped by anyone as the mixture is not dry.

9. Repeat the same with the mixture. Enjoy these guilt free healthy ladoos!

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Notes:

* Store them in an air tight container free from moisture and it will last well atleast for couple of days in room temperature. Refrigerate after that.

* Desiccated Coconut can be substituted with freshly grated coconut. Just that it will take a little while longer to get brown colour.

* If using hard variety of dates, soak it in hot water for about 10 mins or till it turns soft.

* If you don’t have dried apricots, substitute with 1/2 Cup more of Dates. So total 1 1/2 Cup Dates in the recipe.

* In the 3/4 Cup nuts, you can use any variety of nuts. I used a mix of Cashews, Almonds and Walnuts.

* You can use either golden or black raisins.

* If you don’t want to use coconut, just skip it like I do for my Dry fruit bites.

* If you don’t want to make them as ladoos, spread onto a plate and cut once it gets hard. I do that for my Dry fruit bites.

* You can check my Ready in 15 min healthy sweet recipes compilationfor easy, healthy sweet recipes.

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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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