Nov 27, 2015

Mung sprouts Poha/ Flattened rice with green gram sprouts

It's a constant challenge for me to churn out a different, tasty,nutritious and well presented breakfast option without repeating every single day for my kids.Kids get bored of food so fast.And breakfast being the important meal of the day is needed for health and mental well being both for adults and children.

During one of those mornings when I hadn't decided what to make for the kids' lunchbox the previous night,these sprouted green mung came to my rescue.As I opened the fridge in the morning groggy eyed after a late night ,these bright green sprouts peeped from the shelves invitingly giving me an instant idea to use them in a nutritious combination with beaten rice or Poha.The Eureka moment worked and the combo was a hit with the kids,the lunch boxes came back polished clean.

Green gram sprouts are always readily found in my pantry as I use them in salad,Upma,poha,pulaos etc.The humble sprouted mung beans are nutritional powerhouses And are a favourite because of their ease and taste.Low calorie and high in vitamin C these can be used in burger patties,for making stews or a easy one pot casserole with mixed veggies.

I am sending this healthy and delicious breakfast to Sadhna 's event My Legume Love Affair and Srivalli's event Come, Join us for breakfast.

You Require  ( 2 Servings)
1C Poha or flattened Rice
1/2 C Sprouted Green Gram or Mung
1/4 C Peanuts
1/2 fresh lime
1 medium Onion , chopped
1 green chilli,chopped
5-6 curry leaves
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 -2 tbsp refined oil
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1 tbsp fresh coriander ,chopped( optional)


  • Wash the flattened Rice in a big strainer making sure not to wash it too much as the rice tends to break and let the water drain out.Add salt and lime juice to it and keep aside.
  • Steam the sprouts in a microwave for 2 mins .
  • In a pan or wok heat the oil,add the peanuts and fry them till done,when they start crackling  add mustard seeds and curry leaves and let them splutter.
  • Add the chopped onions and chillies and fry till transparent, now add the sprouts and turmeric and sauté for a minute.
  • Lastly add the poha or flattened rice on low flame and mix till the turmeric gets incorporated properly and the poha looks yellow uniformly.
  • Add the coriander and cover it and switch off the flame.
  • Uncover after 2 minutes and serve.
  • Enjoy with a cup of ginger tea.

Nov 23, 2015

A minty avocado,watermelon and a feta salad

Whether it's indulging in a third large cup of coffee ,an extra slice of pizza in lunch ,too much beer in Tuesdays Happy Hours or just binging to your hearts content during the festive season,the result is the same.You feel like crap afterwards.The more you eat in excess the more emptier you feel.

After the larger than life Indian festivities which revolve a lot around tempting delicacies and mindless eating it's time to detox now with some recipes screaming health.Its a good time to cleanse your body of the toxins with the Christmas air setting in,much reason to eat,shop and be merry ....again!!

Dietary detox is basically eliminating certain foods, avoiding alcohol and caffeine and loading up on fresh fruits, veggies and juices.Sometimes it results in weight loss and increased energy. Starting your
meals with a salad helps you to attain weight loss and reap many health benefits too.

Salads are a meal in itself or accompaniment to a meal.The word Salad itself sounds so healthy...light,quick and easy to digest.But a salad can turn treacherous if we top it up with creamy,cholesterol laden dressings and fatty high calorie mix ins.

This refreshing Avocado watermelon feta salad not only screams health but is tasty too and the mint leaves impart a fresh minty flavour to it.The dressing is lime juice,seasonings and a drizzle of olive oil which is essential fats and is needed by the body to absorb nutrients from the salad.

This salad is being shared with Lisa of Lisa' s kitchen and Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes for their blog event No Croutons Required this month.

03 Servings
You require

01  large Avocado,peeled and diced
01 long Cucumber,peeled and diced
01 C watermelon,diced
01 medium Tomato,diced
01 small red onion,sliced thin
100 gms Feta cheese,cubed
2 tbsp ,fresh mint leaves,chopped
1/2 C pomegranate kernels
Juice of 01 Lime
Extra virgin Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


  • In a large bowl ,add all the ingredients except the lime,olive oil and the seasonings.
  • Squeeze the lime juice on the top, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper .
  • Stir gently and serve.

Nov 22, 2015

Moroccan chicken with chickpeas and raisins

My bucket list continuously keeps on getting updated,altered,contemplated and rejuvenated.And the recent update to the list is visiting the mesmerising ,awe- inspiring Morocco.Visiting Egypt was a dream of mine from as long as I can remember.Now that Egypt is tick marked Morocco is my dream destination ,a land of kasbahs ,medinas,arid desert landscapes and the very authentic sweet and spicy
Tagines and Couscous.

Moroccan cooking abounds in aromatic subtle spices and intriguing flavour combinations.Most of the dishes are convenient,comfort food as well as delicious and hearty.My blog would soon be flooded with an array of these dishes as I have been cooking these delicacies regularly and would love to blog about the magical flavours of Moroccan cuisine.

This chicken with chickpeas curry is a wonderful dish,though had doubts in adding raisins to it but that's what gave a different twist to the curry.The honey ,lemon zest,cinnamon and paprika impart a sweet as well as spicy flavour to the chicken .A divine combination with a bowl of steamed rice.I have used boneless breasts here but the authentic curry asks for chicken thighs.

You require

2 lbs Chicken,boneless breasts
01 onion,chopped
1 tbsp  minced Garlic
1/2 tbsp cumin powder,
1/2 tbsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tbsp lemon zest,grated
1 tbsp flour
2 C chicken broth
2 tbsp honey
3/4 C chickpeas,soaked,boiled,drained
3 tbsp oil


  • Heat oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan on medium heat.
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper and brown well on both sides and keep aside in a plate.
  • Add garlic and onion to the saucepan and sauté till onions are transparent.
  • Add the cumin,turmeric,paprika and cinnamon ,stir and cook for a minute.
  • Stir in the chicken broth,honey ,lemon zest and flour,incorporate till well blended.
  • Add the browned chicken and cook covered for 10-15 minutes.
  • Now stir in the raisins and chickpeas and simmer uncovered for 10 more minutes or till the chicken is cooked properly.
  • Serve with hot steamed rice .

Nov 17, 2015

Some Diwali shots of my traditional home

Diwali ,a colourful and happy celebration , that time of the year when you decorate and prepare your house for the traditional festivities .Fire crackers,lighting of clay lamps,decorative candles,the wonderful aroma of the sweets and savouries ,rangolis are a few things that depicts this Festival of Lights.The candles and diyas illuminating every corner of the house is a spectacular sight and a pleasure to the eyes.Sharing with you all a few Diwali shots of our traditional home and my Diwali table.

Katori chaat,Kesariya kheer and motichur parfait,Labanga latika,eggless Gulkand cupcakes with a pan liqueur frosting and a Chocolate mousse gulabjamun tart

My diwali delicacies

Applesauce spice bundt cake with a brown sugar glaze

A busy week of Diwali festivities and excitement and then the sudden lull ....schools have reopened with the elder one s exams starting today,and the little ones sports day practices.So back to the monotonous humdrum life with lunchbox preparations,dirty laundry,healthy menu plan, homework, etc.

Thanks to the blog and my blogger friends ,have something to look forward to every single day.Checking out the food posts with my morning cup of tea has become my favourite time of the day.

Took quite a long break for Diwali as it was quite hectic with squadron coming home and my eccentric streak making me prepare every single delicacy at home.But theres a different kind of satisfaction when you see the pleasure on people's faces while gorging on the dish prepared by you.

Finally my break ended today when I remembered that it was Monday and time to send my weeks baking to the weekly baking event held by Helen of Casa Costello.

Last week my fruit basket was overflowing with apples and my girls were busy gorging on the sweets of the festivities.Before the apples got spoilt I decided to make apple sauce and freeze it  and made a applesauce cake with spices and drizzled home made brown sugar glaze on it.You can refer to my Home made Apple Sauce recipe here.If spice is your thing you will love this moist and spicy cake.The lemon zest in the cake brightens the flavour of the cake and the delicious brown sugar glaze gives a nice edge to it.

You Require

For the Cake
2 1/4 C all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground all spice ( substitute with  ground 1/2 tsp cinnamon,cloves nutmeg each)
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 C unsalted butter( room temp)
1 tsp grated lemon zest
2 large eggs ,room temperature
3/4 C ground sugar2/3 C  brown sugar
1C applesauce
1 big Apple ,peeled and chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 C walnuts or pecans chopped( optional)

For the brown sugar glaze
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp brown sugar ,packed
3 tbsp heavy cream
3/4 C powdered sugar or icing sugar,sifted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 180 deg C,grease a 9 " pan bundt or tube pan and dust it with flour .
  • Sift the flour,salt,baking soda and all spice and Add the pecans if using and keep it aside.
  • Beat the butter and lemon zest with an electric mixer till smooth and creamy.
  • Add the sugar gradually and blend it well with the mixer,add the brown sugar and beat till smooth.
  • Now add the eggs one at a time and beat well till well blended.
  • Add the chopped apples and vanilla and blend with mixer speed low.
  • Finally with the mixer speed low or medium add the flour/ nut mix in 3 additions and the applesauce in 2 additions starting and ending with the flour.Mix just until incorporated .
  • Spoon the mixture into the bundt pan,level the top and bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 mins or till a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for 10-15 mins and add the glaze when the cake is still warm,so invert the cake carefully onto a rack so that it doesn't break.
  • For the glaze,melt the butter with the brown sugar in a saucepan over low heat.
  • Add the heavy cream and cook till it comes to a gentle boil and let it simmer for 1-2 minutes.
  • Take the pan off the heat and add the sugar in two additions whisking constantly.
  • Add the vanilla and whisk until smooth.
  • If it is too runny ,add some more icing sugar and if it's too thick add little cream.
  • It should be of pouring consistency and hardens fast,pour the glaze on the warm cake quickly and let it drip naturally down the sides.
  • Enjoy the moist,spicy cake with a cup of tea.

Nov 7, 2015

Labanga Latika / Lavang Latika

Diwali is just round the corner and what better day to do a recipe collaboration with two of my blogger friends, Parinaaz Marolia who mostly blogs about Parsi delicacies in her blog A dollop of that.Today her post is on chocolates with honey pistachio and the boozy brandy fillings...a festive favourite of many.

And with Shweta Biswal of Oriya rasoi who's not only from Odisha but also my place type too,that makes her all the more special.She blogs about authentic Odiya food and her post Chuda ghassa parfait is a traditional dish presented in a contemporary style.

I am making some food memories in my kitchen today.And I want to preserve these memories I have from my childhood with my parents and sister and my near and dear ones ,the cooking memories that I am part of with my husband and children and the ones we create daily.The best way to preserve them is to document those memories in my blog and share with you all.

This sweetmeat Lavang Latika has beautiful childhood memories of marriages in my family.Odiyas    have a custom of sending sweets with the bride during Bidai for her in laws ,their relatives and neighbours .People actually wait for the" Bahu Bhaara", the term used for the loads of sweets which come with the bride when she comes to the grooms place post wedding.Every wedding memory of my child hood had labangalatika as one of the sweets in the Bhaara and down the years this gorgeous  sweetmeat had become my favourite.

When it was my turn to get married ,I made sure the Labangalatika tin was safe and secure in the crowd of relatives and my mother in law was sweet enough to keep the huge tin in my room so that I could gorge on them whenever I wanted and none of the relatives actually got to taste a single piece.And till date the hubby dear and in laws have a good laugh about it.

All those years have passed but the love for the labangalatika s hasn't lessened an ounce ..our love
affair is still going strong and I don't hesitate to make them in my home whenever the occasion arises
and on this festive occasion of Deepawali ,my kitchen is smelling of the heavenly khoya and the subtle flavour of the frying of those beauties.

These sweets are small parcels stuffed with a sweet filling of khoya and coconut ,sealed with a clove,  deep fried and dunked in sugar syrup.The name is derived from the word Lavang or clove.Its famous in the neighbouring states of Bengal and Assam too.

The traditional Odiya recipe has coconut in the stuffing but I omitted as my children are not fond of coconut.The latikas are crisp from outside and soft inside.There are a few things to be kept in mind before preparing them .They have to be fried in medium heat as they will brown faster on the outside and will not cook from inside.They have to be dunked in sugar syrup for a min or two,more than that will make them soft.

You Require

For the Latika

2C maida or all purpose flour
4 tbsp melted ghee or clarified butter
Water to bind the dough
Oil to deep fry
18-20 lavang or cloves

For the stuffing

1C khoya
1/2 C desiccated coconut
1 tbsp Ghee
1/3 C powdered sugar or according to taste
1 tsp cardamom powder
1/4 C chopped dry fruits ( optional)

For the sugar syrup

1 1/2 C sugar
1 C water
1/2 tsp cardamom or elaichi powder
5-6 cloves

how to roll out and form the latikas


  • Add the maida and the melted ghee in a bowl,mix with fingertips till they resemble breadcrumbs. Add the required amount of water and knead into a stiff dough,cover with a wet cloth and keep it aside for half an hour.
  • Meanwhile take ghee in a pan and fry the khoya in low heat,keep stirring till they start 
  • gathering from the sides and look a little dry.Keep stirring constantly  the khoya has a tendency to scorch the bottom of the pan.
  • Switch off the flame and wait for the khoya to cool.
  • After its a little cool ,add desiccated coconut,powdered sugar,cardamom powder and the dry fruits, mix properly. Alternately, If you are using fresh grated coconut then you can add all the stuffing together in the pan and stir over low heat  till it looks like a smooth dough.
  • For the sugar syrup add all ingredients and boil on high flame till it reaches one thread consistency.
  • For rolling out the latikas,Divide the dough into equal sized balls.
  • Roll each ball into a thin chapati ,the size of a puri.
  • Put some stuffing in the centre and fold it from both the sides,overlapping each other,now fold both the open ends overlapping each other as shown in the pic and seal with a lavang or clove.
  • Now deep fry the latikas in a wok in medium heat,cook till light golden brown on both the sides.
  • Drain the latikas and dunk them in the prepared sugar syrup for a min or two.
  • Drain the sugar syrup and enjoy them hot or cold,when hot they are soft and once cold they have a nice,sugary,crunchy crust on them.

And please take a peep in my friends blogs...
Parinaaz's Special assorted chocolates

Chuda ghassa parfait

Nov 6, 2015

Classic Fresh Basil Pesto from scratch


The fondness for convenience foods in India has grown in leaps and bounds.Processed food is just everywhere, despite numerous news stories warning us of the dangers.The key to the success of processed food is is not only quick and simple but also reliable.

Though my mom was a career woman and had limited time in the kitchen ,had never seen a single processed food in my house.Yes,I am harping about it but hats off to her except for an occasional sauce or a jam bottle everything was made from scratch .It is labour intensive but the satisfaction of not spoiling your and your loved ones health is there at the end of the day.

Have always tried my best to make masalas and sauces from scratch but I also do give in to the lure of the colourful bottles and cans and laziness.But with age I have slowly started to like the idea of making your own convenience food which is healthy and less expensive too.

Pesto is a traditional Italian Recipe and has the distinct flavours of fresh basil,pine nuts,garlic,olive oil and cheese.Its used as a sauce for pasta,as a sauce for sandwiches ,as a pizza sauce,as salad dressing or just to flavour a hot bowl of soup.Pine nuts can be substituted with walnuts too.The sauce is diluted with milk or cream in a Pasta.The ingredients are pounded together in a pestle..hence the name pesto.

In this classic version of pesto, the basil leaves are blanched in hot boiling water and then shocked in ice water to give the sauce a brilliant green hue and to reduce any bitterness.Pesto is best when had fresh but can be stored in the refrigerator in an air tight container for 2 weeks with a thin layer of olive oil on the surface.

You Require (makes 1/2 cup)

2 tbsp walnuts/ pine nuts ,Toasted and chopped
2C fresh basil leaves ,loosely packed , blanched and shocked
3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
I tsp chopped garlic
1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese
Salt to taste

Combine all the ingredients into a blender and blend into a smooth paste.
Use as required.

For a vegan version of Pesto omit the cheese.

Nov 2, 2015

Pumpkin spice Chocochip squares

And the pumpkin saga continues....the humble ,versatile pumpkin in a new avatar,  super moist pumpkin spice squares studded with chocochips. These squares are baked with white chocolate  and pumpkin pie spice.Pumpkin Pie spice is a blend of powdered cinnamon,nutmeg,cloves and ginger and sometimes all spice(Jamaican Pepper).

 Simple and delicious and the chocolate chips are the wow factor in this recipe.My kids loved the pumpkin part just because of the choco chips and the white chocolate in it takes it to a different level altogether....little sweet pockets against the dense ,spicy cake!

I boiled a huge batch of pumpkins and puréed them in the food processor and froze them in individual small zip locks so that can use them as and when needed.I substituted the butter part with oil to make the cake a little healthier and I prefer it that way.

You require

1C all purpose Flour
2/3 C brown Sugar
1 large Egg
1/2 C refined Oil
1/2 C pumpkin purée
2 tsp Pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp baking Soda
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 C white chocolate ,chopped
1/4 C choco chips
1/2 tsp salt


  • Grease a 9 inch square pan and preheat the oven to 180 deg C .
  • Whisk together flour,baking soda, spices and salt in a bowl.
  • With an electric mixer whisk the egg and then add sugar and whisk till it increases in volume and the sugar is incorporated,approximately for 3-4 mins.
  • Now add the oil gradually whisking it simultaneously.
  • Add the vanilla extract and pumpkin purée and mix.
  • Now with the mixer speed in low mix in the dry ingredients until just combined.
  • Fold in the white chocolate chips or chopped chocolate with a spatula into the mix.
  • Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 mins or till a toothpick inserted comes out with a few moist crumbs.
  • Take out from the oven when the cake is hot and spread the 1/4 C chocochips on the cake and press them gently on to the cake .
  • Cool and cut into squares.

I am sending those pumpkin Chocochip squares as an entry for Helens Casa Costello event Bake of the week

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