Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Oats & Whole wheat crackers with a kick of chili & lime

Today I have got something healthy for you guys and can bet you all that " no on can eat just one". Here in London there are various options for sweet snacks but very rare for savoury ones. Though I have a sweet tooth but sometimes really crave for something Chatpata :). Same thing happens with Sushant too, he needs to have something savoury with tea. So just thought to prepare a batch of these crackers. 

It was in my mind since a long time but never prepared, always was searching aisles in the supermarkets and returned with very mild biscuits or the one which we liked, had too many calories. 

While I was baking these, just gave a thought to add in some oats too as they are among one of my favorite ingredients. And yes the decision was right :)), Oats gave nice texture and made it healthy too. Secondly I used olive oil in place of butter and the results are not bad at all :). Adding chilies & lime was totally up to the preference. So lets quickly run through the ingredients following the method :)

Ingredients :
  • Whole wheat flour - 3/4 cup
  • Quick Oats - 1/4 cup
  • Baking Powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Red chili flakes - 1/2 tsp (or as per the taste)
  • Mixed dried herbs - 1/2 tsp
  • Lemon Zest - 1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Salt - as per the taste (I used a little more than 1/4 tsp)
  • Olive oil/Veg Oil - 3 tbsps
  • Water - less than 1/2 cup
Method :
  • Preheat the oven at 180 ° C.
  • Mix all the dry ingredients well including the lemon zest.
  • Add oil and mix nicely. The mixture should be a little crumbly and when you hold it in your palm it should come together. 
  • Now add little by little water and try to gather it. Pleas don't knead it. Kneading will form gluten and the crackers will not become crispy then.
  • Try to make a ball and transfer it to a flat surface. If required dust the surface with some dry flour and roll it to 1/4 inch thickness.
  • Cut them into desired shape and repeat the same process with rest of the dough. Transfer them on to a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  • Prick them with a fork, to avoid puffing.
  • Now apply some milk with a brush on the top.
  • Bake them for about 20-25 minutes. Mine were exactly in the oven for 25 minutes and I also flipped them after 15 minutes for even cooking. (Every oven varies when it comes to temperature)
  • Finally, I kept them on to the top rack and increased the temperature to 220 ° C for 30 sec, to get a nice color.
  • Cool them completely by keeping them on a cooling rack and store in an air tight container.
Enjoy with hot Ginger Tea or cold drinks :)))

Note : The addition of flavors is totally as per the taste buds, you can also add cumin seeds or carom seeds. If you are baking it for your kids, then decrease the amount of chilies.

Adding lime zest is totally optional, but it gives a unique flavor.
You can roll them thin also if you want :)

Thanks & Happy Baking 
Priyanka :)

Monday, 28 April 2014

Avocado Kebabs

In continuation with my love towards Avocados, here is one more savory dish - The Avocado Kebabs. I never tasted Avocados while I was in India, but heard a lot about them. When I shifted to London the first thing which I tried was Avocados, I didn't like them as their taste were quite subtle but yes they taste nice in Guacamole & salads. But why just in salads or dips ??? Tried out some recipes with it and would say that its an amazing ingredient I found. Firstly I just tried it as a patty in burgers and yes its a hit in my house. You can find the link for Burgers here - Avocado Patty Burgers

And now its the time for Kebabs. Trust me they are so moist and just out of the world. My husband has forgotten the non-veg ones :)))). Secondly they can be made zhatpat without any mess and with very few ingredients. Last week I had a Tea party at my place so prepared some and it was quite appreciated by all the guests. I usually purchase Avocados 2-3 days prior and let them ripe completely till they are soft. This gives a nice texture as well as the taste. So lets quickly see the ingredients followed by the method.

Ingredients :
  • Avocado - 1 nos
  • Onion - 1 small (finely chopped)
  • Suji/Rava/Semolina - 1 tbsp
  • Cornflour - 1 tbsp
  • Garlic powder - 1 tsp
  • Chili flakes - 1/2 tsp
  • Garam Masala - 1 Pinch (optional)
  • Salt - 1/4 tsp (or as per the taste)
  • Oil - 1 tbsp
Method :
  • Slit the fully ripped Avocado and take out the seed. Now scoop the pulp in a bowl and mash with a spoon.
  • Add onions, Suji, Cornflour, Garlic powder, Chili flakes, Garam Masala and salt to it. Mix well. (You can also use chopped garlic of garlic paste in place of garlic powder)
  • Apply water on to your palms and try to make Kebabs. The mixture will be too runny but applying some water will help in forming shapes.
  • Place them directly on griddle (on medium flame) and drizzle some oil. Turn them after 2-3 minutes very gently. And they will be done in another 2-3 minutes.
Serve them hot with Pudina chutney, onion rings and lime wedges.

Note: Don't worry at all about the shape, they are going to be just out of the world in taste :)  
Thanks & Happy Cooking
Priyanka :))

Zero oil Chole/Zero oil Chickpeas in gravy

Chole can be healthy :) Here comes my Zero oil Chole with zero compromise.
Chole is a very common dish prepared in most of the homes atleast twice or thrice a month. Traditionally they have lots of oil (but they taste delicious too). But "agar wahi swad zero oil mein mile to ???" Yes, I am preparing these cholas since 4-5 years now. I still remember that for the first time when my father tasted them the first word was "Zabardasttt Chole". 
We have so many names for it - Zero oil Chole, guilt free Chole, one pot Chole or Zabardast Chole :)))

I am sure you guys are pretty excited for the recipe, so won't take your much time and quickly move towards list of the ingredients following the method :)))

Video :

Ingredients :
  • Chickpeas - 1 cup (soaked overnight with a generous pinch of baking soda) 
  • Onions - 2 medium sized
  • Tomatoes - 2 medium sized
  • Garlic - 4-5 cloves
  • Ginger - 1" piece
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Kasuri Methi - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Garam Masala Powder - 1 tsp
  • Coriander Powder - 1 tbsp
  • Red chili powder - 1 tsp (or as per the taste)
  • Black salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - As per the taste
  • Oil - 1 tsp (100% optional, I added it just for the nicer texture)
Method :
  • Wash the chollas. Make a paste of onions + tomatoes + garlic + ginger.
  • Take a pressure cooker and add - chickpeas, then the paste, all the spices, oil if adding, water as required. Give a stir.
  • Close the lid, after the first whistle slow down the flame to medium to low and cook for another 15-20 minutes or unless the chick peas are well done.
  • Once done, add one tsp of fresh lime juice. 
  • You can also add dry mango powder/aamchur powder in place of lime juice - mix 1 tsp of aamchur powder with 3-4 tsp of water. Add in the chole, let it boil once and your chole are ready.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with Kulchas, naan, puri, steam rice.
  • For more details please watch my video. Link is given above.

Thanks & Happy Cooking

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Chocolate Sponge cake - Eggless

I baked this beautiful cake with lots of love for my friend's daughter. She is such a cute little adorable chatter box that you can't resist to spend time with her. One day she told me " I love chocolate cake but I don't prefer any topping on that" :))))) then I asked her "due you like any fruits or any nuts with that ??", she simply replied "nopes" and ran away. So just thought to make her happy with a simple chocolate sponge cake. Before preparing this I just had my fingers crossed because these days the kids are too choosey and specially me who doesn't know a lot about kids :)))). But yes the cake came out very light, spongy, moist and full of flavor. The best part - its eggless, I replaced eggs with buttermilk. So lets quickly see the ingredients followed by the method.

Ingredients :
I have divided the ingredients list in two parts- the dry & wet ingredients. This way it will be easy for you to follow this.
Dry ingredients: 
  • All Purpose flour/Maida/Plain flour - 1 cup + 2 tbsps
  • Baking Powder - 1 tsp
  • Baking Soda - 1 tsp
  • Cocoa Powder  (unsweetened) - 1/4 cup
  • Salt - a generous pinch
Wet ingredients :
  • Brown sugar - 1/2 cup
  • White granulated sugar - 3/4 cup
  • Buttermilk - 1 cup (at room temperature)
  • Vanilla Essence - 1 tsp
  • Vegetable Oil - 1/4 cup
  • Black coffee - 3/4 cup (optional) To prepare, just add 1 tsp instant coffee powder in 1/2 cup boiling water
 Method :
  • First preheat the oven at 180°C. Grease & flour the baking tin, if you want you can line with parchment paper/Butter paper.
  • Sieve the dry ingredients together atleast 3 times and keep aside, this give more aeration in the flour and helps in making the cake light.
  • In other bowl mix oil + sugar + Buttermilk + Vanilla essence. After they are well combined add the dry ingredients and fold in gently. 
  • Once mix well, add the boiling coffee (If you are not adding coffee then just add plain boiling water).
  • The batter will be runny, but that's the way it has to be :)))
  • Pour the batter in tin.
  • Bake it on the middle rack for 45-50 mins or unless a tooth pick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Mine took exactly 50 minutes. But keep checking after 40 -45 minutes as every oven vary :)
  • When done, take it out and give a rest of 2-3 minutes, demold and cool on a rack.
  • Tadaaaaa your cake is ready.
Enjoy with the frosting of your own choice or like this only.

Note : 
  • If you are adding egg, then add one egg and make the quantity of buttermilk half and also the baking soda will be halved. 
  • Coffee gives a very nice kick to it therefore I added otherwise its optional. Boiling water helps it making moist.
  • If you don't have brown sugar simply replace it with white one. 
  • For the buttermilk - just add 1 tbsp of lemon juice/white vinegar to 1 cup milk, allow it to stand for 5 minutes. Your buttermilk is ready.
 Thanks n Happy Baking
Priyanka :))))


Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Eggless Strawberry & banana cupcakes

Here is an other addition to my eggless baking - The strawberries & banana cupcakes. These days I am finding baking without eggs more interesting as it gives almost the same results and at the same time the recipes can be easily followed by pure vegetarians too.

Strawberries are my all time favorite and these days market are flooded with them. I added banana to it which gives a very nice sweet flavor. I also added oil to it instead of butter moving it towards healthy side. These can be stored in an airtight container for 4-5 days but I am sure you won't be able to save them for long as these are quite addictive. So here is the recipe with ingredients followed by the method. The Ingredients mentioned here will yield 6 cupcakes, You can always double or triple the quantities as per the yield :)))))

Ingredients :
I have divided the ingredients list in two parts- the dry & wet ingredients. This way it will be easy for you to follow this.
Dry ingredients: 
  • All Purpose flour/Maida/Plain flour - 1 cup
  • Baking Powder - 1 tsp
  • Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
  • Cinnamon Powder (optional) - 1/4 tsp
  • Salt - a generous pinch
Wet ingredients :
  • Brown sugar - 1/2 cup (or as per the banana's sweetness)
  • Banana - 1 medium mashed (1/2 cup)
  • Strawberries - 1/2 cup finely chopped
  • Thick Yoghurt/curd - 1/4 cup
  • Vanilla Essence - 1 tsp
  • Vegetable Oil - 1/4 cup
Method :
  • First preheat the oven at 180°C. Line up the cupcake tins with paper liners and keep aside
  • Sieve the dry ingredients together atleast 3 times and keep aside, this give more aeration in the flour and helps in making the cake light.
  • Mix the strawberries with a couple of tbsps of flour mixture and keep aside,this step is done to make sure that the strawberries are well spread and not sink.
  • In other bowl mix oil + sugar + Yoghurt + Vanilla essence. After they are well combined add the mashed banana.
  • Now add in the dry ingredients with flour coated strawberries via folding method into the wet ingredients. Just mix well and don't over mix.
  • Pour the batter equally in the molds, you can also use an ice cream scooper for this. 
  • Bake it on the middle rack for 30-35 mins or unless a tooth pick inserted in the cupcakes comes out clean.
  • Give a rest of 5 minutes, demold and cool on a rack.
They are ready :))))
Enjoy them with a cup of coffee or after meal or in Breakfast. 

Note : I used brown sugar as I prefer its flavor. Normal white granulated sugar can be very well used

Thanks & Happy Baking
Priyanka :)

Monday, 14 April 2014

Rajasthani Laal Maas

Rajasthani Laal Maas is a meat curry cooked in yoghurt and few of the whole spice paste. As the name says "Laal Maas", it has a bright red color due to lots of red chilies used in it. Its prepared with few of the ingredients but it taste delicious. It has a very nice aromatic flavor of desi ghee. It can be prepared with any meat - goat, lamb, deer etc. In Rajasthan it is well served with Bajra rotis. This dish basically comes from Rajputana families, where the warriors were very fond of hunting and due to the conditions the preparations were very rustic with very few spices. I tried out this recipe on one fine Sunday with lamb and was superlyked by my family. Sharing with you all the recipe. I did a little bit changes like I added onions to it (original recipe has no onion addition). Rajasthani food is quite spicy, but I changed the chili quantity as per our taste buds and the same thing you all can do :)))

Ingredients for marination :

  • Baby Lamb leg - 400 gm
  • Thick Yoghurt/hung curd - 3/4 cup
  • Crushed Ginger/garlic - 1 1/2 tbsps
  • Kashmiri red chili powder - 1 tbsp (for bright red color)
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp

Ingredients for the Masala :
  • Whole red chilies (hot) - 4 to 5 (or as per the taste)
  • Coriander seeds - 2 tbsps 
  • Bay Leaves - 2 to 3
  • Cinnamon Stick - 2" long stick
  • Green Cardamoms - 4 to 5
  • Black Cardamoms - 2 (small)
  • Cloves - 4 to 5
  • Mace flower - 1

Ingredients for the curry :
  • Finely sliced Onions - 3 (medium sized)
  • Crushed Ginger/garlic - 1 1/2 tbsps
  • Kashmiri red chili powder - 1 1/2 tbsps
  • Fresh coriander - Handful
  • Salt - As per the taste (some already added to the marination)
  • Ghee - 3 tbsps (you can also add half - half oil & ghee)
  • Boiling water - 2 to 3 cups

Method :
  • In a bowl add yoghurt and all the masala ingredients except lamb. Mix well and now add the lamb pieces and coat well. Cover and keep it in the refrigerator for 1 hour. (If possible keep it for 4-5 hrs)
  • Grind all the dry spices for making masala. Soak the dry masala in 1/4 cup of water and keep aside for 1/2 hour.
  • In a large pan heat ghee, add ginger/garlic, saute for a while and then add sliced onions. Fry till golden brown. 
  • Add the marinated lamb and fry for sometime, unless the moisture is completely dried.
  • Add the soaked masala and fry again unless the oil oozes out.
  • Now add boiling water (adjust the quantity as per the consistency you want).
  • Cover it and cook on medium to flame for 25-30 minutes. I used baby lamb which cooked faster than a full grownup lamb. The cooking time varies, full grownup lamb might take 50-60 minutes.
  • Also if you see that water is getting dried then you can add some more water to it.
  • Check it after the stipulated time, if done add chopped coriander and serve hot with chapattis and steamed rice. 
Note : The quantity of chilies can be adjusted as per the taste. Usually it is very spicy. You can also add 1/2 tsp of ground garam masala at the end for more spicy gravy.

Thank you n Happy cooking

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Avocado Patty Burgers (Eggless/with egg - both the recipes)

These days most of us wants to live their lives on a healthy platform. Everyone wants to be fit and honestly speaking one has to. I am on the same track even :))). I always avoid eating burgers, though I just love them. Sacrificing them is a big task :((( What if you find Health and taste together ???
One morning I had wheat buns with me. Some avocados, eggs, about to make salad. But suddenly I thought to make avocados and egg Patty burger. Sounds a bit different and unusual but trust me guys its full of taste. Once you start preparing them you will forget those fried aloo/chicken pattice. They are very easy to make with very little ingredients. As avocado have a very bland taste hence they can be mixed very well with others for a nicer taste. 

I usually purchase avocados and keep them for 2-3 days. Once they are perfectly ripped I use them for making salads or Mexican Guacamole.  But this time I incorporated it with some eggs and made burger Patty for it. And guess what it was a super duper hit in my house. Avocados have many health benefits, few of them are -
  • Lowers cholesterol levels and maintaining a healthy heart.
  • Controls blood pressure
  • Regulates the blood sugar levels 
  • My fav-Anti-aging properties 
  • It protect against cancer 
  • Has lots of goodness for Skin 
  • Gives lot of energy 
I prepared it with eggs but it can also be very well prepared without them. So here I am posting both the versions :)))))

For the whole wheat buns please visit the mentioned link - Whole wheat seeded buns

Ingredients for the Patty with egg :
  • Avocado - 1 nos
  • Hard boiled egg - 1 nos
  • Corn flour - 1/2 tbsp
  • Semolina/Rava - 1 tbsp
  • Garlic powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - 1/4 tsp (adjust as per the taste)
  • Oil - 1/2 tsp 
 Ingredients for Assembling burger :
  • Wheat buns - 1 nos
  • Ice burg lettuce leaves - few
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Sliced Onions (optional)
  • Some low fat spread - I used hung curd with little salt & pepper as a spread
Method :
Making Patty
  • Slit the avocado in between and take out the seed. Now with the help of a spoon scrape out its pulp leaving the skin.
  • In a bowl mash it and add finely chopped egg
  • Add rest of the ingredients - salt, garlic powder, chili powder, semolina and cornflour and mix well. Give it a minute, let semolina absorb some moisture.
  • Apply some water on the palms and try to make out a Patty (size depends as per your choice). It will be a bit sticky but no worries.
  • Immediately put it on a hot pan and drizzle some oil. Cook for a couple of minutes on medium flame and then turn lightly and then again cook.
Assembling the burger :
Slit the bun in to two. Keep it on the same pan without any oil, and slightly warm them up.
Apply spread on the bun, put lettuce leaves, then Pattie, then tomatoes/onions and cover it with the other part of the bun. And your burger is ready.

For the Eggless version, instead of egg simply mix a small sized boiled potato to it and rest of the ingredients & method will be same :)))

Enjoy your yummy Breakfasts !!!!!

Thanks n Happy Cooking 
Priyanka :)

Monday, 7 April 2014

Mommy's Lehsuni Aloo Baigan (Aubergines and potato with garlic n spices)

I still remember the special lunches which my mother used to make. One of those is Lehsuni Aloo baigan with arhar daal, chapati and rice (A complete meal). Its an all time hit whether you are in Northern part of India or Southern. There are various ways to prepare it, some make it spicy some make it in curry form. So today I am sharing here my mother's version. Every one loves it in my family, give it a try I am sure you will love it.

  • Purple eggplant/Aubergines/baingan - 1 medium (non-peeled & cut into 1/2″ cubes)
  • Potatoes/aloo - 2 medium size (non-peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes)
  • Tomatoes puree - 1/2 cup
  • Garlic paste - 1 1/2 tbsps
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1 1/2 tsps
  • Garam Masala powder - 1 tsp
  • Red chili powder - 1 tsp (you can adjust as per your taste)
  • Salt - 1/2 tbsp or as per the taste
  • Fresh Coriander - 1/4 cup (finely chopped)
  • Mint leaves - 2 tbsps (finely chopped)
  • Oil - 1-1/2 tbsps
  • Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat.
  • When oil is warm enough (not very hot) add garlic paste to it and fry for 6-8 sec. As soon as the rawness of garlic is gone add all the dry spices to it and a tbsp of water so that the spices don't burn.
  • Add tomato puree and fry until the oil separates.
  • Once the oil is separated add potatoes and aubergines, mix well, cover it and cook for 15 minutes on low flame or unless the potatoes are well done. Do stir occasionally. 
  • Once done add chopped mint & coriander and cover for 2 minutes on lowest flame.
  • Switch of the flame and serve hot with chapatis/paratha or Daal/Rice.
Enjoy !!!!!
You can also stuff this sabzi and make Parathas.
Thanks n Happy cooking
Priyanka :)

Oats and strawberry pudding

Here comes a super easy recipe which is not only easy to make but deliciously yummmm to eat. Its healthy and you can serve it in your breakfast or as a dessert. I used strawberries as these days markets are flooded with them, you can also use bananas or mango with it. I have also added cinnamon & nutmeg flavors to it. The flavors depend upon you. You can always omit or add on the things. People who don't like oats will love this recipe I am sure (as my hubby). So without wasting much of the time lets quickly run through the ingredients and the method. 

One thing more to share, now I am back with my videos also. I have uploaded its video too for your convenience :))))

Ingredients :
  • Quick Oats/Old fashioned rolled oats - 1 cup
  • Light Brown sugar - 1/4 cup (adjust as per the taste)
  • Fresh strawberries - 1/2 cup
  • Whole Milk - 1 cup
  • Cinnamon powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Nutmeg powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Baking Powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Butter - 1 tbsp
  • Few Nuts - Your choice (I used almonds, walnuts and raisins)
  • Choco chips - 1 tbsp
  • Vanilla Essence - 1 tsp
  • Egg - 1 no.
  • Orange Zest - 1/4 tsp

 Directions :
  • Pre-heat oven to 190° C
  • In a large bowl, mix together the oats, sugar, baking powder, orange zest, Cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder, dry fruits, choco chips, 3/4th strawberries. 
  • In other bowl add milk, egg, vanilla essence and butter (u can use melted butter as well).
  • In a greased baking dish add half of the oats mixture and add half of the milk mixture. Repeat the process. Lightly press the mixture with a spoon.
  • Sprinkle some leftover strawberries on the top.
  • Bake it for 30 to 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the milk mixture has set.
  • For an extra tasty top, sprinkle a tablespoon or so of extra brown sugar on top then place back in the oven under the broiler and broil for 20-30 seconds.
Serve hot

Thanks n Happy Baking
Priyanka :)