Category: Lunch Box

Veg Kung Pao Noodles

It’s very rare that I share an Asian inspired recipe here on the blog. It is not that I don’t make them at home..it is usually made for dinner (I don’t shoot in the evenings)and on days when it’s made for lunch, I love it too much to even wait for a minure to set up a shoot and click! No, not happening!! 😜 Hahha!! Common, everyone would agree with me when I say that Asian food tastes best when piping food. Straight from the wok to my plate…👌🏼

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But yesterday was a different story, night before the last we had enjoyed Veg Hakka Noodles with Schezwan Paneer. And as always we enjoyed it so so much! We prefer a lot of veggies in our Hakka Noodles and some spicy sides for a complete meal.

Sooo… I ended up with a bowl of boiled noodles. I immediately knew what I wanted to do with them😉 I loozed around in my refrigerator and found that I had all the necessary ingredients to make a quick Veg Kung Pao Noodle bowl for my lunch the following day!!

Veg Kung pao noodles with paneer  Polkapuffs recipes  Shreya tiwari recipes How to make Kung pao noodles at home

If anyone is wondering what is Kung Pao or Kung Po exactly, it is nothing but a quick stir fry of chicken (I didn’t use chicken here), some sauces and chillie pepper/ bell peppers. They have peanuts too….but I have replaced them here…this is my version, I like to play a lot with Asian recipes. There is always room for subbing. Almost every Asian restaurant or any other restaurant that selves Asian fold these days, includes their version of Kung Pao on their menu. It’s a hit among adults as is with the kids. Keep it spicy or mild, it’s really upto you. I usually order a veggie version with some fried rice if I am in the mood for a light meal. Since I had the left-over noodles, I simply tossed everything together to make a Veg Kung Pao Noodle Bowl 😉 You can also replace noodles with some boiled rice too.

You can use any veggies of your choice, any protein of your choice (tofu, chicken or some other meat) and the sauces too can be of your choice! I tend to keep it more Indo-Chinese, so you can imagine how delicious this is going to be! Let’s start…

Yield: serves 2

Equipment: a large wok, a non-stick pan, measuring spoons/ cups.

Ingredients:

2 cup boiled noodles (follow the instructions on the cover to cook them, make sure they are al-dentè)

100 gms cubed paneer (Indian cottage cheese. Substitute these for chicken, prawns, beef, pork, boiled eggs or tofu)

2 tbsp cornflour

1 tsp rice flour

salt to taste

black pepper powder to taste

2 tsp soy sauce

2 tsp red chilli sauce

1 tsp green chilli sauce

2 tsp vinegar

1 tsp Schezwan sauce

1 tbsp tomato ketchup

1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper

1/2 cup sliced yellow bell pepper

1/4 cup sliced green bell pepper

2-3 tbsp sliced green onions

1 tbsp ginger garlic paste

9-10 nos. cashewnuts

5 tbsp oil

Some slived green onion to garnish

Method:

In a bowl, mix paneer cubes, rice flour, corn flour, salt and black pepper powder together. Keep it aside for a minute or two.

Keep all the veggies ready as well.

Veg Kung pao noodles with paneer  Polkapuffs recipes  Shreya tiwari recipes How to make Kung pao noodles at home

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a non-stick pan. Place all the floured paneer pieces in oil and shallow them on all sides until brown and crispy. Remove them from the oil and drain them on some kitchen paper. Set that aside for now. Fry the cashewnuts in the same oil. Remove from the oil and drain on some kitchen paper. Set that aside too.

Heat the remaining oil in a wok, add spliced green onions and ginger garlic paste to the oil once it’s hot. Sauté these on high flame for a minute or two. Then add the sliced red, green and yellow bell peppers. Season with some salt and black pepper powder. Toss these for a couple of minutes. Then add the ketchup, soy, schezwan, red and green chilli sauces along with the vinegar. Mix well. Now add the paneer cubes and the fried cashewnuts. Toss once again. Next, go in the boiled noodles and a tsp of oil if necessary.

Veg Kung pao noodles with paneer Polkapuffs recipes Shreya tiwari recipes How to make Kung pao noodles at home

Make sure everything is coated well with all the sauces. Garnish with sliced green onions and serve hot.

Veg Kung pao noodles with paneer  Polkapuffs recipes  Shreya tiwari recipes How to make Kung pao noodles at home

Irresistibly yummmmm!!! What more could I ask for on a winter afternoon…some comfort food and then a long snoozzzzeeee😂

Love,

Shreya💗

 

Baigan ka Bharta aur Makke ki Roti |Brinjal Mash with Maize Flour Flatbreads | Glutenfree and Vegan

Winter comes with it’s bounty…such fresh veggies and fruits everywhere, I can’t seem to get enough of them! One of my favourite things to make in winters is Makke ki Roti (maize flour flatbreads – they are vegan and gluten free). And to go with these flatbread, I am having my fill of Baigan ka Bharta these days….fresh, spicy and so full of flavours..you’d be wanting more!

I simply follow my Mom’s no-fail recipe for both these delicious things…and it’s finger licking awesome:)

Baigan ka Bharta aur Makke ki Roti |Brinjal Mash with Maize Flour Flatbreads | Glutenfree and Vegan Polkapuffs recipes North Indian recipes Roasted brinjal recipes

I made this combination again just this last weekend and we were in a much happy food-coma! The Makke ki Roti (ahem, please excuse my badly shaped rotis/ flatbread, I find it very difficult to give them any fixed shape or even size as the dough is gluten free and not the easiest to handle…..but I believe it’s the taste that matters in this case🤗😀). However, I try to roll them between two sheetss of cling wraps mostly…but this is the best I can manage!

Baigan ka Bharta aur Makke ki Roti |Brinjal Mash with Maize Flour Flatbreads | Glutenfree and Vegan Polkapuffs recipes North Indian recipes Roasted brinjal recipes

The Bharta or the mash, well it’s a whole different story….I spend all the time to make as perfect as it can get and I nail it every time 😉 Brinjal is roasted to a charred beauty and then everything starts from there.. tip – buy a lighter brinjal as they are perfect and do not have many seeds.

Baigan ka Bharta aur Makke ki Roti |Brinjal Mash with Maize Flour Flatbreads | Glutenfree and Vegan Polkapuffs recipes North Indian recipes Roasted brinjal recipes

Let’s get cracking…it’s not much effort…:)

Yield: serves 2

Equipment: wired roasting stand, measuring cups/ spoons, a mixing bowl, a small bowl, a pair of kitchen tongs, a large mixing  bowl – for the maize dough, rolling pin, cling wraps, a pan, a spatula.

Ingredients:

For the Bharta:

1 nos. medium large, round brinjal (bharte Wala Baigan)

2 nos. medium tomato (choose ripe, juicy tomatoes)

7-8 garlic cloves

1 nos. finely chopped onion

1/4 cup mustard oil (this is what we use traditionally up North)

1 tsp finely chopped green chilli

1 tsp grated ginger

salt to taste

fresh coriander, as needed

For the Makke ke Roti:

2 cup maize flour (Makke ka atta)

salt to taste

1 tsp crushed kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)

water as needed to knead

4-5 tsp oil, for cooking the Roti/ flatbread

Method for the Bharta: 

So, right at the start I will urge you to follow the step wise pictures, they are pretty much self explanatory. I will explain in writing as and when necessary.

Wash and wipe the tomatoes and the brinjal. Set the tomatoes aside.

Keep the brinjal’s stem intact. Make an inch long slit in the brinjal. This slit must be a bit deep. Stuff the garlic cloves in this slit. Massage the entire brinjal with some mustard oil.

Baigan ka Bharta aur Makke ki Roti |Brinjal Mash with Maize Flour Flatbreads | Glutenfree and Vegan Polkapuffs recipes North Indian recipes Roasted brinjal recipesimg_6017

Next, turn on the flame and place the wired roasting stand over the flame. Place the oiled brinjal over it and roast it well on all sides until well charred.

Baigan ka Bharta aur Makke ki Roti |Brinjal Mash with Maize Flour Flatbreads | Glutenfree and Vegan Polkapuffs recipes North Indian recipes Roasted brinjal recipesimg_6020

While the brinjal cools down, massage the tomatoes with some oil, make a couple of small slits on each tomato and roast them too just the way we did for the brinjal.

Baigan ka Bharta aur Makke ki Roti |Brinjal Mash with Maize Flour Flatbreads | Glutenfree and Vegan Polkapuffs recipes North Indian recipes Roasted brinjal recipesimg_6021img_6022

Now, take some water in a small bowl. Dip your fingers in the water and slowly peel the charred skin off the brinjal and tomatoes. Set them aside in a mixing bowl. Mash these together along with the garlic that was roasted within the brinjal as well. Season with salt.

Baigan ka Bharta aur Makke ki Roti |Brinjal Mash with Maize Flour Flatbreads | Glutenfree and Vegan Polkapuffs recipes North Indian recipes Roasted brinjal recipesimg_6025

Next, add the chopped onions, chopped chillies, grated ginger, remaining mustard oil, chopped coriander leaves to the the mashed tomatoes and brinjal. Give everything a good mix! This is done!

Method for the Makke ki Roti:

In a large mixing bow, take the flour, season it with salt and kasuri methi. Mix them well. Add water as you go and knead to make a dough until everything comes together. Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel for a few minutes before making the Roti/ flatbread.

Baigan ka Bharta aur Makke ki Roti |Brinjal Mash with Maize Flour Flatbreads | Glutenfree and Vegan Polkapuffs recipes North Indian recipes Roasted brinjal recipes

Next, take a lemon sized ball of dough,place it between two cling wrap sheets and using a rolling pin make a roti. (No pictures of these steps, I’d probably need 4 more sets of hands to do that! 😂)

Heat the pan, drizzle some oil on the pan and place the rolled Roti and cook it on both sides until well cooked and charred around the edges. Serve piping hot with Baigan ka Bharta, some pieces of jaggery and a salad.

Baigan ka Bharta aur Makke ki Roti |Brinjal Mash with Maize Flour Flatbreads | Glutenfree and Vegan Polkapuffs recipes North Indian recipes Roasted brinjal recipes

Isn’t that easy and absolutely yum! If you’ve liked this, do try my take on popular Bihari favourite Litti Chokha here. This Baigan Bharta goes so well with some Litti too!

Love,

Shreya 💖

Adai with Tomato Onion Chutney | Indian Lentil Crepes with Tomato Onion Dip

Sharing the recipe for healthy and nutritious Adai with Tomato Onion Chutney today. Breakfasts are an important meal in our home, something fresh, filling and delicious is a must. But for me it’s more important to serve a healthy breakfast for my hubby and myself. We particularly do not enjoy a bread and butter kind of breakfast on a regular basis. We have similar preferences when it comes to food…and like to have something warm for breakfast and definitely not out of a box! 

Today, I am sharing the recipe of Adai (mixed lentil dosa), a popular breakfast variety in South Indian Cuisine which is gluten free and vegan too. 

How to make adai dosa Recipe for no fermentation dosa Multi dal dosa Multi gain dosa recipe No ferment dosa recipe Polkapuffs recipe Tomato onion chutney for dosa idli Shreya tiwari blog recipes Instant dosa recipe

These crepes or Adai are very crisp and flavoursome as opposed to a plain dosa (South Indian crepe). They are very healthy as they are made using various lentils along with rice and some more spices.

How to make adai dosa Recipe for no fermentation dosa Multi dal dosa Multi gain dosa recipe No ferment dosa recipe Polkapuffs recipe Tomato onion chutney for dosa idli Shreya tiwari blog recipes Instant dosa recipeimg_5893

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The best part about making Adai is that, one need not have to spend hours prepping it. It can made in about under 4 hours from start to finish. However, as I make it for breakfast, I keep the batter ready the previous night itself and that does make the batter more workable and the end results are always very good. But that is not important, you can soak everything together for about 2 hours, grind and start making the Adai immediately without giving the batter any time to ferment.

How to make adai dosa Recipe for no fermentation dosa Multi dal dosa Multi gain dosa recipe No ferment dosa recipe Polkapuffs recipe Tomato onion chutney for dosa idli Shreya tiwari blog recipes Instant dosa recipe

See the texture, it is so crisp as the ratio that have kept has more rice as compared to the lentils! I have always enjoyed them even as a kid when my Mom would make these on weekends….a welcome change from our typical North Indian fare I’d say! That still holds true in my home, making these on weekends is very convenient and makes for a yummy brunch….along with the spicy tomato onion chutney (my take on this popular dip from the South Indian Cuisine).

How to make adai dosa Recipe for no fermentation dosa Multi dal dosa Multi gain dosa recipe No ferment dosa recipe Polkapuffs recipe Tomato onion chutney for dosa idli Shreya tiwari blog recipes Instant dosa recipe

These are packed with protein and that keeps you full for a long time..it’s a complete meal in itself as it has rice and lentils. Pack these for your kids lunch boxes too!

Let’s make these then…

Wash the rice and the lentils together. Soak them together in 3-4 cups of water for two or three hours at room temperature. In the same bowl, along with the lentils and rice, also soak the red chillies, curry leaves and peppercorns too.

Once these have soaked well for two-three hours, grind them to a smooth paste with salt, jeera and ginger using about 1/2 cup of water. Adjust the consistency of the batter with more water if required. (The consistency of the batter needs to a little thinner in comparison to that of a a regular dosa batter). Also, adjust the seasoning now. Remove the batter in a bowl, cover it and set it aside for 5 mins before making the Adai.

Now heat a dosa pan, once hot enough, spread some oil and wipe it off with a kitchen tissue paper. Pour a ladleful of the batter onto the hot pan. Drizzle some oil around the Adai and let it cook on low flame for 4-5 mins. This takes a longer to cook and crisp up and colour too.

How to make adai dosa Recipe for no fermentation dosa Multi dal dosa Multi gain dosa recipe No ferment dosa recipe Polkapuffs recipe Tomato onion chutney for dosa idli Shreya tiwari blog recipes Instant dosa recipe

Flip it over and cook for another minute or two. That’s it, done and ready to serve!

To make the chutney…

Heat oil in a pan, once it’s hit, turn the flame at it’s lowest setting, then add hing, sliced onions, red chillies and curry leaves. Let the onions turn translucent, then season with salt and add the tomatoes and dalia. Stir well and let the tomatoes turn mushy and the oil seperate from the mixture. Turn off the flame, let the cooked mixture cool down.

Then grind the mixture using very little water to make a coarse Chutney. It’s ready. You can temper it if you like. I always do…. this is how – heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan, add 1/4 tsp split urad dal, 1/4 tsp mustard seeds (rai) and 5-6 nos. curry leaves into the oil and let them splatter for a minute. Turn off the flame and add it to the Chutney. Mix it well and enjoy with the Adai 😊

The batter for Adai stays good in the refrigerator for 2 days. The Chutney stays good in the refrigerator in a glass or porcelain jar for 3-4 days if tempered. It lasts for 2 days if not tempered.

How to make adai dosa Recipe for no fermentation dosa Multi dal dosa Multi gain dosa recipe No ferment dosa recipe Polkapuffs recipe Tomato onion chutney for dosa idli Shreya tiwari blog recipes Instant dosa recipe

Adai with Tomato Onion Chutney | Indian Lentil Crepes with Tomato Onion Dip

Prep Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 6 Adai and for a small bowlful of Chutney

A delicious breakfast recipe from South of India that is healthy and easy to make as well.

Ingredients

    For Adai
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 tbsp chana dal (split chick pea lentils)
  • 1 tbsp dhuli moong dal (split small yellow lentils)
  • 1 tbsp dhuli urad dal (split white lentils)
  • 1 tbsp toor dal (split pigeon peas)
  • 2-3 nos. dried red chillies
  • 10-12 nos. curry leaves
  • 1 tsp jeera seeds (cumin seeds)
  • 5-6 nos. peppercorns (akkhi kali mirch)
  • 2" piece ginger
  • salt to taste
  • oil as needed
  • water as needed
  • For Chutney
  • 2 nos. medium sized onion, sliced
  • 2 nos. medium sized tomato, cubed
  • 3 nos. dry red chilies
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 10-12 nos. curry leaves
  • salt to taste
  • a pinch of hing (asafoetida)
  • 2 tsp dalia (split roasted lentils)
  • water as needed

Instructions

    Making Adai
  1. Wash the rice and the lentils together. Soak them together in 3-4 cups of water for two or three hours at room temperature.
  2. In the same bowl, along with the lentils and rice, also soak the red chilies, curry leaves and peppercorns too.
  3. Once these have soaked well for two-three hours, grind them to a smooth paste with salt, cumin and ginger using about 1/2 cup of water.
  4. Adjust the consistency of the batter with more water if required. (The consistency of the batter needs to a little thinner in comparison to that of a a regular dosa batter).
  5. Also, adjust the seasoning now. Remove the batter in a bowl, cover it and set it aside for 5 mins before making the Adai.
  6. Now heat a dosa pan, once hot enough, spread some oil and wipe it off with a kitchen tissue paper.
  7. Pour a ladleful of the batter onto the hot pan.
  8. Drizzle some oil around the Adai and let it cook on low flame for 4-5 mins.
  9. This takes a longer to cook and crisp up and color too.
  10. Flip it over and cook for another minute or two.
  11. That's it, done and ready to serve!
  12. Making Chutney
  13. Heat oil in a pan, once it's hit, turn the flame at it's lowest setting, then add hing, sliced onions, red chilies and curry leaves.
  14. Let the onions turn translucent, then season with salt and add the tomatoes and dalia.
  15. Stir well and let the tomatoes turn mushy and the oil separate from the mixture. Turn off the flame, let the cooked mixture cool down.
  16. Then grind the mixture using very little water to make a coarse Chutney. It's ready.
  17. You can temper it if you like. I always do - this is how - heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan, add 1/4 tsp split urad dal, 1/4 tsp mustard seeds (rai) and 5-6 nos. curry leaves into the oil and let them splatter for a minute.
  18. Turn off the flame and add it to the Chutney. Mix it well.
  19. Enjoy with the Adai

Notes

The batter for Adai stays good in the refrigerator for 2 days. The Chutney stays good in the refrigerator in a glass or porcelain jar for 3-4 days if tempered. It lasts for 2 days if not tempered.

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Adai withTomato Oinion chutney

A plate looking that healthy and fulfilling is definitely a welcome sight!

You can also try Rawa Dosa recipe (includes the recipe for green coconut Chutney).

Try my recipe for Sambhar here.

Love,

Shreya💕

Dal ka Phara | Dal Fara | Glutenfree and Vegan Lentil Stuffed Steamed Rice Cakes

Dal ka Phara or Fara is a very popular snack if your visiting eastern Uttar Pradesh or Bihar. The ‘pithii’ or the filling is made of ‘chana dal’ a.k.a split chick peas. Alternatively, this filling can also be made with ‘urad dal’ a.k.a skinless white lentils. However, it’s  always made using the former in our house. The outer covering that holds the filling in place is made with rice flour a.k.a ‘Chawal ka atta’. These along with some spices and condiments makes for an delicious and tempting dish which is vegan and also gluten free. 🤗

Dal ka Phara | Dal Faara recipe Polkapuffs recipes Steamed dal Phara recipe

The Phara is then either steamed or boiled in some salted water. Some people even choose to shallow or deep fry these dumplings once they are steamed or boiled. However, I do not do that. I feel the actual taste lies in keeping it as it is and thus making it much more healthier than the fried ones! That’s how my Mom makes them…and they taste divine 😘 Yes…most of these traditional recipes that I make come from her kitchen…stuff that I have grown up eating and savour the most!

What I like with these personally is my Mom’s spicy, tangy Pudine aur Dhaniye ki Imli Wali Chutney!  Doesn’t the sound of it make you drool….it’s one of my favourite dips/ chutneys to go with anything savory and I always have a little porcelain potful sitting in my refrigerator 😉

Dal ka Phara | Dal Faara recipe Polkapuffs recipes Steamed dal Phara recipe

So this time when my Mom was visiting us, I told her to teach me how to make these Pharas the traditional way and She did! She made the first couple of them as I watched her closely and then she guided me to make the rest….which obviously don’t look too perfect but I managed!! It’s a little lengthy procedure no doubt, but not very difficult if you follow the little tips.

The filling which is made with chana dal needs to be organised first by soaking the dal for at least 5-6 hours and then so on and so forth…..every bit worth the effort!

I will also share the recipe of the delicious Chutney that you see in the pictures! But that’s not even the best part, the best part is that my Mom modelled for me again…..this is her experienced hand which you had also seen in Vanilla Sponge Cake made in a Pressure Cooker, again her recipe!

So let’s get started….read carefully. It’s simply but a little technical….

Yield: 7-8 pharas

Equipment: a large open mouthed pot, measuring cups/ spoons, a large mixing bowl, a small mixing bowl, a slotted spoon, a basic blender.

Ingredients:

For the outer covering:

1+1/2 cup rice flour (I use store bought)

salt to taste (season carefully, as we will season the filling too)

2 tsp refined oil

warm water as needed to knead a dough

Method:

In a large mixing bowl, take rice flour and season with some salt. Then add oil. Slowly, add the warm water a little at a time and make a dough. This is a Glutenfree flour, hence the dough will break if much pressure is applied. Once the dough comes together, cover it with damp kitchen napkin for 15-20 mins so that the dough absorbs enough moisture.

Dal ka Phara | Dal Faara recipe Polkapuffs recipes Steamed dal Phara recipe

For the filling:

3/4 cup chana Dal (split chick pea)

2″ piece fresh ginger

1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves

salt to taste

2-3 nos. green chillies

1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera dana)

a pinch of hing (asafoetida)

Method:

Wash the dal well and soak in about 2 cups of water for 5-6 hours.

Next, drain all the water from the soaked dal.

Place the dal in a blender jar. Add very little water, season with salt, ginger, green chillies, coriander leaves, cumin seeds and hing. Grind them together until you have a smooth paste.

Remove the paste in a small bowl.

Assembling the Phara: 

Keep a small bowl of water handy and weyor fingers and palms well. Take a lemon sized ball of the dough. Using your fingers and palms flatten the dough to a circle of 3″ diameter. The thickness should be approximately 1/2 a cm but not more as they won’t cook well otherwise.

Dal ka Phara | Dal Faara recipe Polkapuffs recipes Steamed dal Phara recipeimg_5564img_5565

Then place about 1-2 tbsp of the filling in the centre of the flattened dough and gently fold over the dough to cover the filling and pinch the edges to secure the filling within.

Do the same for the entire dough and keep the uncooked pharas ready on a plate.

Now, heat about 2 litres of water in a large pot, season it with some salt. Once it comes to a rolling boil, drop 3-4 pharas at a time. Let them boil on medium flame for about 5-8 mins. They will float on the top once they are cooked.

Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the boiled Pharas from the water and place them on a plate. Cut one of them to see if they are cooked, if the dal is set and looks dry, it means the dal and the rice dough are both cooked well.

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Do the same with the remaining uncooked pharas too, serve them hot with Chutney.

If you wish to steam them, do steam them as you steam Idlis in a idli cooker. Cook time will be 12-15 mins and cut them to check if they are cooked.

For Chutney:

1 cup fresh coriander leaves

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

4-5 cloves garlic

2 nos. green chillies chopped

1 nos. small onion sliced

4-5 tbsp fresh tamarind pulp

salt to taste

water as needed

Method:

Take all the ingredients in a blender jar and blend until smooth. Adjust the consistency by adding more or less water. This Chutney keeps well for 10-12 days in a porcelain or steel or glass jar under refrigeration.

Dal ka Phara | Dal Faara recipe Polkapuffs recipes Steamed dal Phara recipe

This is one of my favorite versions of Dal-Chawal if you ask me! Healthy, filling and delicious 😘

Love,

Shreya💕

 

Achaari Aloo Gobhi | Vegan and Glutenfree Cauliflower and Potato Stir Fry

“Can we have cauliflower for dinner”….I hear this at least three times a week! And no I don’t cook cauliflower that often….lol! I mean if my hubby had his way, I’d probably be cooking it almost every other day but it’s more of ‘my kitchen, my rules’ kind of a thing with me. Besides, I usually plan the entire weeks menu over the weekend…so, I exactly know when he’ll be having his beloved cauliflower next 🤗

It’s not that I am not fond of this vegetable, it’s just that I can only have it sometimes and it has to be spicy, full of flavour and not in a curry….I feel it looses all it’s flavour when added to a curry…that’s how I feel!

That’s why I am sharing today’s recipe…this has to a be a hands down winner for me when I am eating cauliflower cooked in the Indian way….North Indian to be more specific. This again comes from my Mom’s kitchen…and it’s finger licking good. This is made at least once in a week at my place as my hubby likes this semi-dry version better than a gravy too!

Achaari Aloo Gobhi Vegan cauliflower recipe How to make Gobhi Aloo dry Polkapuffs recipes

Achaari Aloo Gobhi…. this is a no onion no garlic recipe which needs very little preparation, except that we make a fresh spice mix (masala) to add to this recipe made from whole spices like cloves (laung), cardamom (elaichi), etc. These spices along with other powdered spices adds flavour to the cauliflower and potatoes.

If you like, you can add some green peas and other seasonal veggies to the cauliflower and potatoes as well. Else, add some water and make a gravy of it…enjoy with Tahri (veg rice). We usually enjoy the semi dry version with Laccha Paratha (see step wise pictorial recipe here)….and some Bharwa Hari Mirch (click here for recipe)

Let’s make you some spicy, rustic style Achaari Aloo Gobhi👌🏼..

Yield: serves 2

Equipment: a heavy bottomed wok, a slotted spoon, a mortar-pestle or a small blender, measuring cups/ spoons.

Ingredients:

300 gms fresh cauliflower florets

2 nos. small potatoes

2 tbsp mustard oil (we use mustard oil, feel free to use regular refined oil. However, the real zing of the achaari flavour comes from mustard oil)

1/2 tsp paanch phoran (click here to see the picture) contains a mix of cumin seeds, Nigella seeds, whole black mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and fennel seeds

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

a pinch of hing (asafoetida)

1 tsp red chilli powder

1/2 tsp degi mirch powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp fresh ginger paste

1/4 tsp amchur powder (dry mango powder)

salt to taste

For the spice mix:

4-5 nos. cloves (laung)

1 nos. black cardamom

1 inch cinnamon stick

7-8 nos. black peppercorns

To garnish:

fresh coriander leaves

Method:

Cut, peel and wash the cauliflower florets. Drain all the water completely. Keep the size of each of the florets on the medium side as they must cook well but not turn mushy and disintegrate completely.

Peel, wash and cut the potatoes into medium sized cubes. Again, don’t keep them too small else they’ll just become a mash!

For the spice mix:

Dry roast cloves, cardamom, peppercorns and cinnamon for 4-5 mins. Once they release their aroma, turn off the flame and let them cool down completely. Grind them to a fine powder in the blender or keep them slightly coarse if using a mortar-pestle. The entire quantity of this spice mix won’t be used in this recipe, store the excess in a dry, airtight jar. It stays fresh for upto 20 days. You can use that in any vegetarian or non-vegetarian preparation or even for Biryanis and Pilafs.

Next, heat oil in the wok, once it hot, add the paanch phoran and hing. Let them splatter.

Next, add the cubed potatoes and the cauliflower florets. Add salt to taste and turmeric. Mix these well. Cook for about 5-6 mins on low flame.

Next goes in the ginger paste along with cumin powder, coriander powder, degi mirch, red chilli powder. Mix well so that the spices coat everything. Cook for 5 mins without a lid, then cover the wok with a lid and cook for another 10 mins.

After 10 mins, the potatoes are done and the cauliflower needs about another 5 mins of cooking. At this point add 3/4 tsp of the fresh spice mix and give everything a good toss.

Once again, cover the wok with a lid and let the cauliflower cook out for the next 4-5 mins. If the cauliflower is still undercooked, you can let them cook for another 5 mins but ensure that they do not turn too mushy.

Lastly, add the amchur powder and mix well. Turn off the flame.

Garnish with chopped fresh coriander leaves and serve with piping hot Phulkas and some Dhaba Style Dal Makhani (click  here for the recipe). I usually serve all this with an onion salad that has a lot lemon juice, some salt and a bit of freshly cracked black pepper! And we are in bliss….😀

Achaari Aloo Gobhi Vegan cauliflower recipe How to make Gobhi Aloo dry Polkapuffs recipes

This is something which has to be a part of our ‘soul food’ spreads …. if you are in the mood for rice…then this goes so well with some Dal and Chawal too!

Love,

Shreya💖

Bharwa Hari Mirch | Spicy Stuffed Green Chillies | GF vegan recipe

So, now that Diwali is done and dusted with…and having gorged on like a ton of sweets and chocolates..I don’t think I will be having anything sweet for a while!! Lol! My otherwise sweet and ‘meetha’ loving hubby too agrees with me on this😂 Now that’s a serious relief for at least a few days…no more worrying about dessert every night! He will be wanting light, non greasy but spicy food…as will I!!!!!! 

Bharwa hari mirch recipe How to make instant Bharwa hari mirch Polkapuffs recipe

So coming to today’s recipe…Bharwa Hari Mirch. This can be made in so many different ways, some are stuffed with spicy potato filling, coated with gram flour mixture and then deep fried or baked (baking them is the latest fad to keep things healthy, but for me it tastes no where close to the authentic version). Some recipes call for a sweet and spicy filling of lentils as a filling and then they are later shallow fried in the pan until the green chillies char a bit on the outside! Wow…all of them are absolutely yum and bring a balance of flavours to any platter.

There is another version of these stuffed Hari Mirch which I will be sharing soon…😍

Bharwa hari mirch recipe How to make instant Bharwa hari mirch Polkapuffs recipe

These, as you can see aren’t filled with anything even remotely complicated. I think Diwali prepping took care of that for a while😂….these are filled…and generously at that, with the most basic spice mix that one can find in any pantry and they are my Mom’s signature instant Bharwa Mirchi. I can assure you that these will get you hooked! They have the correct balance of tang and heat…nothing sweet! I mean, you can add some sugar to the filling but that won’t be as delicious as having them in their original avatar! Besides, these are a must make during winters…when instant pickles are enjoyed with parathasdal Chawal or practically any meal. …yummm!

Anyways, for these I have used organic green chillies, the thick variety, easily available with the onset of winters. They were pretty hot but I let the seeds stay intact. You can discard them if you feel they will be too much handle. Let’s make them, shall we?!

Yield: serves 3-4

Equipment: a kitchen towel, a pointed knife, measuring spoons, a skillet, a clean and dry glass/porcelain jar to store them.

Ingredients:

10-12 organic green chillies (the thicker variety which is usually available during winters)

2 tsp amchur powder  (dry mango)

salt to taste

a pinch of asafoetida (hing)

3-4 tbsp refined oil

Method:

Wash the whole chillies under running water but carefully as we don’t want to loose the stems.

Wipe them dry. Let them air dry as well for 15-20 mins. They must be absolutely free of any moisture.

Tip: These chillies are usually medium hot. Therefore, I always let the seeds stay intact. However, if they are very hot or you cannot handle the heat, feel free to de-seed them after they ha e dried completely.

To make the incision, keep the chillies straight on a board or hold them and using a pointed knife, cut them down the centre from the top to the bottom edge, carefully not to split them as you do so. See the picture below.

Bharwa hari mirch recipe How to make instant Bharwa hari mirch Polkapuffs recipe

For the filling: Mix together amchur powder, salt and asafoetida in a bowl.

To stuff: Using a spoon fill each chilly with generous quantities of the filling mix but ensure that the stem and the entire chilly stays intact as you stuff them.

Heat oil in a skillet, once it’s hot, add the stuffed chillies and toss them in the oil for about 8-10 mins. They will shrink as they cook and the filling will ooze out in places. That’s it, remove them from the skillet and serve them hot or cold with your meal. These keep well in the refrigerator for upto a week in a glass or porcelain jar.

Pair them up with my Benarasi Samosas for that lip smacking evening snack!

Bharwa hari mirch recipe How to make instant Bharwa hari mirch Polkapuffs recipe

Do try these soon…

Love,

Shreya💖

Spicy Potato and Wholewheat Wrap (no onion no garlic)

Most of us have been avoiding the consumption of onion and garlic during Navratris and stick to eating home cooked and light meals. I feel that doesn’t need to be restricted to Aloo Tamatar ka Rassa (potato tomato curry) or Sabudana Wada (sago fritters) for every other meal.. this perception has to change! We can easily incorporate so many flavours to make a whole new and exciting meal even as we abstain from some key ingredients ☺️ 

No onion no garlic potato wrap

Some people do not consume whole grains like wheat, they can easily make Buckwheat (kuttu ki Roti) flatbreads for this recipe. I have used a spicy version of potatoes for the filling and some veggies like carrots and cucumber for the salad. The dressing or the sauce is very exciting….read until the end to know more!! 😀

No onion no garlic potato wrap

Lets begin spicing up the festivities!..

Yield: 2-3 wraps

Equipments: measuring cups/ spoons, a pan, a wok, a large mixing bowl.

Ingredients for the the ww wrap:

1 cup wholewheat flour (I used Aashirwad Select)

salt to taste (regular or vrat ka namak)

2 tsp oil

water a needed to knead a dough

Method:

Take flour, salt and oil in a large mixing bowl. Add water little by little as you go on kneading a soft dough. Once the dough comes together, cover it with a kitchen towel and set aside for 30 mins.

Then take a Orange sized portion of the dough and make a thick Roti and cook it on the pan until crisp on both sides. Click here to see pictures.  Make 3-4 ww wraps and set them aside in a hot case/ casserole.

Ingredients for the potato filling:

250 gms baby potatoes (boiled) or use regular cubed potatoes

salt to taste (regular or Vrat ka namak)

2 tsp oil

1/2 tsp red chilli pwd

1 tsp ginger paste

1/4 tsp cumin powder

1/4 tsp lemon juice

Method:

Heat oil in a wok, add the boiled potatoes. Sauté well until slightly crisp and golden brown on all sides. Season with salt, red chilli pwd. Sauté for another 2 mins. Add ginger paste along with cumin pwd. Mix well, cover and cook for about 5-7 mins. Turn off the flame and set aside to cool the filling. Add the lemon juice once it cools down and mix it well.

Ingredients for Salad:

a few juliennes of carrot and cucumber and beetroot (optional)

Ingredients for the sauce:

1/2 cup chilled hung curd

1/4 tsp roasted cumin pwd

salt to taste (regular or Vrat ka namak)

Method:

Mix these ingredients together and set it aside.

Assemble the wrap:

Place a ww wrap, smash some potatoes and place them on the wrap. Top them with some salad and sauce! What more!?? Some chopped coriander too 👌👌

No onion no garlic potato wrap

Exciting…tempting…you crave these!? Go, make some 😋➡️

Also try my Phalhari Kadhai Paneer (click here for recipe) as the filling for these wraps.

Love,

Shreya💗

Chatpate Saunfia Aloo (no onion no garlic recipe)

I love potatoes! I can have them in any form except sweet 😱😱 Potatoes got to be spicy and delicious….can’t be bland and sad…! That’s what I am sharing today…awesome, spicy and so easy to make too!

Besides, it’s without any onion and garlic too…so perfect for the upcoming Indian festivals like Navratri when most of us eat food sans the onion and garlic element for 10 whole days. I won’t get into giving you the background of the festivals and the why’s and the how’s!

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This recipe can be made in many ways and enjoyed in many more too! My Mom usually makes another kind of Aloo without onion and garlic, this is inspired from her basic recipe..which by the way has way too many fans out there 😍

I have mentioned the spices that I have used, but you can always change them slightly to your preference. These potatoes can be served as starters, along with dal and some steamed rice or you can add them to any curry/ gravy and enjoy it with Phulkas (Indian flatbread).

Yield: serves 2

Equipment: a heavy bottom skillet or pan, a large pot, measuring cups/ spoons.

Ingredients:

300 gms baby potatoes (I have used the smallest kind, you can also use regular potatoes and cut them into cubes for this recipe)

salt to taste

3 cups water

1 tbsp refined oil

a pinch of asafoetida (hing)

1 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)

2-3 nos. green cardamom (choti Elaichi)

1 tsp roasted cumin pwd (bhuna jeera pwd)

1/4 tsp turmeric pwd

1/2 tsp red chilly pwd (I used degi mirch)

1/2 tsp crushed anardaana seeds

1/4 tsp chaat masala (optional)

a pinch of Garam masala 

chopped coriander to garnish

Method:

Wash the baby potatoes well, do not peel them.

In a large pot, boil water with salt. Add these potatoes in boil until 80 percent cooked. They must not be mushy in texture. Drain the water and let the potatoes cool (skip the boiling bit if using large potatoes cut into cubes).

img_5228

Now, heat oil in the skillet. Add hing and saunf along with cardamom. Let them crackle. Next, add the dry spicies mentioned above except anardana pwd and chaat masala. Sauté them together for 2 mins. Next, tip in the potatoes and check the seasoning, add more salt if needed. Mix well and cook for about 5-8 mins (I let the skin crisp up a bit). Finally, add the anardaana pwd and/ or chaat masala (I always add a bit, tastes so good!). Turn off the heat and garnish with some chopped coriander leaves. Serve them piping hot!

img_5230

Also, try my dahi aloo (no onion garlic), phalhari Kadhai paneer (no onion garlic), Phalhari chutney (no onion garlic) or see my collection of Navratri Recipes here.

Happy Cooking folks!

Love,

Shreya💝

Brownie Muffins

Brownie…..isn’t that one word enough to make you reach out and grab a piece and then turn around the other way, all by yourself and not share with anyone! Mind you…grab a large or probably even the largest piece if possible. Happens with you?! A lot?! LoL😂 Then these Brownie Muffins are for you my friend. Err…not these ones though..you got to make your own!😜

Reason….because these were made just for my hubby..celebrating his birthday! 💖😘🎂 with these chocolaty, super fudgy and gooey brownies! Who says you must have a cake on a birthday with candles???! We have these brownies and a peck on the cheek😍

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He loves them! They are morish…slightly crisp on the top and soft within. I have just sprinkled them with some slivers of chocolate…..you can choose not to or maybe dust these with some cocoa instead. Or even keep them plain. This is kind of my go-to recipe for brownies, you can make a large brownie too, need not bother with making Muffins at all. But as I said you get a whole muffin to yourself, right 😜!

Anyways…let get started..

Yield: 6 large brownies

Equipment: a large saucepan, a heat resistant bowl, a sieve, a large mixing bowl, electric whisk (or manual), muffin tray, muffin liners, cooling rack, a rubber spatula, measuring cups/spoons (I have used a weighing scale to measure everything in grams)

Ingredients:

56 gms dark chopped cooking chocolate (I use Morde)

56 gms unsalted butter chopped roughly  (approximately 1/2 cup)

28 gms maida (all purpose flour)

18 gms unsweetened cocoa pwd

75 gms fine castor sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 nos. large egg

Method:

Pre-heat the oven @180’c for 10 mins.

Keep chopped chocolate and butter in a heat proof bowl. Place water in the saucepan to boil. Once it comes to a boil, place the heat proof bowl with the chocolate and butter on top of the sauce pan. Let the chocolate and butter melt together, stir it a couple of times with a rubber spatula. Once it’s melted, set the bowl aside and let it cool.

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Next, beat the egg and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the melted chocolate and butter mixture into the eggs. Whisk once more. Then sieve in the cocoa powder and maida into the eggs. Add the vanilla extract too. Fold the mixture gently with a rubber spatula. Do not over mix the mixture.

Line the muffin tray with liners and fill each portion with the mixture upto 3/4 th capacity. Bake them at 180’c for 18-20 mins. Once baked, insert a toothpick in the centre of a brownie, it must come out with moist and gooey crumbs. That’s it, the Muffins are ready. Cool them on the cooling rack for a few minutes. Serve them warm with a scoop of ice cream or just enjoy them plain.

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Don’t these tempt you…😁 Also try my eggless nutties brownie.

Love,

Shreya💝

Eggless Wholewheat Cardamom Cookies | Elaichi Biscuits

Chai and biscuits…have become chai and cookies. The English biscuits have been taken over by chunky cookies all the way from the West! I am not complaining…I never have tea…so the cookies over biscuits dilemma has never haunted me🤗

But my hubby loves his tea…it’s no secret. Although he is not a biscuit or cookie loving kind of a guy…he does like them once in a blue moon…and on that lucky day, he can clean out the tin! 😂

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Store bought cookies are not his kind…he finds them too sweet and the Maida (all purpose flour) makes it way too heavy. I agree…these are precisely the reasons why even I don’t like indulging in them too often. Also, these cookies or biscuits are often made with Dalda (vegetable fat) which isn’t the healthiest choice. Though they are very crisp but definitely not our choice.

So these atta biscuits (wholewheat cookies) were one of the earliest things I learnt to bake for my hubby back when I got my oven! There were few hits and many more misses 😂😂😂😂 I had burned bases to rock solid cookies which wouldn’t come off from the tray…though they were lined with parchment paper! Sometimes, they’d spread so much and turn into a congealed mass…LOL! 😜

But you learn..make your own mistakes and then understand where you went wrong. I referred to so many recipes all over the place just to make a good wholewheat cookie. Finally, almost over a year ago I was able to stick to a recipe where I was happy with each aspect of the result…. It was crisp, perfectly cooked and did not spread much. Just the way I wanted.

It took me almost over an year to bring them to my blog for you as I always bake these at night and clicking pictures isn’t possible then or even if I bake them during weekends, my hubby starts eating them warm off the baking tray! There’s hardly any left for me…forget clicking them 😁

I am going to share a few tips here that I learnt in the process of learning to bake these atta cookies ..

* the very first trial with making these atta cookies was inspired by a recipe I saw in some magazine at my Mom’s place. It had used butter obviously, but I used oil to make it healthy. The result was a congealed mass on the tray even after baking for 25 mins. It simply spread.

* next, after a few hits and misses, I tried them using ghee (clarified butter). They tasted decent but felt a little heavy for our palates. They were crisp but became soggy on the second day. They too spread but not too much. Not satisfactory.

* finally I thought of trying with unsalted cooking butter as per the original recipe but I changed the proportions as per my choice and used just the basic ingredients. By this time I’d already baked the exact same thing over 7-8 times. So I was able to judge the texture and the quantity on sight. Also, extensive research online made me understand the value of refrigerating the cookie/ biscuit dough. It helps. Big time! Using butter does make it crisper and the end result is what you see in the pictures here. The cookies/ biscuits do spread. It will. But it is minimal and gives you perfect looking cookies. These cookies stay fresh and crisp for upto 3 days in an airtight box. (My experience, it never lasts longer than that as I always make a small batch)

Hope you have gone through the tips above before we begin the actual recipe.

Yield: 12-14 small cookies

Equipment: (no fancy equipment is ever used for this, remember I was learning to bake with basic things at home) a wired whisk, a large mixing bowl, a small bowl, baking tray, parchment paper/ baking paper, a cooling rack, measuring cups/ spoons, as small pan, a weighing scale if you have one would be excellent.

Ingredients:

1 cup wholewheat atta (ashirwaad select atta)

75 gms unsalted butter (approximately 3/4th quantity of a 100gm. I used a weighing scale here)

6 tbsp powdered sugar (add more or less as per taste)

1/2 tsp cardamom pwd (Elaichi pwd)

1 small pinch baking soda

Method:

How to measure the atta – fill the cup with spoonfuls of atta. Do not dip the cup into the container with the atta. That way you will always end up with extra atta and the ratio will be wrong.

Seive the atta along with the baking soda once. Set it aside.

Take butter in the pan. Let it melt on very low flame. Once it’s melted, let it cool for 2 mins. Take the butter in a small bowl, then add the powdered sugar and cardamom pwd in the butter. Whisk well to make a smooth mixture.

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Now add this mixture to the sieved atta and baking pwd. Mix it gently and bring it together. This is not like Roti dough so it with crumbly. Let the dough rest for 5-7 mins to absorb the butter. Then gently shape the cookies (takes me 20 mins for just 12 cookies each time). Make sure the shape of cookies is evenly sized and smooth all over. (See the pic above). Place them apart on parchment lined baking tray.

I can make 12 cookies with this quantity, you may have 10 or 14 as well, depending on the size. Once you have shaped the dough, keep them in the refrigerator for 15 mins.

Preheat the oven at 150’c for 10 mins. (Every oven is different so work according to that for setting the temperature and duration for baking).

Take the baking tray out from the refrigerator and place it in the middle of the oven to bake at 150’c for 20-22 mins. They will turn golden on the top and slightly brown at the bottom. Do not bake at high temperatures else the cookies with burn at the base. Once the cookies are baked, keep the baking tray out of the oven for 10 mins on a cooling rack.

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Then transfer the cookies to the cooling rack for cooling them completely. They are soft at first then turn crisp as they cool.

Once completely cooled, store them in airtight box.

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Occasionally, I do like a cup of lemon tea with these cookies! Also, try sugar cookies by me.

Love,

Shreya💝

Slightly adapted.

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