October 18, 2019

Ghavachi Lapsi - a guestpost by Poonam | Guestpost series #20

Poonam who blogs at Annapoorna is a dear blogger-friend whom I have known for about a year now. She is the guest blogger of this month at SizzlingTastebuds... 

I am simply floored by two things majorly on her blog : her bakes with wholewheat and jaggery + her styling and photography. No fancy props, but each of her pictures come alive. .. and so much to learn from her and the blog too. Poonam blogs mostly about Maharashtrian cuisine, but her blog is replete with cuisines from across the world. She's also very active on Social Media and one can see her cooking and baking prowess across all her posts. 

Poonam kindly accepted my GuestBlog invite, and sent me this lusciously divine Ghavachi Lapsi - a heirloom recipe which is a sweet, sticky pudding made of broken wheat, ghee and jaggery.. Can it get any better? 

Yes. Do check out her guestpost below and one can literally (nay, virtually) drool at the mouthwatering dish. Thanks Poonam for consenting to do this Guestpost.

Over to Poonam now.. in her own words...


I love cooking and started helping my mom in kitchen from the
tender age of 12 years. I feel cooking is in my genes and my mom is my greatest
inspiration. A microbiologist by profession , i am happily married and mother to a
naughty 11 year old kid. Quit my job to take care of my son and was happy feeding
my family and friends. The idea to get into blogging was purely from the
motivation by some of my buddies while i was in Penang, Malaysia. Blogging has
become a part of my life from last 4 years and i am enjoying every bit of it. Came
across many lovely souls and learnt a lot during this blogging journey.

I am very thankful to Kalyani for giving me this opportunity to do a guest post for
her blog. I know Kalyani through the blogging world, from the various food groups that we are a part of . I have yet to meet her in person but I am already a great fan 
of her cooking. Her blog is a home to a plethora of delicious healthy dishes, mostly
vegan. I have bookmarked many of her traditional South Indian dishes to try out. I
like her writing style and the fact that she makes a conscious effort to cook
nutritious food , avoiding refined sugar and flours in her cooking.

Now to the recipe..

Ghavachi Lapsi is a traditional Maharashtrian sweet dish made with broken wheat (dalia) and jaggery. It is a porridge consistency kheer/ pudding that can be served as a healthy winter breakfast or had as a dessert all year round. Broken wheat / dalia is fiber rich food full of nutrition. It is easy to cook and digest and best food for the weight watchers and diabetic patients. It is also one of the healthy weaning food for babies and great for growing kids.

Ghavachi lapsi has been one of my favorite winter breakfast since mychildhood days. We use to have a bowl of ghavachi lapsi with milk for our breakfast. Whenever someone was ill in my family, mumma used to make this lapsi as it was easy to digest. Even today i make this dish at least once every week. Ghavachi lapsi was also one of the first foods
my son had as a toddler. Ghavachi lapsi can also be made as Naivedhyam on festivals.

To begin with making ghavachi lapsi, broken wheat is roasted in ghee until you get a nutty aroma. It is further pressure cooked in water, sweetened with jaggery syrup and cooked till desired consistency is reached. You may garnish this delectable pudding with some slivered nuts to make it all the more rich. Ghavachi lapsi has a creamy texture and is mildly flavored with cardamom powder. This is one of my heirloom recipes and i am sharing the way we cook it in our family. 

For a vegan version, skip using ghee and dry roast the broken wheat before
pressure cooking it.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes | Cooking Time : 20 minutes | Serves: 3-4


3/4 cup broken wheat / dalia
1/2 cup jaggery , grated or powdered
1 tablespoon ghee
1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
2 tablespoon slivered nuts of your choice


1. Heat ghee in a pressure cooker.
2. Add broken wheat to it and roast until you get a nutty aroma and the broken wheat turns golden brown in color. Take care not to burn the dalia.
3. Now add 1 1/2 cup water to it and pressure cook for 2 whistles.
4. Meanwhile in a sauce pan take 1/2 cup water and add jaggery to it. Allow the mixture to boil. Once all the jaggery is dissolved put off the flame. You may strain the jaggery syrup to remove the impurities from jaggery if any.
5. Once the pressure has been released naturally, open the pressure cooker and mash the cooked dalia. Add the hot jaggery syrup to it and cook the mixture until desired consistency is reached.
6. The dalia kheer thickens further on cooling so put off the flame accordingly.
7. Flavor the ghavachi lapsi with cardamom powder and give a quick stir. Spoon out the lapsi in individual serving bowls and garnish with slivered nuts.
8. Serve immediately and enjoy the delectable ghavachi lapsi with your loved ones.

October 9, 2019

Sesame Broccoli Fried Rice | Gluten Free, Vegan One Pot Meal

One Pot Meals are so fuss free, kid friendly and with some prior prep, can be put together in a jiffy even on weekday mornings for the school lunchbox. As I have mentioned on many of my broccoli dish recipes, the little one is really fond of broccoli in most forms - Baked Casserole, Soup, Pulav, pizza, Tandoori broccoli and even in cutlets. Thanks to her, I too get to eat one of my most favourite veggies.

Today's dish is inspired from Poonam's blog which has an amazing collection of kid-friendly recipes. As I was paired with her for this edition of Recipe Swap Challenge, I narrowed down 2-3 recipes which were doable during the busy Navratri week as well as with the kids' exams going on. Recipe Swap is a group where the paired bloggers cook from each other's blogs. 

This quick Broccoli vegetable rice amped up with veggies caught my eye. I have modified that version slightly in an Indo Chinese fashion to make it more appealing for my kid as well as added some sesame for that nutrition boost. 


Prep time - 15 mins, Cook time - 15 mins, serves - 2

Ingredients: (1 cup = 200 ml)
Long grained rice - 2/3 cup
Broccoli florets - 1/2 cup 
Chopped veggies - beans, carrots - 1/2 cup - blanched slightly with salt
Bell peppers - 1/4 medium, diced
Onion - lengthwise sliced
Garlic - 1 large pod, minced
Ginger- 1 inch, grated
Soya Sauce - 1/2 tsp
Cashewnuts  - few (halved/ chopped coarse)
Salt - to taste
Oil - 2 tsp (I used sesame oil)
Slit green chillies - 1 or 2 (adjust spice) - I didn't add
Crushed Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Roasted sesame seeds - 1 tsp (for garnish)

Wash, soak and cook the long grained rice as per packet instructions or how you would cook for a pula. Fluff them up with a fork and let it cool.
Meanwhile, in a heavy bottomed pan, add the oil. saute onions and garlic till onions turn soft and translucent. Now add the green chillies, bell peppers, ginger , saute them well. Add the broccoli, blanched veggies and keep tossing them on high flame. once the broccoli begins to char a bit, add the cashews, soya sauce and toss well. 
Now add salt, cooked rice and crushed black pepper. Give it one final toss. Sprinkle roasted sesame seeds and serve hot. If packing for the lunch box, add the sesame seeds just before packing. 

October 1, 2019

Hosting MLLA # 132

It’s October and yay! I am so happy to host another edition of MLLA (My Legume Love Affair) at my blog- twice in am year , and am tickled pink ! Thanks Lisa for this wonderful opportunity and am sure my blogger friends would pitch in with their wonderful, plant protein / legume based entries. I have had the privilege to host editions 1305891 and 97 over the years

Did you know Tamarind is considered a legume too ? If you are keen to know, check out this list of Legumes and link up any post between 1-31st oct on the following linky tool with the follwing rules.

1. One vegetarian / vegan entry per blogger. Non-bloggers can send me their entries too at momchef77@gmail.com (hi-res pic and text recipe) 
2. Fresh posts betn 1-31st Oct are allowed. No archives / reposts pls. Make sure your entry is linked back to this announcement and Lisa's MLLA announcement page
3. Make sure the legumes are majorly featured in your recipe. 
4. Usage of Logo is optional but recommended 

Look forward to all your entries !



September 30, 2019

Easy Cheesy Pizza Pull Apart Bread , with a no-knead Option | Fun Party Food :)

Pizza - kids and adults favourite. My kids order in from a pizzeria once in a while, but prefer homemade pizza any day. I love that 'coz I know exactly what goes into baking it, and I can control that and the portion size too. I usually have a batch of wholwheat pizza dough freezing, but this time I used my trusted @KingArthurFlour Bread flour (which has an amazing 12% protein content, and no this is NOT a sponsored post from @KAF but a tribute to flour that never fails me!! ). 

If one doesn't have access to Bread Flour, you can add 1 tsp Vital Wheat Gluten to every cup of flour. Of course, baking for me over the years has been more trial and error, more errors than trials ... but the joy of baking is something so therapeutic that it can mask all your worries as you knead, fold, bake :-)


Preeti - our host for the week has asked us to go on a #pizzaMania trip this week at FoodieMonday. I already have the following pizza varieties on the blog, so wanted to do a take on Pizzas, and this Pull Apart bread was gone in minutes when the kids came back from school. I cut back on cheese consumption quite a bit at home too, so the kids were really excited that the bread had, in my little one's words "Amma, so much Cheese!!!". the glee was totally worth it ! 

This would be a hit at any kid's birthday party as its fun to "pull-apart" the bread one by one. I had make a similar Garlicky Monkey Pull apart bread and that was delicious too. Let's get baking. If you or ur kid is crazy about Pizzas, here are some varieties you can make right at home ! 

Wholewheat Thin Crust Pizza from Scratch

Grilled Methi Bhakri Pizza Bites | No yeast Fusion Pizza with Bajra (Black Millet)

Turkish Pide (Turkish Pizza)

Dominos-style Garlic Pizza sticks

The following Step by step collage should also help baking amateurs. 

Prep time - 15 mins, Fermentation time - 2 hours + overnight , makes - 2 loaves

What you need:
King Arthur Bread Flour - 3.5 cups
Warm water - 1 cup + 3 tbsp (can vary with the flour quality)
Yeast - 1 packet (7 g)
Salt - to taste
Sugar - 1 TBSP
Italian herbs - 1 tsp ( I used dried thyme and oregano)
Olive Oil - 3 TBSP + 1 TBSP for greasing

Red chilli flakes - 1 tsp (for topping)
Shredded Pizza Cheese - I used Brittania Mozzarella Cheese - 2/3 cup

How to :
In a bowl, Mix the sugar with the warm water well. Add yeast and let it proof (takes 10 mins). Mix the flour, salt, herbs well, Add the proofed yeast and half of the oil and knead well to a smooth, elastic dough (takes 20 mins by hand). Grease a ceramic bowl, Cover with cling wrap as shown in the following picture.

Once the dough doubles (takes about 60-90 mins on a humid day), punch it down a bit and  cover it again and place in the refrigerator overnight (for the no-knead option, one can just mix the shaggy dough with hand till it forms a gooey kind of mixture, cover and refrigerate prior to first rise for at least 18-24 hours)

Baking Day:
1. Bring the dough to room temperature 2 hours before you wish to bake. 
2. Divide the dough based on the side of your pan, Take one portion, Knead the dough well for 2-4 mins. Divide the portion into equal sized roundels. roast garlic and add to the roundels, add homemade pizza sauce ( I used my thickened Pasta sauce), herbs, 2 tsp of olive oil and mix well. At this stage, you can add half of the cheese too, but I prefer to add it only for topping.  
3. Grease the baking , I used a Large bundt pan, but you could use any dish you need. 
4. Place the sauce-coated bread in the greased pan in a circular fashion / one over the other in a monkey-bread kind of pattern. Cover for 20-30 mins while it proves again. 
5. Meanwhile heat the oven to 190C. 
6. Sprinkle grated cheese generously and the chilli flakes over the 2nd proofed bread and bake at 190 for 15 mins till cheese is melted and bubbly.
7. Rest for 4-5 mins and then dig in !! 

Arichuvitta Mullangi Sambar | How to make aromatic radish sambhar | Vegan, GF Side dish

Arichuvitta sambhar (loosely translated as spiced paste - lentil sambhar / stew- but not really capturing the essence of an authentic dish) is the centrepiece of a tambrahm meal - be it everyday menu or on festival / special occasion. Altho sambhar (the tamilnadu tiffin sambhar or the Karnataka darshini / udupi sambhar ) is used with Idli / tiffin / breakfast items, a different version is made for lunch or dinner to be had with rice .  

Either homemade sambhar powder for an instant mixed-veg sambhar is used or a special combo of spices come together in an aromatic paste for the latter. So this special ground masala works great with most veggies like shallots (chinna vengayam), bell-pepper  (kodamilagai) and radish (mullangi) or even brinjal / aubergine 🍆(katrikkai)

Paired with Jayshree for this month’s edition of sshhh secret cooking challenge, she gave me red chillies and toor dal as the secret ingredients .  At our house, we usually avoid using mullangi (radish), onion and garlic on Ekadasi, amavasya (new moon day) and any festival days. But the rest of the month, we make this mulling sambar or chinna vengayam (pearl onion / shallots) for our Sunday brunch. Jayashree made Idli Milagai podi with the ingredients I gave her - Urad dal and Chillies

Radish is undoubtedly a diabetic -friendly veggie but many people don’t like to eat it we love this sambhar as well as the raw mullangi salad (aka kosambari) or even raita made with fresh radish. I also love the Mullangi Palya (radish stir fry) that we make during winters with fresh, juicy radish. 

Let’s see how to make this aromatic sambhar. I made it twice this month, first time I served it with Kothavarangai curry and the second time with some Chow chow poriyal + some bombay mixture. 

Prep time - 20 Mins, cook time - 15 Mins, serves -4 ~5 adults

What you need:
Toor dal / pigeon pea - 1/2 cup (1 cup -250 ml)
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp 
Oil - 2 tsp (divided use)
Fresh radish - 1/4 kg or 2 medium radishes


For spices masala paste:
Coriander seeds - 2 tbsp
Jeera - 1 tsp
Methi seeds- 1/2 tsp
Channa dal / Bengal gram - 1 tbsp 
Tamarind - small gooseberry size
Raw rice - 1 tsp 
Red chillies - 4 -6 (adjust spice)
Freshly grated coconut - 1/4 cup
Asafoetida -  generous pinch (skip for GF)
Mustard seeds, curry leaves, 1/2 tsp oil

How to:
Pressure Cook toor dal with turmeric till mushy and keep aside. In the same cooker but in a separate container , cook radish (lightly peeled and cut into thick roundels).
While the veggies and toor dal are cooking, make the masala paste - in a pan, add 1 tsp of oil and roast all the ingredients for the paste in the order mentioned till aromatic (on a low flames only) 
Once the red chillies are fried a bit, switch off the flame and add the  coconut and asafoetida. Let this mixture cool. Add 1/3 cup of water and make a thickish well ground paste.
In the same kadai / large pan, add rest of the oil and sauté the paste for 2-4 mins till oil starts separating, now Add salt to taste, cooked toor dal and adjust more water to a pouring sambhar consistency. Now add the cooked radish and let it simmer for 3-4 mins more. 
Make the tempering with oil, mustard seeds and curry leaves and pour on top.

Serve sambhar hot with rice / ragi sankati / brown rice + veggies for a soulful meal   

September 23, 2019

Carrot Moongdal Rasam | Rasam Varieties | Can be GF and Vegan

Rasam (aka South Indian light broth) is our go-to dish after heavy meals, a long travel / trips, festival binge eating or even as a quick dish to make when hungry. Some rasam like the garlic pepper Rasam shots or tamatar Shorba are also served as appetisers / soup. As opposed to sambhar , rasams are generally devoid of lentils and are light broths. Fusion rasams like today's Carrot Moong dal Rasam or Tomato Onion Rasam also are welcome at home. 

In traditional Tambrahm households, Rasam as a nomenclature is forbidden to be used. Sattamudhu (coming actually from Saatru Amudhu - meaning nectar of food. Rasam is meant to be a flavourful, spice-heavy light broth which has digestive powers, and in a traditional sit-down meal or every day lunches, Rasam always follows a heavy-lentil kootu / sambhar.

Earlier, when I read paruppu rasam on some blogs (no offence meant to anyone here), I was actually amused as in our house rasam is made with paruppu (cooked lentils- mostly for dal) only. My grandmom and mom both made different rasams, mostly with toor or moong dal. 

My grandmom used to insist that the adi-rasam (the thick lentil portion of the rasam) contains more amino acids especially for growing children than just offering us to sip on the telu- rasam (the top portion of the rasam which is more broth like!)

It was only after a few years I learnt that tamarind water , some spices and salt could also constitute rasam. 

Anyways, the husband is not a huge fan of rasam, preferring his vettakuzhambu or sambhar anyday. My FIL and kids however love rasam for every meal. 

Why am I talking rasam so much ? Our friend priya has given us #rasamraga as the theme for foodiemonday blog hop and we are all off to making traditional / fusion rasams this week !

More Rasam varieties on the blog:

Today’s an interesting fusion kind of rasam with carrots and moong dal (of course I didn’t tell the kids there was carrots in it). The kids loved it, altho I felt it needed more tamarind , but overall the meal was a hit with rasam, brown rice and a avarekai Poritha kootu (flat beans in a lentil based spicy gravy).

Let’s get cracking :
Prep time - 15 Mins, cook time - 10 Mins ; Serves - 3~4

What you need:
Moong dal / split green gram - 2 handfuls 
Tomato - 1 large 
Tamarind extract - 1/2 cup 
Carrots - 1/2 medium (finely chopped)
Rasam powder - 1 tsp
Salt to taste 

Tempering :
Ghee - 1/2 tsp (replace with oil for a vegan version)
Mustard seeds, cumin seeds  - 1/2 tsp each
Hing / asafoetida - a generous pinch (skip for GF)
Coriander leaves - garnish 


How to:
Pressure cook moong dal with carrot and tomato 🍅 with a pinch of turmeric for 3 whistles. Once the pressure is released, Add 1 cup of water more and blend to a smooth paste with a whisk or blender. 
In a pan add the puréed lentil mix, tamarind extract, salt, rasam powder and bring to a gentle boil. 
Once the rasam starts frothing on top, switch off (don’t over boil any rasam - it loses its fragrance) 

Prepare the tempering with ghee, splutter mustard and cumin seeds with hing, add to the rasam. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot.  

September 16, 2019

Baked Broccoli Casserole | GF | Fall Recipes

Think Casseroles, think Fall ! 

India technically doesn’t have a “Fall” or Autumn season, but the veggies of Fall are abundantly available where I live through the year, barring a few. My personal favourite veggie bake would be this Low-Cal Veg Au Gratin. I also love using Pumpkin (a Fall favourite) in my Low Cal Pav Bhaji completely eliminating the potatoes thereby making it Fibre Rich and nutritious. 

Also, when looking for new recipes, I also tend to go savoury 99.99% of the time compared to a sweet dish, and this time was no different. If it’s a baked dish, then I doubly rejoice for it makes a new entrant on my kids’ Sunday lunch like this dish did. 

Traditionally, I make a red sauce GF pasta for the kids almost every Sunday  - a welcome change for them from the grind of Raam-rice or Roti-Dal through the week. It also gives me an opportunity to sneak in a few more veggies than I usually do. Today is a Broccoli-pasta bake that was very well received by the kids (the younger one L-O-V-E-S broccoli). 

The weather although rainy here, has been ultra pleasant last few days, and this warm bake was totally loved. I had bookmarked a few more bakes with apples and pumpkins (Homemade Pumpkin puree being a great egg replacer as well, I have a few pumpkin based breads here , here, here and here for you to check out !!) 

 So, let’s get baking!

I have used my ever-dependable homemade Arrabiata pasta sauce, and used GF pasta. You could use any variety of pasta and sauce as you wish. You could also use the Broccoli in White pasta sauce recipe if you prefer. 

Prep time - 20 mins, Bake time - 15 mins, Serves - 2~3 kids

What you need:
2 portions Red sauce Pasta ( I used GF Fussili instead of wholewheat Penne) made with homemade Arrabiata pasta
Blanched Broccoli - 1 cup
Grated Cheese - 1/2 cup (I used a mix of parmesan and Cheddar)
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated garlic - 1/2 tsp
Red chilly flakes - 1/2 tsp OR crushed pepper - 1/4 tsp
Olive oil - 2 tsp + 1 TBSP to grease the baking dish


How to make:
Pre-heat oven to 180C/ 375F. 
In a pan, add olive oil. Saute the grated garlic, add the blanched broccoli and saute it well for 2 mins. Switch off. Add half the cheese and all of the prepared pasta with the sauce, mix well. Keep aside. Make sure the sauce isnt too runny pr watery.   
Grease a baking dish throughly. Transfer the pasta+broccoli mix to the dish. Top with the remaining cheese, salt, pepper, red chilly flakes / pepper and mix well. Bake for 12 mins and  turn to broil for next 3 min till you see the cheese bubbling on the top (baking temp may vary from oven to oven)
Let it cool a bit once baked. Serve warm as is or with some bread. The kids had this as a main course without any sides and it tastes delicious when warm.
More Fall recipes you may like......

Almost Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Cake

Sugarfree Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins with Oats Streusel

Browned Butter Semolina Pumpkin Bread

Oven Roasted Vegetable Soup

Wholewheat Pumpkin Coconut Chocochip bread

Low-Cal Veg Au Gratin

 #FallRecipes was suggested by #poonam this week @FoodieMondaybloghop. Do check out her blog for some awesome wholewheat, low sugar bakes ! 

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