December 15, 2017

Baked Falafels | Easy GF and Vegan Bakes

In the last of the baked-not-fried series, I have this Baked Falafels. This is the third element of the Lebanese / Middle Eastern spread that was served with Baked Pita and Beetroot hummus. The kids and the husband loved it a lot,and although it was too much prep work for a day, I guess the smiles made my day.

So, sit back and enjoy the guilt-free Baked Falafels. Originally these are round in shape and deep fried, but these were flattened a bit to bake it thoroughly. This is a great proteinicious and GF / Vegan snack so it makes a meal by itself. I haven't frozen these baked ones, but I am sure they keep well for a week.

Indulge in this as well as the rest of the meal on a lazy weekend while I see you on the other side of this weekend with a new theme. 
So far on the Bakeathon running all this December:

Baked Pepper Sev
Baked Masala Buns
Baked Namakpare
Baked Bhindi Kurkure
Baked Pita Bread
Baked Cornflakes Chiwda

Other recipes with chickpeas are:

Kabuli Channa Pulao - Gluten free and Vegan | One Pot Dish | Easy Lunchbox recipes
Chickpeas + Sweet potato salad
Moroccan Harira
Tikki Choley chaats 
Punjabi Chole

Similar Tikki / Kebab varieties:

Prep time : 25 mins ;  Bake time : 20-22 mins per batch; Makes  : about 1 dozen Falafels (medium sized)

What you need:

  • Cooked and drained chickpeas ( soaked and cooked previously) - 2 cups (1 cup = 200 ml)*
  • Tahini paste - 1 tsp (I used roasted sesame)
  • Garlic - 4 to 6 pods (adjust to taste)
  • Salt and pepper - to taste
  • Coriander leaves - 3 tbsp (finely chopped)
  • Coriander powder - 2 TBSP
  • Garlic powder - 1 tsp
  • Onions - finely minced - 5 TBSP
  • Olive  Oil - 3 TBSP + 2 TBSP (to baste)
*if making from scratch, soak 1 cup of chickpeas for 8-10 hours. Cook with a little salt till soft and slightly mushy. Drain and use. 1 cup of dry chickpeas will render about 1.75-2 cups of cooked chickpeas, so soak accordingly. 

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 200/210 C. Line a baking sheet.
  2. In a food processor, first add the boiled chickpeas, salt, tahini, garlic and mince well. 
  3. Now add the rest of the ingredients except onion and coriander leaves and slowly blend to a thick doughy paste.
  4. Add the onions and coriander, mix well and set aside for 5 mins. 
  5. Pinch out equal portions of the chickpeas mix, flatten them into tikki / kebab kind of falafels. 
  6. Place in a greased tray. Finish with the rest of the falafels.
  7. Baste them with oil (or use baking spray, but they need to be well greased on all sides)
  8. Bake for 8-10 mins on one side, flip and bake over on the other till slightly dry yet crispy
  9. Cool on a baking rack. 
  10. Serve warm with Pita, hummus and a salad

This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2017    

December 13, 2017

Baked Cornflakes Chivda | Vegan and GF Snacks

Baked, not fried. In the latest of this series of healthy snacks, today's dish is Cornflakes Chiwda. The husband is a fan of cornflakes chiwda and was wanting to munch on a healthier version. So, I tried this and rather liked it.

No, its NOT like the deep fried (and ULTRA crispy) version. But it's way, way healthier. This is also an easy recipe to use up those huge bags of Cornflakes that we might have picked up at the Supermarket while doing the monthly grocery shopping. I use normal cornflakes (plain, unsalted, not the Kellogs variety), but do use the plain version as any flavoured ones would mar the taste.

Use of peanuts and cashews is totally optional (if you want it nut free). But we like a bit of crunch in the Chiwda recipes. You can also add Fried gram or Dalia , but I ran out of them.

I do hope you are enjoying the Bakeathon spread so far :

Similar  Chivda / Chiwda  recipes:

Prep time : 10 mins, Bake time : 10 - 12 mins per batch, serves : 2
Ingredients: (1 cup = 250 ml)

  • Plain Cornflakes - 1 cup
  • Oil - 2 TBSP ( to spray) + 1 tsp to grease
  • Salt - to taste
  • Peanuts - 2 TBSP
  • Fried gram - 1 TBSP
  • Red chilli powder - 1/2 TBSP
  • Chaat Masala - 1/2 T
  • Black Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Sugar powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Curry leaves - few (opt.)
  • Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
  • Raisins and Cashews - sautéed till crispy - 1 TBSP totally (opt.)

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 170 C. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Spread the peanuts, spray little oil and bake for 7-8 mins till brown (shake them intermittently). Towards the end of the peanut browning, add a few dry curry leaves, let them shrink / crisp a bit. Remove to a plate. Similarly lightly brown the fried gram (you may dry roast them too)
  2. In the same baking tray, add the cornflakes in a single layer. Spray 1.5 TBSP of oil all over. Bake for 9-12 mins in batches of 3 min each, shaking the tray every time, till they crisp up. They won't fluff up like the deep fried version, they will crisp up. Watch for burning as they do very fast. The raw taste of the cornflakes has to be replaced by a crunchy baked version - this is the stage we are looking for.
  3. In a large dry bowl, add the baked cornflakes. While still hot, add the salt, spices, masala, turmeric, curry leaves and shake well. Add the sautéed raisins, cashews peanuts and the fried gram
  4. Serve immediately. Else store in an airtight container and munch on guilt free :)

 This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2017    

December 12, 2017

WholeWheat Garlic Monkey Bread for #Breadbakers

My family’s love for savoury bakes, especially garlic flavoured is known on this blog already with this Roasted garlic focaccia and garlic cheese bombs (both for #Breadbakers) while others include dominos style garlic bread sticks and Coriander-garlic pull apart rolls. While checking my bookmarks on what to make for the whole grains holiday breads event that I am Hosting for this month, I chanced upon Samantha's monkey bread. She had made it with APF (more importantly with readymade buttermilk biscuits) which I converted to wholewheat using stone ground flour and also made the dough from scratch.  

The other major changes was to make it vegan and use a little more hydration as the wholewheat flour tends to drink a little more liquid. The idea of a 3-dimensional pull apart bread appealed a lot to the kids and it was fun tearing it apart and dunking them into a hot bowl of soup; the kids especially the elder one who’s the garlic lover in the family loved it a lot.

Unfortunately the husband had to sit out on this as, although he loves garlic breads, we discovered he’s allergic to yeast. So till I make this yeast-free next time, sit back and enjoy this 3D-pull apart bread (aka.monkey bread) that’s sure to bring in cheer to your holiday baking .

I would be hosting this edition of #breadbakers with "Wholegrain Holiday Breads" as a theme. Thank you for the hosting opportunity, Stacy. It sure was some fun doing this. And dear #Breadbaker friends, I look forward to enjoying all your bakes.

And here’s wishing all of you a wonderful baking / holiday season, a happy new year in advance too :))

Let’s get to the recipe now. - Wholewheat Garlic Monkey Bread - a VEGAN holiday (actually, anytime) bread :-)

Prep time - 20 mins ; standing time (per rise) - 60 mins minimum ; bake time - 20 mins

Loosely Adapted from : here

You would need :
Here 1 cup =200ml
Wholewheat flour - 3 cups
Vital wheat Gluten - 2.5 tsp (optional)
Salt - 1 tsp
Garlic powder - 1 tbsp
Warm water - 1.25 cups + 3 tbsp (varies according to the quality of the flour)
Quick rise instant Yeast - 7gm (1 sachet)
Powdered sugar - 1 tbsp
Olive oil - 3 tbsp

For the garlic oil dip (pre-bake seasoning)
olive oil - 3 tbsp
Garlic pods - minced fine or peeled & crushed - 4 large
Pizza seasoning / oregano -1 tbsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp (if pizza seasoning contains a lot of salt, skip this)
Red chilli flakes - 1 tsp (or to taste)
Black pepper powder -1/4 tsp
Parsley / Chopped coriander leaves - 1/2 TBSP (I used the latter)


  1. If using active dry yeast, proof the yeast. Else follow the next steps :
  2. In a large flat bowl or in the stand mixer, add all the ingredients for the dough. Mix well with a wooden spatula. Cover for 8-9 mins and then start kneading for 12-13 mins or till you get a smooth soft dough.
  3. Cover with wet kitchen towel for about 60 mins or till it doubles.
  4. Meanwhile for the garlic dip, heat oil and add the crushed / minced garlic. Switch off after 30 seconds. Take off the flame, add rest of the ingredients and let the flavours seep well.
  5. Once the dough has risen, punch once and make small balls and smoothen/ roll them without any cracks. Dip these mini dough balls into the garlic oil mixture and stack them
  6. Up in a greased bundt Pan or a deep baking dish. Cover and let them rise slightly for 45 mins. Before placing them into the oven, brush them lightly with any remaining garlic oil.
  7. Towards the end of this second rise, preheat oven to 180c / 350f and place the baking dish. Bake this golden brown and slightly crispy on top. Tent the baking dish midway if they are browning too quickly.
  8. Cool slightly and demould the whole bread. Serve these warm with soup or any casserole. It’s sheer fun to pull apart the tiny garlicky buns and savour them ;)

Let's take a look at this month's edition of Wholegrain Holiday Breads ! 
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to


December 11, 2017

Baked Pita Bread - Version 2 | Easy breads

Pita breads was one of the breads I baked with my recent batch of bread flour. I had tried to make these with wholewheat but somehow it didn't have that oomph or fluffiness of the pita pockets which is so essential to a Pita. Middle Eastern & Mediterranean cuisines entice me and my family and I am  always looking for occasions to bake this.

This Pita Bread was made along with Beetroot Hummus . I had made a middle eastern platter earlier too. This is a new version of Pita which worked so well, so thought I would document this with some new dishes. 

Stuff these with some falafels and some sour cream and salad, and it makes for a healthy , filling meal. Let's get to make these.

Pita Bread
Cuisine : Middle Eastern  / Lebanese.
Serve with Falafels, salad and Hummus

Prep time : 20 mins, Standing time : 60 mins ; Makes : 4-6 medium sized pitas
Adapted from Recipe source (video) : The Kitchn

Strong White bread flour - 3 cups
Warm water - 1 cup
Instant Yeast - 7 grams (or 1 sachet/1.25 tsp)
Salt - 1 tsp
Olive Oil- 3 tbsp

How to:
In a kitchenAid / for processor, place all the ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon to make a shaggy dough. Cover and leave for 10 mins.
Knead to a smooth elastic dough. Cover and rest for 60 - 75 minutes.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 230 C / 450 F for over 20-30 mins. Simultaneously heat a pizza stone inside the oven too.
Deflate the dough and divide into 6 medium parts.
roll into thinnish discs, sprinkling a little dry flour if required. Cover and keep all the discs till done.
Place one disc a heated pizza stone and let it puff up on
once done, remove immediately and keep covered with a dry kitchen towel.
Bake the rest of the pita breads
Serve warm with salad, hummus and falafels.

This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2017      

December 8, 2017

Baked Kurkure Bhindi | Vegan and GF snack

I hope you readers are enjoying this Bakeathon as much as we had fun baking these. Adding to the list of deep-dry converted to healthy bakes, is this Kurkure Bhindi. This is great as a snack as well as a side to a simple meal of Dal-Chawal or Khichdi

I made this for lunch along with Dal-Chawal, and my bhindi-loving elder one almost polished it off. Like the Baked Karela Chips, this too is GF and vegan (and actually made pretty much the same way), this is a great addition to the dinner / snack menu rotation. For those who love Okra, this can be an excellent party addition too :-)

Do let me know how you liked this. So far this bakeathon, we saw:
Prep time: 15 mins ; Bake time : 15-20 mins ; Serves : 2

  • Watch over the okra constantly with rustling the tray often
  • Wash, pat dry completely with multiple layers of paper towels. 
  • Rest and then Slice the okra into thin strips, almost like juliennes.
  • The deep fry version is super crisp. this version has to be baked till they are dry yet crispy on the edges. If baked too much, the okra and the rava will burn & tender the dish bitter
  • Serve this dish immediately after prepared : it turns soggy within minutes.
  • I used Corn rava (fine bombay rava)  in place of cornflour. You may use cornflour if you wish.
  • Add salt and Chaat masala only at the end of the bake. Else they will turn watery.


  • Okra - 200 gms (use tender ones only, the baby okras work best for this)
  • Olive / neutral oil - 4 tsp + 2 tsp (for spraying)
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Besan / Gramflour - 3 TBSP
  • Rava / fine semolina (GF version) - 1 TBSP
  • Red chilli powder, Amchur powder, turmeric, Coriander powder, Roasted Jeera (cumin powder), Garam Masala - all to taste
  • Chaat masala - to top

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 160C. 
  2. Prep okra (refer notes above), cut into juliennes. 
  3. Dry roast besan and rava, till fragarant, separately .
  4. In a bowl, add the oil, spice powders, okra, and besan , mix well till all flavours combine (do NOT add salt)
  5. Layer them in a single layer on a greased / lined baking tray, spray oil (2 tsp) and bake for 10-12 minutes, tossing them intermittently after every 3-4 mins
  6. Now add the rava, and bake further for 8 mins (or till they turn slightly crisp).
  7. Rest for 1 min. add Salt and chaat masala and serve immediately as a snack or with dal-chawal / Khichdi/

 This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2017    

December 6, 2017

Baked Low Cal Namakpare | Baked Snacks

Next in the series of savoury baked goodies (converted from Deep-fry version) is today’s Low cal Baked Namakpare. Fondly known as diamond biscuits, I have memories of amma making these by the bushels for Krishna Jayanthi and we used to munch on these while (pretending to) studying intensive Chemistry or solving complex mathematical formulae for the exams. We made it this year too, but in today’s Low Cal Baked avatar. Yes, its not the original taste, but pretty much close that we could munch on guilt free :-) 

So, if you are looking for baked (savoury) goodies, take a peek at the following varieties at the end of this post, and till then enjoy these Low Cal Baked Namakpare. 
Refer Detailed notes. 

Prep time : 20 mins, Bake time : 12-13 mins per batch, Makes : ~150 grams of the snack


  • Wholewheat flour - 1/2 cup
  • Maida (All purpose flour) - 1/2 cup
  • Chiroti Rava (or very fine sooji / semolina) - 2 tsp
  • Baking soda - 1/8 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Sesame seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Jeera / Cumin - 1/4 tsp
  • ASafeotida / hing - 1/8 tsp
  • White unsalted butter - 4 TBSP
  • Oil - 2 tsp (to spray the baking sheet)
  • Warm water - 1/4 cup (more or less depending on the dough)

How to:

  1. Sieve the flours well. Take half the butter and mix with the soda, rub well with your fingers till it turns frothy. 
  2. Now add the flours, salt, hing, sesame seeds, rest of the butter, Chiroti rava and mix well till the mixture turns crumbly.
  3. Slowly add warm water and knead to a semi soft dough. Cover and keep for 15 mins.
  4. Towards the end of this 15 mins, preheat oven to 160C.
  5. Pinch out a ball of the dough and roll into a thinnish large disk. With the help of a sharp, greased knife or a pizza cutter, cut out into diamond shaped pieces
  6. With a flat ladle, Slowly place these pieces on to a greased baking sheet. Finish with all the dough (do not let the diamond cuts dry up on the sheet - keep them covered)
  7. Bake at 160C, watching them continuously and flip over once to bake both sides to a golden brown. They burn very fast so keep an eye on them 
  8. Once they cool down, put them on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.


  • You can make this with only APF, but I wanted to try a mix of flours
  • If using salt butter, omit the salt in the recipe.
  • The dough has to be the consistency of poori dough (not too soft and not too hard)
  • Do not add too much dry flour while rolling out, the extra flour burns in the oven leaving a rather bitter taste.
  • This temp of 160C worked for me. DO a test batch to see how your oven works. 
  • If you don’t have Chiroti rava, blitz normal Upma Rava / Semolina for a few seconds till it breaks down a bit. Sieve and use.
Similar Baked goodies on this blog:

This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2017     

December 4, 2017

Iyengar Bakery Style Masala Buns | How to make savoury Buns

We enter Day 2 of the Bakeathon. This was one of the first bakes to be ready for this marathon. Having grown up in Bangalore with its umpteen bakeries, these buns along with Bakery style ToastOmkaalu biscuits (carrom seed bread sticks), Khara Buns, Potato Buns, Khara Biscuits, baked NipattuVeg Puffs were the favorites that we loved to munch upon sometimes after school :) 

Grandpa used to ensure our favourites were available atleast once a week and we used to jump on these goodies like hungry devils !  Sigh! wish those carefree days came back where we could eat to our heart's content without reading the calories or needing to login in the eats in a smartphone app :-)

Well, today's recipe is adapted from Sandhya's blog. Although I had made savoury buns earlier, wasn't happy with the way it turned out. But this recipe is a keeper. I pretty much followed the steps with minor variations, and it was a winner. With some butter slathered on these warm buns accompanied by hot coffee / tea , it's a warm invitation after a long day and makes an excellent snack. Thanks Sandhya for a lovely recipe :-))

Iyengar Bakery Style Masala Buns - savoury snack

Prep time : 25 mins (incl kneading time) |  standing / proofing time : 45 mins + 30 mins | Baking time : 15-18 mins | Makes : 8-10 buns (medium sized)

You would need: (here 1 cup = 240 ml)

  • All purpose flour – 3/4 cup 
  • Wholewheat flour - 3/4 cup + 1/3 cup for kneading / dusting
  • Instant yeast – 2 tsp
  • Sugar – 1 ½ tsp
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Milk – 1/3 cup
  • Water – ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp (I didn't use all of it)
  • Butter – 2 tbsp + 1 Tbsp (to brush the buns) - use vegan butter to make the vegan
For the onion mixture – 
  • Onion – ¾ cup (finely chopped)
  • Green chilies – 3 or 4 (finely chopped)
  • Coriander leaves / Cilantro – finely chopped (3 tsp)
  • Oil – 2 tsp
  • Salt – as needed 
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder  - 1/2 TBSP

  • Sesame seeds - 1 TBSP (optional)

  1. Heat the oil, splutter the cumin and fry the onions till translucent,switch off, add salt and chillies and keep aside to cool. 
  2. Proof the yeast with sugar and warm water in a kitchenaid bowl. Add the flours, salt, milk, melted butter and the proofed yeast. Knead to a soft dough for 8 mins. 
  3. Now add the sautéed onion spice mix, and knead by hand till well incorporated. Add extra flour 1 TBSP at a time if needed to bring it to a firm texture. But don't add too much flour else it will dry up. The salt will ensure it becomes slightly soggy so don't be tempted to add more flour
  4. Knead to smooth and elastic dough and cover and let it rise for 1 hour.
  5. Once its risen, knead for 1-2 mins, and pinch out equal balls and smoothen with the heel of your palm into buns. Place a little apart on a lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise for 30 mins. If the temperature is humid as it was for me, the buns rise quite a bit
  6. Towards the end of the 2nd rise, preheat the oven to 190C, brush them with a little warm milk honey mixture.  Sprinkle sesame seeds if using.
  7. Bake the buns till golden brown or slightly browned on the top. If still pale, take them out of the oven, brush with little butter and grill them for 2 mins.
  8. Rest the buns on the baking sheet. Rub immediately with more butter to get a softer crust.
  9. Serve warm. Freezes well for upto 1 week. Before serving, warm in a microwave for 30 seconds and serve this with tea & a slather of butter.

This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2017    
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