December 10, 2018

Tandoori Malai Broccoli | Easy Party Appetisers

As mentioned on my the Broccoli Pakoda and other Broccoli dishes, my little one is a great fan of Broccoli and (thankfully) unlike other picky kids, she prefers Broccoli at home or when eating out. So, we happened to sample this Tandoori Malai Broccoli at a new restaurant that had opened recently. Although Broccoli is not much (read, at all) relished by the husband and the elder one, we were all smitten with the flavours and the smoky nuttiness of the dish. 

On the way home, the younger one asked me to open my phone and check for the recipe ! Lol… And yes, she wanted to eat it again the next day and the next :-) I ignored her demands for a couple of days but finally made it the following weekend and it comes together pretty quickly and we loved it a LOT !!

Considering that broccoli is quite expensive, I made a small batch, but in season I am sure to make this pretty often.  This can be the next party pleaser at your home, and so do make it for any broccoli lovers at home and let me know how you like it. 

Today, along with Bakeathon we also play aroung with #PotluckRecipes on #FoodieMondayBloghop and I bet that this would be the talk of town :-) 

More of these flourless / tandoori bakes on the blog that can work for your #potluck are:

Baked Gobi Manchurian
Idli Manchurian

Baked Cornflakes Chivda
Baked Falafels
Cajun Spiced Cheesy Aubergine Pizza
Cheesy Hasselback Potatoes
Baked Tandoori Veg Platter
Baked Shammi Kebabs
Baked Gobi Musallam

and many more dishes from the Mughlai Cuisine:

Tandoori Malai Broccoli 

GF snack (can be vegan too) ; course : appetiser/ sides
Cuisine : Indian Tandoori ; spice level : mild to medium

Prep time - 15 mins, Resting time - 30-45 mins, 
Baking time - 12~15 mins (varies from oven to oven) 
Serves : 2~3

What you need:
Tender, firm, green Broccoli - 200~220 grams
Hung yoghurt - 100 grams (slightly sour would work too
{vegans can use Vegan yoghurt , Cheese n Cream too with varied results}
Cream - 2 TBSP
Grated Processed Cheese - 3 TBSP (can add more if preferred)
Neutral oil - 2 T (divided use)
White pepper powder - 1/2 tsp (adjust spice)
Salt - to taste
Mace powder - 1/8 tsp
Cardamom powder - 1/8 tsp
Lemon juice - 1/2 tsp 

How to make:
Wash and cut broccoli to medium sized florets (don’t make them bite sized / tiny - the flavours will be lost)
In a pan, bring 4 cups of water to a rolling boil, add the broccoli. Blanch and place immediately in cold water to retain their crunch and colour. Drain throughly and pat them dry gently without breaking the florets. 
In a bowl, add all the other ingredients including half the oil and whisk well. Add the blanched and drained broccoli and gently coat the florets with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30-45 mins. 
Towards the end of the marination, preheat oven to 170C.  place the marinated broccoli gently on a lined baking pan. Bake for 12~15 mins, and broil for the last 1 min, keeping an eye on them constantly. 
Serve with mint chutney and/or salad and lemon wedges.

Sending this to #FoodieMondayBloghop week #174 under Potluck dishes as suggested by @PreetiPrasad as well as #Bakeathon2018

Bakeathon Check out the other bloggers doing this Bake-a-thon    

December 7, 2018

Flourless Choco Chip Mini Brownies (GF and Vegan too)

This was the first dish that got (re)made for the Blogging Marathon. The first time, it vanished within minutes and the kids were keen that I bake it again. It was also one of the first bakes I made when I ventured into GF / Flourless Baking. Dana's food blog opened up a huge window of learning for Vegan and GF Baking (and food in general for me), from where this bake is adapted. I halved the recipe, subbing the black bean with........

Well, you need to read the recipe fully to know my GF base. I bet one would be surprised how its lent to a moist, subtly bitter yet yummy chocolatey mini brownie here on the blog.. Let's get to the recipe now..

Other Brownies that you like on the blog: 

Flourless Choco Chip Mini Brownies - GF and Vegan

Adapted from here

Prep time (Including soaking of 10 hours) - 20 mins , Baking time - 20 ~24 mins , Makes - 16 ~22 mini brownies

You would need:
  • Black Channa (black chickpeas) - 1 cup
  • Flax egg - 1 (8 g flax seed meal whisked in 3 TBSP / 45 ml water)
  • Olive Oil - 2 TBSP
  • Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder - 2/3 cup less 2 tsp
  • Sea salt - 1/8 tsp
  • Coconut Sugar - Heaped 1/4 cup + 2 TBSP
  • Baking Powder - 3/4 tsp
  • Vanilla Essence - 1/2 tsp

  • Crushed Walnuts, Choco chip - as required

  1. Soak the Channa / Chickpeas overnight or for minimum 8~10 hours {I dont like using or buying canned chickpeas, so if you do canned stuff, please rinse and drain all the liquid out}. 
  2. If using raw chickpeas, pressure cook till soft but not mushy, drain and set aside.
  3. Prepare the flax egg whisking the flax meal in warm water and set aside for 10-15 mins.
  4. Pre heat oven to 165C (the temp that worked for me depending on this quantity).  Grease the mini muffin moulds or whatever pan you are using 
  5. In a blender, add the cooked chickpeas and rest of the ingredients except the topping, scraping down as you stop for a few seconds. 
  6. Slowly spoon the mixture into the greased moulds, topping with walnuts and / or chocochips as desired.
  7. Bake for 22~25 mins, mine were done in 18+4 = 22 mins (baking temperature varies from oven to oven)

Bakeathon Check out the other bloggers doing this Bake-a-thon    

December 5, 2018

Baked Veg Cheesy Eggless Casserole | Low fat and Low cal recipes

Cheese is something that my kids love in parts and sometimes they don’t like
It at all. In an endeavor to provide more plant - based food to the family (both vegan and Gf), I don’t push them to eat cheese or paneer

Personally I have pizza - the only dish that I like cheese in - probably once or twice a year.

But some dishes - like today - are dipped and drowned in a smooth, velvety cheesy sauce that makes winters worth it :-) it’s a late November night as I sit and type this, but we haven’t had a single day yet that we can call winter. 

Yet the comfort that a good veg cheesy casserole provides is all that it takes for a weeknight dinner to transform the dinner table to a magical place.

Let’s get cheesy tonight and indulge in some good old casserole.

Veg cheesy casserole - served along with rich tomato soup. Perhaps a salad and some Bread could also a great accompaniment.

Prep time - 20 Mins , bake time - 35-40 Mins ; serves :2~3

Here 1 cup = 200 ml

Ingredients :


Chopped veggies - 2/3 cup (I used a mix of carrot, French beans, peas and cauliflower)
Olive oil - 2 tsp
One boiled potato - peeled and mashed slightly
Onion - 1 medium
Garlic - 1 pod , finely minced
Red chilli flakes - 1/4 tsp
Italian seasoning - 1/2 tsp
Salt and pepper to taste

Wholewheat Bechamel sauce -

Butter - 1 tsp
Oil - 1/2 tsp
Grated cheese - 1/3 cup
Wholewheat atta - 2 heaped tablespoons (maida can be used too)
Milk -1/2 cup+ 2 tsp
Grated nutmeg -1/8 tsp
Salt and pepper to taste 


Grated cheese 1/3 cup - I used a mix of sharp cheddar and mozzarella and it worked, go with what you feel would work for you


Stage 1 -
Grease a 8x4 baking / loaf pan and line if required. I just greased it well.
In a pan, heat oil, add onions and garlic sauté well. Add chopped vegetables except the potato and half the salt. Without adding any additional water , stir well and cook them till they are 70% cooked and still have a bite to them. cool. Add the seasonings to and mix. Taste and adjust spice , do NOT add additional salt and keep it undersalted for the cheese will give it saltiness.

Stage 2 -
In another sauce pan, heat butter and oil. Once it heats, add the wholewheat flour and on a very low flame, roast the flour till it leaves out a wonderful nutty aroma. Take off the flame, cool for a min and add in the milk and quickly whisk it to avoid any lumps. Keep whisking off the flame till you reach a beautiful smooth and silky consistency adding more milk if necessary ; now return the sauce to the flame. Add cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg powder and whisk for 2-3 more mins . Cool to room temperature - this sauce thickens heavily upon cooling.

Keep in mind the cheese will be quite salty so add salt at each stage accordingly

Stage 3 —
Preheat oven to 175C.
In the greased baking pan, add the sautéed vegetables and the sauce in alternate layers. Top with mashed potatoes. Adjust spice and salt if required. Top with grated cheese and bake for 25 mins at 175, then turn the heat to 190 and bake for 7-8 mins keeping an eye that the cheese doesn’t burn. Tent the pan if required .
Once you get a slightly hard crusty top that’s typical of a cheese casserole, you may turn off .mine was done in 32 minutes.

Give it a standing time of 10-12 mins outside on a wire rack, and serve as required

Bakeathon Check out the other bloggers doing this Bake-a-thon

December 3, 2018

No Bake Date n Nuts Bites - no Sugar added | Toddler Recipes for #FoodieMondayBloghop

Ok, here's the disclaimer. Here toddler in this recipe actively refers to kids aged 2.5+ who can handle nuts on their own. After a seemingly easy theme of #ToddlerFingerfood was finalised by @Poonam for Week #173 of #FoodieMondayBloghop, I made 2 new dishes (but unfortunately) didn't notice the finger food clause. So, it literally comes down to the wire.

With an unusual off on Monday (sigh!!) for the kids, it was one riot-filled morning, and I just couldn't decide till the last minute on what to make . Cupcakes was what the kids voted for, but I unfortunately ran out of pantry essentials (Monday Blues for me :p). So, it came down to this quick no-bake and yes, No COOK Date and Nut bites that both the non-toddlers at home enjoyed.

So, made it, clicked and rushed to the blog. A Diwali nuts overflow of Nuts and goodies made this quick treat possible, but I bet that kids would love this anytime (especially on long rides when they are hungry like, forever). Like most kid recipes, this too is customisable - with / without nuts, addition of more chocolate / chocochips, less dates etc.

So, let me know how you (and your toddler) liked it :p

Prep time - 10 mins, Cook time - Nil , Setting time - 15~20 mins ; Makes : 6~10 servings

What you need:
Dates ( I used Mejdool) - but you can use whatever good quality deseeded dates you have - 1/4 cup
Chocolate - 3 T, grated fine {can also use good quality chocolate chocolate powder}
Coarsely Powdered Nuts-  1/3 cup { I used a mix of almonds, cashews, pistachios and walnuts}
Honey - 1/2 T (optional, I didnt use)
Glazed Cherries - 3-4 , halved.

How to:
Grind dates without any water, pour to a bowl.
With a spatula, fold in the rest of the ingredients, except cherries
Mix a little more nuts if the mixture is too sticky. It should be come together as a not-too-sticky dough.
With slightly greased hands, make small portions out of them (bite sized), and flatten them out slightly. Press a halved glazed cherry.
Refrigerate for 15~25 mins.
Serve as required.

PS : It would get sticky if placed on the kitchen counter, so keep refrigerated. Take out for a few mins before serving them.


Baked Upma | GF Snack | Baked Snacks

Its wonderful to be back baking with a group of friends this December where we bake for 12 days (3 days a week) as part of the series Bakeathon hosted by Srivalli. 

I have tried to address 2-3 different categories and one of them was flourless bakes. 
Similar bakes have been very well received at home, and those tempted me to make these GF, flourless bakes. Rather than post by my sub themes week-wise, I have sprinkled these across the 12 days of baking featured here on this blog.

I do hope you enjoy this journey along with me, and visit my fellow bloggers as well who present their baked treats. 

The first in this series is Baked Upma. Yes, you heard the right, and this experiment was a reasonable success with even upma haters at home {{Guess I have told you earlier, that there are upma lovers and upma haters, and I (thankfully) belong to the former list, unless the upma is horribly lumpy and listless}}. 

Adapted from here, I made a small portion and all of us had a dig at this during the evening tiffin and the only change I would make is to use a little more liquid and probably bake it a few minutes lesser. Else, it tasted just fine.  I have made Upma with a few vegetables, but you can make it plain or sub with veggies of your choice. Lets get to make this now.

Similar flourless bakes on this blog are:

Kurkure Bhindi (Baked)

Baked Upma - GF snack (Can be vegan too)
Cuisine : South Indian, Fusion :-)
Prep time - 10 mins, soaking and baking time - 15 mins, serves - 2~3

  • Roasted Semolina - 1 cup (240 ml) {{Do roast the semolina mandatorily}}
  • Warm water - 1 cup
  • Yoghurt - 1 cup {see notes for substitutions}
  • finely Chopped vegetables - 1 cup (I used beans, carrots, peas, bell peppers)
  • Oil - 3 TBSP (divided use)
  • Baking / cooking soda - 1/8 tsp (optional but recommended)
  • Salt - to taste
  • turmeric - 1/4 tsp (optional) 
  • green chillies - 2 nos. (adjust to taste)
  • Coriander and curry leaves - 1 tsp each (chopped)
  • Tempering - mustard seeds, urad dal
  • In a bowl, add the roasted semolina, half the salt and warm water. Mix well. Let it soak for 10-12 mins Heat a tsp of oil, make the tempering with the mustard seeds and urad dal, to this saute the vegetables till crispy and half cooked. We need a bite to them. Cool and add to the soaked semolina, and now add the yoghurt and the remaining oil. whisk well.
  • Grease a baking pan (I used a 5 inch square baking pan and a small ramekin) and pre heat oven to 165C.
  • To the semolina mixture (and just before baking), whisk well and add chillies, curry leaves and soda and mix again. Pour it immediately to the baking dish, bake for 15-18 minutes till a skewer comes clean. 
  • Place the baked dish on a resting tray. Demould and serve when warm. Leftovers can also be refrigerated  and used upto 2 days

  1. I used Lapsi Rava (aka Bansi Rava), but you can use any raw of your choice. The water / liquid will vary accordingly. 
  2. If using fine rava, roast till slightly warm before using, else it can turn lumpy.
  3. Can skip curd for a Vegan version or use vegan yoghurt substitutes with varying results.
  4. Tempering is also optional, but gives the authentic look and taste of the original Upma :-)
  5. One may also add freshly grated coconut to this as garnish and serve. Can serve as is or with Coconut Chutney. We loved it as it is as it was spicy and tasty. 
 Check out the other bloggers doing this Bake-a-thon    

November 29, 2018

Kothmir Vadi (Kothambir Vadi) - No Deep Fry | Vegan and GF

If there was a single snack that I would single out that all of us at home love, its Kothmir Vadi. Initiated into this when I moved to Mumbai, we have had this umpteen times from snack vendors across mumbai - from the iconic Prakash in Dadar to Krishna (again near Dadar Station),  from pungent garlicky versions to crisp (and sometimes sadly dripping with oil) versions, and sometimes a me-too version of Kothmir Vadi. 

This month, paired with Rafeeda for Sshh Cooking Challenge, I had the opportunity to use Besan (gramflour) and Garlic as key ingredients (something that we both worked with, separately to bring you two distinct Mumbaiyya snacks - head to her place to find out what she's dished out).

Although I had made Kothmir Vadi as part of the Ganpati Thali here (albeit without the garlic , of course) , I couldn't click step by step photographs owing to the Festival rush , and was keen to make it again leisurely. Surprisingly, the little one also asked for a second serving meaning that it was a total win. the husband too appreciated it and the elder girl was smitten by the garlicky flavour (She is a total bhakt of garlic, by the way). Thanks Rafeeda for this combo, we all enjoyed the snack.

PS : There are 4-5 methods of making Kothmir Vadi, not to mention that deep frying makes it more appealing to a crowd. However, we didn't miss the deep fry a bit, in fact if I may say so, it tasted better than the deep fried versions. So, do try this if you like this snack or have heard about it, and I assure you wont be disappointed.

Thali for Ganpati Festival featuring amongst other things, Kothmir Vadi too :) 

Kothmabir Vadi - GF, Vegan Snack
Cuisine : Maharashtrian (Indian), Course: Snack / Appetiser
Spice level : Medium

Prep time - 15 mins, Steam + shallow fry time - 25 mins ;  
Makes - 20 medium sized Vadis


  • Besan / Gramflour  - 1 cup (250 ml)
  • Rice flour - 1/2 cup or 3 heaped Tablespoons
  • Washed, cleaned and finely minced Coriander - 1 cup (can increase or decrease a bit depending on how much you like it)
  • Oil - 3 T + 1 tsp (to grease)
  • Turmeric-  1/3 tsp
  • Roasted sesame seeds - 1/2 T + 1/4 tsp
  • Ginger garlic paste - 1 T (I used fresh ginger and garlic minced together)
  • Hing / aSafoetida - 1/4 tsp
  • Roasted Crushed Peanuts - 1/4 cup (skip for nut allergy)
  • Hot mix / Ghati Masala (can use Ghoda Masala with varying results) - 1/2 T
  • Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
  • Finely Chopped / Minced green chillies - 1/2 tsp
  • Water - as needed ( I needed about 2/3 cup)
  • Lemon juice  - 1/2 tsp OR Cooking soda - 1/4 tsp

How to make:

  1. Keep a steamer ready with water coming to rolling boil. Meanwhile, start the following step.
  2. In a bowl, add all the ingredients except water, Lemon juice or soda and mix well, using fingers rub the coriander into the flour. slowly add the water 1/4 cup at a time to make a thickish, but flowing batter (almost like a cake batter).
  3. Grease a 8 inch cake pan or a Dhokla pan. Add soda OR lemon juice (and adjust consistency) and beat well. Pour immediately into greased pan and steam batter after topping with 1/4 tsp sesame seeds. Steam for 18-20 mins or till a skewer comes clean.
  4. Cool for 10 mins. Cut into squares / bite Sized pieces. Shallow fry on low flame with 2 tsp oil till its crispy on both sides (takes about 8-10 mins)
  5. Serve warm / hot with Green Chutney or Ketchup

Sending this to Sshhh Cooking Challenge for this month under "Maharashtrian Cuisine" theme

November 22, 2018

Ndengu with Kachumbari - Combo Kenyan Meal | GF and Vegan | #FoodieMondayBlogHop

As part of the week 172 for #FoodieMondayBloghop, Mayuri suggested a unique theme of #InternationalFeast with the caveat that your dish (irrespective of cuisine / course) must come from a letter of a country that begins with the alphabet of your first name. 

So, for K I had only 5 countries - Kazakhstan, Kenya, KiribatiKuwait  & Kyrgyzstan - out of which I chose Kenya. 

I looked at some dishes and was surprised that they had a lot of similarity with Indian dishes / Condiments, and the more I looked, I was tempted to make a small Kenyan meal. The first dish I liked was Ndengu (or stewed Moong Dal Curry) bookmarked from here

I kept bookmarking dishes and looked for salads which would serve as a snack and a meal, and imagine my surprise when every google search threw up the name Kachumbari Salad. Having stayed in Mumbai long enough, I knew Kachumber to be a Gujarati Salad featuring Onions, Cukes and Tomatoes in a tangy mix. 

And again Kachumbari had the same combo, although some versions added Avocados as well. 

Well, avocados are not in season right now (and trust me where I live, they are sold for the price of Gold through the year !, so I decided to skip it) . But there was an interesting way to use the copious amount of onions that went into this salad, so if you are intrigued so far, check out to make this yummy crunchy salad, and also some ways to incorporate them as an appetiser. 

Sending this Combo Meal to FoodieMonday Blog Hop Week #172 themed #InternationalFeast and #MLLA hosted by Renu. 

Let's look at the recipes one by one:

(A) Salad / Kachumbari - Vegan, GF Salad

Prep time - 10 mins , Serves - 2, Zero Cook

What you need:

Red Onion - 1 large - sliced thin
Ripe Tomatoes - 2 medium - sliced
Cucumber - 1 medium - sliced 
Salt - to taste
Lemon juice - 1 TBSP
Chopped Cilantro - 2 tsp
Avocado - 1/2 (optional - I didn't use)

How to:

In a bowl, add onions and a generous addition of salt, 2 TBSP hot water and mix well. Keep aside for 10 mins in the fridge. Squeeze the water from the onions, add the rest of the ingredients excluding salt and toss well. Serve immediately.

If serving as an appetiser, squeeze out the onions and lay on an absorbent towel for 5 mins, then add the rest. Place on toasted french bread / baguette slices with or without a smear of mashed avocado and serve as finger food. 

(B) Ndengu - GF, Vegan Whole Moong Stew

Notes - I made this satvik style as mom prefers it that way. But you can always use onion, garlic and ginger as per the original recipe (which I modified with some tweaks). 

Prep time - 10 mins , Serves - 3, Cook time - 10 mins + 2 hours soaking time

What you need:

Dry Whole Moong Dal / Green Moong - 100 grams
Onion - 1/2 medium (large)
Tomatoes - 2 nos
Carrots - 1 medium (diced)
Ginger - 1/2 inch
Garlic - 2 pods
salt - to taste
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Curry powder - 1/2 tsp (I used Madras Curry powder)
Turmeric / haldi - 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 T (T = tablespoon)
Jeera / Cumin powder - 1/2 T
Dry mango powder (Amchur) - 1/2 tsp (or to taste)
Oil - 1 tsp
Coriander leaves & lemon juice - for garnish 

How to make Ndengu:
Wash and Soak Moong Dal for 2 hours. Pressure cook it with chopped carots till soft but not mushy. Let the pressure come down on its own (alternately, you can also cook the soaked and drained moong till al dente). Drain the water if any and reserve. 
In a pan, heat the oil, sautè the onions, garlic, ginger till onions turn translucent and slightly brown. Now add the tomatoes and cook till mushy. Add the spice powders, and saute again. Add the moong+carrot and mix well. Add any drained water from the moong (if any) Or add veg stock or warm water to the curry. Let it simmer on a low flame for 8-9 mins till the stew is thick
Add coriander leaves and lemon juice and serve with steamed rice. I added Kachumbari as a salad / side and we loved the entire meal. 

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