March 18, 2019

Gluten Free Choco Chip Pancakes with a #DesiTwist | Vegan too !

Choco Chip Pancakes- every kid’s dream ! Gooey, sticky, fluffy, chocolatey - perhaps nothing can come close to heaven for a chocoholic. However, my family prefers hot, savoury stuff for breakfast, but an occasional pancake is surely a welcome indulgence. 

So, this pancake is with a twist. It's:

- gluten free
- Instant
- Vegan*
- Easy to make 
- Chocolicious
- Versatile 
- Healthy and Filling
- Eggless, 
- and most of all made with a secret ingredient

Read on to find out what secret Ingredient went into making these yummy, droolicious pancakes that were devoured !! Even the non-chocoolic in me (don’t judge :p) wanted to have a bite of this sinful delight ! 

This week at FoodieMondayBloghop, we have #DesiTwist as a theme (that I suggested),  and we present Indian Ingredients / Indian Dishes with a Firangi Twist. 

Other healthy Desi Twist dishes that may interest you on the blog:

and many more..

Prep time - 10 mins | Cook time - 3~4 mins per pancake | Makes - 6 pancakes

What you need:
  • Homemade Idli Batter (yup - the secret ingredient) - 1.5 cups
  • Dutch Processed Cocoa powder - 1 heaped tsp
  • Ragi / Fingermillet flour - 2 tsp
  • Vegan Choco Chips - 2 handfuls (or as chocolatey as you want :p)
  • Baking Soda - 1/8 tsp
  • Vanilla Extract - 1/2 tsp
  • Olive oil - for drizzling around the pancakes (approx 1/4 ~1/2 tsp / pancake)

Chocolate sauce
Sliced fruits, as needed ( I used bananas)
More choco chips :p
Honey* (Can skip for vegan version or use maple syrup instead)

How to:
To the prepared idli batter, add cocoa powder and whisk well. Add a tsp or two of water to get to the required consistency.
Add the vanilla extract, baking soda and fold gently. Let the batter stand for 5 mins.
Pour a ladleful of the batter onto a heated tava / skillet. drizzle oil around the pancakes like a dosa.  
Cook on one or both the sides .
Serve immediately with the toppings as mentioned above or even add whipped cream :)

Enjoy the indulgence !

March 15, 2019

Mor Koozh : Guestpost by Sandhya | Guest Post Series #16

This month of Guestbloggers, I am thrilled to have Sandhya of My Cooking Journey to do a guest post. I have met her through a common blogging group, and although I am yet to meet her in person (fingers crossed, we will, soon :)), I absolutely admire her zest for life and she’s a very warm person to know. 

Her traditional Tamizh cooking (with special tips and tricks that she passes from her mom or aunt’s recipes) has been a hit everytime I try it at home - be it Kanjeevaram Idli, Special OothapamAruchivitta Vathal Kuzhambu or even today’s guest post for me - Mor Koozh (a.k.a Mor Kazhi at my place). She’s a very sincere blogger and has a plethora of International and Indian food including amazing bakes too ! I am eyeing her Soft Pretzel bites recipe to bake soon :-)

It’s indeed a pleasure to host Sandhya for this month’s edition of Guest blogging and let’s hear from Sandhya in her own words…  Thank you, once again for doing this guestpost… :)

I have to thank Kalyani from the bottom of my heart to give me this opportunity to write a guest post on her blog. I am yet to see Kalyani in person, but we have become very close to each other through a mutual blogging group through which we were introduced. I am looking forward to this summer to meet her in person. If I have to talk about Kalyani, I have to say she is such a great cook. When she creates any of her traditional recipes, it makes me want to visit her soon to taste her cooking. 

Kalyani always talks about my traditional recipes and that is the reason I chose an age old recipe that has been in my family for her. Even before this post is published, she has made the recipe and shared her delicious Mor kali recipe with me. I am so glad to have friends like you in the blogging world! 

I grew up eating Mor koozh / Mor kali at my paati’s house at least once a week. This was one of the best things that I loved. I used to look forward to eating this at my grandmother’s place when we visited them for summer vacation. After few years we moved to Chennai and I was lucky to stay close to my grandparent’s house. Now I got to eat it whenever my paati made it and even when I am not visiting her, she would pack and send a box for me.

Usually the mor koozh is served as upma but my paati made it interesting for us and made the mor koozh as a burfi or a cake. This made eating the mor koozh very easy and less messy. There are many memories that revolve around this mor koozh and anytime I make it or eat it, my thoughts go back to my days of growing up. 

This is a gluten free (skip the asafetida) and completely vegan recipe. Texture happens to be a big issue for many since it is very smooth and gooey. My father is not a big fan of it for this reason. And for this reason, it is very easy for older people to eat it as they don’t have to bite through hard pieces. 

I have used mor milagai (sun dried green chilies) in the recipe as it adds a very different layer of flavor. If you don’t have mor milagai in hand, skip it and use more green and red chilies for the heat. Make sure you make it a little spicy as it makes it even more delicious. 

Preparation time – 5 minutes
Cooking time – 20 minutes
Difficulty level – easy

Ingredients – Serves 4 to 6
  • Rice flour – 1 cup
  • Sour buttermilk – 1 ½ cups
  • Water – 2 to 3 cups (or as needed)
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Urad dal / Ullutham paruppu – 2 tsp
  • Mor milagai – 3 (optional)
  • Green chilies – 2 to 3
  • Red chilies – 2
  • Curry leaves - few
  • Asafetida – 1/8th tsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Nallennai  / Gingelly oil – 3 TBSP

Procedure – 

  • Whisk the buttermilk and add about a cup more of water to it. 
  • In a bowl, measure the rice flour and add the buttermilk mixture to it. Using a whisk combine the mixture well without any lumps. Add the salt needed and mix well.
  • In a heavy bottom pan, heat the oil. Add the mustard seeds, urad dal and asafetida along with the different kinds of chilies and curry leaves.  
  • Fry them until they are aromatic and then add a cup of water. Let the water come to a boil.
  • Now add the rice flour mixture to the pan and mix well to avoid any lumps. Cook the mixture in low to medium heat until it starts to thicken. 
  • Keep mixing until the mixture starts to leave the sides of the pan.
  • Meanwhile, grease a pan to pour the mor koozh mixture.
  • Once the mor koozh is completely cooked, it will appear glossy and shiny. 
  • At this stage pour the mor koozh into the greased pan and flatten it. Once it cools down a little, cut into squares using a greased knife. 

March 12, 2019

Mini Chilli Cheese Paratha | How to make Chilli Cheese Paratha | #Breadbakers

In this version of #Breadbakers, we have Sue hosting us on Cheesy Breads. Although am not a great fan of cheese, my kids enjoy the ocassional treat in bakes or as cheese slices in their burgers / sandwiches. My husband actually loves Cheese with his Wine, and prefers to eat cheese off a cheese platter rather than on his pizza :-)

For me, personally I love Chilli and Cheese as a combo. I have used 2 different chillies (green chilli, chilli flakes) in these mini Parathas (unleavened Indian flatbreads). My elder girl is quite the Paratha lover in the family, so we keep making these for Sunday lunch  / weekday dinner. A simple yoghurt and / or Indian spicy pickle is suffize to dip these mini parathas. She loved carrying these mini treats for her snack at school, and this is surely a great way to sneak in some protein for hungry kids ! Lets get to the recipe. 

Some more Paratha varieties on this blog that you may like:

Prep time - 10 mins, Cook time - 15 mins, Makes - 6 mini parathas

Mini Chilli Cheese Parathas | Cuisine : Indian | Course : Breakfast / Brunch | Spice level : Medium to high

For the outer Cover:
  • Wholewheat flour - 1.5 cups (1 cup = 200 ml)
  • Salt - to taste
  • Ajwain / crushed carrom seeds - 1/8 tsp
  • Oil - 2 tsp + more required to cook the paratha (approx 1 tsp/ paratha)
  • Warm water - to knead the dough 

  • Grated Processed Cheese (or Mozarella) - 1/2 cup
  • Minced Green chillies - 1 tsp (adjust spice)
  • Minced fresh Oregano - 2 TBSP
  • Minced green peppers - 2 tbsp (I skipped this)
  • Salt - to taste
  • Red chilli flakes- 1/3 tsp (or to taste)
  • Italian seasoning - 1/4 tsp
  • Chaat Masala - 1/8 tsp 

How to:
Make a slightly stiff dough with the ingredients , cover and keep for an hour atleast ( I make this overnight and bring to room temperature just before making the parathas)
In another bowl, mix all ingredients for stuffing. Go easy on the salt as the cheese has excess salt. 
Pinch out a portion of the dough and Roll two discs of 6 inch each. Place a tsp or two of the stuffing inside one of the discs, close with the other disc. Scrimp the edges with a fork, heat a tava / skillet and pan fry the paratha on both sides till golden brown with  tsp of oil. 
Serve hot or pack once cooled for kids' lunchbox :-)

#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

Let's see what my #breadbaker friends have dished out this month :
Please double-check that you have the hashtag #BreadBakers in your post title and the required badge and blurb somewhere in your post. Thank you!

March 11, 2019

Vegan Blueberry Muffins | How to make Vegan Blueberry Muffins

Baking is always therapeutic, especially when baking with my kids. My little one is a tad too fascinated with muffins and she picked the dish for this week’s #FoodieMondayBloghop when Archana gave recipes with plant-based milk.Although I had Badam Thandai (keeping in mind that Holi is just around the corner), I went with the kid’s demands and baked her muffins after a long break ! 

Edit: The nutritional advantage of using Nut-based milk as compared with traditional dairy milk can be read here.

Our host for the week, Archana has an amazing collection of bakes and dishes from around the world, and she is a great friend too ! She did a wonderful guestpost for me a while ago, and am sure you would all love to read it :-) 

Read on to see what plant based milk was used to make this amazing Vegan Blueberry muffins that we loved to bake together on an early Sunday morning. 

It was a wonderfully mad Sunday juggling Oats Dosa on the tava and these muffin preps on the other kitchen counter. Thankfully, I didn’t mess up both, and there you have a lovely breakfast / snack on the go, for both kids and adults. The only things I would make differently next time is to swap the all purpose with wholewheat or Oats flour as I ran out of both at the last minute AND to use brown sugar instead of refined sugar 

(PS - a submission - this is perhaps the FIRST bake I have made with maida and refined sugar after 6-7 years and my palate took some getting used to ! ). 

But the kids liked it for a change, and I look forward to peacefully packing their boxes with this muffin with a fruit for a filling snack. 

Other Eggless Muffins you might like on this blog:

Makes : 9~10 medium sized muffins
Prep time - 15 mins, Bake time  - 20~22 minutes

Ingredients: {1 cup = 240ml}

Dry ingredients:

All purpose Flour - 1.5 cups (can sub partially or entirely with Wholewheat flour / Oats flour with slightly varying results)
Baking powder - 2 tsp
Cornflour - 1.5 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp

Wet ingredients :
Granulated Sugar - 1/2 cup (the muffins are mildly sweet, but you can adjust accordingly)
Neutral Oil - 1/4 cup
Coconut Milk - 2/3 cup + 3 TBSP cup water** (adjust consistency with more / less water)
Vanilla Extract  - 1 tsp
Dried Blackberries - 1/3 cup + more as required 

How to:
Preheat oven to 180 C / 375 F and line the muffin pans after greasing them lightly. 
In a bowl, add the wet ingredients and whisk them well till the sugar dissolves. 
In another bowl, sift the dry ingredients twice over. Roll the blackberries in a tsp or two of flour and keep aside.
Now add the wet mixture to the dry mix in batches, fold gently. Add  the floured black berries and again fold. 
Scoop the mixture into the muffin pans. Bake for 20-22 minutes or till a cake skewer comes clean (Mine were blond at 20 mins, so I increased the temp to 190C and baked for a further 1-2 min)
Once baked, cool on wire rack. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate any left overs 
Enjoy warm with a cuppa ! 

March 4, 2019

Sugarfree Papaya Apple Ginger Smoothie | Vegan and GF smoothies

The global Skin care market is poised to rise from USD 135 billon to $180 billion as per this link, and the market only seems more and more flooded with quick-acting skin care products.

So, what are these statistics doing on a food blog, you may ask. Well, our blogger friend Amrita gave #recipesforglowingskin as part of week #185FoodieMondayBloghop series. As much as synthetic and chemical products are ruling the roost for skin care at upmarket supermarkets, beauty lounges and parlours, we have a plethora of natural ingredients , mostly homegrown, to take care of our skin and heal from within. 

Honey, Turmeric, malai (milk cream), curd, rose water, Kasturi Manjal (wild turmeric), Sandalwood etc are proven skin embellishers over hundreds of years. Mythology also has it that princesses and queens alike took bath in scented baths and had elaborate massages to keep their skin glowing. However, the key to blemish free skin is being healthy from within which can be done by keeping the colon and liver toxic free.  The dish today is a step in that direction.

Today, we look at a natural smoothie made with natural ingredients. As a family, we can’t live without hot breakfast (idli / dosa / pongal/ upma/poha) , but we have made a conscious effort to introduce vegan and gluten free smoothies such as these at breaky time (consumed 10~15 mins before breakfast) so the carbs consumption comes down. 

These smoothies are great for after workout too but works best on an empty stomach.  Let’s get to make Sugarfree Vegan and GF Papaya Ginger Apple smoothie. The ginger clears the toxins in the body, papaya is great for blemish free skin as it removes to reduce liver toxins and apple binds them all while providing a mild sweetness to this smoothie. 

Prep time - 5 mins, zero cook, Serves -2 

You would need:
Chilled papaya - 2 cups (240 ml)
Cubed apples - 1/2 cup
Ginger - 1 inch 
Ice cubes - as required.
Lemon juice - add to taste

How to:
Blitz all the ingredients except the lemon juice. Don’t strain. Add the lemon juice and serve immediately.


  • As with most other smoothies I have seen on the blogosphere and otherwise, I don’t add ANY dairy (milk or curd) to the smoothies.
  • I prefer Sugarfree smoothies and don’t add any sugar. One may add stevia or any plant based sugars to sweeten them or add honey if one is not vegan
  • don’t strain any smoothie as the fibre would be lost
  • if serving to kids add a tsp of sugar,but my kids appreciate the sugar free versions, naturally sweetened by the fruits themselves !  

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