May 19, 2019

Classic Dal Jeera | Summer Coolers

The classic Jal Jeera was long pending and with the no-cook theme running this week along with the scorching summers, it made perfect sense to post this. The kids have made this many times on their own, and with store-bought Jaljira powder, its a child's play, literally. 

The little one in particular likes it coz she's allowed to have ice cubes in this beverage (which otherwise is not so easy with wriggle out of mom :p). 

Add, mix, Chill and serve - that's all there is to this beverage. Let's see how to make it. Hope you liked the other two Zero Cook dishes in this week's series : 

Sugarfree Vegan Carrot Orange Ginger Smoothie and Simple Summer Veg n Fruit Salad

Jal Jeera - Vegan, GF, Summer Drink

Prep time - 5 mins, No cook, serves - 4

Ice cold water - 4 glasses + extra ice as required.

Jaljira powder - as required (based on tang and spice)
Roasted Cumin powder - 1/2 tbsp
Crushed mint leaves
Store bought Boondi - for topping
Jaggery - 1/2 tsp per serving (opt. but it balances out the extra tang from the jaljira powder)


Mix the water, jaljeera powder, roasted cumin powder, crushed mint leaves and jaggery. Keep aside for 3 mins, 
Just before serving, add the boondi and more ice as required on top. Serve immediately 

Sending this to Blogging Marathon BM # 100 under No cook dishes and Valli's Kid’s Delight event hosted by Ritu. 

May 18, 2019

Simple Summer Veg n Fruit Salad | GF and Vegan dishes

My little one has brought her learning into the kitchen with small strides and started to make small salads for dinner. I have given her a blunt knife and she diligently cuts them into salads for dinner often, with odd shapes. I told her this was a zero cook theme (something she's familiar as they have a lot of activities at school too with no-fire cooking), so she chose to make and arrange this simple summer salad. 

Only the coriander garnish was my idea, so it feels pretty nice to have the girls contribute to small dishes on the blog. Hopefully when they grow up, they will read about these memories which make me feel so blessed. 

GF and Vegan Simple Summer Salad

Prep time - My little one took about 20 mins to cut, but an adult can prep this in under 5-7 mins , 
No cook, serves - 2

What you need:
Fruits - I used cored and cubed apples, pineapple
Veggies - I used Cucumber, carrot, tomato
Salt, pepper, lemon juice - to taste
Garnish - Chopped coriander leaves, Chaat Masala

How to:
Cut into cubes, add seasoning (salt, pepper, lemon juice). Chill it for at least an hour. Top with garnish and serve immediately.

Sending this to Blogging Marathon BM # 100 under No cook dishes and Valli's Kid’s Delight event hosted by Ritu. 

May 17, 2019

Sugarfree Vegan Carrot Orange Ginger Smoothie | No Cook Dishes

One of the benefits of summer is the abundance of fruits that can be consumed in its natural form (without processing or added sugars). Sugarfree Smoothie (no dairy added) is one way I can get my kids to get the nutrition on the go, although personally I find biting into a fruit is the best way. 

Today is a vegan carrot orange ginger smoothie that takes under 5 mins to blitz and serve. The ingredients are available through the year, so can be mae anytime. I chill the veggies just until the kids arrive from school and blitz it and serve them without any added sugar / ice, although the elder girl always tops it with extra ice cubes :)

Prep time - 10 mins, no cook, serves - 2

You need:
Chilled carrots - 4 medium
Fresh Orange juice - 1 cup
Ginger - 1 inch
Ice - as required
Lemon juice  - 1 tsp
chat masala - as required (opt.)


How to:
Cube the chilled carrots and run through a veg juicer or in the blender with the ginger and ice cubes. Do not strain, add in the ornage juice. Add the lemon juice, Chaat masala, mix well and serve immediately

Other Sugar Free beverages / Smoothies that might interest you this summer :)

Sending this to  Blogging Marathon BM # 100 under No cook dishes and Valli's Kid’s Delight event hosted by Ritu. 

May 15, 2019

Kadala Maavu Chutney / Bombay Chutney : Guest Post by Sowmya | Guest Post Series #18

Sowmya - our guestblogger for the month - is an amazing baker who blogs at  (and that should say a lot about her baking prowess) ! I am always, always in awe of her bakes. 

Having met through a blogging group, we have met personally once / twice. With so many commonalities between our lives (including her brother knowing my husband :p) , we connected instantly as if we had known each other for many years. Sowmya's infectious smile and witty writing are as great as her bakes and I am looking forward to meeting her once again at the BM Meet. 

She has so kindly shared her grandmother's recipe for Kadala Maavu Chutney that she promises to go well with Chapati / Breads etc. It's a completely new recipe for me, and I am sure to try out this quick to make  "Bombay Chutney" (as its also known as).  

Over to Sowmya and her recipe ! Once again, thank you for your kind words, Sowmya and also for doing this wonderful Guest post :)


First I would like to thank Kalyani for asking me to do a guest post on her blog. This is my first guest post and I am so excited about it. 

Kalyani is a wonderful blogger of traditional dishes with a healthy twist. She cooks with and blogs about delicious dishes using a diverse number of unique ingredients. She is passionate about healthy eating and an interesting conversationalist. I always lose track of time when we meet and start talking about everything under the sun. She is an inspiration as a food blogger and a lovely person.  

This Kadalamavu chutney, though very easy and simple, is a family recipe that has been a staple in our homes for generations.  It was a favourite of my grandfather. I remember my grandmother making it at least twice a week with chapatis during our summer vacations and all of us cousins relishing it. Recently we had a grand family reunion where we specifically asked the caterer to make this chutney but sadly he could not recreate the perfection that was set in our memories and wrapped in nostalgia. I recently discovered that this is also called ‘Bombay Chutney’ though I have no clue why.

When Kalyani asked me to do a guest post on heirloom dishes or family recipes, this was my first idea. Since she loves vegan and gluten free dishes, I thought this would work well in keeping with the spirit of her blog. I asked my mother for the recipe and discovered it was so much easier than I thought. The best part is that the husband and daughter loved it and I am so glad to be passing this dish on to the next generation of our family. I think my grandfather will be proud.

This chutney is gluten free and vegan. I have used tomatoes and capsicum but other vegetables can be added or substituted like carrots or peas. It has minimal ingredients and can be made in a jiffy. It pairs nicely with chapatis or phulkas. I also love topping it on toasted bread for a wholesome breakfast or a light dinner.

Makes 2 cups

1 cup Gram flour / Chickpea flour / Besan / Kadalamavu
1 ½ cups Water
½ cup Hot water
3-4 tsp Cooking oil
½ tsp Mustard seeds
½ tsp Urad dal / Split skinless black gram
½ tsp Chana dal / Bengal gram
1-2 Green chillies, chopped
2 tsp Grated ginger
1 Capsicum, medium
1 Tomato, large
Fresh coriander to garnish

  • Mix the chickpea flour and 11/2 cups water to a runny batter and set aside
  • Chop the capsicum and tomatoes 
  • Heat a pan and add oil
  • Add the mustard seeds and allow it to splutter
  • Once the mustard seeds splutter, add the urad dal, chana dal, green chillies and grated ginger
  • Fry on low heat till the dals turn light brown
  • Add the capsicum and cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat till it is almost done
  • Add the tomatoes and mix well
  • Cook on medium heat till the oil separates from the tomatoes, around 5 minutes
  • Reduce the heat to low and add the chickpea flour batter and start stirring
  • Stir continuously for 2 minutes till the mixture thickens and comes together
  • Add the hot water and continue to stir the mixture
  • In another 2-3 minutes the chutney should be completely cooked
  • Turn off the heat and cover the pan
  • Keep the pan covered for about 5-6 minutes 
  • Garnish with fresh coriander and serve warm with chapatis or phulkas
  • Enjoy!

  1. If you like the chutney to be drier and less gooey, then cook for a minute longer till it comes to a bhurji-esque fashion.
  2. The water required may differ based on the quality of flour used. If in doubt, add less water initially and then increase it as required
  3. You can add / replace other vegetables like carrots or peas

May 13, 2019

Laxanosoupa | Vegan and GF Greek Cabbage Soup | Easy Appetisers

Laxanosoupa (or Greek Cabbage Soup) is perfect as a Summer meal by itself. As with most Mediterannean / Greek dishes this is doused with copious amount of Olive oil and we loved this both warm and cold. Teamed with some toasted Garlic Bread, this makes for a complete meal. I made a large portion of this recipe adapted from here. We often the Greek Panzanella Salad so I was sure we all would love this dish as well. 

This week have Amrita at Foodiemondaybloghop who’s given us a unique theme titled “#ThirdLetterLucky” which means we need to make any dish starting with the third alphabet of our name. I have made Laxanosoupa - a greek Cabbage soup. Make it once and I am sure you have cabbage haters going for seconds (as it happened at our family :p)

It takes 15 mins of prep time if you have previously made veg stock. Else, make the veg stock earlier and then proceed. Plain water will work as well, but veg stock, as it always does, adds a lot of depth to this dish. Serve warm or cold. Like most broth based soups, this can be based in a crockpot or soup pot too, but I used my trusted pressure cooker. The Greek influence came from the largish quantity of Olive Oil that goes into this recipe. You can adapt it with the veggies mentioned below or make your own substitutes.

Laxanosoupa - Greek Vegan, GF Soup 
Prep time - 15 mins , Cook time - 15 mins , Serves - 2~3

Olive oil - 3 tsp (I used EVOO)
Onion - 1 medium (minced fine)
Garlic - 1 large pod (opt. but recommended)
Carrots - 1 medium (medium diced)
Broccoli florets - 1/3 cup
Cauliflower florets - 1/3 cup
Potato - 1 medium (peeled and cubed)
Shredded cabbage - 1 cup (240 ml)
Salt and pepper - to taste
Veg stock or hot water - 4 cups
Dried Oregano and thyme - 1 tsp each
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Chopped parsley - 1 TBSP (I didn't use)


How to:
In a soup pot / pressure cooker, add the olive oil, reserving a tsp of the same. Fry the minced onion and grated garlic - fry till translucent. add the veggies and fry for 3-4 minutes, now add the salt, pepper to taste along with the spices.
Add the hot water / veg stock (unsalted preferred, else reduce the amount of salt added to this soup) and let it come to a boil. Cover and cook till the veggies are tender ( I pressure cooked for 2 whistles and allowed the pressure to come down on its own).
Once done, check for salt and spice. Also, mash up some of the potato chunks to give a texture to this soup (unless one prefers it broth-like).

Now let it simmer for 1-2 mins, add the lemon juice, chopped parsley and the remaining olive oil and serve immediately with some bread on the side (or as it is)

May 12, 2019

Matar ke Paranthe | Peas Paratha | Peas stuffed in Indian Flatbread

Matar ke parathe is one of the top picks for the kids' dinner or lunchbox. Back in the days when the elder girl took her lunchbox from home, she would always ask for extras to share with her friends. Knowing that she's a Paratha (stuffed indian flatbread) fan, I am not surprised. And thanks to her, there are considerable varieties of parathas on the blog too :

I have bookmarked and tried many more unique ones from various blogs, but yet to click them for the blog. For now, this Winter special (and actually kids' special) Peas Paratha makes it way for BM#100 Stuffed dishes theme this week. Hope you liked the earlier two dishes - Mini stuffed Ragi Crepes and  Vegan + GF Stuffed Peppers in tomato gravy posted earlier this week ! 

Fresh peas make very good parathas here, but frozen peas have worked their magic too ! Use whatever you have on hand and serve with a quick tomato chutney (that we ALWAYS make for parathas!) or just dahi (yoghurt) / pickle.

Prep time - 20 mins , Cook time - 20 mins, Makes - 6
Matar ke Parathe | Peas Paratha (Vegan flatbread with stuffed peas)

Wholewheat Atta - 1.5 cups
Salt - to taste
ajwain / carrom seeds - 1/8 tsp
Warm water - to knead the dough
Oil - 1 TBSP + quantity required to shallow fry the parathas

Fresh or frozen peas - 2/3 cup
Oil - 1 TBSP
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Gren chillies / grated ginger - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Roasted cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Dry Coriander powder - 1 heaped teaspoon
Crushed Kasuri Methi - 1/2 tsp 
Crushed Anardana (dried pomogranate) - 1/2 TBSP (can substitute with amchoor / dry mango powder)
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp

Dough / Outer Covering:
Sieve the flour, salt in a large bowl, add the crushed ajwain, mix and slowly add warm water to knead to a semi soft dough. I required approximately 2/3 cup water (this may vary quite a bit depending on your flour mix). add 2 tsp of oil, and knead again for 5-7 mins to make a very pliable dough. Cover with a damp kitchen towel till use. 


Blanch the fresh or frozen peas with a pinch of salt and sugar. Drain and crush lightly with your palm and keep aside. In a non stick pan, add oil. add chopped chillies, ginger, boiled and crumbled peas, salt, rest of the spices and mix well till the mixture .Finish with anardana powder. mix well, let this mixture cool fully (You may make this ahead and refrigerate it to use it the next day for breakfast like I did) 

Making the Paratha:
Knead dough again for 2 mins (if using refrigerated dough, bring to room temperature an hour before making parathas) 
Take a large lemon sized dough. roll it into a a 3 inch dish, apply a film of oil, place 1 tablespoon of filling, and bring on the edges to the top like we would stuff a bun. 
Flatten it slightly with fingers and roll very gently with a generous dusting of flour. 
Roll to a medium sized paratha of 2-3 mm thickness (depending on how thick or thin you like your paratha).
Place on hot tava, cook on both sides, drizzling a tsp of oil around the edges and the face of the paratha.
Repeat for rest of the parathas. 
Serve hot with Raita / Pickle. It tastes good when packed for lunch too. 

May 11, 2019

Mini Stuffed Ragi Crepes | Diabetic Friendly | Gluten Free Stuffed Finger Millet Crepes

The second in the stuffed series after yesterday's Vegan + GF Stuffed Peppers in tomato gravy are these cute Stuffed GF pancakes made with Ragi flour. Ragi / Nachini / Finger millet is an acquired taste and kids generally don’t take to Ragi either unless habituated from childhood or camouflaged creatively.  So, while the Ragi Chocolate Cake and the Jaggery Ragi Muffins remain the family's favourite (& a perfect sweet way to sneak in finger millet - a great food for diabetics too), today’s idea came after I made the Instant GF chocochip pancakes, which was very well received. 

The kids loved the idea of mini stuffed Ragi crepes for a Sunday breakfast and the little one in particular didn’t ask me too many questions on why the “dosa” was “darker” in colour and not a golden hue. 

This can be a great evening snack too where the fillings are endless and you can go wild from stir fried paneer to veggie mix to grated cheese to curried chickpeas to Mexican in these crepes. Keep the fillings as fancy as you please and the outer “healthy” covering is a piece of cake (not literally though!)

To make the GF Stuffed Crepes (makes 6 servings) 

Crepes batter: 
Ragi / finger millet flour - 1 cup
Rice flour - 1/2 cup
Sour Yoghurt -1/4 cup (skip for vegan or sub with any plant based curd)
Rice rava (cream of rice) -2 heaped tablespoon
Salt to taste 
Oil - to shallow fry the crepes
Chopped coriander - 1 tsp
Crushed ginger - 1/2 tsp (opt.)
Crushed pepper - 1/4 tsp
Water - as required 
Soda - 1/8 tsp


I used the masala dosa filling. Recipe here. You can use any filling you wish. 

Mix all the ingredients except soda for the crepe batter and make it to a smooth runny (too thin batter). Keep aside for 10 mins.

 Heat a tava (skillet)and grease it well. Add the soda and gently fold into the batter .

Spoon a small ladleful of the batter in a circular motion on the tava (let it be a thickish small dosa kind of). Drizzle oil around the sides, cook and cover for 30 seconds. Now fill a tablespoon of the filling and fold the half over of the crepe. Repeat for all crepes. Serve immediately.

Other recipes with Ragi on this blog

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