December 25, 2016

Thai inspired Cabbage-Peanut Salad | GF & Vegan Salads

Wishing all my readers a merry Xmas and Happy holidays 🎄🎅

Its Xmas and I haven't posted a single cookie / Xmas-approved post all this month. Have been travelling and busy with family / friends who are visiting us. Its  been non stop activities at the kids' school so they are keeping me busy.  

After yesterday's Low cal Cabbage Pakora, its time to cook with Cabbage - the chosen ingredient for the week. After the heavy food post the Xmas party, this is one salad thats sure to soothe your palate while filling you up with fibre and low carb calorie food. So, while I used what I had on hand, you can really go wild with any other ingredient that you fancy !

So, here's presenting a Zero cook, Low cal + Low carb Thai Inspired Cabbage-Peanut Salad. Ideal for that brunch or for those living alone in hostels / dorm or even for those lazy evenings when you can munch on a BIG bowl of this eat-as-much-as-you-like salad while surfing the net or binge watching those late night shows.

Prep time : 10 min, standing time : 30 mins (opt.); spice level : medium - high
Vegan & Gluten free Thai inspired Cabbage-Peanut Salad

Ingredients (serves 2 adults) 
{1 cup= 220 ml}
  • Finely Shredded Cabbage - 1.5 cups
  • Sliced bell peppers - 1/4 cup
  • Sweet corn - a handful - optional
  • Sprouted Moong (whole green gram) - 1/4 cup (or pretty much any other sprouts)
  • Roasted deskinned halved peanuts - salted or unsalted - 1/4 cup
  • Deseeded and diced tomatoes - 1/4 cup


  • Hot Red Chilly Sauce - 1 TBSP
  • White Pepper Powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Sesame Oil - 1 TBSP
  • Brown sugar - 1/2 tsp (opt. but recommended)
  • Salt - to taste
  • Lemon juice - 1 TBSP
  • Tabasco sauce - 1/4 tsp
  • Olive Oil - 2 tsp


  1. Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing well, chill ahead for 30 mins
  2. Similarly mix all ingredients for the salad except peanuts and chill for 30 mins
  3. Just before serving, add the dressing to the salad, mix well, top with roasted peanuts and serve immediately. 

Sending this to BM # 71 under "One Ingredient - three dishes" Theme


December 24, 2016

Cabbage Pakora | Quick appetiser recipes | Vegan , GF snack

Cabbage is one of the veggies which have a love-hate relationship in most families, mostly belonging to the latter category. My kids aren't picky but cabbage is not a veggie greatly appreciated at home although the elder one does eat the cabbage stir fry with Rasam . I do disguise it in many ways - Cabbage Kofta curry, Cabbage Dhokla , and three more dishes featuring cabbage will be presented this week under BM # 71 theme "One ingredient, 3 dishes". 

First of this is a cabbage pakora. I make it similarly to Onion pakora. and this time it was shallow fried rather than deep fried, which the family liked a lot. Next time I may even try baking this but for now lets check the recipe. 

Stay tuned for two more cabbage dishes next two days ! 

Cabbage Pakora - Vegan, gluten free snack with Cabbage 

Prep time: 15 mins, Fry time : 15 mins, serves : 3

  • Shredded cabbage - 2 cups
  • Besan / gramflour - 1/2 cup (or as needed)
  • Rice flour - 2 TBSP
  • Salt - to taste
  • Oil - 3 tsp + 4 to 5 TBSP for shallow frying
  • Spice powders : Red chilli powder, turmeric, jeera powder - to taste
  • Crushed ajwain (carrom seeds) - a large pinch
  • Asafoetida - a pinch (opt.) - skip for GF version

How to make:

  1. Wash and shred cabbage into thin shreds (I used a mandolin to shred cabbage into super thin thread like texture). Sprinkle little salt and leave for 5 mins. Squeeze out all the water. 
  2. Now add the rest of the ingredients (and do check for salt), including the 3 tsp of oil (except that oil for frying) and mix well with your hands.
  3. Sprinkle 1-2 tsp of water if required to bind it to a rather thick mass (not flowing / dripping consistency). 
  4. Heat a shallow pan and grease with oil. Take small portions of the cabbage pakora mixture, flatten it out and shallow fry drizzling a little more oil, on medium heat on both sides till crispy. 
  5. Serve immediately (gets soggy on storing these for more than 2-3 mins)

PS : you may also deep fry these, in which case it can be served upto half an hour after which it will turn soggy. 

Sending this to BM # 71 under "One Ingredient - three dishes" Theme

December 12, 2016

Sookhi Matar Gobhi Sabji | Cauliflower and peas dry saute | Vegan & GF Side dishes

The last under seasonal produce is using two of our favourites - cauliflower & green peas. Both are abundantly available in winter and are freshest when used immediately. My local green grocer got some tender peas and fresh cauliflower and we had to make this immediately. Altho I make this thru the year with frozen peas, there's something about fresh produce that makes you go for that second helping.

Gluten free, vegan and simple - this is a side dish that's a sure family favourite and pairs well with dal+rice or even Rotis/ Chapatis / phulkas. This can be made ahead & refrigerated in bulk too for those living alone, and re-heated in small portions over the week. 

Hope you enjoyed the seasonal produce theme this week with  Paneer Pudinawaale & Methi-Aloo Paratha

Prep time : 10 mins, cook time : 10 mins, Serves : 2

Matar Gobhi Sabji - vegan, gluten free side dish

you would need:

  • Cauliflower - cut into medium sized florets - 100 gms
  • Fresh peas - 50 gms
  • Potato - 1 large (about 40 gms) - opt. 
  • Onion - 1 medium
  • Tomato - 1 medium
  • Jeera (cumin seeds)- 1/2 tsp
  • Green chilly - 1 no (slit or minced)
  • Ginger - 1/2 inch
  • Salt - to taste
  • spice powders : turmeric, red chilli, garam masala, jeera (cumin powder) - to taste
  • Oil - 1 tsp
  • Garnish : coriander leaves + lemon juice (opt.)


  1. Wash, chop & Par boil peeled and cubed potatoes, peas and cauliflower for 6-7 mins. They should be 80% done. I usually pop these three veggies into the microwave with a pinch of salt for 5-6 mins. 
  2. In a pan, add oil, splutter jeera. Add the onions and chilly., saute, add turmeric, ginger and saute again till onions turn translucent
  3. Now add the chopped tomatoes & saute till tomatoes turn soft. Add salt at this stage.
  4. Add the spice powders and the par boiled veggies, sprinkle very little water and cook covered for 4-5 mins till the veggies are done (avoid shaking or tossing them repeatedly - they would lose their shape and texture).
  5. Check for salt and spices. Adjust if needed
  6. Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves & lemon juice

Sending this to BM # 71 under "Seasonal Produce" Theme

December 11, 2016

Methi Aloo Paratha | Fenugreek leaves and potato flatbread | Vegan dishes

After yesterday's Paneer Pudinawaale using one favourite herb - Mint , we move onto another of our winter favourites - fenugreek leaves or Methi (as its locally called). I do have access to methi leaves through the year, but in winters, the quality of the methi is delicious, and we cook with this almost thrice a week.

Methi Thepla is my elder kid's favourite, and today I made a twist with the usual Thepla and made a thickish Paratha. This tastes good when hot, but equally tasty when carried for a lunchbox. Team with a tomato relish or even a pickle and some curd for a filling meal.

Lets get to the recipe:

Methi Aloo Paratha - Vegan flatbread with Fenugreek leaves + potato

Prep time : 15 mins | Cook time : 15 mins ; Makes : 6 parathas
Served with Yoghurt / pickle  / Quick Tomato Chutney

  • Wholewheat flour / Atta - 1.5 cups (1 cup =200ml)
  • Fresh fenugreek leaves - sorted and chopped fine - 1/2 cup
  • Potato - boiled & peeled - 2 nos (médium - about 100 gms)
  • Salt - 3/4 tsp
  • Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
  • Roasted & Crushed coriander seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Dry Spice powders - red chilli, Cumin (jeera) powder, Garam Masala (opt.) - to taste
  • Warm water - to knead
  • Oil - 4 TBSP (divided use)

Optional add ons:

Grated ginger, shredded veggies, grated garlic & onions, minced green chillies


  1. Boil, peel and mash potatoes and keep aside.
  2. In a large bowl, add the chopped methi leaves, sprinkle a little salt and keep aside for 5 mins till it leaves a little water.
  3. Now add the mashed potatoes, turmeric, crushed coriander seeds, flour, salt, dry spices, and mash well till potatoes are incorporated into the flour. 
  4. Sprinkle warm water a little at a time, and knead to a semi soft dough. Apply a TBSP of oil and knead once more.
  5. Keep covered for 30 mins atleast. (I generally make the dough overnight and bring to room temperature the next day before rolling out the Parathas)
  6. Heat a cast iron tava (skillet). 
  7. Make equal portions of the dough. 
  8. Roll out thickish parathas with a rolling pin of sizeable thickness.
  9. Roast on a hot tava on one side (drizzle a little oil). 
  10. Once done, flip over the other side and cook oil its well cooked
  11. Serve immediately with Quick Tomato Chutney or cool a bit before packing into the school / office lunchbox

Sending this to BM # 71 under "Seasonal Produce" Theme

December 10, 2016

Paneer Pudinawale (cottage Cheese in Mint Sauce) | Easy Paneer Dishes ~ Side Dishes for Roti and Chapathi

Fresh, green Mint is abundantly available in the winter, and so this dish is a treat for those chilly evenings, when this makes an absolutely great dish to serve with Roti / Parathas. 

Paneer is one of the most sought after ingredient at home - my elder one absolutely loves it, and although I make it atleast once in a fortnight, she wudn't mind having it more frequently.. 

We make Zero Oil Palak Paneer, Paneer Kulcha, Spinach and Paneer Cheese Tarts, Shahi Paneer Masala regularly, but my favourite till date is Methi Chaman : there's something magical about fresh (or dried) fenugreek that makes it so earthy and perks up any dish.

Talking about perking up a dish, and we wouldn't want to miss out on Mint.

Pudina as its called in most of India, this is a fragrant herb that can be easily grown even in a tiny balcony at home, and is used in garnishing everything from ice creams to Salads & Raithas to Mocktails. So, lets get to the recipe...


Paneer Pudinawaale - Side dish for Rotis / Kulcha / Naan / Flatbreads / Pulav

Gluten Free (Can be made Vegan too)
Cuisine : North Indian
Spice level : Medium

Prep time : 15 mins ; Cook time : 15 mins ; Serves : 4


  • Fresh Paneer - 400 gms (Can use Tofu or cashew cheese for vegan version)
  • Oil - 1 TBSP
  • Spice powders : Coriander powder, Cumin Powder, Red Chilli powder, Garam Masala
  • Salt - to taste
  • Onion - 1 medium
  • Tomato  - 1 medium
To Grind:
  • Fresh Mint / Pudina - 3 handfuls (about 50 gms)
  • Cashewnuts - 8 to 10
  • soaked Poppy seeds - 1 tsp
  • Garlic - 2 pods
  • Ginger - 1 inch


  1. Soak the cashew nuts & poppy seeds separately in warm water for 10 mins. grind these with the Mint, ginger and garlic to a smooth paste.
  2. In a pan, add the fresh paneer cubes in 1 TBSP of oil, saute them till slightly crispy, reserve in a bowl of warm water to remain soft (this is totally optional, you can add the fresh paneer cubes as is too, which I did)
  3. Saute the Onion and tomato in 1 TBSP oil for 3-4 mins. In the same pan, add the ground mint paste & saute well for 3-4 mins till raw smell disappears. Add the salt, spice powders and let it simmer on a low flame. Add 1/4 cup of water if need be to make a thinner gravy.
  4. Check for spices and slowly add the fried paneer (drained), let it simmer on very low flame for further 2-3 mins.
  5. Serve hot with any Flatbreads / Pulav


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