December 31, 2017

Makuni | Sattu Paratha from Bihar | Healthy Breakfast recipes

As we step into the new year a few hours from now, looking back its been a great year on the healthy eating front. Although I didn't blog as much as I thought I would, its been a satisfying year on all counts. This month, for the Sshh Secret Cooking Challenge, I was paired with Priya Iyer who gave me Wholwheat and Besan as the secret ingredients. I had an inkling I would make either Litti or Paratha. Having used Sattu earlier in the Sattu ka Sharbat (two ways), I was excited to use this ingredient again and so this Sattu Paratha or Makuni (as its called locally) came about. 

Sattu is basically processed Channa Dal roasted over coal and hot sand, sieved & powdered (for simple purposes, its roasted gram powder). The recipe is a proteinicious, filling meal that we had for our dinner. I served it with some salad, pickle and yellow dal. We were full till the next day's lunch (yes, skipped breakfast too). It tastes reasonably good when cold too, so the next batch went into kiddo's lunchbox which she enjoyed again with pickle. Nupur's recipe had a detailed description of how this is made. As I had store bought sattu, I used the same. 

Before we move on, here's wishing all my readers and blogger friends a very successful 2018 ahead !!

Similar parathas on this blog:
Few ingredients that can transform an everyday meal into a delicious one. Let's see how to make it.

Sattu ka paratha | Flattened Indian bread stuffed with roasted gram powder and spices
Vegan ; makes : 4  ; adapted from : Nupur's recipe
Course : Snack / breakfast / Dinner 

Ingredients :

Covering -

  • Wholewheat flour / Atta - 2 cups
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Oil - 1 TBSP
  • Warm water - as required to knead


  • Sattu ka atta - 1/2 cup
  • Onions finely chopped - 1/2 cup
  • Salt - to taste
  • Oil - 1 TBSP
  • Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
  • ginger grated - 1/2 tsp 
  • Kalonji (nigella) seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Mango pickle with the pickle oil - 2 tsp (homemade or storebought)
  • Coriander seeds - crushed (opt.) - 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilli powder / green chillies crushed - to taste
  • Coriander leaves / cilantro - 2 tsp (finely chopped)

How to make:

  1. Knead the outer covering to a smooth, semi soft dough (keep covered for 30 mins)
  2. In a bowl, mix all ingredients except oil. Now add the oil and bring it all together to a semi dry stuffing consistency 
  3. Heat tawa (griddle). Pinch out small portions of the dough, flatten into a disc of 4-5 inches diameter, put in a tsp or two of the stuffing, close carefully and roll out carefully like other parathas. 
  4. Place on a medium hot tava, Drizzle oil all around and cook till its nice and golden on both sides. 
  5. Serve hot (it tastes best that way !! ) with salad, pickle and yoghurt. Just this paratha and chilled yoghurt also tastes yum :-)

December 20, 2017

Baked Idli Fry | Gluten Free and Vegan Snacks

My husband has strongly believed that anything packaged well, sells. Even for the humble Idli. For a South Indian family, there’s hardly a week that goes by without dishing out Idli (or any of its batter offspirings like dosa / Paniyaram / Adai / Idli upma etc).

However, my elder one strongly believes that Idli is not for breakfast (or lunch or dinner) and is considered not worthy of human consumption. Contrast this with the younger one who HAS to eat her Idli-Vada - sambhar whenever we go out for a quick treat in the udupi restaurants that dot our city or ensures it’s on her daily breakfast ! (I think she favours the Idli ONLY coz of the crispy Vada). 

Be it as it may, I had to find ways of making the elder one eat idlis (moms don’t give up, do they!?)

No one would touch idlis made in the morning and Idli upma was Anyways out of the question (no wonder it’s not on the blog, and perhaps will never be- we all dislike it with equal gusto).

And so when the baked chilli Idli appeared as a snack, the elder picked up one piece grudgingly , ate it ...... and pretty much polished the plate with yummmm, oohs and aahs.

That’s saying a lot for 'disliking' Idli. And ratifying that marketing theory that my husband believes in : packaging !

Amma also liked it so that evening I made two batches back to back and yay !! no more left over idlis (secretly speaking, I think I will make and store extra idlis ONLY to
Bake this earth to addictive snack)

Gluten free. Vegan. Spicy. Low cal. Crunchy. Crispy. tasty - checks all the boxes .
If you are an Idli lover (or not), check out this yummy n quick snack.

PS - I am told the deep fry version tastes good too. But who’s gonna try when we have so many baked-not-fried dishes on this blog.

  • Day old idlis (refrigerated of course) works best. If using fresh idlis, chill for an hour atleast.
  • Spice levels is totally your preference . For the first batch I used red chilli and garam masala. 
  • Second batch has Idli molagapudi and black pepper powder. Both tasted equally yum.
Other Idli varieties on this blog - 
Baked Idly Fry - GF and Vegan Snack
Prep time - 10 mins, bake time - 12-15 mins per batch. Serves - 2~3

  • Idlis - 10 nos ( I used the Toor Dal Idli or Thuvaram Paruppu Idli)
  • Oil - 2 tbsp + 1 tsp for basting
  • Red chilli powder, salt, garam masala, pepper powder, or Idli Molagapudi (fiery lentil spice powder) (gunpowder), thecha (garlicky spice powder)- to taste
  • Salt to taste (note the idlis also would be made from slightly salted batter)

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180c / 365F. Line a baking tray.
  2. Cut the Chilled idlis with a sharp knife into thick wedges. Make equal sized wedges
  3. In a bowl, add the Idli wedges, salt, oil , mix of whatever spice powders you want. Mix and Marinate for 1-2 mins (over marinating makes them soft and soggy quickly)
  4. Place the wedges in a baking tray. Spray some Oil over the top.
  5. bake for 8-9 mins, flip over and crank up the oven by 5 degrees more and bake for an extra 3-4 mins or until crispy. Keep an eye lest they burn or turn brittle.
  6. Take out from oven and serve warm and crispy, as is with some ketchup or sauce. 

 This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2017    

December 18, 2017

Baked Gobhi Musallam | GF and Vegan

This week, we are moving to Flourless Bakes at Bakeathon,which include some GF and Vegan treats as well. One of the challenges as a baker is to do flourless baking (mainly bakes without all purpose or wholewheat flours or even those who may be allergic to yeast). 

We had reasonable success with Cajun Spiced Cheesy Aubergine PizzaBaked FalafelsCheesy Hasselback PotatoesVeg Au GratinBaked Herbed Potato WedgesGrilled Kabab PlatterBaked Cornflakes Chivda,  etc. 

I had my eye on this Tandoori Gobhi Musallam which was completely baked and could be  the  centrepiece of your party. The nice thing about this is that it can be had as an appetiser (in dry form) as was with the original recipe), or go with your flatbreads - Naan / Tandoori Roti / Kulcha in a wet gravy. The first time I made this, it was heavenly with plain Phulkas and some salad for a very satisfying meal. Anuradha had stuffed this with spiced paneer and served it dry, but I didn't stuff and also wanted to make it vegan. So do check out what catches your fancy.  

Whatever your preference, do check out this recipe. The winter around us has such lovely cauliflowers in the market, I am tempted to make this again even as I type this recipe.  Use fresh, clean, firm cauliflowers (small to medium sized) to control your baking process as you would be baking this as a whole unit.

More such Mughlai dishes you might like (Although I am a huge fan of Mughlai cuisine, am yet to do justice to the cuisine on the blog) :

Prep time : 45 mins ; Cooking time : 10 mins; Baking time : 15-16 mins (depending on the size of the cauliflower) ; Serves : 3 - 4 

Reference : Anuradha's video 

Baked Gobi Musallam - GF and Vegan Appetiser  / Side Dish ; 
Cuisine : Indian (Mughlai)


  • Medium Sized Cauliflower - 1 no.
  • Oil - 2 TBSP
  • Clove, bay leaf, cardamom - 2 nos
  • Salt - to taste
  • Coriander leaves - 1 tsp (fine chopped)
  • Chaat Masala - 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric - 1/2 tsp (divided use)


  • Oil - 1 TBSP
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Onions - 1/2 cup
  • Tomato puree - 2/3 cup
  • Cashew nuts - 2 tsp (soaked in warm water)
  • Garam Masala - 1 tsp
  • Red chilli powder - 1 tsp (or to taste)
  • Crushed Kasuri Methi -1 TBSP
  • Salt to taste


  1. In a large pot of water, get 3-4 cups of water to come to a rolling boil with some cloves, bay leaf, cardamom (till the aroma seeps in). Now add a pinch of turmeric and salt. Trim the hard stalk of the cauliflower and secure a firm base and place in boiling water. Cook and cover for 8-9 mins or till slightly tender, but not mushy. Drain the water (apprtenly the filtered aromatic water can be used to knead a flavourful dough for the parathas). 
  2. Now preheat oven to 180 C. Grease a baking dish big and deep enough to fit the whole cauliflower. 
  3. In a pan, add 1 TBSP oil. Saute the onions till translucent. Add the turmeric, tomato puree, spice powders, and let it slowly simmer till oil separates. Make a paste of the soaked cashew nuts and add to the puree - simmer for an additional 1 min till the raw smell of the gravy vanishes.  Add the crushed kasuri methi and mix well. 
  4. Pour this gravy into the greased deep baking dish. Place the drained cauliflower and sprinkle chaat masala and few coriander leaves and bake for 14-15 mins till nicely baked and golden. (towards the end of the bake, I added some leftover gravy over the cauliflower too and that gave a nice tinge and tang to the bake). You may need to tent the baking dish mid way if you feel that the gravy is drying / burning up too fast. Top with a little lemon juice and more garam masala if you wish.
  5. Serve warm as an appetiser or as a side dish. 

 This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2017    

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

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