June 29, 2017

Paneer Chilly bites | Easy appetiser | Kids Snacks

Was paired with shree rao for this month's edition of Sshhh cooking challenge & the theme was Ramzan Iftar snacks. 

As always, the first preference for the kids happens to be paneer and I was delighted when my partner gave me flour and paneer as the two secret ingredients for this month

So without much Ado, we have spicy chilli paneer bites - apt for Ramzan as well as this windy monsoon weather we have here. It's sure to be a hit at any party. I scrambled to get photos before half of it was devoured by the paneer - loving kids.

So here's the recipe

Paneer cubes (frozen or fresh) - 1 cup
Cornflour - 3 tbsp
All purpose flour - 1 tsp
Rice flour - 1 tbsp
Oil - to pan fry
Turmeric - a pinch 
Salt and pepper to taste 

Seasoning - 
Oil - 1 tsp 
Bell Pepper or chillies - 1 medium
Onion - 1 medium (opt.)
Soya sauce - 1/2 tsp
Chilly sauce - 1/4 tsp

Marinate the paneer with the salt, flours and a tsp of oil. Keep aside for 10/15 mins 
Pan fry them with little oil till they are slightly crispy on the outside (of course, you can deep fry them too!) 
In a skillet, add the oil. Fry the onions a bit and add the bell pepper. Sauté till onions turn slightly translucent and bell peppers remain crunchy. Add the salt , sauces and the pan fried paneer. Give it a quick toss to coat the paneer with the masala and spices 

Serve immediately. 

June 26, 2017

Wholewheat Eggless Brazilian Carrot Cake with Chocolate Glaze | Easy Cake varieties

In the last of the series on Latin American cuisine, we have this decadent and deliciously addictive Brazilian Carrot Cake. Of all the cakes I have made till now this was voted the second best (the 1st place of course goes to the Multigrain Almond Quick Bread) . The soft carrot core giving an absolute contrast to the delicious chocolate ganache . My kids kept asking for more servings and even mom & the husband loved it.

If you are a fan of chocolate (or not), make this and am sure you would love it  ! 

Adapted from here, I made some changes to make it healthy, eggless & wholegrain.  A slice of this can be enjoyed by #diabetics too

Hope you enjoyed the series of this cuisine under Latin American Cuisine

Prep time : 15 mins, Baking time : 30-35 mins (varies from oven to oven) ; 
Makes : approx 350-400 gms of Cake.
Dry ingredients: 

  • Wholewheat flour - 225 grams
  • Organic Powdered jaggery - 200 grams
  • Baking powder - 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon powder - a large pinch
  • Salt - 1/4 tsp

Wet ingredients:

  • Oil - 125 ml
  • Vanilla essence- 1 tsp
  • Carrot - 125 grams (peeled and grated) 
  • Thick yoghurt / hung curd - 1/4 cup


  • Milk - 2 TBSP
  • Semi Sweet Choco chips - 4 TBSP
  • Sugar / jaggery - 2 tsp (I didnt add any)


  1. In a bowl, Sieve dry ingredients 3- 4 times. Pre heat oven to 170 C / 375 F. Grease and line a 8 *4 baking dish  (you may also use a 6 inch cake dish)
  2. Puree Carrot with oil and yoghurt without adding any water.
  3. Add this puree to the sieved dry ingredients. Now add the rest of the wet ingredients and slowly fold to get a smooth cake batter (do not beat)
  4. Add 1-2 TBSP hot water if required to rub off any stubborn dry streaks of flour left.
  5. Pour batter to lined baking dish, bake for 30-35 mins or till a toothpick in the centre of the cake comes out clean .
  6. Once out of the oven, cool on wire rack, remove after 15 mins and cool completely.
  7. Meanwhile, warm the milk slightly. Add this to a bowl of choco chips, wait for 2 mins and lightly mix to a smooth, shiny ganache. 
  8. Once the cake is cooled completely, spoon in the ganache all over. Let it set for 30-45 mins in the fridge. Cut and serve chilled or at room temperature. 
  9. This makes for a delectable , healthy , wholegrain and egg-free dessert. 

June 25, 2017

Bolivian Purple Cabbage Salad with Broccoli | Vegan & GF salads | Easy Salad recipes

Another salad from Latin American Cuisine, this had overtones of sesame - and a nuttiness that we liked. Unlike yesterday's Pineapple Strawberry salad, today's dish is served warm, and somehow both me and the husband prefer warm salads to cold ones. 

So, if you are a fan of salads too, make this one for a potluck or weekend dinner. We had this with some Carrot Almond Soup and roasted garlic focaccia that made for a lovely meal. 

Prep time : 15 mins, cook time : 5 mins ; serves : 2 ~ 3

Shredded purple cabbage - 1 cup (1 cup = 250 ml)
Broccoli florets - 1/2 cup
Roasted bell peppers - 1/3 cup
Minced garlic - 1/2 tsp
Onions - cut lengthwise - 1/4 cup

Sesame seeds / sesame oil - 1 TBSP
Salt & pepper  - to taste
Balsamic vinegar - 1/2 tsp
Brown sugar - a dash 

How to make:

Warm the sesame oil a bit (not till smoking), switch off & add this to a bowl along with the rest of the dressing. Whisk well and keep refrigerated. 
In the same pan, add the minced garlic, broccoli florets and toss with a little salt on a low flame till the florets are coated with a garlicky glaze but are still warm and crunchy (max 2-3 mins).
In a large bowl, add the purple cabbage, roasted bell peppers , broccoli, onion and toss well.
Just before serving, add the refrigerated dressing and serve warm on the side.

June 24, 2017

Cuban Pineapple - Strawberry Salad | Vegan and GF Salad recipes | Summer recipes

Summer meals are salads mostly for us. While its not exactly summer in my country, it is so for most of the northern hemisphere. So, here is a quick salad thats apt for those potlucks / parties . With no slaving at the stove, this is a great make-ahead dish too. 

I adapted this from here, and substituted the protein (chicken)  with moong sprouts (yes, I promise - next time it shall be a larger portion :)) We loved it a lot and sure to make it the next time we have ripe sweet pineapples which are a must for this salad.

Funnily enough, my elder one who doesn't like pineapples dug into this salad. Its quite catchy on the eye with its vibrant colours and I particularly liked this salad for the addition of scallions and some other flavouring.

Prep time : 15 mins , serves : 2

What you need
Pineapple cubes - 3/4 cup
Cubed strawberry  - 1/4 cup
Cucumbers (seedless) - cubed (1/4 cup)
Red peppers - 1/4 cup - I subbed with onions
Sprouts - 2 TBSP
chopped scallions - 1 TBSP
Chopped cilantro  - 1 tsp
dressing : Lemon juice 3 tsp +2 TBSP warm olive oil + 1/2 tsp ground cumin+ 1/2 tsp salt

In a large bowl, stir together lime juice, oil, salt and cumin until blended.

Add pineapple chunks, cucumber, cilantro, onions, sprouts and scallions; toss to mix and coat.
Chill and serve.

This week we have Latin American Cuisine so sending to BM #77

June 13, 2017

Quick Multigrain Almond bread for #Breadbakers | Eggless Quick Bread

We have Cindy hosting this edition of #Breadbakers with the theme "baking with Nuts and Nut flours" and I was almost undecided till the last week of signing up as to what to make, but when I came back from my short visit to my sister's place n New york, I had this pack of almond flakes picked up at Trader Joe's - well, there it was : problem solved. But we were off yeast for some weeks now, so a quick question to the host, and quick bread it was 

This is undoubtedly (if I may say so, myself), the best ever quick bread I have baked in so many years. I experimented a bit with one recipe, tweaking a couple of the ingredients, and what I got was a wonderful loaf (actually one mini loaf too) which was sheer indulgence, and ... healthy too !

Thank you Cindy for hosting and Nandita (source of the recipe). If you like, you could make this with eggs and All purpose flour, but we preferred to be multigrain, so read on to see what substitutions worked for this bread which works well as a breakfast, snack box or  a delicious tea time treat :)  

Prep time : 15 mins, Bake time : 35 + 12 mins (may vary from oven to oven) ; Makes : 12-15 medium slices.

Dry Ingredients:

  • Wholewheat flour - 1/2 cup (1 cup = 200 ml)
  • Ragi / Finger miller flour - 1/2 cup
  • All purpose flour - 1/4 cup
  • Almond flour - 1/4 cup (roasted and ground)
  • Baking soda - 1 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp

Wet ingredients:

  • Rice bran or any neutral oil - 1/2 cup
  • granulated sugar - 1/2 cup ( i used palm sugar - original recipe asked for 3/4 cup, but 1/2 cup worked for us)
  • Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
  • 1/2 cup thick yoghurt (if you dont have greek yoghurt, drain normal yoghurt in a muslin cloth or fine sieve overnight in the refrigerator) - you can use 2 large eggs in place of the yoghurt.
  • 3 very ripe bananas (medium size - Elaichi variety or 2 normal sized golden bananas)


  • Roasted almond flakes
  • Bittersweet chocochips (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 170 deg C for 10-12 mins, and line a loaf pan {Pavani - thanks for your gift :), the green coloured pan you gifted me worked wonderfully well}
  2. Sieve the dry ingredients 3-4 times over and keep aside .
  3. In a food processor (I used a blender), mix all the wet ingredients and blend it till real smooth. transfer to a large bowl,
  4. Slowly add the dry flour mix to the wet ingredient mix in batches and slowly fold in to avoid any dry streaks. Add a tsp or two of milk or warm water if needed to smoothen the batter.
  5. Gently pour into the lined pans, and top with almond flakes. I topped the kids' bread with chocochips too :)
  6. Bake for 45 - 50 mins (or till a skewer comes out clean) - for me it took 35 mins + 12 mins (I turned down the oven to 160 for the last 12 mins to prevent burning).
  7. Cool on a wire rack, and slowly un mould once it comes to room temperature. Wait for a few more hours (I know, its torture!!) , and it slices neatly for a quick afternoon tea treat or for breakfast

My notes:
1) Although this bread uses banana, theres no smell of bananas at all. 
2) use of finger millet flour and almond flour are totally optional. But we loved the nuttiness from that. The original recipe uses  WWF, APF and Oat flour. The next time I make this, I am aiming to make this completely GF using only finger millet flour and almond flour :)
3) I used 2 tsp of warm water to loosen the batter a bit, but that depends on the mix of flours you use. 


This month's BreadBakers' theme is Breads with Nut Meals and Nut Flours inspired bread, hosted by Cindy at Cindy’s Recipes and Writings.  

Enjoy all these creative breads using nut meals and nut flours from The Bread Bakers Group!

 #BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers 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 foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

June 12, 2017

How to make Sour Cream at home | Easy condiments

This is the final in the condiment series this week. Although not much of a recipe, I would like to record this for posterity and also to encourage to make most store-bought condiments at home. Similar ones I have made is Pulikaachal , Tomato Thokku, Arrabiata Sauce, Schezwan Sauce, Papaya Ginger Jam,  Muhammara & Baba Ghanoush (yes thats also available commercially these days!). 

During my short visit to the US, I saw that people really dont have the time to cook and prefer to pick up ready made stuff and assemble them at home for a quick meal. 

This is one condiment that can be made with readily available ingredients at home - Sour Cream is used as a dip with crudites, fries or most finger food. I find the store bought ones synthetic in taste, so prefer to make this at home. My girls love this with some fries (of course!) and even with tandoor kebabs. 

Do give it a try and let me know how you liked it. Greek yoghurt is preferred for this, but I strained homemade yoghurt in the fridge over 24 hours and got a thick bowl of creamy curd which I used. 

Prep time : 5 mins, Zero Cook., Makes: approx 100 ml 

Greek yoghurt - 1 cup
Lemon juice  - 1/2 tsp
Vinegar - 1/4 tsp (more if you like)
Salt and pepper - to taste

How to:
Mix the yoghurt into a thick and creamy consistency with lemon juice and vinegar, If you like it a little more runny, add few more drops of either lemon juice or vinegar. 
Add salt and pepper to taste and mix well. 
Keeps for upto 5 days under refrigeration. 

Add ons : You may add pickled olives, gherkins or even red chilli flakes. 

June 11, 2017

Chow Chow Chutney | How to make chow chow chutney | Chayote Squash dip ] Vegan & GF

No it's not the Chinese Chow, it's a veggie !! Chayote Squash or simply Chayote or Mango Pear or Vegetable Pear as its called in English is a tad bland but delicious water based veggie which lends itself to so many dishes in South Indian cooking -  Sambhar, Kootu (spiced lentil-veggie gravy), Masiyal (veggies cooked in dal) , Poriyal (dry saute), Bajjis (fried fritters) and today's Chutney. It's super easy, and delicious. For non-indian cooking ideas with the veggie, head here

As it's not available frequently where I live, we hoard it like gold during the season, making every conceivable dish till the season lasts or whenever I lay my hands upon this.  

Chow-chow Chutney or a vegan+GF dip & is onion-garlic free too that goes well with anything from Idli / Dosa/ Pongal/ Rice/ Chapati etc.  

What's more, its plant based, and healthy too ! So, if you are a fan like me, or keen to explore a new veggie, get on and make this chutney.

Check out 20+ varieties of chutney here to pep up your dinner / breakfast :)

Prep time : 10 mins | Cook time : 10 mins | Serves : 3
Course : Accompaniment, Cuisine : South Indian
Serve with : Hot rice + Rasam or Sambhar / any variety of Idli


  • Chayote Squash / Chow-Chow / பெங்களூர் கத்திரிக்காய் / ಸೀಮೆ ಬದನೇಕಾಯಿ peels - 2 cups (or you can use 1 chow chow whole + 1 cup of peels - READ recipe below)
  • Urad Dal - 2 TBSP (or you can use 3 tsp of Channa dal alone)
  • Channa Dal - 1 TBSP 
  • Dry Red Chillies - 4-5 (adjust spice)
  • Grated coconut - 6 TBSP
  • Tamarind - 1 small roundel
  • Jaggery grated - 1 tbsp
  • Oil - 1 TBSP + 1 tsp (for tempering)
  • 2 generous handfuls of coriander
  • Salt - to taste
  • Urad dal - 1/4 tsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp


  1. Wash and peel the Chayote squash. Wash and cut the peel into thin strips and keep aside. 
  2. De-seed and cube the squash into bit size pieces (add it to the chutney or make the chutney with the peels alone) - refer pic above.. 
  3. In a pan, heat oil, add the Urad dal, let it brown a bit, add channa dal, let it brown too. Now add the red chillies, chopped squash and the peel too. Saute on low heat for 8-10 mins till the veggie wrinkles a bit and the peel wilts. Add the tamarind towards the end of the sautéing.  Switch off the heat and let it cool.
  4. Grind the above with the coconut ,salt & jaggery. Add little water (1 tsp at a time, and a max of 4 TBSP) to bring to a slightly consistency. Add fresh coriander towards the end and give it one final blend. 
  5. Heat 1 tsp oil, crackle the mustard seeds, urad dal. Pour this tempering over the chutney and serve immediately. Keeps for 2-3 days under refrigeration. 

Updating this post of 2011 as part of #Foodies_RedoingOldPost Group where we revisit old posts with new pictures and text. 

June 10, 2017

Nellikai Uppinakayi | Gooseberry pickle | Vegan and Gluten free

Returning to blogging & especially to Blogging Marathon after a long break, I have chosen condiments for this week. The first of these is a family favourite  - almost like an heirloom recipe. Gooseberry pickle or Nellikayi Urga (or uppinakayi as its called in Kannada) is a favourite with my sister especially. 

I am grateful that I live in a city where this wonder food is available almost 8-10 months in a year. We generally make nelli Pachadi (yoghurt based dip) , Quick Amla PickleSugarfree Amla MocktailToday's pickle is not quite instant but develops an intense taste and flavour after sitting for more than a week. 

Prep time : 15 mins, Makes : approx 200 gms of pickle

Keeps for 6-8 months under refrigeration


  • Amla / Nellikai / Gooseberry - 200 gms (or about 8 large gooseberries)
  • Salt - about 50-60 gms (approx)
  • Red chilly powder - 20-25 gms
  • turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Asafoetida - a generous pinch (about 1/4 tsp) - skip for GF version
  • Oil - 4 TBSP
  • Methi seeds / vendhayam - 2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds - 2 tsp
  • Lemon juice - 1/4 cup


  1. Wash and pat dry the amla. 
  2. In a steamer, steam the whole gooseberries for 6-7 mins till just soft but not mushy. Drain the water if any. Let it dry for 1 hour on a sterile plate. 
  3. In a pan, heat oil, splutter mustard seeds & methi seeds, once they crackle, switch off the heat. 
  4. Add the turmeric & asafoetida. Add the gooseberries, mix gently. this mixing would gently break the gooseberries into small chunks. Cook for 2-3 mins in the retentive heat. 
  5. Now add the red chilli powder and mix gently. Slowly add the lemon juice and mix well. 
  6. Transfer to sterile glass jar and keep aside for a wekk, stirring it twice everyday with a clean & dry wooden spoon.
  7. Serve as required using a sterile clean spoon everytime.   

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