July 31, 2018

Aloo Bharta | Jharkhand Cuisine | Vegan and GF side dish

To be honest, I had almost finalised on Litti Chokha for this month’s theme of cooking from Jharkhand cuisine.

Paired with Veena , she gave me potatoes and wheat flour as the secret ingredients for this month’s challenge. But as I couldn’t make Litti without the authentic sattu atta, we enjoyed this rather simple but yoga delicious aloo Bharta or aloo Chokha . 

Earlier for the Bihari state theme, I had made these Makuni a.a. sattu paratha which we loved a lot. Sattu (roasted gram flour) is also used in a delicious Sattu ka sherbet (made sweet and savoury), again from the Bihar-Jharkhand repertory. 

Bihar and Jharkhand have overlapping cuisines and recipes are often made in both the sister states.The use of mustard oil is important here to give it the local flavour and we had this with hot phulkas / rotis for a delicious lunch.

Like they say, simple is beautiful and nothing can be farther from the truth for today’s dish. With previously boiled potatoes on hand, you can simply bring this dry sauté or Chokha in under 15 Mins. One of the videos I watched suggested it goes well with roti and dal fry and a salad too for a complete meal. Let’s get to make this yummy, quick side dish with everyday ingredients.

Prep time - 10 Mins ; cook time - 10 Mins ; serves - 2


  • Boiled and peeled potatoes 🥔- 2 large
  • Mustard oil - 1 tbsp
  • Onion - 1 medium - sliced thin
  • cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric - 1/8 tsp (optional - I didn't add)
  • Broken dry red chillies - 1 or 2
  • Chopped green chillies - 1/2 tsp
  • Crushed dry coriander seeds (dhania) - 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped coriander leaves - 1 tsp

In a pan, add mustard oil to slightly smoking point.
Add mustard seeds, cumin, let them splitter,
Lower the flame and add crushed coriander seeds, broken red chillies, green chillies, turmeric
Sauté for 1/2 Min. Now add the sliced onions and fry well on low-medium flame till onions turn brownish.
Meanwhile, mash the boiled potatoes well with a fork or a potato masher till they are crumbled well.
Once the onions nicely caramelise, add the salt, mashed potatoes and mix well. Sauté further for 2-3 Mins on low flame.
Check for salt and spice and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve hot with rotis / naan / dal - rice

July 10, 2018

Spicy Besan +Fenugreek Crackers for #Breadbakers

This month on #Breadbakers, we have Stacy hosting a wonderful theme close to my heart - Gluten Free Baking. At home, we have been making subtle but significant changes to our everyday diet and try alternatives to usual flatbreads / baking we do with Whole-wheat and / or dairy products.

One of the (successful) bakes were these spicy and flavourful Besan cookies (gram flour / garbanzo flour crackers), and as we are a savoury-bake-loving family, these vanished in a jiffy. Bookmarked from Suma's recipe, I made a couple of changes for the kids and we are sure to make and savour these often. Besan is not only protein-rich, but is a great alternative as a GF flour for baking (yes, it takes a little getting used to) or even to make pancakes (a.k.a Cheelas)

Other GF dishes (and mostly vegan too) that you like on this blog:

Baked Idli Fry | Gluten Free and Vegan Snacks
Vegan shammi Kebabs (GF too!)

and many, many more - just hit the GF button here

This recipe is not only GF, but also vegan - so, its a win-win for all those who are looking for healthy non-dairy and not so butter-heavy cookies. Thank you, Stacy for a wonderful theme, and we are sure to try these again with a different mix of spices.

The only changes I made were to bake them as thin cookies, rather than the thicker "cookie" type that the original recipe had.

Prep time - 15 mins, Resting time - 10-15 mins, Baking time : 12~15 mins / batch


  • Besan / Chickpea flour / Garbanzo flour - sifted - 1 cup (here 1 cup = 200 ml)
  • Peanut / Canola  / sunflower oil - 3 TBSP (warm)
  • Salt - 1/2 T
  • Crushed Fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) - 1 T
  • Red chilli powder / spicy cayenne powder - 1/2 T (adjust to taste)
  • Baking Powder - 1/2 tsp + 1/8 tsp
  • Sugar - 1 tsp (optional)
  • Turmeric  - 1/2 tsp
  • Roasted Sesame seeds - 1 T
  • Warm water - to knead


  1. Mix all the dry ingredients except oil and water. Add warm oil 1 TBSP at a time and fold into the flour as breadcrumbs (if using butter here, use cold butter and cut into the flour).
  2. Add 1 tsp warm water at a time, and knead into a soft slightly crumbly dough.
  3. Cling wrap and refreigerate for 15-20 mins (optiional but recommended step)
  4. Towards the end of 15~20 mins, preheat oven to 160 C / 350F. Line a baking sheet.
  5. With slightly greased hands, knead dough for a min.
  6. Roll the dough between two parchment / thick plastic sheets to desired thickness.
  7. Place gently on the lined baking sheet. Bake until a golden edge appears around the edges
  8. The cookies might be slightly soft when taken out. They harden a bit after left around for 10-15 mins on a cooling tray.
  9. Store the crackers in an air tight container and enjoy along with your afternoon cuppa.

#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. Let's check out the #GF bakes this month.

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