November 29, 2018

Kothmir Vadi (Kothambir Vadi) - No Deep Fry | Vegan and GF

If there was a single snack that I would single out that all of us at home love, its Kothmir Vadi. Initiated into this when I moved to Mumbai, we have had this umpteen times from snack vendors across mumbai - from the iconic Prakash in Dadar to Krishna (again near Dadar Station),  from pungent garlicky versions to crisp (and sometimes sadly dripping with oil) versions, and sometimes a me-too version of Kothmir Vadi. 

This month, paired with Rafeeda for Sshh Cooking Challenge, I had the opportunity to use Besan (gramflour) and Garlic as key ingredients (something that we both worked with, separately to bring you two distinct Mumbaiyya snacks - head to her place to find out what she's dished out).

Although I had made Kothmir Vadi as part of the Ganpati Thali here (albeit without the garlic , of course) , I couldn't click step by step photographs owing to the Festival rush , and was keen to make it again leisurely. Surprisingly, the little one also asked for a second serving meaning that it was a total win. the husband too appreciated it and the elder girl was smitten by the garlicky flavour (She is a total bhakt of garlic, by the way). Thanks Rafeeda for this combo, we all enjoyed the snack.

PS : There are 4-5 methods of making Kothmir Vadi, not to mention that deep frying makes it more appealing to a crowd. However, we didn't miss the deep fry a bit, in fact if I may say so, it tasted better than the deep fried versions. So, do try this if you like this snack or have heard about it, and I assure you wont be disappointed.

Thali for Ganpati Festival featuring amongst other things, Kothmir Vadi too :) 

Kothmabir Vadi - GF, Vegan Snack
Cuisine : Maharashtrian (Indian), Course: Snack / Appetiser
Spice level : Medium

Prep time - 15 mins, Steam + shallow fry time - 25 mins ;  
Makes - 20 medium sized Vadis


  • Besan / Gramflour  - 1 cup (250 ml)
  • Rice flour - 1/2 cup or 3 heaped Tablespoons
  • Washed, cleaned and finely minced Coriander - 1 cup (can increase or decrease a bit depending on how much you like it)
  • Oil - 3 T + 1 tsp (to grease)
  • Turmeric-  1/3 tsp
  • Roasted sesame seeds - 1/2 T + 1/4 tsp
  • Ginger garlic paste - 1 T (I used fresh ginger and garlic minced together)
  • Hing / aSafoetida - 1/4 tsp
  • Roasted Crushed Peanuts - 1/4 cup (skip for nut allergy)
  • Hot mix / Ghati Masala (can use Ghoda Masala with varying results) - 1/2 T
  • Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
  • Finely Chopped / Minced green chillies - 1/2 tsp
  • Water - as needed ( I needed about 2/3 cup)
  • Lemon juice  - 1/2 tsp OR Cooking soda - 1/4 tsp

How to make:

  1. Keep a steamer ready with water coming to rolling boil. Meanwhile, start the following step.
  2. In a bowl, add all the ingredients except water, Lemon juice or soda and mix well, using fingers rub the coriander into the flour. slowly add the water 1/4 cup at a time to make a thickish, but flowing batter (almost like a cake batter).
  3. Grease a 8 inch cake pan or a Dhokla pan. Add soda OR lemon juice (and adjust consistency) and beat well. Pour immediately into greased pan and steam batter after topping with 1/4 tsp sesame seeds. Steam for 18-20 mins or till a skewer comes clean.
  4. Cool for 10 mins. Cut into squares / bite Sized pieces. Shallow fry on low flame with 2 tsp oil till its crispy on both sides (takes about 8-10 mins)
  5. Serve warm / hot with Green Chutney or Ketchup

Sending this to Sshhh Cooking Challenge for this month under "Maharashtrian Cuisine" theme

November 22, 2018

Ndengu with Kachumbari - Combo Kenyan Meal | GF and Vegan | #FoodieMondayBlogHop

As part of the week 172 for #FoodieMondayBloghop, Mayuri suggested a unique theme of #InternationalFeast with the caveat that your dish (irrespective of cuisine / course) must come from a letter of a country that begins with the alphabet of your first name. 

So, for K I had only 5 countries - Kazakhstan, Kenya, KiribatiKuwait  & Kyrgyzstan - out of which I chose Kenya. 

I looked at some dishes and was surprised that they had a lot of similarity with Indian dishes / Condiments, and the more I looked, I was tempted to make a small Kenyan meal. The first dish I liked was Ndengu (or stewed Moong Dal Curry) bookmarked from here

I kept bookmarking dishes and looked for salads which would serve as a snack and a meal, and imagine my surprise when every google search threw up the name Kachumbari Salad. Having stayed in Mumbai long enough, I knew Kachumber to be a Gujarati Salad featuring Onions, Cukes and Tomatoes in a tangy mix. 

And again Kachumbari had the same combo, although some versions added Avocados as well. 

Well, avocados are not in season right now (and trust me where I live, they are sold for the price of Gold through the year !, so I decided to skip it) . But there was an interesting way to use the copious amount of onions that went into this salad, so if you are intrigued so far, check out to make this yummy crunchy salad, and also some ways to incorporate them as an appetiser. 

Sending this Combo Meal to FoodieMonday Blog Hop Week #172 themed #InternationalFeast and #MLLA hosted by Renu. 

Let's look at the recipes one by one:

(A) Salad / Kachumbari - Vegan, GF Salad

Prep time - 10 mins , Serves - 2, Zero Cook

What you need:

Red Onion - 1 large - sliced thin
Ripe Tomatoes - 2 medium - sliced
Cucumber - 1 medium - sliced 
Salt - to taste
Lemon juice - 1 TBSP
Chopped Cilantro - 2 tsp
Avocado - 1/2 (optional - I didn't use)

How to:

In a bowl, add onions and a generous addition of salt, 2 TBSP hot water and mix well. Keep aside for 10 mins in the fridge. Squeeze the water from the onions, add the rest of the ingredients excluding salt and toss well. Serve immediately.

If serving as an appetiser, squeeze out the onions and lay on an absorbent towel for 5 mins, then add the rest. Place on toasted french bread / baguette slices with or without a smear of mashed avocado and serve as finger food. 

(B) Ndengu - GF, Vegan Whole Moong Stew

Notes - I made this satvik style as mom prefers it that way. But you can always use onion, garlic and ginger as per the original recipe (which I modified with some tweaks). 

Prep time - 10 mins , Serves - 3, Cook time - 10 mins + 2 hours soaking time

What you need:

Dry Whole Moong Dal / Green Moong - 100 grams
Onion - 1/2 medium (large)
Tomatoes - 2 nos
Carrots - 1 medium (diced)
Ginger - 1/2 inch
Garlic - 2 pods
salt - to taste
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Curry powder - 1/2 tsp (I used Madras Curry powder)
Turmeric / haldi - 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 T (T = tablespoon)
Jeera / Cumin powder - 1/2 T
Dry mango powder (Amchur) - 1/2 tsp (or to taste)
Oil - 1 tsp
Coriander leaves & lemon juice - for garnish 

How to make Ndengu:
Wash and Soak Moong Dal for 2 hours. Pressure cook it with chopped carots till soft but not mushy. Let the pressure come down on its own (alternately, you can also cook the soaked and drained moong till al dente). Drain the water if any and reserve. 
In a pan, heat the oil, sautè the onions, garlic, ginger till onions turn translucent and slightly brown. Now add the tomatoes and cook till mushy. Add the spice powders, and saute again. Add the moong+carrot and mix well. Add any drained water from the moong (if any) Or add veg stock or warm water to the curry. Let it simmer on a low flame for 8-9 mins till the stew is thick
Add coriander leaves and lemon juice and serve with steamed rice. I added Kachumbari as a salad / side and we loved the entire meal. 

November 19, 2018

Badami Saag Paneer - no onion, no garlic version | Gluten Free Gravy {Can be Vegan too}

The prospect of joining this food blogging group - FoodieMonday BlogHopwas intriguing , especially considering the themes they had been dishing out for so long. So, armed with a membership that took longer than a tatkal ticket to confirm (& and all in good form :p), here’s my post for the week#171 themed “SaagSaga”.

So although at first I thought I could dish out the South Indian format of a saag (mashed up greens) known as Keerai Masiyal, one of the active group members Mayuri who kindly added me on here explained that they would be going for a classic version of the Saag. I had made sarson da saag with Makki di roti earlier , so rummaging thru the fridge gave me access to fresh radish leaves and some spinach.

I combined both of them in a smooth and silky almond-based gravy that was nutty and delicious :) this can be served with any pulav or roti / naan / kulcha . I served them with methi Thepla .

Let’s get to the recipe . I made just two servings considering it was for the little one, so pls adjust spice and quantity as required. 

Prep time - 15 mins, Cook time - 10 mins, serves - 2
Badami Saag Paneer - a GF gravy that's served with any Indian Bread or steamed rice / Pulav 

For the gravy -
Spinach - a handful - washed and chopped
Fresh Radish leaves - 2 handfuls - washed and chopped fine
Tomato - 1/2 medium
Medium Onion chopped - 1/2 (1 didn’t use)
Ginger grated - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to taste
Soaked almonds - 8~10
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder / roasted jeera powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1/4 tsp
Sugar - 1/8 tsp (optional but recommended)
Chat masala and sliced almond slivers - for garnish
Oil - 1 tsp
Paneer chunks - 100 grams (Sub with Tofu for a vegan version)

How to :
Blanch the greens for 60 seconds, immediately dunk in ice water, drain and purée with the tomatoes, soaked n peeled almonds and onions if using to a smooth paste. 
In a pan, add oil, add the purée and let it simmer on a low flame, add all the other dry spice powders including salt and 2/3 cup water.
When the gravy starts thickening , add the paneer cubes as is it sautéed in a little butter or oil. Let it absorb all the flavours. 
Finish with chat masala and sliced almonds
Serve warm.

Linking this to Foodie Monday Blog Hop

November 15, 2018

Poni Biyyam - a Guestpost by Pavani | Guestpost series #13

In an attempt to revive heirloom or forgotten recipes from across the world, I am happy to present the new series of Guest Posts from my dear blogger friends explicitly exploring and presenting old and forgotten / heirloom recipes that sprouts nostalgia and techniques from the old forgotten era. 

The first in this new season of Guest Posts on this blog is Pavani who blogs at Cooks Hideout. She is a photographer par excellence and I am often at a loss for words when I ogle at her beautiful composition of photographs, not to forget at her veritable bread collection and dishes from across the world. Today, she brings us a delicious dish from Telangana - Poni Biyyam.  

Thank you, Pavani for doing this wonderful guest post for Sizzling Tastebuds
Let's hear Pavani in her own words


There are quite a few dishes that are so comforting that we almost neglect them. Today’s post is one such dish from Telangana. I heard it for the first time on a Telugu cooking show and it intrigued me. A quick google search led me to couple more Telangana cooking videos. So, here’s my attempt to document this everyday comfort food. It’s called Poni (pronounced as pony) biyyam.

This is a guest post for a dear blogger buddy, Kalyani who blogs at Sizzling Tastebuds. She wanted a forgotten/ rare family recipe for the post. I’ve posted quite a few family recipes already, so when I saw this Poni Biyyam recipe I wanted to share it on Kalyani’s blog.

Poni biyyam is Telangana version of khichdi. This recipe uses Chana dal instead of moong dal and is flavored with onions, ginger and green chilies. It can be made as hot as you want - just up those chilies. I think veggies like carrot, green beans, peas will add color and make this is a lovely one pot meal.

Serve with a generous dollop of ghee for a lovely flavor. I served it with some homemade avakaya and yogurt.

Chana dal – ¼ cup
Oil (use a combination of oil and ghee) – 2tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1tsp
Mustard seeds – 1tsp
Dry Red Chilies, broken – 1~2
Curry leaves – 6~8
Ginger piece, grated – 1”
Onion, thinly sliced – 1, small
Green Chilies – 2~3
Rice (I use Sona masoori rice) – 1cup
Turmeric – ¼ tsp
To taste – Salt

  • Soak chana dal in water for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Heat oil (and ghee) in a heavy bottom pan. Add cumin, mustard seeds and red chili; once the seeds start to splutter, add the curry leaves, ginger, onions and green chilies. Cook till the onions turn translucent, about 4~5 minutes.
  • Wash and rinse the rice. Add the drained rice and soaked dal to the pan along with turmeric. Mix well and cook for a few minutes.
  • Stir in 3 cups of boiling water and salt. Let the mixture come to a boil; lower the heat, cover and cook till both dal and rice are cooked through. Turn off the heat and let aside for 5~10 minutes before serving.
  • Serve with a generous dollop of ghee and Enjoy hot poni biyyam!!

November 13, 2018

Yeasted Transylvanian Cinnamon Sugar Cake for #Breadbakers

There’s something about Cinnamon-based bakes that uplifts spirits. When Archana  - our host for this month’s challenge of #BreadBakers - mentioned Yeast Cakes as a theme, it threw me a bit. Honestly, for me baking cakes don’t go beyond the banana bread (which is technically a cake, but we are not going there today :-) ) and the occasional coffee cake or the Ragi Chocolate cake (Finger millet GF Chocolate cake) that happens to be my husband’s fav ! So, given the low sugar and no trans fat regime at home, I thought I would give it a miss. Till I stumbled upon what Yeast Cakes were meant to be like. 

It seemed like a cross between a bread (coz of the yeast) and a cake (coz of the sugar), and although initially I thought I would make a Yeasted Banana Cake (I mean, it amazed me how many versions can really be made :p), I read this recipe and was quite taken in by the simplicity and the ease which didn’t require too much kneading and shaping (my nightmare when it comes to baking).. 

While I kept postponing baking it, I finally made it post Diwali and the kids had a vacation for the festival so the little one was more than happy to help me in the kitchen.  The aroma from the cinnamon bake was amazing, and although I halved this recipe, we had a lot of fun making this pull apart bread with mini treats which was mildly sweetened, considering we had ODed on Diwali sweets the week before. It keeps well under refrigeration, so would recommended microwaving a bit or two and eating this whenever the sugar craving hits you !

This makes an amazing bread on the dinner / coffee table and as it can be easily shaped and doubled or quadrupled, it would feed a crowd. So, do make these for the holidays and let me know how you liked these

Lets get to make these. Adapted from Adina's recipe here. 

Prep time (including rise time) - 2 hours ; baking time : 22-25 mins. 

For the dough (1 cup- 240 ml)

  • Strong Bread flour - 1.25 cups
  • Sugar - 1 T
  • Whole-wheat stone ground flour (atta) - 0.75 cups
  • Egg - 1 (I used egg replacer)
  • Any Neutral oil except olive oil - 4 T (divided use)
  • Yeast - 1 sachet
  • Warm milk - 1 cup ( I used 2/3 cup milk and 1/3 cup warm water)


  • Cinnamon sugar - 4 T (can increase to 6 ~7 T if you like a sweeter version)
  • Powdered walnuts - 2 T (optional but recommend the texture that this provides to the bread)

How to:
Make a soft pliable dough with all the ingredients listed above and half of the oil. Let it rise for about an hour till it doubles. 
Preheat oven to 180 C (375F).  grease the baking pans as required. I used one 8*4 loaf pan, one 5 inch square pan and two ramekins to fit the dough.  
Punch the risen dough once. The dough will be very sticky.  take two oiled tablespoons or greased hands to pinch out a small ball, roll it well and dip generously in the remaining oil. And roll again in the cinnamon sugar-walnut crumble mixture generously and place in the pan. 
Repeat for rest of the dough. Bake for 22-25 mins (the original recipe says 30 mins), but I reckon you can figure out what works for your dough. 
Rest on a wire rack , unmould and serve warm.

PS: the husband had his share the next day with a cup of Filter Coffee and said it was yum ; and the kids loved it as a mid-day snack (I reckon during vacation, kids are always on a I-am -hungry mode :p)

This month, the Bread Bakers are making yeasted cakes, a theme chosen by Archana of The Mad Scientist's Kitchen. Here are everyone's yeasted cakes:
#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. Our theme this month is Yeasted Cakes.
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