July 10, 2019

Kollu Chutney | Horsegram Chutney | GF and Vegan side for Idli and Dosa

Kollu or horse gram is known not only for its diuretic properties, but as an excellent source of vitamins and fibre as part of weight loss. As its a heat-generating ingredient, its used sparingly at our home, although I add the boiled stock often to soups during winters / rainy season. 

Kollu Rasam (Horesegram spiced broth) was a staple at my grandma's and I love it with some ghee and steamed rice. I also used Kollu / horse gram in my Uluva Chaaru biryani which was very well appreciated.

Horse gram is gluten-free, high in iron, calcium, and protein, and contains no fat, cholesterol, or sodium; horse gram has the highest calcium content among pulses. It is also a good source of natural antioxidants. One-hundred grams of cooked horse gram has 22 grams of protein, 57 grams of dietary carbohydrates, 287 milligrams of calcium and 7 milligrams of iron.  The study found that horse gram is rich in polyphenols, which have high antioxidant capacity. It also found that horse gram has the ability to reduce high blood sugar following a meal by slowing down carbohydrate digestion and reducing insulin resistance. The majority of antioxidant properties are in the seed coat, and any dish made of whole grain horse gram is better than dishes made from the sprouts, which have less of the anti-diabetic medicinal property. - source : here

Today we have the Kollu Chutney (PS: I wanted to make it as Thuvayal / Thogayal - a denser version of chutney which goes with Rice + sesame Oil) , but added a little additional water so I served this with Thinai Idli (foxtail millet Idli)

As part of the A-Z Recipe Challenge month, we have to choose an ingredient from alphabet H,  and although I had Honey and Harissa as serious contenders, I guess heart is where the hearth is, and I choose Horsegram.

Let's get to this Vegan, GF and plant based chutney. It goes great with Idli / Dosa/ Pongal / Paddu (Paniyaram) and we all loved the tangy-crunchy proteinicious dip with our morning breakfast.

This dish also goes to the MLLA  # 130 event that I am hosting (an event by Lisa. featuring lentils / legumes) all this July.

Readers - if you have any lentil/ legume entries that you would like to share, head to the linky tool here and simply add your recipe !!

Prep time - 15 mins, Cook time - 5 mins, Serves - 4

Kollu / Horsegram - 100 grams
Fresh Grated Coconut - 1/3 cup
Channa Dal / Kadalai Paruppu / Kadalebele - 2 TBSP
Urad Dal / Uddina Bele / Ulutham Paruppu - 3 tsp
Red chillies - 3 to 5 (adjust spice)
Tamarind - a small gooseberry size
Salt - to taste
Jaggery - 1 TBSP
Oil - 2 tsp

Oil - 1 tsp, curry leaves, urad dal 1/2 tsp, mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida (skip for GF)

In a pan, dry roast the horse gram for 2-3 mins on low/ medium heat till it becomes warm and slightly turns golden brown. Transfer to a plate.
In the same pan, heat 2 tsp oil, add the dals , chillies, tamarind and fry till the dals turn golden brown. Transfer to a plate. Switch off the flame and add the grated coconut and fry for 1 min (this step is optional, but increases the shelf life of the chutney). 
Cool all roasted ingredients, grind to a coarse paste (with very little water). Add salt and jaggery to taste. Remove to serving bowl.
Make the tempering spluttering the mustard and urad dal with other tempering ingredients. Pour on the chutney. 
Serve with Idli / Dosa / Paniyaram for a GF, Vegan meal :)

Other recipes with Kollu / Horsegram:

Kollu Rasam (Horesegram spiced broth) 

Uluva Chaaru biryani (horse gram broth Biryani)

July 8, 2019

Le Cafe ~ Restaurant Review

Begining a new season of Restaurant reviews. we have a new season of Gourmet Monday. 
 The restuarant chosen is Le Cafe , which is based out of Chembur (east) on the eastern suburbs of Mumbai

 We had been to this restaurant Le Cafe (Mumbai) recently and as it came highly recommended from friends who love continental  / Non-Indian food, our expectations were quite high. 

{The following is my personal review of the same, and this is not a paid review}

What we ordered:
1. Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

2. Hummus platter with pita

3. Oven baked Stuffed Mushrooms
4. Tomato Mozzarella Bruschetta 

5. Sweet Potato Poutines

6. Le Cafe Penne Paprika

7. Grilled vegetables

8. Thai Green Curry with Rice

9. Warm Carrot Cake
10. Hazelnut Chocolate Cake slice

11. Mint Tea

The Pluses :

1. The service is quick and the waiters are quite attentive. 
2. The place serves breakfast too  so its quite popular for those lazy Sunday brunches when one is too tired / lazy to cook up a propah-sunday breakfast.
3. Washrooms are spectacularly clean and dry. Better than any 5-star hotels I might add. 
4. This is a menu that would appeal to both veg and non-veg fans, although I wish the dishes were marked  GF, Vegan in the menu itself etc.
5. It has a small display of cakes and tarts from where one can make a selection.
6. In the mornings, the windows open to a small but refreshing city view giving a feel of an European cafe.

Our experience: 

1. The quality of the food was reasonably good, although the portions were abysmally small across all dishes.  Small plates is misleading here, I think they might have been better termed "tiny plates". For a family of 4 very hungry diners, we kept ordering dishes (listed above) but each dish was so tiny we were compelled to order another
2. The thai green curry could have been delicious if only there were some veggies with it. Sadly, it reeked of crushed lemon grass stalks that we needed to constantly pull out while chewing ! not appetising at all, pun intended. 
3. The soup was just so-so. It lacked a certain body that's usually in a broth / soup. I personally found it too tarty and watery. 
4. The tomato bruschetta could be named toastie-cheese. it was too small and tiny to even appreciate it. 
5. The mint tea was fresh (PS : fresh mint and hot water !! - you can't go wrong with that)
6. The much touted Sweet potato Poutines were soggy, sad and totally unappetising !! 

Verdict (all ratings out of 5)

Service - 4/5 
Quality of food - 3.5 / 5
Quantity of food / Value for money - 2 / 5 
Cleanliness / hygiene - 3.5 / 5
Wheelchair accessible - didn't check (the cafe is on the first floor)

Overall, speaking:
Definitely tasty food, but not value for money. Would choose other options in the locality if I need to eat Continental food

Baked Tandoori Gobhi | Gluten Free Appetisers

Tandoori gobi starter is a much loved dish at home and we make it often , more so during the monsoons / brief winter weeks that’s in our city. Baking and not deep frying makes it even more appealing and guilt free. Today, as we explore monsoon/friendly snacks via the 203rd week #RimJhimBarse @FoodieMondayBloghop (suggested by Preethi), this is a dish that would be a hit at your potlucks.

I have served this with DahiWala chutney - an easy peasy dip (recipe coming soon!) - and the baked treat simply flew off the plate in no time. You could also bake in an air fryer or deep fry if you wish. 

Similar baked savoury appetisers on the blog:

Baked Tandoori Malai Broccoli
Baked Gobi Manchurian
Idli Manchurian
Baked Cornflakes Chivda
Baked Falafels
Cajun Spiced Cheesy Aubergine Pizza
Cheesy Hasselback Potatoes
Baked Tandoori Veg Platter
Baked Shammi Kebabs
Baked Gobi Musallam

Let’s see how to make this -

GF baked tandoori gobhi (Baked GF Cauliflower appetiser, Indian style) - Can be vegan too ! 

Prep time - 15 Mins, marination time - 30-60 Mins, bake time - 18~22 mins per batch 

What you need:

Cauliflower -1 large / 400-500 grams - cut into medium sized florets 
Oil - 5 tsp + 2 tsp for basting 


Marination :
Hung yoghurt - 200 grams (use cashew curd for a vegan version)
Salt - to taste 
Besan / chickpea flour - 3 tbsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp (optional, i didn’t use)
Red chilli powder, chaat masala , tandoori masala, black salt - to taste
Coriander powder - 1 tsp 
Crushed kasuri methi - 1 tsp 
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp

How to:
Blanch the florets in turmeric-tinted salt water till tender. Drain completely and wipe the florets gently with a kitchen towel or tissues of all excess water. 
In a bowl, whisk yoghurt well with salt and all the spices for the marination plus half the oil. Add the blanched florets and gently mix so the marination is covered on all florets. Cover tight and keep aside for 30-60 mins (refrigeration works best) . Without adding salt, you may marinate overnight too. 
Preheat the oven to 190C. Line a baking tray with foil / parchment / silpat. Brush the remaining oil gently over the florets. Now place the individual florets without overlapping and bake for 18-21 mins, basting them and overturning them mid-way till they are crisp. Repeat for another batch if your tray is smaller. 
Serve immediately / warm with green chutney or dahi wala chutney. 

July 2, 2019

Hosting MLLA #130

Having hosted 2-3 editions of MLLA (My Legume Love Affair) on its 58th, 91st  and 97th, it's indeed a pleasure to host the 130th edition of MLLA. Thanks to Lisa for another opportunity to host this extremely popular event (brainchild of Susan) on my blog this month.

The rules are simple. Simply link a new VEGAN / VEGETARIAN dish (posted between 1st and 31st July 2019 on your blog) featuring Legumes to the following linky tool. 

The post needs to be linked to this post as well as Lisa's blog.

If you need to know what qualifies, head here to read about legumes (Psst: Tamarind is a legume as well :p)

Look forward to receiving all your delicious entries all through July ! 



July 1, 2019

Flourless Pecan Eggless Brownies | Low Carb, No Refined Sugars or Butter

One can never have enough brownie recipes.Period.

A forgiving dish, tastes great even without frosting (my pet peeve), tastes awesome with or without ice cream, is fudgy, Cakey , moist , delicious and makes life worth sometimes :) 

So, although the blog already had so many many brownie recipes like the following , we still decided we can have one more variation ! And this was flourless too - just like the mini Black Chickpea (yes!) based Choco chip brownies I posted last year.  

If you are a brownie lover like us, please do check out the various eggless brownies (and mostly low sugar options) already on the blog:
So today's dish which:

- is Gluten free
- Can be vegan
- Can be Keto ! 
- is Nutty
- has no butter 
- is Eggless

and made with a special super ingredient (my best baking ingredient ever, ahem,  after bread flour though :p)

is another recipe you need to have up your armour when the baking / brownie craving kicks in..

I had almost decided no dish for week #202 of #KuchMeethaHoJaye with a chocolate theme that Renu our host had suggested. Renu has a delectable collection of alternative flours bake and especially low sugar and low carb recipes. 

But on a rainy wet afternoon , while the skies and ground soaked with the relentless rain, the little miss and me baked this heavenly fudgy brownie that we all loved. 

Want to find out my new best baking ingredient+friend ? Read on ? 

Adapted from this recipe 

Wet ingredients:
Flax seed meal - 1 TBSP
Water - 1/2 cup
Oil - 1/2 cup
Yoghurt - 1/4 cup (sub with vegan version for those who prefer)
Vanilla extract - 1/2 tsp
Orange extract - 1/2 tsp (optional, but we loved it)

Coconut flour (yay , welcome my new friend) - 1/2 cup
Dark Muscovado sugar - 1/2 cup 
Dutch processed cocoa powder - 1/2 cup + 2 TBSP
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Baking powder - 1/4 tsp 

Topping - chopped nuts / Chocochips - I used the former.  

How to:

Preheat oven to 175C. Line a baking pan with greased parchment slightly left hanging over the sides.

Mix the wet ingredients well, leave aside for 15-30 mins.
Then mix all the dry ingredients well, add wet to dry and gently fold (the result dough is so so so chocolate and soft like
Velvet, i wouldn’t have minded eating it as it is - and this is a non-chocoholic speaking !!) 
Top with chopped pecans (or any nuts u have on Mind), bake to 22/23 mins. 

Cool for an hour and then slice gently. Serve warm. 
(As I type this, am awaiting the reaction of my elder child - a total chocolate fanatic- to sample this as she comes back from school)

June 28, 2019

Badami Matar Paneer - Side Dish for Roti | Gluten Free Recipe

Badami Matar Paneer was one of the few dishes I liked at an all-vegan dinner party a few months ago. A friend of mine who co-hosted this party along with me prepared this dish & I took the recipe from her and made a few tweaks. She had used soft Tofu & I subbed it with Paneer as we don't like Tofu at home. It was so creamy and delicious that we absolutely loved it  !

Almonds and Kasuri methi (dried fenugreek) leaves were given by Sasmita - my paired blogger - for this edition of Sshhhh Secret Cooking Challenge and it seemed the right time to share this recipe here. Sasmita has some great food pictures on her blog, and I particularly love how she captures the beverages !! Check out here what she cooked with the ingredients I gave her. 

In the above dish, you could sub the paneer with Tofu / Tempeh for a 100% Vegan dish, but the kids loved this paneer dish a lot with Wholewheat Kalonji Naan and a salad. 

Prep time - 15 mins, Cook time - 20 mins, Serves - 4

If like my kids, you are a Paneer-loving family, do check out the following paneer-based dishes on the blog:

Nargisi Kofta Curry (Mock-Egg Gravy)
Shahi Paneer Masala (Side dish for Roti)
Paneer Pudinawale (Paneer in Mint gravy)
Paneer Tikka Manchurian
Matar - Paneer (Peas - Paneer gravy)
Paneer Potato Curry ~ Cottage cheese and Potato curry
Low fat Palak Paneer
Paneer Kulcha (stuffed flatbread)
Paneer Kebab (appetiser)
Paneer Chilli Bites (Appetiser)
Pista Rasabali (a delicious sweet from orissa)
Mini Paneer & Spinach Tarts (Appetiser)
Paneer Manchurian (indo Chinese starter)
Paneer Bharwa Shimla Mirch (Bell peppers stuffed with scrambled and spiced Paneer)
Paneer Gulab Jamun (Indian Dessert with a twist)
Paneer Aloo Paratha
Low Fat Paneer Makhanwala
Raisin and Paneer Pulav
Palak Paneer Parathas (Flat bread stuffed with spinach and Paneer)
Paneer Pav Bhaji
Methi Chaman

Paneer - 200 grams (sub with tofu if vegan)
Matar /Fresh or frozen peas - 3 handfuls
Frozen / fresh mixed veggies-  1/4 cup (I used baby corn, carrot, beans)
Salt - to taste
Oil - 2.5 TBSP
Onions - 1 small - sliced thin
Spice powders : Coriander powder 2 tsp, Cumin powder 1 tsp, Kashmiri Red chilli powder 1 tsp, Garam Masala 1.5 tsp
coriander leaves for garnish


To grind:
Badam / Almonds - 1/3 cup - soaked in hot water for an hour
Pistachio - 2 tsp
Paneer / tofu grated - 3 TBSP
Kasuri Methi - 1 tsp
Khus khus / poppy seeds - 1 tsp (soaked in hot water for 30 mins)
Onions - 1 large
Tomato - 2 large
Dalchini / Cinnamon - 1/2 inch
garlic pods - 2 large
Ginger - 1 inch 
Green chillies - 2 (adjust spice) - I used the really spicy variety

How to:

Saute the paneer cubes in a tsp of oil till slightly crisp , drain and soak in slightly salted warm water for 3-4 mins. Blanch all veggies with a pinch of salt, drain and reserve. 

In a pan, add 1 TBSP oil, saute all the ingredients under "to grind" one by one except the first 5 ingredients. Let the onions and tomatoes saute well and shrink a bit.  Cool this and grind with the rest of the ingredients to a smooth paste

In the same pan, add the remaining oil, add sliced onions and let them brown a bit, now add the ground paste and saute on low flame for 5-7 mins continuously till the oil separates. Now add the salt and spice powders and mix well. Next add the veggies and mix gently. Finally add the peas and sautéed paneer and adding 3-4 tsp of water to get to a gravy consistency if required, simmer it gently for 2-3 mins. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with Roti / Naan / Plain Pulav too 

June 24, 2019

Quick Besan Pudla with Dill | Gluten Free,Vegan Breakfast | Diabetic friendly food

Besan or Chickpea flour is a versatile GF ingredient that lends itself to both Indian and non-Indian dishes beautifully. Made from grinding Channa Dal / Whole chickpeas, Besan (Hindi) / Kadalmaavu (Tamil) / Gramflour is a choice ingredient to make Bhajiyas (fritters) or Pakoras. Besan Cheela / Chilla is also called Besan Puda / Pudla.  

For diabetics, GF and protein rich dishes make for a wonderful breakfast option. Given that this Cheela (or gram flour crepe) can be made in just 5 mins, I often make it for myself even for lunch. Add any veggies - think bottle-gourd (lauki) / grated carrots / chopped methi (fresh fenugreek) or even fresh dill (Suva bhaji) , this is a great breakfast that tastes yum as it is or with some ketchup / Coriander-mint chutney on the side. 

Do watch the youtube video embedded here and please leave your valuable comments too :-) Thanks ! 

Like the Vegan Tomato Omelette (eggless) , this too is a great option for Bachelors (bachelorettes included :p) or those living in a hostel / Dorm to rustle up something quick and healthy. 

Let’s get to making this Besan Cheela with Dill - a Vegan, GF delicious Breakfast / Snack

Prep time - 5 mins, Cook time - 5 mins, Makes - 3 Cheelas (or Crepes)

What you need:
Gramflour - 1/2 cup
Water - 2/3 cup (or as required)
Salt - to taste
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp (can sub with grated ginger + finely minced green chillies)
Chopped fresh Dill leaves - 2 tsp (can sub with fresh fenugreek or coriander leaves too)
Toasted Sesame seeds - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Roasted Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp (opt. but recommended)
Cooking / baking soda - 1/8 tsp (optional)
Oil - for making the Cheela (approx 1/4~1/2 tsp per Cheela)


How to:
Whisk all the ingredients except dill. Make the batter to a flowing consistency - not too thick or too thin. Add the dill leaves, let it sit for 5 mins.
Pour a ladleful onto a heated tava, don’t spread too thin, drizzle oil around the sides. Let it brown around the edges, flip once and let it cook for 1 more min
Serve hot with green chutney / sauce. 

This goes to week #201 of #FoodieMondayBloghop where Gujarati Cuisine is featured  under the #JamvaChaloJi theme. Theme was suggested by Mayuri.

If you are like us who love Gujarati Cuisine, check out the following Gujarati recipes on the blog:

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