Instant Veggie Oats Idli

This is my sons favorite to go snacks. Its quick/healthy and tasty! Best for kids lunches and best meal when you are on the go!

Ingredients:

2 cup Oats

1 cup Semolina

1 cup Yogurt

1 tsp Baking soda

Salt to taste

2 clove crushed garlic

1 finely chopped green chili

1/4 cup grated Carrots

2 tbsp Green peas

2 tbsp Corn

You can add any veggies you want

Method:

In a blender, add oats and make a fine powder of it.

In a bowl, add oats powder, semolina, baking soda, salt, yogurt, water and mix well. Keep aside for 10 minutes. Now add vegetables (optional) like carrots, green chillies, green peas, corn, peppers, etc.

Put this mixture in a grease idli tray and cook them on a steam for about 10-12 minutes.

Serve warm with any chutney 🙂

Happy 11 Months, Dhyan!!

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It’s breaking my heart to know my baby is already 11 months old!! Dont get me wrong, I love him and I love the little funny human being he’s becoming, but I can’t get my head around the fact that he will be a year old and become a toddler!! Where did the last 11 months go? It feels to much shorter! well I should stop feeling like that and just embrace it and enjoy every second with my amazing 11 month old baby!

Despite that, I think he’s at the best stage. I feel like he understands everything now and starts to show so much more of his personality. He is my baby so of course I love every single bit of him!!

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Development: Dhyan is crawling all over the house and running around using his walker. Dhyan is very fast climbing the stairs. Dhyan loves his nursery rhymes and starts waving his arms and shakes it up and down. Dhyan is quite independent and wants to do everything himself. Although he is getting into the point where he wants a play buddy and play dates really help! Dhyan is pulling onto things and standing up, and takes a few steps with assistance.

Height: 31.5 inches

Weight: 24.15 lbs

Clothes: Dhyan is wearing 12-18 month clothes.

15016445_10153976887076643_662382471232373788_oSleep: Dhyan finally learned how to fall a sleep own his own in the pack and play or crib. At times in the middle of the night, he wakes him self up and fusses and ends up in my bed if he doesnt fall back a sleep. Dhyan is early rises and wakes up at 630am everyday.

Eating: My boy loves to eat food! He has been eating 3 meals per day but now we are incorporating more indian foods. He loves eating his cereal in the morning. Dhyan usually gets his veggie khichdi/yogurt in the afternoon. Daal/rice or vegetables/curd rice in the evening. We try to rotate things to keep it interesting for him. Dhyan loves yogurt.. esp. home made yogurt.

Personality/mood: Dhyan is definitely a people person these days. He will just crawl off and go to strangers and make friends. He smiles at everyone he sees and has little bit of temper if he doesnt get what he wants. Dhyan does not like when u do things for him, he wants to be out and about, wants to do things by him self. Dhyan loves play dates and trying to teach him to share everything.

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Loves: Dhyan loves going outside to the park. He loves looking at the dogs and cats, and wants to bring them home. He loves his Hershey kiss soft toy. Dhyan loves reading books and started chewing those too this month. Dhyan loves swimming and bath time. Dhyan loves messing things in the house, getting into kitchen cabinets to pull things out. Dhyan has not been afraid of anything yet !!

Doesnt love: Dhyan doesnt like trying sweet things and drinking milk. Dhyan hates when you take his favorite toy away or books away to feed him or for nap time. Dhyan is getting little fussy with diaper changes and getting out of bath/pool.

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Eggless Pistachio Saffron Ice Cream (No Machine Required)

13083125_10153512866041643_2535508791916905020_nNo ice cream maker? No problem. Out of rock salt? Don’t need it! Everyone thinks making ice cream is so hard and it takes too much time. Not everyone can afford ice cream maker! With all the myths out there I want to set the record straight that if you can bake a cake from a box, then definitely you can make ice cream from scratch! This is a quick easy  10 minute eggless ice-cream recipe that doesn’t really require any special equipment and there are endless possibilities!! it is so incredibly smooth and creamy you would never know it is not churned. After making this recipe, I have stopped buying ice cream from the stores.. Summer is so close and there is nothing better than a frosty scoop of homemade ice cream pulled right from your freezer. It will impress your friends with wide variety of unique flavors! This flavor is my favorite so far! I also like fig and cashew ice-cream.

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Ingredients: 

2 cups of heavy whipping cream

1 cup of condensed sweetened milk

1 tbsp of vanilla extract

1.5 cup of pistachios (crushed)

1 tsp of saffron

Method:

In a large bowl, whip cold heavy whipping cream until you have soft peak. Add your sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract and continue whipping until you have stiff peak. Add 1 cup of pistachios and saffron and continue to whipping until it thickens and you have stiff peak.

Pour into a freezable air tight container. Add left over pistachios on top. Close the container and freeze it approximately 6-8 hours. I usually make it in the evening and freeze it overnight. Serve when it is firm like ice cream consistency.

P.S. You can add any toppings as you wish. I add fig/cashew, peanut butter, nutella, paan masala, strawberry cheesecake, etc..Options are endless.. You can go crazy with it 😉

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Veggie Quinoa Stirfry

12143238_10153448465636643_8625196192330751820_nStir-frys are the best to go meal because they are full of veggies and quick to make! I love making different types of stir-fry but its very easy to consume lots of carbs when you have rice or pasta with it. I have made this quinoa veggie stir-fry that is tasty and curbs all the cravings. This recipe is tweaked little bit to have that indian spicy taste ;).. I also call this my veggie khichdi and its lot more healthier than the rice/lentil one! Hope you love this recipe as much as I do!

Ingredients:

1 onion finely chopped

2 tomatoes finely chopped

1 small zucchini chopped

1 carrot finely chopped

1 cup mushrooms chopped

1 bell pepper finely chopped

4-5 garlic cloves finely chopped

1 cup quinoa

2 tsp chilli powder (adjust according to your taste)

2 tsp coriander-cumin powder

salt (adjust according to your taste)

2 tbsp olive oil

5 cups of water

Method:

In a big pan heat olive oil over medium heat, add onions and saute until translucent. Add tomatoes and cook until oil starts separating. Add all the vegetables and seasonings.  Mix well and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add your quinoa and mix well. Add 5 cups of water and let it cook over medium heat until all the quinoa is cooked well. Take if off heat and serve hot!

Pav Bhaji

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What is Pav Bhaji? Pav Bhaji is the epitome of indian fast food snacks. It is a spicy vegetable stew that you sop up with pillowy bread.It is such a wholesome dish that is also serves as a great substitute for a full meal. Said to have originated as a easy to prepare and quick to eat dish among the mill workers in Bombay and this dish as now won the hearts of billions of people all over the world. It is highly recommended for small evening get together or for family gatherings. Since “Bhaji” is prepared by mashing all the vegetables, it leaves a person clueless to the ingredients used to prepare the dish and is a great way to sneak those veggies into your kid’s meal.

I make a whole batch at a time then it is easily available whenever you want to eat it. You can also make an extra batch and freeze it just in case one day if you don’t feel like cooking, you can have Pav Bhaji 🙂 Lately, this has been my easy to go meal with baby and school. I don’t know where the time goes!

As long as you have Pav Bhaji spice mix readily available on your shelf, and vegetables in the fridge you will be able to make this anytime as quick and very satisfying meal. You can make the Pav Bhaji spice mix at home from scratch or buy it from the indian grocery store.

Ingredients:

3 medium size potatoes – boiled till soft, peeled and well mashed

1/4 cup green peas – boiled till soft, lightly mashed

1/2 cup cauliflower – boiled till soft, well mashed

1/2 cup carrots- boiled till soft, well mashed

1/2 cup eggplant – boiled til soft, well mashed

1/2 cup finely chopped green capsicum

1 cup finely chopped onion

4 medium size tomatoes finely chopped

2 tsp ginger paste

4 tsp garlic paste

2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro (optional if you like it)

2 tbsp pav bhaji masala

1/2 tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp turmeric

salt to taste

2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp oil

1 tsp lemon juice

water

Method:

In a pressure cooker, add all your veggies (potatoes, carrots, peas, cauliflower, capsicum, eggplant) cook until soft and mash all veggies well.

Heat oil & butter in a deep non stick pan on medium heat. Add chopped onions & saute till it turns light brown. Add ginger & garlic paste & saute for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook til the tomatoes become mushy. Add salt, Pav Bhaji masala, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and saute for 2 minutes. Cook this gravy for 15-20 minutes on medium heat. Add your mashed veggies to this gravy and mix well. Cook the bhaji for another 15-20 minutes, add little water if it becomes too dry. Adjust salt to taste, add cilantro and lemon juice. Mix all the ingredients well and cook for another 5 minutes. Yummy bhaji is now ready! Serve with an extra dollop of butter on top, lemon wedges and fresh or toasted thick white bread.

You can eat Bhaji with any type of bread you like! I personally like Hawaiian rolls or regular white bread. My dad likes his bhaji with sourdough bread. So just take any bread you like, apply some butter and cook both sides well on stove

Here is the recipe for the spice mix if you want to make it at home.

Pav Bhaji Spice Mix 

4 tbsp coriander seeds

2 tbsp cumin seeds

2 tsp fennel seeds

4 star anise

2” piece cinnamon sticks

6 dry red chillies

4 cardamon pods, seeds removed

12 cloves

1 tbsp turmeric powder

2 tbsp mango powder

Method

Dry roast everything excluding mango powder and turmeric powder. Let the ingredients cool little bit then blend into fine powder. Add turmeric and mango powder and mix well.

P.S. Make this in advance so you can use it anytime. Store in an air tight container.

Khandvi- Seasoned Chickpea Rolls

12096008_10153152417866643_5693278565030826979_nIt feels like forever since I have made something unique in the kitchen. After 32 weeks, its getting harder and harder to juggle between work, grad school, house chores and everything.. phew! Where do I begin. Somedays I am so exhausted that I just want to sleep all day. I still have a nursery to get ready and only have less than 7 weeks left. It is amazing how I like to challenge myself in the kitchen these days. There is always a certain sense of pleasure that I get our of such challenges and it is always worth the effort after I see a smile on my hubby’s face as he enjoys the dish. I don’t think I can remember when last time I made khandvi. It is not one of the easiest snacks to prepare but I have found a quick and easy way to do it. Khandvi is a healthy finger food from state of Gujarat in India and it is made with plain sour yogurt and chickpea flour.

Getting the batter ready is the quickest part in the recipe. In fact, the whole process of making khandvi should not take more than 15 minutes. The first tricky part is to know when the batter is fully cooked and has right consistency. The second tricky part is to spread it evenly and quickly into a think layer on foil. Then let the thin layer spread cool on the foil and then start rolling it into rolls. Thin layers are very delicate and if you hurry, it will break apart. Patience is not always my strong point! But if I can do it, then I am sure you can also!

Ingredients:

1 cup chickpea flour/ besan

1/2 cup sour plain yogurt

2 cups of water

1 tsp asafoetida/hing

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp ginger paster

1 tsp green chili paste

1 tsp salt (to taste)

1 tsp olive oil

For Tampering:

1 tsp mustard seeds

2 tsp sesame seeds

2 green chillies, finely chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp shredded coconut (optional)

freshly chopped cilantro for garnish

 

Method:

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together (chickpea flour, yogurt, water, salt, ginger-chilli paste, turmeric powder, and oil. Mix well with a hand blender until its smooth and does not have any clumps.

In a medium pot over medium high heat, pour this batter and bring it to boil, stirring vigorously making sure the batter cooks well. Cook this mixture for 15 minutes or until a tbsp of the amount, spread on a foil and leave to cool for a minute. Try to peel it and if it peels off easy then the mixture is cooked properly.

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On a large foil piece, pour a ladleful of this batter and spread it as thin as possible with the back of a large flat spoon. Spread it as thinly as you can. Let it rest for 2-3 minutes.

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Using a knife, cut 1 inch long strips and very gently roll the strips. Place each roll in the serving plate.

For tampering, heat oil in a small skillet and add mustard seeds, sesame seeds, chopped green chillies. Once it starts splattering, turn off the heat and spread it evenly on the rolled khandvi. Garnish it with chopped cilantro and serve immediately.

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Ragi Laddu (Finger Millet ladoo)

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You may be wondering whats Ragi? I have seen this flour in the store but never attempted to make anything until now. After moms surgery, I thought of making these ladoos for her quick recovery. Ragi flour is known for many reasons and its benefits and used in many south indian dishes.

1. it is rich in iron and can prevent anemia and can improve hemoglobin levels.

2. It is an excellent source of vitamin B complex.

3. It contains important amino acids like leucine, Isoleucine which are not present in other starchy foods.

4. It is one of the richest source of calcium and potassium.

Ragi has a unique taste and you may not like it if you try to change the recipe. I have made this dish using various different ingredients that would mask the taste of ragi. I have also used less ghee and minimal amount of jaggery to make it healthier. If you are use to cooking sweets, this is pretty quick easy dish to make and quite yummy.

Ingredients:

2 cups of Ragi flour/ Finger millet flour

1 cup of white sesame seeds

1 cup of desiccated coconut

1 cup of peanuts

1-2 cup of jaggery (you may adjust as per taste buds, i dont like mine too sweet)

1-2 tbsp of ghee for jaggery syrup

2 tbsp of ghee for rolling the balls

6-8 cardamom powder (grind it finely)

Instructions:

You have to dry roast coconut, peanuts and sesame seeds separately in a medium pan and set it aside to cool. After roasting peanuts, remove the skin of the peanuts. While dry roasting all the ingredients make sure not to burn them. In a dry blender jar, add all the dry roasted ingredients and make a coarse powder. Add ragi flour, cardamom powder and blend again until mixed properly. Heat jaggery in a medium pan on a low flame until it reaches 1 string consistency. Add 1 tbsp ghee to the jaggery and mix properly. Turn off the heat and add the ragi flour little by little and mix well. Make sure there are no lumps. Grease your palms with ghee and take small portions of this hot mixture and roll them into golf size balls. Do not let the mixture rest, otherwise it dries up and you wont be able to form balls. After making all the balls, store in an airtight container and will be good for couple of weeks.

P.S. You can adjust the sweetness as you wish and add more ghee if the mixture is too dry when you are rolling it.

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Dosa Batter

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Dosa is a thin, delicate crepe like bread made from fermented batter. The batter is usually made completely gluten free, with rice and lentils. The batter ferments and rises as it rests for many hours in a particular temperature and is then cooked in a hot skilled to make it crisp, thin crepes. This crepe is a staple food in most southern indian states, and very popular street food all over india. If you are craving dosa, but don’t live in a part of the world where you can get it easily, consider trying out this simple dosa batter recipe. Dosa is rich in carbohydrates and protein and is usually prepared for breakfast or dinner. It is stuffed with seasoned potatoes or cottage cheese and served along with sambhar or chutney.  I grew up eating dosa and all I can say is my mom has the best recipe. It never fails, I always get perfect dosas :).

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Ingredients:

1 cup of black gram aka urad dal

4 cups of rice

4-5 cups of water

Heaping teaspoon of salt

Method:

Soak the urad dal and rice separately over minimum 4 hours, I usually soak it overnight. Drain the excess water and place the soaked lentils in grinder. Add little water at a time and grind until it reaches a smooth consistency. You want to keep it thick pancake batter consistency.  Transfer all the batter into a large bowl. Add little salt to the batter and mix it all together using your hands.

I usually place my batter into a large plastic bowl and cover the lid and leave it overnight for 7-8 hours for fermentation. The fermenting time differs depending on the temperature and weather conditions. During the summer time, fermentation usually takes 5-6 hours and during winter time, fermentation process usually lengthens by 3-4 hours. The final fermented batter should be slightly frothy and airy, and should have almost doubled in volume so make sure to put it in a large container. After the batter is fermented, it may be refrigerated if you are planning to make it later. I usually store my batter for couple of days.

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The batter should get little thicker after fermentation process. I recommend adding just 2-3 tbsp of water so you can spread the batter easily on the skillet.

Cooking the Dosa: 

229614_10151379899371643_1806327491_nHeat a large non stick skillet approx. 10 inch on high heat. Once the skillet is hot, reduce the heat to medium. With a ladle, pour approximately 1/4 cup of batter in the pan. Immediately, starting from the center, spread out the batter while moving the ladle in close concentric swirls. Increase the heat of the stove a tiny bit and drizzle a few drops of oil evenly on the Dosa. Cook until the Dosa turns golden. You will see the edges slightly curling and releasing itself from the pan. This is the time to stuff the dosa with your desired topping.

11021064_10152655258586643_5597285675182319602_nWhen you can lift the Dosa off the pan easily with a spatula, the Dosa is done!. You can roll, fold the dosa as you like after you add your stuffing.

10337728_10152904952606643_469636543098010329_nServe hot! Serve it along with your favorite stuffing and chutney. If you leave the dosa then it gets soft. I would recommend making as you go so you can enjoy nice and crispy Dosa!

P.S. You can use the same better for Idli and Uttapam

Blueberry Vanilla Smoothie

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Everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but that doesn’t make preparing and eating it any easier. The struggle of getting ready for work in the morning usually means this critical meal is skipped. On the days I have to go to work, I want something that is quick, simple and easy!. This recipe pretty much covers it all and its quite addicting!

Fun fact: Did you know blueberries are ranked number one in antioxidant activity compared with 40 other fruits and vegetables.

Ingredients: 

1/2 cup blueberries

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt

1 cup almond breeze vanilla almond milk

1 tsp of chia seeds

Method:

Place all the ingredients besides chia seeds into blender and blend until smooth. Add more milk if your smoothie is too thick. Sprinkle chia seeds and blue berries on top! Enjoy!

P.S. Feel free to add scoop of your favorite protein powder if you’d like more protein in your breakfast. If you like it chilled, then add frozen blueberries.

Vegetable chilli cheese toast

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This is my moms on the go recipe. She makes this dish all the time when we are traveling or in need of quick healthy snack. This recipe is quick and easy snack or appetizer. It is as simple as topping bread with mixture of vegetables, cheese and baking it until bread is crisp and cheese is melted. I like to add red chili flakes and crushed green chillies to make it spicy. Adding some onions, bell peppers, mushrooms gives it nice crunch and color. You can add any vegetables on this dish as you wish. Its perfect snack/appetizer dish and quite filling.

Ingredients:

4-5 bread slices (whichever bread you prefer)

1 cup Mozzarella cheese

1 medium capsicum chopped (half red/half green to make it more colorful)

1 medium onion chopped

4-5 mushrooms chopped

2-3 garlic cloves finely chopped

2-3 green chillies finely chopped

2 tbsp butter

2 tsp olive oil

salt per taste

2 tsp black pepper

Method:

In a medium pan, heat 2 tsp olive oil. Add garlic, green chillies, onions and sauté until soft and translucent. Add all your vegetables and seasonings and sauté for 1 minutes while stirring continuously until everything is mixed well together. You don’t want the vegetables to cook all the way. Turn off the heat and set the stuffing on the side to cool. Once the stuffing is cool, add the cheese and mix well.

Pre heat oven at 400 degree Fahrenheit. This time I used sour dough bread slices but I usually prefer whole wheat bread. Apply light butter on all the slices. Now with the help of spoon spread the vegetable cheese mixture on each of the slices. Put all the slices on a oven tray and bake for 5 minutes at 400 degree Fahrenheit. Keep an eye on toast while they are baking. when the cheese melts and turns slightly golden, turn off the oven and place the vegetable chilli cheese toast on a serving plate. Delicious veggie chilli cheese toast is ready! Serve them hot with green chutney or tomato ketchup.

P.S. This is quick and easy snack for picnics or party appetizers. I usually make them for mid afternoon snack or Sunday brunch with any kind of soup. You can sprinkle red chilli flakes on top if you like more heat.

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