Khaman

20106562_10154656425331643_4188270816247224905_nKhaman, a Gujarati traditional dish is a savory snack made out of gram flour. It is steamed and is typically served during breakfast or dinner. Since it is made out of chickpea flour it is rich in proteins and carbohydrates. Soft, spongy and delicious they also make a great mid-afternoon or tea time snack. Gram flour is a food with very low glycemic index, which is very healthy and good for diabetics.

This is one of the side dishes I learned from my grandmother. My grandmother is an expert at making Khaman. I have attempted many times but never could recreate this dish perfectly. Khaman are very tricky to make. You can easily make mistake if there is even slight change in one of the ingredients. Khaman needs to be cooked properly and they only tastes good if they are soft and spongy. Everyone has different ways of making this dish.

Remember that tadka/seasoning is important and needs to be done the right way. My grandmother has unique concept of seasoning which is adding the sugar in the tadka. When this is poured over the steamed Khaman, they give it a wonderful sweet and tangy flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Gram flour/Besan
  • 2-3 tbsp Sugar
  • 0.5 tsp citric acid (nimbu ke phool)
  • 3/4-1 cup Water
  • 1.5 tsp of fruit salt (ENO) – goes in right before you steam (LAST INGREDIENT to be added)
  • 0.5 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder

For tempering 

  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp Sesame seeds
  • 2-3 green chillies chopped
  • 2-3 Dried red chillies (optional)
  • 3-4 tsp Oil

Garnish 

  • 1-2 Tbsp Grated coconut (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp Cilantro (chopped) (optional)

Method:

  • In a big bowl, add all the batter ingredients besides fruit salt.  Add water and whisk it well. This batter should be smooth and medium in consistency. when you use a ladle to pour it should fall in dollops.
  • Heat a pressure cooker with enough water in the bottom or you can use steamer. Grease a round container that fits in the pressure cooker/steamer.
  • Note: I use the round steel vessel that is used for cooking rice in the cooker. if you don’t have it than you can use a those metal cookie containers as long as they fit in your pressure cooker/steamer.
  • once the steamer is hot, add your fruit salt and mix it well.
  • Transfer the prepared batter to the round container, steam for 10-11 minutes. If you are using pressure cooker then you should use the weight/whistle. Remember after the Khamans are steamed they will puff up. It is really important to close pressure cooker/steamer properly. Khaman will not rise if the steam pressure is leaking out on the side.
  •  To check if they are cooked take a clean knife or toothpick. When inserted into the center it should come out clean. If khaman is not cooked properly your knife/toothpick will be sticky with batter stuck on it.
  • Take the round plate out and keep it aside. Let Khaman cool down completely before you can cut them into squares. 

Seasoning/ Tadka

  • Heat oil in a small pan and add the mustard seeds. Let the mustard seeds crackle. Add the green chopped chillies.
  • Slowly add the water and turn off the heat.
  • Using a small spoon pour it evenly over the steamed and cooled khaman. Let it rest for a little while.
  • Cut them into desired shapes squares and garnish with coriander leaves and coconut before serving.

Ready to Serve. You can eat khaman by itself or with mint cilantro chutney.

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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 🙂

Garlic-pesto cheesy pull apart bread

14468537_10153844925526643_2008414953671741295_oI have full on confession to make. I think I have eaten almost half of this loaf of pull apart bread all by myself. LOL! Bread-Cheese-Pesto-Butter-Garlic. <-Five out of the six best things known to man all stuffed inside on recipe. The last one is chocolate, incase you are wondering 😉

When it comes to food, I can practice self control all I want until garlic bread is involved. At that point, all rhyme or reason go flying out the door and a big hunk of garlic bread heads straight into my mouth. You guys. We’re suppose to be making a salad today. SALAD. How did the word ‘salad’ evolve into garlic-pesto cheesy pull apart bread? Wait.. who cares HOW it happened. Fresh whole milk mozzarella cheese, tons of chopped garlic, fresh pesto, a little butter, and lots of fresh herbs all stuffed inside a country style loaf. You like me just a tad bit better now don’tcha?

This is one of the most FUN garlic bread recipes to serve your guests. Let’s admit it, as tasty as regular old garlic bread is, it’s not the center of attention. This crack bread stuffed with cheese is possibly the coolest centerpiece to serve when you’ve got guests over. Just a quick garlic butter action stuffed inside diagonally cut bread and then pesto and cheese it up and voila! Pull apart garlic bread! I sometimes want to be über selfish and share just 1 cutout with the hubby and binge eat the rest. When it comes to garlic bread, i’ve got major issues.

Not only is it fun to eat it’s also easy to make. The hubs loved this recipe so much that he’s VOLUNTEERING to make this next time we have company. I think he wants to wow them with his garlicky bread skills. This pull apart bread recipe is super fun to make if you’ve got any little ones around. They can totally help stuff the mozzarella cheese into the cuts. Also how perfect is this for when football season starts? I don’t think anyone would actually be watching the game if you serve this cheesy garlic pesto bread though. It’s truly the MVP.

I’m going to dare you to NOT eat this straight from the oven. Waiting to dig into this pull apart bread until after I had taken the pictures was hard, not gonna lie. When perfectly melted mozzarella is oozing out of crispy bread and roasted garlic pesto butter whispers your name, one can only practice so much self control.

Let me cure your midweek blues, all you need is a little pull apart bread in your life.

14425443_10153859164651643_8444516999998450029_oIngredients:

10 garlic cloves finely chopped

1/2 cup parsley finely chopped

2-3 tbsp frest pesto

2 tbsp olive oil

1 small loaf country or sour dough bread

2 tbsp butter

salt to taste

4 ounces deli sliced mozzarella cheese (or shredded)

Method:

  1. Combine the garlic cloves, parsley, and olive oil in a small food processor until the garlic breaks down into small pieces. If you’re using sliced mozzarella, stack the cheese slices and cut into 1 inch squares.
  2. Heat the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. When the butter melts, add the chopped garlic mixture to the butter along with a pinch of salt and allow the mixture to cook for 2 minutes, stirring as necessary so the garlic does not brown. Remove from heat. Let it cool and add fresh pesto to it.
  3. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375ºF. Using a sharp serrated knife, make 1 inch diagonal cuts across the loaf of bread making sure you don’t cut the bread all the way through. I have used both slices and shredded cheese to make it extra cheesy 😉
  4. Use a spoon to drizzle the garlic butter into the the cuts of the bread. Stack 3-4 cheese squares and place them in the cuts. Place the garlic bread on a sheet of foil and fold up the sides. Use a second piece to cover the top (we’ll be removing this later). Allow the bread to bake for 10 minutes. Remove the top piece of foil and allow the bread to bake for another 10 minutes or until the cheese melts completely. Serve warm.

Jalapeño Cheddar Blackbean Wrap

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Lately with busy hectic schedule I really love effortless meals. At least once a week, I make a big batch of veggies prepped for whole weeks worth of wraps and sandwiches. They are easy to grab and go meals and very healthy/low cal. You can mix and match different ingredients and swap out different veggies to make it creative. You can get creative using different types of beans, quinoa, millet, grilled tofu, grilled portabella strips or fajita veggies. Theses are practically effortless and totally delicious!!

Ingredients:

Mission jalapeño cheddar wrap tortillas

1/2 cup black beans

Onion (sliced)

Tomatoes (sliced)

Lettuce (shredded)

Bell pepper (sliced)

1 tbsp sour cream

2 tsp sriracha sauce

Method:

Take the tortillas and add all your ingredients and wrap it up! Grill it on stove and serve it hot!

Veggie Avocado Puff Pizza

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Everyone loves pizza! It doesnt matter if you have tomatoes and mozzarella or cover it in 10 different kinds of vegetables/tofu. No matter what combination of toppings you like, that pizza is going to be devoured. I am so use to eating outside pizza but since I started making pizza dough at home, I dont miss outside pizza anymore. Plus homemade dough is better if you are watching your diet. I love baking with puff pastry because it is so versatile. The puffed pastry does most of the work. I use to make puff pastry dough at home but since now its so easy to go grab it from the store, I have given up making it at home. Puff pastry is amazing because you can make anything you like with it, sweet or savory. You can make turnovers, tarts, pizza, puffs, cheese straws, etc. All these things can be made quickly in very short time. When I make puff pizzas, I get very creative. At times I use red sauce, pesto sauce, white sauce, truffle oil, etc. I get creative with toppings too. You can basically make it anyway you like. Use whatever your heart desires. So far my fav is this one, so I thought to share this combination with you 😉 Grab some plates! Pour some wine! Invite your friends and enjoy this delicious pizzas 😉

Ingredients:

1 whole sheet frozen puff pastry

olive oil for brushing

1/2 cup fresh mozzarella grated

olives finely sliced

onions finely sliced

tomatoes finely sliced

avocado finely sliced

2 gloves garlic minced

1 jalapeno pepper finely sliced

salt and pepper to taste

2 tsp truffle oil to drizzle on top

Method:

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Thaw the puffed pastry on the counter for 30 minutes. When thawed, carefully open the sheet, then slice it in half down the middle. Place both halves on a baking sheet lined with parchment or aluminum foil. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, then start prepping the pizza toppings.

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Brush a thin layer of olive oil on the puff pastry. In the middle layer all your toppings(olives, onions, tomatoes, jalapenos, avocados). Add cheese on the top. Add salt and pepper according to your taste. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes. Pastry could go crazy and puff up in the unwanted areas but dont worry when you take it out it will all settle in the right place.

Remove from the oven and drizzle truffle oil and allow the pizzas to settle for 5 minutes before serving.

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P.S. I did not add any sauce this time because i love the taste of truffle oil. You can add red sauce, white sauce, pesto sauce, etc. Basically you can get creative with this pizza. Just remember to go light with the sauce and cheese, The star of the pizza really is the puffed pastry it self!

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.

Avocado toast with infused truffle oil

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I am not much of a standard sandwich eater, but I love toast. Not boring white bread toast spread with a pat of butter. Some snacks are so simple, so easy, that you totally forget about them! Avocado toast is the simplest of toasts and the best of toasts, perfect for a quick breakfast, snack, lunch or dinner. It can even an appetizer if it’s served immediately after it is prepared.

Ingredients:

1 Whole Avocado

2 Whole wheat bread, sliced or Any bread you like (I love Tomato basil  & Sourdough bread)

1 tsp Truffle oil

1 tsp Olive oil

Sea salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Lemon juice to taste

Additional toppings, all optional: red pepper flakes, hot sauce, greens, shaved radish, asparagus or carrots, mushrooms, eggs, onions, cheese ( any type you like).

Method: 

Toast your slices of bread well. I love mine extra crispy! Slice the avocado in half, lengthwise, and remove the pit. Use a big spoon to scoop out the flesh. Slice the avocado. Slice your vegetable of choice, I only like to tomato with this combination. After toasting you bread, add avocado slices and tomato slices. Drizzle olive oil & truffle oil. Add salt, pepper and hint of lime.

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Oatmeal Lactation Cookies

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Here is my take on lactation cookies: I am not sure if the COOKIES really work, but i do believe that the key ingredients (Oats, Brewers yeast, Coconut oil, Flax) work. Cookies are just an awesome way to eat all of them together ;). Oatmeal is amazing for helping with milk supply! if you don’t want to eat the cookies, then eat your oatmeal every morning, if you have time to make it every morning lol. Since delivery I feel like I am constantly hungry, like had never been so hungry in my life. Cookies are just easy and quick to grab and eat, especially middle of the night.

Some days its so crazy with Dhyan in the mornings, I don’t eat until 2pm and then I get really sick to my stomach. I feel like babies are energy draining and for survival at night when you are starving, these cookies are the best and quite filling! I have looked at many recipes and this is my own version. I have tried making them healthier.

These would be great gift to a new mom. You can make a batch and freeze the dough so you can make it anytime you want. If you are like me on time crunch, I make a ton together on a weekend and have it for the whole week or two.

Ingredients:

3 cups of old fashioned rolled oats

1.5 cup all purpose flour

3 tbsp brewers yeast

3 tbsp ground flaxseed

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 cup of ghee

1 cup of brown sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp of vanilla extract

1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, four, yeast, flax seed powder, soda, and salt.

In a kitchen aid bowl, beat ghee and coconut oil on medium until creamy. Add in the sugar and beat on medium to high until fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until all ingredients are combined. Gradually add in the dry ingredients and mix until combined well. You can add chocolate chips or raisins if you wanted to at this point. Scoop the dough into 1 inch rounds and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the bottoms are just golden. Let it cool completely before storing in a sealed container.

P.S. You can freeze the dough up to 2 weeks and bake them later if wanted. If you don’t thaw the dough prior baking then you may want to bake for extra 2-3 minutes. You can increase or decrease the sugar as you like. 

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Tofu Buffalo Wings

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We tried this new restaurant in easton called Melt. They have amazing vegan/vegetarian options. They have the best tofu buffalo wings. After trying them at the restaurant, I decided to give it a go and try it at home. These are great snacks for game day/super bowl 🙂 Great appetizer to serve when you have friends/family gatherings.

Ingredients:

1 block extra firm tofu (pressed for couple of hours to remove excess water)

2 large eggs

1 cup of bread crumbs (plain or italian)

1/2 cup of all purpose flour

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp chilli powder

Canola oil for frying

Buffalo hot sauce

Dipping sauce- Ranch dressing

Method:

After the tofu has been pressed, cut into thick strips. Heat oil in large frying pan while you are prepping the tofu. Add your seasoning in bread crumbs if you have plain bread crumbs. Coat tofu in all purpose flour, then dip it in egg and then bread crumbs. Make sure the all sides of the tofu is covered in bread crumbs. When oil is hot, add breaded tofu strips and cook until crispy on all sides. Drizzle buffalo hot sauce on the fried tofu. Serve hot with ranch dressing.

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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