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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Oatmeal Cookies (No Sugar & Butter) | Chewy Cookies

Elaborate cooking is worthwhile for many recipes, but some recipes are so simple yet very healthy and tasty too. This is a very simple chewy kinda cookie with oats and banana that  hardly requires any expertise to bake and with fewer ingredients too. These can perfectly serve as breakfast cookies or a yummy snack to school going kids.Oatmeal is rich in fibre and should be included in our daily diet. I don't like porridge and so try different ways to include this in my diet. There is no sugar added or butter in the recipe. Do try & enjoy !!

banana 2
rolled oats 1 1/4 cup
raisins /chocolate chips a handful
vanilla extract 1tsp
salt a pinch

-Process the old-fashioned oats coarsely, or use quick oats. I used a combination  of both quick oats and  old-fashioned oats so skipped pulsing the oats.
-Mash the bananas using a fork until mashed. Add in the vanilla extract.

-Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F and then line a tray with parchment paper.
-Mix the oats with mashed bananas. Stir in the raisins or chocolate chips.
-Scoop a spoonful into the tray and gently shape the sides and top using the back of a spoon or spatula.
-Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes until it starts to leave the parchment paper.
- Cool on wire rack and serve for breakfast or as snack !!!

Servings~12 cookies 

* You can add powdered sugar if its lesser than your desired sweet tooth.I haven't added sugar as I like it mildly sweet and the crunch of raisins makes it perfect.But for kids you should add a little sugar to please their sweet tooth.

Related Posts
Semolina Dates cookies
Nutella Oatmeal Cookies(no bake)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Chilly Chicken | Indo Chinese Appetizer

Chilli Chicken, a popular one in restaurants and a frequently ordered one as well.Kids love this a lot and have made it many times.Initial versions were with food color but now without food color,adding food color doesn't change the tastes but definitely the looks for sure.This recipe is one which has never found a chance to be photographed as mostly whenever its made kids will grab the bowl and are off to finish or when guests arrive and I don't get time to take shots.Some or the other reason until now kept me postponing to post this recipe and now finally few days back,I got a chance to prepare this and kids were away too,so by the time they returned photos were captured.I needn't elaborate (explain) the tastes much as it is well versed with most of the non vegetarians.Do give it  a try if you are looking for a yummy appetizer.Enjoy !!!


for marination
chicken without bones cubed 1 lb
corn flour 2tbsp
wheat flour /all purpose flour 2tbsp
red chilly powder 3/4-1 tsp
lemon juice/vinegar 2tsp
egg white 1
salt to taste

for sauce/gravy
onion 1 peeled and cubed
capsicum /bell pepper 1 cubed
ginger minced 1 1/2 tsp
garlic minced 1 1/2 tsp

soy sauce 3tsp (refer notes)
red chilly sauce 2tsp
corn flour 1 tbsp
oil 4 tbsp

to garnish
cilantro/ spring onion 2tbsp chopped

  • Cut the chicken in small bite size cubes,clean & wash the chicken under running water.Drain water in a colander and keep aside.Prepare a thick marinade using corn flour,wheat flour,red chilli powder,turmeric powder,lemon juice & salt.Add water if required.Add the cubed chicken pieces in it,marinate it for half an hour.
  • Heat oil in a pan and fry the chicken pieces in the oil in batches till golden brown on all sides.Drain on a paper towel.

  • To the same remaining oil,add the minced ginger and garlic.Saute till the raw smell disappears.Add the cubed onions,saute for a minute or so,add the cubed bell pepper /capsicum.
  • Add in the red/green chilly sauce and soy sauce.
  • Mix the corn flour with half a cup of water,stir without lumps.Add to the mixture and keep stirring till the sauce thickens.
  • Now,slide in the fried chicken pieces gently so that it doesn't break.Toss in careful with the sauces,cover for a minute or so till the sauce coats well with the chicken pieces and dries lightly.Switch off flame.
  • Garnish with chopped spring onion or cilantro.
Servings ~ 4 adults

* I prefer shallow frying the chicken pieces but you can always deep fry too.
* You can add 2 drops of red /orange food color to get the restaurant style,but I have omitted.
* In case,you wish to add more spiciness then add 2-3 red dry chillies too.
* If you wish to have more gravy,then add water & corn starch to the sauce accordingly.
* I have used  light soya sauce,if you prefer the dark one then add as per taste.

Chilli Fish
Egg fried rice,
Prawns manchurian
Dragon Chicken 
Soya Manchurian 
Baked vegetable spring rolls
Easy honey Chicken 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Sev (Hot & Spicy) | Indian Savory Snack

Sev is a deep fried snack,noodle like strands made with gram flour and is popular in India for garnishing chats.Though the thinnest mold makes the best sev but in my mold the thinnest is quite thick and so they look almost similar to mixture.Anyways if I get hold of a thin mold sooner,will update pics.Sorry that I couldn't click step by step pics as this was made as a quick snack for kids,will update as and when I make again.Apart from the looks,the taste is just the same as store brought and so kids loved it very much.This hardly requires any preparation time and can be made ready before hand too.Do give this a try and enjoy over your chats or just like that !!!

Adapted  here
bengal gram flour/ besan/kadalamavu 2 cups
black pepper powder 1/3 tsp
asafoetida/ hing 1/4 tsp
red chilly powder 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder 1/3 tsp
garlic powder 1/4 tsp(optional)
hot cooking oil 1 tsp
water 1/2cup + 2 tbsp
oil for deep frying

  • Sift the flour,spice powders,hot cooking oil and salt.Stir well to mix evenly.
  • Add water(1/2 cup )to knead smooth dough.Add another tbsp or 2tbsp of water if required.Adjust salt and add if any required.
  • Use the smallest(thinnest) hole in the mould,fit it with it.(I had slightly bigger hole ones as that was the only available with me,but ideally sev is always thinner)
  • Scoop out dough using a spoon and place in moulds.
  • In the mean time,heat oil 1" deep in a pan/kadai and wait till the oil is hot.(see notes)
  • Hold the mould above the oil and make concrete circles till you cover the whole surface.Using a slotted spoon turn both sides till its turns crisp and golden brown.(Always cook on medium flame)
  • Drain on a paper towel and repeat this process of frying till you finish the whole dough.
  • Wait to cool and then crush gently with hands to desired length.
  • Serve with chai just like that or in bhel puri chat or in  golgappa(pani puris) !!

* The oil shouldn't be too hot nor under heated as well.Just drop a tiny bit in the oil and watch it fluff up to the surface of oil.This is the correct time to know oil is hot.
* If you don't use garlic or don't like the flavor of garlic please leave it out.If you don't find garlic powder,use crushed garlic.

Related Posts
Green spicy chutney for chat
Sweet tamarind chutney for chat
Making own golgappa puris at home
Ola pakavada / Ribbon Pakora (baked & fried version)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Kaya Mezhukuparetti | Raw Plantain Stir Fry

Kaya Mezhukuparetti (Raw plantain stir fry) is a healthy stir fry recipe from Kerala.This is served as a side dish with steamed rice.I wasn't a big fan of this stir fry unless I stayed away from home missing this veggie.Now,this is regularly added in our grocery list whenever we get hold of fresh raw plantains.They provide the daily requirement of dietary fiber and provides more potassium and vitamin A than regular bananas.Try out this healthy stir fry with steamed rice and hope you like it !!!

raw plantain 2
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
salt to taste

for tempering
shallots 6-8
garlic cloves 3-4 large
chilly powder /chilly flakes 1/2 tsp 
dry red chillies 2
mustard seeds 1tsp
curry leaves few
oil(coconut oil preferably ) 2 tbsp

  • Wash and peel/scrape the skin using a knife or you can keep skin too.I usually scrape it gently by pulling out strings so that the very first outer layer is removed.Oil your hands before peeling skin so that it dosen't stain your hands.Cut and soak the thick slices of plantain in a bowl of water or use kanji vellam(cooked rice water).
  • Drain the water and add the pieces ,turmeric powder,salt and 1/4-1/2 cup water just enough to cook the plantains.Cover and cook for 7-8 mins until tender(no over cooking).Drain any left over water,keep aside.

  • Heat a non stick pan,splutter mustard seeds.Add the curry leaves,dry red chillies,shallots sliced,garlic cloves and saute until shallots turn translucent.
  • Add the chilli powder on low flame and saute.Add the cooked plantain.Toss well,add salt.
  • If you wish a very dry version,then stir fry until crisp.(takes about 5 mins on medium high heat) and if you wish a slightly mushy version then cover and cook on low flame for 5 mins.Uncover lid and saute till no moisture left.
  • Serve warm with rice !!

Broccoli Mezhukuparetti

Carrot Mezhukuparetti
Lima Beans Mezhukuparetti
Ivy Gourd Mezhukuparetti

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Eggless Lemon Blueberry Muffins (Wheat flour & No butter )

Blueberries had been always fascinating to my kids ever since they have seen these cute blue beauties.And they like anything baked with blueberries in it.Lemon blueberry bread and these muffins both were equally liked by them, and I feel that's the best compliment you can get as a mother baker.Though I adapted the recipe from here, but I have modified it as per my family's tastes and healthy part in mind.The batter is slightly thick and not ribbon consistency unlike other muffin batter, just to hold the blueberries together in place else they will all sink to the bottom.Hope you try and enjoy as breakfast muffins or as a healthy snack for kids after school !!!

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Baking time ~ 20 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 12 muffins
wheat flour 2 cups
baking powder 2tsp
baking soda 1/2 tsp
salt 1/4 tsp
granulated white sugar 1/2 cup
blueberries, fresh 1 cup
vanilla extract 1 tsp
yogurt, low fat or full fat 1 cup
milk 1/3 cup
lemon zest 2 tsp
oil, any 1/2 cup

Watch on YouTube (I have halved the ingredients and made 6 muffins in the video link)-

  • Wash the blueberries under running water.Toss the blueberries in 1tbsp of flour and set aside.
  • Sift the wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt twice or thrice so that the flour is aerated and the baking powder and baking soda gets evenly distributed.
  • Whip the yogurt with granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved with a wire whisk.Add in the oil and vanilla extract.Keep ready.
  • Add the wet ingredients, mix with dry ingredients and incorporate well with a spatula.
  • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F and line a muffin pan with 12 paper liners.
  • Add in milk slowly(1tbsp each) and keep mixing if the dough turns too thick.I added the whole 1/3 cup milk, you can always add as desired.The batter should be thick but not very, very thick and unlike other batter for cake it shouldn't be of ribbon consistency.Add the lemon zest, mix well.
  • Toss the blueberries and mix to incorporate, but don't let the blueberries get mashed up.

  • Scoop the batter in each muffin liner up to 3/4 full and repeat until you finish filling all muffins.
  • Bake at 375 degrees F for 15–20 mins, or until the tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool on wire rack and serve !!!

Servings ~ 12 muffins 

* You can use all-purpose flour/maida for the same recipe but reduce the baking powder to 1 1/4 tsp rather than 2tsp.
* I have used regular atta flour that we use for making chapathis.
* If you wish the butter flavor, replace oil with butter.1/2 cup of oil is 1 stick butter.

Coconut-Pineapple Tropical muffins
Vanilla Chocolate Layer Muffins
Ice cream Cupcakes
Lemon chocolate chip Muffins
Eggless Apple Cinnamon Muffins
Cottage cheese- Egg Muffins
Strawberry Cupcakes

Monday, September 22, 2014

Achari Chana(Chole) | Chick Peas cooked in Pickled Spices (Step by Step Pics) & Saturday Snapshots !!

Achari Chana (Chick peas in Pickled spices) is a self explainatory dish.This is a well spiced,tangy curry that can evoke our minds and lip smacking good.This is the first time I tried a dish cooked in pickled spices.I should say kids also loved the blend so well that they fished their dinner early unlike other days.I have posted a simple chole curry recipe earlier but this is quite different from the previous one.Thanx Pari for the recipe.Hope you all like it and try at home.Enjoy !!!

This week Saturday Snapshots # week 4 theme was spices.I opted to click fennel seeds as I love this spices very much.Do let me know if you like the shot :)

Adapted Foodelicious
cooked chickpeas/garbanzo beans 3 1/2 cups
onion 2 medium sized
tomato 3
ginger 3 cloves
garlic 2" piece
yogurt 1tbsp(optional)
baby potatoes(boiled) 8-10 (optional)
cilantro /coriander leaves 1 handful
green chillies;vertical slit 6-8
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
red chilly powder 1/4 tsp(optional)
dry mango powder 1/2 tsp (optional)
salt to taste 
oil nearly 1/2 cup

for pickle spices
fennel seeds 1 1/2 tsp
*onion seeds (kalonji) 1tsp
cumin seeds 1 tsp
fenugreek seeds 3/4 tsp
mustard seeds 3/4 tsp

  • Wash and soak the chana or chick peas overnight or 6 hours or 4 hours in hot water.Drain the water and add fresh water.Pressure cook in a cooker with salt for 3-4 whistles on medium flame.
  • Dry roast the spices in a pan and grind them coarsely or smoothly in  powder form.Keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a kadai /wok and add the green chillies vertical slit.Saute for a minute or two till its wilted nicely.

  • In the meantime,add in a blender the roughly chopped onion,ginger and garlic.Grind it smooth and add to the kadai.Saute until the raw smell disappears and the oil separates on top.
  • Also,blend the tomatoes and handful of cilantro/coriander leaves until smooth.Keep aside.
  • Add the ground pickle spices,turmeric powder,chilli powder (if using) and saute till raw smell of spices disappears.

  • Add the tomato cilantro blend,yogurt(if using) and saute until the oil separates on top and is reduced considerably.Add the amchur powder and add salt.
  • Add the cooked chick peas alone without stock and saute with the mixture.
  • Add the stock about 2 cups and cook for 15 minutes until the chick peas gets coated well with spices.Add salt if required.The cooking time may vary as per your desire to have a thick consistency gravy or thin.
Servings 5-6

* The original recipe calls for 4 tomatoes and I used 3 tomatoes and a tbsp of yogurt.You can use yogurt alone too instead of tomatoes or use half of each.
* Use green chillies as per tolerance as this is the only spice in this recipe.
* I have not used onion seeds in the recipe as I didn't have it.If you have it,please use.
* I have omitted dry amchur powder as I added yogurt and the yogurt was sour enough.

Sending this to Saturday Snapshots hosted by Shweta @ Merry Tummy & Sireesha @ Siris Food

Friday, September 19, 2014

Homemade Chocolate-Almond Spread (2 Ingredient Spread) & Homemade Almond Butter

Kids have been always a big fan of nutella and there had been no choice that replaced this.But lately,they started liking a newly introduced spread from stores,a chocolate -almond spread.This spread tasted almost like nutella and now kids have acquired this taste more than nutella.That's the time,I started  thinking of preparing my own batch of homemade spread.I found this was the best way to sneak in almonds to kids.But do you think this is economical? No, dear friends..this is not a right recipe if you are looking to compare costs to the store brought ones.However,am happy with the trial and error recipe that is purely homemade with no much ingredients.And this tastes much better than the store version as this has purely almond butter to enhance the tastes.Do give this a try if you wish to sneak in almonds to kids,Kids will surely love it !!!

to make almond butter
almonds 2 cups
veg oil 2 tbsp

to make chocolate almond spread
milk chocolate bar 7 oz (198g)
almond butter 1 cup (see notes)

Watch on YouTube-

  • Dry roast the almonds in a pan till nicely golden brown. Wait till this is warm, then add to a blender jar.
  • Add the almonds to a blender and grind until smooth (I could get almost smooth but still had very fine grains too. I stopped when my mixer got very hot).Give a break, scraping the sides of the blender and keep running the blender/grinder a couple of times more till the almonds leave out oil and starts to come together.At this point when you can no longer blend it, add the oil as required, little by little.Blend again until you get a smooth finish.Almond butter is ready to use with your favourite recipes, or proceed further to make chocolate almond spread.

-Double boil and melt the chocolate by placing it in a bowl over boiled water.Keep stirring till all the chocolate is melted and is smooth.

-Remove from heat and add the almond butter to this melted chocolate.
-Stir it completely to incorporate well and to get a creamy smooth finish.
-Ready to serve with breads.Cool down completely before storing in bottles.

Doesn't it sound very simple and healthy?? Then go ahead and make your own batch....

Yields ~ a small bottle of 13 oz + about 2tbsp more

* I haven't added any additional sugar as there was enough sugar in chocolate.
* I have used Hershey's milk chocolate bar.You can use bitter sweet or any other whichever you like.Add more
* Almonds should be processed in a blender free of any moisture or water content else the shelf life may not be certain.You can use blanched or whole almonds.I have used whole.
* I have used the whole almond butter prepared from the 2 cups almonds.It yields 1 cup plus of almond butter.
* You can double the recipe and make large batches.
* If you wish to make the consistency slightly thinner,then add more oil and make your desired consistency.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Egg Drop Soup

Do you love sipping soup on a rainy day or cozy day ?? I love to do so,here the temperatures have dropped,its chill in the evenings and days are getting shorter.Looks like winter is early this year.Soups are the best way to keep you warm.Egg drop soup is found commonly in all Chinese restaurants.The egg drop soup can be turned in to a quick dinner by adding cooked chicken or other vegetables.I got hold of "The Chinese Take out Cook book" by Diana Kuan from the library and this book contains many simple to try recipes that I have bookmarked to try.This recipe is also from the same cookbook.This is a very healthy comfort soup,Enjoy !!

Adapted The Chinese Take out Cook book
chicken /vegetable stock 3 cups
chinese rice wine 1/2tsp
fresh ginger grated 1/4 tsp
white pepper ground 1/4 tsp
corn  starch 1/2tbsp dissolved in 3tbsp water
egg 1/2 of 1
sugar 1/2tsp
salt 1/4 tsp or more
scallion chopped from 1 or 2, use only the green part

  • Combine the chicken /vegetable stock,rice wine and grated ginger to a boil.Reduce the heat to simmer and add sugar,salt and pepper powder.
  • Add the corn starch to the simmering soup and stir until it thickens(enough to coat the back of a spoon)
  • In a nother bowl,lightly beat the egg with a fork.Pour it in a steady stream with continously stirring with a long spoon..The egg should cook immediately and strands appear,turn off heat immediately to prevent egg from getting over cooked.Ladle in individual soup bowls and top with chopped scallions and serve.
Serves ~ 4 small bowls 

* You can use other flavorings like cinnamon/cloves/star anise or use all too.
* You can add vegetables like mushrooms or tofu with this soup.

Tomato Soup
Chicken Noodle Soup

Cream of Mushroom Soup
3 C's Soup

Monday, September 15, 2014

Simit ~ A Turkish Bread : Baking Partners Challenge Sept 2014

This month Baking Partners Challenge was baking Simit.This is a turkish sesame seed circular ring bread.Simit is a famous street bread or the poor man's bread.They are dipped in molasses.Simit is generally served plain with tea for breakfast or with fruit preserves or with cheese.The recipe was suggested by Swathi @ Zesty South Indian Kitchen.My kids loved having with nutella.This has a crispy outer cover with soft bread inside.Do give it a try & enjoy !!

Adapted herevideo
bread flour (or use unbleached all purpose flour) 3.5 cups (325 g)
water 1cup + 2 tablespoon
sugar a pinch
instant yeast (use active dry yeast if you don’t have instant yeast in hand) 2 teaspoon/6g

salt 1.25 tsp /1 ¼ teaspoon /6g

for dipping
molasses (use concentrated  jaggery or brown sugar water) 2 tablespoon
water ½ cup
white sesame seeds 2 cups

- (If using active dry yeast, then dissolve yeast in 100 ml warm water and let it stand for 3 min.) 
-In a bowl add flour, yeast, salt and pinch of sugar and mix well.Then gradually add water to form smooth dough,knead well about 10 minutes until the dough is no longer sticky. 

-Cover the dough and leave it in a warm place for 1.5 hours or until doubled in bulk.Turn out the dough into a lightly floured surface and punch down.Knead for 2 min.

-Divide it in 12 pieces(about 45 g each) and shape them in long rolls.
-Take two rolls and form a twisted rope like this.
-Then form this twisted rope in a circle by pressing and sealing the edges together.
-Dissolve the molasses in 1/2 cup water and dip each circular ring in this.
-Keep a plate ready with sesame seeds and roll each dipped simit in sesame seeds.
-Set aside for 20 minutes for second rise on a tray with parchment paper.Simit needs to plumb up little.
- Bake them in 450 F pre-heated oven for 20-25 min or until brown.Cool on wire rack and serve warm with tea !!

Serves ~ 6 simit