Category Archives: Gluten free

Busy Week Baking!

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It’s been quite a week! The incessant rain, the work at home… And of course, my Kitchen Adventures!

We had a family reunion on Sunday at my aunt’s. It was amazing! Almost everyone was there, together after years! Great conversation, alcohol, food! I was requested to bring along dessert… which I did!

On Sunday – Flourless Orange & Almond Cup Cakes with Ginger & Spice Infused Candied Orange Peels

Then my dietitian, who’s helping me on my weight loss quest (Oh have I been cheating! Luckily she doesn’t follow my blog!), requested me to experiment & work on a few baked goods that are healthy…

On Monday - Whole Wheat, Jowar (Sorghum) & Bajra (Millet) Breadsticks And Whole Wheat & Millet Crackers

On Monday – Whole Wheat, Jowar (Sorghum) & Bajra (Millet) Breadsticks
And
Whole Wheat & Millet Crackers

On Tuesday - Oatmeal & Banana Muffins

On Tuesday – Oatmeal & Banana Muffins

And my Ma & Dad had guests coming over for dinner & guess who was in charge of dessert?

On Wednesday – Mocha Almond Cupcakes

And of course I read up a bunch of recipes & wanted to try them all! Maybe next week?

ūüôā

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Moong Dal Pudlas (Split Green Gram Pancakes)

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I’m back home!

After a month of TLC¬†at my parents’ following a brief illness & ban from the kitchen, I’m up & about & ready to take on the world! I did start making up for the 3 weeks away from my favourite space by making¬†this, &¬†this¬†& of course¬†this¬†over¬†at my parents’!

And now…I’m back in my Odd Hour Kitchen, planning menus, packing lunches for the husband… fun stuff!

Here’s my first dish back ūüôā

Pudlas (Gujarati), Uttapams, Appams & Dosas (South Indian), or Chillas (North India) are various Indian Pancakes or Crepes. The South Indian ones are made with a fermented Rice Flour batter or with Semolina (Rawa). The Gujarati & North Indian ones are made with various Lentils (Dal) or non-fermented Rice Flour batter & even Semolina.

This recipe that I’m going to share with you, is my maternal grandmother’s. She would use Whole Green Gram Beans or Moong,¬†which she soaked overnight. But I didn’t have any ¬†yesterday & I wanted to keep the batter ready in the fridge for this morning’s breakfast, so I want ahead & used the Split Green Gram or¬†Moong Dal.

Moong Dal

These Pancakes are very easy to make & perfect for a heavy breakfast or a light-ish dinner. They use a little oil, but are Carb & Gluten Free… so they aren’t bad for you either! In fact they are high in Vitamins A, B, C & E & Minerals like Calcium, Potassium & Iron. The¬†Dal¬†is rich in Protein & Fibre & a perfect food to help you in your weight-loss regime ūüôā

Ingredients

Soaked Moong Dal

  • 3/4 cup Moong Dal /¬†Split Green Gram (soaked for 4-5 hours)
  • 2 small Onions (finely chopped)
  • 1 inch piece Ginger (finely chopped)
  • 2-3 Green Chillies¬†(finely chopped)
  • 4-5 cloves Garlic¬†(finely chopped)
  • 2 Tomatoes¬†(finely chopped)
  • Coriander¬†(finely chopped)
  • Cumin Seeds /¬†Jeera
  • Salt
  • Oil

Method

The Batter

  1. Grind the Dal in a food procession with the ginger, garlic, green chillies & 1/4 of the onions. Do not add any extra water.
  2. Pour the mixture into a bowl, add the remaining onions, cumin & salt.
  3. The batter is supposed to be a bit thick, like porridge. But, if you feel it is too thick, add a little water.
  4. Heat a flat non-sitck pan or skillet & grease it with a little oil. Drop a ladle-full of the batter as you would normally for pancakes. Sprinkle some tomatoes & coriander. Once you see the edges come away from the pan, drizzle a little oil around the pancake.Carefully flip the pancake to cook the other side.
  5. Serve hot with a Sweet Chilli Sauce or Mint Chutney or Yogurt.

This Recipe makes about 16 Pancakes.

The batter can be stored in the fridge & used over the next 2 days.

A Left-Over Lasagna

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The¬†Mango¬†Season is on it’s way out in the City, but that never stops us at the Vakil household! Each year Ma gets dozens of¬†Pairee¬†Mangoes … sweet with just the right amount of tartness & the pulp not too thick… perfect for the juice & squeezes out batches of¬†Aam Ras¬†(Mango Juice), packs it small boxes & freezes it… to be defrosted & eaten when the craving hits you after the fresh fruit is gone! This¬†Ras, in our Gujju household is eaten as a meal accompanied with either¬†Pooris (small, round, deep fried whole wheat flatbread),¬†Poli¬†(thin, layered whole wheat¬†Roti¬†or flat-bread) or our family favourite¬†Safed / Chokha ni Rotli¬†(cottony soft white flat bread made with rice flour).

Safed / Chokhani Rotli

These Rice Flour “Tortillas” are soft, melt-in-your-mouth, & surprisingly light. You could go through a half dozen of these without even realizing it! And they take on the flavour of Mangoes beautifully.

To make these Rotlis, you basically mix equal parts of rice flour & boiling water to which salt & oil are added, & knead out a soft, firm dough. Then you roll out small, thin rounds & roast them on the tawa¬†or griddle.¬†I’ve never tried making them myself… the process always seemed a little complicated for me! And besides I have to admit, with great embarrassment, that I cannot roll out a perfect round Roti / Rotli / Chapati¬†to save my life!

Yes… this Good Gujarati girl married into a Mighty Maratha family cannot make the traditional, staple, Indian flat-bread ūüė¶

But what I can do is make good use of these beautiful Rotlis on the rare occasion that we have a small batch leftover!

And that’s just what I did… Made a perfect light dinner in this gorgeous cloudy weather, after a long walk through my favourite streets in the City, Hot Chocolate & Contemporary India Art… a lovely evening out & about with my oldest, closest pal! Because guess what? I’m not under¬†house arrest¬†any more!

I made my version of a wholesome, flavourful Lasgna using these beauties!

Note: You could use Whole Wheat or Corn Tortillas instead of the Rice Flour ones.

Ingredients

  • 6 – 9¬†Safed Rotlis
  • 100 gm Cheese (grated)
  • Salted Cracker Crumbs
  • Olive Oil

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Filling

  • 200 gm Cottage Cheese (crumbled)
  • 100 gm Sweet Corn (boiled)
  • 1 Green Capsicum (finely chopped)
  • 1 small Onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated Nutmeg
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

 

 

 

 

 

Sauce

  • 8 – 9 Tomatoes (chopped)
  • 2 Onions (finely chopped)
  • 8 cloves Garlic (finely chopped)
  • 2 dried Red Chillies (torn to bits)
  • 1 teaspoon¬†Kallonji¬†(Onion or Nigella Seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon¬†Jeera¬†(Cumin Seeds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon¬†Ajwain¬†(Carom Seeds)
  • 1 tablespoon¬†Kasoori Methi¬†(dried Fenugreek Leaves)
  • Red Chilli Powder / Chilli Flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Haldi¬†/ Turmeric Powder
  • Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Mixed Herbs
  • 3 tablespoons Tomato Ketchup or Puree
  • Olive Oil
  • Red Wine

Method

Filling

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the filling in a bowl & keep aside.

Sauce

  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan & add the cumin, carom & onion seeds.
  2. When they start to crackle, toss in the dried red chillies, onion & garlic. Saute till the latter are a light gold.
  3. Add tomatoes & salt. Cook till the tomatoes are soft & then add the chilli powder, turmeric, herbs & fenugreek leaves.
  4. Add about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water or stock & the ketchup .Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Pour in the red wine & simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
  6. Remove from the flame, allow to cool & then coarsely process the tomato mixture to make a chunky sauce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Putting it Together

  1. Grease a deep baking dish and arrange a layer of the Rotlis.
  2. Pour some of the tomato sauce over it & then spoon in the filling.
  3. Cover with the tomato sauce, followed by another layer of the Rotlis, sauce & filling & continue doing so till you run out.
  4. Top up with a layer of the tomato sauce. Cover with grated cheese, cracker crumbs, chilli flakes & herbs.
  5. Drizzle olive oil over generously & bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 C for about 25 minutes.
  6. Serve hot with a dollop of hung yogurt whisked together with some chilli flavoured cheese spread.

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This Recipe Serves 4

Kaanda Bhajjias & the Pouring Rain

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The Monsoon has hit the City & the view from my parents’ bedroom is this…

Or a variation of this… Sometimes Darker, Stormier, Rainier & Prettier!

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It’s my favourite time of the year! The incessant rain, thunder, the cool breeze or insane winds, the strange sepia-grey light in the morning, … flooded streets, cancelled meetings, rain holidays, stalled trains, traffic jams not withstanding!

These are the days you want to ditch your umbrella (it wouldn’t stand a chance anyway with the crazy wind!), get into your flipflops, splash into puddles on the promenade by Marine Drive, bite into hot, spicy corn-on-the-cob, roasting slowly & deliciously on charcoal while you get drenched to the bones! Sigh… been a while since I’ve done that!

Right now though, ¬†I’m glad I’m under house arrest & enjoying the rains from the indoors. It has a bit of romance of it’s own… hot cups of coffee or chocolate, music to go with the mood, a good book, a blanket to cuddle into & a Bombay rain staple… Bhajjias!¬†

Bhajjias or Pakoras as they are called up North, are little deep fried crispy pieces of goodness that are perfect with a hot cup of tea in the gorgeous rainy weather! You have Batata / Aloo (Potato), Mirchi (large green chillies), Daal (Lentil), Paneer (Cottage Cheese) & even Bread Pakoras!

But our family favourite… actually the Bombay street favourite… are¬†Kaanda Bhajjias… light, crisp batter-fried Onion Fritters!

With everyone at home on a rainy, rainy Saturday evening, & a rained out India vs Pakistan Cricket Match on TV the weather & mood were perfect for these. And guess what… I could make these as¬†my ban from the kitchen¬†has been lifted!

Ingredients

  • 8 large Onions (finely sliced)
  • 4 Green Chillies (finely chopped)
  • 2 inch piece of Ginger (grated)
  • 2 teaspoons Jeera /¬†Cumin Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Haldi /¬†Turmeric Powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons Red Chilli Powder
  • Coriander Leaves (finely chopped)
  • 5-6 tablespoons¬†Besan /¬†Chickpea Flour
  • Salt

Note:¬†You could increase / decrease the quantity of Green & Red Chillies depending on how spicy you’d like the¬†Bhajjias¬†to be. These were moderately hot.

Method

                                              

  1. Mix together the onion slices, green chillies, ginger, cumin, turmeric, coriander leaves & red chilli powder in a large bowl.
  2. Sprinkle enough Besan / Chickpea Flour to coat the onion slices. Make sure that there is enough to coat & hold the onions together without making it thick & batter-y.
  3. Season with salt & mix well.
  4. Take handful of the onion mixture, squeeze together to make sure it holds its shape & drop into a deep wok of hot oil.
  5. Fry till a deep gold brown & serve hot with Mint Chutney or Spicy Tomato Sauce.

Note:¬†It is very important to season with salt at the very end, just before frying, that way the onions do not lose water into the batter. It’s necessary to keep any moisture away from the batter so that the¬†Bhajjias¬†get all crispy & crunchy ūüôā

This recipe serves 4