Thursday, 26 March 2015

Hazelnut Butter, Buckwheat and Honey Cookies

"Cookies were much better eaten then sold, and they were best homemade" - Jesse Haubert 

"Cookies make everything better", that was my belief when I was young, mostly while feeling not well, but for daughter and hubs, cookies make everything better whether they feeling fine or not, unless I become a party pooper and ruin their fun in indulging those cookies.

Surely I can't deny that even one cookie or biscuit does wonders, brings great joy and happiness on a little kid's face when they steal one cookie from the jar! Definitely cookies bring enormous satisfaction, changes our moods and cheers us up, sadly for not long though. maybe store bought cookies can provide a convenient sugarfix and satisfy our sweet tooth, but these sweet disks also pack staggering amounts of fats. sugar and many nasty preservatives which can be harmful to our bodies.
C is for cookies, in this case also comes for calories too, so on my most shopping trips I do make sure to steer clear of those cookies and biscuits isles.

The quarter year of the 2015 went by was such a mixed bag. While my shoulder surgery date was not that far, so I was at little ease thinking that daughter will help me out at home but she came with the flu and fever ( she caught new type of flu ). It took her more than a week to recover and luckily after my surgery I did not have to stay in bed for so long. Then, she came home with sprained ankle while dancing on bollywood beats at HOLI celebration, limping on one foot and still stubborn cough of hers not leaving too, Hey Ma, Mataji ( Oh God ). Poorly daughter was craving for junk and asking me to for chips, pizza and donuts, sudden incident came in front of my eyes, few decades ago I became ill and asked Mum if she can get me Parle Glucose Biscuits ( one and only brand biscuits available in those days ), I got it, but I had to plead for it. Things are totally differs here, my kids doesn't have to plead, just a request.

Well, I did not run to the shop to get junk, but thought of a baking feel good factor cookies for her and carefully chose few healthier ingredients and churned out some fabulous treats for whole family.
I am looking forward to making some more recipes with Nut butter and buckwheat flour soon, but I figured I'd started my Nut butter adventure with these Hazelnut Butter, Buckwheat and Honey washed it down with glass of milk and we big kids thoroughly enjoyed with a cuppa..that one is one of healthy little pleasure on our face !!

These chubby and plump, crispy outside, soft inside, nutty and wholesome cookies came out of my oven, few weeks back, (yes, surely I do take my time in posting recipes). Surely these cookies can take one's taste buds to next level. I never thought that I'll be able to make a good cookie which can be utterly addictive. In these cookies added protein rich hazelnut butter and ditched butter, also clearly excels robust flavours of buckwheat and honey in them and the occasional burst of cinnamon sugar gives nice little kick, so it was perfect in my book !

print recipe

Hazelnut Butter, Buckwheat and Honey Cookies
These chubby and plump, crispy outside, soft inside, nutty and wholesome cookies can take one's taste buds to next level.
  • 1 cup Hazelnut Butter
  • 3/4 cup Buckwheat Flour
  • 1/4 cup Rolled oats
  • 100ml Rich Honey for Baking
  • Pinch Fine sea Salt
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 2 tsp. Cinnamon Powder
  • 3-4 tbsp. Caster Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
Dry roast buckwheat flour and rolled oats for 3-4minutes.In a big bowl add buckwheat flour, oats, salt and baking powder and whisk together.In another big bowl combine Hazelnut butter, Vanilla , honey and flour mixture. . Stir vigorously for 20-30 seconds and form a dough.Take one teaspoon and form the cookie dough into small balls.Mix sugar and cinnamon powder and coat balls into.Place cookie balls on a lined baking sheets at least 2 inches apart.Bake cookies in a preheated oven on gas mark 3-4 for 18-20 minutes.Keep rotating the baking sheets from front to back once or twice until cookies are slightly cracked and puffy.Let the cookies cool completely.Enjoy !
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12-14 cookies

Thank you for stopping by and reading this post :)

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Dill Stir Fry - Dill ( suva ) sabzi or sabji

"Because when I shop, world gets better ! It's one of the historic or old time stereotypes, but it's also probably one of the most accurate that women love to shop."

I don't let go of any opportunity if comes to my way of shopping, that does not make me shopaholic, but certainly I absolutely enjoy shopping. In the past Mum and now daughter, it's all in our genes, however not in those category where lot of women shop until they drop. Since I was a little girl, I enjoyed going shopping, while I was young, colourful toys and books were catching my eyes, in teenage days had an insatiable hunger for shoes, bags and sparkly things, after getting married kitchen and home departments draws my attention and currently I can not resist myself in buying small and cute props for my blog, although my shopping pattern changed time to time, only one thing never changed that to go to food markets or grocery stores..fresh produces always attracts me, whether I was young girl, teenage or now as woman. I never thought of a going to sabji bazaar ( food markets ) as a chore or any kind of a burden. Actually I started doing our grocery shopping, since I was 13-14 and by age of 16-17 it was my responsibility was to decide what dinner will be and what to get to prepare for it, somehow mum knew that I can handle cooking department with ease :)

In the food markets or grocery stores I behave like a kid in a candy store, with a range of fresh ,colourful produces almost makes me drool, particularly green and leafy vegetables makes my eyes twinkle,  automatically I get pulled towards  it and I get carried away in filling my basket. Fresh spinach, fenugreek bunches, amaranth leaves, mustard leaves and herbs like coriander, mint and parsley are regular items in my food list, nonetheless I missed out a lot on Dill ( suva bhaji ), and barely brought it to my kitchen, although I knew how brilliant Dill can be for us, it's a unique healthy herb.

We hardly ate Dill, because I didn't have many recipes simple as that, maybe once or twice in a year when I prepare Tzatziki, until my fellow blogger and close friend Nivedita gave me this recipe last year. Without any further delay I fetched one bunch only for myself, and prepared Dill sabzi same evening. While I was cooking, hubs entered the kitchen and looked intrigued, told him wait until you try. after trying one spoon, he asked me can you make it again ? He said oh boy, what a tremendous taste it was :) Well, I had to broadcast this news to daughter, studying far from home, her replying text was "next week I am coming home, prepare it then! " Still I prepared this sabzi next day for hubs and son, we were hooked on it and surely hungry for more Dill recipes :)

When daughter first ate this sabzi, she couldn't believe how good it tasted. She described the flavour as fresh yet totally flavourful. She immediately said that this dish had to stay on the menu! When I told her how easy the dish is to make and how little ingredients went into the dish she was amazed! She was surprised that a sabzi could be made out of a herb !!!!!

Abounding of nutrients, fresh and tasty Dill sabzi nothing but a full of goodness. So simple to make,you cannot wish for anything better !

print recipe

Dill Stir Fry - Suva Bhaji
Abounding of nutrients, fresh and tasty Dill sabzi nothing but a full of goodness. So simple to make, you cannot wish for anything better !
  • 4 Dill bunches
  • 8-10 Green chillies (hot )
  • 12-15 Garlic cloves
  • to taste salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Coriander and cumin powder
  • 4-5 tbsp. Oil
Wash the dill leaves with water, and roughly chop them and crush chilies and garlic cloves.Heat oil in a heavy bottom kadai or pan, add crushed garlic and chilies.Saute for few minutes, till garlic turns light pink start adding chopped dill leaves.Keep stirring and mixing dill leaves.Add turmeric powder and coriander and cumin powder. Keep mixing the sabzi for 2-3 minutes, add salt.Cook sabzi about 8-10 minutes.Switch off the heat.Serve hot with Roti or Paratha and salad.Enjoy !
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4-6 servings

Friday, 20 March 2015

Mushroom, Green Peas in Apricot and Cashew Gravy - Mushroom Matar Masala korma

I look forward to the spring vegetables because the season is so short. Mushrooms, edible foraged herbs, wild leeks, early season asparagus. David Chang
In truth, we loathed  Mushrooms in any form or any kind. We never gave any importance to this white or brown fluffy vegetable, never cared about it. Once or twice I challenged myself to cook them but all the efforts went into vain. Maybe, a combination to inexperience in cooking or purely our taste buds weren't ready to accept the taste and texture of mushrooms, they went straight from the kadai and into the bin. It was painful ! It was almost absurd that we were not able to like this worthy mushrooms.

Well, miracles do happens, how and when we started liking them it's a long story, now we simply love Mushrooms, in every form. Whenever they appear at dinner table, only one slogan I hear " I'm lovin' it !"

I did not have any clue, how can I make them more tasty so we can enjoy them. Thank god for the advanced technology, delicious mushroom recipes are just a click away. I found thousands of recipes for Mushrooms, which I use now frequently with my own touch. While daughter never stop singing about Goji Berry, Mushroom and Sweet Potato soup, Son and husband swooning over Spicy Chestnut and Mushroom soup, but Achari Mushrooms has become family favourite. Daughter prepares them at home and at university too, in short, mushrooms are appearing from right, left and centre in our dishes.

I found many versions of Matar ( green peas ) Mushroom, dried sabzi or rich curry version. We like both, depending on our moods, time availability and occasions. For a quick lunch, simple sabzi version is perfect with daal, roti and salad or curry one, with paratha and salad fills you up.

Old habits, die hard ! I always get immense joy in making few changes in the recipe or experimenting for a little change in flavours, my mind always works overtime. Sometimes I succeed, definitely with todays recipe, it was win win situation.  I  pat myself

This Matar ( green peas ) and Mushroom curry, in short if I describe it's a finger licking good, and definitely not loaded with cream or butter. Lots of creaminess comes from the cashews and the mild apricots provides some sweetness to the dish. Ground onions and tomatoes provides lots of smoothness. Soft and earthy mushrooms, and fresh green peas perfectly blends with freshly ground whole spices. This rich yet healthy, protein packed curry surely worthy for all parties or a get together,  or just have it over the weekend with family, it's a delicious, aromatic and winning combination !

You will need :-

  • 250 g mushrooms ( I have used chestnut variety )
  • 200 g shelled peas or frozen
  • 25 g raw cashews
  • 5-6 dried apricots
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 big onion roughly chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp. minced ginger
  • 3-4 green chillies
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 1 tbsp. tomato puree ( optional )
  • 2-3 + 1 tbsp. oil
  • Pinch asafoetida ( hing )
  • 1/2 tbsp. dried fenugreek leaves
  • Cardamom seeds ( 4-5 cardamom )
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1/4" cinnamon bark
  • 2 cloves
  • 3-4 black pepper
  • 1 tsp. red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp. dhanajeera powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala or kitchen king masala
  • Handful of fresh finely chopped coriander     

Method :-
Soak cashews and apricot in a separate bowl with  warm water for half an hour.
Wash and pat dry mushrooms and slice them.
Steam or cook the shelled peas in little water,  remove them from the water. Do not throw away the water use later in the recipe.
Heat 1 tbsp. oil, add hing and all the whole spices, as soon as they crackle add onion, garlic. ginger and chillies.
Saute the onion till little brown, add chopped tomatoes.
Cook till tomatoes are almost softened up.
Switch off the heat, transfer the onion and tomato mixture into grinder jar and leave it to cool a little.
Meanwhile heat oil in another pan and saute mushrooms till it shrinks and dry away the water, switch off the heat.
Now grind the onion mixture into fine paste.
Heat the pan, add 2 tbsp. oil and pour the onion tomato paste into it.
Let it cook for 3-4 minutes then add all the masala powder to it, except garam masala or kitchen king
Keep stirring, after 2-3 minutes add kasoori methi and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Meanwhile grind soaked cashews and apricots into grinder till smooth paste.
Pour the cashew paste into onion tomato mixture and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Add reserve water to the gravy and add salt.
Cook this gravy for another 3-4 minutes.
Add sauted mushrooms and steamed green peas to it.
Mix well, cook the curry for another 4-5 minutes, if gravy gets too thick add little water.
Add garam masala or kitchen king masala in the end. mix well.
Turn off the heat.
Garnish with the fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with Paratha or Roti and salad.
Enjoy !

Thank you for stopping by :)

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Papdi lilva nu shaak - Hyacinth Beans or Indian broad beans stir fry - Sem Phali ki sabji

It's simple. Great ingredients make great food !

"You must be very lucky as your Mum is a food blogger, lots of treats must be brought on the table everyday, bet you look forward to your meal times " on countless occasions my daughter's friends have mentioned this to her. Her reply would be that " Mum seems to take pride in all her efforts, whether for  the most simple food to the extraordinary dishes, even the easiest of everyday meals seems like very special. The reason being that she is one to use freshest of ingredients and keeps it very simple"

I come from a very ordinary family background ( simple living ). My parents never made big fuss about their status or their appearance in everyday living, so i am the same. Despite living in a cosmopolitan city, we try to keep things simple. eg. I am not obsessed in wearing a makeup or perfume everyday or if my eyebrows little overgrown I don't get distressed.

Many of the simple yet delightful foods are forgotten by me, as a ritual I've always looked out for something 'special' to feed this blog. You tend to forget these dishes because you make them everyday and don't need much attention or skill to cook. These are the dishes that provides you different tastes and choices for everyday meal, they are worth a treasure !

My mum always prepared for us  simple yet tasty and healthy meals, she wouldn't get stressed over not making lengthy processed meals, but she would make sure she uses good ingredients, those dishes which does not need measurements or skills but straight and simple recipes which includes basic ingredients. She always loved to use green vegetables in her cooking but I disliked many green vegetables when I was young. Taste Buds changed when I grew older and followed her footsteps but things are different here , my both kids like to eat almost every green vegetable since their young age ( hope it stays this way too ) we have massive collection of our favourite green vegetable foods.

Talking about favourites, this is one of our favourite dish. My son can easily relish 200-300 g in one sitting, it is something I cook quite regular, it's a everyday kind of dish. So simple in cooking yet so satisfying and flavourful, Papdi Lilva nu shaak ( Hyacinth Beans stirfry ).

Papdi lilva nu shaak, something that, probably it is never prepared by anyone on special occasions as many people does not fancy its taste. I don't think you can find it in any restaurants either but definitely it rules in almost every Gujarati household. Almost every winter in India, Mum used to prepare this saak either own it's own or sometimes she would add Ringna ( eggplant ). My MIL used to combine with potatoes too. I make it too. but today I'll share with you Papdi lilva nu shaak, either way, we find this saak delicious, it provides plenty of fibre and protein. Certainly it makes a healthier choice and easy to digest too.

With this such recipes, everyone has their own version to make it. This is how I make it and my mum used to make with basic spices and masala, little lemon and pinch of sugar in the end. It pairs well with Gujarati dal or Gujarati kadhi, steamed rice and Chapatti or Millet roti ( Bajri na rotla ) and chaas for a dinner or lunch.

You will need :-

  • 500 g papdi ( not surti papdi )
  • 3 -4 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. ajwain ( carom seeds )
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic ( optional )
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-2 tsp. red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 3 tsp. dhanajiru powder ( coriander and cumin powder )
  • 1/4 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar or any ( optional )
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • Handful fresh coriander to garnish
Method :-
Wash the papdi thoroughly in water.
Take each papdi, remove the string bit and separate into two parts, check for anything rotten in there.
Heat pressure cooker and heat oil.
Add carom seeds, once crackle add minced garlic and fry for few seconds.
Add papdi and all the masala along with salt.
Mix well and add less than 1/4 cup water ( here in UK our vegetables don't need too much water, so add according to your requirement )
Close the cooker lid and let the cook saak till one whistle ( again 
Let the pressure cooker cool naturally.
Add sugar and lemon, mix and garnish with the chopped coriander leaves. 
Serve hot.
Enjoy !

Thank you for stopping by :)

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Tofu and Broken wheat Cutlet - Tofu Dalia Cutlet

In my recent post ( Steel cut Oats, Quinoa and Bulgur wheat porridge ) I've mentioned how snobby I do get when it comes to breakfast time..snobby very snobby ! even I don't leave alone poor daughter who stays 70 miles away from home to study, first morning text comes from her, reply goes from me with tons of advice on what she should eat for breakfast that morning !!!! Lol, she  may add  these habits in typical Asian parent badly behave list..

Old habits die hard,this advice bureau never shuts and, family is very well aware of that, maybe that's the reason Son has taken my advice on board since he was very tiny. He is a big foodie, he loves to eat everything. As much as he likes his fruits and vegetables, he loves to gobble up some treats too.

" Breakfast like a king, Lunch like a prince , Dine like a pauper " son has taken this ancient proverb very seriously, literally he loves to have his breakfast like a king. It takes almost 30-35 minutes for his breakfast, either it's a Indian breakfast or continental, doesn't matter to him, it has to be cooked and hot, on top of that he loves his fruits or healthy snack bars. Cereals out of packets or glass of orange juice, never impresses him in the morning. Even if he takes his breakfast early morning, it has to be fairly substantial one which sets him up for the day to cope with the hectic and busy day.

Past 17-18 years, I've been preparing various kind of breakfasts for him, one particular item he loves to eat at breakfast is a burger,patty or cutlets with chutney. 
Tofu and Broken Wheat burger, not only him but it can be relished by the whole family. These protein packed burgers are filling, well balanced high fiber meal, they can be eaten anytime of the day.  I used to prepare them with Paneer, but since we all got hooked on it, quickly I replaced full fat paneer with tofu which is far more healthier than paneer. 

These burgers are made with very little oil and can be put to freeze too.  Tofu is an excellent food from a health perspective, good source of protein, iron, calcium and other essential minerals, while Broken wheat provides good amount of fibre. 

 You will need :-

  • 250 g broken wheat ( smaller size )
  • 300 g tofu ( completely drained and pat dried )
  • 50 g roasted peanut powder
  • 25 g roasted sesame powder
  • 2-3 wholemeal toasted bread slices powdered 
  • 1 tbsp. garam masala
  • 1 tbsp. red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp. crushed green chillies and ginger
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp. lemon or lime juice
  • 3-4 tbsp. fresh finely chopped coriander 
  • 3-4 tbsp. coarse semolina
  • 1 tsp. red chilli flakes ( optional )
  • 3-4 tbsp. for shallow frying

Method :-
Clean and soak broken wheat for at least half an hour.
Boil soaked broken wheat in a pressure cooker and leave it to cool completely. ( wheat should be cooked but needs to be quite dry too )
In a big bowl place all the ingredients except semolina, chilli flakes and oil.
Combine everything well and make a dough.
Refrigerate dough mixture for about an hour.
Form the mixture in to 8-10 round patties.
Coat them in semolina and red chilli flakes.
Brush them with little oil.
Heat griddle or nonstick tawa and shallow fry them until both sides turns light brown and heated through.
These cutlets can be deep fried too.
Serve hot with green chutney 

Thank you for stopping by :)

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Cottage Cheese and Cashew Ladoo Infused with Screw Pine and Rose essence - Paneer and Kaju Ladoo - #Holi #Festival of colours

"Oh, Spring is surely coming, Her couriers fill the air; Each morn are new arrivals, Each night her ways prepare; I scent her fragrant garments, Her foot is on the stair. ~John Burroughs, "A March Glee"

A dash of a colour in the world, surely helps lift our spirits. Spring is definitely in the air, technically spring has arrived and started in the UK today.  Nature is already looking charming, breathing delightful fresh yet cold air. The sun is shining very bright since the early morning and surely days are getting much brighter and the sounds of a blissful spring upon us.

Last winter wasn't as scary or harsh as it's always been, not much snow or very icy temperatures for us Londoners. We witnessed mild winter this year, seems winter wasn't in any mood to impress us. It seems that the season of spring kicked the winter out of the tournament at quite an early stage. Well whatever last winter gave us, I am not complaining!

Now that spring is blooming, it's a perfect time to make plans and projects. Spring brings explosion of colour, life and activities in our life, and surely we need to cherish and indulge in to those colourful and joyful moments.

With the arrival of Spring, we start preparing for so many colourful festivals. Think about spring, and first thing I think of is the colourful spring festival HOLI celebrated in India. Not only India but every country and culture has their own festivals and activities to celebrate season of spring. In the UK we celebrate the country's open space, terrific cost lines and blossom gardens.

Holi Festival of colours, is no longer only for the Indian or hindu community, but it has been adopted by many other cultures and religious people. A pleasant and cheerful Holi festival celebrated by everyone in London and many cities of Europe is taken by a storm.

In my family we keep Holi celebrations low key as no one in the family is enthusiastic over getting covered in colours, except our daughter who eagerly waits for Holi celebrations at her university. For her and her non Indian friends, festival of colour has become the latest craze. Holi is a carefree fun time with their white T-shirts on they can indulge in modern bollywood music, exploded with paint.

Maybe we don't go ecstatic about throwing colours on each other or colours on my face, but so many colours in my cooking and plates. I would make so many excuse for to prepare colourful spread in celebrating Holi to keep traditions going in the family to celebrate my dad's birthday on this day. Talk about festivals or any celebrations one more important  to talk about and think it's... Food !

This delicious Paneer and Cashew ladoo were shaped in my kitchen, infused with delicate ( kewra ) Screw pine and ( Gulab ) rose extract, beautifully melt in mouth, shines out like a bright ray of sunshine straight from heaven. While bask in a glory of sunshine, immerse in Holi mood, pop one in your mouth...straight away your hands reaches out for more.

If you haven't thought about making anything for Holi, it's not too late. All the ingredients available in your kitchen. Try shaping this ladoos for friends and families, prepare using same recipe or little bit of imagination create some other flavours. Prepare and gobble one in to experience what I am talking about !

Wishing you a very happy colourful Holi !

You will need :-

  • 500 g Paneer ( homemade or store bought )
  • 250 g raw cashew nuts
  • 250 ml full fat milk
  • 300 g sugar
  • 2-3 drops kewra essence 
  • 2-3 drops rose essence
  • 2 tbsp edible dried rose petals 
  • 1/4 tsp ghee or unsalted butter
  • Edible glitter to sprinkle ( optional )

Method :-
Soak cashew nuts in milk and leave it for 2-3 hours or over a night in a fridge.
In a grinder grind cashews, milk, paneer and sugar till it's get very smooth paste.
Grease non stick pan or kadai with ghee. ( this step will prevent any sticking mixture to the bottom of pan )
Transfer the liquid mixture in to the kadai on a low heat.
Keep stirring until the mixture gets thicker, mixture starts leaving the sides of the pan it becomes a one mass.
Turn the heat off,  and add essence and transfer the thick mixture in another plate. ( I divide the mixture in to half and added each essence in divided mixture )
I spread it rose mixture in a greased plate and made Barfee. Sprinkled rose teals on it.
With the kewra mixture made ladoos.
Keep it in a fridge for half an hour.
Enjoy !

Thank you for stopping by :)


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