Sunday, 30 April 2017

Rajasthani Bajra/Bajri Raabdi

Rajasthani Bajra Raabdi - Bajra flour Porridge. This is an easy and fuss-free recipe, healthy thick gruel prepared with pearl millet flour, yogurt, and salt, that's fermented overnight to make Raabdi. 

This recipe is perfect for summer months as it has cooling down properties but you can have this raabdi piping hot in winter seasons too. An authentic dish which can be delicious and healthy at the same time, a rare combo!

Rajasthani Bajra Raabdi

Rajasthani Bajre Ki Khatti Raabdi might well be for times like these when brutal heat shows no mercy. Then answer it with this mildly savoury, healthy, cooling and refreshing raabdi, a thick gruel prepared with basic ingredients - Bajra flour ( Pearl millet flour ) plain yogurt and salt. Raabdi, a common and traditional dish which is very dear to folks of the state of Rajasthan. This easy, quick and simple recipe is good for summer months and piping hot in winter months

Rajasthani Bajra Raabdi

I never had to prepare Khatti Bajre Ki Raabdi here in the UK as we have hardly witnessed soaring temperatures like India but prepared it a couple of times just for those childhood memories. Mum used to prepare this raabdi quite often during summer months for our brunch. My step Nan was Marwari from Rajasthan, so mum had done Marwari cooking and it's colourful culture influenced in her life. Mum used to prepare so many dishes including Bajra raabdi.

Rajasthani Bajra Raabdi

On a previous night, mum would mix bajra flour, buttermilk ( Chaas ) and salt in a black clay pot ( an earthenware pot ) and let it simmer on a very low flame until the mixture thickened she would leave it a whole night to ferment. Next day mid-morning after finishing mundane chores she would serve this raabdi with buttermilk. While I was young, I wasn't keen for this Raabdi but as I grew up I really started enjoying it.

Rajasthani Bajra Raabdi

Mum used to say that Bajra Raabdi is a best breakfast or brunch to stay cool and hydrate during scorching summers.  This feel-good raabdi is great for digestion as Bajra is rich in insoluble fibre. Bajra flour is filled with multiple health benefits that are important for our body and paired with wonder food Buttermilk ( chaas ) this Bajra raabdi, certainly will become your first preference to cool you down during these scorching temperatures.

Rajasthani Bajra Raabdi

I would like to dedicate this post to my amazing Mum and step Nan, both are no longer here, sending my love and kisses to both of them in heaven on their cloud! Xx Without them I would have never known about this personal favourite recipe which brings back the memories of them enjoying this as well. I am sending this recipe over to fellow blogger Mayuri behind the food blog Mayuris Jikoni. She set a challenge to create a post for Mother's Day. While rest of the world celebrate Mother's Day in May, we brits observe 'Mothering Sunday' exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday. Happy memories can be woven at any time, but Mother's Day memories are to be treasured, having said that it reminds me of the fond memories that I have of this year's Mothering Sunday in which I was treated with a holiday to Switzerland by my kids.

More Rajasthani recipes from Jagruti's Cooking Odyssey


Gatte Ki Kadhi

Rajasthani Bajra Raabdi, Khatti Bajre Ki Raabdi, Rajasthani Bajre Ki Khatti Raabdi
Yield: 4 Servings



Rajasthani Bajra Raabdi - Bajra flour Porridge. This is an easy and fuss-free recipe, healthy thick gruel prepared with pearl millet flour, yogurt, and salt, that's fermented overnight to make Raabdi.
prep time: 2 Mcook time: 15 Mtotal time: 17 M


  • 1/2 cup fine pearl millet flour ( Bajra / Bajri aata -Lot )
  • 2 cup plain beaten yogurt
  • Salt to taste
  • Water
  • Roasted cumin seeds, Freshly ground black pepper or Chia Seeds to garnish



  1. Add one cup water in a one cup yogurt and whisk well. This mixture is your buttermilk.
  2. In a thick bottom saucepan or clay pot combine buttermilk, flour and salt and whisk well.
  3. Cook this mixture on a very low heat for 8-10 minutes, keep stirring while it cooks.
  4. You will see mixture getting thicker and thicker.
  5. Turn off the heat.
  6. Cover the pan or pot with the lid and leave it a whole night to ferment.
  7. In the morning add 1 cup water in remaining yogurt and whisk it.
  8. Add yogurt mixture into fermented raabdi, mix well.
  9. Serve in a glass and garnish it with either cumin seeds, black pepper powder or chia seeds.
  10. Enjoy !


Vegans can use non-dairy yogurt.
Fat (grams)
Sat. Fat (grams)
Carbs (grams)
Fiber (grams)
Net carbs
Sugar (grams)
Protein (grams)
Sodium (milligrams)
Cholesterol (grams)
The nutritional information provided is an approximation calculated by an online calculator. Please consult a professional dietitian for nutritional advice.

Did you make this recipe?
Tag @jcookingodyssey on instagram and hashtag it #jcookingodyssey
Created using The Recipes Generator

Along with me also my fellow bloggers have taken part in this challenge, please do check out their recipes too.
Strawberry and Pomegranate Swiss Roll

Chicken tagine with Lemon scented herbed couscous 

Masala Milk

Mango coconut mousse tarta 

Matar Kachori

Apricot Swiss Rolls

Mango Cream Cake

Crispy Beetroot Cutlet

Aloo Paratha

Mogre Ka Sharbat


Mango Mastani

Mango Ice Cream with Chocolate Swirl

Classic Apple Pie

Paal Poli

Cornmeal Lavender Muffins

Thank you for stopping by and reading this post! We hope to see you again soon :)

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Buckwheat, Blueberry, Cashew Smoothie with Chia Seeds

How to make Buckwheat, Blueberry, Cashew Smoothie with Chia Seeds
Buckwheat, Blueberry, Cashew Smoothie with Chia Seeds, is a good choice when you don't want to have huge breakfast, but you still desire something well-balanced, filling and healthy. If you are pressed for time or don't have the energy to prepare big breakfasts you'll have time to prepare this smoothie as this is a straight forward recipe. This creamy and power packed smoothie will leave you feeling happy, energised and help curb your appetite and keep hunger locked up for longer,  just because this smoothie is real food and packed with good-for-you ingredients! This protein and the fibre loaded smoothie can boost the metabolism while controlling a craving for sweets.

Blueberry, Buckwheat smoothie
I have always believed that just because a drink is labelled smoothie, does not mean it is good for you. Smoothies made out of only fruits or fruit juices can spike your sugar levels which can give a burst of energy but leave you tired and sluggish afterwards. We love our smoothie packed with fibre, protein and good fats as protein and fat slow the absorption of glucose (sugar) into the bloodstream.

A couple of years back, we tried raw buckwheat and mango smoothie, I read family members mind and never made raw buckwheat smoothie again, well I wasn't disheartened as much because, after a week Buckwheat, Banana, Cashew and Cinnamon Smoothie was approved, because I used dry roasted buckwheat flakes in this smoothie. So got inspired by this recipe, I prepared today's smoothie where I have used cooked buckwheat, cashew butter, blueberries, and to sweeten the smoothie I've used banana and to pump up the protein included soaked chia seeds.
Chia is a very healthy fat containing 50% omega 3 fatty acids and 20% protein. All juices and smoothies contain a certain amount of sugar from fruits which are used to make juice or smoothie. By adding chia you can slow down the metabolism of any of these sugars thus preventing an insulin spike in your blood. Also by adding chia, you will turn this short burst of energy into a slow burning fuel, which provides you energy all day long!

So hey guys, take out your buckwheat and chia! Let's look at the recipe.

Notes :-
You can substitute non-dairy products to make a complete vegan smoothie.
Instead of cashew nuts use any other nuts.

print recipe

Buckwheat, Blueberry, Cashew Smoothie with Chia Seeds
Buckwheat, Blueberry, Cashew smoothie with Chia seeds is an excellent vehicle which is fulled with all the nutrition to drive you to feeling healthy throughout the day !

  • 1/4 cup cooked buckwheat
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 3 tbsp.  Cashew Butter  or cashews soaked overnight 
  • 4 tbsp. chia seeds soaked overnight
  • 1/2 banana fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt 
  • 1/4 cup skimmed milk 
  • 1 tbsp. linseed or hemp seeds

Place everything in a blender and blend till you get smooth mixture.
Serve straightaway. 
Prep time: Cook time: 5Total time: Yield: 2 servings

 Thank you for stopping by and reading this post! We hope to see you again soon :)

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Dudhi / Lauki / Bottle Gourd Khichdi | Khichdi in Pressure Cooker

Dudhi Khichdi, comfort food at it's best! Perfect one pot meal and a nutritious dish made using rice, green split moong daal, whole spices and Dudhi.
How to make dudhi lauki bottle gourd khichdi

Dudhi / Lauki / Bottle Gourd Khichdi is a hugely popular One Pot Meal in my family. This ultimate comfort dish can be made in a jiffy with rice, green split moong daal, aromatic whole spices and cooling vegetable Dudhi. This khichdi is filling, full of flavours with many goodnesses, that can be enjoyed on its own or with yoghurt, chaas ( buttermilk ) papad and fresh salad. People who think khichdi is 'BORING', it just maybe their opinion which can be changed because this dudhi khichdi is a wholesome and complete meal in itself.

Khichdi, either plain or cooked with whole spices to bring gentle aroma without being overpowering and cooked with a medley of fresh vegetables and is hugely popular in my family, NO we never think that Khichdi is boring or it's a food for someone who is unwell, but it is a 'food for the soul'!

Many of my India visits were during summer months, from April to June. In May 2000, I was there to celebrate my mum's 50th Birthday for a couple of weeks. One afternoon, mum prepared this delicious and smooth dudhi khichdi for us, served with a dollop of ghee and cool masala chaas. The meal was so refreshing and finger licking. I was surprised to see khichdi with dudhi, as mostly we use mixed vegetables when I asked her she told me that she was suffering from digestive problems, so she uses Dudhi quite often in her cooking.

According to Ayurveda, one should consume Dudhi / Lauki / Bottle Gourd for better digestion as it is more than 95% of water. Along with digestion bottle gourd has numerous incredible benefits such as weight loss, it keeps the body hydrated especially during summers, relieves stress, lowers cholesterol treats urinary tract infections and reduces inflammation of the liver.

In 2003 Mum made a visit to London for a ceremony for our Son, after her arrival, a couple of days later I prepared dudhi khichdi for her, she was really happy to know that I jotted down that recipe while I was in India and since then I prepare this khichdi, we the family have embraced it whole-heartedly.

If you are a health conscious individual and want to include bottle gourd in your daily diet, I urge you to try this recipe and few other bottle gourd recipes Dudhi Na Thepla, Dudhi Na Muthia, Handvo, Dudhi Na Fararai Muthia or Dudhi Halwa.

Notes :-
You can decrease or increase rice or daal ratio according to your choice or needs.
I chose to have 1 1/4 cup daal for 1 cup of rice as I like to make my meal with more fibre and complex rich carbs.
I have used brown basmati rice, but you can use whatever rice you like to use.
Add water accordingly how you like your khichdi consistency and that too depends on what kind of rice you are using.

print recipe

Dudhi / Lauki / Bottle Gourd Khichdi
Dudhi Khichdi, comfort food at it's best! Perfect one pot meal and a nutritious dish made using rice, green split moong daal, whole spices and Dudhi.

  • 2 tsp. red chilli powder
  • 250 g brown basmati rice
  • 315 g green moong daal ( Chilka / Mug ni fotra vari Daal )
  • 300 g peeled and grated dudhi / lauki / bottle gourd
  • 2 tbsp. whole spices ( clove, cinnamon, bay leaves, whole black pepper )
  • 2 dried red chilli
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • Pinch hing ( asafoetida )
  • 1 tsp. mustard and cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. ginger garlic paste or minced
  • 2 green chilli finely chopped
  • 1 small ripe tomato chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. fresh coriander leaves chopped

Clean and wash rice and daal thoroughly.
Drain the water and keep it aside.
Heat oil in a pan or pressure cooker.
Add whole spices, dried red chilli, mustard and cumin seeds.
Once it crackles add chopped onion, hing and saute until very light brown.
Now add green chilli, and ginger garlic paste.
Saute everything for a couple of minutes, then add grated dudhi and saute for 3-4 minutes.
Add chopped tomato and turmeric powder.
Cook till tomatoes are slightly mushy.
Add washed and drained rice and daal.
Give it a good stir.
Add enough water and salt ( I added 700-750 ml ) to cook this khichdi.
Close the lid and cook till 3 whistles.
Allow the steam to escape before opening the lid of the pressure cooker.
Add chopped coriander and gently mix the khichdi.
Serve hot with a dollop of ghee, papad, chaas and fresh green salad.
Enjoy !

Prep time: 10Cook time: 25Total time: Yield: 4 servings

 Thank you for stopping by and reading this post ! We hope to see you again soon :)

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Instant Raiti Gor keri - Gujarati Sweet and Spicy Mango Pickle #indianpickle

Instant Raiti Gor Keri - Gujarati Sweet and Spicy mango Pickle

Instant Raiti Gor Keri, is a lavishly sweet, sumptuous and an aromatic Gujarati Pickle. Without Gor Keri, gujarati thepla, poori, bhakhri or paratha are incomplete. This finger licking pickle is prepared with raw mangoes, jaggery and a few whole spices and is ready in less than an hour and can be eaten on the same day.  This recipe is a speedy version of the traditional Gujarati Gor Keri which is prepared under the sun and can be ready in 2-3 weeks.

If you are an Indian, no matter whichever part of the India you might come from, pickle is likely to have been a part of your food memories. Pickle plays a very important part in Indian cuisine and as a tasty accompaniment capable of weathering long journeys. In western countries, it also plays the role of an appetiser with papadam.

Instant Raiti Gor Keri

While I grew up in Gujarat. this time of the year my mum would be on one mission for sure and that was MISSON PICKLE! She was busy buying the best raw mangoes and other ingredients for various pickles such as Keri No Chundo , Keri nu Khatu Athanu and Raiti Gor Keri. Obviously, all of them were prepared under the scorching sun.

Instant Keri No Chundo

I and my family are not too keen on pickles, definitely, do not enjoy it with curries and daals. But being a Gujju, would love to relish a couple of types of Mango pickles with Khichdi and Indian bread. I do not prepare too many pickles here or if I do make then only in small quantities.

Instant raiti gor keri

A few years back my husband was so smitten by my mum's homemade Raiti Gor Keri, that she sent it all the way from India again. He persuaded me to prepare this pickle at home while the sky was full of rain bearing clouds. Instant Gor Keri turned out so delicious, maybe not exactly like my mum's but very close.  That is the joy of making instant pickle at home, you do not worry about the weather yet you can have deliciously wonderful pickles ready to enjoy. Because we are not fond of pickles, I try to prepare one variety each year and that too in a very small quantity.

Generally, Gor Keri nu Athanu ( Gor-Jaggery, Keri-Mango ) is prepared with Rai and Methi Na Kuria ( split Mustard and Fenugreek seeds ) but my mum used to prepare only with Rai Na Kuria thus I called this pickle Raiti Gor Keri!

print recipe

Instant Raiti Gor Keri
Instant Raiti Gor Keri, is a lavishly sweet, sumptuous and an aromatic Gujarati Pickle.

  • 250 g raw Mango 
  • 250 g  grated Jaggery
  • 25 g dried dates ( kharek )
  • 2 tbsp. Oil
  • 50 g rai na kuria ( split mustard seeds )
  • Pinch Hing
  • 2-3 tbsp. Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 tbsp. crushed coriander seeds ( Suka Dhana )
  • 1 tbsp. whole black pepper ( Kala Mari )
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds ( Variyali-saunf )
  • 1 tsp. cloves ( Laving )
  • 25 g Salt
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder

Soak dried dates into warm water for 5 minutes, discard the water, pat dry and cut into small pieces.
Wash, pat dry and cut mangoes into cubes.
Place in a bowl, add salt and turmeric powder, mix well and leave for 10-15 minutes.
Add one tsp. oil into rai na kuria, and mix vigorously for 5 minutes.
Add, mix red chilli powder, hing and whole spices in a bowl. Leave it aside.
Steam the mango cubes for 5-6 minutes or cook in  M/W for 3-4 minutes.
Place steamed mango cubes in a big bowl and mix in grated jaggery and soaked dried date pieces.
Gently keep mixing the mixture till jaggery well combined with mango cubes.
Heat oil in a small pan until it reaches smoking point.
Let the oil cool completely. 
Add red chilli and whole spices mixture into mango and jaggery.
Mix well, once oil is cooled, add oil and mix well.
Leave it to cool completely.
Once cool store in a sterile jar. 
Enjoy !

Prep time: 10Cook time: 10Total time: Yield: 1 jar

Thank you for stopping by and reading this post ! We hope to see you again soon :)

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Cinnamon Buckwheat Porridge with Avocado and Berries

Cinnamon Buckwheat Porridge with Avocado and Berries

Cinnamon Buckwheat Porridge with Avocado and Berries, a healthy, gluten free and filling breakfast one can have. This version of porridge bowl is packed with nutrients, the avocado adds creaminess and provides healthy fats, berries lend a lovely zingy taste and sweetness. It provides a full of energy start to the day and keeps you full for longer.  If you want to make it vegan, use vegan substitution such as nut milk, soy milk, rice milk or oat milk and maple syrup.

I and my husband do admit that any kind of porridge is the best breakfast ever, premium fuel for the body, for us oat porridge is staple and part of our routine, we eat at least a few times a week, but buckwheat porridge is a new try in our kitchen since this new year, and we are hooked now because the outcome is delicious.

Currently, buckwheat is a 'hot favourite' and much-loved ingredient in our house, I cook it without any salt or fat, cool it and store in a refrigerator in an airtight container. Boiled buckwheat is a great 'blank canvas' recipe, it adapts beautifully in sweet or savoury dishes. I use it in so many recipes, we really like the taste and the versatility of buckwheat. I absolutely love my recipe ' Buckwheat Upma'. as much as buckwheat porridge too, I have no problem in wolfing down a hot buckwheat porridge in no time, however, I don't mind topping up my bowl with fruits, nuts, seeds, bee pollen and a little bit of cinnamon. It just makes it extra yummy !!!

I do not add any type of sweetener into my porridge if you wish you can add sugar, jaggery, honey, maple syrup, agave nectar or date syrup.

You can do the entire cooking process in a microwave.

You will need:-

  • 1 cup cooked buckwheat ( your choice of size)
  • 1 cup skimmed milk (use less if you like thicker porridge )
  • 1 avocado roughly chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp. berries such as blueberry and raspberry ( I used frozen )
  • 1 tbsp. chia, sunflower and linseeds
  • 2 tbsp. walnuts or any other nuts
  • Tiny pinch ground cinnamon.
Place milk, cooked buckwheat and Cinnamon in a pan and cook on a low heat together for 4-5 minutes while stirring constantly. 
Reduce the heat and cook porridge for a couple of minutes.
Turn off the heat.
Serve with sliced avocado, berries, nuts and seeds or top with any toppings you like.
Enjoy !

 Thank you for stopping by and reading this post ! We hope to see you again soon :)

Monday, 10 April 2017

Farali Bhinda / Bhindi Capsicum - Spicy Okra, Capsicum and Peanut Stir-fry without Onion - Garlic

Spicy Okra Capsicum and peanut Stir-fry
Pin it to save it for later!

Farali Bhinda Capsicum is easy to prepare, flavourful and a delicious sabji without onion and garlic, thus it can be eaten while you keep fast. Fresh and tender Bhinda cooked in aromatic Gujrati Masala with capsicum and tomatoes and garnished with roasted peanuts and fresh coriander leaves for extra flavour and crunch.

I am not huge a Okra fan, but surely I would enjoy now and then without any fuss. Like I said here, I wanted to observe fast without gorging on rich and heavy farali meals and I was looking for few healthy and tasty dishes but at the same time satisfying. So, I asked for me sister's help to make few farali recipes, and she suggested to prepare Bhinda sabji without onion and garlic. Yes, Okra can be include in making farali recipes.

Farali Bhinda Capsicum

Okra also known as 'lady's fingers' and has long been favoured as a good food for the health conscious. It contains many vitamins and minerals, also low in calories and high in dietary fibre and proven to have a positive effect on lowering blood sugar level and dietary fibre to promote better glycemic control and improve insulin sensitivity.

So I followed my sisters recipe, but made couple of changes and added capsicum and tomatoes and sprinkled some roasted peanuts. Once again this dish was purely enjoyable without any guilt and was fulfilling.

If you are health conscious and looking for a healthy okra recipes or simply a crazy okra fan just like my siblings, then check out my Okra recipes here.

Farali Bhinda Capsicum

You will need :-

  • 250 g tender okra cut lengthwise 
  • 75 g green capsicum cut lengthwise
  • 50 g tomatoes roughly chopped
  • 3 + 1 tbsp. oil
  • Cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 3-4 tbsp. roasted peanuts
  • 3 tbsp. desiccated coconut 
  • 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp. red chilli powder
  •  Pinch sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. amchoor powder or lemon juice. 
  • 1 tbsp. crushed green chilli
  • 2 tbsp. ground coriander and cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder ( If you are eating during fast )

Thoroughly wash and pat dry okra.
Cut off the top and cut into two halves lengthwise.
In a bowl mix 2 tbsp roasted peanuts, coconut, sesame, red chillli powder, salt, coriander and cumin. turmeric, sugar, 1 tbsp. oil and crushed green chilli. Mix well and leave it aside.
Heat oil in a kadai, add cumin seeds once it crackles add cut okra.
Keep heat medium and stir-fry okra for 7-8 minutes.
Keep an eye on it, do not let burn or stick to the bottom of the pan.
Once you see stickiness is reducing , add capsicum and prepared masala mix.
Again keep stirring gently for 3-4 minutes.
Now add chopped tomatoes and cook further for couple of minutes.
By now okra must be done.
Add amchoor powder or lemon juice, and roasted peanuts.
Garnish it with fresh chopped coriander and serve hot.
This dish can be paired with Daal, plain rice and roti. ( I served mine with Farali Roti )
Enjoy !

 Thank you for stopping by and reading this post! We hope to see you again soon :)

Friday, 7 April 2017

Rasadar Kala Chana Nu Saak - Gujarati Black Chickpea Curry

Rasadar Kala Chana nu Saak

Pin it to save it for later!

Rasadar Kala Chana Nu Saak is a classic curry recipe of Gujrat, which is cooked in mildly sweet, tangy and spicy tomato and tamarind gravy and made without onion and garlic. Rasadar Kala Chana is protein packed, nutritious and vegan.  This lip-smacking and flavourful curry is vegan and gluten free, is simple to prepare and can be served up in no time. This curry is best served with roti, Gujarati kadhi and rice.

Rasadar Kala Chana nu Saak

Rasadar Kala Chana nu Saak

Kala Desi Chana| Black Chickpeas
Kala Chana ( kala-black, Chana- Chickpea) are also known as Desi Chana in India and part of a vegetarian diet. These Black chickpeas are smaller in size, rougher outer layer and regular in most of the Gujarati kitchens.These black chickpeas are extremely for health as they are low in fat, high in dietary fibre, packed with protein, rich in vitamin and minerals and has low GI.

Rasadar Kala Chana Nu Saak
Kala Desi Chana | Black Chickpeas 

In many Gujarati households, Chickpea curry is eaten especially on Friday, Moong beans on Wednesday, Chana Daal on Thursday and Whole Urad on Saturday. What a brilliant thought, so us vegetarians can have a healthy dose of protein almost every day.   Kala Chana nu saak can be prepared two ways, dry or with gravy, both versions are equally good.

Rasadar Kala Chana nu Saak

Every Gujarati family has a few tricks under their sleeves to make this curry so delicious. This recipe is my mums and one of her favourite and mine too. You don't need any fancy spices or other ingredients to make this curry. Many families add Chickpea flour to thicken the gravy, but instead, mum did use tomatoes.  Definitely, this recipe is worth to keep, you must try it!

Rasadar Kala Chana Nu Saak

Notes :-
Canned black chickpeas are available in the shops.
Sugar can be used if Jaggery is not available or you can omit both.
To make the gravy thicker, crush some chickpeas in a blender, then add in the curry.

You will need:-

  • 250 g dry black chickpeas 
  • 3-4 tbsp. oil
  • 100 g tomato puree, passata or crushed canned tomato
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • Pinch of hing ( asafoetida )
  • 2 cloves
  • small piece of cinnamon 
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp. tamarind pulp, lemon juice or amchur powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp. jaggery or sugar ( optional )
  • 1 tbsp. green chilli and ginger paste
  • 2 tsp. red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 3 tbsp. ground coriander and cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala
  • Fresh coriander chopped

Method :-
Clean and thoroughly wash kala chana to get rid of any dirt and soak at least 10-12 hours or overnight.
Discard the water, wash it one more time and pressure cook chana with until tender, it is really important to cook chana properly.
In a kadai, heat oil and add cumin seeds, clove and cinnamon bark.
Once it crackle add hing curry leaves and chilli ginger paste. saute few seconds then add tomato puree.
Let the tomato puree cook for 4-5 minutes.
Add all the masala and cook till you see oil on the surface.
Now add cooked chana with water and salt.
Let the chana cook for 10-12 minutes.
You will see gravy getting little thicker.
Add jaggery and cook further for 5-7 minutes.
Add tamarind water, mix well and cook a couple of minutes.
By now gravy should be nice and thick.
Turn off the heat.
Sprinkle fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with Rice, Gujarati Kadhi and Rotli.

Thank you for stopping by and reading this post ! We hope to see you again soon :)

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Haus Hiltl - The Oldest Vegetarian Restaurant in the World - Restaurant Review

Pin it to save it for later!

I'm sure that I speak for most vegetarians and vegans that entering a restaurant will always cause a shadow of a doubt. Will there be anything vegetarian/vegan for me? If you are in a group that eats meat, it's definitely going to have to be you dictating where you eat or getting stuck with a salad!

There have been instances when I am abroad, I have struggled to find vegetarian food. There are discrepancies in understanding vegetarianism as well, some eats eggs, some do not. Some eat fish, some do not.

Nowadays, more and more vegetarian/vegan only eateries have popped up as vegetarianism has become more trendy. But, it is hard to find fully vegetarian/vegan restaurants that have been around for a long time. One such restaurant resides in Zurich, a city that we only recently visited.

Haus Hiltl is the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the World and has a place in the Guinness Book of Records to prove it. It was founded in 1898 in Zurich and managed by the Hiltl family and continues to be managed by the fourth generation of the same family.

Hiltl may be traditional but also provides a modern healthy-living establishment. Healthy eating in the essence of the Hiltl, then whether the customer would like an A la carte service, the famous Hiltl buffet or a takeaway the choice of dishes is not reduced. There are plenty of dishes from cuisines all around the world that are all made fresh each day in the Hiltl kitchens. Hiltl is open early til late and Fri-Sun nights, the restaurant transforms into a club. And now, the Haus Hiltl is not a stand alone venture, but the brand consists of a cooking academy, two summer restaurants on Lake Zurich and Switzerland's first vegetarian butcher. The opening of other premises are also imminent.

Hiltl very kindly invited us to their main restaurant Haus Hiltl, a stone throw away from the main train station in Zurich (Zurich HB) and the famous Bahnhofstrasse.

It may have been a weekday evening but that didn't stop the Hiltl being packed with people. The downstairs featured a bar and also had the renowned Hiltl buffet. Upstairs was more relaxed and primarily A la carte, although you could still get the buffet if you wanted to. We had been walking around Zurich all day long and pretty tired by this point so we decided to choose from the A la carte menu.

These were all first impressions before getting to the piece de resistance.. the FOOD! I've never had to spend so long reading a menu before, there was just so much choice! If I could have spent a whole week there just to try out the whole menu then I would have. Sadly, I had to make a decision as to what I was going to order!

For drinks to start with, we ordered two carafes of freshly pressed juices, the Tropical and Coconut-Pineapple. They took a whole new meaning to freshly pressed! They tasted so crisp as if we were literally just eating the fruit straight. They complemented the other dishes that we ate later too.

For the starter, we ordered the Crispy Tofu & Salad and the Saffron Noodles. Both dishes were exquisite and definitely the height of the whole meal. The flavours and ingredients that were used were second to none and blended together beautifully. I was especially keen on the mango-apple chutney that came with the Tofu salad, it tasted phenomenal! The medley of all of the fresh ingredients, such as the green leaf salad is what made the dish taste so good. For both starters, it was evident that each ingredient brought something special to the final product.

As we were visiting Switzerland, there was no way I was going home without trying potato rosti. My daughter had the vegetarian version of the Cordon Bleu (a speciality of Hiltl). The portions were very generous in size but tasted superb. A rare time where you could find quantity and quality.

Indian Prime Minister with Margarith Hiltl 

One of the highlights of the visit came after the main meal, where we were very lucky to get a tour around the Hiltl. It was there that we learnt about the history of Hiltl and its connections to India - one of the reasons the buffet and A la carte is so extensive in the Indian cuisine. Getting a chance to walk around the kitchens was a noteworthy experience, I doubt I'll be getting the chance to do that often! I especially liked seeing the glass pyramids within the restaurant that gave you a view of the kitchens where our food was being prepared.

The dessert menu really intrigued me. So many of the desserts were vegan, which normally would need to be made with egg and/or dairy products. There were even many Indian sweets in the buffet such as Gulab jamun and Shrikhand. It is possible to have the A la carte menu for the starter and main and then choose the dessert buffet but we stuck to the A la carte! We tried the mango mousse and it was almost unbelievable that it was vegan. So light but still creamy, we literally couldn't have ended the meal in a better way.

We could find no fault at all in the food or the service - both were impeccable. I was delighted to receive two cookbooks as a gift, which I have since gone through cover to cover! Thank you Hiltl!

Hiltl is the sort of place you could visit no matter what your time constraints were. If you wanted a quick but delectable meal, the buffet would be a good move. If you had more time and wanted to feel entertained, then the A la carte would give you plenty of time to put up your feet and soak in the vibes.

Going to eat at a restaurant isn't necessarily for the sake of needing to eat. Often, we choose to "eat out" as a way of catching up with friends. We choose a restaurant that will offer good food but sometimes, more importantly, a good atmosphere. Hiltl created that ambience perfectly. It was the perfect mix of laid back but not compromising on luxury.

Disclaimer :- Thank you Hiltl for welcoming us to enjoy your hospitality. The full meal for two was on the house and all views expressed are entirely my own. I was not told or paid to write a positive review.

Thank you for stopping by and reading this post ! We hope to see you again soon :)