Lite Bite http://litebite.in Tue, 26 Aug 2014 04:44:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Recipes | Healthy Dill and Potato Oats Crackers – One opportunity leads directly to another http://litebite.in/recipes-healthy-dill-crackers/ http://litebite.in/recipes-healthy-dill-crackers/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 09:04:55 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=10772 'When you take the step towards your dreams, you will be met with fears because you have never traveled this way before. As you go, you will discover that you had nothing to fear.' ~ Gardner

Just as risk leads to more risk, one opportunity leads directly to another. And talking about this opportunity, quite honestly, I never thought that such opportunities could come my way through food blogging.

Some days back, I received a call from a representative of a very popular multinational food manufacturing company

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healthy dill crackers

‘When you take the step towards your dreams, you will be met with fears because you have never traveled this way before. As you go, you will discover that you had nothing to fear.’ ~ Gardner

Just as risk leads to more risk, one opportunity leads directly to another. And talking about this opportunity, quite honestly, I never thought that such opportunities could come my way through food blogging.

Some days back, I received a call from a representative of a very popular multinational food manufacturing company Kellogg.

Kellogg’s Asia pacific has organized a two day ‘Product Ideation’ workshop in Mumbai and they have selected you as one of the participants. The workshop is to generate ideas on Indian breakfast recipes which are convenient to cook in morning and are healthy too. There will be a mix of participants from India and abroad in a team to work on a given platform.” He informed me over phone and asked me to confirm my participation through mail.

And as I always do, I opened the topic to hubby on the dinner table that night. “It  sounded like a good idea with lot of scope for learning, sharing and making new friends. But then again, the thought of leaving children, traveling and staying alone makes me little apprehensive.”

Stop giving reasons now, you are fortunate enough to have been given a second chance to start a new life. Cease every wonderful opportunity coming your way. Learn new things and grow as a better person. Isn’t that what you want to show your children?” My hubby replied matter-of-factly and waited for my next question.

Well, hubby’s pep-talks have become a sort of ritual of late, before I take my first step to any new assignment :)

I took the assignment after a few days of cross-checking and bothering the concerned people from the company with my mails.

And it proved to be a wise decision!

It was one of those events where you meet people from across the world and get to learn the cross-cultural perspective of food.

healthy dill cracekrs

The cheerful and friendly  ‘Ideation team’ at Hotel Novotel in Mumbai.

healthy dill crackers and product ideation workshop

Met the talented trio of Mumbai food bloggers….Rhea, Kalyan and Romi.

healthy dill crackers and product ideation workshop

A click with the celebrity chef Ranveer Brar who pampered us with some of the most delicious spreads for two days.

healthy dill crackers and product ideation workshop

Room with a view

I took the early morning flight and reached the venue directly. My room was booked in the same hotel. The day was hectic with lots of engaging activities and insight on the food industry.

Evening was quiet, I went out for a walk on the beach. With overcast skies and intermittent showers, the weather was amazing in Mumbai. The enthusiastic evening walkers and playful children around the beach kept me engaged till it was too dark.

Back in my room, I started working upon the platforms given to us for the next day session. The sounds of the sea and splashing waves was soothing. I was completely at peace in my calm and serene room facing the magnificent Juhu beach.

As the lunch menu was too heavy, I skipped dinner and opted for a cup of warm Chamomile tea with a few Dill crackers I baked at home.

Healthy Dill and Potato Oats Crackers

healthy dill crackers and product ideation workshop

Dill or Suva is an annual aromatic herb used commonly in many North Indian dishes such as flat breads (roti), cold salads (with boiled aloo) and lentil (daal) recipes.

Due to the sweet after-taste of Dill, it is used as mouth freshener or Mukhwas in West India.  Dill has good digestive properties and imparts a distinct flavor to any dish.

I often use Dill seeds in baking savory dishes. These crackers are a twisted version of dill and potato rotis we make at home.

Check this recipe for more flaky and crispy biscuits.

healthy dill crackers and product ideation workshop

Check this recipe of quick and healthy warm chickpea salad with Dill leaves.

healthy dill crackers and product ideation workshop

Ingredients;

(Make about 15 crackers)

  • 1 cup Oats
  • 1/2 cup Wheat flour
  • 3 tbsp oil + 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup mashed Potato
  • 2 tbsp. chopped dill leaves
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 tsp dry red chilly flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. carom seeds

healthy dill crackers and product ideation workshop

Method; Preheat the oven to 190°C and grease a baking tray with oil.

Boil and mash the potato. Coarsely grind the Oats (I used quick cooking Oats).

Wash and finely chop Dill (suva) leaves.

Take both the flours in a large bowl, add carom seeds (ajwain), dried red chilly flakes, chopped Dill leaves, baking powder, salt to it and mix well.

Add oil and softened butter in the above flour and mix lightly to get bread crumbs like texture.

Add mashed potato and yogurt or curd (dahi) in the bowl and bring all the ingredients together to form hard dough.

Take a large portion of the dough, dust it lightly with dry wheat flour and roll it into a large thin sheet with a rolling pin.

Cut the rolled out dough into squares or rounds with a sharp knife or a cookie cutter.

healthy dill crackers and product ideation workshop

Arrange all the squares onto a greased baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. Turn the crackers to other side and bake for another 10 minutes.

Notes;

  1. Two plastic sheets would be very handy to roll the cracker dough into thin sheet.
  2. Baking time would depend upon the thickness of the crackers.
  3. Olive oil works wonder to give lovely taste and healthy touch to these crackers.
  4. Crackers are generally hard and dry in texture, add a little butter to make these crackers crisp.
  5. Replace oil and use softened butter for much flakier crackers.
  6. Use dried fenugreek leaves (Kasuri methi), coriander, mint or any other dried herbs such as rosemary, oregano or thyme to add different flavors to these crackers.
  7. Substitute grated cheese with oil and butter in the recipe and get another delicious version of these crackers. Make sure you reduce the quantity of salt accordingly.

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Recipe |Easy and healthy Purple cabbage Coleslaw – Life is too short to be anything but happy http://litebite.in/recipe-purple-cabbage-coleslaw-healthy/ http://litebite.in/recipe-purple-cabbage-coleslaw-healthy/#comments Sun, 17 Aug 2014 11:38:14 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=10752 Like many other enthusiastic food bloggers, I too started blogging with the notion of organizing my recipes and connecting with like-minded people.

Little did I know that this simple hobby of mine would bestow me with countless precious gifts and many remarkable moments of life to cherish. Good friends, hours of endless entertainment and wonderful creative outlet are a few.

I recently had a chance to attend IFBM 2014 in Bangalore, which was organized exclusively for Indian food bloggers.

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Recipe |Easy and healthy Purple cabbage Coleslaw

Like many other enthusiastic food bloggers, I too started blogging with the notion of organizing my recipes and connecting with like-minded people.

Little did I know that this simple hobby of mine would bestow me with countless precious gifts and many remarkable moments of life to cherish. Good friends, hours of endless entertainment and wonderful creative outlet are a few.

I recently had a chance to attend IFBM 2014 in Bangalore, which was organized exclusively for Indian food bloggers.

And what a fabulous meet it turned out to be. There were workshops on photography & styling, lessons on food writing & self-publishing your cook book, tips on SEO & social media awareness just to name a few.

The meet has surely given wings & hopes to many enthusiastic cooks, aspiring cook book authors and budding food photographers of India to soar.

Here are a few snippets from the fondest memories and beautiful times shared with friends from the meet;

easy vegetarian recipes, egg free baking and healthy desserts.

Pic. courtesy IFBM members

Happy people are beautiful…well, don’t you think life is too short to be anything but happy.

We had a wonderful time staying together as one big family, caring and sharing space with each other. One of our local friends took us for a midnight ride in search for a cup of hot filter coffee.

Oh and the ruckus we made….we laughed till we literally started to cry sharing some of the hilarious moments, giggling, shouting, running around…we had such a fun time together!

healthy vegetarian recipes

Pic. courtesy IFBM members

The excitement did not end there for me. I had some of the best times of my life sharing my room with Deeba, who constantly inspires me with her humbleness and the amazing work on her blog Passionate about baking.

We chatted till the wee hours, shared some of the priceless moments of our professional and personal lives with each other…and I know I have got a friend for life.

easy vegetarian recipes, egg free baking and healthy desserts.

One of the many delicious spreads in the hotel during coffee breaks. Had a tough time deciding what to eat and what to leave….

easy vegetarian recipes, egg free baking and healthy desserts.

Pic. courtesy IFBM members

I was in the panel discussion on the topic ‘From blogging to business’ with some of the talented bloggers and cook book authors.

easy vegetarian recipes, egg free baking and healthy desserts.

Pic. courtesy IFBM members

And there was a prize waiting for me from Urban Dazzle….

easy vegetarian recipes, egg free baking and healthy desserts.

Just look at the amount of goodies some of the generous sponsors showered upon us…

easy vegetarian recipes, egg free baking and healthy desserts.

Well, these are the precious gifts I received from some of my thoughtful and loving blogger friends. The lovely handcrafted wooden tray with two spoons, antique kettle, grape-seed oil, black poppy seeds and a lovely cook book.

And I used the same grape-seed oil to make this healthy and refreshing coleslaw.

Quick and healthy Purple cabbage coleslaw  

easy vegetarian recipes, egg free baking and healthy desserts.

Ingredients;

(serve 3)

  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • Coriander leaves to garnish

Dressing;

  • 2 tbsp Grape-seed oil/Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. Black pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

easy vegetarian recipes, egg free baking and healthy desserts.

Method; Wash and shred red cabbage finely and grate carrots. Dice cucumber, onion into very thin slices. De-seed tomato and chop finely.

Combine all the prepped vegetables in a large salad bowl.

In another small bowl whisk together the ingredients fro dressing.
easy healthy vegetarian recipes

Pour the dressing over vegetables, sprinkle toasted sesame seeds and serve chilled.

Notes;

  1. Replace grape-seed oil with Olive oil or even sesame oil as dressing.
  2. Use toasted nuts or seeds to increase the health quotient of this recipe.
  3. Chill the coleslaw before serving for the crunchy bites.
  4. Use colored capsicum or bell pepper to add colurs and nutrition in the recipe.

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Baking | Indian Parathas Calzone Way – There is nothing better than being able to bring a smile on someones face http://litebite.in/baking-sweet-corn-calzones/ http://litebite.in/baking-sweet-corn-calzones/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 07:08:22 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=10722 There is nothing better than being able to bring a smile to someones face and make them happy. Yes, I did it again!
I have other commitments lined up for this week already and I may not be able to take up this project. Moreover I am not a professional photographer, I can ony style the food to some extent. And doing 60 dishes in such a short span of time is practically impossible.” I replied showing my helplessness to accept the said project to my friend 'P' on phone.

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Healthy calzones

There is nothing better than being able to bring a smile to someones face and make them happy. Yes, I did it again!
I have other commitments lined up for this week already and I may not be able to take up this project. Moreover I am not a professional photographer, I can only style the food to some extent. And doing 60 dishes in such a short span of time is practically impossible.” I replied showing my helplessness to accept the said project to my friend ‘P’ on phone.

You cannot say ‘no’ Sanjeeta, you are doing this project for me. This is a small family cook book for a friend of mine and we are not keen on perfect pictures, your photos will do well.” She replied.

Taking up a task which should sensibly take about 25-30  days and completing it in a few days time sounds daunting. And I will be doing every work from selecting props, placing food, arranging backdrops, styling food to clicking pictures all by myself “. I tried explaining my situation to her.

Well, these are times, when your heart wins out over the head. And I accepted her project with few more commitments in hand.

In a normal Ad photo shoot I style for about 6-7 dishes for the photographer while most of our time goes in co-coordinating and accepting the ideas of the client and the art directors.

But for this project I had no time to pre plan for shoots or organize any props or garnishes for the recipes. In fact I never had any clue as to what dishes are going to come that day, will it be curries, sweets, flat breads or something else.

Baking | Sweet Corn Calzones

13-14 dishes would arrive each day at 2 pm and I had just 4 hours in my hand to shoot the dishes.

Yes unlike any conventional studio photo shoots where lighting and every other things are pre set and you just need perfectly styled food to click.

In natural light photography you are at the mercy of Sun god. You need to change the angles and composition of food to be shot every few seconds depending upon the sun rays. And to my bad luck I had over cast skies and rains on all the 5 days of shoot.

I would set my table in my patio, grab whatever prop I could, garnish the dishes lightly when suddenly the skies will be overcast and I had to move inside to continue shooting in my small homemade studio.

Even with my article deadline for an Indian Daily “Deccan Chronicle” and a restaurant shoot planning coinciding with the shoot, I finished the Herculean task of styling and clicking all 60 dishes individually in the stipulated time.

Baking | Sweet Corn Calzones

Fortnightly article in an Indian Daily

I worked late in nights and was able to complete and submit my article on time.

Baking | Sweet Corn Calzones

Packing sweets and some gifts for blogger friends…

After effects of this strenuous 5 days non-stop, high-pressure photo shoot is taking a toll on my body. What with a severe backache, sore legs and running with temperature.

My body has given up but the spirits are still high…yes, I will be meeting many of my food blogger friends in a days time :)

I still have energy left to make some chocolates for my friends and pack a few gifts for them. And yes, a recipe to post for one another contest on IFBM.

A very humble Indian flat bread or stuffed Paratha which takes the fancy name of Calzone (folded Pizza) to please children at home. Thanks to the contest, this old recipe is finally kicked out from the folders.

Indian Paratha Calzone with Fresh Corn

Baking | Indian Parathas Calzone Way

Ingredients;

(serve 3)

  • 1/2 cup quick cooking Oats
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Water to knead hard dough

Vegetables stuffing;

  • Sweet corn
  • Capsicum
  • Spinach
  • Boiled potato
  • Onion
  • 2 tbsp. cottage cheese (Paneer)
  • 4 tbsp. chilli-tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp. oil

Baking | Sweet Corn Calzones

Method; Preheat oven to 200°C and grease a baking tray with oil

Grind Oats into fine powder and mix it with whole wheat flour in a large bowl. I kneaded both Oatmeal flour and plain white flour dough (in the pictures above) to make Calzones.

Add baking powder, salt, oil, half a cup of water and bring all ingredients together to form dough.

Add yogurt and a little water (if needed) to make a pliable dough.

Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for 10 minutes till the vegetables are prepared.

Finely chop onion, capsicum, spinach.

Heat oil in a pan, add chopped vegetables and sauté on high heat for 3-4 minutes. Take the pan off flame.

Baking | Sweet Corn Calzones

Divide dough into 4 large balls and roll out each into small rounds.

Spread a little chilli tomato sauce, place chopped and cooked vegetables and grated cottage cheese in one corner of the circle.

Flip the other end and close the Calzone. Press the corners with a fork to seal the Calzones.

Baking | Sweet Corn Calzones

Coat the Calzones with oil using a pastry brush or your hands. Cut a small slit on top of the Calzones to let the steam pass.

Place all the prepared Calzones on greased baking tray and bake for 15 minutes or till the crust is baron in colour.

Baking | Sweet Corn Calzones

This recipe is an entry to IFBM and Freedom Tree Baking contest

Notes;

  1. Do not over stuff Calzones.
  2. Add any sauce or Indian spice-mix to the vegetables stuffing for making Calzones or folded stuffed Parathas.

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Recipes | Healthy and Refreshing Indian Summer Mocktails with Barley, Jamun and Plums http://litebite.in/recipes-indian-drinks/ http://litebite.in/recipes-indian-drinks/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 15:47:52 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=10718 Nothing screams summer like dark, plump and fleshy Jamun or Java plums. Local markets in many places of India gets flooded with these purple beauties during summer months.

I remember how crazy we were to buy a handful of salted Jamuns wrapped loosely in a newspaper (yes, you read it right) from an old lady outside our school premise. And the stubborn purple stain on our uniform, tongue and hands would never let us hide our mischief from mom.

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healthy indian fruity moctails

Nothing screams summer like dark, plump and fleshy Jamun or Java plums. Local markets in many places of India gets flooded with these purple beauties during summer months.

I remember how crazy we were to buy a handful of salted Jamuns wrapped loosely in a newspaper (yes, you read it right) from an old lady outside our school premise. And the stubborn purple stain on our uniform, tongue and hands would never let us hide our mischief from mom.

I love Jamuns but am not able to convince my children enjoy this summer fruit. That is when the idea of making a drink with it stumble upon. And out came two refreshing and healthy summer drinks using plums and Jamun or Java plums.

The characteristic sweet-sour and astringent after taste of Jamun makes it a perfect fruit for a summer drink. I made a refreshing summer drink last year using sweet-sour Jamuns which finally did the trick to make my children Jamun convert. They prefer the sweeter version of Jamun Jal- Jeera Sparkling Punch.

Enjoy these alcohol-free summer drinks when these nature’s bounty are in abundance.

Thanks to another contest on IFBM, this recipe which was in my draft since 2013 is seeing the light of day, finally.

Make these refreshing Indian summer coolers, add a few fresh mint sprigs and celebrate summer a healthy way.

1. Barley-Plum Summer Splash

Recipes | Healthy and Refreshing Indian Summer Drinks

A dash of lemon juice mixed with barley water is an old fashioned tonic of grandma and is a perfect energetic drink. My mom used to make barley water during summer days. Here are a few Barley drink recipes posted on Lite Bite in 2011.

I wanted to add a zing to my barley drink by pairing Plums with the humble grain.  The sweet-sour taste of plums adds an extra dimension to barley drink apart from imparting a wonderful hue to it.

Ingredients;

(serve 3-4)

  • 1/2 cup pearl Barley
  • 10 Plums
  • 1/4 tsp. Grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp Honey to sweeten
  • 3 cups Water
  • 2 whole lemons
  • Crushed ice

Recipes | Healthy and Refreshing Indian Summer Drinks

Method;

Wash and soak barley in 3 cups of water for 3-4 hours. Boil Barley in water for 10-15 minutes on medium heat.

Strain the mixture in a large jar and let the barley water cool.

Wash and remove flesh from Plums. Blend in a blender to make plum puree.

Add honey and plum puree to barley water. Slice the lemons, remove the seeds, add it to the drink and slightly squeeze them with your fingers inside the jar. . I did not squeeze the lemons in my drink as the Plums were too tart.

Refrigerate the drink till use.

Serve Barley- plum summer splash with crushed ice and a few sprigs of fresh mint leaves.

For a salty version of this Barley-Plum summer splash add the following ingredients and avoid honey;

  • 1/4 tsp. Cumin powder
  • A pinch of Pepper powder
  • A pinch of black salt

Serve chilled and enjoy this healthy summer cooler.

Recipes | Healthy and Refreshing Indian Summer Drinks

2. Jamun Jal Jeera Sparkling Punch

Recipes | Healthy and Refreshing Indian Summer Drinks

Ingredients;

(serve 3)

  • 20 Jamun or Java plum
  • 2 cups soda water
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp cane sugar (optional)
  • 2 tsp. Jal jeera spice-mix
  • Crushed ice

Jal- Jeera mix;

  • 1 tbsp. Cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. Black salt (kala namak)
  • 1 tsp. Amchoor (dry mango) powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper powder

Recipes | Healthy and Refreshing Indian Summer Drinks

Method; Wash and remove flesh from all the Jamuns. Churn chopped Jamun with one cup of water in a blender.

Strain the mixture and discard the residue.

Recipes | Healthy and Refreshing Indian Summer Drinks

Roast cumin and coriander for a few minutes and grind into a fine powder. Mix all the ingredients for Jal jeera mix and store the powder in an air tight container.

Take a large bowl and add strained Jamun juice, cane sugar, Jal jeera spice-mix and stir well.

Chill this liquid and let the spices infuse in the drink.

Recipes | Healthy and Refreshing Indian Summer Drinks

To serve Jamun Jal- Jeera Sparkling Punch, strain the drink to remove the spices from it, fill a glass with half of the above Jamun mixture, add soda water and crushed ice.

Recipes | Healthy and Refreshing Indian Summer Drinks

Any cocktail glass will make these mocktails look beautiful, this post is for Urban Dazzle contest on IFBM.

Notes;

  1. Add boiled and strained barley pearls to your drink for more nutritious drink.
  2. You can increase or decrease sugar quantity in the both the drinks according to the sweetness of  fruits. (Jamun or Plums).
  3. Select dark skinned ripe fruits for making the drinks.
  4. You can also sprinkle a little Jal Jeera spice-mix while serving the drink.
  5. You can make this summer splash ahead by making the fruit juice and chilling in refrigerator. Add the soda just before serving.

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Recipe | Fresh Plums and Tofu Kofta Curry with Tawa Pulav – My race against time http://litebite.in/recipe-fresh-plums-tofu-kofta-curry/ http://litebite.in/recipe-fresh-plums-tofu-kofta-curry/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 14:14:19 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=10699 “Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough” ~ Oprah

Back then I had loads of time in hand. My home and life was well organized and I never knew what ‘racing against time’ meant.

I was happy, but still felt a void in life and was searching for ways to fill it. As they say, change your perspective when you think your life is incomplete without something.

And then, food blogging happened.

Now the equation of life has changed. Five days to go for a food blogger meet, a deadline to meet for print media and a high-pressure photo shoot on very short notice.

And yes, I am racing against time...but I am content :)

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Tofu koftas in fresh plum sauce with tawa pulav

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough” ~ Oprah

Back then I had loads of time in hand. My home and life was well organized and I never knew what ‘racing against time’ meant.

I was happy, but still felt a void in life and was searching for ways to fill it. As they say, change your perspective when you think your life is incomplete without something.

And then, food blogging happened.

Now the equation of life has changed. Five days to go for a food blogger meet, a deadline to meet for print media and a high-pressure photo shoot on very short notice.

And yes, I am racing against time…but I am content :)

Oh well, there is a temptation to take part in a food blogging contest by KitchenAid India on IFBM also….after all food blogging is where I belong.

1. Fresh Plums and Tofu Kofta Curry

Recipe | Tofu Dumplings in Plum Gravy with Tawa Pulav

The first time I had a savory Plum recipe was when I visited my friend in Uttaranchal. She stays in a beautiful house which is build on a mountain and has a large farm in a valley overlooking her house. They are bestowed by natures’s bounty, fresh plums, apples, citrus fruits and vegetables I have never heard before.

She quite often uses  homegrown Plums for  making relish, chutney, dried powder similar to Amchoor (mango powder), rice dishes and curries.

Small variety of tart plums are the best  for making curries and dried powder. The sweet-sour plum puree added to gravy lifts up the taste & flavor of any Indian curry.

Ingredients;

(serve 3)

For Tofu Koftas;

  • 1 cup crumbled Tofu
  • 1 large boiled potato
  • 1 tbsp. Plum puree
  • 2 tbsp. chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp. corn flour or all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp. red chilly powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

For Gravy;

  • 10-12 Fresh Plums
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tbsp. Paav Bhaji masala
  • 1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. Kasuri Methi (dried Fenugreek leaves)
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Water as required

Recipe | Tofu Dumplings in Plum Gravy with Tawa Pulav

Method; Wash and chop all the plums and remove the seeds. Puree the chopped plums.

Recipe | Tofu Dumplings in Plum Gravy with Tawa Pulav

Tofu Koftas; Mix crumbled Tofu, mashed potato and rest of the ingredients listed under ‘For Tofu Koftas’ in a large bowl.

Recipe | Tofu Dumplings in Plum Gravy with Tawa Pulav
Make small balls and dust each ball with cornflour or all purpose flour (maida).

Heat oil in a flat pan and shallow fry all the Tofu koftas for 2-3 minutes or till they turn golden brown in colour.

Recipe | Tofu Dumplings in Plum Gravy with Tawa Pulav

For Gravy; Finely grate the onion and tomato with a grater.

Combine plum puree, grated tomato-onion, ginger-garlic paste in a bowl.

Heat oil in a kadai/wok and add the above plum mixture in it. Add water as required and saute for 5-6 minutes on low heat.

Add Paav Bhaji spice-mix and Kasuri Methi to the gravy and take the kadai from heat.

Serve this Fresh plum tofu kofta curry with Tawa pulav or any Indian bread of your choice.

2. Quick and easy Tawa Pulav

Recipe | Tofu Dumplings in Plum Gravy with Tawa Pulav

Ingredients;

(serve 2)

  • 1 cup cooked Basmati rice
  • 1 cup chopped vegetables
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 tbsp. Paav Bhaji masala
  • 1 tsp. chilli-garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Paav Bhaji Spice-mix;

(for 2 servings)

  • 2 tbsp. Coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp. Cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp. Black peppercorn
  • 2 tsp. Mango powder
  • 2 tsp. Fennel seeds
  • 3 Cloves
  • 3 Dry red chilly
  • 1 inch Cinnamon stick

Recipe | Tofu Dumplings in Plum Gravy with Tawa Pulav

Method; Dry roast all the spices in a pan on low heat for 2-3 minutes.

Cool the spices completely and grind into a fine powder.

Store this spice-mix in an air-tight container. The spice-mix can be used for many Indian rice dishes and curries.

Peel and chop and all the vegetables you are using. Heat oil in a large Tawa or griddle and crackle cumin seeds in it. Add chilly-garlic paste, chopped onion, tomato and sauté for a minute. Add all the chopped vegetables (Green peas, capsicum, baby corn, cabbage, spouted moong) salt in it and cook for 4-5 minutes on high heat.

Add prepared Paav Bhaji spice-mix and lightly mash all the cooked vegetables on the tawa with the back of the ladle or a vegetable masher.

Recipe | Tofu Dumplings in Plum Gravy with Tawa Pulav

Add pre-cooked rice in the tawa and stir to combine well.

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve this flavorful Tawa Pulav with Fresh Plums and Tofu Kofta Curry

Notes;

  1. Keep the tofu on a paper napkin or kitchen towel and remove all the moisture from it before making the koftas.
  2. Stuff a few raisins inside the Tofu koftas while rolling it into balls.
  3. Do not add too much Plum puree to make koftas, you will find it difficult to bind and shallow fry the same.
  4. The colour of gravy will depend on the colour of plums used in the recipe. If you don’t get good colour you can replace a little of Paav bhaji masala with Kashmiri red chilly powder which will impart deep red colour to the gravy.
  5. Kasuri Methi or dried fenugreek leaves imparts a wonderful flavor, the slight bitterness of leaves completely balances the sweet-sour taste of the Plum gravy.

....

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Recipe | Fresh Plum and Almond Pudding aka Aloobukhara Phirni and a contest on IFBM http://litebite.in/recipe-fresh-plum-pudding-phirni/ http://litebite.in/recipe-fresh-plum-pudding-phirni/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 14:07:39 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=10696 Firni is a delightful healthy dessert and could be cooked without much efforts. An earthen pot is a perfect vessel to set this dessert, as the porous surface of the pot will absorb water leaving a thick & creamy Firni behind.

The tart small Plums, mildly sweet coconut milk and the nutty almonds give a  wonderful burst of flavors and taste to this creamy rich Phirni.

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fresh plum pudding

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough” ~ Oprah

Back then I had loads of time in hand. My home and life was well organized and I never knew what ‘racing against time’ meant.

I was happy, but still felt a void in life and was searching for ways to fill it. As they say, change your perspective when you think your life is incomplete without something.

And then, food blogging happened.

Now the equation of life has changed. Five days to go for a food blogger meet, a deadline to meet for print media and a high-pressure photo shoot on very short notice.

And yes, I am racing against time…but I am content :)

Oh well, there is a temptation to take part in a food blogging contest by KitchenAid India on IFBM also….after all food blogging is where I belong.

I already had two recipes of  ‘Plum’ in my treasure and cooked both in a jiff. I could just about manage to click and post both the recipes before the D date for the contest…phew.

Plum and Almond Pudding aka Phirni

Recipe | Fresh Pum and Almond Pudding aka Phirni

Firni is a delightful healthy dessert and could be cooked without much efforts. An earthen pot is a perfect vessel to set this dessert, as the porous surface of the pot will absorb water leaving a thick & creamy Firni behind.

The tart small Plums, mildly sweet coconut milk and the nutty almonds give a  wonderful burst of flavors and taste to this creamy rich Phirni.

Ingredients;

(serve 3)

  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 10-12 almonds
  • 6-7 fresh Plums
  • 2 tbsp. cane sugar
  • 1 tbsp. raw rice
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom powder
  • Few almonds to garnish
  • Water to soak rice

Recipe | Fresh Pum and Almond Pudding aka Phirni

Method; Soak rice and almonds in 1/2 cup of plain water for 15 minutes. Drain and grind rice and almonds into fine paste.

Wash, chop and puree plums.

Bring coconut milk to boil in a thick bottomed pan on low flame. Add rice-almond paste and keep stirring to avoid the mixture sticking to the bottom.

Make sure there are no lumps in the Phirni.

Recipe | Fresh Pum and Almond Pudding aka Phirni

Add plum puree, sugar, cardamom powder and simmer for 3-4 minutes.

Take the pan off flame and let it cool.

Recipe | Fresh Pum and Almond Pudding aka Phirni

Pour the Phirni in individual earthenware or bowls. Garnish with almonds slivers and edible silver foil and refrigerate the Phirni for 5-6 hours to set.

Recipe | Fresh Pum and Almond Pudding aka Phirni

Notes;

  1. You can peel the almonds before grinding if you dislike almonds peels in your pudding.
  2. Use normal white sugar if you can’t get cane sugar, cane sugar gives a beautiful colour and caramelized flavor to the dessert.
  3. Replace coconut milk with plain milk to get a different taste for this dessert recipe.

This recipe goes to KitchenAid India contest on IFBM.

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Recipes | Instant Oats Idly Satay with crunchy peanut sauce – Coming out of the comfort zone again http://litebite.in/recipes-instant-oats-idly-satay/ http://litebite.in/recipes-instant-oats-idly-satay/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 05:23:57 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=10683 Life has many ways of testing a person's will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once.” ~ Paulo Coelho

Life throws challenges when we least expect it. I received a call from ‘Deccan Chronicle’, an Indian daily news paper the other day.

We have been browsing your blog and are very impressed, would you consider being a columnist for our daily?” a media representative inquired in a sweet voice on other end.

With on- going workshops and a food styling project I was not sure if I can commit myself for one another work. I asked her a days time to decide and called my hubby.

I feel you should take up this challenge. I can see you getting lazy and comfortable within your comfort zone. This might help you create new possibilities in your career” He answered.

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Healthy idly satay recipe

Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once.” ~ Paulo Coelho

Life throws challenges when we least expect it. I received a call from ‘Deccan Chronicle’, an Indian daily news paper the other day.

We have been browsing your blog and are very impressed, would you consider being a columnist for our daily?” a media representative inquired in a sweet voice on other end.

With on- going workshops and a food styling project I was not sure if I can commit myself for one another work. I asked her a days time to decide and called my hubby.

I feel you should take up this challenge. I can see you getting lazy and comfortable within your comfort zone. This might help you create new possibilities in your career” He answered.

“But you know that ‘writing’ is not my strength, moreover I have just two days to plan the recipes, cook, style, click and write the article”. I threw my last straw.

Do remember the saying, You’ve only got three choices in life: Give up, give in, or give it all you’ve got. I leave it to you to decide” and the line got disconnected.

I have taken out of my comfort zone many times, sometimes willingly and at times pushed by the circumstances. Fortunately with the support of my family and some wonderful friends I was able to cross each hurdle with ease.

Well,  I decided on ‘give it all’ and accepted her request. I started working promptly upon the topic they suggested for my first article as I had just two working days to complete it.

After many initial hiccups of word limits, picture formats and number of recipes I could manage to complete and send the draft in a day’s time.

The draft that I sent was tossed in many hands before it got published today in Deccan Chronicle.

There are a few errors in the print, if the recipe of Instant Idly is explained in detail, the ingredients are missing. The peanut Satay sauce ingredients are listed but the recipe is not printed.

Hmm…I love my ‘one-hand-one-shot’ published food blog :)

For all the friends who read the article, called and congratulated me and wanted to know the original  recipe I shared i DC, here it is;

healthy recipes

Featured in Deccan Chronicles

1. Idly Satay with Peanut Satay sauce

Chinese Dosa, Italian Paneer Naan Pizza, Chinese Bhel, Mexican parathas…there is a sudden explosion of fusion foods in India.

I have always enjoyed incorporating new elements from various cuisines and giving healthy twists to my food. But most of the days I end up cooking comfort foods at home which are far from gourmet and my children refer them as ‘boring food’.

This is when fusion recipes come to my rescue and save me from occasional food tantrums at home. It helps me break the monotony of cooking and add a fun part to the table.

Idly Satay and Idly Manchurian are two such interesting fusion recipes which were born out of necessity when my children avoided eating plain Idlis.

These delicious recipes can set the mood and pace for an exciting party at home, any time.

Idly Satay with peanut satay sauce has three components;

  1. Instant Oats Idly
  2. Dry Rub
  3. Peanut Satay sauce

Recipes | Instant Oats Idly Satay

Instant Oats Idly

Ingredients;

  • 1 cup semolina or rawa
  • 1/2 cup Instant Oats
  • 1/2 cup sour curd
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda or eno
  • 1/2 tsp.Salt

Method; Dry roast semolina and oats in a pan for 3-4 minutes.

Whisk curd with water in a large bowl and soak in roasted Oats and semolina for 5 minutes.

Add rest of the ingredients in the above mixture and mix well.

Pour this idly batter in each greased Idly mould and steam for 5-6 minutes.

I added a little turmeric powder and a pinch of red chilly powder in my Oats Idly. You can avoid it if you like white Idlis.

Recipes | Instant Oats Idly Satay

Dry rub

Ingredients;

  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Chaat masala
  • 1/2 tsp. red chilly powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dried herbs
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Recipes | Instant Oats Idly Satay

Method; Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Dried herbs or even finely shredded coriander leaves works good.

Slice all the Idlis in small pieces and coat it with the above spice-mix.

Heat a shallow pan and sauté the Idlis for 3- 4 minutes on medium heat.

Recipes | Instant Oats Idly Satay

Peanut Satay Sauce

Ingredients;

  • 1 cup toasted peanuts (skinless)
  • 1 tbsp. tamarind pulp mashed in 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ inch ginger piece
  • 3-4 dried red chilies
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Recipes | Instant Oats Idly Satay

Method; Grind half cup of peanuts into very fine powder and the rest of half cup into coarse powder.

Boil powdered peanuts into tamarind water for 15 minutes. I read this tip of boiling the crushed peanut in tamarind water in a Malaysian blog, long back (sorry for not remembering the blog name) and have been following the same. It gives good colour and taste to the sauce.

Grind onion, garlic cloves, dried red chilies, and ginger into fine paste.

Heat oil in a pan and cook ground paste in it for 3-4 minutes.

Add tamarind-peanut water into this ground spice paste and simmer for another 10 minutes till he sauce thickens.

Add salt, sugar, soy sauce and take it off the flame.

Serve the dry rub spice-coated Idlis on skewers with a bowl of sweet-sour satay sauce.

2. Idly Manchurian

Recipes | Instant Oats Idly Satay

Ingredients;

(serve 2)

  • 6 large Idlis
  • 3 tbsp. chopped spring onion
  • 2 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp. tomato sauce
  • 3 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. vinegar
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 capsicum
  • 2 Green chilies
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar

Recipes | Instant Oats Idly Satay

Method; Slice all the Idlis into 8 even sized pieces. Chop onion and capsicum into large bite size pieces. Chop the green chilies finely.

Heat 1 tbsp. of oil in a flat pan, add all the Idly pieces in it and sauté for a few minutes till they turn golden in colour.

Take out the Idlis and add 1 tbsp oil in the same pan. Add chopped garlic, grated ginger, chopped green chilies, and sauté for a few minutes.

Add tomato sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar in the pan and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add a few teaspoons of water if the sauce becomes too thick.

Add chopped onion, capsicum, spring onion and take the pan off the fame.

To serve Idly Manchurian, arrange all the shallow fried Idly pieces in a bowl and pour the prepared sauce over it.

Recipes | Instant Oats Idly Satay

Notes;

  1. Replace idly chutney powder or podi with the list of marinade to coat the Idlis.
  2. Substitute store bought peanut butter with roasted peanuts to make the sauce if you don’t have enough time to make.
  3. For a quick peanut sauce use ready-to-use peanut butter and add soy sauce, garlic, emon juice, sugar according to your taste and boil all the ingredients with a cup f water.
  4. Replace peanuts with any other nuts (walnuts/cashew/almonds/macadamia) if your child has nut allergy.
  5. Don’t add shallow fried Idlis in the Manchurian sauce before serving as they will absorb liquid and become soggy.
  6. To get best results, deep fry the sliced Idly pieces to make the Idly Manchurian recipe.
  7. Use a day old Idlis for making Manchurian as they remain firm and do not break easily.
  8. You can use the satay sauce as condiment, veggie dip, pasta sauce, stir frying sauce and for dressing your salads.

I want to end this post with these beautiful line;

I feel that we are often taken out of our comfort zones, pushed and shoved out of our nests, because if not, we would never know what we could do with our wings, we would never see the horizon and the sun setting on it, we would never know that there’s something far better beyond where we are at the moment. It can hurt, but then later you say “thank you.” I have been pushed and shoved and have fallen out and away, so very, very, many, many times! And others around me have not! But then, the others haven’t seen what I have seen or felt what I have felt or been who I have been, they can’t become what I have become. I am me.” ~ C. JoyBell

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Recipes | Healthy Indian snack called Muthiya and an exciting food blogger meet http://litebite.in/recipes-healthy-indian-snack-muthiya/ http://litebite.in/recipes-healthy-indian-snack-muthiya/#comments Sat, 12 Jul 2014 12:06:39 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=10669 I have attended many blogger conferences over the last few years but have never been so excited for a meet, ever. Yes, I am referring to IFBM here, our very first Food blogger meet at Bangalore next month.
It is really hard to hold back the excitement of meeting many of my virtual food blogger friends whose blogs I have been reading and admiring time and again. Oh..well, I am making and packing the special South Indian lentil-spice mix in the picture above for some of my blogger friends who have asked for it.

Did I tell you that many of us will be sharing same apartments for close to three days....start music...it is party time :)

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Healthy steamed Muthia snack

I have attended many blogger conferences over the last few years but have never been so excited for a meet, ever. Yes, I am referring to IFBM here, our very first Food blogger meet at Bangalore next month.

IFBM meet is organized by four talented food bloggers and will showcase a series of  workshops, panel discussions, useful interactions and events to span over two days on August 1st and 2nd. The meet is supposed to be attended by enthusiastic food lovers who are good cooks, esteemed cook book writers, publishers, professional food photographers & stylists and social media activists from India and across the globe.

It is really hard to hold back the excitement of meeting many of my virtual food blogger friends whose blogs I have been reading and admiring time and again. Oh..well, I am making and packing the special South Indian lentil-spice mix in the picture above for some of my blogger friends who have asked for it.

Did I tell you that many of us will be sharing same apartment for close to three days….Hmm…start music…it is party time :)

Before I forget, let me acknowledge that the endless accolades and countless blessings that is coming my way for whatever I do in the field of food blogging is my tribute to this wonderful community! May the food blogging community grow stronger and stronger as days go by…

1. Oats and Fenugreek leaves Muthiya

Recipes | Healthy Steamed Indian Snack - Muthia

This is a co-incidence that I made these Muthiyas when a blogger friend Lata visited me at my home with her husband some days back. Happy that I will be meeting her again in the IFBM meet.

Muthiyas and Khaman Dhoklas are two of my favorite Indian snack recipes. These recipes are light on stomach and are easy to make when you don’t have time to plan ahead for a quick snack. Served with a cup of tea or coffee these crispy treat make a complete morning breakfast in many households in India.

Muthiya (Mutthi refers to fist) is rolled into cylinders using fist and is a very versatile recipe. You can never go wrong even if you add a little less or more of flour in it. These muthiyas will retain its shape once they are steamed.

Various millet and cereals along with different greens added to the Muthiya recipes give interesting combination of flavors and taste. When I first started adding Finger millet (Ragi) flour to my Muthiyas, I was a bit hesitant, but to my surprise they do taste delicious. Recipes | Healthy Steamed Indian Snack - Muthia

Ingredients;

(serve 4)

  • 2 cups chopped Amaranth leaves
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup quick cooking Oats
  • 1/4 cup chickpea flour
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 4 green chilies
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • A pinch of baking soda
  • Salt to taste

Tempering;

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • A pinch of asafoetida powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds

Recipes | Healthy Steamed Indian Snack - Muthia

Method; Pluck leaves along with tender stalks from Amaranth leaves (Chawli) and wash and chop finely.

I added a handful of fenugreek leaves also in the recipe to give a strong flavor and taste to the Muthiyas as Amaranth leaves are almost bland in taste.

Chop the green chilies finely and Combine chopped Amaranth, Oats (grind the oats into powder if you wish), wheat flour, chickpea flour (besan), sugar, baking powder, asafoetida powder, turmeric powder and salt in a large bowl.

Mix with ight hands or fork to bring all the ingredients together. Add lemon juice ad yogurt to the above ingredients and knead gently to form a dough.

Do not over knead the dough else the Muthiyas will become heavy/hard and might remain uncooked from inside. Recipes | Healthy Steamed Indian Snack - Muthia

Grease your palm and pinch tennis ball sized dough and roll it into cylinders.

Place the muthia cylinders on a greased plate and steam it in a steamer or pressure cooker (without vent) for about 15-20 minuets. Take out the steamed Muthiyas and let it cool completely.

Slice each cylinder into small pieces.

Heat oil and crackle cumin seeds in a large pan or kadai. Add asafoetida powder, sesame seeds and add the steamed Muthiyas in it. Lightly turn the Muthiyas without breaking to coat the tempering over each piece.

Add lemon juice in the tempering and pour this tempering over the Muthiya slices.

2. Finger Millet or Ragi Muthiya

Recipes | Healthy Steamed Indian Snack - Muthia

Ingredients;

(serve 3)

  • 1 cup Finger millet or Ragi flour
  • 1 cup chopped fenugreek leaves
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp. chickpea flour
  • 3 tbsp yogurt or curd
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. red chilly powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • Salt to taste

For tempering;

  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida powder

Recipes | Healthy Steamed Indian Snack - Muthia

Method; Pluck the Fenugreek leaves (methi) and wash thoroughly with water.

Chop the leaves finely. Peel ginger and grate it.

Combine chopped fenugreek leaves, finger millet four, wheat flour and chickpea flour in a large bowl. Add grated ginger, yogurt, turmeric powder, red chilly powder, baking powder and salt in the bowl and mix well to make a dough.

Don’t knead the dough heavily to avoid stiff Muthiyas.

Recipes | Healthy Steamed Indian Snack - Muthia

Grease your palm with oil, pinch small amount of dough and make cylinders.

Grease a large plate which can fit into the steamer or pressure cooker and place all the cylinders of Muthiyas on it.

Steam the Muthiyas rolls for about 15-20 minutes till the Muthiyas change colour. Let the Muthiya rolls cool completely before slicing into small roundels.

Recipes | Healthy Steamed Indian Snack - Muthia

Heat oil in  a large kadai/wok and crackle mustard seeds in it. Add sesame seeds and asafoetida powder in it. Add all the sliced Muthiyas in the wok and saute for a few seconds making sure that Muthiyas don’t break while stirring.

Garnish with coriander leaves or freshly grated coconut and serve as a healthy tea time snack. Notes;

  1. Let the Muthiya cylinders cool completely before slicing to avoid breaking it into pieces.
  2. The consistency of dough might change depending upon the water content in the chopped and washed leaves used in the recipe.
  3. You can replace baking soda with fruit salt (eno) if you wish for better taste.

If you are an active food blogger and want to attend the meet, do check IFBM  Fb page and contact the admins for more details.

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Recipes | Finger Millet Bread and Wheat Bran Slices – When the going gets tough, bake a bread http://litebite.in/recipes-finger-millet-bread-oatmeal-slices-going-gets-tough-bake-bread/ http://litebite.in/recipes-finger-millet-bread-oatmeal-slices-going-gets-tough-bake-bread/#comments Mon, 23 Jun 2014 08:08:05 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=10657 I picked up the bowl, pulled out the soft & sticky dough, placed it on my wooden board and started punching it vigorously.

Yes, you got it right, I am baking bread again. Well, with the dates of an important family function nearing, bread making should be the last thing on my mind.

But then, when your to-do list is a mile long and it is getting difficult to focus on the mounting task at hand I resort to baking bread.

Baking bread at home is the best remedy when nothing is working and you don’t know where to start.

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finger millet bread and oatmeal slices

I picked up the bowl, pulled out the soft & sticky dough, placed it on my wooden board and started punching it vigorously.

Yes, you got it right, I am baking bread again. Well, with the dates of an important family function nearing, bread making should be the last thing on my mind.

But then, when your to-do list is a mile long and it is getting difficult to focus on the mounting task at hand I resort to baking bread.

Baking bread at home is the best remedy when nothing is working and you don’t know where to start.

I love getting lost in the rhythm of bread making process and like the sense of being totally cut off from the world till my bread is done. Lifting the dough, stretching, folding and kneading the soft and fluffy dough with the heels of your palm is so soothing.

Recipes | Finger Millet Bread and Oatmeal Slices

One of the joys of keeping my passion of food blogging alive is the opportunity to connect with food enthusiasts from across the world making new friends who end up lasting a lifetime is an added bonus to it.

I got a chance to meet my virtual food blogger friend, Lata and her family in her daughters’ marriage some days back.

During our casual talk the other day I informed her about my son’s Upanayanam (holy thread ceremony) and how hectic the coming days would be, what with the shopping, planning, and inviting friends and relatives for the function.

And some days later, to my surprise, I receive a flipcart delivery from her, a beautiful and very thoughtful gift for my son!

These words by Anais Nin perfectly resonate my feelings, “Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.

1. Finger Millet or Ragi Bread

I baked a loaf of finger millet bread and a few wheat bran slices for our recent travel trip to Yercaud. Here is one another recipe of Oatmeal and Almond slices baked for a travel trip

The absence of gluten in  Millet does not help the bread rise even after adding yeast in it. You need to add gluten externally (not frequently available in India) or wheat flour to help the bread rise.

Finger millet lends a strong nutty flavor and natural earthy taste to the bread.

Recipes | Finger Millet Bread and Oatmeal Slices

Ingredients;

(medium loaf)

  • 1/2 cup Finger millet flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp. All purpose flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tbsp Sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp. active dried yeast
  • 1 tsp. salt

Recipes | Finger Millet Bread and Oatmeal Slices

Method; Take a large bowl and combine finger millet, whole wheat flour, salt in it.

Add yeast and honey in a tablespoon of warm water in a small bowl and leave it to froth for 5 minutes.

Make a well in the center of the flour in large bowl and pour the yeast mixture in it. Mix all the ingredients to form soft dough.

Knead it for 4-5 minutes on a flat surface. Oil your palm with oil if the dough is too sticky to handle.

Place the dough in a bowl and cover it with a lid or a cling film to rest and rise for an hour or more till the volume of the dough doubles.

Recipes | Finger Millet Bread and Oatmeal Slices

Grease a loaf tin.

Pull out the dough from the bowl and punch it on a dusted floor. Knead it gently with the heel of your palm for 3-4 minutes and place the dough in the greased baking tin.

Sprinkle sesame seeds over the dough, cover with a lid and let it rise again for an hour.

Recipes | Finger Millet Bread and Oatmeal Slices

Preheat the oven at 180°C for 10 minutes.

Place the baking tin in hot oven and bake it for 20 minutes or till the crust is golden brown and crisp.

Let  the bread cool completely before slicing it.

2. Orange Flavored Wheat Bran & Apricot Slices

Recipes | Finger Millet Bread and Oatmeal Slices

Ingredients;

(makes 20 slices)

  • 1 cup Wheat Bran
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricot
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 tbsp. chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • A pinch of salt

Recipes | Finger Millet Bread and Oatmeal Slices

Method; Preheat oven at 170°C and grease a shallow baking tray with oil.

Chop the apricots finely.

Combine wheat bran (I used Bagryys wheat bran here), whole wheat flour, orange zest, chocolate chips, chopped apricots, baking powder, salt,  and cinnamon powder in a large bowl.

Recipes | Finger Millet Bread and Oatmeal Slices

Grate the outer yellow skin of orange lightly to get the zest and squeeze the juice out of it.

Add sugar and oil in a pan and heat it for 2 minutes, pour orange juice in it and boil for another 3-4 minutes.

Recipes | Finger Millet Bread and Oatmeal Slices

Stir in the wheat bran and flour mix and fold lightly with a fork to combine all the ingredients. Take it off the flame.

Pour the thick mixture into the greased baking tray, pressing down firmly with a spatula.

Recipes | Finger Millet Bread and Oatmeal Slices

Bake for 15-20 minutes till the top turns golden brown and crisp.

Mark into squares while the flapjacks are still warm and cool it completely before slicing it.

Recipes | Finger Millet Bread and Oatmeal Slices

Notes;

  1. Replace wheat bran with wheat germ or even quick cooking oats to give a wonderful bite to the slices.
  2. Use Golden syrup or corn syrup if you can find it in your stores for a sticky and chewy texture of flapjacks.
  3. Use canola oil or Olive oil to make these recipes.
  4. Replace finger millet with any other millet flour of your choice to bake the bread.

 

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Recipes | Healthy One-Pot-Meal and a Quick Indian Soup – Reflecting on our travel trails http://litebite.in/recipes-healthy-one-pot-meal-quick-indian-soup/ http://litebite.in/recipes-healthy-one-pot-meal-quick-indian-soup/#comments Fri, 06 Jun 2014 04:35:52 +0000 http://litebite.in/?p=10634 Every travel leaves you with some unforgettable travel experiences you would want to treasure for ever. And what better way to freeze those precious moments than writing a bogpost and reflecting on your travel time with family and friends.

We have a marriage invitation from my colleague in Metur city this weekend. Do your Google search and let me know if there are any good places nearby worth visiting.” Hubby informed me from his office last week and cut the line.

A few Google searches and I liked this small hill station Yercaud in Salem district which is located in the Shevaroys range of hills in the Eastern ghats of India.

But wait...there is more....

The post Recipes | Healthy One-Pot-Meal and a Quick Indian Soup – Reflecting on our travel trails appeared first on Lite Bite.

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Healthy Bisi bhele bhat and quick rasam

Every travel leaves you with some unforgettable travel experiences you would want to treasure for ever. And what better way to freeze those precious moments than writing a bogpost and reflecting on your travel time with family and friends.

We have a marriage invitation from my colleague in Metur city this weekend. Do your Google search and let me know if there are any good places nearby worth visiting.” Hubby informed me from his office last week and cut the line.

A few Google searches and I liked this small hill station Yercaud in Salem district which is located in the Shevaroys range of hills in the Eastern ghats of India.

But wait…there is more….

Every other person in the forum was advising  against visiting Yercaud, as this small hill-station has nothing great to offer in terms of places of interest in the city.

Hmm…well, fortunately this was all the more better for us. We dislike visiting every nook and corner of the city we travel. Spending the entire day running from view points to museums to photographing the monuments is not our cup of tea. We had done the same during some of our earlier trips and disliked doing it.

I did not want to fall in the same trap again and booked a quiet plantation resort in Yercaud, far from the main city.

There is absolutely nothing to do in the resort except spending some quality time with family, relaxing and trying to be one with nature. And this is what exactly I wanted from my travel trail!

We planned for a non-stop travel to Yercaud and started our journey at 5 am from Chennai on a weekend to avoid the early morning traffic.

We took a diversion before Salem city and followed a different route to reach Yercaud as suggested by a friend.

This route (via Kuppanur, diversion from Salem town) is full of dense Teak forest. We enjoyed the quiet, picturesque and almost traffic free uphill journey and reached Yercaud at 12 noon.

The strong scent of thousands of citrus trees, coffee and pepper climbers planted in 100 acre property of the resort welcomed us.

More about our travel trail here.

Recipes | Healthy One-Pot-Meal and a Quick Indian Soup The resort has small self-sustained cottages scattered in the front portion of the property.

Recipes | Healthy One-Pot-Meal and a Quick Indian Soup

A leisurely morning walk in the resort. The orchard is well maintained with lots of Avocado, citrus, grape orange, jack-fruit and many unusual fruity tress.

Recipes | Healthy One-Pot-Meal and a Quick Indian Soup

A quick trip to the botanical garden and to the local market nearby our resort.

1. Healthy One-Pot-Meal or Bisi Bele Bhat

Travel is a wonderful way to slow down and gain a new perspective of things we are doing. Returning home and back to work after a relaxing holiday was a stressful task earlier, but not anymore.

After having been to many such small vacations over last few years, we are now able to deal comfortably with post-vacation blues.

I had already pre-planned and stocked my refrigerator with necessary ingredients and vegetables for a quick meal after we are back from vacation.

And Bisi Bele Bhat is my first choice most of the times. A delightful delicacy which always reminds me of Khichdi from North India with an extra punch of some flavorful spices and loads of vegetables added to it.

Infact I coarsely ground millet, brown rice and lentils in equal proportion and store the same in an air-tight container for a quick Bisi Bele Bhat recipe.

The spice-mix required for making this healthy one-pot-meal was already prepared before leaving for the vacation. I had to just roughly chop the vegetables and dunk all the ingredients listed in the recipe together in my large pressure cooker.

And there we were, having a sumptuous meal of Bisi Bele Bhat, sipping hot garlic-lemon Rasam and reminiscing about the good times we had in Yercaud.

The ingredient list looks intimidating, but believe me this recipe is a breeze to cook, provided you have already planed for a few ingredients before.

Recipes | Healthy One-Pot-Meal and a Quick Indian Soup

Ingredients;

(serve 3)

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup mixed lentil*
  • 2 cups Mixed vegetables*
  • 1 tbsp. Tamarind paste
  • 2-3 tbsp. ground nuts
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. jaggery
  • Salt to taste
  • Water

Spice-mix;

  • 2 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp. black gram
  • 1 tsp. Bengal gram
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. Fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorn
  • 5 dry red chilies
  • 3 cloves
  • 1’ cinnamon stick
  • 2 cardamoms

Tempering;

  • 2 tbsp. oil or ghee
  • 10-12 cashew nuts
  • 1 tsp. black gram
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida powder
  • Few curry leaves or coriander/dill leaves

Recipes | Healthy One-Pot-Meal and a Quick Indian Soup

Method; Pressure cooker is the easiest and quickest way to make this recipe.

Wash rice and lentil with plain water. Add rice, lentil, groundnuts and turmeric powder with about 3 cups of water in a pressure cooker.

Cook for three whistles and let the cooker cool completely.

You can add chopped vegetables along with rice and lentil, but this will make the vegetables too mushy.

Heat a flat pan and dry roast Bengal gram (chana daal), black gram (urad daal) till the colour changes to light brown, remove the lentils in a plate. Roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black pepper in the same pan for a few seconds.

Now grind all the ingredients listed for powder along with the roasted ones into coarse powder.

Prep all the vegetables according to your choice. I have used the following vegetables for this recipe;

  • Potato
  • Sweet potato
  • Drumstick
  • Pumpkin
  • Carrot
  • Capsicum
  • colocasia
  • Flat beans
  • Tomato

Recipes | Healthy One-Pot-Meal and a Quick Indian Soup

Open the pressure cooker and add chopped vegetables, Bisi Bhele Bhaat spice-mix, tamarind paste, salt, jaggery, one cup of water and close the lid. Cook for just one more whistle and take the cooker off heat.

Tempering; Heat oil in a wok and crackle mustard seeds. Add black gram (de-skinned urad daal), cashew nuts and fry for a few seconds. Switch off the heat and add asafoetida powder and curry leaves in hot oil.

Pour this tempering over the Bisi Bhele Bhaat, garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with a dollop of homemade ghee or butter, some crisp poppadom and chilled yogurt relish.

2. Quick Indian Soup or Goddu Rasam/Chaar

Recipes | Healthy One-Pot-Meal and a Quick Indian Soup

This instant Indian soup or ‘Goddu Rasam‘ recipe is handed over to me by my MIL which is a great time saver. No boiled and mashed lentils go into making this light and flavorful soup. Garlic and lemon are my addition to her recipe.

Ingredients;

(serve 3)

  • 1 tbsp. Pigeon peas or Tuvar dal
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1” Ginger piece
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • Salt to taste

Spice-mix;

  • 10-12 black peppercorn
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. dry coriander seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida powder

Method; Grind black peppercorn, cumin seeds and coriander seeds into coarse powder.

Wash and chop fresh coriander leaves and tomatoes. Peel garlic and ginger and crush them lightly with the back of a ladle.

Squeeze tamarind to get thick paste and add this into two cups of plain water.

Heat oil in a wok and splutter mustard and cumin seeds. Add pigeon peas or tuvar dal

and sauté for a minute.

Pour tamarind water, crushed ginger & garlic cloves, salt, asafoetida powder and bring it to boil.

Add chopped tomatoes, coarse peppercorn, cumin and coriander powder in it and simmer for another 2-3 minutes.

Put off the flame, add chopped fresh coriander leaves and lemon juice in it and serve hot with plain rice.

Check Glossary for English & Hindi names of various ingredients used in the recipe.

Notes;

  1. Dry roast all the spices listed under the Bisi bele bhat recipe, grind it coarsely and store the same in an air tight bottle. It stays good for a month or more.
  2. The easiest and quickest way to make Bisi Bele Bhat is to add all the ingredients (with ground spice-mix) except the tempering into a pressure cooker and cook for 3-4 whistles.
  3. Prepare the spice-mix and chop and prep all the vegetables required to make BBB a day before. Just add all the ingredients listed under the recipe in a pressure cooker and cook for four whistles for a quick lunch-box recipe.
  4. Garnish the recipe of Bhat with fried cashew-nuts for a crunch in the recipe.
  5. A tablespoon of grated coconut added to the Bhat spice mix gives a wonderful taste to the recipe.
  6. Replace uncooked pigeon pea (tuvar dal) with cooked lentil for another version of Rasam.
  7. Replace rice with millet of your choice. Pearl millet grits makes a nutritious Bisi Bele Bhat.

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