Recipes | Spinach Rolls & Instant Savory Cake – Two Healthy Snacks with Chickpea Flour
Ahaa.. finally its here – the Summer Holidays, time we all look forward to year after year! Trip to home town, loads of ‘me time’ to relax and also to complete all the pending tasks I have been procrastinating the whole year wearing the shield of ‘no time’
My euphoria is but short lived, the very next day of the holiday and the mom is busier than ever. Library, cricket coaching, dance classes, piano lessons…and repeat. Well, as a good mother I also need to keep my children engaged and make their holiday more productive. Till then..’me time’ can wait.
Baking cookies, cup cakes and making easy bite size snacks is one another way I keep them occupied during the steamy hot afternoons. They love to mess up their hands with the sticky dough, make shapes and wait eagerly to see the outcome of their kitchen stint. This time they helped me in rolling out these spinach rolls, promised to clean the kitchen and eat whatever they roll out.
Khandvi and Khaman Dhokla are the two very popular tea time snacks in the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan inIndia. Made with chickpea flour the recipes are a savior for those days when guests drop in uninformed and you wish to entertain them and also impress them with your cooking prowess. The recipes have very few ingredients and could be made within a few minutes with a little practice. These recipes are also shared on Open Kitchen , a wonderful online magazine run by my foodie friend Nicoletta and her friends.
Indian tea time snack ‘Khandvi’ is a very healthy steamed lentil rolls. My twist to the recipe is to add Spinach in the batter which not only increase the health quotient but imparts a wonderful color to the recipe. It takes a lot of patience to roll out a perfect Khandvi, the batter has to have the correct consistency to do the same. Try with half the quantity of the recipe to get the feel of the whole process. I will not reveal my ‘number of attempts’ for getting a perfect Khandvi…in case..
Healthy Spinach Rolls or Khandvi
Serving; 12- 15 roils
Preparation time; 15 minutes
- 1 cup chickpea flour/green gram flour
- 1 cup yogurt/curd
- ½ cup chopped spinach leaves
- 1 ½ cups of water
- ½ tsp. red chilly powder
- ½ tsp. sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- A pinch of assafoetida powder (optional)
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 tsp. sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp. grated coconut
- ½ tsp. lemon juice
Method; Add all the ingredients (except the ingredients for tempering) in a blender and grind into a very fine paste.
Take a thick bottom pan/non-stick vessel and pour the batter in it. Heat the batter for 10-12 minutes on slow flame stirring continuously to avoid lumps.
The batter will start leaving the sides of the vessel. Take off the flame and pour it immediately over the kitchen counter (stone/marble) or in a large flat plate.
Spread it with a spatula in a thin sheet and leave it for 5 minutes to let it cool.
Cut into broad strips using a knife. Roll each strip into spiral shaped rolls. Slice each roll into smaller roundels of about 2-3’ length and place them in a serving dish.
Heat oil in a wok and crackle sesame seeds for a few seconds and add lemon juice in it. Pour this tempering over the sliced Spinach rolls and garnish with grated fresh coconut.
Stuffed Spinach rolls; Grate cucumber, carrots and raw mango. Add salt, black pepper and fill a little of this filling before rolling the stripes. Green coriander and mint chutney, garlic mayonnaise and tomato sauce are some other filling options.
Instant Savory Cake or Khaman Dhokla – A Popular Indian snack
Indian delicacy ‘Khaman Dhoklas’ are seasoned spongy Lentil flour savory cakes which are easy and quick to cook and serve as a delicious tea time snack.
Serving; makes 10-12 pieces
Cooking time; 15 minutes
(Makes about 10-12 small pieces)
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 1 tbsp. semolina
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tbsp. oil
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. Eno (fruit salt)
- ½ tsp. Salt
- Pinch of asofoetida powder (optional)
- 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
- 2 small green chilies
- 2 tbsp. oil
- 1 tbsp. water
- 1 tsp. sugar
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 tsp. mustard seeds
- 2-3 tbsp. Chopped coriander leaves
Method; Take a large vessel and add all the ingredients except the ENO fruit salt. Mix all the ingredients well so that there remain no lumps in the batter.
Add ENO fruit salt in the above chickpea flour batter. It will start to bubble and make a frothy batter. Steam the batter for about 6-7 minutes on high flame. You can use a normal vessel as steamer for the same.
Heat one cup of water in a large vessel, you should be able to place the greased baking tray or the plate in that vessel easily. Pour the batter immediately in the greased baking tray or a large plate. Put a small inverted steel bowl inside hot water vessel.
Place the baking tray or the plate of batter over the inverted bowl and cover it with a lid. Steam it for about 6-7 minutes. Take out the plate of steamed savory cake from the steamer and let it cool little.
Heat oil in a wok and crackle mustard seeds. Add sesame seeds and chopped green chilies. Take the wok off the flame. Mix lemon juice, sugar and water in a small bowl and pour it in the tempering.
Pour the tempering over the cooked savory cake and let it soak for 5 minutes.
Slice the ‘Khaman Dhoklas’ into squares and serve with green chutney or tomato sauce. These istant lentil flour savory cakes make a wonderful tea time healthy snack.
- The best tip for these recipes is to dry roast the chickpea flour for a few minutes on slow flame before cooking to get rid of raw smell. This step will also reduce the time you cook the batter.
- Clean your kitchen counter top (preferably granite or marble) to pour the batter for rolls.
- Aluminum foil is also a good choice to spread the batter of rolls for a mess free kitchen later.
- You need to work faster once the batter for the rolls is taken off flame as it will start getting lumpy.
- Try the first recipe with half the ingredients first to master the technique of mixing and spreading the rolls.
- Do not make the rolls with any stuffing inside if you are trying the recipe for the first time, it makes the rolls break easily which is quite disappointing in the beginning.
- ENO has a combination of citric acid and baking soda in it. Citric acid gives a tangy flavor to the recipe while baking soda helps in making the cake spongy.
- The combo of citric acid and baking soda release carbon dioxide when mixed with water and helps create instant bubbles in the batter making it light and fluffy.
- Microwave the instant savory cake recipe for 3-4 minutes on high.
- The savory cake recipe could be tried by soaking dry lentils and grinding it into batter with other ingredients. You can replace ENO with baking soda in the same.
- These recipes are make an excellent tea time snack, a healthy appetizer and a light refreshing breakfast with almost zero fat content (except the tempering which you can avoid if you wish).