Crunch crunch crunch crunch.
That’s how long they last – these Bhindi crisps….
Crunch crunch crunch crunch.
That’s how long they last – these Bhindi crisps….
Healthy, guilt-free, delicious. Also vegan, gluten-free.
Mini figures courtesy Y2. 😀 No, the truffles didn’t need those tools, actually. ;
Luckily, no need to fret while reaching out for that extra one.The other day, I made several of these for a birthday treat. They’re pretty addictive!
So, of course, I had several extra ones. Just like everybody else.
This is fairly quick and simple to make.
For something even quicker and simpler, try these Chocolate Almond Dates.
But when it just has to be a round truffle with a gooey, chocolatey filling, this is a pretty good option.
There are endless permutations and combinations that can go into this sort of thing, – but we can just start from here and go wild with creating more versions! 😀
(Pssst, no one has to know that this treat, sweetened naturally, just with dates, is actually healthy.) 😉
Healthy, guilt-free, delicious chocolate treat, sweetened naturally, just with dates. Also vegan, gluten-free. Easy to make.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, dip the balls into the chocolate and place on a parchment or silicon lined tray. (Add a spoonful of oil into the chocolate if needed, to make it smoother while coating.)
Can be stored at room temperature for a few days.
I would go so far as to say that it joins the list of those traditional snacks, like namak paras, or atta laddus (so rich, but highly desirable!) that are generally kept around the house, especially during exams or vacations.
Dry ingredients – mix these well, sift these together:
2 cups Atta (Whole wheat flour)
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Baking Soda
1 cup Raisins
1 cup Walnuts (Chopped and lightly toasted)
1. Mix the dry ingredients well and sift them together.
2. Mix the wet ingredients. (I usually grind them all together in the blender.)
3. Combine the two quickly and well. Add in the nuts and raisins.
4. Pour into a greased and floured (or parchment lined) eight by four inch, covered loaf pan.
5. Bake in the centre of a preheated oven at 180 degrees C for an hour. Test for done-ness – bake upto another half an hour, if required.
6. Allow to cool, turn out in five minutes. Slice when completely cooled.
Great with tea, or even just by itself.
The real charm of eating such food, of course, lies in eating it on the streets, from leaf-moulded cups, with woefully inadequate, wooden ice-cream spoons, testing the borders of tolerance in terms of spice.
But a dish as wonderful as this needs to be made at home much more often than it is, given that it is actually quite healthy if you get right down to it!
This is the way we’ve always had bhel-puri at home, over the years, tweaking here and there to make even a meal of it at times, the ingredients have become simplified to just these bare basic ones which still deliver quite a tasty punch.
Feel free to add whatever you think will fit into the general scheme of things.
Like grated carrots, or sprouts for example.
Or the important exclusions like papdi (see here in my post of Chaat Tarts for the healthy, baked version) or sev, or even potato crisps, roasted peanuts, or any of your favorite crunchies.
Even test the boundaries with your favorite sauce (I’ve had people add tomato ketchup!) or even some yoghurt (if not vegan, and if willing it to get soggy even faster than it otherwise will.)
Though this is a light dish, the central ingredient is actually rice, which is a staple cereal. All it takes is a large drink (like water for example) afterwards to leave one feeling much fuller as the grains absorb the liquid! 😉
Puffed Rice (Murmura) – 2 cups
Baked Crips (like these) – a handful (optional, not pictured; avoid for gluten-free)
Potatoes – 2, medium. (Boiled, peeled and cubed)
Tomatoes – 2, medium. (chopped)
Onion – 1, preferable red variety (finely chopped)
Mix everything together and serve immediately.
And only because one fine day, she and some of her friends decided on a whim to sign up for a short-term baking course at the IHMCTAN (Institute of Hotel Management Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition).
It was surely fun for the whole family, because we regularly got to sample all the goodies that they made in class. I still have her notes from then!
Trying out the bakes together with her was double the fun, also because we were keen to test out our second oven , a counter-top OTG. My first oven, a circular one with a lid, several years old by then, worked perfectly fine, but having finished all the basic baking trials on it several times over, I felt ready to graduate to a ‘superior’ oven. I’ll tell you this, though, – nothing could bake as well as that first, circular oven with lid. 😉 Not even my current convection one with fan and all.
These particular coconut macaroons were a favorite because not only were they quite simply delicious, but so very simple with just few ingredients, – an important factor to consider in those days where specialty supplies were few and far between.
Naturally I had to try it out with aquafaba, and was quite thrilled to discover that they turn out EXACTLY like the ones with egg white that we used to make all those years ago (indeed and only stopped because of that one ingredient).
This was a second try (an earlier experiment with jaggery failed – the temperature was a bit on the higher side, and jaggery does not dessicate well)
With this batch, I followed her recipe, simply substituting the AF for the egg whites, but with a slight increase in the the quantity of coconut during the mixing (going by the texture of the batter), and I left out the vanilla. Simpler is better. The coconut flavour really shines through.
Some further fine-tuning of ingredients has been done on subsequent lots , I will share them in due course of time.
This one is for old times’ sake.
(makes around 40 pieces depending on size)
Aquafaba (see here for more info and how to make) – 1/3 cup (80 ml)
Granulated sugar – 125 gms
Dessicated Coconut – 200 gms
1. Whip the aquafaba using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, till stiff peaks are reached.
2. Gradually add the sugar and whip it in. Test for any undissolved sugar grains by rubbing between finger and thumb to check graininess, and continue whipping till smooth.
3. Fold in the dessicated coconut.
This is one salad that is hearty, filling and chock full of nutrients while being delicious (even the versions with just potatoes and hardly anything else!)
A great way to feel satiated and refreshed this summer.
|Just the thing for a light, al fresco lunch in the blazing summer.|
For me, this is particularly high on nostalgia because it used to be one of my favorite things to order long ago at a restaurant called Casa Piccola (now non-existent), one of the few places in Bangalore where one would find continental type of dishes, a tad homely in style, but such menu choices were few and far between, those days.
So naturally, one of the first things I wanted to use my home-made Vegan Mayonnaise (with Aquafaba) was this.
This is my version, with plenty of fruits and veggies along with my favorite potatoes.
If not ultra strict, it even works as a ‘phalahari, or fasting food.
A delicious way to get a dose of fresh nutrients!
Ingredients: (4 large servings)
Boiled (Waxy) Potatoes – 5 or 6 medium sized, peeled, cut into chunks.
Lightly-steamed/Blanched Vegetables – 4-5 cups (carrots, french beans, peas), peeled and cubed
Crunchy apple (tart or sweet) – 1 small, cut into chunks.
Pineapple – 1 cup, cut into chunks
Vegan Mayonnaise (see here for how to make) – 3/4 cup (or to taste)
Onion – 1 small, finely chopped
English Cucumber – 1 cut into chunks
Olives – 1-2 Tablespoon
Pickled gherkins – 6 small, sliced
Capers – 1 Tablespoon
Celery – 1-2 sticks finely chopped
Fresh Parsely – 1-2 Tablespoon finely chopped
Salt and freshly milled pepper – to taste
(All ingredients and quantities flexible and optional, depending on preference.)
Mix everything well together. Add the vegan Mayo dressing, and toss it all together till the pieces are nicely coated.
Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Serve cold (or just slightly cool, as I like it).
And what could be nicer than a tropical holiday drink that instantly conjures up an image of relaxing under the coconut palms, with the mesmerizing sounds of the waves…..
If you like coconut and pineapple, then this is just the smoothie to try.
In a healthy avatar (and vegan, to boot!) this uses freshly prepared fruit without any added ice.
A fresh and seasonal burst of energy-giving nourishment for those young minds of kids who might be slaving away for their exams, which are going on right now in my city. 😉
But if you wish, feel free to use ice or frozen fruit (frozen banana slices will make it creamier in fact!). Add before the blitz.
Replace the tender coconut water (and/or flesh) with coconut milk for an even richer version!
|Tender coconut water.|
|Slash with a sharp knife or blade. A single, linear slash will do.
This pattern was on special request. 🙂
Lightly brush the tops with oil or milk, slash the larger shapes and the loaf bread on top to allow the steam to escape. Seeds or nuts can be added now as a topping if desired.
|Watermelon seeds as topping.|
I’ve made a loaf in a pan as well as a wide baton, and some dinner rolls. As topping,I used my favorite watermelon seeds.
Cover, and allow to rise again, till doubled in bulk.
Allow the loaf to rest in the pan for a few minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool.
Tastes great plain. toasted, in sandwiches or even panfried with some fresh home-made butter as a snack which i packed as here in this picture.
It can be blended with an array of different combinations, including herbs, veggies,
spices, leafies, other beans and lentils to make endless variations.
If you haven’t ever made hummus at home, then I strongly urge you to try it at least once.
1. Boiled chickpeas (Kabuli chana) – 2 cups
2. Extra virgin olive oil or EVOO – 3 Tablespoons (Use only the best kind, preferably organic, definitely cold-pressed.)
3. Fresh, plain yoghurt – 4 Tablespoons (optional, omit if vegan)
4. Tahini (roasted sesame seeds paste) – 1 Tablespoon (can be home-made, or store-bought, look for organic) Omit if you don’t have this, but it does taste so much better with it.
5. Garlic – 1 Tablespoon, chopped (Or lesser if desired, say 1-2 cloves)
6. Lemon juice – 1 1/2 Tablespoons
7. Salt – to taste (add after the initial whizz, and adjust for salt in the cooked chickpeas, if any)
For the garnish:
1. Extra virgin olive oil – 1-2 Tablespoons
2. Paprika – 1/4 teaspoon
3. Roasted cumin (bhuna jeera) powder – a few pinches, optional (See here for how to make)
4. Finely chopped parsely – 1 dessertspoon (10 ml)
1. Place all the ingredients into a blender or food processor.
2. Whizz it into a smooth paste.
If the mixture is too thick, adjust by adding a little more of the liquid in which the chickpeas were cooked (aka Aquafaba! Or, perhaps save that liquid for other, even better things, and use just plain water.) 😀
|Hummus with vegetable crudités.|
And yet, healthy!
Made with a baked, wholewheat cracker base and topped with boiled potatoes, yoghurt,
tangy and sweet chutneys, this is a conveniently portable take on the much-loved
famous street food – the ‘dahi-papdi chaat’.
NOTE: For the last 5 dry powder ingredients, a sprinkle-top bottle or container will be convenient.
Or else, keep handy in small bowls to pinch and sprinkle-on the required amount during ‘assembly’.
|Mise en Place.|
|More green chutney, or red. Less chilly-powder, more potatoes, still more yoghurt. It can all be customised to individual preferences.|
These colours are, just by chance, befitting the holiday season.