Thursday, May 26, 2011

Baked Falafel Sandwich With Home Made Hummus, Tahini And Whole Wheat Oats Pita Bread

Crispy and crunchy brown croquettes known as Falafels are a world wide sensation. People love to indulge in these scrumptious fried goodies, and I am among one of those who can devour many of these easily without even thinking twice about the amount of extra calories these come loaded with.

When fried these falafels loose all their nutritional qualities and become just fat balls. And since few days I have been eating healthy diet and trying to reduce the consumption of fat, so decided to bake these and made a wholesome meal out of falafels. I served these with whole wheat and oats flour pita bread along with some hummus and tahini sauce.

This was my first attempt at making pita pockets at home and to make them healthy I made these combining whole wheat flour and oats along with some Italian seasoning. Though the All purpose flour pitas taste more good, these come without guilt. Initially I baked these pita pockets but I got really mad after seeing papad like pitas...then I remembered seeing these at Priya's space where she makes them like rotis. I too used that technique and voila I had some soft and delicious pita pockets.

Would like to thank my new buddy Meghna who sparked the idea of healthy eating in me.

Leaning Tower Of Falafel

Baked Falafel: (Yields around 13)


Chick Peas Soaked Overnight- 2 Cups ( Soaked Chick Peas)
Garlic- 2 Cloves
Onion- 1 Big
Coriander Leaves- 1/2 Bunch
Bread Crumbs- 2 tbsp
Coriander Powder- 1 tsp
Roasted Cumin Powder- 1 tsp
Red Chilli Powder- 1/2 tsp or more
Salt- To Taste
Lemon Juice- 2 tsp
Baking Powder- 1/4 tsp
Baking Soda- 1/4 tsp
Olive Oil- To Brush the falafels

  • Preheat the oven to 230 degrees C.
  • Rinse the soaked chick peas with ample fresh water and drain. Grind the drained chick peas in a food processor or mixie coarsely without adding any water and empty in a big bowl.
  • Now dry grind the coriander leaves along with onion and garlic and add it in bowl along with chick peas.
  • Add in bread crumbs, salt, coriander powder, cumin powder,red chilli powder, baking powder, baking soda and lemon juice to the chick peas mixture.
  • Mix evenly all the ingredients and shape it in balls and flatten them little like patties.
  • Brush with olive oil on both sides of the balls.
  • Arrange them in the baking tray and bake for around 50 minutes turning the falafels once in between till they brown from outside and become crunchy.



    White Sesame- 1/4 Cup
    Lemon Juice- 1 to 2 tbsp
    Olive Oil- 1 tsp
    Water As Required
    Salt- To Taste

    • Dry roast the sesame seeds in a pan or kadhai till they very slightly change their colour and release the aroma. Keep aside to cool.
    • Add the sesame seeds and other ingredients in the mixer jar and grind till a smooth paste is obtained. Adjust the thickness as required by adding more or less water.



      Chick Peas Soaked Overnight And Pressure Cooked- 1 Cup (Cooked Chick Peas)
      Tahini- 1 tbsp
      Garlic- 2 Cloves
      Lemon Juice- 2 -3 tbsp
      Mint Leaves- 3 or 4
      Salt- To Taste
      Olive Oil- 1 tbsp

      Add all the ingredients in the mixer except oil and grind to make a smooth paste. Transfer the ground hummus in a bowl and pour olive oil on top.

      Pita Bread:


      Whole Wheat Flour- 1 1/2 Cup
      Ground Oats Flour- 1/2 Cup
      Instant Yeast- 1 1/2 tsp
      Salt- 1/2 tsp
      Sugar- 1/2 tsp
      Italian Seasoning- 1 tsp
      Luke warm Water- Around 200 ml

      • In a large bowl add whole wheat flour, oats flour along with yeast, salt, sugar and Italian seasoning.
      • Combine everything nicely and start kneading in a dough using the luke warm water.
      • Knead for 5-10 minutes till the dough turns smooth and soft. 
      • Keep the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a greased plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise for about an hour.
      • After the dough has risen pinch out balls just like when making rotis. Roll the dough using little flour into desired size and cook on heat on a flat skillet or tava allowing the pitas to puff up.

      Assembling The Sandwich:

      Take some shredded and chopped vegetables of your choice and spread it on the pita, then top it up with falafel, some hummus, tahini and wrap it in a foil. Serve immediately else it may become soggy.

      Linking this to Fast Food Not Fat Food Event hosted by Priya of Bon Appetit brain child of Priya of Now Serving.

      Monday, May 23, 2011

      Kala Chana Salad

      Black chana is also known as desi chana or kala chana. And it has high fibre content as compared to the kabuli chana or the garbanzo beans. These chanas are a healthy source of carbohydrates and is good for people with diabetes since it has low glycemic index.

      Since salad can be made with variable proportions of ingredients I am just listing the ingredients without the quantities.


      Kala Chana- Soaked overnight and then pressure cooked for 5-6 whistles or till it's done
      Onions- Chopped
      Tomatoes- Chopped
      Green Chillies- Chopped Finely
      Coriander- Chopped Finely
      Salt or Black Salt to taste
      Roasted Cumin Powder
      Red Chilli Powder ( Optional)
      Lemon Juice
      Amchur or Dry Mango Powder


      Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and toss nicely. Serve immediately.

      Linking this to MLLA# 35 hosted by Kannada Cuisine event of Susan

      For a tongue tickling chole chaat check out the space of Grishma at Zaika Zabardast.

      Thursday, May 19, 2011

      Raisins And Oats Praline Ice Cream

      We are beating the super hot and humid climate by indulging in variety of homemade ice cream. If my Roasted Banana Ice Cream was yum then this one is not far behind. Again adapted from the same book by David Lebovitz..and I am in love with that book. I have done changes in the original recipe to make it Lacto Vegetarian.

      The base of the ice cream is vanilla and the mix is bits of crunchy oats praline and soft raisins.


      For the base:

      Whipping Cream- 1 Cup
      Whole Milk- 1 Cup
      Condensed Milk- 1/2 Cup
      Powdered White Sugar- 1/4 Cup ( Can be replaced with brown sugar)
      Vanilla Extract- 1/2 tsp

      For Raisin Mix:

      Raisins- 1/2 Cup
      Granulated Sugar- 2 tbsp
      Water- 1/4 Cup

      For Oats Praline:

      Granulated Sugar- 1/2 Cup
      Oats- 3/4 Cup
      Pinch of coarse salt ( which I forgot)

      • Add all the ingredients of the base ice cream in a blender and blend till everything mixes well. Keep for freezing.
      • In case of having an ice cream machine use it according to the manufacturer's instructions or keep for freezing in a container. After 45 minutes take out the container and with the help of hand held blender or whisk beat the mixture vigorously. keep it back in the freezer.
      • Keep repeating the same process after every hour for at least another 3 to 4 times.
      • Raisins and oats praline must be added at the last stage that is just after the last whipping.
      • Make raisins mix by heating water in a saucepan. Add in sugar and raisins. Keep on stirring in between till only about 2 tbsp of water is left. Keep aside to cool down.
      • For making oats praline heat the oven to 180 degrees C. Line the baking sheet with foil. Spread oats on the sheet evenly and let it toast for about 10 minutes stirring just once in between. Remove in a plate and keep aside. Keep aside the baking sheet with foil.
      • Heat sugar in a heavy bottomed skillet and cook it on medium heat without stirring. Once bubbles start emerging from the side tilt the pan and stir it gently so that all the sugar gets melted and caramel begins to form. Once the caramel has reached dark amber colour off the heat.
      • Immediately add in the toasted oats and stir gently so that all the oats is coated with the caramel.
      • Transfer to the lined baking sheet and spread the mixture as evenly as possible. Sprinkle the salt on top. Let it cool completely.
      • Take off the praline from the sheet and break the praline in small pieces either by pulsing it in the food processor or with the help of a rolling pin. This praline can be stored in an air tight container for about a week.
      • Now after the last whipping add in raisins and oats praline to the ice cream mixture. Add as much oats praline as needed. After the ice cream is ready some of the praline can be sprinkled on top.

      Enjoy the cool Ice Cream.

      Linking this to Jay's Letz Relish Ice Cream Event
      Radhika's Fun N Sun Event
      Srivalli's Kids Delight Event hosted by PJ
      Oh Taste N See's Serve it Chilled Event

      Tuesday, May 17, 2011

      Monkey Bread

      Ever wondered how Monkey Bread got it's name... well...there are some theories to being that the act of several people pulling at this bread is reminiscent of monkey behaviour....quite interesting isn't it :)

      And we did liked pulling the bread apart behaving like some bunch of uncivilized monkeys. This sticky, gooey bread is usually served for breakfast but we enjoyed this even in the evening with our cuppa.

      The bread tastes best when warm so it can be stored in the refrigerator and warmed up in the microwave before being devoured.

      (Recipe Source- Brown Eyed Baker)

      For The Dough:

      All Purpose Flour- 3 1/4 Cup + Little extra for work surface
      Unsalted Butter- 2 tbsp Melted
      Warm Milk- 1 Cup
      Warm Water- 1/3 Cup
      Granulated Sugar- 1/4 Cup
      Salt- 2 tsp
      Instant Yeast- 1 Package

      For Brown Sugar Coating:

      Light Brown Sugar- 1 Cup
      Cinnamon Powder- 2 tsp
      Unsalted Butter- 8 tbsp ( 1 Stick) melted

      For the Glaze:

      Confectioner's Sugar- 1 Cup
      Milk- 2 tbsp

      For Smearing in the Bundt Pan:

      Unsalted Butter- 2 tbsp Softened


      • Smear the bundt pan with the softened butter and keep aside.

      • In a large measuring cup mix together milk, water, melted butter, sugar and yeast.

      • Mix together flour and salt in a big bowl.

      • If you have a standing mixer or even hand mixer with dough attachment then turn on the machine at low and start pouring the milk mixture in the flour mix slowly. After everything is incorporated then increase the speed of the machine and keep kneading for further 5-6 minutes or until the dough is shiny and smooth.

      • In case of not having the stand mixer then the dough can be kneaded with hand as well... the dough needs to be kneaded for at least 10 minutes or till dough becomes smooth.

      • Place the dough in a well greased bowl and cover the top with greased plastic wrap.

      • Keep the dough aside for rising for about 50- 60 minutes.

      • While the dough is rising keep the brown sugar coating ready by mixing brown sugar and cinnamon together.

      • Keep the melted butter separately in one bowl.

      • After the dough has raised and doubled in size then remove it from the bowl and place in a floured work surface.

      • Pat the dough into a rough 8 inch square. Using a knife or bench scrapper or even a pizza cutter cut the dough into 64 pieces.

      • Roll each dough into a ball.

      • One at a time take each ball and dip it into the melted butter, allowing the excess butter to drip off. Then roll the ball in brown sugar mixture and keep on placing the balls in the greased bundt pan one on top of another and keep on making layers till all the balls are placed in the pan.

      • If left with some extra butter and sugar mixture then pour it on top of the balls.

      • Cover the pan with greased plastic wrap and keep for rising for 50 -60 minutes or until the dough balls have raised 1-2 inches from top of pan.

      • In the meanwhile preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

      ( Ready to go inside the oven)

      • After the dough has raised then unwrap the pan and keep it to bake for around 30-40 minutes or till the top has browned and caramel starts bubbling around the edges.

      • After taking out from the oven let the bread cool in the pan for about 5 minutes and after inverting in a plate let the bread cool for further 10 minutes.

      • While the bread is cooling prepare the glaze by whisking together sugar and milk until there are no lumps.

      • Drizzle the glaze on top of the bread letting it run over the top and down the sides of bread.

      Serve the bread warm.

      Linking this to Priya and Aipi's Bookmarked Recipes- Every Tuesday Event.
      Srivalli's Breakfast Mela
      Hearth And Soul Blog Hop Weekly Event co hosted by Kankana

      Hearth and Soul Hop at Sunshine and Smile

      Saturday, May 14, 2011

      Roasted Banana Ice Cream

      How often can we hear our kids screaming for ice cream in the summers? Well..mine screams each time she sees them in supermarket...but I don't buy it as many times she would like me to.

      Now a days there are N numbers of various brands and flavours available in the market and I bet they all taste like heaven... always love the ice cream in fresh hot cone from baskin robbins...the aroma always makes me to crave for it and it gets so tough to decide that which wacky flavour we want to try and how to forget the all natural ice creams...we are spoiled for choices.

      I came across this recipe in David Lebovitz's "The Perfect Scoop".... liked it at first site. Simple to make and with very less ingredients this ice cream was a sure hit in my house. If you have an ice cream maker then it becomes even more easy.... but since I don't possess one and neither have any inclination to buy ,I had to go an extra step to make the ice cream smooth and creamy just like the store bought ones.

      The technique of making perfect Ice Cream without the maker can be found here.


      Banana- 3 Big peeled
      Firmly Packed Brown Sugar- 1/3 Cup
      Unsalted Butter- 1 tbsp (Cut into small pieces)
      Whole Milk- 1 1/2 Cup
      Granulated Sugar- 3 tbsp (original recipe uses 2 tbsp)
      Vanilla Extract- 1/2 tsp
      Freshly squeezed lemon juice- 1 tsp ( original recipe uses 1 1/2 tsp)
      Coarse Salt- 1/4 tsp
      Chocolate Chips- A handful ( optional...not in the original recipe)

      • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.
      • Slice the bananas in 1/2 inch round pieces and toss them with brown sugar and butter in a baking dish.
      • Bake for 40 minutes, stirring just once in between until the bananas are cooked and browned through.
      • Scrape the bananas and the thick syrup in the dish into the blender. Add the milk, granulated sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and salt and puree until smooth.
      • Pour this mixture in a plastic container and stir in the chocolate chips.
      • Keep for freezing. After 45 minutes take out the mixture and with the help of hand held mixture blend the mixture for sometime. Instead of hand held blender you can also stir it vigorously with whisk or spatula as well.
      • Keep the mixture back in the freezer. Again check the mixture after another 45 minutes or so...and repeat the same process. Do like this for another 2 times.
      • The ice cream will be ready and will be soft and smooth.
      Serve as it is or with some chocolate syrup or nutella.

      Linking this to Jay's Letz Relish Ice cream Event
      Radhika's Fun N Sun Event
      Srivalli's Kid Delight Event hosted by PJ

      Tuesday, May 10, 2011

      Chole Bhature

      Chole bhature is among one of the most popular street foods in India. This combination of spicy chick peas with fried bread known as bhatura is a must feature in most of the Indian restaurants every where. Chole bhature also remains as one of the deeply relished food in college campuses. Bhatura as big as the size of the plate served with a bowl full of spicy chole accompanied with cut onions and tangy mango pickle is sure to brighten up some faces during hungry hours in the college canteen.

      Usually chole is made with lots of spices including whole spices but my mother makes this in a very simple way creating a magical platter which we used to polish off in no time. I remember my mom making fluffy bhatura one by one and my brother eating so many of them and becoming a target of my constant nagging, and did I enjoy nagging him...yes yes...I can be a mean sister at times, and that too being an elder one I am supposed to have some privileges..isn't it?

      Recipe Source: Mom

      For the Bhaturas:

      All Purpose Flour (Maida)- 2 1/2 Cup
      Semolina- 2 tbsp
      Yoghurt- 3 tbsp
      Oil- 2 tbsp
      Instant Dry yeast- 1/4 tsp
      Salt- 1/2 tsp
      Sugar- 1 1/2 tsp
      Luke warm water- To knead the dough
      Oil- For deep frying

      Little maida for dusting


      Take APF, semolina, salt, sugar and yeast in a wide bowl. Add in oil and yoghurt and mix thoroughly. Make a soft dough using luke warm water and set aside covering the dough with a damp cloth for 4 to 6 hours.

      After the dough has risen punch it back and take lemon sized balls out of the dough and roll it using maida according to the desired size. Deep fry in hot oil till they puff up. Drain on an absorbent paper.


      For Chole-

      Chick Peas- 1 1/2 Cups( Soaked overnight)
      Onions- 2 Large
      Ginger- 1 Inch piece
      Garlic- 3 Cloves
      Tomatoes- 3 Large
      Mustard- 1/2 tsp
      Cumin- 1 tsp
      Turmeric Powder- 1/2 tsp
      Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder- 1 tsp or more according to the spiciness required
      Salt- To Taste
      Chole Masala- 2 tsp( I used catch brand)
      Oil- 4 tbsp

      • In a pressure cooker add the soaked and washed chickpeas along with enough water and little salt and pressure cooks for 5-6 whistle or till the chickpeas gets cooked but not mashed.
      • After the cooker has cooled drain the chick peas and take out around 1/2 cup of the cooked chick peas and grind it in the mixie and keep it aside along with remaining chick peas. I grind some chick peas to make the gravy thicker but this it optional.
      • Grind onions, ginger and garlic together and keep aside.
      • Grind the tomatoes and keep that aside too.
      • In a kadhai heat oil and mustard and cumin seeds. Once they start spluttering add in onion paste and cook till the paste turns brown in colour.
      • Add in the tomato paste along with turmeric, red chilli powder, salt and chole masala and cook by stirring in between till the oil starts separating and there is no longer raw smell of the masalas.
      • Add in the cooked chick peas and the ground chickpeas along with some water and cook in medium heat along with stirring in between till everything is combined nicely.
      • Keep boiling the chole for another 5-6 minutes and switch off the gas. Garnish with coriander leaves.
      Serve this chole along with fluffy bhatura combined with some onions and khatti meethi dates and tamarind chutney.

      Linking this delicious platter to Priya and Aipi's Bookmarked Recipes- Every Tuesday Event
      MLLA# 35 hosted by Smitha of Kannada Cuisine brainchild event of Susan
      Hearth and Soul Blog Hop co hosted by Kankana

      Hearth and Soul Hop at Sunshine and Smile

      Update: Sending this to Srivalli's Breakfast Mela

      Friday, May 6, 2011

      Green Peas Kheer And An Ode To All Mothers

      " Most of all other beautiful things in life come by twos and threes, by dozens and hundreds. Plenty of roses, stars, sunsets, rainbows, brothers and sisters, aunts and cousins, but only one mother in the whole world "
      Kate Douglas Wiggin

      On mother's day we all remember our mother who has been selfless, compassionate and our best pal...with whom we can share everything and always lean on. I came across this article in Chicken Soup for women's soul and wanted to share it with all you wonderful mothers.

      Help Wanted- The Ideal Mother

      A job description for the kind of mother who would be an ideal mother for a baby might read like-

      Wanted- Easygoing, relaxed, loving type to care for infant. Should enjoy rocking, cuddling, be able to hold baby patiently for 20 minutes feeding every three to four hours without fidgeting. Light sleeper, early riser. No degree necessary. Must take all shifts, seven day week. No vacation unless can arrange own mother as temporary substitute. No opportunity to advance.

      A year and half later job description would read like-

      Wanted- Athlete in top condition to safeguard tireless toddler. Needs quick reflexes, boundless energy, infinite patience. Knowledge of first aid essential. Must be able to drive, cook, phone, work despite constant distractions. Workday 15 hours. No coffee or lunch breaks unless child naps. Would consider paediatric nurse with Olympic background.

      In another 18 months same mother should be able to meet these qualifications-

      Position open- Expert in early childhood education to provide stimulating, loving, creative, individualized learning environment for preschooler. Should have experience in art, music, recreation, be able to speak one foreign language. Training in Linguistics, psychology and Montessori desirable. Two hours off five days a week and when nursery school is in session and child is well.

      Between 6-12 years these qualifications has to be met-

      Good Opportunity- For expert in recreation, camping, Indian arts, all sports. Should be able to referee. Must be willing to be den mother, room mother, block mother. Public relation skills essential. Should be able to deal effectively with teachers, PTA officers, other parents. Knowledge of sex education, new math required. Must have no objections to mud, insect collections, pets, neighbour's kids.

      For 13-14 these requirements must be met-

      Job Available- For specialist in adolescent psychology, with experience in large quantity cooking. Tolerance is chief requirement. Slight hearing loss helpful or must provide own ear plugs. Must be unflappable. Should be able to sense when presence is embarrassing to child and disappear.

      After 18 years as a working mother, a woman is qualified for only one more job-

      Urgently Needed- Financier to provide money, clothes, music, wheel to collegian. No advice necessary. Position may last indefinitely. Ample time left to take income- producing work.

      So to my mom and all the mother's out there wishing a very Happy Mother's Day. We are perfect candidates for all the positions mentioned above...enjoy the day and treat yourself for we all are special.

      Sharing today a sweet kheer made with green peas..unique and special .


      Green Peas- 1/2 Cup (I used frozen)
      Whole Milk- 3 Cup
      Sugar- 1/4 Cup
      Ghee- 2 tbsp
      Cardamom Powder- 1/4 tsp
      Cashew nuts- Roasted For Garnishing


      Boil the green peas till soft. Drain and cool. Once cool grind the peas in mixie fine and keep aside.
      In one vessel keep the milk for boiling. Reduce till the milk thickens a bit. In another pan heat ghee and roast the ground green peas till raw smell reduces. Add in the thickened milk and add sugar. Stir and boil for sometime. Add in sugar and keep stirring till the kheer thickens a bit. No need to boil the kheer for long as the kheer will thicken once cool. Switch off the gas and add cardamom powder. Add in cashew nuts. Serve either hot or cool..both ways it tastes great.

      Sending this kheer to MLLA# 35 brainchild of Susan and hosted by kannada Cuisine

      Tuesday, May 3, 2011

      Peanut Butter And Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

      Melt in the mouth goodness is what these cookies are. Though I am not a very big fan of peanut butter but I cherished these cookies till the last bite...even reached for second helping...some scrumptious bites they were. The cookies were not overtly sweet. Had a great time making these with my daughter who was very enthusiastic to help me in dropping the dough.

      The original recipe here called for 1 egg but I conveniently replaced that with flaxseed...also used only 1/2 cup of chocolate chips as otherwise 1 cup mentioned in the recipe. I used an ice cream scooper to drop the dough so got big sized cookies. Without further ado let me come straight to the recipe.

      Ingredients: (Yields 16 big cookies)

      All Purpose Flour- 1 Cup
      Salt- 1/4 tsp
      Baking Soda- 1 tsp
      Oats- 1/2 Cup
      Unsalted Butter- 1/2 Cup (At room temperature)
      Creamy Peanut Butter- 1/2 Cup
      Granulated Sugar- 1/2 Cup
      Light Brown Sugar- 1/3 Cup
      Vanilla Extract- 1/2 tsp
      Chocolate Chips- 1/2 Cup
      Ground Flaxseed- 1 tbsp

      • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
      • Sift together APF, Salt and Soda together and set aside.
      • In small mixer jar add ground flaxseed along with 3 tablespoons of water and run for some time till the liquid gets frothy. Set aside.
      • Using hand mixer cream together butter, peanut butter, both sugars and vanilla extract at medium speed for about 3 minutes.
      • Add in flaxseed liquid and keep beating.
      • Add in the flour mixture, oats and chocolate chips and beat till just combined.
      • Using an ice cream scooper drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet about 2.5 inches apart.
      • Though the original recipe calls about 10 minutes baking time but it took 22 minutes in my oven to get the cookies golden.
      • Cool completely in the baking sheet and then store in airtight container.

      Linking these to Priya and Aipi's boomarked recipes- Every Tuesday Event

      Sending these to Hearth and Soul Blog Hop co hosted by Kankana.

      Hearth and Soul Hop at Sunshine and Smile


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