Friday, June 8, 2012

Low Fat Chocolate And Banana Bread ~ Vegan And Refined Sugar Free

Call it a bread or a cake, but this is the ultimate healthy thing I have ever baked. All purpose flour has been replaced with whole wheat flour and refined sugar with jaggery. Indians and Sri Lankans widely use jaggery in many of their desserts, jaggery is wholesome unrefined sugar, it is made from concentrated sugarcane juice and processed in a natural way and no chemicals are added at any stage of its processing. It has got high protein, vitamin, iron and it has 50 times the mineral content of refined sugar.

Jaggery has got lot of health and healing benefits and moreover it tastes great. It's rich caramel kind of aroma is heavenly. There are many varieties of jaggery and all have distinct tastes, some are more salty and lighter in colour while some are darker with less salt and more sweetness. Jaggery is great for nibbling too, I have seen many people eat chana and gur together to kill boredom. 

My dad used to go on his official tours to these small villages where they made this jaggery, and while returning he used to bring big blocks of dark coloured disc shaped jaggery. Mom used all her strength and might and with a hammer she used to break the disc and we nibbled on the small pieces.

For another interesting jaggery recipe, check this previous guest post by my dear friend Farwin of Love And Other Spices where she shared her famous Sril Lankan "Aggala" recipe.


Whole Wheat Flour- 1 Cup
Banana- 1 Large
Jaggery- 1/3 Cup ( Adjust little more or less depending on the sweetness of the jaggery)
Chocolate Chips- 1/4 Cup
Canola Oil- 2 Tbsp
Cinnamon Powder- 1/2 Tsp
Baking Powder- 1/2 Tsp
Baking Soda- 1/4 Tsp
Almond Milk- 3/4 Cup
Walnuts (Roughly Chopped)- 2 Tbsp
Salt- 1/4 Tsp ( if the jaggery has got salt then omit this)


1. Preheat the oven at 180 Degrees C.

2. Take a banana, peel and cut it in small discs.

3. With the help of a fork mash the bananas and add cinnamon powder, oil and chocolate chips in that, mix and keep aside.

4. In another bowl take whole wheat flour and add salt, baking powder, baking soda and chopped walnuts.

5. Powder the jaggery in a mixer and add it in the flour. Now add the banana mixture in the flour and with the help of almond milk, fold everything together gently.

6. Grease a loaf pan or a small cake tin...choose a tin so that the mixture is atleast 3/4th of the tin. Now pour the bread batter in the prepared tin and keep it for baking in the pre heated oven for 35-40 minutes or till a skewer inserted in the centre of the bread comes out clean.

7. Take out the bread from the oven and let it cool completely before inverting it out of the tin.

8. Now invert the bread in a plate and cut in wedges or slices.

My kiddo enjoyed this bread with a glass of juice. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Methi Pulao ( Fenugreek Leaves Pulao )

The Sun god is most generous to us in this part of the world. He shines on us brightly for almost 8-9 months in a year giving us no respite from the heat and humidity. Few moments turn off the A/C and the sweat will come rushing. In this kind of climate I hate to spend lots of time in the kitchen, so I prefer to make one pot meals on weekends which is satisfying and filling. We South Indian's can't stay away from our staple food rice, so rice has to be dressed up in the form of pulao or biryani for our quick lunch. I find that biryani's are more complicated and require lot of preparation so I make pulao in a jiffy. 


Basmati Rice - 1 1/4 Cup ( Soak the rice in water for about half and hour)
Methi Leaves ( Fenugreek Leaves)- 1 small bunch (leaves chopped finely without the stem)
Onions- 2 Medium sized sliced thinly
Green Chillies- 2 chopped
Tomato- 1 Large chopped roughly
Ginger- 1 Inch piece cut in juliennes 
Green Cardamom- 2
Bay Leaf- 1
Cinnamon- 1/2 Inch piece
Black Peppercorns- 5 or 6
Cloves- 2
Oil- 2 Tbsp
Water- 2 1/4 Cup
Salt- To Taste
Lemon Juice- 1 Tbsp
Fried Cashew nuts for garnishing

  • In a pressure cooker add oil and keep it on gas for heating, once the oil is hot add in cardamom, bay leaf, cinnamon, peppercorn and cloves.
  • Just stir the whole spices little and then add in onions, green chillies and ginger.
  • Sauté till the onions turn translucent. No need to brown the onions.
  • Now add in chopped tomatoes and fenugreek leaves. Cook for about a minute.
  • Drain the soaked rice and add it in the pressure cooker. Mix everything together and cook for another 1 or 2 minutes.
  • Add in the water and salt and mix. Close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook till 1 whistle comes. Immediately off the gas and open the lid as soon as pressure drops. Add lemon juice and mix in gently.
Garnish with fried cashew nuts and serve with curd and banana chips.

Since I learned this from my mother, I am linking this to Gayathri's Walk Through The Memory Lane Event which is guest hosted by Pradanya at Pumpkin Farm


Post From The Past

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