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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Simple Broccoli Stir Fry Recipe / No Onion Garlic Vegetarian Recipe

Broccoli Stir Fry

One of the most nutritious vegetables, Broccoli contains vitamins A and E, Folate, Calcium , Magnesium, Phosphorus and Iron. It has a higher vitamin C content than Oranges. It is one of the very low calorie vegetables, provides just 34 calories per 100 g. It is also rich in dietary fiber, Minerals , Protein and anti-oxidants that have proven health benefits.
Source: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2356/2

Broccoli is a versatile vegetable and can be served as a side dish, in a soup , salads and pastas . One can steam, roast or saute this healthy veggie to incorporate it in diet .

Here's a simple Broccoli stir fry recipe - one of the fastest cooking dishes , requires minimal ingredients and is very delicious . It goes well with steamed rice or chapatti . This is a no Onion no Garlic recipe. Toasted Sesame , chili flakes and minced ginger blends well  with the broccoli florets giving out delicious aroma.

Broccoli gets cooked faster, so take care not to over cook the vegetable. It should retain its crunchiness. (Overcooking also destroys its nutrients). 

  • Broccoli florets - around 30 ( 250 gm )
  • Sesame seeds - 3 tsp
  • Grated ginger - 1 tsp
  • Red Chili flakes - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Oil - 3 tsp
  • Salt as per taste
  • Fresh lemon juice- 1 to 2 tsp

  1. Toast the sesame seeds on a skillet / pan  on low to medium heat. Keep it aside .

   2.   Heat 3 tsp of oil in a wok on medium high heat. Add the grated ginger and saute.

   3.  Now add turmeric powder and chili flakes while lowering the flame,

     4.   Add Broccoli florets , stir well . Saute for about a minute.

   5.  Add the toasted Sesame seeds and salt. Mix well , cover the pan and cook for 1- 2 minutes, so that Broccoli florets become little tender. Do not over cook the vegetable other wise it will become soggy.. Broccoli florets should retain the crunchiness (also overcooking destroys the nutrients)

6.  Put off the flame and squeeze out fresh lemon . Mix and serve immediately.. goes well with steamed rice or chapati .

Monday, 29 June 2015

Mint and Paneer stuffed Paratha / Paneer aur Pudine ka Paratha Recipe / Healthy Kids Lunch box recipe/ No Oinion Garlic Vegetarian Recipe

Mint and Paneer Stuffed Paratha

For me more time and energy is spent in thinking "what to cook" rather than the actual cooking ! I am sure , I have echoed the scenario in almost all Indian house holds where Mommies want to serve their families with variety of food which is healthy and filling at the same time. So here's a dish which will give a delicious , filling and healthy start to your day, can be served as breakfast or in lunch box or at dinner. Sharing a step wise recipe of Mint and Paneer Stuffed Paratha.

Paratha is one of the most popular breakfast menus and a staple food of most  North Indians. It is made by rolling out whole wheat dough and then pan frying on a skillet. Parathas are usually stuffed with veggies or cottage cheese ( Paneer) . A stuffed paratha is generally eaten with a pat of butter spread on top, with chutneys, pickles, yogurt or with vegetable  curries.

Paneer aur Pudine ka Paratha is a whole wheat flat Indian bread stuffed with spiced Cottage cheese. The dough in this recipe is flavored with mint sauce. It is a delicious, tempting and filling dish, a paratha recipe that entire family will love. This stuffed paratha is generally served with pickle and sweet curd or raita.

This Paratha recipe is a flavorful variation to the usual Paneer Paratha . It is a perfect balance of fresh mint with soft crumbled cottage cheese. The home made Paneer - Cottage cheese retains its freshness and softness even after cooking. This is no Onion no Garlic recipe.

Peppermint herb or Pudina is one of the popular herb known for its characteristic refreshing cool breeze sensation on taste buds. It is an excellent source of minerals like Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Manganese and Magnesium. The mint herb contains no Cholesterol, however, it is rich in essential oils, vitamins and dietary fiber, which helps to control blood Cholesterol and blood pressure inside the human body.
Source: http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/peppermint.html

Ingredients: For the dough
  1. Whole wheat flour / Gheu ka atta - 1 cup
  2. Carom seeds / Ajwain - 1 tsp
  3. Oil / Ghee- 1 Tbsp
  4. Salt as per taste
  • To be blended in a grinder into a Mint sauce - For the dough
  1. Mint leaves / Pudina - 1/4 cup
  2. Lemon juice - 1/2 tsp
  3. Cumin seeds/ Jeera- 1/2 tsp
  4. Green Chilies- 2
  5. water
  • For the Stuffing
  1. Crumbled fresh Paneer ( Cottage Cheese)- 150 gm
  2. Roasted Cumin Coriander powder / Dhaniya Jeera Powder - 2 tsp
  3. Fennel Seeds / Saunf- 1 tsp
  4. Red Chili Powder / Lal mirch powder- 1 tsp
  5. Turmeric / haldi - 1/2 tsp
  6. Black Pepper powder/ Kali mirch powder -1 tsp
  7. Chaat masala- 1 tsp
  8. Salt to taste / namak swad anusar
  • Other Ingredients:
  1. Whole wheat flour for rolling
  2. Ghee for pan frying
     Method :
  1. For the dough - Combine all the ingredients along with the mint sauce in a deep bowl, mix well and knead into a semi-stiff dough, using enough water. Cover and keep aside for at least 10-15 minutes.

     2.  For the stuffing : Grate the Panner ( cottage cheese) or simply crumble if using fresh home made one. Add all the spices to it, mix well to form a dough without adding any water. Divide the stuffing into 5 equal parts and accordingly make balls of dough too.

   3.  Roll out a portion of the dough to a small circle  using little flour , place the stuffing in the center , fold the edges towards the center, press well to seal it so the stuffing doesn't spill out. Now using some whole wheat flour roll out again gently like we roll for normal chapati. Heat a nonstic tawa (griddle) and cook each paratha using a little ghee, till golden brown spots apperaon both the sides. Repeat the same for all the Parathas.

   4.  Serve these irresistible Parathas immediately with thick curd and pickle. Enjoy !

  After making Parathas, some dough was left out, so I just rolled small circles out of them and deep fried them to make puffed and super soft Pudina or Mint Porris ! The pooris just vanished in no time. Try out these simple Pudina pooris and kids are certainly going to love the colorful pooris..

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Pineapple Fried Rice Vegetarian Recipe / Thai Cuisine

Pineapple Fried Rice Recipe

Last week , I was on a family vacation to Krabi - a southern town of Thailand . The beautiful tropical beaches and the timeless natural beauty of Thailand mesmerized us ! Got a chance to know about exotic Thai Cuisine. One such dish was The Thai Pineapple Fried Rice. Back home from the heavenly vacation , the first thing in my mind was to try hands on this exotic dish .

The Thai fried rice recipe differs from the Chinese fried rice as it is prepared from the Thai Jasmine  Rice instead of the regular long grain rice. The typical Thai Pineapple fried rice normally contains meat (Chicken , Shrimp, Crab) Eggs ,Onion and Garlic. The seasoning includes Soy sauce, fish curry powder, sugar and salt.

The Pineapple Fried Rice is the signature dish of the Thai Cuisine. Here I am sharing the vegetarian version of the classic Thai dish . The recipe calls for use of fresh Pineapple chunks which give the wonderful flavor . The sweet and spicy fried rice gets its rich texture due to the addition of Cashew nuts and Raisins. Easy and quick recipe which can transform left over cooked rice to a flavorful fried rice dish. This dish can be served as main course during vegetarian dinner , specially the festive seasons. It will surely be a treat to ones taste buds !

Source: http://thaifood.about.com/od/thairecipesstepbystep/ss/pineapplerice.htm

 Juicy, deliciously tangy and sweet Pineapple fruit is rich in vitamins, minerals and dietary fibers. Very low in saturated fats, cholesterol and sodium. This delicious, healthy and nutritious fruit can be eaten raw or used in cooking.

Ingredients for Vegetarian Thai Pineapple fired rice:
  • 3 cups cooked rice, preferably 1 day old. 
  • 1 Cup Pineapple chunks ( have used fresh..but can use canned too)
  • 1/4 cup frozen pea
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 shallots , thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic ginger paste
  • 1/4 cup cashews and raisins
  • 1 tsp Soy sauce
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 4 tsp oil for stir- frying
  • salt as per taste
  • 1/4 cup -Spring onion greens and fresh Coriander for garnishing

Method :
  1. The recipe calls for using at least one day old cooked rice, if using left over cooked rice add little oil to the rice ( 1 tbsp and work through with your fingers. This is to separate the grains and avid them from sticking together. Set aside. (I have cooked the rice 4 hrs prior to making the fried rice as I believe in fresh cooking )
  2. In a small bowl mix the curry powder and Soy sauce .( I have used regular vegetarian curry powder)

  3. Drizzle 1-2 Tsp. oil in a wok over medium- high heat. Fry the cashews and raisins and keep aside.

  4.  Now add Chili flakes, garlic ginger and shallots , stir fry until fragrant. 

 5.  Add the carrots and peas. Add little salt.  Stir fry for another 1-2 minutes. Now add the soy sauce and curry powder mixture. mix well. Be careful while adding salt as soy sauce also has salt and cooked rice too.

   6. Now add the rice, Pineapple chunks, fried cashews and raisins. Gently stir fry to combine over medium high heat and keep stirring for 4-5 minutes. can drizzle little (3-4 Tsp) vegetable stock or water so the rice does not completely dry. If desired can push ingredients aside and add a little more oil to the wok ( this is to give the rice a special shine like we get in the restaurant fried rice)

   7.  Remove from heat. Do a taste- test for salt/ flavor, adding a few shakes of salt or little more Soy sauce, as needed. If too salty for your taste , add a squeeze or two of lime juice. Top with spring onions and coriander.

  8.  To serve, scoop rice onto a serving p,latter ( or in a carved -out Pineapple, if serving at a party and enjoy !

    If you are looking for some more recipes using Pineapple, you can check out for Pineapple Jam and Pineapple Jam Tarts recipes on my blog.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Guacamole / Mexican Cuisine / Avocado dip Recipe


Guacamole is a healthy and flavorful Avocado-based dip or salad. In addition to its use in modern Mexican Cuisine , it has also become a part of American Cuisine as a dip , condiment, and salad ingredient . It is traditionally prepared by mashing ripe Avocados with sea salt in a mortar and pestle. This recipe requires minimal ingredients , is oil free and involves no cooking.

This dip recipe calls for ripe Avocados and use of lime juice not only imparts tangy taste to the dip but also avoids discolouration of Avocado pulp.

Avocados are a creamy, buttery fruit grown in warm climates , it is the only fruit that provides a substantial amount of monounsaturated fat (the healthy kind). They are naturally nutrient - dense food and a great source of vitamins C, E, K, and B-6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium and potassium. They also provide lutein, beta- carotene and Omega- 3s.

Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270406.php

Ingredients for Guacamole:
  • Fresh and ripe Avocado - 2
  • Lime juice - 4-5 tsp
  • Black pepper powder- 1/4 tsp
  • Small tomato de seeded and chopped- 1
  • Medium Onion chopped finely- 1
  • Coriander leaves chopped 
  • Salt as per taste

  1. Cut the Avocados in half. Remove seed ans scoop out avocado from the peel. Mash it with a fork in a mixing bowl. 

   2.  Immediately mix the lemon juice with the pulp to avoid discoloration. Now add all the other ingredients and mix well.

  3. Refrigerate one hour for best flavor or serve immediately. If not serving right away, sit a stone in the Guacamole ( this helps to stop it going brown), cover with a cling film and chill until needed. 

   4.  Serve the Guacamole with Nacho chips / tortilla chips .

  • Use ripe Avocados for the recipe as the raw taste is displeasing to the taste buds. You can tell how ripe an Avocado is by gently pressing into the skin. If the avocado is firm and does not budge , you will need to let it ripen for a few days before consuming. To speed up the ripening process, place an avocado in a paper bag with a banana.
  • Guacamole can be serve smooth or chunky. A dollop of fresh cream enhances the texture.
  • This is not only an Avocado dip, but also a salad dressing and can be used as sandwich topping also.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Dry Fruits laddoo / Dinkache Ladoo / Antina Unde / Gaund ke laddu Recipe

Dry Fruits Laddoo

Dry Fruits Laddoo is very traditional and healthy Indian sweet delicacy. This ladoos provide warmth to the body and hence are eaten during winter season. They are also given to the nursing mothers as it helps to increase lactation . These laddoos are often prepared during Diwali festival and also made for bhog during Janmashtami.

 Dry fruit laddoo is called by different names, it is called Dinkache ladoo in Marathi, termed as Gaund ke laddu or Panjiri in North India, Antina Unde in kanadda. Also there is no fixed recipe for these laddoos.. we can prepare them using whole wheat flour, dry fruits of your choice, ghee and sugar. We can also add fenu greek seeds ( methi dana) in these Gaund ke ladoos , can replace ghee with oil, sugar with jaggery.. can make them totally oil free and sugar free by adding figs and dates in them etc..

   Dry fruit laddoos are very delicious and flavourful. They have rich taste and may sound heavy on calories, but having one with warm milk for breakfast during winter season provides needed warmth and energy to the body. They serve as perfect and healthy breakfast for working women , people with busy schedules, which have no time to prepare breakfast and specially for growing children. They can also be enjoyed by all age groups to pamper ones taste buds during festive season and special occasions.

These traditional winter delicacy are very nutritious and healthy as this recipe uses Almonds which are good source of Iron, copper, phosphorus and vitamin B1, Walnuts which are rich in Omega - 3 fatty acids which help in reducing triglycerides, Dry Palm dates / Kharik / Chuaara which help in increasing heamoglobin level and also help in gaining weight ,  Edible Gum / Gaundh / Dink which is said to strengthen the backbones , Poppy seeds which contain good levels of minerals like iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc and magnesium , Dried Ginger possesses many therapeutic properties, it has a potent antioxidant effect as well as an anti- inflammatory effect.The Laddoos are sweetened using Jaggery and flavoured with Cardamom- Nutmeg powder. 

Ingredients for Dry Fruits Laddoo: Yields approximately 60 medium size laddoos.
  • Dry Palm dates / kharik / Chuaara powder - 250 gm
  • Dry coconut / Khopra - 250 gm
  • Almonds - 150 gm
  • Walnuts - 150 gm
  • Poppy seed / Khus khus powder - 150 gm
  • Edible Gum / gaund / Dink - 150 gm
  • Ghee - 250 gm
  • Jaggery - 200 gm
  • Dry ginger / Saunth powder- 2 tsp
  • Cardamom- Nutmeg powder - 2 tsp
  • Milk- 1/4 bowl

   Lets see step wise how to prepare this traditional winter delicacy: 
  1. Make coarse powder of dry coconut using a mixer grinder , Grate the Jaggery . Dry Palm date is called Kharik in marathi and chuaara in hindi and is available in Indian grocery shops, They have to be deseeded and made into powder in grinder. Many shops will even provide powdered form. 

     2.  Take 3-4 tsp ghee in a non stick pan and fry edible Gum/ goand  . Now grind it into powder using mixer.

   3.  Chop the Almonds and Walnuts roughly or grind them coarsely. Now using 2-3 tsp ghee roast them in a pan.

  4.  Similarly fry the Coconut powder and dry Palm Date powder in the same pan using generous amount of ghee . 

  5.  Mix all the roasted dry fruits Powder ( Walnuts, Almonds and dry Palm dates) , Coconut and Poppy seed powder, powdered Gum, Cardamom- Nutmeg powder and dry Ginger in a vessel.
  6. Now take the remaining ghee in the pan and add crushed jaggery to it. let the jaggery melt and then add milk to make a smooth paste.

   7.   Add the ingredients from step 5 into this melted Jaggery syrup slowly and blend it well.

    8. Let the mixture cook for 1-2 minutes more on low flame and put off the gas. let the mixture cool down . It will turn a little thick on cooling. Now take small portion and roll out into ball shape laddoo using your palm .

   9.  Repeat the same for rest of the mixture. Roll out all the Laddoos and keep them on a plate and later store them in air tight container. The above quantity of ingredients yields approximately 60 medium sized laddoos.

   10.  Can press Cashew Nuts on each laddoo to make them more rich and appealing !

    11. Enjoy them with a glass of warm milk for breakfast or as a perfect dessert after meals.