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Monday, 30 July 2018

Protein Chikki Recipe

Chikki is a traditional Indian Sweet ( brittle) generally made from jaggery and peanuts. Several varieties of chikkis are made and each variety is named after the ingredients used in it. Here a chikki is made using protein rich nuts and seeds , hence the name. This protein Chikki is a healthy and delicious snack with a quick and easy to follow recipe. High in protein and rich in anti oxidants , this protein chikki can be had as a mid day snack or an ideal on-the-go breakfast or simply to satisfy some sweet cravings .

I have dry roasted all the nuts and seeds before adding them to jaggery syrup. Roasting liberates essential oils from the nuts apart from making them crunchy and imparts a lovely nutty flavor and aroma. The color of the chikki depends on the jaggery used. I have used simple organic jaggery and so the color of my chikki is brown. If you use the jaggery specially meant for making chikki, you will get a gorgeous golden color and glaze on the chikki.

#FilmyFoodies is the #155th week theme on #FoodieMondayBlogHop . This interesting theme is chosen by Mallika Chaudhary who blogs at afoodiehousewife . The basic concept of this theme is to pay tribute to Bollywood. For this theme we had to cook a dish which is inspired by our favourite actor or a dish which became famous because of a particular film. There are many Indian- Food inspired movies and there are food stuffs which became famous because of films or the actors. I have chosen to cook this Protein Chikki ,inspired from Indian film actress , business women , producer and writer Shilpa Shetty Kundra for this theme. Shilpa is a health freak and shares healthy recipes on her you tube channel ,SwasthRahoMastRaho. I have made few changes in the original recipe and added more nuts and seeds to make it filling and wholesome.

In this protein chikki, I have used Almonds which are source of high-quality protein, Vitamin E, Copper, Magnesium , healthy unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants , Pistachio, which are low in calories but high in protein, loaded with nutrients and antioxidants , Peanuts , rich in essential nutrients like fiber, protein, minerals, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, and antioxidants, Sesame Seeds, contain healthy falts like polyunsaturated fatty acids and Omega-6. They also contain fiber, iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus that helps boost energy levels , Fax seeds, are rich source of micronutrients, high in Omega-3 fats and rich in dietary fiber, Melon seeds are rich in protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, fats and other nutrients. Jaggery acts as a detox, and is loaded with antioxidants and minerals like zinc and selenium.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves: Makes around 20 small square chikki

  • 200 grams jaggery, crushed or powdered
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup pistachio
  • 3 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds
  • 2-3 teaspoon melon seeds
  • 2 teaspoon fennel seed powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1 tablespoon ghee

  1. Dry roast all the nuts and seeds one by one in a heated pan on low to medium heat until they get aromatic.

3. Rub the roasted peanuts between palms to de-skin them. Discard the skin. Keep all the roasted             seeds and nuts in a plate until use.

4. In the same pan add the crushed jaggery along with 2 tablespoon water. Heat it on low to medium flame until jaggery melts completely.

5. Add ghee to the jaggery syrup. Stir well. Now add the roasted nuts and seeds and give it a good mix. Next add the fennel seeds powder, cardamom powder and pinch of salt.

6. Mix well and cook the mix for another minute and turn off the flame. Immediately transfer the mix on a greased steel thali and spread the mix evenly with the help of spatula or the back of a greased bowl.

7. With a greased knife mark the chikki in desired shape while it is still hot.

8.  Allow the mix to cool down at room temperature . Once set, serve the delicious protein chikki and enjoy !

Recipe Notes:
  • The color of the chikki depends on the jaggery used. I have used simple organic jaggery and so the color of my chikki is brown. If you use the jaggery specially meant for making chikki, you will get a gorgeous golden color and glaze on the chikki.
  • Add very little water to the jaggery while making syrup for the chikki.
  • Adding ghee is optional, The original recipe does not use it.
  • You may use sunflower seeds , pumpkin seeds, chia seeds or any other nuts and seeds of your choice to make this chikki.
  • The chikki stays good for about a week at room temperature in an air tight container.
  • Chikki should be eaten in moderation as it generates heat in the body.

If you ever try this recipe, do share your feed back with us in the comment section below. Follow us on #Facebook  #Instagram ,  #Twitter and #Google+  for more recipes and new updates. 

For more similar recipes do check out the following recipe links from my blog posts

Friday, 27 July 2018

Thekua Recipe

Thekua is a crunchy and mildly sweet cookie , very popular and a traditional dish from Indian states of Bihar and Jharkhand.  Thekua or also spelt Thokwa is a revered prasad (offering to God) in the Chhath Puja, Saraswati Puja and on festive occasions. It has been used as a loved sweet snack for centuries in these places.

Traditionally Thekua is a deep fried snack , made using wheat flour , sugar and ghee. To cut down the calories and to make it a healthy and guilt free affair, i have baked these cookies instead of deep frying and used jaggery in place of sugar. These mildly sweet ,whole wheat flour cookies make a perfect tea time snack. I have not used baking powder or baking soda in this recipe. They are crunchy and hard at the edges and soft in the center. Thekua have a good shelf life and a preferred snack during long journeys. I have used fennel seeds and cardamom powder to flavor them.

Special wooden molds (saancha) are used to make an imprint on Thekua. Small portion of dough is taken and pressed on thekua mold to get beautiful imprints on them. I did not have such wooden mold, so i have made a simple design on the cookie dough balls, using toothpick, before baking them.

For this month on Facebook group,  Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge , we food bloggers had to cook dishes from Jharkhand Cuisine. In this monthly event, bloggers are grouped in pairs and each pair exchanges a set of secret ingredients using which we have to cook the dish of that particular cuisine. The other group members take chance in guessing the secret ingredients just by looking at the picture of the dish. For this month , my partner was Shobha Keshwani di, who is a talented food blogger and shares her culinary journey on her blog Shobhasfoodmazaa. Do check pit her space for some interesting recipes. She gave me whole wheat flour and Jaggery as my secret ingredients and i baked these delicious thekua cookies using them. In return , i gave her gram flour and cumin seeds and she made a lip smacking Besan-ki-machli curry from Jharkhand cuisine.


Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 12-15 minutes
Serves: 1 dozen 

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup jaggery powder
  • 1/4 cup ghee
  • 2 tablespoon suji / Semolina
  • 1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder

  1. Take jaggery in a pan . Add 2 tablespoon water to it and heat the pan. Once the jaggery melts and starts bubbling, put off the flame. Strain the jaggery syrup and keep to cool down until use.

2.  In a mixing bowl, take whole wheat flour Add suji, desiccated coconut, fennel seeds and cardamom powder. Blend all the ingredients using a spatula.

 3.  Add ghee to this flour mix and work with finger tips to get a bread crumb like texture.

4.  To this add the strained jaggery syrup and mix well. Using little water , knead the flour into a dough. I required less than a tablespoon water to gather the flour into a dough.

5.  Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes. Meanwhile we will shape the thekua dough. For that pinch small portion of the dough and roll between the palms and flatten slightly. Place all the dough balls on a baking tray. Now if you wish to decorate the thekua, just make criss -cross impressions on each cookie dough using a toothpick.

6. Bake the thekua at 180 degree Celsius in a preheated oven for 12 - 15 minutes. Keep a watch after 10 minutes as temperature differs from oven to oven.

  7. Allow the thekua to cool down completely on a wire rack, before transferring it to an air tight container. Serve thekua as a tea time snack or as a sweet treat during any time of the day.

 Recipe Notes:
  • I have not added baking powder to the thekua dough. You may add if you prefer it.
  • Traditionally thekua are deep fried, i have baked the cookies, to cut down the calories.
  • The cookies are mildly sweet as my family prefers, you may increase the amount of sweetener if required.

If you ever try this recipe, do share your feed back with us in the comment section below. Follow us on #Facebook  #Instagram ,  #Twitter and #Google+  for more recipes and new updates. 

For more cookie recipes check out the following posts fro m my blog

Monday, 23 July 2018

Bharli Karli / Stuffed Bitter Gourd Recipe

Bharli Karli is a stuffed bitter gourd dish cooked in a Maharashtrian Style. This bharva karela curry has a unique spicy , sweet , tangy and bitter taste all in one go. The sweetness from jaggery and sourness from tamarind compliments very well with the bitter taste of the karela . The curry gets the creamy rich texture and nutty flavor from the roasted peanuts used in the stuffing along with other Indian spices. The bharli karli curry tastes great with hot phulka or chapati and some salad.

 I have a Karela Stir Fry recipe already on the blog. This stuffed bitter gourd curry is my mom's recipe and one of my favourite stuffed vegetable dish. There are many ways of cooking this curry. Some people cook the bitter melon first in a cooker and then stuff the prepared masala and cook the curry again. This recipe is very simple. You just make a masala using roasted peanuts, dry coconut, toasted sesame seeds, garlic and basic Indian spice powders. Stuff this filling inside the bitter melon pieces and cook the curry in a wok.

Coming to health benefits , Bitter Gourd /melon is very low in calories but dense with precious nutrients. It is an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, and B3, C, Magnesium, fol ate , Zinc, Phosphorus, manganese, and has high dietary fibre. It is rich in iron, contains twice the beta - carotene of broccoli, twice the calcium of spinach, and twice the potassium of a banana.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Servings : 3-4

  • 4 medium size bitter melon / karela
  • 2 tablespoon roasted peanuts
  • 2 tablespoon grated / thinly sliced dry coconut
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds/ til
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoon jaggery powder / gud
  • Small gooseberry size tamarind
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • Hand full of fresh coriander leaves 
  1. Wash the bitter melon , pat dry. Tip off both ends and make 3-4 pieces of each melon. Slit each piece in such a way that it remains intact, but has a cut on one side.

2. For the stuffing, make a coarse paste of roasted peanuts, dry coconut, toasted sesame seeds, garlic in a grinder jar. Add the red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, cumin powder, coriander powder and salt to the paste. I did  not have fresh coriander handy , so did not use it but it certainly adds to the flavor of the curry. Add finely chopped fresh coriander leaves also to the stuffing.

3. Stuff the filling inside each bitter melon piece. Heat oil in a wok. Add cumin seeds to it . Once the seeds crackle, add the stuffed melon pieces and stir fry for 2-3 minutes on low to medium flame.

4. Add the extra stuffing if left followed by 1/4 cup water, tamarind extract , jaggery and salt to taste.

5. Cover cook the curry for 20-25 minutes or until the melons are cooked well. Stir the curry once or twice so that the gravy does not catch the bottom of the pan.

 6. Serve the curry with hot chapati and salad.

 This Bharli Karli recipe is submitted to the #154th #FoodieMondayBloghop with #StuffedVeggies as theme for the week.


If you ever try this recipe, do share your feed back with us in the comment section below. Follow us on #Facebook  #Instagram ,  #Twitter and #Google+  for more recipes and new updates. 

For more stuffed vegetable recipes, doc heck the following posts from my blog.