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Monday, 18 February 2019

Falahari Makhana Chivda / Healthy Fox Nut Snack Recipe


Falahari Makhana Chivda is a healthy and delicious savory snack made with Fox Nut (Lotus Seeds) and dry fruits. This makhana chivda is crispy , gets a crunch from toasted nuts and mildly spicy and a bit sweet in taste. The recipe is quick and simple and calls for roasting the lotus seeds and nuts like almonds, cashews and peanuts in little ghee and then tossing them with flavorful seasonings. Though it is a preferred fasting recipe for vrat like Ekadashi and Navratri , it can also be served as a guilt free mid-day snack or paired with a cup of piping hot Masala Chai on regular days. This masala makhana is so addictive that you can easily replace store bought chips packet with it. For a vegan version, replace ghee with oil. Makhana Chivda can be made ahead of time and stored in air tight container for about a week.


Makhana /Phool Makhana commonly known as lotus seeds or Fox nut (Gorgon nuts) seeds belong to the Lily family which are generally cultivated in low land areas of India , China and Japan for their starchy white seeds which are edible. Lotus seeds are rich in calcium and protein.They regulate blood pressure , have rich anti oxidant properties and benefit spleen kidney and heart. Source

I introduced makhana in our daily diet 3 years back after reading about its numerous health benefits. Since then my kitchen pantry is always stocked up with a packet of this versatile super food and I use them in roasted and caramelized form during fast at least once a week and  make kheer , raita and curry dishes using makhana occasionally.


Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Lotus seeds/ Fox Nuts / Phool Makhana
  • 2 tablespoon Almonds
  • 2 tablespoon Cashew Nuts
  • 2 tablespoon Peanuts
  • 2 Tablespoon Ghee
  • 1 Tablespoon Magaj / muskmelon seeds
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
  • Rock salt to taste
Method:
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a pan over medium flame and add peanuts to it. Fry the peanuts on low flame for a minute or so. Next add the almonds and fry them for half a minute. Lastly add the cashew nuts and magaj and fry them until they turn crisp and light pink in color . Remove all the nuts in a bowl. 


2. Add remaining 1 tablespoon ghee to the same pan . Now add the fox nut to it and roast it while stirring occasionally for 8-10 minutes. On roasting you should be able to break the makhana with a crunch.

3. Now season the roasted makhana with red chili powder, roasted cumin powder, rock salt and powdered sugar. Toss well so that everything gets coated well on the makhana. You can alternatively add the seasonings to little ghee and then mix it with the fox nut for better coating.


4. Lastly add the fried nuts and toss everything very well. Serve immediately. Store the remaining in a dry airtight container.



Recipe Notes:
  • Roast the makhana on low flame while stirring occasionally. It took me about 10 minutes to roast 2 cups makhana. perfectly roasted makhana should be crisp and crunchy like popcorn.
  • Makhana have a neutral taste , ghee roasting gives a lovely nutty flavor to it. You may add seasoning of your choice like chaat masala, garam masala. black pepper powder, salt , chili powder etc. As I intended to make a falahari version , i added just roasted cumin powder, rock salt and red chili powder.
  • You may add nuts of your choice or skip them altogether. 
  • For a vegan version , replace ghee with oil.
  • The makhana chivda remains good at room temperature in an air tight container for about a week.
Taking this healthy and delicious Falahari Makhana Chivda to the #183 #FoodieMondayBlogHop with #IndianSuperFoods as the theme for the week. This theme was chosen by Vidya Narayan. Among Indian super foods we had to cook with either, Moringa, Turmeric or Makhana. Vidya is a passionate teacher by profession, a humble person at heart and a talented food blogger. She writes about her culinary journey at  Masalachilli. Do check out her space for healthy bakes, authentic Indian recipes and other recipes from around the globe. 

                                                              

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

For more Makhana recipes, do check out the following link from this blog. 
                                                 
                                
                               


Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Homemade Peanut Butter


Peanut butter is a food spread made by grinding the dry-roasted peanuts. It is addictively delicious, protein-packed and easily available in food marts and hence a popular choice among kids and adults alike. Unfortunately, one cannot control the sweeteners, emulsifiers, and preservatives that are added to the store-bought ones. Good news is that making peanut butter at home does not involve any rocket science and you can easily make a batch for yourself which is not only healthier but cheaper too. All you require is peanuts, a good food processor and some patience. An additional benefit is that you can customize the recipe and add flavorings of your choice while making it if desired, though this is purely optional. Homemade peanut butter is creamy, has a distinct nutty flavor and is perfectly spreadable. Use it as a spread on your bread or toast or make a wholesome sandwich for breakfast or use it in desserts, granola, and fudges. I do not mind having a spoonful or two right from the jar as my midday snack as it is a guilt-free treat even for weight watchers.


Before we head towards the recipe, here are a few points to note. I have used raw peanuts and dry roasted them on low to medium flame. Do not skip this step unless you are using ready-made roasted peanuts, as roasting the nuts helps to release the natural oils which not only adds to the flavor and consistency of the peanut butter but also aids in grinding. Use a good food processor or grinder to make peanut butter for a fuss-free experience. Homemade peanut butter will have a little grainy texture and not as silky as the store bought one, but it will be spreadable. If adding flavorings to the peanut butter, add them towards the end. I have added a little groundnut oil, a fat pinch of rock salt and little honey to my peanut butter which lends a mildly sweet and salty taste and nutty flavor to the peanut butter, but this is purely optional. 2 cups of peanuts will yield approximately 1 1/2 cup peanut butter. So adjust the amounts of peanuts used as per your need. Homemade peanut butter stays good for more than a month on refrigeration in an airtight container provided it lasts until then. I usually make it in small batches. Last but surely not the least tip is to have patience while making peanut butter. As you keep on grinding the peanuts you will notice that you get a coarse powder and it starts clumping but you do not get that creamy texture you are aiming at but believe me do not lose hope and stop towards the end, keep scraping the sides and continue to run the food processor further until you get the expected consistency of the peanut butter. It may take somewhere between 12-15 minutes to get a creamy peanut butter using a food processor. If you have a Vitamix (high-performance blender), you may require less time.

Health Benefits of Peanut Butter - Source
  • It is rich in protein and fiber which makes it filling. This makes you feel full longer, so you end up eating less overall.
  • A serving of peanut butter 3 mg of Vitamin E (a powerful antioxidant), 49 mg of magnesium (aids in bone-building), 208 mg of potassium (muscle-friendly), 0-17 mg of Vitamin B6(immunity booster).
  • Studies indicate that having peanuts can reduce the risk of heart disease, Diabetes and other types of chronic health conditions.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time:7-8 minutes
Serves: 1 1/2 cup peanut butter

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups raw peanuts
  • 1.5-2  tablespoon groundnut oil (optional)
  • 1.5 -2 tablespoon honey (optional)
  • A fat pinch of rock salt (optional)
Method:
  1. Take the peanuts in a pan and dry roast it on low to medium flame for 7-8 minutes. Keep stirring occasionally to ensure the peanuts do not burn. Alternatively, you may toast the peanuts in an oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 8-10 minutes. 


2. Allow the peanuts to cool down a bit in a plate. Rub them with a kitchen towel to de-skin. Discard the skin and transfer the peanuts to a food processor or blender while the nuts are warm. Pulse for about a minute or until chopped.


3. Run the food processor or blender continuously for 1 minute. Stop and scrape the sides and the bottom of the processor jar. At this stage, we get a dry coarse powder of the peanuts. Again run the processor for a minute, stop, scrape and continue. The peanut powder will start clumping together and as you continue to process further for a couple of times, you will see a soft and glossy peanut butter.



4. At this stage add the oil, salt, and sweetener to the peanut butter if using. Continue processing the butter for another 1-2 minutes until it turns smooth and of desired consistency. Homemade peanut butter will be a bit grainy in texture but will be spreadable at this stage.


 5. Transfer the prepared peanut butter to an airtight container and refrigerate until use. 


Recipe Notes:
  • Dry roasting the nuts helps to release the natural oils which not only adds to the flavor and consistency of the peanut butter but also aids in grinding. So do not skip this step unless you are using pre-roasted peanuts.
  • Homemade peanut butter will have a little grainy texture and not as silky as the store bought one, but it will be spreadable. 
  • 2 cups of peanuts yield approximately 1 1/2 cup peanut butter.
  • It may take somewhere between 12-15 minutes to get a creamy peanut butter using a food processor. If you have a Vitamix (high-performance blender), you may require less time. 
  • If adding flavorings to the peanut butter, add them towards the end.
  •  have added a little groundnut oil, a fat pinch of rock salt and little honey to my peanut butter which lends a mildly sweet and salty taste and nutty flavor to the peanut butter, but this is purely optional.
  • The other flavors that you can try adding to your peanut butter are 1-2 tablespoon of cocoa powder, a dash of cinnamon powder or up to 1/4 cup of chocolate chips.
  • Homemade peanut butter stays good for more than a month on refrigeration in an airtight container           

This post is added to the 125 My Legume Love Affair hosted by my dear friend and fellow blogger Seema. Conceptualized by Susan and carried forward to date by Lisa.

                                                  My legume love affair event

Linking this homemade peanut butter recipe to 61st Healthy Wellthy Cuisines with #LegumeAffair@HW as the current theme.

                                                          

Check out the other post below from my fellow bloggers on this theme

Boondi Kadhi by Rosy Nayak
Mananthakali Vatalkozhambu by Priya Iyer
Baigan Pakora by Geetanjali Tung
Lehsuni Dal Palak by Swati Malik
Restaurant style Dal Tadka by Seema 
Rajma Masala by Shalu Jain
Moong Dal Khichdi by Kalyani Sri
Dhaba Style Kala Chanaby Jayashree Trao
Habisha Dalma by Sasmita


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




Sunday, 10 February 2019

Maharashtrian Kadhi Recipe


Kadhi is a famous Indian dish made by blending beaten curd or buttermilk and gram flour (besan) and tempering it with flavorful spices. This humble dish can be made in many ways and every Indian state and household has its own version. Today we will learn to make a simple yet delicious Maharashtrian Kadhi. Maharashtrian Kadhi is very different from the Punjabi Kadhi in terms of taste, consistency, and preparation. This Kadhi is sweet in taste and thinner and does not have fritters either. It is usually made with buttermilk that is left after making ghee at home. Maharashtrian Kadhi is light on the tummy and can also serve as soup during winters. Piping hot Kadhi served with steamed rice or mung dal khichdi topped with a dollop of sajuk tup (homemade ghee) is a comfort food for sure.


I have many fond childhood memories with this particular dish. My papa did not like kadhi much and for him, khichdi is meant only for those recovering from an ailment. But my mom along with her 3 kids including me love kadhi khichdi combo to the core. So it was a ritual for her to cook kadhi and mung dal khichdi whenever papa had a dinner night with his Rotary club or NIPM members. She added lots of veggies in the khichdi to make it all the more wholesome and filling. I follow her recipe for both kadhi and khichdi but still cannot get the exact taste. I guess all mothers add a secret ingredient to their food. Anyways, a roasted nagli (Ragi) papad and some pickle by the side would make that humble Kadhi khichdi platter hearty and soulful, and for us, it was no less than a 5-star hotel menu.


Now, like my papa, even my husband dislikes kadhi, but thankfully my little one enjoys it as much as I do and we both often have this combo as our lunch when Kiran is in office. Taking this delectable Maharashtrian Kadhi to the #182nd #FoodieMondayBlogHop with #DownMemoryLane as the theme for the week. Swaty Malik who blogs at Food Trails suggested this wonderful theme where we had to cook a dish that would take us down the memory lane and remind us of any family member or friend with whom we share fond memories of that particular food. Meanwhile, do check out Swaty's wonderful blog where she shares her culinary skills and recipes from Indian and International Cuisine.

                                                        

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time:  20 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups buttermilk or 1 cup curd whisked with 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 tablespoon gram flour / Besan
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • Pinch of asafoetida / Hing
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 inch ginger piece
  • Rock salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander leaves

Method:
  1. To begin with, make a coarse paste of garlic, ginger and green chilies in a mortar and pestle without adding water. 

  2. Add gram flour to the buttermilk and whisk it well so that there are no lumps in it.



3. Now heat ghee in a pan and add mustard seeds to it. Once the seeds splutter, add the cumin seeds and curry leaves. Let the cumin seeds crackle.


4. Next tip in the ginger garlic green chili paste followed by asafoetida and stir fry until there is no raw smell. Take care not to burn it. Now stir in the buttermilk.



5. Add turmeric powder, salt, and sugar. Give a quick stir and allow the Kadhi to boil on medium flame. keep stirring to ensure the kadhi does not split.




6. Add the coriander leaves and simmer the kadhi for another 5-7 minutes. Put off the flame and serve the kadhi piping hot with steamed rice or khichdi.



 Recipe Link:
  • I always use the buttermilk that is left after making the ghee to make this kadhi.if you do not have it handy, you may use curd and whisk it with water and make kadhi with it. Ratio of curd to water is 1:2.
  • Maharashtrian Kadhi calls for ghee tempering. It aids in digestion and adds to the flavor of the Kadhi. Do not skip it if you are looking for the authentic taste.
  • Lower the flame while adding the buttermilk to the tempering and keep stirring to ensure the kadhi does not split.
  • Instead of mincing the ginger garlic and green chili together, you may simply grate garlic and ginger and add chopped pieces of green chili to the tempering.
  • Do not skip the sugar if you are looking for the authentic taste of the kadhi. You may substitute it with jaggery powder but the color of the Kadhi will change in that case.
Related post:
                               
                               


Sunday, 3 February 2019

Batata Harra - Lebanese Spiced Potato Recipe


Batata Harra is a delicious vegetable dish from the Middle Eastern Cuisine. It literally means hot potatoes. This crispy, spicy roasted potato dish is a popular Lebanese recipe. The original recipe calls for tossing the deep-fried potato chunks in seasoning oil and herbs. To make it a guilt-free affair, I have roasted the potato pieces in the oven and then seasoned it in olive oil with garlic, red chili, pepper and coriander and a squeeze of lemon juice. It is a quick and simple recipe with just few ingredients. You can serve Batata Harra as an appetiser or party snack or a side dish, in any way it is going to win you praises. Believe me, if you are a potato lover, than this is a treat for you for sure.


It is Monday today and we bloggers at the #FoodieMondayBlogHop are back with an interesting theme for our #181 week . In this group each week bloggers take turn to suggest a couple of theme for the event. Members of the group vote for any one of them and the one with majority of votes is decided as the theme for the week. This week it was the turn of Sujata Shukla di to suggest themes. She came up with very interesting themes and majority of us voted to cook a dish from the #Levantine Cuisine. She thoughtfully mentioned that , Levantine Cuisine covers the East Mediterranean Shore and includes the Cuisines of Syria, Lebanon, Palestine,Israel, Jordan and Cyprus. I chose this delicious Batata Harra from Lebanon as my contribution towards the theme. Checkout the posts from my fellow bloggers for some more dishes with this theme.

                                                         
Before we jump into the recipe, let's have a peek into Lebanese cuisine. Lebanese cuisine is an ancient one and a part of Levantine style of cooking that has an abundant use of vegetables, fruits,whole grains, starches, fresh fish and sea food. Garlic and olive oil is significantly used , often seasoned with lemon juice. Foods are usually baked and sauteed in olive oil. Lebanese Cuisine is seasonal and varies from region to region. Chickpeas and parsley are staples of their diet. In Lebanon, drinks are usually served with food and pita bread is a staple of every Lebanese meal. Source

For more potato recipes from this blog, check out the following, Spicy Potato Salad from Nepalese CuisineAchari Aloo - Spicy Pickled PotatoesKashmiri Dum AlooAloo Chutney Pulao from Haryana


Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:
  • 5-6  medium size potatoes
  • 2 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2-3 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon rock salt + more to taste
Method:
  1. To begin with, preheat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius. Line the baking tray with parchment paper. Rinse, peel and cut the potatoes into bite size pieces . Add them to a mixing bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon rock salt and toss to coat them well. 

2. Spread them evenly on the parchment paper lined baking tray. Roast for 30 minutes or until crisp and golden brown.



3. Once the potatoes are roasted, set them aside and prepare for the oil seasoning. For that heat Olive oil on medium flame in a pan. Add minced garlic to it and fry for about half a minute , taking care not to burn it. Next, lower the flame and add the spice powders (red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and half of the chopped coriander. Stir fry them for few seconds.


4. Add the roasted potatoes to the pan and stir fry with the spices for a minute and put off the flame. Lastly add chili flakes, crushed black pepper, remaining coriander leaves, lemon juice and dash of salt . Toss the potatoes to coat well with the seasonings.



  5. Serve the Batata Harra hot or warm and enjoy the flavorful potato treat with your loved ones !


Recipe Notes:
  • This dish is eaten spicy, however, you may adjust the spice levels to suite your palate.
  • You may serve Batata Harra with hummus, but it tastes good on its own and does not require any accompaniment. 
  • There is no need to flip or turn the potatoes while roasting them in the oven. On roasting the potatoes should be soft and fluffy from inside and crispy and golden brown from outside.
  • The original recipe uses Kosher salt, I have replaced it with rock salt.
  • If you are looking for authentic taste, deep fry the potato pieces prior to tossing them in seasoning oil and do not replace Olive oil with other cooking oils.
  • I have roughly adapted the recipe from here
  • Lemon juice just lifts up the taste of the dish, so do not skip that either.
  • Herbs like parsley, dill , coriander can be used to flavor the dish .
If you ever try this recipe, do share your thoughts with us in the form of comments or pictures . Feel free to drop any queries, suggestions and feedback in the comment section below. Follow us on  #Facebook  #Instagram ,  #Twitter and #Google+  for more recipes and new updates. 

Related Posts:
                          
                          


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