Falafel

Falafel is a popular Middle Eastern food made with chickpeas, spices and herbs. My children fondly relish falafels with pita bread. The taste of falafel differs from country to country but the basic ingredients are chick peas, parsley and cumin powder that are same everywhere. Falafel can be baked or fried but authentic falafel is fried.

Ingredients:

  • Chick Peas (1/2 cup)
  • Cilantro (1/2 cup)
  • Parsley (1/2 cup)
  • Onion (chopped, 1/2 cup)
  • Cumin powder (1/2 tsp)
  • Pepper Powder (1/2 tsp)
  • Red Chili Powder (kashmiri, 1 1/2 tsp)
  • Sesame Seeds (2 tsp)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Oil (to fry)
  • Baking Soda (1/2 tsp)
  • Bread Crumbs (2 tsp)
Ingredient-1
Ingredient-2

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

Category: Breakfast \ Lunch \ Dinner

Cuisine: Middle Eastern

Yield: 12

Method:

  • Wash and soak chickpeas for 8-10 hours.
  • Strain the water and set aside.

To Grind:

  • In a food processor add parsley, cilantro and onion and grind to a coarse consistency.
  • Add soaked chiskpeas, red chili, pepper, cumin powder, salt and baking soda and use the pulse setting to grind to a coarse consistency.
  • When it is done add bread crumbs and sesame seeds and run on pulse setting for 5-7 seconds.
  • Transfer the mixture to a bowl and mix well.
  • Cover the mixture with a cling film or a plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Form the mixture either into balls or use any small bowl and fill in 2 teaspoons of mixture.
  • Flip upside down on a plate. Place the uncooked falafels on a plate before deep frying.
  • Heat oil in a pan and gently lower the discs or balls.
  • Allow them to cook for 2-3 minutes and then flip to cook on the other side.
  • Fry till they turn crisp or brown.

Step by step pictures of the recipe:

Wash and soak chickpeas for 10 hours.
Grind parsley, cilantro and onions to a coarse consistency.
Grind soaked chickpeas, chili, pepper, cumin powder, salt and baking soda to a coarse consistency.
Refrigerate for an hour.
Form mixture into discs.
Discs are ready to go into the oil.
Flip and cook on both the sides.
Fry till they turn crisp.

Notes:

  • Use a strainer to filter the chickpeas from water. Before grinding there should not be any water.
  • For grinding either food processor or a mixer can be used. The batter should be coarse.
  • The mixture should hold together nicely and not fall apart.
  • Sesame is optional.
  • Ice cream scoop can be used to make balls.
  • Falafel mold is available in the market and that can be used too.

Roasted Pumpkin Soup

We make many recipes out of pumpkin in India. Pumpkin curry, gravy, halwa, soup, pie etc. Pumpkin has a nutty flavor on top of it we add cream so avoiding lot of spices will help to retain the original creamy texture.

Ingredients:

  • Pumpkin (cubes, 1/2 cup)
  • Red Chili Flakes (3 tsp)
  • Cream (fresh, 2 tsp)
  • Peanuts (4 tsp)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Oil (3 tsp)
Ingredients

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

Category: Lunch \ Dinner

Serves: 2

Method:

  • Heat a shallow skillet to low and add peanuts.
  • Sautee for five minutes or till it changes its color.
  • Sautee constantly to prevent from burning.
  • Cool for few minutes and grind to a coarse powder and set aside.
  • Heat a deep skillet to medium and add oil and pumpkin cubes.
  • Cook for 10 minutes or till the pumpkin cubes are soft and cooked.
  • Add salt and red chili flakes.
  • Cool the ingredients and grind to a fine paste.
  • Add the ground paste to a skillet and add water and bring it to boil.
  • After it starts boiling add the ground peanuts.
  • Garnish with fresh cream.

Step by step pictures of the recipe:

Idli Milagai Podi

Idli \ Dosai milagai podi is a dry condiment served with idli, dosa, roti and also for bread. Ghee or sesame oil is used to make a paste and used as a dip. The consistency is dry and coarse and shelf life is for four to six months. We love this in our family to eat with bread and rice even.

Ingredients:

  • Urad Dal (Black Gram] (whole, 100 gm or 1/2 cup)
  • Til [Sesame] (seeds, white, 30 gm or 1/4 cup)
  • Red Chilies (Kashmiri, 3/4 cup or 25 gm)
  • Hing [Asafoetida] (cake, 2 pieces)
  • Red Chilies (3/4 cup or 25 gm)
  • Coconut/Any oil (2 tsp)
  • Salt (to taste)
Ingredients

Cook time: 15 minutes

Category: Lunch \ Dinner \ Breakfast

Cuisine: South Indian

Yield: 250 gm

Method:

  • Heat a shallow or deep skillet to medium and add urad Dal (black gram].
  • Dry roast for 7-9 minutes or till golden. Constant stirring is required while roasting.
  • Set aside and in the same skillet add til [sesame] seeds and dry roast until it splutters. Set aside when the splutter sound subsides.
  • In the same skillet add oil and hing [asafoetida] cakes and wait for those to double and crisp up.
  • Set aside and add red chilies (kashmiri) and sautee for 2-3 minutes.
  • Set aside the kashmiri chilies and add red chilies and sautee for 2-3 minutes.
  • Let the ingredients cool completely before grinding.

Step by step pictures of the recipe:

Dry roast urad dal till golden and set aside.
Dry roast till and set aside.
Roast both the chilies with little oil and set aside.
Grind the red chilies, hing and salt to a nice powder.
Coarse grind urad dal and sesame seeds.and mix the ground ingredients.

Notes:

  • While dry roasting stir constantly to prevent burning.
  • While roasting sesame seeds they pop up or splutter switch off the flame and transfer immediately to a bowl.
  • We can use either black or white sesame seeds. The black seeds are dehulled and rich in flavor and taste compared to white.
  • The aroma of coconut oil is preferred than other oil.

Paruppu Urundai [Lentil Dumplings] Rasam

Paruppu urundai rasam is not a very common dish like paruppu urundai mor kuzhambu or urundai kuzhambu. Paruppu urundai rasam is my husband’s favorite dish. In our family we make during the weekends and this is one of our special recipes.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Toor Dal [Pigeon Peas] (split, 1/2 cup)
  • Red Chilies (4)
  • Sambar Powder (1 tsp)
  • Mustard Seeds (1 tsp)
  • Tomato (chopped, 3/4 cup)
  • Tamarind (a gooseberry size)
  • Jeera [Cumin Seeds] (1/2 tsp)
  • Green Chili (1/2)
  • Ghee (1 tsp)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Ginger (a small piece)
  • Turmeric Powder (1/2 tsp)
  • Cilantro (chopped, fine, 4 tsp)
  • Hing [Asafoetida] (cake, a small piece)
Ingredients

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

Total time: 50 minutes

Category: Lunch \ Dinner

Cuisine: South Indian

Serves: 4

METHOD:

RECIPE FOR PARUPPU URUNDAI [LENTIL DUMPLINGS]

  • Wash and soak toor dal [pigeon peas] for 45 minutes. Add red chilies and hing [asafoetida] along with toor dal.
  • Strain the water, add salt and grind to a coarse consistency.
  • Save the water.
  • Form the mixture into balls of a small lemon size.
  • Grease a plate with oil and steam on a low flame for 10 minutes.

PARUPPU URUNDAI RASAM RECIPE:

  • Soak tamarind in water for 30 minutes and extract the juice.
  • In a pan add one cup of tamarind juice and one cup of plain water and bring it to boil.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, sambar powder, turmeric powder, green chili, salt and cilantro.
  • Cook until the raw smell of sambar powder is substituted with good aroma.
  • Add the saved water.
  • Add the steamed paruppu urundai [dumplings] one at a time and cook till the urundais start floating.

FOR TEMPERING:

  • Heat a shallow skillet and add ghee and mustard seeds.
  • Wait for the seeds to splutter and then add jeera.
  • Switch off the flame and add the hot mixture to rasam.

Step by step pictures of the recipe:

Wash and soak lentils, red chilies and hing for 45 minutes.
Strain the water and add the ingredients to a grinder bowl and add salt.
Grind to a coarse consistency. Grease a plate with little oil.
Form the mixture into balls.
Steam the dumplings for 10 minutes.
Add tamarind water, chopped tomatoes, sambar powder, turmeric powder, salt and chopped cilantro.
Cook for 10 minutes then add the saved water and dumplings to the rasam. Cook until the dumplings float.
Add ghee and mustard seeds to a skillet. Wait for the seeds to splutter and add jeera.
Add the hot mixture to the rasam and garnish with chopped cilantro.

NOTES:

  • Tamarind pulp can be diluted and added.
  • Hing powder can be substituted for hing cake.
  • Dumplings can be dusted with rice flour and added to rasam instead of steaming but this method requires lot of practice and skill. When dumplings are steamed they won’t break.
  • While steaming open and check if it is soft as also cooked.
  • Dumplings can be added in two batches. Wait for the first batch of the dumplings to float. After they started floating check there is enough water and then add the second batch.
  • Beginners strain the lentils using a strainer instead of directly adding it to the grinder bowl. If the lentils are grinded with water it becomes soft and chances of breaking is more.
  • As soon as you add jeera stop the flame. jeera gets burnt fast and spoils the smell of rasam.
  • For sambar powder recipe please check my channel and I have given the link in the description of the video.

Marie Biscuit Chocolate Log

Marie biscuit log is easy to make and looks very classy. It is my daughter’s one of her favorite desserts recipe. After she left home for studies, job etc I completely forgot this delight. When I made this after so many years, it brought me back all the sweet memories.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Marie Biscuits (16)
  • Butter (unsalted, 3 tbs)
  • Custard Powder (1 1/2 tsp)
  • Cocoa Powder (4 tsp)
  • Coffee Decoction \ Instant Coffee powder (1/2 cup)
  • Milk (1/2 cup)
  • Sugar (powdered, 5 tsp)
Ingredients

Cook time: 20 minutes

Category: Dessert

Serves: 4

METHOD:

Recipe for filling:

  • Add milk, custard powder and powdered sugar.
  • Mix all the ingredients and switch on the flame.
  • Stir constantly on a low heat to avoid lumps.
  • Cook until the texture is smooth and glossy.
  • The custard cream should be thick.
  • Cool down to room temperature.

Recipe for frosting:

  • Heat a saucepan and add butter.
  • Melt the butter and add powdered sugar.
  • Switch off the flame.
  • Add cocoa and stir constantly.
  • Mix all the ingredients to combine.
  • If the mixture is thick add some milk to adjust the consistency.

Marie Biscuit Chocolate Log Recipe:

  • Place a parchment paper and place the biscuits, custard cream and coffee decoction bowls.
  • Dip the biscuits in coffee one at a time.
  • As soon as you dip the first biscuit remove and keep it on a tray and spread the custard cream on top of the first biscuit.
  • Now dip the second biscuit and keep it on top of the cream and give a slight press so that the cream comes till the edges.
  • Do not break the biscuits.
  • Stack the biscuits one after another.
  • Spread the chocolate frosting on all the sides.
  • Ensure to cover the log with chocolate frosting before refrigerate.
  • Refrigerate at least for an hour.
  • Cut either straight or diagonally to get the logs.

Step by step pictures of the recipe:

Add milk, custard powder, and powdered sugar in a saucepan.
The consistency should be thick, and glossy.
Melt the butter and add powdered sugar and cocoa powder.
Dip the biscuits in coffee one at a time and
sandwich the biscuits together with the custard cream.
Smear the biscuit log with cocoa frosting on all the sides.
Refrigerate for at least an hour.
Cut either straight or diagonally.

Notes:

  • Regular marie biscuits are preferred than the thin biscuits.
  • While dipping biscuits in cofee just dip it once and keep it on the tray.
  • Do not keep for long because there are chances of breaking .
  • I used filter coffee decoction. This can be substituted with either instant coffee mixed with water or any other brewed coffee.
  • The custard cream consistency should neither be too thin nor too thick.

Low-Carb Stuffed Okra [Bharwa Bhindi]

Okra is a very popular vegetable in India. All the children in our family love okra stir fry, stuffed okra and okra sambar. Stuffed okra goes well with chapati, bread, naan, paratha and rice.

Ingredients:

  • Baby Okra (250 gm)
  • Cumin powder (1/8 cup)
  • Coriander Powder (1/8 cup)
  • Onions (chopped, 1/2 cup)
  • Turmeric Powder (1/2 tsp)
  • Red Chili Powder (kashmiri, 2 1/2 tsp)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Oil (8 tsp)
Ingredients

Cook time: 40 minutes

Cuisine: North \ South Indian

Category: Lunch \ Dinner

Serves: 2

Method:

Recipe for Stuffing:

  • In a bowl add coriander, cumin, red chili powder and salt.
  • Mix all the powders and add 2 teaspoons of oil.
  • After adding oil mix again.

Stuffed Okra recipe:

  • Cut off the crown of okras.
  • Make a vertical slit and fill the okras with the spice mixture.
  • Refrigerate for 10 hours.
  • In a deep skillet add oil, chopped onions and turmeric powder.
  • Add salt only for the onions.[Remember already added salt for the okras]
  • Place the okras gently and flip every 4-5 minutes until they are cooked.
  • It should be cooked uncovered and on a low heat.
  • Avoid flipping the okras too often to keep the stuffing intact.
  • Add leftover spice mixture if needed.
  • Cook until okras absorb all the flavors of spices, and crispy.

Step by step pictures of the recipe:

Add coriander, red chili, cumin powder and salt in a bowl.
Add oil and mix all the ingredients.
Cut the crown off and make a vertical slit.
Fill the okra with the spice mixture.
Refrigerate the okras for 10 hours.
Add oil, onions, turmeric and salt.
Place the okras on the onion mixture.
Flip the okras gently and cook the spices are absorbed and crispy.

NOTES:

  • Short and stout okras are preferred for this recipe.
  • Wash the okras and dry using a kitchen towel.
  • While placing the okras lay in a single layer in the skillet.
  • Garam masala can be added to the spice mixture.
  • Be careful while making a slit. Do not cut the way through. If the okras are long make a long slit and cut it into half.
  • I used heavy bottom cast iron skillet but non-stick pan can be substituted for the iron one.

Low-Carb Cabbage Fritters

Crispy cabbage fritters are very easy and simple to make. I made my own almond flour because of lock down but, you can use the store-bought one. Even the coconut flour I used after extracting coconut milk dried and then roasted.

Ingredients:

  • Cabbage (chopped, fine, 1 cup)
  • Cilantro \ Parsley (chopped, 3 tbs)
  • Flax Seed Meal (1/4 cup)
  • Red Chili Powder (2 tsp)
  • Coconut Flour (1/4 cup)
  • Almond Flour (1/2 cup)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Butter (3 tbs)
  • Oil (6 tsp)
Ingredients

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Category: Lunch \ Dinner \ Snack

Serves: 3

Yield: 18

Method:

  • In a wide bowl add shredded cabbage, almond flour, coconut flour and flax seed meal.
  • Add unsalted butter, chopped cilantro or parsley
  • Add kashmiri \ medium hot red chili powder and salt.
  • Add half a cup of water and mix everything well.
  • Cover and rest for 15-20 minutes.
  • Heat a shallow skillet to medium and add oil.
  • Drop a tablespoon of batter and flatten it using a spoon.
  • Flip the fritters when the crust is formed.
  • Cook until they turn crisp.

Step by step pictures of the recipe:

In a bowl add shredded cabbage, almond flour and coconut flour.
Add flax seed meal, chopped cilantro and butter.
Add red chili powder and salt.
Mix all the ingredients well.
Add half a cup of water and mix well.
Drop a tablespoon of batter and flatten it.

Notes:

  • I used cast iron skillet. Non-stick pan can be substituted for cast iron.
  • Green chilies can also be substituted for red chili powder.
  • Water should be added gradually.

Baingan [Eggplant] Bharta

Baingan bharta is a dish made of fire roasted eggplant and cooked with onions, tomatoes and other spices. It goes well with rice and all types of breads. In southern part of India smoked eggplants are used to make chutney and in northern part bharta is made out of it. We live in the middle east and here baba ghanoush is very popular and can be compared to our bharta.

Ingredients:

Eggplant (200 gms)
salt (to taste)
Oil (4 tsp)
Ginger (grated, 1 tsp)
Carrots (grated, 2 tbs)
Onions (chopped, 1/2 cup)
Tomatoes (chopped, 1/2 cup)
Coriander Leaves (2 tbs)
Coriander Powder (1 tsp)
Turmeric Powder (1/4 tsp)
Cumin Seeds Powder (1 tsp)
Garam Masala Powder (1/2 tsp)
Red Chili Powder (medium hot, 1 1/2 tsp)

Ingredients

Cook time: 45 minutes

Cuisine: North Indian

Category: Lunch \ Dinner

Serves: 2

Baingan Bharta recipe video

Method:

  • Smear eggplant with oil before roasting.
  • Pierce the eggplant with a skewer and place it on the flame.
  • Turn the eggplant till the skin is completely charred and the pulp should be soft.
  • Remove the skin when it’s warm and cut off both the ends.
  • Mash the eggplant using a fork or a spoon until smooth.
  • Heat a deep skillet to medium and add oil.
  • Add chopped onions, tomatoes, grated ginger and salt.
  • Sautee till the oil separates from the mixture.
  • Add turmeric, red chili, coriander, and cumin powder.
  • Mix and stir well.
  • Add the mashed eggplant and garam masala powder.
  • Add required water to adjust the cosistency.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and grated carrots.

Step by step pictures of the recipe:

Apply oil all over and skew the eggplant.
Roast the eggplant directly on the flame. and turn it over every couple of minutes.
Roast till the skin is completely charred.
Peel off the skin when it’s warm and cut off both the ends.
Mash the eggplant with a spoon to a smooth consistency.
Add chopped onions, tomatoes and grated ginger,salt and sautee till the vegetables are soft.
Add turmeric, red chili, coriander and cumin powder.
Add the mashed eggplant and garam masala powder.
Add required water to adjust the consistency.
Garnish with coriander leaves and grated carrots.

Notes:

  • While selecting eggplants select the lightweight ones.
  • Immerse the roasted eggplant in water as soon as it’s removed from fire and Peel off the skin or the skin can be peeled off as mentioned in the video.
  • Eggplant roasted on fire is more tastier than eggplant roasted in oven.
  • Garlic paste can be added if preferred.

Masala Vada |Paruppu Vadai |Dal Vada

Masala Vada is a south-indian snack made during the monsoon seasons, festival times (but no onions) and also for guests. it’s eaten with coconut chutney and a staple breakfast menu along with idli sambar in the restaurants. Vadai goes well with curd rice too.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Chana Dal [Chick Peas] (split, 1/4 cup)
  • Toor Dal [Pigeon Peas] (split, 1/4 cup)
  • Onions (chopped, fine, 1/2 cup)
  • Coriander Leaves (as desired)
  • Curry Leaves (chopped, few)
  • Green chili (chopped, fine, 1)
  • Ginger (grated, 1 tsp)
  • Rice (raw, 1 tsp)
  • Oil (to deep fry)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Red chilies (2)
Ingredients

Cook time: 45 minutes

Cuisine: South Indian

Category: Snack \ Tiffin

Yield: 12

Masala Vada recipe video

Method:

  • Wash and soak chick peas, pigeon peas and rice for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Soak red chilies along with the peas.
  • Strain the water and add the peas to a grinder bowl.
  • Save the water and add if required.
  • Grind to a coarse consistency.
  • Add chopped onions, green chili, grated ginger, salt, curry leaves and coriander leaves.
  • Mix all the ingredients.
  • Heat oil in a pan.
  • Make a small lemon sized balls with the batter.
  • Wet a plastic sheet and flatten the ball.
  • Gently lower the balls and fry on a medium flame.
  • Cook on both the sides.
  • Transfer the vadas on a paper towel to remove excess oil.
Rice, Pigeon,and Chick Peas
Wash and soak them in water for 1 1/2 hours.
Soak red chilies along with the peas.
Strain the water.
Transfer the ingredients to a grinder bowl.
Grind them to a coarse consistency.
Add chopped onions,coriander leaves, curry leaves, green chili, grated ginger and salt.
Use the saved water if needed to adjust the consistency.
Spread out a sheet of plastic wrap and dampen it.
Take a lemon-sized ball with the batter and flatten it.
Wet your fingers and take off the batter.
Gently lower vada into the hot oil.
Cook vada on both the sides.
Cook till the vadas turn crisp.
Transfer on to a paper towel.

Notes

  • Strain the water using a strainer and leave the soaked rice and peas for 10 minutes.
  • While grinding water should be added using a spoon .Water decides the crispness so add little by little and do not pour.
  • Plastic sheet helps vada to give a bulge at the center and thin on the sides.
  • Initially after dropping the vadas into oil allow them to cook for 5-6 minutes.This will prevent them from breaking.

Patani [Peas] Sundal

Pattani sundal is a south Indian snack made with dried white peas, spices and coconut. It’s a very popular snack during Navaratri and also on sandy beaches in south India.

Ingredients

  • Pattani [White Peas] (1/2 cup)
  • Mustard Seeds (1 tsp)
  • Coconut (pieces, small, 2 tbs)
  • Mango (raw, pieces, small, 2 tbs)
  • Hing [Asafoetida] (powder, a pinch)
  • Green Chilies (chopped, fine, 2)
  • Curry Leaves (chopped, fine, few)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Oil (2 tsp)

Cook time: 25 minutes

Cuisine: South Indian

Category: Snack \ Tiffin

Serves: 2

Pattani [Peas] Sundal recipe video

Method:

  • Wash and Soak white dried peas in a thermal insulated pot with 1 cup of hot water.
  • Rest for 5-6 hours.
  • Pressure cook the soaked peas for 4-5 whistles. If required add 1/2 a cup of water before you cook.
  • Strain the water and set aside.
  • In a shallow skillet add oil and mustard seeds and wait for the seeds to splutter.
  • Add the chopped green chilies and add asafoetida powder.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Add small pieces of coconut and raw mango.
  • Add curry leaves and mix well.

Step by step pictures of the recipe:

Soak the peas in hot water and rest for 5 hours.
Pressure cook by adding half a cup of water and cook for 5 whistles.
If it’s not cooked then cook again for 1-2 whistles.
Add oil and mustard seeds. Once seeds spluttered add the chopped green chilies and asafoetida powder.
Garnish with salt coconut and raw mango pieces.

Notes:

  • While cooking peas pressure cook for 4-5 whistles only. The chances of getting overcooked or under cooked are possible. If it’s under cooked pressure cook for 1-2 whistles more.