Friday, May 27, 2016

Guest Post Series: Besan ki Phulki (a GF snack), by Shaheen Ali

I hope you all liked Shobana Rao's Lobia Suva Bhaji Subzi last week!
My guest today is a young, dynamic & bubbly person who is a die-hard foodie, Shaheen Ali! She hails from a gastronomic family and started her blog Spoonfork&food in 2014 to document and share her experiences with food. Her amazing photography skill makes her blog a visual treat! Her blog recently celebrated it's second anniversary and even better, it just moved to it's new abode! Now that is what I call growth! Shaheen is a young mother with one son. She lives in India with her family.

Like me, she is a physical therapist by profession and understands the importance of eating healthy! Today, she is sharing with us a popular snack from Uttar Pradesh ( a Northern Indian state), Besan ki Phulki. This is a gluten-free snack made with chick-pea flour and served with a spiced, tangy yogurt-based sauce. Shaheen has made this traditionally fried snack healthier by cooking it in the appe pan. Do check this recipe out and also head to Spoonfork&food to check out all the other wonderful recipes and feast on it with your eyes!

Besan ki Phulki is a typical refreshing and flavorful snack of Uttar Pradesh. It's gluten free and makes an amazing snack option for weekend brunch parties. The dish can also be teemed up with mutter ki chaat. Though the original recipe asks for a deep fry technique, but to make it more healthier I opted for Appe Pan. Yes ! with just a few drops of oil, the phuklis get ready in no time and is a blessing to all the weight watchers like me. 

Preparation Time : 5 mins 

Cooking Time : 15 mins 
Total Time : 20 mins 
Course : snack
Cuisine : North Indian 
Yields : 4 servings 

Equipment Required : Appe Pan / Panniyaram Pan

Ingredients :

  • Phulki
  • 1 1/4 cup chickpea powder/ besan
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup water
  • Pinch Of Baking Soda
  • Spiced Yogurt
  • 600 gms yogurt, whisked
  • 1 tsp black rock salt
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 finely chopped green/red chili
  • Few drops of oil for pan frying

Steps : 

1. Place all dry ingredients for phulki in a large bowl and stir to mix. Start adding water gradually and whisk to make a smooth batter. Make the batter till pancake like consistency.
2. Whisk yogurt with black rock salt, garlic and green chili until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning. 

3. Heat few drops of oil in each section of Appe pan and drop 1/2 teaspoonfuls of batter gently into each  without overcrowding, close the lid and fry over medium heat for 2-3 mins or until light golden brown. Flip and repeat.
4. Remove the first batch and place them in the serving bowl and top with little yogurt. 
5. Again pan fry the second batch and place them over the topped yogurt. Repeat the same till all the yogurt is consumed.
6. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander, chopped green chilies and also some sev if you prefer. You can also use pomegranate pearls to garnish. 
7. Chill for about an hour and serve as a snack in your brunch parties. 


I am bringing this delicious dish of Shaheen's to all my friends at Throwback Thursday#40, Fiesta Friday#121  and Saucy Saturdays#47

Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Guest Post Series: LOBIA SUVA BHAJI SUBZI (Sauteed Dill with Black-eyed peas) by Shobana Rao

 Hope you all found Ashwini Kamath's Piyava tambali very useful last week. This week my guest is another senior blogger whom I hold in high esteem. She is respected by all and much liked in the blogging community. She is very humble, helpful and resourceful. It is my pleasure to introduce to you Shobana Rao. She blogs @ Cooking with Shobana.Her blog has a plethora of recipes that are traditional Konkani as well as several fusion recipes. She resides in Bangalore, India.

 I am honored to have her write a guest post for me. Today, she has brought us Lobia Suva Subzi which is essentially a dish in which black-eyed peas have been cooked with Dill leaves and spices in a very flavorful manner. Do check her blog "Cooking with Shobana" for more healthy and delicious recipes.

This healthy dish of legume and greens is made as a Guest Post for my friend, Suchitra Kamath who has an interesting blog full of healthy recipes called,"Su's Healthy Living.

The main ingredients in this dish are Black Eyed Beans and Dill Leaves (called Lobia and Suva Bhaji in Hindi respectively). Dill leaves are called Shepu in Marathi/Konkani and Sabsigge Soppu in Kannada. You might be interested to know that Black Eyed Beans (also known as Black Eyed Peas) have many health benefits while Dill Leaves have a distinctive and special flavour all of their own.

You can enjoy this dish with rotis or as a side dish with the main meal.


  • Lobia ( Black Eyed Beans), 1 cup
  • Suva Bhaji ( Fresh Dill Leaves), chopped, 2 cups
  • Rai ( Mustard Seeds), 1/2 tsp
  • Jeera (Cumin Seeds), 1/2 tsp
  • Curry Leaves, a sprig
  • Green Chillies, slit, 3-4, or as per taste
  • Garlic Pods, finely chopped, 3
  • Large sized Onion, chopped, 1
  • Salt, to taste
  • Lemon juice, 2-3 tsp
  • Oil, 1 tbsp

Wash and soak the lobia overnight or for 8-10 hours

Next morning, pour out the excess water

In a pressure cooker, cook the soaked lobia in adequate water for 1-2 whistles or till done.Take care to see that the lobia does not get overcooked.Once the cooker has cooled remove the cooked lobia and keep it aside.

Heat oil in a thick-bottomed kadhai and when it gets hot add the mustard seeds.When they splutter, add the cumin seeds and when they sizzle add the curry leaves and saute for a few seconds.

Next add the slit green chillies, chopped garlic, and onion and saute till the onion becomes translucent and the garlic gives off a nice aroma.

Add the chopped dill leaves, cooked beans, salt to taste and mix well.

Cover and cook on medium flame till the dill leaves get done.

Finally add the lemon juice and mix well.

Transfer to a serving bowl.

Serve hot with rotis or rice.


I am bringing this delicious dish of Shobhana akka's to all my friends at Throwback Thursday#39, Fiesta Friday#120  and Saucy Saturdays#45! Angie's co-hosts this week are Loretta @ Safari of the Mind and Linda @ Fabulous Fare Sisters

Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Quinoa-Methi Pulao ( Quinoa-Fenugreek-Rice Pilaf); Meatless Monday

I am big fan of quinoa. I make quinoa-black bean salad, quinoa-avocado salad, quinoa dosa, quinoa idlis, quinoa cutlets. However, unlike many people, I cannot substitute rice with quinoa. I love my rice. You see, I am South-Indian and we South-Indians love our rice! Being  that I am always looking for novel ways to incorporate quinoa into my diet, I experimented making a pilaf using it. I mixed it with rice in the ratio of 1:1. I loved it! Even my picky kids ate without any fuss ( or even realizing), which to me was very encouraging. Since then, I became even more adventurous and made quinoa-methi pulao. This one came  out perfect and my husband almost didn't realize that anything was different.

I think this is a technique that all those who want to incorporate quinoa in their meals should use until they are habituated to quinoa.

Methi pulao is one of my favorite dishes. It is simple and easy to make one-pot meal.

Servings: 3-4

Ingredients :

Basmati rice: 1 cup
Quinoa: 1/2 cup
Fresh Methi leaves (Fenugreek leaves): 1 cup ( from 1 medium bunch), washed and cleaned.
Soya chunks: 1 cup ( optional)
Ghee: 1 tbsp
Coconut oil: 1  tbsp
Clove: 2-3 nos
Cinnamon: 1 inch stick
Bay leaf: 1 medium-sized
Cardamom pods: 2-3
Cashewnut halves: 1 tbsp
Onion: 1 medium, chopped lengthwise.
Ginger-garlic paste: 1 tbsp
Green chillies: 3-4( depending on your spice level),chopped fine
Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
Garam masala powder: 1 tsp
Tomato: 1 medium, chopped
Salt : to taste
Sugar: 1/2 tsp
Hot Water: 3 cups + 1 cup


Rinse the basmati rice thoroughly until all the starch is removed. Soak basmati rice in water for 30 mins. Drain the water and let it dry for 20-30 minutes.

Soak the soy chunks in 1 cup water with a pinch of salt for 5-10 mins. Squeeze and remove them from water. Keep aside.

Wash the quinoa and keep ready.
Boil the water and keep ready.

Heat oil/ ghee mixture in a kadai/ sauté pan/ pressure cooker. Add the cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaves and the onions. Sauté until the onions turn transparent.

Add ginger-garlic paste, chopped green chillies and sauté for few seconds.

Now add the turmeric powder and the chopped tomatoes. Saute until the tomatoes wilt.

Add the methi leaves and cook for 3-4 minutes. 

Add the garam masala powder and drained soy chunks. 

Add the drained rice and sauté for 2-4 minutes. 

Add in the hot water, salt, sugar and bring it to a boil. 

Add quinoa. 

Cover, reduce the flame to low and cook for 15 minutes. If you are using a pressure cooker/ pan, do not use the whistle/ weight.

When done, fluff with a fork/ spoon.

Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves.

Serve hot with a Raita of your choice or by itself.


I am bringing this delicious dish to all my friends at Throwback Thursday#39, Fiesta Friday#120  and Saucy Saturdays#45! Angie's co-hosts this week are Loretta @ Safari of the Mind and Linda @ Fabulous Fare Sisters

Cooking made easy:

The quinoa can be cooked separately and added to the pulao at the end once the rice has cooked.

Quinoa can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

You can use only garam masala powder or only whole garam masala depending on your preference and availability.

Tip for healthy living:

Fenugreek leaves are highly nutrient-dense . They are especially beneficial for diabetics. Quinoa as we are all aware is a super-food! It is gluten-free and protien-rich. You can read more regarding the benefits of quinoa in the references below:


Food for thought:

People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them. James Baldwin

Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!

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Friday, May 13, 2016

Guest post series: Piyava Tambali ( a spicy, tangy coconut based sauce with onions in it) by Ashwini Kamath

Last week we all enjoyed seasoned blogger Radha Natarajan's amazing one-pot quick sambar! This week we have another very simple and humble recipe that is absolutely delicious! Piyava Tambali ( a spicy, tangy coconut based sauce with onions in it). This is a traditional Konkani side-dish that has been brought to us by a young, dynamic, enthusiastic and relatively new blogger, Ashwini Kamath.

Ashwini is a mother of two children and a home-maker. She loves cooking dishes that are simple, easy, quick and healthy! Now you see why I invited her over! She started her blog "Cook with Ashu" one year back so that the easy and quick recipes from her kitchen reaches people who want to savor authentic and traditional Konkani food.

Do visit Ashwini's blog & Facebook page "Cook with Ashu" in which she has shared not only lots of easy and quick recipes for veg and non veg dishes but also tips and information about food.

I am very much thankful to Suchitra for believing in me,and giving me an opportunity to write a guest post in her blog ...'Su's Healthy living'...

Suchitra wanted a healthy ,easy and quick here I am with a popular and traditional recipe of every konkani  home known as 'Piyava Tambali '......This Tambali is usually prepared during rainy season or when there are no veggies left in the fridge and there is nothing left in the kitchen pantry as this recipe is prepared using only 4 ingredients: coconut,raw onions,red chilles and Tamrind.....
It is one of the easiest and quickest  side dishes which can be prepared for rice instead of sambar or Rasam....

This is a perfect combo to boiled rice or steam rice with papads or fryyums (vodi /sandige) ...    But the shelf life of this recipe is less as the dish is not cooked so refrigerate this once it is done....I can say that this is one of the best recipes for cooking without fire ..



•1 cup fresh coconut grated
•6 fried red byadagi chillies
•a small piece tamrind
•Salt to taste
•1tbsp coconut oil to drizzle (optional )
•1chopped raw onion


▪In a mixi jar add  coconut ,red chillies and tamrind and grind to smooth chutney consistency using little water
▪Add salt and just whisk once to combine
▪Remove this to a container add water as required (don't add much water,let the ground masala be slightly thick paste )
▪Add raw onions and give a good mix
▪Drizzle coconut oil on it while serving

* mix onions at the time of serving
*adding oil is a traditional method but this can be omitted .

I am bringing this simple, yet delicious dish of Ashwini's to all my friends at Throwback Thursday#38Fiesta Friday#119  and Saucy Saturdays#45! Angie's co-hosts this week are Ahila @ A Taste of Sri Lankan Cuisine and Diann @ Of Goats and Greens.

Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Pancharatan Dosa Wrap ( Crepes made with 5 different kinds of lentils) ; Diabetes Friendly Thursday

It is that time of the month again when we share with you amazing, drool-worthy, diabetic-friendly and weight-watcher friendly recipes!

Celebrate the month of May with Team DFT, indulging on some delicious and hearty wraps that are diabetic friendly and weight watchers friendly.

                       Creating Recipes with a Cause! I am a proud DFT blogger. 
                                        To learn about DFT, Read this Link
                                        To view more DFT recipes, Click here!

When the team decided on this month's theme as  "wraps", I wanted to bring to you all a wrap that could cater to all taste-buds and preferences , yet be healthy and easy to make with simple ingredients that are normally present in your kitchen.  I am sharing with you Pancharatan Wraps with three different fillings! 

Wrap with vegetarian cauliflower filling.

The three fillings are vegetarian/ vegan filling, cheese filling and scrambled egg filling! Depending on yours or your children's preferences, you can easily customize the filling with one single batter for the wrap.

Wrap with cheese filling.

The wrap is protein-packed dosa with no carbs in it as the dosa batter has been made with 5 different lentils and no rice.  This is a quick and easy to make batter that does not require fermentation. You only have to soak the lentils in water for 1-2 hours and it can be ground to make the batter.

Wrap with savory scrambled egg  filling.

The vegetarian/vegan filling has been made with cauliflower that has been sautéed with onions.
Wrap with vegetarian cauliflower filling.

For the cheese filling, I have used shredded mozzarella cheese.

Wrap with cheese filling.

You could also use crumbled paneer ( Indian cottage cheese) or crumbled tofu for vegan option.

Wrap with savory scrambled egg  filling.

The scrambled egg I have used is the spicy Indian version, you could use any version of your choice.

All of these wraps make for a easy, healthy, filling dinner or lunch options.

Servings: 6-8

Serving size: 1 for children, 2 for adults.

For the Pancharatan Dosa:

Urad dal ( split matpe bean): 1/4 cup
Toor dal ( split pigeon peas): 1/4 cup
Chana dal ( split chick-peas): 1/4 cup
Moong dal( split mung beans): 1/4 cup
Masoor dal ( split orange lentil): 1/4 cup
Methi seeds ( fenugreek seeds): 1/2 tsp
Water to soak and grind : as needed
Salt: as needed
Coconut oil : for greasing the skillet/griddle


Wash the lentils thoroughly. Soak all the lentils and fenugreek ( methi) seeds in thrice as much water, for at least 1-2 hours. I like to soak it overnight if I am in no rush.
Grind it in a mixer-grinder/ blender until it is a smooth paste, using water as needed to grind. Make sure the batter is thick and not runny. Add 1/2 tsp salt, mix well.

This batter is good with/without fermentation.

Heat a griddle/ tawa/ frying pan to medium hot. Grease the pan using 1/4 tsp oil. Pour 1 ladleful of batter ( around 1/3 rd cup batter) and spread it on the tawa in a circular motion to cover the pan. Cover and cook until you hear a hissing sound ( around 2-3 minutes). Flip the dosa and cook it from the other side for 1-2 minutes.

Make as many dosas/ crepes as needed and keep ready. Store the remaining batter in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 week.

The Cauliflower ( Vegetarian) filling:


Cauliflower: 1/2 of medium-sized head, florets separated.
Onion: 1 medium, diced medium
into two.
Coconut oil: 1/2 tbsp
Jeera( cumin seeds): 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Curry leaf: 1 sprig ( optional)
Haldi( turmeric powder): 1 tsp
Salt: to taste
Cilantro( coriander) or parsley leaves for garnishing.
Warm water: 2 quarts ( for soaking the uncooked cauliflower).


Wash the cauliflower florets.Soak the cauliflower florets in lukewarm
water with a pinch of salt for 10 mins. Drain completely and keep aside.

Heat coconut oil in a sauté pan/ frying pan upon medium heat.Add the cumin seeds. 

After 20 seconds, add the mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds crackle, add curry leaves. 

Now add the slit green chillies and chopped onion. Sauté the onion until it is transparent. 

Add the turmeric powder, sauté for a minute. 

Now add the drained cauliflower florets, salt and mix well. Cover and cook on low  until the cauliflower is tender ( around for 5-10 mins).Turn off the flame.

Garnish with fresh finely chopped cilantro/ parsley  leaves.

For the cheese filling:

mozzarella cheese/ crumbed paneer/ cottage cheese: 1 tbsp, heaped
Freshly ground black pepper: a pinch

For the scrambled egg filling: click here for the recipe.

Assembling the wrap:

Place the wrap on a plate/ cutting board. If using dosas/crepes that were made ahead of time, warm the dosa/crepe in the microwave for 10-15 seconds or on the pan for a couple of minutes. 

Take 1 heaped tbsp of filling and place it at the center of the wrap.

Fold the two sides slightly and then roll from the bottom upwards to make a right roll. 

Wrap with cheese filling.

Slice in the middle if you wish!

Serve warm.

You can serve with chutney of your choice if you wish.


I am bringing these amazing crepes to all my friends at Throwback Thursday#38Fiesta Friday#119  and Saucy Saturdays#45! Angie's co-hosts this week are Ahila @ A Taste of Sri Lankan Cuisine and Diann @ Of Goats and Greens.

Cooking made easy:

The dosas/crepes can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To use it in a wrap, just warm it up a little either on the stove-top or in the microwave.

Any other vegetable combination like peppers/ capsicum, carrot, cabbage may be used.

The wrap can be made ahead of time if you want to take it for lunch. Just warm it up in the oven for a few seconds before eating.

Footnotes (Tip for healthy living):

All the lentils are excellent sources of protein for vegetarians. Tofu and paneer are also great sources of protein. Egg as we know is a mine house of nutrients!
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable known for many of its health benefits.



I am not a nutritionist or dietician. My knowledge and information is based on my research and reading from different resources. Please consult your doctor or dietician before making any changes to your diet.

Do Check out the other DFT contributors  and their links!

1. Sonal
2. Swati
3. Shailja
4. Apsara
5. Sarika


Food for thought:

We can believe what we choose. We are answerable for what we choose to believe. John Henry Newman

Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!