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Chickpea Crackers


Crackers has been on my list to try for long time. When Priya chose crackers as the theme for this month's Home Bakers Challenge, I was very happy. Crackers are crisp and flat biscuits, that can be eaten on their own or served with dips or cheese. It can be plain or flavored with herbs, seeds or cheese. She suggested 4 recipes, out of which I tried the chickpea crackers.

These chickpea crackers are really additive. First time, I made a small batch and it got over in no time, so next time I doubled the quantity. These homemade crackers are much healthier than the store brought ones. They are very easy to make and does not need much time too. Store them in airtight containers and the crackers will stay crisp for many days.

CHICKPEA CRACKERS RECIPE

{ Spiced chickpea crackers with thyme, garlic and onion powder }
Recipe Source ~ Versatile Vegetarian Kitchen
Yields 60 crackers


Ingredients:

1 ½ cup all-purpose flour / maida
½ cup chickpea flour / besan
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried thyme
½ tsp red chilly powder
½ tsp red chilly flakes
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
6 tbsp olive oil
5-6 tbsp water

Method:

1. In a large bowl add all-purpose flour, chickpea flour, sugar, salt, thyme, chilly powder, chilly flakes, garlic powder, onion powder and mix well.

2. Then add olive oil and mix well into the dough. Then add 1 tablespoon water at a time and make a dough. The dough need not be very smooth. It is fine if its little crumbly.

3. Preheat the oven to 170 C | 325 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

4. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough very thin, about 1/8-inch thick . Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut into 1" squares. Or use a cookie cutter of your desired shape.

5. Place them on the baking sheet, leaving little space in between them. Bake for 10 minutes and then rotate the pan. Continue baking for another 5 minutes or until lightly golden.

6. Let the crackers cool completely. Transfer them to an airtight container.

Notes and Tips
  • Garlic powder, onion powder and thyme are optional. Also you can add any herb you like.
  • Keep watching the crackers closely after rotating as they can quickly turn from golden color to dark brown-black.
  • I made them little spicy , so adjust the spice levels according to your taste.
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Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich


Avocados are considered one of the healthiest foods because of its high nutrient value. Most of the fruits mainly consists of carbohydrates, while avocados are high in healthy fats and low in sugar, which helps in reducing bad cholesterol and lowers heart diseases. Avocados are an excellent source of vitamins and dietary fiber. 

At first I didn't like the taste of avocado, but now I'm in love with this wonder fruit. Avocados add a creamy and rich texture to any dish. I make this avocado and egg salad sandwich often for breakfast. You can serve the salad alone as a side to roti or as a filling for wraps. This sandwich along with a glass of fresh juice and bowl of fruits makes a healthy and filling breakfast. 

AVOCADO EGG SALAD SANDWICH RECIPE

{ Sandwich with avocado and egg salad with a light dressing of mayonnaise and mustard sauce }
Serves 2


Ingredients:

1 large avocado
3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
1 tbsp light mayonnaise
½ tsp mustard sauce
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
1/8 tsp red chilly powder
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
4 bread slices
Few lettuce leaves

Method:

1. Cut the avocado into half and remove the pit. Scoop out the flesh and cut them into small cubes. Cut the eggs into small cubes. Add them into a bowl and lightly mash them.

2. In a small bowl add mayonnaise, mustard sauce, lemon juice, coriander leaves, red chilly powder, salt and pepper. Whisk well.

3. Add this dressing to the avocado and egg mixture. Gently toss and mix well.

4. Remove the sides of the bread. Place lettuce leaves and then top it with 3-4 tablespoons of the avo-egg mixture. Put the other bread slice.

Notes and Tips
  • You can use any mustard sauce. Adjust the quantity according to your taste. I have used American mustard sauce here which is slightly mild than Dijon mustard.
  • You can also toast the bread lightly if you prefer.
  • You can use this salad as a filling for wraps also. Top the salad with finely sliced onion and tomato.
  • If you don't eat egg, you can skip the egg and make an avocado salad too.
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Keerai Molagootal


Hope you all had a great diwali and enjoyed the food, lighting lamps and bursting crackers. After having the ghee-laden sweets and savories, I wanted to make something simple, light and healthy. I had a bunch of palak that was waiting to be used up, so I decided to make my all-time favorite palak molagootal.

Molagootal is a traditional and popular Palakkad Iyer dish. It is a mildly spiced dish made of vegetables or greens cooked in a coconut and lentil gravy. It is slightly different from kootu in terms of ingredients and consistency. You can use a mix of vegetables like ashgourd, carrot, potato, drumstick or just with cabbage or any greens. Today I'm sharing molagootal with palak/spinach. This is a very healthy dish packed with the goodness of spinach. Serve this molagootal with hot steaming rice and any thogayal or pachadi.


KEERAI MOLAGOOTAL RECIPE

{ Spinach in a lentil and coconut gravy}
Serves 3


Ingredients:

1 big bunch spinach / palak (about 200g / 4 cups)
½ cup toor dal
¼ tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste

To grind:
½ tsp oil
2 dry red chillies
2 tsp urad dal
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ cup grated coconut

For the tempering:
1 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp split urad dal
2 dry red chillies
Few curry leaves

Method:

1. Wash the spinach leaves well and let it rest in the colander for few minutes to drain. Then finely chop the leaves.

2. Pressure cook the toor dal with 1 cup water and a pinch of turmeric powder for 3 whistles. Mash the dal and set aside.

3. In a small pan, heat ½ tsp oil and add red chillies and urad dal. Fry till dal turns golden. Once it cools, grind with jeera and coconut to a smooth paste adding little water.

4. In a vessel add the spinach, turmeric powder and about 1 cup water. Cook the spinach uncovered over medium-low heat.

5. Once spinach is cooked, add ground coconut paste. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add mashed dal, salt and mix well. Add water if required. Bring to boil and simmer for 3-4 minutes.

6. In a small pan heat oil and add mustard seeds. When it crackles, add urad dal, red chillies and curry leaves. When dal turns golden, pour over the molagootal.

Notes and Tips
  • I have used palak keerai here, you can also use murungai keerai (drumstick leaves), arai keerai, mulai keerai or paruppu keerai.
  • After adding the dal, if its very thick then only add water and adjust the consistency.
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Medovik | Russian Honey Cake


For this month's International Food Challenge we are travelling to world's largest country - Russia. Russian cuisine is diverse and derives from the great expanses of culture and influence, resulting in bringing more refined foods and culinary techniques. This month's host Saraswathi of Sara's Kitchen gave 3 authentic recipes from Russia, out of which I chose medovik.

Medovik is a soft, moist and rich honey cake and is very popular in Russia. This multi-layered cake is made of flat cookie layers, soaked with a creamy caramel filling. Making this cake needs some amount of patience and time too, but I can assure you that it is worth all the efforts. Also this is a special occasion as my little blog has completed 3 years. I would like to thank all my friends and readers for the constant support and lovely feedback.


MEDOVIK RECIPE

{ Russian 8-layer honey cake with a creamy caramel filling }
Recipe Source ~ Cooking Melangery
Serves 8-10


Ingredients:

For the layers:
5 cups all-purpose flour / maida
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
113g / ½ cup unsalted butter
2 tbsp honey
1 ½ tsp baking soda

For the filling:
2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 tbsp cornflour
8 oz / 227g dulce de leche (milk caramel)
1 tbsp honey
113g / ½ cup unsalted butter, softened

Method:

For the layers:
1. In a small bowl whisk together the eggs and set aside.

2. In a saucepan, bring 2 inches water to a simmer. In a heatproof bowl, add sugar, butter and honey and place over the simmering water. Melt it, stirring occasionally using a whisk.

3. Now add the whisked eggs and mix for about 3-4 minutes. Add baking soda and cook for one more minute. The mixture should be fluffy and double the size.

4. Transfer the egg-butter mixture to a mixer and add the flour. Mix on low speed until just combined. The dough should be warm, soft and little sticky. Do not put more flour.

5. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and bring together gently. Knead the dough few times and form into a ball.

6. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Cover them with plastic wrap or kitchen towel to prevent from drying.

7. Preheat the oven to 190 C | 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

8. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one ball into a thin circle. Use the bottom of a cake pan or round bowl, cut around it with a knife to make a circle.

9. Place this and the remaining scraps on the baking sheet. Using a fork, prick the dough in several places. Bake for 3-5 minutes. Repeat for remaining balls.

10. Process the cooked scraps in a food processor until  breadcrumb stage is reached. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

To make the filling:

1. Whisk the 2 eggs in a small bowl. Add ½ milk and cornflour and whisk until smooth.

2. In a saucepan, heat the remaining 1 ½ cups of milk, but do not boil. Add the whisked egg-milk mixture to the warm milk.

3. Bring this to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly until it becomes very thick. Remove from the heat and cool. Whisk in the honey, butter and dulce de leche.

To assemble the cake:

1. Place a cake layer and top it with ½ cup of the filling and spread evenly. Repeat with all the cake layers.

2. Some of the frosting will come out of the sides when the layers are done. Spread it evenly over the sides. Sprinkle the crushed cake scraps over the sides and on top of the cake.

3. Leave the cake in the refrigerator for about 8 hours or overnight.

Notes and Tips
  • If you don't have a mixer, transfer the egg-butter mixture to large mixing bowl and add the flour. Combine with a spatula gently until it comes together. Then transfer to floured surface and knead.
  • Whisk the milk-egg mixture until it gets very thick. If it is not thick, the filling will be watery and it will be difficult to spread.
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