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Palak Paratha | Spinach Paratha

A paratha is a North-Indian flat-bread made of whole wheat flour, stuffed with vegetables, paneer and leafy vegetables. It can served for any meal of the day with chutney, pickle or raita. Making perfect parathas needs some skill and comes only with practice. Here is an easy and healthy paratha recipe with spinach which is mess free and requires no stuffing.

You can prepare palak parathas in 2 ways. You can puree the spinach and mix it into the flour with other spices. Or you saute chopped spinach, spices and add to flour. I prefer the latter way and love the little green specks on the paratha. Check the notes for the first method.  Spinach paratha are ideal to pack for lunchbox and travel. Serve the parathas hot with curd or raita and pickle.


{ Indian whole-wheat flat-bread with spinach and spices }
Makes 8-10 parathas


2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups spinach, finely chopped
½ inch ginger, grated
2-3 green chillies, finely chopped
¼ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp ajwain / carom seeds
Pinch of asafoetida / hing
½ tsp cumin / jeera powder
¾ tsp garam masala
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt to taste
Oil / ghee


1. Heat ½ tsp oil and add ajwain, hing, ginger and green chillies. Fry for few seconds and then add spinach. Fry for 2-3 minutes or until it wilts.

2. Add turmeric powder, cumin powder, garam masala, coriander leaves, lemon juice, salt and fry for 1 minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

3. In a large bowl, add whole what flour, spinach mixture, salt, 2 tsp oil, required water and knead to make a smooth and pliable dough.

4. Cover and set aside for 15-20 minutes. Divide the dough into lemon size balls. Roll each ball on a lightly floured surface into a circle.

5. Heat a tawa and place the paratha. Cook the paratha on medium heat and smear little oil or ghee until golden brown spots appear on both sides.

Serving Suggestion ~ Raita/curd, pickle or chutney.

Notes and Tips
  • You can also blanch the spinach and grind with ginger, green chillies, coriander and lemon juice. Add the pureed spinach, spices and salt to the flour and knead to a smooth dough.
  • If you don't like the taste of ajwain, you can substitute with cumin seeds / jeera.
  • You can also add red chilly powder instead of green chillies.

Baked Apple Almond Pudding

The theme for this month's Home Bakers Challenge is puddings. Though I have made no-bake puddings, I haven't tried my hands on baked puddings. This month's host, Rafeeda of The Big Sweet Tooth, gave us six wonderful baked pudding recipes. I was torn between the chocolate pudding and apple almond pudding. I love apple based desserts, so decided on this pudding.

This gluten-free apple almond pudding is quite easy and quick to make and calls for very few ingredients. It has an stewed apple base topped with an almond sponge. I halved the recipe and spiced up the apples with cinnamon. The pudding tastes good served warm or cold, on its own. You can also serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or drizzle of cream.


{ Baked apple and almond pudding }
Recipe Source ~ Delia Online
Serves 3


1 large granny smith apple
25g brown sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
40g butter
55g caster sugar
1 large egg
½ tsp almond essence
55g ground almonds


1. Peel, core and slice the apples. Place them in a saucepan and add brown sugar, cinnamon and 1 tbsp water. Cook on low heat until apples turn soft.

2. Grease a small baking dish with butter. Arrange the apple slices on the bottom of the baking dish. Preheat oven to 180 °C | 350 °F.

3. In a mixing bowl, beat butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy. Then add almond essence, egg and beat well.

4. Gently fold in the ground almonds. Spread this mixture evenly over the apples. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden and springs back when touched.

Notes and Tips
  • You can use any variety of apple for this pudding, but I recommend using slightly tart or sour apples.
  • Check after 20 minutes to see if the pudding is done. If the top has browned, cover with a foil and bake.

Sakkarai Pongal ~ Guestpost for Rafeeda of The Big Sweet Tooth

Rafeeda is not a stranger to many of us in the blogging world. Her blog, The Big Sweet Tooth, is one stop for all kinds of recipes, particularly sweets! I love her blog write-ups, especially the way she talks about life and spirituality. Our chit-chatting started over some cake discussions and from then we have bonded really well. She is so humble and sweet and what I admire most about is that she always has time for friends no matter how busy she is. I'm glad to have a friend like you dear to whom I can talk my heart out. So when she asked me to a guest post, I immediately agreed, but oh yes I did take my own sweet time! Since you love desserts, I made this sakkarai pongal for you.

Sakkarai pongal / sweet pongal is a sweet made with rice, moong dal and jaggery. Sakkarai pongal is specially made as a offering during Pongal festival in Tamil Nadu. New painted clay pots are traditionally used to make this sweet during the Pongal festival. The milk is allowed to boil over signifying prosperity for the household. On regular occasions, you can adopt the easy method of cooking in a pressure cooker. Thank you Rafee for inviting me do a guest post in your blog.

Hop over to Rafeeda's blog for the recipe.

Broccoli Basil Pesto Pasta

Broccoli, as you all know, is loaded with essential nutrients and vitamins and the benefit of including them in your diet are endless. Sometime back, I shared an easy and healthy broccoli and capsicum curry which can had with phulkas or rice and dal. Today I'm sharing a pasta recipe with broccoli and I'm sure even kids would love this pasta dish.

Broccoli adds a healthy twist to the good old basil pesto. Broccoli is low in cholesterol, high in fiber and vitamins and addition of broccoli to pesto makes it more nutritious. I saw this recipe in a local magazine and adapted to suit our taste buds. Keep the pesto little bit chunky as it adds some texture to the pasta. Try out this simple and healthy pasta at home and let me know how you liked it.


{ Pasta with broccoli, basil and pine nuts pesto }
Serves 2-3


2 cups pasta
1 ½ cup broccoli florets
½ cup basil + few extra
3 tbsp pine nuts
½ clove garlic
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp lemon rind
3 tbsp olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tsp dried red chilly flakes
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste


1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Once it starts boiling, turn off the heat and add the broccoli. Cover and keep for 3-4 minutes or until just tender. Drain the water completely.

2. Cook the pasta according to the instructions given in the packet. Wash under cold water and drain water completely.

3. Place broccoli, basil, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, lemon rind, olive oil, lemon juice in a food processor. Blitz until everything is just combined.

4. Add salt, pepper, red chilly flakes to the pesto and mix. Add the pesto sauce, basil leaves to the cooked pasta and toss well. 

Notes and Tips
  • You can use walnuts or almonds instead of pine nuts.
  • Do not blend the pesto to a smooth consistency. Just process until everything is combined.
  • You can add some grated Parmesan cheese while serving.

Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Valentine's Day is approaching and most of you must be looking for some decadent dessert recipes to surprise your loved one. And well, Valentine's Day celebrations are incomplete without chocolate. Chocolate mousse is one of my all-time favorite desserts and here is a healthier way to enjoy this mousse by using the super fruit - avocados.

I have been seeing several chocolate avocado mousse recipes over the internet and was tempted to try them every time I buy avocados, but I was little hesitant as how it would taste. When I finally tried it, I was surprised that it had no hint of avocado flavor, but I felt it was not chocolate-y enough! Over the next few attempts, I revised the recipe and finally I can say this mousse tastes as good as a chocolate mousse. Its silky smooth and is loaded with antioxidants and healthy fats. Try this guilt-free mousse for your love this Valentine.


{ Healthy chocolate mousse with avocado and coconut cream }
Serves 2


100gms dark chocolate
1 large ripe avocado
3 tbsp cocoa powder
¼ cup light coconut cream
¼ cup pure maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of salt

For the topping:
Shaved chocolate
Glacé cherries


1. Break chocolate into small pieces and place in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute and stir with a spatula.

2. If not fully melted, microwave in 10-second intervals until completely melted. Whisk the chocolate until its smooth and shiny. Set aside to cool.

3. Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Scoop out the flesh into a food processor. Add cocoa powder, coconut cream, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt.

4. Process until everything is well combined. Scrap the sides and process until its smooth. Add this to the melted chocolate and whisk until smooth.

5. Spoon into ramekins and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until the mousse firms up. Top with shaved chocolate and glacé cherries.

Notes and Tips
  • You can use honey or any other natural sweetener instead of maple syrup.
  • If coconut cream is not available, substitute with whipping cream or top layer of full-fat coconut milk.
  • Do not use low-fat or thin coconut milk for this recipe. It will make the mousse runny.

Aloo Gobi Matar | Potato Cauliflower Peas Curry

Aloo gobi matar is a typical Punjabi dhaba style curry made with potato, cauliflower and green peas, cooked in a onion-tomato gravy and Indian spices. It can be served with a bowl of rice, salad and papad but I like to have it with roti or phulka. This is not a dry curry, so it goes well with naan and kulcha too.

Usually the vegetables are cooked in the onion-tomato gravy. But here I have precooked the potatoes and cauliflower. I have tried both ways and they taste equally good, but I find the latter way easier and time-saving, so I'm sharing that method in the recipe. Enjoy this aloo gobi matar curry with roti or rice.


{ Potato, cauliflower and green peas cooked in a spicy onion-tomato gravy }
Serves 3-4


1 large potato
1 ½ cup cauliflower florets
½ cup green peas
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp red chilly powder
½ tsp garam masala
2 tsp kasuri methi / dried fenugreek leaves
½ tsp sugar
1-2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds / jeera
Salt to taste

To grind:
1 tsp oil
1 bay leaf
¼ inch cinnamon piece
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 large tomato, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
½ inch ginger, chopped


1. Pressure cook the potato for 3 whistles. Peel the skin and cut into cubes. Soak the cauliflower florets in boiling water until just tender. Drain and set aside.

2. In a kadai, add 1 tsp oil and add bayleaf, cinnamon, onion, garlic, ginger and fry till they become just soft. Once cool, add tomatoes and grind to a smooth paste.

3. In the kadai, add oil and add jeera. When it sizzles, add the ground onion-tomato paste. Cover and cook for 12-15 minutes or till it has become a thick paste.

4. Once oil starts to leave the sides, add turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chilly powder, garam masala, kasuri methi and salt.

5. Fry till the raw smell of the masala goes. Add 1½ - 2 cup water and bring to boil. Add potato, cauliflower florets, green peas, sugar and mix well.

6. Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes in low heat or until all vegetables are fully cooked. Add coriander leaves and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Notes and Tips
  • Take care that the vegetables are not over cooked or mushy. The vegetables should hold their shape.
  • It is important to cook the onion-tomato mixture until it has become like a thick paste. It will take around 15-20 minutes.

Apple Milkshake

The weather here is not that great now. It's hot and humid and to deal with this weather, what better way than to chill with a refreshing milkshake. You can relax in the scorching afternoons sipping away this milkshake. This apple milkshake is a quick and healthy one and has got almonds, walnuts, honey and a pinch of cinnamon and cardamom. This milkshake is great to start your day with and can be served with some toast or sandwich for a wholesome breakfast. Kids will also love this milkshake as its creamy and if you wish, you can add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Off to the recipe!


{ Milkshake with apple, almonds, walnuts and honey }
Serves 2


2 small apples
2 cup chilled milk
2 tsp honey
4-5 almonds
2-3 walnuts
Pinch of cinnamon powder (optional)
Pinch of cardamom powder (optional)


1. Core the apple and peel the skin. Chop them into small pieces. Chop the almonds and walnuts into small pieces.

2. Add apples, 1 cup milk, almonds, walnuts, honey, cinnamon powder, cardamom powder to a blender and blend well.

3. Add remaining milk and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.

Notes and Tips
  • Adjust honey according to the sweetness of your apples. You can use sugar instead of honey.
  • Add a small scoop of vanilla ice cream to make it more creamy and rich.