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Instant Wheat Flour Banana Appam


Gokulastami is approaching and appam, vella aval, seedai, thattai and murukku are the most neivedhyam (offering) prepared for Lord Krishna. Traditionally nei appam is made with rice and requires little planning ahead like soaking the rice and grinding. Last year my mom shared this instant and easy appam recipe with wheat flour and banana. It turned out soft and was equally tasty as the rice flour ones. Since it does not require any soaking or grinding, this recipe is perfect for working women and beginners. 

Try this instant appam for Janmashatami this year. Take a look at other recipes in the blog for Gokulashtami / Sri Krishna Jayanthi:

WHEAT FLOUR BANANA APPAM RECIPE

{ Instant appam with wheat flour and banana }
Yields 21


Ingredients:

1 cup wheat flour
1 tbsp rice flour
1 banana, medium-sized
¾ cup grated jaggery
¼ tsp cardamom powder
2 tbsp grated coconut
Oil + ghee, as needed for frying

Method:

1. Heat a saucepan and add the jaggery and ½ cup water. Dissolve the jagggery completely. Strain to remove impurities and set aside to cool.

2. In a mixing bowl, mash the banana with a fork. Add the wheat flour, rice flour, cardamom powder, coconut and mix well.

3. Add the jaggery and mix well to form a lump-free batter. Add more water as required. The batter should be thick and pouring consistency.

4. Heat a paniyaram pan and add oil + ghee. Pour spoonful of batter into the holes and cook till both sides turn golden brown.

Notes and Tips
  • Depending on the sweetness of your jaggery and banana, you can reduce/add the amount of jaggery. 
  • You can add coconut bits (thenga kothu) instead of grated coconut.
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Broccoli Garlic Penne Pasta


For dinner on a lazy weeknight, pasta is my saviour. I rarely make pasta with tomato or cream based sauces, as we prefer the simple and quick ones with no sauce. A pasta with no sauce is one in which olive oil is used as the base for the sauce, with garlic as the other main ingredient. So it is important to use good quality olive oil for these olive oil based pasta.

One of our most favorite pasta, and one I make often is spaghetti aglio olio. It's a simple pasta recipe flavored with a garlic chilly oil. Today's pasta recipe is a variation of that pasta with broccoli and Italian herb mix. This broccoli garlic pasta has become our family favorite now. Try this healthy and 15-minute pasta with the goodness of broccoli. Check out other pasta recipes here.

BROCCOLI GARLIC PASTA RECIPE

{ Penne pasta with broccoli, garlic and Italian herbs }
Serves 2


Ingredients:

2 cups penne pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 ½ cup broccoli, cut into small florets
1 tsp mixed Italian herbs
1 tsp red chilli flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese, grated

Method:

1. Cook the pasta as per the instructions in the packet. Drain and wash in cold water. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat a pan with olive oil and add the garlic. Fry till it starts to turn light golden.

3. Add the broccoli and saute for 3-4 minutes. Then add the herbs, chilly flakes, salt and pepper.

4. Add the cooked pasta and toss till well combine. Adjust the salt if required.

5. Remove from heat. Add the grated cheese.

Notes and Tips
  • You can use any pasta of your choice.
  • Chop the broccoli into thin florets (with stalks) so that it cooks fast and is still crunchy.
  • Adjust the red chilli flakes according to your spice preference.
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Quinoa Vegetable Pulao


Quinoa, pronounced keen-wah, is a highly nutritional seed that has rapidly gained lot of popularity because of its health benefits. Quinoa is high in protein, fiber and anti-oxidants, contains essential amino-acids and is gluten-free too. There are hundreds of cultivated types of quinoa, but the most common ones available are white, red, and black quinoa.

There are several ways we can incorporate quinoa in our diet. Salads are the most popular way and being an excellent carbohydrate substitute, you can replace rice with quinoa. Quinoa blends very well with Indian flavors and can be used to make upma, pulao etc. Following my vegetable pulao recipe, I tried this quinoa vegetable pulao. The pulao turned out so flavorful and does not really need a side dish, a bowl of onion-tomato raita is just enough. It's great to pack for lunchbox too. Do try this protein-packed healthy pulao and let me know how you like it.

QUINOA PULAO RECIPE

{ Mildly spiced pulao with quinoa and vegetables }
Serves 2-3


Ingredients:

1 tbsp oil
1 bay leaf
¼-inch cinnamon stick
2 cloves
2 cardamom
½ tsp cumin seeds / jeera
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
2-3 green chillies, slit
12-15 mint leaves, finely chopped
1 small potato, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
¼ cup green peas
¼ cup sweet corn
¼ cup capsicum, chopped
1 cup quinoa
½ tsp garam masala
¼ tsp black pepper powder
Salt to taste

Method:

1. Wash the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer few times under cold water and set aside.

2. In a non-stick kadai, heat oil and add bay leaf, cinnamom, cloves, cardamom, cumin seeds and fry till nice aroma comes.

3. Add the onions and saute till soft and transcluscent. Then add ginger- garlic paste and fry till raw smell goes.

4. Add the green chillies, mint and fry for 1 minute. Then add the vegetables, garam masala, pepper powder and fry for 3-4 minutes.

5. Add the quinoa, salt and 2 cups water. Bring to boil and reduce the heat to low. Cook covered for 10-12 minutes or until quinoa has become soft and fluffy.

Notes and Tips
  • You can use any vegetables of your choice.
  • I kept the spices mild, you can add more spices as per your preference.
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