Thursday, August 30, 2012

Eggless Carrot Spice muffins.

At last I am actually posting something!!!When I checked the date of my last post, I was surprised to see that it has been three weeks since I posted anything. Purvi's schooling has kept me so busy that I had to keep away from blogging. Apart from accompanying Purvi to school, I had to attend a couple of meetings, workshops, orientations, etc. It was like I had started going to school again. It is only these days that I have actually started feeling like a parent. :-)

These muffins were something that I had made for Purvi's snack box. She loves the flavour of cinnamon. So I thought these healthy muffins would be perfect for snacking or for breakfast. This recipe has been inspired from Dorie greenspan's Baking from my home to yours. I have made some changes to make these muffins eggless and healthy. 

These cinnamon scented muffins are moist and are loaded with wholesome ingredients like coconut, nuts, raisins, currants, and not to mention carrots. These muffins taste good on their own. But if you want to make them even more irresistible, try smearing some butter or cream cheese. It will take these muffins to a whole new level.

Carrot spice muffins
Preparation time- 30min
Baking time- 30 min
Makes approximately 16 muffins

All purpose flour-2cups
White sugar- 1/2 cup
Light brown sugar- 1/3 cup
Baking powder- 1 tbsp
Grated carrot- 1 cup
Ground cinnamon- 1-1/2 tsp
Ground ginger- 1/2 tsp
Salt- 1/4 tsp
Olive oil- 2/3 cup
Flax seed powder- 2-1/2 tbsp mixed with 6 tbsp of water
Whole milk- 3/4 cup
Vanilla extract- 1 tsp
Shredded dried coconut- 1/2 cup
Raisins and currants- 1/3 cup
Chopped and toasted nuts- 1/3 cup

  • Preheat oven at 180c
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon powder, ginger powder and salt. Sift the mixture. Stir in the sugars and mix well
  • In another bowl, whisk the oil, flax seed mixture, milk and vanilla extract and mix till well combined
  • Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and gently mix to blend.
  • Stir in the carrots, coconut, raisins and nuts and fold gently.
  • Divide the batter Among the muffin cups and bake for 25-30 min or till an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for five mins before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Note: I have used flax seeds as a substitute for two eggs. If you do not have flax seeds, then you can use half a cup of unsweetened apple sauce as a substitute.
Tip: To prevent the nuts and raisins from sinking, dust them with flour before mixing them in the batter.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Avalakki Payasa- beaten rice pudding for Krishna Janmashtami

A very happy Janmashtami to all of you!!

I have been away for more than a week. This break was completely unplanned. My apologies for the disappearing act. S was away on a business trip for almost five days. While the man of the house was away, I decided some quality time bonding with our daughter. I thought it was the best thing to do as she will be starting school on Monday. Yes. My little girl will be starting school. Some how I have mixed feeling about it.

Over the past few days, I realized how much she is like me. We share the same passion for movies and books. So we went on an animated movie binge, Babbled with each other, danced to nursery rhymes, Solved jig saw puzzles, read fairy tales. It was almost like reliving my childhood. Somehow it was like having a holiday without stepping out of the house!!Sometimes the greatest pleasures of life lies in some very simple things. Just like this kheer.

Yes. This kheer is a perfect example for less is more. Since it is customary to prepare avalakki or beaten rice on Janmashatami, I decided to make Avalakki bele bhat for the savory dish and Kheer for the sweet dish. Even though this dish incorporates the same ingredients that you would see in regular kheer, i.e, milk, sugar, cardamom and dry furits, the star ingredient in this version is the beaten rice. Although this dish was made for Janmashtami, it became more of a home coming dessert for S. Purvi and S enjoyed each spoonful of the Payasa thoroughly. This made my day even more special.What more could a woman ask for??

Avalakki Payasa recipe:
Preparation time: 10min
Cooking time: 15min
Serves- 4

Beaten rice or Poha- 1 cup
Full fat milk- 4-1/2 cups
Sugar- 6tbsp
Cardamom- 8, crushed
Ghee- 2 tsp
Milk powder- 2tbsp (optional)
Cashews- 10, chopped
Raisins- 2tbsp


  • Heat one tea spoon of ghee in a pan and shallow fry the beaten rice till brown and crisp.
  • Add milk to the beaten rice and cook the mixture on a low flame till the beaten rice is completely cooked and soft.
  • Add the milk powder and the crushed cardamom and cook for another 5min.
  • Take off the heat and add the sugar and mix well and keep aside.
  • Heat the remaining ghee in another pan. Add the chopped cashews and fry till brown
  • Add the raisins and fry till they puff up. Take off the heat and add the fried dry fruits to the kheer.
  • Mix well and serve warm or cold

Note: The addition of milk powder is optional. But I have noticed that milk powder gives a rich, pudding like flavour to the kheer. Alternatively, the milk powder can be substituted with either cream or condensed milk.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Curried chick pea wraps

I had actually made this curry as an accompaniment for poories for the Saturday night dinnder. Since there was some left over curry in the fridge, I decided to make these wraps for the after noon snack on Sun. The husband liked the wraps so much, that he insisted that I post the recipe. So you see, ths recipe comees with a strong recommendation.

This chick pea curry is favourite at our place. It has to be. Because it is another one of those recipes that has been adapted from this curry, the cooked chick peas are simmered in onion and tomato gravy that is laced with tamarindThe flavours are futher enhanced by using spices like cloves, cardamoms and cinnamon. This rustic curry, apart from being delicious is versatile as well. The curry pairs well with rotis, pooris, rice or just all by itself. 

But one thing's for sure. This flavour quotient of this gravy goes to whole new level when placed in a wraps. Maybe it is because of the hung curd which balances the spicey chick peas. Each mothfull of this wrap feels so complete and so satiating. This wrap can be put together in two minutes flat if you have left over chole in the fridge ;)

Curried chick pea wraps recipe:
Preparation time: 35min+soaking time
Cooking time: 30min
Makes- 6 wraps

For the chickpea curry

Kaala chana or black chick peas- 1 cup, soaked over night
Onion- 1 large, blanched and pureed
Tomatoes- 2 large, blanched and pureed
Hing- A pinch
Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/4tsp
Coriander seed powder- 1 tsp
Cumin powder- 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder- 1/2tsp
Kasuri methi- 1/2tsp
Cloves- 2
Cinnamon- 1" piece
Cardamon- 2
Tamarind pulp- 1 tsp
Green chili- 1, slit
Garam masala- 1 pinch
Salt- to taste
Sugar- 1/2tsp
Oil- 2tbsp

  • Pressure cook the soaked chick peas for 4-5whistles and keep aside
  • Powder the cloves, cardamom and cinnamon and set aside
  • Heat oil in a wok and add the cumin seeds
  • Once they sputter add the  hing and the ground spice mix and fry for a few seconds.
  • Add the Pureed onion and fry for 2min
  • Add the slit green chilli and stir in the tomato puree and fry for 2min
  • Add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, Cumin seed powder, coriander seed powder, salt, sugar, Kasuri methi and the tamarind extract and fry for 3-4min
  • Add the Cooked chick peas along with the water and the garam masala and allow the mixture to simmer for 8-10min. Take off the heat and keep aside.
For the Roti:

Whole wheat flour- 1-1/2cups + to dust
Salt- 1/2tsp
Oil- 2tsp+ to shallow fry
Water to knead

  • Combine the flour, slat and oil in a large bowl and mix well.
  • Add water gradually and mix the flour to for a soft pliable dough. Knead well and allow the dough to rest for ten minutes.
  • To make the rotis, divide the dough into six equal potions and roll each potion of the dough into a thin circle of 6" in diameter using a little flour.
  • Heat a tawa or girdle and place the rolled roti on the tawa and cook till brown spots appear on the surface. Drizzle 1/2 a tsp of oil and turn the roti and cook for few more seconds till done.
  • Repeat the procedure for the rest of the dough to make five more rotis.
For the hung curd spread
Hung curd- 1/2 cup
Cumin seed powder- 1/4tsp
Red chili powder- a pinch


  • Add the cumin seed powder and the red chili powder to the hung curd, mix well and keep aside.

Additional ingredients:
Onion- 1small, chopped fine
Tomato- 1 small, deseeded and chopped
Coriander leaves- 1tbsp, chopped fine


  • Mix the chopped onion with the chopped tomato and set aside.

To assemble the wraps:
  • Place a roti on a clean dry surface and Spread about two tea spoons of the hung curd spread on the roti.
  • Place about two table spoons of the chick pea curry in a row in the center of the roti.
  • Sprinkle the onion and tomato mixture on the curry and finally sprinkle some coriander leaves and roll tightly.
  • Secure the roll with tooth pick and serve immediately.

This above photograph of the black chick peas in B&W is my contribution to Susan's Black and white Wednesday #44. Which is being cohosted by Kavitha of Divine food and art

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