Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Gojjavalakki for janmashtami

Wish you all a very happy Janmashtami. Today I bring to you a simple yet delicious dish called Gojjavalakki. As Poha is believed to be Lord Krishna's favorite,  This dish is more or less compulsory for Janmashtami.
Gojjavalakki is nothing but beaten rice which is soaked in tamarind pulp and is spiced with rasam powder. It is sweet, tangy, spicy and crunchy at the same time. This is one of those dishes that can be had either for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Just pair this with a bowl of yogurt and you will have complete and filling meal ready in minutes. 

Gojjavalakki recipe:
Preparation time: 10min+soaking time
Cooking time: 15min

Beaten rice or Poha- 1-1/2 cups
Ghee- 1 tsp
Tamarind- 1 lime sized, soaked in water for 15min
Jaggery- 1 small lime sized
Salt- to taste
Oil- 2tbsp
Mustard- 1tsp
Peanuts- a handful
curry leaves- 8-10
hing- a pinch
Rasam powder- 1tbsp, store brought or home made
Black sesame seeds- 1tsp
Grated dry coconut- 3 tbsp


  • Heat ghee in a thick bottomed pan and roast the Poha till crisp and set aside to cool.
  • Pulse the poha in a blender for 5-6 times or till the Poha is coarsely powdered. 
  • Transfer the poha to a sieve and wash under running water for a couple of times and keep aside.
  • Roast the sesame seeds and the dry coconut separately and allow them to cool.
  • Mix the sesame seeds and coconut together and grind to a fine powder and keep aside.
  • Extract the tamarind pulp from the soaked tamarind and add to the soaked poha. Add the salt and jaggery and mix well.

  • Heat oil in a wok and add the mustard seeds. Once they crackle, add the peanuts and fry till they turn brown. 
  • Add the curry leaves and hing and fry for a minute more.
  • Stir in the poha-tamarind mixture and rasam powder, mix well and allow the mixture to simmer for 2min
  • Add the sesame-coconut powder and mix well. Adjust the seasoning and serve hot.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Macaroni with a Pav bhaji twist

"I want red Pasta!!" Purvi declared one day. Purvi has the habit of recognizing food by it's colours. For instance, she likes white idlies (the ones made with rice and lentils), but she wouldn't prefer brown idlies (rava or semolina idlies). Purvi loves red pasta (the ones with tomatoes in it) but then again, she doesn't like pasta with spinach (read green pasta). Off late, I have even come to notice that she prefers food with Indian flavors. Like she loves anything with Rasam powder, garam masala and Pav bhaji masala. So keeping all of Purvi's preferences in mind, I created this Pasta dish.

This is an extremely simple dish to put together. It uses some everyday ingredients that is easily available in the pantry. And tastes absolutely delicious even without the cheese. This is one of those pasta dishes that makes a great lunch box treat as well. Give this a try. I am sure you will fall in love this as much as Purvi did.

Macaroni with Pav bhaji twist recipe:
Preparation time: 15min
Cooking time- 10min
Serves- 4
Macaroni- 1-1/2 cups
oil or butter- 2 tbsp
Bell pepper- 1med, cubed
onion- 1 med sized, chopped fine
Ginger-Garlic paste- 1tsp
Tomatoes- 2 large, blanched and pureed
Turmeric- 1/4tsp
Salt- to taste
Sugar- 1tsp
Freshly ground Pepper- 1/4tsp
Pav bhaji masala- 1/2 to1tsp
coriander leaves to garnish

  • Cook macaroni according package instructions and keep aside
  • Heat oil or butter in a thick bottomed pan. Add the cubed bell pepper fry for a minute and keep aside.
  • In the same pan, add the chopped onions and fry till they turn pink. Add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for two to three mins till the raw smell goes.
  • Add the pureed tomatoes, turmeric, salt, pepper and sugar and sauté for 3-4min more.
  • Stir in the cooked macaroni, cubed bell peppers and Pav bhaji masala and mix well.
  • Adjust the seasoning. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Orange raisin wheat germ muffins

A few days back, we had been on a road trip to Makindu. Makindu is a small town that is located between Nairobi-Mombasa highway. We were there to attend the akhand paath ( continuous recitation of the holy text) at an old but beautiful Gurdwara. It was an amazing road trip. With S's maternal uncle & aunt for company and some breath taking views to drink in, the journey though short was a memorable one. 

If the journey was good, the destination was exceptional. Since, I had never visited a Gurdwara before, the whole experience of the akhand paath had a calming effect on me. But what fascinated me most was the langar (the kitchen or canteen in the Gurdwara). I was surprised to see people of all religions and cultures making the prashad (offering). Some had even volunteered to clean the dishes. Watching people of all cultures come together for the service of God and humanity was indeed a humbling experience.

Now coming to these muffins, I had made these muffins for the rod trip. Since we had to make an early start and barely had time for breakfast or coffee, I decided to pack these muffins and some coffee for the onward journey.

These muffins are filled with wholesome goodness of wheat germ, whole wheat, oranges and apples so they make a perfect treat for breakfast, or as that in between meal snack or for a tiny tot's lunch box. Hence, I must say that these muffins simply rock
The recipe for these muffins was adapted from I made quite a few changes to make it eggless but despite all the changes these muffins were as healthy and as tasty as ever.

Orange raisin wheat germ muffins

Preparation time: 25min
Baking time- 20-25min
Makes- approximately a dozen muffins


All pulse flour or maida- 1cup
Whole wheat pastry flour- 1/2 cup
Wheat germ- 1/2 cup, lightly toasted
Baking powder- 1 tsp
Baking soda- 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon powder- 1/2tsp
Nutmeg powder- 1/8 tsp
Salt-1/4 tsp
Brown sugar- 1/2 cup
Canola oil- 1/4cup
Freshly squeezed Orange juice- 1/2 cup
Unsweetened apple sauce -1/2cup
Orange zest- 1tspn
Dark raisins- 1/2cup

  • Combine the all purpose flour,whole wheaastry flour,baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix well and sift twice.
  • In another large bowl,combine and the oil, sugar,orange juice, apple sauce and, orange zest and  beat well till airy.
  • Combine the the wet ingredients with the dry. Stir intheorsnge zest and the raisins and stir until just combined. Do not over mix.
  • Spoon the batter into greased muffin pan and bakeinthepreheated oven for 20-25mins or till a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 5min before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • The raisins can be replaced with dried cranberries
  • Dust the raisins with 1/2 tsp of flour to prevent them from sink.
  • The wheat germ can be replaced with oats.
  • the whole wheat flour can be replaced with all purpose flour to make it lighter.
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