Holiday

Sweet & Sour Kachoris for Holi…..

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Pic courtesy Google

Holi is a spring festival also known as festival of colours, and sometimes festival of love. It is an ancient Hindu religious festival which has become popular with non-Hindus in many parts of South Asia, as well as people of other communities..
The festival signifies the arrival of spring,a season of joy and hope, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair ruptured relationships.

Gujiyas , mathri, kachoris, sweets and other Deep fried snacks are prepared & once you eat one, you’ll always go back for a second. The festival is filled with so much fun and frolic that the very mention of the word ‘Holi’ draws smile and enthusiasm amongst people.

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Sweet & Sour Gujarati Kachoris

Every bite of these Crispy, flaky roundels with a delectably sweet,Sour and spicy filling of seasoned moong dal is worth a fortune!
I cannot emphasise enough how good lentils are with sweet,hot and sour flavours

The secret to perfect kachori is to ensure the pastry is short, yet pliable enough to wrap thinly enough around the filling without creating holes which may break them whilst frying. Take care to deep-fry these kachoris on a very slow flame to ensure even cooking and also to make the crust nice and flaky.

Taking these Sweet and Sour beauties to Sonal’s holi collective ..
Do check her blog Simply vegetarian777 for finger licking good vegetarian food …
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Sweet & Sour Gujarati Kachoris

serves 8-10 people

Ingredients
Cooking oil for deep frying

For Dough
1 1/2 cup APF/ Maida
2 Tbs Suji / Coarse semolina
Salt as per taste
2 Tbs ghee / clarified butter ( room temperature )
2 tbs cooking oil
Cold water as needed

TO PREPARE THE DOUGH
1.Mix together all the dry ingredients.
2.Rub in the ghee and oil until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
3.Add enough cold water to form soft dough. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate it for one hour.
Lets prepare the filling while the dough is resting

FOR THE SWEET AND SOUR FILLING
1 cup dry yellow moong dal ( soak the dal in water for 3-4 hours))
1/4 cup grated coconut ( I used dried grated coconut )
2 tsp red chili powder Or as per taste
2 tsp coriander / dhaniya powder
1 tsp jeera / cumin powder
2 tsp fennel seeds / Sauf powder
2 tsp ginger powder
1/4 cup seedless raisins / kishmish ( i chopped them a little )
1/4 cup chopped cashews / kaju
1/4 cup chopped peanuts Optional
2 tbs sesame seeds / til
2 tbs sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp hing / Asafoetida
Salt as per taste
2-3 tbs oil

Procedure
1.Place the soaked and drained daal in a blender and grind
it into to a coarse paste.
2.Heat oil in a pan and add asafoetida and dal paste .
3.Cook it on medium high heat for 3-4 minutes.
4.Add sugar, ginger, chilli, cumin, coriander, and fennel powder and mix it well.
5.Now add sesame seeds, raisins, and coconut, salt and lemon juice.
6.Cook it for 10minutes or till all the water evaporates and the lentil is cooked.
7. Now add the chopped up cashew and peanuts and let it cook
for 4- 5 minutes.
8. Remove the mix from the stove and let it cool completely
9. Divide the stuffing into 20 equal parts and form each part into a firm balls

To prepare the Kachoris

1.Remove the dough from the fridge and knead it a little
2.Divide the dough into 20 pieces and make small
balls .
3.Now roll the balls into small discs to fit in the filling .
4.Place a ball of the stuffing in the centre and pull the
dough around it and make small roundels.
5.Roll the ball gently between your palms ensuring
that it is sealed properly.
6.Repeat for the rest and leave the prepared kachori
for around 10 minutes on the kitchen counter to dry out a little.
7.Heat enough oil in a wok to deep fry the kachori .
8.Each batch needs to be fried on a medium low flame for around15- 20 minutes until golden brown in color..
9.Remove from the oil and drain completely..
I like to serve these with fresh coriander chutney, tamarind and date chutney or fig chutney.

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Cooking is like love: It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” — Harriet van Horne

Chocolate Cherry Bundt Cake …..

Chocolate Cherry Bundt Cake …..

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I just cannot believe I have been blogging for last 2 yrs . Two years ago today I posted my first blog post. It was scary and exciting and honestly I had no idea what would come of it..

I think the biggest lesson I learned from this experience is that you can get better at anything. I’m a much better at taking pictures and a writer now than I was 2 years back but still have a lot of room to grow. I can’t thank my friends and readers enough for their support. I really appreciate each and every reader and their comments and encouragement helps me keep blogging.

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What better way for a chocoholic like me but to celebrate with a exquisite rich chocolate cherry bundt cake complete with rich chocolate glaze

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Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup pure cocoa
1 1/4 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup unsalted butter ,melted
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling

Method
1. Preheat the oven at 350*F
2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa and sugar. Mix well with whisk.
3. Add eggs, melted butter, milk, vanilla extract and cherry pie filling mixing well each time with a spoon.
4. Pour into a well sprayed bundt pan or any pan of your choice
5. Bake in preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes until center is cooked.
6. Let cake cool before taking it out from the pan.

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FOR THE CHOCOLATE GLAZE
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Combine sugar, cream and butter in pan on top of stove.
  2. Bring to boil and cook for a minute.
  3. Remove from heat and add vanilla and chocolate chips.
  4. Stir with spoon or whisk until chips are melted.
  5. Put this glaze in a small pitcher and drizzle over bundt cake
  6. Decorate with a few cut up cherries on top ( optional )
  7. If frosting becomes too thick add a little milk and heat about 15 seconds in microwave.

NOTE
You can even use market bought chocolate cake mix along with a can of cherry pie filling to make the bundt cake , just follow the instruction in the back . Once the cake cools down glaze the cake …

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Cooking is like love: It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” — Harriet van Horne

Oats, Spinach and Yellow Moong Kabobs…..

There is no love sincerer than the love of food.”
–George Bernard Shaw

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Oats,Spinach and Yellow Moong Kabobs.. Diabetes Friendly Thursdays

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Creating Recipes with a Cause!
I am a proud DFT blogger. To learn about DFT, Click on the picture above ..

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Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and not knowing what to cook for your loved ones can be challenging at times..
Celebrate the Valentines Day with Team DFT’s Weight Watchers and Diabetes Friendly Appetizers…

These days everyone looks forward to Valentine’s Day ,but when you have diabetes it becomes difficult to celebrate a day which is mostly focused on sweets. Chocolates and rich desserts and food that are commonly eaten on Valentine’s Day, which mostly leave people with diabetes feeling like they cannot participate in the festivities.

You can still celebrate without having to go overboard on unhealthy foods. One just needs to remember that the occasion is more about celebrating with loved ones and not gorging on food ..

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These power packed oats , moong and spinach kababs are not only delicious but are packed with all the goodness of protein as well as fiber in each and every bite and hardly takes less then an hour from start to finish ..

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Cooking Time : 25 Min
Makes : 15 -20 Bite size kabobs
Serves : 5- 6 people

Ingredients :
1 Cup parboiled yellow moong dal
1/2 Cup quick cooking oats
1 cup finely chopped fresh Spinach leaves
1/2 Cup finely chopped onion
3-4 finely chopped green chilies or as per taste
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
Juice of a lime or 1 tbs
1 tsp chilly flakes or as per taste
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
Salt as per taste taste
1 Tablespoon oil + 1 tsp ( all will not be used )

Procedure :

TO COOK THE DAL
Add 1/2 cup of washed moong daal along with 1 cup of water and 1/2 tsp Turmeric/ haldi powder and salt as per taste In a big enough pan and bring to a boil .
Cook till all the water evaporates and dal is softer
Cool and keep aside
In a blender take the cooked and cooled dal along with the oats and pulse them 2-3 times making sure that it does not turn into a paste ..
Dal and oats needs to be coarse

In a bowl mix blended dal and oats along with spinach and rest on the ingredients and 1 tsp oil
Mix all ingredients well
Take a small portion of mixture on your hand and form small bite size kababs
Get all the kababs ready
Heat a pan ( non stick , iron , hard anodized ) and cook kababs on medium heat with a teaspoon of oil till kababs and nice and brown and cooked from both sides.
Serve along with mint chutney and lemon on the side ..
You can even sprinkle some chaat masala on top of the kababs to give it a little tangy flavor …

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Lets look at the benefits of the ingredients used in making these kababs ..

Oats
Oats and oat-enriched products have been proven to control blood glucose and are helpful in the treatment of diabetes.
DiabetesNet.com advises that foods such as oats have a lower glycemic index and help to balance glucose levels for better diabetes control and prevention of related complications. Oatmeal has this effect because it increases the viscosity or thickness of the contents of the stomach, slowing digestion and prolonging the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. This also gives the body a stable, long-term source of energy.

Moong Dal/Pulses
Pulses help people control blood glucose
Pulses have a low glycaemic index, making them excellent sources of carbohydrate in the diet of those affected by diabetes.
Including pulses in the diet helps control blood glucose and insulin levels. Pulses have other positive health effects, like reducing blood lipids. This may help to prevent some serious complications of diabetes.
Pulses are valuable additions to a modern diet because of their good taste, convenience, and nutritional role in managing and preventing diabetes.

Spinach
This low-carb veggie is a wise addition to a diabetic diet because it’s loaded with folate, beta carotene, iron, and vitamin K. To get the biggest nutritional punch, ditch the canned stuff and buy it fresh or frozen. Fold steamed spinach into an egg-white omelette at breakfast or toss fresh leaves in a healthy, low carbohydrate salad at lunch or dinner.

Disclaimer

I am not a nutritionist or dietician. My knowledge and information is based on my research and reading from different resources. Please consult your doctor or dietician before making any changes to your diet.

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FOR MORE DIABETES FRIENDLY RECIPES,CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW

  1. Grilled Spicy Paneer Skewers By Sonal
  2. Black Chickpea Falafel Bites by Parvathy
  3. Stuffed Sweet Pepper Poppers By Apsara
  4. Cajun Cauliflower Bites By Sarika
  5. Zucchini Boats By Suchitra
  6. Dhaniya- Methi Muthiya By Swati

“Cooking is like love: It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” — Harriet van Horne

Peanut butter cookie blossoms …Tis The Season…

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These cookie blossoms are packed with peanut butter flavor, a crowd pleaser and quick and easy to prepare …
I have used less amount if sugar as we are not a big fan of overly sweet cookies . You can add sugar as per taste.
The recipe says you can scoop and bake the cookies right away without chilling but I Prefer to refrigerate for sometime as it holds the shape better….
Cookies do not spread, so you can bake them pretty close together. If you are not using a cookie scoop, roll cookie dough into a 1″ ball, then continue with recipe.
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DO AHEAD : I have even made the dough a few days ahead and have kept in the freezer, however I Scooped the dough, made them into the balls so that they can directly go in the oven from the freezer ( after letting them sit on the counter for 30 mins )

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Peanut butter cookie blossoms …

Ingredients
All purpose flour – 1cup
Peanut butter 1 cup
Powder Sugar – 1/2 cup or to taste
Butter, unsalted – 1/2 cup, softened at room temperature
Salt – a small pinch
Milk – 1 tbsp
Vanilla Essence – 1/2 tsp
Chocolate kisses as needed
Granulated sugar for rolling the dough 1/4 cup, Optional

Method
1. Take the mixing bowl. Add peanut butter, butter and sugar to it and cream together till smooth and creamy ( I used a hand mixer )
2. Add flour and salt to the bowl. Incorporate well and bring the ingredients together in a crumbly dough. Don’t knead or else we will not get a good flakey texture. If it is too crumbly, add 1 tbsp milk to bind it.
3.Wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and refrigerate for half an hour.
Preheat the oven at 375*F / 190*C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon sheet .
4.Divide the cookie dough in small 1 inch balls, roll in granulated sugar & flatten them in the center with the help of your thumb..
5.Place cookies on cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes (until barely golden brown around the edges). Meanwhile unwrap candy kisses. Set aside.
5.Remove from oven and place a chocolate kiss on top of each cookie ball, pressing down slightly. The cookies will crack a little around the edges.
7.Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

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Black Bean “Meatless Meatballs” …

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I am a proud DFT blogger. To learn about DFT, click on the picture above

Celebrate this Holiday Season with Team DFT with some figure fitting, weight watchers and Diabetes Friendly Recipes!

Black Bean “Meatless Meatballs”..Diabetes Friendly Thursdays…
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Having diabetes doesn’t mean not having yummy appetizers & finger foods.
I have been looking for different ways to serve vegetarian finger food during holiday season . THIS DISH is one of the many ways!
The best part is that This will satisfy people who are not vegetarian as well… So don’t be afraid to give these deliciously packed with fiber and protein “MEATBALLS ” A TRY … These Meatless “Meatballs” has reduced carbs, fat, and calories too.
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Yield: 4-5 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained OR 1cup boiled and drained beans
1/4 cup cooked brown Rice
1/4cup fresh whole grain bread crumbs
1/4 cup frozen corn kernels
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp finely chopped green chili
2 cloves garlic chopped fine
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tsp red chili flakes or to taste
1 tsp cumin powder
salt as per taste
Nonstick cooking spray

For Assembly: OPTIONAL

red and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
fresh basil/ baby spinach / baby kale leaves
Few Mozzarella Cheese balls
Dip or Marinara Sauce of your choice ..( I served them with spicy mint chutney on the side

Directions:
1. In medium bowl, mash the black beans and mix all the other ingredients except cooking spray. Form mixture into small balls.
2.Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray skillet with nonstick spray. Transfer meatballs to skillet; cook 6 to 8 minutes or until browned on all sides and warmed through, turning occasionally.
3. You can bake these Black bean Meatballs in an oven at 375*F for 10 mins or till golden brown in color ..
4. Serve Black Bean “Meatballs” with marinara sauce or any other sauce or dip of your choice ….

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LETS LOOK AT THE BENEFITS OF THE INGREDIENTS USED

Black beans
The deep, rich color of black beans is due to substances called anthocyanin flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants that help cleanse the body of toxins . A cup of black beans contains 15 g of fiber, more than half the recommended daily requirement of fiber. This soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar levels for better diabetes control.

Brown Rice
The kinds of rice that people with diabetics should eat are brown rice and wild rice. Both of these are whole-grain rice that contain wheat germ and bran . Brown rice helps stabilize blood sugar levels; therefore, it’s an excellent food choice for those suffering from diabetes. Studies show that those who consume one half cup of brown rice daily reduce their risks of developing diabetes by 60%.

ONION
The American Diabetes Association recommends that you eat at least three to five servings of vegetables daily. Adding onions to your soups, stews, sandwiches, salads and casseroles boosts your vegetable intake without adding a large number or calories or carbohydrates to your diet.

Tomatoes
Because of their low carbohydrate content, tomatoes can play a big role in controlling blood sugar levels. The low carbohydrate content also helps lower calorie intake and can help diabetics to lose weight. Tomatoes are a rich source of antioxidants and help restore the body’s oxidative balance.

Green Chilies
chilly peppers have the ability to reduce the risk of hyperinsulinemia or high blood levels of insulin & help to lower the insulin levels significantly.

Disclaimer
I am not a nutritionist or dietician. My knowledge and information is based on my research and reading from different resources. Please consult your doctor or dietician before making any changes to your diet.

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FOR MORE DIABETES FRIENDLY RECIPES,CLICK ON THE PICTURES BELOW

Spicy Rajma Chaat in Tomato Baskets

Baked Savory Granola

Murg Malai Tikka