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Easiest Homemade Dhokla

SERVES: 4

GLUTEN FREE

Why this recipe? How is it green? How am I contributing to making this earth green by following four steps or less recipes?

Quick to make, great to store, quick to steam in a pressure cooker or in microwave. 

Dhokla is chickpea flour steamed savoury cake. It is one of the most healthy snacks to have at a time when you carve for something savoury but do not want to have some off the shelf that has pastry flour or shortening in abundance.

COOKING TIME- 5-10 minutes

INGREDIENTS:
2 tablespoon oil
100 grams Besan (chickpea flour)
½ cup yogurt
150 ml water
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1 inch frozen or fresh grated ginger
2 teaspoon of sugar
3-4 figs of fresh coriander or parsley
1 tablespoon mustard seeds(for garnish)
2-3 green chillies

You will need a regular vegetable steamer or a microwaveable dish that you can use steam the dhokla.

dhoklaSTEPS
1. Mix oil, yogurt, 50 ml of water, chickpea flour, turmeric powder and salt in a mixing bowl and leave it for 10-15 minutes.
2. This mixture has to be steamed for 8-10 minutes in a regular steamer or 5 minutes in microwave. Just before pouring the mixture in the steamer mould, add antacid powder to the mixture and stir it for a minute, you will see it will start coming up because of the soda in antacid powder.
3. While the steaming is on, take a separate small pan and add 1 teaspoon of oil, mustard seeds and split whole green chillies, once splattering starts, add 100 ml of water and sugar to it. Let it cook for 2 minutes.
4. Let the steamed dhokla cake cool down for 5-10 minutes and then pour this sweetened water mixture on it before you cut it into pieces to serve. Sprinkle fresh coriander or parsley before serving.

HANDY TIPS:
1. Dhokla goes very well with spicy hot and sweet chutneys and home made dips.
2. This snack is considered one of the most healthy and nutritive ones as it is steamed.

Quick Palak Paneer in less than 10 minutes


SERVES: 4

Why this recipe? How is it green? How am I contributing to making this earth green by following four steps or less recipes?

Using Pressure Cooker will take 8-10 minutes whereas it will take 25-30 minutes in a regular pan. 

You save: 40% of fuel energy and 10 minutes of your precious time that is about 5 to 8% of the total time you spend in kitchen on an average (assuming you spend a total of 2-3 hours in a day in the kitchen)

COOKING TIME: 8-10 Minutes

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 tablespoon oil
1 cinnamon stick (daal chini)
1 star anise (Chakraphool)
1 brown cardamom (elaichi)
2 bay leaf (tez patta)
½ kilo bag of frozen spinach pellets or
1 kg of fresh spinach leaves
1 large onion – chopped any size
1 large tomato -chopped any size
1 fresh green chilli or 1 inch frozen crushed green chilli
4 cloves of garlic or 2 inch frozen garlic
50 grams freshly grated ginger or 2 inch frozen ginger
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons red chilly powder
2 tablespoons coriander powder
1 teaspoons garam masala (all spice)
1/2 kilo Paneer (cottage cheese)cut to 1 inch pieces
Butter oil for topping (if preferred)

STEP 1. Put all whole spices into heated oil, let them get brown
STEP 2. Add rest of the ingredients and cook for 2 whistles (4-6 minutes) in cooker or in the pan until all tender
STEP 3. Remove whole spices and run the hand grinder for 1-2 minutes right into the cooker/pan to make it smooth. You can then put the whole spices back in if you want to.
STEP 4. Add garam masala and the paneer/tofu pieces and let it simmer for 5 minutes before serving

HANDY TIP:
1. As no oils are needed to prepare the dish, you can add a dollop of butter or butter oil (butter oil) when serving, Spinach is supposed to be dry in nature for body so some healthy grease is advisable.
2. Feel free to replace paneer (cottage cheese) with sautéd Tofu or grilled potatoes.
3. For non vegetarian option replace paneer with boneless chicken tikka.

Quickest Shahi Paneer ever- with a vegan option- No Ghee- No Butter

This is the easiest and a quick recipe for a complicated sounding yet most popular Indian delicacy. People in love with aroma of spices appreciate this preparation the most. Read through handy tips at the end of the recipe to try out vegan and no fat options. 

SERVES: 4

Why this recipe? How is it green? How am I contributing to making this earth green by following four steps or less recipes?

Using Pressure Cooker will take 5-7 minutes whereas it will take 20-25 minutes in a regular pan. 

You save: 40% of fuel energy and 20 minutes of your precious time that may be about 20 to 30% of the total time you spend in kitchen on an average (assuming you spend a total of 1-2 hours in a day in the kitchen)

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoons oil
1 cinnamon stick (small)
1 star Anise
1 brown cardamom
5 pieces of cloves
1 teaspoon of tandoori masala
3 medium tomatoes cut very small (preferable pureed)
½ kilo paneer (cottage cheese, feel free to replace it with Tofu, I love it)
1 inch frozen garlic or 2 crushed cloves
2 inch frozen or 25 grams fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon red chilly powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
20 cashews or almonds (powdered)
200ml full cream milk (I usually make it with low fat milk)

STEP 1. Put all whole spices into heated oil, sauté until brown, should take about a minute or less.
STEP 2. Add small cut tomato/puree, red chilli and sugar and cover pot, let simmer for 3-4 minutes before you add powdered nuts with ¼ glass of water and put pressure cooker lid. Cook for 3-5 minutes in Pressure Cooker until pressure builds up. In an regular pot with lid it will take about 15-20 minutes.
STEP 3. Remove whole spices and run the hand grinder for 1 to 2 minutes right into the pan to make gravy smooth.
STEP 4. Add paneer pieces and half cup of cream/milk to curry as it becomes thick. Let it boil for 5 minutes before you serve.

HANDY TIPS:
1. You can replace cashew nuts/almonds with peanuts or other nuts as per your taste.
2. You may want to garnish it with cut fresh coriander leaves and if you don’t care about making it lean (fat free), feel free to add a tablespoon of fresh cream or butter while serving. For vegan options replace milk with soy milk, coconut milk or almond milk and paneer with Tofu.

Homemade gluten free Dhokla

SERVES: 4

GLUTEN FREE

Why this recipe? How is it green? How am I contributing to making this earth green by following four steps or less recipes?

Quick to make, great to store, steam in a pressure cooker, pan or in microwave. 

Dhokla is chickpea flour steamed savoury cake. It is one of the most healthy snacks to have at a time when you carve for something savoury but do not want to have some off the shelf thing that usually has pastry flour or shortening in abundance.IMG_2844

Dhokla is readily available in local India market and indian sweet shops in North America. However, it may not be completely gluten free as semolina is a common ingredient for Dhokla. This recipe however is gluten free. I have been making Dhokla using readymade mix for sometime but now, in my zeal to avoid all preservatives and emulsifiers, I have tried this recipe many times and now have got it perfect. The dhokla comes out really soft and spongy. I have been making it more in the microwave than the conventional steaming in a pan or cooker.

INGREDIENTS:

For Dhokla
1 cup chickpea flour
1/4 cup olive oil or cooking oil
1 teaspoon yogurt
½ cup water
1 teaspoon fruit salt or ( mix of 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
2 inch frozen or 25 grams fresh grated ginger

For Dhokla Garnish
1 teaspoon oil
½ tablespoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon sugar
2 hot green chillies cut in thin long slices
½ cup water

STEPS:
STEP 1
. Mix all ingredients except fruit salt (baking soda/baking powder) making sure there are no lumps.  The mixture should not be too runny, it should be something like that for crepes or pancakes. Add more water if needed.
STEP 2. Let it rest for 5 minutes while you prepare the steamer with enough water and grease the dhokla container with oil.
STEP 3. Mix fruit salt into the mixture, you will see it rising as you mix it, stir for a minute and pour it into steaming dish. Steam it for 4-5 minutes in microwave or 15-20 minutes on stove steamer or pressure cooker without whistle.
STEP 4. Remove from steamer and let it cool down for 10-15 minutes before removing from the container.

STEPS for Dhokla Garnish: 
STEP 1
. Put oil in a very small pan and add mustard seeds to it.
STEP 2. As they start to splutter (will be in few seconds) add green chillies, water and sugar slowly and carefully. Let it boil for 2 minutes.
STEP 3. Cut Dhokla into even sized square pieces.
STEP 4. Pour mixture evenly on prepared dhokla.

HANDY TIPS:
1. For microwave steaming, if you do not have a dhokla stand ( that has a water tray, a flat container and a cover), just use any container/tray to fill water, keep a small bowl upside down in the water tray to raise the level at which dhokla mix container will be put. Cover the tray and container with microwave lid so that steam remain between the tray and dhokla container.
2. Put some fresh coriander or parsley leaves to garnish before serving.

Pesto with a twist- Curry leaves pesto

SERVES: 2

GLUTEN FREE

Why this recipe? How is it green? How am I contributing to making this earth green by following four steps or less recipes?

It is green in colour so it is GREEN! Ha ha! jokes apart, this preparation is made with curry leaves full of a unique flavour and antioxidants. Curry leaves also have many medicinal benefits.

Quick to make, healthy choice, great to store, no cooking required. Pesto

INGREDIENTS:

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch of curry leaves, approximately 10 strands of leaf stems
1 handful of pine nuts or pecans or walnuts
1 medium size lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
4 cloves of garlic grated or 2 square inch of frozen garlic
25 grams grated ginger or 2 square inch of frozen grated ginger
2 hot green chillies

STEPS:

STEP 1. Put all the ingredients in blender and puree it.
STEP 2. Voila! Pesto with a twist is ready. Use it as a dip or spread on sandwich or pizza base or over pasta.

HANDY TIPS:
1. Add more or less oil or lemon juice as per your liking.
2. Store this pesto in refrigerator in an airtight container for days.
3. Be creative – add some mint or basil leaves for another twist.

Overnight healthy yogurt oats

 

SERVES: 1

Why this recipe? 

GLUTEN FREE

This is quick to make, needs no special ingredient, is healthy and requires no cooking or heating. You can store it in refrigerator and have it for breakfast, snack or dessert. You can make it in bulk and store to save time for the next time you have a craving for something sweet yet healthy.

PREPARATION TIME6F28846A-A37F-42B7-BAE2-8D0388ADC26D
5-10 minutes
Refrigeration time : 3-4 hours

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoon oats
1 tablespoon low fat yogurt
1 ripe peach or 2 strawberries
half handful of pecans/walnut/sliced almonds
1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
1 passion fruit (pulp)-optional

3A12B43F-8228-4AF2-998E-82382B81E748STEPS
STEP 1. Blend fruits, yogurt and maple syrup/honey in blender.
STEP 2. Pour this mixture and nuts on top of oats in the container and mix well.
STEP 3. Leave it for a minimum 3-4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
STEP 4. Add passion fruit pulp on top before eating/serving.

HANDY TIPS:
1. Add milk to make the mix more liquid or to replace yogurt with milk as per your liking.
2. You can make this with any fruit like banana, berries, mango or apple.
3. Be creative, add cocoa powder, other nuts to your liking, replace maple syrup with jam or sugar or garnish with a layer of nutella instead of or under passion fruit pulp. (passion fruit gives it a crunchy feel)

 

Spicy Sweet Tomato Chutney-खट्टी मीठी टमाटर चटनी


Why this recipe?

GLUTEN FREE- loaded with vitamins and minerals

QUICK TO MAKE- Takes less than 10 minutes to cook to tingle your taste buds.

This recipe can replace canned and preserved tomato dips/sauces/salsa with a freshly made nutritious accompaniment.

You can be creative -add other ingredients like spring onions, nuts, raisins, berries, mushrooms or green pepper to further enhance flavour.

Cooking Time: 7-10 minutes

Serves- 3-4

INGREDIENTS:

2 big ripe tomatoes chopped
2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 teaspoon of red chilli powder or chilli flakes
1 pinch asafoetida powder (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon garam masala
1 inch of frozen grated ginger or 25 grams of fresh ginger
1 teaspoon of oil

STEPS
Step 1. Heat oil, add cumin seeds and hing (asafoetida) and let it brown for 30 seconds.
Step 2. Put all ingredients except garam masala and keep stirring until chutney becomes thick to the density of ketchup.
Step 3. Add garam masala and serve warm or cold.

IMG_0740

Tandoori Naan in Toaster

thumb_img_3032_1024 SERVES: 3-4

Quick Light Fresh Baked Bread

COOKING TIME: 5-7 minutes

INGREDIENTS: 
400 grams all purpose flour
400 ml plain yogurt
5-10 drops of oil

STEPS:
thumb_img_3033_1024STEP 1.  Add yogurt to the flour, make dough soft enough that is not sticking to your hands. Take oil on your hand and roll the dough with greased palm to finish. Wrap the dough in wet cloth napkin (water squeezed). Rest the dough for at least 30 minutes before rolling into naan.
STEP 2.  Make balls of dough for the size and thickness that you want the naan to be. Roll the balls with pastry roller to make naan.
STEP 3.  Place rolled naan on to heated non-stick pan, turn it around when you see brown dots on one side.
thumb_img_3031_1024Step 4.  Once both sides of the roti have been on the heated pan once, move the naan into the toaster on high setting. Fluffed and crisp tandoori naan will pop out of the toaster.

HANDY TIPS:
1. Keep rolling the dough balls into naan while one is cooking on the pan so that next one is ready as soon as you move the first one into the toaster.
2. Usually a tennis ball size of roll would make a 6-8 inch diameter naan.
3. Due to elasticity of all purpose flour the dough may not be able to be rolled in round shaped naan, they usually come out oblong shaped. This shape fits well into toaster slots.
4. Depending on the size of the slot of your toaster you may want to cut the naan in half before sliding it into the toaster so that all of it bakes well.

 

Tandoori Roti in Toaster

SERVES: 3-4

Quick Light Fresh Baked Bread

COOKING TIME: 5-7 minutes

INGREDIENTS: 
400 grams whole wheat flour
200 ml water
5-10 drops of oil

STEPS:
STEP 1.  Add water to the flour, make dough soft enough that is not sticking to your hands. Take oil on your hand and roll the dough with greased palm to finish. Rest the dough for at least 15-20 minutes before making roti.
STEP 2.  Make balls of dough for the size and thickness that you want the roti to be. Roll the balls to make roti.
STEP 3.  Place rolled roti on to heated non-stick pan, turn it around when you see brown dots on one side.
Step 4.  Once both sides of the roti have been on the heated pan once, move the roti into the toaster on high setting. Fluffed and crisp tandoori roti will pop out of the toaster.

HANDY TIPS:
1. Add water cautiously to the flour not to make dough too soft. Dough should be hard enough to easily roll the ball with a rolling pin. You can add more dry flour to the dough or give the balls a pat of dry flour on either side before and during rolling it.
2.Keep rolling the dough balls into Roti while one is cooking on the pan so that next one is ready as soon as you move the first one into the toaster.
3.Depending on the size of the the slot of your toaster you may want to cut the roti in half before sliding it into the toaster so that all of it bakes well.

Yogurt Dip Grilled Zucchini & Eggplant

SERVES: 2-3

GLUTEN FREE-Good source of vitamin A and vitamin C, plus potassium and fibre.

QUICK TO MAKE

COOKING TIME: 8-10 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

2 Zucchini
2 long eggplant
100 grams sliced mushrooms
1 big tomato chopped
50 grams grated cheddar or mozzarella cheese
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon red chilli flakes
PREPARATION
Make diagonal cuts on zucchini and eggplant without letting them break.
STEPS
STEP 1. For pan cooking- Place zucchini and eggplant in 1 teaspoon of heated oil, sprinkle salt and red chilli powder. Add tomatoes and mushroom. Close the lid of pan to cook for 4-5 minutes on high flame.
For oven/grill cooking- Sprinkle salt and red chilli powder on zucchini and eggplant. Place on the baking tray/grill,  add tomatoes and mushroom. Grill/Bake for 10-12 minutes.
STEP 2. When zucchini and eggplant are tender, add dollops of yogurt dip, spring onion and cheese and let it grill/bake or broil( for pan cooked method) for 2-3 minutes.
STEP 3. Serve it with sweet potato fries smeared in yogurt dip and green coriander chutney.
HANDY TIPS:thumb_IMG_1400_1024
1. Using the pan method saves electric/fuel energy used in oven/grill and has reduced cooking time as it uses water from tomatoes to cook the veggies faster.
2. Be creative and throw in other veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, sweet potato or turnips.