Thursday, September 26, 2013

Flax Seed and Garlic Chutney Powder

(From Banu's Cookbook)

1/2 cup of Flax Seed
1/4 cup of White Sesame Seeds
1/4 cup Dry or dessicated coconut powder
4-6 Red Chillies
10 Garlic Pods
1/2 inch of dry tamarind
1 tbsp of Jaggery powder (Optional)

1. Dry Roast the Flax seed. It is done once you see the color change and aroma starts coming. Roast it on low flame so that you do not burn it. Takes about 10 mins or so for half a cup.
2. Then Dry roast the sesame seeds until they change color. Do not burn it.
3. Dry roast the desiccated coconut as well.
4. Now add a bit of oil in the pan and roast red chilies and Garlic. You can see red chillies almost turning black and also garlic getting nicely browned.
5. Let everything cool down to room temperature.
6. Grind the flax seed, sesame seeds and copra into a coarse powder ( or fine if you prefer it that way). Then add to the gm grinder/blender jar - red chillies, garlic, tamarind, jaggery and salt to taste and grind it again till everything mixes well.
7. Flax seed and sesame seeds both will release oils so the mixture will become a lump and might not grind well. You will need to stir it often. 
8. This chutney powder goes well with bread and chapathi and also with Hot Rice and Ghee.
9. Stored in an air tight container in the fridge, this will last upto a month.

1. You can also add roasted groundnuts to this mixture.
2. I have done this without desiccated coconut and it does not compromise the taste.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Adai with Avocado and Cheese Filling

(From Banu's Cookbook)

Adai is a pancake made with Lentils and Brown Rice. I put my own version of Avocado Chutney filling inside the pancake along with some shredded low fat pepper jack cheese for a yummy meal option.


1 cup of Urad daal
1 cup of Channa daal
1 cup of Toor Daal
1 cup of Yellow Split Moong Daal
3 Cups of Brown Rice
6-7 Red Chillies (Optional - instead you can use fresh green chillies)
Salt to Taste
Mustard Seeds for Seasoning
Oil for Seasoning and cooking

1 Medium Red Onion - Finely Chopped
1./2 Cup of Cilantro - Finely Chopped

1. Soak all the ingredients overnight or at least 4-6 hours and then grind them to a smooth paste.
2. Heat the Oil, add mustard seeds and once they splutter, add it to the batter. Add salt to taste.
3. At this point you can add the optional chopped onion and cilantro.
4. Heat a flat pan and pour in few spoonfuls of the batter and spread it out to the thickness you like and then cook both sides with some oil and the Adai is ready to eat.


2-3 Ripe Avocado's
1 Green Chilly (or more if you want it spicy)
1 Lemon - Juiced
1/2 Small Red Onion - Chopped Fine
Salt to Taste
Oil to saute

1. Heat oil in a pan, add the onions and green chillies and saute until the onions are translucent.
2. Remove the Avocado skin and chop the fruit. Mix it with the sauteed onions along with salt and lemon juice. Mix it well.
3. Avocado Chutney is ready.

I cooked an Adai Pankcake, took it out of the flat pan and when it was still warm put some of the Avocado chutney in it and sprinkled some low fat pepper jack cheese and then folded it in half. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Radish Paratha and Strawberry Chutney

(From Banu's Cookbook)

Radish/Daikon (Mooli) Paratha

1 1/2 Cups of Whole Wheat Flour
2 Tbsp of Yogurt ( I used Fat Free)
1 tsp of Salt
3/4 cup of Grated white Radish or Daikon
1 tsp of Red Chilli Powder (or more per taste)
1 tsp of Turmeric Powder
1/4 cup of water (less or more as needed to finish the dough)

1) I use the food processor with dough blade, add all the ingredients apart from water and mix well. Then add very little water as needed until the dough forms.
2) If you are doing this with hand, same process. Add all the ingredients together in a bowl except water and mix well and then add as little water as needed to finish the dough.
3) Put the dough in a container and store it in the fridge for at least 20-30 mins.
4) Make golf ball sized balls out of the dough. Sprinkle some dry flour on a rolling board, roll out the dough. Keep it a bit thick. Heat a flat pan, put the rolled paratha and cook on both sides with oil.
5) Hot Moooli Paratha is ready to serve. You can eat this with some yogurt dish, or pickle or like I did with Strawberry Chutney (Recipe Follows)

1. You can also add chopped Corriander leaves to the dough.

Strawberry Chutney

2 cups of Chopped fresh Strawberries
1/4 Cup of Jaggery or Brown Sugar
Salt To Taste
Black Pepper to Taste
2 Tsp of Jeera Powder
Oil for Sauteeing
Mustard Seeds for Seasoning

1) Heat a pan, add oil. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. Add chopped strawberries once the mustard seeds splutter, add the chopped strawberries and saute for a little while
2) Add the salt and Jaggery and cook until the strawberries get cooked. Add black pepper and jeera powder and the chutney is ready :))

Notes: You can add other spices like Coriander seed powder etc, I just kept it simple.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Black Eyed Pea Salad

(From Banu's Cookbook)

1 1/2 Cups of Dry Black Eyed Pea
1 Red Apple Washed and chopped Finely
Handful or more of Cherry Tomatoes washed and chopped
1 Cucumber Chopped Finely
1 small or half Red Onion Chopped Finely
1 or 2 Avocado's Chopped
6-7 Mini Sweet Peppers Chopped Finely
1/4 Cup of Finely Chopped Cilantro
1-2 Thai peppers or Jalapeno peppers chopped Finely

2 Tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Lemon Juice
Salt and Pepper to Taste

1. Wash and Soak the Black Eyed Pea for 3-4 hours or atleast for an hour. Pressure cook them with a little salt for about 3-4 Whistles. You can also cook them on stove top until they are cooked and soft.
2. Drain the water out of the cooked black eyed pea and a mixing bowl - mix all the chopped ingredients, the cooked black eyed pea and the dressing ingredients.
3. Toss well and serve it warm, room temperature or cold.

1. I prefer this salad at room temperature.
2. If you cannot soak the black eyed pea, then you just have to pressure cook it for a longer time.
3. You can also add other fruits like strawberries and blueberries.
4. You can also add other ingredients to the dressing like Oregano or Thyme or whatever else that your taste buds prefer.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Channa Daal and Methi Scramble

(From Banu's Cookbook)

1 1/2 Cup of Channa Daal (Picked over, rinsed and soaked overnight or at least 4-6 hours)
1 bunch of Methi Leaves (Washed and Cleaned)
1 inch piece of Ginger
3-4 Green Chillies
Salt to Taste
Oil to Sautee
Mustard Seeds for Seasoning
Hing for Seasoning

1. Drain the Channa daal.  Grind the Soaked Channa Daal, methi leaves, ginger, green chillies and salt in the food processor with no water. . You can make it into a very smooth paste or just a bit coarsely like I have done it.
2. Steam this ground mixture in the pressure cooker for just three whistles. If you do not own a pressure cooker, you can steam in a microwave steamer for about 6-8 minutes.
3. In a pan, heat some oil and add Mustard seeds and once it splutters, add hing and then add the pressure cooked channa daal mixture and mix well.
4. Channa Daal and Methi Scramble is ready to be eaten. You can eat this by itself with a piece of toast or some crackers or you can serve with some rice or chapathi.

Channa daal is very healthy and has very low Glycemic Index and does not get mushy very easily making it easy to use in many recipes. Here is one of my favorite links on Channa Daal.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Cabbage Paratha with Bran

(From Banu's Cookbook)

1 1/2 Cup of Finely Chopped Cabbage
1 1/2 Cups of Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 Cup of Wheat Bran
1/2 inch of Ginger Chopped Finely
Salt to Taste
1/4 Cup of Yogurt (fat free)
1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder
2 Tsp of Jeera Powder
1 Tsp of Coriander Powder
1 Tsp of Red Chilli Powder (or more if you want it spicy)
Oil for cooking

1. Mix all the ingredients except Oil in a wide bowl and mix well. Add very little water in increments to knead the dough.
2. Put the mixed dough in refrigerator for at least 20-30 mins. This helps the bran to absorb water and the paratha will be softer.
3. Take the dough out and then make it into small balls (maybe slightly bigger than golf size balls), and Knead them thoroughly. I found that kneading these smaller dough balls is much easier and more effective. Roll it out using wheat flour.
4. Put it on a heated pan and cook it on both sides using oil. Make sure you cook the paratha on medium fire. This takes a bit longer, but cooks it well.
5. Serve the paratha hot with either Pickle or Yogurt or both.

1. You can add Cilantro as well. I forgot to add this time.
2. You can skip the yogurt if you are not inclined to add it, but I have found out that Yogurt and keeping it in the fridge helps the bran soften quite a bit. But I have tried it without yogurt as well and it works perfectly well.
3. If you do not like the taste of cabbage, you can chop it much more finely in the food processor before mixing it with the flour.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Tindora Gravy Curry

(From Banu's Cookbook)

2 Cups of Chopped Tindora
1 Medium Onion Chopped
2-3 Cloves of Garlic
1 inch piece of Ginger
1 Tsp of Poppy Seeds
1 Tsp of Sesame Seeds
2 Tsp of Coriander Seeds
1/2 Tsp of Turmeric Powder
1/2 Tsp of Cumin Powder
1 Tsp of Red Chilli Powder
A few pinches of Hing
1 Tsp of Tamarind Paste
Mustard Seeds for Seasoning
Curry Leaves
Coriander leaves for garnish
Oil for Sauteing
Salt to Taste

1.  Steam the chopped Tindora. I used a Microwave steamer (Steamed it for 6 Mins). But you can para boil it or just steam in a rice cooker or even pressure cooker.
2. Roast Poppy Seeds, Sesame Seeds and Coriander seeds with a few drops of oil until they are golden brown. Take it out of the pan and in the same pan add a bit more oil and fry the Onion.
3. Once the Onion is transclucent, then add the ginger and garlic and fry a bit more.
4. Let all of this come to room temperature. Then grind all the ingredients that you roasted into a smooth paste with tamarind paste. Use as little water as you can. You really do not not need too much water.
5. Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan, add oil. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. After the mustard seeds splutter, add curry leaves and hing. Also add turmeric powder, red chilli powder and Cumin powder and roast for a little bit.
6. Turn the fire to low, and then add the ground masala paste and fry for 5 mins or so on very low fire.
7. To this add the steamed Tindora & Salt to taste and let it cook well on low fire.
8. Garnish with chopped fresh coriander leaves and serve it hot with Rice or Chapathi.

Notes: You can add either roasted ground nuts or coconut in the masala. But I skipped both to keep it a bit more healthier version.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Eggplant in Poppy seed Gravy

(From Banu's Cookbook)


1 Medium Eggplant Chopped (Keep the chopped eggplant in water to avoid discoloration)
1 Big Red Onion Chopped Fine
3 Tsp of Poppy Seeds
1 Tsp of Red Chilli Powder or 2-3 green Chillies
1/4 cup of Chopped Coriander leaves for Garnish
Salt to Taste
Oil to Sautee

1. Sautee the chopped Eggplant in pan with some oil and once it is done, take it out on a plate.
2. In the same pan, add some more oil and saute 1/2 of the chopped onion and when it is half done, add the poppy seeds and fry some more until you see the poppy seeds changing color. Take this mixture out and let it cool to room temperature.
3. Grind the onion and poppy seed mixture along with some Red Chilli Powder or Green Chillies into a smooth paste. It will take some time as poppy seeds are kind of hard to grind.
4. In a pan, add some oil and add cumin seeds. Then add the remainder of the chopped onion and Sautee well. Add the ground paste to this and cook for a little while. Add some water if need be. Add the chopped Eggplant and salt and cook it on low fire until it all mixes together well. You can add some more water at this point as Eggplant will also absorb it. Add enough water until you get the gravy consistency that you want.

Eggplant with Poppy seed Gravy is ready to be served hot with either Chapathi or Rice.

Black ChickPea, Avocado and Bell Pepper Salad

(From Banu's Cookbook)


1 Cup of Kala Channa (Black Chick Eyed Pea) - Soaked overnight and then pressure cooked.
1 Avocado Chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper Chopped
1/2 Red Onion Chopped
1/2 Cup of Cucumber Peeled and Chopped
Cilantro for Garnishing

Salad Dressing:
2 tsp of Lemon Juice
2 Tsp of Olive Oil
1/4 tsp of Ginger grated finely
Salt to taste

1. Mix the Cooked Kala Channa (I drain out any excess water) along with the chopped Avocado, bell pepper, onion, cucumber and cilantro.
2. Add all of the salad dressing ingredients to this mix and toss well. You can always increase the lemon juice if you prefer more tangy.
3. Kala Channa salad is ready to be eat.

1. I prefer to mix warm Kala Channa and not cold as Kala Channa does not taste that great when it is cold.
2. You can also add Tomatoes and other Vegetables to this Salad.

Paneer Stirfry with Cabbage and Bell Peppers

(From Banu's Cookbook)


1 Cup of Fresh Paneer (Cubed)
1 small head of Cabbage - Finely Chopped
1-2 Bell Peppers  - Chopped (I used a combination of Yellow and Red Bell Peppers)
Oil To Sautee
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
1-2 Tsp of Cumin Powder
1 Tsp of Corriander Powder
1 Tsp of Red Chilli Powder
Salt to Taste


1. Pan fry the paneer cubes with very less oil in pan and keep it aside. In the same pan, heat some more oil and sautee the bell peppers.
2. In a Wok, add some oil and once it is hot, add some cumin seeds and then add all the dry powders and saute for a few mins and then add the chopped cabbage and cook it for 10 mins with a lid on and very slow fire. This way you can cook the cabbage completely and yet keep it crisp and not soggy.
3. Once the cabbage is done, add the paneer and the bell peppers, salt to taste and mix well. You can garnish this with chopped coriander leaves.

Paneer stir fry is ready and can be eaten with Chapathi or Rice. I had it just like this with some salad.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Green Moong daal Crepe with Tomato Onion Chutney

(From Banu's Cookbook)

Green Whole Moong Daal Crepe
1 Cup of Whole Green Moong Daal (Soaked Overnight)
1 inch piece of Ginger
4-6 Garlic Cloves
3-4 Green Chillies (or per taste)
1/4 cup of Finely Chopped Onion
2 Tbsp of Finely Chopped Cilantro
Mustard Seeds and Hing for Seasoning
Salt to Taste
Oil to Cook

1. Grind the Soaked Moong daal with ginger, garlic and Green Chillies. Do not add too much water. The batter should be fairly thick.
2. To the ground batter, add the salt, chopped Onion and Cilantro. Add seasoning of mustard seeds and Hing.
3. Heat a flat pan and pour the batter and spread the best you can (it is kind of hard with the chopped onion on it).
4. Cook it both sides with some oil.
5. Moong Daal Crepe is ready to be eaten with some chutney.

Tomato Onion Chutney
1 Medium Onion Chopped
2 Roma Tomatoes Chopped
3-4 Red Chillies
1/2 Tsp of Cumin Seeds

1. Roast the Onion with some oil until it starts browning.
2. Add the red chillies and roast some more.
3. Add the tomatoes and saute until tomatoes become soft.
4. Let this mixture come to room temperature. Then Blend this into a paste with Salt and Cumin Seeds.
5. Tomato Onion Chutney is ready :)

Notes: Optionally you can add garlic cloves along with red chillies and you can add Tamarind paste or Lemon Juice while grinding it to a paste.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Dalia Upma

(From Banu's Cookbook)

1 Cup of Dalia (Broken Wheat)
3 Cups of Water (To cook Dalia)
1 Medium Onion Chopped Finely
1/2 of Medium Green Bell pepper chopped finally
1/4 inch of Ginger Root Chopped Finely
5-6 Curry leaves
2-3 Green Chillies Chopped
3-4 tbsp of Oil for Sauteeing
Mustard Seeds for Seasoning
1/4 Cup of Finely chopped Cilantro for Garnishing

1) Heat 1 Tbsp of Oil in pressure cooker, add the Dalia, Roast it for 5-7 minutes and then add 3 cups of hot water and pressure cook it for 3 Whistles. If you do not have a pressure cooker, you can cook the Dalia on stove top in a regular pan as well.
2)  In a separate pan, heat 3 tbsp of oil. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds. And as soon as the mustard seeds splutter, add ginger, green chillies and curry leaves. After a few seconds of frying these, add the chopped onion and bell pepper and saute them for 5-7 minutes until you see the onion turning brown.
3) Add the cooked Dalia and salt and mix it well and cook it for a few minutes on slow fire. You can add the Cilantro for garnishing.
4) Eat it Hot with some Curds or Achaar.

1) You can also add Tomatoes in this. Add it after Onion has been fried. Add Dalia after Tomatoes become a bit soft.
2) You can also add some lemon juice for garnishing if you are not adding tomatoes and want some sourness to the dish.
3)You can also add other vegetables like Peas, carrots and Potatoes. I wanted to keep it low carb and low sugar, so I did not add these vegetables.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Corn and Paneer (Cottage Cheese) Taco's

(From Banu's Cookbook)


2 Corn Tacos (Store Bought)
1 Cup of Paneer cubes (I cut them into kind of smallish cubes)
1 Cup of Cooked Sweet Corn Kernels
2 Tbsp of Cilantro - Finely Chopped
1/4 Cup of Finely Chopped Onion (I used Red Onion)
1/4 Tsp of Lemon Juice
2 Tsp of Date-Tamrind / Sweet Chutney
Oil for Sauteeing

For Seasoning:
1 Tsp of Jeera (Cumin) powder
1 Tsp of Dhania (Corriander) Powder
1 Tsp of Red Chilli Powder (Adjust this according to your taste)
Salt to Taste

1. Heat the Oil in a pan and add the chopped Onions and Saute until they are translucent.
2. Add the Sweet Corn and Paneer Cubes and Saute for a few more mins.
3. Add the Masala powders including the salt. Also add Cilantro and Lemon Juice and saute until everything is mixed well.
4. Heat the Taco's in the Oven per the box directions, take it out and fill the taco's with the Corn and Paneer Mixture. Drizzle the sweet sauce on top and serve it Warm.

1. Instead of Taco's, you can use Pita Chips, Corn Tortilla Chips or Papdi poori's on a plate and spread the corn paneer mixture on it and then add the sauce.
2. You can even wrap this mixture in a plain paratha for lunch box.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Spinach and Kidney Beans Curry

(From Banu's Cookbook)


1 6 oz Pkt of Fresh Spinach Washed and Chopped Finely
1 Large Red Onion Chopped Finely
2 Cup of Red Kidney Beans (Soaked and Cooked)
2 Tsp of Red Chilli Powder
1 Tsp of Turmeric Powder
2 Tsp of Cumin powder
2 Tsp of Corriander Powder
1/2 Tsp of Garam Masala
Salt to Taste
Oil for Cooking


1. Heat oil in a pan and add the chopped onion and saute until onion is browned and a bit carmelized.
2. Add  chopped spinach and saute well until spinach is cooked.
3. Add the dry masala powders to this mixture - Turmeric, Red Chilli powder, Cumin Powder and Coriander powder. Mix them all and saute for a few more minutes.
4. Add the cooked red kidney beans at this point and mix well.
5. Add salt to taste and some water and cook on low heat for 10 mins or so.
6. Add the Garam Masala powder and mix well.
7. You can also mash some of the red kidney beans and that will add some more thickness to the curry.

Serve it hot with Chapathi or Poori.

Notes: You can also use two 15 oz cans of red kidney beans instead of soaking and cooking dry beans.