Saturday, May 14, 2022

Cream of Buckwheat Dose (Dosa or Crepe)

 (From Banu's Cookbook)


1 cup of Cream of Buckwheat

2 tbsp of Whole Urad Daal (Urad Gota)

1 tsp of Methi Seeds

1/4 Cup of NuMeal Flour

1/4 Cup of Rice Flour

Handful of Cilantro

2-3 Green Chillies (Optional)

1 Cucumber medium sized peeled and chopped

Salt to Taste

Oil for Cooking


1. Wash the Cream of Buckwheat a couple of times and soak it for 15-30 mins with the Urad Daal and Methi seeds with just enough water to cover it. Do not soak it with a lot of water. 

2. I used Vitamix to grind the batter, but you can use any blender of your choice. In the Vitamix, add a few ice cubes, soaked buckwheat mixture, 1/4 cup of NuMeal, 1/4 cup of rice flour, salt, cilantro, green chillies and the chopped Cucumber. Do not add any extra water and grind it into a smooth paste. You can use the Vitamix Tamper to mix the ingredients if needed.

3. Pour the batter into a bowl and let it rest for at least 10 minutes. I rested the batter for about 20 minutes as I was doing the chutney during this time.

4. Heat a Cast Iron Tawa well. Then reduce the heat completely to low, sprinkle some water to bring the temperature of the Tawa down and then spread the Dosa Batter evenly. You can then increase the gas to medium high and cook the Dosa with some oil.

5. Once the dosa starts browning, you can flip it over and cook the other side for a few minutes. 

6. Serve it hot with chutney of your choice.


1) You can also use a small or half bottle gourd instead of the cucumber (Take the seeds out).

2) If you try to pour the dosa batter and spread it when the tawa is super hot, it will clump up and not come out good. So, always reduce the gas, sprinkle some water on the tawa to reduce the temp, wipe it with a lint free cloth, then pour the dosa batter and once it is poured and spread, you can increase the heat. 

3) Green chillies and cilantro is optional but gives you a good taste. 

4) Rice Flour is optional, it helps crisp up the Dosa, so I added it. 

5) NuMeal is a complete protein and you can order it here.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Karnataka style Avarekai Upma with Cream of Buckwheat

 (From Banu's Cookbook)

This recipe is an adaptation of the original recipe from Svelte Zone

Avarekai (aka Surati Papdi Lilva) Uppitu (aka Upma) is a popular breakfast dish in Karnataka, especially in Winter as these beans are more widely available then. This particular upma is made with Rice Rava or Cream of Rice rather than Sooji or Semolina. Instead of Cream of Rice - I have used Cream of Buckwheat to add that extra oomph. 


1 cup of cream of buckwheat

1 - 1 1/4 cup of Cooked Surati Papdi Lilva or Avarekai Beans

1 medium sized onion chopped finely

3-4 green chillies or per your taste

A few curry leaves

1/2 inch of ginger grated

1 tsp of lemon juice

2-3 tbsp. of shredded coconut for garnishing

1/4 cup of finely chopped cilantro for garnishing

Oil for cooking (I used coconut oil)

For Seasoning:

1 tsp of Mustard Seeds

1 tbsp of Urad Daal

1 tbsp of Channa Daal


1. Dry roast the Cream of Buckwheat for a few minutes (maybe 7-8) minutes on medium heat until you see it change color ever so lightly and you can smell the fragrance of the buckwheat. Set it aside.

2. I use frozen Surati Papdi Lilva and pressure cook it with a bit of salt until it is firm but yet soft and cooked. (About 3 whistles and release pressure naturally).

3. Heat a pan, add coconut oil and add all the seasoning ingredients. Once the mustard seeds splutter, add the ginger, green chilles, curry leaves and sauté for a few mins. Add the chopped onion and cook on medium low heat until onions get pink and transparent (about 5-6 mins). 

4. Now add the cooked Avarekai, some salt and mix well and sauté for a few more minutes.

5. Keep 2 cups of water to boil or as I do - use a kettle to boil some water.

6. Now add the cream of buckwheat to the onion and beans mixture, add some more salt and mix well.

7. Reduce the flame to low and add boiling water to this mixture. Be careful when adding water as it can splatter. I used 1:2 ratio. For 1 cup of buckwheat flour, I added 2 cups of water or slightly less based on what kind of water logged veggies you have in the mixture. Since Avarekai will not let out a lot of water, I added 2 cups of water. Mix it all well and let it cook on Medium heat for a few minutes until the water is absorbed.

8. Once the water is absorbed, reduce the flame to low again and cook with a lid one for 5 mins or so. This process creates a steam and cooks the buckwheat very nicely.

9. Once the buckwheat is fully cooked, add lemon juice and cilantro.

10. Switch off the flame and garnish with grated coconut (you do not want to add the fresh coconut when the upma is super hot because it will cook the coconut and make it lose the taste).


1. You can use other veggies like carrots, peas etc to make the upma instead of Surati Papdi Lilva

2. You can also add slivered almonds or cashew nuts to give it a bit more punch. But since I like avarekai a lot, I did not add anything else to take it away from the avarekai flavor. 

Banu's Version of Muthiya

 (From Banu's Cookbook)

Muthiya is a Gujarathi Dish. It is a dish that is steamed and then pan fried. There are different versions of this dish. I wanted to share my version of it. 


1 cup of Finely Chopped Spinach
1 medium sized zucchini grated
1 inch of ginger finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
3 green chillies (or per taste) finely chopped 
1/2 cup of Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
1 cup of Saki Flour (By Svelte Zone)
2 tbsp. of Chickpea aka Besan Flour
1 tsp of Turmeric Powder
1 tsp of Garama Masala Powder
2 tsp of Dhaniya-Jeera Powder
1 tsp of Red Chilli powder
1 tsp of Sugar
1 tsp of Jeera 
1 tsp of Ajwain seeds
2 tbsp. of Yogurt
1/2 Lemon Juice
Salt per Taste

For Seasoning:

2-3 tbsp. of oil
2 tsp of Mustard Seeds
1 tbsp. of White sesame seeds
A pinch of Asafetida
A few curry leaves
Chopped Cilantro and Fresh coconut for Garnish


1. In a large bowl, mix all the grated/chopped veggies, flours, spices, yogurt, lemon juice, salt and sugar. Mix it gently and well until they are all incorporated together. You do not need to any water because the vegetables have a lot of moisture, along with the yogurt and lemon juice. 

2. Divide the dough into four parts and roll it out into rolls (like sausages). 

3. Heat water and grease the steamer. Place the rolls a bit apart in the steamer and steam them for about 15 - 18 minutes. Let it cool for about 5-6 minutes. Then cut then out into slices.

4. Heat oil in pan. Once it is hot, add mustard seeds, sesame seeds, hing and curry leaves. Once the mustard seeds splutter, add the cut slices of steamed/cooled Muthiya and cook on both sides for a few minutes until they are lightly browned. You do not need to cook it a lot because it is already steamed.

5. Garnish it with some freshly chopped cilantro and coconut. 

6. Muthiya is ready to eat with some hot coffee or chai. 


1. You can add more veggies like grated carrots or cabbage etc. Or replace zucchini with carrots or some other vegetables.

2. You can replace Saki flour with regular wheat flour. You can do a mixture of wheat flour and jowar flour. 

3. You can skip the sugar, but a that little sugar gives the dish a nice taste.

Sunday, May 09, 2021

Edamame Curry

 (From Banu's Cookbook)


2 cups of cooked Edamame
2 Medium Onions Chopped (1 for masala and 1 for cooking with edamame)
2 Tomatoes Chopped
2-3 Green Chilies
10=12 - Almonds - soaked and deskinned
1/2 cup fresh shredded coconut
1 inch piece of Cinnamon
2-3 Cloves
1 tsp of Fennel seeds
2 tsp of Cumin Seeds
1 Cardamom Pod
Small Piece of Star Anise
2-3 Black Pepper
A few Curry Leaves
A few bay leaves
Oil for Sautéing
1 tsp of Turmeric Powder
1 tsp of Red Chilli powder
2 tsp of Dhaniya-Jeera Powder
1 tbsp. of Tamarind Paste
1 tbsp. of Jaggery Powder
Chopped cilantro for Garnishing
Salt to Taste


1. Cook Frozen shelled Edamame either on Stove top or Microwave until it softens to touch. Keep it aside.
2. For the Masala - Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan - add 1 tsp of Fennel seeds, 1 tsp of cumin seeds, Cloves, Cinnamon, Star Anise, Cardamom, Black pepper and Sautee well. Add 1 chopped onion and Sautee for 4-5 minutes until onion is translucent. Then add the green chilies and chopped tomatoes and sautee until tomatoes are mushy. 
3. Let this masala mixture cool. In a blender, grind into a smooth paste - the sautéed masala ingredients, 1/2 cup fresh shredded coconut, deskinned almonds and tamarind pate. Set this aside.
4. In a pan heat about 2 tsp of oil, add mustard seeds and once they splutter, add cumin seeds, curry leaves and bay leaves. Then add 1 chopped onion and sautee well. Once the onions have turned light brown, add the cooked edamame pods and mix well.
5. To this - add turmeric powder, red chili powder and Dhaniya Jeera powder and some salt. Mix well. 
6. Add the ground masala paste, some more salt and jaggery powder. Mix well and bring it to a boil on low to medium flame. 
7. Once it has come to boil, reduce the flame to low and let it cook for a few more minutes - this will allow the edamame to absorb the flavors. 
8. Turn off the flame and garnish with chopped Cilantro.
9. Serve it hot with chapathi or dosa or barley. 


1. You can add a few more almond and skip the coconut. 

2. Instead of coconut, you can add some coconut milk and reduce the water while grinding.

3. You can add some potatoes with this if you liked the taste of it.

4. You can reduce the tamarind or skip it if you tomatoes are quite sour. Mine was not, so I added the Tamarind paste.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Besan and Oats Chilla aka Savory Pancake

 (From Banu's Cookbook)

Besan Chilla or Puda is not a new recipe. But I just changed a few things in this recipe to suit me and thus posting it here. 


1/2 Cup Besan aka Chickpea Flour

1/2 Cup Oat Flour

1 Tbsp of Chia Seeds 

1 Egg

1 inch Ginger

2-3 Green Chillies or per your taste

1 Large Roma Tomato

1 Cucumber Grated

1 Large carrot Grated

1/2 of Large Red Onion Chopped finely

Handful of Cilantro chopped finely

1 tsp of Tumeric

1 tsp of Cumin Powder

1 tsp of Jaggery powder or brown sugar

Salt to taste

Oil for cooking

1 to 1 1/4 cups of water


1. In my Vitamix blender, I blended the egg, water, both the flours, tomato, ginger, turmeric, cumin and salt well until there were no lumps left in the batter.

2. I poured the batter into a bowl. To this I added the grated cucumber, carrot, chopped red onion and Cilantro. 

3. I added the Jaggery powder and added a bit more water to make it thick yet pouring consistency. 

4. Heat a nonstick pan and spread some oil on it. Spread the batter as thinly as you can. Cook it well on both sides on medium heat. It will take some time, but it will get cooked well and become crispy.

5. Serve it hot with some pickle and yogurt. 


1. You can add Rolled oats - instead of oat flour, the batter will be a bit more textured as the rolled oats will not be super smooth. 

2. You can add other vegetables like spring onions, grated zucchini, bell peppers etc. The more veggies you add, it might be harder to spread it thin. So chop the veggies as thin as you can. 

3. If the chilla or pancake is spread thin, it will become nice and crispy and not soggy and gooey. That is the key and plus the heat is critical. Do not cook it on high heat. 

4. You can skip the egg if you want to keep it Vegan and instead add some nut butters like almond or peanut butter. It will taste very well too and still give you some additional protein.

5. You can do roll up omlette style with these pancakes with avocados in the middle. 

6. You can serve it some chutney or curry too. 

7. You can skip chia seeds or add some flax seeds if you prefer it or flax meal.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Oats and Poha Chivda

 (From Banu's Cookbook)


1 Cup of Old Fashioned Rolled Oats

1 Cup of Thin Poha Flakes

1/2 cup of Peanuts

1/4 cup of Almonds (whole skinned)

1/4 cup of Broken Cashewnuts

1/4 cup of Roasted Bengal Gram Daal

1/4 Cup of Dry Coconut Slices

3-4 Red Chilies

8-10 Curry Leaves

1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds

Salt to Taste

Olive Oil for Sautéing - About 2 Tbsp

1/4 - 1/2 Tsp of Amchur Powder

1/4 - 1/2 Tsp of Chaat Powder

1/2 tsp of Red Chili powder (or more per your taste)

1 Pkt of Stevia in Raw

1/4 Tsp of less Hing

1/4 Tsp of Turmeric Powder (Optional)


1. Heat a pan on low to medium heat and roast the rolled oats until they become crisp. They also start changing color slightly and also you can start smelling them. Roast them well on low heat (patience) until they are crisp. You can crunch them with your fingers. Set them aside.

2. In the same pan, roast the poha flakes. I have used the thin flakes, you can use a bit thicker one too. Roast them in low/medium heat until you start to see them brown slightly. Set aside.

3. Clean the pan out of all debris, wipe it down and and heat the 2bsp oil. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. As the mustard seeds crackle, add the curry leaves, red chillies and Hings. Saute for a few seconds. Add the dried sliced of coconut and all the nuts and roast them well on medium heat. If you feel like something is burning - you can reduce the heat some more. 

4. Once all of these are roasted well (peanuts will start peeling skin when it is well roasted),  add the poha and oats to this mixture. Add turmeric powder, salt, stevia packet and all the spice powders. Mix well but gently. You do not want to break the oats and poha too much. Do wide sweeps to mix it well. If you feel like the mixture is too dry, you can add a bit more olive oil. 

5. Reduce the heat to lowest setting as you mix the Chivda together. Taste and adjust Salt and Stevia powder as needed. 

6. Switch off the heat and let it cool and come to room temperature and Oats/Poha Chivda is ready to be had with a cup of hot tea or coffee. 


1. Almonds being meatier of all the nuts takes the longest to roast. So, if you want super crunchy almonds, Roast them separately well and then add it in the end before the spice powders and mix it well,

2, You can add plain sugar or raw sugar or cane sugar or organic sugar instead of the Stevia. I just did not want to add Sugar. You would have to experiment with these - start with less and add more as needed. 

3. You can add raisins too, but I do not like the raisins when they are fried or sautéed, so I did not add them. 

4. I will experiment with Walnuts and Pecans next time and keep you posted.

5. You can do this just with Oats and skip Poha if you want. 

6. Turmeric powder is optional. 

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Almond, Oats and Chia Seeds Laddu

 (From Banu's Cookbook)


1/2 Cup Fine Almond Flour

1/2 Cup of Old Fashioned Rolled Oats

1/4 cup of Cashew Nuts

10-12 Whole Skinned Almonds

1 Tbsp of Chia Seeds

1 Tbsp of Ghee (Optional)

2 Tbsp of Almond Butter

1 Tbsp of Honey

1/2 Tsp of Ground Cinnamon powder

1/2 Tsp of Cardamom Powder


1. Dry Roast the Old Fashioned Oats, Cashew nuts and whole skinned almonds on medium to medium-low heat until they are golden brown. You can start smelling the cashews and oats. Set it aside to cool.

2. In the same pan, add 3/4 tbsp of Ghee and 1/2 cup of Almond flour and roast it well until it is aromatic - about 3-4 minutes. Set it aside. 

3. Coarsely grind the roasted oats, cashew nuts and almonds in a food processor. It would be nice to get bits of cashew and almonds when you bite into the laddu.

4. Mix the ground oats and nuts mixture with the roasted almond flour mixture. To this add the Almond Butter and Honey, Chia Seeds, Cinnamon powder and cardamom powder. You can add a pinch of Himalayan pink salt too.

5. Mix it all well and then grease your hands lightly with the remaining 1/4 tbsp of Ghee and make small balls out of this mixture. You have to press hard when forming the balls and then roll them lightly in the palm of your hands to get the round shape. 

6. If you feel like the balls are not holding well together or breaking - keep them in the Refrigerator for a couple of hours after making them so that they can harden. Well mostly, honey and almond butter and any oils from the nuts harden thus creating a good bind. 

7. You can serve them cold or bring it out to room temperature and then service. 

The laddus were very well formed. Not crumbling at all. Had a good texture and enough sweetness. Hope you try this out. Let me know how it came out or what modifications did you make...Thanks. 


1. You can add Crushed dates instead of Honey/Almond Butter to give this some sweetness. 

2. You can also add Flax seeds / Flax seed meal along with the rest of the ingredients.

3. You can add raisins to give some more sweetness and moisture.

4. You can also add Vanilla Essence and/or Maple Syrup (Maple Sugar / Jaggery) - to get the sweetness in this dish.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Slightly Low Carb Pasta

 (From Banu's Cookbook)


1 cup cooked low carb/high protein pasta (I used Barilla Red Lentil Penne)

4-5 cups of assorted veggies - Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Broccoli, Bell peppers, Onion, Carrots etc.

1/2 cup of chickpeas (optional)

3-4 tbsp of Pesto Sauce (I used store brought Delallo Simply Pesto Traditional Basil Pesto Sauce)

1-2 tbsp of smoked paprika / crushed red pepper flakes

1-2 tbsp of Italian Seasoning

Black pepper and Salt per Taste

Olive oil to saute vegetables.

Handful of fresh Basil leaves for Garnishing

For the Sauce:

3/4 cup of Heavy Whipping Cream

1/4 cup of Cream Cheese - softened at room temperature. 

3-4 Garlic Cloves - chopped finely

1 tbsp of Butter

2-3 pinches of grated nutmeg

black pepper and salt to taste


1. Boil the pasta per the directions on the box. I like mine a bit al dente. Rinse in cold water to stop cooking process. Measure out 1 cup of cooked pasta aside. 

2. Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the onion and carrots first. Once they are slightly browned, add the rest of the veggies and cook on medium high heat. 

3. After 5-6 mins of cooking, add the italian seasoning, paprika / crushed red pepper, a bit of salt and mix well. 

4. Reduce the flame and allow the veggies to cook a bit more.

5. Meanwhile for the sauce, mix the softened cream cheese and whipping cream together. In a small pan, heat the butter. Add the chopped garlic cloves.

6. Once the garlic is browned, add the cream cheese and cream mixture and let it come to a boil. Reduce the flame, add some black pepper, pinch of salt and grated nutmeg. Mix well and boil it until it reduces a bit. If you like thin sauce, you do not have to reduce it much. 

7. Add the Pesto sauce and the cooked pasta to the vegetable mix. Mix well. Add the sauce and mix it all well together. 

8. Add salt if needed, add the basil leaves and mix well. Serve it hot with black pepper on top. 


1. For the sauce, you can skip the cream cheese or replace it with Parmesan cheese. I like the texture better with cream cheese and I used very little of it. You can experiment with the measurements till you get a consistency that you like. 

2. You do not need flour for the sauce as both Cream Cheese and Cream thicken on their own when heated for a bit. 

3. You can add mushrooms, cauliflower or any vegetables that you like. You can add peas instead of chickpeas. I like the protein and texture of chickpeas, so I added them. 

4. If you do not want to use store bought pesto - here is a link for a Basil Pesto recipe that I had posted a while ago. 

5. You can add additional parmesan cheese on top if you like it and or season it with more fresh basil.