Sweet Potato Pudding / Shakarkandi ka Halwa

Sweet Potato Pudding/Halwa (Shakarkandi Ka Halwa)

Sweet Potato (Shakarkandi in Hindi) in itself is a very sweet and nutritious vegetable; it is used in many diets, and also consumed in various forms by Indians during fasts. Its winter time folks and this is the time to indulge, eat and rejoice in the festive spirit. Strictly getting into the spirit ๐Ÿ™‚ I prepared the Sweet Potato Halwa last night as my dessert. Actually I would like to put the onus on my hubby as he made me to think of Halwa when he asked me to boil some sweet potato for him ๐Ÿ™‚

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Paneer Lababdar

Paneer Lababdar

It has been a little more than 6 years since I got married; and like it happens with everyone, this life event not only brought my husband into my life but his friends and their college stories ๐Ÿ˜‰ ย One such perennial mention was of a Paneer Lababdaar that they used to enjoy in their college canteen. In my hubbyโ€™s own words, he had never tasted any other Paneer Lababdaar which exceeded his college experience. To be honest, I had never actually thought of taking this as a challenge and prepare Paneer Lababdaar in our home. However I just thought of preparing this royal/rich dish last night. It did turn out really good. Whether it managed ti surpass my husbandโ€™s previous expectations, I will disclose that at the end of this post ๐Ÿ™‚

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Whole wheat Herbs Crackers

Whole wheat herbs crackers

This is in continuation of my previous post on Pistachio Crackers. The same experiment also resulted in herbs based whole wheat crackers, in alignment of my requirement for healthy winter snacks. Do note that these whole wheat herb crackers are my regular item as I make them often. These herbs crackers are quite easy peasy, healthy and quick to prepare. I prefer to make crackers with whole wheat flour, so that I could afford to snack in an healthy, guilt-free way ๐Ÿ™‚

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Pistachios Crackers (whole wheat)

Pistachios whole wheat crackers
The sudden drop in temperature this week here in London looks like the end of autumn / arrival of the cool winter.ย  Winter, as all of you know, is the season for eating more (as compared to summer), eating rich foods, and keeping warm. With the same intentions every year, I do prepare a lot of items with the so-called warm ingredients e.g., ghee, sesame seeds, pistachios, almonds, and figs.

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Capsicum (Bell Pepper/Pepper) Chutney/Dip

Pepper (Bell Pepper/Capsicum) Chutney

I like peppers (Capsicum; Shimla Mirch in Hindi) and have always used them in my vegetable curries or to make side-dish like dry pepper curry or pepper with chickpea flour. To be honest, I had never heard of Bell Pepper Chutney until recently. As usual, that did trigger the cook in me to try it out :). On an impulse, I prepared the chutney with Spinach Theplas over the weekend and the combo was just a super hit !

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Spinach/Palak Thepla (Spinach thin Indian flat bread)

Spinach (Palak) TheplaIts breakfast time again ๐Ÿ™‚ and I present another healthy Indian flat bread made with Spinach. This flat bread is called โ€œtheplaโ€ (in the local dialect of the Western Indiuan state of Gujarat) and is a very healthy option for all times – breakfast, lunch or dinner. Thepla originates from the state of Gujarat, and can be termed similar to Paranthas. The main difference is that thepla is thin, with its dough kneaded with spices and yogurt while Parantha is comparatively thicker and its dough is kneaded with water without any spices.

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Spinach Kadhi / Kadhi Palak (spinach curry with yogurt sauce)

Spinach Kadhi (Kadhi Palak)

For all my global friends, Kadhi (it is a Hindi word) is a spiced yogurt sauce thickened with Chickpea flour (gram flour/ besan). It is quick and easy comfort food in India, which is also very light, healthy and tasty. I have gone ahead and combined this light beauty with the more nutritious Spinach (Palak in Hindi), resulting in Spinach Kadhi. I am sure there are some people who may not like to have Spinach on its own โ€“ this could be one of the ways of getting this group to eat/like Spinach ๐Ÿ™‚ ; I have already covered another way using Spinach Parantha, ย Spinach Kofta Curry.

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Dana Methi ki Sabji (Fenugreek seeds Dry Curry)

Fenugreek (dana methi) dry curry

This is back to basics for me โ€“ as this dish (again) comes from my native state of Rajasthan ๐Ÿ™‚ I am sure all of us are aware of Fenugreek seeds (or Dana Methi in Hindi). However I am not so sure if this particular recipe has ever moved out of Rajasthani households; I say so as even my beloved hubby, a staunch Rajasthani, was not aware of this. Perhaps the bitterness of these seeds may have stopped people from experimenting with it. But that stops now, with this post ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Tamarind (Imli) Chutney/ Dip

Tamarind (imli) chutney

Now, the way it works with Indian snacks/street food is that you simply cannot eat them without the real chutneys/dips ๐Ÿ™‚ One such chutney that really goes with almost all of the Indian street cuisine is real, tangy Tamarind chutney. It is a great accompaniment with fried snacks like samosa, kachori, pakode etc., and also with chaat items like dahi wada, papdi chaat, aloo tikki chaat and so on and so forth. In fact, in honesty, we Indians will not enjoy any of these without our indigenous Tamarind chutney.

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Naan (Leavened oven-baked flat bread)

Naan

As is the case with lentils (being the core in an Indian staple diet), Bread(s) also enjoy the same status. Indians enjoy a variety of bread as part of their daily routine, most of the usual ones being – Roti/Chapati, Tandoori Roti, Naan, and Parantha. My previous posts have covered couple of Paranthas (Aloo Parantha, Spinach Parantha, Broccoli Parantha). Today I am covering Naan in this post. Naan is also a very popular leavened oven-baked flat bread with origins in Persia (Iran) but extremely popular in the Indian cuisine.

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Dal Makhani without cream

Dal Makhani

As a true North Indian, I have to say that Dal Makhani is my favourite daal. For all my friends out there, Daal means lentil, and Makhani refers to butter (or buttery) thus making this lentil creamy, rich and heavy. I have been preparing Daal Makhani for the past couple of years but in my own healthy way โ€“ I have replaced the cream with milk & yogurt, and butter with olive oil. This is the way I prepare my Dal Makhani at least once in a month, but eat it twice (same daal on the next day) as I feel the taste reaches a new zenith on the next day ๐Ÿ™‚ . My today’s post is this healthy version of Dal Makhani.

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Yogurt (Dahi) Sandwich

Yogurt (Dahi) Sandwich

Yes, itโ€™s breakfast time once again ๐Ÿ˜‰ and todayโ€™s healthy start of the day is Yogurt (Dahi in Hindi) Sandwich. I am sure all of us would have had sandwiches of some shape/form. I am also certain that all my fellow kitchen cooks would have surely done experiments on the basic sandwich as per taste/requirement. Keeping alive the streak of innovation, I am today presenting a light, healthy and refreshing sandwich involving Yogurt. Needless to say, the inclusion of some of my favourite vegetables and yogurt makes this a real good start to a lovely day (Amen!). It is also a real quickie in terms of its preparation, thus making it ideal for breakfast/snack.

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Malai Kofta (healthy version)

Malai Kofta

Malai Kofta is a rich and a bit sweet (mildly) Indian curry. The name of the curry gives away its constituents – Malai is the Hindi word for cream and, Kofta refers to fried dumpling balls. The dumplings are usually made up of potatoes, with or without cottage cheese. The use of cream and frying the dumplings is what makes this curry rich. I have today prepared my own version of this curry but have tried to be on the healthy path by using less of the heavy ingredients; I have used only one tsp of oil, have baked the dumplings instead of deep frying, used more cottage cheese, used less of potatoes, and have omitted the cream.

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Pasta in white sauce (using whole wheat flour)

Pasta in white sauce

Honestly being an Indian, I will always prefer Indian food. However one cuisine that comes very close to me in this respect is Italian food. I love both pizza dn pasta, in all their forms/types (as long as they are vegetarian ๐Ÿ™‚ ). My little angel has also become very fond of pasta and so I usually make pasta once in a week for the family. My husband loves his pasta with white sauce but I have always been sceptical of using all-purpose flour for the white sauce. So today I prepared the white sauce in a more healthy way, using whole wheat flour instead of the all-purpose flour and it turned out be super delicious (you have to take my word ๐Ÿ™‚ )

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Cucumber Chutney (Dip)

Cucumber Chutney

People mostly use cucumber in salads and/or in raita. I however make a dry cucumber curry which I have already posted earlier.ย Needless to say, this chutney is a bit different from the other dips as it is real healthy and flavourful. Cucumber is very nutritious vegetable – the Potassium richness in cucumber helps in regulating the blood pressure levels. Cucumber helps to reduce cholesterol, promotes digestion, rehydrates and remineralized the body. Cucumber is also eaten raw during summer as it has a cooling effect and helps in regulating the body temperature.

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Leftover Khichdi Pancake

Leftover Khichdi Pancake

This post is the continuation of the use of leftover Khichdi. In the previous post I have shared the recipe for Leftover Khichdi Muffins and, in this post I am sharing the recipe for making savoury pancakes using the leftover Khichdi.

These pancakes are very soft, delicious and I have really enjoyed them with cucumber chutney (so all in all a total healthy combination ๐Ÿ™‚ )

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Leftover Khichdi Muffins

Leftover Khichdi Muffins

Khichdi is a very simple, light, healthy and easy dish prepared in almost all Indian households albeit in different names. Khichdi is the food of choice for Indian people who are ill and/or who want to have something light but nutritious. Khichdi is also prepared during Navrata (Durga Puja) celebrations.However people do not generally have Khichdi as part of their regular meals and I am definitely one of them.

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Khasta Kachori

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Being from Rajasthan (a state in Western India), I simply cannot afford not to post / talk about Khasta Kachori ๐Ÿ™‚ I will be honest and straightforward in saying that Khasta Kachori is the top snack for most people from Rajasthan (in particular those from Bikaner, like me). The concept of Khasta Kachori as a snack definitely goes for a toss in my city/state as this is even favoured for breakfast ! My husband, though not born in Rajasthan, definitely like his Kachoris for breakfast, with his cup of tea.

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Coriander (Dhaniya) Chutney

Coriander (Dhaniya) Chutney

Coriander (Dhaniya in Hindi) chutney is an easy, very delicious, flavourful and definitely healthy chutney/dip. I usually tend to have it with all of my snacks, paranthas and also as a side during lunch/dinner. The distinct taste and smell makes it very appealing to me โ€“ good enough reason for me to prepare it and store in the refrigerator for future consumption.

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Aloo Tikki Chole Chaat (Potato Patties with spicy Chickpea curry)

Aloo Tikki Chole Chaat

A grand welcome to the street food of India – this is my first post on the gem of Indian street food generically known as “Chaat” (in Hindi).

I am starting with the Aloo Tikki Chole Chaat which is in itself is a combination of 2 dishes – Aloo Tikki (Potato Patties) and Chole (spicy chickpea curry). Note that Chaat is of many different types but is essentially a simple, flavourful starter/snack that is easily available on Indian streets/restaurants across all regions in India.

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Spinach Flat Bread (Palak Parantha)

Spinach (Palak) Parantha

Yes, I understand that even though I go on saying healthy eating/lifestyle, I tend to come back with Indian dishes which are more of carbohydrates ๐Ÿ™‚ In my defence, I would say that the mantra to a healthy lifestyle is eating a balanced diet, of which carbohydrates are an essential building block!!

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