Category Archives: Recipes-Snacks/Dips

Gujarati Handvo recipe( Mixed lentil savory cake with vegetables)

Handvo is a traditional Gujarati savory cake. It is made with a combinations of lentils, rice and buttermilk and vegetable. It can be steamed or baked. It’s makes a great snack or even breakfast option.

Ingredients for Handvo: Serves 6-8 

  • Raw Rice: 1 cup
  • Urad dal: 1/4 cup
  • Tur dal: 1/4 cup
  • Channa dal: 1/4 cup
  • Lauki/bottle gourd: 1 medium grated (or 3 zucchini) squeeze out excess water
  • Yogurt/curd: 1/2 cup
  • Turmeric powder: 3/4 tsp
  • Ginger: 1 ” piece (grated)
  • Green chili: 1-2 (or as per heat tolerance)
  • Sugar/Stevia: 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida/hing: a big pinch
  • Cilantro/corriander leaves: 1 tbsp chopped (for garnish)
  • Oil: 2 tbsp
  • Lemon juice: 1 tsp
  • Eno (fruit salt): 1 tsp
  • Salt: to taste

For tadka(seasoning):

  • Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
  • Sesame seeds: 1 tbsp
  • Curry leaves: a few (tear it into smaller pieces)
  • Asafoetida/hing: a pinch
  • Oil: 1 tbsp

Method:

  1. Wash the rice and dals/lentils and soak in water for 4-6 hours.
  2. Drain the water and blend soaked rice, yogurt, lentil, ginger, green chili to a slightly coarse texture with as little water as possible.
  3. Add turmeric, salt, sugar and asafoetida, blend it again for 2-3 seconds.
  4. Transfer the blended mix into a bowl and let the mix ferment overnight.
  5. In the morning, add the bottle gourd/lauki or zucchini, 2 tablespoons of oil, lemon juice to the fermented dal mixture and mix well.
  6. Add ENO to the mixture and mix again.
  7. Grease a baking pan and pour the handvo mix into the greased pan. Tap the pan to help spread the mix evenly.
  8. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
  9. In the meanwhile prepare tadka (seasoning)-heat a tablespoon of oil in a small wok or small pan, add the mustard seeds. When mustard seeds start popping, tear the curry leaves and add to the sesoning along with the asafoetida/hing. Turn off the stove and put the wok on side and let the tadka cool a little. Then add the sesame seeds to it.
  10. Pour the seasoning/tadka over the handvo batter.
  11. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place the pan on middle oven rack and bake at 350 F (or 180C) for 20mins.
  12. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes (top of the handvo should turn a light golden brown) and test with a knife inserted in center of the cake. If it comes out clean, your handvo is ready.
  13. Let the handvo cool down a bit. Cut into pieces, garnish with cilantro( and serve with chutney.

 


Khaman Dhokla (Steamed Chickpea flour snacks)

Another steamed dish that can be had for breakfast or as a snack-tastes great with some spicy chutney.

Ingredients for Khaman Dhokla:

  • Besan (Gramflour/chickpea flour): 2 cups
  • Yogurt: 1 cup
  • Water: 1 cup
  • Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
  • Ginger+green chili paste: 1/2-1 tsp (as per your heat tolerance)
  • Lemon juice: 1 tbsp
  • Fruit salt(eno)/ Soda bicarbonate: 1tsp
  • Coriander leaves/cilantro: 2tbsp finely chopped
  • Grated coconut:  3tbsp fresh/frozen
  • Salt: to taste

For the tempering:

  • Mustard seeds: 1tsp
  • Sesame seeds: 1 tsp
  • Green chili- 1/2 finely chopped (optional)
  • Oil: 1 tsp

Method:

  1. Mix the besan well with the yogurt,salt and about a cup of water making sure that there are no lumps.
  2. Let it ferment for about 1-2 hours.
  3. Then add the ginger+chili paste, turmeric, lemon juice and mix well.
  4. Add water to the steamer and let it boil. When it is ready, add the fruit salt/soda bicarbonate to the batter and mix well.
  5. Grease a pan/thali (you could even put the batter into idli moulds) and pour the batter into it.
  6. Steam for 10-12 minutes.
  7. Once they are ready-pour  the tempering (heat the oil, add the mustard seeds, when it starts to pop, add the sesame seeds, green chili(optional) over the dhokla.
  8. Garnish the dhokla with chopped coriander leaves and grated coconut.
  9. Cut and serve with spicy mint and coriander chutney.

Here are other Healthy Snack Ideas:

  1. Baked Sweet Potato Fries/snack
  2. Baked Carrot Fries/snack
  3. Fruit Chaat/ Fruit Salsa 
  4. Crispy Kale Chips 
  5. Handvo
  6. Fish Cutlets/Patties

 


Baked Sweet Potato Snack

There are different varieties of sweet potatoes available: purple and orange coloured. The purple colour is due to a pigment called anthocyanins and the  orange-colored sweet potatoes owe their colour to beta-carotenes which gets converted to Vitamin A in the body. The best way to get the health benefits of these are by either steaming or baking them.

If you like fries and sweet potatoes-here’s a healthy snack that look like fries but are actually baked. Kids will love the sweet taste of the sweet potatoes while adults can sprinkle it with a little chili powder for that extra kick!

Ingredients for Baked Sweet Potato Snack:

Sweet Potatoes-2 big* (washed,scraped and cut into strips/wedges)

Salt: 1 tsp (or to taste)

Oil: 3tsp

Red chili powder: 1/2-1 tsp (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200ºC (400ºF).
  2. Put all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and toss till the sweet potatoes are coated.
  3. Spread out onto a baking tray in a single layer.
  4. Bake till they turn golden (about 30-40 minutes).
  5. Serve as a snack or as a side with your meals.

*Note: 

  • You don’t have to scrape the sweet potatoes if you scrub them well with a brush.
  • Sweet Potatoes can be substituted with other root vegetables like beetroot, carrots, parsnip or turnips.
  • You can experiment with spices & herbs like garlic powder, cumin powder,rosemary, Italian seasoning, etc.

Here are other Healthy Snack Ideas:

  1. Crispy Kale Chips
  2. Baked Carrot Fries/snack
  3. Fruit Chaat/ Fruit Salsa 
  4. Khaman Dhokla
  5. Handvo
  6. Fish Cutlets/Patties

 

 


Ragi Manni/ pudding (Nachni/finger millet porridge) Mangalorean Style

Ragi (English-Finger millet,Chinese-䅟子,Arabic- Tailabon, German-Fingerhirse, French-coracan) is a popular millet in Southern India and is made into different dishes like porridges, puddings, pancakes,cookies, etc. Nutritionally,it is rich in the amino acid methionine and is among the few grains which contains a considerable amount of calcium.
Ragi is also given to babies as one of first cereals after rice.My grandmother used to make ragi manni during summer, as it is believed in Ayurveda to cool the body.Traditionally it is made by soaking the ragi millet overnight in water,then grinding it to a fine paste and straining it in a cheesecloth.This is then cooked with jaggery and coconut milk,till it reaches a thick pasty consistency.It is then poured into huge plates and set aside to cool. The end product used to be simply amazing-a dark chocolate brown pudding(my gran used to tell me that it was Indian chocolate pudding,so that she could get me to eat it)that simply melted in the mouth.
Sadly,I could not find ragi millet here(not that I would have gone through the whole cumbersome process even if I had),but managed to get the ragi flour at the Indian store to make this instant version. I substituted milk for the coconut milk and the final product still was very tasty though it didn’t have the same rich dark brown colour.Also,since it’s not strained you can see brown specks of the ragi coat. The ragi manni/pudding can be eaten hot or cold(I love it cold)and had as a porridge for breakfast or served as a dessert or a healthy snack(if you can mange to control the portion size) for kids.
Ingredients for Ragi Manni :Serves 2

  • Ragi flour: 1 cup
  • Milk/Coconut milk: 2 cups
  • Jaggery: 1 cup (scraped): to taste
  • Cardamom powder: 1/4 teaspoon
  • Salt: a pinch

Method:

  1. Mix the ragi flour with the cold milk and make sure there are no lumps.
  2. Pour this into a saucepan and add the jaggery/sugar,salt and cardamom powder.
  3. Cook on medium heat stirring continuously(take care to see that it doesn’t form lumps).
  4. When the mixture starts to thicken, reduce the heat and keep stirring till you get a porridge like consistency.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Serve the ragi manni (finger millet pudding) warm or chilled.

Note:

  • You can substitute sugar for the jaggery, though it is more nutritious to use jaggery.
  • Adding a pinch of salt is supposed to make the dish sweeter (not sure if that’s really true).

Question: Do you feel that adding a pinch of salt to a sweet dish makes it sweeter or is it just an old wives tale?


Moong Dosa or Pesarattu(Savoury Mung Crepes) with Green Peas chutney

A ‘green’ breakfast! This dish is packed with protein and makes a healthy start to your day.
This is an easy version of the pesarattu(as there is no fermenting required).My mom learnt to make this moong dosa from one of our neighbours and as a kid I was not too fond of this ‘green’ dosa,but of course now it’s a totally different story. There are so many things that we hate as kids,but as grown ups we have a totally different take on it.
The peas chutney recipe is from my mother-in-law.I had never heard of(forget tasting) ‘peas chutney’ until she had made it for breakfast one day. I had to call her up to get this recipe and she was just so thrilled about it.
Moong dosa/Pesarattu (Mung Bean Crepes):
Ingredients for Pesarattu:

  • Whole Mung: 1 cup (soak in water overnight)
  • Green chillies: 1 or 2 nos.
  • Ginger:1/2″ piece
  • Zeera/Cumin seeds: 1 teaspoon
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. Grind the soaked mung,green chilly, ginger and salt to a fine paste of pancake/dosa consistency(add about a cup of water while grinding)
  2. Add the cumin seeds and mix well.
  3. Heat a non-stick pan,when it’s hot, pour a ladleful of the dosa batter and spread.
  4. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Remove the cover, check if the dosa has cooked.Then,flip the dosa and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  6. Remove and serve hot with chutney.

Note:It’s usually served with freshly chopped onions sprinkled on top as a garnish and some upma inside.
Green peas chutney:

Ingredients for Green Peas Chutney:

  • Fresh/frozen green peas: 1 cup
  • Green chillies: 1/2 or 1 no.
  • Salt: to taste
  • Mustard seeds:1/2 teaspoon
  • Zeera/Cumin seeds: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Sesame seeds:1/2 teaspoon
  • Lime juice:1 teaspoon
  • Oil:1 teaspoon

Method:

  1. Grind the peas(thaw first if frozen), green chillies and salt to a fine paste. Keep aside in a bowl.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan,add the mustard,cumin and sesame seeds.When the mustard starts to sputter,remove from flame.
  3. Pour this tempering on the chutney and mix,then add the lime juice and mix well.
  4. Serve with dosa’s or as a dip or use as a spread with sandwiches or wraps.

Fish Cutlets/Fish Patties(Indian Style)

Here’s one more reason to increase your “oily” fish intake-the omega-3-fatty acids found in fish have shown to halt and slow down the age-related macular degeneration (AMD), in lay-man’s terms: AMD basically is a medical condition which is mostly seen in older adults and results in the loss of vision in the center of the visual field.
The research and findings conducted by Dr Elaine Chong at the University of Melbourne,Australia, involved 90,000 participants and showed that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids could cut the risk of developing AMD by 38%.
Experts suggest eating oily fish like salmons,mackerel,tuna,shellfish and herring about twice a week to get the benefits of omega-3!
Sources:

Now a simple and tasty way of including fish into your diet: fish cakes or “cutlets” as they are called in India. This is my mom’s method of making cutlets.
Mom would first steam mackerel,then take out the bones and mix it with mashed potatoes and coat them in rava/ semolina instead of using bread crumbs. Rava absorbs much less oil and tastes equally nice. I used canned tuna,but it tastes great with just about any fish you fancy.
Ingredients for Fish Cutlets:

  • Tuna: 1 can (5 oz)
  • Potatoes: 1 medium size (boiled)
  • Onions: 1/2 (finely chopped)
  • Cilantro: 2-3 tablespoons (finely chopped)
  • Giner+garlic paste: 1 teaspoon
  • Green chillies: 1-2 (finely chopped)
  • Rava/Semolina: to coat the cutlets
  • Salt: to taste
  • Oil: for shallow frying

Method:

  1. In a bowl coarsely mash the potatoes.
  2. Drain the water from the tuna and add the tuna,chopped onions,cilantro,chillies,ginger +garlic paste and salt to the mashed potatoes and mix well.
  3. Shape into cutlets and shallow fry till the cutlets turn golden brown.
  4. Serve hot with chutney or tomato sauce.

Here are other Healthy Snack Ideas:

  1. Baked Sweet Potato Fries/snack
  2. Baked Carrot Fries/snack
  3. Fruit Chaat/ Fruit Salsa 
  4. Khaman Dhokla
  5. Handvo 
  6. Crispy Kale Chips

 


Besan Dosa/ Besan Chila (How to make chickpea flour crepes/pancakes)

Besan Dosa/ Besan Chila (Chickpea Flour Crepes)

When I was growing up in Bombay,Besan dosa was a very popular dish in most Udupi restaurants and was even sometimes called “Vegetarian Omelet”. Besan dosa was also sold as a filling inside sandwiches which were named “Veggie omelet sandwich”! Funnily enough,I hated them at that time and preferred my regular ‘egg omelet’ to the veggie omelet. I made Besan Dosa for the first time sometime after Diwali as I had a pack of leftover ‘besan’ that my mom who was visiting,had used to make sinful ‘besan laadus’. I used it for making kadhi a couple of times and was wondering what else I could do with it (pakodas are a strict no-no).That was when my mom mentioned that I could make Besan dosas but also reminded me that I never much cared for them when I was a kid. Finally,one day I tried it out and to my amazement, loved it(thankfully it was appreciated by hubby and little brat) and so now it’s a regular feature at home. Make sure you use a good non-stick pan when you make this-that way,you won’t need to use a lot of oil.

Ingredients for Besan Dosa/Chila (Chickpea flour crepes):Serves 4

  • Besan/Gramflour/Chickpea flour: 2 cups
  • Rice flour: 2 tbsp (optional)
  • Onion:1/2 small(finely chopped)
  • Tomatoes:1 small(finely chopped)
  • Green chillies:1-2(finely chopped)
  • Corriander leaves/Cilantro: 2 tablespoon,finely chopped
  • Grated zucchini/ bottlegourd: 1/2 cup (optional)
  • Hing/asafoetida: a pinch
  • Turmeric powder: 1/4th teaspoon
  • Jeera/Cummin seeds:1/2 tsp
  • Baking soda: 1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Salt:to taste
  • Oil/Butter/Ghee: to grease the pan

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients.
  2. Add enough water to make a batter of dosa/pancake consistency. If adding zucchini/bottlegourd, you may need less water as the bottlegourd/zucchini will leave some of its moisture.
  3. Spread the oil on a non-stick pan on medium flame.
  4. Pour a ladle of the batter and spread like a dosa. Cover for a 3-4 minutes.
  5. Then,flip the dosa over to the other side and cook for another 1-2 minutes.Make sure not to burn them.
  6. Serve the besan dosa hot with mint,ketchup or a spicy chutney.

Indian Dietitian Online


Watermelon Salsa (Chatpata Watermelon Chaat)

Fresh Watermelon Salsa

Summer time is watermelon time- a perfect fruit to include in your diet on a hot summers day. There are so many ways to eat it and one of my favorite is to make a quick and yummy salad-the watermelon salsa!

Watermelons are loaded with the carotenoid lycopene and contains mostly water which is a great way to re-hydrate the body in summer.

Watermelon Salsa and Mango Salsa

Ingredients: 
Watermelon:1/2 cubed
Onion: 1 small (finely chopped)
Tomato: 1 small (finely chopped)
Coriander leaves: 3-4tbsp (finely chopped)
Lime juice: 2 tsp
Green chilies: 1 (finely chopped)
Salt: to taste

Method: 
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Chill before serving. You can substitute the watermelon with any fruit (mango, pineapple, peach, nectarine, etc) or make a mixed fruit salsa by adding 2-3 fruits together.

You can add some chaat masala for an Indian twist.

Here are other Healthy Snack Ideas:

  1. Baked Sweet Potato Fries/snack
  2. Baked Carrot Fries/snack
  3. Crispy Kale Chips
  4. Khaman Dhokla
  5. Handvo
  6. Fish Cutlets/Patties

Indian Dietitian Online