Showing posts from May, 2015

Tips to Eat Gluten Free at Indian Restaurant!

Indian Food is one of the safest cuisine with lots of Gluten Free options. Most curries are usually accompanied with either rice or flat breads (which are generally made of wheat and can be easily avoided). The curries are freshly made from scratch using vegetables and/or seafood/meat options and spices. The variations of food available under the Indian cuisine repertoire is so large that you can try a new style of curry everyday without ever getting bored.

The Indian restaurant scene may be a little challenging. A major drawback to eating out at an Indian restaurant is the ignorance towards allergies. Food allergies are not very prevalent in India so most people are not aware of it. Cross contamination is the major cause of concern for people with allergies. Restaurant staff are usually not well trained/educated to understand the risk of allergies.  

The most conspicuous gluten in Indian cuisine are the Flat-breads- rotis, naans, puris. But there is also a lot of hidden gl…

Hare Chane ki Sabzi/ Fresh green Chickpeas

Chickpeas are a pantry staple for me. I always have 2 varieties of dried chickpeas on hand. One is the light brown chickpeas and other is a smaller dark brown variety called kala chana. But both of them require planning as they need to be soaked overnight before cooking. Each variety has a distinct flavor and is loved at my home. It's my go to protein on vegetarian days.

I recently discovered fresh green chickpeas. They are sold in Indian grocery stores while still intact within their pods. This landed up being a fun activity for us as my daughter and I took turns popping up the pod to release the chickpeas. They also cook much faster than the usual dried and soaked brown chickpeas. In taste and texture they are a lot similar to fresh peas. I made them into a quick stir fry with potatoes.

1 cup freshly shelled green chickpeas
1 small onion chopped
1 small tomato chopped
1 big potato chopped
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric pdr
1/2 tsp red chili pdr /fresh green chili chop…

Zero Oil Chicken Curry

Indian food though delicious is always blamed for being too rich in oil and spices. Since we cant cut on spices, I have been trying to go easy on the oil. But this recipe simply takes the cake. Its a zero oil, quick and easy recipe which skips all the hassles but the taste. Just as delicious as your usual chicken curry and you wont miss the oil I promise.

11/2 pounds chicken pieces on bone
1 onion, pureed
1 tbsp. ginger paste
1 tbsp. garlic paste
1/2 cup yogurt/ curd
1/2 tsp turmeric pdr
1/2 tsp. red chilli pdr
1/2 tsp Kashmiri red chilli pdr (for color)
1 tsp cumin pdr
1 tsp coriander pdr
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp. sugar
salt to taste
chopped cilantro for garnish.

Clean and wash the chicken pieces.
Add all the ingredients except cilantro and marinate for about 1-2 hours in a refrigerator. Longer the better.
Heat a saucepan on medium heat.
Add the chicken with the marinate and sauté for about 5-7 mins.
Lower the heat and fit with a tight lid and let cook for 15-20 mins.
Check i…

Gluten Free Samosa Crescents

Samosas are probably the most popular Indian Snack among Indians and non Indians. These deep fried, pyramid shaped, tangy delights are the most recognized and favorite tea time or party snack. Samosa Connection is an interesting website dedicated to its origin, history and the many avatars of samosa all over the world. 

Traditionally the stuffing is made with potatoes and peas with spices. But varieties range from paneer (cottage cheese), spinach, corn to meat samosas. Served with tangy mint and tamarind chutney, its my second most favorite food after bhel

Unfortunately my daughter and I couldn't consume it as the crust is made up of maida/white flour. So i decided to experiment with Jowar/Sorghum flour. I tried using the same dough i make for sorghum chapatis but realized that it was not holding the shape well enough to form a samosa. So i decided to make it in crescent shape. It doesn't technically looks like a samosa but taste great nevertheless.

Makes: 5 - 6

For …

Nutritious Bhel - Healthy Street Food!

Bhel is a lip smacking street snack found all over India. I was hooked onto its sweet spicy tangy taste from a very early age. Every street in Mumbai probably has its own Bhelwala bhaiyya(vendor). But sadly due to hygiene concerns, bhel never made to my dad's list of approved foods. I would wearily eye the mounting heaps of kurmura, sev, channa as i passed by the vendor on my daily commute to school. Once a while my dad would give in and let me feast on bhel but only in his approved restaurant - Kailash Parbhat near the Colaba Market. So every trip to Colaba market raised hopes for me that today might be my lucky day. My childhood craving got even stronger as i grew up. Most of my college pocket money was spent on roadside bhel without any mention at home. And i took my bhel passion to the maximum when i finally started working. Every evening as the clock struck 4 pm, i would join my colleagues for a bhel feast- bhelpuris, panipuris, chats. By now my dad had given up on me.


Punjabi Garam Masala

Garam Masala is a complex spice mix made by roasting and grinding different Indian spices. Homemade Garam Masala varies in every house in every state of India. Its usually added towards the end of cooking process to round up all the flavors. Its easily available in Indian grocery stores but i prefer to freshly grind my own and it does make a huge difference to the flavor. This garam masala recipe is from here and goes very well with Punjabi or North Indian preparations.

1/2 cup coriander
1/4 cumin seeds
25-30 green cardamoms
6-7 bay leaves
10-12 black cardamoms
15-20 cloves
6-8 mace blades
5-6 2 inch pieces of cinnamon
2 star anise
1 tbsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. black peppercorns

Dry roast all ingredients on a low heat till just fragrant.
Cool and grind to fine powder. You can put it through a sieve to avoid the fibers and just get the fine powder. But I prefer mine with the fibers.
Store in air tight jar and use as required.

Bengali Khichuri with Gujarati Kadhi!

East meets West! Bengali Khichuri is warm comforting meal made up of rice and lentils cooked together and spiced with Indian garam masala in ghee. Vegetables are also added to increase the nutrition quotient. Its a one pot meal which is usually accompanied with tomato chutney and bhaja or vegetable fritters. This time I paired it with another comforting dish called kadhi which is a hot yoghurt soup. I made it in Gujarati style which is on a sweeter note. It was a match made in heaven.

Both these recipes are saatvic which mean no onions or garlic was used. Ghee is a must as it really brings out the flavors in both these dishes.

Pictures are not so great as they were clicked the next day with left overs. Couldn't resist a hot bowl of khichuri-kadhi.

Bengali Khichuri

1 cup rice
3/4 cup yellow moong dal
1 tbsp. ghee
1 small stick of cinnamon
3-4 green cardamom pods
2-3 cloves
1-2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 green chili chopped or 1/2 tsp red chili pdr
1 tbsp. grated ginger
1 potato c…