Showing posts from March, 2016

Celebrate Holi with Thandai

Wishing you all a very Happy and Colorful Holi!
This year we celebrated with Gulal (Pink Colored Powder) and a favorite Holi drink - Thandai! We usually also make Puran Polis, the gluten free version is posted here.

Thandai is a concoction of milk with almonds and flavored with fennel seeds, cardamoms, saffron and rose. Thandai literally translates to Cooling Drink. The Month of March usually has temperatures rising in India so this drink helps to cool down the body heat.

Thandai is also very nutritious and high in protein. It can be easily converted into vegan by replacing milk with almond milk or alternative non dairy sources.

My daughter who has been raised in North America, has recently jumped on the crazy Holi bandwagon. She has seen it in Bollywood movies and pictures and heard my childhood stories. She sorely misses the fun of smudging the holi colors on everybody's faces and drenching them with water. So to give her an experience this year, She and I played holi indoors with…

Moroccan Chicken with Chickpeas!

I love Indian cuisine with all its glorious spices and heat. But every once a while, I go beyond the boundaries and experiment with World Cuisine. I recently got this book from the library called "The Food of Morocco" and have been fascinated by the lifestyle, their kitchen, tagines, local ingredients and ways of cooking.

The Moroccans characteristically use only ground ginger and never the fresh roots. In North of India, only the Kashmiris are known to use ground ginger or soonth in their cooking. I wonder if there is any cultural history between the two.

The first recipe is tried is called K'dra Djej or Chicken with onions and chickpeas. This is a very mild and flavorful recipe which is usually enjoyed with bread or couscous. We had it with sorghum/jowar rotis/flat breads and pineapple strawberry salsa, prepared by my daughter. She is turning a pro at salads.

The K'dra is an indigenous Berber recipe made with generous amounts of Herbed Smen (Clarified butter/Ghee) and…

Gluten Free Granola

Its Spring break week and my daughter is home. Its not keeping her busy which stresses me, its feeding her. She's like a cow who needs something to chomp on all day. At school she thrives the whole day on just her lunch and one snack with leftovers coming home at times. But when at home she gets hungry every 30 minutes.

Good part about having allergies is that I don't stock on store bought cookies and other processed snacks.  I usually offer her fruits, cheese and nuts with occasional packet of chips or home baked cookies and cupcakes. The difficult part is children need a variety and get bored of everything too soon. This time I was running out of choices.

Finally settled on making the Gluten Free Granola. Its healthy, home made and delicious to eat. It can be taken anytime of the day as a crunchy snack or with milk/yogurt as a healthy breakfast. Its a good mix of carbs, protein and fats.

2 cups Gluten Free Oats (I used Bob's Red Mill)1 cup whole almonds1/2 cup…

Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Banana Bread

Spring break has started this week and with that the rainy, gloomy weather too. Its a nice time to be without any schedules and just spend time and bond with my daughter. In her own words- She hates being rushed into doing things to get ready for school. So I didn't set an elaborate plan for the week. We are just going to take each day as it comes and find fun things to do.

We have been doing lot of arts and craft. She has also been bitten by the bookworm so spends lot of time happily reading and visiting the library. We did venture out to the park and made the most of the wet sand. Out came the scooter from the storage and she has been enjoying whenever the rain gods gave us a break. Yesterday we spent the whole afternoon baking together.

I had a few sad looking bananas in the fruit bowl and my daughter had been pushing for banana bread. We made it a little festive and fun by adding chocolate chips into it.  I found the perfect recipe at The Gluten Free Goddess Blog. I have tried …

Mangalorean King Fish Curry!

Childhood was growing up on a daily diet of fish curry and rice. I didn't realize then that I was blessed to enjoy the freshest catch of the day and the pleasure of mom's home cooked meals. It took a life changing event like marriage and moving to a new country to make me truly value what I had taken for granted. I made numerous efforts to recreate the same taste in my new kitchen but in vain. 

I had to wait for a visit from my mom to enjoy the flavors again. This time I keenly observed and to her frustration, even made her carefully measure each ingredient. We made this awesome Goan Shrimp Curry  and Clam Coconut Curry together last summer. I later tried them by myself and was still a bit disappointed. It tasted good and very close to her recipe but there was something missing. I guess I just cannot recreate the magic of her hand or the love she pours into her cooking.

In my attempt to avoid more failures, I have moved on to trying newer recipes for fish curry. I chanced upon t…

Sabudana Wadas/ Tapioca Fritters

Sabudana Wadas or Tapioca Fritters are a Maharashtrian delicacy usually made on religious fasting days. Tapioca and potatoes are two permissible elements during religious fasting. Peanuts add a nice crunch and nutty flavor to this dish. The same ingredients can be used to make Sadudana kitchdi in which they are stir fried in a saucepan till done or a thalipeeth - wherein a flatbread is made by compressing all elements together and cooking on a girdle/tawa.

My favorite way of eating sabudana has always been these fritters - crisp and crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Sabudana Wadas pairs really well with this sweet and tangy peanut yogurt chutney.

Sabudana or tapioca pearls can be little tricky to cook as the varieties of pearls available are so varied. They need to be pre-soaked till the right consistency is achieved. Usually back in India, mom would wash and soak the pearls for about 30 mins. But the kinds I find in North America vary so much that I had episodes of over so…

Gluten Free Eggless Mawa Cake!

Cakes don't fall into traditional Indian food repertoire but as with all other influences, we have imbibed and reincarnated them to create our own versions. One such cake I grew up eating is the Mawa cake at the local Parsi Bakery. Mawa/Khoya are condensed milk solids usually used to make Indian Mithai like burfi and peda. Adding mawa into a cake batter give it a buttery, melt in your mouth goodness. And the cardamom flavor gives a beautiful aroma and enhances its taste.

Until now I have only ventured into baking tried and tested gluten free recipes by the experts on the web. This was my first attempt to recreate a childhood favorite with all that I have learned so far and am so excited to tell you that it was a big success. Now I can excitedly work towards recreating many of my favorite cake recipes into Gluten free, eggless options.

This Gluten Free Eggless Mawa Cake is usually enjoyed with your evening cup of tea or coffee. It taste great by itself and doesn't need any frosti…