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MULTIGRAIN RADISH PANCAKES w/ SESAME POTATOES – मल्टीग्रेन मूली के पैनकेक और तिल के आलू

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Time for the next post for Hopscotch. It is kind of becoming a ritual that I disappear every year for a good number of days from my blog. And each time when the new year commences, I make the same resolution time and again, over and over, which is, to be regular with uploading posts through the whole year. I also make plans on requesting my favourite bloggers to do guest post for me. I propose and Gods dispose all my best laid plans. To my utter dismay it simply does not happen the way I want it to be! But I guess such is life. SO, this year, NO new year’s resolution for me as far as my blog is concerned. I intend to flow with the current and upload the posts as and when it is possible. This way I won’t get flustered or go on the guilt trip.

After seeing so many pancake recipes at EFS it is anyone’s guess how much I love pancakes. I have my own reasons for that. They are easy to make and so good to eat that I always find myself reaching out for them for breakfast or for brunch. Kids love them and they are great to pack for their lunch box. Today I dished out the multigrain pancakes that are gluten free and also vegan friendly. I threw in some shredded radish since they are in season and pep up the taste of these pancakes. Feel free to swap them with pumpkin or carrots if you wish to. I love adding rice flour to my savory pancakes since they add a lovely crispness to them. You can omit it and substitute with ragi flour. (Ragi flour is rich in calcium.)

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For Pancakes

1 C Ragi Flour (Nachni Flour / Finger Millet Flour)

½ C Chana Dal (split Bengal Gram)

½ C Rice Flour

1 tsp Green Chili (use less or omit, as needed)

2 heaped tbsp fresh chopped Cilantro (Coriander)

½ tsp Red Chili Powder

¾ tsp Garam Masala

Salt to taste

1 Cup washed & shredded, Radish (do not squeeze the water from radish)

1 plus ¾ C Water

Oil for frying

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Soak the chana dal overnight or in hot water for 2 hours. Grind to paste using half a cup of water.

Mix all the ingredients, except oil, together along with ground chana dal. Make the batter using rest of the water. (Add the water gradually and reduce the amount in case you like the pancake to be of thick consistency. I prefer mine thin and crisp and this amount was perfect)

In a non stick pan pour a little oil and grease it. Add a table spoon of batter and spread it as thin as you can. Cook on medium heat drizzling more oil if required. (these pancakes do not require too much oil) Cook each side for 2 minutes or till crisp and golden. Serve hot with sesame potatoes (scroll down for recipe).

Yield – Makes 12 Pancakes (size in the pic)

For Sesame Potatoes

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4 C of dice Boiled Potatoes (I diced them in small size)

2 tbsp Oil

2 tbsp Ghee (vegans can substitute it with regular cooking oil)

1 tsp Mustard seeds

½ tsp Cumin Seeds

1 tbsp White Sesame seeds

1 tbsp Black Sesame Seeds

1 tsp chopped Green Chili

Salt to taste

(feel free to add aromatics such as ginger &/or garlic to enhance the flavors of potatoes)

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1½ tbsp Coriander Powder

½ tsp Chili Powder

Fresh chopped cilantro to garnish

1 Lime

Heat the oils together, in a pan (oil should not be smoking) and add cumin & mustard seeds. Tip in the sesame seeds and fry till all start to crackle. Quickly add in the curry leaves and green chilies (be careful they will splatter hot oil), diced potatoes.

Add the chili powder, salt, coriander powder and mix everything together. Cook for 3 minutes (the time will depend on done-ness and size of diced boiled potatoes) and remove from heat. Squeeze in the juice of a lime and add chopped coriander, stir and serve hot along with the pancakes.

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Other recipes for healthy Pancakes

Moong Dal Chila – Mung Bean Pancakes (Gluten free, Vegan friendly)

Sweet Corn & White Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes

Spinach & Ricotta Cheese Pancakes (Gluten free)

Spicy Pumpkin Pancakes (Gluten free, Vegan friendly)

You may follow Hopscotch on their Instagram accountHopscotch has reimbursed me in no way for this post.

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SWEET N SPICY TOMATO JAM

I had wanted to try the tomato jam in my kitchen since quite some time. My first attempt at making a jam was when I made apple jam while in high school. Although it came out well yet I could not grasp the nuances then. The consistency was never regular and at times it used to quite frustrate me. Mum never made jams so she was of little help in this matter. Years of cooking and practice have made me more confident and I understand the tricks and nuances better.



The other day at the super market when I saw these brilliant red coloured tomatoes I couldn’t stop myself from buying them by kilos. My husband was pretty shocked by this bulk purchase and on being told of my plans; he gave me a rather blank look. He does not like tomatoesperiod. Perhaps he didn’t want to hurt me by showing his disdain towards the jam or, may be towards my intentionI am sure a tomato jam in the house was something he could not fathom! (In fact I have to puree them before I add them to the savoury dishes and I am the only one who ends up eating them in the salad.) Actually my daughter rides in the same boat. They both have similar tastes, like and dislikes so that leaves poor me completely outvoted.
The fact that I love tomatoes was the primary reason for me to go ahead and throw all my apprehensions to the wind regarding the kind of reactions that I would elicit from both my husband and my daughter. I entered the kitchen with a purpose. The beautiful plump red beauties seem to be calling out my name, beckoning me to transform them into an irresistible jam for the cynics (read hubby and daughter) 😉


I usually try to do my cooking or baking while they both are away. I have this weird kind of style of functioning in the kitchen; I want the kitchen to myself while I am at the stove. I don’t like someone talking to me while I am at work or even stirring the pot for me! Talking makes me lose my focus and second, I know when and how much I need to stir the contents in the pot simmering over fire. So stay off limits! My daughter often complains that I should put up a ‘Do Not Disturb’ board outside the kitchen while I am at work. Not only cooking, even the clicking part is done before they are back from work.
So this jam was made when she was away to school and hubby at his work place. I was eagerly waiting for them to return home. As soon as my daughter came, I offered her to taste the jam. Her reaction was not very discouraging (or that is what I would like to believe!)all she said was ‘it’s OK’. Next, enters the hubby. He started hunting around for some snacks in the kitchen and his eyes fell on the jam. Without any prompting from me, he grabbed a spoon and took a little bit from the jar. (I wondered if his action was driven by hunger or was it curiosity!) I looked at him with awaited breathwithout looking at me, he again scooped the spoon inside the jar and this time the spoon was holding more amount of the jam which he happily mopped. I exhaled with delight and content; almost a coup moment for me! I believe he couldn’t help fall in love with the enchanting red colour and the delicious enticing sweet-spicy flavours of this jam. Need I say more about this jam?!?


I used the following amount of ingredients: (this recipe can be easily doubled) I have given the jam a little Indian twist. 
½ kg tomatoes
450 gm sugar (feel free to adjust)
1 small onion
1 tsp ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp mustard oil
½ tsp nigella seeds
1½ tsp red chilli powder (+/-)
1½ salt
½ tbsp white vinegar
½ tsp garam masala (optional)
Blanch the tomatoes, remove skin and finely chop them
Smoke the oil in a heavy bottom pan. Remove the pan and let the oil cool slightly
Again put on fire and add onion, ginger and garlic. Sauté till they become golden and aromatic.
Add tomatoes and cook for approximately 25 minutes.
Add sugar and after 10 minutes add garam masala, nigella seeds, red chilli powder, vinegar and salt.
Cook till you achieve a jam like consistency. Check for the done-ness of the jam.
Done-ness test:
Keep a plate in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. Once you reach the last stage of the process, remove the jam from heat. Drop a small amount (a spoon) of jam on the plate. Let it stay untouched for about half a minute and then run your finger through the jam. If the jam shrinks, it is done. Another way you can check is that it should not run down if you tilt the plate.


Storing the jam:
Sterilize the jars in which you wish to store the jam. Fill the jars with jam and leave ½ inch space between the lid and the bottled jam. Seal and put the bottle in hot water (not immersed) for approx 10-12 minutes. Remove and leave it for a day; ensure you don’t move the bottle.
Serve with grilled chicken or prawns, cold meat cuts, in burger, patties, with cheese and crackers or of course spread on bread or even paratha, as a side…or just enjoy spoons full straight from the jar J
Note: You need to switch off the heat when the jam is not too thick in consistency since it thickens further on cooling. (It should coat the back of a spoon and slowly drip down). Else, you will have crystallized/hard jam. Therefore the done-ness test is important.

Thanks for visiting and see you again!

One year back Potato Cutlet

IT IS ALWAYS ENCOURAGING TO HEAR FROM FRIENDS AND READERS. I CAN ALSO BE REACHED AT: easyfoodsmith@gmail.com
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SOYA PANEER – SOY ‘COTTAGE’ CHEESE SPREAD

Soy Cottage CheeseI know, you might be thinking what in the world soy cottage cheese is?! It is not tofu in the truest sense. I took the liberty of calling it Soy Cottage Cheese since I made in a similar fashion to the way I make cottage cheese at home from milk. To me it looked like a close cousin to the traditional Indian cottage cheese hence the name! 

Tofu is made by coagulating the soy milk extracted from soy beans and then pressing the curds under weights. Depending on the time that it has been pressed, under weights, a soft or medium soft or hard tofu is attained.
For making the Soy Paneer, I deviated from the traditional way after following a few initial steps. Instead of separating the milk from the soy beans I kept the ground soy along with its milk and then boiled the two together, added lemon juices and let the milk split/curdle. And voila! Soy Paneer is what I got J
It goes without saying that this is an ideal substitute to milk for the vegans. Besides, this is a healthy and tasty option for those having lactose intolerance.


No, it doesn’t taste bad at all i.e. if that thought crossed your mind. Of course it won’t taste like the cottage cheese made from milk yet it tastes pretty good. The obvious way to find out how it tastes is of course to give it a try for yourself. My husband, who has a dislike for tofu, quite enjoys it in his sandwich filling. He thought I was kidding when I first told him that he just had a soy product for his breakfast!
So go ahead and allow your creativity devise ways to use it – for filling in parathas (stuffed flat bread) or as a topping for toasted bread or for making sandwich fillings or perhaps mixing it with potato or beet and making croquettes/ cutlets. I guess the possibilities are endless! I would eagerly wait to know how you made use of Soy Paneer in your meal J
The ingredients are few and the process is simple. I used:
For Soy Cheese:
½ cup soy beans
800 ml water+ sufficient for making soy paste
1tbsp+ ½ tsp lemon juice
Muslin cloth/ cheese cloth/ strainer

Soak the soy beans in water at night. Next day, gently remove the skin from the soy beans.
To remove the skin rub the beans gently between your fore finger and thumb (this process may take 10-15 minutes)
Rinse in water. The skin will rise to the surface; remove it and then repeat the process till you have soy bean without skin.
Pulse the soy bean in a blender or mixer-grinder adding just enough water to make a paste.
Transfer this to a heavy bottomed pot and add 800 ml water to it.
Stir well and put on the heat.
On medium flame heat the soy milk for two and a half to three minutes stirring all the while.
Add lemon juice mixed with a tbsp of water and add to the soy milk.
Stir the soy milk. You will notice the milk beginning to curdle.
Once the cheese separates from the whey, switch off the heat.
Transfer the cheese in a strainer or cheese cloth/ muslin cloth and wash it under water to remove the taste of lemon.
Drain all the water but ensure that cheese remains moist.
Note: While curdling the milk, if you feel that the juice is not enough, add a dash more of it.
For Cheese topping:

1 medium onion (finely chopped)
½ tsp cumin seeds
1½ tbsp olive oil
1 green chilli (finely chopped)
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro (dhaniya patta)
½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper (freshly ground)
Salt to taste
1 tomato (finely chopped – pulp and seeds removed)- optional

In a frying pan heat the oil and add cumin and let it crackle.
Lower the heat to medium and carefully add onions and stir fry till the onion becomes translucent.
Add the green chillies and the soy cheese. Stir well.
Add salt and black pepper and stir again.
Cook the cheese till any visible amount of water evaporates. You can check this by pressing the back of the spoon against the cheese.
Add tomatoes and fresh cilantro and cook further for half a minute.
Switch off the heat and transfer the contents to serving bowl.
The soy cheese is ready to be used.
Note: I add tomato for the bright colour it adds to the topping/spread.

Note: A generous pinch of garam masala helps in pepping up the taste of soy cheese


Post linked to YBR event hosted every month by the Spicie Foodie Nancy

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Post linked to Dish it Out event hosted by Anamika and also to Vardhinis Kitchen

Linked to 100-day Global Food Fest hosted by Kalyani

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IT IS ALWAYS ENCOURAGING TO HEAR FROM FRIENDS AND READERS. I CAN ALSO BE REACHED AT: easyfoodsmith@gmail.com
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