Easy Food Smith

Posts Tagged / Condiments

CURRIED QUINOA PUMPKIN PANCAKES (Gluten free, Dairy free, Egg free, Vegan)


Never say no to any vegetable or any ingredients. My personal experience says that with the right kind of ‘treatment’ even the humblest of the ingredients or the vegetables that you despise, can spring up a pleasant surprise. For instance, in my case it was, the aubergines aka eggplant or what we also call as brinjal. It was one such veggie I swore I could never eat and one that I had no intention of eating, ever. But one recipe changed it all! Same was the case with courgettes. They would not touch my lips until I tasted my mother-in-law curry recipe. With this recipe and and along with my Pumpkin Bread and Pumpkin Muffins, I managed to turn by pumpkin hating daughter into an absolute fan!

Taking a cue from my pumpkin patties post, I made these scrumptious pancakes when I received a pack of quinoa from Queens Quinoa. They have a nice range of quinoa products, from quinoa pasta to quinoa flour to quinoa chips and even quinoa bran. I have only used their quinoa grains as yet and I am pretty happy with the product. (This post is not a paid post. I have been reimbursed in no way by the Queens Quinoa)

Coming back to the post, I tweaked the patties recipe to make it pancake worthy and it turned out so good and so scrumptious. I was tempted to try a sweet recipe with pumpkin and quinoa but I succumbed to my savory tooth and made these savory pancakes instead. The pancakes happen to be dairy free, gluten free, egg free, vegan friendly and super healthy. A win win recipe in my book. The The green chilies add just the right amount of heat and the addition of Madras curry powder helps cut the sweetness of pumpkin besides adding loads of zing to it. This has become our currently favorite and we are loving it! This recipe is great to feed those fussy eaters who may have a problem with eating mushy pumpkin curry.

For Cooking Quinoa

½ C Quinoa

¾ C Water

1½ tsp Madras Curry Powder

¼ tsp Salt

For Pancakes

100 grams Pumpkin Puree

2 tsp Flaxseeds

1 tsp finely chopped Green Chilies (adjust to taste)

¾ tsp Ginger paste

¾ tsp Garlic Paste

1½ tsp Madras Curry Powder

1 Cup Chick Pea Flour

4 tbsp Rice Flour

½ tsp Fruit Salt (I used Eno)

1/3 C finely chopped Fresh Coriander (Cilantro)

¼ tsp Red Chili Powdr

¼ tsp Turmeric Powder

Salt to taste

¾ – 1 C Water

Oil for frying

Below is the image of thin pancakes 

To cook the quinoa, take a pot and add three fourth cup water. Set it to boil.

Meanwhile, wash the quinoa twice or thrice and drain excess water.

Add the washed quinoa to the boling water along with curry powder and salt. Let the liquid come to a boil and then reduce the heat to minimum.

Cook uncovered till the water is completely absorbed.

Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

In a mixing bowl, add the cooked quinoa and the rest of the ingredients except water.

Add three fourth cup of water and make the batter. Add more water if required and adjust the consistency to your liking.

Heat a skillet or pan and a little oil to it. Pour one fourth cup of the batter and spread it to make it as thin or thick as you like your pancake.

Cook the pancake till the bottom turns nicely crisp and brown.

Turn it over and cook the other side till done.

Cook the whole batter in batches in the same way and serve immediately.

I like to serve it with green chutney and tomato ketchup.

Note: Although the instructions on the quinoa packet said to cook the quinoa in 1:2 ration of quinoa to water, however I wanted the quinoa to have some bite to it therefore I kept it three fourth cup.

Note: There is a possibility that the amount of water and flour may vary to some extent coz I used home made puree which was thicker than store brought one

Note: Adjust the amount of water depending on how thick or thin you like the pancakes. I like mine a little thick coz that leads to it being crisp on the edges and a bit soft in the centre.

Note: I made thin as well as thick pancakes so that you can get an approx idea of how they look. Take your pick and do try them in your kitchen!

Below is the image of thick pancakes

Yield – Makes 9 – 12 (depending on the thickness of the pancakes)

Thanks for visiting and see you soon again with another exciting recipe!

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GUR KA HALWA / गुड़ का हलवा (Jaggery Semolina Pudding)



If you are wondering what struck me on head for uploading a Halwa post in the midst of hot and sultry Indian summer, well there are two reasons. One, the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi begins from 25th of this month and the other reason is that I am making the most of the beautiful and cool monsoon weather here, which will start to recede in a few days’ time and usher in the hot and sultry two months of autumn. The pleasant cool and breezy weather has provided me all the reasons to indulge in this hot bowl of comfort. I have posted a few halwa recipes earlier; one of them being a similar halwa but sweetened with sugar. It is similar to that halwa but with a little tweaking here and there. We have been trying to make conscious effort to include less of refined sugar in our desserts and bakes. And this halwa is one such dessert in that endeavour; the other being the Sabudana Kheer I posted for Diwali last year. I intend to share more of such desserts that have been sweetened with jaggery (gur) in times to come. While I sit curled up at my favourite spot in the house, enjoying the rains with a comforting bowl of this halwa, you grab the recipe and do try it in your kitchen 🙂

½ C Milk

1 pinch Saffron

2 C Water

100 – 120 grams Gur (Jaggery) – adjust sweetness

¾ tsp Cardamom powder

6 – 7 tbsp melted Ghee

1 C Semolina (Suji)

Assorted nuts to garnish

Soak saffron in warm milk for at least an hour to allow the flavours and color to steep. Set aside.

Scrap the jaggery and melt it in water (I do this by placing a pan with jaggery and water on heat and stirring the contents till the jaggery just melts. You do NOT need to cook it). Sieve the contents and add cardamom powder to it and set aside.

In a heavy bottom pan or kadahi (wok), melt the ghee on medium heat and fry the semolina till it attains golden brown color and becomes aromatic.

Add saffron milk and jaggery water and cook on high heat stirring vigorously till the liquid is absorbed. (Be careful the hot contents will splatter around.) Keep in mind that the halwa will absorb the liquid further on as it sits and so adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Remove from heat and serve garnished with nuts of your choice. Enjoy!

Note: If you want, you can dry roast the nuts or fry them in a little ghee before serving.

Note: Keep the amount of jaggery to 100 grams if you like your dessert less sweet and if you prefer more sweetness, increase it to 120 grams.

Note: Feel free to add a little cane sugar (gur shakkar) if you want to add more sweetness. Stir it in a little milk and heat it along with the halwa.

Serves 6 – 8

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IDLI w/ KATHIRIKAI GOTHSU / इडली और बैंगन की चट्नी (Steamed Lentil & Rice Cakes with Aubergine Chutney)


During the time when I was holding a corporate job, a colleague of mine brought a chutney that looked like the most unappetising thing I had ever laid my eyes on 😛 “I got this for you. Try this and tell me what you think about it” was all he said. His wife was a fabulous cook and despite the ‘thing’ looking so unappetising, I did not cast a doubt on her cooking skills. Yet, I gingerly picked a spoon and took a little of it and very apprehensively put the contents of the spoon in my mouth. I was knocked off by the taste of what ever I had just tasted. The appearance and the taste were diametrically opposite to each other. I greedily took a couple of spoons and started going gaga over it. Suddenly, he said to me “do you know what it is made of?” I couldn’t care less what it was made of since I loved it and given an opportunity, I would have polished and licked off the entire bowl!! “This is made from brinjal,” he said while rolling with glee and laughter. Eggplant (Brinjal) or what we call baingan, never figured anywhere on my list of palatable vegetables and my colleague knew this all too well. I was shocked by the revelation and could not utter a word for a few seconds. Brinjal could taste this good??!?!?

It was then that I came to realise, that no vegetable or any ingredient for that matter is good or bad in its taste. It all depends on how well it has been treated/ cooked and that brinjal chutney was the evidence to that belief. I thanked him for helping me change my stance about eggplant and since then there has been no looking back. My wonderful colleague even shared the recipe with me that his wife graciously wrote for me. So that is the story behind that hideous looking bowl of chutney in which you see the idlis dunked in happily! This recipe lives up to the hindi idiom of “soorat pe nahi seerat pe jao” (roughly translated to – do not go by appearance instead consider the character)

My colleague was a Tamilian and for long I didn’t know what the native name for this dish was since he simply told me to consider it brinjal khichdi or brinjal chutney and it was meant to be consumed with idlis and dosa. A little search on google told me that it is apparently called vankaya pachadi. However recently I saw someone on Instagram mentioned it as gothsu. Whatever the name, all I can tell you is, it’s really yum.

For this recipe you will need the following ingredients, however, feel free to adjust the amount of ingredients to suit your taste.

For Chutney

175 gram small Baingan (Brinjal/ Eggplant)

½ tsp grated Ginger

3 Green Chilies (mine were small sized & super hot)

1 Tomato (60 grams approx)

1½ C Water

For tempering:

1½ tbsp Oil

½ tsp Mustard Seeds

¼ tsp Cumin Seeds

½ C finely chopped Onions

1 spring Curry Leaves

1 tsp thick Tamarind Pulp (I used readymade)

¼ C Water

Salt to taste

2 tsp Jaggery powder (adjust to taste)

In a sauce pan, add all the ingredients under the chutney category and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cover the saucepan and let the contents boil for 15 minutes.

Switch off the heat and allow the contents to cool down a little and then blend them in a blender. Set aside.

Add the tamarind pulp to one fourth cup of water and mix it well. Sieve it and set aside.

In a frying pan or a sauce pan, heat oil and add mustard and cumin seeds. Add onions and fry till they turn transluscent. .Add curry leaves and fry till the onions turn begin to turn golden.

Add the blended brinjals to the tempering. Stir for half a minute.

Now add tamarind water and salt. Stir well and allow the contents to cook on a gentle heat to thicken the chutney a little bit (adjust to desired consistency).

Switch off the heat and stir in the jaggery powder. Taste the chutney and adjust seasonings.




1 C Raw Rice (uncooked rice)

¾ C Urad Dal, skinless (Ivory Lentils)

Salt to taste

Pick and wash the rice & dal separately and soak them separately as well for 5 hours

Grind the dal using very little water and set aside.

Grind the rice using little water.

Mix the two together and add salt. Using very little water make a thick batter.

Cover the container. Set it aside at a warm place to ferment for for 6 – 8 hours (depending on the weather conditions) or preferably over night.

Grease the idli moulds with a little oil and pour the batter into the moulds. Add water to your idli steamer (read the user manual) and steam the idlis for 12 – 15 minutes or till a skewer inserted in the idli comes out clean. Remove from the moulds and serve with chutney of your choice.

Note: In case you do not have idli moulds, you can steam the batter in small cake tin or mould and the slice and serve the ‘idlis’.

Note: I had added turmeric to the idli batter and before pouring the batter into the mould, I had added a tempering of mustard seeds, chana dal and a few finely chopped curry leaves.

Yield: Makes 24 Idlis

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