Palak Methi na Muthiya

“They look green, so they must be healthy!”

I must admit, I love Gujarati Farsan. Khaman, dhokala, shev-khamni, khandvi, locho, muthiya, mathiya, handva …. so much variety and so yummy!

Muthiyas caught my attention because these can be made healthier as compared to other fried items. They get the name from the way they are made using feasts. Muthiyas can be made with different vegetables. Here is my version of spinach and fenugreek muthiya. They taste slightly bitter and I think that’s the best part. My neighbor once said “they look green, so they must be healthy!”.

Palak methi na muthiya

Ingredients –

2 cups spinach leaves, finely chopped
1 cup fenugreek leaves, rough chopped
1 tbsp ginger paste
4-5 green chiliis finely chopped
3-4 tbsp besan
1 tbsp semolina (rava)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sugar
For seasoning -
2 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds ( rai / sarson)
1 tsp sesame seeds (til)
1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing)

Method –

Wash and rinse spinach and fenugreek leaves, leave them in a colander to be completely drained.

In a mixing bowl, mix everything together to prepare dough. Start with few tsp of water and add floor or water as needed. You can also use whole wheat floor together with besan. The stickiness of the dough should be similar to roti dough. Make cylindrical shaped rolls. Cut them into pieces if your steamer pan is smaller.

I used a colander over simmering water to steam the dumplings, but you can use any steamer you like. Grease it with some ghee or oil and steam these dumplings until toothpick comes out clean. It takes about 20 – 25 minutes but also depends on the size.

Once done, let them cool for 10 minutes before you cut them into smaller pieces.

In a frying pan, prepare tadka with cumin seeds, mustard seeds and sesame seeds. Add the muthiyas and mix. Remove them in a minute or so. Sprinkle some roasted fennel seeds on top. Serve them with ketchup or green and tamarind chutney.

Side Note –

Fennel seeds are not at all traditional to any Muthiya recipe, but I love the byte with fennel seeds.

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Spinach Pancakes

Hearty and Healthy twist to traditional pancakes

Pancakes are not known for their health benefits. But just imagine a light fluffy pancake topped with butter, maple syrup, some whipped cream and fresh berries. I cannot deprive myself from this pleasure. But today I decided to go on healthier way and prepared savory pancakes.

I substituted sugar with salt and red chili powder, stirred in some veggies like spinach, tomato and red onion with some dhana-jeera powder and some fennel seeds and ajwain seeds for the extra kick. The result? Outstandingly tasty and healthy pancakes – made from scratch using whole wheat flour and some homemade “bhajani” flour!

spinach pancake

1/2 pound chopped spinach
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 egg
1 cup low-fat milk or buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon dhana-jeera powder
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon ajwain seeds
oil as needed
optional ingredients:
1 small tomato, finely chopped
1/2 small red onion or scallions, finely chopped.

Method –
Finely chop spinach leaves, a small tomato and a red onion.

Add dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix. Whisk an egg in a separate bowl. Add milk and all dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth batter forms. Then stir in all veggies. The batter should be spoonable but not pourable. Adjust the consistency by adding either spoonful of water or flour as needed.
Heat a skillet over medium-high flame, add little oil or use non-stick oil spray.

Place a ladle full of batter on the skillet and spread it into a pancake. Cook until the wet side of pancake bubbles. Flip and cook the other side for another 2-3 minutes until brown.

These savory pancakes are packed with flavor, good amount of Iron, Calcium, Vitamin A and fibre.

Bon Apetite!

Deviled Eggs

With Easter just around the corner, this is a great time to try this  deviled egg recipe. These are cute, little, very tempting and especially go well for a potluck party and take no more than 5 minutes when you have boiled eggs ready!

The tricky part is getting the perfect hard boiled eggs and lengthy part is to peel the eggs but my ‘Pro Tips’ section has covered both the tricks so stay tuned!

This is a slightly modified version of classic recipe with a spring twist that comes from fresh cilantro. You can subbed cilantro by any fresh herb of your choice. Let’s get started.

deviled eggs

Deviled Eggs

Ingredients

2 large eggs (as many as you want, use other ingredients to taste)
2 springs of Cilantro
1 tb spoon scallions, finely chopped
1 tb spoon light mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tsp lemon pepper ( or freshly ground pepper + lemon juice)
paprika (optional)
(classic European version always have mayo and mustard)

Method:
Place eggs in a wide saucepan and cover with cold water, cover the pan. Bring to a boil for 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and let it sit for another 10 minutes. Remove eggs and cool in refrigerator. Remove shells from eggs and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop yolks into a separate bowl. Add mayo, mustard (I didn’t use any mayo or mustard in the photo’d version), salt, pepper and mash it together to make it smooth (yep, i skipped it too). Mix it with finely chopped cilantro/chives/watercress ans finely chopped scallions.

You can now pipe the mixture back into the egg halves using a plastic bag or a simple spoon or watermelon scooper. Sprinkle little pepper and/or paprika on top. Serve cold.

Pro Tips –

How do I know if an egg has gone bad?
Here is a simple test. Immerse an egg into glass of water and if it sinks it’s good to eat. If it floats, it’s time to throw it away!

Perfectly Boiled Eggs –
1. Use a wide sauce pan and cover the eggs by at least one to two inches of cold water. Using cold water and gently bringing it to boil prevents eggs from cracking.
2. Vinegar can prevent egg white running out from any cracked eggs but this is generally not needed.
3. Add 1/2 tspn salt when the water starts boiling. (For geek cooks – salt raises the boiling point of water so add salt only after water starts boiling and always cover the pan to save some energy 🙂 This makes peeling shell easier.
4. After 10-12 minutes, remove from the heat and keep it covered for another 10 minutes.

I saw this video on Facebook which has a trick for how-to peel an egg instantly. Haven’t tried it yet, but let me know if it works for you.

Happy Easter!
Happy Egg Hunting!

Homemade Granola Bars

Everyone loves oatmeal right? I mean the flavored ones.. I had a bunch of plain oatmeal packets stacked in my pantry and I used to wonder there has to be a better way of having original/old fashioned oatmeal. I saw this recipe by Ina Garten on Food network and I was so happy to discover my new favorite snack – “Granola Bars”. They look like just out of wrapper – healthy and delicious 🙂 Here is a slight modified version of the original recipe –

Ingredients -
5-6 packets of old-fashioned instant oatmeal
1 cup sliced walnuts (or almonds if you like)
1 cup shredded coconut
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar (or brown sugar)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried blueberries (or cranberries if you like)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. You can use any flat surfaced baking dish and line it with a parchment paper. No need to butter it additionally.

Mix the oatmeal, walnuts, and coconut together on the baking dish and bake for 10 to 12 minutesuntil lightly browned. Stir it occasionally.

Place the butter, honey, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture in a large mixing bowl. Add the dates, apricots, and cranberries and stir well.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 1 to 2 hours before cutting into squares.

The yummy healthy granola bars are ready to eat!

Sending this to Breakfast Club – More than Tea & Toast hosted by Ruth’s Deliciously Dairy Free

Sabudana Khichadi

It was the very first time, since our marriage, when my husband was visiting me in Pittsburgh; I wanted to make something he loves. He asked for “साबूदाण्याची खिचडी”. I somehow managed to serve him what he wanted but I was not at all happy with my attempt. I knew I had to learn the trick from my mom to make him happy.

Ingredients :
Sabudana, soaked overnight                         1 cup
Groundnut (peanut), coarsely crushed       1/2 cup
cumin seeds                                                      2 tea-spoons
Green chillies, finely chopped                        4-5
Sugar                                                                 1-2 tea-spoon
Potato, diced                                                    1 small
Ghee                                                                  2-3 tablespoons
Salt                                                                    to taste
Cilantro, finely chopped                                 5-6 springs
Lime juice                                                         to taste
Grated coconut                                               3 tablespoons (optional)
Soak the sabudana at least for 6 hours in minimum amount of water, just enough to soak all the grains.

In a wide bowl, separate the sabudana gently and mix it with peanut powder, salt and sugar. Stir it well so that all the grains get coated. Microwave the small potato cubes for 2-3 minutes.

Add ghee in a large pan and a few cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds start to crackle, add the remaining cumin seeds and finely chopped chillies. Add potato cubes and fry them for 1 minute. Add the sabudana mix and stir it together. It takes 10-15 minutes for sabudana to cook nicely. Keep stirring occasionally. If needed add few drops of water and/or ghee. When done, add some cilantro and lime juice and mix again. Add coconut and cilantro while serving.

Sabudanyachi Khichadi

Insider Tricks :

  1. If you don’t have 6 hours, use warm water to soak sabudana. It takes around 2-3 hours.
  2. Grind 1 tea-spoon of cumin seeds and green chillies with some sugar in khal batta. Use this mixture with peanut powder to coat sabudana grains. Sugar makes grinding green chillies easier. It adds nice cumin flavor to khichadi.
  3. If possible, grind peanuts using khal batta. It gives nice oily texture to the powder.