Friday, 30 March 2018

Lilva kachori Chaat



Gujarati cuisine originates from a western Indian state, Gujarat. Gujarati food is probably unique in that it is dominantly vegetarian. Besides being predominantly vegetarian, the cuisine of Gujarat holds the distinction for being one of the oldest in the country. There are slight differences in food habits and methods of preparation throughout Gujarat, owing to climactic and cultural variations. Some ingredients like yogurt, buttermilk, coconut, groundnut, sesame seeds, lime juice, sugar, etc are staples in Gujarati preparations. The innovative way in which vegetables and mild spices are put to use particularly sets apart the food of this state from the other Indian cuisines.






Again one month is about to end. So in Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge group, the theme for March month challenge is 'Gujarati Cuisine'. For this theme, my partner is Sujata di who gave me 2 secret ingredients as wheat flour and lilva bean(pigeon pea) and I gave her as radish and lemon. Do check her recipe here using the secret ingredients given by me. Well for me, lilva beans mean one famous Gujarati snack is must to be prepared which is known as Lilva Kachori. Yes, you heard right !! The lilva kachori is a mouthwatering south Gujarati snack specifically during the winter season.


 Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge


Specifically during winter, these lilva beans or pigeon peas or tuvar are plentifully available as fresh. But these days like other things, frozen variety is always there in market. So any time of the year, these kachoris can be enjoyed. The whole process of preparation of the basic lilva kachori is mentioned in my previous post. Here I have prepared a chaat using those baked lilva kachori. Who can say no to any tongue tickling chaat !!! Hehe, just lightly crush kachoris by pressing in between palms, pour curd, chutneys and some seasoning and then the droolicious platter is ready within few minutes. These lilva kachori chaat is perfect for party appetizer. Whole process is so easy and quick to assemble. So do try this lilva kachori chaat and give your valuable feedback either in the comment box below or tag me as #firsttimercook on Instagram. Lets go in details.




Preparation Time : 35 mins  |  Cooking Time : 30 mins

Ingredients :        

Ingredients
Measurements
For outer covering
Wheat flour
1 cup
Salt
¼ tsp
Oil
1 tbsp
Water
As needed
For filling
Pigeon pea / lilva (fresh / frozen)
1 cup
Ginger
½ inch
Green chili
3-4 no
Turmeric powder
¼ tsp
Coriander powder
½ tsp
Amchur powder
½ tsp
Cumin seed
¼ tsp
Lemon juice
½ tbsp
Sugar
¼ tsp
Salt
As needed
Oil
For brushing
For chaat
Curd (well beaten)
¼ cup
Onion (finely chopped)
2 tsp
Green chili
1 no
Green chutney
2 tbsp
Tamarind chutney
2 tbsp
Roasted cumin powder
¼ tsp
Red chili powder
¼ tsp
Chaat masala powder
¼ tsp
Coriander leaves (finely chopped)
As needed
Sev
As needed
Black salt
As needed

Method :
  1. To make lilva kachori, click here about which I have posted in my previous post.
  2. Then take a serving platter.
  3. Take 3-4 no of lilva kachori, lightly crush each kachori by pressing in between palms.
  4. Place all the crushed kachori on the platter.
  5. Pour evenly curd, green chutney and tamarind chutney over the crushed kachoris.
  6. Then top with finely chopped onion and green chilies.
  7. Next sprinkle roasted cumin powder, chilli powder, chaat masala and black salt.
  8. Finally garnish with sev and chopped coriander leaves and serve immediately !



Notes :

  • After garnishing, always serve immediately. Otherwise the kachoris'll become soggy.
  • Adjust all the toppings as desire.

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Thursday, 29 March 2018

Baked Lilva Kachori | Baked Tuvar Kachori | Baked Pigeon Pea Stuffed Ball




Eating healthier doesn't mean we have to give up snacking. In fact, snacking can be an excellent way to control cravings and keep us satisfied between meals as long as we snack in a smart way 😉. Healthy snacks can keep energy levels up and give us the needed nutrients. Some smart snacking tips for a healthy diet are as : always keep the portion of the meal small, munch on when there is only hungriness, choose fresh fruit instead of any fruit-flavored drink, try not to bring unhealthy ready-made snacks into the house 😊 etc.





There are many snacks to choose from and certainly not all snacks are healthy. But we can modify the ingredients to make that unhealthy ones to healthier version. Well, today's post is all about the healthier version of a fried Gujarati snack, Lilva kachori or tuvar kachori or pigeon pea kachori. Instead of deep frying, these kachoris here are baked with a little oil brushing. The flour used for the outer covering of the kachori is also wheat flour. You may choose half-half proportion of wheat and all purpose flour, but I have preferred to make a healthier version by only wheat flour. The authentic lilva kachoris are made using all purpose flour. Well, another lipsmacking chaat I have shared using these healthy and baked kachoris in my next post



    Pigeon pea or tuvar beans are called as lilva in Gujurati language. Specifically during winter, these beans are plentifully available as fresh. But these days like other things, frozen variety is always there in market. Lilva kachori is a popular South Gujarati recipe made out of lilva or tuvar beans as stuffing. Always be careful about not turning the tuvar beans into a smooth paste, just make a coarse mixture. Lemon juice and amchur powder I have used both to get a bit tanginess in the filling which in result balance the sweetness coming from tuvar bean and sugar. This lighter, healthier option of the lilva kachori is the perfect way to enjoy as a snack with a hot cup of tea or with some green and tamarind chutney. Also these will be loved by kids tiffin box ideas. So do try this baked lilva kachori and give your valuable feedback either in the comment box below or tag me as #firsttimercook on Instagram. Lets go in details method of preparation of this Baked Lilva Kachori or Baked Tuvar Kachori or Baked Pigeon Pea Stuffed Ball.




    Preparation Time : 30 mins  |  Cooking Time : 30 mins 


    Ingredients :        

    Ingredients
    Measurements
    For outer covering
    Wheat flour
    1 cup
    Salt
    ¼ tsp
    Oil
    1 tbsp
    Water
    As needed
    For filling
    Pigeon pea / lilva (fresh / frozen)
    1 cup
    Ginger
    ½ inch
    Green chili
    3-4 no
    Turmeric powder
    ¼ tsp
    Coriander powder
    ½ tsp
    Amchur powder
    ½ tsp
    Cumin seed
    ¼ tsp
    Lemon juice
    ½ tbsp
    Sugar
    ¼ tsp
    Salt
    As needed
    Oil
    For brushing



    Method :
    1. In a mixing bowl take wheat flour, salt, 2 tsp oil and mix everything using fingertips to get a bread crumb texture like mixture.
    2. Add water little by little and a make a tight dough.
    3. Cover the mixing bowl and keep aside.
    4. Take all pigeon peas or tuvar or lilva in a blender jar and blend to get a coarse mixture.
    5. Finely crush green chilies and ginger in a mortar and pestle. Keep aside.
    6. Now heat oil in a pan.
    7. Add in cumin seed and allow to crackle.
    8. Next add finely crushed green chilies and ginger. Saute a bit.
    9. Then add the coarse mixture of lilva, turmeric powder, coriander powder, amchur powder, sugar, salt and mix everything well.
    10. Cook for 8-10 minutes over low-medium heat, stirring in between.
    11. Finally add lemon juice, mix everything and turn of heat.
    12. Keep aside and allow the filling to cool down completely.
    13. Preheat oven at 200 deg C.
    14. Now divide the dough into lemon size balls.
    15. Take one ball, roll into around 3 inch circle.
    16. Place 1/2-1 tbsp filling in the center, bring all the edges together and seal into a round shape.
    17. Similarly prepare from rest of the dough balls.
    18. Then grease a baking tray, place all the kachoris over it.
    19. Brush with a little oil and bake for about 12-15 minutes or till the kachoris are cooked well and golden in color.
    20. Take out from the oven and serve these healthy and baked lilva kachoris along with tamarind chutney and green chutney or simply with a hot cup of tea !




    Notes :

    • Lilva or pigeon peas can be fresh or frozen ones. If frozen, then first thaw for some minutes and then use.
    • Green peas and pigeon peas both can be use in half-half proportion.
    • The dough should be of stiff or tight texture.
    • Lemon juice and amchur powder is used to get a bit tanginess in the filling.


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    This 'Baked Lilva Kachori or Baked Tuvar Kachori or Baked Pigeon Pea Stuffed Ball' is contributed for 45 Healthy Wellthy Cuisines where the theme is 'Healthy Munchies'. Here are more similar recipes shared by our Healthy Wealthy Group members as Makhana Munchies 4 waysPaneer and Potato Appe / PaniyaramsPineapple SalsaSpicy and healthy Kurkuri PohaBaked Wholewheat Methi Puri.

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    Monday, 26 March 2018

    Virgin Green Appletini | Non-alcoholic Green Apple Martini

    Mocktails is an abbreviation for 'mock cocktails'. The word "mock" implying an appearance of the alcoholic cocktail without any alcoholic content. A mocktail can best be described as a cocktail without the liquor, using juices, sodas, infused waters and many other non-alcoholic ingredients to provide flavor. In last few years, this has become so popular that this even finds its place in the cocktail menu on many restaurant and bars.




    Mocktails are typically very easy and not time-consuming to make. As compared to alcoholic drinks (cocktail), less expensive the mocktails are, because the alcohol that goes into cocktails is typically the priciest ingredient that goes into a cocktail. Also there is no hangover with mocktail unlike cocktail. Well for Foodie Monday Blog Hop team, the 137th theme is decided as "Mocktail'. Since martini is one of my favorite beverage always, so I decided to make a virgin martini using green apple. Yes you heard right, the sour apple aka green apple 😉 . Some more beverages are listed already in my blog as 





    Green apples are as healthy as the red ones. However, they are a little sour and sweet in taste. Green apples have a lot of health and beauty benefits to offer as they are packed with nutrients, fiber, minerals and vitamins that are good for the overall health. Also summer is approaching very first this year, so keeping all these things I just go for Non-alcoholic Green Apple Martini or Virgin Green Appletini. Here I have prepared fresh green apple syrup and used in the martini. But the store bought ones can be also preferred. The process is so simple and easy. Also this appletini is a perfect party beverage and can be enjoyed by people of all ages. So do try this Virgin Green Appletini and give your valuable feedback either in the comment box below or tag me as #firsttimercook on Instagram. Lets go in details.




    Preparation Time : 15 mins  |  Cooking Time : 10 mins

    Ingredients :        

    Ingredients
    Measurements
    Green apple
    2 no
    Sugar
    1 cup
    Soda water
    2 cup
    Ice cube
    As needed
    Water
    1 cup
    Green apple slice
    For garnishing

    Method :
    1. First peel both the apple and take out the core.
    2. In a saucepan, take sugar, water, the peels and the cores of both apple.
    3. Turn on heat and stir everything over medium heat.
    4. Continue stirring until sugar dissolves.
    5. Turn off heat and allow the green apple syrup to cool completely.
    6. In a cocktail shaker, add some ice cubes, green apple syrup and club soda.
    7. Shake very well and then strain through a fine-mesh strainer.
    8. Pour into a martini glass, top with a green apple slice and serve !




    Notes :

    • Green apple syrup'll keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 weeks.
    • Ready-made green apple syrup can be used, But the homemade ones will taste better comparatively.
    • I don't like the sparkling texture of my virgin martini, so added the club soda before shaking. But if you like, then just add before serving the martini.


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    Saturday, 24 March 2018

    Nimba Kadha Bhaja | Stir-fried Neem Bud with Eggplant & Potato




    The Neem (Azadirachta Indica) is a tropical fast growing tree. In India, this is called as 'pharmacy of the village'. An evergreen magical tree this is. Each part of the tree such as leaves, bark, fruits, flowers have been used for centuries in India for purposes like pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, agriculture, medicinal cures, insect repellents etc. From India the tree and the knowledge about its many uses and benefits has spread. Now-a-days neem tree grows in many countries across the world and wide range of neem products is available commercially.





    But only during the spring season, the tree is loaded with flowers. Those flowers are large clusters of up to 250 individual white blooms. The whole cluster can be quite large, but the individual flowers are only a few mm across. Those white intricate large clusters of blossoms have a heavenly fragrance which can be smelled from miles away. The neem flowers are known for improving digestive health and both buds as well as the flowers are used in Indian cooking. These are available in fresh, dry and powder form. 





    Since spring is going on, so the neem tree in my backyard is also flowering these days. So yesterday I just plucked some fresh neem buds to make a famous East Indian dish, particularly from the state of Odisha. Well, the dish is stir fried neem bud with eggplant and potato aka Nimba Kadha Bhaja. This is a very simple dish and so quickly can be prepared. Just stir-fry everything using mustard oil and the dish will be ready in few minutes. I always prefer to pluck the fresh neem buds in a large quantity. Then I clean and wash all the neem buds, drain all the water and allow to dry completely under direct sunlight. Then store these dried neem buds in an air tight container for later use when there is no flowering season of neem tree 😊. But here in this recipe, I have used the fresh ones since the flowering season is going on. Also this can be prepared using dried neem buds. If using dried ones, then skip step no 3 to 10. Rest process is same for both varieties. These stir fried ones taste a little bitter, so always prefer to have hot. Otherwise, the taste will be more bitter. So do try this Odia cuisine nimba kadha bhaja or stir fried neem bud with eggplant and potato and give your valuable feedback either in the comment box below or tag me as #firsttimercook on Instagram. Lets go in details.


    Preparation Time : 15 mins  |  Cooking Time : 10 mins

    Ingredients :        

    Ingredients
    Measurements
    Neem bud (fresh / dried)
    4 tbsp
    Potato (medium) (cut into small cube)
    2 no
    Eggplant (medium) (cut into small cube)
    1 no
    Onion (small)
    1 no
    Green chili
    2-3 no
    Panch phoron (mixture of mustard seed, cumin seed, fenugreek seed, Nigella seed and Fennel seed)
    1 tsp
    Turmeric powder
    ¼ tsp
    Oil
    4 tbsp


    Method :
    1. In a mixing bowl, take potato cubes, eggplant / brinjal cubes, turmeric powder and salt.
    2. Mix well everything and keep aside.
    3. Now take all the neem buds / nimba kadhi in another bowl and pour some water.
    4. Thoroughly wash and clean the buds. 
    5. Finally strain the buds using a strainer and keep aside.
    6. Now heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan.
    7. Add in washed and clean neem buds.
    8. Fry over medium heat till crispy texture.
    9. Take out of the pan and keep aside in a plate.
    10. In the same pan, add rest amount of oil.
    11. Add panch phoron (a mixture of five spices as mustard seed, cumin seed, fenugreek seed, Nigella seed and Fennel seed) and allow to splutter.
    12. Next add chopped onion, green chili slits and saute a bit.
    13. Then add potato cubes, eggplant cubes and give a quick mix.
    14. Cover and cook till soft.
    15. Now add the fried neem buds and mix everything well.
    16. Saute for 1-2 minutes more.
    17. Turn off heat.
    18. Serve hot immediately as a side dish of steamed rice and some other accompaniments !




    Notes :

    • Neem buds can be dried or fresh variety.
    • It is recommend to have this when it is hot. Otherwise it will become more bitter in taste.


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