Thursday, 16 June 2016

Hara Bhara Kabab

Hello everyone....

So today I will be sharing with you all almost every Indian's favorite and my favorite vegetarian appetizer, the Hara Bhara Kabab. In hindi "Hara" means "green" and "Bhara means filled, so the name literally translates to a kabab filled filled with green goodness. 

It is the most popular vegetarian appetizer on the menu of most of the Indian restaurants. But you know what, you don't have to go to a restaurant always to eat these delicious kababs. It can be easily made at home. What I like most about this recipe is its simplicity. This dish uses very few spices yet it tastes absolutely delish. Although it is named as kabab, this one is made differently. Without dwelling into too much details about how the actual meat kababs are made, all I would say is that this one does not need too many ingredients or charcoal for grilling and is very easy to prepare. 

I have made hara bahra kababs before as well but this time I also added fenugreek/methi leaves and green bell pepper since I had them handy. And believe me the addition of both fenugreek/methi leaves and the green bell pepper lifts up the flavor of this dish. But if you hate methi leaves then its totally optional. 

And the kababs are shallow fried so that makes it comparatively healthier than the deep fried version. Make it a size smaller and this will be a very yummy finger food for kids who generally run away from all the green veggies. 

Give this recipe a try and I promise you it will not disappoint you. 




This recipe will yield 10 - 12 medium sized kababs

Ingredients:

1 cup of blanched spinach leaves (chopped and squeezed to remove excess water). If using fresh you will need approximately a bunch.
1 cup of fresh/frozen green peas (if using frozen refresh it)
1/3 cup of blanched fenugreek leaves/methi leaves (chopped and squeezed to remove excess water)
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of roughly chopped green bell pepper/capsicum
8 - 10 mint leaves
2 - 3 tbsp of chopped coriander leaves
1 medium to large size potato (boiled, skin removed and grated)
3 tbsp of roasted gram flour/chickpea flour
1 tbsp of finely chopped ginger
1 - 2 green chilies chopped
1/4 tsp of turmeric pwd
1- 2 tsp of chaat masala
1/2 tsp of garam masala
1 tsp of cumin seeds
1 - 3 tsp of oil for sautéing the veggies
Salt to taste
Oil for pan frying/shallow frying

Fenugreek/methi leaves are optional but I love how it amplifies the flavor of the kababs. You can also add cornflour and/or breadcrumbs in place of gram flour/chickpea flour. 

You can increase or decrease the spices used in this recipe as per your liking. You can also add amchur powder/dry mango powder instead of chaat masala or you can combine both as well. 

Method:

1) Boil or steam the potato until it is completely cooked. Once cooled peel the skin and grate the potato using a grater. I like using less potato for this recipe. Because I personally think the potatoes takes away from the taste of the dish if you use more of it. 

2) Roast the gram flour/chickpea flour in a pan until it gives out a nice aroma. Set this aside. 

2) In a large wok or saute pan heat 2 - 3 tsp of oil. Once hot add the cumin seeds and let them splutter. Now add the ginger and chilli, saute until raw smell of ginger goes away. 

3) Now add the green bell pepper first and cook for a 1- 2 mins. This will help remove excess moisture. Then add the rest of the ingredients that is the green peas, spinach, fenugreek leaves, coriander leaves and mint leaves. Add the salt and turmeric powder and cook for few mins until all there is no more moisture left in the mixture and it starts sticking to the bottom of the pan thats when you know its done. This will take about 8 - 10mins. Keep this aside and let the mixture cool for few mins. 


4) Once the mixture is cooled, transfer the mixture into a blender or mixer bowl. Give the mixture a few pulse until it is nicely combined. I like it a little chunky.

5) In a bowl, add the veggie mixture, grated potatoes, chaat masala, garam masala, roasted gram flour/chickpea flour and salt if needed. Mix everything together until nicely combined. Check for seasoning by tasting the mixture. The mixture will be a little gooey but don't worry.

6) Grease your hands with some oil and make round patties. Press half of a cashew nut in the middle. Make similar patties with rest of the batter and make sure to grease your hand before making each one.



7) Finally pan fry or shallow fry the kababs on a medium flame for few minutes on both sides until nice and golden brown. This will take anywhere between 6 - 8 mins.

8) Remove them from the pan and place them on a paper towel to remove excess oil.

Serve this delicious, wholesome and healthy green kababs hot with your favorite ketchup or chutney. I served it with my my favorite sweet, sour and garlicky coriander and mint chutney. :)

I hope you enjoyed this post, so until next time....Happy cooking :D



Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Baked Sorghum Flour Crackers/Jowar Methi Mathri (Gluten Free recipe)

In some of my previous post I have mentioned how I have embarked on a journey to stay fit and healthy and wrote a really long post on my struggles to maintain a healthy weight. Its a very touchy topic for me or for any woman for that matter. Hence sometimes I get carried away and I write whatever comes to my mind at that very moment because of which I end up with a lonngg post. Ok I should stop now...hehehe. 

Anyhow, since the past few months I have been making a conscious effort to stay away from refined sugar, anything that has all purpose flour and deep fried foods as much as I can. Its not like I don't indulge in them once in a while but its a complete no for me on a daily basis. Somehow it can be a tad bit difficult to say no to some of my favorite fried Indian snacks like chakali, chips, bhajjis,  vadas etc...you get the idea right? :P. Also if anything that has a methi (fenugreek) in it then I can gorge on it endlessly :P. One such Indian snack is Methi Mathri which I love munching with a hot cup of ginger infused chai. Originally mathris are made with all purpose flour or combination of whole wheat flour and APF. These are also deep fried....Sighhhh. But if you are currently in a situation like me :P and are searching for a yummy baked version, then fret not. I have come up with the perfect recipe for thin, crispy gluten free and healthy baked version of these goodies. It is quite easy and fuss free recipe. Give this a try and I am sure you will love it. 






This recipe will yield around 30-40 mathris/crackers

Ingredients:

2 cups of sorghum flour/jowar flour
1/2 tsp of baking soda
Salt to taste (i used around 1/2 tsp of salt)
Warm water for making the dough
2 tsp of kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
2 tsp of sesame seeds
1 tsp of carom seeds
1 tsp of crushed black pepper
4 tbsp of oil

You can skip the kasuri methi and instead use other herbs like thyme, rosemary etc.

Method:

1) Heat oil in a small pan. In a bowl add the sorghum flour, baking soda and salt. Mix well. Now add the hot oil. Mix in and rub the oil onto the flour with your hands. At this stage the flour should resemble the texture of bread crumbs. 

2) Now add rest of the ingredients that is kasuri methi, sesame seeds, carom seeds and crushed black pepper. Mix everything well.

3) Start adding warm water little a time till all the mixture comes together and forms a dough. I used approximately 3/4 cup of warm water. Gently knead it and cover it with a plastic wrap/clingwrap and let it rest for 10-12 mins. This dough does not much of kneading so do not knead it too much. 

4) While the dough is resting preheat the oven to 350F (180C) and place the oven rack one level below the top rack. Grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper and keep this ready.

5) Time to make some crackers. Divide the dough into two or three portions. Take a piece of cling wrap or plastic wrap and place it on your counter top or rolling board. Place a portion of the dough on top of it. Now place another piece of cling wrap on top of the dough and start to roll it with the help of a rolling pin. 

6) There is no need to roll it very thin else the dough will form cracks and it will be difficult to lift the crackers. Roll it nice and even as much as possible. Now remove the cling wrap from the top and using a cookie cutter or pizza cutter cut the crackers in any shape of your liking. I used a pizza cutter and cut it into small squares. Brush the crackers with a little oil on top. You may poke holes on the crackers with the help of a fork but you can skip this step. 

7) Gently lift the crackers with a help of a spatula (I used a frosting spatula) and place it on the lined baking sheet. 

8) Bake at 350F(180C) on a preheated oven for 25- 30 mins. Turn the crackers midway after 10 -15mins for even baking on both sides. I baked them for around 30 mins to get a nice color all over them. But 20 -25 mins of baking should be fine. However keep checking on them in between as different ovens can vary with respect to temperature. 

9) After baking transfer the crackers/mathris onto a plate and let them cool completely. They will be more crispy after cooling. 

Enjoy these baked goodies with a hot cup a chai or coffee. 








Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Cocoa and Quinoa Energy Bars

Ever since I started making energy bars at home I have not bought a single pack from any grocery store. I absolutely enjoy making my very own version of energy bars wherein I can add ingredients of my choice and the fact that it is naturally sweetened and free of preservatives takes the cake. 

I have already made a baked version (Oats and Nuts Energy Bars) and my favorite non baked version (Amarantha and Dates Energy Bars) of energy bars. You can take a look at the recipes here and here

This energy bar is also a no bake, super easy like throw in everything and mix kinda recipe. I have used cocoa powder to add a different flavor profile. But do not expect this to have an intense chocolate flavor. This energy bar is mildly chocolaty,  super crunchy because of the popped/puffed quinoa and very much chewy in texture. You can add chopped chunks of dark chocolate for an extra kick of chocolate. 






This is a small recipe and makes about 8 - 10 energy bars.

Ingredients:

1 cup pureed/crushed medjool dates (approx 14 -16 pitted soft medjool dates)
1/3 cup of good quality cocoa powder
1/2 cup of popped/puffed quinoa (If you want to know how to make popped/puffed quinoa click here)
1/2 cup of popped/puffed amaranth (You can skip this and add more quinoa or more nuts of your choice)
A little less than 1/4 of chopped almonds
A little less than 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
You can use any nuts of your choice.

Method:

1) Lightly grease an 8"x 8" baking dish with coconut oil or vegetable oil or any baking dish in which you will be able to spread the mixture to make bars. Keep this aside.

1) In a blender/mixer puree the pitted medjool dates until it is gooey in texture. If you are using dates other than medjool which are hard in texture, soak them in little warm water for few minutes before making a puree.

2) In another bowl add the rest of the ingredients. To this add the pureed dates and vanilla extract.

3) Mix everything thoroughly until nicely combined. If you are finding it hard to mix everything with a spatula then just grease your hand with coconut oil and use you hand to combine everything nicely.

4) Spread the mixture evenly into the greased baking dish pressing with your fingers. Use the back of a spoon to spread the mixture evenly. Cover with a cling wrap/plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1- 2 hrs.

5) Cut into squares or any shape of your liking.

Crunchy and yummy cocoa and quinoa energy bars are ready.




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