Khandvi – A Gujarati Snack

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Khandvi is a simple, filling Guju snack made of dahi (yogurt) and besan flour (chickpea flour). It’s a rather novel texture, almost like a solidified custard consistency. It’s pretty easy to eat 5-6 of these at a time.

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To make these, I used some haldi (turmeric) and mustard seeds I brought back from India. I was missing a few things (curry leaves, hing, etc) but they still came out delicious.

Khandvi 

Adapted from Veg Recipes of India

For yellow part:

1 cup chickpea flour

3/4 cup plain, unsweetened yogurt

2 1/4 cups room temperature water

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ginger purée

Pinch of onion powder + pinch of garlic powder (or pinch of hing/asfoetida, if you have)

Pinch of salt

Whisk together the yogurt and water, and then add the spices and mix. Add the chickpea flour and whisk until no longer lumpy.

Spread some oil on two large, rimmed pans and set aside. Nonstick pans work even better.

In a nonstick sauce pan on very low heat, heat the mixture until it solidifies. The original recipe notes it takes 17 minutes to reach the desired consistency, and this is about how long it took for me, too. To test whether the consistency is good, take a small spoonful onto the pan and let it cool a little, then try to roll it. If it rolls, you’re in the clear! Take the mixture off the heat and spread it out in a thin layer across the pan, as evenly as possible.

For “filling” and topping:

2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut

2 tablespoons cilantro or a pinch of coriander powder

1 teaspoon coconut milk or water (or omit)

Mix these together and sprinkle around on the thin layer of chickpea/yogurt.

1 tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

2 teaspoons sesame seeds

pinch curry powder or 8-10 curry leaves

Heat oil and add mustard seeds, cook until sizzling. Add the curry and the sesame seeds, cook until sizzling/browned. Take off heat.

Assembly: 

Cut the yellow lengthwise into strips, and then roll roll roll. You can do a variety of shapes and sizes. After rolling, arrange on a serving dish and spoon the mustard seed/sesame seed/oil mixture across them. I also sprinkled black sea salt for flavor and color contrast!

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Soft yet crispy, sweet yet savory, delicate yet filling. A snack of contrasts that won’t fail to please! Khana swadisht thaa!

Also because I am a wimp I left out spicy green chilis. You can add these in the batter or in the filling if you so wish.

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Spiced Mixed Pulses Soup

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I don’t really experiment with dried beans or lentils much, but I saw a little bag of mixed pulses in the store and it was just so colorful and pretty that I bought it. Thus, I had this bag of dried pulses and had to do something. So, I made some soup! Perfect for the lovely 97 degree November days we’ve been having!

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Spiced Mixed Pulses Soup

Adapted from Lisa’s Kitchen

1 small bag of mixed pulses (see original recipe for exact amounts; the types and amounts don’t matter toooo much). I had channa (chickpeas), some different beans, and some different daals (lentils).

Mix together in a bowl:

1 small red onion, chopped very finely

1 tablespoon garlic/ginger paste

3/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Cayenne if you want some kick (I didn’t… I’m boring)

Remaining ingredients:

2 tablespoons ghee, butter or oil

1 small tomato, seeded and finely chopped

handful of dried curry leaves

1/4 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup coconut milk

Fresh cilantro.

Soak the pulses overnight (this is why I don’t deal with dried legume stuff). Drain, and bring to a boil in enough water to cover the pulses with about 2 inches of water to spare. Simmer for about 1 hour.

Mix together what I told you to mix together above.

Heat your fat of choice in a pan and add the mixture in the bowl to it; saute for 5 minutes. Add the tomato, curry leaves, hing, and salt to taste. Cook and stir often for 8-10 minutes. Add this to the beans. Pour in the coconut milk and simmer for 20 minutes.

Garnish with the cilantro and serve hot. Additional garnish: some extra coconut milk!

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Enjoy. Love me some fiber, protein… coconut… yum. This was pretty tasty and went very well with sweet potato parathas. Other accompaniments would be some dahi (yogurt), or rice, or both, and a sweet lime pickle.

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So many dishes, though… I can make such a mess in the kitchen. It’s kind of unavoidable especially with Indian food… or so I’ve found thus far.

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So that’s my kitchen, here in our little ground floor flat. Hope you like the soup. I recommend it.

Cooking with Beer: Beer Bread and Vegetarian Chili

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So we had some nonalcoholic beer in the fridge that I purchased to recreate beer-battered squash flowers and beer-battered avocado fries and so, I used the magic powers of Google to find some uses for it (because just drinking it would be boring).

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I found two recipes — a beer bread recipe and a vegetarian chili recipe — that fit the bill. And both are easy as could be–essentially, you just throw everything together, let it cook or bake for a while, and sit back and enjoy an episode of Entourage or two on DVD. Simple.

 Lucky for me, the day I made these was uncharacteristically cold (around 75–it felt like a deep freezer after the >95 week we’d had earlier) and so having the oven and stove running was actually comforting instead of sweat-inducing.

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The bread came out delicious–subtly sweet from the brown sugar, with a delicious crust and tender inside. The chili was a bit of an experiment, and I’m happy to report it too hit the spot–three bean, tofu, spice-heavy. Just what the doctor ordered.

Chili and homemade bread. Perfecto comfort meal.

DSCN4411Without further ado:

Beer Bread

Adapted from this recipe

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup brown sugar

4 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

12 ounces beer

Oven: 350°F. Grease and flour a 9.5×13″ loaf pan.

Sift the flours and combine with sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add in the beer and stir to combine. Pour into loaf pan, smooth out, bake 55-60 minutes or until toothpick is clean when inserted and removed from the bread.

Optional: before baking, pour 2 tablespoons of melted butter on top.

Vegetarian Chili

Adapted from this recipe

28 ounces of canned tomatoes (or fresh)

1 15-ounce can garbanzos

1 15-ounce can kidney beans

1 15-ounce can chickpeas

1 cup or half a block tofu, crumbled

1 cup tomato sauce

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons cumin seed

1 tablespoon turmeric

sprinkle of parsley

spices to your liking (ginger, etc)

1 12-ounce can of beer

plain greek yogurt, for serving

Combine everything but yogurt in large saucepan. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20-25 minutes. Serve with a dollop of yogurt.

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This was a really, really good meal. Satisfying. Vegan if you omit the yogurt. See the melty butter (er, earth balance)… mm. It’s melty because that bread is still warm from the oven–what a rare luxury to eat homemade crusty bread. No wonder it’s all gone (within two days). The beer bread goes deliciously with the chili… even if it’s not a cold winter night. Summer has some chilly days too. And the chilly days are perfect… for chili. See what I did there…?

Chickpea Flatbread

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Light, satisfying, full of protein and extremely easy to make! Just chickpea/garbanzo bean flour, water, a little olive oil and seasonings.

Chickpea Flatbread

Adapted from The Nutrition Twins

2 1/2 cups chickpea flour

3 1/2 cups flour

2 tablespoons olive oil

sprinkle of garlic powder

sprinkle of dried rosemary

pinch of salt and peppa

Put chickpea flour in a bowl, and whisk in the water. Add oil, mix, and spices and whisk until there are no lumps.

Let sit for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Oil a rimmed baking sheet and preheat the oven to 350°F. Pour the batter into the pan to make one 1/4 inch thick layer, and carefully place in oven.

Bake for at least 30 minutes, maybe more depending on the size of your pan and desired golden brownness. You can broil for a few minutes to get a crispier top too!

Let cool and slice up.

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These were yummy, although I think baking a bit longer would have been a good idea. Definitely a win with using rosemary and garlic. These can be eaten as bread for a sandwich or spread with guacamole. If you’re feeling snackish, I would suggest eating warm or warming these up in the toaster (convection oven).

My dad actually ate hummus on top of his flatbread. Chickpea overload!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

If super-soft, rich-tasting, oozing with chocolate peanut butter cookies are your thing, look no further.

If all of the above is necessary, plus the healthy factor, well, you’ve just hit the jackpot.

If you are craving chocolate, in cookie form, but don’t want to make enough to feed five bake sales, this recipe is perfect.

And if you like ice cream with warm chocolate chip cookies… wait, why did I even write “if” in that sentence? There’s no question!

Above, the cookies with vanilla banana soft serve. Perfect pairing!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Texanerin (for more round, exact looking cookies, follow her recipe! Below is more like drop-cookie style)

1 1/4 cups canned chickpeas, rinsed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter, if unsalted also + 1 pinch of salt
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup-ish chocolate chips/chunks, homemade or Nestle

Preheat oven to 350.

In a food processor, combine everything but chocolate chips. Get it super smooth.

Remove to a separate bowl and stir in chocolate chips.

Dollop about 2 tablespoons worth onto a parchment-papered cookie sheet.

Bake 12 minutes or until desired doneness. Makes about 12 cookies.

So if you’ve actually read this far, you will have noticed that chickpeas are the secret weapon here, much like in these blondies and this chocolate chunk cookie cake. Chickpeas are mild in flavor but lend a rich-feeling texture when pureed–and match well with whatever sweetener they are imbued with and are especially delicious with chocolate. The batter was wetter than I wanted it to be, but I should probably have dried off the chickpeas like the original recipe told me to… and I just totally didn’t even see that step.

These are super dense in the middle, soft and good warm or cold. The whole tray was gone in less than 24 hours. Plus, with minimal sweetener, chickpeas, peanut butter and heart-healthy cocoa, I wouldn’t mind calling these more of a snack than a dessert! But of course, they’re delicious either way.

Chocolate Chunk Cookie Cake (vegan)

I have been eyeing this recipe for a while now.

Why I waited so long I have no idea. It’s full of [homemade] chocolate… and not to mention garbanzos, whole grain oats, dates, my new favorite ingredient–coconut oil, and a few other ingredients that are just baking standbys (baking powder, salt, etc).

If you’re sitting there gagging inwardly to yourself after reading that sentence, I dare you to have the same reaction after seeing this photo.

Huge chocolate chunks in a deliciously tender-yet-gooey cake base. Not too sweet; perfect for bitter-chocolate lovers and for those looking to lower their sugar intake (just 1/4 cup sugar in the cake and a bit of agave in the chocolate). Filling enough for breakfast; decadent enough for dessert. Especially when warmed and topped with vanilla [banana] ice cream.

Plus, I got to use my spring-form pan — and it worked out beautifully!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie

1 cup old-fashioned oats (rolled, not instant or steel-cut)

1/4 cup granulated or raw sugar (I love Sugar in the Raw)

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Two 15-oz cans garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed

300g pitted dates, soaked in water for a few hours until soft

1/4 cup applesauce

2/3 cup unsweetened Silk

3 tablespoons coconut oil

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup chocolate chips or your own chocolate: 4 tablespoons coconut oil (melted) + 1/2 cups & 1 tablespoon cocoa + 1 tablespoon agave, mixed, spread in about a 1/4 inch thick layer, chilled, then later broken into huge chunks (recipe also from Chocolate Covered Katie)

Preheat oven to 350°F and grease (I used PAM) a 10-inch springform pan or two 8-inch round pans. Add all dry ingredients (the first 5) in a large food processor, process until oats are ground, and remove and set aside.

Next, in a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients except the chocolate. Add some of this mixture to food processor (which is now empty) a bit at a time, processing until very smooth. You may need to remove some of the processed wet ingredients to have enough room to properly process the remaining wet.

Once all the wet is processed, add the dry ingredients to all of the wet in the food processor and process until combined and smooth. (See original recipe if your food processor is smaller).

Remove, add to a bowl, and add the chocolate. If using homemade, stir quickly as it will begin to melt a little as soon as it hits the batter.

Pour into greased pan(s) and bake for 35-40 minutes, until looking golden on top. Let cool 15 minutes, remove. Serve warm (or warmed for 15 seconds in the microwave per slice) with ice cream if desired.

This was so delicious. Chickpeas have a great texture in this and lend themselves to a nice, flakey crust on top but gooey inside. The chocolate chunks are friggin’ to die for. Frosting? Unnecessary! Ice cream? … Almost unnecessary! The cake is definitely delectable on its own for a snack, but when warm with ice cream dripping down, it’s insane. Yes, this is definitely not on the list of sweeter desserts, but can easily be made into one (see original recipe). I enjoyed the less-sweetness as it allowed me to taste the ingredients more and just enjoy it more.

Why I decided to blog this at 7 in the morning before I’ve had breakfast, I can’t tell you.

Chickpea Pot Pie (vegan)

Yes, you read that right. Chickpea pot pie!

Carrots, sweet potatoes, peas and chickpeas all kept piping hot under a delicious cornbread crust.

Chickpea Pot Pie

Adapted from Eats Well With Others

2 cups chopped sweet potatoes (I used 5 small)
1/2 cup chopped carrots (2 medium/large)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup white flour
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups cooked chickpeas (1 can, rinsed)
1/2 cup frozen baby peas
1 tsp kosher salt
cracked pepper
3/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsweetened soymilk
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tablespoon ground flax mixed with 3 tablespoons warm water and allowed to soak for a few minutes (or 1 egg yolk)
Instructions

Boil the potatoes and carrots until tender, set aside. Grease 1 small casserole pan and two smaller ramekins with cooking spray or earth balance.

Heat a large nonstick saucepan and then cook onions in olive oil until soft (5 min, ish). Sprinkle in 1/4 cup of white flour and mix; slowly whisk in veggie stock (it should thicken up as you pour). Cook over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Add the veggies, salt, and pepper and cook about 3 minutes or until nice and heated through. Spoon evenly into the dishes.

Combine the cornmeal, 3/4 cup flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a bowl; in a smaller bowl combine the milk, oil and flax mixture and mix with the dry ingredients until just mixed. Spoon batter on top of each filled ramekin and spread evenly. Bake until golden brown, about 22-25 minutes for a larger casserole and 10-12 minutes for the smaller ramekins.

This came out so delicious! Ultimate comfort food. The veggies were all cooked perfectly, and the cornmeal crust had a lovely crisp surface and was nutty and tender inside. The flax added both visual interest and further flavor. Cornbread complements pot pie filling so much better than pastry crust. To add to the delectability, this meal is completely vegan and whole wheat. Let’s just say the chicken (or turkey, or beef) was NOT missed. Nor was the frozen-slash-“boiling-lava-hot”-excitement of microwaveable pot pies I consumed back in the day (quote by Jim Gaffigan).

I fed this to me and two others and we devoured almost the entire recipe for dinner (along with a side of cranberry sauce, which has tartness that contrasts perfectly with the creamy sweetness of the pot pie). We scarfed it down. It’s pretty easy too–the majority of ingredients are all items that are in your pantry or freezer. All you need is an open mind and willingness to try something new.