Thursday, June 30, 2022

Garbanzo Flour Pithale

Pithale is a quick and easy traditional Maharastrian recipe and this version is made with garbanzo flour. This is vegan and can be served with rice and roti.

Traditional pithale aka pitla uses besan or chickpea flour. This is one of my favorites and I have had these in my friend's place innumerable times. I do not use besan much and this recipe uses garbanzo flour. Both may sound very similar but they are different. Garbanzo flour is made by grinding garbanzo beans or kabuli channa, whereas besan is made with a smaller and darker variety. I ground the garbanzo beans to a fine flour in my Vitamix using the dry grind jar. If you are making your own, it is easy to make, just would need a little patience. It is simple and easy, make sure you have a powerful grinder. I make a batch of this flour and use it in many recipes. Trust me, this is handy!

This is a very quick and easy recipe. All you need is 10 minutes to make this and don't have any prep work. Just temper, followed by cooking the slurry of the garbanzo flour. Sudden cravings, or sudden guests, this is very handy to make and will make a comfort meal without a doubt. I have not added garlic or onion, there is no need for those. If you feel like adding, sauté them and then cook the garbanzo slurry. Methi leaves or spinach can also be added. 

Serve this rice or roti/chapathi. This with rice gives the perfect comfort of having dal rice. Rice and dal is heaven, for everyone, not just for kids. Moreover, this gives a good quantity when cooked, and so easier to whip up for a crowd in no time. Sometimes, I like to have this with yogurt, it is comforting. When serving as a weekend brunch, add Kochumber on the side and any veggie curry like Podi Stiffed Eggplant, Avarakai CurryStir-Fried Kale, or Asparagus and coconut Stir-fry. This recipe is vegan, tempering can also be done in ghee, which would give extra flavor. 

Maharashtrian cuisine, rich in diverse food, has both mild and spicy dishes. Wheat, rice, jowar, bajri, vegetables, lentils and fruit are dietary staples. Kothambir vadi, pav bhaji, waran bhat, Misal, usal, masale bhat are very popular. The flavors and spices also vary according to different regions of the state. Waran bhat is much similar to our parupu sadham aka dhal rice, which is a comfort food. Masoor Dhal Kothambir wadi tastes amazing with a cup of chai, and Kohlapuri Masala Powder, an aromatic spice mix, is a handy mix to make quick veggie curries.

I have tasted many foods from this cuisine from one of our friends. She cooks amazing traditional foods and used to request some of my favorites often. When Poonam suggested the theme "Maharashtrian Cuisine" for this month's theme, I decided on sharing this one as it is one of our favorites. In this group, we give two secret ingredients to our assigned partners and we cook using the secret ingredients. We share a picture of the final dish, and the rest of the group guesses the secret ingredients. Poonam, who has a wonderful collection of Maharashtrian recipes, gave me garbanzo flour and asafetida as secret ingredients, and I made this delicious pithale with those ingredients. In turn, I gave her caraway seeds and black cardamom as ingredients and she made this delicious and comforting Tendli Bhaat.

Serves 2-4

Garbanzo flour - 1/4 cup
Water - 1.5 cups
Salt - 1/3 tsp
Chili powder - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Dried red chili - 2, torn
Mustard seeds - 1/3 tsp
Cumin - 1/3 tsp
Asafetida - 1/8 tsp
Curry leaf - 1 sprig
Ginger - 1/2 tsp, finely chopped
Green chili - 1-3, chopped
Cilantro - 1 tbsp, chopped


Add the turmeric, salt, chili powder to garbanzo flour, and add water mixing slowly to make a lump-free slurry of the garbanzo flour.

Heat oil in a pan, add the red chili, mustard seeds, and when it splutters add the cumin, followed by green chilies, ginger, and asafetida, and fry for 30 seconds.

Add the garbanzo batter/slurry and mix, it will thicken quickly. Lower the flame, cover, and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the raw smell of the flour goes away.

Mix, adjust the salt if needed, and consistency.

Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with cilantro. Serve with rice and/or roti.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Paneer Tempura

This is a delicious appetizer or a snack with a crispy exterior and a soft paneer on the inside that is ultimate with a lip-smacking dipping sauce. This is my fusion take on the traditional pakora with Japanese flavors. 

I received samples from Gopi Paneer towards developing delicious recipes and the opinions expressed are my own. Paneer is a fresh, non-melting, soft Indian cheese. I have to tell you all that Gopi Paneer is AMAZING! It is pure paneer with no fillers! The texture and flavor of this paneer is the best and once you taste this brand, it is guaranteed that you would use this Gopi Paneer again and again. I highly recommend this high quality product!

Paneer is everyone's favorite choice. This paneer can be used from appetizer to dessert. We love Malai Paneer Tikka. Grilled Cilantro Lime Paneer,  or Chaat Spiced Paneer Log with crackers for an appetizer, Paneer Burji  for a tasty breakfast or for any meal. Panner Burji Swirl Bread, Chutney and Paneer Babka are amazing with a Tomato Soup. Gochujang Panner Bowl, Paneer Burji Naan Grilled Cheese, Paneer and Masoor Dhal Veggie LasagnaPaneer Tikka Poutine, and Panner and Spinach Stuffed Pasta Shells in Malai Sauce are great fusion dishes that satisfy your hunger. Not to mention that paneer is always wanted in curries. Labne and Roasted Corn Curry and Sprouts, Paneer, and Veggie Curry are tasty sides. Rainbow Salad with Tandoori Dressing and Layered Paneer and Garbanzo Salad will make you rethink the idea about salads, these are totally yum! The list is endless! This shows how much we love paneer and hope you do too!

Like I said before, Gopi Paneer is a game changer! This amazing paneer makes this tasty paneer tempura snack that can be served as an appetizer too. With a cup of chai, this is the best afternoon snack for a relaxing weekend. This is a great appetizer and is a crowd pleaser too! From kids to adults, this tempura paneer is always the most wanted winner!

This paneer tempura is much similar to our traditional Paneer Pakora or paneer bajji.  Our traditional pakora is made with chickpea flour or besan that is protein rich and the batter is also spicy and thick. The batter for tempura is a thin ice cold batter that is made with all purpose flour. It is important to use ice cold water, so that gluten doesn't form. Also, this is an eggless version of the traditional tempura and uses aquafaba instead. Quickly mix the batter and fry in hot oil. The temperature of the oil should also be hot for the perfect thin and crispy outer layer. This tempura paneer is then dusted with chaat masala which gives a traditional touch of flavors. Paneer is versatile and can be made into many flavors, try this Italian Style Paneer Sticks for a change from mozzarella sticks. 

Now, coming to the dipping sauce, this is also a fusion of both Indian and Japanese flavors. I have not used dashi broth and used water instead. The soy sauce and sweet chili sauce along with Indian style tamarind chutney (that is sweet and spicy chaat chutney) with the herbs cilantro and mint. Radish is traditionally added to tempura dipping sauce. This dipping sauce has grated radish. Radish topping for snacks is quite common in Indian food like in this Ram Ladoo, a delicious street food. The fusion chutney is one of a kind, balancing all the flavors and is perfect to dip or dunk the paneer tempura pieces. I am warning you that dipping sauce is finger licking good and you'll be tempted to have anything with this sauce.

A teatime snack is essential, whether it is a rainy day, or when guests come over, or for a great and relaxing weekend spending quality time with the family. This Paneer Tempura is a perfect one to serve with chai. Check here for more delicious tea time snacks from my friends. I am also linking this to Wonderful Wednesday, What's For Dinner, and Sundays on Silverado.

There is always a need for fun chai time snacks and appetizers, and here are a few snacks that you'd love too!

Gluten Free Low-Carb Cauliflower Bites

Serves 4 to 6

Chaat masala - 1 tsp
Oil - 3 to 4 cups for deep frying

For the Tempura Batter

All purpose flour - 1/4 cup
Water - 1/4 cup, ice cold
Aquafaba - 1.5 tbsp
Salt - 1/8 tsp

For the Dipping Sauce

Radish - 3 tbsp, grated
Sweet chili sauce - 2 tbsp
Soy sauce - 2 tbsp
Water - 1/4 cup
Tamarind chutney - 2 tbsp
Cilantro - 1 tsp, chopped
Mint - 1 tsp, chopped


Cut the paneer cubes to 1.5-in by 1/2 in rectangles.

Add all the ingredients listed under "Dipping Sauce", mix, and set aside.

Add aquafaba to water and mix.

Sift the flour and salt, add the ice cold water aquafaba mix and gently mix to a batter.

Heat oil in a pan. Dip the paneer in the batter and carefully drop them into hot oil. Deep fry until golden. This may take about 2-3 minutes.

Drain the oil. Place them in a plate and sprinkle with chaat masala. Repeat with the remaining paneer pieces.

Serve with the dipping sauce immediately.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Dahi Bhindi

This  is a flavor packed traditional okra aka bhendi curry that can be served with any flatbread or rice. This is one of our family favorites.  Vegan yogurt can be used instead of regular yogurt.

Bhendi or okra is a family favorite veggie! There is a small story associated with this veggie when we grew up. Our parents and grandmas used to say, "if you eat okra, you would do well in math and score 100%". We (my siblings as well as all cousins) believed and will have this veggie whether we scored 100% or not. Well, we hoped that in the future we would score. Hope carries you forward. Looking back, this is a trick to make everyone eat the veggie, and the tradition has to follow, right? So I said the same to my kids. Well, they love this veggie in any form and they have labeled okra curry as "math curry"! Whether it is vendakai (in Tamil for okra) sambhar, raita, dry sautéed curry or gravy, this is loved, loved, loved so much and is the most often requested veggie in our veggie. This curry too!

Coming back to this dahi bhendi, well, as the name says the creamy curry gets its lip-smacking flavors from the yogurt or dahi. This curry is simple to make, but it just requires a couple of things that should be taken care of. The okra should be dry, washed and wiped before cooking, so that the sliminess will be reduced. This will make you rethink the sliminess associated with okra. If making a bigger batch, pan fry the okra with required oil in batches. It is important to have them in a single layer during the pan frying process, or else will lead to sweating and will result in a mushy slimy okra.

It takes about 8-9 minutes for okra to cook/pan fry and in the meantime, the veggies can be prepped. This helps time management to bring the best tasting food to the table in less time as this makes a wonderful lunch or dinner side. 

This curry with simple pantry essential spice powders and fresh yogurt makes it an easy and delicious curry that the family would love and can be made easily. Pan fry the okra, followed by cooking onions, and then ginger-garlic paste, and tomatoes. Then add the spice powders, cook , add yogurt/dahi, and the okra, simmer for fine minutes and you have the best tasting comfort curry to devour with simple everyday roti. 

I have used my homegrown cherry tomatoes, but any tomato can be used. It can be skipped too, the curry will have a milder color. Adjust the salt and spice level accordingly.

Garbanzo flour is used in this recipe. Besan or rice flour can be used. The flour is the thickener used here.

This delicious curry is great for packing lunch, weekend brunch, or for weeknight dinner too! The following measurement is good for four hungry persons as a side. This can serve 8-10 if you are serving another curry and raita along. This is a crowd pleaser and the recipe can be easily doubled or quadrupled too! This can be served with any paratha too! Here are some flatbreads to serve with this curry.

This is my final post for this week's Blogging Marathon. This week, I am featuring gravies for flatbreads and that too the gravies are flavored with dahi or yogurt. Each curry has its own flavor profile. The distinct spices and the type of yogurt or labne used gives different and amazing flavor profiles in these Mughlai Moong Dal and Labne and Roasted Corn Masala, respectively.

Here are some of the tasty and lip-smacking, and comforting curries from the blog that are a perfect side for flatbreads as well as cooked grains.

Serves 4

Okra - 300 g, 1 or 1.5 inch pieces
Oil - 1/4 cup

For the Gravy

Onion - 1 cup, chopped
Garlic - 4 cloves
Ginger - 1.5-in piece
Cherry tomatoes - 1 cup, halved
Salt - 1 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Chili powder - 1/2 sp
Kashmiri chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Water - 3/4 cup
Garbanzo flour - 1 tsp
Dried methi/fenugreek leaves - 1/2 tsp
Cilantro - 1 tsp, chopped, for garnish


Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/8 tsp
Asafetida - 1/8 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Green chili - 1


Heat quarter cup oil in a cast-iron pan or a Dutch oven and pan fry the okra, making sure to have them in a single layer on the pan. This may take about 8-10 minutes. Carefully, flip them once or twice in the process.  

In the meantime, grind the ginger and garlic with one or two tablespoons of water to a smooth paste. Set aside.

Puree the tomatoes and set aside.

Once the okra pieces are pan fried, remove them from the pan. Add a tablespoon of oil to the same pan and add the tempering ingredients and fry for 40-50 seconds. Add the chopped onion, cook for 3-4 minutes, until it is translucent. Then add the ground ginger garlic paste and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the pureed tomatoes followed by spice powders, cook for 3 minutes. Add the garbanzo flour and cook for a minute.

In the meantime, whisk the yogurt and add water to it.

Add the whisked yogurt and salt to the pan, mix well.

Add the pan-fried okra and simmer for 4-5 minutes.

Remove from the flame and add crushed dried fenugreek/methi leaves.

Transfer to serving bowl, garnish with cilantro and serve with roti/chapathi.

Pearl Couscous Salad

This is a simple, tasty, and easy to make salad that can be a meal by itself or can be served as a side too. This salad is loaded with veggies and feta cheese and drizzled with a zesty lemon vinaigrette.

Pearl couscous aka Israeli couscous is used in this recipe. If you are wondering what couscous is, it can be considered as a type of pasta that is ball shaped or spherical, or preferably called as pearls. It is important to cook the pearls to the right texture. I usually cook one minute less than the time required according to the package directions. Since the pasta will absorb the flavors from the vinaigrette, cooking a minute less will enable it to have the right texture.

This salad can be made in under 30 minutes and that is always a winner to make for a meal or for any parties. This colorful and flavorful salad is lip-smacking delicious and is a crowd pleaser. The vinaigrette can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days. This make ahead option is always a blessing. The veggies can be prepped ahead and refrigerated. The couscous also cooks in about 8-10 minutes and this is one of the salads that can be made even at the last minute. This is going to be great for any outdoor or indoor parties.

This salad with a colorful medley of veggies and pasta is a feast to the eyes and taste buds. The garbanzo beans and feta provide good proteins, and along with veggies and pasta, this salad is complete in nutrition. This makes a comforting and hearty salad. The herbs add to the aroma and flavor. This easy to make salad is great for packed lunch. Pack the vinaigrette in a separate container, drizzle when you eat, this will be the best healthy lunch. 

This is also a nut-free salad and perfect when serving for guests with nut allergies. Roasted walnuts or pistachios are a great option if you prefer to add. This couscous is also eggless.

This salad serves 2 hungry people. When serving as a side, this serves up to four or six. You want to make for a larger crowd, just multiply the recipe and make. Make it in a full tray or a half tray, this salad is a breeze to make! Plus, this salad can also be served in small portion cups too.

Outdoor entertaining is always complete with a salad served along. Especially in the summer, with a cold salad, it is fun and a great choice. July 4th is around the corner and if you are throwing a barbecue party, this salad will be the perfect choice. This Coconut Chia Berry Pudding, which is red, blue, and white, will be a perfect vegan dessert that is easy to serve in pre-portioned cups. Christie is hosting an event today where we share recipes from appetizers to drinks and desserts for July 4th BBQ party in our #ourfamilytable group, and this delicious salad is my share for the theme. We share Recipes From Our Dinner Table! Join our group and share your recipes, too! While you're at it, join our Pinterest board, too!

Balanced and colorful salads are always loved here. A colorful salad makes any meal special, and if it a party, these will be a huge hit. Try these delicious salads from the blog for your next event.

Serves 2 to 6

To Cook Couscous

Pearl couscous - 1 cup
Water - 5 cups
Oil - 1 tsp
Salt- 1/2 tsp

For the Vinaigrette

Lemon juice - 2 tbsp
Oil - 3-4 tbsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Pepper - 1/4 tsp
Maple syrup - 1 tbsp
Garlic powder - 1/4 tsp

For the Salad

Onion - 1/2 cup, finely chopped
Cherry tomatoes - 3/4 cup, halved
Cucumber - 2/3 cup, chopped
Feta cheese - 1/2 cup, crumbled
Garbanzo beans - 2/3 cup, cooked
Kalamata olives - 1/2 cup, sliced
Parsley - 2 tbsp, chopped
Dill - 2 tbsp, finely chopped


Bring the water to boil, add oil and salt. Add the couscous, mix thoroughly and cook for 8 minutes. 

When the pasta is cooking, mix the ingredients for the vinaigrette and set aside.

Drain the couscous and set aside in a platter.

Add the couscous, veggies, garbanzo beans, feta cheese, olives, and herbs to a platter. Drizzle the vinaigrette and serve.

4th of July BBQ Party Recipes