Homemade falafel rice bowl

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How about try a different cuisine for dinner – falafel, saffron basmati rice and yummy dips of harissa, tzatziki  and hummus. I have only tasted these things at a restaurant, but it is very easy to make restaurant style falafel, hummus, harissa and tzatziki at home. All my recipes are inspired from kitchn.com. I love the falafel bowl in the restaurant Cava back in the US. It was one of my go to restaurants, I miss it dearly after moving back to India. This was one of the reasons to try out the falafel bowl at home !

  1. https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-the-best-falafel-at-home-234559
  2. https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-hummus-from-scratch-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-107560
  3. https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-cool-creamy-greek-tzatziki-sauce-242609
  4. https://mealplannerpro.com/member-recipes/Cava-Style-Harissa-888142

Falafel Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon, freshly squeezed
  •  1/8 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/8 cup corn flour or corn starch
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, for frying

Method

  • Soak the chickpeas overnight. Add enough water to cover the chickpeas. The chickpeas will double in size by next morning
  • Place the drained chickpeas, garlic, finely chopped onion, cilantro, olive oil, lemon juice, coriander and cumin powder, salt and baking powder in a large bowl and mix well to combine
  • Pulse the chickpea mixture in a food processor or blender and blend coarsely. The mixture should form a ball when you place it in your hand
  • Mix the all purpose flour , corn flour with some water and make a thick paste
  • Shape the mixture into balls and roll into the flour paste
  • Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat
  • Gently place 4-6 falafel in the skillet (depends on the size of your skillet) and deep fry until deep golden brown on all sides
  • Drain on a paper towel lined colander and let it cool for sometime

Tzatziki Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • Freshly squeezed juice from 2 large lemons
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves , finely chopped
  • A handful of cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • Salt, to taste

Method

  • Place the yogurt, lemon juice, mint, cilantro, oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl and combine
  • Grate the cucumber and squeeze to remove the excess water
  • Fold in the cucumber in the yogurt mixture
  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve

Harissa

  • 5-6 large tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1-2 red chilly
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt, to taste

Method

  • Bring the tomatoes to a boil and cook well. Peel the skin and puree the tomatoes
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil, add the minced garlic, chilly and pepper and saute for a 1-2 minutes
  • Add the pureed tomatoes and salt to the skillet and stir gently until the ingredients are well combined
  • Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes until you get a thick paste like texture. After 30 minutes, add water/spices to adjust the consistency and taste

Hummus

  • 1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tahini
    • 1/2 cup white sesame seeds
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • Salt, to taste
    • Method:
      • Toast the raw sesame seeds for about 5 minutes, until they are lightly colored (not brown)
      • Coarsely grind the sesame seeds in a blender for 2-3 minutes until the sesame seeds form a crumbly paste
      • Add the oil to the food processor and grind until it reaches a smooth paste like consistency. Add more oil if needed
      • Transfer the tahini to an air tight container until ready to use

Method

  • Soak the chickpeas overnight in sufficient water
  • Cook the chickpeas well and reserve the cooking liquid
  • Grind all the ingredients for the hummus, adding some cooking liquid as needed to make a nice creamy paste
  • Scrape the hummus into a bowl and sprinkle with some more olive oil and cumin powder

Saffron basmati rice

  • 1.5 cups basmati rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp saffron threads
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • A few cloves
  • Salt to taste

Method

  • Mix the saffron with 2-3 tbsp of warm milk and keep aside
  • Soak the basmati rice in water for 20 minutes
  • Heat oil in a pan and add the cloves
  • Drain the rice and fry for a few minutes
  • Add the lemon zest and stir well
  • Pour in the water and bring to a boil
  • Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes on low-medium heat until the rice is well cooked
  • Once cooked, fluff up the rice gently using a fork
  • Drizzle the lemon juice over the rice

Note: The hummus, harissa and tzatziki will last you for more than one serving. So after using them for making the bowl, you can use it as a dip for pita, pita chips or whatever you like !

To make the falafel bowl

Break a few falafel into 3-4 pieces. Combine a portion of rice with the falafel, harissa, tzatziki and hummus. You can also add some tomatoes, onion, lettuce, grated carrot to the rice mixture. Enjoy !

 

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Help me brainstorm lunchbox or after school snack ideas ??

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Everyday night : “What should we pack in the snack box tomorrow?”
Sandwich ? Hmm same sandwich with different toppings – well but I have run out of ideas !
Paratha ? Paratha is a good option, but we just gave different types of paratha this week !
Cookies / Muffins ? School thinks they are all junk food, so we have to make it whole grain and top it with fruits
Fruits ? Kid thinks it’s boring to just take fruits
Rice ? To messy for the little one to eat by himself and too heavy for a morning snack !
 
The same conversation happens just one hour before the kid comes home too ! What can I feed him at 4 pm ???
 
Phew ! Is this your everyday story where you struggle to figure out lunch options or after school snacks. Me too !
 
To figure out a solution, I am going to experiment some school snack and after school snack options and put it on my blog. But but I need your help – I need all my followers and subscribers to give me ideas of snacks that are a hit with their kids, after school snacks that are nutritious and a hit with kids. This way we Moms can just go over a huge list of things to make and choose a variety everyday for our kids.
 
Calling on everyone to share recipes. Please feel free to share your recipe / blog links !
I will also target snack box / after school snack recipes for a while on my blog and keep you posted. But this time I would like to hear from you too !

Sesame Seed Nankhatai

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Sesame seeds are considered the oldest oilseed crop in the world. There are amazing health benefits of sesame seeds due to their nutritional content (Calcium, dietary fiber, Vitamin B6, Vitaman E) … Yes I know you are not here to read a wiki page on sesame seeds. So let’s get to the recipe 🙂

I have tasted sesame seed bread, tahini made with white sesame seed, special ladoos made during Sankranti, but I have never tried to include sesame seeds as part of cookies. The credit goes to Amrita Raichand from Mummy ka Magic. I recently saw her Makar Sankranti special episode and got inspired to try these cookies ! These cookies find a perfect place in your kid’s lunch box and go along with your evening chai as well !

Makes : Around 50-60 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white and black sesame seeds
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour (maida)
  • 1/2 cup almonds (coarsely powdered)
  • 1/2 cup multigrain flour (You can skip this and add whole wheat flour or just use all purpose flour as well)
  • 1/4 cup full fat milk
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Method

  • Place the butter outside for 5-10 minutes so that it reaches a room temperature. The butter should not melt, we just want it to reach a room temperature so that it blends well with the batter
  • Coarsely grind the almonds and keep aside
  • Sift the all purpose flour, wheat flour and baking powder and keep aside
  • I used the kitchen aid stand mixer for making the cookie batter
  • Blend sugar and butter until mixture is light and fluffy
  • Mix in spoonfuls of the flour mixture. At this stage, use a folding in movement, i.e. mix well in one direction so that there are no air bubbles formed. Add the powdered almonds, the milk and mix well to form a dough.
  • The dough should be stiff enough to roll it into balls (almost like roti atta, a little less stiffer). If you find the dough to be very sticky, you can add a little extra flour. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes
  • Make 1 inch balls from the cookie dough and slightly flatten using your palm. Place on a cookie sheet and space them around 2 inches apart
  • Bake the cookies at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for around 20-25 minutes until they are golden brown
  • Cool on a cooling rack for a sufficient amount of time. The cookies will be crispy after sufficient cooling time

Enjoy the Nankhatai with hot tea or pack it in your little one’s lunch box 🙂

Oats, Dates and Nut Ladoo

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Try out this delicious and healthy oats, dates and nut ladoo. This is super easy to make and is a good candidate for an energy bar !

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cup oats
  • 1.5 cup jaggery
  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 1 cup nuts (You can use any combination – almonds , walnuts, cashewnuts)
  • A handful of pumpkin seeds (Optional)
  • Ghee as needed to saute the nuts / oats and for making the ladoos

Method

  • Heat ghee in a pan and saute the nuts to a golden color. Keep aside
  • In the same pan, saute the oats for a few minutes
  • Grind the dates to a coarse and keep aside
  • Melt the jaggery adding a little water. Strain the jaggery and keep aside
  • Powder the nuts and keep aside
  • Mix the powdered nuts, oats, pumpkin seeds and dates paste with the melted jaggery. On a low flame, mix all the ingredients, and add some ghee until the mixture comes together
  • Once the mixture cools, divide into equal portions and shape into ladoos

Enjoy 🙂

 

Baked Chocolate Yogurt

Baked and yogurt ? Does it even sound right, you might wonder but it tastes heavenly – you might start loving this more than your regular ice cream. I saw a recipe for Baked chocolate yogurt on Mummy ka magic and immediately wanted to try it out !

I used Greek yogurt for this recipe but you can make hung yogurt yourself by draining the whey water.

Mummy ka magic video link in case you want to see the original recipe : https://youtu.be/PPyMBWTF2Q8

Ingredients

  • 140 g Greek yogurt or hung yogurt
  • 100 g condensed milk
  • 100 g fresh cream ( I used fresh cream collected from Milk and curd )
  • 1/4 cup melted chocolate ( I used Amul Belgian Chocolate it tasted yum )
  • Method
    Mix all the ingredients well using a whisk until the mixture is well combined
    Pre-heat the oven to 130 degrees Celsius
    Pour the mixture into ramekins 3/4 full
    For a yummy surprise for your kids you can place a piece of their favorite chocolate inside the yogurt – I placed Hershey’s kisses inside a few of the ramekins
    Bake for around 8-10 minutes. The yogurt will get set just like ice cream
    Leave the baked yogurt outside at room temperature for 30 minutes
      Refrigerate for sometime and serve chilled with some cut fruits

😀

Dive into the baked yogurt and let me know how it tasted ! We will experiment with more flavors soon !

Multigrain and nut Pinni ladoo

Try out this healthy and yummy multigrain and nut pinni. This recipe is inspired by the Mini Pinni recipe on the tv show Mummy ka Magic. I have used jaggery instead of sugar syrup for this recipe !

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup ghee, plus a little more while rolling the ladoos
  • 1/4 cup beans or gram flour
  • 1/8 cup wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup semolina
  • 1 1/4 cup whole urad dal soaked for 2-3 hours
  • 1 1/4 cup powdered jaggery
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cashew-nuts
  • Method
    Heat the ghee in a pan and roast the gram flour, wheat flour and semolina. Roast until it gets a golden color and a nice aroma
    Drain the soaked urad dal and grind to make a smooth paste, adding water if needed
    Add the ground paste to the roasted flour mixture
    Simmer and cook the paste on a slow flame for at least 20-30 minutes until you see a nice red color. We want the urad dal to roast well so that we get a nice flavor in the ladoo
    Meanwhile heat 1/8 cup water and melt the jaggery until it’s slightly thickened
    Strain the jaggery syrup and add to the flour dal mixture. Mix well and add ghee as needed until all the ingredients are blended well
    Take a little amount of ladoo mixture in your hand and roll it into a round ladoo
    Allow the ladoo to cool for 1-2 hours. Store in an air tight container

Pinni is ready 😊

Eggless Chocolate Sponge Cake

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Try out this yummy sponge cake topped with whipped cream and chocolate icing. It’s very easy to make and soft and spongy too ! It’s a combination of 2 recipes – a sponge cake recipe from my Mom and an eggless sponge cake recipe by Nisha Madulika : https://nishamadhulika.com/en/397-eggless-sponge-cake-recipe.html

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 200 g butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tin milkmaid – 400 g tin
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • A pinch of salt
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Baking soda – 3/4 tsp

For decoration

  • Chocolate Icing
    • Condensed milk-1 tin

    • Maida-10g

    • Cocoa powder-15g

    • Ghee-30g

    • Cardamom-4

    • Method

      Mix all the ingredients and microwave until it reaches a thick syrup like consistency. Cool and store. This can be used as icing. It will stay fresh in refrigerator and can also be used as a spread on bread

  • Whipped cream
  • Optional – candy/ chocolate chips or gems

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celcius
  • Grease a rectangular loaf tin and line the base with parchment paper. Dust lightly with flour, tapping the tins to remove any excess flour. You can also use a circular tin, I wanted to make a rectangular shape cake so selected a loaf tin
  • Place butter in a large bowl, add vanilla essence and beat until soft. Gradually add
    the condensed milk and continue beating until mixture is light and fluffy. Slowly add milk to the creamed mixture, beating well after each addition
  • Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together and fold carefully into creamed mixture, mixing gently until well combined
  • Spread the mixture evenly in the cake tin and smooth the top level with a spatula
  • Bake in the pre-heated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until cakes spring back when the centre is pressed lightly with a finger
  • Remove cakes from the oven and place tin on a damp tea-towel. Leave for 2 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. When cool, decorate the top with whipped cream followed by the chocolate icing
  • Optionally you can decorate your cake with gems or candy if making for kids 🙂