Chickpea pancakes

Everybody loves pancakes. Whether they are made from wheat flour or oat flour or buckwheat flour or chickpea flour.

I usually go for chickpea flour because of their high protein and high fiber content, they are gluten free and because this is the only pancake my mom used to make when I was in India. Also, the flour has a distinct taste (unlike other flours which are mostly tasteless) so all I need on the side of this dish is ketchup (if I am super lazy) but I love eating this with grilled veggies and perhaps some halloumi. Mind you though, I would not make this pancake if you fancy something sweet. I just cannot imagine eating this with banana or nutella but these are perfect for a savoury treat.

  • Servings: Makes around 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups chickpea flour (also called Besan)
  • 4eggs
  • 1cup fresh chopped spinach
  • 1tspn salt
  • Oil to fry (or butter if you prefer)

Below ingredients are all optional but they do add a lot of flavour

  • 1tspn paprika
  • 1/2tspn coriander powder
  • 1/2tspn ground black pepper
  • 2green chillies, very finely chopped

Directions

  1. Mix flour, paprika, coriander powder, black pepper and salt in a mixing bowl and make a well in the center.
  2. Break all eggs in this well, add 1/4cup cold water and start whisking in the center incorporating more flour.
  3. Keep adding water and whisking till all lumps are removed and the batter resembles thick single cream.
  4. Add chopped spinach and green chillies and give the batter a good stir.
  5. Heat a non stick pan on medium heat and add1/2tspn oil. Add 1/4-1/2cup batter in the pan (depending on how thick you want your pancake).
  6. When the top of the pancake has air bubbles/pockets all over, flip it and cook for another 45secs (or till pancake is cooked through)
  7. Serve warm.

Potato and Leek Soup

This is a very easy recipe with a delicious end result. Perfect for a mid week meal on a cold cold day!

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 large leek (dark green part removed), cut into half and then sliced.
  • 750gms potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 100gms crème fraiche
  • 1.5 cubes of chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbspn butter
  • 1 tspn oil

Directions

  1. Heat oil and butter in a pot.
  2. When heated, add leek, potatoes and onion. Fry for 10 minutes on medium heat. Add black pepper.
  3. Add stock to 500ml of hot water and add to the pot of veggies. Cook till potatoes are cooked, another 15-20mins.
  4. When veggies are cooked, blend till smooth, in batches if needed.
  5. Add blended soup back to the pot, adjust seasoning, add more water if needed.
  6. Whisk the crème fraiche with some soup in a separate bowl. Add to the soup, 2tbspn at a time, tasting all the time to ensure the right amount of creaminess.
  7. Heat through. Enjoy with warm crusty bread.

Dal Tadka

This is another of those dead easy recipes and you won’t have to spend more than 15mins on the prep work. It’s perfect as a side dish to meat curry or a dry veg curry (called sabji) but you could also eat it as a main dish if you prefer something light.

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1.5cups masoor dal (red split lentils)
  • 16 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 4tspn cumin seeds
  • 30-40 curry leaves
  • 2 green chilli, slit
  • 1tspn turmeric
  • 2tspn salt
  • 2tbspn ghee (you can use oil instead but ghee gives the dal a wonderful buttery flavor)

Directions

  1. Heat ghee in a pressure cooker. When hot, add cumin seeds.
  2. When seeds start crackling add chilli, garlic and curry leaves and cook till garlic is golden.
  3. Add dal, turmeric, salt, 4.5 cups of hot water and stir to mix.
  4. Get everything to a quick boil, close the lid on the cooker and simmer for 10mins. Turn off gas and let the pressure reduce on its own (usually 15-20mins).
  5. Open the lid, adjust salt and enjoy!!

Mango Smoothie

There’s one thing that hasn’t changed about me since I was a kid, my love for mangoes. I L.O.V.E. mangoes. When in season, I can eat them every damn day. I’ve had to make to do with the “not so yummy” variety we get in Europe but nothing can beat the Asian Alphonso mangoes! It’s something everyone must try at least once in their lifetime. Wherever your mangoes are sourced from, this smoothie is a great way to kick start your day.

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1cup almond milk
  • 1 whole mango
  • 1/2 banana

Directions

  1. Just whizz everything in your blender till smooth.
  2. Enjoy the thick and creamy smoothie (and wonder how something so delicious could be so healthy!)

Notes

  1. I usually don’t add any muesli to this drink as I like it creamy with no bits in it but feel free to add some if you want something more substantial.
  2. Some avocado or a dollop of greek yoghurt is also a great (and healthy) way to make the smoothie more filling (and creamier).

Blueberry Breakfast Smoothie

The whole of last summer I went through a phase where I only had smoothies for breakfast. And boy, I would be so excited about breakfast every morning. I personally think there is nothing better than to start your day with something super-healthy and super-yummy. I tried a lot of different combinations; I tried adding nuts&seeds, spinach, spirulina, etc. but I would always come back to 3 recipes, one of which is this Blueberry breakfast smoothie.

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk (or any milk of your preference)
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2tbspns muesli

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients into your smoothie maker and whizz for a couple of minutes till everything is blended well.
  2. Nothing more to do but enjoy your drink!

Black Eyed Bean Curry

This is one of my favourite meals! It not only delicious but very healthy and it’s super duper quick making it an ideal mid-week meal. I hardly spend more than 10minutes on prep work and I usually cook a big batch and freeze meal-size portions which comes in handy on days where I want to be extremely lazy (and still eat well).

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1.5cups Black eyed beans, soaked in water for 8hrs (or overnight)
  • 4tbspn sunflower oil
  • 1.5tbspn cumin seeds
  • 2tbspn coriander powder
  • 1tbspn paprika powder
  • 1/4tspn turmeric
  • 1.5tbspn fresh ginger paste
  • 1.5tbspn fresh garlic paste
  • 3 green chillies (optional), chopped
  • 3 small tomatoes, chopped
  • 200gms frozen spinach
  • 1tsbpn salt
  • 4cups hot water

Directions

  1. Make a spice mix by mixing 4tbpsn of water with coriander powder, paprika, turmeric, ginger paste, garlic paste and salt.
  2. Heat oil, on medium heat, in a pressure cooker. Once hot, add cumin seeds.
  3. When seeds begin to crackle, add the spice mix. Cook for 4-5mins, stirring regularly, until raw flavor of spices is gone.
  4. Add beans, green chillies, tomatoes, frozen spinach and the hot water. Bring to a boil, close the lid of the cooker and let the pressure build up.
  5. Turn the heat to low and cook for 10minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 20-25minutes till the pressure is released (the beans will still be cooking during this time).
  6. Open the cooker, adjust salt and serve with roti or rice!

Note:

1) If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can either use canned beans or if you are using dry beans then adjust cooking time accordingly.

Tawa Pulao

What do you do when you have left over rice and odd bits of veggies lying around? You make Tawa Pulao! To be honest, this dish is so tasty that I would make sure I had left over veggies and rice!

I remember eating Tawa Pulao at one of the late night food stalls in Pune and that place grated some cheese on this rice dish and that was it, since then I’ve considered it a crime to eat Tawa Pulao without cheese. This recipe below is for 3 (although my sister and I stuffed ourselves over dinner so it might just be for 4 people)

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 3cups cooked basmati rice
  • 1.5tbspn butter
  • 1.5tspn cumin seeds
  • 1tspn coriander powder
  • 1tspn paprika
  • 1/2tspn cayenne pepper
  • 1/4tspn turmeric
  • 1tspn pav bhaji or tawa pulao masala (optional)
  • 1/2tspn salt
  • 200gms mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 1 large yellow pepper, diced
  • 3/4cup green peas
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 2 small tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 limes
  • 50gms grated Grana Padano

Directions

  • Heat butter in a large frying pan or wok.
  • Add cumin seeds and wait till they sizzle and release their aroma.
  • Add onions, fry on medium till soft, around 10minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, fry for 5minutes.
  • Add all the powdered spices, cook for further 10minutes till raw taste of spices is gone.
  • Add yellow pepper and mushrooms and fry till veggies are cooked.
  • Add green peas, cooked rice, stir till masala and rice are combined. Cover and heat through.
  • Serve hot with lime and cheese.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup

A delicious soul-warming soup for those cold days!

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into chunks
  • 6 cloves garlic (3 if you don’t like you soup very garlicky), skin on
  • 2 small onions, quartered
  • 2.5tspn ground cumin
  • 2tspn paprika
  • 1/2tspn turmeric
  • 3tbspn olive oil
  • 2cubes veg stock, dissolved in 1litre of water
  • salt, to taste
  • Greek yoghurt and chives (for garnish)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180degrees C
  2. Mix all the veggies with the spices and the oil and place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper
  3. sweet potatoes roast
  4. Bake for an hour till veggies are soft.
  5. Peel the skin off the garlic.
  6. Blend veggies in batches, thinning with the veg stock as needed, transfer to a heated pot to keep the soup warm. Adjust seasoning.
  7. Transfer to bowls, garnish with Greek yoghurt and chives and enjoy!

Homemade Oat Granola

This is another of my favourite Oat breakfasts! It is much quicker to prepare than porridge and believe me, once you try the homemade granola it will be difficult to go back to the store bought ones.

The honey gives the oats a rich golden colour and a delicious crunch. Eaten with greek yoghurt, this is a real treat!

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 150gms jumbo rolled oats (approx 2 cups)
  • 1 tbspn sunflower oil
  • 3 tbspn pure honey
  • 1tspn vanilla essence
  • 25gms pumpkin seeds
  • 25gms sunflower seeds
  • 50gms almonds
  • 50gms pecan nuts

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 130degrees C
  2. Mix all the ingredients and place on a baking tray lined with grease proof paper.
  3. Place the tray in the center of the oven for 15mins. Stir through. Bake for another 15mins.
  4. Let the granola cool before placing in an air tight container.

Notes/Substitutes

  1. I love pecan nuts and almonds but this will taste equally good with brazil nuts or hazel nuts.
  2. Add raisins or chopped dates to granola once cooled.
  3. Maple syrup can also be used instead of honey.

Warm Winter Porridge

Call me weird but I absolutely LOVE porridge. There’s nothing better on a cold day than to wake up to a bowl of warm & creamy porridge. In fact, while traveling to USA and Canada, I’ve left a trail of Oats and Almond Milk in my wake.

I go through phases of ‘fruit preference’ and I was on banana while writing this recipe, hence that’s what I’ve used here. I also love the extra texture & crunch that pistachios provide. You can use any nut of your preference.

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1/2cup jumbo rolled oats (not the quick cooks ones)
  • 1/2banana
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • 10 pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 1/2cup almond milk (or any milk of your preference)
  • 1/2cup water

Directions

  1. Bring milk, water,rolled oats and banana to a boil in a pot.
  2. Turn the heat down so the milk just simmers.
  3. Add cinnamon and cook oats for 4-5mins, stirring continuously (Stirring oats regularly makes it nice and creamy)
  4. Transfer cooked oats to a bowl and sprinkle with pistachios.
  5. Enjoy the creamy and crunchy porridge!!

Notes/Substitutes

  1. If you want sweeter porridge, add brown sugar in step 1. For a healthier option, add 1 chopped date or 1 chopped dried fig instead of sugar.
  2. Add apple or pear instead of banana.
  3. Throw in a few berries on the top for a more colourful and healthier breakfast!