Jul 31, 2017

Poha Alu Tikki

Finding myself with a big bowl of leftover Kanda Poha, I was wondering what to upcycle it as. It seemed such a shame to throw away such precious organic red poha. Thus was born Poha Alu tikki. Since rice flakes (Poha) is so quick to soak, and because the tikki is easy to put together with readily available ingredients, I am sure you will enjoy making and savoring this simple Poha Alu Tikki as much as we did.

You can use either Red or White Poha for this Poha Alu Tikki. Or you can use up leftover Aval upma/Kanda Poha like me! Just add a boiled potato for binding, some herbs and seasonings, and the Poha Alu Tikki is ready to be pan fried and gorged upon.

Here is how I made Poha Alu Tikki.

Tikki platter


  • Does NOT contain lactose, nuts, soya, corn, egg.
  • Suitable for people with gluten allergy or lactose intolerance,

Preparation Time -  15-20 minutes, Cooking Time –  25–30 minutes, Makes – 12 –14 medium size tikkis. 


COOKWARE – colander, 5 litre mixing bowl, chopping board, knife, potato masher, non-stick tawa/griddle


  1. 1 heaped cup Red/ White rice flakes ( poha). I used *Red Poha. OR 1 heaped bowl leftover aval upma/Kanda Poha
  2. 1 medium potato boiled, or half cup boiled mashed potato
  3. 1/4 cup finely minced red onion
  4. 2 green chillies, finely minced
  5. a handful of fresh coriander leaves,finely minced
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/2 teaspoon amchur powder
  8. 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder


  1. If using fresh rice flakes(Poha), cover with fresh water, soak for 5 minutes. Then place in a colander and rinse under running water. Set to drain.
  2. Clean and mince finely onion, green chilly, and coriander leaves.
  3. Add the above to the drained poha, mashed potato, salt, amchur and garam masala in a mixing bowl. Mash them together using a potato masher. Mix well to a homogenous mixture.
  4. Make big lemon size balls, flatten slightly, and shallow fry on a heated non-stick tawa. Drizzle as little oil as possible while shallow frying. Flip to other side, and cook till browned. Take care to brown both sides evenly.
  5. Remove to serving plate. Serve with onion rings and mint chutney.

Tikki close upTikki close up 2

Apr 26, 2017

Eggless Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes

Pancakes make a tasty and quick breakfast food. Most children seem to love them. Pancakes are very versatile and can be made interesting with different toppings. I realised that it is time to give pancakes the Healthy Slurps twist. Since pancakes are usually made with all purpose flour, I do not rate them high on nutritive value. Instead, here is a recipe for whole wheat pancakes. What’s more, these Eggless Whole wheat Banana Pancakes taste very delicious even without any toppings.
This recipe is especially for those who do not eat eggs, and despair at the non-availability of eggless pancakes, or recipes for it. Look no further. I am really delighted to share this winner recipe with all. I have used organic whole wheat flour and organic jaggery powder to make these delicious eggless whole wheat banana pancakes. You could substitute these with normal whole wheat flour and jaggery/brown sugar too. I have not used any baking soda either. The banana takes care of it all.
Here is how you can enjoy these soft, fluffy eggless whole wheat banana pancakes at your homes too.
Banana pancakes topped with butter
  • Contains wheat gluten. NOT suitable for people with gluten allergy.
  • Does NOT contain nuts, lactose, soya, corn, eggs. Suitable for people with nut allergy or lactose intolerance. People with lactose intolerance can use any cooking oil instead of butter.
Preparation Time – 15-20 minutes, Cooking Time – 30 minutes, Makes -
COOKWARE – Non-stick skillet, spatula,wire whisk, ladle, mixing bowl, fine sieve
  1. 1 +1/2 cup organic whole wheat flour
  2. 1 cup organic jaggery powder / 1 cup brown sugar powdered
  3. 1 Banana, mashed up with a fork (I used Dole)
  4. 1 cup drinking water plus few teaspoons of water or milk if needed
  5. 1/4 cup unsalted melted butter (Or use any odourless cooking oil in place of butter)
  1. Dissolve the jaggery/brown sugar in water. Stir briskly with wire whisk to blend. You can also warm up the water to speed it up.
  2. Once the jaggery has dissolved, (Takes about 5 minutes,) filter the liquid through a mesh sieve to remove grit.
  3. To the filtered liquid, add the whole wheat flour in a slow drizzle. Keep stirring briskly with wire whisk to avoid lumps.
  4. Once the flour is blended in, add the mashed banana and bring the whole batter together by mixing thoroughly. Batter should be of thick pouring consistency. it should thickly coat the back of a ladle. Add a few teaspoons of water/milk to your batter, only if needed.
  5. Heat up a non-stick skillet. Drizzle a few drops of butter on the pan. When you see a few fumes, the skillet is hot enough.
  6. Lower the heat, pour a ladleful of batter on the centre of pan. Tilt it gently to let batter spread. Do NOT swirl the pan too much. A gentle tilt will do. Keep skillet on medium flame. Drizzle a few drops of butter around the sides of the pancake.
  7. When the underside looks brown, flip the pancake over with a spatula. Cook over a low flame for a few minutes. Remove to serving platter when done.
  8. Repeat with rest of batter.
  9. I like to make mini pancakes by dropping teaspoonfuls of batter all around the skillet and patiently turning over each one.
  10. Serve hot, warm, cold. Serve plain, with some fruits, or with honey drizzled over. Once fully cold, these can be packed in school lunches too. They stick together when warm. You could use butter paper between pancakes while packing too. Great for picnics, road trips, school or office lunches, after school snacks.
Soft spongy banana pancakes

Feb 21, 2017

Mirch ka Salan with Mishti Pulao

Mirch ka Salan is a famous Hyderabadi dish. The dish is said to have originated in the kitchens of the Nizams. I would believe that, as the dish uses tamarind as souring agent, a practise mostly used in South India. Also peanuts (local produce) and sesame are used instead of other nuts and dry fruits(more prevalent in Awadhi cuisine). Whatever be its origin, Mirch ka Salan always elevates the meal from a common to an exotic one. It finds a definite place in wedding feasts and other important festive meals.

At our home, Mirch ka Salan is a holiday favourite. The star of a luxurious, happy meal. The main dish when important guests come over. Almost always, Mirch ka Salan is paired with the most fragrant Mishti Pulao, a sweet, fragrant Bengali dish, also a festive treat. One Hyderbadi, one Bengali..but the pairing is made in heaven. A happy marriage which we relish down to the last morsel. The tango of the sweet and aromatic Mishti Pulao with the tart, hot, spicy Salan has to be experienced to be understood.

I was introduced to this very fragrant Mishti Pulao by my dear friend Deepasri Deb. I have followed her recipe to the T. It never fails to make the most perfect, heavenly, fit-for-Gods Mishti Pulao. Check out her treasure trove of recipes at www.hamareerasoi.com 

Here are the recipes for both the dishes.

Mirchi ka Salan


I have adapted Sanjeev Kapoor’s recipe for this. Changes to his recipe include chopping of the fat Bhavnagari Chilli into inch long batons, deseeding them, and not using any extra chillies in the recipe. This helps to scale down the heat in the Mirch ka Salan. I have also made a few changes in the preparation method. Here is how I made Mirchi ka Salan.


  • Contains peanuts. NOT SUITABLE for people with nut allergy.
  • Does NOT contain gluten, lactose, corn, soya, egg. Suitable for people with gluten intolerance or lactose intolerance.

Preparation Time – 15-20 minutes, Cooking Time – 30 minutes, Serves – 4 as main course or 6 as side dish if used with other accompaniments in the meal.


COOKWARE – Sharp knife, cutting board, 3-4 litre wok, long flat ladle, small bowl, Mixer-grinder


  1. 250 gms or 15-18 fat Bhavnagari chillies (bajji mirchi)
  2. A small lemon sized ball of Tamarind
  3. 1/4 heaped cup raw peanuts with skin
  4. 1/4 level cup white sesame seeds
  5. 1/4 level cup fresh grated coconut
  6. 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  7. 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  8. 3-4 cloves garlic
  9. A thumb size knob of fresh ginger root
  10. 1 medium red onion, finely chopped (1/4 cup finely chopped red onion)
  11. 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  12. a few curry leaves
  13. 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  14. a pinch turmeric powder (add upto 1 teaspoon if you want a yellow coloured Salan)
  15. 1 heaped teaspoon salt


  1. Wash and wipe down the fat chillies. Remove the stem, cut into inch long thick batons, and scrape out the seeds from within.
  2. Soak tamarind in half cup warm water. Squeeze out tamarind juice from it. Repeat with some more warm water. Set tamarind extract aside.
  3. Heat the wok over medium flame. Dry roast the peanuts first. As they begin to brown, tip in sesame. Roast until the sesame begins to crackle. Add the coriander and cumin seeds and roast until aromatic. Do not burn. Keep stirring. Remove to mixer grinder jar.
  4. Return wok to heat, add a drizzle of oil. Fry the ginger and garlic for a minute. Remove this to mixer jar too.
  5. Add the fresh grated coconut to the mixer jar, add some water and grind to smooth paste. Set aside.
  6. Add the rest of the oil to the wok, temper with mustard seeds and curry leaves. When this crackles, add the finely chopped onions and keep stirring over medium flame. When onions turn pink and shiny, add the chopped chilli batons. Saute over high heat for 5 minutes. Keep stirring to avoid charring.
  7. Pour tamarind juice into the wok, add salt, turmeric, cover and cook for 5-7 minutes over medium flame, until the chilli just softens.
  8. Pour in the ground mixture, add half a cup of water, and simmer covered for another 15 minutes.
  9. Switch off flame. Rest for half an hour for flavours to develop. Serve warm or hot with fragrant, sweet, Mishti Pulao.
Royal Feast - Mirch ka Salan with Mishti Pulao



  • Contains Cashew nut. People with nut allergy can avoid adding cashew nuts to the recipe.
  • Does NOT contain gluten, corn, soya, egg, or lactose. Suitable for people with gluten or lactose intolerance.

Preparation time – 15 minutes, Cooking Time – 30-35 minutes, Serves – 4 as main course


COOKWARE – 3-4 litre wok with fitting lid, ladle, colander


  1. 1 heaped cup Gobindobhog rice, or Jeera rice, or Basmati rice
  2. 1/4 cup fresh/frozen green peas
  3. 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  4. 2 tablespoon ghee
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. a fistful each of broken cashews and raisins
  7. 1’' piece of cinnamon bark broken into two
  8. 2 bay leaves
  9. 3-4 cloves
  10. 2 green cardamom
  11. 2 black cardamom
  12. 1 mace flower
  13. 5-6 black peppercorns
  14. 3 tablespoon sugar
  15. 2 cups drinking water


  1. Rinse the rice well under running water. Set to drain in colander. Rub in the turmeric powder into the rice and spread the rice in the colander to drain well.
  2. Heat ghee in the wok, add cashews and raisins. Fry over medium flame until golden brown and raisins plump up.
  3. Add spices – cinnamon, bay leaves, mace, peppercorns, cloves, green and black cardamom.
  4. When the spices release aroma (about a minute or two over medium flame) add the rice and sugar. Stir well continuously over medium heat. Add the green peas midway and continue stirring until rice gets a sheen from the ghee. (About 7-10minutes)
  5. Add salt, 2 cups water. Increase flame to highest and bring water to boil.
  6. After water has come to a boil, set wok on your smallest burner, turn down heat to minimum, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes. Switch off flame.
  7. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Then, open wok, fluff up rice.
  8. Serve along with tangy, spicy Mirch ka Salan.
Fit for Gods - Mishti Pulao