Fig and Date Balls

Eureka! I have found the perfect guilt free snack! And what more ,its eggless, no bake and not even any cooking involved.
And with the added goodness of dates, figs , almonds and Oats!
Me being a sneak, I didn’t tell about the hidden Oats and nuts and gave the Sweet balls to DH who absolutely hates anything with a healthy tag on it!
He thought its some laddu and gorged on it and finished it in no time!
Later in the evening, he was searching the refrigerator for the sweet ballsJ
And he was like, it was soo good and you made such a small batch! And that’s when I reveled the secret ingredientsJ
I told him that in fact it had all his “enemy” stuff in it!
Still he was telling me that Oats and nuts are well hidden and next time I should make a larger batch!

So waste no time in whipping, mixing and baking instead try this Super power Fig and Date balls .
I bet these will satisfy your sweet tooth!

Fig and Date Balls

4 Dried Figs
8-10 Dates
10 almonds
3 tbspn Instant Oats

In a food processor or Mixer ,powder the oats first and keep aside.No need to make it a fine powder. Just a single pulse will do.
Next pulse the almonds for few seconds.
Now add the chopped dates and figs and pulse for few seconds.
Take the mix out to a plate, the mix will be quite sticky now.
Add the oats and mix well . The oats will absorb any left moisture and the mix will be no longer sticky.
Next , roll one tbpsn each to balls and enjoy the healthy snack

This is my entry to the favourite healthy snack recipe event hosted by Nags and Megha 

Podi Idly

What to say about this ultimate comfort food!! Soft , fluffy Idlies coated in Spicy Idly podi!
I bet this must be in the all time favorite breakfast for most South Indians
I typically use 2:1 proportion of Rice ad Urud dal  for Idly and this give super fluffy Idlies

Podi Idly

20 Mini Idlies
2-3 tbpson of Idly Podi
1 tspn oil
Curry leaves 10 nos
1-2 Dried red chillies
½ tspn Mustard seeds
1 tspn Urad Dal

Heat the Oil in a wok, once it is hot add the tempering - Mustard seeds, curry leaves and Dried red chilies and sauté for few seconds
Add the Urad dal and sauté until it is browned.
Add the Idly podi and mix well
Next  the idlies and mix well so that Podi get coated well.
Sprinkle some water and cover and cook for a minute to let the flavors infuse well.

Corn and Tomato Rice

I just love the idea of one pot meals!
Isn’t it such a cool idea!  Chop,mix and cook .There you have a healthy and comforting meal!
Today’s recipe is one such  easy breezy recipe. A perfect lazy weekend mealJ

Corn and Tomato Rice  

1 Cup Cooked Rice
2 Tomatoes Pureed
1/3 Cup Corn Kernels
1 Onion chopped finely
1 Green Chilly chopped finely
½ inch piece of Ginger/2 Cloves Garlic Chopped finely
Curry leaves 10 nos                                                                                                           
1 tspn Oil
1 tsp Chili powder
1 ½ tspn Coriander powder
½ tspn Turmeric
Salt to taste

Heat Oil in a wok and add the Garlic , ginger and chilies and sauté until fragrant.
Add the onions, curry leaves  and the flavorings and continue to sauté until the onions turn transparent.
Add the pureed tomatoes, corn and 2 tbspn water, salt cover and cook for 8-10 minutes.
Continue to cook until the gravy has thickened.
Once the gravy has thickened ,add the  cooked rice and mix well.
Cover and cook for 5 minutes to let the flavors infuse well.

Red Bean Bao/Chinese Steamed Bun [With step by step photos]

Finally I made the Red bean bao..This has been in my todo list for a long long time!
I am a big fan of the light and sweet steamed buns, every time I have it for breakfast I always wonder why I haven’t ever tried making this!
As always I chose the easy method and got the readymade red bean paste .
You can opt for a different sweet filling like sesame paste ,kaya ,custard or savory filling like mushrooms.
Once you have made-up your mind for the filling, the process is pretty simple proof, knead and steam!

Red Bean Bao/Chinese Steamed Bun

For the buns: Makes about 4 buns
½ Cup Hongkong flour/Bao Flour [You can substitute with  All purpose Flour]
½ tspn Instant yeast
¼ Cup warm milk or coconut milk
2 tbspn Sugar
1 tspn Oil
Pinch of baking powder

For the filling
¼ Cup red bean paste

In a small bowl, mix the yeast ,1 tspn Sugar, 1 tspn flour and 1-2 tbspn warm water and mix well until you clear all lumps
Cover and let it proof for 15 minutes.
Once it is proofed well, the mix will be foamy like this

Now sift together the flour and baking powder
Add the sugar ,yeast mix, and oil to the flour and mix well.
Add milk a tbspn at a time and form a soft dough [you don’t have to use the whole milk. I got the soft dough with 3tbspn milk ]
Knead well , add little flour if the dough is too sticky.
Continue to knead for another 8-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic
Cover with a damp cloth and let it proof for 1 hour.

Once the dough is proofed well and doubled in volume, lightly knead it and form a log
Cut the log into 4 equal portions
Lightly roll each portion to a ball, flatten it and add 1tbspn red bean paste.

Bring together the edges, seal the side and roll it to a ball and place it on a small piece of parchment paper.
Repeat the same for rest of the dough
Proof for another 5 minutes and steam for 15 minutes

The buns will fluff up and double in size so leave enough space between the baos before steaming
Cover the lid of the steamer with a cloth so that the water don’t drip on the baos during steaming

Rose Milk Jelly

Do you have a sweet tooth? If you do, you are going to love this recipe!
This is a simple, eggless, no fuss Jello made with Condensed milkJ
Condensed Milk..Common who doesn’t love this gooey ooey delight!
When we were kids, my mom used to get condensed milk occasionally to add it to Payasams/Kheer
My sis/I would make a big fight with mom and let her use only few spoons for the payasams
And have the rest of the can for us and gorge on that! And we conveniently ignored the payasamJ

Rose Milk Jelly

5 gms China Grass
¼ Cup water
¼ Cup Condensed Milk
½ Cup Milk
1 1/2tbspn Rose Syrup

Wash the china grass and soak it in water for about 20 minute
After 20 min, heat the water + China grass on low heat.
Stir and cook until it is completely dissolved about 5-10 minutes.
[I was too impatient and the china grass didn’t dissolve completely and you can see the white thingy in my jelloL]
Once it is completely dissolved, add in the milk and condensed milk and bring it to a boil
Add the rose essence and pour into the mould or pan
Let it rest in refrigerator for few hours until it is set well!
I made a topping with 3 tablespoon condensed milk and 2 tspn rose syrup to it to make it even sweeter!

Tamari and Sesame Vegetables

This one has been sitting in my drafts for a long while now! Time to pull it out before it gets dusted over
I made this long back when I had a friend over for lunch!
A flavorful stir fry with crunchy vegetables, nutty sesame seeds and hot Red Chilies! A perfect side dish for Fried rice

Tamari and Sesame Vegetables

Adapted from Australian Women’s weekly

Vegetables of your choice-I used Mushrooms, Carrots, Beans and Kai Lan chopped finely –About 1 Cup
1/4 Cup Bean Sprouts
2 tspn Oil
2 tspn Tamari
1 tspn Roasted Sesame seeds
2 Cloves Garlic chopped finely
½ Inch Slice of Ginger chopped finely
1 Long red Chilly chopped finely

Heat oil in a wok. Stir fry the Chilly, Garlic and ginger
Add in the mushrooms, carrots, beans and sprinkle little water and cook until the vegetables turn soft
Add in the Kai Lan leaves,Bean sprouts, tamari and stir fry for couple of minutes.
Sprinkle the roasted sesame seeds and enjoy with a bowl of fried rice.

Corn Fritters

Happy Easter to all my dear friends.
Hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend!
I had a good relaxing weekend with lot of napping, couple of movies and little bit of shoppingJ 
Coming to today’s recipe, it’s a simple and spicy Corn fritters! Makes a perfect tea time snack!

Corn Fritters 

1 Cup Corn Kernels
1 Carrot finely chopped
1 Onion finely chopped
1 Egg white
4 tablespoon Flour
2 tablespoon corn flour
¼ Cup water
½ tspn salt
¾  tspn Chili powder
Pinch of baking powder
Finely chopped Coriander leaves
3 tbspn Oil

Add the flour and corn flour to the egg white.
Add the salt, chili powder, baking powder and water and mix well together to form a smooth batter.
Add the Corn kernels, finely chopped carrot and onion, coriander leaves to the batter and mix until just combined
If the batter is too runny add in more flour.
Heat about 3 tbspn of oil in a wok, it should cover the bottom about ¼ inch.
Once the oil is hot enough, add two tablespoon of corn mix and cook for 2-3 minutes until the side start to brown lightly.
Turnover and cook for another minute. Transfer to paper towel and enjoy the crispy delights

Spiced Plum Muffins

I am back after a fabulous vacation in Tokyo!
I must say Tokyo is by far the most exciting and vibrant city I ever visited!
Absolutely loved it there! Friendly people and great food. And yes, I managed to find lots and lots of vegetarian options for all 3 meals
The subway was a bit overwhelming initially.. Tokyo subway is indeed like a bowl of Ramen!!
I am still sorting the hundreds of pictures, will post some soon!

Coming to todays recipe , Plum muffins which is a perfect grab and go breakfast!
Ideal way to start your day- Fruity, whole meal and absolutely yummy!

Spiced Plum Muffins

  • 100 gms whole wheat flour
  • ¾ tspn Baking powder
  • ½ tspn Whole spice powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 75 ml Milk
  • 1 tbspn Oil
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2-3 tbspn Date Syrup/Honey/Maple syrup
  • 3 large plums roughly chopped.

  • Preheat the oven to 190 degrees.
  • Sieve the dry ingredients together and stir well.
  • Bring together the wet ingredients, Milk,egg,Syrup and oil.
  • Beat well with an electric mixer or whisk to combine.
  • Add this wet ingredient to the dry ingredients and stir with a spoon until just combined.
  • Now add the plums and give it a gentle stir
  • Divide equally among the muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes

Ela Ada/ Rice Cake with Coconut Filling

I am super happy that it’s for such a dynamic person like Kavi and her lovely space..
Student life and cooking is like an oxymoron to me..At least that was the case with me…
Even now my mom says she can’t believe that I am having a cooking blog.
Being the youngest and the laziest in the family I have always kept a safe distance from the kitchen.
The only time I enter was when my mom cooks some super yummy dish and the smell draws me there!

My laziness aside, I am soo impressed at Kavi..such a young age and already on a cooking Spree..You rock gal!
 So today I am going to share a Kerala delicacy called Ela Ada .
We usually make it for Onam festival and have it as our breakfastJ
Ela means Leaf and banana leaf in particular here and Ada is something like a steamed rice cake.
Coconut sweetened with jaggery, Flavored with cardamom is used as filling .
You can play around and add in nuts, banana etc to the filling as per your creativity
As I have a big bottle of Jackfruit preserve, I have added that for added flavoring. But that is totally optional.

Ela Ada/ Rice Cake with Coconut Filling
  • 1 Cup Rice flour
  • 5-6 Cubes Jaggery
  • 2  Cups water
  • 1/2 Cup coconut
  • 3 tbpsn Jackfruit Preserve/Chakka Varatty [Optional]
  • 2 Cardamoms
  • Heat the water in a pot, once it comes to boil add the jiggery and simmer until the Jaggery is melted
  • I added some Chakka varatty /Jackfruit preserve to hot water at this stage as my mom had got me a bottle of Chakka varatty  from home.
  • Stir well until it is well blended
  • Add about 1- 1 1/2 Cup of this hot water to the rice flour.
  • Using a spoon or ladle mix it well until it mixed well. Let it cook down a bit, now knead lightly to form a soft dough
  • [You can add more water/rice flour to adjust the consistency]
  • To the remaining water in the pot, add the coconut and crushed cardamom.
  • Sauté on high flame until all water is absorbed.
  • Do place the cleaned banana leave over low flame for a second so that the leaves are softened and does not crack when you fold .
  • Take a small piece of Banana leaf, add about a small golf size portion of the dough and flatten it lightly to form a small poori
  • Add a spoonful of coconut mix in the center and fold the leaf and seal the sides.
  • Repeat the same for remaining dough
  • Gently place the Ada on a steamer and steam for 10 minutes.
  • Let it cool down a bit and have it warm.


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