Category Archives: Breakfast

Dahi Sabudana- tapioca pearls with spiced yogurt

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Spring/summer  is here. The rain gods have been kind and hence all the mountains around where I live are still green.  Near my home there is a barn and they bring out their sheep for grazing at this time, with the rolling hills, and the sheep,  it feels like Swiss countryside.
In India, we celebrate Holi. During holi a effigy of a demoness is burnt in fire. This demoness symbolizes all the mean thoughts, all the resentments that one might be carrying, you burn it all in the fire of Holi.  This is the time when we celebrate New Year according to the lunar calendar. Interestingly around the same time Parsi’s and Iranis’s also celebrate Navrouz, which translates to ‘New Day’. In short its all about starting afresh, leaving all the baggages that you might be carrying and focus on the future.

In India we have Navratri ( which translates to ‘9 nights’) twice a year. Interestingly they both fall when the season changes from hot to cold and cold to hot. One is in spring time and one in fall. During this time you fast, you don’t eat meat, regular vegetables, no cereals. I think it is very much needed, it gets your body time to adjust and also get ready for the new season. Its like a cleanse, where you eat light foods, people also try not to eat garlic & onion.


Each region in India has its own rules of what to eat and what not to eat during these nine months, some eat spinach, some eat tomatoes, others don’t. A few things like tapioca, water chestnut, sweet potatoes, cucumber are eaten across the country.

I come from Maharashtra where Sabudana Khichadi is very popular. I recently did an Insta story on it. Whenever I ask my kids what they want special for breakfast, the answer is Sabudana Khichadi . My husband can eat bowls of it. I normally end up making enough so I have leftovers as he likes to eat it the next day again.

Everyone knows Sabudana Khicadi but might not know this recipe. My mom makes it so well, my sister can eat bowls of it for days and not get tired. I like it more than Khichadi because it feels kind of cooling and I love yogurt 🙂

Dahi Sabudana

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups tapioca pearls ( you can get them in any indian grocery store)
  • 3-4 green chilies ( I use the thai chilies that are super spicy)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1/3 cup roasted peanut powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk (if you can not get buttermilk, you can churn 1/2 yogurt with 3/4 cup water)
  • 1 cup
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro

Method

  • Dry roast sabudana/tapioca
  • After it is cooled down, soak in some water for about 30 mins
  • Pound the cumin seeds and chilies to make a coarse paste. I prefer using mortar pestle but you can also use a chopper
  • After 30 mins, drain all the water and soak in buttermilk for at least 4-5 hours.
  • Now add yogurt ( preferably whole milk), roasted peanut powder, chili-cumin mixture and salt n sugar to taste.
  • Garnish with cilantro

Note:

  • You can also cook the sabudana in water until it is translucent ( instead of roasting and soaking in buttermilk).
  • Mix it with yogurt, roasted peanut powder, salt, sugar and the chili cumin mixture. You can also  add tadka of ghee jeera mirchi if desired
  • Garnish with cilantro
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Leek, Potato & Goat cheese Galette with Pistachio Crust

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Last few days have been very challenging, I consider myself a very strong person but it is amazing how vulnerable one gets when they are emotionally invested. I know it will be alright eventually but right now it hurts.  I really needed to do something that takes my attention away. So I have started lifting weights and  decided to try at least one new  recipe every week.

I love love brunches. You can try different things than your usual lunch and you are not rushed to have everything ready. Perfect for lazy mornings and occasions like Mother’s day. On the occasion of Mother’s day, I am sharing this recipe that can be a perfect addition to your brunch table. You can make the prep ahead of time and then comes together in less than 15 mins.

I love nuts, and especially pistachios. I am in love with combination of  green, pink colors you see in these raw nuts. I recently made a nice torte with pistachio crust and it was a major hit at my work.  Todays recipe uses the nuts in the crust, giving it a unique toasty flavor and crunch.


I had seen this recipe on Bon Appetit and have been wanting to make it. I have grown fond of goat cheese recently and loved the contrast of the tangy, creamy goat cheese against the caramelized leeks and sweetness of honey.

Goat Cheese & Leek Galette with pistachio crustPistachio Galette

 

Ingredients

For the dough

  • ½ cup shelled pistachios
  • 2½ cups unbleached flour
  •  1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces

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Toppings

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 large leek, halved lengthwise, white and pale-green parts only, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup  heavy cream
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  •  2/3 Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 4 tablespoons coarsely chopped dill, plus more for serving
  • 2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, thinly sliced
  •  1 large egg, beaten to blend Honey (for drizzling)
  • Crushed szechuan peppercorns
  • Flaky sea salt (optional; for serving)_MG_3039

Method

 Dough

  • Pulse pistachios in a food processor until coarsely ground. Add flour, kosher salt, and sugar and pulse until combined.
  • Add butter and pulse until a coarse meal forms.
  • With motor running, slowly add ½ cup ice water and process until dough comes together.
  • Transfer dough to a work surface, form into a ball, and flatten to a disc.
  • Wrap dough in parchment and chill 30 minutes.

Topping

  • Preheat oven to 400º. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-low; cook leek, stirring occasionally and being careful not to brown, until just softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, mix cream, goat cheese, and garlic in a medium bowl until smooth. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
  • Transfer dough to a work surface and divide into 4 pieces.
  • Working with one piece at a time, roll out to an 8″ round.

Layer it up

  • Using an offset spatula, spread one-quarter of the goat cheese mixture on dough, leaving a 1″ border.
  • Top with 1 Tbsp. dill and a thin layer of potato slices. Drizzle with oil and season with kosher salt.
  • Top with one-quarter of the leeks. Fold edges over, overlapping slightly.
  • Carefully transfer galette to prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
  • Brush crusts with egg wash. Bake galettes until crusts are golden brown and potatoes are soft, 30–40 minutes. If you want to make a vegetarian version, you can skip the egg and instead use some water mixed milk to brush the edges.

Cut slice

Original Recipe:

Goat Cheese, Leek, and Potato Galettes with Pistachio Crust

Tiramisu French Toast- dessert for breakfast

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One day I was sitting down with a cup of coffee and a toast and I suddenly remembered about a recipe my daughter had read about some where, it sounded delicious. I thought why not try it today. I think it was from buzzfeed so not sure but I think it was from soem blog that said,” Peas and carrots’ or some like that.

I am not a coffee drinker but I love coffee flavored sweets for sure. I love coffee cookies, coffee ice-cream, coffee cake, and of course Tiramisu. I also love bringing in coffee flavor into Indian Dessert, a couple of years ago I made ‘Coffee Kalakand’ , a yummy milk based dessert and everyone loved it. It tasted almost like milk fudge.

I love dairy,it is a world known fact :). I love Mascarpone cheese , I love the sweet creamy flavor and the fact that it is not super tart. I like using it in desserts but also stir in soups, spread on my toast.

So going back to my toast and the breakfast I wanted to make. It is a dessert take on a breakfast food. I call it Tiramisu french toast. Can you imagine how happy and bright the day would be if you eat this for breakfast? My kids loved it, I loved seeing their happy faces.

It has coffee, mascarpone cheese and it is easy to make, what more can one ask for?

Tiramisu French Toast

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Ingredients:
  • 8 slices thick-cut texas toast (white)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp espresso powder ( or instant coffee) + 1tbsp of espresso
  • 4-6 oz mascarpone cheese

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to serve ( all optional):
  • Powdered sugar
  • Fresh fruit
Method:
  • Mix together the eggs, milk, sugar, cocoa powder, espresso and espresso powder. I like to mix the cocoa first with about 1/4 cup of milk into a paste and then add rest of the ingredients.

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  • Using a paring knife, carefully cut a pocket into the bread, It is ok if you poke the knife through, remember the whole thing will get dipped in the egg mixture. I found it helpful to put the slice on the counter as it make it easy to make a pocket with a flat knife on the counter.

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  • Gently spoon in 1-1.5 tbsp of mascarpone. It is important that the cheese is at room temperature,it helps spoon easy.

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  • Pour some of the egg mixture in a shallow bowl.
  • Dip the bread in the cocoa/egg mixture, allowing it to absorb for about 15 seconds per side. I feel if you keep it longer, the french toast gets very mushy.

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  • Heat an omelet pan  over medium heat, and cook the toast for about 3 minutes, flipping and cooking for another 2-3 minutes. The bread will stiffen slightly when it is ready to flip.

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  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with fresh raspberries and toasted hazelnuts.

Swiss Muesli- easy and healthy breakfast

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Simple, healthy, easy to make, tastes yummy and you can make so many variations, how many times can you say that about a recipe? This recipe definitely one such recipe.

When we say Muesli, I used to think of the boxed cereal you get in the supermarket. When I went to London for work I stayed at a hotel where there was a tiny spread of food for breakfast, and in that tiny spread there was a large white bowl filled with  what seems like a tasteless gooey pudding. It did not look appetizing at all. My motto is  try different foods, if you dont like it don’t eat it again, so I decided to try this pudding as well.

I must tell you that I have not been fooled by the looks of a dish ever as I did that day. I fell in love with this dish. It was fresh, healthy and so tasty.

I started reading about it and found out that this is also a type of Muesli, called ‘Bircher/Scandinavian/Swiss Muesli. Unlike its american cousin which is eaten out of the box with milk, this European baby is made with fresh fruit and yogurt.

I love the fact that it can be made ahead, in fact it tastes better when left overnight, which means you have a yummy breakfast that can be made the night before. Can you imagine not having to worry about breakfast as you are rushing to get out the door in the morning?

I also like that it is made with very healthy ingredients like oats, fresh fruits, nuts, milk & yogurt, it is a perfect combination of Carbs with a lot of fibre, protein from the dairy, vitamins from the fruit & healthy fats from the nuts.

It is amazing how many combinations you can make, which also allows me to incorporate all the seasonal, local produce.

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Ingredients

 1 1/2 cup rolled oats 

 1 cup low-fat Yogurt

1 cup milk ( take any kind you like) 

 2 apples grated 

 1/4 cup sliced almonds 

1/4 cup golden resins

 1/4 cup dried cranberries

 1/2 cup orange juice

 1/4 cup sliced almonds

 

Method:

Combine all the ingredients in a large glass or plastic container

Mix well. 

Serve ideally the next morning, I feel that the flavors blend really well. 

If it is too thick, add milk to get the desired consistency. 

Sabudana Khichadi- a typical Indian Breakfast

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Sabudana ( Tapioca) looks  like tiny white pearls, made from roots of the cassava plant, it is very common in Indian cooking. It is a younger cousin of the Boba tea/Tapioca tea. Typically it is eaten during fasting, but also eaten as a common breakfast food. It is can be made as a savory or a sweet dish. It can be eaten like a tapioca pudding but my favorite recipe is a savory one.

My husband and kids are big fans of this and happily eat it any time. In fact whenever my son comes home, the first thing he wants to eat is this ‘Sabudana Khichadi’

They even love to take it in the lunch box.

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The recipe is very simple but I feel the trick is in soaking the Sabudana right. So today I will share my step by step recipe.

Ingredients:

3 cups of sabudana ( sago/Tapioca)

1/2 cup roasted peanuts

4-5 green chilies

2 tbsp Cumin seeds ( divided use)

1-2 Potatoes, peeled and sliced

1/4 cup milk at room temp

Oil

2 tbsp ghee

Sugar

Salt

For garnish:

Chopped cilantro

Fresh grated coconut

Method:

Take the sabudana in a large pot. Wash it with cold water. When you start washing it will looks cloudy

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Wash until the water runs clear. This helps get rid of excess starch which makes the khichadi clumpy when cooked.

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Add water just to cover the sabudana and a little over.

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Now let it soak for at least 7-8 hours. I end up soaking it overnight since I make this mostly for breakfast.

About an hour before you plan to make the khichadi, take the milk and sprinkle it over the soaked sabudana. Using fork separate the grains and leave aside.

Make powder with roasted peanuts

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Make paste with the green chilies & 1 tbsp of cumins seeds in a mortal & pestle, you can also use a blender.

Add peanut powder, chili mixture, salt & Sugar to the soaked sabudana and mix well.

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In a pan heat oil, add cumin seeds. Add some green chili pieces and saute till the cumin seeds are brown.

Add sliced potatoes, add salt to the potatoes and cover.

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Cook until the potatoes are done.

Add the sabudana mixture and cook. Cover for only a couple of mins and stir constantly, this will prevent clumps from forming. The easiest way to know when it is done is to check if the pearls are translucent.

Add the ghee and mix well. Traditionally it is cooked in ghee, but if you are trying to avoid it then adding just a couple of tbsp at the end is a good solution. This gives the flavor of ghee but you dont have to cook solely with it.

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Garnish with chopped cilantro, fresh grated coconut and yogurt or a lime wedge.

Savory Indian Appe or Aebleskiver?

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Savory  Indian Appe or Aebleskiver?

As you start making dishes from different cuisines, you start observing the similarities between the cuisines and your cuisine. After a couple of months of moving to California we went on a long drive along PCH 1. I was completely bowled over by the scenic route. We stopped along at various missions along the way and of course various food place. During this trip we also visited the danish town of Solvang. I fell in love with that little danish town. Horse pulled buggies, tiny shops selling embroidered  articles, beautiful house, small windmills and of course yummy food shops. This is where I first ate the ‘Danish Aebleskivers’. Tiny balls of goodness filled with fruits and dusted with powdered sugar..they are little tiny packets of yumminess.

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When I saw these little balls, I was quickly reminded of a similar looking dish from back home, India. In India we also make a dish that looks exactly like these Danish Aebleskivers. The batter is typically made from ground rice, sometimes fermented and sometimes not. The fermented version is usually the savory kind, where as the non- fermented is the one that is sweetened typically with jaggery.

Today’s recipe is a savory indian aebelskiever, ‘Appe’!

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I love making food that the kids can pick up and eat on the go, and these fit the bill. You can serve these for breakfast or  dress these up as party finger foods. These are healthy, tasty.  The batter can be made ahead and  so these can be put together in a short time once the batter is ready.

I got this recipe from my younger sister, who got it from her Mom in law. Since I am lazy, I am always looking for options where I can do the prep once but make a few different dishes from it. So I make my own variations like Thai, Chinese, Mexican appe using the same batter. 

Ingredients:

1 cup urad daal
1/2 cup chana daal
4 cups rice

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1 cup sooji

1/2 cup poha( it is basically cooked, flattened, dried rice grains)

Method:

Soak both daals and rice for at least 5-6 hours, I prefer to soak it overnight.  Next morning grind all of these separately. When you start grinding these soak the sooji and poha with just enough water to cover these.

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When you grind the rice, grind the poha and sooji with it.

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Add
Salt
1 tsp sugar

Let this batter ferment for at least 12 Hours. The batter gets light and airy. It practically doubles in volume.

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When you are ready to make the ‘appe’, make sure the batter is of ‘pancake batter’ consistency.

Add

You can pretty much add anything you like. If you want to add something like carrot, it is better to shred it so it cooks quickly. I like to add all the ingredients of chutney

  • Finely chopped onion
  • Finely chopped cilantro
  • Finely chopped Green chilies
  • chopped curry leaves
  • Fresh coconut
  • Cumin seeds

I love adding these, this way you can eat the ‘Appe’ even without any chutney with just a dollop of ghee. 🙂

cropped ghee & podi

Make Appe using the Appe pan, you can easily buy them in the indian store. You can also use the aebelskiver pan online, that also works very well.

Buy the pan online

Add a drop of oil and then add about 1-2 tbsp of batter to make Appe.

I have a little video here that shows how to make these.

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Note:
You can also make Appe using ‘Aebelskiever pan’.

Note:

You can make many variations with the same batter.

Mexican appe:  I saute various vegetables, add my homemixed taco/fajita seasoning, chopped cilantro and some chipotle and mix everything in the batter. I serve it with Avocado Cream sauce.
Chinese appe:  Saute shredded carrots, beans, green onion, thin sliced cabbage. Add soy/chili sauce, and then add it to the batter. You can serve it with store bought schechwan sauce.
Thai appe: I add lemongrass, thai basil along with some vegetables and then serve it with satay sauce.

Cheddar Pimiento Harissa muffins

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I am always looking for savory options for breakfast. So when I made Harissa, I decided to make these muffins and use Harissa for flavoring. I had seen a similar recipe in a Food magazine, added my twist to it.

I also make savory breakfast waffles  which are also a great savory breakfast option.

I like this recipe since you can have all the wet ingredients mixed and in a container in the fridge and dry ingredients mixed as well. In the morning you just mix them together and you have yummy muffins for breakfast in 20 mins. You can also serve them as appetizers with some spread.

I also make these with some bacon bits and those taste yummy as well.

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Ingredients:

Dry ingredients

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2 1/2 cup flour

1 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Wet ingredients

1 1/2 cup buttermilk

2 eggs

4 tbsp melted butter

1 tsp chopped jalapeno

1 tsp Harissa Paste

1/4 cup chopped chives

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

3 tbsp chopped cilantro

3 oz chopped pimiento

1 tbsp worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 shredded cheddar cheese

 

Method:

Heat the oven to 375F

Line your muffin pan with liners.

Mix all the dry ingredients well and keep aside. You can adjust the spices in it as per your taste.

Beat the two eggs, add buttermilk, butter and mix again. Now add the harissa and mix.

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Add chopped vegetables and herbs. Add the shredded cheese and mix well.

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Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture 1 tbsp at a time. Immediately add to lined muffin pans

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It is important that you don’t wait after the wet and dry ingredients are combined. The baking soda and buttermilk get to work right away and if you dont make it right away, the muffins may not rise.

Bake for 18-20 mins in a 375 F oven.

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I also make savory breakfast waffles  which are also a great savory breakfast option.

 

 

 

Breakfast( or Lunch) muffins with Quinoa

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It has been crazy last few days, have not had a chance to write a post. This one is from the archives.

It is always challenging to pack something for the kids lunch that is healthy, quick to make, should taste good at room temperature and last but not the least, the kids should like it. This recipe fits the bill in my household. I like it since it is nutritious and quick to make.

So I will be honest that I don’t love quinoa. I know there are many good proteins in quinoa but I can not bring myself to use it as a substitute for rice in any traditional Indian recipes.
I also think that there are many people in the world who don’t have quinoa in their diet and still they have managed to stay healthy.

Having said that I do try to incorporate as many wholesome ingredients in our diet as I can, so this recipe is an effort along those lines.

Healthy eating series- Breakfast muffins with Quinoa

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So I will be honest that I don’t love quinoa. I know there are many good proteins in quinoa but I can not bring myself to use it as a substitute for rice in any traditional Indian recipes.
I also think that there are many people in the world who don’t have quinoa in their diet and still they have managed to stay healthy.

Having said that I do try to incorporate as many wholesome ingredients in our diet as I can, so this recipe is an effort along those lines.

Quinoa Muffins-
4 eggs
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp pav bhaji masala
3/4 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 cup chopped red bell peppers
1/4 cup chopped zucchini
1/4 cup onions caramelized ( I usually make a big batch and keep it in the fridge)
1 tsp chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped ham( optional)
1/3 cup shredded cheese

Prepare oven to 350 F. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners
Spray with oil spray.

Beat eggs well with dry spices & salt. Mix rest of the ingredients.
Pour in the cupcake liners and bake for about 25-30 mins.

I pack this with a garden salad for my kids lunch box.

This recipe makes about 6 muffins.

Note:


I had made similar recipe with lemon rice quinoa with lots of green chillies and peanuts. That tastes good as well.

 

I did not get a chance to take step by step pictures this time, will update the post when I do next time.

Indian style french toast

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I am a firm believer that a good breakfast is absolutely necessary to keep you going the whole day. One of my favorite breakfast food is eggs. I like eggs in any form. My mom tells me that when I was a teenager, I used to say that I had to eat eggs and bread everyday for the rest of my life, I will be very happy.

One of the recipes that my mom makes is the ‘desi styled, spiced French toast’. She takes all the ingredients of the typical Indian Style Masala omelet  like chopped onion, tomatoes, green chili,cilantro and use it as a batter for the french toast. It tastes just divine. I love eating it with Maggi Hot and Sweet sauce. She toasts the bread slice a little before she dips in the batter which I think makes a big difference.

So when my friend Ruchi Airen posted a recipe of Spicy Buttermilk French Toast, I knew I had to try it. So here is my take on Ruchi’s recipe. BTW, she is an amazing cook, I am planning to try her detox plan soon.

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Ingredients:

2 eggs

2 tbsp chopped onion

2 tbsp grated Lauki ( Opo Squash)

1/4 tsp chopped green chili

1 tbsp chopped cilantro

1 tsp Pavbhaji Masala

1/4 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup Shredded cheese, I used the mexican blend I had on hand

2 multigrain bread sliced

oil  

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Method:

Whisk the eggs with all the ingredients except cheese and buttermilk.

 

 

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Add buttermilk and cheese and mix well.

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Dip the bread slices and make sure the batter coats the slices from both sides.

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On a heated pan cook in a little bit of oil it till brown on both sides.

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Your healthy breakfast is ready.  

My kids just loved it. I was happy because I got them to eat ‘Lauki without them realizing it 🙂 . 

Savory waffles.. traditional buttermilk waffles with an Indian twist

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When I came to this country one of the many thing that I found interesting is the choices for breakfast. All the option available are on the sweet side. Pancakes, cereal, donut, pastry, oatmeal, cereal bars and the list goes on. When we started making healthier food choices, the goal was to incorporate whole grains and clean foods in the diet. One such ingredient is ‘Oats’, however all the options in the market are sweet in taste. So I decide to put an Indian twist to a traditional oats waffle recipe where oats are a main ingredient.

Savory Oats Waffles

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Ingredients

Dry ingredients
2.5 cups of rolled oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
salt to taste

Wet ingredients at room temp:
2 cups thick buttermilk
2 eggs
2 tbsp melted butter or oil

Adders
1/2 onion chopped
1/2 tsp chopped cilantro
1 green chili chopped
1/2 tsp cumin seeds crushed

1 tbsp grated coconut ( optional)
turmeric

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Procedure:
Dry roast the oats and grind them once cooled.

Mix the toasted oat flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl.

Whisk the eggs and melted butter together in another bowl, then add the buttermilk.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until combined.

Add all the adders like onion, chili etc. You can add any vegetable of your choice.

Rest the batter for 5 minutes, this is important so the buttermilk and baking powder can talk to each other.  

Pour the waffle batter into the hot iron. Close the iron top and cook until the waffle is golden on both sides.

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Note:

I mix the dry ingredients and keep them on hand, which makes it very easy to make it in the morning

I also have made a large batch and the waffles freeze very well.