Fermented Savoury Protein rich Vegetable pancakes

 Spring is finally here, birds are chirping and the tender fresh plant life breaks through the freshly thawed ground. And yes not to forget the spring in our steps!!! Our bodies crave the lighter foods following instinctively the change in seasons.

The pancake that I have made today is made of lentils but tradionally not fermented. It is a great alternative for people wanting to avoid grains and eat high protein foods. Fermenting the batter makes it probiotic rich and also the taste has more depth and character to it. 

The  foods which have been fermented naturally, the natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch creating lactic acid and also in the process creating B- vitamins, beneficial enzymes and different strains of beneficial bacteria.

This process also makes food more digestible and preserves nutrient.    Studies have also shown not just better digestibility of fermented foods but also immune boosting properties of these foods. 

Enjoy this delicious, finger licking savoury pancake.

Ingredients

1 cup red lentils or yellow lentils rinsed and soaked in a 1 1/2 cup of water for 6 – 8 hours

1 onion finely chopped

1 tomato finely chopped

3 – 4 tbsp. cilantro finely chopped

optional 1/2 cup finely chopped spinach or chard

1 green chilli or jalepeno finely chopped

1 ” piece of ginger

salt to taste

2 – 3 tbsp. of oil or ghee

Method

1. Thoroughly rinse the lentils few times till the water loses its milkiness.

2. Soak the lentils in water ( the quantity of water should be little more than the lentils so that lentils have enough water to soak in) for 6 – 8 hours.

3. Now grind the lentils with chill and ginger.

4. You should now have a thick, smooth and velvety textured batter.

5. Pour this batter in a big glass container or a mixing bowl and keep in a pre warmed ( not heated !!! ) oven overnight for 10 – 12 hours.

6. The bowl should be large enough so that there is rooom for the batter to rise which it will in warm tempererature ( with all the bacteria multiplying multiple times!!!)

7. Heat the oven at  375 degrees F for 3- 4 minutes and turn it off. Keep the batter in the heated oven and also turn on the pilot light at this time.

8. After keeping it overnight for 8- 10 hours you will see the batter would have risen to at least double  its volume and be very airy and bubbly.

9. Mix all the vegetables into the batter, the consistency of this batter is thicker than those of crepes.

10. Heat the cast iron skillet or a non stick pan.

11.Take a ladle full of batter and spread onto the heated skillet adding little ghee all around on the sides and cover with a lid.

12. After a minute the pancake will lose its raw look or sheen and then flip onto the other side.

13. Do not put the lid now and let this side of the pancake become golden and crisp.

14.Continue making like this .

15. Once done serve  hot with a relish or a green chutney or a dip.

16. Enjoy this protein rich, satisfying pancake anytime of the day. Serve with a salad and a dip for a complete meal.  

 

photo 2 (6)

 

photo 3 (2)

photo 4 (1)

 

photo 3 (3)

Advertisements

Fermented Lentil Crepes Easy Breezy Gluten free Probiotic rich

This is how Wikipedia describes fermented foods
Fermented foods are foods produced or preserved by the action of microorganisms. In this context, fermentation typically refers to the fermentation of sugar to alcohol using yeast, but other fermentation processes involve the use of bacteria such as lactobacillus, including the making of foods such as yogurt and sauerkraut. The science of fermentation is known as zymology.

There are many different kinds of fermented foods, there is sourdough bread popular in many cultures ( the sourdough culture is passed on from one generation to the other !!!). There is naturally fermented pickles popular ones like saurkraut and Khimchi, then there are a variety of fermented dumplings and crepes from southern and coastal part of India. All the foods are sour but they are made so  naturally and not because of added vinegar or yeast.

And off course not to forget our everyday natural, plain yoghurt. All these foods have a strong taste and smell so it is an acquired taste but the health benefits far outweigh everything else. I must say though I love them all be it my homemade yoghurt, saurkraut, khimchi  or the Indian crepes called Dosas.

The crepe or the dosa that I have made today is made of lentils but tradionally not fermented. I improvised it by  fermenting the traditional “Chilla batter” made by grinding yellow mung bean lentils to make it healthier and a great alternative for people wanting to avoid grains or eat high protein foods. Fermenting the batter makes it probiotic rich and also the taste has more depth and character to it. 

In the above mentioned foods which have been fermented naturally, the natural bact- eria feed on the sugar and starch creating lactic acid and also in the process creating B- vitamins, beneficial enzymes and different strains of beneficial bacteria.

This process also makes food more digestible and preserves nutrient.                      Studies have also shown not just better digestibility of fermented foods but also immune boosting properties of these foods. 

Modern convenience driven culture has driven people away from the traditional healthier preparation of foods. A  concious effort needs to be made to change this and revive these time honoured methods before we lose them completely to sugar and salt laden foods made in the “Plants”.

in short fermented foods improve digestion, increase the nutrients, boost the immune system and to top it all up increase the shelf life.

.

photo 2 (3)

photo 2

Ingredients

1/2 cup red lentils

1/2 cup yellow lentils ( mung bean split lentils)

1 hot green chill

1” piece of ginger

salt to taste

Method

1. Thoroughly rinse the lentils few times till the water loses its milkiness.

2. Soak the lentils in water ( the quantity of water should be little more than the lentils so that lentils have enough water to soak in) for 6 – 8 hours.

3. Now grind the lentils with chill and ginger.

4. You should now have a thick, smooth and velvety textured batter.

5. Pour this batter in a big glass container or a mixing bowl and keep in a pre warmed ( not heated !!! ) oven overnight for 10 – 12 hours.

6. The bowl should be large enough so that there is rooom for the batter to rise which it will in warm tempererature ( with all the bacteria multiplying multiple times!!!)

7. Heat the oven at  375 degrees F for 3- 4 minutes and turn it off. Keep the batter in the heated oven and also turn on the pilot light at this time.

8. After keeping it overnight for 8- 10 hours you will see the batter would have risen to at least double  its volume and be very airy and bubbly.

9. Heat a cast iron skillet or a non stick griddle. Meanwhile stir the batter well . It should be velvety smooth. You may have to add water if it is too thick but make sure it is not runny.

10. And put  a spoon full of batter onto the heated griddle and spread the batter in  a smooth and a swift manner in a circle as you would a pancake. Put a little ghee or a oil around the crepe.The heat should still be medium or medium low and not too hot.

11. At this point with a spatula lift one side of crepe to see if it has turned golden brown, if it has you can flip up it to cook it on the other side for another 30 seconds. ( you may cook it longer if you want it more crispy)

!2. The crepe is now ready. You can serve it with a green coriander chutney  or a coconut chutney and a salad.

13. Enjoy!!! can be enjoyed for breakfast , lunch or dinner. This batter can be stored for 5-  6 days in the fridge.

 

QUINOA GRANOLA EASY BREEZY Gluten Free !!!!!

I bring to you today a very easy but delicious gluten free granola recipe. Honestly you might find like me that you prefer it over the the regular oats granola. Try it and as usual always look forward to your comments and feedback.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup Quinoa flakes

1 tbsp.ghee or extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp.maple syrup or Agave syrup

1/2 cup mixed nuts cranberries, walnuts, almonds, pecans etc.

METHOD

1.Toss all the ingrdients well except nuts and spread on a greased metal tray or a non stick baking tray.

2. Bake at 250 degrees F convection setting for 30 – 35 minutes mixing it every 5- 7 min.

3. Last 2-  3 minutes  let it bake on broil setting so it is well toasted ( or roasted !!!! )

4. Once it is cool mix the nuts.

5. Enjoy!!!! Eat as a snack or have with vanilla greek yoghurt topped with fresh  berries for a decadent healthy breakfast.

  1. DSC_0191
  2. DSC_0194

QUINOA/ Amaranth Radish Tortilla /Paratha Not SO EASY, BREEZY Gluten free But SOOOO Good!!!!

The biggest challenge while making gluten free flat breads is difficulty in rolling them because of the absence of gluten or the elasticity in the flour which is the binding factor. That’s why even in the commercial breads there is a permutation and combination of different flours like corn starch, potato starch and arrowroot flour just to literally hold it all together!! ( we are talking about bread not life still isn’t it all the same!!!!)

I have stated it before that I am always concerned about mixing too many different flours, for one it is best to keep things simple and most importantly with  people suffering from so many intolerances and allergies and sensitive digestive disposition, too many ingredients in one food can cause confusion.

Trying to make gluten free radish chapati is challenging because radish has so much moisture that  it is difficult to make radish paratha even  with wheat dough with gluten in it. It requires more skill to roll it without it falling apart on you. But do not let any of this faze you too much because it is challenging but not difficult, ( yes for me challenging and difficult are not one and the same !!!!)

Here I have added little amaranth flour to the quinoa flour to make the dough more pliable and not crumbly. As I have discussed in earlier recipes with amaranth flour, it has a very strong taste not very palatable but the dough inspite of being gluten free it is very easy to work with, is not crumbly and it is a breeze to roll. I am trying to capitalize on the key characteristic of this flour by mixing it with other gluten free but dry crumbly flours so that they hold better and then roll better and does not affect the taste. Voilla!!!!

Also I do like to hear your comments, I do want to know  what your experience is like. Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts.

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup quinoa flour 

2 1/2 tbsp. amaranth flour

1/ cup grated white radish  or red radish

2- 3 tbsp. cilantro finely chopped

1 piece of ginger grated

1 green chilli finely chopped

1/2 tsp. cumin seeds

1/2 tsp. fennel seeds

2- 3 tbsp. ghee or good quality oil 

1/2 tsp. red chilli powder ( optional )

salt to taste

llittle water 

DSC_0171

DSC_0174

DSC_0180

1. Add little salt to the flour and mix.

2. Now add raddish, ginger, chillies, cumin , fennel and mix.  Because of moisture in the radish you do not need too much water to knead the dough but also that is what makes it challenging to roll the chapati.

3. Add water very slowly mixing radish mixture thoroughly into the flour. Adding salt also draws the moisture out from the vegetables so add water very little at a time, slowly and carefully.Because of this you need to roll the tortillas right away as the dough gets moist when kept too long. 

4.Try to keep the dough a little dry and add 1 tbsp. of ghee to the dough so the dough peels off your palm and bowl completely.

5. Soon the dough starts to take shape and come together. 

6 .At this stage use a little oil to grease your palm and knead the dough, this will help the dough to come off your palm and the bowl completely. This dough is not as sticky as that of only quinoa flour as it has amaranth flour mixed in it.

7. Now use a little more oil and the knead the dough a little more and form it into a smooth  glistening ball .Do not leave the dough for more than 10-15 minutes as the moisture from  radish and herbs makes it wet and sticky. (if that happens use some dry flour to soak up  the extra moisture)

8. Divide this dough into 4 – 6 balls of equal size. Meanwhile heat a seasoned cast iron  griddle or nonstick skillet.

9. Roll the ball between both your palms and make a smooth ball ( it would not be smooth     like quinoa chapati because it has so many herbs and grated radish .

10. Roll the ball in dry flour and with a rolling pin carefully roll it out an inch or two and carefully peel it off the board and roll it in the dry flour again. Use a spatula to peel it off the board as it will break and crack easier than plain quinoa chapati but still much easier than other gluten free flours like millet, corn ,sorghum etc.Some people even use cling wrap to roll it. But I find the old fashioned way the best.

11. Carefully continue to roll and repeat the above step till you have a circle of 4-5 inch in diameter ( with practice you can make a bigger circle without it breaking apart ) of even thickness.

12. Carefully peel it off the board and place it on the heated skillet on medium heat.

13. This herbal tortilla / paratha will be thicker than the chapati and WILL take few minutes longer to cook because of its thickness but believe me the result justifies the time spent!!!

14.   Use a paper towel or a clean dish towel to press the thicker edges so that they are well cooked.

15. Turn it few times at regular intervals, so that  there are no uncooked areas left, also ensuring that it does not become crisp and    stays soft. You will see nice brown spots now and rest of the paratha with a golden hue.

16.  Do not let these instructions overwhelm you, with practice you wil get finger licking   results!!! Patience has never had a sweeter reward or should I say SAVOURY reward!!!!

 18 .Brush the tortilla with little ghee on both sides wrap it in clean cheese cloth and keep    in a covered glass dish or steel container so that they stay soft. When exposed to air for  prolonged period of time they become crisp,  keeping it enclosed they stay warm in the  steam.

 19. Serve with plain yoghurt spiced with black pepper and ground roasted cumin powder        and ENJOY!!!!

Easy Breezy Gluten Free Quinoa Crepe with onion and cilantro served with Raddish Slaw

I see lot of interest for Quinoa chapati recipe. If you have tried making it, share with me what your experience has been like, any difficulties etc. With practice the results will be delicious and very satisfactory.

Today I bring to you a very easy, quick alternative to quinoa chapati,a crepe made from quinoa flour.It tastes delicious and is a breeze to make. Hope you will have as much fun making it as I did. The melange’ of flavours and textures is bound to please the most discerning palates.

DSC_0044

DSC_0050

DSC_0052

DSC_0056

DSC_0054

Ingredients

1/2 cup quinoa flour

1/3 cup and 1 tbsp. water

1/2 onion finely chopped

2 tbsp. cilantro finely chopped

2 tbsp.greens from the green onions finely chopped

1/2 jalepeno finely chopped ( optional )

salt to taste

2 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil or ghee

Method

1. Heat a well seasoned cast iron skillet or a non stick pan on medium heat.

2. First mix the flour and water  (adding water in stages not all at once) thoroughly  so no lumps remain and then add all the other ingredients ( except oil or ghee). The consistency of the batter should be runny but not watery, if it is then the crepes break and stick.

3. Pour a small ladle full or 2 -3 tbsp. of batter on to the skillet and spread it evenly with the spoon in a circle ( should give you a 5-6 inch circle). And now put a little oil around the whole crepe.

4. Now cover with a lid for a minute or two till the crepe loses its wet look

5.With a spatula flip up the crepe from one side to see if it is brown and crisp, if it is then it is ready to be flipped.

6.Once the crepe is turned let it roast and cook on the other side for few minutes on medium heat making sure it does not char and become too crisp.

7. Continue making the crepes .

8.Serve crepes with crisp raddish slaw stuffed into them and green cilantro mint chutney. ENJOY!!!!

RADDISH SLAW

Ingredients

3- 4 red raddishes washed thoroughly and grated

2 tbsp. mint and cilantro chopped

juice of half lime or quarter lemon

Method

Mix the above and serve stuffed into crepes.

GREEN CHUTNEY

Ingredients

2 cups cilantro finely chopped stems included

1 cup mint washed and chopped

juice of 1/2 lemon

2 thai chillies stem removed ( optional )

1” piece of ginger peeled

salt to taste

1/4 tsp. sugar or 1 deseeded dates (optional)

salt to taste

1-2 tbsp.of water

METHOD

Blend or grind all the above ingredients in a mixer or a blender till it is a smooth mixture of even consistency.

Store in a glass jar and refrigerate, can be stored for 8- 10 days but starts to lose its vibrant bright green colour as it ages.

Easy Breezy ‘Gluten Free’ Shiitake Mushroomilicious Chilli Cheese Toast

More flavorful than white mushrooms ,shiitake mushrooms are meaty and woodsy in flavour and have been attributed to have  many medicinal properties.With impressive nutritional profile high protein content, good source of calcium, potassium and B vitamins and many immune boosting properties they have been said to improve cholesterol levels and improve overall cardiovascular health

An immunostimulant Lentinan derived from these mushrooms has been successfully used to treat many degenerative diseases like Cancer, AIDS etc.

Shiitake Mushroom Log

Ingredients

  • 2 cups shitake mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp. teff flour
  • 1/2 cup milk or any other alternative milk ( free of carageenan )
  • 2-3 tbsp. butter or ghee or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup beet greens washed and finely chopped ( stems included )
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 3-4 tbsp. finely chopped basil or dry  italion seasonings or 2 tbsp. pesto
  • 1 jalepeno pepper finely chopped (optional)
  • salt, black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed chilli pepper flakes
  • 8-10 slices of gluten free bread
  • grated cheese ( could  be vegan ) optional

Method

  1. Clean and wash the mushrooms  well making sure all the dirt is removed.Not many chefs approve of this practice as they feel mushrooms soak up lot up of moisture and become soggy therefore just brush the dirt off. After having a “gritty” wild mushroom soup in a fancy restaurant in Sedona (Arizona) I would definitely recommend washing.There are ways to cook so that mushrooms are not soggy. You may even pat them dry on paper towels to soak up the extra moisture.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp. of ghee in a cast iron skillet and saute’ the mushrooms and garlic till they are sizzling ,aromatic and golden ( 5- 7 minutes ). I find in a cast iron skillet mushrooms are not soggy and hold their shape.IMG_0544
  3. Prepare the sauce follwing the recipe in the previous post (Brownish Red white sauce).
  4. In a separate pan or same skillet saute the beet greens for 5- 7 minutes till cooked tender crisp,add green onions towards the end.IMG_0546
  5. Once the sauce is ready add the mushroom mixture and beet greens and jalepeno , salt and black pepper.IMG_0548
  6. Preheat the oven at 375 degrees fahrenheit and spread 1 tbsp. of the mushroom mixture and grated cheese on each slice of bread and bake in the preheated oven for few minutes till crisp and golden.

Serve with a green salad and ENJOY!!!!!

IMG_0551

Louise’s Tasty Homemade Granola

This recipe is a contribution of my friend Louise. A delicious very aromatic granola. Eat as a snack or serve with homemade yoghurt for breakfast.

Image

Ingredients

6 cups rolled grains (oats, kamut, spelt, rye flakes)

2 tsp cinanmon

1 cup raw sunflower seeds

½ cup raw pumpkin seeds

1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

½ cup chopped almonds

1/3 cup x-virgin coconut oil or ghee

2 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup agave nectar or maple syrup or honey

Method

1) Mix together dry ingredients.

2) Warm liquids gently and add to dry ingredients mixing well.

3) Spread mixture on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (you may have to do this in two batches depending on the size of your cookie sheet)

4) Bake in a 250 degree oven for one hour stirring every 20 minutes.

5) Let cool and then store in a glass container.

Enjoy!