Finger Millet Pancakes (Savoury & Sweet Versions)

“Finger Millet” is a much-loved grain because it’s gluten-free and for the perceived health benefits and nutritive value. Red Finger Millet also, called “Nachni” or, “Ragi”, was a food I grew up with. Millet flour got tossed into dumplings, baked goods, dessert and most importantly pancakes!

My mother believed that all foods in their natural and unprocessed form when consumed in moderation were good for you. My little ones love pancakes and eat these hot off the pan with maple syrup and fruit preserves. The grown ups in the household prefer the savoury version with finely chopped shallots sprinkled with salt and pepper. I usually make a large bowl full of batter with fine finger millet flour and rice flour in some warm water. This batter sits in a warm spot while I get the shallots chopped. The little ones polished hot pancakes as soon as they were out of the pan dunked into maple syrup, but I did manage to take a few images of the savoury ones with different toppings 😊

 

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Finger Millet Flour Pancakes

Gluten free, fat-free and ready in minutes. Choose your own toppings, or use as a wrap for veggie fillings.

Priya: Priya@MasalaVegan
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Red Finger Millet Flour, fine
  • 1/3 cup Rice Flour, fine
  • 2 - 2.5 cups Warm Water
Savoury Pancakes
  • 1/2 cup Green Shallots, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Mint Leaves, minced
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black Pepper, to taste
Sweet Pancakes
  • 1/2 cup Desiccated Coconut, to sprinkle on top
  • Maple Syrup, to serve with
Instructions
  1. Heat a griddle pan (I used my trusty cast iron pan). (A non stick pan works just as well).

  2. Pour half a cup of batter on the hot griddle and spread around in a thin circle by tilting and rotating the griddle pan carefully.

  3. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of shallots if making a savoury pancake and some salt & pepper.

  4. Sprinkle 1/2 a tablespoon of desiccated coconut, if using, to make a sweet pancake.

  5. Cover the pan and cook on low heat until the sides start to lift up.

  6. Flip over and cook the other side for a couple of minutes.

  7. Serve warm.

  8. The savoury version tastes great with some mint leaves or other toppings of choice sprinkled onn the top.

  9. The coconut pancakes taste great dunked into maple syrup or, with fruit preserves or, with chopped up fresh fruit.

Finger Millet Pancakes

I’m curious to know everyone’s favourite sweet & savoury batter, so please chip in the comments below 😊

Instant Idli (Steamed Rice Flour Dumplings)

Spring has been lurking around the corner in Sydney recently. This of course jolts me out of my hibernation to cook more food instead of curling up in a corner with a mug of soup! My biggest issue with winter are the short days and not enough daylight hours with rather bad lighting when I try to take photos of my recipes. Of course, I’m not the best photographer to begin off with, and tend to use my iPad to take most of the pictures on my bench top 😳

Now for today’s recipe,

I have previously posted a traditional Idli recipe, as it is one of the most popular South Indian rice dumpling here – How to make your Idli batter & steamed Idli dumplings the traditional way.

This instant rice flour Idli recipe is an old recipe from my mother’s cooking diary. Ready under 1 hour from start to finish, this easy recipe tastes great with Coconut Chutney, “Gunpowder” (interesting name isn’t it, πŸ™‚ I’ll dig my recipe out soon) or Quick “Sambar” Lentil Stew to dunk the Idli in.

 Instant Idli

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Instant "Idli" Rice Flour Dumplings

Vegan, Gluten free, no Oil recipe.

Priya: Priya@MasalaVegan
Ingredients
  • 2 cups White Rice Flour, coarsely ground
  • 2/3 cup Skinned Split Black Lentil Flour, fine
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3 - 3.5 cups Warm Water
  • 3/4 - 1 teaspoon Eno Regular Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Rice Bran Oil, to grease the Idli Mould
Instructions
  1. Dry whisk the flours and salt together until well mixed.

  2. Mix in the warm water until a thick but smooth batter forms. Add in warm water by the spoonful to get a smooth batter. The amount of water needed depends on the coarseness of the rice flour. Set aside in a warm corner.

  3. Get a large steamer/ pot that the Idli moulds fit into and fill with water. Bring the water to a boil on high heat mad then turn the heat down to the lowest setting. (I tend to fill more water as it evaporates while cooking. Important part is to not let the boiling water near the batter while cooking.)

  4. Grease the Idli moulds/ steaming cups with rice bran oil.

  5. Stir in the Eno salt into the resting batter and mix well quickly.

  6. Drop tablespoonfuls of batter into the greased and prepared steaming moulds and set into the steamer pot. Cover the pot and steam at the highest setting for 12 - 15 minutes.

  7. Remove the moulds filled with cooked dumplings from the steamer immediately and cool for 5 - 10 minutes before gently sliding out of the moulds with a soft spatula.

  8. Enjoy hot, with Coconut Chutney or dunked into Lentil Stew.

Recipe Notes

There are different kinds of steamers that everyone uses from makeshift large pots filled with boiling water to special Idli steamers. All kinds are good as long as they hold enough water and have a separate section where the rice flour batter can cook without the water boiling into it. If the batter touches the boiling water, there will be no perfectly steamed dumplings, just a big floury, sticky mess unfortunately! I learnt this the hard way, so hope this helps πŸ™‚

Happy Cooking 😊 If you like this recipe, please check out my other Idli recipes here –  Quinoa Idli  and 

Semolina Idli

Vegan Cinnamon Fruit Snails

Warm, doughy and buttery snails particularly, the ones filled with jam or fruit fillings are a particular favourite with my little one on cold winter days! There’s this little bakery close by where she wants to stop at regularly, just to get her favourite sweet rolls. I often give in while wondering  if that much sugar and butter is good for such a tiny body…

I have a fair bit of organic dried fruit (mainly raisins, some dried berries & sultanas!) left from my last shop. So, I decided to use my favourite dough recipe and throw in a generous helping of dried fruit with some cinnamon, and a dash of all spice to make my kitchen smell like baking in winter πŸ˜‹ The little ones loved it and wouldn’t stop eating it fresh out of the oven! The few snail rolls that survived were lightly toasted for morning tea the next morning and requested all over again 😊 This is the perfect Christmas in July recipe to whip up under 2 hours from start to finish. Happy Baking!

Vegan Fruit Snails

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Vegan Magic Dough Fruit Snails

Vegan, sugarfree, nut free.

Priya: Priya@MasalaVegan
Ingredients
  • 1 recipe Magic Dough
  • 3/4 cup Dried Fruit (Raisins, Berries, Pawpaw are all good)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Allspice Powder
  • Non Stick Spray
Instructions
  1. Prepare the dough and roll into a flattish rectangle. Sprinkle the fruit on top of the dough and press in palm down. Next sprinkle in the cinnamon & allspice powder all over. Spread with a flat spoon, if necessary.

  2. Carefully roll up the fruit & dough rectangle from the long end as tightly as possible.

  3. Use a sharp knife or dough cutter to cut into rolls, roughly 1/2" in width.

  4. Spray non stick spray in a round tray or cake pan and, place the snails/rolls at least a couple of centimeters away from each other.

  5. Cover with a damp tea towel and place in a warm spot for 20 - 30 minutes.

  6. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius on the fan forced setting.

  7. Bake the fruit snails/ rolls at 180 degrees Celsius for 25 - 35 minutes, or until a beautiful golden brown and smelling divine!

Vegan Vada Pao Rolls (Low Fat Version)

Vada Pav/ Pao, growing up in Bombay (now Mumbai) was one of my favourite foods.  This humble Indian burger is made with a soft and fluffy bread roll A.K.A. Pav/ Pao (here’s my recipe) filled with a spicy potato patty and some peanut & red chilli powder often, garnished with little pieces of red onion. Being hawker food, the spicy potato patty is deep-fried and delicious (as I realized on my most recent trip!).

Trying to recreate this at home, my first change was to either Air Fry or oven bake the patty. As I made my favourite dough recipe for the rolls, I had the potatoes boiled and ready with all the spices. The mashed potato mixture was easy to shape into marble sized balls all ready to bake, when I decided to use the dough to enclosing the potato mixture to make stuffed rolls, for faster cooking! Genius, I’m thinking but I’m sure there are other versions of this “Vada Pav” roll out there πŸ™‚ Happy baking!

 

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Vegan Vada Pao Rolls

Vegan, nut-free and low fat recipe.

Priya: Priya@MasalaVegan
Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander Seed Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1 inch Fresh Ginger, minced
  • 2 Green Chillies, minced finely
  • 8 - 10 Curry Leaves, torn roughly
  • 2 medium sized Potatoes, boiled
  • Salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a deep pan, add the mustard seeds and cover.

  2. Cook until the seeds pop and then toss in the cumin seeds, coriander seed powder, ginger, curry leaves, green chillies and turmeric powder. 
  3. Add the potatoes and salt and mix together until well combined. Take off the heat and cool before dividing the potato mixture into 12 golf ball sized round portions. Set aside to cool.
  4. Divide the dough into round balls and flatten to a circle about 5" wide. 
  5. Put the spicy potato mixture in the centre and gently bring the sides up to seal the dough. Use a drop of water to stick the edges of the dough, if required. 
  6. Place the prepared rolls on a baking tray lined with nonstick paper and cover with a clean tea towel. 
  7. Set aside to rise in a warm place for half an hour. 
  8. In the meanwhile heat the oven on a fan forced setting to 200Β°C. 
  9. After 30 minutes, remove the tea towel from the rolls and spray with non stick spray. 
  10. Bake in a hot oven at 180Β°C for 20 - 25 minutes. 
  11. Tastes great warm or, after cooling with a warm drink. Happy baking 😊

 

Quick Indian Lemon Pickle

Lemons have all kinds of goodness and are quite scarce at this time of the year. When I do find some fresh ones, I’m determined to make the most out of them. This quick Lemon Pickle is ready literally in minutes using my trusty pressure cooker  after overnight prep. Indian pickles tend to use mustard seeds, cumin seeds and other spices in oil along with turmeric salt and sugar as a preservative.

Tastes great with plain Rice and Dal or, with some yogurt and flatbread (Roti).

Apologies for the radio silence all this time, I’ve been busy traveling and trying out all kinds of vegan food (good & bad!), shall update with pictures as soon as I can!

Quick Lemon Pickle
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Indian Quick Lemon Pickle

Vegan, gluten-free & nut free.


Cuisine: Indian
Priya: Priya@MasalaVegan
Ingredients
  • 12 Lemons, washed and dried
  • 4 tablespoons Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar
To Make
  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Fennel Seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Fenugreek Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
Instructions
Prep For The Lemons
  1. Wash and dry the lemons thoroughly.

  2. Quarter and put into a big glass bowl.

  3. Sprinkle with salt and sugar. Rub into the lemon pieces and cover.

  4. Let the lemon pieces marinate for 8 to 12 hours.

Pickle Making (After 12 hours)
  1. Heat oil in a pressure pan and add the mustard seeds. Cook until they pop.

  2. Stir in the rest of the spices and cook on low heat until aromatic.

  3. Mix in the marinated lemon pieces along with the juice in the glass bowl.

  4. Cover the pressure pan and cook on high for 8 to 10 minutes. Take off the heat immediately and allow to cool naturally.

  5. Spoon the warm pickle into a clean, sterilised glass jar and cap immediately. A vacuum seal should form as the pickle cools down.

  6. I used 2 small jars to store the pickle in as this ensures longevity of the pickle and keeps the freshness intact. 

 

Punjabi Kadhi Pakora (Vegan Yogurt Stew with Fritters)

Kadhi Pakora is a winter staple in North India served with steamed rice and garnished with vegetable fritters. It took me a long time to veganise this recipe only because most of the suggestions on google are to use tofu in some form. Now, I’m not at all against eating tofu in moderation but, now and then if I’ve been slack with grocery shopping, we end up with no tofu! This recipe came about at a time like this, with the family pitching ideas at me and brainstorming about how best to get the Kadhi right (love weekend cooking!). My younger one, of course insisted, that as long as the Pakora (fritters) were good, no one cared about the actual taste or consistency of the Kadhi/ stew! I used this Pakora recipe and this steamed rice recipe. Happy cooking 😊 

Indian Buddha Bowl

 

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Vegan Punjabi Kadhi Pakora

Gluten free, allergy friendly and onion & garlic free.

Priya: Priya@MasalaVegan
Ingredients
To blend together
  • 2.5 cups Non Dairy Milk (Soy, Rice & Coconut work well)
  • 5 tablespoons Chickpea Flour/ Besan, fine
  • 1 inch Fresh Ginger Root, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 3 - 4 tablespoons Lime Juice
  • Salt, to taste
For the Spice Mix
  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon Asafoetida
  • 7 - 8 Whole Dried Cloves
  • 2 inch Cinnamon Bark, coarsely pounded
  • 1 teaspoon Black Mustard Seeds
  • 8 Fresh Curry Leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Fennel Seeds
  • 1 Green Chilli, minced
Instructions
Blend the chickpea flour and the rest of the ingredients until a smooth and thin batter like mixture forms.
  1. Heat oil in a deep sauce pan and add the mustard seeds. Cover and cook until they pop.

  2. Reduce heat and add all the other spices along with the curry leaves and chilli. Roast until fragrant.

  3. Add contents of the blender to the spices in the deep pan and mix well.

  4. Cook over gentle heat until the mix comes to a rolling boil. Cover and cook for a further 8 - 10 minutes to thicken the stew.

  5. While the stew cooks get the fritters ready. I made mine in the Air Fryer.

  6. If serving with rice, then take this time to get some freshly steamed rice ready.

  7. Assemble for serving by adding rice to a deep dish or bowl first. Pour the cooked Kadhi (stew) over the rice. Finally garnish with crisp Pakoras (fritters).

 

Airfryer Vegetable Pakora & The Veggie Bullet

My Mother’s Day present this year was a “Veggie Bullet“, that can slice, chop, grate, shred and most importantly, “spiralise veggies”! I’ve been wanting a spiraliser for the longest time now, but everytime I got a manual one, something would be wrong, missing screws, broken blades, missing parts and more… Not anymore, so stay tuned for lots of spiraliser recipes, as I start my experiments 😊

Veggie Bullet

For our first trial, after taking a family vote we decided to make Vegetable Pakora, the famous Indian fritters that everyone loves! These are a combination of shredded vegetables I had in the fridge consisting of cabbage, zucchini and white potatoes mixed with dry spices such as, green fennel, cumin, carom and coriander in a thick Besan and rice flour batter to bake in the Air Fryer. These crisp, gluten-free and hot Pakore didn’t last very long, paving the way to break out the Veggie Bullet again. There  are heaps of you tube videos on how to use the Veggie Bullet that I’ve watched before taking the plunge! Now on to the Vegetable Pakora recipe, 

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Veggie Pakora

Vegan, gluten free, onion and garlic free.

Priya: Priya@MasalaVegan
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup Besan/ Chickpea Flour
  • 1/2 cup Rice Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Carom Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon Fennel Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Kitchen King/ Garam Masala Powder
  • 1 cup Grated Vegetables (Zucchini, Cabbage & Potato)
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Warm Water
  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • Salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, add the flours, spices, oil, salt and 1/2 cup of water. Whisk well until smooth.

  2. Fold in the grated veggies into the batter carefully. Add extra spoonfuls of water only if required, as the batter needs to be quite thick and the veggies give out moisture too!

  3. I left my batter quite thick to scoop up by the spoonful and drop into the Airfryer basket to cook for 15 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius.

  4. If using an oven, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius and bake for 20 to 25 minutes on a fan forced setting.

  5. Serve warm with Tomato Chutney or Ketchup πŸ˜‹

Recipe Notes

Many other veggies can also be used in this versatile baked pakora recipe, as long as the vegetables are grated or, chopped fine. Examples are, sweet potatoes, turnips, daikon, carrots and even onions to make the famous Onion Bhajji!

 

2 Ingredients! Activated Almond Milk

I love making almond milk at home for several reasons. The main ones being freshness, taste, far more economical and no additives. I remember my mother soaking Almonds and peeling them for me to eat first thing in the morning during winter time. Now there are studies that prove that, soaking almonds the previous day decreases the levels of enzyme inhibitors and phytates for easier digestion. This simple recipe is just soaking the almonds, peeling and rinsing, before grinding with fresh water. The almond meal leftover after filtering the blended almond milk mixture is excellent in desserts like “Kheer” and savoury dishes such as Vegan Quinoa Meatballs. This versatile almond milk can be poured over cereal, blend into smoothies or, drunk plain.

Almonds, not only have heaps of health benefits but taste great too. I completely adore the sweetish and nutty taste of almond milk in my morning breakfast smoothies and, the children love pouring almond milk all over their cereals and as a drink.

We need,
  • Raw Organic Almonds – 3/4 cup, soaked 12 to 14 hours
  • Water – 4 cups
Directions,
  1. Rinse the peeled almonds in fresh water before adding to the blender jar.
  2. Add 2 cups of water to the blender jar and run on the highest setting until the almonds  are finely ground. I have a powerful blender that takes 2 minutes to grind the almonds.
  3. Mix in 2 more cups of water for a milky consistency.
  4. Line a large saucepan with a nut milk bag and strain the almond milk through.
  5. Store in a glass jar for 4 – 5 days.

Tastes great with cookies or biscuits or, in hot and cold drinks.

Vegan Rainbow Cake & Sugarfree Icing

 Birthdays were taken very seriously when I was growing up. Every last bit had to be meticulously planned and organized way beforehand (at least a month!). I used to religiously count down days to my birthday and the party. Headache inducing decisions on who was going to be on the guest list, I possibly drove my poor mother to insanity! My mother insisted on baking a cake for me every single year, even the years I was away from home she would wait till I got back and made me one. I now deeply miss the cake, the love, thought and affection that went into making it. Now I make cakes for my little ones, who seem to come up with some unusual requests. This cake was supposed to be a rainbow cake with blue icing roses and also, follow the trend of undressed cakes with a light covering of some vanilla icing! Excellent for three different cakes but the birthday girl loved her cake and insisted on cutting it herself (the magic of seeing the layers I’d say). The basic cake recipe is from my vanilla cake with gel colors and natural fruit flavours mixed in. The icing is made with powdered Xylitol mixed with a dash of corn flour and Nuttelex, a vegetable shortening easily found in the shops here.

Vegan Rainbow Birthday Cake
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Vegan White Icing
Vegan, gluten free, nut free and sugar free. A quick icing recipe great for covering, piping and decorating cakes, cupcakes and cookies.
Priya: Priya@MasalaVegan
Ingredients
  • 4 cups Xylitol
  • 2 tablespoon Corn Flour
  • 2 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 1/2 cup Nuttelex
  • 2 tablespoons Non Dairy Milk
Instructions
  1. Powder the Xylitol and corn flour together until fine.

  2. In a large mixing bowl add the powdered mix, shortening, milk and vanilla bean paste.
  3. Start mixing at the lowest speed possible until the mixture comes together.
  4. Once the mixture is well mixed then increase the speed to get smooth and fluffy icing.
Recipe Notes

If the mixture seems to thick (depends on different brands of corn flour) add a bit more milk.
Use rice milk, if wanting a gluten-free, nut Free and sugar-free icing.

If you enjoyed this cake recipe, please check out my Vegan Mud Cake!

 

Quick Banana Fritters (200th Post)

Thank you my dearest readers for reading my 200th post and your encouragement!

I’ve always wanted to keep a record of all my recipes and tried blogging as a way to do that. I started off with blogger ages ago (in 2008), gave it all up because of the pressures of daily life and work. Then I discovered WordPress in 2011 and started posting on and off. Finally in 2016, I stumbled upon the fact that, I could schedule posts in advance and they would be live like clockwork, while I was still at work or, fast asleep, or even on another continent!

I’m very thankful for all the support that I have received even though I don’t always get back promptly (work in progress)! I did lose many of my followers, comments and likes when migrating from WordPress to the new website, so I’m still tracking friends old and new while, discovering wonderful food 😊

To celebrate my 200th post I bring to you one of my favorite banana desserts growing up. This was something my mum often made when I demanded something sweet instantly! Bless her heart, she not only got dinner ready in under an hour despite working  all day but also, ensured my sweet tooth was satisfied 😍 (Love you and miss you heaps Ma!)

Oh, yes back to this wonderful sugar-free, gluten-free Banana Fritter recipe and enough with my rambling already!

 

3 Ingredient Vegan Gluten-free Banana Fritters
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Vegan Banana Fritters

Vegan, gluten-free and sugar-free. Made with just 3 ingredients. Under 10 minutes. Tastes great warm, with cinnamon powder sifted over or, with custard or vanilla ice cream. Makes great allergy free treats for lunch boxes too.

Priya: Priya@MasalaVegan
Ingredients
  • 2 Overripe Bananas
  • 2 tablespoon Rice Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Coconut Oil, melted
Instructions
  1. Heat a thick bottomed pan (I used my cast iron pan) with a drizzle of coconut oil.

  2. In a mixing bowl, add the peeled bananas & rice flour.

  3. Mash the bananas lightly with a spoon while mixing the rice flour in.

  4. Drop a spoonful of batter on the hot pan.

  5. Cook until golden brown and flip over to cook the other side.

  6. Drizzle some more coconut oil in between if needed (my cast iron pan really doesn't need much oil).

  7. Sprinkle with cinnamon powder if desired or, eat warm with vegan vanilla ice cream.

If  you enjoyed this quick vegan dessert, please check this luscious vegan and gluten-free Fudge recipe.