Food, Recipes…..garnished with memories

Archive for the category “Snacks”

Peanut Encrusted Grilled Tofu (Oil Free)

Uncertainty is beautiful. Although our intellect longs for clarity and certainty, its the uncertainty that is always fascinating. That’s how I would like to describe the weather here in Bangalore.  It’s not has hot as it was a few weeks before and at times it gets cloudy (its going to rain any moment type). The evenings are the best! Cool and breezy! All you need is a cup of tea and a nice crunchy, spicy and comforting snack.  The weather can be quite an excuse to munch on some deep fried stuff isn’t it? 😛 Snacks are always synonymous with something deep fried. Lets just break that norm! No compromise on taste! I promise!


Whenever I have cooked Tofu before, I have always ended up deep frying it and have loved it. Thanks to the new grill (actually its old, but I’ve started using it very recently, hence NEW :P), I ended up grilling the tofu and loved it equally.

Garlic, Chilies, Ginger, Tofu and some dark Soy.

I love the combination of sweet and spice and hence I made a marinade using the soy, palm sugar, tamarind, garlic, ginger, chilies and sesame and it turned out to be soooooo gooooood! The tiny bits of ginger, garlic and chilies bring in bagful of flavors.

I started making it, with the motive that at the end of it I should not say “It would taste better when fried” (which I do often). To have a perfect crunchy crust I decided to combine, peanuts and bread crumbs and the crust turned of just the way I wanted it to be.

Peanut and Bread Crumb Crust

It works really well as a perfect weeknight-accessible goodness. A bowl of steamed rice/noodles,  some salad with nice lemon based dressing, and this grilled tofu. You are eating well tonight for sure! 🙂

A No-oil Peanut Encrusted Grilled Tofu



1 packet tofu, cut into long rectangular slabs of 1/2″ thickness

For the marinade

2 tsp dark soya sauce

1 tsp palm sugar

1 tsp tamarind pulp

1/2 tsp roasted sesame seeds

1 tsp finely chopped garlic

1 tsp finely chopped ginger

1-2 green chilies, finely chopped

For the crust

1/2 cup crushed peanut powder

1/4 cup bread crumbs


In a pan mix the soya sauce, palm sugar, tamarind juice, sesame seeds, ginger, garlic and chilies, and bring the mixture to a boil. Once the mixture is cooled down to the room temperature, pour it over the tofu slabs.  Allow the slabs to soak in all the marinade for about 5-6 minutes.

Coat the tofu with the peanut and bread crumb mixture. Once the tofu is nicely coated, refrigerate  it for 20 minutes. This is to make sure that the crust is firm before grilling.

Place the tofu on the grill. Grill each side for about 5-7 minutes to get a perfect crust. Serve hot with some tomato ketchup.


The soya sauce has enough salt, hence add the salt accordingly to the marinade.


More to come… 🙂


Carrot and Poppy Seed Flat Bread

It’s such a happy Friday!

The weather is awesome. Some really beautiful flowers are blooming in my garden. Here’s one.

I re-started my work out regime (you must be wondering how many times?! :D)

I had something sweet for my breakfast! yay!

Yet another recipe from my grandmother’s kitchen. You know there’s always a certain amount of pressure when you cook your grandmother’s recipe. After eating something for 567 times, the taste, flavor, texture everything is registered in your brain and anything even 0.1%  less than the desired will just not do!

Traditionally, this recipe is called ‘Garghi’ and the main ingredient is pumpkin. In order to relieve myself of the ‘pressure’ and subject to the availability I used carrots and they just turned out to be perfect! I had it for my breakfast. Nothing in this world can stop you from having it for lunch/snack or dinner, because that’s what I did.  😉

Yes! They are fried, but take my word, they do not absorb oil.  If you want to cook them like chapatis, please do, and let me know how do they taste. 🙂


2 Carrots- medium size, cut into chunks and boiled till soft.

1/2 cup jaggery/palm sugar

1/4 cup Semolina

1 cup wheat flour

2 tsp of grated nutmeg

2 tsp ghee/melted butter

2-3 tsp poppy seeds

Boil the carrots till soft and blend it into a fine puree. In a pan simmer the carrot puree and jaggery. Once the jaggery melts, turn the burner off and add semolina. Add some nutmeg and give it a mix and allow the mixture to cool down.

Add the wheat flour to the carrot-jaggery mix and knead the dough. The consistency  should be same as the chapati dough.

Divide the dough into smaller balls and flatten them on a butter paper. Do not use the rolling pin. Once the dough is flattened, press some poppy seeds and deep fry.

More to come… 🙂

Usali- Spicy Whole Moth Beans

Last week when I decided to share some of my grandmother’s recipes with you, I have been transported back to my grandmother’s place by the memories. Feels like I am on a time machine! Most of my fondest memories from childhood are related to food. I used to accompany my grandfather to buy the weekly dose of vegetables, and while he would be busy in the higgle-haggle, I would be busy imagining what my grandmother would be cooking for lunch! My childhood was spiced with kulfi, ice-golas (or chuskis as we called it), and ambrosial sugar cane juice. Each outing or a visit to a market was strategically dotted with one or the other of these inducements.

While growing up eating out meant just one thing- Indulging in street food. The  idea of going to the restaurants was reserved only for some special occasions. The importance of occasion preceded over the food in this case. The pressure of using forks and spoons made eating an exercise in mechanical dexterity rather than the epicurean enjoyment. And the meals were never complete without someone commenting as to how home cooked food was so much better in any case!

The street food was somewhere in between the comfortable order of home and the pretense of restaurants. The person who prepared these delicious treats on the streets was no less than a magician, who did some abra-ka-dabra with the ingredients and put them together in a completely new way.

Having spent most of my summers in a small town (which has now become a city) in North Karnataka, the kind of street food that I was exposed to other than the normal chats etc, were usal pav and poha. I have always believed that one cannot replicate the street food at home. Whenever I used to have a craving for something, I used to tell my grandmother (with the hope that we could go out and eat), but in next few hours, my demand would be taken care of. How? By cooking the desired food at home! Sigh! 😀 When I told my grandmother about sharing some of her recipes on my blog, she gave me a lot of recipes and I have decided that I will share all of them, sooner or later.

Usali is a very commonly prepared in every household in North Karnataka. It’s spicy, nutritious and gives a push to your creativity. I’ll explain how. You can team Usali with chapati, use it as a sauce for bhel puri, have it with poha (avalakki or beaten rice)/warm toasted bread or just with some finely chopped up tomatoes, onions and green chilies. If you want to explore the whacky side of yours-try using usali as a topping for your nachos or chips.

I have used only whole moth beans (madike kaalu). You can use mixed beans (green gram, black chickpeas and green peas) if you wish to. Soak the beans in water over night, drain the water next day and cover the beans with muslin cloth and keep it in warm place. Basically the beans need to sprout. Once they start to sprout you can refrigerate them, and use  whenever you want.

If you ask any body from North Karnataka/Maharashtra for the recipe of Usali, you will find more than ten versions of it. Its just playing with different spices and flavors.



For the paste

1 star anise

3 tsp cumin seeds

3 tsp coriander seeds

1-2 red chilies

2 sticks of cinnamon

1 large (2 medium) tomatoes-finely chopped

1 small onion- finely chopped

1 tsp oil

For the Usali

2 cups whole moth bean- sprouted and pressure cooked for about 10 minutes

1 large onion-finely chopped

4-5 Green chilies

1/2 cup peanuts- soaked and boiled.

2-3 tsp fresh green coriander-finely chopped

1 tsp oil

1/2 cup water

salt-as per taste

In a pan heat some oil and roast the onions till they are golden brown. Roast the tomatoes as well.  Dry roast all the spices and blend them along with the onions and tomatoes into a fine paste.

Heat some oil in a pan, add the chopped onions and stir till they turn translucent. Add the spice-onion-tomato paste and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add the sprouts, with about half a cup of water and cook for another 10 minutes on a low flame. Add salt and finally, chopped coriander.

Serve hot.

More to come… 🙂

Potato and Broccoli Crunchies

Hola people!

A happy holi to all of you.  I hope that all of you have a colorful year! A holi party was hosted by some family friends and I just got back. My hands are red, hair is purple,  my clothes have a whole lot of colors. I look as vibrant as ever!  As a child it was imperative that you had these color stains, when you went to the school, next day. Just to show-off what a wonderful holi you had! I think I still am going to show-off but this time I am the teacher!

I was just thinking how my life would be if my hair was curly. I would be so proud to show-off my locks. My hair is painfully straight and no amount of curling, styling, spraying helps! Looks like the outside of my head is just like the inside- Stubborn!

Probably I should just let my hair be as it is. Straight. But sometimes you want a change. Curly with just the right amount of frizz. Whatever.

Talking about change, sometimes, one needs to have broccoli, and not in the form of soup or salad.

There are days when you should totally totally eat something deep fried- without feeling guilty. If you agree with me then a mental hi-five!

And if you like potatoes- Hi-five again!

Let’s think about the classic combinations. Apple and Cinnamon. Strawberry and chocolate. Garlic and pepper. ummm garlic, pepper and mint?! May be! Why not?!

By the way the best way to cook potatoes is to microwave them in a plastic bag, with the skin for about 6 mins. You will get perfectly cooked potatoes.

I am looking for a perfect crunch. Like real crrrrruuuuunnnnnch! You get it?

Open pantry. No bread crumbs. No cornflakes. No cornflour! What do we do?

Rice flour and puffed rice powder! Let’s give it a shot!

You like cheese? Lets add cheese!

Something inside tells me that you are totally going to love this!

Potato Broccoli Crunchies- Recipe 

Makes 6 medium size crunchies

4 potatoes boiled and mashed

12-14 broccoli florets, chopped finely

5-6 cloves of garlic

2-3 tsp of mozzarella cheese

1 small cup of chopped mint

2 tsp of black pepper powder

Salt as per taste

For the coating

Rice flour+water paste. Consistency should be medium. Not too runny or thick.

Puffed rice- powdered

Mix the mashed potatoes, broccoli florets with crushed garlic (grate it), mint leaves pepper and salt. Give it a round shape using a cookie cutter/a cup.

Dip the mixture in rice flour paste and then roll it over the puffed rice powder.

Allow them to rest for a 10 mins in the refrigerator and then deep fry them.

Serve hot.

More to come!

Potato and Soya Patties with Cream Cheese and Brown Onion Filling

  I have this habit of going into sudden diets (which last for 2-3 days, sometimes even a week!). This happens periodically  when a marriage or any sort of get-together is approaching. My mom always gets to hear “Ma! From Monday on wards, I shall be on strict diet. Only fruits and water”. Two weeks back the same thing happened and I got soya chunks (I HAD decided to go for a protein diet) from the grocery store. Two Mondays have passed, and my diet… well the less said, the better! Sunday snack is a big occasion in my house. Usually my cousins come over (sometimes with their “demands”) and I am always  more than happy to cook.  So, to cover up my guilt of not going on a “protein diet”, I decided to make something using the soya chunks.

While writing this post I am reminded of the ad which was on air sometime back where a boy says to his friend while sharing his lunch-box “Teri mummy ka veg, meri  mummy ke non-veg se better hai”. One of the moments when I felt proud being a vegetarian. I am unable to find the link to that ad.  Here is another funny one which I managed to find:

Coming back to the patties. This can serve as a perfect snack or as a cutlet for the burger or a franky, make a nice ragada and you have the ragada patties with a twist! Today while picking up the ingredients from the refrigerator, I came across, hung curds,  which was meant for the salad dressing that I was planning to make, but I was way too inspired (read guilt)  by the soya chunks. Brown onions and cheese is a winning combination and hence I decided to use this mixture as the stuffing.

The Pre-preparation

I generally like to cook, keeping all the ingredients ready before I start. Its basically an excuse for my laziness to avoid going to the fridge again and again.  😀

Soaked Soya Chunks

Fried Gram Or Hurikadle- For the binding


You can play around with the stuffing here. Processed cheese/ Cottage cheese  with mint can be a good substitute for the filling.

For the Patties:

 1 bowl soaked soya chunks

 3 medium sized potatoes (boiled)

1 small bowl of fried gram (powdered)

2 tsp red chili powder

 1 tsp cumin/jeera powder

1 tsp coriander/dhania powder

Salt  as per your taste

Olive oil -for frying

For the Stuffing/Filling

 1 small bowl hung curds

 2 tsp fresh cream  (optional)

1 large sized Onion cut into thin slices

2 Green Chilies

 Few sprigs of fresh oregano

1 tsp Oil


Soak the soya chunks for 20 minutes in hot water. Remove the excess water and grind the chunks coarsely. Mix in the boiled and mashed potatoes, salt, red chili powder, cumin , coriander powder  and powdered fried gram powder. You can also use bread crumbs or roasted gram flour as the binding.

For the cream cheese filling, in a hot pan, add 2 tsp of olive oil and tip in the onions. Add just a bit of sugar to caramelize the onions and make sure that the flame is low. Once all the onions turn brown take the pan off the gas and let the mixture cool.

In a different bowl, take hung curds, add a bit of cream , green chilies, fresh oregano and salt. Add the brown onion mixture once it is cooled down to the room temperature.

Make medium- sized round patties  of the soya and potato mixture. The brown onion mixture should be sandwiched between two patties.

Shallow fry the patties, till both the sides turn golden.

Serve it with mint chutney.

Yummy Patties!

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