Sarson da Saag & Makki di Roti

sarson saag makki roti
Sarson saag and makki roti is a quintessential Punjabi recipe. No Punjabi food mention is complete without this delectable blend of cornmeal and mustard leaves, spinach leaves, bathua leaves (Chenopodium album), and methi leaves (fenugreek).

Of course, this is a labor of love, which requires a lot deal of time, from chopping the leaves to washing to patiently cooking the greens and letting them simmer on low heat for a good amount of time , but it's well worth the effort. 


You'll forget your efforts once you serve this delicious blend of vegetables to your family.

I can say this because I am married to an Odiya boy. Since makki di roti and sarson da saag make a flavorful, lip-smacking, and healthy combination for Punjabis, I always wanted my hubby to enjoy it. He loves the combo as much as I, despite being from a state that uses stir frying method for greens.

This is one pot of good health that you would want to have again and again.


Easy Recipe Traditional Taste


Anybody who has tried and tasted this heavenly combination knows it does not have a match. A personal favorite, makki di roti te sarson da saag is a must in every Punjabi home during the winter season.

Let's get to the recipe shared by a dear friend Anna.


Ingredients

1 kg- mustard leaves (sarson)
1/2 kg- spinach leaves (palak)
1/4 kg- bathua leaves
1/4 kg- methi leaves (optional)
1 shalgam (turmip)
8-10 or more- garlic cloves
two small pieces of ginger (or more)
salt
1 tomato
1/2 cup of water
1 Green chilly

Tempering
1 tbsp-ghee
ginger-garlic chopped
2-3 onions chopped
2tsbp- makki atta

Process

  1. Chop the leaves.
  2. Wash all the greens. Washing is a big task. Worry not. Take a big container or bucket for washing.
  3. Add 1/2 cup of water to a pressure cooker.
  4. Mix all the leaves.
  5. Add tomato (whole or cut), chopped turnip, ginger, garlic, and green chilly.
  6. Cook for 7-8 whistles and lower the flame.
  7. Let it cook on low flame for 45-60 minutes.
  8. I cooked it at night and left it overnight in the cooker.
  9. Next day, I separated water from the saag and used it to knead makki atta.
  10. You may dry the water on a low flame with the lid open.
  11. Blend/whisk the saag.
  12. To temper, take ghee, add ginger-garlic chopped and saute.
  13. Next add chopped onions and fry well.
  14. Now add the saag. Check salt.
  15. Add 2 tbsp of makki atta. 
  16. Mix well.
  17. Let it sit on low flame. Keep stirring in between.
  18. Try this sarson saag recipe and you'll instantly fall in low with it.
Makki Roti Ingredients 
Makki atta- 2 cups
Chopped Bathua leaves/ methi leaves- 1 cup (optional)
Salt, ajwain (carom seeds)
Wheat flour- 1/2 cup
Water as needed for kneading a semi-soft dough.
Take small balls and roll out into rotis with hand.
Sprinkle little wheat flour on the rolling board (chakli). Take one makki  dough ball and press it gently. Rub with wheat flour and then roll out in a circular shape with hand. Just make sure you press with light pressure with your palm to roll out the dough.
Grease the iron skillet.
Place the rolled out chapati over it.
Let the lower side cook for a while.
Change the side. 
Let it cook.Then grease the side with oil. Cook and then change the side and fry with oil.
Done.
Enjoy with sarson saag.

My plate includes makki roti, sarson saag and sweet & spicy ginger chutney. Check the recipe here.

You may want to try another palak saag with broccoli and shalgam (turnip). The saag is bursting with flavors, healthy, and delectable.


Gajar Ki Burfi With Oatmeal: 2 Carrot Recipes; Gajar Halwa No Sugar



carrot burfi/gajar ki burfi





Winter is the season of color - colorful vegetables. Carrot is one such crimson beauty
that all of us love. And gajar halwa tops the list of winter delicacies. Our list of winter sweets is incomplete without carrot fudge or gajar ki burfi.

But the traditional carrot fudge uses a good amount of khoya or clarified butter. I am introducing you to a healthy treat, substituting khoya or milk solid with fiber-rich oatmeal.


Carrot itself is a good fiber and beta-carotene. The root vegetable is packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

From being a digestive aid to helping you glow and blush, from detoxifying your body to strengthening your teeth, carrot makes a versatile ingredient on your kitchen shelves.

Here are a few ways to cook carrot - recipes:
  • juice it along with beetroot and lime juice to make a healthy drink
  • steam carrot and add it to vermicelli, upma, or poha to make a delicious breakfast or snack (I do this always)
  • saute it along with peas and potatoes to make a delicious carrot recipe for lunch
  • grate it to make a delicious carrot cake
  • blend it with milk and oats to make a power-packed gajar paak or gajar burfi -this is exactly what we are going to do here.

Carrot Benefits
  1. Blood pressure management - A rich source of potassium, carrot is your rescue food when your blood is boiling and you are in anger. You may be surprised to know that it can relax blood vessles and release tension.The lower the risk of hypertension, the less the threat of cardiovascular disease.
  2. Digestion aid- As a rich source of fiber, carrot benefits your digestive system, adding bulk to your stool. This ensures that smooth passage from the excretion system. it also stimulates peristaltic motion and the secretion of gastric juices. This means there is less risk of constipation if you add carrot to your regular salad intake. Carrot is like a protective aid for your colon and stomach. With fiber-rich food, you can help your heart health, eliminating bad or LDL cholesterol from your vessels and arteries.
  3. Immune booster-You may be surprised to know that the humble carrot has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. As a rich source of vitamin C, carrot is an immunity aid, stimulating the activity of white blood cells.
  4. Eyesight: Our parents have always advised us to eat one carrot a day to keep our eyes strong and sharp. The reason behind this is it being a rich source of vitamin A.


Ingredients
5 juicy carrots (2 cups)
2 tbsp- desi ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 cup- milk
1/4 cup- oatmeal (I used unroasted, but you can roast for more flavor and better taste)
3 tbsp- jaggery powder( more or less depending on your taste) 
elaichi or cardamom powder
nuts of your choice (almonds/pistachio/raisins)
2 tbsp- milk powder (optional)


How To Make Carrot Burfi With Oatmeal

  • Grate carrots. I used my chopper for this.
  • Mix all ingredients except oatmeal in a small pressure cooker.
  • Cook on low-medium for 20-25 minutes with lid closed. Though try to check it after 15 mts to see if everything is okay. Then proeed.
  • Open and check if the milk has evaporated.
  • Then add dry roasted oatmeal or powdered oats to the mix.
  • if you want you may add 1/2 tsp of ghee now as well. Let oats blend well with carrot. 
  • Keep stirring until everything comes together in the center.
  • Pour the mixture on a greased plate and allow it to cool.
  • Cut into pieces of your choice once it has completely cooled down.
  • Enjoy gajar burfi in a new avatar. The gajar fudge with oatmeal is a healthy, delicious, and fiber-rich take on the traditional carrot burfi with milk powder and desi ghee loaded with calories. This one has lesser number compared to the authentic gajar burfi recipe.Winter is the season of color - colorful vegetables. Carrot is one such crimson beauty




that all of us love. And gajar halwa tops the list of winter delicacies. Our list of winter sweets is incomplete without carrot fudge or gajar paak or burfi.

But the traditional carrot fudge uses a good amount of khoya or clarified butter. I am introducing you to a healthy treat, substituting khoya or milk solid with fiber-rich oatmeal.

Carrot itself is a good fiber and beta-carotene. The root vegetable is packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

From being a digestive aid to helping you glow and blush, from detoxifying your body to strengthening your teeth, carrot makes a versatile ingredient on your kitchen shelves.

Here are a few ways to cook carrot - recipes:
  • juice it along with beetroot and lime juie to make a healthy drink
  • steam carrot and add it to vermicelli, upma, or poha to make a delicious breakfast or snack (I do this always)
  • saute it along with peas and potatoes to make a delicious carrot recipe for lunch
  • grate it to make a delicious carrot cake
  • blend it with milk and oats to make a power-packed gajar paak or gajar burfi -this is exactly what we are going to do here.
Carrot Benefits
  • Blood pressure management - A rich source of potassium, carrot is your rescue food when your blood is boiling and you are in anger. You may be surprised to know that it can relax blood vessles and release tension.The lower the risk of hypertension, the less the threat of cardiovascular disease.
  • Digestion aid- As a rich source of fiber, carrot benefits your digestive system, adding bulk to your stool. This ensures that smooth passage from the excretion system. it also stimulates peristaltic motion and the secretion of gastric juices. This means there is less risk of constipation if you add carrot to your regular salad intake. Carrot is like a protective aid for your colon and stomach. With fiber-rich food, you can help your heart health, eliminating bad or LDL cholesterol from your vessels and arteries.
  • Immune booster-You may be surprised to know that the humble carrot has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. As a rich source of vitamin C, carrot is an immunity aid, stimulating the activity of white blood cells.
  • Eyesight: Our parents have always advised us to eat one carrot a day to keep our eyes strong and sharp. The reason behind this is it being a rich source of vitamin A.
Ingredients
5 juicy carrots (2 cups)
1 tbsp- desi ghee (clarified butter) +1/2 tsp if needed later
1/2 cup- milk
1/4 cup- oatmeal (I used unroasted, but you can roast for more flavor and better taste)
3 tbsp- jaggery powder( more or less depending on your taste)
elaichi or cardamom powder
nuts of your choice (almonds/pistachio/raisins)
2 tbsp- milk powder (optional)


How To Make Carrot Burfi With Oatmeal


  1. Grate carrots. I used my chopper for this.
  2. Mix all ingredients except oatmeal in a small pressure cooker.
  3. Cook on medium high for 20-25 minutes with lid closed.
  4. Open and check if the milk has evaporated.
  5. Then add dry roasted oatmeal or powdered oats to the mix.
  6. if you want you may add 1/2 tsp of ghee now as well. Let oats blend well with carrot. 
  7. Keep stirring until everything comes together in the center.
  8. Pour the mixture on a greased plate and allow it to cool.
  9. Cut into pieces of your choice once it has completely cooled down.
  10. Enjoy gajar burfi in a new avatar. The gajar fudge with oatmeal is a healthy, delicious, and fiber-rich take on the traditional carrot burfi loaded with calories. This one has lesser number compared to the authentic gajar halwa.
Here's some feedback on gajar burfi with oatmeal




no sugar gajjar halwa




Gajar halwa is a favorite at my place. Punjabis are known to make this sweet carrot pudding profusely during winters. Now the sweet has become widely popular all through India.

I love gajar halwa to the core, but since it includes good amount of sugar, I try to make small batches just to satiate my cravings for this winter delicacy. I tell you I can have this lip-smacking dessert at any time of the day.

It is that good. The gajar halwa that mom makes is above par. But I do try to avoid too much sugar and ghee, so keep experimenting with age-old recipes for a healthy twist.

I fail sometimes, but I do pass many a time.

This time I decided to give it carrot pudding a sweet twist - substituted sugar with jaggery powder (gur). Voila! Glad the gajar halwa still tastes awesome.

Why did I pick jaggery over sugar?
Jaggery is a better alternative to sugar, since it is slowly digested by the body compared to sugar, which is quickly absorbed and raises blood sugar levels instantly, causing blood sugar spike in the body.

I have tried replacing sugar in a few other dessert recipes and I am pretty happy with the results.
Here's my rasmalai experiment with jaggery.





Here's the healthy recipe of this light, no sugar gur gajar halwa:

7-8- carrots
2 pieces of gur (depends on your taste)
1 tsp - ghee (clarified butter)
1/4 cup - khoya (I used the material leftover after preparing ghee)
1/2 liter- milk (I used toned milk)
3-4 Cardamom (elaichi)
Nuts - almonds, raisins

Gajrela Process
gur gajjar halwa
Warm & comforting, gajar halwa is a delightful delicacy that we love to savor during winters. Warm or cold, the carrot pudding tastes delicious in every form.

  1. Grate carrots. 
  2. Boil milk and then add powdered elaichi and carrots. (I made the gajar halwa yesterday as well and boiled carrots for 3 whistles...this time I decided to boil them directly in milk)
  3. Keep on low flame. Took more than an hour for the milk to dry up.
  4. Next, add khoya and ghee. Mix well. Let it cook on slow flame.
  5. Now add gur and mix very well. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until the gajjar halwa looks dry.
  6. Add/ garnish with nuts of your choice. I added almonds and raisins (kishmish).
  7. Enjoy this light and healthy recipe of carrot pudding on a cold winter morning or evening.
  8. Give this gajar halwa a try and it would be a frequent recipe in your kitchens during the winter season.

Sweet 'n Spicy Ginger Chutney: Collection of Chutneys

ginger chutney
Ginger chutney and that too sweet? There is nothing to be surprised here! This is a delectable blend of anti-inflammatory ginger and jaggery that gives you a lip-smacking treat - something that makes a perfect meal-time accompaniment.

Ginger is an anti-inflammatory with several health-friendly properties. While in India, we use ginger extensively during winters in our meals, I decided to use it differently. I wanted to make sweet ginger chutney so started surfing the world wide web for recipe.

Then I came across this ginger jam or spicy ginger chutney recipe from Bhojanarecipes.com. I made slight variation to the original recipe.





Sweet Ginger Chutney Ingredients 
1 cup -Fresh Ginger chopped
1/4 cup- Coriander seeds (sabut dhaniya)
1/4 cup- Cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tsp- Pepper (kali mirch)
2 tsp- Ajwain (carom seeds)
1 -Cardamom (elaichi)
2- Clove (laung)
2 tsp- Ghee (clarified butter)
Powdered jagerry (gur)- should be equal to the amount of the ground mixture
Salt- 1 tsp (depending on taste)

Spicy Ginger Chutney Procedure
  1. Cut ginger into small pieces.
  2. Take all ingredients except ghee, salt, and jaggery.
  3. Grind ginger, coriander seeds, jeera, pepper, ajwain, elaichi, laung.
  4. Take a pan.
  5. Put the ground mixture in a cup. We need equal amount of gur or jaggery.
  6. Add the ground spices and jaggery into the pan.
  7. Heat on a low flame.
  8. After 5 minutes, add ghee and salt.
  9. Fry and stir for 5-10 minutes.
  10. Your spicy ginger chutney is ready.
  11. Tastes good with rice.
  12. There are many other chutneys to be tried here.
black chana hummus (chutney)

coconut chutney with curry leaves 
roasted almond chutney



mango chutney 
tomato lauki chutney
dry coconut chutney with garlic



tomato chutney with roasted fenugreek
tomato chutney

Mixed fruit chutney jam

Sweet amla chutney



Baked Wheat Mathri

atta mathris
If you love mathris and are looking for a perfect baked mathri recipe, here it is. As a Punjabi, I am fond of mathris, but hardly make them, since they have to be deep fried. Secondly the traditional mathri recipe uses maida or all-purpose flour and I tend to avoid white flour for all the good reasons that I have shared with you all many times.

Here is just a recap of the same:








Then I experimented with a few ingredients to come up with a healthier version of wheat mathris. Am I disappointed?

Not at all!

The best thing about baked mathris is they turn out really soft , contrary to popular belief that baked version could be harder than deep fried one :)

My previous baked salted crackers post has given me the confidence to go ahead with this experiment.I call them crunchy diet cookies.

Traditionally mathris have been made in Punajbi homes for special occasions, be it wedding ceremonies, birthday parties, karwa chauth, and birth of a baby. People would host lavish parties and invite guests for days to celebrate their happiness.

Ideally traditional chefs would be hired for the job of making sweets, savories, snacks and meals. They would dish out delicacies for everyone to enjoy. Mathris are one such snack that is found in every celebration in Punjab. So this Punjabi is too fond of the traditional snack.

You will find that this makes a crispy, crunchy mathri that you can present to guests as Diwali snack or even pack homemade mathris as Diwali gift for friends and relatives.

So here's presenting no maida mathri for your guilt-free indulgence.

Wheat Mathri Ingredients

1 cup- wheat flour
1/2 cup- suji
2 tbsp-besan
1 tsp- ajwain (carom seeds)
1 tsp- jeera (cumin seeds)
4 tsp - achaar oil (or any vegetable oil-  I used amla achaar oil to give the mathri a tangy taste)
Salt as per taste
Sesame seeds (til)
1/4 tsp- baking soda
1 pinch - hing (asafeotida)
Water to knead a stiff dough
Kasuri methi and any herbs and spices you may want

Baked Mathri Process
atta mathris


  1. Take wheat flour, suji, besan, and baking soda.
  2. Mix very well.
  3. Add salt, ajwain, jeera, and kasuri methi or any herbs you require.
  4. Add oil and mix.
  5. The dough would be like bread crumbs.
  6. Add water to knead a stiff dough.
  7. Cut into desired shapes.
  8. Bake the mathris for 16-18 minutes at 180 degrees.
  9. Enjoy wheat mathris guilt free!

Oats Manchurian

oats manchurian
I have been in love with the spicy Manchurian balls ever since I tasted them for the first time. I relish Manchurian with plain rice.

This time I decided to give a healthy twist to my favorite manchurian balls by substituting maida with oats and frying these in paniyaram pan.

I rarely deep fry anything.

The result did not disappoint - at least I am happy I have a healthier Manchurian recipe now.








Ingredients for oats manchurian balls

oats manchurian in appe pan
1 cup - grated cabbage 
1/2 cup - grated carrot
3 tbsp- oat meal (oats powder)
1/2 tsp- black pepper
1 tsp- Garlic paste
1 tbsp- curd
Salt to taste

  • Mix all ingredients and make small balls.
  • Grease an appe pan.
  • Put balls in each of the wells.
  • Put on medium flame. 
  • Cover the paniyaram pan.
  • Keep checking at regular intervals - after 3-4 minutes.
  • Change sides of the balls.


How to Cook Oatmeal: Dhokla (Steamed Oatmeal Cake Recipe)


homemade oatmeal recipe of dhokla
How to prepare oatmeal for breakfast? Well, here is a simple recipe with oatmeal that makes a healthy, filling, and delicious breakfast.

Call it oatmeal dhokla or handvo, the homemade oatmeal recipe is sure going to be your family's favorite.

I loved the healthy oatmeal recipe of idli that I tried earlier. This was the turn of oats dhokla.

It did not disappoint me either. Enjoy this healthy snack and feel happy that you are feeding your family health food.

This recipe takes inspiration from Sonia Saluja's oatmeal recipe of dhokla.

This is a sure pleaser!






Do you love oats? Or do you still need to give this healthy cereal grain a try? Wondering how to cook oatmeal?

This is a sure shot way of preparing homemade oatmeal recipes! A favorite with kids and elders alike, the oatmeal recipe will tinkle your taste buds and change your idea of oats.

You will no longer think oatmeal is boring.


Ingredients
1 cup- oats
1 cup- suji (semolina)
1 tbsp- besan (optional)
1 tbsp - flax powder (optional)
4 tbsp- curd
Salt as per taste
1/4 tsp-Sugar (please avoid sugar when making it a diabetes friendly recipe)
1 tsp Ginger grated
water to make thick yet dropping consistency of batter
1 tsp-mustard seeds
1 tsp- sesame seeds (til)
1/2 tsp- oil
1/4 tsp- baking soda/ENO fruit salt
1 pinch- haldi

oats suji dhokla
Steamed Oatmeal Recipe Procedure

  1. Roast oats and grind. Roast for 1-2 minutes only.
  2. Roast suji for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Roast flax seeds and grind.
  4. Let everything cool.
  5. Add oats, suji, and flax powder.
  6. Add curd, salt, sugar, haldi, and ginger.
  7. Mix water. Just add little by little so that the batter is of dropping consistency.
  8. Keep aside for 30 minutes.
  9. Take oil, add mustard seeds and sesame seeds. Let mustard seeds splutter.
  10. Do not roast sesame much; else, it will turn bitter.
  11. Add baking soda/eno to the batter and pour one tbsp of water over it. Mix gently.
  12. Grease a pan and pour the batter into pan.
  13. Take a deep container and add water.
  14. Place a rack in the water and then keep the pan over it.
  15. Close the lid.
  16. Steam for 10-15 minutes (or longer). Keep a check.
  17. Insert a knife or toothpick to see if the oats dhokla is done.
  18. When the dhokla is ready, pour the tempering over it and enjoy with chutney.
  19. I prepared roasted gram chutney with oats dhokla. 
Check the recipe of oatmeal idli here.

Check more healthy ways to cook oatmeal here. We have more than 50 homemade healthy oatmeal recipes.

Atta Pinni/Ladoo: Indian Sweets

atta pinni
Atta pinni or ladoo are a specialty of Punjab.

I remember our parents and grandparents preparing these delicious delicacies during winters when we were young. We would relish this healthy sweet like anything. We love atta pinnis even today, but have made little alterations to the recipe to make it with less amount of ghee, which is a healthier option but isn't great for your heart.



This click of atta pinni was taken by my sis-in-law and this is her recipe.

Indian Sweet Ingredients

1 cup- wheat flour
2 tbsp- ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 cup- khoya or paneer
1 tbsp - rice flour or corn flour or maida
2 tbsp-sugar (as per taste) 
green cardamom/elaichi
Almonds or any other nuts
2 tbsp - milk

Process
  1. Take milk in a pan and add rice flour/cornflour.
  2. Mix & stir well.
  3. Add crumbled paneer and switch on the flame. If you are using khoya, you may not need milk. Simply add khoya to the pan and heat on low flame.
  4. Keep stirring
  5. Add sugar and mix well.
  6. Add elaichi.
  7. Meanwhile take another pan and add ghee.
  8. Roast wheat flour on low flame until nice aroma fills your kitchen.
  9. Keep aside.
  10. Now add paneer mixture into the roasted atta.
  11. Keep stirring.
  12. Switch off the flame when done.
  13. Roll out into small balls and flatten them with your palm. If it feels dry, you may add little milk or warm ghee to make balls.
  14. Healthy atta pinnis are ready.

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