amaranth, butter-free, healthy baking, jowar, millet, savoury, Uncategorized

Sunday evening conversations & Gluten-free Pizza topped with barbecue chicken

gluten free Pizza topped with barbecue chicken. The base is made of jowar sorghum millet , foxtail millet grains and fresh amaranth leavesMondays are not the most exciting days unless you truly enjoy what you do for a living. Sometimes it becomes better because of conversations that you have had the previous evening just as the weekend was winding down.

One such conversation while I sipped my #tea was with my 5 year old. I usually try and ask him what he wants in his #snack box and we negotiate or re-negotiate to come to a common ground on what we both are comfortable with 🙂 Now, remember I am not aiming to win the parent of the year award and so these are tough discussions about why store-bought chips cannot be a part of the box. But there are many moments which fill my heart with pride for the child I am raising – I told him that I will give him paneer / cottage cheese as one of the items for a snack on his #tiffin . He responded back saying that he wanted to eat #foxnuts / makhana . And as if to convince me he added ‘those are as healthy as paneer, Mamma’ . Truly speaking those are healthier and I realised that the slow and often challenging process of inculcating #healthyeating in #children is finally paying off ! 

On that note, let me share yet another one of my little boy’s favourites – a healthy pizza made with a base that you can’t imagine and topped with barbeque chicken.

Baked gluten free Pizza topped with barbecue chicken. The base is made of jowar / sorghum millet , foxtail millet grains and fresh amaranth leaves !

1 cup jowar

1/2 cup coarsely ground foxtail millet

1/2 cup chopped amaranth leaves ( red ones)

1 green chilly and 2 cloves of garlic

2 tbsp oil

Salt as per preference

1 tsp paprika powder for flavour

Warm water

For Topping – Homemade Pizza Sauce, Grated cheese, corn, capsicum, barbeque chicken pieces / shredded portions.

Mix the flours and the spices. Add the chopped leaves, green chilly and garlic and grind well.  Add to the flour-spice mix. Then add the oil and mix till it resembles coarse bread crumbs. Add warm water to bring together the dough. Let it rest for 30 minutes.

Roll it out into rectangles, cut the pizza slices / triangles and bake in a preheated oven at 170 degrees C, for 15-20 minutes until crisp. Remove and cool entirely, before storing in air tight containers.

Use with any toppings of your preference, and bake again for 10-12 minutes with the topping.

 

 

 

 

 

almond, butter-free, cake, gluten-free

Be Proud…Mace and Saffron flavoured Italian Rice cake – with Almonds (butterless, no all purpose flour , made with Arborio rice)

Mace & Saffron Infused Italian Rice Cake with AlmondsFestive season is approaching and so are the advertisements about what to gift, why this time of the year is special and very importantly – how you need to look your absolute best. Seriously?

Recently I saw an ad, in which a mother is talking about how her child loves to pull her cheeks and after using a certain product the child has been telling her how soft her cheeks have become. My son saw it and promptly asked me – “Do you want me to get that for you Mamma?” He is 4 1/2 years old. I looked at him and asked if he didn’t like my cheeks as is ! He looked amused and responded that they were already soft, but if I wanted them to become even softer, like the Aunty on TV.

Well, where am I going with this ? Here’s my take – we really need to stop such emphasis on physical appearance. And let us stop when we can. Let us draw lines. Let us define boundaries on this one. To not encourage our children when they feel the need to appreciate what we look like. Yes, I want to be well-dressed and looking my absolute best. But I would not want my child to focus on how I can “improve” my physical appearance.

At some base level, it is imperative that a child knows and understands that softer cheeks are good. Infact they are great. But only if one already has them 🙂 Shift the direction of their thoughts to being proud of what you look like already. That will promote a positive body image in them as well.

Bring the festivities on , on that note ! And bake away – a recipe that closely resembles elements of our traditional kheer / rice pudding !

Mace and Saffron flavoured Italian Rice cake – with Almonds ( butterless, no all purpose flour , made with Arborio rice)

600 ml milk

1 tsp zest of lemon

150 grams of risotto rice ( preferably Arborio)

100 gms chopped almonds ( you can use any other nuts that you prefer but those which will go well with this flavour are alnuts, pinenuts, pistachios as well)

3 eggs, separated

85 grams caster sugar

1 tsp finely powder Mace

1 tsp saffron threads ( soaked in 1 tsp milk)

Cook the rice in the milk and the lemon zest till it is cooked well and soft. This should take about 40 minutes and the mixture will be creamy and thick. While it cooks ensure that you stir it well so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.

Shift this mix into a bowl to cool off well. Prepare a 9 inch springform cake tin by greasing and lining it. Preheat the oven at 160 degrees Celsius. Toast the chopped almonds in the oven for 5-7 minutes. Beat the egg yolks one by one into the rice mixture using the whisk or wooden spoon.  Beat the caster sugar into this mix and add the chopped almonds, saffron threads soaked in milk and the powdered mace.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites into stiff peaks and gently fold them into the rice mixture. Put this final mixture into the prepared springform cake tin. Bake for 40 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool the cake in the tin and then cover it and place it in the refrigerator overnight.

Unmould the cake and remove the lining when you want to serve it the next day and dust with icing sugar. Slice and serve.

KD2

butter-free, healthy baking, jowar, rice flour, Uncategorized

3/11 City- Florence/Firenze, 3/11 Healthy Bake: Schiacciata Alla Fiorentina

healthy-bake-schiacciata-alla-fiorentina

I am not a painter, not one by a far stretch of imagination. My mother’s committed efforts to have a drawing and painting teacher come home and teach us regularly, given her own creative inclination did not yield much result. I can claim to have made one painting at the end of our learning phase. Yes, I could draw to some extent – drawings of science experiments for my school files.

So given my painting skills one would think it strange that one of the things I thoroughly enjoy is exploring museums with paintings by painters, historical monuments and churches, and sculptures made by artists of a bygone era. So a city like Florence is a dream for me – because it has everything that one envisions as a person who loves history and art ( as an observer). The cobbled streets, the eclectic mix of street-side sculptures, the imposing Duomo wherein resides Michael Angelo’s masterpiece, the people from different walks of life, the winding roads that you can climb up and down as you gaze at the city below you.

Florence or Firenze as it is called in Italian, made it to my Top 3 favourite cities right from the moment I stepped in. And despite the fact that it was 7 years ago and I havent had a chance to revisit, it has held its place in my heart – because while some cities flaunt their art and past artists unabashedly, thus enticing tourists from across the world to come over, there are a few rare cities that stand in quiet dignity because the calibre and depth of what they hold does not need a mass of tourists. It needs a discerning and involved traveller:) And Florence is one of those.

So from the heart of Florence, as a tribute to its beauty is my bake – the Schiacciata Alla Fiorentina, which is essentially a Florentine Sponge Cake, but a healthier version of it. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 Jowar Flour
  • 1/2 Rice Flour
  • 1/2 All purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 4 tablespoons oil

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C. Butter your  baking pan or you can choose to bake them as small cupcakes like me.

Add flours, sugar, baking powder, the juice, zest,milk, eggs and oil. Beat with a mixer until thoroughly mixed together.  

Add the batter to the pan or the cupcake liners and bake for about 30 minutes or until it is completely baked ( I added some almonds as an after-thought, so you can do that if you want as well)

Cool it and serve.