Archive for the ‘TEA TIME’ Category


These diamond/square shaped savouries are the easiest to make. I generally make them for Janmashtami and Diwali. There are two varieties in them, the sweet shakarpolis and the khara (spicy) Shankarpolis.

Khara Shankarpolis: Spicy Shankarpolis:

Fine Semolina (rava): 1/2 cup

Maida (all purpose flour): 1/2 cup

Red chilli powder: 1 tsp

Salt: to taste

Ajwain: 1 tsp

Corriander powder: 1/2 tsp

Jeera powder: 1/2 tsp

turmeric: a pinch

Ghee (optional): 2 tbspn ( I’ve added 1.5 tbspn of hot oil)

Oil: deep frying.

Water: to make the dough


Take rava, maida and all teh other ingredients in a bowl, add 1.5 tbspn of hot oil and add little water to make a tight dough.

Take small balls of dough, roll them into thin round shape and cut diamond or square shaped pieces and deep fry hem till they turn crisp and store them in air tight containers.

Sweet Shankarpolis:

Semolina (fine rava): 1 cup

Maida (all purpose flour): 1/2 cup

powdered sugar: 1/4 cup

Salt: less than a pinch

Ghee:2 tbspn

Oil: for frying


In a vessel, add rava, maida, sugar, ghee and salt and knead into a stiff dough. Take lemon sized balls of dough and roll them into thin round shape and cut diamond or square shaped pieces and deep fry them. Store these shankarpolis in an air tight container.


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Eggless Banana Bread:

Can you believe this, that my oven cover has inspired me to try this recipe:)..I had picked up a cover for my oven from nilgiris a long time ago. I actually loved it for its yellow color. Only when I got it home I realised that it has the Banana Bread recipe written on it. I always wanted to try it, but somehow procrastinated for various reasons, like “no bread loaf tin, Oh it has eggs in it, so much butter” so on and so forth.

Madhuri (cook curry nook) and I attended a 3 day home baking course at ‘Institute of Baking and Cake Art’ recently and thats when I realised that baking breads is no rocket science. baking breads at home is much more healthier as there are no transfats added to it and you can alter the fat content too.Actually saying this let me tell you I miserably failed twice before getting the bread right:(..I had tried it with yeast and for some reason I failed.  So, on Madhuri’s advice I tried this recipe without yeast, and hurrah I succeeded. Thanks Mads.:)

After my two disatrous attempts I decided to work on half the quantity mentioned and that explains the size. The bread slices are smaller in size. I have made a few alterations to suit our taste.

You’ll need:

All purpose Flour (Maida): 1 cup

Ripe banana puree: puree of 1 banana

Brown sugar: 1/3 cup (can use white sugar too)

Unsalted Butter: 2 tablespns

Oil: 1 teaspn (veg oil)

Flax seed powder: 1.5 teaspn mixed in 1/3 rd cup warm water (replacement for egg)

salt: a pinch

Baking powder: 1/4 teaspn

Baking soda: 1/4 teaspn

Vanilla essence: 1/2 teaspn

Cardamom powder: 1/4 teaspn(optional)


Sieve the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt in a bowl. Add banana puree, brown sugar, vanilla essence, cardamom powder, butter, oil and flax seed mixture and mix well. You can add a little milk if the dough is a little tight.

Preheat the oven at 180 deg C for 10 mins. In a greased bread loaf tin pour the batter and bake for 20 mins on 180 deg C.Please check your oven settings. This setting has worked for me. Once the bread is baked, transfer it onto a wire rack and let it cool for about 20 mins and then cut it into slices. Yummy banana bread is ready for your tea time treat.

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Banana Fritters:

The weather here is quite depressing with the sky perpetually overcast and rains here and there!! I’m a bright and sunny person, hate cloudy days. In Bangalore, contrary to my place Goa, the cloudy days end up being very chilly and I cannot stop myself from having pots and pots of tea.

The evenings get very difficult as the constant crave for eating bhajjias(fritters) or anything fried keeps nagging you. I gave into my cravings by trying Banana fritters. I was feeling a little guilty while frying them but just one bite into steaming hot fritters drove all kinds of guilt feelings away.

Banana Fritters belong to a  typically Kerala cuisine. I still remember eating loads of them at my friend’s place during Vishu or Onam. I love any sweet dish with banana in them. So this is one of my favorites.

You’ll need:

Banana (large variety Kerala-Nendran banana): 1 no.

Maida (All purpose flour): 1 cup

Sugar: 1.5 teaspn (add more if reqd)

Baking soda: 1/4 teaspn

salt: a pinch


Turmeric: a pinch for colour

Oil: to fry (can try coconut oil- I’ve used normal refined oil)


In a bowl, mix maida, sugar, baking soda, salt, turmeric, and add water to make a batter. The batter should be thick enough to coat the banana pieces. Slice the banana into long thin pieces (about an inch long). Dip these pieces into the batter and deep fry them preferably in coconut oil. Since we do not use coconut oil, I’ve deep fried them in refined oil.Serve these fritters hot with a steaming cuppa filter coffee and Enjoy the weather.

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Healthy Crackers

Healthy crackers:

I saw Suma post this recipe on her blog and was instantly tempted to try it out. I was attracted to the very word healthy, so went on to read it and loved the taste of it by simply reading it. Thanks  Suma for posting this wonderful recipe and thanks to Sharmilee also for the original recipe.

I’ve added a few ingredients to suit our tastebuds. I’ve also added ragi (finger millet) flour to further add to the fibre content, red chilli powder, ajwain and ginger-garlic paste. The crackers turned out to be very tasty and crispy.

You’ll need:

Whole wheat flour: 1 cup

Oats: 1/2 cup

Ragi flour: 2 teaspns

red chilli powder: 1 teaspn

Ginger-Garlic paste: 1 teaspn( you can add more if you want to)

Salt: 2 taste

Oil: 2tbspn

butter: melted 1 tabspn

ajwain: 1 teaspn

Sesame: 2 tbspn

Baking powder : 1/2 teaspn

Water: to make the dough.


In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients (whole wheat flour, oats, ragi flour, salt, baking powder,red chilli powder, ajwain, sesame). Mix well and add ginger garlic paste to this dry mix and incorporate it well.

At this stage add oil and melted butter and make a chapati like dough by adding water little by little.  Once the dough is ready keep aside for 30 mins.

Divide the dough into small balls and roll them into thin chapatis and take any shape moulds like stars, hearts etc and press them into this chapati to get cute pieces. On the other hand you can also cut simple squares or diamonds.

Please check for your oven settings as all ovens differ. I had preheated the oven for 10 min at 140 deg and baked the crackers for 5-8 min till the crackers were crisp.The baking time depends on the thickness of the squares and the oven settings.

Store the crackers in air tight containers and they are a healthy tea time snack which can get very addictive, ‘no one can eat just one’ as the saying goes.

(psst, the small little black heart is from my first set of crackers which sadly got burnt, but I still loved it for its shape:)

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CHANA USLI: ( Black chickpea usli)

Chana Usli is an extremely healthy option which can be had at any time of the day. I could eat it along with breakfast or as a midday snack or even during tea time. We generally make this as prasad for festivals. Since it is healthy I make it very often especially as a teatime snack.  I use the black chickpea variety, you can also use the kabuli chana or the normal chickpea.

You’ll need:

Black chickpea(black chana): 1 cup (soaked overnight and then boiled)

Grated coconut: 1/4 cup

Dry Red chillies: 3-4 nos

Jeera powder: 1/2 teaspn

Corriander powder: 1/2 teaspn

Oil: 1/2 tablespn

Salt: to taste

mustard seeds: 1/2 teaspn

cumin seeds: 1/2 teaspn

Asafoetida: a pinch

curry leaves: 4-5 nos.

fresh corriander: 2 tablespns


Soak the chana overnight and pressure cook it till they are soft with a pinch of salt added to it.

In a wok, heat  some oil, add mustard and cumin seeds to it. Let them splutter then add red chillies, curry leaves and a dash of asafoetida. Add boiled chana and mix it properly. Add Jeera, corriander powder and salt to taste. Please note that a small amount of salt has already been added to the chana whilst boiling. mIx it thourougly and then add freshly grated coconut and garnish it with some corriander and usli is ready in a jiffy!!

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Cornflakes- Crispies:

This is a very crunchy munchy affair and belive me you wouldn’t stop at a single helping. It’s an easy to make snack and tastes heavenly with a hot cuppa chai!!

Basically you can fry all the varieties of rice, sabudana (sago) crispies, fryums etc and mix it with the cornflakes. The cornflakes used here are without any flavour, the plain variety. So go ahead and try this easy to make recipe..I’m sure the kids will love this.

I also try this recipe with Khakras, especially the masala ones. Tastes awesome!!!

You’ll need:

Cornflakes: 1 cup (plain variety)

Crispies: as much as you like and any variety.

Rice Flakes (Poha-paper thin): 1 cup (microwaved to make them crisp)

Dry coconut pieces: 1/2 cup cut into long slices

Curry leaves: 8-10 nos.

Groundnut: 2 table spoons

Red chillies: 5-6 nos.

Mustard seeds: 1 teaspn

Cumin (Jeera) : 1 teaspn

Jeera powder: 1/2 teaspn

corriander powder: 1/2 teaspn

Salt to Taste

Asafoedita ( hing): a pinch

Turmeric: 1/2 teaspn

Sugar: 1/2 teaspn

Oil: to fry the cornflakes and crispies and for tadka.


In a wok, fry the crispies first and then the cornflakes and transfer these to a dish with tissue paper to soak extra oil. In the remaining oil, add mustard and cumin and let them splutter. To this add, asafoedita, groundnuts and let the groundnuts turn a little reddish. Once done,  add dry coconut pieces, and wait till the pieces turn a little yellowish. Add curry leaves and red chillies and keep stirring  for a while.  Switch of the gas and then add turmeric, sugar, salt, jeera and coriander powder. Let this mixture cool.

In a large bowl, mix the drained cornflakes and break the crispies to the size of cornflakes. Add the above mix to it and mix it with hand carefully and lightly, taking care not to powder the crispies. That’s it, the snack is ready. You can serve this snack with some nice hot chai. Enjoy your evening…

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‘Let’s Chaat!!’

This whole week has been very dull and gloomy. Thanks to the weather depression, it’s really got me depressed. It’s been raining the whole day, getting out is an ordeal. I haven’t been able to go for my evening walks also, so no breath of fresh air.. Finally not being able to withstand, I called it ‘enough is enough’ and thought will spice up my life. I had picked up a packet of golguppas (small fluffed up puris) from a shop. I eventually ventured into making some chaat at home. At first I didn’t realize the amount of hidden work involved, but by the end of it, I guess it was worth every bit. The best part is the chutneys made can be stored in bottles and can be used whenever in mood for some more chaat. That means many more evenings to chaat..

I made some Pani Puri and some Sev Puri. Thankfully,I didn’t have churmuri at home or else in that fit of excitement would have tried Bhel Puri also.

Pani Puri:

I relish pani puris simply because they are very light on the stomach and ‘no one can eat just one’:)…You just can’t stop at one plate and keep asking for more. Actually that’s what happened at home.. I felt like a Thela walla, kept dipping puris and serving, my great husband just never stopped gulping one puri after another. I finally had to call it quits.

So here’s to add up some spice to your life on those sultry days:

Pani Puri and Sev Puri

Pani Puri and Sev Puri

For Pani Puri you’ll need 2 types of chutneys, the tamarind-dates chutney and the pudina (mint) chutney (pani), moong dal stuffing and some grated carrots, onions and corriander for garnishing.

Tamarind-Dates chutney: (Meetha chutney)

Tamarind: ½ cup (soaked for 2 hrs)

Dates: ½ cup (soaked for 2 hrs)

Jaggery: ¼ cup (according to your taste)

Cumin (Jeera) powder: ½ teaspn

Salt: to taste.

Soak the tamarind and dates for 2 hours and grind this pulp in a mixie. In a wok, add tamarind-dates paste and some jaggery . You can decide on the amount of jaggery to suit your taste. Add some cumin powder and salt. Let it boil till this whole mix thickens up. You can further strain it in to a bottle when cooled.

To dissolve the jaggery faster, you can also soak the jaggery for sometime into water and add this water to the mix.

Pudina chutney: (Pani)

Pudina: 6-8 leaves

Green chillies: 1

Corriander: 1 tablespn.

Salt : to taste

Fresh lime juice: 1 tablespn.

Everest Pani Puri Masala: 1 tablespn (you can add more, for tangy taste)

Chilled water: 3-4 cups

Grind all the ingredients in a mixie. In a bowl, add 3-4 cups of cold(fridge) water. To this add 1 tablespn of pudina chutney, salt and Pani Puri masala and stir. Let this liquid be a little tangy.

Dal Stuffing:

Moong dal: 1 cup (boiled)

Potato: 1 (boiled and mashed)

Salt: to taste

Chaat Masala: to taste

Mix all the ingredients and fill a teaspn of this stuffing into the puris.


Grated carrot: ½ cup

Chopped onion: ¼ cup

Corriander: ¼ cup


Take the dal stuffed puri, add the garnish mix ,1 teaspn tamarind-dates chutney into the puri and dip the puri in the pudina chutney liquid (pani) and serve it. You can also arrange the chutney and pani and puris in a plate and ask people to help themselves. This way you’ll save a lot of trouble for yourself:)..For sev puri, arrange all the dal stuffed puri on a plate and add the 2 chutneys to it and top it with some crispy sev. Garnish it with garnish mix mentioned and serve.

These chaats can really spruce up your mood. Nothing like having a nice hot spicy chaat on a rainy day.

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