Bachelor-friendly, Breakfast, Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, South Indian, Tiffin, Vegan

Tamarind Rasam Style Oatmeal

Simple, easy, tasty, and healthy. This recipe was on the Quaker Oats cover and I tried it with slight modifications and the result was good. This is a very easy option and good for people who don’t prefer a sweet breakfast of oats cooked in milk and sweetened with sugar/honey/jaggery.

Rolled oats – 1 cup
Tomato – 1
Tamarind – small marble size
Pepper powder – 1/2 tsp (adjust as per taste)
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Garlic (chopped) – 1/2 tsp
Water – 3 cups
Curry leaves – few
Coriander leaves (chopped) – 1 tbsp
Oil – 1/2 tsp

Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
Jeera powder/crushed jeera – 1/2 tsp
Rasam powder – 1 tbsp

Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins
Makes 3 cups

Soak the tamarind in half a cup of warm water. Keep aside for 5 minutes. Squeeze the tamarind to extract all the juice discarding only the remaining pulp and retaining the water.
Heat oil in a wok. Add mustard seeds and let them crackle.
Add chopped garlic and curry leaves. Let the garlic turn light brown.
Add coriander powder (you may replace this with rasam powder also).
Immediately add chopped tomato.
Stir and then add plain water and tamarind water.
Add jeera powder and pepper powder.
When water starts boiling, add rolled oats. Stir and cook until the oats gets cooked and the mixture thickens (approximately 5 minutes).
Garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve hot.

Breakfast, Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Rotis/Parathas

Paneer Paratha

Winter has almost bid farewell but that does not deter paratha lovers from biting into these delectable stuffed breads. I tried paneer parathas today and it turned out quite well. Paneer parathas are easy to make and are absolutely wholesome breakfast or any-time meal option. Another advantage is that it can be served hot with curd and pickle. No need to make any accompanying dish. 



paneer parathaTo make paratha dough
Whole wheat flour – 3 cups
Warm milk – 1/2 cup
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
Water as needed
Salt as required
To make paneer stuffing
Paneer – 150 gm
Onion – 1 (medium sized)
Garlic/ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
Green chillies – 1
Red chilly powder – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Garam masala – 1/2 tsp
Jeera – 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice – 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves – a bunch
Oil – 1 tsp
While cooking paratha
Oil – 2 tbsp
Butter – 2 tbsp

Take whole wheat flour in a big bowl, add salt and warm milk. Mix and then add small quantities of water and keep mixing until you get a smooth dough. Add one tbsp cooking oil and mix the dough well until soft and smooth. Cover the dough and set it aside. Let the dough rest for at least ten minutes.

Now to make the paneer stuffing, chop garlic/ginger garlic and green chillies into small pieces. Finely chop onion also and keep aside. If you find it difficult to chop finely, you could grate these ingredients. Bigger pieces will make it difficult for you to roll out the paratha with the stuffing inside. Grate paneer to very small pieces and keep aside.

In a pan, add oil and splutter jeera. Add ginger garlic paste/garlic and chopped green chillies. When these are properly roasted, add onion and saute until pink. Add red chilly powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and saute. Add grated paneer. Mix well and cook for couple of minutes. Add required amount of salt. Turn off the fire and add lemon juice and chopped coriander leaves. You could also use aam chur instead of lemon juice.

If you do not use onion, you can just mix the raw ingredients and make the paneer stuffing.

Take a medium ball sized piece of paratha dough. Make a small smooth ball of the dough and flatten into a small cup using your thumbs. Place 2 tbsps of paneer stuffing inside this cup. Bring together all the sides to the center and seal tightly using the dough. Dip this ball of dough filled with paneer stuffing in flour, flatten it a little using your hands. Use a rolling pin to gently roll this dough coated with flour. If the dough sticks to the rolling pin or rolling surface, lightly sprinkle flour on both sides of the paratha. Roll gently till the paratha is about 1/4-inch thick. Do not make the paratha too thin.

Heat an iron griddle on medium high. When the griddle is hot enough, turn fire to low. Place the paratha over the skillet. Sprinkle some oil on the sides. In about half a minute, you will notice the sides of the paratha turn brown and puff up in the middle. Cook on a low heat till golden brown. Use a spatula to flip over the paratha. Sprinkle few drops of oil. Cook until sides turn golden brown. Lightly press the puffed areas with a spatula. Flip again and press with the spatula making sure the paratha is golden-brown on both sides. Remove from the griddle on to a plate. Put a dollop of butter on the hot paratha. Serve with curd and pickle.

Parathas taste yummy even when cold and make a good snack for short journeys. It is fast to make and convenient to carry and does not require side dishes.

Breakfast, Everyday Simple Recipes, Snacks, Tiffin

Sesame Cheese Toast

A wedding that I attended recently had a good spread of starters and cocktails. Among the more predictable paneer tikka fare, there was an interesting crispy fried bread geneously sprinkled with sesame seeds. Though I like to pretend that I am only into health food and never indulge in greasy snacks, I let my guard down and relished a couple of these crunchy delights.

Here I present my own less sinful version of what I tasted at the wedding. A quick fix breakfast or snack, an easy dish to make.

Bread (Multigrain/White) – 2 pieces
Butter/Olive oil – 2 tbsp
Dry herbs (Basil/pasta herb mix) – ½ tsp
Cheese (slices or spreadable) – 2 slices/1 tbsp
Sesame seeds – 1 tsp

sprinkle sesame seeds and herbs

If you are using square shaped bread slices, cut it into smaller rectangular or triangular pieces. This is optional and just for ease of eating. Spread/place the cheese spread/slice on bread (I used Amul’s Garlic Cheese Spread). On this sprinkle sesame seeds, and mixed herbs (I used pasta herb mix. Basil is also a good choice). I did not use any salt as I used garlic cheese spread which had little bit of salt. You could choose to sprinkle salt as per your taste. Brush olive oil on the free side (the side without toppings).

Since I do not have an oven, I toasted this in a pan on low heat. Toast only the free side to make it brown. Serve as snack by itself or with vegetables. You wont realize how many of them you will gobble along with hot tea or coffee.

Instead of cheese, you can spread mashed potatoes. Sesame seeds are rich in calcium. Multigrain bread and olive oil up the health quotient.

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Breakfast, Everyday Simple Recipes, Snacks, South Indian, Tiffin, Vegan


Fluffy mounds of comfort. Any time meal or snack.

Idli chutneyIngredients:
To grind:
Boiled rice (Ukhda chawal) – 3 cups
Raw rice – 1 cup
Urad dal – 1 cup
Methi seeds – 2 tsps

To add to batter:
Salt – As required

While making:
Oil to grease the idli mould (I prefer sesame oil)

Soak the ingredients for at least 6 hrs (overnight is fine too). Soak the last 3 ingredients together and the boiled rice separately. Grind all the ingredients to make a smooth batter. Add enough water while grinding. Do not dilute too much. Transfer to a large vessel that is large enough for the batter to ferment and double in quantity. Do not refrigerate. Keep the vessel in a warm and dry place to ferment the batter for at least 8 hrs (at least 12 hrs during winter. A well-fermented batter will raise to become double the original quantity of the batter. Add salt and mix well. You will notice that the batter settles down. Now the batter is ready to be used right away or refrigerate it for later use.

Grease the idli moulds with oil and pour the batter in the moulds. In a pressure cooker, steam the idlis for about 10-15 minutes. Turn off and take the idli mould/stand out from the pressure cooker and let the idlis cool down a bit for around 2-3 minutes.

steamed idlis on mould

With a spoon, gently take out the idlis. Soft and fluffy idlis are ready. Serve with chutney, sambhar, or milaga podi.

idli served with milaga podi and chutney