Beef and Potatoes anyone? And what if the beef is cooked in a sauce/curry made from toasted coconut and curry spices like fennel and coriander? Hmm…can you imagine the aromas! This traditional Keralan(Kerala is a… More
Chapati or Roti, is a staple of Indian cuisine. After all, the delicious creamy curries need a sturdy vehicle to sop them all up! Although rice is more commonly eaten in a typical southern Indian household (as in ours) , whole wheat rotis do have an important place too. Nowadays, for my family I make multigrain parathas a lot as I posted before using a mix of wheat, millet, and flaxseeds etc. I also usually stuff them with vegetables usually some kind of leafy greens to make them truly wholesome.
When I first cut down gluten about 2 and 1/2 years ago, I did not miss my rotis much. That’s because I was eating rice still at that time. So I could still enjoy my curries! But when I started on AIP a year and a half ago,I had to cut off rice too and that’s when I really began to crave for some kind of vehicle to sop up the curries. It was no fun always just eating the curries like a soup. Was relieved when I soon came across cassava flour and quickly learnt how to make cassava tortillas/rotis which brought back Indian food back into my life!
Initially I was only too pleased to be able to have some kind of rotis back on my plate. But later on I began to experiment a little bit. I tried adding water chestnut flour to the cassava flour once and I liked the texture of the rotis better. So I continued to experiment with different proportions of the flours and finally I have come up with this recipe which gives me a really good textured roti. Soft and pliable but yet sturdy enough so that it does not get too soggy when eating curries.! They taste great both with wet curries as well as dry sabzis (sautéed vegetables). Some of my favorite curries to eat this with are ‘Mixed vegetables in coconut sauce’, vegetable korma and Chicken curry. This past week I gave myself a treat – since mangoes have been showing up, I made mango puree too as a side for a sumptuous indian meal with cabbage thoran, mixed vegetable curry and mango puree! Yum!
Some things to keep in mind while making this chapati / roti:
- The water used for mixing the dough should be very hot – basically I let the water come to a boil and then turn the heat off and within the next minute use that hot water.
- These rotis taste best and have the best texture when you make them fresh i.e. just before eating. However , what I do usually is make a double batch of the dough(as given in this recipe below) and then refrigerate the dough. Then you can use the same dough within the next 2 days to make another batch of rotis. This is better than storing made rotis in the refrigerator.
- The rotis get a nice soft texture when you apply some ghee on top. Ghee is of course an AIP reintro so if you are not able to use it, you can just skip this step and the rotis will still be good!
So without much ado, here is the recipe. Do try it and let me know how you like it! I will try to post a video of this soon!
Bringing this recipe over to the Paleo/AIP Recipe Roundtable hosted by Phoenix Helix.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the cassava flour, water chest nut flour, salt and the oil.
- Place a kettle filled with water on the stove to heat. Let it come to boil and then turn heat off.
- Immediately measure 1 cup of this hot water and pour it into the bowl carefully. Use a spatula to mix the hot water into the flour mixture. After a few seconds of mixing, test how hot the mixture is by slowly placing a finger into the bowl. Once the mixture is cool enough to be handled (should be still warm), use your hands to knead the dough and make a smooth dough. Add the additional 1-2 tbsp of olive oil as needed to make the dough smooth (should not be sticky). Divide the dough into small balls (about 10)
- Flatten each dough ball and then using a rolling pin flatten this ball to make a round (about 3 inches dia).
- Heat a cast iron (or non stick) skillet or pan and when hot turn heat to medium.
- Place the rolled chapati onto the hot pan. Let cook for 1 min and flip to the other side. Now press the chapati with a flat spatula and as you press it , it will start puffing up from all sides. Let cook for 1 more min and then transfer to a tray. If using ghee, apply a small dollop of ghee over the top of the chapati.
- Repeat the process for making more rotis as needed. (You can refrigerate the remaining dough for up to 2 days)
Batata Vada or Spicy Potato fritters is the type of food that teases your taste buds! Mashed potatoes are mixed with green chillies, cilantro and some spices and then dipped in batter and deep fried! How can anyone say no to that right? And especially when you grew up in a region where these fritters were a common street food! These crispy, delicious vadas constitute the ‘burger’ inside the Mumbai Potato Burger – the Vada Paav !
So yes potatoes are my weakness and when I started on AIP, I avoided them for 3 months. That was it! I needed to reintroduce them fast and along with spices, potatoes were one of my earliest reintroductions. No surprises there ! However I am still not quite sure if I am entirely insensitive to them because every once in a while when I eat them, I feel like I end up with some flatulence. So I just reserve them for that occasional treat – like french fries when we dine outside and an occasional batata vada when one of our friends make it for our get togethers:)
So how did I come up with this variation of the batata vada? Now that was actually easy. I had been thinking of making tostones with green plantains and then once as I was looking at a tostone recipe, I suddenly remembered the ‘kela vada’ – the green plantain fritter! Our Gujrati neighbor used to make these when we were kids. Oh those used to be so scrumptious! She used to serve them with a fresh cilantro chutney. Thinking about those had me drooling and I had to make these vadas at the earliest. Traditionally chickpea flour is used in making vadas and I decided to use a mix of cassava flour and water chest nut flour. I added the water chestnut flour to give the coating a crispness. You can try this recipe using just cassava flour too but the coating may not be as crispy.
I used a shallow pan to fry them which uses less oil. If you like sweet and spicy, you can add a tad bit of sweetener(maple syrup or honey) to the dough for the balls. Do try these and let me know how you like them!
- 1 large green plantain (very green and unripe)
- ½ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
- ½ inch by ½ inch piece of fresh ginger
- 1 green chilli (omit for AIP)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp turmeric
- Cook the green plantain in an instant pot or a regular cooking pot.
- Cut the plantain in half (do not remove skin.Place both pieces on top of trivet in the insert pot and add 1 cup of water into the insert. Close lid and turn valve to sealing position. Press 'Pressure Cook' and change to 10 mins. Let pressure release naturally for 10 mins. Then carefully release remaining pressure and open the pot.
- In a medium size cooking pot, place the green plantain (cut in half or 3 pieces) with skin on. Add enough water to submerge the pieces completely. Cover with a lid placing it slightly ajar and cook on medium heat for about 15 mins.
- Remove the skin from the cooked plantains and place the plantains in a bowl. While hot mash them coarsely using a potato masher. Leave it aside.
- In a food processor, add all the rest of the 'vada' ingredients and process it for 30 seconds till you get a coarse paste. Now add the mashed plantains to this mix and quickly pulse for 10 secs 2-3 times until you get a dough like consistency (DO NOT OVERMIX since then the balls will become hard)
- Transfer dough back to a bowl and divide into 7-8 balls.
- Mix all batter ingredients except the water in a bowl and then add the water slowly to form a thick pasty mixture.
- In a small frying pan, add the coconut oil and heat for 2-3 mins on medium heat until hot. Now dip each ball into the batter to coat it completely and then place balls one by one in the oil to fry
Have you ever gone into a mental paralysis? The kind that especially seems to strike when you have plenty of things on your ‘To do’ list! Yikes! Last year when I quit my job, I was quite jubilant that I will really have the time to do all the things I really really love. Like cooking and baking. Ok I need to be specific there. Cooking and Baking regular meals for my family and cooking and baking Paleo and AIP meals for myself. And of course the soccer mom part – driving the kids to and from all their activities! OK after that comes blogging. And instagramming. And recording youtube videos. And watching gardening videos on youtube (yes that has been my craze all winter) ! All this was fine and the days moved exactly as I had planned them to be – lazy and leisurely! Until I decided to add one more ‘thing’ – the NTC program to my list! Yeah, I started the Nutritional Therapy Consultant course earlier this year thinking it should be a breeze, after all, I have 3 Master’s degrees to my credit, two of them being in the health sciences. Right? Wrong!
I have soooo much work every week now that all my food related activities – like food photography, recipe capture, writing a blog post etc etc have taken a back seat. Of course feeding my family and myself healthy meals has to be somehow squeezed in! OK so what’s my point? Well, I wasn’t really trying to make a point….just looking for solutions I guess since I absolutely love the program and cannot wait to complete all the Modules!. I just need to get more organized I guess and plan my days in advance.
But wasn’t that the reason I quit my job ? Because I did not like deadlines? And because deadlines=stress? 🙂 Anyways, I absolutely need some planning in my life right now. So if you have any ideas, please let me know!
Meanwhile here’s an awesome recipe that I have made several times over the past several weeks but because of my lack of planning, I couldn’t post this until now 🙁 I really really like this since it is so simple and easy to make but is packed with so much flavor! I love the addition of cashew nuts in this – boy, am I glad to have cashew nuts back in my life! But for those of you who still cannot tolerate any nuts, this recipe is still fabulous because the addition of saffron makes this a special dish. Raisins are also normally added to pilafs in general but I avoid them since I am very sensitive to dried fruit and cannot do much of it.
I wanted to call this pilaf ‘Shahi Pilaf’ since Shahi in Urdu means ‘meant for royalty’. Yes, eating this simple dish indeed makes you feel very special and very loved. Hey, now don’t we all deserve some love folks?
Sharing this delicious paleo pilaf (pulao) recipe at the weekly Paleo AIP recipe Roundtable hosted by Phoenix Helix.
- 1 tbsp coconut oil or ghee (use coconut oil for AIP)
- 8-10 cashew nuts (omit for AIP)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds (omit for AIP)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 one inch piece of cinnamon stick
- ½ head of cauliflower (or 2 cups cauliflower 'rice')
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 3-4 saffron strands
- fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine about 2 tbsp
- handful of raisins (optional)
- Using a food processor, make cauliflower rice using fresh cauliflower florets. (I use this inexpensive chopper which works really well for this). keep aside.
- Heat a medium size sauce pan and add the coconut oil (or ghee). When hot, turn heat to medium and add the cashew nuts (if adding). Saute these for a couple mins until the cashews turn golden brown. Add the cumin next (if adding) along with bay leaf and the cinnamon. Stir for 30 secs and then add the cauliflower rice. Add the salt and turmeric and stir to mix everything well. Cover the sauce pan with a tight fitting lid and cook on low heat for 3-4 mins until the cauliflower rice is well-cooked and soft. Turn heat off. Add the saffron strands and cilantro and mix well.
What is it with desserts that even when your stomach is full, its hard to say no? As I am learning now in my Nutritionist training, we need to include good fats in our meals so that we not only get all the benefits of the fats but so that we feel satiated by the meal. Meaning we need to eat a completely balanced meal with good quality proteins, carbohydrates (mostly vegetables and some grains) and good fats in order for us to feel satisfied and get all the nutrients we need. That is the best way to avoid cravings since cravings are a sign of nutrient deficiency.
That does makes a lot of sense, however, I do also think that a large part of wanting to eat desserts is psychological – we derive more than just physical satisfaction when we eat desserts. We experience a sense of fulfilment, maybe even a feeling of recklessness and an innate joy when we eat desserts. And if you deny yourself that pleasurable experience, you are going to feel deprived. Hence you can see how most health conscious foodies will still make healthy dessert creations that give them that happiness. And that includes me too:) And the best part is that you can get plenty of desserts that give you joy without using any refined sugar or refined flour or any hydrogenated fats that are bad for you. You can browse my ‘Healthy Desserts’ category of recipes to see the healthy variations of desserts I have created over the past two years.
Now this chocolate pudding is one such creation that I ended up making two weeks ago when I served my kids some leftover ‘Halwa (fudge)’ from our Holi celebrations. Since I couldn’t have that because it had dairy and gluten, I quickly had to come up with something for myself. It was a cold snowy day and so a warm chocolate pudding instantly came to mind and I rustled this up in less than 15 mins! Some coconut milk, arrowroot starch and some cocoa or carob and you are good to go!
I loved to eat this ooey gooey pudding warm but you could place it in the refrigerator for a while and have it cold if you have the patience to wait that is :). If you try this recipe, do let me know how you like it by putting your comments below!
Sharing this recipe at the weekly Paleo/AIP Recipe Roundtable hosted by Phoenix Helix.
The recipe below may contain one or more affiliate links. This means that if you click the link and decide to buy a product, I get a small commission. Your price stays the same, but your purchase helps to support this blog at the same time
- In a small bowl, mix the arrowroot starch and tapioca starch with the water and keep aside.
- In a small sauce pan, heat the coconut milk keeping heat on low. Add the maple syrup, sea salt and the carob (or cocoa). Stir to mix well and to avoid lumps.
- After the coconut milk has been heating for about 2 mins, take the arrowroot mixture and again giving it a quick stir, pour it slowly into the pan with the coconut milk mixture stirring continuously with one hand as you add the slurry using your other hand. Within 1 minute, the mixture will begin to thicken and resemble a pudding or custard texture. Turn heat off and add the vanilla.
- If you want your pudding to be extra creamy and rich, whip the coconut cream in a small bowl with a whisk and fold into the pudding before serving!
I have posted a recipe for Quinoa dosa before. However, that recipe included rice flour. Now I make a version which has only quinoa and I like this version better because it makes more crispy dosas! Since I cannot tolerate much rice, I find this version to be agreeable to me overall as I don’t end up getting any side-effects of eating rice. (Yes sadly, eating rice causes my knees to get inflamed.)
Since many folks tolerate quinoa better than rice, I think this recipe will fly well with most folks who cannot tolerate grains. Quinoa has been shown to heal the gut because it contains prebiotic fibers that help the probiotic or beneficial bacteria to grow. It has many other benefits the most important one being that it is a complete protein source having all the 10 essential amino acids that the body does not produce on its own. But we need to make sure to cook quinoa properly. Quinoa always should be cooked by first pre-soaking it for a few hours to breakdown the phytic acid coating which acts as an anti-nutrient. According to Weston A. Price foundation, quinoa should not only be rinsed, but also soaked, germinated and fermented prior to cooking to eliminate the majority of the phytic acid.
I have recently re-introduced quinoa back into my diet after being on AIP for more than a year. I am glad that i seem to be tolerating it well. In this recipe, I soak the quinoa for around 24 plus hours for this recipe and so it gets fermented too. This makes it even more healthy and nutritious. You can also add nutritional yeast to give it a sour/cheesy flavor. The traditional Indian dosa batter using rice and lentils is fermented to get a sour tasting batter so this one closely mimics that!
- Quinoa, 1 cup
- Water, 1 cup
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
- ¼ tsp sea salt (less if using nutritional yeast since that is salty)
- Wash the quinoa thoroughly and rinse. Then Soak it for at least 12 hours (up to 24 hours is recommended)
- Blend the soaked quinoa with about ½ of the soaked water till creamy and you get a very fine consistency. Add the nutritional yeast if adding and the salt and blend again. The batter should be of the consistency of dosa batter (or pancake batter). Add more water if needed to get the desired consistency.
- For making the dosas, heat a griddle to high heat. Then lower it to medium high. Keep a wet paper towel or were dish cloth handy and wipe the surface of the griddle with that. Immediately pour one ladle full of batter on the middle of the griddle and by moving your hands in a circular fashion make a round dosa (crepe). With a teaspoon, drizzle olive oil on the sides of the dosa. Let it cook for 3-4 mins or until the bottom turns golden brown and crispy. Do not flip. Transfer the dosa onto a serving plate. Finish making all the dosas in this same way.
- Serve dosa with potato masala and / chutney.