Almond Butter Strawberry Sandwich Roll Ups

Almond butter strawberry roll upsI am finally on a much needed sabbatical from work. Especially with¬†the last two years being as crazy as they have been with my high paced work schedule and with my RA setting in last year. So I am taking a 3 month break from work to do the 3 Rs -rest, relax and rejuvenate ūüôā And also so I can focus 100% on¬†following my naturopathic plan and¬†heal my¬†body.

So last week was my¬†first week off. ¬†The 1st day ended up being very hectic – I needed to make some appointments – dentist, physician, AC technician etc etc. And fill forms – my disability application, my son’s high school camp forms etc. etc. And my¬†team member from work called me. To ask some work related stuff. And he called three times. Yikes.

Anyways, 2nd day looked more promising and I had a morning stroll in our backyard taking in the beautiful spring blossoms and taking some beautiful pictures. Yeah Smelling the roses. Rest of the week continued in that vein with me doing the bare minimum around the house. One of the things I did make was these cute sandwich roll ups.

These days with so many kids being allergic to peanuts, school snacks need to be peanut free. PBJ sandwiches are an easy snack item that my kids love. ¬†Since PBJs cannot be brought in as a snack at school, I started substituting almond butter for peanut butter. And then I thought why not use fresh fruit instead of the jelly/jam and hence I came up with this ‘almond butter fresh strawberries’ version. ¬†These ‘ABS’ sandwiches became a hit with my kids! And then I decided to make roll-ups just like I make for the cucumber chutney sandwiches. ¬†That way my daughter loves them even more ūüôā

Linking to Throwback Thursday and Fiesta Friday this week. Your co-hosts at FF this week are Mollie @ The Frugal Hausfrau and Aruna @ Aharam.

Sandwich roll ups

Almond Butter Strawberry Sandwich Roll Ups

You will need the following :

  • Almond Butter
  • Fresh Strawberries, hulled and¬†sliced
  • A rolling pin


Take a slice of bread and cut off the edges with a knife.

Using a rolling pin, press the bread slice to flatten it from all sides.

Then spread the almond butter over them. Next take a teaspoon of the chopped strawberries and place them in a line over the middle of the slice.

Start rolling the slice from one end until you reach  the other end. Press to seal well.

Cut each roll into 2 pieces.

Repeat with more bread slices as needed.


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Mumbai Vada Paav with home made Paav

Mumbai Vada PaavOne of my favorite street foods in Mumbai is the ¬†‘Vada Paav’ or the poor man’s burger which is made with potatoes and chick pea flour. ¬†Vada Paav is¬†as basic to Mumbai as cheese burger is to America. ¬†It is the most ubiquitous street food in Mumbai and you can find it almost at every street corner, at railway stations, near temples, next to parks and of course outside schools and colleges and offices. I am sure every Mumbai-ite will have a favorite joint that they solemnly swear by that makes the best ones in town! I do too! Whenever I visit Mumbai, I absolutely have got to have the vada paav from our¬† local street corner ¬†vendor in the suburb of Chembur whose dry garlic chutney powder is the ultimate – the bomb! My dad indulges me by going out to get a parcel (vadapaav wrapped in newspaper) for me !

Thankfully I am married to a Mumbai-ite too who shares my passion for Vada paav and so we end up making it quite often in our kitchen:) This time I went one step ahead and decided to make the Paav (bread rolls) also at home. Omg! The home made rolls came out so perfect Рvery much like the freshly baked Paav you get in the streets of Mumbai.

Eggless PaavSo much better than the store bought burger buns or dinner rolls. Nothing like having hot potato vadas stuffed inside freshly baked rolls! And with the 3 different chutneys – red chili garlic chutney, green coriander chutney and tamarind date chutney slathered generously on them – I was in heaven!

Vada Paav

Linking to Throwback Thursdays. Also Linking to Fiesta Friday¬†where 2 of my favorite co-bloggers –¬†Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook¬†and¬†Apsara @ Eating Well Diary¬†are co-hosting this week. Cheers!

Mumbai Vada Paav

  • Servings: Makes about 12 patties and 20 bread rolls
  • Time: about 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • 4-5 small green chillies, chopped fine (use less for mild hot)
  • 5-6 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 4 large potatoes (or 5-6 medium), boiled, peeled and mashed
  • 1/2 cup of cilantro leaves chopped finely
  • 1 tsp lime juice

For the chick pea coating:

  • 1 cup chick pea flour or gram flour (besan)
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ajwain (carom seeds)
  • pinch baking soda
  • about 1 cup water


Heat a wok style pan or kadai and add the oil. When hot add the cumin, onions, garlic, green chillies and curry leaves. Stir fry for about 4-5 minutes on medium heat or until the onions are browned. Add salt and turmeric and stir well. Add the mashed potatoes and stir to incorporate the onion mixture with the potatoes. Add the cilantro and the lime juice.  Turn heat off and let this stuffing cool for about 15-20 minutes.

Take the cooled stuffing and make patties / balls.  Set them aside on a plate.

Heat a deep frying pan with oil.

Make the batter by mixing all the ingredients listed under batter except the water in a mixing bowl. Slowly add the water little bit at a time to get a smooth mixture without lumps. Batter should be thick to get a thick coating on the patty.

When the oil is hot, dip each patty in the batter to coat evenly and deep fry until golden on both sides. Drain well on paper towels to remove excess oil.

Home made Bread Rolls or Paav recipe (makes 20 rolls):

Adapted from thebakerupstairs

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon yeast (I used active dry yeast)
2 tablespoons sugar (I used cane sugar)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
about 4 cups flour, more or less as needed
3 tablespoons ice cold water, for brushing on top


In a stand mixer bowl, add the warm water, yeast and sugar. Leave covered for 5 minutes until foamy. Then add 3 cups of flour, the salt and the oil. Start the mixer to bring the dough together. Continue adding little bit more flour at a time about 1/4 cup until you get a sticky dough. The dough should be formed but its should be sticky to touch. That’s when you stop adding the flour. Cover the mixer bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.

Pre heat oven to 400 degrees F ( 200 deg C)

Then punch the dough (the dough would have risen by now) and break into about 20 pieces. Line a baking tray (13 by 9 inches) with parchment paper. Place the rolls in the tray and keep aside for  an additional 15 minutes at room temperature to rise.

Brush the rolls with ice cold water and place the tray in the oven and bake at 400 Deg F for about 12-15 minutes (check after 12 minutes) until the tops are golden brown.

For assembling the Vada Paavs:

Take a bread roll and spread with green chutney on one side and tamarind chutney on the other side. Place the potato patty in between and top the patty with the dry garlic chutney. (See recipes for all 3 chutneys given below)

Home made PaavEggless Paav batata vada

IMG_2767Recipe for green chutney:

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 tbsp peanuts (or roasted chana dal)
  • 1 tbsp grated coconut(optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2-3 tbsp water

Add all ingredients to food processor and blend to get smooth paste.

Recipe for dry garlic chutney:

  • 8-10 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup coconut grated
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp peanuts, roasted
  • 4 dry red chillies
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tiny (penny size ) piece of tamarind
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Dry roast separately the garlic, the coconut and the sesame seeds until brown.

Transfer all ingredients to a food processor/dry grinder and blend till coarse.

Recipe for tamarind date chutney:

  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • quarter size piece of tamarind (pit removed) soaked in 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp cumin powder

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until you get a smooth puree


Mumbai Vada Paav






Baked Falafel Pita Sandwiches (Pita wraps)

Baked FalafelsThe week before last week,¬†our kitchen truly had¬†the ‘international’ theme going on the entire week! Started with the Japanese meal on Monday which I posted last week and then mid week we had¬†falafels and then ending with¬†thai noodles on Friday. The days in between we had Indian and Mexican.! ¬†How wonderful isn’t it?

For the falafels I added lots of mint too in addition to the usual cilantro/parsley. So these were really herbed falafels plus I additionally tried baking them instead of deep frying them. Came out super. Not only is baking an healthy option but it also takes less work. Just stick them in the oven in a large tray!  Also made a quick hummus to go with the sandwiches.

Bringing these healthy falafel pita wraps to Throwback Thursdays and Fiesta Friday this week where Suzanne @ apuginthekitchen and Zeba @ Food For The Soul are co-hosts this week.

Baked Falafels

Baked Falafels (Pita wraps)

  • Servings: Makes about 16-18 falafels
  • Time: about 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print


  • 2 cups dried Chick peas (Garbanzo beans) soaked overnight or for 6-8 hours(or you can use canned chickpeas drained completely)
  • 1/2 of a medium onion, cut into large pieces
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of chopped fresh cilantro/parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup of chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder (use 1/4 tsp for mild)
  • 1 tsp salt or per taste
  • 1 tbsp chickpea flour(besan)


Pre heat oven to 400 deg F.

In a food processor place all the ingredients and grind to a coarse paste (Do not add any water while grinding)

Make small cutlet/pattie shaped falafels and place on a tray lined with Al foil and brushed lightly with oil.

Bake at 400 deg F (about 200 deg C) for 10-12 minutes on one side. Flip and then bake again for another 10-12 minutes until both sides are golden brownish and /crispy.

Serve the falafels in whole wheat pita bread with cucumber slices/lettuce/grated carrots and with home made hummus!

For step wise instructions for making the falafel sandwiches, check my recipe from before.

For recipe of hummus, see the recipe of roasted red pepper hummus that I posted before. You can just omit the red pepper if you want to keep it simple.

Baked Falafels Baked Falafels


Stuffed Buns (Bread rolls with vegetable / onion chutney stuffing)

bun_collageSpicy Stuffed buns!
Veggie Stuffed buns!
One a penny, Two a penny,
Tasty Stuffed buns!

One of the Sri Lankan recipes that I had bookmarked a few weeks ago¬†was these breakfast buns stuffed with a spicy onion filling. The onion and red chili filling in these buns ¬†is actually ‘seeni sambol’ which is a spicy onion chutney very popular¬†in Sri Lanka (at least that’s what my virtual tour has shown me). ¬†This seeni symbol recipe was very similar to the ‘ulli chamandi’ (onion chutney) which is traditional to Kerala. Yeah that is just¬†one of the various commonalities between Sri Lankan and Kerala cuisine.

Last week I had made this onion chutney and since I had some leftover, the thought of making these stuffed buns came to mind. I thought of making them for dinner and so decided to do a couple different variations for the stuffing too.  One was seeni sambol and for the other stuffing, I sautéed veggies and added ricotta cheese. I knew that was a filling that would definitely be a hit with my children. And I was absolutely right! Both these buns were a huge hit!  I did a third variation too with just the veggies without the ricotta for myself (I am dairy free remember? ).  The buns came out so wonderfully light and soft РI am already thinking of thousand other ways I am going to try them again soon!

Bringing these stuffed buns to Throwback thursdays and to Fiesta Friday this week.

Stuffed Buns (Bread rolls with vegetable / onion chutney stuffing)

  • Servings: makes 16 buns
  • Time: about 60 mins preparation and baking time
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 1¬†large¬†egg, lightly beaten
  • ¬ľ¬†cup¬†milk (I used almond milk for a dairy free version)
  • About 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2¬†teaspoons¬†salt
  • 2¬†tablespoons sugar
  • 4¬†tablespoons¬†unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into small cubes (I used Smart balance dairy free )
  • ¬†olive¬†oil, for greasing


  1. Using an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook (or working by hand), combine 1 cup water and the yeast. Mix together. Add the egg, milk, 4 cups flour, salt, sugar and butter. Knead until you get a smooth dough(Add more flour if needed). Turn into a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  2. Divide the dough into 16 balls and let rise for  another 30 minutes.

For the filling:

Seeni Sambol/ Ulli Chamandi:

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 medium red onion,chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 dry red chillies (use according to your spice level)
  • 1 tiny piece (nickel size ball) of tamarind, dissolved in 2 tbsp hot water (seed removed)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

In a small frying pan, add the oil and sauté the onion,garlic and the dry red chillies for about 2 minutes on medium heat. Transfer to a food processor / chopper and coarsely grind adding the tamarind paste and salt. Transfer to a container.

For the vegetable filling:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 2 cups chopped vegetables (broccoli/cauliflower/carrots)
  • 3-4 mushrooms sliced
  • 1/4 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese (skip ricotta for a dairy free version)

In a sauté pan, heat the oil. Saute the onions for a minute. Then add the chopped veggies and the spices and salt and cover and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Then uncover add the mushrooms and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Add the ricotta cheese mix and turn heat off.

Making the stuffed buns:

  1. Set aside a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a nonstick liner. Punch down each ball of dough and press with your fingers to form a circle about 5 inches in diameter. Put a tablespoon of  filling in one quadrant of the circle, then fold the dough over like a half moon to cover the filling. Fold over once again Pinch the rounded edges of the dough together, tuck them under, and place the bun on the baking sheet. Repeat, placing the buns several inches apart. Brush the tops with the egg yolk mixture, and set aside to rest for about 20 minutes while the oven heats.
  2. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F (or 190 deg C). Bake the buns until lightly golden on top and bottom, about 12 to 13 minutes; Serve warm or at room temperature, for breakfast or a snack.

DSC_1189 Stuffed Buns

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Stuffed Buns

The Ultimate Chicken Burger (Spicy Chicken Burger)




My husband makes the meanest¬†Chicken burger ever! ūüôā No I really mean it! Men are really great at grilling, aren’t they? Actually my husband happens to think that we (women) like to designate them as such so that we can avoid all the hard work involved there:) And by hard work he means cleaning the grill,¬†standing outdoors in the heat and such.! Now that could very well be true but no way we will admit that correct? LOL! Anyways,¬†so this Chicken burger that hubby has been making for the last several years is something that he has perfected over the years! So last week when we had a grill party, I stood next to him and took copious notes. And of course the step wise pictures and of course I had questions like what’s the temperature of the grill, how long to cook etc etc. Which annoyed him no end! Well it’s for my blog dear…don’t you want to share the recipe with all those other husbands out there who would love to impress their wives? This got me an even more terse look.

Seriously, this burger is so soft and juicy and we additionally slather the burger with either chipotle ranch dressing  or a sriracha mayo on top! The potato in the cutlet also makes it really rich and filling. Tastes just over the top and never fails to impress! Best thing to make when you have a house full of guests.  You can grill the patties on an outdoor grill or you could also just cook them on a shallow frying pan indoors(hubby prefers the latter except when we have a huge crowd)

I am also bringing these ultimate burgers to Fiesta Friday where the fun never ends and there is so much food! I had a fabulous¬†time last week as a co-host but I am taking it easy this week and will be showing up late for the party! ūüôā

The Ultimate Chicken Burger (Spicy Chicken Burger)

  • Servings: Makes about 16-18 chicken patties
  • Time: about 50 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


2 lbs ground chicken, thawed at room temperature for 2-3 hours
1 medium onion chopped fine
5 cloves of garlic,chopped fine
1 tbsp ginger chopped fine
1 green chilli finely chopped (optional)
1/2 tsp red chilli pow(cayenne pepper)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tbsp garam masala/kabab masala
1 med potato mashed
3/4 cup bread crumbs (we use oat bran bread for making the bread crumbs)
1/4 cup milk (we use whole milk)
Cilantro chopped fine (optional)

Oil for greasing palm


Take a large mixing bowl and add the thawed ground chicken to it. (Make sure it is completely thawed and blot dry any moisture using a paper towel).

Next get all the other ingredients ready and chop the onion, ginger and garlic finely. Add this along with all the rest of the ingredients into the bowl with the chicken and mix thoroughly using your hands (yes that’s the only way!).

Once the mixture is nicely mixed with all the spices and attains a nice smooth consistency, grease your palms with some oil and shape into patties of your desired size. Make sure you flatten them in the middle.

Now grill these patties in either a gas grill (keeping temperature at 400 deg F) and keeping the grill covered. Cook on direct heat (no foil – directly place on grill) Flip in 5-7 minutes and cook on the other side again keeping it covered. When done on both sides , transfer onto a plate and cover with foil until serving.

If using pan, just use some oil to grease the pan adequately and then shallow fry the patties on medium heat until crispy on the bottom and flip and cook the other side.

For assembling the burgers:

Burger Buns


Tomato slices

Onion slices

Chipotle ranch dressing (or Chipotle Mayo) or sriracha mayo -see recipe below


Apply slight butter on the inside of a burger bun. Then place the chicken patty .Spread some chipotle ranch dressing on top and then place the tomato,onion and lettuce leaves as desired. Cover with the top bun and dig in! ūüôā

For making home made Chipotle Mayo or Chipotle ranch dressing– Mix some chipotle seasoning on organic¬†mayonnaise and mix. Add a little bit of ranch dressing too per taste. (We love Marie Calendar’s Creamy Chipotle ranch dressing for this chicken burger!)

Alternatively you could also make homemade sriracha mayo by mixing a little bit (per your taste ) of sriracha sauce to organic mayonnaise.

Important tips:

Keep close watch while cooking the patties since you do not want an overdone burger since that will mean a dry and not juicy burger. Also remember to wrap in Al foil immediately until you make the burgers.

Its good if the ground chicken has some fat content instead of going 100% lean since some fat renders a juicy burger.

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