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The complete & ultimate holiday gift guide that’s not just exceptional but also budget friendly, for the home cook/culinary lover/entertainer in your family!

It’s the favorite time of the year! I take Gifting very seriously!  Be it for loved ones or kids, I never ever pick up any random gift just for the heck of it. Personally, I prefer gifts that are unique and not run of the mill types. I like it when people who come over compliment the quirky stuff they find around our house. Since I love receiving gifts that are different, useful, trendy and easy on the pocket, I use the same approach when gifting others. This list of gift ideas are well below 50$, some even below 25$. They make great stocking stuffers too since they are not too large to fit in. The gifts here can be gifted to home cooks,the culinary lover, someone who loves to host and/or the person whose cooking you admire. You know the best thing about these gift items? They are all available on Amazon and most of them are on Prime. This way, you can pick the gift of your choice from the comfort of your home, in your PJs and no one will ever know that you were a last-minute shopper! It’s our little secret! So are you ready to get all to the good stuff? 

Presenting my hand-picked gift guide for 2018! Let’s get into it!

Flash Update – Amazon Giveaway details at the end of this post! Keep reading till the end.

1) Grill Kabob Set

Know someone who loves grilled food or is always in the patio grilling some mouth-watering kebab all through summer for guests? Then this gift is ideal for them. Trust me, they will love it and thank you immensely. For someone who enjoys grilling myself, this kebab set is God sent. It keeps the veggies in place and makes cooking on the grill extremely easy and hassle free. 

2) Warming Ice Cream Scoop

This one is pure genius! Whoever came up with this, deserves an award! Gone are the days when you would need to dip the ice cream scoop in hot water before digging it into an ice cream container. This warming ice cream scoop does that job for you. I know now you want to keep one for yourself. Go ahead and order 2 of these! I am not judging.

3) Vidalia Chop Wizard  

There are a zillion choppers in the market and I am guilty of owning more than a dozen of them. But I must say that this chopper stands out. I use this everyday in my kitchen. It evenly chops and comes in 2 sizes. Chops many veggies within minutes. What more does one want when cooking? 

4) Cookie Dunker Pan 

Another genius invention! I am sure that it was a dessert lover who conceived this. Now this is a great choice of gift for someone who loves to entertain. The crowd will go crazy when they serve these brownie spoons with toppings for dessert. Need another idea? How about serving these spoons in warm milk!

5) Grilled Sandwich Maker 

We use this in India often. This single sandwich toaster is amazing. One can get creative with the stuffing and this toaster helps keep it intact. That is the sole reason to get this one for your sandwich lover friend or family member. 

6) Instant Pot Accessories

I think by now, every other person owns an Instant Pot (Thanks to Black Friday deals) but what not many own are the accessories which makes cooking in this pot way more easy. These accessories just open up the possibilities to make different dishes in there. An ideal gift for any Instant Pot lover you know!

7) Microwave Pasta Cooker 

This is one gadget I am kicking myself for not having yet! I make (healthy) pasta once a week and after reading about this pasta cooker, I really wish I get this for my kitchen. It makes cooking pasta so easy! Get this for your loved one, trust me. They need this, period!

8) Silicone Crushed Ice Tray 

We all know of someone who loves to host parties and is great behind the bar! This gift is for them. No need to queue by the refrigerator for crushed ice. Instead, make a beeline to the bar to enjoy some wonderful holiday cocktails prepared by your host! 

9) Granola Bar Press 

This one is for the health conscious home cook in your life!  If he/she is always making health bars for grab-n-go type of snacks then they will surely thank you profusely for this thoughtful gift. This kitchen gadget makes granola bar prep a super easy task. 

10) Ceramic Serving Plates

Aren’t they pretty? Who wouldn’t love to see these when they open the gift wrap? There are great conversation starters at any party. Beautifully crafted, these ceramic plates are ideal for serving party food. 

 

11) Butter Mill Grater

This one again is pure genius! Personally, I have ruined so many bread slices while trying to applying butter on them that is not easily spread. Either I have to microwave it for a couple of seconds or keep it at room temperature for a while and then its ready to use. But with this Butter grater, you need to do no such thing. It’s instant gratification! Don’t believe me? Try one for yourself then! 

 

12) Singing Floating Pasta Timer

This  one is a surprise package! Only when this floating timer is used will people know the true value of this gadget. If you know someone who is a pasta lover and is very particular about the way it’s cooked, then this gift is for that person. Bonus is the singing! Who doesn’t enjoy a little bit of music while cooking!

13) Smood Potato Masher

If you loved mashed potatoes, then quickly add this masher to your cart! It truly does the job so much better than the other mashers in the market. But then, you can use this to mash not just potatoes but any other veggie that you need to.  The unique shape of this masher is what does the job effectively. Truly a must have kitchen item. 

14) Nessi Colander Spoon

This gorgeous colander/spoon is so cute that it can easily become a statement piece in any kitchen. Use it as a ladle or a strainer, this colander spoon makes a very pretty gift. 

15) Handmade Masala Box

I have this one and I love it! It’s a very handy box where one can store all the dry spices in one place. Only when I started blogging did I realize that not just Indians, everyone uses a variety of dry spices in everyday cooking. The see through cover makes it convenient to see all the spices, plus its easy to clean.  

 

Hope you liked this gift guide that I put together to help you buy the perfect gift for that someone special in your life! I had a blast finding and putting together these great household items for this guide. Hope you do find something you love!

DISCLAIMER – Please note we have not tried and tested all these items, this is a guide only. Always do your own research before purchasing any product. Cookilicious and I personally take no responsibility for any purchases made. Although I do get a small percentage of income from the purchases you make. 

I use the hashtag #cookiliciousveg on all social media platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) so you can get access to what's cooking in my kitchen. To stay updated, you can either subscribe to our newsletter&nbsp (free gift if you do so!) or follow me on my social media Instagram , Facebook   and Twitter! Theres even a Pinterest board called Cookilicious Recipesfrom where you can pin the recipes you love. ***GIVEAWAY TIME***

I’m so thrilled to be sharing with you that we are hosting a Holiday Giveaway and one lucky winner is going to win a 100$ Amazon Gift card! 
You can use this gift card to buy gifts for your loved ones this Holiday season.

Here’s what you have to do:

  1. Must be following us on Instagram (@cookilicious)
  2. Must live in the United States & be above 18 years of age
  3. Share this blog post on any 2 social media platforms and tag us
  4. Leave a comment on this blog post (maybe share what’s on your wish-list this holiday season)

That’s it!

The giveaway closes on December 30th 10.00 am EST. And the winner will be announced on December 31st  on my Instagram stories!

Good luck!

XO, Priya

The post The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide For Home Cooks! appeared first on Cookilicious.

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Do try this delicious, ultra creamy and scoopable dairy-free ice cream made with just 4 ingredients including chocolate & coconut milk this holiday season.

This shop has been compensated by Dang Foods. All opinions are mine alone.

I think I make ice creams the most during the Holidays! Everyone is in the mood to indulge and everyone wants an ice cream after a meal! My freezer is filled with different ice creams, to fit the needs of different people. That is primarily because both KR and I love entertaining. We always have friends over for a casual dinner or for a game night. When hosting, I like to prepare meals myself rather than doing a potluck where each person brings a dish. Since we have friends who are vegetarian/vegan,  don’t eat eggs,  are gluten intolerant or Keto dieters, I try to cater to all of them in some form or the other when they come home. There is a lot of hustle and bustle in the house especially during this time of the year. It being the holiday season, everyone is lazing at home and looking forward to days away from work. There is lots of food on the dining table and joy in the air. At such times, eating the right food helps keep one’s spirits high and celebrate the year that has gone by. I do believe that a bowl of ice cream at the end of a meal does just that!

This year was extra special because I had one of my best friends visit me from Houston. She came down with her husband and daughter on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Mouse aka Disney. The best thing, apart from having your childhood friend visiting you is when you come to know that all of them are foodies and are willing to try out all sorts of new dishes without fuss. Since they don’t eat eggs, my menu until the time they were around was egg free. We had a lot of fun together playing board games, restaurant hopping, shopping, etc. Lots of fond memories were created during this visit. Since they love ice cream, I wanted to create a new and different frozen treat for them. I had never tried using coconut milk to make ice cream until now and this seemed like a great opportunity for me to do so. Since her daughter loves chocolate, I gave this ice cream a chocolate flavor, resulting in this dreamy Coconut Chocolate Dairy-Free Ice Cream! Once the recipe was conceived, I just had to go about making it and surprise them with this sweet treat with a crispy twist! Read on to know more. 

I have worked with Dang foods before and created Instant Coconut Ladoos (No Condensed Milk Required) using their deliciously crunchy coconut chips. We love these chips at home and I now use it frequently in different recipes when not munching on them. Did you know that they are made using exactly 3 ingredients: coconuts, salt and sugar. No preservatives or additives of any sort. Dang Foods touts their chips to be non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan and dairy free. As per the nutritional information on the packet, a single serving of 28g has 120 calories, with 10g of sugar, 3g of fiber and 12g of fat. While the numbers I’ve provided are for the ‘Original’ flavor  – Dang Foods boasts of other flavors in their line up like Caramel Sea-Salt, Chocolate etc. To taste, these chips are salty-sweet (as you may have guessed from the ingredients) and delightfully crunchy. You can easily find these chips in any Walmart store near you. 

The recipe to prepare this Coconut Chocolate Dairy-Free Ice Cream in an Ice Cream Maker is as follows. In a pan add coconut milk, sugar and cocoa powder and cook it on medium heat. Keep stirring. Once it begins to simmer, it will thicken. This could take 8-10 minutes depending upon your cooking range. Take it off the flame and allow it to cool down a bit, then transfer it to a container and place it in the fridge (not freezer) until cold. This could take around 4-5 hours. Then transfer it to an Ice Cream Maker and churn till it sets. It should take 15-20 minutes. Transfer to an ice cream container and freeze until the desired consistency is reached. Now if you are like me who enjoys a little crunch in her ice cream, then you will totally enjoy this next step. Sprinkle Dang Coconut Chips over the ice cream scoops just before serving. Coconut Chocolate Dairy-Free Ice Cream is ready to be devoured! As promised, this ice cream is made using just 4 simple ingredients that are easily found in today’s kitchen. 

If you do try this recipe, please do share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. This will keep me motivated to develop more interesting recipes. Click a pic and post it with the hashtag #cookiliciousveg I would love to see your pictures on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

Coconut Chocolate Dairy-Free Ice Cream

Do try this delicious, ultra creamy & scoopable dairy-free ice cream made with just 4 ingredients including chocolate & coconut milk this holiday season.

  • 1 tin Coconut milk
  • sugar
  • cocoa powder
  • Dang Coconut Chips
  1. The recipe to prepare this Coconut Chocolate Dairy-Free Ice Cream in an Ice Cream Maker is as follows. In a pan add coconut milk, sugar and cocoa powder and cook it on medium heat. Keep stirring. Once it begins to simmer, it will thicken. This could take 8-10 minutes depending upon your cooking range. Take it off the flame and allow it to cool down a bit, then transfer it to a container and place it in the fridge (not freezer) until cold. This could take around 4-5 hours. Then transfer it to an Ice Cream Maker and churn till it sets. I should take 15-20 minutes. Transfer to an ice cream container and freeze until the desired consistency is reached. Now if you are like me who enjoys a little crunch in her ice cream, then you will totally enjoy this next step. Sprinkle Dang Coconut Chips over the ice cream scoops and serve immediately.

I use the hashtag #cookiliciousveg on all social media platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) so you can get access to what's cooking in my kitchen. To stay updated, you can either subscribe to our newsletter&nbsp (free gift if you do so!) or follow me on my social media Instagram , Facebook   and Twitter! Theres even a Pinterest board called Cookilicious Recipesfrom where you can pin the recipes you love.

Some other ice cream recipes that you can prepare at home are No-Churn Rose Gulkand Ice CreamNo Churn Ferrero Rocher & Raspberry Ice Cream3 Ingredient No-Churn Immaculate Cookies Ice CreamVegan No Churn Peter Pan Peanut Butter & Cereal Ice CreamRabri Ice Cream with Beetroot & Raspberry Sauce, Strawberry & Oats Ice cream and Carrot Halwa Ice cream

The post 4-Ingredient Coconut Chocolate Dairy-Free Ice Cream appeared first on Cookilicious.

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Baked Bread & Chutney Rolls is one fun party appetizer that will help you entertain and feed your guests this holiday season. A no-stress vegetarian snack!

This shop has been compensated by Colman’s USA. All opinions are mine alone.

#HotMessAround #BringThePunch #ColmansMustard

The Holiday Season is hands down the favorite time of the year for most of us. People are more relaxed, diets are placed on hold, the work load at office is less, children have holidays, there are lights and holiday decorations everywhere you look, Netflix releases all mushy movies to binge on and even the Florida theme parks have (artificial) snow! There is sheer joy and happiness in the air and that makes me really happy! It is also the official party season. A well thrown party is always remembered by all guests. My dad would always say that at any party or on happy occasions, it is always important to feed one’s guests with great food as that is what they will remember eventually. No one will recollect the clothes worn or the rituals performed or the games played as much as they will talk about the food that was served. He would meticulously co-plan the menu along with my mom whenever we threw a party at our house. 

So for me too, food forms a HUGE part of my party planning. We all know that a party is never complete without a delicious selection of hors d’oeuvres. So here I am sharing with you one such lip smacking bite-size party appetizer! I had been itching to create a fun vegetarian party snack for a while now. I got an opportunity when we had some friends visiting us. Thankfully, they were foodies like us and were happy to play guinea pigs to my culinary experiments. Sensing this, I decided to create this lip smacking bread roll but with my own (of course) twist! I had recently purchased Colman’s Dry Mustard Powder from the grocery store and was wondering how to use it. Normally I would have not thought of using it in an appetizer recipe but while talking to my aunt the other day, I got to know of a different way of using mustard powder. She told me that her mom would mix the mustard powder with water and then sprinkle it in certain curries. Doing this would give the dish a subtle mustard flavor and give it just the right amount of heat. 

This got me inquisitive and I decided to read more about it. I got to know that the flavor of mustard powder develops when soaked in liquid (mostly in cold water) which brings out its pungent compounds. It is commonly used in gravies, spice rubs, salad dressings, soups, and also to add an acidic component to cut through rich sauces like for macaroni and cheese. You can find Colman’s Dry Mustard Powder very easily at all leading grocery stores. You can also earn rebates on Colman’s Mustard through iBotta by visiting this link. So, I decided to create a finger-food with a hint of mustard flavor in it. My mom would make bread rolls all the time and serve it as an evening snack. I wanted to give her recipe a fun twist and created this recipe. Making Baked Bread & Chutney Rolls is super easy and stress free! Now let me show you how. You can use any bread for this recipe. I have used white bread today. Cut the edges of the bread first and flatten it with a rolling-pin. 

Then mix mustard powder with cold water and keep aside for 10 minutes. Spread butter over the bread slices and then smear the mustard water over the bread using a brush. Then spread spicy green chutney over the bread. At this stage, you can even spread seasoned mashed potatoes over it to give it more flavor. Then sprinkle grated cheese on top and roll up each bread slice tightly in a cigar-shaped roll and secure it with a toothpick. Tip – Soak the toothpicks in water for 10 minutes before this so that they do not burn in the oven. Arrange the rolls over parchment paper on a baking tray and glisten it with cooking spray. Bake them in a Pre-heated oven at 360° F for 10-12 minutes. They will turn golden and the cheese will melt. Take it out of the oven and allow it to cool for few minutes. Remove the toothpicks and serve these Baked Bread & Chutney Rolls immediately. While you can enjoy them as is, they also pair well with tomato ketchup or green chutney. Let me warn you beforehand, these bread rolls will go like hot cakes when served at a party. They look appetizing, taste great, have a certain punch in the flavor, is baked and is made using very few ingredients! 

So now you know what you are going to serve at your next get-together! Also do not forget to follow Colman’s Mustard on Instagram (@colmansusa) for their 12 days of giveaways. If you do try this recipe, please do share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. This will keep me motivated to develop more interesting recipes. Click a pic and post it with the hashtag #cookiliciousveg I would love to see your pictures on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

Baked Bread & Chutney Rolls

Baked Bread & Chutney Rolls is one fun party appetizer that will help you entertain and feed your guests this holiday season. A no-stress vegetarian snack!

  • 7-8 bread slices
  • 4 tsp Colman's dry mustard powder
  • 8 tsp cold water
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/4 cup any green chutney
  • 1/2 cup seasoned mashed potatoes (optional)
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese
  • cooking spray as required
  1. You can use any bread for this recipe. I have used white bread today. Cut the edges of the bread first and flatten it with a rolling-pin. Then mix mustard powder with cold water and keep aside for 10 minutes. Spread butter over the bread slices and then smear the mustard water over the bread using a brush. Then spread spicy green chutney over the bread. At this stage, you can even spread seasoned mashed potatoes over it to give it more flavor. Then sprinkle grated cheese on top and roll up each bread slice tightly in a cigar-shaped roll and secure it with a toothpick. Tip – Soak the toothpicks in water for 10 minutes before this so that they do not burn in the oven. Arrange the rolls over parchment paper on a baking tray and glisten it with cooking spray. Bake them in a Pre-heated oven at 360° F for 10-12 minutes. They will turn golden and the cheese will melt. Take it out of the oven and allow it to cool for few minutes. Remove the toothpicks and serve these Baked Bread & Chutney Rolls immediately.While you can enjoy them as is, they also pair well with tomato ketchup or green chutney.

I use the hashtag #cookiliciousveg on all social media platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) so you can get access to what's cooking in my kitchen. To stay updated, you can either subscribe to our newsletter&nbsp (free gift if you do so!) or follow me on my social media Instagram , Facebook   and Twitter! Theres even a Pinterest board called Cookilicious Recipesfrom where you can pin the recipes you love.

Looking for more party appetizer ideas? Then check these recipes out – Chickpea Masala SlidersNo-Cook Lemon Cream Cheese BitesSouth Indian Medu Wada | Lentil FrittersBlack Rice & Chickpea FrittersZucchini Bhajiya/FrittersMoong Dal Bhajiya/Lentil FrittersCabbage and Onion Pakoda in Appe PanSavory Paniyaram with Vermicelli & BroccoliGrilled Tofu BitesCheese, Rice & Methi Kebab With Tater Tot StuffingDill ke Pakode/Dill CroquettesHibiscus Strawberry Pastry Puffs and Jam CigarsSpinach & Paneer Puffs and Avocado & Cream Cheese Pinwheel Puffs

The post Baked Bread & Chutney Rolls – A Party Appetizer appeared first on Cookilicious.

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Brighten your holidays with these delicious eggless whole wheat ghee cookies that are the perfect grab-n-go, melt in the mouth kind of crispy cookies.

Ghee biscuits was our treat coming back home from school every other day. There was a bakery near our house and the aroma coming from there was tantalizing. It would always tempt us to enter and try all the delicious treats from the counter. When we were very young, we were not allowed to enter this store and buy something by ourselves. Only when we were accompanied by one of our parent, did we get to enter and pick whatever we want to eat. We would be the happiest that day. There have been numerous occasions where me and my brother would walk past this bakery, take in the aroma and give each other the ‘dejected look’ as we very well knew that we were not getting anything that day. But once we were in our teens, we were given more independence. Every second chance we got, we would come home with ghee biscuits for all. The beauty of this bakery is that despite it being so many years, the taste of those ghee biscuits have not changed a bit.

The bakery is run by a family who have been doing this for generations. The recipe has been passed down from generations and no tweaks are made to it. Even today whenever I visit my home in Bombay, my brother ensures that one of the first thing I eat are these biscuits. It has been an integral part of our childhood and we would like to preserve that memory till we can. This time when I was home, I stopped by at the bakery after being lured by the same tempting aroma. In all these years it had never occurred to me to ask them for the recipe and even that day I had no plans of asking for it. I just wanted to spend some time with this family that has religiously preparing different delicacies for customers like us, every day for the last 30 years. The family knew me very well as they have been seeing me since I was a kid and thereby I was welcomed with warm smiles. I felt so bad when I realized that I didn’t even know them by their first names while they knew everything about my family. 

I was there for a whole of 30 minutes and never once I did I feel uncomfortable sitting with them in that shop. They fed me yummy treats and were genuinely interested in my well-being and what I had to say. I told them how fascinated me and my brother were/are about the ghee biscuits that they sold in here and them smiled knowingly.  I then told them about my food blog and what i do for a living. It was totally a new concept for them and they listened to me in amazement. Then one of the ladies mentioned that they remembered my mom’s cooking and that my mom would often drop off some food for them. Then went on to say how much they loved her food and that they still prepare sambhar the way my mom told them. I had no idea about all this. Mom had never mentioned this to us. When I finally got up to leave, the oldest member of their household called me close to her. I bent down to listen to what she had to say. Hearing what she said next made my eyes moist. 

She told me that she loved my mom and just for her sake, wanted to share with me their family recipe of Ghee biscuits. She also said that I should put this recipe on my TV (her understanding of computer and internet). While I didn’t want the recipe as I didn’t feel it was right, seeing her insist, I gave in. When I looking for recipes to make this Christmas, I thought of this recipe and decided to feature it on my blog this holiday season. So here is the process to make these delicious Eggless Whole Wheat Ghee Holiday Cookies! In a mixing bowl add melted ghee. Then add sieved whole wheat flour, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Mix everything together and form a soft dough. Now using a tbsp (using a measuring spoon gives us equal sized cookies), scoop the dough and place it in the baking tray that is lined with parchment paper. Continue the same process for the remaining dough. There is no need to flatten the balls. Preheat the oven at 360 Deg F and then bake these cookies for about 18-20 mins or until the base of the cookies starts to brown. The baking time may vary from oven to oven so keep checking after 10 mins.

Allow it to cool completely and store in air tight containers. They stay good for 2 weeks. Eggless Whole Wheat Ghee Holiday Cookies will melt as soon as you put them in your mouth. They are light, aromatic, crispy and heavenly. I want to dedicate this recipe to that beautiful family near my house who have been running this bakery for generations and were kind enough to share their family recipe with me. If you do try this recipe, please do share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. This will keep me motivated to develop more interesting recipes. Click a pic and post it with the hashtag #cookiliciousveg I would love to see your pictures on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

Eggless Whole Wheat Ghee Holiday Cookies

Brighten your holidays with these delicious eggless whole wheat ghee cookies that are the perfect grab-n-go, melt in the mouth kind of crispy cookies.

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup melted ghee
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  1. In a mixing bowl add melted ghee. Then add sieved whole wheat flour, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Mix everything together and form a soft dough. Now using a tbsp (using a measuring spoon gives us equal sized cookies), scoop the dough and place it in the baking tray that is lined with parchment paper. Continue the same process for the remaining dough. There is no need to flatten the balls. Preheat the oven at 360 Deg F and then bake these cookies for about 18-20 mins or until the base of the cookies starts to brown. The baking time may vary from oven to oven so keep checking after 10 mins.
  2. Allow it to cool completely and store in air tight containers. They stay good for 2 weeks. Eggless Whole Wheat Ghee Holiday Cookies will melt as soon as you put them in your mouth. They are light, aromatic, crispy and heavenly.

I use the hashtag #cookiliciousveg on all social media platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) so you can get access to what's cooking in my kitchen. To stay updated, you can either subscribe to our newsletter&nbsp (free gift if you do so!) or follow me on my social media Instagram , Facebook   and Twitter! Theres even a Pinterest board called Cookilicious Recipesfrom where you can pin the recipes you love.

If cookies or biscuits are your weakness, then I have some wonderful recipes for you. Eggless Kesar Pista Badam Biscuits | Saffron Cashew Almond CookiesFerrero Rocher CookiesEggless Almond Butter Oats Cookies and Cashew & Condensed Milk Biscuits are some that you can try and enjoy for yourself. 

The post Eggless Whole Wheat Ghee Cookies appeared first on Cookilicious.

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This carrot peas sabzi is prepared with freshly ground Rajasthani spices. This nutritious Indian side dish can be served with roti and packed in a lunchboxes.

There is one huge benefit of having grown up in a cosmopolitan city like Bombay. You get to experience different cultures, traditions, customs and foods under one roof. My building was a classic example of the city we lived in. Each floor had 4 houses which was filled with the warmth of happy families from various cultural backgrounds. As a building, we would celebrate all festivals with great gung-ho and cheer. While the adults had their own reasons, we kids enjoyed the food part the best. Every other day there would be some celebration at someone’s home and all of us would get treated with sweets and treats. Truly there was never a dull day here and I am fortunate to have experienced such an enriched childhood. The foods coming out of each house was filled with affection, honesty and flavors. In fact, I remember clearly that on some rare days when there as no hustle bustle in the building, I would go to my mom and ask her to make something different and tasty that day just to pep us up. 

One of my friend is from Rajasthan and we would always be over at their house in the afternoons when the sun was too harsh to play outside. On some days, her mom would insist that we have lunch there and we would be more than happy to do so. We just needed an excuse to stay outside home (not that we were tortured at home :)) The simple lunch at her house would be so different to mine. They don’t add onions and garlic in their food. Actually, even some of our traditional South Indian dishes do not have garlic in it and in fact my grandma had never purchased garlic in her lifetime. Also, only when my mom moved to this city from her hometown Trichy, did she begin to purchase garlic and include it in her cooking. That I think was due to the Maharashtrian influence she had when she came here. But Rajasthani food is very simple with some strong flavors due to the whole spices used. Her mom made this sabzi all the time and the taste of which is etched in my mind. I have tried to recreate her recipe today. 

Let me take you through this recipe which I got from my friend’s mother. When I called to ask her this recipe, she laughed and exclaimed that why I want such a basic recipe. But I was adamant as I knew that this dish has a lot of potential and by no means is a basic recipe. I have only added garlic to her recipe. Rest is all her traditional recipe. First we need to dry roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and ajwain/caraway seeds. Be careful to not burn it. Once they turn light golden and releases an aroma, take it off the flame. Once it cools down completely, grind it to a fine powder using any spice/coffee grinder. Heat oil in a pan and once its hot enough, temper mustard seeds. As they crackle, add minced garlic, chopped green chillies and ginger paste along with curry leaves and chopped cilantro. Saute for a minute or till the garlic turns golden and then add the chopped onions along with little salt. 

Continue to saute till the onions turn soft and translucent. Carrot and peas need to be added next. I used frozen but you can definitely use fresh peas and carrots. Only note that they will take a bit longer to cook than frozen ones. Add salt and pepper and cook these two veggies for 5-7 minutes. Then add the ground masala, give it a good mix and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Add coconut milk and turn off the heat. Mix and check seasoning. Adjust salt and pepper according to your taste. Vegan Rajasthani Carrot & Peas Gravy is now ready. You can serve this sabzi with any Indian bread like chapati or naan. This tastes great with steamed rice as well. Such a simple dish yet loaded with flavors! Pack this in lunchbox along with some Maharashtrian Koshimbir | Indian Salad with Yogurt and you are set. The gravy is mildly sweet because of the peas and carrots, rich, creamy, gluten-free and vegan. The addition of Rajasthani ground masala is the soul of this dish. 

If you do try this recipe, please do share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. This will keep me motivated to develop more interesting recipes. Click a pic and post it with the hashtag #cookiliciousveg I would love to see your pictures on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

Vegan Rajasthani Carrot & Peas Gravy

This carrot peas sabzi is prepared with freshly ground Rajasthani spices. This nutritious Indian side dish can be served with roti and packed in a lunchboxes.

  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp ajwain/caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cardamon powder
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 2 green chillies
  • 3-4 curry leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 can coconut milk
  • salt as required
  • pepper as required
  1. First we need to dry roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and ajwain/caraway seeds. Be careful to not burn it. Once they turn light golden and releases an aroma, take it off the flame. Once it cools down completely, grind it to a fine powder using any spice/coffee grinder. Heat oil in a pan and once its hot enough, temper mustard seeds. As they crackle, add minced garlic, chopped green chillies and ginger paste along with curry leaves and chopped cilantro. Saute for a minute or till the garlic turns golden and then add the chopped onions along with little salt.

  2. Continue to saute till the onions turn soft and translucent. Carrot and peas need to be added next. I used frozen but you can definitely use fresh peas and carrots. Only note that they will take a bit longer to cook than frozen ones. Add salt and pepper and cook these two veggies for 5-7 minutes. Then add the ground masala, give it a good mix and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Add coconut milk and turn off the heat. Mix and check seasoning. Adjust salt and pepper according to your taste. Vegan Rajasthani Carrot & Peas Gravy is now ready. You can serve this sabzi with any Indian bread like chapati or naan.

The leftover ground masala can be used in any other gravy. 

I use the hashtag #cookiliciousveg on all social media platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook) so you can get access to what's cooking in my kitchen. To stay updated, you can either subscribe to our newsletter&nbsp (free gift if you do so!) or follow me on my social media Instagram , Facebook   and Twitter! Theres even a Pinterest board called Cookilicious Recipesfrom where you can pin the recipes you love.

Carrots and peas are basic ingredients and you can prepare many recipes with either of them. Carrot Halwa Ice CreamInstant Carrot & Oats Dosa/CrepesBeetroot Carrot Poriyal/CurryCarrot Upma With Leftover IdliCarrot HalwaCarrot Coconut Crumble SundaeLima Beans & Carrot cooked in Tomato GravyEdamame and Carrot BurgersCarrot and Beetroot HummusCarrots and Peanuts ChutneyInstant Beetroot Carrot Rava Idli and Carrot and Peas Paratha are some recipes you can make with carrots and Green Peas Crepes/DosaMethi Matar Malai | Fenugreek Green Peas GravyKhoya Mutter | Green Peas MasalaMutter Ka Nimona/Green Peas Curry and Restaurant Style Aloo Mutter Gravy/Potatoes & Green Peas Curry are some recipes that you can make using green peas. 

The post Vegan Rajasthani Carrot & Peas Gravy appeared first on Cookilicious.

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These assorted nuts biscuits are sure to be a family favorite & a perfect gift to make & give for festive occasions. These cookies are light, crispy & yum!

Growing up, Diwali was special for more than one reason. Apart from new clothes, fireworks and rangoli time, the only other thing we looked out for was for Diwali gift boxes! A day or two before Diwali, we would notice gift boxes coming in and out of homes and we as bhukkad (perpetually hungry) kids would drool and dream of all the treats in store for us on Diwali day. The whole of pre Diwali week was always filled with a lot of hustle bustle. Each one of us who would come down to play in the evenings would eventually land up discussing what treats were being made in our respective homes that day. We would notice every house facing the front being decked up with lights and lantern and would come home asking our dad for one. Sadly, our flat was located at the backside of the building due to which my dad never agreed that we needed a lantern in our balcony, despite our cries and tantrums. His logic was, “No one can see it so why put it up!” Bummer! But anyways, let’s come back to those gift boxes.

My dad would prepare gift boxes for all his office colleagues and store them in our home till the D-day. He would often ask us to help him pack. It was a fun ask for me and my brother. On Diwali day,we would eagerly wait for him to come home as he will be loaded with return gift boxes from his office colleagues. Each box would contain a variety of treats both sweet and savory. Both of us would pick our corners and happily munch on these treats. There was another tradition which all kids of the building followed. On Diwali morning, once all of us got down all ready in our new clothes, we would do this one thing. No one knows who started this tradition, but we religiously followed it till we turned adults. As a big group, we would visit every house in the building to wish every household a very happy Diwali. We were always welcomed with smiley faces, warmth and treats! This was our time to gorge upon all the homemade treats from every house. 

As if all that was not enough, mom would prepare so many goodies during this time of the year that me and my brother would prefer skipping meals in order to enjoy all these items. Today, just thinking about the amount of treats we ate back then, makes me nauseous.  But I guess as growing kids, our body handles it pretty well. I however, cannot imagine doing this today! But this memory of all of us visiting every house in our building is fondly remembered by everyone even today. Be it the uncles and aunties or we kids, we always talk about this thing that we did back then and have a hearty laugh. Seriously, our childhood was filled with such innocent moments like these where we enjoyed our lives guilt free and carefree. Thankfully our parents were supportive and encouraging and they simply let us be ourselves. I feel so good having shared a bit of my childhood with all of you today. I am sure you too would have tons of memories of your childhood especially during the festive season. 

It’s time to reminisce those days and enjoy some sweet treats just for old times sake! I have always been a fan of Tarla Dalal. For those of you who may not know her, she was an extremely popular celebrity chef in India. I was in college when my aunt gifted me her cookbooks and ever since then, I have made every recipe from that book. In fact, my friends began to call me Tarla Dalal because of this and that name has stuck with me ever since. The recipe I am sharing with you today is from her book. I have not made much changes to her original recipe and this is one Indian cookie that I can eat happily on any given day. Made with assorted nuts like almonds and pistachios, these biscuits are crispy and crunchy. The recipe to make these Kesar Pista Badam Biscuits is super simple and quick. The first step is to soak some strands of saffron in warm milk for 15 minutes. Also preheat the oven to 360 degrees F. 

Combine ghee and sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix it well with a spatula. Then add the saffron milk, cardamom powder and nutmeg powder to the bowl. Mix it all together and then pass plain flour/maida through a sieve and add it to the bowl. Knead into a soft dough by adding enough milk. The milk should be at room temperature. Using a mortar and pestle, lightly crush almonds, pistachios and edible flowers. Roll a portion of the dough into a rectangle using a little plain flour for rolling. The width should not be very thin nor very thick. Sprinkle crushed nuts evenly over it and roll again lightly so that the nuts stick well to the dough. Now comes the fun part. Shape them anyhow using a cookie cutter. I gave them the shape of Mickey Mouse! I am from the land of Disney, hence the Mickey fixation. Repeat the above steps to make more biscuits. Place them on parchment paper covered baking tray and bake these biscuits/cookies for 15-20 minutes. They should begin to turn golden around the edges but be careful to not burn them. 

Eggless Kesar Pista Badam Biscuits or Saffron Cashew Almond Cookies are now ready! Store them in an airtight container and enjoy them whenever you want! These make a great gift too! Pack them in cute boxes and gift them to your loved ones. I can assure you that they will love it especially the little ones! If you do try this recipe, please do share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. This will keep me motivated to develop more interesting recipes. Click a pic and post it with the hashtag #cookiliciousveg I would love to see your pictures on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

Eggless Kesar Pista Badam Biscuits or Saffron Cashew Almond Cookies

These assorted nuts biscuits are sure to be a family favorite & a perfect gift to make & give for festive occasions. These cookies are light,..

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