Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Ginger Garlic Fried rice with Snap Peas,Garbanzo beans / Chickpeas and Brown rice - Lemon n Spice Kids Lunch box ideas

In her Lunchbox - Ginger garlic fried rice with chickpeas, snap peas and brown rice. Snacks - Graham crackers, cherries Drink - Cool Plus probiotic drink.

How to make ginger garlic fried rice with brown rice, chicken peas and snap peas?
Cooking time : 5 mins

Ingredients :

Brown rice : ¼ cup
Snap peas : 8
Boiled chick peas : ¼ cup
Butter : 1 tsp
Ginger garlic paste : ¼ tsp
Coriander leaves : 3 leaves, finely chopped

Directions :

Heat oil in a skillet and add ginger garlic paste. Now add the snap peas and stir-fry for a minute. Add in the chickpeas and brown rice. Combine everything together. Finally, add the coriander leaves and salt. Toss well and turn off the flame.

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Happy Cooking,

Friday, August 18, 2017

Day 5 - Lemon n spice Lunch box ideas

Lemon n spice Kids lunch box series

Today I packed healthy Semiya and Vegetable upma and banana for Rihtika's planetbox. Its is an easy and healthy lunchbox option for her, start to finish under 15 minutes. For snacks - Kid Z granola bar, babybel light mozzarella cheese and Cool plus pro biotic drink.

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Happy cooking,

Whole wheat banana Pancakes and Grilled Sweet potato fries - Kids Lunch box ideas

Today's Lunch box @Lemon n spice - Whole wheat Banana pancakes with chia seeds and flax seed meal, grilled sweet potato fries, Pro biotic drink, fresh organic snap peas and raisins.

Whole wheat pancakes, Roasted sweet potato, probiotic drink, snap peas and raisins

How to make Whole wheat banana Pancakes for kids lunch box / picnic?
Cooking time : 10 mins, Makes 4 mini pancakes or 2 large pancakes
Ingredients :

Whole wheat flour : 1/2 cup
Ripe banana : 1
Egg : 1
Chia seeds : 1/2 tsp
Flax seed meal : 1/2 tsp
Honey : 2 tsp
Melted butter / Olive oil : 1 tsp
Milk : 1 tbsp 
Salt: a pinch
Baking powder : 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon powder / cardamom powder / Vanilla extract : 1/2 tsp

Directions :

1. In a bowl, combine the wet ingredients - Egg, milk, honey and melted butter using a whisk/ fork. Using a mixer, make a paste of banana and add to the wet ingredient mixture. 

2. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the same bowl - whole wheat flour, chia seeds, flax seed meal, salt and baking powder and mix well. (If you see lumps on the baking powder, just press it between your thumb and pointing finger to remove the lumps and add to the mixture / you can sieve them too.)

3. Heat a griddle / tawa and apply 1/2 tsp butter on it. Now pour the batter on to the hot griddle and cook for 2 minutes on each side , until golden brown in color. I make four mini pancakes with this recipe. I will send two pancakes to school and refrigerate the rest for an evening snack.

Grilled Sweet potato fries / Roasted Sweet potato sticks / Healthy french fries with sweet potato
Cooking time 10 mins, serves : 1 kid
Ingredients :

Sweet potato : 1, medium sized, peeled and thinly sliced
salt and pepper
Italian seasoning / dried parsley / garlic powder : a pinch
Olive oil : 1 tsp

Directions :

Heat a griddle / skillet / grill pan and add oil. In a bowl combine all the other ingredients and mix well. Now add this to the grill / skillet and cook until they are heated through and caramelized, approximately 3 to 4 minutes per side.

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Happy Cooking,

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Avocado whole wheat flatbread/ Paratha - Kids Lunch box Ideas

Trust me when I tell you, "Lemon n Spice - Kids Lunch box ideas" will change your lunch game! This will revolutionize your lunch; whether you need to pack a lunch for school/picnic/the office. Kids will love the scrumptiousness, while busy moms and dads will appreciate the solution for a balanced meal. Give your kids and yourself something to get excited about the lunch!

From the top: Greek yogurt, to the right: fresh organic cherries, Down : Avocado Paratha, to the left :Cool plus probiotic drink and centre :  fruit snacks 

How to make Avocado flatbread / Avocado Paratha
Cooking time: 10 mins, Preparation time: 5mins, Category: Easy and healthy kids lunch box ideas

Ingredients :

Ripe Avocado: 1
Whole wheat flour: 1Cup
Cilantro: 10 leaves, finely chopped
Cumin Powder: 1/2tsp
Flax seed meal: 1/2tsp
Lemon juice from half of a lemon
Ghee: 1tsp
(Variations: Add Carom seeds / Ajwain seeds: 1/4tsp / finely chopped mint leaves:4 / Italian herb blend: 1/4tsp)


1. Remove the pit and mash the flesh of Avocado -  Cut the Avocado in half, remove the pit and mash the flesh using a fork/potato masher. Add Lemon juice immediately.

2. Season and make the dough - Add the flax seed meal, cumin powder, salt and cilantro, mix thoroughly. Start adding the whole wheat flour and knead to a smooth dough. You dont have to add water because of the moisture from Avocado pulp.

3. Roll and cook the Avocado Parathas - Heat a cast iron skillet / Tawa on medium flame. Meanwhile, make 4 equal sized balls to make the paratha. Take one ball, dust it with flour and flatten it using your palm and roll the avocado paratha thin using a rolling pin*. Place the paratha on the heated skillet and let it cook. Once you see little bubbles, flip the paratha and drizzle some ghee on top. Press with the spatula on top of the paratha, so that it can puff up a bit. Flip again and drizzle ghee on the other side as well. 

ghee Serve with greek yogurt / Raitha / Curry.

From the top: Greek yogurt, to the right: fresh organic cherries, Down : Avocado Paratha, to the left : Cool plus probiotic drink and centre :  fruit snacks 

Note*- After rolling, I cut the dough with a large heart shaped cookie cutter to keep it in my daughter's lunch box. Viola!!! My avocado hater will definitely fall for the shape. I am using planetbox to pack my 7year old's lunch and thermos if it is a warm lunch.

Happy cooking,

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Pan roasted Brussels sprouts with Indian spices - An easy vegetarian Appetizer

A wonderful vegetarian appetizer with Brussels sprouts under 5 minutes!!!

Brussels sprouts are cute, little leafy vegetable from the cabbage family.  Brussels sprouts contain excellent levels of Vitamin C and Vitamin K.  It also contains Sulforaphane, which makes this vegetable under the category of anti-cancer vegetable. 

Pan roasted Brussels sprouts with Indian spices - An easy vegetarian Appetizer

Recipe for Indian Spiced Brussels sprouts stir fry / Indian recipe with Brussels sprouts
Cooking time : 5minutes, Recipe courtesy : Bhavanas Kitchen

Brussels Sprouts : 1 lbs

Cumin seeds : 1/2 tsp
Ginger garlic paste : 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp
Chilly powder / Pepper powder : 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder : 1/2 tsp
roasted Cashews / Peanuts : 1/4 cup, crushed
Vegetable oil : 1 1/2 tbsp
Sesame seeds : 1 tsp
fresh juice from half of a lemon

Directions for 5 minute vegetarian appetizer with Brussels sprouts : 

Brussels sprouts - washed and halved

1. Prepare the Brussels sprouts : Wash and halve brussels sprouts (or quarter them, if they are especially large).

2. Add oil in an iron skillet and add the cumin seeds. Throw in the prepared brussels sprouts and give a quick stir. Add the salt and drizzle few drops of water (3 tbsp). Cover quickly and allow the Brussels sprouts to cook* in that steam. (Do not overcook them)

3. After 2 minutes, add the ginger garlic paste and give a quick stir.  Add the crushed peanuts and sesame seeds. Next, add the spice powders - Turmeric powder, coriander powder and Chilly powder. Stir fry for another minute and add the lemon juice.

4. Turn off the flame and serve immediately. 

Pan roasted Brussels sprouts with Indian spices - An easy vegetarian Appetizer

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Happy Cooking!!!

Friday, July 7, 2017

How to make Amarappayaru Thoran / Amarakka Thoran / Amarappayaru Upperi ?

Amarappayaru Thoran / Amarakka Thoran / Amara payaru Thoran
Recipe for Kerala style Amara Thoran / Amarappayaru thoran / Amaarakka thoran / Hyacinth bean thoran
Cooking time : 20 min, Serves : 4

Ingredients : 

Amarappayaru / Amarakka: 250g, (Approximately 2 cups chopped)
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Coconut Oil: 1tbsp
Purple Onion: 1/2, finely chopped

To Corse grind:

Shallots: 3
Green Chilly: 2
Grated coconut: 1/2 Cup
Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
Garlic clove:1
Curry leaves: 1spring
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp

Amarappayaru Thoran / Amarakka Thoran / Amara payaru Thoran

Directions for Kerala Style dry Amarappayaru Thoran:

1. Clean and cut the ends of the Amara payaru Hyacinth Bean. Now finely chop them and keep aside.

2. In a small jar of mixer grinder, Combine all ingredients under "To Course grind" and crush together without water .(cumin seeds, shallots, curry leaves, green chilies, garlic clove, turmeric powder and grated coconut)

3. Heat oil in an Iron skillet / Kadai and add the mustard seeds. When it splutters, add the onion and saute till it turns to translucent.
Now add the Amarakka / amara payaru and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.

4. Now combine the crushed cumin-coconut mixture to the Amarakka / Amarappayaru. Give a quick stir and add the salt. cover and cook till the veggies are done.

5. Serve hot with matta rice, paappad and moru curry.

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

How to make Homemade baked Croutons for salads and Soups - Step by Step

Homemade croutons are very easy to make - these baked,  4 ingredient croutons will transform your soups and salads into something completely irresistible.

How to make Homemade baked Croutons for salads and Soups - Step by Step

Store-bought croutons are hard and dry, and they don’t have the fresh taste that a homemade crouton has. Homemade croutons are the best way to use the day old bread too.It doesn’t get much easier than these croutons. All you need to do is cut the bread into cubes, toss it with olive oil, grated garlic / Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper - spread them on a baking sheet and bake. They only take 10 minutes to bake. The hardest part is not eating them all off the baking sheet while they’re still warm. They are so addictive!!

How to make Homemade baked Croutons for salads and Soups - Step by Step
How to make Homemade baked Croutons for salads and Soups - Step by Step

You can either cut the bread into cubes. I used a sourdough Baguette in this recipe, You can use Artisan bread / multigrain / options are endless. 

How to make Homemade baked Croutons for salads and Soups - Step by Step
How to make Homemade baked Croutons for salads and Soups - Step by Step

Place the bread cubes in a bowl and season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Then sprinkle Any seasoning you like - I love the addition of 2 grated garlic cloves and 3tbsp of Parmesan cheese.

To finish it off, drizzle some olive oil.

How to make Homemade baked Croutons for salads and Soups - Step by Step
How to make Homemade baked Croutons for salads and Soups - Step by Step

Toss everything together until the bread cubes are all coated. 

Spread the croutons out on a sheet pan, giving the croutons lots of room so they can brown.

Bake for about 10 minutes, then they will be golden, crispy, and delicious.

How to make Homemade baked Croutons for salads and Soups - Step by Step
How to make Homemade baked Croutons for salads and Soups - Step by Step

Ingredients :

day old sourdough bread / Baguette / any thick bread: 1, cut into cubes 3 Cups
Olive oil: 1/4 cup
Freshly grated Garlic: 2
Salt 1/4tsp
Black Pepper: 1/4tsp

(Optional seasonings: Grated Parmesan cheese: 3tbsp, dried Herbs: 1/4 tsp )

How to make Homemade baked Croutons for salads and Soups - Step by Step
How to make Homemade baked Croutons for salads and Soups - Step by Step

Directions : 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the bread into cubes. Add in the seasonings and toss well. Bake for 10 minutes and then allow it to cool. Store the croutons in an airtight container for 1 week.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Parippu Pradhaman / Parippu Payasam with Step by Step Images - Kerala Sadya Vibhavangal

Kerala Traditional Parippu Pradhaman with step by step images

Today I am sharing my best Pradhaman recipe - Parippu Pradhaman / Parippu payasam. This payasam is usually made during auspicious days / festivals / marriage feast. I wanted to post this recipe before Vishu, but somehow it got delayed. Hope you enjoy!!!

Kerala Traditional Parippu Pradhaman with step by step images

How to make Traditional Kerala Parippu Pradhaman / Parippu Paayasam / Moong daal Kheer at home?

Cooking time: 40 mins, Serves: 8Adults

Traditional Parippu pradhaman ingredients (canned coconutt milk for easy method :) )


Cherupayaru Parippu / Moong Daal: 1Cup
Karutha Sarkkara / Dark Jaggery : 500g / 10 Large / 15 medium / 1 1 /2 cup
Coconut milk: 1 Can(400ml) / 3rd, 2nd and 1st extract from 1 Coconut
Thengakothu / Coconut Slices: 1/4 Cup, thinly chopped into bits(you can add cashew and raisins if you need, but i like to stick with the traditional pradhamn with fried coconut bits)
Chukkupodi / Dry ginger powder: 1/2tsp
Elakkapodi / Cardamom powder: 1/2tsp
Jeerakapodi / Cumin powder: 1/2tsp
Ghee: 2 or 3 tbsp

Parippu Pradhaman : Ingredients for Kerala Parippu Pradhaman

Instructions to make Parippu Pradhaman / step by step pictures or tutorial of Parippu Pradhaman

Step 1: Add Jaggery and 1 1/2Cup water in a saucepan and boil for 10 to 15 minutes to make a thick, honey - consistency syrup(sarkkarapaani). Keep aside.

Step 2: Heat ghee in a heavy bottom vessel / Uruli/ dutch oven and add the Coconut slices. Fry till they are golden brown in color. Transfer it to a bowl.

Parippu Pradhaman : Frying the coconut bits for garnishing - Stage 1
Parippu Pradhaman : Frying the coconut bits for garnishing - Stage 2

Step 3: Add the cherupayaru parippu / moong daal to the same vessel and fry for 5 to 7 minutes or till they are golden brown in color. 

Parippu Pradhaman : Roasting the moong daal - Stage 1
Parippu Pradhaman : Moong Daal is roasted till golden brown (5-7 minutes)

Step 4: Add 4Cups of water and cook the moong daal in medium flame. Cook till they are soft and mushy (15 minutes).  

Parippu Pradhaman : Cooking Moong daal stage 1
Parippu Pradhaman :Cooking moong daal Stage 2
Parippu Pradhaman : Make sure the moong daal is thick and mushy
Step 5: Strain and add the thick honey consistency jaggery syrup / sarkkarapaani to the vessel and combine well.

Parippu Pradhaman : Adding Jaggery syrup stage 1
Step 6: Add the second and third extract of coconut milk and cook till the payasam thickens.( I used canned coconut milk for this recipe. So 1/2 of the coconut milk I mixed with 1 cup water and used as my 2nd and 3rd extract of coconut milk)

Parippu Pradhaman : Adding jaggery syrup stage 2
Step 7: Make sure payasam is thick consistency right now and add the thick coconut milk(1st extract). Reduce the flame and combine well with the payasam, cook for maximum 2 minutes.(You should not overheat the thick coconut milk as it will separate coconut oil from the milk.)

Parippu Pradhaman : Adding 2nd and 3rd extract of coconut milk
Parippu Pradhaman : first extract of coconut milk
Step 8 : Turn off the flame and add the dry ginger powder, cumin powder and cardamom powder. Combine well.

Parippu Pradhaman : Adding 2all the spice powders
Step 9: Finally mix in the fried coconut bits. 

Parippu Pradhaman : Garnish with fried coconut bits
Step 10: Our Parippu Pradhaman is ready to serve. Enjoy!!!

Parippu Pradhaman is ready to serve

Thank you for Reading,


Friday, March 10, 2017

1-2-3-4 cake or Sponge cake or Basic Vanilla Cake

Happy 8th Birthday "Lemon n Spice"

In this happy occasion i am sharing my favorite sponge cake ever. Vanilla cake is also known as 1-2-3-4 cake which means, 1 cup butter, 2 cups sugar, 3 cups flour and 4 eggs. You can Half this recipe easily to make it an Evening tea cake. This is a standard cake in my house as it works perfectly for any fondant cake. Butter flavor from a vanilla cake with a light and fluffy texture makes it the base of any birthday or celebration cakes.  

Basic cake or 1234 cake or sponge cake
How to make a simple Vanilla Cake / Basic Sponge Cake Recipe for Beginners:

Ingredients : 

Unsalted Butter : 1 Cup, at room temperature
Granulated White Sugar : 2 Cups (I usually take 1 3/4 Cup)
All purpose flour/ Maida3 Cups
Large Eggs : 4, at room temperature
Milk : 1 Cup, oom temperature
Baking Powder : 1 tablespoon
Vanilla Extract : 2 teaspoon
Salt :1/2 teaspoon

Recipe for the fool proof Vanilla Cake: 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) with rack in center of oven. 

2. Butter or spray the bottom of  two 9-inch x 2 inch (23 x 5 cm) cake pans. Then line the bottoms of the pans with parchment or wax paper, then spray the paper.

3. In a bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt three times.

4. Using an electric mixer or stand mixer, beat the butter until soft and creamy (about 1-2 minutes). Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes). 

5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture (in three additions) and milk (in two additions), beginning and ending with the flour. 

6. Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared pans, smoothing the tops with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula. Bake 27 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in center. 

7. Place the cakes on a wire rack to cool, in their pans, for about 10 minutes. Then invert the cakes onto a greased rack. Remove the parchment or wax paper and re-invert cakes so that tops are right side up. Cool completely before frosting.

Happy Cooking,

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

How to make Padavalanga Thoran

Padavalanga thoran recipe Kerala style

Recipe for Kerala Padavalanga / Snakeguard thoran
Cooking time:15min, preparation time:5min, Level: Easy, Cuisine: Kerala
Ingredients :

Snakeguard / Padavalanga: 1, medium sized / 2 cups chopped
Coconut oil: 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Urad daal: 1/4 tsp
Dry red chilies: 2

To Coarse Grind: 

Shredded coconut: 1/2 cup
Curry leaves: 1 spring
Shallots / kunjulli: 3, peeled
Garlic: 1 clove
Green chilly: 2
Cumin seeds/ Jeerakam: 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp

Directions for Kerala Dry Padavalanga thoran without daal / Parippu:

1.Wash and scrape the snake guard / Padavalanga. Cut it lengthwise and discard the seeds and soft parts with a spoon. Now cut each into small cubes and keep aside.

2. In the small jar of the mixer, combine all ingredients listed under "to coarse grind" and crush together without water. 

3.  Heat coconut oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When it splutters add the dry chilies and Urad daal. Stir well until Urad daal changes its color to golden brown. Add the chopped snake guard / Padavalanga and stir-fry for 2 minutes.

4.  Now combine the ground cumin-coconut mixture with the snake gourd / Padavalanga. Give a quick stir and add the salt. Cover and cook till the veggies are done.

5. Serve hot with matta rice, curd, pickle, and pappad.