I never thought making this quick Tiffin / Snack would take me so many days to finally make it! Really life is sometimes very strange and you never know where it is going. When we had decided we are going to feature Quick Snacks or Tiffin this month, I knew what I was going to make. But actually getting to do it was the most difficult thing in the end. And it was supposed to be quick!..

Anyway this recipe is really one of those dishes that gets done in flat 10 minutes. Works out best when you want to clean up your fridge or have something for a quick bite. I am used to making the regular Poha with the thick variety of Poha where one needs to soak and cook the poha. This one needs to be added as such. Add whatever vegetable you have on hand to increase the nutrition value

Vegetable Poha for a Quick Tiffin

Recipe: Vegetable Poha for a Quick Tiffin
Preparation Time : 10 mins
Serves : 2
Recipe Level: Easy/ Beginner
Recipe/Post by: Srivalli

Ingredients Needed:

1 cup Flat Poha / Thin Poha / Atukulu
1 cup Finely chopped vegetables like Carrot, Capsicum, Beans
Handful of Fresh Green Peas
Onions a quarter of a medium
2 Green Chilies
Handful of Roasted Peanut
1 -2 tsp Oil
Salt to taste

Method to Prepare:
  1. Heat a non stick pan with oil and sauté onions well along with green chilies and roasted peanuts.
  2. Add finely chopped vegetables, salt and cover with a lid for 5 mins. Remove the lid and sauté again.
  3. When the vegetables are almost done, remove from heat, add the beaten rice and mix well.
  4. Since the beaten rice is very thin, it need not be cooked or soaked.

Special Notes/Tips:

  • When you are using the thinner type, you got to ensure you don't cook it. It gets soft with the heat that is already there in the cooked vegetables.
  • Add your vegetable of choice. This really one of those dishes that can be adapted to our liking.
  • Roasted Peanut gives such a wonderful crunchy taste to the entire dish.

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Vazhaipoo/banana heart/banana blossom is women friendly veggie. It helps to ease out menstrual problems. Banana flower helps to increase progesterone hormone which reduces the bleeding. It is a good source of Vitamin A and C. Consuming this flower often helps to reduce the cramps during menstruation. I agree, it is a time consuming process to clean and chop the buds. But this can be done leisurely and the chopped flower can be soaked in diluted buttermilk to avoid discoloring.

In South, it is normally used for preparing kootu, poricha kootu, paruppu usili and vadai. For a change I prepared this urundai and deep fried them in oil. They are too crispy and very tasty to go with tea/coffee.

Recipe: Vazhaipoo Kola Urundai
Preparation Time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Makes: 15 balls as shown
Spice Level: Medium
Recipe Level: Easy
Recipe/Post by: Viji

2 cups chopped Vazhaipoo/Banana Heart
½ tsp Turmeric Powder

For Grinding:
¼ cup of soaked and drained Channa (Kondai Kadalai)
2 Red Chillies
1 Green Chilli
1 tsp Grated Ginger
Few Curry Leaves
A pinch of Hing

Other ingredients:
1 cup Dalia
Fistfull of Wheat Germs/Oats (Optional)
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

Special Utensils:
Kadai/Deep Frying Pan

    1. Steam cook the chopped flower with turmeric powder and a tsp of salt. Any extra water can be removed by squeezing.
    2. Grind the steamed flower with the ingredients listed under grinding without adding water.
    3. Powder a cup of dalia or roasted channa coarsely and mix it along with the ground paste. For added taste I added a fistful of wheat germs. You can add oats too.
    4. Make them into a big gooseberry shaped balls and don’t give too much pressure while shaping it. Better prepare it in advance and leave it in the fridge for a while before frying.
    5. Deep fry them in oil and serve.

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Thepla is a very versatile Flat bread from the cuisine of Gujarat, India. Every household has its own tweaks and twists in recipe for making Thepla, but in general its made using a mixture of Wholewheat flour and Besan (Chickpea flour), fresh Fenugreek and coriander leaves, ginger- garlic, along with some aromatic spices and curd/yogurt/buttermilk to bind the dough. But many other vegetables could be used to make this lovely snack, which could be relished at breakfast, lunch or evening snack too. Grated bottle gourd, carrots, spinach, Mint, Cucumber etc are some vegetables that could be sneaked in and Voila! the fussy eaters are busy relishing the flavorful Theplas with, maybe some Curd/pickle/Chunda (a Mango Relish or jam).

Methi Thepla
Methi Thepla

Recipe: Methi Thepla (Flat bread with Fresh Fenugreek leaves)
Prep Time:10 minutes+ 20 minutes of Resting the Dough(preferred, but could be made instantly)
Cooking Time:2 minutes for Each Thepla
Makes:10 Theplas
Serves:3-4 people
Shelf Life:Could be stored for a day or so, taste goods both hot or cold
Recipe Level:Basic/Easy
Spice Level:Low
Recipe/Post by:Alka
1 1/2 cups of Wholewheat flour
1/2 cup of besan
3 -4 tsp of Curd
A Handful of picked Fresh Fenugreek leaves
2-3 tsp of chopped Fresh coriander leaves
1/2 tsp of Turmeric powder
1 tsp of Coriander powder
2-3 green chillies(Adjust as per your taste)
4-5 cloves of garlic
1 " piece of ginger
Salt to taste
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp Ajwain
A pinch of Hing (Asafoetida )
Salt as per taste
1 tbsp of oil
Ghee or Oil for roasting thepla

  1. Pick Fenugreek and coriander leaves and rinse thoroughly with water to get rid of mud if any.
  2. Drain on kitchen towel or in colander to get rid of excess water.
  3. Crush Garlic, ginger and green chillies well.
  4. Chop finely fenugreek and coriander leaves.Blend the sugar with curd and mix that with all other ingredients except oil for roasting theplas.
  5. Make a soft dough( not too soft, as it tends to get loose after resting period) and keep it covered for minimum 20 minutes to let all the flavors blend with each other.
  6. Divide the dough into small ping ball size portions (maybe 9-12, depending upon size). Generally theplas or in that case Gujrati Rotis are of size of a Poori, i.e smaller than the usual roti. The thickness and diameter of Theplas are matter of personal choice.
  7. Roast it on hot griddle with some generous amount of Ghee/oil, on both the sides, flipping at regular intervals till cooked.
  8. Enjoy with Yogurt/ Curd/ vegetable of your choice/pickle/ Tea or just on its own.Ideal for picnics, kid's lunchboxes or while traveling.

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One of the amazing things about Indian cuisine is the use of rice in its different avatars. One of the rice forms which are used mostly in street foods is puffed rice or Muri as it is popularly known.

Puffed rice is a type of puffed grain made from rice; usually made by heating rice kernels under high pressure in the presence of steam, though the method of manufacture varies widely.
A traditional puffed rice called muri is made by heating rice in a sand-filled oven. Muri is to rice as popcorn is to corn. The processing involved makes rice less perishable. Muri is a staple food in many parts of North Karnataka, Bengal and Bangladesh. Jhalmuri or masalamuri/bhelpuri is a very popular preparation made from muri.[1]
(Source: Wiki)

In Udupi-Managlorean region, Churu-Muri is the popular and most loved street food. Step out of your home and take a walk in a lush green park, breezy seashore at popular beaches or walk near any school/office buildings and you can’t help but see the large crowd of people queuing up in front of small wooden cart selling Churu-Muri or spiced puffed rice. This is loved by both kids and adults alike as it contains raw vegetables and fruit along with roasted peanuts. Add as much or as little as chilli powder depending on how spicy you want it to be and adjust the quantity of vegetables used according to your taste. It tastes best when coconut oil is used, but feel free to use vegetable oil in its place. Please restrain from using strong flavoured oil in this recipe. Also, remember to serve it immediately as soon as the puffed rice is mixed with spicy vegetables to enjoy this puffy, crisp and spicy goodness.



Recipe: Churu-Muri (Spiced Puffed Rice, a street food from Udupi-Mangalore)
Prep Time: 10-15 mins
Cooking Time: -
Serves: 4-5 people
Spice Level: Medium to Hot
Recipe Level: Easy
Recipe/Post by: Sia

4-6 cups Puffed Rice
¾ -1 medium Red Onion, finely chopped
2-3 medium Tomatoes, finely chopped
1 small Carrot, peeled and grated
2-3 tbsp Raw Mango, peeled and grated
1-2 tbsp Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
2 tbsp Roasted Peanuts
½-¾ tsp Red Chilli Powder (Adjust acc to taste)
1 small Green Chilli, deseed and finely chopped (Optional, use it if you like it really spicy)
1-2 tbsp Lime/Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed (Adjust acc to taste)
1- 1½ tbsp Coconut Oil (you can also use vegetable oil, but try to avoid any other strong flavoured oil)
Salt to taste

  1. Take chopped red onion, tomato, green chill, coriander leaves and grated mango in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Add coconut oil, lime juice, red chilli powder and salt to taste and mix well.
  3. Now add crisp puffed rice and roasted peanuts and mix well so that each grain of puffed rice is coated with spiced vegetable mixture. Serve it immediately.

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Evening time snacks are always a real challenge for mothers. If you give, idli or dosa or pulkas – kids won’t prefer all the time. As soon as they return from school, they want some fried or baked goodies to munch especially before starting their homework! Some sort of bribe you can say! What to do? You have to forego your calorie counting and start indulge in deep fried snacks.

Recipe: Vegetable Cheese Balls
Preparation Time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Makes: 12-15
Serves: A family of 4
Shelf life: The balls can be prepared and frozen for 15 days
Recipe by: Viji

2 medium Potatoes
1 cup of grated Carrot, shredded Cabbage, and Peas
2 Green Chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp grated Ginger
1 tbsp chopped Mint Leaves
1 tbsp chopped Coriander Leaves
2 tsp Garam Masal Powder
1 tsp Amchur Powder
2 tbsp Sunflower and Flaxseeds Meal (grind the seeds in the mixer)
3 Brown Bread Slices
50 gms grated Cheddar Cheese
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

For coating:

Mix one tbsp Corn Starch or Arrow Root Flour or Maida/All Purpose Flour in ½ cup water
Mixture of Oats, Wheetabix, Bread crumbs with a pinch of Salt

Special Utensils:
A deep frying pan

  1. Cook potato 3/4th and grate once it is cool. I prefer grating instead of mashing.
  2. Combine the rest of the ingredients. Prepare oblong shaped balls.
  3. Gently dip them in flour batter and coat them with the mixture prepared and freeze them for 1 hour at least.
  4. Heat the oil and deep-fry them on medium heat till crisp. Serve hot with tomato sauce. 

 Try this and enjoy!

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Vegan strawberry melba
Vegan Strawberry Verrines

When I finally decided to lose my post-partum weight (Better late than never!) I approached it in a healthy manner. I consulted a nutritionist and regularly exercised and followed a practical and healthy diet fairly sincerely, allowing myself a snack treat once a fortnight. My dietician suggested that I have five small meals a day rather than the traditional set up of three full meals. In between two main meals like breakfast and lunch (which were definitely smaller than they are today!) I was allowed a filler. I generally had an orange simply because it was the most convenient thing to carry and have at work apart from the fact that they are tangy, sweet, provide instant energy and because I love oranges! That is what a snack is all about. It should act as a filler in between long meals and keep you going through the day in an active manner. Somehow the meaning has got distorted and along the way snack has come to mean anything that can be munched on at any time of the day. No objections over that but at some point one has to care for the body which needs to replenish itself and cannot handle much abuse.

What if you were told snack on desserts - I am sure we would all be happy to take such fillers, wouldn't we?

Coming back to the diet, if it was a weekend I would treat myself to some variation. My favourite snack treat was never samosas or vada-pavs (i.e., after I was over 25yrs of age, unless Monsoon craving struck!). I had and still retain a weakness for fruits and any dessert that contains fruits, so my snack treats were mostly fruit desserts. That is how I learned to make low-calorie but deeply satisfying desserts. Grapes, chickoos and bananas (the long green ones) were a strict no-no (too much sugar or calories) but apples, oranges and strawberries were all yes-yes. While most days it used to be a very simple fruit chaat, on few special days I had verrines without knowing the term for it then.

The version I am posting today is slightly more calorific that what I had but then they are to be had bite sized or in small portions. I hate putting inordinate pressure on the poor tongue! Going 'off tasty things' is not my idea of staying trim. A moderate approach is to spend more time savouring what one consumes through two sensations - sight and taste. A lot of difference is made to the amount consumed if food is presented rightly. For instance, if today's dessert were served in a bowl, all mixed up, the number of helpings would increase but if it is built in layers as a verrine and made sumptuous for the sight, even consuming less can still be as satisfying. Well presented food calms the senses. It works for me and I hope it will for you too. I do not expect food to be styled exceptionally as I too do not claim any such skills, just a clean set up.

I have eyeballed measurements as my version does not require much precision or expertise. These desserts are perfect for the beginner cook and allows a lot of creativity.

At my house, we are 'fruit people' and my kitchen counter always has a basket full of fruits. You could substitute strawberries with any seasonal fruit of your choice. Cherries, peaches, berries, bananas (elaichi kela) and mangoes or oranges work just as well. You need not even cook the latter three. Use them chopped raw.

Recipe: Vegan Strawberry Melba / Verrines
Assembling Time:10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 10 Nos. (Shot glasses)
Recipe Level: Easy
Recipe/Post by:Sunshinemom

1st layer:
I made the wacky chocolate cake shown below but a shop brought one or any chocolate cake will do fine.

Wacky Chocolate Cake

2nd layer:
20-30 ripe strawberries or any of the fruits suggested above (chopped rough)
2tbsps. - Sugar (More if you like)
2 tbsps. - Lime juice

3rd layer:
8 cashews - soaked in water for about 15 minutes and then drained
2tbsps. -Vanilla or banana flavoured custard powder
1.5 cups - Soy milk
Sugar - As per taste. About 2-3tbsps.
1 Vanilla stick scraped (I preserve fresh and used vanilla sticks in jars of sugar stored separately for use in desserts)
1 tsp. - oil

4th layer:
Chopped fruits

Chocolate covered strawberries

  1. Cut cake to a height of 1cm enough to cover the base of the shot glass.
  2. Mix the ingredients for the second layer, cook for a minute till bubbly and cool. Pour 1.5 tbsp. of this over the cake layer.
  3. Mix the custard powder and sugar into the milk and cook while whisking to avoid lumps. When it starts coating the back of the spoon and comes to a custard consistency remove and cool. Blend the cooled custard with the cashews and vanilla scraping till the cashews do not feel grainy anymore. Cool and carefully put 2 tbsps. of this into each glass.
  4. Add a layer of chopped fruits. Top with slivers of pista, roasted almonds or hazelnuts. Garnish with a toothpick pricked through strawberries dipped in chocolate.
  1. For a fancier version add a layer of melted dark chocolate over the custard. Cut slices of strawberries and arrange them along the rim of the shot glass and then arrange the layers.
  2. If you would like a healthier version incorporate a layer of muesli or wheat flakes generously and reduce the custard layer.
  3. The cake layer can be substituted with a layer of crushed and pressed whole wheat of gluten free digestive biscuits. I prefer chocolate cake if using cherries or strawberries as the porous cake takes in the juice of the fruits and tastes good at the end.
  4. You could garnish with an assortment of small sugar dusted fruits as well and top with a mint to land it on a party table.
My children had a small get together with some school friends on Sunday at our place. They were here the whole day and I made many versions of these for them to snack on. They were delighted to see that the repeats came with small variations. We do not get small berries like blue berries, raspberries or even cherries here but I am sure these fruits, dusted in sugar would make the verrines look very pretty!

2639 copy
Vegan Strawberry Chocolate Verrines

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Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, No doubt, but then that doesn't mean, all other meals are less significant. What we are, depends on what we eat and that depends upon how well you eat your lunch, snacks, Dinner along with the Breakfast.

It's easy to whip out healthy lunch or dinner since it calls for various portions of food from different food groups like dairy, proteins, minerals etc. and Indian Meal is known for its wonderful combination of fibre, calcium, proteins, vitamins, iron etc, since a typical Indian meal consists of Dal/Legumes, Rice, Rotis/chapatis, Raita, Green vegetables etc, in one single meal.

But...yeah but its not about Lunch/Dinner recipes today..its about Snacks/Tiffins. We, the Team of Beyond Curries are trying to bring to you some Snacking options, Indian way ! Its always good to have something better to snack upon, than chips/cookies/ biscuits, right?

Snacks is all about the food that we need/crave between meals. It could be for a kid returning from school in evening, asking for something to munch till dinner is ready, or it could be for a working woman, who is on her way to home after a hectic day in office, to pep her energy for the upcoming chores back home. Snacks could be for those partying kids or teenagers, who just want to enjoy the company of friends at home, along with good food. Snacks could be for those guests who are enjoying a visit at your home, and need to be served something, till the Lunch/Dinner is ready. Snacks could be for those magical moments that call for small celebrations like the first rain of the season which brings on a craving for some hot, spicy snacks...Psssst - don't Bajjis (pakoda) or Samosa with tea sounds tempting at such times?

Ok , enough of drifting now, let's come to the snacks of the day..umm..guilty pleasure I know, but Fried Bread Rolls with stuffed vegetables aren't a bad option if you use brown bread instead of white. What say, huh?


Recipe: Bread Rolls (Bread rolls stuffed with Vegetables)
Prep Time:15 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Makes: 6
Serves:2 -3

Shelf Life: These are at their crispy best when consumed immediately

Recipe Level: Easy
Spice Level: Medium

Recipe/Post by:Alka

2 Medium sized potatoes
1 Carrot
4-5 French Beans
Handful of shelled peas(Fresh or frozen, both will do)
Salt as per taste
1-2 Green chillies (Adjust as per heat of chillies and your requirement)

1/4 tsp or less Turmeric powder(optional)
1/2 tsp Coriander powder
1/4 tsp Garam masala powder
Few generous pinches of Amchoor powder

1 tsp of crushed ginger garlic(or paste of it..about 4 garlic cloves and 1 inch piece of Ginger)
Juice of Half a Lemon (increase the quantity if not using Amchoor)
Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing

6 Slices of bread (Brown or white both will do)
1 Tsp oil to saute the vegetables
Oil for frying

  1. Boil /pressure cook the potatoes . Shell the peas, peel and chop the carrot into tiny pieces. Chop the french beans too.
  2. If using fresh peas, add these to boiling water in a pan , after few seconds, add carrot and french beans pieces too. Cook till peas are soft.If using frozen peas, then first cook carrot and French beans and add frozen peas just before switching off the gas. Drain and set aside.(Reserve the liquid for another meal or simply let it cool and use it to dip your bread for roll, later) .
  3. Now peel the potatoes and chop or mash them . Add the boiled veggies and keep aside
  4. In a pan or Kadai, add crushed ginger garlic, saute till change in colour, add all the dry masalas, salt, green chillies and give it a stir for a while.
  5. Add potatoes and vegetables and salt and give it a nice mix.
  6. Finally, put off the gas, add lemon juice and chopped coriander leaves. Let the stuffing cool down a bit.
  7. Now take a bowl, put the reserved liquid (one left after boiling veggies) making sure it is not at all hot Or else you can simply use water, to which some salt, red chilly powder and 1 tsp of Lemon juice is added.
  8. Dip a slice of bread in the liquid, squeeze it gently in between your palms, taking care so as not to crumble it. Place some stuffing (do not over stuff ) in the center and roll the bread over it giving it an oval or oblong shape, taking care that the stuffing is not peeking out. Patch it up with some wet piece of another slice in case the stuffing is coming out.
  9. Deep fry the rolls one by one, frying it on high to medium flame. Do not lessen the flame or the bread will soak more of oil.Fry till nice crisp golden brown crust is seen.
  10. Drain out excess oil by placing the rolls on kitchen towel. Serve hot with Mint coriander chutney or Ketchup.


Special Notes/Tips:

If deep frying is taboo in your kitchen, go ahead by stuffing the mixture in between two slices of bread and roast it on griddle or MW it to make a spicy, filling and healthy sandwich.

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