Indian food and blogging

Food blogging is one of the most enlightening activities I have ever done. It is such an amazing feeling to be surrounded by so much talent and dedication. Together, my fellow food bloggers capture the most amazing food pictures, bring out the beauty of simple things, demystify the complicated and then most importantly remind all of us that cooking is essentially all fun.

spinach cake 1

To me many of these blogs also offer a revised understanding of the diverse cuisine I root my feet deeply in. You know this already; Indian food served in restaurants world wide represents only a minuscule fraction of the country’s intensely diverse cuisine. Each state in India has its own very unique dishes that the people living in a neighboring state might not be even aware of. Also with in these states lie niches of culinary identity emphasizing the fact that unless you purposely make an effort to understand it, you will never get a glimpse of it, even if you are living close by.

This could sound like an exaggeration, but it is not! The delicious, twelve layered
chatti pathri is as much of a foreign dish in my neck of the woods as potato gnocchi, yet the Malabar region from where the delicacy is from is in my home state Kerala and is only a couple of hours drive away from the place I lived many years. Of course the situation has improved with the advent of local travel cookery shows in TV, but it seldom cross language barriers.

spinach cake 2

This is where Indian food blogs are increasingly playing the part in unraveling the secrets of dearly local Indian cuisine. When people share an heirloom recipe or reminisce on a local favorite dish in the town that they grew up, or blog about a popular street food from a place they lived in India, I am sitting here in front of the computer, feeling very lucky that I chanced upon it. Almost 6 years into reading Indian food blogs, I am increasingly getting illuminated about the umpteen ways to cook curry, make a pulao, or make a dessert from just plain milk and sugar!

Thank you fine people !
Five Indian dishes I never knew about before I started blogging.

Bakkar wadi

Lemon Sun pickle

Naksha Bori

Dal Dhokli

Mango rice

The following is not an authentic Indian recipe, but an inspired creation based on the comforting flavors I like in an Indian style snack. Serve it with a cup of tea on the side. These toasted cakes will happily go very well anywhere a falafel goes, most importantly in wraps.

Toasted spinach cakes

Garbanzo beans/Kabuli chana – 2 cups
Whole wheat flour - 1/4 cup
Onions finely chopped – 1 /2 cup
Ginger minced – 2 tbsp
Spinach chopped - 2 cups
Coriander leaves chopped – ¾ cup
Cumin crushed – ½ tsp
Jalapeño chilies chopped – ½ tsp
Baking powder – 1 ½ tsp
Oil – 3-5 tbsp

Soak garbanzo beans in water for 6 hours. Drain, and grind it along with ginger and jalapeño to a coarse paste in a blender. At this point take out half of the mixture out. Continue blending the remaining half till the mixture is smooth. Mix both coarse and smooth purees and stir in the whole wheat flour. Add onions, spinach, coriander leaves, baking powder, cumin, and salt. Mix very well to combine. Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan, spread the mixture evenly in the pan (you can use a baking pan of any dimension; make sure that the mixture is spread to half inch thickness). Loosely cover with Aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degree for 15 -20 minutes or till a tooth pick inserted at the center comes out clean. Cool the cake for 10 minutes in the pan. Brush the top of the cake with some oil. Turn it over to a parchment sheet, and brush the bottom part also with oil. Cut out shapes using a cookie cutter like I did, or simply cut into squares. Heat a pan, brush generously with oil. When the pan is hot arrange the cakes on top of it. Cook for 1-2 minutes each side, or till you see toasted dark brown spots on the cakes. Serve with coconut chutney and of course tea!


Marilyn said...

Garbanzo beans and spinach - two of my favorite things - looks tasty! Thanks for the recipe.

Ria Mathew said...

It looks mighty delicious!
Thanks for the mention :) Have you tried it yet?

Foodie Ann said...

I agree with you abt demystifying food from various regions.... For me food blogs represents a source of inspiration to cook and to push my creative side.....:)...

Priya Suresh said...

They looks extremely marvellous..

Anonymous said...

Hey Archana... Today I saw ur blog for the first time. Its amazing.All ur recipes are very nice. Actually I want to bake cake for my husband for valentines day. I have never baked cake before. So I was looking for some nice and simple cake or cookies recipe. Can you please help me and guide me in this.

Swathi said...

That cutlets looks delicious, blogging introduce me to lot of new dishes in Indian as well as world cuisine.

archana said...

Ofocurse, i will be glad to. Please shoot me an email at
spicyana at gmail dot com

Prerna@IndianSimmer said...

Its truly wonderful to be counted among the food bloggers. We sure get to learn so much from each other! That is one heck of a recipe :-) Lovely photos!

Finla said...

I agree with you, after starting blogging I have seen so much Indian recipe which I didnt even know it excisted or even new ways of cooking some Indian vegetables.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Indian food is awesome. Those cakes look so good. I really love that tasty combo!



Anjali Koli said...

Those are beautiful cakes and really remind me of the kothimbir vadi which is so Maharashtrian and yet the chickpeas make it sound like dhokla. Lovely.

archana said...

Thank you , i love it too.

Thank you, i am planning to do it soon, i am not even sure if i can do it well, it looks so perfect in your pictures !

Very true, good company always make you a better person/artist/cook etc, that is why i am hanging out with you guys you see !

Thank you much dear

I agree, we all are getting better together, that is the fun of it.

Thank you,i love staring at wonderful blogs like yours !

Indeed ! I had no idea that there was a chutney made with water melon peel !

Thank you very much, i am glad that you liked it

Thank you, you got it right !!! That is exactly what i had in mind when i made this.

grace said...

now THIS is an ideal way to eat some greens! your cakes are perfect, both in appearance, flavors, and nutrition--well done!

Angela Noble said...

Delicious !!!!!

Sweet Artichoke said...

These cutlets look fantastic and your pictures are amazing!
Food blogging is a great adventure and what I enjoy most about it are the endless discoveries and creativity :-)

evolvingtastes said...

Archana, thanks for the shoutout! What a pleasure to show up on your ever-gorgeous blog.

chamindika said...

Your recipes look great! I want to try this one, but there was no measurement given for salt, how much salt do you put?

DreamMaker said...

simply gorgeous pictures and recipe. you really are a great cook. Btw, one question, does blending chick peas take lot of effort? my blender isn't that great. can i use chana daal instead and get almost same results?


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