Baby/Kid friendly

Pressure Cooker Cake (A Princess Birthday Cake)

Pressure Cooker Cake

One of the queries I got over and over from my readers is a recipe/method for baking a cake in pressure cooker. I rarely have any free time to experiment these days, so although this request was always there in the back of my mind, I never tried it. But recently I got a chance to do it. I finally prepared a pressure cooker cake and then decorated it for my beautiful niece.

We were in India in December. My niece’s birthday was during our stay. I wanted to prepare a princess cake for her ever since she was born. This time I got a chance. But unfortunately due to the workload before I left for India, I just forgot to take any of my cake decorating stuff. When I reached Bangalore, I asked my sister in law if I could bake the cake and she was very excited. Then we started searching for materials. It was an ordeal since I had no clue where to find any materials. Finally when I found some cake stuff at a store in Bangalore, I was more than excited.

The birthday was at my hometown Kodkani. After reaching there, I realized the tips I had got were all wrong (I had not opened the packet and there were no pictures/details on cover to know what was inside). I had just two colors – yellow and orange. There was no way I could buy anything at that time.

I tried a small cake as experiment in my mom’s tiny cooker. The cake came out so good and kids loved it. So I decided to bake the same for the birthday.

I used my simple egg cake recipe, added two table spoons of cocoa powder to make it a chocolate cake. I used pineapple flavor instead of vanilla. I used aayi’s homemade loni(butter) for both cake and the buttercream frosting.

Following are the brands I used. These were the only ones I could get hold of.

Add rock salt crystals at the bottom of the pressure cooker. Keep a metallic ring on top of salt. Then keep the aluminum baking pan on top such that it rests on the ring. I tried using a steel vessel and it completely became black!. So make sure to use something that you would use in an oven.

Do not add the rubber gasket or the weight on top. On medium heat bake it for 25mins. Then check if it is baked, if not, put it back and bake for more time till done.
Once it reaches the room temperature, remove the cake from the pan. Cool it completely and then decorate it or serve it as it is.

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Dates Almond Oats Cupcakes

My 7 year old is a very active little guy who loves to run around entire day. I have tried giving him healthy food, but he is not great when it comes to eating. The other day I was discussing about healthy snack bars with a friend. I have to make an honest effort hereafter to make energy packed snack bars for him. But as a first step, I thought of making some cupcakes for him, which I could give him after school. The dates almond oats cupcakes came out so good, I had to note down the recipe.

My initial plan was to make dates cake. But then I thought cupcakes would be more interesting for them. I started modifying the recipe to make it little bit more wholesome. I added almonds, oats and butter, since he definitely needs some protein and fats in his body. I used mejdool dates which are quite sweet, so reduced the sugar amount. Finally used wheat flour (chapati atta) instead of all purpose flour for some more added nutrition. My 3 year old was helping me make these, so I asked him to add some chocolate chips. They loved the cupcakes, I think I am ready to make a second batch soon(when I can find energy and time).

Heat dates, almond, oats with milk and grind.

Mix all other ingredients. Top with chocolate chips.

Bake at 350F.

Dates Almond Oats Cupcakes

Nutritious and tasty cupcakes for kids after school snacks.
4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 16 medium


  • 16 mejdool dates use any kind
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup oats regular kind
  • 1 and 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1 tea spn baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2/3 rd cup wheat flour
  • Cupcake liners
  • Chocolate chips optional


  • Take the dates(after removing pits), almonds and oats in a bowl. Add milk to it.
  • Heat it for few mins till the milk is warm (I microwaved for 2 mins).
  • Grind to smooth paste (does not have to be too smooth).
  • Now add melted butter and mix.
  • Then add sugar, baking soda, flour, mix well.
  • Line the cupcake pan with liners and fill them to about 3/4th.
  • Top with chocolate chips.
  • Preheat oven at 350F for about 10mins.
  • Bake for about 30mins or till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Store in air tight container

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Vegetable-Chicken Curry and Puffs

Vegetable Chicken Curry
Vegetable Chicken Curry

I always look for more ways to include both protein and vegetables into our meals. When I make chicken curry, I make a paste of cooked vegetables and add it to chapati dough or add vegetables to rice that is served with curry. But sometimes I make a curry with both chicken and vegetables. This vegetable-chicken curry is one such dish that my family really enjoyed.

Vegetable Chicken Curry Puffs
Vegetable Chicken Curry Puffs

The next day, I used the same curry to make puffs. My 7 year old loves puffs. This was a perfect way to get some interesting dish in his lunchbox. He even asked if there were leftovers after school.

Marinate chicken.
vegetable-chicken curry and puffs4
ry the spices.
vegetable-chicken curry and puffs1vegetable-chicken curry and puffs2
Fry tomatoes in spices and grind. Then fry onions.
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Add chicken and fry. Then add vegetables followed by spice paste. Cook till done.
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Vegetable-Chicken Curry and Puffs

A tasty and healthy vegetable and chicken curry with coriander leaves and spices paste. The puffs are made by baking the dry curry in pastry sheets.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 -5


  • 1 lb about 1/2 kg boneless chicken
  • 1/2 cup each green peas carrot, corn
  • 1/4 cup spinach
  • 1/4 cup tightly packed along with thick stems coriander leaves
  • 3 green chillies
  • 1 tea spn fresh ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tbl spn lemon juice
  • A pinch turmeric
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes
  • 1 tbl spn fresh/frozen or desiccated coconut
  • 2 black cardamom moti elaichi
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • Oil
  • Salt
  • Spices for the paste:
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 " cinnamon
  • 1 tea spn coriander seeds
  • 1 tea spn cumin seeds
  • 1 tea spn poppy seeds khas khas
  • 1 tea spn ani seeds saunf/badishep
  • For Puffs
  • 2 puff pastry sheets


  • Make a paste of coriander leaves, green chillies, ginger-garlic and lemon juice.
  • Marinate chicken in that paste with salt and turmeric.
  • In a little oil, fry cloves, cinnamon, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, poppy seeds, aniseeds.
  • Then fry tomatoes and coconut.
  • Make a paste and keep aside.
  • Heat oil and fry black cardamom, onions.
  • Then add chicken, fry for few minutes.
  • Add peas, carrot, corn, spinach.
  • Then add the paste, salt, water and cook till done.
  • For Puffs:
  • Preheat oven at 400F for 10mins.
  • Heat the curry till all the water is absorbed.
  • Cut pastry sheets into required size pieces.
  • Keep a small portion of the dry curry on it.
  • Seal the edges with water and press them down.
  • Bake for about 15mins (or according to packet instructions).
  • Serve hot with ketchup.


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Pizza cupcakes

Pizza Cupcakes
Pizza Cupcakes

I am one of those moms who want my kids to learn cooking. I do not expect them to cook any elaborate dishes if they don’t wish to, but atleast they should be able to feed themselves some fresh homemade food. I have been giving Ishaan little jobs in the kitchen whenever I can. He now gets excited when I ask him for “help”.
pizza cupcakes12

Few days back we had a get together and we planned for make-your-own pizza for kids. I took the base, another friend got sauces and toppings. We rolled the bases and gave them their individual small bases. They cut them into different shapes with big cookie cutters, added whatever they wanted on the pizza. We baked the pizzas for them. They all were thrilled. Ishaan is huge fan of this idea. Since then he has been asking me to make pizzas every week.

This time I thought of making it a little different. We baked them in cupcakes. I did not know how they would come out. Ishaan loved to put sauce, toppings and cheese on them. They came out so delicious. Both the kids loved to eat them for dinner and they even took them in lunchboxes next day. I may make regularly now instead of normal pizzas.
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Brush a cupcake pan with butter. Line each cup with pizza base.
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Brush the base with butter and cover and let it rise for another 30mins. Bake in preheated oven at 400F for 6mins.
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Add the sauce (I used a mix of marinara and basil pesto) and toppings.

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Top with cheese and bake at 400F for 15mins. I took them out of the pan and baked them for another 7mins.
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pizza cupcakes9


Pizza cupcakes

Pizzas bakes in cupcake pans
4 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 24 cupcakes


  • For pizza dough
  • 1 pack active dry yeast
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour I use multigrain atta
  • 2 and 1/2 cups approx all purpose flour
  • 1 tbl spn butter
  • 1 tea spn honey
  • 1 tea spn dired oregano
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • For topping
  • Sauce
  • Corn
  • Bellpepper
  • Tomato
  • Paneer marinated in chilli powder and salt and then fried
  • Mozzarella cheese


  • Take 1/2 cup lukewarm water and add honey, yeast to it.
  • Leave it aside till it becomes frothy (yeast gets active).
  • Now add remaining water, salt, wheat flour, oregano, melted butter and mix. (I sue stand mixer for this).
  • Gradually add remaining flour till the mixture comes into a dough but still very sticky.
  • Now take the dough on a floured surface and knead for a min.
  • Put the dough in a big bowl (I just use the stand mixer bowl), add 1-2 tea spns olive oil and move the dough around to coat with oil.
  • Leave the bowl covered till it doubles in volume (around 1 and 1/2 to 2 hrs.
  • Now punch the dough down to remove all the air.
  • Make small balls and roll them into rounds (as thick as stuffed paratha).
  • Brush cupcake pan with butter.
  • Now line each cup with the dough, brush with oil/butter, cover with a wet towel or plastic wrap and leave for about 30mins.
  • Preheat the oven for 400F (I keep a pizza stone in the middle rack, the stone helps to get crispy crust) , Keep the pan in hot oven and bake for about 5-6mins (I didn't want the dough becoming too soggy, so baked for few mins).
  • For the sauce, I used a mix of marinara sauce and basil pesto, use any desired sauce.
  • I microwaved the frozen corn and bellpepper cut into small pieces for about 1 mins.
  • I marinated paneer in chilli powder, salt and then shallow fried for few minutes.
  • Now add a tea spn of sauce in each cup, add corn, bellpepper, paneer, top with cheese and bake at 400F for 15mins.
  • I then removed the cupcakes from pan and bake them on the pizza stone for another 7-8mins.


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Raisin and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Raisin and Chocolate chip cookies
Raisin and Chocolate chip cookies

Hi all, hope you all are still reading this blog!. It is getting harder and harder for me to keep this place updated. My 18 month old is already in his terrible twos and likes to get into everything. So my cooking has been limited to very basic things and whenever I made something special, I forgot to click pictures!.

Ishaan has been asking for chocolate chip cookies for a long time now. I finally baked these raisin and chocolate chip cookies a couple of weeks ago. Since Ayaan loves raisins, I decided to add some to it. I personally loved chewy texture due to the raisins. I prepared these with multi grain flour that I use for making chapatis.

I used Nestle’ toll house chocolate chip cookie recipe and made few changes to it.

Mix sugar and butter. Then add eggs, vanilla extract.
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Sieve together flour and soda. Add to butter and egg mixture.
Add raisin and chocolate chips.
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Spread the mix on a sheet and bake.
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Raisin and Chocolate chip cookies

Raisin and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soft and chewy cookies loaded with raisins and chocolate chips.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 5 dozen


  • 2 and 1/4th cup multi grain atta or whole wheat flour or all purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 tea spn vanilla extract
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tea spn baking soda


  • Preheat the oven at 350F.
  • Combine flour and baking soda in a bowl. I sieve them together in a separate bowl.
  • Beat butter and sugar.
  • Then add eggs, one at a time beating them well.
  • Mix in vanilla extract.
  • Now add the flour mixture, a little at a time and mix well.
  • With a spatula, mix in raisins and chocolate chips.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease the baking sheet with butter and flour.
  • Drop the mixture on the sheet by a spoon.
  • Bake at 350F for about 15-18 mins.
  • Let them cool to room temperature and then store in air tight container.


I used salted butter. If using unsalted one, add 1/2 tea spn salt.


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Spicy Steamed Corn Balls (Jolad Undi)

Jolad undi
Jolad Undi

Corn or Jola(in Kannada) is in season now. I saw this recipe in a magazine a while back Since we all love corn, I have tried it many times at home with my own little modifications and it comes out great. Since these balls are steamed, these are healthier options compared to the fried cutlets.

 Make a coarse paste of corn and then of all other ingredients.

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Make balls from the mixture and steam.
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Spicy Steamed Corn Balls (Jolad Undi)

Steamed spicy corn balls perfect for a snack or starter
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 3 -4


  • 2 cups corn
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • A pinch asafoetida
  • 3-4 green chillies
  • 2 tbl spn coriander leaves
  • A drop of oil for greasing the plate optional
  • Salt


  • Cook the corn(cooking in advance is not necessary if using most of the frozen corn which cooks very fast) and make a coarse paste of corn.
  • Make a coarse paste of coconut, green chillies, coriander leaves, asafoetida and salt.
  • Add the paste to corn.
  • Make small balls of the mixture, give it a slightly elongated shape.
  • Line them in a cooker vessel or plate and steam them for 10mins.
  • Serve hot.


Add spices like garam masala or coriander-cumin powder for a slightly spicy version.
Bind the balls well by pressing them to make sure they don't fall apart.


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Carrot Pulav

Carrot pulav
Carrot Pulav

Ishaan started going to Kindergarten few weeks ago. I was a bit stressed about him going to new school right after coming back from India. On the first day of school, I went to have lunch with him, totally prepared to bring him back home if he was too tired. He assured me he was fine and I can pick him up after school. I came home relieved, thinking he is grown so much that he can handle it.

I send him lunch every day. I stress about does he have enough time to eat? can he open his lunch box? did I forget to pack his spoon etc. I asked him to get help from some grown-up in opening the box. Now he says he asked first couple of days but now he can do it all by himself (he takes food in a thermos and it is hard to open it sometimes!). He is a slow eater and if there are friends around, talking and then running out to play takes higher priority!. Now that he has settled down a bit, I ask him what lunch he wants in his box, so that he is excited about eating.

Last week he asked for pulav. At home he loves pulav/biryanis with yogurt or raita. But eating yogurt with it at school would be too much to ask. So I decided to make it with less spices but packed with nutrition and flavor. This carrot pulav was a perfect fit. I packed it with a big dollop of ghee for him. Even my 1 and half year old loved it.

Heat oil/ghee and fry spices, then onion, ginger-garlic paste, green chilli paste.
carrot pulav1 carrot pulav2

Add garam masala, fry. Then add rice, carrots.

carrot pulav3 carrot pulav4
Pour water, cover and cook.
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Carrot Rice

A simple and delicious pulav loaded with carrots, makes a perfect lunch/dinner for kids and adults alike.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 -3


  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 tea spn freshly ground ginger-garlic paste
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 2 " cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 cardamoms
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tea spn garam masala
  • Ghee/Oil
  • Salt


  • Wash basmati rice, drain and keep aside.
  • Heat oil/ghee and add cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf, cardamom.
  • When they are fried a bit, add onions, ginger-garlic paste, green chilli paste.
  • Fry till the onions are translucent.
  • Add garam masala and fry for few minutes.
  • Add basmati rice, carrots, salt and fry for 2-3mins.
  • Now pour 2 cups of water, cover and cook till done.
  • Serve hot with dollop of ghee or raita(optional).


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Sugar Cookies

Sugar cookies
Sugar Cookies

It was last November/December when I had invited my friend Leslie and her family for dinner. She brought a big batch of sugar cookies that were beautifully decorated with some colored sugar. Ishaan was around 3 and 1/2 then. He ate atleast 4-5 cookies in one go. I had never seen him liking any cookie like that. I asked Leslie for the recipe and she was very kind to share it with me. It then sat there for a long time. I was pregnant at that time and somehow forgot all about it.

Then last month for Thanksgiving, I thought I would bake some cookies and send to Ishaan’s school. I remembered these cookies because I knew kids would love these. I asked for the recipe again. But then I got busy and could not bake. Finally we decided to bake this yesterday. Ishaan wanted to help decorate them. He decorated using M&Ms and chocolate chips. He said he is practising patterns – he had arranged the toppings in some pattern in all rows. Once done, he counted all to see how many we had in each tray. I really enjoyed the whole experience. I think Santa will get some of these cookies if Ishaan does not eat all of these before 24th!. Thank you Leslie for the recipe.

Mix all the ingredients.
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Shape and decorate cookies. Then bake them.
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Sugar Cookies

Easy and tasty sugar cookies that are fun to make and sure to impress anyone
4.34 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 100 small cookies


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 egg whites
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tea spn cream of tarter
  • 1 tea spn baking soda
  • 1 tea spn salt
  • 1 tea spn vanilla extract


  • Beat together sugar, powdered sugar, butter and oil.
  • Then add all other ingredients and mix well.
  • Preheat the oven at 375F for 10mins.
  • Refrigerate the dough for 30 mins. (see notes)
  • Shape them into small rounds and decorate as you wish.
  • Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes.


In the original recipe, it was mentioned to drop the cookie dough by teaspoon on greased cookie sheet as soon as it was prepared (no resting). Then flatten with a fork to create a + and sprinkle with colored sugars before baking. I wanted to bake round cookies, so I refrigerated them for 30mins and then shaped and decorated them.


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Spiderman Cake Pops

Spiderman Cake Pops
Spiderman Cake Pops

School reopened for my preschooler in August. With that, all the invitations for birthday parties also started. So the child was pretty upset that his birthday is not coming soon enough. April is way too far and he had some meltdowns when I said he has to wait for 6 more months. When he started repeating the same question again and again, I told him I will make him something special for his 4 and 1/2 birthday. So he started counting down days for that. He wanted a big party, so to set the expectations, I told him he will get spiderman cake pops for the special day. (A friend had sent me this Spiderman Candy Apples link, I know he wouldn’t care for candy apples, so I thought of cake pops instead). He gladly agreed. He told me, “I will taste one, if I like, I will take  to school and share them with my friends!!”. Lets just say I was really glad that day his school was closed, so I didn’t have to make some 20+ cake pops.

Most of the cake pops I have seen are prepared with crumbling a cake, adding some buttercream to it and then forming balls. I did not want to make that this time since I felt buttercream makes the pops very sweet. My child is not too much into sweets. He eats cakes once in a while, but not too much. He loves chocolates though. So after a lot of googling, I found out about cake pop pans which I got at Target.

I used eggless chocolate cake recipe for my pops. I used half the quantity which was perfect for the pan. The cake pop pan is greased with butter and sprinkled with flour. Unlike a muffin pan, each pop mold is filled completely (only one half of the pan) and then the other half is kept on it and locked. So when the cake bakes, it fills up the other half to get perfect rounds. I baked it for 15mins. The I let it rest till it was cooled completely and then removed the pops from pan. Then with a sharp knife, removed any round rings on the pops that were caused by oozed out cake batter.
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In a cup, I melted some white chocolate chips. Each pop stick was then dipped into chocolate and inserted into pops. Then chilled in fridge till the chocolate is completely set.
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Here is where the problems started!. I melted some chocolate and then colored it red. I kept mixing it and it all became mushy. Then I remembered something that I had read somewhere. Do not mix white chocolate too much!. So next batch I was lot more careful. Once the chocolate was melted, I dipped each pop into the colored chocolate. I had to be really careful here since they started falling apart, so I had to move quickly and carefully. Then I refrigerated them back till the chocolate was set.

Then I drew eyes with white buttercream and webs with black buttercream.

Spiderman Cake Pops
Spiderman Cake Pops

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Baked Vegetable Patties

Baked Vegetable Patties
Baked Vegetable Patties

It was around 3 years back, we had arranged a baby shower for a friend. I decided to make ragda pattis and when I started to cook, I realized it would take me forever to pan fry all those pattis. So I baked them. Everyone enjoyed it and they did not know it was baked at all.

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When Ishaan was born, many of my blogger friends also had their first kids. So one mommy blogger created a FB group and we all joined. When all the babies grew up and became toddlers, we started discussing about food. My friend Sia from Monsoon Spice shared a veggie finger recipe. I loved the idea of adding vegetables. Ever since then, instead of ragda pattis, this baked vegetable patties served like a chaat has become a regular at my home. The bread crumbs crisp up when baked, so it tastes amazing served just out of oven. I keep everything ready and bake it just before my guests arrive. I have made this many times for get togethers and it is always a hit.

Take all ingredients (except bread crumb) and mix well.
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Make balls and roll in bread crumbs. Top with a little oil and bake.
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Take all chutney ingredients and grind.
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Mix chaat masala and salt with onion.
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Baked Vegetable Patties

Patties loaded with vegetables, spices and then rolled in bread crumbs and then baked till crispy. They are served with a sweet and sour chutney and sev.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 3 -4


For Patties

  • 1 cup mashed potatoes
  • 1 and 1/2 cups boiled vegetables green peas, corn, carrots etc
  • 1 tea spn garam masala
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tea spn ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 tea spn chilli powder
  • 2 tbl spn chopped coriander leaves
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • Oil
  • Salt

For Chutney

  • 4-5 dates
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves
  • 2 tbl spn mint leaves optional
  • 1 tbl spn chopped ginger
  • 1 tea spn cumin seeds
  • 1 tbl spn jaggery optional
  • 1 tbl spn tamarind or 1 tea spn tamarind extract
  • Salt

For Topping

  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1/2 tea spn chaat masala
  • Salt
  • Sev


  • Preheat the oven at 350F for 10mins.
  • Take potatoes, vegetables, onion, spices, ginger-garlic paste, salt, coriander leaves in a big bowl and mix.
  • Make small balls from the mix.
  • Roll the balls in bread crumbs.
  • Slightly flatten them.
  • Line them on a greased baking sheet or cast iron pan (Instead of greasing the baking sheet, it can be lined with parchment paper to avoid sticking).
  • Keep patties on the baking sheet/cast iron pan.
  • Top each with a little oil (helps in crisping, optional)
  • Bake at 350F for 15mins then turn them upside down and bake for another 20mins.
  • Serve with ketchup or as a chaat (I prefer serving as chaat) as mentioned in next steps.

Serving as chaat

  • Grind all ingredients of chutney.
  • Mix onions with salt and chaat masala.
  • Serve patties with chutney, onions and sev.

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