The word "khana" in Indian Khana Made Easy means food. So come on, let's explore and cook some easy Indian food together including gluten-free and vegan dishes.


August 31, 2022

Mumbai Street Food with a Twist - Low Carb Pav Bhaji

Before the pandemic, my mom and I used to plan family get togethers where we strategized the menu days in advance. No one wanted to be stuck in the kitchen all and not enjoy the party. 

Post pandemic is different because we are still taking precautions and not really having those big parties. Although, whenever my husband and I visit, my mom serves new or fusion dishes for us. They are like "one pot meals". We don't want her to be stuck in the kitchen during our visit either. 

Examples of the "one pot meals" are tomato bath, spinach rice with tofu, biryani or pav bhaji. The last time we visited my parents, my mom made Pav Bhaji. 

Pav Bhaji is a street food sold on Mumbai beaches and quick office lunch on the curb side carts. It is a thick vegetable curry called bhaji which is served with a bread roll or bun called pav. It is commonly made with potato, onion, tomatoes, carrots and chilies. My mom make the dish with a twist, a healthier twist by adding riced cauliflower. 

I used to think eating healthy meant sacrificing taste but with a few tweaks any dish can be made healthier. By incorporating riced cauliflower and reduced the number of potatoes, we reduced the carbohydrates without losing the flavor. Check out the recipe below. 

Ingredients for bhaji (bhaji means vegetable stuffing):

- 2 medium size potatoes, cooked, peeled and roughly mashed
- 10 oz Kirkland Riced cauliflower, frozen
- 3 ripe wine tomatoes, chopped or ground coarsely
- 1 medium onion, chopped finely
- 1 Tbsp Pav bhaji masala
½ bunch Cilantro, washed and chopped finely
- 1 tsp whole cumin
½ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp salt (or as per your taste)

- 1 medium size Red onion, chopped finely
- 1 Lime, cut into quarters

Ingredients for Pav (bread)
- 1 packet of Mumbai Pav (it is typically available in Indian Grocery store), alternately try hamburger buns
- Butter or margarine, for spreading on bread before toasting

Cooking instructions for Bhaji:

1) Heat oil in a saucepan and add cumin. When it sizzles, add chopped onion and sauté it until the onions are translucent. Next, add chili powder and turmeric powder and stir for 10 seconds. Follow with crushed tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes until the mixture is cooked and becomes a gravy. 

2) Add the riced cauliflower, mashed potatoes, pav-bhaji masala and salt. Then add 1/3 cup of water, mix well and cook the bhaji mixture for 5 to 7 minutes under closed lid until it starts bubbling. Taste the bhaji mixture and adjust the salt and masala as needed. 

Bhaji made using Cauliflower Rice

3) Remove from heat, add the cilantro and transfer into a serving dish. 

Now, prepare the Pav (bread):

Spread margarine or butter onto each pav/bun and toast on a heated flat pan until golden brown.

 Arrange the toasted pav slices on a plate and serve with bhaji. 

Happiness with a bite of Pav Bhaji

 Enjoy this Mumbai street food by placing a scoop of bhaji on the toasted pav. Spread the bhaji evenly on the pav. You can sprinkle chopped red onions and add a bit of lime juice. 

We hope you will make this for your next get together whether it's with friends or family. It's mighty tasty and you don't have to worry about the calories. Happy eating!

If you try this recipe, let us know in the comments. We would love your feedback. 

August 9, 2022

Healthy Saag Paneer with Tofu

Whenever I ask people, "what is your favorite Indian dish?", they say Chicken Tikka Masala. I'm so tired of hearing that. I mean, it's not even Indian. At times, I do hear Saag Paneer. Now, that is a good answer. Saag paneer is paneer (Indian cheese) cooked in a creamy spinach sauce. What can be better than that?

The answer is Saag Tofu! You get the creamy spinach sauce but with a healthy twist of adding tofu instead of cheese. It's a vegetarian's delight. We hope you enjoy this dish as much as we enjoyed making it and eating it with our families. 

Tofu and mushrooms in Spinach sauce

- 2 lbs Fresh Spinach leaves, washed and chopped
- 14 oz Extra firm Tofu, cut into 1" cubes (Please make sure to drain water and gently press to remove more water)
- 3 white button mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced (optional)
- 1 medium onion chopped finely
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
½ tsp chili powder or per your taste
½ tsp garam masala (optional)
½ tsp salt
- 1/3 tsp cup Heavy cream or half & half (alternately use coconut or nut milk)

Ingredients for seasoning
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp whole cumin (jeera)
- 2 to 3 Bay leaves (optional)

Cooking Instructions
1) In a blender, add the chopped spinach and a little bit of water and blend into a coarse thick sauce consistency. Set it aside. 

2) In a saucepan, heat oil on low/medium heat, add jeera and when they sizzle follow it with bay leaves and stir for 10 seconds. Later add chopped garlic, onion and ginger-garlic paste. Stir for 1-2 minutes. Add chili powder and garam masala and stir for another 10 seconds.

3) Add tofu pieces into the pan and allow the cubes to turn golden brown by stirring intermittently and lightly for 5-6 minutes. When tofu is slightly browned, add chopped mushrooms and cook them for 2-3 minutes under closed lid. When mushrooms are soft, add the spinach blend and salt and continue to cook for 5-6 minutes. Adjust the salt and chili powder if needed. In the end add the heavy cream or half-half and cook for 1-2 minutes.

4) Remove from heat and serve it with rice, quinoa, chapati, or naan.