Monday, June 27, 2016

Lasuni Chilkewala masoor palak ( garlic flavored orange lentil and spinach stew ) ; Meatless Monday

Last Thursday evening I was running several errands. Well, most evenings I have errands to run, but this particular day was more hectic than the others. The reason for this was that I had to attend the PTA meeting but before an hour before that, I had to meet-up with the out-going treasurer for transfer of information. You see, was kind of cuckolded into the position of treasurer for the PTA. Thursday also happens to be my day for grocery shopping. In midst of all this, I had nothing for dinner. When I say nothing, I mean nothing cooked!! When I got home from worked, I quickly cooked the rice and the lentils in the pressure cooker and then left for the meetings. When I came back home, I was too tired to make anything. I wanted to cook spinach and lentils separately. I decided to make them together. The traditional dal-palak ( lentil-spinach) stew/soup is made using split pigeon peas. I decided to combine whole orange lentil and spinach and make the stew but in a quick fashion. I washed, chopped and cooked the spinach along with one chopped tomato & one onion. I added the cooked lentils to the spinach with some salt and asofoetida. I then tempered this mixture with sautéed garlic, red chilli and garam masala powder. Delicious chili Garlic spinach-lentil stew was ready! My husband went for seconds!!

Sometimes, the best recipes are those that you come up with, either accidentally or when in a hurry! Do give it a try. It is nutritious and delicious!

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 20 mins

Total time: 30 mins

Servings: 2-3


Whole orange lentil: 1/2 cup
Water: 1 & 1/2 cups + 1/2 cup
Green chillies: 1,slit( can be adjusted as per individual spice preference)
Spinach: 1 & 1/2cups, chopped
Onion: 1, small, chopped
Tomato: 1 small, chopped
Garlic: 5-6 cloves, chopped fine
Coconut oil: 1 tsp ( any cooking oil can be used).
Red chilli powder: 1/2 tsp ( can be adjusted as per individual spice preference.
Asofoetida: a pinch if using powder, 1/4 tsp if using solution.
Garam masala: 1/4 tsp ( optional)
Salt: as per taste.


Rinse the whole orange lentil  and add it to a pot with 1 and 1/2 cups water. 
Cook until tender ( around 20 minutes on stove-top, 10 minutes if cooked in pressure cooker). Turn off the flame and keep aside.

Separately cook the spinach with 1/2 cup water, chopped onion, tomato and salt for 6-8 minutes. Turn off the flame. 

Add the cooked lentils and Asofoetida to this and mix well.

In a small frying pan/sauté pan or kadai, heat coconut oil on medium heat. 
Add the chopped garlic cloves. Sauté until garlic is fragrant. 
Add the chilli powder and garam masala powder. Turn off the flame( be careful not to burn the chilli powder)!! 

Add this to the lentils. 

Serve hot with rice/roti/bread. 


I am bringing this comfort dish to Throwback Thursday#45, Fiesta Friday#126  and Saucy Saturdays#51

Cooking made easy:

The cook time can be even lower if you cook the lentils and spinach in the same pot. If using the pressure cooker, you can add to the pot the lentils, spinach, onion and tomato together and cook it.  If using the stove top, you can cook the lentils with the tomatoes and the onions and add the spinach towards the end.

The consistency and taste will vary a little depending on the cooking method selected. If cooked in the pressure cooker, it will be more soupy in consistent while the stove-top will give you a more stew-like consistency.

Tip for healthy living:

Making wholesome soups/stews like this not only makes dinner easy but also provides for a complete meal!

Food for thought:

Don't give up what you want most, for what you want now. Unknown.

Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Virgin Peach Melon Daiquiri ;Meatless Monday

With the soaring temperatures, our urge to constantly  find ways to cool down increases!! The most common method to cool down is to drink something cold.  This often makes us gravitate towards unhealthy drink options like  store-made/ bought Smoothies, Coolattas etc which pack a ton of sugar! These drinks can be made at home within 5 minutes if you have the ingredients at home! If you don't have all the ingredients, you become creative and make use of what you have!  All you need is a blender of some kind; nothing fancy.

Summer is a season of watermelons and peaches!! We often buy whole watermelons and then that watermelon occupies a lion's share of space in the refrigerator! I have found that using it in a juice-drink is the quickest way to finish it off! At the farmer's market I get carried away and often buy more peaches than what I can eat! Yesterday evening once we got home after a walk at the park, I decided to use these two fruits and make a drink. I just blended some watermelon and a peach with some cubes of ice and voila! A perfect drink was ready! The hubby and the kids drank it even faster than I made it!! Both the watermelon & peach were sweet, so I didn't have to add any additional sugar. It was truly delicious and refreshing! Added bonus: the kids go their daily quota of fruits without even realizing it! How cool is that!

Prep time: 3 minutes

Total time: 3 minutes

Servings: Two 8 oz glasses


Watermelon: 1 palm-size slice ( roughly 1 1/2 cups diced cubes )
Peach: 1 medium-sized ( around 1/2 cup of diced cubes ).
Ice-cubes: 4 nos
Sugar/honey: 1 tsp ( optional)


Peel the watermelon and dice it small. Keep aside.

Wash and peel the peach. Slice it. Remove the seed.

Reserve two small pieces and add the rest of the  watermelon cubes with the  peach slices & ice cubes to the blender . Add sugar if the fruit is not sweet. Blend for 30-45 seconds.

Divide the juice between two tall glasses.

Garnish with reserved watermelon cube.

Serve immediately/ serve cold.


I am bringing thirst quencher to all our friends at Throwback Thursday#44, Fiesta Friday#125  and Saucy Saturdays#50! Angie's co-hosts this week are  Quinn @ dadwhats4dinner and Elaine @ Foodbod.

Cooking made easy:

You can make a drink with fruits of your choice and availability. If the pulp is thick, add additional water. If the fruit is sour, sweeten it a little with honey or sugar. Play around and find out which combination works out the best for you!

Tip for healthy living:

Whenever you buy fruits or vegetables, it is best to buy whatever is in season. The produce that is in season is usually locally grown which in turn means that it has not travelled far and therefore is fresh.

Food for thought:

Every day may not be good.. But there is something good in every day! Unknown

Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Ripe Mango Gojju by Jayashree T. Rao; Guest Post Series

I am sure all of you relished Anjana Devasahayam 's Zucchini Hakka Noodles! I know I did! I made them rice  noodles for dinner and my family just polished it! If you missed it last week, feel free to go back and check it out! You will find a picture of my version too! 

This week I have a guest blogger from my part of India, Jayashree T.Rao. She  is a friendly and enthusiastic freelancer blogger who  writes her cooking tales on EvergreenDishes. It is primarily a vegetarian blog with predominantly Indian recipes. Besides writing recipes, she also writes poems and articles. She believes in living life to the fullest and loves cooking for husband and teenage children. Her other interests are reading and gardening. She is a published writer who is sharing with us today, one of her favorite poems.


Nature is at its best,
Everything is beautiful
So blissful and delightful
Is it the mountains or river streams?
Flora or fauna, innumerable
That’s takes us out of this world
To a new exotic world.
It’s wonderful to see a seed
Sprout to a root and shoot,
Grows into a tree
The beautiful butterfly
Comes from a wiggly caterpillar
And the glowworm
Shining at night.

Strange are the ways
Of wild animals
They take more care
Of their young ones
Be it the mighty tiger,
Pouched Kangaroo or the
Mongoose from the snake.

She has brought us the recipe for Ripe Mango Gujju. It seems like a super easy & super delicious recipe, just the way I like it! I have a mango waiting for me at home to try this recipe with! Do check out all her other recipes at EvergreenDishes! She is giving away a book of handy hints to subscribers to her blog. It consists of hundred useful tips.

   Ripe Mango Gojju

Hello all,
    At the outset, I want to thank  Suchitra for inviting me to write a guest post on her blog. Blogging has introduced me to many people across the globe and she is one of them. Birds of the same feather flock together, goes the saying.  Quite true in our case,  foodies  exchanged comments and very soon we were friends.
         As the season of mangoes is coming to an end, I thought I will put a dish of the same. Again, till the next year, we will have to wait for this wonderful fruit.
          Mango gujju is a tasty and popular accompaniment made in Karnataka. It is sweet,tangy and spicy, all combined into one usually served with rice.  It can also be served with chapatti or dosa.
          Usually the small fibrous mango with sour taste are used. But I have used the regular mangoes which I had and thus added a little tamarind pulp. It  was ,delicious and liked by all. Over to the recipe now.


·         Mango 3
·         Tamarind pulp 2 tbsp
·         Jaggery 1tbsp
·         Green chilly 4
·         Salt to taste
For the seasoning :
·         Oil 1tbsp
·         Mustard seeds ½ tsp
·         Asafoetida a pinch
·         Urad dal ½  tsp
·         Curry leaves a few
·         Red chilly 1

Method :

1.       Wash the mangoes. Remove the stalk  and make small incisions with a knife at the tip.
2.       Put them to boil with three cups of water.
3.       The colour of the skin should change. This takes approximately ten minutes.
4.       Let cool.
5.       Remove the skin and leave it in the water.
6.       Put the pulp with the seed in another bowl.
7.       Squeeze the pulp.
8.       Extract the pulp from the skin and throw the skin away.
9.       Mix both the pulp together. It should be of medium consistency.
10.   Grind the chillies  and put in it.
11.   Put jaggery and salt to it. Mix altogether.
12.   Make seasoning in a small pan. Heat the oil and put the mustard seeds, as it crackles, add urad dal, red chilli, turmeric powder, asafoetida and curry leaves.
13.   Pour the seasoning over the prepared gojju and keep covered for fifteen minutes.
14.   Tasty mango gojju is ready to serve.

Take a tip:

·         If the mangoes are sour, there is no need of tamarind pulp. Add only jiggery,salt and chilly.
·         The quantity of jiggery differs accordingly. If the mangoes are sour, you will need more. If they are sweet, you will need less.
·         The taste of gojju  should be sweet, tangy and spicy.
·         Do not discard the seeds. They can be immersed in it and licked while eating.


I am bringing Jayashree's delicious  to all our friends at Throwback Thursday#43, Fiesta Friday#124  and Saucy Saturdays#49! Angie's co-hosts this week are  Lindy @ Love in the Kitchen and Liz @ spades, spatulas & spoons.

If you are interested in writing a guest post for my blog, please email me at for more details.

Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Faro Salad; Meatless Monday

Faro is a newfound grain for me. I did say for ME, because Faro is a very ancient grain. It is a essentially a form of wheat that looks more like Barley and has a nutty taste. It is usually found in salads & soups.I came across this grain thanks to my colleague. She brought me this little bag of "quick cook" Faro from Trader Joe's to try. I had never had Faro until then. I decided to make a salad with it. I wasn't sure what would go well with this grain. My friend told me that she had eaten a spinach- tomato-Faro salad and really liked it. I had both spinach and tomatoes in my refrigerator. I decided to use them.

I basically cooked the Faro as per the directions on the package.  I then let it cool down.The yield is amazing. A little bit goes a long way! Just one cup was plenty for 4 people! I blanched the spinach( the reason being these were thick-leaved spinach) and I was not crazy about eating them raw. Of course, the pictures would have looked better with raw spinach. Then again, I am sure you guys will agree that taste is just as important. I sliced some cherry tomatoes. I tossed them all together with lemon-olive oil dressing . I used parsley to garnish it. That's it guys! That simple. I must say that it was absolutely delicious! I  would make this again and again. It would make for a great lunch! Do try this if you get a chance. The Trader Joe's Faro does cook in exactly 10 mins!

Servings: 4


Faro: 1 cup, uncooked
Water: 2 cups
Salt: a pinch
Spinach leaves: 1 cup, blanched
Cherry/grape tomatoes: 10-12
Olive oil: 1 tbsp
Lemon juice: 1 tbsp
Freshly ground black pepper powder: 1/4 tsp
Salt: to taste
Parsley: 1/4 cup, chopped.


Boil 2 cups of water with a pinch of salt. Add Faro, simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Open the lid, fluff it with a fork and cover again. Keep aside.

Slice the cherry/ grape tomatoes into half.

To a small jar, add  1 tbsp olive oil ( extra virgin), 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper and salt. Shake the jar and mix well. Keep aside.

In a separate bowl, take the blanched spinach, the sliced tomatoes, the cooked faro, chopped parsley and the olive oil-lemon juice dressing. Mix well.

Garnish with parsley.

This salad can be served warm or cold.

Leftovers for lunch with avocado!


I am bringing amazing salad  to all our friends at Throwback Thursday#43, Fiesta Friday#124  and Saucy Saturdays#49! Angie's co-hosts this week are  Lindy @ Love in the Kitchen and Liz @ spades, spatulas and spoons.

Cooking made easy:

Like I always say, you can add pretty much anything you want into a salad. So feel free to improvise based on the ingredients that are available to you.

Whenever you are unsure regarding the dressing to be used, olive oil-vinegar or lemon juice is the safest bet. Again when in doubt of the proportion, use equal amounts of oil and acid. My trick is that I make extra in a jar and use as much as needed.

Tip for healthy living:

Salads make for a great way to include vegetables & sometimes fruits in a diet. Try to incorporate some kind of salad in all your meals. You will be covered for your daily 5-6 servings of vegetables. 


Food for Thought:

Fair isn't everyone getting the same thing. Fair is everyone getting what they need in order to be successful. Unknown.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Zucchini Hakka Noodles by Anjana Devasahayam ; Guest Post Series

I hope you all enjoyed Ansu's Irish Soda Bread last week.

My guest this week is an accomplished blogger, Anjana Devasahayam who has done me the honor of writing a guest post. Her blog is both a visual and gastronomical treat with a myriad of recipes and the picture perfect photography. Anjana started her blog, At The Corner Of Happy & Harried in  2013 as a sort of keepsake where she would record her recipes, some crafts and DIY projects. Over time, it has evolved into a food-only blog, where she shares her  family's favorite recipes. Some are heirloom recipes, some are her take on world classics and some are her very own creations. She lives in the US with her family. 

She loves cooking and eating delicious and wholesome food made with fresh ingredients. Today, she has brought us a quick and easy, healthy version of our favorite greasy Chinese Hakka Noodles. She has transformed it by the addition of fresh, summer vegetables! 

Hope you guys like her recipe today. 
Please visit her blog for more temptingly delicious recipes and follow her on Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter | Google+ 

Our family loves variety in food. We also love eating out, which is not always a good thing. So I try to cook healthy alternatives that will satisfy our craving, that is easy to make and delicious. This recipe is my take on the favorite Hakka Noodles made by adding our favorite summer vegetable, zucchini and some green peas. You too can enjoy takeout-style stir-fried Chinese Hakka noodles made healthier by adding your favorite vegetables.

Prep time: 10 min, Cook time: 10 min, Serves: 3-4


  • Noodles – 200 gm (wheat, rice or egg noodles)
  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Dried red chilies – 3
  • Scallions – 3 stalks, trimmed and chopped
  • Garlic – 2 tbsp, minced
  • Zucchini – 1 medium-sized, thinly sliced
  • Salt – a pinch
  • Fresh green peas – 1/2 cup
  • Low-sodium soy sauce – 4 tbsp
  • Rice vinegar – 1tbsp
  • Chili sauce – 2 tbsp
  • Sugar – a pinch
  • Black pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
  • White sesame seeds – 2 tsp, to garnish


  1. Prepare noodles as per package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add dried red chilies, garlic and white parts of scallions. Saute till garlic is soft and fragrant.
  3. Add zucchini slices, sprinkle a pinch of salt over them and saute till lightly browned on both sides. Add fresh green peas and saute for a few seconds.
  4. Add soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili sauce, sugar and black pepper powder. Stir for a few seconds on high heat to coat the vegetables with the sauce.
  5. Tip in the cooked noodles and toss to combine.
  6. Garnish with the reserved green parts of scallions and white sesame seeds. Serve hot.

I am bringing Anjana's delicious Chinese fare to all our friends at Throwback Thursday#42, Fiesta Friday#123  and Saucy Saturdays#49! Angie's co-hosts this week are Margy @ La Petite Casserole and Linda @ La Petite Paniere  

If you are interested in writing a guest post for my blog, please email me at for more details.

Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Vegetarian options during Ramadan; Meatless Monday.

The holy month of Ramadan begins today. This entails to the most part fasting and praying that lasts for 30 days. You can read more about Ramadan here. I am not Muslim but I was born and raised in a country that was democratic & secular. There was never any differentiation between Hindus , Muslims, Christians or any other religion for that matter. We grew alongside each other celebrating each other's festivals with the same amount of pomp. We would look forward to Eid and Christmas with the same enthusiasm that we would look forward to celebrating Diwali. Platters laden with food would be shared between friends. That is the India I remember! 

Coming back to Ramadan, fasting is observed from sunrise to sunset. The first meal that is served after breaking the fast is called " Iftar". Iftari usually comprises of rich food with ample meat, fried and sugary food. Today, in this day and age, it is important not to lose the focus on health while indulging in rich food. It is important to have a balanced plate which included vegetables and fruits. To help you with this, today, I am sharing with you some of my quick and easy,healthy yet delicious dishes that you can make and feed your family as part of iftar. 

Do check them out. For the detailed recipe, just click on the title itself.

Baked Vegetable Samosas

Mixed vegetable cutlets

Vegetarian Buffalo "Wings"

Batate Ambado /Batata vada/ Aloo bonda( fried potato fritters)

Butternut Squash Fries

Cauliflower Leaves /Stem Pakora ( fritters)

Caribbean Black Bean Corn Mango Salad

Kulith Kosumbari ( Horse-gram salad)

Chano Ani kanang ghalnu upkari ( Chick-pea and sweet potato stir-fry)

Dill Dal Fry

Gulla/ Vaingana Sagle ( Stuffed baby eggplant)

Kadai vegetable ( Mixed vegetable medley sautéed in freshly ground spices).

Black bean chili garlic spinach

Bisibelebath ( Rice,lentils and vegetables cooked together and seasoned with spices in a tamarind sauce)

Chana Dal and Barley Khichidi

Chia Seed Pudding

I am bringing this vegetarian collection to all our friends at Throwback Thursday#42, Fiesta Friday#123  and Saucy Saturdays#49! Angie's co-hosts this week are Margy @ La Petite Casserole and Linda @ La Petite Paniere  

Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!