Monday, February 1, 2021

Chano Ani phovu ( Savory chickpeas served with flattened rice). Meatless Monday

Today I am sharing with you one of the very traditional breakfasts served in Konkani households in the South Kanara region : Chano Ani Phovu. This is a wholesome breakfast comprising of all the essential ingredients needed to kick-start your day and keep you satiated throughout the morning. Chano is essentially chickpeas and phovu is flattened rice. Chickpeas we know is a great source of protein and the flattened rice is essentially carbohydrates. The chickpeas is cooked with a tempering of mustard, curry leaves and green chilies. Traditionally, black chickpeas ( kala Chana is used). Here, I have used white chick peas or kabuli Chana. Sweet potatoes are sometimes added and sometimes not. I like to add sweet potatoes in mine as they are nutrient rich.

There are various ways in which phova chutney can be made. What I have made today is the easy version where in Sambar powder has been mixed with freshly grated coconut and mixed with beaten rice. It is delicious!!

Let's check out the recipe:

Prep time: 15-20 mins
Cook time: 15-20 mins
Total time : 30 mins-40 mins

Servings: 4


For the Chano (Chickpeas):
Chickpeas( Chana): 2 cups white cooked. ( If using canned, 1 10 oz can)
Sweet potato: 1 medium sized, washed and chopped to medium cubes.
Coconut oil: 1 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Green chillies: 2-3 slit lengthwise.( can be adjusted based on your spice level).
Hing( asofoetida): a pinch if using powder, 1 tsp if using solution.
Salt: to taste
Jaggery/ brown sugar: 1 tsp
Freshly grated coconut: 1 tbsp

For the Phovu ( flattened rice):

Flattened rice, thin: 4 cups
Freshly grated coconut: 2 cups
Sambar powder: 1 tbsp
Salt: to taste
Sugar: 1 tbsp

Tempering (optional):
Coconut oil: 1 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves: 1 sprig


For the Chano (Chickpeas):
Heat a sauté pan/ kadai with oil. Add mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds splutter add the slit green chillies, sauté for few seconds. Now add the diced sweet potato, hing, salt, jaggery and 2 cups water. Cover and cook until the sweet potatoes are 3/4 done. Now add in the cooked chick peas and mix well. Cover and cook on medium until the sweet potato is cooked well. You could now open and dry the excess water if you wish. You don't have to. In fact if it is being made to be eaten with Phova chutney ( flattened rice) then the excess water ( sauce)is left so that it is more delicious to eat!

For the Phovu ( flattened rice):

Take the freshly grated coconut, Sambar powder, salt and sugar in a bowl. Mix well.
Now add the flattened rice ( phovu), little at a time, massaging and mixing with each addition using your hands . Add all the phovu and massage until the phovu is softened well.

Tempering ( optional):
Heat coconut oil in a small frying pan. Add mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds splutter, add curry leaves and turn off the flame.
Add this tempering to the above bowl containing phovu ( flattened rice).

Serve immediately with hot Chana usli.

Best when served immediately!


Monday, January 11, 2021

Jeevkadgi Sukke ( Breadfruit cooked with coconut and spices); Meatless Monday

January is known as Meatless Monday Month. This could be due to the fact that most people make New Year's resolutions, weight loss, eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyly being a few of them. It is never hard for an Indian to go meatless. We are experts at cooking up a plethora of vegan and vegetarian dishes using mother nature's bounty. Breadfruit is one of them. I personally love them!

Jeevkadgi known as Breadfruit in English is tropical vegetable. Yes, it is not really a fruit. It never really ripens into anything. The inside becomes mushy and it rots once it ripens. It is usually used in cooking either when it growing or when it matures and the consistency of the fruit is just a little soft.

We, the people of South Canara ( Mangalore, Udupi & Kundapur regions) love to cook breadfruit. We curry it in different ways, we batter fry it using different kinds of batter. You can find one kind of fry/ fritter here. It makes for a great accompaniment with tea.

We curry it a couple of different ways: with gravy (which is usually saved for a mature breadfruit ) or like a dry subzi as I have today. This method can be used for both tender and mature breadfruits. I know the people in the Caribbean region roast it and eat it. I personally, love bread fruit any or all different ways. Growing up we had a breadfruit tree in our backyard which always gave us a bountiful crop year after year!

Today's dry method is pretty simple and easy to make. Let's check out the recipe.

Servings: 4-6

Prep time: 10-15 mins
Cook time: 15-20 mins
Total time: 25-35 mins


Breadfruit: 1, small
Freshly grated coconut: 1 cup
Dried Red chillies: 4-6 (adjust depending on individual spice level)
Tamarind: 1/4 tsp if using pulp or marble sized if using dried.
Split matpe bean: 1 tbsp
Coconut oil: 1/4 +1 tsp
Salt to taste.
Water : 1+1+ 2cups ( may not need all)

For tempering:
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Curry leaves: 1 sprig
Coconut oil: 1 tsp


Using 1/4 tsp oil, roast the urad dal until it turns golden brown. Turn off the flame and keep aside to cool down.

Wash and cut the breadfruit into bite-sized pieces. Add 1-2 cups of water, little salt and bring it to a boil. Reduce the flame and cook until it reaches the desired tenderness. Turn off the flame. Keep aside.

While the breadfruit is cooking, get the masala ( sauce ) ready. Grind together freshly grated coconut, red chilies, tamarind to a coarse paste using water as needed. Just when you are almost done, add the roasted urad dal and grind for 20-30 seconds.

Add this Masala to the cooked breadfruit. Bring it to a boil. Turn off the flame.


Heat 1 tsp coconut oil. Add the mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds splutter, add the curry leaves. Turn off the flame. Add this to the pot.

Serve hot with rice or roti.


Cooking made easy:

This recipe can be used with other vegetables such as potato, cabbage, cooking bananas, yam and other such veggies.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Blender Carrot Muffins

Yesterday my husband came back from the grocery store with a 5lb bag of carrots. I asked him what I am supposed to do with that many carrots, he said “ you can make carrot halwa”. I knew that meant he wanted me to make the halwa. I ceded and made halwa using 5 big carrots. I still had a lot of carrots. I have been wanting to make this blended dump carrot cake for a long time. I decided to give it a try. Blender cake means the cake is make using a blender or mixie ( without using any other fancy gadgets). Dump cake means that the cake is made by dumping all the ingredients into one bowl and mixing them up. In this case we dump all the ingredients into the blender/mixie and mix them all up. You put it into a pan and bake them. I decided to make muffins instead of baking them into a cake. The result was these delicious looking golden beauties. My children finished them in half a day!!
Here is the easy recipe: 

Servings: makes 9 large muffins 


Carrot: 1 large peeled and chopped 
Eggs: 2 large 
Sugar: 1 cup 
Cooking oil: 1/2 cup ( I used coconut oil) 
Cinnamon powder: 1/2 tsp 
Flour: 1 & 1/2 cups
Baking powder: 1/2 tbsp 


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
Grease/line the muffin pan and keep ready. 
In a blender add chopped carrots, eggs, sugar, oil, cinnamon powder and blend well. 
Add the flour little by little and pulse lightly until mixed. Do not over mix. Turn off the blender. Now stir in the baking powder. 
Pour into muffin pan until 3/4th full. 
Place on medium rack and bake for 11-12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. 
Turn off oven, take the pan out and let it cook. 
Remove muffins from pan when completely cooled. 


Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Very Berry Overnight Oats; can be vegan

Believe it or not, my regular weekday breakfast is oatmeal!! Yes, oatmeal every single day.. I am sure you must be thinking.. how boring!! Well, actually it isn't as I make my oatmeal many different ways: steel cut oatmeal, oatmeal with quinoa, oatmeal with lots of dry fruits, berries and nuts , masala oats and from time to time: overnight oats!  

I have oatmeal for breakfast everyday because it is by far the easiest healthy and nutritious breakfast one can make in minutes. The good thing about overnight oats is that there is no cooking involved. You just dump/layer all the ingredients in the container that you are going to take it in and leave it in the fridge. The best thing about overnight oats is that it can be made/packed the night before , which means that making breakfast is one less thing to worry about in the morning upon waking. You just grab your jar of oatmeal from the fridge and head out the door. 

Overnight oats has been especially good this summer helping me beat the heat! The yogurt and fruit medley are cooling to the body and highly enjoyable to the mouth!😄 I especially love piling up all the fresh fruits on the oatmeal. I am sure you will too once you try it. I use chia seeds in mine, which is entirely optional. Do give it a try. You can use any fruits of your choice. While it is gluten free when you buy gluten free oats ( oats not contaminated by wheat ), it can be vegan if you use almond/soy milk and/or yogurt. I cannot think of an easier and healthier breakfast!!

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 0 mins
Total time: 10 mins 

Servings: 1


Oatmeal: 1/2 cup
Milk: 1/2 cup 
Yogurt: 1/4-1/2 cup ( depending on preferred consistency)
Mixed berries: 1/2 cup
Honey: 1 tsp 
Chia seeds: 1 tsp ( optional)


Take the jar/ container that you are going to take the oatmeal in. Add 1/2 cup oatmeal to it. 
Now add 1/2 cup milk. 
Next add in the fruits, the yogurt,chia seeds and lastly the honey. 
Keep it in the refrigerator overnight or until you are ready to eat. 


Cooking made easy: 

If you like a really creamy texture, use quick oats. If you like a little more substance, use whole oats. 

You can use any fruits that you have on hand or prefer. 

Tip for healthy living: 

A healthy diet should include whole grains, fruits, vegetables and proteins. The more colorful the meal, the more nutrients it contains. Try to include all the food groups in all your meals and make them as colorful as you can!

Food for thought: 

Commitment is an act, not a word. Jean-Paul Sartre

Monday, September 9, 2019

Gajbaje ( Mixed vegetables cooked in coconut based spicy sauce)

Gajbaje is a traditional Konkani recipe that makes use of a variety of vegetables ( usually fall vegetables such as the gourds and the root vegetables) and is cooked in a spicy coconut based sauce. The spice level can be adjusted based on individual taste. This dish is usually a part of the festive menu as onion are garlic is not used for this dish. This is a very easy to make dish and the best thing is that one can use any leftover vegetable for this dish. 
Let’s check the recipe below.

Serving size: 4-6

Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 15-25 mins Total time: 30-40 mins


Rolo banana( cooking banana): 1
Potato: 1
Green beans: 4-6,
Carrot: 1, medium sized 
Zucchini: 1 medium 
Salt: to taste 
Water: for cooking and grinding as needed.

For grinding: 
Freshly grated coconut: 1 cup
Red chillies: 4-6
Tamarind: marble size 

For garnish:
Cooking oil: 1 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp 
Curry leaves: 1 sprig.


Peel and chop the veggies into 1-2 inch size pieces. Add them to a pot with 2 cups water, 1/2 tsp salt and cook until just tender. 
When the vegetables are cooking, grind together all the ingredients lists under “ for grinding” to a fine paste adding water as needed. 
Add the ground masala to the cooked vegetables and bring to a boil. Turn off the flame. 

Heat 1 tsp coconut oil in a small pan. Add 1 tsp mustard seeds. Once they splutter, turn off the flame and add curry leaves. Add this to the above pot.
Serve hot with rice or dosas( Indian pancakes) or Roti ( flat bread).

Cooking made easy: 

You can use any combination of vegetables for this dish. However, hardy vegetables such as gourds and root vegetables are preferred as they don’t get mushy due to the varied cooking times.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Spaghetti with meatless Meatballs served with vegan scallopini & grilled asparagus ; a Meatless Monday Meal!!

At the outset I would like to inform you that this post is sponsored by Gardein and is a review of their vegan products. 

Most days in our home we eat vegetarian meals and enjoy them. On occasion I cook fish or chicken but that’s about it. I do not cook meat. Most people find it difficult to eat a meal that is devoid of meat. Quite often they have a hard time finding a wholesome meal that is vegetarian. Truthfully, most Indian meals are vegetarian and quite wholesome. Growing up, nonvegeterian fare was cooked only on Sundays. However I understand the situation people here in the US find themselves in. That’s why when Gardein approached some Meatless Monday bloggers, I was quite happy to participate in their campaign and promote their vegan fare. 

Gardein is committed to provide high quality vegan, plant based products that are kosher and do not contain any artificial flavor, color or preservatives in them. They have a wide range of products. Last week I received a nice cooler package of the following Gardein products to try: 
  • 7 Grain Tenders 
  • Classic Meatless Meatballs 
  • Beefless Ground 
  • Chick’n Scallopini 
  • Crispy Chick’n Mandarin Orange 
  • Crabless Cakes 

Previously I have tried the Seven Grain Crispy Tenders, the Veggie burger, the Ultimate Beefless Burger and the Crispy Chick’n Patty. All of them are quick and easy to prepare items, making them perfect for a weeknight dinner. You can check the review for them here.

The kids were in the mood for sphagetti. So this time around I decided to make a weeknight meal using the classic Meatless Meatballs and chick’n scallopini. Making it was easy and everyone polished it off their plates.  

Servings: 4


Chick’n Scallopini from Gardein: 1 
Classic Meatless Meatballs from Gardein: 1
Sphagetti: 1 package ( I used Barilla)
Pasta Sauce: 1 bottle ( I used Barilla)
Garlic: 3-4 cloves, finely diced
Chives: 2-3 
Olive oil: 1+ 2 tbsp+1 tbsp
Asparagus: 6-8, broken into bite sized pieces
Salt: to taste
Black pepper powder: 1/4 tsp, freshly ground


For the scallopini: 
Cook the scallopini as per the instructions on the package. Cooks within 5 mins. 

For the Sphagetti: 
Cook the sphagetti as per the instructions on the package.

For the sauce: 
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a saucepan. Add the diced and crushed garlic. Sauté for 2-3 seconds or until fragrant. Add the pasta sauce and let it come to a gentle boil. Now add the meatballs in and let it simmer as per the directions on the package. When done turn off the flame and keep aside.

For the asparagus:

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Add the asparagus, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 5 mins. 

Place a serving of spaghetti in the middle of the plate. Pour a ladle of pasta sauce with 1-3 meatballs on top of the pasta. Serve one slice of scallopini and a serving of asparagus.

Serve hot. I will bet that most won’t notice the difference. Gardein products are  that good!! 


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Monday, March 11, 2019

Pasta Primavera; Meatless Monday

Sometimes my children get bored of having rice for dinner on a daily basis and ask for something else.. While they are not much of a pasta fan, I think this particular time, they just felt like pasta and requested for pasta for dinner. I had a lonely pack of Rotelle pasta sitting in my pantry and decided to use it. I was going to make a basic white sauce, throw in some peas and carrots and call it a day. Coincidently, on the back of the pasta package I found the recipe for Rotelle Primavera. Usually I am wary about recipes on the box but this one was vegetarian and had green beans asparagus, green peas and bell peppers. When I looked in my freezer, I found that I had used up my peas and carrots but I had a handful of just peas. In my refrigerator I had fresh green beans and purple asparagus. I didn’t have any peppers on hand. I didn’t have half and half so I used whole milk instead, which also cuts the calories!  I decided to try the recipe. I am glad I did. It was quick and easy to make and the taste was delicious! The kids loved it and so did hubby!! I strongly recommend this wholesome pasta recipe, especially now that spring is here and there will be a plethora of fresh vegetables in the market. No, this post has not been sponsored by Ronzoni pasta!! 

Servings: 6-8

Prep time: 15 minsCook time: 15 minsTotal time: 30 mins


8 ozRonzoni® Rotelle
1/2 lbfresh green beans, trimmed, cut into 2 inch pieces 
1 lbasparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 Tbspbutter
1 Tbspolive oil
1 tspsalt
2 Tbspsall purpose flour
1 1/2 cupswhole milk or half and half. 
1 cupfrozen peas
1/3 cupgrated Parmesan cheese1 tsp 
 freshly ground black pepper

Method :

Prepare pasta according to package directions, adding green beans to pasta cooking water during last 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter with olive oil; add asparagus. Season with salt. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until vegetable are crisp-tender; reduce heat to medium. 

Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. 

 Add milk and peas. Cook, stirring frequently until mixture thickens slightly. 

Toss hot cooked pasta and green beans with sauce; serve with Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper. 
Serve hot!

Cooking made easy: 

You can use other vegetables that you may have on hand such as broccoli, peas and carrot, cauliflower etc. 

Monday, December 10, 2018

Quinoa Lima Beans Pulao/ Pilaf

My favorite way to include quinoa in my diet is by making a salad of some kind or mix it with rice in a Pulao. I usually make quinoa-Black bean salad or make methi pulao. When Camellia sent me a bag of Lima beans, I decided to make Quinoa Pulao without any rice in it using a very simple and basic recipe that doesn’t require too many ingredients or take too much time and yet is simply delicious. The end result was more like a warm salad that is nutritious what with both the main ingredients being protein-rich and quinoa we know is a superfood! 

Do give this recipe a try. It is naturally gluten free, low fat and great for diabetics. 

Servings: 2

Ingredients :

Cooked Quinoa: 2 cups
Cooked Lima beans: 1 cup
Coconut oil: 1  tbsp
Onion: 1 medium, chopped lengthwise.
Bell pepper: one medium, diced
Black pepper powder: 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
Salt : to taste
Cilantro/ coriander leaves: 1 tbsp, chopped


Heat oil in a kadai/ sauté pan. Add chopped  onions and 1/2 tsp salt. Sauté until the onions turn transparent. Add the chopped bell peppers and sauté for 2 minutes.
Now add the turmeric powder and the drained lima beans and sauté for 2-4 minutes. Add quinoa. Mix well and sauté for 1-2 minutes or until it all comes together.
Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves.

Serve hot or at room temperature.


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Lima Beans Platter, a Slow Food USA Initiative supported by Camellia Beans

When Camellia Beans reached out to the Meatless Monday Bloggers with their Slow Food USA initiative I was quick to volunteer. inspire individuals and communities to change the world through food that is good, clean and fair for allinitiative encouraging vegetarian meals, Camellia Beans is a family owned and farmed business that has been providing consumers with high quality beans since 1923. Beans is a great source of protein, iron and folic acid. When coupled with a carbohydrate such as rice or bread, it makes for a complete meal. Beans form an integral part of the Indian diet as majority of the Indians are vegetarians. There exists a plethora of recipes in the Indian Cuisine that makes use of beans in some form or the other and is beautifully complimented with particular vegetables. I chose to use Lima Beans to be showcased for this special day today as it happens to be my favorite beans. I have created 3 recipes using them, all of them gluten free, diary free, nut free: Lima Beans Rice, Lima Beans in a curry and Quinoa Lima Beans Pilaf, each one competing with the other in taste and ease of making it.

It’s time to come to the table to celebrate Food for Change! Join me in supporting tasty solutions to climate change. On December 10, the global Slow Food network will celebrate Terra Madre Day. In the USA, we are taking to the kitchen to prepare plant-based meals with ingredients grown and produced in climate-friendly ways. I am sharing my food with my neighbors in my apartment building. Whom are you sharing yours with??
By acting together as a global network, we can pivot towards more sustainable food production and farming systems, and achieve a climate friendly future. Food is a cause and victim of climate change, but also a delicious solution. This year, @SlowFoodUSA has focused on the positive solutions of Slow Food to connect the dots between farmers and consumers as the everyday climate champions.

Choose climate-friendly foods, try this recipe at home, and tag your dish with #FoodforChange and #MeatlessMonday.

Click on the title for the recipe:

Lima Beans Rice:

Quinoa Lima Beans Pilaf

Lima Beans Song (Curried Lima Beans)


Camellia Beans has generously contributed many pounds of beans for our Food for Change meal participants to use, which you will/have received from Slow Food in anticipation of Dec. 10. Here is a little more about their delicious beans and some vegetarian recipes for inspiration!


Our Food for Change meal on December 10 is in support of Meatless Monday (because it’s a Monday!) and isdesigned to inspire our community to reduce their meat consumption. If you are in need of inspiration for plant-based recipes, Meatless Monday has a whole bunch of tasty-looking recipes on their website!

Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!

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