Sunday, July 31, 2016

Masala Oats (Savory Oatmeal)

Oatmeal is not something that was traditionally a part of the Indian cuisine. From what I remember of my childhood, only certain catholic families made it, that too for their sick family members. I once tasted it and didn't like it at all!! The way it was made is by cooking it in water with a pinch of salt! How bland is that?? But now,  oatmeal with fruits and nuts  is what my husband & I have for breakfast on weekdays! How ironic! It has found it's presence in the Indian market too. People have it many different ways but the most common is the savory version of it. Saffola a brand markets pre- packaged savory oats, known as Masala Oats, which can be ready in just 3 minutes. During my last visit to India, I had picked up a pack out of curiosity. It was lying around in my pantry. One day, I made it for my husband for breakfast out of desperation. I didn't have anything else to give him! The funny part, he loved it!! He wanted me to make it more often! I tasted it and found it similar in taste to Maggie 2-minute noodles. Because my husband liked it so much, I tried to re-create it. The result: now I have to make it daily for him for breakfast.

Prep time: 0 minsCook time: 1+ 2 mins
Total time:  3 mins

Servings: 1


Water: 1/2 cup
Instant oats ( plain, not with sugar): 4 tbsp
Mixed vegetables: 2 tbsp ( I used a frozen mix of peas, carrots, beans and corn.
Turmeric powder: a pinch
Salt: a pinch
Garam masala/ curry powder: a pinch

Method :

Add water & vegetables to a pot and bring it to a boil. Now, add all the remaining  ingredients listed, stir, reduce the flame and cook for 2 mins. Cover and keep until ready to serve.

Serve hot.

Enjoy! I am 
 bringing this to Throwback Thursday #49, Fiesta Friday #130 and Saucy Saturday! Angie's co-hosts this week are Judi @ cookingwithauntjuju and Petra @ Food Eat Love.

Cooking made easy:

If you don't have frozen veggies, you can used vegetables that have already been cooked. In which case, you can add all the ingredients to the pot at the same time and cook for 3 mins.

Tip for healthy living:

Breakfast is a very essential first meal of the day. It kick-starts your digestive system, prevents binge eating, keeps your blood sugar steady, gets the metabolic system started and prevents weight gain. Even if it is just a little something, make sure that you have some kind of breakfast, preferably a healthy one.


Food for thought:

Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely. Auguste Rodin

Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Microwave Carrot Rava Ladoo

Hey everyone!! As you can see Jhuls has been the one making all the noise for the past one week.I hope you enjoyed her Roasted Eggplant Fan. I have been running around like a headless chicken!! I am busy this weekend as well with guests at home!! Don't despair!! I have another young, multitalented & dynamic blogger here for you this weekend! Meet Prasanna Hede from Savory Bites Recipes!! She hails from a small town in Goa who migrated to various locations due to her software engineering work , but now is a home-maker and mother who loves sharing her culinary experiments through her blog. Her blog very aptly showcases her talent! When I first met her, I thought she was a little girl!! Looks are deceptive indeed!

Today she brings us dessert!! My favorite rava laddoos!! She has an easy and yummy recipe for Carrot Rava Ladoo. See, there is a vegetable in it too.. then that is a great treat for kids.As for us, a small portion of dessert is allowed every now and then! Check out her blog, Savory Bites Recipes for more delicious treats!! 
I am bringing this to Throwback Thursday #49, Fiesta Friday #130 and Saucy Saturday! Angie's co-hosts this week are Judi @ cookingwithauntjuju and Petra @ Food Eat Love

Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 4 mins Total time: 9 mins Yield: 15 medium sized laddoos

  • 1/2 Cup Grated Carrot
  • 2 Tablespoon Ghee / Clarified Butter
  • 3/4th Cup Semolina / Rava
  • 1/2 Cup Khova / Khoya / Mawa
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar (Powdered)
  • as per need Desiccated Coconut


In a microwave safe bowl,add grated carrot and 1 Tablespoon ghee.
Microwave it for 1 minute.

Take it carefully on a plate and keep aside.

To same bowl,add rava and another tablespoon ghee.
Mix well.
Microwave again for 1/2 minute.
Be careful when handling the bowl,as it will be hot by now.

Now add the grated carrot.
Mix well.

Add khoya and sugar.
Mix well.

Microwave it for another 1 minute.

Mix well and microwave for another minute.

By now the bowl has become hot and food inside will be hot too.
Be careful when handling.

Let it cool.

When cooled,make ladoos and roll in desiccated coconut.


Friday, July 22, 2016

Roasted Eggplant Fan; Guest post by Jhuls

Guys, I am back with a guest post for you this week!! Yay!! I am so happy to have this amazing blogger as my guest this week. In this ruthless world of blogging, there are those handful few who are "nice"  & "kind" to others! Those who actually think of others and want to do good for others. One such person is Jhuls from "The Not So Creative Cook". I am proud to say that Jhuls is my friend. In my journey of blogging for the past 3 years, she is one of those who supported my stumbling steps from the begining and nurtured my growth with her constant encouragement. In fact, her blog has a section where every week she introduces new bloggers to the rest of the world.

When I reached out to Jhuls a few weeks ago, she was taking a break from blogging and she promised me a guest post as soon as she was back in circulation. It is interesting that she reached out to me earlier this week when I was feeling low as I had just lost my very healthy aunt in a "hit and run" accident. I am still trying to come to terms with that loss. It is as if she "sensed" my need and reached out.. that is real friendship. 

Jhuls is an excellent chef as is evident from her blog " the not so creative cook". Do not go by the title. She is extremely talented,creative, not to mention bubbly and naughty! Check out her blog for all the very creative recipes. Her blog will leave you mesmerized. Today she brings us a delicious and easy recipe of " Roasted Eggplant Fan". I hope you enjoy this post as much as I have. Thank you Jhuls for this amazing guest post. I am bringing this to Throwback Thursday #48Fiesta Friday #129 and Saucy Saturday #54!

With the fact that I am not that active in blogging for the last month, I am surprised that a fellow blogger invited me to do a guest post… And even more surprised that I am again invited to do it for a blogging friend who is more on the “nice side”.  :D

I feel so honored to be doing a guest post today for Su @ Su’s Healthy Living. Aside from she is so kind to share her healthy recipes with us, Su is such a good, wonderful blogging friend who is always there to lend a helping hand. She was one of the bloggers who volunteered to do a guest post for me. She was one of the firsts, to be precise. 

I received an invitation from Su during the time when I was taking a break from blogging. Even I was not blogging for a month, I didn’t stop thinking of what to make to share them with all of you.

Since I am on the “nice side” today and I am doing a guest post for our dear friend, Su, I am sharing something easy, but very delicious (at least for me who loves eggplants a lot). Su required something easy, quick and healthy. I am still struggling with quick recipes, so I will bring you the easy and healthy one.

I really love everything eggplant and when I saw the recipe from All That's Jas (, I just had to make it. I made few adjustments and I loved it, I really did. 

Though this Roasted Eggplant Fan takes more than an hour to be ready, it is very easy to prepare and it’s really worth the wait. The eggplant fan alone tastes really good, but I am very much head over heels with eggplant + lemon-tahini sauce. Whoa! That's a good food marriage. Let's top with more crumbled feta cheese and their relationship with never be boring. 

With the addition of lemon-tahini sauce, I was in heaven! 

Servings: 2


1 medium American eggplant
2 large tomatoes, sliced into thin rings
2 garlic cloves, grated
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled (plus more for topping)
Fresh basil, roughly chopped
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Dried or fresh parsley, for garnish
Lemon-tahini sauce, to serve


Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

 Rinse the eggplant and dry with a paper towel. Cut the eggplant into thin slices, making sure to leave the stem attached.

Grease each slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the eggplant on the parchment-lined baking sheet.   

Fill each eggplant slices with tomatoes, garlic, feta and basil. Carefully press the eggplant, shaping it into a fan.

Drizzle with more olive oil. 

Roast/bake the eggplant for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until liquid has evaporated. 

Transfer to a serving plate. Drizzle with lemon-tahini sauce and top with more crumbled feta cheese.

For the lemon-tahini sauce: 

1/4 cup tahini
3-4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt, to taste
Warm water

In a bowl, place tahini sauce. Start off by adding 3 tbsp lemon juice. Add water until desired consistency. Add salt. Do a taste test and adjust according to your preference. I love mine lemony, a little salty and not too thick and runny.

I hope you all liked my version of Roasted Eggplant Fan. Try it and you will never be disappointed. 

Su, I had fun doing this for you and for our friends. Thank you so much for the opportunity. I would love to come back. ;)  


Yay! That's all, Su. I hope you liked it! 

x Jhuls

Monday, July 18, 2016

Beans Ani Batate Upkari ( Sautéed green beans and potatoes); Meatless Monday.

I believe that our traditional Konkani cuisine is very simple without much pomp. It is also very healthy and easy on the gastrointestinal system. The reason for this is that there is very little oil used for cooking the food, there are not many spices and the procedure itself is very simple, yet the result is a delicious dish that could relished by kids and adults alike and with rice or roti.

 Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 15-20 mins

Total time: 30-35 mins

Servings: 3-4


Green beans : 250 gms or 1/2 lb
Potatoes: 2 medium sized.
Coconut oil: 1 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Dried red chillies: 1-2 medium sized, broken into two pieces.
Salt: as per taste
Water: 1/4 cup
Freshly grated coconut: 1 tbsp ( for garnishing)( optional).


Peel the potatoes. Wash them and dice them medium.

Wash the green beans  thoroughly. Chop/snap the tips off at both ends of the string beans. Repeat this with all the string beans. Chop the string beans into 1 cms wide pieces.

In a saute pan or frying pan, heat coconut oil on medium heat. add mustard seeds to the pan. Once the mustard seeds crackle, add broken dried red chillies.  Now add the chopped potatoes & string beans. Add salt, water and mix well. Cover and cook on low flame until both the potatoes & green beans are tender( around 15-20 mins), sautéing once in a while. If the water evaporates and the vegetables are not cooked, add water in between, little at a time.

Turn off the flame. Garnish with freshly grated coconut.

Serve hot with rice or flatbread/ roti.


Cooking made easy:

Certain types of potatoes may take longer to cook. In this case, add the diced potatoes cook and when they are half-way done, add in the green beans. Cover and cook until done.

Tip for healthy living:

Try to use organic potatoes whenever possible as they have the highest accumulation of pesticides. This is because they have pesticides that are sprayed on the plants and the chemicals already present in the soil.
Whenever possible, peel the potatoes and use them.

Food for thought:

Things start happening when you start believing.  Unknown

Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Restaurant Style Chicken Tikka Masala ( Bite-size grilled chicken pieces in a rich cream and tomato based sauce).

Chicken Tikka Masala is ubiquitous in Indian restaurants, worldwide. Most people around the world who like Indian food are familiar with this dish. They would have tasted/ eaten this dish with naan or rice at least once!

Making it at home might seem like a far-fetched idea, but in reality it is not that difficult. I have a good friend from school, Sandhya, who is chef, par excellence. Everything she makes is delicious!! She is a North Indian and this dish is part of their cuisine. You see, I am a South Indian and chicken tikka masala is definitely not a part of my everyday cuisine ( traditionally). Coming back to my friend, she taught me this super-easy recipe for Chicken Tikka masala, and I would never go back to making it any other way!!

You have to check this super-easy recipe out!

Prep time: 15 mins + 30 mins plus for marinating.

Cook time: 30 mins

Total time: 45 mins

Servings: 3-4

Ingredients :

Boneless chicken thighs : 1 lb ( 450) gms, cut into bite-sized pieces
Cooking oil: 1 tbsp
Ginger: 1 inch piece, cut julienne
Whole red chillies: 2-3 medium-sized
Half & half : 1 cup ( room temperature). ( If you don't have half & half, whole milk or heavy cream will also do).
Tomato paste: 1/2 8oz can
Kasuri methi ( crushed dried fenugreek leaves): 1 tsp ( optional)
Salt: to taste
Sugar: 1 tsp
Coriander leaves ( cilantro) : 1 tbsp, chopped, for garnish.

For marinating the chicken:

Chicken tikka masala: 4 tbsp ( any brand will do). ( if you don't have this spice mix, check the "cooking made easy" for alternative
Ginger garlic paste: 2 tbsp
Lime/ lemon juice: from one lime/ lemon
Plain yogurt ( curd) : 1 cup
Kasoori methi (crushed  dried fenugreek leaves): 1/2 tsp
Salt: to taste

Skewers for kebabs : 3-4 ( may not need all.


Clean the chicken thoroughly. Add all the ingredients listed under " marinade" in a bowl and mix well to make a paste. Add the chicken pieces to this bowl and mix well. Keep in the refrigerator and marinate for atleast 30 minutes.

While the chicken is marinating, soak the wooden  skewers in water for atleast 30 mins. Soaking the skewers helps prevent it from catching fire while grilling.

Once marinated, you can arrange the marinated chicken pieces on the skewers. Reserve the remaining marinade, DO NOT DISCARD!

If you have a grill, you can cook the chicken on the grill. If not, use the oven.

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
Place the skewers on a grill pan or baking sheet to catch the drippings. Bake for 16-18 mins, rotating the skewers once at the end of 8-9 minutes. Ensure that the chicken pieces are cooked before taking it out of the oven.

While the chicken is in the oven, prepare the sauce.
In a sauté pan or sauce pan, heat 1 tbsp oil on medium heat. 

Add the julienned ginger pieces and sauté for 10 seconds. 

Break the red chilli into 2 pieces and add it to the pan. Sauté for 10 seconds. 

Now add the tomato paste. Reduce the flame and sauté until the tomato paste loses its raw taste (or you see it leaving a little bit oil).

Add the half & half & mix well. 

Now add the remaining marinade, kasuri methi ( dried fenugreek leaves), salt , sugar and mix well. Bring it to a gentle boil.

Remove the chicken pieces from the skewers and keep ready.

Add the grilled chicken pieces to the sauce ( I ate quite a few pieces, enroute!;)).

Garnish with coriander leaves ( cilantro) & some cream!

Serve with rice/ roti/bread!

Enjoy! I am bringing this to Throwback Thursday #47Fiesta Friday #128  and Saucy Saturday #53!

Cooking made easy:

If you don't have tikka masala on hand, use the following in the proportions given for the above mentioned recipe:

Dhaniya (Coriander) powder: 1 $ 1/2 tbsp
Jeera ( cumin) powder: 3/4 tbsp
Haldi ( turmeric) powder: 1/2 tsp
Black pepper powder: 1/4 tsp
Garam masala: 1/2 tbsp
Kashmiri mirch powder ( red chilli powder): 1 tbsp

Tip for healthy living:

If you want the dish to be low calorie, use whole milk instead of half & half. The dish may not be very creamy but it will still be delicious and low fat!

Food for thought:

You are confined only by the walls you build yourself. Unknown

Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Tendle Ani Batate Upkari ( Ivy Gourd and potatoe sauté); Meatless Monday

Have you ever noticed that when we are stressed/rushed/hurried, we gravitate towards comfort food. What is comfort food?? Different people may have different definitions for it. For me, comfort food is food that you grew up with; food that is familiar to you. Food that makes you nostalgic; food that you can cook with your eyes closed; without any thought! That to me is comfort food!! What is comfort food for you? 

When I am in a rush, I like to cook things that are familiar and that which I can cook without any conscious thought! This for me is with our traditional Konkani food that is really easy to put together. There is not much prep time or cook time involved. They are very simple recipes without a long list of spices in them. The ingredients are very few and involve only 3-4 ingredients apart from the main vegetables that are being used. These usually are: cooking oil, mustard seeds and red chilli peppers. The level of hotness can be easily modified based on individual preference without compromising the taste. In this recipe the vegetables used are potatoes and  ivy gourd. Ivy gourd is also known as gherkin/tendle/tendli/kowakkai/kundru/tindora/tonde kai. Check out this recipe.

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 15 mins

Total time: 25 mins

Servings: 3-4


Tendle/Tendli/Kowai/ Ivy gourd: 250 gms or 10 oz
Potatoes: 2 medium sized.
Coconut oil: 1 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Dried red chillies: 1-2 medium sized, broken into two pieces.
Salt: as per taste
Water: 1/4 cup
Freshly grated coconut: 1 tbsp ( for garnishing)( optional).


Peel the potatoes. Wash them and cut them into 1 inch length pieces with 0.5 cms thickness.

Wash the ivy gourd thoroughly. Chop the tips off at both ends of the  ivy gourd. If it is red inside, discard it. Slice the  ivy gourd thinly along the length of the  ivy gourd. Each  ivy gourd can be sliced into 6-8 slices. Slice all the  ivy gourd in this manner and keep aside.

Heat coconut oil and mustard seeds in a sauté pan. Once the mustard seeds crackle, add broken dried red chillies.  Now add the sliced  ivy gourd and chopped potatoes. Add salt, water and mix well. Cover and cook on low flame until both the  ivy gourd and potatoes are tender( around 10-15 mins), sauteing once in a while.

Turn off the flame. Garnish with freshly grated coconut.

Serve hot with rice or flatbread/ roti.


I am bringing this to Throwback Thursday #47Fiesta Friday #128  and Saucy Saturday #53!

Cooking made easy:

The above dish can be made quicker if cooked in a pressure pan. After adding the sliced  ivy gourd, potatoes, salt and water, bring it to a boil, close the pressure pan lid. Place the weight/whistle of the pressure cooker and cook on medium flame until you hear the first whistle. Turn off the flame. Wait for the pressure to be completely released before opening the lid. Garnish with freshly grated coconut if you wish.

Tip for healthy living:

 Ivy gourd is an extremely healthy vegetable that is fat-free and fiber rich.It is a great source if iron, vitamin B2, thiamine and dietary calcium.It has been used to treat leprosy, fever, asthma, bronchitis, and jaundice. The fruit possesses mast cell-stabilizing, antianaphylactic, and antihistaminic potential.


Food for thought:

Don't be pushed by your problems; be led by your dreams.

Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Chili Garlic Asparagus Rice

Summer is here!! Which means I don't want to spend hours slaving in the kitchen!! Not that I ever did! ;) You guys know me.. If it isn't quick and easy, it is not happening in my kitchen!! It is more so now than ever as the kids want to be more outside the house than inside! This recipe that I am sharing with you today is another of my accidentally invented recipes!! Or rather spontaneously put together recipes!

My husband likes to take his lunch from home. He loathes to eat outside food. However, his home-cooked lunch has to follow certain guidelines:
A. It cannot be a sandwich
B. Rice item is preferred.
C. It has to be vegetarian.
D. It should not smell of spices while reheating!!
E. It cannot have any kind of sauce/gravy or any other liquid component to it that may possibly leak from the lunch box!!

Well, I have been very creative and innovative with his lunches. Usually I put together some kind of fried rice/ pilaf sort of thing together for him. This particular rice is another such innovative dish which happened to come together due to a tired me on a weeknight . I had made spicy garlic sauteed asparagus and Basmati rice for dinner. I decided to rice into it. Then I remembered that I had some grilled corn in the refrigerator. I took it out, shucked the corn and added it into the rice! And voila!! A delicious dish was born!!

My husband just loved it! Here is the recipe for you to try!

Prep time: 8 minsCook time: 12 mins
Total time: 20 mins

Servings: 2-3


Asparagus: 6-8 nos
Garlic cloves: 4-5 nos
Red chilli powder( medium spice level): 1/2 tsp ( the amount of chilli powder can be adjusted based on the level of spiciness of the chilli powder and of the individual.
Olive oil: 2 tbsp
Water: 2 tbsp
Cooked rice: 3 cups
Vinegar: 1 tsp
Grilled corn: 1
Black pepper powder: 1/8tsp
Scallions: 2, green part only, chopped.
Salt: to taste


Wash the asparagus. Snap off the woody stem. Break the remaining stem into 2-3 pieces depending on the length of the asparagus. Keep aside.

Mince the garlic. Keep aside.

Shuck the corn. Keep aside.

In a sauté pan/frying pan/wok, heat 1 tbsp of oil. Add the minced garlic. Sauté until garlic is fragrant. Do not burn it. Add the red chilli powder. Sauté for 10 seconds. Add in the asparagus. Sprinkle 2 tbsp water, stir fry for couple of minutes on medium-high flame. Add salt as per taste. Now lower the flame and cover and cook for 5-6 mins or until the asparagus is tender.

You can stop at this stage if you want make just chilli garlic asparagus.

To continue making the rice, add the shucked corn to the pot. Mix well. Now add the  cooked rice  ( preferably cold rice) into the pot. Fold in the rice until it is mixed. Add vinegar & black pepper powder. Toss.

Garnish with chopped scallions.

Serve hot.


 I am bringing this to Throwback Thursday #46Fiesta Friday #127  and Saucy Saturday #52. Angie's co-hosts this week are Suzanne @ apuginthekitchen and Jess @ Cooking Is My Sport.

Cooking made easy:

When I cook rice, I always cook a little more than I actually need. This way, I have some rice in the fridge on hand to rustle something up together in a hurry!

Tip for healthy living:

Eating healthy and exercising on a regular basis is a great way to keep your body in good shape and condition. 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days a week or 75 mins of vigorous exercise spread through the week is recommended. A minimum of one hour of physical activity every day is recommended for all individuals from 5 years of age!

Food for thought:

It is nice to have valid competition; it pushes you to do better. Gianni Versace

Please do share your thoughts. Your opinion matters!