Friday, March 27, 2015

Horse Gram and Raw Banana Curry / Kudu Balekayi Bendhi

Serves: 6


Horse gram – ¾ cup
Raw Banana – 2 large
Tamarind Pulp – 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste
Red Chili Powder – 1 teaspoon
Jaggery – 1 tablespoon
Coconut, freshly grated – 1 cup
Coriander Seeds – 1 tablespoon
Cumin Seeds – ½ teaspoon
Turmeric Powder – ¼ teaspoon
Dry Red Chillis – 5 (adjust according to taste)

For Seasoning:

Cooking Oil - 2 teaspoons
Mustard Seeds - 1 teaspoon
Dry Red Chilli - 2
Curry Leaves - 7 to 8

  1. Dry roast horse gram until you a get a nutty aroma. 
  2. Wash and pressure cook the roasted horse gram with sufficient water. It could take a few whistles (about 5-6 or more) for the horse gram to cook. When cooked the horse gram should be soft but still hold shape.
  3. Meanwhile, discard the two ends of the raw bananas. Lightly peel the skin, just to remove the top layer. I prefer retaining the banana skin.
  4. Cut the banana, vertically, into two halves and then cut each half into two halves. Then cut thin horizontal slices. Immediately, transfer the banana slices into a bowl of water. This helps remove any gum present in raw banana and also prevents them turning black due to oxidization.
  5. In a pan/pot, take raw banana slices, salt, jaggery, red chilli powder and tamarind pulp. Add a cup of water. Cook on medium flame until banana slices turn soft but still hold shape.
  6. Meanwhile, dry roast coriander seeds and cumin seeds separately. Transfer to a blender.
  7. Hold each dry red chilli on high flame and burn them slightly until small black patches are formed. Transfer to the blender.
  8. Add turmeric powder to the same hot pan in which you dry roasted coriander seeds and cumin seeds. Fry for 1-2 seconds. Transfer to the blender.
  9. Now add coconut to the blender, add little water and blend into smooth paste. Keep aside.
  10. Check if the banana slices are cooked. If they are soft but still hold shape, add pressure cooked horse gram along with the water used for cooking the horse gram. Bring it to a boil.
  11. Now add blended coconut paste. Mix well and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat.
  12. To prepare seasoning, heat oil, add mustard seeds, dry red chilli pieces and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds starts spluttering add the seasoning to the cooked curry.
  13. Serve hot with rice, akki rotti, akki unde/undrallu.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Classic Hummus

Yields: 3 to 4 cups depending on the consistency


Dried Garbanzo/ Chick Peas – 2 cups
Garlic Cloves – 3
Salt to taste
Peppercorns, freshly ground – 1 teaspoon
Cumin Powder, freshly roasted and powdered – 2 teaspoons
Lemon Juice – 3 to 4 tablespoons
Olive Oil – 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon
Tahini –  1/4 cup (recipe here)
Paprika Powder – 1 teaspoon
Thyme - 2 stalks

  1. Soak chickpeas overnight (or 7-8 hours) in plenty of water.
  2. Discard the water used for soaking. 
  3. Pour sufficient water to the chickpeas and pressure cook them or cook on open flame. Cook until the chickpeas are soft but still hold shape. The chickpea should get mashed when pressed between two fingers.
  4. Once cooked, strain all the water and reserve the water for later use.
  5. If you prefer the hummus very creamy, remove the skin off each chickpea. I prefer hummus with more fiber, so I do not remove the skin.
  6. Now transfer the chickpeas into the blender.
  7. Add garlic cloves and salt. Remember that Tahini that will be added later already has some salt added. Blend for about 15 seconds. 
  8. Now scrape the sides of the blender to mix up the ground chickpeas, add ground peppercorns, cumin powder, lemon juice and about 1/2 cup of reserved water (used for cooking chickpeas). Blend for another 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the blender.
  9. Now add tahini, process for about 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the blender.
  10. Pour olive oil, preferably, with the blender still running. Blend for about 20 seconds. Adjust the consistency of hummus by adding a little more (1/4-1/2 cup) reserved water, if required.
  11. Transfer into a serving bowl, drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle paprika powder.
  12. Garnish with thyme.
  13. Serve with pita wedges, baby carrot, celery or tortilla chips. Or store in air tight container for a week and serve when required.


Yields: About 3/4 cup depending on the amount of Olive oil used.


Sesame Seeds – 1 cup
Olive Oil – ¼ cup
Salt to taste

  1. Dry roast sesame seeds until light brown on medium flame. Transfer into a bowl/plate and let it cool down little bit.

  2. Blend the roasted sesame seeds and salt, pouring olive oil little by little. Add olive oil depending on the consistency of Tahini you need. For thinner consistency, add more olive oil.
  3. Serve as dip or store in an air tight container, refrigerated,   for a few months.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Chia Pudding with Strawberries

Serves: 2


Chia Seeds – 4 tablespoons
Sweetened Soy Milk/ Almond Milk / Dairy Milk– 2 cups
Vanilla Extract – 1/2 teaspoon
Cinnamon Powder – ¼ teaspoon
Strawberries – 5 to 6
Honey / Maple Syrup / Sugar – 1 tablespoon (optional), 2 tablespoons if using dairy milk

  1. In a bowl, mix together chia seeds, cinnamon powder, vanilla extract, milk of your choice and vanilla essence. If you prefer, the pudding sweeter, add honey/maple syrup or sugar. I prefer not to use additional sweetener. If you are using dairy milk or unsweetened soy/almond milk, use 2 tablespoons of honey/maple syrup of sugar. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The chia seeds swell and become gooey.
  2. Before serving, chop strawberries. Layer the soaked chia seeds and strawberry pieces, alternately, in a tall/stemmed glass. Or mix them with the soaked chia seeds and serve in a bowl.
  3. Serve chilled.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Vegetable Soup


Carrots - 3
French Beans - 10
Broccoli - 10 to 12 bite sized florets
Cauliflower - 10 to 12 bite sized florets
Celery - 2 to 3 ribs
Onion - 1
Garlic Cloves - 6
Firm Tofu - 300 gms
Spring Onion - 1 small bunch
Butter - 1 tablespoon
Olive Oil - 2 teaspoons
Soy Sauce - 2 tablespoons
Peppercorns, freshly ground - 2 teaspoons (adjust according to taste)
Salt to taste
Water - 5 cups
Corn Flour - 1 tablespoon


  1. Peel carrots and cut them into circular, thin slices.
  2. Cut french beans into 1" long pieces.
  3. Cut celery ribs into horizontal pieces.
  4. Cut onion into half, cut each half into 6 pieces.
  5. Cut garlic cloves into thin slices.
  6. Cut tofu into small cubes.
  7. Chop spring onions.
  8. Heat oil in a pan, add butter.
  9. When butter melts, add onion pieces. Saute for a minute.
  10. Now add garlic slices and saute until onion turns translucent.
  11. Add freshly ground pepper and soy sauce. Mix well and saute for a minute.
  12. Now add carrot, french beans, celery and cauliflower. 
  13. Add salt.
  14. Pour 4 cups of water and boil until the vegetables are 3/4rth cooked.
  15. Now add broccoli florets and tofu pieces. Cook until broccoli florets are cooked. They should be a bit crunchy.
  16. Meanwhile, dilute cornflour in remaining 1 cup of water, add to the boiling soup. Continue boiling - rolling boil for 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  17. Sprinkle chopped spring onions. 
  18. Serve hot.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Mini Sweet Peppers Stuffed with Sweet Corn & Spinach

Yields: 15 pieces


Mini Sweet Peppers - 15
Olive Oil - 1 teaspoon

For Stuffing:

Olive Oil - 1 teaspoon
Butter - 1tablespoons
Garlic, minced - 1 1/2 teaspoons
Onion - 1 small
Sweet Corn Niblets - 1 cup
Spinach - 1 bunch
Salt to taste
Peppercorns, freshly ground - 1 teaspoon
Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated - 1/3 cup
Bread Crumbs - 1/4 cup
Red Chili Flakes - 1 teaspoon


  1. Chop onion.
  2. Thoroughly was the spinach leaves and squeeze out all the water. Chop them finely.
  3. Make a vertical slit on each pepper, from the stem to the narrow tip of the pepper. Do not run the slit till the tip until the pepper opens up, leave about 1/2cm to the top. Keep them aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C.
  5. Heat olive oil and butter in a pan.
  6. Add chopped onion and minced garlic. Saute until onion turns translucent.
  7. Add sweet corn, saute until they turn soft.
  8. Add chopped spinach. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the leaves wither. Ensure there is no water content oozed out from the spinach, left over in the pan. If there is, you need to saute until it evaporated, which will over-cook spinach. To avoid, in Step 2, drain out any water present in leaves after washing. Turn off the flame.
  9. Allow the mixture to cool down for 10 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, place the peppers in the greased baking tray, and place in the pre-heated oven for 7-8 minutes. Remove the tray out from the oven.
  11. Now, add bread crumbs, grated cheddar cheese and red chili flakes to the stuffing mixture. Mix well.
  12. Using a spoon stuff the peppers with the stuffing mixture.
  13. Place the peppers in the oven, cook for about 10 minutes.
  14. Serve hot.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Dry Fruits & Nuts Roll

Yields: 40 pieces


Soft Dried Dates - 450gms (approx. 3 1/2 cups)
Soft Dried Figs / Anjeer- 225gms (approx. 1 3/4 cups)
Almonds - 75gms (1/2 cup)
Walnuts - 100gms (1 cup)
Pistachios - 25gms (1/4 cup)
Poppy Seeds - 2 to 3 tablespoons
Orange Zest - 1 1/2 teaspoons
Clarified Butter / Ghee - 2 tablespoons
Dry Ginger Powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Nutmeg Powder - 1/4 teaspoon

For Aids:

One thick plastic sheet
A plate or a small tray


  1. Chop the dates and figs.Coarsely blend them together. Do not add any water. Keep aside.
  2. Dry roast almonds, walnuts, pistachios and poppy seeds separately.
  3. Roughly chop the almonds, walnuts and pistachios. You could use a blender but that might shred the nuts into too small pieces or powder them little bit.
  4. Heat clarified butter or ghee in a pan.
  5. Add dry ginger powder and nutmeg powder. Saute for half a minute.
  6. Now add orange zest. Saute a for 2-3 seconds. 
  7. Add blended dates and figs. If the dates are little dry, when you blend them, they might turn into a coarse powder. In that case, add 2 tablespoons water. Mix thoroughly on medium flame for 4-5 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  8. Add the chopped nuts. Mix thoroughly. Leave it aside for 2 minutes.
  9. Knead the mixture thoroughly(preferably, when it is still hot) and then divide it into 4 equal portions and make smooth balls.
  10. Transfer the roasted poppy seeds into a plate or tray.
  11. Place a ball on the plastic sheet and roll it to form a cylinder of approximately 1 1/2 inch diameter.
  12. Roll the cylinder over poppy seeds to cover them outer sides.
  13. Repeat steps 12 & 13 for the remaining balls.
  14. Refrigerate the cylinders in an air tight box for 2-3 hours. Do not stack them on one another. 
  15. Cut the cylinders into thin discs.
  16. Serve.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Kale, Strawberry & Chia Seeds Smoothie


Fresh Kale Leaves, roughly torn without stem - 1 1/2 cups, loosely filled
Strawberries, hulled - 6
Chia Seeds - 2 teaspoons
Chilled Soymilk (Plain or Vanilla flavored) - 1 1/2 cups (or use Almond Milk)
Honey -  1 tablespoon (adjust per taste/skip this if you are using sweetened Soymilk)


  1. Blend all the ingredients together with only 1/2 cup of soymilk into smooth puree. 
  2. Pour the remaining 1 cup of soymilk and blend until well combined.
  3. Serve cold. If you don't prefer the grainy texture of chia seeds that break down on blending, soak them in 1/4 cup of soymilk for about 1-2 hours. While blending, reduce the quantity of soymilk to 1 1/4 cup.