No Fry Dahivada{lentil dumplings dunked in lush yogurt}

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Here we are, just 5 days back from an incredibly adventurous summer in India and Italy. I have SO much to share with you all so stay tuned for all of the vacation inspired recipes to come. In midst of the jet lag, the loads of laundry and other things I’ve been craving something cool and comforting. Something that will extend my memories of our Indian summer. Only one thing comes to mind…

Dahivada: soft, melt-in-your-mouth, lentil dumplings dunked in lush yogurt, and garnished with sweet and tangy tamarind-date chutney, red chili powder, cumin-coriander powder and crunchy sev! Continue reading “No Fry Dahivada{lentil dumplings dunked in lush yogurt}”

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Broccoli and Tofu Cutlets

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Today’s recipe is adapted from my aunt’s broccoli and tofu cutlet recipe. She makes some of the best cutlets and this is my most favorite one! I have devoured her cutlets for years  before I finally decided to make them myself. Continue reading “Broccoli and Tofu Cutlets”

Beet Salad -A celebration recipe

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For my birthday this year, a good friend of mine gave me an amazing book – ‘Share’ : A cookbook that celebrates our common humanity by Women for Women International (WFWI). The underlying message of Share is simple: for all our apparent diversity―as individuals, societies and nations―our actions, however small, can have an exponential, positive influence both on the world and the lives of others. Nothing more beautifully conveys our interdependence than the food we eat. The recipes featured in this uplifting book―provided by contributors who are all actively engaged in humanitarian issues, as well women from the eight countries in which Women for Women International (WfWI) work.

I am in love with the illustrations in this book. The night I received this book, I was up past midnight going through it. One recipe that caught my eye right away, was a beet salad recipe by Zainab Salbi, founder of women for women international. I love beets and it had many ingredients that I use everyday. Last weekend I finally decided to make this recipe.  As I was making it, I wasn’t sure how it would come together. However, when I tasted it, the flavors were out of this world! The flavors of sesame seeds, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and fresh ginger along with all the chopped veggies were heavenly. This probably is one of my most favorite salads and I am going to make this again and again.

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I made some changes to the original recipe. Instead of using raw beets, I used roasted beets. I also replaced carrots with fresh orange bell pepper that is now in season and I added some grape tomatoes. I followed the rest of the recipe and it indeed was a celebration of colors and taste on my plate and my mouth!

Continue reading “Beet Salad -A celebration recipe”

Banana Avacado Chaat

Today’s inspiration comes from a delicious Indian restaurant, Rasika, that we dined at during a recent family trip to Washington DC. I can’t thank my cousin Darshan enough for his recommendation. The food, the atmosphere and the Chef’s humble and friendly attitude were inspirational. The drinks and appetizers were so unique compared the Indian dishes we’re use to while dining out. One dish that resonated with all of us was the banana chat which was an incredible blend of sweet, tangy and spicy. We would have never tried it if it was not recommended. While we all love to experiment with food we generally don’t like bananas in any form mixed into our meals. When the appetizer arrived we were surprised to see the bananas grilled and perfectly stacked on the sides. With hesitation we took one bite and we were hooked. My husband and I couldn’t stop digging into the amazing flavors! With a few bites remaining, I took a snap so I could recreate it as soon as we got back.

Recipe:

Prep time: 2 mins  Cooking time:2-3 mins    Total time: 5 mins

Ingredients:

1 Ripe Avocado
1 Ripe but Firm Banana
2 tbsp of tamarind chutney
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp red chili powder
cilantro to garnish
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Peel the banana and cut it half lengthwise and then cut the 2 halves in the middle to make 4 pieces. Put grilling pan on medium high  heat, brush the bananas with olive oil and grill the banana’s until they turn golden brown on both sides. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on it.
  2. Peel and cut the avocado into bite size pieces. Add tamarind chutney, salt and cumin powder to it and mix well.
  3. Dish the avocados in the middle of a plate. Put the grilled bananas on the sides. Sprinkle with some red chili powder. Garnish with cilantro.

Enjoy!

 

 

Tomato, Beetroot and Carrot soup

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Growing up, I remember eating tomato soup made by my mom frequently in winters. She would also make it for holiday parties and it was a great way to start the first course. A beautiful red soup with rich creamy texture was often served with her homemade croutons!

Very recently after tasting tomato soup at different places I realized hers has a different flavor and color. When I asked her for the recipe I found out that she adds carrots and beetroots to them which explains the beautiful color and the texture too! This super healthy soup is very appetizing with its sweet and tangy flavors, mildly spiced with wonderful aroma.

Tomatoes are packed full of beneficial nutrients and antioxidants and are a rich source of vitamins A and C and folic acid. Beetroots are an excellent source of folic acid and a very good source of fiber, manganese and potassium.  Carrots are a particularly good source of beta-carotene, fiber, vitamin K, potassium and antioxidants!

 

Here is a step by step recipe:

Wash tomatoes, Beetroot and carrots

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Peel and chop the carrots and beetroot.  Cut the tomatoes in half.

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Pressure cook all 3 vegetables with a small cinnamon stick for 10 mins.

Optionally, you can also cook them in a crock pot or a regular pot on stove stop with 1 cup of water.

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Let the boiled vegetables cool down. Remove the cinnamon stick and the skin from the tomatoes. Puree the rest and strain to remove any seeds from the tomatoes.

Mix corn starch to half cup of water and add it to the tomato puree. Stir well.

Heat ghee in a medium pot. Add cumin seeds and once they begin to sizzle turn off the heat and slowly add the puree.

Add sugar, salt, red chili powder and fresh ground pepper to taste. Bring it to boil on medium high heat stirring few times.

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Recipe:

Prep time: 5 mins  Cooking time:25 mins    Total time: 30 mins

Ingredients:

5 ripe tomatoes
2 carrots
1 small beetroot
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp ghee
1/4th tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp red chili powder
1/4th tsp fresh pepper
salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Peel and chop the carrots and beetroot.  Cut the tomatoes in half.
  2. Pressure cook all 3 vegetables with the cinnamon stick for 10 mins.
  3. Cool down boiled vegetables. Discard the cinnamon stick and the skin from the tomatoes.
  4. Puree the rest in a blender.
  5. Strain and discard any seeds from the tomatoes.
  6. Mix corn starch in 1/2 cup of water and Add it to the tomato puree. Stir well.
  7. Heat 1 tablespoon ghee a medium pot. Add cumin seeds and once they begin to sizzle turn off the heat and carefully pour the puree in the pot.
  8. Add sugar, salt, red chili powder and fresh ground pepper to taste.
  9. Bring to boil on medium high heat stirring few times.

Serve hot with some garlic croutons!

Enjoy!

 

 

Pumpkin Raita

I love fall for the colors, for the crisp air and pumpkins! I love pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup and my most simple and easy Pumpkin Raita. Its a great side dish with spicy Indian curries and needs very few ingredients.

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Recipe:

Prep time: 5 mins  Cooking time:10 mins    Total time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

1/2 lb or 2 cups pumpkin cubed
1-2 green chilies cut
1 cup yogurt
1 tsp cooking oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp sugar
salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a medium pan. Add mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds start to splutter add pumpkin pieces.
  2. Cook uncovered on medium heat for 5-10 mins stirring frequently. Turn off the heat when the pumpkin pieces are fully cooked.
  3. Take the pumpkin out in a serving bowl and let it pumpkin cool down.
  4. In the meantime whisk yogurt, add sugar and salt to taste.
  5. Pout yogurt on top of the pumpkin.  Garnish with raw green chilies and cilantro. Store in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat. Mix gently before serving.

Serve with Rice or Parathas.

ENJOY!

Roasted Beetroot and cucumber salad

 

IMG_6422Here is a healthy and easy to make side dish. Needs very few ingredients and looks and tastes amazing!

Recipe:

Prep time: 5 mins  Cooking time:0 mins    Total time: 5 mins

Ingredients:

4 medium Roasted beets
1 medium cucumber
1 cup yogurt

Instructions:

  1. Chop roasted beets into 1/2 inch cubes.
  2. Peel and chop cucumber into 1.2 inch cubes.
  3. In a bowl whisk yogurt and add salt to taste
  4. Add chopped beets and cucumbers
  5. Garnish with cilantro/ Thai basil or parsley.

ENJOY!!