Flattened rice idlis


Flattened rice idlis
(Serves 4)

1. Four cups buttermilk (homemade or store bought). Leftover raita or kadhi can also be used.
2. Two cups flattened rice (washed 3-4 times). Leftover poha can be used too.
3. One tbsp rice flour
4. Four tbsp semolina (sooji)
5. Salt as per taste
6. Water if needed
7. Oil to grease idli trays

Mix buttermilk and flattened rice and pulse in a food processor. When they form a smooth paste, add the rest of the ingredients. Add salt if needed and more water if needed. Check consistency. The batter shouldn’t be very runny but not too thick also. Grease idli tray moulds with oil and pour batter into them. If using a pressure cooker don’t apply the whistle and pour 10 oz water in the cooker along with the grid before you put the idli stand in it. Pressure cook on high heat for 10 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before taking out the idlis from the trays. If using a microwave, microwave on high for 2-3 minutes. Let rest for one minute before taking out idlis. Pressure cooker idli stand or microwaveable idli stand both are fine. Serve with sambhar and garlic chutney. This can also be enjoyed with rasam or with tomato ketchup.

Check link for full recipe of sambhar:-

Check link below for full recipe of garlic chutney:-

Check link for full recipe of instant rasam:-


Vegetarian chili


Vegetarian chili
(Serves 4)

1. Two cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
2. One can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
3. One large onion chopped
4. Two large tomatoes chopped
5. Lime juice to taste if needed
6. Two tbsp chili powder or to taste
7. Two tsp cumin powder
8. One tsp paprika powder
9. One tsp oregano (optional)
10. One tbsp garlic powder or 6-8 garlic cloves minced
11. One tsp oil
12. Salt to taste
13. Two medium carrots chopped
14. Two ribs celery chopped
15. One large bell pepper chopped or 4-5 cups of preferably pre-washed kale or both
16. Two cups vegetable broth or water
17. One bay leaf
18. Chopped cilantro to garnish (optional)

Heat oil in a pan. Add onions and fry till translucent. Add garlic, fry for 3-4 minutes on medium heat and then add the spices and all the vegetables. Add salt and vegetable broth or water. I like to pressure cook in a pressure cooker but if you don’t have one, cover and cook till vegetables are tender. If using a pressure cooker tomatoes can be added at this time else add them when vegetables are done. Now add all the beans and lime juice to taste. Use a potato masher to mash the chili till it becomes thick in consistency. Garnish with cilantro or celery and serve hot. Enjoy!

Vegetarian chili can be stored in the refrigerator for upto a week.
Add some Tabasco sauce for more flavor.
If you like it extra hot feel free to add habanero sauce but go slow on it as just a drop of it is extremely hot to handle.


Saag chole


Saag chole
(Serves 4)

1. Two cans chickpeas or garbanzo beans (alternatively one can use chickpeas which have been soaked overnight)
2. Two tsp oil
3. Two medium onions chopped
4. Two-three medium tomatoes chopped
5. 1/2 inch ginger chopped
6. Five-six garlic cloves chopped (2tsp garlic powder can also be used)
7. One bunch spinach washed (frozen spinach can also be used)
8. One bunch mustard greens washed (frozen mustard greens can also be used)
9. Two tbsp or to taste chana masala
10. Salt to taste
11. Three-four tsp sugar or to taste

Heat oil in a pan. Fry onions and ginger till translucent. Add garlic and tomatoes and fry till tender. Add chana masala, spinach, mustard greens, salt and sugar. Cook for about 10 mins. Then with a hand mixer pulse everything to a fine paste. Now mix in chickpeas. If using canned, wash well before mixing and discard the liquid. Check for seasoning. If needed add more. Pressure cook for one whistle. This step can be skipped also. Serve hot. This dish can be enjoyed with rice, quinoa, couscous or any kind of bread.

Burnt veggies/ginger sesame noodles


Burnt veggies/ginger sesame noodles
(Serves 4)

1. About four cup wheat or rice noodles
2. 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
3. Veggies (carrots, bell peppers, snow peas etc). Feel free to add veggies of your choice. Chop lengthwise except for snow peas, broccoli etc
4. Two tbsp sesame seeds (divided)
5. One medium onion chopped lengthwise
6. One tbsp ginger chopped lengthwise
7. Two tsp garlic powder or two garlic cloves chopped lengthwise
8. 5-6 or to taste green chilies chopped lengthwise (optional)
9. 1 tsp red chili flakes (optional)
10. Salt to taste
11. Black pepper to taste
12. One tbsp white vinegar or to taste
13. 4 tbsp soya sauce to taste
14. 3-4 whole red chilies (optional)
15. Maggi vegetable seasoning one cube
16. One tbsp olive oil (divided)
17. 4-5 cups water

Bring 4-5 cups water to a boil. Add 1/2 tbsp olive oil to this water and the noodles. Stir and keep boiling for 3 mins. Noodles should be done. Take out one and check with hand. If not done boil for one more minute maybe. Check again. When done sieve in a colander and run cold water on them. Wash thoroughly and set aside for about 15-20 mins. Meanwhile heat oil in a pan. Add 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds and whole red chillies. After a minute add onions, ginger and garlic. Toss till they caramelize. Now add red chilli flakes and green chillies. After one minute add veggies, salt, pepper and Maggi seasoning. Cook covered on medium heat till about half done. Now open pan and cook some more, stirring occasionally, till juices evaporate and all veggies get the caramelized/charred look. Turn off flame. Mix with hands the remaining 1/2 tbsp olive oil in the noodles and put these noodles in the pan. Add white vinegar and soya sauce. Mix well, garnish with the remaining sesame seeds and serve hot.

Tip:- Meat lovers feel free to add meat to this recipe. Remember to cook the meat before you add the veggies. Those allergic to gluten please use rice noodles. Others can use wheat noodles.

Tamarind rice


Tamarind rice
(Serves 3-4)

1. Two cups cooked rice
2. One tbsp tamarind paste
3. Two tsps oil
4. One tsp mustard seeds
5. Pinch of asafoetida
6. 4 tbsp roasted peanuts
7. One tbsp split chana dal
8. One tbsp split urad dal
9. Handful of curry leaves
10. Some split cashews
11. 5-6 whole red chilies or to taste
12. 2 tsp turmeric powder
13. Salt to taste

Soak urad and chana dal in water for about 1 hour. Now heat oil in a wok/pan. Add asafoetida, mustard seeds, whole red chilies, cashews, curry leaves and both dals. Fry till mustard seeds splutter. Now add turmeric powder, rice, salt and mix in tamarind paste. Mix everything properly on medium heat. Sprinkle roasted peanuts and serve hot.

Spinach kale biryani


IMG_1197Spinach kale biryani
(A healthy veggie biryani)
(Serves 4)

1. Two cups long grain basmati rice
2. 4 cups water
3. 16oz bag of pre-washed spinach and kale mix or any other power greens preferably organic
4. Handful of mint leaves washed and chopped
5. One bay leaf
6. 1 inch cinnamon stick
7. 10-12 peppercorns
8. 7-8 cloves
9. 4-5 choti elaichi (small, green cardamoms)
10. 2 badi elaichi (big cardamoms)
11. One tsp ghee (clarified butter)
12. One medium onion sliced or chopped
13. One or two medium tomatoes chopped
14. Biryani masala (any brand) to taste
15. Salt to taste

Blanch spinach and kale mix or any other power greens by boiling in water till tender. Purée and keep aside. In the meantime wash and soak rice in some water for about half an hour. Heat clarified butter (ghee) in a wok. Add the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cardamoms, cloves and peppercorns. Add onions and fry till they caramelize. Add tomatoes, biryani masala and salt and cook for about two minutes. Add the puréed spinach and kale. Mix and check for salt and seasoning. If needed add more at this point. Cook for about 5 minutes and then go ahead and add the soaked rice. Make sure to discard the water in which rice was soaked. Use it only if you need more water. Cover the pan and cook on medium heat till rice is done. Don’t cover the pan fully. Leave a little space open for air to escape. Once done turn off the heat and cover and keep the rice
for about 10 mins. After that open, add mint leaves and lightly fluff up. Serve hot with plain yogurt or any raita of your choice.

1. For an even healthier version brown rice can be used.
2. My personal favourite with any biryani is the minty cucumber raita. Check recipe here:- https://eatlightstaylightweb.wordpress.com/2016/05/25/minty-cucumber-raita/
3. Biryani masala can be bought at any Indian grocery store.

Dahi wali bhindi


Dahi wali bhindi
(Okra in yogurt gravy with spices)
(Serves 2)

1. Two cups okra washed, dried and chopped
2. One cup yogurt whisked
3. 1 tsp oil
4. 1/2 tsp asafoetida
5. 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
6. 1 tsp turmeric powder
7. 1 tsp red chilli powder (optional)
8. 4 tsp coriander powder
9. 1/2 tsp garlic chopped or garlic powder (optional)
10. One medium onion chopped (optional)
11. 1/2 cup water
12. Salt to taste
13. One spring cilantro chopped to garnish (optional)

Heat oil in a wok. Add asafoetida and fenugreek seeds. When the seeds splutter add onions and garlic/garlic powder. Fry till translucent. If you don’t like onion and garlic skip this step and add turmeric powder, coriander powder and red chilli powder. Now add okra, water and salt. If okra is bit hard try giving two whistles in a pressure cooker. Else cook covered till okra is tender. Now add the yogurt and bring to a boil. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Tip:- You can enjoy this with rotis, tortillas, rice, quinoa, couscous, farro or parathas.