Sunday, December 15, 2013


Salad is usually made of leafy & fresh raw vegetables.  It is a ready to eat dish which is served either chilled or in room temperature.  Salads are very good for our health. Doctors advice that we should take at least one salad every meal. Each colour we add has its own nutritional value.  Salads are also served with salad dressings or garnishes.  

In this particular salad i am using chick peas & rajma along with coloured capsicums/ bell peppers.  Chick peas & rajma are full of protein, carbohydrates, magnesium, sodium potassium & dietary fibers.  Capsicum or bell pepper also is full of potassium, sodium, carbohydrates, vitamin-A, vitamin-C, vitamin-B6, iron, magnesium & other dietary fibers.  Here is my recipe for a healthy protein rich salad.   

Preparation time:  15 mts          Cooking time: 15 mts       Serves:   2-4


White chickpeas               -   1/2 cup
Rajma (kidney beans)      -    1/2 cup
Red capsicum                   -   1 no
Yellow capsicum               -    1 no
Green capsicum               -     1 no
Salt                                     -    to taste
Pepper powder                -    1/2 tsp
Lemon                               -    1 no. small


Soak the chickpeas & rajma overnight.  Pressure cook it till it is ready.  Cut all the capsicums in to small pieces. Extract juice from the lemon & keep it aside.  Drain the cooked chickpeas & rajma.  Put all the ingredients into a bowl.  Add the salt, pepper & lime juice.  Mix it all well.  Multi coloured salad is ready.    


We can make different types of salads using our creative imagination.


1) Boil the chickpeas & rajma to the right consistency.  Don't overcook it.

2) We can even skip salt as we are using lime juice.


Orange is a fruit which belongs to the citrus family.  Oranges originated in Southeast Asia, most probably in China.  It grows well in tropical & sub-tropical climates.  Oranges are high in Vitamin-C, potassium & carbohydrates.  It also has high water content & is high in dietary fiber.  In India oranges are in season from October to January.  

When we think of orange, we only think about the fleshy part of the fruit.  Most of us don't know that even the peel is edible.  Orange peel is also equally high in vitamin-c, fiber & other nutrients like the fleshy part.  It is generally used in baking as a flavouring agent & also as a garnish. 

In this recipe i am using the orange peel & making a curry which is the Indian equivalent to the Chinese sweet & sour curry.

                                     refer to caption

Preparation time: 10 mts      Cooking time:  20 mts      Serves: 3-4


Nagpur orange peel                  -   peel of 2 oranges
Tamarind                                    -   size of a small lime
Sambar powder                        -    2 tbsp
Turmeric powder                        -   1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds                            -   3/4 tsp
Fenugreek seeds                       -   1/2 tsp
Red chili                                       -   1 no
Gingelly oil                                   -    2 tbsp
Jaggery                                        -   2 tbsp
Besan flour                                  -   1 tbsp
Salt                                               -  to taste


Cut the orange peels in to small 1/2 inch pieces.  Pour 1 1/2 cups of water in the tamarind, extract the juice & keep it aside.  In a pressure pan add the oil & heat it.  Add the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds & red chili & fry them.  Then add the cut orange peel & fry it well.  Add the sambar powder & turmeric powder & fry well.   Add the tamarind water & salt & pressure it for one whistle.  

Powder the jaggery.  Make a paste of the besan flour with a little water.  Open the pressure pan after the pressure is released.  Bring it to boil & add the jaggery & allow it to boil for some more time.  Add the besan paste & thicken the curry.  Orange peel curry is ready.  This curry goes well with rice.


We can make this curry using the peel of musambi also.


1)   Try to scrape the white insides of the orange peel.  It will reduce the bitterness of the peel.

2)   We can cut the peel into small pieces, dry them in the sun & store them in a container.  This can be used when the oranges are not in season.

3)   It is always best to use fresh orange peels because it gives a great fresh flavour to the curry.

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Ridge gourd which is called Vietnamese Luffe, is also known as Peerkangai in Tamil & thuria in Hindi.   It is available all over India.  It is high in dietary fibre.  It also has iron, zinc, vitamin C & magnesium.  It has thich ridged outer skin & soft spongy inside with seeds in the center. 

There are a lot of recipes made out of ridgegourd.  This is a very simple & tasty recipe i learnt from my mother.  It goes well with rotis & rice.

Preparation Time: 15 mts      Cooking Time:  20 mts      Serves:   3-4


Ridge gourd                         -   1/2 kg
Moong Dal                          -    1 cup
Jeera                                   -    1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder                 -    1/2 tsp
Refined oil                           -    1 tsp
Salt                                     -     to taste
Green chili                           -    2 no
Lemon   (medium size)         -    2 nos.
Chopped coriander leaves    -     2 tbsp


In a kadai, dry fry the moongdal till it gives out a nice aroma.  Wash it & keep it soaked in a little water for 15 mts.  Cut the ridgegourd in to 1 inch cubes.  Slit the green chillies. In a pressure pan add all these ingredients except the oil & jeera & pressure cook for 10 mts or 2 whistles.  When the pressure is released, mix it all well with a ladle.  Squeeze the juice of the 2 lemons.  Heat the oil & fry the jeera in it. Season the dhal with the jeera.  Garnish with the coriander leaves. Delicious ridgegourd dhal is ready.  


We can make this dhal without the ridgegourd also.  We can also use chow chow (chayote) instead of ridgegourd.  Chow chow will take a slightly longer time to cook.


1) Choose the ridgegourd very carefully.  It should be fresh with dark outer skin.  

2) It should be soft when you press it.

3) Use of lemon & green chilies can be according to one's taste.

Monday, August 5, 2013


Drumstick is a very common vegetable available in Indian markets.  India is the largest cultivator of drumstick.  It is also found all over Asia and used a lot in their cuisine.  All parts of the drumstick tree have medicinal value and is used in our cooking.  The leaves of the drumstick tree is a good source of vitamins & also beta-carotene.  The leaves also cure mouth sores.  The pods of the tree which are commonly used in South India to make sambar is full of dietary fiber, potassium, calcium, phosphorus & vitamin-c.

Drumstick is used mostly in sambar & other gravy items.  I came across this recipe by chef Harpal Singh & tried it out.  Its very simple to make but extremely tasty.  Takes very little time to make.

Preperation Time: 15 mts         Cooking Time: 20 mts         Serves: 3-4


Drumstick                                      -         1/2 kg ( 6-7 nos. approximately)
Big onion    (medium size)           -          1 no
Tomato       ( big size  )                 -          1 no
Garlic                                              -          2 pods
Ginger                                             -          1 inch piece
Lemon (medium size )                  -          1 no.
Coriander leaves                           -          2 tsps finely chopped
Chili powder                                  -          3/4 tsp
Dhania powder                              -           3/4 tsp
Turmeric powder                           -           1/4 tsp
Salt                                                 -            to taste
Refined oil                                     -            2 tbsp


Cut the drumsticks in to 3 inch pieces.  Boil them with a little salt  till they are soft.  Open the pieces & scoop out the flesh with a spoon.  You can keep the seeds also.  Cut the onions & tomato in to small pieces. Grate the garlic & ginger & keep it aside.  Squeeze the juice out of the lemon & keep it aside.

Heat the oil in a vessel & add the cut onions.  Saute them well till they become soft & transparent.  Add the grated ginger & garlic & fry for a few more minutes.  Then add the chopped tomato & fry well.  Mash them all well with the back of the spoon.  Add the chili, dhania & turmeric powders & fry well.  Add the salt & saute well.  Now add the scooped out drumstick flesh & mix it all well.  Add the lemon juice & chopped coriander leaves & saute well.  Drumstick bhartha is ready.  Transfer it into a dish & garnish with chopped coriander leaves.  This goes well with rotis, parathas etc.


We can make eggplant bhartha using  the same recipe.  All we have to do it substitute drumstick with egg plant.


1) Boil the drumstick pieces directly in a vessel.  This will help us take it out in the right time.  Using a pressure cooker to boil it may break the drumstick pieces & make it very difficult to scoop out the flesh.

2) We can add some boiled peas to add colour to the curry.

3) Make sure to buy tender drumsticks which are very thick & fleshy.