Saturday, September 21, 2019

Tasty Mushroom Burger (Vegan, Gluten Free Burger)

Tasty Mushroom Burger, naturally Vegan and Gluten Free burger, is toothsome and delicious one of the best results in burger recipes. The oats, nuts, and rice flour etc help to form well without falling apart. If you do not eat fungi, check out the Lentil Loaf and Black Bean burgers recipes for patties without mushrooms.


All the vegetable ingredients maybe finely chopped or grated by hand or by using a food processor. I used the food processor for finely chopping all of the ingredients which made it quick and easy; as the last step, I pulsed the sunflower seeds and oats and that cleaned the bowl nicely - an added bonus!

Have fun with the seasonings: change them according to your personal preferences.

These burgers freeze well; for best taste, use them within 3 months.

12 Burgers


1 lb Mushrooms, finely chopped
1/2 medium Red Onion, finely chopped
2-4 Tbsp Parsley, finely chopped
2 medium Carrots, finely chopped or grated
1-2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Jalapeño chile, cored and minced
1/2 cup raw Sunflower Seeds Or Walnuts, coarsely ground
1/2 cup Rolled Oats (GF), coarsely ground
1/2 cup Rice Flour
1/2 tsp ground Turmeric
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 Tbsp Chile Powder
1 Tbsp Tamari, Shoyu, or Soy Sauce (GF)
Salt, Pepper, to taste

Oil for coating the pan

To Serve:
Homemade Gravy
Buns, Bread (GF)
Onion Slices
Tomato Slices
Pickle slices
Vegan Mayo


Prepare all the vegetables (see notes above) and place them in a large bowl as they are done.

Prepare the sunflower seeds and oats (see notes above) and add to the bowl.

Add all the spices, herbs, and seasonings.

Mix in the rice flour thoroughly; the mixture should hold together when formed into a ball or patty. If too wet, one or two more tablespoons of rice flour maybe added.

Heat a skillet (non-stick works well for this) and coat the pan with a thin film of oil. Form the mushroom mixture into patties and cook on low-medium heat until both sides are browned.

Alternately, the burgers maybe arranged on a parchment lined baking sheet, lightly brushed with oil and baked in a 400-450 F oven for about 20-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Flip the patties after 15 minutes.

Serve hot with homemade gravy or burger style with toasted buns/bread and lettuce, tomato, and condiments.


Friday, September 20, 2019

"Cheezy" Potato-Onion-Celery Soup

"Cheezy" Potato-Onion-Celery Soup is a simple and soothing soup that is very satisfying as well. A friend introduced a cheesy version like this luscious Leek-Potato Soup to us a long time ago. I have made it gluten-, dairy-, fat- free and Cheezy too!

I often make this soup with leeks, zucchinis, and carrots. You are not limited to using just these veggies by any means; use any veggies you like. Anyway you end up with one delicious soup!

Variation: Use 2 or 3 large leeks instead of the onions. 

4-6 Servings


2 medium Onions, diced (about 3 cups)
1-2 cloves Garlic (optional)
2-3 ribs Celery (about 2 cups)
1-2 Carrots (about 2 cups)
2 large Russet Potato, cubed (about 1 cup)
1 small head Cauliflower/Broccoli, separated into florets (about 5-6 cups)
6 cups Water/Vegetable Broth
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Sea Salt or to taste
1/2 tsp Freshly ground Black Pepper
4-5 Tbsp Nutritional yeast
1/4- 1/2 tsp Cayenne
1/2 cup Parsley, finely chopped
4 Tbsp fresh Chives or Garlic Chives, finely sliced
Lemon juice to taste (about 1/2 lemon)


Prepare the veggies: they can be done ahead or as you go along.

Chop onion, celery and garlic.

Peel the potatoes if necessary and cut into 1" cubes.

Trim the ends off the zucchinis and dice.
Add the onion, celery, and garlic along with turmeric, a couple pinches of salt and pepper and a little water into a large soup pot (about 6 quart/liter size), cover with a lid, and sauté over low-medium heat for about 5 minutes or until softened.

Tip in the rest of the water/broth into the pot, raise the heat and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat and keep the soup at a gentle simmer.

Prepare the carrots, potato, and cauliflower/broccoli; add each to the pot as you chop them with a little more of the water/broth as needed.

Simmer with the lid slightly ajar for about 15 minutes, until the veggies are tender.

Turn off heat and remove lid. Allow the soup to cool slightly for 5 minutes or so. 

After cooling, carefully scoop the soup into a blender carafe (you'll have to do this in a couple batches most likely) and add in the nutritional yeast and optional cayenne, if using. Carefully blend the mixture, starting at a low speed and increasing the speed until desire consistency is reached.

Puree the soup so that there are no big chunks but it still has some texture. Using an immersion blender makes this task quite simple.

Pour the puréed soup back into the pot. Heat the soup until steaming hot but not boiling.

Now, stir in the lemon juice, to taste, about 1 teaspoon at a time. The lemon juice brightens the soup.

The soup should stay fresh for a week in the fridge. To freeze, place cooled soup into a container or glass jar, leaving 1 inch at the top for expansion. Secure lid and freeze for up to 1 to 2 months.

Ladle into bowls and serve hot. 


Thursday, September 19, 2019

Rice Noodles - Quick Stirfry or Soup

Rice Noodles - Stirfry or Soup is one recipe that you can serve two ways quite easily- it is just a matter of adding some hot broth or water! We adore both soups and stir-frys; so sometimes it is a tough choice - with this recipe you don't have to choose one or the other - you can live it up and have both!

Naturally gluten, dairy, and oil free!

2 Servings


120 g (4 oz) Rice Noodles (dry)
3-4 Green Onions
1/2 block Tofu (7 oz)
1 Tbsp fresh Ginger, minced
1-2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 pinch of Red Chile flakes
Salt to taste
1 Wedge Cabbage (about 1/4 of a small one), thinly sliced
1 handful Peapods (Chinese/Sugarsnaps), ends trimmed
4-5 Mushrooms
1 Carrot, cut in fine matchsticks or corasely shredded
Tamari/Shoyu/ Soy Sauce to taste
2 cups Vegetable Broth Or Boiling Water (for Soup)

To Serve

Bean Sprouts
1 smsll bunch Garlic Chives, sliced
1 Jalapeño Chile, sliced (optional)
2 Green Onions, thinly sliced
1 handful Coriander Leaves (Cilantro)
Chile-Garlic Sauce, Szechuan Chile Oil Sauce, etc


Soften the rice noodles according to package directions.

Cook green onions, tofu, ginger, garlic and chile flakes with a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of water in a wok, pan, or skillet for about 2 minutes stirring to make sure everything heats and cooks evenly without scorching.

Add cabbage, peapods,  mushrooms,and carrots; cover and cook for another minute.

Stir in the rice noodles, (boiling water if making Soup) and tamari/soy sauce and bring to a simmer. Turn off heat.

Serve hot with the herbs and condiments.


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Bisi Bele Bath (Indian Rice & Lentil Risotto With Assorted Vegetables)

Bisi Bele Bath (BBB) is a delicious Indian risotto and a one pot meal. Do include the cashew topping; the ocassional bites of the buttery tasting toasted cashews gives a sublime taste. I serve steaming hot bowls with a simple chopped salad or raita and some papadams for a very comforting and filling meal.

Although similar to the Easy Bisi Bela, this Bisi Bele Bath is made with freshly made spice masala. Bisi Bele Bath is a great recipe that lends itself to doubling, tripling, etc and can feed a small family or a huge crowd.

This recipe comes from the Indian State of Karnataka known for the gorgeous gardens, beautiful temples, architecture, and delicious food. Tamil Nadu and Kerala, neighborig states, have Sambar Sadam and Kadamba Sadam, similar but slightly different. All are made with rice, toor dal, and vegetables but the spices vary according to region.

Assorted Vegetables for BBB: Butternut Squash or a flavorful pumpkin, Green Beans, Carrots, Potatoes, Chayote/Opo Squash, Onions, Bell Pepper, Edamame, Eggplant, Green Lima Beans, Moringa Pods, Peas, Sweet Potato, Zucchini, etc. Choose the vegetables for flavor, color, and texture. Cut the vegetables into small 1/2" cubes.

8 Main meal Servings


BBB Masala: 
1/8 cup Coriander seeds
1/8 cup Chana Dal
1 Tbsp Urad Dal
1 tsp Whole Black Pepper
1 tsp Fenugreek seeds (Methi)
1 (1" piece) Cinnamon Stick
5 Cloves
3 green Cardamoms
1-2 dried Byadagi or Kashmiri Chile
1-2 Dried Red Peppers
2 Tsp Sesame seeds, black or white
1 small pea-sized lump Asafetida (or 1/4 tsp ground)
1 stems Curry leaves
4 Tbsp dried Coconut shreds (unsweetened)

Start roasting the dals and black pepper in a dry skillet; add other ingredients in the list after about a minute in the order given stirring in after each addition. Roast until lightly toasted and fragrant; pour into a plate to cool well. Grind to a fine powder. Store in an airtight glass jar or other container. The following amount of spices will make enough masala for 3-4 recipes depending on the amount used per recipe.

Bisi Bela Bath
2 Cups Basmati or Sona Masuri Rice
1 cup Toor Dal
2 Tsp Tamarind concentrate
4-6 cups Assorted Vegetables, see note
1 tsp Turmeric, divided 
2-3 tsp Salt, divided
3-4 Tbsp BBB Masala (see recipe above)
4 Tbsp Cilantro, finely chopped

1 tsp Oil
8 Tbsp Cashew pieces
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 pinch Asafetida
2 Stems Curry leaves, cut into fine chiffonade


Combine the rice and dal in a bowl, rinse well, soak in fresh water to cover for 30 minutes.

Drain the rice and dal, rinse well again, drain.

Place the rice-dal mixture in a large pot with half the salt and turmeric; add tamarind along with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer gently for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let cool while preparing the vegetables.

Heat the oil if using in another large pan and add the cashew pieces; stir and toast until they are pinkish gold. Remove from pan and reserve until time to serve.

Add mustard seeds to the same pan where cashews were toasted; no need to wash or clean. When the mustard starts popping, add the rest of the seasoning ingredients and stir well.

Tip in the vegetables; add the salt, turmeric, and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until veggies are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the BBB masala.

Gently combine the veggies with the juices and the rice-dal mixture. Add a little boiled water if the dish is not soft enough. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed.

Let Bisi Bele Bath rest covered for 5 minutes for the flavors to meld.

Serve hot sprinkled with cilantro and cashews.


Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Kadalai Paruppu Chundal/Sundal (Savory Split Pea/Chana Dal Stir-fry)

Kadalai Paruppu Chundal/Sundal is a favorite recipe which turns split pea-like chana dal into a delectable dish. Chundals are savory or sweet South Indian snacks or sidedishes made with whole or split legumes. They are some of the typical and traditional offerings during Nav Ratri or Dussera celebrations which occur in autumn.

Chana Dal is a great source of protein as well as dietary fiber. Made from nutrient rich legumes, chundals are a low sodium food (as long as too much salt is not added!) with low glycemic index which makes it a perfect food for a healthy vegetarian diet. This recipe is simple to make with a few pantry staples and this vegan snack tastes great on its own or with meals.

Although not exactly the same ,Yellow split peas maybe used to make this Chundal also.

The dals and spices are readily available in Indian as well as most grocery stores these days.

4 Servings


1 cup Chana dal (split, skinless Chickpeas)
1 teaspoon oil (optional)
1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds
1-2 Dry Red Chile, broken into two pieces
1 stem Curry leaves, finely sliced
1 pinch Asafetida
1/4 cup grated Coconut, fresh or frozen
Salt to taste


1. Sort, rinse and soak the chana dal in water for an hour. Drain the water, rinse well, drain again.

2. Add 2 cups of water and cook the split chickpeas until soft but not mushy. Alternatively you can cook them using a pressure cooker. If using pressure cooker, make sure not to overcook the dal. Let cool.

3. When cool, drain well; save the cooking broth for a soup or another dish.

4. Heat oil if using in a kadai or skillet. When hot, add mustard seeds and let them begin to pop.

5. Add red chiles, curry leaves and asafetida.Stir until red chiles brown a little, about a minute.

6. Tip in the cooked dal along with the salt; cook stirring gently until heated through. Stir in the grated coconut and mix well. Remove from heat, cover and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes. Remove the chiles before serving.

7. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.


Saturday, September 14, 2019

Curried Potato Hash With Tofu & Summer Vegetables

Curried Potato Hash With Tofu & Summer Vegetables is a bright and beautiful brunch dish with toothsome veggies to make it hearty! Although typically breakfast or brunch dishes don't include veggies, here the tofu, sweet corn and cherry tomatoes turn the traditional potato dish into a treat for the eyes and tastebuds as well as a powerhouse of nutrition. 

It is quite easy and quick - roast potatoes and tofu the day before and reserve in the fridge; in the morning just put everything together, and voila! you have a dainty dish to start the day right.


Use 1 1/2 -  2  cups cooked Chickpeas (garbanzos) instead of tofu for a variation.

For a spicy dish, add more Sambar powder and/or more Jalapeños.

4-6 Servings


1 block Tofu (14 oz), cut in cubes
12 oz small Potatoes, cut in wedges or cubes
2 Scallions, thinly sliced
1 small Jalapeño Chile, cored and minced
2 Ears Fresh Corn, or 2 cups frozen
1 cup Cherry Tomatoes, any color, quartered 
1/2 Tsp Turmeric
1-3 Tsp Sambar Powder
1 tsp coarse Salt
Freshly ground Black Pepper to taste
1/2 - 1 Tbsp fresh Marjoram, finely minced

For Garnishing:
1 scallion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp fresh Cilantro, chopped(optional)
Hot Sauce for serving


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the tofu and potato cubes with a couple of generous pinches of salt, turmeric, and pepper. Gently toss to coat well.

Prepare a baking pan lined with parchment paper and spread the tofu and potatoes evenly in a single layer. Roast tofu and potatoes until golden, about 30-40 minutes. Stir midway after about 20 minutes so that the tofu and potatoes cook evenly. If made ahead, cool, and store in a covered container in the fridge.

If using fresh corn, cut the kernels from them.

Heat a skillet and add jalapeno and scallions with a spritz or two of water as needed and cook until they are softened. Stir in corn kernels, and cook until browned in spots and slightly caramelized - about 2-3 minutes.

Tip in the tomatoes, and cook for about a minute or until they begin to soften. 

Add the turmeric, salt, pepper. Gently stir in the potatoes and tofu cubes, sprinkle with the marjoram. Remove from heat.

Sprinkle with the scallions and cilantro if using on top and serve hot.


Friday, September 13, 2019

Salsa Caribeño (Caribean Style Multi-purpose Sauce With Coconut Milk)

Salsa Caribeño is a lovely, flavorful suace to top grains like quinoa, rice, millet, etc, or roasted/steamed veggies or potatoes (regular or sweet types). This salsa is delicious over Idli and Dosas too.

The dates lend a sweet touch and tame the heat. If you want to keep the salsa mild, use mild chiles or remove and discard the cores.


1 large Onion, slivered
1 Red Bell Pepper, julienned
1 medium Carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 clove Garlic, minced
2 large Tomatoes, skinned, seeded, and chopped
2-3 sprigs, Fresh Thyme (about 1/2 tsp dry)
1-2 Dates, pitted and finely chopped (optional)
Salt and freshly ground Pepper 
1 (15 oz) can coconut milk
1/4 - 1/2 tsp Turmeric
1/2 tsp Sambar/Curry Powder
1 hot Chile, Jalapeño, Serrano, Habanero,  (optional)


Choose Jalapeño for a relatively mild sauce, Serrano or Habanero for a bigger and bolder kick. As always, core the jalapeño to keep it really mild as sometimes they can be quite hot.

Keep the other hot chiles whole or with only a tiny slit on the blossom end if using so that they don't make the sauce insanely hot.

Cook the onion, red pepper, and carrots with a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of water in a sauce pan until softened; cover the pan and cook on low heat to prevent scorching. Add more sprinkles of water as needed.

Stir in the garlic and stir cook for about 30 seconds.

Add the rest of the ingredients and gently bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes. 

Let salsa rest for 5-10 minutes and serve hot or warm over steamed or roasted veggies, baked sweet/regular potatoes or your favorite grains.


Thursday, September 12, 2019

Many Bean Salad W/Grilled Corn

Many Bean Salad W/Grilled Corn conjures up a big bowl of glistening jewel-like beautiful plump beans from all parts of the globe! There are an amazing number of super nutritious beautiful and colorful beans in the world; red kidney beans, nutty garbanzos, white dry or fresh green lima beans, great northern beans, lentils, cannelini beans, edamame, black beans…the list goes on. Use your favorite beans; include at least 2 or 3 kinds for a visual as well as gustatory treat. Have fun getting acquainted with a new bean or two!


Frozen corn kernels maybe used instead of fresh; pan toast until slightly caramelized and a few brown spots appear. Cool before adding to the salad.

Since there are many beans in this recipe, cook a cup or pound of each type of dried bean ahead of time and save extras in ziptop bags in the freezer for future salads, Chili, soups, stews, or other dishes.

Alternatively, canned beans may make it easier rather than cooking a fresh batch of each bean. If using canned, drain, rinse, and drain again thoroughly. There is probably about 1 1/2 cups of beans in each can; use the whole amount to prepare a big batch of salad.or save the rest for Chili, many bean stew or soup.

Make a little or a lot; it is very easy to make bean salad for a crowd - if using more beans in the salad, increase or adjust the rest of the ingredients especially the spices and herbs to match the new proportions. 

4-6 servings


3-4 cups Total Assorted cooked Beans: Kidney, Black, Pinto, Garbanzo, White, Black-eyed, etc
1/2 cup frozen green Lima beans, cooked
1 ear of Corn, roasted and cooled
1/2 cup EACH fresh Green & Wax Beans, cut in 1 inch pieces, cooked until tender
1/4 - 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 Jalapeño/Serrano Chile, cored and minced (optional)
1 cup Roma Tomatoes, chopped
2-4 Tbsp fresh Parsley and/or Cilantro, finely chopped
2 Tsp fresh Thyme leaves, chopped

2-3 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar Or Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 - 1 small Date (optional)
1 clove fresh Garlic, peeled and trimmed
1-2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tiny pinch Cayenne
Salt to taste 
Freshly ground Black Pepper to taste


Prepare the beans; cook the chosen beans until soft but not mushy. Let cool. Or see notes on using canned beans.

Grill or roast the corn on the cob; let cool. Steam the beans until crisp-tender; quickly plunge in iced water to stop cooking; drain thoroughly and add to a large bowl. Cut the kernels from the corn cob and add to the beans; discard the cob or save for making Vegetable Broth. 

Whirl together all the dressing ingredients using a blender; taste and adjust any of the ingredients until just right.

Combine the rest of  the salad ingredients with the corn and beans in the bowl.

Pour enough of  the dressing to moisten the salad well. Add more dressing as needed, salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. 

Cover and refrigerate for about an hour or two for the flavors to meld. Many Bean Salad maybe prepared ahead; it will keep quite well for a week in the refrigerator.

Serve garnished with more fresh herbs sprigs.


Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Mirchi Ka Salan (Green Chile Curry In Tamarind, Peanut, & Coconut Sauce)

Mirchi Ka Salan (Green Chile Curry In Tamarind, Peanut, & Coconut Sauce) is a wonderfully fragrant, rich, and nutty curry with Chiles for vegetables! We love this Hyderabadi recipe which can be mild or spicy hot depending on the choice of the chiles. It is worth making a big batch for the week; as the chiles soak in the flavorful sauce, they get more delectable.


I generally like to use Shishito chiles which are usually mild; when a spicy dish is needed, jalapeño chiles  (cored or left whole) may be used.

Garam Masala maybe homemade or purchased.

4-6 Servings


4 tbsp Peanuts
1 pinch Fenugreek seeds (about 6-7 seeds )
3 tbsp Sesame seeds 
1 tsp Poppy seeds (optional)
2 tbsp dry Coconut 
1-2 cloves Garlic
½ - 1 inch Ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
½ cup water, as needed to blend

1 tsp Tamarind concentrate + ½ cup Warm Water
2 tsp Oil, divided
12 mild/hot Green Chiles with stems
½ tsp Brown/Black Mustard seeds
½ tsp Cumin seeds
1 stem fresh Curry Leaves, cut into a fine chiffonade
½ medium sized Onion, finely chopped
½ tsp Turmeric
½ tsp Kashmiri Chile powder
salt to taste
½-1 tsp Jaggery/Brown Sugar, optional
2 cups Water, use as needed
½ tsp Garam Masala
3-4 tbsp Cilantro/Coriander, finely chopped


Prepare Masala:

Dry roast peanuts until lightly toasted and browned; tip onto a plat and let cool. Roast separately the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, fenugreek seeds and coconut each for a few minutes until fragrant and add to the peanuts. Let cool completely.

Transfer peanut mixture to blender carafe along with the ginger and garlic, and blend to smooth paste adding a little water as needed. Reserve until needed.

Prepare Salan:

Add the tamarind paste to the warm water and let it dissolve. Reserve.

Green Chiles: Heat a kadai/pan, add 1 tsp of the oil and sauté the green chiles with a pinch of salt until softened; remove to a plate and reserve. Core the green chiles especially if using hot chiles. Making a slit on the side and using a small spoon to remove the core may help keep the stems intact.

Add the remaining oil to the same pan, add mustard seeds and cumin and let them sizzle for a few seconds; when mustard seeds pop, add curry leaves, onions and a pinch of salt and cook until soft over low-medium heat and beginning to color. Sprinkle a bit of water as needed to keep from scorching or burning.

Tip in the prepared masala paste, tamarind water, jaggery and salt along with turmeric and chile powder. Add about 1 cup of water to the blender carafe, swirl to gather all of the masala, and add to the pan.

Mix well and add up to 1 more cup of water if the salan is too thick, cover and simmer for 30 minutes over low-medium heat.

Add the fried chiles to the salan, sprinkle the garam masala on top, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Stir in cilantro/coriander, and let rest for 10 minutes. Mix well, taste, and add salt if needed.

Serve mirchi ka salan hot or warm with rice dishes like a biryanipulav or other grains, roti, naan,  Idli, Dosa, etc.


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Cauliflower Yogurt Rice (Grain-Free "Yogurt Rice")

Cauliflower "Yogurt" Rice (Grain-Free "Yogurt Rice") is a delicious alternative to the traditional Yogurt Rice using finely chopped (aka riced) cauliflower instead of rice. Naturally gluten and dairy free, this is a delectable recipe that is easy for family meals or potlucks.

"Yogurt" Rice is usually served with Indian mango, lime/lemon, or other pickles; it maybe accompanied by your favorite curries and Lemon/Lime Rice or Tamarind Rice. To live for!!

2 Servings


4 cups Cauliflower, riced (finely chopped or coarsely grated)
1 tsp Oil (optional)
1/2 tsp Brown Mustard seeds
1 hot Green Chile, whole or cored and minced
1 small pinch Asafoetida
1 stalk Fresh Curry Leaves, finely sliced
Sea Salt to taste
2 cups Non-Dairy Yogurt

Toppings and Garnishes:
1/4 cup Roasted Cashews
Pomegranate Arils
Ripe Mango, diced
Carrots, shredded
Fresh Cilantro, chopped


Heat a large skillet and add the oil if using, mustard seeds, chana and urad dal, along with the red chile. Cook stirring over low-medim heat until mustard seeds pop.

Add asafoetida, curry leaves and the cauliflower rice; mix well.

Sprinkle a pinch of salt and cook until the cauliflower is heated through and just tender. Turn off the heat and let cool completely.

Mix with the yogurt and fold with a spatula to mix gently but thoroughly.

Set aside covered for about 5 minutes for the flavors to meld. Taste and adjust seasonings before serving.

Serve at room temperature or cool garnished with your favorite toppings and accompaniments. Delicious!


Monday, September 9, 2019

Kariveppilai Kuzhambu (Curry Leaf Sauce W/Tamaraind)

Tangy/spicy Kariveppilai Kuzhambu is delicious with the aroma of fresh curry leaves which are the stars rather than a garnish or an afterthought! It is wonderful with rice and simple veggie dishes especially after enjoying rich festival fare. Curry leaves (kariveppilai) are considered medicinal and healthful so it is often prepared for women after childbirth and convalescents.

Kariveppilai Kuzhambu is nicely spicy but not necessarily hot even though there are red chiles and black pepper in the line up; they add flavor and a nice kick. You can increase them if a hotter sauce is required.

I have used tamarind CONCENTRATE here; if using regular tamarind paste, more maybe needed. If using dried tamarind, use a lime-sized ball (about 2 Tablespoons) and soak in 1/2 cup of warm water for about 10 minutes, knead well, and strain the juices. Add 1/4 cup water to the pulp and knead again. Squeeze out the pulp, fibers, and seeds and discard the solids; add the juices to the first batch.  


Toast together:
1/2 tsp Oil
1 Tbsp Urad Dal
2 dried Red chilies
1/2 tsp whole Peppercorns
1 large bunch fresh Curry Leaves
1 pinch Asafetida (Hing)

1 small marble sized lump Jaggery
2 tsp Tamarind Concentrate + 1/2 c Water
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp Turmeric

1 tsp Oil
1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 stem fresh Curry Leaves


Heat the 1/2 teaspoon oil in a small skillet or kadai and toast the urad dal, red chiles, and peppercorns until the dal begins to color. Stir in the curry leaves and keep stirring and toasting until the leaves are crispy. Remove from heat and stir in the asafetida (hing). Pour onto a plate and let cool. When cool, grind into a smooth paste with just enough water to make blending possible using a blender.

In a kadai or pan heat the oil and add mustard seeds. When they dance and pop, add the curry leaves carefully and stir.

Pour in the tamarind water mixture and bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Stir in the ground paste; add a couple of tablespoons of water to the blender jar to gather any remaining spice paste and add to the pan.

Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes.

Serve hot or warm with freshly cooked hot rice accompanied by simple veggie dishes like cabbage or green beans thoran and fried or roasted papadams.


Sunday, September 8, 2019

Veggie Sloppy Joe Indian Style - Quick Pav Bhaji

Veggie Sloppy Joe aka Quick Pav Bhaji is a melange of vegetables that may be mashed well or left  a bit chunky. It is as nutritious as it is delicious.

Traditionally Pav Bhaji is served over toasted and butter-slathered soft buns specially made for this dish; you may use any buns, bread slices, flat breads, pita, or tortillas.

Pav Bhaji Masala is readily available in Indian Markets. If Pav Bhaji masala is not handy, no worries. Here's the recipe for it.  

Pav Bhaji Masala/Spice Mix:

1 Tbsp Coriander seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Fennel seeds
1" piece Cinnamon stick
1 black Cardamom, use seeds only
1 tsp Black Pepper
3 Cloves
1dry Red Chile
1 tsp Aamchoor (Dry Mango Powder)

Combine and grind the above spices to a fine powder. If you like, the spices except the Dry Mango Powder maybe very lightly toasted first, cooled, and then ground. Store in a small clean airtight jar.

Veggie Sloppy Joe/Pav Bhaji:

1 Onion, peeled and chopped fine
2-4 tsp Ginger, minced
1 Green Chile, minced
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1 Tbsp Pav Bhaji Masala (spice mix)
1 largeTomato, chopped
1 large Potato, cut into small cubes
1 Carrot, diced small
1/4 small Cauliflower, small florets
Handful of Green Beans, thinly sliced
1 Bell Pepper, finely chopped
1 cup Peas, fresh or frozen
1-2 pinches Black Salt (optional)
Salt to taste
1/4 cup Fresh Cilantro, finely chopped

To Serve:
Gluten free or Regular Buns/Bread, toasted
Vegan Butter
Chopped Red Onions
Chopped fresh Cilantro
Lemon/Lime wedges 
Chaat Masala


Cook the onion, ginger, and green chile with the turmeric and a pinch of salt in a large pan with cover over medium heat; sprinkle water as needed to keep the veggies from drying out or scorching.

Stir in the spice mix and tomoato and cook until the tomato softens - about 2-3 minutes.

Add potatoes, carrots and cauliflower with about 1/4 cup of water, black salt if using, and a couple of generous pinches of salt. Cook for about 10 minutes stirring occassionally adding sprinkles of water if needed.

Stir in the bell pepper, green beans and peas. Cook for about 7-8 minutes or until veggies reach desired tenderness.

Mash the veggies with a potato masher or the back of the spoon until coarsely mashed. 

Taste and adjust the seasonings. Stir in the cilantro.

Serve hot over freshly toasted and buttered buns or toast. Pass bowls of onions, cilantro, lemon/lime wedges and chaat masala etc. for topping.


Saturday, September 7, 2019

Casamiento (Central & South American Rice & Black Beans)

Casamiento (Rice and Black Beans) is another delicious rice and bean dish that is satisfying and nutritious which is naturally gluten-free. It is often served for breakfast in El Salvadore, Honduras, and neighboring countries in Central and South America for a warming, filling and  rib-sticking fare. Sometimes Casamiento is prepared with red beans also. For an authentic breakfast or brunch, serve with sautéed ripe plantains and a dollop of cashew cream.

Casamiento With Corn Salad w/Lime-Maple Dressing
Rice and bean dishes are popular in most cultures; there are countless types and variations on this idea using various types of  beans. While most cuisines have their own special rice and bean recipe, in India there are many as the various regions have their very own such as Pongal, Bisi Bela Rice, Pulagam, Kichdi, etc.

Typically, Casamiento (marriage in Spanish) is prepared with leftover rice and beans, a marriage that is heavenly for the tastebuds! But there is no reason why one has to wait for leftovers; prepare rice and beans specifically for Casamiento and use the leftovers for other dishes.

Use the whole chile including the core for a spicy dish. Beans, rice, and Casamiento freeze well for up to 3 months.

6 Servings


2 cups cooked Black Beans with their cooking broth
2 cups cooked  Brown/White Rice
1/2 small Onion, finely chopped
1 Jalapeño or Serrano Chile, cored and minced
1 Clove Garlic, mashed
1-2 Tbsp Mexican Seasoning Mix
Salt to taste
2-4 Tbsp fresh Cilantro, chopped fine

Optional Toppings/Sides To Serve:
Avocado Slices
Cilantro leaves
Corn Salad  w/Lime OR Corn Salad With Hatch Chile
sautéed Plantains
Cashew Cream


Combine onion, chile and garlic in a large pan with a pinch of salt; cook covered with a sprinkle of water if necessary until the veggies are softened, about 4-5 minutes.

Stir in the seasoning mix, beans and rice adding enough of the bean broth/cooking liquid to keep the dish moist.

Simmer stirring occassionally until heated through. Taste and add more seasonings, salt, etc to taste. Stir in the cilantro.

Serve hot with your favorite toppings and sides.


Rice Noodles With Assorted Vegetables (Vegetable Sevai)

Rice Noodles With Assorted Vegetables (Vegetable Sevai/Rice Noodles) is a pretty easy and delicious Gluten Free recipe perfect for brunch, lunch or dinner  as well as a teatime treat too. Traditionally, rice noodles were prepared fresh but the packaged noodles make it so much easier and quicker.

The dish is South Indian Style when served with the arachu kalakki or chutneys; it has Chinese flavors when served with the chile-garlic sauces!


1. Allow the rice noodles to cool a bit; cool noodles will help prevent stickiness.

2. The vegetables maybe varied according to preference or availability. Frozen mixed veggies maybe another option.

2 Servings


4-5 oz (120 g) Rice Noodles (dry)
1/2 tsp Brown Mustard Seeds
1 Tbsp Chana Dal
1 Tbsp Urad Dal
1 stem fresh Curry Leaves
3-4 Green Onions/1 small Onion
1 Hot Pepper (Serrano/Jalapeno) deseeded and minced
1 Tbsp fresh Ginger, minced or finely grated
1 clove Garlic, minced (optional)
Salt to taste
1 Handful Green Beans, blanched, cut into small pieces
1 small Bell Pepper OR 7-8 Mini Peppers (all colors), slivered
1 Wedge Cabbage, thinly sliced
1 handful Peapods (Snow Peas/Sugarsnaps), ends trimmed, slivered
1 Carrot, cut in fine matchsticks or corasely shredded
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1 fresh Lime, juiced
Coriander Leaves (Cilantro)

To Serve

Coriander Leaves (Cilantro) for garnishing
Handful of roasted Cashews/Peanuts for garnishing 


Soften/cook the rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Heat a wok/skillet and add the mustard and the dals. Cook green onions, ginger and garlic with a pinch of salt in a wok/pan/skillet for about 2-3 minutes. 

Add cabbage, peapods, and carrots and cook covered until just tender for another minute or two.

Stir in the rice noodles, heat through. If the noodles and veggies are dry, sprinkle a tablespoon or so of water while heating. Turn off heat, cover and let rest for 5 minutes. 

Stir in lime juice to taste and the coriander leaves.

Serve hot/warm, or at room temperature garnished with the nuts and cilantro. Pass the arachu kalakki, chutneys, or the Chile Sauces.


Friday, September 6, 2019

Chadachadayam (Rice Pudding/Payasam With Coconut Milk)

I wanted to post something fabulous for the 601st recipe! Can't believe they have added up! Chadachadayam (Rice Pudding/Payasam), a favorite payasam or pudding popular in Kerala, is not only vegan, but also gluten free. It is very similar to Pal Payasam, but differs in taste because of the additions of Jaggery and Coconut Milk.

Chadachadayam (Rice Pudding/Payasam) aka Sadasadayam or Idichu Pizhinja Payasam is a fabulous dessert and a favorite in Kerala. It is often called Idichu Pizhinja Payasam since the milk is squeezed (pizhinja) from pounded(idichu) fresh coconut and added to the payasam. But for ease of preparation, I have used canned coconut milk here.

Variations: Alternately, cook the soaked rice in a pressure cooker. Then proceed as in the recipe above. Cashews pieces and raisins  and/or chopped almonds and pistachios may be added as a garnish.

Although traditionally made with rice grains, sometimes I like to prepare it with toasted Aval aka Poha which is Rice flakes/Meal. Aval is quick and easy to cook and lends a different texture and taste. Follow the same procedure as for rice but add the toasted aval directly to the water and cook.

4-6 Servings


1/4 - 1/3 cup Rice
1 can Coconut Milk
1 cup Jaggery
2-4 Cardamom
1 tiny pinch Saffron

Ripe Banana slices
Toasted Coconut Shreds
Toasted Almond slices


Rinse the rice and soak it in fresh water for one hour. Drain and place in a large pan with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. 

While the rice is cooking, crush the cardamom pods slightly, gather the seeds and discard shells. Grind the cardamom seeds and saffron finely using a mortar and pestle. A couple of pinches of sugar will make grinding easier.

Mix half the coconut milk with a cup of water and add to the rice, bring back to a boil, reduce heat and simmer stirring occasionally until the rice is very soft and creamy. Mash well but not into a smooth paste.

Stir in the sugar, the rest of the milk and bring it to a boil. Turn off the heat. Stir in the ground cardamom and saffron.

Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.

Serve hot, warm or cool as you wish. Garnish individual servings with banana slices, coconut, and nuts as desired. 


Thursday, September 5, 2019

Grilled Corn Salad With Smokey Hatch Chiles

Another fantastic corn salad utilizing the bounty of summer produce! Naturally gluten free, we simply adore Grilled Corn Salad With Smokey Hatch Chiles; again, a great use of leftover grilled corn after a barbecue just like the Grilled Corn Salad With Maple Dressing! If you don't have leftover grilled corn, grill fresh ones or use pan toasted fresh or frozen corn kernels.

Grilled Corn Salad With Smokey Hatch Chiles
Although Corn Salad With Smokey Hatch Chiles is a fabulous stand alone as well as a side salad, it is fabulous with dishes like Frijoles, Black Beans, Cilantro Lime Rice, etc.  When you make a large batch of these recipes, they make many a lunch or dinner bowl for one or many effortlessly. Grilled Corn Salad is delicious served with warm corn tortillas or chips too.

Use your favorite type of tomatoes - cherry or regular - for this colorful, fresh tasting, and delicious salad.

4 Servings


3-4 ears grilled Corn, cooled
1 cup roasted and prepared Hatch Chiles
1 cup Cherry/Regular Tomatoes, halved, quartered or diced
1/2 small Red Onion, finely diced
1/4 cup Fresh Cilantro/Parsley, finely chopped
Salt and Freshly ground Pepper

1 clove Garlic, finely mashed 
1-2 large Limes, juiced
1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Salt and Freshly ground Pepper

Grilled Corn Salad ingredients

If using fresh corn, grill until slightly brown spots appear. Cool and cut kernels from the corn cobs carefully. If frozen corn is used, pan toast until a few are browned. Let cool. Add to a large bowl.

Add all the salad ingredients to the corn in the large bowl. Add only a pinch of salt and pepper as more will be added in the dressing.

Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.

Tip the dressing into the salad, mix and taste. Adjust salt, pepper, lime, maple syrup etc. 

Serve right away or chill until needed.

Grilled Corn Salad, Black Beans, Cilantro-Lime Rice

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Chile-Garlic Thokku/Chutney (Chile-Garlic Sauce With Soy Sauce)

Chile-Garlic Thokku/Chutney/Sauce is a condiment that you'll want to put on everything from french fries to fried rice. With lots of fragrant garlic and fiery chiles, you have to taste it to believe how good it is.

Chile-Garlic Thokku/Chutney/Sauce is a close cousin of Amma's Garlic Chutney and Chile Oil Sauce Without Borders!, a couple of family favorites!

Don't let the quantity scare you off! But the recipe maybe reduced to make a smaller quantity. The Chile-Garlic Thokku/Chutney/Sauce will last a long time in the fridge. This quantity works well for our family!


1. For those who would like a gluten-free sauce, use gluten-free soy sauce, tamari, shoyu, or coconut aminos.

2. If fresh chiles are unavailable, use ¼ - ½ cup Each of Red Chile flakes and ground hot Red Chiles (Indian ground Red Chiles) instead. Add  the chile after the garlic is golden and proceed according to the recipe.

3. Use a mild flavored oil like grape seed/peanut/safflower oil, or your favorite.

4. Chile-Garlic Thokku/Chutney/Sauce will last fresh for a few days at room temperature. It will last 3 months or more if kept in the refrigerator. Also, as with any preserves, pickles or chutneys, use a clean dry spoon to take out the required amount. DO NOT return unsused portion back to the original jar but keep it separate and use it up.

About 2½ cups


1 lb fresh hot Red chiles, stems removed (see note (2) above)
2 teaspoons Salt (or to taste)
2 bulbs/heads of Garlic, individual cloves peeled and trimmed
¼ - ½ cup Oil  
2-3 tablespoons Soy Sauce


Start heating the oil in a small saucepan over low heat.

Mince the garlic. I use a food processor but a garlic press or a good knife will work just fine. Scrape the garlic into the warm oil and mix well. Let the garlic cook slowly while the chiles are prepared.

No need to rinse out the bowl of the food processor if using. Place chiles into the bowl of the food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. If not using a food processor or a blender, chop finely and then use a mortar and pestle to mash it well. It should not be a smooth paste, but should have some texture left.

Stir and let cook gently until the garlic turns golden yellow in color but still kind of soft.  You can adjust the heat up or down to keep the garlic cooking slowly for about 20 minutes without browning.

When the garlic is ready, add the salt and chiles. Stir and cook gently for another 10 minutes until the thokku/sauce/chutney thickens. If using dried chile flakes and powder, cook for only about 4-5 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from heat.

Stir in the soy sauce and let cool. Taste and add more salt if needed.

Spoon into a clean jar with an airtight lid. Store in the fridge for 3 months or so. See note above for directions for storage.

Serve as a condiment with any meal or use to spice up recipes.