Spinach and Coconut Soup

For Day 3 of Week 4 of BM #49, check out this interesting bookmark of mine. We are totally sold on coconut milk based soups. This soup was no exception. 

The only issue I ran into when I made it was that the soup turned very spicy as the Thai chillies I got were extremely spicy. So on one side we were slurping on the soup with watering eyes while on the other side the kids were giving us weird looks.

Recipe Source here
Ingredients - 

Coconut Milk 1 3/4 cups (I used store bought low cal version)
Spinach, finely chopped 1 cup
Salt as needed
Wheat Flour 1 Tbsp + Water 4 Tbsp (if needed)
Thai Green Curry Paste - 
Coriander seeds 3/4 tsp
Cumin seeds 1/4 tsp
Peppercorns 3-4
Ginger 1 inch
Garlic 1-2 cloves
Green Chillies 3-4 [Reduce to 1]
Coriander stems and leaves chopped 3 Tbsp
Red onions chopped 2 Tbsp
Coconut milk 3 Tbsp

Thai Green Curry Paste

Method Of Preparation -

Blend the ingredients for the curry paste and set aside.

Add the curry paste in a heated sauce pan. 

Add a few tablespoons of the coconut milk and whisk it into a thin paste.

Stir in the remaining coconut milk, and the chopped spinach.

Sprinkle salt as needed.

Bring the soup to the boil before putting on the lid and turning the heat down, so that the soup cooks at a gentle simmer for 10 minutes. 

If the soup looks a little runny, mix flour in water and blend into the soup.

Serve hot for a nutritious soup.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 49

Preparation Time 30 min
Serves 3-4

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Posted by Harini R on Thursday, February 26, 2015


For Day 2 week 4 of BM #49, here is a healthy recipe for Granola. I use granola in parfait, as a topping in my oatmeal/Greek Yogurt or just as a snack to curb my late afternoon cravings.

I felt that the butter can be further reduced and may be more honey can be added to compensate. I had earlier tried making Microwave Granola and it was equally tempting and interesting.

Recipe idea from here
Ingredients - 

Rolled Old fashioned Oats 3 1/2 cups
Sun Flower Seeds 4 Tbsp
Flax seeds 2 Tbsp
Mixed Nuts chopped 3 cups (I used Cashews, Walnuts and Almonds)
Raisins 1/2 cup
Dried sweetened cranberry 1/2 cup
(Add any other dried fruit of your choice like apricot, figs, dates etc.)
Cinnamon powder 2 tsp
Nutmeg Powder 1 tsp

Ginger Powder 1 tsp
Agave Nectar (Or Honey) 1/2 cup
Butter 5 Tbsp
Salt 1/4 tsp
Vanilla essence 1 tsp (Optional - I didn't use it)

Method Of Preparation -

In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients except Honey, butter and vanilla essence. Mix well and set aside.

Melt the butter and mix the honey until they blend well.

Preheat the oven to 275 °F. Get 2 big baking trays ready with parchment paper lined.

Mix the honey-butter mixture into the oats blend. Make sure the honey-butter is coated onto all the ingredients evenly.

Divide the mixture onto the parchment paper lined baking trays  spreading them in a single layer. It is okay even if they clump up a little.

Bake them for about 45-50 minutes. Toss them in between for even browning. Leave them in the oven after the oven is switched off.

After about an hour or so, remove from the oven and let it cool.

Store in air tight containers and use as per need.

Preparation Time 10 Min + Baking time 45 min + Cooling time 1 hour
Makes 6-7 cups

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Posted by Harini R on Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Mirchi Ka Salan - 2

For Week 4 of BM #49, Here are recipes from my bookmarks.
Today's recipe is from my friend, Sreedevi, who gave us a taste of this delightful side dish at a party. 

I found that the taste, color and ingredients are slightly different from how I make it. So I promptly noted down her method and tried it at home with very good results. It made a delightful accompaniment to Pulao. 

Ingredients - 

*Chillies/Peppers (The not so hot variety) 1/4 lb
Onion 1 medium
Green chillies 1-2 (optional)
Ginger-Garlic Paste 1 tsp
Cloves 3-4
Cardamom (Elaichi) 1-2
Cinnamon 1 inch
Dhania Powder 1 tsp
Red Chilli Powder 1/4 tsp (Optional)
Salt as per taste
**Yogurt/Curds 1/2 cup
Coriander leaves few sprigs for garnish
Cooking Oil 3 Tbsp
For the Gravy - 
Peanuts, roasted handful
Coconut powder 4 Tbsp
Sesame seeds (til/nuvvulu) 2 Tbsp

*I used the Hot Banana Peppers, deseeded and sliced them into 2 inch pieces.
** I added sour curds. If fresh curds are used, please add a spoon of thick tamarind paste.

Mirchi Ka Salan - 2

Method Of Preparation -

In a heated pan, add oil and saute the pepper slices until they are golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, remove onto paper towels to drain excess oil.

In the remaining oil, add the cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, green chillies, onion, ginger-garlic paste. Sprinkle a little salt and saute until the onions turn translucent.

Remove from heat. Upon cooling, blend the sauteed mixture into a smooth paste.

Heat the pan again and let the paste simmer and the oil ooze out. Add Dhania powder, Salt, Red Chili powder and water to make the gravy a little on the runnier side.

Add the yogurt and the sauteed peppers, let it cook for a few minutes and remove.

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with pulao or biryani of your choice. It goes well with plain steamed rice as well.

Preparation Time 30 min 
Serves 5-6

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Vegetable Cracked Wheat

For Day 3, Week 3 of BM #49, check out this super easy and nutritious Upma with cracked wheat. It can serve as a filling breakfast or as dinner. Add whatever vegetables are available at home, add whatever nuts preferred to suit your taste. A filling meal is ready in 20 min.
Ingredients - 

Cracked Wheat 1 cup
Water 2 cups
Onions, chopped 1/2 cup
Carrots, diced 1/2 cup
Beans, chopped 1/4 cup
Peas, shelled 3 Tbsp
Ginger, grated (Optional) 1 tsp
Green Chillies, chopped 2-3
Salt as needed
Seasoning (Oil 1 Tbsp, Chana Dal 1 tsp, Urad Dal 1 tsp, Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp, Curry leaves few)

Lemon Juice as needed

Method Of Preparation -

In a heated kadai/wok, add oil and add the seasoning. After the mustard seeds pop, saute the onions until they are golden brown. Add ginger if using.

Add the chopped vegetables, green chillies and saute for a couple minutes. Add water and let it come to a rolling boil.

Add the cracked wheat and mix well. Sprinkle salt and cover.

Reduce the heat and let the cracked wheat cook. Remove the lid after 10-15 min minutes and squeeze in the lemon juice. Serve hot.


Wash the cracked wheat and put it in a pressure cooker. Add in the ginger, salt, green chillies, chopped vegetables.

Add in water, cover and let it cook for about 12-15 minutes or one to two hisses.

Prepare the seasoning separately while the cooker cools down.

After the cooker cools down, squeeze in the lemon juice. Mix in the prepared seasoning and serve hot.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 49.

Sending to the 'Come Join us for Breakfast' event happening at Srivalli's space. 

Preparation Time 20 min
Serves 2

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Posted by Harini R on Thursday, February 19, 2015

Overnight Oats

Looking for a quick and protein rich breakfast which is easy to put together? Look no further. Check out this 'on-the-go' breakfast or snack. It is also a good idea for this to be sent to school for the kids. Works excellent for working moms, bachelors students etc. And the best part is, it can be prepared the previous night and it is ready for breakfast the next morning.

I found that this is a very flexible breakfast and the combinations are endless. I shall give my favorite combos.

So for Day 2 Week 3 of BM #49, check it out..

Overnight Oats

Recipe Inspiration from here
Ingredients - 

Rolled Oats 1/2 cup
Greek Yogurt or Plain Yogurt 3 Tbsp
Milk 1/2 cup
Cinnamon Powder 2 pinches
Banana, chopped about 1/2 cup
Raisins 1 Tbsp
Granola 2 Tbsp or Nuts of your choice
Fresh Fruit, chopped 2 Tbsp (Apples, Peaches, Berries, Mango, Pear, Grapes)
Honey or sweetener 1/2 tsp (optional)
Flax Seeds / Chia Seeds 1 tsp (Optional)
Shredded Coconut, Toasted  1 tsp (optional)

Overnight Oats

Method Of Preparation -

In a 'to-go' container, add the oats, yogurt, milk, cinnamon, chopped banana, raisins. Mix well, cover and refrigerate.

The following morning, just before having breakfast, top it with any choice of fresh fruit and don't forget to add granola or nuts of your choice for a crunchy bite.

Mix and breakfast is ready!!

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 48.

Sending to the 'Come Join us for Breakfast' event happening at Srivalli's space. 

Preparation Time 5 min Resting time about 6-7 hours
Serves 1

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Raw Mango Dal

I have a lot of bachelor friends/cousins and some students living in groups of 3 or 4 who need quick and easy to make nutritious meals either for themselves or for their entire group. 

When I come across them or when they message me for ideas, I hear from them how they crave for certain dish which they used to eat etc. For such people and others, I shall try to showcase some easy to make dishes this week as part of BM #49. 

Come spring/summer and there would be an abundance of mangoes (in India). Raw mangoes with their tartness captivate our hearts in numerous ways, right? Eat raw with some sprinkles of masala or make different pickles or make dal out of it; It tastes just as divine in either of the dishes. 

Luckily for us, raw mangoes are available all through the year and it sure is a treat to eat mango dal with steaming hot rice and ghee. Don't you all agree? Here is how we prepare mango dal at home.

Ingredients - 

Raw Mango peeled and chopped 1 1/2 to 2 cups
Toor Dal (Kandi Pappu) 1 cup
Salt as per taste (approximately 1 1/2 tsp)
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Roasted Methi Powder just a pinch (Optional)
Sugar 1/2 tsp (Optional)
Green Chillies 6-7 (or as per taste) [My mom uses red chilli powder]
Seasoning (Oil 2 tsp, Mustard seeds 1 tsp, Urad dal 1 tsp, Jeera (Cumin seeds) 1 tsp, Hing couple pinches, 1 Dried Red Chilli, Curry Leaves a few)

Raw Mango Dal
A typical meal at home - Easy to make 

Method Of Preparation - 

Boil Toor dal in a pressure cooker.

After the cooker cools down, heat a sauce pan and add oil and the seasoning ingredients. 

Once the mustard seeds splutter and urad dal is brown add the chopped mango and chopped green chillies. Cover and let the mango pieces cook.

Add boiled toor dal, roasted methi powder, sugar, turmeric and salt.

Let the dal simmer for couple of minutes and serve over hot rice and ghee.

Serves Approx 4 Adults

Preparation Time 25 min

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Posted by Harini on Tuesday, February 17, 2015


For Day 3, Week 2 of BM #49, here is the classic Punjabi combo of Chole-Bhature. Since I have posted various versions of Chole/Chana Masala here, here and here, I shall showcase the making of Bhature.

I know a lot of my cousins/friends who order Chole-Bhature when they eat out. There are people who feel that making Bhature at home is a chore and so rely on eating out if the craving sets in.

I came to understand that it is a typical weekend brunch in many Punjabi homes. So we also tried this for a weekend brunch and enjoyed the experience.

Ingredients - 

Maida / All Purpose Flour 3 cups
Sooji/Semolina/Bombay Rava 1/4 cup
Baking Powder 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda a pinch
Salt 1 tsp
Sugar 2 tsp
Yogurt/Curds 1 cup
Water as needed
Vegetable Oil 2 tsp
Oil For Deep Frying


Method Of Preparation -

In a mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda.

Add in the salt and sugar. Mix in the yogurt and knead into a soft dough adding as much water as needed. Dab about 2 teaspoons of oil onto the dough. Cover and set aside for about 2-3 hours in a warm place.

Pinch lemon sized portions of the dough and knead into soft balls. Cover and start working on one at a time.

Heat oil in a kadai/wok.

Pat some oil on each portion and carefully roll them into thin discs about 4-5 inches in diameter.

Gently slide the flattened disc into the hot oil. Using a perforated ladle, put light pressure on the frying disc until it puffs out. Flip onto the other side and gently apply pressure so it puffs out fully. 

Remove onto paper towels to drain excess oil.

Continue with the rest of the dough.

Serve with Chole, raw onions and Buttermilk or a filling brunch/lunch/dinner.

Preparation Time 10 min + Resting time 2 hrs + 40 min
Makes 15-18

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Posted by Harini R on Thursday, February 12, 2015

Bisi Bele Bath

For Day 2 Week 2 of BM #49, here is a classic weekend brunch at my parent's place. I have enjoyed many weekends in my childhood slurping on Besi Bele Bath (BBB) with freshly made ghee and a variety of papads/Vadiyams.

I very rarely make this at home as it is not as popular with my kids and husband. But I made this when we invited our friends over on a weekend. Apparently BBB happens to be one of their favorite South Indian food. I had forgotten to set aside a small portion for the pictures which resulted in very little leftover for the pictures. :) I had made seasoned curd rice (Daddhojanam) as well. 

Ingredients - 

Rice 1 1/2 cups
Toor Dal 3/4 cup
Assorted Vegetables cubed 3 cups
[Carrot, Potatoes, Bell Pepper, Drumstick, Tomatoes, Green Beans are the popular choices]
Salt as needed
Tamarind Extract as needed
Green Chilies as needed
Ghee for Seasoning and garnish as needed
Coriander leaves, finely chopped 
Seasoning (Ghee, Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp, Chana Dal 1 tsp, Urad Dal 1 tsp, Asafoetida couple pinches, Curry leaves few, Red Chillies 2)
For the Masala -
Dhaniya/Coriander Seeds 2 tsp
Menthi / Fenugreek Seeds 3/4 tsp
Coconut Powder 2 tsp or more
Dried Red Chilies 4-5 (or as needed)
Urad Dal 2 tsp
Chana Dal 2 tsp
Cloves 3-4 
Jeera/Cumin Seeds 1 tsp
Cinnamon about 1 inch piece
Dagad Phool / Rathi Puvvu about a generous pinch

Method Of Preparation -

Wash the rice, toor dal and vegetables. In a pressure cooker add enough water (typically for the quantity mentioned I would add 5-6 cups water) and cook for 15-20 minutes or 2 hisses.

Meanwhile roast all the ingredients listed under 'For the Masala' and grind into a fine powder.

In a separate wok/kadai, heat ghee and the seasoning ingredients. After the mustard seeds pop and the dals are golden brown, saute the green chilies. Add the cooked dal-rice mixture and mix well.

Sprinkle salt, the masala powder made in step 2 (add 2 tsp of the powder and more if needed), tamarind extract. Add sufficient water to make the mixture a little runny. Taste and adjust the flavors.

Serve hot with some ghee and papads. [We always felt that BBB had a unique taste after it cools down :)]

Preparation Time 45 min
Serves 4

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Vegan Kung Pao

For Week 2 of BM #49, I have chosen to highlight some of our weekend brunches. As I have mentioned in some of my previous posts, my husband is a great fan of Continental cuisine. So for Day 1, I attempt to showcase this favorite of his.

I felt that there was a little too much of Soy Sauce. So the next time around, I shall definitely keep in mind to reduce the amount of Soy Sauce. Otherwise this is a keeper of a recipe. Also I have not used Rice Vinegar or other typical Chinese sauces. Some other Asian vegetables like water chestnuts, baby corn can be used as well.

Recipe adapted from here
Ingredients - 

Vegetable Oil 2 Tbsp
Garlic, grated 1 tsp
Ginger, grated 1/2 tsp
Spring Onions, white portion finely chopped 2 Tbsp
Red, Orange, Green Bell peppers, cubed as needed
Green Beans, stringed and chopped 1/2 cup
Celery, chopped 3/4 cup
Snow Peas 3/4 cup
Cornstarch 2 tsp mixed in 1 Tbsp of water
Peanuts, roasted 1/2 cup
Tofu, firm, cubed from 1 package
For Tofu Marinade - 
Soy Sauce 2 Tbsp
Rice Vinegar 1 Tbsp (I used Apple Cider Vinegar)
Cornstarch 2 tsp
Brown Sugar 1 tsp
For Sweet-Chili Sauce - 
Crushed Red Pepper 2 tsp
Sea Salt 1/8 tsp
Brown Sugar 1 tsp
Rice Vinegar 1 Tbsp (I used Apple Cider Vinegar)
Garlic, grated 1 tsp
For Kung Pao Sauce - 
Vegetable Broth 1/4 cup
Rice Vinegar 1 Tbsp (I used Apple Cider Vinegar)
Molasses 1 tsp (I cheated used Honey instead)
Soy Sauce 2 Tbsp
Peanut Butter, smooth 2 tsp
Sesame Oil 2 tsp
Brown Sugar 1 tsp

Vegan Kung Pao

Method Of Preparation -

Mix all the ingredients listed under Tofu Marinade. Marinate the tofu making sure all the tofu cubes are coated with the marinade. Set aside for 10-15 min

Meanwhile, prepare the sweet chili sauce and the kung pao sauce and set aside.

In a non stick wok, add vegetable oil and saute the marinated tofu until all sides of tofu cubes are evenly browned. Remove the sauteed tofu onto paper towels to drain excess oil.

In the remaining oil, add the grated ginger, garlic and the chopped spring onions. Saute for a few seconds.

Add in the chopped vegetables and stir fry for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender but crisp.

Transfer the sauteed tofu back into the wok. Pour in all the sauces. Let the sauces simmer.

Add in the roasted peanuts and the cornstarch solution. Mix carefully until the sauce thickens.

Remove from heat. Serve it hot on a bed of steamed rice. 

Garnish with chopped greens of spring onions and more crushed red pepper for a spicy meal.

Preparation Time 45 min to 1 hr
Serves 3

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Eggless Pumpkin Bread Pudding

With more than a foot of snow on the ground and bone chilling temperatures, we were craving for something hot and cold and so this pudding happened. 

The cinnamony pumpkin flavored bread pudding with some mango ice cream was just the thing to warm us up. I found that this pudding was easy to put together and easy to win hearts as well.
Check it out for Day 3, week 1 of BM# 49.

Eggless Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Recipe adapted from here
Ingredients - 

Bread, toasted and cubed from about 8-10 slices
Milk 1 cup
Oil/ Butter 1 Tbsp
Brown Sugar 1/4 cup
Maple Syrup/Honey 1/4 cup
Cashews handful
Pumpkin Puree 1 cup
Cornstarch/ Custard Powder 3 Tbsp
Cinnamon Powder 1 tsp
Allspice Powder 1/4 tsp
Nutmeg Powder 1/4 tsp
Ginger Powder 1/4 tsp
Cloves Powder 1/4 tsp
Sea Salt 1/4 tsp

Eggless Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Method Of Preparation -

Prepare a loaf pan or individual oven safe ramekins by greasing them.

Arrange half of the cubed bread in the prepared pans and set aside. Make sure the bread cubes make a thin layer in the pan.

In a high speed blender add the remaining ingredients (except the bread) and blend into a fine puree.

Soak the remaining bread cubes for about 5-10 minutes.

After all the puree is almost soaked up, transfer the soaked up bread cubes onto the loaf pan and/or the individual ramekins.

Preheat the oven to 350 °F.

Bake them for about 20-25 min until the tops are cooked and are springy upon touch.

Let it cool for 5-10 min. Run a knife along the edges, slice and serve warm with ice cream. Also drizzle some honey.

Preparation Time 15 min + Baking Time 25 min + Cooling time 10 min
Makes 4 ramekins + 6 X2.5 loaf pan

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Vegan Coconut-Pumpkin Soup

This is one soup recipe I cannot forget as I felt this is one of the most flavorful soups I have ever tasted. My husband who is a great connoisseur of soups, apparently tasted this at work. So he recollected the ingredients and finally we figured out that it was pumpkin coconut soup. The whole 'brain storming' session was an interesting. In the end, I was happy to satisfy his palate and in the process got to taste an amazing soup.

Check it out for Day 2 Week 1 of BM #49 where Pumpkin is the star ingredient of my choice.

Vegan Coconut-Pumpkin Soup

Recipe Source here
Ingredients - 

Oil 1 Tbsp
Onion, finely chopped 1/2 cup
Ginger, grated 1/2 tsp
Carrot, peeled, diced 1 cup
Capsicum (I used Orange colored one), finely chopped 1/2 cup
Pumpkin, cubed, cooked and pureed 1 1/2 cups
Coconut Milk 2 cups (I used 4 Tbsp of coconut milk powder in 2 cups of warm water and whisked well)
Vegetable Broth 2 cups
Green Chilli paste as needed (I used about 2 chillies)
Sugar as needed
Salt as needed
Coriander leaves as needed for garnish

Vegan Coconut-Pumpkin Soup

Method Of Preparation -

In a heated pan, add oil and saute ginger and onion until onion is translucent. Add in the chopped carrot and capsicum. Add a few drops of water, cover and let the vegetables cook.

In a separate bowl, whisk in the pureed pumpkin, coconut milk, vegetable broth, green chilli paste and sugar.

Once the vegetables are tender, pour the pumpkin mixture into the pan and let the whole mixture cook through. 

Sprinkle salt, and adjust the flavors.

Remove from heat, garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

Preparation Time 15 min + Cooking time 15 min 
Serves 4

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Posted by Harini R on Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Vegan Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Biscotti

For Week 1 of BM #49, I have chosen to highlight 'Pumpkin' and so I would showcase three interesting recipes using pumpkin.

For Day 1, I have baked these Biscottis which were a delight to have as a snack with some milk/tea.

The day I baked these, I felt an after taste of Baking powder, but the next day they tasted better. But just in case, I would reduce the baking powder a little the next time.

Recipe adapted  from here
Ingredients - 

Brown Sugar 3/4 cup
*Pumpkin Puree 2/3 cup
Vegetable Oil 2 Tbsp
Almond Milk 1/4 cup (or as needed) 
White Whole Wheat Flour 2 cups
Baking Powder 2 tsp
Salt 1/4 tsp
Cinnamon Powder 1/2 tsp
Nutmeg Powder 1/4 tsp
Chocolate Chips as needed for topping

* I boiled a cup of pumpkin cubes and pureed it

Vegan Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Biscotti

Method Of Preparation -

Blend the pumpkin puree, brown sugar and oil and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, sieve the flour and baking powder. Add the salt, cinnamon powder and nutmeg powder.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Pour the pumpkin puree blend into the flour mixture and gently knead into a soft dough adding as much milk as needed.

Shape into a 6 inch long, 3 inch wide and 3/4 inch thick log and place it on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Vegan Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Biscotti - prep

Bake it for about 30 min. Remove and let it cool for about 15 min.

Slice the log into 1 inch biscotti slices. Place the cut side down on the same baking sheet and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the base of the biscottis are slightly brown.

Remove and let them cool on a wire rack where they will crisp up a little more.

Store in air tight containers and they will stay good for a few days.

Preparation Time 15 min + Cooling time 15 min + Baking time 45 min 
Makes 8-9

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