Sun-dried Tomato & Jalapeno Hummus

One of my favorite combinations is Sun-dried Tomato and Jalapeno: be it for bread or hummus. And of course you can’t find this in the grocery store. So I decided to make my own.



2/3 cup dry chickpeas
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
1-2 jalapenos
2-3 garlic cloves
3-4 tbsp olive oil
juice of one lemon
salt to taste
a few crushed peppers to sprinkle

Soak the chickpeas overnight or for 10 -12hours in twice the amount of water. Rinse and cover with 1.5 times water and steam in a pressure cooker. I typically use twice the amount of water, but this time decided to reduce the amount, so I don’t need to throw any left over water away. You can also cook the chickpeas stove top until the chickpeas soften. Remove and let cool.

To make hummus, add cooked chickpeas, sun dried tomato, jalapeno and garlic to a food processor. Add  the left over water from the the cooked chickpeas as needed and pulse till the ingredients are processed to a smooth paste.

Season with salt,  drizzle olive oil, lemon juice and pulse lightly.


Sprinkle some red crushed pepper (optional) and serve with some crackers or make some healthy wraps.

Quick Lunch Series: Bulghur Wheat Fried Rice


Quick Lunch Series…. Healthy and Refreshing. Enjoy!

Originally posted on Fly 'n Cook:

Bulghur Wheat is a nutritious, quick cooking, form of whole wheat.

Occasionally my mother or my aunt would replace rice with bulghur wheat.

While I have made Tabbouleh, and Upma with Bulghur Wheat many, many times, until I actually cooked it, I never realized, that bulghur wheat fried rice is not only possible, but extremely delicious!


1 cup bulghur wheat
1 tbsp oil
1/2 onion sliced
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup chopped green beans or use 1 cup mixed frozen vegetables
You can add assorted vegetables from peppers, potato, tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, and any other you desire!
1/2 tsp garam masala or as much as you desire
1 tsp chopped mint or cilantro
1 tsp cumin powder
1-2 cloves (optional)
1-2 garlic cloves
1 in ginger
1-2 jalapeno
touch of turmeric
salt to taste

In a large pan, add oil, turmeric, cumin seeds if desired and toast till…

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Tomato and Bean Plant of to a Good Start

It’s been a little over a week since I first planted the seeds for my Patio Garden. Each evening on returning home, I have eagerly checked them for signs of life. Tonight I wasn’t disappointed!


I saw tiny sprouts for tomatoes and beans. In fact, I noticed signs of growth in the bean plant the last 2-3 days.


While I wait for the other 6-7 plants to show signs of growth, I am excited to see two plants off to a good start!

Healthy & Refreshing Quinoa Dosa


This worked out so well, I need to try it again soon :-)

Originally posted on Fly 'n Cook:

Over the last few years, Quinoa has become one of my favorite grains. I have used it in making Upma, Pullihora, Biryani, Tomato Quinoa, Chipotle-style cilantro Quinoa rice, soups, salads,Tabbouleh and other quick to make healthy lunches for that office day meal.

qd3While week days tend to be too busy and I usually grab a greek yogurt or make a batch of oatmeal to last the week, come weekends I revert to a non-sweet breakfast item such as upma, dosa, or idli.

Over the years, I have refined these traditional south Indian breakfast items or tiffins as they are called, replacing white rice, or sooji with healthier options such as Amaranth, Quinoa and so on.

It has been a while since I made dosa, and as I started to soak the grains, I had this brain wave to replace rice with Quinoa…

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Quick Lunch Series: Greek Chickpea-Mango Pasta Salad


This is one of my favorite go-to recipes .. for a quick, refreshing office day lunch. Enjoy!

Originally posted on Fly 'n Cook:

I normally prefer to use dry beans in my cooking. But this requires plenty of lead time to plan, soak, and cook the beans before you can use them. For this reason, I do keep a few cans of organic beans around. This is especially useful when I am stumped for what to prepare for the next day office lunch. This one is adapted from here. I had no artichoke hearts, instead, I swapped in some mango. Also, I decided to use more chickpeas and less pasta.

photo 3

1 can garbanzo beans (aka Chickpeas)
1/2 cup whole wheat elbow pasta
1/2 mango chopped
1/2 cup black olives sliced
1/2 cup feta cheese
4-6 sun dried tomatoes sliced
1-2 tbsp sliced red onion (optional)
1 tsp dried oregano
a few red pepper flakes
salt and fresh ground pepper

Cook the pasta according to directions. Drain and set aside to cool.

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Patio Garden 2015

After dragging my feet the last 2-3 weeks, I finally planted some seeds last weekend. Last year, I had some success with peppers, beans and tomato.  Zucchini gave me a lot of blossoms but no fruit.

Right on cue, come spring, my orchid bloomed. Although my Amarayllis  for the first time failed to bloom :(


My herbs from last year are still intact — basil, curry leaf, rosemary and parsley.

This year I added cilantro and mint. I haven’t had too much luck with planting cilantro from seed so far. Last year, I got seedlings, but they never quite grew into full-fledged plants. And the moment I moved them outdoors, they became food for squirrels and birds :-)

This year I am trying to grow mint from seeds. Fingers crossed on that!


In addition, I have planted two bean varieties – Valor papdi and Gawar  (cluster beans), two eggplant varieties – green and purple, two tomato – yellow pear and red, sweet pepper and bottle gourd.

Once it warms up, I plan to plant some fresh greens: Spinach, Amaranth and Red Sorrel with a possibility of Lettuce varieties in the fall. I am tempted to plant Zucchini and cucumber as well. I plan to definitely pick up a jalapeno pepper and another tomato plant.

My Brussels sprouts plant appears to be still alive, although it hasn’t produced any Brussels Sprouts so far. My blueberry plant too is still alive, although it didn’t produce any fruit last year and unfortunately was infested with some pest.


I hope to learn some new organic techniques this year, to preserve my plants.  Let see how many will survive and make it through!


Mango Poha

It is hit or miss, each time I pick up some green mangoes in the local Asian market. I hope for sour, green mangoes. Most times they end up being, Mexican mangoes that look green, but are set to ripe soon and hence are slightly sweet.

When that happens, I set the green mangoes aside for smoothies, salads and other experimentation. This past week, after spending almost $10 on three perfect green mangoes, I was left with neither one to make Mango Dal  or Pullihora. Instead I decided to use one of them with Poha for an alternative.

Poha is very easy to cook and you can make this dish in under 10 minutes. It is perfect for an afternoon snack or a quick Saturday morning breakfast.


1 cup red rice poha
1/2 green mango grated
1-2 jalapeno sliced
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp channa dal
1 tbsp urad dal
1 tsp mustard seeds
2-3 dry red chilli
1/2 tsp turmeric
a dash of asafeotida
a few curry leaves (optional.. if you can find them)
1/4 cup cashews or you can use peanuts
salt to taste

Heat a tbsp of oil in a pan. Add turmeric and asafotida. Add all the ingredients except the curry leaves, poha, mango and jalapeno.

Fry till lightly golden. Add curry leaves and jalapeno and fry for 1-2 minutes.

Meanwhile, soak the poha in a bowl of water. Rinse, squeeze the water and toss the poha in with the seasoning. Add grated mango, or you can add mango pulp As much as you like , season with salt and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Remove from flame and serve warm with coffee or tea.


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