Tag Archives: sides

Oven Roasted Garlicy Brussels Sprouts

These are a perfect side for that Thanksgiving meal or any meal for that matter. Like cabbage, brussels sprouts seem so tasteless that I am always on the lookout for a good recipe. So far my best find has been Caramelized Brussels Sprouts. This one is neck to neck with that one. I have cooked oven roasted brussels sprouts before although without adding water. This one is adapted from here.

1 lb brussels sprouts
3-4 garlic cloves (or more… I love roasted garlic!)
1 tbsp oil
1/4 cup water
few red pepper flakes
fresh ground black pepper
salt to taste
dash of lemon juice (optional)

Rinse, trim and slice brussels sprouts into halves or quarters (if they are big). Toss them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and minced garlic in a baking dish.

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees and bake them for 30-40 minutes.

Remove and drizzle lightly with some lemon juice and serve hot.

Mango Rice

This is one of my all time favorites! When raw green mangoes are in season this is a perfect item to add to your lunch menu or even breakfast. In fact this is so good that you can eat it any time of the day. There are two key ingredients: Rice and Mango. There are many different alternatives to how you can make this dish:

  • Rice can be substituted with vermicelli, poha, or ground rice
  • Mango can be substituted with lemon juice, tamarind juice, or grapefruit juice

But mango is ultimately the best choice!

1 cup of rice (sona masuri or basmati)
1 raw green mango

1/4 cup cashews and/ or peanuts
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp chana dal (split yellow gram)
1 tsp urad dal (de-husked split black gram)
3-4 whole dry red chilli
1 tsp turmeric powder
pinch of asaforetida
salt to taste
1 jalapeno sliced (optional)
few curry leaves
1 tbsp oil

Cook the rice in two cups of water until cooked. The rice should be cooked but firm not sticky. Set aside.

Chop the mango into pieces. Process in a food processor into a puree.

Meanwhile heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Add all the seasoning ingredients except the jalapeno and curry leaves and fry till lightly brown. Add the sliced jalapeno and curry leaves and continue frying for 2-3 minutes.

Transfer the rice to a large bowl. Add the mango puree and fried seasoning. Add salt and mix thoroughly.

Refreshing and so yummy you will want to try this immediately!

See Also:
Mango Vermicelli

Amaranth Orange Cardamon Loaf

Cardamon is one of those intensely aromatic and flavorful spices. The moment I saw this recipe on Pinterest, I knew I had to try it soon! Considering it has orange as well meant there was no doubt about it that I would make it. Here is my adapted version.

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup Amaranth flour
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup greek yogurt
1 tsp cardamon
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
1-2 tbsp orange zest
1-2 tbsp orange juice

Mix flour, baking powder, salt and cardamon in a bowl.

In a separate bowl mix sugar and orange zest with your hands. Add oil, eggs, yogurt and orange juice and whisk until all the ingredients combine. Add the dry ingredients and mix well.

Grease a baking pan and dust lightly with flour. Pour the batter and smooth out the top.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake loaf for 50-55 minutes until golden brown.

Serve warm with a hot cup of cardamon or orange pekoe tea.

Try this, you will just love the fragrance and aromas floating in your kitchen as you bake this!

Super easy tomato chutney

Chutneys are very popular in India and you can make one with almost any vegetable. Tomatoes are so refreshingly tasty that you can add them to any recipe and not mess it up. See my Variation on Red Pepper Chutney. This version of the tomato chutney is not only  easy and fun to make but tasty as well.

3-4 medium tomatoes
1 jalapeno
some cilantro
1-2 tsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
touch of turmeric
pinch of asafoetida
salt to taste

Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan. Add turmeric and asafoetida. Add chopped tomatoes and cook on medium until all the moisture evaporates. Tomatoes should be pretty mushy. Remove from flame and cool.

Meanwhile heat 1 tsp oil and fry the cumin, mustard and fenugreek seeds till lightly brown.

There are multiple alternatives to this chutney at this point:

  1. You can add salt and some red chilli powder to the cooked tomatoes and mix well and add the seasoning, garnish with some chopped cilantro and be done.
  2. For a smooth chutney you can blend the tomato with the jalapeno and cilantro, add salt and seasoning and be done.

Done either way tomato chutney is delicious and can be enjoyed with rice, roti, dosa and any number of ways!

Chickpeas with Spinach (Chole)

Chole is a very popular North Indian dish that is usually a very spicy curry made from chickpeas (channa). It is usually paired with bhature (fried bread). Chole can also be eaten with naan, roti and other types of bread and even with basmathi rice. There are many different ways to cook it. Traditionally it is cooked with onions and tomatoes and steeped in spices such as amchur (mango powder), anardhana (pomegrante powder) and garam masala.

1 cup dry chickpeas (or use canned)
1-2 cups of chopped spinach
1 medium white or yellow onion chopped
1 medium tomato chopped
2-3 garlic cloves
1 inch piece of ginger
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp amchur (mango powder)
1/4 tsp red chili powder (optional)
pinch of turmeric
salt to taste
cilantro to garnish

If using raw beans, soak in water for 12 to 24 hrs. Boil the chickpeas in 2 cups of water until cooked. I usually prefer to cook them in a pressure cooker. Set aside.

Using a mini chopper or a mortar and pestle grind the garlic and ginger to a paste.

Heat a little oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and turmeric. Once the cumin seeds turn lightly brown add chopped onion and ginger-garlic paste and fry till lightly brown. Add chopped spinach and tomato and continue cooking for 5 min. Add the spices and salt to taste. Add the cooked chickpeas along with any left over water. Add more water as necessary and continue cooking on medium low flame for another 20 minutes until all the spices are infused and all the vegetables are cooked and soften.

Garnish with some cilantro and serve hot with bhature, roti, naan or basmati rice.

Crunchy and Chewy Mango Pomegranate Wheat Berry Salad

The grain of the month is wheat berry! I had picked up some last time I was in Whole Foods.

Occasionally I end up with a raw green mango that has started to ripen and hence is more sweet than tart. In which case it is best to eat it as fruit or toss in salads. I have been wanting to experiment with mango and pomegranate in a recipe for some time now.

So this seemed like a perfect time to cook up a recipe combining mango, pomegranate and wheat berry!

1 cup wheat berry
1 mango chopped
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup chopped red onion or green onion
1/2 cup assorted red or yellow bell peppers chopped
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
4-6 sliced cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup whole or chopped pistachio
1 tbsp hemp hearts (optional)

1/8 cup oil
1/8 cup lemon juice
salt and fresh ground pepper
some finely chopped cilantro

Bring two cups of water to boil. Add wheat berry seeds, lower flame and cook until the wheat berry is cooked. Add more water if necessary.

Combine all chopped vegetables in a salad bowl. Add cooked wheat berries, pistachio and hemp hearts and mix. Drizzle dressing and mix.

Can also add some feta cheese and serve on bed of salad greens.

See Also:

Celebrate End of Summer with Mango

Pani Puri

I had this strong urge to have pani puri the other day. On impulse I bought some puri’s home. I already had some ready made tamarind date chutney and mint chutney. All that was needed was the pani masala. For a change I wanted to make this fresh.

Pani puri is a fast food found on a road side stand in busy street corners in India. Usually a plate would comprise of 6 – 10 pani puri’s and each is assembled  as you eat it. An incision is made to perfect puffed puri and filled with a little potato stuffing, cooked chickpeas, mint and tamarind date chutney. This is then dunked into a large bowl of masala flavored cold water and eaten.

My friend was in town visiting and it was fun to sip some spicy cardamon tea, assembling and dunking puri’s and relishing them as we exchanged news and reminisced.

1 box of pani puri’s
1 medium potato
1/2 can garbanzo beans or cooked beans

Masala Ingredients:
1 tsp corainder seeds
3-4 dry red whole chilli
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black salt
1 tsp dry mango powder (amchur)
1 tsp whole black pepper
salt to taste
pinch of asafoetida

Boil the potato with the skin. Peel the boiled potato, and mash with a spoon. Add some cumin, and mango powder, salt and cayenne pepper and mix. Set aside.

If using raw chickpeas, soak overnight and cook. If using canned, drain the liquid and transfer to a bowl.

Optionally can also use chopped onion and tomato. Place each ingredient in a separate bowl.

To make the masala, dry roast cumin, coriander, black pepper, and red chili. Grind into a smooth powder. Mix in black salt, salt, mango powder, and asafoetida.

When ready to eat, set up the assembly line of all ingredients in individual bowls. Take a large bowl of cold water and add 1-2 tbsp of masala and mix well. Can also add some ice to chill the masala water. Let each person assemble their puri’s with the ingredients of preference. Finally dip into the masala water and transfer the complete puri into the mouth before biting in to relish all the various flavors and refreshing aroma of the spices.

Mouth watering! Try it!

Brown Rice Buttermilk Pancakes (Challa Attulu)

Dosas are an extremely popular south Indian fare. Varieties abound: made from scratch to instant. Each distinctive, filled with different blend of flavors, spices, nutritional value and taste.

The most common is the plain dosa made from a batter of white rice and urad dal (split de-husked black gram).You can check out a healthier alternative to it made with brown rice instead here.

Utilizing a mix of some rarely used grains such as ragi and other healthy ingredients such as oats, soya and rice flour , all soaked in yogurt produces  some delicious Ragi dosas.

Uttapam is a kind of thicker dosa made from idli batter. A healthier version of this can be made with idli batter made from  brown rice and urad dal. See my brown rice Uttapam recipe here.

Following my exploration with brown rice, here is the 4th dosa variety in the series.

2 cups brown rice
1 cup pressed rice (poha)
1-2 tsp mustard seeds
1-2 cups buttermilk
salt to taste

Soak all ingredients in buttermilk for 6-8 hours. Blend in a grinder until smooth batter forms of the consistency sufficient to make dosas. Not as thick as idli but similar to making pancakes. Add salt to taste and mix well. Cover and set aside for 10-12 hours.

To make the dosa, heat a flat pan or griddle on medium flame. Add some oil to grease the pan. Add 2-3 tbsp of batter. Do not spread with spoon, but lightly tilt pan to evenly layout the batter in a circle. Add more oil as necessary and cook until it is golden.

Once one side is cooked, flip with a laddle and cook the other side. Add oil as necessary. It might be little sticky when you flip but don’t worry about it. Usually once it is fully golden it should be easy to flip it.

Serve hot with chutney. You can use peanut or coconut chutney. But my favorite is this south Indian gem. Since no south Indian home is devoid of mango pickle (magayi). This is a fairyly easy and quick way to make a chutney for dosas.

Chutney Ingredients:
1 cup Magayi
1-2 jalapenos
some cilantro
1 cup yogurt (use more if necessary)
1/2 chopped onion (optional)

Blend magayi with cilantro and jalapeno. Transfer to a bowl. Add yogurt and onion and mix well before serving with dosa. Enjoy with a cup of hot tea or coffee.

Tasty! Next time I think I will use brown pressed rice if I can find it.

Another skin you can use

Here’s another fun vegetable that you can make multiple things with. Growing up it was not a favorite with me. The vegetable I am talking about is Luffa or Chinese Okra. I never liked the spicy curry that my mother loved to cook. But totally loved what she did with the skin. While my whole family enjoyed the curry I relished the skin cooked with lentils. The skin can also be made into chutney (see Don’t throw that skin away).

But what to do with the vegetable itself?

One fine day I struck on this alternative and now enjoy both the vegetable and the skin. I peel the skin and cook with yellow gram (toor dal). I fry the vegetable in a little oil and make into a chutney similar to the way I make it with the skin.

skin of one large Chinese okra
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 garlic peeled and cloves sliced
1 tsp split chickpea or chana dal
1 tsp black gram or urad dal
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1-2 jalapeno sliced
2-3 dry red chili
pinch of turmeric
salt to taste
some curry leaves
1/2 cup toor dal

Rinse and cook toor dal in 1 cup of water adding more if necessary or can cook in a pressure cooker. Set aside.

Use a food processor or chopper to grind the skin of the Chinese okra and set aside.

Heat oil in a pan. Add turmeric, garlic, chana dal, urad dal, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red chili and fry till lightly brown. Add curry leaves and jalapeno and fry for 1 minute. Add the processed chinese okra skin and continue frying for 5-10 minutes on medium low flame.

Add the cooked toor dal and mix well. Add salt to taste.

Serve hot with roti or warm rice.

Orange Cranberry Scone!


I got to make my favorite scone! For a while this used to be my favorite breakfast. Each day as I headed to work I made a stop at the local Starbucks and picked a coffee and scone (typically orange cranberry if they had one). Yummy!

I still had fresh cranberries and oranges left over after the Cranberry Orange Bread I baked last week. The weather was gloomy with overcast skies and periods of rain. After the beautiful, warm fall weather we’ve been having, it was a sharp contrast to have the temperature dip into the 50’s. Time to turn off the air condition and turn on the heater!

It was definitely the perfect day to turn on the oven and do some baking…

As usual I scoured the web for the perfect recipe with the condition that I would try one if I had all the ingredients already in my pantry. So here is my final adapted version:

1 3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup amaranth flour
1 cup fresh cranberries
Orange rind from 1 orange
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt

Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Take cold butter and cut into cubes and add to the flour. Put the bowl in the refrigerator. In a separate bowl whisk egg, buttermilk and orange rind. Place the bowl in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare parchment paper or baking dish to bake the scones.

Remove the dry ingredients. Either chop the cranberries or use whole (I used them whole) and add to the dry ingredients. Mix well with a spatula or hand. Add the egg buttermilk mix and mix thoroughly. Prepare the counter top table with some flour. Roll out the mixed dough into a 1 in thick circle. Cut the circle into 8 or 10 wedges. Or use a cookie cutter for more fancy shapes.

Bake on a parchment or baking dish for 13 – 15 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and cool.

Serve warm scones with either orange marmalade or raspberry jam. Or glaze scones with some orange glaze and serve warm with tea or coffee.