Food and some stories....

Tag: healthy

Asian noodle salad

It’s the New Year, and I think I have to finally break the self imposed exile from the blog and before I forget wish you all a very Happy New Year!!!  My last blog post was about salads and I had promised all of you three salad recipes.  Today I am going to share a very interesting Asian noodle salad recipe and after having it you will never find salads boring ever.The best part about this salad is that it’s hot, spicy, very refreshing for the palate and is a complete meal in itself. Since trying out this recipe I have already made it twice in the space of two weeks, that’s how awesome it is. And I make it in huge quantities, so there are lots of leftovers; you can eat it straight out of the fridge.

My inspiration for this salad is Thai food and the secret to this is the dressing. Once you get the dressing right, you mix and match with any vegetable combination that you might be fond of. Also I insist on the rice noodles, you can try with other noodles but it’s just not the same. I have used shrimp, but you can substitute it with any other protein like leftover chicken or fried tofu. Alternatively skip it altogether for a lighter version.

Asian Noodle Salad



¼ cup lime juice

¼ cup rice vinegar

1 tsp grated ginger

Couple of large garlic cloves

4-5 Thai red chillies (you can change the amount depending on the level of hotness desired)

2 tbsp honey

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp vegetable oil/olive oil

1-2 tbsp fish sauce

Salt and fresh ground black pepper


350 Gms of rice noodle/ rice vermicelli

Quarter of small cabbage thinly sliced

Half a carrot finely julienned

1-2 Thai red chillies thinly sliced

2 large scallions thinly sliced

½ cup roasted peanuts coarsely chopped


200 Gms shrimps

Some Thai basil finely chopped

Some fresh mint leaves finely chopped

Fried onions (optional)


In a bowl combine the lime juice, rice vinegar and ginger, I usually like to mince the garlic and chillies together with a pestle and add. Add the balance ingredients listed under dressing and mix well. You can change up the quantities as per your taste, depending how spicy or sweet you would like.

Cook the noodle as per the directions in the package. Season the shrimps with salt and sauté them in a little oil till pink, which usually takes about a minute and a half each side, for medium sized shrimps. Place the noodles in a large salad mixing bowl and the veggies, and the herbs and the peanuts. Pour the dressing and toss to coat well. Season as per taste. Add the shrimp and garnish with scallions and peanuts and fried onions.*


*to make fried onions chop onions and fry them in oil till brown , soak excess oil and air dry.

Some Mediterranean on my mind…

So it’s been a while I have been away from the blog, sometimes things just take a very different direction in life, and the motivation for the blog was just not happening. You can call it a bloggers block, if there is such a thing.  For me food is a passion and this blog is a result of that, I gain nothing commercially from this endeavour, so when the passion comes back, the blog entries start again.

Lately have been trying to do some clean eating, and experimenting with some salads and wanted a share this recipe with all of you, it’s amazing it’s so simple and easy to make but addicting in taste, I have already made it twice. Now before I go to the details-“a food realisation”, over the years experimenting and cooking I have realised the freshest of ingredients; cooked the simplest way results in the most amazing food. That is why you will see the greatest of chefs have this maniac obsession about sourcing the produce, they will wake up in the morning to get the best fish, travel far to discover amazing farms for the freshest of vegetables. And that is why I have realised that I get great pleasure scouring the markets buying vegetables and groceries, it’s addictive, and a great stress buster.

Sometimes you get great tomatoes or mushrooms from the market and that becomes the inspiration for the next dish. Ah! The small joys of life; and I love doing it even when I travel abroad. Do that the next time you are travelling some foreign land, try the local farmers markets, you will be pleasantly surprised. While on wanderlust, holiday alert, one exciting  trip coming up soon, so hopefully loads of food to share and write about; meanwhile over to the recipe.

Mediterranean Tuna Salad

350 Gms boiled chickpeas

1 can tuna drained and flaked

1 onion finely chopped

1 red pepper finely diced

4 tsp capers

Juice of one lemon

2 tbsp olive oil

Some fresh parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

3-4 cups salad greens

Roasted chia seeds


Combine beans, tuna, bell pepper, onion, parsley, capers, half lemon juice and 1 tablespoons oil in a medium bowl. Season with pepper. Combine the remaining lemon juice, 1 tablespoons oil and salt in a large bowl. Add salad greens; toss to coat. Mix in everything together, sprinkle some roasted chia seeds just before serving.




Why Quiches are sexy

I have been fascinated with quiches even when I did not know how to pronounce them. It seemed like such a magical creation to the little me, everything put together in a neat little package, cheese, eggs, vegetables or meat, whoever invented the dish was a cooking genius. Although originally from France today it is cooked the world over and quite a party favorite whether as canapés or entrée.

The best part about this dish you can use any ingredients from spinach, mushrooms to seafood to make this; it’s flexible and versatile. And my favorite comfort food, it’s my go to recipe when I want something quick and sumptuous. However as you know being from the Nigela school of cooking and in my endeavor to make my food healthy I make mine crust less. Traditionally quiche is an open pie, so I make my pie without the crust. And if you remember from my last blog entry I have been trying to incorporate kale in my diet so this time I made my crust less quiche with kale. And to be honest this has been the best it ever turned out; the kale elevated the dish to another level. Another successful incorporation for my Kale challenge.


Recipe-Crustless Quiche



1 tbsp oil

2 onions thinly sliced

50 g chopped kale (spinach can be used as a substitute)

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

4-5 eggs (to make it healthy use one egg and rest use just the egg whites)

Some cheese grated (quantity depends on your love for cheeseJ)

Assorted vegetables (use your creativity, use any you like, I use bell peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, tomatoes etc,)

Some stale bread

Seasonings: red pepper flakes, oregano, salt and black pepper.


Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onions and caramelize them for 10 to 15 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar, and let it simmer for some time. Add the kale along with 1 tbsp of water; cook for 5 minutes till the kale has wilted.

Add the rest of the vegetables and sauté for 2 minutes and take the mixture of the heat.

Grease the oven proof dish lightly, pour your vegetable mixture, beat the eggs with seasoning and add to this mixture. Add the cheese and the stale bread. Mix lightly. You can add some cheese on top for a nice crust.

If you want you can skip the bread and like I said add anything you want, I have not added any meat, but you can always add some chicken sausages or any leftover meats you may have in the fridge. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes at around 200 C. You can put the last 5 minutes in broil for a crisp surface. And voila a healthy sumptuous dinner is ready!



Goan Sausage pulao|one pot meals

When it comes to cooking I am a firm believer of the Nigela Lawson School of cooking, if there is an easy way of doing it, I shall find a way. And good tasty food doesn’t mean one has to slave over the stove whole day! And it’s that time of the year, when typically house helps in Mumbai, go for their summer vacations. Which means my cook will be missing in action for a month, and I will be doing all the cooking. And that’s when one pot meals come in handy. They are easy to make and less dishes to do at the end of the day.

Recently I met an old classmate of mine from my B school days in London, and she mentioned that she finds cooking a mighty pain and I suggested starting with one pot dishes. They are easier and slowly you start getting the hang of it. And cooking doesn’t seem like such a chore anymore. My standard way of starting to cook is to first check what’s in the pantry and then start cooking, and not the other way of planning to cook and then buying the ingredients. There have been days I am so lazy to go to the market that I Google recipes for the only two ingredients I have left in the pantry. I know nigela would be proud of me!!

So what’s in the pantry today, a packet of goan sausage! I could probably try making a goan chilly fry with pao or maybe the goan sausage pulao. But since the man of the house is not too fond of the pungent smell and taste, a recipe which tones down the strong taste will appeal to him more; so Goan sausage pulao it is. So if you are familiar with this delicacy from Goa, you would know that this sausage spiced with vinegar, garlic, ginger, red chilies and other spices is one of a kind and I am yet to taste a similar sausage in any other part of the world. It’s usually made of pork and sun dried or smoked.

Goan Sausage

Whenever I cook at home traditional recipes I always try to find ways of making a healthier version, so in my pulao I have used brown rice and used a chicken version of the goan sausage. You are welcome to use any fragrant rice and the authentic pork version of the sausage. Either ways I am sure you will not be disappointed!

Recipe-Goan Sausage Pulao



Brown Rice-one and a half cups

One packet goan sausage (usually 250 gms) (I have used the Zorabian chicken goan sausage)

Two medium onions sliced

Two tomatoes chopped

4-5 garlic cloves finely chopped

3 green chilies split lengthwise

1tsp turmeric powder

2 tbsps oil

Pinch of sugar

Salt to taste

Whole spices

3 cloves

3-4 peppercorns

2 inch cinnamon stick

1 bay leaf

Cardamom (two)

1 tsp Cumin seeds


Some caramelized onions & fresh coriander leaves



Clean & soak the rice for ten minutes, meanwhile split open the casings of the sausage and take out the meat inside to be used later.

In a pressure cooker, heat the oil and let the whole spices crackle. Add the garlic and the green chilies; once they are aromatic you can add the onions. Meanwhile in a frying pan you can take the remaining oil and put some additional sliced onions about 4 to 5 for garnishing, it takes a while and it’s good to start. I usually use a non stick frying pan to reduce the amount of oil, and add a bit of salt to speed up the caramelizing process.

One the onions in the pressure cooker are brown, add the tomatoes with the turmeric. Let them cook till they become absolutely soft, add the sausage meat at this point and cook till you see the fat melting and delicious aroma of the meat is wafting in your kitchen.

Add the rice, with a bit of water and salt and sugar and mix gently. Do not add too much water as you do not want the rice to turn soggy. Once cooked open the cooker, let the steam come out, garnish with the caramelized onions & the coriander leaves.





Spice up your life|bringing turkey home

Spice Market|Grand Bazaar; Turkey

Traveling is a passion and the thing that I most look forward to when I travel is too roam the local markets and discover the hidden treasures. Buy souvenirs for friends and bring back memories from the travels which last beyond the journey. So as a habit before I travel I definitely scour the internet to understand which are the definite buys from the country I plan to visit.

While I was doing research for the trip before turkey, I discovered that the country is well known for its spices and particularly for a kind of red pepper unique to the country. Red pepper which is flaky in texture; intense red or orange in color and is also known as pul biber. It’s a pepper which without burning your palate gives a unique color and flavor to the food. It has a unique aroma, with a touch of saltiness (as salt is used while drying) and raisin like flavor. It can be used in place of red pepper or paprika.


So the mandatory trip to Grand bazaar was made (in my case multiple times), made easier by the fact that we were living right next to it. Nothing you might have read or heard about it really prepares you for the sight that this bazaar is! Even if you are a person who generally dislikes crowded places, which I must confess I am, cannot help but enjoy the spirit of this centuries old bazaar. I was mesmerized, hooked and enjoyed myself thoroughly bargaining with the shopkeepers.

So coming back to home I was desperately looking for ways to incorporate this exotic spice that I had brought back. I just didn’t want to substitute it into any other recipe for red pepper. Easier choice would have been to try and make a kebab of sort like the locals, but I am recently trying to eat healthy and was looking for such an option.

I finally found the Moroccan carrot & beet grated salad from ( Moroccan Grated Carrot and Beet Salad )as the perfect platform to try out this exotic spice. I just simply substituted the paprika in the recipe with the pul biber. I have never had a more flavorful salad and also a very tasty way to incorporate beets into my diet. Please find the recipe below:


Moroccan grated carrot & beet Salad


  1. Two cups carrots(grated)
  2. 1 cup beet(grated)
  3. ½ cup raisins
  4. ½ teaspoon pul biber(or paprika)
  5. ¼ tsp ground cumin
  6. ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Pinch of cayenne
  9. 2tbsps lemon juice
  10. 2tsps honey
  11. 2 tbsps mint leaves (optional)


Wash the grated beets gently under water to remove the excess color. Remove the excess water and mix with the carrots & raisins. In a small bowl mix together the balance ingredients to prepare your dressing and mix gently with the carrot & beet mixture. Rest the mixture for an hour to let the dressing blend in well. Blend in the mint leaves last before serving, however I choose to skip it, it’s up to you to use it or not. Serve chilled.


Moroccon Carrot & beet grated Salad

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