[VeganMoFo 2016] Plantain and Coconut Stir Fry (Green/Raw Banana Thoran) Recipe

An integral part of Kerala cuisine, Thoran is a stir-fry essentially made with grated coconut and minimal spices. From potatoes to cabbage, carrots, green beans, broccoli or even pumpkin, you can make a thoran with almost any vegetable that can hold some shape after cooking. Today's version is made with my favorite vegetable - plantain or (green) raw banana. This is my go-to recipe whenever I am out of ideas; super tired or when I hardly have any fresh vegetables on hand. Happy Cooking!

Raw Banana Thoran Plantain Coconut Stir Fry

[VeganMoFo 2016] Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes Recipe

Tomato season is long gone here in California but I occasionally see a bag of small, cherry tomatoes here in the Farmer's Markets. Whenever I do, I eagerly grab a few. Most of the times, I eat them raw. I have a long commute to work so these serve as a handy, easy to carry snack to curb those 5 pm hunger pangs. But, this time around I put some extra effort to roast these beauties. I saw today's Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes recipe in Heidi Swanson's cookbook and instantly fell in love with its simplicity. You will be surprised on how little there is to do but by the end they are so flavorful that it is hard to stop nibbling on them. I ended munching an entire tray full of roasted tomatoes in one go and had to make an another batch to add to my favorite pasta and my weekly salad. Yumm-ee-dee-dum, I tell ya! 

[VeganMoFo 2016] My Mother's Simply Fried Cauliflower Recipe

Every time I make these Simply Fried Cauliflower florets at home, I think of my mother and her cooking. Our favorite to this day, it is simply amazing how she used to deep fry almost everything without a drop of excess oil. There were times when we were kids - me & my sister used to just gobble right out of the frying pan. Especially on rainy days and Saturdays, these were an absolute must-make dish in our household. The ritual continued until I charted out to a far away land for my higher studies. Now, living worlds apart from her, I crave for her reassuring words during times of distress and most of all her comforting food. Amma, this post like many others on this blog is dedicated to you. I love you. I miss you. 

My Mother's Simply Fried Cauliflower Recipe

[VeganMoFo 2016] Tofu Masala Recipe

What do you do with a slab of tofu lurking at the back of the fridge and with no more than 20 minutes on hand? You make today's recipe - an easy yet hearty Tofu Masala of course! When I saw it on Food and Wine for the first time, I wondered how ordinary the ingredients list is. But the end result in terms of flavor was nothing but ordinary. On a crazy weeknight, I served this dish with some prepared rotis and a bowl of fruit. Satisfied with happy bellies, we both called it a day and I thought how sometimes keeping the spices to minimum is a good thing. Trust me, this recipe is a perfect example of that! Do give it a try. Bon Appetit.

Tofu Masala Recipe Food and Wine

[VeganMoFo 2016] Spinach and Green Onion Mashed Potatoes Recipe

I am still in a state of shock after what happened yesterday. How did it happen? How could it happen? I am not an American to understand the nuances of the Electoral Collage system in detail but I do know that Hate Cannot Win! Sadly it did. Way back in July, Michael Moore predicted Trump's win and gave 5 reasons in plain simple english . I happen to read it today and yes, it made perfect sense, though it is too late now. Here's hoping the next 4 years will be remembered for growth, progress and spreading positivity instead of spewing hatred on each other.

Coming to today's recipe, the title says it all - Green Mashed Potatoes! I saw Mark Bittman make this dish with dandelion greens which I conveniently with some spinach and spring onions. Any kind of greens will work and do make this for upcoming Thanksgiving to surprise your family & friends. Bon Appetit. 

[VeganMoFo 2016] Roasted Christmas Beans (Tok-Cel Beans) Recipe

Who is waiting for Thanksgiving week already? I sure am. :-) Have you got your holiday menu ready? Being vegetarian (who eats eggs), many at times I feel left out with not many options to eat except for some mashed potatoes and pasta. How wonderful would it be if we non-meaters get some love too! After writing a detailed post on how to cook dried beans from scratch, it is only fitting to share a legume recipe. Isn't it? How about an easy Roasted Bean recipe that could be served as a wonderful side-dish along with your Thanksgiving entries! I saw today's recipe on NPR and what immediately caught my attention was the use of simple yet intriguing ingredients. The original recipes was a feature on Lima Beans and I conveniently substituted them with Christmas Beans (without compromising taste), my new Farmer's Market find. Read more to get the recipe. 

[VeganMoFo 2016] How To Cook Dried Beans From Scratch

Beans! Beans! And More Beans!
I am a huge fan of beans and whenever I see a new variety in Farmer's Market, I quickly grab some to try a recipe or two. A bag of Christmas Beans (as pictured below) was one such impulse buys. Aren't they just beautiful to look at? How can one not buy? :-) Today's post is all about how to prepare and cook dried beans from scratch. Once you get the basics right, it is so much easier (and healthier) than canned version (with their absurd amounts of sodium levels). Personally, I think cooked beans also make a far more delicious meal than canned beans. There is also a information on how to store/freeze cooked beans with a few pretty photographs to look at. While you are soaking a batch of beans, don't forget to check out this entire list of legume recipes for some good ideas. Happy Cooking!

[VeganMoFo 2016] Zucchini Carpaccio Recipe

Day 4 of ongoing VeganMoFo 2016 challenge is here and today I am about share a quick, no-cook Zucchini salad recipe I saw on NYT Cooking. I am also super kicked and doing a happy dance for another reason. Do you know the last time I posted FOUR recipes in a month was way back in 2015. Yep! it is always the case that I start off the month with best of intentions, slowly loose mojo and never share more than a recipe or two. Here's hoping at least this year (unlike 2014), I will successfully finish this VeganMoFo challenge. Read more and get this refreshingly easy recipe for Zucchini Carpaccio.

[VeganMoFo 2016] Sindhi Kadhi | Vegetables in Chickpea Flour Gravy Recipe

All the kadhi (yogurt gravy) recipes I know so far are made with yogurt by default. Never had I ever tasted or encountered a dish which is named as a kadhi but without the use of any diary. Made just out of chickpea flour as a base for the gravy, today's recipe (Sindhi Kadhi) is an exception. If you are wary about how would it taste (just like I did), then you got to make it to believe how mind blowing it tastes. For several Sundays after I teetered on the recipe, I found myself eagerly making two portions of it for my upcoming weekday lunches. Did I tell you, it is a lovely make-ahead recipe too which keeps well for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. All I had to was warm it in the microwave for 3-4 minutes, pour on top of some rice and enjoy my desk lunch. 

The recipe is from justagirlfrommumbai, one of my favorite Instagram accounts with beautiful (unpretentious) food photography and heart warming stories behind each one of them. If you are not following her already on IG and love food then give her a follow right way!

Sindhi Kadhi | Vegetables in Chickpea Flour Gravy Recipe

[VeganMoFo 2016] Andhra Style Gongura Pappu (Sorrel Leaves Dal) With Peanuts Recipe

Sorrel leaves which can be easily found in any Farmer's Market (in the Bay Area at least) or in any Indian store is my absolute favorite way to make dal. Growing up my mother used to make it once a week and now I do too. Today's version of Gongura Pappu (Sorrel Leaves Dal) With Peanuts is a recipe I stumbled upon on Youtube while looking for easy weeknight dinner ideas. The only hard part is to remove the sorrel leaves from their stems and rest is just a breeze. If you have never made this version of dal before, I urge you to try some. Poured over a hot bed of rice and served with some crunchy chips, it tastes divine. Now, if you will excuse me, I will have to take leave to prepare the sorrel leaves bunch sitting next to me as I type this post. :-) Enjoy!

Andhra Style Gongura Pappu (Sorrel Leaves Dal) With Peanuts Recipe

[VeganMoFo 2016] Breakfast Potato Hash with Bell Peppers and Onions Recipe

Bonjour Novembre! You have arrived so fast this year. It feels like just few weeks ago we all merrily celebrated New Year's Day! :-) November is also time for my favorite event of the blog-o-sphere: VeganMoFo (Vegan Month Of Food), where many enthusiasts like me blog and celebrate vegan food all month long. I have attempted (and failed mid-way) VeganMoFo back in 2014. It is time to give everyday blogging a sincere try again. That's right, the challenge is to post a new vegan recipe every weekday of this month. I am definitely better prepared than last time around. Let's see how it goes! I hope you guys will give me company and cheer me along as I progress through this vegan recipe marathon? How about I kick start things by sharing an easy recipe for Breakfast Potato Hash with Bell Peppers and Onions. 

My Legume Love Affair 100 Roundup + $25 Amazon gift card Winner

Au revoir Octobre and a special goodbye to My Legume Love Affair Edition #100 as well. We have got some amazingly unique entries all month long and with much fervor & gusto, I present to you this MLLA100 roundup post and also the lucky winner of $25 Amazon gift card winner (at the very end). Read along to know more...

Sweet Corn and Black Bean Salad Recipe

You wouldn't believe if I told you that these days I eagerly and often hungrily click on any recipe which has the words: easy | make-ahead | freezable. Balancing work and umpteen number of things I wish to do (like zentangle, reading) AND eating healthy food is becoming increasingly challenging. I stumbled upon today's recipe during one of those Google searches where I was looking for a healthy yet easy salad. 

Vegan Easy Sweet Corn and Black Bean Salad Recipe

My Legume Love Affair 100th Edition + $25 Amazon Giveway

It has been almost 6 years (July 2010, MLLA #25) when I first guest hosted Susan's and now Lisa's My Legume Love Affair event. Since then, I participated with numerous entries and even guest hosted three times. I signed up for the event couple of months ago and to my happy surprise I realized just yesterday that this would be MLLA's 100th edition. Wohoo! 100, in this fleeting blog-o-sphere is a big milestone and I thought it can't just be a regular version of the event. Isn't it? So, to make it extra special, I am planning to randomly select a participant for a chance to win a 25$ Amazon gift card. Are you guys ready to get those aprons on, to rock & roll and to celebrate the goodness and versatility of our lovely legumes.

Rules are pretty much the same and once your recipe is posted, add the URL using the Linky tool attached to the end of this post.. Non-bloggers can participate too. Details inside the post. I can't wait to see your recipe entries and finally who wins the gift card giveaway. Yay!.

Weekend get together | an Update on Social Media Detox | Three Lentil Dal Recipe

Today I have so much to say and much to share with you all. This post is long (with lots of photographs) when compared to my other blogposts. If you are short of time and came here only for the three lentil dal recipe, then scroll down to the end of the post. :-)

Slow Roasted Bell Pepper with Red Lentils (Bhuna Hua Simla Mirch Aur Masoor Dal) Recipe

I don't think I can ever get bored of eating dal. Probably because it is so easy to make and doesn't need much planning or thought especially on a busy weeknight. And also because an egg omelette and a simple tomato dal were the first few recipes I tried under my mother's watchful eye. She is a terrific cook and all I wanted to do is cook like her. Though my first dal didn't turn out to be a spectacular one with the tempering almost burnt, I still fondly remember the night and its memories. Today's recipe (adapted from my favorite book - 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer) - Slow Roasted Bell Pepper with Red Lentils is a combination of flavors I never cooked before - bell pepper with red lentils. Finger licking good!

Slow Roasted Bell Pepper with Red Lentils

5 things to do with.... Brown Rice

One of my favorite chefs is Jamie Oliver and the title of this post is a blatantly inspired by his 5 things to do with.. series. I saw a video on Eggs couple of weeks ago and one on Tomatoes couple of days ago. After watching them, I had this sudden urge to dive into my archives and put together a list of my favorite recipes. Today it is all about Brown Rice.

30 Day Social Media Detox (September 1st - 30th 2016)

Didn't I celebrate my 9 year blog anniversary just yesterday! and here I am about to unplug myself for a much-needed 30 day social media detox starting tomorrow until the end of September. How am I going to do it? The DO's and DON'Ts are in the post below.

..after 9 years, it is time to slow down + Basic Curried Corn Chowder recipe

Today's post: celebrating 9 years of food blogging; why it is time to slow down and be your best; a basic curried corn chowder recipe by Mark Bittman to cure those 5pm hunger pangs.

“If you’re having difficulty coming up with new ideas, then slow down. For me, slowing down has been a tremendous source of creativity. It has allowed me to open up — to know that there’s life under the earth and that I have to let it come through me in a new way. Creativity exists in the present moment. You can’t find it anywhere else.”  - Natalie Goldberg (Source)

[Holiday Memories] Classic Hawaiian Macaroni Salad Recipe

The local-style Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is a quick and easy cold pasta salad recipe which uses lots of mayonnaise and easily customizable with favorite mix-ins. It is a staple of a typical Hawaii-style plate lunch and honestly, so simple to make that no specific instructions are needed at all. Just a few guidelines and you are good to go! Enjoy!

authentic hawaiian macaroni salad recipe

[Recipe Redux] Zucchini Noodles With Creamy Avocado Lime Dressing Recipe

Fresh zucchini noodles (zoodles) tossed with lightly sautéed corn, cherry tomatoes and in an easy avocdao-cilantro-lime-chilli dressing. A fun way to incorporate more veggies and also an healthier gluten-free alternative to our traditional noodles/spaghetti pasta.

Tarla Dalal's Tawa Chana | Pan-Fried Chickpeas Curry Recipe

A quick and easy recipe for chickpea curry - pan fried and lightly coated with spices. Perfect as a side dish for rice/roti or as an easy snack with crunchy chips. Indian food is not hard at all and this dish is the proof.

Tawa Chana Recipe Pan-Fried Chickpea Curry

How to Make and Freeze South Indian Tomato Sauce Recipe

How to Make and Freeze South Indian Tomato Sauce Recipe Madhur Jaffrey
..let us preserve some summer sunshine by making this vibrant sauce..
Summer is here. Farmer's Markets across Bay Area are bustling with tomatoes at their absolute best and also cheapest. Summer tomatoes are so much juicier and better when compared to their ghostly, almost powdery versions of the Winter. And Now is also the best time to get to work towards preserving a little sunshine by making a batch of homemade tomato sauce and freeze in a small containers, for later use. Not necessarily for colder months to come as I am pretty sure these will be used way before that. Almost every Indian curry starts with an onion-tomato base and this sauce  compliment well with all of them. 

Today's tomato sauce recipe is a South Indian version I stumbled upon in Madhur Jaffrey's 'Vegetarian Cooking' cookbook. The ingredients are basic pantry staples and the resultant sauce is very flavorful and aromatic. For this recipe, there is no blanching or peeling of tomatoes required. Just roughly chop them into chunks, mix in other ingredients, use some muscle power and let it simmer until it reaches a sauce-like consistency. Cool, blend and store/freeze. That is it. No fancy equipment except for a blender to puree the tomato-ey mixture. 

How to make Oats Pongal (Oats With Split Mung Dal) and Tomato Gotsu Recipe

Ask any South Indian, what is his/her favorite breakfast? I am pretty sure Idli or Dosa will top the list along with Ven Pongal accompanied by a version of Coconut chutney. These are the dishes that defined our care-free childhood days. These are also the dishes we tend to go back to for comfort, time and again in some form or fashion. Today's post is about Oats Pongal, an incarnation of a traditional white rice cooked with mung dal and black peppercorns recipe. It is super simple to make, perfect for busy weekdays. A touch of ghee, grated ginger and curry leaves makes it flavorful just like its original version. The consistency of the pongal is purely of personal choice. I like mine a bit soupy while there are others who would want a little thicker. Adjust water quantity and play with various mix-ins (mentioned in the recipe below) and you have a healthy, one pot meal (for breakfast, lunch or dinner) ready in minutes. Now, a spicy side like a simple Tomato Gotsu makes the pongal even more enjoyable. If you are short on time, a blob of Indian pickle or a handful of potato chips work too. Enjoy!

[Pressure Cooker Recipes] Lauki Chana Dal | Bottle Gourd Cooked in Lentils

Piping hot dal + white rice (chawal) is a combination made in heaven. There are numerous ways to prepare a dal in Indian cuisine incorporating different kinds of veggies and spices. Today's recipe - Lauki Chana Dal (Bottle Gourd Cooked in Lentils) uses split bengal gram, bottle gourd also known as opo squash and my handy, best friend in the kitchen - a pressure cooker. I know it is one of those cooking equipments with a bad rep but it is making a comeback thankfully with many fool-proof, safety features. Did you know when compared to conventional cooking, most foods cook 70% faster (here's the proof) when using a pressure cooker. No wonder I love it so much especially on crazy weekdays when whipping up a simple meal seems like a big chore. Food taste better too, don't you think with all the aromatics, juices and nutrients trapped inside the pot. If you don't have one already, I would highly recommend it and there are tons of delicious recipes that you can make in minutes. Now, let's jump on the dal recipe. Shall we?

How to make an Easy Indian Omelette Curry Recipe

Eggs and I share a very intimate relationship. Most of my friends very well know that and I often get teased about the same. I tend to make them to celebrate the happy moments and also to soothe myself during times of distress. I love to eat them for breakfastlunch or dinner. Today's recipe is the most fun dish I made in recent times. It felt like am playing with two different recipes and combining the recipes into one which is better in taste and in looks as well. My good friend Sandeepa has a similar Bengali version and mine - Easy Indian Omelette Curry is an lazy, adapted version. In less than half an hour, you will have a delicious egg dish which can be served with any kind of rice or roti. :-) Enjoy!

Healthy Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Oatmeal Cookies
. Just a mere mention of these bring back so many vivid childhood memories for most of us. A classic oatmeal cookie recipe has nothing more than flour, oats, butter, eggs, sugar, leavening agent and a mix-in like raisins, chocolate chips, nuts, dried berries etc. Wouldn't it be incredible if we could put a healthy spin to our beloved cookie recipe? How about whole wheat flour, rolled oats, healthy fat like coconut oil and honey (or agave). Since quite some time I was in look out for a fool-proof recipe and am happy to report today's version is exactly that. Many of my co-workers at office loved them when I took a batch yesterday and even my skeptic better-half gave a thumbs up! Excited with the cookie success and a sweet comment about my blog on Instagram by Anusha nudged me to come out of my slumberland and actually write about them. Enjoy!

7 Best Tea Quotes (With Photos) To Make Your Day Better and Brighter

In his book The Compound Effect, author and former publisher of SUCCESS magazine Darren Hardy says - it takes around three hundred instances of any deliberate act to become an ingrained, involuntary habit. Well, if that is the case then I must have surely had at least three hundred cups of tea, for it is the first thing I do every single morning. In many cultures around the world, the art of drinking tea is associated with mindfulness and a form of meditation. You are forced to stop rushing through the day, stay still and enjoy a cup, one-sip-at-a-time. Over the course of many years, I managed to capture a few moments in my camera and paired with a favorite quote on tea, below are snapshots of this most treasured habit of mine. Enjoy.

"If you are cold, tea will warm you; If you are too heated, it will cool you; If you are depressed, it will cheer you; If you are excited it will calm you." - William Ewart Gladstone                      

[Pressure Cooker Recipes] Quick Lobia Masala Recipe | How to make Black-Eyed Peas Curry | Step-by-Step

Can someone pinch me please? Is it February already? Where did January go? 2016 has started on such a busy note for me. As usual things were super crazy on most of the days and in the little free time I got, all I wanted to do was slouch in my couch and read books of all kinds - a simple and uncomplicated way to relax. But, honestly a corner of my heart was also longing to sit up, write a few words and publish a blogpost. So, before that feeling of enthusiasm goes away; before am swayed into the monotony of everyday activities that constantly need my attention, here I am sitting in a coffee shop, enjoying a cup of coffee with warm blueberry scone on the side and typing this super quick and easy black eyed pea curry recipe for you all. I make this dish often, on a weekly basis and sometimes substitute with other kinds of beans such as pinto, black bean, red beans and even chickpeas. Either way, it serves as a healthy side dish to a bowl of rice or for a bread/roti. Enjoy!

* This "Pressure Cooker Recipe Series" is dedicated to my awesome project manager at work Robin  and to the glee on his face when he cooks something delicious in his new pressure cooker. He especially loves to make Dhal with geee (that's how he says it for ghee!), ginger, tomatoes and spices * :-)

More Black Eyed Pea recipes:

Easy Scrambled Eggs with Black Eyed Peas and Potatoes
Creamy Goan Curry with Black Eyed Peas
Black Eyed Pea and Stewed Tomato Salad
Accara | Black eyed pea Fritters

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