Tangy blueberry cooler

I was really tired of consuming my blueberries in oats, cereals and yogurt and was in a desperate need of something refreshing. This is a quick and easy way to get your anti-oxidants and vitamins and beat the hot summer afternoon.

Ingredients ( for 2)

- 1 cup rinsed and washed blueberries
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/4 lemon cut into wedges
- 200 ml chilled water
-1 cup ice cubes
-2 tsp sugar ( or your favourite sugar substitute)


1. Combine blueberries, juice, water and sugar in the blender / juicer and juice it until the berries are nicely squashed.
2. Fill the serving tumbler with ice cubes and squeeze lemon on top. Throw in the remaining wedges in the tumbler.
3. Pour the juice blend on top of lemon ice.
4. Enjoy it chilled.

Dal Makhani ( Low Fat Version)

This is a very simple recipe for a protein packed, low fat version of yummy Dal Makhani. Trust me
 you won't miss the missing fat in the recipe.

Prep Time: ~12 hours
Cooking Time: ~ 40 mins

Ingredients (Serves 2)

1 cup black whole Udad daal soaked overnight
2 tsp rajma soaked overnight
1/2 small onion chopped finely
1 tomato - pureed
1-2 fresh green or red hot chillies
2 cloves pounded garlic
1/2 inch cube of pounded ginger
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1.5 tsp cumin-coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala
Salt to taste
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp low fat milk ( replace it with cream if you prefer non-low fat recipe)
2 tsp cooking oil ( replace it with butter if you prefer non-low fat recipe)
lemon juice for garnish
1 tbsp cilantro / coriander leaves finely chopped for garnish


1. Cook soaked udad daal and rajma in a pressure cooker. This takes longer than regular tur or chana daal so be patient. You might have to cook for 7-8 whistles till the daal is overcooked.

2. In a cooking pan, heat the oil (or butter), add pounded ginger-garlic and let it fry. Add chillies and onions and continue frying till onions are light brown and translucent.

3. Add chili powder, turmeric and cumin-coriander powder and give it a nice stir with the onions.

4. Now slowly pour in the tomato puree and 1/4 cup of water. Add salt at this point as well. Mix well and let the puree cook for few minutes. You will start smelling the cooked tomato in few minutes.

5. Now slowly add the cooked udad and rajma to the pan, add remaining water and mix it well. Let the liquid come to a boil.

6. Add garam masala to daal at this point and stir it once again.

7. Cover the pan with a lid and let the daal slow cook for at least 20 minutes. Longer you cook, creamier it gets. Traditionally this daal is slow cooked overnight in a tandoor! Gone are those days ( or nights) of overnight cooking in this fast food era and 20- 30 minutes of cooking at this point does the trick for my perfect dining experience.

8. Now open the lid and gently pour the milk ( or cream). Mix again and cook for 10 more minutes.

9. Your creamy, luscious Daal Makhani is now ready to serve. Garnish it with coriander and lemon juice. Serve it hot with Roti / Naan / Jeera rice / Plain rice and papadam.. yumm yumm

Thai Basil Eggplant (Brinjal)

Basil is my favourite herb and maybe a reason I love Thai food so much. The soups, curries and stir fries taste amazingly different with just few handful of sweet basil. This recipe is super easy and cooks in very little time. So lets get started with the recipe ...

- 3-4 Chinese Eggplant (Brinjal)( long and slender)
- 1-2 Chili peppers ( add per your taste)
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, washed and roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp thick Soya sauce or paste
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp cooking oil
- 1/2 cup water

1. Wash your eggplants and chop it in to roughly 1 inch cubes
2. In a frying pan, heat the oil
3. Add garlic and chili peppers and cook for a minute or so until garlic turns golden
4. Now add eggplant to the fragrant garlic oil, add water, mix it and cover the pan with a lid.
5. Stir every few minutes and continue cooking for 5-8 minutes until eggplant is cooked and looks translucent.
6. Now open the lid, add salt, sugar and soy sauce.
7. Stir it well and continue cooking for few more minutes until a thick sauce is nicely smothered on every eggplant chunk. Cook until all the water is evaporated.
8. Now add fresh basil leaves, mix it once and switch off the heat.
9. Thai Basil Eggplant is ready to serve with some freshly cooked Jasmine or Basmati Rice.


Tender Coconut and Rose Milk shake

Ingredients ( 1 glass)
-1 table spoon tender coconut chunks ( choose the one with thin white coconut flesh)
- 150 ml low fat or skimmed milk
- 1 spoon sugar (or as desired)
- 1 tsp good quality rose water
- 2-3 Ice cubes (optional)

- Blend all the ingredients in blender for few minutes until smooth
- Pour the shake in a tall glass
- Serve immediately

Enjoy this refreshing drink on a hot summer day!

Green Bean Soup (Asian Style - Sweet)

Taiwanese people love this soup. This simple recipe originated in China and has been enjoyed in mainland and Taiwan for centuries as part of healthy well being. According to Chinese Medicine, mung is considered a 'yin' food or cool food hence it is a recommended food for a yang person ( one with warm body temperature) or someone suffering from yang disease. It is also perfect to have on a hot summer day (yang).   ( Discovery website has some good basic info on Chinese Medicine for those interested - http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/chinese/yin-and-yang.htm)

I like to enjoy this soup irrespective of my yin and yang state of body. For me, Mung beans are a great source of protein and the soup is really a refreshing snack or light meal on a hot summer day.

Ingredients ( 4 bowls )
- 1 cup green mung
- around 4 cups of water
-  4 spoons of sugar (adjust per your taste)

- Soak green mung for at least 4 hours
- Pressure cooker the beans so that it is completely cooked ( you can simmer it for one hour at low heat if you don't have pressure cooker)
- If you didn't have enough time to soak mung for 4 hours then you might just have to cook the mung beans for longer period.
- Add 3 portions of water to one portion of cooked beans and add sugar
- Boil the liquid and let it simmer well for five - eight minutes.
- Let the soup cool down and then put it in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.

Enjoy the soup!

Note: you can also enjoy this soup warm and it tastes equally good.

Split Green Bean pancake

Mung dosa is perfect for your protein packed breakfast or light dinner. We love this recipe and its a regular feature on Sunday morning brunch. It is yummy and honestly not as difficult to make as it looks. So here are the simple steps for some yumm meal. 

Ingredients ( 6-8 medioum sized dosa or pancake)
- 1 cup split green mung beans ( mung daal with our without green cover)
- salt to taste
- cooking oil  
- 1/2 inch piece of ginger - pounded or 1/2 tsp ginger paste
- 2 cloves garlic - minced or 1/2 tsp garlic paste
- 1/2 cup water

- Soak mung beans for atleast 6-8 hours 

- Mix soaked mung beans, salt, ginger and garlic
- Add water only as you need to make a thick smoothie which can pour easily.
- Blend it very well till all the mung beans are crushed and it becomes a smooth batter.
- Now heat a flat pan and add little oil ( you need to do that only for the first pancake)
- Pour a table spoon full of batter at the center of the pan and quickly spread the batter working in circular motion and going outwards.

- Spray some oil on the edges and let it cook for few minutes. If the layer of batter is too thick then cover the pan with a lid so that it cooks well.
- You will see the edges turning dark, peel the pancake a little to see if it has the golden colour that you would like.
- Now peel the entire pancake/dosa and flip it on the pan. Let it cook for 30 more secs.
- Your pancake is now ready to serve.
- Enjoy it hot with your favourite chutney or ketchup.
- repeat the process by pouring fresh batter on the center of the pan.


Kesar (Saffron) Shrikhand

This is a favourite Indian dessert especially from Western states like Gujarat and Maharashtra. It is a must have sweet dish, eaten mostly as part of main course along with puris ( fried and puffy wheat bread) at weddings and festivals in many communities. I love to eat this dish as is (without bread) , whether its a festival or not and especially while we are away from our home land this luscious saffron yogurt makes any day a celebration.

Its Mahavir Jayanti today ( Jain Festival) and I had to stirr up this dessert to celebrate the day.
Ingredients ( makes 4 bowl)
- Plain yogurt made out of 1 litre low fat milk ( or get ready made plain low fat yogurt)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp roasted and powdered/pounded saffron
- 1/2 tsp cardamon powder
- 5-8 raosted and slivered pistachios for garnish

Alternate flavours
- Saffron and roasted almonds
- Mango pulp instead of saffron and cardamon

- Take a muslin cloth, place yogurt in the center and tie the ends of the cloth.
- Hang this cloth bag somewhere in the kitchen so that the water from the yogurt can easily strain out. Hang it for atleast 5 - 8 hours. You can also keep it overnight.
- After hanging you will get a heavy yogurt ( In India we also call it chakka, it is also yummy to eat it as is, with sugar or topping on fruits )
- Now take a big strainer and put a serving bowl below it. Add the heavy yogurt, sugar, saffron and cardamon powder in the strainer and start to slowly mix it while putting a gently pressure so that the mixture goes through the strainer.
- Taste the mixture below and add more sugar if you prefer.
- What you get below in the serving bowl is a smooth, luscious Saffron Shrikhand.
- Chill it in the fridge for few hours for better taste.
- Garnish with chopped pistachios.