Saturday, May 22, 2010

Very berry breakfast smoothie

" An optimist in the human personification of spring" - Susan J. Bissonette
I Love spring for the rain. Love spring for the singing of the birds. Love spring for the first baby leaves bursting out of the bare branches of trees. Love spring for the first flowers after winter. Love spring for the tulips. Love spring for the yawning winds lifting my spirits anticipating summer. Best of all, love spring for the fresh and vibrantly colored berries found in abundance at every store and market.
Here is my very berry smoothie. A power packed breakfast. The berries make the smoothie really sweet, so sugar can be avoided. Now, isn't that SUWEEET!
Ingredients : (Makes 2 servings)
  • Cold Milk - 2 cups
  • Strawberries -3
  • Raspberries - 1/4 cup
  • Black berries - 1/4 cup
  • Blueberries - 1/4 cup
  • Fresh mango pieces - 1/2 cup
  • Chiquita banana - 1
  • Pitted bing cherries - 1/2 cup
  • Ice cubes - optional
Directions :

  • Blend all the ingredients in the blender and serve. (Blend in the ice cubes only if you want your drink exceptionally cold)

Luv 'n' luc'

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Vegetable patty/cutlets burger

There is a vast misconception among very many foreigners that all Indians are vegetarians. They are surprised to see us eat meat. I have had to answer many queries regarding this when I lived in Germany.

Anyway, even though we do have vegetarians and non-veggies,in India, we, ultimately, have the most number of vegetarian dishes than any other country in the world. I am sure, that is a fact.

I have an interesting tale that I want to share. Katrin, my German friend, had a male friend( who I will be referring to here as "HE") who accompanied her to India on a job transfer. It was a long term project of 2 years. German's are voracious pork eaters. Most of you would have heard of the famous German "WURST" and "WIENERS".

"HE" happened to stuff himself with all the pork, sausages and meat he could before he left Germany, and tom-tom-ed around that he was doing that because he was going to India. And because it was a country of vegetarians, he would not be able to eat meat for 2 long years. He doubted his survival in a country of vegetarians and was vexed at the thought of tasteless bland vegetarian food.

They landed in India and guess the surprise in store for him. Not one surprise, but two.
One, that there were meat eaters in India and secondly, "HE" was surprised at the variety of vegetarian foods available. " HE" absolutely, fell head over heels in love with India and Indian food. And here is a surprise for all of us............. "HE" returned to Germany, after his 2-year project, converted into a pure vegetarian since. " HE has learnt to play with spices and learned alot about Indian cuisine. He is as happy as ever.

So, the possibilities with vegetables are endless and here is one more item to prove that.

  • Boiled vegetables - 6 cups ( I've used 4 large potatoes, 3 large carrots, 15 green beans, 1-1/2 cup of peas, 1/2 cup chopped beetroot. You can use a few fresh baby spinach leaves too)
  • Chopped Onions - 1/2 cup
  • Chopped ginger and garlic- 4 tspns
  • Chopped green chillis - to taste
  • Garam masala- 2 tspns
  • Coriander leaves (chopped)- 1 cup
  • Turmeric - 1/8 tspn
  • Salt- to taste
  • Bread crumbs - 1/2 cup( plus an additional 2 cups for coating the cutlets before pan searing)
  • Oil - scant 10 tbspns ( or more if shallow frying)
  • Buns- as required
  • Onion rings, tomato rings, fresh baby spinach leaves nad cheese slice-for assembling

  • In a pan, saute ginger, garlic and green chillis in 4 tbspns of oil over a low flame.
  • Add onions and saute till translucent
  • Add garam masala, turmeric, salt and saute for a couple of mins.
  • Add the boiled vegetables and and mash lightly.
  • Once the veggies and the spices are mixed well turn off the stove and add half a cup of bread crumbs to the mixture. Mix well and let the mixture cool.
  • Once cooled, shape the veggie mixture into patties coating the patties with bread crumbs and pan sear them on a with a few drops of oil on each side. (If you prefer shallow frying the patties/cutlets you will need more oil)
  • I like a double burger. So, this is how I assemble my burger. Cut buns into halves. Place one half on a platter, top it with a veggie patty, a ring of onion, a ring of tomato, a few leaves of fresh baby spinach, cheese, another patty and top it with the other half of the bun.
  • I usually opt for whole wheat buns, but the white buns made it picture perfect :)
  • Bon appetit
Here is another secret. Since, I hate ketchup, I use guacamole in my burgers instead. Believe me, it tastes scrumptious. Click here for a Guacamole recipe .
Luv 'n' luc'

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Prawn Vindhali / Prawn curry

This is my very good and beautiful friend Priya, who lives in Philly. We've been friends from our college days. She visited India too, in December, when I was there. We met up with old friends and had a blast.

She gave me this wonderful recipe for prawn vindhali. She says it's a recipe from Thirunelveli, Tamil Nadu. It is a very simple and delicious dish. I tried it and loved it. Thought I must give her the credit for the recipe. So, kudos to you, Priya. And thanks a bundle pal :)

  • Cleaned prawns - 1 pound (abt. 1/2 kg)
  • Vinegar - 4-5 tbspns
  • Onion - 1 large (chopped)
  • Garlic - 6-7 cloves (chopped)
  • Ginger - 1 inch thick piece (chopped)
  • Oil - 4-5 tbspns
  • Red chillis - 10
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tspn
  • Cumin seeds - 1/2 tspn
  • Mustard seeds- 1-1/2 tspn
  • Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
  • Water - 1/4 cup
  • Salt to taste
  • Lightly dry roast the red chillis, mustard and cumin seeds in a pan.
  • Grind this to a paste with a 2-3 tbspns of vinegar (do not add water at all to this mixture)
  • Marinate the prawns in this paste for about 30 mins.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add onions, garlic and ginger and saute for 4-5 mins.
  • Add turmeric powder.
  • Add the marinated prawns, salt and vinegar and fry well.( For about 4-5 mins)
  • Pour 1/4 cup of water, add curry leaves and allow it to simmer till the gravy becomes thick.
  • Serve hot. Pairs well with rice .
Luv 'n' luc'

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

An eye on your waist.........Guacamole with oven baked tortilla bites

I never make resolutions because they are hard to keep. All you strong-willed folks may be smirking at me. But, I do plan to stay active and fit this year. How about you guys? What have you planned for 2010? (Maybe, I'm too late in asking you this question, but just inquisitive)

These days , we hear so much about staying fit, eating healthy, reducing fat and sugar intake and so on. All this is important for the kind of stressful lifestyle we lead.

But, where do you start? And, how do you follow all the rules? You have to figure it out yourself. Personally, for me, it's all about portion control. I don't deprive myself of good food. But, I try to understand what's on my plate and how it will affect me. So, when I see cake, I don't run and hide. I enjoy a small slice rather than a large one. Similarly, fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains point fingers to good health. So, I opt for that kind of food too now a days.

With all due respect to those of you who have resolved to live healthy, here is the recipe for a very healthy snack.It is very comforting and helps you stay on track. It's scrumptious too. Avacadoes are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and monounsaturated fat that helps lower bad cholesterol.Guacamole is a mexican avacado dip.

Stay fit, stay healthy and Happy 2010.

Ingredients :(Serves 2)
  • Whole wheat tortillas - 2 ( can substitute with chapatis)
  • Ripe avacado - 1 ( avacado will be dark green when raw and black when ripe)
  • Onions - 2 tbspns(fine chopped)
  • Tomatoes - 1 tspn(fine chopped)
  • Coriander leaves - 2 tsps
  • Lemon juice - 1 tspn
  • Low-fat yogurt - 1 tbspn
  • Cumin powder - 1/2 tspn
  • Salt and pepper - to taste.
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F(149 C)
  • Place tortillas or chapatis side by side on a tray. Do not let them overlap. Bake for 10 mins or till they are crisp like chips.
  • Remove from oven.Let cool. They will be completely crisp. Break them into bite size pieces and set them aside on a serving platter.
  • Peel and cut the avacado into small peices and coarsely mash with a fork.
  • In a small mixing bowl, add the avacado and all the other ingredients and mix well.
  • Transfer to a dipping bowl and serve.
Note: Never cook an avacado.Because of its high tannin content, the flesh turns bitter.
Luv 'n' luc'

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Hi everyone,

How have all of you been? Waiting to hear from all of you.

Me back after a very very short break ;) [ just 4 months]
My India trip was like one huge roller-coaster ride. It was a mix of fun and tension and alot of road trips and leisure and sunshine and intense heat. The best part was being with family and friends after a long time. And great news is that recession has not hit India as badly as it has here. India is booming. All I saw there was development, development and more development. Hurrah!

Now, being back here, and having just gotten over my jetlag, I've settled back to routine. Phew!
And happy to have missed the winter and come directly to spring.

Hopefully, I should be back to blogging soon . But truth is that laziness is taking over. I should push myself to get started. Will start that processs with immediate effect.

Luv 'n' luc'


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