South Indian Sambhar


  • ½ cup toor dal (yellow split pidgeon peas)
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon asafoetida
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder (or paprika for mild version)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 cup chopped daikon radish (or red radish)
  • 1 cup cut green beans
  • 1 cup chopped large shallot (or small onion)
  • 1 cup chopped pumpkin (or squash or zucchini)
  • ½ cup chopped tomato
  • 3 cups water
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon tamarind paste, soaked in 1 cup of warm water for 5 minutes
For the “Tempering”
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 10-15 curry leaves


  1. Rinse toor dal well, then soak in warm water for 10 minutes. Drain then boil them in 2½ cups of water over medium heat for 25 minutes or until they are fully cooked. Use a spoon or spatula to mash the cooked peas and set aside.
  2. In a large pot over medium-high heat, add the oil, then fry the coriander, cumin seeds, asafoetida, turmeric, chili powder, black pepper, and fenugreek for 5-10 seconds before adding all of the chopped vegetables and 3 cups of water. Add the salt. Bring it to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 10 minutes.
  3. In the meanwhile, soak the tamarind in 1 cup of warm water. After 5 minutes mash the tamarind water with a spoon or your fingers. Strain the tamarind juice into the pot slowly. You want to leave about a Tablespoon of the juice behind because there can be some grit that will have settled to the bottom. Add the cooked, mashed toor dal to the vegetables and cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Make the “tempering” by heating the oil in a small saucepan then adding the mustard seeds. They will sizzle and may pop, so keep a lid handy. After a few seconds add the curry leaves (which will definitely pop). Immediately remove from heat and dump this seasoned oil, seeds, and curry leaves into the sambhar. Stir them in and taste the dish for seasoning, adjust, and serve with rice.

Ginger peanut tofu curry


500g firm tofu, cut into 1.5cm cubes
3.5 tbls olive oil
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
200g | 1 large onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
40g | large thumb size piece ginger root, grated
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground cardamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 x 400g tin of diced tomatoes
2 tbls natural peanut butter
375ml | 1.5 cups vegetable stock
1 bunch spinach, trimmed and shredded (or other leafy greens)

Fresh coriander leaves (cilantro) and cooked rice, to serve.


Set your oven to 220C.

On a lined baking tray, toss your tofu with 1/2 tbls of olive oil and 1/4 tsp of salt. Spread out in a single layer and bake for 30 min, till golden and crisp – tossing half way through.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, fry the mustard seeds in the remaining olive oil till starting to pop – 1-2 min. Add the onion and cook till soft and starting to colour – 5 min. Stir in the ginger, garlic, spices and remaining salt and cook for a further minute till fragrant.

Add the tomatoes and peanut butter, stir till combined and then mix in the stock. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer, cooking uncovered for 10 mins or so, till it is a rich sauce. (I let the curry simmer till the tofu is done baking).

Stir in the tofu and spinach and cook for a couple more minutes till spinach has wilted and tofu slightly softened – 2 min. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.

Serve topped with fresh coriander and alongside some steamed rice or flat bread.

Dum aloo recipe


  • 12-15 baby potatoes
  • 1 ½ cup Yogurt
  • 3 tbsp. Oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Sugar
  • A pinch of Asafetida powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Water


  • 4 Kashmiri red chilly
  • 1/2’ Dry Ginger
  • 1 tbsp Fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. Cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. peppercorn
  • 4 Cloves
  • 2 Black cardamoms



Wash all the baby potatoes and parboil or partially cook them in a large pan of water.

Place all the parboiled potatoes in a other vessel filled with cold water and let them cool.

Peel all the potatoes and prick each potatoes lightly with a fork.

Heat a pan and dry roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black cardamom, peppercorn, fennel seeds and dry red chilies on high heat for about a minute.

Grind all the roasted ingredients with cloves, cardamom and dry ginger

Pour about 2 tbsp. of oil in a flat pan and shallow fry the potatoes till they turn golden brown in colour.

Take out the potatoes and place them on tissue paper.

Heat oil in a pan and add asafoeitda powder in it.

Pour a tablespoon of water in ground spices and salt, pour this into the pan and cook it for 2 minutes.

Whisk the yogurt well with a fork and add it in the pan.

Add sugar (optimal) and shallow fried baby potatoes in the pan, cover with a lid and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes on medium heat.

Cook till the gravy thicken and oil starts floating over the pan. At this stage you can give ‘Dum‘ to the curry by placing it over a hot griddle.

Cover the pan with a lid and place it on a hot griddle and let it cook on slow heat for 15 minutes.

Turn off the heat and serve the Dum Aloo curry with plain rice or India flat bread


Healthy Italian Salad

Ingredients:  salad
1 (19 ounce) bag frozen cheese tortellini pasta
2 orange bell peppers, cut into bite size pieces
1 English cucumber, cut into quarters and sliced
½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
16 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved

1 (14 ounce) can pineapple tidbits in 100% pineapple juice, divided

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup pineapple juice (reserved from the can of pineapple tidbits)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon  garlic paste or fresh grated garlic
2 teaspoons  Ginger Paste or fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon course ground black pepper


Method: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook tortellini according to directions on the package.  Drain and set aside once cooked.

Chop  vegetables and set aside. Reserve pineapple juice from can for the dressing. Set aside.  Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.

In a pint size mason jar add dressing ingredients. Shake mason jar until dressing is combined.  Pour dressing over salad and gently toss with salad tongs until well coated.

Serve and enjoy



Plum Jam

Ingredients:  12 lbs plum

4 cups  sugar

Method:   1. cut  12 lbs of plums in half, pit them and place in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle well with 4 1/2  cups sugar. Using a large spoon, stir plums with sugar until all are coated.  If your plums are overripe or already very sweet, you may only need 4 cups of sugar total. You can add more sugar to taste while its cooking. Let plums sit at room temp with the sugar for about 1 hour, or until sugar is somewhat dissolved.

2. Transfer plums/sugar mixture in to a large cooking pot.

3. Place it on the stove uncovered and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Make sure if you see a light boil to stir because the whole pot may not be boiling, just the center. If it stops boiling after you stir it, continue boiling until everything is uniformly bubbling, then simmer for 10 minutes and turn off the heat. Let the pot stand uncovered until it is just warm to the touch or reaches room temp.

4. As soon as it cools, repeat step 3. You will bring it to a boil a total of 4 times, stirring to prevent scorching the bottom. This is why it takes 2 days to make. It’s really easy though and so worthwhile!  There’s no “set” waiting time between boilings. If 2 days doesn’t work for you, by all means, take 3 days. Preserves have plenty of sugar so they won’t spoil at room temp if you leave it on the counter overnight. If you want the preserves to have an even thicker consistency, you can boil it 5-6 times if you wish.


For the Spread:
    • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
    • 2 Tablespoons sour cream
    • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
    • Juice from one lime
For the Topping:
  • 1/4 cup grated Cotija cheese
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (or chili powder if you want heat)
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)


Soak 5 wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes. Pierce a skewer halfway into the bottom of each corn cob.

Preheat the grill to medium heat (between 350-450 degrees F).

Place the corn directly over the heat, cover and let cook for 10 to 15 minutes, turning often, until the kernels are spotted brown.

Meanwhile, combine the spread ingredients in a small bowl, and the topping ingredients in another small bowl; set aside.

Carefully remove the corn cob from the grill and transfer to a large platter. Smear the spread all over each corn cob, then sprinkle evenly with the topping. Serve immediately.


Spicy Potatoes


  • 500g baby new potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 2 tbsp canola oil or any vegetable  oil
  • few sprigs curry leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 inch ginger, sliced finely
  • 1 red chilli- chopped
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • salt to season
  • A small bunch of coriander leaves, chopped



  • Boil the potatoes in water until almost tender.
  • Drain and put aside.
  • In a wok, heat the ghee and canola oil together.
  • Temper the curry leaves, chopped chilli, mustard seeds, ginger and cumin seeds until fragrant.
  • Add in the coriander powder, chilli powder and the dash of turmeric.
  • Tip in the potatoes and stir fry for few more minutes until the potatoes are well coated with spices.
  • Season with salt and throw in the coriander leaves.
  • Serve warm





4 large sweet potatoes
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and quartered
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1/2 cup sliced scallion
1/2 cup minced fresh mint leaves
1 or 2 fresh minced chiles (jalapeño, Thai, serrano, or habanero), or to taste
1/4 cup raisins (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into bite-size pieces. Put them on a baking sheet, drizzle with two tablespoons of the oil, and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast, turning occasionally, until crisp and brown outside and just tender inside, about 30 minutes. Remove and keep on the pan until ready to dress.
  2. Make the dressing while the potatoes cook. Put the remaining six tablespoons of oil in a blender, along with the vinegar, bell pepper, cumin, and zest if you’re using it. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Purée until smooth.
  3. Toss the warm potatoes with the scallion, mint, chiles, and raisins if you’re using them. Add 1/2 cup of the dressing, and toss to coat, adding more if necessary. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve immediately or at room temperature.




  • 2 Tbs + 1 tsp olive oil
  • 16 oz. cremini (“Baby Bella”) mushrooms, sliced thick
  • Spices:
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1½ tsp red curry powder
  • 1½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red, yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 medium-large cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½” piece fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
  • 1 lb carrots, chopped into 1″-ish pieces (about 2½ c)
  • 2½ c water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs peanut butter
  • 3 c spinach greens
  • juice of ½ lime (about 2 Tbs)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large non-stick cooking pot, heat 1 tsp of oil on medium. Saute the mushrooms for about 5 minutes, or until they’re quite juicy and reduced in size. Remove to a plate and set aside.
  2. Add 2 Tbs oil to the same pot and reduce the heat to low. Add all the spices and let them bloom in the oil for about 2 minutes. Add a little water if they’re looking dry.
  3. Raise the heat to medium and add the onion and pepper. Saute for about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for another 2 minutes. Reduce the heat and add a little water if needed.
  4. Add the carrots, water and salt and raise the heat to high; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.
  5. Remove from heat and use an immersion blender to puree the carrot mixture into a creamy sauce. You can also use a food processor and do it in two shifts. If using a food processor, when you’re done return the sauce to the pot.
  6. Heat the sauce on medium low and stir in the peanut butter, greens and mushrooms. Heat through until the greens start to wilt.
  7. Serve alone or with your favorite rice, quinoa or Indian flatbreads




Dal Makhani recipe


  • ¾ cup whole urad dal, 140 grams
  • ¼ cup rajma, 40 grams
  • 3 cups water for pressure cooking, 750 ml
  • 1 medium onion or 50 grams onion or ½ cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 or 2 green chilies, chopped
  • 2 tsp ginger garlic paste or 6 to 7 garlic + 1 inch ginger, crushed to a paste in mortar-pestle
  • 2 large tomatoes or 200 grams tomatoes, pureed or 1 cup tomato puree
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 to 3 cloves
  • 2 to 3 green cardamoms
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 1 small to medium tej patta/bay leaf
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • 2 to 3 pinches of nutmeg powder or grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup of water or add as required
  • ¼ to ⅓ cup low fat cream, 25% to 30% fat
  • ½ tbsp low fat cream for garnish
  • ¼ tsp kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves, crushed
  • 3 tbsp butter, salted or unsalted
  • salt as required
for dhungar method: (optional)
  • 1 small piece of charcoal
  • ½ to ⅔ tsp oil


preparing dal makhani:
  1. soak both ¾ cup whole urad dal and ¼ cup rajma/kidney beans overnight in enough water for 8 to 9 hours or overnight. later drain them well.
  2. rinse both the lentils a couple of times in water.
  3. drain again and then add them in a pressure cooker. add 3 cups water and stir well.
  4. pressure cook for 18 to 20 whistles on a high flame, till both the urad dal and rajma have cooked thoroughly and softened. if they are not cooked, then add about ½ cup water again and pressure cook for 4 to 5 whistles more. the urad dal should melt in the mouth and should not give any bite or resistance when eaten. you can also just mash the urad dal with a spoon or with your fingers to check the doneness. the same rule applies for rajma too. keep the cooked beans aside.
  5. in a blender or mixer jar, take chopped tomatoes. 2 large tomatoes or 200 grams of tomatoes, chopped.
  6. blend to a smooth puree. keep aside. you can also use ready 1 cup tomato puree instead of blending the tomatoes. no need to blanch the tomatoes while pureeing.
  7. in a pan, now heat 3 tbsp butter. you can use salted butter or unsalted butter.
  8. add the whole spices – ½ tsp cumin seeds, 2 to 3 cloves, 2 to 3 green cardamoms, 1 black cardamom, 1 inch cinnamon, 1 small to medium tej patta/bay leaf.
  9. saute till the spices become aromatic.
  10. then add ½ cup finely chopped onions.
  11. stir and saute the onions on a low flame often till they become light golden.
  12. then add 2 tsp ginger garlic paste. stir again and saute till the raw aroma of ginger-garlic goes away.
  13. add 1 tsp chopped green chilies and stir for a minute.
  14. then add the tomato puree and stir again.
  15. add ½ tsp red chili powder and 2 to 3 pinches of grated nutmeg or nutmeg powder.
  16. stir very well and saute this mixture on a low to medium flame, till you see fat releasing from the sides.
  17. then add the cooked urad dal and rajma beans along with the stock. also add 1 cup water or as required.
  18. stir very well and simmer the dal makhani uncovered on a low flame.
  19. keep on stirring often, so that the lentils don’t stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  20. once the dal makhani has begun to thicken, add salt as required.
  21. stir very well and continue to simmer on a low flame. when simmering you can add more water if the gravy looks thick or dry. the longer you keep dal makhani to simmer, the better it tastes. i kept for about an overall 25 minutes on a low flame. do keep on stirring at intervals.
  22. when the gravy has thickened enough, then add ¼ to ⅓ cup cream. dal makhani is not too thick or too thin. it has a medium consistency.
  23. stir the cream very well. then switch off the flame.
  24. now add ¼ tsp kasuri methi, crushed. stir again. cover and keep the dal makhani aside, if you are proceeding to the dhungar method. or else you can serve dal makhani straight away.
    dhungar method:
    1. heat a small piece of charcoal on flame till it becomes red hot. with the help of tongs, keep on turning the charcoal piece so that it evenly burns.
    2. keep the red hot charcoal in a small bowl.
    3. pour ½ tsp oil on the charcoal.
    4. immediately keep this bowl on top of the dal makhani.
    5. cover for a minute and allow the charcoal to infuse its smoke in the dal makhani. the more you keep the pan covered, the more the dal makhani gets the smoky flavor. i always keep for one to two minutes.
    6. serve dal makhani garnished with chopped coriander leaves and a few teaspoons of cream with naan, tandoori roti, chapatis or steamed rice.

I am going to share some tasty recipes with a healthy twist