Sunday, May 21, 2017

Crunchy, tangy tasing, quick-cooking sauerkraut

Crunchy, tangy tasting, quick-cooking sauerkraut in 10 minutes. 
All you need is half a head of fresh cabbage and a few simple ingredients.

Here's the recipe:
  • 1/2 head of a medium-sized fresh cabbage
  • 2 Tbsp. champagne vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. verjus ( juice from sour grapes or crab-apples)
  • 3/4 to 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Cut out and discard cabbage core. Thinly slice the leaves.
In a medium pot, combine cabbage, vinegar, sugar, verjus, and 1/4 cup of water. Season with salt and pepper.
Once the water starts boiling, mix the cabbage well, and turn off heat. Transfer to a bowl and let it marinate for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally and season with a tinge of salt and pepper.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Red cabbage and cucumber slaw. Easy, tasty slaw in just 10 minutes start to finish


  1. 1/2 head of a medium red cabbage,  diced
  2. 2 small cucumbers, chopped or diced. 
  3. 1/2 tsp. sugar
  4. 2 tspns. olive oil
  5. Crushed black pepper
  6. 1 Tbsp. white vinegar
  7. 1/2 tsp. salt
In a medium bowl, combine the cabbage, cucumber, the sugar, vinegar, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside the marinate, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To give it a slightly different taste, a few pieces of finely chopped green onion will do the trick.

For more easy recipes, visit

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Spicy vegetarian pad thai

This dish and recipe are inspired by my latest dining experience at a Thai restaurant by my home. The noodles were spicy and paired with a ginger soda, turned out to be a perfect dinner and ending to a busy work day. I would've liked the ginger less sweet and more gingery. The host tried adding some ginger slivers which fixed the over powering sweetness of the soda.

Here's my version of Pad Thai. Purely vegetarian without the fish sauce. Check out other recipe from

Use a mix of the following vegetables: Bean, bean sprouts, asparagus, carrot, mushrooms, onions. This recipe will yield 2-3 servings.

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup tamarind extract, thick
1 onion, sliced
7 green beans cut into 3rds
1/2 cup carrot noodles or slivers 1/5 cup bean sprouts
1 cup mushrooms
3 to 4 fresh basil leaves
1 cup spring onions, chopped
2 Tbs. canola or olive oil
2 cups cooked pad thai noodles or rice noodles
1 Tbsps. fresh chives
2 tsps. papria
1 Tbsp. coarse peanuts, unsalted
1/2 cup white vinegar
4 dry red chilies
2 lime wedges
2 eggs, scrambled
Salt to taste

Cook pasta per directions on package. In a skillet, add oil. Let it warm, then add the red chilies. Sauté onions first. Add all vegetables except bean sprouts and sauté until slightly under cooked but not raw.
Mix tamarind paste with vinegar and bring to a simmer. Turn off heat. Use the remaining oil, sauté garlic and add all the vegetables. Toss a few times. Add eggs, scramble until cooked. Add the tamarind paste, paprika and noodles.Stir a couple times to combine. Sprinkle some spring onions on top.

Serve hot garnished with bean sprouts, peanuts, paprika and lime wedges. For additional spice, add fresh ground red chilie flakes.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Warm Eggplant Dip

For authentic, healthy recipes, visit
Eggplant Dip
Eggplant dips can be made in umpteen different ways. Here's an easy one.
Pointer 1: Long Chinese eggplants have less seeds and are the best for this recipe.

  • 4 slim eggplants
  • 6-8 fresh garlic cloves
  • 4 green chilies
  • 2 medium-sized shallots or 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsps. fresh coriander chopped
  • Salt to taste
Slit eggplant lengthwise, place garlic and slip chilies inside them. Coat them with olive oil or any other oil of used for cooking. Bake, wrapped in foil in a 400°F oven, or roast them over stove without the foil. I have tried both. Over stove involves a lot of cleaning after the fact.
For oven baked: This should take about 40 minutes. Remove from oven. and carefully unwrap the foil or just tear off. Mash coarsely but without big chunks. Add salt and lime juice, mix well. Top off with onions and cilantro. Tastes best served warm. Can be serve with nachos, chips, veggies or even crispy crackers.
Over stove: Everything is the same as above, except for this method the skin would need to be removed.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Basil Pesto Pasta from Swamy's kitchen

How can anything with garlic and basil go wrong?  Here's the recipe to a simple, feel good, Sunday or any other day dinner. Just this entree? With a chewy bread and some colorful veggie on the side the meal can turn out quite scrumptious. Oh, don't forget that red wine hiding in your cellar.

Fresh basil pesto pasta
There are several ways to create a pesto pasta, here is a quick one.
Pointer 1: Fresh basil, garlic and Parmesan are key ingredients for this recipe.
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 fresh bunch of basil leaves (10 leaves)
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves
  • Olive oil as needed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Ravioli pasta 1 pound box

  • Toast nuts and chop them.
  • Wash, grind basil with garlic and olive oil. Add the cheese, spin blender once.
  • Cook pasta in water with a bit of salt until done but not mushy.
  • Mix all ingredients together. Serve immediately. 
For other tasty recipes, visit

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Kathirikkai Moorungakkai Poritcha Kootu from Swamy's Kitchen

There's nothing more delicious than a bowl of kootu with hot rice on a cold winter evening.

This used to be one of the dishes my mom made every now and then for a regular meal when I was growing up in India.

Here's the authentic recipe. Enjoy and comment after. For more recipes, go to


  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, fresh or frozen
  • Two drumsticks, cut to 3"-length
  • 2 long eggplants or about 6-8 small ones
  • 1 1/2 cups moong dhal
  • 2 tsps. turmeric powder
  • 3 red chilies
  • 2 tsps. peppercorn
  • 1 Tbsp. urad dhal
  • 2 tsp. sambaar podi
  • 2 Tbsps. oil canola oil
  • Salt to taste

  • Add the vegetables to the cooked dhal. After they are half cooked, add salt and sambaar podi. Roast the chilies, peppercorn, and urad dhal in a tsp. of oil until peppercorns start to pop and the dhal turns golden brown.

    Grind red chilies, urad and peppercorn along with the shredded coconut. Add to the vegetables that are cooking on the stove. Let the spices blend in well an stay in medium heat for about 8 minutes.

    Remove from stove and garnish. Use the remaining oil, add mustard seeds. When they start spurting, add the urad dhal and let it brown. Finally add the curry leaves. After turning it a couple times, pour the garnish on top of the dish. Close with a lid to seal the aroma and taste.

    Tastes best with rice but also work with chappathis.

    Sunday, January 8, 2017

    Asparagus Soup for a cold winter day

    Pointer 1: Use fresh asparagus within a couple days after purchase.

    • 2 bunches asparagus, chopped
    • 1 medium red onion, chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic, diced
    • 4 cups vegetable stock
    • 1 cup soy milk or almond milk
    • 2 Tbsps. all purpose flour
    • 2 Tbsps. olive or canola oil
    • Salt to taste
    • Fresh ground black pepper

    Take a flat skillet. Add oil. Add garlic and onions. Sauté until onions turn translucent. Remove from heat and set aside.
    Cook asparagus in vegetable stock on high heat for about 8 minutes. Remove from stove. Blend asparagus, onions and garlic until smooth. Pour the mixture into the pot with vegetable stock. Bring to boil. Turn down heat.
    Mix all purpose flour either in the soy or almond milk and pour into the pot. Cover and continue heating for another 20 minutes.
    Serve with hearty, whole grain bread.
    More recipes from

    Sunday, December 11, 2016

    Spicy garlic gravy

    Garlic lovers - This one's for you.

    The perfect combination of spicy, tasty and healthy. This is a dish that can be had with rice, quinoa and rice combo, with dosai or south Indian pulav. Every so often I get a craving for this garlic gravy/sauce that my mom used to make. I had it to my heart's content this afternoon with some rice and was in heaven. Try this recipe. There 's a whole load of garlic, some ground to make the gravy slightly thick. I wreak but it's well worth it. Sorry co-workers. Tomorrow will be better, be happy you were nowhere near me today.

    Spicy Garlic Kozhambu (garlic gravy)


  • 1/2 8oz cup peeled garlic cloves
  • 1/2 8oz cup shredded fresh coconut
  • 5 to 6 dried red chillies
  • 1 1/2 8oz cups tamarind extract from lemon-sized fresh tamarind ball (found in Indian or Mexican grocery store)
  • 2 Tbsps. fresh coriander seeds
  • 3 tsps. canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh curry leaves
  • Salt to taste

  • Method:
    Take a pot. Extract juice from tamarind by soaking it in warm water. Sauté the garlic for about 8 minutes in a Tbsp. of canola oil. Drop the garlic into the boiling tamarind water and start heating on medium flame. Let the garlic cook well.

    Toast the red chilies and coriander in canola oil. Let it brown a little. Add about 4 to 5 cloves of garlic and grind them with the shredded coconut to a smooth consistency. Mix the ground paste into the pot of tamarind water. Add salt. Let the ingredients cook for about 15 minutes.

    Finally garnish with curry leaves. Serve with rice or pulav.

    Sunday, December 4, 2016

    Spicy, saucy mushrooms

    Food is the spice of life. Spicy food makes food worth eating. On a cold winter evening what's better than some spicy, saucy mushrooms, a  side dish for your chappthis (Indian bread) or rice.

    Here's the recipe.

    Regular button mushrooms work best for this recipe. Spice it up as much as you want, sauce it up as much as you'd like to. A combination of spicy and saucy is what we want with this prep.

  • 2 cups fresh crimini mushroom
  • Olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 medium-sized red onion, chopped
  • 4 ripe campari tomatoes
  • 2 green chillies, sliced
  • 2 tps. turmeric power
  • 2 tsps. red chillie powder
  • 2 cloves
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh coriander, chopped
  • Salt to taste

  • Sauté in a hot pan, cloves, garlic, green chillies, and onions in the order here. Let onions become translucent a bit. Add turmeric, chillie powder mix in with the ingredients on the pan. Add tomatoes, sauté for a couple minutes. Add salt. Cover the pan and cook on medium heat for 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms, a cup of water, cover, and continue simmering. Adjust salt and spice to your liking. After 10 minutes of low simmer, transfer to a serving dish. Add coriander leaves and serve with rice or chappathi.

    Sunday, August 14, 2016

    Home made mango ice cream

    Mangoes always remind me of my childhood days in India. Our home was surrounded by mango and coconut trees. As many are aware there are 100s of varieties; some of the best were in our garden.

    Every other summer provided a bumper crop. We distributed them around the neighborhood. The constantly flowing guests had their fill too. My mom prepared several types of pickles and juices but never mango ice cream.

    Here's an easy recipe to pull together for any occasion. Prep time is only 20 minutes. Freeze time is about 4 to 5 hours.

    Try it from