Sunday, December 29, 2013

Authentic Bisi Bela Bhath

On a cloudy, cold winter day one often craves for something warm and spicy.  This dish will foot the bill perfectly well.

Try 'Authentic Bisi Bela Bhath' from Vidya Swamy's Kitchen.  If you have a variety of left-over vegetables sitting around that you don't know what to do with,  then here's the answer.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Try the tastiest Rava Dosai from Vidya Swamy's kitchen

The recipe for Rava Dosai is no secret as it is too simple. However, the taste varies from kitchen to kitchen.  I guess here is where the cook's aptitude for this art comes in.

Try this recipe of the week from vidyaswamy's kitchen.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Authentic, Spicy Thai Red Curry

This is a simple recipe and takes just over half an hour. If you are stuck in a spot like I am where asian cuisine is hard to come by, then here is a recipe that would beat even a comparable Thai restaurant in a cosmopolitan area.

This Thai Red Curry is a borrowed recipe from my brother who is another 'foodie'. Yes, we come from a long line of food ethusiasts. Try it this week from Vidya Swamy's kitchen. You'll love it; especially the stove-to-table part that takes less than 45 minutes.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What do you do with all the left over turkey after your Thanksgiving dinner?

Thanksgiving is my most favorite holiday. I have a huge spread with a mix of both Indian and American dishes. I cook almost all of them, except turkey and a couple others. The kitchen is filled with the aroma of mulled cider, cookies, the masalas and of course, the turkey. It is always hard to stay away from constantly tasting them; so by the time we sit at the table for dinner I am already in a state of food intoxication. But, I don't give up that easily. I just continue eating.

So, after all the turkey one has had at the dinner table and then a couple more turkey sandwiches, what do you do if more of the turkey is still left over? Here's a recipe that will tranfer you to a whole new world. Try it from Vidya's Kitchen.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Cauliflower and green pepper in exotic spices

I prepared this dish for lunch and it tasted so good; I decided to re-post the recipe.

I recently read that cauliflower is one of those cruciferous vegetables that helps in flushing out the toxins from the body just like broccoli. I had dismissed cauliflower as one of those starchy vegetables that we can do without. Now I use it quite often.

If you can afford organic cauliflower, use them for this recipe. The organic ones are smaller in size but taste better.

1 cup, cauliflower florets
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 large tomato, chopped
1 medium-sized red onion, chopped fine
1 Tbsp. ginger-garlic diced and mashed
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. garam masala powder
2 Tbssp. chopped coriander
2 Tbsps. extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste


Steam cook cauliflower with 1 tsp. of turmeric powder for 8 minutes. Remove from stove and drain excess water.

Take a pan. Add a Tbsp. of oil. Sputter the cumin seeds first, add the onions and chillies. Sauté for a couple

Add the 2nd Tbsp. of oil, green chillies and garlic-ginger paste. Mix, then add the green pepper and half-cooked cauliflower. Sauté all the vegetables until the cauliflower browns a little.

Finally add the tomatoes, cayenne pepper, garam masala and salt to taste. Add half the chopped coriander. Cook for about 10 minutes. Garnish with the remaining coriander. Serve warm.

Serve with plain basmati rice or Indian breads.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

To the Indian palette bland food is uninteresting. With a little kick and a twist, an ordinary appetizer can be turned to something fantastic.

Here is a quick and tasty peanut appetizer for your next party. There are several ways to prepare spicy peanuts, here's just one of them. Peanuts don't have to be consumed with any kind of spice but serving plain peanuts at a party is like having peanuts in a sports bar while watching a game. That's a different mood for a different time. Spiced peanuts at a party can be served as one of many appetizers. A decorative platter with a heap of spiced peanuts add color and taste without much effort. Try it from Vidya Swamy's kitchen.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Bisibela Baath - a specialty from the state of Karnataka, India

This is one of my favorite southern Indian dishes, and the best part is I am making it for lunch today. Even though it may not look it, it's an exotic blend of flavorful spices and tastes great. You can try it too from vidyaswamy's kitchen

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Spicy Cauliflower Stir Fry

This recipe takes about 35-40 minutes inclusive of prep time. It's one of those straight forward recipes that cannot go wrong. This dish can be served as an appetizer or a side dish. They look colorful and appealing when served in a decorative platter. Try the spicy cauliflower stir fry from Vidya's kitchen.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Quinoa Pasta with home made tomato sauce, kale, peppers and cherry tomatoes

I think this is one of my best pasta recipes. And, quite possibly the healthiest. It takes about 40 minutes tops.  A great dinner menu would be to serve this pasta with a simple salad and roll. A glass of red wine would make it a perfect romantic dinner. Oh, don't forget the candles. Check it out at vidyaswamy's kitchen.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Broccoli Rabe from Vidya's Kitchen

This is an authentic Italian recipe. Cooking broccoli rabe is not the exactly a complicated science experiment, however as in any other preparation, the rabe has to be absolutely fresh and tender; and the olive oil extra virgin. The blanching has to be for exaclty 8 minutes, no more no less. Try this recipe from Vidya Swamy's Kitchen

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Cauliflower and green pepper in exotic spices

Cauliflower is one of those dull vegetables that's hard to use in many recipes and make it appeal to our taste buds. Cauliflower, unlike what we get in the U.S., I have it to be tastier in other countries. For a while, I stayed away from it, until quite recently when I understood the nutrition factor. It is high in vitamin C and as good as Broccoli in flushing out the toxins from our system. So, decided to get back to it and tried this recipe. Check it out from

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Lentils mixed with spinach in exotic spices and natural herbs from Vidya's kitchen

Simple, basic ingredients make any dish tasty and natural. This dish mixed with spinach, garlic, ginger and cumin will add that extra oomph to your dhal preparation. Check out this recipe from Vidya's kitchen.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Quinoa, black beans and porcini mushrooms-stuffed green peppers

Lately I have had this itch of stuffing vegetables with some unique combinations of grains, herbs and cheese. Surprisingly, each one has tasted better than the other. I cooked this particular one about 2 weeks ago. It's very healthy of course, but I wasn't quite sure if this will be an acceptable taste or food for my husband.  At the beginning he didn't say a word when I served it as a side dish for one of the dinners. But, the dish vanished from his plate, and he said he actually loved it. It makes it easy when you get an honest feedback. I get an immediate response as well when something is not good.

So, I repeated this stuffed vegetable craving with a totally different combination of things. I am sure you'll like it too. It doesn't really take much time, plus looks appetizing on the table. Something different and pretty soulful. Here it is from vidyaswamyskitchen.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Portabella Mushrooms Stuffed with Kale, Broccoli and Cheese

Kale and Broccoli have become my recent favorites. I have been able to turn out incredible recipes with these two cruciferous wonders. Try my mushroom stuffed kale and broccoli with cheese recipe from If you have for any reason excluded kale and broccoli from your vegetables, start adding them in. They are on top of the list in their nutrition. High in Vitamins A, B6, B12, D, K, thiamin, folate and several minerals. If you do a deep down research, you will find there is a whole lot more than just the above vitamins I have listed here.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Italian Pepper in a lightly spiced lentil batter

Hot, fried, spicy all sound good for a winter afternoon snack.  Truth is, it is as good for a summer tea-time snack. This is a great recipe to follow; quick and easy as well.  Not to mention tasty.  Now, that is a good combination. Try it from

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Tomato Green Pepper Rice, southern Indian style

This particular dish can be prepared various ways.
The taste on this particular one is very south Indian.  If you crave for something with a biryani aroma, the recipe would be quite different.

Try this and let me know if you like it.  I will post the northern Indian style as well in a few days. From

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Black lentil curry that comes with a healthy dose of protein and fiber

This is a pretty easy recipe. The major portion of the time is taken by the overnight soaking the lentil part.

Pressure cooked and then sautéd with spices makes this a scrumptious meal by itself or along with Indian breads or rice. Try it out from

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A lot about vitamin D; should we take it seriously especially if it is linked to aging?

Doctors recommend their patients to take vitamin D as a supplement when even just a few years ago, it was never an issue.  On the other hand, some nutritionists say that vitamins in general don't do a thing.

It's hard to say what the truth is, however if a particular vitamin is not known to cause any harm to our health, we might as well take it with the belief that it could help at least just a little.

This topic of vitamin D caught my attention particularly when at my usual doctor's checkup, she mentioned that lack of vitamin D is directly linked to aging. My reaction was what?  Why is this coming up only now? Her answer was it's not just for aging but for several other reasons including protection against cancer, better immunity, arthritis in women, asthma, maintaining better body weight and a few more that I forget. Enough said.

Who wants to age? Never is impossible but if at least slowing down the process is possible, then why not? My next stop was guess where? Costco. I now have a supply that will last me the rest of the year.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Cluster Beans Saambhar with simple spices in coconut milk

This is the same recipe I use to make Poricha kootu except I use a Tbsp. of shredded coconut to grind together with the rest of the paste; also minus the coconut milk.

The lentils used in this is Toor dhal versus the masoor dhal in the Kootu. Try this tasty Saambhar from Vidya's kitchen -

Tasty Gujarati Khadi from Vidya's kitchen

Gujarati KhadiThis is not an uncommon dish, however try it from Vidya's kitchen. A quick side-dish for any Indian bread or rice.

Gujarati Khadi from vidyaswamy's kitchen.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Mixed Greens, Feta Cheese, Pear & Walnut Salad

MixedGreenWalnutFetaSaladThis recipe was passed on to me by a friend of mine.

Refreshing salad for a hot summer day.  Test it out. It's so easy to make; I just made it this evening.  Takes about 15 minutes and is a great addition to any dish from any cuisine.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Raw fruits and vegetables salad - More raw, more nutrition

This preparation was inspired by the ayurvedic restaurant I was treated to last month while visiting Madras (Chennai), India.

By now many of my readers would have discovered that raw foods mean pure nutrition, un-adulterated either by boiling or frying, or through any additives or spices. I have started to include more raw foods in my diet. It is of course, safe to use organic fruits and vegetables. If you cannot afford organic, you may want to check out the local farmers' markets and get more information on how they are grown. Perhaps you might get a better deal if you become their regular customer.

Here's a nutrient-rich salad, perfect as a once a week summer salad.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Spring and Summer Soup - Enjoy this delectable combination of Tomato, Spinach and Rice

SpinachTomatoRiceSoupIf you like soups, you will love this. Follow the very simple recipe from This takes about 25 minutes, prep time and all.

Oh, I forgot to mention healthy. You just can't turn down the combination of nutrition and taste served in a bowl. Cook it, taste it, serve it and let me know.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Shredded brussel sprouts doused in olive oil with a hint of garlic and cheese

Shredded brussel sprouts with oive oil and parmesan reggiano cheeseWho said brussel sprouts are not tasty?  Try this recipe.  I had just a few recipes I rotated all the time.  I had mostly cook brussel sprouts either whole or halved. I thought to myself for a change why not shredded?

The outcome surpassed my expectations. I have posted it on my site

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Stir fried fesh green beans with a punch of garlic and freshly cracked peppercorns

Stir fried green beans with garlic and peppercornsWhen it comes to green beans, there aren't too many recipes for the western palette. How do you make them interesting?

Here is a slight twist to french green beans.  Uses diced garlic, lemon zest or lemon juice, parsley and peppercorn. Extremely easy to prepare and tastes delicious.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Exotic tasting, roasted eggplant masala

Roasted Eggplant Masala
This is an exotic tasting eggplant recipe. There is no grinding or even cutting, so less time-consuming.  Check it out at

Pasta with tomato sauce, swiss chard or kale and goat cheese

Pasta with Tomatoes, swiss chard, goat cheese
Swiss Chard, Kale... all too nutritious and not tasty is what some people are thinking. Not true. When cooked the right way with a mix of right ingredients, these greens can become addictive. Soon you'll find yourself adding them to just about anything.

Here's a great recipe to use. Pasta by itself can be pretty starchy. As you know this type of starch quickly converts to sugar and then you have diabetics whose sugar will shoot up immediately. Women trying to stay on a diet will most likely have to stay away from this food. If you are estrogen dominant, pasta is a no no. So, what do you do? Don't have to avoid pasta. Balance organic, multigrain pasta with the good stuff such as greens like swiss chard and or kale. Use plenty of the greens and less of the pasta. It's just delicious. Have a moderate portion, then you can relish them all the time.
Try this from

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sprouted Bean Curry, dry or with gravy

SproutedBeanDishSprouted lentils are filled with protein. We call it the inexpensive powerhouse of nutrition. Try this recipe with any sprouted lentil. Will make a great side dish that goes well with dry breads or rice.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Mushroom Masala - Finger-licking good

Mushroom Masala
Edible mushrooms are high in nutrition and loaded with medicinal properties; high in vitamin D and selenium. They are generally used by the chinese in their healing concoctions. I am not a big mushroom fan but this recipe is too good to dislike especially since the mushroom is sautéd . Try it from

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Poricini mushroom and cheese ravioli with fresh garlic and spinach

PorciniMushroomRavioli+fresh garlic and spinachI came back to Italian after a long break. We had a craving for south Indian food for a while. Finally, I decided to go with this recipe for this evening's dinner. It tasted divine. What a difference fresh ingredients make!  During my rough work-out, I thought of a recipe that would be great for a Sunday dinner and went with it.

So, on the way back home, I picked up a big bunch of fresh spinach; then went to work immediately so I wouldn't forget the recipe. It took me just about 35 minutes. We enjoyed every morsel.  You will love it too! Test it out.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Fenugreek Saambhar

Methi saambhar
Fenugreek am sure is new to the american palette. It is a  green leaf vegetable and people trying to switch to a vegetarian diet can have both variety and nutrition from this.

Try this saambhar recipe and send me your comments. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Black lentil dhal, creamy and yummy

Black Lentil dhal
This is another dhal variety, one among many posted here. A touch of cream and butter gives this dhal a completely different taste. Also, the black variety is packed with more proteins than plain yellow lentil.

This week's recipe - black lentil, creamy and delicious.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Uncomplicated mango ice cream recipe

Mango Ice CreamThis is an easy recipe to pull together on Valentine's day. Valentine's day mostly falls on a week day and people are probably celebrating it this week end. But you can still enjoy the day with this simple dessert and make your dinner very special. Prep time is only 20 minutes.

Here is a mango ice cream recipe that is so easy to make. Try it from

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Tidbits on health and vegetarian diets (cont'd)

This week add few more of the following vegetables and nuts to your diet.
  • Avacado - in some cultures this is a rejected fruit/vegetable due its shape. Anything forbidden sometime makes it the more enticing. Besides avacodo has too many health benefits to be neglected, such as Vitamin E, Omega 3-fatty acids, lycopene, beta carotene.
  • Almonds - high in riboflavin and L-carnitine, phosphorous, protein, Vitamin E, also in B-complex, dietary fiber, with numerous health promoting phyto-chemicals.
  • Walnuts - considered even better than almonds, an excellent anti-oxidant also contains minerals like manganese, copper, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. 
  • Bananas - contains a bit of protein, potassium, Vitmain B-6 and C, copper, magnesium, and manganese.
  • Dark chocolate - great anti-oxidant, has flavanols and Oleic acid like olive oil.
Almonds and walnuts are expensive than peanuts but stay fresh longer and can be bought in bulk. Avacados are reasonably priced when they are in season and are powerhouses when it comes to nutrition.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Barbecue Okra

Barbecue Okra
Okra is still a rarely used vegetable in an american household. This recipe will make it easier to include okra in your diet.

Health benefits alone should be reason enough to make okra part of your diet. Think fiber, anti-oxidants, folate, vitamin A, C, K, B-complex and many minerals.
Check out this recipe to get introduced to Okra. Extremely simple and tasty.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tidbits on health and vegetarian diets

Vegetarians are less likely to die of heart diseases than meat eaters. Statistics are proof for this. If you have questions, write to me. I would love to answer them.

Regarding diet, think of the following: spinach, hummus, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, hemp, chia seeds, flax. Now, follow these with the health benefits they offer: omega 3 fatty acid, potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, gamma-linolenic acid, essential fatty acids, brain foods, glowing skin, flawless complexion... 

Who wouldn't want these?  Don't let these thoughts slip away to be forgotten. Pick at least 4 items from the short list above. Choose 2 different ones the following week. I will keep adding to the list and you keep choosing different ones every week. You will be well on your way to eating healthy.

For some delicious recipes to cook go to

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Dill Potatoes, Northern Indian Style

Dill Potatoes
I love the aroma of dill but had never used in Indian cooking until now. It tastes great and enhances the flavor of the vegetable or lentil preparation it is used in.

I also discovered just this past summer that dill is plentiful in my own garden. I can get it fresh off the garden and the nutrition benefits of dill whenever I need them.
Here is a simple recipe for dill in potatoes. Simple ingredicents as dill, potatoes, cayenne pepper, garlic, turmeric and salt. Check it out at

Friday, January 25, 2013

How do you pick the right engergy bar?

I struggled with that question for a long time. My first snack/meal for several years was a protein bar.  The protein content said 16 grams; it sounded healthy and tasted great. I didn't bother to look at the long list of other ingredients until a relative pointed it out to me. The protein bar had an equal amount of carbohydrate and lots of corn syrup and sugar.

So, here's the lesson I've learned from a lot of reading and researching. A protein bar should not contain a paragraph listing of ingredients. The more ingredients, the worse it is for health. Secondly, don't go for artifical sweeteners. You are better off going for real sugar or cane sugar. Avoid anything with corn syrup, fructose and glucose. Pick a bar with natural fruit juice sweetening, natural healthy ingredients and at least over 16 grams of protein.

This might work for you as well. On some days I have a protein bar plus a light regular breakfast such as multigrain toast and juice, or fruits or a complex grain cereal. The point is no energy or protein bar can match a good high protein, low carb breakfast meal. It's best to not start the day out with anything sugary. My suggestions would be to avoid bagels, muffins, croissants, pastries, cookies, snacks and sodas first thing in the morning.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Almond Halwa and Almond Burfi

Masal Vadai
Almond Halwa and Burfi
Several indian desserts are way too sweet for the american palate, but Almond Halwa/Burfi that I just added as this week's recipe of the week is not overwhelming in sweetness. The recipe has almond to sugar ratio as 2:1. You may add less sugar than suggested. That might bring out the raw taste of almond but testing this recipe a couple times will help you arrive at the right consistency and taste.

This is my aunt's recipe and the best that I have come across. Remember I am very picky!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Chum Chum, a milk based Bengali dessert from India

chum Chum
This is my favorite Indian dessert. Quite easy to make, a bit time consuming. Try it out from You may not get it exactly right the first time, so don't be disappointed. It happened to me. But try it out, you'll love it.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Masal Vadai - lightly spiced, aromatic lentil cakes

Masal Vadais are always a hit at parties, a great anytime of day snack you can never get enough of.  Although fried, these cakes are packed with a lot of protein; also you may not have to worry about over-eating as they can fill you up quickly. Try the recipe.