The summer has been unbearably hot in Pune, and the only foods that appear tempting is fruit. Although we are in June already, the monsoon hasn’t set in yet, so fruits continue to be the hottest ingredient in the pantry! Using mango in the gravy for this matar paneer creates the acidity and sweetness that highlights the tropical weather! Ingredients 1 semi ripe totapuri mango, peeled and diced 1 inch ginger, peeled and crushed 1/2 cup green peas 1-2 green chillies, chopped fine 1 piece dried kokum 2 teaspoons cumin seeds 50g fresh paneer, cut into cubes 30ml oil 1-1.5 cup water 1-2 teaspoon salt…more


It has been too hot to stand near the stove for too long, and this means there is the real danger of falling back on instant meals and junk food! I realised my eating patterns were going awry and decided to make sure my fridge is stocked with some nutrition packed hummus, so I can get easy, instant meals without making it unhealthy! Ingredients 1 cup black eyed peas, soaked overnight and then boiled in salted water, retain the water 1 cup fresh fenugreek or methi, blanched 3-4 cloves garlic 1-2 green chillies salt 50-60ml olive oil MethodPut the methi into a food processor, and…more


Hot summer days somehow make it necessary to have a colourful plate of food! Stir fried vegetables, that are cooked just enough to have a crisp crunch, with a light sauce seems to be just right. I like to have a piece of bread or half a bagel alongside to complete the meal, so this little dish fit the bill perfectly! Ingredients1 medium broccoli, cut into florets. Save the stalk to make a soup/stock some other time. 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced 50g fresh paneer, cubed (fresher the better) 3-4 cloves garlic 1 red bird chilli, sliced 1/2 inch ginger, peeled and crushed 2 teaspoons…more


Quinoa is supposed to be a superfood – although in the Indian context there are several varieties of millets and grains that qualify to being equally super. This salad uses quinoa primarily because it was lying around in my kitchen waiting for me to experiment with it, but I see no reason why this dish couldn’t be made with any other Indian grain like amaranth, rava or broken wheat instead! Another superfood that I have been excited to use here is cold pressed coconut oil in the dressing. I must say this was quite a wonderful way to add flavour to the salad. Ingredients1 cup…more


Soya nuggets are one of those ingredients that help me create a complete meal very quickly, and I rather like the texture it brings to my vegetarian plate. Soya curries are a dime a dozen – this particular one uses the summer flavours of mint and coriander to create a light flavour to go with all that texture! Ingredients1/2 cup soya nuggets 3-4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and diced 1 tomato, diced 1 small onion, chopped 1 teaspoon cumin 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder 8-10 cloves 1/2 cup mint leaves 1/2 cup coriander 1 piece of dried kokum 1 green chilli 2-3 cloves garlic oil salt…more


One reason I dont cook drumsticks often is because eating it is a pain. Every bit needs to be opened and scooped out individually, and it is rather had to do that elegantly. But I do enjoy the nutty flavour of this vegetable, so decided to bite the bullet and make this dish. This dish is simple and light, and works beautifully on a hot evening with a portion of sticky rice (or any other rice). Ingredients 2 drumsticks, peel off the rough skin and cut into 2-inch pieces 3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced 1 chopped onion 2 tablespoons peanuts (roasted peanuts preferred) 1…more


Another party recipe, that works well alongside just about anything, and adds vegetarian and vegan nutrition to your menu! Once you have the basics in place with some soaked beans, you could jazz it up with just about anything that has been lying in your refrigerator! This recipe has the vegetables that we lying in mine! Ingredients1 cup black eyed peas, soaked for at least 4 hours (you could use chickpeas or any other whole bean instead) 1/4 cup beans, chopped fine 1/2 cup baby corn, diced tender coconut from one coconut, sliced into slivers or bits 1/4 cup parsley, chopped 1/4 cup mint, chopped…more


Aubergine is one of those vegetables that sounds delicious when you call it aubergine, but use a local name for it like baingan or vangi, and the reactions you would get would always involve a twisted expression. When cooked right, it is butter like and delicious, and works as beautifully in a spicy Indian meal as it does in a subtle flavour. This dish is fantastic, because its easy to make, can be served cold, and looks very pretty at a party! Ingredients2 large purple aubergines, sliced 3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed 1 cup dahi salt 1/2 cup dill MethodRub salt onto the sliced aubergine,…more


Fresh cashewnut curry is a konkani delicacy, made from the fresh cashews that have just been harvested from the tree and before they are roasted or processed. This is a tricky ingredient to get hands on, for it has a really short shelf life and needs to be consumed really soon after harvest. Luckily, they freeze well so I make sure I have a frozen lot at all times in my fridge. This curry is quite far from the original, mixing the konkani flavours with an oriental touch. It should work with plain or fried rice or even as a sauce with fritters. Ingredients1 cup…more


One of the easiest sides that one can serve alongside an elaborate or heavy main dish is a coleslaw. Easy to fix, and provides just the right amount of freshness and crunch that is necessary to break the monotone of the meal. This coleslaw uses cabbage, orange and onion in a sweet and spicy dressing that works very well alongside cheesy dishes and bakes. IngredientsHead of one small cabbage, shredded 1-2 oranges, peeled and broken into pieces 1 small onion chopped fine For the dressing: 2 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp lime juice 1 tbsp honey 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp chilli powder MethodMix the…more