Category Archives: Beverages, Soups and Salads

Everyday, everything salad


My son tolerates pasta, dislikes dosa/chapati and hates rice! That list strikes out all the items I know to cook. But thankfully, he likes salads. And luckily, I know the easiest salad recipe in the world (in my world, at least!).

I got this recipe from a friend of mine. You can adapt it according to what you have in your fridge. I always have apples, tomatoes and cucumbers in fridge, so these are the key ingredients for me. If you have lettuce or salad greens, the salad gets even more interesting. The quantity and the proportion is all left to your taste and what’s available in your refrigerator.

If you add some cooked beans (red kidney, chick pea or black beans), then you can graduate the salad into a meal. And that’s what I usually do.

For seasoning, a little mayonnaise mixed with 2 teaspoons of yogurt is what my friend recommends. After coming to US, I have started stocking up of various salad seasonings. I use any of those for convenience. Add salt and pepper and that’s it. Your meal is ready.

The recipe below is just a guide line as to what can go into the salad. These are my preferences and I have used these in many combinations according to what’s there on the fridge.


BM Theme : Salads

Recipe source: My friend Swapna 


Choice of Fruit – 1 cup altogether ; pick one at least

  • apple
  • grapes
  • pomegranate
  • pear
  • orange
  • plum
  • strawberries or blueberries
  • NO mangoes, NO bananas

Choice of vegetable – (pick 2 at least) 1 cup altogether

  • tomatoes
  • cucumbers
  • capsicum
  • lettuce or salad greens
  • corn
  • cauliflower (steamed or microwaved)
  • avocado
  • NO carrot, NO cabbage

Choice of protein -pick 1 (optional) 

  • 1/2 cup cooked beans – any variety (chickpeas, black beans, red kidney beans etc), canned is fine
  • 1 boiled egg, cut into small pieces
  • handful of cheese like feta
  • handful of sprouts (steamed)

Choice of dry fruits/nuts – pick 1 handful, Optional 

  • toasted peanuts, walnuts, pistachios, cashew nuts or almonds
  • raisins, cranberries, apricot

Choice of dressing – pick one and season with salt and pepper

  • 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise mixed with 1 teaspoon yogurt
  • honey mustard and mayonnaise
  • any ready made salad dressing
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus 2 teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice
  • salt and pepper for seasoning


  1. Choose at least 1 fruit and 2 vegetables and cut them into small pieces.
  2. Pick a protein to make it a meal.
  3. Add a handful of toasted nuts or dry fruits. Optional.
  4. Make your dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Add the dressing to the salad, toss well and serve.
  5. My regular salad would have an apple, handful of grapes, 2 tomatoes, 1/2 medium cucumber and 1/3 cup of thawed corn. I go on and add a boiled egg or 1/2 cup of canned beans if its a meal. I add pistachios or cashews or raisins (my pantry staples) when in mood. I like the combination of mayonnaise and honey mustard for dressing. Another favorite is mayo+yogurt+ salt n pepper. This quantity is sufficient for one.



Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 58


Filed under Beverages, Soups and Salads

Tortellini Salad


My son’s resistance against food is growing everyday and meal times are war zones in our place. I still have the upper hand in everyday battles, but slowly I can sense defeat.

My tactics include diverting him and feeding him when he is really hungry – like right after he comes from school. But God knows how long I can keep that up. The minute he sees a bowl of rice, he starts howling. The problem is, with rice being the predominant grain in our cuisine, it would be a huge problem if he turns his back on it.

I have right now cut a deal with him – he has to have a typical Indian meal once a day and in return, lunch and dinner would be his choice. Funny thing is, it’s always been that way – just that he never realized it ;-). Good for me!

Salads are his choice for dinner many a days. I am happy because of the amount of vegetables I can feed him and he is happy that there is no rice in the plate. A perfect win-win situation!

Read on for this recipe.


BM theme : Salads

recipe adapted from all recipes

Serves 2


  • 1 packet tortellini ( or 2 cups cooked pasta of your choice)
  • 1 cup sliced olives
  • 1/2 cup artichoke hearts
  • 2 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled
  • handful of cherry tomatoes, halved

salad dressing*:

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning ( I didn’t have any, so skipped it)
  • salt and pepper

* Alternative dressing would be 2 tablespoons mayonnaise mixed with any other salad dressing and seasoned with salt and pepper


  1. For the dressing, mix everything listed and set aside.
  2. Cook pasta or tortellini per the package instructions.
  3. Slice the olives and artichoke hearts and halve the cherry tomatoes.
  4. Drain the pasta and let it cool. Once cool mix everything and add the dressing.
  5. Check the seasonings and adjust per taste. Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.


Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 58


Filed under Beverages, Soups and Salads

Chicha Morada


Time sure flies fast and that always comes as a jolt. I must have been more involved in life than I thought, because I never realized it!

Leaving an entire world you know behind and settling down in an all new place is never easy on anyone. But even there, I feel blessed. Because I had great friends here who accepted me without a question. They made me feel welcome. And when you are homesick, all you need is a little support to know that its going to be fine.

I am glad to have that support both in my personal life and in my blogging life. And the best part is when the two worlds intervene.

I met my U.S. blogging friends exactly a year back at a local farm. Aside from spending a great evening together, we showered each other with gifts we knew the others would enjoy. That included some amazing homemade baked goodies, cute props and some special items like this purple corn. Mireille got this as a special welcome gift for me.

I tried out the Chicha moroda recipe that she suggested, but at that point of time, I wasn’t blogging much. I am surprised that I had even taken pictures, given that I was on a very long blogging break.

A year has sure passed by, but it hasn’t taken away the warmth I had felt back then.

It’s a blessed life indeed!




Makes : 2 liters


  • 1/2 of  150 gm pack purple corns
  • 3 liters of water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • juice of 3 lemons
  • 1 apple, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 3-5 cloves


  1. Boil the corn with juice of one lemon and 3 liters of water for about 45 minutes. I used a pressure cooker without lid for this job.
  2. Add the cinnamon stick, cloves and let it boil for another 10 minutes.
  3. Switch of the heat and add the sugar and mix until its dissolved
  4. Add the juice of the rest 2 lemons and chopped apple pieces and chill well before serving.

This recipe goes to Blogging Marathon 57

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 57


Filed under Beverages, Soups and Salads

Mizoram – Vegetable Bai


The other day I had lunch at my friend’s place. It was a fabulous lunch with the Kerala Matta rice (red rice) and coconut oil based curries and sambar. It was a feast for me.

And it would have been a punishment for my husband, had he been there.

Reason? He doesn’t like red rice, says it’s too thick for him. And he hates coconut oil in everything. Funny….he doesn’t like it for the same reasons that I love it!

The point is….food is an acquired taste.

We are fine with what we are used to all our lives. And we find it surprising if someone else doesn’t find it tasty.

Same way, I couldn’t enjoy this dish much as it was a totally new taste for me. But for the people of Mizoram, this is one tasty dish – Bai, a stew kind of dish made with green leaves and assorted veggies.

Recipe: Boil about half a litre water. Add salt and half a tsp of cooking soda. Once the bubbles subside, add stalks, leaves and a few florets of a small cauliflower. Add chopped beans, 2-3 green chillies, one tablespoon rice and one diced potato. Cook in a low heat, adding more water as required, until the rice is done and potatoes and beans are cooked.



Filed under Beverages, Soups and Salads

Goan Lunch Thali


And we are in Goa today.

I visited Archana’s space for recipe ideas. And I based this thali (though the okra recipe has garlic) from this post of hers. She mentions about “shivrak”(vegetarian) days, where the diet is “chanyacho ras”, a vegetable, rice, batat kapa and toi. Toi can be made with and without coconut. This version has coconut in it.

I found that there are some similarities between Goan and Kerala cuisine. It’s not that they are alike, it’s just that when you say Goa, the image is that of Portuguese influenced Catholic cooking. So when you find recipes that strike a chord somewhere with your comfort food even if it is distant by a mile, all of a sudden it’s not foreign any more. That feeling is actually comforting.

For example, this dal has a ground coconut mix added to it, just like the Kerala Parippu Curry. It’s just that I hadn’t expected ground coconut in Goan dishes.


This payasam is another example. This is very similar to our Kadala Parippu payasam. The Kerala recipe is also a blend of Chana dal (split chickpea), jaggery and coconut milk. I didn’t have the sabudana/sago pearls with me, so went ahead and made the payasam without it.


Now coming to the bhindi/okra recipe here, this one is a bit different from how it’s usually prepared at home. There is a little bit of ginger and garlic that makes a whole lot of difference to the dish.



Futi kadhi is something I have tried before, again from Archana’s space. I used kokum gifted by Pradnya then. I have been holding on to that batch of kokum and finally realized that life won’t end if I use up the rest of it.

So I have put the last of the kokum to some good use. Made another batch of futi kadhi and my man was a happy man that day!


And coming to the batata kapa (fried potatoes), I don’t think I need to say anything. As long as potatoes feature in the menu, you are safe. If you fry it, then you are double safe.

The semolina(rava) coating is a new thing for me, but somehow with the rava that fell into the oil from the potatoes left a real bad mess in the pan. I don’t think I will be trying the coating again until I am more comfortable with deep frying.

Anyway, the man was happy with it and that compensates the messy dishes.


The Menu:

  • Rice : Plain rice, cooked with water in 1:3 ratio. Yes, we like it a bit overcooked on a regular basis.
  • Futi Kadhi     : A drink made with kokum. Spicy, sour, sweet, salty….a burst of flavours in there.
  • Goan Dal with drumsticks : A dal made with ground coconuts and wonderful home-grown drumsticks that my husband’s friend gave.
  • Batata Kapa : Deep fried potatoes with a semolina (rava) coating…need I say more?
  • Okra – Goan style : A different version with chopped ginger and garlic in it.
  • Mangane : Chana dal payasam with jaggery. Not too different from the Kerala version.



Filed under Beverages, Soups and Salads, Side Dishes, Sweets and Desserts, Thali

Arunachal Pradesh – Tibetian Thukpa


Looks like my talk about thalis(complete lunch platter) was a bit premature as I ended up struggling to find even one authentic dish from the next (in the alphabetical order) state, Arunachal Pradesh.

I did talk to my friend from the region, but he said, the natives eat locally available food – mainly non vegetarian, and their life style was totally different 20 years back when he left the place. Now a days, things have changed and the cuisine too has changed to accommodate what the rest of India eats (dal chawal), but 20 years back the barter system was still on. Cooking was mainly boiling of the items with local herbs. It would taste simple, yet divine and very light on stomach.

So I asked about the only dish that seem to be available online – thukpa. He said it’s Tibetian, but the monks there have it. Now, you get thukpa and momos a lot there. His description of thukpa was also simple. He said, boil the stock. Add the veggies and cook till done. Add cooked noodles and boil again. Flavour as you wish and you are done!

Since I couldn’t find any other recipe, I too decided to go the thukpa way for Arunachal Pradesh. thukpa-001

Recipe inspired from: Delhi Belle

Serves : 2


  • Butter/ghee/Oil           :               1 tsp
  • Ginger garlic paste      :              1 tsp (optional)
  • Onion                                :               1 small, diced
  • Chilli powder                 :               1/2 tsp or per taste
  • Mixed veggies               :               1.5 cups ( I used 1 small potato, 1/2 a yellow capsicum, 1 small tomato, beans and some spinach)
  • Soya sauce                     :                2 tsp, or per taste
  • Water/ stock                :                2 to 2.5 cups
  • Cooked noodles for two
  • Salt and pepper, per taste
  • a little lemon juice, optional


  1. Cook the noodles per the packet instructions and keep aside.
  2. In a pan, heat the butter or ghee or oil. Saute the diced onions and ginger garlic paste until onions are done.
  3. Add the water/stock and bring it to boil. Add the vegetables except the spinach, cover and cook until done.
  4. Add salt and pepper and soya sauce. Check the seasoning and adjust.
  5. Add the cooked noodles and cook for 2-3 minutes more and take off the heat.
  6. Add the lemon juice, if preferred and serve hot.

thukpa-002 Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 39


Filed under Beverages, Soups and Salads

Juices and Milkshakes


“I also want to go. All my friends are going.” The child wailed.

“Come on, listen to me. It’s expensive and moreover the classes are on weekends. So we can’t go anywhere on Sat and Sundays. Now drink your milkshake while it’s still cold” replied the weary mother, for the hundredth time.

“I don’t care! I don’t want to go anywhere. I want to learn cricket. I want to go for the coaching. Everyone is going, only you are not sending me.” The child went on for some more time.

The mother ignored the wailing and went on about her tasks. “Just over 5 and so much of tantrum. We have already bought a whole lot of toys just because of peer pressure. At his age, I was playing with rocks and stones in the backyard and I was happier. This generation doesn’t seem to be happy even when they have everything”, the mother reflected.

That night they were going for their walk. The moon was shining bright in the sky. She looked up and asked her son,”Look how beautiful the moon is! Tell me, which one is more important – the Sun or the Moon?”

“The Sun, mama! It’s so much ‘lighter’ than the moon!”

The mother started laughing. “Yes, the Sun gives more light than the moon, son!” And as she looked up at the moon, flashes of her childhood passed through her mind. Of her father asking the same question. Of him laughing at her answer. Of the sweet memories of her playing with her sisters.  Of her childhood. Of her tantrums.

The things she fought for were different. It was comics, a fancy pencil box or a colorful school bag. Those were always extravagant in her parents’ eyes. “Just like how my son’s demands seem unreasonable to me”, she thought.

“Children will always demand things. It’s the parents who have to differentiate the need and the want and the affordability.” Her father’s words came back to her now.

She smiled as she ruffled her son’s hair. She knew a peace that wasn’t there before and slowly they walked towards home.


‘Food with Fiction’ is the theme for the week. The above is a piece of writing and not real.

The recipes here today are are Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie, Muskmelon (Cantaloupe) Juice and Watermelon milkshake, all perfect for sports enthusiasts – kids and adults both.

Check out the Blogging Marathon Page to know what other participants are doing.  Linking this recipe to Valli’s Kid’s Delight, hosted this month at The Pumpkin Farm.


Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie


  • Banana       :        1
  • Milk            :         3/4 cup (or more according to the consistency you want)
  • Peanut butter :  2 tbsp
  • Sugar         :         2 tsp
  • Chocolate :    1 small piece (optional)


  1. Blend everything together. Adjust the milk quantity according to the thickness you want.
  2. Serve in tall glass decorated with whipped cream.


Muskmelon (Cantaloupe) Juice


  • Musk melon/cantaloupe :        2 cups chopped
  • Milk            :         1/2 cup (optional)
  • Sugar          :           1 tbsp


  1. Blend everything together. I didn’t add milk for this one.
  2. Serve in tall glass decorated with whipped cream.

strawberry milkshake

Watermelon Milkshake


  • Water melon :   2 cups cubed
  • Milk                  :   1/2 cup (or more according to the consistency you want)
  • Sugar               :    1 tbsp


  1. Blend everything together. Add more milk if you prefer.
  2. Serve in tall glass decorated with whipped cream.



Filed under Beverages, Soups and Salads, Break Fast Recipes

Mango Banana Milkshake


There is an eternal battle in my mind when it comes to overripe bananas. “Milkshakes or Banana bread?” is the question.

Milkshake is easy to make, it has no fat and not much of sugar either. But if you have ever eaten a piece of banana bread, you will understand why I prefer it over any number of milkshakes.  Well, its yum, moist, sweet and soo good!

So I usually buckle under the pressure and make a banana bread.

Healthier the milkshake may be, but there aren’t any takers for it at my place. But jazz it up with a bit of this and that, the glass becomes empty before you even count up to 5.

Strawberries, mangoes, apples are all great additions to the regular banana shake. Today’s shake is a mix of mangoes blended with bananas and served in a tall beautiful glass.



  • Banana                       :        2 medium
  • Mango                        :        1 big
  • Milk                             :        1 cup (or more per taste)
  • Sugar                           :        1 tbsp. (optional)


  1. Peel and dice the mango and banana.
  2. I like it thick, so I don’t add too much of milk. You can adjust this according to the consistency you prefer.
  3. Blend in a mixie jar or blender with milk and sugar. Done!
  4. Serve chilled. Makes two big glasses.


The recipe is linked to Blogging Marathon 31. Check all about it here in the Blogging Marathon page.

This post is also off to Valli’s Kids’ Delight, hosted by Chef Mireille this month and Valli’s Summer Mela.


Filed under Beverages, Soups and Salads

Apple Dates Milkshake

apple date milkshake
My morning is noon for rest of the world. It’s better to have lunch than breakfast at that time. Yet, every single day, my father prepares breakfast for me. I think that’s what you call as optimistic attitude…

Anyway, I have told him not to make anything for me in the mornings. If I am too hungry, I make a quick milkshake for myself. And this particular milkshake has a speciality – its been in my bookmark list for a really long time.

Unfortunately, I was a bit let down by the taste of this milkshake, but I told myself it’s healthy and that’s more important. So in case you are ready to brave a healthy milkshake, go ahead and make these. Add a scoop of ice cream or a bar of chocolate while blending to make it much more tasty and totally sinful!

Check out the Blogging marathon page for recipes from other participants.

apple date milkshake

Recipe Source: Ramya’s Recipes

  • Apple. : 1 big
  • dates. : 5-6
  • sugar/honey, optional
  • milk. : 1 cup


  • Soak deseeded dates in half cup warm water for ten minutes.
  • Core and dice the apple and blend with the soaked dates, milk and sugar or honey.
  • Serve chilled. Makes one really big glass.

apple date milkshake

This recipe is off to Swathi’s Favorite Recipes. This month’s host is Pallavi and the theme is Bookmarked Recipes.


Filed under Beverages, Soups and Salads, Break Fast Recipes

Goan Sol Kadhi without Coconut Milk (Futi Kadhi)


New recipes at the dining table is not the only thing I have gained through blogging. Bonding with a whole new set of vibrant, food-happy friends is my greatest gain through blogging.

And new recipes through them is even more valuable :-). This is one such recipe. The recipe is from a very close Mad Scientist’s Kitchen and the kokum I have used came from a very dear Pumpkin Farm. And the toaster is a gift from Veena when we had met at the Citi centre mall sometime back.

Everything about this recipe is close to my heart. It brings back fond memories of our BM 25 Meet! And how we exchanged gifts, how excited all of us were and what a nice time we had! And I can never stop without mentioning Vaishali’s (and her whole family’s, actually) warm hospitality!

And yes, the kokum I have used is from Pradnya’s gift set. And I referred Archana’s space for the recipe.

So, raising a toast to all my BM friends!

Check out the Blogging Marathon page to know who we are and what we are serving today!


Recipe Source : Futi Kadhi @ The Mad Scientist’s Kitchen

Makes : 2 Glasses


  • Kokum            :         10-12 dried ones
  • Water              :           2 – 3 glasses (400 – 500 ml)
  • Sugar               :           1 tbsp
  • Salt                   :           per taste
  • Hing                 :          a pinch
  • Garlic               :          2 crushed
  • Chilli                :          1 chopped
  • Coriander leaves :    1 tbsp, chopped


  1. Soak kokum for 3-4 hours in 2 glasses of water. Strain and discard the pulp.
  2. Add the sugar, salt, hing. Mix till the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add the crushed garlic, chopped chillies and coriander leaves. Do a taste test and adjust seasonings or add more water accordingly.
  4. This drink will tickle your sweet, sour, tangy and spicy taste buds! Sip in and enjoy!



Filed under Any Time Foods, Beverages, Soups and Salads