Avial is traditionally a Kerala recipe made especially made as part of the Onam sadya. However it is also served as part of banana leaf meals in Tambrahms functions. The beauty of this recipe of the simplicity of ingredients. It uses specific veggies which don’t have strong flavor and the star of the dish is the generous use of coconut oil. That’s what sets this dish apart.


Ingredients : Serves 6-8

1/2 cup each of potato, carrot, beans, peas, raw plantain, yam (Suran or Suvarna gedde), sweet pumpkin, ash gourd cut into 1/4″ long pieces.

1/2 cup of freshly grated coconut

1 teaspoon Cumin seeds

2-3 green chilies

1 cup of yogurt

1/4 cup coconut oil ( *NOT* the organic odorless kind found in health food stores!)

1 sprig of curry leaves

1 tablespoon tamarind paste

Salt to taste

1 cup of water


First grind the coconut, cumin seeds and green chilies to a coarse paste.

In a wide bottomed vessel, bring the water to a simmer and add the tamarind paste. Now add the yam/suran and let it cook for a couple of minutes. Next put the beans, drumstick and cook for 2 minutes. Next add carrots, potato, plantain and ash gourd. Now add the coconut paste and salt and let it simmer for two minutes. Lastly add the peas and the sweet potato and simmer it till all the vegetables are cooked making sure they are not over-cooked. Add the curry leaves as well.

Since the cooking time for different vegetables varies, it is important to cook them in the order mentioned above.

Take it off the heat and mix well with coconut oil and yogurt. Serve with rice and any other spicy curry or sambar as a side dish!


Lauki Thepla/ Doodhi Thepla

First of all, my apologies for being away from the blog for so long. Both sis and me have been caught up with mundane duties of domestic lives. I will try and make up for not posting in a long time, now that I seem to have a bit of time on my hands.

Lauki thepla is an authentic Gujju recipe which I learnt from A’s nanny. Theplas are a staple in Gujarati diet and it is a good way to incorporate veggies in kids meals. You can substitute lauki with a lot of other veggies of your choice. I have used radish, methi leaves, beetroot, carrot to name a few. If you plan to use carrot or beetroot, make sure to cook the grated carrot or beetroot a little before mixing the dough. Since these vegetables don’t have a lot of water content in them, it helps to keep the thepla moist. You can also control the amount of oil you add while mixing the dough. Adding more oil makes the dough more pliable and very soft. I chose to add a little less than recommended but the theplas still turned out yummy!

ImageIngredients : Makes about 16-18 theplas

1 medium sized lauki/doddhi/sorekai/bottle gourd

2 cloves of garlic minced finely.

1 teaspoon red chilli powder

2 teaspoons garam masala

2 tablespoons oil and more for roasting

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Salt to taste.

2-3 cups of whole wheat flour


Grate the lauki with the skin using using the bigger size of the greater so that lauki gets shredded coarsely. Transfer to a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and the flour. Knead till everything comes together. There is no need to add water while kneading as the lauki has enough water content to bing the dough. Divide into lemon-sized balls.

Dust the rolling pin and the surface generously with flour and roll the dough into theplas which are about 6″ in diameter.


Heat a tava, and roast the theplas till they are thoroughly cooked. Brush with oil on both sides while cooking.

Enjoy with yogurt and a dash of pickle. I ate mine with flax seed chutney powder for which I will be posting the recipe soon!

Hot and sour noodle soup with mushroom and tofu

Hot and sour soup

Hot and sour soup

It ‘s soup weather!

Be it that chill in the air or that annoying cough and cold that’s bothering you, this is one hearty soup that will comfort your senses. Inherently low in calories, it can be the perfect 11 am snack! Plus you can toss in any ingredients of your choice from chicken, noodles to mushroom and veggies. Here is what I made.

Ingredients: Serves 4

Vegetable stock – 32 oz ( 1 medium carton)

Soy sauce – 1 tbsp

Tamarind pulp – 1 tbsp

Hot sauce ( Sriracha) 1 tbsp

Brown sugar – A pinch

Salt to taste

Tofu and shiitake mushrooms – cut into small cubes and sautéed in olive oil

Egg noodles –1 small cup cooked

Cilantroe – Finely chopped 2 tbsp

Fresh ginger shredded– 1 tbsp

In a large pan, bring the vegetable stock to a simmer. Do not let it boil. Add the soy sauce, chili sauce and tamarind paste, sugar and salt to taste.  In a separate pan, sautee the tofu and mushrooms with salt and olive oil. Add this and the cooked noodles to individual bowls just before serving or the mushroom/tofu will become too soggy. Garnish with cilantroe and fresh shredded ginger.

Handvo : Gujrathi snack

Thanks to the new Gujju aunty that comes home to look after my son, we’ve been able to sample a few Gujarathi dishes. And before you ask me, not all dishes are sweet or jaggery based as is the popular notion!

I instantly fell in love with this dish when aunty brought a sample for us and asked her for the recipe. She mentioned that it is baked in an oven.

Handvo can be made using many different vegetables like doodhi(bottle gourd), spinach, methi leaves. The one that I am making here is with methi leaves.


Ingredients : Serves 4-5

Handvo flour – 1 cup or

Soak 1/2 cup rice and a handful each of toor, urad moong and chana dal and grind to an idli batter consistency.

Methi leaves, chopped and cut 1 cup

Yogurt 1/4 cup

Methi/Fenugreek seeds 1 teaspoon

Garlic grated 1-2 cloves

Green chillies 2-3, finely chopped

Cilnatro chopped 1/2 cup

Oil for tempering 2 tablespoons

Mustard seeds 1 teaspoon

Turmeric 1/4 teaspoon

Sesame seeds 1 tablespoon

Mix the handvo flour with yogurt with little water till it reaches a dropping or idli batter consistency. This should be done the previous night of making the handvo.The next day add the methi leaves, cilantro, salt, garlic, chillies and temper with the mustard and fenugreek seeds.

Pour this batter into a greased pan of your choice and bake at 350F in a pre-heated oven for 15-20 mins or until the top layer turns golden brown in color.

With the broiler on, broil for 2-3 mins keeping a close watch so as to not burn the dish.

Let it cool and then cut into slices. This keeps well for a day outside and 3-4 days in the refirgerated. It heats up in the microware without losing its crispness.Image


Butternut squash soup – The Indian way!



Butternut squash soup – The Indian way!

 What’s not to love about soup right? Whether you are a soup person like me or on a self inflicted soup diet for weight loss, soup happens to be the perfect comforting food, especially this time of the year.  When I saw some butternut squash getting old in my pantry, I decided to try out this soup recipe. This is inspired by a recipe that I had read on a friend’s blogspot and can be made using many variations.

Here’s my version.

 Ingredients: Serves 6-8

 Butternut squash – Diced into small cubes

 Vegetable broth – 1 quart

 Spices – 2 -3 cloves, 1” cinnamon stick, 1-2 twigs nutmeg, 8-10 black pepper corns

 Onion – 1 diced

 Garlic – 2 cloves

 Red chillies – 5-6

 Salt to taste

 Fresh ground Pepper powder – 1 tsp

 Cilantro and slivered almonds/pine nuts for garnishing

 Olive oil – Preferably spray

 Method: Drizzle olive oil, salt, fresh ground pepper powder onto the cubed squash pieces. You can use a  multi-spice grinder that comes with sea salt, dried lemon, dried garlic and pepper instead. Grill in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Image


Chop a medium size onion into large pieces. In a shallow frying pan, sautee’ the onions and spices and red chillies till the onions turn translucent. Let it cool.




Then puree the roasted butternut squash and onions in a blender in small batches adding in small quantities of vegetable broth instead of water. Then, bring the blended mixture to a simmer on the stove for about 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and slivered almonds or pine nuts.



Strawberry-banana-oatmeal smoothie!

Smoothies are a great way to use up leftover or over-ripened fruit that you don’t feel like eating.

What’s more, it is also a breakfast on the go! I make it over the weekend and freeze it in single serving batches. The night before put it in the fridge to thaw and you are all set for a hearty breakfast.

I have posted a smoothie recipe before but this one has cooked oatmeal and Greek yogurt and makes it more filling. This is a slight variation of a recipe that I saw on pinterest.





ImageIngredients : Serves 2

Bananas – 2

Strawberries 1 cup

Zero fat strawberry flavored Greek yogurt 1 cup

Honey – 1 tablespoon

Almonds 8-10

Oatmeal cooked, 1 cup

Milk 1/2 cup

Blend together banana, strawberries, almonds. Add cooked and cooled oatmeal, milk, honey and Greek yogurt and blend well again. Enjoy a power packed breakfast!


I have been interested in food and what goes into making it since i was a kid. My first memories of trying my hand in the kitchen were when i would help amma in making chapathis. She would roll out the dough and i would bake them…flipping the chapathi took a while to master for a 10 year old. I have come a long way since then. My attempt here is to chronicle some long forgotten recipes from my mom and what she learnt from hers, some from my mother-in-law and preserve these. The two cuisines are a world apart but equally enticing! This blog also is an attempt to capture different food experiences and experiments!

My mantra in life is that live to eat 😉 so here’s to a lifetime of good and healthy food!