Sunday, 1 May 2016




I am pleased to host My Legume Love Affair #95 for the month of May 2016. MLLA is an ongoing, monthly event since 2008, in which, bloggers from any country or cuisine can take part in this event by presenting their vegetarian legume recipes. This event was created and started by Susan of The well seasoned cook in 2008, and has been hosted by Lisa of Lisa's  Kitchen since February 2013.

This is the second time I am hosting this prestigious event/ blog party since I have started this blog two years ago. In the month of November 2015, I hosted the same event the very first time. I am really obliged and would like to give thanks to Lisa from Lisa's kitchen, who gave me the chance to host this event again in May 2016.

The 68th United Nations general assembly have declared 2016 - The International year of pulses. Check the website below. The aim of International year of pulses 2016 is to highlight the benefits of pulse-based protein and to encourage people to use lentils in their diet. It means people have globally acknowledged the importance and benefits of lentils. Because of this global recognition, I am changing the rule of this event (with Lisa's consent) and asking my fellow bloggers to present any vegetarian lentil recipe which they have posted in 2016. I hope this way more bloggers will get a chance to participate.

I have posted many lentil recipes on my blog and have participated many times in this event. Now I am encouraging my fellow bloggers to participate and make this event a huge success.

Legumes include all types of lentils, pulses, fresh or dried beans, peanuts etc, the list is endless. You can even include chickpeas flour or any other lentil flour too, all you need to do is to present your legume-centric dish on this event page.Rules and Guidelines for this event

  1. All world cuisines are welcome, vegetarian or vegan- all entries should be egg free, meat free, seafood free.
  2. All courses of meals are accepted-starters, main meal, snack, desserts etc
  3. Any derivative such as chickpeas flour, any other lentil flour or even tofu is accepted, as long as the main ingredient is LEGUME.
  4. For your dish to be included in the roundup, it must contain more than just a few tablespoons of legumes. Or the main ingredient of the dish should be a legume.
  5. Please, ONE entry per blogger.
  6. Please,  link to this announcement page, Susan's page and Lisa's page (It is compulsory)
  7. This event will close on 31st of MAY 2016.
  8. Any recipe which you posted in 2016 is accepted.
  9. Use of logo is optional but appreciated.
  10. Please link your entries below. Round-up will be posted on 2nd of JUNE 2016 on my web page.
  11. Non-bloggers can send their recipes through e-mail together with the photo of the dish; I will consider them and include them in the round-up.
  12. Any questions or queries should be directed to me on-

Grab this party button and put it somewhere on your blog.

Thanks for stopping by, I can’t wait to see what you are going to share here in this event.

Click here to link

Wednesday, 27 April 2016


(South Indian style)

Chutneys and pickles play an important role in Indian and South Asian cuisine, as a condiment or a side dish, without which no snack or meal is complete. They are always readily available in Indian homes, and we serve them with every single meal as a side dish, which can enhance the taste of food to its highest level of satisfaction. Once you try chutneys, their sweet-sour and tangy flavors can sometimes intensify the taste of the main food, and the complete dish can be enjoyed even more.

In Indian cuisine, many fruits and vegetables of different colors are used to make these colorful and versatile chutneys with varieties of tastes like sweet, sour, tangy, hot etc. In different states of India, different types of chutneys are made which go well with the taste of their traditional food preparation respectively. Chutneys and their types depend upon the food item we eat, for example if our curry is already hot, we might need some sweet chutney to accompany it or if our curry or the main dish is bland we might need some hot or sweet and sour chutney with it.

Traditionally in India, all types of chutneys and pickles were homemade, and all their recipes were known by the housewives/homemakers. The source of learning was through their mothers or elderly women in the family. But these days everything is commercialized, even chutneys and pickles are readily made available in shops. The only problem with these readymade one is the quality because they are loaded with preservatives, too much sugar or vinegar, which is not good for health. Homemade chutneys are always good because we know all the ingredients in it compared to the ready made ones in the shop where some of the ingredients are difficult to pronounce/ read or known.

In some Indian homes, I have seen different varieties of pickles and chutneys are always there on the dining table with the food. They are normally kept in one big container with small compartments/bowls in it, like an Indian spice box or something like a box with divisions. This is really a convenient way to serve different varieties in one go, and easy for people to help themselves with whatever taste of chutney they require at the time of a meal.

Both the chutneys in today’s post are south Indian style and go very well with dosa and Idlee and other south Indian dishes, even with rice and other curries. Both these chutneys are so versatile that they can be enjoyed with any type of pakoda (fritter), samosa and many other snack items of north and south India. Tomato chutney can easily replace ready made tomato ketchup from the shop.


For coconut chutney

  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 2 green chilies(optional)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • salt to taste
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup of water (if required)
For Tempering
  • 2 tbs oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • few curry leaves
  • 2 whole red dried chili
  • Soak coconut in one cup of water for 3-4 hours
  • Remove extra water and grind with all other ingredients in a blender, add water if it is too thick.
  • Mix yoghurt thoroughly.
  • For tempering heat oil in a pan, put mustard seeds and red chili and curry leaves. Fry till chili and leaves are fried.
  • Add together with oil on top of chutney.
  • Chutney is ready to serve.

  • 500 Grams tomatoes, chopped into small pieces
  • 4 cloves of garlic, cut in half pieces
  • 1 big onion (200 grams), cut into small pieces
  • 2 green chilies (optional)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • salt to taste
  • 1-2 tbs oil

  • Heat oil in a frying pan, add mustard seeds, let it splutter then add garlic and onion and fry till golden brown.
  • Add tomatoes and salt and let it boil and cook for 5-10 minutes.
  • When cold put it in a blender and make a puree of it.
  • Chutney is ready to serve.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016



A few months back, I got a request from my third-grade grandson's teacher to come and talk about spices in India. His class was doing a research project on India and Ukraine, where they discussed many issues on these countries and their culture, clothes, food, history etc. I was very pleased to be a part of this research and agreed a date and time, to visit her class.

I was happy because I am a retired teacher and once a teacher, is always a teacher. I prepared a simple 30-minute lecture on spices, on their types, history, uses in Indian cuisine and other health benefits of spices. Considering their age and class, I prepared a spice box, in which I kept around 15 different spices, to show them what they all look like.

I prepared two food items, one was a sweet and the other one was a savory snack. In the sweet item, I prepared strawberry pinwheel in which I used nutmeg to give nice smell and taste. In the savory snack, I made bread fritters with cumin and carom as a spice to give taste and flavour. Both these items, I have already shared on my blog. You can check here-.Bread Fitter recipe and Strawberry pinwheel recipe.

My daughter did a presentation on clothes and culture in front of the class. She also explained how to tie a tradition dress for women (Saree) and made small henna tattoos on the kids’ hands.

It was a successful session with the third graders, and at that time, I could easily see an elegant smile and gratified feeling on my grandson's face. I also felt delighted as I did something good for my grandson's class and added to their knowledge.

Coming to the recipe, this recipe is a kid friendly recipe in my house, my grandchildren would love to eat it anytime. In this recipe, I can easily add some vegetables which they don't mind. Otherwise, they do not enjoy vegetables. They actually complain when they see vegetables and are supposed to chew them. They make so many stories and try to avoid them. So I have to try and make the dish in such a way that even when vegetables are there, but hidden in their favorite recipe like this one.

  •  300 grams cannelloni shell pasta
  •  300 grams ricotta cheese
  •  200 grams spinach
  •  200 grams green pepper (one big)
  •  100 grams onion (one small)
  •  6-7 tomatoes for puree
  •  100 grams grated mozzarella cheese
  •  3 tbs oil
  •  salt and black pepper to taste


  • Boil pasta in plenty of water till it is soft. Rinse the water and wash with cold water, put it aside.
  • Make a puree with the tomatoes- slice, blend in a blender and boil in the pot with some salt.
  • Wash and chop spinach. Chop onion and green pepper in diced shape.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan, add onion and green pepper and saute for five minutes then add spinach and mix well. Leave it to cook and let the water evaporate from the spinach, add salt and pepper.
  • Add ricotta cheese to it and mix well. Fill this mixture in every single shell, and line them on a baking tray.
  • Add tomato puree on top of the shell pasta.
  • Spread grated cheese on top.
  • Put it in a preheated oven on 180 degrees C for 15 to 20 minutes till the cheese is melted and light brown on the top.
  • Serve hot with some green salad.