Thursday, June 18, 2020

Black Eyed Peas Sundal

Sundal is basically a south Indian whole legume snack that's filled with proteins. It is also served as a part of a meal when you run out of veggies or when you want to add a protein in your meal. It can be served with tamarind rice, curd (yogurt) rice, or even used to make a taco or burrito bowl.

Sundal making requires a little bit of planning if you don't want to use canned legumes. The legumes take time to soak. Once it is ready, these can be made in a shorter time. The soaked beans can be pressure cooked instead of cooking on the stove to save time. So can be a great filling snack for the 4 o'clock hunger. When planned, these can be great sides for lunch boxes along with rice or flatbreads or even salads.

Black-eyed peas can be soaked and cooked on the stovetop or can be cooked in pressure cooker even without soaking. So it is a little easier to make it. In the following recipe, I have used toasted seeds like flax, chia, hemp, and sesame. It is totally optional. Traditional sundal doesn't have these seeds. I just added the seeds to make the sundal extra nutritious. So feel free to add or omit it.

Serves 4-8 persons

Black-eyed peas - 1 cup
Salt - 1 tsp
Coconut - 2 tbsp, frozen or freshly grated
Mixed seeds - 1 tbsp, toasted, (optional)


Oil - 1 or 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Split urad dhal - 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli -1, cut into two
Asafoetida - 1/8 tsp
Curry leaf - 1 sprig


Soak the black-eyed peas for about 2-4 hours. Rinse well and cook with 3 cups of water on a medium flame. After about 30 min, the peas will have an al-dente perfection. Add salt and continue boiling for a couple of minutes. Switch off the flame. Drain the peas.

In a pan, heat oil. Once it is hot add the red chilli, mustard. Once the mustard seeds start spluttering add the urad dhal. Then add asafoetida and curry leaves. Add the cooked peas and saute for about 3 - 4 min.

Add the grated coconut and saute for 2 more minutes. Stir often to take care not to burn it.

 Switch off the flame, and add the toasted seeds.

Serve hot, warm, or cool.


Black-eyed peas can be cooked straight in a pressure cooker for 3 whistles without soaking too.

A quick soak with boiling water can also be used to soak the peas and then cook it on the stove.

If you want to make complete nut and seed-free, omit the coconut and the other seeds. It will tasty too.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Curried Roasted Cauliflower With Curried Alfredo Pasta

My friend sent a picture of one her weekend lunch that she prepared, and thus started the story of this. Cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables. Her stovetop cauliflower looked so tempting and yum that I improvised on it and made this curry and served with pasta. My original plan was to make a taco but you may not stick to the plan always, right. Sometimes the idea just flows and you make something different (which is yummy in the tummy). The whole thing took about 45 min to 1-hour max. That's a reasonable time to have a wonderful meal ready. 

Pasta is one of the favorites for the kids. Sometimes I make it Italian way but sometimes, I kind of do fusion cooking. When you blend two different cuisines, the outcome is more favorable with subtle and distinct flavors from both the cuisines. This curried alfredo sauce is based on the fusion mac and cheese that I make (will post the recipe soon). There are creamy curries in our cuisine and kind of touched a bit of those with the creamy alfredo sauce for the pasta. 

The sauce was decadent, creamy, flavorful with curry but overpowering. It had the right balance of creaminess and curry. The pasta can be served along with some garlic bread. Or with this roasted cauliflower. Any roasted veggies would pair great with this pasta.

Roasted Cauliflower

Serves 4

Cauliflower - 3 and 1/2 cups, small florets
Salt - 1 tsp
Turmeric- 1/2 tsp
Black pepper powder - 1/4 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Oil - 3 to 4 tbsp
Rice flour - 1 tbsp
Ginger - 1/2 tsp, grated
Garlic - 1 tsp, minced
Cilantro - 1 tbsp
Lime - optional


In a bowl add salt, turmeric, black pepper, chili powder, garam masala, rice flour, oil, ginger, and garlic. Mix
till everything is combined and looks like a vinaigrette. 

Add the cauliflower florets and mix till all the spice mix is coated well on the florets. Set aside for about 20-30 min. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Spread a single layer of the cauliflower mixture on a parchment or silicone mat lined baking tray. 

Roast in the oven for about 25 min. Once it is done, take it out, cool for a few minutes. Add cilantro and squeeze a little lime if preferred. 

Serve with rice, quinoa, roti, pasta, or as a taco filling.

Curried Alfredo Pasta

Serves 4-5 persons

Water - 3.5 quarts
Pasta - 4 cups
Salt - 2 tsp
Peas - 1/2 cup (optional)

For the sauce

Butter - 1 tbsp
Cream Cheese - 2 tbsp
Milk - 1 cup
Heavy Cream - 1 cup
Garlic - 1/2 tsp, minced
Onion - 1/2 cup, sliced
Garlic - 1/2 tsp, grated
Salt - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Turmeric- 1/2 tsp
Curry powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/4 tsp
Black pepper powder - 1/4 tsp
Dried methi (fenugreek leaves) - 1 tsp
Cilantro - 3-4 tbsp
Mozzarella cheese - 1/2 to 3/4 cup (optional)


In a big saucepot, bring water to boiling. Add a little olive oil, salt, and then pasta. Cook the pasta according to the directions (depending on the type and shape of pasta). During the last minute of boiling add frozen peas. 

In the meantime, in a saucepan, add butter and saute onion, garlic, and ginger on a medium-low flame. 

When the onions become transparent (take care not to burn), add chili powder, curry powder, garam masala, turmeric, black pepper powder and saute for a minute. 

Add the cream cheese, milk, cream, salt, and sugar. Let it come to a boil and then simmer for 2 minutes. Switch off the flame and add the dried methi leaves. 

Creamy Indian style alfredo sauce is ready.

Drain the pasta and add it to the creamy sauce. Add mozzarella cheese and cilantro. Mix well and serve.

I served the pasta topped with the roasted cauliflower on top, sprinkled with more cilantro. The spiciness in the cauliflower was perfect for the creamy pasta.


Cumin can be added when you season.

A dash of cumin-coriander powder could also give great flavor.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Mango Lassi Bowl

Mango lassi is an all time favorite drink throughout India. It has a magical addictive taste. We make this often in our home. Chilled lassi, weather plain or fruit flavored is soothing for the hot weather. It gives enough nutrition and at the same time makes you feel satisfied. As the temperature shoots up, you don't feel like cooking or eating hot hot food. Smoothies and smoothie bowls come in handy to satisfy hunger on these days. The weather is hot for a couple of days and, today I could feel the heat as early as 7 a.m. So decided to make lassi bowl for breakfast with mangoes. I love mangoes and so my favorite topping is mango. But it is tasty with other fruits topped too. This lassi bowl tastes great with or without toppings. No sugar added makes this even more healthy. The mangoes were sweet and juicy and that's more than enough. I just added a little honey, but that can be omitted or your choice of sweetener can be added. Lassi is a creamy drink but i added cashews for extra creamy scoop-able consistency. The yogurt, nuts and protein powder make this more balanced to keep the hunger at bay. 


Mango - 3
Greek Yogurt - 2 cups
Honey - 1 tbsp
Protein powder - 2 scoops
Cashews - 25, soaked overnight


Mango, banana, strawberry, cherry, chia seeds, granola, nuts etc.....

Some topping suggestions


Chop two mangoes and freeze them. Chop the other mango and add to blender.Add the rest of the ingredients along with frozen mango to the blender. Blend till smooth. Scoop into bowls, top with your favorite toppings and enjoy.

This is my bowl and.........................end result empty bowl and happy me.