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Sarson ka Saag

Sarson ka Saag, a winter staple in the Northern parts of India, is a spicy buttery mustard greens preparation just popping with flavors.  While these pungent greens are simmering,  it is  mashed using an old school wooden spoon, giving a nice rustic yet creamy texture to this dish.  It is classically served with makki ki roti (a flat bread made with maize flour) and topped of with a dollop of unsalted butter.

Leafy greens such as mustard, spinach, fenugreek and many more  are in abundance at this time of the year and can be incorporated in many healthy and delicious  recipes, one such recipe is this saag.

If eaten on their own mustard greens can be quite bitter and pungent, so in this recipe while mustard greens are the major component, a few other kinds of greens are added to balance the flavors out. As with any other recipe, everyone will have their own variations for sarson ka saag and here is how I do it. Vegans can enjoy this dish by omitting butter and ghee.






2 bunches of Mustard greens – ( washed and chopped ).

1 small bunch of spinach – ( washed and chopped ).

1/2 bunch of fenugreek – ( washed and chopped ) you may omit if you don’t find fenugreek.

1/2 bunch of chenopodium –  (washed and chopped ) can be replaced by white chard.

1 shallot – finely chopped.

1 turnip -peeled and diced.

1 inch ginger – finely chopped.

2 cloves of garlic – chopped.

2 to 3 green chillies – chopped (Serrano maybe used )

1/4 tsp of Asafoetida – (optional)

Salt to taste.

2 table spoons of cornmeal flour.

For tempering:

4 cloves of garlic – chopped

3 table spoon of ghee or oil

I am using an instant pot to make this dish , you may use a pot to make this, just adjust the cooking time .

Wash all your greens 2 to 3 times in cold water and chop them. In your instant pot add all your greens, ginger, tomato, turnip, shallot, green chili, 2 cloves garlic and a cup of water. Cook all this for 10 mins on manual setting or until everything is soft and tender. Add salt to taste and a pinch of Asafoetida (if using). At this point  I start to mash the saag with my wooden masher and dry out some of the liquid. Once that starts to happen, add the corn meal flour one tablespoon at time while you still keep mashing. If you are using an electric hand blender you may mash the greens first dry out some of the liquid  and then add the flour. If you desire a nice rustic texture to your greens, while using the hand electric blender make sure you don’t puree the greens completely. Transfer saag to large bowl that can hold all of it.

For Tempering heat 3 tablespoons of ghee/or oil and add the 4 cloves chopped garlic. Once the garlic starts to turn pink add the saag to the tempering and quickly cover and cook for 2 mins to incorporate all the flavors. Serve hot with a dollop of butter and makki ki roti (maize flour flat bread) or any other flat bread. enjoy !

Included the picture of my wooden masher 🙂



Sindhi Sai Bhaji

My parents come from a melting pot of cultures and hence we were introduced to simple yet wide range of everyday cooking. My dads side consists of  Punjabi’s and Sindhi’s, while moms side consists of Gujarati’s and Maharashtrian’. Owing to this awesome blend of cuisines there are tons of childhood recipes, memories and daily menus archived within the family. One such recipe is the Sindhi Sai Bhaji,  a simple wholesome dish of vegetables and lentils seasoned with everyday simple ingredients.

I have made this in my instant pot but you can make this in a Dutch oven as well.  Cooking times might vary by 10 mins. The lentils add a natural medium thick consistency to this dish which is how it should be.



1 big bunch of Spinach –  (washed and chopped )

1/2 cup dill leaves -( washed and chopped)

1/2 cup fresh Fenugreek leaves-  ( washed and chopped ) ( optional)

2 tomatoes- roughly chopped

1 small eggplant – chopped in small cubes

1 potato- peeled and cut in to 4 pieces

1 onion – roughly chopped

1 cup of Bengal gram Lentils ( washed and soaked for about 40 minutes )

1 green chilly – chopped ( Serrano works great )

1/2 inch ginger – finely chopped

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tsp of coriander powder

1 cup of water

3 cloves of garlic finely chopped

1/2 tsp cumin seeds ( brings great smoky flavor ) (optional )

3 tablespoon of ghee or oil to temper

Salt to taste

In your instant pot add the first 13 ingredients and cook for 30 minutes manual setting and natural release. Once you open the lid everything should be cooked down.  Take an electric hand blender and slightly blend, you don’t want a complete puree but rather want some chunky bits.  Add salt to taste, mix well and set a side. Heat ghee or oil in a small pan over  medium heat. Add cumin seeds and chopped garlic; as the garlic gets some brown edges add the tempering to the pot of veggies and lentils, cover for a couple minutes , open the lid stir well and serve hot.

Here I have served it with some rice flavored with peas, and as a side I have some pan fried potatoes and eggplants. This dish can be served as is if you are avoiding carbs as it is such an wholesome dish.  Goes well with any flat bread as well. This is great way to add vegetables and greens to your diet . Enjoy !





Pistachio and cranberry biscotti.

Holiday time I like to personalize gifts in some small manner to spread the cheer. Each year I have been doing the traditional fruit cake and cookies, but this year I had a new addition to the giving basket and it was these yummy crumbly and not too crunchy Biscotti’s.




2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

6 tablespoon room temperature unsalted butter

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon orange zest

1 teaspoon fennel seed

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup shelled unsalted pistachio roughly chopped

1 cup dried sweetened cranberry

3/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 325F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Sift flour, salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Using a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl to blend well. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add in vanilla, fennel seeds and orange zest. Beat in flour mixture and mix well. Stir in cranberries and pistachios (sticky dough). Turn out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Gather and very lightly kneed. Divide the dough in half and roll each half into a 15 inch-long log and 1.14 inches wide . Transfer logs onto the baking sheet, space them a couple inches apart. Bake logs until almost firm  when you touch but still pale, 25 to 28 mins. Cool the logs on baking sheet for about 12 minutes.

Carefully transfer the logs with the parchment paper to cutting board. Using a serrated knife  or  big heart knife cut logs into 1/2 inch thick slices. Place the slices, any cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake until firm and lightly golden, about 8 to 10 mins. Transfer cookies onto cooling racks to cool. Enjoy them warm or store in an air tight container .



peach and berry cake

Summer is slowly trying to move out and gracefully make space for fall but before it has  completely gone  I wanted to give it a beautiful send off  by making  this delicious peach and raspberry cake. Yellow peaches are in abundance in summer every where, but my family prefers picking them at the local farmers market. I love the flavor of yellow peaches, they are perfect for baking and cooking.

This cake is a bit dense  but yet very moist. The few ingredients that make this cake extra special are almond flour, buttermilk and of course the peaches. I must admit while I was prepping for this cake I could not resist  stealing a few slices to munch on – simply delicious! So before I eat all the fruit lets get baking!


1 2/3 cups of plain flour

1 1/2 cups of almond flour

1 cup sugar ( you may add 1/4 cup more for more sweetness)

1/4 tsp salt

1 stick of soft butter

2 1/2 tsp of baking powder

1 cup of low fat butter milk

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp of almond extract

3 to 4 ripe yellow peaches (depending on how big they are)

6 ounces of raspberries

some icing sugar for dusting


preheat the oven to 350 degree F, grease a round 9 inch pan  with butter or any other shape you like. line it with parchment paper .

To make your batter combine the almond flour, plain flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and mix. Next add your wet ingredients: butter and eggs, followed by buttermilk and the vanilla and almond extract. Mix with a whisk, electric hand mixer or stand mixer but do not over mix. You should get a  thick yet flowing batter. Now add this batter to your greased pan set aside.

Wash the berries set them aside. Slice the peaches and remove the stone. Arrange the sliced peaches on the batter around the diameter of the cake pan and scatter all the berries in the middle.

Bake the cake in the pre heated oven for 50 minutes or test with tooth pick and if it comes out clean the cake is ready. Let it cool completely before putting  on the cake stand or platter, dust it with powder sugar and serve with a cup of tea or just as is. Enjoy !






patra ( with swiss chard )

Alu vadi/patra is a yummy snack traditionally made with taro leaves. Every time there was a special lunch get together at my grandmas house, a platter full of these were sure to be there. Today I make this recipe with a twist, using swiss chard leaves instead of taro because taro leaves are not always freshly available , plus i enjoy incorporating western vegetables in Indian cuisine — an adventure in itself! I could not tell the difference, the taste was just like the original.IMG_7418.JPG


12 swiss chard leaves

1 cup chickpea flour

1 1/2 tsp red chili powder

1 tsp coriander powder 

1/4tsp cumin powder 

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

2 tbs tamarind pulp

2 tbs jaggery or brown sugar

2 cloves of grated garlic

Salt to taste 

4 tbs oil 

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1/2 tsp of mustard seeds


1 tablespoon frozen grated coconut ( optional for garnish)

Snip the stems and wash the swiss chard well.  Pat dry the leaves with kitchen towel. Fold each leaf into half with the stem vein running in the middle of the leaf. Carefully slice the  thicker vein, while trying to keep the leaf from tearing too much, Sometimes there are small rips in the leaf but that is fine, Trimming of the middle vein makes rolling the leaf easy.

Now time to make the batter. Mix chickpea flour, coriander powder, cumin powder, red chili powder, turmeric, tamarind pulp, jaggery, garlic and salt with some water. Continue to mix until you have a smooth batter.

When you buy Swiss chard the leaves are not of all same size but that is totally fine. I had 12 leaves so I divided them into piles of 6 and made 2 rolls stacked with 6 leaves.

IMG_7440.JPGLay one leaf up side  down on a large cutting board . Apply the gram flour batter  evenly to the leaf. After the first leaf has a thin layer of paste applied all over, take another leaf of either the same size or smaller. Put it on top of the first and apply the batter in a thin layer to the back of the second leaf. Repeat this process for the next 4 leaves starting with the biggest leaf to the smaller ones.once one stack is ready start rolling the stack of leaves to form a tight roll sealing the edges Keep the roll aside. Repeat the same process for the remaining leaves and make the second roll. Arrange the rolls in a lightly greased steamer rack.

depending on how deep your pot is, add 1 -2 cups of water to the steamer pot, and bring to a simmer. Put the steamer rack with the rolls in them in the pot. Cook covered for 15 to 20 mins. Turn the heat off. Let the rolls cool down completely. Then cut each roll into thick or thin slices. 

Heat a pan on medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Add 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds and arrange the slices on the skillet. Cook for a couple mins on each side until golden, carefully flip over. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Cook for a couple mins or until the vadi’s are golden and crispy.

These Alu vadi or patra made with swiss chard leaves can be served with any chutney as an appetizer, or just an evening snack with tea . 

Enjoy !



Akoori (Indian style scrambled eggs)

Weekends are something everyone at my home looks forward to for one reason in particular —  that i will  make some really  fun meals! Starting with a yummy substantial breakfast and to go with it of course comes a good cup of Indian chai to sip on at leisure.

This morning we woke up early to get in a nice hike before it got too hot. We enjoyed some refreshing cool air and the birds singing with expansive vistas across the valley. Upon returning home quickly whipped up these delicious eggs and served it up with some home baked crusty bread.



3 tablespoons of butter or oil 

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced 

1/2 inch of ginger minced 

1 to 2 green Thai or Serrano’s chilly  finely chopped

1 tsp of cumin seeds

1/4 tsp of turmeric 

1/4 tsp of chilly powder -optional 

1 large tomato , finely chopped

3 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped, plus more to garnish

4 large eggs, beaten

salt, to taste

Heat the butter in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add cumin and chopped onions fry until lightly brown. Add garlic, ginger, chilly and fry for a minute until fragrant, then add tomatoes , turmeric, chilly powder and fry until soft. Reduce heat to low. Stir in cilantro, then pour beaten eggs into the pan and stir well to combine all ingredients.Cook slowly, stirring frequently, until eggs are soft but set, and season with salt.

Serve immediately with buttered bread of your choice. Yummmy!IMG_6904

Butternut squash curry

Curries are a very essential part of the Indian cuisine. Having said that, there are so many different versions and types of curries all over South East Asia and many influenced by one another. When I moved to America the Indian grocery stores were quite far from where we lived and with that my challenge was how to incorporate some of the local produce into Indian flavors and spices. One year with a random experiment  around Thanksgiving culminating with a beautiful aromatic curry I  figured out that pumpkin pie spice mix was not just for desserts but could be incorporated into savory dishes too. The natural sweetness from the vegetable compliments the spices in the dish and gives it great flavor and texture. So without further ado,  here it is – Butternut squash curry (with a twist!). Enjoy !




1 Medium size butternut squash cut in to 1 inch cubes

1 cup green beans chopped in to 2 inch pieces and blanched

1 large red onion finely chopped

3 to 4 tablespoons of any neutral cooking oil

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

4 to 5 cloves of garlic

2 table spoons of Madras Curry powder

1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice powder

1 can of organic coconut milk

1/2 tsp chilly powder (optional)

4 peppercorns

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 cup water

salt to taste

1- Heat a Dutch oven on a medium flame  and add oil. Once the oil is warm add the cumin seeds and peppercorns. As these spices start to crackle, add the finely chopped onions and sauté them until golden brown. Do this step carefully as you don’t want the onions to burn or rather darken too much as that gives a bitter burnt flavor to the curry  and changes the final result.

2- Add crushed garlic, chilly powder, curry powder, turmeric and butternut squash. Sauté on medium flame for a few seconds .

3- Add 1/2 cup of water  close the lid and simmer for 3 minutes .

4- Add 1 can of coconut milk, pumpkin pie spice powder and salt to taste ,close the lid and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes or until the butternut squash is tender but not mushy .

5- Add the blanched green beans and simmer for another 4 minutes with the lid off ,give it a taste and adjust the seasonings to your taste .

6- Serve with Hot rice or bread .

Note – This recipe may be tried with different vegetable combination with successful results .

Any brand of curry powder may be used

The consistency of the gravy is a personal preference .

Adjust spice levels and salt to your taste .



Vegetable Omelette

Breakfast in our house  on week days has always been a quick affair because mornings are such a rush . but sometimes we just want something fun and different and don’t mind a bit of the extra prep. so for these yummy savory vegan omelette’s i just prep a few things the night before and whip these out in the morning .chopping the vegetables the night before and even making the entire batter the night before helps . these omelettes have a nice earthy taste the spices give it great flavor and the bright green chutney brings a ton zing and freshness to it.



1 cup gram flour / besan

1/4th cup semolina (optional)

1 small tomato finely chopped

1/2 cup grated zucchini

1/4th cup finely chopped onions

1-2 green chili chipped

1/4th tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp cumin seeds

1/4 tsp chilli powder

1/4 tsp carom seeds (optional)

3 tbs of chopped cilantro

1 clove of garlic crushed (optional

pinch of asafoetida (optional)

salt to taste

1 – In a mixing bowl add the gram flour, semolina,  turmeric ,chilly  powder, cumin, carom seeds, asafoetida, salt and mix together

2 – Using a whisk mix all the dry ingredients together and then gradually add water to make a pouring consistency batter but not too watery.mix well to form a lump free batter.

3 -Add all the onions, tomato, zucchini, cilantro, and garlic. mix everything until well combined .after adding the vegetables and the herbs if the batter becomes to thick add a bit water to adjust the consistency .

4 – Heat a pan over medium flame and grease with a tsp of oil and add 1/4th cup of the batter to spread evenly , cover the pan and cook until the batter is dry on top and then flip on the other side and let it cook add more oil if you like  a bit of crispness on the edges .once done remove on a plate and repeat the same for the rest of the batter.

5 To make the sandwiches take 2 slices of bread of your choice, spread butter on both , you may use vegan butter too,  spread a tsp of green chutney on both slices . now place desired layers of the omellet in between the slices of bread and cut in half . serve with ketchup or more chutney

To Make Quick Green Chutney .


1 bunch of cilantro washed and chopped .

1 clove of garlic

1 juice of lemon

1/4 tsp cumin seeds

2 green chili

salt to taste .

Put all these ingredients in a blender and grind in to a fine paste with very little water to make a spread almost the consistency which would be somewhat like ketchup .



Notes – To make this gluten free skip the semolina and use gluten-free Bread.

To make this fun you may choose vegetables of your choice .

8 inch non stick pans make it easy to whip these out .

quick green chutney recipe is added here .


Lentil Soup

Winter is my favorite time of the year, the cold weather makes us all want to have something warm and comforting, not too mention the weather sometimes makes us lazy ! So why not cook up something easy?  For me winter is the time for one pot soups and stews,  and one such recipe my family loves is lentil and chicken soup. I absolutely love to curl up on the couch, with a good movie and enjoy this comforting warm bowl of  soup.

If you are vegan/vegetarian then you may skip the chicken and replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock or water.



2 tbs of avocado oil (or any other cooking oil you use )

1 large carrot small diced

1 stem celery small diced

1 yellow onion small diced

3 cloves of garlic chopped

1 cup orange lentils washed thoroughly

1 bay leaf

3 chicken thigh chopped in bite size pieces

1 large tomato diced

4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock

2 cups of water

1tsp of cumin powder

1tsp of smoked paprika powder

cilantro for garnish

salt to taste

Heat oil in a dutch oven or a pot over a medium flame. Add onions, celery and carrots,  sautéing  until the onion is translucent. Add garlic and saute for about 30 seconds, then add the chicken  and lentils and sauté on a medium high flame for about a minute. Add Bay leaf, cumin powder, paprika powder, tomato, salt to taste , stock and water.  Bring it to a gentle boil and then simmer covered for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until the lentils are completely cooked. To serve I quickly fry up left over tortillas in hot oil until they are crisp and top the soup with it. Also fresh cilantro seals the deal and adds a lot of flavor. enjoy !

Minestrone Soup

It was a lovely holiday time with family and friends. I always get a little sad when the holidays end, but it is time to pack up the decorations and get back to routine.

It has been raining past two days, and apart from the fact that we really need the rain here, I would not shy away from admitting  I absolutely love the rains. Perfect day to make some  soup and take a break from all the indulgence of the holiday foods.

Minestrone soup is one such soup; lite, flavorful and filled with vegetables. One of the  best things about this soup is you can keep it gluten free by keeping the pasta out of the recipe, and keep it vegan by keeping the cheese out. You may bulk up the recipe with more vegetables of your choice.



2 tbsp of olive oil

2 cloves of garlic minced

1 yellow onion chopped

1 potato chopped

1 carrot chopped

1 stem celery chopped

1 zucchini chopped

hand full of green beans chopped

1 can of diced tomato

4 cups of vegetable stock

2 cups water

1 bay leaf

1 tsp of chopped fresh or dried rosemary

2 tbs grated parmesan cheese (optional)

1/2 cup of pasta of choice     (optional)

salt and pepper to taste.

Heat olive oil in a dutch oven or a pot over medium flame. Add onion, celery,  carrot, zucchini; cooking until the onions are translucent.  Add garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds, then add tomatoes, stock, bay leaf, rosemary and bring to a boil.  Add chopped green bean, zucchini, potato and pasta, and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Remove the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Served with grated parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil . Enjoy!