My creations

Baby Okra and Peanut Stir Fry

Like okra, but not a fan of slime? Here are my three tips to keep slime to a minimum: 1) Stir fry over as high a temperature as possible. 2) Use tender baby okra (if you can find them). 3) Keep the okra whole instead of slicing them.

This recipe uses all three tips :) It goes well  with pretty much any Indian meal. But I like it best with rice flavored with fried onions and cumin and a big bowl of dhal (lentils). I’ll post my quick InstantPot recipes of both next week.


1/4 cup oil (more or less)
6-8 curry leaves (optional)
2 packets of frozen baby okra*
1 large onion, sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1/2 cup grated coconut (fresh or dry)
1–2 tsp sambhar powder, depending on how spicy you want it (there are many brands; I use Sakthi or MTR)
salt to taste

In a heavy bottomed or non stick dutch oven, heat the oil till almost smoking hot. Add curry leaves, frozen okra, and salt. Stir till all of the okra is well coated with oil and salt. Cover. (Using a dutch oven provides the steam needed to zap the slime without making the okra mushy.)

Reduce heat to medium high. Stir every two or three minutes. Cook till water from frozen okra is evaporated. (The more oil you use, the quicker the process).

Add rest of the ingredients and cook uncovered, stirring every few minutes, till okra turns dark green and is slime-free.

* You may use mature, sliced okra that’s frozen–it just takes a bit longer to de-slime. If using fresh okra, begin with medium high heat and reduce to medium heat heat, and add rest of the ingredients when the fresh okra is half-cooked.

Chickpea Croquettes

I usually make my croquettes with leftovers–rice, beans, soy meat and whatever else I can find in the refrigerator. I also usually bake my croquettes. But this evening I didn’t have the time to bake; besides, my leftovers had disappeared.

So, I created this new recipe. I deep-fried these to save time–which means ten times the calories,  but also means at least triple the deliciousness.chick-pea-croquettes


2 15-oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and coarsely processed with 1/2 cup water
1  1/2 cup chickpea flour
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 cup veggie burger (Sanitarium Casserole Mince or Worthington Vegeburger*)
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

Mix together. Shape into 3-inch logs. Deep fry till golden. I served mine with garlic stir-fried asparagus,  mashed potatoes, and  gravy.

*Morningstar Crumbles work well too. But they contain some egg white

Ragi Roti and Rajma Pyaz (Finger Millet Flatbread and Kidney Beans)

If you’re looking for healthful recipes, it doesn’t get better than this: this meal is vegan, gluten-free, and carb-free—with (possible) zero weight watcher freestyle points.



Unlike most Indian recipes for Rajma beans, this one doesn’t use red chili powder or turmeric. The main dominant flavor is onion (pyaz). This is big batch of beans. Without the turmeric this dish doesn’t have the Indian curry taste to it. So I save the leftovers to use as my base for a taco salad.

2 tsp—1/4 cup, oil (obviously, the less you use, the better it is for you; and the more you use, the tastier it is too)
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 cups finely chopped onions
1 Tbsp pressed garlic
1 1/2 Tbsp finely grated ginger
2 Tbsp coriander powder
3 cups chopped tomatoes
2 Tbsp tomato paste
4 green chillies, finely chopped
3 cups vegetable stock (or water)
1 cup chopped cilantro
3-4 cans red kidney beans, rinsed
salt to taste
2 tsp garam masala (every brand has its unique taste. This is the one I used)
1/8th cup dry fenugreek leaves (optional–called Kasthuri Methi at Indian Grocers)
1 Tbsp butter (optional)
1/2 cup fried onions (optional–I use the Indian variety because there isn’t as much batter; but you could use French’s too )

Heat as much or as little oil you want in a deep pot. Add cumin and stir for about 30 seconds. Add fresh onions and cook till every so slightly brown. (If you’re leaving out the oil, cook the cumin and onion in a little of the stock/water till slightly mushy.)

With heat on medium, add ginger and garlic. Stir for about a minute. Add fresh tomato and tomato paste, green chillies, half of the stock/water, and half of the cilantro. Cover and cook till tomatoes are soft and well cooked. Mash them up a bit.

Add beans, the rest of the stock/water, fenugreek leaves and the garam masala. If you like more of a gravy, use three cans of beans (I use four cans). Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until it’s as thick as you like it–stir occasionally. Stir in the remaining cilantro. Cook for another 2 minutes. Turn off the stove, and add butter and fried onions.


Note: If these don’t turn out soft the first time, experiment with the heat setting on your stove till you get the magical one that’s right for the griddle you’re using. Even without butter or olive oil, mine were soft enough to roll into a burrito. I got 8 rotis.

1 dry measuring cup of water (Don’t use a liquid measuring cup because the ratio for water:flour is based on volume)
1 tsp oil
3/4 tsp salt
1 dry measuring cup of ragi (finger millet) flour
olive oil or butter (optional)

Bring water, oil, and salt to a boil.

Do this next step as quickly as possible (This all should take less than a minute): Turn down the stove as low as possible, add the flour to the boiling water, give it a quick stir, take off the stove, and keep stirring it all comes together in a Play Doh-like textured ball.

Cover the dough and let it rest for about five minutes. Pinching out about 1/8th cup or less of dough, use dry ragi flour and roll out as thin as possible. Keep the dough covered. Cook on a cast iron or non-stick griddle as you would whole wheat chapatis or roti–There are many videos on YouTube on how to cook roti. Here’s one–watch the last two minutes.

While still warm, lightly spread some olive oil or butter on one or both sides. (I didn’t use any on mine)


Dark Chocolate Orange Bundt Cake


I usually don’t post recipes that use packaged stuff, but this recipe is the best for a super moist, mega chocolatey taste.

1 box Pillsbury Moist Supreme Devil’s Food Cake
1 5.9 oz box, Instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup full-cream sour cream (not fat free or low fat!)
1 cup oil
4 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup orange juice, at room temperature (can be replace with water)
2 Tbsp fresh orange zest (leave out if using water instead of orange juice)
1 1/2 cups Ghirardelli 60% Cocoa chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.

Dump everything but the chocolate chips in a bowl. Mix really well. Batter will be pretty thick. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour into a well-greased, well floured bundt pan (I find shortening works best. With oil or butter, my cake sometimes gets stuck). Bake 50-55 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Turn onto a platter to cool completely. Store in a tightly covered container.


Sorry, Didn’t really measure the ingredients. But you can’t really mess it up–just add more chocolate if it’s too runny or more cream if it’s too thick :)

Microwave heavy cream and Ghirardelli Intense Dark 72% chocolate squares for about 20 seconds at a time. Stir and nuke again as needed. I think I used about 3/4ths cup cream and 8 squares of chocolate.

Serve sauce separately or drizzle over the cake as frosting. Sprinkle a bit of sea salt over chocolate sauce and top with fresh raspberries.

Curried Tuna Linguine

The older I get the less my body cooperates with dairy. So, I’ve been experimenting.

This recipe uses coconut cream, and the result is the creamy richness of an Alfredo sauce–with a twist of curry.


8 oz linguine, cooked al dente in salted water
½ cup oil
¼ cup chopped onions
2 cups fresh veggies, chopped (I used sweet peppers, asparagus, celery, and green peppers)
3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp Malliga Masala Red Chili Blend
1 can coconut cream
salt to taste
2 small cans of tuna, drained (about 10 to 12 oz in all)

Saute onions. When translucent, add rest of ingredients, except linguine and tuna. Bring to a gentle boil. Take care that veggies don’t overcook; they should be tender and crisp. Fold in linguine and tuna. Bring to boil and take off stove. Wait about 5 minutes before serving to allow coconut gravy to thicken


cardamom dark chocolate fudge

I love the versatility of cardamom. In a savory dish, it enhances the flavor of meat when paired with cinnamon and cloves. In a sweet dish, its spicy bite complements the smooth richness of chocolate.

I love fudge, but can never eat more than a tiny little piece of it. I find it cloyingly sweet. So this weekend my daughter and I experimented with cardamom in fudge. We began with a pinch, slowing increasing the quantity till it was delicately–and equally–balanced with the chocolate. We discovered that the cardamom gets stronger in flavor when the fudge is cool.

Here’s our recipe:

1 can condensed milk
2 ¼ cups dark chocolate chips
½ stick (¼ cup) butter
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cardamom (if you can’t find it ground, deseed the pods and grind the seeds to a powder)

Place everything except cardamom in a double boiler (or in a pan that sits in a pot of simmering water). Whisk till melted and smooth. Remove from heat; add cardamom. Pour into 8 x 8 pan lined with parchment paper. Chill in refrigerator until firm. Loosen sides, turn over onto cutting board and cut into small cubes.

grapenuts and cottage cheese loaf

Yeah, I know, this looks like dog food. But it tastes really good. My meat-eating friend, Nicole, verified its deliciousness too. (Remembered to take a picture only after we all dug into it!)

2 cups Grapenuts cereal
2 cups cottage cheese
1 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
2 eggs
1 tsp Italian seasonings
2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup oil
1 cup spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup grated cheese (optional)

Mix everything together, except the sauce and the cheese. Spread into greased casserole dish. Cover with foil. Bake 40 minutes, 350 degrees. Remove cover. Spread sauce. Sprinkle cheese. Bake another 10 minutes.