Tag Archives: #vegan

Mullo Bhaji – White Daikon Radish with Grated Coconut Recipe

24 Feb

Last weekend my husband came home with mullo -diakon radish and said he wanted to eat some goan mullo/ mulliah bhaji. Mullo – diakon radish is very common in Goa and is eaten as an everyday vegetable. It does not need too many ingredients to make this vegetable shine.  We ate it just boiled and as bhaji. It’s very tasty with just 4-5 simple ingredients. You can also cook it with caldin curry and it taste great. I also use the caldin curry recipe to make bottle gourd (opo squash or long melon).




Serving Size: 4-6


4-5 average sized diakon radish with green leaves

1/2-3/4 cup of fresh grated coconut

1 medium onion diced

3/4 cup water

1 diced tomato (optional) gives color and flavor

1 green chilli for spice (optional)

salt to taste


Wash the radish well to take off any sand or mud. Cut it into 1/2 inch pieces.

In a pot add the coconut, onion, tomato and the radish on top. Add in the water and cover and cook on medium heat for 20-30 minutes till the radish has soften.

Season with salt and enjoy it as a side with rice.




Upma Recipe – Indian savory breakfast made with Cream of Wheat

14 Oct

Upma is a very popular south Indian breakfast food. In Goa it is available at the chaia dukan (Tea Stalls) till lunch time, locals call it Uppit. Upma recipes have changed so much that it is now  consumed for lunch or dinner. The newer recipes have toasted nuts and dal, veggies and additional spices. The flavor and aroma are from curry leaves and mustard seeds. My recipe is of the past old days when life and foods were simple and not complicated.


Serving Size: 3-4


2 tbsp of ghee or oil

1 cup cream of wheat/ rava/ semolina

2.5 cups water

1 medium onion chopped finely

15-20 curry leaves

1 green chilli

1/2 tsp of black brown mustard seeds

2 pinches of asafoetida

1/2 tsp of sugar

1/2 tsp of  salt



Heat a non-stick pan and roast the cream of wheat on medium heat by stirring continuously for 5-7 minutes till it has a nice light golden color and a nutty smell.

Take of heat. Heat oil or ghee in a pot. Add the mustard seeds, chilli and curry leaves, saute for 20-35 seconds. Add the onions and saute till light brown. You can add peas and carrots if you like and saute for 1-2 minutes. On the side boil 2.5 cup water add the sugar and salt.

Once onions are soft add the boiling water and slowly add the roasted cream of wheat by stirring continuously till no lumps are formed. check for seasoning.

Cook for about 2-3 minutes till thicken. Turn off the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. You can now mould the upma or serve as is. Enjoy it hot.


Zoodles Recipe – Versatile and Healthy Low Carbs Alternative

3 Oct

zoodles-tikka-masala-chicken-curry-recipe-healthy-foods-vegetarian-veganEvery time I am on Pinterest I have seen appetizing pictures of Zoodles. It has been on my list for a while. Finally a couple of weeks back I made it for the first time. On my first try I cooked it too long and it became too watery. I kept reducing the time on the stove till I finally felt that I had got it. The best duration to cook the zoodles is adding it to an already heated pan or pot taking it off heat and mixing it gently till the heats transfers and makes them soft without letting out too much water. This is not a very good food for leftovers you got to make it fresh. For the next couple of weeks I used zoodles as substitute for pasta and rice. Enjoyed them with pasta sauce, chicken curry and kung pao chicken. It gives you the same sense of slurping regular pasta or noodles without the extra carbs.




Serving Size: 2-4


4 medium zucchini or courgette spiralized or julienned

2-3 smashed garlic cloves

1 tbsp of oil

Salt to taste


Heat a pan add the smashed garlic saute for 15-30 seconds.

Take the pan off heat add the zucchini noodles or zoodles sprinkle salt and toss in gently for 1-2 minutes.

Top the zoodles with warmed pasta sauce, sautéed or curried chicken, vegetables or any creamy sauce of choice. Enjoy a healthy meal. Also enjoy it as a side vegetable dish.


Methi Bhaji – Fenugreek Leaves and Urad Dal Recipe

26 Aug

Fenugreek leaves is popular in a Goan household. It is usually made into a vegetable while in the rest parts of India methi leaves is used in many ways. It has many health benefits  which makes it very popular. I had never cooked with methi leaves before so this was my first time. Just fyi, I have to be in a zen state before I get cooking with first time ingredients so as not to mess up the recipe 😉


Serving Size: 4-6


leaves of 2 bunches of methi

1 small onion chopped finely

1 cup of moong or urad dal soaked for 30 minutes in water

1/4 tsp of Asafoetida (hing)

1/2″ finely chopped ginger

3 finely chopped garlic cloves

1 slit green chili

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp lemon/lime juice

salt to taste


Heat a pan add oil. Once the oil is hot add asafoetida (hing), chopped garlic, ginger and sliced green chili.

Add sliced onions and saute the onions for 1 minute until they turn soft.

Drain the water from soaked dal, add dal in the pan. Let the dal cook along with onion for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add turmeric powder and coriander powder. Give a stir and mix well.

Now add washed methi leaves or fenugreek leaves and stir.

Let the methi gets cooked for 2 minutes until it reduces in size.

Once methi starts shrinking add salt as per taste and sugar. Squeeze 1 tsp of lemon juice.

Mix well and let cook uncovered for 2 minutes.

Methi bhaji is ready to serve with phulkas, chapati or rice.


Baked Stuffed Karela – Bitter Melon Recipe

15 Aug

Bitter Melon is not a common vegetable at the grocery stores in the US but is a very popular vegetable among the Asians and for its health benefits. In Goa one of the popular recipes I grew up with is stuffed karela made with prawns/shrimps and goan recheado masala. The stuffing is first cooked and then stuffed melon is shallow fried in oil.  My recipe is vegetarian with 2 variations from the original recipe, I have skipped the prawns and I baked the karela instead of shallow frying.


Since karela is a bitter melon to rid the bitterness it requires 3 things that I think help cut the bitterness. First applying a generous amount of salt to each melon inside out and let stand for 30-45 minutes to drain out the bitter liquid. Second it need an acid and finally a little sweetness. Indian’s believe in many health benefits of karela/bitter melon you can check out more on my earlier blog post of Prawns and Bitter melon Fry by clicking here.


Serving Size: 12 small karela – 4″ size


12 small karela/ bitter melons

2 medium onion chopped fine

1 medium tomato chopped fine

6 cloves of garlic chopped fine

1″ ginger cut fine

3 tbsp of goan recheado masala

1 tsp of sugar

1 bunch of fine chopped cilantro

2 tbsp of garam masala

salt to taste


Split each karela and scoop out the seeds apply generous salt to each one inside-out and keep aside for 30-45 minutes. It will let out some bitter liquid. Wipe each dry with a paper towel.

In a pan heat oil, saute the onions till soft. Next add the ginger garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes along with the recheado masala. Finally add the sugar and salt to season mix well.

Take of heat and add the chopped cilantro. Keep aside to cool.

To the dried karela apply a little oil and garam masala inside and out and stuff each one with the recheado filling.

Bake at 415F for 35 minutes till the karela is soft.





For Variations

  •  Add prawns/shrimps or paneer to the stuffing and instead of baking shallow fry the karela till they soften on the outside about 5-7 minutes on each side.
  • Some recipes in Indian Cuisine use ground beef or chicken and potatoes.

Do note this recipe is spicy. You can make your own stuffing. My recommendation would be to add sour and sweet taste to cut the bitterness.

Tomato Chutney Recipe

26 Feb

I want to thank you all for your prayers,concerns and support during the last couple weeks when I got sick and then my husband. I am truly blessed to have you all. My husbands surgery went well and he is now recovering. I appreciate you all very much 🙂


Sharing a recipe that I really did not have a go-to recipe but only a memory. When I first started to work a senior faculty member would get it for lunch occasionally and I would love the tomato chutney so much since the only chutney I ate at home was the Goan coriander (fresh cilantro) and coconut chutney.

This tomato chutney is slightly on the tart side. The flavor comes from the roasted mustard seeds and curry leaves. If you want to make it like a jam then just add more sugar according to your taste. If you are allergic to nuts then skip the toasted peanuts that get added on last.  If you do not have access to curry leaves than you can use fresh chopped cilantro ones the chutney is done cooking. You can enjoy the tomato chutney with idli’s, dosa, vada, sandwiches, rice or on crackers with cream and fresh figs for a sweet note.


Serving Size: 1.5 cup approx


3 lbs of ripe tomatoes chopped

1/2 tsp black mustard seeds

1 green chili chopped finely

1/2 tsp of turmeric powder

8-12 curry leaves

1/2 tsp of sugar or according to taste

1/3 cup crushed roasted peanuts

salt to taste


Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Let the mustard seeds pop (splutter).

Next add the turmeric powder and green chili. Quickly saute for a couple of seconds and add the chopped tomatoes and sugar.

Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally for 35 -45 minutes till the chutney thickens.

Season with salt according to taste and add the toasted peanuts.


Punjabi Chana or Chole Bhature – Garbanzo Beans Curry

23 Oct

I ate my first Punjabi Chole Bhature only after I came to the US as it was a popular dish in most Indian Restaurants. Goan’s make something similar with split green peas and same deep-fried bread called Puri (bhatura).  My husband had been saying he wanted to eat some Chana Batura for a couple of weeks till we had friends visit who said they had just eaten some. Feeling bad for him I decided to make it the next day for Sunday Lunch. I did experiment with the Bhatura(puri/fried bread) using unbleached whole wheat flour. They turned out soft and puffy which surprised me since it was my first attempt at making them from scratch. The flip side, I did not keep a track of the measures. So I will have to share the bhatura (fried bread) recipe at a different time.




It is a perfect vegan recipe. You can also substitute the beans with chicken and make an incredible Chicken Curry. This recipe may get you overwhelmed by the sheer variations in spices but trust me it is worth every bit. My fussy 5-year-old enjoys it every time I make it. You can skip the chili and it still has lots of flavor.


Ps Note: This recipe is prefect for the home cook’s who likes to be in charge of quality control 🙂  I cooked my own beans using a pressure cooker. The reason I did that is because I came across an article that was published recently about cancer causing foods in America. Canned foods and excessive salt were named along with some more foods. If you are a new owner of a pressure cooker then you should add this recipe to your list.


Serving Size: 6-8

Boiling Chana/Garbanzo in a Pressure Cooker


  • 2 cups dried chana/chickpea/garbanzo beans or 5 cans of low sodium garbanzo beans.
  • 5-6 cups water
  • 1 tbsp of salt


Soak the chana/kabuli overnight. Drain the water. In a pressure cooker add the soaked chana, salt and enough water to cover the beans about 5-6 cups of water.

Pressure cook for 6-7 whistle about 35-45 minutes.

Take of heat and let stand till all the steam is released and it is safe to open the cooker.  (Please for your safety follow this step.) 

Whole Spices

  • 2 bay leaf
  • 5 green cardamom
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 2″ cinnamon stick

Wet Paste

  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1″ ginger
  • 1 green chili (optional)

Powder Spices

  • 1 tbsp of coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp of dry mango/ amchoor powder
  • 1 tsp of red chili powder
  • 1 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp of garam masala powder
  • pinch of asafoedita
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Salt to taste


Grind the wet ingredients with no water. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a separate pan. Add whole spices till the oil becomes fragrant.

Next add wet paste and saute till the oil starts to leave the side of the paste. About 10-13 minutes.

To this add the powder spices, saute for 1-2 minutes till it mixes well.

You either can transfer the spice paste to the pressure cooker, add water, season with salt and cook it for 2 more whistle.

OR If using the same pan add the water, salt and chana to the pan and cook for another 20 minutes on medium heat covered.


Serve with hot bhature or with rice and a side of onions marinated with pickle.

Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies

25 Sep

This recipe appealed for 2 reasons. Firstly Goan’s use beans to make sweets/desserts like Doce de Grao (Gluten-free Coconut Bars), Gorchem ( Moong Dal Pudding with coconut milk), Atoll (Rice and split pea pudding)and secondly I try to eat gluten-free often. I had to try this recipe 3 times till I got it right (according to my oh so humble opinion 🙂 ) and along the way I came up with a cupcakes recipe. My kids enjoyed these brownie as long as they did not know they were made with black beans but after overhearing my conversation with a friend they just decided it was not to cool to eat black bean brownie no more.



My recipe is made with reduced sugar. Here are a few variations you can make.

Replace the oil with 1 ripe avocado

Sugar with 10-15 medjool dates.

Make it vegan by replacing the egg with a Flax Seed Egg.


Serving Size: 9 brownies


1 can of black beans rinsed and drained (1-3/4 cups)

1/3 – 1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tbsp of vanilla

3 tbsp of cocoa powder

3 tbsp of oil or 1 mashed avocado

1/2 tsp of baking powder

1/8 tsp of salt

1/4 cup semi-sweet dark chocolate chips

1/4 cup crushed walnuts/ cashews/pistachios (optional)

1/2 cup crushed raspberries (optional)



Heat oven to 350F

Mash or use a food processor to mash the drained beans.

In a bowl mix all the remaining ingredients well eggs, vanilla, cocoa powder, oil, salt, chocolate chips, nuts and crushed raspberries.

Add the mashed beans to the mixture. Pour in a 9″ brownie pan or in muffin pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Check after 25 till the top looks set and toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool and enjoy with a nice glass of milk.



Spicy Sauteed Portebello Mushrooms

11 Sep

Firstly, remembering all the precious life’s lost this day 14th years ago. Praying for them and the loved one’s they left behind. America the Resilient Nation.

My husband and me have really enjoyed this recipe for the last couple weeks. I have been making it quite often since I found that Costco has the best priced Portobello Mushrooms in my area. Since we avoid eating rice for most of our meals cooking healthy but well seasoned vegetables has become a necessity to replace rice. What I love about this recipe it is vegan, vegetarian and taste better the next day.


It you want to just grill the mushrooms than you can use the recheado masala as a marinade as well. Serve with rice. Use left overs to make sandwich with some mayo or as a filling for a wrap. Stuff into puff pastry sheets the sautéed Portobello’s and bake to make a quick snack.



Serving Size: 4-6



5 Portobello mushroom sliced in length

2 medium onions sliced

2 tbsp of recheado masala

1/4 tsp of sugar

salt to taste


With a wet cloth cleans the mushroom gently. Take the gills with the back of the spoon (If you do not clean then it makes the mushrooms almost black in color). Slice them length wise.

In a heated skillet saute the onions till translucent. Add the recheado masala, sugar, mushroom and salt to taste.  Saute for 7-10 minutes till the mushrooms are tender.


This recipe is perfect for weekdays for busy people on the go since you need only 3 ingredients and little prep work ahead. It stays well for a couple of days in the refrigerator and can be used in many ways. If you have a recipe on how you cook your mushrooms than please feel free to share your link in the comment section of this post.

Atoll – Rice and Channa Dal Pudding

28 Aug

Atoll (Attol) is a slowly disappearing Goan sweet recipe. It is gluten-free. Made with rice, yellow channa dal, coconut and cardamom. We grew up eating a lot of homemade evening tea snacks and sweets in Goa. Some of them being Moong Dal Gorchem, Boiled Sweet Potatoes, Moong Dal Chunn, Alle Belle, Xiro, Banana Pancakes, Nankhatais, Baath, Pinaca, Patolios, Doce de Grao, Bolinhas de Coco and a few more.


Many of the Goan recipes are gluten-free, Atoll is one of them. The Goan coconut jaggery plays an important role in many of the Goan sweets. It has a rich dark brown color and is made from coconut sap that is boiled down till hardened to form small triangular blocks. It melts very easily and soften to touch. It has the same amount of calories as regular sugar but has vitamin and minerals. Since it is not refined it’s a great alternative to regular white sugar. You can read more about the differences between the two here.


Please note: For this recipe instead of yellow channa dal I have used split green peas (green pea dal) as it is readily available at the grocery stores in the US. I also had to replace a full freshly grated coconut with frozen grated coconut and coconut milk. And finally if you do not have access to coconut jaggery than you can use regular jaggery or molasses.


Serving Size: 6-8


3/4 cup raw rice (washed and cooked as per instructions)

1/2 cup split green peas or yellow channa dal ( washed and cooked as per instructions)

1/2 cup grated frozen coconut

1 cup of coconut milk

4-5 crushed whole cardamom

1.5 to 2 square of coconut jaggery or 1/3 cup of molasses

Pinch of salt



Cook the rice and dal as per instructions, once’s done in a pot add the cooked rice, dal and the remaining ingredients. Keep stirring them together for 10-15 minutes on medium-low heat till the rice thickens like pudding.

Transfer in a 9-inch spring-form pan and let cool and set for at-least 30-60 minutes.

Slice and enjoy with your evening tea or as a dessert. You can refrigerate the rest for a couple of days. Just warm it up in the microwave for couple of seconds before serving.



You can make another similar dish called as Orna which is made by soaking the rice overnight and ground into a paste and cooked to a pudding consistency. Then add the remaining ingredients and stir together for another 10 to 12 minutes till it thickens.

Feijoada – Red Kidney Beans with Pork

28 Jun

Feijoada is a Portuguese recipe and become a popular dish in all it’s colonies Brazil, Macau, Angola, Mozambique and of course Goa. For an American the all time favorite “Chili” is the closet to it. It always taste better the next day.

feijoa-feijoada-goan-brazillian-red-kidney-beans-pork-chili-recipe-spicy-porkFeijoada is derived from the word ” feijão, Portuguese for “beans“. Usually kidney beans or white beans along with pork and beef are used in Portugal. Brazilians use black beans and Goan’s use dark red kidney beans.

In the past I only made it with goan smoked pork sausages which is really easy. So when I was testing the recipe with marinated meat I realized how easy it was to make. This recipe could not have turned out any better than this after 2 previous failed attempts.

feijoa-feijoada-goan-brazillian-red-kidney-beans-pork-crockpot-recipeIt is a 2 step process. First the meat needs to be marinated and then the feijão are cooked along with the marinated meat. The longer you marinate the meat, the better the feijoada tastes. I marinated my meat for 2 whole days and during the day I kept it out to dry in the California sun. The meat soaked up the spices well.

feijoa-feijoada-goan-brazillian-red-kidney-beans-pork-ground-turkey-chili-recipeServing Size: 6-8


1 lbs of pork meat with some fat

5-6 tbsp of recheado masala

4 cans of dark red kidney beans

8-10 fresh garlic cloves grated.

2 medium onions diced

2 medium ripe tomatoes diced

4 cups of water

Salt to taste


Cut the meats in small cubes about 1/2″. Wash and dry with paper towel. Apply 1.5 tsp of salt, fresh garlic and recheado masala paste. Marinate for a minimum of 24 hrs.

Drain the liquid from the canned beans. Keep aside.

Heat a pot and saute the onions till translucent. Next add the tomatoes saute till softened.

Next add the marinated pork meat and saute for 4-5 minutes.

Add the water and cook covered on medium heat for 20-25 minutes till beans are soft. Check and stir in between so the beans do not stick to the bottom.


Serve hot. Enjoy with white rice, bread or roti.

Make a vegetarian or vegan version of the famous Goan Feijoada Recipe with Soya Nuggets for meat texture.

Baked Onion Bhajia – Vegan and Gluten Free

22 May

This recipe can have many names it just depends on what you wish to call it. Pakoras, pakodas, bhajia, Bhaji, savory muffins, pancakes…yes, I use the same batter to make breakfast pancakes. How cool is that :-).

goan-onion-pakoda-pakora-bhajias-recipe-besan-bhaji-bhajjiI have used the traditional Goan recipe for deep-fried bhajias. It is a common sight along the street in the evening. I remember the Aai(mom) who would make it just outside of the general store with a stove, deep-frying pan and newspaper that she wrapped the bhajias. On my recent visit to Margao in Goa I saw her daughter who does it now. The smell of deep-fried onions would make me drool on my walk back home from the bus stop during my college days.


Deep Fried Goan Onion Bhajia’s

The batter is made with gram flour (besan, chickpea flour, garbanzo bean flour), turmeric, ajwain or jeera(optional) and water. Sliced onions, overnight brine whole green chillies or slices of potatoes are added. You can spoon a small amount at a time and deep fry or bake like I did. This is a very common street food snack in Goa and perfect for those raining days with a nice cup of hot tea.

goan-onion-pakoda-pakora-bhajias-recipe-ingredients-gluten-free-savory-muffinsI made my baked onion bhajia in the muffin tin for its shape. I did not want to make the batter too thick and was not too sure of the shape if I had baked small scopes on a cookie sheet.

Serving Size: 11-12 muffins


goan-onion-pakoda-pakora-bhajias-recipe-ingredients1 cup gram flour

1/4 tsp of powder ajwain (optional – but good for digestion – antiflatulent)

1/4 tsp of turmeric (for color)

1/2 tsp of baking powder

1.5 sliced medium-sized white or red onions

1 jalapeno chopped

1/2 bunch of fresh chopped cilantro.

2  tbsp of oil

3/4 cup water

Salt to taste


Heat oven to 500F

Grease a muffin tin

In a mixing bowl add the first 4 dry ingredients, water and strip well to a smooth batter. Next add the onions, cilantro, jalapeno, oil and salt and mix well.

Spoon into muffin pan and bake for 8 minutes then flip the muffin and bake for another 8 minutes.


Eat it hot off the oven with a nice cup of milk tea. Cool and refrigerate the rest. Warm up and enjoy it for a quick healthy snack or a breakfast muffin.

Coriander Chutney

16 Jan

Dedicating this post to my loving dad Victor Basilio de Silveira who passed away peacefully early Thursday morning. I was in two minds to blog this post today. He would be 90 this coming April. As I head back tomorrow to Goa for 2 weeks I will miss hearing my papa say as I walk through the front door “Bai ja veio” (baby have you come).

My papa when he visited for the first time in 2007

My papa when he visited for the first time in 2007

Goan coriander/cilantro chutney is nothing like the cilantro chutney you may have eaten at the Indian restaurant. If you are a Goan who grew up eating this chutney than no other compares to this light fluffy tangy and sweet tasting chutney.

coriander-green-goan-chutney-recipe-bhel-puri-samosa-indian-cilantroIt’s a popular everyday recipe that is made to make quick sandwiches for snack or kids lunch boxes with just bread, butter and chutney. It is also an all time favorite for birthday parties, picnics as it’s one of the easy recipes. It is vegan and kid friendly.


With butter.

Serving Size: 2 cups


1 fresh cilantro/ coriander bunch with trimmed stalks

1/2 a small onion

2 garlic cloves

1 nickel sized tamarind

2 tbsp of warm water

1.5 cup of thawed frozen grated coconut.

1 green jalapeno/ chilli

1 tsp of sugar

1/2 tsp of sea salt ( or salt according to your taste)


Soak the tamarind in warm water for 2-5 minutes. In a blender first add the coconut then coriander/cilantro, followed by garlic, jalapeno, soaking tamarind and finally the onion, sugar and salt. If you follow the order it will be easier to grind the chutney to a fine paste.

Once done store it in a plastic container up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.


Goan Corned Beef and Cucumber Club Sandwich

Goan Corned Beef and Cucumber Club Sandwich


Goan Corned Beef and Cucumber Club Sandwich

 Vegetarian Club Sandwich


Vegetarian and Vegan Club Sandwich



Vegan Club Sandwich

On a side note I would like to apologize about my gibberish post on Monday, that was my 4-year-old son trying to be smart on my computer when I was not in the room.

Dodol – Christmas Sweet made with Coconut Jaggery

19 Dec

We have a couple of days before Christmas and if you are still looking for healthy Christmas Sweets Ideas then maybe you should consider the popular Goan Dodol. It’s not only popular in Goa but also in South East Asia. You can also make it gluten-free by replacing wheat flour with millet / ragi flour and since it does not have any eggs or milk it can be vegan.

dodol-kalu-dodol-christmas-sweet-sri-lankan-goa-goanIn my short trip to Goa, I managed to visit the St Francis Xavier Exposition and celebrate the Immaculate Conception Feast. My unexpected short visit could not have been better timed, as the Exposition is once’s every 10 years and according to my mum St Francis 15th generation family members delegate came to Goa for the Expo.


Exposition of St Francis Xavier in Old Goa, Goa

The must have Sweets at all Church Feast Fairs in Goa called as Festachem Khajem (Konkani)

goan-feast-fair-sweets-kadio-bodio-festachem-khajem-khajeThe dark rich pudding with an intense flavor of coconut and jaggery sure puts you in a Christmas mood right away. Goan dodol is not baked but cooked on slow fire till it has a jello consistency. Goan’s make the dodol in 2 ways either they use wheat flour or millet flour, rice flour is usually used in a small quantity for texture. Kalu Dodol in Sri Lanka is made with rice flour. My humble opinion is that using rice flour makes the Dodol firmer but the Goan dodol is softer and a little sticky, which I prefer.


Goan Coconut Jaggery

This 5 ingredient sweet is very simple to make but requires a tad bit of patience.

 Serving Size: 6-8  (9″ round about 1″ thick )


8 tbsp of wheat / millet flour

4 tbsp of rice flour

3 cans of coconut milk

14 oz of grated coconut / regular jaggery (approx 3 1/2 coconut jaggery squares. Add more if you like it sweeter)

1/2 cup of rough chopped cashews

2 tbsp of butter (optional)

pinch of salt


Use a non stick pot and a wooden flat spoon if possible.

Mix the flours, 2 cans of coconut milk and salt in a pot and place on medium heat. Stir slowly till the mixtures thickens approx 15 minutes.


Next add jaggery, cashews and the remaining can of coconut milk. Stir slowly on low medium heat for approx 1.15 hrs till the mixtures leave the side of the pan and does not stick to the wooden ladle. If the dodol does not let oil then add butter towards the end.

Pour into a 9″ round and smooth it with the wooden spoon to form a nice round. Cool and enjoy.

dodol-ingredients-goan-christmas-sweets-recipe-rice-flour-cashewsLeave it in a cool dry place or the refrigerator for a week or two.

Check out more Goan Sweets like Bebinca, Doce de Grao and Neureos.

Wishing you and your family a very Happy Christmas!


Green Plantains Bhaji

12 Sep green-banana-plantain-vegetable-xacuti-recipe

Wondering what the word “Bhaji” (Baja-gi) in Green Plantain Bhaji means. Well I was trying to link it to Wikipedia so it would be easier but the Bhaji that was described was totally different then I expected. It was what we call Bhajia, which are deep fired fritter made with garbanzo bean flour, onions, spices, baking soda and chopped cilantro. So I would not be wrong in saying that it is a common slang in Goa and some parts of Indian that “Bhaji” (mind you J is not pronounced as H in Indian) means cooked vegetables.


Green Plantain Recipe

Green Plantains is not a typical Goan dish but is cooked quite a bit in the north part of Goa and since I grew up in the south it was not common. I got introduced to plantains by my husband as his mum is from the state of Kerala where plantains are consumed the most.

Kerala is a coastal state just like Goa and is down south. On a side note, it is believed that St Thomas landed in Kerala and just like Goa has a huge Christian population which is mostly made of Orthodox Christians and you wont believe… a very tiny percent of Jews who still have a synagogue in Kochi. Apart from the Portuguese who landed first in Kerala then followed by the Dutch and English. It also has the highest Literacy Rate in India.

When I cooked the Green Plantains, I realized that they are a good substitute for potatoes. It does not have a lot of flavor and is very dry and waxy to taste. Also since it has more resistant starches, it makes for a lower GI food. You can check the following article.

Serving Size: 6-8



  • 4 green plantains
  • 1 medium diced onions
  • 1 cup grated  coconut
  • 1 tbsp of xacuti masala
  • 1/4 tsp of  whole black mustard seeds
  • 3 whole red chilli
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 12-15 curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil



  • Steam the 4 green plantains on medium heat for 25 minutes. Let cool, then skin it and dice the plantains.
  • Heat  oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds, red chillies and half the curry leaves. Be careful as the mustard seeds tend to splatter, cover the pan for 30 seconds till the popping sound is over.
  • Next add the xacuti masala and saute for 1 minute. To this add the water and salt to taste, cook covered for 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
  • Add the chopped plantains, mix well and check for seasoning. Again cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Next add the grated coconut, curry leaves and stir. Cook covered for another 3-5 minutes till done.

Green Plantain Bhaji with Rice and Guisado de Peixe

Serve this Green Plantain Bhaji as a savory side with rice or bread. It is vegetarian and vegan friendly. Not a fan of Green Plantains then try out my Green Beans Recipe.

Toasted Coconut Cashew Date Laddoos

29 Aug medjool-dates-cashews-coconut-balls-recipe-ladoo-recipe

Name too long, I couldn’t think of anything better to describe this recipe :-). Have a better idea then just leave it in the comments. Mind you it is a kid friendly website :-). I must confess, before I made these aromatic toasted coconut cashew date laddoos I just wasn’t a big fan of dates. I started to eat them because of my diet that called for eliminating processed sugars with more natural forms. A word of caution it does have approx 8-9 grams of sugar per date, so keep a watchful eye. I just love to eat something sweet after a meal.

medjool-dates-cashews-coconut-balls-recipe-ladoo-recipe Nuts, Coconut and Date Balls Recipe

I found ripe dates are mushy and work as a great binder. Also you have to toast the coconut as fresh grated coconut goes bad  specially if it is hot. Laddoo( in hindi) is a word used for sweets that are round in shape. My first try of these aromatic goodness was with just cashews. On my second try I decided to add a Goan influence of coconut and cardamom.
Fyi Indians use cardamom to flavor the desserts, while cinnamon is more popular in the US.


Vegetarian Vegan Friendly Dates Recipe

Serving : 12-13 gumball sized

12-14 medjool dates
6 oz of roasted / raw cashews
4 cardamom seeds pounded
3.5 oz of lightly toasted coconut
Pinch of salt

• In a non stick pan add grated coconut and on medium low heat toast the coconut till light golden brown.
• In a mixing bowl, first de-seed the dates and smash it with a fork or use your fingers.
• Roughly chop the cashews and add it to the mixing bowl.
• Next add the toasted coconut, crushed cardamom and mix it well with your hands. It should have a dough ball consistency.
• Divide into equal portions depending on the size of date balls you want.
• Shape each portion to a smooth ball.


Toasted coconut Cashews Date Laddoos

Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place. Enjoy it as a healthy snack or with a nice cup of tea. Its is vegetarian and vegan friendly.

For more recipes and Indian Spices visit us @

Mung Bean Pancakes

22 Aug

I just made The Mung Beans Pancakes recipe last week and loved it right away. Since I try to eat right as much as I can and as my husband is on a detox diet It takes creativity to work with limited spices and foods. His diet restricts beef, pork, night shades veggies, tomatoes, chili, rice and sugar. To save me the extra work of cooking  separately for us both and the kids I decided it was easier to jump on the wagon. I try to 🙂 follow a gluten-free, low-fat and reduced sugar diet which in itself is hard to follow.


Mung Beans Pancakes

I usually cook Moong Beans Dal into a thick dal as I like to use it as a  substitute for my rice cravings. But last couple weeks I have made it and found it tough to get through the pot. So this recipe of mung beans pancakes was a great switch and got a thumbs up from the hub’s.


Overnight soaked Moong Dal or Mung Beans

This pancake recipes uses whole mung beans but you can use the halved or cleaned white beans. I like it ground with the rich dark skin, it makes me feel that its more nutritious 🙂 On my first attempt I just used the spice mix with onions and cilantro. The next time I added ginger and garlic and it made a big difference in flavor. I also add a lot of onions as it keeps the pancake moist. These pancakes can be a bit stiff to make it soft I added baking powder (I do not use baking soda as I had a bad experience once when I used it in a cake). If you soak more than you need then just freeze the remaining soaked mung beans till you need it next time it should hold for a couple of weeks.

This recipe is easy to prepare and so healthy. It works well if you are following the Energize your Life Meal Plan. Has a high protein and fiber content and is vegetarian and vegan friendly.

Serving :  9 Pancakes – 6″ size


Ingredients for Mung Beans Pancakes


  • 1 cup mung beans soaked over night will yield approx 2 1/4 cup of mung beans
  • 1/2″ ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tsp of xacuti masala
  • 1 small onion diced finely
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 10 sprigs of cilantro chopped fine
  • Salt to taste



  • In a blender add the first 4 ingredients mung beans, ginger, garlic and water and blend it to a smooth mixture.
  • Pour into a bowl and add the remaining ingredients diced onions, baking powder, xacuti masala, cilantro and salt. Mix well.
  • In a hot non-stick pan spray some oil and spoon in about 1/3 a cup. Since it is a thicker batter spread it around the pan and cook covered on medium low heat for 3 minutes on one side. The pancake should look dry. Flip and cook it covered for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Repeat the above step till all pancakes are done.


Enjoy it with ketchup for breakfast. Or with freshly made Pico de gallo for Lunch. My all time favorite is the Creamy Cilantro Dressing from Fresh & Easy.


Moong Bean Pancakes with Creamy Cilantro Dressing


Spicy Black Chana

30 May spicy-black-chana-garbanzo-beans-indian-recipe-xacuti-vegetarian-vegan-salads-idea

Black Chana or Kala Chana is not a very common garbanzo beans that can be easily found in the US. The only place I know of are the Asian Markets. The best way to describe the Black Chana is that it’s the darker skinny version of the garbanzo bean. If you can sense my humor there. Skinny is on my mind.

It has a higher protein content and according to Wikipedia has a lower glycemic index and is good for people with diabetics.

The curry made with these beans most of the times is very similar to the Red Kidney Beans Curry found in Indian restaurants. But this recipes is a much drier version of the chana. Unfortunately for the Spicy Black Chana recipe I had to do it the long way no shortcuts as you can not buy them canned. It just takes time but it is super easy.


Soaked Black or Kala Beans over night











Instructions To Soak The Black Beans:

  • Wash and soak 2 cups of Black Chana over-night in 8 cups of water add 2 tbsp of salt.



  • Approx 4 cups of black channa soaked overnight.
  • 1 larger onion chopped fine
  • 2 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp of xacuti spice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro chopped fine
  • Salt to taste

Direction to boil Black Chana:

  • In a large pot add the soaked black chana add 8 cups of water and cook on medium heat for 90 minutes till soft. Check occasionally and stir. Drain and keep aside.


Directions for Spicy Black Chana:

  • Heat oil in a big pan, add the chopped onions and saute for just about a 2 minutes on medium heat. Do not soften the onions too much you want a bit of the crunch.
  • Next add the tomato paste and xacuti spice mix saute for about 2 minutes. Add the black chana, water and salt to taste. Saute and cook covered for 20 minutes till the water almost dries out.
  • Finish by adding the fresh chopped cilantro.


Serve it with rice or bread. It works with a vegan, vegetarian diet.

If you have leftovers no worries make a quick mid-morning snack or vibrant salad for lunch. Stuffed halved sweet peppers top it with plain yogurt and freshly chopped cilantro. I truly enjoyed it both ways.


Green Beans with Grated Coconut

23 May green-beans-cumin-coconut-indian-spices-recipes-vegetarian-vegan

Wishing all the folks in the US a great Memorial Day weekend. Also a time to remember all those who sacrificed their life’s for our freedom. I am looking forward to a chilled out couple days and so I thought I would share a real simple easy recipe of green beans with grated coconut for the veggie part with all the barbecued meats we will be eating.


Ingredients for Green Beans with Grated Coconut


1 pound/pack of green beans chopped small

3.5 oz of grated frozen coconut let it thaw

1/2 medium onion chopped

1/2 tsp of cumin

1/4 tsp of turmeric powder

3/4 cup of water

1 stalk curry leaf optional

Salt to taste


Heat oil in a pot, add the chopped onion saute till translucent. Add the turmeric and cumin and saute for a 1-2 minutes.

Add the chopped green beans, water and salt to taste and cook covered on medium heat till beans are soft about 15 to 20 minutes. Check occasionally and stir so it does not stick to the pot.

Next add the thawed coconut and curry leaf (optional) stir and cook for 3 minutes.


Green Beans with Grated Coconut

Serve as a side with rice or bread. Love your vegetables, then check out my other recipes for vegetarian options.

My tip for the health conscious:

Since my quest for carb cutting is always an ongoing process. I have been recently eating my curries by substituting my rice with cooked chopped green beans and it has been a great alternative. As green beans has fiber it holds a bit longer then plain old salad.

Indian Spiced Grilled Tofu Recipe

16 May grilled-spicy-tofu-paneer-cafreal-masala-indian-spices-recipe-vegetarian-gluten-vegan

I have to credit my husband for pushing me to create more vegetarian recipes for my website. I am not sure if I had mentioned before, that when I try out a new recipe it has to turn out perfect, as I have no room for errors or ample time on hand. I am not the talented chef like a lot of people and it takes me about a week to develop one.

Indian food uses paneer a lot more than tofu. It is a milk based protein for the vegetarians but I wanted to use tofu for this Indian Spiced Grilled Tofu Recipe as it is easily available in the US then paneer. Plus it works well with a vegan, gluten-free and low-fat diet.

This recipe will definitely need a bit of your patience for the prep work. It was my first time working with tofu. Use only Extra Firm Tofu for this recipe.

Preparing the tofu for grilling

You have to press out the liquid from the tofu for about 20 minutes to be able to grill so that it does not beak apart when you are grilling. I got directions to press tofu from To do this on a cookie sheet place a couple of paper towels then the tofu followed by a couple of paper towel sheets another cookie sheet and a heavy pot on top. Change the paper towel after 10 minute.



Ingredients for Indian Spiced Grilled Tofu Recipe

Ingredients :

1 pack of extra firm tofu 14oz

2 tbsp of seasoned vinegar

2 tbsp of cafreal masala

Salt to taste


Directions :

* Once’s you have pressed out the excess water from the tofu cut it about 1/4″ thick and make the marinade.

* Mix together the cafreal paste, seasoned vinegar and apply to the sliced tofu and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at-least an hour.

* Heat the grill and spray it with some oil add the tofu and grill it for about 5-8 minutes on each side. If you like to bake it then warm the oven to 400F and place the tofu on a cookie sheet and bake it for about 15-20 minutes. Flip them over in-between.

* Once done brush lightly the remaining marinade. Serve hot with some drizzled olive oil.


You can serve it with Pulao Quinoa, grilled or sautéed veggies.

%d bloggers like this: