Shredded Cabbage with Peppers

IMG_2152Cabbage is not the most popular vegetable, but one of the healthiest.  I found this recipe some time ago which my family enjoys – it is quick to make and a nice addition to most meals. I like the texture, flavor and color that red bell peppers add to the dish, but any other vegetable like potatoes, peas and carrots can be added instead.

The most timing consuming part is chopping the cabbage. You can either buy the pre-packaged “coleslaw” cabbage in the salad section of the grocery store, or use an adjustable slicer like a mandolin which makes it easy to cut the cabbage very thin.  To cut it by hand, cut in half and remove the core first.


2 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1-2 green chillies, slit (or dry red chilies)

3 cloves garlic, sliced thin

4 cups finely shredded cabbageIMG_2147

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 large red (or green) bell pepper, thinly sliced

Lemon or lime

2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped


Heat oil in a wok, add mustard seeds, cover pan until the seeds start popping.

Remove cover, add the chili’s and garlic, and stir for a few seconds till the chili’s just start to turn brown. Add the cabbage, salt and turmeric.  Stir fry for about 3-4 minutes.

Add the red pepper and continue to stir for another 3-4 minutes until the cabbage is crisp tender.

If you like cabbage to be a little more tender, continue to stir till the cabbage is cooked a bit more.

Add a squeeze of lemon or lime and garnish with cilantro.


Black-Eyed Peas Stir Fry

Black-eyed peas are one of the most versatile legumes to make. They are very nutritious – high in iron, Vitamin B, C, zinc, soluble fiber and protein. Down here in the South (we live in South Carolina), black-eyed peas are traditionally eaten on New Years Day as they are considered to bring “good luck” for the coming year. I use canned or dried… depending on how much time I have to prepare the meal. If using the dried beans I soak them overnight with a pinch of baking soda, which reduces the cooking time. We (and most Indian families) have a pressure cooker, which makes it even quicker to cook dried beans and lentils – black-eyed peas cook in 5 to 7 minutes with a pressure cooker, versus 45 minutes to an hour on the stove top. This recipe is very flavorful and a good one for children as well. IMG_1963


2 cans black eyed peas, drained and rinsed OR .. 1 cup dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight and cooked in water for about 45 minutes till peas are tender  (just reserve about 1/2 cup of the liquid)  Cooks to about 2 cups of cooked peas. 1 tablespoon oil 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 1 small onion, chopped 1-2 whole green chilies, slit 1 teaspoon salt lemon juice 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, chopped (optional)


Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the cumin seeds. When they start to sizzle, add the onions and sauté for 3 minutes until light brown. Add the green chilies and stir for 30 seconds. IMG_1956 Stir in the cooked black-eyed peas and salt, stir for a minute and add about 1/2 cup water and simmer for about 3 minutes. IMG_1955 Stir in lemon juice and garnish with cilantro.

Chilli Cheese Toast

Growing up in India, Chilli Cheese Toast was served often at “tea time”, when we would have a snack along with a cup of hot tea at about 4 o’clock in the afternoon.  Cheese toasts originally were deep-fried – needless to say they were delicious!  No one thought about calories back then or about all that fat we were consuming!

As time went by, a healthier version was created – lighter but as flavorful and quick to prepare. The toasts are perfect for lunch on a cold day along with a salad or soup, or served as an appetizer.



4 slices of firm whole wheat bread

2 cups finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons finely cut onions

2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

1-2 finely chopped green chillies

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder (or a mustard spread)



Place the bread in the oven, on broil, to brown one side of the bread.

Mix the remaining ingredients to a smooth paste.


Apply the cheese spread to the side of the bread which was not toasted.


Place under the broiler until light brown.

Cut into quarters or in half.

Serve immediately.

Sprouted Mung Bean Salad

The Mung (Moong) bean is small green bean commonly found in Indian and other Asian cuisines. It is one of the easiest beans to sprout- it takes about 3 days.  Mung bean sprouts can be used in sandwiches, added to leafy green salads or stir fried with vegetables and meats. My favorite way of eating these sprouts is to use them in this salad recipe below.

Mung bean sprouts are easy to digest and and high in protein, Vitamin B and fiber.



1/2 cup dry green mung bean

1 large tomato, chopped,

1 medium cucumber, chopped

2 green onions, chopped

1 small green chili, finely chopped (remove the seeds)

2-3 tbsp chopped cilantro

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper (optional)

1 lime, squeezed


Soak the mung beans overnight. The next morning, drain and rinse the beans, place in a sieve or strainer, cover with a lid or foil and place in a dark place such as inside a kitchen cabinet.


In the evening, rinse the beans and put them back in the cabinet. You will see sprouts appear in a day or so – repeat this every morning until the sprouts are about 1/2″ long or more as desired. Refrigerate in an airtight box if not using it at once.


Add the sprouts to a large bowl. Mix in the remaining salad ingredients, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

NOTE: Some people prefer sprouts to have a softer texture. If so, add the sprouts to a large bowl, pour boiling water to cover the sprouts. After about 5 minutes, drain and cool the sprouts before adding the other ingredients.

Mushroom Rolls


Many years ago a friend of mine had invited my mother-in-law and I to her house for tea and served us some delicious mushroom rolls. For those who may not know this, in India (& England) we have “tea time” at 4pm where we typically drink tea as well as nibbling on a snack. And yes, hot tea…many of my friends here have asked me why we drink tea in India when the weather is so hot! I just knew that this is what we did and never gave it another thought until I read an article which then made sense to me about this aspect…when we drink hot tea, we sweat and that in turns cool us off!

So back to the mushroom rolls, it was something we had never eaten before… needless to say I asked for the recipe and have made it ever since, modifying the recipe a bit. I use this recipe for parties as an appetizer or as a side dish along with a meal. It can made ahead and even frozen and reheated before serving. Our favorite dipping sauce is Maggi’s Hot & Sweet tomato chili sauce but they are also great with ketchup.

This recipe was a good cooking lesson for my now 12 year old grand daughter who enjoyed cutting the crusts, rolling the bread and filling them up… and though she likes most vegetables, she says she won’t eat them as she doesn’t like mushrooms!

Note: I did not forget the salt… the other seasonings have enough salt in them so no additional salt is needed.


16-ounce package of sliced mushrooms

2 tablespoons oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon season-all

1 teaspoon McCormick Montreal seasoning

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)

1 loaf of soft white or wheat bread (regular supermarket brand)

2-3 tablespoons butter


Heat oil in a large frying pan, add the onions and cook till the onions are light brown, about 3 minutes.

Add the mushrooms to the pan along with the seasonings, worcestershire and hot sauce.


 Cook on medium heat till the mushrooms are dry. Cool.


Cut the crusts of the slices of bread, and roll each slice flat with a rolling pin.


Add a teaspoon of the mushroom filling on one edge and roll them up.  Spread a little butter on one edge of the bread so when you roll the mushrooms in the bread to the end, the bread sticks. Cut into 3 pieces.

IMG_1671 IMG_1673

Arrange all the rolls on a baking sheet and bake them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes till they are brown.

Note: The crusts of the bread can be toasted in a warm oven about 250 degrees for 10 – 15 minutes. When they are dry, grind them into breadcrumbs in a food processor or in a plastic bag with a rolling pin.

Spicy Broccoli Slaw

IMG_1386 The only way my husband will eat broccoli is when I use broccoli slaw, which is widely available in supermarkets in the salad section. It is a super easy way to eat broccoli and get all the healthy benefits of broccoli! I simply add a dressing like the Makoto Ginger Dressing (found in the refrigerator section near the salads) for a nice summer salad. We also recently discovered, Asian Style Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette at Trader Joe’s, our new favorite…its spicy, flavorful and we haven’t found anything else like it! So a few months ago, a friend of mine brought over a stir-fry broccoli slaw dish which was light and tasty, a nice variation to having it only as a salad.  To my surprise, my husband ate it and liked it a lot! Though I should clarify… my husband also eats Broccoli Bread (previously posted on my blog ). I later tried the same recipe using shaved brussels sprouts which turned out great too.**




1 package broccoli slaw

2 tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1-2 green chillies, slit

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons chickpea flour (optional)

2-3 tablespoons peanuts or almonds, chopped


Heat oil in a wok or large frying pan. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds  (cover with a splatter guard as they start to pop). As they start to pop, (try keeping the pan mostly covered so you don’t get splattered on!) add the green chilies and garlic. Stir for 30 seconds. Add the broccoli slaw and salt, continue to stir fry over medium heat till the slaw softens but still crispy, about 5-8 minutes. IMG_1276 Add the chickpea flour and stir constantly over medium high heat for about 2 minutes.  Add the nuts and stir for another minute.  

*Variation: Shaved brussels sprouts can be made using the recipe above.



Moong Dal with Zucchini

Some years ago I came across a great recipe for “Moong Dal with Doodhi” in a cookbook written by a family friend in Hyderabad.  It somehow occurred to me that I could adapt the recipe substituting zucchini instead of doodhi, an Indian vegetable that is difficult to find here. The zucchini is practically invisible in this dish so perfect for those who don’t care for vegetables!

It is flavorful, fast and simple to prepare and also freezes well. It is a perfect side dish with dinner or you can roll it up in a chapati or pita bread to make a wrap.



3/4 cup yellow moong dal, washed and set aside

2 cups coarsely grated zucchini

1 tablespoon oil

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 dried red chili (or fresh green chili)

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 – 1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 tablespoon coconut powder (unsweetened), optional

Cilantro leaves, chopped, for garnish



Mix the dal and zucchini in a bowl and set aside for 1 hour.


Heat oil in a  1 1/2 quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and red chili. When the mustard seeds start to splutter or pop*, add the dal and zucchini mixture and stir for 3 minutes.

Add the turmeric and about 1/4 cup water, cover and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes until nearly dry.

Add salt, chili powder, cumin powder and coconut powder – stir fry for about 2-3 minutes until done.

Garnish with chopped cilantro.

*Note: Make sure your oil is hot when the seeds go in—if they heat up with the oil, they’re likely to overcook and burn without popping. When the seeds start popping, I put on a lid or splatter guard until they stop, then add the other ingredients to cool down the pan. Don’t keep the lid on too long though, as mustard seeds can burn quickly.




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