Spicy Zucchini Soup

One of the nice things that has come out of the pandemic is that I’ve been enjoying monthly video calls with my cousins. Since they also enjoy cooking (and eating!) we share a lot of recipes, recently they shared this tasty and simple, zucchini soup recipe.

It’s not only delicious, but nutritious – my husband even enjoyed the soup!


2 large zucchinis, cut into cubes

1 onion, coarsely chopped

1 – 2 garlic cloves, sliced (optional)

1-2 serrano or jalapeno chillies, chopped

1 32-ounce vegetable or chicken stock

1 -2 teaspoons curry powder (or garam masala)

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt, to taste

1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)


Heat oil in a saucepan, add the onions and chillies- fry until the onions are translucent.

Add the zucchini cubes and salt; fry for approximately 3-4 minutes.

Add the stock, cover, and cook on medium heat for 8-10 minutes until the zucchini is soft.

Turn off the heat and blend using an immersion blender (or regular blender), until you have a thick and creamy consistency

Turn the heat back on and add the curry powder or garam masala, and bring it back to a boil.

Add lemon juice if desired. Garnish with cream or yogurt.


Millet Patties

On my recent trip to India, my sister in law told me that she had recently started cooking with Millet. She explained that it has nutritional benefits similar to Quinoa and some other grains but cheaper and easier to find. Millet is a drought tolerant plant which has been grown in many countries pretty easily whereas Quinoa is pricier because it is mainly grown only in the Andes region of South America. Although not a complete protein like Quinoa, it still has quite a high protein content.

Millet is a leading staple grain of India – it is ground and used as a flour to make “rotis” (indian unleavened bread) and also eaten as “ragi” porridge. Though I remember as a child I was given this porridge and I did not like it at all!

Substituting millet for rice was an easy way to start experimenting with recipes, so I used the hulled millet which was available at Whole Foods. I toasted the millet and cooked it like rice. Everyone seemed to eat it though the consensus was that they preferred rice.

The next day I decided to do something different with the remaining cooked millet. After looking online at a few recipes for cutlets and croquettes, I decided to try making my own version combined with leftover vegetables which was a big hit!  It seemed like the perfect grain for making these cutlets, perhaps because of the starch in the millet, egg or breadcrumbs aren’t needed to bind or coat the patties.

I used my favorite frying pan which is my cast iron pan – very little oil is needed and it is practically non stick. (I use my cast iron pan daily… to make pancakes, grilled cheese, chapatis or dosas to name a few!)  The pan does take a little while to heat up – I usually turn it on to medium heat and then after 5-10 minutes or when it is hot, I turn the heat down to low. The patties turned out crisp using the cast iron skillet and I didn’t need to add much oil.



1 cup hulled millet

2 1/2 cup water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup coarsely grated carrots

2 cloves garlic, grated

1/2 teaspoon grated ginger

1-2 small green chilies, finely cut up

1/2 cup cooked corn kernels

1/4 cup finely diced green or red bell pepper

2 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped

oil for sauteing


Toast the millet in a skillet for 3-4 minutes till the millet starts to pop. Add the millet to a saucepan and add 2 1/2 cup water and the salt and bring to boil, simmer till the water is absorbed and the millet is cooked.


Using a potato masher , mash the cooked millet. add the remains ingredients.

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Take about a 1/3 cup of the mixture, flatten into patties.

Heat a cast iron ( or non stick skillet ) and add 1 tablespoon oil to it and add the patties. Cook on low to medium heat, and cook on low heat for 5-8 minutes till the patties and brown and crisp.Serve immediately or keep warm in a warm oven .


Indian-Style Green Beans


Over the years of trying new green bean recipes (it is our family’s favorite green vegetable), this has been the most flavorful way I’ve found to make them. It is a quick & easy recipe and a great accompaniment to any meal.

Its also was the only way my children would eat their vegetable without any fuss! They seemed to like the bright green color of the beans and the small pieces were easy to eat. It seems like a tedious task to cut beans into 1/4″ pieces but gathering a handful of green beans on a cutting board and cutting them together makes the chopping fast. (My daughter likes to buy the pre-trimmed packaged beans that some stores carry, to save even more time.)

The secret to making the color bright is due to baking soda added to the water.  It not only brings out the color but also cooks the beans faster. Keep in mind that you really need to watch the beans or you will have mushy green beans in no time!


1 pound fresh green beans (or frozen)

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1-2 small green chillies, trimmed and slit diagonally

2 cloves garlic, chopped (optional)

1 teaspoon urad dal (optional)

Cashew nuts or almonds (optional)


Line up a handful of beans on a cutting board and trim the tips.  Chop the green beans into 1/4″ pieces. Continue with the remaining beans and you’ll be done in a few minutes!

Place in a 3-quart saucepan and add water to just cover the beans. Mix in the salt and baking soda. Bring to boil and as the water starts to foam, simmer and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes stirring occasionally. After about 3 minutes test a bean for the desired crispness. Remove and drain the beans.


Heat a skillet on medium heat, and add the oil. When hot, add the mustard seeds and urad dal.  As soon as the mustard seeds will start to pop (you may want to use a splatter guard if you have one or just hold the lid close by to prevent splatters), add the slit green chili and the garlic. Stir for 30 seconds.

Turn down the heat to medium low, add the cooked green beans and stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes.

Note: If using nuts, add an extra tablespoon of oil to skillet and sauté the nuts until lightly browned. Garnish with nuts.




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