Jan 132022

The Cooking Group

The Cooking Group is currently in abeyance. Under Vasundhara Kandpal’s leadership, they used to cook three or four plant-based dishes each week, which they then ate together over lunch. Vasundhara shares one of her recipes in this blog.

Jan 142022

Adapted from a recipe by Martin Street Cafe and Providore in Brighton.


350g self raising flour
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of sugar
40g butter
1 cup fresh dates, chopped and pitted
1 orange, juiced and zest finely grated
½ cup of milk


Pre-heat your oven to 180degC.

Sift the flour, sugar and salt. Rub in the butter using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.

Mix in the chopped dates and the grated orange zest.

Combine the milk and orange juice. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the combined juice and milk.

Mix the liquid into the dry ingredients and bring together to form a ball.

Turn the scone dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press out until about 2cm thick.

Cut the dough into circles with a 5cm scone cutter and place onto a greased baking tray.

Repeat with any remaining scone dough scraps.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden. The scones should sound slightly hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Serve with warm whipped cream or butter.

Nov 032020

1 cup coriander powder
1 cup oat flour
2 cups rice pops
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ginger powder
½ cup coconut oil
dry nuts and raisin (optional)


In a pan, heat the oil and toast the coriander powder until it is fragrant. Remove it.

Toast the oat flour. Remove it.

Toast the rice pops.

Make the sugar syrup for 2 strings*. Use ½ cup of water for each cup of sugar.

Boil the water and sugar until you can see 1-2 strings*.

Mix everything together and spread over a plate.

Let it cool completely. Cut into pieces and serve.

* ‘Strings’ is a term used when discussing the thickness of sugar syrup. ‘2 strings’ effectively means ‘thick’ and ‘1 string’ effectively means ‘thin’. Vasundhara judges it as follows: touch the syrup with a clean forefinger and then touch your thumb and forefinger together and pull apart gently. If you do this when the sugar is completely dissolved and then boiled for a bit, the string is short and breaks soon – this is ‘1 string’. Boil further and the string becomes longer and more stable – this is ‘2 strings’. Boil even further and the string becomes very long and feels like it is crystalising – this is ‘3 strings’.

Oct 272020

2 cups semolina
½ cup plain flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon yeast
2½ cups water


Blend everything in a blender.

Rest the mixture for 15-20 minutes.

Heat a pan and make the pancakes.

Oct 182020

1 cup beetroot, grated
2 cups rice, cooked
1 onion, small
2 green chillies (optional)
18-20 curry leaves
1 tablespoon mustard seed
4-5 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
2-3 teaspoons salt, to taste
2 teaspoons oil
4 cashews (optional)
a handful of peanuts (optional)
1 lemon


Heat oil in a pan.

Add the mustard seeds, peanuts, cashews and green chillies. Cook for a minute.

Add the garlic and sauté well.

Add the onions and sauté well.

Add the grated beetroot. Mix well.

Add the spices and little water. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.

Cook the rice separately.

Mix the rice and the beetroot mixture. You can also mix plain white and red rice together for an uneven colouring.

Squeeze the lemon and serve.

Oct 122020

1 medium eggplant
1 lemon
1 garlic clove
1 tomato
½ onion, preferably red onion (optional)
2-3 tablespoons tahini
chopped parsley or coriander
salt to taste


Roast the eggplant on a fire or flame.

When it is cooked through inside, place in a bowl and cover it.

Meanwhile, finely chop all the veggies.

Peel and remove the burnt skin of eggplant. Mash the burnt eggplant and add all the other ingredients. Mix well.

Garnish with coriander/parsley.

Oct 052020

1 cup plain flour
2 teaspoons yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
warm water, as required for the dough


Combine the warm water and sugar. Sprinkle with the yeast and set aside for 5 minutes until it is foamy.

Mix the salt and flour and knead using the warm water mixture.

Cover and set aside for it to rise until roughly doubled in size (around 1 hour).

Heat a pan / skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Shape the dough into balls and then roll into round or oval flat bread (an irregular shape is fine so long as the dough is the same thickness across).

Sprinkle some water on one side of the bread and place on the griddle and cook until it bubbles up.

Lift the pan, such that the naked flame is exposed. Cook the uncooked side of the bread until it is golden-brown and lightly charred.

Remove the cooked naan to a plate and paint with oil, preferably with chilli oil to give it a nice golden colour. Alternatively, you can use garlic oil and/or sprinkle with chopped coriander.

Repeat with the remaining dough.

This video by Vasundhara illustrates how to toast one side in a pan and the other using a naked flame.

Sep 282020

1 cup mung beans, soaked overnight
2-3 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger
2 teaspoons cumin seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
fresh coriander (optional)
salt, to taste


Soak the mung bean overnight.

Drain the water. Add all the spices and blend with a little water into a smooth paste.

Adjust the thickness of batter according to your liking and make pancakes on a pan.

Tip: These pancakes can be made with no oil as they don't stick to the pan. The trick is to cook them on a low flame.

Sep 212020

The Thai curry paste
10 whole red chilies, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes (optional)
¾ cup onions, roughly chopped
¼ cup lemongrass, finely chopped
(or lemon myrtle or lemon/lime zest)
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1 tablespoon cumin powder
2 tablespoons roughly sliced ginger
¾ cup coriander leaves
2 teaspoons whole garlic
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 teaspoons lemon juice
salt to taste
4 tablespoons coconut milk

The curry itself
1 can coconut cream
fresh veggies, washed and diced


Make the Thai curry paste by blending all the ingredients for the paste as above.

In a pot, heat the coconut cream and add curry paste. Boil for 10 minutes.

Slightly cook the veggies and then add them to the curry.

Sauté the onions and capsicum before adding to the curry.

Add fresh chopped coriander or basil for extra flavour.

Sep 142020

3 large potatoes
(1-2 potatoes per person)
3 teaspoons cumin seeds
3 tablespoons coriander powder
2 teaspoons salt
1½ teaspoons turmeric
juice of 1 lime (or lemon)
5 tablespoons oil



Boil the potatoes. Peel and dice.

Heat the oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds, coriander powder and turmeric.

Add the potatoes and the salt. Put the lid on for 5 minutes and let the spices cook with potatoes.

Add lime (or lemon) juice and serve.

Sep 072020

1 cup brown rice
¾ cup almonds
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1-2 cups broccoli, chopped
1 big potato, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons veggies stock powder
1 teaspoon parsley, dried
1 teaspoon mixed herbs
2 tablespoons white plain flour
3 tablespoons olive oil


Blend the almonds with 2 cups of water.

Pressure cook (or boil) the brown rice and potatoes.

In a pot or pan, heat the oil. Add the onions and sauté until it becomes fragrant.

Add the garlic and all the spices.

Add the flour and mix everything well. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.

Add the broccoli and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

Add the almond puree and cook for 5-6 minutes.

Mix the cooked rice and potatoes with the creamy broccoli mixture.

Transfer everything in a baking container and bake at 180degC until it is bubbly and crusty on top. It will take roughly 30 minutes in the oven.

Aug 312020

whole wheat flour

General ratio – 3:1 flour to water.


Make a soft dough with the flour. Make sure that you knead well so that the gluten is activated, as it is this which gives the dough its stretchiness.

Make a ball, making sure that there are no cracks on the sides, and roll it into a flat bread.

Toast the bread on a heated pan.

One side should be less toasted than the other side, where the lesser toasted side goes on the direct flame to be puffed up. Keep the bread moving over the flame to stop it burning.

This video by Vasundhara illustrates how to toast the roti.

Aug 252020

2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoon onion seeds
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
2 cups pumpkin, diced
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup tomatoes, chopped (optional)
salt to taste


Heat oil. Keep checking the oil to see if it is hot enough to do the tempering.

Add all the seeds. They should make a noise / splatter. Make sure it does not burn. Add the diced pumpkin or squash. Add the salt and turmeric. Sprinkle some water.

Cover with a lid and let it sit to cook on medium or low flame until the pumpkin is soft. Add the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes soften and mash well.

Serve. You can add lemon on top if you want.

Note: You can cook in a pan or a pressure cooker. If using a pan, cover it with a lid.

Aug 172020

1 cup black lentils
1 cup onions, chopped
2 cups tomatoes, puréed or chopped
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons cumin
fresh coriander


Grind the black lentils into a coarse powder.

Heat oil in a pan, and toast the powder until it is fragrant. Remove from the heat.

Add a little oil in the pot, and check if it is hot enough to put in the spices.

Add the coriander seeds and onions and cook until translucent.

Add the tomato puree or chopped tomatoes, the turmeric and the cumin.

Add some water and put the lid on. Cook for 10 minutes on a low flame.

Add the toasted lentil powder plus 2 cups of water and cook for 10 minutes.

The curry will thicken up. Adjust the thickness to your liking by adding water.

Chop the fresh coriander and add to the curry.

Aug 092020

We have all wished to have a warm soupy breakfast during the rainy cold mornings in winter. Here is one recipe that is really handy and combines different colours, flavours and textures into one. As well as being a nutrition bomb, it is also both filling and satiating.


Basic oatmeal:
½ cup steel-cut oat/ rolled oats
3 cups of water
10 almonds/ macadamia/cashew
5 dates
1 banana

Colouring agents:
bright pink: ½ beetroot
orange: 2 carrots
yellow: 2 cups pumpkin or butternut squash
green: spinach or silverbeet
brown: chocolate.

Toppings: fresh fruits, nuts, dried fruits, candied fruits, peanut butter, almond butter, chocolate chips, etc.


Puree all the ingredients along with the colouring agent (beetroot, carrots, spinach, pumpkin).

Boil in a pan or pot.

Before serving, check the sweetness and add sugar if needed. Bear in mind that the topping will also sweeten up the dish.

Add your favourite toppings.

Tip: for tanginess in the base of the oatmeal, add fruit puree once the mixture is boiled. Use fruits with matching colours – berries, apple, persimmons, kiwi, papaya, etc.

Aug 022020

3 cups onions / 2 big onions, roughly cut
4 cups diced tomato / 4 big tomatoes, roughly cut
1 tablespoon cumin
1-2 bay leaves (optional)
1-2 cloves (optional)
1 tablespoon oil
½ teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon red chilli powder (optional)
1 cup cashews/almonds/macadamia/raw peanuts
2-3 cups seasonal veggies, chunked and slightly cooked
salt to taste


Heat the oil in a pot/pan.

When oil is sufficiently hot, add the cumin and other spices.

Add the onions and saute well.

Add the tomatoes and cashews and saute well. Cover and let it cook for 5-7 minutes on a medium to low flame until the mixture is liquidy.

Meanwhile cook/saute your veggies.

Now remove the bay leaves and blend the cooked tomatoes and onions to a super smooth puree.

Add water if needed to suit your consistency. Check salt.

Add the veggies and give a boil.

Jul 262020

6 beurre bosc (ripe brown) pears.
Handful of brown sugar.
Slosh of verjuice.
Largish knob of butter for frying.
2½ cups almond meal.
½ cup wholemeal plain flour.
Pinch of salt.
150g soft butter (not hard or frozen), cut into small pieces.
½ cup caster sugar.
¼ cup almonds, chopped.
2 egg yolks.
4-8 tablespoons ice water.
Handful of whole almonds.


Slice the pears, discarding the pips and stem. In a large pan, gently fry the slices in butter. When slightly soft, sprinkle a handful of brown sugar on top, and pour over the verjuice. Continue cooking until the pears are soft, but not too soft.

Mix the salt, almond meal and plain flour in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter, in small pieces, and rub into the flour with fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and chopped almonds and mix well.

Add the egg yolks and 4 tablespoons of ice water, mixing together with a round-bladed knife until the mixture forms lumps which leave the sides of the bowl cleanly. If the mixture is too dry, add more water, a spoonful at a time.

Knead the dough into a ball, and flatten slightly onto a sheet of foil or greaseproof paper. Wrap and put in the fridge for 30 minutes before use.

Smear a large, shallow dish with butter. Fill the base with the pastry, edging around the inner circumference.

Cook in a medium oven (around 180degC) for about 10 minutes on the second shelf of the oven. When the pastry hardens slightly, fill the tart with pear pieces and decorate with whole almonds. Pour over the remaining liquid from the pan.

Return the completed tart to the oven and cook for 20 minutes. As it can burn easily, inspect frequently, until pastry edge turns brown.

Serve hot or cold with cream, ice-cream or both.

Jul 202020

With so many allergies (dairy, egg, gluten, etc), it can sometimes be hard to find a good cake. And making a cake with many substitutes can become overwhelming. Here is a basic recipe for a cake that is easy, simple and only uses a few ingredients.


2 cups chickpea or buckwheat flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup oil (coconut is best; vegetable or canola oil are ok; don't use olive oil)
½ cup of pureed zucchini/carrot/pumpkin/apple/banana/boiled sweet potato
juice of a lemon
2 teaspoons vanilla essence


Mix all the wet ingredients in a bowl.

Mix all the dry ingredients through a sieve in another bowl.

Mix the wet and dry ingredients and bake at 180degC for 35-40 minutes. Keep checking the cake after 30 minutes.

Tip: make sure that there is no delay between mixing the dry and wet ingredients and baking the cake.


To make it a chocolate cake – add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder.

To make it a lemon cake – after the cake has been baked and is still hot, drizzle lemon syrup (¾ cup sugar + ¼ cup lime or lemon juice) over it.

To make is a spice mix cake – add into the cake batter: 2 teaspoons ginger powder + 1 teaspoon cinnamon + ¼ teaspoon nutmeg + a pinch of ground cloves.

Add fruit chunks, chocolate chips, nuts, etc to your liking.

Jul 132020

Sometimes (maybe most of the time) our sweet tooth tingles.

This recipe is popular as halwa in Arabic cuisine.


½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup coconut oil
½ cup sugar
1 cup water
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom


In a heavy pot, heat the coconut oil, add the flour and toast it. Toast on a medium flame and stir consistently.

Simultaneously, in a separate pan, boil water and the sugar until all the sugar is dissolved. Add the cardamom to it.

Once the flour changes colour (golden), and starts to release a fragrance, slowly add the sugar water and stir consistently. Note that the mixture will become bubbly and thicken up.

Serve hot.

Jul 062020

2 cups cooked rice or 1 cup uncooked rice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or canola or sunflower cooking oil)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
3 to 4 curry leaves (optional)
2 green chillies, slit lengthwise (optional)
½ inch piece ginger, grated
½ cup peanuts, roasted and unsalted (or any other nuts)
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
Juice of 2 lemons
1 tablespoon skinned black lentil (optional)
1 tablespoon yellow split peas (optional)
¼ asafoetida (optional)


In a bowl, add the cooked rice, turmeric, salt and some oil. Mix well and set aside.

In a pan, heat oil, check its hotness, add the mustard seeds, then the chillies, then the asafoetida.

Add the lentils and toast until slightly brown.

Add the peanuts and toast until golden brown.

Add the ginger, then the rice mixture, then the chopped curry leaves. Cover with a lid and cook on low heat for 5-10 minutes.

Before serving, add lemon juice.

Jun 282020

1 cup cabbage, thinly sliced
1 cup carrots, julienne
1 cup capsicum, julienne
1 cup onions, julienne
1 cup any green vegetable, finely chopped
1 inch ginger
3-4 cloves garlic
1 tomato, puréed
4 tablespoon oil
½ tablespoon salt
1 portion noodles
4 cups water (minimum)


Heat the oil. Add the ginger and garlic. Cook well.

Add the tomato puree and cook thoroughly until it has dried and you see more oil and almost no liquid.

Add the onions and mix well. Add the cabbage, carrots and capsicum.

Sautée the mixture well. Sautéing everything nicely is really important in this recipe.

Add water to the veggies.

Boil the noodles. When they are done, add them to the soup.

Add the green vegetables before serving.

Jun 212020

2 potatoes
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
3 cups water
1 pinch asafoetida
coriander or parsley for garnish
1 tablespoon oil


Boil the potatoes and break into smaller pieces.

Heat the oil in a pan. When the oil is hot, add the cumin, chilli powder and asafoetida.

Add the water. Add the potato pieces, lemon and garam masala.

Garnish with coriander or parsley.

Jun 152020

1 cup nuts (macadamia, cashews or almonds), soaked overnight (they give a smooth blend if soaked)

salt to taste

1 clove garlic

½ cup fresh or dry herbs (dill, oregano, rosemary or basil)

1 lemon or lime

Vinegar or apple cider vinegar (optional), recommended if preparing a large batch and storing for a long period

Green or red chillies (optional)


Blend the nuts, garlic, salt, lemon/lime juice, vinegar and chillies (if using).

If using dry herbs, blend and add to the mixture.

If using fresh herbs, chopped very finely and add to the mixture just before serving.

Jun 082020

2 cups cooked rice
¼ onion, sliced
¼ capsicum, sliced
¼ carrot julienne
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon salt, to taste
2 tablespoons oil


Heat oil in a pan.

When it is hot, add the finely chopped garlic. Keep the flame high. Fry for half a minute.

Add the onions. Fry for half a minute.

Add the carrots and fry for a minute.

Add the capsicum and fry for another minute.

Add the rice and heat through, stirring.

Add the soy sauce, vinegar and salt.

Jun 012020

1 cup semolina
2 cups tomatoes, diced
1 cup onion
1 cup capsicum, diced
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 tablespoon coriander powder
2 tablespoons fennel powder
1 teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups water
2 tablespoons oil
fresh coriander, for garnish
lemon, for taste


Roast the semolina in 1 tablespoon of oil. Remove.

In the hot oil, add the mustard seeds, chilli flakes and coriander powder. Then add the fennel powder.

Add the onions and saute for a minute.

Add the veggies and saute for a minute.

Add then salt. Then add the roasted semolina. Then mix well.

Add water and cover with a lid. Let it cook for 5 minutes.

May 252020

Whereas normal tofu is made out of soy beans, Burmese tofu is made out of chickpeas.


The tofu itself:
1 cup chickpea flour
2-3 cups water
salt, herbs, spice (optional)

The amount of water to use depends on your desired consistency: 2 cups for extra firm tofu; 3 cups for soft tofu.

The marinade:
3 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger
½ cup soaked and peeled almonds
1 tablespoon (kashmiri chilli or a non-hot chilli)
3 tablespoons mustard oil
1 teaspoon aniseed (ajwain)
2 teaspoons chickpea flour
1 lemon juice
1 teaspoon black pepper


To make the tofu, grease a bread pan and keep ready.

Divide the water in half. Boil half of the water and meanwhile mix flour in other half of the water. Pour the chickpea flour mixture into boiling water and keep stirring until it is cooked. You can taste test the mixture at this point carefully, to ensure that there is no raw chickpea flour flavour.

Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and even it out if needed. Let it cool, then refrigerate for at least an hour to set.

Remove the set slab from the pan. Slice into cubes. Store in an airtight container refrigerated for up to 4 -5 days.

To make the marinade, mix the ginger, garlic, almonds, lemon juice, black pepper and red chilli together in a food processor to form a paste.

In a pan, heat the mustard oil, add aniseed and chickpea flour. It will become foamy.

Mix the paste and mustard mixture to form the marinade.

Marinate the tofu for a few hours.

Grill before serving!

Squeeze lemon and fresh coriander before serving.

May 182020

Self-raising flour
2 medium beetroots
salt and pepper to taste
½ cup basil
½ cup walnuts
2-3 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup oil


Boil beetroot and puree.

Knead dough by mixing ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, 1 tablespoon oil, beetroot puree and dough. Add only as much flour as is just sufficient to bring everything together. Put the dough aside.

Bring one litre or more of water to the boil and add salt and oil in it.

Chop the garlic and basil finely. Grind the walnuts in a mortar coarsely or chop using a knife.

Roll the dough into snake-like cylindrical shapes, cut them in pieces and boil.

When the gnocchi is cooked, it will float on the surface of water.

Remove the floating gnocchi and keep adding the fresh gnocchi until the batch is done.

In a pot, heat 1/3 cup oil. Add garlic and black pepper. Cook until the garlic is soft. Add the basil and walnuts. Just a quick fry is all that is needed. Then add the gnocchi, toss well until everything is well coated with garlic, basil and nuts.

May 112020

½ cup oats
½ cup raisins, dates or dried apricots
½ cup nuts
1 tablespoon coconut oil

Ingredients – filling
1 cup veggie puree – carrots, beetroot, pumpkin
½ cup nuts – macadamia, cashews, almonds
2 tablespoons oat flour
½ cup sugar (preferably white so that the colour of the filling is not changed)
1/3 cup coconut oil
½ cup boiling water
1 lemon/lime juice and zest
garnish – flower petals, lemon zest, chocolate shavings etc

For the turkish flavours, add rose water and rose petals.


Blend all the ingredients of the crust in a food processor. Check if it is crumbly. If not, you can add a little water or coconut oil to make it crumble.

Press it on a greased cake pan – springform or one that has a separable base.

Blend all the ingredients of the filling in a high speed blender.

Pour over your crust and let it set in fridge overnight or for 4-5 hours.

Garnish with your favourite things, such as rose petals and pistachios.

Apr 302020

1½ cup sweet potato puree or boiled cubes
3/4 cup full cream coconut cream
4-5 tablespoons cocoa/cacao powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons syrup or ½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon coffee (optional)


Blend everything in a blender.

Before setting the mousse, check the taste and adjust the sweetness as necessary. The sweetness should be on the higher side because, once the mousse sets and cools, the sweetness decreases. Also if you feel there is a taste of sweet potato, add a little more vanilla essence. The chocolate level can also be adjusted.

Set in the fridge.

Garnish with nuts, seeds or toasted crunchy peanuts.

Apr 222020

This is a nut-free, egg-free and dairy-free recipe. To make it gluten-free, replace the plain flour with a mixture of chickpea flour and rice flour (ratio 2:1).



2 tablespoons red onion
¾ cup + 2 tablespoons unbleached plain flour
3 tablespoons corn starch
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garam masala
1½ teaspoons cayenne powder
1 teaspoon sriracha/chili garlic/hot sauce
1 inch ginger
4 cloves garlic

on the baking tray

2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 cup water
2 teaspoons oil
4-5 cups cauliflower florets


Pre heat oven to 215degC.

Blend all the ingredients except the cauliflower in a blender to form a smooth paste. If the batter is too thin, add 1-2 tablespoons flour, as required.

final product

Add the cauliflower florets in the batter and let then marinate for 15 minutes.

Line the florets on a baking tray and spray or brush with oil.

Bake for 30-35 minutes while rotating it midway through.

You can add some capsicum and onions halfway through the cooking for extra crunch and flavours.

Serve hot!

Apr 152020

Some people like eggs but have to restrict their consumption because of cholesterol problems. Here is a fully cholesterol-free omelette. It’s also great for your fibre intake.


1 cup chickpea flour (aka besan)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon salt (preferably black salt)
2 cups water, or as required
Oil, as required to grease the pan and taste
Onions, coriander leaves and green chilli (all optional)
Other flavourings such as herbs or garlic powder (all optional)

You can also use wholemeal flour.

For gluten-free, replace the plain flour with rice flour.


Use a non-stick pan.

In a bowl, add the chickpea flour and plain flour with the salt and baking powder.

Give it a thorough mix. Add little water at first and then mix it well with a whisk. Break all the lumps until it forms a smooth paste. Keep adding water little by little until the batter is thin.

Grease a pan, using the oil as required, and spread the batter by moving the pan around. Cook the omelette on a medium flame. Once the upper surface dries out, flip it over.

Apr 102020

Sambar, also spelled sambaar, is a lentil-based vegetable stew or chowder, cooked with dal and tamarind broth. It is popular in South Indian and Sri Lankan cuisines.


¼ cup yellow split lentil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon red chilli powder (optional)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 pinch asafoetida
2 teaspoons salt
6-10 fresh curry leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup, onions diced
2 big tomatoes, pureed
1 green chilli, (optional)
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1 tablespoon tamarind paste or fresh lemon juice
veggies – potatoes, okra, beans, carrots, eggplant, zucchini.


Heat the oil.

When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds, red chilli powder, coriander powder and asafoetida. Make sure you don’t burn the spices. Add the tomato puree. Add the curry leaves. Cook for 10 minutes.

Add the turmeric and salt. Add the lentils. Add the veggies and cook until the lentils are cooked.

Add the tamarind paste or fresh lemon juice.

Apr 062020

1¼ cups icing sugar
4 cups chickpea flour
¼ cup dry fruits
¾ cup coconut oil


Dry roast 3 cups of the flour until it is golden brown and fragrant. Remove and set aside.

In the same pan, add the oil and the remaining cup of flour. Cook until golden brown and fragrant. Remove and collect in a bowl. Let it cool down to room temperature.

Dry toast the dry fruits and add to the mixture. Add the dry roasted chickpea flour and the icing sugar. Mix well.

Make balls and garnish with chopped almonds and pistachio.

Tip: the oil shouldn’t be too hot when adding the chickpea flour because it will burn the flour. Keep stirring the chickpea flour when roasting because it burns at the base.

Tip: you can use whole wheat flour instead of chickpea flour.

Mar 222020

Sea salt and herb crust
2 cups self raising flour
2 teaspoons dried Italian herb seasoning
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup oil
water as required to bind things together

1 cup pumpkin, sliced
2 medium beetroots thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch + ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Parsley-garlic topping
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley (either curly or flat – both work)
1/8 teaspoon sea salt


Make a dough by mixing all the ingredients. Add water little by little until it forms a crumbly dough.

Prepare the veggies to be arranged on the top of the crust.

Make the parsley oil.

Roll out the dough and arrange the veggies on top of it, leaving about a 2-inch border. Start with a large circle of beetroots around the perimeter, then pumpkins, then repeat until you reach the centre. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and repeat with another layer, if you wish, this time starting with pumpkin. Fold the edges of the dough up over the edges of the vegetables. If any of the dough tears or breaks, press it back together, or use your leftover scraps to patch it up if needed.

Brush the entire galette with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle the ¼ teaspoon salt over the entire thing.

Bake for around 40 minutes, until the crust is golden-brown and the vegetables are fork-tender.

Finally, brush the mixture of parsley over the galette while it is still piping hot.

Feb 282020

1 cup grated beetroot
1 cup onion sliced
1 cup rice
1 lemon zest and juice
1/2 cup nuts (peanut/almond/macadamia)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
7-8 curry leaves (fresh or dried)(optional)
2 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons salt


Cook the rice.

In a pan, heat the oil. When it is hot, add the mustard seeds, chilli flakes and nuts.

Saute nicely until the nuts are slightly brown. Add tha onions and saute until translucent.

Add the salt and beetroot. Cover it and let it cook for 5 minutes.

Add half of the cooked rice and mix well with the beetroot.

Add the lemon zest and lemon juice.

Before serving, mix half of the remaining cooked white rice into the beetroot rice. This creates different shades of pink rice.

If you don’t have mustard seeds, just use fresh garlic.

Sprinkle some fresh coriander or parsley and serve.

Feb 012020

Serves 2-3.


1 big onion, roughly cut
3-4 big tomatoes, roughly cut
1 tablespoon cumin
½ cup cashews
1-2 bay leaves (optional)
1-2 cloves (optional)
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon red chilli powder (optional)
1 pack of extra firm/firm tofu
salt to taste
1-2 tablespoons fenugreek dry leaves (optional)


Heat the oil in a pot/pan. When sufficiently hot, add the cumin and the other spices.

Add the onions and saute well.

Add the tomatoes and cashews and saute well.

When the tomatoes are cooked enough to loosen up their shape, stop cooking and let it cool a bit.

Now remove bay leaves and blend everything to a super smooth puree. Add water if needed and to suit your consistency.

Mix the puree and tofu cubes in the pot again and cook for 10-15 minutes again so that the tofu absorbs the sauce. Add the roasted and powdered fenugreek leaves.

Tip: the tofu can be replaced with veggies, fried/boiled potatoes etc.

Tip: the same gravy/ sauce can be used for many other recipes.