Wednesday 24 June 2015

Vegetarian Pho ( Vietnamese Noodle Soup )

For those who aren't familiar with Pho, it is a Vietnamese dish which consists of a broth topped with rice noodles, vegetables and/or meat. It is perfect for those chilly nights or rainy  days.  I could, however, pretty much eat this every day. It is so comforting... almost feels like a warm hug :).
This is a vegetarian Pho recipe. I've used some of my favourite toppings but the choice is endless - you could add any vegetables you like. You could also make this with a meat broth and top it with some sautéed meat along with the vegetables.

Serves 2-3


For the broth

1 onion, roughly chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, lightly crushed
1 star anise 
2-3 cloves
6 cups of vegetable stock
A few coriander stems

For the toppings

100 gms dried rice noodles, cooked as per packet instructions
125 gms fresh shiitake mushrooms
200 gms tofu
2 spring onions, chopped
1 red and 1 green chilli de-seeded and thinly sliced 
Ginger cut into matchsticks 
Coriander and basil for garnish


In a large pot, heat a tbsp of oil. Add the onion and fry till lightly brown. Add the ginger, star anise, cloves and fry for another minute. 

Pour in the vegetable stock, add the coriander stems and cover and cook on low heat for about 25 - 30 minutes. 

In the meantime....

Cook the noodles as per the packet instructions and drain.

Sauté the mushrooms and white part of the spring onions for 3-4 minutes. 

Lightly fry the tofu in oil. 

Prep the other toppings such as the chillies, ginger etc.

Strain the stock and bring to a simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Divide the noodles between the bowls. Pour the broth over the noodles and add the toppings - mushrooms, tofu, spring onions and garnish with the green part of the spring onions, chillies, coriander, basil and ginger matchsticks.

Enjoy warm!

Sunday 14 June 2015

Red chilli chutney (Laal mirchi techa)

You already know how much Indians love chillies but do you know to what extent? In Maharashtrian (Maharashtra is a state in western Indian) cuisine, there is a dip / chutney which is literally just crushed chillies with some garlic! It might sound crazy but believe me, it tastes really, really good. It is usually eaten with Jowar (Sorghum) or Bajra (Pearl millet) roti and is also served alongside main meals. Traditionally this chutney (thecha) is made by crushing the chillies and garlic with a mortar and pestle but you can make it in a food processor too.

Usually when my mom visits, she gets me a jar of this chutney but the contents of the last one are long gone. So when I saw these beautiful red chillies at the grocers, I couldn't resist buying them.

In this recipe, I have removed the seeds as these chillies were super spicy but you can keep them in if you wish. 


12 red chillies
6-7 cloves of garlic, chopped roughly  
Salt to taste
1 tbsp olive oil (you can use vegetable oil)
1 tsp black mustard seeds


Wash the chillies and pat them dry. De-seed them and chop them roughly.

In a small pan, heat the oil and add the black mustard seeds. Let them sputter then turn the flame off and keep aside.

Coarsely grind the chillies and garlic in a mixer or food processor. Add this mixture to the oil,  season with some salt and mix well. 

If the thought of eating this raw scares you, you could saute the garlic and chillies in some oil before grinding. Also add some lemon if you want to bring the spice levels down further.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Saturday 13 June 2015

Frozen banana, spinach and flaxseed smoothie (vegan)

If frozen bananas were a brand, they would definitely make me their brand ambassador! Every time someone starts talking about having to throw away bananas because they were going black, I jump in and say "Have you tried freezing them?". If you look in my freezer, you'll always find freezer bags with some chopped bananas. I find them very convenient to use in smoothies, especially in the mornings - just add some coconut water and you have a lovely chilled banana shake. You don't need to add any sugar as the bananas provide a natural sweetness. Also since the bananas are frozen, you don't even need to add any ice.

Here's another favorite smoothie recipe, which is healthy and a great way to get those greens in you!


1 banana, chopped and frozen
1 cup coconut water
1 tbsp flaxseed meal
2 handfuls of spinach


Add the ingredients to a powerful blender and blend until it all comes together.

p.s. You can also make ice-cream from frozen bananas! Have a look at my guilt free ice-cream recipe if you haven't already :) 

Thursday 4 June 2015

Chilli garlic pasta

After a crazy week at work, my colleagues decided to go out for a drink but all I wanted to do was to come home to some comforting food and to curl up on the sofa, watching TV. Unfortunately I knew I had to make dinner myself as Salil had to attend a work dinner and obviously there wasn't a fairy who was going to cook the meal for me. I was also in no mood for a greasy takeaway. We'd had dal and rice (which is one of my favourite comfort foods of all time)  just yesterday and I didn't want to have it again, so I decided to make a quick pasta. I kept the pasta for boiling but still wasn't sure what I was making. I started chopping the garlic and the parsley and the rest of the recipe just flowed. Before I knew it, I was savouring this delicious pasta, sitting on the sofa, catching up on my favourite shows - just as I had planned! :)

This is one of the simplest and probably the yummiest pasta recipes ever! With just a few ingredients but loads of flavour, this will definitely be one of my favourite go to weekday recipes to make. You have got to try this out!

Serves 1-2


100 gms dry spaghetti 
4 - 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp dry chilli flakes (adjust as per taste)
1 tbsp good quality olive oil
A handful of parsley, choppped
Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle
Salt to taste


Cook the pasta in some salted water until cooked, drain and keep aside.

On a low flame, heat the olive oil (you can also add in some butter) and add the garlic and chilli flakes. Cook for a minute.

Add the parsley, throw in the pasta, season with some salt and give it a toss. 

Drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil when serving. yum! :) 
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