Farmers Market – Mumbai

This sunday was not a lazy sunday for me….I got up early than the usual, got ready and carried two cloth bags and went striaght to Bandra, National College Square. Why you may ask was the necessity for me to take up such a task on a sunday morning….I couldn’t resist the offer to visit a place, selling only organic products under one roof and directly from the farmers.

Kick start your buying with this nice hand-made paper hats
No question about it
Lovely Red pepper
Gorgeous Purple Cabbage
Fresh Mint
Asparagus - so rare to find fresh ones
Preparation table at one of the stalls
Indonesian Salad with peanut dressing – Gado Gado

There was a food stall serving Indonesian salad, Gado Gado. It is a mixed veggie salad with peanut sauce dressing. The base is mainly peanut butter.The best part about the salad what I noticed around was that,  even the kids enjoyed the veggies….looks like  peanut butter really worked with them.

For me it was a well spent sunday, sourcing out veggies like, cilantro, mint leaves, asparagus, purple cabbage, beetroot, red pepper. I also picked sonamasuri brown rice, sesame oil from Naturally Yours -they are based in Chembur and they deliver free of cost anywhere in Mumbai.

Farmers market is one of a kind in Mumbai, and started first by Kavita Mukhi, an entrepreneur and eco-nutritionist who founded the organic brand Concious Foods. Farmers market is scheduled every sundays from 10am to 4-5pm and updates can be found on their facebook profile. Don’t forget to carry your own bags this sunday. Have a great week.


Cinnamon Spiced Chickpea & Sweet Potato Salad

Cooking for me has always been rejuvenating and especially when I’m mixing and trying something completely new and different. Kitchen is a space where I get lost into different flavours. I started cooking at an age of 11 and even till today I’ve always enjoyed every bit of it. I’m sure everyone of us have that private space to rejuvenate 🙂
Indian salads are very limited and I guess we  tend to concentrate more on the mains.Chopping of some cucumbers and onions is the last minute thingy, just to include some greens in the diet.
I’ve always enjoyed making salads and that’s why  I try to mix and match different flavours and these healthy experiments are worth a try to include in your daily diet.

2 cups chickpeas, boiled or canned
2 cups  sweet potato, cut into cubes
1 tomato, cut into thin slices
7-8 basil leaves
2tbs olive oil

for dressing
1tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp wasabi paste
1tsp red wine vinegar
1tbs olive oil
2tbs tahini (home-made)
salt to taste

Grill the tomato pieces in oven, griller or pan. I grilled the tomatoes in a pan with 1tbs of olive oil. Grill on both sides and set aside to cool.
For the sweet potato, place the sweet potato cubes into a pan of boiling salted water and cook for five minutes. Drain and dry well. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the potato cubes and sauté on all sides until golden-brown. Allow it to cool.
Take a bowl and mix all the ingredients for the dressing. Mix chickpea, sweet potato and basil  with the prepared dressing. Allow the salad to set for half an hour before serving.
Decorate the salad with grilled tomatoes and serve cold or at room temperature. Serves 2 as a meal.

My Taste buds: My favourite combination of tahini and cinnamon makes it a combo again. Although wasabi seems to be lost in the mingle and you feel that you did taste it. Overall a successful experiment.

This is my submission to My Legume Love Affair, hosted by Lisa’s Kitchen and The Well-Seasoned Cook, to SOS Challenge – sweet potato, hosted by Diet, Dessert and Dogs and Affairs of Living, to Souper Sundays hosted by Kahakai Kitchen and to Thanksgiving dishes hosted by gluten free easily.Sweet Potato on FoodistaSweet Potato


Raw Papaya Paratha

I wanted to make this Diwali a gluten free festival and I made stuffed paratha for lunch instead of deep fried puri. I’ve always enjoyed stuffed paratha of any kind. The best parathas are made in the dhabas of Northen India…though you can see the fat smeared all over and you are stuffed with eating one. In that case; raw papaya parathas are lite and you will be able to eat more than just one 🙂

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups grated raw papaya (without skin)
1tsp ajwain
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam massala
salt to taste
Oil or ghee for roasting

Take 1 1/2 cup of flour and mix water to make a soft dough. Set aside for about an hour. Keep 1/2 cup of flour to use it later.
Heat 1tsp of oil in a pan and add ajwain, grated papaya and all the dry massala. Let it cook for about a minute on medium flame. Keep aside and allow it to cool.
Make round balls of the dough and roll it into a circle using a rolling pin, the circle should be big enough to hold about a spoon of prepared stuffing.Seal the edges and flatten them in the dry flour. Roll into a circle of desired thickness, take care not to make it too thin.
Heat a non-stick pan and add oil or ghee (I use about  2tsp of oil) and place the paratha. Roast them for 1-2 minutes on medium flame.Roast them until you get brown spots on both the sides.

They are best eaten with some chutney or pickle and curds.I served mine with tomato & onion chutney (recipe will be posted soon).

This is my submission to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Susan from The Well-Seasoned Cook.


Sweet Potato n Peas Sabzi

I’ve always enjoyed sweet potato in any form…I can even eat them just plain boiled.
An easy to make recipe with a blend of spices and veggies.They can  be used as a stuffing to make any kind of rolls. I’ve added cherry tomatoes instead of normal ones; as they not only add colour to the dish but also gives it a good flavour.
Before I share the recipe…..some handy information: sweet potato should be stored in a cool, dark and well-ventilated place, where they will keep fresh for up to ten days.They should not be stored in a refrigerator and it is a big no no to store them in plastic bags.

250gms sweet potato (boiled and cut into pieces)
1 cup fresh or frozen peas (I used frozen ones)
1 cup cherry tomatoes (cut into halves)
1 cup capsicum, diced
2 tbs cooking oil
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam massala
salt to taste

Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. Let it turn light brown, take care not to burn it (burnt cumin seeds can really give a bad flavour). Add cherry tomatoes, turmeric, coriander, chilli powder, salt and 1tbs of water. Allow it to cook for about 2 minutes.Add peas, sweet potato and garam massala.Simmer the gas and cook for about five minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve hot with tortillas.

I want to Thank Ricki from Diet, Dessert & Dogs and  Kim from Affairs of Living for selecting me as one of the Winner (out of ten) for last month’s SOS Challenge – sesame. I will be receiving  a bag of sesame seeds from iHerb very soon 🙂
This month’s SOS Challenge is sweet potato and as always I’m excited to submit my entry to this month’s challenge.


Happy Diwali with Tri-Flavoured Kheer

  (Image Source: Livetoeat!!!)
Everyone I know is busy cleaning their house and shopping for new artifacts. Wondering  how you are going to celebrate this Diwali…….here are some simple suggestions without being heavy on your pockets.
I like the simplest things of using just clay or ceramic diyas; they light up the house beautifully and dramatically or welcome your guests with  simple rangoli and a diya at the entrance.
 (Image Source: Livetoeat!!!)
 (Image Source: Internet)

I also used some lights (mirchi lights) from the previous Diwali and managed to create a romantic atmosphere in my living room (I made used of the throw-away wine bottle). These lights are commonly seen in Mumbai for decorating balconies. One more item commonly seen are the colourful lanterns used outside everybody’s balconies. There are all kinds of Indian and Chinese lanterns widely available during this season.

(Image Source: Nature’s Basket)

It is also the time when you gift your special ones. One best thing would be to gift some really good gift hampers – an assortment of various products. Nature’s Basket has some really cool gift hampers this Diwali. You might want to check them out and get some ideas. You can also go to Crawford Market and buy your own assorted products and create you own basket. That sounds like really good fun and it’s a  personalised way of gifting.

And of course a time to eat and share some good food. Every festival is celebrated with sweets and what a better way to start Diwali with Kheer.Kheer is everybody’s favourite and easy to make. It is a rice pudding which requires the right consistency. Kheer is not complete without cardamom and Kesar again is optional. Tri-flavoured kheer has a vanilla twist to it. Thats right..a vanilla, cardamom and kesar flavoured kheer. A beautiful blend of these flavours keeps you guessing on every bite, whether it’s vanilla or kesar or cardamon…..Enjoy the fun- filled flavours and Happy Diwali!!!

The Recipe:

1 litre milk
1/2 cup Basamti rice
2tsp vanilla extract
2stp cardamon powder
2tsp kesar soaked in warm milk
1cup sugar ( you can add more for your liking)
Almonds for decoration

Wash and soak the rice for about an hour. Heat milk in a pot. Add vanilla extract before the milk comes to a boil and enjoy the vanilla fragrance taking over your kitchen. Add soaked rice (without any water) to the boiling milk. Let the milk and the rice cook on medium flame for about 20minutes. Add sugar and let it cook for 15minutes.You will see that the whole grain rice would have become half it’s size. It kheer is almost done and you will also notice the thick consistency. Add cardamon and turn off the gas.
Let it cool. Serve cold or at room temperature, garnished with kesar and chopped almonds.

This is my submission to this month’s event Celebrate Sweets – Kheer, hosted by Taste of Pearl City and Nivedita’s Kitchen, to Virtual Party Snacks hosted by Ruchika Cooks and From My Home Kitchen and to this week’s Blogadda Diwali Moments. 

Go to http://www.myntra.com/ and check out Myntra Diwali Offer. Shop for Rs 500 and get Rs 500 off on your travel with Cleartrip! Also visit the largest community of Indian Bloggers at BlogAdda.com


Pan-Fried Eggplant

A very easy to make dish and best eaten as a side-dish. My mom used to make this often  for lunch as a side-dish accompanied with dal and rice. You can also eat it just plain with any sauce you like. The best part is that it’s not deep-fried and tastes really good, when pan-fried. The thin layer of besan enhances the taste of the eggplant and tastes best when roasted a little bit more; giving it a nice crunchy taste.
Eggplant is the  king of vegetables and has not only  gorgeous colour but also is rich in nutrients.Some tips on how to choose and store eggplant:

  • Choose eggplants that are firm and heavy for their size. Their skin should be smooth and shiny, and their color, whether it be purple, white or green, should be vivid. They should be free of discoloration, scars, and bruises, which usually indicate that the flesh beneath has become damaged and possibly decayed.
  • The stem and cap, on either end of the eggplant, should be bright green in color. As you would with other fruits and vegetables, avoid purchasing eggplant that has been waxed. To test for the ripeness of an eggplant, gently press the skin with the pad of your thumb. If it springs back, the eggplant is ripe, while if an indentation remains, it is not.
  • Place uncut and unwashed eggplant in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator crisper where it will keep for a few days. If it is too large for the crisper, do not try to force it in; this will damage the skin and cause the eggplant to spoil and decay. Instead, place it on a shelf within the refrigerator.
  • If you purchase eggplant that is wrapped in plastic film, remove it as soon as possible since it will inhibit the eggplant from breathing and degrade its freshness.

(Source: WH food)

1 medium sized eggplant
1/2 cup oil

for batter

1 cup besan (chickpea flour)
1tsp ajwain
1/2tsp turmeric powder
1/2tsp chilli powder
water for mixing
salt to taste
Clean and cut thin slices of eggplant and soak in salt water for 10 minutes (soaking helps not to discolour).
Mix all the ingredients for the batter.
Heat oil in a pan and pan-fry the slices dipped in batter. Roast on medium flame until golden brown. Add oil whenever necessary for easy browning/cooking. Serve hot. You get about 12 pieces.
This is my submission to this month’s event Virtual Party Snacks hosted by Ruchika Cooks and From My Home Kitchen to A Gluten Free Holiday, hosted by Diet, Dessert and Dogs.