Mango Lassi

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I remember having plain salted or sweet Lassi during my childhood years, especially during summers, and really enjoying it.  The first time I ever tried Mango Lassi was in an Indian restaurant here in the U.S.  It was a pleasant surprise to find that it was such a popular Indian drink in the U.S. while in India not many people are familiar with the combination of Mango and Lassi.

But I must say that I relished Mango Lassi the first time I had it, and continue to do so even today as I love anything that has to do with Mango.  I added Mango Lassi to my “beverage to try at home” list and now it is a regular in my home, especially for breakfast.

Very easy to prepare, Mango Lassi is essentially a blend of yogurt and Mango.  Lassi has traditionally been one of the best and most popular cooling beverages in northern India during hot summers.  With mango, it more than just quenches your thirst – it makes it delicious, nutritious and extremely refreshing.

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • 1 1/2 cup Yogurt
  • 1/3 cup Milk
  • 2 Mangoes chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Honey
  • 1 tablespoon sliced Almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Cardamom

Add yogurt, mango, honey, sliced almonds and ground cardamom together and blend until you get a smooth mix. Now add the milk and blend a little further. I like using milk just to adjust the consistency.  Almonds and cardamom add to the flavor and nutrition. Add ice cubes if required and serve!

Tofu Veggie Sandwich

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Tofu, a soy product, has become quite a regular in my kitchen ever since I started cooking with it.  A great vegetarian option, it has a light flavor and therefore takes on any flavor you marinade or cook it with.  It lends itself to be used in a whole range of cuisines.  It also is a great egg substitute for those who don’t eat eggs but are fine with soy.

This tofu veggie sandwich works well for breakfast or even a light lunch option and is delicious as well.  In this recipe I used firm tofu.    You need to drain out all the water from the tofu pack before use.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 4 slices multi grain Bread toasted
  • 1 pack firm Tofu diced
  • 1 Onion thin sliced
  • 1 Green Pepper chopped
  • 1 Tomato chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • ½ cup Cilantro leaves
  • ½ teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon Hummus
  • Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste

Drain and dry the tofu by placing on paper towels by changing sides for a few minutes.  Now dice and keep aside.  Chop onions, green pepper and tomatoes.

Heat one tablespoon oil in a small pan, add mustard seeds and allow to sputter.  Add onions and sauté till they turn a slight brown. Add tofu, green peppers and turmeric.  Stir and cook for about 2 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Now toast your bread slices and slither hummus on the toasted bread.  You can also substitute hummus with mayo if you like.  Layer the cooked tofu on top.  Add chopped tomatoes and then top it with cilantro.  Your delicious tofu veggie sandwich is ready.  Serve with your choice of fruits or juice!

Carrot Coconut Soup

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This carrot coconut soup is a nice and creamy one. Its vegan and its healthy with a good punch of nutrition. It looks amazingly nice and bright and is flavorful too.

The ginger and coconut milk give it an exceptional spicy and sweet flavor. It’s quite easy to make.  And works great with a grilled sandwich for lunch.  If you like soups, this one is surely recommended.

Ingredients (serves 2) :

  • 2-3 Carrots chopped
  • ½ Onion chopped
  • ½ inch Ginger minced
  • 1 cup Coconut Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • ½ cup chopped Cilantro/ Coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ cup water or vegetable broth

Chop carrots and onions and mince the ginger. Heat one tablespoon oil in a pan and add cumin seeds, chopped onions and ginger.  Sauté a little and add the chopped carrots. Stir and cook for just a couple of minutes. Then add water or broth and cook for a while till carrots are soft. This should be about 15-20 minutes. Now remove from heat and allow the mix to cool for a few minutes and then blend in batches to make a puree.

Bring back the puree to the pan and add coconut milk. Cook for about 8-10 minutes. Add the chopped cilantro, salt and pepper to taste and you have a rich creamy carrot coconut soup ready. Serve with bread sticks or your favorite sandwich.

Bread Poha

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I’ve always been a bread fan and this one remains an all time favorite for breakfast. Actually given a choice I could have it any time. made with added veggies it’s healthy too and ideal for breakfast!

Quick on the stove it’s easy to make. If you like bread, you will surely enjoy this. Especially now with all the multi grain breads available, it does make for an nutritious option.

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • 5-6 Bread slices  (whole wheat/ multi grain or white bread)
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 1 Onion thin sliced
  • 1 Carrot chopped
  • 1 Green pepper chopped
  • 1 Thai Green chili chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • Oil to cook

Thin slice the onion and chop the veggies into small pieces and keep aside. Take a pan and heat one tablespoon oil in it. Now add the mustard seeds and allow them to splutter.

Once the seeds splutter, add the chopped Thai green chili. Now add the chopped carrots and a pinch of salt. Stir and allow to cook for about 2-3 minutes. Then add the onions and the green pepper. Stir and cover for a bit allowing the veggies to become soft.

Meanwhile take the bread slices and sprinkle drops of water just enough to wet them a little and not make them too soggy. Shred the bread slices into small pieces with your hands and add into the pan. One variation here is to dip the bread in water, squeeze to dry and then shred it. I prefer to sprinkle water and keep it semi dry. Add these shredded bread slices into the pan and stir to mix all ingredients well. Sprinkle fresh ground black pepper and salt to taste. Cook for about a minute and its ready to serve.

Tip: You can add peas too or you can even make it without the veggies as variations. I also like to add curry leaves for their aroma and nutritional value. They are available at any Indian grocer. But it works fine without them too. 

Simple Yellow Dal / Yellow lentils (Moong and Masoor)

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This one is my all time favorite in lentils. Easy to cook and light on the  stomach.  It’s a traditional Indian preparation, low on spices and great for daily meals. Delicious and perfect for dinner, it’s generally eaten with any Indian bread like roti or nan or rice. But you can have it with any bread of your choice.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • ½ cup split Moong dal/ Split moong or green lentils
  • ½ cup split Masoor dal – Red lentils
  • ½ red Onion chopped
  • 1 medium Tomato chopped
  • ½ teaspoon Garlic minced
  • ½ teaspoon Garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon Coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon Cumin powder
  • 4-5 Curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 Thai green chili chopped
  • Salt to taste


Wash the lentils a couple of times under running water and keep aside. Chop the onion, tomato and green chili.

Add the lentils in a pressure cooker and add water so that the lentils are soaked up to about 1 centimeter. Add turmeric and salt and close the lid. Cook to about 2 whistles. If not using a pressure cooker take a pan and add the lentils and add 3 cups water. Add turmeric and salt and set to boil. Once boiled cook on simmer for about 20 minutes till lentils are soft. Set aside.

Meanwhile prepare the seasoning. Take a small skillet and heat a tablespoon of oil. Add cumin seeds, green chili, ginger and garlic. Stir and add the chopped onions. Stir and let it cook till onions are lightly caramelized. Then add the chopped tomatoes. If using curry leaves add them too and stir. Curry leaves are easily available at any Indian grocer. If it’s difficult for you to get them you could give them a miss (though they add to the aroma, taste and nutrition too). Add the cumin powder and coriander powder.

Add the seasoning to the cooked lentils. Stir to mix. Add salt/ pepper to taste. Serve hot with bread of choice or rice.

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