Category Archives: No Garlic, No Onion

Raw Green Tomatoes Subji or Pickle

Autumn is Here!!  My vegetable garden is almost done for the season:(
If you are left with plenty of raw green tomatoes or If you love green tomatoes!! Here is the recipe with raw green tomatoes.

Cooking Level: Very easy
Preparation Time: Five minutes

Green Tomatoes 

Cooking Time: Ten minutes


4 medium size raw green tomatoes
1 Tsp of Sesame seeds
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
1 tsp Brown sugar or Jaggery/Molasses
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp each Coriander & Cumin powder 
1 tsp oil

Salt to taste


  1. Microwave diced tomatoes in microwave oven for 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the oil on a medium high heat.
  3. Add mustard and sesame seeds. Add jaggery/molasses or brown sugar and stir until sugar turns brown in color.
  4. Add salt ,coriander, cumin powder, turmeric, cayenne pepper and tomatoes.
  5. Cook for 4-5 minutes till it mixes well.
  6. You can note that it will change color to golden yellow.and now its ready to serve. Tomato subji can be stored as pickle for a week in a  refrigerator.    Also, you can make green tomatoes Enchilada sauce aka Verde sauce. Salsa or  fried tomatoes. Enjoy!!
 Did you know!!  green tomatoes are Very low in saturated fat,  No cholesterol,  High in dietary fiber,  High in iron,  High in manganese,  High in magnesium, High in niacin, Very high in pantothenic acid, High in phosphorus, Very high in potassium,  High in thiamin, Very high in vitamin A, High in vitamin B6, Very high in vitamin C. 

Split Pigeon Peas – Toor Dal

This dal is must all over India. It is the basic staple for both the rich and poor. This is one of the greatest sources of protein in our diet.

Cooking Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
Serves: 4-6


1    Cup Toor Dal (Pigeon Peas)
4    Cups Water 
Ghee or Oil
1/4 Tsp Turmeric
1    Tsp Mustard and Cumin Seeds
Salt to taste
1/4 Tsp Chili Powder
1 Small Piece of Ginger
1    Small Green Chili
2    TBsp Sugar or Jaggry or Gur
1    Tbsp Lemon Juice
1    Small Tomato, cubed
Few Curry Leaves
Few Peanuts

How to Prepare:

  1. Wash dal thoroughly.
  2. Bring to a boil in a pot and when it’s done, use a hand blender to blend it smoothly.
  3. Return to pot and bring to a boil on medium heat, add spices and sugar and lemon juice, ginger chili and cut tomatoes.
  4. Now in a very small pan add oil or ghee of your choice. When it is heated, add cumin and mustard seeds. It will start popping. Add a little astofedia and turmeric.
  5. Add this mixture from the small pan on top of the dal. It is also called chok or vaghar.
  6. Garnish with cilantro.

Tips: Sugar and lemon juice goes together. It is totally up to personal taste. Hope you will like it!

Single Serving Size

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Health Benefits of The Split Pigeon Pea


Pigeon Pea cures cough, poisoning effect, gas troubles, acidity, stomach pain and piles. It makes a balanced human food, quells swelling of internal organs and with water it cures intoxicating effects. It is useful in the treatment of internal organ swelling. Some herbal practitioners/researchers are of the opinion that it diminishes the swelling of internal organs like stomach, liver, intestines etc. In case of wound or cancer of these organs it is helpful in reducing them.

Oatmeal with Dates

Oatmeal with Dates & Walnuts from

Recently, I have been trying new food groups which is a good tradition and good for you. I am finding everywhere that what was once old is now new again.  Not long ago, I read a book called “Thrive”  by Brendan Brazier. In it, he describes “The Vegan Nutrition Guide for Optimal Performance in Sports and Life.” To my surprise, a lot of these facts I learned as a child from my mom and dad. I now have a clear view of how smart, energetic and stress-free my ancestors were.

Here, I share with you my oatmeal recipe. It is simple, quick and fulfilling.


Chopped almonds
Pitted Chopped Dates without Sugar
Dried Cranberries
 1/2 Cup Apple, chopped
Fresh Blueberries
Walnuts, chopped
Instant Plain Original Organic Oatmeal,
  no flavor & without sugar
 1/2 Cup Water or Milk

How to Prepare:

  1. Empty contents from single serving packet into a bowl.
  2. Add half a cup of milk of your choice.
  3. Add any or all of the ingredients listed above with dates.
  4. Microwave for one or one and half minutes.
  5. Enjoy!
Let me know what you think by leaving a comment! I love to hear from my readers!
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This Week’s Healthy Tip

The Health Benefits of Oatmeal


1. Low calorie food; stops cravings.
A cup is only 130 calories!  It also stays in your stomach longer, making you feel full longer.  You will have less hunger and cravings.
2. Provides high levels of fiber, low levels of fat, and high levels of protein.
It’s on the short list for the highest protein levels of any grain.
3. Stabilizes blood sugar and reduces risk of diabetes (type 2)
The high fiber and complex carbohydrates slow down the conversion of this whole food to simple sugars. The high levels of magnesium nourish the body’s proper use of glucose and insulin secretion.
4. Removes your bad cholesterol (without affecting your good cholesterol).
Many studies have shown that the unique fiber in oatmeal called beta-glucan, has beneficial effects on cholesterol levels
5. Gluten-free safe.
I am gluten sensitive and have no problem with oatmeal.  If you are gluten intolerant or have celiac disease there is some cause for concern. Oats lack many of the prolamines (proteins) found in wheat (gluten) but oats do contain avenin.  Avenin is a prolamine that is considered toxic to the intestinal mucosa of avenin-sensitive individuals.  Oats can also contain gluten from nearby wheat field contamination and processing facilities.  Many studies have shown that many celiacs can consume wheat free oats with no problems.
6. Contains lignans which protect against heart disease and cancer.
Oatmeal, like many whole grains, contains plant lignans, which are converted by intestinal flora into mammalian lignans.  One lignan, called enterolactone, is thought to protect against breast and other hormone-dependent cancers as well as heart disease.
7. Contains unique antioxidants beneficial for heart disease.
A study at Tufts University shows that the unique antioxidants in oatmeal called called avenanthramides, help prevent free radicals from damaging LDL cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
8. Protects against heart failure.
A Harvard  study on 21,000 participants over 19 years showed that found that men who enjoyed a daily morning bowl of whole grain (but not refined) cereal had a 29 percent lower risk of heart failure.
Guess what grain is most easily found and prepared unrefined – oats.
9.  Enhances immune response to disease. The unique fiber in oatmeal called beta-gluten also has been shown to helps neutrophils travel to the site of an infection more quickly and  it also enhances their ability to eliminate the bacteria they find there
10. It tastes GOOD!
All oats whether in flakes or groats form have gone through a heat process which gives them their rich nutty flavor.  This keeps them from spoiling. They have also been hulled.  This process does not strip away all the bran and germ allowing them to retain a concentrated source of  fiber and nutrients .
This means however, that oats are not raw and will not sprout.

Date and Tamarind Chutney

Date and Tamarind Chutney
Date and Tamarind Sauce is a sweet and sour combination of tastes. Dates are a great source of energy. All health food sources highly recommend that you include dates in your diet. Medjool dates are the best. They are excellent source of fiber and vitamin C. Though these sauces and chutney are easily available in Indian stores, I highly recommend that you make your own. The freshness and nutrients are the key factor to give a nice flavorful taste to the sauce.  Once made, it can be stored in your freezer for a few weeks. I make a big batch and then store it in several small containers so I can take one out at a time. I use chutneys with vegetable pancakes, muthia, samosa and bhajia to name a few. It is a great accompaniment to any appetizers and a must for Bhel.

Cooking Level: Very Easy
Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
Blend Time: 10 Minutes


1    Packet Pitted Dates
1    Teaspoon Tamarind Paste or 1/4 Teaspoon Citric Acid
2    Teaspoon Sugar
1    Teaspoon Salt
1    Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
1    Teaspoon Coriander Seeds
1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric
1/4 Teaspoon Red Chili Pepper
Pinch Astofedia


  1. Soak the dates and tamarind paste for an hour.
  2. Mix all the ingredients and blend well in a blender.

This is a sweet and sour sauce that goes well with samosas and savories, Bhel and all kind of chats.

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment! I love to hear from my readers!

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This Week’s Healthy Tip

The Health Benefits of Dates


1. Dates do not have cholesterol in them and they contain very less fat in them. Moreover, they are extremely rich in minerals as well as vitamins.
2. Dates are extremely rich source of dietary fiber, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3 and Vitamin B5. They also contain Vitamin C and Vitamin A. 
3. Dates help in improving the digestive system as it is loaded with insoluble as well as fibers. Dates also have amino acids in them which is also good for the digestive system.
4. Dates are excellent source of energy as they have natural food based sugar like glucose, fructose and sucrose. For added benefits add milk and dates for an even more nutritious food. Dates are also very low in calories hence they are also beneficial for those trying to lose weight.
5. If you are facing constipation then soak dates all night long and have it in the morning after along with water for easy bowel movements.
6. It is also said to increase libido. Soak a fistful of dates in goat’s milk the night before. The next morning mash the dates in the milk and (add honey to it for taste) drink the same. 
7. Dates are also rich in potassium and they have very less sodium in it. This is extremely beneficial for the nervous system. Studies have indicated that having potassium rich foods can reduce the risk of strokes to a great extend. Dates are also helpful in reducing the LDL cholesterol.
8. Dates are very good for alcoholic inebriation.
9. The amount of iron is dates are very high and it is helpful in curing anemia. Those having iron deficiency can eat dates everyday for better health. Dates also have fluorine that reduces tooth decay.
10. Dates are helpful in treating abdominal cancer. The best part about having dates is that it is a completely natural food and nutritional supplement with no side effects. Dates are also known to improve the eye sight and it helps treating night blindness also.

Bhakri – Thick Indian Bread

This thick bread is a very popular item in Gujarat at supper time. It is eaten with different types of subji and various dals. It is also eaten with Aachar (Indian pickles) and a glass of warm milk.  A farmer’s ideal food  is bhakri and milk. I would like to share this  recipe of thick bread with you. You’ll need a flat surface, maybe a new cutting board without the cuts or scrapes, a rolling pin, a heavy skillet or frying pan and a grill to place on an open flame.

Cooking Difficulty Level: Medium
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Recipe Type: Jain, vegan use oil for butter

2    Cups Whole Wheat Flour 
2    TBsp Oil
1/4 Tsp Salt
<1 Cup Water
Butter or Clear Butter to Garnish
2    TBsp Ground Flax Seeds

How to Prepare:
  1. Combine flour, salt, oil and ground flax seeds. Add just enough water to make a tight dough which will take some effort. Knead it very well.
  2. Divide the dough into equally portioned round balls, about 5 or 6. Roll each out until it is  3-4 inches in diameter. Pinch the edges.
  3. Heat a skillet or flat frying pan and place bhakri on it. Cook on low heat for 2-3 minutes on both sides.  The bread should change color.
  4. Place a grill on an open flame of a gas stove or an electric stove on a medium to low heat.  Place bhakri on the grill for about 1-2 minutes on both sides. It will puff up and a few brown spots may appear. Take care not to burn it. Spread butter on top.

Tips: 1/4 tsp of Ajwain seeds or cumin seeds will enhance the flavor.

Muthia- Spinach Rolls

Photo of Steamed & Tempered Rolls courtesy of
This is a typical Gujarati dish which is very popular and healthy. It is a Muthia dish (rolls made with a fist-shaped dent) and is a very versatile and quick dish. The best part of it is that I can use any leftover fresh or cooked vegetables and cooked rice that I have in my kitchen.  Muthia or rolls can be deep-fried, shallow-fried in a pan, or, for a healthier alternative, steamed.

Cooking Difficulty Level: Medium
Recipe Type: Jain without Garlic Paste
Vegan without Yogurt
Gluten-Free substitute Whole Wheat Flour
with Rice Flour
Serves: 10-12 Rolls

Spring rolls/muthia
shallow frying


1 Package Baby Spinach Leaves, chopped, washed & drained
3-4 TBsp Whole Wheat Flour (coarse is okay)
2-3 TBsp Besan or Chickpea Flour
2 Tsp Ginger Paste
2 Tsp Green Chili Paste
1 Tsp Garlic Paste, optional (none for Jain recipe)
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Red Chili Powder
1 Tsp Cumin Powder
1 Tsp Coriander Powder
1/4 Tsp Turmeric
1 Tsp Sugar
2 TBsp Plain Yogurt (1Tsp lemon juice for Vegan)
2 TBsp Oil
2 TBsp Ground Flax Seed

How to Prepare: 

  1. Mix flour and all of the spices and oil very well.
  2. Then fold the Spinach into the flour mixture and make a dough. Add yogurt as needed.  Take care that the dough does not get too soft.
  3. Sometimes if the spinach is too wet, you can add a little flour. Try to make sure that the spinach is properly drained.
  4. Grease hands and make rolls out of the dough in equal parts of 10-12.
  5. On medium heat, pour oil into a shallow pan.  Fry spinach rolls/muthia for 5-7 minutes.
  6. Slowly fry rolls, flipping them over as they cook. They will change color.
  7. Serve with green chutneys and ketchup.
  8. These rolls can also be steamed in a steamer.
  9. They can also be tempered with 1-2 teaspoons of hot oil in a pan with sesame seeds, mustard seeds, curry leaves and seeded jalapeño peppers, and finally garnished with tempered oil.
  10. Enjoy!
Serving Size: 2 Rolls

Pani Puri – Gol Gappa

Pani Puri with Potatoes, Mung Beans, Chickpeas and Date Sauce

I grew up in India. The thing I miss most are the tasty bites of food from the street vendors which are famously called “chaat.”  Here, I’ve had the chance to eat seven course meals many times. I’ve been to fancy Italian Restaurants and have savored the food of many different ethnicities.  But still today my taste for chaat remains the same. I have inherited this from my mother and I think I will pass it on to my daughter, too.

At the top of the list is Pani Puri or famously known as Gol Goppa.  It is medley of sweet tastes with little sour touch with spices which tantalize the taste buds.  Chaat is pushcart food which is very likely originated in Northern India.

Cooking Preparation Time: 45 Minutes
Cooking Level: Easy   
Recipe Type: Vegan
Serves: 6            


2    Medium Potatoes, boiled and smashed
Red Chickpeas, soaked and boiled with salt
1    Cup Sprouted Mung Beans
2    Tsp Fresh Ginger Paste
2    Tsp Fresh Green Chili Paste
2    Cups Fresh Mint Leaves, washed and plucked
Fresh Cilantro
Salt to Taste
Pepper to Taste
1    Tsp Black Salt or Kala Namak
2    TBsp Sugar
2    TBsp Fresh Lemon Juice
Tamarind & Date Sauce (Recipe on Blog)
Roast & Grind in Coffee Mill:
2    Tsp Cumin Seeds
2    Cloves
2    Cinnamon Sticks
2    Tsp Fennel Seeds, roasted

How to Prepare:

  1. Boil two potatoes and mash them.
  2. Season with salt, pepper, red chili and cilantro. Set aside.
  3. One cup of mung bean sprouts that has been boiled with salt.
  4. One cup red chickpeas boiled with salt. (optional)
  5. Pani means “water with spices” which is the main taste. To make pani for pani puri: blend fresh mint with green chili, ginger paste, sugar, lemon juice, black salt, 2 tsp of grounded powder of cumin seeds and regular table salt.  Set aside. Refrigerate for couple of hours.
  6. Microwave puris for 30-40 seconds.
  7. Crack open puris and fill with mung beans, potatoes and red chickpeas.
  8. Dip stuffed puris into water and eat it right away otherwise it will get soggy.
  9. Yum! Delicious!

Pani Puri or Gol Gappa

Chaat is a Hindi word for delicacy or possibly pakrit for devouring with relish whatever it is it is always fun to eat with friends.

    Mung Dal with Spinach

    Spinach with Split Mung Dal

    This recipe is packed with protein and vitamins. It is quick, easy and tasty. It is eaten with Roti and Rice.

    Cooking Preparation Time: 30 Minutes    
    Cooking Difficulty Level: Medium
    Recipe Type: Vegan & Gluten Free
    Serves: 3-4


    1    Cup Mung Dal
    3    Cups Water
    1/2 Tsp Cumin Seeds
    1    Tbsp Coriander Cumin Powder
    1/2 Tsp Astofedia
    1/2 Tsp Turmeric
    1    Tbsp Oil
    1    Medium Tomato, cut & cubed
    1    Small Green Chili
    Salt to taste
    Lemon Juice
    Cilantro to garnish
    1    Bunch Spinach, washed & chopped finely
    2    Shallots or Fresh Garlic
    1    Small Piece of Fresh Ginger or Ginger Powder
    1    Small Onion, cut & cubed

    How to Prepare:

    1. Wash split mung beans (Dal) thoroughly. Set aside to soak for about an hour. 
    2. Once soaked, add beans to three cups of water in a pan. Bring to a boil on high heat and let it simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.
    3. In a separate pan, heat the oil.  Add astofedia, cumin seeds, onion, chopped garlic and spices.
    4. Then add the chopped spinach, salt, ginger, chili, coriander and cumin powder and fry for 4-5 minutes.
    5. Add tomato and lemon juice. Mix the boiled Dal with fried spinach mixture in the pan.
    6. Let it simmer for few more minutes. 
    7. Garnish with cilantro and serve it hot.
    8. It works very well as soup or curry with rice. Enjoy!

    There are variety of lentils available. The same recipe can be used for different Dals. After you try to cook this a few times, it becomes very easy.

    Note: Divide Values by Servings for Individual Quantities.

    Mutter Methi Malai – Peas with Fenugreek Leaves

    Methi Mutter Malai
    This is a very simple, no-fuss recipe with touch of elegance. It is very quick and healthy. It is also very versatile with many ingredients that can be easily substituted and it still remains very tasty. The goodness of the leaves and peas served in this way will be delightful to everyone in your party.

    Cooking Time: 25 minutes
    Serves: 4
    Recipe Type: Vegan (omit milk for water & butter for oil)
    Jain (omit garlic, ginger and onion)

    Fresh Methi & Frozen Peas


    1 Cup Frozen Thawed Peas
    1 Cup Frozen Thawed Fenugreek Leaves
    1 Cup Fresh Fenugreek/Spinach Leaves
    1/2 Cup Chopped Onion (optional)
    2 Cloves Garlic (optional)
    Salt to taste
    1 Tsp Green Chili (optional)
    1 Tsp Ginger Paste
    1 Tsp Cornstarch
    2 Cup Milk/Water
    3 TBsp Butter/Oil
    1 Tsp Coriander Powder
    1 Tsp Fennel Seed Powder
    1/4 Tsp Nutmeg Powder
    1/4 Tsp White Pepper
    1/2 Cup Cashews


    Instead of taking the time to blend all of the spices, you can cook this dish faster by using Suhana, Rasoi, a ready-made package mix. All of the spice packages vary in taste. You may like one particular brand over another. I have tried the Suhana name brand package and I thought it was little sweet for me.  Some ready-made packages are spicy so I add only a spoonful and add the rest of the spices on my own. The advantage to making it this way is that it is very quick and it gives the dish a very unique taste.

    How to Prepare:

    1. For Gravy, soak the cashews in a 1/2 cup milk or water for at least an hour.
    2. Blend it very well.
    3. Add ginger, garlic, onion and spices (omit ginger, garlic, onion & fennel seeds for Jain recipe)
    4. In a medium sauce pan, heat the butter (oil for vegan) and add the gravy.
    5. Let it cook for about 5 minutes.
    6. Gravy will start to change color.
    7. Mix 1 tsp of corn starch with milk/water on the side.
    8. Add peas, fenugreek leaves and fresh leaves if you have them.
    9. Let it cook for 2 minutes.
    10. Add remaining milk with corn starch.
    11. Stir continuously.
    12. Cover and let it cook for 6-7 minutes on low heat.
    13. You will notice that the gravy is thick and when the peas and leaves are cooked it changes color.
    14. Serve it wit Naan or roti.
    15. It also complements rice dishes.
    16. Garnish with cream.
    17. Green peas can be easily substituted with paneer.
    18. Mushrooms or baby corn also taste great in this gravy.
    Nutrition Facts based on original recipe.
    Jain or Vegan versions and substitutions will cause values to change.

    Mutter Paneer

    Mutter Paneer

    Mutter Paneer is a very tasty vegetable dish in North India. It takes a little bit of time to prepare but it is worth it. It takes a few steps to prepare this dish. The steps can be done in advance so it is done quickly.

    Cooking Level: Intermediate
    Cooking Time: 30 minutes
    Recipe Type: Jain (omit ginger, garlic and onion) & Gluten Free



    2 Cups Paneer- Indian cottage cheese that can be made at home 
    or store-bought.  Fried paneer is also available at some 
    grocery stores. If it is in a bar, cut the bar into small
    cubes as shown in the picture.
    1    Cup 1 cup frozen thawed peas
    Salt to taste
    2    TBsp Oil
    3    Medium Tomatoes
    1/2 Cup Cashews/Almonds
    1    Tsp Ginger Paste
    1    Tsp Green Chili Paste
    1    TBsp Coriander Seeds
    1    Tsp Cumin Seeds
    1/4 Tsp Red Chili
    1/4 Tsp Turmeric
    1    Small Chopped Onion
    2    Garlic Cloves
    1/2 Cup Water
    Fried Paneer

    How To Prepare:

    1. Soak all the spices including cashews/almonds in a half cup of water for about half an hour. 
    2. You can add onion, ginger, garlic and tomatoes (omit if Jain Recipe) to spice and nut mixture. 
    3. Blend mixture in a blender and set aside. 
    4. In a skillet on medium heat, fry the paneer cubes until golden brown. 
    5. Take them out and set aside.
    6. In the same skillet, fry the spice, nut, onion, garlic and tomato mixture.
    7. Add peas and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes.
    8. Add fried paneer and simmer for 5-10 minutes on medium-low heat.

    Tips: It is a very good idea to make this recipe a couple of hours ahead so paneer can soak in some gravy until it settles.  I like to serve it with rice and warm tortillas.

    Nutrition Facts based on original recipe.  
    Jain version and substitutions will cause values to change.