Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Black Bean Cakes

I love chicken and seafood. However being Indian, Vegetarian food forms a major part of our cuisine. In a typical Indian platter, Lentils or Legumes take the spot for protein, a whole wheat flat bread called Roti is the carbohydrate element in the food and a side dish in the form of veggies and salad fortify the food with the much needed vitamins, minerals and fiber. This is a typical well-rounded meal and is an everyday staple at our home.

I am always surprised by the innumerable variations that can be done with vegetarian food. Being a huge legume fan I was excited with the idea of making these cakes with mashed beans. First I thought of making burgers out of them but I ran out of buns and decided for small patties instead. I served it with a creamy low fat yogurt dip. Believe me even if you are a carnivore you surely will enjoy these be sure to give them a shot. I’ll be glad to hear about your experience with these.

1-½ cup black beans
1 small carrot shredded
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
¼ cup chopped green pepper
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp EVOO

¼ cup low fat yogurt
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 tsp chopped jalapeno
Salt and pepper
1 tsp EVOO


Mix all the ingredients for the dip and set aside.

Wash and rinse the black beans and mash then really well. Add all the ingredients and season to taste. With the help of an ice cream scooper, scoop out equal quantities and shape evenly. Heat the oil and fry these patties.

Serve with the yummy dip!!

P.S.---Do not flip the patties until the first side is nice and firm, coz' there are huge chances that it will break.

Happy eating!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Clear Veggie soup!!

I think all the people who know me, know that I love soups...Simply love love love them.And nothing is more comforting to know that Soups are actually the healthiest food one can imagine..Of-course a lot depends upon how You make them..I am more of a Clear soup kind of person rather than the cheesy kinds. And I am so proud of myself that I can actually make a good variety of them.

Todays recipe is Super, simply super. Its low carb, low fat and full of healthy veggies.The best part about this soup is that you can add or subtract any veggie you want. I have used the basics, but go ahead use your imagination.On other instances I have used Shitake mushrooms, bokchoy, peppers.

3 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup chopped onion
1 carrot sliced into discs
1 stalk celery sliced
1 clove garlic chopped
1/2 cup button mushrooms
1 egg
No- stick cooking spray
1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
1 tbsp Soy sauce
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 chicken bouillon powder
Salt and pepper.


Whisk the egg with salt and pepper and in a skillet sprayed with no- stick spray spread the egg mixture. Cook on both sides, just cook’ em do not brown them. Slice them thin like noodle shape.

In a pan add oil and sauté the onion and garlic. When your room smells good you know your onions are cooked good. Add the celery, carrots, peppers and mushrooms. Add the Bouillon powder, soy sauce, vinegar and finally season with Salt and pepper. Watch out for the salt.

Add the broth and cook on simmer for about 15 minutes until the carrots are tender. Add the cooked egg and let it cook or another 2-3 minutes.

Serve immediately. Serves 2

Nutritional info

Per serving:
Calories- 139
Carbs- 9
Fiber- 2.5
Fat- 9
Protein- 5

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Chicken Vindalooo!!

Hi All...If you are a connoisseur of non vegetarian food and you live in India, Goan food is definitely something you must have tried. Goa has been my second home and I am conversant with every nook and crannies of this place.

I love the beaches, the food and the atmosphere.The Goan food is primarily categorized into the food with Portuguese influence and the one with the local Hindu taste. When we come back from Goa the pantry gets stocked up with the authentic Balchao and Vindaloo pastes.These pastes actually helped a person like me to satisfy my Goan food craving taste buds to be satiated in a jiffy.

That being said I have seen my Mom prepare the most Yummy tasting Goan curries and Pickles right from scratch. She would follow the entire procedure of proper marination and slow cooking.But I would name myself as one of the most Laziest person, I try to find shortcuts for everything and this recipe is an example of one of my lazy efforts.

I changed this recipe by using chicken instead of pork.Its a multi-step recipe,so lets get started.


Dry powder:
1" cinnamon stick
2-3 cardamom pods
2 Bay leaves
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2-3 cloves.

Dry roast these and grind them to a fine powder.

8 oz chicken breast cut into cubes.
1 medium onion finely sliced
1/2 tsp cumin seeds.
1 tsp Ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 tbsp tamarind paste( Readily available in the Indian grocery stores)
1 tsp Balsamic vinegar.


Set the dry ingredients aside. Fry the chicken cubes in oil and brown it up cooking it partially.Remove and drain them on a paper towel. Add some more oil and add the onions, and 2 tsps of the dry powder. when the onions about nice and soft add the ginger garlic paste. Add the spices, vinegar and the tamarind paste. Add the chicken and some water. Put the lid on and simmer for about 7-8 minutes.

Finally add some chopped cilantro....Yooohooo...Ready to eat!!!

Happy eating!!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Chick pea curry!!

Ok this is one of my favorite, favorite legume. Also called as Garbanzo beans,chana, bengal gram or chole.This legume is just as versatile as its name. There are a 100 different ways to prepare this. This simple chick peas curry is my favorite and is usually had with rice, samosa or the very sinful Bhature( Deep fried Indian Bread).

Nutritionally Chickpeas can be classified as a 'Super Food', no wonder it is substituted by Vegans and Vegetarians as a source of Protein.

Chick peas is rich in Proteins and minerals like Zinc, magnesium and Iron.This Super food is also a great choice for Diabetics due to its low Glycemic index( Slowly rises the blood sugar levels and prevents Insulin spike). It is a source of good carbohydrates, coz' its packed with fiber.

Chick peas is not only consumed as a whole legume, but also in ground form as Chick pea flour or gram flour.The flour is used as a coating for fishes and as a base for the vegetable fitters and onion bhajiyas.

Here is a simple recipe for a curry called as Chole or Chana masala.


1 cup chick peas
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 medium roma tomato ground into a paste
1 tsp Ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
Salt to taste
1 tbsp EVOO


Add oil, when the oil is nice and hot add the cumin seeds.add the onion and the GG paste. Mix well till the onion and translucent and browning on the edges.

Add the tomato paste,turmeric, Red chilli, Garam masala and corainder powder. when the paste starts showing the oil seperation our paste is good and cooked. add the chick peas and about 1 and 1/2 cup of water. Add salt and let it come to a boil. Simmer for 7-8 minutes and serve. I served it to my husband with Rice and myself had it with a big salad.