The recipe for Mushroom Curry is a delicious meatless alternative for a weeknight dinner and easy to make. I like to feature mushrooms in my recipes for their hardy texture and mild flavor. They be served with anything on the side.

Mushroom Curry

Mushroom Curry is a delicious meatless and easy to make dish inspired by a Kerala recipe.

This recipe is roughly inspired by a similar recipe from Kerala that I have modified. I have simplified the steps to make it quicker to make as well as added carrots for their orange color. Since the recipe originated in Kerala, it features ground coconut in the sauce.

To make my Mushroom Curry, I fry an onion, a carrot, garlic, ginger and green chile in olive oil that is seasoned with cumin seeds and a special mixture of spices which are added in two groups. The first spices added are cloves, cinnamon and turmeric. The second group is coriander, cumin, garam masala and red chile powder. When the onion begins to brown, I add a pound of quartered cremini mushrooms to cook in the spices.

To make the sauce, or curry, ground coconut, tomato paste, curry leaves and water are added to the pot to blend with the flavors of the mushrooms and spices. The sauce cooks just until the mushrooms are tender.

The last step in this recipe is a common last step in many Kerala recipes. It is preparing the tempering spices. In this recipe, a teaspoon of mustard seeds are tempered in a teaspoon of hot oil until they pop. This is poured over the Mushroom Curry just before it is served.

Mushroom Curry is best served with plain rice or pulav and any side dishes you wish. My husband prefers to eat it with fresh chapatis.

Tapioca is a root from the cassava plant that has become a staple in Indian cuisine. We can thank the Portuguese explorers who visited the coasts of India hundreds of years ago and introduced this plant along with many other wonderful discoveries to India.

Tapioca fulfills a role similar to that of potatoes as a starch. It brings little nutritional value to the table, unlike potatoes, but it does have carbs which provide energy.

Tapioca Masala

Tapioca Masala, a tasty alternative to potatoes, is an easy to make vegetarian recipe that is simply flavored with Indian spices and healthy turmeric.

Since tapioca doesn’t have much flavor in its own right, it is perfect to use in Indian recipes. When cooked with an array of savory spices, it becomes very tasty.

I created a very simple recipe called Tapioca Masala as a side dish with meat and other vegetables. The first step is to boil the tapioca with turmeric until it becomes tender. Turmeric is significant in Indian cuisine because it has wonderful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is worth the time to do some research online for its natural healing properties.

While the tapioca boils, I make a masala starting with frying onion and garlic with mustard seeds, dal chile powder, turmeric, curry leaves and coconut. (Since my husband is from south India, many recipes have curry leaves and coconut in them. Adding these items ensures he loves my cooking.) After the onion browns, I add the tapioca and mix it well so the masala coats each piece evenly. Adding some water helps to ensure it is well incorporated into each bite. As a last step, I stir in a little lemon juice to add a hint of tang. Since Indian cooking is all about layering spices and flavors, it is common, in some recipes, to add a little lemon juice at the end.

Since Tapioca Masala is a dry dish, meaning it doesn’t have a runny curry, I like to serve it with a chicken or beef curry. It can be served by itself for an easy lunch.

I was looking over the recipes I posted this year and realized that I had not included any cabbage dishes. My Cabbage and Pea Thoran recipe is based on the one my mother-in-law cooked for her family for many decades.

Cabbage and Pea Thoran

My Cabbage and Pea Thoran recipe is based on my family’s authentic Kerala recipe. Cabbage is stir-fried with spices and peas in this vegetarian recipe.

Originating in Kerala, India, thoran is a simple style of cooking chopped vegetables and coconut in oil that has been seasoned with mustard seeds, turmeric, chiles and curry leaves. The dish is simply stir-fried or steamed so it is very healthy. Other than cabbage, jackfruit, green beans, spinach and many others. Thoran is traditionally served with plain white rice or chapati.

Starting with a small or half of a larger head of cabbage, I shred it into small pieces. You can shred it into long strips or chop it into small squares, your preference. First mustard seeds, turmeric, urad dal, chile, shallots and curry leaves are fried until translucent. Urad dal is included to add variety in texture. Next the cabbage is added and steamed until tender. At this point peas and coconut are added and the dish is stir-fried for a few more minutes until evenly heated. Peas are added for color and variety. I garnish the dish with roasted cashews, in the Indian style. This recipe yields approximately 4 to 6 side servings.

Cabbage thoran is one of the easiest and healthiest vegetarian side dish recipes in the Indian repertoire. Its simple flavors are not intimidating and can be enjoyed by everyone.

Now that fall has arrived, I have started roasting vegetables in the oven. Summers are so hot in Texas that I try not to use my oven during hot months as it makes my house even hotter. I love the ease of preparing them to be roasted as well as the flavor and texture they have when they are right out of the oven.

My daughter and I love roasted cauliflower so we try to make it as our vegetable for dinner. We season it with a few of our favorite spices and voila, it is ready in about a half hour. Unfortunately, we usually give in to temptation and eat three quarters of it before my husband comes home from work!

Roasted Cauliflower Chickpea Masala

This recipe combines roasted cauliflower and spiced chickpeas into one delicious and savory vegetarian dish that can be served as an entrée or a side.

Based on my love of roasted cauliflower and spiced chickpeas, I created the recipe for Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala to combine them into one rich and savory vegetarian dish.

To make this recipe, the cauliflower florets are gently seasoned with cumin, turmeric, garlic and chile powder that have been mixed with olive oil. They are roasted in the oven just until tender.

Meanwhile, a sauce, or masala, is prepared on the stovetop with onion, garlic, ginger and tomato that is seasoned with a mix of cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala and chile powder. The chickpeas are simmered in the masala to allow them to absorb the flavor.

In the last step, the chickpeas and cauliflower are mixed together then cooked for a few more minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

Roasted Cauliflower Chickpea Masala

Roasted Cauliflower Chickpea Masala makes a simple and healthy lunch when served with chapati.

This recipe is easy to make and is perfect as a main course or as a side dish. It reheats well so it can be taken to work for lunch. Enjoy!

Now that everyone is back in school and fall projects are underway, the need for quick and easy recipe is at a peak. I designed my Indian-Style Grilled Chicken recipe to be just that.

Indian-Style Grilled Chicken

Indian-Style Grilled Chicken marinated in a special mix of Indian spices then grilled to perfection in this easy to make Indian recipe.

I love to serve chicken during the week because it is easy to cook without much fuss. Using boneless chicken breasts make it even easier because they cook evenly without those end pieces overcooking while the center is still raw. To make it even easier, wrap the chicken between two pieces of wax paper or plastic and pound it with a meat mallet, if you have one, or with your fist (as I do) to make the overall pieces have a consistent thickness.

I start making this recipe by combining garam masala, cumin, red chile powder, turmeric and other spices with minced garlic, ginger and yogurt. After mixing it together well, transfer it to a zip top bag. Add the chicken pieces and coat them evenly with the marinade by squeezing the bag. Refrigerate.

I let the chicken marinate for 3 to 4 hours before grilling it. I tend to cook the chicken indoors on my grill pan to save time running back and forth to the outdoor grill. The chicken can be placed in the marinade in the morning then cooked in the evening to facilitate dinner prep.

The cooked Indian-Style Grilled Chicken can be served whole or sliced. Since the chicken breasts in my local grocery are so large and serve two people comfortably, I slice them before serving.

Any leftover Indian-Style Grilled Chicken is delicious for lunch the next day on top of a salad or as a sandwich. Enjoy!

Biryani is a special recipe that was brought to India by the Moguls many centuries ago. Over time, it has spread across the country and been modified to incorporate the unique flavors of each region. Even though there are many versions of biryani, the characteristic that carries across all of them is the rich flavor that develops from the spices, rice and other ingredients when cooked together.

Vegetarian Biryani

Vegetarian Biryani is based on the traditional Indian recipe. Delicately spiced green beans, carrots, edamame and carrots are layered within seasoned biryani rice.

Making Vegetarian Biryani involves three steps: cooking the rice, spicing up the vegetables and bringing everything together.

The rice is boiled with whole spices just until tender. This allows the flavors to be absorbed fully into the grains.

The vegetables in biryani must be small and subtle. I use the traditional onion, green beans and carrots and make it unique by adding fresh sweet corn and edamame for their colors and textures. These vegetables are cooked in a masala made of turmeric, coriander, red chile powder and garam masala, ginger and garlic along with some tomato paste for additional flavor.

As in most biryani recipes, the spiced vegetables are alternately layered with rice and then steamed together in a closed pot to allow the flavors to develop.

Everyone loves a great Vegetarian Biryani recipe. There is something magical about scooping out the first serving of steaming, fragrant rice and vegetables. Fortunately, this is an easy to make recipe that also happens to be healthy.

Malabar Egg Curry is a staple recipe in south India. The spice blend is common to Kerala; hence it is named for the Malabar coast. Egg Curry is usually served for breakfast but it is delicious served at dinner as well. Serve with chapatis, appams, noolputtu, puttu or steamed rice.

Malabar Egg Curry

Malabar Egg Curry is a traditional recipe from Kerala with boiled eggs served in a delicately seasoned coconut curry.

To make Egg Curry, the first step is to hard boil the eggs. The second step is to make the curry. Shallots fried in spiced oil until they turn golden brown are ground to a paste which becomes the base for the curry. Chopped (or sliced) onions are fried in more spices. To this, tomato paste is added along with coconut milk, water and the spiced shallot paste to finish the curry. After the curry simmers and becomes thick it is done.

Transfer the egg curry to a serving bowl and place the halved eggs on top to serve. The simple boiled eggs are a perfect accompaniment to the rich curry. Use your favorite bread or rice to eat up every tasty bite!

There are many variations on this recipe. But all of them include onions, tomato, coconut, eggs and spices. When my husband makes it, he slices the onions rather than chopping them. I think he was a bit distressed that I didn’t prepare it the way he likes it. Another variation is the use of tomato paste versus two chopped plum tomatoes.

Some recipes omit the grated coconut since coconut milk is included. Other recipes omit the coconut milk to get a darker curry and only use grated coconut. I like to be able to bite into a tiny bit of coconut while other people prefer a smoother texture in their curry.

The traditional recipe uses whole boiled eggs. I think it is easier to eat them if they are already cut in half.

The spices used include cumin anise, turmeric and chiles. I use dried red chiles. More can be added for a hotter curry or the seeds can be removed to make it milder. My husband uses both dried red chiles and one or two green chiles to achieve his preferred heat level. My recipe has moderate heat so you can taste and enjoy the flavors in the curry.

This is obviously a very flexible recipe. There are so many variations on this recipe that any changes you make based on your preferences, the resulting dish will be a hit.

As I started to plan my Christmas dinner menu I wanted to incorporate cranberries in a different recipe than the one I usually use to make cranberry relish or cranberry chutney. I thought adding Cranberry Raita would provide color and contrast to the menu by including dairy on the menu.

Cranberry Raita

Cranberry Raita

Most cranberry raita recipes use chopped up dried cranberries which are sweetened and chewy. A few others use frozen berries. The recipe I created is a combination of my cranberry chutney recipe and a basic raita recipe.

Starting with fresh cranberries, I boil them with a bit of water until they pop and become thick like jam. After they cool, I mix them with fresh yogurt, add a small amount of spice and it is ready to serve.

As an alternative, the Cranberry Raita can be sweetened with an extra tablespoon of sugar. I like to eat is this way as a snack during the holiday season.

I hope this recipe is a tasty addition to one of your holiday menus!

While I was planning my Mung Beans and Red Potatoes recipe last week, I knew I needed to share my recipe for Mung Dal. This simple, vegetarian recipe is very easy to make. My husband calls it comfort food because dal was served every day while he was growing up in India.

Dal is a thick savory dish that is made from, you guessed it, dal which is any bean or lentil that has had its skin removed and is split in half. The word is attached to the specific name of the bean or lentil it describes. The advantage of dal recipes is that the cooking time is reduced. For example, whole mung beans boil in approximately 30 minutes while mung dal boils in about 20 minutes. Since the skins are removed the color of the resulting dish matches the color of the bean inside.

Mung Dal

Mung Dal

My Mung Dal recipe is very easy to make. After the dal is boiled, it is added to a masala paste that is made from cooked onion, tomatoes, garlic and ginger and a special blend of spices. Once the tomatoes break down and lose their shape, the dal is added and flavors blend together. Mung dal does not lose its shape like other varieties of beans do. So, make this dish a bit creamier, I smash some of the dal with the side of a knife before mixing it into the masala paste.

Mung Dal can be served with plain rice and chapati in the true South Indian vegetarian tradition or it can be served as a side dish with other favorite recipes.

I have decided to share my Mung Beans and Red Potatoes recipe to continue my series on cholesterol lowering recipes. Mung beans are excellent choice for creating nutritionally healthy dishes as they are:

  • high in fiber, protein and vitamins
  • low in fat and calories
  • quick to cook
  • taste delicious
  • very inexpensive

I could provide more details on these tasty gems but I will direct you to another page for more information on this superfood to save time.

Mung beans bring a mild flavor to any recipe; they taste a bit like potatoes. Unlike some lentils, they retain their shape with a delicate bite when cooked and do not turn mushy. Mushy lentils are fine in dal recipes but when they are used in a recipe where they need to retain their shape, mung beans are a great pick. In addition, mung beans do not need to be soaked overnight or cooked for an extensive amount of time. After they begin to boil, a mere half hour is all that is required to bring them to tasty tenderness.

These beans compliment other ingredients in recipes. They can be added to potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, onions, etc. and produce a beautiful colorful dish. They can be used in hot dishes as well as cold ones.

Mung beans can be used in several different ways. They can be used whole as I have done in my Mung Beans and Red Potatoes recipe. They can also have their skins removed and the inner bean split. This is called mung dal. I will share this delicious recipe next week. The third use is sprouting them. Check out this tasty Spicy Sprout Salad recipe.

Mung Beans and Red Potatoes

Mung Beans and Red Potatoes

In my Mung Beans and Red Potatoes recipe, I start by boiling the beans and red potatoes. Next I create the masala that brings the dish together. Like many Indian recipes, I fry the onions, garlic and ginger in a tasty spice blend. As the onions become tender, they absorb the flavors of the spices so they can envelop the cooked beans and potatoes. With three simple steps, the dish is ready to serve. One thing you will like about this recipe is that it only requires one pan. No need to use several pans and wash extra pots when this is finished!

Mung Beans and Red Potatoes can be served as a main dish in a vegetarian meal along with other vegetables, rice and chapatis. It can be a side dish for lunch or dinner. My husband likes to roll a generous scoop of Mung Beans and Red Potatoes and roll it in a chapati to take to work for lunch. This can be served hot or cold.