Our Veggie Eats

All about the food we eat at home, pack in our lunch boxes, and try everywhere else…. And feel it's blog worthy!

Mixed Vegetable Pakoras

Rainy day combined with a weekend called upon us to make pakoras. Taking inspiration from some yummy fried Brussel sprouts we ate at a restaurant, we decided to use some finely shredded sprouts and other vegetables like carrots, onions, chilies, ginger to make these pakoras. All the veggies shredded thin and then added enough besan(chick pea flour), 1T rice flour for crispness, chili powder, salt, pinch of asafoetida and some water to get pakora consistency. Deep fried and ready to serve with tomato chili sauce. 

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Quinoa Pongal/Vegetarian Quinoa Risotto without Cheese

Pongal is a traditional South Indian breakfast dish made with rice and yellow mung beans. Quite similar to Italian risotto without cheese. Cooked mung beans makes it creamy. This is quite the favorite dish at our home. Sometimes it feels wrong to eat a lot of white rice, which is quite common in Indian cooking. Hence the urge to try a healthy substitution. So out went the white rice and in went quinoa! But this is not to say that I do this every time I make Pongal!

1/2 C quinoa rinsed

1/4 C yellow mung dal rinsed

Pressure cook the two with 3 C water, pinch of turmeric and salt to taste. Crush 1t pepper and 1t cumin together. Julienne 1/2 pice of ginger. And take 5-6 broken cashews and a few curry leaves. In a pan heat some ghee (at least 2t, more tastes better) and add the ginger, torn curry leaves and cashews. After the cashews get a golden color, add crushed pepper and cumin. Sauté until a nice aroma arises. Veggies like onion, bell peppers, spinach, carrots make the dish even healthier. Add the cooked quinoa and lentils and stir till you get a nice porridge consistency. Serve steaming hot in a bowl with a 1/8t of ghee on top.

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Banana mini muffins with Rye and Oats

Not the standard banana muffin, but if eating healthy is a priority, try this out with your own substitutions. This did not have the normal sweetness to it as I reduced the added sugar considerably. I would have added dates if I had them on hand. 

My recipe.

1C Oats

1C Rye Flour

1/2 C All Purpose Flour

1/2 Baking Soda

1t Baking Powder

2t Cinnamon 

3T brown sugar

3/4C raisins

1/4C chopped nuts

3 overripe bananas

Milk as necessary

3t Ghee/butter

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Mash bananas in another bowl and add the melted ghee to it. Add the dry ingredients slowly and fold into the banana mixture. If it is too thick, add some milk. Fold in the rest of the dry ingredients. Bake in mini muffin tin at 375F for approx 20 mins.

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Ragi (Finger Millet) Idli


These idlis were yummy. And very easy to make. So without much ado, here’s the recipe


1 cup whole Urad Dal

1 cup idli rice 

3 cups sprouted finger millet flour (ragi)


Wash and soak urad Dal and rice separately. Soak for 6-8 hrs. Grind urad Dal until light and fluffy with enough water. Remove from the mixer and grind the rice (should be just a tad coarse and not pasty) with adequate water. Mix the ground urad Dal and rice well. Add the Ragi flour slowly and ajust consistency by adding water to a medium thick batter. Add salt and cover and keep in a warm place to ferment (12-15hrs). Steam in an idli steamer and enjoy!

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Our Regular South Indian dinner

Well, title says ‘Regular’ only because South Indian lunch/dinner is mostly rice, vegetables and a gravy/stew/soup with lentils. But the non-regular part of the plate was the way in which my husband served himself…looks modern and pulled together like an entree served at an upscale restaurant!

This plate has rice (basmati), spinach cooked with spices (cumin, black pepper, coconut, dried red chili all roasted and ground in spice jar) and made creamy ( without cream) by adding cooked moong daal, and kozhambu (spicy sauce) made with tamarind, madras sambar powder and baby onions (tastes divine in kozhambu) topped with potato chips.

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Gluten free pizza…

Its difficult to imagine pizza tasting good on anything other than the standard crust. We thought so too…. But we were wrong…after trying gluten free pizza flour mix from our grocery store…what????
A few things that I liked about the gluten free flour…no kneading …. I have made regular dough without a mixer during the 3 years that we were expats…let me just say that I have the biceps to prove it…just my right hand!

Another plus …resting the dough for just 20 minutes… who wants to wait an hour when everyone is hungry….

…And no one needed to be able to toss, roll out, do theatrics or go to Italy (to learn all that) to get the dough perfectly thin…all I did was pat it out with wet hands to a thin crust( remember…no gluten, so no spring action) …. can’t beat that!

After all these pros, if the pizza tasted edible we would have called it a day and gone to bed happy…but it was a shocker when it turned out so amazingly good that I was ruing the biceps (on my right hand) I had developed when we could have been eating this the whole time! Well, the sacrifices you make before discovering gluten free pizza flour sitting on your grocery store shelf!!! And think of buying it! And buying it!!!  


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Penne Arrabbiata with Asparagus 

Delicious and quick lunch. Penne with olive oil, red chili flakes, garlic, San Marzano tomatoes, onion and asparagus. The sauce simmered on the stove while the water boiled and the pasta cooked. Chili flakes in olive oil gives the sauce a nice spicy kick.

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There are so many variations to the delectable Poha that I never tire of it. It is great for breakfast or for a quick and tasty snack after school or work. It’s easy to make and takes only a few minutes. 

This version has toasted peanuts, green chilies, shallots, curry leaves, shredded coconut, cilantro and a squeeze of lemon. Delicious!


Taro Root Curry


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French Vegetable Lasagna at Epcot, Orlando


One of the best vegetarian lasagnas’ I’ve ever eaten. The lasagna noodles were thin and the sauce was amazing! Very little cheese and full of vegetables. And the dish looked so pretty!

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