Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Avocado Salad

It is too hot and you are not in the mood to cook! I get it. We've all been there. Especially, during summertime in New York. If you want to eat something light, then this recipe is perfect for the occasion.  A simple summer salad comprised of tomato, cucumber and avocado. I have also added a lemon dressing and a bit of minced basil, fresh mint leaves and fresh green coriander leaves. This salad is ready in under 10 minutes with no cooking required.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 2 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 English cucumber diced (no need to peel the skin)
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced basil
  • 2 tablespoons minced mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons minced green coriander leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Salt to taste
  1. Chop the tomatoes and cucumber and place into a bowl.
  2. Cut the avocados in half. Remove the pit from the avocados and scoop out the flesh from the halves. Preserve the shells and chop the avocados into small pieces. Transfer to the bowl.
  3. To make the dressing, in a small bowl, add lemon juice, black pepper, salt, mint, basil and coriander leaves. Mix it well.
  4. Drizzle the dressing into the bowl. Gently stir to combine with the salad.
  5. Spoon the mixture into preserved avocado shells and serve immediately.

If you like olive oil, you may add two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into the lemon dressing and whisk.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016


Idli is traditionally eaten for breakfast in south Indian households. It is a savory cake usually 2 or 3 inches in diameter. You may make square idli or round idli. Square idli I usually make for an idli sandwich. You may pick a shape depending on which moulds of idli pan you have. It is made by steaming a batter consisting of fermented black lentils (split urad dal) and rice. Note: this recipe requires substantial lead time prior to cooking.

Soaking time: 3 to 4 hours
Prep time: 15 minutes
Fermenting time: 8 to 10 hours
Cooking time: 40 to 45 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 3 cups parboiled rice
  • 1 cup urad dal (split black urad dal)
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • salt to taste
  • Oil for greasing the mould plates
  1. Soak the urad dal and fenugreek seeds in enough water for 3 to 4 hours and drain. Soak the rice seperately in enough water for 3 to 4 hours and drain
  2. Blend the urad dal and fenugreek seeds together in a mixer until you get the consistency of a smooth paste. Add water, little by little, as required
  3. Blend the rice and cooked rice in a mixer until you get a smooth consistency. Add a little water, as required. Combine the dal paste and rice paste together in a bowl and cover. Keep aside to ferment (8 to 10 hours).
  4. Once the batter is fermented, add salt to the batter and mix well.
  5. Put spoonfuls of the batter into the greased idli moulds and steam for 10 minutes. Take out the idli stands (holding the moulds upright) from the idli pot. Take out the idli from the moulds. Repeat with the remaining batter to make additional idlis.
  6. Serve hot with coconut chutney and sambhar.

1. You may make idli sandwiches with leftover idli (Check my blog recipe titled, "Idli sandwich"). Or, you may stir fry idli with vegetables.
2. You may also make stuffed Idli with a vegetable stuffing or poatato stuffing.


Square idli

Served with sambar and chutney