no sugar

Ratatouille

Ratatouille

The first time I heard about Ratatouille was through my brother.I don’t know where he tasted it but he was so awed by it that he came back home and tried his hand at making it.It was funny when he discovered that the dish contained brinjal cause he used to always fight with my mom whenever she made the traditional Baigan Bharta at home(Aubergine). The second time I heard about it was in the movie Ratatouille in 2007.The movie is about a mouse who wants to be a chef  ,whose signature dish is a Ratatouille.What better dish for a Rat to make than a “Rat”atouille. It tickled me something funny when I first saw the promo of the movie! Let …

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Vegetarian Pumpkin Laksa with Peri Peri Chickpeas

Pumpkin Laksa with peri peri chickpeas

Once you start browsing, there is so much inspiration around.It’s difficult to zero in on what you want to make.I see a lot of simple recipes where the biggest effort is the grocery shopping. I wish I was more organised and had a better way to track my inspirations.I wish there was an online instant grocery shopping available.Because when the inspiration strikes I don’t have ingredients and when I have ingredients my mind is blank! I do write them on my phone and on word doc on my laptop..napkins..behind pamphlets..ammm..yeah a little disorganised.(Sidebar-If some of my OCD friends read this, the first flinch would be on the number of extra full stops that I have taken the liberty of using and …

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Mango and Jalapeno Crab

Mango and Jalapeno Crab

  Instead of our yearly jaunt to Goa we decided to go to Varkala and Alleppey this time.Both the places were a food extravaganza! We devoured buckets of butter fish and prawns , literally fished out the minute before from the sea. We even experienced a very local way of fishing where the fisherman lay a long net in the sea and tether it to the beach overnight.In the morning like magic you pull the net out and voila!the sea has blessed you with tonnes of its treasure. It was all most like the game we used to play as kids at birthday parties called “tug of war” but with 20 burly man pulling with all their might on one side and the sea …

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Egg Baked in Portobello Mushroom

Egg Baked in Portobello Mushroom

When you find an oversized Portobello mushroom it deserves to be baked with an egg inside.Do not overcomplicate the flavours with indian spices or Cajun mixes. Keep it as simple as possible! My egg obsession continued after my breakfast number one with breakfast Two. Same passenger different vehicle! My egg discovery has led me to understand that there is very little egg doesn’t work with! The only complication in this dish is that you need to own a oven.If that’s ticked off then the dish in itself is so simple that a five-year old could make it! Its simple—Break egg in mushroom–>Bake Mushroom! For all its simplicity the flavours are very different from the Egg Avocado Tower I ate before this.At the time of baking the …

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Egg Avocado Breakfast Tower

Egg Avocado Tower

You are consciously not aware of it but your mind has associated smells with certain events and locations.Its deeply entrenched in your memories.Today morning when I was making my coffee(thankyou Arvind Shanker!) I was almost instantly transported back to this small library in R A Puram,Chennai which used to be my frequent haunt in 10 th std. I used to borrow and eat 5 books a week and that’s when my school was crazy strict and gave not buckets but tub full of homework! There was a coffee beans grinding shop right next to it and even before I really started appreciating coffee this smell was a part of my history with Chennai. Old romance novels and coffee smell is …

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Butternut Pumpkin Soup with Pork Sausage Croutons

There are three worst things you can do to while making soup.Add cornstarch to thicken it,add cream to make it smooth and the third and the worst , is to strain it through a sieve. Its like killing anything good in the ingredients by ambushing it from all sides and  firing bullets into it  and then repeatedly stabbing it and then putting it through..ok I am getting gory! But you get my point! Worst part is that it fools your brain into thinking that you have eaten something healthy but really you have just dumped a bowl full of carb heavy,nutrient deficient , fibre less liquid in your body! If you are trying to eat something healthy then stick to the …

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Asparagus and Garlic Soup

The whole 30 journey has taught me how to make simple meals with a few quality ingredients. It’s a wonder that just 5 ingredients can make a soup so delectable that you wish you had made more! My soups always double as sauces but this recipe yields exactly one serving ,I wish I had made more of this asparagus and garlic soup.After tasting this ,I badly want to try making chicken with the sauce version of this soup.I am sure it will be mind epic blowing!! One word of caution though! Don’t eat a hot soup and frozen grapes together.I wasn’t sure which I liked more and which would lose the right temperature so I ended up interspersing the soup with …

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Spicy Indian Roast Chicken

Spicy Whole Chicken Roast

I have wanted to roast a whole chicken since starting the whole30 journey.I have made it a few times in the past with a melange of random sauces,spices and filling but never an Indian chicken roast .My first try at roasting a chicken was 2 years ago which turned out to be extremely comical cause the poor bird was lacking a few limbs.I had asked my husband to get me a whole chicken and what I got was a skin less and leg less chicken. It also took us a while to figure out was how to carve the bird and the extra extra large long knife which my well meaning doctor friend bought to help us carve didn’t really help as …

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Butternut Pumpkin Chicken Roulade

As a child I ate the indian version of pumpkin curry with pooris all the time but I never imagined I could make a pie or a cookie with it back then.I remember eating a pumpkin chocolate kisses which was very weird! My recent tryst with pumpkin was a massive disaster.I made sautéed mushroom stuffed pumpkin and every single element of the dish was a big disappointment. Either the pumpkin was not ripe enough or I didn’t cook it for long enough.Even the mushroom filling was over salted and how can you go wrong with mushrooms! Overall it was a pretty bleh dish and I wasn’t very keen on trying anything pumpkin again. But amazing looking produce has irresistibly strong gravitational force which …

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Thyme and Lemon Salmon

My mind is a jumbled curry of a million things and I am rambling on and on about nonsense! Even the Harry Belafonte is not able to channel my thoughts into something specific. I have started 5 word documents ,written two lines and then discarded them all because they have nothing to do with the fish I made. I am jumping from one topic to another thinking about what I am going to make next , to our europe trip , to the chocolate in my fridge! So without rambling more I am going to dive into this salmon dish that I ate yesterday. Salmon is not only costly but difficult to procure in india.Even if you find it , you …

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Spinach Avocado Salad with Poached Egg

I am not much of a salad person.I just have never liked them by themselves as much.It feels too extreme to just eat just salad.Even after eating a whole Caesar salad from Big Chill in Delhi I would feel like I was on a diet!It was definitely not diet food, it was at least 800 calories with all that cheese !I prefer sautéed veggies more. I decided to brave it and make an Avocado Spinach salad and cause it seemed too little I added a poached egg! Poached egg has been my nemesis for way too long for comfort. I have heard that any self-respecting cook knows how to poach an egg and I want to be self-respecting too!!! Well ,I watched Jamie …

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Tomato Basil Soup

This is the most nifty magic trick up my sleeve. It’s an all purpose soup cum sauce.I always have some of this frozen in my fridge for an instant sauce. This simple soup has a million uses.You can make it into a Shorba- an indian soup by adding the quintessential tadka of cumin and chillies or make it italian by adding a dollop of pesto or cook your chicken breast in it. You can reduce it on the stove and with a splash of milk or cream and some herbs you can turn it into a pasta sauce!Most indian curries are tomato based so you can make a neat chicken curry or a Shahi Paneer with little milk. You can throw in …

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Baked Pear with Homemade Almond Butter

This recipe deserves a separate post!! It might not look so pretty but it’s absolutely divine!! I decided to make almond butter after seeing a few recipes online…I can’t believe it’s that simple!!! It’s just three steps to heaven!!TOAST—BLEND—EAT!!! Well almond butter is ready..But what to eat it with?? Search the fridge..Come up with one pear…well…ammm..Let’s bake it!!! So slice slice slice , a few drops of ghee and bake for 20 minutes…drizzle with almond butter and devour!!! I was so impatient to eat this that I hardly plated it..And while taking the pictures my phone fell on the plate! I hope nobody saw me licking almond butter off my phone.. Almond Butter INGREDIENTS Almonds-1 cup RECIPE Toast the almonds …

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Whole30-Day 3 with Thai Green Curry

Day three started very happy. I was extremely positive. Before getting out of the bed I read about some awesome whole30 stories and was totally inspired. The Day went well with no real challenges. Highlight of the day was the Green Curry. Dinner was a simple salad with some balsamic vinaigrette. Breakfast -One Boiled Egg -Two Slices of Pineapple Lunch -A bowl of the Thai curry Dinner -Basic Salad with fried Egg Snacks -Dates -Roasted Cashews -Coffee with Almond Milk   I found some Thai basil the other day in the super market. Usually I am not finicky about basil. I use whichever basil I find in whatever! But this basil worked wonders with the curry. This basil has purple …

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Day 2-Whole30 WITH ZUCHINNI PASTA IN RED SAUCE AND SMASHED ROASTED POTATOS

    Day 2 was certainly a delicious day of this diet…I didn’t feel I was on any kind of diet! I know I might end up paying for this! I mean who eats spaghetti and baked potatoes and looses weight!!I did have a moment when I struggled a bit after my evening badminton game when everybody was ordering amazing Kerala food and I couldn’t devour it! The Zucchini pasta in red sauce was my special lunch obviously abiding by all the rules. Substituting zucchini for pasta was not the compromise I thought it will be. It lifted the dish way more than any store bought pasta could ever do!! Have you ever felt that the pasta in itself becomes …

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Day 1-whole30 Pan fried Chicken with Grilled Pumpkin and Sweet Potato

Day 1-Whole30 The first day was pretty difficult…it’s not easy to get around the fact that I can’t have any dairy, grains or legumes. I spent 1 hour yesterday roaming in Auchan looking for something that fit the rules of whole30…But aisle after aisle was a disappointment…I bought some chicken and lots of veggies.. One of my friends is studying Nutrition and she wasn’t quite sold on the idea of no legumes and diary and suggested I do a modified version by including legumes and yoghurt. I haven’t decided yet if I will do this yet but I will consider it down the line. What I ate on day one Breakfast -Frittata with onions, tomato and basil Lunch -Pan Fried …

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