Sour Bottle Gourd

Bottle Gourd

I wanted to do something wacky and this crazy idea came up. It’s quirky but tastes like fun.

You need:

  • A bottle gourd sliced into thin matchsticks.
  • Juice of a lemon.
  • A couple of peanuts.
  • Coconut oil about 2 tablespoons.
  • Finely chopped Coriander or Dill.
  • Spice mix or just red chilly powder.

Marinate the bottle gourd sticks in lemon juice for at least ten mins. Fry the peanuts in coconut oil. Add the bottle gourd. Cook on low to medium heat for about seven minutes. When the bottle gourd no longer has a raw taste add the chopped greens.


Mix well and dry it up.

Season with salt and any spice mix.

When Rajma met Millet

First the Rajma:

You need:

  • About 250 gms of Red Beans soaked in water for at least 10 hours.
  • 2 Onions, chopped.
  • 2 Green Chilies.
  • 2 Tomatoes.
  • 1 Teaspoon of Ginger Garlic paste.
  • 1 heaped Tablespoon of Coriander Powder.
  • 1 heaped Tablespoon of Garam Masala Powder.
  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric.
  • Mustard oil.

First saute the onions and green chilly in mustard oil till the onions are translucent. Add ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell is gone. Add tomatoes, salt and turmeric. Cook till the tomatoes have completely softened. Add the coriander powder and garam masala. Let them cook on medium heat for about 5 mins.

Wash the soaked red beans. Use a colander under a tap to get them nice and clean. Add the beans to the masala and roast them for about 4-5 mins. Cover with water and pressure cook. One whistle on high and then simmer for about 20 mins. When pressure has dissipated, open and switch to high heat. Dry up the dish and also mash a couple of beans to get an overall creamy texture.

For the Millets:

You need:

  • 1 cup of millets. I used Barnyard millet. Simply follow the instructions on the pack and cook them.
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.
  • 2 dry red chilies.
  • 2 teaspoons of all purpose seasoning.

Warm the olive oil. Tear and crush the chilies and add to the warm oil. Add the all purpose seasoning powder. Mix and let them stay warm for about 5-6 mins. Drizzle over the millets and mix well.


Vegan and Keto : Lauki Chaat

You need:

  • A bottle gourd cut into small pieces.
  • Garlic cloves chopped.
  • A green chili finely chopped.
  • Coriander leaves, chopped.
  • Fenugreek seeds, one teaspoon.
  • Mustard seeds, one teaspoon.
  • A quarter teaspoon of turmeric
  • Two heaped teaspoons of Sambhar Powder.

Heat some oil and saute fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds and garlic for a minute or two. Add the chopped bottle gourd and sprinkle turmeric and salt. Mix well and let it cook for 4 mins on medium heat. Add chopped coriander and sambhar powder. Cover everything with water . Don’t use more water than is needed. High heat, till water gets nice and hot and then let it simmer for about 15-20 mins. Till the water has evaporated. Let it cool before serving. The lauki must be fully cooked but has to retain a little bite in it.

Optional: Garnish with sev and if you like it, some beaten yogurt.

Plantain and Basella, Stir Fry


You Need:

  • 2 Plantains.
  • 300 Grams of Basella.
  • Cumin Seeds.
  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric.
  • 1 teaspoon Red Chilly Powder.
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder.
  • 1 Tablespoon of Rice Flour.

Dissolve a little turmeric in water. Then boil the unpeeled plantains in this turmeric water for about 15 mins on medium heat. Remove the plantains and while they cool, get the same water to a boil. Dump the washed Basella leaves in the boiling water and switch off the heat. One minute later remove the leaves and wash with cool water so they stop cooking. Squeeze them dry.

Peel the plantains and chop them into small pieces. Chop the basella leaves and combine with the plantains. Add turmeric, red chilly powder, coriander powder and rice flour. Season with salt. Mix well. Heat some oil, preferably mustard or coconut. Saute the mixed vegetables in this oil on high heat.

Serve hot or cold. Goes well with both roti and rice.

Beets with Malabar Spinach

You need:

  • Three medium sized beets cut into one cm squares.
  • Malabar Spinach also called Basella, chopped up. You can also use regular Spinach.
  • A teaspoon of cumin and mustard seeds.
  • Two green chillies.

Heat oil. Preferably something with some flavor in it. I used sesame oil but you can also use coconut or mustard oil. Saute the cumin, mustard and green chilies. Add the beets and cook on low heat, covered. Five to ten minutes is enough to soften them up.

Now add the greens and cook on medium heat, uncovered. They will be done in less than five minutes.


Chickpeas : Vegan Protein


You need:

  • 250 gms of Chickpeas, soaked overnight.
  • 1 medium onion chopped.
  • 2 green chilies.
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste.
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste.
  • 1 small tomato

Soak the chickpeas overnight. Then wash them well before pressure cooking for one whistle on high and simmering for about 10-12 mins. Drain and keep aside. Do not add salt or any thing except water while pressure cooking them.

Saute onions and green chilly in oil. Add tomato paste and ginger paste. Let it cook till oil separates then add in a roughly chopped small tomato and salt. Use the tomato to scrape whatever is stuck in the pan.

Add about 10% of the chickpeas and mash them into the masala. Use them to increase the amount of the masala. This will make the end result a lot more creamy. When they are mashed and coated, add the remaining chickpeas and mix them well. Switch of the stove but leave the pan untouched. This will allow the chickpeas to absorb the warm masala.

This makes approximately two servings. Each has almostĀ 20+ gms of protein.