My life was nourished and nurtured in the beautiful vale of Kashmir painted with mountains, lakes, running streams and meadows that know no end. Now in another beautiful part of the world in the US, I cook for the love of good healthy food…that feeds the soul. I recreate recipes that shaped my history and culture. For the love of discovering life and all things that speak to you and urge you on to evolve, touches your soul and make your journey through life a fulfilling experience.
It was a perfect green papaya that came from the market. The snow outside kept it intact for a couple of day before I ventured to make this tangy uplifting salad. This salad is usually a staple at Thai restaurants but making it at home could not be easier. I have adjusted to make it lower in calories and healthier.
Peel half of a green papaya with a box grater ( needs to be thin and long)
Blanche a bunch of green beans, cool in ice water and then julienne
Chop cherry tomatoes, cilantro, and green onions, thai chilis
Smash a handful of unsalted organic peanuts
For the dressing mis 5 tbsp of fresh lime, a tsp of lime zest, 1 tsp of stevia extract, 2 tbsp fish sauce ( or make it vegan with Amino Liquid), 1 tsp of minced garlic.
Mix the vegetables, pour in the dressing and top with the peanuts.
I absolutely love Kale in all it’s varieties and it is always good to know the enriching things it brings. It is rich in beta carotene, vitamin K, C and a host of other nutrients that are good for the body and soul. Then come the Shitake mushrooms which are not only delicious but known to be an excellent source of iron and have properties to boost the immune system
Both these are cooked together with garlic and Sriracha to produce a “anytime” dish served with a side of Quinoa.
I used 1 tsp of coconut oil for the base, 1 chopped red onion, 4 cloves of sliced garlic, 1 tsp Sriracha. Fry the onion and sliced garlic and cook the sliced mushrooms for about 5-7 minutes, add the chopped Kale and let it steam through until wilted and still bright green. Salt and pepper to taste.
Okra and potatoes ( aloo bhindi ) with Bajri ki roti…..Fry cut okra in oil until crisp, add chopped yellow onions, red whole chillies and cumin, add salt, turmeric and a tsp of dry coriander and fry for a couple of minutes. Add chopped boiled potatoes and fry until combined and dry. Top with lemon juice and serve with fresh bread. The bajri flour is mixed with a bit of whole wheat, salt and olive oil.
Nadru or Lotus stems/roots are a delicious curious vegetable very popular in Kashmir (India). The are often fried and served as street snack food. This recipe is a yoghurt based curry which is absolutely delicious when served with rice. Tastes even better the next day
# Take 2 cups of yoghurt and beat with a wisk until smooth. Add 1 cup of water and add to a heavy bottomed pan. Let it come to a boil stirring constantly. Once boiling reduce the heat and let it cook until it has thickened and reduce to half. You will have to whisk occasionally.
# Wash and lotus root and then slice in 1 inch pieces diagonally. The root usually has some mud in it so be sure to wash it out really well.
# Pressure cook the the pieces for about 10 mins
# Fry one onion until gold brown and blend to make a paste. Set aside.
# In a heavy bottom pan, add 2 tsp of ghee, 2 tsp ginger powder, 2 tsp fennel powder, 4 whole black cardamon, 8 green cardamon, 8 whole cloves, 4 pieces of cinnamon, salt and the onion paste.
# Add the cooked yoghurt and let it simmer for about 10 minutes
# Add the Lotus root piece
# Cook for about 30 -40 mins until the gravy has thickened.
# Add crushed dry mint and black zeera.
# remove from heat and serve with rice