Rava Idli, and a Giveaway

Rava Idli An Idli is rather like the Cinderella of south Indian cuisine. Compare her to other stalwart favorites like crispy, flamboyant dosas that spill over your plate, and golden, melt-in-the-mouth vadas, and the Idli comes across as rather humble, even plain. Worse, try eating her by herself and she is, to boot, bland. After all, there’s nothing more to a generic Idli than udad dal, rice, and salt.

But there’s something about an Idli. Sprinkle on some fairy dust and lo and behold, she transforms into the belle of the ball. That porous and fluffy texture is the perfect vehicle to showcase the spicy-sweet-sourness of vegetable sambar and the creaminess of coconut chutney: the accompaniments an Idli is traditionally served with. What’s more, unlike those dosas and vadas, an Idli is fat-free, making her the perfect food for just about anyone.

Rava Idli In our home, Idli is a perennial favorite. Both Desi (my resident Tamilian) and Jay love Idlis, and so does my fluffy sweetheart Opie who waits patiently for those under-the-table handouts. But this time, I had an added incentive to make Idlis– I had these gorgeous idli makers, or Idlitos, from Gitadini, the innovative folks who gave us the Rotito rolling board and Yin Yang spice box.

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Chana Makhani

Chana Makhani with Greens

This, I promise, is going to become your favorite way to eat greens. And chickpeas. Or greens and chickpeas. Because it’s quite simply, in a word, awesome. My Chana Makhani with Greens is a smooth, velvety curry of leafy greens with the perfect hint of spice and the luxurious creaminess of cashews. And into all… 

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Sprouted Beans and Brown Rice Dosa. http://holycowvegan.net/2014/09/sprouted-bean-brown-rice-dosa.html

Sprouted Bean and Brown Rice Dosa

All this summer, I’ve been into sprouts. So much so that every time I bring out a jar of beans and a cup measure, Desi rolls his eyes and says, “More? What about these?” He’s pointing at two colanders already sitting on the kitchen platform, containing sprouts in various stages of germination. To which I… 

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Lentil Pasta Salad

Lentil and Pasta Salad

A smoky, hearty Lentil and Pasta Salad is just the kind of food that keeps me fueled and satisfied during a long workday. And when I come home, after battling D.C.’s rush-hour Beltway traffic,  I still have enough energy to take on anything, from a dog with an upset tummy (poor Opie) to cooking for an army…. 

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Zucchini Halwa

Zucchini Halwa

My Zucchini Halwa is a great way to use up all those summer zucchini — or other — squashes you no doubt still have in your vegetable garden. And if you don’t have a vegetable garden, I’m willing to bet there is an abundance of them at your nearest market or supermarket. Have you heard… 

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Dosa Spring Roll, a crispy dosa encasing a Chinese filling. Fusion food at its classic best. http://holycowvegan.net/2014/08/dosa-spring-roll.html

Dosa Spring Roll

I have been on a bit of a roll lately, what with my last recipe for Kati Rolls and now this one, but then who can resist a rotund wrap packed with delicious stuffing? Clearly, not me. A Dosa Spring Roll is an ingenious Indo-Chinese invention. So clever, in fact, that when you first hear of it… 

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Pie the cat

Sleep Tight, Cutie Pie

My beautiful cat, Pie, passed away early this morning. Many of you have come to know her through these pages — how sweet she was, how gentle and playful, and how I loved her with all my heart. Pie was nearly 18 and had several ongoing health issues, but even so the end was rather sudden. Pie… 

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Kathi Roll

Kati Roll

A Kati Roll is a popular street food from one of my favorite cities on the planet: Calcutta, or Kolkata, as it is now called. There is something about big, buzzing cities that really appeals to me. And Calcutta, one of India’s most crowded and oldest cities, has a million life stories in its narrow, old… 

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Tofu Curry

Tofu Curry with Chickpeas and Summer Vegetables

I had been dreaming of making this Tofu Curry with Chickpeas and Summer Vegetables for so long, and now that I have, I am dreaming of the time I’ll make it again. Seriously, it’s that good. But first, how is your summer going? Is it sliding away too fast? One of the reasons I love summer is all… 

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Date and Lime Muffins

Date and Lime Muffins

I have been a bit of a tyrant with the sweets around our house, mainly because I am trying to keep Desi’s too-sweet tooth in check. So this weekend, to make him happy, I baked up these Date and Lime Muffins. What I didn’t tell him — and he didn’t guess — is that they have… 

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Misal

Misal, the Ultimate Bombay Street Food

There’s no way to actually describe a Misal to you other than to say, you must eat this. You must, you must, you must. Misal is — like most of Bombay’s hallowed street foods — an explosion of flavors and textures. It’s a spicy curry of sprouted beans topped with raw onions, boiled potatoes, crispy farsan (fried chickpea… 

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Black Bean Noodles

Stir-Fried Black Bean Noodles in Orange Sauce

Hey, you, so what did you do this past weekend? I struck a Billy Joel concert off my bucket list when the legendary musician performed at the Nationals Park here in DC on Saturday. I can’t remember how long I’ve been in love with Billy Joel’s music — it probably started when I watched Uptown Girl at… 

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Bean Bulgur Salad

Bean Bulgur Salad With Pesto, Fat-Free

I have been really busy which is why you haven’t been seeing me around much, but I wanted to drop in today with a quick, easy and fat-free recipe for this delicious Bean Bulgur Salad with Pesto. This is the perfect brown-bag recipe, and it has so many textures and flavors that you’ll never miss… 

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Molette

Mexican Molletes with Mango-Basil Salsa

One of my favorite places in Mexico is the charming town of Morelia where we once spent a few days doing almost nothing. Nothing, except taking lazy strolls on streets dotted with devout Mexicans and students. Morelia is packed with beautiful churches and colleges, and if you’re not inclined to one or attending the other, the only thing… 

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Pasta with Broccoli and Beans

Garlicky Pasta with Broccoli and Beans

Here’s a pasta recipe for weeknights that’s delicious, packs a healthy wallop, and takes very little time to put together– in fact, no more time than it takes you to cook up that pasta to al dente perfection. My Garlicky Pasta with Broccoli and Beans. I used wholegrain spaghetti for this recipe, but feel free… 

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