Spring time Asparagus and Tomato Salad

Spring is in full bloom around here in my beautiful Chicago. Although we have had a few rain soaked week-ends, I am enjoying this new bloom of life. Getting the garden ready and more so the Sun-room ready where we will soon be having almost every meal of week-ends.

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A spring time salad to go with this fresh new life. Delicious, healthy and home-made. We are making a concerted effort at eating healthier. That does mean cooking at home almost exclusively. It never fails to amaze me to see not only food is so much healthier but it also tastes so much better. It doesn’t have to be complicated. A simple salad like this Asparagus Salad is so easy to come together and adds so much value to your meal.

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Brown Rice and Millet Pancakes

I don’t need to give much introduction for this healthy and versatile item.  There are end less possibilities with what vegetables you can add to this yummy pancake. Add grated carrot or beets or tomato. Simply anything you fancy.

This is one of our go to week-night meal when Mommy gets home late and everyone is ready to eat the kitchen.



  • Brown Rice flour 1/2 cup
  • Millet Flour 1/2 cup
  • Egg 1
  • Onion 1/2 chopped in small pieces
  • Green Pepper 1/4 chopped in small pieces
  • Green Chili (optional) per taste grated. I used about 1/2 tsp
  • Ginger grated 1/2 tsp
  • Mint about 5 leaves chopped very small
  • Salt per taste. I used 1/8th tsp

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  • Whisk the egg in a separate bowl and keep aside
  • Mix Brown Rice Flour, Millet Flour, Onion, Green Pepper, Green Chili, Ginger, Salt and Mint in a large bowl. 
  • Add the Egg to the above mixture and mix thoroughly.
  • Adjust Salt and Green Chili
  • Thin out this mixture to a thinner than Pancake batter (or Uttapa batter) by adding water.
  • Spray non stick spray on a skillet.
  • Spread the batter on the skillet that should thinner than pancake consistency.
  • Let Cook and turn over. Both sides should be golden brown. Keep the heat to medium throughout cooking.




Ragda Pattice – White Peas with Potato Fritters – Indian Street Food


I don’t recall exactly when was the first time I had Ragda Patties but I think it was during one of our yearly summer vacations to our Grandparents house. There is one park that was close to my Grandparents house where the street vendors sold this yummy and spicy street food. When you think of a park in U.S., you think of may be an ice Cream truck but if you think of a park in Indian city, you think of all chaat items plus Ice cream. All the vendors shouting over the traffic noise to convince you how their item is the best in the city. When I had never visited U.S., I never realized how much I would miss these scenes but now after spending 15 years here, I miss it so much that I play the scene often in my mind’s eye and decide which vendor I will be visiting first when I am back to my beloved city of Pune. 

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Pear Walnut Salad with Blueberries


Abundance of Pears and Apples in the Winter months can be overwhelming. Especially after the calendar declares that it is Spring but the weather makes you wear a winter coat. I am still making the best I can with Pears. This yummy salad has been making rounds of my dinner table lately but it is so simple that I didn’t think about posting it. Then I thought, why not?


This salad is also making a good use of a Parmesan block that I bought on a whim.


  • Arugula a handful for each plate
  • Pear medium sized ripe but not fully ripe
  • Blueberries organic
  • Walnuts a handful
  • Parmesan cheese as much or as little as you want
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Lemon juice 11/2 tsp for each plate



  • Peel and cut Pear in cubes.
  • Roast Walnuts in a pan. Takes about 6-7 minutes on medium flame. Make sure to stir them.
  • Place Arugula in each plate. Top it with Pears, Walnuts and Blueberries.
  • Grate some Parmesan cheese on top.
  • Pour the Lemon juice and adjust Salt and Pepper.




Roasted Chickpea Salad


Almost the entirety of my 20s, I believed that cabbage was to be eaten only in one way, the way Maharashtrians make a simple Cabbage Saute. There was no way I would have believed that several years later, I would devour Cabbage in its raw format such as this salad. This Salad is great as a meal or as an accompaniment to a wonderful soup such as Butternut Squash soup is its cold where you live or Avocado Cucumber Soup if its rather Hot where you live.

Serves 1 for Lunch or 2 as a side salad

  • Purple Cabbage chopped 1/2 of small head
  • Chickpeas 1 can rinsed
  • Cherry Tomatoes about 12
  • Onion chopped 2 Tbsp
  • Corn Tortilla 2
  • Adobo Chipotle Chili powder – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Olive Oil 1 1/2 Tbsp
  • Cucumber cut small (optional) – 1 mini
  • Cilantro for garnish
  • Salt and Pepper as needed


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove Chickpeas from the can and rinse them well. Gently pat with a Kitchen towel to remove excess water and spread on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle Adobo Chipotle Chili on top and mix well using your hands. Pour over the Olive Oil so that all of the chickpeas are coated. Place in the oven and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until medium Crisp.
  2. Cut Purple Cabbage, Cucumber, Onion and Tomatoes and set aside.
  3. Remove the Chickpeas from oven when done.
  4. Place the Tortilla in the oven. Let the oven be in the off stage. Remove after about 5 minutes when its crisp. Cut Strips.
  5. Mix all the ingredients above and garnish with Cilantro.
  6. You can eat the Salad as is or pour choice of dressing such as Cilantro Vinaigrette or Thai Peanut Dressing






Basil Fried Rice


When you look at the list of ingredients, you are going to think this sounds like a Thai Fried Rice then why didn’t she say so. Well, look at it again. It says, Duck Sauce. Duck sauce is Chinese-American sauce so I couldn’t call it Thai Basil Fried Rice. When I started making the rice, I mentally scanned my pantry and thought I definitely have some Oyster sauce in the fridge. I made the Rice and then started taking out the sauces and…. no….Oyster…Sauce. Frantically thinking about options, I figured I could use, Duck sauce. The result was great though so you are seeing this recipe.

Also, just for my worried vegetarian friends, Duck sauce is not made of Duck. It is just a sweet and sour sauce, originally made to go with Peking Duck. That is where it derives the name from.


Serves 2 and a Toddler (just being specific)


  • Jasmine Rice cooked about 2 1/2 to 3 cups
  • Onion 1 medium cut in thin strips
  • Red Pepper 1 small cut in thin strips
  • Basil leaves 1 1/2 cups
  • Eggs 2 beaten
  • Garlic 2 large cloves minced
  • Duck Sauce 3 Tbsp
  • Soy Sauce 3 Tbsp
  • Fish sauce 2 Tbsp (skip if you are a vegetarian and increase quantity of Duck Sauce and Soy Sauce to make up)
  • Sugar 1 tsp
  • Salt as needed



  • Mix Duck Sauce, Soy Sauce,  Fish Sauce and Sugar and keep aside
  • Heat the woke on medium high heat. Add Oil and heat.
  • Add Onions and saute for a minute.
  • Add Garlic and saute until cooked but not burned
  • Add Red pepper and cook until almost done. It should still stay crisp.
  • Add the sauce mix and let it warm through.
  • Add the cooked Rice and using one fork in each hand, quickly but gently mix the sauce and rice together.
  • When mixed and hot, remove from heat
  • Add the Basil leaves. Keep some of them torn and some of them whole and mix again.
  • Check for Salt and add as needed.
  • Serve warm with a simple salad




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