Steamed flattened Rice Dish

Steamed flattened Rice Dish



On a cold sunday morning when I look out the window, its raining outside and the clouds are consumed by fog, my heart was seeking for a hot mug of coffee and some hot breakfast dish to go with it while I lay under the blanket:)

Suddenly a dish comes to my mind. A very dear friend had mentioned the dish and it stayed in my sub conscious for a while now….so quickly got up and turned on my coffee machine for a hot cup of coffee.

The steamed flattened rice in India, commonly known as Chura or Poha, is rice which is flattened into flat, light, dry flakes. This dish is very nutritious and is a great snack or great for breakfast/ brunch.



2 cups of flattened rice

3-4 green chilies finely chopped

1 teaspoon of Mustard seeds

1 teaspoon of turmeric

4-5 curry leaves

1 inch of ginger finely chopped

2-3 garlic cloves finely chopped

Salt to taste

Vegetable oil

1 teaspoon of lemon juice

1/2 cup of peanuts (optional)

Cilantro for garnish


Firstly, take a sieve and add the flattened dry rice flakes to it. Take a nonstick pan and add some vegetable oil to it under medium flame. Once the pan gets warm, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves and wait for it to splutter. Add finely chopped ginger, garlic,peanuts and onion to the pan and saute well. Add turmeric and salt to taste and mix well.

While that is cooking, let cold water run through the sieve with flattened rice flakes for about 3-4 minutes and make sure it is soaked completely. Transfer the wet flattened rice flakes to the pan with onions cooking and mix everything well. Now cover the pan with a lid for 5 minutes and let it cook. Remove the lid and let cook for 2 more minutes so all the water evaporates and gives a crunch to the rice flakes. Add lemon juice and mix well. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Serve with a mint cilantro chutney or eat it as is!!!!Enjoy!

With much love from my kitchen to yours…….










My Travels/ restaurant picks in Virginia beach.

My Travels/ restaurant picks in Virginia beach.


I have been wanting to start this new category which helps people find some good vegetarian offering restaurants during their travels.

During my recent travel to VA beach, I found 3 gems of restaurants which offered excellent vegetarian choices. Usually I look for more vegetarian choices on the menu, quality of the food, taste and flavor profile of the dishes before I am completely impressed and have to write about the restaurant.

So lets do this:


  1. TUPELO HONEY:  Tupelo Honey is one awesome place and the Chef is Eric Gabrynowicz. Chef Eric is a four-time James Beard Award semifinalist, Top Newcomer from Zagat was voted Food and Wine Magazine’s “Peoples Best New Chef- New York.” He brings Tupelo Honey Southern inspired dishes that are simply crafted and made from scratch with responsibly sourced ingredients that bring the best of every season.       Dishes we ordered and ate: My pick for cocktail which you can never go wrong is Tupelo Margarita was so smooth and perfect drink for the evening paired with an Appetizer like Blistered Spicy Okra with buttermilk ranch dip. For main course, my favorite pick was the Cauliflower steak with parsnip puree. I have never come across a dish so healthy grease free baked just enough to give the perfect crunch at the same time cooked so well. The icing on the cake was their unique dessert which came in mason jars and my most favorite pick was the Banana bread pudding – hands down! Let me tell you the one thing that blew me away was on the kids menu – there was a veggie burger which was delicious and my daughter wiped her plate clean.(
  2. WHISKEY KITCHEN circa 2014: At Whiskey Kitchen, they have partnered with outstanding local vendors, and hired a team of motivated employees who are all inspired to share our mission of bringing authentic, honest and regional cuisine to their community.My recommendations would be the Strawberry jalapeno cocktail. I love spicy cocktails but this one was so smooth. They use fresh strawberries ( all the fruits and vegetables are from an all natural local sustainable farm) and jalapenos which is de seeded just enough to leave that slight kick of spice at the end of your palette.For Appetizers we ordered Buffalo cauliflower bites which used a WK red sauce. I must say the sauce is a bit tangy so if you like that you must definitely order it. I liked the Jalapeño popper pizza which was different and had just the right amount of spice kick to it. For the mains, we ordered the Beet burger which was delicious and the Fiesta Bowl was out of the world. The corn straws that come with this dish is amazing. (
  3. Masala Bites: Nestled in Red Mill Commons shopping center of Virginia Beach, Masala Bites is rapidly becoming an Indian culinary hotspot. My recommendations here would be Gobi Manchurian for appetizer, couple favorites for the mains-
    Paneer Makhani, Mewa Malai Kofta and Amchuri Bhindi Masala. Let me tell you guys the bread was simply out of this world – we got the Garlic Naan and the Amritsari Kulcha yummy yum! It is a must try! Its fresh and hot out of the clay oven or tandoor. Simply amazing! (
Visit to Hollywood Studios in LA – CUT THROAT KITCHEN PREVIEW!

Visit to Hollywood Studios in LA – CUT THROAT KITCHEN PREVIEW!

I am so excited to write a post again and talk about my experience filming for Cut Throat Kitchen in Hollywood Studios, LA. Alton Brown is my all time favorite and I am so excited to finally meet him and my fellow competitors in the show.


As you all know, Cut Throat Kitchen is not just a food show. It involves a lot of strategic moves and planning every move wisely so I dont get eliminated.

I will definitely say that it is going to be such a different experience than cut throat kitchen. I arrive in LA to film the episode :

As you all know I am a big Foodie and so trying to eat at one of the yummiest places and trying to relax before the show tomorrow. And not to forget, I had the chance to meet some great personalities like Mr Pen and Teller in this trip and to tour Hollywood studios.

I am so excited and nervous at the same time not knowing what I am getting into but trying my best to relax now so :

Please tune in tomorrow at 9 pm on Food Network to watch me on Cut Throat Kitchen with none other than my favorite Alton Brown!!!!

I will be posting in detail talking about my experience filming and being in the show so dont forget to tune back in to by blog again…

Until then…..loads of love from my kitchen to yours – please visit my blog tomorrow to get a recipe of my vegetarian version of crab cake which is delicious!!!!



Cooking demo @ Williams Sonoma on 10/28

Cooking demo @ Williams Sonoma on 10/28

Hello everyone,

I wanted to invite everyone to my cooking demo @ Williams Sonoma at the Short Hills Mall, NJ on 10/28 from 2 to 5 pm. I am going to be showing you how to cook up some quick and healthy horderves in no time ! Also, I am going to be using the ATHENS MINI PHYLLO SHELLS! With the holiday season around the corner- you will be amazed as to how quickly you can come up with fancy horderves using Athens Mini Phyllo shells in no time and impress your guests!!!

I wanted to thank everyone for making it to the event! I had a fantastic time cooking as always and I hope that all of you who came in  had a great time tasting my food as well. I also promised a lot of people that I would post my recipe so please look up Savory Phyllo Shells with Onion Tomato Chutney, Goat Cheese and Cilantro under the Recipes section.

Initially Chef Laura Edwards had requested that I come early and start my demo at 12 pm and wrap up by 2pm due to the impending hurricane warning.  But thanks to all of you who came by today- I was at the store cooking up my chutney and filling my fillo cups with chutney and goat cheese up until 4.00pm. I was forced to stop since I ran out of my most ingredients then:))) else would have loved to stay till store closing lol!

I am sure a lot of you were amazed to see how quickly you can come up with a tasty healthy yet delicious horderves using the ATHENS MINI PHYLLO SHELLS.

It took me less that 15 minutes to make the Savory Phyllo Shells with Onion Tomato Chutney, Goat Cheese and Cilantro and to be honest I had both kids and adults come back to pick more than one from my tray!!!!which I was very glad about.

What I noticed was that not many were aware that the ATHENS MINI PHYLLO SHELLS bake within 3 minutes into crispy light pockets of heaven. I guess all the kids that walked in today became huge fans of the phyllo shells and I had a lot of moms asking me where they can purchase them. I had an availability list printed out so everyone knows where to get them from and its available in the freezer aisle of most supermarkets.

Please email me @ if you cannot find it and I shall email you the availability list.

So here are some pictures from the event today. Hope you enjoy.

A lot of people were interested in taking some cooking lessons from me, some were interested in catering for parties , some in kids cooking classes and a lot of them were up for Girls Night Out Parties! So please email me @ and I can definitely work with you to organize any of these classes or parties at very reasonable costs!

Thanks much again to all !

Please tune in to my blog for future events and more recipes!


“ACTIFRY”- the latest favorite gadget in my kitchen

“ACTIFRY”- the latest favorite gadget in my kitchen

ACTIFRY by TFAL was introduced to me by one of my friends Michele. When she said to me that ACTIFRY uses 1 teaspoon of oil to fry anything starting from potatoes to any veggies like beans, carrots, zucchini you name it and these veggies get crispy in 20 minutes or less with ONE teaspoon of oil!

My blog screams out healthy and I was skeptical but knowing me, I knew I was going to try and test it out. My first trial with ACTIFRY was with BITTERGOURD also known as BITTERMELON! I am not sure how many of you have heard about this vegetable or eaten it but from the name it is a bitter vegetable that has to be seasoned well to cut out its bitterness.

Why Bittergourd? 

Bittergourd is a popularly used and scientifically proven vegetable that has the ability to lower blood glucose in diabetics. 

Very low in calories.  The pods are rich in phytonutrients like dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants.

 Bitter melon notably contains phyto-nutrient, polypeptide-P; a plant insulin known to lower blood sugar level

Fresh pods are an excellent source of folates, vitamin-C and flavonoids such as beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthins. It also contains good amount of vitamin A.  

Also a good source of Niacin (vitamin B-3), Pantothenic acid (vit.B-5), Pyridoxine (vit.B-6) and minerals such as iron, zinc, potassium, manganese and magnesium.

Generally, people try to avoid this vegetable for its bitterness but if you weigh the health benefits and if you can find a way to cook it well by cutting off the bitterness then

its a gifted vegetable that should be included in all our diets!

My recipe also includes the use of 1 red potato just because I have tried the combination of bitter gourd with potatoes and it is truly delicious!

I used 2 Bittergourds and to cut the bitterness initially, I chop off the spikes that it has on the surface a little bit because that has the most bitterness.

Then I chop the ends of the vegetable and start cutting it out in round circles or rings. I did not use the pods and took them out but you may throw that in as well if you like! I also chop 1 red potato into wedges and 1/2 an onion lengthwise:)

The ACTIFRY comes with a green teaspoon that can be used to measure oil. I open the ACTIFRY lid,  throw in the cut bittergourd as well as the wedged potatoes and the onions.

I sprinkle some salt, lemon pepper(i love tangy!!!) cayenne and a pinch of curry powder. I then add the oil that I have taken in the green teaspoon and pour it so that it covers most of the veggies!

I close the lid, set the timer(there’s a timer button where you can set for 20 minutes and if you want more crispy increase the timer to another 10 minutes or so).

and then PRESS THE BUTTON “ON”! I sit on my couch, watching MASTERCHEF on Fox and wait for the timer to beep! People, I am thinking how crisp can it get(saracasm)

and I am completely mistaken and the “ACTIFRY” truly proves me wrong:(

In 20 minutes I get crispy bitter gourd and potatoes and I ATE A WHOLE BOWL!!!!!TRUST ME guys- its worth the money- IF U LIKED FRIED AND ARE A HEALTH FREAK like me -get the “ACTIFRY”!

Its fantastic to have in everyone’s kitchen.

Hope you enjoyed and promise to try BITTERGOURD- ITS A MIRACLE VEGETABLE!

With much love as always…….