Traditional Indian Teas

main-qimg-adaee3ab7be2f4ad8848dcc8e26e0d4c-cAround 10 years ago when I was in the USA I learnt about how cows are factory farmed in inhumane, unnatural conditions and fed with hormones. I decided to go vegan for 6 months and see how I felt. The most difficult thing for me was to get rid of the so called “Indian tea”, made by boiling milk, black tea and sugar. I had a hard time drinking bland tasteless herbal teas. But I told myself it is just a matter of 6 months, honey! Take it as an exercise of will power and self control.

And by the end of 6 months I had started liking herbal teas, my taste buds seemed to have become sensitive and not wanting a strong “kick giving” tastes. I wanted to give myself a treat with Indian tea. Started making myself the treat! And guess what…I could not bear the smell of it! I had to go out of the house while it boiled. After coming back I poured it into my cup and tried drinking it. But I felt like throwing up. Instead I threw away the tea.

I was very surprised how my taste buds had changed. Think for yourself what could be the health benefits of the Indian tea and then think for yourself what could be the health benefits of herbal teas (mint, lemongrass, bergamot, tulsi, oregano, thyme, and so many more).

Last year I went to India and my family members were forcing us to have the Indian tea. And we made fun of how it is not an Indian tea but a british tea and how we are still the slaves of the British :-). I visited a restaurant in Mysore and ordered a “Kashaya” and then it struck me that THIS is the INDIAN TEA 🙂

So I have been making herbal teas and Kashaya at home. Here is a very simple recipe. I make garam masala at home since I do not eat chillis, instead use black pepper. After sieving the garam masala I transfer the left over to a bottle (lets call it garam masala husk :-)) to use in Kashayas. Now here is the recipe for a kashaya:


  1. 1/2 tsp clove powder.
  2. 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder.
  3. 1/2 tsp black pepper powder.
  4. 1/4 tsp turmeric powder.
  5. 1/2 tsp cardamom powder.
  6. 1 tsp of xanthum gum powder(dinka in marathi). This gives the tea the desired thickness.
  7. 2 tsp of garam masala husk.
  8. 5 cups of water.
  9. 2 tablespoons honey.

Mix all ingredients except honey. Boil until the quality halves. Let it cool a bit and add honey and drink warm!

Today I had it with barley flour samosas and stone ground cilantro-mint-tamarind chutney 🙂


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Tawa Sabudana Vada/ Pan fried Yucca patties


I stopped eating fried food many years ago. And so I could not eat sabudana vada anymore. All these years I was making only Sabudana Khicdi at home. Today I tried sabudana vada on tawa. It was super delicious and needed very less oil to cook.


  1. 1.5 Cup Tapioca Peals/Sabudana soaked overnight. Make sure to just cover the peals with water. Too much water will make them soggy.
  2. 1 Cup ground crunch peanut powder. Use a stone mortar for better taste.
  3. 1″ ginger finely chopped
  4. 5 Sprigs of Cilantro finely chopped
  5. 1 green chili finely chopped
  6. 1 tsp roasted cumin seeds
  7. 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  8. 2 Potatoes cooked and mashed
  9. Salt to taste

Mix all ingredients well so that it makes a binding mixture. If it does not bind sprinkle some water and mix the ingredients again. Massage with the hands like you would do to make a dough.

Heat the pan, make small balls of the mixture, flatten in your palms and spread on the pan. Brush with coconut oil. Once done on one side turn over, brush with coconut oil and remove when done. Alternatively you can bake them.


Makes 15 vadas.

Serve with buttermilk. I am a vegan so I used almond milk, salt, lemon juice mixture and gave it a tadka/tempering of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves.

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Nut Pulp Patties


Ingredients for the patties:

  1. Pulp left from making milk from any nuts. In the photo the nut pulp is of hazelnuts and apricot seeds – 1/2 cup
  2. Parsely finely chopped – 1/4 cup
  3. Finely minced garlic – 3 large cloves
  4. Salt to taste
  5. 2 tsp of oil
  6. 1/2 cup wheat flour
  7. Water as per need

Process: Mix all ingredients well with water and make a dough. The dough will not feel like it sticks together and that is ok because we are not going to roll it rather pat in the palms to make the patties. Let the dough sit for 15-30 minutes. Divide into equal parts and make patties using the palms. Cook them on a large flat pan all together with a lid on the patties. The lid is important to keep the patties soft and moist. Turn over and cook until done with lid on.

Ingredients for the topping:

  1. 3 medium size carrots
  2. 1/2 cup loose parsley
  3. 1/8 cup raisins
  4. 1/4 cup pine nuts
  5. 1/2 lime’s juice
  6. 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  7. 1 tsp of salt

Process: Add all to a food processor and make a coarse mixture.

Serve: Scoop 2 tablespoons of topping onto each patty and serve. Makes 8 patties. We had it with warm nut milk of (apricot seeds, hazelnut, cacao powder, jaggery, rose-water)

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I love making such kind of patties for lunch along with a large salad and a chutney. I keep trying various flours and grains for such patties. This time the recipe is:

1. 1/4 cup Barley
2. 1/4 cup Quinoa
3. 1/4 cup White dry corn pieces
4. 2 small onions chopped fine
5. 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
6. Salt to taste
7. 1/2 cup water
8. 2 TBSP plantain flour

Soak first three items for 4 hours. Drain, wash, blend with water. Add the plantain flour. Mix well to make a batter, not too thin and to thick. Add rest of the ingredients and mix well. You should be able to pour the batter with a tablespoon on the pan. Turn when cooked on one side. Cook until cooked on the other side also.

Chutney: soaked and boiled tamarind with water, coriander leaves, dates, garlic – blend all together and serve with the patties.

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Another simple potato soup



1 Large potato (the softer soup variety)
1 medium size onion
10 chives
1 TBSP coconut oil
Salt, black pepper to taste
3 cups of water


Cut the potato and half of onion into big chunks and put to boil until soft, blend.
Make thin slices of the other half of onion and stir fry in coconut oil.
Finely chop chives.

Add all ingredients and serve! Serves two people for half a dinner or full dinner.

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Corn malt


I feel sad when I see moms giving hormone-filled milk and zero nutrition highly processed corn flakes mixed with poisonous white sugar to their little ones in morning breakfast. Here is a much easier and very quick nutritious breakfast you can provide to your kids and yourself.

1/4 cup dry white corn. (Corn can be substituted with various kinds of millets)
1 cup of assorted nuts and raisins and dates.
3 tablespoons of jaggery.
2 pinches cinnamon powder.
3 cups water.
1 tsp of coconut oil.
1 cardamom ground into powder.

Soak corn overnight.
Boil in water along with cinnamon powder until cooked.
Add cardamom powder, jaggery, oil and nuts.
Serve hot.

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Dec 2016 Food Photo Journal

Some friends have asked to share what I eat usually(vegan). In the past I have shared in google sheet, whats app. Now am trying it this way. I am not putting any effort into taking good photos so please bear with me 🙂

I usually do indian recipes but steamed version. Many things indian are not available where I live so I try to find substitutes.

Today is the last day of this journal. Hope it was helpful for my friends. Have a happy new year to you all!

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Lucuma/Luma Recipes

Lucuma powder is sold in the US at high prices and branded as a super food. It is the powder of a fruit which grows here very easily.

Fresh fruit is weird to taste and I could not eat it as is. So here are some delicious recipes:

  1. Creamy custard: Lucuma fruit, honey. Blend and serve.
  2. Smoothie: 20 Strawberries, 1 Lucuma, 2 cups of Coconut water, 1 tbsp Maple syrup, 1/4 tsp vanilla powder.
  3. Smoothie: quarter melon, 7 apricots, 1 lucuma, agave nectar.
  4. Ice-cream: 1 frozen banana 1, 1 lucuma. Blend and serve.
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Moringa Masoor Curry – Steamed Version


I made this curry in the traditional style following below video.

And then I made the steamed version of it. Steamed food is much healthier and is Satvik in nature. Traditional recipe too was delicious but heating oil and cooking food on stove top gives it a rajasik feeling for us. So whenever I want to learn a recipe I try the traditional way and then turn it into steamed version:-)


  1. 20 drumsticks, fiber removed, chopped into long pieces
  2. 3 tomatoes
  3. 1 onion
  4. ginger garlic paste (3 garlic cloves, 1″ ginger)
  5. split masoor lentils ( we do not get split variety here, we get only whole variety, to make with whole variety soak the lentils overnight. This time I had some split masoor lentils brought from the USA)
  6. salt, turmeric, coriander powder(1/4 tsp), cumin powder(1/8 tsp), black pepper powder(1/8 tsp)
  7. 1 Tbsp of coconut oil

For tempering:

  1. 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  2. 1/8 tsp cumin seeds
  3. 5 curry leaves
  4. 2 Tbsp of coconut oil


Mix all ingredients form 1-7, transfer to the steamer bowl and pour water to cover all ingredients.

Cook for 1.5 hours

Give tempering: heat oil in a big pan, add mustard seeds, once they start spluttering, add cumin seeds, curry leaves. With off the stove and pour the curry from the steamer boil into the pan. Serve with rice!

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Dry corn soup


1/4 cup of dry corn

1/4 tsp of cinnamon powder

3 black peppers

2 garlic cloves

3 cups of water

Bring all to boil and let the corn cook. Blend, add coconut oil and serve hot!

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