Tag Archives: Coriander leaves

Three Bean Salad in a Herby Dressing

Three Bean Salad in a Herby Dressing








Whenever I visit my parents, they stock up on all my favourite foods. From healthy fruits and nuts to way-too-indulgent desserts and everything in-between, I am spoilt for choice.

One food item which invariably makes an appearance on the list is a tub of Marks & Spencer three bean salad. I am sure that there are plenty of very good variations out there but the Marks one has to be my favourite and my parents know it so make sure it is there to greet me on arrival!

Whenever I think of three bean salad, I think of that particular one and all the good family times associated with it.

certain foods have a way of evoking strong memories, a bit like people I suppose

This is my kooky version of the popular bean salad which can be had on the side or as a main course with some rustic bread.

Instead of the conventional vinegar dressing, I made some herb dressing with a hint of garlic which pairs very well with the beans and vegetables.

Also given my recent love for toasted seeds, I have added some sunflower and pumpkin seeds for texture and aroma.

This salad recipe is very adjustable. For instance, I used kidney bean, chickpea and cannellini bean but feel free to use whichever beans you fancy.

Same goes for the pepper. I used the yellow variety but you can use red or green, there is no right or wrong way.

Having said that, one ingredient which is a must for this is some good quality vinegar. I used cider vinegar; you can try it with simple white vinegar or red or white wine vinegar or even sherry vinegar.

Refrigerate any leftover salad, it will taste delicious the next day.

Ingredients for the Herby Dressing

1 Cup fresh coriander leaves and stalk (if tender)

1 Cup fresh mint

2 Tablespoons fresh dill

2-3 Garlic cloves

2 Tablespoons vinegar

2 Tablespoons olive oil

Juice of one lime or lemon

Salt to taste


  1. Wash the coriander, mint and dill leaves.
  2. Peel the cloves of garlic.
  3. Bung all the ingredients in a blender or a food processor.
  4. Once blended, remove to an air tight container and set aside.

Ingredients for Salad

2 Cups mixed beans of your choice, boiled

1 Yellow pepper

2 Onions

100 Grams french beans

1 Large carrot

Handful of fresh dill

2 Tablespoons toasted seeds of your choice

Herby dressing as given above

Salt to taste


  1. Firstly, you want to marinate the beans and onions in the dressing so that they can absorb the flavour. For this, peel, wash and very finely chop the onions.
  2. Add the herby dressing to the boiled beans and chopped onions and set aside for a couple of hours.
  3. When you are ready to make the salad, wash, de-core, de-seed and finely slice the pepper.
  4. Wash and coarsely grate the carrot.
  5. Top, tail and wash the french beans (snap into two if too long) and steam them till just tender.
  6. Chop and wash the fresh dill leaves.
  7. In a big mixing bowl, combine the beans and onion in herby dressing with the sliced pepper, grated carrots, steamed french beans, chopped dill and toasted seeds.
  8. Mix thoroughly so that all the ingredients are coated with the dressing.
  9. Have it as is or chill for a while before serving.


  1. During the last mixing stage, if you find the quantity of dressing insufficient for the salad, whisk together some olive oil with mustard and pour this over the salad.



Undhiyu, The Surti Way

Undhiyu, The Surti Way









Undhiyu is a specialty of Gujarat cooked during the winter months. It is specially enjoyed during Makar Sankranti (also known as Uttarayana) which indicates the arrival of spring in India. This falls between 13th – 15th January each year.

In the state of Gujarat, 14th January is kite flying day and a meal of undhiyu, puri and matho is de rigueur ( a bit like turkey and Thanksgiving or haggis and Burns Supper).

For a vegetable-centric dish, undhiyu is pretty elaborate and requires you to start preparing either several days ahead or atleast one day before you plan to cook.

The basic components are purple yam, green garlic, sweet potato, baby aubergine, surti papadi, banana, potato, fresh coriander, fresh coconut and methi (fenugreek) muthia.

There are several interpretations of this famous Gujarati dish and each family is likely to have their own version handed down over generations.

My father is from Surat, a state well known as much for its food as for its textile and diamond trade. The following is our family recipe which I got from my mother (who, in turn, got it from my paternal grandmother who, no doubt, would have learnt it from her mother-in-law, who… you get the picture!).

In our version of undhiyu, we don’t use dry garlic (it has to be green garlic or no undhiyu!); we don’t fry the muthia; we only use the vegetables mentioned in this post; we don’t add sugar; we don’t include any souring agent like tomato or lemon juice.; we don’t use peanut or sesame seeds

The only difference between my mother’s and my grandmother’s recipe is the use of turmeric. My grandmother’s version excludes this spice whereas my mother started adding it, given turmeric’s many health benefits.

I got talking to my friend Meher last week who was regaling me with her undhiyu experience (she had bought it ready prepared) after which I happened to be speaking to one of my aunts in Surat who told me that she had made the season’s first round of undhiyu.

On an impulse, I placed an order for the otherwise elusive surti papadi and purple yam with the guy who supplies me my vegetables. Next day, I got onto Skype with my mum to get this recipe.

Some things are best done on a whim; had I known beforehand how much time and effort is required to make undhiyu, I would probably not have done so. This one is not for the fainthearted. Only make it if you are ready to put in the effort or if you have family members or friends helping you in the kitchen. But the end result is definitely worth it, specially since you get to eat home-made undhiyu only once or twice in a year.

The other good thing is that this is one of those recipes virtually impossible to make as a single portion or in small quantity. Also, it tastes just as good the day(s) after it is cooked. So any extras can be refrigerated and enjoyed more than once.

The following should be sufficient for 6 people.

Methi MuthiaIngredients for methi muthia

2 Cups muthia flour (if you can’t get ready muthia flour, you can use a combination of wheat flour, semolina and chickpea flour in equal portion)

2 Cups chopped and washed methi leaves

1 Tablespoon minced ginger and green chillies

1 Teaspoon turmeric powder

1 Teaspoon coriander powder

1 Teaspoon cumin powder

Salt to taste

A pinch of bicarbonate of soda


  1. Combine all the ingredients till they are properly amalgamated.
  2. While you are bringing it all together, see if you can make small oval shaped rolls out of this. If not, add a couple of tablespoons of water to moisten the mixture.
  3. Make oval shaped balls the size of one-third of your fist. You should get 18 to 20 muthia.
  4. Set aside.


  1. You can do this a couple of days beforehand if it is easier. Refrigerate the muthia till ready to use them.

Ingredients for Surti UndhiyuIngredients for undhiyu

500 Grams surti papadi

500 Grams purple yam

250 Grams sweet potato

250 Grams baby aubergine

250 Grams potato

4 Raw green bananas

500 Grams green garlic

500 Grams fresh coriander

Flesh of 2 whole coconuts

2 Tablespoons coriander powder

2 Tablespoons cumin powder

2 Teaspoons turmeric powder

2 Tablespoons minced ginger and green chillies

4 Tablespoons oil

1 Tablespoon asafoetida

Bicarbonate of soda

18-20 Methi muthia (as given above)

Salt to taste


  1. First, we prepare the coriander-coconut masala mix for undhiyu. For this, clean, chop and wash the coriander. Retain the stalk if tender.
  2. Clean, chop and wash the green garlic. Use the green stem as well. Set aside about 4 tablespoons of the chopped green garlic.
  3. Finely grind the coconut flesh.
  4. In a mixing bowl, add the fresh coriander, green garlic (not the 4 tablespoons you have set aside), coconut, minced ginger and green chillies, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, salt to taste and a large pinch of bicarbonate of soda.
  5. Mix everything together and set aside.
  6. Next, we prep the vegetables.
  7. De-string the surti papadi and open the pods. Wash and keep aside.
  8. Peel and cut the purple yam into big pieces.
  9. Wash and cut into half the potato.
  10. Wash and cut into big chunks the sweet potato.
  11. Wash and slit the baby aubergine, retaining the stem.
  12. Wash and slit the green banana.
  13. Divide the coriander-coconut mixture into two.
  14. Mix one part of the coriander coconut mixture and a pinch of bicarbonate of soda with the surti papadi.
  15. Now, take the second part of the coriander-coconut mix and divide it into two once again. Use one part to stuff the baby aubergine and green banana. Do this carefully, you don’t want to break the vegetables.
  16. Once you have stuffed the banana, cut them into half or three pieces, depending on their size.
  17. Mix the remaining coriander-coconut masala with the purple yam, sweet potato and potato.
  18. So now, you have three lots of vegetables. (1) Surti papdi mixed with the coriander-coconut mixture, (2) Stuffed baby aubergine and banana, and, (3) Chopped purple yam, sweet potato and potato combined with the coriander-coconut mixture.
  19. Next, take a large cooking pot and put it on high heat. Add the oil and once this is heated, add the asafoetida and a large pinch of bicarbonate of soda.
  20. Add the surti papdi along with all the masala clinging to it. Add 2 cups of water. Mix gently, lower the heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  21. Uncover the pot and add the methi muthia in one layer.
  22. On top of the muthia, make a layer of the stuffed aubergines, purple yam, potato and sweet potato.
  23. Lastly, make a layer of the stuffed banana.
  24. If you have any coriander-coconut mixture remaining, you can sprinkle it on top of the banana.
  25. Seal the mouth of the cooking pot with double layered kitchen foil. Make sure that the foil covers the edges, you don’t want any steam to escape.
  26. Cover with the lid of the cooking pot, lower the heat and let the vegetables cook for 1.5 hours.
  27. At the end of the cooking time, take the pot off the heat and let it sit for 15 minutes before opening.
  28. Garnish with the green garlic you have set aside and serve.


  1. Quantity of green garlic may seem a lot but by the time you remove the hair, its weight reduces.
  2. When you are dishing out the undhiyu, make sure that each serving includes one banana, one aubergine, one sweet potato, one potato, some papdi, one purple yam and one muthia.
  3. You can clean the papdi a couple of days beforehand. Keep it in the refrigerator.
  4. Clean the coriander and garlic on the day you are cooking. These have to be absolutely fresh.
  5. Coriander-coconut mixture forms the masala base for the vegetables. Err on the side of caution and make more of this. If you have mixture leftover after stuffing and mixing, you can add it to the papdi or sprinkle on top of the banana before sealing. If you run short, the undhiyu won’t taste as good.
  6. Undhiyu goes well with puris but if you are counting calories, enjoy it with roti or chapati.

Coriander Coconut Masala Mix for Undhiyu

Coriander Coconut Masala Mix for Undhiyu









Surti Papadi with Coriander Coconut Masala Mix for Undhiyu

Surti Papadi with Coriander Coconut Masala Mix for Undhiyu









Stuffed Baby Aubergine and Raw Banana for Surti Undhiyu

Stuffed Baby Aubergine and Raw Banana for Surti Undhiyu









Layering the Surti Undhiyu

Layering the Surti Undhiyu









Now the hard work is done, wait patiently!

Surti Undhiyu Cooking Away









Undhiyu, The Surti Way

Undhiyu, The Surti Way









Coriander & Coconut Chutney/Asian Pesto

Coriander and Coconut Chutney









So far this week, the theme seems to be green what with green baingan pohe and green chicken curry. Which brings us to today’s recipe for a very verdant looking chutney.

Coriander (Photo credit: Ruby’s Feast)

This chutney is very easy and quick to make, requires no cooking and is versatile. Enjoy it with idli, dosa, uttapam, dhokla, muthiya, as a sandwich spread or consider it an Asian pesto and stir it in oriental style noodle recipe.

will keep in the refrigerator for 5 days


One bunch fresh coriander

Half cup fresh coconut, grated

2-3 Green chillies

Small piece of fresh ginger

Salt to taste


  1. Prep the coriander. Remove any woody bits. Retain the stalk if fresh. Wash.
  2. Peel, wash and chop the ginger.
  3. Put all the ingredients in a mixer, add a little bit of water and grind till you get a smooth, chutney-like consistency.
  4. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.

Amaranth Seed Fritters/Amaranth Seed Cutlets/Amaranth Seed Burger

Amaranth Seeds Fritters

Amaranth is a versatile genus whose leaves, seeds and plants are used for various purpose. Go here if you would like more information on its properties and health benefits.

I had a packet of Himalayan amaranth seeds lying around in my kitchen cupboard and didn’t know how to use them.

note to sellers: please provide instructions or recipe on the packaging!

Did a bit of research on the internet and settled upon this recipe. I had to slightly modify it but the end result was still delicious. The fritters are soft on the inside with a nice crunchy texture on the outside.


1 cup amaranth seeds

2 cups water

2 boiled potatoes

1 cup shelled peas

One small bunch fresh coriander

2-3 green chillies (or to taste)

5-6 cashew nuts

A handful of quick cooking oats

Salt to taste

1-2 teaspoon oil


  1. Firstly, you need to cook the amaranth seeds and peas. For this, boil water and add a stock cube if you have one handy (I used a vegetable one which gave it a nice aroma). Once the water has boiled, add the amaranth seeds and peas. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. The ratio of water to seeds should be 2:1. Here, I boiled two cups of water to which one cup of amaranth seeds were added.
  2. At the end of 20 minutes, the seeds should be cooked. In my case, the mixture was not completely dry. It had paste-like consistency so I added a handful of instant oats, switched off the gas and let it sit, covered, for half hour. I am glad I did this as the oats absorbed any excess moisture and given how healthy oats are, I think I will add them in the future as well.
  3. While the seeds are cooling, take out a chopper or a food processor and finely chop the cashew nuts, coriander and chillies (no water, you don’t want a paste). The original recipe calls for peanuts which I didn’t have so I substituted with cashews.
  4. Mash the potatoes.
  5. Once the seeds are cool enough to handle, add the coriander, cashews, chillies from the chopper along with mashed potatoes and salt to taste.
  6. Shape them into fritters. At this stage, I had refrigerated them for a few hours to harden them a bit.
  7. When you are ready to eat,  heat a spoonful of oil in a pan and cook the fritters for 10-15 minutes each side on low heat. They are very delicate so please do not touch them till you are sure the under side is browned. In my case, this was 15 minutes. The cooking time will vary depending on your burner.

serve with ketchup, chutney or hot sauce and green salad

I am so glad that I finally got the courage to try out amaranth seeds. I have fallen in love with them and look forward to more experiments.