Tag Archives: Garlic

Warm Salad of Barley, Beans & Vegetables in Garlicky Dressing

Warm Salad of Barley, Beans and Vegetables in Garlicky Dressing









today’s salad is very comforting and flexible

Barley, beans and vegetables enveloped in a garlicky tahini and yoghurt dressing provides a very comforting one pot meal.

Ingredients for Warm Salad of Barley, Beans and Vegetables in Garlicky DressingFlexibility is offered by way of additions, deductions and substitutions.

My recipe involves unhulled barley, kidney beans, broccoli, yellow pepper, cherry tomatoes and onions.

You can use chickpea, broad bean, cannellini or any other variety of beans you have handy. I used raw kidney beans which were soaked and cooked before being added. You can use canned beans if it is easier.

Similarly, you can use hulled, pot or pearl barley. Even quinoa or other grains would work well.

As for vegetables, the possibilities are endless. Use whatever is seasonal, fresh and cheap. Most vegetables would make a suitable match for the dressing.

Ingredients for the Garlicky Dressing

100 Grams plain yoghurt

1 Tablespoon tahini

1 Pod garlic

Salt to taste


  1. Peel and crush the garlic.
  2. Whisk the yoghurt and tahini till they are blended.
  3. Add the crushed garlic and salt to the yoghurt and tahini mixture.
  4. Mix well and refrigerate.

Ingredients for the Salad

250 Grams brocolli

10 Cherry tomatoes

1 Yellow pepper

3 small onions

3 – 4 tablespoons cooked beans

2 – 3 tablespoons cooked barley

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Juice of 2 limes or lemons

Salt to taste


  1. Wash and chop the broccoli into medium size pieces.
  2. Wash, de-seed, de-core and chop the pepper into medium size pieces.
  3. Wash the cherry tomatoes.
  4. Peel, wash and halve the onions.
  5. Put all the vegetables, beans and barley in a container which has tight fitting lid.
  6. Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pour this marinade over the vegetable-bean mixture.
  7. Mix well, cover and let this sit for 4 to 5 hours.
  8. When you are ready to cook, heat a wide based non-stick frying pan.
  9. When it is hot, add the vegetable-bean mixture along with marinade juices.
  10. Cook on high heat for 7 to 10 minutes till the vegetables are cooked through.
  11. Take off the heat and after about 5 minutes, add the garlicky dressing.
  12. Mix well ensuring that the dressing coats all the vegetables, beans and barley.
  13. Serve while it is still warm.

I had soaked and boiled the unhulled barley in a pressure cooker. Drank the barley water!

Cooked Unhulled Barley  Barley Water









The garlicky dressing is very simple to make and would make a yummy dip.

Garlicky Dressing










Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, The Asian Way

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, The Asian Way









This spaghetti almost didn’t get made since it was time for my dad to leave. Luckily, there was a change of plan and his stay got extended. On dad’s suggestion, I decided to replicate my signature spaghetti of olive oil, garlic and basil with currently-very-much-in-season fresh green garlic and coriander.

it is totally heavenly

I love the scent of fresh green garlic. It is more subtle and less pungent compared to the garlic we normally use. At the same time, it makes its presence felt in any dish you add it to.

Green garlic is a bit fiddly to clean and requires a lot of patience! But the end result is worth the effort you put in. If you can get your hands on some of this fresh vegetable, I would strongly urge you to try today’s recipe.

The following serves 2 persons.


250 Grams fresh green garlic

2 Packed cups fresh green coriander

2 Green chillies

200 Grams spaghetti or linguini

1/4 Cup good quality olive oil

Salt to taste

2-3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Firstly, clean the garlic. For this, you need to simply remove the hairy bits on the top of its head. Do this one garlic at a time. If the green stalk is fresh, retain it. Discard any yellow stalk.
  2. Next, chop the garlic and stalk, wash and keep aside.
  3. Clean and wash the coriander. If the stalk is tender, keep it.
  4. Wash and finely chop the green chillies.
  5. Place the olive oil, garlic, chillies and salt in a pot. Cover.
  6. Cook the spaghetti according to instructions given on the packet.
  7. When you put the spaghetti in boiling water and are timing it, get started on the sauce.
  8. Place the pot with oil, garlic and chillies, with the lid on, on a very low heat. The idea is to cook the garlic very gently. You don’t want to brown it or burn it. Keep an eye on it, stirring it occasionally.
  9. When the spaghetti is cooked, drain it and retain 1/4 cup water.
  10. Add the spaghetti, coriander and water to the oil and garlic.
  11. Mix it well, cover and let it cook for about 5 minutes.
  12. Transfer to spaghetti bowl, sprinkle some Parmesan and serve hot.


  1. I was out of spaghetti so used linguini instead. It worked just as well.
  2. You can use more olive oil and skip the water if you prefer.
  3. If you would like it spicy, add more green chillies.
  4. Don’t compromise on the quality of the olive oil you use in this recipe since it forms the base for the sauce.

This is what green garlic looks like as is and cleaned.

Green Garlic Waiting to be Cleaned  Green Garlic Cleaned








Doesn’t this Spaghetti Aglio e Olio look tempting?!

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

Panchkutiyu Shaak/Five Vegetables Cooked in Coriander, Coconut & Green Garlic

Panchkutiyu Shaak/Five Vegetables Cooked in Coriander and Coconut








traditional Gujarati delicacy of five types of vegetables cooked in a mixture of fresh coriander, coconut and fresh green garlic

My dad is very fond of purple yam (also known as kand, rataloo, violet yam), a vegetable currently in season.

After a two month stay in Hong Kong, he was stopping over before resuming his onward journey. I thought that he may like some home-cooked dinner after such an extended stay away from home so I asked him what I should cook. His first response was my signature spaghetti. But when he came to know that I had some purple yam in my larder, he changed his response to “anything with purple yam”!

So, I decided to make this panchkutiyu shaak using the yam and other seasonal vegetables.

my signature spaghetti patiently awaits its turn

For this recipe, green garlic is a must. It simply won’t taste the same with ordinary garlic. The quantity given may seem a lot but green garlic has a very delicate taste and  is not as pungent as its dry counterpart.

The following serves 4 people. Don’t worry if there is left-over; it tastes just as good for the next couple of days as long as you keep it refrigerated.

This is a complete meal and doesn’t really need any accompaniment.


400 Grams Purple Yam

8 – 10 Baby aubergine

250 Grams field beans (papdi)

2 Green bananas (raw)

250 Grams fresh green tuvar dal, also known as lilva dana or shelled peas

2 Packed cups freshly grated coconut

3 Packed cups fresh coriander (including stalk, if tender)

250 Grams green garlic

2 Tablespoons Coriander powder

2 Tablespoons Cumin powder

1 Tablespoon minced green chillies and ginger

1/4 Cup oil

1 Teaspoon asafoetida

Salt to taste


  1. First prep the vegetables.
  2. Peel and chop into largish cubes the purple yam. Keep it in water.
  3. Peel, wash and chop the green bananas.
  4. Top, tail, de-string and snap into two the field beans.
  5. Cut each aubergine into four and leave in some water.
  6. Wash and chop the coriander leaves.
  7. Top and peel the garlic, chop and wash. Take the green parts along with the white.
  8. In a bowl, mix the grated coconut, fresh coriander, green garlic, coriander powder, cumin powder, chilli-ginger paste and salt.
  9. Remove the yam and aubergine from water and place in a wide bottom pan. Throw in the field beans, fresh tuvar dal or peas and green banana.
  10. To the vegetables, add the coconut-coriander-spices. Combine well ensuring that all the vegetables are coated with this mix.
  11. Now, take a large pot and add oil.
  12. Once the oil heats up, add the asafoetida.
  13. Stir for a few seconds and add the vegetables along with any coconut-coriander masala clinging to the the pan.
  14. Add about half a cup of water. Stir, cover, lower the heat and let the vegetables cook for about an hour.
  15. Serve hot.

goes very well with rotis or phulkas with a smidgen of ghee on them

Vegetables that I used for Panchkutiyu Shaak

Vegetables used for Panchkutiyu Shaak









Fresh Coriander, Coconut and Green Garlic Base for Panchkutiyu Shaak

Fresh Coriander, Coconut and Green Garlic Base for Panchkutiyu Shaak









Cooked Panchkutiyu Shaak

Cooked Panchkutiyu Shaak









Green Chutney/Indian Pesto

Green Chutney/Indian Pesto









I have been wanting to post our recipe for green chutney ever since I started this blog. I say “our” because it is my mum’s recipe which I end up making so regularly that it has a semi-permanent home in my refrigerator.Ingredients for Green Chutney/Indian Pesto

doesn’t the chutney look a picture of verdant health

The recipe is very simple and requires only a handful of ingredients, as you can see from the photo on the right.

Green pepper (bell pepper/capsicum) is the twist which makes it extra special because it gives the chutney a nice body and also takes away the need to add water (to blend).

Serving Suggestions:

  1. A simple chutney sandwich is totally divine. Simply butter two slices of bread and slather some of this chutney in between. It can be addictive!
  2. Use it in noodles or stir fry.
  3. Goes very well with all types of dhokla, muthia and fritter.


Two packed cups fresh coriander

One green pepper

A piece of fresh ginger the size of your thumb

2 Heads of garlic*

2-3 Green chillies*

Salt to taste


  1. Clean and wash the coriander.
  2. Wash and coarsely chop the green pepper.
  3. Peel, wash and chop the ginger.
  4. Peel the garlic.
  5. Wash and chop the green chillies.
  6. Add all the ingredients in a mixer and blend till you get a smooth consistency.
  7. Taste for salt.
  8. Store in an airtight container.


  1. I like this chutney garlicky so I use 2 heads. You can reduce the amount if you don’t want it too pungent.
  2. The number of green chillies is personal preference. If you like it spicier, you can add more.
  3. This chutney keeps well for about 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Fat Free Pearl Barley Soup

Pearl Barley Soup









Run up to the festive season, my adventure with soup has begun! For last night’s dinner, I wanted to create a soup using one of the many grains I have in my kitchen cupboard.

enter the delightful pearl barley

English: Pearl barley (Hordeum vulgare) Deutsc...
English: Pearl barley (Hordeum vulgare) Deutsch: Graupen Nederlands: Gort (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s a very useful and interesting link to the different types of barley out there. In terms if nutrition value, pearl barley falls below hulled barley since it is stripped of the outer bran layer. Having said that, it is still more nutritious compared to white or brown rice.

I like the chewy texture of pearly barley. Add it to soup and you have a delightfully delicious, complete meal.

The soup I made was fat free but you can use a tablespoon of oil to fry the onions if you like.


3-4 Tablespoons pearl barley

150 Grams pumpkin

2 Tomatoes

One whole head of garlic

2 Onions

A generous pinch of allspice powder

Salt to taste


  1. First, we need to cook the pumpkin and the tomatoes.
  2. Wash and dice both, add a pinch of salt and a cup of water and boil them in a saucepan or a pressure cooker.
  3. While they are cooking, peel and chop the onions and garlic.
  4. Once the pumpkin and tomatoes are cooked, strain the liquid (stock) and keep aside.
  5. Make a puree of the cooked pumpkin and tomatoes.
  6. Heat a soup pot (or equivalent).
  7. Once it is hot, lower the flame and add the chopped onions and garlic along with salt to taste.
  8. Stir it around for a couple of minutes.
  9. Now, add the pearl barley, reserved stock, 2-3 cups of water and bring to boil.
  10. Lower the heat, cover and let this cook for about 20 minutes.
  11. After this, add the pureed pumpkin and tomatoes and the powdered allspice mix. Ad this stage, if you feel that it needs more water, add some.
  12. Stir well, cover and cook for further 20 minutes.
  13. Once the soup is cooked, let it sit for about 5 minutes before serving.


  1. Pumpkin skin is edible and nutritious so I don’t peel it. But you can do so if you like.
  2. You can substitute pumpkin with courgette.
  3. Sweat the onions in oil first if you prefer.

Courgette/Zucchini Steak with Bean Salad & Avocado dressing on a bed of spinach

Courgette Steak

For dinner last night, I fancied only vegetables. At the same time, I wanted to make something warm since the weather’s getting cold.

A ripe avocado (given by the same friend who had given me the hass one) was urging me

use me

There is no recipe as such but the following is how I put together a healthy, cosy but what looks like a sumptuous meal.

Courgette Steaks

Courgette jaune
Courgette jaune (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Washed and cut in half (along its length) a yellow courgette. Then, I marinated it in some umami paste along with lemon juice and olive oil. Just before cooking, I put everything in a hot pan. Cooked courgette for 10 minutes each on both sides. The end result was a lovely steak like vegetable. The reason I used yellow courgette was because they tend to have thicker skin which works well for such cooking method.

Bean Salad

Washed, soaked and boiled a cup of kidney beans with a pinch of salt. Rinsed them in cold water and doused them with a tablespoon of white wine vinegar and salt. Added two very finely chopped onions and let the salad sit for some 8 hours for the flavours to blend. Before eating, added some steamed sweetcorn kernels.

Avocado Dressing

Whipped 3 tablespoons plain, mild yoghurt with Coleman’s mustard and a couple of cloves of minced garlic. Added diced avocados. Left this outside for a couple of hours so that I could have it at room temperature.


Washed a bunch of spinach and put it in a saucepan with a lid. Cooked it with a pinch of salt for 5 minutes.

Bringing it all together

The spinach was sat on a plate on which came the courgette steaks along with the bean salad and avocado dressing.

A delicious, healthy, low-fat dinner.