Tag Archives: Mushrooms

Mushroom & Mixed Sprouts Bajra Idli/Pearl Millet Idli with Mushroom & Mixed Sprouts

Mushroom & Mixed Sprouts Bajra Idli

  • Difficulty: easy
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Mushroom & Mixed Sprouts Bajra Idli







another kooky idli recipe from my kooky collection

There are some foods which are my “go to” dishes simply because they are time saving, labour saving, healthy, delicious and versatile. Using the base as a foundation, I can experiment, add, subtract knowing that the end result will turn out just fine. Idli is one such item.

Once you get the hang of the basics of fermentation, making idlis is a doddle. Soak, grind, leave to ferment and once the batter is fermented, you are good to go. Let your imagination run wild and play around with different types of grains and vegetables.

Today’s recipe is made of pearl millet batter and includes mushrooms and mixed sprouts. The combination may sound unusual because we don’t usually associate mushrooms with recipes from the southern part of India (I say usually, there may be exceptions).

If you are a fan of mushrooms, definitely give this one a go. These idlis are denser compared to the conventional ones but are super healthy, super yummy and super satisfying.

Serve with sambar and/or chutney. I had mine with carrot and coconut chutney.


1/2 Cup bajra grains

1/4 Cup urad dal

1 Tablespoon brown or regular rice

1 Tablespoon fenugreek seeds

200 Grams button mushroom

1/2 Cup mixed sprouts

1 Tablespoon paste of green chillies and ginger

1-2 Tablespoons instant oats

Salt to taste

Ghee to grease idli moulds


  1. Wash and soak the bajra grains, urad dal, rice and fenugreek seeds for about 8 to 10 hours.
  2. Grind them into batter of pouring consistency.
  3. Leave the batter to ferment in a warm place.
  4. Fermentation can take anything from 6 hours to 36 hours.
  5. Once the batter is fermented, you are ready to make the idlis.
  6. Wipe/wash and roughly chop the mushroom.
  7. Add the mushroom, sprouts, paste of chilli and ginger, instant oats and salt to taste to the idli batter.
  8. Mix well.
  9. Grease the idli moulds with a little bit of ghee.
  10. Pour the batter into the moulds and steam for about 40 to 45 minutes. You know that the idlis are cooked if you insert a toothpick or a knife and it comes out clean.
  11. Once cooked, remove the moulds from the steamer and let the idlis rest for about 5 minutes.
  12. Gently run a toothpick or a knife around the edges of the idlis to loosen them.
  13. Enjoy hot.


Healthy Maggi Noodles with Vegetables 2

Healthy Maggi Noodles with Vegetables 2

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Healthy Maggi Noodles with Vegetables 2








I don’t usually stock Maggi noodles but have “accidentally” landed up with a large pack so decided to have them for dinner last night.

like my previous Maggi recipe, this one is also packed with vegetables to ensure a balanced one-pot meal

The addition of onion, cherry tomato, green pepper, carrot and mushroom makes this a guilt free bowl of Maggi and comprehensively provides you with your share of 5-a-day (or is it 7-a-day now?!).

I don’t eat enough mushrooms so decided to experiment with them in this recipe. They make a good fit. Also added some nutrient rich, fresh, basil which provides a pleasant twist.

Are you a Maggi fan? If so, how do you make yours?


2 Cakes Maggi noodles

2 Tastemaker sachets (come with the noodles)

1 Large onion

8-10 Cherry tomato

1 Green pepper

200 Grams button mushrooms

1 Carrot

2-3 Green chilli

A handful of fresh basil leaves

1-2 Tablespoons grated cheese (I used Cheddar)

1 Teaspoon chilli sauce

1-2 Teaspoons olive oil

Salt to taste


  1. Peel, wash and finely chop the onion.
  2. Wash and slice the green chilli.
  3. Wash and finely chop the green pepper (I kept the core and the seeds).
  4. Wash and split the cherry tomato in half.
  5. Wash and coarsely grate the carrot.
  6. Wipe/wash the mushrooms and, depending on their size, quarter or halve them.
  7. Wash and shred the basil leaves.
  8. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan.
  9. Once it is hot, lower the heat and add the chopped onion, chilli and green pepper.
  10. Add salt to taste, mix well, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  11. Next, add the cherry tomato and again cover and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  12. Lastly, add the mushrooms and basil. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  13. Uncover and add about 2 cups of water.
  14. Increase the heat and once the water comes to a rolling boil, add the tastemaker, chilli sauce and cheese.
  15. Finally, add the noodle cakes and carrots. Make sure that the cakes are not sitting on top of each other. Gently loosen them with a fork and mix well.
  16. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes.
  17. Enjoy hot.

Marmite Spaghetti, The Kooky Way

Marmite Spaghetti, The Kooky Way









“First, I would like to thank my new blogger friend Teagan of Teagan’s Books for inspiring me to get into the kitchen for Nigella’s Spaghetti with Marmite. On her blog, Teagan has started Three Ingredients Serial which she describes as “a sort of culinary mystery”. Each new episode features three ingredients sent in by her readers. The latest episode features my favourite marmite by way of Nigella’s spaghetti recipe. As soon as I read it, I was like “I have got to make that”.”

“Which brings me to my second thank you of the night, my sister who had first told me about Nigella’s Spaghetti with Marmite. At that time as well, I was like “oh, I must make that” and had even bookmarked the page from Nigella’s website but never got around to it till I read Teagan’s latest episode.”

“Teagan and my sister, without you both, this post may not have come so thank you.”

MarmiteYes, yes, I am prepping you for the forthcoming Oscars and speeches galore :-). So now I stop my speech and I get off my faux Oscar stage to tell you about one of THE most easiest, THE most delicious and THE most memorable spaghetti dinners I have ever cooked (seriously, thanks to Teagan and my sister).

I am really and truly kicking myself as to why I did not make this any sooner

I know that marmite is one of those foods which those who have eaten either love of hate. I belong to the love camp as you can see by the industrial size marmite jar I have in my kitchen!

but I am pretty sure that even those who are not marmite-converts would like this spaghetti

As you can see by the photo, I have improvised Nigella’s recipe which is simply spaghetti, butter and marmite.

Yesterday, I had a pretty long and hectic day with no time for lunch and, therefore, I wanted to add some vegetables to the spaghetti to make the dinner more balanced and nutritious. I decided to pair the original recipe with mushrooms and green peas as I felt that they would work well with marmite. Also, I was out of spaghetti so used linguine (same thing to my mind although some purists may disagree). And the experiment totally worked.

So here’s my kooky version of Nigella’s Spaghetti with Marmite.


70-85 Grams dry spaghetti or linguine

200 Grams mushrooms

1/2 Cup green peas

1 Onion

2 Fresh red chillies

1 Tablespoon marmite

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Salt to taste

Freshly grated Parmesan (1 tablespoon to cook and some extra to serve)


  1. Boil the spaghetti/linguine according to instructions on the packet. Drain and set aside.
  2. Also set aside about half cup of water from the drained spaghetti, you will need it later.
  3. Wash/wipe and slice the mushroom.
  4. Peel, wash and slice the onion.
  5. Wash the green peas.
  6. Wash and finely slice the red chilli.
  7. Dilute marmite in the half cup reserved water.
  8. Add the olive oil, sliced onion, chill and a pinch of salt in a wide based pan.
  9. Put the pan on low heat, cover and let the onions cook for 5 to 7 minutes.
  10. Uncover, throw in the peas, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  11. Uncover, add the mushroom and marmite mixed with water. Stir, cover and cook for about 5 minutes.
  12. Uncover, add the boiled spaghetti/linguine and 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese. Mix well, check for salt, add more if needed, cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  13. Transfer to a pasta bowl and eat hot with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan.

heavenly with a glass of full bodied red wine

Nutty Mushroom Soup

Nutty Mushroom Soup









I love all varieties of mushrooms in all types of dishes. Be they stuffed, sauteed, on a pizza, made into a pate, in a stir-fry, saucy, mushrooms can hold their own against other vegetables.

Given my penchant for these rubbery gems, it is surprising that I didn’t get around to making a mushroom soup sooner ever since I have started my alternate-day-soup regime.

For today’s recipe, I decided to throw in some nuts to give the soup a bit of creamy finish. I also added some chopped mushrooms to the pureed ones for some texture.

The following is more of a template. Use the type of mushrooms, nuts and stock cube you like.

You can use two separate varieties of mushrooms, one for pureeing and another for chopping. I used button since those were the only ones which I could get hold of.

As for the nuts, I used a combination of brazil nuts, pecan nuts and walnuts. You can add whichever ones you like or have on hand.

For extra flavour, I used an organic beef stock cube. In my opinion, beef and mushrooms make for compatible companions.


1 Cup cleaned mushrooms (whole)

1 Cup cleaned mushrooms (chopped)

1 Onion

1 Head garlic

6-8 nuts of your choice (use only one type or a combination)

Stock cube of your choice

A slug of sherry or port wine

A pinch of thyme

One tablespoon olive oil

Salt to taste


  1. Place the whole mushrooms, nuts, stock cube and a pinch of salt in a pot along with 2 cups of water.
  2. Bring to boil, cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Once the mushrooms cool down, remove them (and the nuts) with a slotted spoon.
  4. Keep aside the liquor they were cooked in.
  5. Blend the mushrooms and nuts and add this mixture back to the cooking liquor.
  6. Peel, wash and chop the onion.
  7. Peel and finely chop the garlic.
  8. Now, heat oil in a soup pot (or equivalent).
  9. Add the onion and garlic with a bit of salt and stir well.
  10. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes.
  11. Uncover and add the port wine or sherry.
  12. Let this cook for a couple of minutes and then add the chopped mushrooms with a pinch of thyme.
  13. Combine well, cover and cook this for about 5 to 7 minutes on low heat.
  14. Once the chopped mushrooms are cooked, add the puree of mushrooms and nuts.
  15. Stir well and gently heat through.
  16. Take the soup off the heat when bubbles start appearing on the surface.
  17. Serve hot.

Flavourful Broth of Chicken, Vegetables & Noodles

Flavourful Broth of Chicken, Noodles and Vegetables









As temperatures continue to dip, a comforting bowl of hot soup is enough to warm the cockles of your heart.

I am sure everybody has their own version of the classic chicken noodle soup. Many require you to cook dry noodles in the chicken stock.

My version is a tad different. While making Green Noodles, I had cooked extra noodles specially to create this recipe. While serving, I placed the cooked noodles in a soup bowl over which I ladled the hot broth of chicken and vegetables. The end result is a reassuring and satisfying soup full of flavour and fragrance.

who knew that a ménage à trois could be so congenial

Of course, there is no right or wrong way of doing this. You can cook dry noodles in the broth along with the vegetables if you prefer. In fact, this will probably give them extra flavour.

So let’s warm up with today’s flavourful broth of chicken and vegetables over some cooked noodles.


One cup cooked noodles*

300 Grams chicken parts on the bone

3 Cups water

4-5 Stalks celery (including leaves, if available)

2 Carrots

150 Grams mushrooms

1/2 Packed cup fresh parsley

1-2 Stalks lemongrass (Optional)

2 Onions

2 Bayleaves

One tablespoon oil

A generous pinch of freshly pounded peppercorns

Salt to Taste


  1. First, we need to cook the chicken and make the stock.
  2. Peel and wash one onion. Halve it
  3. Peel and wash 2 stalks of celery.
  4. Wash the lemongrass.
  5. In a pan, place the chicken and the water along with the onion, celery, lemongrass, bay leaves and salt.
  6. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and let it simmer for one hour.
  7. Place a strainer over a large pot. At the end of the hour, pour the contents of the pan into the strainer. The large pot under it will collect the chicken stock.
  8. When cool to handle, discard the vegetables and bay leaves.
  9. Take the chicken pieces and separate the flesh from the bones.
  10. Throw away the bones.
  11. Now, peel, wash and chop the second onion.
  12. Dice the remaining celery.
  13. Wash and chop the parsley.
  14. Wash and chop the carrots.
  15. Wash (or wipe) and halve the mushrooms.
  16. Heat oil in a soup pot (or equivalent).
  17. Add the chopped onion and celery. Add some salt to taste.
  18. Cook for a couple of minutes.
  19. Add the chicken stock. At this stage, check the quantity of the liquid. It should be enough. If not, you can add some water.
  20. Bring to boil and add the carrots and mushroom along with chopped parsley and pounded black pepper.
  21. Lower the heat and cook for 8 minutes.
  22. After this time, add the cooked chicken pieces, cover and cook for 2 more minutes.
  23. Place noodles in a bowl and pour the hot broth over them.
  24. Serve hot.


  1. If you don’t have boiled noodles ready, you can add dry noodles along with the chicken and cook according to the time on the packet.
  2. Lemongrass is optional. We have some growing in our kitchen window so I decided to throw it in for the stock.

This is what my chicken stock looked like once it was cooked and strained.

Making Chicken Stock for Chicken Noodle Vegetable Broth  Home Made Chicken Stock for Chicken Noodle Vegetable Broth









Pictorial of the simple steps involved in cooking this broth.

Ingredients for Chicken Noodle Vegetable Broth     Chicken Noodle Vegetable Broth - Step 1 Cook Onions and Celery  Chicken Noodle Vegetable Broth - Step 2 Add the Chicken StockChicken Noodle Vegetable Broth - Step 3 Add the VegetablesChicken Noodle Vegetable Broth - Step 4 Add the Cooked Chicken

Chicken Noodle Vegetable Broth - Step 5 Pour in a Soup Bowl Over Cooked Noodles

Port Wine Pork with Broccoli and Mushrooms

Port Wine Pork









At the potluck Thanksgiving dinner, our friend Asha had brought along what I like to call “drunken chicken”. She had marinated chicken breasts in red wine and then slow-cooked them with some stock. The chicken tasted like gamey meat. Very simple yet absolutely divine.

Asha told me that other meats like pork and beef would work equally well.

I have a bottle of port wine courtesy Judith so thought I would try Asha’s recipe (with a couple of my own tweaks, as always!)

The experiment was a total success. Port wine and pork are compatible together. Will definitely be making this again.

Pork is highly nutritious although it is debatable whether it can be classified as white meat. Use a lean cut without any fat.

ideally serve with some freshly cooked vegetables for a balanced meal

Ingredients for Pork

250 Grams Boneless pork sirloin

1 Cup port wine (or red wine)

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 Tablespoon prepared mustard (I used Colemans)

1 Large onion, finely sliced

1 Head of garlic, cloves peeled and left whole

Salt to taste (I used truffle salt, you can use plain or flavoured salt)

Ingredients for Vegetables

250 Grams broccoli

200 Grams mushrooms

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Juice of one lemon or lime

A generous pinch of seasoning of your preference (I used garlic pepper)

Salt to taste


  1. First, we need to marinate the meat. Mix together the port wine along with mustard, Worcestershire sauce, onions, garlic and salt. Put the pork in this making sure it is fully coated with the wine mixture.
  2. Refrigerate for 6-8 hours. According to Asha, the longer the better. I reckon it will stay good in a refrigerator for upto 24 hours.
  3.  A couple of hours before you are ready to cook the meat, marinate the vegetables.
  4. For this, wash and cut the broccoli in large pieces.
  5. Wash or wipe the mushrooms. I left mine whole, you can cut them in half if you like.
  6. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, seasoning and salt.
  7. Add the vegetables to this marinade and leave them outside for 2-3 hours.
  8. When you are ready to cook, take a wide based frying pan and heat it on a high flame.
  9. Once it is hot, bung in the vegetables along with the marinade.
  10. Turn down the heat, cover and let the vegetables cook for 8-10 minutes. Make sure that they are not overcooked so time according to your personal preference.
  11. Once the vegetables are cooked, scoop them onto a plate and leave any liquid in the pan.
  12. Turn the heat to high and add the pork, onions and garlic (along with the marinade they were sitting in) to the pan.
  13. Flip over the pork a couple of , lower the heat, cover and let it cook for 20 minutes.
  14. After 20 minutes, uncover the pan and turn the pork so that it cooks on the other side.
  15. Cover and let it cook for about 15 minutes more.
  16. Check for doneness, take it off the heat, cover the pan and let the meat sit for about 10-15 minutes before dishing it out on the plate with vegetables.
  17. Don’t forget to scrape off any onions sticking to the pan. They may have turned dark (as you can see from my photo) but taste delicious.


  1. For this dish, I used boneless pork sirloin but you can use any cut of you like.
  2. You can also substitute pork with beef,  chicken or any other meat.