Tag Archives: yoghurt

Diabetic Friendly Melony Dessert

Diabetic Friendly Melony Dessert

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Diabetic Friendly Melony Dessert








As I had mentioned in my previous post, I had a couple friend – Shamala and Bachu – over for dinner a few days back.

Since both are diabetic, I had to keep their dietary needs in mind when planning the menu. Also since it was last minute, I kept it simple.

For dessert, I wanted to make something without sugar. Looked up diabetes friendly fruits on the internet and settled on the fragrant and naturally sweet musk melon.

The recipe is a mix of yoghurt, ripe melon with its natural juice, a wee bit of honey, saffron and pistachio.

creamy, fragrant with natural sweetness

Luckily, it was a hit with Shamala and Bachu.

Personally, I think it is delicious and would be liked by everyone, not just those with high sugar. So another one for keeps.


1 Small, very ripe, musk melon

200 Grams plain, mild yoghurt

1 Tablespoon honey

2 Tablespoons raw, unsalted, shelled, pistachio

A pinch of saffron

1 Tablespoon milk


  1. First, prep the melon. Wash and cut in half.
  2. Peel each half and remove any seeds.
  3. Now take one half and chop it. Transfer to a bowl. Set aside.
  4. Next, take the other half and chop it very finely. Put it in a bowl along with all the juices.
  5. Add the honey to the second bowl of melon and its juices. Break down the melon with the back of a spoon and mix it with the honey and the juices as you go along. Set aside.
  6. Dry roast the pistachio and, once cool, split them in half.
  7. Warm the milk and dissolve saffron in it.
  8. Whisk the milk-saffron mixture in the yoghurt.
  9. Add half the chopped pistachio to the yoghurt.
  10. Add the chopped melon with juices and honey to the saffron yoghurt. Mix well.
  11. Take a bowl and place a layer of the diced melon (from the first half) at the base.
  12. Pour some of the melony yoghurt over the melon.
  13. Place the remaining diced melon over the yoghurt.
  14. Again layer with melony yoghurt so that the diced melon is completely covered.
  15. Sprinkle the remaining pistachio on top and chill for 3 to 4 hours before serving.


  1. You can either layer this dessert in individual bowls or in one large serving bowl.
  2. Use the ripest melon you can get so that it is is sweet and juicy.


Colocasia with Green Pea & Corn, The Indian Way

Arbi Makai Matar

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Arbi Makai Matar








The other day, I was chatting to my friend Meher who told me that she had had one of the yummiest colocasia preparations for lunch, courtesy one of her work colleagues. She didn’t know the recipe except that the tuber was first fried in order to get rid of the stickiness.

This got me thinking about how I have not had colocasia in absolutely ages, probably years.

colocasia is also known as arbi, elephant-ear, taro and dasheen

Since it is a starchy root vegetable, the kooky side in me decided to look up its nutritional information in order to decide whether to cook with it or not.

Was pleasantly surprised to discover that although high in calorie (100 grams has 112 calories, more than potato), the root is very low in fat and protein and “is one of the finest source of dietary fibers“.  It also contains minerals, potassium and vitamins from the B-complex group.

Since the calorie count is high, I decided to team it with a couple of other vegetables to make a balanced meal. I don’t mind the fact that it is sticky so I boiled the root  before adding it to the curry. An alternative would be to saute the boiled slices to get a crust before slipping them in the sauce.

I made up the recipe as I went along and, if I am allowed to boast a little, this is one of my kooky triumphs. You know how sometimes you cook something and its like, “meh”. And other times you make something which turns out so stupendous that you want to share it with everyone and shout from the roof-top… Okay, you get the picture! Oh, and it smells totally divine.

Will go very well with any type of flat bread like roti, naan or even sliced. Can also be eaten with rice.


100 Grams colocasia

50 Grams green pea

50 Grams sweetcorn kernel

2 Tomato

2 Onions

1 Tablespoon paste of ginger and garlic

1 Cup plain yoghurt (sharp/tangy/sour)

1 Teaspoon turmeric powder

1 Teaspoon chilli powder

1 Teaspoon coriander powder

1 Teaspoon cumin powder

1 Tablespoon fennel seeds

3 Dry red chillies

A pinch of asafoetida

Salt to taste

1-2 Teaspoons oil


  1. First, boil the colocasia till it is firm but tender. You can either do this in a pressure cooker or in boiling water.
  2. Once the colocasia is cooked, let it cool down.
  3. Wash, peel and slice it in thick rounds.
  4. Peel, wash and finely chop the onion.
  5. Wash and dice the tomato.
  6. Wash the green pea and sweetcorn kernels.
  7. Whisk the yoghurt and add the turmeric, chilli, coriander and cumin powders to it. Mix well and set aside.
  8. Break the dry chillies into 2-3 pieces each.
  9. Heat the oil in a pan.
  10. Once hot, lower the heat and add fennel seeds, dry chillies and asafoetida.
  11. Stir for about 30 seconds.
  12. Add the chopped onion and salt to taste. Mix, cover and let the onion cook for 5 minutes.
  13. Uncover and add the paste of ginger and garlic.
  14. Stir well and let this cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  15. Next, add the chopped tomato. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  16. Uncover and add the spiced yoghurt.
  17. Stir everything together and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  18. Add about 2 cups of water, increase the heat and bring to boil.
  19. Once the sauce starts boiling, lower the heat and add the sliced colocasia, green pea and sweetcorn kernel.
  20. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes.
  21. Take the pan off the burner and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Homemade Yoghurt

Homemade Yoghurt

  • Servings: 500grams
  • Difficulty: easy
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Homemade Yoghurt








Our dog, Mr. Puck, loves dairy products. Ice cream in summer, cheese as an occasional treat, fresh cream off boiled milk, milk on its own and yoghurt – he really has a nose for the white stuff!

Fortunately, he is a very lean and muscly dog who doesn’t have any weight issues so we don’t have to worry about him piling on the pounds.

As for his overall taste in food, he is not fussy but – like us – he does like his meals freshly prepared.  So, the way we cook for ourselves from scratch everyday, we do the same for him. It is not a big deal since his diet is very simple and what we make for him hardly takes any time.

Thanks to Mr. Puck, I have learnt the art of making yoghurt at home.

yoghurt is an extremely healthy food full of protein, calcium, riboflavin and vitamins B6 ad B12

Since he has it daily, not only does it work out economical for us but it also means that he gets absolutely fresh, pure, yoghurt.

making yoghurt at home is a real doddle

Okay, I say this after a few years’ experience. And initially, the task seemed daunting to me and I did fail a good few times in the beginning. But persistence and perseverance paid off.

So I would like to share with you my totally unscientific method of making yoghurt at home. You don’t need any fancy thermometer or gadgets. Just milk, a saucepan, a tablespoon of yoghurt culture and a stainless steel or plastic container with tight fitting lid.

Making yoghurt at home hardly takes any time. Once you mix the hot milk and culture, you set it aside for several hours and it does its own thing. There is no cooking time as such.


1/2 Litre milk

1 Tablespoon live yoghurt


  1. Boil the milk in a saucepan.
  2. Once it reaches boiling point (it will start rising to the top), take it off the stove and leave it alone for 18 to 20 minutes. Don’t leave it for longer than 20 minutes.
  3. After this time, dip your finger in the milk to see how warm it is. You don’t want it so hot that you go “ouch”. Nor do you want it lukewarm (this is why I suggest not to leave it for more than 20 minutes). You want the milk to be hot enough. This comes with a bit of trial and error. In my case, the 18 minute timing works perfectly.
  4. Now add the 1 tablespoon of live yoghurt to the container in which you will be setting the yoghurt.
  5. Whisk it around with the spoon so that it breaks down and is nice and creamy.
  6. Add the hot milk to the yoghurt culture and stir well.
  7. Cover with a tight fitting lid and set aside in a warm place (like near a radiator or an oven which is switched off) for about 8 hours or overnight.
  8. After 8 hours (or the next morning), open the lid to see whether the yoghurt is set. If so, refrigerate. If not, leave it for a couple of hours more.


  1. In hot weather or during the summer months, the yoghurt sets faster (say within  4 to 5 hours).

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









Layered Sweet Potato, Mushroom and Avocado Salad


Last night, I had one of the best meals I have ever cooked even if I say so myself!

without further ado

Let’s get on with this yummy salad which came about as a result of my very good friend Meher who got me a haas avocado

this one is dead simple and the best part is that you can adapt the basic premise of this salad to suit your taste

Layer One (bottom layer)


  • A handful of amaranth leaves is what I used but you can use any salad leaves you fancy such as iceberg lettuce, kale, spinach, watercress or even a mixture of leaves and fresh herbs.


  1. Wash the leaves (and herbs, if using).
  2. Pat dry with kitchen towel or put in a salad spinner. The idea is to get all the moisture out.
  3. Do this a couple of hours beforehand so that the leaves are water free when you transfer them to your dinner plate.

Layer Two (sitting above the leaves)


  • 1-2 sweet potatoes (depending on size and appetite)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Seasoning of your choice (I used garlic pepper seasoning from my pantry)
  • Salt to taste


  1. Wash and clean the sweet potatoes.
  2. Slice them in half vertically and either leave them intact or cut them in two depending on their size.
  3. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, seasoning and salt in a non-reactive bowl.
  4. Add the sweet potatoes, mix them well with the marinade, cover and leave till the time you are ready to eat.

Layer three (sits above the sweet potatoes)


  • 250 gms your choice of mushrooms (I used the plain white variety)
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar (any type of wine or sherry vinegar will also work well)


  1. Wash or wipe the mushrooms.
  2. If small, you can leave them whole or split them in half or quarter depending on their size.

Layer four (the top of the salad)


  • One ripe avocado
  • A spoonful of prepared mustard 9I used Colemans)
  • 3-4 tablespoons mild yoghurt (Greek yoghurt works well here)
  • one grated cucumber (optional)


  1. Whisk the yoghurt.
  2. Add cucumber (if using) and mustard.

Cooking and Assembling

  1. Heat a frying pan. When hot, add the sweet potatoes and all the marinade.
  2. Make sure they sit in a single layer, cut side down.
  3. Cover, turn down the heat to minimum and set the timer for 10 minutes.
  4. After 10 minutes, uncover and flip over the potatoes.
  5. Once again, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, place them on top of the leaves and herbs which form the base on your plate.
  7. Add the vinegar to the pan to deglaze it along with a couple of spoonfuls of water and the mushrooms.
  8. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  9. While the mushrooms are cooking, peel and chop the avocado and immediately add it to the yoghurt mixture.
  10. Once the mushrooms are cooked, remove them with a slotted spoon and place them on top of the sweet potatoes.
  11. Add any liquid from the pan to the yoghurt avocado mixture, give it a good stir and pour this over the mushrooms.
  12. Voila – your layered salad is ready!

substitute, improvise, replace!

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, you can use whatever you fancy. Chicken or boiled eggs instead of avocados. Broccoli instead of mushrooms. Salad leaves of your choice. Use whatever is available, seasonal, cheap and fresh.

Just follow these steps for layering:

leaves followed by carbs followed by vegetables followed by protein

If you try this out, let me know how you get on and which ingredients you substitute!