Thursday, 19 September 2013

Napa Cabbage Rolls

An all in one roll is such an awesome food concept! Who ever thought of that is a real genius! Just think about it, you can customise each roll to have exactly what you like in the exact quantity you prefer. You get different yummy bits and different textures in each gloriously perfect bite. Plus, its quick to make and doesn't leave a load of dishes to clean.
These are my version of fresh and light rolls, of course the same can be made with rice paper sheets, but the crunch and freshness of the napa cabbage is just something else. This recipe lends itself well to variations, especially with the sauce or dressing. I have used a fresh pepper pickle in mustard as a sauce, but I made a simple peanut butter one for my daughter.

So, lets talk about the hero of this dish ( borrowing the Masterchef Australia lingo) - Napa Cabbage, also called Chinese Cabbage, its milder flavour compared to the regular cabbage makes it ideal for salads and raw cuisine. More over, it is high in antioxidant content and rich in dietary fibre which makes it great for reducing bad cholesterol. It is also a rich source of folic acid and Vitamin C. It is wonderful for bone health and delaying osteoporosis because of its high Vitamin K content.
The Napa Cabbage Rolls are great for a light lunch, dinner or as an appetiser when you are entertaining  or even as a salad replacement as a part of a big spread.



1. Fresh Peppercorns in Mustard Pickle

1/2 cup Fresh green peppercorns
2 inch fresh turmeric root grated
2 inch fresh ginger root grated
6-7 cloves of garlic
5-6 fresh thai chillies
2-3 tbsp mustard seeds ground
2-3 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp jaggery
1 tsp sea salt

Mix all the ingredients and store in a glass jar. Tie a muslin cloth under the lid and keep in the sun for a few days to cure. The store in the fridge.

2. Peanut Butter Sauce

2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tsp soy sauce
1-2 tsp mustard sauce
1 tsp maple syrup

Whisk all the ingredients together.


8-10 napa cabbage leaves (for the rolls)
2 napa cabbage leaves finely chopped for the filling
red, yellow and green bell peppers finely sliced
3-4 fresh basil leaves
1 avocado cubed with a splash of lemon juice
some finely sliced ginger
1 cup bean sprout noodles (or glass noodles)
a few shreds of nori (seaweed)

Spread the sauce or pickle. Add the other ingredients. Hold lengthwise and chomp away!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Raw creamy tomato basil soup

My soup addiction has been going on for weeks now and its amazing that there is so much variety in taste and ingredients that make the humble soup such a spectacular lunch! And, for this recipe, I used some of my home grown bounty of tomatoes and ghost chillies. The act of growing your own food,  cooking with and eating it, makes one have such gratitude for the food. There also comes an appreciation for organic produce and for keeping the nutrition in the food intact by keeping it raw or just lightly cooking it! This kind of mindfulness about our food helps in better assimilation and nourishment. 

The recipe for this Raw creamy basil soup is available at the guest post that I did, over at Susmitha's awesome vegan blog - "Veganosaurus" -

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Horse gram, broccoli, shitake soup

I have to admit, I have a soup thing
going on. I am eating some kind of soup everyday for lunch. Now, the great thing about soup, is that it is all encompassing. It works well as clear, thick, chunky, stew like, with noodles, with beans, with tofu... It is difficult to find anything more versatile than the humble soup,   almost every cuisine in the world has its own unique take on it. Moreover, every kind of vegetable has a soup dedicated to it - tomato soup, cream of spinach, beet borscht, mushroom, sweet corn etc.

The interesting ingredient of this soup is Horse gram, fairly well known in the south of India, this lentil is extremely rich in iron and protein. It also helps reduce insulin resistance and makes it a wonderful addition to help with diabetes.


1/3 cup horse gram (soaked overnight)
1 tsp vegetable bouillon
2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup dried shitake mushrooms (soaked in water)
1/2 red bell pepper cubed
1 tomato quartered
1 medium onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic grated
a big piece of ginger grated (the size depends on your love for ginger)
2 cups water
2 tsp olive oil


In a saucepan, heat the oil and add the onion, garlic and ginger. Sauté for a few minutes and add the soaked and rinsed horse gram and the water. Let it boil for a few minutes. Now add all the chopped vegetables, the shitake and the water it was soaked in along with the bouillon. You don't need salt because the bouillon has some. Also if you can't get your hands on the bouillon, you could add vegetable stock or just a bay leaf and black cardamom at the point of sautéing the onion.
Let the soup heat up but not boil. Turn the heat off. This ensures that the veggies are not overcooked. Even the horse gram has a bite to it and is not over done.
Enjoy on a rainy afternoon!