Thursday, March 12, 2015

Recipe: Instant Oats Lite Dosa

The parents have been out of town for a week now. As much as I'm loving the silence, I am missing them more. Every morning I wake up early only to find that Dad has already woken up and is practising Yoga before he starts getting ready to go to work. When I'm back from the gym, while Dad has already left for work, Mom is warming breakfast up in the kitchen with the TV blasting in full volume in the hall, just so she can hear the dialogues. If it's a Sunday I'd wake up at the same time (I go to the gym on Sunday's, it's empty and you can really get a good workout done) but everyone's asleep. When I return, TV is blaring full volume and Mom is in the kitchen, fixing breakfast. Sunday breakfasts are staple - either it's Idli or Dosa. Followed by Chicken or Mutton curry for lunch, where I'd make more Dosas and eat with the curry. And then it's siesta time, it's only fitting after all the yum overload we go through every Sunday.

I'm not getting my Dosa fix since they're out of town, so I thought of improvising. I love how versatile Oats are, and if you can make Pancakes with them, you certainly can make a good Dosa as well. It's a #slite change that makes your life so much easier, not to forget healthier too! I make 3 different kinds of Oats Dosas, but the recent one I tried is the closest to a real Dosa. I used low sodium Tata salt lite to make it just that touch of extra healthy. You're gonna forget you're eating healthy, it's so good!

Instant Oats Dosa
Serves 2 (makes 6 medium sized Dosas)
Takes 20 minutes


1 cup Instant Oats
1/2 cup Yogurt
2 green chilies
A handful of coriander, chopped
2 tsp Cumin seeds
2 tbsp Rice Flour (optional)
2 tbsp Semolina flour
Water, to adjust the consistency
Tata salt lite, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Ghee/oil to grease the pan.


Blend together all the ingredients except Oil, with some water (about half cup).
Let this batter sit for 15 minutes in a bowl. It will get thicker due to the Semolina and Oats. Adjust to a thick, dosa-like pouring consistency with water, add little at one time.

Heat up a pan on medium, preferably non stick. Add a drop of ghee or oil, and wipe the pan surface with a paper napkin so it is spread evenly. Add 3/4 ladle of batter and spread evenly. Add few more drops of Oil down the sides of the pan if desired. I also added some podi to the dosa at this point. You could also add chopped onions and tomatoes if you want this to be an uttappam. Cook on medium flame for 2 minutes.

Be careful while flipping her over, she's a delicate dosa darling! Cook for 30 seconds more and serve hot with chutney, podi, ketchup, or just have as is with a hot cup of Chai!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Recipe: Guilt Free Sugarless 70% Dark Chocolate and Baileys Ice Cream.

I am the Ross Geller of the ice cream world. I am not an ice cream lover because I think it is too cold. Soft serves and froyo on the other hand, I love. Back when we were kids, me and the little brother used to re-enact the sequence from the Jurassic Park movie, where the kids are eating ice cream and a Dinosaur creeps up in their house (we've all been there). We'd mix instant coffee powder in a Vanilla ice cream cup and stir it vigorously till it was of soft serve consistency and then race to who finishes last. Nostalgic. Sigh... How time passes by!

As much as I really-really-really don't like ice cream, I crave for it often when it's that time of the month. Same goes for chocolate- not a huge fan, but I want nothing but chocolate when I'm craving for it. Since I decided to make a sLITE change in my life, I thought why not come up with a guilt free ice cream recipe which would satiate my cravings and not make me get out of the house just to buy myself a cup? David Lebovitz had this recipe up on his site, and I tailor made it to fit into the sLITE lifestyle. I  also added a sprinkle of Tata salt lite to the recipe, to bring out the bittersweet taste. It literally takes 5 minutes to make the faux custard, and no churning at all! This may not be your friendly neighbourhood overtly sweet ice cream but it was still so good, I just had to share it with you guys!

A huge shoutout to the amazing folks over at Tata Salt Lite who are taking a great initiative with promoting the #slite lifestyle. You can look their pages up on Twitter and Facebook, or dial their toll free number to know more.

On to the nomness!

Guilt Free Sugarless 70% Dark Chocolate and Baileys Ice Cream.
Serves 2
Takes 5 minutes (+4 hours of freezing)
Adapted from David Lebovitz's blog.


100 gm 70% Dark Chocolate (You can use any that you like)
1 cup milk (you can also use non fat or skimmed milk)
1 medium sized over-ripe frozen Banana
2 tbsp Cocoa Powder
90 ml Baileys (optional)
A dash of Vodka/Rum
A pinch of Tata Salt Lite


Melt the Chocolate and Cocoa into warm milk till uniform. You can do this over a pan on low heat, or in the microwave at 30 second bursts.
Blend together with all other ingredients till smooth.
Transfer to an air tight container and freeze for 4 hours or until set.
Scoop it out and sprinkle with Tata Salt Lite before serving.

Note: we need to add alcohol to the recipe so that there is no crystallisation. You can omit the alcohol altogether, but know that the ice cream will be slightly hard in texture (like a Kulfi).

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Happy Women's Day: 10 Ways to Soothe your mind and body.

This one's for the ladies, but only huge amount of respect for any and every man who reads through and applies any of this to their life as well. 

When I was growing up, I was a complete tomboy (At least 60% of you identify with being a tomboy as a kiddo, I know). I used to play Cricket, hang around with my brother and his friends, and hate all things pink. Now that I think of it, I had no girl friends around when I was growing up. As I sailed through teenage and adolescence I developed the thinking that I was better off socializing with the boys because girls are too complicated. Then I went abroad to become a Commercial Pilot, where again I was the only girl with 21 boys.

Years passed by, things happened, lessons were learned and conclusions were driven. I used to be a girl-hater before, but I now have more girl friends in my life than boys. I don't know why and how I missed out on all the awesomeness. I swear by my gal pals and love them to bits. *sends kisses to all* (they know who they are).

Image Credits: Google Images

One thing I have noticed is that every one in my gang of girls leads such a busy life that it is impossible to get time out for ourselves. Even when we are at the salon, or out drinking with each other, we are constantly in touch with our schedules and keeping up with the impossible list of errands and to-do lists. I do tend to get a little lost under all the multitasking stress, but then I look at my Mom, who is a 54 year old Flight Attendant, maintains her beautiful looks as well as manages our whole family. Of course, my Dad is her rock, her pillar of strength, but she is an inspiration in herself. Even on her days off from work, she runs around the kitchen, to the market, to the tailor, the list goes on. Every single one of us know at least one woman like that who needs a break. On these lines, here are a few things that I think we all must do, time and again, just to soothe our mind, body and soul.

Image Credits: Google Images

1. Get Your Beauty Sleep: I am busy myself on most days, still I manage to clock in 6 to 8 hours of sleep on a daily basis. Not only will it soothe your body, but also calm your senses, and gear you up for the next day. Oh, and don't forget about the amazing things it would do to your skin!

Image Credits: Google Images

2. Drink Plenty of Water: I'm a fitness maniac, so I drink 5 to 6 litres of fluids every day. That includes water from 1 Tender Coconut (sometimes even 2). You could start with at least 2 litres. Seriously, the road to a calm and composed mind also leads through the stomach and most things related to the stomach (acidity, digestive problems) are dealt with on a regular water intake. Keep that bottle of water handy, ladies!

Image Credits: Google Images

3. Get a Relaxing Massage: I have had my set of issues with random people touching me, but all that dissipated in thin air when I got my first deep tissue massage. I have noticed that I am less cranky, I make better decisions, I feel energetic for the next few days and the body can really use all that stretching!

Image Credits: Google Images

4. "YOU" time: It is very important to set aside some time for yourself. I go to the gym at 6 45 AM in the morning, but I try and wake up at 5 30 AM. Just because I need some time with myself, where I sit down, enjoy the silence. no honking on the road, no people, no TV volume. I just let myself be.

Image Credits: Google Images

5. "YOU" day: Other than spending few moments by yourself every day, it is also important to set a day aside every month where you just do whatever you want to, and that does not include work or chores or errands. You could do nothing all day, or watch movies back to back, laze around with a good book and your cup of soothing tea, cook, lay around in bed or sit in the bathtub for hours. It's like hitting the reset button.

A good way of doing this is deciding with your significant other on a date where one of you would take a YOU day. On that day you can let each other handle your responsibilities. It is workable, right?

Image Credits: Google Images

6. Girl Time: Just like the boys need a game night or a boys night out, we do too! I need to see my girls every few days, and I have made a promise to myself that I WILL see them once every two weeks ('coz lets face it, talking to the men in our lives is great, but nothing beats girl talk!) and spend quality time eating, drinking, shopping, watching a movie, or if I am really busy, maybe a con-call!

Image Credits: Google Images

7. Look Good: You have to look good to feel good. We're all beautiful, and let us not let anyone else tell us otherwise. I know so many friends of mine who think wearing Red Lipstick is not for them, I say why not? Go ahead, doll up, look pretty, accessorize! Oftentimes we ignore ourselves just because we would rather splurge on the people we love. But you owe this to yourself. Go to the Salon, paint your nails, wear a full smile for every picture and just see how pretty you look when you feel good.

Image Credits: Google Images

8. Exercise/workout: I have tried very hard to pull this one down to number 8, but there is no running away from this one. You feel so great after an intense workout with all the endorphins your body releases. You feel fresh and happy, and what better way than unloading all the frustration from a stressful day during workout! I am known for punching the bag a little too hard at kickboxing class (I just imagine my hater's face on the bag) :P

Image Credits: Google Images

9. Meditate: I don't want to get all preachy here, but seriously, as little as 5 minutes of meditation helps the mind maintain focus. I am trying to get into the habit myself, and so far it has been great!

Image Credits: Google Images

10. Smile: Now this one works in 2 ways. One, when you smile and/or laugh, you feel pretty amazing inside. Two, there is someone in your lives whose day is made with that one beautiful smile of yours. Don't let anyone ever rob you off your smile.

It feels great to be a woman. Cheers to you, Cheers to us!

Happy Women's Day!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Recipe: Zucchini Fettuccine Salad with a Cashew Pesto dressing.

I am just realizing that my journey with Tata Salt Lite is coming to an end soon. I am so glad I did this, because it got me back my mojo, and it made me feel heard again. I am so grateful for all the love and support I have received from every single one of my readers, and with my blog recently crossing 1,50,000 hits, I have nothing to complain. You guys made this happen. Thank you so, so much. I have to celebrate this with something delicious, but not without my #sLITE change!

I had come across the recipe for Zucchini Spaghetti with Pesto and Buffalo Mozzarella last year over Twitter, and it has been fixed in my mind ever since. I have made numerous excuses to myself, right from Zucchini not being available in the market to 'I-don't-know-how-this-will-taste', from 'I'll-just-make-it-next-time' to 'It's-easier-to-make-an-omelet'. I stand corrected. This is hands down the easiest and yummiest Salad you'll ever come across. Bonus points because it is Vegetarian and a One-Up because it looks like Pasta.

Zucchini Fettuccine Salad with a Cashew Pesto dressing.
Serves 2
Takes 10 minutes


1 large Zucchini
A handful of Cherry Tomatoes
4 cloves of Garlic
1/4 Cup Cashew Nuts
1 Cup Basil
Tata Salt Lite, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Use a mandoline, peeler or spiralizer to shave Zucchini into your desired shape. I shaved super thin ribbons and cut them into thirds length-wise for Fettucine sized ribbons. You can also make Spaghetti using a spiralizer. Keep the Zucchini ready into a mixing bowl, in the refrigerator while you make the dressing.

Grind together Garlic, Pepper, Cashews and 1 tbsp EVOO (Olive Oil) until smooth. Then add in the Basil leaves, remaining EVOO and Tata Salt LITE to taste. Grind together till smooth. 

Pour the dressing over the Zucchini and toss to combine. Add in the cherry tomatoes. You can also tear up some fresh Mozzarella cheese if you fancy it. Serve immediately!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Recipe: Karwari Style Pan Fried Fish.

For those of you who don't know, I come from Karwar, a beautiful, touristy spot just ahead of the border between Goa and Karnataka (towards Karnataka). I was born and raised in Mumbai, but the annual visits back to Karwar to our ancestral home for Ganpati made sure I could indulge in the beauty of this little town. As a kid, I hated it - I was away from my home, my bed, my people and my life. I had to live in an old ancestral house full of people from everywhere and it was all quite a chore. As time went by, I grew to appreciate the serenity, and now its more of a much needed break from the fast paced city life, where you can just lay back and relax.

I have memories of my aunt cooking fresh Mackerel on the coals, and all of us cousins sitting in one straight line with our legs crossed, and as soon as she'd bring those beautiful fresh charred fish stuffed with homemade masala, topped with a squeeze of fresh Lemon, we would attack with our bare hands and go to omnomnomnom-land instantly. Time has gone by, there is no choolha at the ancestral house anymore, but we still bring some coals and char them Mackerels every time we visit.

Back here in Mumbai, Mom prepares her Signature Fish Curry (Dad won't eat any other) and saves some pieces for Fish Fry. My Dad likes them coated with Semolina Flour, crisp on the outside and loaded with flavour on the inside. I, on the other hand, like it just slathered with Masala, and pan fried with a touch of Oil. It tastes great while being super healthy, and I made a sLITE change by reducing the amount of oil, not coating it with any flour, and using low sodium Tata Salt LITE. I have used Halwa pieces here (Placed both kinds of fried fish, with and without semolina in the picture), but you can use the same Masala for any Fish, Prawns, Squids or even Chicken. Sometimes I eat an entire pan fried Pomfret for Dinner. Its high protein and guilt free, and super easy to prepare!

Karwari Style Pan Fried Fish
Serves 2
Takes 5 minutes (plus 30 minutes prep)


Seafood of choice, cleaned and portioned (500 gm)
1 tbsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
Tata Salt Lite, to taste
Few drops of Lemon Juice
Few drops of Water
1 tbsp Oil


Mix all the dry ingredients in a flat plate. Add the lemon juice, 5-6 drops. Then add water, few drops at a time and mix with your fingers so as to obtain a paste-like consistency. Apply this paste to your seafood and massage thoroughly. Let it sit for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Please wash your hands after this step, you're working with Chili Powder after all.

Heat up the Oil in a pan on High. Add in the Fish pieces and let them sear, about a minute each side. Once the pieces look like they're browning, turn the heat to low and let them go for 1.5 to 2 minutes on each side. Serve them with a squeeze of Lemon and lots of thinly sliced onions to go with!
Newer Posts Older Posts Home