Monthly Archives: September 2014

Coconut Crusted Bottle Gourd Strips with Chili Sauce


One of my friend gave me this vegetable from his garden and I am trying to figure out the exact name of this vegetable.  After reading online and looking at google images, I am pretty sure this one is the same as bottle gourd.  The biggest challenge for me is to carry it from my car to my house – the reason, it was almost 4.5 feet long.


  • 12 oz piece bottle gourd
  • ½ cup dry bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup Panko Japanese bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons finely shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • A little butter or cooking spray



  • Pre heat oven to 450F.
  • Split bottle gourd lengthwise and remove the seeds and the middle soft flesh
  • Cut each half into about 4-6 strips
  • Mix bread crumbs, coconut, and salt together in a shallow dish or plate
  • Lightly beat egg and milk
  • Dip bottle gourd pieces in egg mixture and roll over the bread crumb
  • Place strips on a lightly oiled cookie sheet and bake at 400F for about 25 -30 minutes or bread crumbs are lightly browned
  • Serve immediately warm  with hot chili sauce. or hummus

Green Tomato (raw tomato) Spicy Curry



  • 3 green tomatoes (unripe raw tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup red onion thinly sliced
  • Strand of curry leaves
  • 2 teaspoons cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup thick coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1-2 teaspoons chili powder
  • salt to taste


  • Add oil to a saucepan and when hot add onion and sauté on low flame until soft
  • Half each tomato and add to the saucepan and fry until tomatoes are crisp but lightly browned
  • Add curry leaves and fry for another minute.
  • Increase flame to medium-high.
  • Add water, coconut milk, chili powder, and salt and boil uncovered until gravy is thick – about 10 minutes
  • Serve with rice, pittu, or stringhoppers

Quick Spicy Tofu and Mushroom Stir Fry



  • 8 oz extra firm water packed tofu
  • 4 teaspoons cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon hot chili sesame seed oil
  • ½ teaspoon white sesame seed
  • ½ black sesame seed
  • 2 cups sliced portabella mushroom
  • 3 cloves garlic thinly slices
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced onion
  • 2 teaspoons chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • salt to taste


  • Drain tofu and wrap in a paper towel and leave for about 15-20 minutes to drain
  • Cut tofu into 1 inch cubes
  • Thinly slice mushroom and set aside.
  • Add 2 teaspoons cooking oil and sesame oil to a skillet and when hot add tofu and sauté until golden brown on all sides – about 10 minutes.
  • Reduce flame and add sesame seeds and sauté for another one to two minutes.
  • Transfer to a bowl taking care all sesame seeds are transferred to the bowl.
  • Now add the rest of the cooking oil to skillet and when hot add sliced porabella mushroom, garlic, and onion and sauté until mushroom is browned.
  • Mix chili sauce, soy sauce and water together
  • Add cooked tofu to skillet and sauce mix, salt and cook further one to two minutes until sauce thickens.
  • Serve hot with rice
  • Yields: 3 side dish

Coconut-Passion Fruit Chia Pudding


Last week when I went to buy lunch in one of the deli’s I saw this pudding – Chia Seed Coconut Passion fruit pudding.  I bought it and when I tried, it was heaven.  Immediately I thought I should make this myself.  So I got the fresh passion fruits and made it with trial and error to get the right coconut flavor.    I used 1% milk with coconut milk.  When you add more coconut milk, it gives better flavor.  You can use 1 cup coconut milk instead of using half coconut milk and half regular milk.  The reason I did this was to avoid any cholesterol.   This can be a vegan dish as well when milk is replaced completely with coconut milk.



  • 2 fresh passion fruits
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ½ regular milk
  • ¼ Chia seed
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or 2 teaspoons agave nectar
  • 2 tablespoons sweetened flaked coconut
  • Few cashew nuts toasted


  • Cut passion fruit into half and scoop out the pulp.
  • Add little water at a time and squeeze out the juice from pulp and strain out the seeds.  Reserve the seeds
  • Add enough water to the passion fruit concentrate to make it ¼ cup
  • Add chia seed to a bowl and add passion fruit juice, coconut milk and regular milk.
  • Add sugar and mix thoroughly.  Refrigerate for about 6 hours or overnight.
  •  To serve, spoon chia pudding into 3 bowls
  • Sprinkle with toasted coconut.


  • Instead of toasted coconut, roasted cashew nuts can be sprinkle
  • Or you can mix both toasted coconut and cashew nuts and sprinkle on the top
  • You can also use the passion fruit seeds as a garnish on the top.  Passion fruit seed has a very crunchy taste.  But it does not have any bitter or sweet taste.  I was going to use the passion fruit seeds, but accidentally threw away – bummer.  But it would have been the best pudding with crunchy passion fruit seed topping.

Thai Style Soy Chunks (TVP) Curry


Soy chunks especially the big ones have a real meat texture.  When cooked they even taste somewhat like meat (per my friends since I am vegetarian).  When I saw the original recipe in WebMD  for Thai style chicken recipe, I immediately thought I can use soy chunks instead of meat.  Original recipe also had fish sauce.  I have replaced it with Soy Sauce.  This recipe is adapted from WebMD but I have modified it to fit my taste.



  • 4 oz dried soy chunks (Textured Vegetable Protein)
  • Hot water
  • 2 teaspoons cooking oil
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 1 small onion (1/3 cup sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1½ tablespoons red curry paste
  • 8 oz cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup thin coconut milk
  • salt to taste
  • ½ teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 cups baby spinach torn into small pieces
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice


  • Add enough hot water to soy chunks and cover and let stand for about 15-20 minutes
  • Squeeze out the water from soy chunks and set aside
  • Add oil to a covered saucepan and when hot, add bell pepper, and onion and sauté for about 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic, ginger, and red curry paste and fry for about 2 minutes.
  • Add soy chunks and mix well and fry for about 2-3 minutes in low flame
  • Add water, coconut milk, soy sauce, salt, and brown sugar and bring to a boil.
  • Add cauliflower and reduce flame to medium-low.  Cover and cook until cauliflower is tender and gravy is thickened.
  • Add spinach and cook further one minute or until spinach is wilted.
  • Add lime juice and let stand covered before serving
  • Serve warm with rice
  • Yields: 4 as a side dish.

Pasta with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Sautéed Kale



  • 4 oz pasta such as Penne
  • 1 small bunch kale thick stems removed
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 2 large portabella mushrooms
  • About 4-5 sun dried mushrooms
  • Oil spray
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper


  • Cook pasta according to package directions and drain.  Set aside
  • Pre heat oven to 425 F
  • Peel and wash sweet potato.  Chop into about ½ inch cubes
  • Add oil spray to a cookie sheet.  Evenly spread sweet potatoes and lightly spray with oil
  • Bake for about ½ hour.
  • Remove stems of mushrooms and slice diagonally and cut each piece into two
  • Wash and drain kale.  Remove thick stems and tear leaves into pieces
  • Chop sun dried tomatoes into small pieces
  • Add extra virgin olive oil to a large skillet and when hot add kale leaves and sauté until they are soft and done.
  • Remove from pan
  • Now add mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes and sauté for about 3-4 minutes
  • Add cooked pasta, and roasted sweet potatoes to the skillet and mix well
  • Sprinkle with parmesan cheese
  • Sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil if you like (optional)
  • Yields: 2 servings.