Egg Salad Sandwich With Broccoli Sprouts

If you are wondering what the heck is pictured above, that’s broccoli sprouts. Just like onion, mustard or alfalfa seeds, broccoli seeds are also available in the market for sprouting. They have a mild, but delicate broccoli flavor, and a nice crunch. I am always partial to micro greens. Plus, it’s a lot of fun to watch them grow.

I lost count on how many times my attempts to sprout alfalfa were failed. As with other sprouts, I used a jar. They seem to grow just fine, but after three days, they would retain more moisture than they need, and turn mushy. Not to mention, smelly too. I just couldn’t find a way to maintain the right level of moisture. Then, I devised a setup which now works efficiently every single time.

This is how I do it. Take a colander (a shallow and fairly broad one) and a bowl on top of which the colander sits well. Fill the bowl with water, sprinkle seeds on the colander, and place on top of the bowl. The seeds will be immersed in water, and let them be for about 10 hours. Then empty the bowl and keep the colander on top. The excess water will slowly drip into the bowl, and keep your counter top clean. Gently rinse the seeds every 12 hours, and continue to keep the colander on the bowl. After 4-6 days, you will see long green sprouts in your colander. Cut the sprouts, and use in recipes. Or refrigerate for later use.

My sprouts always seem to find a place in a sandwich or a burger. I love their mild, fresh taste and crunchy texture. Given below is an egg salad that I whipped one day, when I didn’t have mayonnaise or yogurt on hand. The dressing, made with cooked mashed egg yolks and mustard, is very tasty, that I hardly use dairy products in my egg sandwich anymore. Served on whole grain toasts, they make for a quick lunch, that will keep you full for a long time.

Egg Salad Sandwich With Broccoli Sprouts
(makes 4)


Egg – 6
Vegetables like celery, carrot, red bell pepper – 1½ cups, finely diced
Broccoli sprouts or any other micro greens – 1 cup
Whole grain bread – 8 slices


Mustard – ½ tsp
Olive oil – 1 tbsp
Juice of half a lemon
Parsley or cilantro – 1 tbsp, minced
Red pepper flakes – 1 tsp


Take the eggs in a sauce pan and cover with 1 inch of water. Turn on the heat and let the water come to a boil. When it comes a rolling boil, reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Take the eggs off the heat, empty the hot water, rinse once with cold water, drain and give the pan a violent shake. The shells would crack, making them easy to peel. I find peeling eggs easy when they are still warm, or refrigerated for a day.

Halve the hard boiled eggs, separating the yolks from the whites. Dice the whites and set aside. In a bowl, take the warm yolks, and mash them to a coarse paste. Add the other ingredients listed under dressing and whisk well to combine.

Mix the dressing with diced egg whites and vegetables. Toss to combine. Spread the egg salad on toasted bread, top with broccoli sprouts, followed by another slice of bread. Enjoy with fries, if desired.

Egg sandwich with broccoli sprouts, served with baked sweet potato fries

This is my entry for this edition of JFI, an event started by Indira. Dee of Ammalu’s kitchen, who is guest hosting this month, is calling for recipes with sprouts.

Winter Comforts: Spicy Dal With Roasted Vegetables

Ah, winter, waiting to arrive in just days time. The sign of its onset is already evident here and there. This is a great time to be in the desert Southwest. The days are cool and evenings are cooler, but not cold. We hardly stay indoors these days. The drive around the block, a walk in the park, is all I yearn for during these nights.

‘Do you think we need a jacket?’
‘We’ll carry and keep it in the car; just in case’

Its that pleasant here. I see a lot of people still cruising around in their city shorts, taking in this wonderful weather, as much as they can. So, to my friend who bragged about fishing on a July afternoon on a mild 80F degree day, I say ‘Touche’. And, for those who were nice to me during summer, please visit us and enjoy the beautiful desert evenings.

To add to the beauty, it rained the whole of this week. The air was crisp, and was, for a change, humid. When I opened the curtains in the morning and saw the pouring rains, I craved for a bowl of steamy hot soup. Not just any soup, but the thick, creamy, hearty kind. With no particular idea on mind, I chopped the vegetables and tossed in the oven. Not wanting to cut any more vegetables, I chose a lentil base for the soup. The soup was everything I craved for and more. All that was left behind were empty bowls, full stomachs and content smiles.

Roasted Vegetables With Roasted Garlic
(4 servings)


Sweet potato – 3, small
Potato – 4
Carrot - 2
Parsnip - 2
Bell pepper – 2
Garlic – 1 head
Fresh thyme – 2 tbsp
A splash of olive oil


Cut all the vegetables into big chunks. Set bell peppers aside. Mix rest of the vegetables with thyme, salt, pepper and olive oil. Spread on a baking sheet covered with foil.

Cut the whole head of garlic into two halves, horizontally. Season with salt, pepper and olive oil. Wrap the halves in separate pieces of foil. Keep the prepared garlic head nestled among the vegetables.

Bake at 450F for 30 minutes, turning once in between. Add the reserved bell peppers, toss and bake for another 10 minutes. The vegetables should be caramelized around the edges. Let cool slightly.

Squeeze the some or all of the roasted garlic over the vegetables, per your liking. Refrigerate the rest in an airtight container for about 10 days.

Serve the roasted vegetables as such, or with any other carbohydrate like lentils, rice, quinoa, pasta, etc. Even if there are only two of you, make a whole batch, or even double it. The vegetables refrigerate well and leftovers come very handy.

Spicy Dal

(serves 2)

A mix of toor, moong and masoor dal – 2/3 cup
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Ginger – 1 tbsp, chopped
Green chillies – 2, slit

Ghee – 1 tsp (Use oil for a vegan version)
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp


Wash all the lentils together. Pressure cook dal with 4 cups of water, minced ginger and green chillies for 4 or 5 whistles. Let the pressure die down. Take the cooked dal from the cooker, add salt and whisk vigorously until it becomes soupy. Add more water if required.

Heat ghee over medium heat. Take off the flame and add cumin powder, followed by chilli powder. Whisk immediately taking care not to burn the spices and add to the dal. Serve dal as such or mix about 2 cups of roasted vegetables.

This is my second entry of My Legume Love Affair, Sixth Helping - Hot & Spicy.

This has been an active week in the blogging front. Well, I wanted to post my entries to MLLA before I take a short break. I will not be around for 2 weeks starting next Monday. So if your mails go unanswered, please be patient. I am hoping to schedule few posts while I am gone, if time permits.

Pasta e Ceci (Pasta With Chickpeas)

When I am short on time, but still want a wholesome dinner, this is my absolute favourite. Pasta with ground chickpea sauce is not only creamy, but very filling. This thick and hearty sauce is rich in fiber and protein, and that makes me feel at ease for not including vegetables in a meal, as I normally do. With common pantry ingredients, this dish comes together in a snap. Or if you are like me, you will always have soaked legumes on hand.

Pasta e Ceci (Pasta With Chickpeas)
(serves 2)


Chickpeas – 1½ cups, cooked or 1 16-ounce can
Onion – 1, chopped
Garlic – 2 cloves, chopped
Tomatoes – 3, chopped or 1 small can of chopped tomatoes
Fresh rosemary – 1 tbsp, chopped
Red pepper flakes – 2-4 tsp
Short Pasta – ½ pound
Oil – 2 tsp

Crumbly cheese such as queso fresco, feta or paneer – for garnish
Chopped parsley – for garnish


Heat oil in a deep pot, sauté onion, and garlic until soft. Stir in rosemary, and cook for another minute. Stir in tomatoes, red pepper flakes and salt and cook until tomatoes are softened. Stir in 1 cup of chickpeas (reserve the rest for later), 1 cup if water and heat through. Remove from heat, and blend the mixture until smooth. A hand blender is very handy for this job. Return to heat, keep warm.

While you are preparing the sauce on one side, bring a pot of water to boil and cook pasta following package instructions. Pasta should be cooked, but still firm. Drain pasta and reserve 1 cup of cooking water.

Mix cooked pasta with the chickpea sauce, along with the reserved whole chickpeas. The pasta should be slightly soupy, as it will absorb more water. Add some of the reserved pasta water, until desired consistency is reached.

Serve with a garnish of crumbled cheese and fresh herbs. Omit cheese for a vegan version.

Artisan pasta with chickpeas

This is my entry to My Legume Love Affair, Sixth Helping: Hot & Spicy. If you have spicy legume dishes to share with us, send 'em to me before the end of this month.

Vegan Ventures, Round 2, Wrapup

As another year is drawing to a close, here I am wrapping up another edition of Vegan Ventures. I am amazed at the response this event gets, for two consecutive years. I challenged the bloggers to come up with a dish with no animal products whatsoever, and my inbox was flooded with amazing entries, from the very next day. One thing I noticed between last year and now is, in addition to increased response, more and more bloggers are geared toward conscious cooking. I was bombarded with wholesome recipes utilizing natural ingredients.

Vegan Ventures was an initiative to learn explore veganism. As a cook, who focuses on healthy and natural cooking, I found many healthy dishes can be made without any animal products. I enjoyed the challenge of veganising many of the vegetarian recipes. I understood that there were many bloggers with the same notion as I did. And so I made it into a food event occurring during November, the National Vegan Month.

I would like to express my appreciation to all the fellow bloggers who were kind enough to share their favourite vegan recipes with the rest of us. Many bloggers sent in multiple entries. A shout out to Priya of Easy N Tasty Recipes for sending 10 entries. This gallery has all the entries accompanied with their pictures.

Entries At A Glance

Lighter Delights
  1. iDayz - Homemade Carrot Wine
  2. Green Gourmet Giraffe - Black Bean Soup with Avocado
  3. Asvadha - Kuzhi Paniyaram
  4. Chitra Amma's Kitchen - Pomegranate and green gram salad (Madulam pachai payaru sundal)
  5. Cuisine Point - Rave Dose
  6. Cuisine Point - Ambade
  7. Cuisine Point - Baingun Bhaja
  8. Cuisine Point - Gojjavalakki
  9. Saranya's Kitchen - Potato Vada
  10. Veggie Monologues - Chickpeas Sundal
  11. Monsoon Spice - Spicy Lentil and Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
  12. Seduce your tastebuds - Black bean salad
  13. Ahaar - Mixed lentil fritters
  14. Appyayan - Tamarind Soup with Vegetables
  15. The Well-Seasoned Cook - Pecan Salad
  16. - Falafel
  1. Edible Garden - Tomato Chutney
  2. Escapades - Fiery Tomato Chutney
  3. The Singing Chef - Dosakaya Pachadi
  4. Cuisine Point - Tomato Gojju
  5. Spice-club - Spicy cranberry chutney
  6. Dil Se.. - Carrot Chutney
  7. Kayal's Kitchen - Ridgeguard Chutney
  8. One Page Cookbooks - 10 Simple Salsas
  9. Veg Inspirations - Mini Pepper chutney
  10. What's For Lunch, Honey? - Pear Cranberry Chutney with Star Anise
  11. Neivedyam - Pom Salsa
  1. Himanizkitchen - Tofu-Spring Onion Pulao
  2. Tasty Palettes - Bulgur Stuffed Tomatoes
  3. ...and a little bit more... - Wild Rice Salad with Cashews and Lemon-Mint Dressing
  4. Eggless Cooking - Curried Pasta and Vegetables
  5. Appetizing Recipes - Vegetable Noodles
  6. Appetizing Recipes - Schezwan noodles with mushroom
  7. Spice Your Life - Healthy Sprouted Moong dal Pulao
  8. My Diverse Kitchen - Indira's Lentil And Almond Burger Patties/ Cutlets
  9. Will-O'-the-Wisp - Home made easy Masala Dosa
  10. For Spicy Lovers - Lemon couscous
  11. Greedy Gourmet - Spiced Chickpea, Carrot, Raisin & Cashew Rice Pilaf
  12. My Spicy Kitchen - Chana Dal Khicdhi
  13. Tasty Palettes - Tofu Fajitas
  14. Tasty Palettes - Kadamba Saadam
Flatbreads and Breads
  1. Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes - Beetroot Sesame Buns
  2. ...and a little bit more… - Semolina Bread Loaf
  3. Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes - Oats Spinach Parathas
  4. eCurry - Poee: Mildly Spiced Goan Bread
  5. Taste of Mysore - Onion Chapathi
  6. The Cooker - Kneadless to Say it was wonderful
  7. My adigemane - Masala Akki Roti (Masala Rice Roti)
  8. One Page Cookbooks - 10 Simple Mexican Breads
  9. Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes - Vegan Avocado Brioche
  10. Tasty Curry Leaf - Spicy SweetPotato Rolls
  11. Tasty Palettes - Quinoa Carrot Paratha
Gravies and Curries
  1. Chandrabhaga - Brussels sprouts in Gravy
  2. Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes - Mushroom Salna
  3. Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes - Lauki Chole
  4. Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes - Green Tomato Kura
  5. Lisa's Kitchen - Chickpeas with Mango Powder (Amchoor Chana)
  6. My experiments with food - Keera Molgootal
  7. When My Soup Came Alive - Mixed Vegetable Curry
  8. Spice and Curry - Banana blossom stirfry (Mochar Ghonto)
  9. One Page Cookbooks - 1001 Simple Pappu ( Andhra's Lentil stew )
  10. Krishnaarpanam - Tofu Mutter in Makhni gravy
  11. Cilantro - Tofu Mutter Subzi
  12. eCurry - Dum Aloo: Potatoes Simmered in Spices & Coconut Milk
  13. Appyayan - Green Moong Tadka Dal
  14. Appyayan - Dhokar Dalna ( lentil cakes in a gravy)
  15. Appyayan - Aloo-Baingan Masala (Potato-eggplant curry)
  16. Cooksister! - Savoy cabbage, courgette & runner bean stir-fry
  17. Munchkin Mail - Tuscan beans with sage, and broccoli with garlic and soy
  18. My Spicy Kitchen - Carrot Fry
Sweet Notes
  1. Fun and Food - Vegan Thumbprint Cookies
  2. Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes - Eggless Oats Chocolate Chips Scones
  3. Tongue Ticklers… - Porulvilangai Urundai
  4. Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes - Vegan Pumpkin Walnut Muffins
  5. Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes - Banana Almond Vegan Cookies
  6. Make Life Sweeter! - Apricotina - dried apricot balls with pistachio filling
  7. Eggless Cooking - Vegan Cranberry Nut Quick Bread
  8. Eggless Cooking - Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
  9. Eggless Cooking - Crispy Vegan Breakfast Bars
  10. Kailas Kitchen - Beetroot Halwa
  11. Sunita's World - Fig and nut cupcakes
  12. Beauty and Bread - Banana cupcakes with peanut butter icing
  13. Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes - Vegan Peanutbutter Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies
  14. Eggless Cooking - Brown Rice Pudding
  15. Health Nut - Vegan Pomegranate bread
  16. Neivedyam - Pomegranate fruit cups

Thank you!

Pear and Chestnut Crumb Cakes

Its no secret that with chestnuts, it was ‘love at first taste’ for me. They are in season and I can’t seem to get enough of these mildly sweet nuts. Warm roasted chestnuts with spicy Indian chai is the usual deal on winter evenings. But lately, I am on the lookout for recipes to cook with ‘em. Recently, Vegetarian Times published a few chestnut recipes, as though answering my request. I tried every one of ‘em, including these pear chestnut crumb cakes. I made some modifications to the original recipe, with wonderful results.

Pear and Chestnut Crumb Cakes

(Makes 12 big or 18 medium muffins)

Crumb Topping

Almonds – 1 cup, finely chopped
Jaggery or brown sugar – ¼ cup


Whole wheat pastry flour – 2 cups
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Baking soda – 1 tsp
Ground cardamom – 1 tsp
Ground allspice – 1 tsp (or use 1 crushed clove)
Salt – ½ tsp
Butter – 4 tbsp
Applesauce – 1/3 cup
Jaggery or brown sugar – 1 cup
Eggs – 2
Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
Low fat milk – 1 cup
Ripe pears – 2 big or 3 small, cored and diced
Chestnuts – 1 cup, cooked, peeled and chopped*


Preheat oven to 350F. Line the muffin tin with liners. Mix almonds and jaggery for the crumb topping. Set aside.

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice in a bowl. In a different bowl, cream butter, jaggery and applesauce together, until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla extract. Mix in flour alternating with milk. Finally, fold in pears and chestnuts. Take care not to over mix the batter.

Scoop the batter onto the cupcake liners, top with the crumb topping and bake for about 25 minutes for large muffins or 20 minutes for standard size muffins. Test doneness by inserting a clean knife into the muffin. They should come clean. Take the muffins out, cool on a wire rack. Serve warm with coffee or ice cream.

* To cook chestnuts, score an X on top of the shell. Fill a pot with water, drop chestnuts and boil for 20 minutes. Drain, cool and peel the skins. Or roast them as shown here.

The cakes were very moist and mildly sweet, thanks to the pear and chestnuts. They also freeze well, making them a perfect snack, any time of the day.

Getting through the day with pear-chestnut crumb cake and coffee

I am sending this to Eating with the Seasons: December by Maninas:Food Matters.

Announcing MLLA, Sixth Helping - Hot & Spicy

Its my turn to invite you all to this edition of My Legume Love Affair, a monthly event at its infancy. Don’t let that fool you, cause this event has cherished such success month after month in this short span. The brains behind this event is a Well Seasoned Cook, Susan, the eloquent blogger and a splendid photographer.

The nights are nippy and I have begun to crave hot and spicy dinners. I was brooding how spicy foods feel special on wintry nights. Like how the spicy bowl of Italian lentil soup, which I have made many-a-times during summer, felt cozier last week. With winter months ahead, I thought it would be nice and handy to have some spicy legume-based recipes up our sleeves. So, this would be the winter edition of MLLA, calling for hot and spicy legume-based recipes.

While I was receiving entries for JFI – Whole Grains, I noticed some of us were confused with legumes and grains. So I want to make sure we are in the same page. We are talking about pulses like the ones listed here.

Also, a prize, which will be announced later, is offered by Susan to one of the participants. Details to follow in a later post.

Guidelines for participation

  1. Prepare a hot and spicy vegetarian/vegan recipe with legumes as the star ingredient. The spicier, the better. Any cuisine, any course is acceptable as long as it features legumes. Eggs are allowed. You are welcome to submit multiple entries. Entries in English only please.
  2. Post about in your blog between now and 31st Dec ’08. Please provide a link to this announcement and to Susan’s event page.
  3. Send a mail with MLLA in the subject line to with the following details.
    • Your name
    • Your blog name
    • Name of the entry
    • URL of your post
    • An optional photo that is 800 pixels wide or 800 pixels long (not both)
  4. If you don’t have a blog but would like to participate, send an email with the recipe and the above-mentioned details.
  5. Older posts are accepted only if they are re-posted with a link to this announcement.
  6. Feel free to use the logo in your post.

So, come share your favourite hot and spicy legume creations with us.

DMBLGiT November 2008 Results

Here are the results for this edition of DMBLGiT. The 77 entries received were scored based on three categories - Edibility, Originality and Aesthetics. The three entries with highest total scores are overall winners. Excluding these entries, the ones with the highest category score are the winners in the respective categories.

I want to extend my sincere thanks to the judges Susan, Graeme, Lauren and Meeta. I appreciate your time and effort, considering that last weekend was Thanksgiving in the US.

Overall winners

First Place

Tied at first place are

Arfi of HomemadeS - Pink Paris-Brest for Pink October

And, Vera of Baking Obsession - Checkerboard Cookies

Third place

Dwiana of The Adventure of My Cooking Diary - Kaastengel "cheese stick cookies"

Edibility Winner

Cooking Etcetera - Screamin' Hot Vindaloo Curry

Originality Winner

Sandra of Le Petrin - L'Esprit du Lion

Aesthetics Winner

Loukoum of Beau à la louche - Cœur de Thon Rouge, Minestrone aux Orecchiettes et au pistou

As the host of this edition, I would like to award Chris and Lisa of We [Heart] Food - Basque Fish and Potato Stew.

I love the colors and textures in this photo. The steam is captured so well.

I, along with other judges would like to congratulate the winners. Here are the badges. Pick a colour and go ahead, wear it in your blog.

Few acknowledgments before I wrap up.

Andrew – for the opportunity to host this esteemed event
Mathew – for designing the badges
Shari – for sending the updated badges

Arfi, who is also this month’s winner is hosting the next edition. Don’t forget to send in your entries.