Quick and Easy Cole Slaw Salad

So what’s all the fuss about making things from scratch? you ask?

I, for one, like knowing what I’m eating and feeding my family. Now, from time to time I do buy ready to eat food, but those instances are very few and far between. We enjoy eating out and that’s not what I’m referring to here. I’m talking about frozen meals, ready sauces, spice pastes from a jar, canned pie filling, that kind of stuff. There are a few things that I will use, like tomato ketchup, mustard, wasabi / horseradish and that kind of stuff. I have found that for a little effort, you can make all of these things at home. They may take a little experimenting but almost always, the home made versions turn out so much better than the store bought ones. And once you try it out for yourself, you’ll know what all the fuss is about. 
Making your own food from scratch is a good habit to get into. And once you try your hand at it, you’ll want to learn more. It is addictive. I hate to come across as a snob, but I recently realized that in a pinch, I’d rather do a breakfast for dinner (fry up some eggs with toast) kinda thing rather than buying ready meals. If ready meals are your ‘go to’ option, try and keep an open mind to ‘made from scratch’. You can control the sugar and salt in your food. And it is so much easier on your budget too. 
Where am I going with all of this? A while ago, I’d shared my recipe for Homemade Mayonnaise. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make a batch. Okay, so you’ve made a batch of it. Now what? One of the ways, I use my homemade Mayo, is as a dressing in a Cole Slaw Salad. This salad couldn’t be simpler. A few ingredients get thrown in a bowl and tossed together and you have yourself a yummy salad perfect for a barbecue or to serve with batter fried fish or fried chicken or even in a sandwich.
I have posted a recipe for Cole Slaw before, but this one is a step up from that version with the addition of horseradish and mustard.

And if I’ve piqued your interest about food made from scratch, take a look around my blog. You’re sure to find recipes to try out.  

Cole Slaw

1/2 tsp grated Horseradish, or to taste
1/2 tsp Wholegrain or Dijon mustard, or to taste
1 carrot, grated
1 cup cabbage, finely sliced cabbage
A few slices of onion (finely sliced) or 1 spring onion, sliced
Salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Lime juice / lemon juice, to taste
In a bowl, mix the mayo, horseradish, mustard and freshly cracked black pepper. 
Add the carrots, cabbage and onion and mix well. 
Taste and adjust seasoning as required.
Your Cole Slaw is ready to serve. 
Enjoy!!!
Here’s the video recipe – 

30-second Homemade Mayonnaise

Yes, you read that correctly. Homemade mayonnaise in 30 seconds. I love having mayonnaise at hand most of the times. My husband likes some mayo with his crumb fried fish or chicken. We also enjoy it in sandwiches and salad dressings.

For me, the homemade Mayo craze started years ago, back when I was in Bombay. At that time, it was hard to find mayonnaise in stores. The good stuff was usually imported and cost a small fortune. The locally made stuff just didn’t tick the boxes for me. So my husband and I decided to try making mayonnaise at home. A few struggled attempts later, we nailed down our recipe and method and I had posted that recipe here. It was just how we liked it and we could make as much as we needed in a few minutes. I have to say, it has been years since I’ve purchased mayonnaise from a store, except for a couple of times when we just moved to Australia and we waiting on our kitchen appliances and the rest of our stuff to get here.

A couple of years ago, I caught a little snippet of Matt Preston whipping up a batch of Mayonnaise and I simply had to try it with my recipe to see if it worked. The beauty of this method is that it takes about 30 seconds from start to finish to whip up a batch of mayonnaise with minimal clean up after. Since then we’ve never looked back. And today I’m going to share with you my recipe for 30-second Homemade Mayonnaise.

If you’ve every considered making Mayo at home, but thought it was too difficult or too fussy, I urge you to try this out. This is how I like my Mayo. The best part is, you can adjust the salt, sugar and vinegar in the recipe to make it just right for you. Added bonus, no nasties. You know exactly what has gone into making your jar of mayo. So I really hope you try  it out soon.

30-second Homemade Mayonnaise


1 fresh, free range egg
3/4 cup oil (I used sunflower oil but any mild flavored oil will do)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 1/2 – 2 tsp apple cider vinegar, or to taste
Salt, to taste
1 tsp sugar, or to taste

Place all the ingredients in a clean and dry jar.

Place the blade of the immersion blender at the bottom of the jar and start it off at a medium speed.

Very slowly raise the blender toward to top of the oil in the jar. You should feel a little resistance as you do this from the emulsifying mayo below.

The mayonnaise is ready to use. You can close the jar and refrigerate till you are ready to use it.

You can watch the video recipe here –

Goan Dried Prawn Kismur – A Goan dried prawn salad

Guys, I finally got down to trying this recipe out myself. I have wanted to make Kismur (pronounced Kis – moor) for months. The only thing holding me back was the availability of dried prawns in Sydney. Most (if not all) Indian stores I’ve been to, don’t stock dried prawns and fish. I had once bought a packet from a Chinese store and I wasn’t too happy with it. I was researching Sri Lankan cuisine a few days ago and I read that they use dried prawns too. So yesterday I popped into my local Sri Lankan grocery store, and lo and behold, sitting proud on its shelves were so many varieties of dried fish and prawns. I grabbed a bag and knew exactly what I was going to try with it.

Kismur is a Goan prawn and coconut salad of sorts. It’s not your typical salad with dressing, but its more like a stir fry that is served at room temperature. And I use the term stir fry very loosely here as the ingredients are all sauteed before tossing together. In Goa, sun dried fish is very commonly found and used. In the summer, when fresh fish is abundant, they are prepped, salted and sun dried and this fish can then be stored for months at room temperature. You can find big mounds of dried fish and prawns at any Goan market. This dried fish is best purchased in the summer when everything is nice and dry. The fish is then stored for use during the monsoon, when fresh fish is not easily available. A lot of Goan homes serve this dried fish (also called salt fish because of the way it is cured) along with a Sorak (plain Goan curry) or a dal or a vegetable curry as a condiment. You can’t really eat as much of the salt fish as you would fresh fish but it makes for a very tasty accompaniment to a vegetarian meal. Dried prawns on the other hand, are used to make warm chilly fries / stir fries, salads and this Kismur. Now that I’ve found good dried prawns, I see a chilly fry coming up in the near future.

But today, I’m going to share with you a quick and simple version of Kismur. It is ridiculously simple to make and if you’re anything like me, you will absolutely love it. Please note, that since this is almost like a salad, the quantities listed below are approximates of what I used.

Goan Dried Prawn Kismur

1/3 cup dried prawns
1/2 a large onion, chopped
1/3 cup freshly grated coconut
1 red / green chilly, split in quarters lengthwise
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp red chilly powder
1 tbsp coconut oil
Salt, to taste
Lemon wedges, to serve

Wash the prawns under cold running water and drain.

Dry roast them on a pan till crispy again, stirring frequently, so that it doesn’t burn.

Tip the prawns onto a plate and set aside.

Heat the coconut oil over medium high heat in a pan.

Add the chopped onion and saute for a minute or so till the onions have only slightly warmed through.

Add the roasted prawns and stir.

Now add the chilly, coconut, turmeric powder, chilly powder and salt. Mix well.

Place into a serving bowl and serve with some wedges of lime for those who might want to squeeze some lime over.

Serve at room temperature with some steaming hot rice and curry. (Fish curry recipe to follow. Watch this space.)

Enjoy!!!

Baby Spinach Salad with a Balsamic Glaze

Whoever said that the simple things are often the best, was a legend. I have proof. What am I talking about? Well a couple of weeks ago, I’d gone to lunch with a friend. Obviously, I had to have the smashed avo toast – beautiful rye sourdough, topped with a generous amount of smashed avocado. This particular version of it was then topped with a simple salad that was so very good, I had to try replicating it at home. It was just a beautiful and well balanced little number, with every mouthful, I could literally hear angels sing.

Since the salad was so simple, there is very little to do to assemble it. This makes it perfect if you have to make a great big batch to feed a crowd this holiday season. The homemade version was so good, I hardly got a couple of bites of it. The husband, who initially was very skeptical about the simplicity and the ‘no mayo’ nature of the salad, almost wiped the plate clean. So I can tell you that this recipe has been tried and tested and has received the highest seal of approval (well, in my house atleast).

This is not an exact recipe. You simply add the ingredients to your liking and taste and it will turn out fantastic.

Baby Spinach Salad with a Balsamic Glaze


A couple of handfuls of baby spinach (you could also use rocket or any salad greens of your choice)
A few cherry tomatoes
Feta cheese, to taste
Freshly crushed black pepper, to taste
Balsamic glaze, to taste

Place the baby spinach / salad greens on your salad plate.

Halve the cherry tomatoes and place it evenly around the plate.

Crumble some feta cheese on top. (Please note, the feta cheese is salty, so add as much or as little as you’d like. No additional salt in used as the feta seasons the salad.)

Sprinkle a little freshly cracked black pepper on top.

Drizzle a little balsamic glaze over everything to finish it off.

Sit back and look at this gorgeous work or art.

Serve up and enjoy.

Avocado Pasta Salad

Its hard to believe that its only the first month of Spring right now. We’ve had a few scorchers already and its starting to feel like Summer is long to be a long and hot one. While I enjoy the extra daylight and the bounty of fruit, veg and flowers and beautiful beach days that summer brings, I cannot cope with HOT days. Last weekend was one such scorcher, thanks to the second heatwave of the season. I don’t know about you, but on such days, I cannot even think of putting the stove or the oven on, much less standing near it. I think I see a lot of salads and sandwiches for lunch this Summer.

I tried out this amazing Avocado Pasta Salad over the weekend and it was a big hit. There is a little stove time involved to boil the pasta and to fry the bacon, but the end result is so good, I’d say it was well worth it. I can’t wait for the next potluck or picnic, because I know that this salad will make an appearance.

The dressing is an avocado based one and is super easy to make. If you have an immersion blender, you life will be even easier. If not, just use your regular blender and you’ll be sorted. Basically all the ingredients for the dressing get blitzed together and ta-da …. you have yourself a salad dressing. I love recipes that are as easy as this. The ingredient list for the salad is just an approximation of what I used. Feel free to adjust as needed.

Avocado Pasta Salad
Serves 4 (as Main Course)

2 cups uncooked Macaroni
1/4 onion, finely chopped (use a sweeter onion if you can’t stand the heat from a raw onion. You can also use a couple of spring onions, finely sliced)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup boiled / roast chicken, shredded
1/2 cup corn kernels
1 avocado, diced
4 rashers of bacon, fried till crisp and chopped / crumbled
1/4-1/3 capsicum (I used green because thats all I had. You can use red or yellow too, or even a combination of them.)
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

For the dressing – 
1 ripe avocado
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander (use the leaves and the stalks)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
Salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Boil the pasta till al dente, following the package instructions. Run under cold water to stop the cooking process and to cool the pasta down. Drain and set aside.

Blanch the broccoli florets in boiling, salted water till it is a vibrant green, about 30 seconds to a minute, depending on how crunchy you like your broccoli. Immediately drain and immerse the broccoli in ice cold water for a few seconds to stop the cooking process. Drain and keep aside.

In the same pot of boiling water, boil your sweet corn kernels till done. Drain and set aside.

Get your salad ingredients ready.

For the dressing, simply blitz all the ingredients together.

Toss the salad in the dressing and refrigerate for about 1 hour before serving.

Enjoy!!!

Pin now and try later!!!

Mediterranean Salad

As the days warm up, I find myself thinking about having a salad for lunch more and more. I usually take a packed salad to work for lunch, which is why I need my salad to be more than a salad. I need to keep going through the rest of my work day. I have found that when I opt for a salad over other options for lunch, I feel refreshed and ready to go through the remainder of the day. I’m always on the lookout for new combinations and flavours.

This (sort of) Mediterranean Salad came together thanks to a colleague who put me on to the wonderful combination of roasted peppers, grilled eggplant and feta. She was putting together a sandwich for lunch using these lovelies and I thought to myself, I could make this into a salad and see how it works out. So on my way home, I stopped by my local Coles and went straight to their deli section and picked up some Danish feta and grilled eggplant. I have yet to work out how to make this eggplant at home. While I strongly believe that made from scratch is way better than store bought, sometimes you need to be open to using a store bought shortcut, especially when you haven’t made anything for lunch and need something real quick. Enter, store bought fire roasted peppers; another thing I want to make at home.

Back to the salad. It essentially is made up of veggies, the condiments mentioned above and feta – that’s it! No dressing or anything. The best part is you wont even miss the dressing. The feta is soft, creamy, sharp and salty, so it takes the salad to a whole new level. Feel free to add or take away from this salad and make it your own. I have made this salad a few times and both, my husband and I love it. I made it with and without olives, so feel free to use them, or not. Also, toasted pine nuts on the salad would be divine. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that sooner, but I fully intend adding them to the salad when I make it next. This salad would make a wonderful addition to any barbecue as well.

Mediterranean Salad


A couple of handfuls of Salad leaves (I use the 4 leaf mix from Cole’s)
1 fresh tomato, cut into chunks
Sliced cucumber (about 1/2 cups worth)
A few slivers of thinly sliced red onion
2-3 slices grilled eggplant, roughly chopped
A few slices roasted peppers, roughly chopped
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Danish feta, to taste

Place all the ingredients except the feta in a bowl and toss together.

Crumble the feta over the salad and lightly toss.

Serve.

** This salad also makes a lovely veg. sandwich.

Disclaimer: I haven’t been compensated for this post either monetarily or in kind. I just happen to shop at Coles and that’s why the mention.

Sriracha Chinese Cucumber Salad

Every now and then I love a little snack. Yes, I snack between meals Dad. My Dad would be horrified that I still do. He is a strong believer that food should be restricted to meal time, unless you were at a party or something. However, I love my snacks. I’ve always tried to cook / bake from scratch and now I want to try and take that one step ahead and eat clean. It will take some getting used to, but I think it definitely is do-able and I hope to take that to my snacks as well. Does this mean you’ll stop seeing desserts, bakes and other slightly indulgent food on my blog. Most definitely not. I will still do that, but will try and be more mindful of the kind of food I eat on a regular basis. Do you have any clean eating recipes that you love? I would love to try them out too. Leave me a comment and let me know 🙂

So back to this salad. I love cucumbers – continental, lebanese, baby cukes – all of them. One of my favourite ways to eat cucumber is straight up sprinkled with a tiny bit of salt. I usually serve some up with lunch or dinner. I wanted to try and change it up a little. Thats where this Asian inspired gem comes in. It was quick and easy and sounded delicious. I could definitely snack on some of this too. I’m very glad I stumbled across this recipe.
If you’re making this salad ahead of time, you can make the dressing in advance and just chop the cucumber and toss it up just before serving.
Sriracha Chinese Cucumber Salad
1 continental cucumber, cut into batons
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 – 1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp sriracha sauce
1/2 tsp fresh coriander leaves and stalks, chopped
1/4 tsp red chilly flakes
Lemon / lime juice, to taste
Mix all the ingredients except the cucumber pieces together in a bowl.
Add the cucumber pieces to the bowl and toss well.
Serve immediately.

Chunky Guacamole

Have I told you about how much I love avocados? Ofcourse not, because before we came to Australia, I’d never tasted one. But when I tried my first one, I was in love. I’ve had a few avocados since then and have loved every bite. My favorite way to enjoy an avocado is in the form of this simple, yet fresh and vibrant Guacamole. It is a chunky version so its nothing more than chopping up a few veggies, mixing and seasoning them. I can actually eat this by the bowlful. I serve this as a side like a salad, as a dip for some corn chips and so much more. Stay tuned for more.

Chunky Guacamole

1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 green chilly, finely chopped (optional)
1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Salt, to taste
Sour lime juice, to taste
Mix all the veggies in a bowl, add salt and lime to taste and toss well.
Serve.

Bombay Street Food Special #4 – Sukha Bhel – Light and healthy puffed rice salad

Today I’m going to actually add another post to the Bombay Street Food Special Series I’d started a while ago. I’ll bet you thought I was done with that. But I’m not. I will keep adding to that section, because I love street food. Today’s recipe, falls under the chaat category and there is a more fully loaded version with a number of chutneys and stuff that I so want to try making at home, I’ve just never gotten around to it, but this version is a quick and easy treat that you can munch away on in about 5 minutes. It has lovely fresh flavors and it makes for a quick, healthy snack.

It is ideally served with some papdi, which is a small crispy puri. I didn’t have any handy and haven’t yet tried making them, but soon will. I did the next best thing. I served it with some of my homemade tortilla chips. The street food stalls in Mumbai sell portions of this chaat in paper cones and patrons use the crisp, but sturdy papdi as a spoon.
Sukha Bhel

1 cup puffed rice, murmura
1/2 onion, chopped 
1/2 tomato, chopped
1 green chilly, chopped fine (optional)
1 tsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
A pinch of Salt
A couple of pinches Chaat masala
A squirt of lime juice
1/4 cup sev
1-2 papdi/tortilla chips crushed
1 papdi/tortilla chip whole
Mix the onion, tomato, chilly, salt, lime and chaat masala lightly, in a bowl.
Add the puffed rice, crushed papdi / tortilla chips and sev and toss well. 
Garnish with the chopped coriander leaves.
Serve with a whole papdi / tortilla chip.
This recipe is linked to –
Savory Sunday

Sprouted Moong Salad

I love sprouts. If you do some reading up about moong sprouts, you’ll realize what an amazing superfood this is. It has all sort of medical benefits. Once sprouted the moong bean is an amazing source of Vit C that the seed in itself can’t provide. It’s also a great source of protein. These are just a few benefits that I can remember off hand. I’m quite sure the list goes on.

Here’s something that I’ve had floating around in my head for a while now. Each time I’d pass the sprouts shelf at the supermarket, I’d long to pick it up. For reasons even I’m not aware of, I just never did. So recently when I was buying my grains and pulses at the local store, I decided to pick up some dried whole moong (mung beans) and try sprouting it myself.

It’s such a simple process, I wonder why I have never considered sprouting beans at home, before. Better late than never, I’d say. So back to the salad. The only thing you need to ensure is you prep the moong the previous day. If you’d like to omit the sprouting yourself, there’s no harm in using store-bought sprouts. This is not so much a recipe but a guide. Feel free to adapt to your liking.
How to Sprout Moong at home – 

Soak the dried whole moong in sufficient water. (The water level should be atleast an inch above). Soak for about 8 hours or overnight. 
After soaking, drain off excess water. Gently rinse with fresh water. Cover with a wet muslin cloth and keep till the beans have sprouted (approx. 8 hours).
I usually soak the beans in water before going to bed at night, drain and cover with a damp cloth in the morning and its ready for use by the evening.
Sprouted Moong Salad

A handful of Sprouted Moong
1 small onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
1 green chilly, finely chopped (optional)
Fine Sev, for garnishing (optional) (Sev is a snack that can eaten just about anywhere at anytime. These are thin noodles of dough made from chickpea flour and deep-fried until they’re crispy enough to eat. )
Fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Salt, to taste
Lime juice, to taste
Mix the sprouts, onion, chilly, tomato and cucumber in a bowl. 
Season to taste with salt and lime juice. 
Sprinkle some fine sev over it. Garnish with the chopped coriander leaves.
** I tuck it in the fridge till I’m ready to serve it.
You can also switch this salad up a bit by adding some plain unflavored natural yogurt, beaten well, to the salad veggies in the bowl in the first step mentioned above. Continue by seasoning and garnishing it.
Again, refrigerate till ready to serve.
This recipe is linked to –