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Jul 062012
Beetroot Parfait


The Plot :  38 Power Foods Blog group

Summary : 38 Power Foods blog group will focus on one ingredient each week taking inspiration from the book ; Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients from the editors of the whole living magazine. Each week we all will come up with recipes, stories, articles to encourage eating nourishing food.

Co conspirators : ( it will be nourishing for your foodie health to visit these blogs and see what they have come up with)

Jill at Saucy Cooks;

Jeanette at jeanetteshealthyliving ;

Martha at Simply Nourished Living ;

Mireya at Myhealthyeatinghabits ;

Alyce at More time at the table ;

Sarah at everything in the kitchen sink;

Casey at BookCase foodie

Episode #4 – Beets.


This week I made beetroots in many different ways. I made the standard raita ;  recipe for which I have shared in a previous post.

I sliced them thin, infused them with fennel and baked them into chips. I also made the recipe that I am sharing today –  of a beetroot parfait;  which is kid tested and approved. My daughter loved it and ate it without any fuss. She usually stays away from beetroots in any other form.

Beets provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. Traditionally, In India it is  given to expecting mother’s as part of their special diet. And is also suggested for people whose hemoglobin levels are low.  It truly is a power food with research backing up all claims, so it really is not a myth.

While reading up on the benefits of beets, I found out that the beet leaves were equally nutritious and hence a power food. Last week, I and my friend Jill from Saucy cooks  were making Samosa and we  added the greens to the potato stuffing. The result was super delicious. And It made us feel a little better about frying up the samosa.

I love the fact that you can go buy a bunch of beets and use up the entire plant. Super convenient, economical and in plain words – A real Power food!


The parfait style yogurt based beet dish was a wonderful addition as a side dish. We grilled some chicken using tandoori spices, and served this as a side dish. Instant hit!



Beetroot Raita or Parfait if we may


Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 4 small parfait glasses

Serving Size: 1


  • 1 medium size beetroot
  • 2 Cups beet root greens chopped
  • 1/2 C plus 1/2 C yogurt divided
  • Salt ( only if you really want)


  1. Wash the beet well and make some deep incisions in it with a sharp paring knife
  2. put it in a microwave proof dish and cover with a plastic wrap.
  3. pop the plastic wrap with the knife once or twice
  4. cook on high for 3 - 5 minutes
  5. when it is done , it will be soft and buttery
  6. peel off the outer layer and discard it ; chop the rest of the beet
  7. take 1/2 C yogurt and put in the blender along with the beet and blend them well -almost like a puree
  8. Now blanch the beet greens and shock them in cold water
  9. Put the greens into a serving bowl, layer with some plain yogurt and then top it off with the beet root yogurt mix puree.
  10. Serve with any grilled spicy dish. Or serve as a parfait for a snack.

Jun 282012
dill and potatoes1



Since June 9, 2012 Colorado has been witnessing wild fires. Hundreds of homes destroyed , healthy green forests under ash, thousands of people evacuated – Colorado is burning. The forecast for the week does not bring any relief. The temperatures are going to be soaring thus making the fire fighting much more harder than it already is.

I know most of you have seen the photos on the Internet and watched it on TV. I know everyone who saw or heard about it has said a prayer and felt sorry for the people who are going through a tough time right now.

If there is something I have learned from my experiences in extremely difficult situations it is this : We, the human race, are a resilient and determined lot. We survive. We move from despair to hope. We slowly rebuild our communities, we count our blessings, we say Thanks.

We are a fascinating lot. For the rest of the world, the life goes on as usual. Nothing stops for anyone. I wonder if that is part of our survival. To keep doing what we are doing and keep oiling the machine called life. With prayers on our lips and faith in our heart, we busy ourselves with doing.

I am praying and sending thoughts to all people fighting the fires and all the people whose lives have been disrupted by it. But I needed to DO something positive. I needed to feel hope. I needed the courage to take a deep breath and think everyone and everything will be OK soon.

So I set out to bake with my daughter. We made chocolate lava cakes & tried our hands at making a blueberry jam. Both of them were not great successes, but it was something to do together with my daughter and it made me realize that it was ‘doing’ that gives us courage and hope and that is how we survive.

Here is a humble recipe that I want to share with you all today.

Dill Potatoes

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 2

Dill Potatoes


  • 1 med size boiled potato
  • 2 tbs fresh dill chopped
  • 1 Thai green chili, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp oil
  • Salt to taste


  1. Slice boiled potatoes in rounds
  2. Heat oil and add in the chopped chili
  3. add in the sliced potatoes and turmeric if using
  4. Fry until the edges crisp up.
  5. Sprinkle salt.
  6. Add in chopped dill - mix in..switch off the heat. cover and let it sit for a bit to let the flavors seep in.
  7. Enjoy with roti and a bowl of dal.





Jun 072011
Fire roasted tomato chutney

Summer – the time when the monumental amount of yard work done during the spring begins to show results! The story is no different at our home. The spring blossoms are almost gone .The summer blooms are setting in and the backyard is slowly seeing more of us after being abandoned for almost all winter. The guy waits for this season. Bike rides with the setting sun, a long walk by the lake or an afternoon siesta under the Aspen tree – all of these are his cherished things to do. However there is something he would rather not do on a weekend during summer. Guessed it? Oh yes! It IS the lawn mowing thing! And then this girl doesn’t like it any better!

To make things interesting, we treat ourselves to a nice BBQ lunch after the yard work is over. There is something very comfortable and peaceful about the hum of the lawn mover and the sizzle on the grill going side by side. He gets the engine going on the mower, I start putting together Ingredients for the menu of the day. He is manicuring the front yard, I am firing up the grill. He finishes up the trimming of the edges and I am checking the temperature on the grill. The kid gets the lemonade ready and sets up a spot for relaxing and may be throw in a game of scrabble too.

The smoke from the grill mixes in with the scent of fresh cut grass. The summer blooms add in the fragrance and the bees and birds are the beautiful company. The food is ready and so are we!

Here is something wonderful to make on the BBQ Grill for a summer afternoon. If you live in places where summer means more heat than you can handle and you cant even think of looking at a BBQ grill – then  you just do it on an open flame on the stove or in the oven.

This dish of fire roasted tomato chokha is  from the state of Bihar in India and is called a chokha instead of chutney.  The locals usually add raw mustard oil to enhance the flavor. I use cold pressed organic Olive oil. I do love the mustard oil flavor too, but the guy in my life doesn’t.


This is not an exact recipe. So go with your instincts.



  • 3 Vine ripe tomatoes cut into two pieces each
  • 1 tsp olive oil (use the best you can)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 Thai green chili chopped
  • ¼ C chopped cilantro
  • ¼ C finely diced onions
  • 1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder



  1. Get the grill going. Brush some oil to the cut side of the tomatoes and place on the grill. Hear the sizzle.
  2. Cook for about 5 minutes or until you can get the skin off the tomato with a slight touch.
  3. Peel the skin off, chop the tomatoes and place in a bowl. Add all other ingredients and mix.
  4. Chill before serving.


Serve this as salsa with chips or as a relish with a spicy burger or as a chutney with Indian main dishes.

EDIT 1 :One of the friends of spiceroots has sent in some wonderful suggestions. Please check the comments from Sonal

Edit 2:How to make this in an oven or over open flame stoves

For oven :

  • Set the temperature to about 400*F , pre heat.
  • Put the tomatoes , cut side down an a baking tray that has been greased with a bit of coconut oil (preferable) or any other oil.
  • Cook the tomatoes for about 10 min or until just about done. Now broil for a minute or two on high to get that charred effect. Rest of the recipe is the same.

Open Flame :

  • You may need a vegetable grilling basket to do this .
  • Place tomatoes in the basket after punching in a few pokes with the knife.
  • cook on medium flame until done.
Congratulations Ruchi!
Feb 192010
Dates and Tamarind chutney

One fine balmy day, at a girls tea party, the hostess had made this delightful Tamarind Date chutney. It had a thick texture, great color and tasted just like an Imli chutney should. A couple of email exchanges later, I asked the gracious hostess for the recipe. She obliged and I made the chutney with the addition of ginger powder. This recipe is dedicated to you, Sarab.

Tamarind and Date chutney

Tamarind Date chutney  is like a sweet and sour dipping sauce, only that it is not too tart. The addition of jaggery and dates to the Tamarind makes it pleasantly sweet and sour.  It is an essential condiment for Indian Chaats, Samosa or deep fried fritters, along with the cilantro chutney .


Tamarind Date chutney – Sweet, Tart Spicy

Tamarind Date chutney – Sweet, Tart Spicy


  • 200 gms Tamarind
  • 200 gms Jaggery
  • 8 Medjool Dates , finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt or as per taste
  • 1tsp Red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger powder
  • 5- 6 Raisins
  • Water : 3 cups[ more if the Tamarind is too dry]


  1. Boil the water. Break the pack of Tamarind into small sections.
  2. Soak the Tamarind in the boiled water for 30 minutes
  3. Once cool and completely soaked, mash the Tamarind and water to a pulp
  4. Now strain the Tamarind juice from this mix, leaving behind the seeds and other solids
  5. Put this juice in a heavy bottomed, non reactive pan and add the jaggery.
  6. Cook on high until it starts to boil, then lower heat to medium low
  7. cook for about 30 minutes, stirring once a while
  8. Now add the salt, dates, chilli powder, ginger powder & raisins. Mix
  9. Cook on medium low for another 20 minutes until the chutney is thick
  10. Let it cool before you store the chutney


This makes about two jars of 13 oz each.   Store in the refrigerator for a month. When you have to use some of the chutney, transfer as much as you need to a separate bowl, add a dash of water to thin it down and your chutney is ready.