Garbanzo beans or chickpeas?

Garbanzo beans and Chickpeas are the same.
Garbanzo beans and chickpeas are the same plant, or specifically, the same legume. The botanical name is’ Cicer arietinum’.
The word“chickpea” is the common name used by English-speaking people while “garbanzo” is used by Spanish-speaking people. In a nation with both languages present, the names might be used interchangeably.

Two types of garbanzo beans or chickpeas are known, the Kabuli and the Desi. The Kabuli means from Kabul. It has a light color with large seeds as well as a smooth coat.
The second type, the Desi (means local or native) is almost the opposite of the Kabuli. It is small, dark with a rough coat.


As a versatile legume, it is a staple ingredient in many Middle Eastern and Indian dishes. It is also an excellent source of zinc, folate, protein, and dietary fiber. It also has a good measure of minerals like phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc.

It is a good source of carbohydrates for diabetes and can contribute to better control of blood sugar.


Quinoa Pulao

Chenopodium quinoa before flowering
Chenopodium quinoa before flowering
English: Quinua (Quinoa) plants near Cachora, ...
Quinua (Quinoa) plants in Peru

Quinoa chickpea pulao(pilaf)
Quinoa is a healthy gluten-free whole grain from South America.  Quinoa is rightly named “mother grain” because of its high protein, vitamin, fiber, iron and magnesium content. Quinoa has become   increasingly popular all over the world as a ‘super food’. It is easy to cook and can be made into salads, soups and a main dish like the one I am describing.

Preparation time- 15 minutes
Cooking time-30 minutes
Serves 4

11/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 small onion, diced
½ teaspoon garlic paste
½ teaspoon ginger paste
3 cups water
2 cups of cooked chickpeas (or 1 15 oz can drained and rinsed)
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 teaspoons cumin powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
Juice and zest of 1 lemon/lime
½ cup green onion, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt/pepper to taste
1.    Take a heated non stick pan and sauté the onion till translucent, about 5 minutes. Add water if the onion sticks to the pan.
2.    Add the ginger and garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
3.    Now add the quinoa and the water and let it come to a boil.
4.    Reduce the heat and add the cumin, turmeric, chili powders.
5.    Cover and let the quinoa cook for 15-20 minutes.
6.    Stir in the chickpeas, tomato, lemon zest and juice and cook for another 5 minutes.
7.    Season with salt and pepper and garnish with green onions and cilantro.
Instead of quinoa you can substitute bulgur or couscous.

There are many types of quinoa-red, white, brown. To know more about this fascinating, ancient grain, check out this website-

Semolina Pudding-‘Sheera’

Sheera for GanpatiSemolina pudding
Today is Ganesha Festival, which is celebrated in Maharashtra, a state in the west of India. We have grown up celebrating this joyous 10 day festival. So I feel compelled today to make something special to offer to Lord Ganesha,the elephant-headed God, who is loved by all.
I have made a vegan sweet dish made from semolina which is traditionally made on auspicious occasions like today. It is called ‘sheera’.
Preparation time-  5 minutes
Cooking time- 10 minutes
Serves 4 people
1 cup roasted semolina/ sooji/rava
3 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon cardamom powder
2 tablespoons raisins/cranberries
3 tablespoons sugar (to taste)
1 tablespoon pistachios crushed
1 tablespoon slivered almonds
2 drops vanilla extract
1)    Take a heated non stick skillet and add the semolina. Roast it for 3 minutes as you stir it to prevent it from sticking.
2)    Add the milk slowly as it will start bubbling when you add it. Lower the heat and keep stirring.
3)    Add the cardamom powder, raisins or cranberries or both and the sugar.
4)    Let it cook for 5 minutes till all the milk is absorbed.
5)    Add the vanilla extract.
6)    Garnish with the almonds and pistachio.

To know more about Lord Ganesha you can go on to this website:

Spicy Oats Pancakes

39-Oats pancakesSpicy Oats Pancakes

I was looking for something to go with leftover vegetables and I thought of making these easy but very tasty pancakes.
Preparation time  10 minutes
Cooking time    20 minutes

Serves 4
1 cup oats flour (or ground Quaker oats)
2 tablespoons semolina ground or corn flour
½ teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon garam masala powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
¼ teaspoon chili powder
1 cup mixed chopped vegetables like spinach, red peppers, onion, and green chili
Juice of 1 lemon
Water to make the batter
1)    Mix all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
2)    Add the vegetables.
3)    Add about 1 cup of water to make a loose batter of pouring consistency.
4)    Set aside for 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice.
5)    Heat a non stick skillet and pour the batter in the center.
6)    Spread the batter and let it cook till it browns at the edge.
7)    Flip the pancake to cook the other side till it browns.

Kale is king!


Kale is King!
Kale, broccoli’s leafier cousin, is no longer relegated to being a side dish at dinner. This versatile cruciferous vegetable can also be worked into your breakfast or lunch for a nutrition boost.
Health benefits of kale cannot be undermined.
Though greens in general are nutritious foods, kale stands a head above the rest. Not only is it one of your best sources of beta-carotene, one of the antioxidants believed by many nutrition experts to be a major player in the battle against cancer, heart disease, and certain age-related chronic diseases, it also provides other important nutrients.

Two types are popular: curly, which is bright green and tastes a little tart, and dinosaur (also known as black, lacinato or Tuscan), which is darker, with flat leaves and a nutty taste. All types of kale can be eaten raw.

“We buy more kale than any of the other related greens combined,” says James Parker, a buyer for Whole Foods Market. As further proof of its popularity, Web searches for kale recipes have nearly quadrupled in the past two years, according to Google Trends.

To know more about why kale is called a superfood, see the links below:

I love Kale!

Kale juice2 with Madhavi                                                                     I love Kale!
Since I heard Kale is a powerhouse of nutrients, I have become a big fan of kale. You can do a lot with it like using it in salads or main dishes. Its tasty just sautéed with ginger and soya sauce. But the best way to consume it in quantity on a regular basis is to make kale juice. Mix the kale leaves with fruits like bananas, apples, berries or any other fruits you have at home, add some water and blenderize to a pulp. You do need a powerful blender.
Take half a bunch of kale and with other fruits thrown in, you will get 2 glasses of the juice.
Cheers! Enjoy its benefits!

Toasting seeds,spices and nuts

photo 54-Toasting seedsPhoto 55-toasting cumin seedsWhole seeds and spices (like mustard seeds, sesame seeds and cumin seeds) can be toasted by placing them in a dry skillet over medium heat and stirring continuously to stop them from burning. The seeds are done when they start to pop or become fragrant. Most seeds will take a few minutes to toast so they should not be left unattended as they will burn easily.
The best way to toast raw nuts is to place them on a rimmed baking sheet in an oven at 350 degrees for 5 to 8 minutes. Pine nuts will take about 5 minutes, almonds will take about 10 minutes and larger nuts will take up to 15 minutes. Again, do not leave them unattended as they can go from perfectly toasted to irretrievably burnt in a minute or two.
Once they are done, remove them from the heat and keep them in a heat-proof dish at room temperature


GazpachoGazpacho2Gazpacho is ‘salad in a blender”. It’s a raw cold soup, fresh, textured, light and such a delicious summer treat. I love it more every time I make it and eat it and get lots of praises for it. Its a perfect cool summer soup!
Preparation time   15 minutes
No cooking time

Serves 4
1 small cucumber, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 tomato, cut up
½ onion cut into big pieces
2 cloves garlic or ½ teaspoon garlic paste
2 cups tomato juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper
1)    Put all the ingredients into a food processor.
2)    Pulse the mixture so that it blends well.
3)    You should have a rich tomato base with colorful confetti of vegetables.
4)    Garnish with cilantro.
Serve with a grain-based salad like a Quinoa- Bean salad and/or toasted multi-grain bread.

Chickpeas and spinach curry

photo 41 Chickpeas with spinach I always have a batch of cooked chickpeas (also called Garbanzo) in my deep freeze so I can whip this up at short notice. I take about 4 cups of dried chickpeas; soak them in cold water overnight. The water level should be 3 inches over the chickpeas level. The next day, wash the peas a few times and add enough fresh water so as to cover them. Transfer to a pot and let it come to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer and allow cooking till tender. It can take up to 2 hours. Let it cool and then make 4 to 6 portions and store in the deep freeze. Alternatively, use canned garbanzo beans.

Preparation time- 15 minutes
Cooking time- 20 minutes
Serves 4

2 cups chickpeas, cooked (I 15 oz can, drained and rinsed)
12 cups of fresh spinach, chopped (or 1 bag of frozen spinach)
1 onion, diced
1 tomato, chopped
½ teaspoon garlic paste (or 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced)
1 tablespoon ginger paste (or 2 inch piece grated)
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon/ lime
Salt to taste
Chaat masala powder (optional, it can be bought at an Indian store)

1)    In a large pan sauté the onions for 2-3 minutes till they turn translucent.
2)    Add the chopped tomato and cook for 3 minutes.
3)    Reduce the heat and add the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric and chili powders. Stir and cook for 2 minutes.
4)    Add the almond milk, spinach and chickpeas.
5)    Cover the pot and let the spinach cook on low heat till it wilts which is about 10 minutes.
6)    Season with salt
7)    Garnish with cilantro, lemon juice and chaat masala.
You can use kale or Swiss chard or a combination of greens instead of only spinach.
I have made this without the almond milk and it’s really good too.

Mixed Vegetable Stew

photo 57-moroccan stewMixed Vegetable Stew
This is a very easy recipe which I make very often and is always a hit. It’s one of those that can’t go wrong. The combination of vegetables and spices give this stew a subtle Moroccan flavor.
It will taste delicious even the next day as the vegetables get soaked with all the delectable flavors.
Preparation time- 15 minutes
Cooking time- 30 minutes
Serves 4

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced into 1 inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled and diced into 1’inch pieces
½ green or red bell pepper, seeded and diced into 1 inch pieces
2 small zucchini, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 bunch of spinach, chopped
1 cup chick peas, cooked (or 1 15 oz can of Garbanzo beans which are precooked)
1 stalk of celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 inch piece of ginger grated or 1 teaspoon ginger paste
4-5 cloves
8-10 peppercorns
1 inch piece of cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon chili powder
3 cups of vegetable stock or water
10-12 fresh mint leaves
Salt/Pepper to taste