Vegan Papaya Blueberry Smoothie

  Even though I am very well away from my vegan diet, at times, I do go back to them when I feel really bloated. 😀 I am of the belief that our body needs a little of everything to survive and pull on, so you will never see advocating one type of eating habit. Yet, when we go a bit overboard with eating, a raw vegan diet for a few days does really calm your system down. It is only based on my experience and not necessarily it works for everybody. We have to see how each of our bodies react and eat accordingly. I may brag about it but always end up being the last person to do it, though off late I am trying to really watch out what I am eating.   Sharing with you today, a delicious vegan smoothie, that is one of my favorites… 

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Kiwi Green Grape Juice

  After the Coriander Chutney, here is the second one in line. A totally green juice, filled with fruits and the goodness of coconut water – that is how I would call this. Kiwi and green grapes are normally not a combination that you would see juiced together. So I combined it more to see how it would fare. I am also not a fan of coconut water – yeah, something surprising considering I love anything with coconut, but don’t seem to like the water! All in all, I must say it was a very refreshing drink. The chia seeds though optional, adds an extra kick to the whole drink. I feel blessed to stay in a country like UAE, where you get fruits of various kinds all throughout the year coming from various countries. Alhamdulillah, we can survive on a bowl of fruits if I feel lazy to cook… 

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Kothamalli Chutney ~ Coriander Chutney

  Did you miss the 3 back-to-back post series last month? 🙂 I didn’t miss it. Instead, I felt I had taken a little break. My mind is relieved and InShaAllah, I already have set up in my mind what I would be doing at least till mid of the year. After that, will see… 😉   This month, I chose the theme “Green”, so you will see three green colored foods being featured back-to-back from today. Isn’t green a very fashionable food color these days? With more focus on healthy eating, anything green is coming back into favor. So, green it is, and let’s move on to the first one in the series…   The first recipe I choose to feature is our humble coriander chutney. For our idlis, we normally prefer the white thenga chutney. Even when we go to restaurants for vegetarian food, the kids wipe out… 

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Beetroot Pooris ~ Beetroot Deep-fried Flatbread

  In December, the Sshhh Cooking Club decided to take a break, and now we are back with our new challenge for this month. The theme of the month was anything “red or pink” considering the upcoming “month of love”. I always feel that love is something to be cherished and nourished all through out the year. I don’t believe in the policy of going out and gifting a loved one on one specific day. It is more of a business trick that anything else. I am a person who likes to gift off my whim – when I feel like, I get something for HD, the kids, my parents or my friends, not being specific on dates. The Prophet (PBUH) asked us to “exchange gifts, as that will lead to increasing your love for one another.” (Sahih Bukhari) Therefore I rest my case… 😉 I know people feel gifting… 

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Spiced Chickpea Mango Salad

  Most of my cookbooks are instant purchases. I just flip through and purchase. At least buying that way has given me decent cookbooks compared to some of my online purchases that have literally made me cry once the books have landed in my hand. 😀 I guess I better not talk about them and move on with the book chosen for this month’s book review… 🙂   “Chilli Notes” by Thomassina Miers happens to be the author’s fifth cookbook. And she is no mean one – she is a Masterchef winner. I really didn’t know that when I picked up the book. 🙂 I picked it up from the Borders store at Mirdif City Center, along with the “Low Fat Baking Book” that I reviewed the first in the series. I don’t know what exactly pulled me to buy it but there were surely these factors: Hardcover – I… 

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Varutharacha Sambar ~ Malabar Style Mixed Vegetable Lentil Stew

  I would really call sambar as the ultimate comfort food of a South Indian. Why not? We would have sambar with everything. Recently, I discovered that sambar went amazingly well with porottas too! If you are wondering what a “sambar” is, it is a South Indian stew made with lentils, mixed vegetables and lots of spices.   I had mentioned in this post that I am not fond of store bought sambar powders. Each brand tastes different and somehow I don’t seem to like any. I prefer to make my own little batch each time I make my sambar. When I discovered that we had our own version of making sambaar using roasted coconut paste, my joy had no bounds. Umma was never aware of a version like this, so I never grew up with one. I have adapted this recipe from many sources so can’t pinpoint just one…. 

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Puriwala Aloo ~ Easy Potato Curry

  I was added to a Whassup group recently by an FB friend, where the person who started the group gives audio classes about Surah An-Noor thrice a week. Since listening at home is out of question thanks to the noise pollution I endure, I usually hear the lectures on my metro trip. Having only covered a part of this chapter, but the number of times Allah has reminded of His immense mercy is amazing. “…for indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Part of verse 5) “And if not the favor of Allah upon you and His mercy… and because Allah is Accepting of repentance and Wise.” (Verse 10) “And if it has not been for the favor of Allah upon you and His mercy in this world and the Hereafter, you would have been touched for that (lie) in which you were involved by a great punishment. (Verse 14)… 

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Zereshk Polo ~ Iranian Barberry Rice

  The first recipe post of the year 2017… Alhamdulillah, I am starting enthusiastically, but how much I will continue that enthusiasm throughout the year needs to be seen. Some excitement coming up on the blog this month – should I say it or should I let it surface by itself? I guess I will go with the later… That will ensure that you all stick to my blog this month… I can afford to be a bit selfish, right? 😉     I have already mentioned how much I love Persian food. I have shared some recipes on the blog too, and having a big list of many many more to try. One of the recipes I really wanted to try was this rice I am sharing with you. Zereshk Polo is basically a pilaf with dried barberries. This was one rice that used to feature for our lunch… 

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Vegan Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

  After the Mint Hot Chocolate and the Biscoff White Hot Chocolate, here comes the third one!   Since I have gone through the difficulties of having some of my favorite food during the vegan days, I had found ways to go about it. I still like to look back and take around the lessons and still crave for good vegetarian food rather than non-veg after that little phase in my life! 😀 Something I used to crave so much for was hot chocolate and somehow I was really not liking too much dark chocolate. On top, I am really not a fan of hot chocolate with cocoa powder, but then you need to adjust as per your circumstances, right? 🙂 That is when this hot chocolate was born.   Since I used to keep making almond milk, in order to finish them soon, I used to end up making… 

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Aloo Gobhi ~ Potatoes with Cauliflower

  During my vegan days, the biggest appreciation that came to me was how vegetarians are able to make their mind towards cooking variety and delicious food. As carnivores, our mind is always centering around non-vegetarian dishes, which are easier to cook, I feel. When I couldn’t have them, my challenge was to get the folks at home to eat what I was cooking. I would limit my non-veg cooking to once a week and somehow they accepted it, even though they weren’t happy with the same. I am still trying to do it, but not with the same level of push. I have always cribbed how difficult it is to make my folks have vegetarian food, even though I feel now with my constant effort, things are changing for good, Alhamdulillah and I am sincerely hoping it gets better… 🙂   Aloo (potatoes) and gobhi (cauliflower) are both vegetables… 

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Uralakizhangu Musakhan ~ Malabar Potato Fry

  It’s the last Saturday of the month, and I am here with a book review! InShaAllah, I am trying to make this segment as regular as possible, so that my ever increasing collection of cookbooks are touched and cooked from. 🙂   Being from the Malabar side, I have always been intrigued to learn more about the cooking there. As I have always mentioned, the cooking done in my part of Malabar is very limited. When I got married and moved to Payyoli, I was surprised by the different types of food they would cook up in a matter of minutes! I still haven’t posted many of what I have learned from there, but as time goes by I will cook it up and feature them on the blog, InShaAllah. It is a passion of mine to collect as much as sources I can of Malabar cooking as available…. 

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Be My Guest – Vegan Pumpkin Pie in Chocolate Crust

Last month, after a break, I kick-started the Be My Guest series with Famidha. But I have already mentioned that I may not go on every month doing a post. Alhamdulillah, I am glad this month I have a blogger too as my guest. A blogger, who is on my list of favorites in food blogging. I mean, go through her blog. The amount of recipes she posts, especially as a part of the Blogging Marathon, is amazing. Each post of her is a delight – whether it is the recipe or the shots. There is not even a post where her clicks are lacking – they are one better than the other or competing against each other. I really admire the way that she keeps up with the standard of her posts. Also, her blog is perfect fodder for a sweet tooth like me to keep looking at it… 

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Kashata ~ Coconut Peanut Sugar Candy

  Time for the MENA Cooking Challenge! This month, it was Djibouti, as unheard as the Comoros Islands, which was our October assignment. Djibouti is a tiny country located in the Horn of Africa, covering an area of a little over 23,200 cubic km, sharing its borders with Eritrea, Somalia and Ethiopia, with one side facing the Red Sea. The inhabitants are primarily Muslims and Arabic and French are the major languages spoken, apart from Afroasiatic languages. Due to its strategic location, it is a buzzing commercial hub and is site for various military bases. Djibouti cuisine is highly influenced by foods of Somalia, Yemen, Afar and French cuisine. Meat and fish are a staple part of the food.   We were given three choices to make – Wat: a gravy made of meat and vegetables, Sabayaad: a layered flat bread which looks so close to our parathas and Kashata: a… 

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Muringayila Parippu Upperi ~ Drumstick Leaves with Lentils

  Allah has His own ways. Each time, my blogging enthusiasm starts taking a downturn, He immediately surprises me with something that helps me take the U-turn, Alhamdulillah. 😀 I have had two things happening over the weekend, the smaller one is winning a gift voucher from Siri’s space and the big one was a mighty surprise: a feature on Manorama Online as one of the six Malayalee foodie accounts to follow on Instagram! It was a real surprise, since I feel I pushed behind a lot of well deserving foodie accounts, but it made me a stronger believer on His Will that may have caused me to be in that list in between all top shots! So rest assured, I am not stopping my blogging in the near future, InShaAllah… 😉   I did a little story on “Muringayila” or drumstick leaves when I had done this post. Drumsticks… 

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Urulakizhangu Ozhichu Koottaan ~ Potato Coconut Milk Curry

  I guess I have already mentioned on the blog that umma used to never cook with potatoes. Not because she didn’t like them, but since they are starchy and not good for her diabetes, she would hardly make them. Once when I was watching “Love Bytes by Joey” on NDTV Good Times, she was cooking up a Kerala meal and demonstrated this particular curry. As soon as I watched it, I noted down the recipe and had to make it, since it reminded me of a curry that umma used to make long back. This is one of the easiest curries that I have made. It comes together in no time and is so delicious that even when you are done with your chapathis, you would want to lick the curry. No, I am not exaggerating… 😀 The coconut milk gives an amazing flavor and yes, do not miss the… 

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