POHA & BEAN SUNDAL – a different kind of salad

In India, poha (rice flakes) is a staple breakfast in many households because it is quick to prepare. Just soak poha in water for fifteen minutes and it is ready. Poha is unique because rice is flaked in the husk and handmade following traditional methods. Poha is the name of the dish as well as the name for rice flakes in Hindi.

My Amma (mum) likes to make sure there is enough protein in each meal and this is one of her recipes where she uses poha the same way you would use rice in rice salad. It is a lovely, gluten free and vegan lunch dish.


100g black eyed beans, soaked overnight

150g poha

50g onions, finely diced

100g carrots, peeled and grated fine

75g coconut, shredded (I use frozen)

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One of the reasons I love winter is because you can make a hearty soup that warms the body and soul. You kind of feel good tucking into a bowl of wholesome soup because you know it is very nourishing. I love to experiment not only with different flavour combinations but also incorporate beans or lentils or grains for the protein.

When I was growing up I hated cooked carrots, felt that they have a smell and it is more pronounced on cooking. Luckily I got over that and carrots cooked or raw are absolutely delicious. The soup is a bit different in the sense that I cooked the lentils separately.

Lentil & Carrot soup


500g carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

100g onions, diced

50g fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 teaspoons fennel seeds

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Corn Fritters

These fritters are so yummy and a huge bonus is that they are gluten free and vegan! I made them a few weekends back and it was a big hit with the family.


5 fresh corns on the cob

½ cup chickpea flour

¼ cup coarse corn grits

¼ cup corn flour

2-3 green chillies, chopped

5-7cms piece of ginger, chopped

4 shallots finely chopped

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Millet, Broccoli & Chickpea salad

Did you know that the cultivation of millet dates back to 6000 years? The tiny golden grain has nearly 15% protein, B- complex vitamins, minerals like iron and magnesium. Interestingly millet used to be referred to as the grain of happiness and it contains tryptophan – an amino acid that affects appetite, mood and sleep! It is gluten free, alkaline, easily digestible and rich in fibre. Super food really!

I substitute millet in all recipes that call for couscous, because millet is packed with nutrients. Great for weekday lunch and if you use dairy free yoghurt for the sauce it will be completely plant based. In this recipe I use the florets only but please retain the tender leaves and stems for use in a stir fry.


1 large broccoli, washed and cut into 2cm florets

1 x 400g tin of chick peas, drained and rinsed

1 cup of hulled millet cooked as per instructions on packet

A generous handful of fresh coriander finely chopped

1 red chilli, finely chopped (optional)

Rind of one lemon

30ml lemon juice

30ml extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

YOGHURT SAUCE – 1 quantity


Steam or microwave the broccoli for 2 to 3 minutes depending on the doneness required. Set aside to cool.

Once you cook the millet, remove to a large plate and allow to cool. If you leave in a bowl or saucepan to cool, the millet may all stick together and get clumpy.

Place millet in serving bowl. Mix in the broccoli and chick peas, the red chilli, the lemon rind, salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper along with lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. Taste for seasoning, toss the coriander leaves and serve with yoghurt sauce.

Serves 4.


Kumara, Lentil Soup with Balsamic Onions

This is from Peter Gordon’s cookbook “A World in My Kitchen” which is one of his earlier cookbooks. This is simple, earthy and nourishing so have made it many a time not only just in winter but anytime I want a quick and easy meal. All you need is some good crusty bread.


80 grams butter

200 grams onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

12 sage leaves, torn in half