Quinoa salad

I mostly peruse through recipes online when I’m cooking something new. That has changed a little bit in the past week. Ever since I got my membership at the local library, I’ve been using it to bring lots of low-carb recipe books home šŸ™‚ However the recipe I followed for this lentil quinoa salad is from here.


  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/4 cups water, plus 2 cups
  • 1/2 cup red lentils (masoor dal)
  • 1 teaspoonĀ mustard (the one we use for sandwiches)
  • 2 tablespoonsĀ red wine vinegar
  • 1-2 tbspnsĀ olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tbspns lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2Ā green onions, chopped
  • A handful of chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Put the quinoa in a sieve and rinse in cold water. In a large microwave-proof bowl with a cover, add the rinsed quinoa and 1 1/4 cups water. Cover and microwave on high for 9 minutes. Let it sit for 2 minutes then stir. Quinoa should be tender enough to eat, but not mushy.
Put the lentils in a sieve and rinse in cold water. In aĀ saucepan, simmer the lentils in 2 cups water until the lentils are tender, but not mushy. This will only take a few minutes, if you are using other lentils, it might take longer. Drain and cool.
In a small bowl, whisk the mustard and vinegar together, and drizzle in the oil as you continue whisking. Add the garlic powder, lime juice, salt, and pepper, to taste.
Assemble the salad by mixing the quinoa, lentils, green onions, and choppedĀ cilantro. Top the salad with theĀ dressing, toss to coat and serve.


I have come to terms with it, I have. I am a procrastinator. BIG time procrastinator. But, I have learnt my lesson. What happens when you put off posting a recipe online? For one, you end up with too many pictures in your camera SD card and it hogs up your memory. Secondly, and more importantly, if you tried something new, you FORGET the darn recipe!!

So without further ado here’s my falafeleso recipe. What’s with the funky name you ask? Well, the recipe is a combination of falafel with fresh Mexican cheese or queso fresco – thus the name! You can also substitute the queso fresco with feta (in which case they might have to be called falafeta šŸ˜‰ In case you do use feta cheese, however, make sure to reduce the amount of salt. It tastes awesome as a side dish with any Greek or Middle Eastern meal. I’ve even served it as an appetizer with some Greek yogurt on the side.


1 medium sized onion, chopped

1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

Parsley, a few sprigs

Garlic, 3-4 cloves

Ground cumin – 1 tsp

Ground coriander – 1/2 tsp

Baking soda – 1/4 tsp

All purpose flour – 1 tsp

Queso fresco or feta cheese – 8 oz.

Egg – 1 large

Salt – to taste

Olive oil – 1-2 tsp.


Place garbanzo beans, onion, parsley, garlic, cumin and coriander powder, baking soda in a food processor. Process until it is coarsely pureed.

Mix in the flour, egg, queso fresco or feta cheese and salt. Be careful while adding salt, add less if you use feta cheese since it’s already salty. Let it stand for a few minutes.

Shape mixture into 1-11/2 inch cutlets.

Oil a nonstick pan while you heat it over medium heat. Place the cutlets in the pan and shallow fry on both sides until golden brown.

Serve warm with dill spiced Greek yogurt.


Kala Channa (black chickpea) masala

This dry dish is a favorite with both hubby and me. It’s mouth-watering to even think about it, but only the way my mom makes it. I tried following her recipe but failed miserably. The failure was partly because my mom dictates recipes in approximates šŸ˜› she can never give me exact measurements because she never measures ingredients herself! This is where watching and learning play an important role. I wish I had paid more attention while she cooked. Even though it wasn’t similar to mom’s kala channa masala, it was still tasty! We had it with besan roti. Here’s the recipe.


1 cup kala channa (black chickpeas), soaked overnight

4-5 cloves

3-5 red chillies (2-3 for grinding and 2 for tempering)

1/2 tsp coriander seeds

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp black peppercorns

1 tsp mustard seeds (1/2 tsp for tempering and 1/2 tsp for grinding)

1/2 tsp poppy seeds (khus khus)

2 large red onions, chopped

4-5 garlic cloves

4-5 tbspns grated coconut

1 tsp split husked black gram (urad dal)

1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds

Oil-1-2 tsp


Boil or pressure cook the soaked kala channa with cloves and 1/4th of the chopped onion. Make sure there isn’t too much water left in the cooker once it’s cooked.

Dry roast the red chillies, coriander and cumin seeds, pepper, mustard and poppy seeds until aromatic.

Grind it in a mixer or coffee grinder until it’s a fine powder. Once it’s powdered add 1/2 of the chopped onion and 2-3 garlic cloves to the mixture and continue to grind it to a fine paste.

Once it is a fine paste add the grated coconut and grind it coarsely. Remove the masala and keep it aside.

Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan. Once it’s hot, add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add husked gram and the red chillies and 2 whole garlic cloves.

Once the urad dal is golden and the garlic is slightly brown, add the remaining 1/4 chopped onion to it and saute until it’s translucent.

Once the onion is translucent add the ground masala to it and fry it for about 2-3 mins on medium heat.

Add the boiled kala channa to it and mix well and let it cook on medium heat until some of the water has evaporated (approximately 3-5 minutes).