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Mango Smoothie Bowl #Foodventures #AxisBank #DiningDelights
“Fussing over food was important. It gave a shape to the day: breakfast, lunch, dinner; beginning, middle, end.”

Robert Hellenga

Summer Mango Smoothie Bowl, another thing off my bucket list, the most beautiful way to begin the morning. Colourful beginnings!! They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I say bring it on! This one was fun to make, thinking ingredients, plating {or rather bowling} it, adding bits and bobs to the top. So much went into it, near raw other than the yogurt, very in season, a  mélange of flavours and textures.For me, an edible pot potpourri, inspired and exciting. With the first one down, my call was, “This was fun, now can someone set me a bowl everyone morning please!!Summer Mango Smoothie Bowl The inspiration came from Ruchiras smoothie bowls each more delightful and colourful that the other. Inspiration really gets me going, food shared the best thing ever. Talk about breakfast and it’s amazing to see how different cultures wake up to the most important meal of the day. Granola, crepes, vadas, puris, kachoris, omelette, fruit bowls, smoothies, waffles, pancakes, overnight oats, avocado and egg on toast are some of the simpler everyday options.Overnight Thandai Oats with peaches and plumsMy recent overnight oats were a great experiment and now find a spot in the fridge every night. It’s a really convenient way to wake up to healthy ready made breakfast. Grab a spoon, dig in. I change the flavours with fruit in season and experiment as I go on. The main characters in the story remain the same – oats, milk/yogurt/coconut milk, honey, basil seeds, watermelon seeds. Peaches, cherries, stone fruitFruit in season breaks the monotony. Mango, peaches, apple, banana, strawberries rotate. Pie spice, cinnamon, thandai mix, pepper, nutmeg, saffron. You get the drift! It’s always fun to explore something new and different apart from the regular old breakfast choices we usually have.Thandai 1000Step out of home, travel a bit, within the city, country or overseas and new frontiers open up. Food and flavours begin to get magical, new and interesting. For someone who constantly cooks at home, hands that cook in other kitchens are fascinating. They offer exciting experiences, food adventures! Here are some breakfast stories, delicious bites mainly in pictures and in no particular order. Actually just as they tumbled out of my head when I read about #Foodventures by Axis Bank Dining Delights!

Vishwanath ki gali, Banaras 2016We sleepily got off the train in Benaras early one winter morning, a hungry foursome, and hit breakfast street quite soon. The city has a reputation and we knew where to head. Can there be anything better than fresh garam kachoris, sabzi and jalebis straight out of the pan? Perhaps not. Kachori with Sabzi, Banaras 2016

Jalebis being made, Banaras 2016Perhaps yes if you add some famous Pehelwaan ki lassi to wash down breakfast. Nirvana. Life accomplished. Pahalwaan Lassi Wala, Banaras 2016

Pahalwaan Lassi, Banaras 2016Ticked off list, but ‘will be back soon‘ recorded.

Switzerland, SwissMade GrandTours

Mandarin Oriental Geneva, Switzerland, SwissMade GrandTourFly across the globe. Switzerland, where I was last year at this time, a European breakfast will spoil you for choice. Every city we traveled to had a different layout, a regional offering, local produce shining through, breakfast an elaborate ceremony, fit for a king, something to sit and enjoy.SwissMade GrandTour PAB MeiringenTuck in. Cheese, yogurt, fresh baked breads, fruit, coffee, tea, eggs galore, cold cuts, fresh milk, best way to breakfast. Did you hear me say “Serve me breakfast and I shall be happy!” ?Tea, Pillaiyarpatti, Karaikudi, Chettinad, South India Swing back to India, a trip into the heart of the South, Karakudi held us mesmerised earlier this year. It was a trip of a lifetime. Same feeling – breakfast is a celebration. Breakfast, Chidambaram Vilas, Karaikudi, Chettinad, South IndiaSimple, flavourful, delicious and so much variety. Almost always ‘from the frying pan onto the plate‘, whether it was the elaborate ‘eat till you drop luxury at Chidambaram Vilas‘ or the street food at the temple at Pillaiyarpatti with the most refreshing filter coffee and finger licking good vadas. Memorable, satisfying and an absolute joy.

Street Breakfast, Chettinad, South IndiaAnd then there was the absolutely amazing breakfast with peacocks and neelgai as company at Lakshman Sagar in Rajasthan? Sunrise, Lakshman Sagar, RaipurBreakfast was an eye opener there. Breakfast at Lakshman SagarElaborate, each morsel served with love, truely regional and so much variety. Breakfast day 1 was something like this – fresh orange juice, maize dalia, googri {overnight soaked and cooked wheat kernels and horsegram}, sapota/cheeku jam, gum berry jam, fresh fruit, gur/jaggery, boora, honey, achaar, masala omelet, fire roasted tomato. Nothing refined or processed. Experiencing it was pure joy.Field breakfast, Lakshman SagarIf that wasn’t enough, one morning we trudged across the countryside for a breakfast in the fields! Field Breakfast, Lakshman Sagar 2Get closer home, one trip into Old Delhi and you’ll be cured of any breakfast woes. Nagori halwa puri, nimbu ka paraatha, sweet lassi, hot jalebis, garam chai, then begin again! Breakfast in Old Delhi, Delhi 6If you are stuck with the same old routine of toast and cheese, wake up and smell the coffee! Rustle up something fun and interesting {or bribe some willing soul to do it}. Better still, get out and explore. Make the mornings matter!

Oh, and did you know you can go beyond just egg and toast for breakfast? Here take a look at these #Foodventures by Axis Bank Dining Delights !

Mango Smoothie Bowl
Print Recipe
Colourful beginnings!! They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I say bring it on! This Mango Smoothie Bowl was fun to make, very in season, a mélange of flavours and textures. For me, an edible pot potpourri, inspired and exciting.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Mango Smoothie Bowl
Print Recipe
Colourful beginnings!! They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I say bring it on! This Mango Smoothie Bowl was fun to make, very in season, a mélange of flavours and textures. For me, an edible pot potpourri, inspired and exciting.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings: people
  1. Stir the mango puree through the yogurt until uniformly mixed. Adjust sweetness if required.
  2. Ladle the mango yogurt into 2 breakfast bowls.
  3. Top with the remaining ingredients.
  4. You could always just mix everything through too, yet it makes the first meal of the day attractive this way, garnished with love!
  5. Use any seasonal fruit, berries, nuts etc.
Share this Recipe

“Keep props tasteful and simple. Remember the food is the star!
Robin Zachary

Eggs & ThymeFood photography and food styling are best friends forever. One cannot excel without the other, and it’s an endless learning experience. The net is never ceases to amaze, showcasing the vast talent that lies before us. Food blogs are an important contributors too, some who have inspired me endlessly for so many years. Does my blog look good in this {DMBLGiT}  …. Baby mustard greens stir fryor this…Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake…maybe this Strawberries… or this? Styling and shooting food is music to my ears, thoughts that fill my head all day long. Call it an obsession, call it wasteful pleasure, call it developing a skill set  or hobby, even shooting for clients, shooting is what I like to do best. I could spend hours with the camera, just whiling my time away, clicking colours, angles, produce, cakes … anything food. These are simple pleasures in the life of a food blogger. Where else would you find such a large-hearted community that is brought together by pure food porn?

bundts 800And that brings me in to announce the winners of the DMGLBiT {Does my blog look good in this} April 2015. I am eternally grateful to the sweet Sophia Terra-Ziva and Ludmila Slokoski for taking time out of their busy schedules to judge this event. It means a lot to the food bloggers community when stalwarts like you who inspire us through every frame connect with us like this. Also HUGE thanks to Neel @ LFP who has resurrected this event and agreed to judge it too, despite traveling across continents!

Summer Ready with GOQiiThank you ALL, the wonderful food bloggers for whole heartedly joining in. This event is on it’s feet only because of you. The enthusiasm, the spirit and the ‘wanting’ to learn is heartening to see. The judges have enjoyed looking at the submissions, and have offered feedback/comments on what you sent in. If you wish to hear how they felt, or how you can improve, then do drop me a line. I will be happy to share it with you. And now, time for the drumroll as we announce the well deserving winners.

DMBLGiT April 2015 Winners

Each DMBLGiT event has 6 total winners.  One in each of these categories Edibility, Originality and Aesthetics – so that’s three. And three positions for overall winners.

Edibility Category Winner

DMBLGiT_March_2015Nicole Branan of The Spice Train

Aesthetics Category Winner

DMBLGiT_March_2015 (6)

Madhuri Aggarwal of MADaboutkitchen

Originality Category Winner {we had a tie}

Rose sherbetAmbica Selvan of Lingering Aftertaste

DMBLGiT_March_2015 (6)Madhuri Aggarwal of MADaboutkitchen

Overall Winner – Third PlaceDMBLGiT_March_2015 (18)Sanjeeta kk of Lite Bite

Overall Winner – Second Place
DMBLGiT_March_2015Nicole Branan of The Spice Train

Overall Winner – First Place

DMBLGiT_March_2015 (6)Madhuri Aggarwal of MADaboutkitchen

Congratulations to all of you. Brilliant stuff! Thank you so much for participating.

Don’t forget to congratulate the winners by leaving a comment on their blogs. Also, do participate in May contest at Deepali from Lemon in Ginger. Official announcement should come soon.

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

“If you take more of your protein from vegetable or plant-based foods, good studies have shown that you will live longer.”
Professor Jeya Henry

Dals, 3 Quick Dal Recipes Made With Less WaterThe pure comfort of that bowl of dal, the nostalgia engulfs me each time I smell the aroma of onions being fried in clarified butter. Such is the power of food, and in my opinion, these protein rich dals / lentils offer deep deep comfort in every bowl. The humble khichadi is the meal on the go at our place, with dollops of home made yogurt and kumquat green chilli pickle. Did I forget a liberal drizzle of ghee? Yes please!

DalsLiving in India, dal was synonymous with meals when we grew up. From the bowl that I loved, to many that I didn’t, the dal journey has come a long way. There was dal served on the many long train journeys from Delhi to Bangalore as we were growing up, to diluted iquidy dals served in the Officers Mess where we dined often. There was the piquant luxurious ambi wali dal in UP during the summer. Working at the airport in the late 1980’s saw many a midnight meal after flight departures at dhabas that dotted the vicinity. Nothing could beat the comfort of that dhaba dal with the fresh tandoori roti. Pure magic. As always, dhabas in India never disappoint.

Dals From the dhaba to Bukhara, as small bowl of Dal Bukhara and there is born another memory. This one is a truly indulgent dal, one which is a  tradition in itself, a dal simmered over slow coal fires all night long, a world renowned dal. My memories of this dal go back to the late 80’s and early 90’s … the taste lingers on.

DalsThat’s the power of food, and the power of dal. Yet another dal milestone came by way of home science in school. We mastered the Moong Dal with Spinach, and post marriage this was the only dal I cooked, day in and day out. It’s the only one I was confident about. I am sure the house was FED UP with my lack of creativity but no one said a word. The only other alternative I offered was Moong Masoor Dal, a quick 5 minute dal that my mother often made. I still make that a lot. I love the flavours. A tadka of zeera, garlic and hari mirch complete it.

DalsNow my dal repertoire has grown with many years of food blogging and traveling across India. I love the pure comfort of dals from Uttar Pradesh to the genius use of dals down south. Every part of India celebrates this macro nutrient or power house of protein in their own special way. From a finger licking good haleem, to a Parsi dhansak, to moong dal dhoklas and cheelas, the more you indulge in this cheapest form of protein the better. Dress it up, sizzle it, grind it to perfection, simmer it to luxury, or soak it into a salad, DALS THE WAY TO GO!

DalsTo mark World Water Day, I’m here with Tata I-Shakti dals to serve you three easy dal recipes that require minimum water to wash since they are unpolished. They cook faster too. The recipes use very little water in ingredients. One simple salad inspired by a typical Koshambri a dear friend made a few months ago, though his was with carrots, radish and peanuts. DAL 3 ways with Tata I-ShaktiThe bhune masale wali masoor dal is an old UP favourite which has been stepped up using seasonal greens, rocket in this case, as I have it growing in abundance. The peppery leaves add interesting flavour to it, and reduces the requirement for extra water. The third is a really quick coconut based dal chutney that I learnt when I was in Bangalore recently.

DalsAll these recipes are dal based, so naturally protein and fibre rich. With their high fibre content, pulses lower cholesterol levels and protect the heart. They are also an important source of iron and vitamin B in a vegetarian diet.  Pulses are typically low in fat, contain no cholesterol, and are high in folate, potassium, iron and magnesium. They also contain beneficial fats and soluble and insoluble fibre. According to the World Health Organisation, dals are a healthy substitute for meat, which has more fat and cholesterol.

DalsDo you have a favourite way of doing dal? I’d love to know.

[print_this]Recipe: Dal Koshambri / Moong Dal Carrot & Cucumber Salad
your picture

Summary: A light summery salad that is protein and fibre rich. Pomegranate adds to the appeal. Soak the dals in about 2 cups of water, then drain and use the water to cook rice in, knead dough with, or just drink it up! No cooking, means less water!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

  • 3/4 cup TATA I-Shakti Chana Dal and 1/4  TATA I-Shakti Moong Dal soaked overnight and drained
  • 2 small English cucumbers, chopped fine {I leave the skin on
  • 1/4 coconut, grated
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate kernels
  • 2-3 green chilies, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Tempering
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp
  • A generous pinch of asafoetida
  • 2-3 sprigs of curry leaves


  1. Place all ingredients except lime juice in a large bowl. Squeeze over the juice of 1 lime and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  2. To temper
  3. Heat oil in a small saucepan. When hot throw in mustard seeds, followed by urad dal. When they splutter add the hing and curry leaves. Fry over medium low until the leaves are crisp. Pour over the salad. Serve immediately.


[print_this]Recipe: Spicy Kadele Bele Chutney / Chana Dal Chutney
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Summary: A spicy and tangy dal based chutney which is  power house of energy and taste. The play of flavours is wonderful. The dal is cooked dry,a dnthe chutney uses only minimal water by way of the soaked tamarind.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

  • 5 tsp TATA I-Shakti Chana Dal
  • 3-4 dry red chilies {as per taste}
  • 3-4 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp hing
  • 1/2 tsp methi seeds
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 3/4 cup grated coconut
  • 1 small ball tamarind, soaked in 3/4 cup water
  • Tempering / tadka
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • pinch hing
  • 2-3 whole red chilies
  • 5-6 curry leaves


  1. Heat oil in a heavy bottom wok. Add the chana dal, red chilies, curry leaves, hing and methi seeds. Roast over low heat until the dal turns a light pink. Do not brown.
  2. Grind to a coarse powder {or a consistency you would like}
  3.  Squeeze and strain the tamarind. Add the coconut and tamarind water to the ground chana dal and mix well. Season with salt.
  4. To Temper
  5. Heat oil in a small saucepan. When hot throw in mustard seeds, followed  by the hing and curry leaves. Fry over medium low until the leaves are crisp. Add red chilies and turn off heat. Pour over the chutney.
  6. Serve with idli, dosa or serve with fresh boiled rice.


[print_this]Recipe: Sabut Masoor Aur Hare Patte ki Dal / Whole Masoor Dal with Rocket
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Summary: A traditional protein and fibre rich dal gets a makeover with the addition of winter greens. The dal uses less water as it takes moisture from the greens, and also from yogurt. This dal is pure comfort

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

  • 1 1/2 cup masoor chilka, soaked for an hour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp virgin coconut oil }{or oil, ghee of your choice}
  • Pinch hing
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1/4 tsp haldi powder
  • 1 tsp dhania powder
  • 2 small tomatoes chopped
  • 2 green chillies chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups rocket greens {or baby mustard greens, spinach etc}, chopped
  • 1/2 cup full fat yogurt {or low fat}, whisked
  • 1 tsp ghee


  1. Heat oil in pressure cooker. Add hing, then chopped onions. Fry onions until golden brown.
  2. Add ginger garlic pastes and green chilies. Sauté for 2 minutes, then add dry masalas, sauté for 30 seconds.
  3. Add chopped tomatoes and sauté for 5-7 minutes over high heat until they release oil.
  4. Now add the greens and sauté for 2 minutes until wilted. Add the soaked dal with water, add salt to taste and cook under pressure until done, for 12-15 minutes.
  5. Let it sit as is for at least 15-20 minutes cooking in its own steam. Open and check if dal is soft, else cook under pressure for another 5-7 minutes. Mash some dal with the back f a spoon to give the dal a creamy consistency.
  6. Stir through whisked yogurt and simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Taste and adjust seasoning. If you like a tangy dal, squeeze in half a lime before serving.
  8. Top with a spoon of ghee and serve over hot rice, or with chapatis, parathas etc.


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