Posted in Education

This is where I go to think…

I was just writing a blog on mindfulness and working on a MOOC course on the same topic. I have been working on assignments, reading and rereading, understanding some and trying to figure out the others (for my MA). Also, planning for classes and writing reports…

Sitting in one position the whole evening did not help with my back. So I decided to get up and stretch and put away my computer. I wanted to clear my head and start thinking afresh on timeless ways of learning and visual leadership. Sometimes sleeping on something or taking your mind off helps.

I walked around a bit and without realising, I headed to the kitchen. Some may go for a walk, some may sketch (and I have tried both), or whatever suits them. But for me, it is the kitchen. It is the place for me to muddle around and clear my head (to meditate). It does not help, that I had baked a cake this morning, waiting to be eaten. I may put on more weight, thinking and clearing my head in the kitchen, but that is my place to be! This is where my creative juices flow. Maybe, this is where I have to start my visual (experience) leadership.


Posted in Uncategorized

Akki (Rice) Roti


In school, we have been talking about Karnataka and the cuisine of Karnataka. In honour of my state, I am posting a recipe for akki (rice) roti. This is usually eaten for breakfast but I made it for dinner. It is quite simple to make and makes for a quick dinner. Most of the ingredients are usually in the pantry.

Makes six rotis. This can be made in 30 minutes.


rice flour 1 1/2 cups

chopped onions (1 cup)

chopped green chillies (1 tbsp) – increase or decrease depending on how spicy you would like

chopped cilantro (coriander leaves) – 2 tbsp

grated carrot – 2 tbsp

2 tbsp grated coconut (optional)

salt to taste

water (around 1 cup)

vegetable oil

parchment paper or plastic sheet


Place all ingredients except water in a bowl.

Add water, little by little and knead to form a soft dough. Make balls.

On a parchment paper, add a tsp of oil, press gently with moist fingers to form a round roti

To a skillet, add a tsp of oil and gently place the roti on the skillet. (Be careful so that oil does not splatter on you). Make sure skillet in on medium.

After a minute, carefully flip the roti and cook on the other side. (Sometimes it may break up, but it still tastes good)

Serve with coconut chutney or tomato chutney. Goes well with a bowl of yoghurt too.







Posted in Recipes

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Healthy, quick and really good especially when you have a craving for chips!

Earlier today, I was cutting some sweet potatoes to make some red curry. I realised I had too much, so decided to make some fries (Peeled sweet potatoes don’t keep well in the fridge).  So, I sliced them finely, tossed them in a bowl with some olive oil and

So, I sliced them finely, tossed them in a bowl with some olive oil and piri piri spices (I have also used chaat masala before or just salt and pepper). You can add whatever spices you feel. Experiment!

Spread the sweet potatoes on a prepared baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 20 minutes in a preheated oven (200°C), turning them in ten minutes. Bake for around 20 minutes till they are golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes and serve. I usually delve into it when it is piping hot, just don’t burn your tongue. Enjoy!

I have been writing this post as I was eating the fries (all by myself).Since it is baked, it has much less oil but tastes as good! It was sweet and spicy, crunchy and tangy.  And, it is almost gone ….


Posted in Recipes

Vegan Carrot halwa



Carrot is a very versatile vegetable. You can make stir fries or curries, salads, carrot cake or baby food. When I was a kid, I was told to eat carrots. I was told that it is good for eyesight. It is very high in Vitamin A. (For more information and health benefits check

 I was always proud of my eyesight and always thought it was because of the carrots I ate. Unfortunately, today, even with all the carrots I eat, I need reading glasses. 😦

I love carrot halwa, but can’t eat it most time since one of the main ingredient other than carrots are milk. So, I make my own. I usually substitute milk with soy milk. Today, I have used almond milk instead. Try it and let me know, how it tastes. As I am writing this post, I am enjoying the halwa, not too sweet, just right and delicious!


4 cups grated carrots (around 1 Kg)

2 cups almond milk (or soy milk)

6-7 tbsp sugar (according to taste- you could add more)

1/2 cup cashew nuts

1/4 cup raisins

1/2 tsp cardamom powder

1 tbsp oil or ghee


In a heavy bottom pan, add the oil or ghee. To it, add the cashew nuts and fry till golden brown. Add raisins and fry for thirty seconds. Remove and keep aside.

In the same pan, add the carrots and fry for 5-6 minutes. 

Add milk and let it cook on a slow flame till most of the liquid evaporates. Add sugar and cardamom powder mix well till the liquid evaporates. 

Add cashews and raisins and mix. Serve it hot or cold.





Posted in Recipes

Healthy Granola


The other day, I was shopping at an organic grocery store. In one of the aisles, they were selling granola. The jars of granola beckoned me. I was more fascinated by the jars than the granola itself. I checked the price, enthusiastically, and read the contents. I felt it was exorbitantly priced, but I suppose you are paying for the bottle too. I came home wanting to make granola.

As usual, I go to the chef I admire, Alton Brown. The nice things about granola and granola bars (recipe posted earlier) are that you don’t have to be precise with the ingredients. I tried making them healthier and with less sugar. The recipe (adapted from Alton Brown) follows:


3 cups oats

1 cup cashew nuts 

1 cup almonds

3/4 cup shredded desiccated coconut

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1 tbsp brown sugar (can add more if you want it sweeter)

1/4 cup honey

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla essence

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped dates


Preheat oven to 150 degree Celsius.

In a large bowl, add first six ingredients and mix well.

In another bowl, mix the oil, honey, salt and vanilla.

Pour the oil – honey mixture with the dry ingredients and mix.

Pour onto a sheet pan and bake for about an hour. Keep stirring to get an even colour. Be careful not to burn the granola.

Remove from the oven, pour into a bowl and add the raisins and dates. Mix well. Cool and transfer to a dry container and store in a cool place.






Posted in Recipes

Spring Rolls, for dinner?


The last few days have been cold and dreary. All I wanted to do was roll up in bed with a good book, some hot tea and something fried. This is the perfect weather to eat samosas, pakodas and all things fried. Today I decided to make some spring rolls and served it with some homemade jalapeno jelly. You could use any sweet and sour sauce.


1 packet spring rolls sheets

2 cups shredded cabbage

1 onion chopped

2 carrots, shredded or julienned

1/2 cup bean sprouts

1/2 cup spring onions, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1-inch ginger, chopped

(I made vegetarian spring rolls, but chicken or shrimp can be added)

2 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp chilli sauce

salt to taste

pepper to taste

vegetable oil



In a saucepan, heat 1 tbsp oil. Add onions and fry for a few minutes. Add all vegetables except the spring onions and bean sprouts.

Once the vegetables are almost cooked, add the spring onions and bean sprouts. Add salt, pepper, soy sauce and chilli sauce. Taste for salt and spices. Let it cook for a few minutes. Take it off heat and cool, preferably on a plate.

Make sure the spring roll sheets are thawed.

Take one sheet and place on flat surface. Add a tbsp of the filling on one side of the sheet. Fold on both sides and roll tightly. Wet the end with water to seal. Keep sheets covered with a moist cloth. Make all the spring rolls.

Heat oil in a pan. When the oil is hot, add spring rolls and fry till golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper. Serve hot with sauce of your choice.









Posted in Recipes

Baking cookies and gleeful hearts; this is how the HOLIDAY starts! Tis the season to be jolly!


Frank Sinatra’s ‘Christmas Memories’

Singing carols, stringing popcorn
Making footprints in the snow
Memories, Christmas memories
They’re the sweetest ones I know
Cookies baking in the kitchen
Cards and ribbons everywhere
Frosty, Christmas memories
Float like snowflakes in the air
And oh, the joy of waking Christmas mornings
The family round the tree
We had a way of making Christmas morning
As merry as can be
I close my eyes and see shining faces
Of all the children who now have children of their own
Funny, but comes December
And I remember every Christmas I’ve known.

The holiday season for me is synonymous with baking, food and family.    It is a time to spend with family and friends. This year, we are running late. I have been busy with work and study. We still have not put up our tree. Very soon, I will be baking my Christmas fruit cake; the fruits have been soaking in port wine for over a month and making my jalapeno jelly.

Today, I baked chocolate walnut bars. Of course, they will not last for long, surely not till Christmas. But the season has begun.  Listening to Frank Sinatra’s ‘Christmas Memories’ while baking.

Chocolate Walnut Bars

(From ‘The great cookie book’ by Hilaire Walden)


1/2 cup walnuts, or any nuts

1/3 sugar

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

6 tbsps butter

For the topping

2 tbsp butter

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

a pinch of salt2 eggs

icing sugar for dusting


Preheat oven to 180° C. Grease the sides of an 8-inch pan.

Grind nuts with a few tbsp sugar. Mix with flour and cold butter. Rub the flour-butter mixture with your fingers till they resemble coarse crumbs.

Turn it into a prepared pan and press to form a layer

Bake for 25 minutes

Meanwhile, to make the topping, melt butter with water in a saucepan over low heat. Beat in cocoa and sugar.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Beat in eggs and blend well. (Do not add before 5 minutes as egg will scramble).

Pour the topping evenly over te crust when it is cooked.

Return to the oven and bake for about 20 minutes until set.

Cool and cut into squares. Dust with icing sugar.

Store in the refrigerator.