Sunday, January 5, 2014

Olan recipe

This hearty rich Olan recipe is a traditional South Indian recipe of my grand mother. Earthy and tropical, this is very similar to Ital cusine of the Rastafari.

1. Medium sized Eggplant
2. Pumpkin - cubed 10-15 pieces, 1" cubes
3. Mung Dal - 1 cup
4. Taro root - about 4 or 5
5. Green chilies - As desired ( I haven't used any so that my kids can enjoy)
6. Coconut oil - 1 tbsp
7. Coconut milk - 200 ml

1. Soak Mung Dal in warm water for about 2 hours.
2. Peel Taro root and cut into 1" pieces. I usually cut them into 4.
3. Cube Pumpkin.
4. In a pressure cooker, cook Mung Beans and Taro.
5. If not using pressure cooker cook Mung beans with a cup of water till tender, add Taro cook till soft and then add pumpkin. If cooking with pressure cooker, add pressure cooked Mung bean and Taro , a cup of water and Pumpkin till soft.
6. Add coconut milk and salt to taste and bring to boil.
7. Heat coconut oil and fry green chilies in a separate wok and add on top of the olan.

Serve with rice.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Pancakes with fresh fruits

If you like a good Sunday morning breakfast but don't like the long lines at your neighborhood diner, here is a simple recipe. So simple this could be on the back of a pancake box.


1. Complete Pancake Mix.
2. Fresh fruits - suggested Papaya, Pineapple, Banana, Ble berry, Kiwi, cut 1/2" pieces.
3. Maple syrup.
4. 1 cup - Greek Yogurt.

1. Beat Greek yogurt with 2-3 tbs of Maple syrup or to taste.
2. Make Pancake per package directions.
3. layer Yogurt maple syrup mixture on top of the pancake.
4. Layer with fresh fruit.
5. Drizzle  with Maple syrup. For Canada: Soak with Maple syrup.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Coconut Curry Vegetable

Spicy South East Asian dish with flavors of Thailand, Malaysia and Laos. A Vegan friendly recipe.


1. 400 g of firm Tofu.
2. Soy nuggets (TVP) - 100 g.
3. Cauliflower - 1 cup, flower heads
4. Sweet red pepper - 1 medium sized, cut into 1" pieces.
5. I carrot - Sliced.
6. Your favorite brand yellow curry paste.

1. Cube Tofu into 1" pieces. Stir fry  in oil till brown. Set aside.
2. Re-hydrade soy nuggets in warm water. Squeeze and set aside.
3. Stir fry the veggies and set aside.
4. Stir fry yellow curry paste per package directions. I would recommend half the
amount of curry paste as indicated in the package, it is pretty spicy.
5. Add 200 ml of coconut milk and combine Tofy, Soy nuggets and veggies. Bring it to a quick boil and remove from heat.

Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Kung Pao Tofu recipe

Kung Pao Tofu

If you like the taste of spicy Kung Pao dishes, this is a good vegetarian improvisation. Tofu is an excellent source of protein and if a calcium based coagulant is used, an excellent source of calcium as well. As always be careful about your soy intake as too much Soy can cause hormone imbalance and most Soy in North America is genetically modified. Get your protein from a balanced variety of sources like Beans, Legumes , Soy and Dairy. 


1. One block of Extra Firm Tofu
2. 4 tbsp corn flour.
3. 2 tbsp corn starch.
4. 1 tbsp soy sauce
5. 1 tbsp chili paste (or to taste)
6. Dry roasted peanuts
7. Green onions
8. 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
9. Dry seeded red chili for garnish.
10. Oil to fry.
11. 1 tbsp sesame oil (or oil of your choice)

1. Cube Tofu into bite sized pieces.
2. Sprinkle corn flour and toss to coat evenly. Let it sit for up to an hour.
3. Deep fry tofu in frying oil till golden brown. Let stand on paper towel.
4. In a dish combine corn starch, soy sauce, ketchup, Chili sauce and 2 tbsp water and bring it to a boil. The mixture will look more like baby food than a sauce.
5. When the starch is cooked, add the fried tofu and mix till it is coated well.
6. Fry peanuts and seeded red-chilies. Garnish along with cut green onions.
7.  The  Soy sauce should add enough salt, but feel free to add salt.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Simple North American Reipe with Iyer twist

Welcome to Ganesh Iyer's Kitchen. I will post recipes of dishes I relished in India but have modified to be easily prepared in a North American kitchen. Traditional recipes with a contemporary spin like the Soya Bean parupu usili, Silken Tofy Chapathi, Thai rice noodle sevai and Veg Masala kozhambu. Enjoy.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Soya Chunks Manchurian

This is not a quick and easy recipe, but the effort is well worth it. Soya Chunks or textured vegetable or Soy protein is rich in , well protein. Believe it or not, this is actually the byproduct of oil extraction. Since almost all the oil is extracted from the soy bean, only the protein remains. Soy chunks has more protein by weight than lean cuts of beef. But before you start eating soy or TVP everyday be advised that this is a by-product of a chemical process called solvent extraction. Hexane is used to dissolve the oil in the soy bean flakes and the residue is cooked and extruded under pressure to form TVP. Since hexane is volatile it is almost all gone, but there may be hexane residues.


1. 100 gms of Soya Chunks.
2. Ginger & Garlic paste.
3. Fresh ginger minced - 1 tsp.
4. Soy sauce - 1tbsp
5. 1 tbsp corn starch
6. Onion diced - 1 cup
7. Curry power - 1 tsp.
8. Sesame oil - 1 tbsp.
9. Green onions to garnish.
10. Lemon juice.


1. In a pot add 4-5 cups of water, salt to season and curry powder and bring it to a rolling boil.
2. Remove from heat and add the soy chunks in the curry water and let it soak for about 5 min.
3. Drain the water (and save it for reuse), and squeeze the water from the soy chunks.
4. In a separate pot, fry ginger garlic paste and onions in a bit of oil till the onion is golden brown.
5. Add 2 cups of curry water, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp sesame oil and bring it to a boil.
6. Dissolve corn starch in warm water and add the liquid to the boiling curry water. Turn the heat to low and simmer till the sauce is thick. Season with salt to taste. 
7. Add the sauce to the soy chunks and coat well. drizzle lemon juice and garnish with green onions.

Bean counting

After watching Food Inc, my resolve to become a vegetarian is strengthened. The challenge in being a vegetarian is finding sources of pure protein that would provide the protein without loading up on carbs. I started to research the nutritional values of different food items and found some terrific sources of protein. I would come up with recipe using these protein sources. Once vegetarian protein source that tops the chart is Soy. Soy bean is considered a complete protein. A complete protein is one that contains significant amounts of all the essential amino acids that must be provided to the human body because of the body's inability to
synthesize them1. The great thing about soy is that it takes different forms and is so versatile that it could be incorporated in several dishes from Indian to Continental to Asian. However one shouldn't discount legumes and chickpea. The oldest crop known to humanity could very well save the hungry planet, especially since soybean is owned by a few companies that control the genetic material. I would strongly urge you to opt for genetically unmodified products. The table here compares several vegetarian protein sources and I will post recipes using these ingredients. I haven't posted any because the dishes I have been making lately are not really postable. I will stop my experiments and will try making some traditional recipes from the eastern world that uses the amazing veg protein sources.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Protein Pancakes or Crepes Naturally

Comonly known as Adai or pesarattu, these lentil crepes or panckakes are delicious and packed with protein. This recipe is easy to make and calls for lentils, beans and rice. I used Magic Bullet to blend the beans and is great for making a couple of servings.


1. 1/3 cup Mung Beans.
2. 1/3 cup Split chickpea or Channa Dal or split yellow pea.
3. 1/3 cup rice. - Make sure the rice is not par-boiled.
4. Salt and Chilli flakes to taste.

1. Soak the beans, dal/pea and rice overnight.
2. Drain and add 1/4 cup water and salt and blend to a coarse paste.
3. You may let this batter sit overnight to ferment or use it as is. Fermentation brings a nice tangy taste to the crepes.
4. You may use the batter just like pancake batter or crepe batter. Use a non-stick pan for acheiving crepe thickness. If you are going for pancake thickness cook on a low flame turning midway. It may take a bit to cook through.

Bangalore Iyengar Bakery's Bread sandwich

This yummy snack is so simple to make the recipe is only a couple of lines.

1. One cup onions chopped.
2. 2 medium sized Shredded organic carrots
3. Cilantro for garnish.
4. Pinch of turmeric powder
5. EVOO to fry - 2 tbsp
6. Salt to taste
7. Bread slices.


1. Heat oil in a pan and fry the onions till translucent.
2. Add turmeric and carrots and fry for 5 minutes. Add salt to taste.
3. For open face sandwich , toast the brad in a toaster oven with some butter. Spoon on the veg mixture and serve garnished with cilantro.
4. To make closed sandwich, fill the veg mixture between the slices and and toast in a sandwich maker.

Variation: Add your favorite masala with turmeric and green chilies for an authentic taste. Serve with hot filter coffee.

Pumpkin Idli

Fall is here and so are the pumpkins and several delicious varieties of squash. Pumpkins are loaded with antioxidants and are rich in Potassium,Zinc and Fiber. This is a savory traditional Indian recipe modified to suit the American palate.

1. 2 cups shredded pumpkins.
2. 1 cup semolina or whole-wheat couscous
3. 1 cup shredded coconuts
4. Salt to taste
5. 1 tbsp grated ginger


1. Dry roast semolina until golden brown. No roasting needed for couscous.
2. Allow the semolina to cool for about 10 min.
3. Mix the roasted semolina , shredded pumpkin and coconuts, salt and ginger and let stand for 15 min.
4. Shape into balls.
5. Steam for 10 min.

Optional: Garnish with coriander and cashews. Spice lovers can temper Indian style with a bit a mustard, green chilies and asafoetida (hing).