Drumstick Sambhar

Sambar is one of the most loved lentil based dish in the South Indian cuisine. This versatile recipe of sambhar is  mom’s  and is one of her well loved recipes.

This sambhar does not use the store bought powder instead the masala is made from scratch. Lentils, spices etc are roasted and then ground along with coconut and tamarind. Drumstick is the main vegetable in this, but you can substitute with other vegetables like brinjal, radish, carrots, beans etc. 

Serves well with plain rice, idli, dosas or vadas. 


  • 1 cup Tur dal
  • 2-3 medium drumsticks ( cleaned and cut into 3 inch pieces)
  • 2 tsp Chana Dal           
  • 1 ½ tsp urad dal
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 3-4 Black Pepper corn
  •  ½ tsp Jeera/cumin seeds       
  • ¼ tsp Mustard seeds    
  •  ¼ tsp Fenugreek seeds  
  • ¼ tsp Turmeric Powder      
  • ½” piece Cinnamon                
  • 2 Cloves
  • 1 tsp jaggery               
  • Tamarind  Lemon size (soaked in water)
  • ¼ cup Coconut scraped      
  • Curry leaves
  • 3-4 Red Chillies
  • Asafetida a pinch         
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil  for seasoning 


  • Boil the Tur dal in a pressure cooker along with Drum sticks in enough water. Switch off the gas and keep aside.
  • Add 2 Tbsp of oil in a pan, add the chana dal, urad dal, coriander seeds, jeera, black pepper,  red chillies, cloves, cinnamon and sauté it until it turns light brown. Let this cool.
  • Grind the above mix along with scraped coconut, tamarind, sufficient water to a smooth paste.
  • Heat a saucepan and add the boiled tur daal along with drumsticks. Next put the above ground paste in the boiled tur dal.
  • Add turmeric powder, salt, jaggery and boil it thoroughly.
  • Seasoning: In a small pan put 2 tsp oil and heat it. Add mustard seeds, asafetida, curry leaves and let it splutter.
  • Add the seasoning to the boiled sambar, cover with lid. Serves well with plain rice, idli, dosas or vadas.

Mexican Rice – for a picnic potluck

I had briefly mentioned about our picnic at the park in my earlier post in which few families got together and did a potluck. With heat looming, it was a weekend well spent, as the kids spent hours together splashing in the water, while the adults stayed in the shade chatting and enjoying the assortment of delicious food.

The theme was chosen as Mexican cuisine and everybody pitched in food ideas. Some criteria to keep in mind was that the food had to be kid friendly, easily transportable and would not perish soon.

I prepared this Mexican Rice along with Corn Salsa and Guacamole. This Mexican rice turned out to be a hit among the kids. Colorful and not too spicy, it has a mild flavor with a tangy taste. It formed a good accompaniment with topping of shredded cheese, some nachos and corn salsa on the side.

Here is a menu list of what we came up with for the potluck.

  • Appetizers: Nachos with Salsa, Corn Salsa and Guacamole, juices.
  • Salad: Lettuce, cooked black beans, corn with Catalina dressing topped with crushed nachos for crunch.
  • Tostadas: Charras with topping of refried beans, salsa, lettuce and sour cream. Somewhat similar to what is in here.
  • Tacos: Hard taco shell, topped with refried beans, salsa and lettuce.
  • Mexican Rice, Corn Salsa and Guacamole
  • Dessert: Pound cake, fresh fruits, cookies for kids. 


  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 2 cups broth ( I used vegetarian )
  • 1/2 green bell pepper (chopped )
  • 1/2 onion (chopped ) + ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper( chopped )
  • 1 tomato (chopped into quarters)
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic (chopped)
  • salt
  • Oil


  • Blend the tomato along with ¼ cup chopped onion and oregano. Keep aside.
  • In a medium sauce pan, add oil over medium heat. Add in the chopped onion. Sauté for 1-2 minutes and then add the bell pepper and chopped jalapeno mix until softened.
  • Add dry rice and stir for about 5 minutes until the rice becomes a golden brown color and gets the nutty flavor.
  • Add in the chopped garlic to the rice and sauté for one more minute.
  • Next add in broth and tomato sauce, mix well and bring it to a boil.
  • After it starts boiling, turn the heat to medium and cover with lid. Do not touch for the next 10-15 minutes.
  • After it is cooked, add the chopped cilantro and fluff it up with a fork.

Blueberry Yogurt Parfait


Blueberries are powerhouse of nutrition! They are packed with vitamins, minerals, and rate very high on antioxidants capability. You knew that already didn’t you? Now that summer is here, the groceries are flooded with varieties of fresh berries. There are different ways in which I use the berries including the regular whip cream based parfait.

This parfait turned out to be unexpected treat for us at home; an accidental oversight which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. While doing the regular grocery I picked up a tub of blueberry yogurt instead of the regular plain yogurt. I realized this only after coming back home and did not have the heart to waste it. So a good way was to turn this into a quick yogurt fruit dessert.

I love these small treats which are light yet leave you with a refreshed feeling. Plus it is guilt free, high in fiber, carbohydrates and protein.

This yogurt based parfait can be had for breakfast or as a yummy snack. Customize this based on your preference; for example skip nuts add other berries, banana etc. It is best enjoyed using fresh or frozen blueberries, but fresh is always are recommended.

Serves 3-4


  • 3/4 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 3 cups blueberry yogurt (low fat)
  • ¼ cup chopped nuts ( I used pecans)
  • 2 Tbsp flax seeds (optional)
  • 1/3 cup granola


  • In a bowl/cup add ¼ cup of yogurt to the base and layer with 4-5 blueberries and 1 Tbsp of granola.
  • If you want continue to build the parfait layers by alternating the fruit and granola in the yogurt cup.
  • Top it off with nuts, flax seeds. Continue this process and make other parfait cups.
  • Serve parfaits immediately (else the granola will get soggy).