Tex-Mex Salad with Cilantro Dressing by Sonal of SimplyVegetarian777

Tex-Mex Salad with Cilantro Dressing
Tex-Mex Salad with Cilantro Dressing
It is my pleasure today to host Sonal of SimplyVegetarian777. Ever since I started blogging, I have followed Sonal’s work and love her collection of vegetarian and healthy recipes.
Over the past year, I have noticed that Sonal repertoire has expanded and her palate has become even more sophisticated. However, Sonal’s focus on health never wavers; if anything this focus has sharpened. The best part is that Sonal never compromises on taste.
Her post today for me today the Tex-Mex Salad with Cilantro Dressing is so representative of this health-with-taste approach of Sonal’s. I also love it represents a style of fusion cooking where the recipes and flavours of another culture are blended with those of the local culture to come up with an altogether new flavour. Tex-Mex is to the US what Indo-Chinese is to India. 🙂
Now without much ado, I present Sonal’s delicious and healthy Tex-Mex Salad with Cilantro Dressing. Isn’t it so colourful and inviting?

Aruna asked me for a guest post in January. I can’t believe that it has taken me this long to finish this simple, hearty, filling and healthy food post. My apologies dear girl for being soooo late.
There were no doubts in my mind to do a guest post for Aruna. Her recipes are so full of information, well grounded, trendy and reflect her patience in cooking and love as a foodie.
I had so many thoughts in my mind for her post but I wanted to do something colorful and soulful since Holi is coming up :). Just like Indian cuisine, Mexican cuisine is as colorful, flavorful and is very hearty. So I thought of making a Tex-Mex Salad, which is my absolute personal favorite. It’s healthy! It’s kinda raw and clean eating category. It’s full of bursting flavors and it’s a complete meal. I promise. Tex-Mex is not authentic but an evolved recipe as the Mexican cuisine spread  in the southern parts of the United States of America.
Here is how I made it !
Healthy Tex-Mex Salad
Serves – 2
Kitchen Equipments Required – chopping board, knife, a big bowl, blender, mixing spoon or fork.
  1. Corn kernels – 1/2 cup, boiled
  2. Black beans or Kidney beans (rajma) – 1/2 cup, boiled
  3. Red onions – 2 tbsp
  4. Tomato – 1 small, chopped fine or 8-10 cheery tomatoes
  5. Bell peppers / capsicum  – 1/4 cup, chopped fine. Colorful bell peppers recommended.
  6. Green scallions / Green onions – 2 tbsp
  7. Lettuce – 1 cup chopped or shredded fine
  8. Cilantro / Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp
Cilantro Dressing
  1. Greek or Thick yogurt – 1/4 cup
  2. Lemon / Lime juice – 2 tbsp
  3. Cumin powder – 1 tsp
  4. Garlic cloves – 2
  5. Coriander / Cilantro leaves – 3 tbsp
  6. Vinegar – 2 tsp
  7. Salt to taste
Condiments – You may use all or any one, to your taste
  1. Coriander/Cilantro leaves – 2 tsp
  2. Salsa – 2 tbsp
  3. Sour cream – 2 tbsp
  4. Guacamole – 2 tbsp
  5. Tortilla chips
Assembling the Salad
  1. Take the individual salad bowls. Lay the bed of lettuce at the bottom.
  2. Mix corn and beans together. Sprinkle some salt. Toss well. Divide in 2 and place in the middle of the bowl.
  3. Place onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, scallions around the corn n bean mixture.
  4. Pour the dressing on top. Place 1 tbsp each of salsa and sour cream. Squeeze some more lemon or lime juice. Sprinkle some cumin powder, red chili flakes and coriander leaves.
  5. Stash some tortilla chips on the side. Enjoy a bowl of goodness for lunch.
1. It can be easily packed for lunch.
2. Fill a tortilla and make a burrito roll with some cheese.
3. You may serve in tortilla salad bowl.
4. A great weight watchers meal. Heart healthy and fit foodie choice!
Oil-Free Tex-Mex Salad
Oil-Free Tex-Mex Salad


Moong and Udad Dal Idli (aka Dal Idli or Dali Santhan) – A Mangalore/Konkani Speciality

Moong and Urad Dal Idlis - Dali Santhan - Konkani Recipe
Moong and Urad Dal Idlis – Dali Santhan

The moment I saw the recipe for a Lentils & Semolina Idli on Annapoorna Prabhu Sanoor‘s blog, I just knew I HAD to try it. After reading her recipe, I did a bit of research on the Internet (as is wont) and found several similar recipes. I finally made it without the semolina, but the inspiration remains Annapoorna’s post.

Do visit Annapoorna Prabhu Sanoor‘s blog; more importantly do get a copy of her Mangalore Cookbook:Breakfast & Teatime Recipes, which seems to be a treasure trove of traditional Mangalorean cuisine.

Now, without further ado, I present Dal Idli also known as Dali Santhan.

A santhan is a spongy idli that is steamed in a plate instead of a traditional idli mould.

Serves: 4

Preparation Time: 16 Hours

Cooking Time: 10 Mins


  1. Moong Dal – 3/4 Cup
  2. Udad Dal – 1 Cup
  3. Fenugreek Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  4. Green Chillies – 3 or 4
  5. Grated Ginger – 1 tsp
  6. Turmeric Powder – A Large Pinch
  7. Salt to Taste
  8. Oil for Greasing the Mould

Method to Make the Batter

  1. Soak the udad dal and fenugreek seeds together in 2 cups of water for 4 hours.
  2. In parallel, soak moong dal separately in 2 cups of water.
  3. After 4 hours, drain the water completely from the two dals.
  4. Grind each dal separately into a thick batter of pouring consistency.
  5. Mix the two batters and some salt together by hand. Mixing by hand aids fermentation.
  6. Set aside to ferment for about 10 hours in a large vessel. The batter will nearly double in volume, so use a large enough vessel. 
  7. When the batter has fermented, add finely chopped green chillies, grated ginger, and turmeric.
  8. Mix with a gentle hand.

Method to Make Idlis

  1. Grease an idli mould.
  2. Pour enough batter into the mould.
  3. Steam in a pressure cooker for about 7-8 minutes.
  4. Let the cooker cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Serve the Dal Idli hot with some Coriander Chutney.


Boiled Peanuts – Mumbai Street Food – The Quick and Easy Way

Boiled Peanuts
Boiled Peanuts


Mumbai is a metropolis that is for the working man and by the working man. Till the early 80s, Mumbai was a place where all kinds of mills and manufacturing industries thrived. These factories were often manned by men who came alone to this great city, leaving families behind, to eke out a living.

It is this working populace that gave rise to an assorted range of oddities that are so peculiarly Mumbai. The chawl system, one room tenements with shared sanitation facilities, were built to accommodate this migrant population.  Another is the eclectic Mumbai street food. If you observe almost all of Mumbai’s street food is healthy and filling; be it Pav Bhaji, Tava PulaoMisal Pav, Vada Pav, Sandwich, or Anda Bhurji. While these dishes are primarily used as lunch or dinner, Mumbai also has a vast range of dishes that can be classified as snacks.

The snacks that you commonly find on Mumbai’s streets range from filling Ragda Patties to the light Bhel to boiled & spiced green chickpeas (hara chana) to simple roasted peanuts.

One snack that has almost disappeared from Mumbai streets is the humble boiled peanut. There is no greater pleasure on a rainy evening than warm, salty boiled peanuts with some hot adrakwali chai. Boiled peanuts used to be freely available in Mumbai, but over the past few years it has become difficult to find any. As a result, when I saw peanuts in their shell the other day in the market, I jumped at the chance to make some at home.

Serves: 4

Time: 2 hrs


  1. Peanuts in Shell – 1/2 Kg
  2. Water – 3 Litres
  3. Salt – 1/2 Cup


  1. Gently scrub the shells and hold under running water to get rid of any dirt.
  2. In a pressure cooker, add the water, salt and peanuts in the shells.
  3. Cook for 6 whistles (6 releases of pressure).
  4. Keep the pressure cooker closed for another 30 minutes.
  5. Drain the water.
  6. Shell the peanuts and enjoy with some hot masala tea.


  • Do not fret about the amount of salt. You need that much (or even a bit more) if the salty taste has to penetrate the shell and make it to the peanuts.
  • You know the peanuts are done if you bite into a shelled peanut and find that it is soft yet firm and just a tad bit salty. If the peanut is squishy you have overcooked it; if peanut is still hard then you have to cook it somewhere.
Boiled Peanuts
Boiled Peanuts



Carrot and Ginger Soup with a Dash of Orange

Carrot and Ginger Soup with a Dash of Orange
Carrot and Ginger Soup with a Dash of Orange

What do I say about the taste of this soup! Your mind fights to identify a distinct taste; is it the sweetness of the carrots? Or then the tanginess of the orange? Wait! it is the sharpness of the ginger. I quite liked this eclectic mix of tastes in this Carrot Soup with Ginger and Orange, and hope you do too.

Serves: 4


  1. Carrots – 1 Kg
  2. Oranges -2
    Orange Juice – 1 Cup
  3. Grated Ginger – 1 tbsp
  4. Pepper Powder to Taste (Optional)
  5. Salt to Taste
  6. Water


  1. Boil 3 Cups of water.
  2. Peel and chop the carrots into 1″ cubes.
  3. Add the carrot cubes to the boiling water.
  4. Cook covered till the carrots are tender.
    • Takes about 15 minutes.
    • Add more water, if required.
  5. Turn off the heat and add ginger to the cooked carrots.
  6. Cover and set aside to cool.
  7. If you are using oranges:
    1. Peel the orange and the orange segments.
    2. Blend the peeled orange segments along with the cooled carrots and ginger into a smooth liquid.
  8. If you are using orange juice:
    1. Blend the the cooled carrots and ginger into a smooth liquid.
    2. Add the orange juice to the blended carrot.
  9. Add salt and water, if required.
  10. Bring the soup to a boil.
  11. Serve warm or chilled with a dash of pepper.
Carrot and Ginger Soup with a Dash of Orange
Carrot and Ginger Soup with a Dash of Orange

Kakdi Raita | Cucumber Raita

Kakdi Raita or Cucumber Raita or Yoghurt and Cucumber Relish
Kakdi Raita or Cucumber Raita or Yoghurt and Cucumber Relish

A cool raita is the prefect accompaniment to a spicy biryani/pulao or even rotis. You can make raita with a range of vegetables. This recipe is for a Cucumber Raita (in Hindi, it is called Kakdi Raita) which combines the coolness of the cucumber with coolness of the yogurt/curd.

Do try the recipes for Boondi Raita, Lal Bhopla Bharit | Pumpkin Raita, Beetroot Raita, and Khamang Kakdi.

How to Make Cucumber Raita | Kakdi Raita


  1. Kakdi/Cucumber – 1
  2. Fresh Curd/Yoghurt – 1/2 Cup
  3. Green Chillies – 2
  4. Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  5. Oil – 1/4 tsp
  6. Salt to Taste


  1. Peel and grate the cucumber.
  2. Beat the curd to a smooth consistency.
  3. To the beaten curd, add salt, slit green chillies, and grated cucumber.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Heat the oil.
  6. Add mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  7. Add to the raita.


  • I use black salt or saindha namak in place of regular salt.