Nariyal poha: Sweet and Spicy

Flattened thin rice flakes (Poha).
Sprinkle water  (about 2- 3 Tbsp per cup of poha) and toss well.
If using thicker poha, sprinkle more. 
1 Tsp mustard seeds,
1/2 a medium white onion chopped,
1 clove  of garlic and 2 whole red chillies in 1 Tbsp oil
on medium heat till the seeds sputter.
Add sweetened coconut flakes,
 cashew bits, cranberries and fragrant kadi patta.
Add chopped green chilies if desired.
Add the poha and toss well.
Season with salt, cayenne pepper and lemon juice. Toss well

Herbilicious hummus

1 cup cooked chickpeas
1 Tbsp of tahini (sesame paste)
1 Tbsp mint leaves
2 Tbsps cilantro leaves
2 cloves of garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup of OO
Salt and pepper to taste

Blend all together in a high power blender till smooth. Chill and enjoy!

Lemon rice

To serve 1-2
1 cup of cooked white rice (leftovers work the best)

1 Tbsp of raw peanuts
1/2 a small onion chopped fine
1-2 cloves of garlic minced
Juice of a lemon
1 tsp of turmeric

1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad daal
2 dry whole red chillies
1 tbsp curry leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

In a tbsp of olive oil, temper the tadka at medium heat till the mustard seeds start to sputter..Add the peanuts and roast on medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Add the onions and garlic and cook till they turn a nice golden brown in color. Add the rice and turmeric powder. Season with salt and pepper. Continue tossing till the mixture looks well incorporated. Finish with juice of a lemon and toss well. (Please add green chillies and chopped cilantro if desired)

Grilled plantain salsa

To serve 2-4;

1 semi soft green plantain; peeled, halved and cut lengthwise
1/2 cup of chopped mangoes
1/2 chopped firm avocado
1 medium tomato chopped
1 medium white onion chopped fine
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and black pepper to taste

Grill the plantain on a greased hot grill plan for 4-5 min on each side. Cool completely and chop into chunks. Mix with the rest of the above. Check for seasonings. Let the flavors marry for atleast 30 min the fridge or on the counter top before serving.

Mojito shrimps!!

To serve 3-4;

A pound of medium sized shrimps (31-40 count); peeled and deveined

2 Tbsp olive oil
Juice of 2 limes
2 Tbsp chopped mint leaves
A tsp of sugar
1 Tbsp white rum (optional)
Salt, black pepper and cayenne to taste

Mix/blend all the above using the back of a spoon if necessary to release the fragrant oil from the mint leaves.

Marinate the shrimp for 10-12 minutes in this mixture. Skewer the shrimp and grill on a hot grill pan for 3-4 minutes on each side. Serve with corn tortillas, grilled plantain salsa and a wedge of lime..

Perfect thirst quencher!

Luca’s watermelon lemonade!

To serve 2-3;

Juice of 1-2 lemons ( we used home grown from my aunt’s backyard)
A cup of cubed watermelon
A cup of ice
1/4-1/2 cup of water
Sugar if desired and a pinch of salt

Blend all together till frothy! Enjoy!

Spicy corn cakes

To serve 4;

Rough chop;
1 cup of cooked fresh corn or frozen corn
1 Green chili
2 Cloves of garlic
2 Tbsp of fresh cilantro
1/2 medium sweet onion

The mixture should be coarse like this.
Add 2 Tbsp of All purpose flour.
Season with salt, pepper, garam masala according to taste.
Mix well.

Slowly drop by the spoonful in a pan with
2 Tbps of  hot OO as the mixture will be slightly wet.
Flatten using the back of the spoon to give it a round “cake” shape.

“Fry” for 4-5 minutes on medium heat on all sides till
the cakes develop a crispy exterior .