Simla Mirch Asha Style- Green peppers in a coconut and tamarind gravy


Asha At goolestan

My visits to Bombay are all the more enjoyable because I get to pick up a few recipes from Asha, a brilliant cook with a great sense of humour and much good will.Those who have enjoyed Asha's karela recipe are sure to love this. A mild curry with simla mirch and coconut. Very quick to produce as well.


2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tsp rai/ mustard seeds

5 cloves of garlic

2 green chillies

3 or about 250 gms large simla mirch/ green peppers 

1/6th coconut a 3"x 3" chunk

2 tbsps toasted til/ sesame seeds

1 walnut sized peice of tamarind.

3 tbps boiled peanuts

1 pinch of haldi

Salt to taste

Soak tamarind
Soak the tamarind in half a cup of hot water.

Grind coconut
 Meanwhile grate the coconut and grind along with the sesame seeds in a coffee grinder.

Saute simla mirch
Wash and cut the simla mirch into bite size peices.

Heat the oil and pop the mustard seeds. Fry the chillies and garlic lightly for a few seconds then begin sauteeing the peppers. Add  the turmeric and mix well. Saute on low heat.

When the vegetables are fairly cooked and soft add the coconut sesame seed paste .Stir well till lightly fried.

Strain the tamarind pulp through a tea strainer and add to the vegetables along with 1 cup of water.Stir in the boiled peanuts. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Simla Mirch bhaji
Sprinkle the salt on top , give it a stir and serve.


Spinach and Cucumber Pasta- Dinner Day 1


Spinach pasta

You can happily add more green chilli or red chilli flakes to this recipe to give it have a bit of pizzazz.

Ingredients for 2

100 gm uncooked pasta

100 gms spinach

1 tsp olive oil

1 green chilli

5 cloves garlic

100 gms onions

1 / 200 gm cucumber

4 medium to small tomatoes

1 tsp mixed dried herbs ( like oregano, dill, basil and thyme for an Italian flavour)

2 rashers of back bacon without the fat.

1.Cook the pasta and reserve some of the liquid.

2.Defrost and cook the bacon in a microwave. Pour off any fat and cut into small bits.

3.Wilt the spinach in a pan. ( Cook without water) .When soft chop it up.

4.Heat the oil in a non stick pan and fry the chilli, garlic and onions till soft. Add the chopped cucumber and the herbs and saute for 5 minutes.

5.Add the the spinach and chopped tomatoes and cook together covered for ten minutes till the tomatoes have become pulp.Add half a cup water and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the bacon and season with salt and pepper.

Spoon over the warm pasta and serve immediately.

The cucumber gets a bit sour with the addition of tomatoes...and tastes a bit like a mild gherkin . Rather nice when combined with the saltiness of the bacon.

This is so filling it hardly feels like diet food.

Cottage cheese and ham salad -Lunch Day 1


Cottage cheese and Ham salad
The main thing about dieting for people who like to cook and people who like food is that the diet should be fun to prepare and the dishes should taste different....every single meal , every single day.

Here is a quick lunch I made this afternoon.

Ingredients for 1 person

2 heaped tablespoons home made fresh cottage cheese

1 slice of ham

200 gms lettuce leaves, iceberg and rocket

6 basil leaves

1 tsp of lime infused olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Take 1/2 litre of skimmed milk and bring to the boil. Add 1/2 cup yogurt at boiling point and stir. Two minutes later add the juice of half a lemon. As soon as the milk splits give it a stir or two and remove from the fire. Strain and let stand for a few minutes while preparing the rest of the salad. 

Wash and tear the lettuce leaves into bite sized pieces. Tear the ham into bits and add to the salad. Tear the basil leaves and mix into the rest. Now add the cottage cheese, salt pepper and oil and mix well.

Eat with a slice of wholemeal bread.