Category Archives: Salad

Cowpeas Salad

How many of you have thought to eat light, maybe only some salad or soup for a meal. Well, some days I do get that kind of a feeling, lately a frequent one. I have tried making salads that would suffice as a whole meal, and they taste good too, and hence it is time to share it here.

Couple days back, I had a get-together of my girlfriends at my home, and had made a vegetarian lunch. A meal that is set on a table should have a fantastic salad display is always my thought. I decided on this salad as I had some of the leftover boiled cowpeas, and I like to season them and make this salad, looks appealing and tastes good too. This is less time consuming and when one has to cook lot of dishes and keep the food ready before your friends turn up, then this is perfect.



Cowpeas: 100 Gm (Boiled)

Cucumber: 1

Red Bell pepper: 1

Tomato: 1

Lemon: 1

Onion: 1

Fine Sev: 2 Tbsp

Chaat Masala: 1 Tsp

Black Pepper: 1 Tsp

Cumin Powder: 1 Tsp

Salt: To taste

Oil: 1 Tsp


Chop finely half of the onion and tomato.

Heat a pan, add the oil, then the chopped onion, sautee till pinkish. Then add the finely chopped tomato and cook.

Add the seasonings -cumin powder, salt, chaat masala and black pepper and then the  boiled cowpeas and cook for 5 min and switch off the gas flame.

Chop the salad vegetables-cucumber, onion, bell pepper and tomato and put in a bowl and season with salt, pepper and lime juice.


Take a round deep dish. Place the cowpeas in the center.  Arrange the salad vegetables around the cowpeas.  Sprinkle the Sev in the center over the cowpeas. Place round lime slices as eyes and a green chili as the nose. Cut thin tomato slice and place it as the lips, and we have our salad face ready :).

ashu's -Cowpeas Salad
ashu’s -Cowpeas Salad

Have fun trying this out. When the dinning table is laid with food, the salad face sure looks appealing and tastes great too. I enjoyed setting this salad on my dining table for my friends.





Sweet Corn Chaat/Salad

#ashuskitchen- Sweet Corn Chaat/Salad
ashuskitchen- Sweet Corn Chaat/Salad

Salads are an essential part of the regular Indian meal. Most meals do have some or the other type of salad, chutney, koshimbirs, raitas etc as a component of the Indian Thali.  Foodies who love salads would understand how one is drawn towards the salad table at the buffets. I am very fond of salads and lately have been adding dried fruits too to my salads, it helps us to eat the daily intake that should be part of our food. Fiber is the undigested part of our food that is present in the whole grains, vegetables and fruits, whole pulses or legumes etc. that provide us with the essential roughage or bulk and thus aid in proper bowel movement and helps to prevent constipation .

I won’t be wrong if I write that for most Indians the word Chaat results in instant tingling of the taste buds and sudden mouth-watering moments. Chaats are blend of sweet, sour and spicy taste with the savory factor added too. It is a dish that creates a happy riot in the mouth with the over production of saliva by the salivary glands and one is left drooling till the Chaat vendor serves the ready dish in our hands.

When I am looking out to make easy, yet interesting, menu options at home from the ingredients that are almost always available in the refrigerator, I came up with this simple, refreshing, mouth tantalizing dish that I am sharing with you all.

One can call it a Chaat or Salad as I have added the sweetcorn for the fiber and its sweetness, crunchy salad vegetables, threw in some dried berries to give out the sweetness, sprinkled the lemon juice for the sourness, added the green chili/red chili powder for the spice, added the nuts for the nutty crunch in the bite and lastly sprinkled with the savory food-the fine Sev. I made this as a light dinner menu and served with lot of fine Sev sprinkled on top and savory Papdi and hence I called it Sweetcorn Chaat. If I avoid the Sev, then I would call it a salad and serve it with roasted Papad along with meals.

Sweetcorn Chaat/ Salad:


Sweetcorn: 2 Corn cob (Boiled)

Bell Peppers: 1/2 each Red/Yellow/Orange

Cucumber: 1 Medium-sized

Onion: 1 Medium-sized

Tomato: 1 Medium-sized

Fine Sev: 100 gm

Mixed nuts: 30 gm (Almonds, Pistachios, walnuts)

Dried Berries: 2 Tbsp (Blueberries/Cranberries)

Raisins: 1 Tbsp

Lemon: 1 Medium-sized

Green Coriander: 1 Tbsp finely chopped

Green Chilli: 2 or Red Chilli powder 1 Tsp

Salt: To Taste

Pepper: 1 Tsp

Chaat Masala: 2 Tsp


Boil the corn in a Pressure cooker, 2 whistles. (I used raw corn and hence preferred to boil it in cooker). Then remove the corn from the cob.

Sweetcorn Chaat
Sweetcorn Chaat

Finely chop all the salad vegetables (bell peppers, cucumber, tomato, onion, green coriander, chili as shown in the picture below.

Salad vegetables
Salad vegetables

Take a big glass bowl, add the boiled corn, the cut vegetables, the dried chopped nuts, the dried berries, raisins, the seasonings, chopped chilli and green coriander, sprinkle the lemon juice and then mix/toss all the ingredients. Check the seasoning and adjust according to ones taste. I have also added sliced almonds. (I oven roasted the Almonds, coarsely chopped and then added.)

Mix all the ingredients of the Corn Chaat in a glass bowl.
Mix all the ingredients of the Corn Chaat in a glass bowl.

Just before serving add the fine Sev on top and give the final toss and serve along with papdi.

Sweetcorn Chaat
Sweetcorn Chaat

This chaat tasted so yum and ended up becoming the dinner menu. As one can note the salad is full of fiber and hence it becomes filling for the tummy. The fresh berries might not be regularly available at home, as here in the UAE it is not locally produced. We all are aware of the importance of including the berries in our diet and I keep the dried ones handy, works well to toss them into lot many dishes. These dried berries and raisins impart the necessary sweetness to the chaat, hence we do not need to add any sweet chutney which is essential for any chaat preparation. If one has mint and coriander chutney handy, one could also use that or the freshly chopped herbs too work well as they add the required freshness. Do give this sumptuous healthy dish a try to enjoy with each bite the different flavors and texture of this delicious Sweetcorn Chaat or salad from ashuskitchen :).

I wanted to share a healthy, nutritious snack menu with you all and hence the post for this March month. Do also give importance to include some part of physical activity in your daily schedules, apart from eating healthy meals.

Eat well and stay fit :).  Enjoy!



Gongura Chutney

This post is of one of my favorite chutneys. I cannot stop myself from buying this leafy vegetable whenever I see it on the leafy section of the supermarket. I love the way my mother cooks this particular greens. She adds a lot of oil and onions and makes it as a Sabzi, I use less oil in my cooking, but I still love her style of cooking this recipe. Here I am posting my adaptation of my mother’s recipe, I make a chutney of the sabzi by blending it all to fine paste in the mixer pot so that I can bottle it up and use whenever I wish. Initially after coming to this place, on couple of occasions I purchased the Gongura pickle of Priya brand, but not anymore. I like my chutney recipe the best, as I always add a healthy twist and try and make the recipe to my specification and liking.

One does not get to see this leafy bunch very regularly on the stands, but it is available, and hence I never let go of the opportunity when I see it in the market. I have seen bigger bundles of these greens sold in Indian markets, but here have to do with small bunches of leaf stems that make up the bundle. But something is always better than nothing, and hence the chutney version of cooking this greens.

As not all days of the week see us with pleasant moods, sometimes our moods do become sour on some pretext or other, in same context not all leafy greens are sweetish or pleasant to taste. This particular green is very sour in taste, and it is for this reason I like to make a chutney of this and eat along with rice and dal combinations whenever I wish to eat plain and simple food. It adds the necessary tang to the taste buds. Also, it goes well with some parathas too.

Kenaf or Gongura leaf
Kenaf or Gongura leaf

When my mother was visiting me, she gave me this tip of how to reduce the sourness from the leaves.

How to reduce the sourness from the Gongura leaves: Heat water in a bowl and put the Gongura leaves in this boiling water and cook just for a minute or so, and then drain away the water. The longer the leaves are boiled, the less the sour taste. Mother usually boils it for more than a minute, but as the leaves are few in the bundles sold here, I just give it a minute to boil and then drain. This reduces the extremely sour taste of the leaves.


Gongura leaves: 1 small bunch

Onion: 1 small

Green Chili: 2 no.

Garlic cloves: 2-3

Cumin: 1 Tsp

Flax seeds: 1 Tsp

Oil: 2 Tbsp

Salt: To taste


  1. Blanch the leaves to reduce the sourness. Chop the onion, garlic cloves and green chilli.
  2. Gongura Chutney ingredients
    Gongura Chutney ingredients


  3. Heat a pan on the gas stove and add 1 Tbsp oil in it. Add the cumin and flax seeds, then add the green chili, garlic and onion. Cook till the onion is pinkish, then add the blanched Gongura leaves and season with required amount of salt.
  4. Gongura sabzi
    Gongura sabzi

    Cook for few minutes so that the salt is mixed properly with the leaves and all the water, if any present,  is dried off, and then put off the flame. Remove the contents into a bowl. Once cooled, transfer to a mixer pot and  blend to get a fine paste.

  5. Empty the contents into a storing jar and add all the remain oil to it.
Gongura Chutney
Gongura Chutney

This is my version of making this simple and delectably tangy chutney.

I have yet to use these Gongura leaves to make any other vegetarian or non-vegetarian recipes in my kitchen. I have seen  and drooled over the Gongura prawn recipe pictures and hence I do have thoughts of trying to incorporate these leaves into one of my prawn recipes to find out how it would taste. May be I should also try and make a dal using these leaves. I will try some more recipes of Gongura in the coming New year and make posts, my New year plans, hence sharing my thoughts with you all here.

Lastly, just as we find tips and tricks of reducing the sourness in the vegetables, in the same way let us try and reduce or eliminate the sour moods that engulf us on some days and make each day a pleasant one. A herculean task to change ones bad mood, but one can always try, right? On this thought I end my last post for this November month. Wishing you all a great start to the new month of December from tomorrow.



Sprouted Moong (Green Gram) Salad

IMG_0398Greetings from Ash to all my friends, the readers. Finally I am back to my home, after a hectic and fun-filled holiday to enjoy the heavy monsoon.  Though I had planned to continue to write post during the vacation, but that could not happen. Here I start posting today, post vacation, with my recipe of a quick, crunchy, and nutritious salad that we all enjoy eating.

Family holidays mean long, elaborate meals with siblings and all the extended families, quick easy weight gain, but then these are the special and cherished moments, and are always looked forward too. Won’t you all agree with me on this?

Let us start making this healthy nutritious salad now.


Sprouted (Green gram) Moong-1 BowlIMG_0389

Onion: 1 Small

Tomatoes: 1 Small

Lemon: 1/4 (Medium-sized)

Green Coriander: Few sprigs for garnishing.

Salt & Pepper: To Taste






1.Chop the onion and tomato finely.

2.Take a salad bowl and put the sprouted moong, tomatoes, onion, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix all ingredients together.

3.Garnish the salad with finely chopped coriander leaves.



SERVING OPTION: The salad can be served with rolled roasted papad.

Enjoy the crunchy, fibrous and healthy salad along with your meal to add the necessary dietary bulk to your diet.