Cauliflowe puma on my reply nice lazy Susan :)
Cauliflower upma on my reply nice Lazy Susan 🙂

Cauliflower Upma
So what’s Upma you ask.

According to my Kaveri Mami (now concocting delicious South Indian veggie dishes in that kitchen up in the sky), Upma was the quickest way to shut me up when I was wailing with hunger as a 5-year old. Something she could whip up in minutes, delicious, and most certainly healthier than Bourbon or Nice biscuits. Heaven forbid, the chicken puff.

Upma is traditionally made with semolina, a kind of coarse wheat product, very high in carbs and low in fibre. But Kaveri Mami (who took care of me and my brother when my mom was out working) knew nothing of the horrors of gluten, or the allergies produced by wheat.

I know better. And if there’s any doubt in your mind, here’s the calculation:

100 grams of semolina contain 73 grams of carbs and very little fibre / 100 grams of steamed and shredded cauliflower contains 5 grams of carb and half of it is fibre.

No brainer.

This recipe can serve 4 people generously, along with some accompanying vegetable or meat dish. There are totally about 80 carbs in all of it. Divide that by 4 and each person is only consuming 20 carbs per meal.

I don’t have a steamer – so i boil water and throw in cauliflower florets with the stem and let it bubble for precisely 5 minutes. Take it out and drain.


You’ll need:
500 grams of gently parboiled cauliflower (or steamed), shredded in a food processor or by hand, till it looks like rice
1 smallish carrot, peeled and chopped into fine pieces
A handful of green beans, about 8, de-veined, chopped in cubes
A handful of peas
1 medium onion, should fit in the palm of your hand, chopped in slinky slivers
1 green chilly, get rid of the seeds and then chop it finely
1 tbsp chana dal or split, skinned Bengal gram
½ tbsp urad dal
½ inch ginger grated or chopped finely
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 sprig of curry leaves
3/4 cup of split cashews or if you’re not a spendthrift, a cup of raw peanuts
2 tbsp oil or ghee
Salt to taste

How to:
-In a largish saucepan, heat the oil or ghee
-Add mustard seeds and wait for them to pop
-Quickly add the two types of dal and the cumin and brown gently, not too much, not too little
-Add the nuts and hover over them so they don’t get over-browned, especially if you’re using the cashews. Peanuts are a bit hardier.
-Toss the onions in and fry them till they’re browning. You want a crispy texture.
-You are ready for green chilly and the curry leaves.
-Fry for a minute.
-Add the cauliflower and fry all of it until it looks done, mixing thoroughly.

Serve with:
I personally don’t think you need to serve this with anything else… but you can be inventive. It tastes as good with a chicken curry as it does with eggplant. This quantity of Cauliflower Upma serves two with some accompaniment, or one, if that’s all you’re eating.


Cauliflower and Cheese Cookies with more cheese
Cauliflower and Cheese Cookies with more cheese

The very low carb and very delish answer to hunger pangs

When I get home from anywhere, I head straight to the fridge. I’m always hungry. Even if I’ve just eaten a meal.

So it has become very important for me to have something low in carbs, something guilt free, something that satisfies my hunger quickly so I don’t call Basha Stores (down the street) for home delivery of a tub of ice cream along with some salted cashew nuts.

I came up with this recipe and Bagya, my left-hand woman (yes, I’m left handed) and I have found ways to perfect the taste bit by bit, and each edit just makes it better.

You too can add more of something or cut something else down to change the taste. For instance, if you like the taste of blue cheese, you can add some to give it that uniqueness. Not everyone likes blue cheese… but I do.

Oh, and one more thing, you can substitute the raw peanuts with raw cashews or almonds or even walnuts. The taste will change accordingly, but cashews especially, taste yum. Of course, the cost will go up.

Carb count: Believe it or not each cookie contains about 1 gram of carbs. That’s it. And so you can wallop 10 of them with melted Gruyere and it’s not going to affect a thing!

You’ll get: 55 cookies!


You need:

– 200 gms raw cauliflower florets, steamed lightly
– 2 eggs
– 50 gms Romano cheese grated
– 50 gms raw peanuts (or almonds or walnuts)
– 50 gms buckwheat flour
– ½ tsp baking soda
– Salt to taste

How to:

Pulverise the peanuts (couldn’t resist the alliteration) in a food processor and once it’s nice and crumbled, the consistency of breadcrumbs, kind of, toss in all the other ingredients and spin around. It’s nice to have something to chew, so don’t make it too mushy.

Taste to see if it’s to your liking. Unlike sweet cookie dough, this ‘raw’ tasting may not be a great experience, but visualise the end product, all cooked and crispy. You may need to adjust for taste – according to what you like. More cheese?

Roll out the dough as thinly as you can and then using a cookie cutter or the cap of a bottle, make cookie-like circles.

When we’re in a hurry, we just use our palms to flatten out the cookies and plop them on the sheet and you get a sort of home-made cookie.

Grease a baking tray and lay out the cookies, spaced apart, and cook till brown. Flip them over till the other side is cooked too. It’s nice if a few of them are crunchy. Be sure to pay attention so they don’t get blackened and awful.

Should take about 10 minutes in a preheated oven, set at 180C.

Store in a jar.

These cookies actually keep for about 10 days. But I’ve never been able to leave them alone that long.

Serve with:

Nothing. Or some other kind of cheese, zapped in the micro for 10 seconds. Or liver pate. Or peanut butter. Or pickle if you’re feeling pickly.











By Bhavna Ramballac / New Indian Express / Bangalore / Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Poster UNK

Bangalore-based band, UNK: The Radha Thomas Ensemble will take centerstage this Friday at Phoenix Marketcity, and give the audience, a taste of Jazz.

The band features Radha Thomas on vocals, Karan Joseph on piano, Mishko M’Ba on bass, Matt Littlewood on saxophone, Ramjee Chandran on guitar and Rahul Gopal on drums. UNK has performed all over the country for Jazz Yatra, ICCR Delhi International Festival, Indigo & Blues Festival, Bangalore International Arts Festival, Bengaluru Habba, iSai Festival and goMad Festival among others.

Radha Thomas recently performed at EuropaFest in Romania. She was trained in Dhrupad, an Indian classical vocal style, by Ustad Farid Ud Din Dagar. Thomas also lived in New York for 20 years, where she performed with musicians such as Ryo Kawasaki, Frank Tusa, John Scofield, Michael Brecker, Alex Blake, Badal Roy, Buddy Williams, Joe Farrell and others.

Asked about the aim of holding this show, Thomas replied, “We perform because that is our passion. For some of us it is the only thing we do and for others, it is a part of what they do”.

“Jazz is a feeling that starts in your soul and moves all across your body, on the back beat. It’s the kind of music that energises you and makes you feel good,” says Thomas. She further adds that as a performer, there is nothing she would rather do in the world than singing Jazz.

UNK: The Radha Thomas Ensemble was formed a few years ago and released their first album named I Only Have Eyes For You in 2012.

As the bandleader, Thomas says she is satisfied with the way the music has turned out and also the way they have been able to attract the finest talent to work with them. She feels it would be perfect to have the same members play in the band year after year, but its not possible because Jazz is not a popular form of music and does not attract large crowds or large performance fees.

According to Thomas, one of the main challenges of running a band is lack of finance. But money is not all it takes for the survival of the band, she says, adding that the love of music and cooperation of the members has helped them reached so far.

(The band will be performing live at Phoenix MarketCity on July 19 and at Take 5 in Indiranagar on July 20.)