Sara Dhanani

Archive for the ‘Vegetarian’ Category

Broccoli Cheddar Dumpling Soup

In Favorite Recipes, Vegetarian, Week night meals on August 22, 2021 at 1:18 pm

It’s 102 degrees here in Phoenix and this soup is still a regular on rotation here!

Recipe – full disclosure, I don’t measure fully and have taken lots of short cuts which I have added. This comes together in like 20ish mins.


2 tbsp avocado oil
1 shallot or onion if you like, diced – approx 1/4 cup
1 or 2 spoons all purpose flour
Pinch of Cayenne
Pinch of nutmeg
2 cups 2% milk
2 cups water or broth
10 oz of broccoli florets ( I get these from WFM, pre cut)
Shredded carrots – like a 1/2 cup
1.5 cups shredded cheddar
1 bay leaf
Salt to taste

And the biggest cheat evaaaa! Premade biscuits. I defrost 3 of these and tear them up. This brand is amazing ( Mason Dixie Biscuits – buttermilk).

Heat a heavy bottomed pan, add oil and diced onion/shallots and cook till translucent, add all purpose flour and cook till it’s lightly colored ( basically to get the rawness of flour out).
Add water or broth, then milk. Add broccoli and cover the on medium heat. Cook till broccoli is tender, mash with the back of a spoon to the consistency you like. Add salt, pepper, cayanne, nutmeg.
Bring to boil, in the boiling soup add torn up biscuits (make them the size you like your dumplings to be). Cover and simmer till dumplings are done. Add cheese, gently stir and done!

Creamy Tomato Soup

In Vegetarian on February 20, 2021 at 12:30 pm

Since it’s 70ish degrees in Phoenix, it’s still soup season here. I love fast, nutritious recipes for my girls and this one fit was spot on!


32 oz Pomi finely chopped tomatoes

One shallot

One cup broth ( veg or chicken)

Tbsp oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

A sprinkle of dried thyme

A sprinkle of dried oregano

1 cup water

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream or half n half


Heat one tbsp oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add one finely chopped shallot. Sauté and add garlic powder, thyme and sauté for a minute on low heat. Add finely chopped tomato ( I love the Pomi brand). Cover and simmer for 5 mins. Add chicken broth, salt, pepper and oregano ( it should be smelling divine by now), simmer covered for another 10 mins. Add cream and mix in. Cover for 5 minutes and it’s done.

You can serve with grilled cheese or crostini.

Eggplant Bharta

In Appetizers, Favorite Recipes, Vegetarian, Week night meals on April 12, 2016 at 9:43 pm

My not so new instant pot has been working hard for me lately. I love the convenience of having a slow cooker, pressure cooker, steamer all in one handy electric pot. It adapts especially well to desi cooking. I steamed the eggplant in the instant pot and finished the curry on the stovetop, though you could easily make it in the instant pot. 

One eggplant 

Half an onion finely diced

Half a cup of strained tomatoes

A heaping teaspoon of ginger garlic paste

A little turmeric powder (1/2 tsp)

A punch of cayenne powder

A teaspoon of cumin powder 

Half a teaspoon of coriander powder

Fresh coriander leaves to garnish (which I didn’t have)


Cut the eggplant into quarters and steam in the instant pot (I added a cup of water and used the steamer insert). While the eggplant is steaming, heat a little oil in a saucepan, add finely diced onions and sauté till translucent. Add the ginger garlic paste and cook for a few minutes being careful not to burn the ingredients. Add salt along with turmeric, coriander and cumin powders and cayenne if you are using it. Once fragrant, add the tomato purée and stir, let it cook on a low medium heat till you see the oil separate. Once the eggplant is done, Mush the eggplant lightly with a fork and add to the saucepan. Combine the eggplant well with the masala and cover the saucepan with a lid. Let it simmer in its juices for 10-12 minutes on low heat. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Hot Mango Salsa

In Appetizers, Favorite Recipes, Vegetarian on May 10, 2015 at 12:49 pm

I’m in love with this recipe! It’s versatile, with well balanced flavors with a little zing that catches you by surprise but wanting more, more, MORE! I made it twice so far in 1 week and have been asked for the recipe countless times. The second time I made it with Serrano peppers and I found it had the right amount of spice for me, but you may want to scale back on the peppers if you want a milder salsa. The key is a ripe mango, it has to be slightly soft to touch like a ripe avocado and it should smell like a mango. If only I could get my hands on some juicy mangoes from Karachi,but in a pinch, champagne mangos are quite delicious in this recipe. 


Two tomatoes

Three ripened mangoes 

1/2 of a red onion

2 Serrano peppers

A handful of fresh cilantro

Lime juice

1 tsp sugar

A pinch or a couple pinches of salt


Peel and cut the flesh of the mango in chunks and using your food processor, pulse the mango chunks 2-3 times so they are a rough chop. Be careful not to make it a paste. Place in a bowl. Peel and deseed the tomatoes, cutting into the same size chunks as the mangoes and pulse them in the food processor as well the same size and consistency as the mango. In the mango bowl they go. Next pulse the onion till it’s fairly finely chopped and add to your bowl. I used two Serrano peppers with the seeds, pulsed finely in the food processor. Add in. Next finely hand chop the cilantro and add the bowl. Squeeze in lime juice, sugar and salt. Combine well and enjoy with tortilla chips! If you let it sit in the fridge overnight, the flavors really do thier Magic! 

Aloo Cholaay ki Chaat 

In Appetizers, Favorite Recipes, Vegetarian on April 26, 2015 at 12:31 pm

Chaat! With all its delicious spicy, tangy condiments is full of fresh flavors which explode in your mouth! The skies are heavy with clouds in Phoenix today with spring showers in the air which make it a perfect day to enjoy this Pakistani street food with a hot cup of tea. 

This is also a gluten free recipe. 


3 cartons of garbanzo beans

1/4 cup red lentils

One teaspoon soonht ( ginger powder)

One teaspoon red chilli powder

One teaspoon cumin powder

pinch of kala namak

One teaspoon sugar

salt per taste

4 boiled potato – cubed

Imli chutney:
1 cup imli soaked in water overnight
1/2 tsp soonth
1/2 tablespoon red chilli powder
1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tbsp sugar or a little more if needed

Dahi chutney:

1 cup yogurt 

1/2 tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp cumin powder

2 tablespoons sugar


Wash the red lentils, disposing of the water. Fill a saucepan with 1 cup of water and add washed lentils. Cook on medium heat till cooked through and completely soft.  Then add drained garbanzo beans along with the boiled cubed potato. Add the cumin and chili powders, soonth, kala namak, salt, sugar and cool till it’s all combined.

Imli chutney:

Cook the soaked imli in its water until the pulp has disintegrated. Add sugar, chili powder, cumin powder, soonth and cook till it has the desired consistency. strain the paste using cheese clothe or a strainer and keep the chutney aside.

Dahi chutney: 

Add sugar, chili powder and cumin powder to the yogurt, beat well and chill before using.
For assembling, in a bowl, add cholay, top with chopped onion, tomato, cilantro, imli and Dahi chutney. Slims are optional!