Sara Dhanani

Archive for the ‘Vegetarian’ Category

Dahi Bare

In Appetizers, Favorite Recipes, Vegetarian on April 3, 2015 at 7:31 pm

I have been looking for a recipe to make Dal dahi bare forever and just like that, my dearest Zaidi happened to mention she made it for a tea party! So off course with her trusty recipe I was off to a great start. This cooling appetizer/tea time favorite is a wonder dinner main or accompaniment once the Phoenix summer hits in the next few months. While the recipe seems labor intensive, it was easy to put together and absolutely divine!


Ingredients for the Vada/dumplings:

1/2 cup of urad/mash dal

1/2 cup of moong dal

One heaping teaspoon ginger garlic paste

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2-3 green chillies

Handful of coriander leaves

1-2 teaspoons salt

Chat masala:

Kala namak

Red chili powder

Cumin powder

Ginger powder

Tartaric acid



1/2 cup Tamarind soaked in water


1 tsp Red chili powder

A Few tablespoons of brown sugar and castor sugar

2 cups of yogurt.



Add all the ingredients for the chat masala in a jar and use as needed.

In a clean bowl add a few teaspoons of sugar,a pinch of salt, a little chat masala and 1/2 cup of water along with the yogurt. Mix and place aside.

To assemble the vada/ dumplings, soak the dals overnight in water. The next day, drain the water, add ginger garlic paste, salt, green chillies, corriander leaves and baking soda and blend till its a chunky paste. Deep fry the dumplings, a tsp at a time. As soon as it’s golden brown, take out of oil and immerse in a bowl filled with water. Let the vada soak for a few minutes and squeeze the vada to remove the water. Place in the prepared yogurt.


In a saucepan, add the soaked tamarind pulp, sugars, chili powder and chat masala and heat on low till the sugar dissolves. Taste to make sure it has the sweet and khatta taste you like, adjusting sugar/ chili as needed. Strain the chutney to remove the pulp.

Layer the dahi bara with a layer of yogurt topped with the vada, a teaspoon of chutney more yogurt spooned on top, repeating again with vada, chutney making sure your last layer is yogurt and chutney. Sprinkle with corriander leaves.

Bhindi ki Sabzi

In Favorite Recipes, Vegetarian, Week night meals on December 20, 2014 at 11:34 pm

I can cook meat easily, but vegetables in the traditional way is a different kind of a beast for me. And then I saw fresh, plump Okra at the grocery store and how does anyone resist that lovely long vegetable. Well I bought them on a whim and sat staring at them for a few days and then asked my trusty friend Z, who is a master cook, recipe creator and the one person who I would share this blog with (one day she will write a post or few!) for a recipe and Z does not fail to deliver! Here is her recipe. Hugs to you Zaidi!



Okra – 2 cups, ends trimmed and cut in 1.5 inch pieces

One Onion chopped finely

1/2 cup of crushed tomato

Two – three chillies

1/2 teaspoon cayanne pepper

1/4 teaspoon haldi (turmeric)

1/2 teaspoon coriander powder

One teaspoon ground cumin powder

a few tablespoons of oil

salt to taste – a few pinches


Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the cut okra, fry till not sticky and slightly browned. Take out and place aside. Now saute the onions till translucent and add the masala, fry till fragrant. Add the tomato and simmer at a medium heat for a a few minutes till well combined. Cut the chillies into strips, Add the salt, okra  and chillies and turn heat to low, cover the pan with the lid and simmer covered for 15 minutes till the oil separates. Serve with hot chapatis.

Red chili chutney

In Appetizers, Favorite Recipes, Vegetarian on August 10, 2014 at 3:49 pm

It’s 115 outside, and fiery in the kitchen as well. I’d recommend a glass of lemonade nearby as this chutney is additive.




Using your food processor, blend up a handful of dried red chillies, 4-5 cloves of garlic, and 1/2 a cup of chopped tomato. Once blended, pour into a saucepan and add a little salt and a tablespoon of oil and cook for 5-10 minutes till its kinda jammy.

Nadia’s Dhokra

In Appetizers, Favorite Recipes, Vegetarian on August 10, 2014 at 3:45 pm

I have always failed at making dhokra and most kinds of sabzi. Armed with this recipe, I decided to give dhokra another shot and this time they were a keeper! Thanks to my lovely friend 🙂







One and a 1/2 cup Sooji

One cup yogurt

One cup water

A green chili finely chopped

A little coriander finely chopped

1/2 tsp turmeric

One tsp olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

salt to taste

eno fruit salt – 2 sachet’s



Put water to heat in your steamer and cover till it comes to a boil. Mix all the ingredients except for the Eno, which you will add right before you are ready to steam the dhokra. Oil your dhokra dish, add eno to the dhokra mix and pourin your prepared pan and place in the steamer. It should be done in about 15-20 minutes. Garnish with some chili flakes and coriander leaves. Serve with red chutney.

Caprese salad

In Appetizers, Favorite Recipes, Vegetarian on June 23, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Is this even a recipe? No not really, but it’s a whole lot of delicious during our hot hot summer.

You will need fresh mozzarella, fresh tomatoes( never refrigerated!), basil from your garden, extra virgin olive oil and reduced balsamic vinegar to drizzle along with sea salt ( or if handy ever pink Himalayan salt) and fresh pepper. Slice, chop and drizzle to serve this easy salad.