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The Avocado Hummus with an attitude ! 

   This is The Spice Whisperer's version of The Avocado Hummus !

1 can of garbanzo beans (13oz.) , drained slightly

2 medium  Haas avocados, perfectly ripe 

1 lemon, juiced

3 tablespoons tahini

1/2 teaspoon sumac

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon toasted cumin powder

2-3 tablespoons avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves fresh garlic

Salt to taste

  • Blend thoroughly till smooth in blender or food processor. 

Enjoy ! 

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California Living !

   

The Caprese salad ! Easy and delicious ! Assemble it on a plate, platter or jar .

4 thinly sliced Kumatoes

3 balls of  fresh, buffalo mozzarella 

10-12 fresh basil leaves

3-4 tablespoons of aged balsamic vinegar 

2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and fresh crushed pepper to taste 

  • Arrange the tomatoes , cheese and basil alternating it on the plate. 
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Drizzle with balsamic and olive oil 

Serve with a crusty Italian bread ! 

PS: I chose to not do the olive oil as the cheese had a higher fat content to it.

Enjoy! 

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Sisters ! 

   This is a tribute to sisters all over ! 

In going down memory lane, this picture not only inspired The Spice Whisperer's " sisters!" blend but also brought forth the desire to share the Thankfullness of having sisters ! 

What a Blend ! From the earthiness of cumin and coriander to the hot and smoky cayenne and paprika. The many miles of global travel between us adds the sweetness of vanilla powder and the tart notes of sumac and amla ! The Desi in us is highlighted by the garam masala, ginger, garlic, onion, ajwain, mace and more.

Sisters ! 

We embody love. We may show it in our uniquely different ways but that's what makes this love and bond sustainable. Time has aged us but we are still Smoking Hot Sisters !!!!!!

Sisters ! The Blend ! 

Unique.. Like us .

Totally rooted in the past but fragrant in the Here and Now . Like us.

Versatile. Like us.

Adaptable and Creative. Like us.

Lovingly handcrafted . Like us.

So, everyone reading this celebrate sisters and sisterhood. And for those who ask what is Spice Whispering? Inspired by the people ,  spices do their dance . They mix and match and create an experience for me and the people involved. Spices honor the balance of reason and season . Celebrate your cooking with " Sisters" in spicing up your grilling and BBQ season this year! 

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Masala Oats !!!!

  

Indian tastes are always inspired by the tempered spices ! 

On this day I used 

  • 2 cups cooked steel cut oats ( cooked pilaf style )
  • 1/4 cup raw peanuts
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafetida 
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric fresh, chopped ( powder is just fine )
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger fresh chopped
  • 6-8 curry leaves
  • 2 limes juiced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
  • Salt to taste 
  • 3 tablespoons oil or fat of your choice
  • 2-3 jalapeños ( optional)


  1. Cook steel cut oats . I cooked this pilaf style , using the ratio 1:2 oats : water or stock.
  2. Heat oil in a suitable size pan. Add the whole spices( mustard, fenugreek, cumin). Toast  a minute or less till light golden. Add peanuts. Toast 5-6 minutes till cooked. Keep heat medium low.
  3. Add asafetida , curry leaves. Cook a minute. Add raisins and chopped ginger and turmeric and jalapeños . 
  4. Add the cooked oats. Stir to mix thoroughly. Season with salt. Add the lime juice and chopped cilantro.

Notes:

  • This is an intuitive recipe . Cooked by balancing tastes and ingredients on hand. You can customize it to your liking.

Enjoy! May your day be spiced with love .

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Taste the Earth! The Sun! The Moon ! The Stars ! 

    

There is so much about food that we discuss these days. We describe it with many words...healthy food, dietary food, fast food, slow food, nourishing food , soul food, nutritious food, real food and the list goes on. So much food and so much variety of foods available. So much to choose from leaves many of us confused , especially if we chase the food trends and the sales and marketing behind it!  Does it leave you utterly confused? Read further if your answer is Yes ! 

  • It all begins with my SELF ! 
  • What value am I adding to food in my life ?
  • What do I understand about it? 
  • What do I want from it? 
  • What am I willing to do about it?

My journey and relationship with food has been at many levels. I am filled with gratitude that my food today feeds my body, mind and spirit! 

  • As I begin to fully realize that my SELF is Universal, my view , my lens begins to change too.
  • I understand the connectedness of my food, from politics, to climate, to farmers and farms, health and wealth.
  • I want my food to nurture me, my family, my community and all the communities beyond.
  • To do this I make the effort to be conscious , mindful, intentional and recognize the spirit in foods.
  • I make a sincere effort to cook more of the meals at home and share .

The simple mantra that I shared with all my dear students was to " taste the earth, the sun, the moon  and the stars in your food " and see the Universe on the plate !!!!!!

So, take your viewpoint on food to another level . 

May you find the spirits of your food dance and rejoice with you! 

More food thoughts ! 



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East plus West equals Dual Rooted ! 



Three decades ago today, I landed in San Francisco . Seeking the American Dream ??? No! Just dutifully following my husband to the land he had chosen to reside in. I know I had a million thoughts and feelings but what I started with was my mother's blessing! She said, " you don't need to give up anything , just add the good of the new home and culture to yours! 

And so, I am totally dual rooted! And very proud of it ! It pervades into all aspects of my life. Definitely my kitchen. I seamlessly move to store my spices in my " masala dabba" ( the Indian spice box ) and the very professional set of restaurants.

My everyday cooking reflects this dual rootedness ! 

Rosemary parathas!

Paneer korma pot pie!

Vegetarian Irish Stew with jackfruit and spices ! 

Masala Tofu Tacos ! 

The list goes on ! Promise  for recipes to follow! 

As I sit and reflect on my life , and who I am today! I am grateful for my original roots and even more of my dual ones today. Our present is rooted in our past and it is not a bad thing ! 

Hello Namaste all ! 


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Falafel Patties !



These delicious patties were inspired by falafel ! 

A really simple recipe that began by soaking a pound of organic garbanzo beans. I chose Rancho Gordo Beans , a local company in the San Francisco Bay Area.

1 pound soaked garbanzo beans

1 bunch cilantro 

1 bunch curly leaf parsley

2 inches piece fresh ginger

2 inches piece fresh turmeric

1 bunch green garlic chives

1 tablespoon sumac powder

2 tablespoons fenugreek powder

2 tablespoons cumin powder

2 tablespoons coriander powder

1 tablespoon Himalayan pink salt

2/3 cup chia seeds

4-5 tablespoons raw, organic coconut oil

  1. Grind together the garbanzo beans, cilantro, garlic chives , ginger, turmeric and parsley. I used the food processor and ground till almost smooth. Remember it will not be smooth like a hummus paste as the beans are not cooked. Will be similar to cornmeal texture.( gritty). Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Add all the powdered spices and chia seeds and salt. Mix the mixture well and let sit for about 15 - 20 minutes. 
  3. Heat a non stick  or seasoned cast iron pan. Use a 1/2 cup measuring cup for sizing the patties. Scoop. Fill the cup and pat. Add a little coconut oil in the pan. Add the patties to the hot pan. Cook on medium heat for about 6 minutes on EACH side with a lid on . The steam helps cook the mixture ! 

Serving suggestions :

  • Great as veggie burgers with lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup and mustard between buns .
  • Gluten free Paleo style with a favorite green salad...
  • As falafels in pita bread
  • I love mine with tamarind chutney, yogurt mint chutney Indian Chaat style 

Serves 16-18 

Would like to add that there is so much more that the recipe does not cover. The intentions and the mindfullness from the sourcing of the ingredients to the process of cooking , serving and eating .

Enjoy!!!

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No borders !

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2015/01/img_1037.jpgSo what that there was no recipe ! No plan ! Just BEING ! A quiet meditation! Actually more like a pondering on the completion of a fun spice class in San Francisco. The dance of the spices continued way after the class and the students were gone. The true nature was being honored! Empty Kitchen! Empty Classroom and yet the lingering aromas of the spices remained.

Inspired by that a unique spice blend was born!

Coriander Fenugreek Cayenne Black sesame seeds Nigella seeds Bay leaves Basil Curry leaves Rosemary Dried orange peels Ginger Cardamom Cumin Fennel seeds Black pepper Turmeric Hibiscus

Recipe you ask !!!! Sniffed. Touched. Blended. I can only say that the blend is absolutely brilliant. It crosses all borders !!! It is being titled The Spice Blend without Borders for now !!!

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Many things happening on this journey !

2015/01/img_1844.jpgYes! The journey has taken many thousands of steps since the last post! Loss of family! Loss that comes with more loss! But the mantra is strong!

I am grateful ! I am thankful! I am ever hopeful! Loss has been balanced by gaining new friendships! Gaining a new year to sow seeds , plant and reap the harvest!

Today is Makar Sankranti in Indai! A harvest festival! Giving thanks ! No intentions! No resolutions ! 2015 is a practice of everything being perfect for Now ! Just BEing!

Wising all a peaceful, joyful and a wellBEing Year ahead of them !

Hugs Hugs Hugs

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SpiceArapy!!!!!

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IMG_0313.JPG It all started with pumpkin, radishes , pomegranate and more Trimmings! The pot beckoned the trimmings The trimmings inspired the spices The water found its level Time simmered along The nourishing broth was born !! Sitting. Sipping. Savoring.

Sending healing love all around !!!

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To Market ! To Market ! To Pray, Love! Eat !!!!!

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Woke up this morning with the added excitement of Market Day. I love to absorb the vibrancy of the Farmer's Market produce. The light breeze whistles and sings through the tents. The apples, persimmons, oranges, grapes and strawberries reflect the transitory season in Northern California Bay Area . We are saying goodbye to summer and slowly welcoming the Fall!!!! I am grateful and in the moment of feeling blessed am chanting the Om and the Gaytri Mantra as I pick bitter melons, purslane, ladies fingers , green pumpkin and more. The farmer smiles, folds his hands and softly says, " thank you for blessing and praying for my veggies "! I fully experienced that moment! Bitter melons , sautéed with onions, nigella seeds, dried mango powder, turmeric and paprika. The pumpkin is simmering in its own juices with the Bengali Paanch Phoron 5 spice. The sour in it is a dash of coconut vinegar.

The preparation of the dishes was fully infused with love. An intention of nourishment for the body and soul. This is real cooking! Real food! So, don't just know your food and farmers but know the people and what they feel when they cook your food !!!!THINK !!!LL!

I am enjoying my journey on the Divinity and Spirituality of food and cooking! A new level of wellness!

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Dancing Goddesses !

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IMG_1155.JPG Summer seems to have slipped by! Falling into Fall guided by the goddesses! Bringing out the crock pot! Time for slowing down the energy especially in the kitchen. Mindfully enjoying the Farmers Markets ! Mindfully nurturing ! Mindful of the kitchen orchestra...listening to the joy of the pots and pans ! Mindfully doing the dance of the kitchen Goddess! Mindfully Nourishing the body, Mind and the Soul !!!

FALL INTO MINDFULNESS !

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For the love of Spices !!!!!!

20140711-175426-64466337.jpg Namaste !

Spices inspire my life ! We roast them and toast them We pound them We grind them and selflessly they give their fragrance, taste and themselves to our food and our health! A spoon of cumin seeds rubbed together between my palms is a connection to the beautiful women on the farm who have toiled hard to harvest the seeds. Crack the peppercorns and you spike the dish with stories, travel and long forgotten history! Spices keep me totally mindful when cooking a dish. It could be the simplicity of one spice or the complex layers of flavors of many, many spices. Jeera Aloo , a simple rustic dish of potatoes and cumin seeds. The complexity of food of the royal Courts of India ....more than 20 different spices in one dish. Spices are wrapped around traditions . The Masala Dabba..... A common spice box in every Indian household. Picture the continuity of blessing when the mother packs the spice box for her daughter when she gets married. I moved far away from home after marriage and everyday when I used the spices from my box, I was connected to family . This deep connection to the spices for so many decades resulted in The Spice Whsiperer. Just recognizing the gift of people and connections on the path of self discovery.

Namaste all !

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WTF!#* Turnip Tapas

20140709-164952-60592859.jpg These began with pure inspiration and creativity. A by product of Mindfulness in the kitchen!

6 medium turnips, peeled and sliced 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons mustard seeds, yellow , brown or black A pinch of saffron...6-8 strands 1 level tablespoon of paprika 2 tablespoons of sherry vinegar Salt to taste

Heat olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and toast them a couple of minutes till they snap, crackle and pop in sound and release a nutty aroma. Add the saffron and toast a minute. Now add the turnips , paprika and salt. Stir well. Cover and cook for about 5-7 minutes till turnips are tender. Finish off with the vinegar and cook another minute or so to dry off the liquid.

Serve garnished with cilantro or parsley! Here they were served with a plum grilling jam and spiced amaranth!

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WTF !#*~

20140630-115518-42918640.jpg World Through Food !!! WTF ! The turnips were cradled and peeled with a paring knife. The goal was not to not break the peel , but just to use peeling turnips as my MINDFUL EXERCISE ! I felt the hands hugging the turnip! I saw the hand , the thumb and the fingers, move the knife to create a strip of peel, and turn and turn again! I heard the slice and peel sound. A gentle whoosh whoosh whoosh ! The turnips lay together having shed their outer layer. They gave up their splashes of purple. The peels curled in joy as though rejoicing in the knowledge of the karmic Wheel of action ! This MINDFULNESS resulted in unbroken peels of all the turnips. This MINDFULNESS resulted in a heightened sense of awareness ! This MINDFULNESS resulted in a burst of creativity to combine saffron, mustard, smoked paprika and sherry vinegar to make Turnip Tapas !

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ABUNDANT SELF of the plum trees!

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20140620-113147-41507050.jpg The plum tree in our backyard is following its true selfless nature of bearing fruit. It provides the foragers, the birds and squirrels and yes, us! Thankful for the Abundant tree a plum , vanilla, honey butter is born. Cooking the plums for hours over a medium low heat is an amazing experience if you let it BE ! The whole house was fragrant with tones of plums and vanilla and then honey. There was a heightened sense of awareness especially for the nose and the eyes. As the plums cooked their color and smell changed. The added caramelization and reduction added a richness . A truly MiNDFUL exercise. Here is the intuitive recipe:

8-10 cups plums ( 7-8 pounds approximately ), washed well 2-3 cups honey depending on the sweetness desired 4 vanilla beans slit

Place plums in a large pot. Add 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil on medium heat. Lower heat and keep on simmer for about an hour and a half, gently stirring every 20 minutes or so. The plums were truly mushy and falling apart. Let them cool and fish out the pits that had sort of settled at the bottom. To get a smooth texture , put the plums through the food mill. They , then went back into the pot with the vanilla beans in. Once again, simmering on a low heat and this time being stirred every 10-15 minutes. You don't want them to be charred at the bottom. I enjoyed the stirring as i am a follower of the traditional principle of transferring the cook' s energy and intention to the food. This was my loving energy in the plum butter in the making. If you don't have the time this can be done in the slow cooker/ crock . After several hours( almost 5 hours for me ) the mush had thickened and it was time to sweeten it. Whether you add honey or sugar , you will need to cook again on low heat for 15-20 minutes at least. Cool and Jar! Share and Enjoy!

Yield :1/2 to 3/4 gallon depending on the consistency!

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5 minute Tastiest Tomato Soup !

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1 10 ounce package soft silken tofu 1 ( around 18 ounce ) bottle of your favorite , organic ARRABBIATA pasta sauce 1.5-2 cups water or vegetable stock for a bolder flavor Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a blender, add the tofu and sauce and blend till smooth. 2. Pour into a pot . Add water ( less for a thicker soup and more for a thinner consistency). 3.Heat the soup on medium high heat, stirring occasionally . 4. Season and Enjoy ! Note: garnish simply with cracked black pepper, or chopped parsley or croutons ! The soup tastes great on its own !

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