Starbucks Style Banana Bread

Summer is almost over. I am hoping its truly over in hot California, this Seattle girl can’t take any more 100 degree days. And with the onset of fall, its time to crank up oven to try out so many exciting recipes that I’ve bookmarked in the past few months. I am not a huge fan of coffee but i catch myself ogling the pastry case in coffee shops all the time. My love for banana bread needs no introduction, I’ve tried it every form possible from good old plain bread to adding chocolate chips to even adding chai spice for an extra kick. So when i came across this recipe for Starbucks style banana bread, i had to give it a go. This definitely ranks high among all the different types of banana breads i’ve baked so far. Its moist with the right amount of sweetness and the crunch from the walnuts makes it a perfect pairing with your afternoon cup of tea or coffee. The original recipe uses eggs but i substituted it with yogurt and the result was an amazingly moist bread. Yumjay gave double thumbs up and said it matched very close in terms of taste and texture to the banana bread from Starbucks, that’s definitely a sign that this recipe is a keeper.



2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup plain, non-fat yogurt or 1 egg

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 ripe bananas, mashed without any lumps

3/4 cup walnuts, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease and line a loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Blend the flour, baking soda and salt, set aside.

3. Mix yogurt, sugar, vanilla and oil until combined.

4. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, add mashed bananas and mix well.

5. Fold 1/2 cup walnuts and transfer batter to the loaf pan.

6. Top batter with remaining walnuts.

7. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Summer Panzanella Salad

Panzanella is a Tuscan salad that cleverly uses up stale bread by tossing it with tomatoes, onions, olive oil and other good stuff. If I were to compare this to an Indian recipe, bread upma will be the closest match. Panzanella is the perfect salad to incorporate summer’s produce in one good meal. Day old crusty bread like a loaf of French bread works best for this recipe. This recipe adapted loosely from Ina Garten comes together in less than 20 minutes and makes for a great summer potluck dish.



1/2 loaf French bread, cut into cubes

3 tablespoons good quality olive oil ( I used Koroneiki, which has good flavor and aroma)

1 teaspoon salt

2 large tomatoes, sliced

2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced

2 small yellow peppers, thinly sliced

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

10 basil leaves, chopped

For the dressing

1 teaspoon finely minced garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Juice from 2 small limes


1. Heat oil in a large pan. Add cubed bread and salt, cook over medium heat and toss frequently until nicely browned.

2. Mix all the ingredients listed under dressing and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, place all the vegetables and basil. Add bread cubes and dressing and toss well.

4. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Let the salad sit for 30minutes before serving for the flavors to blend.

Gluten-Free Almond Coconut Berry Tartlets

Summer is officially here and i hope you have some fun things planned for the long weekend. If you are looking for a fun, healthy and simple recipe for your July 4th celebrations, here’s the perfect red, white and blue recipe for you. Few weeks ago I was asked if I’d be interested in coming up with a recipe using coconut flour.  I didn’t want to pass up on the opportunity because I’ve been intrigued by this new flour flooding the market for the past year or so. Coconut flour is a gluten free healthy substitute for regular flour. It is a soft flour produced from dried coconut meat. This flour is rich in protein and fiber. Read up more on the health benefits of using coconut flour here.

gluten free breakfast tartlets

I love tarts especially the mini ones simply because I can eat two of them and still not feel guilty. This is a super simple mini tart that you can whip up in 20 minutes. These mini beauties have almond, coconut, honey, berries and yogurt, so they totally qualify to be eaten for breakfast. If you feel fancy, replace the yogurt with whipped cream or even coconut cream for a nutty flavor. Enjoy your July 4th celebrations and stay safe and cool!


Ingredients for the tart

1 cup almond meal

1 cup coconut flour

2 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

For the filling

1 cup non fat vanilla yogurt

handful of strawberries, sliced

handful of blueberries


1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with liners, coat with cooking spray and set aside.

2. Place all tart ingredients in a bowl and mix well until they all come together. The mixture will be a little crumbly.

3. Place a tablespoon of the above mixture into each muffin cup and press them well so the mixture sits well on the bottom and sides of the liner.

4. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

5. Let the shells cool completely before filling them. You can even make this ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to be filled.

6. Fill each tart shell with cold yogurt and top with berries when ready to serve.

Sorghum Salad

I have been eating out way more than usual, given that i am new to the Bay area which is any foodie’s heaven. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you know what i’m talking about. So when i eat at home, i try and eat healthy and incorporate a colorful platter of veggies either in the form of roasted veggies or a mixed vegetable soup or a salad. And when you have a dad who can put any food processor to shame when it comes to chopping veggies, it is a pleasure to eat vegetables. I love adding grains to my salad because it gives a nice bite and is very filling too. Sorghum known as Jowar in India is an ancient grain that has been in countries like India and Africa for several decades. In America, sorghum was primarily used as a cheap sweetener or livestock feed until the gluten-free diet became popular. From pancakes to popcorn, sorghum has become a common household name in America. Compared to rice and wheat, sorghum has higher calcium content and is packed with iron, protein and fiber. This salad is packed with delicious vegetables and is both adult and kid approved which makes it a wonderful dish to serve at parties.

sorghum salad


1 cup sorghum

5 red radish, finely chopped (if you are using the long variety, use 1)

5 Persian cucumbers, finely chopped

2 carrots, finely chopped

1 raw green mango, finely chopped

1/2 cup raw peanuts with skin

1 onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves

1 tablespoon olive oil

juice from 1 lemon




1. Place sorghum in a large pot with 4 cups of water, bring it to a boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the grains are cooked well. Alternatively, you can cook sorghum in a pressure with 3 cups of water for 3 whistles.

2. Cook raw peanuts on stove top with sufficient water or pressure cook them until soft, drain and set aside.

3. Place all the chopped vegetables in a large bowl, add sorghum and boiled peanuts. Mix well.

4. Add olive juice, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix well.

5. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.

Philz Coffee Style Iced Mint Mojito

I have a very valid reason for disappearing from the Blogosphere this time, the big move from Seattle to San Francisco, Bay area happened recently. This was huge for me considering how much i love rainy Seattle which has been my home for 8+years. Change is sometimes inevitable and i hope i get to like the new place as much as i loved Seattle. Eat, live,burp kitchen is all set up and i have started cooking/baking in the new home. I am still trying to figure out the new oven temperature settings and even had a brownie fiasco but i have a killer banana bread recipe coming up real soon.

Pic Courtesy: Google

Pic Courtesy: Google

Coming from the land of Starbucks, i was quite skeptical about trying out a local coffee chain recommended by Yumjay. But Philz coffee did not disappoint, you are assigned a barista who is willing to customize your coffee very patiently (which in my case is important because i cant make up my mind when it comes to food) which is pretty cool. While i’m still partial to my skinny vanilla lattes at Starbucks, i wanted to check what the hype is all about the iced mint mojito at Philz. It was quite refreshing with the flavor of fresh mint leaves and fresh ground coffee. Its so simple to recreate this recipe at home so you can avoid those never ending long lines at Philz. The barista at Philz recommended brewing coffee at room temperature for this Iced mint mojito and i used coffee ice cubes to make sure the drink did not get watered down. I think this may be a new favorite of mine to make at home in this scorching heat.

Iced mint mojito


1 cup coffee, brewed at room temperature

1 tablespoon sugar (add more or less according to preference)

10 mint leaves

1/4 cup milk or few tablespoons heavy cream

1 cup coffee or regular ice cubes


1. To make coffee ice cubes, pour freshly brewed coffee into ice cube tray and freeze.

2. Take mint and sugar in a bowl and muddle them together using the back of a spoon or a pestle till the mint leaves are crushed.

3. Pour coffee over the mint/sugar mixture and top with milk or cream.

4. Mix well, add ice and garnish with mint leaves.

Cardamom Carrot Bread

I always like baking with a fresh fruit or vegetable and quick breads are so versatile that you can add pretty much anything in sight but the kitchen sink and it would still taste so good. I wanted to use up a bunch of carrots and coconut flakes lying in my pantry and thus came about this wonderful bread studded with good stuff. If you are not a coconut fan, add any nuts or bits of dried fruit  to this bread, it is super versatile and would taste divine.  This bread is almost like carrot cake but just much easier to put together and best of all it has cardamom, an all-time favorite spice of mine. It is not ridiculously sweet, making it a perfect accompaniment with a cup of tea or coffee. If you are in the mood, add a cream cheese glaze and voila you have an almost fancy carrot cake on your table minus all the fuss. The bread freezes beautifully, so handy for a quick breakfast or snack.

cardamom carrot bread


1.5 cups whole wheat flour

1 Egg

1 cup olive oil

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1.5 teaspoons ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup coarsely grated carrot

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup raisins


1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line and grease a loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Place egg, oil, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and beat until thick and slightly foamy.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cardamom.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and gently stir by hand.

5. Gently fold in the carrots, raisins, coconut flakes and other mix-ins that you may choose to add.

6. Pour the batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

7. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

8. Warm each slice of bread for 20 seconds in the microwave when ready to serve.

Chettinad Style Vegetable Biryani

After a 3 month blogging hiatus, i am back and ready to share recipes with you again. I can’t promise there won’t be quiet weeks but i can promise that i won’t disappear for months on end again:)vegetable biryani

Chettinad cuisine is famous for its use of variety of spices and its popular for its fragrant biryanis and curries. I’ve been making Arundati’s mushroom biryani for ages now and its always a huge hit among friends and family. I followed the same recipe for this vegetable biryani and boy! I can’t tell you enough about how much we loved it. Star Anise is an integral spice in Chettinad cuisine, make sure to use this spice for added flavor. This recipe involves marinating the vegetables, i usually let it marinate overnight and have noticed that this definitely adds depth and flavor to the rice. This recipe can give any restaurant biryani a run for its money. Its flavorful and fabulous, minus the oil slick you find in most restaurant briyani.


Ingredients for the rice

2 cups Basmati rice, washed and soaked in 2 cups of water for at least 30 minutes

3 cups  onion, finely sliced

2 cloves

2 bay leaves

2 star anise

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 one inch piece cinnamon

3 tablespoons oil

Ingredients for the marinade

3 cups vegetables ( a mix of carrots, beans, potato), sliced lengthwise

2/3 cup plain yogurt

1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste

1 teaspoon red chili powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped

1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped


1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan and fry the chopped onions until golden brown, set aside

2. Mix all the ingredients listed under marinade along with one cup of fried onions from step 1 and keep it in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

3. In a deep, heavy bottomed pan, add oil and when oil is hot, add all the whole spices and cook for a minute.

4. Add the marinated vegetables along with any remaining marinade and cook for 10 minutes until the moisture evaporates and oil starts to separate.

5. Drain and add the rice to the pan and saute gently for 5 minutes.

6. Add 4 cups of water to the rice mixture and bring it to a boil.

7. Add more salt, if needed and garam masala and mix well.

8. Cover with a lid and cook on medium flame for 15 minutes.

9. Simmer for 10 minutes until rice is cooked.

10. When ready to serve, gently fluff with a fork and sprinkle remaining fried onions on top.

Virtual Vegan Potluck 2014 – Vegan Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Its been more than 18 months since the last potluck and i was pretty excited to sign up when i saw this year’s potluck email from Annie. As always, this is going to be an exciting event featuring several talented vegan bloggers and their drool worthy vegan recipes. And the timing couldn’t have been more perfect, with the holidays coming up, there’s going to be  plenty of opportunities to cook and consume some delectable goodies.

VVP logo

This year i signed up to bring a delicious vegan soup for the potluck party. This curried butternut squash, my friends is a serious crowd-pleaser and perfect for winter.  The addition of coconut milk delivers the same luscious, silky flavors of its creamy version but without butter and cream. Healthy, tasty, fragrant, mildly sweet and spicy, this soup is definitely a keeper. Pair it with a vegan bread/ dinner roll for a wholesome meal.

vegan butternut squash soup


1 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks

2 tablespoons freshly minced ginger

1/2 cup diced onions

2 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

1.5 teaspoons curry powder

1 small green tart apple, peeled, cored and diced

1 cup low sodium vegetable stock

7 oz light coconut milk

1 tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro, for garnish

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 dried bay leaves

juice from 1 lime




1. Heat oil in a large dutch oven and when oil is hot, add onions and cook for 3 minutes.

2. Add garlic, ginger and continue to cook till onions are soft.

3. Add bay leaves and red pepper flakes and cook for a minute.

4. Add squash, apples, curry powder and salt, cook for 10 minutes.

5. Add stock, cover and bring it to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

6. Add coconut milk and cook for 10 minutes.

7. Remove bay leaves from the soup and using an immersion blender or regular blender, puree until smooth.

8. Add more salt, if needed and a dash of lime juice just before serving.

9. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.


To go to the previous blog in the potluck line up, please click on the icon below.


To go to the next blog in the potluck line up, please click on the icon below.


Eating Out: Top 10 Indian Restaurants in Seattle

Few weeks ago, the folks at Groupon reached out to me asking me if i were interested in contributing to their website. Despite all the crazy things going on around me, i agreed to do it because i am a huge fan of Groupon. What’s not to love about good deals and especially when they are related to food right? For those of you not familiar with Groupon, its a deal-of-the-day website that features discounted gift certificates for local and national companies.


If you are looking for some recommendations for good Indian restaurants on the east side of Seattle and want a good deal , make sure to read the complete post here.


Eggless Yo-Yo Cookies

Yo-Yo cookies are an Australian favorite made with custard powder and filled with  butter cream. Also known as “melting moments”, these cookies are delicious, buttery and make a fun dessert. Two delicious melt- in- your- mouth cookies are sandwiched with butter cream and these are way less sweet than the American sandwich cookies which makes them a delightful accompaniment to tea or coffee. If you are not in a mood for butter cream filling, nutella or any chocolate based nut butter spread would work just fine. This is a fun way to engage kids in baking and filling their own sandwich cookies, makes for a great rainy day activity too.yo-yo cookies

Ingredients for cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup+1 tablespoon butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup vanilla flavored custard powder or corn starch

Ingredients for filling

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup powdered sugar

2 teaspoons cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon custard powder or corn starch


1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

3. Stir in the flour and custard powder, mix until it forms a smooth dough.

4. Roll into logs and cut it up into equal sized pieces.

5. Form into balls and place on the prepared baking sheet. Gently press tops with a fork.

6. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until light golden color and cool the cookies completely.

7. Mix ingredients listed under filling until light and creamy.

8. When the cookies are completely cooked, spread the filling on one cookie and place another on top to make a sandwich.

9. These cookies store well in the refrigerator for up to a week.