I have discovered that Indian cuisine has a variety of ways of preparing eggs–creative dishes way more interesting than omelettes and scrambled eggs!
Boiled eggs in coconut milk curry—serves 2
- 4 eggs
- Cooking fat, such as coconut oil or ghee
- ¼ t mustard seeds
- ¼ t cumin seeds
- Stem of curry leaves, about 8 leaves
- 1 medium onion, finely sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ t turmeric
- ½ t red chilli powder (optional)
- 1 T coriander powder
- 1 t garam masala powder
- ¼ t salt
- ¼ to 1/3 cup coconut milk, preferably homemade
- Boil the eggs, peel and slice in half.
- Heat cooking fat in a wide pan and add mustard seeds. When they start to pop and sizzle, add cumin seeds and curry leaves.
- Add onion. Saute onion until turns brown on the edges.
- Add the garlic, turmeric, chilli powder, coriander powder and garam masala powder. Fry for a few minutes.
- Turn heat to medium-low and add the coconut milk, starting with less at first. Add more if necessary. You can increase the heat if necessary to bring to a light simmer. Do not boil coconut milk; otherwise it will curdle!
- Add salt and and eggs and simmer for a few minutes.
Mature coconut meat is sold in the market whole, with the shell removed. I buy my coconut with the shell, as the meat is fresher than that above.
Rasam is a South Indian soup. There are many different types of rasam, but the common ingredients tend to be tamarind juice, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves. After discovering tomato rasam, coconut milk rasam is now my daughter’s favorite.
Make the coconut milk and rasam powder ahead of time. You can look for rasam powder at the Indian grocery store, but it may contain channa dal, which is garbanzo beans/chickpeas, not allowed on the GAPS diet. I got a recipe for rasam powder off the internet and omitted the channa dal. Making the rasam powder was fun and smelled delicious! The other benefit to making your own rasam powder is that you can add less chilli if you want. (The recipe I used called for cups of chilli powder!)
Coconut milk rasam—serves 4
- ¼ cup tamarind (for more about tamarind, see here)
- cooking fat of choice, such as ghee or coconut oil
- ¼ t mustard seeds
- 1/8 t hing
- ¼ t turmeric
- 1 T rasam powder
- 1 stem curry leaves
- 2 small or 1 medium tomato, diced
- 1 t salt
- 2 cups coconut milk
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- Immerse tamarind in 1 cup warm water. Using your hands, remove any hard material from the tamarind, including the seeds. The tamarind juice remains.
- In a medium-large pot on medium-high heat, add cooking fat and then mustard seeds. When they start to sizzle and pop, add the hing, turmeric, rasam powder, curry leaves and tomatoes. Saute for 1 minute.
- Add the tamarind water and 2 more cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add coconut milk and salt. Allow to come to a light simmer. Do not boil coconut milk; otherwise it will curdle!
- Add chopped coriander leaves and serve.
Avial is a delicious vegetable dish from South India made in a coconut and yogurt sauce. Vegetables can include potatoes, red or white pumpkin, carrots, drumsticks, green beans (French or the Asian long type), green plantain and green mango, as well as other vegetables I don’t recall seeing in the U.S. (like elephant foot yam, a tropical tuber, and ash gourd/winter melon/ white pumpkin). The spicing is very simple: just cumin seeds and curry leaves.
- 1 cup pumpkin, peeled, cut into 1 inch squares
- 1 carrot, quartered length-wise, cut into 3 inch sticks
- 1 drumstick, cut into 3 inch sticks (optional)
- 1 cup green beans, cut into 3 inch pieces
- Raw/green mango, chopped into 1 inch pieces (optional)
- 1 medium eggplant, cut into rectangular pieces 3 inch long, ¼ inch thick
- ½ t turmeric
- ¼ t salt
- Ghee or coconut oil
- ½ t cumin seeds
- 1 small green chili (optional)
- ¼ t turmeric
- Curry leaves, 1 stem or about 10 leaves
- ¼ cup shredded, unsweetened coconut, fresh or dried (from less than one half coconut)
- ½ cup yogurt/curd
Brown the eggplant
In a bowl mix ½ t turmeric and ¼ t salt. Coat eggplant pieces in turmeric & salt. Heat large pan over medium heat, add cooking fat and brown eggplant on both sides. Remove eggplant.
Steam the vegetables
In a steamer basket, add pumpkin and carrot. When pumpkin and carrot have started to soften, add drumstick. When drumstick starts to soften, add green beans. When green beans are mostly cooked, add mango. The mango cooks very quickly. After a just a few minutes, remove all vegetables from heat of the steam to stop cooking process. Vegetables should be perfectly cooked.
Make the spices
In the same pan used to brown the eggplant, heat the ghee or coconut oil on about medium heat. Add cumin and chili, if using. When cumin seeds have sizzled for a few seconds, add curry leaves and turmeric.
Put it together
Immediately add the steamed vegetables, browned eggplant and coconut. Stir and remove from heat. Add the yogurt/curd and salt. Do not include the whey separated from the yogurt/curd, as this will make the sauce runny.
Park Street Cemetary, photo by Imran Mannan
dried tamarind on left, wet tamarind with seeds on right
Tamarind is a pod-shaped fruit grown on a tropical tree in many parts of the world. The edible flesh is inside a hard shell. According to my own observation, tamarind is more often used in South Indian cooking. It is often cooked with sugar or dates to balance its sour taste. Since I love sour foods, tamarind is my new culinary discovery. In addition to tamarind chutney, I have been putting tamarind in vegetable dishes and my new favorite Indian tomato soup, rasam. In India, tamarind is most often bought in the market wet, hard shell removed, and in bulk. However, I found packaged organic dried tamarind at the grocery store in Calcutta and I was so excited to discover it serves as delicious chew candy!
Tamarind chutney is a popular chutney used to top scrumptious ‘street food,’ including dahi vada. It can be used as a sauce to accompany papaRdum, which you may have had at an Indian restaurant. I also use it in my Indian egg salad, egg chaat (recipe for that coming soon), as well as a topping on almond pancakes.
You can find tamarind at your local Indian food store.
Priya’s tamarind chutney–makes 1.5 cups
Prep ahead tip: Do steps 1 & 2 ahead of time, as these are the most time-consuming.
- Handful of tamarind, about 250g
- 5 dates, seeds removed
- Cooking fat, i.e. coconut oil or ghee
- ¼ t mustard seeds
- ¼ t cumin powder or cumin seeds
- ¼ t coriander powder
- Pinch hing
- 6-8 curry leaves
- ¼ t chat masala or garam masala*
- 1/8 t salt
- 1 cup water
- Soak tamarind and dates in ½ cup warm water until soft.
- Using your hands, remove any hard material from the tamarind, including the seeds.
- Blend tamarind and dates. Set aside.
- Heat cooking fat on medium in a deep medium pan.
- Add mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, add cumin powder or seeds, coriander powder, hing and curry leaves.
- Immediately add the tamarind and date mixture and stir.
- Add the chat masala or garam masala, salt and 1 cup water.
- Bring to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, until it gets thick.
*Chat masala and garam masala are particular mixtures of spices you can buy at the Indian food store. You may even find garam masala in the spice section of a good natural food store.
tamarind chutney with papaRdum
Here is another simple yet fulfilling soup. Lima beans and white navy beans are the only two beans allowed on the GAPS diet.
This one I also adapted from eatingwell.com.
*prep ahead: soak beans at least 4 hours. Will need to cook 1.5-4 hours.
- 1 cup dry white beans, lima or navy
- 1/2 t turmeric
- 1 inch piece ginger, grated
- cooking fat of choice (i.e. ghee, coconut oil)
- 2 t dried oregano
- 1 large onion, finely sliced or chopped
- 2 carrots, cut into coins
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 4 cups broth/stock
- 2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
- black pepper to grind
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- juice of 1 lemon
- After soaking beans, rinse and drain. With enough water to cover beans, cook with turmeric and ginger. I like to cook beans as long as 4 hours (no, they don’t fall apart or get mushy), but 1.5 hour will do if you’re in a hurry.
- In a large soup pot, heat cooking fat. Add oregano, and then onion, carrots and celery.
- When they start to soften, add broth, beans with cooking liquid, tomatoes, and salt.
- Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer. Cook until vegetables are done (can insert knife into piece of carrot but it doesn’t fall apart).
- Pour into serving bowl and top with parsley and little lemon juice.
So ‘grawnola’ is the common term used for raw granola. The stuff you get at the health food store is so unhealthy–so processed, hard to digest and, not to mention, full of sugar.
But this grawnola is awesome, wholesome and easy to digest! It is so good I ate it within a few days. I topped my homemade yogurt with the grawnola and fresh blackberries, and just snacked on it throughout the day.
Obviously you can choose whatever nuts and seeds you like and use whatever amounts you like. The following recipe is just what I used.
I dehydrated soaked nuts and fresh fruit in my dehydrator. It comes out crunchy-soft and I love the pieces with the banana!
Grawnola–makes 7.5 cups
*Prep ahead: Soak nuts and seeds for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 cup walnuts
- 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 3/4 cup sesame seeds
- 2 apples, cut into 1/3 inch squares
- 2 bananas, cut into 1/3 inch squares
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 T cinnamon
- 1/2 cup dry grated coconut
- raisins (I didn’t use, but you can)
- After soaking nuts and seeds, rinse and drain.
- Pulse the almonds in the food processor until roughly chopped but not pulverized. Remove from food processor.
- Pulse the pecans and walnuts together until roughly chopped. Nuts will not chop evenly so be careful to not over-process; there will be different sizes of pieces.
- Pulse the seeds together until slightly broken up.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine nuts, seeds, apples, bananas, honey, and cinnamon.
- Spread mixture onto trays and dehydrate for about 12 hours at 115 degrees.
- Add coconut and raisins to finished grawnola.
- Keep in refrigerator for long-term storage.
Note: I am very pleased with my 5-tray Excalibur dehydrator because it has a temperature setting to dehydrate at temperatures below 120 degrees, the temperature over which enzymes and nutrition is destroyed. I also love it because the trays are removable so I can place my glass liter jar of yogurt in it to ferment.
For me, soup is the best way to consume our daily meat broth/stock, so I’m always looking for new soup recipes. This recipe is adapted from an Italian Peasant Soup recipe I saw from eatingwell.com.
White bean soup with cabbage and cheese
*Prep ahead: Soak beans at least four hours. Will need to cook beans for 1.5-4 hours.
- 1 cup dry white beans, navy or lima
- 1/2 t turmeric powder
- 1 inch piece ginger, grated
- cooking fat
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 onion, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 head of cabbage, sliced
- 5 cups broth/stock
- black pepper to grind
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Rinse soaked beans. With enough water to cover beans, cook with turmeric powder and ginger, at least 1.5 hours, ideally more.
- In a large pot, heat the cooking fat. Add the bay leaf. When it sizzles, add the onions and cook until they start to turn brown.
- Add the garlic and cabbage and saute for a few minutes.
- Add the broth and beans. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Cook until cabbage is tender, 10-15 minutes.
- Pour soup into bowls and top with cheese and ground black pepper.
Now let’s do dessert! This ice-cream cum sorbet is made of entirely frozen fruit and is very simple to make! The ice cream/sorbet needs a base of frozen bananas for creaminess. Then you can add whatever frozen fruit you want. I made mine with frozen blackberries. You can make with a juicer (I use an old Champion with the blank plate), a food processor with the S-blade, or probably a VitaMix. It was so delicious we ate all of it in one night!
Sorbet—makes four small servings
- 4 frozen bananas, broken into thirds
- 2 cups frozen fruit
Puree the fruit in the food processor or in a VitaMix, or push through your juicer using an accessory that pulverizes the fruit and ejects without separating juice from pulp. Yes, that’s it!
Who doesn’t love mashed potatoes with gravy? This recipe is almost indiscernible from the real thing and very satisfying! Moreover, this is an excellent way to consume lots of meat stock!
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into medium sized pieces
- 4 cups stock or broth, preferably unsalted or with little salt
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- Fat of your choice, such as butter, ghee or bacon fat
- Steam the cauliflower. Then puree in the food processor.
- While the cauliflower is steaming, place the stock or broth in a pan and boil with the lid off to reduce it, thereby thickening it by about 75% to a gravy. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the pan as it thickens, thereby saving the very tasty stock.
- Heat a small pan to medium/medium high and sauté the onion until caramelized.
- Top the mashed cauliflower with gravy and onion.
Being on GAPS, I miss soda—ahem, meaning the “natural” stuff made with cane sugar. When making this refreshing drink for kids, use less ginger. My daughter loves it!
Probiotic ginger ale – makes 3 cups
- 2 apples or pears, or 2 cups grapes
- 1-3 inch piece of ginger
- 1 cup sparkling mineral water
- 1 cup kombucha (optional)
Juice the fruit and ginger. Combine juice, mineral water and kombucha. If you don’t have kombucha, you can just combine the juice with the mineral water in equal proportion.