Try some “new” vegetables!

Thanks to Monita, from Pulse Fitness' Spinning team, who demonstrated and cooked Indian flavored vegetables that are seldom used in western cooking. Try to cook some - they are so delicious and very flavourful.

Monita's recipes:

Anna he Parabrahma Aahe – Food is God. Waste not, want not.

This is the Indian philosophy that we have grown up with. In India, food is not about technique; it’s about culture, bringing people together & spreading love. Food is also medicine. Ayurveda is based on curing your problems through what you eat. It believes in the principle, “You are what you eat & do”

Today, we are going to cook different vegetables with ingredients which are all easily available here in Lausanne. There are 3 or 4 Sri Lankan groceries in Chauderon, which stock everything that we need for Indian cooking. There is also a Sri Lankan Grocery in Prilly, quite close to the school. You can google & find these easily.

I have used quantities based on my judgement. Go ahead & adjust them as per your taste, preferences.

Bhindi Masala – Okra Masala

Bhindi is Okra. way to select tender okra is to snap the tapering end of the okra with your thumb. If it snaps easily, its tender – go ahead & put it in your basket.

Another important thing is you should always wash Okra atleast 5-6 hours before you cook it. Wash it & then leave it on a tea towel to dry. This ensures that when you are cutting it, its not all gooey.

Okra has multiple health benefits – it’s good for digestion, low in calories, feed the good gut bacteria, slows down sugar absorption rate – hence good for diabetes & so on…

I have also used Amchur Powder (Dry Mango Powder) in this recipe, which has multiple benefits – one being it aids in detoxification.

Turmeric powder is an essential ingredient in Indian cooking. It has multiple benefits – anti-inflammatory, antioxidant…


Okra – 300-500 grams (cut into 2-3 cm pieces)

Onions – 2 medium sized (cut into squares)

Tomatoes – 2 medium sized (cubed)

Oil – 1- 1 ½ tbsp (for cooking)

Oil – For stir frying the Okra – 1 tbsp

Asafoetida – a pinch

Mustard seeds – 1-2 tsp

Chilli powder – 1 tsp

Turmeric powder – 1-2 tsp (for cooking)

Turmeric powder – 1 tsp (for stir frying)

Coriander powder – 1-2 tsp

Cumin ‘powder – 1-2 tsp

Amchur Powder (Dry Mango Powder) – 2 tsp

Chat Masala – 2 tsp

Salt, as per taste



Take 2 different pans.

In one pan, heat oil. Then add the okra, add salt & turmeric powder. Keep sautéing till it’s cooked

In another pan, heat oil. Add asafoetida. Then add mustard seeds.

When the mustard seeds start spluttering, add the onions. Then add chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder. Cover & keep.

When the onion is translucent, add the dry mango powder. Mix well. Then add the tomatoes. Mix again. Cover & keep for a minute or so.

After a minute, add the stir fried Okra. Mix well. Cover for about 3-5 minutes.

Then add the Chat Masala. Mix well. Turn off the heat.


Kohlrabi (Navalcol) Sabzi

Kohlrabi is a mineral rich food - very good source of Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Magenesium.

It aids weight loss, is good for digestion…


Kohlrabi – 3 or 4 medium sized bulbs

Onions – 2 medium sized

Chana daal (Gram Daal) – Soaked for 2-3 hour hours – ½ cup

Oil – 1-1 ½ tbsp

Gram Flour (Besan) – 1 – 1 ½ tbsp

Coconut Cream/Milk – 1 can

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Asafoetida – a pinch

Turmeric powder – 2 tsp

Chilli powder – 1-2 tsp

Garam Masala – 2 tsp

Fresh Coriander, chopped finely – to garnish

Salt, as per taste



Peel the outer layer of Kohlrabi with a potato peeler. Dice into cubes.

Cut the onions fine.

Heat oil. Add asafetida & mustard seeds. Let them splutter.

Add onions & kohlrabi. Add, turmeric powder, chilli powder, soaked gram daal. Cover & let it cook for 10-15 minutes.

Take another pan. Dry roast the gram flour. When it becomes warm, add a 2-3 tbsp of coconut cream or milk & keep mixing till it starts bubbling. When it bubbles. Pour this over the Kohlrabi & onions. Mix well.

Add the remaining coconut cream/milk. Cover & cook for 5 -10 minutes.

Add garam masala, just as it starts to boil. Mix well. Keep covered for a minute.

Turn off the heat.

Garnish with chopped coriander.


Moong Daal Tadka (Split Green Gram w/o cover)

Rich in protein but low on carbs.



Moong daal – soaked for 2-3 hours – 1 cup

Onion – I medium sized

Garlic cloves – 3-4, chopped finely

Cumin seeds – 2 tsp

Turmeric powder – 2 tsp

Fresh chilli – 1 or 2

(I usually use the Thai Bird chilli & 1 is fiery enough)

Ghee – 1-2 tbsp

Asafoetida – a pinch

Fresh Coriander, chopped finely – to garnish



Heat the ghee. Add asafetida, finely chopped chilli, cumin seeds.

When the cumin seeds splutter, add the chopped garlic. Stir & quickly add the onions. Let this cook for about 2-3 minutes.

Add the soaked moong daal. Add the turmeric powder.

Add water as necessary. Cover & let it cook.

Add salt as per taste.

Keep stirring every 5 minutes. The daal should cook in about 30 minutes or so.

Garnish with freshly chopped coriander.


Beetroot Salad

Everyone know how beneficial beetroots are – rich in iron, good for blood pressure, anti-inflammatory…


Beetroots – 2-3

Oil – 1 tbsp

Asafoetida – a pinch

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Sesame seeds – 1 tsp

Dry roasted & crushed peanuts – ½ cup

Fresh cilli – 1

Salt, as per taste


Roast the beetroots in the oven for 180-degrees Celsius for about 30-45 minutes.

When cooled, grate them.

Dry roast peanuts & then crush them in a mortar pestle.

In a separate pan, heat oil. Add asafoetida, mustard seeds, sesame seeds, crushed chilli. Let it splutter. Then pour this over the beetroots.


Karela Fry (Bitter Gourd)

Bitter gourd contains an insulin-like compound called Polypeptide-p or p-insulin which has been shown to control diabetes naturally. It also contains minerals like iron, magnesium, beta-caretone, potassium, calcium…

In this recipe, I have used Jaggery powder, which is rich in iron. It’s good for digestion & Immunity. But most importantly, its less processed than sugar – more natural. I try to use jaggery instead of sugar, wherever I can.


Bitter gourd – 2/3

Oil – 1 tbsp

Asafoetida – a pinch

Turmeric powder – 2 tsp

Chilli powder – 1 tsp

Tamarind paste – 1 or 2 tsp

Jaggery powder – 2 or 3 tsp

Salt, as per taste




Split open the Bitter gourd length-wise. Take a spoon & scoop the seeds out.

Cut into small wedges (about 2 cms long).

Heat oil. Add asafetida. Then add the bitter gourd. Stir fry for a minute or so.

Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder, Tamarind paste, Jaggery powder.

Mix well. Add very little water (maybe a 1-2 tbsp)

Cover & let it cook for 10-15 minutes. Ensure that it doesn’t stick to the bottom.

Add salt as per taste.




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