Snappy Salads – Roasted chickpea, sweet potato and beet salad


After festival food and carb/sugar binges, I thought it was fitting to get into some clean eating and simple(r) recipes.

This recipe was a tip off from my cousin who in turn tried it from the Minimalist Baker blog. A super satisfying salad, in my cousin’s words. Spot on.

This salad is a combination of hearty, zesty, not too salty not too sweet and yet – super satisfying:)

I added roasted beets to the original recipe and it only enhanced the flavor I think. Perfect accompaniment for the season. I also added “Tava Fry” Masala instead of the “tandoori masala” in the original recipe. The result was a roasted Indian chickpea or a “chana jor garam” (Bombay street food dish with roasted and spiced chick peas in a “chaat” style) kick to the salad. The original pictures from the Minimalist Baker do the salad more justice but I did want to capture the final product before I devoured it for lunch today. Perfect for a one person lunch menu (or more of course but I made a single serve portion).

Ingredients (for serving one)
  • 1 large sweet potato, sliced into thin rounds with skin on
  • 1 medium beet, sliced into rounds
  • Soaked and boiled chickpeas
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil or EVO
  • 2-3 Tbsp MDH Tava Fry Masala
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 2 cups chopped kale, massaged with lemon juice
  • optional: 2-3 Tbsp roasted lightly salted or unsalted pumpkin seeds


  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 small lemon, juiced
  • 1-2 Tbsp hot water to thin, if needed
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Add chickpeas to a small mixing bowl and toss with 1 Tbsp oil, tava fry masala, salt, coconut sugar, and turmeric (optional). Place on one half of baking sheet.



  • Brush the sweet potato rounds and beet rounds with remaining 1 Tbsp oil. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet on the other half.


  • Bake for 20 minutes, then stir the chick peas and flip the sweet potatoes and beets to ensure even browning. Bake for 10-15 minutes more, or until beets and sweet potatoes are tender/slightly brown and chickpeas are firm and crispy.


  • Now make the dressing. In a small mixing bowl, add tahini, lemon juice and maple syrup and whisk well. Thin with hot water if needed. Adjust seasoning to taste. Set aside.
  • Cool the baked/roasted ingredients for a few minutes.
  • To serve, first massage kale. I added the juice of half a lemon and literally massaged the kale leaves with my fingers, till the leaves start to soften a bit, but this breaks down the cellulose and really brings out the taste of kale. Top with sweet potatoes, beets, chickpeas, and pumpkin seeds (optional). Add dressing or serve on the side.


Change is the only constant – Navaratri – 9 Days of Celebrating Change

And so here we are. Back in the States. A full circle? Well depends on where the circle started. Three years ago when we moved to Singapore I felt we had come a full circle in a way, or were on our way there. We started our lives in India and we were now moving back, to Asia. Where it all began. But we once called the USA our home. And then realised with all our moves that home is really where the heart is. So when it was time to move back to the U.S., we truly had mixed feelings. Isn’t that always the case with change? You begin to get comfortable, almost too used to one thing and then it’s time to start the cycle again. Change is always the only constant. And this is something I think life has taught our family in more ways than one. The past few months may have been chaotic, turbulent, unpredictable but eye opening lessons in patience, fortitude and acceptance. And as a Master I met told me “you say you want to go with the flow but then you hold on tightly to the rock in the river. To experience life to its fullest you have to let go of the rock.”

It has been three months since we are back and I am still fascinated at what keeps unfolding. For one I have realized that when you move away for a while and come back, you return back expecting people to have “moved on” or forgotten where you were. Or at least that’s what I have heard people tell me. Interestingly I find that our friends and families are the same lovable people. I have, instead, moved on. My thoughts and ideas have changed. What used to be a routine I was comfortable with a few years ago suddenly seems mundane.

To some, moving every 2-3 years is impulsive and risky. To us, now bitten by the wanderlust, it’s an adventure and opens our minds and hearts to new experiences. To some instability is disturbing. To us, stability is a state of mind. To each his own. And as long as we understand where each of us are coming from, we can get back to where we started. And complete the circle still holding a place in each other’s hearts like we always did.

Our first few weeks back in the US were spent completing this circle at our friends, the Patels home, which is where I got my first recipe for this blog! And my second weekend was spent in my friends Radhika’s and Uma’s homes, which incidentally is where we began our stint in Dallas exactly 10 years ago! These are not mere coincidences, they are more what I would call synchronicities, working together to help us all fit back in. These dear friends have always opened their homes and hearts to our family years ago and still do in a heartbeat.

I have some recipes to share from each of their homes too which have been stored away and the move hasn’t given me a chance to sit down and pen them all. I promise to share them over the next few weeks.

So it’s already three months in and though a lot has happened, I thought it was timely to celebrate change with this post with the beginning of Navarathri – when we celebrate the 9 days of paying obeissance to the changing season, and the feminine energies of Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. I will continue to document the daily “neivedyam” or offering on the blog’s Facebook page.

I thought I would share a new method of cooking I am experimenting with called “One Pot One Shot” or “the Fastest Cooking Project” discovered and patented by Ramakrishnan or Ramki as he is known as in his blog. This method, introduced to me by my friend Uma uses the humble pressure cooker for cooking some simple and complicated recipes. I am still a newbie to this method but wanted to experiment it with the 9 days of neivedyam (offering) for Navarathri.

For the first day of Navarathri, here is the OPOS method to making “Chakkarai Pongal”. This has been documented earlier here but this method beats the cooking time of that one. Try it for yourself. Here is also the daily menu for Navarathri. I have found this helps me a lot with organizing the Navarathri prasadams (offering)    and also the satvik (simple and healthy) lunches and dinners as far as possible. The prasadam detail is given by my mother-in-law, quite the expert with organized festival prep, as detailed here.
 Navarathri menu
OPOS method for Sakkarai Pongal:
Soak 1/2 Cup raw rice for 1 hour and drain. Add this to a pressure cooker directly. (2-3L pressure cooker works best for these measurements)
Add 1 cup grated jaggery to the rice.
Add 1/4 cup ghee, 1/4 cup cashews and raisins to the above mixture.
Add 3 green cardamoms.
Add 1.5 cups water.
Pressure cook this on low/medium heat for 15 minutes exactly. Wait for pressure cooker to cool and then open the lid.
Mash well. Enjoy!