Charan's World

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Chocolate Overnight Oatmeal Smoothie

They say Breakfast is a very important meal of the day and I know that lot of you ladies, like me, do not feel like cooking breakfast in the morning. I am definitely not a morning person and that is why I skip breakfast sometime because I just don’t feel like cooking as soon as I get up. I tried making eggs and toast for sometime but I just didn’t feel like doing it in the morning. So I ended up eating the leftover dinner for breakfast because all I had to do was just heat it in the microwave and it’s ready.

But for the past week, I have been thinking of going back to being healthy. I have lost the way ever since I came back from our trip to India. I stopped keeping my eye on the food I eat and suddenly I realized that some of the clothes feel tight on me  and that is not good. So I ended up looking for ideas to get back to being healthy.

And lo behold, I found a health blog called Running with Spoons and I am getting ideas from her recipes and I love it. I kind of tweaked her recipe to what I had in my pantry and I made this oatmeal smoothie and ever since I am addicted to drinking them in the morning and I don’t feel hungry for at least 3 hours and that is great.

Chocolate Overnight Oatmeal Smoothie

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 8 hours

Yield: 1

Chocolate Overnight Oatmeal Smoothie


  • 1/2 cup Trader Joe's Organic Multi-grain Hot Cereal
  • 1/2 cup Whole milk
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1 tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 1 tbsp Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
  • 2 tsp Cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp Honey


  1. Place all the ingredients in a container and soak them overnight.
  2. The next morning, just add them to the blender and blend till they have a smooth consistency.
  3. Add additional water if you think it is too thick.

And there it is a yummy morning breakfast which I have been drinking with variations each day. Some days I add fruits or dates or almond butter, etc. I think this is one of my favorite, easy and quick breakfast in the morning.

Tomatillo Sambar

I have never cooked Tomatillo in my life and somehow I just thought it was just a green tomato. Then I saw this in my grocery store and I thought why not try something. They looked gorgeous. They are covered by a dry papery skin and inside is a shiny green tomatillo. Be sure to wash the tomatillo since it kinda had a sticky feel to it.

I was looking at some recipes to try and then thought why not a Tomatillo Sambar since I have never made it before it could have been a disaster but somehow it turned out good. It was a little bit since I never thought that the Tomatillo will be sour but it worked out fine in the end.

Instead of the traditional Toor dhal, I used the Masoor Dhal because of the cooking time and it was really good.

Tomatillo Sambar

Tomatillo Sambar


  • Tomatillo - 8 pieces
  • Masoor Dhal - 1/2 Cup
  • Red Onions - 1, Sliced thin
  • Sambar Powder - 1 Tbsp
  • Curry Leaves - 6 leaves
  • Asafoetida - a pinch
  • Sesame oil - 2 tsp
  • Cilantro - handful, chopped
  • salt to taste


  1. Add the Dhal, tomatillo and 1 1/2 cup water in the pressure cooker and switch it off after 5 whistles.
  2. Then in a kadai, add sesame oil and saute the onions till they get translucent.
  3. Add 3 cups of water, curry leaves and asafoetida to the onions and let it boil for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the sambar powder and boil again for 5 minutes
  5. Add the cooked dhal, tomatillo and salt to the mix and boil it for about 5 more minutes.
  6. Switch the burner off and add the cilantro to the sambar.

Art of making Thai Iced Tea

I am obsessed with Thai Iced Tea and I think it’s more to do with the flavor. They have a distinct flavor which I love and it is also very addictive. I always get these in Thai restaurants, Though I love it, I still don’t like the sugary taste of it since they do add a lot of sugar. So I decided to try it at home. I researched online and found that Pantai Thai Tea is a good brand to use. I found them on Amazon and it as like $7 so I decided to see if I could find it in Asian Market. And I did find it from our nearest Asian Market and it was $3.99 and I was like :yay: and I was so freaking happy I found it.

When I opened the package the first thing which I noticed is the smell. It smells flowery but I just can’t hit on the exact smells. After lot of research (yes, I wasted my time doing it), I found that they add Dok Nom Maew which is a flower found in Thailand. But today they add artificial flavoring which taste like that. Also a thing to keep in mind is that it has food coloring which gives it a distinct orange color tea. Personally, I don’t mind it. I did find a recipe but I did find it too sweet. So with trial and errors I finally found a recipe which works for me :) .


  • 16 oz/500ml Water
  • 1/4 cup Thai Tea Mix
  • 2 tbsp of Agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup of Half & Half
  • Boil the water and switch it off.
  • Add the tea leaves to the water and leave it for 5 min
  • Strain the water and leave it to cool off till its in room temperature
  • Then mix the agave and the half & half.
  • Serve it with some ice cubes.

Coconut Tapioca Pudding, Vegan Dessert

I absolutely love looking at food blogs because you can be inspired and get ideas. I was searching for some dessert recipes since I have guests coming over for dinner tonight and I found this recipe and I fell in love with it. I HAD to try it. I love coconut milk and pudding/payasam who doesn’t love it :) . I found the original recipe from here but I changed some ingredients to suit me 😀 .


1 1/2 cup tapioca seeds
3 cups coconut milk (drinking variety, found in the milk section near soy, almond milk, etc)
1 can of coconut milk (cooking variety)
1 1/2 cup of sugar
2 tsp of Pure Vanilla essence
12 pods of cardamom, powdered/crushed
handful of cashew nuts, broken
handful of raisins
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
2 tbsp ghee


  1. Soak the tapioca seeds in coconut milk (drinking variety) overnight.
  2. Place them in the stove and add the can of coconut milk (full fat). Let it boil in a medium heat. Stir occasionally so that the seeds don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Once it is boiling, add the vanilla, cardamom and sugar. Stir them and let it boil for 10 min.
  4. In a separate pan toast the sesame seeds till its light brown and keep them separately.
  5. In the same pan, add 2 tbsp of ghee and fry the broken cashew buts till its brown and keep them aside.
  6. Then add the raisin and fry till they get swollen and keep aside.
  7. Finally add the fried cashews and raisins to the pudding and stir them.
  8. Serve the pudding in a dish with toasted sesame seeds on top :D.

They tasted amazing, but I think I should have reduced the amount of sugar at least for me but hubby thought it was good 😀 . Add sugar to your taste but this vegan dessert is fantastic version of our normal Payasam. Thank God It came out good 😆 .




Roasted Strawberry and Coconut Milk Popsicle

Ever since I have been playing with my iPad, I have found an app called Flipboard which is one of my favourite of the bunch. I have been subscribing to the food category and I found this recipe in one of their article. I took this recipe from a website called the year in food. As soon as I read this recipe, I had to do it. My mouth was watering for so many days and I finally did them on last wednesday. It is quite easy.


Strawberries – sliced, 16 0z

Coconut milk – 2 cans, not lite

Powdered Cardamom – 1/2 tsp

Sugar – 1/2 cup

Method : 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg
  2. Add 1 tsp sugar to the sliced strawberries and place them on a foil in the oven. Roast for about 30 min or till the strawberries are lightly caramelized.
  3. In a pan, Pour coconut milk, cardamom and sugar over a low flame. Stir till the sugar is dissolved and then cool it for 10 min.
  4. Combine it with the strawberries and pour them into the Popsicle mold.
  5. I got 6 Popsicle and lot of leftover which I kept them in the freezer in a box.

Vegan Banana Pudding

One of our friend is a Vegan and we have invited them over to our house and I did this dessert :) . It’s really simple and super tasty 😀 . I never thought that it would be this easy. I was pretty skeptical when I got all the ingredients. I searched in the Internet and have joined 2 version to make this dessert. This recipe serves about 5 cups of dessert.


24 oz Silken Tofu, firm
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup soy milk
2 tbsp of Vanilla essence
4 large Bananas 
6 Cinnamon Graham Crackers
4 tbsp oil
2 tbsp water
9 oz disposable plastic cups


  1. Add the pieces of Graham cracker, water and oil and make them into a crust. It must look like a very dry dough.
  2. Then in a different blender add 2 bananas, sugar and vanilla essence and blend them to a smooth paste.
  3. Then add the tofu and the soy milk and blend them. It ends up being a thick mousse like consistency.
  4. In a plastic cup, first add the cracker crust and press them so that it becomes a layer. Add some banana slices as the next layer and followed by the tofu mixture. Smoothen the top of the mousse and decorate it with a piece of banana.
  5. Refrigerate them for at least 2 hrs or in my case overnight :) .

Cream of Mushroom Soup

I wanted to make soup for a long time and finally decided on making a Mushroom soup. This recipe was taken from The complete book of soups and stews by Bernard Clayton, JR.


Mushroom, sliced into thin pieces – 1 1/2 pounds
Heavy Cream – 2 cups
Milk – 2 cups
Butter – 1 stick
All purpose Flour – 2 tbsp
Ground Pepper – 2 tbsp
Salt to taste


  1. Melt half a stick of butter in a heavy bottom pan.
  2. Once it melts, add the mushroom and toss them around for a minute and close the pan for about 10 min or more till the mushroom is fully cooked.
  3. Once done, keep aside to cool and then grind them in a blender or food processer. Grind them to a smooth paste.
  4. Melt the remaining butter in the pan, stir in the flour and cook gently for a moment or so until it bubbles.
  5. Gradually, add the cream and milk mixture, stirring over medium heat until the soup is smooth and thick, about 5 min.
  6. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and bring it to boil.
  7. Turn down the heat and simmer for about 5 min, stirring occasionally.
  8. Serve hot.

    P.S. This soup is so much filling that you don’t need an entrée 😀 . Just serve this with a toast.

Til Chikki (Sesame seeds candy)

This has been taken from  Traditional Sweets by Mallika Badrinath.


Dehusked white sesame seeds – 1 cup
Sugar – 1 cup
Ghee – 2 tblsp
Cooking soda – a pinch


  1. Dry roast sesame seeds little at a time till it puffs up. Take care not to discolor it.
  2. Heat ghee and sugar together in a heavy frying pan.
  3. Reduce flame and stir just once or twice till sugar is melted completely.
  4. Remove from fire and quickly mix the sesame seeds and cooking soda.
  5. Apply ghee to rolling pin and on top of a thick plastic sheet.
  6. Pour nut mixture on top of the sheet and quickly, roll it with rolling pin.
  7. Cut into pieces when it is still warm.

Chole (Chick Peas Curry)

Since my mom is here for some time, she is trying lot of stuffs from the cookbooks I have so I decided to post some of the recipes she tried :) . This was taken from Vegetarian Gravies by Mallika Badrinath. She is a popular south Indian lady who has published lot of cook books and she also has a cooking show. Mom did change some method from the original recipe.


1 can Chick peas/Chole/Channa
1 onion
1 can, chopped tomatoes
1/2 inch Ginger
7 flakes of Garlic
Lemon sized Tamarind
1 tblsp Jaggery
2 tblsp oil
1 tblsp Ghee
Salt as required
2 tsp Chilli powder or to your taste
3 Cardamoms
3 Cloves
1 inch Cinnamon
1 tblsp cut Coriander leaves


  1. Grind onion, garlic, ginger along with cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. Keep them aside.
  2. Grind the tomatoes separately.
  3. Heat Ghee in a frying pan, add cumin seeds.
  4. When it splutters, add the masala paste & oil and fry in medium flame till ghee separates from it.
  5. Add tomato puree and keep stirring constantly until the moisture is completely absorbed.
  6. Add salt, chilli powder, tamarind extract, jaggery and chick peas. Cook until the gravy is thick enough to serve.
  7. Remove from fire, garnish with corainder leaves.
  8. Serve hot with chappatis or puris.

P.S. I am into photography these days 😉 . I will be talking about it in the future.

Punjabi Chole (Chick Pea Curry)

There are lot of recipes out there for this but this recipe is for people who have slow cooker. I have one with me and I didn’t know what to cook with that. Then I found this book for slow cooker and they have amazing recipes. This is a perfect recipe for people who is having a party in their home. This recipe is taken from Flavours of India by Patak’s Food.

Serves : 4           Preparation time : 10 min        Cooking time : 2 hrs


1 tbsp Vegetable oil
500 g Canned chickpeas
15 g Onion, chopped
200g Canned chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp Patak’s Tikka Masala Paste
1 tbsp Patak’s Madras Paste
1/2 tsp Sugar
200 ml Water
1 tsp Fresh coriander leaves, chopped


  1. Heat the oil in the pan and saute onions until light golden brown.
  2. Add Patak’s tikka masala and madras paste and saute for further 1 min.
  3. Add the tomatoes, cook for further 1 min.
  4. Add the cooked chickpeas, sugar, water and mix well. Trasnfer to the slow cooker and cook high for 2 hrs.

Garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves.

Tip : A quick alternative to chickpeas is 200g dried yellow lentils.

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