Dana’s Indian Summer Salad

Dana’s Indian Summer Salad

Summer has shown its hot hand at Sunny Skies Stables.  Dana knows how much everyone appreciates a cool, refreshing salad after they’ve worked around the heat of the day and still felt its lash.  Besides, nothing could keep her out of the kitchen!



1 c. Granny Smith apple, cubed

1 c. mango, cubed

1 c. strawberries, sliced

1 tsp. coconut oil, melted

1/2 tsp. Sonal’s* tandoori spice blend

Mix all of the salad ingredients and serve chilled.  If you can get it into the refrigerator before it’s gone.  🙂

*Sonal is a talented chef, photographer, and food writer.  Visit her blog for loads of inspiring recipes.

Note: If you have a nutrition plan I designed, one cup of this salad counts as a fruit serving.

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Guest Post: Vegetable Korma With Onion Pilaf

The lovely Sonal Gupta, from SimplyVegetarian777, read the results of what you wanted, and created a luscious meal fit for a fancy vegetarian dinner party. I’m drooling right now, and reveling in gratitude.

Thank you, Sonal! I would gladly make this dish and share it with my friends and family for a special occasion.  Your photos are stunning!

If you’re not already familiar with some of the spices and terms Sonal uses in this recipe, visit her page and you will be as enlightened as I was when I first discovered her amazing descriptions.
Sonal:  Hello!  I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me an opportunity to meet with your friends, audience and family through a guest post.
It’s been an immense pleasure for me to have met you through the blog, a writer who writes from her heart (loving your The Dreaming ), a Reiki Master, a compassionate person and a good friend! I am sure there are more adjectives that I can use here to describe you.

Now, I am bringing a vegetarian dinner party menu for the readers that includes a curry and a rice dish. I hope they enjoy it as much as my family did.

Vegetable Korma and Onion Pulav
Sonal 3
Vegetable Korma
Korma is a Moghul dish, which traces back its origin to 16th century when Moghul rulers traveled to India. To be precise, it has it’s roots from Turkish Cuisine, where it is called Kurmah, which means braising of meat with a gravy or curry. It then got adapted in India and has lots of regional versions, from the use of cream, coconut milk, yogurt and / or nuts paste.
Sonal 2
Serves : 6-8
Kitchen Equipments Required : Chopping board, knife. microwave safe bowl, a hard anodized pan or non stick pan, stirrer,  and blender.
Ingredients :
Cauliflower : 1 cup, chopped into 1-inch pieces
Peas : 1/4 cup
Potato : 1 medium, chopped into 1-inch pieces
Carrots : 1/2 cup, chopped into 1-inch pieces
Green beans : 1/2 cup, chopped into 1-inch pieces
Paneer or Extra Firm Tofu : 1 cup, chopped into 1-inch pieces
Korma Paste 
Cashews : 2 tbsp, soaked in 1/4 cup of warm water for 10-15 minutes.
Coconut shreds, dried : 1&1/2 tbsp, unsweetened
Milk powder : 2 tbsp. Vegan friends can use 2 tbsp of almond milk or soy milk.
Onion : 1/2 cup, chopped roughly
Tomato : 1, very small
Ginger : 1 small piece
Garlic : 2 small pods or 1 big.
Spices and others
Oil : 2 tsp
Bay leaf : 1
Cinnamon stick : 1 small
Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala : 1 tsp – 1&1/2 tsp
Red chili powder : 1/4 to 3/4 tsp, as per taste
Salt : to taste
Water : 1&1/2 cups
Cilantro leaves for garnish.
Method :
Prepping the Vegetables
1. Make sure that all the vegetables are the same size.
2. Take a microwave safe bowl. Add all the chopped vegetables. Cover it partially. Microwave on high for 8 to 10 minutes until they are par boiled and not soft.
Making the Paste 
Take a blender. Add all the ingredients mentioned under Korma Paste and make a fine paste until there are no lumps or pieces left.
Making the Curry
1. Take the pan and heat oil in it.
2. Reduce the flame and add the bay leaf and cinnamon stick to it. Sauté for a few seconds and then add the korma paste to it. If it is too thick, add little water and stir. Add turmeric powder, salt, garam masala, and red chili powder to it. Stir.
3. Cook on low flame while stirring often. After 7-8 minutes, the paste will thicken and come together. We are not browning the paste. We are retaining its delicate yellow color.
4. Now add steamed vegetables to it. Add 1&1/2 cups of water and mix well.
5. Let it cook for 10-15 minutes on low flame until everything looks married well.
6. You may add some raisins and cashews to it, if you like.
The curry is ready to be served with Naan or Onion Pulav / Pilaf!
Onion Pulav / Pilaf
Sonal 6 
This is such a simple, flavorful and aromatic rice preparation that goes well with any curry or as is! I hope you will enjoy it.
Serves : 6 to 8 people
Kitchen Equipments Required : Chopping board, knife, heavy bottom sauce pan with lid, stirrer,  and fork.
Sonal 4
Ingredients :
Basmati Rice : 2 cups, cleaned and soaked in just enough water to cover these for 15-20 minutes.
Onions : 1&1/2 cups, peeled, washed and chopped thin into slivers.
Oil : 1/2 tbsp
Cumin seeds : 1 tsp
Bay leaf : 1
Cinnamon stick : 1 small
Sugar : 1/4 tsp
Green cardamoms : 2-3
Black pepper corns : 6-7
Cloves : 3-4
Garam masala : 1/2 to 3/4 tsp
Salt : 1 tsp
Water : 2&1/2 cups
Method :
 Sonal 5
1. Heat oil in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Once it becomes hot, lower the flame. Add cumin seeds, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, green cardamoms, cloves and black pepper corns. Sauté on low flame till cumin seeds crackle.
Note: Keep your face back since cloves can be notorious and jump out.
2. Now add sliced onions and sugar to the pan. Stir well. Cook on medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions become pinkish golden. It takes about 7-8 minutes. The sugar helps in giving onions a good caramelized color.
3. Now drain the water from the soaked rice and add the rice to the pan carefully. Add garam masala and salt. Stir well and sauté for 30-45 seconds like that.
4. Add water. Stir and close the lid. Cook on low flame until the water evaporates. It will take approximately 10 minutes. Switch off the flame. Let it stand covered, without touching it for another 7-8 minutes.
5. Open the lid and let stand for 2-4 minutes. Now take a fork and fluff it gently. This gives you a great texture and beautiful looking rice.
Serve it warm with the Veg Korma.
Sonal 1
Sonal @ simplyvegetarian777

Opinions Wanted

I am excited to share that Sonal, of the popular food blog simplyvegetarian777, is going to create a recipe post just for us. Sonal is a brilliant cook and an inspiring blogger. We’ve had many happy meals inspired by her recipes since I met her almost a year ago.

Sonal and I would like to know what you would like for her to make for us. We’ve started off with six choices and we’d love to hear your input.  We’ll give you two weeks to think about it, and then Sonal will work her magic in the kitchen for us.  Thank you, Sonal!

As always, thank you for reading,


Desert Sunrise releases tomorrow!
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