Vegetarian Coconut noodle soup with Bean Sprouts

So Sunday morning started with a walk and an amazing breakfast with my parents. At Moms house, breakfast is always a splurge, never minding the calories and so we ate a variety of fried bhajiyas made of potatoes, onions and green chillies! Well don’t worry I’m not cooking bhajiyas today!

While looking through the kitchen, I realised that we have lots of coconut milk and different types of noodles but no meat at all! So here is a vegetarian version which is a take on a Malaysian Laksa and a Burmese Ohn-No-Khao-swe.

I wanted something that would tingle my tastebuds and also give me feel of different type of textures while I was eating it. I wanted the crunch, the softness, the spice, the comfort. I didn’t want to eat any meats but just wanted the dish to be light. I didn’t want it to be heavy so had to decide between flat noodles, egg noodles or rice noodles.

So my final choices were, rice noodle soup with bean sprouts!

So lets start with the ingredients:

For the Noodle Soup

  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 500 grams of rice noodles
  • 2.5 tablespoon besan or gram or chick pea flour
  • 2 red onions
  • 6 pods of garlic
  • 1/2 inch of ginger
  • 4 bird chillies
  • Oil
  • 1/3 cup Water / Vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tablespoon of turmeric
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Salt to taste

For the Garnishes:

  • 3 spring onions finely chopped
  • 2 red onions thinly sliced and fried till brown
  • 2 bird chillies de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 boiled eggs cut into halves
  • 1/2 cup of peanuts roasted and crushed
  • 1/2 a red capsicum sliced
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • coriander to garnish
  • Chilli Oil
  • Lemon wedges

To make the coconut noodle soup:

  1. Mix the red onions, garlic, ginger and bird chillies into a paste. Add a little water/vegetable broth to make the paste.
  2. Take 2.5 tablespoons of besan and mix it in water so there are no lumps.
  3. Take oil in a pan and fry the onion, garlic, ginger and bird chillies paste for 7 to 10 minutes. Add salt and turmeric
  4. Add the besan mix into the pan and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Then add the coconut milk. Cook on a slow gas for 5 to 7 minutes or till you think the besan has been cooked.
  6. Add a little rice vinegar to the soup mix.
  7. In another bowl, boil some water and cook the rice noodles as per the instructions on the packet.
  8. Finally just place the noodles in a bowl and pour the coconut soup based on your palate and add the garnishes!
  9. Remember to squeeze lemon on the soup, the tanginess changes the way it tastes!
  10. Add a drizzle of chilli oil to give you slight heat with every bite!

Garnishes of fried onion, spring onions, coriander, bird chillies, lime, bean sprouts, red capsicum    Sometimes cooking isn’t that difficult! I’ve just made some  complicated dishes, simple and to match my palate! You can too!

If you don’t like beansprouts, replace them with what you like and have at home! So experiment!

Diwali! Sweets! Karanji or Gujiya with a millennial twist!

For those of you who don’t know, I am a Punjabi! Presumably Punjabi’s are people who love food and drinks! But for some reason, my family was never into making sweets at home! We liked hot & spice & sour food more than we liked sweets!

But as I was asking people around me of what food they associate with Diwali, more or less everyone said sweets! Well asking some of my sister-in-laws who are Gujarati, they told me that they make Karanji or Gujiya as it is called by some. Basically if I was to explain it in simple language, it is a half moon shaped pastry with a filling.

Traditionally the  filling that is used is made up of Suji (Farina), Sugar and lots of dry fruits crushed like almonds, pistachio and cashew nuts.

But I wanted to make the same traditional karanji or gujiya with a difference so I decided to make two variations:

Green apple, vanilla pods, suji, coconut, brown and white sugar.

  1. Suji (Farina), green apple, brown sugar and vanilla
  2. Suji (Farina), dry coconut and green cardamom.


I’m going to put the different parts of this dish together!

Let’s start with making the filling:

  1. Take a cup of the suji (farina) and lightly brown it in a pan.
  2. For the green apple and vanilla filling:
    1. Cut 1 green apple into small bite size pieces.
    2. Take 2 vanilla pods and slit the pod open along its length, then scrape out the small, sticky seeds using the tip of a sharp knife.
    3. Take 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and crush it into a powder. I like the granular effect of sugar, so I don’t crush the brown sugar too fine.
    4. Mix half the suji (farina), green apple, vanilla seeds and brown sugar in a bowl and set aside
  3. For the coconut and green cardamom filling:
    1. Take 1 cup of dry coconut and shred it in a mixer.
    2. Take 6 to 8 green cardamoms and slit them open. Remove the cardamom seeds and crush them using a mortar and pestle.
    3. Take 3 table spoons of white sugar and crush it into a powder.
    4. Mix half the suji (farina), with a dry coconut, cardamom and sugar.

Remember to taste the fillings and adjust it to your taste. I don’t like the sweet to be over-bearing, so I have used less of sugar.

Now lets make the pastry dough:

  1. Take 2 cups of all purpose flour.
  2. Take 2 table spoons of clarified butter and heat it lightly so it melts
  3. Boil 2 cups of water, so you can use it to knead the dough.
  4. Mix the clarified butter in the all purpose flour and add the water slowly while kneading the dough.
  5. The consistency of the dough has to be soft but firm.
  6. Once the dough is ready, let it rest for 10 minutes

Half moon shaped pastry

Ok, so now its time to put it all together. Now this is where it gets interesting. Let me explain what we are trying to do. The aim is make a half moon shaped pastry with a filling.

  1. Basically, we will roll the dough into 4 to 5 inch rounds pastries.
  2. Put the filling in the center.
  3. To seal the two ends, apply water using your finger tips to the circumference edge.
  4. Bring the two sides of the pastry together and gently press the edges.
  5. At the edge, we want a nice pleated look, so using start pinching and pleating across the rounded side of the half moon.
  6. Deep fry 2 to 3 karanji’s in hot oil for a few minutes turning over until slightly brown.
  7. Also remember to let the karanji cool down. That will help the outer crust to get crunchy!

Well well, it all took 1.5 hours all in all from start to finish. The key was the filling the pastry and closing the sides so that it has the neat look as well as it doesn’t open while you are frying the karanji’s.Karanji - Green Apple & Vanilla and Coconut & Green Cardamom

After the whole thing, one of the variations I wish I had tried was that instead of deep frying, it would have been interesting to bake the karanji. Well next  time!

Phew after all that the verdict wasn’t bad, Mom said it was the nicest karanji variation that she had eaten. My sister would like the coconut to be slightly moist and pluto (my dog) enjoyed the coconut and cardamom karanji!

I was happiest when my sister said the green apple and vanilla is surely not like an Indian dessert! Well that is what makes it millennial cooking!

And finally last but not the least, thanks to all the help from Rohini in the kitchen!

Would be good to hear from you’ll on what you thought of the recipe, or if you have any variations to suggest!

Till next time…

Shilpi Kapoor

Why Millennial Taste Buds?

One of the reasons it took me time to start this blog was because I couldn’t figure out the name. It needed to allow me to write about what I wanted to write about rather than restrict me.

As much as I wanted to talk to grand-moms and get recipes from them, I also want to experiment with 5 minute foods. As much as I wanted to experience the different spices, I also want to talk about drinks.

I’ve been feeling that todays kids know pasta, pizza and burgers but do they know Uzhunnu Vada or Dabeli. I didn’t want the food and cooking to be only about the past but also about the present!

I want this blog to take a life of its own. No direction just one post at a time!

I thought of and and couldn’t decide what this blog should be  named or what in particular it should be about.

A dear friend finally suggested Millennial Taste Buds and very sweetly told me that I was too old to be of the Millennial Generation sometimes known ad Generation Y, but atleast my food and cooking could reflect how young I felt!

Well Millennial Taste Buds it is!

Ok Ok… promise the next post will be about food or cooking! Enough of the build up to Millennial Taste Buds!

P.S: Do leave a comment! Would love to hear from you!

About Millennial Taste Buds

Writing about food and cooking has been an idea that I have been thinking about for some time. I hope with Millennial Taste Buds to share some of the experiments, journeys, travels and recipes. Some mine and some of others and I hope it lets me get out and meet people!

As a kid, I was actually scared of cooking or kitchens in particular. I remember a pressure cooker blowing up just after I left the kitchen and thinking “Boy, this is a dangerous place”. As a teenager, my brother made an omelette for me when I came back from school because I didn’t know how to.

In school, I cooked because I had to in home science and at those times my dad and mom were always proud. But the reality, I didn’t know how to cook. Even thought my sister went to cooking class to learn the basics of home cooking and turned out to be the most amazing cook I have seen, I didn’t want to try it!

I am a technology geek at heart and would tell my parents, give me every gadget in the book that will cook and cut and even measure for me and you might get some food out of me.

From those stories as a child to being in Richmond, USA and realising that either I cook or I go hungry. What saved me was this lovely recipe book that my sister made for me with even attaching samples of the dals, so I can identify them! I couldn’t believe that the first thing that I made was Rajma and that also in a pressure cooker!

Another person who influenced the way I cook was my sister-in-law who lives in the USA, she taught me that Indian food doesn’t always means hours of cooking and that you could adapt the ingredients based on what you had at home!

Today at home, I have no microwave, I rarely use the mixer but instead enjoy cooking in a traditional oven or using a mortar and pestle! I don’t like packaged food, I enjoy fresh herbs! I travel around the world and India and have to visit the local markets! Buy local spices, local produce! Talk to local people about their food and get inspired!

So join me in this adventure of instinctive, intuitive and interesting food and cooking!


Follow me @Millennialbuds