Allergy Friendly Stir-fry okra and peanuts during pregnancy…

‘Eating peanuts while pregnant cuts child’s risk of allergies’¬†– hmm! This research study made headlines on Christmas Eve, 2013 in Food Allergy circles. Now, I did eat tons of nuts but it did not help my son escape nut allergies. But, it did help me put on oodles of weight :)) However, one example like me does not a study make and it is definitely good news for all of us!

Dare I complain about the cold with Sochi Olympics in full swing?! Oh well – here in the North East we are getting bombarded by snow storms like never before – the only thing that is keeping me sane is the crackling fire and soul satisfying freshly made Allergy Friendly food in the comfort of my family room. Ye ye – it is bad manners to eat in the family room but try eating in a cold kitchenette when the outside temperature is 0 degrees ūüėÄ

So, today I welcome you to the warmth of my hearth with my son’s favorite lip smacking allergy friendly okra stir-fry (yup there is more to okra than the deep fried version) and a bowl of warm split mung bean (with skin) soup seasoned with sauteed onions and a dash of paprika (recipe for the soup in my next post)


Stir-fry Okra

  • Prep time: 30 – 45 minutes
  • Serves : 2


Continue reading “Allergy Friendly Stir-fry okra and peanuts during pregnancy…”


‘Lentil Bites’ – allergy-friendly protein punch!

I have been feeling like¬†a kid in a candy store¬†all week. In my quest for allergy friendly dishes through the lanes of international cusine, I came across some amazing dishes¬†from the state of Gujarat in western India. Without any substitutions – so many of their dishes are naturally allergy friendly and high on nutrition. At such moments¬†I am reminded of a line from the song¬† – I hope you dance…’Promise me that you will give faith¬†a fighting¬†chance.’ To thrive with¬†food allergies, one must always keep this¬†song very close to their heart ūüôā

‘Lentil bites’¬† – mmmm’ilicious’…what more can I say ūüôā The essential ingredient is mung beans! This bean has always been one of my favorites – high in protein, fiber, essential vitamins and minerals, low fat but still manages to feel light on the stomach…go figure!¬†

The following measure will yield approximately 75 bite sized pieces. Ideal as finger food for a small group of 6 – 8 people.

1. 1 cup  split, husked mung bean (available at stores like Whole Foods and also in regular grocery stores in the International Foods aisle)

2.  1 tbsp. Eno’s fruit salt (available in Indian grocery stores) : This ingredient is optional
3.  Salt and pepper to taste
4. ¬†¬Ĺ cup of vegetables like grated carrot, finely chopped fresh spinach
5. ¬Ĺ tsp mustard seeds (black)
6. ¬Ĺ tsp. ¬†cumin seeds
7. 2 tsp. oil (any oil like vegetable, corn, canola or olive oil)

1. Soak the mung bean in 3 cups of water for 4-6 hours. It should be soft to bite. Drain the water.

2. Grind the soaked mung bean to form a coarse batter with about ¬ľ cup of water.

3. If you have the fruit salt, add it at this point along with the salt  and vegetables and continue with step 5.                                                                                                         4. If you dont have fruit salt, let the batter ferment overnight and then follow the same steps below.
5. To prepare seasoning – heat the oil on medium heat in a small saucepan. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds.

6. In about a minute the mustard seeds will crackle. Remove from fire and add the tempering to the ground batter. Be watchful else the seasoning will burn.

7. Mix the batter thoroughly.

7. If you have a steamer, add 2 inches of water to it. and bring it to a boil. A big pot can be used instead of a steamer.

8. Grease a flat stainless steel dish/plate that can go into the steamer and put 1 tsp.  of the ground batter at 1 inch intervals on the plate. Place it carefully inside the steamer.
9. Cover the steamer/ pot and let it steam for 10 minutes.

If you have an idli mould – it can be effectively used for steaming.


Allergy friendly Mung Bean Soup

Can it get any colder?! Feels like NJ is getting slammed by snowstorms like never before…what better time for a bowl of warm mung bean soup – rich in proteins, fiber and as always allergy friendly. It also happens to be my little one’s favorite – yayy!


– Dehusked split dry Mung Bean: 1/2 cup

– Turmeric: 1/4 teaspoon

–¬†¬†Pepper¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† –

РOlive Oil or any other oil (Corn, Canola, Vegetable):  1/2 tablespoon                      

–¬†Salt to¬†taste

– Optional: 1 cup finely chopped Spinach, 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds, pinch of asafoetida, 1 tbsp finely cut coriander leaves


РMeasure  the mung bean in a 4 quart heavy bottomed saucepan.                               -Wash the mung bean and drain all the water. Add 3 cups of water and the turmeric and stir till the turmeric is completely stirred in.          

–¬†Heat the saucepan on medium to high flame till the water comes to a boil.¬†Turn it down to medium heat so that the water is simmering.¬†¬†

РStir the soup every 10 minutes to ensure that it is not sticking to the bottom of the vessel.                                                                                                                                                 РIn about 30 Р40 minutes, the lentils will be completely cooked. Add the required amount of salt and turn down the flame to low.                                                  

– In a small saucepan heat the olive oil.¬†When the oil is heated, add the cumin seeds (Omit the cumin seeds if you don’t want to add cumin seeds.) Switch of the flame and add ground black pepper and pinch of asafoetida¬†(optional)¬†¬†¬†

Small saucepan to heat oil

РAdd the heated oil with the seasoning to the soup and finely chopped coriander leaves. Give it a good stir and switch of the flame.


1) To increase flavor and nutritional content add the cut spinach in the last 10 minutes of cooking time.                                                                                                               

¬†2) Spinach is just one example. This lentil soup is remarkably¬†versatile – add cooked carrots, cucumber, cabbage, or sauteed onions, green peppers. Let your imagination run wild and make this soup yours ūüėČ

Ways to enjoy it…

1) Have it as a soup as is.         

2) Mix it with rice Рyummy and nutritionally awesome!       

3) Use it as a dip for tortillas, pita bread etc.


Beyond lentils: allergy friendly ‘Vegetarian Proteins’


Brrr – winter is here ‚Äď what can be better than a bowl of warm and nourishing lentil soup? ¬†Yummy ‚Äď and yet a simple pleasure like this is denied if one tests positive for lentil allergy. Recently, a reader asked me if there are other kinds of lentils that one could try even if they tested positive for lentil allergy. Although, the allergist is the best person to give a qualified opinion ‚Äď in my personal experience, the answer is ‚ÄėYes‚Äô! At the very least ‚Äď ‚Äėlentils‚Äô is just one kind of pulse and there are many more in this category that is worth investigating in conjunction with the allergist.¬†


Continue reading “Beyond lentils: allergy friendly ‘Vegetarian Proteins’”