Genda da Addye / steamed Cucumber cake

There are a lot of things I miss about Mangalore, and the one thing on the top of the list is definitely the food! There were so many varieties of sweet dishes that we used to eat back home and I never really cared much to know what ingredients went into them and how it was made. But things changed after my move. I was curious to know what ingredients were used and how exactly it was made and one of the many things that I crave for occasionally are the variety of ‘addye’s’ (steamed cakes) we used to eat while we were growing up.  My grandma used to make this sweet addye and it was one of my favorites! Genda da Addye or Cucumber cake if I may call it so! 

Originally this dish is cooked in a traditional way on a wood fired stove (Indian mud choolah) with coal (genda in tulu) placed on top which gave it a unique burnt taste.  However this one is made in a cooker on a gas stove and anyone can try it at home. We made this made this when my in-laws visited us last year and I have been in love with it ever since. It’s easy and it tastes great Let’s get started! 


  • 2 cup rice (idli/dosa rice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi)
  • 1 long cucumber (skinned and roughly chopped)
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 3/4 cup powdered jaggery (increase if you want it sweeter)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ medium onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup ghee
  • 2-3 tablespoon nuts/raisins


  1. First, soak the rice and fenugreek seeds in water separately in a bowl for 3-4 hours.
  2. Add the soaked rice and fenugreek seeds together to a blender and grind it together with grated coconut, powdered jaggery and chopped cucumber to a slightly coarse bater by adding water (You can use the same water used to soak the rice) The batter should be of thick dosa batter consistency and not too watery. Check sweetness and adjust jaggery accordingly.Add salt to the batter.
  3. Place a pressure cooker on medium flame. Add ghee and grease the sides of the cooker as well so the addye (cake) comes out easily without sticking in the end. Once the ghee is hot, add the chopped onions and fry till they turn to a darker shade of brown. Next add the nuts and raisins and give it a quick stir. You can add more nuts/raisins if you like.
  4. Pour the batter to the cooker and immediately add 1/2 cup of water.Make sure you lower the flame at this point to keep it from sticking to the cooker and gently mix well making sure there are no lumps. Now close the lid. You don’t have to use the cooker’s weighted stopper instead place an inverted steel cup directly on the vent tube (from where the steam escapes) If you don’t have a steel cup use any any microwave safe cup that sits well.
  5. Cook the Addye on very low flame for 50 minutes to an hour.
  6. After 45- 50 minutes you can check to see if the Addye is done. Piece with a wet fork/knife to see if the batter sticks to it, If it does cover and continue cooking for a few more minutes. 
  7. Turn off the gas and let it cool down for 10 minutes. Gently invert the cooker and give it a good tap to remove it from the cooker onto a wide plate. Rest it for another 15 minutes. The addye is now done and is ready to be relished. Cut it into pieces and enjoy!

You can have them for breakfast or with your evening tea. I love to eat it whenever I feel like throughout the day! You can leave it out for a day and then store the pieces in an airtight container and refrigerate it. Microwave it for a few seconds just before serving.

Hope you give this a try and if you do, let me know how you like it!

Mangalorean Fish Curry

Today let’s talk about the fish curry. The authentic mangalorean fish curry to be precise. I grew up in Mangalore, the port city of Karnataka, India. It is well known for the coconut palms, spectacular beaches and of course for the lip smacking seafood! Fish is a staple food for most mangalorean families. You will find it most buffets and family get together meals without a doubt. As a kid I liked fried fish better than the fish curry to be frank but now that I am thousands of miles away from home there are days when I miss my Amma’s fish curry! So taking things to my own hands I decided to give it a try. The stomach wants what it wants right ? 😉

The hardest thing to do it get a recipe written from my mom. She always gives me measurements visually with her fist and fingers! So one day before I moved to the US, I sat there in our kitchen watching her cook the fish curry and understood the ratio and measurements of the ingredients she used. And finally I gave it a try. Proud to say that it tasted great! Definitely not as yummy as hers but close enough and I and my husband relished it. (And know that my husband is one of the greatest critics known to mankind. lol when he doesn’t say it out you can still see it in his eyes!) So for me it was a win, and since a lot of my fellow amateur cooks asked how I cooked it, I thought let’s write it down!

So before we start, you can use the fish that you like and have tasted before, preferable something Indian. I have used Pomfret for this recipe since we buy that a lot and I like how it tastes. Originally I love the mackerel back home but since I don’t find it here I got the Pomfret. So for fish that are bland you make the curry less spicy and for fish like mackerel and sardine you can extra chillies and make it spicy, now that’s a tip from my mom.


  • Fish – ½ kg (cleaned & sliced)

For the masala:

  • 3 teaspoon whole coriander seeds (roasted)
  • Dry red chilli long-5 (roasted)
  • Dry red chilli short – 5 (roasted)
  • ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds (roasted)
  • ½ cup grated coconut (slightly roasted)
  • Tamarind small piece (½ size of a lemon)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch ginger
  • Turmeric 2 pinch
  • ½ onion fried
  • ½ cup water

For the curry:

  • ½ onion chopped
  • 1 inch ginger chopped
  • 2 slit green chillies
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ½ cups water


  1. Place the slices of fish in a bowl and add ½ teaspoon of salt, gently mix and keep it aside.
  2. All the ingredients that are to be roasted under the masala section can be roasted together (except for the grated coconut, do that separately) on a pan with ½ teaspoon oil for a minute or two until they are slightly aromatic (not till you start coughing)
  3. Once fried place all the ingredients under ‘For the masala‘ in a mixer grinder and mix it without water first then keep adding water in small amounts until it reaches a smooth consistency. Don’t make it too watery but ensure it’s not too thick either it should be like a paste consistency.
  4. Take a deep pan or an earthen pot if have one, turn on the stove on medium flame and pour the masala into the pan, now 2½ cups of water and mix well. There shouldn’t be any lumps. If required adjust consistency. Once it gets hot add in the ½ onion, 2 green chillies, salt and 1 inch chopped ginger. Bring to a boil. Let it boil rigorously and carefully stir it now and then for almost 2 minutes, the curry will leave bubbles, now lower the flame and add the fish gently to the curry. The fish will cook in 7-8 minutes. Don’t stir it too much, be gentle as the fish will be soft and it will fall apart.
  5. This step is optional but I like to do it as it enhances the flavor of the curry. Add sliced fried onions on top once the curry is completely cooked.
  6. Serve with rice and enjoy! We have it with the Red Rice (matta rice) that we get from an Asian market here.

If you have any questions about the recipe feel free to ask me in the comments. Hope you give it a try! 🙂

tips towards a healthier lifestyle

Over the past few years I have been reading and learning a lot on improving my health overall and I realize that making a few changes in our lifestyle and eating habits can actually make a big difference in the long run. However, making major changes to your diet & lifestyle can sometimes seem overwhelming. Instead of making big changes, it may be better to start with a few smaller ones.

1. Pick The Whole Grain Bread: If you are bread lover like me, it is time you make a switch from refined flour bread to a whole grain bread. Whole grain breads consists of unrefined grains that haven’t had their bran and germ removed by milling and hence, all of the nutrients remain intact. Whole grains are better sources of fiber and other important nutrients, such as selenium, potassium and magnesium. I have been using the Nature’s own 100% whole wheat bread and I love having them with eggs! Any bread made with 100 percent whole grains, whether it is whole wheat or whole grain, is the most nutritious option. But be careful, just because a label says ‘whole grain’ doesn’t guarantee that the product contains exclusively whole grains. The best way to learn about your bread is to look out for a 100% Stamp, which means all of its grain ingredients are whole.

2. Increase Your Protein Intake: Growing up I never understood the importance of proteins, the more I read the more I understood how important it it for your body and not just for athletes and body builders. That doesn’t mean you need to start drinking protein shakes every day. Most people can get the proteins that they need from a healthy and a balanced diet. Protein comes from a variety of sources, including meat, milk, fish, soy, and eggs, as well as beans, legumes, and nut butters. When proteins are digested, they leave behind amino acids, which the human body needs. Plan your meals in a way that there is always a source of protein included. Inclusion of greek yogurt in your diet is a great option. You can even add nuts and fruits to it and have them as desserts. On days when I know that I haven’t consumed enough proteins, I go and make myself a protein shake.

3. Bake Or Shallow Fry Instead Of Deep Frying: Don’t get me wrong, I love my fried pakoras occasionally but look out for alternatives whenever you can. The way you preparing your food can drastically change its effects on your health. Deep-frying and grilling are all popular methods of preparing meat and fish. However, during these types of cooking methods, several potentially toxic compounds are formed and these compounds have been linked to several diseases, including cancer and heart disease. Healthier cooking methods include baking, broiling, simmering, slow-cooking, poaching and pressure cooking. Try baking your fish and meat next time and trust me with the right temperature and ingredients you will be surprised to see how good it tastes!

4. Eat Your Fruits Instead of Drinking Them: We all know that fruits are healthy and are loaded with fiber, vitamins and antioxidants, eating fruits leads to a reduced risk of several diseases. Since fruits contain fiber and various plant compounds, their sugars are generally digested very slowly and do not cause major spikes in blood sugar levels however the same is not true for fruit juices. Most fruit juices that are sold in the market aren’t even made from real fruit and consists of concentrate and sugar. Even the real fruit juices lack the fiber and chewing resistance provided by whole fruits. This makes fruit juice much more likely to spike your blood sugar levels. And It also makes it way too easy to consume too much in one sitting!

5. Get Active: can’t stress this enough. Aim to do about 30 minutes of moderate to high-intensity exercise each day, or simply take the stairs and go on short walks whenever possible. If you don’t have access to a gym, there are so many great workout videos on youtube pick one and get going! keep your body moving. Exercise can be such a great mood booster and as well as decrease feelings of depression, anxiety and stress.

6. Be Conscious While Dining Out: My husband and I are big time foodies and we love to explore food options in our area. However we have a list of places we mostly order from and they aren’t fast food joints! If you actually look out there are tons of healthy options that are tasty and satisfies your cravings. Make simple small changes, ask for sauces on the side so you can add them sparingly, get a side of salad when you the option. If you are ordering in food transfer the food contents to your daily eating plate, you will be surprised to see how big of a portion it is! You can always save them for a later meal. The most important part is be mindful of what and how much you eat.

7. Don’t Eat Out of a Packet: I remember a few years back when I used to finish a pack of chips in one sitting without realizing that I was actually full halfway and continued to eat because I was just bored. The trick is to take some of the chips/snacks put it in a small bowl/plate and take it away from the kitchen. If you want a refill you know you have to come back all the way.

8. Cook at Home More Often: Make a habit of cooking at home rather than eating out too often. By cooking your food yourself, you’ll know exactly what is in it. You won’t have to wonder about any hidden unhealthy ingredients and eat with no regrets. I was never a fan of cooking but ever since I have started making the effort it has been a great learning experience. You understand the spices, the flavors and you can make your own tweaks and get your own twists to tons of recipes on the internet. And did you know cooking at home has been shown to reduce the risk of excessive weight gain? that’s a win.

9. Eat Your Veggies: You have been listening to this since you were a child but how much vegetables do we actually consume on days when we have our favourite chicken curry meal? Try to incorporate some kind of vegetables on every meal. The goal must be 3-5 cups per day. Easiest way to do it to try and add it to your breakfast menu. For lunch and dinner let half your plate consist of plant foods. This will likely reduce the portions of food groups that many eat in excess. In addition, look for opportunities to include these foods as snacks. Carrot sticks with hummus is such a great combination for evening snacks.

10. Slow Down & Reflect: Life gets busy and that is a fact. But it is important to take a pause and appreciate the beauty of the world around you. Make time to enjoy each part of your day. Take a few moments in the morning to check the weather. Admire the nature, what better way to start the day but with connecting with mother nature. Learn to appreciate your self and the people in your life and most importantly always find the time to do what you love.

Making big changes overnight is going to be a recipe for disaster. Instead what I suggest is to incorporate some of the small changes mentioned above to make your diet & lifestyle healthier.

Trust me in the long run they will have a big impact on making your overall diet healthier and more sustainable.

H4 Visa – What are your options?

I have been thinking of writing this post from such a long time now. It is deeply personal for me since I have lived through it and if writing this is going to help others who have gone through the experience then well, why not.

Let’s get to the basics first – If your are reading this you are mostly aware of the H4 visa status. To those who aren’t – In the USA a H4 Visa is a Visa issued to dependents (spouses or children under 21 years of age) of H1B visa holders. Spouses of H1B visa holders are not allowed to work with just an H4 Visa. There is, however, an option to obtain an EAD (Employment Authorization Document) which allows you to work with an H4 visa. Now that’s the shortest version, I am not going to touch base with the process of getting an EAD. There are several government websites that explains the process. What this post consists will be how to keep yourself active during this period of waiting to get your EAD. And for those who are curious I received my EAD after 2 years of moving to the US. In those 2 years I have tried to keep myself occupied, busy with learning new things and taking the time to nourish myself physically and mentally. I knew what I was getting into when I moved to the US. After having worked in Marketing for 6 years this was hard but a necessary choice for us as I did want to be with my husband post our wedding.

If you are a career oriented enthusiastic person who loves to work, get out there and face new challenges, then there is no easy way of putting it- You will miss home and your freedom to work! But we are trying to look at the bright side here. There are multiple options that you can do, and here’s a few.

  1. Get into college. You can study on your Visa, and this is one of the best options for you if you want to take up a course you have always been looking forward to do or if you want to get yourself an MBA. Cost will be one of the deciding factors, however there are tons of community colleges to pick from. In-state tuition is available for H4 visa holders in the US. But keep in mind that different schools and states have different application schemes and policies for the process and it is recommended that you check with the desired school first. Personally for me, I had my MBA and I had no intentions of going back to college when I moved.
  2. Find a full-time job and have an employer sponsor H1B Visa. This is an option if your work experience is in STEM field, however this is definitely not an easy option. The issue is that if a company sponsors your Visa and even if you get it, you cannot work for the company for 6 months after Visa approval and hence it is not logical for the company to spend money on your sponsorship. But you can definitely give it a try.
  3. Volunteer in you field. One of the best things that I found out is that you can volunteer in organizations based on your interest. There are multiple portals to find what interests you. I looked up and found several places that I loved to volunteer and that is what I did. You get to meet people, network with them which will definitely help you once you get your EAD and plus it definitely adds weightage to your your Resume!
  4. Work on your self. I can’t emphasize on this enough! I started working out and eating right and understanding so much about nutrition since I had the time. Take up hobbies, things that you have always wanted to do, I learnt to cook and that’s something I am really proud of! I know a friend who started gardening and she’s such a pro at it now. Keep yourself occupied and learn new things.
  5. Learn the culture/Explore: I have been lucky to have travelled to so many places in the country experiencing the culture and tasting the amazing variety of food. I researched and planned my travels extensively and shared my travel photographs and tips on Instagram, mostly because it made me happy! There is so much out there all you have to do is get out and talk to people. Don’t be afraid of making new friends, there are apps like meet-ups that lets you catch up with people who share your interests, .

Here’s my advice, the first thing you need to do once you move here is to get yourself a driving license. Trust me when I say that cars are your way to freedom. At least it was for me!

And finally I know a lot of my friends who don’t want to get into the workforce and are starting families and becoming wonderful stay at home mommas and taking care of the household and you know, that itself is a full time job! A few have come up with youtube channels and started their own ventures.

For me personally I knew I had to get back to the workforce. The journey has had it’s ups and downs and after 2 years I got myself a job in a multinational company (Non IT- girl here) A lot of people asked me to switch since it is a competitive market but hey, you do what you love and not what everyone else is doing. That’ the way to live right? In the end if you have a supportive partner you can get through anything!

I know a lot of them call this VISA a curse but I believe that there is always hope and all you have to do is believe in yourself and live the life that makes you happy!


Overnight Oats – Lazy girl’s healthy breakfast

As the title suggests this one’s a winner for a super quick and easy breakfast for all the lazy people out there who wakes up groggy and don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen. When i first started having oats I’d cook it up in the microwave for a few minutes with milk/water and throw in some bananas or blueberries. I never really liked it much. Once I started preparing the overnight oats there has been no looking back! This one has been my favourite for a really long time now. Like a friend told once, ‘it is like eating desert for breakfast’

You can tweak it to your liking and put your own twist to it. Also if you do like it warm you can microwave it for 45-60 seconds or transfer oats to a saucepan and heat over medium heat until warmed through. Just make sure that the topping are added after you warm it.


1/2 cup plain oats (I use the Quaker oats)
3/4 cup milk of choice
1/4 cup water
1 spoon honey/maple syrup
Chia seeds


Fruit of choice – banana/blueberries/strawberries/mangoes/apples
Peanut butter/chocolate chips
Nuts/flax seeds/pumpkin seeds


  1. Add oats + milk+ water + honey + chia seeds in a mason jar or any bowl with a lid, close the lid and put it in the fridge.
  2. The next day open the lid garnish it with fruits and desired toppings (see options above) Add more liquid as needed if oats get too thick/dry. Mix it with a spoon and enjoy!

That’s it! Now go ahead and make overnight oats on busy days or every day! Do let me know how your overnight oats turn out in the comments below.

The amateur’s banana bread

So I for one love bananas! And making a cake out of it is legit the thing to bake when you are craving for something sweet! I always saw people doing it and thought, this looks so good it must be hard to bake. But once I actually started giving it it a try it wasn’t so tricky after all! It also tastes a little like the plum cake I used to have back home in Mangalore for Christmas.

To be honest I did try a ‘healthy’ version of this, that is without using sugar and replacing all-purpose flour with oat flour. Well, it was definitely edible but it didn’t calm by sweet cravings so I just went ahead and tried it with the real ingredients! This has been my favorite ever since! Let’s get started.


2- 3 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed) (Use 5-6 of them if they are really small)
1/3 cup melted butter (unsalted or salted whatever you like)
1 teaspoon baking soda (Not baking powder-made that mistake)
A pinch of salt (skip if using salted butter)
3/4 cup sugar (1 cup if you want it sweeter – add/reduce accordingly)
1 beaten egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter a 4×8-inch loaf pan (got mine from amazon)
  2. In a mixing bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork (or masher) until smooth and you can see no big chucks. Stir the melted butter into the mashed bananas. (you can melt the butter in a microwave or on a small pan on gas stove)
  3. Mix in the baking soda and salt. Stir in the sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla extract. Finally mix in the flour. Don’t beat it just fold gently. (google ‘how to fold’ if you have no clue what that means)
  4. You can add it chocolate chips, nuts or raisins to the batter at this stage if you like.
  5. Pour the batter into your loaf pan.
  6. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour at 350°F. Insert a tooth pick to check of center comes clean and is not gooey. (poke 2-3 times and trust me you’ll know)
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for a few minutes. Now this step is very essential! LET IT REST for around 15 minutes. Then remove the banana bread from the pan by inverting it gently and let cool completely for about 30-40 minutes before you slice that wonderful bread you just made! Don’t be impatient now. This step is important. The banana bread tastes so much better when it’s cooled down. Trust me because i’ve tried it hot!

Go ahead and try making this one! The calorie count is definitely going to be way lesser than the one you get from the store plus your house will smell amazing! 😀 Bake it to know what I mean.