Bitter Gourd Stir Fry in a Tomato Onion Gravy

Bitter Gourd, also called Bitter Melon or “Karela” in Hindi, used to be one of my favorite veggies growing up. From stuffed baked bitter gourd to pan-fried fritters, made by dipping bitter gourd into a rice flour batter with spices. Bitter Gourd usually grows on a vine during the colder months in India. However, I’ve to resort to getting frozen slices from the local Indian shop here. This quick preparation uses the Airfryer to cook the bitter gourd slices for 15 to 20 minutes while the tomato and onions cook in a teaspoonful of oil with a few spices. Perfect for busy week-nights with a bowl of Daal and steamed rice or Roti!

Bitter Gourd Stir Fry

(A quick and flavoursome Bitter Gourd Stirfry combining smoked paprika, cumin seeds and turmeric.)


Bitter Gourd, sliced – 2 cups (I used a half a kilo packet of frozen sliced bitter gourd)
Oil – 1 teaspoon
Cumin Seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
Onion, sliced thinly – 1 medium
Tomatoes, deseeded & diced – 1 cup
Turmeric Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
Smoked Paprika Powder – 1 teaspoon
Water – 2 tablespoons
Salt, to taste


Spread the frozen bitter gourd slices in the air fryer and bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 18 – 20 minutes (until slightly crisp).
In the meanwhile coat a deep pan with oil and add the cumin seeds. Cook until browned.
Stir in the onions and cook on a medium flame until lightly browned.
Mix in the turmeric Powder and the tomato. Cook on low heat until softened.
Stir the Airfried bitter gourd slices into the pan and coat well with the above mixture.
Add water and salt and mix well.
Sprinkle smoked red Paprika powder and take off the heat.


Use mild red Chilli powder in place of smoked paprika. I’ve used smoked paprika to add a smoky depth to the flavour.
If using fresh bitter gourd, then slice into 3/4″ rounds, toss in a spoonful of rice flour and then cook in the Airfryer.

Silverbeet & Kale Stir fry with Harissa Mixed Beans

Warm spring afternoons particularly on a weekday are full of activities. This Silverbeet & Kale Stir Fry Spiced with Harissa Mixed Beans comes together quickly and makes a wholesome meal with Quinoa, steamed rice or, a flatbread on a busy afternoon. The past weekend I had gone to my local Harris Farm which, has all kinds of wonderful fresh and dried food. My husband is convinced it is one of those places where I must not be left unattended! Their best feature (from my perspective) is their imperfect produce selling system where, slight imperfections on fresh and tasty produce means they are sold at a discount and no wastage. I always try to buy “imperfect” produce because they definitely have better flavours in addition to their individual quirks, the same as us!

Silverbeet & Kale Stir Fry with Harissa Mixed Beans


Silverbeet Leaves, chopped finely – 1 bunch (I reserve the thick white stalks for smoothies & soups)
Curly Kale Leaves, chopped finely – 4 to 5 stalks
Oil – 1 tablespoon
Onion, thinly sliced – 1
Garlic Cloves, minced – 5 to 6
Harissa Paste – 1 tablespoon
Mixed Beans Can, drained & rinsed – 1
Fresh Coriander, minced – 2 tablespoons
Lime Juice – 2 tablespoons
Red Chilli Flakes, hot – 1 teaspoon, optional


Heat oil in a large wok and add the onion, garlic and chilli. Cook for 5 minutes until translucent.
Stir in the Harissa Paste an mix well.
Toss in the silverbeet and Kale Leaves and cook until wilted on medium heat.
Mix in the drained mixed beans and cook everything together for 8 to 10 minutes.
Take off the heat when the greens look cooked.
Sprinkle the coriander on top and mix lime juice in.


I did not add any salt as the Harissa paste had salt in it. Check seasoning and add salt to taste as needed.
Tastes great with fluffy flatbread, or Quinoa, or steamed rice and a fresh salad.

This delicious stir fry is being sent off to Healthy Vegan Fridays collection! 

Alfalfa & Bean Sprouts Zhunka/ Zunka Stirfry

Zhunka or Zunka, is a rustic, nutritious and filling stir fry that comes from the west coast of India. A delicious mix of Gram flour (Besan) combined with finely shredded greens or, vegetables and flavoured with simple spices such as, cumin and mustard seeds with some onion and garlic. Usually eaten with gluten-free flat bread made with coarsely ground sorghum flour and a fresh salad.

I had some Alfalfa and Bean sprouts in the fridge that I’ve used for this dish. However, these can be substituted with any other finely chopped greens or Cabbage or bell peppers. My mother used to always roast the flour properly and cool it before adding into this dish to prevent a lumpy dish. I tend to roast Besan flour and keep it in a box in the fridge (this keeps for a few weeks) to thicken gravies and, in all kinds of pancakes and to make quick work of this tasty recipe on a busy weeknight.

[buymeapie-recipe id=’26’] 

Vegan Lemon Seitan Chik’n

In all my explorations of the local Asian vegan food scene, “Seitan” in different forms seems to come up a great deal. Sometimes, as nuggets or, strips or chunks. Fancy forms like fish and prawns tend to be made with a combination of soy or yam starch in case of the prawns. This Lemon Chicken tastes very much according to the real thing according to the omnivores who tasted the dish. I loved the sticky lemon sauce and the convenience of getting my food ready under half an hour with the Seitan strips. For anyone, following a gluten-free diet Seitan would be replaced by tofu or shiitake mushrooms for a similar mouthfeel. Tastes great with Fried Rice, Noodles or, plain Quinoa.

Vegan Lemon Seitan Chik’n

(A quick weeknight stir fry that goes well with rice or Quinoa.)


Seitan Strips – 1 cup
Sesame Oil – 1 tablespoon
Ginger – Garlic Paste – 2 teaspoons, heaped
Red Capsicum, cut into long strips – 1/2 cup
Cornflour – 1 tablespoon
Soy Sauce – 1 tablespoon
Raw/ Coconut Sugar – 2 tablespoons
Apple Cider Vinegar – 1 tablespoon
Lemon Juice – 1 tablespoon
Water – 5 to 6 tablespoons
Red Chili Flakes – 1 to 2 teaspoon
Fresh Bean Sprouts – optional for garnishing


Heat a deep wok with the sesame oil covering the surface.
Layer the Seitan in a single layer and cook until crisp and brown on one side. Flip over and cook the other side. Drain the strips and set aside.
Add the ginger garlic paste into the remaining oil in the wok. Cook until the raw smell goes off.
Mix in the capsicum strips and cook until softened.
In a small jug dissolve the cornflour and sugar in water. Add in the soy sauce, vinegar and lemon Juice. Mix well.
Return the Seitan strips to the wok.
Tip the cornflour mixture on top of the strips and stir well.
Mix the chili flakes in, if using.
Stir the contents of the wok on medium heat until the sauce thickens.
Take off the heat and garnish with bean sprouts.


Tastes great with rice or, quinoa or, noodles.

Steamed Egglant with Green Beans Stirfry

Eggplants are one of my favorite vegetables. They contain large amounts of fiber, good for digestion and phytonutrients that are heart friendly. Eggplants tend to soak up a great deal of oil, steaming them prior to tossing in sesame oil helps use much lesser oil while, still providing the perfect flavour. Green beans add nutritional goodness, colour and compliment the gorgeous flavour eggplants provide to this Stir Fry. Coming together quickly after the vegetables have been steamed, this quick Stir Fry is great with Rice or Noodles.

Steamed Eggplant with Green Beans Stir Fry

(Vegan, gluten-free and nut free. Substitute coconut Aminos in place of soy sauce to avoid soy.)


Large Eggplant, cut into long strips – 2 cups
Green Beans, trimmed (fresh or frozen) – 1 cup
Sesame Oil – 2 teaspoons Pinch of salt
Garlic Cloves, minced – 1 tablespoon
Ginger Root, minced – 1/2 tablespoon
Fresh Red Chillie, minced – 1 teaspoon
Soy Sauce – 3 tablespoons green onions
Scallions, thinly sliced- 1/2 cup (optional, for garnishing)
Water – 4 cups + Salt


Boil water in a large pot with a dash of salt.
Toss in the eggplant strips until cooked but firm, approximately (7 – 10 minutes).
Drain the eggplant and add the green beans to the boiling water for 6 to 7 minutes until lightly cooked.
Drain the beans.
In the meanwhile heat the sesame oil in a deep wok and add the green beans.
Cook until the surface of the green beans blisters and turns golden, about 6 to 7 minutes.
Mix the soy sauce with the minced chillie, garlic and ginger in a bowl in the meanwhile.
Add the eggplant strips to the wok with green beans.
Pour the flavoured soy sauce mixture over the vegetables.
Stir everything together on full heat to mix in flavours.
Take off the heat and sprinkle with scallions if using.


Serve warm along with fried rice or noodles.
Happy cooking!

Quick Leftover Fried Rice (Vegan & Gluten Free)


Every weekend is now designated to cleaning up the fridge and fruit bowl before the big shopping trip on Sunday. As always there are leftover veggies, cooked rice, forlorn looking jars with spice pastes. As I grow most of my herbs, they thankfully don’t end up in the neglected pile. This fried rice recipe uses up whatever is left in my fridge and still tastes good!

We need,

  • Cooked Rice – 2 cups
  • Mixed vegetables (fresh & frozen) – 1 cup
  • Tofu, crumbled – 1/2 cup
  • Ginger Garlic paste – 2 teaspoons
  • Oil – 2 tablespoons
  • Chilli Garlic Paste – 1 to 2 teaspoon
  • White Vinegar – 2 teaspoons
  • Soy Sauce – 1 teaspoon
  • Spring Onions, sliced – 1/2 cup
  • Salt, to taste


  1. In a large wok, heat some oil and ginger garlic paste.
  2. Add the vegetables and tofu into the wok and cook for 5 minutes on a slow flame.
  3. Mix the cooked rice and coat with the vegetable – tofu mixture.
  4. Season with salt, soy sauce, chilli garlic paste and vinegar after taking off the heat.

Sprinkle the sliced spring onions on top. Serve with a hearty gravy dish, such as this one!

Please do share your favourite ways to use up leftovers as I’m always on the hunt for new recipes ๐Ÿ˜Š Thanks!