coconutty vegetable curry

Have you ever been inspired by a dish you ate at a restaurant? And then tried to recreate it?

2016-08-13 12.56.51

And then it ended up nothing like said inspirational dish? Well, this is the result of such a scenario. I was a little bit disappointed at first…until I realized that I came up with something completely original! And delicious! And best of all, EASY!

Also, it sealed the deal when multiple coworkers were intrigued by my lunch when I took this out in the break room. Who knew a simple bowl of vegetables would be so popular?

2016-08-13 12.56.24

Coconutty Vegetable Curry (Makes 5 servings)


  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste (or freshly chopped ginger + garlic)
  • 2 tsp cumin-corriander powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt (or more, to taste)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup grated unsweetened coconut (I used frozen)
  • veggies of choice, chopped: 2 zucchini, 2 small sweet potatoes, 2 small carrots, 4 tomatoes, 1/2 cup frozen peas



In a large pot, melt the coconut oil with the mustard seeds over medium heat. When the seeds start to move/crackle, add the ginger-garlic paste. The oil will start to splutter, then add all of the chopped veggies. Add the water, coconut, and remaining spices. Give the veggies a quick stir, and cover the pot.

After approximately 5 minutes, give the veggies another stir. Allow to cook for several more minutes, until the sweet potatoes are soft, and then remove from the heat.

Serve with brown rice, quinoa, or simply on its own!



paneer pizza

Maybe I should warn you now…I really like paneer.

I also really like pizza. Being gluten-free does not stop me from eating pizza. And it shouldn’t stop you either!

Oh, and this crust is not made of cauliflower, so you can keep reading now. (Not that I have anything against cauliflower crust pizza!).


The only problem with gluten-free real crusts is that they are really hard to find. I went to three stores to try and find a pre-made gluten-free crust, but alas, I failed my mission. However, I did find a box of gluten-free pizza crust mix, so I sought out to make my own dough with it. It worked!

The hardest part of this recipe was the crust. Hopefully that tells you something. Now for the recipe!

FullSizeRender 3

Paneer Pizza (Makes 2 pizzas)


  • 2 gluten-free pizza crusts
  • 1 8 oz bag of fresh spinach
  • ½ tomato, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin-corriander powder
  • 3 tsp olive oil + 1 tsp for greasing
  • ½ block paneer (or a full block if desired!), cubed
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • toppings of choice (I used mushrooms and green bell peppers)


Prepare the pizza crusts and set them aside.

In a large pot, heat the oil and cumin seeds over medium-high heat. When the seeds begin to crackle, add the ginger-garlic paste. Stir carefully – the oil may splutter. Quickly add the spinach, and allow it to wilt. Add the chopped tomato, turmeric, cumin-corriander powder, salt, and pepper. Stir for a minute, or until the mixture is combined well. Remove from heat.

Allow the spinach mixture to cool, and place it in a blender or food processor. Blend until the mixture becomes a puree. Add more salt at this point, if needed.

Preheat the oven to 425ºF.Assemble the pizzas by spreading the spinach sauce on the crusts, then placing the paneer and other vegetable toppings on the pizzas. Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the paneer has browned slightly.


beet rice


Before you get nervous and decide not to continue reading this post…maybe I will convince you that you will like beets, too.

FullSizeRender 8

If you didn’t already know, beets are one of my favorite vegetables. I realize that they taste like Earth, but that’s what makes them unique. And if you don’t like the taste, their bold color is nice to look at.

I don’t know how this recipe came about – I was at the grocery store and spontaneously picked up a few beets. And I decided that since I like brown rice, I would somehow combine beets and rice. And so beet rice was created.

It’s a little bit sweet, a little bit salty, and a little bit spicy. I hope you’ve made it this far into the post, and if you have, I hope you try the recipe!

FullSizeRender 14

Beet Rice (Makes 4 servings)


  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 2 beets, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 inch knob of ginger, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp clarified butter (ghee)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce (or 1 tomato, pureed)
  • 1/4 cup grated coconut (fresh, or frozen+thawed)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • chopped cilantro, for garnish


Cook the brown rice and set aside.

In a large pot, heat the clarified butter over medium-high heat and add the cumin seeds. When the seeds start to crackle, add the chopped ginger and garlic. When it becomes noticeably fragrant, add the tomato sauce, turmeric, and chili powder. Stir to combine, and add the shredded beets and coconut. Cover and turn the heat down to low. Allow the beets to cook for 5 minutes, or until the beets have softened.

Add the rice to the beet mixture, then season with salt and cardamom. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with an additional teaspoon of ghee if desired!

quinoa upma

Remember the time I introduced you to all of the essential spices for Indian food? Now is your chance to put some of these ingredients to use!

This dish is one of my favorites; in fact, I have been eating it for lunch every day this week. I especially like it because it is a one pot dish. So simple!

FullSizeRender 9

If you have not heard of it before, upma is a common Indian dish typically eaten for breakfast (or really, any meal of the day) and is usually made of cream of wheat. However, consistent with our theme of gluten-free/clean eats, I am sharing with you a version of upma made of quinoa. Our favorite gluten-free alternative!

To be honest with you, I stole this recipe idea from my mom. But don’t all of the best recipes come from our moms?

FullSizeRender 26

Quinoa Upma (Makes 4 servings)


  • 3 tsp clarified butter (also known as ghee)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp urad dal*
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • pinch black pepper
  • 1/4 cup cashews (raw or roasted)
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water + 1/2 cup more if necessary
  • 1/2 bag frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1/4 bag frozen broccoli
  • 1 tsp salt (or more, to taste)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon and chopped cilantro for garnish


In a medium or large pot, heat clarified butter over medium-high heat and add the mustard seeds, urad dal, and asafoetida. When the spices start to crackle and pop, add the frozen veggies. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the quinoa and 2 cups of water. The quinoa should be completely covered with water. If more water is needed, add the additional 1/2 cup. Add the turmeric, black pepper, salt, and cashews to the pot. Cover the pot and allow the quinoa to cook until all of the water is absorbed. Remove from heat.

Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the quinoa upma. Garnish with chopped cilantro prior to serving.

I personally think this dish goes best with a spicy mango or lemon pickle and a side of yogurt!


*Urad dal is a type of lentil. For this recipe, it is optional. However, if you want to use it, it is found in the lentil section of an international-friendly grocery store, any local Asian/Indian grocery store, or Amazon.


paneer no-butter masala

Am I excited to share this recipe with you!

I was definitely not planning on posting this one anytime soon; in fact, I came up with this recipe on a whim last week, and was incredibly surprised by how easy and how delicious it was. Win-win!

FullSizeRender 2

Now that you have all of the spices stocked up in your pantry (hint, hint) this recipe will be even easier. If that is possible.

Now that I’ve hyped this up…

FullSizeRender 3

Paneer No-Butter Masala (Makes 4 servings)


  • one 14 oz block of paneer*, cubed
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 5 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste**
  • 2 ½ teaspoons cumin-corriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder (optional)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or more if desired)
  • cilantro, for garnish


In a non-stick pan, heat 3 teaspoons of oil over medium-high heat. Place the paneer cubes into the pan and fry until the paneer has lightly browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.

In a larger pot, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the ginger-garlic paste, the cumin-corriander powder, and the chili powder. After 1-2 minutes, it should become noticeably fragrant. Add the bell pepper and salt, and stir for another minute. Then, add the tomato paste. Slowly stir in the milk. Allow the mixture to thicken for a few minutes. Then, add the paneer cubes. Stir to coat, and remove from the heat.

Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with brown rice, quinoa, or a whole wheat chapatti/tortilla.

*Paneer is a fresh South Asian cheese. This can be found in a local Asian or Indian grocery store, at the gourmet cheese section at H-E-B (for the Texans), or on Amazon.

**You can either get this pre-made (yes, it is on Amazon), or chop up fresh garlic and ginger and make it into a paste with a mortar and pestle.

spices 101

Happy Monday, Karma Eats readers!

Before we move any further with the recipes, let’s start with a brief overview of the basic spices you will want to have on hand. To me, the most intimidating part of making Indian food is trying to decipher these spices. What are they? What are they used for? Why are there so many of them?!

I promise you, once you have everything in your pantry, the recipes become super simple. And hopefully some of these questions will be answered very soon.

So let’s begin with Spices 101!

FullSizeRender 2

Left: Garam masala. This can be found at your local Asian or Indian store, or on Amazon. Or if you have an international-friendly store such as Fiesta (for the Texans), the international section carries this.

Right: Cumin seeds. This can be found at your local Asian or Indian store. Sometimes it can be found in the international section of the regular grocery store as well. Or Amazon.


FullSizeRender 3


Left: Turmeric. This is ground turmeric. If you are lucky, you may be able to find this in the international section of a regular grocery store. Otherwise, it can be found at your local Asian or Indian store or on Amazon.

Right: Asafoetida (or hing in Hindi – which, strangely, is much easier to pronounce) is a very important spice in Indian food. It has a ton of health benefits. The only unfortunate part about this spice is that it is a bit difficult to find. You can find it at your local Asian or Indian grocery store. Google may be able to help you as well.

FullSizeRender 4

Left: ground cumin. I know what you are thinking. Why do you need cumin seeds and ground cumin? Because cumin makes multiple appearances in Indian dishes sometimes. It is also very flavorful and good for digestion. The good news is that cumin powder can typically be found in a regular grocery store, any Asian or Indian grocery store, or on Amazon.

Right: curry powder. This is not a necessity, since this particular bag of curry powder that I have contains a combination of many of the spices mentioned here. However, it is nice to have on hand to quickly spice up a dish. This can be found at a store such as Fiesta (again for the Texans), or at an Asian or Indian grocery store.


FullSizeRender 5

Left: Chaat masala. I had mentioned this one in the last post; it can be found in a local Asian or Indian grocery store or on Amazon.

Right: red chili powder. This stuff is spicy. This can typically be found at any regular grocery store, and definitely at a local Asian or Indian store. It is also on Amazon.

FullSizeRender 6

Left: Cumin-corriander powder. Again with the cumin! This can be found in any Asian or Indian grocery store. And on Amazon.

Right: mustard seeds. These can be found in any Asian or Indian store, or at an international-friendly store such as Fiesta.


That is all for today – hopefully this helps you stock up your pantry for all of the Indian food to follow!

chaat — reinvented

Hi Karma Eats readers! Thank you so much for stopping by. We are so excited to share our first recipe with you.

Before we get to the food, a quick note: ALL recipes on Karma Eats are naturally gluten-free and vegetarian. So for those of you with food restrictions – you’ve come to the right place.

If you happen to try any of our recipes, please let us know – we welcome your comments, feedback, and suggestions!

Our first recipe is one that I make all the time. Literally. It is the easiest, most versatile, and delicious (if I say so myself) snack that could be made into a meal by just making a bigger bowl!

FullSizeRender 5

Chaat — Reinvented (Makes 1 big serving, easily multiplied)


  • 1 small red potato, boiled + chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 3 tbsp chopped red onions
  • 3-4 tbsp cooked garbanzo beans
  • 2 tbsp corn, frozen + thawed
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tsp chaat masala*
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 tbsp mint chutney*
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • 3 tbsp sev (crispy chickpea flour sticks)*


In a bowl, combine the chopped potatoes, tomatoes, onions, garbanzo beans, and corn. Add the lemon juice and chaat masala, and mix. Top with yogurt, chutney, cilantro, and sev. Serve immediately.

FullSizeRender 4

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!


*If you are looking for these ingredients and do not have access to an Indian grocery store, you can find them on Amazon! Here are a few links to get you started: