New Site!

I have officially crossed over to! Please be sure to visit me at  my new site, Pretty Polymath! If you are following me on, don’t worry, you’ll still be able to see all my posts on the reader! 🙂 


Cabbage Carrot Stir- Fry (Guest Post by The Odd Pantry)

Cabbage-carrot anti-curry

Cabbage-carrot anti-curry

Greetings, readers of the Pretty Polymath! Thank you so much Hetal for thinking up this wonderful idea.

For those who have not run into my blog before, my name is Aneela and I blog at The Odd Pantry. I write about food with a focus on regional Indian; I frequently wander off into cultural or scientific claptrap; and lately I’ve been exploring the science and social impact of genetically modified crops. I can cook, I can write, and I’ve been known to take the occasional mediocre-to-decent photo. But here is the message I want you to take away from this guest blog, even if you forget my name and my blog address and never think about cabbage nor carrot again in your lives — I hate curry! No, I don’t hate the dish or the dishes that are called by that name. But I hate that word!

IndiaMy problem with the word is that it can mean whatever you want it to mean. For Westerners who know Indian food mostly through restaurants, curry means a gloopy reddish-brown dish with random stuff floating in it. An Indian cook who is intimately familiar with the simplicity of home cooking might apply that word to a basic cabbage stir-fry that has perhaps some turmeric or tomatoes thrown in. She might call that a curry because that is the word people use to describe her cuisine, not realizing that by calling it that others are imagining an undecipherable gloop, completely inaccessible in its methods and its ingredients. You spend maybe 15 minutes in your kitchen in a procedure that is simplicity itself; but people are hearing elephants trumpeting and sitars buzzing and Emperor Akbar’s marble kitchen firing up the tandoor.

A word that means everything means nothing. If you want to know how this word came to be, please read this public service blog post I did a while ago.

Anyway. If this tempts you enough to want to visit my site and perhaps leave a comment or two, maybe click around hither and thither, and subscribe yourself and some spouses and children and distant cousins to boot, I would not be averse to it. Really, I wouldn’t.

Cabbage-carrot anti-curry

This is a very simple stir-fry that I grew up eating. In my family we had this with chapatis or rice about once a week. We made it solely with cabbage, but here I have thrown in some julienned carrots for color and added nutrition. It is a fantastic, simple, quick dish to put together as you will see. My main goal is to demystify Indian food for people who perhaps are still intimidated by the thought of having to purchase many spices. This one only uses a few.

Shredded cabbage, julienned carrot

Shredded cabbage, julienned carrot

All the spices

All the spices

Chili and garlic frying

Chili and garlic frying

In the pot

In the pot

Add powdered spices

Add powdered spices




Cabbage-carrot Stir-fry

  • Half a head of cabbage shredded, or, third of a head of cabbage and couple carrots, julienned
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-4 fresh green chilies, according to your heat preference, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder, freshly ground if possible
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil

Heat the oil in a wide, thick-bottomed pan on a medium-high flame. When it shimmers, put in the mustard seeds. They will soon pop. Then?add?in the chilies and the garlic. Wait till the chilies look blistered and the garlic looks shriveled. Then it is time to add the cabbage and carrot.?Toss it around to cover with oil. Let it cook on medium-high for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have shrunken down some, and possibly some pieces show edges of brown. Now is the time to add the dry spices and the salt and stir nicely. Cover, turn the heat to medium-low, and let it cook for another 5-7 minutes and you are done.

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Berry Almond Cake and Blog Update!

Berry Almond Cake

You ever have days were you just want to bake a cake for no special reason at all?  I’ve been seeing so many mouthwatering berry cakes on Pinterest that I just had to bake one for myself. This almond cake is one of my favorite cakes to bake. It’s not too sweet and I love the hint of lemon. I usually pair it with a light whipped cream and a berry compote to make the perfect summer dessert. I even got to use blackberries from my garden in the compote this time! The final product looks so pretty and rustic! It has very little sugar in it and is super refreshing. It was a hit with my family and I promise your family will love it too! Try it for yourself!

Also I am officially moving from to .org (blog post on how to switch to come soon!) If you are following me through please sure to follow me via email (check my right bar)  so I don’t lose you! See you guys on the other side 😉

Cook time: 2 hours                                                                            Makes: one 9 inch cake

Almond Cake
12 tbsp. butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
3/4 cup almond meal
zest of 1 lemon
3 eggs

Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence

Berry Compote
1.5 cup mixed berries
¼ cup water
1 tbsp. honey
½ tbsp. lemon juice

berry almond cake

1. Pre-heat the oven to 360 F

2. In a large mixing bowl, stir the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, almond meal, lemon zest and eggs together until you have a nice thick batter.  Grease a 9-inch cake pan and pour the batter in. Bake for 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cake on a rack until completely cold and then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

3. While the cake is baking, make the berry compote. In a small saucepan, bring water and lemon juice to a simmer. Add the honey and stir until it is all dissolved. Add the mixed berries (I used strawberries, blackberries and blueberries) and cook on low heat for about 5 minutes until the berries just start to break down. Let this cool completely.

4. Next, in a cold mixing bowl, whisk heavy cream, sugar and vanilla until you have stiff peaks. This took me about 2 minutes with my stand mixer on medium speed.

5. Now take your cake and cut it in half. It’ll be a bit crumbly but don’t worry, it’ll stay together as long as you are gentle. Brush on some of the juice from the berry compote on top of the bottom layer. Then take half the whipped cream and spread it evenly on top. Put the second layer of cake on top of the bottom layer. Spoon the berries on top of the cake and decorate with more whipped cream, fresh berries and dust with powdered sugar.  Be sure to eat this cake the day you make it, otherwise the berries will make the cake slightly soggy and that isn’t good eats. Enjoy!

Berry almond cake

August Daring Baker Challenge- Chimney Cakes

Chimney Cakes Daring Baker

The August Daring Bakers’ Challenge took us for a spin! Swathi of Zesty South Indian Kitchen taught us to make rolled pastries inspired by Kurtoskalacs, a traditional Hungarian wedding pastry. These tasty yeasted delights gave us lots to celebrate!

chimney cake 

This month my husband and I are celebrating our 1 year anniversary! Over the year we learned that our favorite thing to do together is to just lay in bed and enjoy each other’s company and these chimney cakes looked like the perfect lazy Sunday dessert. The hubby and I LOVE lazy Sundays. We watch crappy reality shows ( I’m looking at  you Married at First Sight) sit in bed and just relax. When I first saw this month’s challenge I was like ” vertical cinnamon buns?” Whhhaaa! I actually wasn’t too far off. The yeasted bread has a very similar flavor and texture to the outside of a cinnamon bun.  I topped my cakes with cinnamon sugar,melted chocolate and walnuts. They look pretty difficult to make, but I promise you it’s actually super easy! Try it for yourself!

Cook time: 2 hours                                                           Makes: 4 small cakes

For the dough:
1 packet of active dry yeast
1/2 cup milk, (120-130 F)
1/2 tsp sugar
1¾ cups all-purpose (plain) flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, room temperature
3 tbsp melted butter

For baking:
melted butter

For the topping:
½ cup (3½ oz) (100 gm) sugar
1 cup (4 oz) (115 gm) ground walnuts
2 tbsp. melted chocolate
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (1/4 oz) (6 gm) cinnamon

chimney cake

1. Mix yeast, milk, 1/2 tsp of sugar in a small bowl and let it sit for 10 minutes or until foamy.

2. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt and 2 tbsp of sugar. Add the dry mixture to the yeast mixture with the egg and melted butter. Mix the dough with a spoon until everything is incorporated. The dough will be VERY sticky. Don’t add any flour to it. Spoon the dough into a large greased bowl and cover. Let the dough rest in a warm area for 1 hour or until it doubles.

3. Take a rolling-pin or cardboard paper towel tube and cover with 3 layers of foil. Brush melted butter on to the rolling-pin/tube to prevent the dough from sticking.

chimney cakes


4. Pre-heat the oven to 375 F.

5. Split the dough into 4 equal portions ( ~4 oz each). Roll the dough out on a floured surface with a greased rolling-pin  until it is about 8 inches in diameter (1/6 inch thick).  Cut the dough with a sharp knife into a swirl pattern leaving the strip of dough at least 1/2 inch wide. Wrap the dough around the foiled rolling-pin/tube and roll over sugar lightly until the dough is pressed together.

6. If you are using a cardboard tube then just stand them up on a baking sheet. Otherwise, place the rolling-pin on to a roasting pan so that the pins rest on the edges of the pan. Bake for 21 minutes or until nice and brown. Make sure to turn the rolling-pin/tube halfway through the baking process.

chimney cake


7. One baked, brush melted butter on to the cake and top with whatever you like. I sprinkled cinnamon on one and rolled another in chocolate an walnuts. Tap the mold on to a plate until it released and cool vertically. Enjoy!





Salted Caramel Smoothie Video with The Divine Hostess

I mentioned last week that Fifi from The Divine Hostess would be doing a video for the salted caramel smoothie recipe and here it is! I have a small cameo towards the end 🙂 Check it out !

Mango, Peach and Strawberry Smoothie (Guest Post by Ellaphant Eats)


Hi again Pretty Polymath readers! I’m back and this time have a tropical perfect-for-end-of-summer smoothie to share with you. I have been receiving a CSA every Tuesday all summer long from a local farm here in Pittsburgh. It includes so many farm-fresh fruits and veggies and this past week I received huge ripe peaches and beautiful strawberries. What better way to enjoy them than create a cold, delicious treat? (Ok confession I originally wanted to make a strawberry peach tart but shuddered at the thought of turning on my oven). Smoothies have been a staple in my diet for years now (i start every morning with a green one!) so it’s super refreshing to have one for dessert to avoid all of the refined sugar.

The best part of this smoothie is you can switch up the base to whatever you have on hand. I used almond milk but you can use coconut water, orange juice, or water if that’s all you have. Also fresh OR frozen fruits can be used – just be sure to cut down on the ice if all your fruits are frozen.


Makes: 1 large or 2 small smoothies


  • 1 cup almond milk or water
  • 1 ripe peach, sliced into large chunks
  • 3/4 cup chopped mango (i used frozen because slicing a mango is a feat I don’t think I will ever manage)
  • 3/4 cup quartered strawberries
  • 2 tsp coconut oil (mine is in a constant liquid state due to the heat)
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 – 1 cup ice

1. Place all ingredients in a blender, blend on high, serve, and enjoy!

Check out more healthy recipes and tips on Ella’s blog Ellaphant Eats. Also be sure to check out her :

Salted Caramel Smoothie (Guest Post by The Divine Hostess)

Salted Caramel Smoothie

Hi everyone! This week I have two AWESOME guest bloggers giving us delicious smoothie recipes. The first recipe this week is from Fifi aka The Divine Hostess . You guys might remember her from our Vegan Burgers an Fries collaboration on Youtube last year and my weekend visit with her vlog video! She came up with this DELICIOUS salted caramel smoothie recipe and I was lucky enough to be in LA when she was filming it and got to see her in action! Try it out for yourself 🙂

August isn’t even over yet, but I can already feel summer ramping down. Soon there will be less time bumming around on the beach, and more time spent rushing to do important business, going back to school and just getting back into the groove of things. With an on-the-go lifestyle, it is easy to put healthy eating on the back-burner. This is why smoothies are so great! They are nutritious, yummy, and save you from standing in that long Starbucks line in the morning before work or school. One of the most delicious flavors at Starbucks is salted caramel– the bold sea salt and the sweet home flavor of caramel are just a match made in heaven!

My salted caramel smoothie has all the delicious flavor, but without refined sugar and get this– no animal products. This makes it great for lactose intolerant people and ensures the smoothie can last a couple hours without spoiling!

You will need:

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 12 ounces (1.5 cups) of almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 6-8 dates
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut shreds
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

If you do not have a powerful blender, soak the dates in a 1/4 cup of warm water for at least 2 hours before blending. Add all contents into blender and blend until smooth. Top the smoothie with additional sea salt for extra flare. Enjoy!

Check out more healthy recipes and tips on Fifi’s blog The Divine Hostess. Also be sure to check out her:

Youtube Channel


Facebook Page

Also Fifi will be releasing a video for this smoothie this Friday on her Youtube channel so be sure to check it out! 

Behind the scenes of Fifi's video!

Behind the scenes of Fifi’s video!