My blogging journey starts ..

My name is Shruthi. I love to reinvent old recipes with a new flair. My intent is to make it “full of life” – you guessed it Zesty, delicious and convenient.  Thus started my new avatar as a founder of Zesteez!!

My 2 kids and husband have always been my greatest fans and critics,  which has motivated me to try different ways to please their curious taste buds and the need to introduce innovation and variety! I am a true believer in “Health is wealth” which factors heavily in my cooking routine but I can still whip-up absolutely mouth-smacking finger-licking good recipes. Some of these are a Gen Y “twist” on my grandma’s (aka Paati) recipes that make it interesting :). 

So come along, join me on this journey to make this a great experience for me and you! I will start with ‘ Mango Tokku Ogre’ aka  ‘Grated mango rice’. ‘Ogre’ (pronounced as ogh-ray) is nothing like the Shrek-like creatures but mixed rice. It is a typical Iyengar term (you got it right – there is more to Iyengar than just the yoga :)).My take on it uses Brown rice and  Freekeh with flavorful spices, nuts and variety of spice blends

Mango Tokku Ogre

  • 3 grated mangoes
  • 1/4 tsp Mustard
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin
  • A pinch of asafetida (Indian grocery stores carry this item)
  • Nuts (cashews and peanuts) a palmful
  •  1 tspUrud dal
  • 1 tsp Channa dal
  • Brown Rice – 2 cups of rice (should be cooked till it separates from one another it shouldn’t be clumpy)
  • Freekeh – 1 cup.  Costco carries this one now
  • Olive Oil to splutter and saute
  •  1  and 1/2 tsp Rasam powder (if there is no rasam powder you can use cayenne,paprika and roasted cumin powder) in equal proportion to about a tsp.
  •  1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • Honey (in lieu of sugar)
  • Salt to taste
  • Cilantro as much as you would like to garnish


    • Grate the mangoes
Freshly peeled mango

Freshly peeled mango


Grate it

Grate it

  • Heat oil in a pan, splutter the mustard,
  • Add the cumin , asafetida, nuts, channa and urud dals and saute until golden brown. To this mixture,add the grated mango and let it simmer
add spices to it

add spices to it

  • Add the turmeric and rasam powder or the cayenne cumin mixture and saute it
  • Add the honey and let it blend with the mango, when that happens we add the salt to taste
Let it simmer to marry all the flavors

Let it simmer to marry all the flavors

  • Let this mixture simmer(keep stirring the mixture) and then add the brown/freekeh rice and mix it thoroughly, once this is mixed garnish it with coriander

and voila ….

ready to take a BITE of it

ready to take a BITE of it

Now, sit back and savor every mouthful of this yummy “ogre”  I will be back with more ..

By |2018-09-12T19:19:14+00:00March 31st, 2014|Chutney, Rice / Pilaf, Vegan|14 Comments

About the Author:

Shruthi is the creative chef and mastermind behind these flavorful chutneys and dishes. Cooking with only the freshest ingredients, she loves using her chutneys to add a new twist to traditional favorites. She is constantly experimenting with new recipes, striving to bring the complex sweet and savory flavors of India into your easy, every-day meals. Shruthi lives in Southern California with her husband and two foodie kids, and looks forward to sharing her passion for food with you!


  1. swulf March 31, 2014 at 10:29 pm - Reply

    Hello Shruthi,

    A fantastic blog!! I love your pictures and the description. Making these ogres with super-grains is all the more interesting and I guess really healthy! I would love to try them and post back..thanks

    welcome to the world of food bloggers and hope you shine 🙂
    smile !

  2. crowdedearthkitchen April 1, 2014 at 7:51 am - Reply

    The Global Recipe Project is looking for great chutney recipes (we don’t have any chutneys, yet). I hope you will consider contributing a recipe – it’s for a good cause! 🙂

  3. Sheeba patel April 2, 2014 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    This is awesome … Love the usage of healthy ingredients like honey and Freekeh.!! Looking forward to more amazing recipes .. Rock on Ms Shruthi !!

  4. Aman April 3, 2014 at 8:45 pm - Reply

    Shruthi, that looks like a delicious dish. I can’t wait to try it. Looking forward to what comes out of your zesty kitchen next. Glad to be a part of your very successful journey. Love, Aman

    • Zesteez
      Zesteez April 4, 2014 at 8:44 am - Reply

      Thank you! For sure there will be more recipes.

  5. SaraJean Cameranesi April 5, 2014 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    You are sharing your recipes at last! Tracy and I
    were just discussing today the “magic” you have for cooking. Your dishes
    are way and above the good cook. You are an amazing cook 🙂 I can’t wait to start my apprenticeship!

    • Zesteez
      Zesteez April 5, 2014 at 6:37 pm - Reply

      Thanks for wonderful compliment Jeannie!

  6. Rikoo April 15, 2014 at 6:28 pm - Reply

    Hey Shruthi! Everything looks so yummy. We love the way you cook because it’s healthy and you don’t feel guilty after over eating 🙂 Looking forward for more recipes! Good luck.

  7. Aarifa April 24, 2014 at 9:35 am - Reply

    Thats a yummy summer recipie…cant wait to try it…delicious…

    • Zesteez
      Zesteez April 24, 2014 at 12:37 pm - Reply

      Thanks! If you do have any questions about this recipe please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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