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NetSAW Member Spotlight: Shubhra Ramineni

posted Jan 22, 2012, 6:34 PM by netSAW Info   [ updated Aug 21, 2012, 8:53 AM ]
Meet the NetSAW Member who cares about healthy foods.

Shubhra Ramineni is a first generation Indian-American raised in Houston, TX. Shubhra grew up enjoying healthy, traditional Indian food and she learned to cook from her mother, an excellent home cook and a professional dietitian. Determined to eat well despite her busy schedule as a chemical engineer with an MBA, Shubhra set out to adapt traditional Indian recipes for the lifestyles of today’s professionals.  

The result is her creating dozens of delicious, easy-to-prepare Indian recipes using easy to find ingredients and everyday cookware, all without sacrificing the authenticity of the taste.  She teaches Indian cooking classes at Williams-Sonoma, Central Market, Sur La Table, Whole Foods Market and Rice Epicurean stores in Houston and Los Angeles.  

Shubhra is also a contributor to Greenista, a blog for fashionistas with a green conscience, in which she shares her recipes and ideas for a green eating lifestyle.  Shubhra lives in Houston, TX with her husband and their baby girl.

Recipe: Creamy Mulligatawny Soup: by Shubhra Ramineni

Mulligatawny soup is a recipe that was created from a blend of British and Indian tastes. The word mulligatawny originally comes from the Indian dialect, Tamil, and translates to “pepper water.” I was actually first introduced to this dish while watching the Seinfeld television show, in which the “soup Nazi” character selectively served his mulligatawny soup to customers he thought were worthy of the taste.  This soup is made with skinned and split green lentils that are yellow when skinned (called dhuli moong daal in Hindi).  This warm and filling soup gets its rich consistency from heavy cream, which also makes this soup a hearty, comforting dish to enjoy during chilly weather!

Serves 4

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

Refrigerator Life: 3 days

Freezer Life: 1 month

Reheating Method:  Place the refrigerated or defrosted soup in a microwave, cover and stir periodically.  Or, place it in a saucepan over medium-low heat and stir periodically.


½ cup (100 g) dried, skinned and spilt green lentils (dhuli moong daal)

3¼ cups (815 ml) water

1 small fully ripe tomato, such as plum (Roma), cut in half

½ cup (60 g) frozen green peas

1 small russet potato (about ¼ lb/125 g), peeled and cut into ½-in (1.25-cm) cubes

¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

¼ teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

¼ cup (65 ml) heavy cream

8 to 12 fresh mint leaves, rinsed (for garnish) (optional)


1. Place the lentils on a plate.  Sift through them and remove any grit.  Transfer the lentils to a small bowl.  Rinse the lentils three times by repeatedly filling the bowl with cold water and carefully draining off the water. It is okay if the water is a bit frothy.

2.  Place the lentils, water and tomato in a medium saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat. It is okay if the water gets frothy. Stir and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and lightly mashing the tomato.

3.  Reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan. Simmer until the lentils are completely soft, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Turn off the heat and transfer the contents to a blender.

4.  Purée until smooth.  Pour the blended lentil mixture back into the saucepan. (Or, use an immersion blender and purée right in the saucepan.)  Add the peas, potato, turmeric, red pepper, salt and black pepper. Stir to combine. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat. 

5.  Stir and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the saucepan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring every minute or so to keep the soup from burning on the bottom of the pan.

6. Add the heavy cream. Stir to combine. Cover the saucepan. Cook, stirring every minute, until you can easily insert a knife through the potato cubes, about 5 minutes. Enjoy now or let cool to room temperature and refrigerate for later! Garnish each portion with 2 or 3 mint leaves before serving.