Guest Post: Ameena of Fancy That … Fancy This

Greetings to all of you! To continue my Jessie-is-in-China Awesome Guest Post Series (JCAGPS … juh-kag-pis?), I am thrilled to introduce Ameena of Fancy That … Fancy This! I’ve been reading Ameena’s blog for a while now and I’m ALWAYS laughing by the time I finish her posts. Check our her blog for the latest adventures with her husband and daughter, often involving good books and delicious food! Thanks for stepping in, Ameena! 🙂


The Wonderful World of Masalas

Hello All…I blog about my attempts at being a good mother, wife, cook, and writer over at Fancy That … Fancy This. I am a big fan of The Happiness in Health and I am honored to be able to do a guest post for a sweet, kind person like Jessie. I am very impressed with Jessie’s commitment to eating properly at such a young age and I am sad to admit that unlike her I haven’t always been the healthiest eater.

Not too long ago I had a terrible habit of eating 6-7 brownie bites every single night! But thanks to my 5-year-old, my metabolism, my patience, and my free-time (among other things) are no longer what they used to be. So after my daughter was born I quickly realized that my choices were A. continue to overdose on sugar and gain tons of weight, or B. drop the brownies like a bad habit. Obviously I chose the latter and I am proud to say I haven’t looked back.

I am older now, and a tiny bit wiser, and so while Jessie enjoys life in China and we pretend not to be jealous of her amazing trip, I would love to share an easy and healthy recipe from a country not too far from where she is – India.

Growing up half-Indian was anything but a picnic. But I have to say that despite the strict father, the crazy Indian relatives, and the extremely uncomfortable clothes, the best thing about being Indian is the awesome and (mostly healthy) food.

Despite my mother’s continuous pleas throughout my teens that I learn to cook like a “good Indian wife should,” I’ve only recently started venturing into the wonderful world of masalas. And now that I have, I’ve quickly realized that Indian food doesn’t have to be difficult, as evidenced by this simple vegetarian recipe that takes about 20 minutes from start to finish.

Quick Indian-Style Mushrooms

8 oz. mushrooms (I used Cremini)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro

1. Wipe the mushrooms with a damp cloth and slice thinly.
2. Heat the oil over medium heat, add the onion, and stir occasionally for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir another 2 minutes.
3. Add the spices and stir for another minute.
4. Add the mushrooms, salt, and tomato paste and combine well.
5. Reduce the heat to low, add the water, and cover for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Sprinkle with cilantro, serve over rice or quinoa, and top with yogurt and mango chutney.

If a person as challenged in the kitchen as me can handle this meal, you can do it too. So whenever you need an “Indian fix” give this recipe a try…I promise you won’t be disappointed!


Thanks for the delicious recipe, Ameena! I’ve been intimidated by Indian food in the past because the dishes seem so complicated, but this recipe is proof that cooking Indian food does not have to be difficult. I think I’ve just been inspired to try making more Indian dishes 🙂

Q: Have you ever tried cooking Indian food? If so, what is your favorite Indian dish to make?


  1. Isn’t Ameena fantastic! so lovely:) glad had her on as a guest!! <3

    Her Indian food recipes are probably the best ive seen!!!

    I've made a few curries and madras vegetable.. and a tofu paneer. it never turned out 'amazing' but at least it was tasty. but the most incredible thing about cooking indian food is how quickly one can whip up a dish!

    mmmm and its so healthy too. plus spices become so important to the dishes which is my favorite part 🙂

  2. This dish looks great Ameena. I love that it’s meatless and sounds super easy to make. I’m definitely going to have to try this someday. I’ve been wanting to try making some Indian dishes but a lot of recipes call for spices I don’t have. This is the perfect recipe to start as I think I have all of the ingredients. Thank you for sharing this recipe Ameena. By the way, ever since you’ve mention vegetarian Indian food I’ve been craving for it. So I asked my mom to ask some of her Indian clients to see if they know of any good vegetarian Indian restaurants where we live. Can’t wait to try. Great guest post!

    Too funny about the jar of Skippy! I did the same thing when we went to Vietnam except it was my favorite box of cereal. And then I realized I needed milk with that. Haha. Hope you’ve found some decent breakfast food by now. Take good care and stay happy Happy Jessie 😀

  3. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT’S AMEEEENA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀 I love Ameena because I find her posts to be incredibly well-written, engaging, combined with the perfect hint of self-deprecation. Her guest post on your blog = no exception! 😀 I love hearing about the Indian growing-up stories. They kind of remind me of my Chinese growing-up stories, though perhaps on a less domestic level (my parents weren’t really into making me a good wife–only a really good student!).

    Anyways — thanks for opening our eyes to the easy wonders of Indian cooking! I’ll admit that full-out curry hot pot roasts still intimidate me, but guess what I made two days ago? Curried roasted chick peas!! Yay. Little steps, right? Just adding some spice goes a long way. 🙂

    xo aletheia

  4. Love mushrooms and those look awesome! I think the only thing Indian I’ve had is samosas and they’re good!

  5. Ameena, thanks for the guest post. These look so good. Indian food is my favorite. I think it is because I can enjoy more than I can’t because I am a vegetarian. Many of the ethnic (AKA not American, more middle eastern and Asian) cuisines focus more on vegetables than meat so I typically gravitate to those foods. Great post!

    I have in fact made Indian food before from scratch, including naan, which is really easy to make. My husband and I have a great Indian cookbook and we pick recipes from there.

  6. I’ve been cooking a lot of Indian food lately because I’m really intrigued by the use of so many type of spices and how they can be combined to make many different flavours. Also spices can have such great nutritional profiles and with Indian dishes I can incorporate many of them that I don’t use in my standard cooking.

  7. Oh Ameena, I adore Indian food!! Andrew’s tried making us some dishes before and they were quite amazing. I love spicy dishes the best! 😉 There’s a vegetarian indian restaurant about 10 minutes from our house and Andrew and I really want to go try it out soon. I love trying out all of the different sauces and flavors, soooooo yummy!! 🙂

  8. Fantastic guest post. Love the Indian dish. Great job!


  9. Thank you Jessie for such a sweet introduction and for letting me guest post. I hope you are having a fantastic time in China!

  10. YUM! I love mushrooms and those look FANTASTIC! Creminis are my favorite 🙂

    I love tikka masala and if I’m being really bad…Khorma!

  11. yay! I love Ameena!

    What an awesome guest post. Those mushrooms look fantastic!

    I think we all kind of look back to the days of brownies and double stuffed oreos….and cringe.

  12. Great guest post, Ameena is such a sweetheart! These mushrooms look so good! They’re one of my favorite veggies but I don’t really serve dishes that highlight their flavor as well as this one does. I’ll definitely be making this soon!

  13. I’ve tried to make Indian food, but it was far from authentic. Just some curry and vegetables. Can you really call that Indian? I don’t think so. I’m kind of a fraud. Love this recipe though! Thanks Ameena.

  14. I loveee Indian food but I’ve never actually cooked it myself! I’m sure it would be tastier than what I get out of a box (or possibly not) lol

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