Polenta with Root celery, green beans & para nuts


Polenta with Root celery, green beans & para nuts

For a long time now, I have been in love with Lakshmi’s photography on flickr.  I would stare at her pictures and wonder how food could exude joy and peace, but her food does!  And it is the simplicity involved that makes it delicious.  I hoped that she would start a blog, for I felt it was an injustice to viewers, to see, and not know the special touch that went on to make simple food, works of art!  And she did, very recently.  Lakshmi is a bhakti-yogi and looks upon cooking and eating as an act of devotion.  Her photographs definitely convey that feeling.

I have had the joy of conversing with her through mails and she is one my very good virtual friends, as good as a virtual friend can get.  It gives me great pleasure to introduce you, my dear readers, to Lakshmi of Pure Vegetarian, my first guest author on Tongue Ticklers.  I know by the end of this post, you will be enchanted, because her pictures convey more emotions than words can.

Lakshmi uses measuring units that are different from ours.  You can use the scale below to convert:

1 dl = 100 ml
1 dl = 0.1 litre
1 dl = 0.42 cup

Or use the online converter here:

I must let Lakshmi wield her magic over you:

If you live in the climate of four seasons you pretty much know whether you are a summer or a winter person. In Finland autumn translates to getting prepared to the winter, and spring means recovering from it. But summer is different. It is dominated by another mode of nature and is permeated by awakeness and vitality.

I am a summer person. Light and sunshine represent all things positive to me.


During the summer my cooking shifts to a relaxed gear. I rarely open any jars of spices other than hing, pepper and salt. I may sometimes add fresh ginger, jeera or ground coriander. Vegetables grown in the garden are swollen by juices gained from the moonlight. They are strong and tasty by themselves. Fresh or wild herbs match their energy level better than dry spices. Forest flowers and weeds garnish and crown them. In the summer, everything is simple.

When Harini asked if I’d like to write a guest post on her blog, I had just completed cooking and photographing a vegan lunch that precisely reflects the mood. Instead of heavy grains, I used polenta that is sweet and digestible. Roasted celery root is aromatic. Green beans, freshly from the garden, are lovely when quickly steamed and crisp. Pecans add a meaty and fatty texture. I perked them up with cayenne and rosemary. And I ornamented the lunch with a punch of common wood-sorrel, a weed that is growing everywhere. It has a pert, salty taste; perfect to refresh and rejuvenate the palate.

If I’d had to name this lunch, I would simply call it Summer. It personifies my perception of the best of seasons.




Recipe: Polenta with root celery, green beans & para nuts


3 dl polenta

1.5 litre water

A pinch of salt

Olive oil

Boil the water and salt. Whisk in the polenta. Simmer in a low heat until it becomes a thick porridge. You may want to stir it occasionally. Transfer it to an oiled tray. Flatten it out. Let it cool. Cut it into shapes of your liking and fry in a small amount of olive oil.



Root celery, green beans & para nuts

Root celery

Green beans

Hing (Asafoetida)

Black pepper

Black salt (kala namak)


Olive oil

Para nuts (cut in bite-size chunks)


Fresh rosemary (finely chopped)

Common wood-sorrel

(Lemon or lime)

Peel and cut the celery in fat match-stick size pieces. Sprinkle with olive oil, black pepper and salt. Roast in the oven (220 C) until golden colour.

Cut the ends of the beans. Quickly steam them in a small amount of salted water. Drain.

Heat up olive oil on a skillet. Add hing, black pepper and cayenne. Follow with para nuts. Fry until they are nicely toasted. Add rosemary. Mix well. Add the beans and salt. Mix with the roasted celery and a pinch of black salt. Garnish with sorrel before serving. You may want to add a slice of lemon or lime on the plate.


Harini is a vegan food photographer, writer and recipe developer. She also loves feeding birds, reading, watching crime thrillers, and travelling amongst other things.

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  • Rasa

    No problem 🙂 A little mistake does not make this wonderful dish any less attractive.

  • Rasa

    Wonderful! But these look like brazil nuts to me- they are not pecans. I now leave in a place where people grow tons of pecans, so I am pretty familiar with them 🙂 I think this recipe would probably work with pecans also – I must try both versions! I wonder what sort of dressing or sauce could be served with it.

    • Harini

      Hi Rasa, Lakshmi has clarified in her comment above that it was a mistake. These are para nuts and now I have updated the post too. Thank you for visiting. 🙂

  • Claudia

    Hi, found your via Lakshimi and wanted to let you know that we had these wonderful meal today for dinner. Well, I replaced the root celery with squash (root celery were much too expensive ( 3 euro for a lemon-size root, eating these baby root would have been mean) and the beans (there were no beans in the organic shop) with roasted carrots. And yes, we all loved it, incl. the friend of my oldest son (16) who is a non-vegetarian. Great recipe, thanks, never have used para-nuts for dinner but specially my youngest son (7) went nuts about it. 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration an keep up the good work!!

  • Lakshmi

    Thanks Harini for hosting me and thank you all for your encouragement and kindness.

    Casey pointed out these are not pecans. She is right. Thank you, Casey. They are para nuts. I mixed them up in my head. Pecans look a lot like walnuts and have a different taste. Para nuts are more fatty and full.

  • Srivalli

    Harini, thanks for this lovely post. Enchated with Lakshmi’s pictures..

  • Soma

    What an inspiration she is! and I think we are all glad that she started blogging. I have polenta sitting in my pantry for quite sometime now. I think I will make some of it now.

  • PinkPolkaDot

    I can totally understand why you wanted her to start blogging! Beautiful pics!

  • Deeba

    I just recently had the pleasure of virtually meeting Laxmi last week… she is a wonderful person and her work is purely inspirational. This is a beautiful post!

  • Casey

    They aren’t pecan nuts

  • preeti

    Wow! I really love her pics! I can feel devotion through her photographs!

  • khushi

    very beautiful and colorful clicks….
    A Girl’s Diary

  • Swati Sapna

    Really beautiful pictures!! Thanks for introducing us to a new blogger 🙂

  • Radhika

    What an awesome choice for the first guest post on your blog!
    I adore everything about Lakshmi’s blog, her photography and her persona as one gets to perceive through it all.. Can’t agree more with you that her photographs exude joy, peace and her blog is an abode of serenity..

    Have never got to making polenta once, this recipe looks easy yet bursting with flavors..

  • Anita Menon

    I am big admirer of Lakshmi’s blog. It is through her blog that I stumbled upon yours. This makes me very happy to discover a beautiful blog like yours.

    The recipe looks simple and the flavours subtle.

  • flo makanai

    I love Lakshmi’s pics, recipes, style, and it’s a great idea to have invited her over here, it allows me to discover your universe too. Thanks and Bravo to both of you!

  • Harini

    I see some first time visitors here!

    Welcome, people and am glad I chose a wonderful friend to come over as a guest. I am completely mesmerized by Lakshmi’s pictures and concur with all of you. 🙂

  • chinmayie @ love food eat

    That is such a simple recipe! looks gorgeous 🙂 Great guest post Lakshmi!

  • Sharmilee

    Luv her space and clicks….

  • nags

    yes, definitely enchanted 🙂

  • Prerna@IndianSimmer

    Love this guest post by Lakshmi! She as ever is a source of inspiration and teaches us a new thing every time. Thanks Harini for having her here.

  • kankana

    Lakshmi is so amazing and i adore her photography .. her writing skills and her recipes are so simple and easy to make. Polenta has become my fav these days and this recipe is going straight in my wish list to give try 🙂

  • sreelu

    Harini, Lakshmi’s blog was my recent discovery and as you said it was instant love, the pics, content and everything about the blog is so serene and beautiful.

  • Notyet100

    Even I luv her space,..this looks so yum

  • Nishi

    Wonderful guest post. With this I have become a fan of Lakshmi. 🙂

  • Kulsum at JourneyKitchen

    I’m such fan of Lakshmi’s photography! And she is also such a nice person. Lovely guest post!

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