Thursday, November 20, 2008

Aloo ki Kadi (Potato curry or Potato stew)

Potato stew is one of my favorite dishes since childhood. It is something uncommon to many Indians but specific to a region to which my mom belongs. Lucky me! As a kid I would always ask for 3 bowls of skew for dinner but still be craving for more.

I have learned that not only is potato skew tasty, but also easy to make. All you need is 1-2 spices and potato and you are ready to go. It's perfect for a cold winter evening.

1. 2 large potatoes boiled and mashed
2. 3 cups of water
3. Salt to taste
4. Paprika
5. Ghee (olive oil will substitute if you don't have ghee)
6. Mustard seeds (optional)
7. Cumin seeds (optional)
8. Asafoetida
9. 2 Mango seeds dried

1. Add water and mashed potato to a skillet and stir continuously on medium flame and bring to a boil.
2. Add the mango seeds, paprika, asafoetida, and salt
3. Lower the heat but continue to stir until the skew becomes thick enough such that you cannot distinguish between the potato and water

Serve hot as a soup.

If you want to cook it the traditional Indian way, then:
3. Let skew cool and set aside.
4. Heat ghee in a separate skillet (something like serving spoon that can withstand direct heat would be convenient as opposed to a skillet) and then add mustard seeds.
5. When the mustard seeds start popping, add cumin seeds and cook until they turn brown (few seconds)
6. Immerse or pour this skillet (or spoon depending on what you used) in the cool skew and cover simultaneously and as quickly as possible. This allows the spices to be absorbed by the skew.
Caution: Adding the hot oil to the skew can cause the skew to rise and splatter on your face! Keep Distance.
7. Cook the skew on low heat for another 5 minutes.

Serve hot with Roti (Indian bread) or naan.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Kadi (Authentic Indian Curry)

Authentic Indian curry is prepared with yogurt. This recipe shows you how to prepare the famous authentic Indian yellow curry the North Indian way.

North Indian curry is cooked in a yogurt sauce with flour. The goodness of turmeric and the tangy flavor of dried mango make this dish a die for.

Serves 3. No preparation required.

1. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric.
2. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
3. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
4. 1 teaspoon fenugreek
5. 1/2 teaspoon paprika
6. 2 teaspoons salt
7. 2 sprigs of curry leaf
8. 3 tbpsns of olive oil
9. Chickpea flour, 1 cup
10. 1 cup fat free plain yogurt
11. 3 cups water
12. Pinch of Asafoetida
13. 2-3 Dried mango seed

1. Beat the yogurt and add flour, Asafoetida, salt, paprika, mango seed.
2. Add water and mix well until the flour is dissolved and there are no more lumps.
3. In a saucepan, heat olive oil and then add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and fenugreek and allow to splutter.
Tip: Add mustard seeds in the oil first as they take longer to cook. After the mustard seeds splutter, add cumin and fenugreek.
3. Carefully add the flour and yogurt mixture to the saucepan, and then add curry leaves.
4. Bring to boil while continuously stirring.

Serve hot over a bed of rice with a side of green salad. A delicious North Indian dinner is ready.

Note: You can add fried flour dumplings (pakoda) to the curry but this is not necessary.

To make the dumplings, mix chickpea flour, a pinch of baking soda, and water to form a paste. Form small balls of this paste(or simply drop a spoon of the paste in hot oil so that it rises immediately and forms its own shape. Do this in batches and do not crowd the dumpings) and deep fry until the dumplings start to turn brown,. Remove dumplings from the oil and add it to the curry sauce.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Gujarati Dahl

Dahl/Dal/Dhal when translated in English is nothing but yellow lentil soup/ stew. Dahl is a staple food of India. It is known to be high in protein and help in digestion. It is both nutritious and flavorful. Dahl comes in a variety and has different names in different parts of India.
Gujarat is a western state in India, and Gujarati food is typically sweet and spicy. So, this recipe prepares Dahl with both sugar and salt.

1. 2 cups toor dahl (also known as arhar dal)
2. 2-3 sprigs of fresh curry leaves.
3. 1 large tomato, chopped.
4. 1-2 Green onions, chopped (optional)
5. 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder
6. 1/2 teaspoon paprika
7. 1.5 teaspoon salt
8. 2 teaspoon sugar (use grated jagerry if you have it)
9. 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
10. 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
11. 1/2 teaspoon methi (fenugreek seeds)
12. A pinch of Hing (Asafoetida)
12. 5-10 drops of lime juice.
13. 3 cup water
14. 1 tbspn ghee (pasteurized butter)
15. 2-3 dry red chili, broken into pieces

1. Heat Ghee in a pressure cooker
2. When the ghee is hot, add mustard seeds and bring it to splutter
3. Add cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds until the seeds turn brown and the popping sound fastens
4. Add onion, turmeric powder, chili powder, curry leaves, Hing, paprika, and cook until the onion softens
5. Add tomato, lime juice and cook for another 5 minutes.
6. Wash toor dahl and soak in water while the tomato cooks
7. Add dahl and water to the pressure cooker.
9. Add sugar and salt and close lid to allow the Dahl to boil. Let 4-5 whistles blow.
10. Allow the steam to come out of the pressure cooker. When the lid of pressure cooker opens, garnish as desired.

Dahl is ready to be served hot as a soup or over a bed of white Basmati rice for an evening dish. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Aloo Baigan (Potato and Eggplant)


1. 2 large eggplants
2. 3 Green onions, chopped
3. 1/2 tbspn garlic, minced
4. 1/4 tbspn ginger, minced
5. 2 small potatoes, peeled and cut into inches
6. Salt to taste
7. Paprika
8. 4-5 tbspns Olive oil
9. 1/2 bunch fresh coriander leaves, chopped finely
10. A pinch of Asafoetida (heeng)
11. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
12. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
13. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

1. Heat olive oil in a large pot
2. When the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and let it pop.
3. When the mustard seeds start popping, add cumin seeds until it browns (in a few seconds)
4. Add green onion, garlic, and ginger.
5. When the green onions start to soften and you can smell the aroma of garlic, add turmeric powder, asafoetida, paprika. Cook for a few minutes so that the green onion absorbs the flavour of the spices.
5. When the spices are well mixed with the green onions, add potato and mix again.
6. Let the potatoes cook until the edges turn golden.
7. Now add eggplant. Turn the eggplant a few times in the pot to that the oil and spices are smeared on the eggplant. Make sure you don't mash the potatoes when you turn the eggplant.
8. Cook for 5-10 minutes and then add salt.
9. Cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
10. Add coriander leaves, turn heat off, and leave covered for another 10-15 minutes.

Serve hot with Roti or Paranthas.
An Indian delight!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Falafel is popular vegetarian snack in the Middle Eastern countries. Vendors sell it on the streets as fast food. As a main dish, it is served as a sandwich, stuffed in pita bread with lettuce, tomatoes, and tahini. As an appetizer, it is served on a salad, or with hummus and tahini.

1. 1 can chickpeas
2. 4-5 spoons all purpose flour
3. 2-3 tbspns fresh coriander leaves, chopped
4. 1 medium sized onion
5. 1 teaspoon paprika
6. 2-3 teaspoons salt
7. 1 teaspoon coriander powder
8. 1-2 teaspoon cumin seeds
9. 1-2 tbspns garlic, minced
10. 1 tbspn ginger, minced
11. 1 litre olive oil for frying

1. Mix ingredients 1-10 in a blender or food processor and blend until a thick paste is formed.
2. Form small balls of the paste and fry in hot oil until brown.

Serve with Tahini or hummus. Garnish as desired!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thai Green Curry with Shrimp

Thai food is popular cuisine in many Western countries such as Canada. Thai Food is known for being hot and spicy and its balance of five fundamental flavors in the dish - hot (spicy), sour, sweet, salty and bitter (optional). Thai recipes enthusiastic use fresh (rather than dried) herbs (lemon grass, galangal) and spices as well as fish sauce.Although popularly considered as a single cuisine, Thai food would be more accurately described as four regional cuisines corresponding to the four main regions of the country: Northern, Northeastern, Central, Southern, each cuisine sharing similar foods or derived from those of neighboring countries. Southern curries, for example, tend to contain coconut milk and fresh turmeric, while northeastern dishes often include lime juice.

This recipe mixes the Southern and northeastern style of cooking.

Serves 4. No preparation required.

1. 1 can or 400 ml coconut milk
2. 3-4 tablespoons sugar
3. 3 Red bell peppers, chopped in sqaures
4. 1 tbspn lemon juice
5. 2-3 tbspn olive oil
6. 1 medium onion, finely chopped
7. 2-3 tbspn Fresh Coriander leaves, finely chopped.
8. 2-3 tbsps Thai Green curry paste

1. Heat 2 tbsps olive oil in a pan.
2. Add cocunut milk and green curry paste to the oil.
3. Add 1 cup water and mix well until a smooth paste is formed.
4. Heat until the liquid comes to a boil.
5. Add onion, bell pepper, sugar, lime juice, and shrimp.
6. Cook for 15 minutes or until shrimp turns pink and bell pepper softens.
7. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve hot over pilaf rice.

Pilaf with Fresh Curry Leaves

Pilaf, also called polao, pilau or pulao, is a rice dish cooked in oil, and then in a seasoned broth. Depending on the local cuisine it may also contain a variety of meat and vegetables. Pilaf a common food in South east Asia, and particularly India. Pilaf can be eaten alone or topped with any curry to add to the flavour.

Serves 4. Needs preparation.


  1. 2 cups Basmati rice
  2. 2 heaping tablespoon ghee (pasteurized butter)
  3. 1 onion, very finely minced
  4. 2-3 whole cashewnuts
  5. 3-4 pods of black cardamom
  6. 3-4 broken cinnamon sticks
  7. 5-6 strands of saffron
  8. 10 leaves of fresh curry leaf
  9. 1 cup water
  10. 3-4 Dried red chili (whole)
  11. Salt to taste
  12. Fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped, for garnishing

1. Pour 1 1/2 cups of water in 2 cups of Basmati rice. Let stand for 15-20 minutes.

2. Place the Ghee in a high-sided sauté pan (that has a tight-fitting lid) over medium-low heat.

3. Add the red chili, cardamom, curry leaves, cinnamon stick, and saffron.

3.Add the onions and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft. Do not allow the onions to brown.

4. Drain the rice in a sieve, and run the rice under cold water from the faucet for a minute or so. Shake off the excess liquid, and add the rice to the cooked onions.

5. Stir together for a minute or so, coating the rice with the butter. Add salt to taste. Add water. Turn heat to high.

6. When the liquid begins to boil, turn heat down to medium-low and taste for salt. Cover tightly and cook over medium-low heat until the rice is tender and fluffy, about 15 minutes.

7. Keep off heat, covered, for 5 minutes, and transfer the rice to a platter with a fork, fluffing the rice as you go.

Garnish with finely cut fresh coriander leaves serve hot over curry.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tofu in black bean and tomato sauce

1. 2 cups of pressed tofu
2. 2 tbspn of tomato paste
3. 2 tbspn of black bean sauce
4. 2 tbspn of soy sauce
5. 1 small onion, diced
6. finely chopped ginger and garlic
7. olive oil
8. 3/4 cup chicken broth
9. 1 tbspn red chili paste

1. Heat oil in a non stick pan.
2. Add the diced onion, ginger, and garlic. Stir till onion turns soft.
3. Add tomato sauce, black bean sauce, and soy to it.
4. Cook for 5 mins.
5. Add chicken broth
6. Cook until the gravy is thick and mixed well
7. Add tofu pieces and cook for another 10 mins.

Serve hot with white rice.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Kheer - Rice pudding

Kheer is an Indian dessert. It is made of milk and rice and popular in North India. Usually, white rice is used for preparing Kheer. Many people like to use Basmati (long, slender, variety) rice but my mom uses the fat, small variety of white rice which is equally tasty, more economical and my personal favorite.

1. 1 cup rice
2. 1 litre milk
3. Half cup sugar
4. Crushed cardamom
5. Strands of Saffron -10
6. Soaked almond, cut into small pieces - 10
7. Raisins
8. peeled and cut salted pistachios.

1. Add milk and rice in a big pot and keep stirring on medium heat until rice is cooked and starts to break.
2. Add sugar, cardamom, saffron, almonds and lower the heat. Keep stirring occasionally for another 10-15 mins until sugar is dissolved and pudding starts to thickem
3. Garnish and serve cold or hot.


Steam Fried noodles
2 tablespoon black bean sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 tablespoon minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon red chili sauce
salt to taste
Vegetables - broccolis, green pepper, carrots, 1 small onion diced.
Olive oil
Soya sauce

Boil the noodles in warm water until soft.
Drain the water and keep the noodles aside.
Cut vegetables and keep aside.
Warm oil in a saucepan.
Add minced garlic and ginger in the hot oil and mix.
Add the diced onion and vegetables to the oil and mix until the onion softens.
Add chili sauce, black bean sauce, vinegar, soya sauce and mix well.
Add the noodles and mix.
Leave it covered on low flame for about 10-15min until the vegetables cook.

Serve hot!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Chicken curry

Chicken curry powder
Red chili powder
Coriander powder
Turmeric powder
Green chilies
Mustard seeds
Cumin seeds
Onion, chopped and diced
Tomato paste

To be continued...

Thandai (Indian, flavoured milk)

Picture courtesy: Google images search
Thandai (Hindi) is a drink popular in many parts of India which is made by mixing almonds, spices, milk and sugar. It is often associated with the Holi festival. Some people like to mix Bhang with Thandai to get an intoxicating effect. Bhang is the leaf and flower of a female Cannabis sativa plant.

Traditionally, Thandai is served in a clay cup that keeps the drink cold and has an intoxicating fragrance to it. I miss those days in India. These days, all sorts of colorful glasses are popular and can be found in the market that can make the drink look prettier.

This recipe prepares Thandai without Bhang.

1 litre milk
30 almonds blanched
10 pistachios
6 tsps whole pumpkin/sunflower seeds (unsalted)
1 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed clove powder
3 tsps rose water (or orange water as a substitute)
Crushed ice
Few strands of Saffron
1/2 tbsp Saunf (Fennel seeds)
1 tbsp peppercorn

  1. Soak sugar in 1/2 litre of the milk used. Keep aside.
  2. Wash clean all other dry ingredients, except cardamom if using powder.
  3. Soak in 2 cups of remaining milk. Keep aside.
  4. Allow all soaked items to stand for at least 2 hours.
  5. Grind all soaked ingredients to a very fine paste. (not sugar)
  6. Use a stone grinder (manual or electric) if possible.
  7. When the paste is very fine, mix some milk.
  8. Place a strong muslin strainer over a large deep vessel. Or tie a strong muslin cloth over rim of vessel and use to strain.
  9. Press through muslin with back of palms, extracting the liquid into vessel.
  10. Add some more milk, a little at a time to extract more.
  11. Pour back some of the extract and press, repress.
  12. Repeat this process till the residue becomes dry and husk like.
  13. Add the rest of the milk, sugar and rosewater to the extracted liquid.
  14. If using cardamom powder mix it in with the milk.
  15. Mix well. Chill for a hour of two before serving.

Gobi manchurian (Cauliflower Fritters in spicy sweet and sour sauce)

Indo-Chinese is my favorite. Playing around with traditional and non tradition ingredients is fun. I love Indo-Chinese dishes, it is easy to cook and tastes simply superb. Gobi Manchurian falls into this category. It serves as an appetizer and also a side dish. These kinds of dishes are found only in Indian restaurants.

No preparation required.

Serves 6.

1 big Gobhi (Cauliflower)
3/4 cup Flour (Maida)
1 tbsp Corn Flour
Salt to taste (about 2 tsp)
2 Chopped green chili
11/2 tbsp Garlic Paste
11/2 tbsp Ginger Paste
1 cup finely Chopped Onions
Finely Chopped Coriander Leaves
2 tbsp Soya Sauce
2-3 tbsp Tomato paste
2 tbsp Oil
1/2 tbsp red chili pate

  1. For the fritters:
    1. Make a paste of maida, corn flour and salt using water.
    2. Take a tsp. of ginger and garlic paste, add it to the paste.
    3. Dip the Gobi (cauliflower) florets in the paste and deep fry till golden brown. Keep aside.
  2. For the sauce:
    1. Heat oil in another pan and add the left ginger & garlic paste, red chili paste, chopped onions and green chili to it.
    2. Now mix soy sauce and tomato paste to it.
  3. Add the fried Gobi to the sauce and mix well. Garnish it with coriander leaves. Serve the gobi manchurian hot.
I am sending this over to the JFI Cauliflower event.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese (sometimes referred to as macaroni cheese or mac 'n' cheese in parts of the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom and Ireland) is a common dish. It's specially kid favorite.
Packaged versions are available, consisting of boxed pasta and a cheese powder, to which are added butter and milk (or water). But there is nothing like home made mac 'n' cheese made from scratch.

Serves 4

  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 1/2 cups cooked elbow macaroni
  • 4 cups shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
  • 2 cups fat-free evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper (fresh ground makes it really good)
  • 2 eggs
  1. Caramelize the onions in a skillet on the stove top.
  2. Add the macaroni, cheddar cheese and parsley.
  3. In a bowl mix the milk, mustard, salt, eggs, and pepper.
  4. Mix until it is well combined and somewhat smooth.
  5. Stir into macaroni mixture.
  6. Pour into a 1 1/2 quart casserole coated with nonstick cooking spray.
  7. Bake, uncovered at 350 F for 20- 25 minutes or until lightly- browned.
  8. Burnt cheese bits are good.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Biryani, biriani, or beriani (Nastaliq script: بریانی; Devanagari script: बिरयानी; Bengali script: িবিরয়ানी) is a family of primarily South Asian dishes made from a mixture of spices, rice (usually basmati), meat/vegetables and yogurt. It was spread through out the Middle East and South Asia (and Southeast Asia to an extent) by Muslim travellers and merchants, and is very popular in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The name is derived from the Persian word beryā(n) (بریان) which means "fried" or "roasted". There are many kinds of biryanis and each kind has a uniqueness about it. Pre-mixed biryani spices from different commercial names are easily available in markets these days, which reduces the preparation time though the taste differs considerably.

This is a brilliant dish to make for friends because you can leave it to cook for an hour, and end up with the complete meal in one dish. Choose a light accompaniment, like a green salad, because it’s quite filling. I tend to use canned chickpeas, but if you want to use dried you’ll need to get organised the day before, to soak them in cold water overnight then, next day, simmer for 20 minutes until tender.

No preparation required.

Serves 4.

  1. 1 Red pepper chopped
  2. 1 yellow pepper chopped
  3. 2 small onions chopped
  4. 3 teaspoons coriander powder
  5. 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 bunch fresh coriander leaves washed and finely chopped
  7. 1 teaspoon olive oil
  8. 8 pieces of skinless boneless chicken thighs
  9. 2 green chillies sliced and chopped with seeds intact
  10. 3 cloves of garlic minced
  11. 1 cup soaked chickpeas
  12. 1 cup basmati rice
  13. 1 big lemon juice
  14. 11/2 cups of chicken stock

  1. Preheat a non-stick casserole in the oven to 400 degrees Farenheight
  2. Heat a pan with 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
  3. Add 8 pieces of boneless, skinless chicken thighs and toss till brown.
  4. Remove the chicken thighs from pan and set aside.
  5. In the pan, fry chopped onions, red and yellow peppers till the ends turn brown.
  6. Add chopped fresh coriander, minced garlic, 1 cup of soaked chickpeas, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3 teaspoon coriander powder, and mix.
  7. Add 3 cups of chicken stock, rice and lemon juice
  8. Bring to boil
  9. Transfer the contents of the pan into the pre-heated casserole.
  10. Spread the cooked chicken over the rice mixture and cover.
  11. Put the non-stick casserole back in the oven and bake for 50 minutes at 400 degrees Farenheight.

Tomato soup

No preparation required.

Fresh homemade tomato soup, nothing like it. Ideal when tomatoes are in season and plentiful. It can also be prepared with vegetable stock.

Serves 4

  1. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  2. 1 cup chopped onion
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  5. 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  6. 1 tablespoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  9. 4 drops hot pepper sauce

  1. Heat oil in a pan on medium-high heat.
  2. Saute onion and garlic until onion is tender.
  3. Stir in tomatoes, broth, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Tandoori Chicken - Home style

Tandoori Chicken is a Punjabi dish dating back to the time of the Mughal Empire in Central and Southern Asia, it is still popular throughout that area.

This home made recipe needs no tandoor, no food colour. Absolutely healthy.

Needs preperation.

Serves: 2

  1. 2 1/2 cups of full plain yogurt
  2. 2 tbspns fresh lemon juice
  3. 4 tbspns crushed garlic
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 2 tspn coriander powder
  6. 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  7. 2 teaspoon black pepper
  8. 1 teaspoon paprika
  9. 1 teaspoon turmeric
  10. 8 chicken legs skinless

  1. In a blender, mix 1 1/2 cups of full plain yogurt, 2 tbspns fresh lemon juice, 4 tbspns crushed garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoon coriander powder, 2 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon paprika.
  2. Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Soak the chicken legs in the mixture and toss to coat. Cover the bowl and leave in the fridge overnight.
  4. Place the marinated-covered chicken in the oven. Do not wash away the marinate from the chicken but discard any left the the bowl.
  5. Bake the chicken for 1 hour at 450 degree Fahrenheit. Toss sides after every 10 minutes.

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