Monday, December 19, 2011

Palak ki Dahl (Spinach Lentil Soup)

This recipe is yet another comforting, healthy dish. It is relished in most Indian homes as a stew or soup over a bed of white basmati rice. This recipe is inspired from my mother's recipe. I like this one due to its high nutritious value.

1. 1/2 cup of frozen spinach, cut
2. 5-7 fists of toor dal
3. Salt
4. Turmeric powder
5. Lemon juice
6. Garam masala
7. Oil for tempering
8. Mustard seeds
9. Green chili slit/chopped and red chili powder (optional)
10. Curry leaves (optional)

1. Wash toor dal and soak it in water.
2. Place the washed dal in a pressure cooker along with some water.
3. Throw in the spinach, salt, and turmeric powder.
4. Boil the dahl in a closed pressure cooker and allow 5-6 whistles to blow.
5. When the lid of the pressure cooker opens on its own, add garam masala, lemon juice and red chili powder.
6. Mix.
7. Temper:
7a. Heat oil in a pan, then add mustard seeds.
7b.  When the mustard seeds begin to cracke, add curry leaves and green chili.
8. Immerse this into the Dahl soup.

Serve warm.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Aloo Baigan (Potato and Eggplant)

This is a dish that I have been avoiding for a while. I guess I had too much of it so I got bored of it. After a hiatus, I decided to go back on it. It's a nice change once in a while :)

1. Mustard seeds, 1 tsp
2. Cumin seeds, 1 tsp,
3. Oil
4. heeng, 1/8th tsp
5. Turmeric powder, abt 1 tsp
6. Amchoor powder, 2 tsp
7. Salt to taste
8. Red chili powder, 1/2 tsp
9. Coriander powder, 1/2 tsp (optional)
10. Dried red chili, 2, broken
11. Small potatoes, 3, peeled and cut in weges
12. Long Chinese eggplants, 3, cut in wedges

1. Heat a non stick wok.
2. Add oil then, red chili and then add mustard seeds.
3.When the seeds splutter, add cumin seeds and heeng.
4. When the cumin seeds turn dark brown, add turmeric powder.
5. Add potatoes and mix well.
6. Saute until the potatoes turn golden brown.
7. Throw in the eggplant and mix again. You can add a few tablespoons of water at this time.
8. Cover and cook until al dente.
9. Next add coriander powder, red chili powder, amchoor powder, and salt.
10. Mix.
11. Cook for about 10 mins on medium low heat or until the vegetables break when pierced with a wooden spatula.

Serve warm with Indian bread.

Sevaiyan (Dessert)

I make it  a point to reference or give credit to recipes if they are not originally mine. But there are some people who like to boast in public or showcase their dishes to others without giving any public credits to the source of the recipe/inspiration/or person who taught them how to make it. A big part (or who cares even if its a small part) of what they cook is actually an outcome of what someone else shared (a recipe with them) or taught them in good faith. It is against my ethics to take credit for other people's deeds. It is against my values. If you are one of such person - I do not appreciate you. It saddens me to see you do this. If you don't have the skill to create your own recipe, don't show it off. If you still want to show off your dishes, at least you should have the conscience to reference the source or person who showed you how to make it on the same platform where you are showing yourself off. If you can do neither of the aforementioned but still want to show off your cooking - may God forgive you. But remember - there is something called karma! No matter what you do - I'll continue to behave as per my code of conduct. I am happy to be ethical about this whole thing and that I can answer my conscience.

This recipe was introduced to me by my friend Shikha.

The charm of this recipe comes from the fact that it is an easy to make yet delicious Indian dessert. Most Indian desserts take an elaborate preparation. But this one won my heart on account of the short time it can be prepared in. Perfect for the last minute or for unexpected guests.

Serves 4-6. No preparation required.

1. Feniya
2. Milk, about 4 cups
3. Sugar 4-6tbsp as per taste
4. Soaked almonds, chopped and skin removed
5. Raisins (optional)
6. Cardamom powder

1. Boil milk in a vessel
2. Let it cool
3. Add sugar to the lukewarm milk and mix.
4. Warm the milk again and then add feniya, cardamom powder and almonds.
5. Bring to a boil.

Serve warm.

Thanks, Shikha! I miss you very much.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Yam Soup

What's better on a cold winter evening after work then a bowl of home-made warm soup? I love soup as it is healthy and comforting yet tasty. The other day I had some coworkers talk about Yam soup. So far, my grocery has never included Yam. But the conversation intrigued me to try out this vegetable.

1. 2 Yams, roasted and peeled
2. Onion, 1 large, slices
3. Garlic pods, 4, cut
4. Nutmeg, a pinch
5. Salt
6. Olive oil
7. Pepper

1. Heat a skillet and then ad olive oil.
2. Throw in the onions and sprinkle salt over it.
3. Stir fry for a few minutes then add garlic.
4. Caramelize the onions and lower the heat.
5. Add chopped roasted yam and mash with the back of a ladle.
6. Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil.
7. Simmer on low heat for another 10 mins.
8. Let it cool.
9. Blend the liquid to a nice consistency.
10. Transfer it back to the skillet.
11. Add pepper and nutmeg and warm it up.

Serve warm.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bread Pizza

I know guys - I have been out of action. I don't know what is happening to my schedule. I think it's the end of daylight saving time that has thrown me off. LOL I know I am making excuses so let's get on with it.
I have been cooking the same ole recipes posted on my blog. There has not been a lot new going on in my kitchen. During this time I've been visiting some other blogs and tried a couple of their recipes. But I chose not to copy and post someone else's recipe. Hence, the lull.
Here is something original...
We recently bought a bag of Mozz cheese. I've never had bread pizza (or I don't remember having it). I was craving pizza at a budget but a quick and easy snack. This is what I did:

1. Salsa sauce (Hot)
2. Bread slices (I used brown)
3. Mozz cheese
4. Red onion rings

1. Spread salsa over the bread.
2. Sprinkle cheese generously.
3. Throw on some slices of onion.
4. Bake uncovered in the oven at 450 for 7 mins appx until the cheese melts and bread becomes slightly crusty.

Devour a snack and don't think about the calories :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Chole Palak (Chickpeas and Spinach Curry)

Chole Palak is a great combo as it amalgamates protien and iron into one dish. It's a super healthy and tasty option for dinner or lunch. It can be easy to make if you have a can of chickpeas and some frozen chopped spinach.

1. Chole, 1 can, washed and drained.
2. Chopped spinach, 400g or so
3. Oil
4. Tomato paste, 2 tbsp
5. Onion, sliced
6. Ginger, grated.
7. Green chili, 3, minced
8. Heeng
9. Chana masala, 3-4 tsp to taste
10. 1-2 tsp cumin powder
11. 1 tsp coriander powder
12. 1 tsp turmeric powder
13. Salt and chili powder to taste.

1. Heat a wok.
2. Add oil then add cumin and heeng.
3. When the cumin turns dark brown, add green chili, onion, and ginger.
4. When the onions turn golden brown, add tomato paste.
5. Mix well until the paste leaves the oil.
6. Add turmeric powder, chana masala, coriander powder, spinach and half cup water.
7. Cover and cook until the spinach melts.
8. Add chickpeas and some more water.
9. Add salt and asjust seasoning as necessary.
10. Cover and cook to a desired consistency.

Serve warm with Roti.

Inspired by Manjula's Kitchen.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dal Fry (Lentil Soup)

Basic yet comforting. perfect for a cold rainy day or when you are down with the flu. Stay healthy, my friends! Don't let that virus get to you!

1. Garlic, minced
2. Ginger, minced
3. Onion chopped
4. Green chili, minced
5. Tomato, chopped
6. Toor dal, 1 cup
7. Cumin seeds
8. Mustard seeds
9. Methi (fenugreek) seeds
10. Heeng,
11. Salt
12. Turmeric powder
13. Oil.

1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker.
2. Add methi and mustard seeds and let it crackle.
3. The add cumin seeds and heeng and let it sizzle.
4. Add onion, garlic, ginger, chili and fry.
5. Add turmeric powder and washed toor dal.
6. Stir then add water, tomato, and salt.
7. Close the cover of the pressure cooker and let 5-6 whistles to blow.

Serve warm.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Rava Utthapam (Vegetarian Semolina Omelet)

This is a perfect South Indian delicacy for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You can also make idlis out if this. This is a thick pancake or vegetarian omelet.

1. Semolina. raw
2. Yogurt
3. Salt
4. Red chili powder
5. Chopped onion
7. Chopped cashewnuts (optional)
8. Chopped green chili
9. Chopped fresh tomato

1. Mix everything together.
2. Roast uncovered on a non-stick pan.
3. Oil the sides, then flip and roast on the other side.

Serve with Nariyal ki Chutney.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Gobhi Aloo (Cauliflower Potato)

Gobhi Aloo is a ubiquitous Indian side often relished with Indian breads. It's a common dish made in everyday meals. With Cauliflower so easily accessible in this country, one has to explore new recipes every time to refrain from getting bored of this vegetable. I seem to be running out of ideas on how to cook this veggie.
This recipe was googled and struck a chord due to its North Indian-ness. The recipe was not copied to the word but adjusted to my taste and pantry.

Serves 2. No preparation required.

1. Cumin seeds
2. 3 tsp oil
3. A pinch of heeng
4. 3 tsp coriander powder
5. 1 tsp red chili powder
6. 1 tsp dried mango powder (amchoor)
7. 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
8. 1/2 boiled potato, cut in wedges
9. 1/2 cauliflower, cut in bite size pieces
10. few tbsp water.
11. Salt to taste
12. Bay leaf
13. Tomato, cut in bite size pieces

1. Heat  a wok.
2. Add oil and then heeng and bay leaf.
3. Add cumin seeds to the oil and let it sizzle.
4. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, and red chili powder.
5. Mix then add cauliflower.
6. Add salt and water.
7. Cover and cook for 10 mins on medium flame.
8. Mix.
9. Add boiled potato and a small tomato.
10. Cover and cook for another 5-10 mins till al-dente.
11. Add amchoor powder (mango powder) and mix.

Serve hot with Roti.

Simple yet tasty.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Jhal Muri (Spicy Rice Puff Salad)

Jhal Muri is a variant of Bhel Puri. It's street food from West Bengal.

1. Mamra (rice puff)
2. Chopped tomato
3. Chopped red onion
4. Chopped and diced boiled potato
5. Black salt
6. Chaat masala
7. Chopped cilantro
8. Chopped green chili
9. Sev
10. Pickle oil
11. Red chili powder
12. Cumin powder (optional)

1. Dry roast the rice puffs
2. Throw everything together.

Delhi Belle.

Vegetable Sandwich

This is a modified version of my mom's recipe.

1. Carrots, shredded
2. Cabbage, shredded
3. Boiled potatoes, peeled, boiled, mashed., 2
4. Red chili powder
5. Salt
6. Semolina
7. Plain yogurt

1. Mix everything together.
2. Place in between bread slices and grill.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Coconut Condiment

Nariyal ki Chutney is a South Indian condiment often served with Dosa, Utthapam, and Idlis. It's my personal favorite when it comes to condiments. I have always dreamed of being able to make this condiment right. Today was my second attempt and I won.

1. 1/4 cup chana dal (yellow gram), soaked in water for 1/2 hr
2. 1 shredded coconut
3. Oil
4. Mustard seeds
5. Cumin seeds
6. Green chili, slit, 7-8
7. Salt
8. Tamarind pulp
9. Heeng, 1/2 tsp
10. Red chili, dried, 1
11. Curry leaves, a sprig

1. Heat oil in a wok.
2. Add cumin seeds. Let it sizzle.
3. Add soaked chana dal and slit green chilis. Fry for 5 mins until the ingredients change colour.
4. When cooled, grind into a paste with some water. You can add tamarind pulp at this time.
5. Add salt and mix. Set the paste aside.
6. Heat oil and add mustard seeds
7. When it starts to splutter, add heeng.
8. Add curry leaves and red chili.
9. Temper the paste with this.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Naan (Indian Bread)

I've been contemplating on making Naan at home for a long time now. I used to think that this bread was more fit to be cooked at restaurants. But I like to try new things and recipe for Naan intrigued me. I wanted to see if I could replicate the results of a restaurant or how close I could come to it. How hard is it anyways? The ingredients seemed nothing complicated and, for the most part, were readily available in my pantry. This was probably the only North Indian dish I had not attempted. Why leave a stone unturned- I thought to myself and decided to take a stab at it.

Sundays are the best days for cooking and relishing something special like this :)

1. 3-4 cups all purpose flour (maida)
2. 2.5 Tsp beaten yogurt
3. 1 tsp yeast
4. 1 cup milk at room temperature
5. Warm water
6. Sugar, 1 tsp
7. salt, 1 tsp
8. Baking soda, a pinch
9. oil
10. Nigella seeds (kalonji)
11. Cilantro, chopped

1. Dissolve 1 yeast in warm water. Let it stand for 10 mins.
2. To the all purpose flour, add sugar, salt, yogurt, oil.
3. Mix well so that it starts to look like crumbs.
4. Add milk, dissolved yeast and knead to a sticky dough.
5. Add some oil and make a smooth dough.
6. Cover with cellophane wrap and put it in a warm place.
7. When the dough rises to double, punch it and knead with hands again.
8. Divide the dough into equal portions and make small balls of the dough.
9. Using a rolling pin, flatten the balls to an elongated shape making sure its not too thin.
10. Sprinkle cilantro and nigella seeds on it.
11. Broil 3-4 naans at a time in the oven on parchment paper at 200deg for 3-4 mins
12. When you see brown spots on the naan, take it out of the oven and apply butter.

Serve warm with Shahi Paneer.

Thanks, Manjula.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Ras Malai (Cheese dumplings Soaked in Sweetened Cream)

Ras Malai is a popular Indian dessert. Ras malai is flattened, white cheese balls soaked in saffron infused, thickened and sweetened cream, delicately flavoured with cardamom.

1. Half and half milk, 1L
2. Sugar
3. Pistaichoes
4. Strands of saffrom
5. Cardamom powder
6. Paneer (cottage cheese) for the cheese balls.

1. Boil the half and half milk with a few strands of saffrom.
2. Reduce the flame and simmer until the milk thickens and reduces to half.
3. Let it cool.
4. Add sugar to taste and mix.
5. Drop the cheeese balls in this milk.
6. Sprinkle cardamom powder and pistaichoes.

Refrigerate for a few hours. Serve chilled. Sweet decadent!

To make the cheese balls, follow any one of the following procedures:
1. Paneer can be made at home by adding a few tsp of lemon juice to milk and then straining the liquid and retaining the thickened part of the milk. You can make small balls of the thickened part which is paneer.
2. You can buy paneer from a grocery store.
3. You can bake balls of ricotta cheese in a muffin tray in the oven at 350 deg for abt 30-40mins. Cool before dropping into the condensed milk.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Kofta (Dumpling Curry)

King of all Indian curries is Kofta or dumpling curry. This is one dish that could potential sway a non-vegetarian into ordering a vegetarian dish instead, when at an Indian restaurant. The dumplings can be of various types but typically the key ingredient is either dairy or vegetables.

For the dumpling
1. Cabbage, shredded, 1 cup
2. few tbsp water
3. Besan (chickpea flour), 4-6 tbsp
4. Red chili powder 1 tsp
5. Salt to taste
6. Garam masala

For the gravy::
1. 1/2 onion
2. 2-3 sprigs of curry leaf
3. Tomato paste, 2 tbsp
4. Poppy seeds (optional), 3-4 tbsp
5. Shredded coconut, 2-3 tbsp
6. 2-3 green chili
7. Tamarind pulp
8. Salt to taste
9. Oil
10. heeng (optional), a pinch
11. Cumin seeds

For the dumpling:
1. Mix ingredients 1-6 and make small balls of it.
2. Deep fry.
3. Set aside.

Instructions for the Gravy:
1. Make a paste of ingredients 1-6
2. Heat oil in a wok
3. Add cumin seeds and let it sizzle
4. Add heeng
5. Add the paste and saute until the raw smell of the onion is gone.
6. Add tamarind pulp, salt, and water.
7. Boil.
8. Add the dumplings to the gravy.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dalia (Cracked Wheat)

Dalia is a healthy one pot dish that is low in fat and high in taste. It's easy to cook and a perfect dish for brunch/lunch/breakfast. Dalia is known as broken wheat in English.

1. Dalia
2. ghee, 2 tsp
3. cumin seeds
4. heeng, a pinch
5. curry leaves
6. 1/2 onion chopped
7. 1 green chili, chopped
8. frozen mixed vegetables
9. frozen hash browns
10. salt
11. garam masala
12. 1/2 chopped ripe tomato

1. Heat ghee in a pressure cooker.
2. When it melts, add cumin seeds and heeng.
3. When the cumin seeds sizzle, add curry leaves, green chili, tomato, and onions.
4. Fry until translucent.
5. Add vegetables and hash browns and saute for a few mins.
6. Add salt, dalia, lemon juice, and water.
7. Pressure cooker for 2-3 whistles.
8. When the lid of the pressure cooker opens, add garam masala and red chili powder to taste.
9. Mix well.
10. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves (optional)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Pan Fried Potato & Spring Onions

This is my mom's favorite. Simple yet tasty.

1. 3 small potatoes, cut in wedges
2. oil
3. 1 tsp mustard seeds
4. 1 tsp cumin seeds
5. Heeng, a pinch
6. 1.5 tsp amchoor powder (dried mango)
7. 1 tsp red chili powder
8. Salt to taste
9. 3-4 Spring onions, chopped
10. Turmeric powder

1. Heat oil in a non stick pan then add mustard seeds.
2. When it splutters, add cumin seeds and heeng.
3. When the cumin sizzles and turns dark brown, add turmeric powder.
4. Then add potatoes and mix well.
5. Fry on high heat stirring occasionally until the potatoes turn light golden.
6. Add spring onions, amchoor, red chili powder, and salt.
7. Cover and cook on low-medium heat for 5-7 mins.

Serve warm as a side with Kadi and white steamed rice.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Pad Thai

1. 1 packet fettucini or flat noddles (I used linguine)
2. 1 tbsp salt
3. 1-2 cups cabbage, shredded
4. Extra firm tofu block (1/4 juliened and rest cut in cubes)
5. Spring onions 4, chopped
6. 2 tbsp red chili garlic sauce
7. 4 pods garlic, minced
8. 2 shallots, chopped
9. 1 red bell pepper, cut in cubes
10. 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
11. 5-6 tbsp Oyester sauce
12. 3-4 tbsp soya sauce
13. 1 tsp vinegar
14. tamarind concentrate
15. 1 tsp brown sugar

1. Boil salt water in a heavy bottomed pan and then add a packet of fettucini.
2. Stir occasionally and cook until it is al-dente.
3. Drain water and let it cool.
4. Heat oil in a wok.
5. Add garlic, shallots, juliened tofu and cook until golden brown.
5. Next throw in the cubed tofu, green onion, cabbage, and red bell pepper.
6. Add oyester sauce, tamarind concentrate, red chili sauce, soya sauce, brown sugar, and vinegar.
7. Mix well and simmer until bell pepper is al dente.
8. Add the noodles to this along with bean sprouts.
9. Adjust seasoning is necessary.
10. Garnish with fresh choped green onion.

Verdict: This was good but did not turn out like the ones at thai restaurants.
Note: You could add crushed peanuts to add authenticity to this dish. But I passed as neither Mr. Husband nor I are a fan of peanuts.

Serve warm as a main. Inspired.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Fish Curry

I didn't realize that it has been nearly 3 years since I started blogging and that this is my 151st post! Over these years, I have been inspired and encouraged by some very talented photographers, cooks, writers, and bloggers in the online world. I have learned a lot from others as well as from myself. I have seen myself evolve as well with each post. I look forward to the day I become a grandma and show my grandkids my blog. They will perhaps never care for this or who knows, they will?! But I am sure this blog will make me happy at that age and will be not only a chronicle or my musings in the kitchen but also a reminiscence of the time gone by.

Serves 2. No prep required.

1. Salmon, skinless, boneless, 3-4 pieces (I used frozen)
2. 1 tsp mustard seeds
3. 1 tsp cumin seeds
4. 10-15 fresh curry leaves
5. A pinch of heeng
6. Oil
7. Salt
8. Turmeric powder
9. Garlic, 4 pods, minced
10. 1 thai green chili, minced
11. 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
12. fresh tomatoes, chopped (I used tomato paste)
13. Coriander powder, 1 tsp
14. Fish curry masala, 3-4 tsp
15. Garam masala, 2 tsp

1. Rub turmeric powder and salt on the surface on the fish (both sides) then microwave for 5 mins, covered.
2. Heat oil in a pan.
3.. Add mustard seeds and let it splutter.
4. Add cumin seeds and let it sizzle.
5. Add heeng, wait for a min.
6. Add chili, garlic, onion, curry leaves and fry until the onion is translucent and the garlic looks cooked.
7. Add tomatoes (fresh or paste) and mix well.
8. Cook on medium-high heat until it leaves the oil.
9. Add fish curry masala, garam masala, coriander powder, salt and mix.
10. Simmer for 5 mins, stirring occasionally. Check the spices and adjust seasoning.
11. Add the fish pieces and some water. (i added about a cup). You can also add 2-3 tsp milk for a better consistency.
12. Cover and cook for 10 mins on low heat.

Serve with roti.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pani Puri (Golgappa)/Indian Street Food

The other day during my usual trip to the grocery store, my eyes spotted some fresh mint leaves. The first thing that occured to me was Golgappa.
Today, I tried to re-create the magic that the street food in Delhi has. It made me nostalgic!
Golgappa is a round, hollow, crispy puff that is punctured by hand to stuff it with spicy boiled potatoes and chickpeas. The opening is then filled with mint water and a tamarind condiment. The puff is eaten one at a time w/o biting. The fun of relishing this dish comes not only from the flavour but also from the way it is consumed.

Ingredients and Instructions:
1. Boil potatoes and add red chili powder and black salt. Mash coarsely. You can add boiled chickpeas to this. This will be the stuffing.
2. Make a puree of mint, coriander, cumin seeds, black salt, chaat masala, jal jeer powder, and some tamarind condiment, Add water and mix well. Then refrigerate.
3. Make the tamarind condiment as per this recipe.
4. Golgappa (made from a dough of semolina and all purpose flour, then deep fried). You can easily buy these at an Indian grocery store.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Butter Chicken

1. 1 yellow onion, sliced
2. Tomato paste
3. Yogurt, 1 cup
4. cream 1 cup
5. Salt
6. Sugar
7. Butter
8. Ghee
9. Butter chicken masala
10. Butter chicken paste (optional)
11. Boneless, skinless, chicken breast, cut in pieces
12. Lemon juice (optional)
13. Kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves - these are milder and less bitter than the seeds)
14. Deghee mirch.

1. Whisk yogurt and add butter chicken masala, lemon juice, and chicken to it. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.
2. Heat ghee in a non stick pan and when melted, add sliced onions and brown sugar to it.
3. When caramelized, set aside and cool.
4. Make a puree of the caramelized onions. This will impart sweetness to the sauce.
5. Heat ghee in a wok, add butter chicken sauce, tomato paste, and onion puree.
6. Saute for a few minutes then add cream and deghee mirch. (I used half and half instead of full cream).
Note: The tomato paste, cream, and mirch will impart a nice orange-red colour to the curry.
7. Bake the marinade chicken in the oven for 40min at 350 degrees on parchment paper so that it doesn't stick to the base.
8. Add chicken pieces  and salt to the sauce you made in step 6. You can add milk at this time to increase the gravy.
9. Simmer on medium low heat for about 20 mins, stirring occasionally.
10. Top with kasoori methi and add another dalllop of fresh cream as a garnish.

Serve with Naan or Steamed white basmati rice.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Batata Vada (Deep Fried Potato )

1. 4-5 potatoes, boiled, peeled, mashed.
2. Garlic pods, crushed
3. Green chili, crushed
4. Salt to taste
5. Chopped fresh coriander leaves, a small bunch
6. Oil for deep frying
7. Chick pea flour (Besan)
8. Red chili powder
9. Lemon juice or amchoor powder
10. Heeng, a pinch
11. Sodium bi carbonate
12. Green onion, chopped
13. Fresh Curry leaves, 2-3 springs
14. Turmeric powder, 1 tsp

1.Heat oil in a non stick wok.
2. Add mustard seeds and let it splutter.
3. Add garlic, green onion, chili, curry leaves and saute.
4. Add potatoes, salt, turmeric powder, coriander leaves, lemon juice and cook mix well.
5. Add some fresh green chili on top. Set aside to cool. Make small balls of this potato when cooled.
6. Make a batter of besan, heeng, sodium bicarb, red chili powder (1/4 tsp), salt and water.
7. Dip the potato balls in this batter.
8. Deep fry.

Serve hot with Dhania ki Chutney and Chai.
Serve with buns and call it Vada Pav (a popular Maharashtrian street food)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Thepla (Fenugreek Indian Flatbread)

This is my favorite gujju dish. No one makes it like my mother-in-law. This is just an endevaour.

1. Freshly picked fenugreek leaves, 2 bunches (methi)
2. Salt
3. Sugar
4. Garlic, 5 pods
5. green chili, 4
6. Yogurt, 1/2 cup
7. Oil
8. Millet/Bajra, 1 cup
9. Cornflour/Makai, 1 cup
10. Whole Wheat flour, 1.5 cup

1. Shred garlic and chili.
2. Make a dough of bajra, makai, and aata and mix the shredded garlic and chili in it.
3. Also add salt, sugar, oil, yogurt in it.
4. Make a dough of the above.
5. Pinch out small balls of the dough and flatten it out with your hands.
6. Using a rolling pin, flatten it further.
7. Bake on a non stick pan, each side, while applying oil on both sides.

Serve warm with hot chai!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Home Made Spaghetti

I loved spaghetti as a kid. Here's a tribute to those cherished childhood memories! Good 'ol Spaghetti!

1. 28 oz crushed tomato
2. 6 oz tomato paste
3. 4 tsp ketchup
4. 28oz + water
5. Basil
6. Oregano
7. Black pepper
8. Salt
9. Brown sugar, 1.5 tsp
10. Chicken, cooked and cut in cubes (use sausage if you eat red meat or skip for a vegetarian variety)
11. 1-2 red onion, chopped
12. 3-4 garlic
13. Olive oil
14. Red wine, Cabernet, 1/4 cup
15. Cooked whole wheat spaghettini
16. red chili flakes
17. Parmesan cheese

1. In a heavy bottomed wok, add olive oil.
2. Throw in red onion, garlic and cook until translucent.
3. Add basil, oregano, black pepper, red chili flakes and mix well.
4. Add tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, ketchup, water, salt, sugar, red wine, chicken, and boil on high heat.
5. When you see bubbles, lower the heat and add water.
6. Mix and simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally.
7. Pour this auce over cooked spaghetti and then sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

Home made spaghetti for your palate!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Aloo Ke Parathe (Stuffed Indian Flatbread)

1. Whole wheat flour, appx 2 cups
2. Oil
3. 2-3 Potatoes - boiled, peeled, mashed
4. Salt to taste
5. Red chili powder, 1 tsp or to taste
6. Sugar 1.5 tsp
7. Juice of a small lemon
8. Coriander powder, .5 tsp
9. Cumin powder, 1 tsp
10. Garlic, 2 pods, minced
11. Ginger, 1 inch, minced
12. Garam masala, 1 tsp

1. Make a dough of the whole wheat flour using water. Add some oil to knead into a smooth dough.
2. Mix mashed potatoes with salt, red chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala, lemon juice, sugar, garlic, and ginger. Set aside.
3. Pinch out a small ball of wheat dough and flatten it using a rolling pin as shown in this post.
4. At the center of this flattened dough, place a small ball of the mashed potatoes.
Note: Try to keep the potato ball size to be the same size as the size of the dough you pulled out in step 3.

5. Now swirl the sides of the flattened dough around the potato ball like this and then seal the sides by joining all the sides together as shown below.
6. Pinch out the top of the excess dough.
7. Flatten this (dough ball stuffed with potato filling) with your hands. Use a rolling pin to flatten the opposite side of the ball.
8. Cook on medium heat on a pan on one side until it starts to form small black dots or lines on the side that is in contact with the pan.
9. Smear minimal oil on the upper side and then flip.
10. Repeat step 8 and 9 for this side.

Serve warm as dinner with Raita and pickles.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Potato Cutlet/ Fritters

This is adapted from my mom's recipe but turned out nowhere like her's. It was good nonetheless but I'll call it a starter on this one.

1. Bread crumbs
2. Boiled, peeled, mashed potatoes
3. Salt to taste
4. 1/2 tsp Red chili powder
5. Finely chopped red onion
6. 1 tsp Garam masala
7. 1-2 tsp Lemon juice
8. 1/2 tsp coriander powder.
9. Oil for frying

1. Mix all the salt, spices, and lemon juice into the mashed potato.
2. Add 5-9 tsp bread crumb and make small cylindrical balls.
3. In a plate, spread bread crumbs and roll the potato balls in this.
4. Heat oil in a wok and shallow fry the balls until brown on each side.

Serve with hot and sweet sauce or ketchup.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Chana Dahl (Split Yellow Gram Stew)

1. Split Yellow Gram or chana dahl, 5-8 fists
2. Fennel, 1 tsp (optional)
3. cumin seeds, 1 tsp
4. ghee, 1 -2 tsp
5. Red chili powder, to taste
6. salt, to taste
7. cinnamon sticks, 2-3
8. Lemon juice
10. Tomato paste, 1 tsp (optional)
11. Garlic, 2 pods minced
12. turmeric powder, 1 tsp

1. Heat a pressure cooker.
2. Melt ghee.
3. Add cumin, cinnamon and fennel seeds
4. When they start to sizzle, add garlic.
5. When the garlic turns golden brown, add turmeric powder and mix.
6. Add washed chana dahl and saute.
7. Add tomato paste, lemon juice, and salt and mix.
8. Add water.
9. Boil covered for 4-5 whistles in the pressure cooker.

You can mix some chopped fresh cilantro and serve warm with steamed rice, as a soup, or as a side with Indian flat-bread and some vegetables.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Tandoori Paneer Tikka (Cottage Cheese Kebob)

Perfect recipe for a summer barbecue! It was a hit this weekend :)

1. 1 bottle tandoori paste
2. red/green/orange/yellow bell peppers cut in squares
3. mushrooms
4. red onion cut in sqaures.
5. Salt
6. Oil
7. Paneer cut in cubes

1. Mix paste, oil, and salt to form a marinade. Marinade the veggie and paneer in this overnight.
2. Thread veggie and paneer on a bamboo skewer.
3. Grill evenly on each side on a barbecue.

Serve warm with coriander chutney, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and sprinkle chaat masala.
Wrap it up in a whole wheat tortilla for a satisfying lunch and call it Paneer Kathi Roll :)

Voila...a scrumptious treat is ready to devour!!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sabudane ki Khichdi (Savoury Sago seeds - Indian Style)

This is my mother in law's recipe. She likes to add some sugar and peanuts to it but I decided to omit for health reasons.

This is one high carb dish that serves as a good one pot lunch or heavy breakfast.

1. Sago seeds, soaked in water for 6 hours.
2. Salt to taste

3. 2 cups Hash browns

4. 1 onion, chopped

5. 6-7 Fresh Curry leaves, washed

6. Oil

7. 1 tsp Turmeric powder

8. Sugar (optional)

9. 1 tsp Mustard seeds (rai)

10. 1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)

11. A pinch of heeng

12. Fresh coriander leaves, chopped

13. Red chili powder


1. Heat oil in a wok.
2. Add some mustard seeds and allow it to crackle.

3. Add jeera seeds and let it sizzle.

4. Add onion, curry leaves, turmeric powder, and heeng.

5. Saute until translucent.

6. Add has browns and cook until they turns golden brown.

7. Add red chili powder and mix well

8. Add Sabudane and Salt

9. Turn the flame to medium-low and cook until the sabundana loses its colour and becomes translucent.

10. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve warm as a main dish.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tossed Vegetable Salad

I find this the most guilt free and enjoyable meals. Be it main course, side, or appi - Salad will never leave you feeling wrong. I am still learning when it comes to salad recipes but whatever I make now seems to please Mr. Hubby. This recipe is a basic salad with store bought dressing. You can choose to make the dressing at home. I find the store bought ones very convenient and lasting. I am very fond of Balsamic Vinegar for health reasons and because it gives my salad just the right kick of sourness.

1. Broken pieces of romano lettuce.
2. Fresh tomato wedges
3. 1 cucumber,cut into bite size pieces (whatever shape to like)
4. Red onion, finely chopped
5. Balsamic vinegar dressing

1. Throw it all together.
2. Toss.

Voila. A fresh salad is ready. Check out more salad recipes here.

What do you add to your salad to make it different?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Indian Style Potato Cheese Sandwich

If you are the one who counts calories and carbs, you might want to skip this. However, if you like to indulge in a healthy but tasty carb intake, this one is for you.

I had a bunch of leftovers in my fridge. Namely, half a red onion, boiled potatoes, and curry leaves. This is what I did to them.

1. curry leaves, a few sprigs
2. oil
3. mustard seeds
4. cumin seeds
5. 1 thai green chili, minced
6. 2 pods of garlic, minced
7. 2 boiled potatoes, peeled and mashed.
8. salt to taste
9. 1/2 red onion, chopped
10, heeng, a pinch
11. 2 tsp coriander powder
12. 1-2 tsp amchoor (dry mango) powder
13. 1-2 tsp garam masala
14. 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
15. brown bread slices
16. cheddar cheese single/slices. I used kraft.

1. Heat oil in a wok
2.  Add mustard seeds and let it splutter.
3. Add cumin seeds and heeng.
4. When the cumin seeds sizzle, add turmeric powder, onion, garlic, curry leaves.
5. Saute until the curry leaves look slightly crisp and covered in oil and the onions are translucent.
6. Add potatoes, coriander powder, garam masala, salt.
7. Mix well and cook until the potatoes are well coated with the spices and onions and start to turn golden brown.
8. Add amchoor powder and mix well.
9. Take 2 pieces of brown bread and line one slice of bread with a cheese single.
10. Top it with this potato mizture.
11. Cover this with the other slice of bread and put it in a sandwich maker.
12. Let it grill until the sandwich maker says it's done.
13. Serve with ketchup.

Perfect for a breakfast, brunch, or snack.
Tip: This potato filling can also be used as a filling for samosas.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Vangi Bhaath (South Indian Rice Pilaf with Eggplants)

I was looking for a new recipe. I had eggplants and wanted to try to use it differently. I had heard of Vangi Bhath from my friend and decided to give it a try. This time, I made the spice mix at home and now have a ton to use in the future. But I swear I won't make the spice mix again! It felt like a lot of work and my grinder died in the process :(
This is one expensive Vangi Bhath lol

Serves 4.

1. 2 cups steamed white rice, cooled.
2. 1 brinjal/eggplant/baigan cut in wedges
3. 6 sprigs of fresh curry leaves
4. 1 fist of cashewnuts
5. Oil
6. 1 cup and 1 tbsp chana dal (split yellowgram)
7. 3/4 cup and 1 tbsp urad dal (white lentils)
8. Salt to taste
9. 4-5 Dried red chili
10. 1/4 tsp and 1/2 tsp Heeng
11. 1 thai chili, minced
12. 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
13. Pulp of a small ball of tamarind.
14. 8-10 tsp Coriander powder
15. 3-4 cloves
16. 3 1 inch cinnamon sticks
17. 1 tbsp poppy seeds
18. 1 tbsp jaggery
19. 1 tsp, mustard seeds

1. Dry roast 1 cup chana dal, 3/4 cup urad dal, cinnamon sticks, cloves, poppy seeds, 3 dried red chili.
2. Set aside and let it cool.
3. Heat oil in a wok and fry 3 sprigs of curry leaves until crisp.
4. Grind the above dry roasted ingredients with crisp curry leaves, coriander powder, 1/2 tsp heeng, 1 tsp salt. Set aside this spice mix.
5. In a wok, heat oil and then add mustard seeds.
6. When it splutters. add 1 tsp chana dal, 1 tsp urad dal, 3 sprigs of curry leaves, 1/4 tsp heeng, thai chili, 1/2 dried red chili, cashewnuts and fry until the lentils turn golden brown.
7. Next add turmeric powder, jaggery, tamarind pulp, and eggplants and cover and cook until al-dente.
8. Add 1 tsp spice mix and steamed rice.
9. Mix and cook on low heat for 5-10 mins.

Serve with cucumber raita and garlic papad.

Source: Monsoon Spice.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Restaurant Style Paneer Bhurji (Spicy Scrambled Cottage Cheese)

A lot of people would like to call this the vegetarian option of scrambled eggs. You can choose to make this with a little less gravy than I did and have it for breakfast. But I'd rather keep it the way it is and devour this satisfying side for dinner.

Mr. Husband and I both agreed that the dish turned out truly restaurant style and tasted delicious! Another addition to our dinner menu choices.:)

1. half a block of cottage cheese (paneer), shredded, appx 250g
2. 1/4 cup frozen peas
3. chopped coriander leaves, 3 tbsp
4. Kitchen King masala, .5 tsp
5. Garam masala, 1.5 tsp
6. Shahi paneer masala, 2 tsp
7. Salt
8. .5 tsp turmeric powder
9. a pinch of heeng
10. 1/2 a medium onion
11. 10 cashewnuts
12. 3 tbsp tomato paste
13. 3 pods of garlic
14. Oil
15. Jeera (cumin seeds), 1 tsp
16. red chili powder, 1/4 tsp
17. 1/2 tsp coriander powder
18. Milk, 3-4 tbsp

1. Make a paste of onion, cashew nuts and garlic.
2. Heat a wok and add oil in it.
3. Add cumin seeds and heeng
4. Add the onion paste and cook until it turns brown.
5. Add tomato paste and cook until it leaves the oil.
6. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala, kitchen king masala, coriander/dhania powder, shahi paneer masala, salt.
7. Cook covered for a 5 mins on low heat. Mix well.
8. Add grated/shredded paneer/cottage cheese, peas, milk.
9. Cook and cover for 5 mins or so.
10. Sprinkle coriander leaves.

Serve with Indian flatbread (roti) and mint cucumber raita (yogurt)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chicken Penne Alfredo

Pasta with Alfredo sauce and cooked chicken is a perfect dinner option. The carbs come from the pasta, the protein from the chicken, and to please the palate is our very own Alfredo sauce. Alfredo sauce can be cooked at home just like any other pasta sauce can be. I have previously made basil pesto sauce from scratch at home but figured that the efforts are not quite worth it. I prefer store bought sauces unless it comes to spaghetti where I like to make my own sauce.

This dish can be made vegetarian by replacing the chicken with some vegetables. In fact, this is my first take at a non veg pasta. I was pleased with the result. It was a nice change from the regular Indian cuisine that we have been eating.

1. Olive oil or butter. I used olive oil for health reasons.
2. 2 pods of garlic, minced
3. 1/2 red onion, chopped (optional). This gives the dish a nice crunch.
4. 1 pound skinless, boneless, chicken breast
5. Red chili flakes
6. Oregano
7. Basil
8. Black pepper
9. Salt to taste
10. 2 pinches of ground nutmeg
11. Whole wheat pasta penne or fettucine
12. Parmeson cheese
13. Alfredo sauce (home made or store bought).

1. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, boil water.
2. Add the pasta penne and cook until al-dente.
3. In the meantime, heat a wok.
4. Add olive oil to the heated wok.
5. Throw in red onion and garlic and saute until the red onions become transclucent.
6. Then add basil, oregano, black pepper, red pepper flakes, salt, nutmeg, and chicken.
7. Cook covered on medium heat until the chicken is fully cooked.
8. Go back to the pasta and drain the water and add it to the chicken sauce.
Sprinkle Parmesan Cheese on top.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ceaser Salad

I am so glad I am back on track with healthy eating and healthy living. I signed up for yoga classes and went to the gym today. Such a great feeling!

I have been trying to post about salads but was not able to for many personal reasons. It is about time this post makes its way to you.

This recipe is a standard recipe. I use store bought ingredients for convenience. It's an easy to make, in a jiffy, cold side that are great contributions for picnics, barbecues, or a quick lunch.

1. Romaine lettuce, washed and broken into bite size pieces
2. Garlic Croutons
3. Parmesan cheese
4. Dressing (I used Kraft Ceaser)

1. Throw everything together.

You can also add pieces of baked chicken for a plus to the protein factor.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bhindi Do Pyaaza (Okra with Onions)

I know, I know - this looks more like Aloo Do Pyaaza or Aloo Bhindi. But what is in the name? The more important part is that this recipe is a sure shot road to success. Never has this one let me down. Although the original and traditional Bhindi Fry recipe may be a common but a more well known preparation, Bhindi Do Pyaaza has an appeal of it's own. The addition of Pyaaz (onion) in double proportions to Okra and Potatoes gives this dish an interesting twist. The caramelized onions bring out a sweet and crunchy flavour to the rather soft potato and okra vegetables. This one, too, is a typical North Indian dish. Glad to be from that part of India!

1. Okra, 1.5 pound, chopped
2. 2 medium sized potatoes, cubed
3. 3-4 onions, chopped
4. oil
5. mustard seeds
6. cumin seeds
7. heeng
8. turmeric powder
9. salt to taste
10. red chili powder, to taste

1. Heat a wok and add oil to it.
2. Add mustard seeds and let it crackle.
3. Add cumin seeds and when it sizzles, add heeng.
4. Add turmeric powder and onions.
5. Caramelize the onions.
6. Add potatoes.
7. Cover and cook until the potatoes start to appear somewhat translucent.
8. Add okra and cover and cook.
9. When about done, add red chili powder, salt and mix well.

Serve warm with Indian flatbread.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tinda Fry (Baby Pumpkins with Caramelized Onions)

Tinda is a vegetable that my mom discovered after we moved to Northern India. I've never seen it at grocery stores in North America or other parts of India. Also, I've never had a chance to cook it. The other day, my eyes spotted these fresh baby pumpkins sitting comfortably at my usual grocery stop. Variety, I thought to myself, would make dinner interesting. And off I went to pay for these lush green vegetables. Later that day I gave a call to mom for the recipe. This is what turned out.

1. 5-6 baby pumpkins/Indian round gourd/apple gourd, peeled, sliced, seeds removed.
2. 1 large onion, chopped or sliced
3. oil
4. Salt to taste
5. mustard seeds, 1 tsp
6. cumin seeds, 1 tsp
7. amchoor powder (dried mango powder), 2 tsp
8. red chili powder, .5 tsp
9. Heeng, a pinch
10. turmeric powder, 1 tsp

1. Heat a wok and add oil to it.
2. Add mustard seeds and let it crackle.
3. Add cumin seeds and let it sizzle then add heeng.
4. Add onions and turmeric powder.
5. Caramelize the onions.
6. Add Tinda and cover and cook till the veggie is all dente.
7. Add amchoor powder, salt, red chili powder and cook for another few mins.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Restaurant Style Dal Makhni (Buttery Lentils)

The Queen of all Dahls - Dahl Makhni is sheer indulgence. The literal translation in English is Lentil Butter. Righly so due to it's thick, rich, and creamy texture. It's one of those dishes that are a must-have on the menu for a special occasion or festive mood. In fact, this charmer has enough magic to transform a simple afternoon lunch or daily dinner in to a sinful special feast.
Dal Makhani or Maa ki Dal is a signature North Indian number that will get you rave reviews from your house guests.  Try it once and enjoy the extravaganza!

1. 1.5 cup whole urad dal (black gram)
2. .5 cup rajma (kidney beans)
3. .5 cup chana dal (split yellow gram)
4. 6-8 pods of garlic.
5. 1 inch ginger peeled.
6. Ghee, 3 tsp
7. 100ml or 1 can of tomato paste
8. Fresh cream, 10ml appx
9. Salt to taste
10. Cumin seeds
11. Heeng
12. Garam masala, 2-3 tsp
13. Red chili powder, 2 tsp appx
14. 2 tbsp butter or more as per dietry restrictions
15. 2 thai chili, minced

1. Soak 1-3 overnight.
2. Coarsely grate the garlic and ginger.
3. Boil the the soaked dal in a pressure cooker with 3/4 portions of the garlic ginger paste.
4. When the lid of the cooker opens, mash the dal with the back of a ladle.
5. In a deep bottomed vessel, heat ghee.
6. Add cumin seeds to the ghee and let it sizzle.
7. Add heeng, kasuri methi and the rest of the coarsely ground garlic ginger paste and chili.
8. Saute for a few mins.
9. To this, add the tomato paste and mix well. Cook until the tomato leaves the oil.
10. Add in the mashed dal and mix again.
11. If needed, add water to the dal and then boil it on low heat.
12. Add red chili powder, garam masala, salt, butter, and cream.
13. Simmer on low heat for an hour or more, stirring occasionally. If and as required, add water.
Note: This will give the dish the right texture and taste. Note that the consistency should be rather thick and not runny.
14. Adjust seasonings as necessary and to taste.

Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and fresh cream.
Serve with Indian flatbread or white rice.
A gourmet's delight!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

(Gobhi) Cauliflower and Peas in a Tomato Onion Sauce

1. 1 small cauliflower
2. 1 small onion
2. few pods of garlic
3. 50 ml tomato paste
4. a pinch of heeng
5. salt to taste
6. turmeric powder
7. cumin seeds
8. oil
9. garam masala. 1 tsp
10. red chili powder
11. dried red chili, a few
12. frozen green peas, 1.5 cup

1. Make a paste of onion and garlic. You can also add a few cashew nuts.
2. Heat a wok and add oil in it.
3. When hot, add cumin seeds and let it sizzle.
4. Add broken red chili and heeng.
5. Then add a pinch of turmeric powder and the paste.
6. Mix well and cook until the onion paste turns golden brown,
7. Add tomato paste and cook till it leaves the oil
8. Add cauliflower florets and mix with the sauce.
9. Cover and simmer for 15-20 mins until tender. Stir occasionally.
10. Add garam masala, salt, red chili powder, and peas.
11. Mix well and simmer for another few mins. Add water if needed.

Serve with Indian flatbread.

Dosa (Indian crepe)

Dosa is a crispy savoury South Indian delicacy. It can be understood as a lentil and fermented rice wrap filled with spicy potatoes. In the modern day, the filling has also become meat or cottage cheese. Some people like to call Dosa a pancake but I disagree because pancakes are typically sweet whereas Dosas are not. I would not call it a wrap either because Dosa is much more crispy and thin. So, in my understanding, crepe would be the best English name for Dosa :) These days dosa mixes are available in the market that can be used instantly. In this post, we follow the traditional procedure.

For my intrigued local readers, try House of Dosa on Kingsway on Mondays for a cheap and tasty dosa.
You wil not regret the food!

I made Dosa after about 5 years and so glad I did.

Needs preparation. Serves 3-4.

Ingredients for the filling:
1. potatoes, peeled, boiled, and mashed
2. Salt to taste
3. 1 onion chopped
4. 1/2 inch ginger, chopped
5. 2 tomatoes, chopped
6. 2 tablespoons olive oil
7. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
8. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
9. 1 teaspoon garam masala
10. 1 teaspoon amchoor powder
11. 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
12. 1 fist chana dahl, soaked for about 30 mins in hot water
13. 2 dried red chili
14. 6-7 fresh green curry leaves
15. 1/2 teaspoon heeng
16. 2 teaspoon coriander powder

Instructions for the filling:
1. Heat oil in a pan.
2. Ad mustard seeds and let splutter.
3. Add cumin seeds, red chili, and curry leaves, and chana dahl.
4. Add ginger and onion.
5. Sautee until they turn golden brown.
6. Add tomato, red chili powder, garam masala, heeng, coriander powder, amchoor powder.
7. Cover and cook until tomato almost starts leaving the flavoured oil.
8. Add potato and salt.
9. Mix well and cook uncovered for about 5-10 minutes.
10. Set aside and let cool.

Ingredients for the crepe
1. 1 heaping cup rice, ground
2. 1/3 cup urad dahl, ground

Instructions for the crepe.
1. Mix 1 and 2 with water such that they are just immersed.
2. Soak 1 and 2 overnight. Then grind it in a food processor until a batter of medium consistency is formed. Leave this batter overnight to ferment and add some salt to it.
Note: You can consider pre heating an oven and then turning it off. Leave the batter in the oven overnight to ferment in the warmth.
3. On a non stick pan, spread the batter in a circular motion evenly to form a thin layer.
4. When the top layer dries, oil the sides of the sides of the crepe.
5. Using a wooden stick, detach the crepe from the pan and check the bottom layer. When brown, place potato at the center of the crepe.

Fold and serve hot with chutney and sambhar.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


1. 2 cups rice
2. Salt to taste. I added appx 2 tsp
3. 2 tsp ghee
4. 1/2 to 3/4 tsp red chili powder
5. 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
6. 1 heaping tsp coriander powder
7. 1 tsp MDH biryani masala
8. 3/4 diced green bell pepper
9. 1 cup frozen vegetables
10. 1 tsp garam masala

1. Wash rice.
2. Add all ingredients above and cook in a rice cooker.

Voila. A one meal dish is ready!
Serve with a side of cucumber or yogurt. This is perfect comfort food. Exactly what I need when I am running a busy schedule or traveling! Like now, and the reason for my intermittent posts.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Garnishing with edibles

There must be a zillion ways out there to garnish food. And to each one, her own (style). We attempted to outline some garnishing tricks and techniques  in our previous posts. For example, we've considered using ingredients of a dish as it's own garnish.

But how about garnishing using edibles that are not a part of the ingredient list? What could these edibles be?  What are some things we should keep in mind while using these edibles as a garnish? Are there any caveats to using certain edibles as a garnish? Are there some edible that would work better for a certain kind of food and some that would not? We all probably know the answers to these questions in the back of our minds. But how often does it strike us 'in the moment'? :)
Welcome to Episode 2 of the Return of the Garnishing Event! Along with Raksha, today, we endeavour to document some original as well as tossed around ideas on garnishing with edibles.

1. Seeds: Seeds can be a great garnish especially for salads. Sprinkling Sunflower seeds, for example, over a bed of spinach salad could be a great addition in terms of both nutrition as well as visual appeal. Sesame seeds, on the other hand, can be used as a garnish for Indian snacks such as Dhoodhi Muthiya or Japanese Sushis. Image on left: Coutesy google search.
Caveat: Not very effective when the colour of the dish itself matches the colour of the seed. Use the Contrasting Charima style to make most of sesame seeds as a garnish. Also, consider the textue of your dish when using seeds as a garnish. Seeds will add a crunch to your dish.

2. Herbs: The ubiquitous freshly chopped coriander leaves go with almost any curry or rice dish. Basil leaves are a perfect garnish for italian and thai dishes. Oregano flakes are a beautiful garnish for roasted potatoes.
Caveat:  Some herbs can have a distinct and strong flavour to it. Use herbs such that it complements or enhances the taste of the dish. Practice the Balancing Act when working with herbs.
3. Citrus: Using lemon or lime as a garnish is a hit when it comes to drinks. Cut wheel of lemon and experiment with Simplicity sensation for an eye catching garnish. Alternatively, try chopping of a lemon wedge and strategically place it on the rim of a glass of gin. Lemon/Lime can be cut in many different permutations and combinations to give a new look each time. Check out this site for some ideas.
Caveat: Be careful on the composition of your dish. Citrus should never be used to garnish milk products.
4. Vegetables: Carved carrots, tomato roses, Fanned spring onions act as a great centerpiece for any dish. Brightly coloured bell peppers can be a spotlight when used as a garnish. Use the shiny and better quality ones to bring out the right effect. If the vegtable you are working with is a green cucumber or zuchini, consider strips, peels, or ribbons. You will be impressed.
Caveat: Cannot be used as a garnish for most desserts. Needs some skills and tools like a sharp knife for successful implementation.
5. Fruits: Strategically shaped fruits are a great accompaniant as well as garnish for ice creams and some cold desserts. Fruits can also be used to garnish drinks. After all what is wrong with splashing around some deep or contrasting colours that add ust the right panache? For example, consider piercing a lychee with a toohpick and lay it over the top of a glass full of martini. Picture on left Courtesy: Google
Caveat: Consider the serving temperature of your dish or drink when using fruits as a garnish. Fruits usually work better with chilled beverages or dishes.
6. Nuts: A winner when it comes to garnishing milk based desserts. Pistachios and milk mased desserts go great. Almonds work better with puddings such as Carrot pudding.
Caveat: Food allergies must be considered when using nuts as a garnish. Also consider blanching, roasting, or using unsalted nuts depending on your dish in question.
7. Milk/yogurt/cream: Dairy is a perfect garnish for most soups and lentil curries. It adds to the richness and creamy texture of the gravy.
Caveats: Cream can double on calories, adding yogurt to a dish can decrease the shelf life of the dish, and milk can lessen the original colour of the dish or dilute the spicy level of your dish.
8. Onions: Both onion rings and chopped green onions work wonders with most Indian vegetables and snacks.
Caveat:The quality of the onion itself. Some onions tend to be more spicy than others. When it comes to garnishing, red onions are a better bet compared to the yellow counterpart. Be careful to not overpower the taste of your main meal when using strongly flavoured onions as a garnish.

Can you think of any other edibles that can be used as a garnish? What are some caveats to these garnishes?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Lauki/Dhoodhi/Ghiya Chana (Bottle Gourd with Lentils)

 Lauki-Chane ki sabzi is a classic dish that my mom would make for lunch as an accompaniment to Rice and Dal. I later discovered that this dish is typical of Gujarati cuisine, as well. 'Score', I said to myself. 'For once I see an overlap between the food I grew up eating and the Gujju cuisine that I have been learning. For once, I know a Gujju recipe without having to try'!

Bottle gourd with lentils is a nutritious and easy to make side dish. A bowl full of goodness.

Dhoodi Chana is a tangy curry with a slight nutty flavour  that comes from the lentils. This crunch nicely complements the mellowness and smooth texture of bottle gourd.

1. 1 medium bottle gourd, peeled and minced
2. 1 cup chana dal, soaked for 1/2 hour
3. Oil, 2-3 tsp
4. Tamarind pulp, 2-3 tsp
5. salt, to taste
6. 1 medium onion, chopped
7. 2 thai chili, minced (optional)
8.  Garam masala, 2 tsp (optional)
9. cumin seeds, 1 tsp

1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and then add cumin seeds.
2. When it starts to sizzle, add onion and green chili.
3. Saute until translucent.
4. Add Chana dal and bottle gourd and salt.
5. Mix well.
6. Add 1/4 cup water and pressure cooker until 1 whistle blows.
7. Allow the pressure cooker's lid to open.
8. Add tamarind pulp and garam masala.
9. Boil on high heat with an open lid to let any excess water evaporate.

Garnish with kasuri methi (optional).

Serve warm with phulkas/roti/indian bread.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mango Smoothie

Care for a smoothie decadent? Would like to indulge in a sugary extravaganza? Mango heaven, anyone? Ditch the diet and let loose. This Mango smoothie is well worth it.

1. Ripe mango, 1, pureed
2. Milk, 1.25 cup
3. Vanilla ice cream, 2 scoops
4. 2 tsp sugar.

Blend it together.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Curried Shrimp Quinoa

We've been introduced to Quinoa before, right?

I recently bought a big bag of shrimp and organic Quinoa and came up with this recipe.

1. 2 cups quinoa
2. 1 cup cooked, peeled, shrimp
3. 1 tsp coriander powder
4. 1 tsp cumin powder
5. 2 tsp lemon juice
6. Olive oil
7. 1 large onion, chopped
8. 2 pods of garlic, minced
9. 2 thai chili, minced
10. .5 tsp red chili powder
11. salt to taste
12. 1 tsp turmeric powder
13. frozen veg, 1 cup

1. In a bowl, add shrimp, red chili powder, turmeric powder, salt and marinade for half an hour.
2. In a wok, add olive oil and onions, garlic, and green chili.
3. Saute until the onions caramelize.
3. Add coriander powder, cumin powder, salt, red chili powder to taste, lemon juice, frozen vegetables. Mix.
4. Add quinoa and water and boil.
5. Lower the heat and simmer until the tails of the quinoa appears.
6. Add the shrimp and cook for another few mins.
Note: You an leave this step if you want a vegetarian curry.

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