Monday, August 15, 2011

Mixed Vegetables - North Indian Style

Serves: 6-8

Mixed Veggies (Carrots, peas, beans, cauliflower, etc) - 2 cups, cubed
Capsicum - 1, sliced
Tomato - 1, chopped
Onion - 1 sliced
Cabbage - 1 cup, chopped
Ginger - 1 tsp, grated
Garlic - 3-4 flakes, grated
Green chilli - 2-3
Methi leaves - 1 bunch, chopped
Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp, for garnishing
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/8 tsp
Salt - to taste
Sugar - 1 1/2 tbsp
Mustard oil - 2 tbsp [preferred]
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp

1. Heat oil in a pan with 1 tbsp of salt. Heat unto the smell of the mustard oil reduces. [Adding salt to the oil gives a nice colour to the veggies]
2. Add the mustard seeds,. cumin seeds and wait for them to crackle. then add asafoetida.
3. Add the ginger and garlic paste, stir for about  a min. Add the green chillies and then the onion. Cook while stirring until the onions become translucent.
4. Add the veggies depending on the time they take to cook. Add the methi leaves in the end. Mix well.
5. Add the spices and sugar, and water as required. Cover the pan with a lid and allow to cook.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with bread of your choice.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Curried Asparagus & Red Bell Pepper Bruschetta

Serves: 4

Asparagus - 8-10 stalks
Red Bell Pepper - 1 medium
Garlic - 1-2 fat cloves
Extra virgin Olive oil - to brush
French Baguette - 10 - 12 slices
Grated Parmesan - to sprinkle

For the marinade:
Plain Greek Yogurt - 3 tbsp
Cream cheese - 3 tbsp, softened
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Roasted cumin powder - 1/4 tsp
Lemon zest - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli flakes - 2 tsp [adjust to taste]
Salt - to taste

1.Wash the asparagus and rinse them thoroughly. Break off the tough, white bottom portions and discard. Cut into 1 or 2 inch sections, slicing diagonally.
2. Slice the red bell pepper lengthwise into thick julians or any way you like it.
3. In a medium bowl, tip in all the marinade ingredients. Mix thoroughly with a whisk to combine well. Make sure that no lumps remain.
4. Dip the sliced asparagus and bell peppers into the marinade mix and let sit for 15 minutes.
5. Preheat your oven to 450F.Grease your baking/cookie sheet.
6. Once marinated, spread the vegetables on the greased baking sheet separated. Bake for 8-10 minutes. If you like your veggies perfectly done, you can bake for 2-3 more minutes. Note: You will have to take out the sheet midway and flip over the veggies for even baking.
7. Add fresh garlic to olive oil and let sit for 10 minutes. Dip each slice of bread in the oil and garlic to coat lightly on both sides and toast the slices.
8. Top with baked veggies, sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese and drizzle more EVOO. 

Serve Warm

Friday, June 24, 2011

Bottle gourd balls in tomato based gravy

Lauki ke kofte

Serves: 4

For the Koftas/Veg Balls
Bottle gourd - peeled and grated, about 1 lb
Gram Flour - 2 tbsp
Green Chillies - 2-3
Ginger - 1/2 tsp grated
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp, finely chopped

For the gravy
Onions - 2 medium, finely chopped or grated
Tomatoes - 2 medium, pureed
        or Fresh tomato puree - 1 cup
Green Chillies - 2, chopped
Ginger-Garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp, chopped
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 2 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Cinnamon - 1/2 inch stick
Cloves - 2
Bay leaves - 2
Cardamom - 1, split open
Oil - for deep frying and cooking
Water - extracted from the bottle gourd and more as required

1. Peel and grate the bottle gourd. Mix half-teaspoon salt and keep aside for fifteen minutes.
2. Squeeze to remove excess water. Store the water in a bowl separately.
3. Add very little salt, red chilli powder, chopped green chillies, and coriander leaves,. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
4. Then add two heaped tablespoons of gram flour(besan), cumin seeds and mix well.
5. Divide it into ten to twelve equal portions and shape into a ball.
6.  Heat oil in a kadai and deep-fry the prepared koftas, in small batches for two to three minutes or until golden brown in colour and crisp from the outside. Drain and remove onto an absorbent paper. (If koftas tend to break,then either oil is not properly hot or you need to add some  more amount of gram flour)
7.  Heat 3-4 tbsp of oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. When the oil is hot but not smoking add the bay leaves, cinnamon. cloves and the cardamom.
8. Then add the ginger garlic, saute for a min, add the green chillies and then add the onions. Close the pan with a lid and cook for a few minutes until the onion turns golden brown. Alternatively one can fry the onions, then grind them to attain a smooth gravy
9. Add the tomato puree, red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric and cook for some more time with the pan closed.
10. Stir occasionally and check that the gravy is even and well blended. Now add two cups of water(including the water extracted from the bottle gourd) and bring it to a boil. Add salt, reduce heat and simmer for five minutes. 
11. Sprinkle with the garam masala and turn off the heat. The gravy should neither be too thick nor too thin but medium.
12. When ready to serve place few koftas in bowl, pour  hot gravy over it and garnish it with coriander leaves. Never boil the koftas in gravy, as they are very soft and would crumble and get mashed easily

Monday, June 6, 2011

Chilli Egg

Serves: 4

Hard boiled eggs - 4, cut into half
Red onion - 1 small, chopped
Ginger-garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Green chillies - 2, chopped
Corn starch - 2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Soya sauce - to taste
Oil - 3-4 tbsp
Green coriander - for garnishing

1. Toss the eggs with the soya sauce, corn starch and salt.
2. Heat 2-3 tbsp of oil in a pan and fry the eggs until they turn golden brown. Remove them from the oil using a slotted spoon.
3. Heat the remaining oil and add the ginger-garlic paste. Once the ginger-garlic pate changes colour, add the onion and saute until done. Add more salt as required.
4. Add the green chillies, egg and toss gently so as to keep the eggs intact.
5. Slash in some soya sauce, add the fresh coriander and serve immediately.

Cauliflower with Tomatoes

Serves: 4

Cauliflower - 7 cups, small florets
Plum tomatoes - 3, chopped
Olive oil - 1/4 cup
Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
Cumin seeds - 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Cayenne - a pinch
Salt - to taste
Pepper - to taste
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
Cilantro - for garnishing

1. Toss all the ingredients other than the lemon juice and cilantro together and roast in an oven at 450 F for about 25 minutes.
2. Sprinkle with lemon juice and chopped cilantro and serve immediately.

Kadai Vegetables

Serves: 4

French Beans - 10-12, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
Carrot - 2 medium, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
Cauliflower - 1/4 medium, separated into florets
Fresh green peas - 1/4 cup
Green bell pepper - 2 medium, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Dried red chillies - 4-5
Garlic - 10-12 cloves
Ginger - 2 inch piece
Green chillies - 3-4
Onion - 2 medium, sliced
Oil - 4 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Red chili powder - 1 tsp
Tomatoes - 3 large, roughly chopped
Salt - to taste
Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
Fresh coriander leaves - 3 tbsp, chopped

1. Grind the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and the red chillies coarsely
2. Grind the garlic, half of the ginger and the green chillies to a paste. Cut the remaining ginger into thin strips
3. Heat the oil in a wok and add the soarsely ground spice powder and saute until all the spices sizzile
4. Add the  onions and saute into golder brown. Add the garlic-ginger-green chilli paste and saute for another minute.
5. Add all the vegetables except the capsicum and stir. Cook, covered over low heat till the carrots are almost done. Sprinkle with water if necessary
6. Add the turmeric powder, coriander powder and chilli powder and stir-fry continously.
7. Add the tomatoes, salt and half a cup of water and cook till the vegetables are cooked and the water is dried up.
8. Add the capsicum and more salt if required. Cook for four or five mintes over low heat.
9. Sprinkle with garam masala powder and remove from heat. Serve hot garnished with ginger strips and coriander leaves.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Hesaru Bele Payasa

Moong Dal Kheer

Serves: 6-8

Moong Dal - 1/2 cup
Jaggery - 3/4 to 1 cup, depending on the sweetness you prefer
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Poppy Seeds - 2 tbsp
Cardamom - 4-5 pods
Freshly Grated Coconut - 1/4 cup
Cashews, Raisins - 1/4 cup

1. Fry the moong dal with 1 tbsp ghee in a pan until the colour of the dal slightly deepens and it gives out a nice aroma

2. Then pressure cook the moong dal with water until completely cooked.
3. Fry the poppy seeds until the colour deepens. Grind the poppy seeds and cardamom seeds in the mixer to a fine powder. Then add the coconut and little water to make a smooth paste.
4. Once the moong dal is cooked, add the coconut-poppy seed paste into the moong dal and cook on medium high flame; let it boil for around 3-5 minutes.
5. Add the jaggery and boil until all the jaggery melts into the moong dal mixture. Then boil for another 5 minutes to make sure all the ingredients blend well and then remove from heat.
6. Fry the cashews and raisins in the remaining ghee until golden brown. Add to the payasa along with the ghee and mix well.

Serve hot, warm or chilled.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dum Aloo

Serves: 8-10

Baby Potatoes - 2 lb
Water - 3 3/4 cups
Salt - to taste
Ghee or oil - for deep frying
Ghee - 1/2 cup
Onion - 1 large, finely chopped
Tomato Puree - 4 tbsp
Curd - 3/4 cup
Hot water - 4 tbsp
Green Chilly - 1, seeded and sliced
Garam Masala - 1 tsp

Cloves - 4
Bay leaves - 4
Black Peppercorns - 6
Green Cardamom - 4
Brown Cardamom - 1
Cinnamon Stick - 1

Onion - 1 large, roughly chopped
Garlic - 10 flakes
Ginger - 2 tbsp
Black peppercorns - 6
Poppy seeds - 1 tsp
Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds
Dry red chilies - 2
Turmeric powder  - 1/2 tsp
Ground mace - a pinch
Ground nutmeg- a pinch

1. Peel the potatoes and prick all over with a fork and soak in salted water for 2 hours.
2. Dry the potatoes on a cloth and heat the ghee or oil for deep frying
3. Deep fry the potatoes until golden brown. Remove using a slotted spoon and set aside.
4. Heat the 1/2 cup ghee in a thick-bottomed pot and fry the onions with the spices - cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon, green cardamoms, brown cardamoms, and 6 black peppercorns until the onion turns golden.
5. In the meanwhile grind the roughly chopped onion, garlic, ginger, black peppercorns, poppy seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, turmeric powder, ground mace and ground nutmeg to a fine paste and stir into the onions.
6. Cook for 10 minutes, then stir in the tomato puree, curd and salt.
7. Add the potatoes, hot water and stir over low heat for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
8. Then add the green chilly, garam masala, mix well, cook for another 2 minutes and remove from heat.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Winter Melon cooked in Yogurt Sauce

MaJige HuLi

Serves: 4 - 6

Winter Melon - 2 cup, cut into 1" cubes
Channa Dal /Kadle Bele - 2 tbsp
Coconut - 2 tbsp
Coriander - 4-5 strands
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Green Chillies - 3-4 or as desired
Oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Red Chillies - 4
Curry leaves - 8-10
Black Chickpeas - 1/4 cup
Yogurt - 1 cup
Salt - to taste

1. Soak the channa dal in 1/4 cup of water for about 20-30 minutes.
2. Then grind to paste the soaked channa dal, coconut, cumin seeds, green chillies and coriander
3. Fry the Black chickpeas in a pan on medim - low-medium heat until the chickpeas turn completely black and are brittle.
4. Heat oil in a think bottomed pot and add the mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds crackle add the curry leaves, followed by the red chillies.
5. Stir fry until the colour of the red chillies deepens and then add the black chickpeas and fry about another 1/2 min.
6. Add the paste prepared earlier, add salt to taste and cook while stirring continously until the mixture reaches a boil. Let the mixture cook for another 2 minutes and then add the yogurt. Wait for the mixture to reach boil again. Boil until all the ingredients blend well and remove from heat.

Cooks Tip:
1. Vegetables such as chayote and cucumber can be used in place of winter melon.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Red Velvet Cake

Serves: 8-10

All purpose flour/Cake flour - 2 1/2 cups
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Unsweetened cocoa powder - 2 tbsp
Shortening/Unsalted Butter - 1/2 cup
Granulated white sugar - 1 1/2 cups
Eggs - 2 large
Pure vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Buttermilk - 1 cup
Liquid red food coloring - 4 tbsp
White distilled vinegar - 1 tsp
Baking soda - 1 tsp

1.Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of your electric mixer or with a hand mixer, beat the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.
5. First, whisk the buttermilk with the red food coloring. Then with the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the butter mixture, in three additions beginning and ending with the flour.
6. In a small cup, combine the vinegar and baking soda. Allow the mixture to fizz and then quickly fold into the cake batter. DON'T BEAT OR STIR NOW.
7. Working quickly divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and smooth the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. 
8. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.
9. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
10. Once the cakes have completely cooled, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour, preferably overnight. (This is done to make the filling and frosting the cakes easier.)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Onion-Tomato Curry

Serves: 4

Onion - 1 , sliced
Tomatoes - 4, cut into cubes
Coconut - 1/4 cup, grated
Garlic - 2 cloves
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece
Sambhar powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves - 4-5 strands
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp

1. Grind to a smooth paste the coconut, 1/2 of the onion, garlic, ginger, coriander leaves, sambhar powder and turmeric with 1/2 cup of water.
2. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add the mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds crackle, add the rest of the onion and cook while stirring until the onions turn brown.
3. Then add the paste and cook until the paste starts to leave oil in the sides of the pan - about 8-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the pan.
4. Then add the chopped tomatoes, salt and cook until the tomatoes are cooked and the ingredients blend.

Serve immediately as a side dish with rice.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Classic Macaroni Salad

Serves: 10

Elbow Macaroni - 4 cups
Mayonnaise - 1 cup
Distilled white vinegar - 1/4 cup
White Sugar - 2/3 cup
Yellow mustard - 2 1/2 tbsp
Salt - 1 1/2 tsp
Ground black pepper - 1/2 tsp
Onion - 1 large, chopped
Celery - 2 stalks, chopped
Green bell pepper - 1, seeded and chopped
Carrot - 1/4 cup, grated, optional
Pimento peppers - 2 tbsp, optional

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni, and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir in the onion, celery, green pepper, carrot, pimentos and macaroni. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving, but preferably overnight.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Rice Flour Breads

Akki Roti

Makes: About 8 Rotis

Rice Flour - 2 cups
Onion - 1 small, finely chopped
Green Chillies - 2
Carrot - 1/2 cup, grated, optional
Coriander leaves - 6-8 strands, finely chopped
Dill leaves - 1/4 cup, finely chopped, optional
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Oil - as required

1. Boil 1 cup of water. Boiling water makes smooth dough to pat and soft rotis to eat.
2. In the meanwhile use a spoon to mix all ingredients other than oil. Add the boiling water and keep it closed for about 10 minutes. The steam from the hot water makes the dough moist.
3. When the dough is cool enough to handle, make a smooth dough. The dough should be of medium softness.
4. Take a sheet or wax paper, smear it generously with oil. Take a handful of dough, make a ball, and pat evenly on the sheet to make a thin layer.
5. Heat a griddle to around 350 F and transfer the roti onto the griddle either by picking from the hand and placing on the griddle if you can, or just turn over the roti onto the griddle and gently remove the wax paper, so that the roti is transferred from the wax paper onto the griddle.
6. Leave if on for about a min and then change sides and heat another 30 secs or until it is done.
Repeat steps 4 to 6 with the rest of the dough.

Serve hot with chutney of your choice.


Serves: 4

White Chickpeas - 1 cup
Oil - 3 tbsp
Onion - 2 small, finely chopped
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Red Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Chhole powder - 1 tbsp
Tomato - 1, finely chopped
Green chillies - 3, slit
Ginger - 1/2 inch, greated
Chaat powder - 1/2 tsp
Kasuri Methi - 1/2 tsp

1. Soak the chickpeas for about 8-10 hours, preferably overnight.
2. Cook the chickpeas with about 3 cups of water in a pressure cooker and set aside.
3. Heat the oil and fry the onions until they are golden brown. Add the coriander powder, red chilli powder, chhole powder and fry on low flame for about 3 minutes.
4. Add the tomato, green chillies and ginger and mix well. Cook until the tomatoes soften, then add the boiled chickpeas.
5. For added flavour, add the Chaat powder and Kasuri Methi. Mix well and remove from heat. Serve immediately.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Lemonade with a hint of ginger-mint.

A perfect drink for the hot summers !! 

Makes: 2 Glass

Mint leaves - 8
Ginger - 1/4 inch piece
Sugar - 6 tbsp
Juice of one Lemon
Black Salt - as desired("kala namak" u can easily get it in any Indian store)
Chilled water

1. Crush mint leaves, ginger in 1/2 glass of water and bring it to a boil
2. Strain the water and place it in a large bowl
3. Add lemon juice ,salt and sugar. Stir well until the sugar get dissolved. Add Chilled water.

Pour into serving glasses, garnish with few mint leaves.

Decorating Tip: 
To have a layer of sugar on the glass edge, make the edge wet with the help of water. In a bowl take a good amount of sugar. Dip the edge of glass in the sugar and freeze it for about 15-20 min..Take it out just before serving.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Boondi Raitha

 Serves: 4

Yogurt - 2 cups
Boondi - 1 cup
Sugar - 1
Dry mint leaves -
1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala - a pinch
Black pepper powder - a pinch
Red chili powder - a pinch
Black rock salt powder - apinch
Salt to taste


1. Beat yogurt and sugar well. Sprinkle jeera powder, garam masala, black pepper, red chili, black salt and mix in. Taste to check if you need additional salt. Add little salt as to taste if needed.
2. Then add boondi, mint and coriander leaves, mix well with yogurt.

Serve chilled. Add more boondi for garnishing while serving.  

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

South Indian Potato Peas Curry

Serves: 6

Fresh or Frozen peas - 1 cup
Potato - 2 large, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Coconut - 1/2 cup, grated
Onion - 1 medium, roughly chopped
Tomato - 1 medium, roughly chopped
Garlic - 3 cloves
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece, coarsely chopped
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Green Chillies - 5
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Coriander leaves - 4-5 stalks
Mint leaves - 15
Salt - to taste
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Methi leaves - 10-15 strands, finely chopped

1. First boil the potatoes with the skin until done. Let them cool. Once they are cool enough to handle, peel the skin and cut into 1" cubes.
2. Grind together the coconut, onion, ginger, garlic, tomato, coriander powder, turmeric, green chillies, coriander leaves, mint leaves with 1/2 a cup of water to a fine paste.
3. In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. Wait for the mustard seeds to crackle and then add methi leaves and fry for about 2-3 minutes until the leaves are cooked.
4. Then add the paste prepared earlier, salt to taste and until the aroma changes from that of fresh ingredients to that of cooked gravy, i.e. for about 10-15 min on medium flame.
5. If you are using fresh peas, add them now and cook for about 5 more minutes before adding the potatoes. If using frozen peas, add the potatoes and peas and cook for about 4-5 minutes for the flavours to blend.

Serve hot or warm with chappatis or rice.


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