Friday, December 9, 2011

Schezwan Fried Rice

Schezwan fried rice is part of Chinese cuisine. Schezwan sauce has distinct red chili and garlic flavor. Schezwan sauce is easily available at any Asian grocery store. When rice is tossed in fresh vegetables and schezwan sauce, it gets a unique spicy and tangy flavor. Enjoy this easy to follow recipe.

Schezwan fried rice : For Approx. 4 servings

  • Cooked rice - 2 cups
  • Onion - 1/2 sliced
  • Red bell pepper - 1/2 cut into strips
  • Water chestnuts - 1/2 cup sliced
  • Baby Corn - 1/2 cup cut in halves
  • Fresh mushrooms - 1/2 cup sliced
  • Fresh green beans - 1/2 cup cut in 2 inch pieces
  • Cashew nuts - 1/4 cup halves
  • Spring onions - 1/4 cup cut
  • Schezwan Sauce - 1 tbsp
  • Green chili vinegar - 1 tsp
  • Salt as per taste
  • Olive oil - 2 tbsp

  1. In a wok or big non-stick pan, heat olive oil on medium-hot flame.
  2. Add onions, water chestnuts, green beans, baby corns, mushrooms and in the very end red bell pepper. Toss together for 2-3 minutes on high heat. Now add cashews. The vegetables should be crunchy so we keep just cook, till its half done.
  3. Add schezwan sauce, rice vinegar, cooked rice and salt. Add spring onion leaves and toss well.
  4. Cook for 3-4 minutes and schezwan fried rice is ready to be served.
Garnish and Serving Suggestions:
Garnish with fresh spring onions and cashews. Serve hot.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Chocolate Almond Nuggets

Chocolate with nuts is a classic combination. This homemade fudge is hard to resist. Enjoy this easy to follow, simple recipe for Chocolate lovers.

  • Semisweet chocolate chips - 2 cups (12 ounces)
  • Heavy whipping cream - 1/2 cup
  • Powdered sugar - 1 cup
  • Butter - 2 tbsp
  • Vanilla extract - 1/4 tsp
  • Roasted chopped Almonds - 1/2 cup

  1. Melt chocolate over double boiler.
  2. Add cream and stir in sugar. Keep stirring until it becomes smooth.
  3. Add butter, vanilla extract and stir to blend well. Stir in Chopped almonds.  Mix well.
  4. Butter a smooth plate. Pour the chocolate mix into the plate and refrigerate for couple of hours.
  5. Cut into desired shapes. Store between parchment paper to avoid sticking.
Enjoy anytime.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Rasmalai: A melt in your mouth dessert

Rasmalai is a delicate and flavorful Bengali dessert. It is easy to prepare at home with a few ingredients. Rasmalai is milk patties soaked in cardamom and saffron flavored milk. It has very delicate flavor and is served chilled after the meal.

For Rasmalai: Approx. 6 servings
Whole Milk – 1 gallon
Lemon juice – 1 tbsp OR Vinegar – 1 tbsp
Kesar (saffron) – 1/4 tsp
Almonds – 12
Pistachios – 10
Crushed cardamom seeds – 1 tsp
Sugar – 1.5 cups
Rose essence – 8 drops

Making Paneer or Cheena:
  1. Squeeze fresh lemon juice in a bowl and keep aside. OR if using vinegar, add 1 tbsp vinegar to half cup water and keep aside.
  2. In a heavy bottom pan, boil half gallon whole milk.
  3. When milk comes to a boil, gradually add lemon juice or vinegar solution to it. Stir the milk gently and it starts curdling. Very soon the whey is separated from the curdled milk. Turn the heat off.
  4. Now in a strainer, line the muslin cloth. Strain the above curdled milk from this cloth.
  5. The solids on the muslin cloth are “paneer” or “cheena”. Wrap the paneer in a muslin cloth and rinse it under cold water for couple of times. Rinsing helps in taking out vinegar or lemon taste from the paneer. Squeeze well.
  6. Hang this wrapped paneer to take out the excess water squeeze the cloth, or press the wrapped paneer under a heavy pan for about one hour.
  7. Paneer or cheena is ready to make rasmalai.
Making the Rasmalai:
  1. Take fresh paneer or cheena on a large plate or surface. Knead it for at least 5 minutes. Make soft and smooth dough of it. Kneading is one of the most important parts of making rasmalai.
  2. Once the paneer becomes very soft and smooth, divide the dough into 10 equal parts and roll them in smooth balls and flatten them a bit to form small discs shape.
  3. Meanwhile, on medium high heat in a large vessel, boil 6 cups of water and add 1 cup of sugar to it. Mix well.
  4. Add the above paneer discs to the boiling water very gently. There should be enough room for the discs to expand. Cover the lid for 2-3 minutes. Stir gently and let it boil for 5-6 more minutes.
  5. Check the rasmalai patties, as they are almost doubled in size. Turn the heat off.
  6. Carefully take the patties out of the sugar syrup. Squeeze them gently. Keep aside.
  7. To prepare the malai, take the remaining half gallon milk in a non stick pan and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Milk reduces and starts to thicken.
  8. Add half cup sugar, rose essence, cardamom and saffron. Mix well.
  9. Now carefully add rasmalai patties to this milk. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  10. Turn the heat off and let it cool completely. Keep it in the refrigerator.
Garnish and serving suggestions:
Garnish with sliced almonds and pistachios and serve chilled.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fresh Mangodi ki Subzi

This recipe comes from the western state in India, Rajasthan. Mangodes are usually sundried mini dumpling made up of lentil flour. But in this recipe I prepared fresh Mangode to make this curry. It gievs more delicate taste to the curry.

Ingredients: For approx. 4 servings
To make mangode:

Yellow moong dal - 2 cups
Gram flour (besan)  - 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Red chili powder - 1 pinch
Jeera  - 1 tsp
baking powder - 1 pinch
Cooking oil for deep frying
Salt as per taste

To make curry:
Yogurt  - 1/2 cup
Asafoetida powder - 1 pinch
Bay leaf  - 1
Cumin seeds  - 1/2 tsp
Dried red chilies - 2-3
Ginger paste  - 1/2 tbsp
Tomato puree  - 2 tbsp
Garam masala powder  - 1/2 tsp
Red chili powder  - 1 tsp
Coriander powder  - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder  - 1/2 tsp
Cooking oil  - 2 tbsp
Salt  as per taste

To make Mangode:

  • Soak green moong dal overnight. Next morning, grind moong dal using very little water.
  • In a bowl combine, moong dal mix, besan , turmeric powder, red chili powder, jeera, baking powder and salt. Mix well and prepare a pakora consistency batter.
  • In a pan, heat the oil for frying. Deep fry small mangode in medium hot oil using small spoon. Fry till mangode turns golden brown. Drain them on kitchen towel and keep aside.
To make curry:
  • In a bowl, add yogurt, besan, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and salt. Mix well till it becomes smooth. Keep aside.
  • In a pan, heat 2 tbsp cooking oil. Add bay leaf, asafetida powder, cumin seeds, dry red chilies and sauté.
  • When it crackles, add ginger paste, fried mangode, tomato puree and yogurt mixture. Add one cup of water and mix well. Let it simmer 3-4 minutes. Add garam masala powder and its ready to serve.
Garnish and Serving suggestion:
Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and serve hot with fresh chapatis or fragrant basmati rice.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Diwali Special: Namkeen poha chivda (Crunchy snack)

Namkeen Poha Chivda: Crunchy Snack
A simple and crunchy Diwali snack.

Ingredients :
Thin Poha (flattened rice) - 2 cups
Peanuts - 1/2 cup
Dalia (roasted chana dal) – 1/2 cup
Cashews  - 1/2 cup
Golden raisins  - 1/4 cup [OPTIONAL]
Garlic cloves - 4 minced
Curry Leaves – 15
Asafoetida (hing) – 2 pinch
Green chilies - 2 finely chopped
Dried coconut flakes – 1/4 cup
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Sugar fine – 2 tbsp
Salt as per taste
Oil for tempering - 2 tbsp

  • In a microwavable plate, dry roast half poha in microwave for 2 minutes on high. Repeat the same for other half. Keep aside.
  • In a pan, heat oil. Now add mustard seeds, when it starts splattering, add minced garlic. Saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add asafoetida powder, green chilies, peanuts, dalia, cashews, raisins, coconut flakes and curry leaves. Saute for few minutes.
  • Now add turmeric powder and mix well. Also add roasted poha to the pan, mix well.
  • Finally add salt and sugar and keep mixing gently. Take it off the heat or it will burn.
  • Cool the mixture completely and store it in airtight container. It can be stored for a couple of weeks if kept airtight.
Enjoy this crunchy snack with Masala tea or Kesariya chai.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Khandvi: A Gujarati delight

Khandvi is a very delicate Gujarati snack. It takes little patience and practice to make these beautiful rolls. But it’s worth trying.

For Khandvi batter:
Besan (Gram flour) – 1 cup
Yogurt – 1 cup
Water – 1/2 cup
Green chili paste – 1 tsp
Ginger paste – 1 tsp
Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
Asafetida powder (Hing) – 1 pinch
Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
Salt as per taste

For Tempering:
Mustard seeds (rai) – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 5
Green chilies – 2 chopped
Fresh cilantro – 1 tbsp finely chopped
Fresh grated coconut – 2 tbsp
Cooking oil - 2 tbsp

  1. In a large bowl, add sieved besan, ginger paste, green chili paste, turmeric powder, asafetida powder and salt. Now add yogurt and water to it. Mix thoroughly. There must be no lumps and batter should be smooth.
  2. In a thick bottom pan, cook this batter, stirring continuously. It starts to thicken. Keep stirring for approx. 5 minutes or till done.
  3. Now keep the back of two steel thalis or any other large smooth area ready.
  4. Take some batter on the back of each of these thalis and quickly spread them in very thin layer.
  5. Let it cool for 2-3 minutes. Then slice them with knife into 2 inch long stripes.
  6. Roll each stripe gently and arrange these rolls neatly in a serving dish.
  7. For tempering, heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When mustard starts splattering, add curry leaves and chopped green chilies. Sauté for a minute and pour it evenly on the rolled Khandvi.
Garnish and serving suggestions:
Garnish Khandvi with fresh grated coconut and fresh chopped cilantro. Serve immediately.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fruit Custard

Fruit custard is an easy fruit salad with delicate creamy sweet sauce. It can be served as dessert or a side dish.

For Fruit Custard – Approx. 6 servings
  • Custard powder (Vanilla flavor) - 2 tbsp
  • Whole Milk - 3 cups
  • Sugar - 4 tbsp
  • Seedless grapes - 1 cup
  • Apple - 1
  • Banana - 1/2
  • Pomegranate seeds - 1/2 cup
  • Almonds - 8
  • Cashew nuts - 8

  1. In a small bowl, take 1/2 cup warm milk and add 2 tbsp custard powder. Mix well to make it smooth and lump free. Keep aside.
  2. In a heavy bottom pan, add remaining milk and bring it to a boil. Add sugar and mix well.
  3. Now gradually add custard mix to the milk. Stir continuously. It starts to thicken.
  4. Mix well and turn the heat off.
  5. Cool it down at the room temperature and then refrigerate.
  6. Clean and cut all the fruits in bite size pieces and keep aside.
  7. Chop the nuts for garnish and keep aside.
Garnish and serving suggestion:
In a serving bowl, arrange cut fruits. Now pour chilled custard and garnish with chopped nuts and pomegranate seeds. Serve chilled.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Paneer pasanda

Paneer Pasanda is Indian cottage cheese in mild gravy. It has unique flavor of fenugreek leaves.

For Paneer pasanda : Approx. 6 servings
  • Paneer - 1 lbs
For sauce or gravy:
  • Onion - 1 (pureed)
  • Tomato puree - 1 cups
  • Ginger paste - 1 tbsp
  • Garlic paste - 1 tbsp
  • Paneer - 2 tbsp grated
  • Cashew nuts - 1/4 cup tbsp powdered
  • Green chili - 1 tsp (finely chopped) [OPTIONAL]
  • Heavy cream - 3/4 cup
  • Olive oil - 1 tbsp
  • Butter - 1 tbsp
  • Sugar/Honey - 2 tsp
Dry Spices:
  • Whole garam masala - 1 tbsp
  • Cumin - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Tandoori masala - 1/4 tsp
  • Dry Fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi) - 2 tsp
  • Salt as per taste
  1. Cut paneer in 1x1 inch cubes. Put them in boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Drain, add some salt and tandoori masala on paneer pieces and keep aside for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Very lightly shallow fry paneer cubes in 1 tbsp of oil. Keep aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in a pan. Add whole garam masala. Let it crackle. Add cumin to it. Then add pureed onions and saute them, till turns light golden. Add ginger paste, garlic paste and chopped green chilies (optional). Cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add tomato puree, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and salt.
  5. Add grated paneer and cashew nut powder to the gravy. Bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add honey to it. Stir in heavy cream and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Add paneer pieces to the gravy. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
  7. Add kasoori methi and mix well. Paneer pasanda is ready to be served.
Enjoy with fresh naan, paratha or steamed basmati rice.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Koshimbir: A Maharashtrian Salad

For approx. 4 servings

English cucumber – 1 Peeled
Tomato – 1
Sweet onion - 1
Green chili – 1 tsp finely chopped [OPTIONAL]
Fresh Cilantro – ½ cup finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper – 1 tsp
Sugar – 1 tsp
Fresh lime juice – 1 tbsp
Chaat masala -  1 tsp
salt as per taste

  • Cut cucumber, onions and tomatoes in small cubes. Keep aside.
  • In a bowl, add all the cut vegetables, green chilies, black pepper, sugar, chaat masala, lime juice and salt.
  • Mix well and let it refrigerate till chilled.
  • Add fresh chopped cilantro, mix again and serve.
Enjoy this tangy salad with lunch or dinner.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Healthy Strawberry Shake

Ingredients:  Approx. 2 servings
  • Fresh Strawberries - 8 cleaned and cut into halves
  • Milk (low fat) - 2 cups
  • Fat free Vanilla Ice cream - 1 scoop
  • Honey - 1 tsp
For Garnish:
  • Whipped cream
  • Maraschino cherries - 2
In a blender, add cut strawberries, milk, ice cream, honey and Ice. Blend for a minute. Pour in tall glasses and garnish with whipped cream and cherries.
Enjoy your healthy yummy shake.

Note: You can add any protein mix of your choice to make it a meal.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sweet Saffron Rice

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!

Sweet saffron rice can be prepared as an offering to Lord Ganesh. It needs few ingredients, usually available in your pantry. Enjoy this simple yet flavorful recipe to start the festivities.

  • Basmati Rice - 1 cup
  • Ghee (clarified butter) - 2 tbsp
  • Sugar - 1/2 cup
  • Saffron - 12 strands
  • Cloves - 4
  • Cinnamon stick - 1
  • Black pepper corn - 4
  • Cardamom Powder - 1 tsp
  • Raisins - 1/4 cup
  • Almonds - 1/4 cup (or any nuts of your choice)
  1. Wash and soak rice in water for an hour.
  2. Soak saffron strands in 2 tbsp milk in a bowl. Keep aside for 10 minutes.
  3. In a pan, heat ghee on medium low flame. Add cloves, cinnamon, cardamom powder, black pepper corns. Sauté for 2 minutes.
  4. Add raisins and almonds to it. Sauté for 2 more minutes. Keep aside.
  5. In a large vessel, boil rice in 3 cups of water till almost done. Add 1 tbsp ghee to prevent rice from sticking together. Drain off the excess water and spread the rice to cool down.
  6. Add the above spice mix to the cooked rice. Also add sugar and dissolved saffron. Mix gently.
  7. Cover it and cook on low flame for 10 minutes. Saffron rice is ready to be served.
Garnish sweet saffron rice with sliced almonds and saffron strands. Enjoy as dessert after a meal.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mutter ki Kachori (Green peas stuffed snack)

Happy Independence Day!

Mutter ki Kachori (Green peas stuffed snack)

Kachori is one of the most common western Indian snacks. This recipe has green peas as main ingredient for filling. It is great on its own with tea/coffee and even tastes better as assembled chaat.

For Kachori shell:

  • All purpose flour (Maida) - 2 cups
  • Melted butter or ghee - 2 tbsp
  • Water (enough to make firm dough)
  • Cooking oil to fry
  • Salt as per taste
For Filling:
  • Green peas - 3 cups (fresh or frozen)
  • Ginger garlic paste - 2 tbsp
  • Green chilies - 2
  • Shredded coconut (fresh or dry) - 1/2 cup
  • Cumin Seeds (Jira) - 2 tsp
  • Garam masala - 1 tsp
  • Amchur powder - 2 tsp
  • Salt as per taste
  • Cooking oil - 1 tbsp
To prepare filling:

  1. In the microwave, cook green peas with very little water for 6 minutes, keeping it covered.
  2. In the food processor, grind these green peas coarsely with green chilies.
  3. In a pan, heat cooking oil. Add cumin seeds. When it starts splattering add ginger garlic paste to it. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Now add green peas mixture and shredded coconut to it. Mix well. On medium low heat let it sit for 10-15 minutes. For fresh coconut it takes longer.
  5. Once the mixture is all dried up, add amchur powder, garam masala and salt. Mix well.
  6. Take it off the heat and let it cool completely before filling in the kachories.
To make Kachoris:
  1. Combine all purpose flour, butter or ghee and salt. Mix evenly. Now add little by little water to make flaky dough.
  2. Knead well to make it firm dough.
  3. Keep the dough aside for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Take small ball size dough. Roll it into small circles. Place 1 tbsp of prepared filling in the centre and bring the edges together. Make an even ball; flatten it a bit by pressing your thumb in the center gently.
  5. Heat cooking oil for frying the Kachoris. Oil should be medium hot.
  6. Deep fry kachoris very slowly till it is crisp and golden on both the sides.
  7. Drain it on paper towel and let it cool down. Store it in an air tight container.
Serving Suggestions:
Assemble Mutter ki kachori as chaat. Place 2 kachoris on a serving plate. Garnish it with sweet tamarind-date chutney, green chutney and spiced yogurt. Also add chopped red onion, namkeen sev and chopped cilantro.
Mutter ki kachori is ready to be served.

Indian flag image source:

Monday, August 1, 2011

Cucumber cooler drink

Cucumber cooler drink
Beat the summer heat with refreshing Cucumber cooler drink.

Makes 6 servings approx.

  • English cucumber – 3 (peeled and cubed)
  • Celery – 1 cup (cubed)
  • Mint leaves - 10
  • Fresh lemon juice – 1/2 cup
  • Honey – 2 tbsp
  • Ice

Mix all the ingredients in a blender. Strain and serve chilled. Garnish with cucumber slices and mint leaves.

Note: Add Vodka and convert refreshing cucumber cooler into Cucumber martini.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Eggless banana walnut muffins

Eggless banana walnut muffins
This is a classic recipe for making eggless banana walnut muffins. You can substitute walnuts with any nut of your choice for this recipe.

  • Ripe bananas - 3
  • Sugar - 3/4 cups
  • All purpose flour – 1.5 cups
  • Baking soda  - 1 tsp
  • Baking Powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt  - 1/2 tsp
  • Melted butter - 1/3 cup
  • Flax seed powder -1 tbsp + 3 tbsp water
  • Walnuts – 1/2 cup coarsely chopped
  • Brown sugar – 2 tbsp
  • Vanilla extract - 1/2 tsp
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Mash bananas and keep side.
  3. In a small bowl, add flex seed powder with 3 tbsp water. Mix well.
  4. In a large bowl, sift all purpose flour, baking soda and baking powder. Add mashed bananas, flex mixture, sugar, vanilla extract, chopped nuts, salt and melted butter. Mix well.
  5. Line the muffin pan with paper muffin cups. Pour the above mixture in each cup. Sprinkle brown sugar on each muffin top. It gives crunch and beautiful brown color to muffins. Bake for 25 minutes or till done.
Serving Suggestion:
Serve banana walnut muffins warm or at room temperature for breakfast.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Healthy Snack: Steamed Doodhi Muthia

Healthy Snack: Steamed Doodhi Muthia

I always loved Gujarati cuisine for the variety it brings to everyday snack. Muthias are steamed and tempered bites made of a variety of flours and vegetables. I have adapted this recipe from Tarla dalal’s cookbook and every time it comes out perfect. Enjoy this healthy snack with your favorite chutney and a cup of masala tea.

Servings: 4 Approx.

For the muthias:
Bottle guard (Lauki /doodhi) – 1 medium
Whole wheat flour – 1 cup
Semolina (rava) - 3/4 cup
Bengal gram flour (Besan) - 1/2 cup
Ginger-green chili paste - 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder (haldi) - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds (jeera) - 1/2 tsp
Fennel seeds (saunf) - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida (hing)- 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice - 1 1/2 tbsp
Sugar - 2 tbsp
Chopped cilantro - 3 tbsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Cooking oil- 2 tbsp
Salt as per taste

For the tempering:
Mustard seeds ( rai / sarson) - 2 tsp
Sesame seeds (til) - 1 tbsp
Asafoetida (hing) - 1/2 tsp
Cooking oil - 2 tbsp

For garnish:
Chopped cilantro - 2 tbsp
Fresh grated coconut - 2 tbsp (Optional)

For Muthias:
  • Peel and grate lauki or doodhi. Squeeze the excess water from it. Strain the water out of the grated doodhi. Keep the liquid aside for later use.
  • Combine all the ingredients for the muthia in a bowl and knead soft dough adding the strained vegetable liquid if needed.
  • Oil your palms and divide the dough into 4 parts and roll out into cylindrical shapes approx. 1.5 inch diameter.
  • Steam them for 25 to 30 minutes till done. To check if the muthias are done, insert a toothpick in the centre. If it comes out clean, the muthias are cooked.
  • Cool and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices and keep aside.
Tempering and Garnish:
  • Heat oil in a shallow pan and add the mustard seeds. When it starts crackling, add the sesame seeds and asafetida.
  • Add the sliced muthia and stir for 5 to 10 minutes till they become golden brown.
  • Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and grated fresh coconut.
  • Serve hot with tangy green chutney.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Paneer Kathi Roll

Paneer kathi roll is chapatti roll filled with spicy paneer filling and green chutney. Kathi rolls are great for lunch boxes or picnics. The filling can be altered according to your choice of vegetables. Enjoy this easy and versatile recipe.

For Kathi roll : Approx. 4 servings

For Spicy Paneer filling:
Indian cottage cheese (paneer)  - 1/2 lbs or 200 gms
Sweet onion – 1 cup thickly sliced
Green bell pepper - 1 cut in thick slices
Tomato ketchup – 3 tbsp
Cumin seeds (Jira) – 1 tsp
Red chili powder - 1 tsp
Ginger - garlic paste - 1 tsp
Chaat masala - 1/2 tsp
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
Salt as per taste

For Chapattis/ Rotis:
Whole wheat flour (atta) - 1 cup
Water – 3/4 cup
Salt to taste
Green Chutney – 1 cup

  • For Filling: Cut paneer in long sticks and soak them in medium hot water for 5 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds, when it starts crackling add sliced onions. Stir fry on high heat for a couple of minutes. Add ginger, garlic paste and green bell pepper and stir fry for couple of more minutes. Add paneer.
  • Finally add tomato ketchup, chaat masala, red chili powder and salt. Mix well and keep aside.
  • For chapattis or rotis: In a bowl or food processor combine wheat flour and water and knead into soft dough. Divide the dough into eight equal portions. Roll out each portion into a thin chapatti or roti.
  • Heat shallow pan or tawa and cook each chapatti lightly on both sides. Set aside.
  • Apply green chutney on one side of the chapatti, put some filling in the center and roll up tightly.
  • Warm these rolls on the tawa or pan just before you are ready to serve. Cut each roll diagonally and serve.
Serving suggestion:
Wrap these rolls in aluminum foil and enjoy these warm kathi rolls with hot and sweet mango chutney.

Note: Fresh tortillas can be used in place of chapatties/rotis.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Chaat Special: Sev puri dahi puri (SPDP)

Chaat is the common term used for mouth watering street food in India. It has many varieties as gol guppe or pani puri, sev puri, dahi puri, chole tikki, papdi chaat, bhel puri. All of them has common mint-cilantro (green chutney) and tamarind (sweet imli) chutney. If you have all the ingredients, these chaats can be prepared in jiffy. I always keep green chutney and tamarind chutney ready in my refrigerator so preparing chaat is very easy.

The recipe here is for Sev puri dahi puri also called as SPDP, in Pune, India. I'm using store bought pani puri shells. They are as good as home made ones; sometimes even better:). These shells are versatiel, can be used with pani to eat as golguppe/ pani puri  or can be prepared as sev puri dahi puri. The same recipe is also called sev batata puri beacuer the pani puri shells are filled with boiled potatoes. Enjoy this lip smacking snack.

For Sev puri dahi puri: Approx. 4 servings

  • Plain Golguppe (pani puri shells) – 24
  • Fine namkee sev– 2 cups
  • Potatoes boiled – 2
  • Sweet onion – 1 finely chopped
  • Fresh cilantro – 1/2 cup finely chopped
  • Tamarind chutney – 3/4 cup
Link for Tamarind Chutney:
Link for Green Chutney:
  • Yogurt (dahi) -1 cup (add some salt and sugar)
  • Chaat Masala – 1 tbsp
  • Red chili powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt as per taste

  1. Boil and peel potatoes. In a bowl, mash these potatoes roughly and add chaat masala and salt. Mix and keep aside.
  2. Finely cut sweet onions and fresh cilantro, keep aside.
  3. Prepare tamarind chutney and green chutney as directed.  Keep aside.
  4. In a bowl, take yogurt; add some sugar and salt. Mix well. Keep aside.
  5. Now for final chaat assembly; first take puffed plain golguppe or Pani Puri and make a small hole in each of them. Fill each puri with boiled potatoes.
  6. Keep 6 Pani Puris in each plate. Add a ladle full of smooth yogurt mix on these puris.
  7. Now add a tsp tamarind chutney and green chutney on each puri.
  8. Top it off with chopped onions and fine namkeen sev.
  9. Finally garnish with fresh chopped cilantro, chaat masala, red chili powder and salt.
Enjoy this mouth watering chaat as soon as assembled, or it will get soggy.

Sweet Tamarind Chutney (Imli chutney)

Sweet Tamarind Chutney
Tamarind or Imli chutney is a must condiment for any chaat snack. It can be prepared in advance and can be stored for days.
  • Tamarind (Imli) – 2 cups without seeds
  • Jaggery (Gur) – 1 cup
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Pitted dates (Pind khajoor) – 1 cup [OPTIONAL]
  • Roasted cumin seeds – 2 tsp
  • Red chili powder – 1 tsp
  • Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
  • Rock salt -  2 tsp
  • Water – 2 cups

  1. In a heavy bottom pan, add tamarind, dates and water.
  2. Boil it first and let it simmer on medium low heat for 15 minutes. Check, all the dates and tamarind become pulp. Cool it a bit and sieve the pulp through a thin strainer.
  3. Put the pulp back in the pan; add jaggery, sugar and all the spices. Cook on medium low heat till the sauce starts to thicken.
  4. Dip a spoon in the sauce, if it coats the spoon evenly and is not too runny, tamarind chutney is ready.
  5. It can be stored in an air tight container, in the refrigerator for a month.
Enjoy tangy and sweet tamarind chutney with your favorite snack or in any chaat.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Eggless banana nut bread

For 1 Banana nut loaf:
  • Whole wheat flour - 1.25 cups (You can substitute with All purpose flour for traditional recipe)
  • Chopped walnuts - 1/4 cup
  • Chopped pecans - 1/4 cup
  • Ripe bananas - 3 mashed
  • Unsalted butter - 1/2 cup melted
  • Baking soda - 1 tsp
  • Flax seeds powder - 2 tbsp (egg substitute)
  • Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
  • Brown sugar - 1 cup
  • Brown sugar - 2 tbsp for sprinkling on the top
  • Salt - 1/4 tsp
Nutritional Facts of flax seeds:
Flax seeds contain high levels of dietary fiber including lignans, an abundance of micronutrients and omega-3 fatty acids (table). Flax seeds may lower cholesterol levels, especially in women. Initial studies suggest that flax seeds taken in the diet may benefit individuals with certain types of breast and prostate cancers. A study done at Duke university suggests that flaxseed may stunt the growth of prostate tumors, although a meta-analysis found the evidence on this point to be inconclusive. Flax may also lessen the severity of diabetes by stabilizing blood-sugar levels. There is some support for the use of flax seed as a laxative due to its dietary fiber content though excessive consumption without liquid can result in intestinal blockage. Consuming large amounts of flax seed may impair the effectiveness of certain oral medications, due to its fiber content, and may have adverse effects due to its content of neurotoxic cyanogen glycosides and immunosuppressive cyclic nonapeptides.

  1. Pre heat oven to 350 degree F.
  2. Grease a non stick loaf pan with some butter. Keep aside.
  3. Prepare flax paste, i.e. 2 tbsp flax seed flour + 6 tbsp water, mix well.[Flax seed flour works as egg substitute]
  4. In a large bowl, sift  flour and baking soda.
  5. Now add, chopped walnuts, pecans, mashed bananas, butter, Flax seed powder dissolved in water, brown sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Mix well.
  6. Transfer the batter to the pre greased loaf pan.
  7. Sprinkle 2 tbsp brown sugar on the top. It gives beautiful brown color and crunch to the bread.
  8. Put the pan in the oven for 45 minutes or an hour. Insert a skewer in the middle, if it comes out clean, banana nut bread is done.
  9. Take it out of the oven, cool it completely and then slice it.
Serving suggestions:
Serve banana nut bread slice with vanilla ice-cream or a cup of coffee.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mushroom Mutter Delight (Mutter Dhingri)

Mushroom and green peas is a classic combination if cooked as a mild Indian curry. It can be served as main course with fresh chapati or fragrant basmati rice.

For 4 servings approx.

Mushrooms (Khumb) – 1 pkt fresh or 300 gms
Green peas (Mutter) – 1 cup fresh or frozen
Whole garam masala – 1 tbsp
Onion -1/2 cup (pureed)
Tomato puree – 1/2 cup
Ginger  garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Green chili –1 finely chopped [OPTIONAL]
Cashew powder – 1 tbsp
Heavy whipping cream – 1/2 cup
Olive oil – 2 tbsp

Dry Spices:
Red chili powder – 1 tbsp
Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds  (Jira)– 1 tsp
Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
Kasoori methi – 2 tsp
Salt as per taste

  • Wipe Mushroom with damp cloth and  cut into quarters. Keep aside.
  • Defrost frozen peas in microwave for 3 minutes. Keep aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a pan. Add whole garam masala and cumin seeds. Let it crackle. Then add pureed onions and sauté it, till turns light golden.
  • Add ginger garlic paste and chopped green chilies. Cook for 2 minutes. Add tomato puree, turmeric powder, red chili powder and garam masala powder.
  • Now add cut mushrooms and peas to it.  Also add some salt. Mix well. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in heavy cream. Simmer for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Mushroom mutter delight is ready to serve.
Garnish and serving suggestion:
Garnish mushroom mutter delight with fresh cream and finely chopped cilantro. Serve hot with fresh parathas or basmati rice.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Tangy Tomato Chutney

This tangy tomato chutney is my mom's recipe. I have been eating this chutney since my childhood and often love to make it myself.
For Tomato chutney: [for 4 servings]

  • Ripe red tomatoes - 6
  • Fresh curry leaves - 6
  • Onion - 1/2 thinly sliced
  • Ginger-garlic paste - 2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Asafatida powder-1 pinch
  • Green chili - 1 (finely chopped)
  • Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1/2 tbsp
  • Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Sugar or gur - 2 tbsp
  • Olive oil - 1 tbsp
  • Salt as per taste
  • Fresh cilantro - 1 tbsp for garnish

  1. Dice tomatoes in small cubes. Keep aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a pan, cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Let it crackle. Then add asafatida powder and sliced onions. Saute it, till turns light golden.
  3. Add ginger-garlic paste, chopped green chilies and fresh curry leaves. Cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add diced tomatoes, red chili powder, garam masala powder, coriander powder and let it simmer for 10 minutes on medium-low heat.
  5. Add sugar or gur to the gravy and simmer it on low heat for 5 more minutes.
  6. Tomato chutney is ready to be served.
Serving Suggestions:
Garnish tangy tomato chutney with freshly chopped cilantro. Enjoy with methi paratha or any other paratha of your choice.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Punjabi Kadhi Pakora

Punjabi Kadhi Pakora
Punjabi kadhi pakora is yogurt based curry. It is a specialty of northern Indian province "Punjab". It has fried dumplings (pakoras) made up of gram flour. Punjabi kadhi pakora is a great combination with fragrant basmati rice.

For Pakora:
  • Besan (gram flour) – 1 cup
  • Onions  - 1/2 cup chopped
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Green chili – 1 finely chopped
  • Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
  • Red chili powder – 1 tsp
  • Baking soda – 1 pinch
  • water (to make a smooth batter)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying

For Kadhi:
  • Besan (gram flour)  - 3/4 cup
  • Yogurt – 2 cups (sour is better)
  • Onion – 1 sliced
  • Ginger paste – 2 tsp
  • Garlic  - 2 tsp minced
  • Green chilies – 2 finely chopped
  • Curry leaves – 8
  • Cumin seeds (jira)  - 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds (rai) - 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds (methi dana) – 1 tsp
  • Fennel seeds (saunf) – 1 tsp
  • Asafetida powder – 1 pinch
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt as per taste
  • Cooking oil – 2 tbsp
  • Garam masala powder – 1 tsp for garnish
  • Fresh cilantro – 1 tbsp finely chopped for garnish

To make Pakora:

  1. In a bowl take besan; add onions and all the other ingredients.
  2. Add water to make smooth batter. Mix well.
  3. In a pan, heat oil for frying at medium high heat.
  4. Take batter, one spoon at a time, putting it in hot oil to make pakoras.
  5. Turn them over once. Deep fry till it becomes golden and crispy.
  6. Drain them on kitchen towel. Keep aside.
To make Kadhi:
  1. In a large bowl, add yogurt and besan. Mix well. Now add 4 cups of water, salt and turmeric powder. Blend well. It should have any lumps
  2. In a large pan, heat 2 tbsp oil. Add cumin, mustard, fenugreek and fennel seeds.
  3. When it crackles, add asafetida powder and sliced onions. Sauté till it becomes translucent. Now add ginger, garlic, green chilies and curry leaves.
  4. Sauté for 2-3 more minutes.
  5. Add yogurt and besan mix to the pan. Bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low. Stir it once.
  6. Let it simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in between a few times.
  7. Add already prepared pakoras to kadhi. Mix once gently.
  8. Kadhi pakora is ready to be served.
Garnish and serving suggestions:
Garnish kadhi pakora with freshly chopped cilantro and garam masala powder. Enjoy with fragrant basmati rice.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hot and sweet Lemon pickle

Hot and sweet Lemon pickle
This recipe is for very spicy and sweet lemon pickle. It is a condiment that can be served at breakfast with any kind of parathas or with the meal.

  • Lemons - 15
  • Lemon juice – 1/2 cup
  • Mustard seeds (yellow split) - 1/2 cup
  • Fenugreek seeds (methidana) - 2 tsp
  • Fennel seeds - 2 tbsp
  • Asafetida (hing) – 2 tsp
  • Red chili powder  - 1/2 cup
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tbsp
  • Salt  - 1/2 cup
  • Vinegar - 2 tbsp
  • Sugar  - 2 cups
  • Cooking oil - 1 cups
  1. Wash and dry Lemons thoroughly.
  2. Cut each lemon into 8 pieces. Keep them in a large bowl.
  3. In a pan, dry roast fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds and fennel seeds. Grind the roasted spices in grinder and keep aside.
  4. In a large bowl, take the above roasted spice powder and also add red chili powder, turmeric powder and asafetida powder to it.
  5. Heat oil in a separate pan and add it to the spice mix. Mix well.
  6. Add all the above mixture to cut lemons. Once again mix well.
  7. Now add lemon juice, vinegar, sugar and salt. Mix again.
  8. Take a clean jar; fill it up with the above pickle.
  9. Shake the jar every day for 10 days.
  10. Store it in a clean and dry place. Pickle is ready to eat in a 2 weeks.
Serving suggestions:
Enjoy Hot and sweet lemon pickle with garma garam parathas (Indian bread) anytime of the day.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tom kha Soup (Vegetarian Thai coconut milk soup)

Tom kha Soup (Vegetarian Thai coconut milk soup)
Tom kha soup is one of the most commonly served Thai vegetarian soup. This soup is very nutritious and flavorful. It has galangal and lemongrass as main ingredients which has great medicinal values too.

Approx. 5 servings
  • Coconut milk – 2 cups
  • Vegetable stock – 3 cups
  • Lemongrass – 3 stalks, cut into 1" pieces
  • Galangal -  2 inch root, thinly sliced
    Note: ginger can be substituted as galangal, but the flavors are different.
  • Green chilies - 2 finely chopped
  • Sweet onion – 1 medium, cubed
  • Tomato – 1 boiled, peeled and cubed
  • Mushrooms– 1 cup sliced
  • Bamboo shoots – 1/2 cup sliced
  • Baby corns -1/2 cup cut in halves
  • Bean sprouts – 1/2 cup
  • Water chestnuts – 1/2 cup sliced
  • Lime juice – 3 tbsp
  • Soy sauce – 2  tbsp
  • Cilantro – 1/4 cup chopped
  • Sugar – 1 tbsp
  • Black pepper – 2 tsp
  • Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
  • Salt as per taste (Soy sauce has some salt too)
  1. In a big pot, add vegetable stock and coconut milk and boil.
  2. Add lemongrass, galangal, chilies, sugar and pepper.
  3. In a pan, heat oil. On high heat, Sauté all the vegetables for couple of minutes except bean sprouts.
  4. Add these vegetables to the coconut milk pot and keep boiling for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat.
  6. Add bean sprouts.
  7. Add lime juice, soy sauce and salt. Stir well.
  8. Soup is ready to be served.
Garnish and serving Suggestions:
Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and chilies. Serve hot before meal.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Aate ka halwa or Kada prashad (Wheat pudding)

Aate ka halwa is the main offering for ashtami or navmi feast during Navratri. It is also called as kada prashad and is mainly served in all Gurdwaras.

Approx. 4 servings

  • Wheat flour (aata) – 1 cup
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Desi ghee (clarified butter) – 1 cup
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Almonds – 1/4 cup sliced
  • Almonds – 1 tbsp sliced for garnish

  1. In a pan, at medium-high heat add ghee. Now add wheat flour to it. Mix well. Keep the heat medium low.
  2. Now in another pan, dissolve 1 cup sugar in 1 cup water on low heat. Stir it till all the sugar is dissolved. Turn the heat off.
  3. Keep stirring the wheat flour with ghee on medium low heat, till it turns golden brown and produces good aroma. Keep an eye on it otherwise it burns quickly.
  4. Now add already made sugar syrup carefully to the pan and keep stirring. It all becomes thick and starts leaving the sides. All happens very quickly.
  5. Add sliced almonds to the halwa and it is ready.
Garnish it with 1 tbsp sliced almonds and serve warm.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Navratri Special: Sabudana Kheer (Tapioca pudding)

Sabudana Kheer
Sabudana kheer is a very simple and flavorful dessert. It is mostly prepared for fasting menu, but is can be enjoyed anytime of the year.

For Approx. 6 servings

  • Sabudana (Sago pearls or tapioca pearls) – 1/2 cup
  • Milk (whole) – 4 cups
  • Sugar or sugar substitute – 1/2 cup
  • Saffron (kesar or zafran) – 12 strands
  • Cardamom powder (elaichi) – 1/4 tsp
  • Almonds – 12 sliced
  1. Soak sabudana with just enough water to cover it. Soak it for 4-6 hours or overnight. Now sabudana becomes light and fluffy.
  2. In heavy bottom pan, add milk. Bring it to boil once and let it simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Add saffron strands and stir occasionally.
  3. Add soaked sabudana to the milk and stir gently. Let it cook for further 6-8 minutes till sabudana becomes translucent.
  4. Now add half of the sliced almonds and sugar to it. Simmer for 5 more minutes.
  5. Kheer is ready to be served.
  6. Sabudana kheer becomes thick when cools.
Garnish and serving suggestions:
Garnish sabudana kheer with remaining sliced almonds and few strands of saffron. Enjoy this wonderful dessert chilled or warm.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Navratri Special:Falahari Sabudana Khichadi

For Sabudana Khichadi [4 servings]
  • Sabudana (Tapioca or Sago pearls) – 1.5 cups
  • Potato – 1
  • Roasted peanuts – 1/2 cup
  • Green chili – 1 Finely chopped
  • Cilantro – ¼ cup
  • Lime juice – 2 tbsp
  • Sugar – 1.5 tbsp
  • Cumin – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric – 1 tsp
  • Red chili powder – ½ tsp
  • Cooking oil - 1 tbsp
  • Salt to taste

  1.  Soak sabudana in just enough water to cover it. Let it stand overnight. In the morning, the sabudana looks nice and fluffy.
  2. Boil, peel and cut potato in small cubes. Finely chop green chilies and cilantro and keep aside.
  3. Coarsely grind roasted peanuts and keep aside.
  4. In a bowl mix, Sabudana with roasted and crushed peanuts.
  5. Heat 1 tbsp cooking oil in a shallow pan. Add cumin seeds; let it crackle for 1 minute. Add asafoetida powder and turmeric powder. Add chopped green chilies to it.
  6. Add the sabudana mixture to the pan. Now add boiled potato cubes to it. Mix well. Keep the heat medium and stir occasionally. Add red chili powder, salt, sugar and lime juice to it. Cook for few more seconds. Do not add water to the khichadi at any point. It will make it lumpy.
  7. Sabudana khichadi is ready to be served.
Garnish sabudana khichadi with freshly chopped cilantro and some fresh lime juice.

Note: Always try making sabudana kichadi in shallow pan. It prevents khichadi from sticking or getting lumpy.