Saturday, December 17, 2011

Vegetable kurma

1. 2 medium size potatoes cubed
2. 1 cup of vegetables(peas, corn, cut beans, chopped carrots). I used frozen
3. 1/2 bell pepper chopped
4. 1/2 cup cauliflower florets
5. 1/2 cup cashews ground
6. 1 medium sized onion chopped finely
7. 3 tomatoes chopped
8. 2 tbsp oil
9. Salt to taste
10. 1 tsp of Kasuri methi
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder

1. In a saucepan saute onion in oil, and when its translucent, add tomatoes and sautee until its mushy
2. Add all the spices, cashew powder and salt
3. Add all the vegetables, a little water and cook covered until all the vegetables are done.
4. Turn off heat and garnish with kasuri methi.

Serve with Rotis.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Quinoa soup

We just love this hearty vegetable soup not only is it yummy but its also super nutritious. I try to include Quinoa in our diet because of its high protein content. Quinoa goes well in Pilafs and Biryanis. It makes a great substitute for rice, more about it on a later post. Today for supper we are enjoying a vegetarian Quinoa soup. Meat lovers could substitute some of the vegetables with any meat of your choice.

0. 1 cup Quinoa
1. 1 Qt vegetable broth (alternately water)
2. 1 can red kidney beans
3. 1 medium Potato
4. 1 cup mix of chopped carrots, beans and corn(I used frozen)
5. 1 cup chopped spinach(I used frozen)
6. 1 medium onion chopped
7. 3 Green chillies slit in the middle(or as per spice tolerance)
8. 2 tbsp coriander powder
9. 1 tbsp cumin seeds
10. 1 tsp turmeric powder
Salt as per taste

0. Rinse Quinoa thoroughly and set aside.
1. In a pressure cooker saute onion and chillies followed by cumin, coriander and turmeric powders
2. Add all the vegetables followed by quinoa and saute for about 2 minutes, add salt
3. Pressure cook on medium for 3 whistles
4. Check the consistency of the soup add more broth (or water) and salt/pepper as necessary.

Serve with wheat thins.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pani Puri

1. 25 puris
(If the puris are not crunchy then put it in the oven at 200F for 10 mins) 2. 1/8 cup of tamarind chutney
3. 1/8 cup of mint chutney
4. 1/8 cup water
4. 1/2 tsp Pani Puri masala
5. 1 boiled potato diced finely
6. Mung or chick peas sprouted and cooked.
7. Salt and chili powder as per taste

1. Mix both chutneys, stir in chaat and dilute it with 1/8 cup water.
2. Add salt and chili powder to the potatoes and chick peas(or mung)
3. Poke a hole in the puri, stuff it with all the solid ingredients
4. Dip in the chutney water and enjoy!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Strawberry lemonade

1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
8-10 strawberries blend to a smooth paste
2 cups cold water
Sugar as per taste

Mix the ingredients and stir until sugar dissolves.Strain and serve chilled.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Stuffed Peppers

Pepper stuffed with cheese and vegetables, dipped in chickpea flour and then deep fried. If you are a meat lover you could substitute the vegetable mixture with the meat of your choice.

Ingredients for the stuffing:
1. 4 Chili peppers
2. Left over vegetable dry curry(or you could make a fresh batch like the one in vegetable puffs stuffing)
3. 4 tbsps Mozzarella cheese

Ingredients for the coating:
1. 1 cup chickpea flour
2. 2 tsp red chili powder
3. Water
4. Salt to taste

Method for the batter:
Mix all the ingredients for the coating except water. Add water slowly and keep whisking the mixture. Dont make the batter too runny, it should be thick enough to stick to the pepper when you dip it in the mixture.

Stuffing and frying:
1. Slit the pepper along the length from end to en andd remove all the seeds from the inside
2. Distribute equally the cheese and vegetable mixture and stuff the peppers
3. Dip the stuffed peppers in the batter and deep fry.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Gajjar halwa(Carrot dessert)

2 cups shredded carrot
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp butter
2 tbsp Cashews for garnish

1. Fry the carrots with the butter until the carrots wilt and reduce in volume
2. Add milk and let it boil until the milk completely evaporates
3. Next add sugar and let it cook for another 5 minutes
Turn off the heat and garnish with cashews

Serve either warm or chilled.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Roasted figs in sauce


8 Figs
Juice from 1/2 an Orange
3 tbsp of honey
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp of cinnamon


Put all the ingredients except the figs in a saucepan and bring it to a simmer on a low flame. Slit a cross in the figs going all the way to the bottom. Place them in a baking dish and pour the sauce on the figs
Bake at 375F for 15 mins.

Serve warm.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Whole Grain Banana bread

This wholesome bread makes a good morning breakfast with a glass of milk or as a dessert after a meal. The sweetness to this bread comes mostly from the ripe bananas and the nuttiness from the wheat and millet.


1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup millet flour
2 ripe bananas mashed
1/8 cup buttermilk(or thinned yogurt)
1/8 cup sugar
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp soda powder
1 egg
1/4 cup fruit cake mix (optional)


1. Beat egg in a bowl, add butter followed by sugar and whisk so that the butter mixes well into the sugar and egg.
2. Add mashed bananas followed by fruit cake mix, buttermilk and again whisk.
3. Next add both the flours little by little and keep whisking.
4. Finally mix in vanilla extract and soda powder
5. Pour this into a greased baking dish and bake at 350F for 30 mins or until a knife pierced through the cake comes out clean.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Yogurt ice pops with berries


1 cup berries crushed
3/4 cup yogurt
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp honey
zest from 1/2 a lemon


In a saucepan boil water and sugar, take off heat and add lemon zest. Leave covered until it cools down.
Blend together the above syrup with honey and yogurt. Fill the molds 1/4 way through with the yogurt mixture and let it set in the freezer for 1 hour. Divide the crushed berries amongst each of the molds and top it with the rest of the yogurt mixture. Freeze the molds for another 4-5 hours. Unmold and enjoy!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Strawberry Ice pops

Strawberry Ice pop or Ice candy as we call it back home was my first attempt in the kitchen at these frozen treats. I recently got hold of a book dedicated entirely to ice pops, shaved ice and aguas frescas, its called Paletas by Fany Gerson.
When I first checked out the recipes I couldnt believe my eyes how could I have not known this before! They are totally worth the little if any, effort, needed to have perfect homemade ice pops. Its so much better than store bought once because I can control the sugar, plus I can be sure its 100% fruits and not loaded with artificial flavors and coloring.

1 cup strawberry hulled
2 tbsp sugar
1/8 cup water
1 tsp lemon juice


Let the strawberries sit with the sugar for 15 mins, boil them for about 5 mins along with the water. Let it cool and then give it a quick pulse with the lemon juice in the blender(leave some strawberry chunks dont grind it too fine).
Pour it into molds and freeze for about 4-5 hours.

To unmold: I dip the mold in a cup of warm water for about 10 secs. I then pull the ice pop by the stick from the mold, it comes off easily.

Now all you got to do is sit back and enjoy every bit of that strawberry ice pop :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Instant Rava Idli

1 cup Bombay Rava or Suji
1/2 cup yogurt
2 dry red chilies
1 sprig curry leaves
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp jeera
1 tsp udad dal
1 tsp chana dal
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil


In a pan dry roast Rava to make it golden brown,take care not to burn the Rava. Take off the Rava and in the same pan start roasting all the spices. Add oil and once its heated add mustard seeds wait until it pops and then add jeera, udad dal, chana dal, curry leaves and red chilies. Take it off the heat and add it to the rava.
Mix in yogurt and salt to the Rava mixture and stir well. Leave it for about 1/2 an hour. Before you start steaming the idlis check the consistency of the batter it should be like traditional idli batter consistency. If its too dry add some more yogurt.
Steam them in idli molds and serve with any chutney of your choice. I have served it here with Mango chutney.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Raw mango chutney


2 cups raw mango skin discarded and grated
2 dry red chilies (roasted)
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds (roasted)
2 tbsp sugar
salt for taste


1 tsp Mustard seeds
Hing powder

Grind all the ingredients together except the seasoning. Add a few tbsps of water to grind to a smooth chutney consistency. Do a taste check, if the raw mango is not tart enough for the chutney you could add some tamarind at this point and grind again.
Next comes the seasoning which is optional but it give a good aroma to the chutney. Heat a tsp of oil, add mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds start to splutter turn off the heat and add a dash of hing powder.

Serve chutney with dosas, idlis or as an accompaniment to a rice dish.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Veg Puff pastry

I have previously posted Egg puff recipe. A slight modification to it is its veg counterpart. It involves the same pepperidge farm's puff pastry sheets which need to be thawed for about 40mins at room temperature before using.

4 Boiled and cubed potatoes
1/2 onion finely chopped
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp coriander powder
1 green chili finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric (optional)
1/2 inch ginger finely chopped

Salt and more chili powder as per taste


Heat oil in a saucepan and saute the onions, followed by rest of the spices. Add potatoes,salt and stir well. Turn of the heat and let it rest for a bit.

Take the pastry sheets thawed at room temperature for 40 mins, cut 1 sheet into 6 equal squares. Put the potato stuffing in the center of each square and fold them to cover all the stuffing. Bake in oven at 375 for about 40 mins or until they turn golden brown.

You could add more vegetables like mushrooms, beans, peas and corn to the vegetable stuffing. I didn't have anything extra with me so I kept it simple.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Peach Pie

Pies always looked complicated to me, with all the fancy crust and the delicious filling, I thought of it as something only professional bakers could pull. But then I ran into this recipe in a cook book which looked pretty doable to me. So here it goes..

Ingredients for crust:
2 cups of flour
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup milk
pinch of salt

Ingredients for filling
4cups peeled and sliced peaches(I thawed my frozen peaches)
1/4th cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
5 tbsp sliced butter
1 tbsp flour

Knead together the ingredients for the crust and make a pliable dough. Divide the dough into 2 balls. Roll the balls into sheets to line your baking pan, this will make the crusts for your pie.

Place one sheet in your baking pan and spoon peaches on it. Reserve a tbsp of sugar and sprinkle the rest on the peaches. Next sprinkle all of the cinnamon and top it with slices of butter and 1 tbsp of flour. Place the other sheet on top of this and pinch the ends of the 2 sheets together to seal the filling in between the 2 sheets.
Sprinkle the reserved 1 tbsp of sugar on top. Using a fork poke holes on top of the pie.
Bake at 350F for about 55mins or until you see the pie crust turning golden brown.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Strawberry preserve

I didnt know making preserves would be so easy. We recently bought a lot of strawberries(25lbs) from the local farm. I froze all of it except for about 1 lb that I used for making the jam.

Though the original recipe requires a lot of sugar,about double the quantity of berries you use, I used just 1/3rd. The result was the preserve didn't set well.. it ended up slightly runny. Which didn't bother either of us. Also the natural sugar in the strawberries gave it the perfect sweetness. We have loved the preserve on our toasts and bagels so far. Yet to try it on some vanilla icecream.. :) yummmm..


2 cups crushed strawberries
1 cup Sugar
3 FL oz pectin


1. Mix crushed strawberries and sugar into a bowl and set aside for 15 mins
2. In a pot boil water and pour the pectin, boil for another minute mixing thoroughly
3. Pour this mixture into the strawberry-sugar bowl and mix well.
4. Pour it into sterilized glass jars and let it stand at room temperature for 24 hours

You can store this preserve in the freezer for a long time. They have a shelf life of 1 month in the refrigerator, if it lasts that long that is :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Cauliflower soup

Usually if the dish in front of you is yummy then you had probably assume that the cook spent a long time in the kitchen making this elaborate looking dish. Not always true! Especially with this cauliflower soup that I have here today. Its as simple as it can get, but it will keep people thanking you for the yummy food and appreciating all the effort you have put into it. Little do they know.. :)

1 cauliflower head roughly chopped
1/2 cup onions chopped
4-5 sprigs of rosemary
3-4 stalks of celery (optional)
2 cups milk
4 cloves of garlic
1 granny smith apple peeled and diced for garnish
1 tbsp oil
salt and pepper for taste


Take 1 tbsp of oil in a pan and chopped onions, rosemary, garlic cloves. Followed by salt and pepper for taste.
Saute until onions becomes translucent and garlic cloves turn a golden brown.
Add cauliflower and celery, cover and let it cook through. Once the cauliflower is slightly mushy add milk and bring it to a boil. Turn off the heat and pass it thru a blender to make a coarse mixture.
Return it to the original vessel, warm it again and adjust salt+spices as per your liking.

Before serving add a tsp of the diced apples to each bowl. Alternately you could slightly fry the diced apple in butter before garnishing. I tried it with and without frying the apple but didn't notice a significant difference, so I skipped the frying business this time around.

Enjoy, the simple yet delicious soup!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chocolate cake

Ingredients for the cake:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup fruit cake mix (optional)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp soda powder
1 egg
2 tbsp butter

Ingredients for the icing:

2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method for cake:

1. Beat egg in a bowl, add butter followed by sugar and whisk so that the butter mixes well into the sugar and egg.
2. Add cocoa followed by fruit cake mix, milk,cocoa powder and again whisk.
3. Next add the flour little by little and keep whisking.
4. Finally mix in vanilla extract and soda powder
5. Pour this into a greased baking dish and bake at 350F for 30 mins or until a knife pierced through the cake comes out clean.

Chocolate Cake Icing:

In a bowl, whisk together all the Icing ingredients to make a thick paste and refrigerate for 15 mins or so. Once the cake cools down, apply icing on cake with a butter knife.

Let the icing set for a few minutes and then serve! Yumm...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tri colored Vermicelli

Vermicelli is one of those dishes that is hassle free and gets ready in a jiffy. I spent 10 mins in the kitchen(including cooking time), awesome dish as a breakfast or an evening snack. A cup of hot tea to go along with it is a bonus. Tri-colored vermicelli gets its name from the 3 vegetables we use, namely peas, carrots and corn.


1/4 cup of mixed vegetables - Peas, diced carrots and Corn (I used frozen)
1 cup vermicelli
1 cup water
2 tbsp oil
1 green chili chopped
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp jeera seeds
1/4 tsp sugar
salt to taste
lemon for garnish


1. Lightly roast vermicelli in 1 tbsp of oil to get a golden brown color
2. In a separate pan heat a tbsp of oil and add mustard followed by jeera
3. Next add green chili and veggies, saute it a bit
4. Add water and let water boil.
5. Next add vermicelli and cook covered on a medium flame
6. Take off heat when done, garnish with a lemon wedge when serving.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Tomato Soup

Nothing can beat a bowl of warm Tomato soup when you are down with flu like symptoms. I followed this recipe I found online. I adapted it a bit to suit my sparse pantry and to keep the calorie count low. Here is my version, it tasted amazing!

4 Tomatoes chopped
2 tbsp chopped onion
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1/2 inch of ginger chopped
2 cloves of garlic crushed
2 Bay leaves
1/4 cup of mint leaves
1/4 cup chopped carrots(I used frozen)
1/4 cup peas(I used frozen)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup water or veggie broth
1 cup 2% fat milk (or use cream instead)
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp olive oil

1. Sprinkle salt, pepper(generously) and olive oil on the chopped onions,tomatoes and crushed garlic, roast it at 450 degrees for 15 minutes in the oven.
2. In a pan add butter and saute the ginger, followed by bay leaves, mint, carrot, peas and tomato paste.
3. Add water and cook the veggies for 10 mins
4. Once the veggies are cooked through add the roasted veggies and cook for 5 mins
5. Take off the heat and blend until smooth
6. Put the soup back in the pot, add milk and boil it one last time.

Serve hot with croutons or wheat thins!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Masoor Dal(Brown Lentils)

Of all Dals Masoor dal(Brown Lentils) is my favorite, for 2 reasons. Firstly because it has this nice earthy taste to it and secondly, its so easy to cook. You will know what I am talking about in a bit when you look at the ingredients list and the recipe below. This is a no frills recipe that tastes divine. You can serve it with rice or have it as a soup, it warms up your tummy instantly, I just love it.

1 cup masoor dal aka Brown Lentils
slivered ginger 1 tsp
2 finely chopped green chilies or as per taste
1 tsp of cumin seeds
pinch of turmeric (optional)
Salt to taste
1 tsp oil
2 cloves of garlic

Pressure cook all the ingredients(except for the seasoning) until the dal is cooked. I wait for 3 whistles on a medium-low flame and take off the heat. Once the pressure is completely gone check the consistency of the dal, add more water if desired.
In a separate small utensil, saute the garlic cloves in oil until they get golden brown on both sides and add this to the cooked dal.
Serve it as a soup or with some cooked rice.

You could cook the dal in a chicken or vegetable broth for a more healthier version. Enjoy!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Mooli(Radish) Paratha

Stuffing Ingredients:
1 cup of shredded Mooli(Radish)
1 tsp Jeera powder
1 Green chili finely chopped
2 tbsp grated ginger

For Dough:
2 cups wheat flour
1 tbsp oil


1. Mix all the ingredients together for stuffing, sprinkle a tbsp of salt and set aside for 15 mins; radish will leave out water.
2. Squeeze out all the water from the stuffing. Rolling the paratha will become easier if the stuffing is dry.
3. Take the wheat four in a bowl and slowly add the radish water mixing and kneading. Add more water if desired.
Note: Usually 2 cups of wheat flour would take 3/4th cup of water, but it depends on the dryness and coarseness of the flour so adjust the water quantity.
4. Roll a small ball of dough and place a tsp of radish mixture in the center
5. Pull together the edges to cover-up the filling and dust-in some dry wheat flour
6. Roll it into a paratha.
7. Heat a flat non-stick pan and roast one side of the paratha until golden brown, repeat on the other side.
8. Repeat with rest of the dough and filling
9. Dab a little butter on one side of the paratha and serve with slices of onion and a chili if you like some heat :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Honeydew Melon-Tang

To compensate for the mild summer last year, we are having a mild winter. It has been warm since last Friday and I have started missing the foggy mornings. Yea, I like the slight overcast or the morning fog. Please dont send me hate emails! :-p

Enough rants about the weather, what I have here today is a classic creation in my kitchen. This is what happens on a hot mid-afternoon, any fruit lying on the kitchen counter-top gets into the blender with a dash of creativity. This time we have a honeydew melon marrying the Orange Tang from Costco.


1 HoneyDew melon's flesh cubed
2 tbls of OrangeTang


Blend cubed melon and Tang with 1/4 cup of water or Ice. Chill and serve!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tofu Tikka Masala

Here is Paneer Tikka masala with a healthier twist. I substituted Tofu for Paneer but nobody missed the yummy, high-calorie Paneer. In-fact people were surprised to know it was Tofu and not Paneer. I give the credit to Costco's Tofu(firmness level 4), they were firmer and more porous than the ones in TJs/Vons. Because it was so porous it marinated well, taking in all the rich spices in the gravy. I plan on getting my Tofu from Costco henceforth. Glad that I tried them out!

Ingredients for marinated Tofu:
1/2 a pound of cubed firm tofu(Costco sells them in packs of 3, I used half of one pack)
2 tablespoon yogurt
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
Any spices you would like, I added the following:
2 tsp of cumin-coriander powder
1 tsp red chili powder
pinch of salt.

Ingredients for the sauce:
1/2 cup of tomato puree
1 diced green bell pepper(optional)
The usual Indian seasoning-
2 bay leaves
pinch of Hing
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp chili powder (adjust as per spice tolerance)
1/2 tsp of garam masala

Marinate the tofu by mixing together all the ingredients for tofu marination and refrigerate for about an hour. Once marinated shallow fry them on a pan to get a golden crust on all sides.Remove the tofu and use the same pan to make the sauce. Add a little oil and saute all the spices one by one, then add the tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Once the sauce starts thickening mix the tofu piece into it gently and turn off the gas.

Goes well with Rice or Chapati