Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas, Presents, Tree, Cake and Cheese Fondue

A cold day, the christmas tree all lit up and decorated by the fireplace, presents all wrapped and ready to be opened below the tree, a cake baking in the oven spreading the aroma of vanilla in the kitchen, a warm throw, 'A Christmas Story' playing on TV - that just about describes the best and the most perfect Christmas morning I have ever had. My christmas present from my hubby this year was a Cuisinart electric fondue maker and I tried the most basic fondue recipe right away with great enthusiasm. The outcome was a delectable cheese fondue which my hubby and I devoured in no time. Who would ever imagine that two people could consume so much cheese in less than 20 mins! Here is the recipe with a promise of many more fondue recipes to come.

  1. Aged Gruyere cheese - 0.5 lbs, grated
  2. Emmental (swiss) cheese - 0.5 lbs, grated
  3. White wine - 1 1/2 cups (any dry wine should do. I looked for a cooking white wine and got a Chablis)
  4. Lemon juices - 1tsp
  5. Black pepper - 1 tsp
  6. Crushed red pepper - 1/2 tsp
  7. Papprika - 1/2 tsp
  8. Garlic - 2 cloves, finely chopped
  9. Nutmeg - 1 pinch
  10. Celery, green peppers, red peppers, cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, sourdough bread as accompaniments

  1. Add the wine, lemon juice and garlic to the fondue maker and cook till the wine starts simmering
  2. Add the cheese a little at a time until it melts.
  3. Add the black pepper, crushed red pepper, paprika, and nutmeg and mix into the cheese thoroughly.
  4. Cook till the cheese starts gently bubbling and then turn down the heat/setting.
  5. Dip the veggies/bread and enjoy the fondue. Be careful not to burn your tongue.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Alu Methi Matar

Hot alu methi matar with chappati and dahi is a very satisfactory easy meal on lazy winter days. This sabji is easy to make, healthy and a good travel dish if you want to carry food with you. Here goes the recipe -

  1. Red potatoes - 6 potatoes, roughly 3 inches in length
  2. Frozen methi - 1 cube
  3. Frozen peas - 1cup
  4. Oil - 1 tsp
  5. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  6. Jeera - 1 tsp
  7. Dried red chillies - 3/4
  8. Sambhar masala - 1 1/2 tsp
  9. Red chilli powder - 1/4 tsp
  10. Haldi powder - 1/2 tsp
  11. Salt
  12. Hing - 1/4 tsp
  13. Lemon
  1. Cut the potatoes into cubes along with the skip and cook in microwave for 7-8 mins until the potatoes are cooked a little but not mushy.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, jeera, haldi, hing and red chillies. Let the mustard seeds pop.
  3. Defrost the methi by microwaving for 1 min and add to the pan.
  4. Sautee until the methi is cooked.
  5. Add the potatoes, salt, chilli powder, sambhar masala and cook on high flame for 5-10 mins and then leave it on low flame until the potatoes have a crust.
  6. Add the peas and cook for 2 mins.
  7. Garnish with lemon juice and serve hot.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Rosemary Potatoes

The rosemary plant in my garden is overflowing from the pot and I simply had to put it to good use. What better than to bake the classic combination of rosemary and potatoes! My kitchen was smelling like heaven when I popped them out of the oven. This makes an excellent side dish to go with any Italian salad or pasta.

  1. Red skinned potatoes - 2, washed and cut into any desired french-fry-like shape
  2. Rosemary - 1/2 cup finely chopped
  3. Salt
  4. Coarsely crushed black pepper - 1/2 tsp
  5. Olive oil - 1 tbsp

  1. Toss the potatoes with the rosemary, salt, pepper and olive oil.
  2. Spread thinly on a baking sheet and bake at 400F for 20 minutes
  3. Turn the oven to broil and broil on each side for 5-7 minutes or until the potatoes turn brown.
  4. Let it cool for 5 mins and you are done!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Instant Mango Pickle / Ambyacha Loncha

This is a very simple and easy mango pickle that my mom used to make during summers when the raw mangoes were plentiful. It needs very few basic ingredients but the flavor of the mango makes up for everything and gives it a unique taste. It is best when enjoyed with ghee and rice.

  1. Raw mango - 1 cut into small cubes
  2. Red chilli powder - 4 tsps (Try the one that is made for pickles specifically)
  3. Salt - 1 tsp
  4. Oil - 2 tsps
  5. Mustard seeds - 2 tsps
  6. Green chillies - 2 finely chopped
  7. Hing - 1/2 tsp
  8. Haldi - 1/4th tsp
  9. Lemon juice - 2 tsps

  1. Mix the mango pieces, salt, red chilli powder.
  2. Heat oil and add mustard, green chillies, hing and haldi. Heat it until all the mustard seeds have spluttered but not burnt.
  3. Add the oil mixture to the mango along with the lemon juice. Mix thoroughly and let it sit for an hour. You will see the mangoes releasing a lot of juices.
  4. This pickle is best stored in the fridge after a day of sitting outside.

Arachuvitta Sambhar

Arachuvitta sambhar is a very traditional and typical tamilian sambhar, the ultimate comfort food for any tamilian or for that matter any south Indian:). - a fresh ground powder/paste is added to this sambhar and the aroma of that sets it apart from a regular sambhar. You can add any vegetable to this one. I chose to use white pumpkin. Thanks to my SIL for the recipe.

  1. Chana dal - 2 tbsps
  2. Toor dal - 2 tbsps
  3. Corriander seeds - 4 tbsps
  4. Red chillies - 10
  5. Frozen/fresh grated coconut - 1 cup
  6. Tamarind pulp - 2 cups
  7. White pumpkin - 1/4th piece, peeled and subed
  8. Oil - 1 tsp
  9. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  10. Methi seeds - 1 tsp
  11. Hing - 1/4th tsp
  12. Curry leaves - 8 or 10
  13. Toor dal boiled - 2 cups
  14. Haldi - 1/2 tsp
  15. Salt

  1. Dry roast ingredients 1 through 5 and grind to a smooth powder/paste.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet and add mustard, methi, haldi, curry leaves, red chillies, hing and let the mustard seeds splutter.
  3. Add the pumpkin pieces and sautee for 5 mins.
  4. Add the tamarind pulp, salt and enough water and boil the pumpkin until cooked.
  5. Add the dal and boil until all ingredients are well cooked.
  6. Add the ground paste/powder and boil for a min or so and take it off the heat. Serve hot with rice.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Begun Bhaja

It feels like the cook in me is getting resurrected and that is not necessarily a good thing because it also means that my diet and focus on eating healthy goes for a toss :). Ah heck! Who cares!!! Today I was inspired to make a Bengali meal and perused several blogs for the recipe of Begun Bhaja. I finally used this one. My first taste of this dish was during my last India trip when my sister's cook make this. It seemed so simply yet tasted so good. I know it is my BIL's favorite dish and I can see why. To go with this, I made a simple dal with panch phoran masala which added to the Bengali theme of the evening:).

  1. One big eggplant - cut into discs 1/2 inch thick
  2. Turmeric - 2 tsps (I used it liberally but you can use less too)
  3. Red chilli powder - 2 tsps
  4. Salt
  5. Oil - 3 tbsps
  6. Lemon juice - 1/2 tsp

  1. Rub the turmeric, salt and red chilli powder on both sides of the eggplant and let it sit for a few minutes

2. In a pan, add the oil and let it heat up for a min. Add the eggplant slices and let it cook and brown on one side. Then flip and let it cook well on the other side. By the time it is done, the eggplant should be really soft and the skin on the sides should have changed color.

3. Drizzle a little lemon juice and enjoy hot with khichdi or with roti and dal like I did.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Samosa - a stuffed pastry is how wikipedia describes it. This is probably one of India's most popular and versatile dishes. Its an every occasion dish and you can see so many variations of it as you go from south to north and east to west in India. My personal favorite is the Irani samosa that you get at these Irani Cafes in Hyderabad. It is stuffed mostly with onion and sometimes a little carrot/beans. The samosa itself is a mini size and extremely crisp and flavorful. I have so many memories associated with samosa -
  • This small shop in a shopping center that used to sell these small irani samosas and a fruit drink called Soma (that goes back to my first ever memories of my home and family in Hyderabad as a kid),
  • Sunday evenings when this queer dude would come on his bicycle and sell hot samosas, of vendors outside my school selling samosas for 25 paise each,
  • This sweet shop near my place where dad would bring samosas, pakodas and it would transform into an entire meal paired with maggie ketchup and bread,
  • I had hot samosas (called singhara in north east India) in this small tea shop in Darjeeling while it was raining outside,
  • The time when I first started making samosas for my hubby out of wonton wrappers during our dating days,
  • The hot hot Bharat bazaar samosas my hubby would bring home on his way from work for my folks and sister when we were engaged
I can go on forever:)

This recipe is for a slightly different stuffing than the usual potato filling. It was arrived at in an effort to emulate my favorite Irani samosa but tasted nothing like it. It still tasted pretty good but my taste buds that have memory cells refused to like it. According to my hubby it was still very tasty and is worth a blog post. So here goes -

  1. Yellow onion - thinly sliced, 1
  2. Carrot - 1, grated
  3. Peas - 1/2 cup
  4. Curry leaves - 4/5
  5. Green chillies - 2, finely chopped
  6. Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
  7. Garam masala - 1/4th tsp
  8. Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
  9. Jeera-dhania powder - 1/2 tsp
  10. Salt
  11. Lemon juice - 1 tsp
  12. Corriander leaves - 1 cup finely chopped
  13. Mint leaves - 1/2 cup finely chopped
  14. Oil - 1 tsp for the filling and a wok full for deep frying
  15. Milk - 2 tsps
  16. Wonton wrappers

  1. Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and add the curry leaves and chopped chillies.
  2. Add sliced onions and saute until well done.
  3. Add ginger garlic paste and after 2 mins, add the grated carrots, peas, chilli powder, salt, jeera dhania powder, garam masala and cook until well done.
  4. Add the corriander leaves, mint leaves and lemon juice and cook for 2 more mins.
  5. Take a wonton wrapper and cut into half diagonally (This is for the big square wonton wrappers. You can also try the smaller ones).
  6. Fill in the center with the stuffing made above and use milk to seal the corners.
  7. Heat oil for deep frying and drop the samosas when hot. It only takes a min for each samosa to get done. Enjoy hot with ketchup:)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cauliflower Pulao/Khichdi/Biryani

I was inspired by this recipe one evening and attempted to make cauliflower biryani for dinner. Unfortunately I am trying a new brand of basmati rice and it became really sticky and mushy. It tasted excellent though and made a very nice lunch the next day too. Lately I have been having a lot of rice cravings and been on a rice binge. There is no other comfort food as a rice dish for an Indian and I have been in my comfort zone a lot these days. :) Need to get back to my no rice restriction again and watch those inches but meanwhile I am sure I will be blogging about more rice dishes.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Appe With Chutney and Sambhar

Tonight's dinner reminds me of this song because appe is what you get when you have excess dosa batter. You don't even want to know the actual parody I was humming. Appe is a a dish made in a dutch muffin style pan(below) with leftover dosa batter.
All you do is oil the pan lightly and drop the dosa batter. Flip them using a fork or a skewer and cook on other side. Enjoy hot with sambhar or chutney.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Summer Tomatoes and A Simple Pasta

Its been an unusual summer for me this year. Not as many outdoor activities as I would have liked but have been enjoying my home a lot more. I started my spring cleaning in summer this week and accomplished a lot. Purging all the unwanted things in your life gives you such a good feeling and organizes your life and thoughts. My garden has bloomed wonderfully. Check out the cherry tomatoes and chillies in the pic below. Besides this I have rosemary, basil, thyme and mint which I use from time to time. The feeling of using herbs/veggies from your garden is awesome.

The simple pasta I made to use the cherry tomatoes was nothing more than boiled whole wheat pasta, pesto, pepper, crushed red pepper and tomatoes tossed together. The simplicity of the ingredients brought out the best flavor from the tomatoes.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Pear/Apple Crumble/Crisp

This is a rather easy dessert that I make very frequently when I don't have the patience to make an elaborate dessert. It also provides a good way to use up apples or pears that you have lying around ready to spoil. When paired with vanilla bean ice cream (note, vanilla bean and not just vanilla), it proves to be a super elegant dessert.

  1. Pears/Apples - 3 semi ripe, sliced lengthwise
  2. Cinnamon powder - 1/4th tsp
  3. Brown sugar - 1 tsp
  4. Lemon zest - 1/4th tsp
  5. Apple crisp mix - you can get this in the store and usually it is a mix of oats, flour, sugar and some spices
  6. Instant oats - 1 cup
  7. Butter - 1 stick

  1. Add the cinnamon, brown sugar, zest to the sliced pears and give them a quick toss to mix together.
  2. Place in a buttered and floured baking dish.
  3. Mix the oats, apple crisp mix, melted butter and add to the top of the dish as shown in the picture.
  4. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes until the top turns brown.
  5. Serve hot with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
Recipe for the crisp/crumble topping: Mix together 1 cup of all purpose flour, 1 cup of instant oats, 1/3rd cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 stick of melted butter and use this as a topping.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Paneer 65

Its been a long break since my last blog post and the primary reason is laziness:D:D. I know people complain about lack of time and I would too except that I know myself only too well and I know that if I wanted to make time for something, I will. Work has been exceptionally crazy and I haven't been a very creative cook recently either. Hence for the lack of a better dish, I am posting this quick Paneer 65 recipe that relies solely on the magic masala called aachi masala which Vidya akka recommended to me. Its really tasty and gives you that flavor that you get at restaurants. Here goes -

Ingredients :
  1. 1 slab of paneer - chopped into small cubes
  2. 1 cup yogurt
  3. 2 tsps chicken 65 aachi masala (or more if you want it spicier and saltier...A word of warning - the masala itself has a lot of salt, so don't add any more. Although the masala is for chicken 65, the ingredients are all vegetarian)
  4. Curry leaves - 10
  5. Oil - 1 tsp
  6. Geen chillies -3, slit lengthwise
  7. Garlic - 2 pods, finely chopped
  8. Lemon juice - 2 tsps
  9. Corriander - 1 cup finely chopped
  1. Mix the yogurt and the masala and marinate the paneer cubes in it for 2 hours
  2. Heat oil and sautee the garlic, curry leaves and chillies in it
  3. Add the paneer without the excess liquid and stir fry until the paneer gets well roasted and has brown edges.
  4. Sprinkle lemon juice and corriander and enjoy hot!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Comfort Food - Rajma Chawal

I know the pictures are terrible but in my defense it was a lazy Sunday evening with the smell of comforting Rajma and Jeera rice filling my kitchen and I did not have the motivation to go and grab my camera or improve the lighting before I clicked it with my IPhone. Thanks to Neha for inspiring me to make this Rajma Chawal. I declare her Rajma as the best I have ever tasted on this earth and this was my attempt to recreate it in my own way.

Rajma Recipe

  1. Kidney Beans - 2 cups, soaked overnight
  2. Yellow Onion - 1 large, finely chopped
  3. Tomatoes - 2, finely chopped
  4. Oil - 2 tsps
  5. Cloves - 2-3
  6. Cardamom - 2
  7. Star Anise - 1
  8. Cinnamon - 1/4th inch piece
  9. Bay leaf - 1
  10. Ginger paste - 1 tsp
  11. Garlic paste - 1 tsp
  12. Jeera powder - 2 tsps
  13. Dhania powder - 1 tsp
  14. Garam masala - 1/4th tsp
  15. Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
  16. Corriander - 2 cups, chopped
  17. Green chillies - 2 slit whole
  18. Curry leaves - 4/5
  19. Salt

  1. Heat oil in a pressure pan and add the cloves, cinnamon, star anise, cardamom and bay leaves. Roast until you can smell the aroma.
  2. Add the green chillies and curry leaves and saute for q min.
  3. Add the onions and saute until they are soft.
  4. Add the ginger paste and garlic paste and cook for 2 mins.
  5. Now add tomatoes and the jeera powder, dhania powder, red chilli powder, garam masala and salt. Cook until the tomatoes soften.
  6. Now add the rajma and water and pressure cook for 3-4 whistles (more if you have not soaked for long).
  7. Top off with the fresh corrainder and enjoy with jeera rice.

For jeera rice, refer to my previous post here.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Homemade Chai Masala Recipe and Chinese Blossom Tea

What can be better than a hot cup of masala chai when it is raining outside and you can smell the fresh scent of the earth when you open your windows! I got this chai masala recipe from my dear friend Hetvi and I am the biggest fan of her tea:) I make this in huge batches so that I can share the love with my friends:)

Chai Masala Recipe:

  1. Green Cardamom - 1 cup
  2. Whole black pepper - 1 cup
  3. Ginger powder - 2 cups
  4. Cinnamon sticks - 1/4th cup
  5. Cloves - 1/4th cup

Grind all the above ingredients and mix them. Store in an airtight jar.

While we are on the topic of tea, I tasted some Chinese blossom tea at House of Nanking in SF this weekend. It was very weird at first. It is a green colored liquid with a flower bud dropped inside. The bud slowly opens up as it absorbs the heat and blossoms into a full blown flower. Its beautiful:)

I also had an amazing cup of cappuccino at Steps of Rome, one of my favorite dessert places in the city. This cup was paired with some espresso creme brulee.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sriram Navami - Panagam, Neer More, Kosumali

Yesterday was Sriram Navami and this one holds a special place in my house as my hubby's name is Sriram:). I made the usual menu which I posted previously but I never posted the recipes. So here goes -


  1. Water - cold, 2 cups
  2. Jaggery - 3/4th cup
  3. Ginger powder - 1/2 tsp
  4. Elaichi powder - 1/4th tsp

Mix all the ingredients above and enjoy cold:)

Neer More


  1. Butter milk - 4 cups
  2. Corriander - chopped finely, handful
  3. Oil - 1 tsp
  4. Curry leaves - 6/7
  5. Green chillies - 2
  6. Hing - 1/4th tsp
  7. Ginger - 1 tsp, finely chopped
  8. Mustard seeds
  9. Salt
  1. Heat oil and add the mustard seed. Once they sputter, add the curry leaves, ginger, hing and green chillies.
  2. Once the ginger and other ingredients are friend well and crisp, add it to the buttermilk.
  3. Add salt and mix well. Enjoy chilled!

Cucumber Kosumali


  1. Cucumbers - 3 medium sized, finely chopped
  2. Moong dal - 1 cup, soaked for 3 hours
  3. Grated coconut - fresh/frozen, 1/2 cup
  4. Salt
  5. Lemon juice - 3 tbsps
  6. Oil - 1 tsp
  7. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  8. Urad dal - 1 tsp
  9. Dried red chillies - 4/5
  10. Hing - 1/2 tsp
  11. Curry leaves - 7/8
  12. ginger - 1/2 tsp, finely chopped

  1. Mix the cucumber, moong dal, coconut, lemon and salt together.
  2. Heat oil and add mustard seeds and let them sputter.
  3. Now add the urad dal and cook until it is golden brown.
  4. Add the ginger, curry leaves, red chillies and hing and saute until done.
  5. Add this tempering to the cucumber mixture and blend it.
  6. This is almost like a salad and very refreshing.

This weekend I had the opportunity of trying out a paratha like Afghani dish, called Bolani, at a mom and pop store in Fremont. It is basically bread stuffed with boiled potatoes, leeks and spices and it is served with homemade yogurt. Thanks to my sister for recommending this dish and place. It was awesome!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Carrot Kosambari and Dosa Love

I made a very healthy carrot kosambari/salad last night along with a lot of other heavy duty items. This one stood out in its simplicity and freshness along all the other festive foods.

  1. Carrots - 5 grated
  2. Moong dal - 1 cup soaked for 3 hours
  3. Oil - 1 tsp
  4. Green chillies - 2 finely chopped
  5. Curry leaves - 5-6
  6. Corriander - handful, finely chopped
  7. Lemon juice - 3 tbsps
  8. Salt
  9. Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  10. Jeera - 1/2 tsp
  11. Hing - 1/4th tsp
  12. Ginger - 1/2 inch piece, finely chopped

  1. Heat oil and add mustard seeds, jeera, hing, curry leaves, green chillies, ginger. Saute until all the aromas are enahnced and mustard seeds sputter.
  2. Add to grated carrot and mix in moong dal, lemon juice, salt, corriander. Toss everything together and let it sit for 30 mins and its ready to devour.

We ate some yummy food at Anjappar Chettinad last week. Do you remember ordering a cone dosa like above when you were a kid and lunging to break the top off and eat it? That is exactly what my hubby did:D:D

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lauki Dal And Funny Lemons

When life gives you lemons......Well, if they are anything like the one above then I'd laugh my guts out! :D:D A co-worker got some lemons from his backyard and I loved this one. I simply had to pick up this poor deformed thing. :)

I made a very simple yet tasty bengali style lauki dal. The panch puran masala gives it a very unique flavor. It was so good to have this after 5 days of eating out.

  1. 3 spoons panch puran masala
  2. 1 small lauki (bottle gourd)
  3. Tomato - 1, finely chopped
  4. Split masoor dal - 1 cup
  5. Oil - 1 tsp
  6. Salt
  7. Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
  8. Jeera powder - 1 tsp
  9. Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
  10. Dhania powder - 1/2 tsp
  11. Tamarind pulp - 1 tsp
  12. Curry leaves - 10
  1. Take a pressure pan and heat the oil.
  2. Add the curry leaves, haldi and the panch puran masala.
  3. Add the tomatoes and dal and saute for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the the rest of the ingredients - tamarind pulp, salt, chilli powder, dhania powder, jeera powder and enough water to soak them.
  5. Pressure cook for two whistles and enjoy steaming hot.

We ate at saravana bhavan last weekend and enjoyed the falooda and filter coffee.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Egg Curry

I made this egg curry for dinner with plain rice. It was inspired by this recipe from Asha's blog Foodie's Hope.

Egg Prep:

Hard boil 8-10 eggs. Shallow fry them with 2 tbsps oil until they crisp a little on the outside. Cut 1 inch vertical slits around the egg.

Ingredients for Gravy:
  1. Onions - 3 large, chopped finely
  2. Tomatoes - 4 chopped finely
  3. Tomato sauce - 1 can
  4. Bay leaves - 2
  5. Elaichi - 2
  6. Cloves - 4
  7. Star anise - 1
  8. Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
  9. Jeera Dhania powder - 1.5 tsp
  10. Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
  11. Tandoori masala - 1/2 tsp
  12. Kasoori methi - 1 tsp
  13. Tamarind paste - 1 tsp
  14. Oil - 1 tsp
  15. Green chillies - 2 slit lengthwise
  16. Curry leaves - 7/8
  17. Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
  18. Salt
  19. Water - 3 cups
  20. Corriander - 1 cup chopped
  1. Heat the oil and add the cloves, elaichi, bay leaves, star anise, green chillies and curry leaves. Sautee until well fried.
  2. Add the onions and sautee until soft, golden brown and well done.
  3. Add the ginger garlic paste and cook for 1 min.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cook until soft.
  5. Add the tomato sauce, garam masala, tandoori masala, red chilli powder, kasoori methi, jerra dhania powder and mix well.
  6. Cook until the raw taste of the masalas and tomato sauce goes away.
  7. Add the water and tamarind paste and cook until you see the oil separate.
  8. Add salt if required.
  9. Add the fried and slit eggs and mix well. Cover with lid for 10 minutes and allow to cook and steam.
  10. Garnish with chopped coriander and enjoy with hot rice.

Simple Dinners, Take 2 - Tomato Moong Dal and Cabbage Sabji

I had a lovely and simple dinner last night after a few days of binging on outside food. It feels really good to eat such simple food.

The moong dal was inspired by this recipe from Saffron Trail and I followed it all the way except the dried mint. It was really tasty and very easy to make.

The cabbage curry was very simple too and it was slightly tamilian style.

  1. 5 cups of chopped cabbage
  2. Oil - 1 tsp
  3. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  4. Dried red chillies - 5
  5. Hing - 1/4th tsp
  6. Curry leaves - 7/8
  7. Chilli powder - 1/4th tsp
  8. Salt
  1. Heat oil and add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, red chillies and hing. Fry until you can smell all the aromas.
  2. Add the cabbage and stir fry until well cooked.
  3. Add the salt and red chilli powder and mix well. Heat for 5 mins.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Gulla-Malai by Smita-Ram's

Are you baffled with the name? Hehe...I don't blame you. The credit goes to my husband for coming up with the name. This recipe is my dear friend Hetvi's and it is one of the smartest semi-homemade recipes I have come across. The recipe uses canned Haldiram rasgulla's as the rasmalai and the milk is from badam milk mix with some dry fruits thrown in - hence the name. It is fool proof and really easy to make for those challenged in the desert making department. I simply had to try it out after I ate it at my friend's place recently. Needless to say it was a hit with my dinner guests. Thanks Hetvi for the lovely recipe!

  1. Two cans of Haldiram's rasgullas
  2. 1/2 gallon fat free or low fat or whole milk
  3. Condensed milk - 1/4th can
  4. MTR badam milk mix - 3 spoons
  5. Slivered almonds, toasted - 3 tbsps
  6. Slivered pistachios, toasted - 2 tbsps
  7. Saffron strands - 1/4th tsp
  1. Open the rasgulla cans and squeeze all the syrup out of the rasgullas and set aside. Do not use the syrup otherwise it will get very sweet.
  2. Heat the half gallon of milk for 30 minutes on low flame until it thickens.
  3. Add the badam milk mix and condensed milk and bring the milk to a boil.
  4. Add the almonds, pistachios and saffron and stir.
  5. Pour over the rasgullas while hot and allow it to come to room temperature before popping in the fridge and your dessert is ready. This tastes even better if you make it the day before as the rasgullas then have enough time to absorb the flavorful milk.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Simple dinners and gourmet chocolates...

I am having a pretty eventful Feb, what with our anniversary and Valentine's day and friend's visiting and trip to Napa. Ever since my India trip and all the sickness, I am more and more inclined to very simple dinners during weekdays and I avoid eating out too much. Not sure if these recipes are exciting but they are surely very simple and comforting.

Moong dal:


  1. Two cups moong dal, soaked overnight
  2. One small onion, chopped fine
  3. One tomato, chopped
  4. Oil - 1 tsp
  5. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  6. Jeera - 1 tsp
  7. Curry leaves - 5
  8. Chilli powder - 1 tsp
  9. Goda masala - 1/2 tsp
  10. Salt
  1. Take a pressure pan and heat the oil. Add the mustard, curry leaves and jeera and let it sputter.
  2. Add the onions and tomatoes and sautee until soft.
  3. Add the soaked moong dal, chilli powder, goda masala, salt and pressure cook for two whistles.

Pumpkin Sabji:

  1. 2 cups of chopped yellow pumpkin
  2. Oil - 1 tsp
  3. Green chillies - 4/5 chopped fine
  4. Jeera - 1 tsp
  5. Salt
  1. HEat the oil in a pan and add the jeera and green chillies.
  2. Once the jeera turns dark brown, add the pumpkin and salt and cook until soft. This is a simple yet tasty recipe and goes well with rotis.

We stopped by a place called bittersweet chocolate cafe and it had an amazing variety of chocolates from all over the world. I got my hands on a few, thanks to my hubby's generosity on Valentines day.

I also tasted the best coffee I have had in recent times at the same place and the latte art there just made my day:)

Going forward I will be adding tidbits of my life to each post as the recipe blogging is getting kinda monotonous:)

Monday, February 01, 2010

I ♡ My Food Processor

I love my food processor:)...I have had it for 3 years sitting in my garage and finally I opened it this year (one of my new year resolutions)...It is awesome and cuts my veggies so fine...I mostly use it when I have a lot of veggies to cut and I want them chopped fine or grated like beans, tindora, carrot, cabbage, karela, etc.
Another change I made starting Oct last year is to start making fresh rotis. I have survived the last 5 years on store bought rotis and that wasn't cutting it for me. We would end up eating stale rotis or rotis which had preservatives or just resort to rice if we were out of rotis. I was inspired by my friend Hetvi and I tried my hand at making phulkas and it has been such a welcome change to our eating habits. Phulkas with 0% oil are so healthy and light and a godsend to our digestive system. My hubby is a great help and kneads the dough for me. I tried all the different flours in the market and have decided that Pillsbury is the best. The rotis come out super soft and light. Now when I do this, I cannot imagine why I never did this all these years. Agreed its an additional effort but totally worth it. To all you people who have store bought roti land rotis and parathas, I highly recommend making your own.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sabudana Vada

Sabudana vada is a delicacy enjoyed during upvas days by Maharashtrians. How we eat sabudana, potatoes, peanuts and still claim it is upvas is beyond my understanding but I love all dishes made on upvas days all the same:). The issue with sabudana is that it really depends on it quality how the dishes turn out. Luckily the one I get works just as well as the one my mom used in India.

  1. Sabudana - 3 cups
  2. Green chilies - 8-10
  3. Jeera - 4 tsps
  4. Roasted peanut powder - 2 cups
  5. Potatoes - 2
  6. Salt
  7. Oil for frying
  1. Wash the sabudana in water and drain all the water. Leave it overnight with very little water at the bottom of the vessel. Make sure the sabudana is light and fluffed up, otherwise sprinkle some water every few hours until you see it soaked.
  2. Boil the potatoes, mash then and add then to the sabudana.
  3. Add peanut powder, jeera, salt and green chilli paste and make a dough.
  4. Heat the oil in the fryer.
  5. Make small patties of the sabudana and deep fry until they turn a little dark. Enjoy with green chutney or ketchup.