Sunday, July 13, 2014

Methi/Fenugreek Rice

Here is a recipe sent by my cousin who lives in Bangalore. She got it from her cook and friend...Pushpa. Here's what she had to say about Pushpa....

" .....a good-hearted woman who has seen more than her share of tragedy in life. But she is strong of spirit, and I hope that the smile never leaves her face for too long"

When she told me about the  dish, I begged her for the recipe and I could not wait to try it out. So I substituted the beans with black eyed peas that I had at home but I am posting the exact same recipe as Pushpa makes it. 

This was such a delicious dish and a complete meal with a side of raita. The beans add a lovely texture and the fresh cilantro and mint along with ginger and garlic makes every mouthful burst with flavor and happiness!


I cup Rice 
250 g Surti paapdi/vaal seeds - soaked overnight to remove the outer skin the next day (this is called "hitikida avare kaaLu" in Kannada)
100 g fresh double beans - the brown speckled variety
1 bunch fresh fenugreek leaves
 fresh mint leaves (about 20-25)
coriander.cilantro leaves (half a bunch)
green chillies (5-6)
1 large onion - julienned
1 large tomato - chopped into small pieces (not too small)
whole spices - bay leaf, star anise, "marathi moggu" (these are dried pistils of the silk cotton flower), cloves, cardomom
2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
garam masala powder

Grind the mint, cilantro and green chillies to a paste. Chop the fenugreek/methi leaves. Heat some oil in a pressure cooker, and add the whole spices (2-3 of each). Then add the onions, ginger garlic paste and fry till pink. Add the green paste, fry for a minute, and add the methi leaves and the tomato. Fry till the cooked smell of methi is released. Add the green beans (paapdi) and the double beans and stir for about 2 minutes. Add washed rice, and water as required (two and a half cups is recommended). Add salt to taste(I taste the water since this requires more salt) and garam masala powder (2 1/2 tsp). Mix well and cook for 3 whistles at medium flame. Open only once steam has released on its own.
Enjoy with a mixed veg raita of onions, tomatoes, green chillies and coriander!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Bharwaan Baingain (Stuffed Eggplants)

Here is a simple and delicious recipe for stuffed baingan/eggplant. I have used the small round variety and stuffed it with dalia (roasted chana dal) and ground and roasted peanuts, along with the other Indian spices that are used in everyday cooking.


12 small baby eggplants
1/4 cup roasted dalia
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
2 heaped tablespoons dry mango powder (amchur)
3 heaped tablespoons coriander-cumin powder
1 teaspoon fennel powder (saunf)
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon red chilli powder (or more, add as per taste)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 and 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar or jaggery
handful of cherry tomatoes (optional)
Salt according to taste
Oil for cooking


Grind the peanuts and dalia and mix all the other spices with it, including salt. Make cross slits in each eggplant, keeping the ends with the stem intact. Fill in this dry mix with the peanuts and all the other spices. Stuff the eggplants well and keep them aside.There should be about 1/4 to 1/2 cup stuffing left. Keep that aside.  Heat oil in a pan and place these stuffed eggplants in it. Cook on medium heat, carefully turning them around to brown all sides. Once the eggplants have browned add the remaining spice mix to the pan and cover the eggplants with it. Add half cup of water, halved cherry tomatoes. Cover the pan and let the eggplants cook in the gravy. Keep checking and add more water if needed, till the eggplants and spices are all well cooked. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves before serving.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Roasted Peanuts and Sesame Seeds Granola

My father loves making Indian desserts like kulfi, kheer, and peanut chikkis. He makes one of the best peanuts and sesame seeds chikkis and laddus :)
They are soft yet crunchy, the peanuts are well roasted and he likes to add a hint of spice like ginger powder or fennel seeds. I decided to follow one of his laddu or chikki recipes and post it here. To make the laddus you have to be quick and roll them into balls before it cools. And I thought to myself that maybe I can let it sit in the pan for a while and then just crumble it to give a granola type texture. So that is what I have done here. The recipe remains the same except that I reduced the amount of jaggery to make it more crumbly and ate it like any other granola with some fruit, sprinkle of chia seeds and milk. It is delicious and  can also be eaten dry as a snack.

Some other ingredients that can be added to make the granola are
Roasted almonds
Sunflower seeds
Raisins, dried blueberries, dried cranberries
flax seeds


2 cups roasted peanuts
(I roasted raw peanuts and then removed the skin)
1 cup roasted sesame seeds
1 and 3/4 cups soft jaggery/gud
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds/saunf
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder/saunth
1 teaspoon ghee


Grind the roasted peanuts and sesame seeds into a coarse mix. Do not powder it completely. 
Take a non stick pan and add 1 teaspoon ghee to coat the surface. Now melt the jaggery, stirring continuously. Once it is completely melted,  fold in the peanuts and sesame mix along with the fennel seeds and ginger powder. Mix everything well and turn the heat off. 
It will start setting in the pan as it cools. Crumble it with a wooden spoon or with your hands once it is cool to touch.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Paneer Tikka Masala

Here is a recipe for paneer tikka masala that I make quite often. I have to admit that I have not been posting lately. I have many excuses reasons for not posting, like I have been busy, I have not cooked anything worthy of posting, or am not happy with the pictures, my computer crashed etc.  I had been promising my family and friends who frequent my blog that I will be back soon.. My cousin, who shares my passion for food has been motivating me for the last several months by sending a guest blog post (that I have yet to post!), sending me some delicious recipes to inspire me and  several gentle and not so gently reminders. Finally, yesterday she asked for this recipe that has been sitting my drafts for more than a year. Happy to post it finally.   


250 grams paneer
4 fresh tomatoes
6-7 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons garam masala
3-4 black cardamom
2 bay leaves
kasoori methi
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder 
1 tablespoon coriander-cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon fennel powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 red onion thinly sliced
1 green capsicum sliced
7-8  cashews broken and soaked in water


Cut the paneer into cubes and marinate it with  red chilli powder, coriander-cumin powder, salt, garam masala, 3-4 grated garlic cloves and kasoori methi. Add about a tablespoon of oil just to coat all the spices.

Blanch and peel the tomatoes. Puree the tomatoes along with the remaining garlic, turmeric, chilli powder, fennel powder, garam masala, sugar, salt and kasoori methi.
Heat oil and add jeera, black cardamom, and bay leaf. Now add the pureed tomatoes. Cook till oil separates.

Grill the marinated paneer in a non-stick pan or your oven, add a little ghee for flavor.  Once it is grilled add the paneer to the cooked gravy. Thinly slice some onions and capsicums and saute them on high flame till slightly charred. Add these to the gravy too. Grind the soaked cashews to a smooth paste and mix everything well. Adjust salt as required. Sprinkle chaat masala before serving.

Charcoal smoke can be given to it to give a restaurant style smoky flavor.  Light a charcoal and carefully place it in a small metal bowl. Place the bowl directly on your paneer, pour a teaspoon of melted ghee on the charcoal and immediately cover the bowl. The charcoal will smoke due to the ghee and add flavor to your gravy.
P.S. The charcoal should not touch the gravy.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Kundru/Tendli Masala Fry

Kundru or tendli is a type of ivy gourd. I have heard many different names for it in India regionally. I love to eat it stir fried with onions or just slow cooked till it becomes caramelized and crispy. Apart from the taste it is good to know that this gourd is considered beneficial in lowering blood sugar.



 kundru/tendli sliced  lengthwise

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

red chilli powder (I used 2 teaspoons, adjust according to liking)

dry mango powder/amchur or juice or lemon

1 teaspoon garam masala or chaat masala (optional)

salt to taste

Oil for cooking (about a tablespoon)


Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add the mustard seeds and once they pop, slide the sliced vegetable in the oil. Mix well so that oil coats the vegetable. Now add salt and turmeric powder. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally until kundru starts wilting. It will reduce in quantity as the water from it dries out so be careful while adding salt. Once the vegetable is soft and slightly caramelized, sprinkle the chilli powder, garam masla and dry mango powder. If not using mango powder then squeeze the juice of lemon after transferring it to a glass bowl.

Serve with parathas, roti or plain rice.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Nani ke Pindi Chole (Chickpeas soaked in spices, my grandmother's style)

This recipe belongs to my Nani. It is full of flavor and tastes even better the next day after the chickpeas have soaked in all the flavor of the spices. Apart from the fact that these are delicious, I love making chole this way as it is also a quick recipe if you have the spices ready. I usually roast and grind the spices and keep in in an airtight container to use it whenever I need to. All you have to do is boil the chickpeas and mix in the masala. These chole taste the best with bhature or deep fried bread but I wanted to keep the meal healthy and so I served it with pita bread, greek yogurt and raw onions.

Here is the recipe........

250 grams chickpeas
1 teaspoon thinly sliced ginger
2-3 black cardamom
1 bay leaf
half teaspoon asafetida/hing

Spices to be dry roasted
1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
half inch cinnamon stick
2-3 cloves
1 tablespoon dry pomegranate/anardana

Other spices to be mixed in
1 teaspoon garam masala/chana masala
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
2 teaspoons dry mango powder/amchur
1 teaspoon black salt
1 teaspoon black pepper powder

2 tablespoons oil for cooking and salt according to taste


1.      Soak the chickpeas overnight. I soaked them longer so they got little sprouts too.

2.      Boil the chickpeas with salt, black cardamom and bay leaf.

3.      Prepare the masala/spices by dry roasting cumin seeds/jeera, coriander seeds/dhania, dry pomegranate seeds/anardana and cinnamon/dalchini.

4.      Grind the roasted spices in a coffee grinder and mix the other dry spices in it (red chilli powder, dry mango/amchoor powder, garam masala and/or chana masala, black pepper powder and black salt.

5.      Sprinkle all the masala on top of the cooked chickpeas.

6.      Heat two-tablespoon oil drop in thinly sliced ginger and asafetida/hing powder and pour it over the chickpeas. Mix everything well. Taste for salt and adjust accordingly. If the gravy is too thick, add a little water, although it should be on the thicker side.

7.      Before serving, add chopped cilantro and juice of lemon.

Traditionally this is served with bhature and a side of raw onion, green chillies and maybe some pickle. However, since I decided to avoid the fried bhature I served it with pita chips and yogurt and it was equally delicious.



Saturday, July 13, 2013

Mango and Avocado Sandwich

Mangoes and creamy avocados are both delicious and I often pair them together in salads, salsa or even curd rice. Avocado is great in a grilled cheese sandwich or or a veggie wrap too. But I would have never thought of making a sandwich with sweet mangoes had it not been introduced to me by a friend. When she made one for me....a really simple sandwich with plain white bread (no healthy nutty bread here) and sweet Indian mangoes and butter. It was delicious. Since then I have made mango sandwiches often and this time I thought of adding avocado along with the mango.
This is one quick and simple sandwich for anytime.

Sweet ripe mango (peeled and sliced)
Avocado (sliced)
Any white bread or bun
(I had the Hawaiian sweet rolls, so I used those)
A pinch of black or plain salt and red chilli powder (optional)
A drizzle of honey


Slice the buns/rolls into half and apply butter on both sides. Place slices of mangoes and avocado. Sprinkle with a little salt and red chilli powder. Drizzle with a little honey and place the other half of the bun on top.
Eat immediately.