Saturday, February 11, 2017

Bread poha

Bread poha is kind of an Indian version of savory bread stuffing and a delicious way to use leftover or slightly hardened day old bread. A common snack in India, it is quick and easy to make and you can easily add or substitute ingredients in it. Today I made this with the addition of sprouted moong beans along with the regular onion and tomatoes.

Perfect with a cup of tea!

What you need:

7-8 slices of day-old bread or a small loaf of french bagguette
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp finely chopped ginger and green chillies
2-3 cloves or garlic, grated or finely chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 cup of sprouted mung beans (any other vegetable can be added, like frozen green peas, corn carrots, capsicum, broccoli)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
juice of 1/2 a lime and finely chopped cilantro for garnish
salt to taste

Optional (Indian garam masala, chaat masala or pav bhaji masala can also be added while cooking the dry spices for a more intense flavor)


Grind the bread in a mixer to make bread crumbs. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a nonstick pan and saute onions till they start changing color, add the ginger-green chillies and stir, add garlic and all the dry spices. Now add the moong sprouts and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, stir for a minute and add the bread crumbs. Mix everything well, add salt according to taste. 
Cook for about a minute till the bread crumbs soak up the flavor and color. Sprinkle a few drops of water if it looks too dry.

Finally, add the lemon juice and garnish with cilantro. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Charred Peas and Eggplant Bharta

Roasted eggplant bharta is a popular Indian dish. It tastes best when the eggplant is roasted directly on fire. The smoky flavor gives this dish its unique flavor. I have made this bharta by adding charred peas to it. Here is the recipe.


1 large eggplant
1 small chopped red onion
1/2 cup frozen (thawed) green peas
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
1 green chilli
2 tomatoes
 fresh cilantro for garnish

 Dry masalas
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon dhania powder
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
1 teaspoon dry mango (amchoor) powder
Salt as per taste
mustard oil (any other oil can be used)

Roast the eggplant on medium flame, turning it around till its skin is charred. Don't turn it too often or it will break open. It will take about 15-20 minutes. Once it is done, let it cool and peel the charred skin off. It will come off easily. Take the smoky flesh of the eggplant and mash it well with a fork.

Now for the charred peas, I thawed the frozen peas and placed them in a cast iron pan with just a little oil and cooked it on high heat till the edges of the peas got charred. You have to cook it on high heat as you don't want the peas to get over cooked and mushy. Once the peas get charred keep them aside. 

Heat the mustard oil in a pan and add chopped onion. If you are not a fan of the strong flavored mustard (sarson) oil then any other oil can be used. Once the onion turn translucent add the chopped ginger, garlic and green chilies in it. Stir and cook till the raw smell of ginger and garlic goes away. Add all the dry masalas and salt, except the mango powder. Mix well and add the chopped tomatoes. Cook till tomatoes start disintegrating. Now add the mashed eggplant. Cook everything for a minute then add the charred peas and mango powder. Mix well. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro. Bharta tastes best with rotis or naan.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Mixed Vegetable Pulao in Pressure Cooker

This is what I made last Sunday when I was short of time and  and craving for hot and spicy carbs!
A simple rice and vegetable dish that is filling and nutritious too.

I used my pressure  to make it. Pressure cooker speeds up the cooking time and also preserves the nutrients in the food so it is healthier for you.

This dish does not require much prep time. Just use whatever vegetables you have in the house like onions, potatoes, peas, tomatoes. If you have mixed frozen vegetables those can be used.

I ate it with a side of yogurt, raw onion salad and mixed vegetable achaar (pickle).

Nothing better than a steaming hot plate of pulao with dahi (yogurt).


2 cups uncooked rice
1 teaspoon mustard seeds 
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
a pinch of asafoetida
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons red chilli powder (use less if you don't want it too spicy)
1 tablespoon coriander powder
2 teaspoons garam masala or pav bhaji masala ( you can use a little bit of both too)
1 cup mixed vegetables (green peas, carrots, beans, lima beans etc.)
1 onion 
1 potato
2 tomatoes
1 green chilli
Cilantro for garnish
2 tablespoons oil
Salt (according to taste)


Wash and soak the rice till you prepare your vegetables. If using fresh vegetables, chop all 
vegetable and keep them aside. Slice onions and potatoes.

Heat oil, add cumin and mustard seeds. Let them splutter and then add onions and potatoes. Cook for about 5-7  minutes, till the potatoes get a slight golden crust.

Add the garlic and chopped green chillies.Then add all the dry masalas (red chilli powder,turmeric coriander powder, garam masala, pav bhaji masala). 

Stir for about a minute, then add the tomatoes and mix everything well. Once the tomatoes disintegrate, add the rice and the vegetables.

 Add one and a half cup of water to it and put the lid of the pressure cooker. I gave it 3 whistles and let the steam escape completely before opening the lid. 

You can add a dollop of pure ghee to the pulao after it is cooked for flavor.  Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Kala Chana (Black chickpeas) in Tomato and Onion Based Gravy

Kala chana  is an excellent source or protein for vegetarians and tastes delicious whatever way it is prepared. It can be made dry or gravy based. This is the third time I am posting a recipe with kala chana on my blog. This recipe is similar to the one I made earlier with a slight variation in spices.  It has to be washed and soaked in plenty of water before you boil them (preferably for 6-8 hours).

Other recipes with kala chana on my the blog
Shakahari shami kabab with kala chana and sweet potatoes


1 cup dry chana soaked over night in water (it will double in quantity)
2 black cardamom
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 heaped tablespoon ginger garlic paste
2 tablespoons coriander cumin powder
2 teaspoons red chilli powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon chana masala or garam masala
3  tomatoes chopped
chopped cilantro
Half a lemon
Chaat masala (optional)


Boil the soaked chana with enough water, salt and black cardamom till soft but still hold their shape. I used a pressure cooker and gave it 5-6 whistles.

Heat  two tablespoons oil and fry the onions till golden brown. Add the ginger garlic paste and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Now add all the dry masalas (turmeric, red chilli powder, chana masala, coriander powder) and the chopped tomatoes. Mix everything well and cook till tomatoes are soft. Add the boiled chana and simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes on low heat.
Just before serving, squeeze the juice of lemon, chopped fresh cilantro and sprinkle some chaat masala.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Zucchini Hasselback

I recently stumbled upon this article on The Huffington Post about the health benefits of zucchini. It was one of those side bar links which invite you to open them and then that leads to another dozen side bar links. I forgot what the original article was that I was reading. But it drew my attention as I had cooked a lot with zucchini this summer and it reminded me about the zucchini hasselback that I had made. Fortunately I had taken a few pictures of it!  I had also tried other recipes with zucchini like zucchini spaghetti and lasagna substituting the real pasta with zucchini. Both the dishes tasted good and are much healthier than eating the real pasta but I missed the real taste and feel of pasta.
But I was the happy with zucchini hasselback. Here I did not really miss the potatoes and with the flavors of garlic and cheese, this dish was delicious. I did not over cook the zucchini and there was still a bite to it with the cheese nicely melted and edges slightly browned.

This recipe is easy, delicious, healthy and practically guilt free

I served it with garlic bread.


4  zucchini
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
Mozzarella string cheese (or any cheese you have at hand)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste


Make garlic oil by adding 2 cloves of mashed or grated garlic in olive oil and heat on low medium heat for about 5 minutes. The garlic should not burn. Once oil is almost ready to boil remove from heat and let it cool completely.

Wash and dry the zucchini
Make slits in the zucchini, keeping the bottom intact.
Brush the zucchini with garlic oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper over it.
Slice mozzarella cheese and insert in the slits of the zucchini.
Sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese and put it in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and cook till the cheese melts (about 10 minutes).

Friday, November 28, 2014

Egg-less Pumpkin Pie with Walnut Topping

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Here is a recipe to celebrate Thanksgiving...a Pumpkin Pie! I have never been a big fan on pumpkin pies or at least I have not liked the store bought ones that I have had in the past.
This pie has no eggs in it but the texture and consistency was perfect and taste wise this was the best pumpkin pie that I have had:)

The nut topping added extra flavor and crunch to the pie and I really loved that. But  that is  optional and can be left out if anyone is allergic to nuts or do not like the taste.

I have a lot to be thankful for, friends, good health, my blog, good food and more....

Here is the recipe.


1 store bought frozen pie shell
1 can pumpkin puree
1 can condensed milk
1/4 cup cream cheese or sour cream
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (a mix of cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon)

1 tablespoon candied ginger finely chopped 

For the topping
1 cup walnuts or pecans
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter


Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pour the condensed milk and cream cheese and corn starch in a bowl and mix till cheese is well blended.
Add the pumpkin puree and mix till it has a smooth consistency and there are no lumps in it. Add the powdered spices and candied ginger and mix well.
Pour the mix in the pie shell. Put it in the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake till the crust is browned and the pie is set (about 45 minutes to an hour. Baking times may vary depending on the size of the oven so check to see when it is set by inserting a toothpick in it.

If you are not adding the toppings then the pie is ready to eat once it cools. It can be served with fresh whipped cream on top.


For the topping mix the walnuts or pecans, sugar and butter.
Take out the pie from the oven when the pie is set and is almost ready (the last 10 minutes ) top it with the nuts and put it back in the oven for 10 minutes.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Aloo Methi (Potatoes and Fresh Fenugreek Leaves)

Methi is one of my favorite green leafy vegetable. It has a distinctive bitter taste. I learned to make raw salad with methi leaves and was reluctant to try it the first time but when the leaves are mixed with salt, a little sugar, lemon juice, chilli powder and sesame oil it makes a delicious salad.

Today I have made a very common dish that is prepared in most Indian households...aloo methi.
I am trying to include greens in my daily diet due to the health benefits that all greens have.

2 bunches of methi leaves.
(Trim roots, pick out the leaves from the stems and wash several times in cold water)
3 medium sized potatoes (cubed)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3-4 garlic cloves (roughly chopped)
2 dry red chillies (optional)
Pinch of asafoetida,
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt to taste


Heat oil in a pan and drop the cumin seeds, asafoetida, and red chillies. Once cumin seeds start to splutter, slide the potatoes, sprinkle salt and let the potatoes cook.
Roughly chop the washed methi leaves.
When potatoes are completely cooked add turmeric powder and methi leaves.
Mix everything well. The methi leaves will wilt and coat the potatoes. Once that happens continue cooking for 2-3 more minutes. Add more salt if needed.

Serve with rotis or rice and a side salad for a delicious and healthy Indian meal.