Friday, February 25, 2011

Coconut rice

This is one good way to use day old left over rice. It would taste better with freshly grated coconut but I don't have the patience or the tools to grate a coconut so I use frozen grated coconut.To go along with it I cubed a mango and sprinkled some paprika and salt.


 2cups cooked rice
1 onion finely sliced
3/4 cup grated coconut
1/2 tsp grated ginger
a few cashews or peanuts
1 sprig of curry patta
1/2 tsp of mustard seeds, urad dal and chana dal
1-2 tbsp dried cranberries or raisins
3-4 dried red chillies
2-3 green chillies 
1 red or orange bell pepper sliced
1/2 tsp asafoetida (optional)
salt to taste
Oil as required


Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds, chana dal, urad dal and asafoetida. Let the mustard seeds splutter then add the dried and green chillies, curry leaves, cashews, ginger and onion. Keep stirring and cook till the onions turn golden brown. Mix in the bell peppers and add the grated coconut and raisins and cook till the edges of coconut start getting golden. The coconut will become more fragrant as it roasts. Now add the rice and salt and mix everything well. Garnish with chopped cilantro.



Monday, February 21, 2011

Beetroot stew

I had made this stew/soup last month to chase the sniffles away. It was very comforting and nourishing.
(All the vegetables finely chopped)
1 turnip
1 parsnip
1 beetroot
1 onion
4 cloves of garlic
2 medium carrots
1 green stem of leek
1 small celery stick
dill, parsley, cilantro
1 stick of cinnamon and 1 bay leaf
half cup cubed tofu
salt and white pepper to taste
1 tbsp sugar 
Mixed italian herbs (optional)
Juice of 1 lemon
4- cups of water (or as needed)
olive oil

Heat some oil in a pressure cooker and add onion. Cook for a few minutes then add the garlic, cinnamon and bay leaf. Cook for a little while and then add the rest of the vegetables, salt, sugar and herbs. Cover the lid of the pressure cooker and let it cook for a while ( I cooked it for 2 whistles).  When it is done add the tofu and juice of lemon.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bell peppers and potato (Aloo shimla mirch)

Capsicum with potatoes and ajwain paratha (flatbread with carom seeds) is like staple food. It is homely simple everyday food. Ajwain paratha is made by adding some carom or ajwain seeds to the wheat flour along with some salt and a little oil and making a dough by adding water. I never use any measurements for making the dough. I add little water at a time till it is perfect for rolling.

2 medium bell peppers sliced
2 potatoes sliced
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder
3-4 tbsp roasted peanuts (crushed)
salt to taste
Oil as required

Heat little oil and add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and asafoetida and let them pop and splutter. Now add the potatoes and cook till the edges start getting slightly brown and potatoes are almost done. Add the turmeric powder, bell peppers and salt. Cover and cook for a little while. Do not over cook. Once done sprinkle the chili powder and peanuts. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with paratha.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Molten chocolate cake

 This is a Martha Stewart recipe and has very good reviews about it being just perfect. I thought of giving it a try for Valentine's day. It is a guilty pleasure, truly decadent and rich but high in fat and calories!! I think it is worth trying and the batter can be prepared in advance and baking time is only 10 minutes.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for muffin tins
1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for muffin tins
3 large eggs ( I used egg whites instead)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously butter 6 cups of a standard muffin tin. Dust with granulated sugar, and tap out excess. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and granulated sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, beat in flour and salt until just combined. Beat in chocolate until just combined. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups.
  3. Place muffin tin on a baking sheet; bake just until tops of the cakes no longer jiggle when the pan is lightly shaken, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sweet corn vegetable soup

It is the year of the rabbit and the the celebrations for the Chinese new year are still ongoing. It made me think of all the delicious Chinese food and I thought of making one of my all time favorite Chinese soups. ( I am not sure if it is authentic Chinese but it is definitely Indian Chinese!) Sweet corn soup! It is simple to make and really tasty.
 2 cans of cream style corn
4 carrots (cubed)
1/2 cup each of red and green bell peppers
5-6 scallions (greens and white separately chopped)
11/2 tbsp finely chopped ginger
1/2 cup diced mushrooms
2-3 cups vegetable stock or water
white pepper and salt to taste
2-3 tbsp vinegar
1tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp corn flour mixed with a little water
1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil (optional)
a few green chillies (for chili vinegar)


Heat some peanut oil in a pot and cook ginger and scallion whites for a few seconds. Add the chopped carrots and stir well. After a minute add the vegetable stock or water and the cream style corn. Add more water if needed and bring it to a boil. Now mix in the corn flour paste, add the pepper and salt. Let it boil for a few minutes. Pour the vinegar, sesame oil and soy sauce and turn off the heat. Add the rest of the vegetables and cover the pot with a lid. Just before serving garnish with scallion greens and cilantro. I like to add a little chili vinegar in mine which is just green chillies and vinegar.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Stuffed Peppers

When I saw the book "The accidental vegetarian" by Simon Rimmer I just had to buy it. The cover page had a tempting picture of sweet peppers stuffed with ricotta cheese. Inside there were some other delicious looking recipes that I just had to read over and over again and savour them by  looking at the pictures. Ever since I bought the book I have been thinking of trying the recipe. I finally got down to making it today. I changed it a little bit by adding a few more ingredients like olives, pine nuts, lemon zest and chipotle seasoning and I baked the cheese and peppers. It turned out to be delicious!


4 large sweet peppers
Ricotta cheese
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
6-7 sliced olives
Zest of lemon 1 tsp
Juice of one lemon
1-2 tbsp thyme leaves
a few basil leaves (roughly chopped)
Ground pepper and salt
Chipotle seasoning
Chili oil
Oil of cooking

Heat some oil in a pan till smoking hot and grill the peppers  till slightly charred. To prepare the filling mix all the other ingredients except the chili oil. Fill the peppers with the ricotta mix. It can be served just like this as a side dish.


After filling the peppers with the cheese mix place it in a baking dish and drizzle some chili oil over it. Bake at 450 degrees F for about 10 minutes. Serve.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Black sesame seeds chikki

Chikki is a sweet treat like nut brittle traditionally made with peanuts, cashews or sesame seeds and jaggery. This one is made with black sesame seeds and jaggery.

Karen this one is for you. Thank you for reminding me about it!

1 cup jaggery
11/2 cup black sesame seeds
1/2 tsp ground ginger powder (optional)


Take a pan and roast the black sesame seeds on low heat till the raw smell goes away. Keep stirring and checking. Taste to check if the seeds are crunchy and roasted properly. Remove from heat.In a deeper pan start heating the jaggery till it melts completely. Keep stirring this too or it will start burning. Once the jaggery is completely melted add the sesame seeds and ginger powder and mix thoroughly. Take the pan off heat and pour the entire mixture in a greased pan. Spread it evenly using a rolling pin if needed. It has to be done while still hot. Once it cools cut into desired shape and store in an airtight container.


I don't consider myself an expert in making sambhar.I like to try different variations by using a combination of lentils like masoor (red lentils) or arhar dal (split pigeon peas) and vegetables that I have at home. I have used lauki (bottle gourd), onions, tomatoes, okra, peppers, spinach, radish, peas and carrots etc.) In this recipe I have mixed equal portions of red lentils and split pigeon peas.

1/2 cup arhar dal (split pigeon peas)
1/2 cup masoor dal (red lentils)
Half red onion chopped
2 medium tomatoes chopped
5-6 okra chopped
1 carrot chopped
1tsp turmeric powder, 1tbsp coriander cumin powder, 1tsp red chili powder
11/2 tbsp sambhar powder (store bought)
Juice of one lemon or sometimes I use tamarind pulp
For tempering
1tsp mustard seeds
1tsp cumin seeds
1/2tsp methi dana (fenugreek seeds)
1/2 tsp asafoetida
2-3 dried red chillies
1/2 tsp urad dal
10-12 curry patta

Boil the lentils with salt, turmeric and water till completely cooked. I pressure cooked them. (3 whistles) Heat 1tbsp oil for tempering. Once the oil is hot add the mustard seeds and let them pop, quickly add the rest of the ingredients and let them splutter for a few seconds. Add the chopped onions carrots, sambhar powder, coriander cumin powder, red chili powder and cook for about a  minute and pour it over the lentils. Add chopped tomatoes and okra and boil the lentils again for 5-10 minutes. Add the lemon juice. Garnish with cilantro

Masala dosa with sambhar, peanut chutney, molaga podi (chutney powder)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Street food (Pav bhaji)

Street vendor's secret ingredient

Street food brings back memories of the wonderful time and food enjoyed by most college goers in India There were vendors serving  a variety of food from different parts of India and the world filling the air with delicious aromas! There was the Indian Chinese, the South Indian dosas and idlis, chaat and bhel of all kinds, ice coolers and ice-creams, samosas, and dabelis and then there was the pav bhaaji. Mixed vegetable all mashed up cooked in spices with guilty amounts of butter and served with bread and onions with more butter on top! I don't think I have the courage to add or cook in that much butter but I do love pav bhaaji so I make it at home at times. And it is healthy as it has plenty of vegetables and I cook it in little oil with just a touch of butter on top for flavor.


3 large boiled potatoes (mashed)

2 onions
3-4 medium tomatoes crushed
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
Mixed boiled vegetables (cauliflower, carrots, peas, beans, corn etc.)
Bell peppers chopped
Cilantro chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp coriander cumin powder
1tbsp pav bhaji masala
1tsp garam masala
3-4 cloves crushed
a little butter for flavor
Salt to taste
Oil for cooking

 Heat some oil in a pan and add very finely chopped onion and ginger garlic paste. Cook till golden brown. Add the crushed cloves, tomatoes, salt and all the dry masalas. Cover and cook till oil starts leaving the sides of the pan. Add all the boiled and mashed potatoes and the rest of the vegetables. Add a cup of water and continue to cook while mashing all the vegetables with a potato masher. Garnish with cilantro and lemon juice. Serve with grilled hamburger buns.

To complete the whole street food experience I also made some falooda. It is chilled flavored milk with special noodles, nuts, ice cream and fruits!