Thursday, April 28, 2011

Choco-Peanut Butter Lachcha Paratha

After seeing me stuffing parathas, Gudiya asked me if I could stuff anything into a paratha. I wasn't sure what I was going to get into. So I answered a non-committal "maybe". ;-) She asked me if I could stuff her favorite choco-peanut butter into it? I gladly agreed. I was afraid that just stuffing and rolling may cause the peanut butter to ooze out. So I spread some choco-peanut butter and then rolled it and then coiled like lachcha paratha. Gudiya was very pleased! :-D

Choco-Peanut Butter Lachcha Paratha
1 recipe chapati dough
A spoonful of choco-peanut butter

oil for roasting
rice/wheat flour for dredging

1. Roll out a small disc using flour for dusting.
2. Spread choco-peanut butter.
3. Roll into a thin rope. Turn it into a coil like jalebi.
4. Dust it lightly with flour. Roll out into a disc.
5. Roast on a hot tawa/griddle using oil as needed

Note -
1. I used choco-peanut butter by peanut butter & company, NY.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Baingan Paneer

I always have tricolor bell peppers in my refrigerator. Gudiya loves to snack on them. I cut them into strips and we call them "better than fries". Many times, I get half of bell peppers left. You may notice that many of my recipes call for half of red bell pepper/green bell pepper etc! Anyways, I had half each of the tricolored bell peppers and 1 big eggplant and a small slab of paneer. I decided to make an Indian stir fry.

Baingan Paneer
Eggplant with Indian Cottage Cheese
1 eggplant, peeled and cut into strips
1/2 each of tricolor peppers, cut into strips
1/2 onion, cut into strips
1 cup paneer
1 tsp paprika or mild chili powder
Salt to taste
1 tbsp coriander-cumin seed powder, preferably freshly made
A pinch of garam masala

1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1. Heat oil in a kadai or a wok. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
2. Add all the veggies and paprika and coriander-cumin powder. Add salt.
3. Keep on stirring till veggies are cooked.
4. Add paneer pieces and garam masala.
5. Sprinkle some cilantro on top.

Note -
1. You can also sprinkle some amchoor powder or squeeze lemon juice.
2. You can also add a generous pinch of chaat masala for a twist.
3. If I use big eggplant for making curry or stir-fry, I peel it since peels are very thick and chewy.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Aloo Paratha (1)

My maushi makes the best aloo parathas. I love to eat them with tomato ketchup. Whenever I am in a hurry, I make potato theplas as they are quicker to assemble. But aloo paratha is an ultimate comfort food.
Raja Foods in Jackson Heights, NY is a Punjabi restaurant in NY. When I first visited there, I was just mesmerized by the skills of the punjabi ladies rolling out fresh parathas.
Here, I have used my maushi's recipe. But my moushi makes smaller parathas. So I decided to go Raja foods way to roll out bigger ones.

Aloo Paratha
Potato Stuffed Flatbread
5-6 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled, mashed
1/2 tsp cumin seeds

Grind to a fine paste
4 cloves garlic
1"ginger, peeled, chopped
A handful of cilantro
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt to taste

Knead to a dough
2 cups wheat flour
water as need
salt to taste
1 tsp oil

You will also need,
rice or wheat flour for dredging
oil for roasting

1. Mix green chutney with mashed potatoes. Stir in cumin seeds. Mix well. Cover and set aside.
2. Make a nice dough by kneading wheat flour, salt with water. Add 1 tsp oil and keep kneading till dough doesn't stick to your finger tips. Cover and set aside for 15 minutes.
3. Make 7 - 9 uniform balls of dough. Using little rice or wheat flour for dredging, roll out a thick disc.
4. Make 7 - 9 balls of potato stuffing. Place one ball on the rolled out disc. Bring all the corners together. Flatten the stuffed ball. Dredge into flour and roll out a thick and big paratha/flatbread.
5. Heat a griddle. Roast paratha till brown spots appear on both sides. Use oil as needed.
6. Repeat the same procedure with the remaining balls.

Note -
1. Based on the circumference, the count of parathas may vary.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Quinoa with peanuts

There are two types khichdis in Maharashtrian kitchens. One is rice-moong daal hodgepodge and the other is sabudanyachi khichdi. Yesterday, I replaced sabudana with quinoa and this was the best quinoa dish we ever tasted!

Quinoa Khichdi
Quinoa with Peanuts
1 cup raw quinoa, rinsed and cooked per instructions
salt to taste
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup roasted, unsalted peanut powder
1 medium Yukon gold potato, peeled, grated (optional)

1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp grated ginger
2-3 green chilies, slit
1/2 tsp cumin seeds or 1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder

2 tbsp cilantro or italian parsley, chopped
1/2 lemon, squeezed

1. Rinse and cook quinoa per instructions. Set aside to cool down.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add the ingredients for tempering.
3. As they sizzle, add grated potato - if using. Sauté for 5 minutes. Now add cooked and cooled quinoa, salt, sugar and roasted peanut powder.
4. Stir nicely. Squeeze lemon juice and sprinkle chopped cilantro or italian parsley.
5. Cover and let it cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.
6. Serve hot.

Note -
1. Depending on the required heat level, you can slit, chop or grind green chilies to get the various degrees of heat. You can also increase or decrease their number.
2. I love the flavor of grated ginger in the khichdi. You can adjust per your taste.

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

American Chopsuey

It's a cliche. Everyone knows it now that American Chopsuey doesn't feature in any of the American Chinese restaurants. Just like General Tso's chicken is Americanized version of Chinese, American Chopsuey is Indianized version of Chinese food. We absolutely love it. I sneak in whole wheat spaghetti or Angel hair pasta instead of noodles to add more fiber.

American Chopsuey
4 servings cooked wheat spaghetti, cooked per directions
1 1/2 tbsp oil

Grind to paste
3-4 kashmiri chilies, soaked in water for 1 hour
3 fat garlic cloves
1" ginger, peeled & chopped

Whisk together
Chili-ginger-garlic paste
salt to taste
1/4 cup tomato ketchup (I use Indian version which is without high fructose corn syrup)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Few splashes of soy sauce

Cut into thins slices
1/2 of red onion
1/2 of red, orange, yellow, green pepper each
1/2 of zucchini
2 carrots, peeled

For making an omelet, whisk
2 eggs
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste

oil for frying

2 spring onions, chopped (use green part)

1. Heat oil in a wok. Add all the veggies. Stir fry on a high flame.
2. As the veggies wilt, add cooked pasta. Mix it together.
3. Stir in the ketchup mixture. Mix to incorporate.
4. Heat a small saucepan. Add whisked eggs mixture. Adding oil as needed, cook an omelet.
5. When it cools down, cut into strips.
6. Serve cooked pasta topped with egg strips.
7. Garnish with chopped spring onions (green part)

Note -
1. You can sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper or hot sauce like Sriracha if you like.
2. Egg or egg-free noodles can be substituted instead of pasta.You can also use whole wheat capelini or angel hair pasta. Just adjust the cooking time per instructions on the pack.

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Kolumbi Bhaat - Prawns Pulao

Kolumbi bhaat or prawns rice is really delicious. Just try it.

Kolumbi Bhaat
कोलंबी भात
Prawns & Rice
1 1/2 cup basmati, rinse and keep aside for 30 minutes
salt to taste
1/2 tsp tamarind paste

1 1/2 cups shrimp/prawns
4 small potatoes, peeled & halved
2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp Malvani masala or chili powder

Roast one after the other using few drops of oil
2 green cardamoms
1 tbsp coriander seeds
3 cloves
5 - 7 black peppercorns
A small piece of cinnamon
3/4 cup sliced onion
1/4 cup dry coconut
1 tbsp poppy seeds

1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp shah jire
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp minced onion

Additional flavor (optional)
1/4 cup fresh coconut milk

2 tbsp minced coriander leaves/cilantro
2 tbsp fresh coconut

Suggested accompaniment
lemon wedges

1. Rinse basmati rice and set aside for at least 30 minutes.
2. Marinate shrimp or small prawns. Cover and refrigerate till ready to use.
3. In a heavy bottomed skillet, heat a few drops of oil. Roast one spice at a time and take out in a steel plate to cool down.
4. Fry sliced onion using more oil if needed till they are brown but not burnt. Take out to cool down.
5. Roast coconut till it is nicely browned. You do not need oil to roast the coconut. As coconut changes its shade, add poppy seeds and roast again.
6. Grind all the roasted ingredients along with tamarind paste. Do not add too much water for grinding.
7. Heat a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add oil for tempering. Add whole spices and turmeric powder. As they splutter, add minced onion. Fry till onion is soft.
8. Now add finely ground masala. Roast for 5-7 minutes.
9. Add marinated shrimp along with the marinade. Fry for 2 minutes.
10. Add rinsed basmati. Fry for 1 minute taking care not to break the grain.
11. Now add green peas, 2 1/2 cups water. Add salt. Bring to boil
12. As water starts boiling, switch the gas to medium low. Add another 1/2 cup of water now.
13. Cover and let it cook 7-9 minutes.
14. Switch the gas to the lowest. Add 1/4 cup coconut milk if using. Cook for another 7 minutes.
15. Switch off the gas. Fluff the rice with a fork.
16. Cover and set aside for 5 minutes before serving.
17. Garnish with coconut and cilantro.
18. Serve with lemon wedges on side.

Note -
1. If your blender container is made from plastic, make sure that the roasted spices have cooled off.
2. Use medium or small shrimp for this rice.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Mixed Veg Poriyal

We had to work as interns in the real world companies, as a part of our final year syllabus. That's how my friends and I entered "SEEPZ" - IT hub in Andheri, Mumbai. (If it is located in Andheri, then why is it called Santacruz Electronics Exports Processing Zone? - that was our first question anyway!!) We quickly discovered that whatever we had slogged(?) in the college was completely different (or even outdated!) compared to the real life experience. We also discovered the canteens in SEEPZ. :-D

This mixed veg. fry - I think that's what it was called - was the really a hodgepodge of all possible veggies- cabbage, cauliflower, bell peppers, carrots, green beans, green peas - you name it. Probably the cook just used to get rid of all the veggies in one single dish. But I used to love this poriyal. I recreated that taste at home but at the fraction of oil and fresh coconut.

This is my "go-to" recipe when I am in a hurry. If I have a packet of cabbage coleslaw packet and some frozen veggies,  it gets ready in a jiffy. I serve this with dahi-butti - curd rice & lemon pickle.

Mixed Vegetable Poriyal
Mixed vegetable fry
1 packet shredded cabbage/coleslaw
1/2 packet tricolor bell pepers, frozen
1/2 packet green beans, frozen
1/2 packet green peas and carrot
1/2 packet yellow corn
salt to taste

1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder(optional)
2 sprigs of curry leaves
1/2 tsp urad daal
1/2 tsp chana daal
2 red chilies, halved

1 tbsp freshly grated coconut

Suggested Accompaniment
Dahi Butti
Sweet Lemon Pickle

1. Heat oil in a deep kadai or a wok. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
2. As the urad daal changes its shade, add all the veggies.
3. Stir fry without letting the veggies burn. (Do not cover with a lid)
4. Add salt to taste.
5. Garnish with coconut.

1. You can add any veggies of your choice. Make sure not to add too mushy, sticky or slimy vegetables.
2. You can add fresh veggies also. Adjust the cooking time accordingly.
3. Addition of American corn adds sweetish flavor to this poriyal. If you don't prefer that taste, omit American sweet corn.
4. You can stir in 1 tbsp sambar powder (preferably homemade) or 1 tbsp mulgapodi in this recipe. If using, add it after the veggies are cooked.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Moong Chaat

We love chaats and I love to sneak in beans and sprouts in the chaats.

Moong Chaat
Mung sprouts salad
3 cups moong sprouts
salt to taste
chaat masala to taste
1 tomato, minced
1 small red onion, minced
2 tbsp cilantro, minced
2 green chilies, minced (more or less per heat)
1 lemon, squeezed


1. Steam moong sprouts without getting too mushy. Let them cool down completely.
2. Mix all the remaining ingredients except sev.
3. Just before serving, add sev.

Note -
Make sure that the sprouts are not over-cooked.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011


According to me aayte is just another variation of ghavne. So I was not going to post it. But then I changed my mind! :-D

Rice flour-urad flour pancake
1 cup urad flour
1 cup rice flour
3 cups water (You will need more!)
1/2 tsp fenugreek powder
salt to taste

Mix in the batter
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup minced tomato (remove seeds & pulp)
1-2 green chilies, minced (per required heat)
2 tbsp minced cilantro/coriander leaves

oil for roasting

1. Mix flours, salt and fenugreek powder.
2. While whisking the mixture with a fork, add water in a single stream.
3. As you get thick paste, keep on stirring so there are no lumps.
4. You will probably need to add up to 1 more cup of water but add 1/4 cup at a time so the mixture is not too watery.
5. Cover and set aside for 1/2 hour.
6. Heat a cast iron griddle/tawa.
7. Stir in veggies in the batter. Adjust for the consistency.
8. As the tawa get hot,pour the batter so you see many lacelike holes.
9. Drizzle oil as needed.
10. Cover and let it cook on a medium flame.
11. As the pancake is cooked, fold it in a triangular shape and serve hot with chutney of your choice.

Note -
1. Nonstick pan can also be used.
2. The pan should be very hot to get the lace-like holes.
3. Batter should not be too thick.

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mitkesange Upkari

A simple cluster beans stir fry - made South Canara way! This used to be a staple at my grandmother's house along with daali tauy and sheeth (plain rice) for a simple shivrak (vegetarian) meal for Monday.

Mitkasange Upkari
Cluster Beans - Konkani Style
2 cups cluster beans cut into 2" pieces
salt to taste
2 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida
2 red chlies, halved

1 tbsp Freshly scraped coconut

1. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add the ingredients for tempering.
2. As they sizzle, add cluster beans. Saute for 3 minutes.
3. Cover with a lid. Pour water on the lid. Let it cook on a medium flame til soft.
4. Garnish with coconut.
Note -

1. You can use other oil of your choice.
2. I limit our intake of coconut and use it very less. But traditionally more coconut is added.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Phyllo Dough Samosa

If you want to eat samosa but do not want to deep fry, here's what American Desis do. :-D

Phyllo Dough Samosa
1/2 packet Phyllo dough
3 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled, mashed
1/2 cup green peas
salt to taste
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp lemon juice
Grind to a smooth paste
1/4 cup cilantro
2 fat garlic cloves
2-3 green chilies (or per taste)
1/2" ginger
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/4 cup minced onion
1. Heat oil in a saucepan.
2. Add tempering ingredients. Saute till onion is soft.
3. Add green paste. Saute for 2 minutes.
4. Now add garam masala. Stir fry for 30 seconds
5. Add mashed potatoes, salt and green peas. add lemon juice.
6. Mix well. Cover. Switch off the gas and let it cool down.
7. Cut phyllo sheets into rectangular strips. Preheat oven 350 F
8. Fill cooled potato stuffing and keep on folding to make a triangle. You can follow the steps shown in Bohri samosa to make the triangular shape.
9. Arrange all the triangles in a baking tray.
10. Spray some oil from oil can such as Pam.
11. Bake for 15-20 minutes till the samosas are brown.
Note -
1. While working with phyllo sheets, take care to cover the unused sheets with damp cotton towel otherwise they will dry out quickly. Similarly, cover the samosa triangles which are ready to be baked - with a damp kitchen towel.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

HinDi - Gooseberry Pickle

Please note that I am not talking about the national language of India which is Hindi but a south canara pickle which is HinDi. :-D

Gooseberry Pickle
1 cup gooseberries/Awla/Amla
1/2 tsp salt or per taste
1/4 tsp fenugreek powder
1 tsp chili powder
1. Mix all the ingredients except grind ingredients
2. Pour in a clean glass bottle.
3. Keep it under sun for 2 days, shaking the bottle every now and then.
4. Grind with cilantro and green chilies
5. Serve immediately.
Note -
1. Store the leftovers in a refrigerator and use within 4 days.
2. The gooseberry that I get here in US are very tender. They are almost seedless. So my proportion is based on these tender, small, seedless gooseberries. For Indian variety, you may need more salt.
3. Traditionally, grandma used to make this pickle on a large proportion.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Karlyachi Partun Bhaaji

"Partun Bhajya" are very simple to make. All you need is the basic tempering, frying the veggies till crispy and making it in an iron kadhai (Indian wok). That's it.

Karlyachi Partun Bhaaji
कारल्याची परतून भाजी
Bittergourd stir fry
3 bittergourds, rinsed, scraped, seeds removed, cut into circles
1 tsp sugar
salt to taste
1/2 tsp chili powder

2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1. Heat oil in an iron kadhai. Add tempering ingredients.
2. As they sizzle, add bittergourd pieces.
3. Keep on stir frying till bittergourd pieces are nicely crispy.
4. Add salt, sugar and chili powder.
5. After cooking, transfer the bhaaji in a serving bowl.

Note -
1. It needs more oil than usual to make the bittergourd crispy.
2. Always transfer to a serving bowl otherwise veggies will turn black if kept in iron kadhai after cooking.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Kolhapuri Chicken Rassa - One more recipe

I had one more recipe for Kolhapuri Chicken Curry in my draft. I had promised many readers that I would post it soon. So here it is -

Kolhapuri Chicken Rassa
Chicken Curry kolhapuri Style
1 1/2 lb boneless chicken, cut into bite sized chunks
6 baby potatoes, halved
1/4 cup yogurt (optional)
2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp Kolhapuri masala/chutney

Grind to a smooth paste
3/4 cup coconut, roasted till brown
1/2 cup sliced onion, fry using oil till brown
1 tbsp Kolhapuri Masala (Use more if you dare!!:-D
1/4 cup cashews, unsalted & raw, roast for 2 minutes
1/4 cup sesame seeds, roasted
1 tbsp white poppy seeds, roasted

1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp onion, chopped

1 tbsp minced cilantro (optional)

Suggested accompaniment
Lemon wedges, raw red onions
Ghadichya PoLya

1. Marinate chicken and potatoes with yogurt if using and ginger-garlic paste and Kolhapuri masala. Refrigerate till ready to use.
2. Roast and grind the onion, coconut and other ingredients. Grind to a smooth paste adding little water.
3. Heat oil in a pressure pan or handi.
4. Add onion and saute till onion is soft.
5. Add marinated chicken & potatoes. Saute for 10 minutes.
6. Add ground coconut masala paste. Fry for 5 minutes.
7. Add 2 cup water. Bring to boil.
8. Cover the pressure cooker lid. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles.
9. Let the pressure drop of its own. Open the lid. Add salt and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
10. Garnish with cilantro if using.
11. Serve with suggested accompaniment

Note -
1. You can adjust the consistency of this curry to your liking. Make it dry or watery by adjusting the water content.
2. I use yogurt as a marinade for chicken. You can skip it if you don't want.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Jai Ho, Team India!!!

Congratulations, Team India for winning the Cricket World Cup 2011.

Congratulations, Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni for that captain's knock.
Congratulations, Gautam Gambhir for that wonderful inning
Congratulations, each and every member of the Indian cricket team, you made us so proud!

and Sachin, love you hamesha!!!:-)

Here, I am sharing just a little celebration for the biggest victory - a very simple marble cake, which I whipped up quickly to celebrate.


 दे  घुमाके

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