Tuesday, March 31, 2015





This is wonderful dessert which has different names all over the world. But the great bard has said - what's in name, right?

It's called Flan in Mexico, Pudim Flan in Brazil and Portugal and we call it "Caramel Custard" in India. My aunt's recipe was pressure cooker based and I will share it some other time. But today's recipe is from my co-worker, Maria. According to her, this is the most common recipe for making Flan in her part of the world.


For Caramel Sauce
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water

14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
Whole milk, use the same can to measure
4 eggs, whisked

1. Let's make the caramel sauce first. Mix sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to boil on medium flame. Simmer on low flame for about 15-20 minutes. It should have that caramel color.
2. Pour into the bottom of the mold. If serving in individual containers, take about 8 ramekins. Divide the caramel sauce among them. Swirl so it coats the bottom and sides evenly.
3. Preheat oven 350F
4. Use an electric beater and whisk eggs, condensed milk. After pouring the condensed milk, use the same can to measure the whole milk. Mix all three ingredients.
5. Sieve through a strainer.
6. Pour into the cold mold/ramekins.
7. Take a large pan in which the mold or ramekins will fit. Pour water in the pan. Place the molds/ramekins. Cover with an aluminum foil.
8. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour.
9. Take out carefully.
10. Chill in the fridge.
11. Before serving, take off. Loosen the edge with a knife.
12. Invert onto a serving plate.
13. Enjoy!

Note -
1. If you don't want to use the oven, you can make this in a pressure cooker as well. Add water to the pressure cooker as usual. Place your mould covering with aluminum foil. Bring to full pressure. Reduce the flame to medium low and steam for 15-20 minutes.

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Special Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Every December, I get an opportunity to bake cookies for a good cause. This time, however, I didn't yet get chance to blog about these recipes.
Hershey's Perfect Special Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, soft at room temperature
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts or white chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven 375 F
2. Mix the dry ingredients and set aside.
3. Beat butter, sugars and vanilla extract. Add eggs  - one at a time -  and beat again.
4. Add flour mixture. Mix.
5. Add chocolate chips and nuts
6. Drop on a baking tray lined with parchment paper using a rounded spoon.
7. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes
8. Transfer to the wire rack to cool down.
9. Store in an airtight container afterwards.
Note -
1. Do not exceed the baking time. They are done in 8-10 minutes, although they are soft to touch. They get the right crispness/chewiness as they cool down.
2. This recipe gives 5 dozen cookies. This number will vary depending on the size of the rounded spoon!
Hershey's Dark Chocolate Chips

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Yakisoba Noodles

Yakitori Tofu with Yakisoba Noodles

I use Japanese "Chukasoba" noodles (Available at Sprouts) for making delicious Yakisoba noodles. I use a variety of multi-colored vegetables and throw in some tofu for protein boost. Feel free to use any protein of your choice.

Yakisoba Noodles
1 Chukasoba Noodles
salt to taste
A dash of Soy sauce or teriyaki sauce
1 tsp rice vinegar
Few drops of toasted sesame oil

Prepare Vegetables & Tofu
few florets of broccoli
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
2-3 baby bok choy, sliced
A handful of sugar snap peas
1 carrot, peeled & cut into matchsticks
1 block Tofu, grilled and cut into pieces

1 tbsp. oil
1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
2 red chilies

2 scallions/spring onions, cut into 2" pieces
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Prepare chukasoba noodles according to the package instructions. Set aside.
2. In a wok, heat oil. Add ginger-garlic paste and red chilies. Add white parts of onion. Stir fry.
3. Add vegetables one after the other. Do not overcook.
4. Add cooked, drained noodles, tofu pieces, soy or teriyaki sauce, sesame oil, salt, rice vinegar.
5. Stir fry.
6. Add spring onions.
7. Sprinkle black pepper powder

1. The vegetables should not be overly cooked.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Cabbage Thoran

Traditionally coconut oil is used in GSB kitchens. Later due to health concerns, it was curbed to bare minimum usage. Once scorned for saturated fat issues, now coconut oil is making an impressive comeback. Personally speaking, I use several different oils in my daily cooking and I use oil sparingly anyways.

Today's dish is Kerala style cabbage stir fry - using coconut oil.

Cabbage Thoran
Cabbage Stir Fry
1 medium cabbage, cored and shredded
salt to taste

1 tbsp. oil - preferably coconut oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp asafetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 springs curry leaves
1 tbsp. grated ginger

1/4 cup fresh coconut

1. Shred cabbage thinly. Set aside.
2. Heat oil. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
3. Add cabbage. Mix.
4. Cover and let it cook on low flame.
5. Add salt to taste
6. Garnish with freshly scraped coconut.

Note -
1. For authentic flavor, use coconut oil.

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Eggs Green Masala

Eggs Green Masala with Kachumbar and Pav
Green Masala gravy is used in Maharashtrian cuisine. Today's recipe is Eggs Green Masala which features boiled eggs and potato combo doused in ground masala of coconut, cilantro, ginger, garlic. Serve with laadi paav or pulao, along with some salad and lemon wedges.
Eggs Green Masala
4 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled, halved
2 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled, quartered
salt to taste
1 tsp garam masala
1 cup coconut milk
Grind to a fine paste
3 - 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 1/2" ginger, peeled
1 cup cilantro
10 mint leaves
1 tsp soaked rice
1/2 tbsp. oil
2 tbsp. minced onion
A pinch of turmeric powder (optional)
1. Grind green masala to a fine paste.
2. Heat oil. Add onion and turmeric powder - if using. Saute till onion is soft.
3. Add ground paste. Saute for 2 minutes.
4. Add water per desired consistency. As it comes to boil, add boiled eggs and potatoes.
5. Now, add salt and garam masala. Switch the gas to low. Add coconut milk.
6. Simmer for 5 minutes.
1. Instead of coconut milk, you can use coconut. In that case, grind it with green masala paste.
2. If you like, you can discard the yolks of eggs.
3. Turmeric in the tempering is optional to retail the green color of the gravy.

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Dodkyachya Saalinchi chutney

Mom makes two types of chutneys with the peels of ridge gourds. One is dry version and the other - which I am blogging to day is the wet version.

Dodkyachya Saalinchi Chutney
Ridgegourd Peels Chutney

Ridge gourdPeels 1/2 cup
Cilantro 1/2 cup
2 tbsp. roasted, peeled, unsalted peanuts
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
salt to taste
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 lemon, squeezed

1. After using ridge gourds, save the peels. Roast them lightly.
2. Grind all the ingredients together, adding water as needed.

Note -
1. Make sure that the ridge gourds are fresh.
2. Ridge gourds are called Dodka or Shirale in Marathi.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Panang Curry

Malaysian and Thai restaurant here serve delicious Panang Curry. I load up my version with fresh vegetables. I like to serve it with rice or rice noodles or even angel hair pasta.
Panang Curry
1 red bell pepper, cored and sliced
A handful of broccoli florets
2 carrots, peeled, sliced
2 baby bok choy, sliced
5-6 baby corn, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup coconut milk
Grind to a smooth paste
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled
1" ginger, peeled
1 tbsp. coriander-cumin powder
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. tamarind pulp
A pinch of cinnamon powder
1 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. peanut butter
1 tbsp. Oil
2 -3 Thai basil leaves
Suggested Accompaniment
Plain Rice
Rice Noodles
Angel Hair Pasta
1. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add fresh Thai basil leaves. Fry for 30 seconds till the leaves are wilted.
2. Add vegetables, one after the other. Stir fry for 2 minutes.
3. Add ground spice paste and 1 cup water.
4. Bring to boil. Adjust salt.
5. Add coconut milk.
6. Simmer and serve with suggested accompaniment.
Note -
1. I have a Thai Basil plant which gives a delicious aroma to this curry. Do not substitute Italian basil. If you do not have Thai basil, just omit it.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Chana Daal Chutney

This is a unique wet chutney with daal. If you think it's too raw for your taste buds, use coconut along with chana daal or substitute puffed chana daal.

Chana Daal Chutney
1/2 cup chana daal, soaked for 2 hours
3-4 red or green chilies
1 cup cilantro
1 tbsp. tamarind paste
salt to taste

1 tsp. oil
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. asafetida
1 sprig curry leaves, torn

1. Soak chana daal in adequate water for at least 2 hours, not more than 4 hours.
2. Grind drained daal with chilies, cilantro, tamarind paste and salt.
3. Heat oil in a small container. Splutter spices and curry leaves.
4. Drizzle tempered oil over the chutney.

1. This chutney may require acquired taste buds. If you think, it may be too raw for your taste, add coconut along with chana daal or use puffed chana daal. If using puffed chana daal, there is no need to soak.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Nistyachi Kodi - Goan Fish Curry

This recipe is the combination of the recipe I read in Hawkins recipe booklet and fish curry I had tasted at my Goan friend's house.

Nistyachi Kodi
Goan Fish Curry
1 medium pomfret, cleaned and cut into 7-8 pieces
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
salt to taste
2 tsp. ginger garlic paste

Grind to a smooth paste
1/2 cup coconut, freshly scraped
1 tbsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
5 -7 byadgi chilies (for heat)
2 Kashmiri chilies (for color)
1 tsp. tamarind paste

1/2 tbsp. oil
1/2 cup minced onion
1 small tomato, chopped
2 sprigs curry leaves, torn
2 green chilies, chopped

1. Marinate pomfret with turmeric powder, salt and ginger garlic paste.
2. Grind coconut with spices, chilies and tamarind paste. Use adequate water for grinding.
3. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add curry leaves and onion. Sauté onion till soft. Add tomatoes and green chilies. Sauté for 2 minutes till tomato is pulpy.
4. Place marinated fish in a single layer. Add ground masala paste and water. Adjust for salt. Add water as needed per desired gravy consistency.
5. Bring to boil. Simmer for 10 minutes on a low flame.
6. Serve with plain rice.

1. If you don't have Kashmiri chilies, use paprika.

Hawkins Recipe Booklet

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Friday, March 13, 2015

Aloo Bhindi

This is my version of Aloo-Bhindi. I generally add red bell pepper for two reasons. First of all, it's easily available here and it also adds a beautiful color.

Okra with Potatoes with Punjabi Spices
1/2 lb Okra/Ladies Finger/Bhindi/Bhendi, Remove both ends, cut into 2" pieces, with a slit
2 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 red bell pepper, cored and sliced
1 tsp Punjabi Garam Masala
1 tsp Coriander-cumin powder
1 tsp paprika
1/4 cup cilantro

2 tbsp. oil
2 cloves,
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafetida
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste

1. Heat oil in a wok. Add spices and ginger-garlic paste.
2. Add bell pepper, potatoes and okra. Stir fry from time to time.
3. Add garam masala, coriander cumin powder, paprika and salt.
4. Add cilantro. Keep sautéing till it's cooked.

1. You may need to add more oil to prevent sticking.
2. Do not add any water for cooking.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Nagpuri Khichadi

My mom's cousin lives in Nagpur. She uses toor daal for making khichdi. Her style of making khichdi is known as "Nagpuri Khichdi" in my family.

Maushi's Nagpuri Khichdi
3/4 cup rice, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup toor daal, soaked for at least 4 hours

salt to taste
1/2 tsp garam masala (optional)

Tempering 1
1/2 tbsp. oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafetida
2 red chilies, halved
4 cloves
6 black peppercorn
2 tsp finely minced garlic
2 sprigs curry leaves, torn

Tempering 2 (For garnish)
1 tbsp. oil
1 tsp mustard seeds

1. Rinse and drain rice.
2. Rinse and soak toor daal in adequate water for at least 4 hours.
3. Heat pressure cooker. Add oil. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
4. As they splutter, and garlic turns a shade darker, add rice and drained toor daal.
5. Sauté for a minute. Add salt and garam masala - if using. Add 4 cups water. Bring to boil
6. Close the lid and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles.
7. Let the pressure drop of its own. Fluff the khichdi.
8. Just before serving, heat another saucepan. Add oil for garnish. Splutter mustard seeds.
9. Serve the khichdi in individual plates. Drizzle mustard seeds oil over each serving. Each person should be able to hear that "chrrrr" sound of tempering as you are serving for the authentic taste!;-)

Note -
1. If toor daal is not soaked, it may not get cooked well.

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Monday, March 9, 2015

Rasawala Ringan - Eggplant Curry

This is a simple eggplant curry. Serve with khichdi or thepla for a daily Gujarati meal.

Rasawala Ringan
Eggplant-Potato Curry
3 round eggplants - chopped
3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 red, firm tomatoes, chopped
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp Gujarati Garam Masala
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp dhana jiru /coriander-cumin powder
salt to taste
1 tsp sugar

1/2 tbsp. oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafetida
1 tsp ginger-green chili paste/Watela aadu-marcha

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1. Cut eggplants and potatoes and soak them in water till ready to use. This will prevent discoloration.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add spices and green chili-ginger paste. Sauté for a minute.
3. Add onion. Sauté till soft.
4. Add drained eggplants, tomatoes, potatoes. Sauté for 2 minutes.
5. Add chili powder, coriander-cumin powder and garam masala. Mix.
6. Add 3 cups water. Cover and let it cook on  medium flame.
7. Add salt and sugar to taste.
8. Adjust water per desired gravy consistency.
9. Serve with thepla/rotla or khichdi.

Note -
1. Generally, In Gujarati households, ginger-green chili paste is made every other day and kept in the fridge.

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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Chicken Chili Fry

I had chicken and some bell peppers. I was not in a mood for making something elaborate. I came up with this quick version.

Chicken Chili Fry
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, preferably organic, cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup yogurt
1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp. garam masala
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
salt to taste
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. coriander-cumin powder
1 tbsp. oil
2-3 red chilies, halved
1-2 scallions/spring onions
1 cup mixed bell peppers, cut
A generous pinch of chaat masala
1 tbsp. minced cilantro
1. Whisk yogurt with all the ingredients for marinade.
2. Marinade chicken with yogurt mixture for at least 1/2 hour - preferably in the refrigerator.
3. Heat oil in a wok or kadhai. Add red chilies. Stir fry for 1/2 minute, add scallions. Sauté for 1 minute.
4. Add bell peppers. Sauté for 2 minutes.
5. Add chicken along with the marinade.
6. Cook on a high flame, stirring from time to time.
7. Adjust salt.
8. Sprinkle chaat masala and cilantro.
9. Serve with naan.
Note -
1. You can also add amchoor powder along with chaat masala.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Tyler Florence's Banana Nut Muffins


I had bookmarked Tyler Florence's Banana Nut Muffins for a long time.

During my initial years in the United States, these muffins were quite comforting. As luck would have it, my husband and I were in two different states working on our respective first jobs. We hated this situation. We had rented "our" apartment in one side of the US and I was sharing an apartment with a roommate on the other side. Whatever meager salary I was earning, would go in buying air line tickets and visiting my husband. To squeeze out my weekend stay, I would depart on Friday afternoon - completing 40 hours during the week, and would report directly on Monday morning after taking a very early flight. Even when I think about those days, a sudden feeling of melancholy takes over. How I hated to go back to work, away from my husband! This was more than a decade ago. The airlines actually used to pamper the passengers. That morning flight to the east coast, would welcome the passengers with a huge breakfast box. It contained yogurt, fruit and a huge banana nut muffin. I would feel too reluctant to eat, but a little bite of banana nut muffin would cheer me up.

Tyler Florence's Banana Nut Muffins

2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

4 over ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup melted butter
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Fold in
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts - Leave 2 tbsp. for sprinkling on top

1. Preheat oven 375F
2. Mash bananas and whisk them with sugar, melted and cooled butter, eggs and vanilla
3. Mix flour, baking soda and salt.
4. Mix dry and wet ingredients.
5. Fold in chopped nuts - keep 2 tbsp. aside.
6. Pour evenly in greased muffin tins. Sprinkle remaining walnuts on top.
7. Bake for 18 - 20 minutes.
8. Allow to cool for few minutes.
Note -
1. This recipe will yield 12 - 15 muffins.

Tyler Florence

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Karate Bilimbi Ghasshi

Karate Ghasshi is an exception to the definition of the "Ghasshi" in South Canara culinary glossary. Every ghasshi has a tempering of mustard seeds and curry leaves, but it never has jaggery.
Karate Bilimbi Ghasshi
3 karela/karli/bittergourd, scraped, deseeded, chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
7-8 Bilimbi, lightly crushed
salt to taste
2 tbsp. jaggery or to taste
1/2 cup fresh coconut
1 tsp urad daal, roasted
1 tbsp. coriander seeds, roasted
6-7 fenugreek seeds, roasted
5-6 byadgi chilies, roasted
1/2 tbsp. oil - preferably coconut oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 sprigs curry leaves, torn
1. Add bitter gourd, bilimbi and turmeric powder in a saucepan. Add 1/4 cup water. Cook on a medium flame.
2. Roast coriander seeds, urad daal, chilies and fenugreek seeds. Grind along with coconut, adding water as needed.
3. Pour this ground paste into the bitter gourd mixture. Add 1/2 cup water. Bring to boil. Add salt and jaggery.
4. Simmer till it reaches thick consistency.
5. In another small saucepan, heat coconut oil. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves.
6. Drizzle this tempering over the curry. Cover with a lid. Switch off the gas.
Note -
1. The same curry can be made with raw mango or ambado instead of bilambi.

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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Moriche Mutton - Shark in Garam Masala

Moriche Mutton is not actually mutton at all! You see, Mori is Indian shark. It is devoured in GSB community. Since it has just one bone, it can easily be cut into bite sized pieces. It is then cooked using coconut-garam masala gravy. The curry looks similar to mutton curry and hence, the name - Moriche Mutton!
In Mumbai, fisherwomen de-skin the mori for you as it's very tough to do at home. Also remember that while cooking, add water only on need basis as it leaves lots of moisture.
Moriche Mutton
Shark in Garam Masala Gravy
1 Mori/shark fish, de-skinned, cut into bite sized pieces - about 3 cups
salt to taste
1/2 tsp. turmeric  powder
Green Paste
1/4 cup cilantro
3-4 garlic cloves
1" ginger
3-4 green chilies
1 tsp. lemon juice
Roast one after the other
Few drops of oil
4 - 1" pieces of Cinnamon/Dalchini
7 Cloves/Lavang/Long
4 Green Cardamoms/Velchi
12-15 Black Peppercorn/Miri
1/2 tsp. Fennel Seeds/Badishep
1 tsp. Cumin Seeds/Jire
2 tbsp. Coriander Seeds/Dhane
5 Red Chilies
1/2 tbsp. Poppy Seeds/Khus Khus
1 cup Desiccated Coconut (or 1/2 cup fresh coconut + 1/2 cup dry coconut)
1 cup Onion, roughly sliced
1 tbsp. oil
2 tbsp. finely chopped onion
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
You will also need
1 tsp. tamarind pulp/paste
1 tbsp. minced cilantro
Suggested Accompaniment
Plain Rice or Tandlachi Bhakri
Soul Kadhi
Salad (Lemon wedges, sliced onion)
1. Cut mori into bite sized pieces. Marinate with salt, turmeric powder and green masala paste.
2. Heat a few drops of oil in an iron kadhai. Roast all the spices one after the other till they are uniformly roasted. Fry coconut & Onion separately till uniformly browned.
3. Grind all the spices, onion and coconut to a smooth paste, adding tamarind pulp and little water for grinding.
4. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add chopped onion and turmeric powder. Sauté till soft.
5. Add marinated Mori pieces, ground masala and 1/4 cup water. Adjust water later if necessary. Adjust for salt.
6. Bring to boil. Switch gas to low. Let it simmer.
7. switch off the gas. Cover and let it stand for 10 minutes before serving.
1. De-skin Mori from the fish monger, if possible as it's very tough to get rid of the skin at home.
2. Add water only if needed as this fish leaves lots of moisture while cooking.
3. Always roast coconut the very last. As it's browned, add poppy seeds in the roasted coconut and roast again for few seconds. Otherwise it will be difficult to fry poppy seeds without burning.
4. You can either use fresh or desiccated coconut or half of desiccated and half fresh coconut for this recipe.
5. Follow the above recipe to make "Moriche Suke", but let moisture evaporate completely and let masala stick the mori pieces to serve as dry curry.

Moriche Mutton with Plain Rice


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