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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tangy Chhole

This one caught my eye because even after having cooked garbanzo beans a million times, I never tried cooking this dry version of the dish. I usually cook Chhole in gravy to pair it with both rice and paratha (or puri).

The best part about this recipe, as is with most of my favorite recipes is that it is easy and quick. It needs no preparation at all and is yet another recipe without onion and garlic. Not that I am collecting the ones without it but it does help to have more options when people in your family do without those said ingredients.

So look up the recipe for Tangy Chhole on my dear friend Monika’s food blog

And scroll below for my very own pictures of the recipe.

Things done different

I used dry ginger powder in place of freshly grated ginger

I added a couple of whole green chilies to the recipe to spice up the dish a little bit.

I used the leftovers of this dish as a base for Chaat the next day.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Marble Cake

As soon as I saw this recipe on a blog, I knew I had to try it out. Somehow it reminded me of the chocolate vanilla cone I used to eat as a kid at Dairy Den, a favorite local ice-cream parlor.

As I hurried through the list of ingredients to check if I had the necessary material to bake it right away, I discovered this cake was eggless and butterLESS! Yes, butter-less and believe me, if you ever try it out, you won’t miss the butter in it at all. Instead, it uses a wonderfully healthy ingredient called yogurt, which made me jump with joy.

I marked this cake for one of the afternoon projects with my daughter and she loved helping me bake it. Her favorite part was making swirls with a fork in the batter. Her only  disappointment was not being allowed to check the oven every 2 minutes (why is it taking so long to finish??). At the end of it though, she declared that this was the best thing we ever cooked together in our kitchen and the compliment made my day!

So here are the pictures of the marble cake baked in my oven, dig right in!

Things done different

I used Vanilla Bean Yogurt in place of plain yogurt.
I cut my cake into big squares for ease of serving. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Paneer In Bell Pepper Gravy

Continuing with my experiments in the kitchen using my fellow bloggers’ recipes, here comes second on the list which is Paneer (cottage cheese) in Bell Pepper Gravy. The first thing that struck me when I read this one was that there was no use of onion or garlic. These days there are the “no onion, no garlic” versions of possibly all kinds of foods but after a long long time did I come across a curry recipe which does without those two ingredients per se.

It was very important for me to try this one out as I have been raised in a household which did not use onion and garlic in their cooking and my parents still follow the same rule for religious reasons.

You can check out the original recipe at 

Things done different

I did not shallow fry the Paneer cubes or fry them at all. Just added them to the gravy and let them cook for a while.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Khari Biscuits

These days I am in the mood to try out everybody else’s recipes and that would also be a better way of saying I am too lazy to create something on my own. Well, reasons don’t matter as long as the results are delectable. And they sure are!

I will be posting recipes I tried from various other blogs or borrowed from friends. Not to double the effort (yet another cover up for my indolence), I shall not be copying the whole recipe. The link which inspired me will be available on this blog and what I will add is the things that I did different from the original recipe.

But to fill up pages on my blog, I will need something! So, clicks of the final outcome will be there for all of you to view and that way when you go back on the original recipe you will see how different the same recipe looks in two different kitchens, cooked by two different chefs.

The first one is a very simple recipe, so simple that if I had to write it down myself I would have thought..forget it, there’s nothing to write. Fortunately I don’t have to!
Khari Biscuits are my favorite snack with tea and when I saw them on my friend Vasavi's blog, I knew I had to try them at home. This shortcut of a method makes super nice Khari Biscuits and for those interested in going all the way to scratch, google for Tarla Dalal’s recipe for the same.

Things done different

I used oregano in place of ajwain seeds.
I did not have a pizza cutter so used a knife instead.

These savory delights are going to : JATW

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Green Thai Curry

It is not uncommon for me to come home with a few ingredients not on the list when I go grocery shopping. Since this habit gives me the chance to carry out culinary experiments, I do not grudge it at all.  So last month that item not on the list and yet in my shopping bag turned out to be coconut milk.  I had never cooked with it before and was getting more and more embarrassed about that fact day by day.

Armed with a couple of veggies in the refrigerator and the coconut milk, I decided to cook Thai curry with two key ingredients missing – Lemon grass and Thai chilies. The curry still turned out delicious and worth a post on this blog. I have to thank my cousin Kshiti Dave and my friend Krupal Shah whose recipes I combined and created a third one which you can find right here!

Red bell pepper – ½  medium
Yellow bell pepper – ½  medium
Broccoli florets – 1 cup
Potato – 1 medium
Carrots – 2 medium
Zuchini – 1 small
Coconut milk – 1 can
Vegetable broth – 1 can

For the paste
Chopped Cilantro – 1 cup
Ginger – 1 big piece
Lemon rind – ½ tsp
Onion – 1 medium
Garlic- 4 clove
Mint – 6 to 8 leaves
Water cress – 10 to 12 leaves
Basil (dry) – 1 tsp
Rosemary – ½ tsp
Thyme (dry) – 1 tsp
Salt and pepper
Cumin and coriander powder – 1 tsp
Thai red chili sauce – 1 tsp
Green chilies – 4 small
Water – ½ cup
Oil – as needed

Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and sauté roughly chopped onion for 2 minutes on high flame. Add garlic cloves and ginger chopped into small pieces and cook some more. Add the remaining ingredients for the paste and mix well. Add half a cup of water and cook covered for 10 minutes. Let it cool and grind it into a thick paste. Keep aside.

In another pan heat 1 tsp oil and sauté chopped bell peppers for a minute. Cut potato into cubes and add it next.  Add slices of carrots and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring all the time. Next add broccoli florets and slices of zucchini. Pour in the vegetable broth, a pinch of salt and pepper and mix well. Cook covered till the vegetables are done. Add water if needed.

In a small pan empty the can of coconut milk and heat on slow flame. Once it starts to simmer, add the coconut milk to the vegetables cooked separately. Add the green paste made earlier and mix everything well together. Turn on the heat and cook the whole curry for a couple of minutes. Serve it hot and immediately (the aroma of the curry makes it impossible to resist eating).

Couple of pointers for this Thai curry are: one it is a very very fragrant dish and another it can get impossibly spicy to eat if you are not careful with those chilies. So keep that in mind and enjoy!

Serving suggestions
·         With brown or white rice

·       Use of lemon grass, Kaffir lime leaves, galangal and Thai chilies will make the dish more authentic.
·         The green paste can be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated.
·         Garnish with fresh Basil leaves to add to the delicious fragrance of the curry.

  Interesting fact
·         Thai food was traditionally eaten with the right hand but is now eaten with a spoon and a fork.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chipotle Bowl at Home

So many times while eating a dish at a restaurant or bringing home a takeout we think “oh this is so easy, I can easily do it at home” but never really get around to doing it. And it is even easier for people like me to avoid the attempt, people who particularly like eating out as much as trying out new dishes at home.

One such dish we often bring home is the Burrito bowl from Chipotle and on a rainy Sunday some ripe green avocados lying on the kitchen counter motivated me enough to try out this awesome Mexican dish at home.

Looking at the list of ingredients you might feel there is a lot you need but most of them are commonly found in our refrigerator or pantry and the rest are easily available. The final dish is a “put together” thing so it is very convenient if you have a bunch of people coming over. Make all the preparations ahead of time and enjoy with your guests!

Cooked rice – 2 cups
Black beans – 1 can
Corn – 1 cup
Sour cream – 1 cup
Cilantro- ½ cup finally chopped
Lemon juice – 4 tsp
Guacamole – 1 cup (recipe below)
Spicy red salsa(store bought) – as tolerated
Red onion – ½ medium
Green bell pepper – ½ medium
Lettuce - 1 cup
Mexican four cheese blend – 2 cups
Fajita seasoning – 1 tsp
Olive oil – as needed
Butter – ½ tsp

2 avocados scooped out and mashed with a fork
½ red onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 tomato finely chopped
½ cup cilantro finely chopped
2 jalapeños deseeded and finely chopped
½ tsp cumin powder
2 tsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Mix all the ingredients really well adding the lemon juice towards the end. Guacamole is ready to go with anything you want it to!

Now start preparing for your chipotle bowl. Empty the can of beans in a pan with the liquid and heat adding salt, pepper and some cumin powder. Mix well, turn the heat off and set aside.

Heat 1 tsp olive oil and add finely chopped cilantro, cooked rice, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix well and turn the heat off. Keep aside.

Cook the corn or defrost if frozen. Heat the butter in a pan and sauté the corn adding salt and pepper. Keep aside.
Give the lettuce a rough chop and keep it covered in the refrigerator till it is time to use it.
Cut the red onion and bell pepper into thin slices. In a skillet heat ½ tsp olive oil and cook the onion first for a few minutes. Add the sliced bell pepper, salt, pepper and 1 tsp of the fajita seasoning. Cook on high flame for 2 minutes and turn the heat off. Keep aside.

To assemble your final dish take a deep bowl and start with cilantro rice as the base. Layer it with black beans, corn and the onion bell pepper stir fry. Add red salsa, guacamole  lettuce and sour cream. Sprinkle a generous amount of the cheese and dig in!

Serving suggestions
·         Tortilla chips

·         You can use cooked brown rice to make this dish healthier.

  Interesting fact
·         “Chipotle” is a kind of smoked dried jalapeno chili pepper. The popular fast food chain restaurant named after it was established in 1993 in Denver, Colorado, United States.

This delicious bowl is going to :


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mango Kesar Peda

While hunting for sweet dish recipes during the festival of diwali on the internet, I found this amazingly simple recipe for Mango peda and tried it at home. The Pedas turned out really sweet and delicious. Kesar (saffron) was my addition to the recipe and can be skipped if not at hand.

1.5 cups - ricotta cheese
2 cups mango pulp
Saffron - a couple of strands
Evaporated milk - 4 tsp
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Sugar – 3 tsp
Raisins – as many as number of pedas

Mix everything in a microwave safe bowl or deep dish. Cook for 5 min, and let it stand for a minute. Keep on repeating it a number of times (it took me a total of 30 minutes) stirring in between, till the liquid goes away and what remains is a soft mixture. Add cardamom and mix well. Roll out small pedas and press a raisin in each of them.

Mango pulp gave them an interesting flavor and the appealing color without the use of food color. Enjoy!

Serving suggestions
·         Needs no accompaniments

·       If you overcook in the microwave resulting in a very dry mixture, add 1 tsp of evaporated milk and re-heat for a few seconds. Damage control!

  Interesting fact
·        The Mango is regarded a symbol of summer in Australia and the first mango tray of the season is traditionally auctioned for charity. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Pinwheels

So me and my daughter hosted a costume party before Halloween for her friends and their moms. With kids in costumes being the star attraction, we had a variety of fun foods like chips and salsa, raspberry and blueberry cake squares, pumpkin pie, candy corn, cup cakes, orange cookies and Halloween Pinwheels.

The recipe for this kind of pastry based snack can be found  very easily on the internet, I just gave it my personal twist by adding some orange bell pepper keeping in mind the occasion.

Here goes the recipe, pretty simple to make and a very very popular party food, in my opinion.

Pastry sheets – 2
Paneer (cottage cheese) – 2 cups
Orange bell pepper – 1 large
Dry mango powder – ½ tsp
Chopped cilantro – ½ cup
Oil – 1 tsp
Chat masala – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Cumin powder – ¼ tsp
Red chili powder – ¼ tsp

Defrost the pastry sheets on the counter top as per packet directions. Crumble Paneer, add all the dry spices, mix well and keep it aside. Heat oil in a skillet and stir fry diced bell pepper for a minute. Add cilantro and Paneer and turn the heat off. Mix everything and let it cool.

Take a flat utensil and spread some all purpose flour on it evenly. Lay pastry sheet on it and brush the top also with the same flour. Spread the Paneer and bell pepper mixture s needed on the sheet and gently roll it. Dab a little water on the edge and sides and seal them by pressing in.

Take a sharp knife and cut even sized rounds. Place them on a greased baking tray. Pre heat the oven to 400 F and back for about 20 minutes or till they are done.

Although it is recommended that the Halloween Pinwheels be served warm, I enjoyed them even long after the guests were gone.

Serving suggestions
·         With ketchup/Salsa

·         You can add any color bell pepper and this snack will still taste wonderful.

  Interesting fact
·         China is the world‘s largest pepper producer followed by Mexico.  

These baked treats are going to and