Thursday, July 31, 2008

Rongi/Lobia/Black eyed kidney bean curry

This is a dish prepared all over India. People in north india call it Rongi and down south it is called lobia. The method of preparation for this dish a little different in different parts of india. This is best serves with lachha parantha but you can also have it with rice. Today i will post it north indian style.
Many people do not like the flavor but i love it the way my mom prepares it. My husband didnt like it much when we got married. So i told him, let me prepare it my way first and still if you don't like it and i will not prepare it for you:-) And as you would predict, he liked it with lachha parantha !! So, now we have it once in a while when i dont have much at home to cook, the grocery day is approaching and i want to wait for the grocery day :-)
Here's the recipe.


1C lobia/rongi
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1 inch ginger root
2 green chilis
handful of cilantro
1/2 onion
3/4 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala (optional)
salt to taste.

1) In a bowl of hot boiling water, soak the rongi for about an hour. This will cook it faster. You can also soak it in cold water for about 4-5 hours. Boiling water swells the daals faster. That is my experience. This way you dont need to soak everything overnight.

2) In a pressure cooker, boil the lobia with 4 cups of water and some salt. Wait until a whistle, simmer and let cook for about 15 mins. Turn off the heat and let the steam come out on its own.

3) Meanwhile in a grinder, add onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, green chilis and cilantro. Grind to form a paste or masala.

4) Heat oil in a separate pan, add the masala and let cook until it starts leaving oil. Add salt, chili powder, turmeric powder and garam masala and let cook for a few seconds.

5) Pour this masala into the boiled rongi and mix well. Let it come to a boil or cover the cooker to get one more whistle. This way the masala mixes well and if the rongi is not fully boiled , it will get cooked in the last whistle. Add more water if necessary.

6) Serve hot with parantha or rice.

Serves: 3-4

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Upside down vegetable pizza

My husband and i both love pizza. The only thing that i dont prefer is getting home delivery for pizza because by the time it is delivered it gets hard! I was watching the Robin miller show one day and she shared a simple recipe of pizza which seemed difficult because it was upside down!!
Anyway , i modified the recipe by adding some more salt and herbs to the dough. Also, i made the vegetarian version, with lesser cheese. It was an instant hit in our house:-)
My husband loved it and we ate the sides too !!! And most of all , it was fresh!!
Here's my version ...

1C mozzarella cheese, shredded
For the topping:

1/2C bell pepper chopped
1/2C onions, sliced
1/2C mushrooms, sliced (any kind of mushrooms)
1/2C pizza sauce, store bought
1/2C pasta sauce, store bought
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp olive oil

For the dough:

1 egg
3/4C all purpose flour
3/4C milk
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried italian herbs

1) In a pan, heat oil and drop in the veggies. Let them cook until they become soft. Add pasta sauce and pasta sauce , salt and pepper. Let them simmer till the sauce comes to a boil. Turn off the heat.

2) In a mixing bowl, crack the egg and beat it. Then add milk, olive oil. Whisk them to mix well. Add the flour , salt and herbs and incorporate in the liquid to form a paste. It has a thin consistency so do not worry.

3) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a baking pan, layer the topping mixture first. Then layer the shredded cheese. Pour the dough over the cheese so that it spreads out all over the topping and cheese.

4) Bake it in the oven for about 25 minutes or until the top becomes light brown.

5) Slice ans serve by flipping the slice upside down :-)

Serves: 2

Tip: you can also add other toppings like tomatoes and olives.

Monday, July 28, 2008

coconut chutney

Coconut chutney is something i liked from the moment i tasted it and i have been making this chutney for years...Here's the recipe.


1C fresh or dry grated coconut
1C yoghurt
1 tbsp peanuts
2 tbsp roasted chana
2 green/red chilis
1 tsp rai
1 tsp vegetable oil
salt to taste


1) Heat oil in a pan, drop in peanuts, chana and green chilis, let them roast until peanuts turn light brown. Add peanuts first because they take time to cook as compared to the chana. Drop in chana afte a min or two the peanuts are in. Add green chilis in the end.

2) In a grinder, add coconut, the fried peanuts, chana and green chili, yoghurt, salt and water if necessary.

3) Grind them together to form a chunky paste.

4) In the remaining oil , add mustard seeds until they splutter. Drop them in the chutney.

5) Store in refrigerator and serve cold with idli or dosa.


Tip: If the yoghurt is thick and store bought 1/2C should be enough.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Although there are a lot brands of readymade idli and dosa batter in the grocery stores these days, i like to make it at home. There is something different about the taste. You can also put a lot of things in the batter to make different style of idlis. For now I am posting the most basic recipe. The key to making soft idlis is that the batter should be fermented properly. Also if you whip the batter a little bit before steaming them they come out to be real soft. There are different ratios of urad daal and idli rava but to me 1:1 ratio works perfectly fine.
Here's the recipe.


1C urad daal
1C idli rava (store bought)
oil for greasing the mould
salt to taste


Soak the urad daal and idli rava separately in water for about 6-8 hours.

2) Urad daal will swell a bit after soaking. Drain the water and In a grinder , add urad daal first and grind it to a fine paste. Add water little by little to the grinder to make the consistency of a cake batter.

3) Drain water from the soaked idli rava and add to the grinder. Mix well. Pour the batter into a large bowl so that the batter fills half of it. This is because, when the batter ferments, it doubles in size and the bowl should have enough space.

4) Cover the bowl with a lid and keep covered in towels in a warm place in the kitchen. I usually keep it in the pantry or in a recently used oven.

5) Ferment for about 10 hours. By this time the batter should have formed a lot of small bubbles and it should have doubled in size.

6) If it did not, then you can make dosas with batter or try keeping it for some more time to ferment in a warmer place.

7) Add salt to taste in the batter. Grease the idli mould with little oil and pour the batter in each mould.

8) boil about an inch or two of water in a large pan which can accomodate the mould. Keep the mould in the pan of boiling water and cover the lid so that the steam is trapped and it cooks the idlis.

9) Steam for about 12 mins and they are ready to take out of the mould.

Serves: This amount of batter will make 24 idlis so decide for yourself ;-)


Sambhar is a south indian dish. I have started liking it very recently. Earlier, i never liked it. When i was in a hostel, the mess had south indian menu all the time and every other day there was Sambhar. Since, i was not very fond of Sambhar and since it was tasteless, i started disliking it even more!! But my brother loves it and as we have many South indian family friends , my mother learnt this recipe from them. When i tasted Sambhar made by my mom, i was blown away, I could even have it as a soup without anything.
Usually it is served with idli, dosa or rice. I will post idli dosa recipes later in the blog. For now here's the sambhar recipe.


1C toor dal/harhar daal
4C water
4-5 tamarind pieces
1 carrot, cut into thin strips
2 potatoes , chopped
pinch of hing
1 onion chopped
1 tsp rai/mustard seeds
4-5 red chilis
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp sambhar masala powder
salt to taste

1) Wash the daal and drop in a pressure cooker. Add the chopped vegetables. You can add more vegetables according to your taste like eggplant, beans and spinach are the common ones.

2) Add water to the cooker and cook on high flame until a whistle comes. Then turn the flame to low and let the cooker sit for about 7 mins. Turn off the heat. Let the steam get out by itself

3) Soak the tamarind in water for half an hour. You will see the pulp of tamarind mixing with water.

3) Meanwhile in a pan, heat oil and add red chilis, mustard seeds. After the mustard seeds start to splutter, add onions and fry them until they start turning golden brown. Add salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder , sambhar masala and cook for a few seconds.

4) Add the water from the soaked tamarind to the masala. Add this mixture to the daal and let it come to a boil. Add more water if it comes out to be thick.

5) Serve hot with idli, dosa or rice or have it as a soup ;-)

Serves: 3-4

Tip: Add lil turmeric powder and salt to the daal while pressure cooking and daal will cook faster.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mix vegetable sandwich

I love any vegetarian sandwich. so i try to come up with different variations of sandwiches. Mix vegetable sandwich is something that i came up with yesterday. It came out to be yummy. So, here's the recipe.


4 Slices of bread
1/4C peas. thawed
1/4C carrots, chopped
1/4C corn, thawed
1/4C onion, chopped
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp cream cheese
1 tsp butter
1 tsp vegetable oil
salt to taste


1) In a pan, heat oil and drop in chopped onions. Saute until they become brown. Then add carrot and cover and let cook for 5 mins on slow flame. This will cook the carrots.

2) To the pan, add thawed peas and corn and mix well. Saute for a few mins and turn off the heat. Let it cool.

3) Apply butter on one side of each bread slice and place them on a hot tava. Let them brown on one side and take the bread off the tava. Let it cool for a few minutes.

4) When the vegetables come to room temperature, add cream cheese and mix well.

5) with a butter knife , apply the veggie mixture to the bread slices. Combine 2 slices to form a sandwich.

6) Cut the bread into triangular pieces and serve.

Serves: 2

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Dum alu/whole potato curry

Dum alu is traditionally a kashmiri dish and very tasty and spicy. My kashmiri friend's mom used to make it and get it for us in the hostel when we were studying and we used to wipe it off our plates in just minutes!! Anyway, i tried to make it my own way thinking of the spices that aunty put in her authentic dum alu. The first time i made it, alu came out to be pretty hard but the second time, i got it right:-)
My husband liked it both the times!
Here's the recipe.


8-10 small potatoes
oil for frying

For the marinade:

1/2C yoghurt
1 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chili powder

For the curry:

2-3 red chilis
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp cashew nuts
2 -3 tomatoes
1 onion
1-2 cloves of garlic
1 inch ginger root
1 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
handful of cilantro
1C milk
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp garam masala
salt to taste
2 tbsp oil


1) Cover the potatoes with cling wrap individually and microwave them for about 3 minutes or until they come to a boil. You can also pressure cook them to boil them. I am boiling them because they use less oil for frying and i dont have to worry about them being totally cooked from inside.

2) Peel off the skin. In a deep pan, heat oil so that fumes start to come out. Meanwhile poke all the potatoes with fork at different places so that the oil and marinade seeps in.

3) Fry the potatoes until they turn golden brown from outside and a nice crust forms.

4) In a bowl, mix together, youghurt, salt, turmeric powder and chili powder. Drop in the fried potatoes and let them marinade for about half an hour or 45 mins until you see the yoghurt reduced to half.

5) Meanwhile in a separate bowl soak red chilis and coriander seeds in water for about hald na hour.

6) When they are soaked, they give a nice aroma together. In a grinder, add red chili , coriander, ginger , garlic, cilantro, onion, tomatoes, cashewnuts, fennel seeds and grind them together to form a paste.

7) In a pan, heat oil and add this paste. Cook it until it starts to leave oil. Add the milk and salt, turmeric powder, chili powder and garam masala. Also add the marinaded potatoes with rest of the curd. Cover and let it cook on low flame until the mik reduces and a thick curry forms.

8) Serve hot with naan or pulav.

Serves: 2-3

Tip: You can use less red chilis if you want it less spicy. I do the marinade to make the potatoes soft from inside and for the masala to go inside the potato. If not marinated they taste bland inside.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mix vegetable raita with peanuts

This is a simple raita recipe with a little twist;-)


1 cucumber, peeled and finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/4C peanuts
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 green chili
1/2C yoghurt
salt to taste

1) In a pan, dry roast , peanuts and green chili until the peanuts turn brown and chili is a little charred.

2) Grind the peanuts into small bits. Make sure they are not powdered.

3) Chop the roasted green chili. In a bowl mix together yogurt, cucumber, carrot, tomato, onion, peanuts, green chili, salt and chili powder. I am just using half a cup of yoghurt because you can serve it as raita or salad ....You can use more if you wish.

4) Serve chilled.

Serves: 2-3

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Alu gobhi

My mom makes alu gobhi in two ways, one is the simple way with tadka and other one is with ground masala. Both the methods make the sabji taste very different. The difference in the taste comes because of ginger and garlic.Today i am posting the one with a simple tadka. I am doing the simple one because i want to start with simple things and then graduate to complicated dishes.
Here's the recipe. Ingredients:

1 cauliflower (1.5 lb)
1 big potato or 2 small ones
1 onion, chopped
1 inch ginger, finely chopped
handful of cilantro for garnish
1 tsp chili powder
2 green chilis, chopped
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp garam masala
3 tbsp vegetable oil
salt to taste


1) In a pan, heat oil on a high flame and drop in chopped potatoes. Let them fry for about 4 mins or until they start to turn golden.

2) Add chopped onions, ginger and green chili to the potatoes. Saute again for about 5 mins until the onions starts to turn brown.

3) Add salt, chili powder, turmeric powder to the potatoes and saute for a few seconds. Drop in the cauliflower florets.

5) Stir and let the masala coat the florets. Cover with a lid and let it cook for 5-7 mins on medium flame. This will cook the gobi and at the same time make it crunchy like it is fried. You can also cook it on a low flame and it will turn out softer.

6) Sprinkle the garam masala on top and mix well.

7) Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with roti.


Tip: You can also add thawed peas when you add onions to the dish. I didn't do it because my husband is not very fond of peas but it is a typical punjabi way to make some sabji look richer by adding peas.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Pav Bhaji

Pav bhaji can be had as a snack or as a meal. It is a maharashtrian dish and my mother cooks it very well. I got this recipe from her.


8 pairs of pav
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 potatoes, chopped
1/2 cauliflower, chopped
1/2C cabbage, chopped
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp pav bhaji masala
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp mustard seeds (optional)
2 tomatoes
1 big clove of garlic
3 green chilis
handful of cilantro
salt to taste


1) Steam all the chopped vegetables in a pressure cooker or in a pan with a lid, until they are tender. If steaming in a pressure cooker, turn off the heat after one whistle.

2) After the vegetables are steamed, mash them until they are completely blended.

3) In another saute pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds. When they start to splutter, add half the onions and saute until they start turning brown.

4) In a grinder, grind together, tomatoes, garlic, green chilis and cilantro. Add this mixture to the pan and let cook until it starts to leave oil.

4) To this add turmeric powder, salt and chili powder and mix well. After a few seconds, add the mashed vegetables and let them come to a boil.

5) Sprinkle pav bhaji masala and lime juice over the vegetables and mix it well. Add a tbsp of butter if you want to make it richer. Turn off the heat.

6) On a tava apply butter to each pav and cook them on both sides.

7) Garnish the bhaji with some chopped onions on top and serve hot with pav.

Serves: 3-4

Instant french toast

There is a french toast recipe where you do all the fancy things like baking and layering and there is one which is instant. Today i am posting the instant one which you can have as a breakfast or snack. The layered recipe is too good and i will post that too. For now, here's the instant one.


2 eggs
2 bread slices
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp butter
sugar syrup (optional)
pinch of salt n pepper


1) in a bowl break two eggs, add sugar, salt and pepper. Beat the eggs until all the sugar dissolves.

2) Heat a pan, add a tbsp of butter to the pan, let it melt.

3) Cut each breacd slice into 2 so as to form a tiangle or any shape you want. Dip the bread in the egg mixture and place on the pan. Do the same for all the other pieces.

4) Flip them until the egg is cooked.

5) Serve hot with more sugar syrup on the top.

Serves: 1

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Lachha Paratha

Well, i first had this parantha at a restaurant called New Yorker ( Can u believe it!!) and loved it. The speciality is that it has many layers and each layer tastes heaven with all the ghee and masala in it:-) After that, i tried it at so many restaurants that i dont even remember, how many!! But that was the best. So i tried to attempt this at home and it worked out pretty well.
When my mom-in-law came to US this year, i told her about it and she told me that this is a traditional punjabi "hath ka parantha", i didnt know that !! Anyway, here's how you make it.


1C Wheat flour
salt and chili powder to taste
1/2C ghee


1) the key to this is how to make layers. There are many methods but i follow this one.

2) Take a medium sized ball of kneaded wheat flour. With a rolling pin, spread it out on a flat base, into a round shape.

3) Apply a tbsp of ghee on top. Sprinkle some salt and chili powder on top. Now, with a knife cut the round tortilla into strips as shown in the last picture.

4) Stack those strips on top of each other and roll it into a ball. Flip it to the side and press it a little as shown in the third pic picture.

5) Again, roll it out into a round shape as shown in the second pic. Put it on a heated tava and apply ghee on both sides. Flip it until it is completely cooked.

6) Serve hot with pickle or yoghurt.

Serves: 2-3

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

dahi bhalle

Dahi bhalle, as we call it in punjabi is not only a north indian dish but it is made in south india too.
But, it is made with a difference and is called dahi vade. There are a couple of tricks to make soft bhalle which am going to share with you today. Here's the recipe.


1C urad daal
handful of cilantro (optional)
3C yoghurt
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp roasted cumin powder
oil for frying
salt to taste

1) Soak urad daal in water for about 6 hours or overnight.

2) Grind the daal in a grinder. Add little water at a time, into the grinder to make a paste. The paste should have consistency like a cake batter or even little thicker than a cake batter.

3) Add salt to this paste. You can also add chopped cilantro for additional flavor.

4) This is the tip, mix the batter or rather whip it for about 5 minutes continously. To test if the bhalle are ready to fry, just pour a little batter into a bowl of water. If it rises to the surface, it is ready to fry. If it sinks, it still needs some whipping. If you dont whip at all, bhalle will turn out to be super hard and you dont want that!!

5) In a pan, heat oil. When it is hot enough, start dropping balls of this batter into the oil. They will expand so leave enough space between two balls.

6) Flip them when they turn brown. fry from all the sides, take them out and drop them in a bowl of cold water.

7) Dropping them in water makes them soft and this step also gets rid of additional oil in them.
After 5 mins, take out the bhallas from water and press them to get the additional water out. They should look like the first picture.

8) After all the bhallas are fried, soaked in water and pressed, add yoghurt to them. Add seasonings like salt, chili powder and cumin powder.

9) Keep in refrigerator and serve cold with biryani or any rice variety or anything. they are simply delicious.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Vegetable Biryani

Vegetable Biryani, hmmmmm, the first time i ate it, i fell in love with it. This was in hyderabad at a local biryani house. It was so delicious and i never got that taste later. Then once, years latermy roommate at work made it and it tasted the same....i asked her the recipe and got to know her secret ingredient. I never thought mint would taste soooo good in rice.
Anyway, here's the recipe.


2C basmati rice, boiled
1/2 bunch mint
1/2 bunch cilantro
2 onions
3-5 cloves
3-4 bay leaves
1C cauliflower, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1/2C peas
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1/2C paneer, chopped
1C milk
2 tbsp ghee
1 green chili
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala
salt to taste


1) Boil the rice with a spray of oil and salt until they are half cooked.

2)In a pan, heat ghee and let it melt, add cumin, cloves and bay leaves. Let them fry for a while.

3) meanwhile in a grinder add, 1 onion, mint, cilantro and green chili. Grind to form a paste.

4) Add this paste to the saute pan with ghee and let it roast for about 2-3 mins. To this add, salt, garam masala, turmeric powder, chili powder and all the chopped vegetables except for paneer.

5) Simmer, add milk and let the vegetables cook , add paneer when vegetables are half cooked. Simmer and cook for about 15 mins till the vegetables are completely cooked and the milk is reduced to half.

6) Pour the masala into the boiled rice and mix it well. The rice will become moist because of the mik. Cover the biryani and cook on low flame until the rice is completely cooked.

7) Serve hot with yoghurt


Chick Pea curry/Chhole

Chick Pea curry is also a punjabi dish and usually had with either puri or rice. I had a party last night at my place and i made puri- chhole which my friends thoroughly enjoyed!!
Tell you a secret, i got this recipe from husband!!! He cooks rarely but when he cooks , everything is delicious:-)
Here's the recipe.


2 cans of chickpeas drained/2 cups of raw chickpeas soaked overnight in water and boiled.
2 garlic cloves
1 inch ginger root
handful of cilantro
3 tomatoes
1 onion , diced
2 green chilis
1 tbsp roasted cumin powder
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chili powder
3 tbsp vegetable oil
salt to taste

1) In a pan, heat oil and add the diced onions. Saute them for a while until the onions start to turn brown.

2) Meanwhile in a grinder add tomatoes, ginger, garlic, green chilis and cilantro. Grind them together to form a chunky paste.

3) Add this paste to the onions in the pan and let it cook until it starts to leave oil. Then, add garam masala, turmeric powder, cumin, chili powder and salt.

4) Cook the masala for a few soconds and it is ready to go into the boiled chickpeas. Mix them together and boil the chcikpeas for about 15 mins more so that the masala incorporates and forms a thick curry.

5) Serve with puri or rice.


fettuccini alfredo

This is an italian dish which is very famous. It is difficult to like it in the first go but once you start eating it, you are sure to develop the taste ans love it!
Fettuccini is a kind of pasta and alfredo is a sauce which goes very well along with pasta and pizza.
For people who love it, this is the best pasta ever!! Here's the recipe.


1/2 lb fettuccini pasta
1/2 pint heavy cream
1/4C onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp butter
1/4C parmesan cheese
2 tbsp parmesan cheese for garnishing (optional)
1 tbsp chopped parsley for garnishing (optional)


1) In a deep pan, boil water and add some salt. Put pasta in the water for boiling.

2) Meanwhile, in a saute pan, add butter. When the butter starts to melt, add chopped onions and garlic. saute for a while.

3) when the onions become translucent, add cream. Let it come to a boil and simmer for about five.

4) To this mixture, add some grated parmesan cheese and let it melt. The sauce thickens after a while. Turn off the heat.

5) Add some salt and pepper to this sauce and then add the boiled pasta in it. Also, add 1/4 cup of pasta water to dilute the sauce little bit.

6) Garnish with more parmesan cheese and parsley. Serve hot with your favorite bread.

Serves: 2-3

Friday, July 11, 2008


Poha is a maharashtrian dish which is usually had for breakfast or as a snack. We have it every Sunday for breakfast. As my family lived in Maharashtra all my childhood, this is something that my mom has been cooking for ages.
Here's the recipe.


3C thick poha
1/4C peanuts
1 potato, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tsp tuemeric powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 green chili, chopped
1 tsp rai/mustard seeds
2 tbsp oil
salt to taste


1) Soak the poha in water for about 2 mins and drain out the water. Sprinkle a tsp of sugar on the soaked poha and let it sit.

2)Meanwhile, in a pan, heat the oil and add rai. When rai starts to crack, add peanuts and potatoes.

2) Fry the potatoes. When they are cooked, add the onions and green chili and simmer the flame. Let the onions cook for 2 mins.

3) Add salt , turmeric powder and chili powder to the onion-potato mixture and stir for a few seconds until the masala is cooked.

4) Turn off the heat and add the soaked poha to the pan and mix well. Heat needs to be turned off so that the poha doesnt stick to the bottom of the pan and become hard.

5) Serve with sev and some lime juice sprinkled over it.

Serves: 2-3

Daal Paratha

Parantha is a key punjabi dish. There are different varieties which i will keep posting. For now , here's daal parantha.


1C Leftover daal (any daal except chhole/rajma)
2C wheat flour
1/2C onion, finely chopped
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ajwain
salt to taste


1) In wheat flour, add the left over daal in parts and knead. dont add all the daal at once or else the dough will become too sticky.

2) also add chopped onion, ajwain, chili powder and salt. Add more water if the dough is dry.

3) Knead until the dough starts leaving your hand and sticking to itself.

4)Make small balls, about 14-15, from the dough. With a rolling pin , roll each ball into a round tortilla shape.

5) Put the tortilla onto a tava and let it cook on both sides. Apply ghee on both sides.

6) Serve hot with butter or pickle.


Tamarind rice

Although we are a punjabi family, our neighbours were south indian. When i was a kid, i used to love tamarind rice prepared by Subramanium aunty. My mother learnt the authentic recipe from aunty and passed it on to me. I still relish the sweet and tangy flavor of this dish.

Here's the recipe.


1C boiled rice, cooled.
1 tsp rai
1 tsp turmeric powder
4 tbsp peanuts
2 tbsp roasted chana
a pinch of hing
2-3 tamarinds
1/2 tsp sugar
1 green chili
a strand of kadi patta leaves
2 tbsp vegetable oil
salt to taste


1) Soak tamarind in a cup of water for about an hour. It starts to form a pulp. extract all the pulp and throw away the seeds.

2) In a pan , heat oil, add peanuts, let them roast for a while. Add chana and stir for a while. Add rai, hing, kadi patta, chopped green chili, turmeric powder and tamarind water.

3) Once the mixture starts to boil, add sugar and salt.

4) Mix the masala into the rice and let it sit for half an hour. This way the rice will soak all the masala and become moist.

5) Serve with yoghurt

Serves: 2

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Baked Pasta

My husband loves italian food and so do i. Once we went to my husband's uncle's place and aunty made such delicious pasta. When i asked her, she said its multigrain and also baked!! I mean, how can multigrain pasta taste soooo good :-)
Anyway, jokes apart, i took the recipe from her and threw in some of my ideas and some cheese to make it delicious:-) Here's the recipe.


1/2 lb multigrain rotini pasta
1/2C parmesan cheese
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, sliced
1/4C peas, thawed
1/2C broccoli florets
1C marinara sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

1) In a pot of boiling water, add salt and rotini pasta. Let the pasta boil for about 10 mins or until al dente.

2) In a baking pan, throw in the chopped vegetables, drizzle olive oil over them. Season with salt, pepper and dried italian herbs.

3) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Roast the vegetables in the oven for about 12-15 mins.

4) Take the vegetables out and add the al dente pasta to the vegetables , add marinara sauce and cheese. Mix it all together.

5) Again place the baking pan in the oven for about 15-20 mins until the cheese melts and the pasta is fully cooked.

6) serve hot with garlic bread.

Serves: 2-3

Sookhi Arbi

Arbi which is usually called taro here, is also a day-to-day punjabi dish. It is cooked with gravy or dry. But, according to me, dry tastes better than the gravy one. Here's the recipe.


8-9 pieces of taro/arbi
1/2C onion chopped
1 tsp ajwain
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp chili powder
3 tbsp vegetable oil
salt to taste
chopped cilantro for garnish

1)Peel and wash the taro. Keep it aside until it dries. Slice them fries shaped pieces.

2) heat oil in a pan. Add ajwain and turmeric powder. After that add the sliced arbi into the pan. Let it fry for a while on high flame.

3) Then add the chopped onions and cover the pan. Let it simmer for abt 15 mins. Add garam masala, chili powder and again cook it for abt 5-10 mins.

4) Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with roti.

Serves: 2

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Rajma-Kidney bean curry

Today I am posting recipe of my favorite dish, rajma. This is an authentic punjabi dish which is usually had with rice.


2C red kidney beans
1/2 of a big onion
2 tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger root, peeled
handful of cilantro
2 green chillis
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp paprika powder/ degi mirch
1 tsp ground and roasted cumin
3 tbsp vegetable oil
salt to taste


1) Soak the beans in cold water overnight or in hot water for about an hour. They should swell.
Boil these beans with a little salt for abt 45 mins in a large pan. Cover the pan or use a pressure cooker.

2) for the masala, grind the coarselt chopped tomatoes, onions , ginger, garlic, green chillis and cilantro together to form a chunky paste.

3) Heat oil in a pan. Add this ground masala to the oil and let it cook on medium heat, until it starts leaving oil. Add salt, chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin and garam masala. Stir for a few seconds.

4) add this masala mixture to the boiled beans. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes so that the masala gets incorporated. Add more water necessary.

5) Garnish with chooped cilantro and Serve hot over rice.

Serves: 3-4

Tip:A cup of bean requires about 3 cups of water to boil.

Namkeen Saviyaan

In the olden times, grannys used to make seviyaan at home with their own hands. I am fortunate that my husband's grandma still makes it and we get a taste of home-made seviyaan. Most people consider seviyaan to be a sweet dish. But namkeen seviyaan makes a great snack too and with all the veggies added, it has nutritional value. This can be a great to-go lunch. Here's the recipe.


2C seviyaan , dry roasted
2C water
1/4C peas
1/4C chopped beans
1/4C corn
1/4C chopped potatoes
1/4C chopped carrot
1/4C chopped onions
1 tsp rai or mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
2 tbsp vegetable oil
salt to taste


1) Heat oil in a pan, add rai, when it starts spluttering, add the chopped vegetables , let them simmer. When the vegetables are cooked, add chopped onions and cook with the lid open until the onions begin to brown.

2) Add salt , chilli powder and turmeric powder. Stir well, add the seviyaan and then water.

3) Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook on medium heat until all the water evaporates and the seviyaan swells.

4) Serve hot.

Serves: 2

Hakka noodles

Chinese food is my husband's and brother's favourite. So this is something i learnt from my mother, who is a great cook.


1 packet Ching's hakka noodles
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1/2C chopped green onion
1C cabbage, shredded
1/2 bell pepper chopped
a carrot peeled and chopped
1 tsp hot sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp olive oil


1) In a deep pan, boil salted water and add noodles. Boil for abt 8 mins or till al dante. Drain in a colander. Spray some oil over the noodles so that they dont stick to each other.

2) In a saucepan, add olive oil, onions and vegetables, except for cabbage. Simmer and let the vegetables cook for a while.When veggies are 3/4th cooked, add cabbage. Add cabaage later as it cooks fast and we want it crunchy.

3) After a minute add ginger paste and garlic paste. Stir and then add the boiled noodles. Turn off the heat as soy soauce burns in the heat. After the heat is turned off add soy sauce and hot sauce. Mix well and serve.

Serves: 1-2

Tip: Add salt only when using low sodium soy sauce. If the cap of soy sauce bottle is red then it already contains enough sodium and there is no need of salt. If the cap is green, it is low sodium.

Bharvan Baigan

I am not a big fan of eggplant and certainly not the regular aloo baigan and masala baigan. So i thought, the only way to make eggplant delicious is to come up with a rich filling for bharvan baigan. I tested it yesterday and it came out to be pretty good. Here's the recipe.


8-10 small size eggplants
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2C cashewnuts
1 tsp coriander seeds
3 cloves
2 tbsp coconut, shredded
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp tuemeric powder
1 tsp garam masala
3 tbsp vegetable oil
salt to taste
cilantro leaves for garnish


1) In a pan, heat a tbsp of vegetable oil. Add cloves, coriander seeds and onions , fry until onions tuen tranlucent. Add cashewnuts to this and let them become slightly brown. Turn the heat of and le the mixture cool.

2) In a grinder, add the above mixture, coconut, turmeric powder , chilli powder, garam masala and salt.Grind to make a paste. Add little water if necessary.

3) Slit the eggplant into cross slits and fill them with the cashew paste. In a pan, heat 2 tbsp of oil. Add the eggplants and let them sear on all the sides.

4) Add the remaining paste to the pan. Add little water to make a gravy and let it simmer till the eggplants are cooked and the paste starts to leave out oil.

5) Garnish with some chopped cilantro and serve hot with roti.

Serves: 2-3

Monday, July 7, 2008

Punjabi Kadhi

Today's posting is a very common one but Kadhi is something which according to me, is a difficult dish. Being a Punjabi, this is something that i want to taste authentic, the way mom used to make it. There are some specific things that need to be done for the Kadhi to turn out perfect. I struggled a lot with this dish initially but when you get it, it is just a delicious treat!!
My husband can eat it any day and any time of the year. So, here's the recipe.


For the Kadhi:
2.5 cups Yogurt
2.5 C water or more to adjust consistency
2 tbsp gram flour (besan)
1 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tbsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
3-4 green chilies paste
a pinch of hing (aesefodita)
2 tbsp ghee
salt to taste

For Pakoras:
1/2C mustard oil
1/2C gram flour
1/2C chopped onion
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste

1)In a mixing bowl, add besan, salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and mix them. Add yogurt and mix until a thick paste is formed. This way the besan wont form lumps. Add water to adjust the consistency.

2) In a pan, heat a tbsp of ghee, add hing, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, ginger paste, garlic paste anf green chili paste. After a few seconds, add the yoghurt mixture and keep stirring on high flame until it comes to a boil. It is advisable not to stop stirring until the yogurt comes to a boil or else it will break.

3) Simmer the kadhi and cook it for about 15 mins more. The more u cook, the more delicious it is.

4) make a cake consistency like batter of besan(gram flour), onions and all the masalas incuding salt, for the pakoras.

5) Deep fry them in mustard oil and add to the kadhi while it is simmering. This way the pakoras become soft.

6) serve hot over rice.

Serves 2-3

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Bruchetta is an italian vegetarian appetizer which i love. This is the first thing i ate in a restaurant when i came to US. My husband loved it and introduced it to me. Since then i was trying to recreate it at home but something or the other would go missing.
I wondered , from where did that strong fragrance came. I tried various cheeses but nothing worked. Finally, i realized , it was basil and no cheese!!! From then on it was the making of a perfect bruchetta. We never order it at the restaurant now:-)
Here's the recipe... Ingredients:

French bread
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 garlic clove, finey chopped
3 basil leaves (offcourse!)
6 tbsp olive oil
1/3 onion, finely chopped Method:

1) mix together tomatoes, onion, garlic, chopped basil leaves and 4 tbsp olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Store, covered, in the refrigerator.

2) slice the frence bread into 1/2 inch thick pieces. Apply rest of the olive oil to the slices. Toast them in a toaster or a 375 degrees preheated oven for abt 10 mins.

3) Spread the tomato mixture over the bread and serve.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Paneer Enchiladas

This is a recipe that i saw in various TV shows. I wanted to give an indian spin to it by adding paneer. I also substituted tomatillos in the salsa with regular tomatoes to make it less sour.
So, this is my take on paneer enchiladas and everyone in my family loved it!!


4 flour tortillas (store bought)
2 tomatoes
1 big onion or 2 small ones
Juice of 1 lime
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 bunch of cilantro
2 jalapeno peppers
1 tbs all purpose flour
1C vegetable broth
1/2 lb paneer (cottage cheese)
1 bell pepper (chopped)
1/2C shredded mexican cheese mix
2 tsp cumin powder


1) Cut the tomatoes, half the onion, a green chilli in big wedges. Add 2 whole cloves of garlic and 1 jalapeno pepper. Drizzle some olive oil, salt and pepper over them. Roast them in your toaster or in the oven at 450 degrees for about 15 mins or until the tomatoes become soft and start to char.

2) pour the above in a grinder, add a tsp of cumin powder, juice of a lime, cilantro and some more salt and pepper. Grind it together to form a salsa as shown below. Keep it aside.

3) In a similar way , roast the paneer and chopped bell pepper with olive oil, salt and pepper until they are half cooked.

4) Chop the left over onion and garlic finely. In a pan, add some olive oil, onions and garlic and let them fry until they are tender.

5) To this add all purpose flour and mix it thoroughly to avoid lump. Then slowly add the broth while mixing it. After a while the liquid thickens because of the flour. Now add the roasted vegetables and 1/4th of the salsa that we prepared earlier. This is the filling for Enchiladas. Looks like the following pic.

6) Dry toast the tortillas on your burner for just few seconds to make them soft.Then add the filling to each tortilla and fold the tortillas to form a roll.

7) In a baking pan, spread 1 tbsp of salsa at the bottom, place the tortillas on the top. Spread the leftover salsa on the top. Cover the top with shredded cheese.

8) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the enchiladas for about half an hour. Serve with beans and rice and seasoned chopped avocados to make it a complete meal. Enjoy !!