Sunday, July 31, 2011

Veggie Lo-Mein in Peanut Sauce

Adapted from

Brown Rice Noodles - 4 oz
Peanut Butter - 2 tbsp
Soy Sauce - 1 tbsp
Ginger - 1 inch, thinly sliced
Garlic - 4 cloves, thinly sliced
Green Chili or Red Pepper Flakes - to taste
Mixed vegetables - combination of onion, green beans, carrots, cabbage, red pepper, green pepper, edamame, bean sprouts, baby broccoli, baby corn
Peanut Oil / Sesame Oil - 1 tbsp
Scrambled Eggs (optional)

Cook the noodles in plenty of salt water till done. Rinse with cold water and keep aside.

Mix the peanut butter with the soy sauce and make a sauce and keep aside.
Heat oil in a big wok. Add the ginger, garlic and green chili and saute till the garlic begins to change color.

Add the vegetables  and a little salt and cook on high heat, tossing continuously.

Once the vegetables are cooked but still crunchy, add the noodles and peanut sauce.

Mix well and stir fry for a few minutes.

Remove and add scrambled eggs, if using and serve immediately.

Friday, July 29, 2011

French Toast

Whole Grain Bread - 4 slices
Egg - 3
Whole Milk - 1/4 cup
Honey - 2 tsp
Nutmeg - a pinch or 1/2 tsp vanilla
Butter - 1 tbsp

To serve:
Powdered Sugar
Pure Grade A Maple Syrup
Mascarpone Cheese

Beat the eggs well. Add the milk, honey and nutmeg and mix well.

Heat a skillet with a tsp of butter.

Take each slice of bread and dip it in the egg milk mixture. Let it soak up on both sides for a few seconds.

Drain the excess liquid and place it on the warm skillet. Cook till golden brown on both sides.

Remove and add a dollop of mascarpone cheese on top. Drizzle maple syrup and sprinkle some powdered sugar and serve.

Alu Potol, with tomato and cheese

Adapted from

Potol / Pointed Gourd - 10, each cut into 3 square pieces
Red Potato - 1, cubed
Tomato - 1, big, peeled and chopped
Onion - 1, finely chopped
Ginger - 1/2 inch, grated
Garlic - 2 cloves, grated
Green Chilli - 2, finely chopped
Sugar - 1 tsp
Cheese Cubes - 2
Peanut Oil - 2 tbsp
Bay Leaf - 1
Cardamom - 2 pods
Cinnamon - 1 stick
Cloves - 5
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp

Red Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Water - 1 tbsp

Mix the ground spices - red chili, turmeric, cumin and coriander with a little water and keep aside.

Mix a little salt and turmeric to the cubed potato and potol pieces and marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.

Heat a tbsp of oil in a skillet. Add the potato and saute till they are light brown on all sides.

In the same oil, add the potol pieces and saute till the potol is cooked and become light brown. Remove and keep aside.

Heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil in the skillet. Add bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin seeds.

Add the chopped onion and cook till the onion gets soft.

Add ginger, garlic and the chopped tomato. Cook on low fire till the tomato is completely cooked and releases oil. Sprinkle a little water if required while cooking the tomato.

Add the masala paste and the fried potato and cook for a few minutes. Add cheese, sugar, a cup of water and fried potol and stir till the cheese melts. Cover and cook for a few minutes more till the gravy thickens and oil floats on top. Serve hot with steamed rice or puris.

White Beech Mushroom stir fry

White Beech Mushroom - 4 oz
Garlic Cloves - 3, thinly sliced
Shallot - 1, chopped
Red Chili Flakes - 1/2 tsp
White Wine - 1 tbsp
Olive Oil - 1/2 tbsp

Heat oil in a skillet. Add the sliced garlic and red chili flakes. Saute on low heat till the garlic begins to change color.

Add the chopped shallot and cook till the shallot begins to caramelise. Add the mushroom and cook for a minute.

Remove the skillet from the heat and add a tbsp of wine to deglaze it.

Return the skillet to flame and cook till the liquid evaporates.

Serve hot.

Peda, Sweet Cream fudge

Organic Whole Milk - 1/4 gallon
Turbinado / Demerara Sugar - 2 tbsp
Ghee - 1 tsp
Cardamom Powder - 1/8 tsp, a pinch

Bring the milk to a boil in a heavy bottomed pan. Simmer and cook on very low heat for around two hours. Keep stirring the milk so that it doesn't stick to the bottom.

After 2 hours, the milk gets very thick. At this point we have to continuously stir otherwise it can get burnt easily. Add the sugar and cardamom powder and continue to cook for 10 more minutes till the mixture comes together almost like a soft ball.

Spread a tsp of ghee on a plate and pour the thickened milk. Let it cool a little, then apply a few drops of ghee in the hand and make small pedas of the desired shape. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Makes around 8 small pedas.

Ghugni, sans ground spices

Adapted from

Dried Green peas / Yellow peas - 1 cup ( Here I used dried green peas, hence the end result is a greenish yellow ghugni)
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Water - 5 cups
Whole dried red chilli - 2
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Ginger - 1/2 inch, grated
Sugar - 1/4 tsp
Red Potato - 1, with skin, washed (optional)
Peanut Oil - 1 tsp

Soak the peas in plenty of water for a few hours or overnight.

Heat a tsp of oil in a pressure cooker pan. Add the cumin seeds, grated ginger and red chillies. Saute for a minute.

Now add the soaked peas, turmeric, salt, sugar. Add water and potato.

Close the cooker and cook for 2 to 3 whistles.

Cool and open the cooker and remove the whole potato and keep aside. This can be used to make something else later. (The reason why I use the potato is when the potato is boiling with the peas, it releases some starch and this helps to thicken the ghugni. Otherwise sometimes ghugni cooked this way is very watery).

Serve ghugni with puri or as a evening snacks with some chopped raw onion on top.

I also make another version of ghugni which is spicy and the recipe is here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Kanchagolla Sandesh

Adapted from

Organic Whole Milk - 1/2 gallon
Lemon Juice - Juice of one lemon
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Saffron - a few strands
Pistachio - 5, grated
Raisin - 10 (optional)

Sieve the lemon juice so that it has no solid particles. Mix it with 2 tbsp of water and keep aside.

Boil the milk in a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, making sure not to burn milk.

As the milk comes to a boil, add the lemon juice gradually and stir the milk gently. When the curd starts separating from the whey, turn off the heat.

Once the milk fat has separated from the whey, drain the whey using a strainer lined with cheesecloth or thin cotton napkin.

Rinse under cold water for atleast 3 minutes to remove the lemon flavor and squeeze well. Wrap the cheese in the cloth tightly and leave it in a colander for an hour to drain the excess water.

Once it is drained, place on a dry, clean plate and knead the cheese by dragging the palm of your hand hard for 15 minutes until the cheese becomes soft and oily and rolls into smooth soft dough. Add the sugar and saffron strands and knead again for 5 minutes till the sugar melts.

Put this mixture in a nonstick pan and cook on very low heat for around 3 to 4 minutes. Do not overcook otherwise the sandesh will get hard.

Remove and cool for a couple of minutes. Roll it into desired shapes, put a raisin on top and sprinkle grated pistachio. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bagara Baingan / Eggplant in Peanut Sauce

Adapted from
Small Eggplants - 10, washed and dried completely
Peanut Oil - 2 tbsp
Whole Garam Masala - 5 cloves, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 cardamom, 1 bayleaf
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Hing / Asafoetida - a pinch
Curry Leaves - 5
Onion - 2 tbsp, chopped
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Peanuts - 1/2 cup
Sesame Seeds - 1 tbsp
Shredded Dried Coconut - 1 tbsp

Tamarind - 2 tsp, soaked in warm water
Jaggery - 1 tbsp, grated
Green Chillies - 2, chopped, for garnishing (optional)

Add a tsp of oil to an iron skillet and roast the peanuts, sesame seeds and dried coconut. Once the peanuts start getting brown specks, remove from heat and cool down. Add about half a cup of water and grind in a grinder / food processor to a coarse paste. Keep aside.

Heat a tbsp of oil in the skillet. Cut each eggplant from the bottom in to 4 wedges keeping the stem intact. Add the eggplants to the skillet and shallow fry on medium low heat till the eggplants are soft and cooked. Carefully remove them to a plate without separating the wedges from the stems.

Add the remaining oil to the skillet. Add the whole garam masala spices and mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds start popping, add the cumin seeds, curry leaves, hing and chopped onion. Cook till the onion gets soft.

Add the ginger garlic paste and turmeric, cumin, coriander, red chilli powder. Sprinkle some water and saute for a few minutes.

Now add the ground peanut mixture, tamarind extract, jaggery and 2 cups of water. Bring the sauce to a boil and simmer covered on low heat for around 20 minutes. Keep stirring in between so that the sauce doesnt get burnt at the bottom.

Once oil begins to float on top, the sauce is cooked. Add the fried eggplants,  mix gravy well and cook on low flame for 10 minutes. Garnish with chopped green chillies and serve hot.

Banana Thekua, gluten free

Banana / Yellow Plantain - 1, mashed
Brown Rice Flour - 3/4 cup
Amaranth Flour / Rajgira - 3/4 cup
Jaggery - 1 cup, grated
Dried Shredded Coconut - 1/2 cup
Fennel Seeds - 1 tsp
Cardamom Powder - a pinch (optional)
Warm Ghee / Clarified Butter - 2 tsp

Peanut Oil for deep frying

Mix all the above well and form a soft dough. Depending on the size of the banana, a little more or less flour may be required to make the dough.

Divide the dough into small balls and flatten the balls into circular shapes in between two plastic sheets.

Deep fry 5 or 6 thekua at a time till golden brown on both sides. Remove on paper towels to soak up excess oil. The thekuas harden when they cool down. They can be stored in an airtight container for a week.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Cayenne Caramel Popcorn

Adapted from

Organic corn kernels - 3 oz or around 1/2 cup
Peanut Oil - 1 tbsp

Butter -1 tbsp
Brown Sugar - 2 tbsp
Maple Syrup - 2 tsp
Red Chilli Powder - 1/4 tsp
Cayenne Pepper - 1/4 tsp

Take a large flat skillet and put it on medium low heat. Add oil, salt and the corn kernels. Cover with a tight fitting lid.

Gently shake the pan by moving it back and forth over the burner. After a few minutes the kernels will begin popping.

Once the popping starts in earnest, continue shaking the pan by moving it back and forth. Once in a while try to keep the lid slightly ajar away from the face for a second only just to let the steam from the popcorn release so that the popcorns are crispy.

Once the popping slows to several seconds between pops, remove the pan from the heat and keep the cover on for a minute.

Now heat butter in a large skillet. Once the butter melts, add brown sugar and maple syrup. Cook on low fire till the sugar dissolves.

Add a tsp of water, cayenne and chilli powder and continue to cook till the syrup becomes thick and bubbly. Remove from flame and add the popcorn immediately. Toss well to coat evenly with caramel.

Remove onto a foil lined baking sheet and spread evenly. Cool and store in an airtight container.

Cauliflower with Yoghurt and Soy Sauce

Adapted from

Cauliflower - 1, small, broken into medium sized florets
Greek Yoghurt - 1/2 cup
Soy Sauce - 1 tbsp
Onion - 1/2, grated
Garlic - 4 cloves, grated
Ginger - 1 inch, grated
Vinegar - 2 tsp
Turmeric - a pinch
Green Chillies - 2, finely chopped
Sugar - 1/4 tsp

Oil - 1 tbsp
Parsley - a handful, chopped, for garnishing

Make a marinade of beaten yoghurt, soy sauce, vinegar, grated onion, grated garlic, grated ginger, chopped green chillies, salt, sugar, turmeric.

Dunk the florets in the marinade and let them sit at room temperature for atleast 30 minutes.

Heat oil in a cast iron skillet. Add the cauliflower florets and remaining marinade in the bowl to the hot oil.

Cover and cook on high heat for 10 minutes. Then uncover and cook  at medium heat till the oil starts to separate from the spice mix.

If the spice mix sticks to bottom, add a tsp of water and scrape out the pan. The florets should be cooked but remain crunchy. The dish should be dry with no gravy. Serve hot.

Dal Panchratan / Five Lentils Dal

Adapted from

Red Lentil / Masoor Dal - 1 tbsp
Yellow Lentil / Mung Dal - 1 tbsp
Split Pigeon Peas / Tur Dal - 1 tbsp
Split Black Lentil / Urad Dal - 1 tbsp
Split Bengal Gram/ Chanda Dal - 1 tbsp
Water - 5 cups
Turmeric - a pinch

Peanut Oil - 1/2 tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - 5
Garlic Cloves - 4, finely sliced
Green chillies - 2, chopped
Yellow Onion - 1/2, very thinly sliced
Tomato - 1, peeled and chopped
Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)

Mix the lentils together, wash well, add 5 cups water, turmeric and salt and bring to boil. Simmer and cook for an hour till the lentils are soft and mushy. Alternatively, they can be pressure cooked till soft.

Heat oil in a big skillet. Add mustard seeds. One the seeds begin to pop, add the cumin seeds. Then add sliced garlic, curry leaves and green chillies. Cook for a minute and add the sliced onion. Cook till the onion begins to caramelise. Now add the chopped tomato and cook till the tomato gets soft.

Add the cooked dal and red chilli powder, if using, and mix well. Simmer for a few more minutes and serve hot.

Rice Pudding with Rum and Raisin

White Basmati Rice - 1.5 tbsp (I used Tilda Basmati Rice)
Milk - 1/2 gallon (I used Homestead Creamery Whole Milk)
Rum - 1 tbsp
Raisins - 2 tbsp
Pure Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
Sugar - 5 tbsp or to taste

Soak the rice in warm water for a couple of hours. Soak the raisins in the rum.

Add milk to a heavy bottomed pan. Wash and drain the rice well and add it to the milk and bring it to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for an hour. Keep stirring in between so that the milk doesnt burn.

Once the rice is very soft and the milk reaches creamy consistency add the sugar and vanilla. Cook till the sugar melts. Add the soaked raisins and rum, stir well and remove from heat.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Spaghetti with No-Meat Balls

Brown Rice Spaghetti - 4 oz
Salt for pasta water

For spaghetti sauce:
Olive Oil - 1 tbsp
Roma Tomatoes - 10, peeled, deseeded and chopped
Yellow Onion - 1/2, finely chopped
Garlic Cloves - 4, thinly sliced
Paprika - 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Sugar - 1/4 tsp
Fresh Basil Leaves - 15
Vegetable Stock / Water - 1/2 cup

For No-Meat balls:
Boiled Baby Red Potato - 1, grated
Cooked Chickpeas or Green Peas - 1/4 cup, coarsely mashed
Cooked Kidney Beans or Black Beans  - 1/4 cup, coarsely mashed
Parsley - a handful, chopped
Pecorino Romano Cheese - 1 tbsp
Worcestireshire Sauce - 1 tsp
Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
Red Pepper Flakes - 1/4 tsp
Egg - 1
Bread Crumbs
Olive Oil - 1/2 tbsp

Grated Cheese - to serve (optional)

Preheat oven to 425F.

Place a large pot of water on to boil for spaghetti. When it boils, add salt and pasta and cook to al dente. Drain and run under cold water. Keep aside. (Ideally we should cook the pasta and the sauce in such a way so that the noodles can be drained and directly added to the cooked sauce without waiting).

Mix beans, potato, parsley, cheese, worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes, garlic, salt. Make small balls, dip in beaten egg and roll in bread crumbs. Drizzle olive oil on top and bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, till they turn brown and crispy. Alternatively they can also be deep fried in peanut oil till golden brown on both sides.

To prepare the sauce, heat a deep skillet over moderate heat. Add olive oil, garlic and finely chopped onion. Saute 5 to 7 minutes, until onion gets soft.

Add tomatoes and basil leaves. Bring to a simmer, add a little water or vegetable stock and cook for about 30 minutes till the sauce thickens.

Place pasta on dinner plates, top with meatballs and sauce and grated cheese and serve immediately.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Stuffed Bread Cutlet

Whole Grain Bread - 6 slices
Olive Oil - 2 tsp
Onion - 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Ginger - 1 tsp, grated
Green Chilli - 3, finely chopped
Mixed Vegetables - grated beetroot, grated carrot, green peas, grated boiled potato, etc - 1 cup
Boiled Chickpeas or any other kind of cooked beans - 1/4 cup, coarsely mashed (optional)
Roasted Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
Red Chilli Powder - 1/4 tsp
Peanut Oil for deep frying

Trim the edges of the bread slices and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan. Add the chopped onion, green chillies and ginger. Cook till the onion gets soft.

Add grated beetroot and carrot. Cook for a few minutes till the beetroot gets soft.

Now add the grated boiled potato, mashed beans, salt, cumin powder, red chilli powder. Mix everything well. Cook for a couple of minutes more till the filling comes together. Leave aside to cool down.

Take half cup of water in a shallow plate. Dip a slice of bread in the water and immediately squeeze out the water. Take a small ball of the vegetable filling and place it in the middle of the wet bread. Tightly wrap the bread around the filling.

Deep fry on medium high till golden brown. The temperature of the oil is important. It should not be too low otherwise the bread will soak up a lot of oil. If the temperature is right, the cutlet hardly soaks any oil and is very crispy. Serve with a side of salad.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chutney Sandwich

Mint leaves - 1 cup, loosely packed
Cilantro = 1/2 bunch, chopped
Green Chilli - 2, finely chopped
Garlic Cloves - 1, grated
Ginger - 1/2 tsp, grated
Fresh Coconut - 2 tsp, grated
Lemon Juice / Tamarind Extract - 1 tsp
Jaggery - 1 tsp, grated
Salt - a pinch
Olive Oil - 1 tsp (optional)

Mix all the above together and make a smooth paste in the grinder / blender.

Whole Grain Bread - 4 slices
Cheese / Butter
Sliced Cucumbers, tomato, onion, boiled potato - optional

Cut the edges of the bread and slice them into triangles. Spread some soft cheese or butter on each slices and then spread a tsp of the chutney. Put a few slices of cucumber / tomato / boiled potato on a slice of bread and place another slice of bread over it to make a sandwich.

If desired the sandwich can be lightly toasted in a cast iron pan with some butter/olive oil.