Monday, September 29, 2008

Cabbage Bowl Salad

A simple,colorful and nutritious salad made from diced cucumber, onion and tomato and bell peppers. .

  • 1 cucumber peeled and diced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 tomato diced
  • ½ green bell pepper diced
  • ½ yellow bell pepper diced
  • ½ red bell pepper diced
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 green chili finely chopped


  • Try to cut all vegetables in equal sized cubes.
  • Mix all ingredients well in a bowl.
  • Add lemon juice, black pepper and salt.
  • Transfer salad into cabbage bowl made from outer stiff leaves of a big cabbage.

Do You Know?

Cabbage provides Vitamin A, Vitamin C and is known as an excellent source of fibre. Cabbage features a vast number of anti-cancer and anti- oxidant compounds.
Consuming cabbage has also been linked to fastening up oestrogen metabolism, which is also believed to help prevent breast cancer.
Cabbage contains properties that help prevent colon cancer and stomach cancer.
Cabbage juice features anti- ulcer compounds, and is reported to contain both anti- viral and anti- bacteria properties.

Lahsuni Dal (Orange Lentil With Garlic)

Made with masoor dal (orange lentils), this dish is simple and becomes more tasty when cooked with garlic.

  • 1 cup masoor dal (Orange Lentil)
  • 4-5 big cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 tomato finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies finely chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
  • 2 dry red chilies whole
  • ½ tsp asafetida
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds

  • Wash dal thoroughly; mix with 3 cups of water, cooking oil, turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt and chopped garlic. Cook in pressure cooker or in a deep pan till lentil is soft.
  • Heat ghee in another small pan. Add cumin seeds and mustard seeds. When spluttering stops add dry red chili and asafetida. Add immediately chopped onion and tomato and fry till the tomato is pulpy. Turn off the fire.
  • Add this ghee and spice mixture to the boiled dal and mix well.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves and serve hot with roti or rice and vegetable or meat.


Dal will cook well, if you add a little sesame oil while cooking.

Do You Know?

Orange/Split Red lentils are cooked without soaking and are easy to digest. In India they are called Massor dal . They have a dark, earthy flavor and a creamy texture.

These lentils pair well with tomatoes and kheema/ground red meats, sausages, and may be served on their own as a side dish, or incorporated into soups, stews, salads, and Indian dal.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Jeera Rice (Cumin Rice)

Prepare this recipe using brown rice and eat it with curry and raita.


  • Soak rice for 4-5 hrs.
  • Heat ghee in a thick bottom pan or pressure cooker. Add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamoms and cumin seeds. Fry for few seconds.
  • Add asafetida and then soaked rice. Stir fry for another couple of minutes.
  • Finally add 3 cups of water when cooking in the pan. Rice needs less water when cooked in pressure cooker. Usually the amount of water is just double the amount of rice.
  • Add salt and lime juice, mix well. Cook till the rice is done.
  • Garnish with nuts and chopped coriander.
  • Eat with any dal/curry/raita/pickle/chutney.

Do You Know?

The seeds of the rice plant are first milled using a rice huller to remove the chaff (the outer husks of the grain). At this point in the process, the product is called brown rice.

In some countries parboiled rice is popular. It is also known as Minute rice or easy-cook rice.
Brown rice is subjected to a steaming or parboiling process to produce parboiled rice. This causes nutrients from the outer husk to move into the grain itself. The parboil process causes a gelatinization of the starch in the grains. The grains become less brittle, and the color of the milled grain changes from white to yellow. The rice is then dried, and can then be milled as usual or used as brown rice.

Milled parboiled rice is nutritionally superior to standard milled rice. Parboiled rice has an additional benefit in that it does not stick to the pan during cooking as happens when cooking regular white rice.

Nutty Upma (Soft Pudding of Semolina with Nuts)

This special upma is full of nuts and that is why I call it nutty upma. Make it on special occasions and enjoy its nuttiness.

  • 2 cups semolina (Farina or Cream of Wheat)
  • ½ cup green peas
  • 2 small onions finely chopped
  • 4 green chilies finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 7-8 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp chana dal
  • 2 tsp black gram split (urad dal)
  • 6-8 curry leaves
  • ¼ tsp asafetida
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp cashew nuts chopped
  • 2 tbsp ground nuts chopped

For tempering:
  • Roast the Semolina (rava) in a dry thick bottom pan till it becomes light pink, remove it from the fire and cool it.
  • Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan. Add mustard seeds, when they stop spluttering add ½ tsp urad dal, ½ tsp chana dal and cashew nuts, stir till they become little darker.
  • Now add asafetida and immediately add curry leaves, chopped onion and chopped green chilies. Fry till onion becomes transparent.
  • Add peas and fry till they are soft.
  • Pour 6 cups of water and bring to boil. When the water starts boiling, add the rava in a flow, stirring continuously to prevent lumps from forming.
  • Cook for a few more minutes stirring all the while. Mix in salt and black pepper powder.
  • Remove from fire. Add butter and keep covered for 5-10 minutes.
  • For tempering: In a small pan heat1 tbsp oil, add mustard seeds; when they stop spluttering add curry leaves, ½ tsp urad dal, ½ tsp chana dal, ground nuts, cashew nuts and tbsp green peas. Pour this mixture in a serving bowl.
  • Over this mixture pour upma and press it little down. Fill upma till the rim of the bowl. Invert this bowl over a big serving plate. The tempering which was at the bottom of the bowl has now come on the surface of the upma mound/cake.
  • Garnish with more cashew nuts, drizzle lemon juice and serve hot with coconut chutney.

Do You Know?

There are two main types of semolina sold on the general market. One is Durum semolina which is made from hard wheat and yellow in color. Another type is soft wheat semolina (farina or Cream of Wheat) which is white in color.

More broadly speaking, meal produced from other grains may also be referred to as semolina, e.g. rice semolina, or corn semolina (more commonly known as grits in the U.S.)

In North India, semolina is known as Sooji while in South India it is called as Rava or Ravey.
Semolina can be used as an alternative to corn meal to flour the baking surface to prevent sticking. In bread making, a small proportion of durum semolina added to the usual mix of flour produces a tasty crust.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tempered Cucumber Salad

Grated cucumber is mixed with yogurt and tempered with asafetida.

  • 4 cucumbers grated
  • 1 small tomato finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies chopped
  • 1 cup thick butter milk or yogurt diluted with water in the ratio of 1:1
  • Salt to taste
  • For Tempering:

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • pinch of asafetida
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds

  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
  • For tempering: heat oil in a small pan. Add mustard seeds.When these stop spluttering remove from fire and add pinch of asafetida. Pour this over cucumber yogurt salad and mix well.
  • Serve chilled

Tips: Chill the serving plates to keep your salad crisp longer.

Do You Know:

Cucumbers contain vast amounts of Vitamin A and Vitamin C; they also have the minerals potassium and calcium. They are enriched in fibre and contain many other vital minerals including magnesium. Cucumbers also feature high amounts of folic acid, which has been known to help reduce blood pressure as well.

Stir Fried Moong Bean sprouts

Slightly cooked moong bean sprouts are served as a side dish.

  • 2 cups green gram sprouted
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped onion
  • 2 green chilies finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp green cilantro leaves
  • 1 tsp chaat masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp asafetida
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil

  • Heat oil in a pan. Add asafetida and cumin seeds.
  • Add green gram sprouted, green chilies, cilantro leaves, chaat masala and salt. Cook for 3-4 minutes stirring occasionally, till green gram is little transparent.
  • Take out in a bowl. Sprinkle lemon juice.
  • Garnish with chopped onion and serve.

Do You Know?

Moong beans are germinated by leaving them watered with 4 hours of daytime light and spending the rest of the day in the dark. These can be grown under artificial light also.
Moong bean sprouts are a good source of vitamin C, B complex vitamins and protein.
These are low in calories and can be eaten freely.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mah Ki Dal (Whole Black Lentils)

It is a popular North Indian dish also known as Kaali Dal or Dal Makhani. It is a rich creamy dal usually served with a vegetable side dish and Naans (tandoor baked flatbread) or Butter Chicken and Naans.

  • 2 cup Black Lentil ( Whole Urad Dal)
  • ¼ cup Rajma ( Kidney Beans)
  • ½ tsp methi (fenugreek) powder
  • ½ tsp ground coriander seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1" ginger finely chopped
  • 2 cups butter milK
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • Coriander leaves to garnish
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

For the tempering (Baghar)
  • 2 finely chopped medium onions
  • 2 finely cut green chilies
  • 4 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 cup finely chopped tomatoes
  • 1” ginger finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)

  • Soak Urad dal and Rajma for 4-5 hours.
  • Put water, Urad dal, Rajma, turmeric powder, salt, ginger, fenugreek and coriander powder in the pressure cooker and cook for ½ hour or till the dal is cooked.
  • Then remove the lid and add 2 cup butter milk and chopped tomato and cook on a low fire for another ½ hour.
  • Tempering: Put 2 tablespoons of ghee in a small pan. First put in garlic, then finely cut green chilies, then the onions and chopped ginger, fry well. Add this tempering to dal.
  • Mix in salt and garam masala in dal and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add lemon juice.
  • Place it in a serving dish; add cream and garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.

Do You Know?

There are certain dishes which are part and parcel of Punjab and their very mention conjures up the rich flavor of the state. Mah ki Dal, Sarson Ka Saag and Makkee Ki Roti, meat curry like Roghan Josh and stuffed paraunthas can be found in no other state except Punjab.

The food is suitable for those who burn up a lot of calories while working in the fields and tilling their small acres. For the urban folk, however, eating even one dish is enough because life in the cities is so sedentary.

The main masala in a Punjabi dish consists of onion, garlic, ginger and a lot of tomatoes fried in pure ghee.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Paneer Lettuce Salad

Try Lettuce with fresh cottage cheese for a tasty twist to your usual salad.

  • 1 pack Boston Lettuce
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • ½ Red Bell Pepper sliced
  • Fresh Paneer chunks (Cottage cheese)
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper powder
  • 1 tsp Salad Supreme Seasoning
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • Mix all the ingredients and serve chilled.

Note: Lettuce is a delicate vegetable and great care should be taken when selecting and storing. When selecting your leaves, be sure that they are fresh and crisp, with no signs of wilting or dark spots or edges.

Do You Know?
Lettuce is a fat free, low calorie food. It is a valuable source of vitamin A and folic acid. Lactucarium (or “Lettuce Opium”) is a mild opiate-like substance that is contained in all types of lettuce. Both the Romans and Egyptians took advantage of this property eating lettuce at the end of a meal to induce sleep.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Churmuri Raita

Finely chopped onion, tomato and cucumber are mixed with yogurt.

  • 2 Cup yogurt
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 small tomato finely chopped
  • ½ cucumber finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Red chilli flakes
  • 2 Green chilies finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Raita masala
  • Salt to taste

  • Beat yogurt and milk until smooth. Add all the ingredients.
  • Serve chilled

Do You Know?

Tomatoes are now eaten freely throughout the world, and their consumption is believed to benefit the heart among other things. They contain lycopene, one of the most powerful natural antioxidants, which, especially when tomatoes are cooked, has been found to help prevent prostate cancer. However, other research contradicts this claim. Tomato extract branded as Lycomato is now also being promoted for treatment of high blood pressure.

Bharwan Hari Mirch (Potato Stuffed Chili Peppers)

Chili peppers are stuffed with boiled potatoes. I made curry of stuffed jalapenos when I was in U.S.A and the result was awesome.
Jalapeno is a medium to large size chili pepper originated in Mexico.

  • 8 Jalapeno
  • 3 medium-sized potatoes
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 2 green chillies finely chopped
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil

  • Slit each jalapeno length wise, remove the pith and keep aside for later use.
  • Boil the potatoes, peel and mash roughly.
  • Heat 1-2 tbsp cooking oil in a skillet on medium flame. Add the cumin seeds and cook till spluttering stops.
  • Add the green chillies and fry till it turns whitish. Add mashed potatoes and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Turn off the fire, add salt to taste and mix well.
  • Fill each jalapeno to the top with the mashed potato mix. Press down and top up to ensure they are well filled.
  • Heat 3-4 tbsp oil in another pan. Add ginger and garlic paste, fry till it turns light golden.Add the onion and fry till soft.
  • Now add all the powdered spices and fry for 1 minute. Add the diced tomatoes and cook, stirring often, till the tomatoes become pulpy. Add 1 cup of water and add stuffed jalapeno. Cook on low heat till jalapenos are tender.
  • Serve with Dal and Rice or Roti or Paratha.

Do You Know?
In comparison with other chili peppers, the jalapeno has a heat level that varies from mild to hot depending on cultivation and preparation.
The heat, which is caused by capsaicin and related compounds, is concentrated in the veins (placenta) surrounding the seeds, which are called picante.
Deseeding and deveining can reduce the heat imparted to a recipe that includes jalapenos.
They also have a distinct acidic taste.
Handling fresh jalapenos may cause mild skin irritation in some individuals. Some handlers choose to wear latex or vinyl gloves while cutting, skinning, or seeding jalapenos.

Dum Aloo (Whole Potato Curry)

Dum Aloo is one of the popular North Indian cuisines, more specifically a Kashmiri cuisine. Smaller potatoes are usually taken for this recipe. These are first deep fried and then cooked slowly on a low flame in a curd based spicy gravy (fresh garam masala powder is very important constituent).

  • 1 pound equal sized small round potatoes
  • 1 Medium size onion grated
  • 1 tbsp Ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • A pinch of asafetida
  • ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 Cup smooth curd / yogurt
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 4 tbsp Ghee or oil
  • Salt to taste

  • Peel potatoes and prick them with the help of fork.
  • Heat oil in a pan and fry the potatoes on a medium heat until their color changes from white to light brown or pink. Keep them aside.
  • Add asafetida, bay leaves and ginger-garlic paste and grated onions to the remaining oil. Fry the mixture till the paste turns brownish.
  • Add turmeric, chili powder, garam masala and salt. Fry again for about a minute. Add smooth curd.
  • Keep stirring continuously till the oil separates. Pour 2-3 cups of water to make gravy.
    Now add pricked potatoes to this gravy and cook in a pressure cooker. Remove from the flame just after the first whistle.
  • Garnish it with fresh coriander.
  • Serve with Poori, Paratha or Roti ( Indian Flat Bread).

Do You Know?

Potatoes are often broadly classified as high on the glycemic index (GI) and so are often excluded from the diets of individuals trying to follow a “low GI” eating regimen. In fact, the GI of potatoes can vary considerably depending on type (such as red, russet, white, or Prince Edward), origin (where it was grown), preparation methods (i.e., cooking method, whether it is eaten hot or cold, whether it is mashed or cubed or consumed whole, etc), and with what it is consumed (i.e., the addition of various high fat or high protein toppings) (Fernandes et al. 2006).

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tangy Fish Fry

Fish is cooked in chili garlic sauce. Chili garlic sauce is hot tomato sauce and fish cooked in it is very tasty and very easy to make.

  • 1 big fillet of Cat Fish
  • 4 tbsp Chili Garlic Sauce
  • 1 tsp soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp corn flour
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch of Red food color
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp of cooking oil

  • Wash the fish thoroughly and place it in a dish.
  • Now mix chili garlic sauce, soya sauce, corn flour, food color and salt in a bowl. Pour this masala mix on fish. Allow to marinate for 10 minutes.
  • Heat the oil in a non stick pan. The pan should be big enough to accommodate the fish fillet without getting folded.
  • Add fish and fry one side of it for 2-3 minutes on moderate heat, till the fillet is golden and crispy.
  • Turn the fish carefully and fry the other side same way. Do not turn the fish more then once otherwise it will break.
  • Cover the pan and cook till fish is tender.
  • Carefully transfer in a serving dish, drizzle lemon juice and garnish with onion rings.

Do You Know:

Red chili powder imparts a rich flavor and color to the curries mainly in India and Pakistan.
Chilies have two characteristic - One is their color because of the pigment called Carpathian in it and second is the biting pungency because of capsaicin. On the basis of this the verities differ and so it’s dim and strong flavors.
Red chilies contain high amounts of vitamin C and carotene ("pro vitamin A").

Ghiya Ka Raita (Bottle Gourd Raita)

Bottle gourd raita is seasoned by Dhunaar (Smoke Seasoning). It is a technique by which raita imbibes the flavour of asafetida and cumin seeds.

Serve it with Paratha and Sabji of your choice.



  • In a pan take grated bottle gourd and enough water so that bottle gourd is just dipped. Boil it till the bottle gourd is tender. Drain it and keep aside till it is cooled.
  • When the bottle gourd is completely cooled squeeze it with both the hands to remove excess of water.
  • Beat the yogurt till it turns smooth.
  • Add bottle gourd, green chillies, chopped cilantro, Mix salt, black pepper powder, chaat masala, cumin powder and mix well.
  • For Seasoning: heat 1 tsp of ghee in a ladle. Add asafetida and cumin seeds. Pour this mixture immediately over raita and close the lid.
  • Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve chilled.

Do You Know:?

Dhunaar (Smoke Seasoning) is a popular technique used, more often in North India and Rajasthan, especially during cold winter days.Glowing charcoal is placed in a small pot (Katori). This small pot is then put in a bigger pot in which food, which is to be smoke seasoned, is already present. Dry spices like cumin and asafetida along with ghee are poured on top of the coal and a lid is quickly placed over the bigger pot.

The food present in the bigger pot imbibes the fresh smoke taste of ghee, asafetida and cumin.

Aloo Ki Tikki (Peas Stuffed Potato Cakes)

Stuffed with green peas, pan fried small potato cakes (tikki), served with chutney or Chhole (Chickpea curry).

  • 1 pound Potatoes
  • 1 tbsp Arrowroot powder or corn flour
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 2 green chilies finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp green cilantro leaves chopped
  • ½ tsp black pepper powder
  • ½ dry mango powder (amchoor)
  • 1 pinch of asafetida
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste


  • Wash and boil potatoes, peel and mash them while still warm. Mix arrowroot powder, garam masala and 1 tsp salt. Keep potato dough aside.
  • In a pan heat one tbsp cooking oil and add asafetida, cumin seeds, green peas, green chilies, black pepper, salt and dry mango powder. Fry peas till they are tender. Take out in another bowl.
  • Make equal sized balls of potato dough.
  • Take one ball of potato dough and flatten it. Now put one tbsp of filling (green peas mixture) on the flattened ball.
  • Close it with another potato ball and flatten it.
  • Heat a skillet and shallow fry the tikkis on both sides with ghee till golden. Drain onto an absorbent paper.
  • Serve with green chutney or chhole (Chickpea curry).

Note: Cooked chana dal can also be used as filling mixture in potato Tikki.

Do You Know?

Arrowroot is derived from the roots of a tropical South American plant after a fairly complicated process.Pure arrowroot, like other pure starches, is a light, white powder (the mass feeling firm to the finger and crackling like newly fallen snow when rubbed or pressed), odorless when dry, but emitting a faint, peculiar odor when mixed with boiling water, and swelling on cooking into perfect jelly.

Like other pure starches, arrowroot is almost pure carbohydrate and devoid of protein.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Biscuity Paratha( Flavored Pan-fried Indian Flat Bread)

This is my husband’s favorite paratha. He only has given it name - Biscuity…….means crispy like biscuits……enjoy with tea……whether it is morning tea or evening tea, for him it is the same. So make it and enjoy ….you can make it for dinner also.

  • Ghee (clarified butter) to pan-fry parathas or can use cooking oil to pan-fry
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup gram flour ( Besan)
  • One medium onion finely chopped
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves ( Green coriander leaves)
  • 3 green chilies finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • Mix the wheat flour and besan.
  • Add 3 tbsp cooking oil, carom seeds, green chilies, coriander leaves and salt to taste and mix well.
  • Knead the wheat flour mix into smooth, firm dough and keep aside in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • Divide all the dough into equal sized balls.
  • Follow Making Paratha - Method II
  • Flour a clean surface and roll each ball out into a circle about 4” in diameter.
    Sprinkle some dry wheat flour over it (flattened dough ball). Now roll each circle into a finger shaped structure. Coil this finger like structure into a spiral.
  • Flour the rolling surface lightly and very gently roll out the spiral into a flat circle about 5-6” in diameter.
  • Heat a griddle and put a paratha over it.Flip the paratha when you see tiny bubbles rising on the surface of the paratha. Drizzle a bit of ghee/oil on the top and spread well over the surface of the paratha. Flip again and drizzle some more ghee/oil on this surface too. The paratha is done when both sides are crispy and golden brown.
  • Serve with Green Coriander Chutney and/or any other side dish.


For convenience roll out as many parathas as you like, stack them one over the other with a layer of butter paper between each paratha. You can store them for 2-3 hours in refrigerator before pan-frying them.

Do You Know:

Ajwain ( Carom seed) is an uncommon spice except in certain areas of Asia. It is the small egg-shaped and grayish in colour, tastes like thyme or caraway, only stronger.
Raw ajwain smells almost exactly like thyme because it also contains thymol, but is more aromatic and less subtle in taste, as well as slightly bitter and pungent. A small amount of raw ajwain completely dominates the flavor of a dish.
In Indian cuisine, ajwain is almost never used raw, it is either dry-roasted or fried in ghee or oil. This develops a much more subtle and complex aroma.

Cilantro Dip

It is a perfect dipping sauce to be eaten with snacks like hot samosas or cutlets.

2 cup fresh cilantro leaves (green coriander leaves) chopped
1 tbsp roasted groundnuts
1" piece of ginger
4-6 green chillies
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste
2-3 tbsp lime juice

Grind all the ingredients into a smooth paste in a food processor.
Chill it before serving

Do You Know:
Coriander is rich in the antioxidants, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. They feature niacin, calcium and iron, which are believed to help boost the immune system, protect against degenerative disease and slow down the ageing process.
Coriander is reported to contain excellent digestive properties. Coriander seeds and leaves are reported to help protect against drowsiness, especially after consuming big meals.

Coconut Chutney

Coconut Chutney is served as a side dish for a lot of Indian snacks and breakfast items. It can be mild to extra hot depending on the individual preference.

  • 1 cup fresh or desiccated coconut
  • 4-5 Green chili peppers
  • 1” ginger chopped
  • 1 cup roasted chana dal ( available in Indian Stores)
  • ¼ cup yogurt
  • Salt to taste


  • Grind all the ingredients except yogurt in a blender with as little water as possible. For best results the final consistency must be some where between coarse and paste.
  • Churn yogurt well and add to the coconut chutney.
  • For seasoning heat the oil in a small ladle or pan. Add the mustard seeds to hot oil and allow it to splutter. When the spluttering starts subsiding add the asafetida, curry leaves, red chilies and stir for a few seconds.
  • Add to the chutney and mix well.
  • Serve with Idli, dosa or any other snack.
Do You Know:
Botanically, a Coconut is a simple dry nut known as a fibrous drupe? Coconut meat contains less fat than other dry nuts such as peanuts and almonds.
Approximately 90% of the fat found in coconut meat is saturated, a proportion exceeding that of foods such as lard, butter and tallow.
Coconut meat also contains less sugar and more protein than popular fruits such as bananas, apples and oranges, and it is relatively high in minerals such as iron, phosphorus and zinc.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Chicken Tikka

Chicken Tikka is one of the most liked foods world over. The nicest thing about this dish is that it's really easy to make. Prepare and store it. Eat it as such or add in any other dish.

  • 2 pounds boneless and skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp chicken tikka masala
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • pinch of food color
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 tbsp butter

  • Cut chicken in 1 ½” cubes.
  • Mix all ingredients with chicken in a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Before cooking bring chicken to room temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degree F for 10 minutes.
  • Line a baking tray with foil and spray the foil with cooking spray or smear with cooking oil.
  • Lay the pieces on this foil and drizzle lightly with cooking oil.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes or till the chicken is just tender.
  • Butter can be drizzled over for the last 5 minutes of cooking.


To make tikkas soft and tender, marinate them for a longer time (I personally marinate them overnight)and don't overcook. Keep the pieces bite sized and cook them hot and fast.


Never freeze meat while it is warm – it must be completely cold before it is packed.
Do not re-freeze cooked meat that has been frozen and thawed completely. Cook the meat again thoroughly and then re-freeze in case of emergency.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Chopped Egg Curry

Enjoy this quick and easy egg curry dish with hot crispy paraatha in breakfast.

  • 4 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies finely chopped
  • ½ tsp Pepper Powder
  • ½ tsp Red Chili Powder
  • ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • Chopped Coriander leaves
  • Salt To taste

  • Cut each egg into two parts. Take out yellow yolk and cut white albumin part into small chunks. Keep aside both yolk and albumin parts separately.
  • Heat oil in a skillet, fry onion on medium flame until it becomes soft and light brown.
  • Add chopped chili and stir fry till it changes its colour.
  • Stir in all the powders along with salt and mix well.
  • Mix in egg white chunks and stir well.
  • Now carefully add yolk pieces. Try not to break yolk pieces. Remove the skillet from the heat, sprinkle cilantro leaves and cover the skillet with lid. Leave it for 2-3 minutes.
  • Take out in a serving dish, garnish with more coriander leaves and serve with paraatha.

Tips: Cut boiled eggs with a knife dipped in hot water to avoid breaking

Do You Know?

If a boiled egg is overcooked, a greenish ring sometimes appears around egg yolk. This is a manifestation of the iron and sulfur compounds in the egg. It can also occur when there is an abundance of iron in the cooking water. The green ring does not affect the egg's taste; overcooking, however, harms the quality of the protein (chilling the egg for a few minutes in cold water until the egg is completely cooled prevents the greenish "ring” from forming on the surface of the yolk).

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Chana Daal with Bottle Gourd (Ghiya)

This is a traditional Punjabi combination of Chana daal and Ghiya. Its called Chholiyaan di daal - daal made out of split kaale chhole/Bengal gram. This simple dish brings together the two widely loved flavors – Chana Daal and ghiya (Bottle Gourd).

  • 2 cup chana daal ( split bengal gram) soaked for 1 hour
  • 1 small bottle gourd (ghiya) cut into 2” square pieces
  • 2 medium onions finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp dry mango powder ( amchur powder)
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 3 tbsps melted ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 slit green chillies (optional but preferred)
  • 1/2 tsp asafetida powder
  • Crispy fried onion slices for garnishing

  • Put chana dal into a pressure cooker. Add 5-6 cups of water, 2 tbsp of cooking oil and turmeric powder to it. Stir well.
  • Cover the pressure cooker and set on flame. Cook for 2 'whistles'/ pressure releases.
  • In a pan heat ghee; add bay leaf, cumin seeds, asafetida, green chillies, chopped onion and ginger garlic paste. Fry it till golden.
  • Now add chopped tomatoes, red chili powder, garam masala, amchur powder and salt. Fry it till ghee starts to separate from masala. Now add ghiya pieces to masala and cook till ghiya is soft.
  • Open the pressure cooker when it is cooled, stir the boiled lentils well. If it is too thick, add some warm water and stir till the consistency is right.
  • Mix ghiya masala to chana dal and stir well. Add lemon juice to it.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and crispy fried onion slices.
  • Serve hot with Sabji, Chutney and roti (Indian Flat Bread).
Do You Know?
Chana dal, also known as Bengal gram, is the most widely grown dal in India. Its pale-yellow color has a sweet, nutty aroma. Chana dal has a very high nutritious value. It is praised by diabetics for its incredibly low glycemic index. (The glycemic index measures the effect of foods on blood sugar levels.)

Chicken 65 II

Many variations are found in the recipe of chicken 65. This is another recipe of Chicken 65 which makes juicy and moist chicken pieces.
This excellent dish can be served with Indian flat bread or a bowl of hot rice.

  • 1 lb chicken cut into small pieces
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • 1 tbsp Soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp corn flour
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp Chicken Masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp ajinomotto
  • ¼ tsp deep orange food color
  • 4 green chilies slit
  • 6-7 curry leaves
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil

  • Mix the chicken pieces with yogurt, lemon juice, and salt. Pressure cook the chicken until the pieces are tender and all the water evaporates. Keep the chicken pieces aside.
  • Mix ajinomotto, soya sauce, corn flour, Tandoori Chicken Masaala, ginger-garlic paste, red coloring and salt in a vessel and marinate the cooked chicken pieces in it. Marinate for 1 hour.
  • Heat oil in a skillet, add green chillies and curry leaves, once they stop spluttering add chicken pieces and fry the chicken pieces.
  • Garnish with green chillies and chopped cilantro.

Do You Know?

Color is an important property of foods that adds to our enjoyment of eating. Even early civilizations such as the Romans recognized that people "eat with their eyes" as well as their palates.

Saffron and other spices were often used to provide a rich yellow color to various foods. Butter has been colored yellow as far back as the 1300's.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for regulating all color additives used in the United States. All color additives permitted for use in foods are classified as "certifiable" or "exempt from certification".

Fish Curry in Pasta Sauce

Try this quick recipe and enjoy the cat fish with flavours of onion, tomato and basil.

  • 1 lb cat fish fillet
  • 2 medium Onions chopped finely
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 cup pasta sauce ( tomato and basil)
  • 2 tbsp fish curry masala
  • Salt To Taste
  • ½ cup cooking oil

  • Cut the fish into medium-sized pieces.
  • In a bowl marinate the fish in ginger garlic paste, fish curry powder, pasta sauce and salt for 10 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a pan and fry the fish pieces ( take out from the marinade) gently. Drain the fish on absorbent kitchen paper and set aside.
  • Add the chopped onions to the oil in the pan and fry until golden. Add marinade and fry till oil starts to separate.Add fried fish and cook stirring for about a minute.
  • Cover the pan and simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally, till the fish is tender. If required add 3-4 tbsp of water.
  • Serve the fish curry hot with rice or roti ( Indian flat bread)
Do You Know:

Catfish are named for their prominent barbels, which resemble cat’s whiskers. Catfish have no scales; their bodies are often naked. In some species, fish breathes through its mucus-covered skin.
Catfish is also high in Vitamin D

Jalapeno Fish fillets

Try this recipe, jalapeno flavoured fish fillet, you will be amazed.

  • 1 lb Cat Fish fillets
  • 4 tbsp Green jalapeno sauce
  • 1 tsp soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 egg white
  • 4 tbsp corn flour
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch of Red food color
  • 10 pieces of pickled hot jalapeno pepper sliced
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cup cooking oil for frying

  • Wash the fish thoroughly and cut into long strips of about 1 cm thickness.
  • In a bowl mix jalapeno sauce, soya sauce, ginger garlic paste, egg white, corn flour, food color and salt. Add fish fillets and mix well.
  • Heat the oil in a wok.
  • Fry fish fillet until golden and crispy on a moderate heat. Drain the fish on absorbent kitchen paper and set aside.
  • Dip the pickled sliced hot jalapeno pepper in the leftover marinade and fry them just like fish fillet.Take them out on the absorbent kitchen paper.
  • Serve fish fillet hot in a plate, drizzled with lemon juice and garnished with fried pickled jalapeno and lemon slices.

Do You Know?

Most of us love the jalapeno (and other beautiful peppers) because of the little “kick” we get when we take a bite of one. Sure, as far as taste is concerned, jalapenos are delicious, but that blast of spiciness that bursts in your mouth and ravishes your tongue is a powerfully added bonus, making hot peppers among the greatest flavors in the world.

That spiciness we all love and crave comes from a compound called capsaicin that is found in all hot peppers. Interestingly enough, capsaicin is found in no other plant than the chili pepper. A single drop of this substance combined with 100,000 parts water is still noticeably spicy.

Isn’t that great!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Gosht Khare Masaley Ka (Lamb With Whole Spices)

Khare Masaley Ka Gosht literally means mutton cooked with whole spices.

1 pound Lamb with bones cut into 1 ½” pieces
2 medium Onions
1” Ginger piece
4 cloves Garlic
2 Green Chillies
2 dry red chillies
Salt to taste
1” cinnamon stick
1 brown cardamom
10 black peppercorns
5 cloves
2 Bay Leaves
Pinch of Mace (Javitri)
Two twigs of cilantro or parsley
1 tbsp ghee

  • Clean and wash lamb .
  • Heat ghee in a pressure cooker, add bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, peppercorns, cloves and sauté till they turn light brown in color.
  • Add lamb, onions, ginger, garlic, whole green chillies, dry red chillies, salt and 2 cups of water.
  • Pressure cook for about 30 minutes on low heat or till lamb pieces are tender.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro leaves.
  • Serve hot with bun or pita.

Tadka Dal ( Toor Dal with Instant Seasoning)

This is a tasty and easy-to-cook Toor Dal dish.

1 cup Toor Dal
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 tbsp garlic chopped finely
10 curry leaves
2 slit green chillies (optional but preferred)
1 tbsp cooking oil
Salt to taste
1 tsp turmeric powder
3 tbsps melted ghee (clarified butter)
1 tsp mustard seeds
¼ tsp asafetida powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp red chili powder
2 whole dry red chillies
1 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves

  • Soak Toor dal for 30 minutes. Mix this with the chopped tomato, chopped garlic ,1 tbsp cooking oil, turmeric powder in a pressure cooker. Add 3 cups of water to it and cook till one or two whistles. Switch off flame.
  • When cooled, open the pressure cooker and add salt. Stir the boiled lentils well to blend into a smooth consistency. If it is too thick, add some warm water and stir till the consistency is right.
  • Heat the Daal through again. It shoudl be piping hot before you carry out the next step in this recipe.
  • Heat the ghee on a medium flame, in a small pan till hot. Now add first mustard seeds and then cumin seeds, fry till spluttering stops. Add the curry leaves and green chillies and cook till spluttering stops. Turn off the fire and add the asafetida powder, whole red chili and red chili powder. Stir to mix well and immediately add this tempering mix to the boiled lentil mixture otherwise red chili will burn . It will sizzle and might splutter a bit, so be careful when you do this. Stir well.
  • Garnish with cilantro and some tadka ( tempering).
  • Serve hot with plain boiled rice.

Do You Know:

Tempering/ Instant Seasoning/ Tadka/ Baghar/ Chonk is the technique to add flavor to a dish in a flash. Spices and herbs are added to hot oil/ghee. Hot oil extracts and retains the aroma, essence and flavor of the spices and herbs.

This tempering is done in two ways. 1. As the first step in the cooking process, before adding the rice, vegetables or lentils. 2. Pouring the tempered oil over dal. Spices and herbs cooked this way retain and enhance their flavors.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Tangy Cabbage with Peas

We can’t think of Indian cooking without a dash of green chillies. Slit, sliced, chopped or diced, we just have to add a few green chillies to add that tang to our food. Cook cabbage with green chillie and peas and enjoy it with daal and hot Paratha.

  • 1 medium green cabbage chopped
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 4 green chillies finely chopped
  • 1 whole dry red chilli
  • ¼ tsp asafetida
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil

  • Heat oil in a skillet on medium flame. Add mustard seeds, allow them to splutter. Add dry red chillies and asafetida.
  • Stir in cabbage, green chillies and peas, mix well.
  • Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, black pepper and salt. Stir well.
  • Cook covered for some time, stirring occasionally, till the cabage and peas are just tender.
  • Serve hot with dal and roti.

Tip: Remove green chilli stems before storing them in refrigerater ,they will last longer.

Do You Know?
Cauliflower, Broccoli, Cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables that belong to the Brassica family are commonly reputed to not only increase flatulence, but to increase the pungency of the flatus.
Certain spices have been reported to counteract the production of intestinal gas, most notably are cumin, coriander, caraway, ajwain, turmeric and asafetida (hing).