Recipes

Spicy Shrimp April 13 2017

Ingredients

1 lb shrimp (16-20 count), peeled, deveined and raw, tail-on preferably

Marinade:
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 Tablespoon peeled and grated ginger
1 Tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons sweet paprika

1 cup semolina

 

Instructions

  • In a mixing bowl, apply lemon juice, salt and turmeric to shrimp and set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Add ginger, cilantro, black pepper and paprika. Mix well and make sure that all shrimp pieces get rubbed with the spices. Set aside.
  • Pre-heat grill, once the grill is hot, place the shrimp pieces on the grill (3 minutes on each side) and grill. Serve with lemon wedges. OPTIONAL: You can coat shrimp with semolina and then grill.
  • If you are deep-frying, then bring 6 cups of vegetable oil to 350 F. Coat shrimp pieces in semolina and deep-fry for 4 minutes (4 pieces at a time). Remove and place on a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Serve hot with lemon wedges.

Soup - Spinach, Lentils and Sweet Potato September 03 2015

It is almost Fall and I eat a lot of soups during fall and winter. Certainly, there are times when we all run out of ideas on making delicious soups to keep us warm, and here is one from my collection. This dark green thick soup has an added sweetness from sweet potato. If you make this amount, it will last you for a week.

Vegetarian
Serving Size: 4 to 6 servings
Keeps well in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

Ingredients
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter (to make it vegan, use 4 Tablespoons olive oil instead)
6 black pepper corns
1 dried bay leaf (preferably Indian)
1 Tablespoon Rupen's Curry Mix OR (1 teaspoon garam masala powder AND 2 teaspoons curry powder)
1 cup thinly sliced red onions
1/2 cup orange/ French lentils
1 cup chopped spinach (I used frozen chopped spinach that I thawed)
1 cup sweet potato (peeled and diced)
1/2 cup chopped Roma tomato
3 cups water or vegetable stock
Salt to taste (at least 2 teaspoons)

Instructions

In a 5 qt sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter.
Add peppercorns and bay leaf, saute for a minute.
Add curry mix and red onions, mix. Cook for 2 minutes.
Add lentils and cook for 3 minutes. Stir once every minute.
Add spinach, sweet potato and tomato. Mix. Cook for 1 minute.
Add water or vegetable stock along with 1 teaspoon salt. Stir.
Reduce heat to low and cook covered for 30 minutes.
Using a strainer, pick up solids and puree the solids in the soup in a blender. Pour the puree back into the soup.
Taste the soup, and adjust salt, if needed. Serve.

Note: If the soup is too thick, feel free to add a cup of water.

Eggplant Chokha April 21 2015

Ingredients

2 medium size eggplants
4 Tablespoons mustard oil
2 cups chopped Roma tomatoes
1 ½ inch fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
Salt to taste

 

Instructions

Turn your gas stove burner over medium heat. Place one eggplant over the burner (yes, directly over the burner).
Cook for 3 minutes. Use a pair of tongs and turn the eggplant every 3 minutes, cooking all 4 sides of the eggplant. This should take about 12 minutes, for smaller eggplants, it may take about 10 minutes.
Place the eggplant on a plate and let it cool for 20 minutes. Repeat the same process with the second eggplant.
When the eggplants are cool, gently peel the charred skin. Chop of the top end and discard skin and the top end of the eggplants.
Finely chop eggplant and add to a medium-size mixing bowl.
Add remaining ingredients and mix. Adjust salt as needed. Serve.


Grilled Coconut Shrimp April 21 2015

Ingredients

1 lb fresh deveined raw shrimp, 16 count
2 Tablespoons ground paprika
1 teaspoon ground cayenne (use 1/2 teaspoon if you like it less hot)
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
Juice of one large lemon plus lemon zest from the same lemon
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup finely chopped cilantro

 

Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 400 F.
Take a cookie sheet and spray or apply vegetable oil on it. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, add paprika, cayenne, turmeric, salt, lemon zest and mix.
Add lemon juice, make a paste, you may need a couple of tablespoons of water to make a paste.
Add shrimp pieces and gently toss. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, add coconut and cilantro. Mix.
One piece at a time, add shrimp to the coconut cilantro mixture, dab the mixture onto the shrimp so it sticks and place shrimp piece on a cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining pieces and line up the cookie sheet with shrimp pieces.
Grill shrimp pieces for 4 minutes, flip and cook the other side for 4 minutes as well. Serve warm.


Vegan Potato and Spinach Vindaloo April 21 2015

Ingredients

3 Tablespoons oil
1 1/2 cups white onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
2 cups Idaho potatoes, diced (skin on)

Paste:
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 Tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground garam masala
1 Tablespoon ground paprika
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white vine vinegar
3 cups baby spinach leaves
3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro

 

Instructions

Heat oil in a 5 qt sauce pan over medium heat.
When the oil is hot, add onions and jalapeno.
Saute for 6-7 minutes, stir once every other minute.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl make a paste of tomato paste, curry powder, garam masala, paprika, sugar, salt and vinegar. Set aside.
Add potatoes and the paste that you just prepared to the sauce pan. Stir.
Add half cup of water. Stir.
Cover and cook for 15 minutes on low heat.
Add spinach leaves and cilantro, mix. Adjust salt if needed.
As soon as spinach leaves start wilting, curry is done.
Serve!


VIDEO: How to make Peanut Hash Browns? August 16 2014

Here is my video on How to make Peanut Hash Browns

VIDEO: How to make Butter Chicken? August 16 2014

Here is my video on How to make Butter Chicken

TRADER JOES - Less is More June 09 2014

A couple of months back, a new Trader Joes opened on U street in Washington, DC. As an ardent fan of Whole Foods, when I saw the sign that TraderJoes has on that store 'Your neighborhood grocery store', I smirked. I thought it would be a good place to shop every once in a while, but Whole Foods will always be my go-to store.

 

Then I got a new assignment near Union Station, and I started working on my next book, and on my YouTube videos, trying out recipes almost every single day. I started frequenting Trader Joes to do my groceries, about a couple of times each week, after work. 

 

I could buy just enough that I could carry home that day (since I mostly walked/ hopped on a bus to go home). Living and working in the city, and shopping at Trader Joes became my new thing. Every time I needed to try a recipe, I would walk to Trader Joes, do the grocery shopping and come home and prepare the dish.

 

I realized how simply Trader Joes has displayed their products, and everything there was minimalistic. I also found that ingredients were way inexpensive than other stores, even when they were labeled Organic. I started cooking with more organic produce than ever before! Yes, I was not able to find certain items such as Indian spices, sweetened condensed milk or lamb, but overall, the store had almost everything I needed to work on my YouTube videos and cookbook.

 

Ever since, I have developed a new relationship with Trader Joes, and I agree with their philosophy that 'less is more'.

 

 

www.traderjoes.com

VIDEO: How to cook/ prepare beans? May 22 2014

Here is my video on how to cook/ prepare beans

VIDEO: How to sprout Mung Beans? May 22 2014

Here is my video on how to sprout mung beans.

VIDEO: Cumin Rice May 12 2014

Here is my video on how to make Cumin Rice (Jeera Chawal)

VIDEO: Red Kidney Beans Curry May 12 2014

Here is my video on how to make Red Kidney Beans Curry (Rajma Masala)

VIDEO: Mango Lassi May 12 2014

Here is my video on Mango Lassi

VIDEO: Warm Cabbage Salad April 21 2014

Here is my video on Warm Cabbage Salad

VIDEO: How to make Indian Chai? April 21 2014

Here is my video on how to make Indian Chai

VIDEO: How to make Curry Powder? April 21 2014

Here is my video on how to make Curry Powder

VIDEO - Tomato and Ginger Chutney April 12 2014

This is a video on how to make Tomato and Ginger Chutney. Enjoy!

 

Tomato and Ginger Chutney

 

 


VIDEO - Tandoori Spice Rub April 12 2014

This is a video on how to use Rupen's Tandoori Spice Rub. Enjoy!

 

Rupen's Tandoori Spice Rub

 

 

 


Curried Beetroot and Ginger soup March 11 2014

Today, I made Curried Beetroot and Ginger soup. A simple recipe, and I made it with fresh beets. I hope you enjoy the recipe:

 

Ingredients

 

3 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon oil
1 cup white onion, finely chopped
12 black peppercorns
3 beets, peeled and chopped in 1 inch cubes
4 inch piece of fresh ginger, roughly chopped
2 Tablespoons curry powder
1 cup whole milk plain yogurt OR 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
6 cups vegetable stock
Salt to taste

 

 

Instructions
In a 5 qt sauce pan, over medium heat, heat butter and oil.
Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring once every minute.
Add beets and ginger and sauté for 15 minutes, stir once every minute.
Add curry powder and mix. Cook for 1 minute.
Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
Once boiled, reduce heat to low and cook covered for 20 minutes.
Add yogurt, mix. Using a ladle, pour beets in a blender and puree (you may need to add some of the stock from the sauce pan to puree beets).
Pour beetroot back into the sauce pan and bring it to a boil again. Serve hot!

 


Carrot Pudding March 03 2014

Today is a snowy day in Washington, DC, and I am working from home. I woke up early this morning, and I made Carrot Pudding. Carrots taste better in winter, and hence I always try to make this recipe as much as I can in winter.

 

Carrot Pudding

 

Ingredients

3 Tablespoons ghee

4 cups grated carrots

2 cups whole milk

2/3 cup white granulated sugar

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 roasted cashew nuts, each split into two

1/2 teaspoon ground green cardamom

 

Instructions

In a 3 qt sauce pan over medium heat, melt ghee.

Add carrots and mix well so that ghee gets coated on all carrots.

Cook for 10 minutes, stir every minute. Meanwhile, in a microwavable bowl, heat milk.

Add hot milk to the carrots and bring it to a boil. Lower heat to low and cook for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.

Add cardamom, sugar, raisins, cashew nuts and mix. Cook for another 10 minutes, stir every 2-3 minutes. Serve warm.


Garlic Spinach Stuffed Chicken - Whole Foods February 25 2014

I had a wonderful class last night at Whole Foods Friendship Heights location. The theme was GOOD, BETTER, BEST.

I used CHICKEN as my main ingredient and made 3 dishes - a good dish (not so healthy), a better dish (healthier) and a best dish (healthiest)

 

1) Chicken in Pomegranate Cream Sauce

2) Chicken and Coconut Rice Pulao

3) Garlic Spinach Stuffed Chicken

 

Everyone had a great time!

 

Garlic Spinach stuffed Chicken

 

Ingredients

2 Chicken Breasts, each butterflied

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

 

Garlic Spinach

2 Tablespoons oil

1 Tablespoon cumin seeds

4-5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

4 cups chopped spinach

1 cup chopped Roma tomatoes

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Salt to taste

 

 

Instructions

 In a mixing bowl, add chicken and ground spices and apply the spices onto the chicken. Set aside.

 Meanwhile, in a saute pan, heat oil over medium heat.

 Add cumin seeds and garlic, and saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring once every minute.

 Add spinach and mix. Cook for about 10 minutes.

 Add tomatoes and salt, stir, cook for another 3-4 minutes and set aside to cool.

 Take one chicken breast and lay it flat on a flat board, place ½ cup spinach and spread it to cover the breast. Roll the breast and seal it using a couple of tooth picks. Repeat with the other breast.

 Heat the saute pan again, pour some oil and saute chicken breasts for 5 minutes on each side over medium low heat or until completely cooked. Remove and set aside. Cool for 10 minutes.

 Slice in 2 inch thick pieces and serve.


Waffles and Dinges Food Truck in New York City February 24 2014

I was in New York City this past weekend, and while on my way back, my friend and I stopped by this amazing food truck called WAFFLES AND DINGES.

 

It is Belgian Waffle truck, apparantly, it is very popular in NYC, but it was my first time...I loved it. A must try for anyone who is going to be in NYC anytime soon!

 

http://www.wafelsanddinges.com/


Sambhar chicken soup December 08 2013

I have been under the weather over the past few days. The first day that I started to recover, I could smell and taste after 10 days and I was delighted. Oh! how much I had missed my smell and taste buds over the last couple of weeks...so I decided to make a spicy soup, which is my creation and here's the recipe.

 

Ingredients

2 tablespoons coconut oil

4-5 black peppercorns

8-10 curry leaves

1 cinnamon stick, broken into two

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

1 cup red onion, thinly sliced

1 jalapeno, finely chopped OPTIONAL

1 cup chopped tomatoes

2 medium chicken breasts, cut in 1 inch cubes

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/2 cup Sambhar soup mix

Salt to taste

2 tablespoons cilantro for garnish

 

Instructions

In a 3 qt saute pan over medium heat, heat oil and when the oil is hot, add whole spices, curry leaves and cook for a minute.

Add onions and jalapeno, and saute for 5-6 minutes or until onions have caramelized partially.

Add tomatoes, ground powders and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Add chicken and saute for 8-10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes.

Finally, add 4 cups water and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook covered on low heat for 15 minutes.

Adjust salt (be careful while using salt as the soup mix already has salt), so you may not need to add any extra salt.

Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.


Dal dhokli December 08 2013

Dal Dhokli is a popular Gujarati dish in which a lentil soup is made and then wheat dough that is rolled into rotis and cut into diamond shape pieces are added to the lentils. It is one of my favorite dishes, however sometimes it can get time consuming to make the entire dish. Last night I was teaching this dish at Whole Foods and I made a modified version. Here it is:


Ingredients
1 cup French lentils
½ cup red onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon paprika powder
1 Roma tomato, finely chopped
3 gloves of garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
1 tablespoon oil
Salt
1 cup 100% whole wheat white flour, knead into a semi-soft dough using ½ cup of water approximately.
Instructions
·         In a 5 qt pot over medium heat, heat oil and saute cumin seeds, jalapeno and onions until onions are light brown, stir every minute. This should take about 4-5 minutes once the oil is hot.
·         Add garlic, tomatoes, turmeric, paprika and saute for 5 minutes, stirring every minute.
·         Add lentils along with 3 cups of water, season with salt and cook for 20 minutes or until lentils have cooked. Mash using a potato masher if you like a puree consistency.
·         Make quarter size balls of wheat dough and add these balls into the lentils and boil for another 10 minutes or so. You can always add ½ cup of water if the lentils are drying out.
·         Adjust salt and garnish with cilantro. Serve hot in a soup bowl.

Potato and tomato sandwhich December 08 2013

I was in Texas this past weekend, and I stayed at a friend's place who was visiting elsewhere. As a parting gift, I made a couple of things for him so that he will have food in his refrigerator upon his return. This is my Mom's recipe, and we use this spiced potato in between sliced bread and toast it using an old fashioned toasted that toasts your bread on gas stove.



Ingredients

8 slices white bread, preferably Wonder bread
3 Idaho potatoes, boiled and peeled
1 cup sliced red onions
3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped OR as desired
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon coriander powder
Salt to taste
7-8 curry leaves OPTIONAL
1 teaspoon sugar
A little bit of butter


Instructions

In a 3 qt saute pan over medium heat, heat oil and add black mustard seeds and allow it to crackle. When the crackling has stopped, add sliced onions, cumin seeds, curry leaves and jalapenos. Stir and cook until onions begin to caramalize.
Add ground spices, tomatoes and potatoes, along with salt and sugar and mix. Using the back of your spoon, mash potatoes partially.
Your mixture is now ready.

Take 2 slices of bread and place 2 tablespoons of this mixture on one bread, spread it and place the other bread on top of this mixture.
Butter the toaster and place the bread in it, Cook on medium heat for 4 minutes on each side. Remove and serve hot!


Note: You can always apply ketchup or green chutney on either sides of the bread before you place the mixture in it.

Jaggery rotis December 08 2013

Today is Makar Sankranti, one of the rare solar festivals in our Hindu calendar. On this day onwards, the Sun starts his journey north-wards, and the days start getting longer. It is important to eat sesame seeds (til) on this day. Hence, we make Til Laddoos and Til and Jaggery Rotis. Here is my mom's recipe for Jaggery Rotis.

Ingredients

2 cups whole wheat flour (100% white whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup besan or chick pea flour
1/2 cup sesame seeds
2 tablespoons ginger powder
1/2 cup jaggery powder


Instructions

Knead wheat flour into a dough with 1 cup of water or a bit more as needed. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a sauté pan over medium heat, sauté sesame seeds along with chickpea flour until you smell the aroma of the sesame seeds and the flour. Make sure you stir the mixture continuously. Set aside.
When the mixture has cooled down, add jaggery powder and ginger powder and mix, set aside.
Roll discs using the wheat flour. Place 2 tablespoons of the mixture in the center of the disc and wrap the dough by sealing the ends and roll into a disc again, this time carefully so that the stuffing does not come out of the dough.
Make rotis on the fry pan by cooking on each side for about 3-4 minutes or until light brown, apply 1 teaspoon ghee on each side and flip and cook each side of the roti. Serve hot.

Malvani shrimp curry December 08 2013

This is yet another great Indian coconut based curry from the region of Malvan. This recipe has to be made with fresh grated coconut. You will find these at Indian stores, Asian stores and even Latin American stores. If you cannot find it, then please DO NOT make this recipe :)


Ingredients

12 large/ jumpo raw shrimp, deveined and peeled
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup red onion, minced
3 kokum pieces OPTIONAL

Paste:
1 cup grated fresh coconut
1/2 cup red onion
1 cup hot water
1 tablespoon paprika powder
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
4-5 black peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt

Microwave:
2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon French lentils


Instructions

Microwave the fenugreek seeds and french lentils for 2 minutes, stirring every half a minute. Add this mixture to a blender.
Make a paste of the 'Paste' ingredients in a blender along with the lentils and fenugreek seeds mixture. Set aside.
Heat oil in a 3 qt saute pan and when the oil is hot, saute onions until brown in color. This should take about 7 minutes, stirring every minute.
Add the paste to the onions and add 1 cup of water, bring it to a boil. Adjust salt, add kokum pieces (if adding) and finally add shrimp pieces. Stir and cook on medium heat for 7-8 minutes or until the shrimp pieces have cooked. Serve. If you think that the gravy should be more runny, then add another half cup of water.
Serve hot with plain white rice.

Fenugreek leaves December 08 2013

This recipe is made with fenugreek leaves (only available at the Indian store), not the dry ones but the fresh fenugreek leaves. The leaves are part of Indian cuisine, they are a bit bitter and I love the bitter taste, somewhat like Arugula, if I may, only we eat the leaves cooked. The traditional recipe calls for 1 cup heavy whipping cream, but I have added no cream to this recipe. It is ideal for a healthy weeknight meal.
Ingredients
4 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless, cut in 2 inch cubes
2 cups fenugreek leaves, plucked and chopped
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 cinnamon stick
3-4 green cardamom pods, muddled 3-4 cloves
2 bay leaves,
dried 2 black cardamom pods, OPTIONAL
1 tablespoon RUPEN'S CURRY MIX
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
1 cup plain whole milk yogurt, whisked
Salt to taste
Instructions
Heat oil in a pan  over medium heat and add whole spices such as cinnamon stick, cloves, bay leaves, cardamom pods and saute for a minute. Add onions and jalapeno and saute for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring every minute. Add ginger garlic paste and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring every minute. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix. Cover and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir, reduce heat to medium low and cover and cook for additional 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Serve hot with plain white rice.

Spinach dal December 08 2013

This is a nice recipe that can be had as a soup or with rice as a complete meal. I made this recipe at my friend's place this morning in New York City and it turned out good, I was told, ha!


Ingredients

1 cup Bengal gram split lentils (chana dal)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced

Method:

Add all the above mentioned ingredients in 4 cups of water in a 5 qt pot and bring it to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 45 minutes or until lentils have been completely cooked. Mash lentils using a spatula or potato masher.


Ingredients for Seasoning

1 tablespoon ghee
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and chopped
1 medium size white onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon dry mango powder
1 teaspoon salt OR as desired


Method:

Heat ghee on medium heat in a 1 qt saute pan, when the ghee is hot, add cumin seeds, onions and garlic and saute until onions are slightly caramelized.
Add spinach and mix. Cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring every other minute.
Add this mixture to the lentils and add mango powder and adjust salt. Mix, cook for another 15 minutes to make sure that the flavors have blended. Dal is ready.


Note: If you do not have mango powder, then use 1 cup chopped Roma tomato instead.

Pineapple and lamb kebab December 08 2013

Yesterday, I was watching the Live Well Network, I do not have cable, so LWN is a channel that I enjoy since it has a lot of food programs. I saw one chef make this, and I figured it would be great if it was made with Indian style. This is a Seekh Kebab recipe that is just served in a convenient manner. I am suggesting baking in the oven because it is not advisable for everyone to grill in cold weather as we are in these days.


Ingredients

A few tooth picks
1 pineapple slice, chopped in 1 inch cubes (so about 15 cubes)


Kebab mixture:

1 lb ground lamb
1/2 cup chopped mint leaves
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon grated garlic
1/2 cup red onion, minced
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg, whisked
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder


Instructions

In a mixing bowl, using your hands mix the kebab mixture thoroughly and refrigerate for half an hour.
Pre-heat oven at 375 F (bake).
Spray oil on a cookie sheet and set aside.
Form meatballs of the lamb kebab mixture and place them on the cookie sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until the lamb is cooked thoroughly. You can cut through one kebab and see if it is cooked from the inside (not pink), which means it is done. If not, then bake for another 5 minutes or until the kebabs are done.
Piece one pineapple chunk and insert it into the toothpick. Repeat for other chunks with remaining toothpicks.
Insert warm kebbs into the toothpicks allowing a bit of a distance between the pineapple chunks and the kebabs.
Serve immediately.

Bengali soup December 08 2013

Unique soup, my creation inspired from Bengali cuisine. Something yummy for winter!


Ingredients

1/2 cup French lentils
3 tilapia fillets, each cut into 5 pieces
8 cups vegetable stock
1 green pepper, roughly chopped
1 large tomato, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons Mustard oil OR Olive oil, but the taste will get affected
1 jalapeno
1 tablespoon paprika powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
6-7 black pepper corns OR 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
2 tablespoons Panchphoran (Bengali spice mixture)
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Salt to taste


Instructions

Heat a 5 qt sauce pan over medium heat.
Heat mustard oil and add green pepper, tomato, jalapeno and black peppercorns, sauté for 3-5 minutes.
Add vegetable stock along with rest of the ingredients EXCEPT fish.
Bring it to a boil, then cook covered for 30 minutes on low heat.
Puree this mixture using a hand blender. If the mixture is too thick, add 1 cup of water.
Add fish pieces and stir gently, cook covered for another 10 minutes.
Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot.

Kawa kashmiri chai December 08 2013

I had quite a few cups of this delicious chai tea in Kashmir last month. It is made with many spices to keep you warm, especially in the bitter cold.

Ingredients

2 cups water
6-7 strands saffron
2-3 cloves
1/4 cinnamon stick
2 cardamom pods, crushed
1/4 teaspoon black loose tea leaves
2 teaspoons sugar

1 almond, finely chopped for garnish


Instructions

Boil water over medium heat, when the water comes to boil, add all ingredients except almonds and cook for 5 minutes.
Strain into chai cups/ glasses and garnish with almonds, serve hot.

Healthy butter chicken December 08 2013

I make this to kill my crave for regular Butter Chicken when I am on a diet or watching my intake and counting my calories...This is a very easy, healthier version of Butter Chicken, not as creamy but still very good.


Ingredients

1 cinnamon stick, broken into two
3 cardamom pods, muddled
3 cloves
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups chopped boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 inch cubes)
1 cup tomato puree
1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon fenugreek leaves MOST IMPORTANT INGREDIENT


Instructions

Heat butter in a 3 qt saute pan over medium heat.
When butter has melted, add whole spices and saute for a minute.
Add ginger garlic paste and saute for a minute.
Add tomato puree and cook covered for 6-7 minutes.
Add chicken, salt, sugar, fenugreek leaves and yogurt, mix well.
Cook covered for 10 minutes, stirring every minute. You may want to lower the heat a little bit and cook. Serve hot!

Mushroom potato fenugreek leaves soup December 08 2013

Not a very Indian style soup, but for this cold weather, and owing to my jet-lag, I have been making one soup every day and this was this morning's creation. The soup turned out beautiful, yummy and the light green color seemed like it was a green peas soup, but not...ha!


Ingredients

3 cups button mushrooms, sliced
1 large potato (skin-on), sliced
1/2 bunch fenugreek leaves (should give you 1 cup fenugreek leaves) OR Spinach leaves
4 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium white onion, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon black pepper powder
2 teaspoons salt OR as desired


Instructions

In a 5 qt pot, melt butter and saute onions for 5 minutes.
Add potatoes, mushrooms and fenugreek and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every minute.
Add vegetable stock, salt and black pepper and bring it to a boil.
Cook on low heat until potatoes are cooked.
Scoop out the vegetables and 1 cup of stock and puree in a blender.
Return the pureed mixture to the pot, adding it to the remaining stock in the pot.
Adjust salt/ pepper and serve!

Chickpeas cooked in Cilantro sauce November 19 2013

Ingredients

For Blender:

1 bunch roughly chopped cilantro, including the stalk
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 jalapeno
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Blend the above ingredients with 1/2 cup of water, adding 1/3rd cilantro every time along with other ingredients. Make a smooth chutney that is not very runny.

Meanwhile, prepare the chickpeas base.

Ingredients

1.5 cups cooked chickpeas
1 teaspoon ghee
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ginger, chopped
1 teaspoon mango powder

Instructions

Heat ghee in a 3 qt saute pan over medium heat. When the ghee is hot, add red onion and saute for 5 minutes, stirring every minute.
Add ginger, garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Add garam masala powder and chickpeas, mix. Add mango powder and mix again.
Add chutney and mix everything, cover with a lid on medium-low heat and cook for 15 minutes, so that the flavors can blend in.
Serve hot with white basmati rice.

Egg Biryani November 19 2013

Biryani is a rice that is layered, flavored and contains a ton of ingredients. You may learn more about Biryani online. Biryani takes a long time and some prep work to make the fish, but it is all worth it.

Serves: 4

1) PREPARE EGG MASALA

Ingredients

6 eggs, boiled, cooled, shelled, cut in half, yolk removed and set aside
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 cinnamon stick
4 cloves
4 cardamoms
2 dried bay leaves
3 tablespoons ghee
Handful cashew nuts
Handful raisins
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon salt

In a small fry pan over medium heat, heat ghee and saute whole spices for a couple of minutes.
Then add onions and cook onions until they caramelize, this may take about 20 minutes.
Add nuts and saute for a couple of minutes and set aside.
Add curry powder, salt and garam masala, mix and saute for another couple of minutes. Set aside.
Remove this onion masala mix in a bowl and set aside.
Now add one more tablespoon of ghee and saute eggs (only whites) for ab out 5-7 minutes, until slight brown on the exterior. Remove and set aside.
Mix eggs with the onion masala but do not break eggs.



Meanwhile, prepare basmati rice.
Ingredients

1.5 cups white basmati rice
2 teaspoons salt

In a pasta pot on high heat, boil 10 cups water. Bring to a rapid boil. Add rice and salt and cook until rice is 3/4th done, drain water just as you would do with pasta, set aside. Cooking rice in boiling water will take about 10 minutes to get 3/4th done.


Layer Ingredients:

1 cup full fat plain yogurt, whisked
4 teaspoons rose water (from the Indian store)
1/2 teaspoon saffron strands soaked in 1/4 cup warm milk
1 tablespoon paprika powder
Salt
Egg yolks, crumbled
1/2 cup Khoya or milk solids (from the Indian store)
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped


Instructions:

Over medium low heat in a 5 qt wide pot, spread 1/3rd of the onion mixture. Add 2 tablespoons yogurt and 1/4th of each of the Layer Ingredients from the above mentioned ingredients list.
Then add 1/3rd of the rice along with 1/3rd of the eggs and layer. Repeat the same process and continue layering.
Finally, garnish with cilantro.

NOW COMES THE MOST IMPORTANT PART:

Take 1 small piece of charcoal and heat it on gas stove for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place a small piece of aluminum foil on top of the biryani being cooked.
Using a pair of tongs place it in the biryani pot on the aluminum foil. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of ghee and the moment it starts fuming, cover the pot with the lid.
Let the lid be on the pot until all rice is being cooked over low heat. This will give the required smoky flavor to the biryani.
When the rice is done (in about 30 minutes on low heat), discard charcoal piece and aluminum foil.

Bengal Lentils November 19 2013

Back to lentils, this is the no.1 lentil recipe of Bengal, I have been told. In March of last year, we had the no.1 chef of India visit DC, and I had the opportunity to eat food cooked by him. When I tasted this lentil dish prepared by his team, it was exactly how I make it at home. I felt so good that day, really really good :) It was more like a compliment to myself. I wish I was able to work with him for years, and I just hope that I keep doing a good job at something that I love the most...FOOD.


Serves: 4


Ingredients

1 cup split yellow peas (chana dal), soaked in 2 cups water overnight
2 tablespoons ghee
1 tablespoon shredded coconut powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
3 cloves
1 cinnamon stick, broken into two pieces
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 bay leaf, dry, torn into two pieces
1 dry red chili, broken into two pieces
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
Handful of raisins


Instructions

Cook lentils (along with the soaked water) with 2 cups water on medium heat, once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook partially covered. This may take about 45- 60 minutes, if the lentils start drying up, add another cup of water.
In a 3 qt sauté pan, heat ghee and add whole spices. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
Add lentils, turmeric, sugar, salt, coconut and ginger. Mix well. Bring it to a boil, adjust salt if needed. Add raisins and mix.

Note: Lentils should be semi-thick and not runny, that’s the consistency you are looking for.

Tapioca Fritters (Sabudana Wada) November 19 2013

Tapioca is a starch from a palm tree, hence it is a good substitute for rice, especially when we Indians fast, we do not eat lentils or grains, and this is eaten all over the country.

Note: Trick is to only soak Tapioca for 1 hour or so, not more than that, or else it will crumble.


Ingredients

1 cup Tapioca, soaked in 2 cups water for an hour, then drained
1/2 cup peanuts, crushed partially
3 cups Idaho potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed
1/2 jalapeno, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Peanut oil to deep-fry


Instructions

In a mixing bowl, add all ingredients except oil and mix well.
Heat oil at 375 F. Meanwhile, make small balls and keep aside.
Fry in small batches, until golden-brown and serve hot with chutney.

Masala Scrambled Eggs (Parsi) November 19 2013

Parsis are Zoroastrians who relocated to India from Iran, a few hundred years ago.


Serving size: 3


Ingredients

4 eggs, beaten with about 1/4 cup milk
2 inch piece of ginger, grated
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons ghee
Salt to taste
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, for garnish
1 medium Roma tomato, chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder


Instructions

In a 3 qt pot over medium heat, heat ghee and when ghee is hot, add cumin seeds and onions and cook for 6-7 minutes, or until onions are light brown in color.
Add ginger and jalapeno, and cook for another couple of minutes.
Add beaten eggs, tomatoes, salt, turmeric, and keep stirring until eggs are just cooked.
Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately with toast.

Lentils with Wheat Rolls (Dal Baati) November 19 2013


I am not sure if because of MahaShivratri (a big Indian festival devoted to Lord Shiva), follow link to learn more about the festival:

Daal Baati is a very traditional recipe from the state of Rajasthan. Daal is a thick lentil preparation and Baati is a wheat dough that is simply baked over charcoal pieces. Usually the Baati is dipped in ghee and then daal is poured over it. Of course, with a drizzle of ghee again.

Some people boil Baati in water and then bake it, if you do that, then add turmeric powder to the dough and your baati will be yellow in color. If you do not want to boil your Baati, then turmeric is not necessary. Some add baking powder so that Baati can fluff up, but I tend to avoid that.

There are 2 steps to make this dish.

TO MAKE BAATI:

2 cups 100% Whole Wheat White Flour
2 tablespoons ghee
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon carom seeds
Water to knead a semi-soft dough

In a mixing bowl, mix ingredients and knead a semi-soft dough and prepare small balls (the size of a table tennis ball) and set aside. Use 1/4 cup of warm water each time to knead dough, starting with half cup for the first round.
Pre-heat oven at 350 F and bake baatis for 45 minutes on a greased cookie sheet.

TO MAKE DAAL:

Ingredients

1/2 cup Chana Daal (Split Yellow Bengal Gram)
1/2 cup Green Split Mung Daal (Green Split Green Mung Lentils, with the skin on)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick, broken into two pieces
4-5 cloves
2 tablespoons ghee
1 tablespoon paprika powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/4 teaspoon hing
2 dried red chillies
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped tomato OPTIONAL
Salt to taste
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, for garnish


Instructions

Add turmeric powder to lentils.
Pressure cook lentils in a pressure cooker, 3 whistles or until lentils are cooked, with 3 cups water. If you do not have a pressure cooker, then boil 5 cups of water and add lentils and cook for almost 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Cover partially.
Set aside.
Prepare the tadka (seasoning) now:
Heat ghee in a small fry pan on medium heat. Add whole spices and saute for a minute.
Add garlic along with dry red chillies and hing and saute for 3-4 minutes.
Add tomatoes, paprika, cayenne and 1 teaspoon salt and cook for 4-5 minutes or until tomatoes have pulped down.
Add seasoning to the lentils and cook for 10 minutes. Stir every other minute. Garnish with cilantro.

To serve:

Place one baati in a soup bowl, drizzle 1 teaspoon of ghee and pour 1/2 cup of lentils on top of eat. Serve.

Eggless Cookies (Naan Khatai) November 19 2013

Ghee is Indian clarified butter, and you can find it in quite a few regular grocery stores these days.

Ingredients

1 cup all purpose white flour
1 cup confectionary sugar
1 cup ghee
1 cup semolina
1 pinch baking powder
Handful of cashewnuts OPTIONAL


Instructions

Mix all ingredients together except ghee.
Heat ghee and pour in the flour.
Mix well until all ghee is absorbed by the flour, let it rest for about half an hour
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Use cup cake pans and line them up with cup cake covers. Place 1 tablespoon of hte batter in each mould and place 1 cashew nut on top of each batter.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the crust gets slightly brown. Let it cool.

Yogurt Accompaniment (Raita) November 19 2013

There can be savory or sweet raita. Based on your region in India, some may contain tomatoes and onions while others may not, sometimes seasonal fruits or beets or mint is add, it can be done in many ways...the recipe here is for the most famous raita which is popular all over the country. This is also called Boondi Raita, for which you will need to buy Boondi from the store. Boondis are deep fried chickpea flour balls which are very small and are sometimes spiced.


Ingredients

2 cups low-fat plain yogurt, whisked
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cayenne OR LESS
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Boondi (spiced fried chickpea balls) OPTIONAL

In a mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients and chill. Serve cold with main meal.

Bottle Gourd with Lentils November 19 2013

One can make this dish with a lot of lentils (1 cup) or less lentils (1/4 cup). If you are using less lentils and more bottlegourd, then this is the recipe for you. If you are using a lot of lentils, then please use MUNG DAAL instead of CHANA DAL.


Ingredients

1/4 cup Chana Dal, soaked in 1/2 cup water for 1 hour
1 medium sized Bottlegourd, peeled, ends chopped and then diced in 1 inch cubes
6-7 curry leaves
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, OPTIONAL

Instructions

Heat oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat.
Add mustard seeds and allow it to crackle. Then add cumin seeds and saute for 30 seconds.
Add Chana daal (not the water) and saute for 4-5 minutes.
Tear curry leaves (each in 2) and add, keep a lid handy as curry leaves may splutter. Saute for another minute.
Add turmeric powder, cayenne powder, salt and cook for a minute. Keep stirring.
Add bottlegourd pieces, left over chana dal water and mix, cook covered for 10 minutes on medium-low heat, stirring every other minute.
If bottlegourd is soft, its cooked, if not, then keep cooking for another 5 minutes on low heat.
Garnish with cilantro, and serve hot with rotis.

Upma November 17 2013

In Indian cooking, we dry roast semolina until it turns light pinkish in color and then use it to cook. I am not sure about the benefits of dry roasting, but I do it coz my Mom does it and everyone around me does it :)

1/2 cup of semolina with veggies and a couple of spices can make a wonderful, healthy breafast. It is quite filling as well. Here's a simple recipe for Upma.


Ingredients

1 cup Rava (Semolina), dry roasted
1 tablespoon ghee
2-3 green chilies, slit OR 1/2 half jalapeno, finely chopped
4-5 curry leaves
1 tablespoon urad daal/ masoor dal (french lentils)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 cup veggies (preferably diced carrots, green peas and diced green beans)
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt OR as required
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon lemon juice


Instructions

In a 3 quart saute pan over medium heat, melt ghee.
Add mustard seeds and allow to crackle, this may take a couple of minutes. Then add lentils, cumin seeds, curry leaves (each torn into half), green chilies/ jalapeno and ginger, saute for a couple of minutes.
Add veggies, stir and add 3 cups of water, cover with a lid and bring it to a boil.
Add salt, semolina and mix well. Keep stirring and make sure that there are no lumps in the semonlina, if so, then keep breaking the lumps.
Cover and cook (since semolina will spit) for about 5 minutes, or until all water has been absorbed by semolina.
Garnish with cilantro and lemon juice, and serve hot.


PS: Additionally, you can also use 1/2 cup chopped onion and saute for 2-3 minutes along with cumin seeds.

Chicken Haandi November 17 2013

Serves: 2

Ingredients

4 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless - chopped in 2 inch pieces
1 cup sliced onions
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons oil
2 cups fresh spinach, julienned
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 tablespoons yogurt
1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream, or maybe a little bit more if you like it creamier
1 teaspoon salt


Instructions

In a 3 qt sauce pan over medium heat, heat oil and add onions when oil is hot. Saute for 4-5 minutes or until onions begin to caramelize.
Add garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Add spinach and curry powder, and cook for 4-5 minutes.
Add yogurt and cook for 2-3 minutes, until yogurt is absorbed by the spinach.
Add chicken and mix, cook covered for 7-8 minutes, stirring every other minute. If the mixture is getting dry, add 1/4 cup of water.
Add cream and salt, and mix, cook for a couple of minutes and serve hot.]]>

Golden Lamb Curry November 17 2013

Ingredients

1.5 lbs lamb shoulder, preferably boneless and skinless, cut in 2 inch cubes
1/2 cup plain full-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
2 cups thinly sliced red onions
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cayenne powder OR as you desire
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon saffron strands, soaked in 1/4 cup warm for half an hour

1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cashew nuts, soaked in 1/2 cup water then pureed into a paste
2 tablespoons cream, or less
2 tablespoons ghee
1/4 cup chopped cilantro


Instructions

Marinate lamb pieces in yogurt, ginger garlic paste and set aside. Add saffron to warm milk and set aside.
In the meanwhile, heat a 4 qt sauce pan over medium heat and melt ghee. Add sliced onions and saute for 10 minutes.
Add lamb along with all the marinade and all spice powders including saffron and milk. Add 2 cups of water.
Cover and cook for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Then add cream and cashew nuts paste and cook for another 10 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and adjust salt.

Kashmiri Pulao November 17 2013

There are many versions of this pulao. Some use whole spices, some don't. What stands out in Kashmiri Pulao is SAFFRON and FENNEL SEEDS. I prefer to use a combination of whole spices and saffron, and not include fennel seeds, but it is upto you. This is a very simple dish, can be easily made in 20 minutes.

Serves: 3


Ingredients

1 cup white basmati rice, rinsed 3 times in cold running water and set aside
1/2 teaspoon saffron strands
1/2 cinnamon stick
2 cardamom cloves
1 dry bay leaf
1 teaspoon paprika powder
Salt, about half a teaspoon
1 tablespoon ghee
1/4 cup chopped cashew nuts
1/4 apple, thinly sliced
1/4 cup pomegranate pearls


Instructions

In a 3 qt pot over medium heat, melt ghee. When ghee has melted, add whole spices and cashew nuts and saute for a couple of minutes.
Add powdered spices and saute for half a minute. Add rice, stir and cook for 3 minutes. Then add double the water. Add salt.
Cook covered for 10 - 12 minutes or until all water has evaporated.
Garnish with fruits, stir gently and serve.

Okra Coconut Curry November 17 2013

Serves: 4


Ingredients

4 cups fresh okra (small), ends cut off and sliced horizontally into 2 pieces
1 cup red onions, minced
3 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon greek yogurt
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 teaspoon mango powder
1 tablespoon tamarind paste OR if using concentrate, then 2 drops concentrate
Salt to taste


Instructions

Heat a 3 qt saute pan over medium heat. Add oil and when the oil is hot, add cumin seeds and onions, cook for almost 7-8 minutes.
Add the rest of the ingredients and cook covered for 15 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes.
Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with rice/ bread.