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Basic Moong Dal

Ingredients1 cup yellow moong dal1 teaspoon black mustard seeds1 teaspoon cumin seeds1/2 cup chopped onion, preferably red onion2 pinches asafoetida (hing)1/2 jalapeno, finely chopped (or 1/4 tsp cayenne powder)1 medium tomato, finely chopped1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder1 Tablespoon ghee2 Tablespoonss chopped cilantroSalt, to tasteInstructionsBoil 1 cup moong dal in 3 cups water in a 3 qt pot over medium heat, do not cover the pot.In a small frying pan, heat ghee, and when the ghee is hot, add mustard seeds and allow mustard seeds to crackle.Add cumin seeds, hing, jalapeno, onion and saute for 4-5 minutes over medium heat, stirring every minute.Add tomato and cook for a couple of minutes.Add this seasoning to cooked dal, add salt and mix well. Taste,...

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Potatoes & Fenugreek Leaves

Ingredients1 bunch fresh fenugreek leaves, leaves removed and stem discarded, leaves then rinsed and finely chopped1 medium sized Idaho potato, rinsed and chopped in 1 inch cubes2 dried red chilies, each broken into two1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic1 teaspoon cumin seeds2 Tablespoons light oil1/2 tsp turmeric powder1/2 jalapeno, finely chopped OPTIONAL1 medium size tomato, tomato on the vine would be good, finely chopped1/2 tsp salt InstructionsIn a 3 qt pot over medium heat, heat oil and saute cumin seeds, garlic and dry red chilies in hot oil. Add potatoes and stir, cook potatoes on medium low heat (covered) for 5 - 7 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes so that all sides of the potato are cooked and slightly brown in...

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Saag

Saag is a pureed green, typical Punjabi dish, it can be made with spinach only, mustard only, or a mix of these greens as I have done below.   Ingredients 4 cups chopped fresh mustard leaves 1 cup frozen chopped spinach 1 cube frozen fenugreek leaves OPTIONAL 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder 2 teaspoons turmeric powder 1 Tablespoon grated ginger1 Tablespoon grated garlic2 Tablespoons corn meal 2 Tablespoons butter 1 cup red onion, finely chopped Salt to taste1 cup chopped Paneer cheese pieces, 1 inch cubes OPTIONAL   MethodIn a wide pot, boil 2 cups of water and add ginger, garlic, chopped spinach, fenugreek and mustard greens and cook partially covered for about 15 minutes, stirring every minute.Carefully puree this mixture...

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Tomato & Fenugreek Pulao

My sister-in-law Archana has taught me this recipe. It is made only with 5 ingredients and it is yum! It is a great accompaniment with a hearty soup or with a spicy stew.   Ingredients1/2 cup dried fenugreek leaves (Kasuri Methi) - available at the Indian store2 cups chopped red tomatoes1 tbsp cumin seeds1 tbsp ghee or butter1 cup white basmati riceSaltMethodIn a mixing bowl, wash basmati rice 3 times in cold running water, and each time, drain all the water without wasting a single grain of rice. Set aside.In a 4 qt pot (wide pot), heat ghee on medium heat. Once ghee is hot, add cumin seeds and fenugreek leaves, saute for a minute.Add tomatoes and cook for 5...

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Yogurt

Several of Indian recipes will call for yogurt. Sometimes we strain yogurt (for marinating meat), sometimes we whisk (Mango Lassi, Raita), sometimes we use as in (in a curry as a base). Whatever the recipe be, when cooking with yogurt, always use FULL FAT PLAIN yogurt. When eating yogurt raw (like in Raita, Lassi), you can very well use NO-FAT or LOW-FAT yogurt.The reason to use full-fat yogurt when cooking is because cooking can curdle yogurt if it is no/ low-fat yogurt. You don't want your yogurt to curdle in cheese and water, instead, you want a soft silky sauce as your curry. Yogurt is a tenderizer and is added into the meat marination process. Meat gets tender when marinated....

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