Thursday, September 19, 2013


Hasselback potatoes are a perfect accompaniment to your grilled meats or fish. Select large potatoes for this. You have to carefully make thin slices upto 3/4 th of the potato. The tip for doing this easily is to place the potato on the chopsticks and this way the knife will not reach the bottom. After slicing immerse them in ice cold water for some time. You will see them opening up like a fan. This makes it easier to spoon in the herbed butter.

Potatoes - 2 large ( or as needed)
Butter ..... 2-3 spoons. (you may use olive oil too)
Oregano .. 1 tbsp (you may use any herbs available, dry or fresh)
Salt .... to taste ( if using salted butter you can skip it)

1. Place the potatoes on the chopsticks and make thin slices upto 3/4 th of it. Immerse them in ice cold water. They will open up like a fan.
2. Melt the butter and mix the herbs and salt. If you are using salted butter you can skip adding or add very little.
3. Spoon the herbed butter in between the slices.
4. Wrap them in a foil paper.
5. Bake them in the oven for 40-45 minutes.
In the final stage you can add some fresh herbs, grated cheese, paprika or black pepper if you like.
Serve them with grilled meats / fish.

For the Chicken Roast :

Chicken ..... 2 leg & thigh pieces
Garlic ...... 1 tsp (crushed)
Lemon juice .. 1-2 tbsps
salt ............ to taste
Red chilli powder .. 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder .. 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder .. 1/2 tsp
Oil ............. 1 tbsp

1. Clean the chicken and make light cuts on the surface.
2. Mix all the marination ingredients and rub on the chicken. Leave it for a few hours.
3. Place it on a greased tray and bake in a pre-heated oven turning the side once in between.
It takes 40 - 45 minutes.The time may vary a bit depending on the size and type of oven.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Delicious and chatpata chana dal salad.!
Recipe idea is from Jagruti's Cooking Odyssey. She made with moong dal. I have tried it out with chana dal and few of the ingredients are different because I don't get raw mangoes and sev here. You can go ahead and add anything of your liking. Variations are endless.

Chana dal .... 3/4 th cup
Onion ....... 1/4 cup
Tomato ... 1 small
Cucumber .. Half
Carrot ...... a small piece
Coriander leaves .. handful
Lettuce ....... 1/2 cup
Roasted and crushed cumin seeds ... 1 tsp ( you may use chaat masala instead )
Salt .... to taste
Black pepper ... 1/4 tsp
Red chilli flakes .. as pre your liking ( optional )
Lemon juice ... 2 tbsps
Olive oil ... 1 tbsp

1. Soak chana dal for 5-6 hours or overnight. Boil adding salt until done but not mushy. The grains should remain separate.
2. Cut the onion and cucumber and carrot finely.
3. Remove the seeds and juice from the tomato and cut it into pieces.
4. Break the lettuce into small pieces with your hand.. (never use a knife to cut the lettuce)
5. In a big bowl mix all the ingredients together.
This can be served chilled or at room temperature.

Tip: you may add sweet chutney, mint chutney and sev or boondi for a change.


Aloo is one vegetable that can be added to any curry. Today I tried the combo of aloo and rajma.
It turned out very delicious.

Rajma ... 1/2 cup
Potatoes .. 1 large
Onion .... 1  grated)
Tomato... 1
Ginger ... 1 inch piece (grated)
Garlic ... 1 tsp (crushed)
Green chillies .. 1-2
Coriander leaves .. handful
Turmeric powder ... 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder ... 1/4 tsp
Garam masala ...... 1/2 tsp
Oil .... 1-2 tbsps

1. Soak rajma preferably over-night. Boil them in a pressure cooker adding salt until cooked.
2. Peel the potato and cut into cubes. Fry it and set aside. (you may use boiled one if you like)
3. In a pan heat oil and fry the grated onion to golden brown colour.
4. Tip in the chopped green chillies, ginger, garlic and tomato. Saute until everything is cooked.
5. Add enough water as per your preference. Bring to a boil and add the salt and spice powders.
6. Mix in the boiled rajma and fried aloo. Add the coriander leaves.
7. Simmer until done.
Serve with rice.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

MOQUECA DE PEIXE ( Brazilian Fish Curry )

This is a Brazilian fish curry from the state of Bahia. The Bahian food is mostly cooked with Oleo de Dende (Palm oil ) which is reddish and thick and has its own distinct flavor.The colour and the flavours of the palm oil are incorporated in the curry. No additional spices are added to it.

Fish .... 200 gms ( select a variety with center bone)
Onion .... 1 (cut into rings)
Red, green & yellow capsicums / bell peppers  - few rings of each
Tomato ..... 1 (cut into rings)
Coriander leaves ... 1/2 cup
Garlic .... 1 tsp
Palm oil (oleo de dende) .. 2-3 tbsps
Coconut milk .... half cup
Vegetable or sea food stock -- 1 cup
Lemon juice -- 2 tbsps
Salt ... to taste

1. Clean and marinate the fish with lemon juice and salt.
2. Take a thick bottomed vessel and pour the palm oil.
3. Spread the onion rings in the bottom and place the fish slices over them.
4. Now place the bell pepper rings and also the tomato rings. Top it with coriander leaves.
5. Add salt, garlic and the stock. Bring to a boil and simmer to cook for 10 minutes.
6. Now stir in the coconut milk carefully and cook further for a few minutes.

                                      Serve with plain rice.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


This is a simple recipe of fried squid with some spices. I saw these fresh and jumbo squid in the market and couldn't resist buying them. I prefer to buy the cleaned ones as it is a tedious process. In Brazil it is known as lula.

Squid / calamari / lula .... 3-4  OR as needed
Garlic paste ........... 1 tsp
Lemon juice .......... 2 tbsps
Olive oil .............. 1 tbsp (Optional)
Oregano ............ 1 tsp
Red chilli powder .. as per your liking
Cumin powder  ... 1 tsp
Flour / maida ..... 2 tbsps
Salt ..... to taste
Oil ... to fry

1. Wash the squid and slit them on both the sides as shown in the image. This makes it look attractive.
2. Marinate them with lemon juice, salt, garlic, oregano and olive oil.
3. Remove them on a plate and sprinkle the red chillies and cumin powder on both sides.
4. Next you sprinkle the flour on them.
5. Heat oil in a pan and fry the squid for 3-4 minutes on each side.
6. Do not over fry them because the texture will become rubbery.
7. Alternately if you want to roast them on a hot iron griddle then you skip the flour part. Just remove from the marination and place them on the griddle turning sides. Should be done in 7-8 minutes.

Saturday, September 14, 2013


Chettinad Cuisine is one of the most spiciest and aromatic cuisines of India, from the Chettinad region of Tamilnad South India. It is very famous for its Spicy & pungent non vegetarian dishes. These are mostly served with plain rice or doasa, appams, idiappams, adais & idlis. This is a recipe of a spicy dry chicken preparation... goes well with dosas or as a side dish with dal chawal..

Chicken ... 250 gms ( preferably with bones)
Onion..... 1 
Ginger ... 1 inch piece ( grated)
Garlic .... 1 tsp (crushed)
Chettinad masala .. 1 & 1/2 tbsps 
Salt ... to taste
Turmeric powder .. 1/2 tsp
Tamarind juice or lemon juice ... 2 tbsps
Oil ... 2 tbsps
Coriander leaves .. for garnishing.

For tempering:
Mustard seeds .. 1 tbsp
Asafoetida ... a pinch
Curry leaves ... 1 sprig
Dry red chillies .. 2-3
Oil .......... 1 tbsp

For Chettinad Masala :

Cumin seeds ... 2 tbsps
Sesame seeds .. 3 tbsps
Poppy seeds.... 2-3 tbsps
Pepper corns ... 1 tbsp
Dry red chillies .. 5-6
Cloves ... 6-8
Cardamoms ... 8
Cinnamon .... 2 pieces
Peanuts ... handful
Dry dessicated coconut .. 3-4 tbsps

 Dry roast and grind these ingredients. Store in a sterilized dry bottle. You can use it as and when required.

1. Cut the chicken into small pieces and chicken with bones tastes better in this recipe.
2. Heat 2 tbsps oil in a pan and add the sliced onion. Saute until golden brown in colour.
3. Add ginger, garlic, green chillies and saute for half a minute. 
4. Now tip in the chicken pieces and stir fry on a reduced flame until you get a nice colour.
5. Add the turmeric powder and salt to taste. Sprinkle little water and simmer to cook until almost done.
6. Mix one and half tbsps of Chettinad masala with the tamarind juice or lemon juice. Dilute with little water to mix well.
7. In a separate pan, heat one tbsp of oil and add the tempering ingredients.
8. When they crackle, add the Chettinad masala mixed with tanmarind juice or lemon juice that you had kept ready.
9. Stir well and tip in the chicken pieces. Carefully toss them with the masala until well coated and cooked.
10. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Friday, September 13, 2013


Macaroni ...     1/2 cup (boiled)
Eggs .........      2
Onion ......        2 tbsps (finely chopped)
Green chillies .. 1 (finely chopped)
Coriander leaves .. 2 tbsps
Cheese (grated).....1 tbsps (optional)
Salt ...... to taste
Bread slices ... as needed
Oil .....  2 tbsps

1. In a pan add oil and saute the onion until translucent.
2. Add the chillies, coriander leaves and salt.
3. Add the eggs and scramble them.
4. Mix the boiled macaroni and stir.
5. Add the grated cheese and stir until it melts.
6. Spread the filling on a bread slice. Place  another one on top and grill the sandwiches.

Note: You can skip green chillies if you are making for kids. You may also add black pepper if you like.
You can also use any  left over pasta.

Thursday, September 12, 2013



Yes, you heard it right... ever tried making dal with just boiled and mashed potatoes ? It is as tasty as any dal made with lentils.
Here is the recipe.

Potatoes - 2 large
Tomato ... 1
Ginger ... 1 inch piece (grated)
Garlic .... 1 tsp (crushed)
Green chillies .. 2 
Turmeric powder .. 1/4 tsp
Amchoor powder .. 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder .. 1/4 tsp ( or as per taste)
Coriander leaves .. handful
Salt ..... to taste

For Tempering:
Asafoetida .. a generous pinch
Cumin seeds .. 1 tbsp
Curry leaves .. few
Dry red chillies .. 1-2 broken
Oil .... 2-3 tbsps

1. Boil and mash the potatoes. Add a little water and blend with a hand grinder or in a blender.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add the tempering ingredients. 
3. When they crackle, add the chopped tomato, green chillies, ginger, garlic and saute until the tomato is cooked.
4. Now add the blended potato and the required quantity of water. ( according to the consistency you like)
5. Stir in the salt and the spice powders mentioned in the list.
6. Finally add the coriander leaves. 
Serve with plain rice.

 Serves 4
Note: If you want to serve it with puris and rotis you can make the consistency thicker.

VEGETABLE PULAO ( With Shan Biriyani Masala )

Rice ... 1 & 1/2 cups
Cauliflower ... 8-10 florets
Capsicum/bell pepper ... 1 cup of green and red colours,cubed
Green peas .......... handful
(add any vegetables of your choice)
Onion ............ 1 small, sliced
Ginger garlic paste .... 1 tbsp.
Green chillies ............ 1-2
Tomato ... .... 1 medium
Cardamoms ......... 3-4
Cloves ................. 3-4
Cinnamon .......... 1 " piece
Bay leaf .............. 1-2
Turmeric powder ... 1/4 tsp
Yogurt ............. half cup
Biriyani Masala... 1 & 1/2 tbsp.

(I used Shan Sindhi Biriyani Masala)
( available at all Indian grocery stores in USA)
Mint leaves ........... handful
Coriander leaves ... handful
1. Wash the rice and soak it for 1 hour.

2. In a pressure cooker heat oil and add the whole spices, the ginger garlic paste and saute. Add the onions and stir fry till golden brown.
3. Tip in the vegetables,green chillies, tomato, salt, turmeric.

4. Mix the biriyani masala with the yogurt and add to the vegetables.(The measurement given on the packet is a lot..makes it too strong in spices.. I usually add one tbsp. for one cup of rice)
5. Simmer for a few minutes.

6. Now add the rice and double quantity of water.( If using Basmati, add a little less than double). Check the salt and close the pressure cooker.
7. After 2 whistles, simmer it a little and close the gas. Leave it for 5-7 minutes before opening the cooker.

8. Carefully seperate the rice with the back of the spoon. I use a chop stick to do this.
Serve with raita or fried potatoes.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Vermicelli ......... 1 cup
Onion ................ 1 small
Ginger-garlic paste...1 tbsp.
Turmeric powder ..... 1/2 tsp.
Green chillies .............1 slit
Mustard seeds ...........1 tsp.
Cumin seeds .............. 1 tsp.
Dry red chillies ......... 2
Asafoetida ............... a pinch
Curry leaves........... 5-6
Salt to taste

1. Heat 2-3 tbsp. oil and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, broken red chillies and asafoetida.
2. When the seeds splutter, add the curry leaves and ginger-garlic pasteand green chilli.
3. Cut the onion finely and add .Stir fry for a minute.
4. Now add the vermicelli and fry it for 2-3 minutes. Add the salt and turmeric powder.
5. Boil 2 cups water and add. Mix well and simmer it till done.
Serve with coconut chutney.


A very healthy and nutritious dish with a combination of vegetables like carrot, potato and spinach.In addition we also have green gram for protiens and all of us know the health benifits of oats. This stew can even be relished without any roti or bread. I sometimes take a bowl full for lunch and it is quite filling.

Oats .... 2 tbsps
Spinach ... 1 piece (30 grms. frozen) or (handful fresh)
Green gram .. handful (soaked for few hours)
Potato ........ 1 small
Carrot ........ half
Onion ........ 1 small
Tomato .... 1 small
Green chilli ... 1
Turmeric powder ... 1/8 tsp
Cumin powder ...... 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder ... 1/4 tsp (add if you like it spicy)
Oil.................. 1-2 tbsp

1. Cut all the vegetables into small pieces and soak the moong gram.

2. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add the oats. Saute for a minute on low flame.

3. Now tip in the onion, tomato, chilli and all the vegetables and the soaked green gram.
4. Add the salt and spices mentioned above ( note: very little quantity of masalas required)

5. Add 2 cups of water and close the cooker. Cook for 4-5 whistles.
6. After opening the cooker, just give a gentle mash with a ladle/spoon and check for the salt.
I have served it with dinner rolls.. even garlic bread goes well with it.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Carrots ... 1 small
Potato ..... 1 small
Beans ..... 6-7
Green Peas .. handful
Cauliflower .. 1/4 cup
Capsicums/bell peppers (green, red & yellow) little of each colour
Celery .... 1 small
Mayonnaise ... 1/2 cup (or more if you like)
Salt ... to taste
White pepper .. 1/8 tsp.
Lettuce leaves &  tomato ... to garnish


1. Cut all the vegetables into small pieces.
2. Boil the vegetables (except celery) one by one in salt water. This is because some vegetables take more time to cook and some are done faster. Make sure not to over cook them. They have to be crunchy. Drain and let them cool.

3. In a large bowl mix the vegetables, mayonnaise, salt and black pepper. Now add the finely chopped celery. Refrigerate until you serve.
4. Garnish the salad plate with lettuce leaves and a tomato rose.

You may add any veggies of your choice. I have used eggless mayonnaise in this recipe as it is easily available in India.

Saturday, September 7, 2013


Rice - 2 cups
Brinjal - 2 chopped
Cumin Seeds - 3/4 tsp
Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
Tamarind Juice - 2 tsps
Jaggery – small piece
Groundnuts - 3 to 4 sps
Salt to taste.
Coriander Leaves - for garnishing

Roast (in little oil) & Dry Grind:Urad Dal - 2 tbsp
Chana Dal - 2 tbsp
Coriander Seeds - 2 tsp
Dry Red Chillies - 5 to 6
Curry Leaves - 1 sprig
Dry Coconut - 100 gms

1.Wash and cook rice.
2.Roast urad dal, chana dal, coriander seeds, dry red chillies, curry leaves, dry coconut in little oil and dry grind along with tamarind juice and jaggery.
3.Fry the brinjals.
4.Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds, some curry leaves, groundnuts, chana dal ½ sp, urad dal ½ sp and let them crackle.
5.Now add the ground paste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt and mix well.
6.Add the brinjals and the cooked rice and mix well till evenly coated.
7.Garnish with coriander leaves.

Friday, September 6, 2013


Beeha / bea  ( lotus stem / kamal kakdi ) is one of the delicacy in the Sindhi Cuisine. We have a variety of preparations with this vegetable like daag wari bhaji, seyala bhaji, beeha ji tikki, chutney wara beeha, beehan ja pakora etc etc... When in season we add it to almost all the curries and meats.Cleaning this is the toughest part because it is covered with mud and kept fresh by sprinkling water over it. We have to wash it very well before using. Scrape the outer skin and cut into slanting slices. This way it will not be very hairy when you bite it. Today's recipe is beeha palak.

Palak / spinach .... 1 bunch
Bea / beeha ....... 10-12 slices
Onion .....      1
Tomato ..... 1
Green chillies ... 2-3
Ginger ...... 1 tsp (grated)
Garlic .... 1 tsp ( crushed)  - you can add more too . It tastes better.
Turmeric powder .. 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder   1 tsp
Cumin powder ...... 1 tsp
Red chilli powder .. 1/4 tsp
Salt ... to taste
Oil .... 3-4 tbsps

1. Scrape the bea (lotus stem) wash well and cut slanting slices. Boil adding salt preferably in a pressure cooker.
2. Chop the palak and wash it well.
3. In a pan add oil and saute the sliced onion until translucent.
4. Add the ginge,r garlic, green chillies and tomato. Saute until tomato is cooked.
5. Now add the palak, salt and the dry spice powders mentioned.
6. Simmer it adding a little water until half done.
7. Now tip in the lotus stem slices and add a little water if needed.
8. Cook on very low flame stirring occasionally.

Serve with rotis.

Tip: If you like the garlic flavour add a tadka of crushed garlic wth a pinch of red chilli powder in the end before serving. It gives good colour and taste.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


This is a simple stir-fried recipe of Shitake with spinach. It can be relished on its own with garlic bread or as a side dish with grilled meats or served on a bed of spaghetti.

Shiitake mushrooms ... 7-8
Spinach ............. 1 bunch ( choose tender spinach )
Basil ..... 1 tsp (dry basil)
Fresh cream ..... 3-4 tbsps
Black pepper .... 1/2 tsp
Salt ............ to taste
Olive oil ..... 2-3 tbsps

1 Was the Shiitake mushrooms and cut into big pieces.
2. Was the spinach leaves and blanch them.
3. In a pan, heat oil and saute the mushrooms for 2-3 minutes until half done.
4. Tip in the blanched spinach leaves and temper with salt, black pepper and basil. Simmer for a couple of minutes.
5. Stir in the cream finally.


This is a very easy chicken recipe, a best option when you are short of time and yet you can cook some tasty dish. The onion is optional but I add it because the gravy comes out nice and thick. Use the pressure cooker if you don't have much time but it tastes better when simmered on low flame. This dish can be made with or without oil. For making without oil you just mix everything and cook.

Chicken .. 250 gms
Onion ..... 1 large (1 cup chopped finely)
Tomato .... 1
Garlic .... 1 tsp (crushed)
Ginger ... 1 tsp (grated)
Yogurt ... 1 cup
Green chilies .. 1-2
Coriander leaves .. handful
Mint leaves ... few
Turmeric powder .. 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder .. 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder .. 1 tsp
Garam masala powder .. 1/2 tsp
Salt ... to taste
Oil ... 1 tbsp

Whole spices 
Black cardamom .. 1
Green cardamoms ... 2-3
Cinnamon  stick .... 1 inch piece
Cloves ........ 3-4
Bay leaf ... 1

1. Clean the chicken.
2. Mix together all the ingredients in the 1st list except oil. ( preferably mix refrigerate for few hours)
3. Heat 1 tbsp. of oil and add the whole spices.
4. Add the other ingredients and mix well.
5. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles. It cooks in its own juices and curd.. so no need to add water.
6. Open the cooker and cook to adjust the gravy according to your preference.
7. If you are using the slow-cook method, then just put all the ingredients in a heavy bottomed pan and simmer until done.

VEG PULAO ( Jhatpat Pulao )

This pulao is so easy to make and cooked very fast in a pressure cooker we named it jhatpat pulao.. I remember when we used to go for movies this was the dish that my mom used to make when we came back. Those days eating out was not common. We would keep all the ingredients ready before we went. You can choose ant vegetables that you prefer.

Rice ..... 2 cups
Mixed vegetables ... 1 cup ( I have used carrot, beans,broccoli, potato and green peas)
Tomato ...... 1 optional
Garlic ....... 1 tbsp (crushed)
Ginger ...... 1 tsp (grated)
Green chillies .. 2-3 (slit)
Mint leaves ... few
Turmeric powder ... 1/4 tsp
Garam masala or Biriyani masala ... 1 tsp
Red chilli powder .... 1/4 tsp or as you like it
Salt ...... to taste
Oil ..... 3-4 tbsps

Tempering Ingredients:
Cardamoms ... 2-3
Bay leaf ....... 2
Cloves ... 4-5
Cinammon stick ... 1 piece
Shah Jeera / cummel seeds .. 1/2 tsp

1. In a pressure cooker heat the oil and add the tempering ingredients (whole spices mentioned in the list)
2. Then add the garlic, ginger, green chillies, mint leaves and saute.
3. Tip in the cubed vegetables and tomato. (peel the skin to make a rose for garnishing)
4. Add salt and spice powders. Sprinkle a little water and close the cooker for 1 whistle. The vegetables have to be half-cooked)
5. Now add the washed and soaked rice and 4 cups of water. If you see a little gravy in the cooker then add only 3 and 1/2 cups. Check the salt and add if needed.
6. Close the cooker for 2 whistles and half a minute on sim after that.
7. Let the steam remain insiide. Open it after 5-7 minutes and the pulao is ready to be served.


This is a Sindhi recipe of Phool Patashas / Makhanas / Fox Nuts curry.  We make many variations with these, sometimes just Makhanas curry or add some different vegetables or macaroni (we call it Macroli in Sindhi)

Phool Patasha / makhanas -  2 cups
Macrolyun / macaroni ....... 1/2 cup
Onion ......... 1 ( grated )
Tomatoes .... 2 -3
Garlic .... 1 tsp
Ginger ... 1 tsp
Coriander leaves .. handful
Cumin seeds .. 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder .. 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder .. 1 tsp
Cumiin powder ...... 1 tsp
Red chilli powder .. 1/2 tsp or more
Salt .......... to taste
Oil ......... 3-4 tbsps

1. Boil water and add a little salt and oil. Tip in the macaroni and after one or two boils switch off the gas. Cover the lid and leave it. After half an hour you can see the macaroni is puffed up and ready for use.
2. In a pan add a little oil and saute the ginger garlic and the grated onion until translucent.
3. Add the chopped tomatoes and half a cup of water and simmer to cook.
4. Grind it with a hand grinder or mixie.
5.In a pan take the remaining oil and add the cumin seeds.
6. When they crackle add the onion tomato paste and the spice powders and salt.
7. Put the phool patashas / makhanas and saute a little. Add one cup water.( or more if you like more gravy)
8. Strain the macaroni and add it also. Stir carefully. Simmer a little.
9. Finally stir in the chopped coriander leaves.
This should be served immediately if possible. Otherwise the makhanas soak up the gravy and become mushy.