Monday, August 31, 2015


The Likok or bitter brinjal as it is commonly known, can be used in both raw and cooked preparations. It has yellowish green skin and the flesh is white with tiny seeds embedded. This vegetable  is popularly used in chutneys, mixed with onions and spices. Its bitter taste can be offset by spices and other vegetables, or with the addition of coconut milk in curries. Likok is often pickled in vinegar with a variety of seasonings. They can also be added to stir-fries, soups and stews.I tried out a simple Bengali style curry with five spice mix (panch phoran) and coconut milk.

Likok .... 5-6
Onion .... 1
Fenugreek seeds / methi dana ... 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds / jeera .................. 1/2 tsp
Nigella seeds / onion seeds / kalonji .. 1/4 tsp
Fennel seeds / saunf .......................... 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds ................................... 1/2 tsp
Green or fresh red chillies .... 1-2 slit
Turmeric powder ................ 1/4 tsp
Coconut milk ................ 100 ml
Salt ................................. to taste
Sugar ......................... 1/2 tsp (optional)
Mustard oil ......... as needed to fry and cook.
Coriander leaves for garnishing.


1. Wash the likok and make slits with the stem intact like we do for bharwan baigan. Put them in a bowl of water to which salt has been added.

2. Heat mustard oil and fry them until three fourths done. Drain and set aside.

3. Heat a spoonful of oil in a pan and add the panch phoran spices mentioned in the list.

4. When they give out a nice aroma add the sliced onion, chillies and saute until translucent.

5. Sprinkle a little water and add salt, sugar and turmeric powder.  (If you are making a gravy version then you add about one cup water)

6. Tip in the fried likoks and stir carefully.Simmer for a few minutes or until the vegetables are done.

7. Finally stir in the thick coconut milk. Give one boil and remove from the gas. Garnish with coriander leaves.

In Ayurvedic medicine, Likok is used for the treatment of asthma and colic. This is also used in treatments of rheumatism and to aid in digestion. Both the roots and fruit are considered to be part of Dashamoola a group of plants known for their anti-inflammatory properties. The fruit in particular is known for its ability to strengthen the throat and treat repository disorders. In addition to its vast array of uses in Ayurvedic medicine Likok is used by the Indian tribes of the Nilgiris District topically in treatment of finger abscesses

Information Source - From here 

Pin for later

You may also like:

Sunday, August 30, 2015


This was an amazing dish that we had recently in a restaurant. I loved the taste of the saffron sauce that was served as a topping and there was exotic black rice for accompaniment along with some veggies. I have replicated it and am quite happy with the result. In fact hubby dear liked my dish better than the restaurant one.

Salmon .... 1 fillet
Lemon juice ... 2 tbsps.
Salt ............ to taste
Olive oil ..... 2 tbsps
Nutmeg powder .. a pinch
Black pepper .. freshly crushed.
Black rice .... 1 cup
Veggies .. use any as per your preference..
I have used :
Green beans ... few
Purple cauliflower .. few florets
Cherry tomatoes and basil leaves .. for garnishing.

For Saffron Sauce:
Shallots .... 6 - 10
White wine .. 1/2 cup
Cream ....... 2 tbsps
Saffron ... 1 pinch
Butter ..... 2 tbsps (use cold butter cut into pieces)
Lemon juice .. 1 tbsp
Honey ......... 1 tbsp (optional)
Paprika ....... 1 pinch
Salt ............ as needed
  •  Peel the shallots and chop them very finely.
  •  Take a small pan and put the wine and shallots. Bring them to boil on medium temperature and cook for about 2 minutes.
  •  Turn the gas to low and now add the saffron and cream. Mix it well.
  •  Now add the cold butter pieces one by one. Add one and whisk it until it melts before you add another chunk.
  •  Keeping it on low flame add the lemon juice, honey, salt and paprika.

1. Wash the salmon and marinate with salt and lemon juice.
2. Cook the black rice adding a little salt. It takes a long time to cook this rice. You can pressure cook it if you want to save time.
3. Grease the baking tray with olive oil and grill the salmon until done.
4. Par boil the vegetables adding salt. Drain and saute them with a little olive oil.
5. Now take a serving platter and place the grilled salmon.
6. Serve the black rice on the side using a square or round dish / bowl.. Fill it with rice, press with a spoon and upturn it on the plate.
7. Place the vegetables on the side.
8. Pour the saffron sauce on the salmon fillet and around it.
9. Sprinkle the nutmeg powder and black pepper on it.
10.Garnish the plate with cherry tomatoes and basil leaves.

Note: You can also strain the saffron sauce to discard the shallots and get a clear thin sauce. You may also thicken it with corn starch if you want a thicker consistency.

Pin for later

You may also like:

Alder Plank Grilled Salmon

Saturday, August 29, 2015


I wanted to try out something nice with Shimeji mushrooms as I really like them a lot. They are nice and crunchy, in fact better tasting than button mushrooms. I found this recipe very simple and delicious. We had it like an appetizer.

Shimeji mushrooms .. 200 gms
Potatoes ................. 2 medium sized.
Garlic.................. 2 tsps
Salt ................... to taste
Black pepper .... 1/8 tsp
Parsley ............. 1/4 cup (finely chopped)
Mayonnaise ..... 1 tbsp
Olive oil .......... 3 - 4 tbsps.

1. Peel and cut the potatoes into cubes.
2. Heat the olive oil lightly in a wok and fry the mushrooms. Simmer them until they are done and slightly brown in colour. Remove them from the wok.
3. In the same wok tip in the shimeji mushrooms and garlic. Add a little oil if needed.
4. Saute them until the water is dried up and the mushrooms are done. It takes a few minutes.
5. Now add the finely chopped parsley, salt, black pepper and mayonnaise. Stir well to mix.
6. Add the potatoes and stir carefully to avoid them from breaking.
Delicious appetizer is ready.

Recipe is adapted from here 

                                                                      Shimeji Mushrooms 

Check out the video :

Pin for later

You may also like:

Friday, August 28, 2015

TOM YUM SOUP WITH SHRIMP ( Authentic Thai Style )

                                                     Tom Yum Goong Nam Sai 

Tom yum soup is a very popular one in the Thai Cuisine.. It is also a street food of Thailand. I love this soup for it's spicy and tangy flavours, a combination of lemon grass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, Thai chillies etc etc..  Though this soup is usually made with shrimps, you may also try out with any other sea food or chicken
There are two versions of Tom Yum Soup....
Tom yum goong nam sai -  is tom yum with shrimp and clear broth.
Tom yum goong nam khon - is the creamy / milky version.

Shrimps ... 200 gms
Lemon grass .. 1 stem
Galangal ....... 1 small piece
Kaffir lime leaves ... few
Lemon juice ....... 2-3 tbsps
Garlic .... 2 - 3 cloves
Thai chillies ..... 2-3 (as hot as you like it)
Oyster mushrooms .... 100 gms
Shallots  ... few
Cherry tomatoes .... few
Coriander leaves ... handful
Fish sauce .......... 1 tbsp
Sugar ..... 2 tsps
Salt ... add a little if needed as the fish sauce is salty.

For the creamy version:
Chilli sauce .... 1 tbsp
Evaporated milk .. 4-5 tbsps

1. Take about one litre of water in a pot and bring it to boil.
2. Tip in the galangal, kafir lime leaves, lemon grass stalks and crushed garlic.
3. Simmer and allow it to boil for 10 minutes to release the herb flavours.
4. Now tip in the cleaned shrimps and mushrooms. Crush the chillies and add to the boiling soup.
5. Allow to boil for 2-3 minutes more.
6. Peel the shallots and cut them into halves. Also cut the the cherry tomatoes into halves.Put them into the pot.
7. Next add the fish sauce, sugar, lemon juice and a little salt if needed after tasting because the fish sauce is salty.
8. Boil for one minute and turn off the heat as the tomatoes and shallots should not be over cooked.
9. Add chopped coriander leaves now to retain the freshness and vibrant colour which is lost during the cooking process.
Now you have the clear version of Tom Yum Soup..

                                            Tom Yum Goong Nam Khon

For the creamy version :
After the step 8 ...
Add one tbsp of chilli sauce and stir in the evaporated milk.
Boil for one minute and turn off the heat.
Add the coriander leaves.

 Serves 2
Note: The sourness and chillies in this soup should be adjusted according to your preference.
The recipe is adapted from here 

Pin for later

You may also like:

Oriental Rice Paper Rolls

Thursday, August 27, 2015


Mexican Cemita Buns are used to make a sandwich which is very popular in the Puebla region of the country. There they make the Cemitas Poblana, which is a sandwich is filled with sliced avocado, meat, Queso Oaxaca or Quesillo (a string cheese sold as balls) or Panela cheese (fresh cow’s milk cheese), onions, a strongly flavoured almost floral herb called p├ípalo (supposedly a cross between arugula and coriander in flavour) and a red Chipotle sauce.

 These buns may look like regular sesame topped burger buns but they’re nothing like it. The Cemita, which is the name given to the bread and the sandwich made with it, is made with a brioche-like enriched dough that has a crunchy outside but is soft inside.

All purpose flour ... 3 cups
Cream ............... 1/2 cup
Luke warm water .. 1/4 cup
Milk .................. 1/4 cup
Instant yeast ....... 1 tsp
Salt ...................  3/4 tsp
Sugar ............... 1 and 1/2 tsp
Seasame seeds .. 1/3  cup or as needed.
Coarse sea salt .... for sprinkling (optional)


Add 1/2 tsp sugar to the luke warm water. Sprinkle yeast on top and leave it in a warm place until it becomes frothy.

Take all the ingredients at room temperature.

Take the flour in a big bowl. Make a well in the center and break the eggs. Add the remaining sugar, salt and the frothy yeast.

Knead it by adding the milk and cream little by little. The dough will be little sticky. You may use machine if you have it. That makes it easier to handle the dough.

Take the dough on a floured surface and knead it until you get the desired texture. Try to avoid adding too much flour as it has to be a little soft and sticky.

Shape it into a round lump and put it in a greased bowl.
Cover it and allow it to rise for 3-4 hours until it is 1 and 1/2 times its original size

Remove the dough on a work surface and knead it gently. Shape it into a thick rope.

Divide it into 6 equal portions using a dough cutter or a knife.

Shape each portion into a smooth ball like shape and place them on a parchment lined tray leaving enough gap to expand as they proof.
Set them aside to rise for about an hour.

Brush the buns with milk or egg white and sprinkle sesame seeds generously. Lightly press them into the dough.

Bake at 230 C (450 F) for about 15 - 17 minutes until the buns are done and browned on top. Cool them on a wire rack. Warm them lightly before using.

This recipe makes 6 buns.

Check out this video - How to shape the buns perfectly .

Recipe adapted from - Serious Eats 

Recipe of the month @ We Knead to Bake # 30 - Mexican Cemita Buns - by Aparna Balasubramanian (My Diverse Kitchen)

Pin for later

You may also like:

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


A creamy mushroom soup made with button mushrooms that we find easily in all the grocery stores these days. If you wish you can add some exotic varieties like oyster mushrooms or shitake if you have them. As the mushrooms tend to spoil easily you can even slice and saute them in oil or butter and freeze them to use later. I have not used any thickener in this recipe but increased the quantity of mushrooms. 

Button mushrooms ... 400 gms 
Red onion or shallots .. 1/2 cup (diced)
Olive oil or butter ....... 2 tbsps
Black pepper .............. 1-2 pinches
Nutmeg powder ....... 1 pinch
Rosemary or any herb .. 1 tsp
Fresh cream ................ 100 ml 
Low fat milk .............. 1 cup
Vegetable stock ......... 2 cups (or water)
Salt ........................... to taste

1. Wash the mushrooms well and slice them. 
2. Heat oil in a pan and saute the mushrooms for few minutes. Remove them from the pan.
3. In the same pan saute the onions until translucent.
4. Add the fried mushrooms back into the pan setting aside some for garnishing.
5. Add the vegetable stock or water and simmer to cook for 10 -12 minutes.
6. Using a hand blender blend the soup.
7. Add milk and also add the salt, crushed pepper, nutmeg powder and rosemary or any herb you like.
8. Adjust the thickness as per your preference. Add stock or more milk accordingly.
9. Finally stir in the fresh cream and just give one boil.
10. Garnish with fried mushrooms, nutmeg powder or black pepper and rosemary leaves.

Serves 2 

Print Recipe