Sunday, July 22, 2007

Really! You cook cucumbers?

Yes, I do cook cucumbers instead of eating them just in salads or raw. I usually make lentil stew or a quick stir fry but decided to do something different tonight. I needed to whip up quick dinner and I had onions, peppers and some left over cucumbers in my fridge and frozen rice noodles in the freezer. The result? Check it out.

Pack of frozen rice noodles - This variety is the one I picked up in Indian grocery store. It's called idiappam ;)
Red onion - 1/4 cup chopped fine
Green bell peppers - 1/4 cup chopped fine
Cucumber - 1/4 cup chopped fine
Green chillies - 2 minced
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - pinch
Turmeric - pinch
Paprika - 1 tsp.
salt - to taste
Lemon Juice - 1 tsp.
oil - as needed

Heat oil ina pan. Add cumin, Asafoetida, turmeric, paprika, and green chillies. After 30 seconds, add onion, peppers and cucumber.Add salt and saute till veggies are soft. Add lemon juice and thawed or defrosted noodles. Mix and serve hot.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I am in love

with the cookies I made today ;). I cannot get enough of it. They are not some exotic master pieces. Just plain sugar and butter cookies. However, it's the first time I made a cookie in my life from scratch. Also, the recipe calls for a Kitchen aid mixer. I didn't have one. I used a food processor instead and it worked fine.

Also, I hand rolled the cookies. Didn't use a rolling pin or a cookie cutter. More power to me;).

Recipe by Ina Garten.

I love her food. She makes everything doable and easy to follow. I even ordered her cookbook and waiting patiently for it's arrival:).

Monday, July 16, 2007

Spicy Broccoli Roti

I got creative today. To go with the pancharatna dal, I made some spicy Broccoli rotis. We had it with the dal, plain yogurt and some freshly sliced sweet mangoes.


To make the curry
Red Onion - 1 small cut length wise
Plum tomato - 1 cut length wise
Frozen Broccoli cuts - 1 cup
Jalapeño - 1 chopped fine
Ginger and garlic paste - 1 tsp
Chili powder - 1 tsp
turmeric - pinch
Salt - to taste
Sugar - a dash
Oil - as needed


Heat oil in a pan. Add the jalapeño and onions and saute them till onions are soft. Add ginger and garlic paste, tomatoes and broccoli cuts. Add 1/4 cup of water and cook them covered till broccoli pieces are soft. Remove the lid, add the chili powder, turmeric, salt and sugar. Saute for few minutes and turn the stove off. Let this mixture cool

To make the rotis:
Whole wheat flour - 2 to 3 cups
Olive oil - 1/8 cup
Salt - to taste
Water - 1/8 cup

In a food processor, add the curry and pulse till smooth adding olive oil and water while pulsing. Add the dough blade to this and mix in the whole wheat flour till it comes to the consistency of a roti mix or pizza dough but not too liquidy.

Knead the dough in a mixing bowl and using a roller pin make small rotis. Heat them on roti pan using oil or ghee. Serve hot.

Panchkuti, Panchvati or Pancharatna - You pick

In my 12 years of cooking ( yes I started cooking at 14), I haven't liked someone's recipes so much that I tried more than one of them. I have quiet a few personal favorite chefs and recipe book authors that I like. I own quiet a few recipe books. But I read them like novels and never make dishes to the T. But as I mentioned in my earlier posts, this food blog got me in a wrap. I keep going back to it for it's simple steps and the different ways that she makes them. The blog is KajalDreams and she shares her Gujarati Cuisine.

I have improvised on her stuffed baby potatoes and I also made the Daal Dhokli and my people were quiet surprised and loved it. Today I made her Panchkuti Daal. Mom asked me what it's called and I said Panchkuti but I wnated to cal it Pancharatna and mom thought I said Panchvati. LOL. Very funny mom!

Basically the recipe uses 5 different kinds of lentils. I made few changes. Here is my version. I used pressure cooker t
o cook the dals. If you do not have one. Then soak the lentils for an hour and then cook them directly in a pot with 3 cups of water. Add warm water in between till the lentils are cooked through.

Yellow Moong dal - 4 Tbsp
Green Moong Dal - 4 Tbsp
Toor Dal - 4 Tbsp
Chana Dal - 4 Tbsp
Masoor Dal - 4 Tbsp
Green Chillies - 2 chopped fine
Shallots - 2 chopped length wise
Plum tomatoes - 2 chopped fine
Juice of one lime
Garlic - 3 cloves minced
Ginger - 1 tsp grated
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Oil - as needed
Water - 4 cups +1 cup


Mix the dals in a vessel, wash and pressure cook them for 2 whistles with 4 cups of water.

In a deep sauce pan, heat oil and add mustard and cumin seeds. Once they start spluttering add shallots, green chillies, ginger and garlic. Add turmeric and enough salt for the onions and saute till onions are translucent. Make sure you have enough oil in the pan, so that you are not burning the ginger or garlic.
Add red chili powder and stir for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and cook them covered for 30 seconds to one minute.

Add the cooked dal, lemon juice, cup of water and cook them covered for 10 to 15 minute son low flame. Check in between to make sure the dal is not sticking to the pan. Remove the lid and stir it to see it's not too watery. Once it comes to a stew like consistency turn it off. Goes well with rice or rotis.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Goddess Chicken ;)

Well, when you marinate the chicken in a goddess salad dressing and cook you get goddess chicken;).

This was our Sunday lunch. Goddess Chicken, Italian Herb Pilaf, Medley of Artichokes, potatoes and broccoli.

Goddess Chicken:


Chicken - 1 lb cut into bite size pieces
For the marinade:
Goddess salad dressing ( this is kind of a Asian dressing with soy sauce, tahini and all). You can add Italian too if you want - 1/4 cup
Paprika - 1 Tbsp.

For the stir-fry:
Green and orange peppers - 1 cup julienned
Red onions - 1 cup julienned
Galric - 4 cloves minced
Red chilli flakes - 1 tsp.
Vegetable broth - 1/4 cup
Balsamic Vinegar - 2 Tbsp.
Olive oil - as needed
Salt and pepper - to taste

Marinade the chicken over night.

Heat oil in a wide pan. Add the garlic, onions, peppers and saute till soft. Add chicken, broth and cook till chicken is well done. Add salt and pepper.

Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the pan into a serving dish.

Bring the pan back to heat. Add one Tbsp of water and the balsamic vinegar. Reduce it for 5 minutes. Turn the stove off and add the vinegar to the chicken.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Stuffed baby Potatoes

I read plenty of food blogs for inspiration. I sneak into them just to look at the pictures. I don't put any pictures on this blog because, well, it's just too time consuming for me. I do appreciate everyone else who do it.

Lately i find myself peeking into this blog more often. I never knew Gujarati cuisine could be so interesting and different. I got inspired by her stuffed vegetables and did this today for lunch.

I made the Berbere spice mix over the weekend for the Ethiopian Chicken dish I made. I have been using that a lot. If you think it's time consuming you can just do it with some paprika and garam masala too.

You can use regular white baby potatoes but I had a bag of colored ( red, white and purple) potatoes that I picked up from Trader Joe's over the weekend, so I used that.

Baby potatoes - 8
Besan ( bengal gram dal) - 3 Tbsp.
Peanut powder - 1 Tbsp.
Berbere Powder - 1 tsp.
Garlic Powder - 1tsp.
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp.
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp.
Salt - per taste
Oil - as needed
Water - 1.5 cups
Turmeric - pinch


Mix besan, peanut powder, berbere, garlic pwder, turmeric, salt in a bowl.

Wash and pat dry the potatoes and make slits. Make sure you don't cut the potato all the way through. Stuff the potatoes with the mix.

Heat oil in a pan and add cumin and mustard seeds. Add the potatoes with slit side up and lower the flame to minimum.
Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add water to the leftover spice mix and pour it into the pan. stir for few seconds and cook the potatoes on low for 15 minutes. Turn the stove off once the potatoes are cooked all the way through.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I am just laughing at myself for even thinking of making something like this. I have no name for this yet. This dish is going as Prabu's lunch tomorrow. I will let you know how it turns out tomorrow;).

Cooked Rice - 2 cups
Turnip - 1 small chopped fine
Purple Potato - 1 small chopped fine
Chili Oil - 1 Tbsp.
Garlic Powder - 1 tsp
Bay leaf - 1
Soy sauce - 1 tsp
Berbere Spice powder - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste


Heat chili oil in a pan. Add bay leaf and the vegetables. Add salt and saute them till soft. Add garlic powder, berbere powder and soy sauce and stir for few minutes. Add the cooked rice and mix well. Simple and fast lunch eh!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Mango Shortcake

I decided to do an eggless mango cake because I wanted to use up the mango pulp I had. I got the recipe from a vegan website too. However, the plan changed as soon as I walked into the kitchen. Instead of pulling the flour, the butter, the baking soda and all, I decided to use the store bought pancake mix I had. I looked up the box and voila, it had a recipe for strawberry shortcake. Instead of strawberries, I used mangoes :) and I didn't even need a measuring cup.


Bisquick Pancake Mix
Mango pulp
Ripe Mango - cut into thin slices


You can bake the cake as per the instructions on the box but this is what I did.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Sift the pancake mix and mix just enough mango pulp into it so that the end consistency is smooth but not runny.

Grease a bread pan or a cake pan and pour the batter in and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. If you stick a toothpick in it should come out dry. Then you know its done. Cool it on a cooling rack.

Meanwhile for the sauce: Heat a thick bottomed sauce pan and add the cut mango pieces and 1/2 cup of mango pulp to it. Let it come to a boil. Stir in between. Turn the heat off.

In a dessert plate, arrange a cut piece of cake and pour 2 to 3 tablespoons of the sauce with mango pieces on top.

You can also add whipped cream or serve the warm cake with sauce and cold mango sorbet.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Chicken 65 balls

I got minced chicken from my favorite super market and played around in my head as to what to do with it. First thought of making spaghetti with chicken meat balls but instead opted out for an appetizer. This was so fast to whip up. If you do not have store bought chicken 65 masala you can just add red chili powder, paprika, garam masala and some salt. The masala I used was brought here by sweet mother in law from India.

Ground Chicken - 1 lb
Chicken 65 masala - 2 Tbsp.
Lemon Juice - 1 tsp.
Dried pudina - pinch
Besan or chick pea flour - 2 Tbsp. ( You can substitute with all purpose flour too).
Oil - for deep frying

Mix all the ingredients and roll them into tiny balls and deep fry till golden brown. Serve with onions and enjoy .